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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 2 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v2].
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Front matter Covers, Edges and Spine

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according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by
in the Clerk's of the District Court of the United States,
for the Southern District of New York.
No. 112 Folton Street, New-York. Main text

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HARRY FRANCO. — CHAPTER 1. Get settled in a genteel boarding house. Grow sublime.

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

It was almost two years since I left New York
in the Two Marys, but when I stepped ashore
from the ferry boat by the Catharine Market,
every thing looked as natural and as unchanged
as though I had been absent but a day. I looked
around in the expectation of seeing some familiar
face into which I could look for a smile of welcome.
There was an old red faced apple woman
sitting under the shade of a tattered canvass

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awning, brushing away the flies from her little
pyramids of dusty fruit, with a palmetto leaf in
one hand, while with her other she wiped the perspiration
from her broad face. Close by, was a
negro opening hard shelled clams, with a red flannel
shirt on his back, and a bell crowned brown
beaver hat on his head. Not far from him was a
young girl in a black silk dress and a tattered leghorn
hat, selling ice cream; and near her was a
negro wench, sitting on a curb stone, and crying
out in the most heart-rending tone imaginable,
“Here's your nice hot corn.” Three or four
cartmen, in dirty frocks, were seated on their cart
tails, each of them studying a penny paper, apparently
with the most intense curiosity. There
were also wood sawyers sitting listlessly on their
bucks, and spruce looking gentlemen, very much
dressed, with glass show cases on the side walk,
displaying quantities of jewelry, and soaps, and
penknives; and there was an old man, very poorly
dressed, with an assortment of second hand books
and tattered maps.

These might all have been old acquaintances of
mine, for aught that I knew to the contrary.
They looked extremely natural, and even familiar;
but as I could call neither of them by name, I

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passed on, feeling lonesome and down hearted. I
longed to grasp somebody by the hand.

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

I found the place where I had left Mrs. Riggs'
house standing, with a brass plate on the door;
but no house stood there now: a street had been
cut through the very spot, and towering high brick
stores, with square granite pillars, had sprung up

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all around it. I could hardly believe that it was
the same place; but I inquired in one of the stores,
and found that it was. I inquired about Mrs.
Riggs, and was told that she had sold her lease to
an operator, in real estate, for ten thousand dollars;
and that she kept a genteel boarding house
in Broadway. I took her number, and soon found
the house. It appeared to me to be on the most
magnificent scale. There was a large silver plateon
the door, with “Riggs” engraved on it; it is not
a very imposing name in itself, but being surrounded
with a good many flourishes, it made a very
respectable appearance. I pulled the bell handle,
and the door was opened by a black man, with
gold lace on his coat collar, much finer than our
lieutenant of marines. He showed me into the
parlor, and Mrs. Riggs soon made her appearance;
she wore more ribands, and wrinkles too,
than when I saw her last; but I knew her, the
moment she entered, and I jumped up and took
her hand, and shook it very heartily; but she drew
back, and I was surprised when I found that she did
not recognise me.

I explained to her who I was, and then I had the
additional mortification of learning that she had
forgotten that she ever did know me; but it was
still a pleasure to me to see her, and I engaged

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the only vacant room she had. Her charges were
just treble what they were in Pearl street, and the
dinner hour was changed from two to five o'clock.

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

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

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

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

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

“Been travelling?” asked Mrs. Riggs.

“Some,” I replied.

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

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

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

“Somewhere in that neighborhood,” I answered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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entitle me to the respect of my cousin. And that I
might not be turned from my purpose, I determined
to keep my arrival at New York a secret
from my parents. I struggled hard with my feelings
in forming this determination, and many bitter
tears it cost me.

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

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

Men have delivered themselves of maudlin sublimity
before now, and much of it has been well
received by the world; why should not I do the
same? It was the last strain of the kind in which

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I indulged, and it shall not be lost to the lovers of
fine writing.

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

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CHAPTER II. Magnificent Prospects.

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

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

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to make preparations for breakfast, like seven
bells on board a man of war.

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

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and nibbled a piece of dry toast, as genteelly as I

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

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

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

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

“I believe so,” said another gentleman.

“And so do I,” said Mrs. Riggs; “there was
my milkman, old poppy Van Krouteater, which
served his customers with milk only last Tuesday
morning, rode past here yesterday afternoon
in his own carriage, with two great black
Long Island niggers, all dressed in beautiful

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liveries. He had sold his farm for almost a million
of dollars, on the condition that the purchaser
should build a town on it, and call it Van Krouteater

“That's nothing at all,” said the gentleman
with the fiery whiskers; “there was a reskill of a
hackdriver called for me yesterday while I was
into Bleecker's, at the sale of some splendid lots in
Bulwer city, and he popped his ugly head into
the auction room just as the auctioneer was going
to knock down a corner lot at twenty-two hundred
dollars, `what shall I say for you,' said the
auctioneer, catching the twinkle of the hackman's
eye; `twenty-four,' replied the scamp, meaning the
number of his coach. `Twenty-four hundred
dollars,' exclaimed the auctioneer; and down
went the hammer. `What name, sir,' said the auctioneer.
`Barney,' said the hackman. `What is
your first name, Mr. Barney?' said the auctioneer.
`Sure that is my first name,' said the hackman.
`Ah, then what is your last name, sir?' said the
auctioneer. `McFee,' says Barney. Now when
Barney found he had bought a corner lot for
twenty-four hundred dollars, without knowing it,
he almost went crazy, he was so frightened, for
he hadn't twenty-four cents in the world to bless
himself with. So the auctioneer put the lot up

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again on Barney's account, and I wish I
may never sell another piece of property if he
didn't get forty-eight hundred dollars for it; so
Barney made twenty-four hundred dollars by the

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

Here all was bustle, and life, and gentility; the
side walks were filled with well dressed men, some
of whom carried long half bound books under
their arms, and others maps in their hands. The
walls of the houses, the trunks of the trees, the
fences, and the lamp posts, exhibited innumerable
plans of lithographed towns and cities, which were
to be disposed of at auction, on the most liberal
terms. Every man's face wore a keen and anxious
expression; a vacant stare was not to be encountered
in that whole assemblage of busy men. Every
body was talking to somebody, or watching for
something. The questions most frequently heard
were, “how's stocks?” “how's lots?” “how's
money?” And the answers almost invariably given

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were, “up,” “so, so,” and “tight.” Nobody appeared
to have an inclination to inquire after any
body's wife and children, nor to make any sagacious
remarks about the weather.

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

“But,” said Mr. Worhoss, “as the committee of
literary gentlemen were a stupid set of fellows, they
rejected my article, and, consequently, you cannot
expect me to return the money; the fault was all

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theirs, and not mine; so you will know where to
lay the blame.”

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

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

“Some,” I replied.

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

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

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

I replied that nothing would be more agreeable
to me; upon which he instantly unrolled the paper
which he carried under his arm, and displayed to
me a lithographed map of Gowannus city. I had

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no recollection of ever having heard of such a city;
but Mr. Worhoss told me it was one of the most
prosperous in the union; and truly it had a very
pleasant appearance on paper. It was regularly
laid out with avenues and streets intersecting each
other at right angles, and plentifully ornamented
with squares and public places, with the very
grandest names.

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

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

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

Such magnificent prospects almost deprived me
of breath. In my wildest dreams of fortune, I had
never imagined any thing half as brilliant. One

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hundred thousand dollars! The very mention of
it bewildered me. But Mr. Worhoss spoke very
coolly about it, and said such operations were of
daily occurrence. He invited me into a coffee-house
near by, and asked me to take a mint julep,
and then took me down to an auction store in
Broad street, where there was a sale of lots, that
I might see with my own eyes the manner in
which fortunes were made.

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

For my own part, I was strongly tempted to
make a bid, but remembering my former speculation
in an auction room, I restrained my desires

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to purchase “fast property” in spite of all the
seductive temptations with which I was beset.

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

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

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

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

I replied that I had some thoughts of doing so,
upon hearing which he winked to me knowingly;
and while Mr. Worhoss was occupied in reading
an advertisement, he whispered in my ear,

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and told me not to make any purchases until I
had first called at his office, and looked at a map
of a city in which he was interested in Ouisconsin;
and slipping his card into my hand, he bade me
good morning, and left me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“As a jobber?” I inquired, wishing to make myself

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

“Is it possible!” I exclaimed.

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

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

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

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

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

I thanked Mr. Dooitt, with great fervency, for
his kind offers, and as he saw my eyes fill with
tears, he very considerately turned the

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conversation, and told me he intended, as soon as he could
arrange his affairs, to go to Europe, where his father's
relations were living.

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

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

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

“Mr. Franco,” I said, blushing very red.

“Mr. Franco,” said Mr. Dooitt.

-- 025 --

[figure description] Page 025.[end figure description]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had not the slightest knowledge of the value
of furniture, but I felt ashamed to say so, and I
guessed a thousand dollars. At which Mr. and

-- 026 --

[figure description] Page 026.[end figure description]

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

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

I had eaten a hearty dinner at five o'clock, and

-- 027 --

[figure description] Page 027.[end figure description]

the champagne which I had just drank, had given
me a perfect loathing for food, and I was distressed
beyond measure by Mr. Dooitt and his wife, pressing
me to eat, sometimes alternately, and sometimes

“Have you got the dyspepsia?” asked Mrs. D.

“Aint you a Grahamite?” asked Mr. D.

“Why dont you eat?” ejaculated both together.

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

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

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

He said the kind of interest he meant, was to
buy some of the lots. He offered them to me on
the same terms that Mr. Worhoss had; but as I
had promised that gentleman that I would not
make any purchase, without consulting him, I was
obliged to decline Mr. Dooitt's liberal offer.
Finding that I would not buy any lots, he said if
I would lend him a thousand dollars, he would

-- 028 --

[figure description] Page 028.[end figure description]

allow one quarter per cent. interest per day for it,
and give me some endorsed paper as collateral
security. By doing this, he remarked, my money
would not remain idle an hour

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

As I am writing my own adventures, I might,
of course, pass over all my own weaknesses without
noticing them, and so give the reader a more
favorable impression of my character than it

-- 029 --

[figure description] Page 029.[end figure description]

might deserve; but that, I conceive, would be
acting unfairly, and I shall therefore make a record
of my foibles with as much candor, as though
I were writing the adventures of somebody else.

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

I got to my boarding house about midnight,
and went to bed, and awoke the next morning
with a burning thirst, and a terrible feeling in my
head. At the breakfast-table, I nibbled my toast,
and sipped my coffee, with as poor an appetite as
the greatest gentleman could desire. There was

-- 030 --

[figure description] Page 030.[end figure description]

not the least affectation in the mincing airs which
I exhibited. I felt miserably enough.

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

For my own part, I thought the best plan would
be to employ the gentleman who published the
reports of the fashions, but Mr. Worhoss said it
was a decidedly vulgar concern, and I allowed
myself to be guided by his better judgment. He
took me to the establishment of the celebrated Mr.

-- 031 --

[figure description] Page 031.[end figure description]

Suffers, in Broadway, and introduced me to him,
and I submitted myself to the hands of that accomplished
gentleman, who took my measure for
a full suit, consisting of a black dress coat
with a velvet collar, a green satin vest, and a pair
of pantaloons of ribbed cassimere. Mr. Suffers
recommended me to have my coat of inwisible
green, and althoughit was, no doubt, presumption
in me to differ from such high authority in
matters of dress, yet I insisted on having black.

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

Time passed pleasantly away for a few days;
I became acquainted with a good many genteel
young men, and a good many lucky speculators
in lots—noble, whole souled fellows, who spared
no expense in promoting their own pleasures,
but who were quite indifferent about the happiness
of others. Female society I was a stranger
to, but I did not regret it. The gentle image of

-- 032 --

[figure description] Page 032.[end figure description]

Georgiana De Lancey, which grew brighter and
brighter in my memory, was all-sufficient for me.
I felt myself in honor bound, for her sake, to
keep aloof from all woman kind.

-- 033 --

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

[figure description] Page 033.[end figure description]

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

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

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

I had set my heart upon a hundred thousand,
so I did not feel much elated when I found I
should be worth only half that snm. I asked Mr.

-- 034 --

[figure description] Page 034.[end figure description]

Worhoss if he would oblige me by selling me one
hundred more lots at the same price, if I should
want them.

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

“What are water lots?” I inquired.

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

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

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

So I ran in great haste to the office of Mr.
Dooitt, and requested that lucky operator to give
me a check for the amount I had loaned him.
But Mr. Dooitt requested me to call at some other

-- 035 --

[figure description] Page 035.[end figure description]

time, as he was busily engaged in transferring
some property.

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

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

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

I was quite overcome with his politeness, and
in my turn inquired after his health, the health of
Mrs. Dooitt, and the health of the little boy; and

-- 036 --

[figure description] Page 036.[end figure description]

then added, that he would oblige me by returning
the money which I had loaned him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There is no need of my repeating it,” I said,

-- 037 --

[figure description] Page 037.[end figure description]

“but I repeat that I want my money, and I must
have it, and I will have it.”

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

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

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

Seeing Mr. Slobber's name on a tin plate on

-- 038 --

[figure description] Page 038.[end figure description]

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

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

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

“Come in,” exclaimed a voice inside.

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

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

“I wanted to speak with Mr. Slobber,” I replied.

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

“I have a claim for a thousand dollars,” I replied,
“against a gentleman, who has not only

-- 039 --

[figure description] Page 039.[end figure description]

refused to pay me, but has insulted me grossly. I
should like to take out a writ immediately, and
have him sent to prison.”

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

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

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

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

It was a little old fashioned room, with a very
low ceiling, and from its shape and situation, I
presume it had once been used for a dining-room;
from the dusky appearance of the wall, and the
tattered condition of the paper with which the sides

-- 040 --

[figure description] Page 040.[end figure description]

were covered, and the venerable looking cobwebs
which rounded off all the angles, it would not be
unfair to infer that neither mop, broom, nor duster,
had invaded its precincts since the late war.

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

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

-- 041 --

[figure description] Page 041.[end figure description]

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

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

“I suppose it is,” I replied.

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, sir,” said Mr. Slobber, “as you have
paid me for my adwice, of course I shall give the
best I am capable of. Don't think of going to law,

-- 042 --

[figure description] Page 042.[end figure description]

you will only incur a heavy bill of costs for nothing.
The note isn't worth two stwaws.”

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

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

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

“Tainted with woosuwy, sir,” replied the lawyer.

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

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

-- 043 --

[figure description] Page 043.[end figure description]

office. He even went so far as to say, he didn't
owe me a copper.

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

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

My feelings were almost too keen for endurance;
the sudden overthrow of my hopes, left me without
one prop; so deep and bitter was my grief,
that I was denied the poor solace of tears. I am
ashamed to confess that I had recourse to the vulgar
expedient of drinking brandy to drown my
reflections. Having, as I thought, drank myself

-- 044 --

[figure description] Page 044.[end figure description]

into an oblivious condition, I staggered to my
chamber, and threw myself upon the bed, and was
tormented in my drunken sleep with visions, a
thousand times more frightful than any that my
sober senses could have conjured up.

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

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

I made out to swallow one cup of coffee, and
then I left the table with my blood in a

-- 045 --

[figure description] Page 045.[end figure description]

commotion. I knew not which way to turn, nor whither
to go for relief; but with the hope of diverting
my thoughts from my melancholy situation, I took
a stroll through Broadway.

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

When I went to my boarding house to dinner,
I was struck aghast by the sight of my bill, which
Mrs. Riggs put into my hand as soon as I entered
the parlor door. I took it in as careless a manner
as I could, and told her I expected to receive
some money in the morning, when I would pay it.
My manner did not seem to impress my landlady

-- 046 --

[figure description] Page 046.[end figure description]

very favorably, and when I went up to my chamber,
I found the door locked; I asked for the key,
and was told that I could not have it until I had
paid my bill.

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

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

Let those enervate gentlemen who turn and
toss through a weary night, and rise from their
beds more fatigned than refreshed in the morning,
try a night's lodging on one of the battery

-- 047 --

[figure description] Page 047.[end figure description]

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

-- 048 --

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

[figure description] Page 048.[end figure description]

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

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

-- 049 --

[figure description] Page 049.[end figure description]

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

-- 050 --

[figure description] Page 050.[end figure description]

pleasant. But I continued on my way until I arrived
opposite to the door of a cook shop, which
emitted such a delicious odour of fried eels, and
other delicacies peculiar to that quarter, that I
found it impossible to resist the temptation to go

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

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

“Beans,” I replied, for I had not the power o

“Small plate or large?” he asked.

“Large,” I replied, of course.

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

It was a large plate of smoking warm baked

-- 051 --

[figure description] Page 051.[end figure description]

beans, with a slice of pork, the rind nicely checkered
and most deliciously browned, lying on top;
there was a pickled cucumber on the edge of the
plate, and a slice of bread stuck on the end of the

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

“I suppose, bossy, you mean to pay for that

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

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

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

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

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

“That is a magnificent vest of yours,” said a
man who set at a table opposite, and whom I had
not observed until he spoke. “Why don't you

-- 052 --

[figure description] Page 052.[end figure description]

offer it to Mr. Stewpy in pledge, and take your
plate again?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I could eat something more,” I replied.

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

I improved the hint of the stranger, and

-- 053 --

[figure description] Page 053.[end figure description]

requested Mr. Stewpy to bring two pieces of pie and two
glasses of beer.

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

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

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

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

“Why so?” I inquired.

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

“I must acknowledge I have not.”

-- 054 --

[figure description] Page 054.[end figure description]

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

“Is it possible?” I exclaimed.

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

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

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

“I dare say it is,” I replied.

“I perfectly detest it,” he said.

“Then why do you come here?”

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

“O, I dare say I shall,” I replied, for I was
very curious to know why a gentleman should

-- 055 --

[figure description] Page 055.[end figure description]

visit an eating-house which he detested so

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

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

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

“I cannot say I do.”

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


“He was another. Sons of Fame, but heirs
of Indigence.”

“Poor fellows!” I ejaculated.

-- 056 --

[figure description] Page 056.[end figure description]

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

“Not I, for one,” I replied.

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

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

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

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

I blushed at the question, and replied, “down

“On the battery?” he asked.

“Sometimes,” I replied, affecting to speak

“It is getting to be too common on the battery,”
said the poet; “there are so many low characters
resort there for a lodging, it makes it
quite disagreeable for a gentleman of any sensibility.
Now Washington Square is quite select,
beautiful, clean spot, elegant houses; Waverley
Place is quite a poetical name. Then there is

-- 057 --

[figure description] Page 057.[end figure description]

the University, it imparts a classic gusto to the
reflection of having slept under its shadow.”

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

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

During the remainder of the day I sauntered
about from street to street, reading the names on
the door plates, and trying to beguile the time,
and cheat myself with idle surmises and conjecture
about the occupants of the houses. But the day
wore away very slowly. I thought the sun would
never go down. By and by, however, it was
dark, and then I walked through the most frequented
streets, up and down Broadway, and
round and round the park. I looked with envy
upon the watchmen, as they walked their prescribed
limits. They had something to walk for;
they were occupied; they were paid for

-- 058 --

[figure description] Page 058.[end figure description]

sauntering. Every body I met appeared to be engaged
about something. On what a variety of errands
were the multitudes bound who passed me. I
alone was without an aim.

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

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

I found that he had not overrated it. The
houses were elegant, the grounds were neat, and
the university, though looming up in the moonlight
like a mountain of snow, cast a broad dark

-- 059 --

[figure description] Page 059.[end figure description]

shadow around. Fortunately, the large door in
front was left open, and I took the liberty of entering
the hall, and coiling myself up on the marble

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

The weather was comparatively mild and
pleasant when I fell asleep, but during the night,
one of those changes, so common in our climate,
had taken place, and a dry, piercing cold wind now
swept through the streets, converting heaps of
mud and filth into clouds of fine and penetrating
dust. The shop doors were all closed, and men
hurried through the streets, wrapped in their
cloaks, and their hats drawn tightly over their
eyes, and their heads bowed down to keep the
dust out of their faces, as it met them in spiral
eddies at the corners of the avenues. The omnibuses
were all crowded, for nobody would venture
to walk through clouds of dust and coal
ashes, when they could ride under cover for a
shilling; and the little ragged omnibus boys
would hardly condescend to take their hands out
of their pockets, to open the doors for

-- 060 --

[figure description] Page 060.[end figure description]

passengers. A poor seamstress, but slenderly protected
from the cold wind by a thin shawl, might be seen
here and there, hurrying to her daily task. Little
barefooted boys were crying out, `here's the
Sun,' in shrill piping voices, while their teeth
chattered together, and their faces were blue with
cold. Although I was compelled to walk very
fast to keep myself from shivering, and sometimes
by the force of a sudden gust of wind, I
could not help noticing these poor creatures, and
envying them, miserable though they were. They
had something to do.

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

The apparition which I encountered was not
of the spectral order; it would have startled me
less if it had been; but it was a ruddy cheeked,
hearty looking young man. It was none other

-- 061 --

[figure description] Page 061.[end figure description]

than my haughty cousin, whose unfeeling taunts
had driven me from my home, to seek a fortune
in the world. He was elegantly and warmly
clad, with a fur collar to his outside coat; he was
leaning on the arm of a young man, and laughing
right heartily, apparently at some observation of
his companion. As soon as I caught sight of
him, I crossed over to the opposite side of the
street, hoping to escape his notice; but he recognised
me, and called out my name. But I kept
on my way without turning my head, and heard
him exclaim, “I told you so; remember what I
told you.” And then he and his companion

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

I had unconsciously strayed into a wretched
street, the houses of which on either side were
disgustingly mean and filthy in their appearance.
Vile looking women, negroes, and squalid children,
hogs, and all manner of unclean things,

-- 062 --

[figure description] Page 062.[end figure description]

were seen all around; and oaths, and lewd talk,
and boisterous revelry, without mirth, were
heard proceeding from the cellars and shop doors.
I did not know before that there was such a vile
and wretched spot in the city, and I spoke to a
negro woman, who sat on the sill of a cellar door,
smoking a pipe, and asked her what place it

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

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

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

“Where is your mother?” I asked.

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

I had nothing to give, not even a penny, but I

-- 063 --

[figure description] Page 063.[end figure description]

could not resist the appeal of the little creature,
and I followed it through a dirty narrow passage,
into a little square court, surrounded by old wooden
sheds, in a most ruinous and dilapidated condition.

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

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

-- 064 --

[figure description] Page 064.[end figure description]

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

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

-- 065 --

[figure description] Page 065.[end figure description]

sobbed aloud, and the gentle being at her side,
when she laid down her book, spoke a few words
to her, and then took off her bonnet, and knelt
down by the bedside to pray.

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

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

Had she been a stranger to me, I could not have
looked upon her unmoved. Had I never loved
her before, I must have loved her then. When I
saw her last, she was in a crowded theatre, amid
the glare of bright lights, and surrounded by forms
and faces, perhaps as beautiful as her own, and I
thought her then the loveliest vision that had ever
been revealed to mortal eyes. In the two years
that had elapsed, she had grown in stature, and,
if possible, in beauty, and now I saw her in her
proper sphere, like one of God's particular angels,
just lighted upon earth on an errand of love.

-- 066 --

[figure description] Page 066.[end figure description]

When I saw her last, I had some hope, but now I
had none. I had not the courage to hope to be
ever admitted into her society. I felt the wretchedness
of my condition in all its force. I had
struggled in vain. The objects at which I aimed
could never be mine; they were placed at an immeasurable
distance from me. I felt that I was
doomed to misery; the prophetic words of my
cousin had been again repeated, but I had no kind
parents now upon whose bosom I could pour out
my grief, and no tender sister to mingle her tears
with mine. But I could die, and I exulted in the
thought. Death would not turn from me. I resolved
to die, and I felt calm.

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

-- 067 --

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

[figure description] Page 067.[end figure description]

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

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

This is a humiliating confession to make, and
perhaps justice to myself would allow me to withhold
it; but as I am writing a true history of my

-- 068 --

[figure description] Page 068.[end figure description]

adventures, and not a fictitious story, I feel bound
to record it.

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

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

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

“Hallo, shipmate!”

But as I did not know him, I supposed he

-- 069 --

[figure description] Page 069.[end figure description]

wanted to pick a quarrel with me, and so I turned my
back upon him, without noticing him.

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

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

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

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

“What, is it Jerry?” I exclaimed.

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

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

-- 070 --

[figure description] Page 070.[end figure description]

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

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

Jerry swore that I looked more ship-shape, and
something like a man in my new dress, or rather
my old one, and he was so well pleased with my
appearance, that he insisted on taking me up
stairs into the parlor to introduce me to Miss
Mary Ann, the landlord's daughter. As I saw

-- 071 --

[figure description] Page 071.[end figure description]

Jerry thought it would be conferring a great
honor upon me, I made no objection, and was
accordingly introduced to the young lady.

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

-- 072 --

[figure description] Page 072.[end figure description]

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

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

In the evening, the sailors grew very boisterous,
and to escape from the noise and confusion,
I went up to Miss Mary Ann's parlour, where I
found a gentleman seated alongside of her, whom
she introduced to me as Mr. Davis, mate of one
of the liners. He was a stout young man, with
light hair, and a florid complexion; dressed in a
blue coat, with bright buttons, and a white vest,
and a very high shirt collar. He was balancing
himself on the hind legs of his chair, when I

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entered, but on being introduced to me, he rose and
shook me by the hand, and said he should be
much pleased to see me on board the Columby.
He then took his seat and balanced himself as
before, and after a few minutes silence, he asked
me if I had heard any news.

I answered that I had not.

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

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

I told him I had not.

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

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

I was quite taken by surprise, and was just going
to ask her what she meant, when a glance

-- 074 --

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from her roguish black eye gave me to understand
that I must remain mute.

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

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

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

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sweetest smiles upon me whenever I was present.

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

“The long and the short of it is, Harry,” he
said, “I have been very misfortunate; I never
was caught in a white squall before, and now I
have lost every rag of canvass; blown clean out
of the bolt ropes; not a thread left. You see the
facts of the case is simply this: I got into a hack
as was standing before the door here yesterday,
for a bit of a ride. Where shall I drive, says
the hackman; any where, says I. Well, that is
no where, says the driver, so I'll stop here until
you conclude on something a little more particular.
Just then, I recollected there was a
young woman of my acquaintance as lived up
town, and which I wanted to see. So I gave
the hackman her number, and told him to drive
me there. When we got there, I squared the
yards with the driver, and in I went, and found the
young woman all alone, and down we sat

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together, and had something to drink quite sociable.
Very soon I begins to feel drowsy, and the
young woman, says she, lay down on the settee,
Jerry, and rest yourself; so down I lay, and when
I got up again, I found I had been asleep, and I
wish I may be blown into a gin shop if I warnt
skinned clean O! The young woman had not
only picked my pockets of every cent there was
in them, but she had even taken the shoes off my
feet, and shoved them up the spout along with my
new hat. So I had to toddle back again, bare
footed and bare headed, and without a sixpence
in my pocket to pay for a tort of grog.”

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

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

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

-- 077 --

CHAPTER VII. Contains a Ballad.

[figure description] Page 077.[end figure description]

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

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

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

“Friend Harry.

Dear Sir—This is to inform you as I
have entered in Uncle Sam's service, and have

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

Jeremiah Bowhorn.”

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

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

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

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

I opened the little package, and found it contained
a roll of bank bills, wrapped up in a piece
of greasy brown paper; there were about sixty
dollars in almost as many bills, and of as many
different banks. I could not misunderstand this

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manifestation of the young lady's kind feelings, and
to prevent any further indiscretion on her part, I
determined to quit her father's house immediately.
Accordingly, I went down to the bar-room, having
first put the roll of bills into the young lady's
work box, to pay Mr. Murphy for my board, and
to my surprise, I found that Jerry had paid a
month in advance for me. This new proof of his
attachment and kindly feelings, made so keen an
impression upon my mind, that in the warmth of
my feelings, I resolved to unite my fortune with his,
and not set lightly by a friend who had acted so
generously towards me.

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

Having had time to make a few wholesome reflections,
I got the better of my enthusiastic determination,
and once more I began to think of proving
my cousin a lying prophet. Having my bag
under my arm, and being in the neighborhood of
Mr. Stewpy's eating house, I stepped in there to
rest and refresh myself. I redeemed my green satin
vest from Mr. Stewpy, and put it on again, together

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with my frock coat and satin stock, and with them
all my former pride, and anxiety for distinction and
riches, seemed to return.

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

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

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

-- 081 --

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There was once a tall, fine gentleman, came all the way from
To teach the beaux and ladies all, the genteel way to dance.
His hair was black as Lehigh's mines, it hung in glossy curls;
His mouth was wide; his eyes were black; his teeth, two rows
of pearls.

Mustachoes, frowning fiercely black, upon his lips he bore,
And rings, both large and numerous, upon his hands he wore;
He was praised by all the ladies fair, and puffed by all the
They set him forth perfection's self, the Prince of politesse.

Now this very fine, tall gentleman, kept thinking all the while,
“What a fool am I to teach dese brutes to dance in true French
Tree tousand dollar, more or less, is all dat I shall gain,
But a handsome fortune I might make by Hymen's Coup de

Nons verrons,” said this gentleman, “we will see what I shall
And he put his fiddle in its bag, and close the strings he drew.
Va laissez moi. One fiddle bow, I never more shall draw,
I'll be one Count, to-morrow night, le Comte Commune de Pas.”

“To-morrow night,” was ushered in, it was a night most rare,
A grand soiree was held up town; the Count, of course, was

-- 082 --

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He danced such steps! the gentlemen beheld him in a rage,
For the ladies all declared such steps would ornament the stage.

“But stop,” said one, “he is no Count; he cannot sing a song.”
The Count was asked to volunteer, “oui Madame, certainment!
And such a song! not one false note, in foreign accents too!
The envious gentlemen confessed, he was a Count most true.

A lovely girl shone there that night, her father's pet and pride,
She heard the men, with slanderous tongues, the foreigner deride.

She knew he was a real Count, by a never failing sign,
His hands were small and delicate, Lord Byron's test, and mine.

Now to show to all the ton her taste, and prove she was no
She saw him dance, she heard him sing, and fell in love, at once.
Ah ha! sans doute, my fortune's made,” cried Count Commune
de Pas,
“One rich bank president shall be my father in the law.”

“This lovely girl, in one week's time, was languishing a bride,
And this very tall, fine gentleman, was lounging at her side,
Whilst her pa and ma were rummaging their son in law's
To seek the Count's credentials, and find out if all was fair.

Now suddenly they pounced upon a bag of faded green,
“Why wife,” cries pa, “hang me if here is not a violeen!”
“A violeen! why bless my soul! and here's a bundle stout
Of bills for teaching boys to dance, all regular made out.”

-- 083 --

[figure description] Page 083.[end figure description]

Sans ceremonie, out of doors, the Count Commune de Pas
Was straightway kicked into the street, by his father in the
And the lovely bride began to pine, and would have been a
But the legislature, when it met, awarded a divorce.

“Par bleu! ma foi! mon Dieu! Sacre!” the gentleman did
As he took a monstrous pinch of snuff, and quickly walked
“One mes alliance I did make. I shall go back to France.
I'll see these yankees all be dem, they shall never learn to

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

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

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

-- 084 --

[figure description] Page 084.[end figure description]

Stewpy puffed out his cheeks, and whetted his
carving knife very fiercely.

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

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

“'Cepting 'twas an Irishman,” said Mr. Stewpy's

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

“Well,” said the poet, addressing himself to
me and Mr. Stewpy, for he appeared to look upon
Mr. Stewpy's assistant as altogether unworthy
of his attention, “you are both of you a fair sample
of the critics of the present day, who,

-- 085 --

[figure description] Page 085.[end figure description]

instead of considering a character philosophically,
and tracing out his true springs of action, condemn
him for not acting as they think they would
act themselves, if they were placed in his situation,
with entirely different motives to influence
them. No man is qualified to judge of the naturalness
of a fictitious character, unless he be either
possessed of sufficient discernment to enable him
to comprehend the whole scope and design of the
author who created it; or of sufficient enthusiasm
to identify himself so completely with it, as to
lose sight of his own individuality, and feel his
soul swayed to and fro by the same influences
which prompt it to action.

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

“You are right there, for once,” said Mr.

“And you,” said the poet, turning to me, “if
you had been in the count's place, and had married
the young lady for the sake of her father's
money, it would have been the last thing you

-- 086 --

[figure description] Page 086.[end figure description]

would have thought of doing, to lay claim to
your bride, after being kicked out of doors.”

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

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

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

“Precisely,” said the poet. “Now,” he exclaimed,
“were I to read you an extract from my
serious poem, the Deserted Daughter, you would

-- 087 --

[figure description] Page 087.[end figure description]

hardly believe that I could write a ballad like

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

“The fact is, Sir,” continued the poet, throwing
back his coat collar, and brushing up his hair
with his coat “some people think an author is
like a shopkeeper, who always knows the exact
amount of his stock in trade, and who can, at any
moment, display any article in his shop, but can
do no more. But far different is it with the poet;
he knows not himself, of the pearls and sparkling
gems which lie hid in the depths of his own
genius, like jewels in the sea, until the workings
of his mind, like the billows of the ocean, wash
them from their secret caves, and they are exposed
to his view like gems upon the sea-shore, all
bright and sparkling. And when the poet has
glutted his eyes upon them, he may, if it suit his
humor, give them to the world. For the offerings
which genius bestows upon the world are gifts;
they endure forever, and there is nothing given
in return. But the bequests of conquerors and
statesmen are mere lendings; they avail but little,
and their cost is infinite. A battle gained has
more than once cost a nation its liberty.

-- 088 --

[figure description] Page 088.[end figure description]

Thousands of years have flown over the world since the
great temple of the wise king crumbled into ruins,
but the sweet notes of his golden harp still vibrate
on the ear. Think you that half the bright and
glorious things which meet the poet's gaze are ever
looked upon by other eyes? O! no, he revels in a
world you know not of. Shakspeare knew Juliets
more than one I trow, and fairy queens were
Spenser's constant guests; and cherubim and
angels lovelier far than those which on the perishable
canvass live of Raffaello, were his sitters oft;
and forms of deities and patriarchs towering high,
in simple majesty, more numerous far than those
which Michael chiselled from the stone, were seen
by him, but never by the world; the high basilica,
if placed beside the mighty model to his eye revealed,
would dwindle to the cottage of a cit.”

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

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

-- 089 --

[figure description] Page 089.[end figure description]

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

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

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

-- 090 --

CHAPTER VIII. Gain employment

[figure description] Page 090.[end figure description]

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

In accordance with my prudent resolutions, I
obtained a cheap boarding house, and in a few

-- 091 --

[figure description] Page 091.[end figure description]

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

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

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

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

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

“Nothing very particular,” I replied, “I

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[figure description] Page 092.[end figure description]

wanted to make application for the clerkship which is

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

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

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

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

-- 093 --

[figure description] Page 093.[end figure description]

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

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

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

“The cotton market looks well,” said Mr. Garvey.

“Quite so,” replied Mr. Bargin.

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

“Very much so,” replied Mr. B.

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

“Thee wants to apply for the situation, does

-- 094 --

[figure description] Page 094.[end figure description]

thee?” said Mr. Garvey, addressing himself to

“Yes, sir,” I replied, rising.

“What house was thee in last?”

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

“What is thy name?”

“Harry Franco.”

“Well, Henry, how old is thee?”

“I am about twenty. But my name is Harry.”

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

“A little more than twenty.”

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

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

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

-- 095 --

[figure description] Page 095.[end figure description]

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

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

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

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

After writing a few minutes, he laid down his
pen, and wheeled round his chair, folded his hands
quietly together, and having paused a moment,
asked me my name, what my former occupation
had been, how long I had been in the city, and
what my age was; but in a manner so kind and
encouraging, that I felt assured there could be
nothing gained by practising the least deception,

-- 096 --

[figure description] Page 096.[end figure description]

and so I related to him, as plainly and as shortly
as I could, the particulars of my adventures since I
left my home; the manner in which I got my money
on board the man of war, and the manner in
which I had lost it. I said nothing, however,
about the predictions of my cousin, nor of the
beauty of Georgiana De Lancey.

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

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

He said that his two partners, and each of the
clerks in his employ, had their respective duties to
perform, and he wanted a clerk to attend to his
own private affairs, and when necessary to assist
in the counting room. Such an employment, he

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remarked, would afford me an opportunity of acquiring
a knowledge of mercantile affairs, and fit
me for some more important station. He concluded
by saying he would take me on trial for a
month, and at the end of that time, if he was satisfied
with me, and I should be willing to remain with
him, he would make a permanent engagement with

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

In person, Mr. Marisett was a little under the
ordinary height; but he was very muscular, and
somewhat inclined to corpulency, although there
was not the slightest approach to grossness; his
complexion was clear and ruddy; his forehead was
high and broad, and as smooth as marble; his
hair was a rich chestnut color; he wore it long and
parted on his forehead; perhaps he was vain of it;
if so, it was a most excusable vanity, for it was
truly a glory even to a head like his. But his

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most remarkable feature was his mouth; you might
read his whole character in its expression, it was so
sweetly stern, so firm, so gentle. He had a peculiar
manner of compressing his lips, and casting
down his eyes, which, having once seen, you could
never forget.

-- 099 --

CHAPTER IX. Contains the particulars of a commercial operation.

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

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ignorance in not having known how to do what
appeared so perfectly simple and easy.

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

Mr. Marisett had not only left his letters for
me to read, but he had even told me to look
over his old files, that I might become familiar
with the names of his correspondents, and
their places of residence. Why then should I
not read this letter “from Georgiana,” and
satisfy myself as to who Georgiana was? I
had a burning desire to know, and I longed for
an opportunity to do so. One day when Mr.
Marisett was on change, and Mr. Garvey and Mr.
Bargin were out on some business, being alone
in the office, I took down the file which contained
the letter “from Georgiana,” and having searched

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it out, I was just in the act of taking it from the
bundle, when a slight noise in the outer office
caused me to turn my head, and in so doing I
caught sight of my face in a little glass which
hung opposite to me; I was startled at the guilty
expression it bore, and hurriedly replaced the file
in its pigeon-hole without looking at the letter.
“No,” I said, “I will not betray the confidence
that has been placed in me.” The act itself was
innocent, but the motive was evil. My face
burned with shame at the thought that I had been
guilty of the meanness of wanting to pry into the
private concerns of my benefactor. Even though
the letter had been written by Georgiana De
Lancey herself, what right had I to read it?
Clearly, none. I knew it was not a business letter
from the manner in which it was headed.

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

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

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

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

The house of Marisett & Co. had been established
more than thirty years, and during that period,
it had stood unmoved through all the revolutions
which had taken place in the mercantile
world. Mr. Marisett was supposed to be immensely
rich, and such was his reputation for

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shrewdness and honorable dealing, his credit,
both at home and abroad, was without limits. He
had had many partners, all of whom had retired
from the concern with fortunes. His present partners,
Mr. Garvey and Mr. Bargin, had both been
clerks in his employ, and although their characters
were as unlike as their persons, their services were
alike valuable. Mr. Garvey was the senior of
the two; his forte was making a bargain. If he
sold an article, he got more for it than any
one else could, and in his purchases, he always
bought a little under the market. He was noted
as being the best buyer on 'Change. Perhaps
the secret of his success was the peculiar sanctity
of his coat, and his mild and oily thees and thous,
which completely barred all suspicion of sinister
designs out of the minds of those with whom he
bargained What man could suspect another of
mercenary or knavish feelings, who wore horn
buttons on his drab coat, and called every body
by their first names. Mr. Garvey was a Philadelphian
by birth, and he had a becoming contempt
for the vain things of this world; there was
no affectation in his plain coat, nor hypocrisy in
his sentiments. The achievements of art, the revolutions
of fashion, and even the gay trappings of
nature herself, had no allurements for him. Mr.

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Garvey cared nothing for worldly trifles; his
sole aim was to make money. Mr. Bargin came
from `down-east,' for it somehow or other happens
that you rarely meet with a New Yorker
born; what becomes of all those who are born
here, I know not. He had served a year or two
with a ship broker, when he first came to the
city, and afterwards entered the employ of Mr.
Marisett in about the same capacity, and under
similar circumstances, that I had. In course of
time he was sent to Cuba to attend to some business
for the house, and while there, he gained a
knowledge of Spanish, and on his return to New
York, Mr. Marisett took him into the firm to
supply the place of a partner who had just withdrawn.

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

What the exact extent of Mr. Bargin's acquirements
in Spanish were, I had no means of
knowing; but if his conversation in that language
was as limited as it was in his own, his
studies ought not to have engrossed much of his
time; unless a question or an observation called
for a very special answer, he rarely ventured upon
any other reply than, “quite so,” or “very

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much so,” but then he had a manner of delivering
these wordss, it must be confessed, which impressed
you with an idea that he had said something.
There was one other expression which he
made use of on all occasions, in season and out
of season, whenever he spoke of any person or
thing; it was always, au fait.

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

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

A letter was received from a correspondent in

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

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

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

But it so happened, that when Mr. Garvey
went out, he found a packet had just arrived from
Liverpool, bringing some important news

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

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

A very few days elapsed before the receipt of
these contradictory letters was acknowledged.
The confusion which was caused thereby, may be
imagined by those who are familiar with mercantile
usages. Mr. Garvey made the best apology

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he could, but Mr. Marisett was deeply mortified;
it was the first transaction that had ever taken
place in connexion with his name, to which the
charge of double dealing, or unfairness, could be

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

-- 109 --

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

[figure description] Page 109.[end figure description]

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

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

Mr. Marisett's coachman wore no gold lace
nor yellow gauntlets, like Mr. Dooitt's, but on the
contrary he was dressed very plain, although his

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clothes fitted him. The carriage also was very
plain, and it bore no coat of arms, neither upon
the panels, nor embroidered upon the hammer-cloth.
Mr. Marisett made no pretensions to high
descent, but rested all his claims to distinction
upon his own merits. But it would have been
better for him to have followed the way of the
world, for his simple habits only gained him the
title of an aristocrat.

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

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

“My niece, Miss De Lancey, Mr. Franco,” said
Mr. Marisett.

Miss De Lancey made a very slight curtesy,
scarce perceptible, and sat down at the table,

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opposite to me. I had just taken a cup of tea in my
hand, and was in the act of raising it to my lips,
when she came in, but her sudden appearance
operated on my nerves like an electric shock,
and my cup and saucer slipped from my fingers,
but fortunately without scalding me.

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

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

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

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

Mr. Marisett smiled also, and the old housekeeper
pursed up her lips, and fumbled about her
keys, as if she had suddenly thought of something
of great importance, and then jumped up from

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the table and whisked out of the room, and returned
again in a few minutes, the end of her nose
looking very red; she sat down, and poured out
a cup of tea for Mr. Marisett, and then bustled
out of the room again. I had the satisfaction of
thinking that she was indulging in a good hearty
laugh at my expense.

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

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

“But why should I waste a thought upon one
to whom I had never spoken but once, and then
y accident? Why should I be guilty of the
monstrous folly of indulging in the thought that I

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loved one, who, I had no reason to believe, had
ever bestowed a thought upon me at all, either
for love or hate. It was probable that she had no
recollection of ever having seen me before she
met me at the tea table, and if she had, what had
I ever said or done to give her a favorable impression
of me? clearly nothing; but, on the
contrary, much to give her an unfavorable impression.
What had we in common? she was
beautiful, oh, how beautiful! and I, I could not
flatter myself with the thought that I was possessed
of even ordinary comeliness; would she
then bestow her loveliness upon my deformity?
She was the niece of the wealthy Mr. Marisett,
and I was his humble clerk; would she bestow
her wealth upon my poverty? But above all,
she was good, pious, holy; and what had I of
holiness, or even akin to goodness? Could I
hope that she would link her purity with my corruption?
What madness, what wickedness, what
worse than wickedness, what foolishness, then, to
think, for one moment, of Georgiana De Lancey,
with any other feelings than such with which we
gaze upon night's white robed queen. As well
might I pine for the lost Pleiad. As well might I
look for popular favor as the reward of virtuous
actions, or hope for any other impossible thing.”

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

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

I replied, that I felt badly, which was true

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

In the morning, I dressed myself with unusual
care, and thought, when my toilet was made, that
I never looked half as bad before. At night, I
rode home with Mr. Marisett again, and on entering
the parlor, I found Miss De Lancey sitting

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by the fireside. I succeeded in saying, `good evening,
' and in taking a seat without any accident;
but I felt so dreadfully embarrassed, I was at a
loss what disposition to make of my legs or my
hands. As I was not a visiter, I supposed it was
not expected of me to join in the conversation;
so I remained at a respectful distance, silently enjoying
the music of Miss De Lancey's voice, as
she replied to the playful sallies of her uncle.
She was dressed very plain, as if jealous of an
ornament, lest it should divide the attention which
her loveliness had a right wholly to claim. As I
gazed upon her, and my ear drank in the soft
tones of her voice, I wondered at my stupidity in
not having discovered before, how beautiful she
really was.

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

He appeared well pleased with my

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

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

“It is a cheap one,” I replied.

“Are you much attached to the people?”

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

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

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

But I restrained my joy as well as I could, and

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thanked Mr. Marisett with dissembled moderation,
for his kind offer. I told him I would consider of
the matter, and give him an answer in the morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Mr. Mar sett's house was a long way up
town, I was obliged to take my dinner at an eating
house, and there being a young gentleman in
the counting room, to whom all the clerks appealed
for information, in all matters relating to high life
and the fashions, I got him to recommend me to a

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fashionable restaurateur, for I was anxious to
avoid all the places where I should be likely to
meet any of my former associates and acquaintances,
for I had taken a great dislike to drummers,
and speculators, and even to poets. I meant, if
possible, henceforth to associate with none but
respectable people.

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

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[figure description] Page 120.[end figure description]

ambitious to live genteely, and who may have the
means, but lack the art. Here it is:



A la Julien.

Des Weets.

Potage au Lay et de Mush.


Ros Bif.

Bif au Naturel.

Bif a la Angloy.

Dindong, etcet., etcet.


D' Eels.




De Mouton.

Paté de Pot de Clams Piser.


Pattey de Pumpkin.

Etcet., etcet., etcet.

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

I was convinced from the observations which
I made in this genteel eating-house, and in some
other places of equal pretensions, that to be

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genteel was to be thoroughly vulgar. So I very
shortly withdrew my patronage from the “Brothers
Smith,” and having found out a quiet little nook,
kept by a window, whose only daughter waited
upon the customers, I got my dinner there, and
had the satisfaction of eating my food well-cooked,
and of hearing it called by its right name.

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CHAPTER XII. Georgiana's Conversion.

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

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

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minute, just long enough to kiss him, and bless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I sighed involuntarily.

She shook her head, and exclaimed. “Take

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

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

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

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

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

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

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was the strangest way of being converted, I ever
heard of in my born days.”

“Indeed! and how did it happen?”

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

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

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

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

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

“I thought so.”

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

“It was only a slight puff. But what

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connexion was there between this beautiful picture, and
Miss De Lancey's conversion?”

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

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“Did her uncle oppose her joining the chapel?”
I asked.

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

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

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

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

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CHAPTER XIII. Love and Religion.

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

The officiating minister at this place, gave me
a new idea of a preacher, if he did nothing more.
He allowed no one to close an eye, who sat under
the droppings of his voice. He was a tall spare
man, with high cheek bones, gray eyes, large and
protuberant, a high broad forehead, a mouth remarkably
expressive of firmness, and peculiar
from the upper teeth projecting very much over the
lower ones. His manner was very startling, at
least it was to me, and yet there was neither rant nor

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affectation about him; but his voice was soft and
clear, although his words were harsh; his statements
were so plain, and there was such a positiveness
in his assertious, that it was impossible to
hear him without becoming somewhat interested in
what he was saying. However, I did not go to
be preached to; I had another object in view, and
having sought her out, the preacher's words
fell on a deaf ear.

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

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

It was a dull cold day, and a mixture of snow
and hail was falling; the wind was high, and it
beat against the windows of the room in which we

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

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

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

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

Having explained to his church the benevolent
feelings which had caused him to call them together,
he turned to a middle aged man, who sat
near, and told him to pray. The man did as he

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

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

“O, brother Smith! brother Smith! Is it possible
that you can throw yourself down right at

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the threshold of the church, for sinners to stumble
over your body down into hell! O!”

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

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

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

“I did,” replied Georgiana.

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


“What levity! what obduracy! what blindness
of heart!” he exclaimed, rolling up his eyes

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

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

“What makes you hope so?”

“I don't know, exactly.”

“Don't know? are you an American?”


“How do you know?”

“I was born in America.”

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

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I shook my head.

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

I thanked him, but refused.

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

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

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

The sleet which had fallen was frozen hard,
and the steps of the chapel and the side-walk in
the street, was slippery as glass. I stood at the
door of the lecture-room, and when Georgiana
came out I offered her my arm. She could not
refuse it, for it would have been impossible for her
to have walked alone without falling, and she would
not allow the carriage to be sent for her on a Sunday.
It was the happiest moment of my life when
I felt her hand resting on my arm, and I blessed
the hard-hearted pastor for gaining me this happiness
by keeping his people from their dinners.

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As the distance from home was long, and the
walking slippery, Georgiana had frequent occasion
to cling with both hands to my arm for support;
and notwithstanding her seriousness when
we left the chapel, she laughed outright two or
three times before we reached home. But whenever
either of us made a misstep, she would take
occasion to remark, that we all stood upon slippery
places, and unless we leaned upon the outstretched
arm of one who was mighty to save, we
should be sure to fall and perish.

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

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

I have remarked before that every time I saw
Miss De Lancey, she appeared lovelier than before;
and at this time she did appear more exceedingly
beautiful than ever; whether it was
owing to the peculiar dress which she wore, to

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the exercise she had taken in the keen air, or to
my own excited feelings, I know not; but her eyes
beamed with a deeper blue, her cheeks appeared
more ruddy, and her hair of a more golden hue;
even her voice sounded more musical, and her
movements were more graceful than ever. As
soon as she had finished her dinner, she retired
into the parlor, and left me sitting at the table.

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

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

“Proper! I am surprised at you; to be sure it

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

“She will forgive you, I dare say.”

“Do you think so?” I said sighing.

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

The next day I dined at home; it was an unusual
occurrence, and I deemed it a good omen.

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I sat opposite to Georgiana, and felt unspeakably

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

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

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

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

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

That evening, the kind old lady came into the
office where I was writing alone, and as usual, began
to talk about her son, her dear boy. She knew
I had been a sailor, and she wanted to ask me if
there was any probability of her darling child
ever getting any of his favorite dumplings at sea.

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I told her I had never seen them served up on ship
board myself, but that plumb puddings were very
common, and I had no doubt her son Charles got
his fill of that luxury, at least once a week. This
piece of information seemed to give the good old
lady great satisfaction.

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

“Captain Bowhorn, did you say?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CHAPTER XIV. Encounter my Cousin at a party.

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

I had studiously avoided all public places, and
even shunned Broadway, from fear of encountering
my cousin. It is true, my condition was immensely
bettered since I saw him last, but still I
was only a humble clerk, and while I felt conscious
of being in a station inferior to him, I
could not exult in his presence. The thought of
bursting upon his envious sight with the all-lovely
Georgiana leaning upon my arm, was intoxicating

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to my senses; the bare idea made me reel and
stagger with excessive delight; it was a happiness
too great even for reflection. I could not dwell
upon it.

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

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by the wholesale, besides sugar kisses, and phillippinas.

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

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

Mrs. Brown's house was brilliantly illuminated
with a sperm candle in each side light, and two

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in the fan light over the door. I pulled the bell,
and the door was instantly opened by a tall black
man, in a white apron, who took my cloak and
hat, and left me to make what disposition of myself
I chose. There were two or three young
men standing in the hall, apparently waiting for
some one possessed of more courage than themselves
to lead the way into the parlor; the door
stood a-jar, and I boldly pushed it open and walked
in, leaving it to ehance to direct my footsteps.
But my heart beat terribly, notwithstanding, although
I had an idea that the secret of good
manners was to appear perfectly unconcerned,
and to speak civilly to any one near me. I knew
Mr. Brown, and I cast my eyes round upon the
company assembled, with the hope of seeing him,
but he caught sight of me before I saw him, and
very kindly took me by the arm, and walked me
through the folding doors, and introduced me to
Mrs. Brown, who, after a moment's conversation,
took my arm, and introduced me to Miss Green,
a very tall young lady, dressed in white satin, and
with a large bunch of cammelias in her hand. As
there was a vacant chair by her side, I sat down,
anticipating a taste of the scandal which Jack
Gauntlet had prepared me for. I looked over to
the opposite side of the room, and there sat

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Georgiana De Lancey and my cousin by her side, in
close conversation with her. I immediately
turned my head as if I had not observed them,
and made an attempt to speak to Miss Green, but
for the life of me, I could not open my lips. She
appeared very anxious for me to say something,
and smiled in anticipation of what I might utter.
But in spite of my having previously arranged in
my mind a very smart speech, in case I should be
introduced to a young lady, I could not command
a word. So I offered my arm to Miss Green, and
asked her to promenade round the room; she
caught it with eagerness, as though she considered
me a windfall; and well she might, for she was
tall, and yellow, and thin, and she had contrived,
with a strange perversity of taste, to dress herself
in such a manner as to magnify all her blemishes.
But had she been beautiful as the Paphian queen,
or any other beauty who never had an existence,
it would have been all the same to me. I was so
overcome at seeing my cousin seated by the side
of Georgiana, that I had no eyes for any thing
beside. I felt sick and dizzy; I could see nothing
distinctly, and a strange sound was buzzing in my
ears. Fortune seemed to make use of me expressly
as a set-off to my cousin; whenever I met
him I was sure to suffer by comparison with him.

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As I passed through the folding doors with the
tall Miss Green clinging to my arm, I could not
help turning my head to look at him, when my
eye met his, and I quickly averted it. I fancied
there was a sneer upon his lip, and that Georgiana
was smiling at something he had said. Perhaps
it was some contemptuous remark about me. I
grew faint at the thought. The simperings of
Miss Green sounded in my ear like dismal howlings.
By some manœuvre, I know not how, I got
away from my long companion, and succeeded in
reaching the piazza at the back of the house; the
night air was cold, and I soon revived; but my
feelings were too much excited, to allow of my
reappearing in the parlor. So I took my hat and
cloak, and hurried back to my chamber.

-- 147 --

CHAPTER XV. Letters from Home.

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

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

(From my father.)

My dear Boy,

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

From the great length of time which had elapsed
since you left home, without our having heard
a word about you, your mother began to grow
very uneasy on your account, although I told
her it was extremely indecorous in her, and

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assured her that I had no doubt you were doing
well, and that we should see you some time or

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

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

H. France.

My yearning affections shrunk within me as I
read my father's letter. His allusions to my
cousin made the blood boil within me, and I vowed
to myself never to return home until my prospects
were at least equal to his. I could not
think that my father intended to taunt me with
my cousin's superiority; but in effect he did so,
and I could hardly refrain from tearing his letter

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to pieces. The draft enclosed was the most incomprehensible
part of the letter; it was for five
hundred dollars. By what means he had procured
this amount of money, I could not imagine.

The letter from my mother was as follows:

Dear, DEAR Harry,

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

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that you will be more welcome to your home and
your mother's heart, if you bring the wealth of
the Indies with you. If you be covered with
jewels your mother will not see them, and if you
be clothed in rags, she will only see her child.

From your affectionate mother,

S. Franco.

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

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

“S. F.

“N. B. Come home immediately.”

The other letter was from my sister; it read

My DEAR Brother,

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

“There have been great changes in our village

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

“From your affectionate sister,

Mary Franco.

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

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

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

-- 153 --

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

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

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

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

-- 154 --

CHAPTER XVI. A Crisis. Making love.

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

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

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

One Sunday evening she was prevented by the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I nodded my wish, and she read the eighteenth

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

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

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

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

“And is there no account of the sons of men
taking wives from among the daughters of

“I have never read of it,” she replied.

“I wish there was,” I replied.


-- 160 --

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“That I might hope”—I could say no more.

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

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

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

“It is many weary long years,” she said, “or
at least they have seemed many to me, since I
wept for the loss of my parents; and since then,
I have never known what it was to lean upon
one who loved me, or to feel that there was one
in the world whose happiness depended upon mine.

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My uncle has been very kind to me, too kind; he
has gratified me in all my wishes. But I felt it
was not love which caused his kindness. He
never restrained my inclinations; and I have an
indistinct recollection that my father used to chide
me. My uncle has kissed me often, but he never
shed a tear over me; but I remember, as distinctly
as though it were but yesterday, of feeling my
mother's warm tears drop upon my cheek, when
she has bent over me to kiss me. O! it is a desolate
world where there is none to love you.”

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

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

“My dear, dear love,” I said, “my whole

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

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

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

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

“He has made no complaint,” replied Georgiana.

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

“She has given me no cause,” I said.

“Well done,” said Mr. Marisett, pleasantly.

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

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

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CHAPTER XVII. Almost a murder.

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

It was the settled conviction of Georgiana, that
it would be sinful in her to plight her faith to one,
whose heart had not been touched by the same
divine influences which she believed had wrought
a change in her. She quoted to me the proofs
from holy writ, on which her faith was founded;
and although I could not refute her arguments,
yet they failed to carry conviction to my mind. I
had the double mortification of feeling my inferiority
to her, and of knowing she loved me, without
the hope of ever possessing her. Truly, with
me, religion was the “one thing needful.” Never,

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since the cross was erected, did a man strive harder
to convert himself. I read the most powerful
and argumentative essays; I listened attentively
to the most stirring sermons, and even tried to
look pious, with the hope that a habit of body
might beget a corresponding habit of mind. Many
and earnest were the prayers which Georgiana
breathed in my behalf. But all to no purpose.
My dislike to religious things and duties increased
in proportion to the efforts that were made to overcome
it. At last, I began to look upon all religious
men, and books, and even upon the bible
itself, as united in a conspiracy to rob me of my
life's pleasure.

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

But it was no small consolation to know, that
Georgiana actually loved me, and that she refused
me, not for personal, but for spiritual reasons.
And it added not a little to this consolation, to
know, that in gaining her affections, I had achieved
a mighty triumph over my cousin. He was introduced
to her for the first time, at Mrs. Brown's
party, and fell in love with her on the spot. He
had called on her repeatedly since, but had always

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been coolly received. He pretended to be engaged
in some religious enterprise, and became a
regular attendant at the chapel which Georgiana
frequented; and once, when he attempted to address
her, as she came out of the door, when the
service was over, she merely made a slight inclination
of the head, and taking my arm, we walked
quietly away, and left him to chew the cud of his
disappointment at his leisure. I took a wicked
pleasure in mortifying his pride, and I longed to
whisper in his ear the odious words which he
had planted in my memory. I cared nothing now
for his real estate, nor his money; and I knew he
envied me the situation I held, as it allowed me
free intercourse with Georgiana. I frequently
passed him in the street, but I never gave him a
look of recognition. The cause of his showing
such a wanton malice towards me, I never knew;
I was some years his junior, and I had never, until
he unprovokedly wounded my feelings, entertained
a hard thought of him; although from a
child he had sought every occasion to excite my

It was very seldom that my services were required
at the counting room of an evening; but
the night after that on which Georgiana had taken
my arm, as my cousin spoke to her when she came

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out of the chapel, Mr. Bargin requested me to
remain, and assist in preparing the invoices and
bills of lading, for a ship belonging to Marisett
& Co., which was to sail the next morning. I
was always glad when an opportunity offered to
render myself serviceable; and on this occasion,
I remained in the counting room as long as there
was any thing to be done. It was midnight when
I left, and I had almost three miles to walk. Mr.
Marisett's house was on the north side of the city,
at the foot of one of the new streets which led down
to the Hudson. The night was cold and dark, and
I wrapped my cloak about me, and walked briskly
through the silent streets, till I got within a
block or two of the house, where the side walk
was shaded with young sycamore trees, when
a man suddenly jumped from behind one of the
casings of a tree, and caught me in his arms, and
before I could clear myself from my cloak, he
tripped up my heels, and I fell upon my back; in
my fall, my hat got jambed over my eyes, which
prevented me from seeing my assailant, and before
I had time to make an attempt at defence, I felt a
sharp instrument graze my left side. But it was
directed with such force, that, as it struck the pavement,
it slipped out of the murderer's hand, and I
caught his arm before he could regain it. I held

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hard, and shouted murder with all my might. The
sound of the watchman's staff was soon heard,
and I struggled hard with the assassin, but he had
an advantage of me by being on top, and before
the watch came, he had escaped. The blood had
flown freely from my wound, and I had no sooner
told the number of the house where I lived, than I

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

An ivory-handled bowie-knife was found by my
side by the watchman who picked me up; it was
a murderous-looking weapon, but of beautiful
workmanship; on each side of the blade was a
motto, or rather an inscription: “Short and sweet,”
on one side; “A heart-seeker,” on the other. Mr.
Marisett delivered it to the officers of the police,
next morning, and offered a reward of a thousand

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dollars for the apprehension of the assassin who
attacked me, and the mayor of the city offered a
reward of five hundred dollars in addition. But
he was never detected. It was evident, that the
object of the murderer was not plunder, for it was
at a time when all those gentlemen who live by
plundering their neighbors, were making money
fast enough to satisfy their desires, by speculating
in lots. Owing to the suddenness of the attack,
and the darkness of the night, I did not even catch
a glimpse of his person, and consequently I could
not furnish the slightest clue to lead to his detection.
A horrible suspicion crossed my mind, but
I would not trust it to my own thoughts. I was
conscious of having injured no one, and consoled
myself with the reflection, that I had been mistaken
for another person.

I was confined to my bed a fortnight, and during
that time I received many additional proofs
of regard from Mr. Marisett, and Georgiana, and
from good Mrs. Butler, who hardly left me ten
minutes at a time. Georgiana read the bible to
me every day, and prayed by my side; she improved
the peculiar circumstances in which I was
placed, by admonishing me of the uncertainty of
life, and the necessity of being always prepared
for a summons to the next world. But it was in

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vain she talked, I could think of no other heaven
than that which her presence made. Had I been
called upon to worship her, I could have knelt
devoutly at her feet; but I could not dismiss her
from my mind long enough to dwell on a higher
or a purer being.

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

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a modest, retiring woman, with one on her head.
Georgiana was dressed with great simplicity and
neatness, and she appeared to great advantage by
the side of her dressed-up relation.

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

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

“What, the grocer, or the broker?” said Mr.

“The grocer,” replied Mr. De Challies.

“Oh! he is dead.”

“Dead! Now that is very strange. Bless my
soul and body, I thought I saw him yesterday

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with a decidedly shabby vest on. Poor Smith;
he was the best judge of French brandy in Front

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

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

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

“What, failed, and didn't save nothing for
himself?” asked a gentleman whose name I have

“The fool!” said another.

“Very indefatigable man, Smith,” said another.

“Quite an ingenious man,” said another.

“Poor stick,” ejaculated another gentleman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Humph!” ejaculated Mr. Marisett; “if women
were always women, perhaps I might. But
some have usurped the offices of men, and made
me half suspect the gentleness of the others.
Some have taken swords in their hands, and
others pens; some have gone into the pulpit,

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and others have mounted the rostrum. Such women
are not for me; no, no, cousin; when I lay
my head by the side of a woman, she must be
every thing that a man is not. But come, come,
why do you not get married yourself, cousin?”

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

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

But good humor was soon restored, and the
dinner passed off very pleasantly. However,
neither Mr. De Challies nor Mr. Looman uttered

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another syllable about their business. As soon as
the dessert was brought on, Miss Rippletrump
and Georgiana retired to the parlor, where I
joined them very soon. The first named lady was
still in a high excitement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Not that,” he said, smiling, “not that; but I
was thinking of my cousin Rippletrump's remarks
about making money; they have run in my mind
all day. This money-getting, certainly, does not
fill up the full measure of a man's dignity. She
was right. Once it was something to be rich, but
now I meet with men daily who are richer than
myself; even the milkman who brought milk to
my door but a few months ago, now rides through
Broadway with a liveried footman behind his carriage.
Getting money is not, to be sure, a

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feminine employment, but it is neither manly nor ennobling.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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thousands, who refused to give me their votes; and to
know the exact number who considered me unworthy
of their confidence.”

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

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

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

“It is a system of the arch fiend,” said Mr.

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

“I have called on you, sir,” said Mr. Bloodbutton,
addressing himself to Mr. Marisett, with a
solemn air, “having been deputised for that purpose,
to make some inquiries, and ascertain some
facts in relation to your private history, that I may

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be enabled to make some effective points in my
speech to-morrow night at the Hall.”

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

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

“Never in my life,” replied Mr. Marisett.

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


“Did you never save any body's life in any

“I am quite sure I never did. Indeed, I am

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

“No, I cannot say that I was.”

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

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“Never was in the Bluelaw State in my life,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I was,” said Mr. Marisett, “but I hired a

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

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

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

“I wish he had,” said Mr. Marisett.

“Were you born at the time of the revolution?”

“I was not.”

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

“Would not that be dishonest,” said Mr. Marisett.

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

“Not the slightest.”

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“Were not some of your relatives revolutionary

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

“Was he wounded?” inquired Mr. B. eagerly.

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

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

“I do not remember.”

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

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


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


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


“Of course, you never hung a militiaman?”


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

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

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

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CHAPTER XIX. The effects of speaking in public.

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

As soon as it was dark, we all started off for
Masonic Hall in a body, and got there before the
doors were open. We waited with patience, until
the doors were open, and then made a rush up
the stairs, and we had the satisfaction of having
the Hall all to ourselves for nearly half an hour,

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during which time, we examined all the architectural
beauties and elaborate ornaments of that
celebrated place; and we came to the unanimous
conclusion, the reverse of a celebrated piece of
criticism, that if the architect had not taken quite
so much pains, the Hall would have been a good
deal handsomer. After the expiration of half an
hour, the people began to pour in, and very soon
the Hall was crowded to suffocation, and when no
more could get up stairs, the crowd below organized,
and appointed their own Chairman and Secretaries,
and had their own speeches. Although
I was almost dead with the heat, and choked with
dust, I was rejoiced to see the crowd; for I looked
upon it as an undoubted evidence of the popularity
of Mr. Marisett. I got jammed between two
very fat men, and I thought they would have
squeezed the breath out of my body. But I was
most annoyed by a tall man, who stood directly
in front of me, and prevented me from seeing any
of the persons on the platform. Somebody was
addressing the meeting, but the only words I
could hear were, “fellow cit-i-zens.” I had never
been at a political meeting before, and I had a
great curiosity to see and hear every thing.
There were fifty Vice Presidents, and thirty-five
Secretaries; and as they were all, as a matter of

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course, personal friends of Mr. Marisett, I was
anxious to see them; but the only portion of their
persons that I could catch a glimpse of, was the
tops of their heads, which either exhibited a tuft
of gray hair, or a smooth, glossy surface.

There was a great many speakers, and among
them Mr. Bloodbutton, who, as he promised,
made a decided hit, by introducing the revolutionary
event, with suitable embellishments.
When Mr. Marisett's name was mentioned, there
was a tremendous clapping and cheering. When
the meeting broke up, our little party from the
counting room adjourned to the bar-room below,
where we spent more than half the night in drinking
slings and cocktails, and in exchanging congratulations.
The newspapers the next morning contained
the most exciting accounts of the meeting,
and all the editors seemed to vie with each other
in praising Mr. Marisett. All the great men of
ancient and modern times had to suffer in their
reputations, for he was declared to be infinitely
superior to the best of them, and the descendant
of a revolutionary hero besides. As for his opponent,
the candidate of the opposite party, he
was a foreigner by birth, an infidel in religion, a
turncoat in politics, a bankrupt in fortune, low in
his pursuits, mean in his origin, intemperate in

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his habits, ugly in person, of inferior capacity,
and limited in his acquirements. Of course, there
could be no doubt of the issue in a contest between
two such men; and on strictly party
grounds, without any reference to the qualifications
of the candidates, it was asserted there could
be no doubt of victory; the reaction in the public
feeling was astounding.

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

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number of vice presidents and secretaries that we
had at our meeting, and I must acknowledge I
did not see any very great difference in their appearance,
although I expected to have seen the
meanest and most contemptible looking set of fellows
in the world.

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

So while the people were shouting and clapping
their hands, after the speaker had sat down,
I elbowed my way up to the platform, and mounted
the steps. I took off my hat, and the mob

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greeted me with three rounds of cheers; and
then followed a deadly silence. My heart fluttered,
and I wished myself any where in the world
but where I was, when I looked round upon the
multitude of human eyes which were levelled at
me. It is nothing to make one of a crowd, but
to stand above one, and to see its thousand eyes
gazing at you, is something. But there was no
retreating. I drew a long breath, and then took
a swallow of Manhattan water, and tried to
speak; but I could say nothing more than, “fellow

The mob commiserating my confusion, encouraged
me to proceed by giving me three more
rounds of applause. I began to gain confidence,
and pronounced once more, “fellow cit-i-zens,”
took another glass of Manhattan water, and proceeded.
“I am bold in rising to address you, although
for the first time.” “Speak louder, speak
louder,” cried the mob — “because,” — “speak
louder, Bub,” said one of the vice presidents, encouragingly—
“because,” I continued, “freedom
of debate and liberty of conscience are, I am
told, among the glorious privileges for which you
do battle; and having gained them for yourselves,
you are willing to accord them to others.” Three
more rounds of applause, and cries of, “bravo!”

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“go it!” “spit it out!” &c. “Therefore I say,
I can, with confidence, stand here, and claim the
privilege of vindicating the character of a great
and good man, whose character has this night,
and on this platform, been slanderously assailed.
I need not say that I allude to that excellent gentleman,
Jonathan Marisett.”

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

I was completely stunned, and frightened almost
to death; my coat was torn off, my shirt was
in tatters, and my hat and watch were gone; the
wound in my arm had started to bleeding, and I

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[figure description] Page 191.[end figure description]

was covered with gore. My companions picked
me up, and put me into a hackney coach, and
drove me home.

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

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

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whole strength of my soul was exhausted by love
for Georgiana.

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

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

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

-- 193 --

CHAPTER XX. Tears and smiles.

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

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

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

“I mean in choosing the object, and not in

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[figure description] Page 194.[end figure description]

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

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

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

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

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to others. His manner with his partners was

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

Perhaps one of them would venture to make
an objection.

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

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

The next day, Mr. Marisett told me he had
consulted with his partners, and that he had determined
on carrying his plans into execution.
It was nothing less that an attempt to get the control
of the cotton market into his hands. It was
a stupendous undertaking; but Mr. Marisett was
a conqueror in business, and nothing with him
appeared difficult of accomplishment, where industry,
foresight, or calculation, could be of avail.
The entire plan of operations by which he expected
to effect his object, I never knew; for it
was his practice never to give one man any further
insight into his views than what was actually
necessary to enable him to perform the particular

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duty assigned to him. But with me, Mr. Marisett
had generally been less reserved; on this occasion,
however, he merely told me that I must
get myself in readiness to leave for New Orleans
at the end of the week; that I must make
all possible haste in getting to my place of destination;
and that my instructions were not to be
opened until I got there.

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

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

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season, that I might thereby gratify the darling
passion of my soul.

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

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

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

“O that I could leave you,” I continued, “knowing
that you feel an interest in my welfare! I
could then go with a free and buoyant spirit; but

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if otherwise, it will be a weary road that I shall

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

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

Mr. Marisett accompanied me to the steam-boat,
and as he put the package into my hands which
contained my instructions, he told me that it depended
upon the prudence of my conduct in New
Orleans, whether I was admitted as a partner in
the firm of Marisett & Co. on my return. He
shook me cordially by the hand, and bade me
farewell. I stepped on board the boat; the last
bell was ringing, and as I was elbowing my way
along the deck, a small package was suddenly
thrust into my hands. I turned to see from whom
it came. “Cast off,” exclaimed the pilot; a slight
boyish figure sprang ashore; the fasts were cut
loose, and away we darted through the water. I

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looked long and anxiously, but the slight form
was lost in the crowd, and I saw it no more.

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

Dear Harry,

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

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sinful in me, I trust that He, in whom is all my trust,
will pardon me, and deliver me from my bondage.
And my constant prayer to Him is, that he will
bring you to the foot of that Cross, where alone I
can meet you.

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

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

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

Georgiana De L.”

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Lummucks took me by the arm, and walked
me into a coffee-house close by, and insisted on
my drinking a julep; there was no escape, so I

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submitted. I should have been very glad to get
rid of him, but he would cling to me. He had
acquired the habit of hanging on to one when he
was a drummer, and he couldn't leave it off now
that there was nothing to be gained by it; it was
also as natural for him to treat, as it was for him
to breathe. He invited me to go to his boarding
house to supper, but I refused. However, I
might as well have gone willingly, for he at last
compelled me to go; I could not shake him off.
As his boarding house was in the lower part of
the city, before we reached it, he related to me,
without shame or reserve, how his old employers,
J. Smith Davis & Co. had sent him down South,
on a collecting and drumming tour, and that having
collected some thousands of dollars, he came
down the Mississippi with the intention of embarking
in one of the packets for New York; but he
dropped into the gambling house one night, where
I met him, and lost all the money which he had
collected for his employer, and afterwards the
proprietor of the house had engaged him for a
croupier. It was the most natural change in the
world; his habits as a jobber's drummer, exactly
qualified him for a gambler's croupier. But I
could not help expressing my opinion of Mr.
Lummucks very plainly; he took it very coolly,

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however, and justified his misconduct by laying
all the blame to the door of his old employer, Mr.
J. Smith Davis, who, he said, had brought him
up to it.

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

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

Madame talked incessantly; and the two Mademoiselles
talked incessantly. Monsieur talked

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without ceasing, and so did the Scotchman. I
could not repeat their conversation if I were disposed,
for it was in French, and I could not understand
a syllable. But spite of the talking,
there was no interruption to the eating and drinking,
and a large dish of rice and gumbo, and
half a dozen bottles of sour claret, with a due proportion
of bread and artichokes, disappeared very

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

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

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clear voice, the waltz from Der Freyschutz, and
away we went. It was with difficulty that I kept
hold of my partner, for the circumference of her
waist was entirely beyond the capacity of my arms.

The supper table was in the centre of the room,
and the circuits we made around it would have
been a very pretty illustration of the solar system.
Black Marie was giving us her musci in double
quick time, and consequently our revolutions were
very rapid; how many we had made, I could not
tell; they appeared to me a million at least; I
began to grow very giddy; the sweat started from
all the pores in my body; my head grew lighter
and lighter; the candles appeared to be flying
about the room, and the floor seemed to be rising
and falling; objects began to grow dim and indistinct;
the shrill tones of Marie's voice sounded
in my ears like the hum of a monstrous moscheto,
and her sable visage, as I caught short glimpses
of it, with her white teeth and scarlet gums,
looked like the face of the evil one. I tried to
stop, but in vain; Madame grasped me tightly by
the shoulders; round and round we continued to
spin. I grew sicker and sicker, till at last my
knees could no longer support me, and down I
tumbled, bringing Madame Grandemaison with
me in my fall. She made the cottage shake to its

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foundations, if it had any. Over went the supper
table, scattering the gumbo, and claret, and china,
and glasses, in every direction. The others were
whirling around with such an impetus, they could
not stop themselves, and down they came on top
of us. Mr. Lummucks and his partner first, then
the Scotchman and his partner, and lastly, the
little Frenchman, who, in his fall, forced the leg
of his chair down the throat of the Scotchman,
who lay on his back with his mouth open, and demolished
two thirds of his front teeth. Such
screaming, such swearing, such spoiled dresses,
and such broken crockery, I will venture to assert,
were never heard nor seen before, on a similar
occasion. I contrived to extricate myself from
the ruins, with the loss only of my coat tail, and
the supper I had eaten; part of which I bestowed
on each of my companions, in my struggles to get
clear of them. What damage they received individually,
I do not know, for I found my hat, and
rushed out of the door, and never returned to
Madame Grandemaisons's again.

-- 210 --

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

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

When I left New York, many prudent merchants,
far-seeing or fearful, had already began to throw
out dark and ominous hints of an approaching
catastrophe in the mercantile world; croakers
there always are, who, in the brightest sunshine
can see a black cloud rising in the horizon; but
there was good cause at that time to anticipate a
fearful winding up in the affairs of the trading and
speculating world. Mr. Marisett, however, had

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no fears for himself; he had stood the shocks of a
great many revulsions in the commercial world,
and it was not a matter of especial wonder that he
deemed himself invincible. But an extraordinary
course of action in a quarter which hitherto had
produced only healthful influences, was surely
working to overwhelm thousands in inevitable ruin,
because they could not guard against evils which
precedent had given them no cause to anticipate.

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

It was impossible that I should mix long with
men whose looks, and acts, and talk, were all

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tinged with the dingy hue of despair, without becoming
in some measure similarly affected myself.

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

The banks closed their doors with one accord,
and a simultaneous suspension followed among
all the merchants. Feeling the want of an

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adviser in this emergency, I called at the house of an
old merchant, a particular friend of Mr. Marisett's,
to whom he had given me a letter; but I encountered
there nothing but wailing and wo; he had,
but a few minutes before, nearly severed his
head from his body with a razor, and his gory
corpse lay stretched upon the floor, with his
distracted children weeping over him. This was
not a solitary case; many similar occurred almost

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

“New York,— —.

“Mr. H. Franco, New Orleans.


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

“Yours, &c.,Marisett & Co.”

This letter relieved my anxiety, in some

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

“Mr. H. Franco, New Orleans.

Dear Sir,

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

“Your obedient servants,

Marisett & Co.”

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

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

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The next letter that I received was as follows:

Dear Sir,

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

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

“Referring to copy of our last respects, enclosed,

“I remain, yours, &c.,

Wm. Bargin.”

My worst fears were all realized; I could hope

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

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

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

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putting them in my pocket, took my money in my
hand, and left my hotel in search of the gambling
house in the Rue St. Louis.

-- 218 --

CHAPTER XXIII. The great change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At one end of the room was a little temporary
pulpit, which was occupied by a very young looking
man, apparently still in his teens; he immediately
stood up and commenced the services by
making a short prayer, and then he gave out the
hymn. He was a fair haired and light complexioned
youth, with a delicate blush on his cheeks,

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and withal so modest and unassuming in his manner,
that my curiosity was excited to hear what
kind of a sermon could proceed from such a source,
and I made up my mind to remain a few minutes
and hear him. He named his text; it was the last
words of the Bible, “and the spirit and the bride
say, come,” &c. The words were familiar to my
ear, for they had been read to me by Georgiana,
and her soft and tender voice had imparted a
sweetness and beauty to them which had impressed
them upon my mind. But now they seemed not
to fall upon my ear alone, but upon my heart; I
did not hear them only, I felt them.

The young preacher spoke with great boldness
and strength, as if roused by the majesty and holiness
of the words he had uttered. My attention
was arrested, and I soon forgot my determination
of leaving the room. Every word he uttered seemed
like the effect of inspiration, and he appeared to
me an impersonation of the spirit whose message
he uttered. I knew not why it was, but I felt
strangely. I had listened to many sermons before,
and from men too who had convulsed whole communities
by their preaching, but never until now
had I experienced the slightest emotion. The very
words which the preacher spoke, passed from me
as they fell upon my ear, but they left an

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impression upon my heart, which I believe will exist in
eternity. I listened with eager attention to the
whole of the sermon, and at the close, wished that
he had continued to preach longer. I felt anxious
to stay and speak to him, but I was ashamed to be
seen by those present; but most of all by the old
slave who had detained me. I looked upon them
with envious feelings, as I observed their quiet,
placid faces, if those feelings can be called envious,
in which there is neither malice nor ill-will.

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

I reached my chamber, and locked myself in, in
an unquiet state of mind. I wanted relief, but I
knew not how to obtain it; my first impulse was
to seek for it in the Bible, but alas! alas! I had
none. It was late in the evening; the stores were
all closed, and I knew not where to find one. O!
how I longed to look into its precious pages, and

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how cutting to my soul was the reflection that I
had often turned over its sacred leaves with an idle
curiosity, and then thrown it heedlessly aside. I
tried to recall to my mind some of those passages,
which Georgiana had so often repeated to me, but
in vain. All I could remember was, “Search the
Scriptures;” but whether these words were the injunction
of some kind friend, or of the Holy Book
itself, I could not remember; they were continually
before me.

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

Within a very few days my feelings were all
changed, and although I no longer looked upon
the world with the same eyes with which I regarded
it before, I could not be insensible to the events
passing around me. Scarce a day passed in which
some poor wretch, whose worldly prospects were
suddenly blasted, did not, with his own hands, deprive
himself of the life which had become a burden
to him. But the disasters of this period are
still fresh in the minds of men; and their effects

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are still felt. I am conscious it is not a proper subject
to dilate upon, except as it concerns myself.
My operations for account of Marisett & Co. were
not very extensive, and as I was not personally
liable for any of the contracts I had made, I concluded
to return immediately to New York. I went
down to the levée to engage a passage in one of
the packets, and going on board, I inquired for the

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

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

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

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

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

“My name is Franco,” I replied; “perhaps

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you will remember me when I remind you that
I met you at the `Foul Anchor,' in Water

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

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

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

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

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

I found Mrs. Davis, the late Miss Mary Ann,
in full possession of the ladies' cabin of the
Ocean, looking quite as pretty as when I saw her
last, and a good deal happier. She looked somewhat
confused when she saw me, but I pretended
to take no notice of it, and after drinking a glass

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of wine, and eating a piece of her wedding cake,
and chatting with her a few minutes, I went on
deck again, and engaged my passage; luckily,
I was just in time to secure the last berth. The
next day after, we left, and after a pleasant
passage of twenty-one days, arrived at New

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

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

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

“Quite so,” replied Mr. Bargin.

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

“And Mr. Marisett? Is he well?” I said.

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

“Left!” I said; “pray has he gone?”

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

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

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

“And where has he gone?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I was occupied almost a week in settling my
affairs with Mr. Bargin; and after I had arranged
my business with him, I renewed my endeavors to
discover the retreat of those who were most dear
to me, but without success. The obstacle which
had previously existed, to prevent my union with
Miss De Lancey, was now, I hoped, removed; the
scales had fallen from my eyes, my tongue was
loosed, and my ears were unsealed. But I did

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not repine that an obstacle still existed to prevent
that which I wished for so fervently; if we could
not be united here, I had a blissful hope that we
should be united hereafter. It was some consolation
to me to frequent those places which had been
hallowed by the presence of Georgiana; but most
of all, the abodes of poverty and wretchedness,
where I accompanied her when she went to dispense
her charities. I went in search, one day,
of the wretched hovel where I had seen her, from
my place of concealment, kneel down at the bedside
of the dying woman, and pour out her soul
in prayer. The former occupants of the place
were gone, and its present tenants were hardly
less wretched. I gave them my mite, and left
them. As I came out of the narrow passage
which led into the hovel, I met a shabbily dressed
man, whose aspect had in it something of gentility,
notwithstanding his rags and dirt. As soon as
he perceived me, he exclaimed,

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

It was the poet, the author of the ballad; he
opened his arms as if he would embrace me, but I
contented myself with a shake of the hand. He

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did not look quite as respectable as he did when
I saw him last. His coat was more than thread
bare, and it was buttoned close up to his throat,
or rather pinned up, for the top buttons were all
gone; his gloves were ragged, and his boots were
heel-less; his cap, as usual, was drawn very much
over his eyes.

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

So saying, the poet led the way into a door,
over which was suspended an enormously large red

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ball, on which was emblazoned the word O Y ST
E R S.

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

Miserable, filthy abodes they are, where every
thing that is mean, and vicious, and brutalizing,
may be seen. Vice can hardly be said to spring
up in such places, for it must have attained to its
full growth before it could seek such a spot. The
whole aspect of the place which we entered, was
blear eyed; the atmosphere was impregnated with
the fumes of tobacco, mingled with a thousand
congenial odors; the inmates of the hole were

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pale and sickly, and a young man, dressed in filthy
finery, was standing behind the bar to wait upon
customers. Mirth, cheerfulness, and good-fellowship,
were strangers here; and contentment, with
his honest face, and charity, with her open hands,
had never crossed the threshold of the door. A
placard, stuck upon the walls, conveyed the intelligence
that this was the democratic head quarters
of the ward.

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

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

“Why should I?” said the poet; “did not
all the great luminaries in the literary world attain
to their perihelion before the press itself had an

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existence? and now the press sets up for a dispenser
of fame; but presumption is the sin of a

An old man blind and gray,
Waiting in hope his Saviour's face to see,
When his allotted hours should pass away,
And set him free.
A young man strong and fair,
His dream of life in youth's warm colors traced,
His vision bounded by the earth, and there
His hopes were based.
Thus spake the youth: “old man
High in the Heavens the sun is shining now,—
As when his first diurnal course he ran,—
Gilding thy brow,
“Crowning thy head with light;
Yet his revealings fair thou canst not scan,
This summer day to thee is blackest night,
Alas, old man!
“Myriads of beauteous flowers,
Of myriad hues, in this fair scene abound,
And fields of ripening grain, and pleasant bowers,
Are all around.
“And flocks of snowy sheep,
Like fleecy clouds which sometimes dot the sky,
Upon you hillock's green and gentle steep,
Are feeding nigh.
“And frolic children gay,
A troop of loves from tedious school turned out,
Hark! as they vig'rous hasten to their play,
They joyous shout.

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“The distant city's spires,
Dim in the horizon, just meet the view,
And dusky smoke, raised from a thousand fires,
Looks aerial blue.
“And hast thou never known
A bright joy-giving scene, old man, like this,
Or hast thou groped in darkness all alone,
Deprived of bliss.
“And hast thou never seen
God's best bestowal, worthless all beside,
Earth's fairest flower, man's heart-enthroned queen,
Helpmeet and bride.”
“Aught of this goodly earth,”
Thus spake the Eld; “to me was ne'er revealed,
By sense of sight, mine eyes were, at my birth,
In darkness sealed.
“Nought have I ever seen,
Not e'en the lineaments of my own race,
Never a look of love, nor, thought most keen!
A mother's face.
“But let not pity's sigh
For me be breathed, nor pity's tear be shed,
Although I cannot see the bright blue sky
Above me spread.
“For God hath goodness shown,
In giving darkness for my portion here;
And distant glories to my faith made known
In visions clear.
“My soul awaits that day,
When the first object that my eyes shall see,—
My spirit freed from this all blinding clay,—
My God shall be.”

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

I could not help exclaiming, “can it be possible
that you have come to this!”

“Who is that,” he cried, starting upon his feet;
“ha! is it you? What in the name of h—
brought you here?”

What a luxury it would have been to my evil
heart once, to have encountered him thus; but now
my pride of heart was gone; I no longer envied
him, and how could I exult over him in his degradation?
I could not, and my heart smote me
for having nursed a passion of hatred against him.
He was my cousin, and I could freely forgive him
the wrong he had done me. I advanced towards

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him with my hand extended, but he caught hold
of a chair, and raising it above his head, said,
“don't come near me; don't lay the weight of
your finger upon me, or I will kill you this time.”
And so saying, he would, perhaps, have put his
threat into execution; but the poet jumped in between
us, and the bar-keeper leaped over the bar
and caught hold of my arm, although I had not
made the slightest attempt at defence. A slight
scuffle ensued, which caused a mob of negroes
and noisy women to collect about the door, but
I contrived to extricate myself, and make my
escape, without any serious damage to my person,
although I suffered some in my clothes.

On my return to my lodgings, I found letters
from home; they were full of pleasant news, and
one of them, from my father, contained a considerable
remittance in bank bills. It appeared that,
notwithstanding the hard times, the improvements
in our village had been carried on; the track of a
railroad had been carried through my father's
garden, which had enhanced the value of his property
almost a hundred fold; a joint stock company
had purchased the family mansion, and altered
it into a classic temple, by adding a row of wooden
pillars and a pediment, and giving it a coat of
white paint; it had been christened Franco Hall,

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and lithographed views of it were hung up in all
the taverns in the county, and my sister wrote that
it was to be in one of the annuals. My father had
suddenly become a man of consequence, and there
were rumors of his being nominated for Congress.
It is wonderful how soon a man's abilities are discovered,
when it is known that he has made a
fortunate speculation.

I must acknowledge that I was not altogether
indifferent to this accession of wealth in the family,
for although the estimate which I once put upon
worldly prosperity was greatly reduced, I was
by no means insensible to the advantages which
a moderate competence confers; and more especially
at this time, I could not but reflect on the
happiness it would give me, if it should ever be
in my power to render any aid to my benefactor
and my friend. I hardly dared to trust myself to
think of Georgiana, for my heart bled at the bare
idea of her ever being in want.

The news I had received from home, made me
more anxious than ever to see my parents and my
sister, but I could not prevail upon myself to leave
New York until I had gained some intelligence of
Mr. Marisett and his niece; but week after week
wore away, and all my exertions proved fruitless.
At last I was on the point of abandoning the hope

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of ever hearing from them again, when I discovered,
by a lucky accident, that Georgiana had inherited,
from a relation of her father's, a small estate
in North Carolina; thither I doubted not she had
gone with her uncle; in what part of the state her
property was located, I knew not, but I determined
on setting out immediately to discover. It was
enough for me to know that there was a probability
of her being in the state; it appeared an easy
matter to visit every town in it, and indeed every
house, until I discovered her. I told Mr. Bargin
of my intentions, and he endeavored to dissuade
me from attempting to carry my plan into execution.
He advised me to write to every post master
in the state, and make inquiries concerning
them; but my heart yearned after them, and I
could not wait for so tedious a messenger as the
mail. A steamboat was to leave for Charleston in
the morning, and without heeding his advice, I
engaged a passage in her, intending to commence
at the southern extremity of the state, and so travel
northwards on horseback, until I should meet with
the object of my search. Assuredly it was a wild
undertaking; but any thing would have seemed
reasonable and easy of performance, if Georgiana
had been the object to be obtained by its accomplishment.

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CHAPTER XXIV [sic]. A Storm and a Wreck.

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It was late in the fall, and the steamboat was
crowded with Southerners, returning to their rice
fields and cotton plantations, after having spent
the warm months at the north; there were also
many adventurers going in search of wealth, and
many invalids going in search of health at the
south. But they were all lively, and we left the
Hook behind us with colors flying and music playing,
as though we were bound on a holiday excursion.
When the sun went down, however, the
hilarity of some of the observing among the passengers
was in a measure checked, by the almost
certain indication which the sky presented of a
coming storm. For myself, I watched a thermometer
which hung in the companion way, and
although I perceived it fell suddenly, I had no
fears, for the boat was new; it had been pronounced
staunch and sea-worthy by those who pretended
to be knowing in such matters; and I knew it
would be an easy matter to make a port if it should
be necessary. And so having commended my soul
to God, and invoked his protection, I lay down to

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rest. But the wind continued to increase, and before
morning the boat had worked so hard as to
cause her to leak; but still there was no serious
cause for alarm. Some of the passengers, who had
never been at sea before, began to grow fearful,
and they begged the captain to put back, or to
make a port, until the storm should be over; but
I could not endure the thought of being retarded
in my progress, and I begged him to proceed, for
I could see no danger; he was an old sailor, and
having encountered many harder storms than this
threatened to be, he listened to my persuasions,
and laughed at the fears of the others, and avowed
his determination to proceed on his voyage at all
hazards. So we continued on our course that day;
but the next day the storm increased, the leak, or
leaks, grew worse and worse, and fear and consternation
were visible in every countenance. The
boat was slightly constructed, and we began to be
convinced that green and white paint are very indifferent
substitutes for strong oak ribs and stout
hanging knees. Owing to her very great length,
and the weight of her machinery, she worked very
heavily; every sea that struck her apparently
opened another seam, and at every revolution of
the wheels, some part of the machinery gave way.
It was with great difficulty that the fires were kept

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up, and almost every man on board was engaged
in helping to bale the water out of the hold. It was
a dismal day. But the distracted passengers heeded
neither the storm, the cold, nor the wet, but
weary and exhausted though they were, they gave
all their strength to assist in freeing themselves
from the dangers which threatened them; the fear
of death took possession of their hearts, and urged
them to deeds which they never knew before they
were capable of performing.

Night began to approach, and with its dark shadows
came darker fears, that we should never more
look upon the light of another day. The wind
continued to increase, and even the captain began
to show signs of fear, storm-nurtured though
he was, and familiar as he had been all his life
with the ways of the winds and the waves; the
shrieks and groans of the afflicted wretches
around him, and the dismal creaking and cracking
and snapping of beams and stanchions, made
his heart quake.

Soon after dark, one of the wheel ropes parted,
and before it could be spliced, or a tiller shipped,
the boat broached to, and shipped an overwhelming
sea, which carried away the wheel-house,
filled the hold half full of water, and completely
extinguished the fires. We were now

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completely at the mercy of the winds and waves;
the pitchy darkness of the night was only relieved
by the white foam of the sea, as it broke
around us and over us, which enabled me to
catch a glimpse of the haggard faces of the poor
creatures who crowded the decks, as the dim
phosphorescent light shone on them; the wind
liad continued to increase in violence until it blew
so hard, it was difficult to hear those speak who
stood close by my side. For my own part, I gave
up all hope; but others, those who were the first
to fear, now that destruction appeared inevitable,
would not believe that they could be lost; they
still looked up to the captain, and trusted in his
experience; but their hold on him was soon let
go, for he was too good a sailor not to know that
our situation was hopeless, and he took up his
speaking trumpet, and announced the dread tidings
through its brazen throat. “In another
hour,” he said, “the boat will either be at the
bottom or on the beach.” A loud and bitter wail,
rising above the howling wind and the roaring
waters, followed this announcement; and many
leaped overboard in the agony of their fears, and
some put heavy weights in their pockets, that
when they should be in the water, their struggles
might soon be at an end.

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“If there is a parson on board,” roared the
captain, through his speaking trumpet, “he
might about as well pray for us, and be quick
about it too, for he will soon have his mouth full
of salt water.” But no one answered this invitation
of the captain; and as I was composed and
calm, having a glorious hope of peace beyond
this life, I felt called upon to say something to
those about me. I therefore secured myself by
clinging to the railing round the main mast, and
raising my voice as loud as I could, I succeeded
in arresting the attention of a few. The precise
words that I made use of, I do not now remember,
but they were something like the following: “In
a few short moments, my dear fellow sufferers, we
shall all be enshrouded in the white foam of these
heaving waves, which are now roaring and dashing
around us, as if impatient of the merciful delay
which keeps us from them. I know the
thoughts which fill your minds now; they are
of eternity, and of Him who inhabits eternity; for
what other thoughts can enter the mind at a time
like this. Our bodies are sure to be lost; our
souls may be saved. There is one hope on which
we may rest, and but one. We cannot be saved
by our own good deeds now, for there is no time
left for their performance. Charity will avail

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nothing now, for there are none here in want of
the little we have to bestow; we cannot do good
to those who have injured us; they are not here
to be witnesses of our obedience. If, then, we
are to be saved, it must be by the righteousness
of another, and not of ourselves. God has promised
that all who believe shall be saved; have
faith, then, in Christ, his son, by whose righteousness
we may secure our salvation. Believe
and repent; there is no time to demur; if you
have objections to urge to this plan of redemption,
they must remain unanswered until the
dread reality itself shall silence all doubts. Do
not despair; although the time is short, it is long
enough for repentance; remember the thief on
the cross, who, as his life's blood gushed from
his heart, with his heart believed, and was saved.”

I could say no more; the water beat in my face
with such violence, I could not utter another
word; but the captain again took up his speaking
trumpet, and called out, “you hear the news
there, men; so bear a hand, and take the gentleman's

A loud, long, continued roar, different from
that caused by the wind and the sea, now broke
upon the ear, and an appearance to leeward like a

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high white bank, seen dimly through the darkness,
revealed the cause; it was the breakers. Our
small boats had been stove in at the commencement
of the storm, and we were possessed of no
possible means of escape. Feeling certain that
my time was come, and that I must very soon enter
on that state of existence for which I had an
undimmed hope of being prepared by the atonement
of one who is mighty to save, I strove to
give myself up to solemn reflections and prayer,
but my voice was drowned in the roar of the elements,
and my attention was continually excited
by the sufferings and appeals of those about me.
A woman who was going, with two infant children,
to meet her husband at the south, had been seated
all the night upon deck, with her two little ones
clasped to her breast, seemingly unconscious of the
storm which beat upon her head. It was wonderful
to see one so slight and delicate in her frame,
capable of such great endurance. But now when
the cry went round that we were approaching the
breakers, fear or despair roused her, and leaving
her children upon the deck, she caught hold of
my arms as I passed her, and shrieked wildly. I
tried to sooth her, but in vain; I spoke to her of
her children, but still she clung to me, and raved
fearfully. Suddenly the shrill voices of her little

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ones caught her ear, and she released her hold of
my arm, and I never saw her again. A young
man rushed out of the cabin with a life-preserver
in his hand, and throwing it towards me, he ran
to the after part of the boat, and him I never saw

The boat soon struck and heeled over towards
the beach, and every sea that broke over her bore
away part of our number. I looked about for the
man who had thrown me his life-preserver, but I
could not find him, and so I fastened it under my
arms, and climbed up to the top of the belfry, where
the waves broke with less force. Many of the
passengers, the captain among the number, lashed
themselves to the taffrail, but the third or fourth
breach that the sea made over us carried away the
stern part of the boat, and they were seen no more.
Knowing that certain destruction would be the
consequence of lashing myself to the wreck, I determined
to make an attempt to reach the shore,
before my strength should be exhausted by exposure.
I leaped overboard, and as I struck out my
arms, I felt confident of reaching the shore. Every
wave carried me nearer and nearer; I barely kept
myself afloat, reserving my strength for an effort
when I should reach the shore, knowing the difficulty
of keeping a footing on the beach when the

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water receded. At length I was thrown upon the
strand, but as I was not expecting it, before I
could recover myself, I was drawn back into the
breakers, my eyes and mouth filled with sand.
Again I was thrown upon the beach, and succeeded
in keeping a hold, but before I could crawl away
another wave broke over me, the treacherous sand
sunk from beneath me, and I was again drawn
back, exhausted and almost spent. But the next
wave took me upon its breast, and threw me high
upon the beach; as it receded, I made a desperate
effort, and succeeded in clinging to the bank of
sand; the next wave broke short over me, and before
another came, I had time to crawl away to a
place of safety. I looked back upon the sea, but
I could perceive nothing but the white foam.
There was no one near me. I listened, but I could
hear nothing but the roar of the waves. Daylight
was just beginning to break, and I was anxious to
look for help for my companions, but cold and
over-exertion had exhausted my powers; I tried to
stand, but my head reeled, and I fell senseless to
the earth.

I slept sound and long, but I was at length
roused by the sound of familiar voices; they
seemed to come from a long way off, as though

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they were speaking to me from the past, or calling
me into the future; but, partly opening my eyes,
I perceived there were well known forms bending
over me. I was in bed. My head burned dreadfully,
and I felt sore and feverish. I thought I
had just awoke, after the attack which was made
upon me by the assassin, when I was on my way
to Mr. Marisett's house. What horrible dreams
had in a brief space rushed through my mind!
Could it be possible that such a lapse of time had
been compressed into a moment. How vivid my
dreams had been. I still thought I could hear the
shriek of my seeming dream-companions struggling
with the fierce waves. Surely I had not
been dreaming. I opened my eyes again—Georgiana
and her uncle were both near me. Yes, it
was a dream that had frightened me. But where
was good Mrs. Butler; it was not like her to be
absent when I was sick. I called for her, and
Georgiana uttered a piercing shriek; I was frightened,
and said, or tried to say: “don't be alarmed,
Miss De Lancy, it is only a flesh wound, I am not
dangerously hurt.” But the exertion was too
great, and I sunk into forgetfulness again.

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Writers of fiction possess an immense advantage
over the mere narrator of actual occurrences,
in being able to preserve an artist-like unity
in the occurrence of events, and also of confining
their narrative within the circumference of the
probabilities. And to this, mainly, I conceive,
fiction is indebted for its general success. Nature,
it must be confessed, is sometimes outré in
the extreme; but art generally contrives to render
herself extremely natural. The honest historian,
and particularly the historian of one's own adventures,
frequently has the mortification of knowing
that, while he makes record of that which he
knows to be true, he incurs the risk of being set
down, by the public, as an outrageous romancer.
I have more than once repented, since I wrote the
first chapter of this history, the straitness of my
resolution, which does not allow me to introduce
enough of fiction in these pages to give a naturalness
to the whole.

It was many days after I was cast ashore, before
I was sufficiently recovered to be able fully

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to comprehend the situation in which I was placed.
And even now, I can, at times, hardly
realize, that the adventures which I have related,
were not all a troubled dream; but there are
too many evidences of their truth around me, to allow
of my remaining long a skeptic.

The reverses of fortune had come upon Mr.
Marisett so heavily, and in such rapid succession,
that he was unable to withstand their repeated
shocks. His spirit broke, although his mind remained
entire. Being without wife or children,
he wanted those powerful incentives to action
which have sustained weaker men under difficulties
more trying. He was tired of the world, at
least that portion of it which had witnessed his former
condition; but being restrained by dim religious
perceptions, from rushing uncalled into
the presence of his Judge, he resolved to seek a
secluded resting place, and there await his summons
to depart; and no where could he do that
so well as in the place which necessity pointed out
to him, even though inclination had not.

Georgiana inherited from her mother a considerable
estate on the sea coast, in North Carolina;
and when she heard of her uncle's determination
to retire from the world, she offered him

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this place for an asylum, upon the condition of
his allowing her to accompany and reside there
with him. He at first refused; but finding her
resolute, he at last consented, and thither she accompanied
him. When they arrived on the estate,
they found no other habitation on it than a
very small hut, built in the slightest manner, of
no more durable materials than cypress shingles.
But with the assistance of a slave whom they hired
of a neighbor, they soon put it in habitable
order. They found themselves surrounded by a
rude, but kind and hospitable, people. Mr. Marisett
found what he sought, solitude; and Georgiana
seeing him satisfied, was herself contented.

They had been living quietly, and all unknown,
if not happily, for some months, in this
secluded spot, when I was cast ashore, as already
described in the last chapter, within two miles of
their dwelling; a spot so little frequented, that it
is probable I should have passed it by, had I been
permitted to follow up my intentions of visiting
every town in the State, until I should gain some
intelligence of Georgiana and her uncle. It appeared
that the violence of the storm during the
night, had caused Mr. Marisett to go down to the
sea shore as soon as it was light, to see if any

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vessels had been cast ashore during the night, and
there he found me stretched out upon the beach,
and perceiving signs of life, he procured assistance,
and had me taken to his hut; and he and
Georgiana had been all the morning endeavoring
to revive me, without any suspicion of who I was.
When I opened my eyes, and called for Mrs. Butler,
Georgiana recognised my voice, and uttering
a piercing scream, she fell into a swoon, from
which she was with difficulty restored.

Georgiana and myself being thus thrown, once
more, miraculously together, and the obstacle
which had formerly prevented our union being
removed, it would have been tempting the Providence
which had preserved us for each other, had
we longer delayed our marriage. As soon as my
health was sufficiently restored, this happy event
was consummated; and then, by our joint entreaties,
we succeeded in prevailing on Mr. Marisett
to accompany us back to New York, and from
thence to Franco Ville, where we still live in the
enjoyment of blessings innumerable.

I have now reached the point, beyond which,
gentle reader, you cannot accompany me; and
although I hope you do not willingly part from
me, I must deny myself from ever meeting you

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again. But as your curiosity may have been excited
towards some of those whom I have incidentally
mentioned, I will here state all that I know
concerning them.

My cousin was reduced to extreme poverty, by
his speculations in real estate; he became very intemperate
in his habits, and wanting the means to
sustain life, he put an end to his own existence,
thus making the end himself, that he had predicted
for me.

Mr. D. Wellington Worhoss also failed in his
real estate operations, but being above suicide, he
became a member of the board of Brokers, and he
may be seen any sun shiny day, between the hours
of ten and two, with a long marble colored book
under his arm, elbowing his way through the
crowd of well dressed gentlemen who monopolize
the side walks of Wall-street.

Mr. Dooitt had the misfortune to make oath to
a statement before the Vice Chancellor, concerning
the conveyance of some property, which on
investigation, did not prove to be strictly true;
and for that trifling mistake, he is now quarrying
marble at an unmentionable place, on the banks
of the Hudson.

My good friend, Jerry Bowhorn, has joined the
temperance society, and got to be mate of a

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Liverpool packet, with a fair prospect of being made
captain; and if that event should ever take place,
I will venture to predict, he will have many complimentary
pieces of plate, and innumerable votes
of thanks, and silver snuff boxes, presented to him,
by his passengers. It is needless to add, that he
is a great comfort to his mother.

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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 2 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v2].
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