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charity. See, here is his speech at the din- is always charged in the bill, and no objecner last night of the Hammerers' Company, tion has ever been raised to the item, except with a leading article on the subject." once, by a Scotchman, who was dining with But she shook her head.
an aged aunt. He paid it, however, after “ You may give them money, and ruin grumbling, with the remark that it was “just their self-respect. What you must give them, too rideeculous." if you want to help them, is-yourself.” Breakfast brought in, Sir Jacob and Mrs.
“Dear Rose ! I will even do that, if you Sampson followed. will give--yourself-to me."
“Not at prayers, Rose?” says the good She made no reply, but she made no resis- man severely, as she salutes him. tance when he drew her closer and touched “Not at prayers my love ?" echoes Mrs. her face with his lips.
Sampson, her companion and chaperon. Then he let her go, and they started asun- “No, uncle, I came in from my ride, found der guiltily.
Julian here, and did not know it was so late.” Ten o'clock strikes as a big footman brings “Good morning, Julian. You, too, might in breakfast. They are not early people at have remembered the hour for family worthis town-house, but they are punctual. At ship.” a quarter to ten, prayers, read by Sir Jacob Julian said nothing. to all the household ; at ten, breakfast. Sir Jacob looked through the papers dur
Steps outside. Lovers like a peaceful soli- ing breakfast often, to see whether his own tude. When they hear steps they start asun- speeches were properly reported. This der, like a couple of spooning turtle doves. morning he was gratified in finding his re
Ten o'clock is striking as a footman brings marks at the Hammerers' Dinner reported in breakfast. He is a very big footman, and in full, with a leading article on “English of majestic deportment. We are not early Benevolence.” There were no debates, and people at Sir Jacob Escomb's, because there the columns were open to philanthropic outis so much to do at night that we get to bed, pourings, to correspondence, and to general as a rule, late. But we are punctual. Prayers palaver. The papers despatched, he turned at a quarter to ten, conducted by the chief, to the letters, of which a pile of thirty or no other ; breakfast at ten.
forty lay at his elbow. Those which related Perhaps, when Charles Plush, the big and to business he laid aside, to be taken into solemn footman, opened the door, he saw the City ; those which were concerned with something which awakened his suspicions; the "doing of good," he kept before him, perhaps it was an accident. In either case, and read one by one, with verbal comments. the fact remains that the fall and smash of a “We take holiday, Mrs. Sampson," he cup and saucer caused that couple to sepa- says—" thank you, sa slice of toast—but the rate hastily. Rose thought she had been good work never ceases. Always demands discovered, when Charles opened the door, for money-money-money. Lady Smallarranging flowers in a vase ; Julian, that he beer, her Nursing Institute. General Screwhad been found reading the morning paper. loose, his Home for the Healthy. A lady The best of us are but purblind mortals. once in easy circumstances, a new church,
In a certain hotel in a certain watering new organ for old church, surplices for choplace, whither newly-engaged and newly- risters. Pensions for Evangelical Parish married couples do much resort, and where, Clerks' Society ; the Beadles' Benevolent such is the contagion of the atmosphere, Building Society ; Protest of the Aborigines people often get engaged, it is said that the Protection Act against the thrashing of a waiters have strict orders always, and with Fantee by a serjeant, during the late Ashantee out any exception whatever, to announce their War— Well, well, these are the daily presence outside the door, and before open letters of a philanthropist. The luxury of ing it, by dropping a plate. It is a thoughtful doing good is tempered by its labours. I rule, and has saved many a blush to the have a platform at twelve, a luncheon at cheek of the young person. Perhaps Charles two, a committee at four, a dinner, unless I had been a waiter at that establishment. If can get off it, at seven.” not, the expedient did equal credit to his “We all know, Sir Jacob, the enormous, head and to his heart. The damage done the incalculable claims upon the time of a to the crockery in the hotel of which I speak public man, who is also a philanthropist.'
“ It is true, Mrs. Sampson,” said Sir looked as if she was ready to imperil the lite Jacob, laying his hand heavily on the table, of a third. A pleasant, good-natured, happypartly, perhaps, to attract the attention of tempered widow. She thought, quite honestRose and Julian, who were talking in ly, that Sir Jacob was the best and wisest low tones at the other side of the table, man in all the world. “most true, Mrs. Sampson , and yet, you Before breakfast was finished, a card was would hardly believe it, madam, I was yes- brought to Sir Jacob. terday solicited to stand for Parliament." "Mr. Bodkin,'”heread, through his double
“Nay, Sir Jacob,” said Mrs. Sampson, eye-glasses; “Mr. Theophilus Bodkin.'" “not the Lower House ? I trust you know Helaid wondering emphasis on the Christian your own worth too well to become a member of the Commons."
“ Henry Theophilus Bodkin, Sir Jacob,” The compliment went home. The Ba- said Mrs. Sampson, with a sigh. “You have ronet bowed, because he had nothing to say, seen my old friend, Henry Bodkin-his seand was, indeed, too much pleased to find cond name is Theophilus—an admirer, from immediate words. He returned to his tea a distance, of your philanthropic devotion.” and toast and letters. The Lower House ! “ Henry Bodkin ? I believe I do reThe Upper House! Why not? Sir Jacob member him. Charles, I will see Mr. BodEscomb, Baronet, owner, nay, creator, of kin here." the great works of Dolmen, in Ravendale. If any one, that morning, had been asked Why should he not become Baron Dolmen to describe Mr. Bodkin, he would begin by of Ravendale ? The thought was new, and comparing his face with that of Swift's muté, for the moment bewildering. Jacob, first who, the more his master raised his wages, Baron Dolmen of Ravendale ! with, unfor- the jollier he looked. There was an en tunately, no sons to inherit. But the title forced and compulsory gravity, battling with might be passed on to Rose and her hus- a strong, natural disposition to laugh and be band, and their children.
happy, which showed that something good, He looked at Julia Carteret and smiled. something unexpected had happened to the
“Your speech of last night, Sir Jacob,” man. He was dressed in a suit of solemn said Mrs. Sampson, glancing through the black, of almost clerical cut, and looked a paper, “has given rise to much comment.” clergyman very nearly, save that he wore a
Ay, ay; and yet a simple speech.” black tie. He was apparently between forty “ There is a leading article upon it here, I and fifty; his face was clean shaven, and his see. Respectful in its tone, even if hardy, hair was turning a little grey. or rather, audacious, in its criticism. For He made a deep bow to the philanthe kind of thing, Sir Jacob, perhaps it might thropist. amuse you."
“Sir Jacob Escomb," he began, with a Mrs. Sampson spoke as if the paper which voice of great solemnity, “I have come thus would venture to criticise Sir Jacob was pre- early in the hope of seeing you without wastsumptuous beyond expression, and as if the ing your time. Then he saw Mrs. Samponly right thing was for writers of leading son. “Lav-, I mean, Mrs. Sampson, I articles to receive humbly the crumbs of wis- hope you are well. Miss Rose, I am your dom which might fall from such a great man, most humble servant. Mr. Carteret, I trust and to go lowly, upon hands and knees, be- you, too, are in good health." fore this Golden Calf and other Golden Have
you taken orders, Bodkin ?" asked Calves.
Julian. “ The last time I saw you, I think Sir Jacob took the paper from her, and you wereread the article.
Mr. Bodkin waved his hand with a depreMrs. Sampson, the lady who occupied the catory gesture. position of—not housekeeper, not matron- “Never mind the last time, Mr. Carteret ; say, President of the Domestic Department we must not waste Sir Jacob's moments. to Sir Jacob, was a person apparently about He is not interested in the circumstances of forty years of age, young-looking for her that interview." years, with a soft voice, bright eyes, and a “Certainly not,” said Mrs. Sampson. full, comfortable figure. She was doubly a “Let me give you another cup of tea, Sir widow, having lost two husbands, and she Jacob."
“I come here, Sir Jacob,” Mr. Bodkin “ Yes.” Sir Jacob still spoke thoughtbegan again, as a delegate. I am, in fact, fully. “Who are on your committee ? ” commissioned by Lord Addlehede-you " At present, Lord Addlehede only ; but know his lordship?"
here is the general prospectus, with a few “Surely; we all know that excellent noble- suggested names.” Mr. Bodkin drew a man.
paper out of a well-stuffed pocket-book. “ He is the President of our new society "Yes-yes. The Bishop of Cackle and -my new society," he looked at Mrs. Samp- Mull--a good man. Sir Chirpington Babson with something like a wink, " for the ble, a sound speaker. The Hon. GushingGeneral Advancement of Humanity. Of this ton Gatheral – I have frequently stood on noble society I have the honour to be the the same platform with Mr. Gatheral. Major secretary. Lord Addlehede came to the Borington—I think you have made a mistake office early this morning-in fact, before here, Mr. Bodkin,” said Sir Jacob. “Major canonical-I mean, office hours. Fortu- Borington is a man who uses, I fear, philannately I was there. He held in his hand, thropy for purposes of self-advancement. He Sir Jacob, a copy of this morning's paper, in has pushed himself into a—a certain kind of which is reported your speech at the Ham- notoriety by platform oratory.” merers' Company.
“ Indeed, Sir Jacob-really-had Lord “Ay, ay ?” asked Sir Jacob. “Yes : they Addlehede only known it. But it is not yet are reported. And yet my words were hardly too late. The Major has not been formally intended to go beyond the circle of their invited. Lord Addlehede thought he was a hearers.”
leader arnong the philanthropic world." “Sir Jacob's words," murmured Mrs. “It is not too late," said Sir Jacob, Sampson, " are too precious to be lightly thoughtfully. “ There are many men, I am heard and tossed away. They must be afraid, like Major Borington, who climb the treasured up."
ladder of reputation L'y an assumption of "You are very good to say so, Mrs. Samp- benevolence." son. Pray go on, Mr. Bodkin. Will you “Surely, Sir Jacob,” Mrs. Sampson exnot take a chair?"
postulated, “there cannot exist such men. “ Thank you, Sir Jacob. As a Delegate Pray take another cup of tea.” or Deputation, it is perhaps more fitting that Ladies, madam, are not versed, natuI should stand. Lord Addlehede called my rally, in the arts of ambitious men.” He attention to the startling fact that you had spoke as if his own reputation for philanactually alluded to the newly-formed Society. thropy were founded on a solid and disin You must instantly, Bodkin,' said his lord- terested basis quite beyond suspicion of selship, 'secure Sir Jacob. Go to him with my fish ends. “However-about the managecompliments. Catch him before he starts for ment of the Society, Mr. Bodkin." the City. He must be had before we move a “ We have secured a first floor in a comstep further.' So, Sir Jacob, I am here manding position in Queen Victoria Street.
“Yes,” Sir Jacob spoke slowly. “To give Lord Addlehede has signed the agreement. the weight of my name, if indeed it has any We have furnished our two rooms solidly. weight "-here he smiled, while Mrs. Samp. Lord Addlehede has bought the furniture. son and Mr. Bodkin murmured. Julian and We have had our brass plate put up at the Rose, breakfast finished, were standing door. Our prospectus is in the press.
We among the flowers in the conservatory - begin with a hundred thousand, and keep - since, then, it has some weight, is a serious the type standing : and while I am here fiveand even a solemn thing. You propose a and-twenty girls are writing addresses for us Society for the General Advance of Humani- on wrappers at sixpence a hundred.”. ty-an advance along the whole line, I sup- “ That looks well. And what will your pose. But you will have to select points at own salary be?”. which to commence.”
“I am to begin with-ahem !— with five “Lord Addlehede has suggested the hundred a year, paid quarterly, in advance. British Cabman. We are to begin the im- Lord Addlebede has advanced the first quarprovement of humanity by improving the ter's stipend." catman."
Mr. Bodkin slapped his pocket with a cheerfulness which was undignified, but softness in Mrs. Sampson's tones which sugwhich he could not wholly subdue.
gested bygone passages. “ Ah! It is moderate for an energetic “You look younger, Lavinia"- Mr. Bodman. And are there any other—advantages kin stood a little way off, looking at the lady in the position ?"
with a critical air—.“younger than ever. “We have agreed, Lord Addlehede and There are some women who improve, like myself,” Mr. Bodkin replied, with a little Stilton cheese, by keeping Others, again, hesitation, "on a commission--merely nomi- go off like-like beer kept standing in a nal-of seven and a half per cent. on all do- mug." nations. We expect very large support. It " And there are some men, Henryis nothing less, Sir Jacob, than an organized “You think so, Lavinia ? Do you really attempt to civilise the world. Nothing like think so ? To be sure, I am not getting organisation in all charitable and benevolent bald, like some young fellows of five-andattempts. As you yourself said, Sir Jacob, forty. And I'm not very grey, considering." in your admirable speech of last night, 'Let “Henry Bodkin, you are looking better the men of wealth assist the good cause- and stronger than you did ten years ago with a cheque.' To you, no doubt, it would when I saw you just before I -" Here be revolting to witness the depths from she put her handkerchief to her eyes. which we propose to rescue the British cab- “Before you married your second, Lavinia. man. You, Sir Jacob, could not be expect. It was a cruel blow. I always looked fored, as our agents will have to do, to follow ward to being your second.” the cabman from the mud of the rank to the “We must blame fortune, Henry. It was
—the mire of the mews : from the mire of just then that you failed in the coal agency the mews to—alas to the public-house : line." from the public-house to his stably home Mr. Bodkin shook his head. above the mews.”
Pardon, Lavinia. The coal failure was “Certainly not,” said Sir Jacob, with dig- before you married your first. On the last nity.
occasion, if you remember, I had just become “ And therefore, Sir Jacob, I am deputed bankrupt in my select Commercial Academy. by Lord Addlehede to invite you to join Ah! that scholastic institution. There, inhim in forwarding the Society."
deed, the corporal punishments were like “ You may put down my name, Mr. Bod- Cook's Tours, because they were personally kin.”
conducted, and always by the principal. It Certainly, Sir Jacob." The secretary is an ennobling thought. But it is all real, produced his notebook and pencil. “Cer- Lavinia. The Society is as safe as the Bank. tainly, Sir Jacob. For how much?” Lord Addlehede is good for the salary and
“As one of the Vice-Presidents, Mr. Bod- the rent. Ritol de rol-. If need be, I kin.” Sir Jacob gathered up his papers. “I will hire a cabman, the most profligate of shall perhaps not return to dinner, Mrs.cabmen that can be found, aud pay him by Sampson, unless I can escape my engage- results, as he improves. We shall have the ment. Good-morning, madam. Good-morn gratitude of all the Bishops on the Bench. ing to you, Mr. Bodkin."
And now, Lavinia, the obstacles are removed. " Lavinia !” escaped from the impassioned For the first time in my career there is a perlips of the secretary, almost before the door manent income before me. The first and the was closed.
second are both gone-pardon my abrupt“ Henry, is this real ? "
ness. Sensitive being! My Lavinia weeps. “Real, Lavinia! Is this prospectus real? We will take a cottage on the banks of the Is this cheque-pay to the order of Theo- silver Surrey Canal. There will our lives philus Bodkin, Esq., one hundred pounds- glide away — on Coutts and Co.--signed Addlehede—is Mrs. Sampson rose to meet the ardour of that real? Look at the cheque. Observe her glowing love, and fell, hiding her the Coutts and Co.--Coutts and Co.-Coutts blushes, upon his shoulder. and Co. in small writing all over this deli- “Do you remember," he said, " when you cious and artistic piece of paper."
heard my first declaration of love-when I “Oh, Henry!" There was a languishing was twenty-four and you were twenty.two!" "Eighteen, Henry. You are thinking of for assaulting somebody, or breaking the the second.”
peace somehow? But we will not talk of “We were sitting by the edge of the Augustus Sampson, Lavvy; we will name canal, near the coal wharf of your late la- the day—the blushing morn—that makes mented papa, and the setting sun was streak- you mine.' ing with rays of red and gold, like a mixture “ Always the same—impetuous-eagerof beetroot and yellow lettuce, the cordage Henry. Shall we say-when your Society and sails of your papa's fleet, five splendid is established and your position secure?” barges lying at anchor on the bosom of the Love in a woman who has been twice a pellucid stream."
widow is never superior to prudential con“ I remember," murmured Mrs. Sampson. siderations. I believe that is a maxim held By this time she had resumed her seat and by all who know the sex. wonted tranquillity, though she allowed her “ That is already secure, Lavinia,” he lover to hold her hand. "It was the sweet- said. est moment of my life.”
But she shook her head. “We compared the barges to the Spanish “With my own two hundred settled on Armada. It was when I was beginning life, me by thoughtful Mr. Chiltern,” she said, after a romantic and agitated youth, as tra- “ and your five hundred, we could live in a velling agent for Pipkin's Compound Patent fairly comfortable way, though the change Pills. Pipkin,' I said, when we parted from this abode of luxury would be a great Pipkin was in temper, I remember. "Pipkin,' loss at first. Still, for your sake, Henrythe worst your worst enemy can wish for And, besides, our dear Rose might marryyou is that you may take a box of your own indeed, I think that Mr. Carteret is here too pills.'"
often unless he means honourable proposals. “I thought you were in the self-opening Phrase of the more banales, as the French umbrella business at the time ?"
would say. But then Mrs. Sampson was not “Afterwards, my dear Lavinia. At the by birth, education, or marriage lifted above moment I was saturated with pills; I breathed the phrases of vulgarity. And, indeed, Julian pills; I dreamed of pills. If I made poetry, Carteret and Rose returned just then to the it was in praise of Pipkin's pills. You had morning-room. It is well known that the to throw me over—your faithful Bodkin- gardens on Campden Hill are like the garand accept old Mr. Chiltern, with his five dens of country-houses for extent and beauty. hundred a year—took the Chiltern Hun- No doubt they had been talking botany dreds."
among the flowers. That is a science, it is Mrs. Sampson sighed gently, and wiped well known, which brightens the eyes, puts away a tear to the memory of the defunct. colour in the cheeks, and lights the smiles
“Poor dear Mr. Chiltern! He was the that lie in dimples round girlish lips. At best, the gentlest of souls. We always least it had that effect upon Rose. helped him to bed, the cook and I, every “He's gone,” said Julian, irreverently, night, after his fourth tumbler ofgin and water. “How did you get on with him, Bodkin? I shall never see such a man again." Screwed a ten-pound note out of him for a
“ I hope not, my dear. And when he new Society, Rose ?" was gone, when I was manager of the com- “Mr. Bodkin was just beginning when we pany for making new bricks out of old, you went into the garden." pledged me your hand again—and again the “ You see before you,” Julian went on, cup was dashed from my lips-for the com- “the secretary of the new Society for the pany smashed up, and you married-Samp- General Advance of Humanity. Formerly son.' Again the pocket-handkerchief.
“Never mind the formerly, Mr. Carteret,” “Poor Augustus !” she sighed. "He had interposed Mr. Bodkin, hastily. “We all bad temper, it is true. We all have our of us have our ups and downs. This is an faults."
up. Yes, Miss Rose, behold the secretary “ Temper!" echoed Mr. Bodkin. “Was -at your feet, metaphorically – of the new there a chair with four legs left when he broke Society, of which Sir Jacob is one of the vicea bloodvessel in a rage and went off? Did a presidents. Fellowship open to ladies-one week ever pass without his being summoned guinea per annum. Will you become a Fel.