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Courtenay, and to declare nul the two
successive sales of the estate of Draveil.

The third parties raised up two objections
to the appeal, demanding, firstly: Is Thomas
Courtenay the same person as William Courtenay,
the Earl of Devon? and secondly: If
Marie is the legitimate daughter of the Earl
of Devon, can she legally claim her inheritance?

In answer to the first objection, he produced
the written testimony of six respectable
inhabitants of the village of Saint Christoly,
namely, Jean Servant, aged seventy-seven
years, formerly Maire of the village of Saint
Christoly; Guilaume Grand, aged sixty-three
years; M. Bénillan, aged sixty-five years;
Arnaud Courrain, aged eighty years and six
months; Pierre Curat, aged seventy-three
years; and François Normandine, aged
seventy-two years;—who all affirmed, upon
oath, that they had known Thomas Courtenay;
that they knew for certain, that he
remained in the village of Saint Christoly
from fourteen to fifteen years, until the year
ten of the French Republic; that during his
stay at Saint Christoly they saw and spoke to
him daily; that he was about forty or forty-five
years of age when he left Saint Christoly
to return to England; that during his sojourn
at Saint Christoly he married Marguerite
Titau: that Marie Jeanne Courtenay was
born of this marriage, and that M. Thomas
Courtenay caused himself to be called in the
country William or Thomas Courtenay, Earl
of Devon, &c.

The next document produced was the only
piece of writing which could be found with the
signature of Thomas Courtenay. It was a
promise to pay the sum of four hundred and
fifty-nine francs eleven sous, written in bad
French, and signed Thomas Courtenay, Earl
of Devon. This document was compared, by
M. Limet, with the will of Lord William
Courtenay; and he found, he said, a manifest
analogy between the two handwritings, by
making an allowance for the difference thirty-five
years must make between the handwriting
of a young man and the handwriting
of an old man.

M. Limet having thus tried to prove the
identity between Lord William Courtenay and
Citizen William or Thomas Courtenay of Saint
Christoly, went on to prove the legitimacy of
Marie Courtenay. He presented to the
court the declaration of her birth, made to
the Maire of Saint Christoly, in which she is
declared the legitimate daughter of Marguerite
Titau and Thomas Courtenay, an Irishman.

Great doubt having been thrown by the
adversaries of Marie Courtenay on the truth
of the romantic story of the marriage of her
father and mother, M. Limet procured the
testimony of a lady who had known Marie
Courtenay from her childhood, who had often
played with her, and whose grandmother
had been imprisoned with Thomas Courtenay
in the convent of Beysac. Madame Mazel
said, her grandmother had frequently told
her the history of the romantic courtship
and marriage of Marguerite Titau and
Thomas Courtenay, and certified to Marie's
striking resemblance to her father. And she
herself had seen the letters which Thomas
Courtenay had written to his family. All
this evidence not being considered conclusive,
the tribunal decided that there was no proof
of the identity of Thomas Courtenay,
mentioned in the certificate of the birth of
Marie Courtenay, with William Courtenay,
the Earl of Devon, who died upon the
twenty-sixth day of May, eighteen hundred
and thirty-five; and the court accordingly
rejected the appeal of Madame Marie
Baty, and condemned her to pay all the
expenses to all parties.


I SUPPOSE we are all born with a mission.
Those who do not find one ready-made to
their hands, are never happy until they have
created one; and therefore it comes to the
same thing in the end, whether we are born
with a mission or without one. My mission
has been to give credit. I am the
successor of the late John Smirker. In
whatever books of account my name stands,
you will always find it on the right side,
with a balance in my favour. My father
thought the best thing he could do to
settle me in life was to buy the goodwill
of the west-end business of the late
John Smirker, with branches in both the
great University cities; established in seventeen
hundred and fifty, and largely patronised
by the aristocracy. I entered upon my new
sphere in a calm and dutiful manner; neither
desponding nor enthusiastic. I am naturally
of a quiet and meditative turn of mind; given
to inquiry, and, perhaps, rather quick in
perceiving necessary reforms, though the last
man in the world to have the robust energy
to carry them out. My predecessor, the late
John Smirker, in giving over the long list of
book-debts that my father had purchased,
dilated very warmly upon the immense value
of customers who quartered, Heaven knows
what, upon their shields, and never took less
than five years' credit. "What is a business,"
he inquired, "without book-debts? A thing
without root, sir,—wholly without root. You
have no hold upon your connexion. In fact,
you have no connexion. Without book-debts,
they come to-day, and they go tomorrow."
I did not dispute this position,
for I never argue. He was the born
tradesman, and acted upon his precepts.
Dear me, what trouble he took to plant the
roots that foliated and branched off into
every ramification of book-debts! How he
watered, and dibbled, and forced them!
How he nursed them up at compound
interest, till the right time came for him to fell

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