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to-morrow. I don't know, but I am half in- that's the case, Gus Webster or Tom Wellsclined to think that Gus intends to do so very one or the other.” shortly; I must be beforehand with him. To We had instinctively moved toward the drawtell you the truth, I have several times de- ing-room, and Tom had already caught up one termined to do so; but though, as you see, she of the daguerreotypes. His and mine had been loves me to distraction, yet there is ama sort of done at the same time, by the same artist, and something which rather repels me whenever I the cases were precisely alike. He touched the approach the matter."
spring of that in his hand, and there was the Oh! what a wretch was I to walk by his side elegant“counterfeit presentment" of—my brothcalm as the evening around us, and happy as a er Tom ! prince. Indeed, I would have exchanged the “That's strange," said Tom. " Here's farare and treasured joy of my heart for no prin- ther-she hasn't carried him off; and here's cipality in Christendom.
mother and sister. Why, Fred, where is It was noon on the following day, as I sat in yours ?" the library, that Tom entered hastily, and threw “Mine," said I, “was here this morning. his hat into one chair, his body into another, But the fact is, in my discussion with Adela and his patent leathers, with his heels in them, last night, I made a suggestion to her, and she into a third. Thrusting his hands through his was to signify her concurrence with it by approluxuriant hair, he turned upon me.
priating my miniature this morning. My prop“ Fred, by all the_” (saints, he should have osition was as good as accepted, I believe, last said) “she has rejected me-me, Fred, me!" night, for we had interchanged the usual cour
I looked up, and, like Oliver Twist, I sup- tesies of the occasion just before you joined me pose my look must have asked for more. in the orchard_"
" It's all a flam, I am sure. I pressed her There was a rustle of silk behind us. Tom for an objection—a single objection ; my per- had drawn off a little and fixed his wondering son, habits, condition, expectations — all right gaze on me as Adela came between us, urged there, my boy. She hinted, as I understood by her apprehensions of the consequences. her—though it was very delicately done—that “ Yes,” she said, “ dear Tom, I have approher heart was not entirely at her own disposal. priated your brother's daguerreotype, and by so I might almost have inferred from what she doing intimated my acceptance of his proffered said that she loved another; but I don't be- hand and heart." lieve any thing of that sort, you know, Fred.” Tom stood one moment the very personifica
“ Has she ever given you reason to believe tion of exquisite surprise ; the next, he threw that she entertained any other sentiment than himself into a chair, clapped his hands upon his that of friendship toward you ?" I asked. sides, and went off into an uncontrollable burst “Never till to-day, Fred.”
of laughter--not loud, but rollicking with the “ To-day ?” I said, a little nervously.
keenest relish of a feast of humor all his own. " Yes, to-day. I'll explain. I saw her en- In this exploit Tom at least was irresistible ter the drawing-room this morning, and follow- his mirth was contagious. I joined in the ed her there in a minute or two. You know laugh, and Adela with some difficulty restrainthere are a dozen of our family daguerreotypes ed her features. There was something so jolly lying upon the table. I saw her take up mine, and yet so felicitously ludicrous in the scene, gaze upon it a moment with tenderness, press that it was impossible not to enjoy it with him. it to her lips, and conceal it in her bosom. At length, Tom sprung from his seat, caught This I saw by the mirror opposite the door, as my hand in one of his, and Adela's in the othI paused a moment before I entered. It was er, and exclaimed, more than enough to encourage me to seize the Well, by Jove, Fred-Adela—this is the opportunity as I had designed, declare my love, best joke of the season !" and propose for her hand. The sequel you Webster and Jane came in from a morning have already. She actually rejected me, yet walk, and it was then understood that they had walked off with Tom Wells in her bosom! concluded an arrangement a day or two before. What do you think of that, my boy? Are not And so, Gus, you were never in love with these women the very—"
Adela-never had a design that way—eh ?" Stop a moment, Tom," said I.
I did not “ Never thought of such a thing, Tom; but like the profanation, and arrested the word. I confess my danger, had not your charming “Are you quite sure it was your miniature, cousin engaged my attention.” Tom ?" I asked. The philosophy of love may “Well, that is rare ! Why, of what a explain the fact I can not—but I had some- weight of care, consideration, and responsibility how lost a portion of my reverence for Tom's I should have been relieved had I only known irresistibility, and in the cause in which I was that before !" now embarked was bravo as Julius Cæsar.
“But you don't mean to say, Tom," hinted “Why, whose could it be, if not mine ?" | Gus, interrogatively, “ that you never loved AdTom asked, with the most generous confidence. ela—that you have been flirting all this time?" “Gus has never had the impudence to leave "Ask her," replied Tom. “Did I not make his there. I tell you what, Fred, I had my sus a solemn consecration of myself to her this picions when Adela hintod what she did. If morning ? Love her, forsooth! Indeed, I do.
And shall love her all the better, perhaps, as a a small college of large pretensions. I have sister. It was for the honor of our house that reason to believe that my departure gave a conI thought she ought to become Mrs. Wells, and siderable satisfaction to the respectable but I was determined to maintain it—if I could. somewhat slow faculty of that valuable instituIt is quite as well in Fred's hands, and the sly tion; concerning whom I can only say, with rogue is very well satisfied with it."
honest Touchstone, there was no great love beI smiled and submitted with the utmost res tween us at the outset, and it pleased Heaven ignation, and some complacency, to the soft im- to decrease it upon further acquaintance. peachment.
In the choice of a profession, my predilection “And may I ask," said Tom," when you for the army, where I might have "filled a ditch and Adela first realized that my diligent atten- as well as another," was unfortunately overtions were superfluous—in other words, Fred, ruled. It was agreed upon all hands that the when did you first discover your love for her ?" law presented the true field for the exercise of
“When she sprang from the carriage, I my abilities, and for the accomplishment of that think, as I held the restive horse on the night golden harvest without which the most eminent of her arrival."
qualities are in danger of remaining unappreThere was a twitching at the corners of his ciated. And so it came to pass that, like many mouth.
a better man before me, I had the misfortuno " And you, Adela — when did your heart to be bred to the law; though, as the late Mr. yield its admiration to this quiet brother of J. Miller forcibly observed, the law has never mine ?"
been bread to me.' “As I sprang from the carriage, I think, Pleasant beyond what is written are the memwhen he held the restive horse on the night of ories, “too earnest for laughter, too joyous for my arrival,” she answered, archly.
tears," of my templar's sojourn in the law"Love at first sight, by Jove! Well, you school of old Yale. The studious days and upare both perfect in your catechism, and may roarious nights, the rollicking students and fair, soon be admitted to the church. Fred, the demure Presbyterians, the green elms and the honor of the family has been, so far, gallantly blue notions of that ancient city, are all chronmaintained in your hands. I am content to icled in the recollection of whosoever has lived leave it there; and shall, very probably, subside among them; and to none else would the deinto the respectability of bachelorhood.” scription be intelligible. I think I really studied
"Never, Tom, never. You are a thousand there. I had not then discovered how an electimes too good for such a fate as that.” Such tive Judiciary and an incompetent Legislature was the verdict of our company.
And I am had corroded the ancient and beautiful fabric of sure, reader, you will agree with me, whether the common law. Reading the old books, and he shall be Bachelor or Benedick, that he is a listening to the old school-teachers, I dreamed splendid fellow—my Brother Tom.
many foolish dreams concerning the law as a
high and pure science, devised for the protecPASSAGES IN THE EXPERIENCE OF tion of the people, and administered by men of A BRIEFLESS BARRISTER.
great minds and rare honor. I have since
, lives are thought worth reading that never the things of past generations, and are of small were worth living, some small account of the advantage to the modern attorney and counauthor hereof may reasonably be expected. I selor. am come of a very ancient family, who are said After the usual novitiate, I came to the bar, to be descended in right line from the Prodigal and commenced following the circuit with much Son. They have been characterized through assiduity. I am compelled to admit, however, numerous successive generations by all the vir- that my success did not equal my expectations, tues and much of the success of their illustrious and, in fact, hardly deserved the name of sucprogenitor. The family estates consist mainly cess at all; so that I found myself, after some of castles in Spain, remarkable for beauty and years' experience, with more creditors than variety, but at present of no market value. clients, and a reputation for any thing rather
Having been blessed in childhood with curly than the gravity and wisdom which belong to hair, very mischievous propensities, and an un- that oracular profession. All the caricatures, usually large circle of female relatives, I was lampoons, bad jokes, and worse verses of the early discovered to be a lad of uncommon parts, circuit were laid to my charge. I was the John and likely, somehow and sometime, to cut a dis- Doe in whose name every such proceeding came tinguished figure in the world. This prediction, into court. And though a crack shot, a good it is hardly necessary to say, has not as yet been seat on a horse and an unrivaled hand at a entirely fulfilled ; though on the strength of punch, my legal acquirements were rarely in it I was tolerated, in my younger days, to an requisition, unless to lead some forlorn hope of extent more creditable to the patience than the a peculiarly unattractive character. Solemn discernment of my excellent relations. I suc- young gentlemen in spectacles, of small capaciceeded, however, in due time, without being at ty but great (probable) learning, regarded me the trouble of learning any thing except mis- as an eminent example to prove that the law is chief, in graduating with some distinction at la jealous mistress and rewards no divided at
tention. In the which profound and original which might be better adapted to my habits and observation they conceived to be embodied the abilities. A judicious observation of what was golden rule of human life. I sometimes, by passing soon disclosed to me how largely noise, fits and starts, succeeded in slightly astonishing pretension, and humbug, entered into the comsuch people; but for the most part, grave men position of city existence, and how numerous a of business, fussy attorneys, and other such generation of fools it had pleased Providence to Priests and Levites, shook their heads, and create, at this period the world's history, for passed by on the other side. And a prosy old the benefit of those excellent Bohemians who judge, of whom I had said that, like neces- live on their wits. I became convinced that his sity, he knew no law, saw in that unlucky re must be a very uncommon kind of incapacity mark such evidence of depravity that he openly indeed, which, by proper attention, could not prophesied I should come to the gallows—a find here adequate and successful employment prediction which, at least in the present condi- in some pursuit or other; and that however one tion of the administration of justice, does not might have been left out in the general arrangeseem likely to be immediately verified.
ments of creation elsewhere, he could not long I was thus left ample leisure to distinguish fail to discover in this place the level which it is myself at bar dinners, hunting parties, and said every man must find at last. Impressed other schemes of enlarged uselessness. But with this comforting assurance, I bestowed much tired at last of an unsuccessful career, and of careful thought on the question what might waiting for a fortune that never came, I sold my be my probable “mission" -a term peculiarly horses, gave away my dogs, compounded with applicable to my case, because it seems to have those creditors whose sublime faith had with been invented by certain modern philosophers stood time, affectionately commended my few to denote the occupation on earth of one who clients to the Goddess of Chance, and bade a has nothing to do. My perseverance was at last farewell to the bench and the bar, the last, after much discouragement, rewarded with woods and the streams, the bright eyes and success. My attention being fortunately turned pretty ankles of the Third Judicial Circuit. to a profession which, as far at least as this conThus cut loose, I naturally enough drifted away tinent is concerned, has originated in the meinto the whirlpool of the metropolis.
tropolis, and is gradually rising into much digIt will have been already anticipated by the nity and repute-I mean that of Gentleman at sagacious reader that my part in the affairs of Large-I soon became convinced that I had at this emporium was not likely to be prominent. last solved the problem, and had found the posiMy arrival did not create a great sensation; tion for which my natural gifts had been so long and though I enrolled myself at the bar, and ripening in the light of unproductive experience. took an office, where, in the absence of other I forthwith embraced this new vocation, with as employment or amusement, I might some- much zeal as was consistent with the very detimes be found, my professional engagements liberate philosophy that characterizes it, and at were generally limited to attending the various once proceeded to pack off my scattered lawCourts for my own entertainment. I have books to an auction-shop, where they figured learned, however, to regard wealth and distinc- next day as the “Library of an eminent Lawtion as but sour grapes, and to look without yer about to embark for Europe”-a journey, envy upon those more fortunate gentlemen by-the-way, which, it would seem from the adwhose strength is but labor and sorrow, and vertisements, is like that into the world to come, whose success leaves them no time to dine, and and can not be undertaken till the traveler is but little to sleep—who inhabit large houses first divested of all his earthly possessions. I where they are never at home, and people felt when I left the auctioneer's door much as Broadway with the most over-dressed of wives, the Rev. Mr. Bunyan’s Pilgrim did when he had and the most rickety of children. Peace, were gotten rid of his burden. Fairly disembarrassed it possible, to their care-worn, restless, nervous of the unprofitable hypocrisy of a profession lives, and to their final repose when they shall without practice, I speedily became free of the be prematurely sent over to Greenwood by the honorable guild and independent order of Walkhands of the undertaker, and deposited beneath ing Gentlemer. monuments of marvelous magnificence.
What a relief many a worthy fellow would My professional engagements being thus sat- experience, if he could thus unceremoniously isfactorily disposed of, I finally took heart of be quit of the cumbersome and mistaken prograce, and resolved to quit forever the wrinkled fession, in which he stands, like David in the old virgin who is supposed to be Goddess of the armor of Saul, casting a longing eye at the Law, and from whom I had received nothing smooth stones of the brook! In the verdant but ingratitude. It was an excellent resolution, hours of youth, he probably became impressed albeit somewhat late in the day, and worthy the with the idea that great things were expected serious attention of many of my professional of him by the world. In this notion he was brethren. I slept uncommonly well after making slightly mistaken. The world never expects it, and, what was more unusual, awoke with the any thing from unknown people, whatever it full determination to keep it. Unwilling to be may be civil enough to tell them. There are quite idle, I therefore began seriously to cast points on which the world is wise; this is one about for some other calling or occupation, of them. It remembereth the Spanish proverb,
“ Blessed is he who expects nothing; he shall / genius of no common order, and experience of not be disappointed when he finds it." Stimu- a various and ripe description. One should be lated by this unfortunate fancy, our youngster able to combine the wisdom of the philosopher, plunges head-foremost into a life for which he the shrewdness of the man of the world, the is totally unsuited, and spends some valuable taste of the scholar, and the modesty of the lawyears in finding out that he is nobody in par- yer. He must eschew politics, despise quackticular after all. In nine cases out of ten, ery, and believe in the eighth commandment. after making this discovery, he lacks the sense He ought to have as little as possible to do with or the pluck to accomplish his escape. So he money, except to spend it. Especially must struggles on, hoping against hope, in the vain he be gifted with ample leisure, that rarest of endeavor to discharge that debt which Lord American possessions, so as not only to pay Coke says every man owes to his profession. proper respect and attention to himself, but to be There ought to be a general bankrupt law to re- able to observe, to reflect, and to laugh on his lieve such insolvents from further liability in own account. Most people here are so busy in respect of this debt and others similar to it; or the pursuit of daily bread, which never comes some other exodus should be provided out of an by the praying for, as to be under the necessity Egypt where bricks must forever be made with of having these little duties performed for them out straw.
by others. I humbly commend my example in this mat The public services of this dignified class of ter to the imitation of all who are thus unfor- citizens are by no means fully understood, in a tunately situated. It must be admitted, I think, community who would speedily become conthat past failure was in great measure redeemed scious of their withdrawal. A little reflection, by the masterly character of my retreat from the however, will make any one sensible of the exposition that had become untenable. Not the tent and value of their labors. Pray where do Anabasis of Xenophon, nor Moreau's celebrated the restless inhabitants of this overworked and retrograde through the Black Forest, was more overcrowded metropolis obtain their valuable prompt, decisive, or successful. Whatever the ready-made opinions upon all sorts of topics, disasters of the campaign, I at least marched adopted so suddenly and so unanimously, and off with the honors of war. In an incredibly adhered to with such praiseworthy pertinacity ? short time I had divested myself of the few in- Whence the satisfactory information which every signia, physical and moral, which I had ever body possesses upon all subjects ? Who devises possessed of my late profession. Slight as the the fashion of their hats, the cut of what they encumbrance had been, the relief in throwing it consider to be their coats, the Turner landscapes off was immense. I cared not for even a lin- of their extraordinary trowsers, the architecture gering look behind at the broken memories of their marvelous cravats? Who superintends rapidly receding into the past. Within three the opera, the regattas, and the numerous elabdays I had kicked an attorney, who had the orate nothings that embroider the homely surimpertinence to accost me in the slang of his face of common life? Who dances with their tribe, with “Please to take notice.” In a week daughters at Mrs. Grundy's balls? Who inI cut the Chief Justice. Go forthwith and do vented Brown? Who, in short, assume the likewise, misguided lawyerling, starving saw- labor of conducting an unsophisticated public bones, or other blind leader of the blind! ere through the difficult mazes of fashionable life, yet it be too late to take counsel of the Scripture, teaching them what to worship, what to despise, which saith, “Rejoice, O young man, in the who to run after, who to whistle down the wind, days of thy youth !"
and how to do it all? Manifestly these ideas The man who has learned to be generally do not originate with the present proprietors useless with tolerable grace, is never thrown thereof, because the most of them would be away in the island of Manhattan. Nowhere alarmed at the thought of originating any thing will his talents, if properly employed, have a and consider that they accomplish the chief end chance to be better appreciated. Many excel- of man when each becomes as far as possible a lent institutions are here established for his es- fac-simile of all the rest. In all these particupecial benefit; and much learning, literature, lars the public are, to a much greater extent and oratory, valuable to the authors thereof, than they are aware of, indebted to their Genand which, as Byron said of Keats, is at least tlemen at Large. Recruited from various progreat, if not intelligible, would be quite lost fessions, and usually from those who have most without him. Multitudes of fashionable peo- brilliantly failed in each, we earnestly labor for ple, who only need brains, birth, education, and the general advancement of the humanities. breeding to be the finest society in the world, We set the fashions, give a tone to conversawould utterly fail in such small attempts at life tion, a current to public opinion, and a supply as they are able to make, without his imposing to the channel of popular information. We presence and unfailing resources.
manufacture much of the literature they read, The character, however, is both difficult and deviso in great part the entertainments which responsible. Success in it is much oftener at they think they enjoy, and invent most of the tempted than achieved. Any commonplace fel-facts which they steadfastly believe. And though low can make himself useful in the ordinary we are sometimes mischievous enough to set a walks of life, but this employment requires sagacious public off upon a scent which conducts
them nearer the range of the ridiculous than the most of the passing hours, I await with a dry sublime, and perhaps generally manage to in- eye the progress and final consummation of huveigle Young America into a costume which man affairs. What is to come next, from the renders him as striking a caricature of mankind legislature, the comet, or the city authorities, as possible, surely these little cynical eccen- is a matter of profound indifference. I will tricities may be forgiven us, in regard of the give or take the odds on the double event. many really valuab
services we perform. Nor are our efforts entirely devoted to the
DE L'AMITIÉ. good of the public at large. When your suc- THE best thing to be said of L'Amitié is, that cessful citizen, retired on a fortune acquired in he has not engaged the attention of our the brewery or the shop, has happily succeeded modern writers. When your genuine author in surrounding himself with all the means and sits down with his fine eyes rolling, his (once) appliances of a life he is unfitted to lead; when fine hair tossed wildly up, a bran-new steel pen he has gathered together books that he can not in his hand, he chooses no such feeble theme. understand, pictures he is unable to appreciate, Your dramatist does not summon before you horses he is afraid to mount, and choice wines two healthy unromantic people taking much that make him ill, how great is his indebtedness comfort in each other in a quiet way, but he to some friend of the walking-gentleman frater- must fever you with love, tear you with jealnity, who kindly takes all the trouble off his ousy, sting you with remorse, or glut you with hands, and assists him in the difficult task of revenge—the favorite terms with dramatists, meeting Providence half-way, by a proper use but not with our moderate selves). and enjoyment of these late-in-the-day gifts. At the conclusion of the third volume or of My services will be cheerfully at the disposal of the fifth act you go home prematurely gray, or any gentleman so situated, provided there be no go back, as the case may be, to your ordinary marriageable daughter in the case, with whom pursuits with nerves unstrung, to find the busimatrimony would be expected. I am not a ness of life quite too dull an affair for your marrying man; and a careful perusal of the stimulated taste. various statutes in force in this State on the There have been poems, it is true, “On subject of the law of husband and wife, has led Friendship;" there have been compositions writme greatly to fear and distrust a relation which ten by boarding-school misses ringing constant is involved in so much perplexity and uncer- changes on the word; but with all due deference tainty. I confess these doubts have not been to these profound metaphysicians in black silk altogether removed by a contemplation of the aprons, is there not yet a volume unsaid on the institution of wedlock as it exists among us. pleasant theme? The luxury is becoming much too expensive for This profane pen attempts not to describe or any but men in trade, who will soon have a trifle with that noble something which the world monopoly of the market. In place of the old calls Friendship, but which means all loyalmaxim, “None but the brave,” we now read, ty, all truth, all generosity, and all honor“None but the rich deserve the fair.” The that noble something of which the dear old consolation is, however, that the quid pro quo story of Damon and Pythias is the familiar and which is obtained for all this outlay, is con- dramatic expression—that noble something of stantly diminishing. We have daily less woman which “In Memoriam” is the sweet and touchand more petticoat.
ing requiem. If Tennyson “did for friendHappily settled at last in a profession so em- ship what Petrarch did for love,” he did also inently adapted to my tastes and inclinations as more-an incalculable tribute to our cause: he that I have endeavored to describe, I find my- showed us that Love did not fill the niche self quite contented with my lot. I think I have whence Friendship was stricken down, that the discovered the true philosopher's stone-which laurel crown was not the lotus, that through is nothing after all but philosophy itself, refined many a long and proudly famous year this sorin the crucible of experience. After rambling row endured, and that all praise was incomfar in search of the jewel, I have finally found plete because it included not his voice. it at home. But the journey, like virtue, has No! when men so love each other, the word been its own reward. Quite clear of the rest is too small for the subject, and there is not one lessness of ambition, the eagerness of specula- in the language to reach it. tion, and the harassing uncertainties of an un But under the head “De l'Amitié," let us defined position, I am enabled with imperturb- examine that lighter sentiment which exists able coolness to let the world wag. Common between men and women, and which is not place people might perhaps consider me a loung- L'Amour. That something which remotely and er; but if any one of them will get out of the indefinitely makes much trouble in the world omnibus and step off with me from Grace to from not being understood, but which, when Trinity, I think he will not again so mistake treated æsthetically, esoterically, and exoterio my mountain stride. If not a great man, I am ally, will be found to be the “ wine of exista reasonably happy one. If not engrossed with ence," the temperate zone of emotions, where the quarrels of others, I at least have none of grow the most useful and sustaining fruits. my own. Satisfied with the condition in life of De l'Amitié expresses that sentiment you hare an ordinary private Christian, and making the l for your young aunt, or your elderly cousin, of