« PreviousContinue »
you ; let each give his vote in secret “ She has no brother : the lady is an
• Well, that does not signify, she has I ceased, and looked around me; some friend that will stand in his place the silence of the grave sat on every for the matter of five minutes. You lip.
state your suspicions of her father ; he M- stroked his mustaches, and denies the truth of them. Good! for once in his life looked puzzled. Myself and some other gentleman will
The notary begged to excuse himself. take care of the rest. If you fall,"
• There would seem to me,” said he, and he waved his hand, “why there is "to be a contract, in some degree, im- no more about it; if you do not, you pliedly upon your part-"
will be at liberty to act as you like ; “Pardon me,” cried my Lincoln's your honour becomes unimpeachable ; Inn friend; "touching the implied I warrant it on my personal responcontract I must differ from you ; it is sibility." laid down in all the books, &c. &c.” Having delivered the last emphatic
The worthy and learned judge, on observation, M— slowly moved his whose brain the wine had already be- eyes from guest to guest, as if chalgun to make considerable inroads, was lenging the dissent of cach individual. unable to adjudicate between the dis- No one, however, seemed disposed to putants : he did, however, what many dispute the point with him, and he sat of his brethren have done under a down. similar difficulty, he bowed his head to Quelle impiete! groaned the priest each party in turn with great gravity at my right hand. and astuteness.
Quelle sottise! muttered the diploMy worthy friends had now got fairly matist, M. le Baron de T- , at mounted on their hobbies, and were forthwith proceeding with incredible Perceiving me to be in despair at heat and obstinacy to ride tilt against the dilemma to which my Irish friend's each other. Seeing them, therefore, proposition had reduced me, the Baron joined upon what is termed among twitched me slily in the elbow. lawyers a collateral issue, the disposal “ Ne craignez rien,” said he, in a low of which, should they ever arrive so far, voice, and rose to reply. would leave the original question as “ I beg,” said he,“ to express my. undecided as ever, I put an end to the entire concurrence in the sentiments of discussion as speedily as possible. the gentleman who has just sat down
“My good friends!” I cried, stretch- (I started at his ominous commenceing forth a hand toward either bellige- ment); but we are not, fortunately, rent, “ I comprehend too clearly how obliged to have recourse in the present the matter stands ; none of you wish instance to his excellent suggestions. to give an opinion on the subject I As to the father, there is absolutely no have proposed to you, and that very evidence against him, nothing on which circumstance forcibly points out to me to ground such a charge ; and then, how it is now my duty to act.
where is the difficulty as to the wealth? There was
a general movement It must be considered, in all jusamongst the assembly. Mr. M- tice, as the property of its present caught my eye first, and was accord- possessor.” ingly declared in possession of the By the way, the Baron's extensive chair.
property was chiefly acquired by the "I fancy,” said he, “ the affair is not confiscation of the possessions of requite so desperate as you imagine : 'tis fractory Protestants at the time of the a little puzzling, to be sure ; but by. revocation of the edict of Nantes. Sir”-here he stroked his long mus
The advocate was next upon his taches, and frowned with ominous im- legs. port_“ I have brought many a worse Monsieur le Baron a raison," said one to bear by a little calm arrange- the organ of the law,“ in point of law ment and cool morning air. To- there is no difficulty whatever in the morrow you shall call upon the lady's question which is at present under our brother
consideration. May not the person
almost be said to have his property bylosophy, now rose up to put an end to prescription ; and consider then the the discussion. nature of prescription depending as I “ Messieurs,” said he, “the subject may say rather on the absence than now submitted to our mental investithe presence of proof. Besides, Mes- gation-I mean the passion of lovesieurs, what would become of the best is an accidental phenomenon of our of us if we were obliged to trace back intellectual natures, which bas its origin our fortunes to their origin? (Hear! in the sympathies of our animal exhear! from the baron.) This matter istence, though modified according to then is plainly an affair of conscience, the peculiar laws and conditions by and if you are desirous,” addressing which social life is regulated. Its himself to me, “to bring the cause operations are rapid and instantaneous, before a proper tribunal, to that of belonging to impulse rather than to your own conscience, must you refer it.” ratiocination, as I could demonstrate
This last observation smacked so were this the proper time or opportumuch of an appeal from the temporal nity. Our decision then ought to be to the spiritual side of the house, that congenial with it—to be an extempothe expounder of the Gospel felt himself raneous act of our consciences—asudden called upon to reply. The good priest conception, an instinctive judgment, a accordingly rose.
fugitive gleam, as it were, of the in“ God," said the pious old man, with a ternal light of reason. Gentlemen, let firm yet gentle voice, “God has made us vote!” us all frail and erring, and requires not
The address of the doctor had conperfection from any of us. The child vinced us all that human learning was, inherits not the sins of her father with in the present instance, of no avail. the wealth that his crime has procured “ Let us vote,” cried all the guests him. If you love her unchangeably, with one accord. marry her ; but content yourself with I presented each member of the the blessings of wedded life, let the council with two balls, the one white, treasures of an amiable wife satisfy the other red. The white was an emyou, and give those of her father to the blem of virginity and was intended to. poor.”
signify the dissent to my marriage : the “Pardonnez moi," cried a young red ball was to show approval of it. man, one of those unmerciful cavillers I counted heads, and found that my whom we sometimes meet demolishing friends were eleven in number, so that a theory for the want of a 'vis conse- six would give a majority without my quentiæ,' “ the lady's father may have voting, from which, for motives of conmade a good match, for instance, and science and delicacy, I abstained. so got a fortune. In such case that And now all being arranged, each portion of his wealth cannot be con- person proceeded to throw a ball into sidered the fruit of criine."
a small wicker basket with a narrow “ The very discussion of this ques- aperture, which I had procured for the tion is, in my opinion, a reason against purpose of a balloting urn, and all it,” said the judge gleaming up in the awaited with an ous curiosity the socket and believing that he would issue of the scrutiny ; this method of throw light upon the whole company disposing of a question, involving a by a sally of maudlin wit.
very critical principle of morality, had are cases-gentlemen, I say there are in it something strange and original. some cases in which a man should
At length every individual had given never deliberate."
his vote, the basket was opened, the “C'est bien dit, it is well said,” cried balls counted, and I found six white the secretary to the embassage. balls and five red ones!
“ It is true indeed," quoth the priest. The result of the investigation did
The two men, no doubt, understood not, I must confess, give me very much the observation in very different senses. surprise. I had just before taken the
A young doctrinaire of great parts, precaution to count the number of who had failed only by a majority young men about my own age whom I against him of 58 votes out of 60, in had selected to form part of my julges, being elected to a vacant chair of phi- and found they were but five in number.
The opposition were all well stricken " It is a matter of conscience,” said
tissimi juris,"" quoth the advocate.
those qualities, but which must depend “Who the devil can this strange upon circumstances, and be decided by fellow be," demanded M- bluntly, the state of facts. Pray who is the unable any longer to control his im- right heir of the plundered money and patience, that you are so much afraid jewels of the German pin merchant of for a father-in-law? who is her that was murdered at Andernach ? where does he live?"
“ He has left no heir," said I, at “ He was not fated ever to become least that I could discover: after the a father-in-law,” said I ; " upon that most minute and diligent search I was point my conscience has, for some unable to learn that he left any relatime, been clear enough to make your tions. It seems he was unmarried. adjudication to that extent at least Good," said the baron, “so much superfluous. He is now beyond the for the law. Now, in morality and reach of mortal's censure and mortal's conscience, should not the heir of him exculpation. Listen to this letter who, with his blood, paid the price of which I received some weeks since.” its acquisition, be best entitled to
I drew from my portfolio a packet enjoy it. Who is the heir of Prosper edged with black, and having a black Magnan? seal, and read the following melancholy “ He was an only child,” said I, invitation :
“and in the event of his mother's death “ Vous êtes prié d'assister aux I understand that by his will he left convoi, service et enterrement de M. all his property to Frederick, the comJean Frederic Mauricey, ancien four- panion of his youth.”. nisseur des vivres-viande, en son vi. “Good again,” said the baron, “then vant, chevalier de la Legion d'Hon. both in law and in equity, Madeneur et de l'Eperon d'or, Capitaine moiselle, his daughter, is entitled.” de la premiere compagnie de grena- Besides does not the possession of the diers, de la deuxieme legion de la garde father transmit to the child a right nationale de Paris, décédé le vingtieme strengthened tenfold, almost incontrode Novembre dans son hotel, et qui se vertible ? Mademoiselle Mauricey may feront a, &c.
therefore retain, with justice and honour “ De la part de, &c."
that to which she had the fortune to “You see therefore, my friends," said succeed. What say, ye, Messieurs ?" I, folding up the letter and replacing it The baron's exposition was adopted in my portfolio, "you see how the ques- by acclamation. tion now stands. It is disembarrassed Pardi, c'est bien dit,” quoth the of one difficulty ; another, and only doctor. another, remains to be disposed of. “ Et endroit,” cried the advocate. What then am I to do? I will now Et en conscience aussi,” added the state the case to you in the hope that priest. you will reconsider your decision. Then,” said I, “gentlemen you
“Mademoiselle Mauricey is wealthy, will have the goodness once again to but there is the stain of blood upon take the balls and give me your sentithat wealth. Is it right that she should ments on the subject. Marriage or no retain that of which he possessed him- marriage.". self by crime, and, not, to whom The balls were again distributed, should she restore the fortune ? the balloting box sent round, again I
“ That,” said the young gentleman proceeded with considerable anxiety who had edified us with the metaphy- to examine its contents. There were sical disquisition, “is a proposition ten red balls and but one white. entirely of abstract morality.”
This almost unanimous declaration Vol. IV.
in my favour, silenced all my scruples, that you never told it to me before. I and filled me with the liveliest emotions remember your scampering off to of joy. My puritanical friend, the France, like a fool, and losing your secretary to the embassage, was not term ; but for the rest, I vow, child, I long in qualifying those feelings, thereby never heard one word about it before. leaving but little doubt on my mind as Tell me are you or are you not mar. to whom I was indebted for the un- ried ?" favourable vote.
“I protest, on my honour, Sir, I do “ The question bas, it is true, been not exactly know how that is.” just now decided in your favour ; but « Eh! not know !" have you no doubts still hanging about " In fact, my dear Sir, I have not your own conscience? Is it not fit, at settled that point.” least, that you should apply some of · Not settled that point! Why, the riches which may come to your what the deuce does the puppy mean? hands to sanctify the rest."
Zounds! you dishonorable rascal, would " I would most willingly do so,” said you desert the young lady after having 1," could I learn the best means of gained her affections. Fidelity is too applying it. I borrowed the • Diction- rare in that fick le sex, to be rejected naire des cas de Conscience the other when met with." day, from an old monk of my acquaint- “ But really, Sir ance for the very purpose, but I am “Sir I tell you, you should have no wiser than before I read it.” married her out of hand; when I was
The puritan looked at me with an your age I would not have waited the air of sorrowful surprise.
girthing of my saddle.” “ There are a thousand ways,” said Really, Sir, I should feel most happy he. Could you not, for instance, indeed, as you seem to think it would build an hospital, or a house of refuge be a good conclusion, if I had time.” for the penitent and the sinner.”
“ O Lord! O Lord! only hear him. " And thus, perhaps, increase the I say, you dog, it is never too late to number of the vicious, by taking away do what is right.” its terrors from vice."
“ Excuse me, my dear Sir, it is im“ Or found a religious edifice for the possible : the Dublin University Magasouls of Prosper Magnan and Wal- zine will be out in a week.” henfer?" said the priest.
Well, what the deuce has that to “ You forget, holy father, that we are do with the matter ?” in the nineteenth century.”
Why, Sir, I am absolutely run to “ The deuce take your curiosity,” the last moment ; you are aware the cried M-“what business had you revise must be looked to, and then the to ask the old gentleman if he was printing –Hist! there, I protest, it is ever in Beauvais ?"
striking seven o'clock, and the post * Well, but your marriage, Frank," goes out for Dublin, from Bally Mac cried my uncle, rising up straight in Garraty, in less than half an hourhis chair, and propping his chin upon “Oh, Frank! Frank! God forgive the top of his ivory-headed cane, as you; you have made a fool of your was his wont when anything puzzled poor old uncle ; but do you think you the worthy old gentleman, your mar- can deceive “a discerning public ?" riage, if you be married, how comes it
This belongs to a very interesting the least encouragement or opportunity class of books, which, like the reminis- for the cultivation of a language so cences of Walpole, Charles Butler, teeming with the most valuable works or D’Israeli, present to the reader the upon theology, science, and polite litecream of the author's observations, rature. The days are gone by when a the richest of his anecdotes—and the field of literature so analogous to our most lively of his descriptions-un- own, only excelling it in erudition and fettered by the restrictions which the extent, was known to all but a very choice of any one leading subject must, few, otherwise than from the imperfect in a certain degree, impose. It is report of some stray wanderers, who, written by the author of a book which like most wanderers in an unknown created a considerable degree of inte- country, had described only what was rest in this country, under a title which marvellous and unnatural. The general has been translated “ The Tour of a idea of German fiction was founded German Prince," and was soon, we upon such works as “ Lewis's Tales of believe justly, attributed to Prince Terror"-of their theology, upon such Pückler Muskau. His former work as the wild reveries of Boehmen-and drew down upon itself about as much of their sentiment upon the un-English mingled censure and applause, as any “Sorrows of Werter.” At length it author might expect who could, and has been found that the land which has dared, to sketch, with so humorous produced the rankest weeds, has also and lively a pencil, the peculiarities of borne the richest harvest ; and we national and individual character ; and hope that the time is not distant when though we must join in reprobating we shall become as well acquainted the love of scandal, of which books with the German literature as Gerare more the index than the cause, many is with ours. and the breach of hospitality by which Now to the subject of the book alone such scandal can be made public before us. The first part of it describes —though we must feel our national the author's travels in his native pride hurt at his description of our country, to which he describes himself gentry, as they appeared upon the as returning, “post varios casus,” in race-course of Galway, and our chivalry search of variety, upon the same prinexcited when we find him proclaiming ciple which actuated the rake, who to Europe that Lady Morgan is neither after considering how he could possibly young nor pretty-yet, with all this, invent some new pleasure, at length we have seldom met with a more determined upon spending one night amusing book of travels, and must, at home. His observations upon the however humbled, confess, that if scenery through which he passes, are
characterised by the same glowing en"'Tis true 'tis pity, pity 'tis 'tis true." thusiasm for the beauties of nature, Before we enter upon the present which formed the great charm of his work, we may congratulate our readers other works ; and as illustrating this, upon the increasing knowledge of and giving some clue to his opinions German literature in this country, and upon the subject of religion, which, it upon some of our schools having in- must be confessed, are not the most troduced it into their course of instruc- orthodox,* we shall begin our extracts tion, although the University, as yet, with the following :possesses no professor, and affords not “We passed some pleasant villages
• While thus venturing to accuse the author of want of orthodoxy, we cannot refrain from quoting an amusing proof that he gives, in bringing a similar charge against