« ElőzőTovább »
disposed to be formal and precise in the discharge of a duty so important as that which now devolved upon him.
“ "Dr. Lynch," added the lawyer. "His contingent interest ceases to-day.”
“It is quite proper that he should be present, being an interested party, and I have taken the liberty to invite him to come here at nine o'clock," continued Mr. Lester. “ You will pardon me for inviting this unwelcome guest, Mr. Hungerford, but I deemed it best that he should be here," he added, in a low tone, to Eugene, who stood by his side.
“I am entirely satisfied.”
“I do not think he will come,” said Mr. Lester. “His contingent interest no longer exists, and I doubt if he will care to see all the property slip into your hands.” The eminent trustee chuckled a little. He was so well satisfied that the doctor would not come, that he had not even deemed it worth while to say before that he had invited him.
“Dr. Lynch is not present," continued the eminent trustee, “and we will proceed without him.”
"Dr. Lynch," said Parkinson, throwing open the door at this moment.
“Ah!” ejaculated Mr. Lester, faintly.
“I am here at the request of Mr. Lester,” said Dr. Lynch, as Eugene stepped forward to receive the guest.
Eugene made no reply; he was courteous, but he said no more than was necessary to greet the guest. He gave him a seat.
' By the terms of John Hungerford's will," Mr. Lester began again, “a document drawn up with great care by my learned legal friend, whom you all have the pleasure of meeting on this interesting occasion, it was provided that the income of the three millions of dollars, the entire estate of the testator, should be paid over to Eugene Hungerford, his nephew, as fast as it accrued. This clause, I believe, has been faithfully and legally carried out, and the trustees have the receipts for all the money's paid over to Mr. Hungerford.”
Mr. Lester paused and wiped his forehead with his handkerchief. It was important business, and it must look important. “By the terms of John Hungerford's will, it further appears,” he continued, " that if, when testator's nephew, Eugene, had attained the age of thirty years, he was the father of a son, who had been duly named for his father's uncle, the whole three millions should be paid over to the nephew. In order to comply with the terms of the will, and entitle Mr. Hungerford to absolute possession of the property, these questions must be answered. First: Is Eugene Hungerford legally married ? Second: Has he a son? Third: Is this son named John Hungerford ? During the day the trustees, with the valuable assistance of the distinguished legal gentleman who drew up the original will, have considered these three questions, embodying the conditions on which they were to constitute Mr. Hungerford the sole owner of the property, and they are happy to say that they find full, complete, legal evidence which satisfies them that the three conditions have been duly and properly met.
The trustees find that Mr. Hungerford was duly married to the estimable lady known as his wife.” Mr. Lester was so intent upon being verbose that he quite forgot his early view of the marriage. “They were united by Rev. John Porter. There is no room to doubt the legality of the marriage; but, unpleasant as it is, this matter must be mentioned.”
Mr. Lester made this apology, because, glancing at Mary, he saw that her face was quite red, and that she was annoyed by the consideration of the question.
There being no doubt on this point "I beg your pardon, Mr. Lester," interrupted Dr. Lynch, in a bland and almost supercilious tone,“ but there is some doubt about it."
All eyes were directed toward the doctor. Eugene looked stern and indignant; the conduct of the unwelcome guest appeared like a premeditated insult to him. Dick Birch's fingers were involuntarily clutched together; he was in condition to lay violent hands on the doctor. Julia placed her finger on his arm; and this prevented him from executing the purpose in his mind.
“ Dr. Lynch, do I understand you to raise an objection to the legality of the marriage?” asked Mr. Lester, now
quite startled out of propriety by the unexpected event.
“I do raise an objection,” replied the doctor, who was already revelling in the misery he intended to produce.
The marriage was not legal,” he replied, triumphantly, as he glanced at Eugene.
“The ceremony was performed by the reverend gentleman now present; the marriage is duly recorded and there are plenty of witnesses of the fact."
“I appeal to your legal adviser, at your side, to say whether these are sufficient to constitute a legal marriage!” said Dr. Lynch, apparently bent upon prolonging the joy of his triumph, and upon keeping the parties in suspense as long as he could.
“If the parties are competent to marry, they are sufficient,” said the lawyer. "But the parties to this marriage were not competent.
The lady was not competent to marry. She was the wife of another man."
“Her husband was dead."
Dr. Lynch went out of the room, opened the front door, and presently appeared with the stranger whom he had met at his office.
"Here is my proof," said he, pointing to the stranger. It was Eliot Buckstone.—The Way of the World.
URRAY, LINDLEY, an American grammarian;
born at Swatara, Lancaster County, Pa.,
April 22, 1745; died near York, England, February 16, 1826. His father removed in 1753 to New York, where he engaged in mercantile business. The son was destined to a business life, and after re
ceiving a good education was placed in his father's counting-room; but after urgent solicitation his father consented to his entering upon the study of law. He was admitted to the bar; but the breaking out of the war of the Revolution put an end for the time to his practice, and he entered upon a mercantile business with such success that at the close of the war he found himself in possession of a considerable fortune.
He then retired from business. Having gone to England for his health, he found life there so congenial that he purchased a small estate at Howgate, near York, where he passed the remaining forty years of life, devoting himself to reading and writing. His first work, published anonymously in 1787, was entitled The Power of Religion on the Mind. Almost accidentally he was led into the writing of works relating to the Grammar of the English language. His first work on this subject appeared in 1795. This proved so successful that it was from time to time enlarged, and his English Grammar soon superseded all others, both in England and America. He produced several other works subsidiary to this, among which was an English Reader, made up of selections from the best of authors. He wrote an Autobiography, bringing his life down to the year 1809, which was published after his death.
MOTIVES FOR WRITING.
In the course of my literary labors I found that the mental exercise which accompanied them was not a little beneficial to my health. The motives which excited me to write, and the objects which I hoped to accomplish, were of a nature calculated to cheer the mind, and to give the animal spirits a salutary impulse. I am persuaded that if I had suffered my time to pass away with little or no employment, my health would have been still more impaired, my spirits depressed, and perhaps my life considerably shortened. I have therefore reason to deem it a happiness, and a source of gratitude to Divine Providence, that I was enabled under my bodily weakness and confinement to turn my attention to the subjects which have so many years afforded me abundant occupation. I think it is incumbent upon us, whatever may be our privations, to cast our eyes around and endeavor to discover whether there are not some means yet left us of doing good to ourselves and to others; that our lights may in some degree shine in every situation, and, if possible, be extinguished only with our lives. The quantum of good which, under such circumstances we do, ought not to disturb or affect us. If we perform what we are able to perform, how little soever it may be, it is enough; it will be acceptable to Him Who knows how to estimate exactly all our actions by comparing them with our disposition and ability.-Autobiography.
THE PURPOSE OF HIS "GRAMMARS."
I was often solicited to compose and publish a Grammar of the English Language for the use of some teachers who were not perfectly satisfied with any of the existing Grammars. I declined for a considerable time complying with this request, from a consciousness of my inability to do the subject that careful justice which would be expected in a new publication of that nature. Being much pressed to undertake the work, I at length turned my attention seriously to it. I conceived that a Grammar containing a careful selection of the most useful matter, and an adaptation of it to the understanding and the gradual progress of learners, with a special regard to the propriety and purity of the examples and illustrations, would be some improvement on the English Grammars which had fallen under my notice.
With this impression I ventured to produce the first edition of a work on this subject. It appeared in the spring of the year 1795. I will not assert that I have accomplished all that I proposed. But the approbation