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to his nose, when he drew a large portion of its contents into his nostrils, and seemed gratified by this little act of attention. "But if you were not to be hanged for forgery," resumed Gale, "if by mortgaging my estate at Brookshaw, and paying the amount of their loss, I prevailed upon the bankers to drop all criminal proceedings, would you pledge yourself to give me full and complete information upon every point connected with the charges of Henry Clements?" "I am not an idiot," was the sullen answer; "and though I had resolved to die if my forgeries were detected, and I could not escape from England within a week, as I had intended, I had much rather live. I am just married, you know." There was a sneer in his tone, while the slight curl of his lip approximated towards a bitter smile.

"I am happy then to inform you that your life is saved," resumed Middleton, "for I have made this arrangement with the bankers, who have given me a written engagement to stop the prosecution."

"Have they?-have they?" cried Ball, and his usually dull and fishy eyes, after moving rapidly from side to side, became again fixed upon the floor, as if he were weighing the consequences of this sudden change in his fate, for which, however, he did not express one word of thanks to his cousin, who added, "Remember, Caleb, that every thing will depend upon your giving me frank and explicit answers to all my questions."

"Will you pledge me your honour that if I do so you will never take advantage of my replies, never institute proceedings against me?"

I promise this most solemnly."

"Speak, then; you have removed every impediment to my making a full and free confession."

"In the first place, did I ever offend you,-ever do you an injury?"

"Never!"

"Why then did you seek my life with such a remorseless perseverance?"

"Did you ever read old Gale's will? In order to deter you from leading a single life, which he always declared had been a miserable one to himself, he conditioned that, in the event of your dying unmarried, the Brookshaw estate should come to me.'

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"I had quite forgotten it; but-gracious heavens! is it possible, is it to be believed that for so base and sordid an

object you would have condemned me to a violent and cruel death?"

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"Ay!" said Ball, with a sullen nod.

"And was it to prevent my marriage with Miss Norberry that you procured those infamous letters to be written?" The "ay" was repeated, in precisely the same tone and

manner.

“And with a similar view you doubtless employed some accomplice to conceal himself in the china-closet at Maple Hatch?"

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"It was myself whom you pursued on that occasion.” "You!-you!-impossible! how comes it that I did not recognise you?"

"I wore a mask. When you had wrenched the pistol from me, and I found myself in your power, I pretended to be wounded. You ran for succour, and I was thus enabled to make my escape."

"You are the stranger, then, whom we saw more than once lurking about the premises, after you had failed in your attempt to poison me. What was your object?"

"Cannot you guess it?"

"Caleb Ball! Caleb Ball! I believe in my heart that you are mad, and the amazement, the indignation, the horror that I might otherwise feel, merges into compassion. You were already in comfortable circumstances; you would shortly have been a partner in the house; what necessity then, or, rather, what devil can have driven you to the commission of such monstrous atrocities ?"

"The gaming-table, which is a whole legion of devils. My nights were devoted to it-I could not exist without it -I should have gone mad had I not possessed the means of high and desperate play. To procure these means I stuck at no enormity. I speculated-I ran in debt, I forged acceptances:-detection, disgrace, a scaffold, were constantly staring me in the face. Your death would have given me Brookshaw, and the sale of the estate would have enabled me to take up the forged acceptances before they became due, and to extricate myself from all my difficulties. Selfpreservation, as I told Člements, is the first law of nature. Can you wonder that I wished to save my own life at the expense of yours?"

"Henceforth 1 ought to wonder at nothing, though I am still filled with amazement, that, at such a terrible moment, in the very crisis of your fate, you could have the temerity to think of marriage."

"I did it in self-defence, which justifies every thing. My wife has five thousand pounds. From the arrangements I had made, I calculated that my forgeries on the bankers could not be detected for a week to come. To-morrow I should have set off for Portsmouth, and on the following day I should have been sailing for New York, having already engaged my passage on board an American vessel lying in the Downs."

"And does your unfortunate wife know any thing of this purposed flight?"

"Nothing; but she seems attached to me, and I doubt not would have willingly accompanied me, when she understood the necessity for my flight. Poor Clara! I am sorry for her; I shall never use her ill; I have no motive for doing so."

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"Caleb! I have only one more question to ask, and I have reserved it for the last, because it is infinitely the most important, so far as concerns yourself. You are an accountable being, you possess an immortal soul, you have been educated as a Christian, you must believe in a future state of rewards and punishments-how then can you have so seared your conscience as to perpetrate such wanton and enormous crimes with so much seeming indifference?— Above all, steeped as you already are in guilt, how can you have dared to rush into the presence of an offended God by attempting to commit the additional and inexpiable sin of suicide?"

"Have you forgotten that our tutor always assured me I was one of the elect a vessel predestined from all time to honour and glory? This has been latterly confirmed to me by a divine of the same persuasion, with the addition, that they who have once been chosen can never forfeit their birthright, whatever sins they may have committed. I am an antinomian-I have faith-what need have I of good works in this world? I am one of the elect, how then can I forfeit salvation in the next?"

Shuddering as he heard him, Middleton exclaimed, "Now then am I more than ever persuaded that Heaven and the gospel cannot possibly have sanctioned that doctrine of our tutor, which filled me with despondency and terror, though I was free from offence; while it has seared your heart, and even given you a presumptuous confidence of Divine favour, at the very moment that you have been leading a life of unbridled licentiousness, or meditating schemes of the most remorseless villany. Caleb Ball, I pity you! Evil instruction

hath fallen upon the rank soil of an evil mind, and the growth has been a frightful turpitude, upon which it is appalling to look back, and still more so to anticipate its future consequences. May you awake from the delusions of your superstitious faith, and by a life of future penitence, merit and obtain the forgiveness of Heaven! Your offences against myself I have already pardoned, but I will never see you again. We part for ever. Farewell!"

With these words he quitted the chamber, the two officers who had been stationed at the door, re-entered it, and the prisoner's first and only demand was for snuff, with which his hand-cuffs prevented him from supplying himself!

Middleton, ever considerate for the feelings of others, even of those who had most deeply injured him, broke to the wretched wife, as tenderly and delicately as he could, the painful predicament in which her husband was placed, suggesting, that as he must necessarily be accompanied by the officers of justice, and conveyed to a place of confinement, she would do well to seek some other node of conveyance, and betake herself to her friends in London. Terrified, humiliated, and almost broken-hearted, the unfortunate woman expressed the deepest gratitude for his kindness, but declined taking his advice, exclaiming in an inter-val of her sobs and tears, "No, Caleb is my husband-my lot is cast-I deserve it-I will do my duty!"

A few minutes afterwards, Ball, his wife, and the two of ficers mounted a coach and set off for London. Middleton, agitated by contending emotions, and absolutely horrified at the confessions of his cousin, waited till he had in some degree recovered himself, when he rejoined Hargrave, and the friends, still accompanied by Clements, returned together to the metropolis.

CHAPTER XVII.

Whites a wedlock hymn we sing
Feed yourselves with questioning;

That reason, wonder may diminish

How thus we met and these things finish.

As you like it.

He, therefore, who retards the progress of intellect, countenances crime-nay, to a state, is the greatest of criminals; while he, who circulates that mental light, more precious than the visual, is the holiest improver, and the surest benefactor of his race!

The Disowned.

In a few days, all the legal documents relative to the mortgage having been executed, Caleb Ball was released from his confinement, and, accompanied by his wife, proceeded to the American vessel in the Downs, on board which he had engaged his passage for New York. An account of their having sailed was shortly afterwards received by Middleton, in a letter of the most fervid and impassioned thanks from Mrs. Ball, who at the same time, wrote the following to Chritty Norberry :

"MADAM,

"Before the pilot-boat leaves us, and I am conveyed away, not unwillingly, from a country where for several years I have known nothing but humiliation and anguish of mind, I feel myself called upon to perform an act of justice, equally due to yourself, and to the generous, the nobleminded man who, at such a sacrifice of fortune, has rescued his direst enemy from an ignominious death. On interro

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