Изображения страниц

were then hovering round my A thousand thanks, Mr Beaton! daughter."

Rely upon it, the study of my life “ Then, Mr Beaton, you would shall be to make your daughter have greatly wronged me."

happy." “ So I believe, else I would not Sir, I do you the justice to bebe conversing with you so calmly at lieve that you speak quite sincerely. the present hour. But I have not You are, so far as I have observed, the faculty of looking into men’s not over-ambitious, therefore you are hearts, and such is the conclusion the more likely to cultivate the doat which, most assuredly, I would mestic qualities. You have shrewdhave arrived."

ness enough to keep your fortune, * You would have considered me such as it is, without squandering unworthy of her ?”

it; and Poins speaks highly of your * Yes - I should have done so character. Take her therefore; for, then, but I am now convinced of in truth, I have no right to forbid your worth. That makes a very the banns. Take her, and God be great difference; and as fortune is with you both!” on your side rather than hers- So saying, he extended to me his why, if Mary consents to marry you, hand-coldly, indeed, but not unI shall place no obstacle in the kindly—and such was the result of way."

my wooing.


The reader will suppose that I “ for what purpose are you conlost no time in hurrying to the Stan-structing those elegant little badges ? hopes to convey to Mary the intel- I observe they are not white, else I ligence that her father had given his might have formed some conjecture consent. Let him also imagine the as to their use." interview that ensued ; for I swear “Pshaw-as if old engaged people by all that lovers hold most dear, no- such as George and I thought about thing sball tempt me to deviate from such trifles! You, however, may be my purpose of maintaining a rigid permitted, for a few days at least, to silence as regards such tender pas- dream dreams, and to see visions. sages. Indeed, I have excellent rea- Yet I am not sure that we can allow sons for doing so; for, though Mary you even so much time, for great is the best-tempered woman in the things are in preparation. Know, world,still—but I had better proceed. Mr Sinclair, that, like Flora Mac

I had thought that Colonel Stan- Ivor, I am making up favours for a hope's house might offer a safe re- grand public ceremony, in which fuge to a man who desired to get George is to take a part.” out of the vortex of political excite- “Out, equivocating girl !” cried ment; but in this I was grossly Carlton. Why perplexest thou mistaken. Mary warned me that the man? Have you lost the use I must prepare myself for a surprise; of your eyes, Sinclair, that you do and, on re-entering the drawing- not recognise these for election cockroom, I found Amy making up ro- ades? Ay, and we shall wear them settes of ribbon as busily as any bravely even on the front of the milliner's girl who has to work for hustings !” her daily bread. Carlton, too, was And for whom are they to be pacing the room in a way which, worn ?" with the example of Mrs Malaprop “Why, for me, to be sure ! I before my eyes, I can only describe have made up my mind to come foras incoherent.

ward and contest our division of the "Pray, Miss Stanhope," said I, county."






“ What! In room of Lord Ash- two days ago to stand for the boford ?"

rough, and came here to notify that "No. It is true that Ashford, to Colonel Stanhope, in order that who is a fine indomitable fellow, no time might be lost in providing will not come forward again. If he a substitute. The scheme appeared did, he would walk over the course to the colonel and also to me rather to a certainty ; but he has set his a wild one; but Ashford was bent heart on wrenching a borough from upon it, so we had to determine at the grasp of a gigantic cotton-spin- once what was to be done. You

You know that, by tacit com- have often heard me, Sinclair, bepact, we have hitherto shared the moaning my idleness ; and now it representation of our division of the flashed across me that here was an county with the Whigs. That is opportunity, such as never might now at an end ; and I go forward again occur, of making myself pracexpressly to oppose Sir Godfrey tically useful. Moreover, I could Norton, who is presently Ashford's not reconcile myself to the thought colleague.”

of remaining inactive in a crisis like “Will the other party put forward this, when all our young men were a second man ?

up in arms; and I suppose that 'Yes. They intend to start a something in my manner struck pseudo-Conservative; but him we Ashford, for, after conversing for a are determined to smite, and a first- minute about a candidate, he laid rate man is ready to offer him bat his hand upon my shoulder and said,

• Why look beyond this very room? 'Indeed! Things are more ad- Here stands the man we want. vanced here than I could have be- The colonel was of course lieved ; but I am delighted to find joyed, and I-put no objections in you animated by such a spirit. And the way." who may be your fellow-champion ?” “Nothing," said I, “could have

“A very good friend of yours, happened more opportunely. You Sinclair ; but I do not think you are but fulfilling you destiny, and would ever light on his name, if I I am glad to see that Miss Stanhope were to put you to the trouble of does not quarrel with your choice.” guessing. Lumley is the man!" “On the contrary,” said Amy,

“Lumley! You do indeed amaze "Miss Stanhope is but too well me! Why, it was part of his phi- pleased to see her George take his losophy never to meddle with elec- proper place in the ranks of those tions ; and I have heard him main- gallant men who are resolute to tain an argument that Pythagoras preserve the constitution.” meant to inculcate that doctrine Bravo !” cried I, “ spoke like when he warned his disciples against another Boadicea! You are dangerbeans."

ous company, ladies! If this goes You must have interpreted his on, I shall be esteemed a faineant words too strictly, Sinclair. Py- if I do not take part in the contest thagoras merely objected to vote by too." ballot, and Lumley is in that respect “Don't you think,” said Mary, Pythagorean. But I wonder not that you might go down to Scotthat you are surprised. I declare land, and - ?I was almost thunderstruck when O, for_heaven's sake, spare me Lumley announced to me his inten- a while! I am devoted to Scotland tion."

as my mother country; but just at “Do you mean to say that he this moment she is in one of her comes forward of his own accord, sullen hypochondriacal fits, and will and without urging?"

not listen to reason. Bless her, she The way of it was is always in extremes ! One while this : Ashford made up his mind she is frantically loyal — another



Even so.


while she is savagely democratic. of the affair, and Lumley heard me Frightful intemperance character- out with the gravity of an Indian ises one generation-total abstin- sachem. When I had finished, he ence is insisted on by the next. said, coolly— The trained bands of Edinburgh that attended at the execution of Montrose, led Argyle to the scaffold. The grandsons of the men who died around their king at Flodden were foremost in their persecution of Queen Mary. Nevertheless, I would die sooner than see her wronged; but she is now labouring under the delusion that she is Jenny Geddes, and I do not relish the notion of having my skull fractured by what my friend Davie Osett would denominate a creepie!"

"Well," said Carlton, laughing, "I think, under the circumstances, we must let you off this time; but remember that such an excuse for evading duty will not always pass muster. And it gladdens me to observe that you are likely to have an active monitor. Nay, Mary-do not blush! Never had we more joyful tidings than what Norman has brought us to-day. But in these discussions we are losing sight of Lumley."

"True, O M.P. that is to be! Let us hark back to our friend."


Ashford," continued Carlton, "was very strongly of opinion that we should start two men, averring, from his knowledge of the county, that it was quite on the cards that both of them might come in; and you will readily imagine that, having engaged myself to this enterprise, I was anxious to have the best possible man I could procure as my confederate. Not having an extensive acquaintance at the clubs, it occurred to me that Lumley was an excellent person to consult with. His landed estate is in our county, and though he is not a resident because, being a bachelor, he does not deem it necessary to keep up a country establishment-he is, nevertheless, vastly popular. My only fear was that he might prove to be somewhat indifferent.

"I dashed at once into the history

'Then, Carlton, I understand that you come forward to oppose Sir Godfrey Norton a case of Dares against Entellus, though probably with a different result?' "Yes,' I replied; the Whig is my direct antagonist.' 'And you want to find some one to oppose the political hermaphrodite?" "Precisely so.'


"Then, if you cannot discover a worthier candidate, why I don't care if I venture into the field!'

[ocr errors]

"What-you, Lumley? How delighted our friends will be! This is indeed an unexpected accession of strength.'

"That may or may not be, but at all events we shall make the trial. You see, Carlton, I want excitement. My old feelings were in favour of absolute repose, but I am now satisfied that I was in error. I require some stimulus to keep my blood in circulation; and as I have a decided objection to distilled waters, it occurs to me that politics will have the desired effect. But confound this odious trick of talking loosely! No, Carlton-I have higher motives! I feel, as you do, that it is the duty of an English gentleman to shrink from no sacrifice in support of the principles which he professes. It was grand devotion to their cause, alike by Royalist and Parliamentarian, that makes us regard our old civil war, even now, with sentiments akin to admiration. It was a noble and elevating strife; for men fought on either side, not for plunder or revenge, but from a supreme conviction that they were called on to do battle for the truth. Such days as those let us pray that England may never see again; but Heaven forbid that our sloth and indolence should render us unworthy of our ancestry!'

"I wish," continued Carlton, "that you could have heard Lumley


so deliver himself. He seemed ab- chooses to accompany us, our party solutely to dilate as he spoke; and will be much exhilarated thereby. there was an energy in his tone, and Nevertheless, if he prefers remaina fire in his eye, that I never wit- ing in Londonnessed before. Rely upon it, he Hush, George! When do you will one day make a sensation in start ?” Parliament. Now, don't I deserve At twelve precisely. But obcredit for having plucked this The serve, my good fellow—though the seus from his seat?

Colonel imposes no conditions, I “What !” said I, " soars your do, and shall insist peremptorily on presumption so high already, that their fulfilment. You shall be alyou dare to liken yourself to Her- lowed, as reason is, two or three cules ? What if I were to say, Beware hours each day to make private of Dejanira ?"

speeches, with which I have nothing "Nay,” said Carlton, “I'll war- to do; but the remainder of your rant that there is no poison in these time—of course excluding reasonhonest cockades. But let us apply able intervals for sleep—is to be at ourselves to business, for I already my disposal; and whenever it is feel as if I were a member of half- deemed necessary, either on my a-dozen committees. To-morrow behalf or on that of Lumley, that sees us all en route for Wilbury. a speech upon the general question When I say all, I include Mary; should be delivered, we expect you because Amy here, though very to try your eloquence. On my

. valorous in London, has notions honour I am serious. Were it only about brickbats, eggs, and sundry with a view to the future, you must kinds of garbage, which, she thinks, be put into training.” are the invariable concomitants of “The conditions are rather hard, elections, and she would be miser- but I shall agree to them; being able if left alone while I am pro- thoroughly assured that my first secuting my canvass. Now I am effort at stump oratory will procure commissioned by Colonel Stanhope me dispensation for the remainder to say that, if Mr Norman Sinclair of the period.”



HAVING endeavoured to draw at- the datum that the book-hunter has tention to the diagnosis of the book- as much satisfaction from his purhunter's condition, or, in other suit as the fox-hunter, the photowords, to the different shapes which grapher, and so on, has in his—that the phenomena peculiar to it as- a fair comparison can be struck? sume, we now propose to offer These pursuits, one and all, leave some consolatory remarks on his little or nothing that is valuable place in the dispensations of Provi- behind thein, except, it may be, that dence, with a view of showing that some of them are conducive to health, as we truly believe, he is not alto- by giving exercise to the body and a gether a mischievous nor a merely genial excitement to the mind; but useless maniac, but does in reality, every hobby gives the latter, and however unconsciously to himself, the former may be easily obtained minister in his own peculiar way in some other shape. They leave to the service both of himself and little or nothing behind—even the others; and to be properly methodi- photographer's portfolio will bring cal, our discourse shall be divided scarcely anything under the hamand subdivided, insomuch that, tak- mer after the death of him whose ing in the first place his services to solace and pursuit it had been, even himself, we shall subdivide that if the positives remain visible, which branch into the advantages which may be doubted. And as to the are purely material and those which other enumerated pursuits, some are properly intellectual.

of them, as we all know, are notoriAnd first, of material advantages. ously costly, all unproductive as Holding it to be the inevitable doom they are. of fallen man to inherit some frail. But the book-hunter may possity or failing, it would be difficult, bly leave a little fortune behind him. had he a Pandora's box-ful to pick His hobby, in fact, merges into an and choose among, to find one less investment. This is the light in dangerous or offensive. As the ju- which a celebrated Quaker collector dicious physician informs the pa- of paintings put his conduct, when tient, suffering under some cutaneous it was questioned by the brethren, or other external torture, that the in virtue of that right to admonish poison lay deep in his constitution— one another concerning the errors that it must have worked in some of their ways, which makes them shape—and well it is that it has so chary in employing domestic taken one so innocuous—so may even servants of their own persuasion. the book-hunter be congratulated on “ What had the brother paid having taken the innate moral mal- for that bauble, for instance ?" ady of all the race in a very gentle “Well, £300.” “Was not that and salubrious form. To pass over then an awful wasting of bis subgambling, tippling, and other prac- stance on vanities ?" “ No. He tices which cannot be easily spoken had been offered £900 for it. If of in good society, let us look to the any of the Friends could offer him other shapes in which man lets him- a better investment of his money self out-horse-racing, hunting, pho- than one that could be realised at a tography, shooting, fishing, cigars, profit of 200 per cent, he was ready dog-fancying, dog-fighting, the ring, to alter the existing disposal of his the cock-pit, phrenology, revivalism, capital.” socialism - which of these contains It is quite true that amateur purso small a balance of evil, counting chasers do not, in the long-run, make of course that the amount of pleasure a profit, though an occasional barconferred is equal—for it is only on gain may pass through their hands.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »