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Musing thus, Captain Creighton entered the banking-house to cash his check. What was his surprise at receiving in answer, from the proper officer, that not a cent could be paid on it. Colonel Morton had no funds in deposit.' • Colonel Morton no funds here !'
Not a cent,' said the cashier : 'he has already over-drawn some thousands; and we have learned this week that he is utterly bankrupt.
"A bankrupt!' exclaimed the captain, in unfeigned astonishment and horror.
'I hope he does not owe you, Sir ?'
‘A mere trifle, Sir,' returned Creighton, composing himself, he knew not exactly how: 'I thought he was estimated wealthy.'
"So he was, Sir; and until this week, his name was good for thousands. He has been engaged in some heavy speculations, which have proved unsuccessful, and which will draw all he is worth, if not much more.'
Strong was the contrast in Creighton's feelings as he entered and as he left the banking-house. The bubble was burst, and all his hopes blasted.
* Strange beyond measure! The fates seem combined against me. I must off to-night to town, and see Buckley — and upon the whole, I believe it would not be right to cut him so suddenly. The speculation was of his own planning, though, thank heaven! and he must bear the loss. Strange that Colonel Morton should fail! I understand now why he would urge a speedy marriage. The old fellow thought I had a fortune, and so planned to palm her off before I should learn that they were pennyless. That would have been biter bit,' by my soul !'
Mr. Wilmot still remained at Colonel Morton's, an honored guest. Only a few days after the abrupt departure of Creighton, he sought an interview with the old soldier, and in modest terms requested the hand of his daughter. Alice, he said, had smiled upon his suit, and but awaited the consent of her father to unite her fate with his.
•My consent,' said the colonel, cannot be refused, when Alice fixes her affections upon one so worthy as Mr. Wilmot. But, Sir, a soldier's character should be marked by frankness. I deem it my duty to say, that if with Miss Morton you expect to marry an heiress, you will be very much mistaken.'
Colonel Morton,' replied the other, has very much misunderstood my character, if he imagines I sought ihe hand of an heiress and not that of Miss Morton.'
• I beg of you to comprehend me. It is quite poetical and romantic, I know, to disclaim all thoughts of fortune in love affairs. But I must say, I do not deem them unworthy of consideration. He who proposes marriage to a la:ly with a fortune, is entitled to a release if she loses it.'
• Allow me, colonel, to differ from you. It is no romance, or poetry alone that forbids the making of marriage a matter of bargain — of profit and loss
* I will not reason the point with you,' rejoined the colonel ; ' but I deem it my duty to inform you of the true state of my affairs. You are aware that I have ventured deep in speculation ; and I have this week learned that it has been not only unsuccessful, but has involved me deeply beside. A draft for three thousand dollars has this moment been returned from the bank protested, and for want of that sum, I fear I must go to jail, as the creditor is inexorable.'
• To jail !' exclaimed Wilmot. • Colonel Morton a bankrupt! Is it possible you speak the truth ?
* Too true, I assure you, Sir. My house and establishment are all under attachment for a large sum.'
Wilmot walked away, while the colonel watched narrowly the effect of this announcement. Screened within a recess by a curtain, the former found a pen and ink, and taking a blank from his pocket, he drew upon his banker for the sum of three thousand dollars, to the order of Colonel Morton. Advancing, he laid the paper before the latter.
* Mr. Wilmot,' said the soldier, evidently surprised, do you know what you do? I am already involved beyond iny means, and can never return a dollar of it. I really, Sir, cannot be so bad as to accept it.'
*Stay, Colonel Morton,' said Wilmot; I will take no refusal. With your own and Alice's consent, already gained, I intend yet to become your son-in-law. Think you I could, think you Alice could, rejoice at a wedding, while you were in jail ?'
The veteran started to his feet, and rang the bell for his daughter. He paced the room in silence until she entered. Pausing, he placed her hand in that of Wilmot, while his manly countenance gleamed with an expression of heart-felt joy.
•Children, you have my blessing. He is worthy of you, Alice ; I have tried him. Strive but to be as worthy of him. You, Sir, will pardon the jealous care of a father over his child. I have played upon you this trick, that your worth might be tested; and thank God! I have found a son-in-law who is not wanting in weight. My fortune is yet whole, and shall never be ventured in rash speculation. That gallant rascal Creighton sued for your hand, Alice, and I tried him in the same scale. He kicked the beam, and went off with a flea in his ear. I had no doubt of you, Wilmot; but you are generous enough to forgive an old soldier's stratagem.'
The same day, Colonel Morton laughed heartily over the following paragraph, in an evening paper:
An Englishman, calling himself Captain Creighton, who has spent some time in great style in this city, was yesterday arrested at his hotel, on the suit of a London house. His real name is BENTLEY. Managing some business for the house just mentioned, he became a defaulter and forger to a large amount, and fled to this country. The money has been spent in display, under his military title.' W. A. B.
How like is this picture! - you 'd think that it breathes :
What life! what expression ! what spirit !
"That want is iis principal merit!'
Perk 'round and see, and tell it home,
Where the wee bairns would leer;
My checks burnt red to hear.
That was a time!- then youth was green,
And life a merry-make;
I've made your heart sore ache.
But lassie aye will have her way,
And play her gleeful part,
And fond him with her heart.
I doubt not, Walter, but ye mind
The spree on Cuthbert-Green,
Full hour I danced, I ween.
And ye turned on your heel, 'If I
The laird liked best,' ye said,
A round with ye to tread.'
And so, so gay ye trod that round,
And looked in soul so light,
Ye were not one to slight;
That soon, fool thing, my heart misgave,
I said, your mind to prove,
As some that I wot of.'
Since then, for many a summer's sun,
Have we in troth-plight been,
(For best no doubt,) we've seen.
But Walter, dear, ye've been to me
So faithful and so true,
Could smile through all for you.
When black-eyed John, your likeness, drooped,
And was to God up-took,
And now we're ganging to the grave,
The fearful, darksome land;
Hand locked full fast in hand.
Ay, Walter Lee, we're old, we're old!
Our hair is silver gray;
As in our love's first day.
H. L. B. INTERCEPTED LETTERS FROM A SENSITIVE BRITON.
My Dear RunnYMEDE:
New-York, ......., 1837. Sıx long months have elapsed, to this hour, since, as I stood stretching my organs of vision from the front windows of Meurice's Hotel, Paris, I caught the last glimpse of a travelling equipage, which was conveying no less a distinguished personage than yourself to the shores of that privileged country, where, clad in the panoply of the most dazzling abilities, and rich in the recollections of the heroic past, you have since acquired a name, that shall live as long as the emblazoned memory of your stupendous literary exploits.
Alas! what a totally different course did the everlasting chain of fate compel me to pursue ! Had an angel descended from the loftiest heaven, and told me then, that the brief space of six revolving moons would have caused such an astounding change, both as regards our respective latitudes, and our social position, I should have deemed him the veriest dunce that ever attempted to startle our weaker senses with prophetic dreams. This you will of course attribute to that want of ambitious energy, and due appreciation of literary distinction, with which you were wout to taunt me, in happy days of yore. Alas! say rather, that my mind, like that of poor Collins, (forgive the presumptuous comparison !) being cast in too common a mould to admit of my concentrating my faculties upon any fixed object, I possess, therefore, little or no capacity for the prosecution of those splendid schemes, which have at once illumined your
hermitage in solitude, and flattered your pride in the season of success.
* We had opened, late one evening, our port-folio, for copy,' at the instance of an ambassadorimp from that · hazy cave of Tropbonius,' the printing-oflice, and were revolving over in our mind which of two clever articles to choose, when in walked, without knocking, our old friend AsmoDeus, bearing in bis hand an opened letter. With 'ful gret solempuite,' he advanced, and laying it before us, said: 'I was amidst the passengers of the late outward-bound packet, when they gathered around the contents of the letter-bag, while the captaiu assorted them. I selected, and have brought you, this epistle. I know what it contains. Print it; for it will effect a work of good. I shall come again.' Aod so saying, the sententious, business-like Shade vanished from the apartment We obey the voice which sounded soft and low in our ears on that memorable night.
The deportment of many of our country men while abrond, glanced at in the present letter, is not a new topic. We have heard several native travellers, on their return from Europe, animadvert upon it; and an observant American tourist, with whom our readers are already favorably acquainted, bestows, in a work now passing through the press, the following judicious advice, suggested by the same contemptible propepsity in question:
• Without presuming to give a homily on manners, I may be perdoned, perhaps, for one or two hints to my young countrymeu, touching their general deportuient abroad – viz: If you would win respect and confidence in good society, especialiy in England, preserve your republican simplicity of character. Be straight-forward and unassuining in your manner, and honest, free, and at the same time unobtrusive, in the expression of your opinions. If you wish to make yourself ridiculous, the best course is, to criuge to rank and wealth ; affect mysterious importance and reserve; and slander, either in words or practice, your own country and ber institutions. Do not deem these hints intrusive: they are certainly well meant. I have seen many instances, and heard of more, in which prejudice and disgust have been excited against the whole American people, by this sort of conduct on the part of their representatives. Such consequential airs, if they ever do introduce you to high life, will only sooner or later bring you into contempt. An American who conducts himself as a patriotic and gentlemanly American should do, has no reason to be ashamed of his name or nation. He belongs to Nature's nobility; and to a coantry unequalled in extent, beauty, and natural advantages, by any on earth. On the other band, avoid the too common practice of continually referring to it by invidious comparisons, or losty boasis. “A word to the wise." Eps. KNICKER BOCKER.