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and the fortune of Louis, the marriage was now on the tapis. The minister, the young lady, and Mrs. Thornhill, were invited to breakfast at Villejuive's one morning, and the company were very friendly, and agreeably passing through the ceremonies of the breakfast table, when Mactaggart's son came to the house with a letter.
« A letter! for whom?"
“No, for nobody here," said Mon. Villejuive, looking at the address.
- For whom?" asked every one.
“It's directed to the Laird St. Clyde, Island of Bute.”
“ The Laird St. Clyde !" exclaimed the minister, and held out his hand to Mon. Villejuive for it.
“My stars! the seal of your family, Miss Ellen,--and the band-writing !” and Mr. Thornhill could utter no more; he dropped on his knees, and the whole
company remained silent till he arose; what he said, (for he appeared offering to some unseen Being an orison which none but He who fills all space could be acquainted with,) none could possibly know; but after remaining in this attitude while one might count a hundred, Mr. Thornhill arose, and, approaching Ellen“ Here, here, my dear child!
dear child! this letter belongs to you; open it; you shall find news there !” And she took it from his hand; and, darting her eye on the address, the answer she made was a frantic scream; and Mrs. Thornhill caught her in her arms, and applied with the utmost precipitancy a smelling bottle to her nose, for the old lady had a strong belief in the power and resuscitating effects of essences upon the sensorial organs of persons affected with nervous complaints, and every species of catalepsis.
When they had got poor Ellen restored, the minister begged to know if he might be allowed to open the letter. Ellen could not speak; Mrs. Thornhill snatched it from her husband's hands, and tore it open, and turned to the signature. The sight of it was enough; she let fall the letter, and Mon. Villejuive saved her from measuring her length on the carpet.
The minister picked up the letter, and looked for the signature, but what was the astonishment of the com
Read, read, Louis," cried the minister, “it's from your cousin ; he's alive yet !-O Lord, how manifold are thy mercies, how mysterious are thy ways !” exclaimed the pious man in broken and deep-toned sentences.
Louis took the letter, and his brother stood beside Ellen, while the father (for Mr. Thornhill was tranquilly seat
ed in a chair) looked over his son's shoulder as he read.
“My dear and honoured Parents,
You will by this time have given me over, and supposed (I presume) long ago that I was no more; but I am still in the land of the living ; I was severely wounded on the heights of Abraham, and as Serjeant Macbean was carrying me to the rear, he was wounded; and our army advancing on the enemy's ground, I was, with Macbean, left on the field of battle. The French army in their circuitous retreat, came in the direction of the ground we had occupied in the beginning of the action, and picked me up, and poor Macbean was allowed to accompany me.
We were carried up the country first, and afterwards embarked for the French West-India islands. Though I have written you several letters, as they had to pass through the post-office at Paris, I am afraid you have never received any of them; but now that I have reached Paris, I write you to announce my return to Europe, and I hope to be in London in a week. I shall take Macbean with me to London, but I shall come myself to Scotland, and from Glasgow I intend to pass through Paisley and Kilwinning to the Largs, and thence to Bute.
“Give my compliments to my uncle and cousins, and the minister if he is yet alive, and to his wife ; and let my dear sisters and yourselves be assured, that I am still,
With filial affection,
COLIN ST. CLYDE."
: Though in the reading of this letter Louis was interrupted by the difficulties his own heart had to encounter, as well