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library upstairs into her own room, where she threw herself upon her bed, much to the peril of the legs and feet of the bedstead, and burst into tears; not, however, quitting the “presence” of her evanescent guests without ejaculating something which, as no lady ought ever to enunciate it, so no lady should be exposed to the pain of finding it recorded. All this, and other proceedings of minor importance, but which in their details satisfied me that Nubley had acted in the most correct and even liberal manner toward the dependents of the household, and, indeed, had behaved, as I dreamed of him, most angelically (and never, never—so long as I live —will I take a prejudice to any man when I first see him) I learned from himself, dear old fellow ! And who can describe —I am sure I cannot—not the delight only, but the surprise— the joy, I may truly say—when, upon the evening of that day which I had resolved should be the last of suspense, we were roused from a somewhat heavy evening's cause after our tea by the usual dog-barking, bell-ringing, gravel-grinding noise which unquestionably announced an arrival. It could be no body, but Nubley. I sprang from my chair; Mrs. Nubley cried “Lauk!” and Harriet begged me not to flurry myself. However it was a burst offeeling, and nothing could stop me. I rushed into the hall, and, oh! how—in what words, by what means—can I express the blessedness of my feelings, the extent of my happiness, when I saw my beloved brother Cuthbert, ruined as he was—beggared by his own improvidence— but dearer to me than ever—lifted almost from the carriage into the house ! The frailty of its tenure to me at that moment was nothing; I caught him to my heart and burst into tears: I did—and I am not ashamed to write it down. My position was altered—I felt proud and happy—it was now for me to show how I would succour and support my nearest relation upon earth. It was all a mystery what had happened; Cuthbert leant on my arm—he pressed it—not a word was spoken -I understood nothing of what I saw, but my whole soul was engrossed by the possession of my brother, who, it seemed clear to me, had been rescued from the Brandyball. I shook Nubley's hand, and felt encouraged by his emphatic squeeze of mine. Kate I had not then seen, but what my sensations were may be guessed when I placed my half-fainting brother on his accustomed sofa, and saw Kitty, the object of my aversion, run to Harriet, throw herself upon her knees, and, bursting into tears exclaim—
- - - ** . . . ... • -
Without then knowing what had happened beyond the fact that we were all ruined financially, I believe that was the ho moment of my life. n setting down these matters I have anticipated, as it were, the results which brought about this
but the sequel is beautiful, as showing that whics; the “evil eye” of the censorious seldom sees, or chooses to see. It was perfectly true that Cuthbert, by his extraordinary carelessness and inanition, had permitted himself to be ruined; but that human pine-apple, Nubley, whose rough and repulsive coat covered a heart full of the richness of liberality, did not allow
... the evening to pass without making me understand that as his . . ; fate and fortunes had been linked with Cuthbert's through life, - .
and that he had no existing relation that he knew of, that his failure should never affect him. It is true that Nubley deplored the want of a family in terms which, whether eloquently or cogitatively expressed, there seems no necessity for repeating, the only remark upon which, I make-in the words of his excellent lady, who, at the close of his. lamentations, screamed out as usual— . . . . . . “Lauk, Mr. Nubley, you are such a man " . . * *
. ...But the second or third day after this happy return of our
absent friends, I had another opportunity of beholding human Thature.in a delightful point of view; and what a blessing it is . .
to be able to put upon record traits calculated to vindicate our
game ever since her return, and that the game she had been.
playing before his arrival had been even worse; in fach, she
dear little Jenny had told us, to believe that Montpelier was
and I say but with an emphasis—I declare and protest that
when I saw Kitty—without any further professions, a beautiful girl—no-heft shoulder stuck out of her frock, and at least another inch of tucker in front—totally changed in manner, fond of her sister, affectionate to Cuthbert without pretension, and endeavouring by every means to gain Harriet's good
opinion, my feelings toward her took an entirely new turn;
and all at once I thought how painful it will be (for the whole
history of our remaining at Blissfold was problematical) for
this girl, growing into womanhood, to be domesticated close
tack upon my worthy companion.
“What!” said I, “has the young lady again “Oh, no,” interrupted Mr. Kittington, “circumstances are so altered, short as is the time that has elapsed since the event f you refer, that I stand before you in a totally different position.” Hereabouts he seemed to gain new courage, and
stand erect, and look steadily. “I believe,” continued he, “I told you that my father was a man of high honour and respectability, although unfortunate—my mother, a lady by birth, who, excellent as her husband was, had disobliged her family by marrying him, has been for years estranged from her relations. I now have to state to you, Mr. Gurney, that her brother, my uncle, General Harlingham, relenting on his deathbed of an unjustifiable harshness against his exemplary sister, has left me heir to all his property, real and personal, amounting to something more than seven thousand pounds per annum, on condition of my assuming his name.” “I assure you,” said I, “I most sincerely congratulate you. The little I had the pleasure of seeing of your family gave me so favourable an impression of your character and qualities, that I am most happy to hear of your well-merited acquisition. I presume we shall lose you as a neighbour.” The moment I had uttered these words, I perceived his
agitation return, his cheek flushed and turned pale, and his
whole manner betrayed an emotion to me inexplicable. “Mr. Gurney,” said he, “I confess this is one of the most trying moments of my life. I am but young. I trust and hope the reverse of fortune which has befallen me will not induce me to commit myself. If it does, I think in your hands my character is safe. I would give the world that you would anticipate what I am about to express.” “I have no notion,” said I; “but, whatever it is, rely upon my most anxious desire to hear it.” “Miss Falwasser,” said Kittington, or rather Harlingham —“Miss Falwasser ” and then he paused. “Oh s” said I, “you must banish all that from your mind; your conduct was so honourable—and the affair will be forgotten—and 35 “I hope not,” said Harlingham, as I must now call him. “I felt it my duty in my then position to do what I did : as a rofessional man, I think I could have done nothing else; but o have never been happy since. And now, Mr. Gurney,” added he, with tears in his eyes, and tears of which no man of high and honourable feeling need be ashamed; “now, I will go farther upon that point than I did before—not to make you appreciate more highly the sacrifice I then made, but to induce you to listen to my present proposal. I admit that my admiration of the young lady in question was fervent and sincere, and that, although the stern sense of moral obligation connected with the business I then followed led me to betray a confidence which I had no right to encourage, I now request, as a gentleman and a man of fortune, permission to be received into your family as a suitor for the aiections of Miss Katherine Falwasser." I looked at him for a monent, and, having held out toy hand and pressed his, when I recovered, said, “If you had one fortnight since made this proposal—honourable, noble as it is on your part—I should have said, ‘No. Whatever my brother may say—I will not hear it:'-but Kate Falwasser, misled, and spoiled by the horrid woman to whose care she had been incautiously consigned, has, since circumstances have occurred to try the real qualities of her heart, evinced so much good feeling and so much indignation at the conduct of her late preceptress, that I think I may, with perfect fairness to you, admit you to that intimacy with our family circle which you desire.” “I know,” said Harlingham, “to what you allude; in a small society like Blissfold, family matters are no secrets, and I hope you will not think worse of me because it was when I found that, in all probability, from the rumours that were rife, Miss Falwasser would be portionless, I ventured to make my present offer.” There are of course some very extraordinary men to be found now and then, but this Kittington, or Harlingham, seemed to me a phoenix. With his taste I had no disposition to quarrel, but all other feelings were absorbed in those of admiration at his honest and virtuous forbearance, evidently in opposition to the bent of his inclination in the first instance, and in his delicate anxiety to repair what he considered the violence he had done to Kate by exposing her amatory epistles. The result of this interview was his admission into our circle, together with his mother and sister, and his consequent association with Kitty; whose manners were so changed, and whose recollection of her advances to her now permitted lover, were so strongly impressed on her mind, that she could scarcely lift her eyes to meet his; indeed, so extremely diffident did she appear in his presence, that Fanny Wells, some six or seven years her senior, began to think that she was not half enough sympathetic, and that Mr. Harlingham would be much happier with a wife a few years older. Wherein Fanny most probably was right; but that was no affair of mine, and Cuthbert, who had abandoned his wig, and seemed reconciled to his present state of misfortune, was well pleased to see §§ pleased, and to see that every body was pleased with itty.