the matter, and then, with an art that borrows the express livery of nature, concludes by cursing his fates that the child is dead, as otherwise, by the Earl's will he might have restored her and received an indemnity against prosecution for his offence and the ten thousand pounds besides; sufficient, as he adds, to make the family comfortable for life. A duplicate of this is mailed to the Rector, and, enclosed in it, an epistle relating to their more private matters.

With these papers in his pocket the Rector of St. Winifreds submits the case, and Sergeant Wildfire, his counsel, proceeds in due form of law.

Here a trifling difficulty presents itself where it is least expected. A Scotch cousin, many degrees removed, pleads a prior claim of succession under the entail. The case is complicated. The question to be decided is, whether under the peculiar wording of an instrument executed generations since, a sister's son inherits before the male heir in direct succession of the eldest son of the younger brother of the great-grandfather. In the meanwhile the executors retain possession. Bumblefuz must wait for his five hundred guinea fee, Jack Chivers for his ten thousand pounds. Our venerable friend, Dr. Hartwell, whispers to himself the verse of the old Puritan hymn,

God moves in a mysterious way

His purpose to perform:
He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.



Modern improvement, in its progress, now burrowing like a mole and tunneling its way through mountains, now leaping like some startled deer and spanning broad rivers with arches of a stately curve, leaves thriving villages and hamlets to attest its presence in all the states of New England. The stream before us, flowed, a century since, through forests almost inviolable in their virgin seclusion, Then came the settler with his axe, planting his first crop of potatoes and Indian corn amidst the blackened stumps of the clearing and penning up his few sheep at nightfall against the prowling wolf. Here too the dusky braves made their last stand, and even now they say it is the red man's blood that comes up from the ground and purples and crimsons the painted autumn leaves. The primitive cabin has given place to the spacious and showy mansion. Already the old fences by the road side are gray with moss and the graves of the first settlers are marked, not by hillocks but by little hollows, while the slant headstones peel and blister under the rays of the fervid midsummer sun or the abrasions of the winter snow.

The village in sight, which, though considered old in this new country, is comparatively of but recent origin, was called Proutville by its founder. The first wooden tenements erected by his sturdy hands are still preserved in quaint contrast with their younger and more ambitious neighbors.

Hercules Prout, whom his grand children now style their illustrious and distinguished ancestor, held the respectable office of major in the Continental army during the Revolutionary period. Too wise to exchange solid gold for the doubtful promises of an embarrassed commonwealth, and taking advantage of the universal depreciation of property which ensued at the termination of the war, he laid the foundation of what has since become for these regions an immense estate. Finding himself less vulnerable to the random shots of the blind archer than to Hessian bullets or Loyalist sword cuts, and becoming enamored of a spinster rejoicing in the name of Mehitable Ball, Hymen smiled upon his undertakings, and as wealth and honors multiplied olive branches made their appearance around his table.

An Oily Gammon of a man, discovering politics to be the road to distinction and here succeeding also, he became eventually the Hon. Hercules Prout, M. C., and a Militia General. The matronly Mehitable soon rose superior to the poultry yard and the home-spun gown. Bent equally with her spouse on founding a family, she soon visited the parson's wife on familiar terms, Clergymen in those days representing the aristocracy and standing at the apex of the social pyramid in the New England village. Now also her ambition discovered a new field of display as Presidentess of Dorcas and Foreign Mission Societies. Still ascending in the social scale the country wagon and family horse were supplanted by the carriage and its pampered pair, on whose emblazoned pannels shone the arms of the Prout family, derived by intermarriage from the ancient house of the Gudgeons. These were two gudgeons argent saltierwise displayed upon a trencher gules; the legend of this brave device being “We swim.” Waxing ample with years and honors Mrs. Gen. Prout visited Europe, and returned, as became a traveled lady, enhanced in self importance by the reflected glory of all the titled dignity on which her eyes had feasted during this memorable pilgrimage. Now began a second era in the family annals. Ephraim the coachman was dismissed from service on her return; being a captain of militia and vowing in high dudgeon that “le would be derned if he ever made such a tarnation goney of himself as to fix up like a brigadier gineral, jist to drive Marm Prout abeout the streets."

The livery of the Prouts, designed by a Regent street costumer for a foreign house of distinction, was indeed a gorgeous affair. Upon the buttons an embossed gudgeon, silver gilt, spread his fins upon a crimson shield, prou lly bearing in his mouth the motto “We swim.” A new coachman was imported from the neighboring shores of Long Island to whom the livery shone resplendent, like a spick and span new suit of emerald, gamboge and vermillion to a featherless cock-a-too. Inducted into the yellow coat with green facings, the black hat with the gold band, the top-boots with the crimson tassels, the mountain of blue capes and the gorgeous armorial buttons, Pompey became henceforth the standard bearer of the rising honors of the Prouts.

The Hon. Hercules Prout is now

“One of the few immortal nanies
That were not born to die."

His biography, prefaced with a superb lithograph, occupies a conspicuous place in the seventeenth volume of the Memoirs of Illustrious American Heroes, and his picture, taken in the act of delivering his great speech on the nutmeg question, before the assembled magnates of the legis. lature of Connecticut, may now be seen by the enthusiastic admirer of statesmanship and eloquence in the public library of the town of Prontville.

Mrs. Gen. Prout patronised Dorcas Societies, as we have seen. Her tea was of the strongest and most delicate flavor, her ham and sardines, her brandy peaches and raised biscuits of unimpeachable excellence and her table service not of the King Rameses order, in pure Britannia, but, as in her own pompous and stately manner she explained to assemblage after assemblage of guests, manufactured of Spanish milled dollars expressly melted for the purpose. Hide your heads ye emblematical goblets, and oh! ye Past High Mitres, be eclipsed and silenced. On the lid of the teacaddy shone a gudgeon rampant. A gudgeon of solid silver a

A mounted guard over the costly contents of the sugar bowl. The jeweled fingers that grasped the handle of the tea pot encountered the firm resistance of a gudgeon with glittering scales, while the generous decoction was poured through the foaming and gasping mouth of the foremost gudgeon of them all. The Hon. Mrs. Gen. Prout became, as the inscription upon

her monument declares, “illustrious for her many virtues," the chief of these being, in the estimation of the Proutville gossips, the frequency of her entertainments, the raciness of her scandal and the strength and flavor of her tea.

Pompey, the coachman, was a character, though like many another man of mark unappreciated by his own generation. Tuneful Timmins is appreciated. His ode, in hot pressed octavo, dedicated by express permission to her Royal Highness Queen Kamehameha III., has made him immortal. Ile registers his name on the books of hostelries in his travels. It is rumored that “ Timmins is in town." “What Timmins: the celebrated Pie dealer of the metropolis ?” A greater than the pie dealer. His pies are baked, to borrow a figure of the eloquent Nasal, in the ovens of the Muses, and garnished with sprigs of laurel from the cloud-capped pinnacles of Parnassus. It is known that Timmins is here. He is recognised by the portrait in the hot-pressed octavo. Ladies of a romantic turn of mind flatten their noses against the parlor windows when it is

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