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way of that.
---that's all. I have got my billet, and you could write for the press until your five years' agreement with Meeson and Co. has run out. I would put you in the
I see lots of writing people at my shop.” “Well,” said Augusta, “I will speak to Bessie about it.”
“Oh, of course Lady Holmhurst will say no," said Eustace gloomily. “She will think about the 'things;' and, besides, she won't want to lose you before she is obliged.”
“That is all that I can do for you, sir," said Augusta, with decision. “Good-night;" and breaking away from him, she made a pretty little curtsey and vanished.
“Now, I wonder what she means to do," meditated Eustace, as the butler brought him his hat.
“I really should not wonder if she came round to it. But then, one never knows how a woman will take a thing. If she will, she will, &c. &c.”
strike the reader as very strange, but, as a matter of fact, days from the date of the above conversation, there was a small-and-early gathering at St. George's, Hanover Square, close by. I say small,” for the marriage had been kept quite secret, in order to prevent curiosity-mongers from marching down upon it in their thousands, as they would certainly have done had it been announced that the heroine of the great will case was going to be married. There
fore the party was very select. Augusta had no relations of her own; and so she had asked Dr. Probate, with whom she had struck up a great friendship, to come and give her away; and though the old gentleman's previous career had had more connection with the undoing of the nuptial tie than with its contraction, he could not find it in his heart to refuse.
“I shall be neglecting my duties, you know, my dear young lady,” he said, shaking his head. “It's very wrong--very wrong, for I ought to be at the Registry; but-well, perhaps I can manage to come—very wrong, though-very wrong, and quite out of my line of business! I expect that I shall begin to address the Court -I mean the clergyman-for the petitioner.”
And so it came to pass that on this auspicious day the registering was left to look after itself; and, as a matter of history, it may be stated that no question was asked in Parliament about it.
Then there was Lady Holmhurst, looking very pretty in her widow's dress; and her boy Dick, who was in the highest spirits, and bursting with health and wonder at these strange proceedings on the part of his “auntie;" and, of course, the legal twins brought up the rear.
And there in the vestry stood Augusta in her bridal dress, as sweet a woman as ever the sun shone on; and looking at her beautiful face, Dr. Probate nearly fell in love with her himself. And yet it was a sad face just then. She was happy-very, as a loving woman who is about to be made a wife should be; but when a great joy draws near to us it comes companioned by the shadows of our old griefs.
The highest sort of happiness has a peculiar faculty of recalling to our minds that which has troubled them in the past, the truth being, that extremes in this, as in other matters, will sometimes touch, which would seem to suggest that sorrow and happiness—however varied in their bloom—yet have a common root. Thus it was with Augusta now. As she stood in the vestry there came to her mind a recollection of her dear little sister, and of how she had prophesied happy greatness and success for her. Now the happiness and the success were at hand, and there in the aisle stood her own true love; but yet the recollection of that dear face, and of the little mound which covered it, rested on them like a shadow. It passed with a sigh, and in its place there came the memory of poor Mr. Tombey, but for whom she would not have been standing there a bride, and of his last words as he put her into the boat. He was food for fishes now, poor man! and she was left alone with a great and happy career opening out before her—a career in which her talents would have free space to work. And yet how odd to think it! two or three score of years and it would all be one, and she would be as Mr. Tombey was. Poor Mr. Tombey! perhaps it was as well that he was not there to see her happiness; and let us hope that, wherever it is we go after the last event, we lose sight
of the world and those we knew therein. Otherwise there must be more hearts broken in heaven above than in earth beneath.
“Now then, Miss Smithers," broke in Dr. Probate, “ for the very last time--nobody will call you that again, you know—take my arm; his Lordship-I mean the parson-is there."
It was done, and they were man and wife. Well, even the happiest marriage is always a good thing to get over. It was not a long drive back to Hanover Square, and the very first sight that greeted them on their arrival was the infant from the City (John's), holding in his hand a legal-looking letter, accompanied by his brother, the infant from Pump Court (James's), who had, presumably, come to show him the way, or more probably because he thought that there would be eatables going
“Marked 'immediate,' sir; so I thought that I had better serve it at once," said the first infant, handing the letter to John.
“What is it?" asked Eustace nervously. He had grown to hate the sight of a lawyer's letter with a deadly hate. “Notice of appeal, I expect,” said John.
I “Open it, man!” said Eustace, “and let's get it over.”
Accordingly, John did so, and read as follows:
“MEESON V. ADDISON AND ANOTHER. “DEAR SIR,—After consultation with our clients, Messrs. Addison and Roscoe, we are enabled to make you the following offer. If no account is required of the mesne profits-4"
“That's a wrong term," said James irritably. “Mesne profits refer to profits derived from real estate. Just like a solicitor to make such a blunder."
“The definition is perfectly appropriate," replied his twin, with warmth. “There was some real estate, and, therefore, the term can properly be applied to the whole of the income.”
“For Heaven's sake, don't argue, but get on!” said Eustace. “Don't you see that I am on tenterhooks?”
"-my clients," continued John, "are ready to undertake that no appeal shall be presented in the recent case of Meeson v. Addison and Another. If, however, the plaintiff insists upon an account, the usual steps will be taken to bring the matter before a higher court.- Obediently yours,
“News and News. “JOHN SHORT, Esq. “P.S.-An immediate reply will oblige.”
“Well, Meeson, what do you say to that?” said John; “but I beg your pardon, I forgot: perhaps you would like to take counsel's opinion,” and he pointed to James, who was rubbing his bald head indignantly.