[Entered according to Act of
Congress, in the Year 1862, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the
District Court for the Southern District of New York.]
AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE,"
ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN M'LENAN.
Printed from the Manuscript and
early Proof–sheets purchased by the Proprietors of "Harper's Weekly."
BETWEEN THE SCENES.
[Extract from the Advertising
Columns of The Times.] "AN UNKNOWN FRIEND is requested to mention (by
advertisement) an address at which a letter can reach him. The receipt of the
information which hw offers will be acknowledged by a reward of Five Pounds."
FROM CAPTAIN WRAGGE TO MAGDALEN.
"BIRMINGHAM, July 2, 1847.
"MY DEAR GIRL,—The box containing
the articles of costume which you took away be mistake has come safely to hand.
Consider it under my special protection until I hear from you again.
"I embrace this opportunity to
assure you once more of my unalterable fidelity to your interests. Without
attempting to intrude myself into your confidence, may I inquire whether Mr.
Noel Vanstone has consented to do you justice? I greatly fear he has declined—in
which case I can lay my hand on my heart, and solemnly declare that his meanness
revolts me. Why do I feel a foreboding that you have appealed to him in vain?
Why do I find myself viewing this fellow in the light of a noxious insect? We
are total strangers to each other; I have no sort of knowledge of him, except
the knowledge I picked up in making your inquiries. Has my intense sympathy with
your interests made my perceptions prophetic? or, to put it fancifully, is there
really such a thing as a former state of existence? and has Mr. Noel Vanstone
mortally insulted me—say, in some other planet?"
"I write, my dear Magdalen, as
you see, with my customary dash of humor. But I am serious in placing my
services at your disposal. Don't let the question of terms cause you an
instant's hesitation. I accept, beforehand, any terms you like to mention. If
your present plans point that way, I am ready to squeeze Mr. Noel Vanstone, in
your interests, till the gold oozes out of him at every pore. Pardon the
coarseness of this metaphor. My anxiety to be of service to you rushes into
words, lays my meaning in the rough at your feet, and leaves your taste to
polish it with the choicest ornaments of the English language.
"How is my unfortunate wife? I am
afraid you find it quite impossible to keep her up at heel, or to mould her
personal appearance into harmony with the eternal laws of symmetry and order.
Does she attempt to be too familiar with you? I have always been accustomed to
check her in this respect. She has never been permitted to call me any thing but
Captain; and on the rare occasions, since our union, when circumstances may have
obliged her to address me by letter, her opening form of salutation has been
rigidly restricted to 'Dear Sir.' Accept these trifling domestic particulars as
suggesting hints which may be useful to you in managing Mrs. Wragge; and believe
me, in anxious expectation of hearing from you again,
FROM NORAH TO MAGDALEN.
[Forwarded, with the Two Letters
that follow it, from the Post-office, Birmingham.]
"WESTMORELAND HOUSE, KENSINGTON,
"MY DEAREST MAGDALEN,—When you
write next (and pray write soon!) address your letter to me at Miss Garth's. I
have left my situation, and some little time may elapse before I find another.
"Now it is all over, I may
acknowledge to you, my darling, that I was not happy. I tried hard to win the
affection of the two little girls I had to teach; but they seemed, I am sure I
can't tell why, to dislike me from the first. Their mother I have no reason to
complain of. But their grandmother, who was really the ruling power in the
house, made my life very hard to me. My inexperience in teaching was a constant
subject of remark with her; and my difficulties with the children were alnvays
visited on me as if they had been entirely of my own making. I tell you this, so
that you may not suppose I regret having left my situation. Far from it, my
love—I am glad to be out of the house.
"I have saved a little money,
Magdalen, and I should so like to spend it in staying a few days with you! My
heart aches for a sight of my sister; my ears are weary for the sound of her
voice. A word from you, telling me where we can meet, is all I want. Think of'
it—pray think of it!
"Don't suppose I am discouraged
by this first check. There are many kind people in the world, and some of them
may employ me next time. The way to happiness is often very hard to find—harder,
I almost think, for women than for men. But if we only try patiently, and try
long enough, we reach it. at last—in Heaven, if not on earth. I think my way now
is the way