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CONTAINS SOME GRAVE REMARKS ON HISTORIES IN GENERAL ; AND ALSO RELATES HOW MR. TREM.

LETT WAS RELIEVED FROM HIS EMBARRASSMENT BY THE ASSISTANCE OF TWO BENEVOLENT LADIES.

However prolix and tedious histories in general may be, I am persuaded that historians have often done violence to their inclinations, by curtailing and consigning to irretrievable oblivion many interesting particulars concerning their favorite heroes; well knowing that due regard must be had, in the composition of a book, to the duration of human life, and the capacity for reading of mankind in general ; as very few men would be likely to undertake the perusal of a work with the prospect of being compelled to leave the last chapters for his descendants to finish. And notwithstanding we have it in the words of inspiration, that there is never to be an end of making books, I am well aware that every individual book must have an end of its own. It will therefore be necessary for me, in arranging the materials out of which this bistory will be composed, to throw aside a vast quantity of matter that it would gratify my feelings to embody in these chapters, particularly the early records of our hero's life, which to me bave a peculiar charm; but if too much space should be devoted to his boyish acts, there would not be room to detail the traits of his maturer years; and in consequence, the reader would not have that perfect insight into his character and fortunes, which it is my intention to give. I shall however endeavor to make such a judicious selection of the copious materials before me, that while the reader shall be enabled to form a just conception of our hero, he will rather wish that something had been added, than that a part had been left out. I have thought it necessary to make these remarks, on account of the manner in which this history is given to the world, so that the reader will be able to form some idea of its probable length and duration.

MR. TREMLETT heard nothing in relation to our hero at the Asylum, but what the reader has already been made acquainted with; indeed, he did not learn quite as much, for all that he found out, or cared to know, was, that the boy was destitute, beyond dispute, of either father or mother, and that there was not the slightest probability of any relations ever appearing to claim him, or to interfere with the management of him. The managers of the institution very cheerfully acceded to Mr. Tremlett’s offer to take the young runaway, and he was accordingly bound over in due form. Upon inspecting the books of the establishment, it was found that the boy really had a surname, although he did not know what it was, having never heard himself called by it. But Mr. Tremlett meant to call the lad after himself, and henceforth he will be distinguished as John Tremlett, for so he was ever after called and known. VOL. XV.

29

It was some weeks after Mr. Tremlett took our hero into his family, and adopted him as a son, before the circumstances became known to Mr. Tuck and the rest of the world. All the clerks in the counting-house of Tremlett and Tuck, from the head book-keeper down to the youngest boy in it, had observed a change in the senior partner; and even Mr. Tuck at times had suspicions that he was engaged in secret speculations. He stayed longer at his meals, and left his desk earlier than he bad ever been in the habit of doing; and several times he had been seen to rub his hands together and smile, apparently with great internal satisfaction, although nobody could guess at the cause, potwithstanding there were a good many shrewd wits set to work to find out. Two or three times when a drum of figs or a frail of dates had been opened in the counting-room, for a sample, he had been seen to take a handful and wrap them up in part of a newspaper, and put them into his pocket. And as a matter of course, particular note was taken of all such hitherto unheard-of doings. The younger clerks said he was going to get married, while the head book-keeper surmised that he had got religion;' and the head salesman guessed he was going to dissolve the firm, and form a special partnership, which awakened brilliant ideas in the minds of the cash-keeper and the book-keeper, and even the guesser himself, that one or all of them might be taken into the concern. Although there was a great variety of opinions on the subject, there was but one as to the fact of something very wonderful having happened.

The truth was, that Mr. Tremlett felt like a man who indulges himself in forbidden pleasure ; for although he had done something which both his conscience and his inclinations approved, he could not muster fortitude enough to tell his partner of it. He had sereral times made the attempt, when they were alone together, but his heart always failed him; and the longer he delayed, the more embarrassed he felt. At last he determined to leave to chance to reveal what he was so desirous and yet so afraid of doing; and it was not long before the fond old merchant was relieved of his embarrassment, in a most unexpected manner.

One morning a dashy carriage, with the driver and footman dressed up in very uncomfortable-looking great-coats, stopped at the door of Tremlett and Tuck, out of which stepped two very beautiful ladies - or if they were not beautiful, there is no truth in the adage that “fine feathers make fine birds' — who entered the counting. room, where they caused an immense sensation among the clerks.

• Is the head of the firin in ? asked one of the ladies, in a very sweet voice.

* Very much so; that is, he is rather absent; I mean, I believe he is,' replied Mr. Bates, the book-keeper, who was quite bewildered at having such a question put to him by a lady of such appearance.

• Yes, Madam, he is in his office,' promptly replied one of the younger clerks. “Can I see him ? asked the lady.

Certainly, Madam,' replied the clerk; and slipping off his higa stool, and giving a wink to his companions, he showed the two ladies into the private office; and as be closed the door upon them, be put his hand to his breast, made a mock theatrical bow, and exclaimed

• Demme !' Upon which every body laughed, except Mr. Bates, who would not have laughed at any thing a junior clerk might say or do, if he knew it would save his (the clerk's) life.

Mr. Tremlett and Mr. Tuck were both writing at their desks, when the ladies entered their private office; but Mr. Tremlett's being placed in a recess, with a green silk curtain

fore it, they only saw the junior partner, who looked at the fair intruders with great amazement.

• You are the head of the establishment, I presume,' said the speaking lady, addressing Mr. Tuck.

Yes, Madam,' he replied, trying to make a bow; please to sit down.'

There was a prodigious rustling of silks, as the ladies seated themselves; and after a moment's pause, the one who had thus far done the talking, drew a little green-covered pamphlet from her reticule, and advancing to Mr. Tuck's desk, she put the little book very gracefully into his hands.

• What what what is this ?' exclaimed Mr. Tuck.

• It is our annual report,' said the lady, smiling very sweetly, and displaying a set of teeth so white and beautiful, that Mr. Tuck could not help wondering in his mind how much they cost.

Report of what ?' asked Mr. Tuck, who by this time perfectly well understood the object of the ladies' visit, for he had been similarly honored before.

• The report of our proceedings for the last year,' replied the lady.

O, yes, I see,' replied Mr. Tuck; proceedings in picking up children. I suppose, Madam, you have got none of your own, or you would not have time to look after the public's !'.

O, yes, I have five of my own,' replied the lady, smiling as sweetly as before ; and that is the reason why I take such an interest in the poor little creatures, who have nobody to care for them.

• It is better for them,' replied Mr. Tuck; * I never had any body to care for me, when I was young. I find it is a mighty selfish world we live in, and I think the best way is for every body to take care of themselves.' Mr. Tuck hoped, by almost insulting the ladies, that they would courtesy themselves out of the office, without asking him for any thing. But ladies who go a-begging for the benefit of charitable institutions, make up their minds beforehand to pocket all the insults, as well as the shillings, that are offered them.

• Now, I am sure,' said the lady-beggar, ' that is one of the very best arguments you could possibly make in our favor. We are trying to collect a small sum of tifteen hundred dollars; and we shall be very thankful for the merest trifle. Your neighbors, Messrs. Dribletts and Pickings, gave us fifty dollars. They are very gentlemanly, kind-bearted, and Christian-like merchants.'

But Mr. Tuck had no ambition to be called either kind-hearted or geutleman-like, particularly at so high a cost as fifty dollars. Therefore, instead of drawing his check for that munificent sum, he felt in his pantaloons pocket, and very deliberately reached the lady a shilling. At the same time he looked very hard at a dazzling cross, which was fastened upon her forehead by a slender gold chain ; from which he glanced at a very large and beautiful cameo breast-pin

with which her satin cloak was fastened ; and then his eyes rested upon her delicate pocket-bandkerchief, which was trimmed with very rich lace. And his cold glances seemed to say, “Why was not all this finery sold, and the price of it given to the poor for whom you are begging?' And so the ladies probably interpreted Mr. Tuck's thoughts; for the spokes-woman blushed very deeply, and the other let fall her black lace veil. They whispered together a moment, and then the one who had before remained silent, approached Mr. Tuck's desk, and said :

We thought, as you had evinced a compassionate disposition in adopting one of our little reclaimed rogues, that you would be glad to be numbered among the patrons of our institution, or we should not have applied to you.'

• Me, Madam!' exclaimed Mr. Tuck, “I never heard of such an operation before.'

· Are you not Mr. Tremlett, then ? inquired the lady. • No,' replied Mr. Tuck, with growing astonishment.

* Then, Sir,' said both the ladies, speaking together, with a won. derful coincidence of thought, you are not the gentleman we thought you were.' And making two very low courtesies, the two benevolent ladies suddenly vanished, leaving behind them a strong smell of Eau de Cologne.

• What on earth did them there two female individuals mean!' exclaimed Mr. Tuck, as he thrust his astonished countenance behind the green curtain that screened his partner's desk.

Mr. Tremlett was trying very hard to look quite abstracted and indifferent; but Mr. Tuck saw at a glance that he was guilty.

• I suppose their remark about the boy was intended for me,' said Mr. Tremlett, looking very meekly upon a sheet of blank letter paper.

* Is it possible !' exclaimed Mr. Tuck.

• The truth is,' said Mr. Tremlett, ‘I met the youngster accidentally, and I thought I might do a worse thing than to give him a home and an education. So I have taken him into my house, and I intend, if possible, to make something of him.

• You do n't say so ! exclaimed Mr. Tuck, slowly and solemnly. • Yes, I do,' replied Mr. Tremlett.

"Well, all I can say is,' replied Mr. Tuck, putting on his hat, ' 't is. a strange world we live in !' And having delivered himself of this original remark, he left the office to go on 'Change, where he related the astounding events of the morning to several merchants of his acquaintance, each of whom made his own particular comments, accompanied with a great many very mysterious winks. But it was a little singular that not one of them had the charity to give Mr. Trem. lett credit for the slightest feeling of benevolence in adopting the boy.

But the good old merchant felt very happy in reflecting on what he had done ; and although he knew that his motives would be mis. represented, and his fame aspersed, in consequence, he never once repented of the act. He felt very queerly while the ladies were talking to his partner; and as he foresaw at the first that his secret must come out, he had ample time to fortify himself against its develop ment. And now he felt more at his ease than he had done for a

fortnight; and it appeared to him that a great load had been removed from his breast. As soon as Mr. Tuck had left the office, he called in Mr. Bates, the head book-keeper, to consult with him about a school for our hero. Mr. Bates was perfectly thunderstruck at the nature of his employer's communication ; but he reserved all his notes of exclamation for another occasion, when it would be more becoming in him to indulge in them. As to a school, he could n't impart any very valuable information, as his own children went to the district school; but he said he would ask the opinion of Professor Dobbins, his wife's brother, who was great in that department of knowledge. Mr. Bates returned to his ledger, considerably elevated in his feelings at receiving such a signal mark of confidence from his employer; and when one of the younger clerks asked him what the old fellow' wanted, he gave a very mysterious answer, which, like all mysterious matters, had no particular meaning in it. He always tried very hard to check undue familiarities from every body in any way beneath him, either by years or station ; but somehow or other, it so happened that all his efforts had an effect directly opposite to what he aimed at, and nobody ever manifested any particular dread in his presence, excepting very small boys. Mr. Bates rarely paid any attention to any body who was either poorer or younger than himself; but there was one person who was both, to whose judgment he submitted, and whose commands he obeyed, with the meekest grace possible. This was no other than his wife, who was not only his better, but also his larger half. He was short and roundfaced, with two little sneaking black whiskers on his cheeks; and she was tall and thin, with long sandy-colored ringlets dangling down hers. She had the tact to discover, when she was first married, that unless she tyrannized over him, he would tyrannize over her; and of course she followed the line of conduct which spirited women do in such cases.

Mr. Bates soon shut up his ledger, and hurried home as fast as possible, to tell his wife about the important matter that Mr. Tremlett had made known to him, and to ask her opinion about it.

• What do I think about it?' said Mrs. Bates, when her husband imparted the matter to her; why, I think he is a wicked old wretch, and I only wish I had the will of him!'

• Why the fact is, dear,' said Mr. Bates, ' I thought something was wrong myself, I must confess.'

• Men deserve hanging !' said Mrs. Bates.

• Well, I do believe, dear,' said Mr. Bates, ' that he is a sly old fellow, after all; but I must say, I always thought, that is, I never knew any thing to the contrary, before ; but I have said, you know, dear, that he was a very nice sort of an old gentleman.' * And

pray who is the mother of the boy ! — what is the creature's name ?' said Mrs. Bates.

*I declare, dear, that is something I never inquired about; and in fact he never said a word to me on the subject; and it would n't have appeared well in me to speak of it first.'

Just like you,' said Mrs. Bates; you always do things by the halves; you never was good for any thing. I only wish I was a man!'

• Why the fact is, dear," said Mr. Bates, soothingly, it would n't have did for me to done any thing like that.'

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