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“If it's for the lad's good, I don't mind, “At her cousin’s, at Redbridge.” not I," he said to John Adams; “but I'm « And her mother p” none satisfied about him.” The inn- “ Yes. They went together yesterday.” keeper stared hard at his gouty leg, with • They went there last week.” lips pursed up, and brows knitted. “I “ And the week before. They are al. tell thee, friend John, I'm none satisfied ways going there now-more often than about the lad. He writes of his grand I like, for Cousin Sophy is too giddy and prospects, this way and tother, but talks worldly to please me. When her hus. random; for, look you here, if Mr. Ferris band the baker died, she was in the is doing so well by ’un, and has made a Methodist Connexion, and a class used to Sectary of him (whatever that may mean meet at her house; but she has taken up he knows best), I want to know why with a sea captain for her sweetheart, and doant he stick to his Sectary business, now she lives for the world, and nothing and send for thy Nelly, and get settled in but its poor perishing vanities will please a Christian way, like other honest folk. her. A sad falling off!” But he says nought of that yet, to thee " I'm no Methodist, but I don't like nor me, nor to Nelly either, as I hear, only Cousin Sophy: and if I had my will, muddles his poor head still over writing Nelly should not go visiting there two or books and plays, and that like; and what three days at a time.” good will all that rubbish do him or Nelly? “I am a Methodist, neighbour, and I It was all very well of a gentleman like like Cousin Sophy no more than you do ; Mr. Ferris to make speeches about the but you know my wife and Nelly will go Redbridge librey and playhouse; but I'd where they like, and when they like. give twice the valley of my corn crop if But they promised to come back home George had never seen a librey, nor read last evening, and I am angry with both a book, nor larned to handle a pen. Then of them.” he would be here now, minding the horses
Never in your life, and the cattle, and the brewing and the John.” reaping. Give me the Bible and a chalk Angry or not, the toll-keeper's face score, that's all I want. Don't tell me, showed that he was very uneasy about friend John, about edication and en- his wife and daughter, especially as it lightenment; I say there never was such was fair-time at Redbridge, and they wickedness in the world when you and I would have to return over eight miles of were boys as there is now, and reading lanes and field-paths traversed by all sorts and writing have done it all.”
of characters--sober and otherwise-re. “George was down here Sunday week turning from the festivites. Adams was after he left us,” said the toll-keeper. thinking of leaving the toll to Fielding's ** Ay, and aff again same day.”
care, while he went to meet them, when “He couldn't help that. But how Farmer William, looking hot and flurried, friskish he looked, and held his head high, rode up at a round trot on his black horse, and wore a new London suit, fitting him and, without dismounting, said, in con. as if he had grown to the things.” siderable excitement
“And a satin waistcoat, and fine kid Father, I've had a letter from George; gloves, and such boots !”
and he sends for me to come up to him “He was better dressed than you or I by to-morrow morning. Summut must when we went to church to be married, have happened, for I shall have to travel Fielding."
all night to get up to Lunnun by to-mor“That's true. What a change, to be row forenoon, and sharp work it will be sure, in eight days! I told him he must to get there. He says at twelve o'clock feel ashamed of his vulgar kith and kin.” at noon I shall be wanted, and must spare
“ But he's a good lad for all that.” no expense to reach him by that hour.
“ I'm none satisfied about him, John, I'm off now. I shall ride on my good nor about thy Nelly either. Where is mare the eighteen miles to meet the train, she now ?"
and I shall go up by the fastest, cost
what it may. I shall send word what's “ What is it? Some new love affair of the matter as soon as ever I can. I bave that spoiled puss, I know. Well, I've heard there are some queer folk on the called in good time, for George Fielding tramp to-night, coming home from the has sent for me to Lunnon in a flaming fair, so I carry a loaded pistol for safety, hurry, and I shall be able to tell him all and you need not worry about me. Good- her tricks.” bye.”
George Fielding need not bother So, while the cutter was tossing on the himself about her. She will never marry foaming waves of the sea, on its doomed him.” path to the French coast, Nelly's brother “ Why not?” was riding hard along the moonlit country For the best of reasons—because she roads towards London, bravely and affec- has married another. There—what do tionately resolved, at any sacrifice, to you think of that ?” comply with his friend's urgent request. “Married another ?” Indeed, so great was Farmer William's “Married Mr. Ferris-Lady Randals regard for George Fielding, that he would brother—a gentleman born and bred.” have hastened to his assistance had the “What are you talking of ?” journey been ten times as long or incon- “Of your sister Nelly, my very pretty venient.
cousin, married this day to Mr. FerrisWilliam rode from the toll-gate to the by special license-in my presence and Holm Moss Ferry, waited for the ferry- your mother's.” boat, crossed in it the broad stream, “This bean't April-Fool's-Day, Sophy.” reached Redbridge in an hour, stopped “ How the man stares !” at the door of the baker's widow in the “Nelly married!” High-street, and there knocked loudly “Plain English." with his heavy riding-whip. At last, “ Stuff! Where and when has he been after a long delay, Sophy Blyth, a bold, in her company ?”. handsome young widow, made her ap- “Here, and often. Bless me, man pearance, and cordially invited him in. alive, can't you believe? Mr. Ferris bas
Why, William, where be riding to met your sister and mother here almost this time of night? Your mother said every time they came to see me, and they you was not a coming to the fair this are married, and are away to France for
a few weeks. Your mother is going back “No more I am; my pigs are bound for home in the morning, and I should just another market, I can tell thee.”
like to see how your father takes it. It He had alighted, left his horse stand- would be such fun.” ing alone, and strode heavily in his high Merrily the black-eyed widow laughed, top boots into Sophy's cosy sitting-room regardless of William's dismay and in(the widow was not left with empty dignation. But he was incredulous still
. house or empty purse), where he asked He suspected the joking tendencies of his for a glass of the best home-brewed lively relative, which he knew by es. (Sophy brewed good ale) and a mouthful perience to be considerable. of bread and cheese, which he took stand- So he insisted on seeing his mother, ing, with his long whip tucked under his and went to the door to pat his horse and arm, and his white hat nearly touching see his pistol all right in the saddle the low ceiling
pocket, while Sophy Blyth tripped up “ Father told me to call and look after stairs to fetch her. mother and Nelly. What the dickins Directly William saw his mother coming have you been keeping them here for so reluctantly down the stairs, his impalong ? They have done nothing lately tience broke out in a stormy demand to
know what nonsense had been going on “ Cousin William, there's a secret to there. come out about Nelly. It won't be a William Adams by no means inherited secret long, though.”
the passive temper of his father; and if
but visit you.”.
there was a person of whom Mrs. Adams able for my girl. If a beauty like her had a wholesome dread, it was her son was not to be married well, I'd like to William: The colour Aled her face, and know who is ?” the usual confidence of her deportment "Had you no respect for her promise vanished when his animated face and to George ?” massive figure were before her.
“No. I always wanted Nelly to look To confront William at present was a higher." sharp trial, and perhaps there was a little “Mother, just answer me this: How
- just the least in the world of mis- did Mr. Ferris know where and when to giving in her shallow understanding as meet Nelly ?” to the rectitude of her motherly con- “ It was all planned between me and duct.
him. He fell in love with her the first His voice was loud and startling to time he saw her, and I was very glad of her nerves when he asked, “Where is my it. Nelly will be back in Sandown in sister ?”
four or five weeks, and then Mr. Ferris “ Don't be so violent.”
will buy Ashbrook Hall for her, and have “Where is Nelly? No hesitation, it fitted up for her in grand style. And mother. Tell me the truth. Out with she is to bring back from France the it.”
most beautiful presents for us all. You
“ Bless me!” interposed Widow Blyth, are to have a new gold watch.” “ haven't I told you, she and her hus- The last was an invention on the spur band are away to France, and your of the moment, but it was lost on William. mother has got the wedding certificate ?” “Give me the certificate,” said he, “ Is that true, mother ?”
“and I'll go and carry this precious piece “Yes, William, it is.”
of news to poor George—and give him « You don't mean it ?”
your love with it, shall I ?” “ As true as that I stand here."
“Oh, I don't wish him any harm. But She coughed loudly to get her courage I was not going to let my girl put up up, then shook her portly person, and with the man, when she might have the as William stood gazing on her in excess master.” of astonishment, mingled with rage, she “Silence mother,” said William sternly; applied her handkerchief to her eyes. “and when you say your prayers, just be
i Mother! mother! you not think you a little. There is need.” ashamed ?” he sternly exclaimed.
“ Need of what ?" “Yes, of you, to speak to your mother “Of repentance, if you did but see it." so cruelly."
“ Thank goodness, I don't.” “Don't cry. But really you must feel “But you may, perhaps, one day, if ashamed of yourself.”
Nelly should ever have to upbraid you “I should be, indeed, if I had lost a for learning her how to be false, and begood match like this. I hope I am the tray a fond, true heart.” best judge of what husband is most suit-| True!" sneered Mrs. Adams. “Very
true! Mr. Ferris convinced Neliy how “Aha! Ferris at Sandown privately ! true George is. And if you are going to whispering to my betrothed; what does see him, just tell him, from me, Nelly this mean?” would not have married Mr. Ferris for all He had never entertained a doubt in my persuading, if she hadn't been made that direction. But now, as by a flash, acquainted with his nice goings on since he saw all. “The crafty, perfidious, he left us."
heartless villain! This, then, was why William stayed to hear no more. he drew me away from my home and
He reached the metropolis just in time my happy prospects, separated me from to enter bail for his friend before a magis- my best friends, and fixed me here to trate in a public police court. It was for share the credit of his dishonest schemthis object George had sent for bim. ing. And I have been so easily fooled !"
The two then retired to a secluded “Ferris made Nelly believe I don't corner in a coffee-room, where George de- know what of you; and I'm told—” Wiltailed all that he knew of his employer's liam stopped, and looked hard at his friend, proceedings, and his own painful position, who could not find courage at once to ask unaware for some hours that worse re- for more information. But the character mained behind.
of Ferris being now clear to George, and “Now, tell me all about your sister,” the weak points of Nelly's only too famisaid George.
liar, his fears instinctively comprehended “What shall I tell you about her ?” that he had as good as lost her. Chagrin The farmer started up from his seat and at his own folly was not one of the least clutched his hat. “Coom out into the bitter of the ingredients in the cup of his streets,” said he; “this place is enow to sorrow. stifle a body.”
“ Didst thou not know that Ferris was When they were in the streets, he backwards and forwards to Sandown ?” kept parrying George's questions about asked the farmer. Nelly, and opposing to them a great many “ Never for a moment suspected it! other questions about the streets, and the He must have gone between the Fridays shops, and the public buildings, until and the Mondays. It was his regular George was struck by a new alarm, and habit to be absent from business on Saturasked him if all were right at Sandown. days; but as it was his habit, of course it
“How you do bother a chap," testily gave me no concern. Besides, I never returned William. “What's yon ?” point. dreamt that he had any designs there." ing to a great staring, flaring gin-palace. “Nor I—nor any of us but mother
“Nelly has not troubled herself to write till yesterday evening. You might have to me too often,” observed George. "My knocked me down with a feather when last two letters are unanswered. I think Cousin Sophy told meshe might have
Sophy Blyth ?” “They do say Nelly have heard sum- * Ay, at Redbridge. I called to see mut about you,” interrupted the farmer, after Nelly and her mother; they were speaking very loudly on account of the staying at Sophy's have been often noise of the street.
visiting there since you went.” George led him down a quieter tho. « Well ?” roughfare.
“It be none well, George ; it be ill; "Something to my disadvantage ?” and so thou’lt say. It might be worse in "Ay, so mother says."
one way, for sure. But so as it is it is, From whom ?”
and crying won't alter it. And now, if Oh, only from Mr. Ferris, that's all.” thou be a man”-here the farmer clapped “What! you amaze me! Has he George sharply and rousingly on the been down there since I came away ?” shoulder, —"read that paper, and say“I rayther think he has.”
'Good riddance of a troublesome, silly piece A sudden ice-bolt was it that shot of vanity;' and look thee out a better wife through George's heart that instant ? | than ever Nelly Adams would bave made."
With indescribable amazement, by the length he paused, with the famous Silent light of a street lamp, George read Nelly's Highway before him. He stood long marriage certificate. He lost not a word gazing on the darkly-flowing water, the or a letter of it. In silence he returned anguish of his spirit overflowing in many it to William.
a well-remembered verse“Can this man have a soul?” was his first unspoken thought.
“Ah! but what misery is it to know this!
Or, knowing it, to want the mind's erection William was much relieved at his In such extremes! Well, I will once more friend's taking the matter so quietly. He
strive, had expected a very heart-breaking ex
In spite of this black cloud, myself to be,
And shake the fever off that thus shakes me." plosion, and had dreaded it mcommonly. But George was no shallow raver of his
His fancy conjured up the fair being deep feelings. He had loved this fickle who had deceived and slighted him girl so passionately, so faithfully! But “Why did the gods give thee a heavenly form, she was proved unworthy of a noble heart
And earthly thoughts to make thee proud of
it? -her truth and love a rope of sand.
Why do I ask ? 'Tis now the known disease “So farewell, Nelly!” he proudly and That beauty hath, to bear too deep a sense firmly exclaimed.
Of her own self-conceived excellence. "That's right, now; bid her farewell,
0, hadst thon known the worth of Heaven's and think no more about her,” said Thou wouldst have turned it to a truer use." William. “I trust this unholy marriage of your its emotions, to retire upon poetry for
It was the nature of his mind, in all sister's may have a better continuance and conclusion than its commencement strength, consolation, and sympathy; and promises. Whenever you write to her,
never was his memory more active, or his or see her, tell her I say so.”
imagination more vivid, than in his grief “ It will be long before I shall have his deep heart of love had, after all, been
for the loss of Nelly; perhaps because anything to say to her again, I can pro: less intensely engrossed by the Beauty of mise thee,” said William, speaking as if he most decidedly meant it; and then, Sandown than he was aware of. It was with a tremendous yawn, he said he a very happy circumstance that he was shouldn't be the worse of a sleep, after not so utterly crushed by his woe, but
that he could poetise over it. his long night's travel.
He heard Bow bells chime midA constable remained in charge of Mr. Ferris's offices in Randal’s-buildings, and night, and then slowly traced his way George did not take the farmer there, but back to his dreary state chamber in Ransaw him safely lodged in a respectable dal’s-buildings, his melancholy footsteps hotel, and left him to repose.
timing one of Rare Ben Johnson's exGeorge was not sorry to be free from quisite lyrics that he was repeating as a close observation. Deeply absorbed in
musician lingers over sweet cadences that melancholy thought, he strode along the have taken strong possession of ear and broad and crowded pavements of Hol- fancy. born, Ludgate-hill, and Cheapside, his hat “Slow, slow, fresh fount, keep time with my salt pressed down over his eyes, and every
Yet slower yet; 0, faintly, gentle springs ! second breath a sigh. Yet he walked
List to the heavy part the music bears, firm and erect, as if resolved to vindicate Woe weeps out her division when she sings. the strength of his own manhood.
Droop herbs and flowers,
Fall grief in showers, “I must be content,
Our beauties are not ours; Howe'er I set a face on't to the world."
0, I could still, Thus quoting, he turned down a narrow
Like melting snow upon some craggy hill, lane running between lofty warehouses
Drop, drop, dror, drop,
Since Nature's pride is now a wither'd daffodil." stored with merchandise of priceless value. On he wandered ; darker grew There was one point of view that did the way, and darker his meditations. At not fail to impress itself on George's