« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
which, if a ricketty table and some in- in bim; he wants to be confidential, fernal lampblack for ink should make and he doesn't know how to go about illegible, you'll have to wait for the it. I suppose he looks on me as rather elucidation till my arrival. I found a rough father to confess to; he isn't Glencore terribly altered; I'd not have quite sure what kind of sympathy, if known him. He used to be muscular any, he'll meet with from me, and he and rather full in habit; he is now a more than half dreads a certain caremere skeleton. His hair and moustache less, outspoken way in which I have were coal black; they are a motley now and then addressed his boy, of grey. He was straight as an arrow- whom more anon. pretentiously erect, many thought ; “I may be right, or I may be wrong, he is stooped now, and bent nearly in this conjecture; but certain it is, double. His voice, too, the most clear that nothing like confidential converand ringing in the squadron, is become sation bas yet passed between us, and a hoarse whisper. You remember what each day seems to render the prospect a passion he had for dress, and how of such only less and less likely. I heartily we all deplored the chance of wish from my heart you were here; his being colonel, well knowing what you are just the fellow to suit him— precious caprices of costly costume just calculated to nourish the susceptiwould be the consequence. Well, a bilities that I only shock. I said as discharged corporal, in a cast-off mufti, much t'other day, in a half-careless is stylish compared to him. I don't way, and he immediately caught it up, think he has a hat I have only seen and said-Ay, George, Upton is a an oilskin cap; but his coat, his one man one wants now and then in life, coat, is a curiosity of industrious patch- and when the moment comes, there is work; and his trowsers are a pair of no such thing as a substitute for him.' our old overalls, the same pattern we In a joking manner, I then remarked, wore at Hounslow when the king re- • Why not come over to see him ?' viewed us.
Leave this !' cried be; venture into “Great as these changes are, they the world again ; expose myself to its are nothing to the alteration in the brutal insolence, or still more brutal poor fellow's disposition. He that was pity! In a torrent of passion, he went generous to munificence, is now an on in this strain, till I heartily regretabsolute miser, descending to the most ted that I had ever touched this unpitiful economy, and moaning over lucky topic. every trifling outlay. He is irritable, “I date his greatest reserve from too, to a degree. Far from the jolly, that same moment; and I am sure he lighthearted comrade, ready to join in is disposed to connect me with the cathe laugh against himself, and enjoy a sual suggestion to go over to Studtgard, jest of which he was the object, he sus- and deems me, in consequence, one pects a slight in every allusion, and utterly deficient in all true feeling and bristles up to resent a mere familiarity, delicacy. as though it were an insult.
“I needn't tell you that my stay “Of course I put much of this down here is the reverse of a pleasure. I'm to the score of illness, and of bad health never, what fine people call, bored before he was so ill; but, depend upon anywhere ; and I could amuse myself it, he's not the man we knew him. gloriously in this queer spot. I have Heaven knows if he ever will be so shot some half dozen seals, hooked the again. The night I arrived here he heaviest salmon I ever saw rise to a was more natural—more like himself, fly, and have had rare coursing, not to in fact, than he has ever been since. say that Glencore's table, with certain His manner was heartier, and in bis reforms 1 have introduced, is very towelcome there was a touch of the old lerable, and his cellar unimpeachable. jovial good fellow, who never was so I'll back his chambertin against your happy as when sharing his quarters excellency's; and I have discovered a with a comrade. Since that he has bin of red hermitage that would congrown punctilious, anxiously asking vert a whole vineyard of the smallest me if I am comfortable, and teasing Lafitte into Sneyd's claret; but with me with apologies for what I don't all these seductions, I can't stand the miss, and excuses about things that I life of continued constraint I'm reduced should never have discovered wanting. to. Glencore evidently sent for me to
"I think I see what is passing with- make some revelations, which, now that he sees me, be cannot accomplish. For mer self, struck me the other evening. aught I know, there may be as many We were talking of old messmateschanges in me to his eyes, as to mine Croydon, Stanhope, Loftus, and your. there are in him. I only can vouch self--and instead of dwelling, as he for it, that if I ride three stone heavier, once would have done, exclusively on I haven't the worse place, and I don't your traits of character and disposition, detect any striking falling off in my he discussed nothing but your abili. appreciation of good fare and good ties, and the capacity by which you fellow
could win your way to honours and “I spoke of the boy; he is a fine distinction. I needn't say how, in such lad - somewhat haughty, perhaps ; a a valuation, you came off best. Inlittle spoiled by the country people deed he professes the highest esteem calling him the young lord; but a ge- for your talents, and says, . You'll see nerous fellow, and very like Glencore, Upton either a cabinet minister or when he first joined us at Canterbury. ambassador at Paris yet;' and this By way of educating him himself, he repeated in the same words last Glencore has been driving Virgil and night, as if to show it was not dropped decimal fractions into him; and the as a mere random observation. boy, bred in the country - never out “I have some scruples about venof it for a day-can't load a gun or tie turing to offer anything bordering & a tackle. Not the worst thing about suggestion to a great and wily diplo. the boy is his inordinate love for Glen- matist like yourself; but if an illuscore, whom he imagines to be about trious framer of treaties and protocols the greatest and most gifted being that would condescend to take a hint froin ever lived. I can scarcely help smil. an old dragoon colonel, I'd say that a ing at the implicitness of this honest few lines from your crafty pen might faith ; but I take good care not to possibly unlock this poor fellow's heart, smile; on the contrary, I give every and lead him to unburthen to you what possible encouragement to the belieť.
he evidently cannot persuade himself I conclude the disenchantment will ar- to reveal to me. I can see plainly rive only too early at last.
enough that there is something on his " You'll not know what to make of mind; but I know it just as a stupid such a lengthy epistle from me, and old hound feels there is a fox in the you'll doubtless torture that fine diplo- cover, but cannot for the life of him matic intelligence of yours to detect see how he's to draw'him. the secret motive of my long-winded- “ A letter from you would do him ness; but the simple fact is, it has good, at all events; even the little rained incessantly for the last three gossip of your gossiping career would days, and promises the same cheering cheer and amuse him. He said, very weather for as many more. Glencore plaintively, two nights ago, • They've doesn't fancy that the boy's lessons all forgotten me. When a man retires should be broken in upon—and hinc from the world, he begins to die, and iste litteræ-that's classical for you. the great event, after all, is only the
“I wish I could say when I am coup-de-grace to a long agony of tor. likely to beat my retreat. I'd stay- ture. Do write to him, then; the ad. not very willingly, perhaps--but still dress is Glencore Castle, Leenane, I'd stay, if I thought myself of any Ireland,' where, I suppose, I shall be use; but I cannot persuade myself still a resident for another fortnight to that I am such. Glencore is now about
come. again, feeble of course, and much pull- “Glencore has just sent for me ; but ed down, but able to go about the I must close this for the post, or it will house and the garden. I can contribute be too late. nothing to his recovery, and I fear as 6 Yours ever truly, little to his comfort. I even doubt if
“ GEORGE HARCOURT.” he desires me to prolong my visit; but “I open this to say that he sent for such is my fear of offending him, that me to ask for your address whether I actually dread to allude to my de through the Foreign Office, or direct parture, till I can sound my way as to to Suudtgard. You'll probably not how he'll take it. This fact alone will hear for some days, for he writes with show you how much he is changed from extreme difficulty, and I leave it to the Glencore of long ago. Another your wise discretion to write to him feature in him, totally unlike his for- or not in the interval.
“ Poor fellow, he looks very
a monster for the recommendation, day. He says that he never slept the and seemed quite disgusted besides. whole night, and that the laudanum he Couldn't you send him over a detook to induce drowsiness, only excited spatch ? I think such a document from and maddened him. I counselled a Studtgard ought to be an unfailing hot jorum of mulled porter before get- soporific." ting into bed; but he deemed me
When Harcourt repaired to Glencore's Harcourt made no reply, but sat bedroom, where he still lay, wearied patiently to listen to what was coming. and feverish after a bad nigbt, he was “ It is time to think of him," added struck by the signs of suffering in the Glencore,.slowly. “The other daysick man's face. The cheeks were it seems but the other day—and he was bloodless and fallen in, the lips pinched, a mere child ; a few years moreto and in the eyes there shone that unna- seem when past like a long dreary tural brilliancy which results from an night-and he will be a man. over-wrought and over-excited brain. “Very true," said Harcourt; “and
“ Sit down here, George,” said he, Charley is one of those fellows who pointing to a chair beside the bed; “I only make one plunge from the boy want to talk to you. I thought every into all the responsibilities of manhood. day that I could muster courage for Throw him into a college at Oxford, what I wish to say; but somehow, or the mess of a regiment to-morrow, when the time arrived, I felt like a cri. and this day week you'll not know him minal who entreats for a few hours from the rest." more of life, even though it be a life Glencore was silent; if he had of misery."
heard, he never noticed Harcourt's “ It strikes me that you were never
remark. less equal to the effort than now,” said “ Has he ever spoken to you about Harcourt, laying his band on the himself, Harcourt ?" asked he, after a other's pulse.
pause. “ Don't believe my pulse, George,” “Never, except when I led the subsaid Glencore, smiling faintly.The ject in that direction; and even then machine may work badly, but it has reluctantly, as though it were a topic wonderful holding out.
he would avoid." through enough,” added he, gloomily, “ Have you discovered any, strong “ to kill most
men, and here I am still, inclination in him for a particular kind breathing and suffering."
of life, or any career in preference to “ This place doesn't suit you, Glen- another?" core. There are not above two days
- None; and if I were only to crein the month you can venture to take dit what I see of him, I'd say that this the air."
dull monotony, and this dreary, un“ And where would you have me eventful existence, is what he likes best go, sir ?” broke he in fiercely. Would of all the world.” you advise Paris and the Boulevards, “You really think so ?” cried Glenor a palace in the Piazza di Spagna at core, with an eagerness that seemed Rome? or perhaps the Chiaja at Na- out of proportion to the remark. ples would be public enough? Is it “So far as I see," rejoined Har. that I may parade disgrace and infamy court, guardedly, and not wishing to through Europe, that I should leave let his observation carry graver consethis solitude ?"
quences than he might suspect. “I want to see you in a better cli- “So that you deem him capable of mate, Glencore; somewhere where the passing a life of a quiet, unambitious sun shines occasionally."
tenor-neither seeking for distinctions, « This suits me,' said the other, nor fretting after honours.” bluntly ; “ and here I have the secu- “ How should he know of their exrity that none can invadenone mo- istence, Glencore? What has the boy lest me. But it is not of myself I wish ever heard of life and its struggles ? to speak-it is of my boy."
It's not in Homer, or Sallust, he'd
learn the strife of parties and public “ This is nothing but an accessio men."
nervosa,'' said Billy; “clear the room, “ And why need he ever know ladies and gentlemen, and lave me them ?" broke in Glencore, fiercely. with the patient.” And Harcourt gave
« If he doesn't know them now, he's the signal for obedience by first taking sure to be taught them hereafter. A his departure. young fellow who will succeed to a Lord Glencore's attack was more title and a good fortune
serious than at first it was apprehend. “Stop, Harcourt!” cried Glencore, ed, and for three days there was every passionately. “ Has anything of this threat of a relapse of his late fever; kind ever escaped you in intercourse but Billy's skill was once more successwith the boy ?"
ful, and on the fourth day he declared “ Not a word—not a syllable.” that the danger was past. During this
“ Has he himself ever, by a hint, or period, Harcourt's attention was, for by a chance word, implied that he was the first time, drawn to the strange aware of
creature who officiated as the doctor, Glencore faltered and hesitated, for and who, in despite of all the detractthe word be sought for did not presenting influences of his humble garb and itself. Harcourt, however, released him mean attire, aspired to be treated with from all embarassment, by saying- the deference due to a great physician. “ With me, the boy is rarely any
“ If it's the crown and the sceptre thing but a listener; he hears me talk makes the king," said he, “'tis the away of tiger-shooting, and buffalo- same with the science that makes the hunting, scarcely ever interrupting me doctor; and no man can be despised with a question. But I can see in his when he has a rag of ould Galen's manner with the country people, when mantle to cover his shoulders." they salute him, and call him my “So you're going to take blood from lord
him?" asked Harcourt, as he met him “ But he is not my lord," broke in on the stairs, where he had awaited his Glencore.
coming one night when it was late. “Of course he is not; that I am “ No, sir; 'tis more a disturbance perfectly aware of.”
of the great nervous centres than any “He never will — never shall be,” decayin' of the heart and arteries," cried Glencore, in a voice to which a said 'Billy, pompously; " that's what long pent-up passion imparted a terri- shows a real doctor, to distinguish ble energy.
between the effects of excitement and “ How !-what do you mean, Glen- inflammation, which is as different as core ?" said Harcourt, eagerly. “Has fireworks is from a bombardment." he any malady ?-is there any deadly “ Not a bad simile, Master Billy; taint?"
come in and drink a glass of brandy“ That there is, by Heaven !" cried and-water with me," said Harcourt, the sick man, grasping the curtain with right glad at the prospect of such comone hand, while he held the other panionship. firmly clenched upon his forehead. Billy Traynor, too, was flattered by “A taint, the deadliest that can stain the invitation, and seated himself at a human heart! Talk of station, rank, the fire with an air at once proud and title—what are they, if they are to be submissive. coupled with shame, ignominy, and “You've a difficult patient to treat sorrow? The loud voice of the herald there," said Harcourt, when he had calls his father Sixth Viscount of Glen- furnished his companion with a pipe, core; but a still louder one proclaims and twice filled his glass ; “ he's hard his mother a
to manage, I take it?" With a wild burst of hysteric laugh- “ Yerright,” said Billy; "every ter, he threw himself, face downwards, touch is a blow, every breath of air is on the bed; and now scream after a hurricane with him. There's no scream burst from him, till the room such thing as tratin' a man of that was filled by the servants, in the midst timperament; it's the same with many of whom appeared Billy, who bad only of them ould families as with our racethat same day returned from Leenane, horses, they breed them too fine.” whither he had gone to make a formal “Egad, I think you are right,” said resignation of his functions as letter- Harcourt, pleased with an illustration carrier.
that suited his own modes of thinking.
“ Yes, sir," said Billy, gaining con- - 'Tis your kindness to say so, sir,” fidence by the approval; "a man is a said Billy, with gratified pride; “but mā-chine, and all the parts ought to the sacrat was, he thrusted me—that be balanced, and, as the ancients say, was the whole of it. All the miracles in equilibrio. If you give a pre-pon- of physic is confidence, just as all the derance here or there, whether it be magic of eloquence is con-viction." brain or spinal marrow, cardiac func- « You have reflected profoundly, I tions or digestive ones, you disthroy see,” said Harcourt. him, and make that dangerous kind of "I made a great many observations constitution that, like a horse with a at one time of my life-the opportunity hard mouth, or a boat with a weather was favourable." helm, always runs to one side.”
When and how was that ?"
“I travelled with a baste caravan said Harcourt, who really thought the for two years, sir ; and there's nothing illustration appropriate.
taches one to know mankind like the "Now my lord there," continued study of bastes!" Billy, “is all out of balance, every “Not complimentary to humanity, bit of him. Bleed him, and he sinks; certainly,' said Harcourt, laughing. stimulate him, and he goes ragin' mad. “Yes, but it is, though ; for it is Tis their physical conformation makes by a con-sideration of the feræ naturæ their character; and to know how to that you get at the raal nature of mere cure them in sickness, one ought to animal existence. You see there man have some knowledge of them in in the rough, as a body might say, just health.”
as he was turned out of the first work“How came you to know all this? shop, and before he was fettered with You are a very remarkable fellow, the divinus afflatus, the æthereal esBilly.”
sence, that makes him the first of cre“I am, sir ; I'm a phenumenon in ation. There's all the qualities good a small way. And many people thinks, and bad-love, hate, vengeance, gratiwhen they see and convarse with me, tude, grief, joy, ay and mirth there what a pity it is I havn't the advan- they are in the brutes ; but they're in tages of edication and instruction, and no subjection, except by fear. Now that's just where they're wrong, com- it's out of man's motives his character plately wrong."
is moulded, and fear is only one “Well, I confess I don't perceive amongst them. D’ye apprehend me?" that."
“Perfectly; fill your pipe." And “ I'll show you, then. There's a he pushed the tobacco towards him. kind of janius natural to men like my
"I will; and I'll drink the memory self, in Ireland I mean, for I never of the great and good man that first heerd of it elsewhere. That's just like intro-duced the weed amongst usour Irish emerald or Irish diamond, Here's Sir Walter Raleigh. By the wonderful if one considers where you same token, I was in his house last find it-astonishin' if you only think week.” how azy it is to get, but a regular dis- « In his house! where?" appointment, a downright take-in, if “Down at Greyhall. You Englishyou intend to have it cut, and polished, men, savin' your presence, always forand set. No, sir ; with all the care get that many of your celebrities lived and culture in life, you'll never make years in Ireland. For it was the same a precious stone of it !”
long ago as now-a place of decent '" You've not taken the right way to banishment for men of janius-a kind convince me, by using such an illus- of straw-yard where ye turned out your tration, Billy."
intellectual hunters till the sayson “I'll try another, then," said Billy. came on at home." “We are like Willy-the-Whisps, show- “ I'm sorry to see, Billy, that, with ing plenty of light where there's no all your enlightenment, you have the road to travel, but of no manner of vulgar prejudice against the Saxon.” use on the highway, or in the dark . And that's the rayson I have it, streets of a village where one has busi- because it is vulgar," said Billy, eagerly. ness."
Vulgar means popular, common “ Your own services here are the many; and what's the best test of refutation to your argument, Billy,” truth in anything but universal belief, said Harcourt, filling his glass.
or whatever comes nearest to it. I