Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Behold now, patient and reflecting Bound hand and foot-so to speak reader-for in your eyes it is anxiously -as Mr Aubrey felt himself, and endesired that this history (however im- tirely at the mercy of Mr Titmouse perfectly given) may find favour and his solicitors, Messrs Quirk, Gamthe dreadful—the desperate reverse in mon, and Snap, what could he but Mr Aubrey's circumstances. He has submit to almost any terms on which suddenly fallen from a very command- they chose to insist?- It will be reing position in society: from that of a collected that Mr Gammon's propohigh-born English gentleman, possess. sal* was, that Mr Aubrey should ed of a fine unencumbered income, and forthwith discharge, without scrutiny, all of luxury and splendour, and of their bill of L.3946, 14s. 6d. ; give opportunity for gratifying a disposi- sufficient security for the payment of tion of noble munificence, that it can the sum of L.10,000 to Mr Titmouse, secure—and whose qualifications and within twelve or eighteen months' prospects justified him in aspiring to time, and two promissory notes for the the highest senatorial distinction :- sum of L.5000 each, payable at some behold him, I say, with his beloved future period, as to which he had to and helpless family, sunk-lower than rely solely on the sincerity and for. into straitened circumstances - be- bearance of Mr Gammon, and the neath even poverty_into debtand ratification of his acts by Mr Titthat of a hopeless description !-- mouse. This proposal was duly com. seeing that no one can be so secure, municated by the unfortunate Aubrey but that all this, or something of the to Messrs Runnington, who obtainlike kind, may one day or other hap- ed a fortnight's time in which to deli. pen to him, 'tis hoped that it will be berate upon it; at the end of which found neither uninteresting nor unin. period, he was advised by them to acstructive to watch carefully and close. cept the proposed terms as unques. ly the present condition and conduct tionably fair, and, under circumstances, of the Aubreys.

much more lenient than could have

Ante, No. CCC., p. 454-5. Part XII. VOL, XLIX, NO.CCCIII.

A

to

been expected. This might be so; was a matter that indeed staggered but yet, how dismaying and hopeless him, and almost prostrated his energies to him the idea of carrying it into ef- whenever he directed them to the fect! How, indeed, was it to be done? subject; it occasioned him inexpresFirst of all, how were Messrs Run- sible agitation and anguish. Indiningtons' and Mr Parkinson's bills to viduals there were, he believed—he be got rid of—the former amounting knew—who would cheerfully enter to L. 1670, 12s., the latter to L.756 ? into the desired security on his beAnd how were Mr Aubrey and his half; but what a mockery - cruel family to live in the meanwhile, and and insulting! For them to be asked how, moreover, were

be met to secure his payment of the sum at the expenses of his legal education ? the time mentioned, was, in effect, As was intimated in a former part of palpably asking them to pay the money this history, all that Mr Aubrey had, for him, and in that light they could on settling in London, was L.3000 not but view such an application. stock equal to L.2640 of money) The reader will easily understand the and L.423 in his banker's hands ;—so potency of such considerations upon that all his cash in hand was L.3063 ; so sensitive and high-minded a person and if he were to devote the whole of it as Aubrey. While revolving these to the discharge of the three attorneys' distracting and harassing topics in his bills which he owed, he would still mind, the name of Lord de la Zouch leave a gross balance unpaid of always presented itself to him. Had L.3310, 6s. 6d.! And yet for him he not solemnly-repeatedly-pledged to talk of giving security for the pay himself to communicate with that kind ment of L.10,000 within eighteen and wealthy and generous nobleman, in months, and his own notes of hand for such an emergency as the preseni? Ilis L.10,000 more! It was really almost lordship's income was at least eighty maddening to sit down and contem- or a hundred thousand pounds a-year; plate all this. But he could not fold his habits were simple and unostenhis arms in impotence and despair- tations, though he was of a truly milhe must look his difficulties straight in pificent disposition; and he had not a the face, and do the best that was in large and expensive family-his only

He resolved to devote child being Mr Delamere. He had every farthing he had, except L.200, ever professed, and, as far as he had to the liquidation of Messrs Quirk, hitherto had an opportunity, proved Gammon, and Snap's account, and (in himself to be a devoted, a most affico smaller proportion) of those also of tionate friend to Mr Aubrey :--did not Messrs Runnington and Mr Parkin- Providence, then, seem to point hin son: if necessary he resolved, though out distinctly as one who should be his heart thrilled with anguish at the applied to, to rescue from destruction thought, to sell his books, and the a fallen friend? And why should remnant of old family plate that he had Aubrey conjure up an array of ima. preserved. Then he would strain every ginary ob-iacles, arising out of exnerve to contribute towards the support cessive and morbid fastidiousness ? of himself and of his family-poor And whom were such scruples reduoppressed soul !--by his literary exer- cing to destitution along with him? tions, in every moment that he could his wife, his children, his devoted and spare from his legal studies; and prac. noble-minded sister i But, alas! the tise the severest economy that was thought of sweet Kate suggested anconsistent with health and the preser- other source of exquisite pain and emvation of a respectable exterior. He barrassment to Aubrey, who well resolved also, though with a shudder, knew the ardent and inextinguishable to commit himself to Gammon and passion for her entertained by young Titmouse's mercy, by handing to Delamere. 'Twas true that to pacify them (though a fearful farce it seemed) his father, and also not to grieve or his two notes of hand for L.10,000 harass Miss Aubrey by the conpayable on demand-forsuch Gamnion stant attentions, with which he would intimated was usual in such a case, and have otherwise followed her, he had would be required in the present one. consented to devote himself with great But whither was he to look for secu. assiduity and ardour to his last year's rity for the payment of L.10,000 studies at Oxford; yet was he by no within eighteen months' time? This means an infrequent visiter at Vivian

his power:

1941.]
Ten Thousand a. Year. Part XIV.

3 Street, resolutely regardless of the dropped into the Post-Office his letter earnest entreaties of Miss Aubrey, -one in every line of which the noble and even of her brother. Not that and generous person to whom it was there was ever any thing indelicate or addressed might easily detect the obtrusive in his attentions ;-how could writhings of its writer's wounded spirit it be? Alas! Kate really loved him, and broken heart-he looked indeed a and it required no very great acute melancholy object. The instant that, ness in Delamere to discover it. He by dropping his letter into the box, he was as fine, handsome, a young fellow had irrecoverably parted with all conas you could see any where; frank, trol over it, and to Lord de la Zouch high-spirited, accomplished, with an it must go, Aubrey felt as if he would exceedingly elegant deportment, and have given the world to recall it. simple, winning manners--and could Never had he heaved so many proshe but be touched with a lively sense of found sighs, and felt so utterly miserthe noble disinterestedness of his at- able and destitute as during his walk tachment to her! I declare that Kate homeward that afternoon. There they wrote him several letters in dissuasion did not know of the step he bad inof his addresses, that wore such a ge- tended to take, nor did he tell them nnine and determined air of repulsion that he had taken it.

When he saw as would have staggered most men; his sister he felt sick at heart; and du, but young Delamere cared not one ring the whole of the evening was so straw for any of them: let Kate vary oppressed and subdued, that ihe faint her tone as she pleased, he simply told anxious raillery of Mrs Aubrey and her that he had sent them to his mo- Kate, and the unconscious sportive. ther, who said they were very good ness of his children, served only to letters indeed ; so he would make a deepen the gloom that was around his point of reading all she would send him, spirit. He bad requested Lord de la and so forth. When Kate, with too

Zouch to address his answer to him solemn an emphasis to be mistaken or at the Temple; and sure enough, by encountered with raillery, assured return of post, Mr Aubrey found lyhim that nothing upon earth should ing on his desk, on reaching the prevail upon her to quit her present Temple in the morning, a letter adstation in her brother's family, at all dressed, “ Charles Aubrey, Esq., at events until he had completely sur- Weasel's, Esq., No. 3, Pomemounted all his troubles, Delamere, granate Court, Temple, London;" with looks of fond admiration, would and frauked, “ De La Zouch." reply that it signified nothing, as he " I shall return presently,” said Mr was prepared to wait her pleasure, and Aubrey to the clerk, with as much submit to any caprice or unkindness calmness as lie could assume, having which her heart would let her exhibit. put the letter into his pocket, resolving I must own thiät poor Kate was, on to go into the Temple gardens and more than one occasion of his exhibit there read it, where any emotion which ing traits of delicate generosity to. it miglit excite would be unobservwards her brother, so moved and ed. Having at length seated himmelted towards her lover, that she self on a bench, under one of the could_shall I say it ?-have sunk in- old trecs near the river, with a someto his arms in silent and passionate

what tremulous hand he took out acquiescence ; for her heart had, and opened the letter, and read as indeed, long been really his. Now, I follows:say, when Mr Aubrey adverted for a moment to this state of things, was

Fotheringham Castle, 18th July, 18, it not calculated a thousand-fold to “ My very dear Aubrey, enhance the disliculty of bis applying • If you really value my friendship, to the father of Delamere ? So in- never pain my feelings again by exdeed it was; and, torn with conflict- pressions of distrust as to the issue of ing emotions and considerations of this any application of yours to me, such kind, nearly the whole of the forte as are contained in your letter now night granted to him for deliberation lying before me. Has any thing tha had elapsed, before he could make up has ever hitherto passed between us bis mind to apply to Lord de la justified them ? For Heaven's sako Zuuch. At length, however, he de- tell your attorneys not to lose a mo. termined to do so; and when he had ment in procuring the necessary in

[blocks in formation]

struments, and forwarding them to me that he is working very hard indeed at through Messrs Frainlingham, my Oxford; and so says his tutor. It is lawyers; I will then execute them more than ever I did. Pray write by immediately, and return them to you return. I am ever, my dear Aubrey, by the next post or mail. If you will yours, faithfully and affectionately, but at once set about this in a busi

" De la Zouch. Dess-like

way, I will forgive and forget all the absurd and unkind scruples

Charles AUBREY, Esq. with which your letter abounds. Since « P.S. On further consideration, let you would probably make a mighty your people send the deeds, &c., at stir about it, I shall not at present once on to me, direct from themselves ; dwell upon the inexpressible pleasure --'tis a private matter, which is of no it would give me to be allowed to ex

consequence to any one but ourselves. onerate you at once from the vulgar Noone, indeed, except ourselves, your and grasping wretches who are now own solicitors, and your opponents, harassing you, my very dear Aubrey, need know any thing about it. Neither and to constitute myself your creditor Lady de la Zouch nor my son will instead of them. But, on further con- have the least inkling of the matter." sideration, I suppose you would distress yourself on the ground of my re- No language of mine can do justice stricted means rendering it so much to the feelings with which Mr Aubrey, more difficult for me thau for them to

after many pauses, occasioned by irgive you time for the payment of your repressible emotion, perused the foredebt!! Or will you play the man, going letter. Its generosity was inand act at once in the way in which, finitely enlianced by its delicacy : and I assure you, upon my honour, I both were most exquisitely appreciated would act by you, on a similar solici- by a man of his susceptibility, and in tation, were our situations reversed ?

his circumstances. His eyes-his By the way, I intend to insist on be heart overflowed with unutterable ing your sole surety; unless, indeed, gratitude towards the Almighty, and your creditors doubt my solvency, in the noble instrument of bis mercy, which case I hope we shall be able, He would have flown on the wings of amongst our common friends, to find the wind to the dear beings in livian a sufficient co-surety.

Street, with joyous face and light elas“ And now, dear Aubrey, how gettic step, to make them participators you on with law ? Does she smile or

in his joy. He rose and walked to scowl upon you? I wonder why you and frö by the river side with most did not go to the fountain-head, and exhilarated spirits. The sky was become at once a pupil to your friend, cloudless ; the sun shone brilliantly ; the Attorney-General. Who is the and innumerable brisk and busy craft gentleman whom you are reading were moving to and fro upon the with? He certainly has rather a ou- swelling bosom of the maguificent rious name! Well, my dear Au. Thames. Gladness was in his soul. brey, licaven in its own good time The light without was typical of that crown your virtuous efforts-your un. within. Several times he was on the conquerable resolution—with success! point of starting off to Vivian Street ; Won't it be odd if, when I am dead but, on consideration, he resolved to and gone, and my son is occupying go to Messrs Runnington, and set my present place on the benches, you them into instant communication with should be sitting on the woolsack ? Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap; More unlikely things than this have and matters baving been set in train come to pass :

look at
! How are

for the speediest possible settlement, dear Mrs Aubrey and Miss Aubrey, Mr Aubrey returned to chambers, and your little ones? Though we are

but quitted them an hour earlier than going in a fortnight's time to fill this usual, to brighten the countenances of old place, (the --8, the -8, and those he loved by the joyous intellithe -3, and others, are coming,) we

gence he bore.

But he found that shall be till then quite deserted, and they also had cheering news to come so after they are gone. Would that municate ; 90 that this was indeed a we could insist on all of you taking memorable day to them. up your abode with us! Have you Old Lady Stratton, an early and seen Geoffrey lately?

He tells me bosom friend of the late Mrs Aubrey,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »