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“How old are you precisely ?”.
good in a time of revolution is like writing upon the 'I could scarcely forbear laughing at such an interro- sand by the sea-shore; what is spared by the winds is gation, made in so imperative a form. “Sir,” replied I, effaced by the waves." After a moment's pause, he smiling-in such guise, alas ! as one can smile at my inquired, “Did you know Dubois and Cartouche?” age; and perhaps my smile was not even perceptible to Instead of answering a word, I looked at him with so him—“I cannot tell you precisely my age. I was born severe an expression, that it surprises me now to think in a castle of La Maine.'
upon it. Most probably he became sensible of the im. “Ah, yes,” said he, interrupting me brusquely ; “in propriety of having summoned the Dowager Marquise your time the civil registers were either badly kept, or de Créquy into his presence for the sake of asking news else altogether neglected.” And then he resumed his about Cartouche; and he smiled so naively, that I felt interrogatories in a magisterial tone. “Where do you at once disarmed. live?"
“ Allow me, madame,” said he, “ to kiss your hand.” “In the Hôtel de Créquy."
'I began to pull off my mitten as hastily as the occa“ Ah diable! And in what quarter ?".
sion required. “Leave on your glove, my good mother," 'I could not understand this fancy to know where I added he with an air of respectful solicitude; and then resided; but am told that it is a sort of curiosity which he pressed my poor decrepit centenary fingers firmly to he feels with regard to all those who approach him. his lips. He granted me the restitution of our forests It also perplexed me to know wherefore he addressed with the best grace imaginable; and then spoke of the me as Mme la Maréchale ; but on learning that he noble conduct of the Duke de Créquy Lesdiguiéres at lad bestowed equally inappropriate titles on other Rome, adding, that France was wrong in allowing the people, it occurs to me that he wishes perhaps to create destruction of this pyramid, which testified the reparaan illusion to himself as to the date, origin, and nature tion offered by Rome to her ambassador. of his consular authority. On learning that I resided * Alas! what avails me this noble name of Créquy, in the Rue de Grenoble
which I shall be the last to bear; and which must very “Rue de Grenoble! There was a tumult in your shortly be noted down for the last time in a dirty requarter yesterday. Were you frightened ? It was on gister, among the names of an undistinguished multiaccount of the price of bread.”
tude! “ The rioters were not numerous, and I did not trouble *I have remarked in the character and conduct of niyself about the matter."
Bonaparte many things which are abhorrent to me, one " There can be no disturbances under my government; thing that perplexes me, and one that I approve of. It no serious ones at least! There may be an uproar now is needless to enumerate the causes of my dislike; but and then; but France is not the less happy and con the motive of my approbation consists in his uncon. tented. Don't let people deceive themselves; a little querable perseverance. He never retreats before any clamour is no proof of dissatisfaction among the people. opposition; and in great affairs, as well as in little ones, llappiness does not go about and make a noise in the he who is the most resolute will infallibly succeed. As streets : a few restless spirits make a vast commotion for the matter which perplexes me, if Bonaparte be Is it not so?”
indeed desirous to reign over France, the enigma may Oh, assuredly; three women who set about scream- be partly solved—Wherefore does he seek so earnestly ing, make more noise than three thousand men who to win over to his interest the high nobility of France, hold their peace.”
who never can be of any service to him? Heirs of their “What you say, then, is very good; very good indeed, unworthy sires, most of our young nobility have been do you know?”
educated without piety, and too early plunged into the And I answered him quite simply, as Colinette would corrupting vortex of the world: an enervated and dehave done at court, “ You are very kind, sir !"
generate race, they are unfit to govern. Wherefore, • The weather being dark and showery, with gusts of among the nobles who have distinguished themselves cold wind, “I am sorry to have made you come out to- during the Revolution by ability or self-devotion, has day," said he, smiling; "the weather is arbitrary,” lay- there not been found even one of our grand seigneurs ? ing an accent on the last word. “We see a relative of Wherefore have they made themselves remarkable only yours frequently."
by their disloyalty or their want of intelligence? “Who can that be?” I inquired with an air of sur *I believe that the impiety and profligacy of the Reprise, and in as familiar a tone as that which he used. gency, and of the closing years of Louis XV., have He replied it was Mme de Mirande. “I did not know produced the dissolution of society in France; and that we were relations! I am the Duchess of Miranda in our country needed to be purified in a bath of her own Spain, and this perhaps has occasioned her mistake.” | blood. I believe that Bonaparte has been raised up to But the First Consul looked so annoyed at the decep- exterminate the assassins, and to dissipate revolutionary tion, that I was sorry to have said so much ; for in truth illusions. I think it very probable that his head may I did not wish this gasconne any harm.
be turned by success; and perhaps this man of victory You have seen Louis XIV.?” continued he in an may so far forget the mission he has received, that his elevated tone; “ have you also seen Peter the Great, ambition may be severely chastised. Laurels are s Mme la Maréchale ?"
perfect symbol; they yield shade, and nothing more.' “I have not had that honour, for I was in my province when". “I know that you were intimate with Cardinal de
THE MIDNIGHT JOURNEY. Fleury; is it true that he expected to obtain the impe
BY LEITCH RITCHIE. rial crown for Louis XV.? Had Louis any chance of I HAVE lived a very wandering life. When quite a boy, being emperor ?”
I was taken from school to be consigned to the care of a " It was believed, general, that his success was cer near kinsman in the West Indies. In two years this tain, but for the bad faith of Frederick, king of Prussia, gentleman died insolvent, and I tried successively serewhose treachery Fleury never forgave.”
ral of the greater islands without finding a permanent Frederick was cleverer than Fleury, but not more place for my foot. I next found my way to the Spanish astute: old Fleury was a cunning one. Have you suf- main, but in the company of loose and daring speculafered much from the Revolution ?” he inquired dryly. tors, rather than in the regular mercantile employment
• Believing he would be glad to escape a long list of for which I had been intended ; and several years were grievances, I mentioned my losses as briefly as possible; passed in a course of adventure and vicissitude, many alluding especially to the forests of Versailles and St portions of which would seem too wildly improbable for Pol, and the wood of Valenciennes. His answer was romance. In the other division of the new world, I was vague; for he evidently responded to his own thoughts carried by my wandering destiny along the whole of rather than to my words. á Madame, the desire to do the Mexican range of coast, and passed nearly two years
in California. In the course of this time I visited seve- expected; and being informed at the Customs' station ral of the islands both in the North and South Pacific, that I should find the road good and direct towards the and at a subsequent period hunted the sea otter, with a next town, I at once shouldered my knapsack-for my crew composed chiefly of Aleutian savages, in the ocean worldly goods were then packed in small compass—and that separates Asiatic from American Russia.
set out on the few miles' walk. The wind was against All this had done nothing for me in the way of for me, and felt keener and colder than I had known it tune. Indeed I cannot be said to have ever thought under the tropics ; and by and by it came on to rain, seriously of the future. Like the wild companions and the drops dashed in my face as if they would have among whom my lot had been cast, I was satisfied with cut the skin. Altogether, my walk was somewhat unthe bounties of the passing hour; spending gaily, when comfortable; and although it was impossible to wander ever we had opportunity, the money earned at the con- from a narrow road that was bounded on both sides by stant risk of life and limb. But at length a circumstance a thick hedge, blinded as I was by the rain, and conoccurred which made me think. When poring one day fused by the gust, I found the way a little longer than over an old newspaper in the cabin of an English ship, I expected. I observed with a surprise and incredulity-at first I at length reached the town. The streets were manifested by a fit of laughter-that the world had not already deserted ; not a sound was heard but the wind altogether forgotten the poor, friendless, reckless adven- moaning through them; and as I passed between rows turer of the Pacific. A series of unexpected deaths. as of lamps, of what seemed to me an unearthly brilliance, it appeared, bad taken place; and the boy who had I could have supposed that I had entered some dead been shipped away at such early years from his home city of enchantment. After wandering on for a conand country, in the hope of securing for him in the new siderable distance, I at length reached an open door of world a provision, which in the old could only be the what proved to be a house of entertainment; and have result, if it ever came at all, of the struggles of years, ing signified to the people what I wanted, and whither was now the heir of an independent property!
I was going, and desired to be called in time for the These particulars have nothing to do with an adven- conveyance, I sat down to a substantial and not unwelture (if it can be called an adventure) which I fell in come meal. This was indeed rest. I was alone in the with immediately on my return to England, and which room : the house, like the street, was profoundly silent: I now sit down to sketch for the amusement of my and as the servant-woman glided in and out to attend new friends. But I give them in order to account for to my requirements, she seemed afraid to disturb by the wildness of certain hallucinations which beset me, voice or footfall the repose of the scene. She at length and which would otherwise be considered merely an in- left me, signifying that I should be called 'in time to stance of bad taste, rather than traced to a habit of mind start;' and while mechanically satisfying my appetite, I engendered by the extraordinary scenes that had formed gave full reins to my excursive imagination. my every-day life since the days of boyhood. Even the It was still cold, although not late in the autumn; long homeward voyage had no effect in tranquillising and in order to restore the circulation to my limbs, I my nerves; for it was a voyage of storm and other drank a little spirits and water. This circumstance disaster, including hunger, and its frequent concomic would not be worth mentioning; but my habits being tant, mutiny. When at length the white cliffs of my strictly temperate, I am inclined to hope that I may thus country rose upon the horizon, steeped in the mellowed in some measure account for a state of mind which I sunlight of these temperate latitudes, I felt an unac- should be loath to describe as delirium. However this customed yearning after repose. My unquiet bosom may be, I either fell asleep after supper, or into that grew calm; my wild eyes filled with tears; and I called trance-like reverie which can hardly be distinguished upon the winds to swell our lagging canvas, that I from a dream. I was still roaming by the cliffs of the might flee away and be at rest.
Pacific, through the primeval forests of America, amid What a contrast was my life now about to present! the breakers of Behring's Sea. I was still searching for What a novelty was even the physical aspect of the gold (which had at one time been my occupation) among country about to disclose to my eyes! How should I the mountains of the south-west, and listening to the fall in with the measured tread of that calm and orderly wild legends of the place, as I paused at the opening of population of which I was to form a unit? How could I some tomb-like cavern, said by the natives to communieven walk steadily upon the level roads and smooth fields cate, through the bowels of the earth, with lands beyond that awaited me? Presently, as these inquiries crowded the ocean. But my reverie had not the effect of reality. into my mind, there mingled with my new-born long. I knew at the time that it was my imagination that ings after rest a kind of misgiving that I was not fitted thought, while my judgment watched its aimless gamfor its enjoyment; and as the night began to close dark bols with a sense of languid amusement. Ever and and heavy around while we were nearing the coast, I anon, however, England mingled in my dream. From felt almost happy in the idea that another day was to each loftier cliff, from the summit of each wilder wave, dawn before I should enter upon my new course of I saw spread out in the distant sea its green and level tame, quiet, methodical, prosaic existence.
fields, bathed in the pale sunlight of the north, and But this interval was not destined to occur. As lights slowly traversed with methodical steps by an industrious rose here and there upon the dark mass before us, in and orderly population. clustering groups, long lines, or solitary stars, they re I was at length suddenly awakened from my trance kindled my excitement. The voices of the land called me by the noise of heavy footsteps, clanging doors, and from a hundred points, and my heart answered to the calling voices; but so imperfectly awakened, that I hail. It seemed an adventure to plunge into that world have only a confused recollection of having been told of shadows, studded with so many gems that sparkled that it was time to set out on my journey, of being without illumining; and in the morning, it would be flooded along the street in a hurrying crowd, and of an amusement to observe into what common forms the having paid, in the midst of a scene of tumult, some phantasmagoria of my imagination had resolved. A money, which I understood was to be the price of my conveyance, I was told by the revenue officers who transport. I may have been partly asleep, and partly boarded us, would set out in two or three hours from a under the influence of the unaccustomed glass of spirits neighbouring town, towards the distant part of the and water; yet, after all, this confusion of mind is percountry which was my destination; and I suddenly haps not very surprising in a stranger from the wilds determined to go on shore, and make as much progress of the Pacific set suddenly down in the heart of a dison my journey as I could accomplish in the night. tant country, and in the midst of an entirely new form
On landing, I could form no distinct idea of the cha- of society. But mark the sequel. racter of the country, for my vision was unable to pene I was hardly seated in the public vehicle, when it trate more than a few yards around me. These few rolled off, leaving the tumult behind in an instant. A yards, however, were tame and civilised, just as I had female, in the corner opposite to mine, was the only
other passenger; and by the light of a lamp which we new were so strangely jumbled in my imagination, that passed now and then in the earlier part of the journey, I could not have determined, with any feeling of cerI saw that she was young and fair, but pale, cold, mute, tainty, in which quarter of the globe our journey lay. and passionless as a statue. Not a trace of excitement All on a sudden, a wan, spectral light broke into the caught from the hurry and the crowd, or the romance cave, and but for the wild absurdity of the supposition, of a midnight journey, was on that marble brow, or in I could have really supposed that I caught a glimpse those lovely but soulless eyes. They were fixed on of the moon emerging from her pall of clouds. This I mine, as her head leant back, with a look which con- knew to be impossible, although the other details of the founded me by its utter want of human sympathy; and scene were so terribly real, that I was sometimes fully then, having wandered for an instant over my foreign persuaded I was awake! On, however, we rushed, in garb, and my knapsack, which lay on the seat beside utter darkness as before, and for so long a time, that, me, they withdrew so coldly and lifelessly, that when a worn out and stupified by the over-excitement, it was hand was protruded from her cloak, to arrange with with a feeling of little more than languid curiosity I saw listless motions its folds about her neck, and exhibited —not by the approach of light, but rather by a steady not one trace of blood in its long, tapering fingers, that change in the darkness——that we neared the end of our gleamed like snow in the darkness, I could have sup. subterranean career, and were at length vomited forth posed her to be some preternatural being in whose into the upper world. custody I was travelling! There was no amusement I beheld nothing distinctly for several minutes. My without. We seemed to be journeying between two companion was asleep, or at least motionless; and, as if shadows, the denser being the earth, and the rarer the controlled by some strange fascination, I felt my own heavens; and again and again I turned to look at my eyes growing heavy; when, all on a sudden, the moon companion. Sometimes, though rarely, I met the dead burst forth, and lighted up a scene of such surpassing eyes as before ; but at length they closed, and she was splendour, that I uttered an involuntary cry of admiraall statue.
We were in a deep glen, or rather gorge, the The form of the denser shadow without now began sides of which appeared to be formed of majestic cliffs to change, being half disclosed by a pale gleam from of white marble, hung here and there with a drapery of above, which seemed to indicate the quarter of the sky woods. The summits were inconceivably various in where the moon lay under her pall of clouds. The their outlines: sometimes representing castles and shadow grew loftier and more rugged, and then ap- towers; sometimes battlemented steeps; sometimes peared to come out in cliffs and heights. These presently fringes of tall trees, that held up their finger-like began to close in upon our path ; and the sound of our branches between us and the moonlight. In the disrushing wheels, before partially lost in the surrounding tance, the ravine, at a place where it sunk sheer down atmosphere, was converted, by the interruption, into from the base of a lofty mountain, was spanned by an groans and screams. On flew the vehicle, shrieking aërial bridge, that appeared to me like a path by which as it flew, and answered by the thousand voices of the sons of God might have descended to visit the the rocks, as they gathered closer and closer, till daughters of men. My cry had aroused the female they seemed to totter over our heads. Nor was this statue, and she even raised her head for an instant; but idea so absurd as you may suppose; for as I thrust there was nothing unnatural to her in this spectral my head in alarm out of the window, there was a show, and in another moment she leant back in the yawning gulf before us, into wbich we were obviously carriage, although I could see her strange eyes gleam. hurrying.
ing upon me for some time through the gloom. Was I still in the midst of my dream? Was this the Onward we rushed through the gorge, now plunging Gold-seeker's cave, through which my 'extravagant and into solemn woods, and now skinming along the exerring spirit' was to be transported beneath the founda- treme edge of steeps, from which I could see, through tions of the sea ? I had hardly time to ask myself the the tops of tangled trees, the gleam of a torrent far question, ere the screams and groans of the vehicle, be- below. But presently, as we appeared to be issuing coming more agonised every instant, were broken by an through the narrow portal of the ravine into a more unearthly yell, which quivered in the ear for more than open country, the moon was again hidden, and a thicker a minute, and then, with a rush and a roar, received shadow than before descended upon our path. At ibis with a sound of mingled laughter and sobbing, we moment I received an impression which I shall long replunged madly into the abyss.
member, for its remarkable consistency with the scene. Onward-onward-onward we flew, through as dark My eyes were attracted to the opposite window of our and wild a cavern as ever disclosed to modern men the headlong vehicle by a sudden and momentary gleam of extinct races of an earlier world. Sometimes a red and red light, accompanied by a sound like the sweep of a momentary gleam illumined, I knew not whence, our tempest, and-smile if you will at the superstition ! lonely path, and I saw the face of the living rock over. I beheld a crowd of spectral faces glaring in upon us head jagged with stalactites, and its rugged sides for an instant, and then vanishing in the night. dripping with water. On these occasions I turned a After our egress from the enchanted valley, we aplook of intense curiosity upon my companion. Some- peared to descend gradually, but without diminishing times her eyes were open, sometimes shut; but her our speed. It was too dark for any distinct observatioa manner remained as listless and impassive as ever. of the nature of the country; but the air felt thick, Sometimes her glance met mine, but it betrayed no chill, and damp, and it was obvious that we were gaintrace of human emotion. She appeared to look on me ing an extremely low level, with perhaps a marshy as a portion of the material things before her, with soil. But at length the struggling moon was able to which she claimed, and could feel, no sympathy. Some throw a wan light upon the scene, and I saw that we times her eye wandered to the window; but after a were either crossing the sea, or traversing a flooded single glance, it returned as cold and unmoved as be- district. Water was around us as far as the eye could fore. It was the same thing to her whether we were reach, studded here and there with small islands, each above or below the earth, whether we were flying upon bearing a hut, a rick of corn, or a few solitary trees, in the clouds or digging beneath the foundations of the the midst of which we continued our career without sea; it made no change in her listless manner or re appearing to disturb the slumbrous wave by our rushclining posture: she remained as cold, and pale, and ing wheels. It seemed as if we skimmed along the surmute, and passionless, and fair as ever.
face of the liquid expanse without touching it. At this How long this subterraneous course went on I cannot part of the journey, the marble fingers again stole out, say. I lost account of time. We had set out from the to draw closer the drapery about the marble chin: my mountains of Mexico, and for aught I knew, we were companion apparently felt the chilness of the air, but now beneath the Pacific, and destined to rise in the it gave her no farther trouble to find herself out of deserts of Australia. In fact, the old world and the I sight of the mainland.
Not the least extraordinary circumstance attending "I see,' replied she, smiling, 'you are a foreigner, and this extraordinary journey, was the rapidity of transi- do not take well to the rail. It is very dull and stupid, tion from one level and from one character of scenery I must needs confess, but I usually manage to sleep a to another, without our receiving any distinct impres- little. However, I shall not find it quite so tame tosions from the act of climbing or descending. It may morrow when returning in daylight.' be, however, that the monotony of the water-course You return to-morrow?' lulled my over-excited senses into a temporary oblivion; Yes; I have only come down to dine to-day with but at anyrate, the next change I perceived was the some friends, who have made up a little party for a trip moon completely free from the imprisoning clouds, and to America to see the Falls.' her faint beams struggling with the first rays of the You do not go with them ?' dawn. We were now rushing through a wild and • Alas, no! I am such a weak creature---so childishly rugged country, evidently of considerable elevation, nervous ; and they say Niagara is so odd! In your with here and there the adjuncts of wood and water country, too, I daresay there are wonderful sights, and giving variety and interest to the scene. Suddenly, strange adventures, and all sorts of things to keep one however, as I leant out of the window to refresh my awake. Here we only spin cotton! Good-morning.' fevered brow with the morning air, I could perceive, by And with a kindly smile, and a graceful bend, the young an appearance in the misty distance, that our journey lady tripped away, and was lost among the crowd. was in all probability drawing to a close. A deep Such was my first journey after my return to Engvalley, if it would not rather prove to be a chasm in the land; and it served to dissipate many delusions. I mountains, extended at right angles with our course; found every-day life a poem, a romance, compared with and in order to pursue our career, it would now be ne- which the adventures of the Pacific are tame and comcessary, instead of running, as we had hitherto done, monplace. Even the cotton manufactories, so disdainpretty nearly as the crow flies, either to turn sharply fully referred to by my fellow-traveller, present scenes away, or fling ourselves headlong over the steep. unparalleled for wonder and excitement, danger and
It was with intense interest I watched the event; hairbreadth 'scapes. But the magic with which my which became more and more puzzling, as I saw that countrymen are surrounded is their own. A tunnel there was no mass of houses giving indication of our through a mountain, or a viaduct across a valley, is no having reached the goal. To turn away along the marvel to them, because they know the amount and brink of the valley, would be contrary to the whole kind of labour which produced it, and the sum of money scheme of our journey; and as we approached nearer it cost. For my part, my impressions are as yet free and nearer, it was obvious that to plunge into that gulf from such associations, and I still walk about like a man of tumbling shadows, on which the gray light of the in a dream. I went abroad in search of fortune, and dawn had as yet but little influence, was entirely out found only danger and toil; I returned home for reof the question. My agitation appeared to arouse in pose, and find nothing but headlong hurry and wild some measure even my strange companion; at least excitement. Science has changed the face of the world; she leant languidly forward to give a single glance out and I am as a man called up by enchantment from the of the window, and then returned to her marble repose. sleep of ages to find himself a stranger upon the earth.
How I wished that I could see more clearly but perhaps the wish was imprudent. Nearer and nearer
MAN AND WIFE. we came to the edge of the chasm ; deeper and more sudden appeared the precipice to fling itself into the misty gloom ; swifter and wilder flew the wheels of the
BY ANNA MARIA SARGEANT. desperate vehicle: we are at hand; we are on the You wish to delay your decision until you have had brink: my eyes closed—but not till I had seen that we an opportunity of further consulting your wife, I prewere no longer on the firm earth. We had darted out sume?' This observation was addressed by a house into space, like an arrow from the bow. We had swerved agent to a young tradesman with whom he had for neither to the right nor the left, neither upwards nor some time past been in treaty respecting the lease of a downwards. We had scorned the depths of the valley, shop. just as we had laughed at the impediments of cliff and • Consult my wife!' repeated Bradshaw in a tone inmountain ; and now we appeared to be skimming dicative of surprise and indignation. “No; I would through the air, with the same indomitable will, the never consult a woman upon a matter of business.' same headlong impulse, with which we had thundered • Oh, I beg your pardon,' hastily rejoined the wary through the living rock!
house agent, secretly rejoicing at having at length disThe first edge of the sun arose as we flew, and the covered the weak side of the man he was dealing with ; shadows of the valley disappeared. A beautiful and but I thought you might possibly like Mrs Bradshaw fertile plain stretched far beneath us both to right to see the house. I know the ladies like to have a and left, diversified by woods and waters, farms and voice in such matters.' cottages, fields and gardens; and here and there we • I tell you I don't ask her advice in any matter,' the could see men and women, horses and oxen, coming young man sharply retorted; "and to prove to you, Mr forth to their daily employment. We were nothing to Hutchingson, that I don't boast of an independence I them. We did not belong to their world. A face may do not really possess, I'll strike the bargain at once.' have been turned up for an instant, a finger extended; The house agent had previously tried all the usual but the peasant returned the next moment to his cheer- methods of drawing the business to a close. He had ful toil, without a thought of whence we had come or assured him that his rival draper, Mr Dawkins, had whither we were going.
been after it, and that several other persons were eager We had left this scene long behind before my be- to have it. These, however, had failed. Bradshaw still wildered senses revived; but at length I was aroused had scruples regarding the prudence of the affair; for by the stopping of the vehicle, and I found myself sud- the rent and taxes were exorbitant, and the terms of denly in the midst of a crowd and bustle similar to that the lease far from favourable ; but no sooner was it which I had witnessed at our departure. The myste- hinted that he was waiting for his wife's consent, than rious female at once started into life. Her manner Hutchingson’s end, as he had acutely perceived would thawed; her complexion lost its marbly tint, and be be the case, was accomplished. came human; and her beautiful face was lighted up Now, it must not be inferred, from the above-related with smiles.
conversation, that Mr Peter Bradshaw was a domestic Give your ticket !' said she, teaching me by her tyrant: he was willing to allow his wife all the home example, as a functionary came to the door.
comforts his means would afford, and his manner toWhat is this r' said I. •Was it all real? Where wards her was not often unkind; but then she must have we been? How have we come?'
never dare to express an opinion on any subject-the
preparation of the dishes for his table, or the dress of * You must be cautious whom you trust, my dear his children excepted. We sometimes hear mention Peter,' Mrs Bradshaw quietly remarked. made of individuals who have but two ideas, and this is Oh, I have taken care to be on the right side,' her surely a poor allowance. Unhappily, Mr Bradshaw husband answered. “I have made a bargain which can. had but one ; and that one was-that it was beneath not be otherwise than for my benefit.' the dignity of a man to take the counsel of a woman. . Then you have already settled the affair !' cried the His notions of the mental superiority of the lords of wife in surprise. 'I thought you implied that you had the creation' were so towering, that he looked down it only in contemplation. Pray who may it be that upon his gentle spouse with feelings bordering on con- you have made this arrangement with ?' tempt, and consequently treated her as he would an . With the son of my father's old friend, Smithson. upper servant, whose office it was to administer to his | The old man is anxious to associate his son with some domestic comfort. He on his part thought he was dis- steady man of business, and is willing to put a thousand charging his sole duty by finding her the means to pounds into the concern, which will be an excellent supply a liberal table and suitable apparel, and by thing to stock my new shop, and will enable me to extreating her with negative kindness.
tend my connection.' • Well, Martha, I've taken that shop in Market Street,' • A thousand pounds will, I think, be a poor recomthe husband exclaimed on returning home ; and as he pense for having a young man of George Smithson's spoke, he threw himself at full length (which, to own habits as a partner in your business,' Mrs Bradshaw the truth, did not far exceed five feet, notwithstanding observed. It is not often that I interfere in such his exalted idea of himself) upon the couch in his little matters,' she pursued; but if you take my advice, back parlour.
Peter, you will have nothing to do with him.' • What shop, my dear?' Mrs Bradshaw asked in sur * And why not, pray ?' her husband sharply asked. prise.
I have known the father these twenty years, and his · Why, the new shop opposite the market-place. character has always stood high for integrity.' Didn't I tell you thought of taking it?'
• That may be ; but it does not follow that the son *No, Peter; you once said that you had looked at it, I will not bring you into trouble. You know he has and asked the rent, but it appeared much too high for caused his father a great deal of unhappiness by his our means.'
imprudence and extravagance; and it appears to me to 'I am going to try it at all events,' the husband re be like rushing into ruin with your eyes open to have joined a little tartly, for he was not pleased with her any connection with him.' vague allusion to the imprudence of which his con * You are too severe upon the young man, Martha,' science accused him of having been guilty. “There is Mr Bradshaw interposed, with an inflection of voice nothing to be done now-a-days without a great show ; , which indicated that his judgment was more than half and I think I have stayed in this dull street long convinced by her argument. He has been a little enough.'
extravagant in his youth ; but now he has sowed his * This shop has afforded us a comfortable maintenance wild oats, his father hopes he will settle down into more for seven years, my dear,' the wife quietly observed. steady habits.'
• The change will be for your benefit, Martha,' Mr * It is quite natural that the father should hope so; Bradshaw interposed; “you will have the use of three but not that you, my dear Peter, should depend on such or four additional rooms, and large ones, instead of slender foundations in a matter which may be so very these little pigeon-holes, so I don't see that you will serious. My own observation,' she added, " has led me have any reason to complain.'
to remark that a disobedient, extravagant youth, seldom 'I am not complaining, Peter,' she returned; I am makes a steady, persevering man.' only fearful that you will find it difficult to meet the *Oh, you always look on the dark side of the picture, expenses from your profits ; besides which, we must, Martha; you are always prognosticating evil. For my you know, have this house on our hands three years part, I like to hope the best. This speech was accomlonger.'
panied with one or two of those nervous movements 'I shall easily find a tenant,' he carelessly replied; which often attend unsound arguments ; but Mrs Bradadding, and I have taken the other for twenty-one shaw, who was really much concerned at the new step years.'
of imprudence her husband was about to take, thought • Twenty-one years !' exclaimed the wife in astonish- it right to be more than usually tenacious in maintainment and alarm; but seeing that the gathering storming her ground. All, however, was vain, Pshaw was about to break, she dared not add more.
stuff!' muttered Mr Bradshaw. It was all he could say, When some persons have done that which their con- for he had not even a lame leg to stand upon. sciences decide to be wrong, they not unfrequently have Mr Peter Bradshaw's once small and comparatively recourse to a fit of passion, as the only means of silenc- unpretending concern now assumed the more substaning the remonstrances of those who have most cause tial appellation of a firm, though it had really less to complain ; and to this refuge Mr Bradshaw fled, ground for so doing; and fresh placards and advertise. knowing that he had no arguments to trust to. His ments announced that Messrs Bradshaw and Smithwife being too gentle to resist, and too wise for strife, son would now be able to offer the public goods of supe. suffered it to have its vent without a word of retort. rior quality at a before upheard-of price. But neither Thus it shortly subsided into a calm.
the plate-glass, the puffing, nor the partner, had the Another month found the family settled in their new desired effect of enticing fresh people to inspect the abode; and the usual methods of advertising informed wares; and many of those who had been regular cus• Mr Bradshaw's friends and the public that he had re- tomers at the late shop in Church Street discontinued moved from No. 7 Church Street, to 50 Market Street, dealing, thinking that, in order to make so much show, where he hoped, by offering the best articles at a very the articles must really be inferior. To add to Me moderate price, to merit their continued patronage and Bradshaw's distress, the house he had before occupied support ;' but notwithstanding this announcement, the did not let, nor did it seem likely to do so till the lease expected influx of customers did not follow, at least in had expired, owing to its being in want of a thorough proportion to the additional expenditure of the shop- repair. keeper, and his spirits consequently fell.
Just at this period the attention of the family was Martha, my dear,' he one day said, addressing his called to an affair of a different nature. Mr Bradshaw's wife a few weeks subsequent to the period at which eldest brother had died some years previously, and the change took place, 'I am convinced that my want made him his executor, and also the guardian of his of success here is wholly owing to the small capital I only daughter. The interest of the money was to be have, so I have been thinking of taking a partner into appropriated to the young lady's board and education my concern.'
till she became of age, when it was to be at her own