« ForrigeFortsæt »
“ Upwards of two years were spent another short pause ensued, and then in these travels, during which I always he proceeded. cherished hopes of meeting with the « We were within about five miles person who had so urgently sought of Tunbridge Wells, when we perafter me; and at the lapse of that ceived a single person scuffling with time, those thoughts which, without several labourers; we rode up, and, doubt, arise in the breast of every one leaping from our horses, we engaged after a prolonged absence from his in defence of the weaker party. We native shores, arose in mine. They were nearly worsted, when, rememveered homewards, and I obeyed their bering my pistols, I drew them out, direction. Sailing from Odessa to and threatened to fire on the villains if Marseilles, I thence came by land to they did not desist. I extricated the Calais. At Dover, for the first time, unfortunate victim of their brutalityI engaged a footman, I believe for the the assailants immediately taking to purpose, as much as any other, of their heels. The stranger thanked checking my passion against names ; me in the most courteous manner; but for the attendance of a servant, I it was not without much persuasion thought, would oblige me to adhere that I could induce him to mount my finally to my present one, and perhaps horse, while I walked by the sideserve as a preventive to any more an. my man also having received a smart noyances springing from a similarity blow—while as yet I felt no ill effects of names. I once had a floating idea from the mêlée. The stranger, as he of resuming Smith, imagining that it recounted to me, had lately come from might act as a guide to the unknown Paris. The stage-coach in which he enquirer ; but when I recollected the bad journeyed from London had set forest of Smiths, I easily gave it up him down within seven miles of Tun-another cruel effort of destiny, as it bridge Wells, the coachman repreeventually appeared. As it was a senting that he was only a short dismatter of indifference whither I turned tance from that placeman account my steps, I purchased two horses for which he, ignorant of the topography myself and servant, and resolved to of the neighbourhood, never doubted visit some of the watering-places, and till on the road. The men whom I ride through the country leisurely, saw had mischievously thrown mud Tunbridge Wells being the first place over him, and on his remonstrating, fixed upon. I now approach what I had attempted to add robbery to inregard as the most important event in sult. He was then about to join his my life, which has in its issue left me mother and sister, who were staying utterly destitute of hope and desire in that place for the sake of the which has reduced me to that state of latter's health, accompanied by an mind which can defy not merely in- elder brother. When we arrived at significant man, but the utmost might an inn in the town, I was suddenly of nature's prodigious power.
What seized with a severe illness, resulting should restrain me this instant from from a violent blow on the head, of
seeking the mysteries of the eternal which I had been hitherto unconscious, abyss !",
and in consequence was obliged to go Here the stranger's feelings, which to bed instantly, after ordering Sahad latterly been evidently increasing muel, my footman, to attend the in intensity, completely overpowered stranger to his mother's residence. him; he paused, drank several glasses “ The next morning, as I was sitting of wine with rapidity, as if some in- in a private room, still suffering from ward fever was raging, and then the conflict, the dangerous effects of throwing himself back in his chair, which, however, had been averted by gazed at me for a moment with a timely precaution, he entered, and vacant stare. I felt painfully em- with him his brother, mother, and barrassed, and at length was beginning sister.
The first thanked me rather gently to change the subject, and adformally, the second with expressions vert to other topics, when he inter- of real gratitude, but the accents of rupted me, “ No, no,” said he, “I the third seemed to thrill my very shall recover presently-I must apo heart's chords, as she gently assured logize for this outbreak of emotion- me she should never forget my ser, you will be enabled to judge whether vices to her brother. I have not grounds for affliction ;" tell you who they were. William,
may as well
(the eldest,) Edmund, and Louisa, were graceful, and displayed his disposition the children of a gentleman of small on his handsome countenance, always independent fortune, the interest of radiant with the beams of good-huwhich he had bequeathed to his widow, mour. Louisa was almost a female the principal to be divided, at her fac-simile of Edmund-a lowness of death, among the survivers, except spirits, which I attributed to the deWilliam, who had already been com- pressed state of her health, excepted. fortably provided for by an uncle's Mrs. V. the mother, was
an elder bequest. · Edmund was a junior part. prototype, if I may so speak, of her ner in a mercantile firm, to the fo- daughter: and thus I have sketched reign business of which he principally them. attended. During the four or five days “ Our intimacy daily increased, parthat I was confined, the visits of one ticularly between Edmund and myself, or other of them never intermitted. the first friendship I had ever conEdmund and Louisa sometimes came tracted. His nobility of soul fairly by themselves, or with their mother broke down all the moody resolutions onlys unaccompanied by William, on upon which I had acted for a long which occasions I could not avoid re- time past, and I cannot say that I was marking that their conversation was pained at departing from them in his more unrestrained. When entirely favour. When freed from the freezing convalescent, I received an invitation coldness of William's company, we to their house, with which I willingly were all as happy as similar habits and complied, for their unaffected solici- tastes could make us. As for the latter, tude had worn down a great deal of I treated him with civility, and more the growing asperity of my disposition was impossible ; but often did I burn to its former level, and a few visits with indignation at his mode of behalet me into their respective characters. viour to beings so infinitely above him William was proud, imperious, and in every moral point of view; and my passionate, his domineering temper indignation would have burst out into displaying itself on all opportunities, open remonstrance, had I not rein fact, seeming to seek for them. He strained myself by considerations for was not long in insinuating to me that their welfare. He returned my cihe was the appointed guardian of his vility with superciliousness, which, for sister, coupling with this piece of news the same reason, I passed by without several significant hints, which, how- notice; but I could perceive the glance ever, I did not pretend to understand. of enmity from beneath his shaggy In spite of their efforts to the con- eyebrows. trary, the others could not conceal 6. Two or three months elapsed, and the truth that his presence, unenlight- Louisa began to exhibit manifest ened as it was by the least scintillation symptoms of returning health. Pleased of rational conversational acquire- as her mother was at this sight, her ments, threw a heavy cloud over their matron judgment took the alarm. She enjoyments, while a bashaw's man- watched and found that these sympdates could not have required more toms were always more clearly deveimplicit obedience than his met with, loped in my company. She next ques. cruelly selfish as I have sometimes tioned her, and their mutual confidence known them. The fellow seemed to procured the ready avowal that I was imagine, that he had an unqualified not indifferent to her. The next time title to any sacrifice from them. I Edmund and I were together, he obcan aver, that his absence was a source served, My brother is certainly the of real gratification to me, for their most proper person to depute for this sakes. Edmund was quite the reverse
purpose; but my mother is so afraid of of this picture. He had a well-culti- his violent temper, that the disagreevated mind, and was free-hearted, able task has fallen upon me. I have
without overstepping no suspicions-God knows, you have the bounds of reason, his absence be- never given cause for any—but my ing precisely the presence of the other. sister's happiness is risked. He then Their outward "figures were as op- explained that she had conceived a posite; the former being short, ill. warm partiality for me, which, if not featured, and conceitedly awkward; impeded, would increase to an intense while the latter was tall, unaffectedlý passion. He therefore begged to be
NO, CCXCIII, VOL. XLVII.
informed whether I had any serious length we all departed for London; intentions, as the instant withdrawal and now my story draws to a close. of either from the spot might prevent Enraptured with my felicity, no gaunt any mischief.
Though I had viewed images of the past were permitted to Louisa with admiration, I had not yet intrude upon my imagination, the ocsaid to myself, “I love her.' Ed. currences which marked my early remund's words aroused me to the per. sidence in the metropolis being, as I ception that I should be pained at imagined, consigned to oblivion. Takparting from her-in short, that I was ing up my abode for a few days in in love. My resolution was imme- a tavern, I employed myself in furdiately taken. I represented to him, nishing a house in the outskirts of that, averse as I should have been at town, and visiting my Louisa, who beany
time to throw an obstacle in the came more and more endeared to me way of her complete restoration to every hour : Edmund, meanwhile, health, which unsuccessful love was having gone to Paris, promised to certainly not calculated to promote, return to be present at our marriage. I now felt, in addition, that my own But my dream of pleasure lasted not happiness was concerned, and there. quite a week. A fiend of earth was fore, with his permission, I would at now in union with those invisible deonce assume the character of his sister's mons who had previously persecuted intended. I instructed him in so much me. William alone appeared dissatisof my life as related to my unknown fied at the approaching nuptials, birth and education; with the offer of which, however, he had yet devised reference to prove that I was qualified no means to impede: and I now trace to maintain her in comfort, if not in his motions to chagrin at the impendsplendour ; fully purposing, at another ing loss of superintendence and comopportunity, to have given him a re- mand over his sister and the funds aslation of all my adventures, but one signed for her support, and perhaps a thing or other delayed it. Better, fear of being called to account. Be perhaps, would it have been for me that as it may, on the evening of Tueshad I entered upon it at the moment, day week he came into the room where but I did not. Edmund expressed I was sitting at tea with Mrs V. and himself satisfied, as did also Mrs. V. my beloved, and eyed me with a look William alone remained to be con- of silent exultation, that disconcerted sulted, and he, after several growls me, though I knew not why. Some of remonstrance, declared that he unseen monitors—such, perhaps, as should act as he thought fit, and that Defoe alludes to–bade me prepare for they were at liberty to do the same. some cursed exigency, and not withThe motives for his demeanour I could out reason. not fathom, unless it was that he looked “ The following morning, as I
was at upon me as a restraint, to a certain de- breakfast in my new habitation, on gree, upon his brutal freedom of ac- which, by-the-by, I had entered only a tion. However, as none but himself couple of days, who was shown into the had any objection, Louisa and myself room but the identical Mr T.with whom were closeted, and from her own lips I had such unpleasant communications I heard a warm confirmation of the on a former occasion ? He seemed to fact. Though Edmund, with that recognise me directly; and, in answer unsuspicious generosity almost pecu- to my queries, produced a warrant to liar to himself, had refrained from the apprehend Walter Campbell on a enquiries I courted, William was not charge of swindling. I was thunderso slack, but as yet he discovered no struck; and some minutes passed bemeans of mischief; however, from fore I could regain self-possession, some hints which my servant dropped, though naturally convinced that there I found that he had condescended to was another error of person. tamper with him, and, though fear- treated Mr T. to give me some inless of any reports which he could formation. The officer, whose permake, I was indignant at the idea of formance of his painful duties was rehaving such a spy upon me, and there. 'markable for an absence of unnecesfore discharged him.
sary harshness, drew a paper from his “Not to trouble you with matters of pocket, and pointed my attention to a trifling import, suffice it to say, that at paragraph, warning the public-by
Heavens! will you believe me?-against manded me to leave the room. I de. a person named Walter Campbell. murred. Too cowardly himself to atThe concluding sentence ran thus :- tempt to part us, he called assistance,
He has a very gentlemanly and pre- and I was ejected by force. In an possessing address, is generally dressed ecstasy of anguish I ran home-wrote in a blue coat, dark trousers, and light to Louisa that I relied on her affection waistcoat, and is sometimes attended that she would not desert me; but had by a man servant, no doubt a partner scarcely dispatched my letter, before in his villanies, and has hitherto given one was delivered from her. There the name of Walter Campbell.' The it is, read it yourself—I cannot trust perusal of this paragraph rather cooled myself with it.” Saying this, he pulled me, since I was conscious that, save some papers from his pocket, handed the again fatal similarity of names, the one in question to me, and then and some particulars of dress, it was relapsed into a silent fit of melancholy. not applicable to me. I willingly ac- The letter was couched in these ceded to Mr T.'s request to search the
terms:house ; and, this done, proceeded with him to the police office. On entering the justice-room I was surprised to see William and my quondam footman;
• Is it possible that you, whom I when the whole truth flashed vividly love which I have cast away upon
have regarded as deserving of the on my mind. He was the informer
you, should have imposed upon my he had taken advantage of the simi
affection under a fictitious name-larity of names to gratify his malice by the infliction of this disgrace on me.
have been branded as a forger, de
clared unworthy the society of gentle. The triumph was greater than even he had anticipated. He might have in
men, and be now suspected as a comtended to make the fact of my appre- dence has, indeed, been miserably de
mon swindler ? Though my confihension a ground for insisting on a separation between me and his family; ceived, my family shall never be disbut he did not expect that I shoulă graced by me; and I, therefore, here
declare all connexion ended between have been pointed out as having been at that office several years before, in yourself and your once affectionate the name of Jones, on an accusation of
Louisa.'' forgery. What end the man was to have served, is a secret; for, before he The inferences which I drew from could be called on, I was discharged this epistle I will presently mention. in consequence of the respective trades. They were somewhat different from men who had been sent for, unani- those of the unfortunate object of it. mously deponing that I was not the When he perceived that I had read individual who had defrauded them. the letter, he resumed. I hastened from the office to Mrs V. “ Scarcely knowing how I acted, The instant Louisa saw me she rushed I returned to their lodgings they to my embrace, passionately declaring were denied to me. I determined to that she could not and did not give any watch the house. I did so till evencredit to the assertion that I was guilty ing, when the patrol compelled me to of any thing wrong, my appearance leave the spot. I passed the night in at large assuring her that I had been a keen fever of agitation ; and the wrongfully accused. She had been in- next morning I again called at the formed of what had taken place by one house, but was informed that they had of my servants. This was the acmé gone away without leaving a direction of love. She believed me not merely as to their future abode. I was disinnocent of the present charge, but in tracted, and remained at home some capable of any dereliction from honour hours, completely stupified at this vioand honesty. I was uttering my pro- lent breaking up of my hopes; and testations to the same effect, and was perhaps had not recovered from my about to commence a further explana- temporary lunacy when I hurried to tion, when William entered. He, ha- the bank, converted all my stock into ving doubtless lingered behind to ob- cash, and, leaving my house and its tain some particulars concerning the contents to their fate, ascended the check affair, now in a loud voice com- first stage-coach which crossed my
path, with the full determination, in I am equally grateful to you. Pardon the language of Iago,
me for saying that I have no anxiety
on the subject. The keenest agony • To have no name, since names give such
that fate can inflict I have suffered; offence.'
and, as it has deadened me to all sense “ The coach stopped about thirty of pleasure, so it has prepared me miles from this place, to which I pur. against any farther pain, by making sued my way on foot, regardless of
me insensible to either.” He then whither my random steps conducted added that he should go abroad again; me, till sheer fatigue compelled me to but promised, at my earnest desire, to desist. I am not arrived here eighteen inform me of his movements. hours before the want of a name in- A day or two subsequently, Mr volves me again in trouble. My in Campbell, if so I may call him, took difference made me act as I did ; but advantage of a Dutch lugger, which you know the rest."
had been driven into the bay, and Here he concluded his narrative. nearly stranded by stress of weather, I could not but admire the singulari- to engage a passage with the captain ties of his adventures, though easily to Rotterdam. We applied to arrange perceiving, as I doubt not my readers with Mr W., the magistrate, who have perceived, that his own sensi- had written to the London officers as tiveness had a considerable share in he had threatened, and received for his afflictions. I hinted to him my answer that the description correopinion that Louisa's letter did not sponded to that of a person who had contain a real portraiture of her feel been in their hands, but that they had ings, and, moreover, that it was a no further business with him. My forced one. My reason for this sup- deposit was forthwith reconsigned to position was founded on the curious
me, the justice congratulating himself style in which it was indited; for I upon his discernment; and having seen considered it impossible that any wo- this high-minded but singularly unman, possessed of those burning sen- fortunate individual depart, I prepared timents of love which she entertained, for my own return, with the full deshould write freely without betraying termination to use the most strenuous some lingerings of affection. His exertions to clear up, and if possible countenance brightened for a moment dispel, the mystery which hung over at the idea. He then shook his head him. mournfully, and remarked, “ How.
The very next morning, as I was ever that may be, she is now beyond sitting in Mr B.'s parlour, duly acmy reach. Her heart will be broken, coutred for the journey, and awaiting and I care not to survive. I will only the conveyance that was to take write to Edmund, and implore his me part of the distance, a post-chaise calm consideration. I will meet him drove rapidly to the door, and two if I can; and then-if the worst be- ladies descended from it, both young falls--the universe may collapse and and handsome, but an ashy paleness crush me without extracting a groan.' overspread the beautiful features of His mind was wrought up, even in its one of them, which denoted very conappearance of quiet, to a pitch of siderable mental exhaustion. She was almost ungovernable excitement. I conducted by her companion and Mrs proffered my services to him. He B. into the parlour, in an almost replied, “ When I came here, it was insensible condition-1, of course, not with the intention of holding myself being slack in any assistance I could at variance with all-to doubt every afford. When she was restored a one and trust none, so that what share little, the two ladies communed awhile of tranquillity time might bestow might between themselves, and then the be entirely at my own command--to other, addressing the landlord, asked have associated only as it were at a if a stranger named Campbell had distance ; but your generosity has de- been at his inn. Mr B. made the feated the execution of this design, only reply that he could make, that a and obliges me to believe that you are person who refused to give his name, sincere in your offers of personal ex- and was angry at being urged on the ertions in elucidating the matter ; point, had certainly been there ; but and, though dubigus of your syccess, he dared say that gentleman (meaning