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"Good-bv, Fane, I love you as God loves truth, and I will kiss you once." He bent over my face, but I wrenched myself from his grasp, and he strode from the room, and the house, without another word.
The next morning this note was sent to me:
"I have something more to say to you, Fane. Listen! Three months ago I should have exulted in the thought that your love for me would make you a haughty, bitter woman the rest of your life. That is what I hoped would be the ending of our companionship then. I will tell you why. Once a woman, the very counterpart of yourself in looks and actions, won my heart and threw it away as you would throw dust from off yonr fingers. When I met you, the sting of my sufferings was over, but not the sweet hopes of revenge, which I had hugged to my heart from the day when her sweet, beautiful lips, which I had never touched, bade me begone. I saw that you were strong and proud, so I said: 'This woman shall suffer, even as I suffered long ago, for one of her accursed sex,' and I won you only to kill you in the end. But I overrated my powers, for, in winning you, I was won myself. The slow agony I had hoped to make you endure, if it comes to you, remember also that it comes to me as well. I have known that you did not mean to be my wife from the first. You do well, better than you can dream, in adhering to this resolution, though I am astonished at your strength. "Whatever I do, and wherever I go, I am wholly yours, and—oh, my darling! it is true you are wholly mine.
The months and years slipped by. How they wore heavily into my soul I need not say, but Rex Ashcroft and I did not meet. Often, in passing through a crowded street, I have shivered and dropped my rail, fearing that I should catch the glitter of eyes that I remembered only too well; but the dreaded and yet longed-for moment was long in coming. It came at last in a way neither of us had once dreamed of its coming.
I was called down one cold wintry day to see a little child who had insisted upon seeing Miss Fane Rivers herself.
A tiny face, looking out from a hood of scarlet and enveloped in costly fur, met me upon the threshold of the parlor.
"Are you Miss Fane Rivers?" she asked, in a clear, sweet voice.
I answered in the affirmative, wondering much who the little stranger could be.
"My father said that I should tell you that Rex Ashcroft had sent for yon."
In three minutes I was in the coach which had come with the child, and we were hurrying to her father's house.
At the very last this man had sent for me to come and see him die, and to take his orphan child to my heart and home. What need to write about our terrible parting? God sends to us what seemethgood in his sight, and shall we dare complain?
Fane Ashcroft is my well-beloved child, and, without knowing her father's history, she reverences his memory, and, with her little hands clasped and lifted upward, she daily prays that her heart may be made so pure and good that she may one day go up to heaven and be with her own papa again. What use to break her childish faith? We cannot tell to whom God's mercy goes, and we need not try.
"LOVE THAT PASSETH KNOWLEDGE."
* And having loved his own which were In the world He loved them unto the end.**
"Unto the end," dear Lord, wilt thou love me,
Who oft have grieved, forgot, and slighted thee;
Who from thy thorn-bound brow and wounds have turned,
And thy commands and invitations spurned 1
Or all the wondrous things thy word has said,
Most strangely glorious, most sweetly glad
This promise of thy never-ending love
For those who "power to be" thine "own " can prove.
Man loves not so. His love alas 1 full oil
A few there are, we thank thee, Lord 1 who still, •
But e'en from these we turn again away,
For Thou, 0 bleeding One, art ever " more than they;"
As " broken lights " they lead us unto thee,
But can not satisfy our earnest plea.
Oh wondrous One, Oh Master, Saviour, Friend,
Then love us on, Ihrouph sin and doubt and pain,
Until a purer, truer lore thou gain
From them that listen for no sweeter tone
Than those blest tender words of old—" his own."
THE COMMON LAW INNS OF THE INNER AND MIDDLE TEMPLE, AND ITS ANCIENT CHURCH.
Thu old reporter, in his quaint language, declares, "The Statute Law is like a tyrant—where he comes, he makes all void; but the Common Law is like a nursing mother, and makes only void that part where the fault is, and preserves the rest" The old lawyers recognized in the Common Law the representations of the immemorial customs of their country, the ancient landmarks of their property. But it was with them as opposed to the obnoxious Civil Law, that the merits of "Lady Common Law," who, to use Coke's language, "prefers to lie alone," shone forth so conspicuously, for they recognized in her the protecting divinity that guarded so zealously liberty of thought, of speech, and of action; in those good old times deemed the chief glory of the race. No freeman certainly could hesitate to prefer the hardy features of personal independence belonging to this most excellent system, notwithstanding its intricate forms and the tediousness of its administration, to the Civil Law, the code of continental Europe, under which justice was the subject rather than ruler. The Inns of Court, when they first passed into the hands of the gentlemen of the long robe, were the real nurseries of the Common Law; but the glories, which to their enraptured vision seemed to invest their divinity, have faded. The procedures of the Common Law, more especially as regards real estate and its maxims, are in a great measure abrogated. In reference even to private relations, its doctrines are materially changed. The doctrine, "that statutes in derogation of the Common Law are to be strictly construed," has now in reality no solid foundation either in American or English jurisprudence; and, though for a long time the maxim may fall as a familiar sound upon the forensic ear, the day is passed when innovating statutes should be regarded with any peculiar severity, or subjected to any very strict rules of interpretation, because they abrogate some ancient rule of that renowned, but somewhat obsolete, system.
Old cross-grained Bentham, in his "Judicial Evidence," declares, with more violence than is warranted by truth, that he would "as soon send a man to the common sewer to cleanse himself, as to the Common Law for purity." The Common Law, while it was not always what the enthusiastic Coke pronounced it, "the highest reason," we yet venerate as the birthright of the subject, the safeguard and defense not only of his possessions and revenues, but of wife, children, home, body, and fame.
The locality in the city of London known as "The Temple" lies between Fleet Street and the Thames, north and south, and White Friars and Essex Street, cast and west, divided by Middle Temple Lane into Inner and Middle Temple, each having its hall, library, quadrangles, courts, &c. Its history is a curious one. The lawyers succeeded to the inheritance of that powerful fraternity, "The Knights Templars of Jerusalem," whose guiding principle, enforced by the solemnities of an oath, was "never to permit a Christian to be unlawfully and unjustly despoiled of his heritage." It were well had they conscientiously assumed in a wider sense the solemn obligation of the Templar, "that they never would consent to permit" not only any Christian, but any man, "to be unlawfully despoiled of his heritage." The Temple Church, or, at least, that part of it called "The Round," was built originally by the Knights Templars of Jerusalem, an order who, pitying the sufferings of Christian pilgrims, entered into a solemn compact to devote their lives and fortunes to the defense of the highway leading to Jerusalem, against the inroads of the Saracen, and the ravages of the powerful robbers who infested it. Their rise was rapid, but not more so than the growth of their ambition. From guarding the highway, they took to guarding the Holy City itself. Influential men joined the order, and threw into its coffers their entire fortunes. It grew in power and wealth, and in its palmiest days enrolled under its banners some of the mightiest names in England. The Master of the Temple took his place among the Peers in Parliament. The dress of the Templar corresponded with that of the Red Cross Knight in The Faery Queen of Spenser:
"And on his breast a bloudie cross he bore,
About the reign of the Third Edward, the establishment belonging to the Templars came into the hands of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, and by them were demised to certain students of the Common Law. From that time the body of lawyers increased in influence and importance. Soon they became so powerful, that it was found necessary to divide the Inn into two fraternities, to be called "The Honorable Societies of the Inner and Middle Temple," having separate halls, but worshiping in one church. These associations appear to have suffered considerably during the rebellion under Wat Tyler. Jack Cade had no great respect for the gentlemen of the long robe. He could not understand "how the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment, and that parchment, being scribbled on, should undo a man." Jack had heard some people say "that the bee stings," but, shrewd fellow, he had good reason to know "it was the bee's way, for he did but put a seal once to a thing, and was never his own man after." Believing as honest Jack did, how could he help thrusting his blazing torch amid the parchment treasures of the Inns of Court. The order soon recovered from the effect of this fire, and waxed more potent than ever. About the first year of the reign of James the First, we find the whole of this property was granted by letters, patent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Recorder of London, and others, the Benchers and Treasurers of the Inner and Middle Temple, to Have and to Hold to them and their assigns forever. Thus secured by royal grant, it has remained in their possession to this day. The place where now "the studious lawyers have their bowers" (for Temple Gardens still display their verdure on the river side) is certainly not what the gentle Elia declared it to be in his time, "the most elegant spot in the Metropolis." The approach to it from Fleet Street is now utterly forlorn.
Who can forget the gloom and the ancient smell there is about "The Old Brick Court," But the memories of the great and good cluster around its venerable precincts. Gower, Chaucer, and Spenser, "those morning stars who sang together" in the early dawn of English poetry, resided here for a considerable period. Genial Oliver Goldsmith occupied for several years the second-floor chamber of the third house inside the gateway: and there he died.
These Inns of Court are remarkable for the elegance and beauty of their interiors. The old times when their halls were the scenes of good cheer and sumptuous entertainment, when majesty and those who reflected its splendors honored these precincts with their presence, have indeed passed away. But though the "ferial days" and glorious merry-makings of the lawyers of gentle Evelyn's time have gone, and staid old Benchers no longer lead the dance, with measured step following the "Master of the Revels," nor "young limbs of the law" make the welkin ring indeed, and "rouse the night owl in a catch that would draw three souls from one weaver," still the honorable profession keep alive the spirit and sociability of their order in