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check his habits of expense. Sir Harry had even compelled him to study for the bar, on pretence that the recordership of his county town, or the chairmanship of the quarter sessions, would in a few years await his acceptance. But the real object of the wary old man was to establish his son out of harm's way, in quiet chambers in the Temple, rather than expose him to the pleasures and perils of a bachelor residence in May Fair.
The result was, that, instead of becoming Jack Woolston and a spendthrift, he remained plain John, and what his fashionable brother-in-law, Gerard Molyneux, termed a snob.
But Sir Harry found no cause to triumph in the results of his policy. For though his son had submitted to his authority so far as to eat his way to the bar, the bar afforded him nothing to eat in return; and in the event of his accomplishing the match, the announcement of which had so moved the ire of the old baronet, Mr. Woolston possessed nothing towards the
maintenance of a family, save the allowance of five hundred per annum, formally assigned to him on leaving college.
This material point was again and again urged upon him by Sir Harry. But John replied, and at first with tolerable composure, " that, having complied through life with the wishes and counsels of his parents, he must on the present occasion be permitted to consult his own inclinations. Since Sir Harry denied him all further pecuniary assistance, he would rely on his professional exertions, and be content.”
“Ay,—till you come into your estate,” interrupted Sir Harry. “I know what you mean, sir :—till your father is shuffled under ground, and you are privileged to stand in his shoes ! No doubt these Denny Cross people have taken the exact measure of your rights and titles ;-perhaps employed an actuary, to calculate my chances of life !"
“You do them great wrong, sir. Mr. Pennington respects himself, and I trust respects me
too much to indulge in any such paltry speculations,” replied young Woolston. “For three years past, I have been engaged to his daughter ; yet he has never urged my fulfilment of the contract, knowing it to be contrary to your wishes.”
“Mighty honourable,-mighty magnanimous! But if so scrupulous, why not forbid you his house ? —Why not end the matter at once ?"
.“ Because he knows his daughter to be sincerely attached to me; and judges it unnecessary to oppose our mutual happiness, since we are prepared to be poor, and frugal, till you, my dear father, can be brought to contemplate the case in a more reasonable point of view.”
“ Thank you, sir ; thanks, both to you and Mr. Pennington, and the whole legion of his clod-hopping family! If you are content, John Woolston, so am I.-But of this be sure: that I am neither to be schooled nor canted out of my opinion. When you first asked my sanction to your addresses to this precious Maria
of yours,—though even then, you had obtained both her's and her father's consent,—I told you plainly that never should such a daughter-inlaw cross my threshold. No-never, never, never !”
“And I answered, that, as the Penningtons were people of the highest respectability in the county, and as the amiable disposition of my intended wife was a sufficient dowry for a man so unambitious as myself, I saw no grounds, sir, for breaking off the connection.”
“Unambitious !” retorted his father ; “ you may truly say unambitious! To content yourself with the low circle of a petty squire, like Richard Pennington ; little above the condition of a yeoman!”
“I beg your pardon, sir. The Penningtons of Denny Cross have held their own in Northamptonshire quite as long as the Woolstons of Harrals. Unsecured by an entail, their estates have been morselled out; while ours remain intact. But this does not intitle us to look down upon an independent man who has brought up a large family most creditably on a property of fifteen hundred a year; whose sons are rising in the world ; and whose daughters-
What Sir Harry Woolston permitted himself to say of the daughters, it is unnecessary to repeat. Suffice it that his disparagement put the finishing aggravation to the wrath of his son ; who now firmly announced his intention to make the vilified Maria his wife, without further delay. A small legacy lately bequeathed him by one of his mother's relations, would enable him to form an establishment suitable to their moderate pretensions. And again, he steadily repeated that his allowance would suffice their utmost wishes; and that Roger Farmer, the eminent Queen's counsel, of whom he had been a favourite pupil, had promised to push him forward in his profession.
Sir Harry, though his face was almost livid from the constraint he was exercising over one of the worst of tempers, determined to make