“June 4. A cause between Sir Oliver Vyell, baronet, plaintiff, and the lady of the late Sir Thomas, defendant, was tried in the Court of King’s Bench by a special jury. The subject of the litigation was a will of Sir Thomas, suspected to be made when he was not of sound mind; and it appeared that he had made three—one in 1741, another in 1744, and a third in 1746. In the first only a slender provision was made for his lady, by the second a family estate in Devonshire, of 2,000 pounds per annum, was given her for her life, and by the third the whole estate real and personal was left to be disposed of at her discretion without any provision for the heir-at-law. The jury, after having withdrawn for about an hour and a half, set aside the last and confirmed the second. In a hearing before the Lord Chancellor some time afterwards in relation to the costs, it was deemed that the lady should pay them all, both at common law and in Chancery.”
Thus we see our Ruth by glimpses in these years which were far from being the best or the happiest of her life—“an innocent life, yet far astray.”
But one letter of hers abides, kept in contrition by the woman to whom she wrote it, and in this surely the noble soul of her mounts like a star and shines, clear above the wreck of her life.
“MY DEAR MRS. HARRY,—”
“Let there be few words between us. My child did not live, and I shall never bear my lord another; therefore, outside of your feelings and mine, what you did or left undone matters not at all in this world. You talk of the next, and there you go beyond me; but if there be a next world, and my forgiveness can help you there, why you had it long ago! . . . ’You reproach yourself constantly,’ you say; ’You should have told him and you withheld the letter;’ ’You did wickedly’—and the rest. Oh, my dear, will you not see that I have been a mother, too, and understand? In your place I might have done the same. Yes? No? At any rate I should have known the temptation.
The law business ended, she and Sir Oliver sailed for Boston and spent a few weeks at Eagles. He had resigned the Collectorship of Customs, but with no intent to return and make England his home. His attachment to Eagles had grown; he was perpetually making fresh plans to enlarge and adorn it; and he proposed henceforth, laying aside all official cares, to spend his summers in New England, his winters in the softer climate of Lisbon.
LISBON AND AFTER.
ACT OF FAITH.
“How is it possible for people beholding that glorious Body to worship any Being but Him who created it!”
Upon the stroke of nine the procession filed forth into the Square. It was headed by about a hundred Dominican friars, bearing the banner of their founder. The banner displayed a Cross betwixt an olive tree and a sword, with the motto Justitia et Misericordia.