claimant that might be found in Vir- pointed, prolonged his walk into the ginia. In truth, Mr Peabody was an Park, meditating on his situation, excellent relation; he saw that his and resolving to seek Mr Threeper cousin had come to London on a there in the course of a short time. profitless errand, and thought that But when he was returning from the she might not be so inaccessible to door, he met Pompey, the black serthe addresses of Mr Shortridge as if vant, at the inn, enquiring, with a she had been the real heiress, and forensic wig-box in his arm, for Mrs he concluded that the case of Short Clatterpenny. ridge was not greatly different. The Tompkins, with Virginian brevity disparity of years never once occur- towards negroes, told Pompey to red to him; indeed, why should it? enquire for her at that house, alfor there is no greater harm in a though he saw by the direction on young lady marrying an old man the box that it was for Alexander than there is in a young man marry- Threeper, Esq. advocate, Pitt Street, ing an old woman. Mr Shortridge Edinburgh. He might have told in time thought so too; and saw, Pompey to carry it to the hotel; but since the proposition was made, · it was not consistent, as he conmany amiable qualities in Mrs Clat ceived, with the relative position of terpenny which he had not before himself and the negro. Thus it hapdiscovered. Thus, it came to pass pened, that when Mrs Clatterpenny that before he returned along the and Mr Shortridge had returned walk with the Vermont farmer, he from their encounter in the Park, the thought that he might make many black servant, with Mr Threeper's more wrongheaded journeys to Lon- wig-box, was in the house waiting don than if he took Mr Peabody'ssug- for her return. He did not, howgestion into consideration.

ever, intrude upon her attention In the mean time, Mr Tompkins, while Mr Shortridge was with her; whom we have too long neglected, but when that young gentleman went was not quite at his ease. He had away, he made himself known, and heard of the death of Hector Dhu, in his errand. which he felt so much interest, and Mrs Clatterpenny, at all times dehe thought that it was very oppor- lighted with a little gossip, especially tunely that it should have so hap- with servants, could not resist the pened at the time it did, and Octa- temptation which was afforded to via in London.

her by the appearance of Pompey. Just at that moment he recol. She never recollected that he spoke lected he had heard from an ac- such unintelligible English ; and dequaintance that Mr Threeper the sired the maid to shew him up. Inadvocate from Edinburgh was in deed, his call was most propitious; town. All night he had spent as for the intelligence which she had comfortlessly as the old lady; and received of the aunt in Virginia he rose betimes, determined to take had greatly discomposed her ;-her the advice of Mr Threeper.

thoughts were floating wild like the Accordingly, as soon as he had carry and the clouds of a stormy finished breakfast, he went to the day. More than an hour would hotel in Parliament Street, where he elapse before Dr Johnny would be understood the gentleman was stay relieved from the lecture, which he ing. The waiter, however, told him had gone to hear; and Mr Threeper that he was gone out to breakfast, eschewed her, as she thought, enwhen he called; but the porter re- tirely. All her projects were castles collected that he had only gone in the air; every one had vanished; to Mrs Clatterpenny's in Fluyder and she was most forlorn; so that Street; whereupon, with Yankee nothing could happen more opporbreeding, he resolved to follow him tunely than the news of Pompey to that domicile. But, when he ar- being in the house, and bringing rived there, the bird was flown. with him the box containing the Mr Threeper and the old lady had professional wig and gown of Mr gone to pay the visit which we have Threeper. described.

She desired him to be shewn up; Mr Tompkins, somewhat disap- and while she thus aloud lamented the calamities that had overtaken to be fluog over the ramparts of the her, the negro was ascending the brig by that Yankee Doodle dam. stairs.

sel, his own cousin! It's, however, “ Woe's me!" said she,“ misfor- some comfort, that I have a comtune, like old maids, never pays a panion in affliction ;-poor, waff Mr > visit without a tribe of others gal. Threeper, what will become of him?

lanting along with her; what am I what will he do with his wig and to do, beguiled of my birthright by gown now ?" an auntie in Virgeny and two sons ? But at that moment Pompey enIt's a resurrection a dream

tered with the box for Mr Threeper, vision-and a mystery in the watch- and what ensued we shall presently es of the night. Then our Johnny relate.


Chapter VIII.

POMPEY set down the box on the “ Oh, Missy, me dat already.” floor, and with a droll sidelong look “ Aye, aye, where do ye come at Mrs Clatterpenny, raised himself frae ? into an erect posture behind it. “ Me come from what you call

“ Come away, black lad; what's Charles Town." your errand I"

“ Poor lad, that's in the wilds of Pompey did not immediately reply America ; it's but a black Christianto her; but slyly said aside, in an ity ye would learn there." under voice—“Ah! the old lady has While our heroine was in the got a drop in eye. Missy, missy, me midst of this discourse with Pombeg missy, dis box is for the gen- pey, the servant girl of the house tleman; and was no recollect at our came in with a note, and delivered hos."

it without speaking to Mrs Clatter“ Oh aye, so it is,” replied Mrs penny, who looked at the superClatterpenny; "it contains the or- scription with some surprise; and, naments of his profession, -his wig as the maid went away without and gown. Well, you may leave it speaking, she requested Pompey and go down stairs; and I'll hear also to retire to the stair-head till what he directs about it in a short she would see what the letter was time; for it's no consistent with the about. course of nature that he should not Pompey, who was impressed with be soon here."

an idea that she had taken a little too Pompey turned to go down stairs much, did however as she requested; at this, but she continued

but there was a kind of laughing “Black lad, I trow that ye have curiosity in his visage, as he quitted na been lang from the niggers. l'll the room, which shewed that he was no say that ye're one yourself; for not done with the discourse she had there's a great difference between opened; but he disappeared ; and a crow and a blackbird. Like's an she walked towards the window, ill mark. And, although it maun be holding the letter. allowed that ye're a little high in the “ Please peace and the king,” said colour, I would not just take it on she, “what can this be about? It's me to say that ye're a nigger." for Mr Threeper. Odd, I'll open't."

Pompey did not very clearly un- Accordingly, she undid the seal, and derstand this ; indeed' he thought read aloud, but not continuously, as the meaning very different; and, follows: looking a little queer at her, said- “ Eminent advocate from Edin

“ Vhat you think, Missy? You burgh-acquainted with the feudal go to bed ? Ah! missy, de strong law. My relationship to Hector waters dam strong."

Dhu of Ardenlochie-would ask “ What's that ye're saying ?” said your professional advice.”

canna ye no learn to speak At this the old lady gave a vehethe English language, and make a ment interjection. "Advice!" said Christian of yourself"

she, walking about agitated. Pom


pey, mimicking her agitation, looked and looking aside from Mr Tompin at the door for an instant, and kins, trembled from head to foot, drew out his head again.

yet at the same time affecting the ut“ I declare," said she, “ this is a most indifference, said, “Is the protreasonable correspondence ;” and, perty considerable ?" looking at the box, she added_“ Í

“I have always understood so," ought not to stand upon trifles now. replied the young Virginian. If I were to see Mr Tompkins, and “ That will increase the difficulpass myself off in the wig and gown ties of the case," said she ;“however, for Mr Threeper, I might get at the leave the papers with me, and I will bottom of this gunpowder plot."- 'vestigate them; but I have doubts," And, going towards the door, she and she shook her head and the wig said

in a most professional manner. “ Black lad, do you know if the “ Then,” said Tompkins, “then gentleman that the letter came from you have heard, possibly, that Mr is in the house ?"

Peabody from Vermont, and Mrs “ Es, missy; he wait,” said Pom- Clatterpenny of Edinburgh, are also pey.

claimants ?" "Very well,” replied Mrs Clatter- “ Oh, is it the Ardenlochie estate ? penny, "just step and say to him I have heard something of that profrom me, that Mr Threeper will see perty; but Peabody has not a leg to him."

stand on; as for Mrs Clatterpenny, Pompey again withdrew, and Mrs she's under a respondenti, and has a Clatterpenny in a flurry drew out the revisidendo." wig and gown from the box, and had "You surprise me," said Tomparrayed herself in them, when Pom- kins; “is that possible ?" pey shewed in Mr Tompkins to her “Every thing, sir, is possible," said and retired.

Mrs Clatterpenny; "that's a maxim “ Your name is Tompkins ?” of law;" and softening her voice, she “It is, sir," replied the gentleman, added, to herself, but loud enough with a look of surprise.

to be heard, “ He has not given me a “I am not to be seen," said she, fee, an this is the first consultation “commonly at this time of the day, I observe, sir,” added she louder, for I divide the hours, and this is “that you have neglected to indorse commonly set apart for my philoso- the fee." phical studies. Do you know, sir, Tompkins, greatly astonished, exthat I have made a considerable dis- claimed," strange eccentricity!" and covery this morning ? Seeing that he added aloud to her, “ As it is less black man, I had a notion with other an opinion than an examination, I folks that he was come of the seed deferred.” of Cain; but when I thought, sir, * “ Very likely,” said she; “but we how all the old world was drowned of the Scotch bar never demur till but those that were with Noah, I we are fee'd, the same being accordcould not divine how the nigger kind ing to the books of sederunt and sescame to be saved; but the discovery sion, founded on the statute of limitI have made anent them is most plea- ations.” sant. Sir, do you know that I could I beg ten thousand pardons,” wager a plack to a bawbee that some said Mr Tompkins, “ I came unpreof the seed of Cain creepit into the pared.”. Ark with the unclean beasts?"

At this moment she was observed The physiognomy of Tompkins was to listen, and then she cried,-“ Eh, rather excited than softened by this gude be wi' me! there's his own speech, and he said to himself, foot on the stair;" but her expe"Strange-looking fish this ! But the dients were not exhausted, and she law has its curiosities as well as the exclaimed aloud, which he thought other learned professions.” He then in character, “ But, sir, call again, said aloud,“ Hearing, sir, of your ar- sir, for I've a case in point.”. rival in London, I have presumed to Mr Tompkins, scarcely able to precall on you with these papers; they serve his gravity, went away, exrelate to family concerns of some claiming to himself, “ a delicate hint importance-a property in Scotland.” to come better prepared.”

Mrs Clatterpenny took the papers, As soon as the door was shut, Mrs VOL. XXXIII. NO, CCIV.


Clatterpenny restored the wig and gown there, and passed myself to
gown hastily into the box, and placed the lad frae Virginy, who gave me
herself, with the papers in her hand, these papers, thinking I was you.”
in a meditative posture, in an elbow- Mr Threeper, in the utmost con-
chair at the upper end of the room. sternation, cried, “ Did he take you
Her fears were quite right; the foot- for me?"
step she had heard on the stair wasBut she parried this question by
that of the advocate ; she had pre- saying, "Had be known you as
pared herself to receive him, and he well as I do, he would ne'er have
presently entered the room. done any such thing; but he was

“ Oh, Mr Threeper,” cried she, surprised at the jurisdiction I main-
“ but ye're come in the nick of time! tained, for I quoted to him maxims
Who do ye think has been here ; and of law, and gave him an opinion of
what have I no done? These are all counsel in the most judicious man-
the lad Tompkins's papers and pedi- ner.”
grees. What do ye advise me about Mr Threeper smote his forehead,
slipping them into the fire ?” and exclaimed with indescribable

Explain yourself,” said Mr vexation—" He will speak of it, Threeper, astonished at what she thinking his consultation was with could mean.

me! My professional character is The answer was No woman blasted for ever !” but myself could have won such a “I assure you,” said Mrs Clattervictory. Ye see, here was I, groan- penny," it was impossible for youring in the affliction of an aunty in self to have done better. I sustainVirginy, with two children, that ye ed your part with great ability. No have brought on me, when our ser. I cannot think how I managed as vant lass delivered two lines from I did; I was just confounded at my Mr Tompkins, wanting your advice, own learning and judgment. But you know. Being in the way, and we come, look at the papers, for he'll be being in partnership, to save the back soon wi' money in hand for a money, I just put on your wig and fee-think of that, Mr Threeper."

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

We are in a moralizing vein, and agreed that they were worthy of it is but right that we should allow perusal; and for that purpose he the courteous reader to partake of retired with the old lady to her bedour solemn wisdom. The case of room, where for some time he earMrs Clatterpenny was now ticklish. nestly employed himself in searchIt seemed doubtful if in any way she ing their meaning, could realize the inducement which When a considerable time had she held out to Mr Threeper to take elapsed, and Mrs Clatterpenny saw her case in hand, conscious of no that he had nearly read the papers, longer being able to make herself she enquired dolorously what he heir, and told in plain terms that thought of Mr Tompkins's right. Miss Peabody would not have Dr “Oh,” said Mr Threeper, “ it is Johnny. The aspects of her fortune clear,-it admits not of a doubt.” at this juncture were truly dismal, “Dear me,” replied the old lady, nor were the prospects of Mr Three- “ how could you ever pass yourself per more brilliant; he found that the off to me as a man of law and learnbargain he had made with the olding, and no to be able to make a lady was of no avail--the chance of doubt?” heirship had vanished, and with it Come, come, Mrs Clatterpenny," half the bargain, and the other moiety said the molested advocate, "a truce had been scared away by the rejec- with idle talk-this is nó trifle to tion of poor Johnny.

you, and I assure you it is not to me However, as Mrs Clatterpenny bad we have incurred prodigious exby a most strange yet characteristic pense; I have lost my time.” manæuvre acquired possession of “ And whose fault was that ?" Mr Tompkins's papers, Mr Threeper cried the lady. “ I'm sure, had ye

no been in a needful condition, puir think, Mr Threeper, it's a head-shabody, ye ne'er would hae come sae king accidence at all; and surely you far afield with me.”

must allow it would be a most hard “I tell you, madam," exclaimed case were you and me, after perilling Threeper, angrily, our situation life in coming to London town, to cannot be worse !”

return home, you with your finger in “I'm blithe to hear you say so," your mouth, and I no better ?” was her answer ; « for the next “Our voyage,"cried Mr Threeper, change will mend it.”

ardently," was rational, compared * Yes," said Mr Threeper, pathetic to this. 'How could such an imagically, “if we survive existing cir- nation enter your head ?" cumstances.”

“ Just by the course of nature,“Survive !" exclaimed Mrs Clat- said Mrs Clatterpenny: “ But, in terpenny. Oh, but ye have a faint sobriety, don't you think I might do heart; oh, but ye're of little faith, worse than accept the hand and afand void of understanding. For my fections of Mr Peabody?” part, while there is life there is hope; At this question Mr Threeper and I have had a thought in my head looked very grave, and said, " has he for some time, ever since I mis- indeed made you such an offer ?” doubted the inheritance, and espe- “ There's time enough for a pointcially since our Johnny got his ditty blank,” said she. from Miss"

“ True—but has he shewn you " What do you mean ?” cried Mr any signs ?” said the astonished lawThreeper, awakening from his asto- yer. nishment; upon which the old lady, “ Goodness me! Mr Threeper," looking very knowing, went up to was the reply, “ would you expect him, and, with an emphatic whisper, him to fall on his bended knees, and said—“Will you give me an opinion make a declaration of flames and of counsel free gratis, and I'll tell you darts ? My expectations are more a secret ?" and she drew her lips to moderate.” gether, and appeared very brimful. “ If what you tell me be true,"re

“ Madam," said the lawyer indig, plied he, “ I think you ought to acnantly, "I wish to hear no more of count yourself in your jeopardy the your secrets."

most fortunate of womankind.” “I don't doubt it," said she," but “ In a sense, no doubt,” said she; this ye will allow is something solid.” “ but ye know, Mr Threeper, that at

“ Indeed !" replied Mr Threeper. his time of life, and the years of dis“ Well, what is it?"

cretion that I have reached, changes “ You confess," replied Mrs Clat- must be wrought by prudent handterpenny, " we're both at the bottom ling. Old folk in this world, as the of despair ?”

lawyers well know, woo by pac“ I do-I can see no hope.” tions." “ But promise to advise me.” “Do you expect me," said he, "to “ My advice is worth nothing." be your negotiator ? No, madam, I

“ Ye never said a truer word,” have been guilty of absurdities said Mrs Clatterpenny; “ but in my enough with you already." happier days it was valued at twa “ With me, Mr Threeper 1-ye red guineas every time we had a never was guilty of an absurdity confabulation in your library." with me!”

Mr Threeper, without affecting to “Pshaw!" cried Mr Threeper, and have heard her, enquired what she flounced away, just at the moment would be at.

that Peabody was standing on the " What would you think," said landing-place of her parlour to speak she,“ of counselling me in this sore to her for Squire Shortridge. He distress and straitened circumstan- looked at Threeper as he passed ces".

down, but said nothing ; only he reTo do what?" said the lawyer, marked to himself, as he saw him half seriously and half vexedly, tó bouncing down stairs,-“ Well, he which Mrs Clatterpenny said, look- is as nimble as a pea fried without ing aside from him

butter;" and in the course of a “ To make myself winsome in the minute, Mrs Clatterpenny, in a sight of old cousin Peabody? I don't great flustration, joined him, crying,

« 前へ次へ »