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It is indisputably very beneficial for a man
to go to bed thus early ; it secures him such
pleasant dreams. The visions that filled my
imagination during sleep were not of a less
animated nature than those of my waking
lucubrations. I dreamed that it was day-
break on my wedding morning; that I was
dressed in white satin and silver lace, to go
and be married; that Maria, seated in a richly
painted and gilt sedan chair, was conveyed to
the church by the parson and clerk, who wore
white favours in their wigs, and large nosegays
in the breasts of their canonicals; that hands
were joined by Hymen in person, who shook
his torch over our heads at the altar, and
danced a pas de deux with the bride down the
middle of Regent Street, as we returned in
procession from St. James's; that I walked by
the side of Neptune, who was, in some un-
accountable manner, identified with my friend
John Fraser, and acted as father of the bride,
and alarmed me in the midst of the ceremony
by whispering in my ear that he had forgotten
to order any breakfast for the party; that on
returning to my house, which appeared to be
the pavilion at Brighton, I found a quantity



of money bags, full of sovereigns, each marked
80,000, ranged in rows on a marble table;
that I was beginning to empty them at the
feet of the bride with an appropriate compli-
ment when my dream was suddenly inter-
rupted by the hasty entrance of my valet, who
stood pale and trembling by my bedside, and
informed me, with an agitated voice, that he
had carried my note, as ordered, to the office
of Messrs. Drax and Drayton, the first thing
in the morning, and he had seen Mr. Drax;
but that Mr. Drayton had decamped during
the night, taking away with him my 80,000
and 500 of his partner's.

I was horror-struck! I was ruined! what
was to be done? The clock had not yet struck
ten, but, early as it was, I was determined to
rise immediately, and see Drax myself upon
the subject. In an instant in less than an
hour I was dressed, and on my way to Lin-
coln's Inn. Twenty minues after, I stood in
the presence of Mr. Drax.

He appeared before me, among the last of
the pig-tails, with his powdered head, his
smooth black silk stockings, and his polished
shoes, the very same immutable Mr. Drax
whom I had remembered as a quiz from the
earl iest days of my childhood. There he stood,
in the same attitude, in the same dress, the
same man of respectability, calculation, and
arrangement, that my father had always repre-
sented to me as the model of an attorney, but
with a look of bewildered paleness, as placed
suddenly in a situation where his respectability
became doubtful, his calculations defeated, and
all his arrangements discomposed.

"Oh, Mr. Luttrell!" he exclaimed, "I beg
pardon, Mr. Lionel Luttrell, you've received
intimation, then, of this most extraordinary
occurrence; what will the world think?
what will they say ? The house of Drax and
Drayton! Such a long -established, such a
respectable house ! and one of the partners
Mr. Drayton, I mean to abscond!"

" Ay, Mr. Drax, but think of my eighty
thousand pounds!"

"Went away, sir, without leaving the slight-
est instruction where he might be met with, or
where his letters might be sent after him! A
most extraordinary proceeding!"

"You'll drive me mad, Mr. Drax. Let me
implore you to inform me what's to be done
about my money?"

"Your money, Mr. Lionel Luttrell? here
has the same party taken off with him 500 of
the common property of the house; all the
loose cash we had in our banker's hands;
drew a draught for the whole amount; appro-

priated it to himself; and never took the ordi-
nary measure of leaving me a memorandum of
the transaction! Why, sir, I might have drawn
a bill this very morning many things less
improbable occur and might have had my
draft refused acceptance!"

"Oh, Mr. Drax, this torture will be the
death of me. Sir sir I'm ruined, and I'm
going to be married ! "

" A most unfortunate event. But, Mr. Lut-
trell, you gay young men of fashion at the
west end cannot possibly enter into the feelings
of a partner and a man of business. My
situation "

Incapable of listening any longer to the
lamentations of Mr. Drax, and perceiving that
he was too much engrossed by the perplexities
of his own affairs to yield any attention to my
distresses, I seized my hat and hastily de-
parted, to seek elsewhere for the advice and
consolation I required.

" I'll go to John Fraser," I exclaimed; " he's
always sensible, always right, always kind.
He'll feel for me, at all events; he'll suggest
what steps are best to be taken in this most
painful emergency."

Upon this determination I immediately pro-
ceeded to act, and hastened toward Regent
Street with the rapidity of one who feels im-
patient of every second that elapses between the
conception and the execution of his purpose.
As I was pressing forward on my hurried way,
my thoughts absorbed in the anxiety of the
moment, and my sight dazzled by the rapidity
of my movements, and the confused succession
of the passing objects, I was checked in my
course by Edward Btirrell the Pet of the
Dandies " Stop, Lionel, my dear fellow, stop.
I want to congratulate you."

" Congratulate me! Upon what?"

" On your appointment : Inspecting Postman
for the district of St. Ann's, Soho : of course
you're he none but personages of such ele-
vated station could be justified in using such
velocity of movement, and in running over so
many innocent foot passengers."

" Nonsense ! Don't stop me ! I've just heard
of the greatest imaginable misfortune. Dray-
ton, my attorney, has decamped, Heaven only
knows to what country, and carried off the
whole of my fortune. "

"Oh! indeed! So you're one upon the in-
numerable list of bankrupts! A failure! a
complete failure! Don't be angry, Lionel: I
always said you were rather a failure. And so
now the attorney-man what's his name? has
absconded and ruined you for life by his suc-
cessful speculations in hops."



The Pet of the Dandies walked off, laughing
as immoderately as a "professed Exclusive"
ever dares to laugh. It had made what he
believed to be a pun: That is, I suppose, I
dare say the sentence is capable of some quib-
bling interpretation. The words are unin-
telligible unless they contain a pun. When-
ever I hear one man talk nonsense, and find
others laugh, I invariably conclude that he is
punning; and if the last parting words of
Edward Burrell really do exhibit a specimen
of this vulgar kind of solecism, the puppy was
more than indemnified for the distresses of his
friend, as any punster would necessarily be, by
the opportunity of hitching a joke upon them.
" It will not be so with you, John Eraser!" I
muttered to myself; and in a few seconds I
rapped at the door of his lodgings in Kegent

They detained me an age in the street I
rapped and rapped again, and then I rang,
and at the ringing of the bell a stupid-looking,
yellow-haired, steamy maid-servant, in a dirty
lace-cap, issued from the scullery, wiping her
crimson arms in her check apron, to answer
the summons.

" Is Mr. Fraser at home?" I demanded, in
a voice of somewhat angry impatience.

"Mr. Fraser at home? No, sir, he an't."

"Where's he gone to?"

"Where's he gone?" rejoined the girl, in a
low drawling voice. " I'm sure, sir, I can't
tell, not I."

" Is his servant in the way?"

" Is his servant in the way ? No, sir, the
other gentleman's gone too. "

"His servant gone with him? Why, how
did they go?"

"How did they go? Why, in a postchay
and four, to be sure they sent for him from

" Heavens! how provoking! Did they start
early ?"

"Start early? no, to be sure, they started
very late; as soon as ever master come home
from dining in Russell Square."

" Russell Square! what the devil should
John Fraser do dining in Russell Square!
How very distressing!"

" Master came home two hours before Mr.
Robert expected him, and ordered four horses
to be got ready directly."

" Indeed! What can possibly have hap-

" What has happened? Oh, Mr. Robert told
us all about what happened; says he, 'My
master's great friend, Mr. Luttrell, is clean
ruined; his lawyer man's run off with all his

money. Master's in a great quandary about
it,' says Mr. Robert, 'and so I suppose/ says
he, ' that master and I are going out of town
a little while to keep clear of the mess.'"

"Merciful God! and can such cold-hearted
treachery really be!"

"And so," continued the girl, perfectly re-
gardless of my vehement ejaculation, " and so
I told Mr. Robert I hoped luck would go
with them; for you know, sir, it's all very
well to have friends and such like, as long as
they've got everything comfortable about them ;
but when they're broke up, or anything of
that, why then it's another sort of matter, and
we have no right to meddle or make in their

The girl was a perfect philosopher upon the
true Hume and Rochefoucault principles. She
continued to promulge her maxims in the same
low, monotonous, cold, languid vein: but I
did not remain to profit by them. I hurried
away to conceal my sorrow and my disappoint-
ment in the privacy of those apartments where,
on the preceding evening, surrounded by so
many comforts, I had proudly, perhaps too
proudly, contemplated my stock of happiness,
and had at large expatiated on my many de-
ceitful topics of self-gratulation. How miser-
ably was that stock of happiness now impaired !
But, hopeful as I am by nature, my sanguine
temperament still triumphed ; and as I as-
cended the staircase to my apartment, Maria's
image presented itself in smiles to my imagin-
ation, and I repeated to myself, "My fortune's
gone! my friend has deserted me! but Ma-
ria, thou, dearest, still remainst to me. I'll
tranquillize my mind by the sweet counsel of
your daily letter, and then proceed to deliber-
ate and act for myself. " I knew that the post
must by this time have arrived.

I approached the table where my cards and
letters were constantly deposited; but no letter
was there. I could not believe my eyes; I
rung and asked for my letters none had ar-
rived during my absence from home. " Had
the post-boy gone by?" "Yes, many an hour
ago." It was too true, then even Maria was
perfidious to my misfortunes. This was the
severest blow of all. The cause of distrust was
apparently slight possibly accidental; but,
occurring at such a time, it fell with all the
weight of a last and consummating calamity
on one who was already overthrown. I clenched
my teeth; I stamped upon the floor; I tossed
about my arms with the vain and objectless
passion of an angry child. My dog, amazed at
the violence of my gesticulation, fixed his large
dark eyes upon me, and stared with astonish-



ment, as well lie might, at the agitated passion
of his master. I saw, or imagined I saw, an
expression of tenderness and commiseration in
his looks; and in an agony of tears don't
laugh at me, for in the same situation, under
the same circumstances, you probably would
have done the same I flung myself down on
the floor by his side, exclaiming, " Yes, Nep-
tune, everything on earth has forsaken me
but you my fortune my friend my love
with my fortune; and you, you alone, my good
old faithful dog, are constant to me in the
hour of my affliction!" I started up and paced
my apartment backwards and forwards with
wide and hurried strides, fevered with the rapid
succession of painful events, bewildered in
mind, afflicted at heart, perplexed in the ex-

Impelled by that restlessness of body which
results from the agitation of the mind, I took
up my hat, called Neptune to follow me, and
prepared to seek abroad that distraction for my
grief which could not be found in the quiet of
my home. I n leaving the room my eye acci-
dentally glanced toward my pistols. My hand
was on the lock of the door. I perceived that
to approach the place where they lay was like
tempting hell to tempt me; but a thought
flashed across my mind, that to die were to
punish the unworthy authors of my sorrow
were to strike imperishable remorse to the
hearts of Maria and of John; and I took the
pistols with me, muttering, as I concealed them
in my breast, "Perhaps I may want them."

In this frame of mind, wandering through
back and retired streets, with no other motive
to direct me than the necessity of locomotion,
I at length found myself on the banks of the
Thames, at no great distance from Westmin-
ster Bridge. My boat was kept near this place.
On the water I should be delivered from all
apprehension of observing eyes. I should be
alone with my sorrow; and, unfavourable as
the season and the weather were, I proceeded
to the spot where my boat was moored. "Bad
time for boating, Mr. Luttrell," said Finer,
who had the charge of my wherry; "it's mortal
cold, and there's rain getting out there to the
windward." But careless of his good-natured
remonstrances, I seized the oars impatiently
irom his hand, and proceeded in angry silence
to the boat. I pushed her off, and rowed
rapidly up the river towards Chelsea, with
Neptune lying at my feet. When I thus found
myself alone upon the water, with none to
know, or mark, or overhear me, my grief,
breaking through all the restraints that had
confined it as long as I was exposed to the

inspection of my fellow-creatures, discharged
itself in vehement exclamations of indignant
passion. "Fool! idiot that I was to tru.it
them! Nothing on earth shall ever induce me
now to look upon them again. Oh, Maria! I
should have thought it happiness enough to
have died for you; and you to desert me to
fall away from me too, at the moment when a
single smile of yours might have indemnified
me for all the wrongs of fortune, all the treach-
ery of friendship! As to Fraser, men are all
alike, selfish by nature, habit, education.
They are trained to baseness, and he is the
wisest man who becomes earliest acquainted
with suspicion. He is the happiest who, scorn-
ing their hollow demonstrations of attachment,
constrains every sympathy of his nature within
the close imprisonment of a cold and unpar-
ticipating selfishness; but I'll be revenged.
Fallen as I am sunk, impoverished, despised
as Lionel Luttrell may be, the perfidious shall
yet be taught to know that he will not be
spurned with impunity, or trampled on without

At these words, some violence of gesture
accompanying the vehemence of my sentiment,
interfered with the repose of Neptune, who
was quietly sleeping at the bottom of the boat.
The dog vented his impatience in a quick and
angry growl. At that moment my irritation
amounted almost to madness. "Right
right!" I exclaimed, "my very dog turns
against me. He withdraws the mercenary at-
tachment which my food had purchased, now
that the sources which supplied it have be-
come exhausted. " I imputed to my dog the
frailties of man, and hastened, in the wild
suggestion of the instant, to take a severe and
summary vengeance on his ingratitude. I drew
forth a pistol from my breast, and ordered him
to take to the water. I determined to shoot
him as he was swimming, and then leave him
there to die. Neptune hesitated in obeying
me. He was scarcely aroused, perhaps he did
not comprehend my command. My impatience
would brook no delay. I was in no humour
to be thwarted. Standing up in the boat, I
proceeded, with a sudden effort of strength, to
cast the dog into the river. My purpose failed
my balance was lost and, in a moment of
time, I found myself engaged in a desperate
struggle for existence with the dark, deep
waters of the Thames. I cannot swim. Death
death in all its terrors instantaneous, in-
evitable death, was the idea that pressed upon
my mind, and occupied all its faculties. But
poor Neptune required no solicitation. He no
sooner witnessed the danger of his master than



he sprang forward to my rescue, and sustaining
my head above the water, swam stoutly away
with me to the boat.

When once reseated there, as I looked upon
my preserver shaking the water from his coat
as composedly as if nothing extraordinary had
happened, my conscience became penetrated
with the bitterest feelings of remorse and
shame. Self-judged, self-corrected, self-con-
demned, I sat like a guilty wretch in the pre-
sence of that noble animal, who, having saved
my life at the very moment I was meditating
his destruction, seemed of too generous a na-
ture to imagine that the act he had performed
exceeded the ordinary limits of his service, or
deserved any special gratitude from his master.
I felt as one who had in intention committed
murder on his benefactor, and, as I slowly
rowed towards the land, eloquent in the praise
of the unconscious Neptune, the recollection of
my perilous escape the complete conviction
of my having in one instance been mistaken
in my anger and perhaps most unromantic
as it may sound the physical operation of my
cold bath and my wet habiliments all these
causes united, operated so effectually to allay
the fever of my irritated passions, that the
agitation of my mind was soothed. Mine was
now the spirit of one in sorrow, not in anger.
Humbled in mine own opinion, my indignation
against Maria and John Fraser, for their cruel
desertion of my distresses, was exchanged for
a mingled sentiment of tenderness and forgive-
ness. On reaching the landing-place I has-
tened to take possession of the first hackney-
coach, and, calling Neptune into it, drove off
to my lodgings in Conduit Street.

On arriving at my apartments the first object
that presented itself to my eye was a note from
Maria. I knew the peculiar shape of the billet
before I was near enough to distinguish the
handwriting. All the blood in my veins seemed
to rush back towards my heart, and there to
4and trembling at the seat of life and motion.
I shook like a terrified infant. Who could
divine the nature of the intelligence which
that note contained? I held the paper some
minutes in my hand before I could obtain suf-
ficient command over myself to open it. That
writing conveyed to me the sentence of my
future .destiny. Its purport was pregnant of
the misery or happiness of my after-life. At
length, with a sudden, a desperate effort of
resolution, I burst the seal asunder, and read

" Dearest Lionel, I did not write yesterday,
because my aunt had most unexpectedly de-
termined to return to town to-day. We left I
Brighton very early this morning, and are j

established at Thomas's Hotel. Come to us
directly; or if this wicked theft of Mr. Dray-
ton's which, by-the-by, will compel us to
have a smaller, a quieter, and therefore a hap-
pier home than we otherwise should have had
compels you to be busy among law people,
and occupies all your time this morning, pray
come to dinner at seven or if not to dinner,
at all events you must contrive to be with us
in Berkeley Square some time this evening.
My aunt desires her best love, and believe me,
dearest Lionel, your ever affectionate


And she was really true! This was by far
the kindest, the tenderest note I had ever re-
ceived. Maria was constant, and my wicked
suspicions only were in fault. Oh, Heavens!
how much was I to blame! How severely did
my folly deserve punishment!

The operations of the toilet are capable of
incalculable extension or diminution. They
can, under certain circumstances, be very ra-
pidly despatched. In five minutes after the
first reading of Maria's note, I was descending
the staircase, and prepared to obey her sum-
mons. My valet was standing with his hand
on the lock of the street door, in readiness to
expedite my departure, when the noise of
rapidly-approaching wheels was heard. A car-
riage stopped suddenly before the house the
rapper was loudly and violently beaten with a
hurried hand the street door flew open and
John Fraser, in his dinner dress of the last
evening, pale with watching, and fatigue, and
travel, and excitement, burst like an unex-
pected apparition upon my sight. He rushed
towards me, seized my hand, and shaking it
with the energy of an almost convulsive joy,
exclaimed, "Well, Lionel, I was in time
thought I should be. The fellows drove capi-
tally deuced good horses too, or we should
never have beat him."

"What do you mean? Beat whom?"

"The rascal Drayton, to be sure. Did not
they tell you I had got scent of his starting,
and was off after him within an hour of his
departure ? "

" No, indeed, John, they never told me that."

"Well, never mind. I overtook him within
five miles of Canterbury, and horsewhipped
him within an inch of his life."

"And and the money?"

" Oh, I've lodged that at Coutts's. I thought
it best to put that out of danger at once. So
I drove to the Strand, and deposited your
eighty thousand pounds in a place of security
before I proceeded here to tell you that it was
safe. "



If I had been humbled and ashamed of my-
self before if I had repented my disgusting
suspicions on seeing Maria's note, this explan-
ation of John Eraser's absence was very little
calculated to restore me to my former happy
state of self -approbation. Taking my friend
by the arm, and calling Neptune, I said, " By-
and-by, John, you shall be thanked as you
ought to be for all your kindness; but you
must first forgive me. I have been cruelly
unjust to Maria, to you, and to poor old Nep-
tune here. Come with me to Berkeley Square.
You shall there hear the confession of my past
rashness and folly; and when my heart is once
delivered from the burden of self-reproach that
now oppresses it, there will be room for the
expansion of those happier feelings which your
friendship and Maria's tenderness have ever-
lastingly implanted there. Never again will I
allow a suspicion to pollute my mind which is
injurious to those I love. The world's a good
world the women are all true, the friends all
faithful, and the dogs are all attached and
staunch; and if any individual, under any
possible combination of circumstances, is ever,
for a single instant, induced to conceive an
opposite opinion, depend upon it that that
unhappy man is deluded by false appearances,
and that a little inquiry would convince him
of his mistake."

" I can't for the life of me understand,
Lionel, what you are driving at."

" You will presently," I replied; and in the
course of half an hour seated on the sofa,
with Maria on one side of me, with John Fra-
ser on the other, and with Neptune lying at
my feet I had related the painful tale of
my late follies and sufferings, and heard my-
self affectionately pitied and forgiven, and
concluded, in the possession of unmingled
happiness, the series of my day's reverses.

Blackwovd's Mag,



O, if mine own beloved one

Would visit me, his maid, at even,

'Twould be as bright as if the sun

Aud moon were both at once in heaven.

But not so sweet, and not so soon,
Comes joy to me; for tell me whether

You ever saw the sun and moon

Bright shining in the heavens together?




Thou and the earth, twin sisters, as they say,
In the old prime were fashioned in one day ;
And therefore thou delightest evermore

With her to lie and play

The summer hours away,
Curling thy lovely ripples up her quiet shore.

She is a married matron long ago

With nations at her side ; her milk doth flow

Each year ; but thee no husband dares to tame ;

Thy wild will is thine own

Thy sole and virgin throne
Thy mood is ever changing thy resolve the same.

Sunlight and moonlight minister to thee ;
O'er the broad circle of the shoreless sea

Heaven's two great lights for ever set and rise,

While the round vault above

In vast and silent love
Is gazing down upon thee with his hundred eyes.

All night thon utterest forth thy solemn mo.-ui,
Counting the weary minutes all alone ;

Then in the morning thou dost calmly lie

Deep blue, ere yet the sun

His day work hath begun,
Under the opening windows of the golden sky.

The spirit of the mountain looks on thee
Over a hundred hills : quaint shadows flee
Across thy marbled mirror : brooding lie

Storm mists of infant cloud,

With a sight-baffling shroud
Mantling the gray blue islands in the western sky.

Sometimes thou liftest up thine hands on high
Into the tempest-cloud that blurs the sky,

Holding rough dalliance with the fitful blast ;

Whose stiff breath whistling shrill

Pierces with deadly chill

Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 12 of 75)