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Waltingham! Had you ever a relation bearing that name?” My father's brother," returned Gilbert,“ was so called, and after him I was named.” “And what became of him?" inquired Mr. Adolphus. “I have heard," answered Gilbert," that soon after my birth, he quarrelled with my father; that he then left the country for some part of the eastern world. As, however, his name even was never heard by me, excepting from an aged servant in our family, who informed me of the fact I have related, I have no further information of him. Whether he be still alive, and if so, where he resides, or what may have been his success in life, I know not.”
Here Mr. Adolphus spread a large sheet of paper before him, and after running over it hastily, he proposed a few questions to Gilbert; after which he observed, “ I have news for you, Mr. Waltingham, which gladdens my heart to communicate. The tidings of your uncle's death have lately reached England: a property of very considerable amount, has been left by him to Gilbert Waltingham, only son of Roger Waltingham and Letitia his wife, of the parish of Hackney, in the county of Middlesex. This property has been claimed by a person, calling himself Gilbert Waltingham. I have with me the instruments which will secure it to the right heir, and am now on my way to Town, to meet the individual, who I am now persuaded is an impostor. All you now have to do, is to accompany me to London, to establish
your claim, which I have no doubt can easily be done; and I shall then have the pleasure of seeing you enjoying that which your birth and virtues so strictly entitle you to."
The astonishment of Gilbert was almost overpowering: by turns he expressed his gratitude to God, and to Mr. Adolphus, and then kissed, and wept over his beloved Isabel. The remaining part of the day was employed by Mr. Adolphus, in fully equipping Waltingham in a respectable manner, and providing a suitable person to attend to the child during their absence; and on the following morning they left Brighton, in one of the early stages, for London.
It is only necessary to add, that the right of Gilbert Waltingham was fully established; and in a few days from the period that he borrowed the halfpenny from Mr. Adolphus, he was in the full possession of a fortune of upwards of eighty thousand pounds!
His humble abode was of course given up. He removed from Brighton: Mr. Adolphus became his intimate and almost inseparable friend and companion. A few years passed, and they were yet more closely united, by the union of Gilbert Waltingham with the eldest daughter of the worthy Lawyer: while the providence which led to so happy a result, was gratefully acknowledged, and traced, instrumentally, to a conscientious regard of the day which Jehovah has hallowed to himself.
THE GENUINE PHILOSOPHER.
“With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
SOME few mouldering fragments, partly hid by wild briars and thorns, and partly covered with upturned mounds from the plough, yet remained, which, two centuries before, were parts of the ancestral mansion of the celebrated but unfortunate Earl of Derby, who suffered the penalty of death in 1651, for proclaiming Charles II. Over these remains of worldly splendour, the youthful hero of my tale was in the habit of wandering, before he entered his teens; and as be surveyed the ruins which man and time had made, a silent tear would ever and anon steal down his rosy cheek, while he thought of those from whom, in a long line, he had descended; and felt the import of Johnson's touching lines,
“ Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys;
The dangers gather as the treasures rise,
The tears however, thus early shed by Alphonso, were not those of regret, but of sympathy. Already his mind had been better instructed: a principle of a loftier nature than the honours of a titled ancestry could impart, had been impressed there.
His father, at the period of his birth, enjoyed a princely fortune, and resided in a mansion, such as a less unfortunate king than the exiled Charles might have been proud to possess. Alphonso was the only surviving child of his parents: several children had preceded him, but when the fair buds of nature were just breaking forth into attractive flowers, they drooped, as if a worm lay concealed in the core of their being, and died away. That he should therefore engage the whole attention of his parents, naturally affectionate, is not surprising; and they beheld in the boy a thousand charms, which others might not have immediately discovered. His face indeed was not handsome, but it was open as the morning. It bore the impress of masculine energy, rather than the soft attractive glow of infant loveliness. He was the last, too, of a long, an honourable line, and the heir to extensive possessions. In him the hopes of his father's house were deposited.
What improvement he might have made of his superior advantages during his early years, I am not able to declare. All I know is, that if the best masters that could be furnished, and the utmost care and attention which attendants could yield, availed anything, he must have profited greatly. As soon however as his preparatory studies were completed, he was sent to Westminster school : here the talents with which nature had endowed him, shone forth with attractive lustre, while his assiduity gained for him honourable distinction among the scholars of his day. After a residence of a few years in that celebrated seminary, he was elected to Christ Church College, Oxford, and, in the twenty-first year of his age, took the degree of M. A.
On returning one evening from a lonely stroll by the side of the meandering Isis, conversing with men of other days, through their works, which