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seal of those armorial bearings which I had so vilely dishonoured, and read the following brief contents :
“ Infatuated criminal! The perusal of your letter has only tended to convince me that you are for ever lost to every principle of honesty and truth. Your conviction for forgery in Paris I have long known, though ignorant of your escape from those laws it has been the guilty business of your life to outrage. If it be possible that one so young and steeped in duplicity and crime can feel remorse, seek forgiveness of that one great Being before whom alone all hearts are known. Your offer of atonement to your noble-hearted victim comes too late ; it is now an insult, nor does it require much penetration to see through your shallow artifice. For my part, the hours of sorrow you have caused me are over ; would that I could say as much for the best and most abused of women. These are the last lines I shall ever write to you. That you may not perish from want, or plead that as an excuse for future crime, I have been induced to do for you far more than you deserve. Enclosed is an order, which, presented by yourself, will entitle you to the sum of five pounds a month. This you will only receive on condition of keeping your name out of the criminal calendar, and on condition of never writing to, or in any way.communicating with, her whom you have so basely treated, or myself.”
Although disappointed in my main object, I knew the uncompromising determinatien of my uncle's resolves too well to expect any other favour than that expressed in his letter, and which, indeed, my heart told me I alone owed to Mary Clifton. In my then impoverished and miserable state, I felt not a little relief to have the allowance he had made me. Slender as it was, it still kept me from absolute destitution, and prevented me having recourse to one so low and desperate in his crimes as I deemed Clifford to be. I never even went near the place to inquire after him, but, obtaining clothes from the first immediate instalment, which I drew from a tradesman who had formerly been a confidential servant in my uncle's service, I had the satisfaction of being enabled to make a decent appearance. Desirous of learning, if possible, any news with regard to my escape, I ventured into a coffee-bouse frequented by foreigners, and, looking at some French papers two or three weeks old, read an exaggerated account of the murder of the soldier, and my escape and supposed death, together with that of Montnuil and the fisherman, the bodies of whom, locked in their last fierce embrace, were picked up near Falmouth a few days after the wreck. Relieved of a great portion of my fear, I still deemed it only prudent to disguise myself, so that those who had formerly known me abroad could not by any chance recognise
In this art, indeed, I had been made but too great a proficient, under the Baroness d'Eclere to dread the result. In the course of a week or two, by means
of a wig, allowing my moustache and whiskers to grow, and painting my eyebrows, I felt confidence in the efficiency of my disguise. One tell-tale mark of infamy at times harassed me with the fears of detection through some untoward accident-that was the brand upon my arm, which I dreadfully lacerated in a vain hope of effacing the damning mark.
(To be Continued.)
ADVERTISING FOR A WIFE. MODESTY, diffidence, and a proper humility, are jewels in the cap of merit ; but downright bashfulness, your real mauvaise honte, is terrible, and is a distinct mark of ill-breeding, or rather of no breeding at all. Your dashing impudent fops, who say a thousand silly things to the ladies, and flutter around them like butterflies, are yet more endurable than your bashful fellows who sneak into a corner, terrified to catch a look, or exchange a word with pretty women.
Such an identical person paid me a visit on one of the cold days last week, and broke in upon me with a thousand bows and apologies, while busily engaged with pen in hand, thinking of a cure for the monetary panic, which would not run the risk of being knocked on the bead by a friend the moment it was announced.
“Sit down, sir, if you please; make no more apologies : sit down and tell me your business.”
“Well, sir, I'm come for a curious business, quite an intrusion, I'm sure, but so it is; necessity knows no ceremony. Some time ago I read in your paper a description of the miseries of an old bachelor, and it was so to the life-so true, and so exactly my condition, that I have made bold to call for advice ; for misery, they say, loves company, and one wretched bachelor may be able to counsel another that it is-". “ Stop, stop, my friend ; before you proceed, let me correct an error in which you have, no doubt, inadvertently fallen. Though I might be able from memory to describe the misery of single wretchedness, I had not the courage constantly to face it. You must not be deceived, I am no longer a bachelor ; do you want the proofs, look there ; that black-eyed, ruddy-cheeked fellow on the carpet, employed in catting out ships and houses from old newspapers, is my oldest; he designs himself to be an editor, for he contends that nothing is easier ; it is only, he says, cutting out slips from one paper and putting them into another. That little one who struts about in a paper cocked-hat and wooden sword, with which, ever and anon, he pokes at my ribs, while' busily engaged in considering how the nation is to be saved, is my second hopeful; he is a Wellington ; all children, sir, are great men ; he goes for a soldier if there be wars. That little golden-haired urchin, with a melting blue eye, who is sure to ask me for candy, while I am describing, in bitter terms, the tyranny of the Bank directors, is my youngest ; and there, with the basket of stockings near her, sits my better half; there is the sparkling fire, and here are my slippers : does all this look like the miseries of a bachelor ?"
“ Well, I beg your pardon, sir, for believing that you were as wretched as I am; but still when you hear my story you may possibly advise me what is best to be done.” “Go on, sir.” “Well, sir, thus it is: My father realised a handsome property by his industry, which he left to me; bnt such were his rigid notions of the necessity of constant occupation to prevent idleness and other evils, that my time was employed, after I had left school, which was at an early age, from sunrise to bedtime. It was an incessant round of occupation -labour, keeping books, and making out bills. Behold me now, at the age of twenty-three, with a good constitution, correct principles, and a handsome income. I have lost my parentsam alone in the world. I wish to marry, but really, sir, to my shame I confess it, I have no acquaintance among young ladies. I do not know any. My secluded manner of living has prevented my cultivating their acquaintance; and if by accident I am thrown into their society, my tongue is literally tied. I do not know how to address them-I am not conversant with the topics which are usually discussed. In short, sir, I wish to advertise for a wife, and not knowing how to draw up such an advertisement, I came to beg that favour at your hands."
" So, so (said I to myself), here's a little modesty tumbled into decayColebs in Search of a Wife.''
He was a good-looking young fellow, and had a quick eye, which led me very much to doubt his reserved, retired, and abashed condition before the ladies.
“ Have you, sir, considered the risk in taking a wife in this strange way? How very liable you may be to gross imposition? What lady of delicacy or reputation would venture to contract an alliance so very solemn and obligatory, through the channel of a newspaper advertisement?”
“ Very probably, sir ; but a poor honest girl might be struck with it; a clever, well-educated, daughter, ill-treated by a fiery step-mother, might, in despair, change her condition for a better one; nay, a spirited girl might admire the novelty, and boldly make the experiment."
« Well, sir, and how are you to conduct the negociation with your native bashfulness? You have no superannuated grandmother or old maiden aunt to arrange preliminaries."
“That's very true; but, sir, necessity will give me confidence, and despair afford me courage."
I wrote the advertisement for him, which he thankfully and carefully placed in his pocket-book, and bade us good morning.