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PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF TRISTRAM DUMPS, ESQ.*

AFTER learning that his name was Maxwell, I hastily took my leave of the old dame, into whose hands I would willingly have put the entire contents of my purse, but she reddened and bridled up at the slightest indication of it, waving her hand with, “ God bless you, sir ! God bless you—I wish you well.” And as I left her, I saw in her face, that kind of perplexity, not unmixed with pleasure, which betrayed her inward wonder, whether she had done well or ill in all she had said.

The well-known saying of the great moralist and lexicographer, upon the pleasurable sensations of being whirled along in a post-chaise, is trite, because it appeals to the experience of every one. There is, at all times, something physically exhilarating in the rapid motion, and it seldom fails to excite in most people a corresponding action of the imagination, which the French expressively call rêver—a waking dream. Judge then of mine, as my lively old driver, somewhat quickened, perhaps, by a fine clear frosty evening, put his little horse upon its mettle, and the vis-à-vis, with no one in it but myself, flew over the hard dry road. What visions passed through my brain about this new-found relation, without knowing what sort of a being he might turn out-it was sufficient that he was poor Kitty's child. What plans did I not already form! What hitherto unthought of interests started up! What new life seemed to enervate my frame ! And before I had reached Paris, I had not only married Francis Mayfield, Esq., to a graceful and accomplished young lady, the object of his choice, but also saw in my mind's eye, a blooming progeny, and myself seated among them in the decline of life, invested with all the dignity and consideration of a supposititious, grandfather.

After pacing about my room, at the hotel, for some time, I went to bed, but sleep was not for me that night. The once irritable Indian was as quiet as a lamb over my head, the disturbance was now within myself, and Morpheus, that fickle deity, so often invoked by the distressed or the dyspeptic in vain, was now equally unwilling to approach a joyful votary. Twice had I risen to peep through the shutters, for any signs of day, before the light enabled me to commence my toilette.

To return to Versailles was, of course, the first project of the morning, and after breakfast I was preparing to set off, when, to my no small astonishment, Mr. Maxwell was announced. Seeing, I suppose, some expressions of surprise upon my countenance, he immediately began with his epilogue.

“ I beg pardon, sir, for the liberty I have taken in thus introducing myself to you, but business of a very interesting nature to us both, will, I trust, plead my excuse.'

“ Mr. Maxwell," I replied, “ you are, of all persons, in this great capital, the one with whom, at this moment, I am most anxious to converse.'

“ You know then," said he, with some surprise, “ the object of my visit?"

“ I know much of the matter to which we both probably allude; bu there is still much—the principal part—which I do not know-where is my nephew, Francis Mayfield ?"

Continued from No. ccxx., page 554.

“ I have left him very few minutes,” said he; “ but strange as it may at first appear, sir, I may possibly, though I should much regret it, not be at liberty to answer that question. To cut this important part of our interview short, may I ask if I have been rightly informed, that your father no longer lives?”

“ My father," I replied, “ died about two months ago.

“ Then, sir, being released from my promise of secrecy, it is difficult for me to express the readiness I feel to satisfy all your inquiries. Your nephew is in this house and Frank Delaroue has found, I hope, a friend, both able and willing to take part in his interests at a very critical period of his life.”

“ Frank Delaroue !” said I, with such amazement as seemed to move Mr. Maxwell not a little.

“ Yes,” said he; “ Francis Mayfield Delaroue is your nephew. I am well aware how this extraordinary intercourse between uncle and nephew has subsisted thus long in mutual ignorance of their relationshipbut pray,

sir, sit down (for I had started up in the impulse of my astonishment)-pray sit down, and compose yourself, while I briefly relate a few circumstances which will explain all.”

“ I became acquainted with Frank's father about two years ago when he was, in fact, upon his deathbed. You are not, perhaps, aware that his death was the consequence of a brain fever, by which he was attacked, after repeated and serious topes at the Salon. It was by mere accident that I heard some of the circumstances of his case from a mutual acquaintance, who had frequently met him there and I will not detain you with the particulars which induced me to call upon him, nor with the conversation which led to my recognition in Mr. Delaroue of that Frank Mayfield, whose elopement with your sister, formed so prominent a part of the recollections of my early days. He had changed his name after

your sister's death, in consequence of succeeding to his maternal uncle's property, that very property which he has, unhappily, so nearly squandered away. The greatest pangs of his latter hours were occasioned by reflecting upon the situation in which he was soon to leave his son, who was then at Eton, It was in that hour, sir, that I consented to become his guardian, under the solemn promise of secrecy during the lifetime of your father, against whom he entertained the strongest feelings of dislike.' I was neither to divulge to any of your family the circumstance of the boy's existence, nor to acquaint him with any of the particulars connected with his mother's history or family.

“ I consider it a fortunate coincidence, that on sending for the young man, about six weeks ago, to consult upon the immediate arrangement to be made for him after leaving Eton, I chose, for certain reasons of my own, to place him in this hotel with his friend George Gilbert, instead of keeping him in my own house. In fact, I may as well avow that I perceived a growing attachment between my daughter Lucy and him, which, under present circumstances I did not think it prudent to encourage. During the frequent visits, which he nevertheless made to us at Versailles, he more than once mentioned your name, and you may imagine that I did not hear it without interest. Many and various were the lights in which I considered and reconsidered my promise, in the hope of finding some loophole by which I might escape from a silence which I clearly perceived was likely to be so prejudicial to the young man's interests; nay, I even put the case hypothetically to himself, and he agreed with me as to the binding nature of my promise. I also went so far as to inform him, without mentioning any name, that he had a relation in Paris. But no hope of any further communication appeared until he, yesterday, incidentally mentioned having heard from Mr. Down, that you were in mourning for your father.”

During this recital, I was agitated by a variety of feelings,“ Where is he ?” cried I, starting up from my seat, and seizing Mr. Maxwell's hand, as he concluded.

In a few minutes he had brought Frank down stairs. A film seemed to have fallen from my sight, hitherto cbscured. There were the very laughing eyes of poor Kitty—her mouth-her brow. Was it possible that I could have been so blind? or was it thus that I had insensibly been drawn towards him?

Frank Mayfield !" I cried, to the astonished youth,“ here he is this is the relative of whom Mr. Maxwell spoke.

His surprise seemed fully equal to my own; and it was some moments before he appeared really to understand that I had suddenly jumped from a Parisian acquaintance, into the closer ties of consanguinity.

“ And now," said I, after we had a little recovered from our astonishment, “and now, my boy, what do you think of having an uncle whose name goes to the tune of Dumps?”

He burst into a hearty laugh; and squeezing my hand like a joiner's vice, he said,

“ I expected so many dumps of a different kind in this world, before I should be done with it, that unless I greatly mistake my new-found relation, I believe it will be the best sound I ever heard in all my life.”

CHAP. XV. Here ends all that we have been able to find of my Parisian journal in the old bureau—nor have I any recollection that I continued it further.

The events recorded in the latter part of it, so totally changed the tenor of my thoughts—created such fresh interests-opened such new prospects, that I appear to have wrapped myself up like a caterpillar in its chrysalis, to gather energies for my transition into a new state of existence. I no longer stood alone in the world; there was, on the contrary, one person at least, the greater portion of whose wellbeing and happiness I felt was in my hands, and which it had become, not only my privilege, but my duty to promote. I also strongly suspected that there was a second whose happiness, in connexion with his, was also at my disposal.

Some of the best feelings of our nature were called into action, equally pleasing, and surprising me by their novelty. I felt as if i had found a son; and froin a state of narrow, lonely, selfish solicitude, my heart extended over a wide field of varied, of multiplying, and of animated interests. I looked back with surprise, not only upon my past habits of life, but upon the light in which I had hitherto regarded my position in the world.

The far-stretching acres of my paternal estate, over which my mind's eye had so often travelled with the weary listlessness of a pilgrim in the desert, appeared suddenly to be invested with all the charms of Armida’s enchanted island—the waving woods of Invermair, upon which I had thought with melancholy, if not dislike, became peopled with the Dryads and Genii of another fancy; while the broad waters of the Tweed, as they rolled through the greensward of my pleasure-grounds, already reflected in vision many a festive-many a happy scene. My very dependants, scattered in their humble dwellings over the whole extent of my estate, whom I had hitherto only regarded with distrust, or as encumbrances, now became objects of prospective interest. I should no longer go among them as an isolated stranger-no longer as

a shadow come and so depart”—their existence became linked, and carried on with my own, their children's children might still remain united by all the ties of interest or attachment with those of my own blood and lineage. I already began to feel a community of prospects with them, which transferred my regards from the uniform foreground of the present, into the varied perspective of after life: and which awakened in the place of stagnation, those active impulses of our nature, visions of hope, of progression, of expansion. I thought, with astonishment, upon the tenour of life, hitherto chosen for my career, and on the views which I had taken of these very same things. Even my altered circumstances did not appear wholly sufficient to account for the change. Alas! how many are there in the world who, if ever, have yet to learn the music of a master-chord; and that until some such string be touched in the heart, stray notes of cheerful motive there may be, but never theme and unison.

It is now nearly two years since as happy a party as ever passed the Barrière de St. Denis, left Paris for England. Mr. and Miss La Fleur, Mr. George Gilbert and Mr. Francis Mayfield Delaroue, Solomon Upsyde Down and Tristram Dumps, Esquires, in three carriages, and three with their attendants. They had been preceded a few days by the Maxwell family, which, for certain reasons, was a matter of no small interest to one of the party. The only untoward events which happened upon the road were, that Mr. Down nearly set the house on fire at Abbeville, by shaving when he was half-asleep (to save time as he said), and that an old woman, while we were changing horses at Montreuil, raised a considerable tumult, by mistaking Mungo for an unpleasant apparition.

On arriving in London, I had the gratification to learn that Sir George Gilbert was already at the Clarendon to greet his son's return; and that after an interview with Mr. La Fleur, it was decided that the preliminaries of the union were to be entered upon forthwith. In a few months (before which, however, a carriage-and-four, with white favours, had left St. George's church, Hanover-square), I had the additional pleasure of learning that the Dugdale property had not only been united to the Gilbert estates, but had become the independent residence of the young couple; and the last thing I heard in connexion with those acres was, that Mr. La Fleur had been seen to clear a fivebarred gate on his favourite hunter Lighthoof.

Of my friend Solomon I have the most gratifying intelligence to communicate. A few months ago a gentleman of singularly parsimonious habits in the neighbourhood of Monmouth-street, and who had been considered as almost destitute of the common necessaries of life, bequeathed a large sum in the funds to my friend, as the only surviving lineal descendant of the Up, Ap, or Absydes (whilom of York), but whom, during life, he had scorred either to see or acknowledge in con

sequence of his progenitors having quitted the synagogue. Experience seems at last to have worked its salutary effects upon Solomon, and the extent of his speculations is now limited to occasional dabblings in the Glasgow lottery, by which no variations in his fortune, of any sort whatever, are reasonably to be expected. Nevertheless, as some sort of excitement seemed necessary to his existence, his friends have prccured for him an active, but not responsible situation in one of the principal fire insurance offices, from whence he can at least look forth upon the ups and downs of life, without becoming a party to them; and the professional excuse which he now has for mixing in the topsyturvy scenes consequent upon great conflagrations, is said to give him no ordinary pleasure and resource.

There is one person more whom I wish to mention before I come to those who more deeply interest me in my own household. The benevolent reader will be glad to learn that a gentleman who was lately passing Ebenezer chapel, Whitefriars, heard a rational discourse from my poor fellow-traveller, Jeremiah Figgs, who after a brain fever (under the incipient influence of which, no doubt, I had last seen him), was fortunately under the observation of a worthy gentleman of his own sect, of which community he has himself become a useful member.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION BY THE EDITORS.

Here again we have taken the pen from the hand of Mr. Dumps, feeling sure that his modesty would not permit him to do justice to the happy arrangements at Invermair. To expect that he would make a handsome provision for his nephew, would only be the result of those observations which a discerning reader will have made upon his character. This, however, would convey but a faint idea of his liberality towards his new-found relative. The name of a young lady has already transpired in the course of this narrative-that of Miss Lucy Maxwell, youngest daughter of the gentleman who has borne so important a part in the concluding events of the Parisian journal; and whose property, as well as place of residence, nearly adjoined that of Invermair. It is now almost a year since Mr. Francis Mayfield Delaroue conducted that young lady to the hymeneal altar, upon which occasion not only an ample independence was settled upon him by his uncle, but from that time the Laird of Invermair appears to have had only one pleasure in life (which, nevertheless, multiplied itself into as many glittering refractions as the revolving diamond), that of making the young couple feel his every interest upon the estate to be connected with their future possession. 'Mr. Francis, indeed, is already called the young laird, and although the active benevolence, and (what will perhaps surprise the reader) the quickly-acquired skill, acuteness, and good judgment of Mr. Dumps, in the management of his extensive estates, has procured for him the affection and respect of all his tenants and dependants. Yet the whole host of those who minister to the menus plaisirs of the “ North Countrie” huntsmen, keepers, woodsmen, and fishers, are seen to turn a truly professional eye to the rising sun.

There is another circumstance, too, which however trivial it may appear, contributes not a little to the comfort and happiness of the party at Invermair. The principal person in that establishment is not ob

Sept.-VOL. LVII. no. ccxxv.

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