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“Fortune has no weapon that reaches the mind.”

Grace Herbert had not seen Archibald Lisle since the
memorable day when he enacted second part to Goldsmith's
bashful man. His blunders on that occasion had faded from
her mind, while they had left an open wound in his memory,
and it was that, much more than the failure of his advocacy,
which caused his deep blush, and rather awkward embarrassment,
when, after a generous heralding of “our young
counselor,” Mr. Herbert presented him to his nieces, saying,
“You see they are cheerful losers; they know nothing of
the power or value of money. How should they?”

“Indeed, how should we, Mr. Lisle,” said Grace; “my
uncle having been our teacher and exemplar through life?”

The look and the voice that had haunted the chambers of
his memory for a year, electrified Lisle. This, and the presence
of Mr. Esterly, put him (in mesmeric phrase) into relation
with his new acquaintance, and made him appear to
them the rare and charming young man he was. Frank
Esterly and Lisle had been classmates at Cambridge, and
friends since, though of late their intercourse had been interrupted
by the assiduous devotion of each to his profession—their
different pursuits leading them to different

The lawsuit was playfully discussed, and disposed of.
Uncle Walter interjected some rather biting sarcasms


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against Copley, Eleanor gently interposing her shield, with
the double purpose of turning the arrows from Copley and
sheltering her sister. Grace, to a careless eye, might not
have seemed sensitive to her uncle's criticisms, but in relation
to her, Lisle's was not, even at this day-spring of their
acquaintance, a careless eye.

The evening was passing away delightfully. They were
certainly extraordinary parties in a lawsuit, whose gratitude
for the masterly conduct of their cause was no wise impaired
by its loss. “If you make such strides in your profession
by losing a battle, Lisle,” said Mr. Herbert, “what will you
do when you gain one?”

“Thank you, Mr. Herbert; but in this kind of fight the
combatant can not separate his own gain from the loss of the
parties he contends for.”

“No, a generous advocate can not. And I am satisfied,
from my own observation, that in spite of the keen satires
on lawyers, in spite of the vulgar bad opinion of them; in
spite, too, of the disgraces accumulated by tricky pettifoggers
and corrupt practitioners, yours is a profession that
calls out the noblest qualities. I do not mean merely intellectual
qualities—that no one disputes.”

“You surely do not mean the highest moral qualities,”
interposed Esterly.

“But I do, though.”

“Ah,” replied Mr. Esterly, smiling, “you speak for your
own craft, sir. I had forgotten that you were bred to the

“I had nearly forgotten it, too. I studied law, and
opened an office, but I have done nothing at it”—“and
nothing in life,” for so might be interpreted the sigh that
followed. “I have had plenty of time for observation and
speculation. I have known a generation of lawyers in this
city, half passed away in mid-career from over-work and


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over-anxiety. I have known generous lawyers—I could
name them—enter with more intensity into the interests of
clients than if they were their own.”

“A little overdrawn, dear uncle,” said Grace.

“Not a particle, Grace—not a particle. No, such men
as I allude to would, in their own case, have restrained their
eagerness, from the fear of covetousness and selfishness. No,
I speak by book. I have known these men to pass sleepless
nights and feverish days, while their client's cause hung
wavering in the uncertain balance of the law. Think of the
exhausting application of the faithful lawyer; think of the
candor, the magnanimity, the self-control that may be elicited
in the progress of a lawsuit, where an unfair opponent
is to be met, and all the chances of sudden defeat at the
moment of surest confidence, as in our case—utter shipwreck.
No; the captain may cover himself with glory, but
his heart goes down with the ship. Is it not so, Mr. Counselor?”

“My short experience in the profession does not warrant
my giving an opinion, sir.”

“That's modest; so far so good. You, Mr. Esterly, are
of course pledged to your cloth; and you, Nelly,” he added,
and finished the sentence in a whisper, that crimsoned her
cheek. He patted her head, and smiled.

“Is not my opinion to be asked?” inquired Grace.

“Your opinion, my child. Excellent, as to the charm of
a poem, or the merit of a song; but you are yet in your
teens, and we wait till girls come of age before we ask their
opinions on grave subjects.”

“I think it was my opinion, sir, in favor of trusting our
cause to our able advocate here, which you graciously accepted,
when my sister, Eleanor, my elder and better, rather
stood aloof.”

Lisle's eyes turned sparkling to Grace, while Mr. Herbert


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said, laughingly, “O, a feather, Grace—a wild-goose's
feather, will turn a scale! Eleanor is a reasonable being.
You and I are ruled by our instincts.”

“I am content, Uncle Walter. Instinct is a divine inspiration—reason
only a human ingenuity! But, Uncle Walter,”
she added, “in your laudation of the legal profession,
you have omitted the attribute, which most concerns us
ladies. Sir Walter Scott says, `the best society is that of
lawyers.'” Without any purpose, beyond a tilt of her wit
with her uncle, Grace had already said enough to charm a
young man who, in his narrow social sphere, had never
chanced to meet a young woman with rare gifts, set off by
high breeding, and the mighty accessories of youth and
beauty. Lisle would have detected worldliness or artificialness,
by the test of his own simplicity and sincerity; but the
seeming contrarieties of Grace Herbert's character, her
quick mutations, her deep thoughtfulness, and sudden irradiations,
were surprises, and, strange to say, had the fascination
of riddles to plain dealers like Lisle.

Lisle was not versed in music. He was ignorant of the
terms of the art, and even of the phrases and names on the
lips of every frequenter of operas now-a-days; but rarely
had Grace been so acceptably flattered as when, sitting
down to her piano at her uncle's bidding, and playing an
Adagio of Beethoven at his suggestion, she accidentally
turned her eye up to Lisle and saw his face glowing, and his
eye moistened. This, perhaps, gave an impulse to her
genius, for on Mr. Herbert asking her to repeat it, she did it
with so much effect that he cried out “Bravo, my child!
Now sing me my song, `An old English Gentleman.' When
Grace wants to flatter me, Mr. Lisle, she tells me I am the
original of that old song, so we agree to call it my song. Go
on, Grace.”


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Grace sang it with expression and charming significance,
and, coming to the lines,

“And quaffed a cup of good old wine,” etc., etc.,

she turned her face fondly to her Uncle Walter. At the
first swell of her voice, Esterly, who was sitting beside
Eleanor, sprang to her side and joined her with so much
unction, singing, as Archibald thought, so much better than
he had ever heard his friend sing before, that the thought
arose—and a pang came with it—“it must be Miss Grace he
is in love with.”

As she faltered at the last stanza of the song, to Lisle's
evident vexation, Horace Copley entered. Slightly bowing
to the company he approached Grace, and said, “Have
you forgotten your engagement, Miss Herbert? Salvi and
the prima donna are at Mrs. Tallis's, and they have been
waiting half an hour for you.”

“I had forgotten—utterly. Have you a carriage at the

“Yes; Mrs. Tallis ordered me here.”

Grace rang the bell, told the servant to bring her hat
and shawl, made a hurried apology to Archibald Lisle, and
disappeared, as he thought, like a beautiful vision.

“Confound his impudence!” muttered Walter Herbert,
kicking the stool from under his gouty foot.

The curtain had fallen, and Mr. Esterly and Lisle took
their leave. The door had scarcely closed on them, when
Lisle asked, “Is Copley intimate in this house, Frank?”

“Yes—no, not exactly intimate. He is very well received
by Mrs. Herbert, who has a handsome daughter, and likes the
éclât of his visits.”

`Is Frank so assured, that he is not disturbed by them?'
thought Lisle.

“Copley is so repugnant to the old gentleman,” continued


Page 63
Mr. Esterly, “that I think he could scarcely be on intimate
footing with his nieces.”

“And who,” inquired Lisle, “is the Mrs. Tallis, who
sent Copley for Miss Herbert?”

“Was it Mrs. Tallis? I did not hear the name.”

“You seemed absorbed.”

“I was. I am always charmed with Grace Herbert's
music; there is soul as well as her delicious voice in it.
Why this Mrs. Tallis—is it possible you do not know who
she is, Lisle? tell it not to ears polite, my dear fellow—she
is the very pretty wife of a very clever and very rich man,
Rupert Tallis. She stars it in the fashionable world. She
was the beautiful Miss Clayton, and married a few years
since to Tallis, contrary to her own inclinations, by her
father's decree, as the world says—and the world says further
that Horace Copley is her rather too devoted admirer—
but that may be mere scandal. She keeps a musical house,
and has all the musical people there, the sort of society that
Copley affects.”

“And is it possible,” exclaimed Lisle, “that this is the
world that Miss Grace Herbert lives and moves, and has her
being in?”

“O Archy—she is young, and what do young women
know of the men who are the players in the play of this
masked world of ours?”

“But they should know, Frank; and it is the business of
you preachers to make them know. It is a sad comment on
your profession, that generation after generation goes on,
ignorantly plunging into the same vices, the same dangers,
and the same destructien.”

“Well, good-night, Archy. I'll think of what you say.”
And at the turn of the street, the friends parted and went
their way, both chewing sweet fancies, and neither much
troubling himself with social disorders.