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lawsuit, however, in the absence of the will,
was not long in starting up to settle the
succession; and, to my great delight, I heard
in a few yeara, that it was decided in favour
of Fanny, as heir-at-law against several competitors.
Charles thus had the reward of his
disinterested conduct; and, having had the
good luck in the days of her poverty to gain
Doctor Dibble's consent to his marriage, he
felt that the ghost of the deceased kinswoman
might rest in peace, as her will had been
fulfilled to the letter. Nine or ten years
passed on, and I was now four-and-twenty.
Business had brought me to England, and
again I found myself in the quiet parish
of Moddingfield, a guest of my good friend
Mr. Davies; but, every day and all day long,
a visitor at the Manor. Charles Ardley had
made great improvements on the estate, and
had settled down as an active country gentleman,
the terror of poachers and evil-doers,
far and near. Mary also lived at the Manor,
and all my former feelings of love and attachment
had awakened with tenfold force. Nor
had hers altogether died out. In short, we were
very happy; except that we saw no possibility
of overcoming Charles's antipathy to a West
India planter; and, without his approbation,
I felt too sure that Mary would never accept
my hand. One day, Charles told me a culprit
was to be brought before him accused of
highway robbery; not a common-place footpad,
he said, but a dashing fellow, mounted on
a good horse, and armed with sword and pistol.

"How strange," I said, " if he were to turn
out to be the hero of our adventure at
Chapel House. I should like to be present
at the examination, for I think I could
recognize him at once."

He laughed at such a boast, and agreed.
The prisoner was a hard-featured vulgar
fellow, whom the disturbed state of the
country had set upon desperate expedients
very different in outward appearance from
the well-remembered freebooter of former
days. But there is something, I suppose, in
the atmosphere of guilt which is favourable
to the recollection of a crime. All the circumstances
of the will-stealing adventure
came clearly before me, as I looked on the
features of the prisoner. "Mary," I said,
"don't let us be afraid of any opposition to
our marriage. I have hit upon a plot which
is sure to succeed." The culprit was dismissed
for want of proof; and the magistrate,
glowing with the dignity of his office, came
into the library into which I had gone a few
minutes before. Charles started as he saw
a little book lying on the table. He took it
up with the greatest surprise. "My own
old Horace," he said. " I have missed it for
many years. Where can it have been all
this time?"

"I have had it with me in Jamaica," I
said.

"I don't remember lending it to you,"
said Charles, coldly; " and I am certain I
never made you a present of it. How did
it happen to get into your possession?"

"You had better ask Mrs. Ardley," I
said, " how she managed to recover her
cameo Theseus and Ariadne, which she lost
at the same time you did the Horace, but
which I see now in its old place on her
breast."

The magistrate was quelled in a moment.
"You have an immense memory," he replied
at last. " Do you really think you should
recollect the freebooter of Chapel House?"

"Certainly," I said; " but I am not insensible
to the power of hush-money."

"How much? " he inquired with a laugh,
as at that instant Mary came into the
room.

"This hand," I said, taking Mary's hand
in mine;—and we have gone upon our way
rejoicing, hand in hand together, ever since.

A CHILD'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

CHAPTER XXVI.

KING Henry the Seventh did not turn out
to be as fine a fellow as the nobility and
people hoped, in the first joy of their deliverance
from Richard the Third. He was very
cold, crafty, and calculating, and would do
almost anything for money. He possessed
considerable ability, but his chief merit appears
to have been that he was not cruel
when there was nothing to be got by it.

The new King had promised the nobles
who had espoused his cause that he would
marry the princess Elizabeth. The first
thing he did, was, to direct her to be removed
from the castle of Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire,
where Richard had placed her, and
restored to the care of her mother in London.
The young Earl of Warwick, Edward Plantagenet,
son and heir of the late Duke of
Clarence, had been kept a prisoner in this
same old Yorkshire castle with her. This
boy, who was now fifteen, the new King
placed in the Tower for safety. Then he
came to London in great state, and gratified
the people with a fine procession; on which
kind of show he often very much relied for
keeping them in good humour. The sports
and feasts which took place were followed
by a terrible fever, called the Sweating Sickness;
of which great numbers of people
died. Lord Mayors and Aldermen are
thought to have suffered most from it;
whether because they were in the habit of
over-eating themselves, or because they were
very jealous of preserving filth and nuisances
in the City (as they have been since), I don't
know.

The King's coronation was postponed on
account of the general ill-health, and he afterwards
deferred his marriage, as if he were not
very anxious that it should take place: and,
even after that, deferred the Queen's coronation
so long that he gave offence to the York
party. However, he set these things right

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