Chapter 36700082

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Chapter NumberLVIII
Chapter TitleTHE CATASTROPHE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article36700082
Full Date1868-10-03
Page Number2
Corrections10
Word Count5813
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2020-02-02
Newspaper TitleLaunceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899)
Trove TitleThe Maxwells of Bremgarten
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THE MAXWELLS OF BREMGARTEN. A STORY OF TASMANIA. [Founded on Facts.] (ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED.) (Continued from Saturday, 26th September.) CHAPTER LVIII. THE CATASTROPHE. EDWIN was almost struck dumb with astonishment when he became aware that his humble dwelling was visited by so great a man as Henry Arnott, and he no sooner looked carefully into his visitor's face than he discovered by its peculiar expression that there was something wrong. He smiled, however, and told the two gentlemen that he was glad to see them, inviting them at the same time to walk in ; but they desired to be excused from doing so, and in their turn invited Mr. Herbart to favor them with his company for a short distance from the house, as they had some important intelli- gence to communicate to him. He accordingly walked with them down towards the road along one of his paddock fences which con- cealed them from view, they leading their horses and replying in monosyllables to Edwin's commonplace observations about the weather. When he judged that they had gone far enough to be tolerably secure from inter- ruption Henry Arnott turned round to Edwin and said :— " It is fitting, Mr. Herbart, that you should be made acquainted without un- necessary preamble with the business which has led to the present visit." Edwin bowed, and intimated that he was quite ready to hear it. " Then I conceive it to be my duty to in- form you that your amiable relative, Miss Maxwell, whom I singled out from a crowd of other ladies far more worthy of the honor, has thought proper, upon my putting the question in a decided manner, to refuse as decidedly to accept my hand in marriage." " Well," said Edwin, folding his arms upon his breast and looking the last speaker steadily in the face, for he saw at once that it was Henry's purpose to pick a quarrel with him, and thought it best to assume a determined attitude ; " am I responsible for Miss Maxwell's decision ?" " If you are not in a moral sense," said Henry, warming to his work, " it is my de- termination to make you responsible for it. It was on your account I am well assured— I had it from one who had every opportunity of discovering the truth—that it is on your account I stand here a dishonored, despised, and insulted man ! and I have sworn that you shall not enjoy your victory until you are able to stand upon my prostrate body— Delenda est Carthago." " Craving your pardon, Arnott," said Mr. Rousal, " and begging you in a friendly manner to divest yourself of all unseemly choler in this matter, I insist upon my right to speak. You have honored me, Arnott, with your confidence, and requested me to act as your friend or second, to which request I acceded upon the usual conditions, viz., that it being as much of the laws of the duello as I ever did understand, the two principals having had a row or a difference, do forth- with name a friend or a second each, and then stand apart in dignified magnanimity or return to their homes at their option, while the seconds being made acquainted by their respective principals with the ramifica- tions of the subject under discussion, do without vexations delay lay their heads to- gether, confer, debate, resolve, and pronounce on three distinct points—first, whether there are reasonable grounds for quarrelling at all ; secondly, if so, to submit proposals for the re-establishment of peace ; thirdly, if so, and if the re-establishment of peace is impracticable, to see their principals through the business fairly dealt with at the usual number of paces." " Why, we know all that, Rousal," said Henry, impatiently ; " you will have plenty of time to confer with Mr. Herbart's friend when he chooses to name him." " Yes—yes, certainly," replied Rousal ; " but with your leave and with the greatest amount of deference, Arnott, I take the liberty of reminding you that in our confer- ence on the subject last night before we re- signed ourselves to somnolent influences, you gave me to understand that I should have, in conjunction with whatever gentleman this Mr. Herbart might think proper to name as his friend, the entire and complete man- agement of this affair from beginning to end, which is as I take it quite correct and proper ; but, my dear fellow, when the world gets hold of this piece of business—as, indeed, in process of time the world must get hold of it —it will be apt to provoke a smile when it is said that the crime or first principal, Henry Arnott, Esq., did appoint Thomas Wellesley Rousal, Esq., his second, and did nevertheless subsequently take all power and authority out of the hands of the aforesaid second, and did act from first to last on his own footing, and did not keep himself aloof until the final and tragical denouement, as hath been in all such causes duly made and provided." " Well," said Henry, " let me say only half a dozen more words and you shall have the business all to yourself. Mr. Herbart, I require you to renounce for over all preten- sions to the hand of Miss Maxwell, or give me instant satisfaction." " If you did not speak," said Edwin " like a sober man I would say you were drunk, and if I did not know you to be Mr. Arnott I would say you were mad ; but I protest your attitude, from whatever cause it is assumed, is dictatorial and unwarrantable ; and I treat your proposal with infinite contempt." " You hear, Rousal," said Henry, " the bantam beggar defies me ; but by Heaven I will have satisfaction." " If you mean to turn cut-throat as well as bully," said Edwin, " and assassinate me in secret you may when you like ; but if you think to make me stand out before the muzzle of your pistol to be shot at like a crow, you are mistaken ; I will not come." " You hear that Rousal," said Henry ; " a rank coward, by all that's unfortunate : I knew he was an Irish beggar, and a tear- shedding mouther of miserable verses, but I did not think he was a coward." " The tongue," replied Edwin, " is a sharp weapon, and its greatest disadvantage is that it stings as sharply from the mouth of a fool as it does from that of a philosopher." " Villain ! do you dare to call me a fool ?" shouted Henry, nearly beside himself with rage. " Softly, Arnott, softly," said Rousal, seiz- ing Henry by the arm ; " you must really allow me to make use use of the power and authority perforce and of necessity which, touching the affair now on the tapis, you thought proper to place in my hands, else if I cannot do that—I say it with respect and deference—I will just get into my saddle

again and wash my hands of the whole con- cern ; for if you will permit me to point it out to you, you will not be likely to gain any- thing by establishing or promoting an argu- mentum ad hominem here in this place, because do you perceive it is my decided opinion that you have, in your commendable eagerness to get this painful matter settled at once, commenced with omega instead of with alpha, that is at the wrong end, and taken up a position which upon patient investigation will, I doubt not, be found perfectly unten- able and hopelessly insecure : I allude to the introduction into this dispute of the honored and respected name of Miss Maxwell, which, as I last night intimated, Arnott, and will still maintain against any amount of odds, has no shadow of business to be introduced into it at all." " Sir," said Edwin, " I am but slightly acquainted with you, but I beg to express my opinion that you are a perfect gentleman, and quite right." Rousal bowed, and replied—" Sir, in matters where common ratiocination is re- quired my friends do me the justice to say that there are few who can see themselves more clearly through a difficulty ; as to being a gentleman, I was not aware that the fact admitted of any dispute, and I hope I may venture, when the present affair is satisfac- torily settled, to return that compliment. But to the business in hand. My friend Arnott, on my recommendation consenting to waive all matters in which Miss Maxwell may be directly or indirectly concerned, demands an explanation through me of another and, as it appears to me, a far more important transaction, and I could really wish to see you reetus in curia, as we lawyers say, as well on this point as on the other. To be brief : my principal, Mr. Arnott, distinctly charges, you, Mr. Edwin Herbart, with having, within the compass of one week last past, written, enclosed, ad- dressed, and transmitted a letter, upon which the construction of gross impertinence can be placed, to no less a personage than his sister, a spinster, and a lady of superior rank, enviable wealth, elegant accomplishments, and great personal attractions." " I certainly did enclose, address, and transmit a letter to Miss Arnott," replied Edwin, " but her brother here can inform you, if he thinks proper, by whom that letter was written." " Why, I understood you wrote it yourself," said Rousal, in surprise. " I did nothing of the kind," said Edwin ; " the letter was written by a certain party, and transmitted by me to Miss Arnott according to pressing request. I should be sorry to be guilty of impertinence to a lady." " Have you any objection to name the party who wrote it ?" said Rousal. " The greatest in the world ; I am not at liberty to name the party." " And do you say that Mr. Arnott knows the person who actually wrote the letter ?" demanded Rousal. " Certainly," answered Edwin, " I do say so. If he knows anything about it at all, he knows who wrote it. I only enclosed it to the lady, and by so doing I intended no im- pertinence. The letter itself was the reverse of impertinent. I wrote a few words ex- plaining why I sent her the letter, as I thought it was my duty to do so." " This is very strange," said Rousal, " there is some mystery here. Why, Arnott, Mr. Herbart acknowledges sending the letter but denies having written it ; and says, moreover, that you are well acquainted with the party who did write it !" " To cut this matter short," said Henry, awaking apparently from a dark reverie, " this person has crossed my path and blighted one of my fairest hopes—has thrust himself uncalled for between me and the ob- ject of my love, and has spoken in an over familiar manner to my sister, whom I am bound to protect : and I will not rest upon my bed until I get satisfaction for these un- pardonable wrongs." " And I will prove to the satisfaction of all reasonable people," said Edwin, " that every word you say is a scandalous falsehood. I never thrust myself between you and the object of your love : she was free to choose, and I would never think of disputing the correctness of her judgment. I never spoke in an over familiar manner to your sister, a lady for whom I had too profound a respect. I never crossed your path or blighted your fairest hopes intentionally, and I am sorry to see your valor is not displayed in a holier cause." " And what satisfaction am I to have for being called a liar ?" demanded Henry with sparkling eyes. " Whatever you like to take in which your false honor will justify you," replied Ed- win. " But be careful, my heart is not the heart of a craven ; and if any man lifts his whip to me, were he my brother, I would spurn him to the ground ; if, however, you think to frighten me into meeting you in a Godless duel, I tell you once for all I will not go : I do not seek your life, and have given you no reason to seek mine ; and be- sides my duty to God, I have this also to consider—that my mother and two sisters look to me for protection, and would not ac- cept yours if you killed me. A duelist is no better than a murderer ; at least, one who comes as you do to disturb the peace of a tranquil home by fastening a bloody quarrel upon a man who never injured you." " You are a coward and a liar !" shouted Henry, giving rapid utterance to his unjust and blind rage. " A venomous, despicable worm—a honey-mouthed, contemptible hypo- crite—a false, dastardly poltroon, who would hide himself from his just punishment be- neath any woman's mantle ! By the blood of my father, if you do not give me the meet- ing I require, I will proclaim you and adver- tise you to be all I have said for several times every year, as long a I breathe the breath of life." " Halloo— halloo— what the devil's all this ?'" said Mr. Benjamin Buffer, who unex- pectedly made his appearance on the other side of the fence, and now clambered quickly over it. If ever the mackerel eyes opened their widest and gazed their fiercest they did so then, as Buffer jumped down from the fence and iterated—" What the devil's all this ; two against one, eh ? You should have sent for me, Herbart, I'm the fellow to make peace ; strong and mighty words, Sir, off a weak stomach, if I may make so bold, hope you've had breakfast. What is it all about, Herbart ?" " O, 'tis nothing replied Edwin, " nothing very particular ; only this gentleman, who is endowed with more passion than patience, has come here to provoke an unnecessary quarrel, and is vexed because I won't fight him." " Won't fight him !" said Buffer ; " my dear fellow you must fight him ; after the language I heard him address to you it will

never do to let him got off scot free—you can't get out of it." " If you are Mr. Herbart's friend, Sir," interrupted Rousal, " and will accept at the hands of that gentleman proper credentials authorising you to act in his behalf in this matter, I shall be happy to come to an arrangement with you, and appoint a place of meeting where, undisturbed by the inequali- ties of our respective principals' ardent tem- peraments, bitter animosities, and mutual defiances and recriminations, we can argue, debate, resolve, and pronounce as aforesaid—" " I'll fight ye both," roared Buffer, clench- ing his right hand and striking it furiously upon his left palm ; " I'll fight ye both for the honor of Belle Park, and I'll tell ye what I'll do—you shall tie my left hand behind my back, and then, by the immortal thunder of Jupiter (his favorite oath when excited), I'll fight ye both." " I understood, Arnott," said the lawyer, " that all the savages had been removed from the country, but it appears we have got into a still highly favored locality." " I'll fight ye both," bellowed Benjamin, " with pistol, sword, or fist, or blunderbuss, or pitchfork." " I entreat you, Buffer, to keep yourself quiet," said Edwin ; " this is not your affair, 'tis mine, and I will decide it —allow me to introduce you as my friend to Mr. Arnott's friend, Mr. Rousal, and on my behalf I em- power you to make what arrangements you think proper." " I'll take a cattle whip," said Buffer aside to Edwin, " and give them a thrashing that they'll never forget if they become as venerable as Old Parr." " Hush, you will do nothing of the kind— Mr. Rousal, my friend Mr. Buffer will confer with you when and where you may think fit to appoint." " Then you do consent to meet my princi- pal ?" said Rousal. " I do, but he need not suppose he has frightened me by his threats which I despise, or goaded me by his false aspersions, at which I can afford to smile. I consent lest one maiden, and only one in Tasmania, should think I was unmanned by fear—she would never say so, but she might think it—and the question is decided." " Then, Sir," said Rousal, " I am happy to return your compliment—you are a gentle- man ; and for the present we tender to you our respectful adieus. Mr. Buffer, we will meet, if perfectly suitable to the convenience of a gentleman of your elegant acquirements and polite attainments, at the Marlborough Hotel, Longford, to-morrow, at noons pre- cisely, to arrange the preliminaries and dis- course upon the probable subsequentialities of this affair if I may be allowed to use the ex- pression, which is merely colloquial, you will be good enough to perceive." " I will certainly be there," said Buffer, " if my horse holds good in wind and limb." " And I suppose," continued Rousal, " there is nothing else, Arnott, to be com- mented upon at present, except that you con- sent to postpone the consummation, of this important business until Mrs. Stapleton's ball becomes, numbered amongst the events of British colonial history, to be repeated as often as you and I can persuade such fortu- nate individuals as Mr. Stapleton to call together in a whirl of rapturous enjoyment the votaries of ruddy Bacchus and the fair worshippers of the feather-footed Terpsi- chore." " Arrange what you like," said Henry, as he mounted his horse and rode off. " Well, au revoir, gentlemen," said Rousal, and he climbed into his saddle, and dis- appeared. Edwin retraced his steps to his cottage, having invited Buffer to accompany him and remain to dinner. " I could bring a beautiful plan to maturity now, if you would only let me," said the latter as they walked along. " I could get those popinjay jackdaws well soused in a horsepond after a hundred head of cattle have been through it, and it would not cost me a pound." Edwin, however, would not listen to any such expedients, and exacted a promise from Buffer that he would not say anything about the affair to his mother or either of his sisters. The ball-room of Camden Hall is brilliantly lighted with candles fixed in burnished sconces, each ornamented with either a canopy of green boughs, or a garland of fresh flowers. It is filled with a happy com- pany drawn together for scores of miles over villainous roads to celebrate the coming of age of Herman, the heir (so report said, which never lies) of one hundred thousand acres of Tasmanian hill and valley. The smiling host and hostess sit at the top of the a large room, and kindly welcome their guests as they arrive. Grave seniors, who have battled almost single-handed with the "forest primeval" in its most forbidding aspects, sit around in the revered dignity of snowy locks, their days of trouble and care gone by for ever. Ladies of middle age sit there, and re- call with blushes and smiles of pleasure the memory of their youthful days. Young mothers with tender charges dreaming dreams of innocent infancy in adjacent apart- ments, and maidens in the bloom of woman- hood are there, the gayest of the gay, the brightest of the bright, decked out in the artless and modest finery in which their happy husbands and fathers love to see them adorned. Fair young girls, laughing, beauti- ful young girls, just opening upon the world like the rosebuds of the spring, are there, chatting merrily with each other, and criticising with rosy roguish glances the move- ment of the youthful beaux, who hover about like bees from flower to flower. Happy creatures ! long may your joys continue un- disturbed by care and heart-withering sor- row. We see in that gay and truly respectable assembly our fair heroine and her friend Isabel, and seated near them we perceive Miss Caroline Earlsley and her interesting sister Ada. Griselda has rather a sad and dejected look, her face somewhat paler than usual, and her gentle blue eyes wearing a careworn, unhappy expression. Isabel, on the contrary is in high spirits, and seems de- termined to enjoy the fleeting moments as they fly, for such happy re-unions were in her opinion too rare in a practical outlandish colony not to be enjoyed with full zest when they came. Henry Arnott is there, his handsome face a little disfigured by a haughty and stern aspect, while his dark eyes peer round the room feasting themselves upon each pretty face in its turn. Mr. Rousal is there with a scarlet face, a white cravat, and hair oiled and scented, laying down the law in a magniloquent speech to a Deputy-Commisary General. Now and again could be heard in the throng the merry laugh of Charles Maxwell, and seen the solemn visage of Eugene which only

wanted a pair of spectacles to induce the vulgar to mistake him for a professor of heathen mythology. The hero of the evening, Mr. Herman Stapleton, a well-looking, but somewhat brusque youth, began to take his rounds in search of a partner, at the same moment his two sisters, sweet girls of seventeen and nineteen, in lavender colored silks with wreaths of flowers in their hair, seated themselves at the piano and commenced to play a dashing quadrille. Fairy cups of tea and coffee had just been handed round accompanied by wafers of cake, ghosts of small sandwiches, and shadows of bread and butter, and the buzz of conversation, deep and universal, had reached its climax. Now, however, it was whispered along the serried ranks of cherry-lips that Herman was going to choose his partner, and, according to his lady mother's expressed wish, whatever fair one he would happen to choose should be hailed by general, but not loud acclamations, as the belle or beauty of the ball-room. The cherry-lips were mute accordingly when the important personage approached, attended by a staunch friend of his father's, a jovial captain in the navy, who constituted himself master of the ceremonies. With measured stops he sauntered half list- lessly around the occupied seats, until making a sudden pause he plucked the captain by the sleeve and begged to be introduced to the fair young lady with the blue eyes. The captain smiled paternally, bowed politely, and craved permission to introduce Mr. Herman Staple- ton to—whom could it be, smiling reader, but Griselda ? of course it was Griselda,— who, coloring up with sudden surprise, arose, courtsied, and accepted the proffered arm— to open the ball with the happy hero. But before he took his place at the head of the room he led his partner to where his lady mother was seated, who, rising from her chair, advanced a step or two, kissed Griselda with a maternal smile, and said—" Herman, I commend your taste—I am glad to wel- come to-night the fair rose of Bremgarten." Such unexpected honor was too much for our heroine,—a mist swam before her eyes, the lights danced confusedly, she grew suddenly pale, and fell back into the arms of the alarmed captain—she had fainted. The whole room was at once in commo- tion, and all the guests thronged up to the scene of the unfortunate occurrence. The question "What is the matter with Miss Maxwell ?" was bandied from lip to lip, but nobody thought of answering it. Eugene and Charles ran up hastily, one sprinkled her face with water, the other held a smelling bottle to her nose, but they might have saved themselves the trouble. It was nothing but a mere fainting fit, and would be soon over. Under Mrs. Stapleton's di- rection her brothers carried her into a quiet apartment and laid her on a sofa where she soon recovered, and little Ada Earlsley volunteered to sit with and take care of her. Mr. Her- man forthwith chose another partner, and the festivities proceeded. We must withdraw ourselves from amongst the grace- ful dancers, and close our ears to the ravish- ing music, and, hardest task of all, rudely tear ourselves away, from the tempting supper- table, which groans with savory meats and choice delicacies. Some humble bread and cheese, and by filling our hungry stomachs banish the voluptuous visions of the brain : there is work to be done to-morrow ! At seven o'clock the rising sun was in time to see the weary revellers preparing to return to their homes. Scores of prancing steeds awaited, in the care of not duly-qualified or very sober ostlers, the coming of their masters. Carriages, dog carts, and gigs were ready, and one or two bovine conveyances could be observed at a respectful distance. Forth came, after affectionate leave-takings; the matrons escorted by their sons, the young mothers, soothing their tender charges, by their atten- tive husbands, and the maidens by their brothers and other less interesting friends. Isabel and the two Misses Earlsley got into the spring cart, which was driven by Arthur Earlsley, junior ; and Henry mounted his horse to ride behind them, carrying a loaded gun in his hand. Griselda was not with them, having gladly accepted an invitation to remain at Camden Hall for a week at least, as she felt too much indiposed to travel nearly fifty miles that day. Eugene and Charles being on horseback, were in no hurry to take leave of the retiring maidens ; they said they would soon overtake Henry and the ladies, who could be jogging steadily on. It was an autumn morning, fair and bright. The fresh green grass, renewed by recent showers and a second spring, was spangled with a copious dew ; and the yellow flowers with which the surrounding slopes and plains were covered imparted a fragrance to the air, which would not be despised by the most fastidious stay-at-home in happy England itself. Oh, how that word ENGLAND thrills through our heart like a flash of elec- tric fire ! When shall we see thee and press thy soil again, thou great and glorious land— thou fair and, happy home of liberty and love ? Long mayest thou reign supreme and rule the ocean waves, destined, we hope, to be greater than thou hast ever been. And thou, too, sweet Ireland, which we hail as part of England, horrified Mitchells and O'Briens notwithstanding, when shall we see thee again, our dear birthplace ?—the home of our childhood—absent indeed to our eyes for nineteen long years, but ever, ever pre- sent in our thoughts. Pardon our emotion, and this digression, kind reader : we will hurry to a close. It is folly to linger over a tale already too long, and sufficiently tedious, we are afraid, how- ever pleasing it may be to us to tax your patience to the utmost. Henry Arnott, as we have said, rode behind the spring cart in which his sister and the Fingal magistrate's daughters were seated, his horse champing his bit impatiently, vexed at not being al- lowed to go at his favorite pace, a brisk can- ter. All Isabel's gaiety had returned to her, and she laughed and chatted as the cart jolted over the stones, amusing herself the while by eating almonds, of which she had a fair sup- ply in her reticule. " You did not tell me, Henry, how the race came off," she said ; " how many thou- sands did you lose or hundreds did you win ?" A perceptible shade flitted across Henry's features as he replied with an affectation of carelessness— " Oh ! Rousal insisted upon postponing the match as one of the animals was a little touched in the wind ; but it is fixed to come off early next week, and I mean to be there. What are you eating ?" "Almonds," said his sister ; " will you have some ?" " I will," replied Henry, " and glad to get them ; put a few in the stock of my gun ; this horse is afraid you will pinch his nose ; enough." '' Be careful, for goodness sake," said

Isabel, as she placed a handful of the almonds on the gun-stock as requested. But ah ; what genius presiding in the affairs of men prompted the horse to stumble violently at that unguarded moment, so as nearly to throw his rider over his head ? Henry drew the reins and grasped the gun tighter—the stock struck heavily against the stones— the charge exploded ! the fatal ball entered the unfortu- nate young man's left cheek and passed through his head ; and with an unfinished ejaculation of " O, my God !" he fell to the ground a corpse! Young Earlsely, after checking the sudden start of his horse spr ng from his seat, and his sisters rose up screaming with terror. Isabel —struck with tremendous awe—paralyzed and confounded—sat still ; but awaking to the terrible reality of the scene, she leaped from the vehicle, knelt down beside the body, buried her face in the still warm bosom, and called upon Henry to speak to her. But perceiving he was dead she turned her face upward and rent the air with her cries ; and in the intervals of her screaming cried aloud in her great agony—' O, my dear Henry ! my lost and murdered brother !—O unhappy and fatal country !—bathed in blood—shocking, fearful dream—O, unfortunate Henry !—O, wretched ! wretched ! wretched ! Isabel." It is scarcely necessary to dwell upon the events subsequent to this great catastrophe. How Eugene and Charles rode up in breathless haste, and gazed upon the lifeless clay no lately full of health and manly vigor, the world before him, the master of a splendid inheritance ; how the body was con- veyed to the nearest farm-house to await an inquest, and when all formalities were over, borne to the little church-yard to rest beside his venerable sire ; how Isobel was taken back to Camden Hall where she lay attended by her faithful Griselda, hovering between life and death for many weeks ; how she even- tually recovered and left the colony to rejoin her sole guardian, her elder brother under the protection of Eugene ; and how Griselda re- turned to Bremgarten in ' maiden meditation fancy free,' having declined with thankful firmness the honor of becoming the wife of Herman Stapleton. In the afternoon of the day on which the fatal accident happened a horseman whose steed betrayed symptoms of having travelled with great rapidity, knocked loudly at the door of Edwin's cottage and handed in a letter sealed with black wax ; then without waiting to be questioned rode away as quickly as he had come. The missive was addressed '—Buffer. Esq., Belle Park,' and Edwin sent his brother with it to the residence of that gentleman. In about half-an-hour Buffer burst into the garden waving the open letter over his head, and shouted to Edwin, who met him at the door—He's dead—the poor devil is dead—and won't trouble you, my boy, any more." Edwin, in great surprise, took the letter and read as follows :— Toppleton Cottage, Longford. Friday, noon. ———Buffer, Esq., SIR,—The painful duty devolves upon me of making you acquainted with the painful fact that further proceedings in the cause of Arnott versus Herbart are necessarily stayed by order of the great Arbiter in the affairs of mankind—Destiny. The plain- tiff in the action has mirabile dictu become caput mortuum having shot himself by accident at a quarter past eight o'clock precisely this morning. It remains for you, Sir, to acquaint your princi- pal with the sudden termination thus put to an affair so highly agreeable to a gentleman of your profound discrimination and superior polish—and permit me the honor of subscribing myself, Sir, Your humble and obliged servant, T. WELLESLY ROUSAL. " Can you translate his infernal latin ?" said Buffer. " Poor fellow," said Edwin, his thoughts dwelling upon his late fiery antagonist, " had he shed his blood in the defence of his coun- try it would have envied him his death—but it should never have been shed by me." " About this barbarous latin," said Buffer ; " what does it mean ?" " Versus means against," said Edwin. " I know that," said Buffer. " This other stuff ?" " Well, if I remember rightly, mirabile dicta means a wonderful thing to tell, and caput mortuum alludes to the dead body, the remains." " Confound him, he might have said as much in English, but really the pedantic assumption of learning by some curious folk is most extraordinary, but I am never deceived by such people, as I flatter myself I am a shrewd observer of passing events." " If it did not seem too much like indiffer- ence on to the untimely death of my foe, that misguided young man, Henry Arnott," said Edwin, " I would beg to recall to your recol- lection, Buffer, a certain mope-hawk and the name of Mr. Phœbus Cowslip, who congratu- lated you upon one occasion on keeping vinegar for your friends to drink." " Oh !" said Buffer, " have a little mercy, here are the ladies returning from their walk —let bygones be bygones, and don't mention that horrid wretch's name." (To be continued.)