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might have knocked liim down more literally than the foregoing speech, but, figuratively, nothing could l:avc done so. For a minute or two lie appeared utterly unable to frame a reply; thcu, drawing himself up to a degree suggestive of a telescopic conformation, he began in an awful tone of voice,—" Sir, jou have astonished me,—nay, more than that, sir, jou have disappointed me—very greatly disappointed me. I had hoped better things of you, sir;—I had hoped, from the early promise you evinced, that your judgment and good sense would, when matured and strengthened by a little more knowledge of the world, have enabled you to conquer your strangely misplaced attachment,—would, in fact, have saved me from the painful situation in which you have—to which you have—that is—you would have saved yourself (you must not blame me, sir, if the truth sounds unpalatable) the humiliation of a refusal."
"Then I am to understand that you unhesitatingly reject my suit?" inquired Lewis, something of the old stern look coming across his features.
"Most unequivocally and decidedly," was the concise reply.
"Itwould have been more courteous, and therefore more according to General Grant's usual conduct, towards those whom he considers beneath him in the social scale, to inquire whether any, and, if so, what amelioration might have taken place in my future prospects, to have induced mc to hazard so bold a step, ere my proposal was thus unmistakably declined," observed Lewis, in a marked, yet respectful tone of displeasure; "it will, however, make no difference in my intentions, as when I shall have obtained your answers to a few important questions, and explained to yon my object in making them, it is possible you may view my conduct in a different light."
The General, who grew taller and stiffer every moment, merely acknowledged this speech by an inclination of the head, so slight as] to be scarcely perceptible; and Lewis continued,—
"The late Sir Hugh Desborough, Walter's grandfather, was, I believe, your intimate friend?"
"Bless my soul, yes, sir; we served together in India, were for six years in the. same regiment, and lived as if we were brothers. Why do you ask such extraordinary questions?" exclaimed the General, startled completely out of his dignity.
"Because, in that case, you are.probably well acquainted with the circumstances of his family history, •nd can set me right if I state them incorrectly," replied Lewis, upon whom the mantle of the General's cast-off dignity appeared suddenly to have fallen; "Sir Hugh had two sons, I believe; the elder married imprudently, quarrelled with his father, who refused w receive the lady he had espoused, and severing all family ties, lived abroad under a feigned name, and «as believed to have died without issue. The second •W was Walter's father, and Walter inherits the Wonetcy, in default of male issue of the elder son."
He paused, and the General observed, "You are corWA in your facts, sir, but to what docs all this lead?"
*' That you will be better able to perceive, sir, when I inform you, that I am prepared to prove, indisputably, and to your full satisfaction, the following additional particulars. Sir Hugh's eldest son, Captain Desborough"
"Right; he was captain in the —th lancers, and threw up his commission when he chose to live abroad. It was said he entered the Austrian army, and attained the same rank in that service," interrupted the General.
"He did so," resumed Lewis, who spoke in the same calm, unimpassioned voice which he had used throughout the interview, though to any one who knew him well, it would have been perceivable that he did so by the greatest effort; "but those who believed that he died abroad, and without male issue, were misinformed; he died iu England, in the spring of 18—, and left (besides a daughter) one son, who is still living."
"Left a son! why he would be heir to the title and estates, instead of Walter. Where is he, sir? who is he?" exclaimed the General, impetuously.
Lewis rose, drew himself up to his full height, advanced slowly till he stood face to face with the General, and then, fixing his piercing glance upon him, said, "He now stands before you, General Grant, and asks you whether, when he lias established his rights before the eyes of the world, you will again refuse him your daughter's hand?"
Reader, the only little bit of mystery in our story, (if indeed it has presented any mystery at all to your acuteness,) is now cleared up; and, the interest ended, the sooner the tale itself arrives at a conclusion the better. But for the satisfaction of the unimaginative, the strong-minded women, and practical nieu of the world, who cannot rest assured that two and two make four till they have counted it on their fingers, we will write a few more last words, winding up the various threads of this veracious history.
In his interview with General Grant, Lewis had only stated that which he was fully prepared to prove; and when the lawyer and his blue bag, (not that laywers ever do carry blue bags anywhere but iu farces at the minor theatres, or those still more "unreal mockeries," the pages Of modern novels,) were called in to assist at the conference, the following facts were elicited:—
The packet of letters which Lewis found amongst Hardy's papers, and which gave him the first intimation that he, and not poor Walter, was heir to the title and estates of Desborough, had been written by Captain Arundel, or, as his name really was, Desborough, to his younger brother, Waller Desborough, (the father of the poor idiot, who was in fact firstcousin to Lewis); the object with which these letters were written was to bring about a reconciliation between Sir Hugh and his eldest son—Walter Desborough having undertaken the office of mediator. In order to do this, it was first of all necessary to disabuse Sir Hugh's mind of an idea that Captain Desborough's marriage was not valid, and that the children were illegitimate; for this purpose the wedding certificate was enclosed, (proving that he had been married in his own name, and by a properly constituted authority,) together with certificates of the baptism of Rose and of Lewis. The letters also contained an account of his having taken the name of Arundel, and his reasons for so doing; in fact, without going into minutise, the letters contained complete evidence, legally to establish the identity of Captain Desborough and Cnptain Arundel, and to render Lewis's claim to the baronetcy indisputable. To account for their having been found among Hardy's papers, it must be borne in mind that Walter Desborough was the scoundrel who first roused the evil nature in that misguided man, by eloping with his wife;—Hardy, be it remembered, followed the guilty pair, and assaulted the betrayer of his honour to such good effect, as to confine him to his bed for months; his companion in crime returned to her father's house, and died shortly after giving birth to the unfortunate Miles.
When she returned to her father, she had brought with her a portable writing-case, in which were letters she had received from her seducer, previous to her elopement; in this desk, for convenience of travelling, Walter Desborongh had placed papers of his own, and amongst others, the letters, &c. which he had shortly before received from his brother;—long ere he recovered from the effects of Hardy's chastisement, he had forgotten where he had placed these papers, and Hardy never discovering them, (he left his home, and enlisted as a soldier, on his release from the imprisonment the assault entailed upon him,) the letters were to all intents and purposes lost, till by a chapter of accidents they fell into the hands of Lewis. The shock which led to Captain Arundel's, (or Desborough as he should rightly have been called,) sudden death, was caused by reading an account of his father, Sir Hugh's demise, in the newspaper. The clue Messrs. Jones and Levi had gained, was from a shopman in the public library, in which Captain Arundel had been sitting, when he first became aware of his father's decease, who gathered, from an involuntary exclamation he made at the moment, that Sir Hugh Dcsborougb's death was the subject which had so much excited him; this shopman had been a clerk of Messrs. Jones and Levi, and learning in their employ that knowledge was sometimes money as well as power, sold them, for a couple of sovereigns, the information he had acquired, giving at the same time an account of the strange death of Captain Arundel; hence their subsequent application to Lewis.
The evidence being so clear and full, Lewis had little difficulty in establishing his claim, more especially as General Grant, convinced of its justice, did not attempt to resist it on Walter's behalf. The poor fellow himself could not be made to comprehend his change of fortune; but he did comprehend, to his inexpressible delight, that for some reason or other he was always to live with his dear Mr. Arundel, who,
when months had gone by, and arrangements made which he neither understood nor heeded, took Mm to a grand house of his own, where Faust was waiting to receive them, in a great state of boisterous tail-wagging affection; and when Faust, having licked them all over, and having made them damp, dusty, and rumpled, in the excess of his love, had quite done with them, and gone back to a large bone on the drawing-room rug, and Lewis placing his arm round Walter's neck, had whispered to him that he was never to go away any more, and that he hoped before ve*y long, Annie would come and live with them, Walter felt sure he had never known what it was to be quite happy till then, which fact he afterwards communicated to Faust in the strictest confidence.
Lewis's assertion in regard to Annie was not based on mere conjecture; for General Grant—albeit be felf. that, in the interview we have lately recorded between himself and Lewis, he had been decidedly out-generalled—did not again reject his late tutor1! proposal for his daughter's hand, but, on the contrary, with the usual self-knowledge of worldly elderly people, (that is, of those who, nine times out of ten, dictate the actions, and influence for weal or woe the future, of the young and generous-hearted,) the moment he became convinced that Lewis was about to inherit a baronetcy, and an income little short of 10,000/, a-year, contrived to persuade himself thai when his first surprise had been passed, and he had become aware how deeply his daughter's happiness was involved, he should certainly hnve allowed her to unite herself with Sir Lewis Desborough, under his former phase of a precarious portrait-painter. But, if we had been Sir Lewis, we should have felt heartily glad we were not forced to rely on such a very "forlorn hope."
llose, no longer Arundel, did not enjoy the name of Desborough many weeks, for although she baa particularly desired to be married on the same day as Lewis and Annie, she yet yielded the point, when Ursa Major, hearing that General Grant would not allow his daughter's wedding to take place till a jear after the death of Lord liclleGcld, grew so outrageous, that Rose was forced to marry him out of 1 be way, in order to prcveut him from snapping and growling at every one that came near him. But this was Richard Frcre's last bearish episode; for constant association with Rose softened his little asperity of temper, which, having arisen solely from the unloTfi and unloving existence he had been forced by circumstances to lead, disappeared in the sunshine of a happy home.
Lord Ashford did not long survive the loss of his eldest son, and Charley Leicester, the portionless younger brother, witli "a good set of teeth aud uothing to cat," is now a highly respectable peer of the realm, with a rent-roll to be computed by tens of thousands. Happy in the affection of his wife and children, (for "Tarlcy" has already had two successors to dispute the chance of being "spoiled by papa, only th»' mamma won't let him,") Charles, Lord Ashford, has but one trouble in life, though that unfortunately appears likely to prove an increasing one—viz.: that those confounded fellows, Schneider and Shears, won't make his waistcoats to fit him as they used to do, they are all too tight round the waist—and Schneider and Shears bear the blame meekly, having only last week discharged an injudicious foreman, who had been rash enough to declare that their excellent customer, Lord Ashford, was growing stout. For a short time, the Countess Portici resided with her brother aud sister-in-law, Alcssandro having obligingly got himself knocked on the head in the cause of liberty, the reversion of this popular watchword being about the only legacy he bequeathed to his young, interesting, and not particularly disconsolate widow, who having sown her romance, replaced the handsome Italian by a rich old French nobleman, Le Marquis de CarosseTranquille, irreverently translated by Braey, who is still a bachelor aud makes more puns than ever, into "My Lord Slow-Coach"—a title which the mental incapacities of that venerable foreigner rendered unpleasantly appropriate.
The mighty Marmaduke De Grandcvillc purchased
with his wife's money a large estate in shire,
which had belonged to his family some five hundred vears before; he has since instituted a set of regulations for his tenantry, formed on the model of the feudal system, and if he be not prematurely suffocated b? his own greatness, bids fair to " add a new lustre to the noble name which—ar—ahem!" &c. &c.
Mrs. Arundel carried out her design of marrying her"blighted barrister," and by her liveliness of disposition has done more towards removing the mildew from his mind than could have been expected. As, however, in accordance with her taste, they live chiefly abroad, Lewis and Annie see but little of them.
Miss Livingstone as she increased in years grew harsher, stiffcr, and more frozen than ever, until one bitter winter's day, happening to catch a slight additional cold, her temperature sank below the point at which animal life can be maintained, and becoming rather stiffer and colder than usual, the first half of her patronymic ceased to be any longer appropriate—her lwt word was a cross one.—General Grant lived to a good old age, improving, under the influence of certain bright-eyed little Dcsboroughs, into a very amiable grandpapa.
The fate of Miles Hardy still remains a mystery; that he did not die of the wounds received in the death-struggle with Lord Bellefield, was ascertained; hut whether he perished in the Italian revolution, in which he was known to take an active part, or, as tfas rumoured, escaped in safety to America, the few who are interested in him have failed to learn.
Annie and Lewis, after their stormy transit along that portion of the Railroad of Life in which we have accompanied them, were, at length, happily united; their future fortunes yet lie hid amid the "ncut leaves of the great book of Fate; but one thing wc may safely predicate, viz., that whatever trials may be in store for them, they will find in their mutual
affection a source of constant joy and consolation, of which the lonely-hearted and uncared-for are unhappily ignorant.
Reader, the Railroad Op Lite is closed, nor is it at present the intention of its author to begin another tale in the pages of Sharpe. He would fain take leave of you in the simple words of the old Latin play-wright, "Valete et plaudile;" but if his conciousness of his own shortcomings forbids his seeking your applause, let him at least hope that you will not refuse your good wishes to your old acquaintance, Frank Fairlegu.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
"Hamon and Catar; or, The Two Races." A Talc. Simpkin and Marshall.—This tale has the advantage of rarity, being built up in a part of the kingdom of romance not much frequented by story-tellers. It is antediluvian; the scene lying partly in the city of Enoch, which, according to the 4th chapter of Genesis, was a city built by Cain and called after the name of his son, partly in the land of the descendants of Seth, and partly in the uninhabited country between them. The geography of the tale is, of course, very vaguely indicated; not so the dramatis persona, who arc brought before the reader vividly enough, and go through the business set down for them not in the least like antediluvian fossils, but like our contemporaries, in a semi-sublime state of barbaric civilization. The author, who has a great facility, we had well-nigh said a fatal facility of writing, shows much vigour and brilliancy of fancy, and no small share of the higher poetic faculty, imagination, but they both want to be trained in the way in which they should go. Still "Hamon and Catar" is a clever, decidedly a clever production, in a difficult department of literature. The very choice of such a subject is proof sufficient that its author is ambitious. But cleverness and ambition, with an active fancy and a bold imagination, are not sufficient for the achievement of excellence in this department, though they certainly go a great way towards attaining it. The rapid eager way in which the story runs on, (as if its writer never had occasion to pause in composition,) as well as the careless nature of the style, a curious mtiange of naivete, bombast, and common-place, alternating with passages of fair writing aud effective eloquence, gives us an idea that the author is very young in years and younger still in literature. He wants little encouragement, we imagine, to sit down and write n much better book than the present, (it is probable that he has already written one,) but we are glad to offer him a few words in approval of the undoubted talent he has already displayed. "Hamon and Catar," with all its faults, is by no means a work of which he will be ashamed when he is ten years older, ft is earnest, vigorous, and often highly poetic. The story is interesting; the characters are distinct and life-like; tliat is, like the sort of life to which we have been accustomed since the Deluge. Wc cannot say that Ihcy have anything of
"The large utterance of the early go<is"
about them; but they certainly are n;>t commonplace men and women. We might expect to meet such among the Kirgish Tartars or other inhabitants of Central Asia at the present day. Tbey have a pleasant touch of wilducss and romance about them. And if all the daughters of Cain were as good and self-sacrificing as Anna and Ada, we do not see clearly what the sons of Sctli had to complain of after entering into the bonds of matrimony with them. We expected a story of
"Woman wailing for her demon lover," from the first few pages, and were somewhat disappointed to come upon a mere human story of love aud jealousy, and woman's devotion. Wc do not quite understand why the story could not have been told without the intervention of Cain. Our curiosity as to his whereabouts during the time of narration is never satisfied. There is something verging both on the impossible and the ridiculous, in n man's telling a story while he is "falling, falling eternally," and "the great universe on fire seems rushing after him into the Abysses." We do not presume to say that it might not be done in an antediluvian fiction; but wc think that I'art difficile de bicn confer was never exercised under such discomfortable circumstances, and we cannot help regretting that somebody else did not. save Cain the additional trouble of telling a story a longue haleine.
"Historical Sketches and Personal Recollections of Manchester," is the title of a volume lately put into our hands, as emanating from the pen of Mr. Archibald Prentice, many years the editor of the Manchester Times. This gentleman is well known in Lancashire as one of those untiring advocates of progress, who have ever been found struggling in the foremost ranks for the extension of political rights and freedom of commerce. Our author has collected, in the work before us, the scattered records of the most important evcuts which have occurred in Manchester during the forty years which preceded the passing of the Reform Act, and the consequent enfranchisement of that great centre of manufacturing industry. Wc sec that his labours have attained to the distinction of a second edition, an honour not often conferred upon local histories, which must necessarily contain much that is uninteresting to the general reader, or be deficient in those details that constitute their chief merit in the localities they profess to describe. Mr. Prentice's pages comprise the origin and early records of that party which has of late years, and under more favourable circumstances, risen into power and popularity as the " Manchester School," and to those who take an interest in tracing the gradual expansion of political creeds, and the slow but certain steps by which they at tain their influence, they will repay an attentive perusal.
His account of the fatal collision between the people and the soldiery in St. Peter's Fields, Manchester, in August 1S19, will be read with deep interest by many who are too young to remember the stormy days of the Reform agitation. We trust that our author will continue his labours, and bring down the history of Manchester to the present time. The , period extendiug from 1832 to 1S50, embracing the important records of the Anti Corn-Law League, ia which that town was actively engaged, will make an admirable companion volume to the Historical Sketches.
THE SMALL DEER OF CEYLON.
This is the title given by the artist to the rich group of tropicid life that forms the subject of our engraving. It is not our present purpose to enter upon the zoology of Ceylon; the deer of that bland are a variety of the species unknown to temperate latitudes, though resembling in their general characteristics those members of the stag family with which wc are all sufficiently familiar. Our object in this brief notice is rather to direct the reader's attention to the merits of the artist, than to dilate upon the: natural history of the birds aud beasts which constitute the prominent features of his drawing; and even this is scarcely necessary, for Mr. Daniell is already so well known to the British public by his beautiful illustrations of our Indian possessions as to render any commendations from us superfluous. He has laboured with great success in a clime where nature has most bountifully supplied those invaluable adjuncts to the artist—beauty of form, brilliancy of colour, and a cloudless sky; aud the present illustration, cornbiuing as it does some magnificent scenery with curious specimens of the animal kingdom, must rank amors his happiest productions.
In 1804 Mungo Park, the celebrated traveller, was residing near the banks of the Yarrow, where he wis often visited by Sir Walter Scott. On one occasion. Lockhart in his Life of Scott relates that, not finding him at home, Scott went in search of his friend, and "presently found him standing alone on the bank, plunging one stone after another into the water, ani watching anxiously the bubbles as they rose to the surface." "This," said Scott, "appears but an ill amusement for one who has seen so much stirrics adventure." "Not so idle, perhaps, as you suppose." answered Mungo. "This was the manner in which I used to ascertain the depth of a river in Africa before I ventured to cross it—judging whether the attempt would be safe, by the time the bubbles of air took to ascend." At this time Park's intention of a second expedition had never been revealed to Scott; but he instantly formed the opinion that these experiments on the Yarrow were connected with some such purpose.