Изображения страниц



SCARFIELD is one of the old-fashion- intimacy may have been it is difficult ed villages that give such a charm to to conjecture, for two people more unthe rural scenery of England—not like than the scientific and literary quite so romantic as Miss Mitford's Ignatius and the fox-hunting, wineEverlegh, nor so picturesque as Ken- bibbing baronet, can no where be more, nor so secluded as Callander, found. It has been surmised indeed, but a clean populous hamlet, buried that mutual convenience may partly in huge clumps of elms, with the smoke account for their friendship, for it was rising clear into the sky, and reveal- always remarked that a good many ing the habitation of inan long before thick parchment parcels were visible the houses themselves are visible during Sir Wilfred's visits, and that among the windings of the lane. A for a few days after he had gone up post town at a distance of three or from Scarfield, he seemed to have four miles forms a link between it and amazing quantities of ready money. the world ; a sort of mooring ring, This circumstance could not fail to attached to which the village rides strike any body who compared it with securely amid the constantly rising his usual state of impecuniosity; for waves of new events; and without Sir Wilfred is one of those extraordiwhich it would drift away into the nary individuals only to be met with vast ocean of oblivion. A river, too, in this land of attorney-stewards and like “Kennet swift for silver eels re- broad-acres ; who are owners of magnowned,” is another tie between it and nificent estates, and sometimes have the inhabitants of the rest of the world.; only a faint recollection of the colour for few weeks pass in the fishing-sea- and shape of a guinea. It certainly is son without sundry Viators and Pisca- a great defect in the economy of nators finding their way to the Crown, a ture that a man's income does not a'small hostel, which stands aristocra- ways expand in proportion to his tically apart from the village, and family ; and few people regretted this promises, on a board at the gate, mal-arrangement more bitterly than good entertainment for man and beast. Sir Wilfred. A stud at Newmarket, When we add to these the weekly which he had kept without feeling the visits of various pedlars and teamen, expense of it, fifteen years before, was miscellaneous beggars, and sometimes a dreadful draw on him, now that he in the summer a pic-nic party from had a son at Cambridge; and even the neighbouring town, we feel almost the pack of hounds he had started as inclined to alter our opinion of Scar- a bachelor, made prodigious inroads field, and to consider it entitled to on his fortune now that his wife had more respect than we were at first saddled him with Madame Carson's disposed to allow it. Whatever de- bills. It may seem strange that he gree of importance we may attach to did not give up Newmarket and his it, we are sure to receive the hearty hounds ; but the thought never enterconcurrence of our valued friend Igna- ed his head. He thought a great deal tius Hubble, F.R.S., who considers it oftener of his son giving up Camunequalled in England, and has resid- bridge, and his wife deserting Madame ed in the principal mansion, called - but the son went on with his studies, Manor-hall, for twenty or thirty years. my lady went on with her dress, New. His wealth, his learning, his having market rejoiced in his racers, and written and published a book, and at Tom Herrick still hunted his pack. last his venerable age, and a pig-tail Mr. Fashy continued to “ do for him," of unusual length, have made him uni- as in legal phraseology he expressed versally acknowledged as the “ princi- it, and Sir Wilfred about twice in the pal inhabitant." The farmers take year paid a flying visit for a few days off their hats--the squires shake his to our worthy and ready-money friend, hand, and even the great Sir Wilfred Ignatius Hubble. Hammond, the owner of the estate, Dear good old Ignatius! what a used not unfrequently to stay whole flood of good-humour inundated your weeks with him, and make his house countenance as day after day Sir Wil. his home. What the cause of this fred and you drew your chairs closer

to the fire, if it were winter, and to the severe reprimands when he omits nearly bow-window in summer, and passed throttling himself with vast rolls of between you the huge flat-bottomed handkerchiefs, if he puts his foot out decanter that held two good quarts of of doors after mid-day, especially in an claret, and yet modestly called itself east wind. Yes ! we may safely say a bottle of wine ! Not, oh venerable that Miss Barbara Hubble, a spinster and esteemed Ignatius, that you were sister of mature years, contrives to addicted to the pleasures of the table make his home as agreeable to him as -falsely so called—or that you de- if he had a wife. The part of children graded the high character of a philo- is played to the life by George and sopher and a scholar by an unseemly Mary Hope-the offspring of a favourite regard for creature-comforts in a liquid niece whom Ignatius has adopted, and shape, but simply because you knew whom all the world have long ago set that the good-natured visitor would be down for his heirs. sedate and silent, prepared to swallow “ But the theory of education, my with pleasure and edification whatever dear Sir Wilfred, is very insufficiently you chose to pour into him—whether developed. The faculties are treated through the medium of a green glass as if they were potatoes or turnips nearly as large as a barrel, and in the that had been planted at a particular shape of prime old Bordeaux - or time, and at another particular time through your own lips, tipt with ce were expected to come to maturity. lestial fire, and in the shape of an ora. The faculties, I maintain, on the other tion to which all the bees of Hymettus hand, vary so astonishingly, so much, had contributed their honey, and no and so greatly in the period of their small portion of their hum. Then acquiring the fulness of their growth, you knew that you might harangue to that sometimes they are in a very im. attentive cars on all manner of sub- perfect state even in old age. You jects on the adventures of your youth have met with old people who were - the studies of your manhood—the stupid, ignorant, dull ?" reflections of your age-your disco Sir Wilfred looked at his host veries in science--your experience in through the mist that had begun to all things-your disappointments in settle over his eyes, and observing that love! For you know you were disap- the old gentleman addressed the quespointed, though you sometimes pre- tion to him in a very pointed manner, tend you jilted the widow ; Ignatius ! answered, “Oh yes, dull enough, my it was the widow that jilted you. good sir ; but with a bottle of such You've confessed it a hundred times claret as this we can do very well, I to Sir Wilfred, and he has a hundred assure you." times forgotten the whole concern ; “ Well, sir, the cause of their stufor your communicativeness on such pidity, even in extreme old age, is, topics has generally reached its height that they have not completed their when the aforesaid decanter was for education. The generality of mankind the second time in the very act of en- are not qualified for any place but listing in the marines ; an incident school till they are fifty years of

age, which had a very remarkable effect on I myself, Sir Wilfred, was under a the memory of your friend. But hark! strict tutor till thirty-five ; I have re. the drawing-room bell is vehemently gretted ever since that he died when I pulled for at least the twentieth time, had reached that period, or he might and a sharp, clear, precise voice is have continued his superintendence of heard saying to Abraham Slocock- me till the present time.” · Are you certain you told the gentle “ He would be a pretty old gentlemen that tea was ready ?"

man if he stuck so long on the perch," So Ignatius is a husband ?-perhaps hiccuped the listener. a father?-a patriarch with his table “ Not much above a hundred, which, quite overshadowed with olive branch- by a recurrence to the patriarchal mode es? Ah, no! a bachelor has he been, of life, might again be rendered the and is likely to be to the end of time. prime of manhood. I myself, Sir And yet many of the comforts that Wilfred, feel as if I were still in the only the weaker vessels, as we politely teens of my understanding; and with call them, can bestow, are in our ex. regard to your boy that you complain cellent friend's possession-sour looks of, what is he but a babe ?-a suckwhen he is not exactly punctual, and ling ?"

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

» conti

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

“He sucks me pretty hard," said the my dear Hubble," continued Sir Wil. baronet, emptying the bottle ; " five fred, slowly rising, “and we can finish hundred last term, and no chance that the rest of this business some other I can see of weaning him.”

time." “ An infant without teeth,

“ No time like the present," replied nued Ignatius, " a creature scarcely in Ignatius, pushing the marleira to his the dawn of existence, fit only for a companion, who resumed his seat once rattle and long clothes”

more, wa tutor inust undoubtedly be “ Long clothes !” exclaimed the procured, and by way of setting a good baronet, who was no dab at metaphor, example, I am on the point of engaging and could not make out what might one's services myself.” be the meaning of all this nursery “ You, Mr. Hubble ? what do you phraseology, “ long clothes, my good want with a tutor ?" sir ? you mean long clothes-bills-do “I have a nephew, Sir Wilfred you know that you are talking of who turns out very differently from Arthur Hammond, my son, six feet what I expected. Instead of feeding high, strong as a horse, and waiting himself with solid food that would very impatiently for his first commis- raise him up a Hercules among the sion in the blues ? and where the sons of men, he stuff's himself with devil I'm to find the needful, Heaven light unwholesome garbage—would you only”

believe it, Sir Wilfred, he told me • You misapprehend me, Sir Wil. himself that he had not the slightest fred, I speak in figures. I give you relish for Bacon.” the ideal presentment of an intellect * Very bad taste, that's all; for I still in the cradle, scarcely old enough think a rasher with a few eggsyet to amuse itself with wooden or even boiled with good beans, horses

one of the best dishes a man can sit “A cursed deal too knowing a judge down to." for that ; no, Arthur has a good eye for “I allude not to eatables, my good a nag," muttered the father, who was sir," replied Ignatius ; “tis food for again lost in a fog.

the mind I talk of.

Yes! George * With but the experience of two. Hope has disappointed me.

With and-twenty years to enable it to grope Buffon and Cuvier in my hands

, I its way through the dark places of have endeavoured for hours and hours this world ; you must indeed, my dear to explain to him the formation, qua. friend, view the slight aberrations of lities, instincts, and habitudes of the such extreme juvenility with more animal creation. I even presented philosophical eyes. In thirty or forty him at his repeated request, with two years more, I have no doubt Mr. Arthur horses on which to conclude his studies Hammond will be a very steady and in natural history; and in a month rational young man.

Grant him a one of them was found suspended tutor, tis the only way.”

by a huge iron spike run through its “ A tutor for a fellow six feet body on the top of a high gate in the bigh ?”

hunting-ground of the Duke of Beach “ My dear sir, if he were a walking fort. How it got there is a mystery to pyramid it would make no difference. me to this hour ; and the other seized

T'is of the intellect I speak—that may in all human probability by a fit of be of the very minutest tenuity while delirium to which the equine genus the corporeal covering is gigantic as are liable, leapt over fifty hurdles in less the sons of Anak. But the tutor's than five minutes, and committed business would be to model the plastic deliberate suicide by drowning itself clay of the still flexible understanding in a broad ditch which intersects a line into what shape he chose ; he would drawn between this church-tower and curb, restrain, reward, and punish, till Highwell steeple." the youthful pupil”.

** He hunts and rides steeple chases." "Would probably lay hands on the muttered the baronet, without being tutor's collar, and fling him into the audible to the pre-occupied Ignatius nearest pond.”

“He's a tight lad, young Hope, I must Ting ! ting ! ting! “ Abraham, are have him over to Hammondale." you perfectly sure you told the gentle “I may say the same," continued men that tea was growing cold ?” Ignatius, « with regard to the princi, * But the old girl gets impatient

, ples of buoyancy and suspension

purchased a boat for him that he might shall teach your nephew Chaldaic in a become experimentally acquainted with week.” the power of resistance offered by Languages I do not insist on. water to a body passing through it; Those, I can teach him myself; tis that he might see the influence of life! life ! life!" light currents of wind on the sails. “Send him to Paris, if life is what He seemed to attach some importance you want to show him. I learned to the size of the vessel, and professed more there in a fortnight, than the a strong desire to make his experi- rest of the world could have taught ments on a large scale. The scene me in a century. Frascati's— Tivoli he fixed on was Southampton water in the Palais Royal—the Theatres the neighbouring county; and would ah, my dear fellow, I've a great mind you believe it, Sir Wilfred, I thought to be his tutor myself.” he was busily engaged in taking his “ Tis not shows and spectacles I scientific observations, till yesterday's require. Of these, we have plenty post brought me a letter dated from here. I remember twelve years ago, Stornoway, and accompanying an seeing a Swiss giantess in London order on me for 150 pounds in fa- seven feet high, so that we need not vour of Rory M'Tosh, fish-curer and leave our own island for extraordinary bailie.”

sights ;—no, the life I mean is the “ Joined the Yacht Club,” snored co-existent, yet invisible life within us Sir Wilfred ; " go it George." —the deep caves of reason, sentiment,

“ You therefore perceive that a and reflection, where the metaphytutor is indispensable.”

sical genii are perpetually at work ; “A pilot more likely; those rocky rearing subterranean palaces more seas are no joke to a young one,” said stately and enduring than those of the baronet.

Aladdin-fit habitation for him who “A pilot, indeed, as you express it, reigns over his subject thoughts, the Sir Wilfred, is what both our young king of the world of shadows which men require ; a person of firm and are more real than wood and stonedecided character to hold the helm the etherial, pure, idealized soul.” steadily in all the storms he may en “ Abraham !” exclaimed the voice counter; a person of mature years we have heard before, “ go and tell and great experience. Money would the gentleman that the tea is cold, be no object with me could I but pro- the candles burnt out, and Miss Hope cure so inestimable a guide for the and I gone to bed." wandering steps of my youthful charge. “ Then, Abraham,” said Mr. HubSurely, Sir Wilfred, at one or other ble, as the faithful domestic, with a of our glorious Universities, a gentle- fidelity worthy of Homer's messengers, man with those qualifications could be delivered the notice word for word, found.”

bring in some fried bones, and lay “ If you don't grudge the money," the cognac on the table. I believe, said Sir Wilfred, “ you can get any Sir Wilfred, you always take it thing you require.”

cold," “I would not grudge the money." “ Without,” continued the worthy

“ Then leave the tutor getting to baronet, and sipt the last drop of his me; by George! I'll get you a fellow madeira with a sigh.


To Arthur Hammond, Esq., Trinity College, Cambridge. “ MY DEAR SON,

know that, if I am pushed to extremi. “ Mr. Flashy wrote to me to say, ties, you will not refuse me your that not another shilling could be rais- assistance, and an amazingly good ed among the tenants, and that, as he offer has already been made for Ashywas about to separate from his partner, well, if you will join me in breaking he must clear off all old scores, and the entail. This I will not ask you therefore sends in his bill

. The ras- to do, unless the necessity is very cal; he thinks he has his poose too urgent; but as I think I see symptoms firmly round my neck for me to kick ; in Sir Hilary Jupp of an intention to but he shall find he is mistaken. I call up his money, you had better run


up for a day or two to London, and old gentleman's fancying a tutor can visit him in his suburban paradise at be found to refine him; but people Muswell Hill, and pay great attention like Mr. Hubble, my dear Arthur

, to the tall young woman I introduced must be humoured with their whims, you to at Cheltenham. She is his and I have promised to employ you only child, and they say will have ten among the big wigs and wise men in thousand a-year; and as the whole of Cambridge, to procure for him a per. it was made by selling blankets, I son such as he requires. I shall also don't doubt you would be able with write by this day's post to my friend that sum to keep yourselves warm and Colonel O'Donahue, who is living comfortable. In fact, my dear Ar- near Wallingford, to look me out a bear. thur, I have certainly held out some leader in Oxford, and his task will be expectations of that sort to the old easier as I bave the name of a person to usurer, and I shall therefore consider whom he is to apply-Jerome Whifle, it a piece of dutiful obedience if you A. M.-in whom Mr. Hubble has such will either marry her without delay, confidence, from having read a book or keep her in hopes of it for as long of his on education, that he will enas you possibly can. The thousand gage with him at once, if Mr. Whis

. pounds you ask is paid into Drum- fle will undertake the charge. In the mond's, but for Heaven's sake my mean-time, be on the look-out, and if dear boy, be careful; for extravagance O'Donahue fails in securing Whifile

, is the worst vice a young man can you will be prepared with a substi

. possibly indulge in. The week I spent tute from Cambridge. 1 shall desire at Scarfield has answered very well. the Colonel to write to you whether Old Hubble is a real gentleman, he succeeds in his commission; which though he has a little more ready will be a saving of time, and also of money than is quite the thing ; but trouble to me, as letter-writing is not bating that, and a cursed odd way he my forte. Be careful of the thousand has of speaking like an encyclopedia, pounds, and never play high with a he is a most excellent and worthy bad partner; don't forget to visit man. Your mother continues as much Muswell Hill, and I think on farther attached as ever to his niece Mary acquaintance, the squint you observed Hope, and talks of asking her here will disappear. Believe me, your af. again sometime next month. His fectionate father, nephew is at present in Scotland in

“ WILFRED HAMMOND. his yacht, if I can make out old Hub. ble's story, and is in want of a tutor. “ No news yet from the Horse If you knew what a great rough Tony Guards—but we may expect to bear Lumpkin sort of a bear he was, you very soon." would be some little astonished at the


To Sir Wilfred Hammond-Hammondale. * DEAR FATHER,

velopement of the mental powers on “ Many thanks for the draft on which you have told me he is so eloDrummonds, which I will keep as long quent, can be carried on under the as it will stay by me, as a memorial of most favourable auspices. I am glad your fatherly regard. The hint about my mother is going to ask the young Miss Jubb'shall be attended to, and girl, Miss Hope, to visit her again. the squint as little observed as possi- thought her society was of great use ble. As to George Hope and his tu- to the old lady last summer

, and I tor, I rejoice very much you told O'. have no doubt will be equally agree. Donahue to write to me as to the suc- able this. I am pushed" for time, as cess of his inquiries

, as I should have Euclid is waiting, and I remain, dear assuredly failed in getting any one so father, your affectionate son, qualified for the place as Mr. Whiffle.

“ ARTHUR HAMMOND." The Colonel writes me on the subject, so your mind may be quite at rest. “So far, so good,” said Sir Wil

. Young Hope will obtain all the po fred on receipt of this missive from bie lish and experience that the pride of son. “Old Hubble will see that I Oxford can impart

, and the old gen- have exerted myself to oblige him. tleman's experiment on the slow de. The ten thousand a-year will reconcile

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »