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to him by the feeling and elegant of his confidence to Alban, it will be foreigner, he replied but by a dry ex- convenient to reserve)— his mind was cuse — a stately hint that family in a state of great affliction and dismatters could never be satisfacto order-when he had already buried rily discussed except in family coun- himself in the solitudes of Fawleycils, and that if her friend's grief ambition resigned and the world reor illness were really in any way nounced—and the intelligence sadoccasioned by a belief in the pain dened and shocked him more than it her choice of life might have inflict might have done some months before. ed on himself, it might comfort If, at that moment of utter bereaveher to know that that pain had sub- ment, Matilda’schild had been brought sided, and that his wish for her health to him-given up to him to rearand happiness was not less sincere, would he have rejected it? would he because henceforth he could neither have forgotten that it was a felon's watch over the one nor administer grandchild? I dare not say. But to the other. To this note, after a his pride was not put to such a trial. day or two, the Baroness replied by One day he received a packet from a letter so beautifully worded, I doubt Mr Gotobed, enclosing the formal whether Madame de Sevigné could certificates of the infant's death, have written in purer French, or which had been presented to him Madame de Staël with a finer felicity by Jasper, who had arrived in Lonof phrase. Stripped of the graces of don for that melancholy purpose, diction, the substance was but small: with which he combined a pecuniary “ Anxiety for a friend so beloved—SO proposition. By the death of Maunhappy-more pitied even than be- tilda and her only child, the sum of fore, now that the Baroness had been £10,000 absolutely reverted to Jasper enabled to see how fondly a daughter in the event of Darrell's decease. As must idolise a father in the man the interest meanwhile was continued whom a nation revered !-(here two to Jasper, that widowed mourner lines devoted to compliment per- suggested“ that it would be a great sonal) — compelled by that anxiety boon to himself and no disadvantage to quit even sooner than she had to Darrell if the principal were made first intended the metropolis of that over to him at once. He had been noble country,” &c.-(here four lines brought up originally to commerce. devoted to compliment national)- He had abjured all thoughts of reand then proceeding through some suming, such vocation during his charming sentences about patriot wife's lifetime, out of that consideraaltars and domestic hearths, the tion for her family and ancient birth writer suddenly checked herself, which motives of delicacy imposed. “would intrude no more on time Now that the connection with Mr sublimely dedicated to the human Darrell was dissolved, it might be race — and concluded with the as- rather a relief than otherwise to that surance of sentiments the most dis- gentleman to know that a son-in-law tinguées." Little thought Darrell so displeasing to him was finally setthat this complimentary stranger, tled, not only in a foreign land, but whom he never again beheld, would in a social sphere, in which his very exercise an influence over that por- existence would soon be ignored by tion of his destiny which then seem- all who could remind Mr Darrell that ed to him most secure from evil; his daughter had once a husband. towards which, then, he looked for An occasion that might never occur the balm to every wound--the com- again now presented itself. A trading pensation to every loss!

firm at Paris, opulent, but unostenDarrell heard no more of Matilda, tatiously quiet in its mercantile transtill, not long afterwards, her death actions, would accept him as a partwas announced to him. She had ner could he bring to it the additiondied from exhaustion shortly after al capital of £10,000.". Not without giving birth to a female child. The dignity did Jasper add, “that since news came upon him at a moment his connection had been so unhappily when, from other causes-(the ex- distasteful to Mr Darrell, and since planation of which, forming no part the very payment, each quarter, of


the interest on the sum in question books, as it had to see there the quarmust in itself keep alive the unwel- terly interest of the £10,000, so Jascome remembrance of that connection, per might be excused in owning that he had the less scruple in making á he should prefer an equivalent. The proposition which would enable the commercial firm to which he was eminent personage who so disdained about to attach himself required a his alliance to get rid of him al- somewhat larger capital on his part together.” Darrell closed at once than he had anticipated, &c., &c. with Jasper's proposal, pleased to Without presuming to dictate any cut off from his life each tie that definite sum, he would observe that could henceforth link it to Jasper's, £1500, or even £1000, would be of nor displeased to relieve his heredi- more avail to his views and objects tary acres from every shilling of the in life than an annuity of £200 a-year, marriage portion which was imposed which, being held only at will, was on it as a debt, and associated with not susceptible of a temporary loan." memories of unmingled bitterness. Darrell, wrapped in thoughts wholly Accordingly, Mr Gotobed, taking care remote from recollections of Jasper, first to ascertain that the certificates chafed at being thus recalled to the as to the poor child's death were genu- sense of that person's existence, wrote ine, accepted Jasper's final release back to the solicitor who transmitted of all claim on Mr Darrell's estate. to him this message,

“that an anThere still, however, remained the nuity held on his word was not to

£200 a-year which Jasper bad re- be calculated by Mr Hammond's ceived during Matilda's life, on the notions of its value. That the £200 tacit condition of remaining Mr Ham- a-year should therefore be placed on mond, and not personally addressing the same footing as the £500 a-year Mr Darrell

. Jasper inquired “if that that had been allowed on a capital annuity was to continue?” Mr Go- of £10,000; that accordingly it might tobed referred the inquiry to Darrell, be held to represent a principal of observing that the object for which £4000, for which he enclosed a cheque, this extra allowance had been made, begging Mr Gotobed not only to make was rendered nugatory by the death Mr Hammond fully understand that of Mrs Hammond and her child; there ended all possible accounts or since Jasper henceforth could have communication between them, but neither power nor pretext to molest never again to trouble him with any Mr Darrell, and that it could signify matters whatsoever in reference to but little what name might in future affairs that were thus finally conbe borne by one whose connection cluded.” Jasper, receiving the £1000, with the Darrell family was wholly left Darrell and Gotobed in peace till dissolved. Darrell impatiently re- the following year. He then addressplied, “That nothing having been ed to Gotobed an exceedingly plaussaid as to the withdrawal of the said ible, business-like letter. “The firm allowance in case Jasper became a he had entered, in the silk trade, was widower, he remained equally en- in the most flourishing state-an optitled, in point of honour, to receive portunity occurred to purchase a magthat allowance, or an adequate equi- nificent mulberry plantation in Provalent."

vence, with all requisite magnanThis answer being intimated to Jas- neries, &c., which would yield an per, that gentleman observed “that it immense increase of profit. That if, was no more than he had expected to insure him to have a share in this from Mr Darrell's sense of honour," lucrative purchase, Mr Darrell could and apparently quite satisfied, car- accommodate bim for a year with a ried himself and his £10,000 back to loan of £2000 or £3000, he sanguineParis. Not long after, however, he ly calculated on attaining so high a wrote to Mr Gotobed that“Mr Dar- position in the commercial world, as, rell, having alluded to an equivalent though it could not render the recolfor the £200 a-year allowed to him, lection of bis alliance more obtruevidently implying that it was as dis- sive to Mr Darrell, would render it agreeable to Mr Darrell to see that less humiliating." sum entered quarterly in his banker's Mr Gotobed, in obedience to the peremptory instructions he had re- senior partner in that firm retired ceived from his client, did not refer into the country with a fine fortune this letter to Darrell, but having oc- -no doubt the very owner of those casion at that time to visit Paris on mulberry plantations which were other business, he resolved (without now on sale! But Jasper scattered calling on Mr Hammond) to institute napoleons faster than any croupier there some private inquiry into that could rake them away. And Jasper's rising trader's prospects and status. natural talent for converting solid He found, on arrival at Paris, these gold into thin air had been assisted inquiries difficult. No one in either by a lady, who, in the course of her the beau monde or in the haut com- amiable life, had assisted many richer merce seemed to know anything about men than Jasper to lodgings in St this Mr Jasper Hammond. A few Pelagie, or cells in the Maison des fashionable English roués remember- Fous. With that lady he had beed to have seen once or twice during come acquainted during the lifetime Matilda's life, and shortly after her de- of his wife, and it was supposed that cease, a very fine-looking man shooting Matilda's discovery of this liaison had meteoricacross some equivocalsalons, contributed perhaps to the illness or lounging in the Champs Elysées, or which closed in her decease; the dining at the Café de Paris; but of late name of that lady was Gabrielle that meteor had vanished. Mr Goto- Desmarets. She might still be seen bed, then cautiouslyemploying a com- daily at the Bois de Boulogne, nightly missioner to gain some information of at opera-house or theatre; she had Mr Hammond's firm at the private apartments in the Chaussée d'Antin residence from which Jasper address- far from inaccessible to Mr Gotobed, ed his letter, ascertained that in that if he coveted the honour of her acprivate residence Jasper did not quaintance. But Jasper was less reside. He paid the porter to receive before an admiring world. He was occasional letters, for which he called supposed now to be connected with or sent; and the porter who was another gambling - house of lower evidently a faithful and discreet grade than the last, in which he had functionary, declared his belief that contrived to break his own bank, Monsieur Hammond lodged in the and plunder his own till. It was house in which he transacted busi- supposed also that he remained good ness, though, where was the house, friends with Mademoiselle Desmarets; or what was the business, the porter but if he visited her at her house, observed, with well-bred implied re- he was never to be seen there. In buke, “Monsieur Hammond was too fact, his temper was so uncertain, reserved to communicate, he himself his courage so dauntless, his strength too incurious to inquire.” At length 60 prodigious, that gentlemen who Mr Gotobed's business, which was, did not wish to be thrown out of a in fact, a commission from a distressed window, or hurled down a staircase, father to extricate an imprudent son, shunned any salon or boudoir in a mere boy, from some unhappy which they had a chance to enassociations, having brought him counter him. Mademoiselle Desinto the necessity of seeing persons

marets had thus been condemned who belonged neither to the beau to the painful choice between his monde nor to the haut commerce, he society and that of nobody else, or gleaned from them the information that of anybody else with the rigid he desired. Mr Hammond lived in privation of his. Not being a turtlethe very heart of a certain circle in dove, she had chosen the latter alterParis, which but few Englishmen ever native. It was believed, however, penetrate. In that circle Mr Ham- that if ever Gabrielle Desmarets had mond had, on receiving his late wife's known the weakness of a kind sentidowry, become the partner in a pri- ment, it was for this turbulent ladyvate gambling hell; in that hell had killer; and that, with a liberality she been engulfed all the moneys he had had never exhibited in any other inreceived a hell that ought to have stance, when she could no longer prospered with him, if he could have help him to squander, she would economised his villanous gains. His still, at a pinch, help him to live; though, of course, in such a reverse ment, stood mute with haughty of the normal laws of her being, wonder that such a visitor could Mademoiselle Desmarets set those cross the threshold of his father's bounds on her own generosity which house, the convict began what seemed she would not have imposed upon his, to Darrell a story equally audacious and had said with a sigh, “I could and incomprehensible— the infant forgive him if he beat me and beg. Matilda had borne to Jasper, and gared my friends; but to beat my the certificates of whose death had friends and to beggar me,-that is not been so ceremoniously produced and the kind of love which makes the 80 prudently attested, lived still ! world go round !”

Sent out to nurse as soon as born, Scandalised to the last nerve of the nurse had in her charge another his respectable system by the in- babe, and this last was the child formation thus gleaned, Mr Gotobed who had died and been buried as returned to London. More letters Matilda Hammond's. The elder from Jasper— becoming urgent, and Losely went on to stammer out a at last even insolent-Mr Gotobed, hope that his son was not at the worried into a reply, wrote back time aware of the fraudulent exshortly “ that he could not even change, but had been deceived by communicate such applications to the nurse—that it had not been a Mr Darrell, and that he must per- premeditated imposture of his own emptorily decline all further inter- to obtain his wife's fortune. course, epistolary or personal, with When Darrell came to this part of Mr Hammond,"

his story, Alban Morley's face grew Darrell, on returning from one of more seriously interested. “Stop!" the occasional rambles on the Con- he said ; “William Losely assured tinent, "remote, unfriended, melan- you of his own conviction that this choly," by which he broke the mono- strange tale was true. What proofs tony of his Fawley life, found a letter did he volunteer ?” from Jasper, not fawning, but abrupt, “Proofs ! Death, man, do you addressed to himself, complaining of think that at such' moments I was Mr Gotobed's improper tone, re- but a bloodless lawyer, to question questing pecuniary assistance, and and cross-examine? I could but bid intimating that he could in return the impostor leave the house which communicate to Mr Darrell an in- his feet polluted.” telligence that would give him more Alban heaved a sigh, and murjoy than all his wealth could pur- mured, too low for Darrell to overchase. Darrell enclosed that note hear, “Poor Willy!” then aloud, to Mr Gotobed ; Mr Gotobed came “But, my dear friend, bear with me down to Fawley to make those re- one moment. Suppose that, by the velations of Jasper's mode of life arts of this diabolical Jasper, the exwhich were too delicate, or too much change really had been effected, and the reverse, to commit to paper. Great a child to your ancient line lived as Darrell's disgust at the memory of still, would it not be a solace, a Jasper had bitherto been, it may well comfortbe conceived how much more bitter “Comfort !" cried Darrell, became that memory now.

fort in the perpetuation of infamy! swer was, of course, vouchsafed to The line I promised my father to Jasper, who, after another extremely restore to its rank in the land, to forcible appeal for money, and equal- be renewed in the grandchild of a ly enigmatical boast of the pleasur- felon !-in the child of the yet viler able information it was in his powerto sharper of a hell !- You, gentleman bestow, relapsed into sullen silence. and soldier, call that thought

One day, somewhat more than five comfort ?' 0 Alban !--out on you ! years after Matilda's death, Darrell, Fie ! fie! No!-leave such a thought coming in from his musing walks, to the lips of a William Losely! He found a stranger waiting for him. indeed, clasping his hands, faltered This stranger was William Lusely, forth some such word; he seemed to returned from penal exile ; and while count on my forlorn privation of kith Darrell, on hearing this announce- and kindred-no heir to my wealth

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-no representative of my race- on me--still, I say, an idea that the would I deprive myself of-ay-your story might be true, would force itvery words--of a solace-a comfort ! self on my fears, and if so, though He asked me, at least, to inquire." my resolution never to acknowledge “And you answered ?”

the child of Jasper Losely as a repreAnswered so as to quell and sentative, or even as a daughter, of crush in the bud all hopes in the my house, would of course be imsuccess of so flagrant a falsehood— movable—yet it would become my answered, 'Why inquire ? Know duty to see that her infancy was that, even if your tale were true, I sheltered, her childhood reared, her have no heir, no representative, no youth guarded, her existence amply descendant in the child of Jasper- provided for.” the grandchild of William-Losely. “ Right-your plain duty," said I can at least leave my wealth to the Alban, bluntly. "Intricate someson of Charles Haughton. True, times are the obligations imposed Charles Haughton was a spendthrift on us as gentlemen; noblesse oblige' -a gamester ; but he was neither is a motto which involves puzzles for a professional cheat nor a convicted a casuist; but our duties as men are felon."

plain--the idea very properly haunted “ You said that_O Darrell !"

you-and-" The Colonel checked himself. But “And I hastened to exorcise the for Charles Haughton,

the spendthrift spectre. I left England - I went to and gamester, would William Losely the French town in which poor Mahave been the convicted felon? He tilda died—I could not, of course, checked that thought, and hurried make formal or avowed inquiries of on-“And how did William Losely a nature to raise into importance the reply ?"

very conspiracy (if conspiracy there “He made no reply—he skulked were) which threatened me. But I saw away without a word.»

the physician who had attended both Darrell then proceeded to relate my daughter and her child-I saw the interview which Jasper had those who had seen them both when forced on him at Fawley during living-seen them both when dead. Lionel's visit there—on Jasper's part, The doubt on my mind was dispelled

—, an attempt to tell the same tale as --not a pretext left for my own selfWilliam had told-on Darrell's part, torment. The only person needful the same scornful refusal to hear it in evidence whom I failed to see was out. “And," added Darrell, “the the nurse to whom the infant had man, finding it thus impossible to been sent. She lived in a village dupe my reason, had the inconceivable sone miles from the town-I called meanness to apply to me for alms. at her house-she was out. I left I could not better show the disdain word I should call the next day-I in which I held himself and his story did so-she had absconded. I might, than in recognising his plea as a doubtless, have traced her, but to mendicant. I threw my purse at his what end, if she were merely Jasper's feet, and so left him.

minion and tool ? Did not her very “But," continued Darrell, his brow flight prove her guilt and her terror? growing darker and darker—“but Indirectly I inquired into her antewild and monstrous as the story cedents and character. The inquiry was, still the idea that it might be opened a field of conjecture, from true -a supposition which derived which I hastened to turn my eyes. its sole strength from the character This woman had a sister who had been of Jasper Losely—from the interest in the service of Gabrielle Desmarets; he had in the supposed death of a and Gabrielle Desmarets had been in child that alone stood between him- the neighbourhood during my poor self and the money he longed to daughter's lifetime, and just after grasp--an interest which ceased my daughter's death. And the nurse when the money itself was gone, had had two infants under her charge; or rather changed into the counter- the nurse had removed with one of interest of proving a life that, he them to Paris—and Gabrielle Desthought, would re-establish a hold marets lived in Paris—and, O, Alban,


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