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" If the case were well conducted, I may as well say that we would have a tough battle to fight; but a man in your cousin's position can do nothing against us."
“ But he may procure friends?” suggested Frank.
"In that case, we shall do our best; and if we lose, we lose. Even then, you are not worse than you were before, for the the forgery will not have been suspected." And if this were discovered, what would be the result?
What would be done to us?”
"To us? Why, nothing to us; but you would be hung."
“They could not prove who did it,” replied Frank, with some.
neck is not so free of the noose as you imagine.”. “ Ha, ha, ha!" repeated the lawyer. “Whose handwriting does the signature most resemble? You forget that I have the two notes."
Frank started. “ And so you took care to secure yourself, did
“ To be sure I diil," answered Deepwell
, with his usual bland smile. “I did not choose to lay myself in the slightest degree at the
mercy of one who, I knew, would sacrifice me to save himself. You forget, my dear sir, I am not as young as you are.
Not only have I got the notes, but also a sheet of paper curiously filled with a certain signature--with the name, Henry Everly—the very name which is at the bottom of the will, and all very much alike. Now, it so happens, that on one side of this sheet of paper is some writing which proves it to belong to a Mr Frank Everly."
"Curses on it!" muttered Frank, fiercely. Then turning to Deepwell
, he said, in an angry tone, “ And have you taken these precautions for the purpose of betraying me?”
“No; only to save myself, and possess the means of keeping you firm to ny interests."
“Simon Deepwell, you are a deep villain," said Frank, with a baffled air.
“ And you are a selfish one," rejoined the lawyer, smiling his icy smile. “However, you see am more than a match for you.”
“We shall see," said Frank to him, setting his teeth hard, and bastily quitting the apartment.
Meanwhile, the defrauded heir rushed along the street to the inn where he had left his vehicle. He retired to his bed-room at once, but not to rest. Ah! po, no. He and sleep were not great friends at any time now; but, in his present mood, the sweet restorer of tired nature could not even approach. The path towards vengeance, which for a moment opened before his eager gaze, was again shut, and he had to return to Edinburgh as obscure and powerless as ever. Of the poverty to which his father's cruelty
had doomed him, he thought little. The loss of Netherton seemed
Scarcely' had the grey light of morning begun to flush the eastern
“Mr Everly!” cried Mr Gray, starting up. “Has any thing disagreeable occurred, that you return so abruptly, and appear so
Disappointment seems now to be my only earthly lot," said Richard." "My father's cruelty extends beyond his life—he has left me penniless."
“Great Heaven! is it possible ?” exclaimed the astonished Mr Gray, while his good wife held up her hands in regretful wonder.
" It is truem-only too true," answered the other. o Not an hour before his death, he executed a deed in favour of my cousin."
“ But may such a deed not be set aside ?” asked Mr Gray, who had studied law in his youth.
“ The lawyer, who drew it up, says that is impossible," observed the young man, with a sigh.
“ That will depend very much on the nature of the case," was Mr Gray's rejoinder. “It is certainly worth looking into; and if it appears favourable, I would advise the adoption of legal steps, with a view to overturning it. It is just one of those instances where the law is naturally favourable; and if any thing like undue or unfair means appears to have been used, there will be little difficulty in getting your inheritance.”
"I have little hope of this,” said Richard, despondingly;“ besides, were my chance ever so good, money will be required to carry on the suit; and money I have none.”
"Don't trouble yourself on that score,” said Mr Gray, kindly. Only give me the authority to act in the affair for you, and, if law will right you, you shall be righted.”
“How can I thank you for your kindness ?” cried Richard, while his dark troubled eyes filled with tears.
There were working in his bosom at the moment two strangely opposite principles-gratitude and revenge. It was a singular combination; but who can understand that mystery of mysteries, the human heart?
THE KING'S PRINTING-HOUSE.
All our Edinburgh readers know where Blair Street is that it is a short and somewhat steep street, joining Hunter Square with the Cowgate. They will also know that in this street is situated that large, well-built building, called “the King's House." At the present day, it is parcelled out into dwelling-houses, refreshmentrooms, and what not; but at the time of which we write, it was appropriated to the printing of Bibles, then a monopoly granted by Government to one or two favoured individuals. In this building alone could the Scriptures be printed, and from nowhere else in Scotland could they be issued. Hence, on the title-page of all oldish Bibles we see the names, “Sir David Hunter Blair and M. T. Bruce, Printers to the King's most Excellent Majesty;" and we are inclined to think that the street in which the building stands takes its name of Blair Street from the father of the baronet who held the monopoly.
The age of monopolies is past; and well is it for our country that it is so, for experience showed it to be an unjust and iniquitously restrictive system. However, we have nothing to do with politics at the present time, and have merely to allude to the fact that this one, like all others, has been broken up, and, as the result, the poorest in our land may possess the land's richest treasure- & Bible. What would Britain be without the Bible? A part altogether from its peculiar pointings to an hereafter, and the sublime doctrines it unfolds in relation thereto, it has the most blissful and unbounded iufluence on social well-being; and whatever our country
among the nations, she owes the position to the Bible. In spite of the restriction in its circulation which the monopoly necessarily occasioned, by keeping up the price, this Book of books has for generations been widely disseminated among the population; and now, when free trade has come into force in all its meaning, it is to be found in every dwelling, even the poorest in the land, so that now it is emphatically and appropriately called, the land of Bibles.
To those immediately concerned, however, the Bible monopoly was a fortunate affair, especially in Scotland, where the people made it a point to have the Book in their possession; and, thirty or forty years ago, the King's House was about the most prosperous establishment in the city. Steam had not at that time been applied to printing. It was all done by hand, and, consequently, employ:
ment was given to an immense number of men, who, by reason of the monopoly, were well paid for their labour. In these its palmy days, the King's House was a stirring, bustling place-a place of comfort and prosperity to many well-fed artisans, some of whom still survive, and heave many a sigh for the days that are gone. Free trade and steam presses rung the death-knell of the establishment; and, however much these may have benefited the general community, there can be no doubt that, to those connected with the King's House, they have proved most disastrous, for when they came into operation it dwindled gradually down, and was at last shut up altogether.
Not, however, with what it is, but with what it was, have we now to do.
When the incidents of this our story were running their course, it was flourishing in all its pride, and we are now called to visit it. Let us look in, for the first time, on an afternoon a few months after the date of last Chapter. We enter a large room called the case-room, where a number of workmen are busy setting up types.
At the far end of the room stands a small press for taking proofs, and beyond this press is a little room, into which we must go. Passing slowly up the case-room, we glance at the intelligent faces that on either side are bending over the little square boxes in which the types lie, and are gratified with the sight, for our eye rests upon many thoughtful countenances. la passing one “frame," we are particularly struck by the appearance of a slender young man, with pale, high forehead, full, beaming eye, and features exquisitely formed. Let the reader take notice of this youth, for he will become better acquainted with him soon.
We cannot see him rightly yet, for his profile only is towards us, and be is very intently examining his “stick;" but by-and-by an opportunity will occur to get a notion of his character, and possibly to become interested in his history and circumstances,
Reaching the extremity of the room, and passing by the end of the proof-press, we push open the door of the little apartment already mentioned, and look in. At a table sits a youngish man, his features lined with care, his brows furrowed by suffering, bis dark eye set back into his head, and a settled sternness upon his counte
His appearance reminds one of an aspect of independent desolation, as of a mau inhabiting a different world from his fellows a world of dark, troublous realities, where nothing social is to be found, where a solitary struggle must be endured, where experience iš surrounded with isolotion, where the inhabitant dwells alone, with no one to understand or share in his lot, his resolutions, and aspirations.
Such appears to be the condition of the lonely one whom we now behold bending earnestly over a proof-sheet. At the present moment he is calm, and, but for the outward or physical traces of
mental conflict and agony, it would not be supposed that his experience was in any way different from that of common men. He is directing all his attention to the work before him, and, with pen in hand, is carefully marking the errors that fall under his eye.
Does the reader guess who he is? It seems unlikely that we should discover Richard Everly in such a position, yet it is node other than he. Seeing that by his father's will he was thrown upon the world penniless, he resolved to work for his bread. Mr Gray, good, benevolent man, wished him to remain with himself; but this proposal the young man would not listen to. His pride rebelled at the thought of eating the bread of idleness. He was young, strong; and fitted by education to labour in some way; and why should be not do so? 'Mr Gray at length consented to his earnestly-expressed wish, being the better reconciled to it from the thought that occupation would serve to divert his mind from the gloomy thoughts which evidently filled it. Possessing influence at head quarters, he easily procured for Richard a situation as "reader" in the King's House, a position which the youth was well qualified to fill; and in a short time he entered on his new, and to him strange duties ; having got clean, comfortable lodgings in the house of Mrs Ford, in the Nether Bow, with whom one of the young men in the office already resided.
In a very few days, he had mastered the technicalities of the correcting process; and, during work hours, no one could be moro diligent and attentive to duty. Irksome, no doubt, he found it; for never before had he been bound down to hours, or been other than his own master; but his strong will caused him to overcome the
repugnance, and he sternly resolved thus to earn for himself a place in the world while he remained in it.
One would think that the sentiments of that blessed Book, which he was compelled to read every day, would wile away from his heart the revengeful thoughts which lurked there; but it was not 80. Indeed, it was seldom he thought of the meaning of the verses at all. He was intent only in detecting typographical errors, and making the proof strictly according to the printed copy which lay at his elbow. Even now, as we watch him from the
door, he is reading, but in no ways meditatiog upon the beautiful words of the Great Teacher" Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you." Let us close the door as silently As we opened it, and leave him to pursue his work,