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ing, which might have been attended with one effect not contemplated by him who inflicted it; viz., the retention of the Aubreys in the possession of Yatton! Titmouse ran for nearly half-a-mile on the high-road towards Grilston, without stopping. He dared not venture back to Yatton, with the sound of the lusty farmer's voice in his ears, to get back from the Aubrey arms the horse which had brought him that afternoon from Grilston, to which place he walked on, through the snow and darkness; reaching his inn in a perfect panic, from which, at length, a tumbler of stiff brandy and water, with two or three cigars, somewhat relieved him. Forgetful of the solemn pledge which he had given to Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, not to disclose his name or errand, and it never once occurring to him that, if he would but keep his own counsel, Miss Aubrey could never identify him with the ruffian who had assailed her, he spent the interval between eight and twelve o'clock, at which latter hour the coach by which he had resolved to return to London would pass through Grilston, in inditing the following letter to Miss Aubrey :
"Grilston, January 6th, 18"Honoured Miss,
Hoping No Offence Will Be Taken where None is meant, (which am Sure of) This I send To say Who I Am which, Is the Right And True Owner of Yatton which You Enjoy Amongst You All At This present (Till The Law Give it to Me) Which It quickly Will And which It Ought to Have done When I were First born And Before Yr Respect. Family ever Came into it, And Me which Yr. hond. Brother Have so Unlawfully Got Possession of must Come Back to Then Whose Due It is wh. Is myself as will be Sone provd. And wh. am most truely Sorry Of on your Own Acct. (Meaning (hond. Miss,) you Alone) as Sure As Yatton is Intirely Mine So My Heart Is yours and No Longer my Own Ever since I Saw You first as Can Easily prove but wh. doubtless You Have forgot Seeing You Never New, seeing (as Mr Gammon, My Solliciter And a Very Great Law yer, say) Cases Alter Circumstances, what Can I say More Than that I Love you Most Amazing Such As Never Thought Myself Capable of Doing Before and wh. cannot help
Ever Since I First saw Yor. most Lovely and Divine and striking Face wh. have Stuck In my Mind Ever Since Day and Night Sleeping and Waking I will Take my Oath Never Of Having Lov'd Any one Else, Though (must Say) have Had a Wonderful Many Offers From Females of The Highest Rank Since My Truly Wonderful Good fortune got Talked About every Where but have Refused Them All for yr sake, Aud Would All the World But you. When I Saw You on Horseback It was All my Sudden confusion In Seeing you (The Other Gent. was One of my Respe. Solicitors) wh Threw Me off in that Ridiculous Way wh. was a Great Mortification And made My brute Of A horse go on so For I Remembered You and was Wonderful struck with Your Improv'd Appearance (As that Same Gent. can Testify) And you was (Hond. Miss) Quite Wrong To Night when You Spoke so Uncommon Angry To Me, seeing If I Had Only Known What Female It Was (meaning yourself which I respect So) only So Late Alone I should Have spoke quite Different So hope You Will Think Nothing More Of that Truly Unpleasant Event Now (Hond Madam) What I Have To say Is if You will Please To Condescend To Yield To My Desire We Can Live Most uncommon Comfortable at Yatton Together wh. Place shall Have Great Pleasure in Marrying You From and I may (perhaps) Do Something Handsome for yr. respectable Brother And Family, wh. can Often Come to see us And Live in the Neighbourhood, if You Refuse me, Will not say What shall Happen to Those which (am Told) Owe me a Precious Long Figure wh. May (perhaps) Make a Handsome Abatement If You And I Hit it.
"Hoping You Will Forget What Have So Much Grievd. me, And Write pr. return of Post, "Am, "hond. Miss
"Yr most Loving & Devoted Slave
This equally characteristic and dis. gusting production, its infatuated writer sealed twice, and then left it with sixpence in the hands of the landlady of the Hare and Hounds, to be deli
's motion stands for the 28th. We all venture to calculate upon receiving your powerful support in the debate. We expect to be much pressed with the Duke of -'s affair, which you handled shortly before the recess with such signal ability and success. When you return to town, you must expect a renewal of certain offers, which I most sincerely trust, for the benefit of the public service, will not be again declined.
vered at Yatton Hall the first thing in the morning. The good woman, however having no particular wish to oblige such a strange puppy, whom she was only too glad to get rid of, and having a good deal to attend to laid the letter aside on the chimneypiece, and entirely lost sight of it for nearly a fortnight. Shortly after the lamentable tidings concerning the impending misfortunes of the Aubrey family had been communicated to the inhabitants of Grilston, she forwarded the letter, little dreaming of the character in which its writer was likely, erelong, to re-appear at Grilston, with one or two others, a day or two after Miss Aubrey had had the interview with her brother which I have described to the reader; but it lay unnoticed by any one-above all, by the sweet sufferer whose name was indicated on it-among a great number of miscellaneous letters and papers which had been suffered to accumulate on the library table.
Mr Aubrey entered the library one morning alone, for the purpose of attending to many matters which had been long neglected. He was evidently thinner: his face was pale, and his manner dejected: still there was about him a noble air of calmness and resolution. Through the richly-pictured old stained-glass window, the mottled sunbeams were streaming in a kind of I tender radiance upon the dear old familiar objects around him.
silent. Having drawn his chair to the table, on which were lying a confused heap of letters and papers, he felt a momentary repugnance to enter upon the task which he had assigned to himself, of opening and attending to them; and walked slowly for some time up and down the room, with folded arms, uttering occasionally profound sighs. At length he sat down, and commenced the disheartening task of opening the many letters before him. One of the =first he opened was from Peter John. son-the old tenant to whom he had lent the sum of two hundred pounds; and it was full of expressions of gratitude and respect. Then came a letter, a fortnight old, bearing the frank of Lord the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He opened it and read :
"Ever yours faithfully,
"(Private and confidential.)
Mr Aubrey laid down the letter calmly, as soon as he had read it; and, leaning back in his chair, seemed lost in thought for several minutes. Presently he re-applied himself to his task, and opened and glanced over a great many letters; the contents of several of which occasioned him deep emotion. Some were from persons in distress whom he had assisted, and who implored a continuance of his aid; others were from ardent political friends-some sanguine, others desponding-concerning the prospects of the session. Two or three hinted that it was every where reported that he had been offered one of the under secretaryships, and had declined; but that it was, at the king's desire, to be pressed upon him. Many letters were on private, and still more on county business; and with one of them he was engaged, when a servant entered with one of that morning's county papers. Tired with his task, Mr Aubrey rose from his chair as the servant gave him the paper; and, standing before the fire, he unfolded the Yorkshire Stingo, and glanced listlessly over its miscellaneous contents. At length his eye lit upon the following paragraph :
"The rumours so deeply affecting a member for a certain borough in this county, and to which we alluded in our last paper but one, turn out to be well-founded. A claimant has started up to the very large estates at present held by the gentleman in question; and we are very much misinformed if the ensuing spring assizes will not effect a considerable change in the representation of the borough alluded to, by relieving it from the "You will remember that Lord Tory thraldom under which it has been
"Whitehall, 16th January 18—. "My dear Aubrey,
so long oppressed. We have no wish to bear hard upon a falling man; and, therefore, shall make no comment upon the state of mind in which the person may be presumed to be, who must be conscious that he has so long been enjoying the just rights of others. Some extraordinary disclosures may be looked for when the trial comes on. We have heard from a quarter on which we are disposed to place reliance, that the claimant is a gentleman of decided Whig principles, and who will prove a valuable accession to the Liberal cause."
The tears very nearly forced their way out of Mr Aubrey's eyes on reading this most unfeeling paragraph; but they had, with a strong effort, been dispersed just as Miss Aubrey entered the room. Her brother quietly folded up the paper and laid it aside, fearful lest his sister's feelings should be pierced by so coarse and brutal a paragraph, which, in fact, had been concocted in London in the office of Messrs Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, who were, as before stated, interested in the Sunday Flash, which was in some sort connected, through the relationship of the editors, with the Yorkshire Stingo. The idea had been suggested by Gammon, of attempting to enlist the political feeling of a portion of the county in favour of their client.
"Here are several letters for you, Kate," said her brother, picking several of them out. The very first she took up, it having attracted her attention by the double seal, and the vulgar style of the handwriting, was that from Titmouse, which has just been laid before the reader. With much surprise she opened the letter, her brother being similarly engaged with his own; and her face getting gradually paler and paler as she went on, at length she flung it on the floor with a passionate air and burst into tears. Her brother, with astonishment, exclaimed," Dear Kate, what is it?" and he rose and stooped to pick up the letter.
"Don't-don't, Charles !" she cried, putting her foot upon it, and flinging her arms round his neck. "It is an audacious letter-a vulgar, a cruel letter, dear Charles!" Her emotion increased as her thoughts recurred to the heartless paragraph concerning her brother with which the letter concluded. "I could have overlook
ed every thing but that," said she, unwittingly. With gentle force he suc ceeded in getting hold of the painfully ridiculous and contemptible effusion. He attempted faintly to smile several times as he went on.
"Don't-don't, dearest Charles! I can't bear it. Don't smile—It's very far from your heart; you do it only to assure me."
Here Mr Aubrey read the paragraph concerning himself. His face turned a little paler than before, and his lips quivered with suppressed emotion. "He is evidently a very foolish fellow!" he exclaimed, walking towards the window, with his back to his sister, whom he did not wish to see how much he was affected by so petty an incident.
"What does he allude to, Kate, when he talks of your having spoken angrily to him, and that he did not know you?" he enquired, after a few moments' pause, returning to her.
"Oh dear!-I am so grieved that you should have noticed it—but since you ask me"-and she told him the occurrence alluded to in the letter. Mr Aubrey drew himself up unconsciously as Kate went on, and she perceived him becoming still paler than before, and felt the kindling anger of his eye.
"Forget it forget it, dearest Charles! So despicable a being is really not worth a thought," said Kate, with increasing anxiety; for she had never in her life before witnessed her brother the subject of such powerful emotions as then made rigid his slender frame. At length, drawing a long breath
"It is fortunate, Kate," said he calmly, "that he is not a gentleman, and that I endeavour to be a Christian."
She flung her arms round him, exclaiming, "There spoke my own noble brother!"
"I shall preserve this letter as a curiosity, Kate," said he presently; and with a pointed significance of manner, that arrested his sister's attention, he added,-" It is rather singular, but some time before you came in, I opened a letter in which your name is mentioned-I cannot say in a similar manner, and yet-in short, it is from Lord de la Zouch, enclosing
Miss Aubrey suddenly blushed scarlet, and trembled violently. "Don't be agitated, my dear Kate,
"I would rather that you opened and read it, Charles"-she faltered, sinking into a chair.
"Come, come, dear Kate-play the woman!" said her brother, with an affectionate air," To say that there is nothing in these letters that I believe will interest you-very deeply gratify and interest your feelings would be".
“I know—I—I—suspect-I" faltered Miss Aubrey, with much agitation" I shall return."
"Then you shall take these letters with you, and read, or not read them as you like," said her brother, putting the letters into her hand with a fond and sorrowful smile, that soon, however, flitted away-and, leading her to the door, he was once more alone; and, after a brief interval of reverie, he wrote answers to such of the many letters before him as he considered earliest to require them.
Notwithstanding the judgment and tenderness with which Dr Tatham discharged the very serious duty which, at the entreaty of his afflicted friends, he had undertaken, of breaking to Mrs Aubrey the calamity with which she and her family were menaced, the effects of the disclosure had been most disastrous. They had pa ralysed her; and Mr Aubrey, who had long been awaiting the issue, in sickening suspense, in an adjoining room, was hastily summoned in to behold a mournful and heart-rending spectacle. His venerable mother she who had given him life at the mortal peril of her own; she whom he cherished with unutterable tenderness and reverence; she who doated upon him as upon the light of her eyes; from whose dear lips he had never heard a word of unkindness or severity; whose heart had never known an impulse but of gentle, noble, unbounded generosity towards all around her-this idolized being now lay suddenly prostrated and blighted
Poor Aubrey yielded to his long and violent agony, in the presence of her who could no longer hear, or see, or be sensible of what was passing in the chamber.
"My son," said Dr Tatham, after the first burst of his friend's grief was
over, and he knelt down beside his mother with her hand grasped in his, "despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction:
"For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth, even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
"The Lord will not cast off for ever;
"But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion, according to the multitude of his mercies.
"For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men."
It was with great difficulty that Dr Tatham could render himself audible while murmuring these soothing and solemn passages of scripture in the ear of his distracted friend, beside whom he knelt.
Mrs Aubrey had suffered a paralytic seizure, and lay motionless and insensible; her features slightly disfigured, but partially concealed beneath her long silvery grey hair, which had, in the suddenness of the fit, strayed from beneath her cap.
"But what am I about?" at length exclaimed Mr Aubrey, with a languid and alarmed air-" has medical assistance".
"Dr Goddart and Mr Whateley are both sent for by several servants, and will doubtless be very quickly here," replied Dr Tatham; and while he yet spoke Mr Whateley-who, when hastened on by the servant who had been sent for him, was entering the park on a visit to young Mrs Aubrey, who was also seriously ill and in peculiarly critical circumstancesentered the room, and immediately resorted to the necessary measures. Soon afterwards, also, Dr Goddart arrived; but, alas, how little could they do for the venerable sufferer!
During the next, and for many ensuing days, the lodge was assailed by very many anxious and sympathizing enquirers, who were answered by Waters, whom Mr Aubrey-oppressed by the number of friends who hurried up to the hall, and insisted upon seeing him to ascertain the extent to which the dreadful rumours were correct-had stationed there during the day to afford the requisite information. The hall was pervaded by a gloom that could be felt. Every servant had a wo-begone look, and moved about as if a funeral were stirring. Little Charles and Agnes, almost imprisoned
in their nursery, seemed quite puzzled and confused at the strange unusual seriousness, and quietness, and melancholy faces every where about them. Kate romped not with them as had been her wont; but would constantly burst into tears as she held them on her knee or in her arms, trying to evade the continual questioning of Charles. "I think it will be time for me to cry too by-and-by!" said he to her one day, with an air half in jest and half in earnest, that made poor Kate's tears flow afresh. Sleepless nights and days of sorrow soon told upon her appearance. Her glorious buoyancy of spirits, that erewhile, as it were, had filled the whole hall with gladness-where were they now? Ah, me! the rich bloom had disappeared from her beautiful cheek; but her high spirit, though oppressed, was not broken, and she stood firmly and calmly amid the scowling skies and lowering tempests. You fancied you saw her auburn tresses stirred upon her pale but calm brow by the breath of the approaching storm; and that she also felt it, but trembled not. Her heart might be, indeed, bruised and shaken; but her spirit was, ay, unconquerable. My glorious Kate, how my heart goes forth towards you!
And thou, her brother, who art of kindred spirit; who art supported by philosophy, and exalted by religion, so that thy constancy cannot be shaken or overthrown by the black and ominous swell of trouble which is increasing and closing around thee, I know that thou wilt outlive the storm-and yet it rocks thee!
A month or two may see thee and thine expelled from Old Yatton, and not merely having lost every thing, but with a liability to thy successor that will hang round thy neck like a millstone. What, indeed, is to become of you all? Whither will you go? And your suffering mother, should she survive so long, is her precious form to be borne away from Yatton?
Around thee stand those who, if thou fallest, will perish-and that thou knowest around thy calm, sorrowful, but erect figure, are a melancholy group-thy afflicted mother-the wife of thy bosom-thy two little children -thy brave and beautiful sister-Yet think not, Misfortune! that over this man thou art about to achieve thy accustomed triumphs, Here, behold
thou hast a MAN to contend with; nay, more, a CHRISTIAN MAN, who hath calmly girded up his loins against the coming fight!
'Twas Sabbath evening, some five weeks or so after the happening of the mournful events above commemorated, and Kate, having spent as usual several hours keeping watch beside the silent and motionless figure of her mother, had quitted the chamber for a brief interval, thinking to relieve her oppressed spirits by walking, for a little while, up and down the long gallery. Having slowly paced backwards and forwards once or twice, she rested against the little oriel window at the furthest extremity of the gallery, and gazed, with saddened eye, upon the setting sun, till at length, in calm grandeur, it disappeared beneath the horizon. 'Twas to Kate a solemn and mournful sign; especially followed as it was by the deepening shadows and gloom of evening. She sighed; and, with her hands crossed on her bosom, gazed, with a tearful eye, into the darkening sky, where glittered the brilliant evening star. Thus she remained, a thousand pensive and tender thoughts passing through her mind, till the increasing chills of evening warned her to retire. "I will go,' said she to herself, as she walked slowly along, "and try to play the evening hymn-I may not have many more opportunities !" With this view, she gently opened the drawingroom door, and, glancing around, found that she should be alone. the only light. She opened the organ with a sigh, and then sat down before it for some minutes without touching the keys. At length she struck them very gently, as if fearful of disturbing those who, she soon recollected, were too distant to hear her. Ah! how many associations were stirred up as she played over the simple and solemn air! At length, in a low and rather tremulous voice, she begun—
The fire gave