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in which he was placed, that the good Calverts were quite astonished, and began to suspect that after all there was not half the feel. ing in him they had been led to believe. Roger was appealed to, but professed to have no ability in discovering springs of action. The truth was, that he felt disinclined for conversation. The de parture of his friend had put a seal upon his tongue.
Within a few days it was remarked by the family that Jenny seemed astonishingly recovered from her melancholy, and hope be. gan to be entertained that in a short time she would recover her painful disappointment, and become again that pleasant creature she was before her eyes met those of Mr. Clink. However, at the very time when everybody expected that this desirable consummation would be effected, then it was discovered to everybody's amazement that she was missing ; Roger, too, had disappeared ; nor was Miss Jenny Calvert ever found again. A guess at the real truth flashed across the minds of every one, and all agreed that, instead of ever seeing Miss Jenny again, they should be somehow or other introduced to Mrs. Colin Clink.
Mr. Calvert at first took the thing in dudgeon, and ordered his horses to pursue the flying trio, but, by the time saddle and harness were ready, it chanced to be discovered that nobody knew whether to prefer the east, west, north, or south quarters in the proposed search. Probabilities, however, being in favour of Kiddal Hall
, Mr. Calvert and his son set out on an expedition to that residence, in hopes of arriving there in time to prevent that marriage which Mr. Calvert determined never to sanction.
In the mean time our hero and his friends were making forced marches, until our little party had the pleasure of beholding the walls within which they were to be made secure of future happiness. Thus felt our hero and his pretty companion, while Roger regarded the house with interest, since it also contained her who was every. thing to him.
Mr. Woodruff's residence was situated in one of the pleasantest portions of Leicestershire. It was one of those old, large and substantial brick buildings, characteristic of a particular period of our domestic architecture. Its gardens were full of stately trees, which seemed to speak their own dignity, and declare to the passer-by that beneath their branches had flourished some generations.
To this place they were welcomed by Mr. Woodruff and his daughter ; and though, at the first introduction to Miss Jenny as the intended bride of Colin, poor Fanny in vain endeavoured to hide the feelings of the moment, yet a short time brought her back to a sense of the situations of both, while the presence of her own accepted lover, in the person of Roger Calvert, not only sustained her spirits, but took off much of the keenness of those reflections.
It was also on this occasion Colin learned from Fanny that her father and herself, on paying their first visit to their newly-recovered property, found it occupied by the family of that identical Miss Wintlebury whom he and she had so strangely met in London. At the mention of that name Colin blushed so deeply that Miss Jenny felt misgivings as to his perfect fidelity, and in a manner half in joke half in earnest, charged him with deception, to which her lover could not so well reply as by giving that short story respecting Miss Wintlebury, with which the reader is acquainted.
Miss Wintlebury herself had improved materially in health, since not only the country, but likewise the altered circumstances in which her father had placed her, assisted to throw in her way every advantage that one in her situation could require. She still remembered Colin's conduct with the most grateful feelings, and testified them by entertaining his friends. Besides which, on Mr. Wintlebury being informed of the particulars of their story, of which already he had heard much from common fame, he volunteered at once to quit the premises, and gave Mr. Woodruff possession of his own.
It was a proud morning for our hero when, with Jenny on his arm, he hastened to the little church hard by Mr. Woodruff's residence, there to pronounce the sacred promise to love and cherish till death the pretty creature beside him. Fanny and Harriet Wintlebury officiated as bridemaids. The priest had just uttered the solemn injunction—Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder,' when a stir was heard at the church door, and Mr. Calvert and his son, in a state of excitement, hurried in. The former rushed towards the altar, and seizing Jenny, exclaimed: • I forbid the marriage !—but the priest waved his hand, and pronounced that Colin and Jenny were man and wife together, concluding with that blessing which so beautifully finishes the church ceremony on these occasions,
As the party retired, Mr. Calvert approached, and taking the Dewly-made wife's hand, Jenny !' said he, I never expected this. However, I will not reproach you. The thing is done, and cannot be undone. It is not for me to put asunder whom God hath joined together ; I must make the best of it, and therefore, seeing there is no remedy, let me join in the blessing pronounced, and ask that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting.'
Poor Jenny burst into tears, and clung round her father's neck ; while Colin stood by, deeply affected, and Roger complimented his father and brother upon their being, as he expressed it, an inch behind the tail.'
On the return of the party, Jenny's father informed them how he had in the first instance directed his steps to Kiddal Hall, and found his old friend, Mrs. Lupton, in a state that promised a speedy dissolution. Under those circumstances he had felt anxious to defer, if he could not prevent, the ceremony which had taken place. These intentions, however, being frustrated, nothing remained but to reconcile matters with all parties, and to effect this, Mr. Calvert deemed it needful that the newly married pair should return with him to Kiddal ; because, in case of the unfortunate lady of that house desiring to see them before her death, their presence would prevent her dying wishes being disappointed. Accordingly, at an early pe. riod they set out ; and, on their arrival were welcomed by the squire with a degree of satisfaction scarcely to be expressed, and a degree of unmixed happiness would have reigned, but for the situation of Mrs. Lupton, who now rapidly sunk.
· So you are married, Jenny ?' said she, as she took the young wife by the hand, and kissed her.
• I hope we shall be happy,' replied she. 'So hoped once,' returned the lady ; ' and see what has come of it! Yet I loved him, as you may now. And as for you, sir,said she, addressing Colin ; look that you never despise what you
once loved ; that you do not take up as a jewel what you afterwards cast away as a stone. I tell you it will break her heart. Walter ! she continued— Walter, I want to see my husband.' Mr. Lupton entered the chamber. • Walter !' said she faintly, 'I am goingbut I wish to tell you I die in peace-in love with you, even now. Very soon, and I shall trouble you no more. I have loved and watched over you here—I will do so hereafter.—God bless you ! And as she uttered those words her hand became convulsive. She sank back dying— dead !
The night for the interment came, and the lady of Kiddal was laid beside many a fanciful beauty and stalwart man, who had laid down their beauty and their strength before her.
It became known all over the country-side some time afterwards that Mr. Lupton had become remarkably serious after his wife's death ; all the theories that had been set afloat touching his second marriage, for everybody believed he would be married again, were found, day after day, never to be carried out on his part by any corresponding action, so at length the neighbourhood were fain to give him credit for being a good widower, who could not find in his heart to marry again.
After the event described, our hero's father would no longer think of permitting him to take up his residence elsewhere. Mr. Lupton now declared it to be his intention to instal the young couple at once in that family residence which he had already made provision for eventually bequeathing to them, and of having them considered as constituting, along with himself, the family of the place. At the same time he expressed his desire that Colin should take the management of his estates into his own hands : observing, that he now felt but little interest in those matters which formerly had oc. cupied all his attention, and that for the future he wished to devote his time to pursuits more congenial with his feelings, as well as better adapted to fit him for that change he must undergo.
This arrangement being acted upon, Colin came to be looked upon as the greatest man in that parish where once we found him a miserable child, turned rudely out of his cradle at night, by a hard. hearted steward, to starve with his mother beneath the naked sky.
As to that same steward, the notorious Mr. Longstaff, he had now grown old, but still occupied the same situation. Prophecies sometimes come true. When Mr. Longstaff turned Mrs. Clink out of her house, it will not have been forgotten that she pointed towards the little bed in which our then little hero lay, and addressing the steward exclaimed, “There's a sting in that cradle for you yet! Mr. Longstaff himself remembered these words, and trembled when he found to what station the Squire had exalted his son. And though, I verily believe, notwithstanding his deserts, that Colin Clink would never have molested him, vet, as though retributive justice was not to be turned aside, it oddly enough was discovered, on examining his accounts, that defalcations of long standing existed. On this discovery the steward was discharged, and threatened with a prosecution : but as he made himself quite as humble as he had before been proud, and said a great many pitiful things about his family, the Squire consented, under his son's persuasion, to suffer the grievance to be hushed up.
Could the reader, who has travelled with me so far, have been present at Kiddal Hall some six years later, he would have seen a joyous sight. Once more did the old house look gay. A grand en. tertainment was being given. Gay devices adorned the walls; temporary bowers were erected in the gardens; a flag waved from the building; tables were spread over the green space, in the middle of the village ; labour was laid aside; and every soul seemed to rejoice.
By a special act on the part of Mr. Lupton, it had been settled that Colin should take the family name. This had been done ; and therefore I may now declare, that on the happy day here spoken of was celebrated the birth of the first son of Colin and Jenny Lupton. Already had they been blessed with two girls, that now had become the prettiest ornaments of the house. Proudly did these two young people walk amongst the tenantry, rejoicing in the good wishes which were heard on every side.
To add to the general joy, Mr. Roger Calvert and Fanny Wood. ruff, after a courtship of unaccountable duration, had selected that day also as their wedding.day; and now, along with the father of the latter, and the whole family of the former, joined in each other's pleasure, and that of the inhabitants of Kiddal.
About dusk, Colin walked forth for the purpose of enjoying the enjoyment of others; and, amongst other signs that all were happy, observed a knot of bumpkins gathered round something that appeared to afford them amusement, by the peals of laughter which broke from the crowd. No sooner did the latter observe who
approached than they respectfully fell back. Colin perceived a man past the middle age, apparently worn down by trouble and poverty, with a pack on his back, like a travelling pedlar, a stick in his hand, and a small, shaggy, wire-haired terrier at his heels.
The first sight of this odd figure was sufficient to assure our hero that he beheld Peter Veriquear. Colin, to the amazement of all, seized him by the hand, with the exclamation, • Mr. Veriquear? Or is it possible I can be mistaken ??
Whether you are mistaken or not,' replied the individual, is your business, and not mine ; just as it is my business to say I am glad to see my old assistant, Mr. Colin Clink.
“But under what strange circumstances have you come here ?'
• That,' replied Peter, “is my concern, and not yours; though, perhaps I ought to make it my business to tell you.'
Certainly, responded Colin; 'for I can assure you that I feel it to be my business to know. But come,' he continued, let me conduct you to better quarters, where we can talk over those things which I feel anxious to hear.'
Mr. Peter Veriquear and his dog accompanied our hero to Kiddal Hall, where he soon found himself seated at a plentiful table. When Peter had sufficiently satisfied himself,
Ah, sir!' said he, ‘you will feel as much astonished to find that I have sunk so low, as I am to see how high you have risen.'
· Why, what can have happened?'
'Sad things ! replied Peter. 'In the first place, I have lost all my family. Mrs. Veriquear,—the little Veriquears, that you used to take such pleasure in drawing about in the coach,--all have been taken from me. One of those horrible fevers laid them down all to. gether on beds of sickness. The doctor made it his affair to physic
them so much, that the stock of bottles in my warehouse was materially increased. At the same time the bone-trade became bare, and the rag-trade was torn to rags by competition. One after another the family dropped off, until I could not help thinking the undertaker did nothing else but make it his business to go backwards and forwards from his house to mine. The consequence was that everything I had saved to keep my family alive was spent in putting them into the ground. My house seemed a desert to me. Everywhere it appeared that I ought to meet one or other of them, and yet I was always disappointed, -always alone. Used to having those little people for ever about my feet,—to feed them at my table,—to talk about them to my wife,-to think how I should dispose of them as they grew up, and speculate on their luck in after life,-and thus suddenly to be deprived of them all,--not one left, -not a solitary one; to be myself the only one where there had been many !' - Peter's feelings had made him eloquent, and tears scrambled odd. ly down his cheeks. Colin could not but feel Veriquear's words. He requested him to conclude his narrative.
* At last,' added Peter, “I made it my business to dispose of my business, and sell off all I had; and, though it was a good deal to look at, it produced me little money. However, as I could no longer endure the place, I made the best of the case I could, and resolved to travel to where I originally came from, one of the Orkney Islands, and am now going back on foot, as you see.'
Mr. Colin Lupton felt more than he expressed in words; but by his actions the effect may be judged, as he insisted on poor Peter being well lodged for the night, and before his departure made him such a present as would entitle him to be considered a man of substance in the little Orkney island, towards which he finally steered his course.
Having now brought the fortunes of the characters who have figured in these pages to a close, it only remains to relate some few stray scraps of information, and to conclude the story.
It will be remembered that the last time we parted with Doctor Rowel, we left him in a state of high mental excitement, and con. veyed by his friends to his brother, on the borders of Sherwood Forest. To reduce that excitement, or even to prevent its increasing to a state of confirmed madness, all care was found unavailable. Eventually, he was confined for life in a public institution. There he raved continually about an imaginary skeleton in an imaginary box, and gave utterance to unintelligible jargon, wherein the names of Woodruff
, of his sister Frances, and of his niece, were mingled. He continued to exhibit to the very last a picture of misery and horror.
Mr. Woodruff was a frequent visiter at the hall, especially after the marriage of his daughter. Under these circumstances, a degree of interest was observed to grow up between him and Miss Shirley, and suspicions began to be entertained that a match might be eventually made between them. Whether any reliance could be placed upon them I cannot determine, any more than upon a similar report respecting Sylvester and Miss Wintlebury, -since people frequently conclude matches by report which never go off in reality ; though equally true it is that many are made, of which gossips are never afforded an opportunity of reporting upon at all.