Back to the Index Page

 
 
 
The Adventures of Harry Franco, Vol. 2 by Charles Frederick Briggs


CHAPTER I. Get settled in a genteel boarding house. Grow sublime.
CHAPTER II. Magnificent Prospects.
CHAPTER III. Bright and pleasant.—On the high road to riches.
CHAPTER IV. A change, Mr. Dooitt turns out to be any thing but a gentleman.
CHAPTER V. Meet with no less than two old acquaintances under very peculiar circumstances.
CHAPTER VI. Verifies the old saying, it never rains but it pours; I meet with another old acquaintance.
CHAPTER VII. Contains a Ballad.
CHAPTER VIII. Gain employment
CHAPTER IX. Contains the particulars of a commercial operation.
CHAPTER X. The mystery of the suspicious letter cleared up. Meet Georgiana De Lancey at a tea-table.
CHAPTER XI. Is short, and of no great importance.
CHAPTER XII. Georgiana's Conversion.
CHAPTER XIII. Love and Religion.
CHAPTER XIV. Encounter my Cousin at a party.
CHAPTER XV. Letters from Home.
CHAPTER XVI. A Crisis. Making love.
CHAPTER XVII. Almost a murder.
CHAPTER XVIII. Political.
CHAPTER XIX. The effects of speaking in public.
CHAPTER XX. Tears and smiles.
CHAPTER XXI. Arrive at New Orleans, and meet with an old acquaintance.
CHAPTER XXII. The beginning and the end of my operations.
CHAPTER XXIII. The great change.
CHAPTER XXIV. Arrival at New York, and departure therefrom; with many other matters.
CHAPTER XXV. A Storm and a Wreck.
CHAPTER XXVI. The last.


CHAPTER I. Get settled in a genteel boarding house. Grow sublime.

It was a broiling hot day, and as I toiled along through the dusty streets of Brooklyn towards the ferry, I almost wished myself back again upon the blue sea.

It was almost two years since I left New York in the Two Marys, but when I stepped ashore from the ferry boat by the Catharine Market, every thing looked as natural and as unchanged as though I had been absent but a day. I looked around in the expectation of seeing some familiar face into which I could look for a smile of welcome. There was an old red faced apple woman sitting under the shade of a tattered canvassawning, brushing away the flies from her little pyramids of dusty fruit, with a palmetto leaf in one hand, while with her other she wiped the perspiration from her broad face. Close by, was a negro opening hard shelled clams, with a red flannel shirt on his back, and a bell crowned brown beaver hat on his head. Not far from him was a young girl in a black silk dress and a tattered leghorn hat, selling ice cream; and near her was a negro wench, sitting on a curb stone, and crying out in the most heart-rending tone imaginable, "Here's your nice hot corn." Three or four cartmen, in dirty frocks, were seated on their cart tails, each of them studying a penny paper, apparently with the most intense curiosity. There were also wood sawyers sitting listlessly on their bucks, and spruce looking gentlemen, very much dressed, with glass show cases on the side walk, displaying quantities of jewelry, and soaps, and penknives; and there was an old man, very poorly dressed, with an assortment of second hand books and tattered maps.

These might all have been old acquaintances of mine, for aught that I knew to the contrary. They looked extremely natural, and even familiar; but as I could call neither of them by name, Ipassed on, feeling lonesome and down hearted. I longed to grasp somebody by the hand.

I turned down into Water street, and perceiving a door open with the sign of the Foul Anchor above it, I walked in, and engaged board with the proprietor, Mr. Robert Murphy, a gentleman who had had the misfortune to lose one of his legs. There was nothing particularly attractive in the appearance of Mr. Murphy's bar-room, so I gave him my bag to take care of, and set out in search of a tailor's shop. I found one close by, the "Emporium of Fashion," in Cherry street, where I procured a full suit of clothes, very similar to those which I had purchased in Maiden Lane, nearly two years before. As I had not got the money for my check, the tailor's book-keeper went with me to the bank to get it changed, and having paid him for my clothes, I put the balance in my pocket, and went in search of Mrs. Riggs' boarding house, for I was impatient to see somebody that I knew, and I had no intention of returning again to the Foul Anchor.

I found the place where I had left Mrs. Riggs' house standing, with a brass plate on the door; but no house stood there now: a street had been cut through the very spot, and towering high brick stores, with square granite pillars, had sprung upall around it. I could hardly believe that it was the same place; but I inquired in one of the stores, and found that it was. I inquired about Mrs. Riggs, and was told that she had sold her lease to an operator, in real estate, for ten thousand dollars; and that she kept a genteel boarding house in Broadway. I took her number, and soon found the house. It appeared to me to be on the most magnificent scale. There was a large silver plateon the door, with "Riggs" engraved on it; it is not a very imposing name in itself, but being surrounded with a good many flourishes, it made a very respectable appearance. I pulled the bell handle, and the door was opened by a black man, with gold lace on his coat collar, much finer than our lieutenant of marines. He showed me into the parlor, and Mrs. Riggs soon made her appearance; she wore more ribands, and wrinkles too, than when I saw her last; but I knew her, the moment she entered, and I jumped up and took her hand, and shook it very heartily; but she drew back, and I was surprised when I found that she did not recognise me.

I explained to her who I was, and then I had the additional mortification of learning that she had forgotten that she ever did know me; but it was still a pleasure to me to see her, and I engaged the only vacant room she had. Her charges were just treble what they were in Pearl street, and the dinner hour was changed from two to five o'clock.

"Is not five o'clock a very late hour for dinner?" I inquired.

"It may be for some," replied Mrs. Riggs. "Mechanics dine earlier, but five o'clock is much the genteelest."

I never knew before that one hour was more particularly genteel than another; and as I was anxious to conform, in all things, to the very genteelest customs, I asked Mrs. Riggs what was considered a genteel hour for going to bed.

"Some of the gentlemen," she replied, "which goes to the Opera, don't retire to rest until after one o'clock."

I apologized for my ignorance, by observing that I had been absent from the country almost two years, and that things appeared to have changed very much.

"Been travelling?" asked Mrs. Riggs.

"Some," I replied.

"They are quite genteel in Europe, I presume?" suggested Mrs. Riggs.

"I presume they are," I replied, "but I have not been travelling in Europe. I have only been in South America."

"Ah," said Mrs. Riggs, "that, I believe, is near Cape Horn."

"Somewhere in that neighborhood," I answered.

"Were you in any of the gold, or silver mines?" inquired Mrs. Riggs; whose views of South America were very much like my own, before I had any experimental knowledge on the subject.

Mrs. Riggs was called away before I had time to make any reply, but I was not left a great while to my reflections, for a young lady, almost immediately, entered the parlor, and taking a seat at the piano, began to thrum away, and scream with all her might.

As I was not particularly charmed with the young lady's voice, I left the parlor, and with the hope of catching a glimpse of Georgiana De Lancey, I walked up to St. John's Square; but here I was doomed to another disappointment. The house in which she had lived was pulled down, and a larger and handsomer one was built in its place. It was not finished, and a heap of rubbish obstructed the side walk in front of it.

I returned to my boarding house, weary, disappointed, and dejected, and went up to my chamber, and threw myself upon the bed to revolve in my mind some plan for my future conduct.

I could no longer derive consolation and pleasure from the bright and glittering hopes which crowded about me, before an encounter with the stubborn realities of the world had put them all to flight. I had to build my expectations out of such materials as my slender experience had furnished me.

My first impulse was to go home, for I loved my parents and my sister most dearly, and my heart yearned after them. But I loved Georgiana De Lancey also, although against hope and reason; and I felt unwilling to leave New York without first seeing her, or hearing of her; if I could have caught but one glance of her soft blue eyes, I should have felt happy; at least I thought so. And then the prophetic words of my cousin, too, rose up to deter me from returning home; how could I meet his sneering look, while the great object of my pursuit was not half accomplished. It was true, I had money sufficient to enable me to make a transient flourish before him; but as I had no permanent source of income, and not even a profession to lean upon, I should, by doing so, only draw down fresh contempt upon my head, not only from him, but from others. So I resolved that I would not return to my home until I had attained a station in the world that would entitleme to the respect of my cousin. And that I might not be turned from my purpose, I determined to keep my arrival at New York a secret from my parents. I struggled hard with my feelings in forming this determination, and many bitter tears it cost me.

I got off the bed, and to soothe the anguish of my feelings, paced back and forwards in the chamber. I perceived there was a small black bottle standing on the dressing table, which had probably been left there by the former occupant of the room; and thinking it was a cologne bottle, I smelt of it; but its contents proved to be brandy. I put it to my lips, and drained it dry.

It was dark; the air was warm and heavy, and I sat down at the open window of my chamber with my collar unbuttoned, and cast my eyes upward to the stars, which shone dimly above me; they seemed to be oppressed with the heat. I felt very grand, and very gloomy. I threw my hands above my head, and gazed upon the dim stars, until they appeared to be shining within my very soul.

Men have delivered themselves of maudlin sublimity before now, and much of it has been well received by the world; why should not I do the same? It was the last strain of the kind in whichI indulged, and it shall not be lost to the lovers of fine writing.

"Tell me," I exclaimed, "ye bright and beautiful existences, glorious in your mystery, and eloquent in your eternal silence; solitary in your companionships, and in your might subservient, do ye hold within your burning orbs the destinies of beings like me? Creatures as ye are, formed as I am, but to fulfil your ends, and then expire? If ye do, O! reveal to me, in characters bright as your own fires, the fate which awaits me! Or do you, by your strong power, hold an unacknowledged influence over the thoughts of men, leading them to foretel, in their dull whisperings, those changes of fortune, which should only be revealed by your own voices. O, stars! bright and beautiful! ye are high and enduring, but I am low and transient. Speak to me, that I may know my fate. Waste not your existence in ethereal solitudes, but hold converse with me, who am your fellow-being; we are children of the same parent. Glorious cousins, satisfy my longings, and give me to know whether I shall die the death of old Cole's dog?"

CHAPTER II. Magnificent Prospects.

Suddenly I heard a strange noise; it was as though all the starry host were shouting together. I started upon my feet; my heart beat terribly, and the sweat started upon my forehead.

It was morning. The bright warm sun was shining full in my face, and, very much to my astonishment, I discovered that I had not been undressed, and that I had spent the whole night sitting with my head resting on the sill of the window. The stars had all modestly withdrawn themselves, and I could not distinctly remember whether they had answered the questions which I had put to them or not. But with the bright and cheerful rays of the morning, my spirits had mounted up, and I should have been inclined to doubt the stars themselves if they had taken me at my word, and revealed a different destiny from that which I wished them to. The strange noise which had startled me was caused by a Chinese gong; a signal for the boardersto make preparations for breakfast, like seven bells on board a man of war.

After I had dressed myself, I counted my money over, to make sure that none had been abstracted in the night, and then buttoned it up in my pocket, and descended to the breakfast parlor, which was also the dining room and the drawing room. There were but three or four gentlemen at the breakfast table, and I took my seat rather timidly, fearing that the hour was not strictly a genteel one. A young man sat opposite to me, with a pale face, and very red whiskers, which grew under his chin, and gave his head something the appearance of a Phœnix sitting on its funeral pyre. On his upper lip were two tufts of light colored hair, which threatened to soak up his coffee every time he put the cup to his mouth. I felt very hungry, and I could have eaten up every thing I saw before me; but in the presence of a personage so evidently genteel, who picked up a few crumbs of dry toast, and carried them deliberately to his mouth, on the ends of his long fingers, without the least apparent satisfaction, I felt afraid to eat any thing with a hearty good will and a smack of the lips, a practice which I was very much given to when I felt hungry. So I restrained the urgent demands of my appetite, and sipped my coffeeand nibbled a piece of dry toast, as genteelly as I could.

"How is lots?" said one of the gentlemen at the table, addressing the man with the sandy moustachios.

"Pretty fair," he replied, "but I am devlish sorry I didn't keep that piece of property I sold yesterday. I only made twenty thousand dollars by the operation, and the gentleman which bought it of me has went and made forty thousand by selling it at Bleecker's."

I opened my eyes very wide to hear a man talk so coolly about making twenty thousand dollars; but his reply did not cause any astonishment in the others at the table, from which I concluded they must all be immensely rich.

"Ah," said the gentleman who made the first remark, "I believe it is utterly impossible for a man to buy a piece of property without doubling his money on it."

"I believe so," said another gentleman.

"And so do I," said Mrs. Riggs; "there was my milkman, old poppy Van Krouteater, which served his customers with milk only last Tuesday morning, rode past here yesterday afternoon in his own carriage, with two great black Long Island niggers, all dressed in beautiful liveries. He had sold his farm for almost a million of dollars, on the condition that the purchaser should build a town on it, and call it Van Krouteater city."

"That's nothing at all," said the gentleman with the fiery whiskers; "there was a reskill of a hackdriver called for me yesterday while I was into Bleecker's, at the sale of some splendid lots in Bulwer city, and he popped his ugly head into the auction room just as the auctioneer was going to knock down a corner lot at twenty-two hundred dollars, 'what shall I say for you,' said the auctioneer, catching the twinkle of the hackman's eye; 'twenty-four,' replied the scamp, meaning the number of his coach. 'Twenty-four hundred dollars,' exclaimed the auctioneer; and down went the hammer. 'What name, sir,' said the auctioneer. 'Barney,' said the hackman. 'What is your first name, Mr. Barney?' said the auctioneer. 'Sure that is my first name,' said the hackman. 'Ah, then what is your last name, sir?' said the auctioneer. 'McFee,' says Barney. Now when Barney found he had bought a corner lot for twenty-four hundred dollars, without knowing it, he almost went crazy, he was so frightened, for he hadn't twenty-four cents in the world to bless himself with. So the auctioneer put the lot upagain on Barney's account, and I wish I may never sell another piece of property if he didn't get forty-eight hundred dollars for it; so Barney made twenty-four hundred dollars by the operation."

Having tantalized my appetite beyond all possible endurance, with nibbling a piece of dry toast, I got up from table, and went out to a pie shop, where I eat apple tarts and drank coffee, until the cravings of hunger were appeased; after which, I read all the morning papers, and then took a walk into Wall street.

Here all was bustle, and life, and gentility; the side walks were filled with well dressed men, some of whom carried long half bound books under their arms, and others maps in their hands. The walls of the houses, the trunks of the trees, the fences, and the lamp posts, exhibited innumerable plans of lithographed towns and cities, which were to be disposed of at auction, on the most liberal terms. Every man's face wore a keen and anxious expression; a vacant stare was not to be encountered in that whole assemblage of busy men. Every body was talking to somebody, or watching for something. The questions most frequently heard were, "how's stocks?" "how's lots?" "how's money?" And the answers almost invariably givenwere, "up," "so, so," and "tight." Nobody appeared to have an inclination to inquire after any body's wife and children, nor to make any sagacious remarks about the weather.

I had no recollection of ever having heard or seen any thing about speculations in lots and new cities, when I was in New York before, and I stood on the corner of William street, watching the crowds of men as they hurried to and fro, wondering to myself what could be the cause of all the stir and bustle which I witnessed, when I observed a tall young man, with a stout ebony cane, almost as big as his leg, in his hand, and a roll of paper under his arm, walking with a solemn stride towards me. I recognised the gentleman instantly; it was no less a person than Mr. Worhoss. Remembering our former intimacy, and that he had not paid me the five dollars which I lent him, I felt myself free to claim his acquaintance. But Mr. Worhoss had forgotten me entirely. However, when I mentioned the circumstance of his borrowing five dollars of me, it refreshened his memory wonderfully.

"But," said Mr. Worhoss, "as the committee of literary gentlemen were a stupid set of fellows, they rejected my article, and, consequently, you cannot expect me to return the money; the fault was alltheirs, and not mine; so you will know where to lay the blame."

Mr. Worhoss also informed me, that he had given up literary pursuits, as he found them not only unprofitable, but quite disreputable; as all his intimate friends cut him, when they found he was engaged in writing for periodicals. He said he was now getting rich fast, by operating in real estate. He gave me to understand that he considered poverty highly disgraceful. I blushed as I remembered my own condition.

"I presume you have been making money since I saw you last?" observed Mr. Worhoss.

"Some," I replied.

"Ah," exclaimed Mr. Worhoss, "been speculating in fast property?"

I did not precisely comprehend the meaning of his question, and I replied that the property which I had acquired, was all in cash.

"In cash," exclaimed Mr. Worhoss; "what, money down? Perhaps you would like to make fifteen or twenty thousand dollars by a small investment?"

I replied that nothing would be more agreeable to me; upon which he instantly unrolled the paper which he carried under his arm, and displayed to me a lithographed map of Gowannus city. I had no recollection of ever having heard of such a city; but Mr. Worhoss told me it was one of the most prosperous in the union; and truly it had a very pleasant appearance on paper. It was regularly laid out with avenues and streets intersecting each other at right angles, and plentifully ornamented with squares and public places, with the very grandest names.

Mr. Worhoss offered to sell me a choice of corner lots, in a certain section of the city, at the very moderate price of one thousand dollars each; and he assured me if I kept them only one week, I might sell them again for double that sum.

I replied that I should be very glad to make such a speculation, but that I should not be able to buy more than one lot.

Mr. Worhoss replied, that that should be no hinderance to my entering into the speculation, for by paying ten per cent. down on the purchase money, the balance might remain on bond and mortgage, and by repeating the operation until I had purchased and sold a hundred lots, I could easily clear a hundred thousand dollars.

Such magnificent prospects almost deprived me of breath. In my wildest dreams of fortune, I had never imagined any thing half as brilliant. Onehundred thousand dollars! The very mention of it bewildered me. But Mr. Worhoss spoke very coolly about it, and said such operations were of daily occurrence. He invited me into a coffee-house near by, and asked me to take a mint julep, and then took me down to an auction store in Broad street, where there was a sale of lots, that I might see with my own eyes the manner in which fortunes were made.

The auction room was long and narrow, and crowded to suffocation, with all manner of men, who were bidding for lots, in a high state of excitement. Some of the bidders were fuffian-looking fellows, with long beards, and a little rivulet of tobacco juice trickling down the corners of their mouths; others were very neat and delicate in their persons. Lots upon lots were knocked down by the auctioneer; I forget in what city they were located, but I believe it was in the city of Julius Cæsar. After the sale was over, the buyers began to boast of their bargains, and according to their own showing, there was not a man present who had not made at least twenty thousand dollars.

For my own part, I was strongly tempted to make a bid, but remembering my former speculation in an auction room, I restrained my desiresto purchase "fast property" in spite of all the seductive temptations with which I was beset.

When we came out of the auction room, Mr. Worhoss introduced me to a gentleman, whom he called Mr. Dooitt. He was a tall, square-shouldered man, with high cheek bones, a pale, freckled face, and a paltry little nose; he shook my hand, and begged me to excuse his glove; he said he was extremely happy to see me, and hoped I was very well, and concluded by observing that the weather was remarkably pleasant for the season.

Mr. Worhoss told me in a whisper that his friend Mr. Dooitt was immensely rich, although six months before he was as poor as a church mouse, and that he made his money by speculating in up-town lots.

I looked at Mr. Dooitt's person again, and observed it was ornamented with a gold chain, worn around his neck, and an enormously large breast pin.

Mr. Dooitt asked me if I had a mind to speculate in fast property.

I replied that I had some thoughts of doing so, upon hearing which he winked to me knowingly; and while Mr. Worhoss was occupied in reading an advertisement, he whispered in my ear,and told me not to make any purchases until I had first called at his office, and looked at a map of a city in which he was interested in Ouisconsin; and slipping his card into my hand, he bade me good morning, and left me.

Mr. Worhoss gave me a map of his city— "Gowannus City," and told me he would call on me at my lodgings, but before he left me he cautioned me against making any purchases except from him, as he was bent upon making a fortune for me for old acquaintance's sake.

After Mr. Worhoss left me, I sauntered about the streets, under the cool shade of the awnings, delighted with every thing and every body. I considered myself already worth a fortune. All my highest wishes were about to be gratified, and more than I had dared to hope for would be realized. The pleasurable anticipations in which I indulged were almost maddening; there was, however, one dark spot in my bright horizon—I was ignorant of the dwelling-place of Georgiana De Lancey; but I consoled myself with the thought that fortune had now, for a certainty, taken me under her especial charge, and that surely so great a requisite to my happiness as the possession of her whom I loved would not be denied me.

These were pleasant thoughts, and under the influence of them I went home to my dinner, and called for a bottle of three dollar Madeira, and took wine with every body at the dinner table.

CHAPTER III. Bright and pleasant.—On the high road to riches.

As I was sitting in the hall of my boarding-house after dinner, conjuring up a thousand bright images, I heard my name spoken by somebody at the door, and starting up, I perceived Mr. Dooitt. That wealthy gentleman had called on me to invite me to his house to tea; his carriage was at the door, and of course I could not refuse so great an honor. I took my seat in his barouche in a high state of excitement. Mr. Dooitt's equipage spoke his immense riches. His coachman was dressed in a long blue coat, the seams of which were covered with gold lace; he wore a pair of bright yellow gauntlets, such as tragedy heroes wear on the stage, and his glossy hat was ornamented with a broad gold band. The footman behind the carriage was dressed in the same manner, with the exception of the gauntlets.

Mr. Dooitt was not, like some great men, ashamed of the condition from which he had risen, but, on the contrary, spoke with becoming frankness of his sudden elevation.

"Only eight months ago," said Mr. Dooitt, "I done a small business in the hook and eye trade."

"As a jobber?" I inquired, wishing to make myself agreeable.

"No, I warn't even a jobber," said Mr. Dooitt, meekly, "I was only a commission agent for a New England concern."

"Is it possible!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, it is possible," he replied, "and now I am worth millions. But mind you, I don't want it to be known."

"Why not; it is not looked upon as disgraceful, is it?" I inquired.

"O! no, quite the contrary," said Mr. Dooitt, "but they would make me pay a heap of taxes if they knew how rich I am."

I could not but express my admiration of Mr. Dooitt's talents and good fortune.

"There is no good fortune about it," he said, "any man may get rich if he isn't a fool. I have taken a kind of a liking to you, and if you will take my advice, I will put you in a way of making two or three hundred thousand dollars in less than six months."

I thanked Mr. Dooitt, with great fervency, for his kind offers, and as he saw my eyes fill with tears, he very considerately turned the conversation, and told me he intended, as soon as he could arrange his affairs, to go to Europe, where his father's relations were living.

I asked him in what part of Europe his relations lived; he said he didn't exactly know, but he had no doubt he could easily find them for money.

As Mr. Dooitt's house was in the very genteelest extremity of the city, it was almost dark before we reached it, but there was still light enough for me to discover that it was a bran new house, and as nearly resembling all the rest in the same street, as though they had all been cast in the same mould. It was as red as red paint could make it, the windows were shaded with bright green blinds, and the front door and iron railings were all bronzed. As we walked into the hall, it smelt of varnish, like a cabinet maker's shop; every thing was bright and new. Mrs. Dooitt was seated in the parlor, on a crimson ottoman, with a superbly bound annual in her hand.

"Allow me to make you acquainted with my wife," said Mr. Dooitt. "My dear, this is my particular friend, Mr.—Mr.—. I forget exactly the name."

"Mr. Franco," I said, blushing very red.

"Mr. Franco," said Mr. Dooitt.

The lady rose and made a very low curtsey, and I made a very low bow.

I felt very much embarrassed, but ventured to remark that the weather was very pleasant.

"It is indeed very," said Mrs. Dooitt, with so much earnestness in her manner, that I congratulated myself upon having made an observation exactly suited to the occasion. So I followed it up with another on the same subject.

"I think we may reasonably expect a change before long," I said.

"Indeed, I should not be extremely surprised, if we did experience one before a very lengthy period of time," observed Mrs. Dooitt, emphatically.

Feeling entirely at a loss for another remark, I fixed my eyes upon a plaster cast of General Lafayette, which stood on the mantel piece, with as much earnestness as though I had never seen one before in my life.

Mr. D. seeing that I cast a glance towards the marble centre table, remarked, that it was a beautiful piece of mechanism, and asked me to guess how much it cost.

I had not the slightest knowledge of the value of furniture, but I felt ashamed to say so, and I guessed a thousand dollars. At which Mr. andMrs. D. both laughed very loud, and both spoke at once, and said it cost eighty dollars only. I felt very much confused, but Mrs. D. appeared to be highly delighted with my blunder. She asked me to guess how much the French clock on the mantel cost; and then Mr. D. asked me to guess how much the card tables cost. My answers caused a good deal of merriment to Mr. D. and his accomplished lady, and, after having spent half an hour in this pleasant manner, he asked me to take a glass of champagne with him, which of course I did not refuse, and then I was invited into the tearoom to tea.

The tea-room was a little square box, with whitewashed walls, and one window with a green blind to it. Like the hall and the parlor, the tea-room smelt disagreeably strong of paint. We were waited upon by the coachman, with his blue laced coat, but without his yellow gauntlets. The tea table was most abundantly covered with all manner of contrivances, for destroying the appetite; there were two plates of cakes, a plate of cheese, another of bread, another of crackers, two glass dishes of preserves, a champagne glass full of radishes, a dish of hot waffles, a plate of raw beef, and a plate of butter.

I had eaten a hearty dinner at five o'clock, andthe champagne which I had just drank, had given me a perfect loathing for food, and I was distressed beyond measure by Mr. Dooitt and his wife, pressing me to eat, sometimes alternately, and sometimes together.

"Have you got the dyspepsia?" asked Mrs. D.

"Aint you a Grahamite?" asked Mr. D.

"Why dont you eat?" ejaculated both together.

I spent a very uncomfortable half hour at the tea table, and then Mr. Dooitt and I returned to the parlor; Mrs. D. remaining in the tea-room, as she said, to feed the baby.

Mr. Dooitt exhibited to me the plan of a good many new cities, and he promised to name a street after me in one of them, if I would take an interest in it.

I replied, that I certainly should take a very lively interest in it.

He said the kind of interest he meant, was to buy some of the lots. He offered them to me on the same terms that Mr. Worhoss had; but as I had promised that gentleman that I would not make any purchase, without consulting him, I was obliged to decline Mr. Dooitt's liberal offer. Finding that I would not buy any lots, he said if I would lend him a thousand dollars, he wouldallow one quarter per cent. interest per day for it, and give me some endorsed paper as collateral security. By doing this, he remarked, my money would not remain idle an hour

I liked this proposition very well; for the rate of interest which he offered me, would pay my daily expenses, and I could select some lots, either from his city or from Mr. Worhoss's, at my leisure. But I felt a little delicate about receiving collateral security, from a gentleman of Mr. Dooitt's wealth, and liberal feelings; so I tóld him if he would give me his own note, and name in it the rate of interest which he proposed to pay me, to guard against accidents, I would not require the collaterals. He assented very willingly to this proposal, and I gave him the money, and he gave me the note as I wished. After we had concluded this negotiation, I pretended to have an engagement, and took my leave of my generous host. It is such men as Mr. Dooitt, I thought to myself, as I left his door, who compel us to think well of our species, and convince us that the human heart is not, as some assert, wholly evil.

As I am writing my own adventures, I might, of course, pass over all my own weaknesses without noticing them, and so give the reader a more favorable impression of my character than it might deserve; but that, I conceive, would be acting unfairly, and I shall therefore make a record of my foibles with as much candor, as though I were writing the adventures of somebody else.

The attentions which were shown me by the wealthy speculator in fast property, and the bright prospects which were opened to my delighted fancy, by the promises of that gentleman, and my old friend, Mr. Worhoss, nearly upset my reason. As I walked from Mr. Dooitt's house down Broadway, I felt very grand, and twirled round my black ebony stick, and inclined my head from one side to the other, as though it was so full of big thoughts, that I could not keep it balanced upon my shoulders. I stopped at some of the genteelest bar-rooms, and drank a julep in one, a cock tail in another, and a sangaree in another; and to appear grand, I bought a shilling's worth of Spanish cigars; but I took good care not to put one of the nauseous things into my mouth.

I got to my boarding house about midnight, and went to bed, and awoke the next morning with a burning thirst, and a terrible feeling in my head. At the breakfast-table, I nibbled my toast, and sipped my coffee, with as poor an appetite as the greatest gentleman could desire. There wasnot the least affectation in the mincing airs which I exhibited. I felt miserably enough.

It was not long before I began to have misgivings that the suit of clothes which I had purchased at the "emporium of fashion," were not as strictly genteel as they might be, and I consulted Mr. Worhoss on the propriety of purchasing a new suit. He advised me to do so by all means, and said he would introduce me to his own tailor, the celebrated Mr. Suffers, of the late house of Allskirt and Suffers. Mr. Worhoss was very warm in the praise of his tailor; he represented him as being a perfect gentleman in his manners, and so entirely devoted to the science of cutting, that he cut up five pieces of superfine wool dyed black cloth, annually, in experimental garments. Like all the rest of the world, Mr. Suffers had grown immensely rich by speculating in lots, but he still continued to carry on his business from a love of art.

For my own part, I thought the best plan would be to employ the gentleman who published the reports of the fashions, but Mr. Worhoss said it was a decidedly vulgar concern, and I allowed myself to be guided by his better judgment. He took me to the establishment of the celebrated Mr.Suffers, in Broadway, and introduced me to him, and I submitted myself to the hands of that accomplished gentleman, who took my measure for a full suit, consisting of a black dress coat with a velvet collar, a green satin vest, and a pair of pantaloons of ribbed cassimere. Mr. Suffers recommended me to have my coat of inwisible green, and althoughit was, no doubt, presumption in me to differ from such high authority in matters of dress, yet I insisted on having black.

Fine clothes, they say, make fine birds; but they do more, they cause fine feelings. I was so well pleased with my new suit when I put it on, that I made a memorandum, at the time, of the leading ideas of an essay I meant to write on the usefulness of tailors; but as I was afterwards very much annoyed by the frequent calls of Mr. Suffers' collector, I concluded not to write it.

Time passed pleasantly away for a few days; I became acquainted with a good many genteel young men, and a good many lucky speculators in lots—noble, whole souled fellows, who spared no expense in promoting their own pleasures, but who were quite indifferent about the happiness of others. Female society I was a stranger to, but I did not regret it. The gentle image ofGeorgiana De Lancey, which grew brighter and brighter in my memory, was all-sufficient for me. I felt myself in honor bound, for her sake, to keep aloof from all woman kind.

CHAPTER IV. A change, Mr. Dooitt turns out to be any thing but a gentleman.

After repeated consultations with Mr. Worhoss, and the examination of a great number of lithographed maps, I, at last, concluded a bargain with him for one hundred lots in the city of Communipaw, at one hundred dollars each, ten per cent. of the purchase money to be paid down, and the balance to be paid in five annual instalments, for the security of which I was to give a mortgage on the property.

Mr. Worhoss proved to me very clearly that the lots were worth five hundred dollars each, and he assured me upon his word and honor that he would not sell them for less than that to any other person.

"It is first rate property," said Mr. Worhoss, "and you may consider yourself worth fifty thousand dollars as soon as the bargain is closed, by your paying the first instalment."

I had set my heart upon a hundred thousand, so I did not feel much elated when I found I should be worth only half that snm. I asked Mr.Worhoss if he would oblige me by selling me one hundred more lots at the same price, if I should want them.

"Perhaps I might," said Mr. W. "if you would not object to taking a few water lots with them.'

"What are water lots?" I inquired.

"Some very beautiful situations," he replied, which extend about two hundred yards into the river; they require nothing but merely to be filled up, to make them very desirable spots to build upon."

He pointed them out to me on the map, and as they looked quite as well as the others, I promised to take them; it was a matter of very trifling moment with me, where the lots were situated; all that I wanted was to speculate with them.

Mr. Worhoss reminded me that it was near three o'clock, and that he had made his calculations to pay a note at the bank with the money which I was to pay him.

So I ran in great haste to the office of Mr. Dooitt, and requested that lucky operator to give me a check for the amount I had loaned him. But Mr. Dooitt requested me to call at some othertime, as he was busily engaged in transferring some property.

Of course, it was not for me to urge a gentleman, through whose influence I expected to make a fortune, and I ran back empty-handed to Mr. Worhoss, who was pacing the floor of his little office in great agony. It lacked but five minutes of three. When he found I had returned without the money, he cursed and swore most vilely. He stuffed half a dozen blank checks into his hat, and said he must go out and kite it to save his credit.

I must confess it astonished me not a little, to find that men so immensely rich as Mr. Worhoss and Mr. Dooitt represented themselves to be, should be put to such shifts for so trifling a sum as a thousand dollars.

The next day I called again at the office of Mr. Dooitt, and luckily I found him disengaged; he shook me cordially by the hand, said he was very happy to see me, and hoped I was quite well; asked me if I had heard any news from Europe, and whether I should like to travel with him.

I was quite overcome with his politeness, and in my turn inquired after his health, the health of Mrs. Dooitt, and the health of the little boy; andthen added, that he would oblige me by returning the money which I had loaned him.

"O, ah, yes, certainly," said Mr. Dooitt; "if you will call at precisely half past one o'clock, it will give me great pleasure to do so."

I promised to return at that hour, and I did, to a second. But Mr. Dooitt was not in his office, neither did he return again on that day.

The next morning I waited on him again; he was not quite as polite as he had been, and when I reminded him that he had not kept his promise the day before, he looked very surly, and asked if I meant to insult him in his own office.

"No, Sir," I replied, "I certainly do not mean to insult you, and I hope you did not mean to insult me when you appointed an hour to meet me here, without any intention of keeping the appointment."

"Don't bully me in this office," said Mr. Dooitt, raising his voice, "I wont stand it no how. Walk in here, Mr. Carrygutt, and hear what this fellow says." This was addressed to a cadaverous looking clerk in the outer office, for Mr. Dooitt was in his sanctum.

"Now repeat that again, will you, Mister," he said, as his clerk poked his head in at the door.

"There is no need of my repeating it," I said, "but I repeat that I want my money, and I must have it, and I will have it."

"Well, Sir," said Mr. Dooitt, "if you must have it, and will have it, of course I have nothing more to say about it; get it if you can. Mind this, I always deal fairly and honestly with every body."

I was completely thunderstruck by this strange conduct of Mr. Dooitt's, and I walked out of his office without making him any farther reply. Fortunately, I had his note of hand for the money I had loaned him, with the exorbitant rate of interest named in it, and I was determined to let him know, that he should not trifle with me with impunity. I went straightway to a lawyer, determined to prosecute him on the note, and take the full measure of vengeance which the law might allow me.

I remembered to have read in the newspapers, a few days before, of a counsellor who threw an ink-stand at the head of the judge, in one of the courts, and I thought he would be a very proper person to carry on a suit with spirit. I found his direction in the city directory, and called upon him at his office in Beekman street; his name was Slobber.

Seeing Mr. Slobber's name on a tin plate onthe window shutter, I walked boldly into a little musty room, the walls of which were blackened with smoke, and the windows and shelves covered with dust and cobwebs. A young man was writing at a desk in one corner of the room. I asked if I could see Mr. Slobber.

"Certainly you can," replied the young man, in a voice enriched by an unaffected brogue, "if you will please to walk into the back office."

I walked through a long, dirty hall, and feeling a little timid at the idea of entering unbidden into the presence of so spirited an individual as Mr. Slobber, I tapped gently at the door at the end of the passage.

"Come in," exclaimed a voice inside.

I took off my hat, and opening the door, found myself in the presence of a little gray-headed man, stretched out at his full length on a dirty, red sofa, smoking a cigar.

"Well, sir?" said the little man, looking up in my face, but without moving.

"I wanted to speak with Mr. Slobber," I replied.

"Well, sir, that is me, I am that individual; speak on."

"I have a claim for a thousand dollars," I replied, "against a gentleman, who has not only refusedto pay me, but has insulted me grossly. I should like to take out a writ immediately, and have him sent to prison."

"I will attend to you with a gwate deal of pleasure," replied Mr. Slobber, and forthwith he leaped off the sofa, and took a seat at his baize covered table, and having favored me with three or four puffs of segar smoke, he said, "Well, sir?" again.

I related to Mr. Slobber the whole story of my loaning the money to Mr. Dooitt; told him how I was like to lose an opportunity of making fifty thousand dollars, by an operation in lots, and was proceeding to tell him some other things, when a rap was heard on the floor above our heads.

"Stop one minute, if you please, young man," said Mr. Slobber, "and I will return and hear the remainder."

Mr. Slobber was gone more than half an hour; and as he left me without any means of amusement, I am very certain he will not take it amiss when he finds that I employed part of the time in writing a description of his office.

It was a little old fashioned room, with a very low ceiling, and from its shape and situation, I presume it had once been used for a dining-room; from the dusky appearance of the wall, and the tattered condition of the paper with which the sideswere covered, and the venerable looking cobwebs which rounded off all the angles, it would not be unfair to infer that neither mop, broom, nor duster, had invaded its precincts since the late war.

There was a wooden clock in one corner, without any pendulum, and a pair of monstrous jack boots hung directly under it; an Indian bow and arrow hung in another corner, and a small birchen canoe was suspended over one of the windows; there were two book cases, neither of which had a whole pane of glass, and one of them had a faded green silk curtain, which displayed innumerable rents; there were piles upon piles of soiled papers, tied with red tape, and half a dozen shelves of sheepskin covered books, well filled with dust, as though time had been sifting the sand from his hour glass upon them. I took one of them down and opened it, and it emitted an odour, which suggested no other idea than that it was caused by the flapping of the gray wings of the old destroyer.

At last, Mr. Slobber reappeared, picking his teeth, his face giving a pretty sure indication that he had just risen from dinner. He took his seat in an old arm chair, and having lighted a segar with a loco foco match, he asked me to let him see the note of hand which Mr. Dooitt had given me.

I reached it to him, and he contracted his eye brows and screwed up his mouth, as he read it.

"Of course, you are appwised, young man," said Mr. Slobber, "that it is the custom always to pay for legal adwice?"

"I suppose it is," I replied.

"Of course," said Mr. Slobber, "I am not such a downwight fool as to spend my pwecious time and money in acquiring knowledge for the benefit of indiwiduals for nothing."

"Of course not," I said, "and how much must I pay you for the advice which you are going to give me in this business?"

"Why, sir," replied Mr. Slobber, "the charges are warous for legal adwice, sometimes fifty dollars, and sometimes less. I think a ten dollar bill would be about fair in this case."

This was more than I could afford to give, indeed it was nearly all the money I had in the world; but I saw no other alternative, so I took out my wallet, and reached Mr. Slobber two fives.

He put the bills into his pocket, and gave me back Mr. Dooitt's note of hand.

"Well, sir," said Mr. Slobber, "as you have paid me for my adwice, of course I shall give the best I am capable of. Don't think of going to law,you will only incur a heavy bill of costs for nothing. The note isn't worth two stwaws."

"Why not?" I inquired, although it was with difficulty I spoke, I was so agitated.

"Why not, sir," said Mr. Slobber, "because it is tainted, sir."

"Tainted!" I replied, looking at the note, "how tainted?"

"Tainted with woosuwy, sir," replied the lawyer.

He then explained to me the beauty of the usury laws, and to my great astonishment, as well as grief and mortification, made me acquainted with the fact, that in our free country, a man has no right to pay what he pleases for the use of his neighbor's money.

I was astounded at this intelligence. I felt humbled and abased; I was caught in a pit of my own digging. But I could not believe that Mr. Dooitt would be guilty of such an act of wicked cruelty, as to withhold my money from me. I hurried back to his office, and requested him, very humbly, to return me my money, and offered to give him all the interest that was due on the note. But he pretended that I had insulted him grossly, by doubting his honor, and ordered me to leave hisoffice. He even went so far as to say, he didn't owe me a copper.

I did leave his office, and without saying a word; I was too full of grief to make a reply. I saw too plainly that Mr. Dooitt had intended to cheat me, from the beginning; and I had no doubt, but that my old friend, Mr. Worhoss, had similar designs upon me; I, however, went immediately to the office of that gentleman, and told him all the particulars of my transactions with Mr. Dooitt, and observed to him, that as he had introduced me to Mr. D., I should look to him for assistance in getting my money back again.

"Well," said Mr. Worhoss, when I had finished, "you are a devilish sight greener than I took you to be; if you had put confidence in me, I would have made your fortune for you; but as you saw proper to act on your own responsibility, you must continue to do so. There is the door; I have business of my own to attend to."

My feelings were almost too keen for endurance; the sudden overthrow of my hopes, left me without one prop; so deep and bitter was my grief, that I was denied the poor solace of tears. I am ashamed to confess that I had recourse to the vulgar expedient of drinking brandy to drown my reflections. Having, as I thought, drank myselfinto an oblivious condition, I staggered to my chamber, and threw myself upon the bed, and was tormented in my drunken sleep with visions, a thousand times more frightful than any that my sober senses could have conjured up.

A very short acquaintance with almost any of the ills of this life, will reconcile us to them.

When I arose in the morning, I felt much more serene than when I lay down at night. I bathed my temples in cologne water, and having dressed myself with uncommon care, I assumed as pleasant and unconcerned a look as I could, and descended to the breakfast room; and at the table I had the gratification of hearing the particulars of my transaction with Mr. Dooitt related by one of the boarders, who had not learned the names of the parties. It caused a good deal of merriment, and to my utter astonishment, nobody spoke a syllable in condemnation of the scoundrel who had wronged me; but, on the contrary, every one spoke of him as a confounded smart fellow. In addition to this pleasant story, I had the mortification of hearing each of the boarders tell of some lucky fellow who had made a fortunate operation by purchasing lots the day before.

I made out to swallow one cup of coffee, and then I left the table with my blood in a commotion. I knew not which way to turn, nor whither to go for relief; but with the hope of diverting my thoughts from my melancholy situation, I took a stroll through Broadway.

I was always hoping for something, I hardly knew what; a dim form, like the shadow of a desire, was ever before me, to beguile my senses. I could not even now divest myself of the idea that some piece of sudden good luck would befal me. With feelings like these, I stumbled upon a lottery office, and immediately purchased a ticket in a lottery, which was to draw the next day; after I had paid for the chance, I had but seven and six-pence remaining in my pocket. But the possession of the ticket placed me two or three steps from absolute despair. My hopes had now something tangible to feed upon, and miserable fare though it was, they thrived upon it amazingly; they were like balloons, the lighter the substance with which they were filled, the higher they rose.

When I went to my boarding house to dinner, I was struck aghast by the sight of my bill, which Mrs. Riggs put into my hand as soon as I entered the parlor door. I took it in as careless a manner as I could, and told her I expected to receive some money in the morning, when I would pay it. My manner did not seem to impress my landladyvery favorably, and when I went up to my chamber, I found the door locked; I asked for the key, and was told that I could not have it until I had paid my bill.

I afterwards found that Mr. Dooitt had called on Mrs. Riggs, and cautioned her against keeping me any longer in her house, as he knew I had no money to pay my board with.

Of course I did not eat my dinner at Mrs. Riggs's, but I went and satisfied my appetite with a bowl of oyster soup, in an oyster cellar in the vicinity of the Bear Market. Afterwards I sauntered about the battery, and about midnight, when the tread of feet was no longer heard, I stretched myself out on one of the benches, and soon fell asleep; my feverish brow cooled by a gentle breeze, which just rippled the water, and caused the tiny waves to dash with a pleasant sound against the sea wall. In the morning, I awoke refreshed and invigorated, and without experiencing any inconvenience from sleeping on an outdoor couch, other than a most ravenous appetite.

Let those enervate gentlemen who turn and toss through a weary night, and rise from their beds more fatigned than refreshed in the morning, try a night's lodging on one of the batterycouches, and they will learn to speak with less contempt of those houseless loafers who sometimes spend a night on that lovely spot. For my own part, I was so well pleased with my first night's lodging, I did not scruple to sleep there again and again. But there are, it must be confessed, two disadvantages in making your bed on the battery; one is, that you sometimes lay down in company with gentlemen, who may be well enough when the mantle of night covers them, but whom you would not care to acknowledge were your bed fellows when the bright sun shines upon them; the other is, that you get up with such a devouring appetite, that you will find some difficulty in appeasing it, if your means do not happen to be extensive.

CHAPTER V. Meet with no less than two old acquaintances under very peculiar circumstances.

I inquired at the lottery office, with a beating heart, and found that my ticket was a blank. I was now without a hope; not the slightest foundation left for me to build upon. I had neither a cent in my pocket, nor a single article of any value; even my pencil case and pocket knife were both gone. But I did not despair; I was too hungry to feel gloomy. My supper the night before was a very light one, and my breakfast was still more unsubstantial; a glass of cold water was the only refreshment I had taken. There had been a change in the weather, and a keen cold wind had given an edge to my appetite, sharp enough to have rendered even a sloth ferocious.

There are many men, beyond a doubt, who go down to their graves without ever having known what hunger is; they are to be pitied who do; they lose an existence, without having tasted one of the highest zests that can be imparted to it; their experience of life is imperfect.

I knew there was nothing to be gained by standing still, and as I came out of the lottery office, I turned up a street towards the Park, and was tantalized by the savoury vapors which ascended from the Terrapin Lunch, beneath the American Museum. As I continued on through Park Row, it appeared as though all the restaurateurs in that gormandizing region, had conspired together to torment me with an exhibition of good things. Such steaks at the Goose and Gridiron, with delicate streaks of yellow fat, a thousand times more precious to the eyes than the heaps of golden coin in a broker's window! such oysters at the Shakspeare, and such fish and game at the Cornucopia! I had never seen the like before, but I averted my head and walked on; they were as much beyond my reach as the Georgium Sidus; if I looked upon them, it was only in silent admiration. I continued to walk on, until I came to Catharine street, and then turned down towards the market, attracted thither, perhaps, by that secret sympathy which causes birds of the same feather to fly together. It was certainly one of the last places that I should have resorted to, under other circumstances. The impressions which I had received of the region round about it, were any thing butpleasant. But I continued on my way until I arrived opposite to the door of a cook shop, which emitted such a delicious odour of fried eels, and other delicacies peculiar to that quarter, that I found it impossible to resist the temptation to go in.

I took a seat at one of the little tables, covered with oil cloth, and looked wishfully at the various dishes which were displayed on the counter; my eyes rested with peculiar satisfaction on a huge basin of baked beans and pork; it appeared to me the loveliest object in the world.

The master of this house of refreshments, was a round-faced, big-bellied man, with a bright hazel eye and glossy black hair; he wore a snowy white apron, and brandished in his right hand an immensely long carving knife. Supposing, as a matter of course, or perhaps judging from my anxious looks, that I wanted something to eat, he asked me what I would have?

"Beans," I replied, for I had not the power o resistance.

"Small plate or large?" he asked.

"Large," I replied, of course.

And forthwith he brought me a large plate, with praiseworthy alacrity.

It was a large plate of smoking warm bakedbeans, with a slice of pork, the rind nicely checkered and most deliciously browned, lying on top; there was a pickled cucumber on the edge of the plate, and a slice of bread stuck on the end of the fork.

I smacked my lips as I drew it before me, and seized the knife and fork, and was about to begin, when the keeper of the eating house exclaimed,

"I suppose, bossy, you mean to pay for that ere?"

"Of course," I replied, for so I did intend to do when I got able.

"Then of course you mought as well hand over a shilling first as last, if you please."

I was entirely at a loss for an answer; had there been less at stake, my wits might have suggested a satisfactory reply, but the stupendousness of the demand, completely paralyzed me, and I let the knife and fork fall in despair.

The man seeing my confusion, caught hold of the plate, and bore it back to his strong hold.

Never before had I known what disappointment was; this was its bitter dregs; the loss of my money was a trifle in comparison.

"That is a magnificent vest of yours," said a man who set at a table opposite, and whom I had not observed until he spoke. "Why don't youoffer it to Mr. Stewpy in pledge, and take your plate again?"

"Do you think he will take it?" I asked eagerly.

"To be sure you will, won't you, Mr. Stewpy?" said the benevolent stranger.

"I should rather think I would, if it was offered to me," replied Mr. Stewpy.

I made no further inquiries, but pulled off my coat and vest, and gave the latter garment to Mr. Stewpy, who, in the most generous manner, returned the plate of beans to me, and I fell to, and devoured them as quick as I could, for fear of another surprise.

"Is that all you are going to call for?" asked the stranger, who had kept his eyes steadily fixed upon me all the time I was eating the baked beans.

"I could eat something more," I replied.

"Then why don't you call for a couple pieces of pie, and a couple glasses of beer?" said the stranger. "These eating house people have no sensibility; good eating blunts their finer feelings; they have no soul, sir; if you don't ask for something more, you may depend upon't Mr. Stewpy will not offer any thing to you; and your vest is worth a good many shilling plates."

I improved the hint of the stranger, and requestedMr. Stewpy to bring two pieces of pie and two glasses of beer.

"I will take pumpkin pie," said the stranger, "and be so good as to put my beer into a pewter mug."

Mr. Stewpy brought the pie and the beer without any hesitation.

Feeling a little more at my ease, I took a glance at the features of the kind stranger, who had rendered me such important service. He was a youngish person, with a pale oval face and black restless eyes; he had a remarkably hook-billed nose, and a high forehead, with a narrow promontory of crispy black hair, extending far down the centre, and a rivulet of bare skin running up on each side towards the top of his head. His dress was none of the brightest; and his shirt collar, although making no pretensions to a snowy aspect, was ostentatiously turned over his black stock, notwithstanding.

"You ought always to drink out of a pewter mug," remarked the stranger.

"Why so?" I inquired.

"Perhaps you have not been in the habit of attending lectures at Clinton Hall?" he said, without answering my question.

"I must acknowledge I have not."

"Ah, I thought so. If you had, you might have learned that when you apply your warm lip to the edge of the pewter, a sort of an electrogalvanic action takes place, which imparts a very peculiar flavor to the liquor, as it pours over the surface of the metal into your mouth."

"Is it possible?" I exclaimed.

"Fact, upon my soul," said the stranger, "just try it. And so saying, he put the pewter mug to my lips, and I drank a swallow, but I was obliged to confess that I failed to detect the flavor.

"Now let me try yours," he said, and taking up my tumbler, he drank off its contents, and smacked his lips with great satisfaction, and said, the difference was quite obvious.

"This is a vulgar hole," exclaimed the stranger, after a moment's silence.

"I dare say it is," I replied.

"I perfectly detest it," he said.

"Then why do you come here?"

"Why!" he exclaimed, striking the table with his fist, and putting on an indignant frown. "Because — but no matter; perhaps you will not comprehend me."

"O, I dare say I shall," I replied, for I was very curious to know why a gentleman shouldvisit an eating-house which he detested so heartily.

"Because," said the stranger, with a solemn air, "I am in advance of the age."

He had rightly surmised that I should not understand him. I thought that a very strange reason indeed, and I said so.

"It is because I have got a soul above these money-making wretches. They toil for silver, I work for fame. They revel in ignominious wealth, I eat my crust with the Muse. Wealth is aristocratic; genius is democratic. But I will take my revenge of them; they shall go down to posterity with a brand in their foreheads. I will read you a thrilling extract from my work in the press. There is one consolation about it, I shall get as much for it as Milton got for his Paradise Lost. You know Otway?"

"I cannot say I do."

"He was one of us. He starved to death. And Chatterton, poor Chatterton! You know him?"

"No."

"He was another. Sons of Fame, but heirs of Indigence."

"Poor fellows!" I ejaculated.

"It is ever thus with poets, 'tis too true. Who would be a poet?"

"Not I, for one," I replied.

"No more I would n't," said Mr. Stewpy.

"How could you help it?" exclaimed the stranger, striking his forehead, and rolling up his eyes, as though his system was undergoing an agonizing revolution.

"I guess I could help it very easily," said Mr. Stewpy; "I never writ a line of poetry in all my life, I am blessed if I did."

The poetical stranger made no other reply to the remark of Mr. Stewpy than a disdainful toss of the head. But turning to me, he asked me where I lodged.

I blushed at the question, and replied, "down town."

"On the battery?" he asked.

"Sometimes," I replied, affecting to speak carelessly.

"It is getting to be too common on the battery," said the poet; "there are so many low characters resort there for a lodging, it makes it quite disagreeable for a gentleman of any sensibility. Now Washington Square is quite select, beautiful, clean spot, elegant houses; Waverley Place is quite a poetical name. Then there isthe University, it imparts a classic gusto to the reflection of having slept under its shadow."

This singular gentleman having delivered himself of his encomiums on Washington Square, begged me to excuse him, as he had an engagement with a gentleman of the press; he said he should be most happy to encounter me again, when he would read me an extract from his poem, of thrilling interest; he then shook my hand very warmly, and bade me good bye.

After he had left, I asked Mr. Stewpy to make a further advance on the vest, which he agreed to do, and I indulged myself with a cup of coffee, and half a dozen dough nuts.

During the remainder of the day I sauntered about from street to street, reading the names on the door plates, and trying to beguile the time, and cheat myself with idle surmises and conjecture about the occupants of the houses. But the day wore away very slowly. I thought the sun would never go down. By and by, however, it was dark, and then I walked through the most frequented streets, up and down Broadway, and round and round the park. I looked with envy upon the watchmen, as they walked their prescribed limits. They had something to walk for; they were occupied; they were paid for sauntering. Every body I met appeared to be engaged about something. On what a variety of errands were the multitudes bound who passed me. I alone was without an aim.

I often wonder now, as I pass through the crowded thoroughfares of the city, if there are any among the seemingly hurried multitude that I meet, who, like me, are wholly without an aim; who walk in weariness of heart and body, striving to forget the cheerlessness of their condition, but reminded of it at every step by the contrasted cheerfulness of those they encounter. What a relief to such, is the upsetting of a coach, a cry of fire, or of stop thief, a new print in a bookseller's window, or a new placard stuck upon a wall; any thing, thought it may beguile the mind but one minute, or one second, is a relief; and it is sought for with the same earnestness that Dives prayed for one drop of water to cool his burning tongue.

I continued to walk until nearly midnight, and then feeling sleepy, I took the poet's advice, and sought for a lodging in Washington Square.

I found that he had not overrated it. The houses were elegant, the grounds were neat, and the university, though looming up in the moonlight like a mountain of snow, cast a broad darkshadow around. Fortunately, the large door in front was left open, and I took the liberty of entering the hall, and coiling myself up on the marble steps.

The morning was well advanced when I awoke. I felt cold and stiff. Marble steps make but an indifferent resting place of a chilly night. I resolved in my mind not to lodge again in the ball of the university.

The weather was comparatively mild and pleasant when I fell asleep, but during the night, one of those changes, so common in our climate, had taken place, and a dry, piercing cold wind now swept through the streets, converting heaps of mud and filth into clouds of fine and penetrating dust. The shop doors were all closed, and men hurried through the streets, wrapped in their cloaks, and their hats drawn tightly over their eyes, and their heads bowed down to keep the dust out of their faces, as it met them in spiral eddies at the corners of the avenues. The omnibuses were all crowded, for nobody would venture to walk through clouds of dust and coal ashes, when they could ride under cover for a shilling; and the little ragged omnibus boys would hardly condescend to take their hands out of their pockets, to open the doors for passengers. A poor seamstress, but slenderly protected from the cold wind by a thin shawl, might be seen here and there, hurrying to her daily task. Little barefooted boys were crying out, 'here's the Sun,' in shrill piping voices, while their teeth chattered together, and their faces were blue with cold. Although I was compelled to walk very fast to keep myself from shivering, and sometimes by the force of a sudden gust of wind, I could not help noticing these poor creatures, and envying them, miserable though they were. They had something to do.

I was very cold, and with my coat buttoned close up to my throat, I have no doubt I made a very wretched appearance; but I was indifferent about my looks; I was hurrying down Broadway, with a determination to go to Mr. Stewpy, and make an appeal to his generosity for a breakfast. I had got as far as Reed street, when, as I was about to turn the corner, I encountered an apparition, which drove all thoughts of breakfast out of my mind, and caused the sweat to start from every pore in my body.

The apparition which I encountered was not of the spectral order; it would have startled me less if it had been; but it was a ruddy cheeked, hearty looking young man. It was none other than my haughty cousin, whose unfeeling taunts had driven me from my home, to seek a fortune in the world. He was elegantly and warmly clad, with a fur collar to his outside coat; he was leaning on the arm of a young man, and laughing right heartily, apparently at some observation of his companion. As soon as I caught sight of him, I crossed over to the opposite side of the street, hoping to escape his notice; but he recognised me, and called out my name. But I kept on my way without turning my head, and heard him exclaim, "I told you so; remember what I told you." And then he and his companion laughed.

I did remember what he had told me; the words still burned in my brain. I thought my heart would burst; all the blood in my veins seemed to rush into it at once. I wandered about, blinded with grief, my brain was dizzy, and I felt sick. I looked around in search of some place where I might hide myself from observation, and give vent to my feelings in tears.

I had unconsciously strayed into a wretched street, the houses of which on either side were disgustingly mean and filthy in their appearance. Vile looking women, negroes, and squalid children, hogs, and all manner of unclean things,were seen all around; and oaths, and lewd talk, and boisterous revelry, without mirth, were heard proceeding from the cellars and shop doors. I did not know before that there was such a vile and wretched spot in the city, and I spoke to a negro woman, who sat on the sill of a cellar door, smoking a pipe, and asked her what place it was.

"Get away, white man," replied the wench, "you don't say you don't know where de pints is; get along wid your bodering me. Dis is Five Points, dat you knows precious well."

While I was looking around me at the squalid misery on every side, which appeared a thousand times more hideous from its evident association with the most degrading vice, a little bare-headed and bare-footed child asked me for a penny, in a voice so weak and feeble, that it smote upon my heart. But I looked sternly upon the little wretch, and answered, "no."

"Won't you come and see mother," said the child, at the same time reaching up to take hold of my hand.

"Where is your mother?" I asked.

"She's a bed," answered the child. "Do come and see her."

I had nothing to give, not even a penny, but Icould not resist the appeal of the little creature, and I followed it through a dirty narrow passage, into a little square court, surrounded by old wooden sheds, in a most ruinous and dilapidated condition.

Into one of these hovels I was led by the child. In a low room, destitute of every convenience, was a bed, on which lay a middle aged woman, covered over with a few miserable rags. Two children, smaller than the one that had led me in, were nestling over a few expiring embers; they were almost naked, and their pale and emaciated faces showed too plainly how severely the little innocents had suffered for the want of wholesome food. The destitution of the place was extreme. I could hardly believe that there were human beings living, or rather dying, in such a condition, in the very centre of this great and wealthy city.

The poor woman hardly moved her head when I came in. I stood some minutes, and gazed on the misery around me, and forgot my own; but when I remembered that I had not the power to offer the slightest relief, I wept tears of bitter agony. The little children ran to the bed side of their mother, and she looked up at me with disappointment in her face, when she found that I had nothing but tears to offer her.

The little boy, who had gone back as soon as he had conducted me into the room, now came running in, exclaiming, "she's coming, mother, she's coming; don't die mother, she's coming, she's coming." I looked out of the window, and saw a female approaching across the court. Ashamed to be seen in such a place an idle looker on, I stole out of a side door, and left it partly ajar, that I might catch a glimpse of the gentle being who had come on an errand of mercy, into this loathsome place.

The children crowded around their visiter when she entered, and I observed that she gave them some food from a basket which she carried in her hand; her face was turned from me towards the sick woman; but I could hear the tones of her voice, which were soft and musical. Although I could not hear the words she uttered, I doubted not they were words of consolation and pity. After she had administered to the poor woman's wants, she took a seat on the side of the bed, and taking a book from her basket, she commenced reading; from the few words that I heard, I supposed it was a religious tract. The gentle murmur of her soft voice fell upon my ear like angel whispers; I stood completely entranced, while she was reading, with the tears running from my eyes. The sick woman sobbed aloud, and the gentle being at her side, when she laid down her book, spoke a few words to her, and then took off her bonnet, and knelt down by the bedside to pray.

When she knelt down, her face was turned towards me. My eyes were almost blinded with tears, but I could not be mistaken. She lifted her eyes to Heaven. I could never forget their gentle expression. It was Georgiana De Lancey.

She crossed her hands upon her breast, and prayed long and fervently for the sick woman and her children. O! that I too could have been remembered in her prayers. Surely, I thought, if ever prayer be heard, it must be when it is breathed by lips like hers.

Had she been a stranger to me, I could not have looked upon her unmoved. Had I never loved her before, I must have loved her then. When I saw her last, she was in a crowded theatre, amid the glare of bright lights, and surrounded by forms and faces, perhaps as beautiful as her own, and I thought her then the loveliest vision that had ever been revealed to mortal eyes. In the two years that had elapsed, she had grown in stature, and, if possible, in beauty, and now I saw her in her proper sphere, like one of God's particular angels, just lighted upon earth on an errand of love.When I saw her last, I had some hope, but now I had none. I had not the courage to hope to be ever admitted into her society. I felt the wretchedness of my condition in all its force. I had struggled in vain. The objects at which I aimed could never be mine; they were placed at an immeasurable distance from me. I felt that I was doomed to misery; the prophetic words of my cousin had been again repeated, but I had no kind parents now upon whose bosom I could pour out my grief, and no tender sister to mingle her tears with mine. But I could die, and I exulted in the thought. Death would not turn from me. I resolved to die, and I felt calm.

I looked again at the fair vision before me, but my eyes were blurred with tears; I never expected to behold her again, until I should look upon her in the next world.

CHAPTER VI. Verifies the old saying, it never rains but it pours; I meet with another old acquaintance.

In opposition to half the world, and perhaps to the whole of it, I must be allowed to say, that hunger and cold are life preservers.

I am very certain that if my back had been warm, and my belly well filled, when I quitted the miserable hovel in the Five Points, I should have gone immediately to the nearest and most convenient spot, and there have put an end to my existence. My determination to do so was fixed. But I had not walked the length of half a dozen blocks, before the piercing cold wind, and the urgent demands of my appetite, completely drove all thoughts of suicide out of my head. The idea of killing myself before I got something warm and comfortable to eat, was not to be endured. Mr. Stewpy, and his warm cooking stove, completely usurped the place in my affections, which Georgiana De Lancey and my cousin occupied but a few minutes before.

This is a humiliating confession to make, and perhaps justice to myself would allow me to withhold it; but as I am writing a true history of myadventures, and not a fictitious story, I feel bound to record it.

I was walking as fast as I could towards the eating house of the portly Mr. Stewpy, when, as I crossed Water street, my eye caught sight of the sign of the Foul Anchor, which brought to my recollection the fact that I had left my bag of clothes there in charge of Mr. Murphy, the landlord, the day on which I came over from the navy yard, a circumstance which I had unaccountably forgotten. The bag contained some articles of value, and I stepped into the house, and inquired after my property.

The bar-room was full of sailors, drinking and singing, and it was some time before I could get the bar-keeper to attend to me. Mr. Murphy, the landlord, bluntly and resolutely refused to give me back my bag, notwithstanding I pointed it out to him, among a heap of others, and told him I could describe its contents. He said it was left in his charge by a sailor, and he would not deliver it up to a long coated highbinder.

While I stood disputing with Mr. Murphy, one of the sailors stopped short in the middle of a song, and stepping up to me, exclaimed,

"Hallo, shipmate!"

But as I did not know him, I supposed he wantedto pick a quarrel with me, and so I turned my back upon him, without noticing him.

"Ah!" said the sailor, with an oath, "I see how it is; now you have got a long tailed swinger on, you are too proud to speak to an old shipmate."

I looked at the man again, and notwithstanding his voice sounded very familiar, I could not recognise him.

"My good fellow," I said, "I do not remember you; but if you remember me, I am very glad to hear it. Perhaps you can convince Mr. Murphy, here, that I am no highbinder, although I have got a frock coat on."

"What, disremember me," exclaimed the sailor, "after you and I have rid half over South America, on one horse together."

"What, is it Jerry?" I exclaimed.

"Isn't it?" he said, "Jeremiah Bowhorn, himself. I guess it's me. I am not certain, but I believe so."

I was so delighted, I could have fallen upon his neck and kissed him. I had now found a friend. It was no wonder that I did not know him; he had but recently recovered from an attack of the small pox, and his once handsome face was very badly marked.

Jerry was not less delighted to meet with me, than I was at meeting him. He took me out of the bar-room into the back parlor, or dining-room, where we soon became acquainted with each other's situation and prospects. He called for something to eat, and while I was regaling myself with some baked beef and potatoes, and a glass of Monongahela whiskey, he gave me a summary of his adventures since we parted company in Buenos Ayres, the conclusion of which was, that he was paid off the day before from his last ship, and that he had something more than a hundred dollars in his pocket, any part of which, or the whole, was entirely at my service.

Mr. Murphy, the landlord, finding that I was not a highbinder, and that the bag of clothes really belonged to me, delivered it up to me. I took off the coat, which had caused me to be regarded with suspicion, and put on my blue jacket, and exchanged my black satin stock for a black silk handkerchief.

Jerry swore that I looked more ship-shape, and something like a man in my new dress, or rather my old one, and he was so well pleased with my appearance, that he insisted on taking me up stairs into the parlor to introduce me to Miss Mary Ann, the landlord's daughter. As I sawJerry thought it would be conferring a great honor upon me, I made no objection, and was accordingly introduced to the young lady.

The parlor of the Foul Anchor was on the second floor, and the front windows commanded a view which included a coppersmith's shop, a clothing store, and a camboose factory. Jerry called the parlor the ladies' cabin, and Miss Mary Ann sat in it, surrounded by the gifts of a thousand ocean rovers. She was an only daughter, and a pretty little black-eyed girl she was. She had a round face, glossy black hair, and sparkling bright eyes; as she was always good-natured, and neat in her dress, she won the good-will of all her father's boarders, who rarely failed to bring her a present when they returned from sea. Her little parlor was literally filled with all manner of curious things, enough to stock a dozen village lyceums. There were sea-fans, and branches of coral, Indian arrows, and models of ships, ostrich eggs and whale's teeth, stuffed birds and flamingo's feathers, shark's jaws and albatross's wings, the skin of a penguin, and Chinese slippers, a Turkish pipe, and a model of London Bridge, a glass ship and a view of Mount Vesuvius, and a thousand other equally rare and curious articles.

Miss Mary Ann affected to simper and look shy, and as I felt in no humor for trifling, I remained but a very few minutes with her.

Jerry was a favorite in the house, and to please him Mr. Murphy consented to receive me as a boarder. I had not fully recovered from the severe shock which I experienced in the morning in encountering my cousin and Georgiana De Lancey; no, no, my feelings had been so severely worked upon that their elasticity was gone; I felt heart-broken and dejected still, and was still determined upon self-destruction; the more familiar the idea became, the less repugnance I felt to the act. I saw no prospect of realizing my former hopes; but as suicide was an act not to be repented of, I concluded to wait a few days longer before I consummated my intentions.

In the evening, the sailors grew very boisterous, and to escape from the noise and confusion, I went up to Miss Mary Ann's parlour, where I found a gentleman seated alongside of her, whom she introduced to me as Mr. Davis, mate of one of the liners. He was a stout young man, with light hair, and a florid complexion; dressed in a blue coat, with bright buttons, and a white vest, and a very high shirt collar. He was balancing himself on the hind legs of his chair, when I entered, but on being introduced to me, he rose and shook me by the hand, and said he should be much pleased to see me on board the Columby. He then took his seat and balanced himself as before, and after a few minutes silence, he asked me if I had heard any news.

I answered that I had not.

Miss Mary Ann said she had heard, but she couldn't positively say it was true, that the Dutch had taken Holland.

Of course, we all laughed at this bright sally, and Mr. Davis sat looking for full five minutes at Miss Mary Ann, with the liveliest satisfaction depicted in his countenance. He then asked me if I had noticed which way the wind was.

I told him I had not.

But Miss Mary Ann, with a saucy toss of the head, said she guessed it was "nor-west and by west, half west, Captain West." Mr. Davis and I laughed again, but the young lady pouted out her lips, and looked very surly.

Thinking that I was probably the cause of her pouting, I rose to go, when she jumped up, and giving me a wink, told me she was all ready, and began to put on her shawl and bonnet.

I was quite taken by surprise, and was just going to ask her what she meant, when a glancefrom her roguish black eye gave me to understand that I must remain mute.

Mr. Davis looked a north wester at me, but he said nothing. When the young lady had adjusted her hat to her satisfaction, she requested Mr. Davis to excuse her, as she had engaged herself to go to the museum with me.

I followed her out, feeling very foolish, as I had not a copper in my pocket, and I was ashamed to acknowledge my poverty. But she soon relieved me from my embarrassment by slipping a dollar into my hand, and telling me not to think any thing amiss of it, as she only wanted to make her beau feel jealous.

I was glad to find that Miss Mary Ann had no other motive for making so free with me. We went to the museum, and afterwards to a confectioner's, and then returned home, and discovered Mr. Davis walking to and fro on the opposite side walk, under the shadow of the awning. Probably he was meditating some stupendous plan of revenge, such as drowning himself, or murdering me and his sweetheart. But whatever his thoughts or feelings were, they did not prevent him from visiting the young lady every night for the next week; and she omitted no opportunity of tormenting him, by bestowing thesweetest smiles upon me whenever I was present.

I had been at the "Foul Anchor" a week, when I found Jerry one morning sitting on his chest, and looking very much cast down and dejected; I sat down by his side, and commenced talking to him, but it was some time before he would make me a reply; he, however, at last, told me the cause of his down heartedness.

"The long and the short of it is, Harry," he said, "I have been very misfortunate; I never was caught in a white squall before, and now I have lost every rag of canvass; blown clean out of the bolt ropes; not a thread left. You see the facts of the case is simply this: I got into a hack as was standing before the door here yesterday, for a bit of a ride. Where shall I drive, says the hackman; any where, says I. Well, that is no where, says the driver, so I'll stop here until you conclude on something a little more particular. Just then, I recollected there was a young woman of my acquaintance as lived up town, and which I wanted to see. So I gave the hackman her number, and told him to drive me there. When we got there, I squared the yards with the driver, and in I went, and found the young woman all alone, and down we sat together, and had something to drink quite sociable. Very soon I begins to feel drowsy, and the young woman, says she, lay down on the settee, Jerry, and rest yourself; so down I lay, and when I got up again, I found I had been asleep, and I wish I may be blown into a gin shop if I warnt skinned clean O! The young woman had not only picked my pockets of every cent there was in them, but she had even taken the shoes off my feet, and shoved them up the spout along with my new hat. So I had to toddle back again, bare footed and bare headed, and without a sixpence in my pocket to pay for a tort of grog."

"Of course," said Mr. Murphy, who had listened to Jerry's recital, "you did'nt leave the young woman's house without smashing every thing into it."

"Perhaps I didn't," said Jerry. "All I cared about it for, was, because I had just a hundred dollars in my pocket, and was going to give half of it to you, and the other half to my mother; but now I shall not go to see the old woman, for I don't like to go home to her without a dollar in my pocket after being gone from her so long."

Jerry's eyes filled with tears as he spoke of his mother, but he brushed them away, and soon resumed his usually cheerful tone.

CHAPTER VII. Contains a Ballad.

I began to grow very restless and dissatisfied at the Foul Anchor. Miss Mary Ann favored me with more attentions than I coveted, and I began to fear that what she intended as a jest, would end in earnest. Indeed, she had already asked me to take the place of bar-keeper to her father, but I declined her kind offer.

My mind having nothing to feed upon, began to busy itself again with my cousin's prediction, and with the all beauteous Georgiana De Lancey; and the thought of destroying myself would occasionally intrude itself into my mind.

I was sitting, the morning after Jerry's disaster, in Miss Mary Ann's parlor, with my face covered with my hands, and my busy fancy raising up the ghosts of a thousand withered follies, when that young lady bounded in, and reached me a little dirty looking misshapen letter. She said it was from Jerry Bowhorn. I opened it and read as follows:

"Friend Harry.

Dear Sir—This is to inform you as I have entered in Uncle Sam's service, and havetook three month's advance. I have kept money enough to have a good drunk, and the rest I send to you. Keep it and spend it for my sake. I wanted to of given you more, but that young woman, blast her—but never say die. So no more at present till death, and don't forget your old shipmate,

Jeremiah Bowhorn."

Enclosed in the letter, were three ten dollar bills. I read the letter to Miss Mary Ann, and she agreed with me, that Jerry was the best and frëest hearted fellow in the world. I said that I loved him like a brother.

"Ah!" said she, looking at me, while a blush stole over her pale face, "do you indeed love him?"

"Indeed, and in truth I do; see what he has done for me."

She tripped out of the room, and in a few minutes returned, and with her face averted, she put a little package into my hand, and then ran out again, without speaking a word.

I opened the little package, and found it contained a roll of bank bills, wrapped up in a piece of greasy brown paper; there were about sixty dollars in almost as many bills, and of as many different banks. I could not misunderstand thismanifestation of the young lady's kind feelings, and to prevent any further indiscretion on her part, I determined to quit her father's house immediately. Accordingly, I went down to the bar-room, having first put the roll of bills into the young lady's work box, to pay Mr. Murphy for my board, and to my surprise, I found that Jerry had paid a month in advance for me. This new proof of his attachment and kindly feelings, made so keen an impression upon my mind, that in the warmth of my feelings, I resolved to unite my fortune with his, and not set lightly by a friend who had acted so generously towards me.

So I went off to the rendezvous for shipping seamen, in search of my friend Jerry, with a firm determination of entering on board the same ship with him; but when I got there, I found that he had been carried off to the receiving ship, about an hour before, as drunk as a lord.

Having had time to make a few wholesome reflections, I got the better of my enthusiastic determination, and once more I began to think of proving my cousin a lying prophet. Having my bag under my arm, and being in the neighborhood of Mr. Stewpy's eating house, I stepped in there to rest and refresh myself. I redeemed my green satin vest from Mr. Stewpy, and put it on again, togetherwith my frock coat and satin stock, and with them all my former pride, and anxiety for distinction and riches, seemed to return.

While I was adjusting my dress, the poet came in; he was overjoyed at seeing me; he inquired after my health, and said he had been very anxious to meet with me, as he wanted to get my opinion of a ballad that he was going to insert in his poem, which was in the press. He said he should place a very high estimate upon my opinion, as he knew from my phrenological developments, that I had considerable soul.

The poet looked very hungry, and as Mr. Stewpy had just brought in a famous piece of roast beef, I invited him to dine with me. I ordered two shilling plates, and at the poet's suggestion, two cups of coffee, and a small plate of pickles. Our dinner was soon despatched, and then be took a roll of manuscript out of his hat, and read the ballad. The thrilling extract, he said, he would read to me at some other time.

I begged a copy of the ballad, and as the reader may not have met with the poem to which it belonged, and in which it should have appeared, I will transcribe it for his benefit.

THE COUNT COMMUNE DE PAS.A BALLAD.

I.

There was once a tall, fine gentleman, came all the way from France,

To teach the beaux and ladies all, the genteel way to dance.

His hair was black as Lehigh's mines, it hung in glossy curls;

His mouth was wide; his eyes were black; his teeth, two rows of pearls.

II.

Mustachoes, frowning fiercely black, upon his lips he bore,

And rings, both large and numerous, upon his hands he wore;

He was praised by all the ladies fair, and puffed by all the press;

They set him forth perfection's self, the Prince of politesse.

III.

Now this very fine, tall gentleman, kept thinking all the while,

"What a fool am I to teach dese brutes to dance in true French style;

Tree tousand dollar, more or less, is all dat I shall gain,

But a handsome fortune I might make by Hymen's Coup de main."

IV.

"Nons verrons," said this gentleman, "we will see what I shall do,"

And he put his fiddle in its bag, and close the strings he drew.

"Va laissez moi. One fiddle bow, I never more shall draw,

I'll be one Count, to-morrow night, le Comte Commune de Pas."

V.

"To-morrow night," was ushered in, it was a night most rare,

A grand soiree was held up town; the Count, of course, was there.

He danced such steps! the gentlemen beheld him in a rage,

For the ladies all declared such steps would ornament the stage.

VI.

"But stop," said one, "he is no Count; he cannot sing a song."

The Count was asked to volunteer, "oui Madame, certainment!"

And such a song! not one false note, in foreign accents too!

The envious gentlemen confessed, he was a Count most true.

VII.

A lovely girl shone there that night, her father's pet and pride,

She heard the men, with slanderous tongues, the foreigner deride.

She knew he was a real Count, by a never failing sign,

His hands were small and delicate, Lord Byron's test, and mine.

VIII.

Now to show to all the ton her taste, and prove she was no dunce,

She saw him dance, she heard him sing, and fell in love, at once.

"Ah ha! sans doute, my fortune's made," cried Count Commune de Pas,

"One rich bank president shall be my father in the law."

IX.

"This lovely girl, in one week's time, was languishing a bride,

And this very tall, fine gentleman, was lounging at her side,

Whilst her pa and ma were rummaging their son in law's 'scrutoire,

To seek the Count's credentials, and find out if all was fair.

X.

Now suddenly they pounced upon a bag of faded green,

"Why wife," cries pa, "hang me if here is not a violeen!"

"A violeen! why bless my soul! and here's a bundle stout

Of bills for teaching boys to dance, all regular made out."

XI.

Sans ceremonie, out of doors, the Count Commune de Pas

Was straightway kicked into the street, by his father in the law,

And the lovely bride began to pine, and would have been a corse,

But the legislature, when it met, awarded a divorce.

XII.

"Par bleu! ma foi! mon Dieu! Sacre!" the gentleman did say,

As he took a monstrous pinch of snuff, and quickly walked away.

"One mes alliance I did make. I shall go back to France.

I'll see these yankees all be dem, they shall never learn to dance."

"How do you like it?" asked the poet, looking round with a triumphant air, when he had done reading it.

"Very much, indeed," I replied, "only I think if I had been in the count's place, I would have claimed my bride."

"I wouldn't have done no such a thing," said Mr. Stewpy, "I would have gone right off and commenced a suit for 'salt and battery' gin the old 'ristocrat, her father, the old villain! that's just the way with them bank-men. If I had been on the jury, I'd guv the count as much damages as he had a mind to ask for." So saying, Mr.Stewpy puffed out his cheeks, and whetted his carving knife very fiercely.

The poet smiled scornfully, and said, "You are both wrong. In the first place, I do not believe that either of you would have practised such a high handed piece of deception as the count did; and if you had, you would have sneaked off as he did."

"That is very true," said Mr. Stewpy; "nobody but a Frenchman would have had the impudence to did that thing."

"'Cepting 'twas an Irishman," said Mr. Stewpy's assistant.

Hereupon arose a little discussion between these two gentlemen, which ended very differently from discussions in general; for both the disputants came to the same conclusion, namely: that it was quite possible for any body to have been guilty of as great a piece of roguery as the count was, except an American; and that it was entirely out of the range of possibility for one of their own countrymen to err in any thing.

"Well," said the poet, addressing himself to me and Mr. Stewpy, for he appeared to look upon Mr. Stewpy's assistant as altogether unworthy of his attention, "you are both of you a fair sample of the critics of the present day, who, insteadof considering a character philosophically, and tracing out his true springs of action, condemn him for not acting as they think they would act themselves, if they were placed in his situation, with entirely different motives to influence them. No man is qualified to judge of the naturalness of a fictitious character, unless he be either possessed of sufficient discernment to enable him to comprehend the whole scope and design of the author who created it; or of sufficient enthusiasm to identify himself so completely with it, as to lose sight of his own individuality, and feel his soul swayed to and fro by the same influences which prompt it to action.

"You see now that when Mr. Stewpy said if he had been in the count's place, he would have gone to lawwith the old bank president, he forgot that, if he had been in the count's place, he would not have had his present high minded and democratic feelings."

"You are right there, for once," said Mr. Stewpy.

"And you," said the poet, turning to me, "if you had been in the count's place, and had married the young lady for the sake of her father's money, it would have been the last thing youwould have thought of doing, to lay claim to your bride, after being kicked out of doors."

I was compelled to acknowledge, on re-considering the matter, that the count was quite right in pocketing the affront put upon him, and going back to France.

"However," resumed the poet, "it is not my intention to defend the character of the count very warmly, for I have bestowed but little care upon his composition. The fact is, between you and I and Mr. Stewpy, I have been accused by the crities of ignorance of the languages, and so I wrote this ballad to convince them that I knew French. But in the main, I disapprove of sprinkling original compositions with quotations and foreign words. An author's productions should show the culture of his mind, as a fine melon shows the richness of the soil on which it was raised, by its size and flavor, and not by a daub of manure sticking upon its rind."

"All the same," said Mr. Stewpy, "as if I was to send you a plate of this fat mutton, with a turnip top on to it, to show you what the critter was fatted on."

"Precisely," said the poet. "Now," he exclaimed, "were I to read you an extract from my serious poem, the Deserted Daughter, you wouldhardly believe that I could write a ballad like this,"

"Quite unpossible, I dare say," said Mr. Stewpy, who appeared highly delighted with the poet's conversation.

"The fact is, Sir," continued the poet, throwing back his coat collar, and brushing up his hair with his coat "some people think an author is like a shopkeeper, who always knows the exact amount of his stock in trade, and who can, at any moment, display any article in his shop, but can do no more. But far different is it with the poet; he knows not himself, of the pearls and sparkling gems which lie hid in the depths of his own genius, like jewels in the sea, until the workings of his mind, like the billows of the ocean, wash them from their secret caves, and they are exposed to his view like gems upon the sea-shore, all bright and sparkling. And when the poet has glutted his eyes upon them, he may, if it suit his humor, give them to the world. For the offerings which genius bestows upon the world are gifts; they endure forever, and there is nothing given in return. But the bequests of conquerors and statesmen are mere lendings; they avail but little, and their cost is infinite. A battle gained has more than once cost a nation its liberty. Thousandsof years have flown over the world since the great temple of the wise king crumbled into ruins, but the sweet notes of his golden harp still vibrate on the ear. Think you that half the bright and glorious things which meet the poet's gaze are ever looked upon by other eyes? O! no, he revels in a world you know not of. Shakspeare knew Juliets more than one I trow, and fairy queens were Spenser's constant guests; and cherubim and angels lovelier far than those which on the perishable canvass live of Raffaello, were his sitters oft; and forms of deities and patriarchs towering high, in simple majesty, more numerous far than those which Michael chiselled from the stone, were seen by him, but never by the world; the high basilica, if placed beside the mighty model to his eye revealed, would dwindle to the cottage of a cit."

As the poet concluded, a butcher's boy, who was eating his beefsteak at one of the tables, exclaimed, "I couldn't have did it better myself." A compliment which the poet did not appear to estimate very highly.

But Mr. Stewpy, who had more soul than the poet gave him credit for, exclaimed, "Good! that's what I call just the thing, neither underdone nor overdone. It's worth a treat anyhow, and if nobody else wont stand it, I will."

As no one made an offer to stand a treat, Mr. Stewpy redeemed his promise by giving each of the company a glass of small beer.

The poet drank his down at a swallow, and having pulled his cap as much over his eyes as his nose would permit, he wrapped his old camblet cloak about his person, and stalked out very grandly.

When I was left alone to my thoughts, I could not but accuse myself of being a poet, although I had never dreamed of such a thing before, for I had been living in a world of hopes and fears, which none but myself knew of; and I had viewed myself in situations which the world had never yet seen me in.

CHAPTER VIII. Gain employment

The generosity of my old shipmate had rescued me from absolute want, and given me a short respite from death. The means which I now possessed I was resolved to use with the greatest prudence, and make one more exertion to prove my proud cousin a liar, and render myself worthy of Georgiana De Lancey. I tried hard to forget her, but without success; I could sooner have forgotten myself; she was a part of my existence. She hovered over me in my dreams at night, and walked by my side through the day; I heard her voice in every gentle sound, and I saw her sweet smile in every thing that was bright and beautiful. The folly and absurdity of such feelings towards one who knew nothing of me, and of whom I knew nothing, were apparent to me, but I could not overcome them. I could only hope that time and exertion might eradicate them; I dared not to hope that they would ever be gratified.

In accordance with my prudent resolutions, I obtained a cheap boarding house, and in a fewdays, I chanced to see an advertisement in one of the morning papers, for a clerk in an office in South street. I determined to let no opportunity pass of gaining employment, though it were in ever so humble a capacity. I had waited upon Fortune long enough to find that I was not one of her favorites, and now I meant to depend solely upon my own exertions.

The advertisement directed applicants for the situation to apply at the counting room of Marisett Co. in South street, between nine and ten in the morning. So I dressed myself as neatly as I could, and made my appearance at the appointed place, as the clock struck nine, determined to be the first on the list of applicants.

I felt a little nervous, as I went in, and inquired, with some trepidation, for Mr. Marisett.

One of the clerks who was writing at the nearest desk, spoke to another clerk, whom he called Mr. Hopper, and asked if Mr. Marisett had come down?

"Mr. Marisett is not in the office," said Mr. Hopper, addressing himself to me, "but our Mr. Bargin is in. Have you any business with the firm?"

"Nothing very particular," I replied, "I wantedto make application for the clerkship which is vacant."

The announcement of my business gained me a glance from all the other clerks, who looked at me over their desks.

"O, ah!" said Mr. Hopper, "you will find our Mr. Bargin in the private office. Perhaps he can arrange matters with you."

Mr. Hopper pointed with his pen towards the door of the private office, and I entered, with my hat in my hand. It was a neatly carpeted room, and the walls were hung round with the portraits of ships. There were three writing desks, with a broad bottomed mahogany arm chair to each, one of which was partly filled by a long sided cadaverous looking gentleman, with his neck confined in a stiff white cravat; he was very neat in his dress, and looked as though he had just been taken out of a bandbox. A pair of green colored kid gloves, as spotless as a snow drop, lay aside of a pile of unopened letters, on his desk before him. As there was no other person in the office, I supposed, rightly enough, that this was Mr. Bargin. He looked at me inquiringly, as I entered, and I told him the object of my visit.

"Very good, sir," he said, "have the goodness to take a seat for a few moments."

I sat down, and soon after another gentleman came in. He addressed Mr. Bargin, as "William," and Mr. Bargin called him "Mr. Garvey."

Mr. Garvey took up the letters which Mr. Bargin had opened, and glanced over them very rapidly, apparently imbibing their contents with as much ease as a mirror reflects an object when held before it.

Mr. Garvey was a very spare gentleman, and his hair was very red; his dress was of the very straitest cut of the straitest of all possible sects, Hicksite quakers; his coat had neither a superfluous button, nor a superfluous seam; and no luxurious linen showed itself above his narrow confined neck-cloth, to hide the sharp points of his projecting jaws.

"The cotton market looks well," said Mr. Garvey.

"Quite so," replied Mr. Bargin.

"Them sea islands will leave a handsome margin," said Mr. G.

"Very much so," replied Mr. B.

"Who is that?" asked Mr. Garvey, putting his mouth close to Mr. Bargin's ear, but speaking loud enough to be heard in the next office.

"Thee wants to apply for the situation, doesthee?" said Mr. Garvey, addressing himself to me.

"Yes, sir," I replied, rising.

"What house was thee in last?"

"I have never been employed in any counting house," I replied.

"What is thy name?"

"Harry Franco."

"Well, Henry, how old is thee?"

"I am about twenty. But my name is Harry."

"Thee is particular, Harry, about thy name; thee shouldst also be particular about thy age. Is thee just twenty, or more than twenty, or not quite twenty?"

"A little more than twenty."

"I should think so. I don't think thee will answer, but thee can sit down and wait until our John Marisett comes in; he will arrange with thee."

Very fortunately Mr. Garvey put no more questions to me, or if he had, it is probable I should have given him a reply that would have ruined my prospects with the house of Marisett Co.

After Mr. Garvey had left, Mr. Bargin remarked, that it was the senior partner of the firm who wanted a clerk, and consequently he preferred making the engagement himself, otherwise there would be no necessity for me to wait for him.

But I was not kept waiting a great while longer, for Mr. Marisett came in very soon after Mr. Garvey went out. He spoke to me before he read one of his letters, and having asked me one or two unimportant questions, he said that, although he had named the hour in his advertisement, he should not be able to attend to me, and requested me to call on him again at five o'clock, when he would be at leisure.

The words and kind manner of Mr. Marisett, were drops of honey to me, and I left the counting room with the most agreeable anticipations of success.

Time went wearily with me until five, and just as the clock struck the appointed hour, I entered Mr. Marisett's private office, and found him at his desk alone.

"Ah," he said, looking at his watch, "there is nothing like punctuality. Sit down."

After writing a few minutes, he laid down his pen, and wheeled round his chair, folded his hands quietly together, and having paused a moment, asked me my name, what my former occupation had been, how long I had been in the city, and what my age was; but in a manner so kind and encouraging, that I felt assured there could be nothing gained by practising the least deception,and so I related to him, as plainly and as shortly as I could, the particulars of my adventures since I left my home; the manner in which I got my money on board the man of war, and the manner in which I had lost it. I said nothing, however, about the predictions of my cousin, nor of the beauty of Georgiana De Lancey.

He listened very patiently to my relation, sometimes smiling slightly, and sometimes looking very grave. When I had made an end, he said that my education and habits had not been exactly of the right kind, to fit me for the duties which he should put upon me, if he were to engage me as his clerk. But as they were very simple, and required nothing so much as industry and punctuality, he thought I might discharge them to his satisfaction, if I chose to devote my whole time to them.

I assured him that I would not only devote all my time to his service, but that I would make use of all the energy of which I was master, to qualify myself for the duties which he might require of me.

He said that his two partners, and each of the clerks in his employ, had their respective duties to perform, and he wanted a clerk to attend to his own private affairs, and when necessary to assist in the counting room. Such an employment, he remarked, would afford me an opportunity of acquiring a knowledge of mercantile affairs, and fit me for some more important station. He concluded by saying he would take me on trial for a month, and at the end of that time, if he was satisfied with me, and I should be willing to remain with him, he would make a permanent engagement with me.

I left the office of Mr. Marisett in an ecstacy of pleasurable anticipations. The first time I saw him, I felt my affections drawn out towards him. His manners were winning and unaffected, and while his gentleness and apparent good nature inspired you with confidence, and led you to act without restraint in his presence, there was a calm dignity about him which inspired you with respect; indeed, with me, it amounted to a feeling of awe.

In person, Mr. Marisett was a little under the ordinary height; but he was very muscular, and somewhat inclined to corpulency, although there was not the slightest approach to grossness; his complexion was clear and ruddy; his forehead was high and broad, and as smooth as marble; his hair was a rich chestnut color; he wore it long and parted on his forehead; perhaps he was vain of it; if so, it was a most excusable vanity, for it was truly a glory even to a head like his. But hismost remarkable feature was his mouth; you might read his whole character in its expression, it was so sweetly stern, so firm, so gentle. He had a peculiar manner of compressing his lips, and casting down his eyes, which, having once seen, you could never forget.

CHAPTER IX. Contains the particulars of a commercial operation.

I entered upon the duties of my new employment the next morning, with a light heart, but, I must acknowledge, I found them wearisome enough at first. Copying mercantile letters is a dull business, and I was put to nothing more stirring the first fortnight. Mr. Marisett did not appear to overlook my writing, bu he contrived to point out to me all the mistakes I made. As may be supposed, I was very anxious to please him, and so I applied myself very closely to my duties. I sat up half the night, and wrote in my chamber, that I might handle a pen with ease; I read the price current every morning that I might become familiar with the names and prices of merchandize; I studied McCulloch's Dictionary, and read all the old letter books in the counting-room, through. When Mr. Garvey or Mr. Bargin gave me any thing to do, I strove hard to do it well, and to do it quick, and although I sometimes made strange blunders, yet I found I grew in favor every day. It was not long before the routine of counting-room transactions became perfectly familiar to me, and I wondered at myignorance in not having known how to do what appeared so perfectly simple and easy.

Mr. Marisett's desk was under my particular charge, and one part of my duty was to file away all his private letters in it. One day he requested me to look for a particular letter among some of the old files, and while I was searching for it, I came across one, headed in his own hand, "From Georgiana;" the sight of the name startled me, and the blood rushed into my face. Why should it? —There were many Georgianas in the world. But it was a name most dear to me, and I could neither see it written nor hear it spoken without emotion.

Mr. Marisett had not only left his letters for me to read, but he had even told me to look over his old files, that I might become familiar with the names of his correspondents, and their places of residence. Why then should I not read this letter "from Georgiana," and satisfy myself as to who Georgiana was? I had a burning desire to know, and I longed for an opportunity to do so. One day when Mr. Marisett was on change, and Mr. Garvey and Mr. Bargin were out on some business, being alone in the office, I took down the file which contained the letter "from Georgiana," and having searched it out, I was just in the act of taking it from the bundle, when a slight noise in the outer office caused me to turn my head, and in so doing I caught sight of my face in a little glass which hung opposite to me; I was startled at the guilty expression it bore, and hurriedly replaced the file in its pigeon-hole without looking at the letter. "No," I said, "I will not betray the confidence that has been placed in me." The act itself was innocent, but the motive was evil. My face burned with shame at the thought that I had been guilty of the meanness of wanting to pry into the private concerns of my benefactor. Even though the letter had been written by Georgiana De Lancey herself, what right had I to read it? Clearly, none. I knew it was not a business letter from the manner in which it was headed.

Some may think I was over nice, and perhaps I was; but I felt the guilt, and by a strong effort overcame the temptation: it was the first, and I cannot but fear that had I yielded then, I should at some other time have erred more seriously.

As it was, the letter "from Georgiana" was sacred in my eyes, and I felt a reverence for the bundle in which it was filed. But it caused me many heart-burnings, and sometimes I even regarded my employer as my rival.

At the expiration of my month's probation, Mr. Marisett offered me a small salary, but told me he would increase it at the end of the year. I was too happy to be retained in his service upon any conditions, to make objections to the smallness of the salary. The kindness with which he treated me bound my heart to him. Perhaps it was a delusion, but I fancied he spoke to me in a kindlier tone than he did to the other clerks, or even to his partners. Whether he did or not, I thought he did, and that caused me to redouble my exertions to please him, and render myself useful to him.

Had I known the character of Mr. Marisett, the reputation which he had gained as a merchant, and the importance of the situation which I filled, I should never have had the boldness to apply for it. Doubtless many were withheld from making applications for it, out of sheer modesty; while I, the unfittest person in the world almost, boldly applied, and was accepted.

The house of Marisett Co. had been established more than thirty years, and during that period, it had stood unmoved through all the revolutions which had taken place in the mercantile world. Mr. Marisett was supposed to be immensely rich, and such was his reputation forshrewdness and honorable dealing, his credit, both at home and abroad, was without limits. He had had many partners, all of whom had retired from the concern with fortunes. His present partners, Mr. Garvey and Mr. Bargin, had both been clerks in his employ, and although their characters were as unlike as their persons, their services were alike valuable. Mr. Garvey was the senior of the two; his forte was making a bargain. If he sold an article, he got more for it than any one else could, and in his purchases, he always bought a little under the market. He was noted as being the best buyer on 'Change. Perhaps the secret of his success was the peculiar sanctity of his coat, and his mild and oily thees and thous, which completely barred all suspicion of sinister designs out of the minds of those with whom he bargained What man could suspect another of mercenary or knavish feelings, who wore horn buttons on his drab coat, and called every body by their first names. Mr. Garvey was a Philadelphian by birth, and he had a becoming contempt for the vain things of this world; there was no affectation in his plain coat, nor hypocrisy in his sentiments. The achievements of art, the revolutions of fashion, and even the gay trappings of nature herself, had no allurements for him. Mr.Garvey cared nothing for worldly trifles; his sole aim was to make money. Mr. Bargin came from 'down-east,' for it somehow or other happens that you rarely meet with a New Yorker born; what becomes of all those who are born here, I know not. He had served a year or two with a ship broker, when he first came to the city, and afterwards entered the employ of Mr. Marisett in about the same capacity, and under similar circumstances, that I had. In course of time he was sent to Cuba to attend to some business for the house, and while there, he gained a knowledge of Spanish, and on his return to New York, Mr. Marisett took him into the firm to supply the place of a partner who had just withdrawn.

His particular duty was to attend to the correspondence, and to attend to correspondents who might visit the city in person.

What the exact extent of Mr. Bargin's acquirements in Spanish were, I had no means of knowing; but if his conversation in that language was as limited as it was in his own, his studies ought not to have engrossed much of his time; unless a question or an observation called for a very special answer, he rarely ventured upon any other reply than, "quite so," or "verymuch so," but then he had a manner of delivering these wordss, it must be confessed, which impressed you with an idea that he had said something. There was one other expression which he made use of on all occasions, in season and out of season, whenever he spoke of any person or thing; it was always, au fait.

The cup of Mr. Bargin's ambition was filled to the brim; he lived in Broadway, and visited in Lafayette Place; he wore the genteelest clothes, and read the most fashionable books; he would as soon have gone into Chatham street for a coat, as to have read a book which was not in the fashion; he had a pew in a fashionable church, and he eat no longer soup, but potage. Notwithstanding, Mr. Bargin was a kind hearted gentleman, and the more I saw of him the better I liked him.

Although Mr. Garvey had never shown any decided marks of strong affection for me, yet he had always treated me with kindly civility; but a circumstance occurred after I had been in the office a few months, which drew down upon my head all the spite which that exemplary friend was blessed with; and it was no fault of his, that Mr. Marisett did not kick me out of doors.

A letter was received from a correspondent ina neighboring city, ordering a thousand barrels of flour to be purchased, at a certain price, and Mr. Garvey took the letter, and went on change, where he succeeded in making the purchase, within the limits.

Punctuality, promptness, and decision, were as much a part of Mr. Garvey's existence, as were his love of money, or his red hair; and were merchants only machines, and men not accountable creatures, he had been the best merchant in the world. But as merchants are men, and as men have consciences, he was perhaps the worst.

Now Mr. Garvey, as soon as he had purchased the flour, came immediately back to the counting room, and not finding Mr. Bargin at his desk, he sat down at it and wrote a letter to the correspondent, advising him that the flour had been purchased according to his directions, and then went out again to make some other purchases, leaving the letter lying on Mr. Bargin's desk; and I seeing it there, and thinking it was intended for the mail, as it was, took a copy of it, sealed it, and took it to the post office, together with some private letters of Mr. Marisett's.

But it so happened, that when Mr. Garvey went out, he found a packet had just arrived from Liverpool, bringing some important news respectingthe grain market in England, which had caused flour to advance in price a dollar a barrel. Here was an opportunity to make an operation, which would leave a fair margin, too good to be lost; and Mr. Garvey did not hesitate long, but immediately determined to keep the thousand barrels of flour, and write word to the correspondent that it could not be bought at his limits. When he returned to the counting room, he found Mr. Bargin sitting at his desk, writing letters. So he reached him the letter which contained the order for the flour, and told him to reply to it, that the flour could not be purchased at the price named.

Mr. Garvey's thoughts were so much occupied with the probable profits of the operation he had just made, that he entirely forgot the letter he had written. It was the first time his memory had ever played him false; but the devil loves a laugh sometimes at the expense of his own, before the final winding up of their affairs, like an old woman, who cannot wait for her chickens to be hatched, before she begins to count them.

A very few days elapsed before the receipt of these contradictory letters was acknowledged. The confusion which was caused thereby, may be imagined by those who are familiar with mercantile usages. Mr. Garvey made the best apologyhe could, but Mr. Marisett was deeply mortified; it was the first transaction that had ever taken place in connexion with his name, to which the charge of double dealing, or unfairness, could be attached.

Mr. Garvey knew who it was that had put the unfortunate letters into the post office, and hence-forward, I had to contend against the active exercise of his ingenuity to get me out of the office; but Mr. Marisett understood perfectly well the cause of his partner's animosity to me, and all his efforts against me were unavailing.

CHAPTER X. The mystery of the suspicious letter cleared up. Meet Georgiana De Lancey at a tea-table.

I had studiously avoided prying into the private relations of Mr. Marisett, and I knew nothing more about him than that he was a bachelor. I was afraid to ask, or even to listen to, any thing concerning his family affairs, lest it should turn out that the letter "from Georgiana" had some reference to her, whom I fondly, but foolishly, called my Georgiana. It was true, there was a great disparity in the agès of Mr. Marisett and Miss De Lancey, but I knew that the cupidity of parents and guardians, had often caused youth and loveliness to be bound to old age. But I was not long left in doubt on the subject.

Mr. Marisett had remained at the office unusually late one afternoon, and when his carriage came for him, he told me he wanted me to ride home with him, as he had some papers which he wanted me to copy at his house.

Mr. Marisett's coachman wore no gold lace nor yellow gauntlets, like Mr. Dooitt's, but on the contrary he was dressed very plain, although hisclothes fitted him. The carriage also was very plain, and it bore no coat of arms, neither upon the panels, nor embroidered upon the hammer-cloth. Mr. Marisett made no pretensions to high descent, but rested all his claims to distinction upon his own merits. But it would have been better for him to have followed the way of the world, for his simple habits only gained him the title of an aristocrat.

It was dark when we reached Mr. Marisett's house, and when we alighted, he asked me to take a cup of tea with him before I commenced writing. Of course, I did not refuse, and very shortly after I had entered the parlor, tea was announced, and I followed him out into the tea-room, and took a seat at the table.

There was no one at the table but Mr. Marisett, and Mrs. Butler, the housekeeper, but I observed there was a cup and a plate for another. I heard a light step in the hall, the door of the tea-room opened, and a young lady glided gently in; she turned her face towards me. It was Georgiana De Lancey.

"My niece, Miss De Lancey, Mr. Franco," said Mr. Marisett.

Miss De Lancey made a very slight curtesy, scarce perceptible, and sat down at the table, oppositeto me. I had just taken a cup of tea in my hand, and was in the act of raising it to my lips, when she came in, but her sudden appearance operated on my nerves like an electric shock, and my cup and saucer slipped from my fingers, but fortunately without scalding me.

I did not dare either to lift up my eyes or my saucer again, but employed myself the remainder of the time that I sat at the table, in picking a piece of dry toast to pieces. Knowing that Miss De Lancey could not but take notice of my confusion, and feeling certain that I made a very ridiculous appearance in her eyes, by no means tended to allay my trepidation.

"Mr. Franco," said Mr. Marisett, "be so good as to reach the cake to Miss De Lancey."

I made an attempt to take hold of the cake basket, but my hand trembled so violently, I was obliged to withdraw it.

"Never mind me, uncle," said Miss De Lancey, "you know I can always take care of myself." She smiled gently as she spoke, and blushed deeply.

Mr. Marisett smiled also, and the old housekeeper pursed up her lips, and fumbled about her keys, as if she had suddenly thought of something of great importance, and then jumped up fromthe table and whisked out of the room, and returned again in a few minutes, the end of her nose looking very red; she sat down, and poured out a cup of tea for Mr. Marisett, and then bustled out of the room again. I had the satisfaction of thinking that she was indulging in a good hearty laugh at my expense.

I was relieved from my uncomfortable situation by Mr. Marisett, who told his niece she must excuse us, as we had some writing to attend to. I followed him into his private office, and when he had given me directions about the writing, he left me alone.

But I tried in vain to write; I could neither hold a pen in my hand, nor fix my mind upon my work. I could think of nothing but Georgiana De Lancey, and as I recalled to mind the ludicrous situation in which she beheld me, I felt sick at heart. Whether to be rejoiced or cast down at finding her the niece of my benefactor, I could not determine; but there was one healing reflection, I had no longer any suspicions of finding a rival in my employer.

"But why should I waste a thought upon one to whom I had never spoken but once, and then y accident? Why should I be guilty of the monstrous folly of indulging in the thought that I loved one, who, I had no reason to believe, had ever bestowed a thought upon me at all, either for love or hate. It was probable that she had no recollection of ever having seen me before she met me at the tea table, and if she had, what had I ever said or done to give her a favorable impression of me? clearly nothing; but, on the contrary, much to give her an unfavorable impression. What had we in common? she was beautiful, oh, how beautiful! and I, I could not flatter myself with the thought that I was possessed of even ordinary comeliness; would she then bestow her loveliness upon my deformity? She was the niece of the wealthy Mr. Marisett, and I was his humble clerk; would she bestow her wealth upon my poverty? But above all, she was good, pious, holy; and what had I of holiness, or even akin to goodness? Could I hope that she would link her purity with my corruption? What madness, what wickedness, what worse than wickedness, what foolishness, then, to think, for one moment, of Georgiana De Lancey, with any other feelings than such with which we gaze upon night's white robed queen. As well might I pine for the lost Pleiad. As well might I look for popular favor as the reward of virtuous actions, or hope for any other impossible thing."

I thus reasoned with myself, and although I made out a very strong case against myself, and set forth a dozen good reasons, the least of which was all-sufficient, why I should not love Miss De Lancey—I still felt that I did love her, and that most dearly.

Mr. Marisett came in, and finding me with my face buried in my hands, he asked me if I felt unwell.

I replied, that I felt badly, which was true enough.

Whatever his thoughts might have been about my ill feelings, he asked me no more questions, but told me to lay aside my paper, and wait until the next evening before I finished my writing. I was glad enough to be relieved, and made the best of my way back to my boarding house, where I shut myself up in my chamber, and tormented myself the remainder of the night, in trying to dismiss Georgiana De Lancey from my mind.

In the morning, I dressed myself with unusual care, and thought, when my toilet was made, that I never looked half as bad before. At night, I rode home with Mr. Marisett again, and on entering the parlor, I found Miss De Lancey sittingby the fireside. I succeeded in saying, 'good evening,' and in taking a seat without any accident; but I felt so dreadfully embarrassed, I was at a loss what disposition to make of my legs or my hands. As I was not a visiter, I supposed it was not expected of me to join in the conversation; so I remained at a respectful distance, silently enjoying the music of Miss De Lancey's voice, as she replied to the playful sallies of her uncle. She was dressed very plain, as if jealous of an ornament, lest it should divide the attention which her loveliness had a right wholly to claim. As I gazed upon her, and my ear drank in the soft tones of her voice, I wondered at my stupidity in not having discovered before, how beautiful she really was.

At the tea table I had command over myself, and drank two cups of tea without giving Mrs. Butler occasion to leave the table once. I even ventured to leave the table before Mr. Marisett, and made a bow to Miss De Lancey as I went out of the room. I went directly into the private office, and commenced upon the writing which Mr. Marisett had given me to do the night before, and I wrote so steadily, that before he came in, I had finished it.

He appeared well pleased with my performance, and said he had no farther use for me then. I took my hat, and was about to withdraw, when he called me to him.

"Harry," he said, "have you got a good boarding house?"

"It is a cheap one," I replied.

"Are you much attached to the people?"

"Not much," I replied; "Mrs. Mixen and her daughters have been very kind to me."

"Ah, widows and their daughters are sometimes very pleasant; it would not be at all surprising, if you were attached to them. I was going to propose to you to take a room in my house, as I shall have frequent occasion for you during these long evenings; if you choose to do so, it will save you the price of your board, and add to your usefulness to me. Mrs. Butler will see that you are well taken care of, and it will be your own fault if you do not feel yourself at home. There is my library which you will find always open, and you may amuse yourself there when you are at liberty."

If I had been asked to name the thing which I should esteem above all others, it would have been that I might be allowed to live under the same roof, and eat at the same table, with Georgiana De Lancey.

But I restrained my joy as well as I could, andthanked Mr. Marisett with dissembled moderation, for his kind offer. I told him I would consider of the matter, and give him an answer in the morning.

"Oh, very well," he replied, "you are at liberty to act as you please, and I would not have you to make any sacrifices on my account."

I thanked him again for his kindness, and bade him good night.

When I got into the street, I ran with all my might, until I reached my boarding house, when as soon as I recovered my breath, I gave my landlady notice that I should leave her house the next day, and proceeded immediately to pack up my clothes, an operation which required but a short space of time.

In the morning, I told Mr. Marisett, as soon as he came down, that I had concluded to accept his offer, and would remove my trunk to his house immediately. I was afraid to delay a day, lest some accident might interfere, to prevent what I wished for so anxiously.

CHAPTER XI. Is short, and of no great importance.

The room which Mrs. Butler assigned me was in the third story; it was better furnished, and more commodious, than any I had ever occupied; and the first night I lay in it, I could hardly sleep for thinking of the great change which had taken place in my condition. What a variety of lodging place I had slept in during the past few months. The fore castle of a ship; the unsheltered pampas of South America; the berth deck of a man of war; the topmost pigeon hole of a genteel boarding house; a bench on the Battery; the marble stairs of the University; and now I was sleeping, or rather should be sleeping, beneath the same roof with Georgiana De Lancey! I dared not trust myself to anticipate what the next few months might bring forth.

As Mr. Mar sett's house was a long way up town, I was obliged to take my dinner at an eating house, and there being a young gentleman in the counting room, to whom all the clerks appealed for information, in all matters relating to high life and the fashions, I got him to recommend me to afashionable restaurateur, for I was anxious to avoid all the places where I should be likely to meet any of my former associates and acquaintances, for I had taken a great dislike to drummers, and speculators, and even to poets. I meant, if possible, henceforth to associate with none but respectable people.

Mr. Wycks, that was the name of the fashionable clerk, said he would introduce me, with a great deal of pleasure, to a first-rate establishment, kept on the Parisian plan, which he patronised himself. This was an eating-house in the neighborhood of Wall street, kept by two yellow gentlemen, who chose to call themselves "Smith, Brothers." Their gentility was beyond dispute, for one had been a servant in the family of a French importer, and the other had been second steward on board of a Havre packet. The red and yellow window curtains, the dirty gilding about the eating-room, the greasy wall, the marble top tables, and the bill of fare, constituted its claim to the title of Parisian; but if these were insufficient, the fare and the prices fully established its claim to this distinction. After I had eaten my dinner, I put the bill of fare in my pocket. I will give a copy of it for the benefit of those who may beambitious to live genteely, and who may have the means, but lack the art. Here it is:

CARTE À MANGER.

Soups.

A la Julien.

Des Weets.

Potage au Lay et de Mush.

Roti.

Ros Bif.

Bif au Naturel.

Bif a la Angloy.

Dindong, etcet., etcet.

Fricassee.

D' Eels.

Desweets.

Patteys.

Desweets.

De Mouton.

Paté de Pot de Clams Piser.

Dessert.

Pattey de Pumpkin.

Etcet., etcet., etcet.

It may not be improper for me to mention that I dined on bif au naturel and pomme de terre a la maitre d' hotel, a dish which bore a striking resemblance to beef and potatoes.

I was convinced from the observations which I made in this genteel eating-house, and in some other places of equal pretensions, that to be genteelwas to be thoroughly vulgar. So I very shortly withdrew my patronage from the "Brothers Smith," and having found out a quiet little nook, kept by a window, whose only daughter waited upon the customers, I got my dinner there, and had the satisfaction of eating my food well-cooked, and of hearing it called by its right name.

CHAPTER XII. Georgiana's Conversion.

A fortnight had passed away since I had been an inmate of Mr. Marisett's house, and although I had sat opposite to Miss De Lancey at table, twice a day, I had not exchanged a word with her. Indeed, I hardly dared to look towards her, and yet I felt that my admiration of her increased every day; and every time I saw her, she appeared lovelier than when I saw her before. If I heard her foot upon the stairs, or in the hall, as she tripped lightly by the door, it made the blood rush impetuously through my veins, and when she spoke, the sound of her voice thrilled through my whole frame.

Mrs. Butler, the housekeeper, had an only son at sea, and for his sake she paid me a thousand little attentions, which I had been a stranger to since I left my own home. Whenever she found me alone, she would sit and talk about her "dear boy," her "poor child," while the tears ran down her cheeks, and she would tell me how much I resembled him, and how happy she would be if she could see him but for one minute, only oneminute, just long enough to kiss him, and bless him.

One evening I was writing in Mr. Marisett's private office alone, the door opened softly, and Mrs. Butler walked in.

"Do you hear the wind, Mr. Franco?" she asked, "hark! how the rain beats against the windows. O my poor boy!"

"My dear madam," I said, "have you any reason to believe that your son is on the coast?"

"I do not know where he is," she replied, sobbing, "but he is at sea, and I never hear the wind, but I think he is exposed to it, and every blast goes right to my heart."

"But my good Mrs. Butler," I replied, "perhaps at this moment your son is sailing over a sea scarcely rippled by the wind, and heneath a sky as blue and as bright as, as, Miss De Lancey's eyes."

I spoke before I was aware, and blushed as the words escaped my lips. But Mrs. Butler's thoughts were suddenly diverted from her son by my answer.

"Ah!" she said, "her eyes are blue and bright."

I sighed involuntarily.

She shook her head, and exclaimed. "Take care."

"However," I said, "her eyes may be black, or gray, for aught that I know; she never looks at me."

"Perhaps she dont?" said Mrs. Butler, in a tone meant to imply, perhaps she does. "Poor girl!" continued Mrs. Butler, "she never hears the wind blow, I dare say, without a beating heart."

"What, has she a friend at sea?" I asked, while a jealous pang shot through my heart.

"Ah, no," replied Mrs. Butler; "her father was lost at sea, and her mother died in consequence, of a broken heart. But Miss Georgy is well enough off. She has got enough to make herself independent, and anybody who may be lucky enough to get her, besides."

"Miss De Lancey is a very serious young lady, is she not?"

"O, very. But she was not always so. Once she was quite gay, but soon after she came from boarding school, she got religion, and since then, she has been very serious. I don't know how it happens, but young people didn't have a concern of mind when I was a young lady, as often as they do now. And yet I do know how it happened with Miss Georgy, too; and I must say, it was the strangest way of being converted, I ever heard of in my born days."

"Indeed! and how did it happen?"

"It happened thus. Her uncle is very fond of pictures, so much so, that he paid enough for one old painting, to make me comfortable for life. Well, there is a young artist in the city, whose pictures pleased Mr. Marisett so much, that he gave him an order to paint a picture of a certain size, to be hung up in a particular spot in the parlor, which was left vacant, for you have observed that there is not now a vacant spot left."

"Yes, I had observed that the walls are well covered, or rather that they are all covered."

"You needn't have corrected yourself, for you must acknowledge they are well covered. But to proceed, Mr. Marisett not only gave the painter the choice of a subject, but he allowed him to name his own price for the picture when it was finished. When it was brought home and hung up, the dear, good man, was so well pleased with it, he made the painter a present of a beautiful gold watch, besides paying him the price agreed upon."

"Which picture is it?" I asked; for I had been particularly struck with a holy family, which hung in a conspicuous place in the parlor.

"It is the large picture facing the hall door as you enter the parlor," replied Mrs. Butler.

"I thought so."

"Did you? Isn't it lovely! It represents the infant Savior lying on a bed, while the mother lifts up the covering to show him to the young baptist, who is kneeling at his feet. What a wonderful expression there is in the full black eye of the little John. Such tenderness, such grief, such intelligence! And yet you only catch a glimpse of it too; it is not turned full upon you. What a wonderful art, that can give a little daub of blueish paint the power to break up the frozen fountain of tears in a living creatures breast. And the little sufferer's feet have been wounded by the hard sand in the desert; and his tender back has been scorched by the hot sun; the hairy girdle about his loins, too, did you ever see any thing like it before; the hairs stick out from the canvass, the light glistens among them, and I always fancy I see them move when a draught of wind sweeps over the pictures. The poor little dear has fed upon locust and wild honey; you can see it in his looks. I never look upon it but I think of my poor Charles, who is at sea, poor soul. Ah! did you hear that gust of wind?"

"It was only a slight puff. But what connexionwas there between this beautiful picture, and Miss De Lancey's conversion?"

"O, I quite forgot what I commenced talking about," said Mrs. Butler. "Why, Miss Georgia was affected by the picture, more sensibly than any one else. She was fond of reading, and having no companion of her own age, she was a good deal alone, and much of her time she spent in the parlor. One day, I went in suddenly, and there I found her on her knees before the picture, with the tears streaming from her eyes, and the Bible open at her side. Why, Miss Georgiana, I said, what in the world is the matter with you? 'O! Mrs. Butler,' she said, 'I am so wicked, I cannot help it.' My dear child, I replied, how can you talk so. Your uncle would be highly offended, if he were to hear you say such dreadful things of yourself. Do, my love, hush up, it is awful. 'My uncle is not my judge,' she said, still sobbing, and raising her eyes to the picture. Soon after this, she commenced going to the chapel, and in course of time, she was admitted to the communion; she has continued very constant in her attendance at her meeting, and there is no end to what she does for the poor. I do think, if ever there was a real christian, Miss Georgy is one."

"Did her uncle oppose her joining the chapel?" I asked.

"Why, Mr. Marisett, you know, is the loveliest man in the world; isn't he a perfect gentleman? Of course he approves of every thing that is just and proper; but he was very proud of Georgiana, she was his only sister's only child, and she was highly accomplished; he did say to me, in confidence, that he thought it was a great pity for her to join any society that would in a measure prevent her accomplishments from being seen; however, he says, Mrs. Butler, there is nothing becomes a woman, after all, half so well as piety."

"And I think so too;" I said, for I could not but remember how surpassingly beautiful Georgiana had appeared to me, when kneeling in prayer, by the side of the sick woman's bed in the Five Points.

"Why, yes," said Mrs. Butler, slowly, "it is quite interesting. But young ladies were not so presuming in such matters when I was a young lady, as they are now."

Just at this moment, a carriage stopped in front of the house, and Mrs. Butler bustled out of the office, and left me alone to my thoughts.

CHAPTER XIII. Love and Religion.

The next Sabbath, after the conversation with Mrs. Butler, related in the last chapter, I went in the morning to the chapel where Miss De Lancey worshipped. It may be supposed, very justly, that my only object in going, was to see her. I had not been in a church of any kind, excepting the Cathedral at Buenos Ayres, since I left my native village. And old Doctor Slospoken, our domine at home, who had regularly put his congregation to sleep every morning, for almost half a century, was the sole idea of a preacher in my mind.

The officiating minister at this place, gave me a new idea of a preacher, if he did nothing more. He allowed no one to close an eye, who sat under the droppings of his voice. He was a tall spare man, with high cheek bones, gray eyes, large and protuberant, a high broad forehead, a mouth remarkably expressive of firmness, and peculiar from the upper teeth projecting very much over the lower ones. His manner was very startling, at least it was to me, and yet there was neither rant noraffectation about him; but his voice was soft and clear, although his words were harsh; his statements were so plain, and there was such a positiveness in his assertious, that it was impossible to hear him without becoming somewhat interested in what he was saying. However, I did not go to be preached to; I had another object in view, and having sought her out, the preacher's words fell on a deaf ear.

Georgiana appeared to listen with great attention to the preacher, and during the prayer she meekly bowed her head It was enough for me that she was there; the preacher, the place, and the people, were all sanctified by her presence, and made holy. When the plate was handed round, I put into it all the money I had in my pocket, and would very freely have given more if I could.

When the sermon was closed, and the benediction pronounced, the minister requested all the church, and such of the congregation as were disposed, to assemble in the lecture room adjoining the chapel. As Georgiana went in, I waited until all had gone in who seemed disposed, and then I entered myself, and took a seat near the door.

It was a dull cold day, and a mixture of snow and hail was falling; the wind was high, and it beat against the windows of the room in which wewere assembled, and howled in the open court in front. The ceiling of the room was low, and the walls were dusky with smoke; the windows were few and small, and the glass being covered with frost, they admitted but little light; a large black stove in the centre of the lecture room sent forth more smoke than heat, and added by its cheerless aspect to the uncomfortable and dreary appearance of the room, and every thing in it.

The assemblage was large, and for a short time there was a dead silence, broken only by an occasional groan, or a long drawn sigh.

Presently, the minister stood up behind a plain, unpainted desk, and looked upon the people with a severe frown. It was not an easy matter for a stranger to decide whether it was pity or contempt, which caused him to knit his eyebrows together, and compress his lips as though some mighty truth was struggling for an outlet.

"I have called you together," he said, after a long pause, "for the express purpose of keeping you from your dinners, and I trust I shall succeed in thawing out some of your icy hearts."

Having explained to his church the benevolent feelings which had caused him to call them together, he turned to a middle aged man, who sat near, and told him to pray. The man did as hewas told, and knelt down, and prayed very loud, and very long; but he did not appear to give entire satisfaction to the pastor, who kept nudging and whispering in the ear of the suppliant, "pray; why don't you pray, brother Jones, pray! PRAY" Brother Jones increased the loudness of his voice at each nudge of his pastor, but to little purpose; for he had no sooner pronounced amen, than his spiritual leader jumped up, and reproved him for not praying with more spirit; "such a prayer as that," he said, "is no prayer at all, but a mere mockery." He also made some other remarks which I do not feel disposed to repeat.

When he sat down, a pale young man stood up in a dark corner of the lecture room, and after hemming two or three times, said, in a faint, tremulous voice, that he thought no man had a right to criticize another's prayer; that, to his mind, it appeared right for a man to pray to his Marker, and not to his minister; and that if there was a holy spot upon earth, it was that on which the christian knelt in prayer, within the holy precints of which no mortal should intrude. He was about to make another remark, when the preacher interrupted him.

"O, brother Smith! brother Smith! Is it possible that you can throw yourself down right at the threshold of the church, for sinners to stumble over your body down into hell! O!"

The pale faced young man made no reply to this reproof of his pastor, but knelt down and buried his face in his pocket handkerchief. The preacher then proceeded to call out the names of his people, who rose as they were called; and having received a reproof for some alleged transgression, they sat down again, and followed the example of brother Smith. When he called the name of Georgiana De Lancey, the blood tingled in my veins to hear the name of her, whom I regarded as but little less than a divinity, spoken with so little reverence.

Georgiana stood up in her place, and answered softly, "here."

"Is it true, Georgiana," said the preacher, "can it be true, that you said you did not want to attend the morning prayer meeting, because it was held at four o'clock?"

"I did," replied Georgiana.

"O! O! Oh! And did you say that you could pray in your chamber at that hour as well as you could in the lecture room?"

"Yes."

"What levity! what obduracy! what blindness of heart!" he exclaimed, rolling up his eyesdevoutly; "your heart is harder than the nether millstone. I shall never be able to bring about a revival as long as there is such worldly mindedness among us. Sit down, Georgiana. Now let all who intend, from this hour, to renounce all the follies and vanities of the world, kneel down, while I pray for their souls." Nearly every one present kneeled down, but I was rejoiced to perceive that Georgiana kept her seat. For my own part, I did not care to be singled out as an obdurate sinner; so I sat down, and looked as penitent as I could. The prayer was accompanied by a perfect whirlwind of sighs and groans, and when it was completed, a man with light gray eyes, a long nose, and a brown wig, came and sat down by my side, and whispering in my ear, asked me if I was a christian.

I was at a loss for an answer to so pointed a question, but I replied, "I hope so."

"What makes you hope so?"

"I don't know, exactly."

"Don't know? are you an American?"

"Yes."

"How do you know?"

"I was born in America."

"Then if you are a christian, you have been born into Christ's kingdom; is it so?"

I shook my head.

"Come forward, then, and sit upon the anxious seat, and have your soul prayed for."

I thanked him, but refused.

"Do come, do, only to please me, do; I am sure you will get a hope."

But I persisted in my refusal, and he left me, and commenced operations upon a little boy who was soon prevailed upon to take a seat upon the anxious bench.

After another prayer and another exhortation, the pastor very considerately let his people go home, probably highly satisfied with the reflection, that their dinner would be either spoiled or cold, if they got any at all.

The sleet which had fallen was frozen hard, and the steps of the chapel and the side-walk in the street, was slippery as glass. I stood at the door of the lecture-room, and when Georgiana came out I offered her my arm. She could not refuse it, for it would have been impossible for her to have walked alone without falling, and she would not allow the carriage to be sent for her on a Sunday. It was the happiest moment of my life when I felt her hand resting on my arm, and I blessed the hard-hearted pastor for gaining me this happiness by keeping his people from their dinners.As the distance from home was long, and the walking slippery, Georgiana had frequent occasion to cling with both hands to my arm for support; and notwithstanding her seriousness when we left the chapel, she laughed outright two or three times before we reached home. But whenever either of us made a misstep, she would take occasion to remark, that we all stood upon slippery places, and unless we leaned upon the outstretched arm of one who was mighty to save, we should be sure to fall and perish.

The wind was piercing cold, but I felt it not; a warm and thrilling delight pervaded my whole frame. When we reached home, we found Mr. Marisett dozing in the parlor, and Mrs. Butler in the dining-room with some dinner kept nice and warm for us by the grate.

Georgiana retired, for a few minutes, to her chamber, and when she returned, we sat down to the dinner-table together, Mrs. Butler sitting by the fire. But I could scarce swallow a mouthful, and Miss De Lancey eat very sparingly.

I have remarked before that every time I saw Miss De Lancey, she appeared lovelier than before; and at this time she did appear more exceedingly beautiful than ever; whether it was owing to the peculiar dress which she wore, to the exercise she had taken in the keen air, or to my own excited feelings, I know not; but her eyes beamed with a deeper blue, her cheeks appeared more ruddy, and her hair of a more golden hue; even her voice sounded more musical, and her movements were more graceful than ever. As soon as she had finished her dinner, she retired into the parlor, and left me sitting at the table.

"Why, Mr. Franco," said Mrs. Butler, "why didn't you wait on Miss Georgy into the parlor?"

"Would it have been proper, Mrs. Butler?" I asked.

"Proper! I am surprised at you; to be sure it would."

"I am very sorry, I hope she will not think me very unmannerly."

"She will forgive you, I dare say."

"Do you think so?" I said sighing.

"I guess you would think so too, if you knew all that I know. But a still tongue is a wise one." And so saying Mrs. Butler sailed out of the dining room, leaving me to conjecture as many delightful things as I chose, and to magnify to the extent of its capability the share of bliss which had already fallen to my lot.

The next day I dined at home; it was an unusual occurrence, and I deemed it a good omen.I sat opposite to Georgiana, and felt unspeakably happy.

"How does it happen, Mrs. Butler," said Mr. Marisett, "that you never give us any appledumplings? It is a long time since I have seen any on the table."

Mrs. Butler made no reply, but I obseved she colored slightly, and her eyes filled with tears.

"Eh, Mrs. Butler," continued Mr. Marisett; "are apple dumplings out of fashion, or how is it."

"My poor Charles," said Mrs. Butler, wiping the tears from her eyes, "was always so fond of dumplings, I can never endure to see them while he is away, poor boy! I could not sit at table where they were, without thinking of him. It is very silly of me, but I hope you will excuse me."

"Well, well, say no more about it," replied Mr. Marisett, "but when your Charles comes home, which I hope may be soon, we will then be treated to some dumplings."

That evening, the kind old lady came into the office where I was writing alone, and as usual, began to talk about her son, her dear boy. She knew I had been a sailor, and she wanted to ask me if there was any probability of her darling child ever getting any of his favorite dumplings at sea.I told her I had never seen them served up on ship board myself, but that plumb puddings were very common, and I had no doubt her son Charles got his fill of that luxury, at least once a week. This piece of information seemed to give the good old lady great satisfaction.

As usual, when she spoke of her absent boy, she was very communicative, and I thought she would never cease. And from speaking of him, she very naturally branched off into the subject of his father, her first husband. "Ah!" she exclaimed, "there never was such a man as poor, dear Captain Bowhorn."

"Captain Bowhorn, did you say?"

"Yes, my husband, my first husband. I dare say you have heard of him, for he was beloved by every body."

"I once had a shipmate named Bowhorn, but he was quite young. I thought he might have been a relation of yours. His name was Jeremiah."

"Why, that is my child's name," almost shrieked out the old lady. "His name is Charles Jeremiah."

Sure enough, a few more questions and answers, established the fact very clearly, that Mrs. Butler's darling Charles, and my old shipmate Jerry, were one and the same person.

The joy of the old house-keeper, when she found I had actually sailed in the same ship with her boy, was unbounded. She hung upon my neck, and wept aloud; she kissed me again and again, and laughed and wept by turns. And I was scarcely less affected, for Jerry had been my best friend, and the last act of kindness he had shown me, had enabled me to obtain the situation which I now held. I was rejoiced to have an opportunity of repaying his kindness to me, by attentions to his mother.

From this time forth, my prospects brightened. Every indication in my favor which the old hous-keeper perceived, either in Mr. Marisett or his niece, was faithfully reported to me, and I have every reason to believe, that she was not backward in speaking well of me to them. Many months did not elapse, before Georgiana knew that I loved her, and I knew that she loved me; although we had neither spoken a word of love to the other. The sympathies which attract souls, made in the beginning for each other, are secret; they do not show themselves by corresponding actions in those they affect, and often they only know of their existence, who are affected by them. It was so with us.

CHAPTER XIV. Encounter my Cousin at a party.

Time flew past me now on purple wings, or rather he bore me with him through a sunny sky. Each day, and each hour, brought with it some peculiar pleasure. I was constantly receiving some now proof of confidence from Mr. Marisett, and some new evidence of kindly regard from Georgiana De Lancey. My duties in the counting room had become so familiar, that their performances ceased to be either irksome or laborious. At home, so I called Mr. Marisett's house, Mrs. Butler was untiring in her endeavors to add to my comforts by innumerable little attentions, which women only can bestow.

I had studiously avoided all public places, and even shunned Broadway, from fear of encountering my cousin. It is true, my condition was immensely bettered since I saw him last, but still I was only a humble clerk, and while I felt conscious of being in a station inferior to him, I could not exult in his presence. The thought of bursting upon his envious sight with the all-lovely Georgiana leaning upon my arm, was intoxicatingto my senses; the bare idea made me reel and stagger with excessive delight; it was a happiness too great even for reflection. I could not dwell upon it.

It happened about this time that a distant relation of Mr. Mrisett's, Mrs. Brown, the wife of one of the firm of Brown Smith, cotton brokers, gave a large party, and very much to my surprise I received a card, for I had never seen the lady. It was the first invitation I had ever received in my life to a party, and I was quite beside myself with joy, for Georgiana was to be there. I was wholly unprepared for the event, and the first thing I did was to purchase a bottle of Cologne water, and a box of bear's grease; the next was to consult with Jack Gauntlet, the fashionable young gentleman in the counting-room of Marisett Co., about the particular costume proper for such an occasion, and according to his directions, I furnished myself with a pair of morocco pumps, and black silk stockings, a white cravat, and a linen cambric pocket handkerchief; my wardrobe was already supplied with the other requisites. Jack said there would be no dancing, because Mr. Brown was pious, but that there would be any quantity of thrumming on the piano, and scandalby the wholesale, besides sugar kisses, and phillippinas.

The cards were sent round almost a week before the party took place; it was for Thursday night, and I thought it would never come; but one after the other, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, hobbled away, and the sun of—of Thursday—set at last. I dressed myself early, and that I might be sure of being neither too soon nor too late, I stationed myself on the opposite side of the street, a few doors from Mr. Brown's house, and when I thought that about one half the guests had arrived, I crossed over, and bustled up the steps, as though I had come in a great hurry.

Georgiana went early in the afternoon, by particular request from Mrs. Brown. I forgot to mention that Mrs. Butler, observing the uncommon pains I was at in dressing myself, offered to loan me her broach; it was ornamented with her first husband's initials in front, and a lock of his hair on the back, very curiously worked to represent a weeping willow, but I declined wearing a gem of such value, as it could not be replaced if I lost it, and she, I dare say, was glad that I refused it.

Mrs. Brown's house was brilliantly illuminated with a sperm candle in each side light, and twoin the fan light over the door. I pulled the bell, and the door was instantly opened by a tall black man, in a white apron, who took my cloak and hat, and left me to make what disposition of myself I chose. There were two or three young men standing in the hall, apparently waiting for some one possessed of more courage than themselves to lead the way into the parlor; the door stood a-jar, and I boldly pushed it open and walked in, leaving it to ehance to direct my footsteps. But my heart beat terribly, notwithstanding, although I had an idea that the secret of good manners was to appear perfectly unconcerned, and to speak civilly to any one near me. I knew Mr. Brown, and I cast my eyes round upon the company assembled, with the hope of seeing him, but he caught sight of me before I saw him, and very kindly took me by the arm, and walked me through the folding doors, and introduced me to Mrs. Brown, who, after a moment's conversation, took my arm, and introduced me to Miss Green, a very tall young lady, dressed in white satin, and with a large bunch of cammelias in her hand. As there was a vacant chair by her side, I sat down, anticipating a taste of the scandal which Jack Gauntlet had prepared me for. I looked over to the opposite side of the room, and there sat GeorgianaDe Lancey and my cousin by her side, in close conversation with her. I immediately turned my head as if I had not observed them, and made an attempt to speak to Miss Green, but for the life of me, I could not open my lips. She appeared very anxious for me to say something, and smiled in anticipation of what I might utter. But in spite of my having previously arranged in my mind a very smart speech, in case I should be introduced to a young lady, I could not command a word. So I offered my arm to Miss Green, and asked her to promenade round the room; she caught it with eagerness, as though she considered me a windfall; and well she might, for she was tall, and yellow, and thin, and she had contrived, with a strange perversity of taste, to dress herself in such a manner as to magnify all her blemishes. But had she been beautiful as the Paphian queen, or any other beauty who never had an existence, it would have been all the same to me. I was so overcome at seeing my cousin seated by the side of Georgiana, that I had no eyes for any thing beside. I felt sick and dizzy; I could see nothing distinctly, and a strange sound was buzzing in my ears. Fortune seemed to make use of me expressly as a set-off to my cousin; whenever I met him I was sure to suffer by comparison with him.As I passed through the folding doors with the tall Miss Green clinging to my arm, I could not help turning my head to look at him, when my eye met his, and I quickly averted it. I fancied there was a sneer upon his lip, and that Georgiana was smiling at something he had said. Perhaps it was some contemptuous remark about me. I grew faint at the thought. The simperings of Miss Green sounded in my ear like dismal howlings. By some manœuvre, I know not how, I got away from my long companion, and succeeded in reaching the piazza at the back of the house; the night air was cold, and I soon revived; but my feelings were too much excited, to allow of my reappearing in the parlor. So I took my hat and cloak, and hurried back to my chamber.

CHAPTER XV. Letters from Home.

Let not the reader think, because I have so long omitted to make mention of my parents, that I had forgotten them. Not so; my affection for them and my sister was undiminished.

As soon as I made an engagement with Mr. Marisett, I wrote to my father, informing him of the change in my prospects, and by return of mail, I received the three following letters:

(From my father.)

My dear Boy,

I was happy to hear from you again, and to learn that you had obtained a situation to your mind. I hope you will so conduct yourself in it as to merit the approbation of your employer. I know the house of Marisett well; I had dealings with them before the embargo.

From the great length of time which had elapsed since you left home, without our having heard a word about you, your mother began to grow very uneasy on your account, although I told her it was extremely indecorous in her, and assuredher that I had no doubt you were doing well, and that we should see you some time or other.

Your cousin, I hear, has been fortunate in his speculations; he is a great credit to his parents; he is a fine gentlemanly fellow, and as you will probably meet him in New York, I hope you will try to model yourself after him. Your mother and sister, I suppose, will urge you to come home, but you know that business must be attended to. Don't make any sacrifices for the sake of coming home. Many of your young acquaintances have been married, some have died, and all are doing well.

Enclosed I send you a small draft, which you are at liberty to use according to your discretion.

H. France.

My yearning affections shrunk within me as I read my father's letter. His allusions to my cousin made the blood boil within me, and I vowed to myself never to return home until my prospects were at least equal to his. I could not think that my father intended to taunt me with my cousin's superiority; but in effect he did so, and I could hardly refrain from tearing his letter to pieces. The draft enclosed was the most incomprehensible part of the letter; it was for five hundred dollars. By what means he had procured this amount of money, I could not imagine.

The letter from my mother was as follows:

Dear, DEAR Harry,

Is it true that my dear boy is alive and well! O, Harry, I have read your letter over and over; and your poor sister has read it, and cried over it, and prayed over it. I put it under my pillow when I lay down at night, that I may be able to press it to my lips when I wake in the morning. Your father tells me it is weak in me to do so, but it is a weakness caused by the strength of my love for you. O, Harry, my dear boy, I have had such dreams about you! but they were only dreams, and I will not distress you by relating them. Let us give thanks to our heavenly Father for all his mercies. When we received your letter, it was my wish to return thanks publicly through Doctor Slospoken; but your father would not give his consent. What the neighbors all thought, I cannot say. But my dear Harry, why did you not come home? to your own home? Do not think, my dear child,that you will be more welcome to your home and your mother's heart, if you bring the wealth of the Indies with you. If you be covered with jewels your mother will not see them, and if you be clothed in rags, she will only see her child.

From your affectionate mother,

S. Franco.

"P. S. Enclosed is a ten dollar bill; it is all the money I have now; your father tells me he has sent you more.

"Once more good bye; and that our heavenly Father may bless you, is the heartfelt prayer of my dear son's affectionate mother,

"S. F.

"N. B. Come home immediately."

The other letter was from my sister; it read thus:

"My DEAR Brother,

Your letter has made us all happy; how happy I cannot express; for we had mourned for you as one that was dead. I cannot, in a letter, relate to you all that has been said and done since we heard from you; but may be assured we have been almost beside ourselves with joy, and all our talk has been, Harry, Harry, Harry.

"There have been great changes in our villagesince you left. There have been great speculations going on, and father has been offered a great price for our garden, which has been laid out into building lots, with a street running right through my flower beds, which is to be called Franco avenue. There are no houses built upon the street yet, but the ground plan has been most beautifully lithographed, and hung up in our parlor, in a gilt frame. Our house is newly painted, and is to be called the mansion house; a company have agreed to purchase it, and convert it into a hotel. They have already paid fifty dollars to make the bargain binding. Father can get as much money as he wants from a new bank which has been set up here. Every body has grown rich, and our cousin, they say, has made a splendid fortune in New York, by selling his father's orchard for building lots. He cuts a great dash when he comes home, but I am certain that you, dear brother, will outshine him, when you come home, which I hope will be soon. Don't disappoint us, and do let us know when we may expect you.

"From your affectionate sister,

"Mary Franco.

"P. S. I have promised you to a young lady whose father has just made a large fortune."

How cold, cheerless, and benumbing is the affection of a man, even though he be your father, when contrasted with the warm, pure, and overflowing affections of a woman. The letters of my mother and sister were balmy to my soul; they contained expressions which I could treasure up in my heart. But my sister's letter was full of pleasant news which excited my hopes to the highest degree. The mansion house and Franco street sounded very well, and I repeated them over a dozen times. The allusions to my cousin gave additional strength to my ambition to excel him He had received his property from his father, but I had thus far received no assistance from mine, and it would be a proud boast if I could succeed in raising myself to a level with him, by my own exertions. I resolved to try; and if I should ever succeed in gaining the hand of Georgiana De Lancey, on what an exalted eminence would the possession of her alone place me; how proudly I could then look down on my cousin, and with what feelings of envy would he regard one whom he had pretended to despise.

Thoughts like these haunted me continually; they nerved me to persevere in my duties, and solaced me when I was weary or dejected.

The first interruption to my bright dreams, was that which occurred at Mrs. Brown's party, When I went home, I met Mrs. Butler in the hall; she was surprised at seeing me return so soon. I told her I felt unwell.

"Dear soul," said the good woman, "let me warm your bed, and give you some boneset tea."

I thanked her for her kindness, but refused it. My malady was not one that could be affected by a warming pan, nor by that best of all herbs, boneset. I went up to my chamber and spent the remainder of the night in tossing upon the bed, striving in vain to dispel the apparition of Georgiana De Lancey, with my cousin seated by her side.

In the morning Mrs. Butler told me that when Georgiana came home, she asked particularly about me, and that she appeared alarmed when she heard I was unwell. This intelligence revived me; to know that Georgiana had expressed any anxiety on my account, made my heart leap with pleasure. I went down to the counting-room, feeling happier than I ever felt before.

CHAPTER XVI. A Crisis. Making love.

Georgiana was punctual in the observance of all her religious duties, and constant in her attendance at the chapel, and I never failed to accompany her there whenever I was at liberty. But the oftener I went there, the more I disliked the place. At first, it was hallowed, in my estimation, by her presence, but as the religious meetings which she attended engrossed so much of her time, I began to fear that they would estrange her from me altogether. I hated them heartily, and my aversion increased, because I was obliged to keep it within my own bosom; I was afraid to discover it either by words or actions, for fear of offending her.

One evening I was startled by seeing my cousin at a prayer meeting; he sat directly in front of Georgiana, where she could not but observe him, and he joined in all the exercises with seeming devotion. I could not but regard him with feelings of disgust, for I knew his sole purpose was to attract the attention of Georgiana. Ever after, he was sure to make his appearance whenever she was present at a meeting.

My cousin was handsome in his person, and pleasing in his manners, when he wished to please, at least so people said, but to me he appeared the impersonation of all that was vile and hideous. The object of his pretended sanctity could not be mistaken, and I was dreadfully alarmed, lest he should succeed in gaining the affections of Georgiana by his hypocrisy. It is true, I had good cause for believing she loved me, but she had never told me so, nor plighted her faith to me; if she had, I could never have felt a jealous pang. But it was one of the peculiarities of the faith she professed, that it was sinful for christians to be yoked together with unbelievers, and her pastor had publicly announced that he would in no case unite such together in the everlasting bonds. And knowing the purity of her mind, her devotedness to the faith she professed, and her strong sense of duty, I could not hope that, for my sake, she would do violence to her conscience. I would gladly, for her sake, have joined myself to any society, or made a profession of any religious belief, but I could not for a moment entertain the thought of practising deceit towards her; and as to any actual change taking place in my feelings, I did not regard it within the reach of possibility.

One Sunday evening she was prevented by therain from going to meeting. I found her sitting in the parlor with the bible open before her. Her uncle was in his private office, where he usually spent his Sabbath evenings; and the state of the weather precluded the possibility of visiters; I exulted in the hope of spending an evening uninterruptedly with her.

The weather was cold — it was March — and the fire burned bright and cheerful in the grate, and the mellow light from a Sevres shade imparted a rich and softened hue to every thing around. The walls were hung with the loveliest creations of the art of all arts, and angelic faces and limbs of matchless beauty seemed gazing and reaching from frames of burnished gold, like cherubim peering through a halo of glory. Georgiana herself was a picture of living beauty, showing forth more of grace and loveliness than any of the fair faces which seemed to look down upon her as if enamored of her charms.

I sat down by the little table on which her bible was placed, and was greeted by her with a smile and a blush.

"O! Mr. Franco," she said, after a short pause, "do you know what high and holy pleasure we are capable of receiving from this blessed book?"

"I know," I replied, "that it is capable of giving high and holy pleasure, or Miss De Lancey would not choose it so often for a companion; and I am willing to believe that the fault is in me, and not in the book, that I do not receive pleasure from reading it."

"And do you not, indeed?" said she earnestly, and looking up into my face with her full blue eyes. "And yet why should I wonder that you do not; once it gave no pleasure to me."

"I do not wonder," I said, "that those who profess to make the bible the rule of their conduct should, from a sense of duty, diligently search in it for the principles by which they think their lives should be governed; but I am compelled, in honest candor, to acknowledge, I cannot understand how the bible can impart the delight of which you and others speak."

"Now, it is strange," said Georgiana, "very strange; but when you came in, I was striving to look into my own heart, to examine if it were not for some cause other than love for the truth itself, which led me to consult this precious book so often. Indeed, I have often wished that the truths which it contains were embodied in a homelier and sterner form, that the sincerity of my love might be more surely tried."

"Perhaps," I said, "Miss De Lancey, if you were to read to me some of those enticing passages, I too might be affected by them; for I am not willing to acknowledge myself incapable of receiving pleasure from that which pleases you."

"Then I should read to you every page in the bible," she said, at the same time letting the leaves slip through her delicate fingers.

"But are there not some portions which have left a deeper impression on your heart than others?"

'There are; but I cannot read them aloud. I love to pause over them, and close my eyes, and, sustained by faith, follow whither they may lead me. To kneel beside the sufferer in Gethsemane; to go with Mary, before the day dawns, and look down into his tomb; or to hover with those bright and honored spirits on the verge of the sky, who sang peace and good will to man at His first appearing. But, there are beauties which must strike the dullest apprehension; I will not do you wrong by believing you to be a stranger to them. Here is one, or rather a constellation of them, so bright and dazzling, that they can never appear familiar to me, although I have read them a thousand times. Shall I read it?"

I nodded my wish, and she read the eighteenthPsalm. She commenced in a low and tender, but distinct tone; but as she proceeded, she elevated her voice, her eyes beamed with emotion, her nostrils seemed to dilate, and her cheek and lips assumed a deadly paleness. I was awe struck, and when she paused, I cast down my eyes and was silent; feeling as one may be supposed to feel who has heard the blast from the trumpet of an angel.

After a short pause, she turned over the leaves of the bible, and read from the story of Esther; her soft and tender voice, apparently adding richness and beauty to the passages which she read.

"Is there not an account somewhere in the bible," I asked, "of the sons of God having taken wives from among the children of men?"

"Yes," she said; "and the consequence was, these children were giants in sin, monsters in iniquity, whose misdeeds brought ruin upon the world."

"And is there no account of the sons of men taking wives from among the daughters of God?"

"I have never read of it," she replied.

"I wish there was," I replied.

"Why?"

"That I might hope"—I could say no more.

"Hope what?" said Georgiana, in a trembling voice, and with her eyes cast down.

"But I cannot hope—no, there is no hope for me." My face burned as I spoke, and my heart beat violently. I fell upon my knees, and hiding my face in my hands, I said, or at least tried to say, for I am not sure I did say these words, "My dear Miss De Lancey, forgive me; I cannot help it; I love you better than my own life. I cannot tell you how long and how well I have loved. But with my whole soul I love you, and must forever, while my soul endures."

Georgiana sobbed aloud, and while with one hand she wiped the tears from her eyes, I took the other and pressed it to my lips. She withdrew it gently, and, emboldened by her silence, I sat down by her side. I had unburdened my heart of a heavy load, and I felt more at my ease. Georgiana at length broke silence; her eyes were swollen, and she looked very serious.

"It is many weary long years," she said, "or at least they have seemed many to me, since I wept for the loss of my parents; and since then, I have never known what it was to lean upon one who loved me, or to feel that there was one in the world whose happiness depended upon mine. My uncle has been very kind to me, too kind; he has gratified me in all my wishes. But I felt it was not love which caused his kindness. He never restrained my inclinations; and I have an indistinct recollection that my father used to chide me. My uncle has kissed me often, but he never shed a tear over me; but I remember, as distinctly as though it were but yesterday, of feeling my mother's warm tears drop upon my cheek, when she has bent over me to kiss me. O! it is a desolate world where there is none to love you."

Georgiana did not speak these few words without frequent sobbings, which so touched my heart, that when I attempted to speak, my utterance was choked with tears. I could not articulate a word.

"It is I," said Georgiana, "who must ask forgiveness of you, Mr. Franco. I have done wrong in allowing so close an intimacy to spring up between us; I should have taken up my cross, and denied myself the pleasure I have received in your society. Were my feelings different in one respect; or, were yours different from what I fear they are, perhaps I might not turn away my ear when you tell me you love me; but now I must."

"My dear, dear love," I said, "my whole existenceis yours; there is no division in my affections. I love you with all the strength and fulness of my soul; and but to hear you say you love me in return, I would do or endure more than I may seem capable of; but I could not, even for your sake, profess a feeling to which I am a stranger, or put on the sanctity of a hypocrite."

"I did not wrong you by believing you could; and for my sake, I would not have you strive after that grace which can only be obtained for the sake of Him, through whose intercession it can be given. How often have I prayed that you might receive it for His sake who died for you."

The heavy footsteps of Mr. Marisett in the hall, warned us of his approach. Georgiana wiped the tears from her eyes, and I seated myself opposite to her, and looked as indifferent as I could. She opened her bible, and commenced reading again, as her uncle opened the parlor door.

"Upon my word, Georgy," he said, "you are entertaining Mr. Franco in sober earnestness. I hope he is satisfied with your manner of amusing him."

"He has made no complaint," replied Georgiana.

"I dare say not," said her uncle; "you have given him no opportunity, I'll be bound."

"She has given me no cause," I said.

"Well done," said Mr. Marisett, pleasantly.

Georgiana looked steadily on the page of her bible, while I looked earnestly at the fire. The color of our thoughts was undoubtedly of the same hue.

Mr. Marisett would at times apply himself, with a wonderful degree of intensity, to any subject which required his attention, until he gained the result after which he sought; and then, like a spring which had been stretched to its utmost tension, and suddenly let go, his thoughts seemed to bound up and vacillate from side to side, for half an hour or more, before his mind would settle to its usual calmness. He had probably just risen from some laborious mental effort, when he entered the parlor, for he was unusually lively and playful; and that prevented him from observing the unusually grave demeanor of his niece. He kissed her affectionately; and after listening to two or three of his playful sallies, I retired to my chamber.

CHAPTER XVII. Almost a murder.

I had frequent opportunities of walking to church, and to prayer meetings, with Georgiana; and sometimes I accompanied her in her charitable visits, although she usually preferred going alone on such errands. But we were rarely together in her uncle's house. Mrs. Butler was no stranger to our feelings, and she never interfered when there was a prospect of our being left alone; but my duties, or company, or some other cause, rarely allowed me this happiness.

It was the settled conviction of Georgiana, that it would be sinful in her to plight her faith to one, whose heart had not been touched by the same divine influences which she believed had wrought a change in her. She quoted to me the proofs from holy writ, on which her faith was founded; and although I could not refute her arguments, yet they failed to carry conviction to my mind. I had the double mortification of feeling my inferiority to her, and of knowing she loved me, without the hope of ever possessing her. Truly, with me, religion was the "one thing needful." Never,since the cross was erected, did a man strive harder to convert himself. I read the most powerful and argumentative essays; I listened attentively to the most stirring sermons, and even tried to look pious, with the hope that a habit of body might beget a corresponding habit of mind. Many and earnest were the prayers which Georgiana breathed in my behalf. But all to no purpose. My dislike to religious things and duties increased in proportion to the efforts that were made to overcome it. At last, I began to look upon all religious men, and books, and even upon the bible itself, as united in a conspiracy to rob me of my life's pleasure.

My sole hope was, that Georgiana herself would change; that her delusion would wear away, or be overcome by her love for me. I began to fear that no change would be effected in me.

But it was no small consolation to know, that Georgiana actually loved me, and that she refused me, not for personal, but for spiritual reasons. And it added not a little to this consolation, to know, that in gaining her affections, I had achieved a mighty triumph over my cousin. He was introduced to her for the first time, at Mrs. Brown's party, and fell in love with her on the spot. He had called on her repeatedly since, but had alwaysbeen coolly received. He pretended to be engaged in some religious enterprise, and became a regular attendant at the chapel which Georgiana frequented; and once, when he attempted to address her, as she came out of the door, when the service was over, she merely made a slight inclination of the head, and taking my arm, we walked quietly away, and left him to chew the cud of his disappointment at his leisure. I took a wicked pleasure in mortifying his pride, and I longed to whisper in his ear the odious words which he had planted in my memory. I cared nothing now for his real estate, nor his money; and I knew he envied me the situation I held, as it allowed me free intercourse with Georgiana. I frequently passed him in the street, but I never gave him a look of recognition. The cause of his showing such a wanton malice towards me, I never knew; I was some years his junior, and I had never, until he unprovokedly wounded my feelings, entertained a hard thought of him; although from a child he had sought every occasion to excite my anger.

It was very seldom that my services were required at the counting room of an evening; but the night after that on which Georgiana had taken my arm, as my cousin spoke to her when she cameout of the chapel, Mr. Bargin requested me to remain, and assist in preparing the invoices and bills of lading, for a ship belonging to Marisett Co., which was to sail the next morning. I was always glad when an opportunity offered to render myself serviceable; and on this occasion, I remained in the counting room as long as there was any thing to be done. It was midnight when I left, and I had almost three miles to walk. Mr. Marisett's house was on the north side of the city, at the foot of one of the new streets which led down to the Hudson. The night was cold and dark, and I wrapped my cloak about me, and walked briskly through the silent streets, till I got within a block or two of the house, where the side walk was shaded with young sycamore trees, when a man suddenly jumped from behind one of the casings of a tree, and caught me in his arms, and before I could clear myself from my cloak, he tripped up my heels, and I fell upon my back; in my fall, my hat got jambed over my eyes, which prevented me from seeing my assailant, and before I had time to make an attempt at defence, I felt a sharp instrument graze my left side. But it was directed with such force, that, as it struck the pavement, it slipped out of the murderer's hand, and I caught his arm before he could regain it. I heldhard, and shouted murder with all my might. The sound of the watchman's staff was soon heard, and I struggled hard with the assassin, but he had an advantage of me by being on top, and before the watch came, he had escaped. The blood had flown freely from my wound, and I had no sooner told the number of the house where I lived, than I fainted.

When I revived again, I found myself underssed and in bed, and in my own chamber; Mrs. Butler and Mr. Marisett were both at my bed-side, and they spoke soothingly and kindly to me. It was some time before I could call together my scattered senses, or be made to understand what had happened to me. It appeared that I had received a deep cut in my left side, and in my arm; but the doctor had pronounced the wounds not dangerous; but I had bled profusely, and felt extremely weak and feverish.

An ivory-handled bowie-knife was found by my side by the watchman who picked me up; it was a murderous-looking weapon, but of beautiful workmanship; on each side of the blade was a motto, or rather an inscription: "Short and sweet," on one side; "A heart-seeker," on the other. Mr. Marisett delivered it to the officers of the police, next morning, and offered a reward of a thousand dollars for the apprehension of the assassin who attacked me, and the mayor of the city offered a reward of five hundred dollars in addition. But he was never detected. It was evident, that the object of the murderer was not plunder, for it was at a time when all those gentlemen who live by plundering their neighbors, were making money fast enough to satisfy their desires, by speculating in lots. Owing to the suddenness of the attack, and the darkness of the night, I did not even catch a glimpse of his person, and consequently I could not furnish the slightest clue to lead to his detection. A horrible suspicion crossed my mind, but I would not trust it to my own thoughts. I was conscious of having injured no one, and consoled myself with the reflection, that I had been mistaken for another person.

I was confined to my bed a fortnight, and during that time I received many additional proofs of regard from Mr. Marisett, and Georgiana, and from good Mrs. Butler, who hardly left me ten minutes at a time. Georgiana read the bible to me every day, and prayed by my side; she improved the peculiar circumstances in which I was placed, by admonishing me of the uncertainty of life, and the necessity of being always prepared for a summons to the next world. But it was invain she talked, I could think of no other heaven than that which her presence made. Had I been called upon to worship her, I could have knelt devoutly at her feet; but I could not dismiss her from my mind long enough to dwell on a higher or a purer being.

A few days after I had sufficiently recovered to go down stairs, Mr. Marisett gave a small dinner-party, and as mishap had in some sort made a little lion of me, he invited me to the table. The guests were principally merchants, gentlemen with whom the house of Marisett Co. had transacted business; Mr. Bargin was present, of course, for, as he said himself, he was au fait at a dinner party: he knew exactly what to do on such an occasion; he had not studied the fashionable novels for nothing. The only ladies present were Georgiana and Miss Rippletrump, a cousin of Mr. Marisett's; she was a fine, stately-looking woman, as matronly in her appearance as though she had been the mother of a baker's dozen. She made a boast, that she had passed her fortieth year, and was not married yet. She made her appearance on this occasion in a blue satin turban and maraboo feathers. I have always observed, that your bold, dashing women, are fond of a turban, and I do not remember that I ever met witha modest, retiring woman, with one on her head. Georgiana was dressed with great simplicity and neatness, and she appeared to great advantage by the side of her dressed-up relation.

The finest gentleman of the party, excepting Mr. Bargin, was Mr. De Challies, an importer of French millinery articles. He spoke of the prices of goods, and the prospects of trade, with an air bordering upon grandeur. Mr. Looman, a stock broker, took rank next to the importer. He was a tall, pale man, with a broken nose and a broken voice; but those were trifles; his slender form was ornamented with a filligree chain, which dangled from his neck. Mr. Looman spoke about 'dollars,' and operations,' and 'loans,' and 'exchanges,' and 'bills,' with such an air of superiority, that I felt myself the meanest creature in existence, when I remembered my own poverty.

"Aw, Looman, what has become of Smith?" said Mr. De Challies.

"What, the grocer, or the broker?" said Mr. Looman.

"The grocer," replied Mr. De Challies.

"Oh! he is dead."

"Dead! Now that is very strange. Bless my soul and body, I thought I saw him yesterdaywith a decidedly shabby vest on. Poor Smith; he was the best judge of French brandy in Front street."

"Oh! then if you saw him yesterday he can't be dead. But he's a poor wretch."

"Is it possible!" exclaimed Mr. De Challies, suspending his spoon midway between his plate and his mouth.

"True fact, sir,' replied Mr. Looman; "he isn't worth a dollar."

"What, failed, and didn't save nothing for himself?" asked a gentleman whose name I have forgotten.

"The fool!" said another.

"Very indefatigable man, Smith," said another.

"Quite an ingenious man," said another.

"Poor stick," ejaculated another gentleman.

"Quite so," added Mr. Bargin, and with him the remarks on Smith terminated. Mr. Marisett said nothing on the subject. Mr. De Challies took wine with Miss Rippletrump, who sat opposite to him.

"That's a rich wine, madam," remarked Mr. De Challies.

"Cousin usually keeps good wine, I believe," replied the lady.

"He is an importer of the article, I presume," said Mr. De Challies, in whose estimation an importer outranked a mere jobber.

"Very probable," replied Miss Rippletrump, with a stately toss of her turban, which made her maraboo feathers shake again.

"In his own ships," said Mr. De Challies, smacking his lips, and repeating again, "very rich wine."

"Every thing is rich now-a-days," said the lady; "for my part, I long for the good old days when people were poor. If I only knew where there was a poor man, woman, or child, I should be glad. I wish, cousin Marisett, you would take a fashionable young wife to help you spend your money, and then I could hope some day to find a poor relation in you."

"I am extremely obliged to you for your kind wishes," replied Mr. M.

"Then why don't you take my advice," replied the lady.

"Humph!" ejaculated Mr. Marisett; "if women were always women, perhaps I might. But some have usurped the offices of men, and made me half suspect the gentleness of the others. Some have taken swords in their hands, and others pens; some have gone into the pulpit,and others have mounted the rostrum. Such women are not for me; no, no, cousin; when I lay my head by the side of a woman, she must be every thing that a man is not. But come, come, why do you not get married yourself, cousin?"

"If men were all men," said Miss Rippletrump, parodying the words of Mr. Marisett, "perhaps I might. But some have usurped the offices of women, and made me more than suspect the manliness of the others; some sit cross legged, with needles in their huge fingers, and others stand all day behind a counter, using their lusty arms to measure out millinery; and the best do but devote their days to no more noble objects than hoarding money; no, no, cousin; such men are not for me; if ever I do sacrifice myself to a man, he must be every thing that a woman is not."

Mr. De Challies and Mr. Looman and Mr. Bargin, looked at each other with the liveliest consternation depicted in their countenances, which seemed to say, "did you ever?" Men could not have manifested greater amazement by their looks.

But good humor was soon restored, and the dinner passed off very pleasantly. However, neither Mr. De Challies nor Mr. Looman utteredanother syllable about their business. As soon as the dessert was brought on, Miss Rippletrump and Georgiana retired to the parlor, where I joined them very soon. The first named lady was still in a high excitement.

"I am very glad you have joined us, Mr. Franco," she said, "for I cannot find out from Miss De Lancey, whether you are rich or not; if you be, I hope you will not take offence at what I have said."

I assured Miss Rippletrump, that the meekest man in the world would not desire to be poorer.

"Well, I am glad to hear it," she said, "although money is well enough in its way; indeed, I have got a little myself, which I should be very sorry to lose. But money, without refinement, makes brutes of its possessors."

CHAPTER XVIII. Political.

The next evening, I was engaged with Mr. Marisett in his private office, for, although my left arm was still in a sling, I could write very easily with my other hand. I had been writing a duplicate letter, and was waiting for him to put his signature to it.

"It is a poor business, after all," said Mr. Marisett.

"I think it will leave a margin, sir," I replied, thinking he referred to the matter contained in the letter I had been copying.

"Not that," he said, smiling, "not that; but I was thinking of my cousin Rippletrump's remarks about making money; they have run in my mind all day. This money-getting, certainly, does not fill up the full measure of a man's dignity. She was right. Once it was something to be rich, but now I meet with men daily who are richer than myself; even the milkman who brought milk to my door but a few months ago, now rides through Broadway with a liveried footman behind his carriage. Getting money is not, to be sure, a feminineemployment, but it is neither manly nor ennobling."

I could not guess at the thoughts which were running in Mr. Marisett's mind, so I made no reply to his remarks, but only bit the top of my pen, and waited to hear the remainder of what he was going to say.

"It has been hinted to me, Mr. Franco, that if I would consent, I could receive the nomination of representative in Congress at the coming election."

"Indeed," I replied; "of course, you have determined to accept."

"I am at a loss what to do; I could not endure the mortification of a defeat."

"Surely," I said, and with sincerity too, "there can be no probability of that."

Mr. Marisett shook his head, and smiled. "There is another objection," he added; "if I should be elected, it must be by the votes of a party, and the very sound of party is odious to me. 'My country,' has a noble sound; but 'my party,' savors of meanness and littleness of purpose. It would never satisfy the cravings of my ambition to be the representative of but a moiety of my fellow-citizens, and to see it registered in the public papers, that there were so many thousands, who refused to give me their votes; and to know the exact number who considered me unworthy of their confidence."

"Why not then," I said, "offer yourself as a candidate for the suffrages of all parties. Of course, the highest talents and greatest virtues will command the most votes; as the best merchandize always commands the highest prices."

"Ah! I see you know nothing of politics," replied Mr. Marisett.

"I must confess I do not; but this party system is a strange business."

"It is a system of the arch fiend," said Mr. Marisett.

And so the subject dropped. But the next evening Mr. Marisett told me he had been persuaded to allow his name to be used by the nominating committee of the party to which he belonged; and while we sat in the little office, a gentleman called to speak with him on the subject. It was Mr. Bloodbutton, a patriotic lawyer, very celebrated as an orator at ward meetings.

"I have called on you, sir," said Mr. Bloodbutton, addressing himself to Mr. Marisett, with a solemn air, "having been deputised for that purpose, to make some inquiries, and ascertain some facts in relation to your private history, that I maybe enabled to make some effective points in my speech to-morrow night at the Hall."

Mr. Marisett smiled, and replied, "upon my word, Mr. Bloodbutton, I think the wisest way will be to say nothing at all about me, for I know of nothing that can be said to any advantage; except, indeed, that I have always paid my debts."

"That," replied Mr. Bloodbutton; "wouldn't be a circumstance. We must have something to hurrah about, or we shall lose the election. Were you ever a fireman?"

"Never in my life," replied Mr. Marisett.

"Did you never save the life of some poor emigrant's child, by jumping into the river, or in other words, the briny deep?"

"Never."

"Did you never save any body's life in any manner?"

"I am quite sure I never did. Indeed, I am positive."

"Perhaps you were engaged in the late glorious struggle, our second war of Independence?"

"No, I cannot say that I was."

"But, you were not a member of the Hartford Convention?" exclaimed Mr. Bloodbutton, evidently alarmed.

"Never was in the Bluelaw State in my life, sir."

"That's fortunate," said Mr. Bloodbutton; "I trust you were not born down east."

"My father was a New England man, sir," replied Mr. Marisett, "and I claim to be a descendant of the Pilgrims."

"That is bad, very bad," said Mr. Bloodbutton, shaking his head. "All the down-easters are Hartford Conventionists."

"My poor father, sir," said Mr. Marisett, "died before the Convention was thought of."

"That makes no difference in the world, sir," said Mr. Bloodbutton, "the public would never be satisfied with such an apology as that. He was a federalist, of course?"

"Then the public is unreasonable in the extreme," said Mr. Marisett.

"They generally decide right, sir; we are bound to respect the will of the majority, in such cases," replied Mr. Bloodbutton.

I thought it was a very hard case, but I kept my thoughts to myself.

"But, surely you were drafted during the war," said Mr. Bloodbutton.

"I was," said Mr. Marisett, "but I hired a substitute."

"All the same as though you went yourself," said Mr. Bloodbutton, making a memorandum in his pocket-book. "Was your substitute in any engagement?"

"I had the curiosity to make some inquiries about him, and I found that he deserted the first time he heard the report of a musket."

"Never mind about telling any farther. He was in actual service; it will make a beautiful point. I wish he had taken a standard; it would produce a most thrilling effect to wave it over the beads of the people at the Hall."

"I wish he had," said Mr. Marisett.

"Were you born at the time of the revolution?"

"I was not."

"That is dreadfully unlucky, I should like to make a revolutionary hero of you."

"Would not that be dishonest," said Mr. Marisett.

"Dishonest, sir," replied Mr. Bloodbutton, evidently astonished at the remark; "nothing is dishonest in politics that is available. But next to a revolutionary hero, there is nothing like being born in the gem of the sea; I presume you can lay no claim to that distinction?"

"Not the slightest."

"Were not some of your relatives revolutionary soldiers?"

"My grandfather, I have been told, was a sergeant in the Continental Army."

"Was he wounded?" inquired Mr. B. eagerly.

"I have heard my grandmother tell that he had his right heel knocked off, by putting out his foot to stop a cannon ball which he supposed was nearly spent."

"Good, good," cried the orator, in an ecstacy of delight. "Of course there is but one way of speaking of that circumstance; it has all the dignity of a historical fact; your ancestors poured out their blood like water upon the ensanguined field of—of—what battle was it?"

"I do not remember."

"Well, never mind; upon the ensanguined battle field, will do."

"There are two or three more questions, of rather a delicate nature, which I wish to ask. I mean no disrespect, but there are certain things, of which it is necessary to be informed. You never stole away the gentle partner of a man's bosom, nor any thing of that sort?" inquired Mr. Bloodbutton, timidly, as if afraid an answer in the affirmative might be given.

"No."

"Never run one of your particular friends through the body with a sword cane?"

"No."

"Nor shot a high-minded and talented gentleman in a duel."

"No."

"Of course, you never hung a militiaman?"

"No."

Mr. Bloodbutton made another entry in his pocket-book, and then shook Mr. Marisett's hand, and then extended his hand to me, which I grasped cheerfully, for I had conceived a high regard for him, seeing he took such a lively interest in the affairs of my kind employer.

When Mr. Bloodbutton was gone, Mr. Marisett leaned back in his chair, and laughed heartily.

"What nonsense," he said, "to talk about broad-farce in the theatre; after all, there is nothing really serious in this world, but the act of goint out of it."

CHAPTER XIX. The effects of speaking in public.

It was well known in the counting room of Marisett Co. the next morning, that the senior partner was to be put in nomination for a member of Congress, and all the clerks took a very lively interest in the matter, much livelier, indeed, than Mr. Marisett himself did. A meeting was to be held that evening, when the nominating committee were to make their report; and we all agreed to go from the counting room together. Invoices were left unfinished, and letters were sent off without being copied; the excitement was very great. Even Mr. Bargin seemed to have the starch taken out of him, as one of the clerks observed; but Mr. Garvey's religious scruples would not allow him to mingle in such worldly pursuits as politics; so he attended to his duties, as usual.

As soon as it was dark, we all started off for Masonic Hall in a body, and got there before the doors were open. We waited with patience, until the doors were open, and then made a rush up the stairs, and we had the satisfaction of having the Hall all to ourselves for nearly half an hour, during which time, we examined all the architectural beauties and elaborate ornaments of that celebrated place; and we came to the unanimous conclusion, the reverse of a celebrated piece of criticism, that if the architect had not taken quite so much pains, the Hall would have been a good deal handsomer. After the expiration of half an hour, the people began to pour in, and very soon the Hall was crowded to suffocation, and when no more could get up stairs, the crowd below organized, and appointed their own Chairman and Secretaries, and had their own speeches. Although I was almost dead with the heat, and choked with dust, I was rejoiced to see the crowd; for I looked upon it as an undoubted evidence of the popularity of Mr. Marisett. I got jammed between two very fat men, and I thought they would have squeezed the breath out of my body. But I was most annoyed by a tall man, who stood directly in front of me, and prevented me from seeing any of the persons on the platform. Somebody was addressing the meeting, but the only words I could hear were, "fellow cit-i-zens." I had never been at a political meeting before, and I had a great curiosity to see and hear every thing. There were fifty Vice Presidents, and thirty-five Secretaries; and as they were all, as a matter ofcourse, personal friends of Mr. Marisett, I was anxious to see them; but the only portion of their persons that I could catch a glimpse of, was the tops of their heads, which either exhibited a tuft of gray hair, or a smooth, glossy surface.

There was a great many speakers, and among them Mr. Bloodbutton, who, as he promised, made a decided hit, by introducing the revolutionary event, with suitable embellishments. When Mr. Marisett's name was mentioned, there was a tremendous clapping and cheering. When the meeting broke up, our little party from the counting room adjourned to the bar-room below, where we spent more than half the night in drinking slings and cocktails, and in exchanging congratulations. The newspapers the next morning contained the most exciting accounts of the meeting, and all the editors seemed to vie with each other in praising Mr. Marisett. All the great men of ancient and modern times had to suffer in their reputations, for he was declared to be infinitely superior to the best of them, and the descendant of a revolutionary hero besides. As for his opponent, the candidate of the opposite party, he was a foreigner by birth, an infidel in religion, a turncoat in politics, a bankrupt in fortune, low in his pursuits, mean in his origin, intemperate inhis habits, ugly in person, of inferior capacity, and limited in his acquirements. Of course, there could be no doubt of the issue in a contest between two such men; and on strictly party grounds, without any reference to the qualifications of the candidates, it was asserted there could be no doubt of victory; the reaction in the public feeling was astounding.

We were all in the highest spirits at the flattering prospects of our employers' success, for we all loved him, and we knew that the fine things that were said of him were all true. It was proposed by Mr. Cornstock, the assistant book-keeper, that we should all go to Tammany Hall the next evening, just by way of a joke, to enjoy the desponding looks of our opponents. The proposition was agreed to, and when the evening came, we all went in a body. But the opposition were not quite so cast down as we expected to find them. The front of the hall was brilliantly illuminated with great flaring transparencies, and the interior was very finely ornamented with flags; and a live owl, to represent an eagle, was tied to the speaker's chair. There was a great gathering; and notwithstanding the severe articles in the papers, the crowd appeared in fine spirits, and were noisy as victors. They had the samenumber of vice presidents and secretaries that we had at our meeting, and I must acknowledge I did not see any very great difference in their appearance, although I expected to have seen the meanest and most contemptible looking set of fellows in the world.

A short, thick set gentleman, with a pair of twinkling black eyes, a smiling countenance, and a smooth tongue, got up and addressed the meeting in favor of their candidate, to whom he attributed all the virtues, and asserted, with unblushing effrontery, that he was the son of a colonel in the continental army. Such impudence filled me with astonishment. But, when the orator, after exhausting all the eulogistic epithets in praising his own candidate, fell upon Mr. Marisett, and began to heap the foulest abuse upon him, the blood fairly boiled in my veins. I could scarce contain myself until he had finished speaking. This was too bad to be endured, and I felt myself called upon, by every principle of honor and gratitude, to defend the character of my benefactor.

So while the people were shouting and clapping their hands, after the speaker had sat down, I elbowed my way up to the platform, and mounted the steps. I took off my hat, and the mobgreeted me with three rounds of cheers; and then followed a deadly silence. My heart fluttered, and I wished myself any where in the world but where I was, when I looked round upon the multitude of human eyes which were levelled at me. It is nothing to make one of a crowd, but to stand above one, and to see its thousand eyes gazing at you, is something. But there was no retreating. I drew a long breath, and then took a swallow of Manhattan water, and tried to speak; but I could say nothing more than, "fellow cit—i—zens."

The mob commiserating my confusion, encouraged me to proceed by giving me three more rounds of applause. I began to gain confidence, and pronounced once more, "fellow cit-i-zens," took another glass of Manhattan water, and proceeded. "I am bold in rising to address you, although for the first time." "Speak louder, speak louder," cried the mob — "because," — "speak louder, Bub," said one of the vice presidents, encouragingly — "because," I continued, "freedom of debate and liberty of conscience are, I am told, among the glorious privileges for which you do battle; and having gained them for yourselves, you are willing to accord them to others." Three more rounds of applause, and cries of, "bravo!""go it!" "spit it out!" "Therefore I say, I can, with confidence, stand here, and claim the privilege of vindicating the character of a great and good man, whose character has this night, and on this platform, been slanderously assailed. I need not say that I allude to that excellent gentleman, Jonathan Marisett."

As I concluded these words, a shout of yells, shrieks, and hisses, broke from the mob, and made the Hall tremble to its foundation. "Hustle him out," "hustle him out," "kill the 'ristocrat." "off with his ruffle shirt," "out with him," were sounds that rose up above the confused din. A dozen ruffianly fellows caught hold of me at once, and I was tossed, and kicked, and cuffed, and thrown from one to another, over the heads of that patriotic assemblage. Canes were levelled at me from every side, and quids of tobacco showered above my head like hail, and now and then a torrent of warm tobacco juice came gushing into my eyes. By and bye I felt myself descending the stairs, and at last, the cool night air bnlew upon my face. and suddenly I found myself lying in the gutter.

I was completely stunned, and frightened almost to death; my coat was torn off, my shirt was in tatters, and my hat and watch were gone; the wound in my arm had started to bleeding, and Iwas covered with gore. My companions picked me up, and put me into a hackney coach, and drove me home.

Georgiana, hearing the noise as they took me into the hall, came out of the parlor, and as soon as she saw me, fainted. Mrs. Butler had me washed and put to bed, and a physician sent for, when it was discovered that, although I was badly bruised, I was not dangerously hurt.

Mr. Marisett said, he was extremely mortified at what I had done, and for the first time, since I had been in his employ, he censured me. But as soon as I was well enough to go out again, he gave me a gold watch, and told me to go to his tailor's and get measured for a suit of clothes. Although my hurt was not dangerous, yet the doctor said it was necessary for me to keep my bed for a fortnight. Once more I had the happiness of having Georgiana to sit by my bed side, and read to me from the book she loved so well. But still my heart was untouched, except by her charms. How could aught beside find a lodgment there. She completely filled up, and engrossed all my affections; all my thoughts, hopes, wishes, and desires, centered upon her. Even my ambition to excel my cousin daily grew less; thewhole strength of my soul was exhausted by love for Georgiana.

The day of the election came round, and found me still in bed; I was very anxious to be out, but the doctor would not allow me to go. It was a special election, and the interest which is usually shared by a dozen candidates, was engrossed by two. I was in a state of continued and feverish excitement, until the result was known, which had the effect of retarding my recovery. At last the astounding news was brought to me. Mr. Marisett was defeated by an immense majority!

The next day, the papers were full of dark hints about bribery and corruption, and mysterious inuendoes about contesting the election; but the next day after, they contained not a word on the subject, and Mr. Marisett and his virtues were as suddenly and as completely forgotten, as though he had never had an existence.

But Mr. Marisett did not forget his defeat, although the public did; he was mortified and disappointed; and the exciting passion for distinction having taken possession of him, he could not break away from it, and resume his quiet business habits.

CHAPTER XX. Tears and smiles.

A few weeks after the election, I sat in the private office arranging some papers, when Mr. Marisett came in, and seated himself at his desk. He remained almost an hour, with his eyes cast down, and his lips compressed in his peculiar manner, conveying to the mind an impression of firmness, which I have sometimes felt, when gazing on a granite pillar.

"I have been defeated," he spoke at length, "in the only attempt I ever made to gain popular favor. I was a fool to make an adventure where I had no experience, and where I could have no controlling influence, and where success could be insured neither by calculation nor merit. Henceforth, Mr. Franco, we will act with more discretion."

"I certainly shall try to," I said, holding up my arm, which I was still obliged to wear in a sling; "but I was not aware that any one beside myself had shown any want of discretion in the contest."

"I mean in choosing the object, and not inpursuing it," he said. "However, it may prove fortunate for me that I lost the election. I have almost matured in my mind a plan, which will, if I carry it into operation, gain me more renown, and greater means of usefulness, than if I had been fifty times a member of Congress. I have not named the subject to my partners yet, but I shall to-morrow, and if we determine to carry it into execution, we shall have occasion to send you off on an agency."

I replied that nothing would give me greater happiness than to be instrumental in advancing his interests, but that I should greatly prefer doing it at home, if I could as well.

Mr. Marisett looked me full in the face, and I blushed; for I thought he suspected the cause of my unwillingness to go abroad. I may have been mistaken, but the thought made me feel uneasy and confused, and when I had finished my writing, I bade him good night, and retired to my chamber.

I felt unhappy at the prospect of leaving Georgiana, for I considered it as certain that I should be compelled to do so. Mr. Marisett was one of those men who never allow any one to share in their thoughts, but wait until their plans are matured in their own minds before they expose themto others. His manner with his partners was this:

"Well, gentlemen, I have thought of entering into such and such an arrangement; what do you think of it?"

Perhaps one of them would venture to make an objection.

"Well, gentlemen," he would reply, "my mind is made up; we will do as I propose."

But it was only in affairs of importance that he was thus positive; in matters of minor concern he would always yield his own opinion with the best grace imaginable.

The next day, Mr. Marisett told me he had consulted with his partners, and that he had determined on carrying his plans into execution. It was nothing less that an attempt to get the control of the cotton market into his hands. It was a stupendous undertaking; but Mr. Marisett was a conqueror in business, and nothing with him appeared difficult of accomplishment, where industry, foresight, or calculation, could be of avail. The entire plan of operations by which he expected to effect his object, I never knew; for it was his practice never to give one man any further insight into his views than what was actually necessary to enable him to perform the particularduty assigned to him. But with me, Mr. Marisett had generally been less reserved; on this occasion, however, he merely told me that I must get myself in readiness to leave for New Orleans at the end of the week; that I must make all possible haste in getting to my place of destination; and that my instructions were not to be opened until I got there.

Although this proof of confidence was gratifying to my pride, I would gladly have remained in his office at home, if I could; for I had still a hope of being able to overcome the scruples of Georgiana, and I was afraid that, in my absence, my cousin would succeed, by his hypocrisy, in gaining her affections.

The bare thought of such an event almost distracted me, and once I determined to tell Mr. Marisett that I could not go. But a second thought reminded me of the honor and profit which I should gain by going; and that I should thereby triumph over my cousin, and heap coals of fire on his head; so pride, and revenge, and avarice, at last overpowered love. But it was a hard struggle. And yet I would not have resigned Georgiana De Lancey for the whole world; but I was willing, seemingly, to give her up for a season, that I might thereby gratify the darling passion of my soul.

The few days which were left me for preparation, flew away more rapidly than time had ever flown by me before; and the last night in which I was to sleep under the same roof with Georgiana, had arrived. It was late in the evening when I closed a letter to my parents, informing them of my intended journey. It could make but little difference, whether a thousand or a hundred miles separated us; and yet I could not refrain a tear, at the thought of being farther removed from them. I sealed my letter, and hastened out of the office, where I had been writing alone. As I passed through the hall, with the intention of going up to my chamber, I saw Georgiana sitting by herself in the parlor. She appeared sad. I stopped a moment at the door; she raised her eyes; I fancied there was an invitation in their glance, and I entered and sat down. But it was a long time before I could speak; my utterance was choked, and I made many attempts before I could articulate a syllable. Georgiana was very pale, and but for the tremulous motion of her lips, she would have looked like a corpse. I had never seen her look so sad and dejected before. At last I spoke.

"I shall leave you to-morrow, Miss De Lancey," I said, "and as this may be the last time I shall ever be allowed the privilege of speaking to you alone, I cannot leave you, without telling you once more that I love you. I know it is unreasonable in me, so worthless, to hope that you, who are so worthy, should return love for love, or even cold esteem for warm and glowing passion. I know it is even wicked to indulge in the unholy dream of being united to one so much above me. But our affections are not always under our own control; and madness though it be in me to love, still I must love, because it is madness. I do love you, dear Georgina; how well, I cannot speak. And my love is not lessened, because I feel how unworthy I am of you. The heart yearns for something higher and holier than itself; as you, when you first felt guilt in your soul, looked up and sought communion with the Holy Spirit. You found the purity for which you sought. O! that my heart might find the purity after which it yearns."

Georgiana made no reply, but she covered her face with her hands, and sobbed aloud.

"O that I could leave you," I continued, "knowing that you feel an interest in my welfare! I could then go with a free and buoyant spirit; butif otherwise, it will be a weary road that I shall travel."

Georgiana continued to sob, and I felt it would be ungenerous to press her to make a confession, which her religious scruples forbade, let her inclinations be what they might. I took her hand, which hung by her side, and pressing it to my lips, bade her good bye, and left her. I felt assured that she loved me. It was enough.

The next morning I did not see her; but the kindhearted house keeper met me at the door as I was leaving, and I whispered in her ear to remember me to Miss Georgy.

Mr. Marisett accompanied me to the steam-boat, and as he put the package into my hands which contained my instructions, he told me that it depended upon the prudence of my conduct in New Orleans, whether I was admitted as a partner in the firm of Marisett Co. on my return. He shook me cordially by the hand, and bade me farewell. I stepped on board the boat; the last bell was ringing, and as I was elbowing my way along the deck, a small package was suddenly thrust into my hands. I turned to see from whom it came. "Cast off," exclaimed the pilot; a slight boyish figure sprang ashore; the fasts were cut loose, and away we darted through the water. Ilooked long and anxiously, but the slight form was lost in the crowd, and I saw it no more.

The letter which had been put into my hand so mysteriously, was directed to me in a pretty woman's hand, which I recognised immediately as Georgiana's. I sought out a retired spot, and tearing open the envelope with a beating heart and trembling hands, read as follows:

"Dear Harry,

"My conscience upbraids me with having broken the golden rule, in my intercourse with you, and I cannot allow you to leave me, under a false impression of my feelings. I am afraid I have not been sufficiently plain, when you have spoken to me on the subject, in giving you to understand that my mind is unalterably fixed, never to unite myself to one, whose heart has not been bowed under the conscious burden of his sins; for my promise has been passed, mentally only, I own, but I cannot break it. It is registered above. Had I known you before the vow was made, perhaps it never would have been; but it is, and I am bound by it. Our hands, dear Harry, may never be united, but our hearts may be. I cannot dissimulate, I do love you; how well I love you, let this confession witness. If it be sinfulin me, I trust that He, in whom is all my trust, will pardon me, and deliver me from my bondage. And my constant prayer to Him is, that he will bring you to the foot of that Cross, where alone I can meet you.

"I know that I am overstepping the worldly line of propriety in making this confession to you, but what has the world to do with you and me? I know the integrity of my own heart, and I have no fears of yours. Dear Harry, you will not love me less because I do not deceive you. If I were indifferent to you, I could not deceive you; how then can I, regarding you as I do, fulfil the law, by allowing you to leave me, with painful suspicions in your mind, and ignorant of the true state of my affections? Would I that others should do so to me? Life is too short for deceit; the time is too near at hand when all things shall be revealed.

"Once more let me entreat you to put on the armor of faith. Repent; confess your sins; pray; read your bible. Forgive me, that I, who am so ignorant, should thus dictate to you. Attribute this too great zeal— to love for your soul.

"May the God of all grace defend you, support you, and convert you.

Georgiana De L."

I read this precious letter a thousand times; I studied it, and weighed every word; I dissected every sentence, but the flattering hope of my breast found no spot whereon to alight. True, to be assured by Georgiana herself that she loved me, was a bliss to which I had never even dared to aspire; but to be told by her that she loved me, and that she could never be mine, was a depth lower in wretchedness than I had ever even feared.

CHAPTER XXI. Arrive at New Orleans, and meet with an old acquaintance.

It was just at dark when I landed on the levee, in New Orleans, and after seeing my baggage deposited at Bishop's hotel, I took a stroll through the town. Some of the streets reminded me strongly of the dark Calle which I first entered in Buenos Ayres, and some of the houses were fac similes of those in that city. As I sauntered along through the Rue St. Louis, my attention was arrested by a bright light, and the jingling of silver, issuing through a partly closed door. My curiosity was excited, and I pushed open the door and entered. I perceived at a glance that I was in a gambling house. It was a large room, brilliantly illuminated with argand lamps, and well filled with a motley assemblage of men. There were three roulette tables, and two faro tables, and in one corner of the apartment was a capacious mahogany sideboard, on which was placed an abundance of what is called refreshments, viz.: claret and whiskey, Bologna sausages, and segars.

There was an excited crowd round each of the tables; and oaths, and curses, and sometimes long drawn signs, were mingled with the continual jingle of dollars, and the gruff voices of the croupiers, calling out the numbers which decided the issue of the games. These croupiers were sturdy looking men, dressed in snowy white jackets, and very much ornamented with jewelry. One of them, a long nosed man, I thought I had seen before; he was dressed very fine, and his manner appeared familiar to me. I stood looking at him earnestly, as he exercised his long mahogany stick, and hauled in the little heap of half dollars and quarters which were lost on the roulette table at which he was sitting, when suddenly he caught sight of me, and exclaimed, "Franco, my pippin, how are you?" He gave up his stick to a man who was sitting at his elbow, and came from behind the table and shook me heartily by the hand.

It was my old acquaintance, Jack Lummucks, the drummer. He said he was most infernal happy to see me; although the last time I met him, he turned his head away from me.

Mr. Lummucks took me by the arm, and walked me into a coffee-house close by, and insisted on my drinking a julep; there was no escape, so I submitted. I should have been very glad to get rid of him, but he would cling to me. He had acquired the habit of hanging on to one when he was a drummer, and he couldn't leave it off now that there was nothing to be gained by it; it was also as natural for him to treat, as it was for him to breathe. He invited me to go to his boarding house to supper, but I refused. However, I might as well have gone willingly, for he at last compelled me to go; I could not shake him off. As his boarding house was in the lower part of the city, before we reached it, he related to me, without shame or reserve, how his old employers, J. Smith Davis Co. had sent him down South, on a collecting and drumming tour, and that having collected some thousands of dollars, he came down the Mississippi with the intention of embarking in one of the packets for New York; but he dropped into the gambling house one night, where I met him, and lost all the money which he had collected for his employer, and afterwards the proprietor of the house had engaged him for a croupier. It was the most natural change in the world; his habits as a jobber's drummer, exactly qualified him for a gambler's croupier. But I could not help expressing my opinion of Mr. Lummucks very plainly; he took it very coolly,however, and justified his misconduct by laying all the blame to the door of his old employer, Mr. J. Smith Davis, who, he said, had brought him up to it.

When we got to the door of Mr. Lummuck's boarding house, I hesitated about going in; but calling to mind that holy and good men had sat down to meat with evil ones, I thought it would not be becoming in one so imperfect as myself, to be over scrupulous in the choice of my company.

The house was a little shingle cottage, with a projecting roof, and a door which opened from the street into the parlor. We found the table spread, and the family just sitting down to supper. Mr. Lummucks introduced me as his particular friend, from the North, and I took a seat at table by the side of the landlady, Madame Grandemaison, a jovial French woman, with a treble chin; her two daughters, pretty, black eyed girls, sat opposite to me. There were two gentlemen besides Mr. Lummucks and myself, a tall, red nosed, blue eyed, sandy haired Scotchman; and a little sleek looking Frenchman, whose body bore no small resemblance to an apple pudding, with an apple dumpling placed on top of it.

Madame talked incessantly; and the two Mademoiselles talked incessantly. Monsieur talkedwithout ceasing, and so did the Scotchman. I could not repeat their conversation if I were disposed, for it was in French, and I could not understand a syllable. But spite of the talking, there was no interruption to the eating and drinking, and a large dish of rice and gumbo, and half a dozen bottles of sour claret, with a due proportion of bread and artichokes, disappeared very rapidly.

After the supper, and while the table was still standing on the floor, the young ladies expressed a strong desire to waltz; and as the proposition found favor with all present, Marie, the black cook, was called in to sing.

Now I had never waltzed in my life, but I had seen others waltz, and I thought nothing could be easier. So I yielded to the entreaties of Mr. Lummucks, and offered my arm to Madame Grandemaison herself; a huge mountain of flesh though she was, she whirled around with the velocity of a top. Mr. Lummucks put his arm around the waist of one of the Mademoiselles, the Scotchman paired off with the other, and the sleek little Frenchman being left without a partner, caught up a chair, and with great good nature exclaimed, toujours gai, clasped it to his breast, and joined in. The black cook struck up in a loud andclear voice, the waltz from Der Freyschutz, and away we went. It was with difficulty that I kept hold of my partner, for the circumference of her waist was entirely beyond the capacity of my arms.

The supper table was in the centre of the room, and the circuits we made around it would have been a very pretty illustration of the solar system. Black Marie was giving us her musci in double quick time, and consequently our revolutions were very rapid; how many we had made, I could not tell; they appeared to me a million at least; I began to grow very giddy; the sweat started from all the pores in my body; my head grew lighter and lighter; the candles appeared to be flying about the room, and the floor seemed to be rising and falling; objects began to grow dim and indistinct; the shrill tones of Marie's voice sounded in my ears like the hum of a monstrous moscheto, and her sable visage, as I caught short glimpses of it, with her white teeth and scarlet gums, looked like the face of the evil one. I tried to stop, but in vain; Madame grasped me tightly by the shoulders; round and round we continued to spin. I grew sicker and sicker, till at last my knees could no longer support me, and down I tumbled, bringing Madame Grandemaison with me in my fall. She made the cottage shake to its foundations, if it had any. Over went the supper table, scattering the gumbo, and claret, and china, and glasses, in every direction. The others were whirling around with such an impetus, they could not stop themselves, and down they came on top of us. Mr. Lummucks and his partner first, then the Scotchman and his partner, and lastly, the little Frenchman, who, in his fall, forced the leg of his chair down the throat of the Scotchman, who lay on his back with his mouth open, and demolished two thirds of his front teeth. Such screaming, such swearing, such spoiled dresses, and such broken crockery, I will venture to assert, were never heard nor seen before, on a similar occasion. I contrived to extricate myself from the ruins, with the loss only of my coat tail, and the supper I had eaten; part of which I bestowed on each of my companions, in my struggles to get clear of them. What damage they received individually, I do not know, for I found my hat, and rushed out of the door, and never returned to Madame Grandemaisons's again.

CHAPTER XXII. The beginning and the end of my operations.

On opening my instructions, I found that Mr. Marisett had given me positive directions for the purchase and disposition of cotton, and had left almost nothing for the exercise of my judgment. I was not displeased that it was so; for he had given me abundant proof of his confidence, by placing at my disposal an almost unlimited amount of available funds, with which I was to pay for the purchases I might make. He had also given me letters to some of the principal houses in New Orleans, but had enjoined me not to deliver them unless I should have particular occasion to call on the merchants to whom they were addressed.

When I left New York, many prudent merchants, far-seeing or fearful, had already began to throw out dark and ominous hints of an approaching catastrophe in the mercantile world; croakers there always are, who, in the brightest sunshine can see a black cloud rising in the horizon; but there was good cause at that time to anticipate a fearful winding up in the affairs of the trading and speculating world. Mr. Marisett, however, hadno fears for himself; he had stood the shocks of a great many revulsions in the commercial world, and it was not a matter of especial wonder that he deemed himself invincible. But an extraordinary course of action in a quarter which hitherto had produced only healthful influences, was surely working to overwhelm thousands in inevitable ruin, because they could not guard against evils which precedent had given them no cause to anticipate.

Already had the anticipated crisis began to give sigus of its nearness, which could not be misunderstood when I arrived at New Orleans. There seemed to be a dread of some overhanging calamity in the minds of all with whom I conversed. Men would meet together in the Exchange or on the Levée, and shake their heads, or regard each other with looks of suspicion or concern, and after making some vague surmise, they would part to encounter the same looks of distrust, and the same surmises, in the next with whom they conversed. But there was a strange, daring recklessness, mixed up with all this despondency and apprehension. They rushed into the wildest speculations, while they were even looking for an unfavorable termination of those in which they had already engaged.

It was impossible that I should mix long with men whose looks, and acts, and talk, were alltinged with the dingy hue of despair, without becoming in some measure similarly affected myself.

I continued to make purchases and new contracts for cotton; but I wished that my orders had not been so peremptory, for I was afraid that I was bringing ruin upon my employer, and upon myself, by acting up to the letter of his instructions. But I knew that in matters of business, success must depend upon implicit obedience of orders; and I had no alternative. I was anxiously expecting letters from New York, but none came. Affairs, however, soon assumed such an aspect, that I was compelled, of necessity, to suspend all business operations. My funds consisted of blank acceptances of Marisett Co., which I had negociated without difficulty, as I had occasion. One morning it was announced that two or three of the most prominent houses had suspended, and suddenly a panic seized upon the minds of the whole people, such as had never been known before, except when sudden fear has struck upon the hearts of a city, from a convulsion of nature, or the approach to its gates of a hostile army.

The banks closed their doors with one accord, and a simultaneous suspension followed among all the merchants. Feeling the want of an adviserin this emergency, I called at the house of an old merchant, a particular friend of Mr. Marisett's, to whom he had given me a letter; but I encountered there nothing but wailing and wo; he had, but a few minutes before, nearly severed his head from his body with a razor, and his gory corpse lay stretched upon the floor, with his distracted children weeping over him. This was not a solitary case; many similar occurred almost daily.

At last, the anxiously expected advices arrived from New York, bringing with them accounts of overturnings, failures, and distresses immeasurable. The letter which I received was in Mr. Marisett's own hand; it ran thus:

"New York,— —.

"Mr. H. Franco, New Orleans.

"Sir,

"Immediately on the receipt of this, you will destroy all the blank acceptances of Marisett and Co., which may remain in your hands. Make no farther contracts of any description, for account of our house, but hold yourself in readiness to return to New York.

"Yours, Co."

This letter relieved my anxiety, in some degree, but I looked anxiously for further advices; I was in a hurry to leave New Orleans. I was not left many days in suspense, for I soon after received the following letter from Mr. Bargin:

"Mr. H. Franco, New Orleans.

"Dear Sir,

"Since our last, of the 28th ult., we have come to the determination of stopping payment. It may be necessary for us to make an assignment; if so, we will advise you farther, and remain,

"Your obedient servants,

"Marisett Co."

I had never dreamed of the possibility of the house of Marisett Co. stopping payment; the intelligence, therefore, of the fact, came upon me with the suddenness and severity of a thunder stroke; it stunned my faculties, and it was a long while before I could fully comprehend that it was real. My affection for Mr. Marisett alone, would have roused all my sympathies; but in the fall of the firm, my own towering hopes were all brought to the ground. Love, ambition, and revenge, were all laid low.

To be on the ground is nothing; but to fall there from a great height, is sometimes fatal.

The next letter that I received was as follows:

"Dear Sir,

"We are without any of your valued favors since we acknowledged yours of the 14th. You have already been informed of the stoppage of our house; and I have now to inform you, that in consequence of our Mr. Garvey having used the name of the firm to a very great extent, in his private land operations, our liabilities are found greatly to exceed our assets. Our senior partner, I am concerned to add, is completely prostrated by this event, and unable to afford me the aid which I require in adjusting the affairs of the concern. All the circumstances considered, I think it will be advisable for you to return to New York as soon as you can bring matters to a close at New Orleans.

"Cotton, I think, is now down to the lowest point of depression, and a beautiful thing might be made out of it if we had the means to go into an operation.

"Referring to copy of our last respects, enclosed,

"I remain, yours,

"Wm. Bargin."

My worst fears were all realized; I could hopefor nothing by returning to New York, but to encounter the haughty scorn of my cousin in my altered circumstances, and to be tortured by the sight of Georgiana De Lancey; to know that she loved me, and that an incurable fanaticism prevented her from ever becoming mine.

The suddenness of the change which had taken place in my prospects unsettled the fixed purpose of my soul. The time had passed when I could find relief in tears; the bitterness of my disappointments was too great for grief. I began to think of death. The recklessness of life, and the daring of dissipation, which surrounded me on every side, were infectious. It was an easy thing to die; but to sustain the burden of life was a weary task.

I had a considerable sum of money still in my possession, the proceeds of a draft which I had discounted before receiving the advices from Mr. Marisett, and I determined to take it with me to the gambling house where I had seen Mr. Lummucks, and try my fortune at the pharo table; if I should be successful, then I would return to New York, fearless of my cousin, and with at least one of my desires gratified; and if I should lose, why then I would rid myself at once of all my troubles. I furnished myself with a pistol and ball, and puttingthem in my pocket, took my money in my hand, and left my hotel in search of the gambling house in the Rue St. Louis.

CHAPTER XXIII. The great change.

Although it was early in the evening when I left the hotel, the streets were very dark, and there being a thick fog, I very soon lost myself, and my mind not being in a very quiet state, I got quite bewildered. I was afraid to ask any one to show me to St. Louis street, lest they might suspect my motive in going there; so I groped along till I came to a half-opened door, with the light streaming out of it. I thought it was the place for which I was searching, and hastily pushed open the door and walked in. But I perceived at a glance that I had stumbled upon a house of quite a different character. It was a large room dimly lighted with tallow candles, and about half filled with men and women, and not a small portion of them were black; I stepped back, and was about to leave the place, when an old negro woman, bent almost double, and shrivelled with age, put her hand upon the door, and said:

"Massa, what for you don't sit down; take a seat, do young massa."

"What should I stay here for," I said, trying to push the woman aside.

"Stop and hear good sarment, do your soul good, massa," replied the negro.

I made an attempt to pass out again, but she kept hold of the door.

"Now do stop, massa, do; I love your precious soul, and the Lord Jesus love you too. Do stop, young massa, and hear what the Lord do for you; he is good for your soul, sartain true; I am only poor old nigger slave, massa, but I will pray for your soul all I can."

The old slave was very earnest in her manner, and perceiving that the eyes of the congregation were turned upon me, I sat down upon one of the benches, with the intention of slipping out as soon as I could do so unperceived. Strange as it may appear, I actually thought the old negro suspected the errand on which I was bound, and I felt ashamed to encounter the glance of her eye.

At one end of the room was a little temporary pulpit, which was occupied by a very young looking man, apparently still in his teens; he immediately stood up and commenced the services by making a short prayer, and then he gave out the hymn. He was a fair haired and light complexioned youth, with a delicate blush on his cheeks,and withal so modest and unassuming in his manner, that my curiosity was excited to hear what kind of a sermon could proceed from such a source, and I made up my mind to remain a few minutes and hear him. He named his text; it was the last words of the Bible, "and the spirit and the bride say, come," The words were familiar to my ear, for they had been read to me by Georgiana, and her soft and tender voice had imparted a sweetness and beauty to them which had impressed them upon my mind. But now they seemed not to fall upon my ear alone, but upon my heart; I did not hear them only, I felt them.

The young preacher spoke with great boldness and strength, as if roused by the majesty and holiness of the words he had uttered. My attention was arrested, and I soon forgot my determination of leaving the room. Every word he uttered seemed like the effect of inspiration, and he appeared to me an impersonation of the spirit whose message he uttered. I knew not why it was, but I felt strangely. I had listened to many sermons before, and from men too who had convulsed whole communities by their preaching, but never until now had I experienced the slightest emotion. The very words which the preacher spoke, passed from me as they fell upon my ear, but they left an impressionupon my heart, which I believe will exist in eternity. I listened with eager attention to the whole of the sermon, and at the close, wished that he had continued to preach longer. I felt anxious to stay and speak to him, but I was ashamed to be seen by those present; but most of all by the old slave who had detained me. I looked upon them with envious feelings, as I observed their quiet, placid faces, if those feelings can be called envious, in which there is neither malice nor ill-will.

When the meeting was dismissed, I left the house without speaking to any one, and hastened back to my hotel; and on my way I passed the gambling house which I had been in search of, but I shuddered as I passed it; the door was partly open, and the click of silver, and loud oaths and curses, struck upon my ear. I drew the pistol from my pocket, and threw it into the street. O! that I could as easily have torn from my breast the load of conscious guilt which oppressed me.

I reached my chamber, and locked myself in, in an unquiet state of mind. I wanted relief, but I knew not how to obtain it; my first impulse was to seek for it in the Bible, but alas! alas! I had none. It was late in the evening; the stores were all closed, and I knew not where to find one. O! how I longed to look into its precious pages, andhow cutting to my soul was the reflection that I had often turned over its sacred leaves with an idle curiosity, and then thrown it heedlessly aside. I tried to recall to my mind some of those passages, which Georgiana had so often repeated to me, but in vain. All I could remember was, "Search the Scriptures;" but whether these words were the injunction of some kind friend, or of the Holy Book itself, I could not remember; they were continually before me.

But why should I obtrude upon the world the wrestlings of my spirit with its maker? While I glory in acknowledging that I found peace in believing, that peace which they alone find who hang their sins upon the cross, I draw the veil of time over the tears and struggles which will be revealed in eternity.

Within a very few days my feelings were all changed, and although I no longer looked upon the world with the same eyes with which I regarded it before, I could not be insensible to the events passing around me. Scarce a day passed in which some poor wretch, whose worldly prospects were suddenly blasted, did not, with his own hands, deprive himself of the life which had become a burden to him. But the disasters of this period are still fresh in the minds of men; and their effectsare still felt. I am conscious it is not a proper subject to dilate upon, except as it concerns myself. My operations for account of Marisett Co. were not very extensive, and as I was not personally liable for any of the contracts I had made, I concluded to return immediately to New York. I went down to the levée to engage a passage in one of the packets, and going on board, I inquired for the captain.

"I am the captain of this barkey," said a big headed man, in a voice that sounded familiar to me, as he stepped out of the hurricane house on deck.

"Are you, indeed," I replied; "I am very happy to hear it, for although I have forgotten your name, I remember you are an old acquaintance."

"His name is Capting Davis," said the mate, stepping up.

"So it is; I am happy to see you, Captain Davis," I said.

"How do you do, sir," said Captain Davis, raising his hat with one hand, and extending his other for a shake. "You are welcome on board the Ocean; but you have got the advantage of me, I do not remember your name."

"My name is Franco," I replied; "perhapsyou will remember me when I remind you that I met you at the 'Foul Anchor,' in Water street."

Captain Davis looked a little confused, and said he recollected having met me there very well.

"And I suppose you don't remember me no how?" said the mate.

"What, Mr. Ruffin!" I exclaimed, as I looked at him; "is it possible; I do indeed remember you very well." And thereupon, Mr. Ruffin and I shook hands very cordially, and talked over the particulars of our adventures together; and I learned from him that Captain Gunnell had got tired of the sea, and gone west, and purchased a farm.

"And pray, when did you see Miss Mary Ann last?" I inquired of Captain Davis.

"Not five minutes since," replied the captain; "she is my lady; if you will walk down into the cabin, I will introduce you to her."

I found Mrs. Davis, the late Miss Mary Ann, in full possession of the ladies' cabin of the Ocean, looking quite as pretty as when I saw her last, and a good deal happier. She looked somewhat confused when she saw me, but I pretended to take no notice of it, and after drinking a glassof wine, and eating a piece of her wedding cake, and chatting with her a few minutes, I went on deck again, and engaged my passage; luckily, I was just in time to secure the last berth. The next day after, we left, and after a pleasant passage of twenty-one days, arrived at New York.

CHAPTER XXIV. Arrival at New York, and departure therefrom; with many other matters.

As soon as I landed, I hastened immediately to the office of Marisett Co., in South street. I found Mr. Bargin dressed as neatly, and looking as stately as ever. He expressed a great deal of pleasure at seeing me, and inquired very coolly about the cotton market in New Orleans.

I cast my eyes towards Mr. Garvey's desk; it was covered with dust, and appeared to have been some time without an occupant. Mr. Marisett's mahogany arm chair was wheeled up into one corner, and his desk was closed. I shook my head, and remarked, that "a very few months had effected very great changes."

"Quite so," replied Mr. Bargin.

I inquired after all the clerks in the office, and then, last of all, I inquired after those who were first in my affections.

"And Mr. Marisett? Is he well?" I said.

"Very much so, or at least he was when he left," said Mr. Bargin.

"Left!" I said; "pray has he gone?"

"It is more than a month since he left," replied Mr. Bargin,

"Of course he will soon return?" said I, inquiringly.

But Mr. Bargin shrugged his shoulders ominously. "I am afraid," he said, "I shall never see him again. His reverses have completely upset him; he will never be fit to do business again, at all events."

"And where has he gone?" I asked.

Mr. Bargin shrugged his shoulders again, and said, "no one knows here where he has gone; he would tell nobody; he assigned all his property for the benefit of his creditors, and they discharged him from his liabilities. I never saw a man so completely broke down; he couldn't survive the loss of his credit, and he went off in search of an unfrequented spot, where he could end his days in quiet; where there would be nothing to remind him of his misfortunes."

"Of course, Miss De Lancey remains in NewYork," I said.

"No; she would go with him, contrary to the advice of her friends," said Mr. Bargin, coolly.

How my heart sunk at this intelligence! "Melancholy! melancholy fate!" I exclaimed, unconsciously.

"Very much so, indeed," said Mr. Bargin, "but it was as well for her to go. She had lost all her property; her uncle had employed it in a speculation, in which every copper was used up; and she, woman-like, would stick by him in his reverses."

"Happy, happy man," I said, "to have a gentle spirit like hers to console him."

I inquired after Mrs. Butler, and having obtained her address, I bade Mr. Bargin good day, and went in search of the old housekeeper. I found her in the upper part of the city; she was delighted at seeing me, and although she could tell me many things about Georgiana and Mr. Marisett, yet she could give me no information respecting their present place of abode. Neither could I discover from any other source the least clue to their retreat.

I was occupied almost a week in settling my affairs with Mr. Bargin; and after I had arranged my business with him, I renewed my endeavors to discover the retreat of those who were most dear to me, but without success. The obstacle which had previously existed, to prevent my union with Miss De Lancey, was now, I hoped, removed; the scales had fallen from my eyes, my tongue was loosed, and my ears were unsealed. But I did not repine that an obstacle still existed to prevent that which I wished for so fervently; if we could not be united here, I had a blissful hope that we should be united hereafter. It was some consolation to me to frequent those places which had been hallowed by the presence of Georgiana; but most of all, the abodes of poverty and wretchedness, where I accompanied her when she went to dispense her charities. I went in search, one day, of the wretched hovel where I had seen her, from my place of concealment, kneel down at the bedside of the dying woman, and pour out her soul in prayer. The former occupants of the place were gone, and its present tenants were hardly less wretched. I gave them my mite, and left them. As I came out of the narrow passage which led into the hovel, I met a shabbily dressed man, whose aspect had in it something of gentility, notwithstanding his rags and dirt. As soon as he perceived me, he exclaimed,

"Where in the world did you come from? How are you; how do you do? I have called at Mr. Stewpy's fifty times, but without ever seeing you. Let Rome in Tiber melt."

It was the poet, the author of the ballad; he opened his arms as if he would embrace me, but I contented myself with a shake of the hand. Hedid not look quite as respectable as he did when I saw him last. His coat was more than thread bare, and it was buttoned close up to his throat, or rather pinned up, for the top buttons were all gone; his gloves were ragged, and his boots were heel-less; his cap, as usual, was drawn very much over his eyes.

"I have been very anxious to see you," said the poet; "I want to read you a serious composition of mine. My ballad was criticized most awfully. The fact is, sir, the age is not yet prepared for those things; it is a sad thing to be in advance of the age; it is much better for one's own comfort, to be behind it. To be in advance of the age, is to be an advanced guard; you are sure of getting the first compliments of the enemy, while those who are in the rear, or in the baggage wagons, generally meet with a safe deliverance. But I flatter myself I have this time got into the main body of the army. I have taken to serious writing; the world, I believe, is getting pious. But this is an unpleasant place to talk in; we shall get upset by a litter of pigs; let us walk in here and sit down."

So saying, the poet led the way into a door, over which was suspended an enormously large redball, on which was emblazoned the word O Y ST E R S.

This place was one of those licensed nurseries, which are under the particular protection of the Mayor and Aldermen of the city, and without which the office of a police magistrate would soon become a sinecure; black eyes and red noses would soon go out of fashion, and perhaps fewer heart-broken wives would be beaten by their husbands, and fewer children starve, from the neglect of their parents. But these are not matters of much importance; a few thousands of men and women cheated of their rightful happiness in this world, and endangered in their prospects of happiness hereafter, cannot materially affect the public at large. The corporation derives a revenue from licensing places of this kind, and the vote of a brothel keeper is as good as a banker's.

Miserable, filthy abodes they are, where every thing that is mean, and vicious, and brutalizing, may be seen. Vice can hardly be said to spring up in such places, for it must have attained to its full growth before it could seek such a spot. The whole aspect of the place which we entered, was blear eyed; the atmosphere was impregnated with the fumes of tobacco, mingled with a thousand congenial odors; the inmates of the hole werepale and sickly, and a young man, dressed in filthy finery, was standing behind the bar to wait upon customers. Mirth, cheerfulness, and good-fellowship, were strangers here; and contentment, with his honest face, and charity, with her open hands, had never crossed the threshold of the door. A placard, stuck upon the walls, conveyed the intelligence that this was the democratic head quarters of the ward.

"Don't be alarmed, Mister," said the poet, addressing himself to the bar-keeper, "I am not going to preach; I am not one of those pious individuals, who having repented of his own sins, has nothing to do but to rebuke the evil doings of others;" and then turning to me, he said, "button up your pockets, and keep your hand upon your watch; these are none of your Bulwerian scoundrels, who talk sentiment and pick your pockets, but regular honest rascals, who pretend to be no better than they really are."

The poet sat down, and taking off his cap, drew therefrom a small roll of paper, and recited the following lines, premising first, that he cared nothing at all about newspaper critics.

"Why should I?" said the poet; "did not all the great luminaries in the literary world attain to their perihelion before the press itself had an existence? and now the press sets up for a dispenser of fame; but presumption is the sin of a parvenu!"

AN OLD BLIND MAN AND GRAY.

An old man blind and gray,

Waiting in hope his Saviour's face to see,

When his allotted hours should pass away,

And set him free.

A young man strong and fair,

His dream of life in youth's warm colors traced,

His vision bounded by the earth, and there

His hopes were based.

Thus spake the youth: "old man

High in the Heavens the sun is shining now,—

As when his first diurnal course he ran,—

Gilding thy brow,

"Crowning thy head with light;

Yet his revealings fair thou canst not scan,

This summer day to thee is blackest night,

Alas, old man!

"Myriads of beauteous flowers,

Of myriad hues, in this fair scene abound,

And fields of ripening grain, and pleasant bowers,

Are all around.

"And flocks of snowy sheep,

Like fleecy clouds which sometimes dot the sky,

Upon you hillock's green and gentle steep,

Are feeding nigh.

"And frolic children gay,

A troop of loves from tedious school turned out,

Hark! as they vig'rous hasten to their play,

They joyous shout.

"The distant city's spires,

Dim in the horizon, just meet the view,

And dusky smoke, raised from a thousand fires,

Looks aerial blue.

"And hast thou never known

A bright joy-giving scene, old man, like this,

Or hast thou groped in darkness all alone,

Deprived of bliss.

"And hast thou never seen

God's best bestowal, worthless all beside,

Earth's fairest flower, man's heart-enthroned queen,

Helpmeet and bride."

"Aught of this goodly earth,"

Thus spake the Eld; "to me was ne'er revealed,

By sense of sight, mine eyes were, at my birth,

In darkness sealed.

"Nought have I ever seen,

Not e'en the lineaments of my own race,

Never a look of love, nor, thought most keen!

A mother's face.

"But let not pity's sigh

For me be breathed, nor pity's tear be shed,

Although I cannot see the bright blue sky

Above me spread.

"For God hath goodness shown,

In giving darkness for my portion here;

And distant glories to my faith made known

In visions clear.

"My soul awaits that day,

When the first object that my eyes shall see,—

My spirit freed from this all blinding clay,—

My God shall be."

As he repeated the concluding stanzas, to give impressiveness to them, he struck his fist fiercely on the table, which was in the centre of the room, and with such force that he disturbed the dreamy fancies of a man who had been snoring with his head resting on a pile of newspapers; he started up, and looking round, muttered a curse on the intruder who had roused him from his sleep. The voice startled me; I looked at the man—it was my scornful cousin! But he was strangely altered in his appearance; his dress was shabby, and his face pale and haggard; his eyes were red, and his long black hair gave him a singularly wild and desperate look.

I could not help exclaiming, "can it be possible that you have come to this!"

"Who is that," he cried, starting upon his feet; "ha! is it you? What in the name of h— brought you here?"

What a luxury it would have been to my evil heart once, to have encountered him thus; but now my pride of heart was gone; I no longer envied him, and how could I exult over him in his degradation? I could not, and my heart smote me for having nursed a passion of hatred against him. He was my cousin, and I could freely forgive him the wrong he had done me. I advanced towardshim with my hand extended, but he caught hold of a chair, and raising it above his head, said, "don't come near me; don't lay the weight of your finger upon me, or I will kill you this time." And so saying, he would, perhaps, have put his threat into execution; but the poet jumped in between us, and the bar-keeper leaped over the bar and caught hold of my arm, although I had not made the slightest attempt at defence. A slight scuffle ensued, which caused a mob of negroes and noisy women to collect about the door, but I contrived to extricate myself, and make my escape, without any serious damage to my person, although I suffered some in my clothes.

On my return to my lodgings, I found letters from home; they were full of pleasant news, and one of them, from my father, contained a considerable remittance in bank bills. It appeared that, notwithstanding the hard times, the improvements in our village had been carried on; the track of a railroad had been carried through my father's garden, which had enhanced the value of his property almost a hundred fold; a joint stock company had purchased the family mansion, and altered it into a classic temple, by adding a row of wooden pillars and a pediment, and giving it a coat of white paint; it had been christened Franco Hall,and lithographed views of it were hung up in all the taverns in the county, and my sister wrote that it was to be in one of the annuals. My father had suddenly become a man of consequence, and there were rumors of his being nominated for Congress. It is wonderful how soon a man's abilities are discovered, when it is known that he has made a fortunate speculation.

I must acknowledge that I was not altogether indifferent to this accession of wealth in the family, for although the estimate which I once put upon worldly prosperity was greatly reduced, I was by no means insensible to the advantages which a moderate competence confers; and more especially at this time, I could not but reflect on the happiness it would give me, if it should ever be in my power to render any aid to my benefactor and my friend. I hardly dared to trust myself to think of Georgiana, for my heart bled at the bare idea of her ever being in want.

The news I had received from home, made me more anxious than ever to see my parents and my sister, but I could not prevail upon myself to leave New York until I had gained some intelligence of Mr. Marisett and his niece; but week after week wore away, and all my exertions proved fruitless. At last I was on the point of abandoning the hopeof ever hearing from them again, when I discovered, by a lucky accident, that Georgiana had inherited, from a relation of her father's, a small estate in North Carolina; thither I doubted not she had gone with her uncle; in what part of the state her property was located, I knew not, but I determined on setting out immediately to discover. It was enough for me to know that there was a probability of her being in the state; it appeared an easy matter to visit every town in it, and indeed every house, until I discovered her. I told Mr. Bargin of my intentions, and he endeavored to dissuade me from attempting to carry my plan into execution. He advised me to write to every post master in the state, and make inquiries concerning them; but my heart yearned after them, and I could not wait for so tedious a messenger as the mail. A steamboat was to leave for Charleston in the morning, and without heeding his advice, I engaged a passage in her, intending to commence at the southern extremity of the state, and so travel northwards on horseback, until I should meet with the object of my search. Assuredly it was a wild undertaking; but any thing would have seemed reasonable and easy of performance, if Georgiana had been the object to be obtained by its accomplishment.

CHAPTER XXV. A Storm and a Wreck.

It was late in the fall, and the steamboat was crowded with Southerners, returning to their rice fields and cotton plantations, after having spent the warm months at the north; there were also many adventurers going in search of wealth, and many invalids going in search of health at the south. But they were all lively, and we left the Hook behind us with colors flying and music playing, as though we were bound on a holiday excursion. When the sun went down, however, the hilarity of some of the observing among the passengers was in a measure checked, by the almost certain indication which the sky presented of a coming storm. For myself, I watched a thermometer which hung in the companion way, and although I perceived it fell suddenly, I had no fears, for the boat was new; it had been pronounced staunch and sea-worthy by those who pretended to be knowing in such matters; and I knew it would be an easy matter to make a port if it should be necessary. And so having commended my soul to God, and invoked his protection, I lay down torest. But the wind continued to increase, and before morning the boat had worked so hard as to cause her to leak; but still there was no serious cause for alarm. Some of the passengers, who had never been at sea before, began to grow fearful, and they begged the captain to put back, or to make a port, until the storm should be over; but I could not endure the thought of being retarded in my progress, and I begged him to proceed, for I could see no danger; he was an old sailor, and having encountered many harder storms than this threatened to be, he listened to my persuasions, and laughed at the fears of the others, and avowed his determination to proceed on his voyage at all hazards. So we continued on our course that day; but the next day the storm increased, the leak, or leaks, grew worse and worse, and fear and consternation were visible in every countenance. The boat was slightly constructed, and we began to be convinced that green and white paint are very indifferent substitutes for strong oak ribs and stout hanging knees. Owing to her very great length, and the weight of her machinery, she worked very heavily; every sea that struck her apparently opened another seam, and at every revolution of the wheels, some part of the machinery gave way. It was with great difficulty that the fires were kept up, and almost every man on board was engaged in helping to bale the water out of the hold. It was a dismal day. But the distracted passengers heeded neither the storm, the cold, nor the wet, but weary and exhausted though they were, they gave all their strength to assist in freeing themselves from the dangers which threatened them; the fear of death took possession of their hearts, and urged them to deeds which they never knew before they were capable of performing.

Night began to approach, and with its dark shadows came darker fears, that we should never more look upon the light of another day. The wind continued to increase, and even the captain began to show signs of fear, storm-nurtured though he was, and familiar as he had been all his life with the ways of the winds and the waves; the shrieks and groans of the afflicted wretches around him, and the dismal creaking and cracking and snapping of beams and stanchions, made his heart quake.

Soon after dark, one of the wheel ropes parted, and before it could be spliced, or a tiller shipped, the boat broached to, and shipped an overwhelming sea, which carried away the wheel-house, filled the hold half full of water, and completely extinguished the fires. We were nowcompletely at the mercy of the winds and waves; the pitchy darkness of the night was only relieved by the white foam of the sea, as it broke around us and over us, which enabled me to catch a glimpse of the haggard faces of the poor creatures who crowded the decks, as the dim phosphorescent light shone on them; the wind liad continued to increase in violence until it blew so hard, it was difficult to hear those speak who stood close by my side. For my own part, I gave up all hope; but others, those who were the first to fear, now that destruction appeared inevitable, would not believe that they could be lost; they still looked up to the captain, and trusted in his experience; but their hold on him was soon let go, for he was too good a sailor not to know that our situation was hopeless, and he took up his speaking trumpet, and announced the dread tidings through its brazen throat. "In another hour," he said, "the boat will either be at the bottom or on the beach." A loud and bitter wail, rising above the howling wind and the roaring waters, followed this announcement; and many leaped overboard in the agony of their fears, and some put heavy weights in their pockets, that when they should be in the water, their struggles might soon be at an end.

"If there is a parson on board," roared the captain, through his speaking trumpet, "he might about as well pray for us, and be quick about it too, for he will soon have his mouth full of salt water." But no one answered this invitation of the captain; and as I was composed and calm, having a glorious hope of peace beyond this life, I felt called upon to say something to those about me. I therefore secured myself by clinging to the railing round the main mast, and raising my voice as loud as I could, I succeeded in arresting the attention of a few. The precise words that I made use of, I do not now remember, but they were something like the following: "In a few short moments, my dear fellow sufferers, we shall all be enshrouded in the white foam of these heaving waves, which are now roaring and dashing around us, as if impatient of the merciful delay which keeps us from them. I know the thoughts which fill your minds now; they are of eternity, and of Him who inhabits eternity; for what other thoughts can enter the mind at a time like this. Our bodies are sure to be lost; our souls may be saved. There is one hope on which we may rest, and but one. We cannot be saved by our own good deeds now, for there is no time left for their performance. Charity will availnothing now, for there are none here in want of the little we have to bestow; we cannot do good to those who have injured us; they are not here to be witnesses of our obedience. If, then, we are to be saved, it must be by the righteousness of another, and not of ourselves. God has promised that all who believe shall be saved; have faith, then, in Christ, his son, by whose righteousness we may secure our salvation. Believe and repent; there is no time to demur; if you have objections to urge to this plan of redemption, they must remain unanswered until the dread reality itself shall silence all doubts. Do not despair; although the time is short, it is long enough for repentance; remember the thief on the cross, who, as his life's blood gushed from his heart, with his heart believed, and was saved."

I could say no more; the water beat in my face with such violence, I could not utter another word; but the captain again took up his speaking trumpet, and called out, "you hear the news there, men; so bear a hand, and take the gentleman's advice."

A loud, long, continued roar, different from that caused by the wind and the sea, now broke upon the ear, and an appearance to leeward like a high white bank, seen dimly through the darkness, revealed the cause; it was the breakers. Our small boats had been stove in at the commencement of the storm, and we were possessed of no possible means of escape. Feeling certain that my time was come, and that I must very soon enter on that state of existence for which I had an undimmed hope of being prepared by the atonement of one who is mighty to save, I strove to give myself up to solemn reflections and prayer, but my voice was drowned in the roar of the elements, and my attention was continually excited by the sufferings and appeals of those about me. A woman who was going, with two infant children, to meet her husband at the south, had been seated all the night upon deck, with her two little ones clasped to her breast, seemingly unconscious of the storm which beat upon her head. It was wonderful to see one so slight and delicate in her frame, capable of such great endurance. But now when the cry went round that we were approaching the breakers, fear or despair roused her, and leaving her children upon the deck, she caught hold of my arms as I passed her, and shrieked wildly. I tried to sooth her, but in vain; I spoke to her of her children, but still she clung to me, and raved fearfully. Suddenly the shrill voices of her littleones caught her ear, and she released her hold of my arm, and I never saw her again. A young man rushed out of the cabin with a life-preserver in his hand, and throwing it towards me, he ran to the after part of the boat, and him I never saw again.

The boat soon struck and heeled over towards the beach, and every sea that broke over her bore away part of our number. I looked about for the man who had thrown me his life-preserver, but I could not find him, and so I fastened it under my arms, and climbed up to the top of the belfry, where the waves broke with less force. Many of the passengers, the captain among the number, lashed themselves to the taffrail, but the third or fourth breach that the sea made over us carried away the stern part of the boat, and they were seen no more. Knowing that certain destruction would be the consequence of lashing myself to the wreck, I determined to make an attempt to reach the shore, before my strength should be exhausted by exposure. I leaped overboard, and as I struck out my arms, I felt confident of reaching the shore. Every wave carried me nearer and nearer; I barely kept myself afloat, reserving my strength for an effort when I should reach the shore, knowing the difficulty of keeping a footing on the beach when the waterreceded. At length I was thrown upon the strand, but as I was not expecting it, before I could recover myself, I was drawn back into the breakers, my eyes and mouth filled with sand. Again I was thrown upon the beach, and succeeded in keeping a hold, but before I could crawl away another wave broke over me, the treacherous sand sunk from beneath me, and I was again drawn back, exhausted and almost spent. But the next wave took me upon its breast, and threw me high upon the beach; as it receded, I made a desperate effort, and succeeded in clinging to the bank of sand; the next wave broke short over me, and before another came, I had time to crawl away to a place of safety. I looked back upon the sea, but I could perceive nothing but the white foam. There was no one near me. I listened, but I could hear nothing but the roar of the waves. Daylight was just beginning to break, and I was anxious to look for help for my companions, but cold and over-exertion had exhausted my powers; I tried to stand, but my head reeled, and I fell senseless to the earth.

I slept sound and long, but I was at length roused by the sound of familiar voices; they seemed to come from a long way off, as thoughthey were speaking to me from the past, or calling me into the future; but, partly opening my eyes, I perceived there were well known forms bending over me. I was in bed. My head burned dreadfully, and I felt sore and feverish. I thought I had just awoke, after the attack which was made upon me by the assassin, when I was on my way to Mr. Marisett's house. What horrible dreams had in a brief space rushed through my mind! Could it be possible that such a lapse of time had been compressed into a moment. How vivid my dreams had been. I still thought I could hear the shriek of my seeming dream-companions struggling with the fierce waves. Surely I had not been dreaming. I opened my eyes again—Georgiana and her uncle were both near me. Yes, it was a dream that had frightened me. But where was good Mrs. Butler; it was not like her to be absent when I was sick. I called for her, and Georgiana uttered a piercing shriek; I was frightened, and said, or tried to say: "don't be alarmed, Miss De Lancy, it is only a flesh wound, I am not dangerously hurt." But the exertion was too great, and I sunk into forgetfulness again.

CHAPTER XXVI. The last.

Writers of fiction possess an immense advantage over the mere narrator of actual occurrences, in being able to preserve an artist-like unity in the occurrence of events, and also of confining their narrative within the circumference of the probabilities. And to this, mainly, I conceive, fiction is indebted for its general success. Nature, it must be confessed, is sometimes outré in the extreme; but art generally contrives to render herself extremely natural. The honest historian, and particularly the historian of one's own adventures, frequently has the mortification of knowing that, while he makes record of that which he knows to be true, he incurs the risk of being set down, by the public, as an outrageous romancer. I have more than once repented, since I wrote the first chapter of this history, the straitness of my resolution, which does not allow me to introduce enough of fiction in these pages to give a naturalness to the whole.

It was many days after I was cast ashore, before I was sufficiently recovered to be able fullyto comprehend the situation in which I was placed. And even now, I can, at times, hardly realize, that the adventures which I have related, were not all a troubled dream; but there are too many evidences of their truth around me, to allow of my remaining long a skeptic.

The reverses of fortune had come upon Mr. Marisett so heavily, and in such rapid succession, that he was unable to withstand their repeated shocks. His spirit broke, although his mind remained entire. Being without wife or children, he wanted those powerful incentives to action which have sustained weaker men under difficulties more trying. He was tired of the world, at least that portion of it which had witnessed his former condition; but being restrained by dim religious perceptions, from rushing uncalled into the presence of his Judge, he resolved to seek a secluded resting place, and there await his summons to depart; and no where could he do that so well as in the place which necessity pointed out to him, even though inclination had not.

Georgiana inherited from her mother a considerable estate on the sea coast, in North Carolina; and when she heard of her uncle's determination to retire from the world, she offered himthis place for an asylum, upon the condition of his allowing her to accompany and reside there with him. He at first refused; but finding her resolute, he at last consented, and thither she accompanied him. When they arrived on the estate, they found no other habitation on it than a very small hut, built in the slightest manner, of no more durable materials than cypress shingles. But with the assistance of a slave whom they hired of a neighbor, they soon put it in habitable order. They found themselves surrounded by a rude, but kind and hospitable, people. Mr. Marisett found what he sought, solitude; and Georgiana seeing him satisfied, was herself contented.

They had been living quietly, and all unknown, if not happily, for some months, in this secluded spot, when I was cast ashore, as already described in the last chapter, within two miles of their dwelling; a spot so little frequented, that it is probable I should have passed it by, had I been permitted to follow up my intentions of visiting every town in the State, until I should gain some intelligence of Georgiana and her uncle. It appeared that the violence of the storm during the night, had caused Mr. Marisett to go down to the sea shore as soon as it was light, to see if anyvessels had been cast ashore during the night, and there he found me stretched out upon the beach, and perceiving signs of life, he procured assistance, and had me taken to his hut; and he and Georgiana had been all the morning endeavoring to revive me, without any suspicion of who I was. When I opened my eyes, and called for Mrs. Butler, Georgiana recognised my voice, and uttering a piercing scream, she fell into a swoon, from which she was with difficulty restored.

Georgiana and myself being thus thrown, once more, miraculously together, and the obstacle which had formerly prevented our union being removed, it would have been tempting the Providence which had preserved us for each other, had we longer delayed our marriage. As soon as my health was sufficiently restored, this happy event was consummated; and then, by our joint entreaties, we succeeded in prevailing on Mr. Marisett to accompany us back to New York, and from thence to Franco Ville, where we still live in the enjoyment of blessings innumerable.

I have now reached the point, beyond which, gentle reader, you cannot accompany me; and although I hope you do not willingly part from me, I must deny myself from ever meeting you again. But as your curiosity may have been excited towards some of those whom I have incidentally mentioned, I will here state all that I know concerning them.

My cousin was reduced to extreme poverty, by his speculations in real estate; he became very intemperate in his habits, and wanting the means to sustain life, he put an end to his own existence, thus making the end himself, that he had predicted for me.

Mr. D. Wellington Worhoss also failed in his real estate operations, but being above suicide, he became a member of the board of Brokers, and he may be seen any sun shiny day, between the hours of ten and two, with a long marble colored book under his arm, elbowing his way through the crowd of well dressed gentlemen who monopolize the side walks of Wall-street.

Mr. Dooitt had the misfortune to make oath to a statement before the Vice Chancellor, concerning the conveyance of some property, which on investigation, did not prove to be strictly true; and for that trifling mistake, he is now quarrying marble at an unmentionable place, on the banks of the Hudson.

My good friend, Jerry Bowhorn, has joined the temperance society, and got to be mate of a Liverpoolpacket, with a fair prospect of being made captain; and if that event should ever take place, I will venture to predict, he will have many complimentary pieces of plate, and innumerable votes of thanks, and silver snuff boxes, presented to him, by his passengers. It is needless to add, that he is a great comfort to his mother.

FINIS.

 
 
 

Back to the Index Page