Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Boys and girls from Thackeray
Author: Sweetser, Kate Dickinson
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Boys and girls from Thackeray" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Boys and Girls from Thackeray

By Kate Dickinson Sweetser

Pictures by GEORGE ALFRED WILLIAMS

1907



PREFACE


William Makepeace Thackeray--the name is dear to all lovers of classic
fiction, who have wandered in enchanted lands, following the fortunes of
Colonel Newcome, Becky Sharp, Henry Esmond, and a host of other familiar
characters created by the great novelist.

To an unusual degree, Thackeray dwells on the childhood and youth of the
characters he depicts, lingering fondly and in details over the pranks
and pastimes, the school and college days of his heroes and heroines, as
though he wished to call especial attention to the interest of that
portion of their career.

That Thackeray has so emphasised his sketches of juvenile life, warrants
the presentation of those sketches in this volume and as complete
stories, without the adult intrigue and plot with which they are
surrounded in the novels from which they are taken. The object in so
presenting them is twofold: namely, to create an interest in Thackeray's
work among young readers to whom he has heretofore been unknown, and to
form a companion volume to those already given such a hearty
welcome--Boys and Girls from Dickens and George Eliot.

K.D.S.

NEW YORK, 1907.



CONTENTS


HENRY ESMOND

THE VIRGINIANS

BECKY SHARP AT SCHOOL

CUFF'S FIGHT WITH "FIGS"

GEORGE OSBORNE--RAWDON CRAWLEY

CLIVE AND ETHEL NEWCOME

ARTHUR PENDENNIS

CAROLINE



BOYS AND GIRLS _from_ THACKERAY



HENRY ESMOND


[Illustration: HENRY ESMOND AND THE CASTLEWOODS.]

When Francis, fourth Viscount Castlewood, came to his title, and,
presently after, to take possession of his house of Castlewood, County
Hants, in the year 1691, almost the only tenant of the place besides the
domestics was a lad of twelve years of age, of whom no one seemed to take
any note until my Lady Viscountess lighted upon him, going over the house
with the housekeeper on the day of her arrival. The boy was in the room
known as the book-room, or yellow gallery, where the portraits of the
family used to hang.

The new and fair lady of Castlewood found the sad, lonely little occupant
of this gallery busy over his great book, which he laid down when he was
aware that a stranger was at hand. And, knowing who that person must be,
the lad stood up and bowed before her, performing a shy obeisance to the
mistress of his house.

She stretched out her hand--indeed, when was it that that hand would not
stretch out to do an act of kindness, or to protect grief and
ill-fortune? "And this is our kinsman, I believe," she said; "and what is
your name, kinsman?"

"My name is Henry Esmond," said the lad, looking up at her in a sort of
delight and wonder, for she appeared the most charming object he had ever
looked on. Her golden hair was shining in the gold of the sun; her
complexion was of a dazzling bloom; her lips smiling and her eyes beaming
with a kindness which made Harry Esmond's heart to beat with surprise.

"His name is Henry Esmond, sure enough, my lady," says Mrs. Worksop, the
housekeeper; and the new Viscountess, after walking down the gallery,
came back to the lad, took his hand again, placing her other fair hand on
his head, saying some words to him which were so kind, so sweet that the
boy felt as if the touch of a superior being, or angel, smote him down to
the ground, and he kissed the fair protecting hand as he knelt on one
knee. To the very last hour of his life Esmond remembered the lady as she
then spoke and looked: the rings on her fair hands, the very scent of her
robe, the beam of her eyes lighting up with surprise and kindness, her
lips blooming in a smile, the sun making a golden halo round her hair.

As the boy was yet in this attitude of humility, enters behind him a
portly gentleman, with a little girl of four years old. The gentleman
burst into a great laugh at the lady and her adorer, with his little,
queer figure, his sallow face, and long black hair. The lady blushed and
seemed to deprecate his ridicule by a look of appeal to her husband, for
it was my Lord Viscount who now arrived, and whom the lad knew, having
once before seen him in the late lord's lifetime.

"So this is the little priest!" says my lord, who knew for what calling
the lad was intended, and adding: "Welcome, kinsman."

"He is saying his prayers to mamma," says the little girl, and my lord
burst out into another great laugh at this, and kinsman Harry looked very
silly. He invented a half-dozen of speeches in reply, but 'twas months
afterwards when he thought of this adventure; as it was, he had never a
word in answer.

"_Le pauvre enfant, il n'a que nous_," says the lady, looking to her
lord; and the boy, who understood her, though doubtless she thought
otherwise, thanked her with all his heart for her kind speech.

"And he shan't want for friends here," says my lord in a kind voice.
"Shall he, little Trix?"

The little girl, whose name was Beatrix, and whom her papa called by this
diminutive, looked at Henry Esmond solemnly with a pair of large eyes,
and then a smile shone over her face, which was as beautiful as that of a
cherub, and she came up and put out a little hand to him. A keen and
delightful pang of gratitude, happiness, affection filled the orphan
child's heart as he received these tokens of friendliness and kindness.
But an hour since, he had felt quite alone in the world; when he heard
the great peal of bells from Castlewood church ringing to welcome the
arrival of the new lord and lady it had rung only terror and anxiety to
him, for he knew not how the new owner would deal with him; and those to
whom he formerly looked for protection were forgotten or dead. Pride and
doubt, too, had kept him within doors, when the Vicar and the people of
the village, and the servants of the house, had gone out to welcome my
Lord Castlewood--for Henry Esmond was no servant, though a dependent; no
relative, though he bore the name and inherited the blood of the house;
and in the midst of the noise and acclamations attending the arrival of
the new lord, for whom a feast was got ready, and guns were fired, and
tenants and domestics huzzahed when his carriage rolled into the
court-yard of the Hall, no one took any notice of young Henry Esmond, who
sat alone in the book-room until his new friends found him.

When my lord and lady were going away from the book-room, the little
girl, still holding him by the hand, bade him come too.

"Thou wilt always forsake an old friend for a new one, Trix," says her
father good-naturedly, and went into the gallery, giving an arm to his
lady. They passed thence through the music-gallery, long since
dismantled, and Queen Elizabeth's rooms, in the clock-tower, and out into
the terrace, where was a fine prospect of sunset and the great darkling
woods with a cloud of rooks returning, and the plain and river with
Castlewood village beyond, and purple hills beautiful to look at; and the
little heir of Castlewood, a child of two years old, was already here on
the terrace in his nurse's arms, from whom he ran across the grass
instantly he perceived his mother, and came to her.

"If thou canst not be happy here," says my lord, looking round at the
scene, "thou art hard to please, Rachel."

"I am happy where you are," she said, lovingly; and then my lord began to
describe what was before them to his wife, and what indeed little Harry
knew better than he--viz., the history of the house: how by yonder gate
the page ran away with the heiress of Castlewood, by which the estate
came into the present family; how the Roundheads attacked the
clock-tower, which my lord's father was slain in defending. "I was but
two years old then," says he, "but take forty-six from ninety, and how
old shall I be, kinsman Harry?"

"Thirty," says his wife, with a laugh.

"A great deal too old for you, Rachel," answers my lord, looking fondly
down at her. Indeed she seemed to be a girl, and was at that time scarce
twenty years old.

"You know, Frank, I will do anything to please you," says she, "and I
promise you I will grow older every day."

"You mustn't call papa Frank; you must call him 'my lord,' now," says
Miss Beatrix, with a toss of her little head; at which the mother smiled,
and the good-natured father laughed, and the little trotting boy laughed,
not knowing why--but because he was happy, no doubt--as everyone seemed
to be there.

Presently, however, as the sun was setting, the little heir was sent
howling to bed, while the more fortunate little Trix was promised to
sit up for supper that night--"and you will come too, kinsman, won't
you?" she said.

Harry Esmond blushed: "I--I have supper with Mrs. Worksop," says he.

But the new Viscount Castlewood refused to hear of that, and said, "Thou
shalt sup with us, Harry, to-night! Shan't refuse a lady, shall he,
Trix?"--and Harry enjoyed the unexpected pleasure of an evening meal with
the new lord of Castlewood and his gracious family.

Later, when Harry got to his little chamber, it was with a heart full of
surprise and gratitude towards the new friends whom this happy day had
brought him. The next morning he was up and watching long before the
house was astir, longing to see that fair lady and her children again;
and only fearful lest their welcome of the past night should in any way
be withdrawn or altered. But presently little Beatrix came out into the
garden, and her mother followed, who greeted Harry as kindly as before
and listened while he told her the histories of the house, which he had
been taught in the old lord's time, and to which she listened with great
interest; and then he told her, with respect to the night before, that he
understood French and thanked her for her protection.

"Do you?" says she, with a blush; "then, sir, you shall teach me
and Beatrix."

And she asked him many more questions regarding himself, to which she
received brief replies, the substance of which was afterward amplified
into certain facts concerning the past of the orphan boy, which it is
well to note here and now.

It seemed that in former days, in a little cottage in the village of
Ealing, near to London, for some time had dwelt an old French refugee, by
name Mr. Pastoureau, one of those whom the persecution of the Huguenots
by the French king had brought over to England. With this old man lived a
little lad, who went by the name of Henry Thomas, but who was no other
than Henry Esmond. He remembered to have lived in another place a short
time before, near to London, too, amongst looms and spinning wheels, and
a great deal of psalm-singing and church-going, and a whole colony of
Frenchmen.

There he had a dear, dear friend, who died, and whom he called Aunt.
She used to visit him in his dreams sometimes; and her face, though it
was homely, was a thousand times dearer to him than that of Mrs.
Pastoureau, Bon Papa Pastoureau's new wife, who came to live with him
after aunt went away. And there, at Spittlefields, as it used to be
called, lived Uncle George, who was a weaver, too, but used to tell
Harry that he was a little gentleman, and that his father was a
captain, and his mother an angel.

When he said so, Bon Papa used to look up from the loom, where he was
embroidering beautiful silk flowers, and shake his head. He had a little
room where he always used to preach and sing hymns out of his great old
nose. Little Harry did not like the preaching; he liked better the fine
stories which aunt used to tell him. Bon Papa's new wife never told him
pretty stories; she quarrelled with Uncle George, and he went away.

After this, Harry's Bon Papa, and his wife and two children of her own
that she had brought with her, came to live at Ealing. The new wife gave
her children the best of everything, and Harry many a whipping, he knew
not why. So he was very glad when a gentleman dressed in black, on
horseback, with a mounted servant behind him, came to fetch him away from
Ealing. The unjust stepmother gave him plenty to eat before he went away,
and did not beat him once, but told the children to keep their hands off
him. One was a girl, and Harry never could bear to strike a girl; and the
other was a boy, whom he could easily have beat, but he always cried out,
when Mrs. Pastoureau came sailing to the rescue with arms like a flail.
She only washed Harry's face the day he went away; nor ever so much as
once boxed his ears. She whimpered rather when the gentleman in black
came for the boy, and pretended to cry; but Harry thought it was only a
sham, and sprung quite delighted upon the horse upon which the lackey
helped him. This lackey was a Frenchman; his name was Blaise. The child
could talk to him in his own language perfectly well. He knew it better
than English, indeed, having lived hitherto among French people, and
being called the Little Frenchman by other boys on Ealing Green.

The lackey was very talkative and informed the boy that the gentleman
riding before him was my lord's chaplain, Father Holt; that he was now to
be called Master Harry Esmond; that my Lord Viscount Castlewood was his
patron; that he was to live at the great house of Castlewood, in the
province of ----shire, where he would see Madame the Viscountess, who was
a grand lady, and that he was to be educated for the priesthood. And so,
seated on a cloth before Blaise's saddle, Harry Esmond was brought to
London, and to a fine square called Covent Garden, near to which his
patron lodged.

Mr. Holt, the priest, took the child by the hand and brought him to this
grand languid nobleman, who sat in a great cap and flowered
morning-gown, sucking oranges. He patted Harry on the head and gave him
an orange, and directed Blaise to take him out for a holiday; and out
for a holiday the boy and the valet went. Harry went jumping along; he
was glad enough to go.

He remembered to his life's end the delights of those days. He was taken
to see a play, in a house a thousand times greater and finer than the
booth at Ealing Fair; and on the next happy day they took water on the
river, and Harry saw London Bridge, with the houses and book: sellers'
shops on it, looking like a street, and the tower of London, with the
Armour, and the great lions and bears in the moat--all under company of
Monsieur Blaise.

Presently, of an early morning, all the party set forth for the country,
and all along the road the Frenchman told little Harry stories of
brigands, which made the child's hair stand on end, and terrified him; so
that at the great gloomy inn on the road where they lay, he besought to
be allowed to sleep in a room with one of the servants, and Father Holt
took pity on him and gave the child a little bed in his chamber.

His artless talk and answers very likely inclined this gentleman in his
favour, for next day Mr. Holt said Harry should ride behind him, and not
with the French lackey; and all along the journey put a thousand
questions to the child--as to his foster-brother and relations at Ealing;
what his old grandfather had taught him; what languages he knew; whether
he could read and write, and sing, and so forth. And Mr. Holt found that
Harry could read and write, and possessed the two languages of French and
English very well. The lad so pleased the gentleman by his talk that they
had him to dine with them at the inn, and encouraged him in his prattle;
and Monsieur Blaise, with whom he rode and dined the day before, waited
upon him now.

At length, on the third day, at evening, they came to a village on the
green with elms around it, and the people there all took off their hats,
and made curtsies to my Lord Viscount, who bowed to them all languidly;
and there was one portly person that wore a cassock and a broad-leafed
hat, who bowed lower than anyone, and with this one both my lord and Mr.
Holt had a few words.

"This, Harry, is Castlewood church," says Mr. Holt, "and this is the
pillar thereof, learned Dr. Tusher. Take off your hat, sirrah, and salute
Dr. Tusher!"

"Come up to supper, Doctor," says my lord; at which the Doctor made
another low bow, and the party moved on towards a grand house that was
before them, with many grey towers, and vanes on them, and windows
flaming in the sunshine, and they passed under an arch into a courtyard,
with a fountain in the centre, where many men came and held my lord's
stirrup as he descended, and paid great respect to Mr. Holt likewise.

Taking Harry by the hand as soon as they were both descended from their
horses, Mr. Holt led him across the court, to rooms on a level with the
ground, one of which Father Holt said was to be the boy's chamber, the
other on the other side of the passage being the Father's own. As soon
as the little man's face was washed, and the Father's own dress arranged,
Harry's guide took him once more to the door by which my lord had entered
the hall, and up a stair, and through an ante-room to my lady's
drawing-room--an apartment than which Harry thought he had never seen
anything more grand--no, not in the Tower of London, which he had just
visited. Indeed, the chamber was richly ornamented in the manner of Queen
Elizabeth's time, with great stained windows at either end, and hangings
of tapestry, which the sun shining through the coloured glass painted of
a thousand hues; and here in state, by the fire, sat a lady to whom the
priest took up Harry, who was indeed amazed by her appearance.

My Lady Viscountess's face was daubed with white and red up to the eyes,
to which the paint gave an unearthly glare. She had a tower of lace on
her head, under which was a bush of black curls--borrowed curls--so that
no wonder little Harry Esmond was scared when he was first presented to
her, the kind priest acting as master of the ceremonies at that solemn
introduction, and he stared at her with eyes almost as great as her own,
as he had stared at the player woman who acted the wicked tragedy-queen,
when the players came down to Ealing Fair. She sat in a great chair by
the fire-corner; in her lap was a spaniel-dog that barked furiously; on
a little table by her was her ladyship's snuff-box and her sugar-plum
box. She wore a dress of black velvet, and a petticoat of flame-coloured
brocade. She had as many rings on her fingers as the old woman of
Banbury Cross; and pretty, small feet which she was fond of showing,
with great gold clocks to her stockings, and white slippers with red
heels; and an odour of musk was shaken out of her garments whenever she
moved or quitted the room, leaning on her tortoise-shell stick, little
Fury, the dog, barking at her heels, and Mrs. Tusher, the parson's wife,
by her side.

"I present to your ladyship your kinsman and little page of honour,
Master Henry Esmond," Mr. Holt said, bowing lowly, with a sort of comical
humility. "Make a pretty bow to my lady, Monsieur; and then another
little bow, not so low, to Madame Tusher."

Upon my lady the boy's whole attention was for a time directed. He could
not keep his great eyes from her. Since the Empress of Ealing, he had
seen nothing so awful.

"Does my appearance please you, little page?" asked the lady.

"He would be very hard to please if it didn't," cried Madame Tusher.

"Have done, you silly Maria," said Lady Castlewood, adding, "Come and
kiss my hand, child"; and little Harry Esmond took and dutifully kissed
the lean old hand, upon the gnarled knuckles of which there glittered a
hundred rings.

"To kiss that hand would make many a pretty fellow happy!" cried Mrs.
Tusher; on which my lady cried out, "Go, you foolish Tusher!" and tapping
her with her great fan, Tusher ran forward to seize her hand and kiss it.
Fury arose and barked furiously at Tusher; and Father Holt looked on at
this queer scene, with arch, grave glances.

The awe exhibited by the little boy perhaps pleased the lady on whom this
artless flattery was bestowed, for, having gone down on his knee (as
Father Holt had directed him, and the fashion then was) and performed his
obeisance, she asked, "Page Esmond, my groom of the chamber will inform
you what your duties are, when you wait upon my lord and me; and good
Father Holt will instruct you as becomes a gentleman of our name. You
will pay him obedience in everything, and I pray you may grow to be as
learned and as good as your tutor."

Harry then put his small hand into the Father's as he walked away from
his first presentation to his mistress, and asked many questions in his
artless, childish way. "Who is that other woman?" he asked. "She is fat
and round; she is more pretty than my Lady Castlewood."

"She is Madame Tusher, the parson's wife of Castlewood. She has a son of
your age, but bigger than you."

"Why does she like so to kiss my lady's hand? It is not good to kiss."

"Tastes are different, little man. Madame Tusher is attached to my lady,
having been her waiting-woman before she was married, in the old lord's
time. She married Dr. Tusher, the chaplain. The English household divines
often marry the waiting-women."

"You will not marry the French woman, will you? I saw her laughing with
Blaise in the buttery."

"I belong to a church that is older and better than the English church,"
Mr. Holt said (making a sign, whereof Esmond did not then understand the
meaning, across his breast and forehead); "in our church the clergy do
not marry. You will understand these things better soon."

"Was not Saint Peter the head of your church?--Dr. Rabbits of Ealing
told us so."

The Father said, "Yes, he was."

"But Saint Peter was married, for we heard only last Sunday that his
wife's mother lay sick of a fever." On which the Father again laughed,
and said he would understand this too better soon, and talked of other
things, and took away Harry Esmond, and showed him the great old house
which he had come to inhabit.

It stood on a rising green hill, with woods behind it, in which were
rooks' nests, where the birds at morning and returning home at evening
made a great cawing. At the foot of a hill was a river, with a steep
ancient bridge crossing it; and beyond that a large pleasant green flat,
where the village of Castlewood stood, with the church in the midst, the
parsonage hard by it, the inn with the blacksmith's forge beside it, and
the sign of the "Three Castles" on the elm. The London road stretched
away towards the rising sun, and to the west were swelling hills and
peaks, behind which many a time Harry Esmond saw the same sun setting in
after years.

The Hall of Castlewood was built with two courts, whereof one only, the
fountain-court, was now inhabited, the other having been battered down in
the Cromwellian wars. In the fountain-court, still in good repair, was
the great hall, near to the kitchen and butteries. A dozen of
living-rooms looked to the north, and communicated with the little chapel
that faced eastwards, and the buildings stretching from that to the main
gate, and with the hall (which looked to the west) into the court, now
dismantled. This court had been the more magnificent of the two until the
Protector's cannon tore down one side of it before the place was taken
and stormed. The besiegers entered at the terrace under the clock-tower,
slaying every man of the garrison, and at their head, my lord's brother,
Francis Esmond.

The Restoration did not bring enough money to the Lord Castlewood to
restore this ruined part of his house, where were the morning parlours,
and above them the long music-gallery. Before this stretched the
garden-terrace, where the flowers grew again which the boots of the
Roundheads had trodden in their assault, and which was restored without
much cost, and only a little care, by both ladies who succeeded the
second viscount in the government of this mansion. Round the
terrace-garden was a low wall with a wicket leading to a wooded height
beyond, that is called Cromwell's Battery to this day.

Young Harry Esmond soon learned the domestic part of his duty, which
was easy enough, from the groom of her ladyship's chamber: serving the
Countess, as the custom commonly was in his boyhood, as page, waiting
at her chair, bringing her scented water and the silver basin after
dinner--sitting on her carriage-step on state occasions, or on public
days introducing her company to her. This was chiefly of the Catholic
gentry, of whom there were a pretty many in the country and
neighbouring city, and who rode not seldom to Castlewood to partake of
the hospitalities there. In the second year of their residence, the
company seemed especially to increase. My lord and my lady were seldom
without visitors.

Also there came in these times to Father Holt many private visitors,
whom, after a little, Henry Esmond had no difficulty in recognising as
priests of the Father's order, whatever their dresses (and they
adopted all sorts) might be. They were closeted with the Father
constantly, and often came and rode away without paying their respects
to my lord and lady.

Father Holt began speedily to be so much occupied with these meetings as
rather to neglect the education of the little lad who so gladly put
himself under the kind priest's orders. At first they read much and
regularly, both in Latin and French; the Father not neglecting in
anything to impress his faith upon his pupil, but not forcing him
violently, and treating him with a delicacy and kindness which surprised
and attached the child, always more easily won by these methods than by
any severe exercise of authority. And his delight in their walks was to
tell Harry of the glories of his order, of the Jesuits, an order founded
by Ignatius Loyola, whose members were intimately associated with
intrigues of church and state. He told Harry of its martyrs and heroes,
of its brethren converting the heathen by myriads, traversing the desert,
facing the stake, ruling the courts and councils, or braving the tortures
of kings; so that Henry Esmond thought that to belong to the Jesuits was
the bravest end of ambition; the greatest career here, and in heaven the
surest reward; and began to long for the day, not only when he should
enter into the one church and receive his first communion, but when he
might join that wonderful brotherhood, which numbered the wisest, the
bravest, the highest born, the most eloquent of men among its members.
Father Holt bade him keep his views secret, and to hide them as a great
treasure which would escape him if it was revealed; and, proud of this
confidence and secret vested in him, the lad became fondly attached to
the master who initiated him into a mystery so wonderful and awful. And
when little Tom Tusher, his neighbour, came from school for his holiday,
and said how he, too; like Harry, was to be bred up for an English
priest, and would get a college scholarship and fellowship from his
school, and then a good living--it tasked young Harry Esmond's powers of
reticence not to say to his young companion, "Church! priesthood! fat
living! My dear Tommy, do you call yours a church and a priesthood? What
is a fat living compared to converting a hundred thousand heathens by a
single sermon? What is a scholarship at Trinity by the side of a crown of
martyrdom, with angels awaiting you as your head is taken off? Could your
master at school sail over the Thames on his gown? Have you statues in
your church that can bleed, speak, walk, and cry? My good Tommy, in dear
Father Holt's church these things take place every day. You know Saint
Philip of the Willows appeared to Lord Castlewood, and caused him to turn
to the one true church. No saints ever come to you." And Harry Esmond,
because of his promise to Father Holt, hiding away these treasures of
faith from T. Tusher, delivered himself of them nevertheless simply to
Father Holt; who stroked his head, smiled at him with his inscrutable
look, and told him that he did well to meditate on these great things,
and not to talk of them except under direction.

Had time enough been given, and his childish inclinations been properly
nurtured, Harry Esmond had been a Jesuit priest ere he was a dozen years
older, and might have finished his days a martyr in China or a victim on
Tower Hill; for, in the few months they spent together at Castlewood, Mr.
Holt obtained an entire mastery over the boy's intellect and affections,
and had brought him to think, as indeed Father Holt thought, with all his
heart too, that no life was so noble, no death so desirable, as that
which many brethren of his famous order were ready to undergo. By love,
by a brightness of wit and good humour that charmed all, by an authority
which he knew how to assume, by a mystery and silence about him which
increased the child's reverence for him, he won Harry's absolute fealty,
and would have kept it, doubtless, if schemes greater and more important
than a poor little boy's admission into orders had not called him away.

After being at home for a few months in tranquillity, my Lord Castlewood
and Lady Isabella left the country for London, taking Father Holt with
them: and his little pupil scarce ever shed more bitter tears in his life
than he did for nights after the first parting with his dear friend, as
he lay in the lonely chamber next to that which the Father used to
occupy. He and a few domestics were left as the only tenants of the great
house: and, though Harry sedulously did all the tasks which the Father
set him, he had many hours unoccupied, and read in the library, and
bewildered his little brain with the great books he found there.

After a while, however, the little lad grew accustomed to the loneliness
of the place; and in after days remembered this part of his life as a
period not unhappy. When the family was at London the whole of the
establishment travelled thither with the exception of the porter and his
wife and children. These had their lodging in the gate-house hard by.
with a door into the court. That with a window looking out on the green
was the Chaplain's room; and next to this was a small chamber where
Father Holt had his books, and Harry Esmond his sleeping-closet. The side
of the house facing the east had escaped the guns of the Cromwellians,
whose battery was on the height facing the western court; so that this
eastern end bore few marks of demolition, save in the chapel, where the
painted windows surviving Edward the Sixth had been broke by the
Commonwealthmen. When Father Holt was at Castlewood little Harry Esmond
acted as his familiar little servitor, beating his clothes, folding his
vestments, fetching his water from the well long before daylight, ready
to run anywhere for the service of his beloved priest. When the Father
was away, he locked his private chamber; but the room where the books
were was left to little Harry.

Great public events were happening at this time, of which the simple
young page took little count. But one day, before the family went to
London, riding into the neighbouring town on the step of my lady's
coach, his lordship and she and Father Holt being inside, a great mob
of people came hooting and jeering round the coach, bawling out, "The
Bishops forever!" "Down with the Pope!" "No Popery! no Popery!" so that
my lord began to laugh, my lady's eyes to roll with anger, for she was
as bold as a lioness, and feared nobody; whilst Mr. Holt, as Esmond saw
from his place on the step, sank back with rather an alarmed face,
crying out to her ladyship, "For God's sake, madam, do not speak or look
out of window; sit still." But she did not obey this prudent injunction
of the Father; she thrust her head out of the coach window, and screamed
out to the coachman, "Flog your way through them, the brutes, James, and
use your whip!"

James the coachman was more afraid of his mistress than of the mob,
probably, for he whipped on his horses as he was bidden, and the post-boy
that rode with the first pair gave a cut of his thong over the shoulders
of one fellow who put his hand out towards the leading horse's rein.

It was a market-day, and the country-people were all assembled with
their baskets of poultry, eggs, and such things; the postilion had no
sooner lashed the man who would have taken hold of his horse, but a
great cabbage came whirling like a bombshell into the carriage, at
which my lord laughed more, for it knocked my lady's fan out of her
hand, and plumped into Father Holt's stomach. Then came a shower of
carrots and potatoes.

The little page was outside the coach on the step, and a fellow in the
crowd aimed a potato at him, and hit him in the eye, at which the poor
little wretch set up a shout The man, a great big saddler's apprentice of
the town, laughed, and stooped to pick up another potato. The crowd had
gathered quite between the horses and the inn door by this time, and the
coach was brought to a dead standstill. My lord jumped as briskly as a
boy out of the door on his side of the coach, squeezing little Harry
behind it; had hold of the potato-thrower's collar in an instant, and the
next moment the brute's heels were in the air, and he fell on the stones
with a thump.

"You hulking coward!" says he, "you pack of screaming blackguards! how
dare you attack children, and insult women? Fling another shot at that
carriage, you sneaking pigskin cobbler, and by the Lord I'll send my
rapier through you!"

Some of the mob cried, "Huzzah, my Lord!" for they knew him, and the
saddler's man was a known bruiser, near twice as big as my Lord Viscount.

"Make way there," says he (he spoke with a great air of authority). "Make
way, and let her ladyship's carriage pass."

The men actually did make way, and the horses went on, my lord walking
after them with his hat on his head.

This mob was one of many thousands that were going about the country at
that time, huzzahing for the acquittal of seven bishops who had been
tried just then, and about whom little Harry Esmond knew scarce anything.
The party from Castlewood were on their way to Hexton, where there was a
great meeting of the gentry. My lord's people had their new liveries on
and Harry a little suit of blue and silver, which he wore upon occasions
of state; and the gentlefolks came round and talked to my lord: and a
judge in a red gown, who seemed a very great personage, especially
complimented him and my lady, who was mighty grand. Harry remembers her
train borne up by her gentlewoman. There was an assembly and ball at the
great room at the inn, and other young gentlemen of the county families
looked on as he did. One of them jeered him for his black eye, which was
swelled by the potato, and another called him a cruel name, on which he
and Harry fell to fisticuffs. My lord's cousin, Colonel Esmond of
Walcote, was there, and separated the two lads--a great, tall gentleman,
with a handsome, good-natured face.

Very soon after this my lord and lady went to London with Mr. Holt,
leaving the page behind them. The little man had the great house of
Castlewood to himself; or between him and the housekeeper, Mrs. Worksop,
an old lady who was a kinswoman of the family in some distant way, and a
Protestant, but a staunch Tory and kings-man, as all the Esmonds were.
Harry used to go to school to Dr. Tusher when he was at home, though the
Doctor was much occupied too. There was a great stir and commotion
everywhere, even in the little quiet village of Castlewood, whither a
party of people came from the town, who would have broken Castlewood
Chapel windows, but the village people turned out, and even old
Sievewright, the republican blacksmith, along with them; for my lady,
though she was a Papist, and had many odd ways, was kind to the tenantry,
and there was always plenty of protectors for Castlewood inmates in any
sort of invasion.

One day at dawn, not having been able to sleep for thinking of some lines
for eels which he had placed the night before, the lad was lying in his
little bed waiting for the hour when he and John Lockwood, the porter's
son, might go to the pond and see what fortune had brought them. It might
have been four o'clock when he heard the door of Father Holt's chamber
open. Harry jumped up, thinking for certain it was a robber, or hoping
perhaps for a ghost, and, flinging open his own door, saw a light inside
Father Holt's room, and a figure standing in the doorway, in the midst of
a great smoke which issued from the room.

"Who's there?" cried out the boy.

"_Silentium!_" whispered the other; "'tis I, my boy!" holding his hand
out, and Harry recognised Father Holt. A curtain was over the window
that looked to the court, and he saw that the smoke came from a great
flame of papers burning in a bowl when he entered the Chaplain's room.
After giving a hasty greeting and blessing to the lad, who was charmed
to see his tutor, the Father continued the burning of his papers,
drawing them from a cupboard over the mantelpiece wall, which Harry had
never seen before.

Father Holt laughed, seeing the lad's attention fixed at once on this
hole. "That is right, Harry," he said; "see all and say nothing. You are
faithful, I know."

"I know I would go to the stake for you," said Harry.

"I don't want your head," said the Father, patting it kindly; "all you
have to do is to hold your tongue. Let us burn these papers, and say
nothing to anybody. Should you like to read them?"

Harry Esmond blushed, and held down his head; he _had_ looked, but
without thinking, at the paper before him; but though he had seen it
before, he could not understand a word of it. They burned the papers
until scarce any traces of them remained.

Harry had been accustomed to seeing Father Holt in more dresses than one;
it not being safe, or worth the danger, for Popish priests to wear their
proper dress; so he was in no wise astonished that the priest should now
appear before him in a riding-dress, with large buff leather boots, and a
feather to his hat, plain, but such as gentlemen wore.

"You know the secret of the cupboard," said he, laughing, "and must be
prepared for other mysteries"; and he opened a wardrobe, which he
usually kept locked, but from which he now took out two or three dresses
and wigs of different colours, and a couple of swords, a military coat
and cloak, and a farmer's smock, and placed them in the large hole over
the mantelpiece from which the papers had been taken.

"If they miss the cupboard," he said, "they will not find these; if they
find them, they'll tell no tales, except that Father Holt wore more
suits of clothes than one. All Jesuits do. You know what deceivers we
are, Harry."

Harry was alarmed at the notion that his friend was about to leave him;
but "No," the priest said, "I may very likely come back with my lord in a
few days. We are to be tolerated; we are not to be persecuted. But they
may take a fancy to pay a visit at Castlewood ere our return; and, as
gentlemen of my cloth are suspected, they might choose to examine my
papers, which concern nobody--at least not them." And to this day,
whether the papers in cipher related to politics, or to the affairs of
that mysterious society whereof Father Holt was a member, his pupil,
Harry Esmond, remains in entire ignorance.

The rest of his goods Father Holt left untouched on his shelves and in
his cupboard, taking down--with a laugh, however--and flinging into the
brazier, where he only half burned them, some theological treatises which
he had been writing. "And now," said he, "Henry, my son, you may testify,
with a safe conscience, that you saw me burning Latin sermons the last
time I was here before I went away to London; and it will be daybreak
directly, and I must be away before Lockwood is stirring."

"Will not Lockwood let you out, sir?" Esmond asked. Holt laughed; he
was never more gay or good-humoured than when in the midst of action
or danger.

"Lockwood knows nothing of my being here, mind you," he said; "nor would
you, you little wretch! had you slept better. You must forget that I have
been here; and now farewell. Close the door, and go to your own room, and
don't come out till--stay, why should you not know one secret more? I
know you will never betray me."

In the Chaplain's room were two windows, the one looking into the court
facing westwards to the fountain, the other a small casement strongly
barred, and looking onto the green in front of the Hall. This window was
too high to reach from the ground; but, mounting on a buffet which stood
beneath it, Father Holt showed Harry how, by pressing on the base of the
window, the whole framework descended into a cavity worked below, from
which it could be restored to its usual place from without, a broken pane
being purposely open to admit the hand which was to work upon the spring
of the machine.

"When I am gone," Father Holt said, "you may push away the buffet, so
that no one may fancy that an exit has been made that way; lock the door;
place the key--where shall we put the key?--under 'Chrysostom' on the
book shelf; and if any ask for it, say I keep it there, and told you
where to find it, if you had need to go to my room. The descent is easy
down the wall into the ditch; and so once more farewell, until I see thee
again, my dear son."

And with this the intrepid Father mounted the buffet with great agility
and briskness, stepped across the window, lifting up the bars and
framework again from the other side, and only leaving room for Harry
Esmond to stand on tiptoe and kiss his hand before the casement closed,
the bars fixing as firmly as ever, seemingly, in the stone arch overhead.

Esmond, young as he was, would have died sooner than betray his friend
and master, as Mr. Holt well knew; so, then, when Holt was gone, and told
Harry not to see him, it was as if he had never been. And he had this
answer pat when he came to be questioned a few days later.

The Prince of Orange was then at Salisbury, as young Esmond learned from
seeing Dr. Tusher in his best cassock, with a great orange cockade in his
broad-leafed hat, and Nahun, his clerk, ornamented with a like
decoration. The Doctor was walking up and down in front of his parsonage
when little Esmond saw him and heard him say he was going to Salisbury to
pay his duty to his Highness the Prince. The village people had orange
cockades too, and his friend, the blacksmith's laughing daughter, pinned
one into Harry's old hat, which he tore out indignantly when they bade
him to cry "God save the Prince of Orange and the Protestant religion!"
But the people only laughed, for they liked the boy in the village, where
his solitary condition moved the general pity, and where he found
friendly welcomes and faces in many houses.

It was while Dr. Tusher was away at Salisbury that there came a troop of
dragoons with orange scarfs, and quartered in Castlewood, and some of
them came up to the Hall, where they took possession, robbing nothing,
however, beyond the hen-house and the beer-cellar: and only insisting
upon going through the house and looking for papers. The first room they
asked to look at was Father Holt's room, where they opened the drawers
and cupboards, and tossed over the papers and clothes, but found nothing
except his books and clothes, and the vestments in a box by themselves,
with which the dragoons made merry, to Harry Esmond's horror. To the
questions which the gentlemen put to Harry, he replied that Father Holt
was a very kind man to him, and a very learned man, and Harry supposed
would tell him none of his secrets if he had any. He was about eleven
years old at that time, and looked as innocent as boys of his age.

A kingdom was changing hands whilst my lord and lady were away. King
James was flying; the Dutchmen were coming; awful stories about them and
the Prince of Orange Mrs. Worksop used to tell to the idle little page,
who enjoyed the exciting narratives. The family were away more than six
months, and when they returned they were in the deepest state of
dejection, for King James had been banished, the Prince of Orange was on
the throne, and the direst persecutions of those of the Catholic faith
were apprehended by my lady, who said that she did not believe there was
a word of truth in the promises of toleration that Dutch monster made, or
a single word the perjured wretch said. My lord and lady being loyal
followers of the banished king, were in a manner prisoners in their own
house, so her ladyship gave the little page to know, who was by this time
growing of an age to understand what was passing about him, and something
of the character of the people he lived with.

Father Holt came to the Hall constantly, but officiated no longer openly
as chaplain. Strangers, military and ecclesiastic--Harry knew the latter,
though they came in all sorts of disguises--were continually arriving and
departing. My lord made long absences and sudden reappearances, using
sometimes the secret window in Father Holt's room, though how often Harry
could not tell. He stoutly kept his promise to the Father of not prying,
and if at midnight from his little room he heard noises of persons
stirring in the next chamber, he turned round to the wall, and hid his
curiosity under his pillow until he fell asleep. Of course, he could not
help remarking that the priest's journeys were constant, and
understanding by a hundred signs that some active though secret business
employed him. What this was may pretty well be guessed by what soon
happened to my lord.

No garrison or watch was put into Castlewood when my lord came back, but
a Guard was in the village; and one or other of them was always on the
green keeping a lookout on the great gate, and those who went out and in.
Lockwood said that at night especially every person who came in or went
out was watched by the outlying sentries. It was lucky that there was a
gate which their Worships knew nothing about. My lord and Father Holt
must have made constant journeys at night: once or twice little Harry
acted as their messenger and discreet aide-de-camp. He remembers he was
bidden to go into the village with his fishing-rod, enter certain houses,
ask for a drink of water, and tell the good man, "There would be a
horse-market at Newbury next Thursday," and so carry the same message on
to the next house on his list.

He did not know what the message meant at the time, nor what was
happening, which may as well, however, for clearness' sake, be explained
here. The Prince of Orange being gone to Ireland, where the King was
ready to meet him with a great army, it was determined that a great
rising of his Majesty's party should take place in this country; and my
lord was to head the force in the Castlewood's county. Of late he had
taken a greater lead in affairs than before, having the indefatigable Mr.
Holt at his elbow, who was the most considerable person in that part of
the county for the affairs of the King.

It was arranged that the regiment of Scots Greys and Dragoons, then
quartered at Newbury, should declare for the King on a certain day, when
likewise the gentry loyal to his Majesty's cause were to come in with
their tenants and adherents to Newbury, march upon the Dutch troops at
Reading under Ginckel; and, those overthrown, and their indomitable
little master away in Ireland, it was thought that their side might move
on London itself, and a confident victory was predicted for the King.

While these great matters were in agitation, one day, it must have been
about the month of July, 1600, my lord, in a great horseman's coat, under
which Harry could see the shining of a steel breastplate he had on,
called the boy to him, and kissed him, and bade God bless him in such an
affectionate way as he never had used before. Father Holt blessed him
too, and then they took leave of my Lady Viscountess, who came weeping
from her apartment.

"My lord, God speed you!" she said, stepping up and embracing my lord in
a grand manner. "Mr. Holt, I ask your blessing," and she knelt down for
that, whilst Mrs. Tusher tossed her head up.

Mr. Holt gave the same benediction to the little page, who went down and
held my lord's stirrups for him to mount--there were two servants waiting
there, too--and they rode out of Castlewood gate.

As they crossed the bridge, Harry could see an officer in scarlet ride up
touching his hat, and address my lord.

The party stopped, and came to some discussion, which presently ended, my
lord putting his horse into a canter after taking off his hat to the
officer, who rode alongside him step for step, the trooper accompanying
him falling back, and riding with my lord's two men. They cantered over
the green, and behind the elms, and so they disappeared.

That evening those left behind had a great panic, the cow-boy coming at
milking-time riding one of the Castlewood horses, which he had found
grazing at the outer park-wall. It was quite in the grey of the morning
when the porter's bell rang, and old Lockwood let him in. He had gone
with him in the morning, and returned with a melancholy story. The
officer who rode up to my lord had, it appeared, said to him that it was
his duty to inform his lordship that he was not under arrest, but under
watch, and to request him not to ride abroad that day.

My lord replied that riding was good for his health, that if the Captain
chose to accompany him he was welcome; and it was then that he made a
bow, and they cantered away together.

When he came on to Wansey Down, my lord all of a sudden pulled up, and
the party came to a halt at the cross-way.

"Sir," says he to the officer, "we are four to two; will you be so kind
as to take that road, and leave me go mine?"

"Your road is mine, my lord," says the officer.

"Then--" says my lord; but he had no time to say more, for the officer,
drawing a pistol, snapped it at his lordship; and at the same moment
Father Holt, drawing a pistol, shot the officer through the head. It was
done, and the man dead in an instant of time. The orderly, gazing at the
officer, looked scared for a moment, and galloped away for his life.

"Fire! Fire!" cries out Father Holt, sending another shot after the
trooper, but the two servants were too much surprised to use their
pieces, and my lord calling to them to hold their hands, the fellow got
away. My lord's party rode on; shortly after midday heard firing, then
met a horseman who told them that the regiments declared an hour too
soon. General Ginckel was down upon them, and the whole thing was at an
end. "We've shot an officer on duty, and let his orderly escape," says
my lord. "Blaise," says Mr. Holt, writing two lines on his table-book,
one for my lady and one for Harry, "you must go back to Castlewood and
deliver these," and Blaise went back and gave Harry the two papers. He
read that to himself, which only said, "Burn the papers in the cupboard;
burn this. You know nothing about anything." Harry read this, ran
upstairs to his mistress's apartment, where her gentlewoman slept near to
the door, made her bring a light and wake my lady, into whose hands he
gave the other paper.

As soon as she had the paper in her hand, Harry stepped back to the
Chaplain's room, opened the secret cupboard over the fireplace, burned
all the papers in it, and, as he had seen the priest do before, took down
one of his reverence's manuscript sermons, and half burnt that in the
brazier. By the time the papers were quite destroyed it was daylight.
Harry ran back to his mistress again. Her gentlewoman ushered him again
into her ladyship's chamber; she told him to bid the coach be got ready,
and that she would ride away anon.

But the mysteries of her ladyship's toilet were as awfully long on this
day as on any other, and, long after the coach was ready, my lady was
still attiring herself. And just as the Viscountess stepped forth from
her room, ready for her departure, young John Lockwood came running up
from the village with news that a lawyer, three officers, and twenty or
four-and-twenty soldiers were marching thence upon the house. John had
but two minutes the start of them, and, ere he had well told his story,
the troop rode into the court-yard.

Her gentlewoman, Victoire, persuaded her that her prudent course was, as
she could not fly, to receive the troops as though she suspected nothing,
and that her chamber was the best place wherein to await them. So her
black Japan casket, which Harry was to carry to the coach, was taken back
to her ladyship's chamber, whither the maid and mistress retired.
Victoire came out presently, bidding the page to say her ladyship was
ill, confined to her bed with the rheumatism.

By this time the soldiers had reached Castlewood, and, preceded by their
commander and a lawyer, were conducted to the stair leading up to the
part of the house which my lord and lady inhabited. The Captain and the
lawyer came through the ante-room to the tapestry parlour, where now was
nobody but young Harry Esmond, the page.

"Tell your mistress, little man," says the Captain kindly, "that we must
speak to her."

"My mistress is ill a-bed," said the page.

"What complaint has she?" asked the Captain.

The boy said, "The rheumatism!"

"Rheumatism! that's a bad complaint," continues the good-natured Captain;
"and the coach is in the yard to fetch the doctor, I suppose?"

"I don't know," says the boy.

"And how long has her ladyship been ill?"

"I don't know," says the boy.

"When did my lord go away?"

"Yesterday night."

"With Father Holt?"

"With Mr. Holt."

"And which way did they travel?" asks the lawyer.

"They travelled without me," says the page.

"We must see Lady Castlewood."

"I have orders that nobody goes in to her ladyship--she is sick," says
the page; but at this moment her maid came out. "Hush!" says she; and, as
if not knowing that any one was near, "What's this noise?" says she. "Is
this gentleman the doctor?"

"Stuff! we must see Lady Castlewood," says the lawyer, pushing by.

The curtains of her ladyship's room were down, and the chamber dark,
and she was in bed with a nightcap on her head, and propped up by
her pillows.

"Is that the doctor?" she said.

"There is no use with this deception, madam," Captain Westbury said (for
so he was named). "My duty is to arrest the person of Thomas, Viscount of
Castlewood, of Robert Tusher, Vicar of Castlewood, and Henry Holt, known
under various other names, a Jesuit priest, who officiated as chaplain
here in the late king's time, and is now at the head of the conspiracy
which was about to break out in this country against the authority of
their Majesties King William and Queen Mary--and my orders are to search
the house for such papers or traces of the conspiracy as may be found
here. Your ladyship will please give me your keys, and it will be as well
for yourself that you should help us, in every way, in our search."

"You see, sir, that I have the rheumatism, and cannot move," said the
lady, looking uncommonly ghastly as she sat up in her bed.

"I shall take leave to place a sentinel in the chamber, so that your
ladyship, in case you should wish to rise, may have an arm to lean on,"
Captain Westbury said. "Your woman will show me where I am to look;" and
Madame Victoire, chatting in her half-French and half-English jargon,
opened while the Captain examined one drawer after another; but, as Harry
Esmond thought, rather carelessly, as if he was only conducting the
examination for form's sake.

Before one of the cupboards Victoire flung herself down, and, with a
piercing shriek, cried, "_Non, jamais, monsieur l'officier! Jamais!_ I
will rather die than let you see this wardrobe."

But Captain Westbury would open it, still with a smile on his face,
which, when the box was opened, turned into a fair burst of laughter. It
contained--not papers regarding the conspiracy--but my lady's wigs,
washes, and rouge-pots, and Victoire said men were monsters, as the
Captain went on with his search. He tapped the back to see whether or no
it was hollow, and as he thrust his hands into the cupboard, my lady from
her bed called out, with a voice that did not sound like that of a very
sick woman:

"Is it your commission to insult ladies as well as to arrest
gentlemen, Captain?"

"These articles are only dangerous when worn by your ladyship," the
Captain said, with a low bow, and a mock grin of politeness. "I have
found nothing which concerns the government as yet--only the weapons with
which beauty is authorised to kill," says he, pointing to a wig with his
sword-tip. "We must now proceed to search the rest of the house."

"You are not going to leave that wretch in the room with me," cried my
lady, pointing to the soldier.

"What can I do, madam? Somebody you must have to smooth your pillow and
bring your medicine--permit me--"

"Sir!" screamed out my lady.

"Madam, if you are too ill to leave the bed," the Captain then said,
rather sternly, "I must have in four of my men to lift you off in the
sheet. I must examine this bed, in a word; papers may be hidden in a bed
as elsewhere; we know that very well, and--"

Here it was her ladyship's turn to shriek, for the Captain, with his
fist shaking the pillows and bolsters, at last wrenching away one of the
pillows, said, "Look! did not I tell you so? Here is a pillow stuffed
with paper. And now your ladyship can move, I am sure; permit me to give
you my hand to rise. You will have to travel for some distance, as far as
Hexton Castle to-night. Will you have your coach? Your woman shall attend
you if you like--and the japan-box?"

"Sir! you don't strike a _man_ when he is down," said my lady, with some
dignity; "can you not spare a woman?"

"Your ladyship must please to rise, and let me search the bed," said the
Captain; "there is no more time to lose in bandying talk."

And, without more ado, the gaunt old woman got up. Harry Esmond
recollected to the end of his life that figure, with the brocade dress
under the white nightdress, and the gold-clocked red stockings, and white
red-heeled shoes, sitting up in the bed, and stepping down from it. The
trunks were ready packed for departure in her ante-room, and the horses
ready harnessed in the stable: about all which the Captain seemed to
know, by information got from some quarter or other; and whence Esmond
could make a pretty shrewd guess in after-times, when Dr. Tusher
complained that King William's government had basely treated him for
services done in that cause.

And here we may relate, though he was then too young to know all that was
happening, what the papers contained, of which Captain Westbury had made
a seizure, and which papers had been transferred from the japan-box to
the bed when the officers arrived.

There was a list of gentlemen of the county, in Father Holt's
handwriting, who were King James's friends; also a patent conferring the
title of Marquis of Esmond on my Lord Castlewood and the heirs-male of
his body; his appointment as Lord-Lieutenant of the County, and
Major-General. There were various letters from the nobility and gentry,
some ardent and some doubtful, and all valuable to the men who found
them, for reasons which the lad knew little about; only being aware that
his patron and his mistress were in some trouble, which had caused the
flight of the one and the apprehension of the other by the officers of
King William.

The seizure of the papers effected, the gentlemen did not pursue their
further search through Castlewood House very rigorously. They only
examined Mr. Holt's room, being led thither by his pupil, who showed, as
the Father had bidden him, the place where the key of his chamber lay,
opened the door for the gentlemen, and conducted them into the room.

When the gentlemen came to the half-burned papers in the bowl, they
examined them eagerly enough, and their young guide was a little amused
at their perplexity.

"What are these?" says one.

"They're written in a foreign language," says the lawyer. "What are
you laughing at, little whelp?" he added, turning round as he saw the
boy smile.

"Mr. Holt said they were sermons," Harry said, "and bade me to burn
them;" which indeed was true of those papers.

"Sermons, indeed--it's treason, I would lay a wager," cries the lawyer.

"Egad! it's Greek to me," says Captain Westbury. "Can you read it,
little boy?"

"Yes, sir, a little," Harry said.

"Then read, and read in English, sir, on your peril," said the lawyer.
And Harry began to translate:

"Hath not one of your own writers said, 'The children of Adam are now
labouring as much as he himself ever did, about the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil, shaking the boughs thereof, and seeking the fruit,
being for the most part unmindful of the tree of life.' O blind
generation! 'tis this tree of knowledge to which the serpent has led
you"--and here the boy was obliged to stop, the rest of the page being
charred by the fire, and asked of the lawyer--"Shall I go on, sir?"

The lawyer said, "This boy is deeper than he seems: who knows that he is
not laughing at us?"

"Let's have in Dick the Scholar," cried Captain Westbury, laughing, and
he called to a trooper out of the window, "Ho, Dick, come in here and
construe."

A soldier, with a good-humoured face, came in at the summons, saluting
his officer.

"Tell us what is this, Dick Steele," says the lawyer.

"'Tis Latin," says Dick, glancing at it, and again saluting his officer,
"and from a sermon of Mr. Cudworth's," and he translated the words pretty
much as Henry Esmond had rendered them.

"What a young scholar you are," says the Captain to the boy.

"Depend on't, he knows more than he tells," says the lawyer. "I think we
will pack him off in the coach with the old lady."

"For construing a bit of Latin?" said the Captain, very good-naturedly.

"I would as lief go there as anywhere," Harry Esmond said, simply, "for
there is nobody to care for me."

There must have been something touching in the child's voice, or in this
description of his solitude, for the Captain looked at him very
good-naturedly, and the trooper called Steele put his hand kindly on the
lad's head, and said some words in the Latin language.

"What does he say?" says the lawyer.

"I said I was not ignorant of misfortune myself, and had learned to
succor the miserable, and that's not your trade, Mr. Sheepskin," said
the trooper.

"You had better leave Dick the Scholar alone, Mr. Corbett!" the Captain
said. And Harry Esmond, always touched by a kind face and a kind word,
felt very grateful to this good-natured champion.

The horses were by this time harnessed to the coach; and my Lady Isabella
was consigned to that vehicle and sent off to Hexton, with her woman and
the man-of-law to bear her company, a couple of troopers riding on either
side of the coach. And Harry was left behind at the Hall, belonging, as
it were, to nobody, and quite alone in the world. The Captain and a guard
of men remained in possession there; and the soldiers, who were very
good-natured and kind, ate my lord's mutton and drank his wine, and made
themselves comfortable, as they well might do in such pleasant quarters.

After the departure of the countess, Dick the Scholar took Harry Esmond
under his special protection, and would talk to him both of French and
Latin, in which tongues the lad found that he was even more proficient
than Scholar Dick. Hearing that he had learned them from a Jesuit, in the
praise of whom and whose goodness Harry was never tired of speaking,
Dick, rather to the boy's surprise, showed a great deal of theological
science, and knowledge of the points at issue between the Catholic and
Protestant churches; so that he and Harry would have hours of
controversy together, with which conversations the long days of the
trooper's stay at Castlewood were whiled away. Though the other troopers
were all gentlemen, they seemed ignorant and vulgar to Harry Esmond, with
the exception of this good-natured Corporal Steele, Scholar, although
Captain Westbury and Lieutenant Trant were always kind to the lad.

They remained for some months at Castlewood, and Harry learned from them,
from time to time, how Lady Isabella was being treated at Hexton Castle,
and the particulars of her confinement there. King William was disposed
to deal very leniently with the gentry who remained faithful to the old
king's cause; and no Prince usurping a crown as his enemies said he did,
ever caused less blood to be shed. As for women-conspirators, he kept
spies on the least dangerous, and locked up the others. Lady Castlewood
had the best rooms in Hexton Castle, and the gaoler's garden to walk in;
and though she repeatedly desired to be led out to execution like Mary
Queen of Scots, there never was any thought of taking her painted old
head off. She even found that some were friends in her misfortune, whom
she had, in her prosperity, considered as her worst enemies. Colonel
Francis Esmond, my lord's cousin and her ladyship's hearing of his
kinswoman's scrape, came to visit her in prison, offering any friendly
services which lay in his power. He brought, too, his lady and little
daughter, Beatrix, the latter a child of great beauty and many winning
ways, to whom the old viscountess took not a little liking, and who was
permitted after that to go often and visit the prisoner.

And now there befell an event by which Lady Isabella recovered her
liberty, and the house of Castlewood got a new owner, Colonel Francis
Esmond, and fatherless little Harry Esmond, the new and most kind
protector and friend, whom we met at the opening of this story. My Lord
of Castlewood was wounded at the battle of the Boyne, flying from which
field he lay for a while concealed in a marsh, and more from cold and
fever caught in the bogs than from the steel of the enemy in the
battle, died.

In those days letters were slow of travelling, and that of a priest
announcing my lord's death took two months or more on its journey from
Ireland to England. When it did arrive, Lady Isabella was still
confined in Hexton Castle, but the letter was opened at Castlewood by
Captain Westbury.

Harry Esmond well remembered the receipt of this letter, which was
brought in as Captain Westbury and Lieutenant Trant were on the Green
playing at Bowls, young Esmond looking on at the sport.

"Something has happened to Lord Castlewood," Captain Westbury said, in a
very grave tone. "He is dead of a wound received at the Boyne, fighting
for King James. I hope he has provided for thee somehow. Thou hast only
him to depend on now."

Harry did not know, he said. He was in the hands of Heaven, as he had
been all the rest of his life. That night as he lay in the darkness he
thought with a pang how Father Holt and two or three soldiers, his
acquaintances of the last six weeks, were the only friends he had in the
great wide world. The soul of the boy was full of love, and he longed as
he lay in the darkness there for someone upon whom he could bestow it.
Lady Isabella was in prison, his patron was dead, Father Holt was
gone,--he knew not where,--Tom Tusher was far away. To whom could he turn
now for comradeship?

He remembered to his dying day the thoughts and tears of that long
night--was there any child in the whole world so unprotected as he?

The next day the gentlemen of the guard, who had heard what had befallen
him, were more than usually kind to the child, and upon talking the
matter over with Dick they decided that Harry should stay where he was,
and abide his fortune; so he stayed on at Castlewood after the garrison
had been ordered away. He was sorry when the kind soldiers vacated
Castlewood, and looked forward with no small anxiety to his fate when the
new lord and lady of the house,--Colonel Francis Esmond and his
wife,--should come to live there. He was now past twelve years old and
had an affectionate heart, tender to weakness, that would gladly attach
itself to somebody, and would not feel at rest until it had found a
friend who would take charge of it.

Then came my lord and lady into their new domain, and my lady's
introduction to the little lad, whom she found in the book-room, as we
have seen.

The instinct which led Henry Esmond to admire and love the gracious
person, the fair apparition, whose beauty and kindness so moved him when
he first beheld her, became soon a passion of gratitude, which entirely
filled his young heart. There seemed, as the boy thought, in her every
look or gesture, an angelic softness and bright pity. In motion or repose
she seemed gracious alike; the tone of her voice, though she spoke words
ever so trivial, gave him a pleasure that amounted almost to pain. It
could not be called love, that a lad of his age felt for his mistress:
but it was worship. To catch her glance, to divine her errand and run on
it before she had spoken it; to watch, follow, adore her, became the
business of his life.

As for my Lord Castlewood, he was good-humoured, of a temper naturally
easy, liking to joke, especially with his inferiors, and charmed to
receive the tribute of their laughter. All exercises of the body he could
perform to perfection--shooting at a mark, breaking horses, riding at the
ring, pitching the quoit, playing at all games with great skill. He was
fond of the parade of dress, and also fond of having his lady well
dressed; who spared no pains in that matter to please him. Indeed, she
would dress her head or cut it off if he had bidden her.

My Lord Viscount took young Esmond into his special favour, luckily for
the lad. A very few months after my lord's coming to Castlewood in the
winter time, little Frank being a child in petticoats, trotting about, it
happened that little Frank was with his father after dinner, who fell
asleep, heedless of the child, who crawled to the fire. As good fortune
would have it, Esmond was sent by his mistress for the boy, just as the
poor little screaming urchin's coat was set on fire by a log. Esmond,
rushing forward, tore the dress off, so that his own hands were burned
more than the little boy's, who was frightened rather than hurt by the
accident. As my lord was sleeping heavily, it certainly was providential
that a resolute person should have come in at that instant, or the child
would have been burned to death.

Ever after this, the father was loud in his expressions of remorse, and
of admiration for Harry Esmond, and had the tenderest regard for his
son's preserver. His burns were tended with the greatest care by his kind
mistress, who said that Heaven had sent him to be the guardian of her
children, and that she would love him all her life.

And it was after this, and from the very great love and tenderness which
grew up in this little household, that Harry came to be quite of the
religion of his house, and his dear mistress, of which he has ever since
been a professing member.

My lady had three idols: her lord, the good Viscount of Castlewood,--her
little son, who had his father's looks and curly, brown hair,--and her
daughter Beatrix, who had his eyes--were there ever such beautiful eyes
in the world?

A pretty sight it was to see the fair mistress of Castlewood, her little
daughter at her knee, and her domestics gathered around her, reading the
Morning Prayer of the English Church. Esmond long remembered how she
looked and spoke, kneeling reverently before the sacred book, the sun
shining upon her golden hair until it made a halo round about her, a
dozen of the servants of the house kneeling in a line opposite their
mistress. For a while Harry Esmond as a good papist kept apart from these
mysteries, but Dr. Tusher, showing him that the prayers read were those
of the Church of all ages, he came presently to kneel down with the rest
of the household in the parlour; and before a couple of years my lady had
made a thorough convert. Indeed, the boy loved her so much that he would
have subscribed to anything she bade him at that time, and the happiest
period of all his life was this: when the young mother, with her daughter
and son, and the orphan lad whom she protected, read and worked and
played, and were children together.

But as Esmond grew, and observed for himself, he found much to read and
think of outside that fond circle of kinsfolk. He read more books than
they cared to study with him; was alone in the midst of them many a time,
and passed nights over labours, useless perhaps, but in which they could
not join him. His dear mistress divined his thoughts with her usual
jealous watchfulness of affection; began to forebode a time when he
would escape from his home nest; and at his eager protestations to the
contrary, would only sigh and shake her head, knowing that some day her
predictions would come true.

Meanwhile evil fortune came upon the inmates of Castlewood Hall; brought
thither by no other than Harry himself. In those early days, before Lady
Mary Wortley Montague brought home the custom of inoculation from Turkey,
smallpox was considered, as indeed it was, the most dreadful scourge of
the world. The pestilence would enter a village and destroy half its
inhabitants. At its approach not only the beautiful, but the strongest
were alarmed, and those fled who could.

One day in the year 1694 Dr. Tusher ran into Castlewood House with a face
of consternation, saying that the malady had made its appearance in the
village, that a child at the Inn was down with the smallpox.

Now there was a pretty girl at this Inn, Nancy Sievewright, the
blacksmith's daughter, a bouncing, fresh-looking lass, with whom Harry
Esmond in his walks and rambles often happened to fall in; or, failing to
meet her, he would discover some errand to be done at the blacksmith's,
or would go to the Inn to find her.

When Dr. Tusher brought the news that smallpox was at the Inn, Henry
Esmond's first thought was of alarm for poor Nancy, and then of disquiet
for the Castlewood family, lest he might have brought this infection to
them; for the truth is, that Mr. Harry had been sitting that day for an
hour with Nancy Sievewright, holding her little brother, who had
complained of headache, on his knee; and had also since then been drawing
pictures and telling stories to little Frank Castlewood, who had occupied
his knee for an hour after dinner, and was never tired of Henry's tales
of soldiers and horses. As luck would have it, Beatrix had not that
evening taken her usual place, which generally she was glad enough to
take, upon her tutor's lap. For Beatrix, from the earliest time, was
jealous of every caress which was given to her little brother Frank. She
would fling away even from her mother's arms if she saw Frank had been
there before her; she would turn pale and red with rage if she caught
signs of affection between Frank and his mother; would sit apart and not
speak for a whole night, if she thought the boy had a better fruit or a
larger cake than hers; would fling away a ribbon if he had one too; and
from the earliest age, sitting up in her little chair by the great
fireplace opposite to the corner where Lady Castlewood commonly sat at
her embroidery, would utter childish sarcasm about the favour shown to
her brother. These, if spoken in the presence of Lord Castlewood, tickled
and amused his humour; he would pretend to love Frank best, and dandle
and kiss him, and roar with laughter at Beatrix's jealousy.

So it chanced that upon this very day, when poor Harry Esmond had had the
blacksmith's son, and the peer's son, alike upon his knee, little Beatrix
had refused to take that place, seeing it had been occupied by her
brother, and, luckily for her, had sat at the further end of the room
away from him, playing with a spaniel dog which she had--for which by
fits and starts she would take a great affection--and talking at Harry
Esmond over her shoulder, as she pretended to caress the dog, saying that
Fido would love her, and she would love Fido and no one but Fido all the
rest of her life.

When, then, Dr. Tusher brought the news that the little boy at the Inn
was ill with the smallpox, poor Harry Esmond felt a shock of alarm, not
so much for himself as for little Frank, whom he might have brought into
peril. Beatrix, who had by this time pouted sufficiently (and who,
whenever a stranger appeared, began from infancy almost to play off
little graces to catch his attention), her brother being now gone to bed,
was for taking her place upon Esmond's knee: for though the Doctor was
very attentive to her, she did not like him because he had thick boots
and dirty hands (the pert young miss said), and because she hated
learning the catechism.

But as she advanced toward Esmond, he started back, and placed the
great chair on which he was sitting between him and her--saying in
French to Lady Castlewood, "Madam, the child must not approach me; I
must tell you that I was at the blacksmith's to-day, and had his little
boy upon my lap."

"Where you took my son afterwards!" Lady Castlewood cried, very angry,
and turning red. "I thank you, sir, for giving him such company.
Beatrix," she continued in English, "I forbid you to touch Mr. Esmond.
Come away, child--come to your room. Come to your room--I wish your
reverence good-night"--this to Dr. Tusher--adding to Harry: "and you,
sir, had not you better go back to your friends at the Inn?"

Her eyes, ordinarily so kind, darted flashes of anger as she spoke; and
she tossed up her head with the mien of a Princess, adding such words of
reproach and indignation that Harry Esmond, to whom she had never once
before uttered a syllable of unkindness, stood for some moments
bewildered with grief and rage at the injustice of her reproaches. He
turned quite white from red, and answered her in a low voice, ending his
little speech with these words, addressed to Lord Castlewood: "Heaven
bless you and yours for your goodness to me. I have tired her ladyship's
kindness out, and I will go;" and sinking down on his knee, took the
rough hand of his benefactor and kissed it.

Here my lady burst into a flood of tears, and quitted the room, as my
lord raised up Harry Esmond from his kneeling posture, put his broad hand
on the lad's shoulder, and spoke kindly to him. Then, suddenly
remembering that Harry might have brought the infection with him, he
stepped back suddenly, saying, "Keep off, Harry, my boy; there is no good
in running into the wolf's jaws, you know!"

My lady, who had now returned to the room, said: "There is no use, my
lord. Frank was on his knee as he was making pictures, and was running
constantly from Henry to me. The evil is done, if any."

"Not with me!" cried my lord. "I've been smoking, and it keeps off
infection, and as the disease is in the village, plague take it, I would
have you leave it. We'll go to-morrow to Wolcott."

"I have no fear, my lord," said my lady; "it broke out in our house when
I was an infant, and when four of my sisters had it at home, two years
before our marriage, I escaped it."

"I won't run the risk," said my lord; "I am as bold as any man, but I'll
not bear that."

"Take Beatrix with you and go," said my lady. "For us the mischief is
done."

Then my lord, calling away Tusher, bade him come to the oak parlour and
have a pipe. When my lady and Harry Esmond were alone there was a silence
of some moments, after which her ladyship spoke in a hard, dry voice of
her objections to his intimacy with the blacksmith's daughter, and she
added, "Under all the circumstances I shall beg my lord to despatch you
from this house as quick as possible; and will go on with Frank's
learning as well as I can. I owe my father thanks for a little
grounding, and you, I am sure, for much that you have taught me. And--I
wish you a good-night."

And with this she dropped a stately curtsy, and, taking her candle, went
away through the tapestry door which led to her apartments. Esmond stood
by the fireplace, blankly staring after her. Indeed, he scarce seemed to
see until she was gone; and then her image was impressed upon him, and
remained forever fixed upon his memory. He saw her retreating, the taper
lighting up her marble face, her scarlet lip quivering, and her shining
golden hair. He went to his own room, and to bed, where he tried to read,
as his custom was; but he never knew what he was reading. And he could
not get to sleep until daylight, and woke with a violent headache, and
quite unrefreshed.

He had brought the contagion with him from the Inn, sure enough, and was
presently laid up with the smallpox, which spared the Hall no more than
it did the cottage.

When Harry Esmond passed through the crisis of that malady, and returned
to health again, he found that little Frank Esmond had also suffered and
rallied after the disease, and that Lady Castlewood was down with it,
with a couple more of the household. "It was a Providence, for which we
all ought to be thankful," Dr. Tusher said, "that my lady and her son
were spared, while death carried off the poor domestics of the house;"
and he rebuked Harry for asking in his simply way, for which we ought to
be thankful; that the servants were killed or the gentlefolk were saved?
Nor could young Esmond agree with the Doctor that the malady had not in
the least impaired my lady's charms, for Harry thought that her
ladyship's beauty was very much injured by the smallpox. When the marks
of the disease cleared away, they did not, it is true, leave scars on
her face, except one on her forehead, but the delicacy of her complexion
was gone, her eyes had lost their brilliancy and her face looked older.
When Tusher vowed and protested that this was not so, in the presence of
my lady, the lad broke out impulsively, and said, "It is true; my
mistress is not near so handsome as she was!" On which poor Lady
Castlewood gave a rueful smile, and a look into a little glass she had,
which showed her, I suppose, that what the stupid boy said was only too
true, for she turned away from the glass, and her eyes filled with tears.

The sight of these on the face of the lady whom he loved best filled
Esmond's heart with a soft of rage of pity, and the young blunderer sank
down on his knees and besought her to pardon him, saying that he was a
fool and an idiot, that he was a brute to make such a speech, he, who
caused her malady; and Dr. Tusher told him that he was a bear indeed, and
a bear he would remain, after which speech poor young Esmond was so
dumb-stricken that he did not even growl.

"He is my bear, and I will not have him baited, Doctor," my lady said,
patting her hand kindly on the boy's head, as he was still kneeling at
her feet. "How your hair has come off!--and mine, too," she added, with
another sigh.

"Madam, you have the dearest, and kindest, and sweetest face in the
world, I think," the lad said.

"Will my lord think so when he comes back?" the lady asked with a sigh,
and another look at her glass. Then turning to her young son she said,
"Come, Frank, come, my child. You are well, praised be Heaven. _Your_
locks are not thinned by this dreadful smallpox; nor your poor face
scarred--is it, my angel?"

Frank began to shout and whimper at the idea of such a misfortune, for
from the very earliest time the young lord had been taught by his mother
to admire his own beauty; and esteemed it very highly.

At length, when the danger was quite over, it was announced that my lord
and Beatrix would return. Esmond well remembered the day. My lady was in
a flurry of fear. Before my lord came she went into her room, and
returned from it with reddened cheeks. Her fate was about to be decided.
Would my lord--who cared so much for physical perfection--find hers gone,
too? A minute would say. She saw him come riding over the bridge, clad in
scarlet, and mounted on his grey hackney, his little daughter beside him,
in a bright riding dress of blue, on a shining chestnut horse. My lady
put her handkerchief to her eyes, and withdrew it, laughing hysterically.
She ran to her room again, and came back with pale cheeks and red eyes,
her son beside her, just as my lord entered, accompanied by young Esmond,
who had gone out to meet his protector, and to hold his stirrup as he
descended from horseback.

"What, Harry boy!" he exclaimed good-naturedly, "you look as gaunt as a
greyhound. The smallpox hasn't improved your beauty, and you never had
too much of it--ho!"

And he laughed and sprang to the ground, looking handsome and red, with a
jolly face and brown hair. Esmond, kneeling again, as soon as his patron
had descended, performed his homage, and then went to help the little
Beatrix from her horse.

"Fie! how yellow you look," she said; "and there are one, two red holes
in your face;" which indeed was very true, Harry Esmond's harsh
countenance bearing as long as he lived the marks of the disease.

My lord laughed again, in high good-humour, exclaiming with one of his
usual oaths, "The little minx sees everything. She saw the dowager's
paint t'other day, and asked her why she wore that red stuff--didn't you,
Trix? And the Tower; and St. James's; and the play; and the Prince
George; and the Princess Ann--didn't you, Trix?"

"They are both very fat, and smelt of brandy," the child said.

Papa roared with laughing.

"Brandy!" he said. "And how do you know, Miss Pert?"

"Because your lordship smells of it after supper, when I kiss you before
I go to bed," said the young lady, who indeed was as pert as her father
said, and looked as beautiful a little gipsy as eyes ever gazed on.

"And now for my lady," said my lord, going up the stairs, and passing
alone under the tapestry curtain that hung before the drawing-room door.
Esmond always remembered that noble figure, handsomely arrayed in
scarlet. Within the last few months he himself had grown from a boy to be
a man, and with his figure his thoughts had shot up, and grown manly.

After her lord's return, Harry Esmond watched my lady's countenance with
solicitous affection, and noting its sad, depressed look realised that
there was a marked change in her. In her eagerness to please her husband
she practised a hundred arts which had formerly pleased him, charmed him,
but in vain. Her songs did not amuse him, and she hushed them and the
children when in his presence. Her silence annoyed him as much as her
speech; and it seemed as if nothing she could do or say could please him.
But for Harry Esmond his benefactress' sweet face had lost none of its
charms. It had always the kindest of looks and smiles for him; not so gay
and artless perhaps as those which Lady Castlewood had formerly worn, but
out of her griefs and cares, as will happen when trials fall upon a
kindly heart, grew up a number of thoughts and virtues which had never
come into existence, had not her sorrow given birth to them.

When Lady Castlewood found that she had lost the freshness of her
husband's admiration, she turned all her thoughts to the welfare of her
children, learning that she might teach them, and improving her many
natural gifts and accomplishments that she might impart them. She made
herself a good scholar of French, Italian, and Latin. Young Esmond was
house-tutor under her or over her, as it might happen, no more having
been said of his leaving Castlewood since the night before he came down
with the smallpox. During my lord's many absences these school days would
go on uninterruptedly: the mother and daughter learning with surprising
quickness, the latter by fits and starts only, as suited her wayward
humour. As for the little lord, it must be owned that he took after his
father in the matter of learning, liked marbles and play and sport best,
and enjoyed marshalling the village boys, of whom he had a little court;
already flogging them, and domineering over them with a fine imperious
spirit that made his father laugh when he beheld it, and his mother
fondly warn him. Dr. Tusher said he was a young nobleman of gallant
spirit; and Harry Esmond, who was eight years his little lordship's
senior, had hard work sometimes to keep his own temper, and hold his
authority over his rebellious little chief.

Indeed, "Mr. Tutor," as my lady called Esmond, had now business enough on
his hands in Castlewood house. He had his pupils, besides writing my
lord's letters, and arranging his accounts for him, when these could be
got from his indolent patron.

Of the pupils the two young people were but lazy scholars, and as my
lady would admit no discipline such as was then in use, my lord's son
only learned what he liked, which was but little, and never to his life's
end could be got to construe more than six lines of Virgil. Mistress
Beatrix chattered French prettily, from a very early age; and sang
sweetly, but this was from her mother's teaching, not Harry Esmond's, who
could scarce distinguish one air from another, although he had no greater
delight in life than to hear the ladies sing. He never forgot them as
they used to sit together of the summer evenings, the two golden heads
over the page, the child's little hand, and the mother's, beating the
time with their voices rising and falling in unison.

But these happy days were to end soon, and it was by Lady Castlewood's
own decree that they were brought to a conclusion. It happened about
Christmas time, Harry Esmond being now past sixteen years of age, that
his old comrade, Tom Tusher, returned from school in London, a fair,
well-grown and sturdy lad, who was about to enter college, with good
marks from his school, and a prospect of after-promotion in the church.
Tom Tusher's talk was of nothing but Cambridge now; and the boys examined
each other eagerly about their progress in books. Tom had learned some
Greek and Hebrew, besides Latin, in which he was pretty well skilled, and
also had given himself to mathematical study under his father's guidance.
Harry Esmond could not write Latin as well as Tom, though he could talk
it better, having been taught by his dear friend the Jesuit Father, for
whose memory the lad ever retained the warmest affection, reading his
books, and keeping his swords clean. Often of a night sitting in the
Chaplain's room, over his books, his verses, his rubbish, with which the
lad occupied himself, he would look up at the window, wishing it might
open and let in the good father. He had come and passed away like a
dream; but for the swords and books Harry might almost think he was an
imagination of his mind--and for two letters which had come from him, one
from abroad, full of advice and affection, another soon after Harry had
been confirmed by the Bishop of Hexton, in which Father Holt deplored his
falling away from the true faith. But it would have taken greater
persuasion than his to induce the boy to worship other than with his
beloved mistress, and under her kind eyes he read many volumes of the
works of the famous British divines of the last age. His mistress never
tired of pursuing their texts with fond comments, or to urge those points
which her fancy dwelt on most, or her reason deemed most important.

In later life, at the University, Esmond pursued the subject in a very
different manner, as was suitable for one who was to become a clergyman.
But his heart was never much inclined towards this calling. He made up
his mind to wear the cassock and bands as another man does to wear a
breastplate and jack-boots, or to mount a merchant's desk for a
livelihood--from obedience and necessity, rather than from choice.

When Thomas Tusher was gone, a feeling of no small depression and
disquiet fell upon young Esmond, of which, though he did not complain,
his kind mistress must have guessed the cause: for, soon after, she
showed not only that she understood the reason of Harry's melancholy,
but could provide a remedy for it. All the notice, however, which she
seemed to take of his melancholy, was by a gaiety unusual to her,
attempting to dispel his gloom. She made his scholars more cheerful than
ever they had been before, and more obedient, too, learning and reading
much more than they had been accustomed to do. "For who knows," said
the lady, "what may happen, and whether we may be able to keep such a
learned tutor long?"

Frank Esmond said he for his part did not want to learn any more, and
cousin Harry might shut up his book whenever he liked, if he would come
out a-fishing; and little Beatrix declared she would send for Tom
Tusher, and _he_ would be glad enough to come to Castlewood, if Harry
chose to go away.

At last came a messenger from Winchester one day, bearer of a letter
with a great black seal, from the Dean there, to say that his sister was
dead, and had left her fortune among her six nieces, of which Lady
Castlewood was one.

When my lord heard of the news, he made no pretence of grieving.

"The money will come very handy to furnish the music-room and the cellar,
which is getting low, and buy your ladyship a coat, and a couple of new
horses. And, Beatrix, you shall have a spinnet; and, Frank, you shall
have a little horse from Hexton Fair; and, Harry, you shall have five
pounds to buy some books," said my lord, who was generous with his own,
and indeed with other folk's money.

"I wish your aunt would die once a year, Rachel; we could spend your
money, and all your sisters', too."

"I have but one aunt--and--and I have another use for the money, my
lord," said my lady.

"Another use, my dear; and what do you know about money?" said my lord.
"And what the devil is there that I don't give you which you want?"

"I intend this money for Harry Esmond to go to college," says my lady.
"You mustn't stay longer in this dull place, but make a name for
yourself, and for us, too, Harry."

"Is Harry going away? You don't mean to say you will go away?" cried out
Frank and Beatrix in one breath.

"But he will come back; and this will always be his home," cried my lady,
with blue eyes looking a celestial kindness. "And his scholars will
always love him, won't they?"

"Rachel, you're a good woman!" exclaimed my lord, with an oath, seizing
my lady's hand. "I wish you joy!" he continued, giving Harry Esmond a
hearty slap on the shoulder. "I won't balk your luck. Go to Cambridge,
boy, and when Tusher dies you shall have the living here, if you are not
better provided by that time. We'll furnish the dining-room and buy the
horses another year. I'll give thee a nag out of the stables; take any
one except my hack and the bay gelding and the coach horses; and God
speed thee, my boy!"

"Have the sorrel, Harry; 'tis a good one. Father says 'tis the best in
the stable," said little Frank, clapping his hands and jumping up.
"Let's come and see him in the stable." And Harry Esmond in his delight
and eagerness was for leaving the room that instant to arrange about
his journey.

The Lady Castlewood looked after him with sad penetrating glances.

"He wishes to be gone already, my lord," said she to her husband.

The young man hung back abashed. "Indeed, I would stay forever if your
ladyship bade me," he said.

"And thou wouldst be a fool for thy pains," said my lord. "Tut, tut, man.
Go and see the world. Sow thy wild oats; and take the best luck that fate
sends thee. I wish I were a boy again, that I might go to college and
taste the Thumpington ale."

"Indeed, you are best away," said my lady, laughing, as she put her hand
on the boy's head for a moment. "You shall stay in no such dull place.
You shall go to college and distinguish yourself as becomes your name.
That is how you shall please me best; and--and if my children want you,
or I want you, you shall come to us; and I know we may count on you."

"May Heaven forsake me if you may not!" Harry said, getting up
from his knee.

"And my knight longs for a dragon this instant that he may fight," said
my lady, laughing; which speech made Harry Esmond start, and turn red;
for indeed the very thought was in his mind, that he would like that some
chance should immediately happen whereby he might show his devotion. And
it pleased him to think that his lady had called him "her knight," and
often and often he recalled this to his mind, and prayed that he might be
her true knight, too.

My lady's bed-chamber window looked out over the country, and you could
see from it the purple hills beyond Castlewood village, the green common
betwixt that and the Hall, and the old bridge which crossed over the
river. When Harry Esmond went away to Cambridge, little Frank ran
alongside his horse as far as the bridge, and there Harry stopped for a
moment, and looked back at the house where the best part of his life had
been passed.

It lay before him with its grey familiar towers, a pinnacle or two
shining in the sun, the buttresses and terrace walls casting great blue
shades on the grass. And Harry remembered all his life after how he saw
his mistress at the window looking out on him in a white robe, the little
Beatrix's chestnut curls resting at her mother's side. Both waved a
farewell to him, and little Frank sobbed to leave him. Yes, he _would_
be his lady's true knight, he vowed in his heart; he waved her an adieu
with his hat. The village people had good-bye to say to him, too. All
knew that Master Harry was going to college, and most of them had a kind
word and a look of farewell. I do not stop to say what adventures he
began to imagine, or what career to devise for himself before he had
ridden three miles from home. He had not read the Arabian tales as yet;
but be sure that there are other folks who build castles in the air, and
have fine hopes, and kick them down, too, besides honest Alnaschar.

This change in his life was a very fine thing indeed for Harry, who rode
away in company of my lord, who said he should like to revisit the old
haunts of his youth, and so accompanied Harry to Cambridge. Their road
lay through London, where my Lord Viscount would have Harry stay a few
days to see the pleasures of the town before he entered upon his
university studies, and whilst here Harry's patron conducted the young
man to my lady dowager's house near London. Lady Isabella received them
cordially, and asked Harry what his profession was to be. Upon hearing
that the lad was to take orders, and to have the living of Castlewood
when old Dr. Tusher vacated it, she seemed glad that the youth should be
so provided for.

She bade Harry Esmond pay her a visit whenever he passed through London,
and carried her graciousness so far as to send a purse with twenty
guineas for him to the tavern where he and his lord were staying, and
with this welcome gift sent also a little doll for Beatrix, who, however,
was growing beyond the age of dolls by this time, and was almost as tall
as Lady Isabella.

After seeing the town, and going to the plays, my Lord Castlewood and
Esmond rode together to Cambridge, spending two pleasant days upon the
journey. Those rapid new coaches that performed the journey in a single
day were not yet established, but the road was pleasant and short enough
to Harry Esmond, and he always gratefully remembered that happy holiday
which his kind patron gave him.

Henry Esmond was entered at Trinity College, Cambridge, to which famous
college my lord had also in his youth belonged. My Lord Viscount was
received with great politeness by the head master, as well as by Mr.
Bridge, who was appointed to be Harry's tutor. Tom Tusher, who was by
this time a junior Soph, came to take Harry under his protection; and
comfortable rooms being provided for him, Harry's patron took leave of
him with many kind words and blessings, and an admonition to have to
behave better at the University than my lord himself had ever done.

Thus began Harry Esmond's college career, which was in no wise different
from that of a hundred other young gentlemen of that day. Meanwhile,
while he was becoming used to the manners and customs of his new life and
enjoying it thoroughly in his quiet way; at Castlewood Hall life was not
so cheerful as it had been when he was there to note his mistress' sorrow
or joy and act according to her need.

Coming home to his dear Castlewood in the third year of his academic
course, Harry was overjoyed to see again the kind blue eyes of his
mistress, when she and the children came to greet him. He found Frank
shooting up to be like his gallant father in looks and in tastes. He had
his hawks, and his spaniel dog, his little horse, and his beagles; had
learned to ride and to shoot flying, and had a small court made up of
the sons of the huntsmen and woodsmen, over whom he ruled as imperiously
as became the heir-apparent.

As for Beatrix, Esmond found her grown to be taller than her mother, a
slim and lovely young girl, with cheeks mantling with health and roses;
with eyes like stars shining out of azure, with waving bronze hair
clustered about the fairest young forehead ever seen; and a mien and
shape haughty and beautiful, such as that of the famous antique statue of
the huntress Diana.

This bright creature was the darling and torment of father and mother.
She intrigued with each secretly, and bestowed her fondness and withdrew
it, plied them with tears, smiles, kisses, caresses; when the mother was
angry, flew to the father; when both were displeased, transferred her
caresses to the domestics, or watched until she could win back her
parents' good graces, either by surprising them into laughter and
good-humour, or appeasing them by submissive and an artful humility. She
had been a coquette from her earliest days; had long learned the value of
her bright eyes, and tried experiments in coquetry upon rustics and
country 'squires until she should have opportunity to conquer a larger
world in later years.

When, then, Harry Esmond came home to Castlewood for his last vacation he
found his old pupil shot up into this capricious beauty; her brother, a
handsome, high-spirited, brave lad, generous and frank and kind to
everybody, save perhaps Beatrix, with whom he was perpetually at war, and
not from his, but her, fault; adoring his mother, whose joy he was. And
Lady Castlewood was no whit less gracious and attractive to Harry than in
the old days when as a lad he had first kissed her fair, protecting hand.

Such was the group who welcomed Henry Esmond on his return from college.

Not anticipating the future, not looking ahead, let us leave beautiful
Beatrix, imperious young Frank, sweet Lady Castlewood, giving a glad
welcome to their old friend and tutor. Truly we carry away a pretty
picture as we finish this chapter of Esmond's youth.



THE VIRGINIANS


[Illustration: WARRINGTON AND GEORGE WASHINGTON.]

Henry Esmond, Esq., an officer who had served with the rank of Colonel
during the wars of Queen Anne's reign, found himself at its close
involved in certain complications, both political and private. For this
reason Mr. Esmond thought best to establish himself in Virginia, where he
took possession of a large estate conferred by King Charles I. upon his
ancestor. Mr. Esmond previously to this had married Rachel, widow of the
late Francis Castlewood, Baronet, by whom he had one daughter, afterwards
Madame Warrington, whose twin sons, George and Henry Warrington, were
known as the Virginians.

Mr. Esmond called his American house Castlewood, from the family estate
in England. The whole customs of Virginia, indeed, were fondly modelled
after the English customs. The Virginians boasted that King Charles II.
had been king in Virginia before he had been king in England. The
resident gentry were connected with good English families and lived on
their great lands after a fashion almost patriarchal. For its rough
cultivation, each estate had a multitude of hands, who were subject to
the command of the master. The land yielded their food, live stock and
game. The great rivers swarmed with fish for the taking. Their ships took
the tobacco off their private wharves on the banks of the Potomac or the
James River, and carried it to London or Bristol, bringing back English
goods and articles of home manufacture in return for the only produce
which the Virginian gentry chose to cultivate. Their hospitality was
boundless. No stranger was ever sent away from their gates. The question
of slavery was not born at the time of which we write. To be the
proprietor of black servants shocked the feelings of no Virginian
gentleman; nor, in truth, was the despotism exercised over the negro race
generally a savage one. The food was plenty; the poor black people lazy
and not unhappy. You might have preached negro-emancipation to Madame
Esmond of Castlewood as you might have told her to let the horses run
loose out of the stables; she had no doubt but that the whip and the
corn-bag were good for both.

Having lost his wife, his daughter took the management of the Colonel and
his estate, and managed both with the spirit and determination which
governed her management of every person and thing which came within her
jurisdiction.

After fifteen years' residence upon his great Virginian estate the
Colonel agreed in his daughter's desire to replace the wooden house in
which they lived, with a nobler mansion which would be more fitting for
his heirs to inherit. His daughter had a very high opinion indeed of her
ancestry, and her father, growing exquisitely calm and good-natured in
his serene declining years, humoured his child's peculiarities and
interests in an easy bantering way. Truth to tell, there were few
families in England with nobler connections than the Esmonds. The
Virginians, Madame Rachel Warrington's sons, inherited the finest blood
and traditions, and the rightful king of England had not two more
faithful little subjects than the young twins of Castlewood.

At Colonel Esmond's death, Madame Esmond, as she was thereafter called,
proclaimed her eldest son, George, heir of the estate; and Harry,
George's younger brother by half an hour, was instructed to respect his
senior. All the household was also instructed to pay him honour, and in
the whole family of servants there was only one rebel, Harry's
foster-mother, a faithful negro woman who never could be made to
understand why her child should not be first, who was handsomer and
stronger and cleverer than his brother, as she vowed; though in truth,
there was not much difference in the beauty, strength, or stature of the
twins. In disposition, they were in many points exceedingly unlike; but
in feature they resembled each other so closely that, but for the colour
of their hair, it had been difficult to distinguish them. In their beds,
and when their heads were covered with those vast ribboned nightcaps
which our great and little ancestors wore, it was scarcely possible for
any but a nurse or a mother to tell the one from the other child.

Howbeit, alike in form, we have said that they differed in temper. The
elder was peaceful, studious and silent; the younger was warlike and
noisy. He was quick at learning when he began, but very slow at
beginning. No threats of the ferule would provoke Harry to learn in an
idle fit, or would prevent George from helping his brother in his lesson.
Harry was of a strong military turn, drilled the little negroes on the
estate, and caned them like a corporal, having many good boxing-matches
with them, and never bearing malice if he was worsted; whereas George was
sparing of blows, and gentle with all about him. As the custom in all
families was, each of the boys had a special little servant assigned
him; and it was a known fact that George, finding his little wretch of a
blackamoor asleep on his master's bed, sat down beside it and brushed the
flies off the child with a feather-fan, to the horror of old Gumbo, the
child's father, who found his young master so engaged, and to the
indignation of Madame Esmond, who ordered the young negro off to the
proper officer for a whipping. In vain George implored and entreated,
burst into passionate tears and besought a remission of the sentence. His
mother was inflexible regarding the young rebel's punishment, and the
little negro went off beseeching his young master not to cry.

A fierce quarrel between mother and son ensued out of this event. Her son
would not be pacified. He said the punishment was a shame--a shame; that
he was the master of the boy, and no one--no, not his mother--had a right
to touch him; that she might order _him_ to be corrected, and that he
would suffer the punishment, as he and Harry often had, but no one should
lay a hand on his boy. Trembling with passionate rebellion against what
he conceived the injustice of the procedure, he vowed that on the day he
came of age he would set young Gumbo free; went to visit the child in the
slaves' quarters, and gave him one of his own toys.

The black martyr was an impudent, lazy, saucy little personage, who would
be none the worse for a whipping, as the Colonel, who was then living, no
doubt thought; for he acquiesced in the child's punishment when Madame
Esmond insisted upon it, and only laughed in his good-natured way when
his indignant grandson called out:

"You let mamma rule you in everything, grandpapa."

"Why so I do," says grandpapa. "Rachel, my love, the way in which I am
petticoat-ridden is so evident that even this baby has found it out."

"Then why don't you stand up like a man?" says little Harry, who always
was ready to abet his brother.

Grandpapa looked queerly.

"Because I like sitting down best, my dear," he said. "I am an old
gentleman, and standing fatigues me."

On account of a certain apish drollery and humour which exhibited itself
in the lad, and a liking for some of the old man's pursuits, the first of
the twins was the grandfather's favourite and companion, and would laugh
and talk out all his infantine heart to the old gentleman, to whom the
younger had seldom a word to say. George was a demure, studious boy, and
his senses seemed to brighten up in the library, where his brother was so
gloomy. He knew the books before he could well-nigh carry them, and read
in them long before he could understand them. Harry, on the other hand,
was all alive in the stables or in the wood, eager for all parties of
hunting and fishing, and promised to be a good sportsman from a very
early age. The grandfather's ship was sailing for Europe once when the
boys were children, and they were asked what present Captain Franks would
bring them back? George was divided between books and a fiddle; Harry
instantly declared for a little gun; and Madame Warrington (as she then
was called) was hurt that her elder boy should have low tastes, and
applauded the younger's choice as more worthy of his name and lineage.

"Books, papa, I can fancy to be a good choice," she replied to her
father, who tried to convince her that George had a right to his
opinion, "though I am sure you must have pretty nigh all the books in
the world already. But I never can desire--I may be wrong--but I never
can desire, that my son, and the grandson of the Marquis of Esmond,
should be a fiddler."

"Should be a fiddlestick, my dear," the old Colonel answered. "Remember
that Heaven's ways are not ours, and that each creature born has a little
kingdom of thought of his own, which it is a sin in us to invade. Suppose
George loves music? You can no more stop him than you can order a rose
not to smell sweet, or a bird not to sing."

"A bird! A bird sings from nature; George did not come into the world
with a fiddle in his hand," says Mrs. Warrington, with a toss of her
head. "I am sure I hated the harpsichord when a chit at Kensington
school, and only learned it to please my mamma. Say what you will, I
cannot believe that this fiddling is work for persons of fashion."

"And King David who played the harp, my dear?"

"I wish my papa would read him more, and not speak about him in that
way," said Mrs. Warrington.

"Nay, my dear, it was but by way of illustration," the father replied
gently. It was Colonel's Esmond's nature always to be led by a woman,
and he spoiled his daughter; laughing at her caprices, but humouring
them; making a joke of her prejudices, but letting them have their way;
indulging, and perhaps increasing, her natural imperiousness of
character, which asserted itself to an unusual degree after her
father's death.

The Colonel's funeral was the most sumptuous one ever seen in the
country. The little lads of Castlewood, almost smothered in black trains
and hat bands, headed the procession, followed by Madame Esmond
Warrington (as she called herself after her father's death), by my Lord
Fairfax, by his Excellency the Governor of Virginia, by the Randolphs,
the Careys, the Harrisons, the Washingtons, and many others, for the
whole county esteemed the departed gentleman whose goodness, whose high
talents, whose unobtrusive benevolence had earned for him the just
respect of his neighbours.

The management of the house of Castlewood had been in the hands of his
daughter long before the Colonel slept the sleep of the just, for the
truth is little Madame Esmond never came near man or woman but she tried
to domineer over them. If people obeyed, she was their very good friend;
if they resisted, she fought and fought until she or they gave in, and
without her father's influence to restrain her she was now more despotic
than ever. She exercised a rigid supervision over the estate; dismissed
Colonel Esmond's English factor and employed a new one; built, improved,
planted, grew tobacco, appointed a new overseer, and imported a new tutor
for her boys. The little queen domineered over her little dominion, and
over the princes her sons as well, thereby falling out frequently with
her neighbours, with her relatives, and with her sons also.

A very early difference which occurred between the queen and crown prince
arose out of the dismissal of the lad's tutor, Mr. Dempster, who had also
been the late Colonel's secretary. Upon his retirement George vowed he
never would forsake his old tutor, and kept his promise. Another cause of
dispute between George and his mother presently ensued.

By the death of an aunt, the heirs of Mr. George Warrington became
entitled to a sum of six thousand pounds, of which their mother was one
of the trustees. She never could be made to understand that she was not
the proprietor, but merely the trustee of this money; and was furious
with the London lawyer who refused to send it over at her order. "Is not
all I have my sons'?" she cried, "and would I not cut myself into little
pieces to serve them? With the six thousand pounds I would have bought
Mr. Boulter's estate and negroes, which would have given us a good
thousand pounds a year, and made a handsome provision for my Harry." Her
young friend and neighbour, Mr. Washington of Mount Vernon, could not
convince her that the London agent was right, and must not give up his
trust except to those for whom he held it.

George Esmond, when this little matter was referred to him, and his
mother vehemently insisted that he should declare himself, was of the
opinion of Mr. Washington and Mr. Draper, the London lawyer. The boy said
he could not help himself. He did not want the money; he would be very
glad to give the money to his mother if he had the power. But Madame
Esmond would not hear of these reasons. Here was a chance of making
Harry's fortune--dear Harry, who was left with such a slender younger
brother's pittance--and the wretches in London would not help him; his
own brother, who inherited all his papa's estate, would not help him. To
think of a child of hers being so mean at _fourteen years of age_!

Into this state of mind the incident plunged Madame Warrington, and no
amount of reasoning could bring her out of it. On account of the
occurrence she at once set to work saving for her younger son, for whom
she was eager to make a fortune. The fine buildings were stopped as well
as the fine fittings which had been ordered for the interior of the new
home. No more books were bought; the agent had orders to discontinue
sending wine. Madame Esmond deeply regretted the expense of a fine
carriage which she had from England, and only rode in it to church,
crying out to the sons sitting opposite to her, "Harry, Harry! I wish I
had put by the money for thee, my poor portionless child; three hundred
and eighty guineas of ready money to Messieurs Hatchett!"

"You will give me plenty while you live, and George will give me plenty
when you die," says Harry gaily.

"Not until he changes in _spirit_, my dear," says the lady grimly,
glancing at her elder boy. "Not unless Heaven softens his heart and
teaches him _charity_, for which I pray day and night; as Mountain knows;
do you not, Mountain?"

Mrs. Mountain, Ensign Mountain's widow, who had been a friend of Rachel
Esmond in her school days, and since her widowhood had been Madame
Esmond's companion in Castlewood house, serving to enliven many dull
hours for that lady and enjoying thoroughly the home which Castlewood
afforded her and her child. Mrs. Mountain, I say, who was occupying the
fourth seat in the family coach, said, "Humph! humph! I know you are
always disturbing yourself about this legacy, and I don't see that there
is any need."

"Oh, no! no need!" cries the widow, rustling in her silks; "of course I
have no need to be disturbed, because my eldest born is _a disobedient
son and an unkind brother;_ because he has an estate, and my poor Harry,
bless him, but a _mess of pottage_."

George looked despairingly at his mother until he could see her no more
for eyes welled up with tears. "I wish you would bless me, too, O my
mother!" he said, and burst into a passionate fit of weeping. Harry's
arms were in a moment round his brother's neck, and he kissed George a
score of times.

"Never mind, George. I know whether you are a good brother or not. Don't
mind what she says. She don't mean it."

"I do mean it, child," cries the mother. "Would to Heaven--"

"_Hold your tongue, I say_!" roars out Harry. "It's a shame to speak so
to him, ma'am."

"And so it is, Harry," says Mrs. Mountain, shaking his hand. "You never
said a truer word in your life."

"Mrs. Mountain, do you dare to set my children against me?" cries the
widow. "From this very day, madam--"

"Turn me and my child into the street? Do," says Mrs. Mountain. "That
will be a fine revenge because the English lawyer won't give you the
boy's money. Find another companion who will tell you black is white, and
flatter you; it is not my way, madam. When shall I go? I shan't be long
a-packing. I did not bring much into Castlewood house, and I shall not
take much out."

"Hush! the bells are ringing for church, Mountain. Let us try, if you
please, and compose ourselves," said the widow, and she looked with eyes
of extreme affection, certainly at one, perhaps at both, of her children.
George kept his head down, and Harry, who was near, got quite close to
him during the sermon, and sat with his arm round his brother's neck.

From these incidents it may be clearly seen that Madame Esmond besides
being a brisk little woman at business and ruling like a little queen in
Castlewood was also a victim of many freaks and oddities, among them one
of the most prominent being a great desire for flattery. There was no
amount of compliment which she could not graciously receive and take as
her due, and it was her greatest delight to receive attention from
suitors of every degree. Her elder boy saw this peculiarity of his
mother's disposition and chafed privately under it. From a very early
day he revolted when compliments were paid to the little lady, and
strove to expose them with his youthful satire; so that his mother would
say gravely, "the Esmonds were always of a jealous disposition, and my
poor boy takes after my father and mother in this."

One winter after their first tutor had been dismissed Madame Esmond took
them to Williamsburg for such education as the schools and colleges there
afforded, and there they listened to the preaching and became acquainted
with the famous Mr. Whitfield, who, at Madame Esmond's request, procured
a tutor for the boys, by name Mr. Ward. For weeks Madame Esmond was never
tired of hearing Mr. Ward's utterances of a religious character, and
according to her wont she insisted that her neighbours should come and
listen to him and ordered them to be converted to the faith which he
represented. Her young favourite, Mr. George Washington, she was
especially anxious to influence; and again and again pressed him to come
and stay at Castlewood and benefit by the spiritual advantages there to
be obtained. But that young gentleman found he had particular business
which called him home or away from home, and always ordered his horse of
evenings when the time was coming for Mr. Ward's exercises. And--what
boys are just towards their pedagogue?--the twins grew speedily tired and
even rebellious under their new teacher.

They found him a bad scholar, a dull fellow, and ill-bred to boot. George
knew much more Latin and Greek than his master; Harry, who could take
much greater liberties than were allowed to his elder brother, mimicked
Ward's manner of eating and talking, so that Mrs. Mountain and even
Madame Esmond were forced to laugh, and little Fanny Mountain would crow
with delight. Madame Esmond would have found the fellow out for a vulgar
quack but for her son's opposition, which she, on her part, opposed with
her own indomitable will.

George now began to give way to a sarcastic method, took up Ward's
pompous remarks and made jokes of them so that that young divine chafed
and almost choked over his great meals. He made Madame Esmond angry, and
doubly so when he sent off Harry into fits of laughter. Her authority was
defied, her officer scorned and insulted, her youngest child perverted by
the obstinate elder brother. She made a desperate and unhappy attempt to
maintain her power.

The boys were fourteen years of age, Harry being now taller and more
advanced than his brother, who was delicate and as yet almost childlike
in stature and appearance. The flogging method was quite a common mode
of argument in these days. Our little boys had been horsed many a day by
Mr. Dempster, their Scotch tutor, in their grandfather's time; and
Harry, especially, had got to be quite accustomed to the practice, and
made very light of it. But since Colonel Esmond's death, the cane had
been laid aside, and the young gentlemen at Castlewood had been allowed
to have their own way. Her own and her lieutenant's authority being now
spurned by the youthful rebels, the unfortunate mother thought of
restoring it by means of coercion. She took counsel of Mr. Ward. That
athletic young pedagogue could easily find chapter and verse to warrant
the course he wished to pursue,--in fact, there was no doubt about the
wholesomeness of the practice in those days. He had begun by flattering
the boys, finding a good berth and snug quarters at Castlewood, and
hoping to remain there. But they laughed at his flattery, they scorned
his bad manners, they yawned soon at his sermons; the more their mother
favoured him, the more they disliked him; and so the tutor and the
pupils cordially hated each other.

Mrs. Mountain warned the lads to be prudent, and that some conspiracy was
hatching against them; saying, "You must be on your guard, my poor boys.
You must learn your lessons and not anger your tutor. Your mamma was
talking about you to Mr. Washington the other day when I came into the
room. I don't like that Major Washington, you know I don't. He is very
handsome and tall, and he may be very good, but show me his wild oats I
say--not a grain! Well, I happened to step in last Tuesday when he was
here with your mamma, and I am sure they were talking about you, for he
said, 'Discipline is discipline, and must be preserved. There can be but
one command in a house, ma'am, and you must be the mistress of yours.'"

"The very words he used to me," cries Harry. "He told me that he did not
like to meddle with other folks' affairs, but that our mother was very
angry, and he begged me to obey Mr. Ward, and to press George to do so."

"Let him manage his own house, not mine," says George very haughtily. And
the caution, far from benefiting him, only made the lad more scornful and
rebellious.

On the next day the storm broke. Words were passed between George and Mr.
Ward during the morning study. The boy was quite disobedient and unjust.
Even his faithful brother cried out, and owned that he was in the wrong.
Mr. Ward bottled up his temper until the family met at dinner, when he
requested Madame Esmond to stay, and laid the subject of discussion
before her.

He asked Master Harry to confirm what he had said; and poor Harry was
obliged to admit all his statements.

George, standing under his grandfather's portrait by the chimney, said
haughtily that what Mr. Ward had said was perfectly correct.

"To be a tutor to such a pupil is absurd," said Mr. Ward, making a long
speech containing many scripture phrases, at each of which young George
smiled scornfully; and at length Ward ended by asking her honour's leave
to retire.

"Not before you have punished this wicked and disobedient child," said
Madame Esmond.

"Punish!" exclaimed George.

"Yes, sir, punish! If means of love and entreaty fail, other means must
be found to bring you to obedience. I punish you now, rebellious boy, to
guard you from greater punishment hereafter. The discipline of this
family must be maintained. There can be but one command in a house, and I
must be the mistress of mine. You will punish this refractory boy, Mr.
Ward, as we have agreed, and if there is the least resistance on his part
my overseer and servants will lend you aid."

In the midst of his mother's speech George Esmond felt that he had been
wronged. "There can be but one command in the house and you must be
mistress. I know who said those words before you," George said slowly,
and looking very white, "and--and I know, mother, that I have acted
wrongly to Mr. Ward."

"He owns it! He asks pardon!" cries Harry. "That's right, George! That's
enough, isn't it?"

"No, it is _not_ enough! I know that he who spares the rod spoils the
child, ungrateful boy!" says Madame Esmond, with more references of the
same nature, which George heard, looking very pale and desperate.

Upon the mantelpiece stood a china cup, by which the widow set great
store, as her father had always been accustomed to drink from it. George
suddenly took it, and a strange smile passed over his pale face.

"Stay one minute. Don't go away yet," he cried to his mother, who was
leaving the room. "You are very fond of this cup, mother?" and Harry
looked at him wondering. "If I broke it, it could never be mended, could
it? My dear old grandpapa's cup! I have been wrong. Mr. Ward, I ask
pardon. I will try and amend."

The widow looked at her son indignantly. "I thought," she said, "I
thought an Esmond had been more of a man than to be afraid, and--" Here
she gave a little scream, as Harry uttered an exclamation and dashed
forward with his hands stretched out towards his brother.

George, after looking at the cup, raised it, opened his hand and let it
fall on the marble slab before him. Harry had tried in vain to catch it.

"It is too late, Hal," George said. "You will never mend that
again--never. Now, mother, I am ready, as it is your wish. Will you come
and see whether I am afraid? Mr. Ward, I am your servant. Your servant?
Your slave! And the next time I meet Mr. Washington, Madame, I will thank
him for the advice which he gave you."

"I say, do your duty, sir!" cried Mrs. Esmond, stamping her little foot.
And George, making a low bow to Mr. Ward, begged him to go first out of
the room to the study.

"Stop! For God's sake, mother, stop!" cried poor Hal. But passion was
boiling in the little woman's heart, and she would not hear the boy's
petition. "You only abet him, sir!" she cried. "If I had to do it
myself, it should be done!" And Harry, with sadness and wrath in his
countenance, left the room by the door through which Mr. Ward and his
brother had just issued.


The widow sank down in a great chair near it, and sat a while vacantly
looking at the fragments of the broken cup. Then she inclined her head
towards the door. For a while there was silence; then a loud outcry,
which made the poor mother start.

Mr. Ward came out bleeding from a great wound on his head, and behind him
Harry, with flaring eyes, and brandishing a little ruler of his
grandfather, which hung, with others of the Colonel's weapons, on the
library wall.

"I don't care. I did it," says Harry. "I couldn't see this fellow strike
my brother; and as he lifted his hand, I flung the great ruler at him. I
couldn't help it. I won't bear it; and if one lifts a hand to me or my
brother, I'll have his life," shouts Harry, brandishing the hanger.

The widow gave a great gasp and a sigh as she looked at the young
champion and his victim. She must have suffered terribly during the few
minutes of the boys' absence; and the stripes which she imagined had been
inflicted on the elder had smitten her own heart. She longed to take both
boys to it. She was not angry now. Very likely she was delighted with the
thought of the younger's prowess and generosity. "You are a very naughty,
disobedient child," she said in an exceedingly peaceable voice. "My poor
Mr. Ward! What a rebel to strike you! Let me bathe your wound, my good
Mr. Ward, and thank Heaven it was no worse. Mountain! Go fetch me some
court-plaster. Here comes George. Put on your coat and waistcoat, child!
You were going to take your punishment, sir, and that is sufficient. Ask
pardon, Harry, of good Mr. Ward, for your wicked, rebellious spirit. I
do, with all my heart, I am sure. And guard against your passionate
nature, child, and pray to be forgiven. My son, oh my son!"

Here with a burst of tears which she could no longer control the
little woman threw herself on the neck of her first born, whilst Harry
went up very feebly to Mr. Ward, and said, "Indeed, I ask your pardon,
sir. I couldn't help it; on my honour, I couldn't; nor bear to see my
brother struck."

The widow was scared, as after her embrace she looked up at George's pale
face. In reply to her eager caresses, he coldly kissed her on the
forehead, and separated from her. "You meant for the best, mother," he
said, "and I was in the wrong. But the cup is broken; and all the king's
horses and all the king's men cannot mend it. There--put the fair side
outwards on the mantelpiece, and the wound will not show."

Then George went up to Mr. Ward, who was still piteously bathing his eye
and forehead in the water. "I ask pardon for Hal's violence, sir," he
said in great state. "You see, though we are very young, we are
gentlemen, and cannot brook an insult from strangers. I should have
submitted, as it was mamma's desire; but I am glad she no longer
entertains it."

"And pray, sir, who is to compensate me?" says Mr. Ward; "who is to
repair the insult done to _me_?"

"We are very young," says George, with another of his old-fashioned bows.
"We shall be fifteen soon. Any compensation that is usual amongst
gentlemen--"

"This, sir, to a minister of the Word!" bawls out Ward, starting up, and
who knew perfectly well the lad's skill in fence, having a score of times
been foiled by the pair of them.

"You are not a clergyman yet. We thought you might like to be considered
as a gentleman. We did not know."

"A gentleman! I am a Christian, sir!" says Ward, glaring furiously, and
clenching his great fists.

"Well, well, if you won't fight, why don't you forgive?" says Harry. "If
you won't forgive, why don't you fight? That's what I call the horns of a
dilemma." And he laughed his jolly laugh.

But this was nothing to the laugh a few days afterwards, when, the
quarrel having been patched up along with poor Mr. Ward's eye, the
unlucky tutor was holding forth according to his custom, but in vain. The
widow wept no more at his harangues, was no longer excited by his
eloquence. Nay, she pleaded headache, and would absent herself of an
evening, on which occasions the remainder of the little congregation were
very cold indeed. One day Ward, still making desperate efforts to get
back his despised authority, was preaching on the necessity of obeying
our spiritual and temporal rulers. "For why, my dear friends," he asked,
"why are the governors appointed, but that we should be governed? Why are
tutors engaged, but that children should be taught?" (Here a look at the
boys.) "Why are rulers--" Here he paused, looking with a sad, puzzled
face at the young gentlemen. He saw in their countenances the double
meaning of the unlucky word he had uttered, and stammered and thumped the
table with his fist. "Why, I say are rulers--rulers--"

"_Rulers_," says George, looking at Harry.

"Rulers!" says Hal, putting his hand to his eye, where the poor tutor
still bore marks of the late scuffle. "Rulers, o-ho!" It was too much.
The boys burst out in an explosion of laughter. Mrs. Mountain, who was
full of fun, could not help joining in the chorus; and little Fanny
Mountain, who had always behaved very demurely and silently at these
ceremonies, crowed again, and clapped her little hands at the others
laughing, not in the least knowing the reason why.

This could not be borne. Ward shut down the book before him; in a few
angry but eloquent and manly words said he would speak no more in that
place; and left Castlewood not in the least regretted by Madame Esmond,
who had doted on him three months before.

After the departure of her unfortunate spiritual adviser and chaplain,
Madame Esmond and her son seemed to be quite reconciled: but although
George never spoke of the quarrel with his mother, it must have weighed
upon the boy's mind very painfully, for he had a fever soon after the
last recounted domestic occurrences, during which illness his brain once
or twice wandered, when he shrieked out, "Broken! Broken! It never,
never, can be mended!" to the silent terror of his mother, who sat
watching the poor child as he tossed wakeful upon his midnight bed. That
night, and for some days afterwards, it seemed very likely that poor
Harry would become heir of Castlewood; but by Mr. Dempster's skilful
treatment the fever was got over, the intermittent attacks diminished in
intensity, and George was restored almost to health again. A change of
air, a voyage even to England, was recommended, but the widow had
quarrelled with her children's relatives there, which made that trip
impossible. A journey to the north and east was determined upon, and the
two young gentleman, with Mr. Dempster reinstated as their tutor, and a
couple of servants to attend them, took a voyage to New York, and thence
up the beautiful Hudson River to Albany, where they were received by the
first gentry of the province; and thence into the French provinces, where
they were hospitably entertained by the French gentry. Harry camped with
the Indians and took furs and shot bears. George, who never cared for
field sports, and whose health was still delicate, was a special
favourite with the French ladies, who were accustomed to see very few
young English gentlemen speaking the French language so readily as our
young gentleman. He danced the minuet elegantly. He learned the latest
imported French catches and songs and played them beautifully on his
violin; and to the envy of poor Harry, who was absent on a bear-hunt, he
even had an affair of honour with a young ensign, whom he pinked on the
shoulder, and with whom he afterwards swore an eternal friendship.

When the lads returned home at the end of ten delightful months, their
mother was surprised at their growth and improvement. George especially
was so grown as to come up to his younger-born brother. The boys could
hardly be distinguished one from another, especially when their hair was
powdered; but that ceremony being too cumbrous for country-life, each of
the lads commonly wore his own hair, George his raven black, and Harry
his light locks, tied with a ribbon.

Now Mrs. Mountain had a great turn for match-making, and fancied that
everybody had a design to marry everybody else. As a consequence of this
weakness she was able to persuade George Warrington that Mr. Washington
was laying siege to Madame Esmond's heart, which idea was anything but
agreeable to George's jealous disposition.

"I beg you to keep this quiet, Mountain," said George, with great
dignity. "Or you and I shall quarrel, too. Never to any one must you
mention such an absurd suspicion."

"Absurd! Why absurd? Mr. Washington is constantly with the widow. She
never tires of pointing out his virtues as an example to her sons. She
consults him on every question respecting her estate and its management.
There is a room at Castlewood regularly called Mr. Washington's room.
He actually leaves his clothes here, and his portmanteau when he goes
away. Ah, George, George! The day will come when he won't go away!"
groaned Mrs. Mountain, and in consequence of the suspicions which her
words aroused in him Mr. George adopted toward his mother's favourite a
frigid courtesy, at which the honest gentleman chafed but did not care to
remonstrate; or a stinging sarcasm which he would break through as he
would burst through so many brambles on those hunting excursions in which
he and Harry Warrington rode so constantly together; while George,
retreating to his tents, read mathematics and French and Latin, or sulked
in his book-room.

Harry was away from home with some other sporting friends when Mr.
Washington came to pay a visit at Castlewood. He was so peculiarly
tender and kind to the mistress there, and received by her with such
special cordiality, that George Warrington's jealousy had well-nigh
broken out into open rupture. But the visit was one of adieu, as it
appeared. Major Washington was going on a long and dangerous journey,
quite to the western Virginia frontier and beyond it. The French had
been for some time past making inroads into our territory. The
government at home, as well as those of Virginia and Pennsylvania, were
alarmed at this aggressive spirit of the lords of Canada and Louisiana.
Some of our settlers had already been driven from their holdings by
Frenchmen in arms, and the governors of the British provinces were
desirous of stopping their incursions, or at any rate to protest against
their invasion.

We chose to hold our American colonies by a law that was at least
convenient for its framers. The maxim was, that whoever possessed the
coast had a right to all the territory in hand as far as the Pacific; so
that the British charters only laid down the limits of the colonies from
north to south, leaving them quite free from east to west. The French,
meanwhile, had their colonies to the north and south, and aimed at
connecting them by the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, and the great
intermediate lakes and waters lying to the westward of the British
possessions. In the year 1748, though peace was signed between the two
European kingdoms, the colonial question remained unsettled, to be opened
again when either party should be strong enough to urge it. In the year
1753 it came to an issue on the Ohio River where the British and French
settlers met.

A company called the Ohio Company, having grants from the Virginia
government of lands along that river, found themselves invaded in their
settlement's by French military detachments, who roughly ejected the
Britons from their holdings. These latter applied for protection to Mr.
Dinwiddie, lieutenant governor of Virginia, who determined upon sending
an ambassador to the French commanding officer on the Ohio demanding that
the French should desist from their inroads upon the territories of his
Majesty King George.

Young Mr. Washington jumped eagerly at the chance of distinction which
this service afforded him, and volunteered to leave his home and his
rural and professional pursuits in Virginia, to carry the governor's
message to the French officer. Taking a guide, an interpreter, and a few
attendants, and following the Indian tracks, in the fall of the year 1753
the intrepid young envoy made his way from Williamsburg almost to the
shores of Lake Erie, and found the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf.
That officer's reply was brief; his orders were to hold the place and
drive all the English from it. The French avowed their intention of
taking possession of the Ohio. And with this rough answer the messenger
from Virginia had to return through danger and difficulty, across lonely
forest and frozen river, shaping his course by the compass, and camping
at night in the snow by the forest fires.

On his return from this expedition, which he had conducted with an heroic
energy and simplicity, Major Washington was a greater favourite than ever
with the lady of Castlewood. She pointed him out as a model to both of
her sons. "Ah, Harry!" she would say, "think of you, with your
cock-fighting and your racing matches, and the Major away there in the
wilderness, watching the French, and battling with the frozen rivers! Ah,
George! learning may be a very good thing, but I wish my elder son were
doing something in the service of his country!"

Mr. Washington on his return home began at once raising such a regiment
as, with the scanty pay and patronage of the Virginian government, he
could get together, and proposed with the help of these men-of-war to put
a more peremptory veto upon the French invaders than the solitary
ambassador had been enabled to lay. A small force under another officer,
Colonel Trent, had already been despatched to the west, with orders to
fortify themselves so as to be able to resist any attack of the enemy.
The French troops greatly outnumbering ours, came up with the English
outposts, who were fortifying themselves at a place on the confines of
Pennsylvania where the great city of Pittsburg now stands. A Virginian
officer with but forty men was in no condition to resist twenty times
that number of Canadians who appeared before his incomplete works. He was
suffered to draw back without molestation; and the French, taking
possession of his fort, strengthened it and christened it by the name of
the Canadian governor, Du Quesne. Up to this time no actual blow of war
had been struck. It was strange that in a savage forest of Pennsylvania a
young Virginian officer should fire a shot and waken up a war which was
to last for sixty years, which was to cover his own country and pass into
Europe, to cost France her American colonies, to sever ours from us, and
create the great Western Republic; to rage over the old world when
extinguished in the new; and of all the myriads engaged in the vast
contest, to leave the prize of the greatest fame with him who struck the
first blow!

He little knew of the fate in store for him. A simple gentleman, anxious
to serve his king and do his duty, he volunteered for the first service,
and executed it with admirable fidelity. In the ensuing year he took the
command of the small body of provincial troops with which he marched to
repel the Frenchmen. He came up with their advanced guard and fired upon
them, killing their leader. After this he had himself to fall back with
his troops, and was compelled to capitulate to the superior French
force. On the 4th of July, 1754, the Colonel marched out with his troops
from the little fort where he had hastily entrenched himself, and which
they called Fort Necessity, gave up the place to the conqueror, and took
his way home.

His command was over, his regiment disbanded after the fruitless,
inglorious march and defeat. Saddened and humbled in spirit, the young
officer presented himself after a while to his old friends at Castlewood.

But surely no man can have better claims to sympathy than bravery, youth,
good looks, and misfortune. Mr. Washington's room at Castlewood was more
than ever Mr. Washington's room now. Madame Esmond raved about him and
praised him in all her companies. She more than ever pointed out his
excellences to her sons, contrasting his sterling qualities with Harry's
love of pleasure and George's listless musing over his books. George was
not disposed to like Mr. Washington any better for his mother's
extravagant praises. He coaxed the jealous demon within him until he must
have become a perfect pest to himself and all his friends round about
him. He uttered jokes so deep that his simple mother did not know their
meaning, but sat bewildered at his sarcasms.

Meanwhile the quarrel between the French and English North Americans,
from being a provincial, had grown to be a national quarrel.
Reinforcements from France had already arrived in Canada, and English
troops were expected in Virginia. It was resolved to wrest from the
French all the conquests they had made upon British dominion. A couple of
regiments were raised and paid by the king in America, and a fleet with a
couple more was despatched from home under an experienced commander. In
February, 1755, Commodore Keppel, in the famous ship "Centurion,"
anchored in Hampton Roads with two ships of war under his command, and
having on board General Braddock, his staff, and a part of his troops.
Mr. Braddock was appointed by the Duke. A fleet of transports speedily
followed him bringing stores, and men and money in plenty.

The arrival of the General and his little army caused a mighty excitement
all through the provinces, and nowhere greater than at Castlewood. Harry
was off forthwith to see the troops under canvas at Alexandria. The sight
of their lines delighted him, and the inspiring music of their fifes and
drums. He speedily made acquaintance with the officers of both regiments;
he longed to join in the expedition upon which they were bound, and was
a welcome guest at their mess.

We may be sure that the arrival of the army and the approaching campaign
formed the subject of continued conversation in the Castlewood family. To
make the campaign was the dearest wish of Harry's life. He dreamed only
of war and battle; he was forever with the officers at Williamsburg; he
scoured and cleaned and polished all the guns and swords in the house; he
renewed the amusements of his childhood and had the negroes under arms,
but eager as he was to be a soldier, he scarcely dared touch on the
subject with George, for he saw to his infinite terror how George, too,
was occupied with military matters, and having a feudal attachment for
his elder brother, and worshipping him with an extravagant regard, he
gave way in all things to him as the chief, and felt that should George
wish to make the campaign he would submit. He took note that George had
all the military books of his grandfather brought down from his
book-shelves, and that he and Dempster were practising with the foils
again; and he soon found that his fears were true. Mr. Franklin of
Philadelphia, having heard that Madame Esmond had beeves and horses and
stores in plenty, which might be useful to General Braddock, recommended
the General to conciliate her by inviting her sons to dinner, which he at
once did. The General and the gentlemen of his family made much of them,
and they returned home delighted with their entertainment; and so pleased
was their mother at the civility shown them that she at once penned a
billet thanking his Excellency for his politeness, and begging him to fix
the time when she might have the honour of receiving him at Castlewood.

Madame Esmond made her boys bearers of the letter in reply to his
Excellency's message, accompanying her note with handsome presents for
the General's staff and officers, which they were delighted to accept.

"Would not one of the young gentlemen like to see the campaign?" the
General asked. "A friend of theirs, who often spoke of them--Mr.
Washington, who had been unlucky in the affair of last year--had already
promised to join him as aide-de-camp, and his Excellency would gladly
take another young Virginian gentleman into his family."

Harry's eyes brightened and his face flushed at this offer. He would like
with all his heart to go, he cried out. George said, looking hard at his
younger brother, that one of them would be proud to attend his
Excellency, whilst it would be the other's duty to take care of their
mother at home. Harry allowed his senior to speak. However much he
desired to go, he would not pronounce until George had declared himself.
He longed so for the campaign that the actual wish made him timid. He
dared not speak on the matter as he went home with George. They rode for
miles in silence, or strove to talk upon indifferent subjects, each
knowing what was passing in the other's mind, and afraid to bring the
awful question to an issue.

On their arrival at home the boys told their mother of General
Braddock's offer.

"I know it must happen," she said; "at such a crisis in the country our
family must come forward. Have you--have you settled yet which of you is
to leave me?" and she looked anxiously from one to another, dreading to
hear either name.

"The youngest ought to go, mother; of course I ought to go!" cries Harry,
turning very red.

"Of course, he ought," said Mrs. Mountain, who was present at their talk.

"The head of the family ought to go, mother," says George, adding: "You
would make the best soldier, I know that, dearest Hal. You and George
Washington are great friends, and could travel well together, and he does
not care for me, nor I for him, however much he is admired in the family.
But, you see, 'tis the law of honour, my Harry. I must go. Had fate given
you the benefit of that extra half hour of life which I have had before
you, it would have been your lot, and you would have claimed your right
to go first, you know you would."

"Yes, George," said poor Harry; "I own I should."

"You will stay at home, and take care of Castlewood and our mother. If
anything happens to me, you are here to fill my place. I should like to
give way, my dear, as you, I know, would lay down your life to serve me.
But each of us must do his duty. What would our grandfather say if he
were here?"

The mother looked proudly at her two sons. "My papa would say that his
boys were gentlemen," faltered Madame Esmond, and left the young men, not
choosing perhaps to show the emotion which was filling her heart. It was
speedily known amongst the servants that Mr. George was going on the
campaign. Dinah, George's foster-mother, was loud in her lamentations at
losing him; Phillis, Harry's old nurse, was as noisy, because Master
George, as usual, was preferred over Master Harry. Sady, George's
servant, made preparations to follow his master, bragging incessantly of
the deeds which he would do; while Gumbo, Harry's boy, pretended to
whimper at being left behind, though at home Gumbo was anything but a
fire-eater.

But of all in the house Mrs. Mountain was the most angry at George's
determination to go on the campaign. She begged, implored, insisted that
he should alter his determination; voted that nothing but mischief would
come from his departure; and finally suggested that it was his duty to
remain at home to protect his mother from the advances of Colonel
Washington, whom she assured him she believed to desire a rich wife, and
that if George would go away he would come back to find George Washington
master of Castlewood. As a proof of what she said she produced part of a
letter written by Colonel Washington to his brother, in which his words
seemed to the romantic Mrs. Mountain to bear out her belief. This
fragment, which she had found in the Colonel's room and with none too
much honesty appropriated, she now showed to George, who after gazing at
the document gave her a frightful look, saying, "I--I will return this
paper to Mr. Washington." Mrs. Mountain was thoroughly scared then at
what she had done and said, but it could not be taken back, so she was
obliged to adjust herself to taking in good part whatever consequences
might come of her dishonest act.

On the day set for Madame Esmond's entertainment to General Braddock the
House of Castlewood was set out with the greatest splendour; and Madame
Esmond arrayed herself in a much more magnificent dress than she was
accustomed to wear, while the boys were dressed alike in gold-corded
frocks, braided waistcoats, silver-hilted sword, and wore each a
solitaire.

The General's new aide-de-camp was the first guest to arrive, and he and
his hostess paced the gallery for some time. She had much to say to him,
and also to hear from him a confirmation of his appointment as
aide-de-camp to General Braddock, and to speak of her son's approaching
departure. At length they descended the steps down to the rough lawn in
front of the house, and presently the little lady re-entered her
mansion, leaning upon Mr. Washington's arm. Here they were joined by
George, who came to them accurately powdered and richly attired, saluting
his parent and his friend alike with respectful bows, according to the
fashion of that time.

But George, though he made the lowest possible bow to Mr. Washington and
his mother, was by no means in good humour with either of them, and in
all his further conversation that day with Colonel Washington showed a
bitter sarcasm and a depth of innuendo which the Colonel was at a loss to
understand. A short time after George's entrance into the Colonel's
presence Harry answered back a remark of George's to the effect that he
hated sporting by saying, "I say one thing, George."

"Say twenty things, Don Enrico," cries the other.

"If you are not fond of sporting and that, being cleverer than me, why
shouldst thou not stop at home and be quiet, and let me go out with
Colonel George and Mr. Braddock? That's what I say," says Harry, flushing
with excitement.

"One of our family must go because honour obliges it, and my name being
number one, number one must go first," says George, adding, "One must
stay, or who is to look after mother at home? We cannot afford to be both
scalped by Indians or fricasseed by French."

"Fricasseed by French," cries Harry; "the best troops of the world are
Englishmen. I should like to see them fricasseed by the French! what a
mortal thrashing you will give them!" and the brave lad sighed to think
he should not be present at the combat.

George sat down to the harpsichord and was playing when the Colonel
re-entered, saying that his Excellency's coach would be here almost
immediately, and asking leave to retire to his apartment, to put himself
in a fit condition to appear before her ladyship's company. As the widow
was conducting Mr. Washington to his chamber, George gave way to a fit of
wrath, ending in an explanation to his astonished brother of the reason
of it, and telling him of Mrs. Mountain's suspicions concerning the
Colonel's attitude towards their mother, which he confirmed by showing
Harry the letter of Colonel Washington's which Mrs. Mountain had found
and preserved.

But to go back to Madame Esmond's feast for his Excellency; all the birds
of the Virginia air, and all the fish of the sea in season, and all the
most famous dishes for which Madame Esmond was famous, and the best wine
which her cellar boasted, were laid on the little widow's board to feed
her distinguished guest and the other gentlemen who accompanied him. The
kind mistress of Castlewood looked so gay and handsome and spoke with
such cheerfulness and courage to all her company that the few ladies who
were present could not but congratulate Madame Esmond upon the elegance
of the feast and upon her manner of presiding at it. But they were
scarcely in the drawing-room, when her artificial courage failed her, and
she burst into tears, exclaiming, "Ah, it may be an honour to have Mr.
Braddock in my house, but he comes to take one of my sons away from me.
Who knows whether my boy will return, or how? I dreamed of him last night
as wounded, with blood streaming from his side."

Meanwhile Mr. Washington was pondering deeply upon George's peculiar
behaviour towards him. The tone of freedom and almost impertinence which
young George had adopted of late towards Mr. Washington had very deeply
vexed and annoyed that gentleman. There was scarce half a dozen years'
difference of age between him and the Castlewood twins; but Mr.
Washington had always been remarked for a discretion and sobriety much
beyond his time of life, whilst the boys of Castlewood seemed younger
than theirs. They had always been till now under their mother's anxious
tutelage, and had looked up to their neighbour of Mount Vernon as their
guide, director, friend, as, indeed, almost everybody seemed to do who
came in contact with the simple and upright young man. Himself of the
most scrupulous gravity and good-breeding, in his communication with
other folks he appeared to exact, or, at any rate, to occasion, the same
behaviour. His nature was above levity and jokes: they seemed out of
place when addressed to him. He was slow of comprehending them: and they
slunk as it were abashed out of his society. "He always seemed great to
me," says Harry Warrington, in one of his letters many years after the
date of which we are writing; "and I never thought of him otherwise than
as a hero. When he came over to Castlewood and taught us boys surveying,
to see him riding to hounds was as if he was charging an army. If he
fired a shot, I thought the bird must come down, and if he flung a net,
the largest fish in the river were sure to be in it. His words were
always few, but they were always wise; they were not idle, as our words
are; they were grave, sober and strong, and ready on occasion to do their
duty. In spite of his antipathy to him, my brother respected and admired
the General as much as I did--that is to say, more than any mortal man."

Mr. Washington was the first to leave the jovial party which were doing
so much honour to Madame Esmond's hospitality. Young George Esmond, who
had taken his mother's place when she left the dining-room, had been free
with the glass and with the tongue. He had said a score of things to his
guest which wounded and chafed the latter, and to which Mr. Washington
could give no reply. Angry beyond all endurance, he left the table at
length, and walked away through the open windows into the broad veranda
or porch which belonged to Castlewood as to all Virginian houses.

Here Madame Esmond caught sight of her friend's tall frame as it strode
up and down before the windows; and gave up her cards to one of the other
ladies, and joined her good neighbour out of doors. He tried to compose
his countenance as well as he could, but found it so difficult that
presently she asked, "Why do you look so grave?"

"Indeed, to be frank with you, I do not know what has come over George,"
says Mr. Washington. "He has some grievance against me which I do not
understand, and of which I don't care to ask the reason. He spoke to me
before the gentlemen in a way which scarcely became him. We are going to
the campaign together, and 'tis a pity we begin such ill friends."

"He has been ill. He is always wild and wayward and hard to understand,
but he has the most affectionate heart in the world. You will bear with
him, you will protect him. Promise you will."

"Dear lady, I will do so with my life," Mr. Washington said heartily.
"You know I would lay it down cheerfully for you or any you love."

"And my father's blessing and mine go with you, dear friend!" cried
the widow.

As they talked, they had quitted the porch and were pacing a walk before
the house. Young George Warrington, from his place at the head of the
table in the dining-room, could see them, and after listening in a very
distracted manner for some time to the remarks of the gentlemen around
him, he jumped up and pulled his brother Harry by the sleeve, turning him
so that he, too, could see his mother and the Colonel.

Somewhat later, when General Braddock and the other guests had retired to
their apartments, the boys went to their own room, and there poured out
to one another their opinions respecting the great event of the day. They
would not bear such a marriage--No. Was the representative of the Marquis
of Esmond to marry the younger son of a colonial family, who had been
bred up as a land surveyor--Castlewood and the boys at nineteen years of
age handed over to the tender mercies of a step-father of three and
twenty? Oh, it was monstrous! Harry was for going straightway to his
mother, protesting against the odious match, and announcing that they
would leave her forever if the marriage took place.

George had another plan for preventing it, which he explained to his
admiring brother. "Our mother," he said, "can't marry a man with whom one
or both of us has been out on the field, and who has wounded us or killed
us, or whom we have wounded or killed. We must have him out, Harry."

Harry saw the profound truth conveyed in George's statement, and admired
his brother's immense sagacity. "No, George," says he, "you are right.
Mother can't marry our murderer; she won't be as bad as that. And if we
pink him, he is done for. Shall I send my boy with a challenge to Colonel
George now?"

"We can't insult a gentleman in our own house," said George with great
majesty; "the laws of honour forbid such inhospitable treatment. But,
sir, we can ride out with him, and, as soon as the park gates are closed,
we can tell him our mind."

"That we can, by George!" cries Harry, grasping his brother's hand, "and
that we will, too. I say, Georgie--" Here the lad's face became very
red, and his brother asked him what he would say.

"This is _my_ turn, brother," Harry pleaded. "If you go to the campaign,
I ought to have the other affair. Indeed, indeed, I ought." And he prayed
for this bit of promotion.

"Again the head of the house must take the lead, my dear," George said
with a superb air. "If I fall, my Harry will avenge me. But I must fight
George Washington, Hal; and 'tis best I should; for, indeed, I hate him
the worst. Was it not he who counselled my mother to order that wretch,
Ward, to lay hands on me?"

"Colonel Washington is my enemy especially. He has advised one wrong
against me, and he meditates a greater. I tell you, brother, we must
punish him."

The grandsire's old Bordeaux had set George's ordinarily pale countenance
into a flame. Harry, his brother's fondest worshipper, could not but
admire George's haughty bearing and rapid declamation, and prepared
himself, with his usual docility, to follow his chief. So the boys went
to their beds, the elder conveying special injunctions to his junior to
be civil to all the guests so long as they remained under the maternal
roof on the morrow.

The widow, occupied as she had been with the cares of a great dinner,
followed by a great breakfast on the morning ensuing, had scarce leisure
to remark the behaviour of her sons very closely, but at least saw that
George was scrupulously polite to her favourite, Colonel Washington, as
to all the other guests of the house.

Before Mr. Braddock took his leave he had a private audience with Madame
Esmond, in which his Excellency formally arranged to take her son into
his family; after which the jolly General good-naturedly shook hands
with George, and bade George welcome and to be in attendance at
Frederick three days hence; shortly after which time the expedition
would set forth.

And now the great coach was again called into requisition, the
General's escort pranced round it, the other guests and their servants
went to horse.

As the boys went up the steps, there was the Colonel once more taking
leave of their mother. No doubt she had been once more recommending
George to his namesake's care; for Colonel Washington said: "With my
life. You may depend on me," as the lads returned to their mother and the
few guests still remained in the porch. The Colonel was booted and ready
to depart. "Farewell, my dear Harry," he said. "With you, George, 'tis no
adieu. We shall meet in three days at the camp."

George Warrington watched his mother's emotion, and interpreted it with
a pang of malignant scorn. "Stay yet a moment, and console our mamma,"
he said with a steady countenance, "only the time to get ourselves
booted, and my brother and I will ride with you a little way, George."
George Warrington had already ordered his horses. The three young men
were speedily under way, their negro grooms behind them, and Mrs.
Mountain, who knew she had made mischief between them and trembled for
the result, felt a vast relief that Mr. Washington was gone without a
quarrel with the brothers, without, at any rate, an open declaration of
love to their mother.

No man could be more courteous in demeanour than George Warrington to his
neighbour and name-sake, the Colonel, who was pleased and surprised at
his young friend's altered behaviour. The community of danger, the
necessity of future fellowship, the softening influence of the long
friendship which bound him to the Esmond family, the tender adieux which
had just passed between him and the mistress of Castlewood, inclined the
Colonel to forget the unpleasantness of the past days, and made him more
than usually friendly with his young companion. George was quite gay and
easy: it was Harry who was melancholy now; he rode silently and wistfully
by his brother, keeping away from Colonel Washington, to whose side he
used always to press eagerly before. If the honest Colonel remarked his
young friend's conduct, no doubt he attributed it to Harry's known
affection for his brother, and his natural anxiety to be with George now
the day of their parting was so near.

They talked further about the war, and the probable end of the campaign;
none of the three doubted its successful termination. Two thousand
veteran British troops with their commander must get the better of any
force the French could bring against them. The ardent young Virginian
soldier had an immense respect for the experienced valour and tactics of
the regular troops. King George II. had no more loyal subject than Mr.
Braddock's new aide-de-camp.

So the party rode amicably together, until they reached a certain rude
log-house, called Benson's, where they found a rough meal prepared for
such as were disposed to partake.

A couple of Halkett's officers, whom our young gentlemen knew, were
sitting under the porch, with the Virginian toddy bowl before them, and
the boys joined them and sent for glasses and more toddy, in a very
grown-up manner.

George called out to Colonel Washington, who was at the porch, to join
his friends and drink, with the intention of drawing Mr. Washington into
some kind of a disagreement.

The lad's tone was offensive, and resembled the manner lately adopted by
him, which had so much chafed Mr. Washington. He bowed, and said he was
not thirsty.

"Nay, the liquor is paid for," says George; "never fear, Colonel."

"I said I was not thirsty. I did not say the liquor was not paid for,"
said the young Colonel, drumming with his foot.

"When the King's health is proposed, an officer can hardly say no. I
drink the health of his Majesty, gentlemen," cried George. "Colonel
Washington can drink it or leave it. The King!"

This was a point of military honour. The two British officers of
Halkett's, Captain Grace and Mr. Waring, both drank "The King." Harry
Warrington drank "The King." Colonel Washington, with glaring eyes,
gulped, too, a slight draught from the bowl.

Then Captain Grace proposed "The Duke and the Army," which toast there
was likewise no gainsaying. Colonel Washington had to swallow "The Duke
and the Army."

"You don't seem to stomach the toast, Colonel," said George.

"I tell you again, I don't want to drink," replied the Colonel. "It seems
to me the Duke and the Army would be served all the better if their
healths were not drunk so often."

"A British officer," said Captain Grace, with doubtful articulation,"
never neglects a toast of that sort, nor any other duty. A man who
refuses to drink the health of the Duke--hang me, such a man should be
tried by a court-martial!"

"What means this language to me? You are drunk, sir!" roared Colonel
Washington, jumping up and striking the table with his first.

"A cursed provincial officer say I'm drunk!" shrieks out Captain Grace.
"Waring, do you hear that?"

"_I_ heard it, sir!" cried George Warrington. "We all heard it. We
entered at my invitation--the liquor called for was mine; the table
was mine--and I am shocked to hear such monstrous language used at it
as Colonel Washington has just employed towards my esteemed guest,
Captain Waring."

"Confound your impudence, you infernal young jackanapes!" bellowed out
Colonel Washington. "_You_ dare to insult me before British officers, and
find fault with my language? For months past I have borne with such
impudence from you, that if I had not loved your mother--yes, sir, and
your good grandfather and your brother--I would--" Here his words
failed him, and the irate Colonel, with glaring eyes and purple face, and
every limb quivering with wrath, stood for a moment speechless before his
young enemy.

"You would what, sir," says George, very quietly, "if you did not love
my grandfather, and my brother, and my mother? You are making her
petticoat a plea for some conduct of yours! You would do what, sir, may
I ask again?"

"I would put you across my knee and whip you, you snarling little puppy!
That's what I would do!" cried the Colonel, who had found breath by this
time, and vented another explosion of fury.

"Because you have known us all our lives, and made our house your own,
that is no reason why you should insult either of us!" here cried Harry,
starting up. "What you have said, George Washington, is an insult to me
and my brother alike. You will ask our pardon, sir!"

"Pardon!"

"Or give us the reparation that is due to gentlemen," continues Harry.

The stout Colonel's heart smote him to think that he should be at mortal
quarrel, or called upon to shed the blood of one of the lads he loved. As
Harry stood facing him, with his fair hair, flushing cheeks, and
quivering voice, an immense tenderness and kindness filled the bosom of
the elder man. "I--I am bewildered," he said. "My words, perhaps, were
very hasty. What has been the meaning of George's behaviour to me for
months back? Only tell me, and, perhaps--"

The evil spirit was awake and victorious in young George Warrington; his
black eyes shot out scorn and hatred at the simple and guileless
gentleman before him. "You are shirking from the question, sir, as you
did from the toast just now," he said. "I am not a boy to suffer under
your arrogance. You have publicly insulted me in a public place, and I
demand a reparation."

"As you please, George Warrington--and God forgive you, George! God
pardon you, Harry! for bringing me into this quarrel," said the Colonel,
with a face full of sadness and gloom.

Harry hung his head, but George continued with perfect calmness: "I, sir?
It was not I who called names, who talked of a cane, who insulted a
gentleman in a public place before the gentlemen of the army. It is not
the first time you have chosen to take me for a negro, and talked of the
whip for me."

The Colonel started back, turning very red, and as if struck by a sudden
remembrance.

"Great heavens, George! is it that boyish quarrel you are still
recalling?"

"Who made you overseer of Castlewood?" said the boy, grinding his teeth.
"I am not your slave, George Washington, and I never will be. I hated you
then, and I hate you now. And you have insulted me, and I am a gentleman,
and so are you. Is that not enough?"

"Too much, only too much," said the Colonel, with a genuine grief on his
face, and at his heart "Do you bear malice, too, Harry? I had not thought
this of thee!"

"I stand by my brother," said Harry, turning away from the Colonel's
look, and grasping George's hand. The sadness on their adversary's face
did not depart. "Heaven be good to us! 'Tis all clear now," he muttered
to himself. "The time to write a few letters, and I am at your service,
Mr. Warrington," he said.

"You have your own pistols at your saddle. I did not ride out with any;
but will send Sady back for mine. That will give you time enough, Colonel
Washington?"

"Plenty of time, sir." And each gentleman made the other a low bow, and,
putting his arm in his brother's, George walked away. The Virginian
officer looked towards Captain Benson, the master of the tavern, saying,
"Captain Benson, you are an old frontier man, and an officer of ours,
before you turned farmer and taverner. You will help me in this matter
with yonder young gentleman?" said the Colonel.

"I'll stand by and see fair play, Colonel. I won't have any hand in it,
beyond seeing fair play. You ain't a-goin' to be very hard with them poor
boys? Though I seen 'em both shoot; the fair one hunts well, as you
know, but the old one's a wonder at an ace of spades."

"Will you be pleased to send my man with my valise, Captain, into any
private room which you can spare me? I must write a few letters before
this business comes on. God grant it were well over!" And the Captain led
the Colonel into a room of his house where he remained occupied with
gloomy preparations for the ensuing meeting. His adversary in the other
room also thought fit to make his testamentary dispositions, too,
dictated by his own obedient brother and secretary, a grandiloquent
letter to his mother, of whom, and by that writing, he took a solemn
farewell. She would hardly, he supposed, pursue _the scheme which she had
in view_, after the event of that morning, should he fall, as probably
would be the case.

"My dear, dear George, don't say that!" cried the affrighted secretary.

"As probably will be the case," George persisted with great majesty. "You
know what a good shot Colonel George is, Harry. I, myself, am pretty fair
at a mark, and 'tis probable that one or both of us will drop--I scarcely
suppose you will carry out the intentions you have at present in view."
This was uttered in a tone of still greater bitterness than George had
used even in the previous phrase, and he added in a tone of surprise:
"Why, Harry, what have you been writing, and who taught thee to spell?"
Harry had written the last words "in view," in _vew_, and a great blot of
salt water from his honest, boyish eyes may have obliterated some other
bad spelling.

"I can't think about the spelling now, Georgy," whimpered George's clerk.
"I'm too miserable for that. I begin to think, perhaps, it's all
nonsense; perhaps Colonel George never--"

"Never meant to take possession of Castlewood; never gave himself airs,
and patronised us there; never advised my mother to have me flogged;
never intended to marry her; never insulted me, and was insulted before
the King's officers; never wrote to his brother to say that we should be
the better for his parental authority? The paper is there," cried the
young man, slapping his breast-pocket, "and if anything happens to me,
Harry Warrington, you will find it on my corpse!"

"Write, yourself, Georgie, I _can't_ write," says Harry, digging his
fists into his eyes, and smearing over the whole composition, bad
spelling and all, with his elbows.

On this, George, taking another sheet of paper, sat down at his brother's
place, and produced a composition in which he introduced the longest
words, the grandest Latin quotations, and the most profound satire of
which the youthful scribe was master. He desired that his negro boy,
Sady, should be set free; that his "Horace," a choice of his books, and,
if possible, a suitable provision should be made for his affectionate
tutor, Mr. Dempster; that his silver fruit-knife, his music-books, and
harpischord should be given to little Fannie Mountain; and that his
brother should take a lock of his hair, and wear it in memory of his ever
fond and faithfully attached George. And he sealed the document with the
seal of arms that his grandfather had worn.

"The watch, of course, will be yours," said George, taking out his
grandfather's gold watch and looking at it. "Why, two hours and a half
are gone! 'Tis time that Sady should be back with the pistols. Take the
watch, Harry, dear."

"It's no good!" cried out Harry, flinging his arms round his brother. "If
he fights you, I'll fight him, too. If he kills my Georgie, he shall
have a shot at me!" cried the poor lad.

Meanwhile, Mr. Washington had written five letters in his large resolute
hand, and sealed them with his seal. One was to his mother, at Mount
Vernon; one to his brother; one was addressed M.C. only; and one to his
Excellency, Major-General Braddock. "And one, young gentlemen, is for
your mother, Madame Esmond," said the boys' informant.

It was the landlord of the tavern who communicated these facts to the
young men. The Captain had put on his old militia uniform to do honour to
the occasion, and informed the boys that the "Colonel was walking up and
down the garden a-waiting for 'em, and that the Reg'lars was a'most
sober, too, by this time."

A plot of ground near the Captain's log house had been enclosed with
shingles, and cleared for a kitchen-garden; there indeed paced Colonel
Washington, his hands behind his back, his head bowed down, a grave
sorrow on his handsome face. The negro servants were crowded at the
palings and looking over. The officers under the porch had wakened up
also, as their host remarked.

There, then, stalked the tall young Colonel, plunged in dismal
meditation. There was no way out of his scrape, but the usual cruel one,
which the laws of honour and the practice of the country ordered. Goaded
into fury by the impertinence of a boy, he had used insulting words. The
young man had asked for reparation. He was shocked to think that George
Warrington's jealousy and revenge should have rankled in the young fellow
so long; but the wrong had been the Colonel's, and he was bound to pay
the forfeit.

A great hallooing and shouting, such as negroes use, who love noise at
all times, was now heard at a distance, and all heads were turned in the
direction of this outcry. It came from the road over which our travellers
had themselves passed three hours before, and presently the clattering of
a horse's hoofs was heard, and now Mr. Sady made his appearance on his
foaming horse. Presently he was in the court-yard, and was dismounting.

"Sady, sir, come here!" roars out Master Harry.

"Sady, come here, confound you!" shouts Master George.

"Come directly, Mas'r," says Sady. He grins. He takes the pistols out of
the holster. He snaps the locks. He points them at a grunter, which
plunges through the farm-yard. He points down the road, over which he has
just galloped, and says again, "Comin', Mas'r. Everybody a-comin'." And
now, the gallop of other horses is heard. And who is yonder? Little Mr.
Dempster, spurring and digging into his pony; and that lady in a
riding-habit on Madame Esmond's little horse--can it be Madame Esmond?
No. It is too stout. As I live it is Mrs. Mountain on Madame's grey!"

"O Lor'! O Golly! Hoop! Here dey come! Hurray!"

Dr. Dempster and Mrs. Mountain having clattered into the yard, jumped
from their horses, and ran to the garden where George and Harry were
walking, their tall enemy stalking opposite to them; and almost ere
George Warrington had time sternly to say, "What do you here, Madame?"
Mrs. Mountain flung her arms round his neck and cried: "Oh, George, my
darling! It's a mistake! It's a mistake, and is all my fault!"

"What's a mistake?" asks George, majestically separating himself from
the embrace.

"What is it, Mounty?" cries Harry, all of a tremble.

"That paper I took out of his portfolio, that paper I picked up,
children; where the Colonel says he is going to marry a widow with two
children. Well, it's--it's not your mother. It's that little Widow Custis
whom the Colonel is going to marry. It's not Mrs. Rachel Warrington. He
told Madame so to-day, just before he was going away, and that the
marriage was to come off after the campaign. And--and your mother is
furious, boys. And when Sady came for the pistols, and told the whole
house how you were going to fight, I told him to fire the pistols off;
and I galloped after him, and I've nearly broken my poor old bones in
coming to you."

"What will Mr. Washington and those gentlemen think of my servant
telling my mother at home that I was going to fight a duel?" growled Mr.
George in wrath.

"You should have shown your proofs before, George," says Harry,
respectfully. "And, thank Heaven, you are not going to fight our old
friend. For it was a mistake; and there is no quarrel now, dear, is
there? You were unkind to him under a wrong impression."

"I certainly acted under a wrong impression," owns George, "but--"

"George! George Washington!" Harry here cries out, springing over the
cabbage garden towards the bowling-green, where the Colonel was stalking,
and though we cannot hear him, we see him, with both his hands out, and
with the eagerness of youth, and with a hundred blunders, and with love
and affection thrilling in his honest voice, we imagine the lad telling
his tale to his friend.

There was a custom in those days which has disappeared from our manners
now, but which then lingered.

When Harry had finished his artless story his friend the Colonel took
him fairly to his arms, and held him to his heart; and his voice faltered
as he said, "Thank God, thank God for this!"

"Oh, George," said Harry, who felt now he loved his friend with all his
heart, "how I wish I was going with you on the campaign!" The other
pressed both the boy's hands in a grasp of friendship, which, each knew,
never would slacken.

Then the Colonel advanced, gravely holding out his hand to Harry's elder
brother. But, though hands were joined, the salutation was only formal
and stern on both sides.

"I find I have done you a wrong, Colonel Washington," George said, "and
must apologise, not for the error, but for much of my late behaviour,
which has resulted from it."

"The error was mine! It was I who found that paper in your room and
showed it to George, and was jealous of you, Colonel. All women are
jealous," cried Mrs. Mountain.

"'Tis a pity you could not have kept your eyes off my paper, Madame,"
said Mr. Washington. "You will permit me to say so. A great deal of
mischief has come because I chose to keep a secret which concerned only
myself and another person. For a long time George Warrington's heart has
been black with anger against me, and my feeling towards him has, I own,
scarce been more friendly. All this pain might have been spared to both
of us had my private papers only been read by those for whom they were
written. I shall say no more now, lest my feelings again should betray me
into hasty words. Heaven bless thee, Harry! Farewell, George! And take a
true friend's advice, and try to be less ready to think evil of your
friends. We shall meet again at the camp, and will keep our weapons for
the enemy. Gentlemen! if you remember this scene tomorrow, you will know
where to find me." And with a very stately bow to the English officers,
the Colonel left the abashed company, and speedily rode away.

We must fancy that the parting between the brothers is over, that George
has taken his place in Mr. Braddock's family, and Harry has returned home
to Castlewood and his duty. His heart is with the army, and his pursuits
at home offer the boy no pleasure. He does not care to own how deep his
disappointment is, at being obliged to stay under the homely, quiet roof,
now more melancholy than ever since George is away. Harry passes his
brother's empty chamber with an averted face; takes George's place at the
head of the table, and sighs as he drinks from his silver tankard. Madame
Warrington calls the toast of "The King" stoutly every day; and on
Sundays when Harry reads the Service, and prays for all travellers by
land and by water, she says, "We beseech Thee to hear us," with a
peculiar solemnity.

Mrs. Mountain is constantly on the whimper when George's name is
mentioned, and Harry's face frequently wears a look of the most ghastly
alarm; but his mother's is invariably grave and sedate. She makes more
blunders at piquet and backgammon than you would expect from her; and the
servants find her awake and dressed, however early they may rise. She has
prayed Mr. Dempster to come back into residence at Castlewood. She is not
severe or haughty, as her wont certainly was, with any of the party, but
quiet in her talk with them, and gentle in assertion and reply. She is
forever talking of her father and his campaigns, who came out of them all
with no very severe wounds to hurt him; and so she hopes and trusts will
her eldest son.

George writes frequent letters home to his brother, and, now the army is
on its march, compiles a rough journal, which he forwards as occasion
serves. This document is read with great eagerness by Harry, and more
than once read out in family councils on the long summer nights as Madame
Esmond sits upright at her tea-table; as little Fanny Mountain is busy
with her sewing, as Mr. Dempster and Mrs. Mountain sit over their cards,
as the hushed old servants of the house move about silently in the
gloaming and listen to the words of the young master. Hearken to Harry
Warrington reading out his brother's letter!

"It must be owned that the provinces are acting scurvily by his Majesty
King George, and his representative here is in a flame of fury. Virginia
is bad enough, and poor Maryland not much better, but Pennsylvania is
worst of all. We pray them to send us troops from home to fight the
French; and we propose to maintain the troops when they come. We not only
don't keep our promise, and make scarce any provision for our defenders,
but our people insist upon the most exorbitant prices for their cattle
and stores, and actually cheat the soldiers who are come to fight their
battles. No wonder the General swears, and the troops are sulky. The
delays have been endless. Owing to the failure of the several provinces
to provide their promised stores and means of locomotion, weeks and
months have elapsed, during which time no doubt the French have been
strengthening themselves on our frontier and in the forts they have
turned us out of. Though there never will be any love lost between me and
Colonel Washington, it must be owned that _your favourite_ (I am not
jealous, Hal) is a brave man and a good officer. The family respect him
very much, and the General is always asking his opinion. Indeed, he is
almost the only man who has seen the Indians in their war-paint, and I
own I think he was right in firing upon Mons. Jumonville last year."

Harry resumes: "We keep the strictest order here in camp, and the orders
against drunkenness and ill behaviour on the part of the men are very
severe. The roll of each company is called at morning, noon, and night,
and a return of the absent and disorderly is given in by the officer to
the commanding officer of the regiment, who has to see that they are
properly punished. Each regiment has Divine Service performed at the head
of its colours every Sunday. The General does everything in the power of
mortal man to prevent plundering, and to encourage the people round about
to bring in provisions. He has declared soldiers shall be shot who dare
to interrupt or molest the market people. He has ordered the price of
provisions to be raised a penny a pound, and has lent money out of his
own pocket to provide the camp. Altogether he is a strange compound, this
General, and shows many strange inconsistencies in his conduct.

"Colonel Washington has had the fever very smartly, and has hardly been
well enough to keep up with the march. When either of us is ill, we are
almost as good friends again as ever, and though I don't love him as you
do, I know he is a good soldier, a good officer, and a brave, honest man;
and, at any rate, shall love him none the worse for not wanting to be our
step-father."

"'Tis a pretty sight," Harry continued, reading from his brother's
journal, "to see a long line of red coats threading through the woods or
taking their ground after the march. The care against surprise is so
great and constant that we defy prowling Indians to come unawares upon
us, and our advanced sentries and savages have on the contrary fallen in
with the enemy and taken a scalp or two from them. They are such cruel
villains, these French and their painted allies, that we do not think of
showing them mercy. Only think, we found but yesterday a little boy
scalped but yet alive in a lone house, where his parents had been
attacked and murdered by the savage enemy, of whom--so great is his
indignation at their cruelty--our General has offered a reward of £5 for
all the Indian scalps brought in.

"When our march is over, you should see our camp, and all the care
bestowed on it. Our baggage and our General's tents and guard are placed
quite in the centre of the camp. We have outlying sentries by twos, by
threes, by tens, by whole companies. At the least surprise, they are
instructed to run in on the main body and rally round the tents and
baggage, which are so arranged themselves as to be a strong
fortification. Sady and I, you must know, are marching on foot now, and
my horses are carrying baggage. The Pennsylvanians sent such rascally
animals into camp that they speedily gave in. What good horses were left
'twas our duty to give up; and Roxana has a couple of packs upon her back
instead of her young master. She knows me right well, and whinnies when
she sees me, and I walk by her side, and we have many a talk together on
the march.

"July 4. To guard against surprises, we are all warned to pay especial
attention to the beat of the drum; always halting when we hear the long
roll beat, and marching at the beat of the long march. We are more on the
alert regarding the enemy now. We have our advanced pickets doubled, and
two sentries at every post. The men on the advanced pickets are
constantly under arms, with fixed bayonets, all through the night, and
relieved every two hours. The half that are relieved lie down by their
arms, but are not suffered to leave their pickets. 'Tis evident that we
are drawing near to the enemy now. This packet goes out with the
General's to Colonel Dunbar's camp, who is thirty miles behind us; and
will be carried thence to Frederick, and thence to my honoured mother's
house at Castlewood, to whom I send my duty, with kindest remembrances,
as to all friends there, and how much love I need not say to my dearest
brother from his affectionate George E. Warrington."

The whole land was now lying parched and scorching in the July heat. For
ten days no news had come from the column advancing on the Ohio. Their
march, though it toiled but slowly through the painful forest, must bring
ere long up with the enemy; the troops, led by consummate captains, were
accustomed now to the wilderness, and not afraid of surprise. Every
precaution had been taken against ambush. It was the outlying enemy who
were discovered, pursued, destroyed, by the vigilant scouts and
skirmishers of the British force. The last news heard was that the army
had advanced considerably beyond the ground of Mr. Washington's
discomfiture in the previous year, and two days after must be within a
day's march of the French fort. About taking it no fears were
entertained; the amount of the French reinforcements from Montreal was
known. Mr. Braddock, with his two veteran regiments from Britain, and
their allies of Virginia and Pennsylvania, was more than a match for any
troops that could be collected under the white flag.

Such continued to be the talk, in the sparse towns of our Virginian
province, at the gentry's houses, and the rough road-side taverns, where
people met and canvassed the war. The few messengers sent back by the
General reported well of the main force. It was thought the enemy would
not stand or defend himself at all. Had he intended to attack, he might
have seized a dozen occasions for assaulting our troops at passes through
which they had been allowed to go entirely free. So George had given up
his favourite mare, like a hero as he was, and was marching a-foot with
the line. Madame Esmond vowed that he should have the best horse in
Virginia or Carolina in place of Roxana. There were horses enough to be
had in the provinces, and for money. It was only for the King's service
that they were not forthcoming.

Although at their family meetings and repasts the inmates of Castlewood
always talked cheerfully, never anticipating any but a triumphant issue
to the campaign, or acknowledging any feeling of disquiet, yet it must be
owned they were mighty uneasy when at home, quitting it ceaselessly, and
forever on the trot from one neighbour's house to another in quest of
news. It was prodigious how quickly reports ran and spread. For three
weeks after the army's departure, the reports regarding it were cheerful;
and when our Castlewood friends met at their supper their tone was
confident and their news pleasant.

But on the 10th of July a vast and sudden gloom spread over the province.
A look of terror and doubt seemed to fall upon every face. Affrighted
negroes wistfully eyed their masters and retired, to hum and whisper with
one another. The fiddles ceased in the quarters; the song and laugh of
those cheery black folk were hushed. Right and left everybody's servants
were on the gallop for news. The country taverns were thronged with
horsemen, who drank and cursed and brawled at the bars, each bringing his
gloomy story. The army had been surprised. The troops had fallen into an
ambuscade, and had been cut up almost to a man. All the officers were
taken down by the French marksmen and the savages. The General had been
wounded, and carried off the field in his sash. Four days afterwards the
report was that the General was dead, and scalped by a French Indian.

Ah, what a scream poor Mrs. Mountain gave when Gumbo brought this news
from across the James River, and little Fanny sprang crying to her
mother's arms! "Lord God Almighty, watch over us, and defend my boy!"
said Mrs. Esmond, sinking down on her knees and lifting her rigid hands
to heaven. The gentlemen were not at home when the rumour arrived, but
they came in an hour or two afterwards, each from his hunt for news. The
Scotch tutor did not dare to meet the widow's agonising looks. Harry
Warrington was as pale as his mother. It might not be true about the
manner of the General's death--but he was dead. The army had been
surprised by Indians, and had fled, and been killed without seeing the
enemy. An express had arrived from Dunbar's camp. Fugitives were pouring
in there. Should he go and see? He must go and see. He and stout little
Dempster armed themselves and mounted, taking a couple of mounted
servants with them.

They followed the northward track which the expeditionary army had hewed
out for itself, and at every step which brought them nearer to the scene
of action, the disaster of the fearful day seemed to magnify. The day
after the defeat a number of the miserable fugitives from the fatal
battle of the 9th of July had reached Dunbar's camp, fifty miles from the
field. Thither poor Harry and his companions rode, stopping stragglers,
asking news, giving money, getting from one and all the same gloomy tale.
A thousand men were slain--two-thirds of the officers were down--all the
General's aides-de-camp were hit. Were hit--but were they killed? Those
who fell never rose again. The tomahawk did its work upon them. Oh,
brother brother! All the fond memories of their youth, all the dear
remembrances of their childhood, the love and the laughter, the tender
romantic vows which they had pledged to each other as lads, were recalled
by Harry with pangs inexpressibly keen. Wounded men looked up and were
softened by his grief; rough men melted as they saw the woe written on
the handsome young face; the hardy old tutor could scarcely look at him
for tears, and grieved for him even more than for his dear pupil, who, he
believed, lay dead under the savage Indian knife.

At every step which Harry Warrington took towards Pennsylvania the
reports of the British disaster were magnified and confirmed. Those two
famous regiments which had fought in the Scottish and Continental wars
had fled from an enemy almost unseen, and their boasted discipline and
valour had not enabled them to face a band of savages and a few French
infantry. The unfortunate commander of the expedition had shown the
utmost bravery and resolution.

Four times his horse had been shot under him. Twice he had been wounded,
and the last time of the mortal hurt which ended his life three days
after the battle. More than one of Harry's informants described the
action to the poor lad,--the passage of the river, the long line of
advance through the wilderness, the firing in front, the vain struggle of
the men to advance, and the artillery to clear the way of the enemy; then
the ambushed fire from behind every bush and tree, and the murderous
fusillade, by which at least half of the expeditionary force had been
shot down. But not all the General's suite were killed, Harry heard. One
of his aides-de-camp, a Virginian gentleman, was ill of fever and
exhaustion at Dunbar's camp.

One of them--but which? To the camp Harry hurried, and reached it at
length. It was George Washington Harry found stretched in a tent there,
and not his brother. A sharper pain than that of the fever Mr. Washington
declared he felt, when he saw Harry Warrington, and could give him no
news of George.

Mr. Washington did not dare to tell Harry all. For three days after the
fight his duty had been to be near the General. On the fatal 9th of July
he had seen George go to the front with orders from the chief, to whose
side he never returned. After Braddock himself died, the aide-de-camp had
found means to retrace his course to the field. The corpses which
remained there were stripped and horribly mutilated. One body he buried
which he thought to be George Warrington's. His own illness was
increased, perhaps occasioned, by the anguish which he underwent in his
search for the unhappy volunteer.

"Ah, George! If you had loved him you would have found him dead or
alive," Harry cried out. Nothing would satisfy him but that he, too,
should go to the ground and examine it. With money he procured a guide or
two. He forded the river at the place where the army had passed over; he
went from one end to the other of the dreadful field. The horrible
spectacle of mutilation caused him to turn away with shudder and
loathing. What news could the vacant woods, or those festering corpses
lying under the trees, give the lad of his lost brother? He was for
going, unarmed, with a white flag, to the French fort, whither, after
their victory, the enemy had returned; but his guides refused to advance
with him. The French might possibly respect them, but the Indians would
not. "Keep your hair for your lady-mother, my young gentleman," said the
guide. "Tis enough that she loses one son in this campaign."

When Harry returned to the English encampment at Dunbar's it was his turn
to be down with the fever. Delirium set in upon him, and he lay some time
in the tent and on the bed from which his friend had just risen
convalescent. For some days he did not know who watched him; and poor
Dempster, who had tended him in more than one of these maladies, thought
the widow must lose both her children; but the fever was so far subdued
that the boy was enabled to rally somewhat, and get on horseback. Mr.
Washington and Dempster both escorted him home. It was with a heavy
heart, no doubt, that all three beheld once more the gates of Castlewood.

A servant in advance had been sent to announce their coming. First came
Mrs. Mountain and her little daughter, welcoming Harry with many tears
and embraces; but she scarce gave a nod of recognition to Mr. Washington;
and the little girl caused the young officer to start, and turn deadly
pale, by coming up to him with her hands behind her, and asking, "Why
have you not brought George back, too?"

Dempster was graciously received by the two ladies. "Whatever could be
done, we know _you_ would do, Mr. Dempster," says Mrs. Mountain, giving
him her hand. "Make a curtsey to Mr. Dempster, Fanny, and remember,
child, to be grateful to all who have been friendly to our benefactors.
Will it please you to take any refreshment before you ride, Colonel
Washington?"

Mr. Washington had had a sufficient ride already, and counted as
certainly upon the hospitality of Castlewood as he would upon the shelter
of his own house.

"The time to feed my horse, and a glass of water for myself, and I will
trouble Castlewood hospitality no farther," Mr. Washington said.

"Sure, George, you have your room here, and my mother is above stairs
getting it ready!" cries Harry. "That poor horse of yours stumbled with
you, and can't go farther this evening."

"Hush! Your mother won't see him, child," whispered Mrs. Mountain.

"Not see George? Why, he is like a son of the house," cries Harry.

"She had best not see him. I don't meddle any more in family matters,
child; but when the Colonel's servant rode in, and said you were coming,
Madame Esmond left this room and said she felt she could not see Mr.
Washington. Will you go to her?" Harry took Mrs. Mountain's arm, and
excusing himself to the Colonel, to whom he said he would return in a few
minutes, he left the parlour in which they had assembled, and went to the
upper rooms, where Madame Esmond was.

He was hastening across the corridor, and, with an averted head, passing
by one especial door, which he did not like to look at, for it was that
of his brother's room; and as he came to it, Madame Esmond issued from
it, and folded him to her heart, and led him in. A settee was by the bed,
and a book of psalms lay on the coverlet. All the rest of the room was
exactly as George had left it.

"My poor child! How thin thou art grown--how haggard you look! Never
mind. A mother's care will make thee well again. 'Twas nobly done to go
and brave sickness and danger in search of your brother. Had others been
as faithful, he might be here now. Never mind, my Harry; our hero will
come back to us. I know he is not dead. He will come back to us, I know
he will come." And when Harry pressed her to give a reason for her
belief, she said she had seen her father two nights running in a dream,
and he had told her that her boy was a prisoner among the Indians.

Madame Esmond's grief had not prostrated her as Harry's had when first it
fell upon him; it had rather stirred and animated her; her eyes were
eager, her countenance angry and revengeful. The lad wondered almost at
the condition in which he found his mother.

But when he besought her to go downstairs, and give her a hand of welcome
to George Washington, who had accompanied him, the lady's excitement
painfully increased. She said she should shudder at touching his hand.
She declared Mr. Washington had taken her son from her; she could not
sleep under the same roof with him.

"No gentleman," cried Harry, warmly, "was ever refused shelter under my
grandfather's roof."

"Oh, no, gentlemen!" exclaims the little widow; "well let us go down, if
you like, son, and pay our respects to this one. Will you please to give
us your arm?" and taking an arm which was very little able to give her
support, she walked down the broad stairs and into the apartment where
the Colonel sat.

She made him a ceremonious curtsey, and extended one of the little hands,
which she allowed for a moment to rest in his. "I wish that our meeting
had been happier, Colonel Washington," she said.

"You do not grieve more than I do that it is otherwise, Madame," said
the Colonel.

"I might have wished that the meeting had been spared, that I might not
have kept you from friends whom you are naturally anxious to see, that my
boy's indisposition had not detained you. Home and his good nurse
Mountain, and his mother and our good Dr. Dempster will soon restore him.
'Twas scarce necessary, Colonel, that you who have so many affairs on
your hands, military and domestic, should turn doctor too."

"Harry was ill and weak, and I thought it was my duty to ride by him,"
faltered the Colonel.

"You yourself, sir, have gone through the _fatigues_ and _dangers_ of the
campaign in the most wonderful manner," said the widow, curtseying again,
and looking at him with her impenetrable black eyes.

"I wish to Heaven, Madame, someone else had come back in my place!"

"Nay, sir, you have ties which must render your life more than ever
valuable and dear to you, and duties to which, I know, you must be
anxious to betake yourself. In our present deplorable state of doubt and
distress Castlewood can be a welcome place to no stranger, much less to
you, and so I know, sir, you will be for leaving us ere long. And you
will pardon me if the state of my own spirits obliges me for the most
part to keep my chamber. But my friends here will bear you company as
long as you favour us, whilst I nurse my poor Harry upstairs. Mountain!
you will have the cedar room on the ground floor ready for Mr. Washington
and anything in the house is at his command. Farewell, sir. Will you be
pleased to present my compliments to your mother, who will be thankful to
have her son safe and sound out of the war?--as also to my young friend,
Martha Custis, to whom and to whose children I wish every happiness.
Come, my son!" and with these words, and another freezing curtsey, the
pale little woman retreated, looking steadily at the Colonel, who stood
dumb on the floor.

Strong as Madame Esmond's belief appeared to be respecting her son's
safety, the house of Castlewood naturally remained sad and gloomy. To
look for George was hoping against hope. No authentic account of his
death had indeed arrived, and no one appeared who had seen him fall, but
hundreds more had been so stricken on that fatal day, with no eyes to
behold their last pangs, save those of the lurking enemy and the comrades
dying by their side. A fortnight after the defeat, when Harry was absent
on his quest, George's servant, Sady, reappeared, wounded and maimed, at
Castlewood. But he could give no coherent account of the battle, only of
his flight from the centre, where he was with the baggage. He had no news
of his master since the morning of the action. For many days Sady lurked
in the negro quarters away from the sight of Madame Esmond, whose anger
he did not dare to face. That lady's few neighbours spoke of her as
labouring under a delusion. So strong was it that there were times when
Harry and the other members of the little Castlewood family were almost
brought to share in it. No. George was not dead; George was a prisoner
among the Indians; George would come back and rule over Castlewood; as
sure, as sure as his Majesty would send a great force from home to
recover the tarnished glory of the British arms, and to drive the French
out of the Americas.

As for Mr. Washington, she would never, with her own good will, behold
him again. He had promised to guard George's life with his own, and where
was her boy.

So, if Harry wanted to meet his friend, he had to do so in secret. Madame
Esmond was exceedingly excited when she heard that the Colonel and her
son absolutely had met, and said to Harry, "How you can talk, sir, of
loving George, and then go and meet your Mr. Washington, I can't
understand."

So there was not only grief in the Castlewood House, but there was
disunion. As a result of the gloom, and of his grief for the loss of his
brother, Harry was again and again struck down by the fever, and all the
Jesuits' bark in America could not cure him. They had a tobacco-house and
some land about the new town of Richmond, and he went thither and there
mended a little, but still did not get quite well, and the physicians
strongly counselled a sea-voyage. Madame Esmond at one time had thoughts
of going with him, but, as she and Harry did not agree very well, though
they loved each other very heartily, 'twas determined that Harry should
see the world for himself.

Accordingly he took passage on the "Young Rachel," Virginian ship,
Edward Franks master. She proceeded to Bristol and moored as near as
possible to Trail's wharf, to which she was consigned. Mr. Trail, who
could survey his ship from his counting-house windows, straightway took
boat and came up her side, and gave the hand of welcome to Captain
Franks, congratulating the Captain upon the speedy and fortunate voyage
which he had made.

Franks was a pleasant man, who loved a joke. "We have," says he, "but
yonder ugly negro boy, who is fetching the trunks, and a passenger who
has the state cabin to himself."

Mr. Trail looked as if he would have preferred more mercies from Heaven.
"Confound you, Franks, and your luck! The 'Duke William,' which came in
last week, brought fourteen, and she is not half of our tonnage."

"And this passenger, who has the whole cabin, don't pay nothin',"
continued the Captain. "Swear now, it will do you good, Mr. Trail,
indeed it will. I have tried the medicine."

"A passenger take the whole cabin and not pay? Gracious mercy, are you a
fool, Captain Franks?"

"Ask the passenger himself, for here he comes." And as the master spoke,
a young man of some nineteen years of age came up the hatchway. He had a
cloak and a sword under his arm, and was dressed in deep mourning, and
called out, "Gumbo, you idiot, why don't you fetch the baggage out of the
cabin? Well, shipmate, our journey is ended. You will see all the little
folks to-night whom you have been talking about. Give my love to Polly,
and Betty, and little Tommy; not forgetting my duty to Mrs. Franks. I
thought, yesterday, the voyage would never be done, and now I am almost
sorry it is over. That little berth in my cabin looks very comfortable
now I am going to leave it."

Mr. Trail scowled at the young passenger who had paid no money for his
passage. He scarcely nodded his head to the stranger, when Captain
Franks said: "This here gentleman is Mr. Trail, sir, whose name you have
a-heerd of."

"It's pretty well known in Bristol, sir," says Mr. Trail, majestically.

"And this is Mr. Warrington, Madame Esmond Warrington's son, of
Castlewood," continued the Captain.

The British merchant's hat was instantly off his head, and the owner of
the beaver was making a prodigious number of bows, as if a crown-prince
were before him.

"Gracious powers, Mr. Warrington! This is a delight, indeed! What a
crowning mercy that your voyage should have been so prosperous! You have
my boat to go on shore. Let me cordially and respectfully welcome you to
England! Let me shake your hand as the son of my benefactress and
patroness, Mrs. Esmond Warrington, whose name is known and honoured on
Bristol 'Change, I warrant you. Isn't it, Franks?"

"There's no sweeter tobacco comes from Virginia," says Mr. Franks,
drawing a great brass tobacco-box from his pocket, and thrusting a quid
into his jolly mouth. "You don't know what a comfort it is, sir; you'll
take to it, bless you, as you grow older. Won't he, Mr. Trail? I wish you
had ten shiploads of it instead of one. You might have ten shiploads;
I've told Madame Esmond so; I've rode over her plantation; she treats me
like a lord when I go to the house. She is a real-born lady, she is; and
might have a thousand hogsheads as easy as her hundreds, if there were
but hands enough."

"I have lately engaged in the Guinea trade, and could supply her ladyship
with any number of healthy young negroes before next fall," said Mr.
Trail, obsequiously.

"We are averse to the purchase of negroes from Africa," said the young
gentleman, coldly. "My grandfather and my mother have always objected to
it, and I do not like to think of selling or buying the poor wretches."

"It is for their good, my dear young sir! We purchased the poor creatures
only for their benefit; let me talk this matter over with you at my own
house. I can introduce you to a happy home, a Christian family, and a
British merchant's honest fare. Can't I, Captain Franks?"

"Can't say," growled the Captain. "Never asked me to take bite or sup at
your table. Asked me to psalm-singing once, and to hear Mr. Ward preach:
don't care for them sort of entertainments."

Not choosing to take any notice of this remark, Mr. Trail continued in
his low tone: "Business is business, my dear young sir, and I know 'tis
only my duty, the duty of all of us, to cultivate the fruits of the earth
in their season. As the heir of Lady Esmond's estate--for I speak, I
believe, to the heir of the great property?"

The young gentleman made a bow.

"I would urge upon you, at the very earliest moment, the duty of
increasing the ample means with which Heaven has blessed you. As an
honest factor, I could not do otherwise: as a prudent man, should I
scruple to speak of what will tend to your profit and mine? No, my dear
Mr. George."

"My name is not George; my name is Henry," said the young man as he
turned his head away, and his eyes filled with tears.

"Gracious powers! what do you mean, sir? Did you not say you were my
lady's heir, and is not George Esmond Warrington, Esq.--?"

"Hold your tongue, you fool!" cried Mr. Franks, striking the merchant a
tough blow on his sleek sides, as the young lad turned away. "Don't you
see the young gentleman a-swabbing his eyes, and note his black clothes?"

"What do you mean, Captain Franks, by laying your hand on your owners?
Mr. George is the heir; I know the Colonel's will well enough."

"Mr. George is there," said the Captain, pointing with his thumb
to the deck.

"Where?" cries the factor.

"Mr. George is there!" reiterated the Captain, again lifting up his
finger towards the topmast, or the sky beyond. "He is dead a year, sir,
come next 9th of July. He would go out with General Braddock on that
dreadful business to the Belle Riviere. He and a thousand more never came
back again. Every man of them was murdered as he fell. You know the
Indian way, Mr. Trail?" And here the Captain passed his hand rapidly
round his head.

"Horrible! ain't it, sir? Horrible! He was a fine young man, the very
picture of this one; only his hair was black, which is now hanging in a
bloody Indian wigwam. He was often and often on board of the 'Young
Rachel,' and would have his chests of books broke open on deck before
they landed. He was a shy and silent young gent, not like this one, which
was the merriest, wildest young fellow, full of his songs and fun. He
took on dreadful at the news; went to his bed, had that fever which lays
so many of 'em by the heels along that swampy Potomac, but he's got
better on the voyage: the voyage makes everyone better; and, in course,
the young gentleman can't be forever a-crying after a brother who dies
and leaves him a great fortune. Ever since we sighted Ireland he has been
quite gay and happy, only he would go off at times when he was most
merry, saying, 'I wish my dearest Georgie could enjoy this here sight
along with me,' and when you mentioned t'other's name, you see, he
couldn't stand it." And the honest Captain's own eyes filled with tears,
as he turned and looked towards the object of his compassion.

Mr. Trail assumed a sad expression befitting the tragic compliment with
which he prepared to greet the young Virginian; but the latter answered
him very curtly, declining his offers of hospitality, and only stayed in
Mr. Trail's house long enough to drink a glass of wine and to take up a
sum of money of which he stood in need. But he and Captain Franks parted
on the very warmest terms, and all the little crew of the "Young Rachel"
cheered from the ship's side as their passenger left it.

Again and again Harry Warrington and his brother had pored over the
English map, and determined upon the course which they should take upon
arriving at Home. All Americans of English ancestry who love their mother
country have rehearsed their English travels, and visited in fancy the
spots with which their hopes, their parents' fond stories, their friends'
descriptions, have rendered them familiar. There are few things to me
more affecting in the history of the quarrel which divided the two great
nations than the recurrence of that word Home, as used by the younger
towards the elder country. Harry Warrington had his chart laid out.
Before London, and its glorious temples of St. Paul's and St. Peter's;
its grim Tower, where the brave and loyal had shed their blood, from
Wallace down to Balmerino and Kilmarnock, pitied by gentle hearts; before
the awful window at Whitehall, whence the martyr Charles had issued, to
kneel once more, and then ascended to Heaven; before playhouses, parks,
and palaces, wondrous resorts of wit, pleasure and splendour; before
Shakespeare's resting-place under the tall spire which rises by Avon,
amidst the sweet Warwickshire pastures; before Derby, and Falkirk, and
Culloden, where the cause of honour and loyalty had fallen, it might be
to rise no more: before all these points in their pilgrimage there was
one which the young Virginian brothers held even more sacred, and that
was the home of their family, that old Castlewood in Hampshire, about
which their parents had talked so fondly. From Bristol to Bath, from Bath
to Salisbury, to Winchester, to Hexton, to Home; they knew the way, and
had mapped the journey many and many a time.

We must fancy our American traveller to be a handsome young fellow, whose
suit of sables only makes him look the more interesting. The plump
landlady looked kindly after the young gentleman as he passed through the
inn-hall from his post-chaise, and the obsequious chamberlain bowed him
upstairs to the "Rose" or the "Dolphin." The trim chambermaid dropped her
best curtsey for his fee, and Gumbo, in the inn-kitchen, where the
townsfolk drank their mug of ale by the great fire, bragged of his young
master's splendid house in Virginia, and of the immense wealth to which
he was heir. The post-chaise whirled the traveller through the most
delightful home scenery his eyes had ever lighted on. If English
landscape is pleasant to the American of the present day, who must needs
contrast the rich woods and growing pastures and picturesque ancient
villages of the old country with the rough aspect of his own, how much
pleasanter must Harry Warrington's course have been, whose journeys had
lain through swamps and forest solitudes from one Virginian ordinary to
another log-house at the end of the day's route, and who now lighted
suddenly upon the busy, happy, splendid scene of English summer? And the
high-road, a hundred years ago, was not that grass-grown desert of the
present time. It was alive with constant travel and traffic: the country
towns and inns swarmed with life and gaiety. The ponderous waggon, with
its bells and plodding team; the light post-coach that achieved the
journey from the "White Hart," Salisbury, to the "Swan with Two Necks,"
London, in two days; the strings of pack-horses that had not yet left the
road; my lord's gilt post-chaise and six, with the outriders galloping on
ahead; the country squire's great coach and heavy Flanders mares; the
farmers trotting to market, or the parson jolting to the cathedral town
on Dumpling, his wife behind on the pillion--all these crowding sights
and brisk people greeted the young traveller on his summer journey.
Hodge, the farmer's boy, took off his hat, and Polly, the milk-maid,
bobbed a curtsey, as the chaise whirled over the pleasant village-green,
and the white-headed children lifted their chubby faces and cheered. The
church-spires glistened with gold, the cottage-gables glared in sunshine,
the great elms murmured in summer, or cast purple shadows over the
grass. Young Warrington never had had such a glorious day, or witnessed a
scene so delightful. To be nineteen years of age, with high health, high
spirits, and a full purse, to be making your first journey, and rolling
through the country in a post-chaise at nine miles an hour--Oh, happy
youth! almost it makes one young to think of him!

And there let us leave him at Castlewood Inn, on ground hallowed by the
footsteps of his ancestors. There he stands, with new scenes, new
friends, new experiences ahead, rich in hope, in expectation, and in the
enthusiasm of youth--youth that comes but once, and is so fleet of foot!

And still more glad would he have been had he known that the near future
was to verify his mother's belief; to restore to him the twin-brother now
mourned as dead. And glad are we, in looking beyond this story of boyhood
days, to find that though in the Revolutionary War the subjects of this
sketch fought on different sides in the quarrel, they came out peacefully
at its conclusion, as brothers should, their love never having materially
diminished, however angrily the contest divided them.

The colonel in scarlet and the general in blue and buff hang side by side
in the wainscoted parlour of the Warringtons in England, and the
portraits are known by the name of "The Virginians."



BECKY SHARP AT SCHOOL


[Illustration: BECKY SHARP LEAVING CHISWICK.]

While the last century was in its teens, and on one sunshiny morning in
June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's Academy
for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat
horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three-cornered
hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour. A black servant, who
reposed on the box beside the fat coachman, uncurled his bandy legs as
soon as the equipage drew up opposite Miss Pinkerton's shining brass
plate; and as he pulled the bell at least a score of young heads were
seen peering out of the narrow windows of the stately old brick house.
Nay, the acute observer might have recognised the little red nose of
good-natured Miss Jemima Pinkerton herself, rising over some
geranium-pots in the window of that lady's own drawing-room. "It is Mrs.
Sedley's coach, sister," said Miss Jemima. "Sambo, the black servant, has
just rung the bell; and the coachman has a new red waistcoat."

"Have you completed all the necessary preparations incident to Miss
Sedley's departure, Miss Jemima?" asked Miss Pinkerton, that majestic
lady, the friend of the famous literary man, Dr. Johnson, the author of
the great Dixonary of the English language, called commonly the great
Lexicographer.

"The girls were up at four this morning, packing her trunks, sister,"
replied Miss Jemima; "we have made her a bow-pot."

"Say a bouquet, sister Jemima, 'tis more genteel."

"Well, a booky as big almost as a hay-stack; I have put up two bottles of
the gillyflower-water for Mrs. Sedley, and the receipt for making it, in
Amelia's box."

"And I trust, Miss Jemima, you have made a copy of Miss Sedley's account.
This is it, is it? Very good--ninety-three pounds, four shillings. Be
kind enough to address it to John Sedley, Esquire, and to seal this
billet which I have written to his lady."

In Miss Jemima's eyes an autograph letter of her sister, Miss Pinkerton,
was an object of as deep veneration as would have been a letter from a
sovereign. Only when her pupils quitted the establishment, or when they
were about to be married, and once, when poor Miss Birch died of the
scarlet fever, was Miss Pinkerton known to write personally to the
parents of her pupils; and it was Jemima's opinion that if anything
could have consoled Mrs. Birch for her daughter's loss, it would have
been that pious and eloquent composition in which Miss Pinkerton
announced the event.

In the present instance Miss Pinkerton's "billet" was to the
following effect:

       *       *       *       *       *

THE MALL, CHISWICK, June 15, 18--.

_Madam_: After her six years' residence at the Mall, I have the honour
and happiness of presenting Miss Amelia Sedley to her parents, as a young
lady not unworthy to occupy a fitting position in their polished and
refined circle. Those virtues which characterise the young English
gentlewoman; those accomplishments which become her birth and station,
will not be found wanting in the amiable Miss Sedley, whose industry and
obedience have endeared her to her instructors, and whose delightful
sweetness of temper has charmed her aged and her youthful companions.

In music, dancing, in orthography, in every variety of embroidery and
needle-work, she will be found to have realised her friends' fondest
wishes. In geography there is still much to be desired; and a careful and
undeviating use of the back-board, for four hours daily during the next
three years is recommended as necessary to the acquirement of that
dignified deportment and carriage so requisite for every young lady of
fashion.

In the principles of religion and morality, Miss Sedley will be found
worthy of an establishment which has been honoured by the presence of
The Great Lexicographer, and the patronage of the admirable Mrs.
Chapone. In leaving them all, Miss Amelia carries with her the hearts
of her companions, and the affectionate regards of her mistress, who has
the honour to subscribe herself, Madam, your most obliged humble
servant,

BARBARA PINKERTON.

P.S.--Miss Sharp accompanies Miss Sedley. It is particularly requested
that Miss Sharp's stay in Russell Square may not exceed ten days.
The family of distinction with whom she is engaged as governess desire
to avail themselves of her services as soon as possible.

       *       *       *       *       *

This letter completed, Miss Pinkerton proceeded to write her own name and
Miss Sedley's in the fly-leaf of a Johnson's Dictionary, the interesting
work which she invariably presented to her scholars on their departure
from the Mall. On the cover was inserted a copy of "Lines addressed to a
young lady on quitting Miss Pinkerton's school, at the Mall; by the late
revered Dr. Samuel Johnson." In fact, the Lexicographer's name was always
on the lips of this majestic woman, and a visit he had paid to her was
the cause of her reputation and her fortune.

Being commanded by her elder sister to get The Dixonary from the
cupboard, Miss Jemima had extracted two copies of the book from the
receptacle in question. When Miss Pinkerton had finished the
inscription in the first, Jemima, with rather a dubious and timid air
handed her the second.

"For whom is this, Miss Jemima?" said Miss Pinkerton, with awful
coldness.

"For Becky Sharp," answered Jemima, trembling very much, and blushing
over her withered face and neck, as she turned her back on her sister.
"For Becky Sharp. She's going, too."

"MISS JEMIMA!" exclaimed Miss Pinkerton, in the largest capitals. "Are
you in your senses? Replace the Dixonary in the closet, and never venture
to take such a liberty in future."

"Well, sister, it's only two and nine-pence, and poor Becky will be
miserable if she don't get one."

"Send Miss Sedley instantly to me," was Miss Pinkerton's only answer.
And, venturing not to say another word, poor Jemima trotted off,
exceedingly flurried and nervous, while the two pupils, Miss Sedley and
Miss Sharp, were making final preparation for their departure for Miss
Sedley's home.

Now, Miss Sedley's papa was a merchant in London, and a man of some
wealth, whereas Miss Sharp was only an articled pupil, for whom Miss
Pinkerton had done, as she thought, quite enough, without conferring
upon her at parting the high honour of the dixonary. Miss Sharp's father
had been an artist, and in former years had given lessons in drawing at
Miss Pinkerton's school. He was a clever man, a pleasant companion, a
careless student, with a great propensity for running into debt, and a
partiality for the tavern. As it was with the utmost difficulty that he
could keep himself, and as he owed money for a mile round Soho, where he
lived, he thought to better his circumstances by marrying a young woman
of the French nation, who was by profession an opera-girl, who had had
some education somewhere, and her daughter Rebecca spoke French with
purity and a Parisian accent. It was in those days rather a rare
accomplishment, and led to her engagement with the orthodox Miss
Pinkerton. For, her mother being dead, her father, finding himself
fatally ill, as a consequence of his bad habits, wrote a manly and
pathetic letter to Miss Pinkerton, recommending the orphan child to her
protection, and so descended to the grave, after two bailiffs had
quarrelled over his corpse. Rebecca was seventeen when she came to
Chiswick, and was bound over as an articled pupil; her duties being to
talk French, as we have seen; and her privileges to live cost free, and
with a few guineas a year, to gather scraps of knowledge from the
professors who attended the school.

She was small, and slight in person; pale, sandy-haired, and with eyes
almost habitually cast down. When they looked up, they were very large,
odd, and attractive. By the side of many tall and bouncing young ladies
in the establishment Rebecca Sharp looked like a child. But she had the
dismal precocity of poverty. Many a dun had she talked to, and turned
away from her father's door; many a tradesman had she coaxed and wheedled
into good-humour, and into the granting of one meal more. She had sat
commonly with her father, who was very proud of her wit, and heard the
talk of many of his wild companions, often but ill-suited for a girl to
hear; but she had never been a girl, she said; she had been a woman since
she was eight years old.

Miss Jemima, however, believed her to be the most innocent creature in
the world, so admirably did Rebecca play the part of a child on the
occasions when her father brought her to Chiswick as a young girl, and
only a year before her father's death, and when she was sixteen years
old, Miss Pinkerton majestically and with a little speech made her a
present of a doll, which was, by the way, the confiscated property of
Miss Swindle, discovered surreptitiously nursing it in school-hours. How
the father and daughter laughed as they trudged home together after the
evening party, and how Miss Pinkerton would have raged had she seen the
caricature of herself which the little mimic, Rebecca, managed to make
out of the doll. Becky used to go through dialogues with it; it formed
the delight of the circle of young painters who frequented the studio,
who used regularly to ask Rebecca if Miss Pinkerton was at home. Once
Rebecca had the honour to pass a few days at Chiswick, after which she
brought back another doll which she called Miss Jemmy; for, though that
honest creature had made and given her jelly and cake enough for three
children, and a seven-shillings piece at parting, the girl's sense of
ridicule was far stronger than her gratitude; and she sacrificed Miss
Jemmy as pitilessly as her sister.

Then came the ending of Becky's studio days, and, an orphan, she was
transplanted to the Mall as her home.

The rigid formality of the place suffocated her; the prayers and meals,
the lessons and the walks, which were arranged with the regularity of a
convent, oppressed her almost beyond endurance; and she looked back to
the freedom and the beggary of her father's old studio with bitter
regret. She had never mingled in the society of women: her father,
reprobate as he was, was a man of talent; his conversation was a thousand
times more agreeable to her than the silly chat and scandal of the
schoolgirls, and the frigid correctness of the governesses equally
annoyed her. She had no soft maternal heart, this unlucky girl. The
prattle of the younger children, with whose care she was chiefly
entrusted, might have soothed and interested her; but she lived among
them two years, and not one was sorry that she went away. The gentle,
tender-hearted Amelia Sedley was the only person to whom she could attach
herself in the least; and who could help attaching herself to Amelia?

The happiness, the superior advantages of the young women round about
her, gave Rebecca inexpressible pangs of envy. "What airs that girl
gives herself, because she is an Earl's granddaughter," she said of
one. "How they cringe and bow to the Creole, because of her hundred
thousand pounds. I am a thousand times cleverer and more charming
than that creature, for all her wealth. I am as well bred as the
Earl's granddaughter, for all her fine pedigree; and yet everyone
passes me by here."

She determined to get free from the prison in which she found herself,
and now began to act for herself, and for the first time to make
connected plans for the future.

She took advantage, therefore, of the means of study the place offered
her; and as she was already a musician and a good linguist, she speedily
went through the little course of study considered necessary for ladies
in those days. Her music she practised incessantly; and one day, when the
girls were out, and she remained at home, she was overheard to play a
piece so well that Miss Minerva thought, wisely, she could spare herself
the expense of a master for the juniors, and intimated to Miss Sharp that
she was to instruct them in music for the future.

The girl refused; and for the first time, and to the astonishment of the
majestic mistress of the school. "I am here to speak French with the
children," Rebecca said abruptly, "not to teach them music, and save
money for you. Give me money, and I will teach them."

Miss Minerva was obliged to yield, and of course disliked her from that
day. "For five-and-thirty years," she said, and with great justice, "I
never have seen the individual who has dared in my own house to question
my authority. I have nourished a viper in my bosom."

"A viper--a fiddlestick!" said Miss Sharp to the old lady, who was almost
fainting with astonishment. "You took me because I was useful. There is
no question of gratitude between us. I hate this place, and want to leave
it. I will do nothing here but what I am obliged to do."

It was in vain that the old lady asked her if she was aware she was
speaking to Miss Pinkerton? Rebecca laughed in her face. "Give me a sum
of money," said the girl, "and get rid of me. Or, if you like better, get
me a good place as governess in a nobleman's family. You can do so if you
please." And in their further disputes she always returned to this point:
"Get me a situation--I am ready to go."

Worthy Miss Pinkerton, although she had a Roman nose and a turban, and
was as tall as a grenadier, and had been up to this time an irresistible
princess, had no will or strength like that of her little apprentice, and
in vain did battle against her, and tried to overawe her. Attempting once
to scold her in public, Rebecca hit upon the plan of answering her in
French, which quite routed the old woman, who did not understand or speak
that language. In order to maintain authority in her school, it became
necessary to remove this rebel, this firebrand; and hearing about this
time that Sir Pitt Crawley's family was in want of a governess, she
actually recommended Miss Sharp for the situation, firebrand and serpent
as she was. "I cannot certainly," she said, "find fault with Miss Sharp's
conduct, except to myself; and must allow that her talents and
accomplishments are of a high order. As far as the head goes, at least,
she does credit to the educational system pursued at my establishment."

And so the schoolmistress reconciled the recommendation to her
conscience, and the apprentice was free. And as Miss Sedley, being now in
her seventeenth year, was about to leave school, and had a friendship for
Miss Sharp ("'Tis the only point in Amelia's behaviour," said Miss
Minerva, "which has not been satisfactory to her mistress"), Miss Sharp
was invited by her friend to pass a week with her in London, before Becky
entered upon her duties as governess in a private family; which
thoughtfulness on the part of Amelia was only an additional proof of the
girl's affectionate nature. In fact, Miss Amelia Sedley was a young lady
who deserved not only all that Miss Pinkerton said in her praise, but had
many charming qualities which that pompous old woman could not see, from
the differences of rank and age between her pupil and herself. She could
not only sing like a lark, and dance divinely, and embroider beautifully,
and spell as well as a "Dixonary" itself, but she had such a kindly,
smiling, tender, gentle, generous heart of her own as won the love of
everybody who came near her, from Miss Minerva herself down to the poor
girl in the scullery and the one-eyed tart woman's daughter, who was
permitted to vend her wares once a week to the young ladies in the Mall.
She had twelve intimate and bosom friends out of the twenty-four young
ladies. Even envious Miss Briggs never spoke ill of her: high and mighty
Miss Saltire allowed that her figure was genteel; and as for Miss Swartz,
the rich woolly-haired mulatto from St. Kitts, on the day Amelia went
away she was in such a passion of tears that they were obliged to send
for Dr. Floss, and half-tipsify her with salvolatile. Miss Pinkerton's
attachment was, as may be supposed, from the high position and eminent
virtues of that lady, calm and dignified; but Miss Jemima had already
whimpered several times at the idea of Amelia's departure; and but for
fear of her sister would have gone off in downright hysterics, like the
heiress of St. Kitts.

As Amelia is not a heroine, there is no need to describe her person;
indeed I am afraid that her nose was rather short than otherwise, and
her cheeks a great deal too round and red for a heroine; but her face
blushed with rosy health, and her lips with the freshest of smiles, and
she had a pair of eyes which sparkled with the brightest and honestest
good-humour, except indeed when they filled with tears, and that was a
great deal too often; for the silly thing would cry over a dead canary
bird; or over a mouse that the cat haply had seized upon; or over the
end of a novel, were it ever so stupid; and as for saying an unkind word
to her, were any persons hard-hearted enough to do so--why so much the
worse for them. Even Miss Pinkerton, that austere woman, ceased scolding
her after the first time, and, though she no more comprehended
sensibility than she did capital Algebra, gave all masters and teachers
particular orders to treat Miss Sedley with the utmost gentleness, as
harsh treatment was injurious to her.

So that when the day of departure came, between her two customs of
laughing and crying, Miss Sedley was greatly puzzled how to act. She was
glad to go home, and yet most woefully sad at leaving school. For three
days before, little Laura Martin, the orphan, followed her about like a
little dog. She had to make and receive at least fourteen presents, to
make fourteen solemn promises of writing every week.

"Send my letters under cover to my grandpa, the Earl of Dexter," said
Miss Saltire.

"Never mind the postage, but write every day, you dear darling," said the
impetuous and woolly-headed, but generous and affectionate, Miss
Schwartz; and little Laura Martin took her friend's hand and said,
looking up in her face wistfully, "Amelia, when I write to you I shall
call you mamma."

All of these details, foolish and sentimental as they may seem, go to
show the extreme popularity and personal charm of Amelia.

Well then. The flowers, and the presents, and the trunks, and
bonnet-boxes of Miss Sedley having been arranged by Mr. Sambo in the
carriage, together with a very small and weather-beaten old cowskin trunk
with Miss Sharp's card neatly nailed upon it, which was delivered by
Sambo with a grin, and packed by the coachman with a corresponding sneer,
the hour for parting came; and the grief of that moment was considerably
lessened by the admirable discourse which Miss Pinkerton addressed to her
pupil. Not that the parting speech caused Amelia to philosophise, or that
it armed her in any way with a calmness, the result of argument; but it
was intolerably dull, and having the fear of her schoolmistress greatly
before her eyes, Miss Sedley did not venture, in her presence, to give
way to any ablutions of private grief. A seed-cake and a bottle of wine
were produced in the drawing-room, as on the solemn occasions of the
visits of parents, and these refreshments being partaken of, Miss Sedley
was at liberty to depart.

"You'll go in and say good-bye to Miss Pinkerton, Becky!" said Miss
Jemima to that young lady, of whom nobody took any notice, and who was
coming downstairs with her own bandbox.

"I suppose I must," said Miss Sharp calmly, and much to the wonder of
Miss Jemima; and the latter, having knocked at the door, and receiving
permission to come in, Miss Sharp advanced in a very unconcerned manner,
and said in French, and with a perfect accent, _"Mademoiselle, je viens
vous faire mes adieux."_

Miss Pinkerton did not understand French, as we know; she only directed
those who did; but biting her lips and throwing up her venerable and
Roman-nosed head, she said: "Miss Sharp, I wish you a good-morning." As
she spoke, she waved one hand, both by way of adieu and to give Miss
Sharp an opportunity of shaking one of the fingers of the hand, which was
left out for that purpose.

Miss Sharp only folded her own hands with a very frigid smile and bow,
and quite declined to accept the proffered honour; on which Miss
Pinkerton tossed up her turban more indignantly than ever. In fact, it
was a little battle between the young lady and the old one, and the
latter was worsted. "Heaven bless you, my child," she exclaimed,
embracing Amelia, and scowling the while over the girl's shoulder at
Miss Sharp.

"Come away, Becky," said Miss Jemima, pulling the young woman away in
great alarm, and the drawing-room door closed upon them forever.

Then came the struggle and parting below. Words refuse to tell it. All
the servants were there in the hall--all the dear friends--all the young
ladies--even the dancing master, who had just arrived; and there was such
a scuffling, and hugging, and kissing, and crying, with the hysterical
_yoops_ of Miss Schwartz, the parlour boarder, from her room, as no pen
can depict, and as the tender heart would feign pass over. The embracing
was over; they parted--that is, Miss Sedley parted from her friends. Miss
Sharp had demurely entered the carriage some minutes before. Nobody
cried for leaving _her_.

Sambo of the bandy legs slammed the carriage door on his young weeping
mistress. He sprang up behind the carriage.

"Stop!" cried Miss Jemima, rushing to the gate with a parcel.

"It's some sandwiches, my dear," she called to Amelia. "You may be
hungry, you know; ... and Becky--Becky Sharp--here's a book for you, that
my sister--that is, I--Johnson's Dixonary, you know; ... you mustn't
leave us without that! Good-bye! Drive on, coachman!--God bless you!"

And the kind creature retreated into the garden, overcome with emotion.

But, lo! and just as the coach drove off, Miss Sharp suddenly put her
pale face out of the window, and flung the book back into the
garden--flung it far and fast--watching it fall at the feet of astonished
Miss Jemima; then sank back in the carriage, exclaiming: "So much for the
'Dixonary'; and, thank God, I am out of Chiswick!"

The shock of such an act almost caused Jemima to faint with terror.

"Well, I never--" she began. "What an audacious--" she gasped.
Emotion prevented her from completing either sentence.

The carriage rolled away; the great gates were closed; the bell rang for
the dancing lesson. The world is before the two young ladies; and so,
farewell to Chiswick Mall.



CUFFS FIGHT WITH "FIGS"


[Illustration: CUFF'S FIGHT WITH "FIGS."]

Cuff's fight with Figs, and the unexpected issue of that contest, will
long be remembered by every man who was educated at Dr. Swishtail's
famous school. The latter youth (who used to be called Heigh-ho Dobbin,
Gee-ho Dobbin, Figs, and by many other names indicative of puerile
contempt) was the quietest, the clumsiest, and, as it seemed, the dullest
of all Dr. Swishtail's young gentlemen. His parent was a grocer in the
city: and it was bruited abroad that he was admitted into Dr. Swishtails
academy upon what are called "mutual principles"--that is to say, the
expenses of his board and schooling were defrayed by his father in goods,
not money; and he stood there--almost at the bottom of the school--in his
scraggy corduroys and jacket, through the seams of which his great big
bones were bursting, as the representative of so many pounds of tea,
candles, sugar, mottled-soap, plums (of which a very mild proportion was
supplied for the puddings of the establishment), and other commodities. A
dreadful day it was for young Dobbin when one of the youngsters of the
school, having run into the town upon a poaching excursion for hardbake
and polonies, espied the cart of Dobbin & Rudge, Grocers and Oilmen,
Thames Street, London, at the Doctor's door, discharging a cargo of the
wares in which the firm dealt.

Young Dobbin had no peace after that. The jokes were frightful and
merciless against him.

"Hullo, Dobbin," one wag would say, "here's good news in the paper. Sugar
is ris', my boy."

Another would set a sum--"If a pound of mutton-candles cost
sevenpence-halfpenny, how much must Dobbin cost?" and a roar would follow
from all the circle of young knaves, usher and all, who rightly
considered that the selling of goods by retail is a shameful and infamous
practice, meriting the contempt and scorn of all real gentlemen.

"Your father's only a merchant, Osborne," Dobbin said in private to the
little boy who had brought down the storm upon him. At which the latter
replied haughtily, "My father's a gentleman, and keeps his carriage;" and
Mr. William Dobbin retreated to a remote out-house in the playground,
where he passed a half-holiday in the bitterest sadness and woe.

Now, William Dobbin, from an incapacity to acquire the rudiments of the
Latin language, as they are propounded in that wonderful book, the Eton
Latin Grammar, was compelled to remain among the very last of Dr.
Swishtail's scholars, and was "taken down" continually by little fellows
with pink faces and pinafores when he marched up with the lower form, a
giant amongst them, with his downcast, stupefied look, his dog's-eared
primer, and his tight corduroys. High and low, all made fun of him. They
sewed up those corduroys, tight as they were. They cut his bed-springs.
They upset buckets and benches, so that he might break his shins over
them, which he never failed to do. They sent him parcels, which, when
opened, were found to contain the paternal soap and candles. There was
no little fellow but had his jeer and joke at Dobbin; and he bore
everything quite patiently, and was entirely dumb and miserable.

Cuff, on the contrary, was the great chief and dandy of the Swishtail
Seminary. He smuggled wine in. He fought the town-boys. Ponies used to
come for him to ride home on Saturdays. He had his top-boots in his room
in which he used to hunt in the holidays. He had a gold repeater, and
took snuff like the Doctor. He had been to the Opera, and knew the merits
of the principal actors, preferring Mr. Kean to Mr. Kemble. He could
knock you off forty Latin verses in an hour. He could make French poetry.
What else didn't he know, or couldn't he do? They said even the Doctor
himself was afraid of him.

Cuff, the unquestioned king of the school, ruled over his subjects, and
bullied them, with splendid superiority. This one blacked his shoes, that
toasted his bread, others would fag out, and give him balls at cricket
during whole summer afternoons. Figs was the fellow whom he despised
most, and with whom, though always abusing him, and sneering at him, he
scarcely ever condescended to hold personal communication.

One day in private the two young gentlemen had had a difference. Figs,
alone in the school-room, was blundering over a home letter, when Cuff,
entering, bade him go upon some message, of which tarts were probably
the subject.

"I can't," says Dobbin; "I want to finish my letter."

"You _can't?_" says Mr. Cuff, laying hold of that document (in which many
words were scratched out, many were misspelt, on which had been spent I
don't know how much thought, and labour, and tears; for the poor fellow
was writing to his mother, who was fond of him, although she was a
grocer's wife, and lived in a back parlour in Thames Street). "You
_can't?"_ says Mr. Cuff. "I should like to know why, pray? Can't you
write to old Mother Figs tomorrow?"

"Don't call names," Dobbin said, getting off the bench, very nervous.

"Well, sir, will you go?" crowed the cock of the school.

"Put down the letter," Dobbin replied; "no gentleman readth letterth."

"Well, _now_ will you go?" says the other.

"No, I won't. Don't strike, or I'll _thmash_ you," roars out Dobbin,
springing to a leaden inkstand, and looking so wicked that Mr. Cuff
paused, turned down his coat sleeves again, put his hands into his
pockets, and walked away with a sneer. But he never meddled personally
with the grocer's boy after that; though we must do him the justice to
say he always spoke of Mr. Dobbin with contempt behind his back.

Some time after this interview it happened that Mr. Cuff, on a sunshiny
afternoon, was in the neighbourhood of poor William Dobbin, who was lying
under a tree in the playground, spelling over a favourite copy of the
"Arabian Nights" which he had--apart from the rest of the school, who
were pursuing their various sports--quite lonely, and almost happy.

Well, William Dobbin had for once forgotten the world, and was away with
Sindbad the Sailor in the Valley of Diamonds, or with Prince Ahmed and
the Fairy Peribanou in that delightful cavern where the Prince found her,
and whither we should all like to make a tour, when shrill cries, as of a
little fellow weeping, woke up his pleasant reverie, and, looking up, he
saw Cuff before him, belabouring a little boy.

It was the lad who had peached upon him about the grocer's cart, but he
bore little malice, not at least towards the young and small. "How dare
you, sir, break the bottle?" says Cuff to the little urchin, swinging a
yellow cricket-stump over him.

The boy had been instructed to get over the playground wall (at a
selected spot where the broken glass had been removed from the top, and
niches made convenient in the brick), to run a quarter of a mile, to
purchase a pint of rum-shrub on credit, to brave all the Doctor's
outlying spies, and to clamber back into the playground again; during the
performance of which feat his foot had slipped, and the bottle broken,
and the shrub had been spilt, and his pantaloons had been damaged, and he
appeared before his employer a perfectly guilty and trembling, though
harmless, wretch.

"How dare you, sir, break it?" says Cuff; "you blundering little thief.
You drank the shrub, and now you pretend to have broken the bottle. Hold
out your hand, sir."

Down came the stump with a great heavy thump on the child's hand. A moan
followed. Dobbin looked up. The Fairy Peribanou had fled into the inmost
cavern with Prince Ahmed; the Roc had whisked away Sindbad, the Sailor,
out of the Valley of Diamonds, out of sight, far into the clouds; and
there was every-day life before honest William; and a big boy beating a
little one without cause.

"Hold out your other hand, sir," roars Cuff to his little school-fellow,
whose face was distorted with pain. Dobbin quivered, and gathered himself
up in his narrow old clothes.

"Take that, you little devil!" cried Mr. Cuff, and down came the wicket
again on the child's hand. Down came the wicket again, and Dobbin
started up.

I can't tell what his motive was. Perhaps his foolish soul revolted
against that exercise of tyranny, or perhaps he had a hankering
feeling of revenge in his mind, and longed to measure himself against
that splendid bully and tyrant, who had all the glory, pride, pomp,
circumstance, banners flying, drums beating, guards saluting, in the
place. Whatever may have been his incentive, however, up he sprang,
and screamed out, "Hold off, Cuff; don't bully that child any more,
or I'll--"

"Or you'll what?" Cuff asked in amazement at this interruption. "Hold out
your hand, you little beast."

"I'll give you the worst thrashing you ever had in your life," Dobbin
said, in reply to the first part of Cuff's sentence; and the little
lad, Osborne, gasping and in tears, looked up with wonder and
incredulity at seeing this amazing champion put up suddenly to defend
him, while Cuff's astonishment was scarcely less. Fancy our late
monarch George III., when he heard of the revolt of the North American
colonies; fancy brazen Goliath when little David stepped forward and
claimed a meeting; and you have the feeling of Mr. Reginald Cuff when
this encounter was proposed to him.

"After school," says he, "of course," after a pause and a look, as much
as to say, "Make your will, and communicate your last wishes to your
friends between this time and that."

"As you please," Dobbin said. "You must be my bottle-holder, Osborne."

"Well, if you like," little Osborne replied; for you see his papa kept a
carriage, and he was rather ashamed of his champion.

Yes, when the hour of battle came he was almost ashamed to say, "Go it,
Figs"; and not a single other boy in the place uttered that cry for the
first two or three rounds of this famous combat; at the commencement of
which the scientific Cuff, with a contemptuous smile on his face, and as
light and as gay as if he was at a ball, planted his blows upon his
adversary, and floored that unlucky champion three times running. At each
fall there was a cheer, and everybody was anxious to have the honour of
offering the conqueror a knee.

"What a licking I shall get when it's over," young Osborne thought,
picking up his man. "You'd best give in," he said to Dobbin; "it's only a
thrashing, Figs, and you know I'm used to it." But Figs, all whose limbs
were in a quiver, and whose nostrils were breathing rage, put his little
bottle-holder aside, and went in for a fourth time.

As he did not in the least know how to parry the blows that were aimed at
himself, and Cuff had begun the attack on the three preceding occasions
without ever allowing his enemy to strike, Figs now determined that he
would commence the engagement by a charge on his own part; and,
accordingly, being a left-handed man, brought that arm into action, and
hit out a couple of times with all his might--once at Mr. Cuff's left
eye, and once on his beautiful Roman nose.

Cuff went down this time, to the astonishment of the assembly. "Well hit,
by Jove," says little Osborne, with the air of a connoisseur, clapping
his man on the back. "Give it to him with the left, Figs, my boy."

Figs's left made terrific play during all the rest of the combat. Cuff
went down every time. At the sixth round there were almost as many
fellows shouting out, "Go it, Figs," as there were youths exclaiming, "Go
it, Cuff." At the twelfth round the latter champion was all abroad, as
the saying is, and had lost all presence of mind and power of attack or
defence. Figs, on the contrary, was as calm as a Quaker. His face being
quite pale, his eyes shining open, and a great cut on his under lip
bleeding profusely, gave this young fellow a fierce and ghastly air,
which perhaps struck terror into many spectators. Nevertheless, his
intrepid adversary prepared to close for the thirteenth time.

If I had the pen of a Napier, or a Bell's Life, I should like to describe
this combat properly. It was the last charge of the Guard--(that is, it
_would_ have been, only Waterloo had not yet taken place); it was Ney's
column breasting the hill of La Haye Sainte, bristling with ten thousand
bayonets, and crowned with twenty eagles; it was the shout of the
beef-eating British, as, leaping down the hill, they rushed to hug the
enemy in the savage arms of battle; in other words, Cuff, coming up full
of pluck, but quite reeling and groggy, the Fig-merchant put in his left
as usual on his adversary's nose, and sent him down for the last time.

"I think _that_ will do for him," Figs said, as his opponent dropped as
neatly on the green as I have seen Jack Spot's ball plump into the pocket
at billiards; and the fact is, when time was called, Mr. Reginald Cuff
was not able, or did not choose, to stand up again.

And now all the boys set up such a shout for Figs as would have made you
think he had been their darling champion through the whole battle; and as
absolutely brought Dr. Swishtail out of his study, curious to know the
cause of the uproar. He threatened to flog Figs violently, of course; but
Cuff, who had come to himself by this time, and was washing his wounds,
stood up and said, "It's my fault, sir--not Figs's--not Dobbin's. I was
bullying a little boy; and he served me right." By which magnanimous
speech he not only saved his conqueror a whipping, but got back all his
ascendancy over the boys which his defeat had nearly cost him.

Young Osborne wrote home to his parents an account of the transaction:

       *       *       *       *       *

SUGARCANE HOUSE, RICHMOND, March 18--

_Dear Mamma_: I hope you are quite well. I should be much obliged
to you to send me a cake and five shillings. There has been a fight here
between Cuff & Dobbin. Cuff, you know, was the Cock of the School.
They fought thirteen rounds, and Dobbin Licked. So Cuff is now Only
Second Cock. The fight was about me. Cuff was licking me for breaking
a bottle of milk, and Figs wouldn't stand it. We call him Figs
because his father is a Grocer--Figs & Rudge, Thames St., City. I
think as he fought for me you ought to buy your Tea & Sugar at his
father's. Cuff goes home every Saturday, but can't this, because he has
2 Black Eyes. He has a white Pony to come and fetch him, and a groom
and livery on a bay mare. I wish my Papa would let me have a Pony,
and I am

Your dutiful Son,

GEORGE SEDLEY OSBORNE.

P.S.--Give my love to little Emmy. I am cutting her out a Coach in
card-board. Please not a seed-cake, but a plum-cake.

       *       *       *       *       *

In consequence of Dobbin's victory, his character rose prodigiously in
the estimation of all his school fellows, and the name of Figs, which had
been a byword of reproach, became as respectable and popular a nickname
as any other in use in the school. "After all, it's not his fault that
his father's a grocer," George Osborne said, who, though a little chap,
had a very high popularity among the Swishtail youth; and his opinion was
received with great applause. It was voted low to sneer at Dobbin about
this accident of birth. "Old Figs" grew to be a name of kindness and
endearment, and the sneak of an usher jeered at him no longer.

And Dobbin's spirit rose with his altered circumstances. He made
wonderful advances in scholastic learning. The superb Cuff himself, at
whose condenscension Dobbin could only blush and wonder, helped him on
with his Latin verses, "coached" him in play-hours, carried him
triumphantly out of the little-boy class into the middle-sized form, and
even there got a fair place for him. It was discovered that, although
dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick. To
the contentment of all he passed third in Algebra, and got a French
prize-book at the public Midsummer examination. You should have seen his
mother's face when Telemaque (that delicious romance) was presented to
him by the Doctor in the face of the whole school and the parents and
company, with an inscription to Guielmo Dobbin. All the boys clapped
hands in token of applause and sympathy. His blushes, his stumbles, his
awkwardness, and the number of feet which he crushed as he went back to
his place, who shall describe or calculate? Old Dobbin, his father, who
now respected him for the first time, gave him two guineas publicly; most
of which he spent in a general tuck-out for the school: and he came back
in a tail-coat after the holidays.

Dobbin was much too modest a young fellow to suppose that this happy
change in all his circumstances arose from his own generous and manly
disposition; he chose, from some perverseness, to attribute his good
fortune to the sole agency and benevolence of little George Osborne, to
whom henceforth he vowed such a love and affection as is only felt by
children, an affection as we read of in the charming fairy-book, which
uncouth Orson had for splendid young Valentine, his conqueror. He flung
himself down at little Osborne's feet, and loved him. Even before they
were acquainted, he had admired Osborne in secret. Now he was his valet,
his dog, his man Friday. He believed Osborne to be the possessor of
every perfection, to be the handsomest, the bravest, the most active,
the cleverest, the most generous of boys. He shared his money with him,
bought him uncountable presents of knives, pencil cases, gold seals,
toffee, little warblers, and romantic books, with large coloured
pictures of knights and robbers, in many of which latter you might read
inscriptions to George Sedley Osborne, Esquire, from his attached friend
William Dobbin--which tokens of homage George received very graciously,
as became his superior merit, as often and as long as they were
proffered him.

In after years Dobbin's father, the despised grocer, became Alderman, and
Colonel of the City Light Horse, in which corps George Osborne's father
was but an indifferent Corporal. Colonel Dobbin was knighted by his
sovereign, which honour placed his son William in a social position above
that of the old school friends who had once been so scornful of him at
Swishtail Academy; even above the object of his deepest admiration,
George Osborne.

But this did not in the least alter honest, simple-minded William
Dobbin's feelings, and his adoration for young Osborne remained
unchanged. The two entered the army in the same regiment, and served
together, and Dobbin's attachment for George was as warm and loyal then
as when they were school-boys together.

Honest William Dobbin,--I would that there were more such staunch
comrades as you to answer to the name of friend!



GEORGE OSBORNE--RAWDON CRAWLEY


[Illustration: GEORGE OSBORNE AND RAWDON CRAWLEY.]

Rebecca sharp, the teacher of French at Miss Pinkerton's Academy for
young ladies, and intimate friend of Miss Amelia Sedley, the most popular
scholar in Miss Pinkerton's select establishment, left the institution at
the same time to become a governess in the family of Sir Pitt Crawley.
Amelia was the only daughter of John Sedley, a wealthy London stock
broker, and upon leaving school was to take her place in fashionable
society. Being the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl in the world, Amelia
invited Becky to visit her in London before taking up her new duties as
governess; which invitation Becky was only too glad to accept.

Now, Miss Sharp was in no way like the gentle Amelia, but as keen,
brilliant, and selfish a young person of eighteen as ever schemed to have
events turn to her advantage. These characteristics she showed so plainly
while visiting at the Sedleys' that she left anything but a good
impression behind her. In fact, her visit was cut short because of some
unpleasant circumstances connected with her behaviour.

From that time she and Amelia did not meet for many months, during which
Amelia had become the wife of George Osborne, and Rebecca Sharp had
married Rawdon Crawley, son of Sir Pitt Crawley, Baronet.

The circumstances of Amelia's life during these months altered greatly,
for shortly after she left school honest John Sedley met with such severe
losses that his family were obliged to live in a much more modest way
than formerly. Because of this misfortune, the course of Amelia's love
affair with young Lieutenant Osborne did not run smoothly; for his father
was far too ambitious to consent to his only son's marriage with the
daughter of a ruined man, although John Sedley was his son's godfather,
and George had been devoted to Amelia since early boyhood.

Lieutenant Osborne therefore went away with his regiment, and poor little
Amelia was left behind, to pine and mourn until it seemed there was no
hope of saving her life unless happiness should speedily come to her.
Then it was that Major Dobbin, George Osborne's staunch friend of
schooldays, and also an ardent admirer of Amelia's, saw how she was
grieving and took upon himself to inform George Osborne of the state of
affairs. The young lieutenant came hurrying home just in time to save a
gentle little heart from wearing itself away with sorrowing, and married
Amelia without his father's consent. This so enraged the old gentleman
that he refused to have his name mentioned in the home where the boy had
grown up; the veriest tyrant and idol of his sisters and father.

To Brighton George and Amelia went on their honeymoon, and there they met
Becky Sharp and her husband. Though the circumstances of the two young
women's career had altered, Amelia and Becky were unchanged in character,
but that is of small concern to us, except as it affects their children,
to whose lives we now turn with keen interest, noting how they reflect
the dispositions, and are affected by the characters of their mothers.

As for little Rawdon Crawley, Becky's only child, he had few early happy
recollections of his mother. She had not, to say the truth, seen much of
the young gentleman since his birth. After the amiable fashion of French
mothers, she had placed him out at nurse in a village in the
neighbourhood of Paris, where little Rawdon lived, not unhappily, with a
numerous family of foster brothers in wooden shoes. His father, who was
devotedly attached to the little fellow, would ride over many a time to
see him here, and the elder Rawdon's paternal heart glowed to see him
rosy and dirty, shouting lustily, and happy in the making of mud-pies
under the superintendence of the gardener's wife, his nurse.

Rebecca, however, did not care much to go and see her son and heir, who
as a result preferred his nurse's caresses to his mamma's, and when
finally he quitted that jolly nurse, he cried loudly for hours. He was
only consoled by his mother's promise that he should return to his nurse
the next day; which promise, it is needless to say, was not kept; instead
the boy was consigned to the care of a French maid, Genevieve, while his
mother was seldom with him, and the French woman was so neglectful of her
young charge that at one time he very narrowly escaped drowning on Calais
sands, where Genevieve had left and lost him.

So with little care and less love his childhood passed until presently
he went with his father and mother, Colonel and Mrs. Crawley, to London,
to their new home in Curzon Street, Mayfair. There little Rawdon's time
was mostly spent hidden upstairs in a garret somewhere, or crawling
below into the kitchen for companionship. His mother scarcely ever took
notice of him. He passed the days with his French nurse as long as she
remained in the family, and when she went away, a housemaid took
compassion on the little fellow, who was howling in the loneliness of
the night, and got him out of his solitary nursery into her bed in the
garret and comforted him.

Rebecca, her friend, my Lord Steyne, and one or two more were in the
drawing-room taking tea after the opera, when this shouting was heard
overhead. "It's my cherub crying for his nurse," said his mother, who did
not offer to move and go and see the child. "Don't agitate your feelings
by going to look after him," said Lord Steyne sardonically. "Bah!"
exclaimed Becky, with a sort of blush. "He'll cry himself to sleep"; and
they fell to talking about the opera.

Mr. Rawdon Crawley had stolen off, however, to look after his son and
heir; and came back to the company when he found that honest Dolly was
consoling the child. The Colonel's dressing-room was in those upper
regions. He used to see the boy there in private. They had interviews
together every morning when he shaved; Rawdon minor sitting on a box by
his father's side, and watching the operation with never-ceasing
pleasure. He and the sire were great friends. The father would bring him
sweet-meats from the dessert, and hide them in a certain old epaulet box
where the child went to seek them, and laughed with joy on discovering
the treasure; laughed, but not too loud; for mamma was asleep and must
not be disturbed. She did not go to rest until very late, and seldom rose
until afternoon.

His father bought the boy plenty of picture books, and crammed his
nursery with toys. Its walls were covered with pictures pasted up by the
father's own hand. He passed hours with the boy, who rode on his chest,
pulled his great moustaches as if they were driving reins, and spent days
with him in indefatigable gambols. The room was a low one, and once, when
the child was not five years old, his father, who was tossing him wildly
up in his arms, hit the poor little chap's scull so violently against the
ceiling that he almost dropped him, so terrified was he at the disaster.

Rawdon minor had made up his face for a tremendous howl, but just as he
was going to begin, the father interposed.

"For God's sake, Rawdy, don't wake mamma," he cried. And the child,
looking in a very hard and piteous way at his father, bit his lips,
clenched his hands, and didn't cry a bit. Rawdon told that story at the
clubs, at the mess, to everybody in town. "By Gad, sir," he explained to
the public in general, "what a good plucky one that boy of mine is. What
a trump he is! I half sent his head through the ceiling, and he wouldn't
cry for fear of disturbing mother!"

Sometimes, once or twice in a week, that lady visited the upper regions
in which the child lived. She came like a vivified picture, blandly
smiling in the most beautiful new clothes and little gloves and boots.
Wonderful scarfs, laces, and jewels glittered about her. She had always a
new bonnet on; and flowers bloomed perpetually in it, or else magnificent
curling ostrich feathers, soft and snowy as camellias. She nodded twice
or thrice patronisingly to the little boy, who looked up from his dinner
or from the pictures of soldiers he was painting. When she left the room,
an odour of rose, or some other magical fragrance, lingered about the
nursery. She was an unearthly being in his eyes, superior to his father,
to all the world, to be worshipped and admired at a distance. To drive
with that lady in a carriage was an awful rite. He sat in the back seat,
and did not dare to speak; he gazed with all his eyes at the beautifully
dressed princess opposite to him. Gentlemen on splendid prancing horses
came up, and smiled and talked with her. How her eyes beamed upon all of
them! Her hand used to quiver and wave gracefully as they passed. When he
went out with her he had his new red dress on. His old brown holland was
good enough when he stayed at home. Sometimes, when she was away, and
Dolly the maid was making his bed, he came into his mother's room. It was
as the abode of a fairy to him--a mystic chamber of splendour and
delight. There in the wardrobe hung those wonderful robes--pink and blue
and many-tinted. There was the jewel case, silver clasped; and a hundred
rings on the dressing table. There was a cheval glass, that miracle of
art, in which he could just see his own wondering head, and the
reflection of Dolly, plumping and patting the pillows of the bed. Poor
lonely little benighted boy! Mother is the name for God in the lips and
hearts of little children; and here was one who was worshipping a stone!

His father used to take him out of mornings, when they would go to the
stables together and to the park. Little Lord Southdown, the best natured
of men, who would make you a present of a hat from his head, and whose
main occupation in life was to buy nicknacks that he might give them away
afterwards, bought the little chap a pony, not much bigger than a large
rat, and on this little black Shetland pony young Rawdon's great father
would mount the boy, and walk by his side in the Park.

One Sunday morning as Rawdon Crawley, his little son, and the pony were
taking their accustomed walk, they passed an old acquaintance of the
Colonel's, Corporal Clink, who was in conversation with an old gentleman,
who held a boy in his arms about the age of little Rawdon. The other
youngster had seized hold of the Waterloo medal which the Corporal wore,
and was examining it with delight.

"Good-morning, your honour," said Clink, in reply to the "How do,
Clink?" of the Colonel. "This 'ere young gentleman is about the little
Colonel's age, sir," continued the Corporal.

"His father was a Waterloo man, too," said the old gentleman who carried
the boy. "Wasn't he, Georgie?"

"Yes, sir," said Georgie. He and the little chap on the pony were looking
at each other with all their might, solemnly scanning each other as
children do.

"His father was a captain in the--the regiment," said the old gentleman
rather pompously. "Captain George Osborne, sir--perhaps you knew him. He
died the death of a hero, sir, fighting against the Corsican tyrant"

"I knew him very well, sir," said Colonel Crawley, "and his wife, his
dear little wife, sir--how is she?"

"She is my daughter, sir," said the old gentleman proudly, putting down
the boy, and taking out his card, which he handed to the Colonel, while
little Georgie went up and looked at the Shetland pony.

"Should you like to have a ride?" said Rawdon minor from the saddle.

"Yes," said Georgie. The Colonel, who had been looking at him with some
interest, took up the child and put him on the pony behind Rawdon minor.

"Take hold of him, Georgie," he said; "take my little boy around the
waist; his name is Rawdon." And both the children began to laugh.

"You won't see a prettier pair, I think, this summer's day, sir," said
the good-natured Corporal; and the Colonel, the Corporal, and old Mr.
Sedley, with his umbrella, walked by the side of the children, who
enjoyed each other and the pony enormously. In later years they often
talked of that first meeting.

But this is anticipating our story, for between the time of their first
ride together, and the time when circumstances brought them together
again, the little chaps saw nothing of one another for a number of years,
during which the incidents of their lives differed as widely as did the
lives of their parents.

About the time when the little boys first met, Sir Pitt Crawley,
Baronet, father of Pitt and Rawdon Crawley, died, and Rebecca and her
husband hastened to Queen's Crawley, the old family home, where Rebecca
had once been governess, to shed a last tear over the departed Baronet.
Rebecca was not bowed down with grief, we must confess, but keenly alive
to the benefits which might come to herself and Rawdon if she could
please Sir Pitt Crawley, the new Baronet, and Lady Jane his wife, a
simple-minded woman mostly absorbed in the affairs of her nursery. This
interest aroused Becky's private scorn, but the first thing that clever
little lady did was to attack Lady Jane at her vulnerable point. After
being conducted to the apartments prepared for her, and having taken off
her bonnet and cloak, Becky asked her sister-in-law in what more she
could be useful.

"What I should like best," she added, "would be to see your dear little
nursery," at which the two ladies looked very kindly at each other, and
went to the nursery hand in hand.

Becky admired little Matilda, who was not quite four years old, as the
most charming little love in the world; and the boy, Pitt Blinkie
Southdown, a little fellow of two years, pale, heavy-eyed, and
large-headed, she pronounced to be a perfect prodigy in size,
intelligence and beauty.

The funeral over, Rebecca and her husband remained for a visit at Queen's
Crawley, which assumed its wonted aspect. Rawdon senior received constant
bulletins respecting little Rawdon, who was left behind in London, and
sent messages of his own. "I am very well," he wrote. "I hope you are
very well. I hope mamma is very well. The pony is very well. Grey takes
me to ride in the Park. I can canter. I met the little boy who rode
before. He cried when he cantered. I do not cry."

Rawdon read these letters to his brother, and Lady Jane, who was
delighted with them, gave Rebecca a banknote, begging her to buy a
present with it for her little nephew.

Like all other good things, the visit came to an end, and one night the
London lamps flashed joyfully as the stage rolled into Piccadilly, and
Briggs had made a beautiful fire on the hearth in Curzon Street, and
little Rawdon was up to welcome back his papa and mamma.

At this time he was a fine open-faced boy, with blue eyes and waving
flaxen hair, sturdy in limb, but generous and soft in heart, fondly
attaching himself to all who were good to him: to the pony, to Lord
Southdown, who gave him the horse; to the groom who had charge of the
pony; to Molly the cook, who crammed him with ghost stories at night and
with good things from the dinner; to Briggs, his meek, devoted attendant,
whom he plagued and laughed at; and to his father especially. Here, as he
grew to be about eight years old, his attachment may be said to have
ended. The beautiful mother vision had faded away after a while. During
nearly two years his mother had scarcely spoken to the child. She
disliked him. He had the measles and the whooping cough. He bored her.
One day when he was standing at the landing-place, having crept down from
the upper regions, attracted by the sound of his mother's voice, who was
singing to Lord Steyne, the drawing-room door opening suddenly discovered
the little spy, who but a moment before had been rapt in delight and
listening to the music.

His mother came out and struck him violently a couple of boxes on the
ear. He heard a laugh from the Marquis in the inner room, and fled down
below to his friends of the kitchen, bursting in an agony of grief.

"It is not because it hurts me," little Rawdon gasped out,
"only--only--" sobs and tears wound up the sentence in a storm. It was
the little boy's heart that was bleeding. "Why mayn't I hear her
singing? Why don't she ever sing to me, as she does to that bald-headed
man with the large teeth?" He gasped out at various intervals these
exclamations of grief and rage. The cook looked at the housemaid; the
housemaid looked knowingly at the footman, who all sat in judgment on
Rebecca from that moment.

After this incident the mother's dislike increased to hatred; the
consciousness that the child was in the house was a reproach and a pain
to her. His very sight annoyed her. Fear, doubt, and resistance sprang up
too, in the boy's own bosom.

He and his mother were separated from that day of the boxes on the ear.

Lord Steyne also disliked the boy. When they met he made sarcastic bows
or remarks to the child, or glared at him with savage-looking eyes.
Rawdon used to stare him in the face and double his little fists in
return. Had it not been for his father, the child would have been
desolate indeed, in his own home.

But an unexpected good time came to him a day or two before Christmas,
when he was taken by his father and mother to pass the holidays at
Queen's Crawley. Becky would have liked to leave him at home, but for
Lady Jane's urgent invitation to the youngster; and the symptoms of
revolt and discontent manifested by Rawdon at her neglect of her son. "He
is the finest boy in England," the father said reproachfully, "and you
don't seem to care for him as much as you do for your spaniel. He shan't
bother you much; at home he will be away from you in the nursery, and he
shall go outside on the coach with me."

So little Rawdon was wrapped up in shawls and comforters for the winter's
journey, and hoisted respectfully onto the roof of the coach in the dark
morning; with no small delight watched the dawn arise, and made his first
journey to the place which his father still called home. It was a journey
of infinite pleasure to the boy, to whom the incidents of the road
afforded endless interest; his father answering all questions connected
with it, and telling him who lived in the great white house to the right,
and whom the park belonged to.

Presently the boy fell asleep, and it was dark when he was wakened up to
enter his uncle's carriage at Mudbury, and he sat and looked out of it
wondering as the great iron gates flew open, and at the white trunks of
the limes as they swept by, until they stopped at length before the
lighted windows of the Hall, which were blazing and comfortable with
Christmas welcome. The hall-door was flung open; a big fire was burning
in the great old fireplace, a carpet was down over the chequered black
flags, and the next instant Becky was kissing Lady Jane.

She and Sir Pitt performed the same salute with great gravity, while Sir
Pitt's two children came up to their cousin. Matilda held out her hand
and kissed him. Pitt Blinkie Southdown, the son and heir, stood aloof,
and examined him as a little dog does a big one.

Then the kind hostess conducted her guests to snug apartments blazing
with cheerful fires, and after some conversation with the fine young
ladies of the house, the great dinner bell having rung, the family
assembled at dinner, at which meal Rawdon junior was placed by his aunt,
and exhibited not only a fine appetite, but a gentlemanlike behaviour.

"I like to dine here," he said to his aunt when he had completed his
meal, at the conclusion of which, and after a decent grace by Sir Pitt,
the younger son and heir was introduced and was perched on a high chair
by the Baronet's side, while the daughter took possession of the place
prepared for her, near her mother. "I like to dine here," said Rawdon
minor, looking up at his relation's kind face.

"Why?" said the good Lady Jane.

"I dine in the kitchen when I am at home," replied Rawdon minor, "or else
with Briggs." This honest confession was fortunately not heard by Becky,
who was deep in conversation with the Baronet, or it might have been
worse for little Rawdon.

As a guest, and it being the first night of his arrival, he was allowed
to sit up until the hour when, tea being over and a great gilt book being
laid on the table before Sir Pitt, all the domestics of the family
streamed in and Sir Pitt read prayers. It was the first time the poor
little boy had ever witnessed or heard of such a ceremonial.

Queen's Crawley had been much improved since the young Baronet's brief
reign, and was pronounced by Becky to be perfect, charming, delightful,
when she surveyed it in his company. As for little Rawdon, who examined
it with the children for his guides, it seemed to him a perfect palace of
enchantment and wonder. There were long galleries, and ancient state
bed-rooms; there were pictures and old china and armour which enchanted
little Rawdon, who had never seen their like before, and who, poor child,
had never before been in such an atmosphere of kindness and good cheer.

On Christmas day a great family gathering took place, and one and all
agreed that little Rawdon was a fine boy. They respected a possible
Baronet in the boy between whom and the title there was only the little
sickly, pale Pitt Blinkie.

The children were very good friends. Pitt Blinkie was too little a dog
for such a big dog as Rawdon to play with, and Matilda, being only a
girl, of course not fit companion for a young gentleman who was near
eight years old, and going into jackets very soon. He took the command of
this small party at once, the little girl and the little boy following
him about with great reverence at such times as he condescended to sport
with them. His happiness and pleasure in the country were extreme. The
kitchen-garden pleased him hugely, the flowers moderately; but the
pigeons and the poultry, and the stables, when he was allowed to visit
them, were delightful objects to him. He resisted being kissed by the
Misses Crawley; but he allowed Lady Jane sometimes to embrace him, and it
was by her side that he liked to sit rather than by his mother. Rebecca,
seeing that tenderness was the fashion, called Rawdon to her one evening,
and stooped down and kissed him in the presence of all the ladies.

He looked her full in the face after the operation, trembling and turning
very red, as his wont was when moved. "You never kiss me at home, Mamma,"
he said; at which there was a general silence and consternation, and by
no means a pleasant look in Becky's eyes; but she was obliged to allow
the incident to pass in silence.

But the greatest day of all was that on which Sir Huddlestone
Fuddlestone's hounds met upon the lawn at Queen's Crawley.

That was a famous sight for little Rawdon. At half-past ten Tom Moody,
Sir Huddlestone Fuddlestone's huntsman, was seen trotting up the avenue,
followed by the noble pack of hounds in a compact body, the rear being
brought up by the two whips clad in stained scarlet frocks, light,
hard-featured lads on well-bred lean horses, possessing marvellous
dexterity in casting the points of their long, heavy whips at the
thinnest part of any dog's skin who dared to straggle from the main body,
or to take the slightest notice, or even so much as wink at the hares and
rabbits starting under their noses.

Next came boy Jack, Tom Moody's son, who weighed five stone, measured
eight and forty inches, and would never be any bigger. He was perched on
a large raw-boned hunter, half covered by a capacious saddle. This animal
was Sir Huddlestone Fuddlestone's favourite horse, the Nob. Other horses
ridden by other small boys arrived from time to time, awaiting their
masters, who came cantering on anon.

Tom Moody rode up presently, and he and his pack drew off into a
sheltered corner of the lawn, where the dogs rolled on the grass, and
played or growled angrily at one another, ever and anon breaking out into
furious fights, speedily to be quelled by Tom's voice, unmatched at
rating, or the snaky thongs of the whips.

Many young gentlemen cantered up on thoroughbred hacks, spatter-dashed to
the knee, and entered the house to pay their respects to the ladies, or,
more modest and sportsmanlike, divested themselves of their mud-boots,
exchanged their hacks for their hunters, and warmed their blood by a
preliminary gallop round the lawn. Then they collected round the pack in
the corner, and talked with Tom Moody of past sport, and the merits of
Sniveller and Diamond, and of the state of the country and of the
wretched breed of foxes.

Sir Huddlestone presently appears mounted on a clever cob, and rides up
to the Hall, where he enters and does the civil thing by the ladies,
after which, being a man of few words, he proceeds to business. The
hounds are drawn up to the hall-door, and little Rawdon descends among
them, excited yet half alarmed by the caresses which they bestow upon
him, at the thumps he receives from their waving tails, and at their
canine bickerings, scarcely restrained by Tom Moody's tongue and lash.

Meanwhile, Sir Huddlestone has hoisted himself unwieldily on the Nob.
"Let's try Sowster's Spinney, Tom," says the Baronet; "Farmer Mangle
tells me there are two foxes in it." Tom blows his horn and trots off,
followed by the pack, by the whips, by the young gents from Winchester,
by the farmers of the neighbourhood, by the labourers of the parish on
foot, with whom the day is a great holiday; Sir Huddlestone bringing up
the rear with Colonel Crawley; and the whole train of hounds and horsemen
disappears down the avenue, leaving little Rawdon alone on the doorsteps,
wondering and happy.

During the progress of this memorable holiday little Rawdon, if he had
got no special liking for his uncle, always awful and cold, and locked up
in his study, plunged in justice business and surrounded by bailiffs and
farmers, has gained the good graces of his married and maiden aunts, of
the two little folks of the Hall, and of Jim of the Rectory, and he had
become extremely fond of Lady Jane, who told such beautiful stories with
the children clustered about her knees. Naturally, after having his first
glimpse of happy home life and his first taste of genuine motherly
affection, it was a sad day to little Rawdon when he was obliged to
return to Curzon Street. But there was an unexpected pleasure awaiting
him on his return. Lord Steyne, though he wasted no affection upon the
boy, yet for reasons of his own concerning only himself and Mrs. Becky,
extended his good will to little Rawdon. Wishing to have the boy out of
his way, he pointed out to Rawdon's parents the necessity of sending him
to a public school; that he was of an age now when emulation, the first
principles of the Latin language, pugilistic exercises, and the society
of his fellow boys would be of the greatest benefit to him. His father
objected that he was not rich enough to send the child to a good school;
his mother, that Briggs was a capital mistress for him, and had brought
him on, as indeed was the fact, famously in English, Latin, and in
general learning; but all these objections were overruled by the Marquis
of Steyne. His lordship was one of the Governors of that famous old
collegiate institution called the White Friars, where he desired that
little Rawdon should be sent, and sent he was; for Rawdon Crawley, though
the only book which he studied was the racing calendar, and though his
chief recollections of learning were connected with the floggings which
he received at Eton in his early youth, had that reverence for classical
learning which all English gentlemen feel, and was glad to think that his
son was to have the chance of becoming a scholar. And although his boy
was his chief solace and companion, he agreed at once to part with him
for the sake of the welfare of the little lad.

It was honest Briggs who made up the little kit for the boy which he was
to take to school. Molly, the housemaid, blubbered in the passage when he
went away. Mrs. Becky could not let her husband have the carriage to take
the boy to school. Take the horses into the city! Such a thing was never
heard of. Let a cab be brought. She did not offer to kiss him when he
went, nor did the child propose to embrace her, but gave a kiss to old
Briggs and consoled her by pointing out that he was to come home on
Saturdays, when she would have the benefit of seeing him. As the cab
rolled towards the city Becky's carriage rattled off to the park. She
gave no thought to either of them when the father and son entered at the
old gates of the school, where Rawdon left the child, then walked home
very dismally, and dined alone with Briggs, to whom he was grateful for
her love and watchfulness over the boy. They talked about little Rawdon a
long time, and Mr. Crawley went off to drink tea with Lady Jane, who was
very fond of Rawdon, as was her little girl, who cried bitterly when the
time for her cousin's departure came. Rawdon senior now told Lady Jane
how little Rawdon went off like a trump, and how he was to wear a gown
and little knee breeches, and Jack Blackball's son of the old regiment
had taken him in charge and promised to be kind to him.

The Colonel went to see his son a short time afterwards, and found the
lad sufficiently well and happy, grinning and laughing in his little
black gown and little breeches. As a protege of the great Lord Steyne,
the nephew of a county member, and son of a Colonel and C.B. whose
names appeared in some of the most fashionable parties in the Morning
Post, perhaps the school authorities were disposed not to look unkindly
on the child.

He had plenty of pocket-money, which he spent in treating his comrades
royally to raspberry tarts, and he was often allowed to come home on
Saturdays to his father, who always made a jubilee of that day. When
free, Rawdon would take him to the play, or send him thither with the
footman; and on Sundays he went to church with Briggs and Lady Jane and
his cousins. Rawdon marvelled over his stories about school, and fights,
and fagging. Before long he knew the names of all the masters and the
principal boys as well as little Rawdon himself. He invited little
Rawdon's crony from school and made both the children sick with pastry,
and oysters, and porter after the play. He tried to look knowing over the
Latin grammar when little Rawdon showed him what part of that work he was
"in." "Stick to it, my boy," he said to him with much gravity, "there's
nothing like a good classical education! Nothing!"

While little Rawdon was still one of the fifty gown-boys of White Friar
school, the Colonel, his poor father, got into great trouble through no
fault of his own, but as a result of which Mrs. Becky was obliged to make
her exit from Curzon Street forever, and the Colonel in bitter dejection
and humiliation accepted an appointment as Governor of Coventry Island.
For some time he resisted the idea of taking this place, because it had
been procured for him through the influence of Lord Steyne, whose
patronage was odious to him, as he had been the means of ruining the
Colonel's homelife. The Colonel's instinct also was for at once removing
the boy from the school where Lord Steyne's interest had placed him. He
was induced, however, not to do this, and little Rawden was allowed to
round out his days in the school, where he was very happy. After his
mother's departure from Curzon Street she disappeared entirely from her
son's life, and never made any movement to see the child.

He went home to his aunt, Lady Jane, for Sundays and holidays; and soon
knew every bird's-nest about Queen's Crawley, and rode out with Sir
Huddlestone's hounds, which he had admired so on his first
well-remembered visit to the home of his ancestor. In fact, Rawdon was
consigned to the entire guardianship of his aunt and uncle, to whom he
was fortunately deeply devoted; and although he received several letters
at various times from his mother, they made little impression upon him,
and indeed it was easy to see where his affections were placed. When Sir
Pitt's only boy died of whooping-cough and measles--then Mrs. Becky wrote
the most affectionate letter to her darling son, who was made heir of
Queen's Crawley by this accident, and drawn more closely than ever by it
to Lady Jane, whose tender heart had already adopted him. Rawdon Crawley,
then grown a tall, fine lad, blushed when he got the letter.

"Oh, Aunt Jane, you are my mother!" he said; "and not--and not _that_
one!" But he wrote a kind and respectful letter in response to Mrs.
Becky, and the incident was closed. As for the Colonel, he wrote to the
boy regularly every mail from his post on Coventry Island, and little
Rawdon used to like to get the papers and read about his Excellency, his
father, of whom he had been truly fond. But the image gradually faded as
the images of childhood do fade, and each year he grew more tenderly
attached to Lady Jane and her husband, who had become father and mother
to him in his hour of need.

As for George Osborne, the little boy whom Rawdon Crawley had given a
ride on his pony long years before, the fates had been much kinder to him
than to Rawdon. He had had no lonely childhood, for although he had no
recollection of his handsome young father, from baby days he was
surrounded by the utmost adoration by a doting mother. Poor Amelia,
deprived of the husband whom she adored, lavished all the pent-up love of
her gentle bosom upon the little boy with the eyes of George who was
gone--a little boy as beautiful as a cherub, and there was never a moment
when the child missed any office which love or affection could give him.
His grandfather Sedley also adored the child, and it was the old man's
delight to take out his little grandson to the neighbouring parks of
Kensington Gardens, to see the soldiers or to feed the ducks. Georgie
loved the red coats, and his grandpapa told him how his father had been a
famous soldier, and introduced him to many sergeants and others with
Waterloo medals on their breasts, to whom the old grandfather pompously
presented the child; as on the occasion of their meeting with Colonel
Rawdon Crawley and his little son.

Old Sedley was disposed to spoil little Georgie, sadly gorging the boy
with apples and peppermint to the detriment of his health, until Amelia
declared that Georgie should never go out with his grandpapa again unless
the latter solemnly promised on his honour not to give the child any
cakes, lollipops, or stall produce whatever.

Amelia's days were full of active employment, for besides caring for
Georgie, she devoted much time to her old father and mother, with whom
she and the child lived, and who were much broken by their financial
reverses. She also personally superintended her little son's education
for several years. She taught him to read and to write, and a little to
draw. She read books, in order that she might tell him stories. As his
eyes opened, and his mind expanded, she taught him to the best of her
humble power to acknowledge the Maker of All; and every night and every
morning he and she--the mother and the little boy--prayed to our Father
together, the mother pleading with all her gentle heart, the child
lisping after her as she spoke. And each time they prayed to God to bless
dear papa, as if he were alive and in the room with them.

Besides her pension of fifty pounds a year, as an army officer's widow,
there had been five hundred pounds left with the agent of her estate for
her, for which Amelia did not know that she was indebted to Major Dobbin,
until years later. This same Major, by the way, was stationed at Madras,
where twice or thrice in the year she wrote to him about herself and the
boy, and he in turn sent over endless remembrances to his godson and to
her. He sent a box of scarfs, and a grand ivory set of chess-men from
China. The pawns were little green and white men, with real swords and
shields; the knights were on horseback, the castles were on the backs of
elephants. These chessmen were the delight of Georgie's life, who printed
his first letter of acknowledgment of this gift of his godpapa. Major
Dobbin also sent over preserves and pickles, which latter the young
gentleman tried surreptitiously in the sideboard, and half killed himself
with eating. He thought it was a judgment upon him for stealing, they
were so hot. Amelia wrote a comical little account of this mishap to the
Major; it pleased him to think that her spirits were rallying, and that
she could be merry sometimes now. He sent over a pair of shawls, a white
one for her, and a black one with palm-leaves for her mother, and a pair
of red scarfs, as winter wrappers, for old Mr. Sedley and George. The
shawls were worth fifty guineas apiece, at the very least, as Mrs. Sedley
knew. She wore hers in state at church at Brompton, and was congratulated
by her female friends upon the splendid acquisition. Amelia's, too,
became prettily her modest black gown.

Amidst humble scenes and associates Georgie's early youth was passed, and
the boy grew up delicate, sensitive, imperious, woman-bred--domineering
over the gentle mother whom he loved with passionate affection. He ruled
all the rest of the little world round about him. As he grew, the elders
were amazed at his haughty manner and his constant likeness to his
father. He asked questions about everything, as inquiring youth will do.
The profundity of his remarks and questions astonished his old
grandfather, who perfectly bored the club at the tavern with stories
about the little lad's learning and genius. He suffered his grandmother
with a good-humoured indifference. The small circle round about him
believed that the equal of the boy did not exist upon the earth. Georgie
inherited his father's pride, and perhaps thought they were not wrong.

When he grew to be about six years old, Dobbin began to write to him very
much. The Major wanted to hear that Georgie was going to a school, and
hoped he would acquit himself with credit there; or would he have a good
tutor at home? It was time that he should begin to learn; and his
godfather and guardian hinted that he hoped to be allowed to defray the
charges of the boy's education, which would fall heavily upon his
mother's straitened income. The Major, in a word, was always thinking
about Amelia and her little boy, and by orders to his agents kept the
latter provided with picture-books, paint-boxes, desks, and all
conceivable implements of amusement and instruction. Three days before
Georgie's sixth birthday a gentleman in a gig, accompanied by a servant,
drove up to Mrs. Sedley's house and asked to be conducted to Master
George Osborne. It was Woolsey, military tailor, who came at the Major's
order, to measure George for a suit of clothes. He had had the honour of
making for the Captain, the young gentleman's father.

Sometimes, too, the Major's sisters, the Misses Dobbin, would call in the
family carriage to take Amelia and the little boy a drive. The patronage
of these ladies was very uncomfortable to Amelia, but she bore it meekly
enough, for her nature was to yield; and besides, the carriage and its
splendours gave little Georgie immense pleasure. The ladies begged
occasionally that the child might pass a day with them, and he was always
glad to go to that fine villa on Denmark Hill, where there were such
fine grapes in the hot-house and peaches on the walls.

Miss Osborne, Georgie's aunt, who, since old Osborne's quarrel with his
son, had not been allowed to have any intercourse with Amelia or little
Georgie, was kept acquainted with the state of Amelia's affairs by the
Misses Dobbin, who told how she was living with her father and mother;
how poor they were; but how the boy was really the noblest little boy
ever seen; which praise raised a great desire to see the child in the
heart of his maiden aunt, and one night when he came back from Denmark
Hill in the pony carriage in which he rejoiced, he had round his neck a
fine gold chain and watch. He said an old lady, not pretty, had been
there and had given it to him, who cried and kissed him a great deal. But
he didn't like her. He liked grapes very much and he only liked his
mamma. Amelia shrunk and started; she felt a presentiment of terror, for
she knew that Georgie's relations had seen him.

Miss Osborne,--for it was indeed she who had seen Georgie,--went home
that night to give her father his dinner. He was in rather a good-humour,
and chanced to remark her excitement "What's the matter, Miss Osborne?"
he deigned to ask.

The woman burst into tears. "Oh, sir," she said, "I've seen little
Georgie. He is as beautiful as an angel--and so like _him!_"

The old man opposite to her did not say a word, but flushed up, and began
to tremble in every limb, and that night he bade his daughter good-night
in rather a kindly voice. And he must have made some inquiries of the
Misses Dobbin regarding her visit to them when she had seen Georgie, for
a fortnight afterwards he asked her where was her little French watch and
chain she used to wear.

"I bought it with my money, sir," she said in a great fright, not daring
to tell what she had done with it.

"Go and order another like it, or a better, if you can get it," said the
old gentleman, and lapsed again into silence.

After that time the Misses Dobbin frequently invited Georgie to visit
them, and hinted to Amelia that his aunt had shown her inclination;
perhaps his grandfather himself might be disposed to be reconciled to him
in time. Surely, Amelia could not refuse such advantageous chances for
the boy. Nor could she; but she acceded to their overtures with a very
heavy and suspicious heart, was always uneasy during the child's absence
from her, and welcomed him back as if he was rescued out of some danger.
He brought back money and toys, at which the widow looked with alarm and
jealousy; she asked him always if he had seen any gentleman. "Only old
Sir William, who drove him about in the four-wheeled chaise, and Mr.
Dobbin, who arrived on the beautiful bay horse in the afternoon, in the
green coat and pink neckcloth, with the gold-headed whip, who promised to
show him the Tower of London and take him out with the Surrey hounds." At
last he said: "There was an old gentleman, with thick eyebrows and a
brown hat and large chain and seals. He came one day as the coachman was
leading Georgie around the lawn on the grey pony. He looked at me very
much. He shook very much. I said, 'My name is Norval,' after dinner. My
aunt began to cry. She is always crying." Such was George's report on
that night.

Then Amelia knew that the boy had seen his grandfather; and looked out
feverishly for a proposal which she was sure would follow, and which
came, in fact, a few days afterwards. Mr. Osborne formally offered to
take the boy, and make him heir to the fortune which he had intended
that his father should inherit. He would make Mrs. George Osborne an
allowance, such as to assure her a decent competency. But it must be
understood that the child would live entirely with his grandfather and be
only occasionally permitted to see Mrs. George Osborne at her own home.
This message was brought to her in a letter one day. She had only been
seen angry a few times in her life, but now Mr. Osborne's lawyer so
beheld her. She rose up trembling and flushing very much after reading
the letter, and she tore the paper into a hundred fragments, which she
trod on. "_I_ take money to part from my child! Who dares insult me
proposing such a thing? Tell Mr. Osborne it is a cowardly letter, sir--a
cowardly letter--I will not answer it! I wish you good-morning," and she
bowed the lawyer out of the room like a tragedy queen.

Her parents did not remark her agitation on that day. They were absorbed
in their own affairs, and the old gentleman, her father, was deep in
speculation, in which he was sinking the remittances regularly sent from
India by his son, Joseph, for the support of his aged parents; and also
that portion of Amelia's slender income which she gave each month to her
father. Of this dangerous pastime of her father's Amelia was kept in
ignorance, until the day came when he was obliged to confess that he was
penniless. At once Amelia handed over to him what little money she had
retained for her own and Georgie's expenses. She did this without a word
of regret, but returned to her room to cry her eyes out, for she had made
plans which would now be impossible, to have a new suit made for Georgie.
This she was obliged to countermand, and, hardest of all, she had to
break the matter to Georgie, who made a loud outcry. Everybody had new
clothes at Christmas. The other boys would laugh at him. He would have
new clothes, she had promised them to him. The poor widow had only
kisses to give him. She cast about among her little ornaments to see if
she could sell anything to procure the desired novelties. She remembered
her India shawl that Dobbin sent her, which might be of value to a
merchant with whom ladies had all sorts of dealings and bargains in these
articles. She smiled brightly as she kissed away Georgie to school in the
morning, and the boy felt that there was good news in her look.

As soon as he had gone she hurried away to the merchant with her shawl
hidden under her cloak. As she walked she calculated how, with the
proceeds of her shawl, besides the clothes, she would buy the books that
he wanted, and pay his half year's schooling at the little school to
which he went; and how she would buy a new coat for her father. She was
not mistaken as to the value of the shawl. It was a very fine one, for
which the merchant gave her twenty guineas. She ran on, amazed and
flurried with her riches, to a shop where she purchased the books Georgie
longed for, and went home exulting. And she pleased herself by writing in
the fly leaf in her neatest little hand, "George Osborne, A Christmas
gift from his affectionate mother."

She was going to place the books on Georgie's table, when in the passage
she and her mother met. The gilt bindings of the little volumes caught
the old lady's eye.

"What are those?" she said.

"Some books for Georgie," Amelia replied. "I--I promised them to him at
Christmas."

"Books!" cried the old lady indignantly; books! when the whole house
wants bread! Oh, Amelia! You break my heart with your books, and that boy
of yours, whom you are ruining, though part with him you will not! Oh,
Amelia, may God send you a more dutiful child than I have had! There's
Joseph deserts his father in his old age; and there's George, who might
be rich, going to school like a lord, with a gold watch and chain round
his neck, while my dear, dear, old man is without a sh-shilling."
Hysterical sobs ended Mrs. Sedley's grief, which quite melted Amelia's
tender heart.

"Oh, mother, mother!" she cried. "You told me nothing. I--I promised
him the books. I--I only sold my shawl this morning. Take the money--take
everything--" taking out her precious golden sovereigns, which she
thrust into her mother's hands, and then went into her room, and sank
down in despair and utter misery. She saw it all. Her selfishness was
sacrificing the boy. But for her, he might have wealth, station,
education, and his father's place, which the elder George had forfeited
for her sake. She had but to speak the words, and her father was restored
to comfort, and the boy raised to fortune. Oh, what a conviction it was
to that tender and stricken heart!

The combat between inclination and duty lasted for many weeks in poor
Amelia's heart. Meanwhile by every means in her power she attempted to
earn money, but was always unsuccessful. Then, when matters had become
tragic in the little family circle, she could bear the burden of pain no
longer. Her decision was made. For the sake of others the child must go
from her. She must give him up,--she must--she must.

She put on her bonnet, scarcely knowing what she did, and went out to
walk in the lanes, where she was in the habit of going to meet Georgie on
his return from school. It was May, a half-holiday. The leaves were all
coming out, the weather was brilliant. The boy came running to her
flushed with health, singing, his bundle of school-books hanging by a
thong. There he was. Both her arms were round him. No, it was impossible.
They could not be going to part. "What is the matter, mother?" said he.
"You look very sad."

"Nothing, my child," she said, and stooped down and kissed him. That
night Amelia made the boy read the story of Samuel to her, and how
Hannah, his mother, having weaned him, brought him to Eli the High Priest
to minister before the Lord. And he read the song of gratitude which
Hannah sang; and which says: "Who is it who maketh poor and maketh rich,
and bringeth low and exalteth, how the poor shall be raised up out of the
dust, and how, in his own might, no man shall be strong." Then he read
how Samuel's mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from
year to year when she came up to offer the yearly sacrifice. And then, in
her sweet, simple way, George's mother made commentaries to the boy upon
this affecting story. How Hannah, though she loved her son so much, yet
gave him up because of her vow. And how she must always have thought of
him as she sat at home, far away, making the little coat, and Samuel, she
was sure, never forgot his mother; and how happy she must have been as
the time came when she should see her boy, and how good and wise he had
grown. This little sermon she spoke with a gentle, solemn voice, and dry
eyes, until she came to the account of their meeting. Then the discourse
broke off suddenly, the tender heart overflowed, and taking the boy to
her breast, she rocked him in her arms, and wept silently over him.

Her mind being made up, the widow began at once to take such measures as
seemed right to her for achieving her purpose. One day, Miss Osborne, in
Russell Square, got a letter from Amelia, which made her blush very much,
and look towards her father, sitting glooming in his place at the other
end of the table.

In simple terms, Amelia told her the reasons which had induced her to
change her mind respecting her boy. Her father had met with fresh
misfortunes which had entirely ruined him. Her own pittance was so small
that it would barely enable her to support her parents and would not
suffice to give George the advantages which were his due. Great as her
sufferings would be at parting with him, she would, by God's help, endure
them for the boy's sake. She knew that those to whom he was going would
do all in their power to make him happy. She described his disposition,
such as she fancied it; quick and impatient of control or harshness,
easily to be moved by love and kindness. In a postscript, she stipulated
that she should have a written agreement that she should see the child as
often as she wished; she could not part with him under any other terms.

"What? Mrs. Pride has come down, has she?" old Osborne said, when with a
tremulous voice Miss Osborne read him the letter. "Reg'lar starved out,
hey? Ha, ha! I knew she would!" He tried to keep his dignity and to read
his paper as usual, but he could not follow it. At last he flung it down:
and scowling at his daughter, as his wont was, went out of the room and
presently returned with a key. He flung it to Miss Osborne.

"Get the room over mine--his room that was--ready," he said.

"Yes, sir," his daughter replied in a tremble.

It was George's room. It had not been opened for more than ten years.
Some of his clothes, papers, handkerchiefs, whips and caps, fishing-rods
and sporting gear, were still there. An army list of 1814, with his name
written on the cover; a little dictionary he was wont to use in writing;
and the Bible his mother had given him, were on the mantelpiece; with a
pair of spurs, and a dried inkstand covered with the dust of ten years.
Ah! since that ink was wet, what days and people had passed away! The
writing-book still on the table was blotted with his hand.

Miss Osborne was much affected when she first entered this room. She sank
quite pale on the little bed. "This is blessed news, ma'am--indeed,
ma'am," the housekeeper said; "the good old times is returning! The dear
little feller, to be sure, ma'am; how happy he will be! But some folks in
Mayfair, ma'am, will owe him a grudge!" and she clicked back the bolt
which held the window-sash, and let the air into the chamber.

"You had better send that woman some money," Mr. Osborne said, before he
went out. "She shan't want for nothing. Send her a hundred pound."

"And I'll go and see her to-morrow?" Miss Osborne asked.

"That's your lookout. She don't come in _here_, mind. But she mustn't
want now. So look out, and get things right." With which brief speeches
Mr. Osborne took leave of his daughter, and went on his accustomed way.

That night, when Amelia kissed her father, she put a bill for a hundred
pounds into his hands, adding, "And--and, mamma, don't be harsh with
Georgie. He--he is not going to stop with us long." She could say nothing
more, and walked away silently to her room.

Miss Osborne came the next day, according to the promise contained in her
note, and saw Amelia. The meeting between them was friendly. A look and a
few words from Miss Osborne showed the poor widow that there need be no
fear lest she should take the first place in her son's affection. She
was cold, sensible, not unkind. Miss Osborne, on the other hand, could
not but be touched with the poor mother's situation, and their
arrangements were made together with kindness on both sides.

Georgie was kept from school the next day, and saw his aunt. Days were
passed in talks, visits, preparations. The widow broke the matter to him
with great caution; and was saddened to find him rather elated than
otherwise. He bragged about the news that day to the boys at school; told
them how he was going to live with his grandpapa, his father's father,
not the one who comes here sometimes; and that he would be very rich, and
have a carriage, and a pony, and go to a much finer school, and when he
was rich he would buy Leader's pencil-case, and pay the tart woman.

At last the day came, the carriage drove up, the little humble packets
containing tokens of love and remembrance were ready and disposed in the
hall long since. George was in his new suit, for which the tailor had
come previously to measure him. He had sprung up with the sun and put on
the new clothes. Days before Amelia had been making preparations for the
end; purchasing little stores for the boy's use; marking his books and
linen; talking with him and preparing him for the change, fondly fancying
that he needed preparation.

So that he had change, what cared he? He was longing for it. By a
thousand eager declarations as to what he would do when he went to live
with his grandfather, he had shown the poor widow how little the idea of
parting had cast him down. He would come and see his mamma often on the
pony, he said; he would come and fetch her in the carriage; they would
drive in the Park, and she would have everything she wanted.

George stood by his mother, watching her final arrangements without the
least concern, then said a gay farewell, went away smiling, and the widow
was quite alone.

The boy came to see her often, after that, to be sure. He rode on a pony
with the coachman behind him, to the delight of his old grandfather,
Sedley, who walked proudly down the lane by his side. Amelia saw him, but
he was not her boy any more. Why, he rode to see the boys at the little
school, too, and to show off before them his new wealth and splendour. In
two days he had adopted a slightly imperious air and patronising manner,
and once fairly established in his grandfather Osborne's mansion in
Russell Square, won the grandsire's heart by his good looks, gallant
bearing, and gentlemanlike appearance. Mr. Osborne was as proud of him as
ever he had been of the elder George, and the child had many more
luxuries and indulgences than had been awarded to his father. Osborne's
wealth and importance in the city had very much increased of late years.
He had been glad enough to put the elder George in a good private school,
and a commission in the army for his son had been a source of no small
pride to him; but for little George and his future prospects the old man
looked much higher. He would make a gentleman of the little chap, a
collegian, a parliament man--a baronet, perhaps. He would have none but a
tip-top college man to educate him. He would mourn in a solemn manner
that his own education had been neglected, and repeatedly point out the
necessity of classical acquirements.

When they met at dinner the grandfather used to ask the lad what he had
been reading during the day, and was greatly interested at the report the
boy gave of his studies, pretending to understand little George when he
spoke regarding them. He made a hundred blunders, and showed his
ignorance many a time, which George was quick to see and which did not
increase the respect which the child had for his senior.

In fact, as young George had lorded it over the tender, yielding nature
of his mother, so the coarse pomposity of the dull old man with whom he
next came in contact, made him lord over the latter, too. If he had been
a prince royal, he could not have been better brought up to think well of
himself, and while his mother was yearning after him at home, he was
having a number of pleasures and consolations administered to him which
made the separation from Amelia a very easy matter to him. In fact,
Master George Osborne had every comfort and luxury that a wealthy and
lavish old grandfather thought fit to provide. He had the handsomest pony
which could be bought, and on this was taught to ride, first at a
riding-school, then in state to Regent's Park, and then to Hyde Park with
Martin the coachman behind him.

Though he was scarcely eleven years of age, Master George wore straps,
and the most beautiful little boots, like a man. He had gilt spurs and a
gold-headed whip and a fine pin in his neckerchief, and the neatest
little kid gloves which could be bought. His mother had given him a
couple of neckcloths, and carefully made some little shirts for him; but
when her Samuel came to see the widow, they were replaced by much finer
linen. He had little jewelled buttons in the lawn shirt fronts. Her
humble presents had been put aside--I believe Miss Osborne had given them
to the coachman's boy.

Amelia tried to think she was pleased at the change. Indeed, she was
happy and charmed to see the boy looking so beautiful. She had a little
black profile of him done for a shilling, which was hung over her bed.
One day the boy came galloping down on his accustomed visit to her, and
with great eagerness pulled a red morocco case out of his coat pocket.

"I bought it with my own money, mamma," he said. "I thought you'd like
it."

Amelia opened the case, and giving a little cry of delighted affection,
seized him and embraced him a hundred times. It was a miniature of
himself, very prettily done by an artist who had just executed his
portrait for his grandfather. Georgie, who had plenty of money, bethought
him to ask the painter how much a copy of the portrait would cost, saying
that he would pay for it out of his own money, and that he wanted to give
it to his mother. The pleased painter executed it for a small price, and
old Osborne himself, when he heard of the incident, growled out his
satisfaction, and gave the boy twice as many sovereigns as he paid for
the miniature.

At his new home Master George ruled like a lord, and charmed his old
grandfather by his ways. "Look at him," the old man would say, nudging
his neighbour with a delighted purple face, "did you ever see such a
chap? Lord, Lord! he'll be ordering a dressing-case next, and razors to
shave with; I'm blessed if he won't."

The antics of the lad did not, however, delight Mr. Osborne's friends so
much as they pleased the old gentleman. It gave Mr. Justice Coffin no
pleasure to hear Georgie cut into the conversation and spoil his stories.
Mr. Sergeant Toffy's lady felt no particular gratitude when he tilted a
glass of port wine over her yellow satin, and laughed at the disaster;
nor was she better pleased, although old Osborne was highly delighted,
when Georgie "whopped" her third boy, a young gentleman a year older than
Georgie, and by chance home for the holidays. George's grandfather gave
the boy a couple of sovereigns for that feat, and promised to reward him
further for every boy above his own size and age whom he whopped in a
similar manner. It is difficult to say what good the old man saw in these
combats; he had a vague notion that quarrelling made boys hardy, and that
tyranny was a useful accomplishment for them to learn. Flushed with
praise and victory over Master Toffy, George wished naturally to pursue
his conquests further, and one day as he was strutting about in new
clothes, near St. Paneras, and a young baker's boy made sarcastic
comments upon his appearance, the youthful patrician pulled off his dandy
jacket with great spirit, and giving it in charge to the friend who
accompanied him (Master Todd, of Great Coram Street, Russell Square, son
of the junior partner of the house of Osborne & Co.), tried to whop the
little baker. But the chances of war were unfavourable this time, and the
little baker whopped Georgie, who came home with a rueful black eye and
all his fine shirt frill dabbled with the claret drawn from his own
little nose. He told his grandfather that he had been in combat with a
giant; and frightened his poor mother at Brampton with long, and by no
means authentic, accounts of the battle.

This young Todd, of Coram Street, Russell Square, was Master George's
great friend and admirer. They both had a taste for painting theatrical
characters; for hardbake and raspberry tarts; for sliding and skating in
the Regent's Park and the Serpentine, when the weather permitted; for
going to the play, whither they were often conducted, by Mr. Osborne's
orders, by Rowson, Master George's appointed body-servant, with whom they
sate in great comfort in the pit.

In the company of this gentleman they visited all the principal theatres
of the metropolis--knew the names of all the actors from Drury Lane to
Sadler's Wells; and performed, indeed, many of the plays to the Todd
family and their youthful friends, with West's famous characters, on
their pasteboard theatre.

A famous tailor from the West End of the town was summoned to ornament
little Georgie's person, and was told to spare no expense in so doing.
So, Mr. Woolsey, of Conduit Street, gave a loose rein to his imagination,
and sent the child home fancy trowsers, fancy waistcoats, and fancy
jackets enough to furnish a school of little dandies. George had little
white waistcoats for evening parties, and little cut velvet waistcoats
for evening parties, and little cut velvet waistcoats for dinners, and a
dear little darling shawl dressing-gown, for all the world like a little
man. He dressed for dinner every day, "like a regular West End swell," as
his grandfather remarked; one of the domestics was affected to his
special service, attended him at his toilette, answered his bell, and
brought him his letters always on a silver tray.

Georgie, after breakfast, would sit in the arm-chair in the dining-room,
and read the Morning Post, just like a grown-up man. Those who remembered
the Captain, his father, declared Master George was his pa, every inch of
him. He made the house lively by his activity, his imperiousness, his
scolding, and his good-nature.

George's education was confided to the Reverend Lawrence Veal, a private
pedagogue who "prepared young noblemen and gentlemen for the
Universities, the Senate, and the learned professions; whose system did
not embrace the degrading corporal severities still practised at the
ancient places of education, and in whose family the pupils would find
the elegances of refined society and the confidence and affection of a
home," as his prospectus stated.

Georgie was only a day pupil; he arrived in the morning, and if it was
fine would ride away in the afternoon, on his pony. The wealth of his
grandfather was reported in the school to be prodigious. The Reverend Mr.
Veal used to compliment Georgie upon it personally, warning him that he
was destined for a high station; that it became him to prepare for the
lofty duties to which he would be called later; that obedience in the
child was the best preparation for command in the man; and that he
therefore begged George would not bring toffee into the school and ruin
the health of the other pupils, who had everything they wanted at the
elegant and abundant table of Mrs. Veal.

Whenever Mr. Veal spoke he took care to produce the very finest and
longest words of which the vocabulary gave him the use, and his manner
was so pompous that little Georgie, who had considerable humour, used to
mimic him to his face with great spirit and dexterity, without ever being
discovered. Amelia was bewildered by Mr. Veal's phrases, but thought him
a prodigy of learning, and made friends with his wife, that she might be
asked to Mrs. Veal's receptions, which took place once a month, and where
the professor welcomed his pupils and their friends to weak tea and
scientific conversation. Poor little Amelia never missed one of these
entertainments, and thought them delicious so long as she might have
George sitting by her.

As for the learning which George imbibed under Mr. Veal, to judge from
the weekly reports which the lad took home, his progress was remarkable.
The name of a score or more of desirable branches of knowledge were
printed in a table, and the pupil's progress in each was marked by the
professor. In Greek Georgie was pronounced _Aristos_, in Latin
_Optimus_, in French _Très bien_, etc.; and everybody had prizes for
everything at the end of the year. Even that idle young scapegrace of a
Master Todd, godson of Mr. Osborne, received a little eighteen-penny
book, with _Athene_ engraved on it, and a pompous Latin inscription from
the professor to his young friend. An example of Georgie's facility in
the art of composition is still treasured by his proud mother, and reads
as follows:

_Example_: The selfishness of Achilles, as remarked by the poet Homer,
occasioned a thousand woes to the Greeks (Hom. II A 2). The selfishness
of the late Napoleon Bonaparte occasioned innumerable wars in Europe, and
caused him to perish himself in a miserable island--that of St. Helena in
the Atlantic Ocean.

We see by these examples that we are not to consult our own interest
and ambition, but that we are to consider the interests of others as
well as our own.

GEORGE SEDLEY OSBORNE.

ATHENE HOUSE, 24 April, 1827.

While Georgie's days were so full of new interests, Amelia's life was
anything but one of pleasure, for it was passed almost entirely in the
sickroom of her mother, with only the gleams of joy when little George
visited her, or with an occasional walk to Russell Square. Then came the
day when the invalid was buried in the churchyard at Brompton and
Amelia's little boy sat by her side at the service in pompous new sables
and quite angry that he could not go to a play upon which he had set his
heart, while his mother's thoughts went back to just such another rainy,
dark day, when she had married George Osborne in that very church.

After the funeral the widow went back to the bereaved old father, who
was stunned and broken by the loss of his wife, his honour, his
fortune, in fact, everything he loved best. There was only Amelia now
to stand by the tottering, heart-broken old man. This she did, to the
best of her ability, all unconscious that on life's ocean a bark was
sailing headed towards her with those aboard who were to bring change
and comfort to her life.

One day when the young gentlemen of Mr. Veal's select school were
assembled in the study, a smart carriage drove up to the door and two
gentlemen stepped out. Everybody was interested, from Mr. Veal himself,
who hoped he saw the fathers of some future pupils arriving, down to
Master George, glad of any pretext of laying his book down.

The boy who always opened the door came into the study, and said: "Two
gentlemen want to see Master Osborne." The Professor had had a trifling
dispute in the morning with that young gentleman, owing to a difference
about the introduction of crackers in school-time; but his face resumed
its habitual expression of bland courtesy, as he said, "Master Osborne, I
give you full permission to go and see your carriage friends,--to whom I
beg you to convey the respectful compliments of myself and Mrs. Veal."

George went into the reception room, and saw two strangers, whom he
looked at with his head up, in his usual haughty manner. One was fat,
with moustaches, and the other was lean and long in a blue frock coat,
with a brown face, and a grizzled head.

"My God, how like he is!" said the long gentleman, with a start. "Can you
guess who we are, George?"

The boy's face flushed up, and his eyes brightened. "I don't know the
other," he said, "but I should think you must be Major Dobbin."

Indeed, it _was_ Major Dobbin, who had come home on urgent private
affairs, and who on board the Ramchunder, East Indiaman, had fallen in
with no other than the Widow Osborne's stout brother, Joseph, who had
passed the last ten years in Bengal. A voyage to Europe was pronounced
necessary for him, and having served his full time in India, and having
laid by a considerable sum of money, he was free to come home and stay
with a good pension, or to return and resume that rank in the service to
which he was entitled.

Many and many a night as the ship was cutting through the roaring dark
sea, the moon and stars shining overhead, and the bell singing out the
watch, Mr. Sedley and the Major would sit on the quarter deck of the
vessel, talking about home as they smoked. In these conversations, with
wonderful perseverance, Major Dobbin would always manage to bring the
talk round to the subject of Amelia. Jos was a little testy about his
father's misfortunes and application to him for money, but was soothed
down by the Major, who pointed out the elder's ill fortunes in old age.
He pointed out how advantageous it would be for Jos Sedley to have a
house of his own in London, and how his sister Amelia would be the very
person to preside over it; how elegant, how gentle she was, and of what
refined good manners. He then hinted how becoming it would be for Jos to
send Georgy to a good school and make a man of him. In a word, this
artful Major made Jos promise to take charge of Amelia and her
unprotected child before that pompous civilian made the discovery that he
was binding himself.

Then came the arrival of the Ramchunder, the going ashore, and the
entrance of the two men into the little home where Amelia was keeping her
faithful watch over her feeble father. The excitement and surprise were a
great shock to the old man, while to Amelia they were the greatest
happiness that could have come to her. Of course the first thing she did
was to show Georgie's miniature, and to tell of his great
accomplishments, and then she secured the promise that the Major and her
brother would visit the Reverend Mr. Veal's school at the earliest
possible moment. This promise we have seen redeemed. Major Dobbin and
Joseph Sedley, having become acquainted with the details of Amelia's
lonely life, and of Georgie's happy one, lost no time in altering such
circumstances as were within their power to change. Jos Sedley,
notwithstanding his pompous selfishness and egoism, had a very tender
heart, and shortly after his first appearance at Brompton, old Sedley and
his daughter were carried away from the humble cottage in which they had
passed the last ten years of their life to the handsome new home which
Jos Sedley had provided for himself and them.

Good fortune now began to smile upon Amelia. Jos's friends were all from
three presidencies, and his new house was in the centre of the
comfortable Anglo-Indian district. Owing to Jos Sedley's position numbers
of people came to see Mrs. Osborne who before had never noticed her. Lady
Dobbin and her daughters were delighted at her change of fortune, and
called upon her. Miss Osborne, herself, came in her grand chariot; Jos
was reported to be immensely rich. Old Osborne had no objection that
George should inherit his uncle's property as well as his own. "We will
make a man of the fellow," he said; "and I will see him in parliament
before I die. You may go and see his mother, Miss Osborne, though _I'll_
never set eyes on her"; and Miss Osborne came. George was allowed to dine
once or twice a week with his mother, and bullied the servants and his
relations there, just as he did in Russell Square.

He was always respectful to Major Dobbin, however, and more modest in
his demeanour when that gentleman was present. He was a clever lad, and
afraid of the Major. George could not help admiring his friend's
simplicity, his good-humour, his various learning quietly imparted, his
general love of truth and justice. He had met no such man as yet in the
course of his experience, and he had an instinctive liking for a
gentleman. He hung fondly by his god-father's side; and it was his
delight to walk in the Parks and hear Dobbin talk. William told George
about his father, about India and Waterloo, about everything but
himself. When George was more than usually pert and conceited, the Major
joked at him, which Mrs. Osborne thought very cruel. One day taking him
to the play, and the boy declining to go into the pit because it was
vulgar, the Major took him to the boxes, left him there, and went down
himself to the pit. He had not been seated there very long before he
felt an arm thrust under his, and a dandy little hand in a kid-glove
squeezing his arm. George had seen the absurdity of his ways, and come
down from the upper region. A tender laugh of benevolence lighted up old
Dobbin's face and eyes as he looked at the repentant little prodigal. He
loved the boy very deeply.

If there was a sincere liking between George and the Major, it must be
confessed that between the boy and his Uncle Joseph no great love
existed. George had got a way of blowing out his cheeks, and putting his
hands in his waistcoat pockets, and saying, "God bless my soul, you don't
say so," so exactly after the fashion of old Jos, that it was impossible
to refrain from laughter. The servants would explode at dinner if the
lad, asking for something which wasn't at table, put on that countenance
and used that favourite phrase. Even Dobbin would shoot out a sudden peal
at the boy's mimicry. If George did not mimic his uncle to his face, it
was only by Dobbin's rebukes and Amelia's terrified entreaties that the
little scapegrace was induced to desist. And Joseph, having a dim
consciousness that the lad thought him an ass, and was inclined to turn
him into ridicule, used to be of course doubly pompous and dignified in
the presence of Master George. When it was announced that the young
gentleman was expected to dine with his mother, Mr. Jos commonly found
that he had an engagement at the Club, and perhaps nobody was much
grieved at his absence.

Before long Amelia had a visiting-book, and was driving about regularly
in a carriage, from which a buttony boy sprang from the box with Amelia's
and Jos's visiting cards. At stated hours Emmy and the carriage went to
the Club, and took Jos for an airing; or, putting old Sedley into the
vehicle, she drove the old man round the Regent's Park. We are not long
in growing used to changes in life. Her lady's-maid and the chariot, her
visiting book, and the buttony page became soon as familiar to Amelia as
the humble routine of Brompton. She accommodated herself to one as to the
other, and entertained Jos's friends with the same unselfish charm with
which she cared for and amused old John Sedley.

Then came the day when that poor old man closed his eyes on the familiar
scenes of earth, and Major Dobbin, Jos, and George followed his
remains-to the grave in a black cloth coach. "You see," said old Osborne
to George, when the burial was over, "what comes of merit and industry
and good speculation, and that. Look at me and my bank account. Look at
your poor Grandfather Sedley, and his failure. And yet he was a better
man than I was, this day twenty years--a better man, I should say, by ten
thousand pounds." And this worldly wisdom little George received in
profound silence, taking it for what it was worth.

About this time old Osborne conceived much admiration for Major Dobbin,
which he had acquired from the world's opinion of that gentleman. Also
Major Dobbin's name appeared in the lists of one or two great parties of
the nobility, which circumstance had a prodigious effect upon the old
aristocrat of Russell Square. Also the Major's position as guardian to
George, whose possession had been ceded to his grandfather, rendered some
meetings between the two gentleman inevitable, and it was in one of these
that old Osborne, from a chance hint supplied by the blushing Major,
discovered that a part of the fund upon which the poor widow and her
child had subsisted during their time of want, had been supplied out of
William Dobbin's own pocket. This information gave old Osborne pain, but
increased his admiration for the Major, who had been such a loyal friend
to his son's wife. From that time it was evident that old Osborne's
opinion was softening, and soon Jos and the Major were asked to dinner at
Russell Square,--to a dinner the most splendid that perhaps ever Mr.
Osborne gave; every inch of the family plate was exhibited and the best
company was asked. More than once old Osborne asked Major Dobbin about
Mrs. George Osborne,--a theme on which the Major could be very eloquent.

"You don't know what she endured, sir," said honest Dobbin; "and I hope
and trust you will be reconciled to her. If she took your son away from
you, she gave hers to you; and however much you loved your George, depend
on it, she loved hers ten times more."

"You are a good fellow, sir!" was all Mr. Osborne said. But it was
evident in later events that the conversation had had its effect upon the
old man. He sent for his lawyers, and made some changes in his will,
which was well, for one day shortly after that act he died suddenly.

When his will was read it was found that half the property was left to
George. Also an annuity of five hundred pounds was left to his mother,
"the widow of my beloved son, George Osborne," who was to resume the
guardianship of the boy.

Major William Dobbin was appointed executor, "and as out of his kindness
and bounty he maintained my grandson and my son's widow with his own
private funds when they were otherwise without means of support" (the
testator went on to say), "I hereby thank him heartily, and beseech him
to accept such a sum as may be sufficient to purchase his commission as a
Lieutenant Colonel, or to be disposed of in any way he may think fit."
When Amelia heard that her father-in-law was reconciled to her, her heart
melted, and she was grateful for the fortune left to her. But when she
heard how George was restored to her, and that it had been William's
bounty that supported her in poverty, that it was William who had
reconciled old Osborne to her, then her gratitude and joy knew no bounds.

When the nature of Mr. Osborne's will became known to the world, once
more Mrs. George Osborne rose in the estimation of the people forming her
circle of acquaintance; even Jos himself paid her and her rich little
boy, his nephew, the greatest respect, and began to show her much more
attention than formerly.

As George's guardian, Amelia begged Miss Osborne to live in the Russell
Square house, but Miss Osborne did not choose to do so. And Amelia also
declined to occupy the gloomy old mansion. But one day, clad in deep
sables, she went with George to visit the deserted house which she had
not entered since she was a girl. They went into the great blank rooms,
the walls of which bore the marks where pictures and mirrors had hung.
Then they went up the great stone staircase into the upper rooms, into
that where grandpapa died, as Georgie said in a whisper, and then higher
still into George's own room. The boy was still clinging by her side, but
she thought of another besides him. She knew that it had been his
father's room before it was his.

"Look here, mother," said George, standing by the window, "here's
G.O. scratched on the glass with a diamond; I never saw it before. I
never did it."

"It was your father's room long before you were born, George," she said,
and she blushed as she kissed the boy.

She was very silent as they drove back to Richmond, where they had
taken a temporary house, but after that time practical matters occupied
her mind. There were many directions to be given and much business to
transact, and Amelia immediately found herself in the whirl of quite a
new life, and experienced the extreme joy of having George continually
with her, as he was at that time removed from Mr. Veal's on an
unlimited holiday.

George's aunt, Mrs. Bullock, who had before her marriage been Miss
Osborne, thought it wise now to become reconciled with Amelia and her
boy. Consequently one day her chariot drove up to Amelia's house, and
the Bullock family made an irruption into the garden, where Amelia
was reading.

Jos was in an arbour, placidly dipping strawberries into wine, and the
Major was giving a back to George, who chose to jump over him. He went
over his head, and bounded into the little group of Bullocks, with
immense black bows on their hats, and huge black sashes, accompanying
their mourning mamma.

"He is just the age for Rosa," the fond parent thought, and glanced
towards that dear child, a little miss of seven years. "Rosa, go and kiss
your dear cousin," added Mrs. Bullock. "Don't you know me, George? I am
your aunt."

"I know you well enough," George said; "but I don't like kissing,
please," and he retreated from the obedient caresses of his cousin.

"Take me to your dear mamma, you droll child," Mrs. Bullock said; and
those ladies met, after an absence of more than fifteen years. During
Emmy's poverty Mrs. Bullock had never thought about coming to see her;
but now that she was decently prosperous in the world, her sister-in-law
came to her as a matter of course.

So did many others. In fact, before the period of grief for Mr. Osborne's
death had subsided, Emmy, had she wished, could have become a leader in
fashionable society. But that was not her desire: worn out with the long
period of poverty, care, and separation from George, her one wish was a
change of scene and thought.

Because of this wish, some time later, on a fine morning, when the
Batavier steamboat was about to leave its dock, we see among the
carriages being taken on, a very neat, handsome travelling carriage, from
which a courier, Kirsch by name, got out and informed inquirers that the
carriage belonged to an enormously rich Nabob from Calcutta and Jamaica,
with whom he was engaged to travel. At this moment a young gentleman who
had been warned off the bridge between the paddle-boxes, and who had
dropped thence onto the roof of Lord Methusala's carriage, from which he
made his way over other carriages until he had clambered onto his own,
descended thence and through the window into the body of the carriage to
the applause of the couriers looking on.

"_Nous allons avoir une belle traversée_, Monsieur George," said Kirsch
with a grin, as he lifted his gold laced cap.

"Bother your French!" said the young gentleman.

"Where's the biscuits, ay?" Whereupon Kirsch answered him in such
English as he could command and produced the desired repast.

The imperious young gentleman who gobbled the biscuits (and indeed it was
time to refresh himself, for he had breakfasted at Richmond full three
hours before) was our young friend George Osborne. Uncle Jos and his
mamma were on the quarter-deck with Major Dobbin, and the four were about
to make a summer tour. Amelia wore a straw bonnet with black ribbons, and
otherwise dressed in mourning, but the little bustle and holiday of the
journey pleased and excited her, and from that day throughout the entire
journey she continued to be very happy and pleased. Wherever they stopped
Dobbin used to carry about for her her stool and sketch book, and admired
her drawings as they never had been admired before. She sat upon steamer
decks and drew crags and castles, or she mounted upon donkeys and
descended to ancient robber towers, attended by her two escorts, Georgie
and Dobbin. Dobbin was interpreter for the party, having a good military
knowledge of the German language, and he and the delighted George, who
was having a wonderful trip, fought over again the campaigns of the Rhine
and the Palatinate. In the course of a few weeks of constant conversation
with Herr Kirsch on the box of the carriage, George made great advance in
the knowledge of High Dutch, and could talk to hotel waiters and
postilions in a way that charmed his mother and amused his guardian.

At the little ducal town of Pumpernickel our party settled down for a
protracted stay. There each one of them found something especially
pleasing or interesting them, and there it was that they encountered an
acquaintance of other days,--no other than Mrs. Rawdon Crawley; and
because of Becky's experiences since she had quitted her husband, her
child, and the little house in Curzon Street, London, of which he knew
the details, Major Dobbin was anything but pleased at the meeting.

But Becky told Amelia a pathetic little tale of misery, neglect, and
estrangement from those she loved, and tenderhearted Amelia, who quivered
with indignation at the recital, at once invited Becky to join their
party. To this Major Dobbin made positive objections, but Amelia remained
firm in her resolve to shelter the friend of her school-days, the mother
who had been cruelly taken away from her boy by a misjudging
sister-in-law. This decision brought about a crisis in Amelia's affairs:
Major Dobbin, who had been so devotedly attached to Amelia for years,
also remained firm, and insisted not only that Amelia have no more to do
with Mrs. Crawley, but that if she did, he would leave the party. Amelia
was firm and loyal, and honest Dobbin made preparations for his
departure.

When the coach that was to carry old Dob away drew up before the door,
Georgie gave an exclamation of surprise.

"Hello!" said he, "there's Dob's trap! There's Francis coming out with
the portmanteau, and the postilion. Look at his boots and yellow
jacket--why--they are putting the horses to Dob's carriage. Is he going
anywhere?"

"Yes," said Amelia, "he is going on a journey."

"Going on a journey! And when is he coming back?"

"He is--not coming back," answered Amelia.

"Not coming back!" cried out Georgie, jumping up.

"Stay here," roared out Jos.

"Stay, Georgie," said his mother, with a very sad face.

The boy stopped, kicked about the room, jumped up and down from the
window seat, and finally, when the Major's luggage had been carried out,
gave way to his feelings again. "By Jove, I _will_ go!" screamed out
George, and rushed downstairs and flung across the street in a minute.

The yellow postilion was cracking his whip gently. William had got into
the carriage, George bounded in after him, and flung his arms around the
Major's neck, asking him multiplied questions. William kissed Georgie,
spoke gently and sadly to him, and the boy got out, doubling his fists
into his eyes. The yellow postilion cracked his whip again, up sprang
Francis to the box, and away Dobbin was carried, never looking up as he
passed under Amelia's window; and Georgie, left alone in the street,
burst out crying in the face of all the crowd and continued his
lamentations far into the night, when Amelia's maid, who heard him
howling, brought him some preserved apricots to console him.

Thus honest Dobbin passed out of the life of Amelia and her boy, but
not forever. Gentle Amelia was soon disillusioned in regard to the old
schoolmate whom she had taken under her care, and found that in all the
world there was no one who meant so much to her as faithful Dobbin. One
morning she wrote and despatched a note, the inscription of which no
one saw; but on account of which she looked very much flushed and
agitated when Georgie met her coming from the Post; and she kissed him
and hung over him a great deal that night. Two mornings later George,
walking on the dyke with his mother, saw by the aid of his telescope an
English steamer near the pier. George took the glass again and watched
the vessel.

"How she does pitch! There goes a wave slap over her bows. There's a man
lying down, and a--chap--in a--cloak with a--Hurrah! It's _Dob_, by
jingo!" He clapped to the telescope and flung his arms round his mother,
then ran swiftly off; and Amelia was left to make her peace alone with
the faithful Major, who had returned at her request.

Some days later Becky Sharp felt it wise to leave for Bruges, and in the
little church at Ostend there was a wedding, at which the only witnesses
were Georgie and his Uncle Jos. Amelia Osborne had decided to accept the
Major's protection for life, to the never-ending satisfaction of George,
to whom the Major had always been comrade and father.

Immediately after his marriage Colonel Dobbin quitted the service and
rented a pretty little country place in Hampshire, not far from Queen's
Crawley, where Sir Pitt and his family constantly resided now, and where
Rawdon Crawley was regarded as their son.

Lady Jane and Mrs. Dobbin became great friends, and there was a perpetual
crossing of pony chaises between the two places. Lady Jane was godmother
to Mrs. Dobbin's little girl, who bore her name, and the two lads, George
Osborne and Rawdon Crawley, who had met so many years before as children
when little Rawdon invited George to take a ride on his pony, and whose
lives had been filled with such different experiences since that time,
now became close friends. They were both entered at the same college at
Cambridge, hunted and shot together in the vacations, confided in each
other; and when we last see them, fast becoming young men, they are deep
in a quarrel about Lady Jane's daughter, with whom they were both, of
course, in love.

No further proof of approaching age is needed than a quarrel over a young
lady, and the lads, George and Rawdon, now give place forever to men.
Though the circumstances of their lives had been unlike, though George
had had all the love that a devoted mother could give, and all the
luxury which money could supply: and Rawdon had been without a mother's
devotion; without the surroundings which had made George's life
luxurious,--on the threshold of manhood we find them on an equal footing,
entering life's arena, strong of limb, glad of heart, eager for what
manhood was to bring them.



CLIVE AND ETHEL NEWCOME


[Illustration: CLIVE AND ETHEL NEWCOME.]

When one is about to write the biography of a certain person, it seems
but fair to give as its background such facts concerning the hero's
antecedents as place the details of his life in their proper setting. And
so, having the honour to be the juvenile biographer of Mr. Clive Newcome,
I deem it wise to preface the story of his life with a brief account of
events and persons antecedent to his birth.

Thomas Newcome, Clive's grandfather, had been a weaver in his native
village, and brought the very best character for honesty, thrift, and
ingenuity with him to London, where he was taken into the house of Hobson
Brothers, cloth-manufacturers; afterwards Hobson & Newcome. When Thomas
Newcome had been some time in London, he quitted the house of Hobson, to
begin business for himself. And no sooner did his business prosper than
he married a pretty girl from his native village. What seemed an
imprudent match, as his wife had no worldly goods to bring him, turned
out a very lucky one for Newcome. The whole countryside was pleased to
think of the marriage of the prosperous London tradesman with the
penniless girl whom he had loved in the days of his own poverty; the
great country clothiers, who knew his prudence and honesty, gave him
much of their business, and Susan Newcome would have been the wife of a
rich man had she not died a year after her marriage, at the birth of her
son, Thomas.

Newcome had a nurse for the child, and a cottage at Clapham, hard by Mr.
Hobson's house, and being held in good esteem by his former employers,
was sometimes invited by them to tea. When his wife died, Miss Hobson,
who since her father's death had become a partner in the firm, met Mr.
Newcome with his little boy as she was coming out of meeting one Sunday,
and the child looked so pretty, and Mr. Newcome so personable, that Miss
Hobson invited him and little Tommy into the grounds; let the child frisk
about in the hay on the lawn, and at the end of the visit gave him a
large piece of pound-cake, a quantity of the finest hot-house grapes, and
a tract in one syllable. Tommy was ill the next day; but on the next
Sunday his father was at meeting, and not very long after that Miss
Hobson became Mrs. Newcome.

After his father's second marriage, Tommy and Sarah, his nurse, who was
also a cousin of Mr. Newcome's first wife, were transported from the
cottage, where they had lived in great comfort, to the palace hard by,
surrounded by lawns and gardens, graperies, aviaries, luxuries of all
kinds. This paradise was separated from the outer world by a, thick hedge
of tall trees and an ivy-covered porter's gate, through which they who
travelled to London on the top of the Clapham coach could only get a
glimpse of the bliss within. It was a serious paradise. As you entered at
the gate, gravity fell on you; and decorum wrapped you in a garment of
starch. The butcher boy who galloped his horse and cart madly about the
adjoining lanes, on passing that lodge fell into an undertaker's pace,
and delivered his joints and sweetbreads silently at the servant's
entrance. The rooks in the elms cawed sermons at morning and evening; the
peacocks walked demurely on the terraces; the guinea fowls looked more
Quaker-like than those birds usually do. The lodge-keeper was serious,
and a clerk at the neighbouring chapel. The pastor, who entered at that
gate and greeted his comely wife and children, fed the little lambkins
with tracts. The head gardener was a Scotch Calvinist, after the
strictest order. On a Sunday the household marched away to sit under his
or her favourite minister, the only man who went to church being Thomas
Newcome, with Tommy, his little son. Tommy was taught hymns suited to his
tender age, pointing out the inevitable fate of wicked children and
giving him a description of the punishment of little sinners, which poems
he repeated to his step-mother after dinner, before a great shining
mahogany table, covered with grapes, pineapples, plum cake, port wine,
and madeira, and surrounded by stout men in black, with baggy white
neckcloths, who took the little man between their knees and questioned
him as to his right understanding of the place whither naughty boys were
bound. They patted his head if he said well, or rebuked him if he was
bold, as he often was.

Then came the birth of Mrs. Newcome's twin boys, Hobson and Bryan, and
now there was no reason why young Newcome, their step-brother, should not
go to school, and to Grey Friars Thomas Newcome was accordingly sent,
exchanging--O ye gods! with what delight--the splendour of Clapham for
the rough, plentiful fare of the new place. The pleasures of school-life
were such to him that he did not care to go home for a holiday; for by
playing tricks and breaking windows, by taking the gardener's peaches and
the housekeeper's jam, by upsetting his two little brothers in a go-cart
(of which injury the Baronet's nose bore marks to his dying day), by
going to sleep during the sermons, and treating reverend gentlemen with
levity, he drew down on himself the merited anger of his step-mother; and
many punishments. To please Mrs. Newcome, his father whipped Tommy for
upsetting his little brothers in the go-cart; but, upon being pressed to
repeat the whipping for some other prank, Mr. Newcome refused, saying
that the boy got flogging enough at school, with which opinion Master
Tommy fully agreed. His step-mother, however, determined to make the
young culprit smart for his offences, and one day, when Mr. Newcome was
absent, and Tommy refractory as usual, summoned the butler and footman to
flog the young criminal. But he dashed so furiously against the butler's
shins as to cause that menial to limp and suffer for many days after;
and, seizing the decanter, he threatened to discharge it at Mrs.
Newcome's head before he would submit to the punishment she desired
administered. When Mr. Newcome returned, he was indignant at his wife's
treatment of Tommy, and said so, to her great displeasure. This affair,
indeed, almost caused a break in their relations, and friends and clergy
were obliged to interfere to allay the domestic quarrel. At length Mrs.
Newcome, who was not unkind, and could be brought to own that she was
sometimes in fault, was induced to submit to the decrees of her husband,
whom she had vowed to love and honour. When Tommy fell ill of scarlet
fever she nursed him through his illness, and uttered no reproach to her
husband when the twins took the disease. And even though Tommy in his
delirium vowed that he would put on his clothes and run away to his old
nurse Sarah, Mrs. Newcome's kindness to him never faltered. What the boy
threatened in his delirium, a year later he actually achieved. He ran
away from home, and appeared one morning, gaunt and hungry, at Sarah's
cottage two hundred miles away from Clapham. She housed the poor prodigal
with many tears and kisses, and put him to bed and to sleep; from which
slumber he was aroused by the appearance of his father, whose instinct,
backed by Mrs. Newcome's intelligence, had made him at once aware whither
the young runaway had fled. Seeing a horsewhip in his parent's hand,
Tommy, scared out of a sweet sleep and a delightful dream of cricket,
knew his fate; and getting out of bed, received his punishment without a
word. Very likely the father suffered more than the child; for, when the
punishment was over, the little man yet quivering with the pain, held out
his little bleeding hand, and said, "I can--I can take it from you, sir,"
saying which his face flushed, and his eyes filled, whereupon the father
burst into a passion of tears, and embraced the boy, and kissed him,
besought him to be rebellious no more, flung the whip away from him, and
swore, come what would, he would never strike him again. The quarrel was
the means of a great and happy reconciliation. But the truce was only a
temporary one. War very soon broke out again between the impetuous lad
and his rigid, domineering step-mother. It was not that he was very bad,
nor she so very stern, but the two could not agree. The boy sulked and
was miserable at home, and, after a number of more serious escapades than
he had before indulged in, he was sent to a tutor for military
instruction, where he was prepared for the army and received a fairly
good professional education. He cultivated mathematics and fortification,
and made rapid progress in his study of the French language. But again
did our poor Tommy get into trouble, and serious trouble indeed this
time, for it involved his French master's pretty young daughter as well
as himself. Frantic with wrath and despair at the unfortunate climax of
events, young Newcome embarked for India, and quitted the parents whom he
was never more to see. His name was no more mentioned at Clapham, but he
wrote constantly to his father, who sent Tom liberal private remittances
to India, and was in turn made acquainted with the fact of his son's
marriage, and later received news of the birth of his grandson, Clive.

Old Thomas Newcome would have liked to leave all his private fortune to
his son Thomas, for the twins were only too well provided for, but he
dared not, for fear of his wife, and he died, and poor Tom was only
secretly forgiven.

So much for the history of Clive Newcome's father and grandfather. Having
related it in full detail, we can now proceed to the narrative of Clive's
life, he being the hero of this tale.

From the day of his birth until he was some seven years old, Clive's
English relatives knew nothing about him. Then, Colonel Newcome's wife
having died, and having kept the boy with him as long as the climate
would allow, Thomas Newcome, now Lieutenant-Colonel, decided that it was
wise to send Clive to England, to entrust him to the boy's maternal aunt,
Miss Honeyman, who was living at Brighton, that Clive might have the
superior advantages of school days in England.

Let us glance at a few extracts from letters received by Colonel Newcome
after his boy had reached England. The aunt to whose care he was
entrusted wrote as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

With the most heartfelt joy, my dear Major, I take up my pen to
announce to you the happy arrival of the Ramchunder and the dearest
and handsomest little boy who, I am sure, ever came from India. Little
Clive is in perfect health. He speaks English wonderfully well. He cried
when he parted from Mr. Sneid, the supercargo, who most kindly brought
him from Southhampton in a postchaise, but these tears in childhood are
of very brief duration!...

You may be sure that the most liberal sum which you have placed to
my credit with the Messrs. Hobson & Co. shall be faithfully expended
on my dear little charge. Of course, unless Mrs. Newcome,--who can
scarcely be called his grandmamma, I suppose,--writes to invite dear
Clive to Clapham, I shall not think of sending him there. My brother,
who thanks you for your continuous bounty, will write next month, and
report progress as to his dear pupil. Clive will add a postscript of his
own, and I am, my dear Major,

Your grateful and affectionate,

MARTHA HONEYMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a round hand and on lines ruled with pencil:

       *       *       *       *       *

_Dearest Papa_ I am very well I hope you are Very Well. Mr. Sneed
brought me in a postchaise I like Mr. Sneed very much. I like Aunt
Martha I like Hannah. There are no ships here I am your affectionate
son CLIVE NEWCOME.

       *       *       *       *       *

There was also a note from Colonel Newcome's stepbrother, Bryan,
as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

_My Dear Thomas_: Mr. Sneid, supercargo of the Ramchunder, East
Indiaman, handed over to us yesterday your letter, and, to-day, I have
purchased three thousand three hundred and twenty-three pounds 6
and 8, three per cent Consols, in our joint names (H. and B. Newcome),
held for your little boy. Mr. S. gives a favourable account of
the little man, and left him in perfect health two days since, at the
house of his aunt, Miss Honeyman. We have placed £200 to that lady's
credit, at your desire. I dare say my mother will ask your little boy to
the Hermitage; and when we have a house of our own I am sure Ann
and I shall be very happy to see him.

Yours affectionately,

B. NEWCOME.

       *       *       *       *       *

And another from Miss Honeyman's brother, containing the following:

       *       *       *       *       *

MAJOR NEWCOME:

_My Dear Colonel_: ... Clive is everything that a father's and
uncle's, a pastor's, a teacher's, affections could desire. He is not a
premature genius; he is not, I frankly own, more advanced in his
classical and mathematical studies than some children even younger than
himself; but he has acquired the rudiments of health; he has laid in a
store of honesty and good-humour which are not less likely to advance him
in life than mere science and language ... etc., etc.,

Your affectionate brother-in-law,

CHARLES HONEYMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Another letter from Miss Honeyman herself said:

       *       *       *       *       *

_My Dear Colonel_: ... As my dearest little Clive was too small
for a great school, I thought he could not do better than stay with his
old aunt and have his uncle Charles for a tutor, who is one of the finest
scholars in the world. Of late he has been too weak to take a curacy,
so I thought he could not do better than become Clive's tutor, and agreed
to pay him out of your handsome donation of £250 for Clive, a sum of
one hundred pounds per year. But I find that Charles is too kind to
be a schoolmaster, and Master Clive laughs at him. It was only the
other day after his return from his grandmamma's that I found a picture
of Mrs. Newcome and Charles, too, and of both their spectacles, quite
like. He has done me and Hannah, too. Mr. Speck, the artist, says he
is a wonder at drawing.

Our little Clive has been to London on a visit to his uncles and to
Clapham, to pay his duty to his step-grandmother, the wealthy Mrs.
Newcome. She was very gracious to him, and presented him with a five
pound note, a copy of Kirk White's poems and a work called Little
Henry and his Bearer, relating to India, and the excellent catechism of
our Church. Clive is full of humour, and I enclose you a rude scrap
representing the Bishopess of Clapham, as Mrs. Newcome is called.

Instead then of allowing Clive to be with Charles in London next
month I shall send him to Doctor Timpany's school, Marine Parade, of
which I hear the best account; but I hope you will think of soon sending
him to a great school. My father always said it was the best place for
boys, and I have a brother to whom my poor mother spared the rod, and
who I fear has turned out but a spoiled child.

I am, dear Colonel, your most faithful servant,

MARTHA HONEYMAN.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides the news gleaned from these letters we gather the main facts
concerning little Clive's departure from the Colonel's side. He had kept
the child with him until he felt sure that the change would be of
advantage to the pretty boy, then had parted from him with bitter pangs
of heart, and thought constantly of him with longing and affection. With
the boy, it was different. Half an hour after his father had left him and
in grief and loneliness was rowing back to shore, Clive was at play with
a dozen other children on the sunny deck of the ship. When two bells rang
for their dinner, they were all hurrying to the table, busy over their
meal, and forgetful of all but present happiness.

But with that fidelity which was an instinct of his nature, Colonel
Newcome thought ever of his absent child and longed after him. He never
forsook the native servants who had had charge of Clive, but endowed them
with money sufficient to make all their future lives comfortable. No
friends went to Europe, nor ship departed, but Newcome sent presents to
the boy and costly tokens of his love and thanks to all who were kind to
his son. His aim was to save money for the youngster, but he was of a
nature so generous that he spent five rupees where another would save
them. However, he managed to lay by considerable out of his liberal
allowances, and to find himself and Clive growing richer every year.

"When Clive has had five or six years at school"--that was his
scheme--"he will be a fine scholar, and have at least as much classical
learning as a gentleman in the world need possess. Then I will go to
England, and we will pass three or four years together, in which he will
learn to be intimate with me, and, I hope, to like me. I shall be his
pupil for Latin and Greek, and try and make up for lost time. I know
there is nothing like a knowledge of the classics to give a man good
breeding. I shall be able to help him with my knowledge of the world,
and to keep him out of the way of sharpers and a pack of rogues who
commonly infest young men. And we will travel together, first through
England, Scotland, and Ireland, for every man should know his own
country, and then we will make the grand tour. Then by the time he is
eighteen he will be able to choose his profession. He can go into the
army, or, if he prefers, the church, or the law--they are open to him;
and when he goes to the university, by which time I shall be, in all
probability, a major-general, I can come back to India for a few years,
and return by the time he has a wife and a home for his old father; or,
if I die, I shall have done the best for him, and my boy will be left
with the best education, a tolerable small fortune, and the blessing of
his old father."

Such were the plans of the kind schemer. How fondly he dwelt on them, how
affectionately he wrote of them to his boy! How he read books of travels
and looked over the maps of Europe! and said, "Rome, sir, glorious Rome;
it won't be very long, major, before my boy and I see the Colosseum, and
kiss the Pope's toe. We shall go up the Rhine to Switzerland, and over
the Simplon, the work of the great Napoleon. By jove, sir, think of the
Turks before Vienna, and Sobieski clearing eighty thousand of 'em off the
face of the earth! How my boy will rejoice in the picture galleries
there, and in Prince Eugene's prints! The boy's talent for drawing is
wonderful, sir, wonderful. He sent me a picture of our old school. The
very actual thing, sir; the cloisters, the school, the head gown boy
going in with the rods, and the doctor himself. It would make you die of
laughing!"

He regaled the ladies of the regiment with dive's letters, and those of
Miss Honeyman, which contained an account of the boy. He even bored some
of his hearers with this prattle; and sporting young men would give or
take odds that the Colonel would mention Clive's name, once before five
minutes, three times in ten minutes, twenty-five times in the course of
dinner, and so on. But they who laughed at the Colonel laughed very
kindly; and everybody who knew him, loved him; everybody that is, who
loved modesty, generosity and honour.

As to Clive himself, by this time he was thoroughly enjoying his new life
in England. After remaining for a time at Doctor Timpany's school, where
he was first placed by his aunt, Miss Honeyman, he was speedily removed
to that classical institution in which Colonel Newcome had been a student
in earlier days. My acquaintance with young Clive was at this school,
Grey Friars, where our acquaintance was brief and casual. He had the
advantage of being six years my junior, and such a difference of age
between lads at a public school puts intimacy out of the question, even
though we knew each other at home, as our school phrase was, and our
families were somewhat acquainted. When Newcome's uncle, the Reverend
Charles Honeyman, brought Newcome to the Grey Friars School, he
recommended him to my superintendence and protection, and told me that
his young nephew's father, Colonel Thomas Newcome, C.B., was a most
gallant and distinguished officer in the Bengal establishment of the
honourable East India Company; and that his uncles, the Colonel's
half-brothers, were the eminent bankers, heads of the firm of Hobson
Brothers & Newcome, Hobson Newcome, Esquire, Brianstone Square, and
Marblehead, Sussex, and Sir Brian Newcome, of Newcome, and Park Lane,
"whom to name," says Mr. Honeyman, with the fluent eloquence with which
he decorated the commonest circumstances of life, "is to designate two of
the merchant princes of the wealthiest city the world has ever known; and
one, if not two, of the leaders of that aristocracy which rallies round
the throne of the most elegant and refined of European sovereigns."

I promised Mr. Honeyman to do what I could for the boy; and he proceeded
to take leave of his little nephew in my presence in terms equally
eloquent, pulling out a long and very slender green purse, from which he
extracted the sum of two and sixpence, which he presented to the child,
who received the money with rather a queer twinkle in his blue eyes.

After that day's school I met my little protege in the neighbourhood of
the pastry cook's, regaling himself with raspberry tarts. "You must not
spend all the money, sir, which your uncle gave you," said I, "in tarts
and ginger-beer."

The urchin rubbed the raspberry jam off his mouth, and said, "It don't
matter, sir, for I've got lots more."

"How much?" says the Grand Inquisitor: for the formula of interrogation
used to be, when a new boy came to the school, "What's your name? Who's
your father? and how much money have you got?"

The little fellow pulled such a handful of sovereigns out of his pocket
as might have made the tallest scholar feel a pang of envy. "Uncle
Hobson," says he, "gave me two; Aunt Hobson gave me one--no, Aunt Hobson
gave me thirty shillings; Uncle Newcome gave me three pound; and Aunt Ann
gave me one pound five; and Aunt Honeyman sent me ten shillings in a
letter. And Ethel wanted to give me a pound, only I wouldn't have it, you
know; because Ethel's younger than me, and I have plenty."

"And who is Ethel?" I ask, smiling at the artless youth's confessions.

"Ethel is my cousin," replied little Newcome; "Aunt Ann's daughter.
There's Ethel and Alice, and Aunt Ann wanted the baby to be called
Boadicea, only uncle wouldn't; and there's Barnes and Egbert and little
Alfred, only he don't count; he's quite a baby, you know. Egbert and me
was at school at Timpany's; he's going to Eton next half. He's older than
me, but I can lick him."

"And how old is Egbert?" asks the smiling senior.

"Egbert's ten, and I'm nine, and Ethel's seven," replied the little
chubby-faced hero, digging his hands deep into his trousers, and jingling
all the sovereigns there. I advised him to let me be his banker; and,
keeping one out of his many gold pieces, he handed over the others, on
which he drew with great liberality till his whole stock was expended.
The school hours of the upper and under boys were different at that time;
the little fellows coming out of their hall half an hour before the Fifth
and Sixth Forms; and many a time I used to find my little blue-jacket in
waiting, with his honest square face, and white hair, and bright blue
eyes, and I knew that he was come to draw on his bank. Ere long one of
the pretty blue eyes was shut up, and a fine black one substituted in its
place. He had been engaged, it appeared, in a pugilistic encounter with a
giant of his own form whom he had worsted in the combat. "Didn't I pitch
into him, that's all?" says he in the elation of victory; and, when I
asked whence the quarrel arose, he stoutly informed me that "Wolf Minor,
his opponent, had been bullying a little boy, and that he, the gigantic
Newcome, wouldn't stand it."

So, being called away from the school, I said "Farewell and God bless
you," to the brave little man, who remained a while at the Grey Friars,
where his career and troubles had only just begun, and lost sight of him
for several years. Nor did we meet again until I was myself a young man
occupying chambers in the Temple.

Meanwhile the years of Clive's absence had slowly worn away for Colonel
Newcome, and at last the happy time came which he had been longing more
passionately than any prisoner for liberty, or schoolboy for holiday. The
Colonel had taken leave of his regiment. He had travelled to Calcutta;
and the Commander-in-Chief announced that in giving to Lieutenant-Colonel
Thomas Newcome, of the Bengal Cavalry, leave for the first time, after no
less than thirty-four years' absence from home, he could not refrain from
expressing his sense of the great services of this most distinguished
officer, who had left his regiment in a state of the highest discipline
and efficiency.

This kind Colonel had also to take leave of a score, at least, of adopted
children to whom he chose to stand in the light of a father. He was
forever whirling away in post-chaises to this school and that, to see
Jack Brown's boys, of the Cavalry; or Mrs. Smith's girls, of the Civil
Service; or poor Tom Hick's orphan, who had nobody to look after him now
that the cholera had carried off Tom and his wife, too. On board the ship
in which he returned from Calcutta were a dozen of little children, some
of whom he actually escorted to their friends before he visited his own,
though his heart was longing for his boy at Grey Friars. The children at
the schools seen, and largely rewarded out of his bounty (his loose white
trousers had great pockets, always heavy with gold and silver, which he
jingled when he was not pulling his moustaches, and to see the way in
which he tipped children made one almost long to be a boy again) and when
he had visited Miss Pinkerton's establishment, or Doctor Ramshorn's
adjoining academy at Chiswick, and seen little Tom Davis or little Fanny
Holmes, the honest fellow would come home and write off straightway a
long letter to Tom's or Fanny's parents, far away in the country, whose
hearts he made happy by his accounts of their children, as he had
delighted the children themselves by his affection and bounty. All the
apple and orange-women (especially such as had babies as well as
lollipops at their stalls), all the street-sweepers on the road between
Nerot's and the Oriental, knew him, and were his pensioners. His brothers
in Threadneedle Street cast up their eyes at the cheques which he drew.

The Colonel had written to his brothers from Portsmouth, announcing his
arrival, and three words to Clive, conveying the same intelligence. The
letter was served to the boy along with one bowl of tea and one buttered
roll, of eighty such which were distributed to fourscore other boys,
boarders of the same house with our young friend. How the lad's face must
have flushed and his eyes brightened when he read the news! When the
master of the house, the Reverend Mister Popkinson, came into the
lodging-room, with a good-natured face, and said, "Newcome, you're
wanted," he knew who had come. He did not heed that notorious bruiser,
old Hodge, who roared out, "Confound you, Newcome: I'll give it you for
upsetting your tea over my new trousers." He ran to the room where the
stranger was waiting for him. We will shut the door, if you please, upon
that scene.

If Clive had not been as fine and handsome a young lad as any in that
school or country, no doubt his fond father would have been just as well
pleased and endowed him with a hundred fanciful graces; but, in truth, in
looks and manners he was everything which his parent could desire. He was
the picture of health, strength, activity, and good-humour. He had a good
forehead shaded with a quantity of waving light hair; a complexion which
ladies might envy; a mouth which seemed accustomed to laughing; and a
pair of blue eyes that sparkled with intelligence and frank kindness. No
wonder the pleased father could not refrain from looking at him.

The bell rang for second school, and Mr. Popkinson, arrayed in cap and
gown, came in to shake Colonel Newcome by the hand, and to say he
supposes it was to be a holiday for Newcome that day. He said not a word
about Clive's scrape of the day before, and that awful row in the
bedrooms, where the lad and three others were discovered making a supper
off a pork pie and two bottles of prime old port from the Red Cow
public-house in Grey Friars Lane.

When the bell was done ringing, and all these busy little bees swarmed
into their hive, there was a solitude in the place. The Colonel and his
son walked the play-ground together, that gravelly flat, as destitute of
herbage as the Arabian desert, but, nevertheless, in the language of the
place, called the green. They walked the green, and they paced the
cloisters, and Clive showed his father his own name of Thomas Newcome
carved upon one of the arches forty years ago. As they talked, the boy
gave sidelong glances at his new friend, and wondered at the Colonel's
loose trousers, long moustaches, and yellow face. He looked very odd,
Clive thought, very odd and very kind, and like a gentleman, every inch
of him:--not like Martin's father, who came to see his son lately in
highlows, and a shocking bad hat, and actually flung coppers amongst the
boys for a scramble. He burst out a-laughing at the exquisitely ludicrous
idea of a gentleman of his fashion scrambling for coppers.

And now enjoining the boy to be ready against his return, the Colonel
whirled away in his cab to the city to shake hands with his brothers,
whom he had not seen since they were demure little men in blue jackets
under charge of a serious tutor.

He rushed into the banking house, broke into the parlour where the lords
of the establishment were seated, and astonished these trim, quiet
gentlemen by the warmth of his greeting, by the vigour of his handshake,
and the loud tones of his voice, which might actually be heard by the
busy clerks in the hall without. He knew Bryan from Hobson at once--that
unlucky little accident in the go-cart having left its mark forever on
the nose of Sir Bryan Newcome. He had a bald head and light hair, a short
whisker cut to his cheek, a buff waistcoat, very neat boots and hands,
and was altogether dignified, bland, smiling, and statesmanlike.

Hobson Newcome, Esquire, was more portly than his elder brother, and
allowed his red whiskers to grow on his cheeks and under his chin. He
wore thick shoes with nails in them, and affected the country gentleman
in his appearance. His hat had a broad brim, and his ample pockets always
contained agricultural produce, samples of bean or corn, or a whiplash or
balls for horses. In fine, he was a good old country gentleman, and a
better man of business than his more solemn brother, at whom he laughed
in his jocular way; and said rightly that a gentleman must get up very
early to get ahead of him.

These gentlemen each received the Colonel in a manner consistent with his
peculiar nature. Sir Bryan regretted that Lady Ann was away from London,
being at Brighton with the children, who were all ill of the measles.
Hobson said, "Maria can't treat you to such good company as Lady Ann
could give you; but when will you take a day and come and dine with us?
Let's see, to-day is Wednesday; to-morrow we are engaged. Friday, we dine
at Judge Budge's; Saturday I am going down to Marblehead to look after
the hay. Come on Monday, Tom, and I'll introduce you to the missus and
the young uns."

"I will bring Clive," says Colonel Newcome, rather disturbed at this
reception. "After his illness my sister-in-law was very kind to him."

"No, hang it, don't bring boys; there's no good in boys; they stop the
talk downstairs, and the ladies don't want 'em in the drawing-room. Send
him to dine with the children on Sunday, if you like, and come along down
with me to Marblehead, and I'll show you such a crop of hay as will make
your eyes open. Are you fond of farming?"

"I have not seen my boy for years," says the Colonel; "I had rather pass
Saturday and Sunday with him, if you please, and some day we will go to
Marblehead together."

"Well, an offer's an offer. I don't know any pleasanter thing than
getting out of this confounded city and smelling the hedges, and looking
at the crops coming up, and passing the Sunday in quiet." And his own
tastes being thus agricultural, the worthy gentleman thought that
everybody else must delight in the same recreation.

"In the winter, I hope, we shall see you at Newcome," says the elder
brother, blandly smiling. "I can't give you any tiger-shooting, but I'll
promise you that you shall find plenty of pheasants in our jungle," and
he laughed very gently at this mild sally.

At this moment a fair-haired young gentleman, languid and pale, and
dressed in the height of fashion, made his appearance and was introduced
as the Baronet's oldest son, Barnes Newcome. He returned Colonel
Newcome's greeting with a smile, saying, "Very happy to see you, I am
sure. You find London very much changed since you were here? Very good
time to come, the very full of the season."

Poor Thomas Newcome was quite abashed by his strange reception. Here was
a man, hungry for affection, and one relation asked him to dinner next
Monday, and another invited him to shoot pheasants at Christmas. Here was
a beardless young sprig, who patronised him and asked him whether he
found London was changed. As soon as possible he ended the interview with
his step-brothers, and drove back to Ludgate Hill, where he dismissed his
cab and walked across the muddy pavements of Smithfield, on his way back
to the old school where his son was, a way which he had trodden many a
time in his own early days. There was Cistercian Street, and the Red Cow
of his youth; there was the quaint old Grey Friars Square, with its
blackened trees and garden, surrounded by ancient houses of the build of
the last century, now slumbering like pensioners in the sunshine.

Under the great archway of the hospital he could look at the old Gothic
building; and a black-gowned pensioner or two crawling over the quiet
square, or passing from one dark arch to another. The boarding-houses of
the school were situated in the square, hard by the more ancient
buildings of the hospital. A great noise of shouting, crying, clapping
forms and cupboards, treble voices, bass voices, poured out of the
schoolboys' windows; their life, bustle, and gaiety contrasted strangely
with the quiet of those old men, creeping along in their black gowns
under the ancient arches yonder, whose struggle of life was over, whose
hope and noise and bustle had sunk into that grey calm. There was Thomas
Newcome arrived at the middle of life, standing between the shouting boys
and the tottering seniors and in a situation to moralise upon both, had
not his son Clive, who espied him, come jumping down the steps to greet
his sire. Clive was dressed in his very best; not one of those four
hundred young gentlemen had a better figure, a better tailor, or a neater
boot. Schoolfellows, grinning through the bars, envied him as he walked
away; senior boys made remarks on Colonel Newcome's loose clothes and
long moustaches, his brown hands and unbrushed hat. The Colonel was
smoking a cheroot as he walked; and the gigantic Smith, the cock of the
school, who happened to be looking majestically out of the window, was
pleased to say that he thought Newcome's governor was a fine
manly-looking fellow.

"Tell me about your uncles, Clive," said the Colonel, as they walked on
arm in arm.

"What about them, sir?" asks the boy. "I don't think I know much."

"You have been to stay with them. You wrote about them. Were they
kind to you?"

"Oh, yes, I suppose they are very kind. They always tipped me: only you
know when I go there I scarcely ever see them. Mr. Newcome asks me the
oftenest--two or three times a quarter when he's in town, and gives me a
sovereign regular."

"Well, he must see you to give you the sovereign," says Clive's
father, laughing.

The boy blushed rather.

"Yes. When it's time to go back to Smithfield on a Saturday night, I go
into the dining-room to shake hands, and he gives it to me; but he don't
speak to me much, you know, and I don't care about going to Bryanstone
Square, except for the tip (of course that's important), because I am
made to dine with the children, and they are quite little ones; and a
great cross French governess, who is always crying and shrieking after
them, and finding fault with them. My uncle generally has his dinner
parties on Saturday, or goes out; and aunt gives me ten shillings and
sends me to the play; that's better fun than a dinner party." Here the
lad blushed again. "I used," said he, "when I was younger, to stand on
the stairs and prig things out of the dishes when they came out from
dinner, but I'm past that now. Maria (that's my cousin) used to take the
sweet things and give 'em to the governess. Fancy! she used to put lumps
of sugar into her pocket and eat them in the schoolroom! Uncle Hobson
don't live in such good society as Uncle Newcome. You see, Aunt Hobson,
she's very kind, you know, and all that, but I don't think she's what you
call _comme il faut_"

"Why, how are you to judge?" asks the father, amused at the lad's candid
prattle, "and where does the difference lie?"

"I can't tell you what it is, or how it is," the boy answered, "only one
can't help seeing the difference. It isn't rank and that: only somehow
there are some men gentlemen and some not, and some women ladies and some
not. There's Jones now, the fifth-form master, every man sees he's a
gentleman, though he wears ever so old clothes; and there's Mr. Brown,
who oils his hair, and wears rings, and white chokers--my eyes! such
white chokers!--and yet we call him the handsome snob! And so about Aunt
Maria, she's very handsome and she's very finely dressed, only somehow
she's not the ticket, you see."

"Oh, she's not the ticket?" says the Colonel, much amused.

"Well, what I mean is--but never mind," says the boy. "I can't tell you
what I mean. I don't like to make fun of her, you know, for after all
she's very kind to me; but Aunt Ann is different, and it seems as if what
she says is more natural; and though she has funny ways of her own, too,
yet somehow she looks grander,"--and here the lad laughed again. "And do
you know, I often think that as good a lady as Aunt Ann herself, is old
Aunt Honeyman at Brighton--that is, in all essentials, you know? And she
is not a bit ashamed of letting lodgings, or being poor herself, as
sometimes I think some of our family--"

"I thought we were going to speak no ill of them," says the
Colonel, smiling.

"Well, it only slipped out unawares," says Clive, laughing, "but at
Newcome when they go on about the Newcomes, and that great ass, Barnes
Newcome, gives himself his airs, it makes me die of laughing. That time I
went down to Newcome I went to see old Aunt Sarah, and she told me
everything, and do you know, I was a little hurt at first, for I thought
we were swells till then? And when I came back to school, where perhaps I
had been giving myself airs, and bragging about Newcome, why, you know, I
thought it was right to tell the fellows."

"That's a man," said the Colonel, with delight; though had he said,
"That's a boy," he had spoken more correctly. "That's a man," cried the
Colonel; "never be ashamed of your father, Clive."

"_Ashamed of my father_!" says Clive, looking up to him, and walking on
as proud as a peacock. "I say," the lad resumed, after a pause--

"Say what you say," said the father.

"Is that all true what's in the Peerage--in the Baronetage, about Uncle
Newcome and Newcome; about the Newcome who was burned at Smithfield;
about the one that was at the battle of Bosworth; and the old, old
Newcome who was bar--that is, who was surgeon to Edward the Confessor,
and was killed at Hastings? I am afraid it isn't; and yet I should like
it to be true."

"I think every man would like to come of an ancient and honourable race,"
said the Colonel in his honest way. "As you like your father to be an
honourable man, why not your grandfather, and his ancestors before him?
But if we can't inherit a good name, at least we can do our best to leave
one, my boy; and that is an ambition which, please God., you and I will
both hold by."

With this simple talk the old and young gentleman beguiled their way,
until they came into the western quarter of the town, where Hobson
Newcome lived in a handsome and roomy mansion. Colonel Newcome was bent
on paying a visit to his sister-in-law, although as they waited to be let
in they could not but remark through the opened windows of the
dining-room that a great table was laid and every preparation was made
for a feast.

"My brother said he was engaged to dinner to-day," said the Colonel.

"Does Mrs. Newcome give parties when he is away?"

"She invites all the company," answered Clive. "My uncle never asks any
one without aunt's leave."

The Colonel's countenance fell. "He has a great dinner, and does not ask
his own brother!" Newcome thought. "Why, if he had come to India with all
his family, he might have stayed for a year, and I should have been
offended had he gone elsewhere."

A hot menial in a red waistcoat came and opened the door, and without
waiting for preparatory queries said, "Not at home."

"It's my father, John," said Clive. "My aunt will see Colonel Newcome."

"Missis is not at home," said the man. "Missis is gone in carriage--Not
at this door!--Take them things down the area steps, young man!"

This latter speech was addressed to a pastry cook's boy with a large
sugar temple and many conical papers containing delicacies for
dessert. "Mind the hice is here in time; or there'll be a blow-up with
your governor,"--and John struggled back, closing the door on the
astonished Colonel.

"Upon my life, they actually shut the door in our faces," said the poor
gentleman.

"The man is very busy, sir. There's a great dinner. I'm sure my aunt
would not refuse you," Clive interposed. "She is very kind. I suppose
it's different here from what it is in India. There are the children in
the Square,--those are the girls in blue,--that's the French governess,
the one with the yellow parasol. How d'ye do, Mary? How d'ye do, Fanny?
This is my father,--this is your uncle."

The Colonel surveyed his little nieces with that kind expression which
his face always wore when it was turned toward children.

"Have you heard of your uncle in India?" he asked them.

"No," says Maria.

"Yes," says Fannie. "You know mademoiselle said that if we were naughty
we should be sent to our uncle in India. I think I should like to go
with you."

"Oh, you silly child!" cries Maria.

"Yes, I should, if Clive went, too," says little Fanny.

"Behold madame, who arrives from her promenade!" mademoiselle exclaimed,
and, turning round, Colonel Newcome beheld, for the first time, his
sister-in-law, a stout lady with fair hair and a fine bonnet and a
pelisse, who was reclining in her barouche with the scarlet plush
garments of her domestics blazing before and behind her.

Clive ran towards his aunt. She bent over the carriage languidly towards
him. She liked him. "What, you, Clive!" she said, "How come you away from
school of a Thursday, sir?"

"It is a holiday," said he. "My father is come; and he is come to see
you."

She bowed her head with an expression of affable surprise and majestic
satisfaction. "Indeed, Clive!" she exclaimed, and the Colonel stepped
forward and took off his hat and bowed and stood bareheaded. She surveyed
him blandly, and put forward a little hand, saying, "You have only
arrived to-day, and you came to see me? That was very kind. Have you had
a pleasant voyage? These are two of my girls. My boys are at school. I
shall be so glad to introduce them to their uncle. _This_ naughty boy
might never have seen you, but that we took him home after the scarlet
fever, and made him well, didn't we Clive? And we are all very fond of
him, and you must not be jealous of his love for his aunt. We feel that
we quite know you through him, and we know that you know us, and we hope
you will like us. Do you think your papa will like us, Clive? Or, perhaps
you will like Lady Ann best? Yes; you have been to her first, of course?
Not been? Oh! because she is not in town." Leaning fondly on Clive's
arm, mademoiselle standing with the children hard by, while John with his
hat off stood at the opened door, Mrs. Newcome slowly uttered the above
remarkable remarks to the Colonel, on the threshold of her house, which
she never asked him to pass.

"If you will come in to us about ten this evening," she then said, "you
will find some men not undistinguished, who honour me of an evening.
Perhaps they will be interesting to you, Colonel Newcome, as you are
newly arriven in Europe. A stranger coming to London could scarcely have
a better opportunity of seeing some of our great illustrations of science
and literature. We have a few friends at dinner, and now I must go in and
consult with my housekeeper. Good-bye for the present. Mind, not later
than ten, as Mr. Newcome must be up betimes in the morning, and _our_
parties break up early. When Clive is a little older I dare say we shall
see him, too. Goodbye!"

And again the Colonel was favoured with a shake of the hand, and the lady
sailed up the stair, and passed in at the door, with not the faintest
idea but that the hospitality which she was offering to her kinsman was
of the most cordial and pleasant kind.

Having met Colonel Newcome on the steps of her house, she ordered him to
come to her evening party; and though he had not been to an evening party
for five and thirty years--though he had not been to bed the night
before--he never once thought of disobeying Mrs. Newcome's order, but was
actually at her door at five minutes past ten, having arrayed himself, to
the wonderment of Clive, and left the boy to talk to Mr. Binnie, a friend
and fellow-passenger, who had just arrived from Portsmouth, who had
dined with him, and taken up his quarters at the same hotel.

Well, then, the Colonel is launched in English society of an intellectual
order, and mighty dull he finds it. During two hours of desultory
conversation and rather meagre refreshments, the only bright spot is his
meeting with Charles Honeyman, his dead wife's brother, whom he was
mighty glad to see. Except for this meeting there was little to entertain
the Colonel, and as soon as possible he and Honeyman walked away
together, the Colonel returning to his hotel, where he found his friend
James Binnie installed in his room in the best arm-chair,
sleeping-cosily, but he woke up briskly when the Colonel entered. "It is
you, you gadabout, is it?" cried Binnie. "See what it is to have a real
friend now, Colonel! I waited for you, because I knew you would want to
talk about that scapegrace of yours."

"Isn't he a fine fellow, James?" says the Colonel, lighting a cheroot as
he sits on the table. Was it joy, or the bedroom candle with which he
lighted his cigar, which illuminated his honest features so, and made
them so to shine?

"I have been occupied, sir, in taking the lad's moral measurement: and I
have pumped him as successfully as ever I cross-examined a rogue in my
court. I place his qualities thus:--Love of approbation, sixteen.
Benevolence, fourteen. Combativeness, fourteen. Adhesiveness, two.
Amativeness is not yet of course fully developed, but I expect will be
prodigiously strong. The imaginative and reflective organs are very
large; those of calculation weak. He may make a poet or a painter, or you
may make a sojor of him, though worse men than him's good enough for
that--but a bad merchant, a lazy lawyer, and a miserable mathematician.
My opinion, Colonel, is that young scapegrace will give you a deal of
trouble; or would, only you are so absurdly proud of him, and you think
everything he does is perfection. He'll spend your money for you; he'll
do as little work as need be. He'll get into scrapes with the sax. He's
almost as simple as his father, and that is to say that any rogue will
cheat him; and he seems to me to have your obstinate habit of telling the
truth, Colonel, which may prevent his getting on in the world; but on the
other hand will keep him from going very wrong. So that, though there is
every fear for him, there's some hope and some consolation."

"What do you think of his Latin and Greek?" asked the Colonel. Before
going out to his party Newcome had laid a deep scheme with Binnie, and it
had been agreed that the latter should examine the young fellow in his
humanities.

"Wall," cries the Scot, "I find that the lad knows as much about Greek
and Latin as I knew myself when I was eighteen years of age."

"My dear Binnie, is it possible? You, the best scholar in all India!"

"And which amounted to exactly nothing. By the admirable seestem purshood
at your public schools, just about as much knowledge as he could get by
three months' application at home. Mind ye, I don't say he would apply;
it is most probable he would do no such thing. But, at the cost of--how
much? two hundred pounds annually--for five years--he has acquired about
five and twenty guineas' worth of classical leeterature--enough, I dare
say, to enable him to quote Horace respectably through life, and what
more do you want from a young man of his expectations? I think I should
send him into the army, that's the best place for him--there's the least
to do and the handsomest clothes to wear," says the little wag, daintily
taking up the tail of his friend's coat. "In earnest now, Tom Newcome, I
think your boy is as fine a lad as I ever set eyes on. He seems to have
intelligence and good temper. He carries his letter of recommendation in
his countenance; and with the honesty--and the rupees, mind ye,--which he
inherits from his father, the deuce is in it if he can't make his way.
What time's the breakfast? Eh, but it was a comfort this morning not to
hear the holystoning on the deck. We ought to go into lodgings, and not
fling our money out of the window of this hotel. We must make the young
chap take us about and show us the town in the morning, eh, Colonel?"

With this the jolly gentleman nodded over his candle to his friend, and
trotted off to bed.

The Colonel and his friend were light sleepers and early risers. The next
morning when Binnie entered the sitting-room he found the Colonel had
preceded him. "Hush," says the Colonel, putting a long finger up to his
mouth, and advancing towards him as noiselessly as a ghost.

"What's in the wind now?" asks the little Scot; "and what for have ye not
got your shoes on?"

"Clive's asleep," says the Colonel, with a countenance full of
extreme anxiety.

"The darling boy slumbers, does he?" said the wag. "Mayn't I just step in
and look at his beautiful countenance whilst he's asleep, Colonel?"

"You may if you take off those confounded creaking, shoes," the other
answered, quite gravely: and Binnie turned away to hide his jolly round
face, which was screwed up with laughter.

"Have ye been breathing a prayer over your rosy infant's slumbers, Tom?"
asks Mr. Binnie.

"And if I have, James Binnie," the Colonel said gravely, and his sallow
face blushing somewhat, "if I have I hope I've done no harm. The last
time I saw him asleep was nine years ago, a sickly little pale-faced
boy, in his little cot, and now, sir, that I see him again, strong and
handsome and all that a fond father can wish to see a boy, I should be an
ungrateful villain, James, if I didn't do what you said just now, and
thank God Almighty for restoring him to me."

Binnie did not laugh any more. "By George! Tom Newcome," said he, "you're
just one of the saints of the earth. If all men were like you there'd be
an end of both our trades; and there would be no fighting and no
soldiering, no rogues, and no magistrates to catch them." The Colonel
wondered at his friend's enthusiasm, who was not used to be
complimentary; indeed what so usual with him as that simple act of
gratitude and devotion about which his comrade spoke to him? To ask a
blessing for his boy was as natural to him as to wake with the sunrise,
or to go to rest when the day was over. His first and his last thought
was always the child.

The two gentlemen were home in time enough to find Clive dressed, and his
uncle arrived for breakfast. The Colonel said a grace over that meal; the
life was begun which he had longed and prayed for, and the son smiling
before his eyes who had been in his thoughts for so many fond years.

If my memory serves me right it was at about this time that I, the humble
biographer of Mr. Clive Newcome's life, met him again for the first time
since my school days at Grey Friars.

Going to the play one night with some fellows of my own age, and laughing
enthusiastically at the farce, we became naturally hungry at midnight,
and a desire for Welch Rabbits and good old glee-singing led us to the
"Cave of Harmony," then kept by the celebrated Hoskins, with whom we
enjoyed such intimacy that he never failed to greet us with a kind nod.
We also knew the three admirable glee-singers. It happened that there was
a very small attendance at the "Cave" that night, and we were all more
sociable and friendly because the company was select. The songs were
chiefly of the sentimental class; such ditties were much in vogue at the
time of which I speak.

There came into the "Cave" a gentleman with a lean brown face and long
black moustaches, dressed in very loose clothes, and evidently a stranger
to the place. At least he had not visited it for a long time. He was
pointing out changes to a lad who was in his company; and, calling for
sherry and water, he listened to the music, and twirled his moustaches
with great enthusiasm.

At the very first glimpse of me the boy jumped up from the table, bounded
across the room, ran to me with his hands out, and, blushing, said,
"Don't you know me?"

It was little Newcome, my school-fellow, whom I had not seen for six
years, grown a fine tall young stripling now, with the same bright blue
eyes which I remembered when he was quite a little boy.

"What the deuce brings you here?" said I.

He laughed and looked roguish. "My father--that's my father--would come.
He's just come back from India. He says all the wits used to come here. I
told him your name, and that you used to be very kind to me when I first
went to Smithfield. I've left now: I'm to have a private tutor. I say,
I've got such a jolly pony. It's better fun than old Smiffle."

Here the whiskered gentleman, Newcome's father, strode across the room
twirling his moustaches, and came up to the table where we sat, making a
salutation with his hat in a very stately and polite manner, so that
Hoskins himself felt obliged to bow; the glee-singers murmured among
themselves, and that mischievous little wag, little Nadab the
Improvisatore, began to mimic him, feeling his imaginary whiskers, after
the manner of the stranger, and flapping about his pocket-handkerchief in
the most ludicrous manner. Hoskins checked this sternly, looking towards
Nadab, and at the same time calling upon the gents to give their orders.

Newcome's father came up and held out his hand to me, and he spoke in a
voice so soft and pleasant, and with a cordiality so simple and sincere,
that my laughter shrank away ashamed; and gave place to a feeling much
more respectful and friendly.

"I have heard of your kindness, sir," says he, "to my boy. And whoever is
kind to him is kind to me. Will you allow me to sit down by you? And may
I beg you to try my cheroots?" We were friends in a minute, young Newcome
snuggling by my side, his father opposite, to whom, after a minute or two
of conversation, I presented my three college friends.

"You have come here, gentlemen, to see the wits," says the Colonel. "Are
there any celebrated persons in the room? I have been five and thirty
years from home, and want to see all there is to be seen."

King of Corpus (who was an incorrigible wag) was about to point out a
half dozen of people in the room, as the most celebrated wits of that
day; but I cut King's shins under the table, and got the fellow to hold
his tongue, while Jones wrote on his card to Hoskins, hinted to him that
a boy was in the room, and a gentleman who was quite a greenhorn: hence
that the songs had better be carefully selected.

And so they were. A lady's school might have come in, and have taken no
harm by what happened. It was worth a guinea to see the simple Colonel
and his delight at the music. He forgot all about the distinguished wits
whom he had expected to see, in his pleasure over the glees, and joined
in all the choruses with an exceedingly sweet voice.

And now young Nadab commenced one of those surprising feats of
Improvisation with which he used to charm audiences. He took us all off
and had rhymes pat about all the principal persons in the room; when he
came to the Colonel himself, he burst out--

A military gent I see, and while his face I scan,
I think you'll all agree with me he came from Hindostan.
And by his side sits laughing free a youth with curly head,
I think you'll all agree with me that he was best in bed.
Ritolderol, etc., etc.

The Colonel laughed immensely at this sally, and clapped his son, young
Clive, on the shoulder. "Hear what he says of you, sir? Clive, best be
off to bed, my boy--ho, ho! No, no. We know a trick worth two of that.
'We won't go home till morning, till daylight does appear.' Why should
we? Why shouldn't my boy have innocent pleasure? I was allowed none when
I was a young chap, and the severity was nearly the ruin of me. I must go
and speak with that young man--the most astonishing thing I ever heard in
my life. What's his name? Mr. Nadab? Mr. Nadab; sir, you have delighted
me. May I make so free as to ask you to come and dine with me to-morrow
at six. I am always proud to make the acquaintance of men of genius, and
you are one or my name is not Newcome!"

"Sir, you do me the Honour," says Mr. Nadab, "and perhaps the day will
come when the world will do me justice,--may I put down your Honoured
name for my book of poems?"

"Of course, my dear sir," says the enthusiastic Colonel, "I'll send them
all over India. Put me down for six copies and do me the favour to bring
them to-morrow when you come to dinner."

And now Mr. Hoskins, asking if any gentleman would volunteer a song, what
was our amazement when the simple Colonel offered to sing himself, at
which the room applauded vociferously; whilst methought poor Clive
Newcome hung down his head, and blushed as red as a peony.

The Colonel selected the ditty of "Wapping Old Stairs," which charming
old song he sang so pathetically that even the professional gentlemen
buzzed a sincere applause, and some wags who were inclined to jeer at the
beginning of the performance, clinked their glasses and rapped their
sticks with quite a respectful enthusiasm. When the song was over, Clive
held up his head too; looked round with surprise and pleasure in his
eyes; and we, I need not say, backed our friend, delighted to see him
come out of his queer scrape so triumphantly. The Colonel bowed and
smiled with very pleasant good-nature at our plaudits. There was
something touching in the naivetée and kindness of the placid and simple
gentleman.

Whilst the Colonel had been singing his ballad there had come into the
room a gentleman, by name Captain Costigan, who was in his usual
condition at this hour of the night. Holding on by various tables, he had
sidled up without accident to himself or any of the jugs and glasses
round about him, to the table where we sat, and seated himself warbling
the refrain of the Colonel's song. Then having procured a glass of
whiskey and water he gave what he called one of his prime songs. The
unlucky wretch, who scarcely knew what he was doing or saying, selected
the most offensive song in his repertoire. At the end of the second verse
the Colonel started up, clapping on his hat, seizing his stick, and
looking ferocious. "Silence!" he roared out.

"Hear, hear!" cried certain wags at a farther table. "Go on, Costigan!"
said others.

"Go on!" cries the Colonel in his high voice, trembling with anger. "Does
any gentleman say go on? Does any man who has a wife and sisters or
children at home, say go on? Do you dare, sir, to call yourself a
gentleman, and to say that you hold the King's commission, and to sit
amongst Christians and men of honour, and defile the ears of young boys
with this wicked balderdash?"

"Why do you bring young boys here, old boy?" cries a voice of the
malcontents.

"Why? Because I thought I was coming to a society of gentlemen," cried
out the indignant Colonel. "Because I never could have believed that
Englishmen could meet together and allow a man, and an old man, so to
disgrace himself. For shame, you old wretch! Go home to your bed, you
hoary old sinner! And for my part, I'm not sorry that my son should see,
for once in his life, to what shame and degradation and dishonour,
drunkenness and whiskey may bring a man. Never mind the change,
sir!--Curse the change!" says the Colonel, facing the amazed waiter.
"Keep it till you see me in this place again; which will be never--by
George, never!" And shouldering his stick, and scowling round at the
company of scared bacchanalians, the indignant gentleman stalked away,
his boy after him.

Clive seemed rather shamedfaced, but I fear the rest of the company
looked still more foolish. For if the truth be told that uplifted cane
of the Colonel's had somehow fallen on the back of every man in the room.

While Clive and his father are becoming better acquainted let us pass on
to Brighton, and glance at the household of that good, brisk old lady,
Clive's Aunt Honeyman. Now Aunt Honeyman was a woman of spirit and
resolution, and when she found her income sadly diminished by financial
reverses she brought her furniture to Brighton, also a faithful maid
servant who had learned her letters and worked her first sampler under
Miss Honeyman's own eye, and whom she adored all through her life. With
this outfit the brisk little lady took a house, and let the upper floors
to lodgers, and because of her personal attractions and her good
housekeeping her rooms were seldom empty.

On the morning when we first visit Miss Honeyman's a gentleman had just
applied there for rooms. "Please to speak to mistress," says Hannah, the
maid, opening the parlour door with a curtsey. "A gentleman about the
apartments, mum."

"Fife bet-rooms," says the man entering. "Six bets, two or dree
sitting-rooms? We gome from Dr. Good-enough."

"Are the apartments for you, sir?" says Miss Honeyman, looking up at the
large gentleman.

"For my lady," answers the man.

"Had you not better take off your hat?" asks Miss Honeyman.

The man grins and takes off his hat. Whereupon Miss Honeyman, having
heard also that a German's physician has especially recommended Miss
Honeyman's as a place in which one of his patients can have a change of
air and scene, informs the man that she can let his mistress have the
desired number of apartments. The man reports to his mistress, who
descends to inspect the apartments, and pronounces them exceedingly neat
and pleasant and exactly what are wanted. The baggage is forthwith
ordered to be brought from the carriages. The little invalid, wrapped in
his shawl, is carried upstairs as gently as possible, while the young
ladies, the governess, the maids, are shown to their apartments. The
eldest young lady, a slim black-haired young lass of thirteen, frisks
about the rooms, looks at all the pictures, runs in and out of the
veranda, tries the piano, and bursts out laughing at its wheezy jingle.
She also kisses her languid little brother laid on the sofa, and performs
a hundred gay and agile motions suited to her age.

"Oh, what a piano! Why, it is as cracked as Miss Quigley's voice!"

"My dear!" says mamma. The little languid boy bursts out into a
jolly laugh.

"What funny pictures, mamma! Action with Count de Grasse; the death of
General Wolfe; a portrait of an officer, an old officer in blue, like
grandpapa; Brasenose College, Oxford; what a funny name."

At the idea of Brasenose College, another laugh comes from the invalid.
"I suppose they've all got _brass noses_ there," he says; and he explodes
at this joke. The poor little laugh ends in a cough, and mamma's
travelling basket, which contains everything, produces a bottle of syrup,
labelled "Master A. Newcome. A teaspoonful to be taken when the cough is
troublesome."

"Oh, the delightful sea! the blue, the fresh, the ever free," sings the
young lady, with a shake. "How much better is this than going home and
seeing those horrid factories and chimneys! I love Dr. Goodenough for
sending us here. What a sweet house it is. What nice rooms!"

Presently little Miss Honeyman makes her appearance in a large cap
bristling with ribbons, with her best chestnut front and her best black
silk gown, on which her gold watch shines very splendidly. She curtseys
with dignity to her lodger, who vouchsafes a very slight inclination of
the head, saying that the apartments will do very well.

"And they have such a beautiful view of the sea!" cries Ethel.

"As if all the houses hadn't a view of the sea, Ethel! The price has been
arranged, I think? My servants will require a comfortable room to dine
in--by themselves mam, if you please. My governess and the younger
children will dine together. My daughter dines with me--and my little
boy's dinner will be ready at two o'clock precisely if you please. It is
now near one."

"Am I to understand--?" interposed Miss Honeyman.

"Oh! I have no doubt we shall understand each other, mam," cried Lady Ann
Newcome, for it was no other than that noble person, with her children,
who had invaded the precincts of Miss Honeyman's home. "Dr. Goodenough
has given me a most satisfactory account of you--more satisfactory,
perhaps, than you are aware of. Breakfast and tea, if you please, will be
served in the same manner as dinner, and you will have the kindness to
order fresh milk every morning for my little boy--ass's milk. Dr.
Goodenough has ordered ass's milk. Anything further I want I will
communicate through the man who first spoke to you--and that will do."

A heavy shower of rain was descending at this moment, and little Miss
Honeyman, looking at her lodger, who had sat down and taken up her book,
said, "Have your ladyship's servants unpacked your trunks?"

"What on earth, madam, have you--has that to do with the question?"

"They will be put to the trouble of packing again, I fear. I cannot
provide--three times five are fifteen--fifteen separate meals for seven
persons--besides those of my own family. If your servants cannot eat
with mine, or in my kitchen, they and their mistress must go elsewhere.
And the sooner the better, madam, the sooner the better!" says Miss
Honeyman, trembling with indignation, and sitting down in a chair,
spreading her silks.

"Do you know who I am?" asks Lady Ann, rising.

"Perfectly well, madam," says the other, "And had I known, you should
never have come into my house, that's more."

"Madam!" cries the lady, on which the poor little invalid, scared and
nervous, and hungry for his dinner, began to cry from his sofa.

"It will be a pity that the dear little boy should be disturbed. Dear
little child, I have often heard of him, and of you, miss," says the
little householder, rising. "I will get you some dinner, my dear, for
Clive's sake. And meanwhile your ladyship will have the kindness to seek
for some other apartments--for not a bit shall my fire cook for any one
else of your company." And with this the indignant little landlady sailed
out of the room.

"Gracious goodness! Who is the woman?" cries Lady Ann. "I never was so
insulted in my life."

"Oh, mamma, it was you began!" says downright Ethel. "That is--Hush,
Alfred dear,--Hush my darling!"

"Oh, it was mamma began! I'm so hungry! I'm so hungry!" howled the little
man on the sofa, or off it rather, for he was now down on the ground
kicking away the shawls which enveloped him.

"What is it, my boy? What is it, my blessed darling? You _shall_ have
your dinner! Give her all, Ethel. There are the keys of my desk, there's
my watch, there are my rings. Let her take my all. The monster! The child
must live! It can't go away in such a storm as this. Give me a cloak, a
parasol, anything--I'll go forth and get a lodging. I'll beg my bread
from house to house, if this fiend refuses me. Eat the biscuits, dear! A
little of the syrup, Alfred darling; it's very nice, love, and come to
your old mother--your poor old mother."

Alfred roared out, "No, it's not n--ice; it's n-a-a-sty! I won't have
syrup. I _will_ have dinner." The mother, whose embraces the child
repelled with infantine kicks, plunged madly at the bells, rang them all
four vehemently, and ran downstairs towards the parlour, whence Miss
Honeyman was issuing.

The good lady had not at first known the names of her lodgers, until one
of the nurses intrusted with the care of Master Alfred's dinner informed
her that she was entertaining Lady Ann Newcome; and that the pretty girl
was the fair Miss Ethel; the little sick boy, the little Alfred of whom
his cousin spoke, and of whom Clive had made a hundred little drawings in
his rude way, as he drew everybody. Then bidding Sally run off to St.
James Street for a chicken, she saw it put on the spit, and prepared a
bread sauce, and composed a batter-pudding, as she only knew how to make
batter puddings. Then she went to array herself in her best clothes, as
we have seen; then she came to wait upon Lady Ann, not a little flurried
as to the result of that queer interview; then she whisked out of the
drawing-room, as before has been shown; and, finding the chicken roasted
to a turn, the napkin and tray ready spread by Hannah the neat-handed,
she was bringing them up to the little patient when the frantic parent
met her on the stair.

"Is it--is it for my child?" cried Lady Ann, reeling against the
bannister.

"Yes, it's for the child," says Miss Honeyman, tossing up her head. "But
nobody else has anything in the house."

"God bless you! God bless you! A mother's bl--l-ess-ings go with you,"
gurgled the lady, who was not, it must be confessed, a woman of strong
moral character.

It was good to see the little man eating the fowl. Ethel, who had never
cut anything in her young existence, except her fingers now and then with
her brother's and her governess's penknives, bethought her of asking Miss
Honeyman to carve the chicken. Lady Ann, with clasped hands and streaming
eyes, sat looking on at the ravishing scene.

"Why did you not let us know you were Clive's aunt?" Ethel asked, putting
out her hand. The old lady took hers very kindly, and said, "Because you
didn't give me time,--and do you love Clive, my dear?"

The reconciliation between Miss Honeyman and her lodger was perfect, and
for a brief season Lady Ann Newcome was in rapture with her new lodgings
and every person and thing which they contained. The drawing-rooms were
fitted with the greatest taste; the dinner was exquisite; were there ever
such delicious veal cutlets, such fresh French beans?

"Indeed they were very good," said Miss Ethel, "I am so glad you like the
house, and Clive, and Miss Honeyman."

Ethel's mother was constantly falling in love with new acquaintances; so
these raptures were no novelty to her daughter. Ethel had had so many
governesses, all darlings during the first week, and monsters afterwards,
that the poor child possessed none of the accomplishments of her age.
She could not play on the piano; she could not speak French well; she
could not tell you when gunpowder was invented; she had not the faintest
idea of the date of the Norman Conquest, or whether the earth went round
the sun, or vice versa. She did not know the number of counties in
England, Scotland and Wales, let alone Ireland; she did not know the
difference between latitude and longitude. She had had so many
governesses; their accounts differed; poor Ethel was bewildered by a
multiplicity of teachers, and thought herself a monster of ignorance.
They gave her a book at a Sunday school, and little girls of eight years
old answered questions of which she knew nothing. The place swam before
her. She could not see the sun shining on their fair flaxen heads and
pretty faces. The rosy little children, holding up their eager hands and
crying the answer to this question and that, seemed mocking her. She
seemed to read in the book, "Oh, Ethel, you dunce, dunce, dunce!" She
went home silent in the carriage, and burst into bitter tears on her bed.
Naturally a haughty girl of the highest spirit, resolute and imperious,
this little visit to the parish school taught Ethel lessons more valuable
than ever so much arithmetic and geography.

When Ethel was thirteen years old she had grown to be such a tall girl
that she overtopped her companions by a head or more, and morally
perhaps, also, felt herself too tall for their society. "Fancy myself,"
she thought, "dressing a doll like Lily Putland, or wearing a pinafore
like Lucy Tucker!" She did not care for their sports. She could not walk
with them; it seemed as if everyone stared; nor dance with them at the
academy; nor attend the _Cours de Litterature Universelle et de Science
Comprehensive_ of the professor then the mode. The smallest girls took
her up in the class. She was bewildered by the multitude of things they
bade her learn. At the youthful little assemblies of her sex, when, under
the guide of their respected governesses, the girls came to tea at six
o'clock, dancing, charades, and so forth, Ethel herded not with the
children of her own age, nor yet with the teachers who sat apart at these
assemblies, imparting to each other their little wrongs. But Ethel romped
with the little children, the rosy little trots, and took them on her
knees, and told them a thousand stories. By these she was adored, and
loved like a mother almost, for as such the hearty, kindly girl showed
herself to them; but at home she was alone, and intractable, and did
battle with the governesses, and overcame them one after another.

While Lady Ann Newcome and her children were at Brighton, Lady Kew,
mother of Lady Ann, was also staying there, but refused to visit the
house in which her daughter was stopping for fear that she herself might
contract the disease from which her grandchildren were recovering. She
received news of them, however, through her grandson, Lord Kew, and his
friend Jack Belsize, who enjoyed dining with the old lady whenever they
were given the opportunity. Having met their cousins one day before
dining with Lady Kew their news was most interesting and enthusiastic.

"That little chap who has just had the measles--he's a dear little
brick," said Jack Belsize. "And as for Miss Ethel--"

"Ethel is a trump, mam," says Lord Kew, slapping his hand on his knee.

"Ethel is a brick, and Alfred is a trump, I think you say," remarks Lady
Kew, "and Barnes is a snob. This is very satisfactory to know."

"We met the children out to-day," cries the enthusiastic Kew, "as I was
driving Jack in the drag, and I got out and talked to 'em. The little
fellow wanted a drive and I said I would drive him and Ethel, too, if she
would come. Upon my word she's as pretty a girl as you can see on a
summer's day. And the governess said, no, of course; governesses always
do. But I said I was her uncle, and Jack paid her such a fine compliment
that she finally let the children take their seats beside me, and Jack
went behind. We drove on to the Downs; my horses are young, and when they
get on the grass they are as if they were mad. They ran away, ever so
far, and I thought the carriage must upset. The poor little boy, who has
lost his pluck in the fever, began to cry; but that young girl, though
she was as white as a sheet, never gave up for a moment, and sat in her
place like a man. We met nothing, luckily; and I pulled the horses in
after a mile or two, and I drove 'em into Brighton as quiet as if I had
been driving a hearse. And that little trump of an Ethel, what do you
think she said? She said: 'I was not frightened, but you must not tell
mamma.' My aunt, it appears, was in a dreadful commotion. I ought to have
thought of that."

There is a brother of Sir Brian Newcome's staying with them, Lord Kew
perceives; an East India Colonel, a very fine-looking old boy. He was on
the lookout for them, and when they came in sight he despatched a boy who
was with him, running like a lamplighter, back to their aunt to say all
was well. And he took little Alfred out of the carriage, and then helped
out Ethel, and said, "My dear, you are too pretty to scold; but you have
given us all a great fright." And then he made Kew and Jack a low bow,
and stalked into the lodgings. Then they went up and made their peace and
were presented in form to the Colonel and his youthful cub.

"As fine a fellow as I ever saw," cries Jack Belsize. "The young chap is
a great hand at drawing--upon my life the best drawings I ever saw. And
he was making a picture for little What-do-you-call-'im, and Miss Newcome
was looking over them. And Lady Ann pointed out the group to me, and said
how pretty it was."

In consequence of this conversation, which aroused her curiosity, Lady
Kew sent a letter that night to Lady Ann Newcome, desiring that Ethel
should be sent to see her grandmother; Ethel, who was no weakling in
character despite her youth, and who always rebelled against her
grandmother and always fought on her Aunt Julia's side when that amiable
invalid lady, who lived with her mother, was oppressed by the dominating
older woman.

From the foregoing facts we gather that Thomas Newcome had not been many
weeks in England before he favoured good little Miss Honeyman with a
visit, to her great delight. You may be sure that the visit was an event
in her life. And she was especially pleased that it should occur at the
time when the Colonel's kinsfolk were staying under her roof. On the day
of the Colonel's arrival all the presents which Newcome had ever sent his
sister-in-law from India had been taken out of the cotton and lavender in
which the faithful creature kept them. It was a fine hot day in June, but
I promise you Miss Honeyman wore her blazing scarlet Cashmere shawl; her
great brooch, representing the Taj of Agra, was in her collar; and her
bracelets decorated the sleeves round her lean old hands, which trembled
with pleasure as they received the kind grasp of the Colonel of colonels.
How busy those hands had been that morning! What custards they had
whipped! What a triumph of pie-crusts they had achieved! Before Colonel
Newcome had been ten minutes in the house the celebrated veal-cutlets
made their appearance. Was not the whole house adorned in expectation of
his coming? The good woman's eyes twinkled, the kind old hand and voice
shook, as, holding up a bright glass of Madeira, Miss Honeyman drank the
Colonel's health. "I promise you, my dear Colonel," says she, nodding her
head, adorned with a bristling superstructure of lace and ribbons, "I
promise you, that I can drink your health in good wine!" The wine was of
his own sending, and so were the China firescreens, and the sandal-wood
work-box, and the ivory card case, and those magnificent pink and white
chessmen, carved like little sepoys and mandarins, with the castles on
elephants' backs, George the Third and his queen in pink ivory against
the Emperor of China and lady in white--the delight of Clive's
childhood, the chief ornament of the old spinster's sitting-room.

Miss Honeyman's little feast was pronounced to be the perfection of
cookery; and when the meal was over, came a noise of little feet at the
parlour door, which being opened, there appeared: first, a tall nurse
with a dancing baby; second and third, two little girls with little
frocks, little trowsers, long ringlets, blue eyes, and blue ribbons to
match; fourth, Master Alfred, now quite recovered from his illness and
holding by the hand, fifth, Miss Ethel Newcome, blushing like a rose.

Hannah, grinning, acted as mistress of the ceremonies, calling out the
names of "Miss Newcome, Master Newcome, to see the Colonel, if you
please, ma'am," bobbing a curtsey, and giving a knowing nod to Master
Clive, as she smoothed her new silk apron. Miss Ethel did not cease
blushing as she advanced towards her uncle; and the honest campaigner
started up, blushing too. Mr. Clive rose also, as little Alfred, of whom
he was a great friend, ran towards him. Clive rose, laughed, nodded at
Ethel, and ate ginger-bread nuts all at the same time. As for Colonel
Thomas Newcome and his niece, they fell in love with each other
instantaneously, like Prince Camaralzaman and the Princess of China.

"Mamma has sent us to bid you welcome to England, uncle," says Miss
Ethel, advancing, and never thinking for a moment of laying aside that
fine blush which she brought into the room, and which was her pretty
symbol of youth and modesty and beauty.

He took a little slim white hand and laid it down on his brown palm,
where it looked all the whiter; he cleared the grizzled moustache from
his mouth, and stooping down he kissed the little white hand with a great
deal of grace and dignity, after which he was forever the humble and
devoted admirer of that bright young girl.

Raising himself from his salute, he heard a pretty little infantile
chorus. "How do you do, uncle?" said girls number two and three, while
the dancing baby in the arms of the bobbing nurse babbled a welcome.
Alfred looked up for a while at his uncle in the white trousers, and then
instantly proposed that Clive should make some drawings; and was on his
knees at the next moment. He was always climbing on somebody or
something, or winding over chairs, curling through bannisters, standing
on somebody's head, or his own head; as his convalescence advanced, his
breakages were fearful. Miss Honeyman and Hannah talked about his
dilapidations for years after. When he was a jolly young officer in the
Guards, and came to see them at Brighton, they showed him the blue dragon
Chayny jar on which he would sit, and over which he cried so fearfully
upon breaking it.

When this little party had gone out smiling to take its walk on the sea
shore, the Colonel from his balcony watched the slim figure of pretty
Ethel, looked fondly after her, and as the smoke of his cigar floated in
the air, formed a fine castle in it, whereof Clive was Lord, and Ethel
Lady. "What a frank, generous, bright young creature is yonder!" thought
he. "How cheering and gay she is; how good to Miss Honeyman, to whom she
behaved with just the respect that was the old lady's due. How
affectionate with her brothers and sisters! What a sweet voice she had!
What a pretty little white hand it is! When she gave it me, it looked
like a little white bird lying in mine."

Thus mused the Colonel, upon the charms of the young girl who was
henceforth to occupy the first place in his affection.

His admiration for her might have been still further heightened had he
been at Lady Ann's breakfast table some four or five weeks later, when
Lady Ann and her nursery had just returned to London, little Alfred being
perfectly set up by a month of Brighton air. Barnes Newcome had just
discovered an article in the Newcome Independent commenting warmly upon a
visit which Colonel Newcome and Clive had recently paid to Newcome, the
object of that visit having been the Colonel's desire to gladden the eyes
of his old nurse Sarah with a sight of him. Inhabitants of Newcome,
feeling that the same Sarah Mason, who was a much respected member of the
community, was much neglected by her rich and influential relatives in
London, took great delight in commenting upon the Colonel's attention to
the aged woman. The article in the Independent on that subject was
anything but pleasing to the family pride of Mr. Barnes, who remarked in
a sneering tone, "My uncle the Colonel, and his amiable son, have been
paying a visit to Newcome. That is the news which the paper announces
triumphantly," said Mr. Barnes.

"You are always sneering about our uncle," broke in Ethel, impetuously,
"and saying unkind things about Clive. Our uncle is a dear, good, kind
man, and I love him. He came to Brighton to see us, and went out every
day for hours and hours with Alfred; and Clive, too, drew pictures for
him. And he is good, and kind, and generous, and honest as his father.
Barnes is always speaking ill of him behind his back; and Miss Honeyman
is a dear little old woman too. Was not she kind to Alfred, mamma, and
did not she make him nice jelly?"

"Did you bring some of Miss Honeyman's lodging-house cards with you,
Ethel?" sneered her brother, "and had we not better hang up one or two in
Lombard Street; hers and our other relation's, Mrs. Mason?"

"My darling love, who _is_ Mrs. Mason?" asks Lady Ann.

"Another member of the family, ma'am. She was cousin--"

"She was no such thing, sir," roars Sir Brian.

"She was relative and housemaid of my grandfather during his first
marriage. She has retired into private life in her native town of
Newcome. The Colonel and young Clive have been spending a few days with
their elderly relative. It's all here in the paper, by Jove!" Mr. Barnes
clenched his fist and stamped upon the newspaper with much energy.

"And so they should go down and see her, and so the Colonel should love
his nurse and not forget his relations if they are old and poor!"
cries Ethel, with a flush on her face, and tears starting in her eyes.
"The Colonel went to her like a kind, dear, good brave uncle as he is.
The very day I go to Newcome I'll go to see her." She caught a look of
negation in her father's eye. "I will go--that is, if papa will give me
leave," says Miss Ethel, adding simply, "if we had gone sooner there
would not have been all this abuse of us in the papers." To which
statement her worldly father and brother perforce agreeing, we may
congratulate good old nurse Sarah upon adding to the list of her
friends such a frank, open-hearted, high-spirited young woman as Miss
Ethel Newcome.

In spite of the notoriety given him in the newspapers by his visit to
Nurse Sarah, at his native place, he still remained in high favour with
Sir Brian Newcome's family, where he paid almost daily visits, and was
received with affection at least by the ladies and children of the house.
Who was it that took the children to Astley's but Uncle Newcome? I saw
him there in the midst of a cluster of these little people, all children
together, the little girls, Sir Brian's daughters, holding each by a
finger of his hands, young Masters Alfred and Edward clapping and
hurrahing by his side; while Mr. Clive and Miss Ethel sat in the back of
the box enjoying the scene, but with that decorum which belonged to their
superior age and gravity. As for Clive, he was in these matters much
older than the grizzled old warrior his father. It did one good to hear
the Colonel's honest laughs at Clown's jokes, and to see the tenderness
and simplicity with which he watched over this happy brood of young ones.
How lavishly did he supply them with sweetmeats between the acts! There
he sat in the midst of them, and ate an orange himself with perfect
satisfaction, and was eager to supply any luxury longed for by his young
companions.

The Colonel's organ of benevolence was so large that he would have
liked to administer bounties to the young folks his nephews and nieces
in Brianstone Square, as well as to their cousins in Park Lane; but
Mrs. Newcome was a great deal too virtuous to admit of such spoiling of
children. She took the poor gentleman to task for an attempt upon her
boys when those lads came home for their holidays, and caused them
ruefully to give back the shining gold sovereigns with which their
uncle had thought to give them a treat. So the Colonel was obliged to
confine his benevolence to that branch of the family where it was
graciously accepted.

Meanwhile the Colonel had a new interest to absorb his attention. He had
taken a new house at 120 Fitzroy Square in connection with that Indian
friend of his, Mr. Binnie. The house being taken, there was fine
amusement for Clive, Mr. Binnie, and the Colonel, in frequenting sales,
in inspection of upholsterers' shops, and the purchase of furniture for
the new mansion. There were three masters with four or five servants
under them. Irons for the Colonel and his son, a smart boy with boots
for Mr. Binnie; Mrs. Irons to cook and keep house, with a couple of
maids under her. The Colonel himself was great at making hash mutton,
hotpot, and curry. What cosy pipes did we not smoke in the dining-room,
in the drawing-room, or where we would! What pleasant evenings did we
not have together.

Clive had a tutor--Grindley of Corpus--with whom the young gentleman did
not fatigue his brains very much, his great talent lying decidedly in
drawing. He sketched the horses, he sketched the dogs, all the servants,
from the bleer-eyed boot-boy to the rosy cheeked lass whom the
housekeeper was always calling to come downstairs. He drew his father in
all postures, and jolly little Mr. Binnie too. Young Ridley, known to his
young companions as J.J., was his daily friend now, to the great joy of
that young man, who considered Clive Newcome to be the most splendid,
fortunate, beautiful, high-born and gifted youth in the world. What
generous boy in his time has not worshipped somebody? Before the female
enslaver makes her appearance, every lad has a friend of friends, a crony
of cronies, to whom he writes immense letters in vacation, whom he
cherishes in his hearts of hearts; whose sister he proposes to marry in
after life; whose purse he shares; for whom he will take a thrashing if
need be; who is his hero. Clive was John James's youthful divinity; when
he wanted to draw Thaddeus of Warsaw, a Prince, Ivanhoe, or some one
splendid and egregious, it was Clive he took for a model. His heart leapt
when he saw the young fellow. He would walk cheerfully to Grey Friars
with a letter or message for C. on the chance of seeing him and getting a
kind word from him or a shake of the hand. The poor lad was known by the
boys as Newcome's Punch. He was all but hunchback, long and lean in the
arm; sallow, with a great forehead and waving black hair, and large
melancholy eyes. But his genius for drawing was enormous, which fact
Clive fully appreciated. Because of J. J.'s admiration for Clive it was
his joy to be with Clive constantly; and after Grindley's classics and
mathematics in the morning, the young men would attend Gandish's Drawing
Academy, together.

"Oh," says Clive, if you talk to him now about those early days, "it
was a jolly time! I do not believe there was any young fellow in London
so happy."

Clive had many conversations with his father as to the profession which
he should follow. As regarded mathematical and classical learning, the
elder Newcome was forced to admit that out of every hundred boys there
were fifty as clever as his own, and at least fifty more industrious;
the army in time of peace Colonel Newcome thought a bad trade for a
young fellow so fond of ease and pleasure as his son. His delight in the
pencil was manifest to all. Were not his school books full of caricatures
of the masters? While his tutor was lecturing him, did he not draw
Grindley instinctively under his very nose? A painter Clive was
determined to be, and nothing else; and Clive, being then some sixteen
years of age, began to study art under the eminent Mr. Gandish of Soho.

It was that well-known portrait painter, Andrew Smee, Esq., R.A., who
recommended Gandish to Colonel Newcome one day when the two gentleman met
at dinner at Lady Ann Newcome's. Mr. Smee happened to examine some of
Clive's drawings, which the young fellow had executed for his cousins.
Clive found no better amusement than in making pictures for them and
would cheerfully pass evening after evening in that direction. He had
made a thousand sketches of Ethel before a year was over; a year every
day of which seemed to increase the attractions of the fair young
creature. Also, of course Clive drew Alfred and the nursery in general,
Aunt Ann and the Blenheim spaniels, the majestic John bringing in the
coal-scuttle, and all persons or objects in that establishment with which
he was familiar.

"What a genius the lad has," the complimentary Mr. Smee averred; "what a
force and individuality there is in all his drawings! Look at his horses!
Capital, by Jove, capital! And Alfred on his pony, and Miss Ethel in her
Spanish hat, with her hair flowing in the wind! I must take this sketch,
I positively must now, and show it to Landseer."

And the courtly artist daintily enveloped the drawing in a sheet of
paper, put it away in his hat, and vowed subsequently that the great
painter had been delighted with the young man's performance. Smee was not
only charmed with Clive's skill as an artist, but thought his head would
be an admirable one to paint. Such a rich complexion, such fine turns in
his hair! Such eyes! To see real blue eyes was so rare now-a-days! And
the Colonel too, if the Colonel would but give him a few sittings, the
grey uniform of the Bengal Cavalry, the silver lace, the little bit of
red ribbon just to warm up the picture! It was seldom, Mr. Smee declared,
that an artist could get such an opportunity for colour. But no
cajoleries could induce the Colonel to sit to any artist save one. There
hangs in Clive's room now, a head, painted at one sitting, of a man
rather bald, with hair touched with grey, with a large moustache and a
sweet mouth half smiling beneath it, and melancholy eyes. Clive shows
that portrait of their grandfather to his children, and tells them that
the whole world never saw a nobler gentleman.

Well, then; Clive having decided to become an artist, on a day marked
with a white stone, Colonel Newcome with his son and Mr. Smee, R. A.,
walked to Gandish's and entered the would-be artist on the roll call of
that famous academy, and of J. J. as well, for the Colonel had insisted
upon paying his expenses as an art student together with his son.

Mr. Gandish was an excellent master and the two lads made great progress
under his excellent training. Clive used to give droll accounts of the
young disciples at Gandish's, who were of various ages and conditions,
and in whose company the young fellow took his place with that good
temper and gaiety which seldom deserted him and put him at ease wherever
his fate led him. Not one of the Gandishites but liked Clive, and at that
period of his existence he enjoyed himself in all kinds of ways, making
himself popular with dancing folks and with drawing folks, and the jolly
king of his company everywhere. He gave entertainments in the rooms in
Fitzroy Square which were devoted to his use, inviting his father and Mr.
Binnie now and then, but the good Colonel did not often attend those
parties. He saw that his presence rather silenced the young men, and went
away to play his rubber of whist at the club. And although time hung a
bit heavily on the good Colonel's hands, now that Clive's interests were
separate from his own, yet of nights as he heard Clive's companions
tramping by his bedchamber door, where he lay wakeful within, he was
happy to think his son was happy. As for Clive, those were glorious days
for him. If he was successful in the Academy, he was doubly victorious
out of it. His person was handsome, his courage high, his gaiety and
frankness delightful and winning. His money was plenty and he spent it
like a young king. He was not the most docile of Mr. Gandish's pupils,
and if the truth must be told about him, though one of the most frank,
generous and kind-hearted persons, was somewhat haughty and imperious. He
had been known to lament since that he was taken from school too early
where a further course of thrashings would, he believed, have done him
good. He lamented that he was not sent to college, where if a young man
receives no other discipline at least he meets his equals in society and
assuredly finds his betters; whereas in Mr. Gandish's studio our young
gentleman scarcely found a comrade that was not in one way or other his
flatterer, his inferior, his honest or dishonest admirer. The influence
of his family's rank and wealth acted more or less on all these simple
folks, who would run on his errands and vied with each other winning his
favour. His very goodness of heart rendered him a more easy prey to
their flattery, and his kind and jovial disposition led him into company
from which he had much better have been away. In fact, as the Colonel did
not attempt in any way to check him in his youthful career of
extravagance and experiences which were the result of an excessive high
spirit, our young gentleman at this time brought down upon himself much
adverse criticism for his behaviour, especially from his uncles. Because
of this and other reasons there was not much friendliness exhibited by
the several branches of the family for Clive and his father. Colonel
Newcome, in spite of coldness, felt it his duty to make constant attempts
to remain on friendly terms at least with the wives of his stepbrothers.
But after he had called twice or thrice upon his sister-in-law in
Brianstone Square, bringing as was his wont a present for this little
niece or a book for that, Mrs. Newcome gave him to understand that the
occupation of an English matron would not allow her to pass the mornings
in idle gossip, and with curtseys and fine speeches actually bowed her
brother out of doors; and the honest gentleman meekly left her, though
with bewilderment as he thought of the different hospitality to which he
had been accustomed in the East, where no friend's house was ever closed
to him, where no neighbour was so busy but he had time to make Thomas
Newcome welcome.

When Hobson Newcome's boys came home for the holidays, their kind uncle
was for treating them to the sights of the town, but here Virtue again
interposed, and laid his interdict upon pleasure. "Thank you, very much,
my dear Colonel," says Virtue; "there never was surely such a kind,
affectionate, unselfish creature as you are, and so indulgent for
children, but my boys and yours are brought up on a _very different
plan_. Excuse me for saying that I do not think it is advisable that
they should even see too much of each other, Clive's company is not good
for them."

"Great heavens, Maria!" cries the Colonel, starting up, "do you mean that
my boy's society is not good enough for any boy alive?"

Maria turned very red; she had said not more than she meant, but more
than she meant to say. "My dear Colonel, how hot we are! how angry you
Indian gentlemen become with us poor women! Your boy is much older than
mine. He lives with artists, with all sorts of eccentric people. Our
children are bred on _quite a different plan_. Hobson will succeed his
father in the bank, and dear Samuel, I trust, will go into the church. I
told you before the views I had regarding the boys; but it was most kind
of you to think of them--most generous and kind."

"That nabob of ours is a queer fish," Hobson Newcome remarked to his
nephew Barnes. "He is as proud as Lucifer; he is always taking huff about
one thing or the other. He went off in a fume the other night because
your aunt objected to his taking the boys to the play. And then he flew
out about his boy, and said that my wife insulted him! I used to like
that boy. Before his father came he was a good lad enough--a jolly, brave
little fellow. But since he has taken this madcap freak of turning
painter there is no understanding the chap. I don't care what a fellow
is, if he is a good fellow, but a painter is no trade at all! I don't
like it, Barnes!"

To Lady Ann Newcome the Colonel's society was more welcome than to her
sister-in-law, and the affectionate gentleman never tired of doing
kindnesses for her children, and consoled himself as best he might for
Clive's absences with his nephews and nieces, especially with Ethel, for
whom his admiration conceived at first sight never diminished. He found
a fine occupation in breaking a pretty little horse for her, of which he
made her a present, and there was no horse in the Park that was so
handsome, and surely no girl who looked more beautiful than Ethel Newcome
with her broad hat and red ribbon, with her thick black locks waving
round her bright face, galloping along the ride on "Bhurtpore."
Occasionally Clive was at their riding-parties, but Ethel rallied him and
treated him with such distance and dignity, at the same time looking
fondly and archly at her uncle, that Clive set her down as a very
haughty, spoiled, aristocratic young creature. In fact, the two young
people were too much alike in disposition to agree perfectly, and Ethel's
parents were glad that it was so.

It was pleasant to watch the kind old face of Clive's father, that
sweet young blushing lady by his side, as the two rode homewards at
sunset talking happily together. Ethel wanted to know about battles;
about lover's lamps, which she had read of in "Lalla Rookh." "Have you
ever seen them, uncle, floating down the Ganges of a night? About
Indian widows, did you actually see one burning, and hear her scream as
you rode up?"

She wonders whether he will tell her anything about Clive's mother; how
she must have loved Uncle Newcome! Rambling happily from one subject to
another Ethel commands: "Next year, when I am presented at Court, you
must come, too, sir! I insist upon it, you must come, too!"

"I will order a new uniform, Ethel," says her uncle.

The girl laughs. "When little Egbert took hold of your sword, and asked
you how many people you had killed, do you know I had the same question
in my mind? I thought perhaps the King would knight you instead of that
horrid little Sir Danby Jilks, and I won't have you knighted anymore!"

The Colonel, laughing, says he hopes Egbert won't ask Sir Danby Jilks how
many men he has killed; then thinking the joke too severe upon Sir Danby,
hastens to narrate some anecdotes about the courage of surgeons in
general. Ethel declares that her uncle always will talk of other people's
courage, and never say a word about his own. So the pair talked kindly
on, riding homewards through the pleasant summer twilight. Mamma had gone
out to dinner and there were cards for three parties afterward.

"Oh, how I wish it was next year!" says Miss Ethel.

Many a splendid assembly and many a brilliant next year will the young
creature enjoy; but in the midst of her splendour and triumphs she will
often think of that quiet happy season before the world began for her,
and of that dear old friend on whose arm she leaned while she was yet a
young girl.

On account of the ugly rumours spread abroad concerning young Clive's
extravagant habits and gaiety of living, also on account of the
profession he had chosen, Sir Bryan Newcome's family preferred to have
young Clive see as little of his handsome Cousin Ethel as possible, and
Ethel's brother, Barnes, whose hatred for Clive was not untinged by
jealousy, was the most vigorous of the family in spreading disagreeable
reports about his cousin, whom he spoke of as an impudent young puppy.

Even old Lady Kew was particularly rude to Colonel Newcome and Clive. On
Ethel's birthday she had a small party chiefly of girls of her own age
who came and played and sang together and enjoyed such mild refreshments
as sponge cake, jellies, tea, and the like. The Colonel, who was invited
to this little party, sent a fine present to his favourite Ethel; and
Clive and his friend J. J. made a funny series of drawings, representing
the life of a young lady as they imagined it, and drawing her progress
from her cradle upwards: now engaged with her doll, then with her dancing
master; now marching in her backboard; now crying over her German
lessons; and dressed for her first ball finally, and bestowing her hand
upon a dandy of preternatural ugliness, who was kneeling at her feet as
the happy man. This picture was the delight of the laughing, happy girls;
except, perhaps, the little cousins from Brianstone Square, who were
invited to Ethel's party, but were so overpowered by the prodigious new
dresses in which their mamma had attired them that they could admire
nothing but their rustling pink frocks, their enormous sashes, their
lovely new silk stockings.

Lady Kew, coming to London, attended on the party, and presented her
granddaughter with a sixpenny pincushion. The Colonel had sent Ethel a
beautiful little gold watch and chain. Her aunt had complimented her with
that refreshing work, "Allison's History of Europe," richly bound. Lady
Kew's pincushion made rather a poor figure among the gifts, whence
probably arose her ladyship's ill-humour.

Ethel's grandmother became exceedingly testy, when, the Colonel
arriving, Ethel ran up to him and thanked him for the beautiful watch,
in return for which she gave him a kiss, which I daresay amply repaid
Colonel Newcome; and shortly after him Mr. Clive arrived. As he entered,
all the girls who had been admiring his pictures began to clap their
hands. Mr. Clive Newcome blushed, and looked none the worse for that
indication of modesty.

Lady Kew had met Colonel Newcome a half-dozen times at her daughter's
house; but on this occasion she had quite forgotten him, for when the
Colonel made a bow, her ladyship regarded him steadily, and beckoning her
daughter to her, asked who the gentleman was who had just kissed Ethel.

With the clapping of hands that greeted Clive's arrival, the Countess was
by no means more good-humoured. Not aware of her wrath, the young fellow,
who had also previously been presented to her, came forward presently to
make her his compliments. "Pray, who are you?" she said, looking at him
very earnestly in the face. He told her his name.

"H'm," said Lady Kew, "I have heard of you, and I have heard very little
good of you."

"Will your ladyship please to give me your informant?" cried out
Colonel Newcome.

Barnes Newcome, who had condescended to attend his sister's little party,
and had been languidly watching the frolics of the young people, looked
very much alarmed, and hastened to soften the incident by a change of
conversation.

But the attitude of Lady Kew and young Barnes was only a reflection of
the attitude of Ethel's parents concerning Clive, and Ethel, who was
really friendly towards him, found it difficult to deny the charges which
were constantly brought against the boy. The truth was the young fellow
enjoyed life, as one of his age and spirit might be expected to do; but
he did very little harm and meant less; and was quite unconscious of the
reputation which he was gaining.

There had been a long-standing promise that Clive and his father were to
go to Newcome at Christmas; and I daresay Ethel proposed to reform the
young prodigal, if prodigal he was, for she busied herself delightedly in
preparing the apartments for their guests and putting off her visit to
this pleasant neighbour, or that pretty scene in the vicinity, until her
uncle should come and they might enjoy the excursion together. And before
the arrival of her relatives, Ethel, with one of her young brothers, went
to see Mrs. Mason and introduced herself as Colonel Newcome's niece, and
came back charmed with the old lady and eager once more in defence of
Clive, for had she not seen the kindest letter which Clive had written to
old Mrs. Mason, and the beautiful drawing of his father on horseback, and
in regimentals, waving his sword in front of the gallant Bengal Cavalry,
which the lad had sent down to the good old woman? He could not be very
bad, Ethel thought, who was so kind and thoughtful for the poor. And the
young lady went home quite fired with enthusiasm for her cousin, but
encountered Barnes, who was more than usually bitter and sarcastic on the
subject. Ethel lost her temper, and then her firmness, while bursting
into tears she taxed Barnes with cruelty for uttering stories to his
cousin's disadvantage and for pursuing with constant slander one of the
very best of men. But notwithstanding her defence of the Colonel and
Clive, when they came to Newcome for the Christmas holidays, there was no
Ethel there. She had gone on a visit to her sick aunt. Colonel Newcome
passed the holidays sadly without her, and Clive consoled himself by
knocking down pheasants with Sir Brian's keepers; and increased his
cousin's attachment for him by breaking the knees of Barnes's favourite
mare out hunting. It was a dreary holiday; father and son were glad
enough to get away from it, and to return to their own humbler quarters
in London.

Thomas Newcome had now been for three years in the possession of that joy
which his soul longed after, and yet in spite of his happiness, his
honest face grew more melancholy, his loose clothes hung only the looser
on his lean limbs; he ate his meals without appetite; his nights were
restless and he would sit for hours silent, and was constantly finding
business which took him to distant quarters of England. Notwithstanding
this change in him the Colonel insisted that he was perfectly happy and
contented, but the truth was, his heart was aching with the knowledge
that Clive had occupations, ideas, associates, in which the elder could
take no interest. Sitting in his blank, cheerless bedroom, Newcome could
hear the lad and his friends making merry and breaking out in roars of
laughter from time to time. The Colonel longed to share in the merriment,
but he knew that the party would be hushed if he joined it, that the
younger men were happier and freer without him, and without laying any
blame upon them for this natural state of affairs, it saddened the days
and nights of our genial Colonel.

Clive, meanwhile, passed through the course of study prescribed by Mr.
Gandish and drew every cast and statue in that gentleman's studio.
Grindley, his tutor, getting a curacy, Clive did not replace him, but
took a course of modern languages, which he learned with great rapidity.
And now, being strong enough to paint without a master, Mr. Clive must
needs have a studio, as there was no good light in the house in Fitzroy
Square. If his kind father felt any pang even at this temporary parting,
he was greatly soothed and pleased by a little mark of attention on
Clive's part. He walked over with Colonel Newcome to see the new studio,
with its tall centre window, and its curtains and hard wardrobes, china
jars, pieces of armour, and other artistic properties, and with a very
sweet smile of kindness and affection lighting up his honest face, took
out a house-key and gave it to his father: "That's _your_ key, sir," he
said to the Colonel; "and you must be my first sitter, please, father;
for, though I am to be a historical painter, I shall condescend to do a
few portraits, you know." The Colonel grasped his son's hand as Clive
fondly put the other hand on his father's shoulder. Then Colonel Newcome
walked away for a minute or two, and came back wiping his moustache with
his handkerchief, and still holding the key in the other hand. He spoke
about some trivial subject when he returned; but his voice quite
trembled, his face glowed with love and pleasure, and the little act of
affection compensated him for many weary hours of solitude. It is certain
that Clive worked much better after he had this apartment of his own, and
meals at home were gayer; and the rides with his father more frequent and
agreeable. The Colonel used his key not infrequently, and found Clive and
his friend J. J. as a general thing absorbed in executing historical
subjects on the largest possible canvases. Meanwhile Colonel Newcome was
preparing his mind to leave his idol, who he knew would be happy without
as with him. During the three years since he had come from India the
Colonel had spent money lavishly and had also been obliged to pay dearly
for some of Clive's boyish extravagances. At first, the Colonel had
thought he might retire from the army altogether, but experience showed
him that he could not live upon his income. He proposed now to return to
India to get his promotion as full Colonel when the thousand a year to
which that would entitle him, together with his other investments, would
be ample for Clive and himself to live on. While the Colonel's thoughts
were absorbed in this matter his favourite Ethel was constantly away with
her grandmother. The Colonel went to see her at Brighton, and once,
twice, thrice, Lady Kew's door was denied to him. Once when the Colonel
encountered his pretty Ethel with her riding master she greeted him
affectionately, but when he rode up to her she looked so constrained,
when he talked about Clive she was so reserved, when he left her, so sad,
he could only feel pain and regret. Back he went to London, having in a
week only caught this single glance of his darling, but filled with
determination to have a frank talk with his sister-in-law, Lady Ann, and
if possible to mend the family disagreement and turn the tide of Lady
Ann's affection again towards his son. This he attempted to do, and would
have succeeded had not Barnes Newcome been the head of the house. As we
know, his opinion of Clive was not to that young man's advantage. These
opinions were imparted to his Uncle Hobson at the bank, and Uncle Hobson
carried them home to his wife, who took an early opportunity of repeating
them to the Colonel, and the Colonel was brought to see that Barnes was
his boy's enemy, and words very likely passed between them, for Thomas
Newcome took a new banker at this time, and was very angry because Hobson
Brothers wrote to him to say that he had overdrawn his account. "I am
sure there is some screw loose," remarked Clive to a friend, "and that my
father and the people in Park Lane have disagreed, because he goes there
very little now; and he promised to go to Court when Ethel was presented
and he didn't go." This state of affairs between the members of the
Newcome family continued for some months. Then, happily, a truce was
declared, the quarrel between the Newcome brothers came to an end--for
that time at least--and was followed by a rather showy reconciliation and
a family dinner at Brianstone Square. Everybody was bent upon being happy
and gracious. It was "My dear brother, how do you do?" from Sir Brian.
"My dear Colonel, how glad we are to see you! How well you look!" from
Lady Ann. Ethel Newcome ran to him with both hands out, an eager welcome
on her beautiful face. And even Lady Kew held out her hand to Colonel
Newcome, saying briskly: "Colonel, it is an age since we met," and
turning to Clive with equal graciousness to say, "Mr. Clive, let me shake
hands with you; I have heard all sorts of good of you, that you have been
painting the most beautiful things, that you are going to be quite
famous." There was no doubt about it,--it was an evening of
reconciliation on every side.

Ethel was so happy to see her dear uncle that she had no eyes for any
one else, until Clive advancing, those bright eyes became brighter still
as she saw him; and as she looked she saw a very handsome fellow, for
Clive at that time was of the ornamental class of mankind--a customer to
tailors, a wearer of handsome rings, shirt studs, long hair, and the
like; nor could he help, in his costume or his nature, being
picturesque, generous, and splendid. Silver dressing cases and brocade
morning gowns were in him a sort of propriety at this season of his
youth. It was a pleasure to persons of colder temperament to sun
themselves in the warmth of his bright looks and generous humour. His
laughter cheered one like wine. I do not know that he was very witty;
but he was pleasant. He was prone to blush; the history of a generous
trait moistened his eyes instantly. He was instinctively fond of
children and of the other sex from one year old to eighty. Coming from
the Derby once and being stopped on the road in a lock of carriages
during which the people in a carriage ahead saluted us with many
insulting epithets, and seized the heads of our leaders, Clive in a
twinkling jumped off the box, and the next minute we saw him engaged
with a half dozen of the enemy: his hat gone, his fair hair falling off
his face, his blue eyes flashing fire, his lips and nostrils quivering
with wrath. His father sat back in the carriage looking on with delight
and wonder while a policeman separated the warriors. Clive ascended the
box again, with his coat gashed from waist to shoulder. I hardly ever
saw the elder Newcome in such a state of triumph.

While we have been making this sketch of Clive, Ethel was standing
looking at him, and the blushing youth cast down his eyes before hers
while her face assumed a look of arch humour. And now let us have a
likeness of Ethel. She was seventeen years old; rather taller than the
majority of girls; her face somewhat grave and haughty, but on occasion
brightening with humour or beaming with kindliness and affection. Too
quick to detect affectation or insincerity in others, too impatient of
dulness or pomposity, she was more sarcastic now than she became when
after-years of suffering had softened her nature. Truth looked out of her
bright eyes, and rose up armed and flashed scorn or denial when she
encountered flattery or meanness or imposture.

But those who had no cause to fear her keenness or her coldness admired
her beauty; nor could the famous Parisian model whom Clive said she
resembled be more perfect in form than this young lady. Her hair and
eyebrows were jet black, but her complexion was dazzlingly fair and her
cheeks as red as those belonging by right to a blonde. In her black hair
there was a slight natural ripple. Her eyes were grey; her mouth rather
large; her teeth were regular and white, her voice was low and sweet; and
her smile, when it lighted up her face and eyes, as beautiful as spring
sunshine; also her eyes could lighten and flash often, and sometimes,
though rarely, rain. As for her figure, the tall, slender form clad in a
simple white muslin robe in which her fair arms were enveloped, and which
was caught at her slim waist by a blue ribbon, let us make a respectful
bow to that fair image of youth, health, and modesty, and fancy it as
pretty as we will.

Not yet overshadowed by the cloud of Colonel Newcome's departure,
light-hearted in the joy of reconciliation and meeting, once again full
of high spirits and mindful of no moment beyond the present, the two
cousins never looked brighter or happier, and as Colonel Newcome gazed
upon them in the freshness of their youth and vigour his heart was filled
with delight.

Not many days after the dinner the good Colonel found it necessary to
break the news of his intended departure to Clive. His resolution to go
being taken, and having been obliged to dip somewhat deeply into the
little purse he had set aside for European expenses to help a kinsman in
distress, the Colonel's departure came somewhat sooner than he had
expected. But, as he said, "A year sooner or later, what does it matter?
Clive will go away and work at his art, and see the great schools of
painting while I am absent. I thought at one time how pleasant it would
be to accompany him. I fancy now a lad is not the better for being always
tied to his parents' apron-strings. You young fellows are too clever for
me. I haven't learned your ideas or read your books. I feel myself very
often an old damper in your company. I will go back, sir, where I have
some friends, and where I am somebody still. I know an honest face or
two, white and brown, that will lighten up in the old regiment when they
see Tom Newcome again."

With this resolution taken, the Colonel began saying farewell to his
friends. He and Clive made a pilgrimage to Grey Friars; and the Colonel
ran down to Newcome to give Mrs. Mason a parting benediction; went to all
the boys' and girls' schools where his little protégés were, so as to be
able to take the very latest account of the young folks to their parents
in India; and thence proceeded to Brighton to pass a little time with
good Miss Honeyman. With Sir Brian's family he parted on very good terms.
I believe Sir Brian even accompanied him downstairs from the drawing-room
in Park Lane, and actually saw his brother into his cab, but as for
Ethel, _she_ was not going to be put off with this sort of parting; and
the next morning a cab dashed up to Fitzroy Square and she was closeted
with Colonel Newcome for five minutes, and when he led her back to the
carriage there were tears in his eyes. Then came the day when Clive and
his father travelled together to Southampton, where a group of the
Colonel's faithful friends were assembled to say a "God bless you" to
their dear old friend, and see the vessel sail. To the end Clive remained
with his father and went below with him, and when the last bell was
ringing, came from below looking very pale. The plank was drawn after him
almost as soon as he stepped on land, and the vessel had sailed.

Although Thomas Newcome had gone back to India in search of more money,
he was nevertheless rather a wealthy man and was able to leave a hundred
a year in England to be transferred to his boy as soon as he came of
age. He also left a considerable annual sum to be paid to the boy, and
so as soon as the parting was over and his affairs were settled, Clive
was free to start on his travels, to study art in new lands, accompanied
by his faithful friend J.J. They went first to Antwerp; thence to
Brussels, and next Clive's correspondents received a letter from Bonn:
in which Master Clive said, "And whom should I find here but Aunt Ann,
Ethel, Miss Quigley and the little ones. Uncle Brian is staying at Aix,
and, upon my conscience, I think my pretty cousin looks prettier every
day. J.J. and I were climbing a little hill which leads to a ruin, when
I heard a little voice cry, 'Hello! it's Clive! Hooray, Clive,' and an
ass came down the incline with a little pair of white trousers at an
immensely wide angle over the donkey's back, and there was little Alfred
grinning with all his might.

"He turned his beast and was for galloping up the hill again, I suppose
to inform his relations; but the donkey refused with many kicks, one of
which sent Alfred plunging amongst the stones, and we were rubbing him
down just as the rest of the party came upon us. Miss Quigley looked very
grim on an old white pony; my aunt was on a black horse that might have
turned grey, he is so old. Then came two donkeys-full of children, with
Kuhn as supercargo; then Ethel on donkey back, too, with a bunch of wild
flowers in her hand, a great straw hat with a crimson ribbon, a white
muslin jacket, you know, bound at the waist with a ribbon of the first,
and a dark skirt, with a shawl round her feet, which Kuhn had arranged.
As she stopped, the donkey fell to cropping greens in the hedge; the
trees there chequered her white dress and face with shadow. Her eyes,
hair, and forehead were in shadow, too, but the light was all upon her
right cheek. Upon her shoulder down to her arm, which was of a warmer
white, and on the bunch of flowers which she held, blue, yellow, and red
poppies, and so forth.

"J. J. says, 'I think the birds began to sing louder when she came.' We
have both agreed that she is the handsomest woman in England. It's not
her form merely, which is certainly as yet too thin and a little angular;
it is her colour. I do not care for women or pictures without colour. Oh,
ye carnations! Oh, such black hair and solemn eyebrows. It seems to me
the roses and carnations have bloomed again since we saw them last in
London, when they were drooping from the exposure to night air, candle
light, and heated ballrooms.

"Here I was in the midst of a regiment of donkeys bearing a crowd of
relations; J. J. standing modestly in the background, beggars completing
the group. Throw in the Rhine in the distance flashing by the Seven
Mountains--but mind and make Ethel the principal figure: if you make her
like she certainly _will_ be, and other lights will be only minor fires.
You may paint her form, but can't paint her colour."

Thus wrote Clive from Bonn, and now that the old Countess and Barnes were
away, the barrier between Clive and this family was withdrawn. The young
folks who loved him were free to see him as often as he would come. They
were going to Baden: would he come, too? He was glad enough to go with
them, and to travel in the orbit of such a lovely girl as Ethel Newcome,
whose beauty made all the passengers on all the steamers look round and
admire. The journey was all sunshine and pleasure and novelty; and I like
to think of the pretty girl and the gallant young fellow enjoying this
holiday. Few sights are more pleasant than to watch a happy, manly
English youth, freehanded and generous-hearted, content and good-humour
shining in his honest face, pleased and pleasing, eager, active, and
thankful for services, and exercising bravely his noble youthful
privilege to be happy and to enjoy. As for J. J., he, too, had his share
of enjoyment. Clive was still his hero as ever, his patron, his splendid
young prince and chieftain. Who was so brave, who was so handsome,
generous, witty as Clive? To hear Clive sing, as the lad would whilst
they were seated at their work, or driving along on this happy journey,
through fair landscapes in the sunshine, gave J. J. the keenest pleasure;
his wit was a little slow, but he would laugh with his eyes at Clive's
sallies, or ponder over them and explode with laughter presently, giving
a new source of amusement to these merry travellers, and little Alfred
would laugh at J.J.'s laughing; and so, with a hundred harmless jokes to
enliven, and the ever-changing, ever-charming smiles of Nature to cheer
and accompany it, the happy day's journey would come to an end.

So they travelled by the accustomed route to the prettiest town of all
places where Pleasure has set up her tents, and there enjoyed themselves
to the fullest extent.

Among Colonel Newcome's papers to which the family biographer has had
access, there are a couple of letters from Clive, dated Baden this time,
and full of happiness, gaiety, and affection. Letter No. 1 says: "Ethel
is the prettiest girl here. At the Assemblies all the princes, counts,
dukes, etc., are dying to dance with her. She sends her dearest love to
her uncle." By the side of the words "Prettiest girl" are written in a
frank female hand the monosyllable "_stuff_"; and as a note to the
expression "dearest love," with a star to mark the text and the note, are
squeezed in the same feminine characters at the bottom of Clive's page
the words "_that I do_. E. N."

In letter No. 2, Clive, after giving amusing details of life at Baden and
the company whom he met there, concludes with this: "Ethel is looking
over my shoulder. She thinks me such a delightful creature that she is
never easy without me. She bids me to say that I am the best of sons and
cousins, and am, in a word, a darling du--" The rest of this important
word is not given, but "_goose_" is added in the female hand.

Ethel takes up the pen. "My dear uncle," she says, "while Clive is
sketching out of the window, let me write to you a line or two on his
paper, _though I know you like to hear no one speak_ but him. I wish I
could draw him for you as he stands yonder looking the picture of good
health, good spirits, and good-humour. Everybody likes him. He is quite
unaffected; always gay, always pleased, and he draws more beautifully
every day."

When these letters were received by the good Colonel in India we can well
imagine the joy that warmed his fond heart. He, himself, was comfortably
settled in the only place which would ever be home to him,--his son, the
idol of his heart, was with Ethel, his darling. The objects of his
tenderest affection were gay, happy, together, and, best of all, thinking
of him. That he was not with them gave him no regrets; his love was too
great for that. That their youth was soon to give place to the soberer
experiences of life, gave him no pang of fear for them. Reading their
letters, the Colonel was filled with quiet contentment; their future he
could trust to the care of that Guiding Hand to whom he had entrusted his
boy in childhood's earliest days.



ARTHUR PENDENNIS


[Illustration: ARTHUR PENDENNIS AT FAIR-OAKS.]

Early in the Regency of George the Magnificent there lived in a small
town in the west of England, called Clavering, a gentleman whose name was
Pendennis. At an earlier date Mr. Pendennis had exercised the profession
of apothecary and surgeon, and had even condescended to sell a plaster
across the counter of his humble shop, or to vend tooth-brushes,
hair-powder, and London perfumery. And yet that little apothecary was a
gentleman with good education, and of as old a family as any in the
county of Somerset. He had a Cornish pedigree which carried the
Pendennises back to the time of the Druids. He had had a piece of
University education, and might have pursued that career with honour, but
in his second year at Oxford his father died insolvent, and he was
obliged to betake himself to the trade which he always detested. For some
time he had a hard struggle with poverty, but his manners were so
gentleman-like and soothing that he was called in to prescribe for some
of the ladies in the best families of Bath. Then his humble little shop
became a smart one; then he shut it up altogether; then he had a gig with
a man to drive in; and before she died his poor old mother had the
happiness of seeing her beloved son step into a close carriage of his
own; with the arms of the family of Pendennis handsomely emblazoned on
the panels. He married Miss Helen Thistlewood, a very distant relative
of the noble family of Bareacres, having met that young lady under Lady
Pentypool's roof.

The secret ambition of Mr. Pendennis had always been to be a gentleman.
By prudence and economy, his income was largely increased, and finally he
sold his business for a handsome sum, and retired forever from handling
of the mortar and pestle, having purchased as a home the house of
Fair-Oaks, nearly a mile out of Clavering.

The estate was a beautiful one, and Arthur Pendennis, his son, being then
but eight years of age, dated his earliest recollections from that place.

Fair-Oaks lawn comes down to the little river Brawl, and on the other
side were the plantations and woods of Clavering Park. The park was let
out in pasture when the Pendennises came first to live at Fair-Oaks.
Shutters were up in the house; a splendid free stone palace, with great
stairs, statues and porticos. Sir Richard Clavering, Sir Francis's
grandfather, had commenced the ruin of the family by the building of this
palace: his successor had achieved the ruin by living in it. The present
Sir Francis was abroad somewhere, and until now nobody could be found
rich enough to rent that enormous mansion; through the deserted rooms,
mouldy, clanking halls, and dismal galleries of which Arthur Pendennis
many a time walked trembling when he was a boy. At sunset from the lawn
of Fair-Oaks there was a pretty sight: it and the opposite park of
Clavering were in the habit of putting on a rich golden tinge, which
became them both wonderfully. The upper windows of the great house flamed
so as to make your eyes wink; the little river ran off noisily westward
and was lost in sombre wood, behind which the towers of the old abbey
church of Clavering (whereby that town is called Clavering St. Mary's to
the present day) rose up in purple splendour. Little Arthur's figure and
his mother's cast long blue shadows over the grass: and he would repeat
in a low voice (for a scene of great natural beauty always moved the boy,
who inherited this sensibility from his mother) certain lines beginning,
"These are thy glorious works. Parent of Good; Almighty! thine this
universal frame," greatly to Mrs. Pendennis's delight. Such walks and
conversation generally ended in a profusion of filial and maternal
embraces; for to love and to pray were the main occupations of this dear
woman's life; and I have often heard Pendennis say in his wild way, that
he felt that he was sure of going to heaven, for his mother never could
be happy there without him.

As for John Pendennis, as the father of the family, and that sort of
thing, everybody had the greatest respect for him: and his orders were
obeyed like those of the Medes and Persians. His hat was as well brushed
perhaps as that of any man in this empire. His meals were served at the
same minute every day, and woe to those who came late, as little Pen, a
disorderly little rascal, sometimes did. Prayers were recited, his
letters were read, his business despatched, his stables and garden
inspected, his hen-houses and kennel, his barn and pig-sty visited,
always at regular hours. After dinner he always had a nap with the Globe
newspaper on his knee, and his yellow bandanna handkerchief on his face.
And so, as his dinner took place at six o'clock to a minute, and the
sunset business alluded to may be supposed to have occurred at half-past
seven, it is probable that he did not much care for the view in front of
his lawn windows, or take any share in the poetry and caresses which were
taking place there.

They seldom occurred in his presence. However frisky they were before,
mother and child were hushed and quiet when Mr. Pendennis walked into the
drawing-room, his newspaper under his arm. And here, while little Pen,
buried in a great chair, read all the books on which he could lay hold,
the Squire perused his own articles in the Gardener's Gazette, or took a
solemn hand at piquet with Mrs. Pendennis, or an occasional friend from
the village.

As for Mrs. Pendennis, she was conspicuous for her tranquil beauty, her
natural sweetness and kindness, and that simplicity and dignity which
purity and innocence are sure to bestow upon a handsome woman, and
during her son's childhood and youth the boy thought of her as little
less than an angel, a supernatural being, all wisdom, love and beauty.
But Mrs. Pendennis had one weakness,--pride of family. She spoke of Mr.
Pendennis as if he had been the Pope of Rome on his throne, and she a
cardinal kneeling at his feet, and giving him incense. Mr. Pendennis's
brother, the Major, she held to be a sort of Bayard among Majors, and
as for her son Arthur, she worshipped that youth with an ardour which
the young scapegrace accepted almost as coolly as the statue of the
saint in St. Peter's receives the rapturous kisses which the faithful
deliver on his toe.

Notwithstanding his mother's worship of him, Arthur Pendennis's
school-fellows at the Grey Friars School state that as a boy he was in no
way remarkable either as a dunce or as a scholar. He never read to
improve himself out of school-hours, but on the contrary devoured all the
novels, plays and poetry he could get hold of. He never was flogged, but
it was a wonder how he escaped the whippingpost. When he had money he
spent it royally in tarts for himself and his friends, and had been known
to disburse nine and sixpence out of ten shillings awarded to him in a
single day. When he had no funds he went on tick. When he could get no
credit he went without, and was almost as happy. He had been known to
take a thrashing for a crony without saying a word; but a blow ever so
slight from a friend would make him roar. To fighting he was averse from
his earliest youth, and indeed to physic, the Greek Grammar, or any other
exertion, and would engage in none of them, except at the last extremity.
He seldom if ever told lies, and never bullied little boys. Those masters
or seniors who were kind to him, he loved with boyish ardour. And though
the Doctor, when he did not know his Horace, or could not construe his
Greek play, said that that boy Pendennis was a disgrace to the school, a
candidate for ruin in this world, and perdition in the next; a profligate
who would most likely bring his venerable father to ruin and his mother
to a dishonoured grave, and the like--yet as the Doctor made use of these
compliments to most of the boys in the place, little Pen, at first uneasy
and terrified by these charges, became gradually accustomed to hear them;
and he has not, in fact, either murdered his parents or committed any act
worthy of transportation or hanging up to the present day.

Thus with various diversions and occupations his school days passed until
he was about sixteen years old, when he was suddenly called away from his
academic studies.

It was at the close of the forenoon school, and Pen had been unnoticed
all the previous part of the morning till now, when the Doctor put him on
to construe in a Greek play. He did not know a word of it, though little
Timmins, his form-fellow, was prompting him with all his might. Pen had
made a sad blunder or two, when the awful chief broke out upon him.

"Pendennis, sir," he said, "your idleness is incorrigible and your
stupidity beyond example. You are a disgrace to your school, and to your
family, and I have no doubt will prove so in after-life to your country.
If that vice, sir, which is described to us as the root of all evil, be
really what moralists have represented, what a prodigious quantity of
future crime and wickedness are you, unhappy boy, laying the seed!
Miserable trifler! A boy, sir, who does not learn his Greek play cheats
the parent who spends money for his education. A boy who cheats his
parent is not very far from robbing or forging upon his neighbour. A man
who forges on his neighbour pays the penalty of his crime at the
gallows. And it is not such a one that I pity, for he will be deservedly
cut off, but his maddened and heartbroken parents, who are driven to a
premature grave by his crimes, or, if they live, drag on a wretched and
dishonoured old age. Go on, sir, and I warn you that the very next
mistake that you make shall subject you to the punishment of the rod.
Who's that laughing? What ill-conditioned boy is there that dares to
laugh?" shouted the Doctor.

Indeed, while the master was making this oration, there was a general
titter behind him in the schoolroom. The orator had his back to the door
of this ancient apartment, which was open, and a gentleman who was quite
familiar with the place (for both Major Arthur, Pen's uncle, and Mr. John
Pendennis had been at the school) was asking the fifth-form boy who sat
by the door for Pendennis. The lad, grinning, pointed to the culprit
against whom the Doctor was pouring out the thunders of his just wrath.
Major Pendennis could not help laughing. He remembered having stood under
that very pillar where Pen the younger now stood, and having been
assaulted by the Doctor's predecessor years and years ago. The
intelligence was "passed round" in an instant that it was Pendennis's
uncle, and a hundred young faces, wondering and giggling, between terror
and laughter, turned now to the newcomer and then to the awful Doctor.

The Major asked the fifth-form boy to carry his card up to the Doctor,
which the lad did with an arch look. Major Pendennis had written on the
card: "I must take A.P. home; his father is very ill."

As the Doctor received the card, and stopped his harangue with rather a
scared look, the laughter of the boys, half constrained until then, burst
out in a general shout. "Silence!" roared out the Doctor, stamping with
his foot. Pen looked up and saw who was his deliverer; the Major beckoned
to him gravely, and, tumbling down his books, Pen went across.

The Doctor took out his watch. It was two minutes to one. "We will take
the Juvenal at afternoon school," he said, nodding to the Captain, and
all the boys, understanding the signal, gathered up their books and
poured out of the hall.

Young Pen saw by his uncle's face that something had happened at home.
"Is there anything the matter with--my mother?" he said. He could hardly
speak for emotion and the tears which were ready to start.

"No," said the Major, "but your father's very ill. Go and pack your trunk
directly; I have got a post-chaise at the gate."

Pen went off quickly to his boarding-house to do as his uncle bade him;
and the Doctor, now left alone in the schoolroom, came out to shake hands
with the Major.

"There is nothing serious, I hope," said the Doctor. "It is a pity to
take the boy otherwise. He is a good boy, rather idle and unenergetic,
but an honest, gentleman-like little fellow, though I can't get him to
construe as I wish. Won't you come in and have some luncheon? My wife
will be very happy to see you."

But Major Pendennis declined the luncheon. He said his brother was very
ill, and had had a fit the day before, and it was a great question if
they should see him alive.

"There's no other son, is there?" said the Doctor. The Major
answered "No."

"And there's a good eh--a good eh--property, I believe?" asked the other
in an off-hand way.

"H'm--so-so," said the Major. Whereupon this colloquy came to an end. And
Arthur Pendennis got into a post-chaise with his uncle, never to come
back to school any more.

As the chaise drove through Clavering, the ostler standing whistling
under the archway of the Clavering Arms winked to the postilion
ominously, as much as to say all was over. The gardener's wife came and
opened the lodge-gates and let the travellers through with a silent shake
of the head. All the blinds were down at Fair-Oaks; and the face of the
old footman was as blank when he let them in. Arthur's face was white,
too, with terror more than with grief. Whatever of warmth and love the
deceased man might have had, and he adored his wife, and loved and
admired his son with all his heart, he had shut them up within himself;
nor had the boy ever been able to penetrate that frigid outward barrier.

A little girl, who was Mrs. Pendennis's adopted daughter, the child of
a dear old friend, peered for a moment under the blinds as the chaise
came up, opened the door from the stairs into the hall, and there
taking Arthur's hand silently as he stooped down to kiss her, led him
upstairs to his mother. What passed between that lady and the boy is
not of import; a veil should be thrown over those sacred emotions of
love and grief.

As for Arthur Pendennis, after that awful shock which the sight of his
dead father must have produced on him, and the pity and feeling which
such an event no doubt occasioned, I am not sure that in the very moment
of the grief, and as he embraced his mother and tenderly consoled her and
promised to love her forever, there was not springing up in his breast a
sort of secret triumph and exultation. He was the chief now and lord. He
was Pendennis; and all round about him were his servants and handmaids.

"You'll never send me away," little Laura said, tripping by him and
holding his hand. "You won't send me to school, will you, Arthur?"

Arthur kissed her and patted her head. No, she shouldn't go to school. As
for going himself that was quite out of the question. He had determined
that his life should be all holidays for the future; that he wouldn't get
up till he liked, or stand the bullying of the Doctor any more; and made
a hundred such day-dreams and resolves for the future. Then in due time
they buried John Pendennis, Esquire, in the Abbey Church of Clavering St.
Mary's, and Arthur Pendennis reigned in his stead.

Arthur was about sixteen years old when he began to reign; in person he
had what his friends would call a dumpy, but his mamma styled, a neat
little figure. His hair was of a healthy brown colour, which looked like
gold in the sunshine. His face was round, rosy, freckled, and
good-humoured. In fact, without being a beauty, he had such a frank,
good-natured, kind face and laughed so merrily at you out of his honest
blue eyes that no wonder Mrs. Pendennis thought him the pride of the
whole country. You may be certain he never went back to school; the
discipline of the establishment did not suit him, and he liked being at
home much better. The question of his return was debated, and his uncle
was for his going back. The Doctor wrote his opinion that it was most
important for Arthur's success in after life that he should know a Greek
play thoroughly, but Pen adroitly managed to hint to his mother what a
dangerous place Grey Friars was, and what sad wild fellows some of the
chaps there were, and the timid soul, taking alarm at once, acceded to
his desire to stay at home.

Then Pen's uncle offered to use his influence with his Royal Highness,
the Commander-in-Chief, to get Pen a commission in the Foot Guards. Pen's
heart leaped at this: he had been to hear the band at St. James's play on
a Sunday, when he went out to his uncle. He had seen Tom Ricketts, of the
fourth form, who used to wear a jacket and trousers so ludicrously tight
that the elder boys could not forbear using him in the quality of a butt
or "cockshy"--he had seen this very Ricketts arrayed in crimson and gold,
with an immense bearskin cap on his head, staggering under the colours of
the regiment. Tom had recognised him and gave him a patronising nod--Tom,
a little wretch whom he had cut over the back with a hockey-stick last
quarter, and there he was in the centre of the square, rallying round the
flag of his county, surrounded by bayonets, cross-belts, and scarlet, the
band blowing trumpets and banging cymbals--talking familiarly to immense
warriors with tufts to their chins and Waterloo medals. What would not
Pen have given to enter such a service?

But Helen Pendennis, when this point was proposed to her by her son, put
on a face full of terror and alarm, and confessed that she should be very
unhappy if he thought of entering the army. Now Pen would as soon have
cut off his nose and ears as deliberately and of malice aforethought have
made his mother unhappy; and as he was of such a generous disposition
that he would give away anything to any one, he instantly made a present
of his visionary red coat and epaulettes to his mother.

She thought him the noblest creature in the world. But Major Pendennis,
when the offer of the commission was acknowledged and refused, wrote back
a curt and somewhat angry letter to the widow, and thought his nephew was
rather a spooney.

He was contented, however, when he saw the boy's performances out hunting
at Christmas, when the Major came down as usual to Fair-Oaks. Pen had a
very good mare, and rode her with uncommon pluck and grace. He took his
fences with great coolness and judgment. He wrote to the chaps at school
about his topboots, and his feats across country. He began to think
seriously of a scarlet coat: and his mother must own that she thought it
would become him remarkably well; though, of course, she passed hours of
anguish during his absence, and daily expected to see him brought home on
a shutter.

With these amusements, in rather too great plenty, it must not be assumed
that Pen neglected his studies altogether. He had a natural taste for
reading every possible kind of book which did _not_ fall into his school
course. It was only when they forced his head into the waters of
knowledge that he refused to drink. He devoured all the books at home and
ransacked the neighbouring book-cases. He found at Clavering an old cargo
of French novels which he read with all his might; and he would sit for
hours perched on the topmost bar of Dr. Portman's library steps with an
old folio on his knees.

Mr. Smirke, Dr. Portman's curate, was engaged at a liberal salary to pass
several hours daily with the young gentleman. He was a decent scholar and
mathematician, and taught Pen as much as the lad was ever disposed to
learn, which was not much. Pen soon took the measure of his tutor, who,
when he came riding into the court-yard at Fair-Oaks on his pony, turned
out his toes so absurdly, and left such a gap between his knees and the
saddle, that it was impossible for any lad endowed with a sense of humour
to respect such a rider. He nearly killed Smirke with terror by putting
him on his mare, and taking him a ride over a common where the county
fox-hounds happened to meet.

Smirke and his pupil read the ancient poets together, and rattled through
them at a pleasant rate, very different from that steady grubbing pace
with which he was obliged to go over the _classis_ ground at Grey Friars,
scenting out each word and digging up every root in the way. Pen never
liked to halt, but made his tutor construe when he was at fault, and thus
galloped through the Iliad and the Odyssey and the charming, wicked
Aristophanes. But he went so fast that though he certainly galloped
through a considerable extent of the ancient country, he clean forgot it
in after life. Besides the ancient poets, Pen read the English with great
gusto. Smirke sighed and shook his head sadly both about Byron and Moore.
But Pen was a sworn fire-worshipper and a corsair; he had them by heart,
and used to take little Laura into the window and say, "Zuleika, I am not
thy brother," in tones so tragic that they caused the solemn little maid
to open her great eyes still wider. She sat sewing at Mrs. Pendennis's
knee, listening to Pen reading to her without understanding one word of
what he said.

He read Shakespeare to his mother, and Byron and Pope, and his favourite
"Lalla Rookh" and Bishop Heber and Mrs. Hemans, and about this period of
his existence began to write verses of his own. He broke out in the
poet's corner of the County Chronicle with some verses with which he was
perfectly well satisfied. His are the verses signed NEP addressed "To a
Tear," "On the Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo," "On St.
Bartholomew's Day," etc., etc., all of which masterpieces Mrs. Pendennis
kept along with his first socks, the first cutting of his hair, his
bottle and other interesting relics of his infancy. His genius at this
time was of a decidedly gloomy cast. He brought his mother a tragedy in
which, though he killed sixteen people before the second act, she laughed
so that he thrust the masterpiece into the fire in a pet. He also
projected an epic poem in blank verse, and several other classical pieces
of a gloomy character, and was altogether of an intense and sentimental
turn of mind quite in contrast with his practical and merry appearance.
The sentimental side of his nature, fed by the productions of his
favourite poets and fanned by the romantic temperament of his tutor, soon
found an object to kindle the spark into a blaze, and a most unfortunate
blaze for Pen.

While Mrs. Pendennis was planning her son's career and had not yet
settled in her mind whether he was to be Senior Wrangler and Archbishop
of Canterbury, or Double First Class at Oxford and Lord Chancellor, young
Pen himself was starting out on quite a different career, which seemed
destined to lead him in the opposite direction from that of his mother's
day-dreams, who had made up her mind that in time he was to marry little
Laura, settle in London and astonish that city by his learning and
eloquence at the Bar; or, better still, in a sweet country parsonage
surrounded by hollyhocks and roses close to a delightful, romantic,
ivy-covered church, from the pulpit of which Pen would utter the most
beautiful sermons ever preached.

While these plans and decisions were occupying his mother's thoughts,
Pen was getting into mischief. One day he rode into Chatteris to carry to
the County Chronicle a thrilling poem for the next week's paper; and
while putting up his horse at the stables at the George hotel, he fell in
with an old school-fellow, Mr. Foker, who after a desultory conversation
with Pen strolled down High Street with him, and persuaded him not only
to dine at the George with him, but to accompany him later to the
theatre. Mr. Foker, who was something of a sport, was acquainted with the
troupe who were then acting at that theatre, and the entire atmosphere
was so new and exciting to Pen that his emotional nature, which had been
waiting for many months for a sensational thrill, responded at once to
the idea; and later on to the applause of pit and gallery, and to the
personal magnetism of the heroine of the play, one Miss Fotheringay.

To Miss Fotheringay's attractions, natural and artificial, Pen responded
at once, and sat in breathless enchanted silence through all the
conversations and melodramatic situations of the mediocre performance.
When the curtain went down he felt that he now had a subject to inspire
his Muse forever. He quitted the theatre in a state of intense
excitement, and rode homeward in a state of numb ecstasy. Notwithstanding
his sentimental mood, Pen was so normal in mind and body that he slept as
soundly as ever, but when he awoke he felt himself to be many years older
than yesterday. He dressed himself in some of his finest clothes, and
came down to breakfast, patronising his mother and little Laura, who
wondered at his grand appearance, and asked him to tell her what the play
was about.

Pen laughed and declined to tell her. Then she asked him why he had got
on his fine pin and beautiful new waistcoat?

Pen blushed and said that Mr. Foker was reading with a tutor at
Baymouth, a very learned man; and as he was himself to go to college he
was anxious to ride over--and--just see what their course of reading
was. The truth was Pen had resolved that he must see Foker that morning
and find out all that was possible concerning the object of his last
night's enthusiasm; and soon after breakfast he was on his horse
galloping away towards Baymouth like a madman.

From that time the lad's chief object in life was visiting the theatre,
or Miss Fotheringay herself, to whom he had speedily received an
introduction; and although she was a young woman not at all conversant
with the social side of life with which he was familiar, she was
nevertheless fascinating to Pen, who saw her always in the glamour of
lime lights and applause. It was not long before Mrs. Pendennis
discovered the lad's new interest, which naturally disquieted her.
Finally, however, for reasons of her own, she assented to Pen's
suggestion that Miss Fotheringay was to appear as Ophelia in a benefit
performance.

"Suppose we were to go--Shakespeare, you know, mother. We can get horses
from the Clavering Arms," he said. Little Laura sprang up with delight;
she longed for a play. The mother was delighted that Pen should suggest
their going, and in her good-humour asked Mr. Smirke to be one of the
party. They arrived at the theatre ahead of time, and were cordially
saluted by Mr. Foker and a friend, who sat in a box near theirs. The
young fellows saluted Pen cordially, and examined his party with
approval; for little Laura was a pretty red-cheeked girl with a quantity
of shining brown ringlets, and Mrs. Pendennis, dressed in black velvet,
with a diamond cross which she wore on great occasions, looked uncommonly
handsome and majestic.

"Who is that odd-looking person bowing to you, Arthur?" Mrs. Pendennis
asked of her son, after a critical examination of the audience.

Pen blushed a great deal. "His name is Captain Costigan, ma'am," he said,
"a Peninsular officer." Pen did not volunteer anything more; and how was
Mrs. Pendennis to know that Mr. Costigan was the father of Miss
Fotheringay?

We have nothing to do with the play except to say that Ophelia looked
lovely, and performed with admirable wild pathos, laughing, weeping,
gazing wildly, waving her beautiful white arms and flinging about her
snatches of flowers and songs with the most charming madness. What an
opportunity her splendid black hair had of tossing over her shoulders!
She made the most charming corpse ever seen, and while Hamlet and Laertes
were battling in her grave she was looking out from the back scenes with
some curiosity towards Pen's box, and the family party assembled in it.

There was but one voice in her praise there. Mrs. Pendennis was in
ecstasies with her beauty. Little Laura was bewildered by the piece and
the Ghost, and the play within the play, but cried out great praises of
that beautiful young creature, Ophelia. Pen was charmed with the effect
which she produced on his mother, and the clergyman on his part was
exceedingly enthusiastic.

When the curtain fell upon that group of slaughtered personages who are
despatched so suddenly at the end of "Hamlet," and whose death astonished
poor little Laura, there was an immense shouting and applause from all
quarters of the house. There was a roar of bravoes rang through the
house; Pen bellowing with the loudest. "Fotheringay! Fotheringay!" Even
Mrs. Pendennis began to wave about her pocket-handkerchief, and little
Laura danced, laughed, clapped, and looked up at Pen with wonder.

If Pen had been alone with his mother in the carriage as they drove home
that night he would have told her the extent of his devotion for Miss
Fotheringay, but he had no chance to do so, and it remained for that good
lady to hear of her boy's intimacy with the actress from good Dr.
Portman, who, on the following evening, happening to see Pen in Miss
Fotheringay's company and much absorbed by her charms, lost no time in
hurrying to Mrs. Pendennis with the news. Now, although Mrs. Pendennis
had been wise enough to appreciate Pen's infatuation, she had looked upon
it as the merest boyish fancy, induced by the glamour of the stage, and
did not dream that there was a personal intimacy behind it. She heard Dr.
Portman's statement in horrified silence, and before she slept that night
had despatched letters to Major Pendennis demanding his immediate return
from London to help her in the management of her son at this critical
point in his youthful career.

Although loath to leave London, Major Pendennis straightway came to
Fair-Oaks. He came; he saw the situation at a glance; and after a
prolonged conversation with Mrs. Pendennis he summoned Pen himself. That
young man having strung up his nerves, and prepared himself for the
encounter, determined to face the awful uncle, with all the courage and
dignity of the famous family which he represented. He marched into Major
Pendennis's presence with a most severe and warlike expression, as if to
say, "Come on, I am ready."

The old man of the world, as he surveyed the boy's demeanour, could
hardly help a grin at his admirable pompous simplicity, and having a
shrewd notion that threats and tragic exaltations would have no effect
upon the boy, said with the most good-humoured smile in the world, as
he shook Pen's passive fingers gaily: "Well, Pen, my boy, tell us all
about it!"

Helen was delighted with the generosity of the Major's good-humour. On
the contrary, it quite took aback and disappointed poor Pen, whose nerves
were strung up for a tragedy, and who felt that his grand entrance was
altogether balked and ludicrous. He blushed and winced with mortified
vanity and bewilderment. He felt immensely inclined to begin to cry.
"I--I didn't know you were come till just now," he said; "is--is--town
very full, I suppose?"

If Pen could hardly gulp his tears down it was all the Major could do to
keep from laughter. He turned round and shot a comical glance at Mrs.
Pendennis, who, too, felt that the scene was at once ridiculous and
sentimental. And so, having nothing to say, she went up and kissed Mr.
Pen, while the Major said: "Come, come, Pen, my good fellow, tell us the
whole story."

Pen got back at once to his tragic and heroical air while he told the
story of his devotion to the charming Miss Fotheringay, to which the
Major gave quiet attention, and then asked many practical questions, and
made so many remarks of a worldly-wise nature that the boy was obliged to
give in and acknowledge the sound wisdom of them, and also before the
interview was over he gave his mother a promise that he would never do
anything which would bring shame upon the family; which promise given,
the Major could contain his gravity at the situation no longer, but burst
into a fit of laughter so infectious that Pen was obliged to join in it.
This sent them with great good-humour into Mrs. Pendennis's drawing-room,
and she was pleased to hear the Major and Pen laughing together as they
walked across the hall with the Major's arm laid gayly on Pen's
shoulder. The pair came to the tea-table in the highest spirits. The
Major's politeness was beyond expression. He was secretly delighted with
himself that he had been able to win such a victory over the young
fellow's feelings. He had never tasted such good tea, and such bread was
only to be had in the country. He asked Mrs. Pendennis for one of her
charming songs. He then made Pen sing, and was delighted at the beauty of
the boy's voice; he made his nephew fetch his maps and drawings, and
praised them as really remarkable works of talent in a young fellow; he
complimented him on his French pronunciation. He flattered the simple boy
to the extent of his ability, and when bedtime came mother and son went
to their rooms perfectly enchanted with him.

Unwilling to leave his work half done, the Major remained at Fair-Oaks
for some time that he might watch his nephew's actions. Pen never rode
over to Chatteris but that the Major found out on what errand the boy
had been. Faithful to his plan, he gave his nephew no hindrance. Yet
somehow the constant feeling that his uncle's eye was upon him made Pen
go less frequently to sigh away his soul at the feet of his charmer than
he had done before his uncle's arrival. But even so, and despite Pen's
promise to his mother, the Major felt that if he were to succeed in
permanently curing the lad of his interest in the actress, it would be
well to have more help in achieving it. In pursuance of this aim, the
Major went to Chatteris himself privately, sought out the actress's
father, and presented to him the practical facts of his nephew's extreme
youth and lack of money, as hindrances to his devotion going further.
After a rather heated argument with Captain Costigan, that gentleman was
made to understand the situation, and finally gave his promise so to
present the case to his daughter, that she should herself write a
letter to Pen setting forth her firm determination to have no more
intercourse with him.

Captain Costigan was as good as his word, and his letter to Pen was sent
immediately. A few lines from Miss Costigan were enclosed. She agreed in
the decision of her papa, pointed out several reasons why they should
meet no more, and thanked him for his kindness and friendship.

Major Pendennis had won a complete victory, and his secret delight
at having rescued Pen from an unwise attachment was only equalled by
his regret at the real suffering he was obliged to allow the lad to
go through.

After receiving the letter Pen rushed wildly off to Chatteris; but in
vain attempted to see Miss Fotheringay, for whom he left a letter
enclosed to her father. The enclosure was returned by Mr. Costigan, who
begged that all correspondence might end; and after one or two further
attempts of the lad's, Captain Costigan insisted that their
acquaintance should cease. He cut Pen in the street. As Arthur and
Foker were pacing the street one day they came upon the daughter on her
father's arm. She passed without any nod of recognition. Foker felt
poor Pen trembling on his arm.

His uncle wanted him to travel, and his mother urged him, too, for he was
in a state of restless unhappiness. But he said point blank he would not
go, and his mother was too fond, and his uncle too wise, to force him.
Whenever Miss Fotheringay acted, he rode over to the Chatteris theatre
and saw her; and between times found the life at Fair-Oaks extremely
dreary and uninteresting. He sometimes played backgammon with his mother,
or took dinner with Dr. Portman or some other neighbour; these were the
chief of his pleasures; or he would listen to his mother's simple music
of summer evenings. But he was very restless and wretched in spite of
all. By the pond and under a tree, which was his favourite resort in
moods of depression, Pen, at that time, composed a number of poems
suitable to his misery--over which verses he blushed in after days,
wondering how he could have ever invented such rubbish. He had his hot
and cold fits, his days of sullenness and peevishness, and occasional mad
paroxysms of rage and longing, in which fits his horse would be saddled
and galloped fiercely about the country, bringing him back in such a
state of despair as brought much worry to his mother and the Major. In
fact, Pen's attitude towards life and his actions at that time were so
unlike what they should have been at his age that his proceedings
tortured his mother not a little, and her anxiety would have led her
often to interfere with Pen's doings had not the Major constantly checked
her; fancying that he saw a favourable turn in Pen's malady, which was
shown by a violent attack of writing verses; also spouting them as he sat
with the home party of evenings; and one day the Major found a great
bookful of original verses in the lad's study. Also he discovered that
the young gentleman had a very creditable appetite for his meals, and
slept soundly at night. From these symptoms the Major argued that Pen was
leaving behind him his infatuation.

Dr. Portman was of the opinion that Pen should go to college. He thought
the time had come for the boy to leave his old surroundings, and, besides
study, have a moderate amount of the best society, too. Pen, who was
thoroughly out of harmony with his present surroundings, gloomily said he
would go, and in consequence of this decision not many weeks later the
widow and Laura nervously set about filling trunks with his books, and
linen, and making all necessary preparation for his departure, writing
cards with the name of Arthur Pendennis, Esquire, which were duly nailed
on the boxes; at which both the widow and Laura looked with tearful eyes.

A night soon came when the coach, with echoing horn and blazing lamps,
stopped at the lodge gate of Fair-Oaks, and Pen's trunks and his Uncle's
were placed on the roof of the carriage, into which the pair presently
afterwards entered. Mrs. Pendennis and Laura were standing by the
evergreens of the shrubbery, their figures lighted up by the coach lamps.
The guard cried "All right"; in another instant the carriage whirled
onward; the lights disappeared, and his mother's heart and prayers went
with them. Her sainted benedictions followed the departing boy. He had
left the home-nest in which he had been chafing; eager to go forth and
try his restless wings.

How lonely the house was without him! The corded trunks and book-boxes
were there in his empty study. Laura asked leave to come and sleep in
her aunt's room: and when she cried herself to sleep there, the mother
went softly into Pen's vacant chamber, and knelt down by the bed on
which the moon shone, and there prayed for her boy, as mothers only know
how to plead.

Pen passed a few days at the Major's lodgings in London, of which he
wrote a droll account to his dearest mother; and she and Laura read that
letter, and those which followed, many, many times, and brooded over
them, while Pen and the Major were arriving at Oxbridge; and Pen was
becoming acquainted with his surroundings. The boxes that his mother had
packed with so much care arrived in a few days. Pen was touched as he
read the cards in the dear well-known hand, and as he arranged in their
places all the books, and all the linen and table-cloths which Helen had
selected for him from the family stock, and all the hundred simple gifts
of home. Then came the Major's leave-taking, and truth to tell our friend
Pen was not sorry when he was left alone to enter upon his new career,
and we may be sure that the Major on his part was very glad to have done
his duty by Pen, and to have finished that irksome work. Having left Pen
in the company of Harry Foker, who would introduce him to the best set at
the University, the Major rushed off to London and again took up his
accustomed life.

We are not about to go through young Pen's academical career very
minutely. During the first term of his university life he attended
lectures with tolerable regularity, but soon discovering that he had
little taste for pursuing the exact sciences, he gave up his attendance
at that course and announced that he proposed to devote himself
exclusively to Greek and Roman Literature.

Mrs. Pendennis was for her part quite satisfied that her darling boy
should pursue that branch of learning for which he had the greatest
inclination; and only besought him not to ruin his health by too much
study, for she had heard the most melancholy stories of young students
who by overfatigue had brought on brain-fevers, and perished untimely in
the midst of their university career. Pen's health, which was always
delicate, was to be regarded, as she justly said, beyond all
considerations or vain honours. Pen, although not aware of any lurking
disease which was likely to endanger his life, yet kindly promised his
mamma not to sit up reading too late of nights, and stuck to his word in
this respect with a great deal more tenacity of resolution than he
exhibited upon some other occasions, when perhaps he was a little remiss.

Presently he began to find that he learned little good in the classical
lecture. His fellow-students there were too dull, as in mathematics they
were too learned for him. Pen grew weary of hearing the students and
tutor blunder through a few lines of a play which he could read in a
tenth part of the time which they gave to it. After all, private reading,
he decided, was the only study which was really profitable, and he
announced to his mamma that he should read by himself a great deal more
and in public a great deal less. That excellent woman knew no more about
Homer than she did about Algebra, but she was quite contented with Pen's
arrangements regarding his course of study, and felt perfectly confident
that her dear boy would get the place which he merited.

Pen did not come home until after Christmas, a little to the fond
mother's disappointment, and Laura's, who was longing for him to make a
fine snow fortification, such as he had made three winters before. But he
was invited to Logwood, Lady Agnes Foker's, where there were private
theatricals, and a gay Christmas party of very fine folks, some of whom
Major Pendennis would on no account have his nephew neglect. However, he
stayed at home for the last three weeks of the vacation, and Laura had
the opportunity of remarking what a quantity of fine new clothes he
brought with him, and his mother admired his improved appearance and
manly and decided tone.

He had not come home at Easter; but when he arrived for the long vacation
he brought more smart clothes; appearing in the morning in wonderful
shooting-jackets, with remarkable buttons; and in the evening in gorgeous
velvet waistcoats, with richly embroidered cravats, and curious linen.
And as she pried about his room, she saw, oh, such a beautiful
dressing-case, with silver mountings, and a quantity of lovely rings and
jewellery. And he had a new French watch and gold chain, in place of the
big old chronometer, with its bunch of jingling seals, which had hung
from the fob of John Pendennis. It was but a few months back Pen had
longed for this watch, which he thought the most splendid and august
time-piece in the world; and just before he went to college, Helen had
taken it out of her trinket box and given it to Pen with a solemn and
appropriate little speech respecting his father's virtues and the proper
use of time. This portly and valuable chronometer Pen now pronounced to
be out of date, and indeed made some comparisons between it and a
warming-pan, which Laura thought disrespectful; and he left it in a
drawer in the company of soiled primrose gloves and cravats which had
gone out of favour. His horse Pen pronounced no longer up to his weight,
and swapped her for another for which he had to pay rather a heavy
figure. Mrs. Pendennis gave the boy the money for the new horse, and
Laura cried when the old one was fetched away.

Arthur's allowances were liberal at this time, and thus he, the only son
of a country gentleman, and of a gentleman-like bearing and person, was
looked up to as a lad of much more consequence than he really was. His
manner was frank, brave and perhaps a little impertinent, as becomes a
high-spirited youth. He was generous and freehanded with his money, loved
joviality, and had a good voice for a song. He rode well to hounds,
appeared in pink as became a young buck, and managed to run up fine bills
in a number of quarters. In fact, he had almost every taste to a
considerable degree. He was very fond of books of all sorts and had a
very fair taste in matters of art; also a great partiality for fine
clothes and expensive jewellery.

In the course of his second year he had become one of the men of fashion
in the University, and a leader of the faithful band who hung around him
and wondered at him and loved him and imitated him. Now, it is easy to
calculate that with such tastes as Mr. Pen possessed he must in the
course of two or three years spend or owe a very handsome sum of money.
As he was not of a calculating turn he certainly found himself frequently
in debt, but this did not affect his gaiety of spirit. He got a
prodigious in the University and was hailed as a sort of Crichton: and as
for the English verse prize, although Jones carried it that year, the
undergraduates thought Pen's a much finer poem, and he had his verses
printed at his own expense, and distributed in gilt morocco covers
amongst his acquaintance.

Amidst his friends, and a host of them there were, Pen passed more than
two brilliant and happy years. He had his fill of pleasure and
popularity. No dinner or supper party was complete without him. He became
the favourite and leader of young men who were his superiors in wealth
and station, but also did not neglect the humblest man of his
acquaintance in order to curry favour with the richest young grandee in
the University. He became famous and popular: not that he did much, but
there was a general idea that he could do a great deal if he chose. "Ah,
if Pendennis would only _try_" the men said, "he might do anything." One
by one the University honours were lost by him, until he ceased to
compete. But he got a declamation prize and brought home to his mother
and Laura a set of prize books begilt with the college arms, and so
magnificent that the ladies thought that Pen had won the largest honour
which Oxbridge was capable of awarding.

Vacation after vacation passed without the desired news that Pen had sat
for any scholarship or won any honour, and Pen grew rebellious and
unhappy, and there was a tacit feud between Dr. Portman, who was
disappointed in Arthur, and the lad himself. Mrs. Pendennis, hearing Dr.
Portman prophesy that Pen would come to ruin, trembled in her heart, and
little Laura also--Laura who had grown to be a fine young stripling,
graceful and fair, clinging to her adopted mother and worshipping her
with a passionate affection. Both of these women felt that their boy was
changed. He was no longer the artless Pen of old days, so brave, so
impetuous, so tender. He spent little of his vacations at home, but went
on visits, and scared the quiet pair at Fair-Oaks by stories of great
houses to which he had been invited, and by talking of lords without
their titles.

But even with all his weaknesses there was a kindness and frankness about
Arthur Pendennis which won most people who came in contact with him, and
made it impossible to resist his good-nature, or in his worst moments not
to hope for his rescue from utter ruin. At the time of his career of
university pleasure he would leave the gayest party to sit with a sick
friend and was only too ready to share any money which he had with a
poorer one.

In his third year at college the duns began to gather awfully round about
him, and descended upon him in such a number that the tutors were
scandalised, and even brave-hearted Pen was scared. Hearing of his
nephew's extravagances, Major Pendennis interviewed that young man, and
was thunderstruck at the extent of his liabilities after receiving Pen's
dismal confession of the trouble in which he was involved.

Perhaps it was because she was so tender and good that Pen was terrified
lest his mother should know of his sins. "I can't bear to break it to
her," he said to the tutor, in an agony of grief. "Oh! sir, I've been a
villain to her!"

--and he repented, and asked himself, Why, why, did his uncle insist
upon the necessity of living with great people, and in how much did all
his grand acquaintance profit him?

They were not shy of him, but Pen thought they were, and slunk from them
during his last terms at college. He was as gloomy as a death's-head at
parties, which he avoided of his own part, or to which his young friends
soon ceased to invite him. Everybody knew that Pendennis was "hard up."

At last came the Degree Examinations. Many a young man of his year, whose
hob-nailed shoes Pen had derided, and whose face or coat he had
caricatured, many a man whom he had treated with scorn in the
lecture-room or crushed with his eloquence in the debating club, many of
his own set who had not half his brains, but a little regularity and
constancy of occupation, took high places in the honours or passed within
decent credit. And where in the list was Pen, the superb; Pen, the wit
and dandy; Pen, the poet and orator? Ah, where was Pen, the widow's
darling and sole pride? Let us hide our heads and shut up the page. The
lists came out; and a dreadful rumour rushed through the University, that
Pendennis of Boniface was plucked.

During the latter part of Pen's university career the Major had become
very proud of Arthur on account of his high spirits, frank manners, and
high, gentleman-like bearing. He made more than one visit to Oxbridge and
had an almost paternal fondness for Pen, whom he bragged about at his
clubs, and introduced with pleasure into his conversation. He boasted
everywhere of the boy's great talents and of the brilliant degree he was
going to take as he wrote over and over again to Pen's mother, who for
her part was ready to believe anything that anybody chose to say in
favour of her son.

And all this pride and affection of uncle and mother had been trampled
down by Pen's wicked extravagance and idleness. I don't envy Pen's
feelings as he thought of what he had done. He had marred at its outset
what might have been a brilliant career. He had dipped ungenerously into
a generous mother's purse, and basely and recklessly spent her little
income. Poor Arthur Pendennis felt perfectly convinced that all England
would remark the absence of his name from the examination lists and talk
about his misfortune. His wounded tutor, his many duns, the
undergraduates--how could he bear to look any of them in the face now?
After receiving the news of his disgrace he rushed to his rooms and there
penned a letter to his tutor full of thanks, regards, remorse and
despair, requesting that his name might be taken off the college books,
and intimating a wish that death might speedily end the woes of the
disgraced Arthur Pendennis. Then he slunk out, scarcely knowing where he
went, taking the unfrequented little lanes at the backs of the college
buildings until he found himself some miles distant from Oxbridge. As he
went up a hill, a drizzling January rain beating in his face and his
ragged gown flying behind him, for he had not taken it off since the
morning, a post-chaise came rattling up the road with a young gentleman
in it who caught sight of poor Pen's pale face, jumped out of the
carriage and ran towards him, exclaiming, "I say,--Hello, old boy, where
are you going, and what's the row now?"

"I am going where I deserve to go," said Pen.

"This ain't the way," said his friend Spavin, smiling. "I say, Pen, don't
take on because you are plucked. It is nothing when you are used to it.
I've been plucked three times, old boy, and after the first time I
didn't care. You'll have better luck next time."

Pen looked at his early acquaintance who had been plucked, who had been
rusticated, who had only after repeated failures learned to read and
write correctly, but who, in spite of all these drawbacks had attained
the honour of a degree.

"This man has passed," he thought, "and I have failed." It was almost too
much for him to bear.

"Good-bye," said he; "I am very glad you are through. Don't let me keep
you. I am in a hurry--I am going to town to-night."

"Gammon!" said his friend, "this ain't the way to town; this is the
Fenbury road, I tell you."

"I was just going to turn back," Pen said.

"All the coaches are full with the men going down," Spavin said. Pen
winced. "You'd not get a place for a ten-pound note. Get in here. I'll
drop you where you have a chance of the Fenbury mail. I'll lend you a hat
and coat; I've got lots. Come along; jump in, old boy--go it, leathers!"

And in this way Pen found himself in Mr. Spavin's post-chaise and rode
with that gentleman as far as the Ram Inn at Mudford, fifteen miles from
Oxbridge, where the Fenbury mail changed horses, and where Pen got a
place on to London.

The next day there was an immense excitement at Oxbridge, where, for some
time, a rumour prevailed, to the terror of Pen's tutor and tradesmen,
that Pendennis, maddened at losing his degree, had made away with
himself. A battered cap, in which his name was almost discernible,
together with a seal bearing his crest of an eagle looking at a now
extinct sun, had been found three miles on the Fenbury road, near a mill
stream; and for four-and-twenty hours it was supposed that poor Pen had
flung himself into the stream, until letters arrived from him, bearing
the London post-mark.

The coach reached London at the dreary hour of five; and he hastened to
the inn at Covent Garden, where the ever-wakeful porter admitted him, and
showed him to a bed. Pen looked hard at the man, and wondered whether
Boots knew he was plucked? When in bed he could not sleep there. He
tossed about restlessly until the appearance of daylight, when he sprang
up desperately, and walked off to his uncle's lodgings in Bury Street.

"Good 'evens! Mr. Arthur, what 'as 'appened, sir?" asked the valet, who
was just carrying in his wig to the Major.

"I want to see my uncle," Pen cried in a ghastly voice, and flung himself
down on a chair.

The valet backed before the pale and desperate-looking young man,
with terrified and wondering glances, and disappeared into his
master's apartment, whence the Major put out his head as soon as he
had his wig on.

"What? Examination over? Senior Wrangler, Double First Class, hey?" said
the old gentleman. "I'll come directly," and the head disappeared.

Pen was standing with his back to the window, so that his uncle could not
see the expression of gloomy despair on the young man's face. But when he
held out his hand to Pen, and was about to address him in his cheery,
high-toned voice, he caught sight of the boy's face; and dropping his
hand said, "Why, Pen, what's the matter?"

"You'll see it in the papers at breakfast, sir," Pen said.

"See what?"

"My name isn't there, sir."

"Hang it, why _should_ it be?" asked the Major, more perplexed.

"I have lost everything, sir," groaned out Pen; "my honour's gone; I'm
ruined irretrievably; I can't go back to Oxbridge."

"Lost your honour?" screamed out the Major. "Heaven alive! You don't mean
to say you have shown the white feather?"

Pen laughed bitterly at the word feather, and repeated it. "No, it isn't
that, sir. I'm not afraid of being shot; I wish anybody would shoot me. I
have not got my degree. I--I'm plucked, sir."

The Major had heard of plucking, but in a very vague and cursory way, and
concluded that it was some ceremony performed corporally upon rebellious
university youth. "I wonder you can look me in the face after such a
disgrace, sir," he said; "I wonder you submitted to it as a gentleman."

"I couldn't help it, sir. I did my classical papers well enough: it was
those infernal mathematics, which I have always neglected."

"Was it--was it done in public, sir?" the Major said.

"What?"

"The--the plucking?" asked the guardian, looking Pen anxiously in the
face.

Pen perceived the error under which his guardian was labouring, and in
the midst of his misery the blunder caused the poor wretch a faint smile,
and served to bring down the conversation from the tragedy-key in which
Pen had been disposed to carry it on. He explained to his uncle that he
had gone in to pass his examination, and failed. On which the Major said,
that though he had expected far better things of his nephew, there was no
great misfortune in this, and no dishonour as far as he saw, and that
Pen must try again.

"Me again at Oxbridge!" Pen thought, "after such a humiliation as
that?" He felt that, except he went down to burn the place, he could
not enter it.

But it was when he came to tell his uncle of his debts that the other
felt surprise and anger most keenly, and broke out into speeches most
severe upon Pen, which the lad bore, as best he might, without flinching.

It appeared that his bills in all amounted to about £700; and furthermore
it was calculated that he had had more than twice that sum during his
stay at Oxbridge. This sum he had spent, and for it he had to show--what?

"You need not press a man who is down, sir," Pen said to his uncle,
gloomily. "I know very well how wicked and idle I have been. My mother
won't like to see me dishonoured, sir," he continued, with his voice
failing; "and I know she will pay these accounts. But I shall ask her for
no more money."

"As you like, sir," the Major said. "You are of age, and my hands are
washed of your affairs. But you can't live without money, and have no
means of making it that I see, though you have a fine talent in spending
it, and it is my belief that you will proceed as you have begun, and ruin
your mother before you are five years older. Good-morning; it is time for
me to go to breakfast. My engagements won't permit me to see you much
during the time that you stay in London. I presume that you will acquaint
your mother with the news which you have just conveyed to me."

And pulling on his hat, and trembling in his limbs somewhat, Major
Pendennis walked out of his lodgings before his nephew, and went ruefully
off to take his accustomed corner at the club, where he saw the Oxbridge
examination lists in the morning papers, and read over the names with
mournful accuracy, thinking also with bitterness of the many plans he had
formed to make a man of his nephew, of the sacrifices which he had made,
and of the manner in which he was disappointed. And he wrote a letter to
Dr. Portman telling him what had happened and begging the Doctor to break
the sad news to Helen. Then the Major went out to dinner, one of the
saddest men in any London dining-room that day.

On receipt of the Major's letter Dr. Portman went at once to Fair-Oaks to
break the disagreeable news to Mrs. Pendennis. She had already received a
letter from Pen, and to the Doctor's great indignation she seemed to feel
no particular unhappiness except that her darling boy should be unhappy.
What was this degree that they made such an outcry about, and what good
would it do Pen? Why did Dr. Portman and his uncle insist upon sending
the boy where there was so much temptation to be risked, and so little
good to be won? Why didn't they leave him at home with his mother? Her
boy was coming back to her repentant and tender-hearted,--why should she
want more? As for his debts, of course they must be paid;--his
debts.--Wasn't his father's money all his, and hadn't he a right to spend
it? In this way the widow met the virtuous Doctor, and all his anger took
no effect upon her gentle bosom.

As for Laura, Pen's little adopted sister, she was no longer the simple
girl of Pen's college days, but a tall, slim, handsome young lady. At the
age of sixteen she was a sweet young lady indeed, ordinarily pale, with a
faint rose-tinge in her cheeks. Her eyes were very large and some critics
said that she was in the habit of making play with those eyes, but the
fact is that nature had made them so to shine and to look, that they
could no more help so looking and shining than one star can help being
brighter than another. It was doubtless to soften their brightness that
Miss Laura's eyes were provided with two veils in the shape of the
longest and finest black eyelashes. Her complexion was brilliant, her
smile charming, while her voice was so low and sweet that to hear it was
like listening to sweet music.

Now, this same charming Miss Laura had only been half pleased with Pen's
general conduct and bearing during the past two years. His letters to his
mother had been very rare and short. It was in vain that the fond widow
urged how constant Arthur's occupations and studies were, and how many
his engagements. "It is better that he should lose a prize," Laura said,
"than forget his mother: and indeed, Mamma, I don't see that he gets many
prizes. Why doesn't he come home and stay with you, instead of passing
his vacations at his great friends' fine houses? There is nobody there
that will love him half as much as you do." Thus Laura declared stoutly,
nor would she be convinced by any of Helen's fond arguments that the boy
must make his way in the world; that his uncle was most desirous that Pen
should cultivate the acquaintance of persons who were likely to befriend
him in life; that men had a thousand ties and calls which women could not
understand, and so forth.

But as soon as Miss Laura heard that Pen was unfortunate and unhappy, all
her anger straightway vanished, giving place to the most tender
compassion. He was the Pen of old days, the frank and affectionate, the
generous and tender-hearted. She at once took side with Helen against Dr.
Portman when he cried out at the enormity of Pen's transgressions.
Debts? What were his debts? They were a trifle; he had been thrown into
expensive society by his uncle's order, and of course was obliged to live
in the same manner as the young gentlemen whose company he frequented.
Disgraced by not getting his degree? The poor boy was ill when he went
for the examinations; he couldn't think of his mathematics and stuff on
account of those very debts which oppressed him; very likely some of the
odious tutors and masters were jealous of him, and had favourites of
their own whom they wanted to put over his head. Other people disliked
him and were cruel to him, and were unfair to him, she was very sure.

And so with flushing cheeks and eyes bright with anger this young
creature reasoned, and went up and seized Helen's hand and kissed her in
the Doctor's presence; and her looks braved the Doctor and seemed to ask
how he dared to say a word against her darling mother's Pen?

Directly the Doctor was gone, Laura ordered fires to be lighted in Mr.
Arthur's rooms, and his bedding to be aired; and by the time Helen had
completed a tender and affectionate letter to Pen, Laura had her
preparations completed, and, smiling fondly, went with her mamma into
Pen's room, which was now ready for him to occupy. Laura also added a
postscript to Helen's letter, in which she called him her dearest friend,
and bade him come home _instantly_ and be happy with his mother and his
affectionate Laura.

That night when Mrs. Pendennis was lying sleepless, thinking of Pen, a
voice at her side startled her, saying softly: "Mamma, are you awake?"

It was Laura. "You know, Mamma," this young lady said, "that I have been
living with you for ten years, during which time you have never taken
any of my money, and have been treating me just as if I were a charity
girl. Now, this obligation has offended me very much, because I am proud
and do not like to be beholden to people. And as, if I had gone to
school, only I wouldn't, it must have cost me as least fifty pounds a
year, it is clear that I owe you fifty times ten pounds, which I know
you have put into the bank at Chatteris for me, and which doesn't belong
to me a bit. Now, to-morrow we will go to Chatteris, and see that nice
old Mr. Rowdy, with the bald head, and ask him for it,--not for his
head, but for the five hundred pounds; and I daresay he will lend you
two more, which we will save and pay back, and we will send the money to
Pen, who can pay all his debts without hurting anybody, and then we will
live happy ever after."

What Mrs. Pendennis replied to this speech need not be repeated, but we
may be sure that its terms were those of the deepest gratitude, and that
the widow lost no time in writing off to Pen an account of the noble, the
magnificent offer of Laura, filling up her letter with a profusion of
benedictions upon both her children.

As for Pen, after being deserted by the Major, and writing his letter to
his mother, he skulked about London streets for the rest of the day,
fancying that everybody was looking at him and whispering to his
neighbour, "That is Pendennis of Boniface, who was plucked yesterday."
His letter to his mother was full of tenderness and remorse: he wept the
bitterest tears over it, and the repentance soothed him to some degree.

On the second day of his London wanderings there came a kind letter from
his tutor, containing many grave and appropriate remarks upon what had
befallen him, but strongly urging Pen not to take his name off the
University books, and to retrieve a disaster which everybody knew was
owing to his own carelessness alone, and which he might repair by a
month of application.

On the third day there arrived the letter from home which Pen read in his
bedroom, and the result of which was that he fell down on his knees, with
his head in the bedclothes, and there prayed out his heart, and humbled
himself; and having gone downstairs and eaten an immense breakfast, he
sallied forth and took his place at the Bull and Mouth, Piccadilly, on
the Chatteris coach for that evening.

And so the Prodigal came home, and the fatted calf was killed for him,
and he was made as happy as two simple women could make him.

For some time he said no power on earth could induce him to go back to
Oxbridge again after his failure there; but one day Laura said to him,
with many blushes, that she thought, as some sort of reparation, or
punishment on himself for his idleness, he ought to go back and get his
degree if he could fetch it by doing so; and so back Mr. Pen went.

A plucked man is a dismal being in a university; belonging to no set of
men there and owned by no one. Pen felt himself plucked indeed of all the
fine feathers which he had won during his brilliant years, and rarely
appeared out of his college; regularly going to morning chapel and
shutting himself up in his rooms of nights, away from the noise and
suppers of the undergraduates. The men of his years had taken their
degrees and were gone. He went into a second examination, and passed with
perfect ease. He was somewhat more easy in his mind when he appeared in
his bachelor's gown, and could cast aside the hated badge of disgrace.

On his way back from Oxbridge he paid a visit to his uncle in London,
hoping that gentleman would accept his present success in place of his
past failure, but the old gentleman received him with very cold looks,
and would scarcely give him his forefinger to shake. He called a second
time, but the valet said his master was not at home.

So Pen went back to Fair-Oaks. True, he had retrieved his failure, had
won his honours, but he came back to his home a very different fellow
from the bright-faced youth who had gone out into college life some years
before. He no longer laughed, sang, or rollicked about the house as of
old; he had tasted of the fruit of the awful Tree of Life which from the
beginning had tempted all mankind, and which had changed Arthur Pendennis
the light-hearted boy into a man. Young, he is, of course, and still
awaiting the development which life's deeper experiences are to bring,
but nevertheless he is not again to taste the joy, the zest, or the
enthusiasm which come to careless boyhood.

Arthur Pendennis is now a competitor among the ranks of men striving
after life's prizes, and this narrative of his boyhood ends.



CAROLINE


[Illustration: Miss CAROLINE AND BECKY.]

Since the time of Cinderella the First there have been many similar
instances in real life of the persecution of youth by family injustice
and cruelty, and no case more strikingly similar than that of Miss
Caroline Brandenburg Gann, whose youthful career was one of monotonous
hardship and injustice until the arrival of her fairy prince.

The story is a short one to relate, but to live through the days and
months of sixteen unhappy years seemed an eternal process to the young
heart beating high with hopes which must constantly be stifled, and give
place to bitter disappointment.

But to go back for a moment to the time when Louis XVIII. was restored a
second time to the throne of his father, and all the English who had
money or leisure rushed over to the Continent. At that time there lived
in a certain boarding-house at Brussels a lady who was called Mrs. Crabb;
and her daughter, a genteel young widow, who bore the name of Mrs.
Wellesley McCarty. Previous to this Mrs. McCarty, who was then Miss
Crabb, had run off one day with a young Ensign, who possessed not a
shilling, and who speedily died, leaving his widow without property, but
with a remarkably fine pair of twins, named Rosalind Clancy and Isabella
Finigan Wellesley McCarty.

The young widow being left penniless, her mother, who had disowned the
runaway couple, was obliged to become reconciled to her daughter and to
share her small income of one hundred and twenty pounds a year with her.
Upon this at the boarding-house in Brussels the two managed to live. The
twins were put out, after the foreign fashion, to nurse, and a village in
the neighbourhood, and the widow and her mother maintained a very good
appearance despite their small income; and it was not long before the
Widow McCarty married a young Englishman, James Gann, Esq.--of the great
oil-house of Gann, Blubbery, and Gann,--who was boarding in the same
house with Mrs. Crabb and her daughter. These ladies, who had their full
share of common sense, took care to keep the twins in the background
until such time as the Widow McCarty had become Mrs. Gann. Then on the
day after the wedding, in the presence of many friends who had come to
offer their congratulations, a stout nurse, bearing the two chubby little
ones, made her appearance; and these rosy urchins, springing forward,
shouted affectionately, "_Maman! Maman_!" to the great astonishment and
bewilderment of James Gann, who well-nigh fainted at this sudden
paternity so put upon him. However, being a good-humoured, soft-hearted
man, he kissed his lady hurriedly, and vowed that he would take care of
the poor little things, whom he would also have kissed, but the darlings
refused his caress with many roars.

Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. James Gann returned to England and
occupied a house in Thames Street, City, until the death of Gann, Sr.,
when his son, becoming head of the firm, mounted higher on the social
ladder and went to live in the neighbourhood of Putney, where a neat box,
a couple of spare bedrooms, a good cellar, and a smart gig made a real
gentleman of him. About this period, a daughter was born to him, called
Caroline Blandenburg Gann, so named after a large mansion near
Hammersmith, and an injured queen who lived there at the time of the
little girl's birth.

At this time Mrs. James Gann sent the twins, Rosalind Clancy and Isabella
Finigan Wellesley McCarty, to a boarding-school for young ladies, and
grumbled much at the amount of the bills which her husband was obliged to
pay for them; for, although James discharged them with perfect
good-humour, his lady began to entertain a mean opinion indeed of her
pretty young children. They could expect no fortune, she said, from Mr.
Gann, and she wondered that he should think of bringing them up
expensively, when he had a darling child of his own for whom to save all
the money that he could lay by.

Grandmamma, too, doted on the little Caroline Brandenburg, and vowed
that she would leave her three thousand pounds to this dear infant; for
in this way does the world show its respect for that most respectable
thing, prosperity, and little Caroline was the daughter of prosperous
James Gann.

Little Caroline, then, had her maid, her airy nursery, her little
carriage to drive in, the promise of her grandmamma's money, and her
mamma's undivided affection. Gann, too, loved her sincerely in his
careless good-humoured way; but he determined, notwithstanding, that his
step-daughters should have something handsome at his death, but--but for
a great But.

Gann and Blubbery were in the oil line; their profits arose from
contracts for lighting a great number of streets in London; and about
this period gas came into use. The firm of Gann and Blubbery had been so
badly managed, I am sorry to say, and so great had been the extravagance
of both partners and their ladies, that they only paid their creditors
fourteen-pence halfpenny in the pound.

When Mrs. Crabb heard of this dreadful accident she at once proclaimed
James Gann to be a swindler, a villain, a disreputable, vulgar man, and
made over her money to the Misses Rosalind Clancy and Isabella Finigan
McCarty, leaving poor little Caroline without a cent of legacy. Half of
one thousand five hundred pounds allotted to each twin was to be paid at
marriage, the other half on the death of Mrs. James Gann, who was to
enjoy the interest thereof. Thus did the fortunes of little Caroline
alter in a single night! Thus did Cinderella enter upon the period of her
loneliness!

After James Gann's failure his family lived in various uncomfortable
ways, until at length Mrs. Gann opened a lodging-house in a certain back
street in the town of Margate, on the door of which house might be read
in gleaming brass the name of MR. GANN. It was the work of a single
smutty servant-maid to clean this brass plate every morning, and to
attend to the wants of Mr. Gann, his family, and lodgers. In this same
house Mr. Gann had his office, though if truth be told he had nothing to
do from morning until night. He was very much changed, poor fellow! He
was now a fat, bald-headed man of fifty whose tastes were no longer
aristocratic, and who loved public-house jokes and company.

As for Mrs. Gann, she had changed, too, under the pressure of
misfortune. Her chief occupation was bragging of her former
acquaintances, taking medicine, and mending and altering her gowns. She
had a huge taste for cheap finery, loved raffles, tea-parties, and walks
on the pier, where she flaunted herself and daughters as gay as
butterflies. She stood upon her rank, did not fail to tell her lodgers
that she was "a gentlewoman," and was mighty sharp with Becky, the
maid, and Carrie, her youngest child.

For the tide of affection had turned now, and the Misses Wellesley
McCarty were the darlings of their mother's heart, as Caroline had been
in the early days of Putney prosperity. Mrs. Gann respected and loved her
elder daughters, the stately heiresses of £1500, and scorned poor
Caroline, who was likewise scorned, like Cinderella, by her brace of
haughty, thoughtless sisters. These young women were tall, well-grown,
black-browed girls, fond of fun, and having great health and spirits.
They had pink cheeks, white shoulders, and many glossy curls about their
shining foreheads. Such charms cannot fail of having their effect, and it
was very lucky for Caroline that she did not possess them, or she might
have been as vain, frivolous, and vulgar as these young ladies were. As
it was, Caroline was pale and thin, with fair hair and neat grey eyes;
nobody thought her a beauty in her moping cotton gown, and while her
sisters enjoyed their pleasures and tea-parties abroad, it was Carrie's
usual fate to remain at home and help the servant in the many duties
which were required in Mrs. Gann's establishment. She dressed her mamma
and her sisters, brought her papa his tea in bed, kept the lodgers'
bills, bore their scoldings, and sometimes gave a hand in the kitchen if
any extra cookery was required. At two she made a little toilette for
dinner, and was employed on numberless household darnings and mendings in
the long evenings while her sisters giggled over the jingling piano.
Mamma lay on the sofa, and Gann was at the club. A weary lot, in sooth,
was yours,--poor little Caroline. Since the days of your infancy, not one
hour of sunshine, no friendship, no cheery playfellows, no mother's love!
Only James Gann, of all the household, had a good-natured look for her,
and a coarse word of kindness, but Caroline did not complain, nor shed
any tears. Her misery was dumb and patient; she felt that she was
ill-treated, and had no companion; but was not on that account envious,
only humble and depressed, not desiring so much to resist as to bear
injustice, and hardly venturing to think for herself. This tyranny and
humility served her in place of education and formed her manners, which
were wonderfully gentle and calm. It was strange to see such a person
growing up in such a family, and the neighbours spoke of her with much
scornful compassion. "A poor half-witted, thing," they said, "who could
not say bo! to a goose." And I think it is one good test of gentility to
be thus looked down on by vulgar people.

I have said that Miss Caroline had no friend in the world except her
father, but one friend she most certainly had, and that was honest Becky,
the smutty maid, whose name has been mentioned before. A great comfort it
was for Caroline to descend to the calm kitchen from the stormy
back-parlour, and there vent some of her little woes to the compassionate
servant of all work.

When Mrs. Gann went out with her daughters Becky would take her work and
come and keep Miss Caroline company; and, if the truth must be told, the
greatest enjoyment the pair used to have was in these afternoons, when
they read together out of the precious, greasy, marble-covered volumes
that Mrs. Gann was in the habit of fetching from the library. Many and
many a tale had the pair so gone through. I can see them over "Manfrone;
or the One-handed Monk," the room dark, the street silent, the hour ten,
the tall, red, lurid candlewick waggling down, the flame flickering pale
upon Miss Caroline's pale face as she read out, and lighting up honest
Becky's goggling eyes, who sat silent, her work in her lap; she had not
done a stitch of it for an hour. As the trapdoor slowly opens, and the
scowling Alonzo, bending over the sleeping Imoinda, draws his pistol,
cocks it, looks well if the priming be right, places it then to the
sleeper's ear, and--_thunder under-under_--down fall the snuffers! Becky
has had them in her hand for ten minutes, afraid to use them. Up starts
Caroline and flings the book back into mamma's basket. It is only that
lady returned with her daughters from a tea-party, where they have been
enjoying themselves.

For the sentimental, too, as well as the terrible, Miss Caroline and the
cook had a strong predilection, and had wept their poor eyes out over
"Thaddeus of Warsaw" and the "Scottish Chiefs." Fortified by the examples
drawn from those instructive volumes, Becky was firmly convinced that her
young mistress would meet with a great lord some day or other, or be
carried off, like Cinderella, by a brilliant prince, to the mortification
of her elder sisters, whom Becky hated.

When, therefore, a new lodger came, lonely, mysterious, melancholy,
elegant, with the romantic name of George Brandon--when he actually wrote
a letter directed to a lord, and Miss Caroline and Becky together
examined the superscription, Becky's eyes were lighted up with a
preternatural look of wondering wisdom; whereas, after an instant,
Caroline dropped hers, and blushed and said, "Nonsense, Becky!"

"Is it nonsense?" said Becky, grinning, and snapping her fingers with a
triumphant air; "the cards come true; I knew they would. Didn't you have
a king and queen of hearts three deals running? What did you dream about
last Tuesday, tell me that?"

But Miss Caroline never did tell, for just then her sisters came bouncing
down the stairs, and examined the lodger's letter. Caroline, however,
went away musing much upon these points; and she began to think Mr.
Brandon more wonderful and beautiful every day, whereas he was remarkable
for nothing except very black eyes, a sallow face, and a habit of smoking
cigars in bed till noon. His name of George Brandon was only an assumed
one. He was really the son of a half-pay Colonel, of good family, who had
been sent to Eton to acquire an education. From Eton he went to Oxford,
took honours there, but ran up bills amounting to two thousand pounds.
Then there came fury on the part of his stern old "governor"; and final
payment of the debt, but while this settlement was pending Master George
had contracted many more debts and was glad to fly to the Continent as
tutor to young Lord Cinqbars, and afterwards went into retirement at
Margate until his father's wrath should be appeased. For that reason we
find him a member of the Gann establishment, flirting when occasion
seemed to demand it with mother and daughters, and taking occasional
notice of little Caroline, who frequently broiled his cutlets.

Mrs. Gann's other lodger was a fantastic youth, Andrea Fitch, to whom his
art, and his beard and whiskers, were the darlings of his heart. He was a
youth of poetic temperament, whose long pale hair fell over a high
polished brow, which looked wonderfully thoughtful; and yet no man was
more guiltless of thinking. He was always putting himself into attitudes,
and his stock-in-trade were various theatrical properties, which when
arranged in his apartments on the second floor made a tremendous show.

The Misses Wellesley McCarty voted this Mr. Fitch an elegant young
fellow, and before long the intimacy between the young people was
considerable, for Mr. Fitch insisted upon drawing the portraits of the
whole family.

"I suppose you will do my Carrie next?" said Mr. Gann, one day,
expressing his approbation of a portrait just finished, wherein the
Misses McCarty were represented embracing one another.

"Law, sir," exclaimed Miss Linda, "Carrie, with her red hair!--"

"Mr. Fitch might as well paint Becky, our maid!" cried Miss Bella.

"Carrie is quite impossible, Gann," said Mrs. Gann; "she hasn't a gown
fit to be seen in. She's not been at church for thirteen Sundays in
consequence."

"And more shame for you, ma'am," said Mr. Gann, who liked his child;
"Carrie shall have a gown, and the best of gowns;" and jingling three and
twenty shillings in his pocket, Mr. Gann determined to spend them all in
the purchase of a robe for Carrie. But, alas, the gown never came; half
the money was spent that very evening at the tavern.

"Is that--that young lady your daughter?" asked Mr. Fitch, surprised, for
he fancied Carrie was a humble companion of the family.

"Yes, she is, and a very good daughter, too, sir," answered Mr. Gann.
"_Fetch_ and Carrie I call her, or else Carry-van; she is so useful.
Ain't you, Carrie?"

"I'm very glad if I am, Papa," said the young lady, blushing violently.

"Hold your tongue, Miss!" said her mother; "you are, very expensive to
us, that you are, and need not brag about the work you do, and if your
sisters and me starve to keep you, and some other folks" (looking
fiercely at Mr. Gann), "I presume you are bound to make some return."

Poor Caroline was obliged to listen to this harangue on her own
ill-conduct in silence. As it was the first lecture Mr. Fitch had heard
on the subject, he naturally set down Caroline for a monster. Was she not
idle, sulky, scornful, and a sloven? For these and many more of her
daughter's vices Mrs. Gann vouched, declaring that Caroline's behaviour
was hastening her own death; and she finished by a fainting fit. In the
presence of all these charges, there stood Miss Caroline, dumb, stupid
and careless; nay, when the fainting-fit came on, and Mrs. Gann fell back
on the sofa, the unfeeling girl took the opportunity to retire, and never
offered to rub her mamma's hands, to give her the smelling bottle, or to
restore her with a glass of water.

Mr. Fitch stood close at hand, for at the time he was painting Mrs.
Gann's portrait--and he was hastily making towards her with his tumbler,
when Miss Linda cried out, "Stop! the water is full of paint!" and
straightway burst out laughing. Mrs. Gann jumped up at this, cured
suddenly, and left the room, looking somewhat foolish.

"You don't know Ma," said Miss Linda, still giggling; "she's always
fainting."

"Poor dear lady!" said the artist; "I pity her from my inmost soul.
Doesn't the himmortal bard observe how sharper than a serpent's tooth it
is to have a thankless child? And is it true, ma'am, that that young
woman has been the ruin of her family?"

"Ruin of her fiddlestick!" replied Miss Bella. "Law, Mr. Fitch, you don't
know Ma yet; she is in one of her tantrums."

"What, then, it _isn't_ true!" cried simple-minded Fitch. To which
neither of the young ladies made any answer in words, nor could the
little artist comprehend why they looked at each other and burst out
laughing. But he retired pondering on what he had seen and heard, and
being a very soft young fellow, most implicitly believed the accusations
of poor dear Mrs. Gann for a time.

Presently, however, those opinions changed, and the change was brought
about by watching closely the trend of domestic affairs in the Gann
establishment. After a fortnight of close observation the artist, though
by no means quick of comprehension, began to see that the nightly charges
brought against poor Caroline could not be founded upon truth.

"Let's see," mused he to himself. "Tuesday the old lady said her daughter
was bringing her grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, because the cook
had not boiled the potatoes. Wednesday she said Caroline was an assassin,
because she could not find her own thimble. Thursday she vowed Caroline
had no religion, because that old pair of silk stockings were not darned;
and this can't be," reasoned Fitch. "A gal ain't a murderess, because her
ma can't find her thimble. A woman that goes to slap her grown-up
daughter on the back, and before company too, for such a paltry thing as
an old pair of stockings, can't be surely speaking the truth." And thus
gradually his first impression against Caroline wore away, and pity took
possession of his soul, pity for the meek little girl, who, though
trampled upon, was now springing up to womanhood; and though pale,
freckled, thin, meanly dressed, had a certain charm about her which some
people preferred to the cheap splendours and rude red and white of the
Misses McCarty, and which was calculated to touch the heart of anyone who
watched her carefully.

On account of Mr. Brandon's correspondence with the aristocracy that
young gentleman was highly esteemed by the family with whom he lodged for
a time. Then, however, he bragged so much, and assumed such airs of
superiority, that he perfectly disgusted Mrs. Gann and the Misses
McCarty, who did not at all like his way of telling them that he was
their better. But James Gann looked up to Mr. Brandon with deepest
wonder as a superior being. And poor little Caroline followed her
father's faith and in six weeks after Mr. Brandon's arrival had grown to
believe him the most perfect, polished, agreeable of mankind. Indeed, the
poor girl had never seen a gentleman before, and towards such her gentle
heart turned instinctively. Brandon never offended her by hard words; or
insulted her by cruel scorn such as she met with from her mother and
sisters; and so Caroline felt that he was their superior, and as such
admired and respected him.

Consequently one day when he condescended to dine with the family at
three o'clock, there being another guest as well, one Mr. Swigby,
Caroline felt it to be one of the greatest occasions of her life, and was
fairly trembling with pleasure, when, dinner being half over, she stole
gently into the room and took her ordinary place near her father. I do
believe she would have been starved, but Gann was much too good-natured
to allow any difference to be made between her and her sisters in the
matter of food. An old rickety wooden stool was placed for her, instead
of that elegant and comfortable Windsor chair which supported every other
person at table; by the side of the plate stood a curious old battered
tin mug bearing the inscription "Caroline." These, in truth, were poor
Caroline's mug and stool, having been appropriated to her from childhood
upwards; and here it was her custom meekly to sit and eat her daily meal.

Caroline's pale face was very red; for she had been in the kitchen
helping Becky, and had been showing her respect for the great Mr. Brandon
by cooking in her best manner a certain dish for which her papa had often
praised her. She took her place, blushing violently when she saw him, and
if Mr. Gann had not been making a violent clattering with his knife and
fork, it is possible that he might have heard Miss Caroline's heart
thump, which it did violently. Her dress was somehow a little smarter
than usual, and Becky, who brought in the hashed mutton, looked at her
young lady complacently, as, loaded with plates, she quitted the room.
Indeed, the poor girl deserved to be looked at: there was an air of
gentleness and innocence about her which was very touching, and which the
two young men did not fail to remark.

"You are very late, miss!" cried Mrs. Gann, who affected not to know what
had caused her daughter's delay. "You are always late!" and the elder
girls stared and grinned at each other knowingly, as they always did when
mamma made such attacks upon Caroline, who only kept her eyes down upon
the table-cloth, and began to eat her dinner without saying a word.

"Come, come, my dear," cried honest Gann, "if she _is_ late, you know
why! Our Carrie has been downstairs making the pudding for her old pappy;
and a good pudding she makes, I can tell you!"

Miss Caroline blushed more deeply than ever; Mr. Fitch stared her full in
the face; Mrs. Gann said "Nonsense!" and "Stuff!" very majestically; Mr.
Brandon alone interposed in Caroline's favour; and the words that he said
were so kindly, so inspiring to Caroline that she cared not a straw
whatever else might be said about her. "Mamma may say what she pleases
to-day," thought Caroline. "I am too happy to be made angry by her."

But poor little mistaken Caroline did not know how soon her feelings were
to be harassed again beyond endurance. The dinner had not advanced much
further, when Miss Isabella, who had been examining Caroline curiously
for some time, telegraphed across the table to Miss Linda, and nodded
and winked, and pointed to her own neck, on which was a smart necklace of
the lightest blue glass beads finishing in a neat tassel. Linda had a
similar ornament of a vermilion colour, whereas Caroline wore a handsome
new collar and a brooch, which looked all the smarter for the shabby
frock over which they were placed. As soon as she saw her sister's
signals the poor little thing blushed deeply again; down went her eyes
once more, and her face and neck lighted up to the colour of Miss Linda's
sham cornelian.

"What's the gals giggling and oggling about?" asked Mr. Gann innocently.

"What is it, my darling love?" asked stately Mrs. Gann.

"Why, don't you see, Ma?" said Linda. "Look at Miss Carrie! I'm blessed
if she hasn't got on Becky's collar and brooch, that Sims the pilot
gave her!"

The young ladies fell back in uproarious fits of laughter, and laughed
all the time that their mamma was declaring her daughter's conduct
unworthy a gentlewoman, and bidding her leave the room and take off those
disgraceful ornaments.

There was no need to tell her; the poor little thing gave one piteous
look at her father, who was whistling, and seemed indeed to think the
matter a good joke; and after she had managed to open the door down she
went to the kitchen, and when she reached that humble place of refuge
first pulled off Becky's collar and brooch, and then flung herself into
the arms of that honest maid, where she cried and cried till she brought
on the first fit of hysterics that ever she had had.

This crying could not at first be heard in the parlour, where the company
were roaring at the excellence of the joke, but presently the laughter
died away, and the sound of weeping came from the kitchen below. This the
young artist could not bear, but bounced up from his chair and rushed
out of the room, exclaiming, "By Jove, it's too bad!"

From the scene of merriment he rushed forth and out of the house into the
dark, wet streets, fired with one impulse, inspired by one purpose:--to
resist the tyranny of Mrs. Gann towards poor Caroline; to protect the
gentle girl from the injustice of which she was the victim. All his
sympathies from that moment were awakened in Caroline's favour.

As for Mr. Brandon, whom Caroline in the depths of her little silly heart
had set down for the wondrous fairy prince who was to deliver her from
her present miserable condition, he was a man to whom opposition acted
ever as a spur. Up to this time he had given little or no thought to the
young girl with the pale face and quiet manner, but now he was amused,
and his interest was awakened by the indignation of Mr. Fitch. He was
piqued also by the system of indifference to his charms indulged in by
Caroline's older sisters, and determined to revenge himself upon them for
their hardness of heart by devotion to Caroline. As he wrote in a letter
that very day: "I am determined through a third daughter, a family
Cinderella, to make her sisters _quiver_ with envy. I merely mean fun,
for Cinderella is but a little child.... I wish I had paper enough to
write you an account of a Gann dinner at which I have just assisted, and
of a scene which there took place; and how Cinderella was dressed out,
not by a fairy, but by a charitable kitchen maid, and was turned out of
the room by her indignant mamma for appearing in the maid's finery...."

This, and much more, Mr. Brandon, who at once turned his attention to
being excessively kind and polite to our humble Cinderella. Caroline,
being a most romantic little girl, and having read many novels, depicted
Brandon in a fancy costume such as her favourite hero wore, or fancied
herself as the heroine, watching her knight go forth to battle. Silly
fancies, no doubt; but consider the poor girl's age and education; the
only instruction she had ever received was from these tender,
kind-hearted, silly books; the only happiness which fate had allowed her
was in this little silent world of fancy. It would be hard to grudge the
poor thing her dreams; and many such did she have, and tell blushingly to
honest Becky as they sat by the kitchen fire, while indignation was
growing apace in the breasts of her mother and sisters at the sight of so
much interest centred on so poor an object. And even so did the haughty
sisters of Cinderella the First feel and act.

But Cinderella's kitchen days were fast drawing to an end, even as she, a
pale slip of a girl, was budding into womanhood.

One evening Mrs. Gann and the Misses McCarty had the honour of
entertaining Mr. Swigby at tea, and that gentleman, in return for the
courtesy shown him by Mrs. Gann, invited the young ladies and their mamma
to drive with him the next day into the country; for which excursion he
had hired a very smart barouche. The invitation was not declined, and Mr.
Fitch, too, was asked, and accepted with the utmost delight. "Me and
Swigby will go on the box," said Gann. "You four ladies and Mr. Fitch
shall go inside. Carrie must go between; but she ain't very big."

"Carrie, indeed, will stop at home!" said her mamma. At this poor Fitch's
jaw fell; he had agreed to accompany the party only for the pleasure of
being in the company of little Caroline, nor could he escape now, having
just accepted so eagerly.

"Oh, don't let's have that proud Brandon!" exclaimed the young ladies, in
consequence of which that gentleman was not invited to join the
excursion.

The day was bright and sunshiny. Poor Caroline, watching the barouche
and its load drive off, felt that it would have been pleasant to have
been a lady for once, and to have driven along in a carriage with
prancing horses. The girl's heart was heavy with disappointment and
loneliness as she stood at the parlour window, watching the vehicle
disappear from sight.

Oh, mighty Fate, that over us miserable mortals rulest supreme, with
what small means are thy ends effected! With what scornful ease and
mean instruments does it please thee to govern mankind! Mr. Fitch
accompanied the Gann family on their drive to the country; Mr. Brandon
remained behind.

Caroline, too, the Cinderella of this little tale, was left at home; and
thereby were placed in the hand of Fate all necessary instruments of
revenge to be used in the punishment of Mrs. Gann and the Misses McCarty
for their ill-treatment of our little Cinderella.

The story of Caroline Brandenburg Gann's youth is told. The fairy prince
is at hand, and the short chapter of girlhood and misery is finished.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Boys and girls from Thackeray" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home