THE MYSTERY OF JAMES DE LA CLOCHE
'PRAPs he was my father--though on this subjict I can't speak suttinly, for my ma wrapped up my buth in a mistry. I may be illygitmit, I may have been changed at nuss.'
In these strange words does Mr. Thackeray's Jeames de la Pluche anticipate the historical mystery of James de la Cloche. His 'buth' is 'wrapped up in a mistry,' his 'ma' is a theme of doubtful speculation; his father (to all appearance) was Charles II. We know not whether James de la Cloche--rejecting the gaudy lure of three crowns --lived and died a saintly Jesuit; or whether, on the other hand, he married beneath him, was thrown into gaol, was sentenced to a public whipping, was pardoned and released, and died at the age of twenty-three, full of swaggering and impenitent impudence. Was there but one James de la Cloche, a scion of the noblest of European royal lines? Did he, after professions of a holy vocation, suddenly assume the most secular of characters, jilting Poverty and Obedience for an