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Elinor Wyllys by Susan Fenimore Cooper

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with," observed Elinor.

"Why, yes, Nelly; it is always advisable to secure a gentleman
for friend or foe, he is the best substitute for a good man that
one can find. But it is my opinion that Mr. Reed will not
persevere in this case; I think he will soon be disgusted with
Clapp, as his brother counsel. To-morrow, however, we shall have
a nearer look at all our opponents, and I trust that we shall be
able to make up our own minds at least, beyond a doubt."

"I trust so!" replied Mrs. Stanley, whose anxiety had increased

"I wish Ellsworth were here!" exclaimed Harry; "as his feelings
are less interested than those of either of us, he would see
things in a more impartial light."

"I wish he were here, with all my heart," replied Mr. Wyllys. "I
am a little afraid of both you, my excellent friend, and you,
Hazlehurst; the idea of not doing justice to the shadow of
William Stanley, will make you too merciful towards this
claimant, I fear. I see plainly, Harry, that you have some
scruples, and I caution you against giving way too much to them."

Hazlehurst smiled, and passed his hand over his forehead. "Thank
you, sir, for your advice," he replied. "I shall try to judge the
facts calmly; although the idea, that one may possibly be an
usurper, is by no means pleasant; it is rather worse even, than
that of giving up to an impostor."

"It is a thousand pities that Ellsworth cannot be here until next
week; he would have warned you, as I do, not to lose sight of the

"It is quite impossible that he should come, until next Monday; I
knew his business would not admit of it, when I wrote to him at
your request; but he will be here at the very earliest moment
that he can."

In fact every one present, while they regretted Mr. Ellsworth's
absence, felt thoroughly convinced that there were various
reasons, which gave him the best inclination in the world to be
at Wyllys-Roof as soon as possible.

"I hope Mrs. Creighton will come with him too; she will enliven
us a little, in the midst of our legal matters," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Ellsworth mentions Mrs. Creighton's coming particularly; she
sends a message to the ladies, through him, which I have already
delivered," replied Hazlehurst, as he took up Mr. Reed's letter,
to answer it.

"Well, Agnes, shall we have a game of chess?" said Mr. Wyllys;
and the circle was broken up, as the younger ladies joined Mrs.
Taylor in her own room.

The hour of ten, on the following morning, had been fixed for the
interview with the sailor and his counsel. Hazlehurst was walking
on the piazza, as the time approached, and punctual to the
moment, he saw a carriage drive up to the house; in it were Mr.
Reed, Mr. Clapp, and their client. Harry stopped to receive them;
and, as they mounted the steps one after the other, he bowed
respectfully to Mr. Reed, slightly to Mr. Clapp, and fixed his
eye steadily on the third individual.

"Mr. Stanley, Mr. Hazlehurst," said Mr. Reed, in a quiet, but
decided manner.

Harry bowed like a gentleman, Mr. Stanley like a jack-tar. The
first steady, inquiring glance of Hazlehurst, was sufficient to
show him, that the rival claimant was a man rather shorter, and
decidedly stouter than himself, with dark hair and eyes, and a
countenance by no means unpleasant, excepting that it bore
evident traces of past habits of intemperance; as far as his
features went, they certainly reminded Harry of Mr. Stanley's
portrait. The sailor's dress was that which might have been worn
by a mate, or skipper, on shore; he appeared not in the least
daunted, on the contrary he was quite self-possessed, with an air
of determination about him which rather took Harry by surprise.

A few indifferent observations were exchanged between Mr. Reed
and Hazlehurst, as the party entered the house; they were taken
by Harry into the drawing-room, and he then left them, to inform
Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys of their arrival.

Mrs. Stanley, though a woman of a firm character, was very
excitable in her temperament, and she dreaded the interview not a
little; she had asked Miss Wyllys to remain with her on the
occasion. Mr. Wyllys was sent for, and when he had joined the
ladies, and Mrs. Stanley had composed herself, their three
visitors were ushered into Miss Wyllys's usual sitting-room by
Hazlehurst. He introduced Mr. Reed to Mrs. Stanley and Miss
Wyllys, named Mr. Clapp, and added, as the sailor approached:
"Mr. Reed's client, ma'am."

"Mr. William Stanley," added Mr. Reed, firmly, but respectfully.

Mrs. Stanley had risen from her seat, and after curtseying to the
lawyers, she turned very pale, as the name of her husband's son
was so deliberately applied, by a respectable man, to the
individual before her.

"I was just asking Mr. Stanley, when Mr. Hazlehurst joined us,"
observed the forward Mr. Clapp, "if he remembered Wyllys-Roof at
all; but he says his recollections of this place are rather

"When were you here last, sir?" asked Mr. Wyllys of the sailor,
giving him a searching look at the same time.

"About five years ago," was the cool reply, rather to Mr.
Wyllys's surprise.

"Five years ago!--I have no recollection of the occasion."

The rest of the party were looking and listening, with curious,
anxious interest.

"You don't seem to have much recollection of me, at all, sir,"
said the sailor, rather bitterly.

"Do you mean to say, that you were in this house five years ago?"
asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I was here, but I didn't say I was in the house."

"What brought you here?"

"Pretty much the same errand that brings me now."

"What passed on the occasion?"

"I can't say I remember much about it, excepting that you did not
give me an over-friendly greeting."

"Explain how it happened, Mr. Stanley," said Mr. Reed, "Mr.
Wyllys does not understand you."

"I certainly cannot understand what you mean me to believe. You
say you were here, and did not receive a very friendly
greeting--how was it unfriendly?"

"Why, you showed me the inside of your smoke-house; which, to my
notion, wasn't just the right berth for the son of your old
friend, and I took the liberty of kicking off the hatches next
morning, and making the best of my way out of the neighbourhood."

"You remember the drunken sailor, sir, who was found one night,
several years since, near the house," interrupted Harry, who had
been listening attentively, and observed Mr. Wyllys's air of
incredulity. "I had him locked up in the smoke-house, you may

"And you must observe, Mr. Hazlehurst, that is a fact which might
look ugly before a jury that did not know you," remarked Mr.
Clapp; in a sort of half-cunning, half-insinuating manner.

"I do not in the least doubt the ability of many men, sir, to
distort actions equally innocent."

"But you acknowledge the fact?"

"The fact that I locked up a drunken sailor, I certainly
acknowledge; and you will find me ready to acknowledge any other
fact equally true."

"Do you believe this to be the person you locked up, Harry?"
asked Mr. Wyllys.

"I think it not improbable that it is the same individual; but I
did not see the man distinctly at the time."

"I am glad, gentlemen, that you are prepared to admit the
identity thus far--that is a step gained," observed Mr. Clapp,
running his hand through his locks.

"Permit me, Mr. Clapp, to ask you a question or two," said Mr.
Wyllys. "Now you recall that circumstance to me, I should like to
ask, if we have not also heard of this individual since the
occasion you refer to?"

"Yes, sir; you probably have heard of him since," replied Mr.
Clapp, baldly.

"And in connexion with yourself, I think?"

"In connexion with me, sir. You will find me quite as ready as
Mr. Hazlehurst to admit facts, sir," replied the lawyer, leaning
back in his chair.

"When they are undeniable," observed Mr. Wyllys, drily. "May I
inquire what was the nature of that connexion?" asked the
gentleman, with one of his searching looks.

The lawyer did not seem to quail beneath the scrutiny.

"The connexion, Mr. Wyllys, was the commencement of what has been
completed recently. Mr. Stanley came to lay before me the claims
which he now makes publicly."

"You never made the least allusion to any claim of this kind to
me, at that time," said Mr. Wyllys.

"I didn't believe it then; I am free to say so now,"

"Still, not believing the claim, it was singular, I may say
suspicious, sir, that you never even mentioned the individual who
made it."

"Why, to tell you the truth, Mr. Wyllys, I had unpleasant
thoughts about it; we were neighbours and old friends, and though
I might make up my mind to undertake the case, if I thought it
clear, I did prefer that you should not know about my having had
anything to do with it, as long as I thought it a doubtful point.
I think you must see that was only natural for a young lawyer,
who had his fortune to make, and expected employment from you and
your friends. I have no objections whatever to speaking out now,
to satisfy your mind, Mr. Wyllys."

"I believe I understand you, sir," replied Mr. Wyllys, his
countenance expressing more cool contempt than he was aware of.

"I think, however, there are several other points which are not
so easily answered," he added, turning to Mr. Reed, as if
preferring to continue the conversation with him. "Do you not
think it singular, Mr. Reed, to say the least, that your client
should have allowed so many years to pass, without claiming the
property of Mr. Stanley, and then, at this late day, instead of
applying directly to the executors, come to a small town like
Longbridge, to a lawyer so little known as Mr. Clapp, in order to
urge a claim, so important to him as this we are now examining?"
asked Mr. Wyllys, with a meaning smile.

"We are able to explain all those points quite satisfactorily, I
think," replied Mr. Reed.

"I object, however," interposed Mr. Clapp, "to laying our case
fully before the defendants, until we know what they conclude to
do. We have met here by agreement, to give the defendants an
opportunity of satisfying their own minds--that they may settle
the point, whether they will admit our claim, or whether we must
go to law to get our rights. It was agreed that the meeting
should be only a common friendly visit, such as Mr. Stanley felt
perfectly willing to pay to his step-mother, and old family
friends. We also agreed, that we would answer any common
questions that might help to satisfy the defendants, provided
that they did not tend to endanger our future success, in the
event of a trial. I think, Mr. Reed, that as there does not seem
as yet much probability that the defendants will be easily
convinced, it behooves us to be on our guard."

"I will take the responsibility, sir, of answering other
observations of Mr. Wyllys's," replied Mr. Reed. "As the object
of the meeting was an amicable arrangement, we may be able to
make the case more clear, without endangering our own grounds.
Have you any remarks to make, madam?" he added, turning to Mrs.

It had been settled between the friends, before the meeting, that
Mr. Wyllys should be chief spokesman on the occasion; for,
although the sailor claimed the nearer connexion of step-son to
Mrs. Stanley, yet she had scarcely known her husband's son,
having married after he went to sea. Harry, it is true, had often
been with young Stanley at his father's house, but he was at the
time too young a child to have preserved any distinct
recollection of him. Mr. Wyllys was the only one of the three
individuals most interested, who remembered his person, manner,
and character, with sufficient minuteness to rely on his own
memory. The particular subjects upon which the sailor should be
questioned, had been also agreed upon beforehand, by Harry and
his friends. In reply to Mr. Reed's inquiry, Mrs. Stanley asked
to see the papers which had been brought for their investigation.

Mr. Clapp complied with the request, by drawing a bundle of
papers from his pocket. He first handed Mrs. Stanley a document,
proving that William Stanley had made two voyages as seaman, in a
Havre packet, in the year 1824, or nearly ten years since the
wreck of the Jefferson. The captain of this vessel was well
known, and still commanded a packet in the same line; very
probably his mates were also living, and could be called upon to
ascertain the authenticity of this paper. No man in his senses
would have forged a document which could be so easily disproved,
and both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst were evidently perplexed by
it, while Mrs. Stanley showed an increase of nervous agitation.
Mr. Wyllys at length returned this paper to Mr. Reed, confessing
that it looked more favourably than anything they had yet
received. Two letters were then shown, directed to William
Stanley, and bearing different dates; one was signed by the name
of David Billings, a man who had been the chief instrument in
first drawing William Stanley into bad habits, and had at length
enticed him to leave home and go to sea; it was dated nineteen
years back. As no one present knew the hand-writing of Billings,
and as he had died some years since, this letter might, or might
not, have been genuine. The name of the other signature was
entirely unknown to Harry and his friends; this second letter
bore a date only seven years previous to the interview, and was
addressed to William Stanley, at a sailor's boarding-house in
Baltimore. It was short, and the contents were unimportant;
chiefly referring to a debt of fifteen dollars, and purporting to
be written by a shipmate named Noah Johnson: the name of William
Stanley, in conjunction with the date, was the only remarkable
point about this paper. Both letters had an appearance
corresponding with their dates; they looked old and soiled; the
first bore the post-office stamp of New York; the other had no
post-mark. Mr. Wyllys asked if this Noah Johnson could be found?
The sailor replied, that he had not seen him for several years,
and did not know what had become of him; he had kept the letter
because it acknowledged the debt. He replied to several other
questions about this man, readily and naturally; though Mr.
Wyllys had no means of deciding whether these answers were
correct or not. Hazlehurst then made several inquiries about
Billings, whom he had seen, and remembered as a bad fellow, the
son of a country physician living near Greatwood. His height,
age, appearance, and several circumstances connected with his
family, were all very accurately given by Mr. Reed's client, as
Harry frankly admitted to Mrs. Stanley and Mr. Wyllys.

Mr. Reed looked gratified by the appearance of things, and Mr.
Clapp seemed quite satisfied with the turn matters were now
taking. Throughout the interview, Mr. Reed seemed to listen with
a sort of calm interest, as if he had little doubt as to the
result. Mr. Clapp's manner was much more anxious; but then he was
perfectly aware of the suspicions against him, and knew that not
only this particular case, but his whole prospects for life, were
at stake on the present occasion.

"Like most sailors, Mr. Stanley has kept but few papers,"
observed Mr. Reed.

"He has been as careless about his documents, as he was about his
property--he has lost some of the greatest importance," observed
Mr. Clapp. "Here is something, though, that will speak for him,"
added the lawyer, as he handed Mrs. Stanley a book. It was a
volume of the Spectator, open at the blank leaves, and showing
the following words: "John William Stanley, Greatwood, 1804;" and
below, these, "William Stanley, 1810;" the first sentence was in
the hand-writing of the father, the second in the half-childish
characters of the son; both names had every appearance of being
autographs. The opposite page was partly covered with names of
ships, scratches of the pen, unconnected sentences, and one or
two common sailor expressions. Mrs. Stanley's eyes grew dim for
an instant, after she had read the names of her husband and
step-son--she passed the book to Mr. Wyllys; he took it, examined
it closely, but found nothing to complain of in its appearance.

{"the Spectator" = English daily periodical published by Richard
Steele (1672-1729) and Joseph Addison (1672-1719) between 1711
and 1714; the eight volumes of the Spectator have been reprinted
frequently in book form ever since}

"This is only the third volume; have you the whole set?" he
asked, turning to the sailor.

"No, sir; I left the rest at home."

"Is there such a set at Greatwood?" asked Mr. Wyllys, turning to
Mrs. Stanley.

"There is," replied the lady, in a low voice, "and one volume

Hazlehurst asked to look at the book; it was handed to him by Mr.
Wyllys. He examined it very carefully, binding, title-page, and
contents; Mr. Clapp watching him closely at the moment.

"Do you suspect the hand-writing?" asked the lawyer.

"Not in the least," replied Hazlehurst. "You have read this
volume often I suppose," he added, turning to the sailor.

"Not I," was the reply; "I ain't given to reading in any shape;
my shipmates have read that 'ere book oftener than I have."

"Did you carry it with you in all your voyages?"

"No; I left it ashore half the time."

"How long have you had it in your possession?"

"Since I first went to sea."

"Indeed! that is singular; I should have said, Mr. Clapp,"
exclaimed Harry, suddenly facing the lawyer, "that only four
years since, I read this very volume of the Spectator at

If Hazlehurst expected Mr. Clapp to betray confusion, he was

"You may have read some other volume," was the cool reply;
although Harry thought, or fancied, that he traced a muscular
movement about the speaker's eyelids, as he uttered the words:
"That volume has been in the possession of Mr. Stanley since he
first went to sea."

"Is there no other copy of the Spectator at your country-place,
Mrs. Stanley?" asked Mr. Reed.

"There is another edition, entire, in three volumes," said Mrs.

"I had forgotten it" said Hazlehurst; "but I am, nevertheless,
convinced that it was this edition which I read, for I remember
looking for it on an upper shelf, where it belonged."

"It was probably another volume of the same edition; there must
be some half-dozen, to judge by the size of this," observed Mr.

"There were eight volumes, but one has been missing for years,"
said Mrs. Stanley.

"It was this which I read, however," said Harry; "for I remember
the portrait of Steele, in the frontispiece."

"Will you swear to it?" asked Mr. Clapp, with a doubtful smile.

"When I do take an oath, it will not be lightly, sir," replied

"It is pretty evident, that Mr. Hazlehurst will not be easily
satisfied," added Mr. Clapp, with an approach to a sneer. "Shall
we go on, Mr. Reed, or stop the examination?"

Mrs. Stanley professed herself anxious to ask other questions;
and as she had showed more symptoms of yielding than the
gentlemen, the sailor's counsel seemed to cherish hopes of
bringing her over to their side. At her request, Mr. Wyllys then
proceeded to ask some questions, which had been agreed upon
before the meeting.

"What is your precise age, sir?"

"I shall be thirty-seven, the tenth of next August."

"Where were you born?"

"At my father's country-place, in ----- county, Pennsylvania."

"When were you last there before his death?"

"After my whaling voyage in the Sally-Ann, in the summer of

"How long did you stay at home on that occasion?"

"Three months; until I went to sea in the Thomas Jefferson."

"What was your mother's name, sir?"

"My mother's name was Elizabeth Radcliffe."

"What were the names of your grand-parents?" added Mr. Wyllys,

"My grandfather Stanley's name was William; I am named after him.
My grandmother's maiden name was Ellis--Jane Ellis."

"What were the Christian names of your grand-parents, on your
mother's side?"

"Let me see--my memory isn't over-good: my grandfather Radcliffe
was named John Henry."

"And your grandmother?"

The sailor hesitated, and seemed to change colour; but, perhaps
it was merely because he stooped to pick up his handkerchief.

"It's curious that I can't remember her Christian name," said he,
looking from one to another; "but I always called her
grandmother;--that's the reason, I suppose."

"Take time, and I dare say you will remember," said Clapp. "Have
you never chanced to see the old family Bible?"

The sailor looked at him, as if in thought, and suddenly
exclaimed: "Her name was Agnes Graham!" Other questions were then
asked, about the persons of his parents, the house at Greatwood,
and the neighbourhood. He seemed quite at home there, and
answered most of the questions with great accuracy--especially
about the place and neighbourhood. He described Mr. Stanley
perfectly, but did not appear to remember his mother so well; as
she had died early, however, Mr. Reed and Mr. Clapp accounted for
it in that way. He made a few mistakes about the place, but they
were chiefly upon subjects of opinion, such as the breadth of a
river, the height of a hill, the number of acres in a field; and
possibly his account was quite as correct as that of Mr. Wyllys.

"On which side of the house is the drawing-room, at Greatwood?"
asked Hazlehurst.

"Maybe you have changed it, since you got possession; but in my
day it was on the north side of the house, looking towards the

"Where are the stairs?"

"They stand back as you go in--they are very broad."

"Is there anything particular about the railing?"

The sailor paused. "Not that I remember, now," he said.

"Can't you describe it?--What is it made of?"

"Some kind of wood--dark wood--mahogany."

"What is the shape of the balusters?"

He could not tell; which Mr. Wyllys thought he ought to have
done; for they were rather peculiar, being twisted, and would
probably be remembered by most children brought up in the house.

Mrs. Stanley then begged he would describe the furniture of the
drawing-room, such as it was the last summer he had passed at
Greatwood. He seemed to hesitate, and change countenance, more
than he had yet done; so much so, as to strike Mrs. Stanley
herself; but he immediately rallied again.

"Well," said he, "you ask a man the very things he wouldn't be
likely to put on his log. But I'll make it all out ship-shape
presently." He stooped to pick up his handkerchief, which had
fallen again, and was going to proceed, when Mr. Clapp
interrupted him.

"I must take the liberty of interfering," said he, looking at his
watch, as he rose from his seat, and moved towards Mr. Reed,
asking if he did not think the examination had been quite long

"I must say, gentlemen," he added significantly, turning towards
Mr. Wyllys and Harry, "that I think our client has had enough of
it; considering that, upon the whole, there is no one here who
has so much right to ask questions, instead of answering them, as
Mr. Stanley."

"I should suppose, sir," said Mr. Reed, also rising and
addressing Mr. Wyllys, "that you must have heard and seen enough
for the object of our meeting. You have had a personal interview
with Mr. Stanley; you confess that he is like his family, like
himself, in short--allowing for the difference between a boy of
eighteen and a man of thirty-seven, where the habits of life have
been so different; you admit the identity of the hand-writing--"

"I beg your pardon, sir; not the identity, but the resemblance."

"A perfectly natural resemblance, under the circumstances, I
think you must allow."

"Yes; the similarity of the hand-writing is remarkable,

"During the last two hours you have asked the questions which
best suited your own pleasure, and he has answered them with
great accuracy, without one important mistake. What more can you
possibly require?"

"I do not stand alone, sir; we claim the time previously fixed
for consideration, before we give our final answer. We are,
however, much obliged to you, Mr. Reed, for granting the
interview, even if its results are not what you may have hoped
for. We shall always remember your conduct on this occasion with

Mr. Wyllys then offered some refreshments to Mr. Reed; they were
accepted, and ordered immediately.

Mr. Clapp was standing near Harry, and turning to him, he said:
"Mr. Stanley has a favour to ask, Mr. Hazlehurst, though you
don't seem disposed to grant him any," he added, with peculiar

"'A FAIR field, and no favour,' is a saying you may have heard,"
replied Hazlehurst, with a slight emphasis on the first word.
"But what is your client's request, sir?"

Mr. Clapp made a gesture towards the sailor, who then spoke for

"I understand that two of my cousins are in the house, and I
should be glad to see them before I leave it."

"Whom do you mean, sir?"

"Elinor Wyllys and Mary Van Alstyne. I haven't seen either of
them since they were children; but as I have got but few
relations, and no friends it seems, I should like to see them."

"You must apply to Mr. Wyllys; the young ladies are under his
care," replied Harry, coldly.

But Mr. Wyllys took upon himself to refuse the sailor's request,
under the circumstances. Having taken some refreshments, Mr.
Reed, his brother counsel, and their client now made their bows,
and left the house. As they drove from the door, Mr. Reed looked
calm and civil, Mr. Clapp very well satisfied; and the sailor, as
he took his seat by Mr. Reed, observed, in a voice loud enough to
be heard by Harry, who was standing on the piazza:

"It turns out just as I reckoned; hard work for a man to get his
rights in this here longitude!"


"Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones!"
Taming the Shrew.

{William Shakespeare, "The Taming of the Shrew", III.ii.240}

ELINOR was all anxiety to learn the result of the interview; and
Mary Van Alstyne also naturally felt much interest in the
subject, as she, too, was a cousin of William Stanley, their
mothers having been sisters. Elinor soon discovered that the
sailor had borne a much better examination than either of her
friends had expected; he had made no glaring mistake, and he had
answered their questions on some points, with an accuracy and
readiness that was quite startling. He evidently knew a great
deal about the Stanley family, their house, and the
neighbourhood; whoever he was, there could he no doubt that he
had known Mr. Stanley himself, and was very familiar with the
part of the country in which he had resided. Altogether, the
personal resemblance, the handwriting, the fact of his being a
sailor, the papers he had shown, the plausible statement he had
given, as to his past movements, and his intimate knowledge of so
many facts, which a stranger could scarcely have known, made up a
combination of circumstances, quite incomprehensible to the
friends at Wyllys-Roof. Still, in spite of so much that appeared
in his favour, Mr. Wyllys declared, that so far as his own
opinion went, he had too many doubts as to this man's character,
to receive him as the son of his friend, upon the evidence he had
thus far laid before them. The circumstances under which he
appeared, were so very suspicious in every point of view, that
the strongest possible evidences of his identity would be
required, to counteract them. The length of time that had passed
since the wreck of the Jefferson, the long period during which
his father's property had been left in the hands of others, and
the doubtful character of the channel through which the claim was
at length brought forward--all these facts united, furnished good
grounds for suspecting something wrong. There were other points
too, upon which Mr. Wyllys had his doubts; although the general
resemblance of this individual to William Stanley, was sufficient
to pass with most people, allowing for the natural changes
produced by time, yet there were some minor personal traits,
which did not correspond with his recollection of Mr. Stanley's
son: the voice appeared to him different in tone; he was also
disposed to believe the claimant shorter and fuller than William
Stanley, in the formation of his body and limbs; as to this man's
gait, which was entirely different from that of William Stanley,
as a boy, nearer observation had increased Mr. Wyllys's first
impression on that subject. On these particular points, Mrs.
Stanley and Hazlehurst were no judges; for the first had scarcely
seen her step-son, the last had only a child's recollection of
him. Nor could Miss Agnes's opinion have much weight, since she
had seldom seen the boy, during the last years he passed on
shore; for, at that time, she had been much detained at home, by
the ill health of her mother. Hazlehurst had watched the claimant
closely, and the interview had silenced his first misgivings, for
he had been much struck with two things: he had always heard,
whenever the subject of William Stanley's character had been
alluded to before him, that this unfortunate young man was sullen
in temper, and dull in mind. Now, the sailor's whole expression
and manner, in his opinion, had shown too much cleverness for
William Stanley; he had appeared decidedly quick-witted, and his
countenance was certainly rather good-natured than otherwise. Mr.
Wyllys admitted that Harry's views were just; he was struck with
both these observations; he thought them correct and important.
Then Hazlehurst thought he had seen some signs of intelligence
between Clapp and the sailor once or twice, a mere glance; he
could not be positive, however, since it might have been his own
suspicions. As to the volume of the Spectator, he had felt at
first morally certain that he had read that very volume at
Greatwood, only four years ago, but he had since remembered that
his brother had the same edition, and he might have read the book
in Philadelphia; in the mean time he would try to recall the
circumstances more clearly to his mind; for so long as he had a
doubt, he could not swear to the fact. He knew it was not the
octavo edition, at Greatwood, that he had been reading, for he
distinctly remembered the portrait of Steele in the frontispiece,
and Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost, which he had been
reading; that very portrait, and those papers, were contained in
the volume handed to him by Clapp. Both Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst
were gratified to find, that Mrs. Stanley differed from them less
than they had feared. She confessed, that at one moment her heart
had misgiven her, but on looking closely at the sailor, she
thought him less like her husband than she had expected; and she
had been particularly struck by his embarrassment, when she had
asked him to describe the furniture of the drawing-room at
Greatwood, the very last summer he had been there, for he ought
certainly under such circumstances, to have remembered it as well
as herself; he had looked puzzled, and had glanced at Mr. Clapp,
and the lawyer had immediately broken off the examination. Such
were the opinions of the friends at this stage of the
proceedings. Still it was an alarming truth, that if there were
improbabilities, minor facts, and shades of manner, to strengthen
their doubts, there was, on the other side, a show of evidence,
which might very possibly prove enough to convince a jury.
Hazlehurst had a thousand things to attend to, but he had decided
to wait at Wyllys-Roof until the arrival of Mr. Ellsworth.

{"Addison's papers on the Paradise Lost" = in fact, Addison's
essays on Paradise Lost are contained in volumes four and five of
the Spectator}

Leaving those most interested in this vexatious affair to hold
long consultations together in Mr. Wyllys's study, we must now
proceed to record a visit which Miss Agnes received from one of
our Longbridge acquaintances, and we shall therefore join the

"I am sorry, my dear, that the house is not so quiet as we could
wish, just now," said Miss Agnes to Jane, one morning, as she and
Elinor were sitting together in the young widow's room.

"Thank you, Aunt; but it does not disturb me, and I know it is
not to be avoided just now," said Jane, languidly.

"No, it cannot be helped, with this troublesome business going
on; and we shall have Mrs. Creighton and Mr. Ellsworth here

"Pray, do not change your plans on my account. I need not see any
of your friends; I shall scarcely know they are here," said Jane,
with a deep sigh.

"If it were possible to defer their visit, I should do so; but
situated as we are with Mr. Ellsworth--" added Miss Wyllys.

"Certainly; do not let me interfere with his coming. I feel
perfectly indifferent as to who comes or goes; I can never take
any more pleasure in society!"

"Here is my aunt Wyllys driving up to the door," said Elinor, who
was sitting near a window. "Do you feel equal to seeing her?"

"Oh, no, not to-day, dear," said Jane in an imploring voice; and
Elinor accordingly remained with her cousin, while Miss Agnes
went down to meet Mrs. George Wyllys. This lady was still living
at Longbridge, although every few months she talked of leaving
the place. Her oldest boy had just received a midshipman's
warrant, to which he was certainly justly entitled--his father
having lost his life in the public service. The rest of her
children were at home; and rather spoilt and troublesome little
people they were.

"How is Jane?" asked Mrs. Wyllys, as she entered the house.

"Very sad and feeble; but I hope the air here will strengthen
her, after a time."

"Poor thing!--no wonder she is sad, indeed! So young, and such an
affliction! How is the child?"

"Much better; she is quite playful, and disturbs Jane very much
by asking after her father. What a warm drive you must have had,
Harriet; you had better throw off your hat, and stay with us
until evening."

"Thank you; I must go home for dinner, and shall not be able to
stay more than half an hour. Is your father in? I wished to see
him, as well as yourself, on business."

"No, he is not at home; he has gone off some miles, to look at
some workmen who are putting up a new farm-house."

"I am sorry he is not at home, for I want to ask his opinion. And
yet he must have his hands full just now, with that vexatious
Stanley case. I must say, I think Clapp deserves to be sent to
the tread-mill!"

"Perhaps he does," replied Miss Wyllys. "It is to be hoped at
least, that he will receive what he deserves, and nothing more."

"I hope he will, with all my heart! But as I have not much time
to spare, I must proceed to lay my affairs before you. Now I
really and honestly want your advice, Agnes."

"You have had it often before," replied Miss Wyllys, smiling. "I
am quite at your service now," she added, seeing her
sister-in-law look a little uneasy. Mrs. Wyllys was silent for a

"I scarcely know where to begin," she then said; "for here I am,
come to consult you on a subject which you may think beneath your
notice; you are superior to such trifling matters," she said,
smiling--and then added: "But seriously, I have too much
confidence in your judgment and good sense, to wish to act
without your approbation."

"What is the point upon which I am to decide?--for you have not
yet told me anything."

"It is a subject upon which I have been thinking for some
time--several months. What should you say to my marrying again?"
asked Mrs. Wyllys stoutly.

Miss Agnes was amazed. She had known her sister-in-law, when some
years younger, refuse more than one good offer; and had never for
a moment doubted her intention to remain a widow for life.

"You surprise me, Harriet," she said; "I had no idea you thought
of marrying again."

"Certainly, I never thought of taking such a step until quite

"And who is the gentleman?" asked Miss Agnes, in some anxiety.

"I know you will at least agree with me, in thinking that I have
made a prudent choice. The welfare of my children is indeed my
chief consideration. I find, Agnes, that they require a stronger
hand than mine to manage them. Long before Evert went to sea, he
was completely his own master; there were only two persons who
had any influence over him, one is his grandfather, the other, a
gentleman who will, I suppose, before long, become nearly
connected with him. I frankly acknowledge that I have no control
over him myself; it is a mortifying fact to confess, but my
system of education, though an excellent one in theory, has not
succeeded in practice."

'Because,' thought Miss Agnes, 'there is too much theory, my good
sister.' "But you have not yet named the gentleman," she added,

"Oh, I have no doubt of your approving my choice! He is a most
worthy, excellent man--of course, at my time of life, I shall not
make a love-match. Can't you guess the individual--one of my
Longbridge neighbours?"

"From Longbridge," said Miss Wyllys, not a little surprised.
"Edward Tibbs, perhaps," she added, smiling. He was an unmarried
man, and one of the Longbridge beaux.

"Oh, no; how can you think me so silly, Agnes! I am ashamed of
you! It is a very different person; the family are great
favourites of your's."

"One of the Van Hornes?" Mrs. Wyllys shook her head.

"One of the Hubbards?--Is it John Hubbard, the principal of the
new Academy?" inquired Miss Agnes, faintly.

"Do you suppose I would marry a man of two-or-three-and-twenty!"
exclaimed Mrs. Wyllys with indignation. "It is his uncle; a man
against whom there can be no possible objection--Mr. James

'Uncle Dozie, of all men!' thought Miss Agnes. 'Silent, sober,
sleepy Uncle Dozie. Well, we must be thankful that it is no

"Mr. Hubbard is certainly a respectable man, a man of
principles," she observed aloud. "But everybody looked upon him
as a confirmed old bachelor; I did not suspect either of you of
having any thoughts of marrying," continued Miss Agnes, smiling.

"I am sometimes surprised that we should have come to that
conclusion, myself. But it is chiefly for the sake of my children
that I marry; you must know me well enough, Agnes, to be
convinced that I sacrifice myself for them!"

"I wish, indeed, that it may be for their good, Harriet!"

"Thank you; I have no doubt of it. I feel perfect confidence in
Mr. Hubbard; he is a man so much older than myself, and so much
more experienced, that I shall be entirely guided in future by
his counsel and advice."

Miss Agnes had some difficulty in repressing a smile and a sigh.

"Of course, I am well aware that many people will think I am
taking a foolish step," continued Mrs. Wyllys. Hubbard's
connexions, are generally not thought agreeable, perhaps; he has
very little property, and no profession. I am not blinded, you
see; but I am very indifferent as to the opinion of the world in
general; I am very independent of all but my immediate friends,
as you well know, Agnes."

Miss Wyllys was silent.

"In fact, my attention was first fixed upon Mr. Hubbard, by
finding how little he was appreciated and understood by others; I
regretted that I had at first allowed myself to be guided by
general opinion. Now I think it very possible that, although Mr.
Hubbard has been your neighbour for years, even you, Agnes, may
have a very mistaken opinion of him; you may have underrated his
talents, his strong affections, and energetic character. I was
surprised myself to find, what a very agreeable companion he is!"

"I have always believed Mr. James Hubbard a man of kind feelings,
as you observe, and a man of good principles; two important
points, certainly."

"I am glad you do him justice. But you are not aware perhaps,
what a very pleasant companion he is, where he feels at his ease,
and knows that he is understood."

'That is to say, where he can doze, while another person thinks
and talks for him,' thought Miss Agnes.

"The time is fixed I suppose for the wedding, Harriet?" she
inquired aloud, with a smile.

"Nearly so, I believe. I told Mr. Hubbard that I should be just
as ready to marry him next week, as next year; we agreed that
when two persons of our ages had come to an understanding, they
might as well settle the matter at once. We shall be married, I
fancy, in the morning, in church, with only two or three friends
present. I hope, Agnes, that your father and yourself will be
with me. You know that I should never have taken this step, if
you had not agreed with me in thinking it for the good of my

"Thank you, Harriet; of course we shall be present, if you wish

"Certainly I wish it. I shall always look upon you as my best
friends and advisers."

"Next to Mr. Hubbard, in future," replied Miss Agnes, smiling.

"When you know him better, you will confess that he deserves a
high place in my confidence. You have no idea how much his
brother and nieces think of him; but that is no wonder, for they
know his good sense, and his companionable qualities. He is
really a very agreeable companion, Agnes, for a rational woman;
quite a cultivated mind, too."

Visions of cabbages and turnips rose in Miss Agnes's mind, as the
only cultivation ever connected, till now, with Uncle Dozie's

"We passed last evening charmingly; I read the Lay of the Last
Minstrel aloud to him, and he seemed to enjoy it very much,"
continued Mrs. Wyllys.

{"Lay of the Last Minstrel" = long narrative poem (1805) by Sir
Walter Scott (1771-1832)}

'He took a nap, I suppose,' thought Miss Agnes. "He ought to be
well pleased to have a fair lady read aloud to him," she replied,

"The better I know him, the more satisfied I am with my choice. I
have: found a man upon whom I can depend for support and
advice--and one who is at the same time a very pleasant
companion. Do you know, he sometimes reminds me of our excellent

This was really going too far, in Miss Agnes's opinion; she quite
resented a comparison between Uncle Dozie and Mr. Wyllys. The
widow, however, was too much occupied with her own affairs, to
notice Miss Agnes's expression.

"I find, indeed, that the whole family are more agreeable than I
had supposed; but you rather gave me a prejudice against them.
The young ladies improve on acquaintance, they are pretty,
amiable young women; I have seen them quite often since we have
been near neighbours. Well, I must leave you, for Mr. Hubbard
dines with me to-day. In the mean time, Agnes, I commit my
affairs to your hands. Since I did not find your father at home,
I shall write to him this evening."

The ladies parted; and as Mrs. Wyllys passed out of the room, she
met Elinor.

"Good morning, Elinor," she said; "your aunt has news for you,
which I would tell you myself if I had time:" then nodding, she
left the house, and had soon driven off. "My dear Aunt, what is
this news?" asked Elinor.

Miss Agnes looked a little annoyed, a little mortified, and a
little amused.

When the mystery was explained, Elinor's amazement was great.

"It is incredible!" she exclaimed. "My Aunt Wyllys actually going
to marry that prosing, napping Mr. Hubbard; Uncle Dozie!"

"When I remember her husband," said Miss Agnes, with feeling, "it
does seem incredible; my dear, warm-hearted, handsome, animated
brother George!"

"How extraordinary!" said Elinor, who could do nothing but

"No; not in the least extraordinary," added Miss Agnes; "such
marriages, dear, seem quite common." Mr. Wyllys was not at all
astonished at the intelligence.

"I have expected that Harriet would marry, all along; she has a
great many good intentions, and some good qualities; but I knew
she would not remain a widow. It is rather strange that she
should have chosen James Hubbard; but she might have done worse."

With these philosophical reflections, Mrs. Wyllys's friends
looked forward to the happy event which was soon to take place.
The very same morning that Miss Agnes was taken into the
confidence of the bride, the friends of the groom also learned
the news, but in a more indirect manner.

The charms of a parterre are daily be-rhymed in verse, and
vaunted in prose, but the beauties of a vegetable garden seldom
meet with the admiration they might claim. If you talk of beets,
people fancy them sliced with pepper and vinegar; if you mention
carrots, they are seen floating in soup; cabbage figures in the
form of cold-slaw, or disguised under drawn-butter; if you refer
to corn, it appears to the mind's eye wrapt in a napkin to keep
it warm, or cut up with beans in a succatash {sic}. Half the
people who see these good things daily spread on the board before
them, are only acquainted with vegetables after they have been
mutilated and disguised by cookery. They would not know the leaf
of a beet from that of the spinach, the green tuft of a carrot
from the delicate sprigs of parsley. Now, a bouquet of roses and
pinks is certainly a very beautiful object, but a collection of
fine vegetables, with the rich variety of shape and colour, in
leaf, fruit, and root, such as nature has given them to us, is a
noble sight. So thought Uncle Dozie, at least. The rich texture
and shading of the common cabbage-leaf was no novelty to him; he
had often watched the red, coral-like veins in the glossy green
of the beet; the long, waving leaf of the maize, with the silky
tassels of its ears, were beautiful in his eyes; and so were the
rich, white heads of the cauliflower, delicate as carved ivory,
the feathery tuft of the carrot, the purple fruit of the
egg-plant, and the brilliant scarlet tomato. He came nearer than
most Christians, out of Weathersfield, to sympathy with the old
Egyptians in their onion-worship.

{"parterre" = ornamental flower garden; "out of Weathersfield" =
Wethersfield (the modern spelling), Connecticut, was famous for
its onions (there is still a red onion called "Red
Weathersfield"), until struck by a blight about 1840; "old
Egyptians" = ancient Egypt was proverbial for worshiping the

With such tastes and partialities, Uncle Dozie was generally to
be found in his garden, between the hours of sun-rise and
sun-set; gardening having been his sole occupation for nearly
forty years. His brother, Mr. Joseph Hubbard, having something to
communicate, went there in search of him, on the morning to which
we refer. But Uncle Dozie was not to be found. The gardener,
however, thought that he could not have gone very far, for he had
passed near him not five minutes before; and he suggested that,
perhaps Mr. Hubbard was going out somewhere, for "he looked kind
o' spruce and drest up." Mr. Hubbard expected his brother to dine
at home, and thought the man mistaken. In passing an arbour,
however, he caught a glimpse of the individual he was looking
for, and on coming nearer, he found Uncle Dozie, dressed in a new
summer suit, sitting on the arbour seat taking a nap, while at
his feet was a very fine basket of vegetables, arranged with more
than usual care. Unwilling to disturb him, his brother, who knew
that his naps seldom lasted more than a few minutes at a time,
took a turn in the garden, waiting for him to awake. He had
hardly left the arbour however, before he heard Uncle Dozie
moving; turning in that direction, he was going to join him,
when, to his great astonishment, he saw his brother steal from
the arbour, with the basket of vegetables on his arm, and
disappear between two rows of pea-brush.

"James!--I say, James!--Where are you going? Stop a minute, I
want to speak to you!" cried Mr. Joseph Hubbard.

He received no answer.

"James!--Wait a moment for me! Where are you?" added the
merchant; and walking quickly to the pea-rows, he saw his brother
leave them and dexterously make for the tall Indian-corn. Now
Uncle Dozie was not in the least deaf; and his brother was
utterly at a loss to account for his evading him in the first
place, and for his not answering in the second. He thought the
man had lost his senses: he was mistaken, Uncle Dozie had only
lost his heart. Determined not to give up the chase, still
calling the retreating Uncle Dozie, he pursued him from the
pea-rows into the windings of the corn-hills, across the walk to
another growth of peas near the garden paling. Here, strange to
say, in a manner quite inexplicable to his brother, Uncle Dozie
and his vegetables suddenly disappeared! Mr. Hubbard was
completely at fault: he could scarcely believe that he was in his
own garden, and that it was his own brother James whom he had
been pursuing, and who seemed at that instant to have vanished
from before his eyes--through the fence, he should have said, had
such a thing been possible. Mr. Hubbard was a resolute man; he
determined to sift the matter to the bottom. Still calling upon
the fugitive, he made his way to the garden paling through the
defile of the peas. No one was there--a broad, open bed lay on
either hand, and before him the fence. At last he observed a
foot-print in the earth near the paling, and a rustling sound
beyond. He advanced and looked over, and to his unspeakable
amazement, saw his brother, James Hubbard, busily engaged there,
in collecting the scattered vegetables which had fallen from his

"Jem!--I have caught you at last, have I? What in the name of
common sense are you about there?"

No reply was made, but Uncle Dozie proceeded to gather up his
cauliflowers, peas and tomatoes, to the best of his ability.

"Did you fly over the fence, or through it?" asked his brother,
quite surprised.

"Neither one nor the other," replied Uncle Dozie, sulkily. "I
came through the gate."

"Gate!--why there never was a gate here!"

"There is one now."

And so there was; part of the paling had been turned into a
narrow gate.

"Why, who cut this gate, I should like to know?"

"I did."

"You did, Jem? What for?--What is the use of it?"

"To go through."

"To go where? It only leads into Mrs. Wyllys's garden."

Uncle Dozie made no answer.

"What are you doing with those vegetables? I am really curious to

"Going to carry them down there," said Uncle Dozie.

"Down where?" repeated Uncle Josie, looking on the ground strewed
with vegetables.

"Over there."

"Over where?" asked the merchant, raising his eyes towards a
neighbouring barn before him.

"Yonder," added Uncle Dozie, making a sort of indescribable nod
backward with his head.

"Yonder!--In the street do you mean? Are you going to throw them

"Throw away such a cauliflower as this!" exclaimed Uncle Dozie,
with great indignation.

"What are you going to do with them, then?"

"Carry them to the house there."

"What house?"

"Mrs. Wyllys's, to be sure," replied Uncle Dozie, boldly.

"What is the use of carrying vegetables to Mrs. Wyllys? She has a
garden of her own" said his brother, very innocently.

"Miserable garden--poor, thin soil," muttered Uncle Dozie.

"Is it? Well, then, I can understand it; but you might us well
send them by the gardener."

Uncle Dozie made no reply, but proceeded to arrange his
vegetables in the basket, with an eye to appearances; he had
gathered them all up again, but another object which had fallen
on the grass lay unnoticed.

"What is that--a book?" asked his brother.

Uncle Dozie turned round, saw the volume, picked it up, and
thrust it in his pocket.

"Did you drop it? I didn't know you ever carried a book about
you," replied his brother, with some surprise. "What is it?"

"A book of poetry."

"Whose poetry?"

"I am sure I've forgotten," replied Uncle Dozie, taking a look
askance at the title, as it half-projected from his pocket. "It's
Coleridge's Ancient Mariner," he added.

{"Coleridge's..." = "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798) by
the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). A number of
chapter epigraphs in "Elinor Wyllys" are taken from this famous

"What in the world are you going to do with it?" said his
brother, with increasing surprise.

"I wanted a volume of poetry."

"You--Jem Hubbard! Why, I thought Yankee-Doodle was the only
poetry you cared for!"

"I don't care for it, but she does."

"She!--What SHE?" asked Uncle Josie, with lively curiosity, but
very little tact, it would seem.

"Mrs. Wyllys," was the laconic reply.

"Oh, Mrs. Wyllys; I told her some time ago that she was very
welcome to any of our books."

"It isn't one of your books; it's mine; I bought it."

"It wasn't worth while to buy it, Jem," said his brother; "I dare
say Emmeline has got it in the house. If Mrs. Wyllys asked to
borrow it, you ought to have taken Emmeline's, though she isn't
at home; she just keeps her books to show off on the
centre-table, you know. Our neighbour, Mrs. Wyllys, seems quite a

"She doesn't want this to read herself," observed Uncle Dozie.

"No?--What does she want it for?"

"She wants me to read it aloud."

Uncle Josie opened his eyes in mute astonishment. Uncle Dozie
continued, as if to excuse himself for this unusual offence: "She
asked for a favourite volume of mine; but I hadn't any favourite;
so I bought this. It looks pretty, and the bookseller said it was
called a good article."

"Why, Jem, are you crazy, man!--YOU going to read poetry aloud!"

"Why not?" said Uncle Dozie, growing bolder as the conversation
continued, and he finished arranging his basket.

"I believe you are out of your head, Jem; I don't understand you
this morning. What is the meaning of this?--what are you about?"

"Going to be married," replied Uncle Dozie, not waiting for any
further questions, but setting off at a brisk step towards Mrs.
Wyllys's door.

Mr. Joseph Hubbard remained looking over the fence in silent
amazement; he could scarcely believe his senses, so entirely was
he taken by surprise. In good sooth, Uncle Dozie had managed
matters very slily, through that little gate in the garden
paling; not a human being had suspected him. Uncle Josie's doubts
were soon entirely removed, however; he was convinced of the
reality of all he had heard and seen that morning, when he
observed his brother standing on Mrs. Wyllys's steps, and the
widow coming out to receive him, with a degree of elegance in her
dress, and graciousness in her manner, quite perceptible across
the garden: the fair lady admired the vegetables, ordered them
carried into the cellar, and received Coleridge's Ancient Mariner
from Uncle Dozie's hands, while they were still standing beneath
the rose-covered porch, looking sufficiently lover-like to remove
any lingering doubts of Uncle Josie. After the happy couple had
entered the house, the merchant left his station at the paling,
and returned to his own solitary dinner, laughing heartily
whenever the morning scene recurred to him. We have said that
Uncle Dozie had managed his love affairs thus far so slyly, that
no one suspected him; that very afternoon, however, one of the
most distinguished gossips of Longbridge, Mrs. Tibbs's mother,
saw him napping in Mrs. Wyllys's parlour, with a rose-bud in his
button-hole, and the Ancient Mariner in his hand. She was quite
too experienced in her vocation, not to draw her own conclusions;
and a suspicion, once excited, was instantly communicated to
others. The news spread like wild-fire; and when the evening-bell
rang, it had become a confirmed fact in many houses, that Mrs.
Wyllys and Mr. James Hubbard had already been privately married
six months.


"Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this ----------------- ?"
Henry VI.

{William Shakespeare, "3 Henry VI", IV.i.1-2}

BEFORE the end of the week, the friends at Wyllys-Roof, after
carefully examining all the facts within their knowledge, were
confirmed in their first opinion, that the individual claiming to
be William Stanley was an impostor. Mrs. Stanley was the last of
the three to make up her mind decidedly, on the point; but at
length, she also was convinced, that Mr. Clapp and this sailor
had united in a conspiracy to obtain possession of her husband's
estate. The chief reasons for believing this to be the case,
consisted in the difference of CHARACTER and EXPRESSION between
the claimant and William Stanley: the more Mr. Wyllys examined
this point, the clearer it appeared to him, who had known his
friend's only son from an infant, and had always felt much
interested in him. As a child, and a boy, William Stanley had
been of a morose temper, and of a sluggish, inactive mind--not
positively stupid, but certainly far from clever; this claimant,
on the contrary, had all the expression and manner of a shrewd,
quick-witted man, who might be passionate, but who looked like a
good-natured person, although his countenance was partially
disfigured by traces of intemperance. These facts, added to the
length of time which had elapsed since the reported death of the
individual, the neglect to claim his inheritance, the suspicious
circumstances under which this sailor now appeared, under the
auspices of an obscure country lawyer, who bore an indifferent
character, and to whom the peculiar circumstances of the Stanley
estate were probably well known, all united in producing the
belief in a conspiracy. There was no doubt, however, but that a
strong case could be made out on the other hand by the claimant;
it was evident that Mr. Reed was convinced of his identity; his
resemblance to William Stanley, and to Mr. Stanley, the father,
could not be denied; the similarity of the handwriting was also
remarkable; his profession, his apparent age, his possession of
the letters, his accurate knowledge of persons and places
connected with the family, altogether amounted to an important
body of evidence in his favour.

It would require a volume in itself, to give the details of this
singular case; but the general reader will probably care for
little more than an outline of the proceedings. It would indeed,
demand a legal hand to do full justice to the subject; those who
are disposed to inquire more particularly into the matter, having
a natural partiality, or acquired taste for the intricate
uncertainties of the law, will probably have it in their power
ere long, to follow the case throughout, in print; it is
understood at Longbridge, that Mr. James Bernard, son of Judge
Bernard, is engaged in writing a regular report, which, it is
supposed, will shortly be published. In the mean time, we shall
be compelled to confine ourselves chiefly to a general statement
of the most important proceedings, more particularly connected
with our narrative.

"Here is a letter from Clapp, sir, proposing a compromise," said
Hazlehurst, handing the paper to Mr. Wyllys. It was dated two
days after the interview at Wyllys-Roof; the tone was amicable
and respectful, though worded in Mr. Clapp's peculiar style. We
have not space for the letter itself, but its purport was, an
offer on the part of Mr. Stanley to forgive all arrears, and
overlook the past, provided his father's estate, in its actual
condition, was immediately placed in his hands. He was urged to
take this step, he said, by respect for his opponents, and the
conviction that they had acted conscientiously, while he himself
by his own neglect to appear earlier, had naturally given rise to
suspicion. He was therefore ready to receive the property as it
stood at present, engaging that neither executors nor legatee
should be molested for arrears; the sums advanced to Hazlehurst,
he was willing should be considered equivalent to the legacy
bequeathed to him by Mr. Stanley, the father, in case of his
son's return, although in fact they amounted to a much larger

This offer of a compromise merely confirmed the suspicions of all
parties at Wyllys-Roof. The offer was rejected in the same letter
which announced to Mr. Reed, that the defendants had seen as yet
no good reason for believing in the identity of the individual
claiming the name of William Stanley, and consequently, that they
should contest his claim to the Stanley estate.

After this step, it became necessary to make every preparation
for a trial; as it was already evident, from the usual legal
notices of the plaintiffs, that they intended to carry the case
into a court of justice, with as little delay as possible. It was
the first object of Mr. Wyllys and Hazlehurst, to obtain as much
testimony as lay within their reach, upon the points of the
capacity and natural temperament of William Stanley; letters were
written, in the hope of discovering something through the old
family physician, the school-master, and companions of the young
man before he went to sea; and Mrs. Stanley even believed that
the nurse of her step-son was still living. Agents were also
employed, to search out some clue, which might help to trace the
past life and character of the individual bearing the name of
William Stanley. Harry was only awaiting the expected arrival of
Mr. Ellsworth, before he set out himself for the little town in
the neighbourhood of Greatwood, where he hoped to gather much
useful evidence. To what degree he was also desirous of the
pleasure of meeting Mrs. Creighton again, we cannot say; but his
friends at Wyllys-Roof believed that he was quite as anxious to
see the sister as the brother. He had not long to wait, for,
punctual to the appointed day, the earliest possible, Mr.
Ellsworth arrived, accompanied by Mrs. Creighton.

"Now, Mr. Hazlehurst, come here and tell me all about these
vexatious proceedings," said Mrs. Creighton to Harry, as the
whole party left the dining-room for the piazza, the day Mr.
Ellsworth and his sister arrived at Wyllys-Roof. "I hope you and
Frank found out, in that long consultation you had this morning,
that it would not be difficult to settle the matter as it ought
to be settled?"

"On the contrary, we agreed that there were a great many serious
difficulties before us."

"You don't surely think there is any real danger as to the
result?" asked the lady with great interest. "You cannot suppose
that this man is really William Stanley, come to life again!"

"No; I believe him to be an impostor; and so does Ellsworth--so
do we all; but he makes out quite a plausible story,

"But what are you going to do? Come, sit down here, and tell me
about it."

"You forget, Josephine," said Mr. Ellsworth, smiling, "that we
lawyers dare not trust the ladies with our secrets; you must
contrive to restrain your curiosity, or interest--whichever you
choose to call it--until the trial."

"Nonsense!--I am quite too much interested for that; I shall
expect to hear a great deal before the trial. Is it possible your
stock of patience will last till then, Miss Wyllys?" added the
lady, turning to Elinor.

"Well, I don't know; I confess myself very anxious as to the
result," said Elinor, blushing a little.

"To be sure; we are all anxious; and I expect to be taken into
your confidence, Mr. Hazlehurst, quite as far as you legal
gentlemen think it safe to admit a lady. Frank has a very bad
habit of never trusting me with his business matters, Miss
Wyllys; we must cure him of that."

"I am inclined to think, Mrs. Creighton, your patience would
scarcely hear the recital of even one case of Richard Roe versus
John Doe," said Mr. Wyllys.

"Perhaps not; for I care not a straw for Richard Roe, or John
Doe, either."

"Would you really like to see the account which this newcomer
gives of himself?" asked Hazlehurst.

"Certainly; I speak seriously, I assure you."

"You shall see it this evening," said Harry. "I think you will
agree with me, that it is a strange story."

"But, Mrs. Creighton," said Mr. Wyllys, "we have had our heads so
full of law, and conspiracies, and impostors, lately, that I was
in hopes you would bring us something more agreeable to think and
talk about. What were the people doing at Nahant when you left

"It was very dull there; at least I thought so; I was in a great
hurry for Frank to bring me away."

"What was wanting, pray?" asked Mr. Wyllys. "Was it the fault of
the weather, the water, or the company?"

"Of all together, sir; nothing was of the right kind; it was not
half so pleasant as Saratoga this year. Even the flirtations were
not as amusing as usual."

"I should have thought you might have been amused in some other
way," said Mr. Ellsworth.

"Flirtation, I would have you believe, my good brother, is
sometimes quite an agreeable and exciting pastime."

"Faute de mieux," said Harry, smiling.

{"faute de mieux" = for want of anything better (French)}

"You surprise me, Josephine, by saying so, as you are no flirt
yourself," observed her brother, with a perfectly honest and
natural expression.

"Well, I don't know; certainly I never flirt intentionally; but I
won't be sure my spirits have not carried me away sometimes. Have
you never, Miss Wyllys, in moments of gaiety or excitement, said
more than you intended to?"

"Have I never flirted, do you mean?" asked Elinor, smiling.

"But though you say it yourself, I don't believe you are a bit of
a flirt, Mrs. Creighton," said the unsuspicious Mr. Wyllys.

"Oh, no, sir; I would not have you believe me a regular flirt for
the world. I only acknowledge to a little trifling, now and then.
Miss Wyllys knows what I mean; we women are more observant of
each other. Now, haven't you suspected me of flirting more than

"You had better ask me," said Mary Van Alstyne; "Elinor is not
half suspicious enough."

"The acquittal of the gentlemen ought to satisfy you," said
Elinor. "They are supposed to be the best judges. Are you sure,
however, that you did not flirt with Mr. Hopkins?--he was at
Nahant with you, I believe."

"I am afraid it surpasses the power of woman to distract Mr.
Hopkins's attention from a sheepshead or a paugee."

{"sheepshead" and "paugee" (porgy) = names applied to a number of
American fish esteemed by anglers}

"You have really a very pretty view here, Miss Wyllys, although
there is nothing bold or commanding in the country; it makes a
very pleasant home picture," observed Mr. Ellsworth, who had been
looking about him. "That reach in the river has a very good
effect; the little hamlet, too, looks well in the distance; and
the wood and meadow opposite, are as well placed as one could

"I am glad you like it; but we really think that, for such simple
scenery, it is uncommonly pretty," replied Elinor.

"Yes; even your fastidious friend, Mr. Stryker, pronounced the
landscape about Wyllys-Roof to be very well put together," said
Mrs. Creighton.

"Mr. Stryker, however, professes to have no eye for anything of
the kind," replied Elinor.

"That is only one of the man's affectations; his eyes are more
like those of other people than he is willing to confess. Though
Mr. Stryker pretends to be one of your men of the world, whose
notions are all practical, yet one soon discovers that he
cherishes his useless foibles, like other people," said the lady,
with an air of careless frankness; though intending the speech
for the benefit of Hazlehurst and Mr. Wyllys, who both stood near

"Perhaps you don't know that Mr. Stryker has preceded you into
our neighbourhood," said Mary Van Alstyne. "He is staying at Mr.
de Vaux's."

"Oh, yes; I knew he was to be here about these times. Pray, tell
me which is Mr. de Vaux's place. It is a fine house, I am told."

"A great deal too fine," said Harry. "It is all finery, or rather
it was a few years since."

"It is much improved now," observed Elinor; "he talks of taking
down half the columns. That is the house, Mrs. Creighton," she
added, showing the spot where the white pillars of Colonnade
Manor were partly visible through an opening in the wood.

"What a colonnade it seems to be! It puts one in mind of the
Italian epigram on some bad architecture," said Mr. Ellsworth:

"'Care colonne che fate qua?
Non sappiamo, in verita!'"

{"Care colonne..." = Dear columns, what are you doing here? We
really don't know! (Italian)}

"I understand, Miss Wyllys, that your friend, Mr. Stryker, calls
it the 'cafe de mille colonnes,'" said Mrs. Creighton.

{"cafe de mile colonnes" = coffee-house of a thousand columns

"Does Mrs. Creighton's friend, Mr. Stryker, treat it so
disrespectfully? Mr. de Vaux has given it a very good name, I
think. It is Broadlawn now; last year it was Colonnade Manor."

"And, pray, what did Mr. Taylor's manorial rights consist in?"
asked Mr. Ellsworth.

"In the privilege of putting up as many Grecian summer-houses as
he pleased, I suppose," said Harry; "the place promised to be
covered with them at one time."

"Mr. de Vaux has taken them down; all but two at least," said

"It was fortunate that Mr. Taylor had a long purse," remarked
Mrs. Creighton; "for he seems to have delighted in superfluities
of all kinds."

"I suppose you are aware, Mrs. Creighton, that false taste is
always a very expensive foible," said Mr. Wyllys; "for it looks
upon ornament and improvement as the same thing. My neighbour,
Mr. Taylor, certainly has as much of that spirit as any man I
ever knew."

"The name he gave his place is a good proof of that," said Harry.
"If he had called it the Colonnade, that would have been at least
descriptive and appropriate; but he tacked on the Manor, which
had neither rhyme nor reason to recommend it."

"Was it not a Manor before the revolution?" inquired Mrs.

"Oh, no; only a farm belonging to the Van Hornes. But Taylor
would not have it called a farm, for the world; he delights in
big words," said Mr. Wyllys.

"That is only natural, I suppose, for 'Don Pompey,' as Mr.
Stryker calls him," observed Mr. Ellsworth.

The following morning was the happy occasion, which was to make
Mrs. George Wyllys the wife of Uncle Dozie. In the course of the
week, which intervened between her announcing the fact at
Wyllys-Roof, and the wedding itself, she had only consulted her
friends twice, and changed her mind as often. At first it was
settled that she was to be married at two o'clock, in church,
with four witnesses present, and that from church she was to
return quietly to her own house, where the party were to eat a
family dinner with her. A note, however, informed her friends
that it was finally decided, that the wedding should take place
early in the morning, at her own house, in the presence of some
dozen friends. The dinner was also postponed for a fortnight, as
the happy couple intended to set out for Boston, the morning they
were united.

The weather was propitious; and after an early breakfast the
party from Wyllys-Roof set out. It included Mr. Ellsworth and
Mrs. Creighton, who were connexions of the bride, as well as
Harry, and the family; Mary Van Alstyne remaining at home with

They soon reached Longbridge, after a pleasant, early drive. On
being ushered into Mrs. Wyllys's drawing-room, they were received
in a very informal manner by the bride herself. As Elinor had
recommended a grey silk for the wedding-dress, she was not at all
surprised to find her aunt wearing a coloured muslin. On one
point, however, it was evident she had not changed her mind; for
the happy man, Uncle Dozie, was there in full matrimonials, with
a new wig, and a white waistcoat. The groom elect looked much
like a victim about to be sacrificed; he was as miserably
sheepish and fidgety as ever old bachelor could be under similar
circumstances. Mrs. Creighton paid her compliments to the bride
very gracefully; and she tried to look as if the affair were not
a particularly good joke. Mr. Wyllys summoned up a sort of
resigned cheerfulness; Miss Agnes and Elinor also endeavoured to
look as became wedding-guests. The children, who had all received
presents from the bridegroom, evidently thought the occasion a
holiday. The clergyman having appeared, Mrs. Wyllys gave her hand
to the trembling groom, and the important transaction was soon

'There is, at least, no danger of Uncle Dozie's taking a nap,'
thought Harry, 'he looks too nervous and uncomfortable for that.'

Congratulations and good wishes were duly offered; they served
only to increase the bridegroom's distress, while the bride
appeared perfectly satisfied, and in very good spirits. She felt
disposed to make a cheerful sacrifice for the benefit of her
children, to whom she had secured an efficient protector, while
at the same time, she was now sure of a prudent friend and
counsellor for life: so at least she informed Mrs. Creighton.

"I am sorry your brother is not here, Mr. Hubbard."

"He went to New York, on business, last night," said the groom.

"I hope you will have a pleasant trip to Boston," continued Mr.

"Thank you for the wish, sir," interposed the bride, "but we
determined last evening to go to Niagara, as we have both been to
Boston already."

'We shall hear of you at New Orleans, yet,' thought Harry.

Refreshments were brought in, and everybody, of course, received
their usual share of the wedding-cake.

"You see I have set you an excellent example," said the bride to
Mrs. Creighton and Elinor.

"We must hope that these ladies will soon follow it," said Mr.
Ellsworth, with a glance at Elinor.

"Shall we thank him, Miss Wyllys?" said Mrs. Creighton. "It was
kindly meant, I dare say."

Mr. Wyllys, who was standing near them, smiled.

"It was only yesterday, Elinor," added the new Mrs. Hubbard,
"that Black Bess, who made the cake you are eating, told me when
she brought it home, that she hoped soon to make your own

"She has had the promise of it ever since I was five years old,"
said Elinor,

"Is it possible that Black Bess is still living and baking?" said
Harry. "I can remember her gingerbread, as long as I can
recollect anything. I once overheard some Longbridge ladies
declare, that they could tell Black Bess's cake as far as they
could see it; which struck me as something very wonderful."

"She seems to be a person of great importance," said Mrs.
Creighton; "I shall hope soon to make her acquaintance. My dear
Miss Elinor, I wish you would bear in mind that your wedding-cake
has been ordered these dozen years. I am afraid you forget how
many of us are interested in it, as well as Black Bess."

"Our notable housekeepers you know, tell us that wedding-cake
will bear keeping half-a-century," said Elinor, smiling.

"That is after the ceremony I am sure, not before," said Mrs.

Elinor seemed at last annoyed by these persevering allusions, and
several persons left the group. Hazlehurst took a seat by Miss
Patsey; he was anxious to show her that her brother-in-law's
behaviour, had in no manner changed his regard for herself and
her family.

"Where is Charlie," he asked.

"He has gone off to Lake Champlain now. I hope you and Charlie
will both soon get tired of travelling about, Mr. Hazlehurst; you
ought to stay at home with your friends."

"But I don't seem to have any home; Charlie and I are both by
nature, home-bred, home-staying youths, but we seem fated to
wander about. How is he coming on with his pictures?--has he
nearly done his work on the lakes?"

"Yes, I believe so; he has promised to come to Longbridge next
month, for the rest of the summer. He has been distressed, quite
as much as the rest of us, Mr. Hazlehurst, by these

"Do not speak of them, Miss Patsey; it is a bad business; but one
which will never interfere between me and my old friends, I

Miss Patsey looked her thanks, her mortification, and her
sympathy, but said nothing more.

The carriage which was to convey the bride and groom to the
steamboat, soon drove to the door; and taking leave of their
friends, the happy couple set off. They turned back, however,
before they were out of sight, as Mrs. Hubbard wished to change
the travelling-shawl she had first selected for another. Mr.
Wyllys, Elinor, and Harry accompanied them to the boat; and they
all three agreed, that the groom had not yet been guilty of
napping; although Hazlehurst declared, that as the seats on deck
were cool and shady, he had little doubt that he would be dozing
before the boat was out of sight.

Those who feel the same anxiety for the welfare of the children,
during their mother's absence, which weighed upon the mind of
Miss Agnes, will be glad to hear that they were all three carried
to Wyllys-Roof, under the charge of an experienced nurse. And it
must be confessed, that it was long since little George, a
riotous child, some seven years old, had been kept under such
steady, but kind discipline, as that under which he lived, during
this visit to his grandfather.

Mr. Ellsworth and Harry passed the morning at Longbridge, engaged
with their legal affairs; and in the evening Hazlehurst left
Wyllys-Roof for Philadelphia; and Mrs. Stanley accompanied him,
on her way to Greatwood.


"------- But by the stealth
Of our own vanity, we're left so poor."

{William Habington (English poet and dramatist, 1605-1664),
"Castara" I.20-21}

Now that Harry had left the house, Mrs. Creighton's attention was
chiefly given to Mr. Wyllys; although she had as usual, smiles,
both arch and sweet, sayings, both piquant and agreeable, for
each and all of the gentlemen from Broadlawn, who were frequent
visiters at Wyllys-Roof. Mr. Stryker, indeed, was there half the
time. It was evident that the lady was extremely interested in
Hazlehurst's difficulties; she was constant in her inquiries as
to the progress of affairs, and listened anxiously to the many
different prognostics as to the result. Miss Agnes remarked
indeed, one day, when Mr. Ellsworth thought he had succeeded in
obtaining an all-important clue, in tracing the previous career
of Harry's opponent, that his sister seemed much elated--she sent
an extremely amiable message to Hazlehurst in her brother's
letter. It afterwards appeared, however, on farther inquiry, that
this very point turned out entirely in favour of the sailor,
actually proving that nine years previously he had sailed in one
of the Havre packets, under the name of William Stanley. Mrs.
Creighton that evening expressed her good wishes for Harry, in a
much calmer tone, before a roomfull {sic} of company.

"Ladies, have you no sympathizing message for Hazlehurst?"
inquired Mr. Ellsworth, as he folded a letter he had been

"Oh, certainly; we were sorry to hear the bad news;" and she then
turned immediately, and began an animated, laughing conversation
with Hubert de Vaux.

'What a difference in character between the brother and sister,'
thought Miss Agnes, whose good opinion of Mr. Ellsworth had been
raised higher than ever, by the earnest devotion to his friend's
interest, which appeared throughout his whole management of the

The family at Wyllys-Roof were careful to show, by their friendly
attention to the Hubbards, that their respect and regard for them
had not suffered at all by the steps Mr. Clapp had taken. Miss
Agnes and Elinor visited the cottage as frequently as ever. One
morning, shortly after the wedding, Miss Wyllys went to inquire
after Mrs. Hubbard, as she was in the habit of doing. She found
Mary Hubbard, the youngest daughter, there, and was struck on
entering, by the expression of Miss Patsey's face--very different
from her usual calm, pleasant aspect.

"Oh, Miss Wyllys!" she exclaimed, in answer to an inquiry of Miss
Agnes's--"I am just going to Longbridge! My poor, kind uncle
Joseph!--but he was always too weak and indulgent to those

"What has happened?" asked Miss Wyllys, anxiously.

"Dreadful news, indeed; Mrs. Hilson has disgraced herself!--Her
husband has left her and applied for a divorce! But I do not
believe it is half as bad as most people think; Julianna has been
shamefully imprudent, but I cannot think her guilty!"

{"Her husband has left her..." = this incident seems to reflect
the unhappy marriage between Henry Nicholas Cruger (1800-1867) --
a close friend of the Cooper family -- and the free-wheeling
Harriet Douglas (1790-1872). After their 1833 marriage, Harriet
Douglas insisted on living her own life -- often in Europe;
Cruger eventually left her and in 1843 began a lengthy and highly
public divorce action based on desertion. The Cooper family
strongly disapproved of Harriet Douglas, and she is believed to
have been an inspiration for the free-wheeling Mary Monson in
James Fenimore Cooper's last novel, "The Ways of the Hour"

Miss Wyllys was grieved to hear such a bad account of her old
neighbour's daughter.

"Her husband has left her, you say; where is she now?"

"Her father brought her home with him. He went after her to
Newport, where she had gone in the same party with this man--this
Mr. de Montbrun, and a person who lives in the same
boarding-house, a Mrs. Bagman, who has done a great deal of harm
to Julianna."

"Sad, indeed!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"Charles says it is heart-rending, to see my poor uncle, who was
so proud of his good name--thought so much of his daughters!
Often have I heard him say: 'Let them enjoy life, Patsey, while
they are young; girls can't do much harm; I love to see them look
pretty and merry.' They never received any solid instruction, and
since her marriage, Julianna seems to have been in bad company.
She had no children to think about, and Mr. Hilson's time is
always given to his business; her head was full of nonsense from
morning till night; I was afraid no good would come of it."

"It is at least a great point, that she should have come back
with her father."

"Yes, indeed; I am thankful for it, from the bottom of my heart.
Oh, Miss Wyllys, what a dreadful thing it is, to see young people
going on, from one bad way to another!" exclaimed Miss Patsey.

"We must hope that her eyes will be opened, now."

"If she had only taken warning from what Charles told her about
this Mr. de Montbrun; he had seen him at Rome, and though he had
no positive proofs, knew he was a bad man, and told Mrs. Hilson
so. It is surely wrong, Miss Wyllys, to let all kinds of
strangers from foreign countries into our families, without
knowing anything about them."

"I have often thought it very wrong," said Miss Agnes, earnestly.

"But Mrs. Hilson wouldn't believe a word Charles said. She talked
a great deal about aristocratic fashions; said she wouldn't be a
slave to prudish notions--just as she always talks."

"Where was her husband, all this time?"

"He was in New York. They had not agreed well for some time, on
account of her spending so much money, and flirting with
everybody. At last he heard how his wife was behaving, and went
to Saratoga. He found everybody who knew her, was talking about
Julianna and this Frenchman. They had a violent quarrel, and he
brought her back to town, but gave her warning, if ever she spoke
again to that man he would leave her. Would you believe it!--in
less than a week, she went to the theatre with him and this Mrs.
Bagman! You know Mr. Hilson is a quiet man in general, but when
he has made up his mind to anything, he never changes it: when he
came in from his business, and found where his wife had gone, he
wrote a letter to Uncle Joseph, and left the house."

"But what does Mrs. Hilson say? Does she show any feeling?"

"She cries a great deal, but talks just as usual; says she is a
victim to her husband's brutality and jealousy. It seems
impossible to make her see things in their right light. I hope
and pray that her eyes may be opened, but I am afraid it will be
a long time before they are. But it is hard, Miss Wyllys, to open
the eyes of the blind and deluded! It is more than mortal man can

"Yes; we feel at such times our miserable weakness, and the
influence of evil upon human nature, more, perhaps, than at any
other moment!"

"That is true, indeed. I have often thought, Miss Wyllys, that
those who have watched over a large family of children and young
people, have better notions about the true state of human nature,
than your great philosophers. That has been the difficulty with
Uncle Hubbard; he said girls in a respectable family were in no
danger of doing what was wrong; that he hated preaching and
scolding, and could not bear to make young people gloomy, by
talking to them about serious subjects. My father always taught
me to think very differently; he believed that the only way to
help young people to be really happy and cheerful, was to teach
them to do their duty."

"It would be well, if all those who have charge of young persons
thought so!" exclaimed Miss Agnes.

"But, oh, Miss Wyllys, I dread seeing my poor uncle! Charles
writes me word that he is quite changed--pale and care-worn--so
different from his usual look; he says my uncle has grown ten
years older in the last week. And such a kind, indulgent father
as he has been!"

Tears filled Miss Wyllys's eyes. "Is his daughter Emmeline at
home?" she asked.

"Yes; and Emmeline seems more sobered by this terrible business,
than Mrs. Hilson herself. She sent for me, thinking I might be of
some service to Julianna, and persuade her to stay at home, and
not return to Mrs. Bagman, as she threatens to do."

A wagon was waiting to carry Miss Patsey to Longbridge, and Miss
Agnes begging that she might not detain her, she set out on her
painful duty. On arriving at her uncle's house, she almost
dreaded to cross the threshold. She found Mr. Hubbard in the
dining-room; he paid no attention to her as she opened the door,
but continued walking up and down. She scarcely knew how to
address him; the common phrases of greeting that rose to her lips
seemed misplaced. He either did not see her, or would not notice
her. She then walked quite near to him, and holding out her hand,
said in a calm tone:

"Uncle, I have come to see Julianna."

The muscles of his face moved, but he made no answer.

"I have come to stay with her, if you wish it."

"Thank you," he said, in a thick voice.

"Is there anything I can do for you?"

"What can be done?" he said, bitterly, and almost roughly.

"Do you wish me to stay?"

"Yes; I am obliged to you for coming to see a woman of bad

Patsey left him for the present. She found her cousins together;
Emmeline's eyes were red, as if she had just been weeping; Mrs.
Hilson was stretched on a sofa, in a very elegant morning-gown,
reading a novel of very doubtful morality. Patsey offered her
hand, which was taken quite cavalierly.

"Well, Patsey," she said, "I hope you have not come to be a spy
upon me."

"I have come to see you, because I wish to be of service to you,

"Then, my dear child, you must bring his High-Mightiness, my
jealous husband to reason," said the lady, smoothing a fold in
her dress. Patsey made no answer, and Mrs. Hilson looked up. "If
you are going to join the rest of them against me, why I shall
have nothing to do with you; all the prim prudes in the world
won't subdue me, as my good-man might have found out already."

"Where is your husband?" asked Miss Patsey, gravely, but quietly.

"I am sure I don't know; he has been pleased to abandon me, for
no reason whatever, but because I chose to enjoy the liberty of
all women of fortune in aristocratic circles. I would not submit
to be made a slave, like most ladies in this country, as Mrs.
Bagman says. I choose to associate with whom I please, gentlemen
or ladies. What is it makes the patrician orders so delightful in
Europe?--all those who know anything about it, will tell you that
it is because the married women are not slaves; they have full
liberty, and do just as they fancy, and have as many admirers as
they please; this very book that I am reading says so. That is
the way things are managed in high life in Europe."

"What sort of liberty is it you wish for, Julianna? The liberty
to do wrong? Or the liberty to trifle with your reputation?"

Mrs. Hilson pouted, but made no answer.

"I cannot think the kind of liberty you speak of is common among
good women anywhere," continued Patsey, "and I don't think you

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