They may love other individuals far better than their relatives,--they may even cherish dislike, or positive hatred, to the latter; but yet, in view of death, the strong prejudice of propinquity revives, and impels the testator
to send down his estate in the line marked out by custom so immemorial that it looks like nature.
Not because I have the least desire to learn anything you may please to conceal from me, but simply that if, through your assistance, I could distribute the legacy according to the wishes of the testator
, why, so much the better, that is all.
Zephaniah Crypt's Charity, under the stimulus of a late visitation by commissioners, were beginning to apply long- accumulating funds to the rebuilding of the Yellow Coat School, which was henceforth to be carried forward on a greatly-extended scale, the testator
having left no restrictions concerning the curriculum, but only concerning the coat.
As for D'Artagnan, thus left alone, after having received the formal compliments of the procureur, he was lost in admiration of the wisdom of the testator
, who had so judiciously bestowed his wealth upon the most necessitous and the most worthy, with a delicacy that neither nobleman nor courtier could have displayed more kindly.
Who was ever awe struck about a testator
, or sang a hymn on the title to real property?
I could ascertain nothing in relation to it, except that the bequest was accompanied by some cynical remarks, to the effect that the testator
would feel happy if his legacy were instrumental in reviving the dormant interest of only one member of Doctor Softly's family in the fortunes of the hopeful young gentleman who had run away from home.
Major William Dobbin, my beloved son's friend," was appointed executor; "and as out of his kindness and bounty, and with his own private funds, he maintained my grandson and my son's widow, when they were otherwise without means of support" (the testator
went on to say) "I hereby thank him heartily for his love and regard for them, and beseech him to accept such a sum as may be sufficient to purchase his commission as a Lieutenant-Colonel, or to be disposed of in any way he may think fit.
Then it turns out, that the whole of the real and personal estate is divided between half-a- dozen charities; and that the dead and gone testator
has in pure spite helped to do a great deal of good, at the cost of an immense amount of evil passion and misery.
The case comes on, some months afterwards, afore a deaf old gentleman, in a back room somewhere down by Paul's Churchyard; and arter four counsels had taken a day a-piece to bother him regularly, he takes a week or two to consider, and read the evidence in six volumes, and then gives his judgment that how the testator
was not quite right in his head, and I must pay all the money back again, and all the costs.
He forged wills, this blade did, if he didn't also put the supposed testators
to sleep too.
Now look here, Bill,' he said, 'this isn't the way we usually do this sort of thing, and if the governor were here he would spend an hour and a half rambling on about testators
and beneficiary legatees, and parties of the first part, and all that sort of rot.
Therefore, I note here, though it may not be at all necessary, that there are hundreds of Will Cases (as they are called), far more remarkable than that fancied in this book; and that the stores of the Prerogative Office teem with instances of testators
who have made, changed, contradicted, hidden, forgotten, left cancelled, and left uncancelled, each many more wills than were ever made by the elder Mr Harmon of Harmony Jail.