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had cherished the expectation that Regi- After several hours spent in roaming nald however inflexible in the determina- about the woods, nature made herself felt, tion to expose his patience to a severe im- and he became conscious of hunger. It mediate trial, would in the end relent and was necessary to return to his lodgings ; grant him a full discharge. It may be con- but on his way his mind was made up to ceived how startled he was to learn that go through the solemn and dreaded interthe possibility of such a release was soon view. to be cut off. The terrible words of the His soft tread made no sound upon bond rose to his recollection. Though one stone pavement of the terrace, and before should die the survivor must still adhere he had persuaded his hesitating hand to to this engagement. He loved Matilda as raise the knocker, a servant accidentally ardently as at the first, and was a barrier approached. now to be thrown between, which no time, ? How is Mr. Ander, my good man?” nor chance, nor imaginable event could re- Master Reginald, sir, is dead." move? That Reginald on the brink of Seymour moved away faint and sick at eternity still retained his harsh unyielding heart. temper, seemed most improbable, and the A month had elapsed since the funeral. lover believed that if he could but kneel at No will was found, and neighbors as they the bedside of the dying man, his supplica- met made mutual inquiries as to who would tion would be granted.
prove heir to the great Ander estate. Mr. Once before had that journey from the Nelson, who had been executor during the mines been made in fiery haste. Now, a long minority of the late possessor, and was more vehement anxiety drove on the trav- presumed to have a perfect acquaintance eler. Procuring a fresh horse as each pre- with the family tree, declared that Charles ceding one failed, he rode night and day. James, (Anthony's father,) besides a younIt was one o'clock in the morning when he ger brother, Eugene, had a sister who marentered Anderport. At early dawn, he ried Giles Atterbury, the Quaker. The walked towards the mansion. Opening the eldest son of Atterbury, known to be then gate, and leaning one hand on the latch living in Philadelphia, was undoubtedly the and the other on the granite shaft of the heir, unless his mother's brother, Eugene post, he gazed down that well-remembered Ander, who settled in Shropshire, England, avenue. There was a change in its ap- had left issue, of which there was yet no pearance—a change according well with evidence. Soon after this information had the altered circumstances. At the time of become generally circulated through the the former visit, that scene was indeed community, a London newspaper was regrave and sombre; but now the season ceived, which announced the marriage of gave it a dreariness yet more impressive. the Rev. John Ander, second son of the The oaks, which in Autumn cast their late Eugene Ander, Esq., of Shropshire. dense shade, now lifted naked branches to Thus it was clear that the Quaker had lost the raw Northeaster. The old mansion the inheritance, after all. But who was was clearly discernible from one extremity Eugene Ander's eldest son? This remainto the other, and its white front, unrelieved ed to be discovered. by the foliage of trees or lighter verdure of Laurence Seymour listened to all this a lawn, presented an aspect singularly cold gossip with great indifference. The estate and repulsive. Though it was now broad might find an heir, but no one could inherit day, the feeble glimmer of a lamp could be the right to release him from his promise detected struggling through a curtained that was buried in the grave of Reginald. window. In that apartment doubtless lay His mind left to brood upon his hopeless the expiring heir of Wriothesly Ander. It situation, fell into a nervous excitable melseemed to Seymour like profanity to in- ancholy. He recalled the various accounts trude into that chamber, and harrass the which he had heard of disembodied spirits departing soul with the gross and selfish in- having returned to perform acts of justice, terests of earth. His resolution failed: which had been delayed during life, and the turning from the gate, and still keeping An- wild wish would frequently arise as he rederport behind him, the young man walked tired at night, that the foria of Reginald on—he knew not, and cared not whither. might appear in his chamber, and pro
nounce him absolved. Dreams, of course, tolerable. All these dark thoughts, howwere the natural consequences of this dis- ever, fled from his mind the instant that turbed state of mind. On awaking after Matilda stood before him. Her counteone of these, of the particulars of which he nance had at no time before appeared so had only a vague recollection, he felt a lovely, for whatever it might want of its strong impression that Reginald would former bloom, was more than supplied by doubtless have left him a written discharge, the light of joy which shone on every feaif in the anxieties of a sick bed the subject ture. She immediately extended her hand had occurred to him at all. This impres- with the frank artlessness so peculiar to sion, so capable of giving a degree of relief, her, and Seymour, as he seized it, rememgradually deepened until it almost became bered nothing but his love. Borne away conviction. An instructive sense of honor, by the feelings of the moment, he described however, still restrained him. The dream, in impassioned tones both the intense sufwith all the exaggeration of fancy, could fering which he had endured in absence, not be made out an opposition, and his and that hour's full and overflowing happipromise was a clear, solemn engagement, ness. In return, he received from her lips entered into after full consideration of the the faintly whispered declaration which man consequences.
can never hear without a quickened pulse Matilda Chesley had not seen her lover and agitated frame. since the evening interview succeeding her The door was suddenly opened-then walk with Reginald. Unaware of the closed—and a second time opened. The cause which compelled him to shun her lovers were both startled. Finally a head presence, she was much pained and sur- was thrust into the room. prised. Reginald's withdrawal seemed to Achsah !” said Miss Chesley, with as have no obstacle which ought to prevent near an approval to cheerfulness as her him from renewing his advances. And gentle nature was ever tempted into ; " Is since his return from the mining region, that you? What business can you have his conduct appeared still more unaccounta- here?” ble. He remained in the neighborhood The intruder, quite unaccustomed to evidently unoccupied by business, and, as entering parlors, was in truth the old negro she learned incidentally, was constant in washerwoman of the family. At the greethis inquiries with regard to her health. It ing of her young mistress, she ventured to occurred to her finally that mortified pride extend an additional portion of her body and distrust of her affection, as they had over the threshold. formerly given a wrong interpretation to “Is Mawster Laury Seymer here," she her partial refusal, might now induce him asked, standing on tiptoe, and endeavoring to wait for some testimonial of regard from to peer over the top of the fire-screen, her.
which partially concealed the gentleman. Matilda therefore wrote him a letter, so “Yes," he said, rising, "I am here, aunty characterized by maidenly dignity, yet at --what do you wish ?" the same time so pervaded by tender earn- “I've brung somethin to you," said estness, and clothed in language so exquis- Achsah, putting into his hand a letter, and itely simple and touching, that it was equal immediately afterwards shuffled out of the ly impossible either not to admire the wri- room. ter, or to doubt the sincerity of her affec
Seymour, as he read the missive thus tion. Seymour could not resist the appeal. strangely brought, staggered and turned He must see Matilda, if only to explain to deadly pale. Matilda was inexpressibly her the hardship and hopelessness of his shocked by his altered aspect. Conscioussituation.
ness seemed almost to have deserted him. Little of the exhilaration of the favored Even her presence was no longer regarded, lover attended him on his ride. Present and the fervent glance which had borne circumstances could suggest none but witness to his affection more eloquently gloomy reflections, and he could not think of than words, now gave place to a wild unthe future without a dull indistinct presen- earthly stare. timent of some great calamity which would “ Laurence! Laurence!”—affright took make the burden of existence still more in- away the power to utter more.
you to it.
His only reply was to extend the letter. | How incredible it seems that a rational beShe seized it and read
ing should have had the hardihood to spurn “Remember your engagement-I hold
all hope of the mercy of Heaven, for the REGINALD ANDER." sake of maintaining the despicable consis
tency of an unforgiving temper!” In answer to Matilda's look of inquiry, “Oh, Laurence, judge not !” Seymour, in brief and burning words, in- “ You do well to reprove me, Matilda, formed her of the covenant which had been yet is it not impossible to leave the memoentered into. “I had liked,” he conclu- ry of the dead in peace, when the dead ded,“ to have proved false to my plighted from his very grave ceases not to molest word, and see, Matilda, a letter comes from the living? Still, you are right; comthe dead to warn me !!!
plaint is useless, the doer of the wrong is Miss Chesley shuddered at hearing the beyond our reach. Reginald is mighty in recital.
his coffin, while I, a walking, breathing “Who would have believed,” said Sey- man, am powerless. Yes, the promise has mour, vehemently, “that such a heart could been made ; there is no help, I must abide dwell in a human bosom? How hard, re- by it. Matilda—" lentless to the last! And as he was un- The manly voice faltered, and the clear matched in malignity, so was he unmatched eye grew moist. in craft. Think of it Matilda—think of “And will you then forsake me?” said it! Foreseeing that he must soon depart Matilda, not attempting to restrain her from Earth, he resolved to destroy, before emotion. he left, the happiness of those who remain- “I must-I must,” said Seymour,“my ed! And that resolve he has executed honor is pledged ; can I do otherwise than with a deep subtlety, and an unflinching redeem it? We part, Matilda, and not as pertinacity, worthy of a fiend of darkness others part, but uncheered with a single worthy of himself! That a man could die ray of hope. Yes, Reginald Ander, wherthus ! that a soul trembling in the last ever be your spirit now, let it gloat and agony, and with Eternity before it, could exult over the issue of its machinations, for cherish a purpose so savage and unfeeling! our wretchedness is complete !"
M’LLE DE LA SEIGLIÉRE.
(Continued from page 277.)
ever, remarked nothing unusual, and re
ceived her with his accustomed gallantry. Two days afterwards, in the embrasure “ Madame la Baronne,” said he, "you of an open window, before a little table look younger and more charming every covered with old Sèvres porcelain, glass day. At this rate, you will soon be not and silver, and debris of a dainty break- above twenty.” fast, M. de La Seigliere, couched rather “ Marquis,” shortly interrupted the bathan seated in a large arm chair, with spring roness, “it is no time for compliments seat and moveable back, was enjoying, in his We have more serious matters to morning toilet, that state of satisfaction attend to. Marquis, all is lost! All
, I and beatitude which is sure to follow in the say. We have been struck with lighttrain of a flourishing egotism, robust health, ning.” a well settled fortune,
a happy temper, and Lightning !" ejaculated the Marquis, an easy digestion. He had arisen in the looking into the heavens, which were never best humor and in excellent condition. En- bluer or brighter. veloped in a flashy silk morning-gown, “Yes," said the agitated visitor, “if his chin freshly shaven, his eye clear and you were to suppose that lightning had lively, his lip red and smiling, his linen burst from a clear sky upon your castle
, unimpeachable in point of texture or white and consumed your property, it would not ness, his hand white, plump, and half con- be so strange as what has actually taken cealed under a Valenciennes ruffle and place. We have outridden the storm, and playing with a gold snuff-box, which was are in danger of foundering in port." enriched with the portrait of a woman M. de La Seigliére grew pale. They quite unlike the late Marchioness, all redo sat down, and the baroness continued : lent of the sweet perfume of iris and poudre “Do you believe in ghosts?” coldly a la marechal, he sat there quietly breath- asked Madame de Vaubert. ing the fresh odors of woods, whose tops " What! Madamethe autumn had just begun to rust, and “Because, if you do not, you should," following with a vacant and somewhat pursued his interlocutor, without suffering dreamy look, his caparisoned horses as they him to finish his sentence. returned from the ride, when he perceived Stamply, the Bernard, about whom his Madame de Vaubert crossing the bridge, father kept up such an incessant din, the with the evident purpose of making him a hero, dead and buried, six years ago, call. He rose from his seat, carefully ex- the snows of Russiaamined himself before the mirror, brushed “ Well ! what of him ?" demanded the the scattered particles of snuff from his bo- Marquis. som, and leaning over the balcony awaited “What of him !” rejoined the baroness, the arrival of his amiable visitor. This “why he was seen in the neighborhood call of the baroness was not only somewhat yesterday, in flesh and blood. He was seen earlier than was her wont, but her toilet and spoken to, and there cannot be a doubt showed evident signs of the haste with that it was he. Yes, Bernard Stamply, which it had been made ; and to a person the son of your old tenant is alive ; the felof ordinary penetration would have discov- low is not dead!" ered the agitation under which Madame de “ Well! what is that to me?” said M. Vaubert was laboring. The Marquis, how de La Seigliére, with the tone of careless
“ Young ness and the air of mingled surprise and the living. But you will read it; I resatisfaction, of a man who, in momentary commend it to your meditation." expectation of a knock on the head from “ Madame la Baronne," cried M. de La an aerolite, escapes with the mere brush of Seigliére, rising, with a slight movement of some flying feather.
impatience, “pray tell me what all that “How! what is that to you !" cried signifies to me. Madame de Vaubert. “Young Stamply is “ Monsieur le Marquis," replied Manot dead; he has returned into the country, dame de Vaubert, rising in her turn, with and when his identity is established beyond all the gravity of a Doctor of Laws ; " it a doubt, do you ask what is that to you?” signifies that every donation made without
“ To be sure I do,” replied the Mar- consideration is entirely revoked by the quis, with an expression of surprise that the subsequent appearance and claim of a lebaroness should ask such a question. “If gitimate, even though posthumous, child of the boy had reasons for desiring to live, I the donator ; it signifies that John Stamply, am glad he is so fortunate as not to be un- during the life-time of his son, could have der ground. I must see him. Why don't disposed of only a moiety of his property he present himself here ?”
in your favor, and that, having disposed “ He will present himself soon enough. of it only on the supposition that his son You need not be impatient about that,” was dead, the disposition is null and void ; said Madame de Vaubert.
and, in short, it signifies that this is not “Let him come,” continued the Mar- your estate, that Bernard will compel quis. “We shall be glad to see him, and you to make restitution; and that at the he shall be well taken care of. If need be, very first moment which shall offer, this we will give him a share in our fortunes. boy, with whom you talk of dividing, armed I have not forgotten the delicate honesty of with a judgment in due form, will summon his father. Old Stamply did his duty; 1 you to quit the premises, and politely turn will do mine. The boy has a right to ex- you out of doors.
Do you understand pect something from one who owes his all now ?” to his father. I am not ungrateful. It M. de La Seigliere was astounded; but shall never be said that a La Seigliére per- such was his adorable ignorance of practimitted the son of a faithful servant to live cal affairs, that he quickly passed from asin want. Let him come here ; and if he tonishment and stupor, to exasperation and hesitates, let him be assured of a welcome. revolt. “What do I care for your Code, He shall have whatever he demands." and your Donations among the living ?'
“ If he demands all >>” said the baroness. he cried, with all the petulance of a mutin
At this question, M. de La Seigliere ous boy. “Have I anything to do with started and turned towards her with a stare. it, or has it anything to do with me? This
“ Have you ever seen a book which is is my property, of that I am certain. Docalled “The Code !!” tranquilly pursued nation! They return what they have robthe baroness.
bed me of, they bring back what they have “Never !” proudly returned the emi- carried away, and this they call a donation! grant, and with an emphasis which clearly A pretty idea! A La Seigliére accepting indicated his contempt for all innovations a donation! Charming! As if the La of that sort.
Seigliéres had ever received any favors ex“I ran it over this morning with special cept from the hand of God. What! venreference to your case. Yesterday I knew tre-saint-gris !* I am in my own house, no more of it than you do ; but for your contented and quiet, and because this felsake, I have consented to make myself a low who was believed to be dead, sees fit sort of attorney's clerk, and have looked to live, am I to turn over to him the forinto it a little.' It is very dry in point of tune which his father stole from me? And style, tolerable enough in those chapters this is your Code! your civil Code, as you where our rights are confirmed; but, in call it-the villainous botch of a set of those portions where our privileges are in cannibals! It is the Code of an usurper, question, quite intolerable. I think, for example, that you will not much admire ridiculous as oaths usually are, and, of course,
* A favorite oath of good King Henry IV., as the chapter entitled, “Donations among quite untranslatable.--Tr.