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Title: Tales and Novels — Volume 09
Author: Edgeworth, Maria, 1767-1849
Language: English
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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 "Tales and Novels — Volume 09" ***

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TALES AND NOVELS

VOLUME IX (of X)

HARRINGTON; THOUGHTS ON BORES; ORMOND

By Maria Edgeworth


With Engravings On Steel



TO THE READER.

In my seventy-fourth year, I have the satisfaction of seeing another
work of my daughter brought before the public. This was more than I
could have expected from my advanced age and declining health.

I have been reprehended by some of the public critics for the _notices_
which I have annexed to my daughter's works. As I do not know their
reasons for this reprehension, I cannot submit even to their respectable
authority. I trust, however, the British public will sympathize with
what a father feels for a daughter's literary success, particularly as
this father and daughter have written various works in partnership.

The natural and happy confidence reposed in me by my daughter puts it in
my power to assure the public that she does not write negligently. I can
assert that twice as many pages were written for these volumes as are
now printed.

The first of these tales, HARRINGTON, was occasioned by an extremely
well-written letter, which Miss Edgeworth received from America, from
a Jewish lady, complaining of the illiberality with which the Jewish
nation had been treated in some of Miss Edgeworth's works.

The second tale, ORMOND, is the story of a young gentleman, who is in
some respects the reverse of Vivian. The moral of this tale does not
immediately appear, for the author has taken peculiar care that it
should not obtrude itself upon the reader.

Public critics have found several faults with Miss Edgeworth's former
works--she takes this opportunity of returning them sincere thanks for
the candid and lenient manner in which her errors have been pointed out.
In the present Tales she has probably fallen into many other faults,
but she has endeavoured to avoid those for which she has been justly
reproved.

And now, indulgent reader, I beg you to pardon this intrusion, and, with
the most grateful acknowledgments, I bid you farewell for ever.

RICHARD LOVELL EDGEWORTH.

_Edgeworthstown, May_ 31,1817.

_Note_--Mr. Edgeworth died a few days after he wrote this Preface--the
13th June, 1817.



HARRINGTON.



CHAPTER I.

When I was a little boy of about six years old, I was standing with a
maid-servant in the balcony of one of the upper rooms of my father's
house in London--it was the evening of the first day that I had ever
been in London, and my senses had been excited, and almost exhausted, by
the vast variety of objects that were new to me. It was dusk, and I was
growing sleepy, but my attention was awakened by a fresh wonder. As I
stood peeping between the bars of the balcony, I saw star after star of
light appear in quick succession, at a certain height and distance, and
in a regular line, approaching nearer and nearer. I twitched the skirt
of my maid's gown repeatedly, but she was talking to some acquaintance
at the window of a neighbouring house, and she did not attend to me. I
pressed my forehead more closely against the bars of the balcony,
and strained my eyes more eagerly towards the object of my curiosity.
Presently the figure of the lamp-lighter with his blazing torch in one
hand, and his ladder in the other, became visible; and, with as much
delight as philosopher ever enjoyed in discovering the cause of a new
and grand phenomenon, I watched his operations. I saw him fix and mount
his ladder with his little black pot swinging from his arm, and his red
smoking torch waving with astonishing velocity, as he ran up and down
the ladder. Just when he reached the ground, being then within a few
yards of our house, his torch flared on the face and figure of an old
man with a long white beard and a dark visage, who, holding a great bag
slung over one shoulder, walked slowly on, repeating in a low, abrupt,
mysterious tone, the cry of "Old clothes! Old clothes! Old clothes!"
I could not understand the words he said, but as he looked up at
our balcony he saw me--smiled--and I remember thinking that he had a
good-natured countenance. The maid nodded to him; he stood still, and at
the same instant she seized upon me, exclaiming, "Time for you to come
off to bed, Master Harrington."

I resisted, and, clinging to the rails, began kicking and roaring.

"If you don't come quietly this minute, Master Harrington," said she,
"I'll call to Simon the Jew there," pointing to him, "and he shall come
up and carry you away in his great bag."

The old man's eyes were upon me; and to my fancy the look of his
eyes and his whole face had changed in an instant. I was struck with
terror--my hands let go their grasp--and I suffered myself to be carried
off as quietly as my maid could desire. She hurried and huddled me into
bed, bid me go to sleep, and ran down stairs. To sleep I could not go,
but full of fear and curiosity I lay, pondering on the thoughts of Simon
the Jew and his bag, who had come to carry me away in the height of
my joys. His face with the light of the torch upon it appeared and
vanished, and flitted before my eyes. The next morning, when daylight
and courage returned, I asked my maid whether Simon the Jew was a good
or a bad man? Observing the impression that had been made upon my mind,
and foreseeing that the expedient, which she had thus found successful,
might be advantageously repeated, she answered with oracular duplicity,
"Simon the Jew is a good man for naughty boys." The threat of "Simon the
Jew" was for some time afterwards used upon every occasion to reduce me
to passive obedience; and when by frequent repetition this threat had
lost somewhat of its power, she proceeded to tell me, in a mysterious
tone, stories of Jews who had been known to steal poor children for the
purpose of killing, crucifying, and sacrificing them at their secret
feasts and midnight abominations. The less I understood, the more I
believed.

Above all others, there was one story--horrible! most horrible!--which
she used to tell at midnight, about a Jew who lived in Paris in a dark
alley, and who professed to sell pork pies; but it was found out at
last that the pies were not pork--they were made of the flesh of little
children. His wife used to stand at the door of her den to watch for
little children, and, as they were passing, would tempt them in with
cakes and sweetmeats. There was a trap-door in the cellar, and the
children were dragged down; and--Oh! how my blood ran cold when we came
to the terrible trap-door. Were there, I asked, such things in London
now?

Oh, yes! In dark narrow lanes there were Jews now living, and watching
always for such little children as me; I should take care they did not
catch me, whenever I was walking in the streets; and Fowler (that was my
maid's name) added, "There was no knowing what they might do with me."

In our enlightened days, and in the present improved state of education,
it may appear incredible that any nursery-maid could be so wicked as
to relate, or any child of six years old so foolish as to credit, such
tales; but I am speaking of what happened many years ago: nursery-maids
and children, I believe, are very different now from what they were
then; and in further proof of the progress of human knowledge and
reason, we may recollect that many of these very stories of the Jews,
which we now hold too preposterous for the infant and the nursery-maid
to credit, were some centuries ago universally believed by the English
nation, and had furnished more than one of our kings with pretexts for
extortion and massacres.

But to proceed with my story. The impression made on my imagination by
these horrible tales was greater than my nursery-maid intended. Charmed
by the effect she had produced, she was next afraid that I should bring
her into disgrace with my mother, and she extorted from me a
solemn promise that I would never tell any body the secret she had
communicated. From that moment I became her slave, and her victim. I
shudder when I look back to all I suffered during the eighteen months I
was under her tyranny. Every night, the moment she and the candle left
the room, I lay in an indescribable agony of terror; my head under the
bed-clothes, my knees drawn up, in a cold perspiration. I saw faces
around me grinning, glaring, receding, advancing, all turning at last
into the same face of the Jew with the long beard and the terrible eyes;
and that bag, in which I fancied were mangled limbs of children--it
opened to receive me, or fell upon my bed, and lay heavy on my breast,
so that I could neither stir nor scream; in short, it was one continued
nightmare; there was no refreshing sleep for me till the hour when the
candle returned and my tyrant--my protectress, as I thought her--came to
bed. In due course she suffered in her turn; for I could not long endure
this state, and, instead of submitting passively or lying speechless
with terror, the moment she left the room at night I began to roar and
scream till I brought my mother and half the house up to my bedside.
"What could be the matter with the child?" Faithful to my promise, I
never betrayed the secrets of my prison-house. Nothing could be learned
from me but that "I was frightened," that "I could not go to sleep;"
and this, indeed, my trembling condition, and convulsed countenance,
sufficiently proved. My mother, who was passionately fond of me, became
alarmed for my health, and ordered that Fowler should stay in the room
with me every night till I should be quite fast asleep.

So Fowler sat beside my bed every night, singing, caressing, cajoling,
hushing, conjuring me to sleep: and when in about an hour's time, she
flattered herself that her conjurations had succeeded; when my relaxing
muscles gave her hope that she might withdraw her arm unperceived; and
when slowly and dexterously she had accomplished this, and, watching
my eyelashes, and cautiously shading the candle with her hand, she had
happily gained the door; some slipping of the lock, some creaking of the
hinge, some parting sound startled me, and bounce I was upright in
my bed, my eyes wide open, and my voice ready for a roar: so she was
compelled instantly to return, to replace the candle full in my view, to
sit down close beside the bed, and, with her arm once more thrown over
me, she was forced again to repeat that the Jew's bag could not come
there, and, cursing me in her heart, she recommenced her deceitful
songs. She was seldom released in less than two hours. In vain she now
tried by day to chase away the terrors of the night: to undo her own
work was beyond her power. In vain she confessed that her threats were
only to frighten me into being a good boy. In vain she told me that I
was too old now to believe such nonsense. In vain she told me that Simon
was only an old-clothes-man, that his cry was only "Old clothes! Old
clothes!" which she mimicked to take off its terror; its terror was in
that power of association which was beyond her skill to dissolve. In
vain she explained to me that his bag held only my old shoes and her
yellow petticoat. In vain she now offered to let me _see with my
own eyes_. My imagination was by this time proof against ocular
demonstration. One morning early, she took me down stairs into the
housekeeper's room, where Simon and his bag were admitted; she emptied
the bag in my presence, she laughed at my foolish fears, and I pretended
to laugh, but my laugh was hysterical. No power could draw me within
arm's-length of the bag or the Jew. He smiled and smoothed his features,
and stroked his white beard, and, stooping low, stretched out his
inoffensive hand to me; my maid placed sugared almonds on the palm of
that hand, and bid me approach and eat. No! I stood fixed, and if the
Jew approached, I ran back and hid my head in Fowler's lap. If she
attempted to pull or push me forwards I screamed, and at length I sent
forth a scream that wakened my mother--her bell rang, and she was told
that it was only Master Harrington, who was afraid of poor Simon, the
old-clothes-man. Summoned to the side of my mother's bed, I appeared
nearly in hysterics--but still faithful to my promise, I did not betray
my maid;--nothing could be learned from me but that I could not bear the
sight of Old Simon the Jew. My mother blamed Fowler for taking me down
to see such a sort of a person. The equivocating maid replied, that
Master Harrington could not or would not be asy unless she did; and that
indeed now it was impossible to know how to make him asy by day or by
night; that she lost her natural rest with him; and that for her part
she could not pretend to stand it much longer, unless she got her
natural rest. Heaven knows _my_ natural rest was gone! But, besides,
she could not even get her cup of tea in an evening, or stir out for a
mouthful of fresh air, now she was every night to sing Master Harrington
to sleep.

It was but poetical justice that she who had begun by terrifying me, in
order to get me to bed, and out of her way, should end by being forced
to suffer some restraint to cure me of my terrors: but Fowler did not
understand or relish poetical justice, or any kind of justice: besides,
she had heard that Lady de Brantefield was in want of a nursery-maid
for the little Lady Anne Mowbray, who was some years younger than Master
Harrington, and Fowler humbly represented to my mother that she thought
Master Harrington was really growing too stout and too much of a
man; and she confessed quite above and beyond her management and
comprehension; for she never pretended to any thing but the care of
young children that had not arrived at the years of discretion; this she
understood to be the case with the little Lady Anne Mowbray; therefore a
recommendation to Lady de Brantefield would be very desirable, and, she
hoped, but justice to her. The very desirable recommendation was given
by my mother to Lady de Brantefield, who was her particular friend;
nor was my mother in the least to blame on this occasion, for she truly
thought she was doing nothing but justice; had it been otherwise, those
who know how these things are usually managed, would, I trust, never
think of blaming my mother for a _sort of thing_ which they would do,
and doubtless have done themselves without scruple, for a favourite
maid, who is always a _faithful creature_.

So Fowler departed, happy, but I remained unhappy--not with her,
departed my fears. After she was gone I made a sort of compromise with
my conscience, and without absolutely breaking my promise, I made a half
confession to my mother that I had somehow or other horrid notions about
Jews; and that it was the terror I had conceived of Simon the Jew
which prevented me from sleeping all night. My mother felt for me, and
considered my case as no laughing matter.

My mother was a woman of weak health, delicate nerves, and a kind of
morbid sensibility; which I often heard her deplore as a misfortune, but
which I observed every body about her admire as a grace. She lamented
that her dear Harrington, her only son, should so much resemble her in
this exquisite sensibility of the nervous system. But her physician, and
he was a man who certainly knew better than she did, she confessed,
for he was a man who really knew every thing, assured her that this was
indisputably "the genuine temperament of genius."

I soon grew vain of my fears. My antipathy, my _natural_, positively
natural antipathy to the sight or bare idea of a Jew, was talked of
by ladies and by gentlemen; it was exhibited to all my mother's
acquaintance, learned and unlearned; it was a medical, it was a
metaphysical wonder, it was an _idiosyncrasy_, corporeal, or mental, or
both; it was--in short, more nonsense was talked about it than I will
repeat, though I perfectly remember it all; for the importance of which
at this period I became to successive circles of visitors fixed every
circumstance and almost every word indelibly in my memory. It was a
pity that I was not born some years earlier or later, for I should have
flourished a favourite pupil of Mesmer, the animal magnetizer, or
I might at this day be a celebrated somnambulist. No, to do myself
justice, I really had no intention to deceive, at least originally;
but, as it often happens with those who begin by being dupes, I was in
imminent danger of becoming a knave. How I escaped it, I do not well
know. For here, a child scarce seven years old, I saw myself surrounded
by grown-up wise people, who were accounting different ways for that,
of which I alone knew the real, secret, simple cause. They were all,
without my intending it, my dupes. Yet when I felt that I had them in
my power, I did not deceive them much, not much more than I deceived
myself. I never was guilty of deliberate imposture. I went no farther
than affectation and exaggeration, which it was in such circumstances
scarcely possible for me to avoid; for I really often did not know the
difference between my own feelings, and the descriptions I heard given
of what I felt.

Fortunately for my integrity, my understanding, and my health, people
began to grow tired of seeing and talking of Master Harrington. Some
new wonder came into fashion; I think it was Jedediah Buxton, the man of
prodigious memory, who could multiply in his head nine figures by nine;
and who, the first time he was taken to the playhouse, counted all the
steps of the dancers, and all the words uttered by Garrick in Richard
the Third. After Jedediah Buxton, or about the same time, if I recollect
rightly, came George Psalmanazar, from his Island of Formosa, who, with
his pretended Dictionary of the Pormosan language, and the pounds of
raw beef he devoured per day, excited the admiration and engrossed the
attention of the Royal Society and of every curious and fashionable
company in London: so that poor little I was forgotten, as though I had
never been. My mother and myself were left to settle the affair with my
nerves and the Jews, as we could. Between the effects of real fear, and
the exaggerated expression of it to which I had been encouraged, I was
now seriously ill. It is well known that persons have brought on fits
by pretending to have them; and by yielding to feelings, at first slight
and perfectly within the command of the will, have at last acquired
habits beyond the power of their reason, or of their most strenuous
voluntary exertion, to control. Such was my pitiable case; and at the
moment I was most to be pitied, nobody pitied me. Even my mother, now
she had nobody to talk to about me, grew tired of my illness. She was
advised by her physician, on account of her own health, by no means
to keep so close to the house as she had done of late: she went out
therefore every night to refresh herself at crowded parties; and as soon
as she left the house, the nurse and every body in the family left me.
The servants settled it, in my hearing, that there was nothing in life
the matter with me, that my mother and I were equally vapoursome-ish and
_timersome_, and that there was no use in nursing and pampering of me up
in them fantastical _fancifulnesses_: so the nurse, and lady's maid, and
housekeeper, went down all together to _their_ tea; and the housemaid,
who was ordered by the housekeeper to stay with me, soon followed,
charging the under housemaid to supply her place; who went off also in
her turn, leaving me in charge of the cook's daughter, a child of nine
years old, who soon stole out of the room, and scampered away along the
gallery out of the reach of my voice, leaving the room to darkness
and to me--and there I lay, in all the horrors of a low nervous fever,
unpitied and alone.

Shall I be pardoned for having dwelt so long on this history of the
mental and corporeal ills of my childhood? Such details will probably
appear more trivial to the frivolous and ignorant than to the
philosophic and well informed: not only because the best informed are
usually the most indulgent judges, but because they will perceive some
connexion between these apparently puerile details and subjects of
higher importance. Bacon, and one who in later days has successfully
followed him on this ground, point out as one of the most important
subjects of human inquiry, equally necessary to the science of morals
and of medicine, "The history of the power and influence of the
imagination, not only upon the mind and body of the imaginant, but upon
those of other people." This history, so much desired and so necessary,
has been but little advanced. One reason for this may be, that both by
the learned and the unlearned it is usually begun at the wrong end.

"_Belier, mon ami, commences par le commencement_," is excellent advice;
equally applicable to philosophical history and to fairy tale. We must
be content to begin at the beginning, if we would learn the history of
our own minds; we must condescend to be even as little children, if we
would discover or recollect those small causes which early influence
the imagination, and afterwards become strong habits, prejudices, and
passions. In this point of view, if they might possibly tend to turn
public attention in a new direction to an important subject, my puerile
anecdotes may be permitted. These, my experiments, _solitary and
in concert, touching fear_, and _of and concerning sympathies and
antipathies_, are perhaps as well worth noting for future use, as some
of those by which Sir Kenelm Digby and others astonished their own
generation, and which they bequeathed to ungrateful posterity.



CHAPTER II.

My mother, who had a great, and perhaps not altogether a mistaken,
opinion, of the sovereign efficacy of the touch of gold in certain
cases, tried it repeatedly on the hand of the physician who attended me,
and who, in consequence of this application, had promised my cure; but
that not speedily taking place, and my mother, naturally impatient,
beginning to doubt his skill, she determined to rely on her own. On Sir
Kenelm Digby's principle of curing wounds, by anointing the weapon with
which the wound had been inflicted, she resolved to try what could be
done with the Jew, who had been the original cause of my malady, and to
whose malignant influence its continuance might be reasonably ascribed;
accordingly one evening, at the accustomed hour when Simon the
old-clothes-man's cry was heard coming down the street, I being at that
time seized with my usual fit of nerves, and my mother being at her
toilette crowning herself with roses to go to a ball, she ordered
the man to be summoned into the housekeeper's room, and, through the
intervention of the housekeeper, the application was made on the Jew's
hand; and it was finally agreed that the same should be renewed every
twelvemonth, upon condition that he, the said Simon, should never more
be seen or heard under our windows or in our square. My evening attack
of nerves intermitted, as the signal for its coming on, ceased. For
some time I slept quietly: it was but a short interval of peace. Simon,
meanwhile, told his part of the story to his compeers, and the fame of
his annuity ran through street and alley, and spread through the whole
tribe of Israel. The bounty acted directly as an encouragement to ply
the profitable trade, and "Old clothes! Old clothes!" was heard again
punctually under my window; and another and another Jew, each more
hideous than the former, succeeded in the walk. Jews I should not
call them; though such they appeared to be at the time: we afterwards
discovered that they were good Christian beggars, dressed up and daubed,
for the purpose of looking as frightful, and as like the traditionary
representations and vulgar notions of a malicious, revengeful, ominous
looking Shylock as ever whetted his knife. The figures were well got
up; the tone, accent, and action, suited to the parts to be played; the
stage effect perfect, favoured as it was by the distance at which I saw
and wished ever to keep such personages; and as money was given, by my
mother's orders, to these people to send them away, they came the more.
If I went out with a servant to walk, a Jew followed me; if I went in
the carriage with my mother, a Jew was at the coach-door when I got in,
or when I got out: or if we stopped but five minutes at a shop, while my
mother went in, and I was left alone, a Jew's head was at the carriage
window, at the side next me; if I moved to the other side, it was at
the other side; if I pulled up the glass, which I never could do fast
enough, the Jew's head was there opposite to me, fixed as in a frame;
and if I called to the servants to drive it away, I was not much better
off, for at a few paces' distance the figure would stand with his eyes
fixed upon me; and, as if fascinated, though I hated to look at those
eyes, for the life of me I could not turn mine away. The manner in which
I was thus haunted and pursued wherever I went, seemed to my mother
something "really extraordinary;" to myself, something magical and
supernatural. The systematic roguery of beggars, their combinations,
meetings, signals, disguises, transformations, and all the secret tricks
of their trade of deception, were not at this time, as they have in
modern days, been revealed to public view, and attested by indisputable
evidence. Ignorance is always credulous. Much was then thought
wonderful, nay, almost supernatural, which can now be explained and
accounted for, by asy and very ignoble means. My father--for all this
time, though I have never mentioned him, I had a father living--my
father, being in public life, and much occupied with the affairs of the
nation, had little leisure to attend to his family. A great deal went on
in his house, without his knowing any thing about it. He had heard of
my being ill and well, at different hours of the day; but had left it to
the physicians and my mother to manage me till a certain age: but now
I was nine years old, he said it was time I should be taken out of the
hands of the women; so he inquired more particularly into my history,
and, with mine, he heard the story of Simon and the Jews. My mother
said she was glad my father's attention was at last awakened to this
extraordinary business. She expatiated eloquently upon the medical, or,
as she might call them, magical effects of sympathies and antipathies:
on the nervous system; but my father was not at all addicted to a belief
in magic, and he laughed at the whole _female_ doctrine, as he called
it, of sympathies and antipathies: so, declaring that they were all
making fools of themselves, and a Miss Molly of his boy, he took the
business up short with a high hand. There was some trick, some roguery
in it. The Jews were all rascals, he knew, and he would soon _settle_
them. So to work he set with the beadles, and the constables, and the
overseers. The corporation of beggars were not, in those days, so well
grounded in the theory and so alert in the practice of evasion as, by
long experience, they have since become. The society had not then, as
they have now, in a certain lane, their regular rendezvous, called the
_Beggars' Opera_; they had not then, as they have now, in a certain
cellar, an established school for teaching the art of scolding, kept
by an old woman, herself an adept in the art; they had not even their
regular nocturnal feasts, where they planned the operations of the next
day's or the next week's campaign, so that they could not, as they now
do, set at nought the beadle and the parish officers: the system of
signals was not then perfected, and the means of conveying secret and
swift intelligence, by telegraphic science, had not in those days been
practised. The art of begging was then only art without science:
the native genius of knavery unaided by method or discipline. The
consequence was, that the beggars fled before my father's beadles,
constables, and overseers; and they were dispersed through other
parishes, or led into captivity to roundhouses, or consigned to places
called asylums for the poor and indigent, or lodged in workhouses, or
crammed into houses of industry or penitentiary houses, where, by
my father's account of the matter, there was little industry and no
penitence, and from whence the delinquents issued, after their seven
days' captivity, as bad or worse than when they went in. Be that as it
may, the essential point with my father was accomplished: they were got
rid of that season, and before the next season he resolved that I should
be out of the hands of the women, and safe at a public school, which
he considered as a specific for all my complaints, and indeed for every
disease of mind and body incident to childhood. It was the only thing,
he said, to make a man of me. "There was Jack B----, and Thomas D----,
and Dick C----, sons of gentlemen in our county, and young Lord Mowbray
to boot, all at school with Dr. Y----, and what men they were already!"
A respite of a few months was granted, in consideration of my small
stature, and of my mother's all eloquent tears. Meantime my father took
me more to himself; and, mixed with men, I acquired some manly, or what
were called manly, ideas. My attention was awakened, and led to new
things. I took more exercise and less medicine; and with my health and
strength of body my strength of mind and courage increased. My father
made me ashamed of that nervous sensibility of which I had before been
vain. I was glad that the past should be past and forgotten; yet a
painful reminiscence would come over my mind, whenever I heard or saw
the word _Jew_. About this time I first became fond of reading, and I
never saw the word in any page of any book which I happened to open,
without immediately stopping to read the passage. And here I must
observe, that not only in the old story books, where the Jews are as
sure to be wicked as the bad fairies, or bad genii, or allegorical
personifications of the devils, and the vices in the old emblems,
mysteries, moralities, &c.; but in almost every work of fiction, I found
them represented as hateful beings; nay, even in modern tales of very
late years, since I have come to man's estate, I have met with books by
authors professing candour and toleration--books written expressly for
the rising generation, called, if I mistake not, Moral Tales for Young
People; and even in these, wherever the Jews are introduced, I find
that they are invariably represented as beings of a mean, avaricious,
unprincipled, treacherous character. Even the peculiarities of their
persons, the errors of their foreign dialect and pronunciation, were
mimicked and caricatured, as if to render them objects of perpetual
derision and detestation. I am far from wishing to insinuate that such
was the serious intention of these authors. I trust they will in
future benefit by these hints. I simply state the effect which similar
representations in the story books I read, when I was a child, produced
on my mind. They certainly acted most powerfully and injuriously,
strengthening the erroneous association of ideas I had accidentally
formed, and confirming my childish prejudice by what I then thought the
indisputable authority of _printed books_.

About this time also I began to attend to conversation--to the
conversation of gentlemen as well as of ladies; and I listened with a
sort of personal interest and curiosity whenever Jews happened to be
mentioned. I recollect hearing my father talk with horror of some young
gentleman who had been _dealing with the Jews_, I asked what this meant,
and was answered, "'Tis something very like dealing with the devil, my
dear." Those who give a child a witty instead of a rational answer, do
not know how dearly they often make the poor child pay for their jest.
My father added, "It is certain, that when a man once goes to the Jews,
he soon goes to the devil. So Harrington, my boy, I charge you at your
peril, whatever else you do, keep out of the hands of the Jews--never go
near the Jews: if once they catch hold of you, there's an end of you, my
boy."

Had the reasons for the prudential part of this charge been given to
me, and had the nature of the disgraceful transactions with the Hebrew
nation been explained, it would have been full as useful to me, and
rather more just to them. But this was little or no concern of my
father's. With some practical skill in the management of the mind, but
with short-sighted views as to its permanent benefit, and without an
idea of its philosophic moral cultivation, he next undertook to cure me
of the fears which he had contributed to create. He took opportunities
of pointing out how poor, how helpless, how wretched they are; how they
are abused continually, insulted daily, and mocked by the lowest of
servants, or the least of children in our streets; their very name a
by-word of reproach: "He is a Jew--an actual Jew," being the expression
for avarice, hard-heartedness, and fraud. Of their frauds I was told
innumerable stories. In short, the Jews were represented to me as
the lowest, meanest, vilest of mankind, and a conversion of fear into
contempt was partially effected in my mind; partially, I say, for the
conversion was not complete; the two sentiments existed together, and by
an experienced eye, could easily be detected and seen even one through
the other.

Now whoever knows any thing of the passions--and who is there who does
not?--must be aware how readily fear and contempt run into the kindred
feeling of hatred. It was about this time, just before I went to school,
that something relative to the famous _Jew Bill_ became the subject
of vehement discussion at my father's table. My father was not only a
member of parliament, but a man of some consequence with his party. He
had usually been a staunch friend of government; but upon one occasion,
when he first came into parliament, nine or ten years before the time
of which I am now writing, in 1753 or 54, I think, he had voted against
ministry upon this very bill for the Naturalization of the Jews in
England. Government liberally desired that they should be naturalized,
but there was a popular cry against it, and my father on this one
occasion thought the voice of the people was right. After the bill had
been carried half through, it was given up by ministry, the opposition
to it proving so violent. My father was a great stickler for
parliamentary consistency, and moreover he was of an obstinate temper.
Ten years could make no change in his opinions, as he was proud to
declare. There was at this time, during a recess of parliament, some
intention among the London merchants to send addresses to government in
favour of the Jews; and addresses were to be procured from the country.
The county members, and among them of course my father, were written to;
but he was furiously against _the naturalization_: he considered all
who were for it as enemies to England; and, I believe, to religion. He
hastened down to the country to take the sense of his constituents,
or to impress them with his sense of the business. Previously to some
intended county meeting, there were, I remember, various dinners of
constituents at my father's, and attempts after dinner, over a bottle of
wine, to convince them, that they were, or ought to be, of my father's
opinion, and that they had better all join him in the toast of "The Jews
are down, and keep 'em down."

A subject apparently less liable to interest a child of my age could
hardly be imagined; but from my peculiar associations it did attract my
attention. I was curious to know what my father and all the gentlemen
were saying about the Jews at these dinners, from which my mother and
the ladies were excluded. I was eager to claim my privilege of marching
into the dining-room after dinner, and taking my stand beside my
father's elbow; and then I would gradually edge myself on, till I got
possession of half his chair, and established a place for my elbow on
the table. I remember one day sitting for an hour together, turning from
one person to another as each spoke, incapable of comprehending their
arguments, but fully understanding the vehemence of their tones, and
sympathizing in the varying expression of passion; as to the rest, quite
satisfied with making out which speaker was _for_, and which against
the Jews. All those who were against them, I considered as my father's
friends; all those who were _for_ them, I called by a common misnomer,
or metonymy of the passions, my father's enemies, because my father was
their enemy. The feeling of party spirit, which is caught by children as
quickly as it is revealed by men, now combined to strengthen still more
and to exasperate my early prepossession. Astonished by the attention
with which I had this day listened to all that seemed so unlikely to
interest a boy of my age, my father, with a smile and a wink, and a
side nod of his head, not meant, I suppose, for me to see, but which
I noticed the more, pointed me out to the company, by whom it was
unanimously agreed, that my attention was a proof of uncommon abilities,
and an early decided taste for public business. Young Lord Mowbray, a
boy two years older than myself, a gawkee schoolboy, was present; and
had, during this long hour after dinner, manifested sundry symptoms of
impatience, and made many vain efforts to get me out of the room.
After cracking his nuts and his nut-shells, and thrice cracking the
cracked--after suppressing the thick-coming yawns that at last could no
longer be suppressed, he had risen, writhed, stretched, and had fairly
taken himself out of the room. And now he just peeped in, to see if he
could tempt me forth to play.

"No, no," cried my father, "you'll not get Harrington, he is too deep
here in politics--but however, Harrington, my dear boy, 'tis not _the
thing_ for your young companion--go off and play with Mowbray: but stay,
first, since you've been one among us so long, what have we been talking
of?"

"The Jews, to be sure, papa."

"Right," cried my father; "and what about them, my dear?"

"Whether they ought to be let to live in England, or any where."

"Right again, that is right in the main," cried my father; "though that
is a larger view of the subject than we took."

"And what reasons did you hear?" said a gentleman in company.

"Reasons!" interrupted my father: "oh! sir, to call upon the boy for all
the reasons he has heard--But you'll not pose him: speak up, speak up,
Harrington, my boy!"

"I've nothing to say about reasons, sir."

"No! that was not a fair question," said my father; "but, my boy, you
know on which side you are, don't you?"

"To be sure--on your side, father."

"That's right--bravo! To know on which side one is, is one great point
in life."

"And I can tell on which side every one here is." Then going round
the table, I touched the shoulder of each of the company, saying, "A
Jew!--No Jew!" and bursts of applause ensued.

When I came to my father again, he caught me in his arms, kissed me,
patted my head, clapped me on the back, poured out a bumper of wine,
bid me drink his toast, "No Naturalization Bill!--No Jews!" and while I
blundered out the toast, and tossed off the bumper, my father pronounced
me a clever fellow, "a spirited little devil, who, if I did but live to
be a man, would be, he'd engage, an honour to my country, my family, and
my _party_."

Exalted, not to say intoxicated, by my father's praise, when I went to
the drawing-room to the ladies, I became rather more eloquent and noisy
than my mother thought quite becoming; she could not, indeed, forbear
smiling furtively at my wit, when, in answer to some simple country
lady's question of "After all, why should not the Jews be naturalized?"
I, with all the pertness of ignorance, replied, "Why, ma'am, because the
Jews are naturally an unnatural pack of people, and you can't naturalize
what's naturally unnatural."

Kisses and cake in abundance followed--but when the company was gone, my
mamma thought it her duty to say a few words to me upon politeness, and
a few words to my father upon the _too much_ wine he had given me. The
reproach to my father, being just, he could not endure; but instead of
admitting the truth, he vowed, by Jupiter Ammon, that his boy should
never be made a Miss Molly, and to school I should go, by Jupiter Ammon,
next morning, plump.

Now it was well known in our house, that a sentence of my father's
beginning and ending "_by Jupiter Ammon_" admitted of no reply from
any mortal--it was the stamp of fate; no hope of any reversion of the
decree: it seemed to bind even him who uttered the oath beyond his own
power of revocation. My mother was convinced that even her intercession
was vain; so she withdrew, weeping, to the female apartments, where,
surrounded by her maids, the decree of fate was reported, but not
verbatim, after the manner of the gods and goddesses. The maids and the
washerwoman, however, scolded one another very much after their manner,
in a council held at midnight, about my clothes; the result of the whole
was that "they must be found and packed;" and found and packed at last
they were; and the next morning, as decreed, early as Aurora streaked
the east, to school I went, very little thinking of her rosy-tipped
fingers.



CHAPTER III.

My life at school was like that of any other school-boy. I shall not
record, even if I could remember, how often I was flogged when I did
not deserve it, or how often I escaped when I did. Five years of my life
passed away, of which I have nothing to relate but that I learned to
whip a top, and to play at ball and marbles, each in their season; that
I acquired in due course the usual quantity of Greek and Latin; and
perpetrated in my time, I presume, the usual quantity of mischief. But
in the fourth year of my schoolboy life, an opportunity for unusual
mischief occurred. An accident happened, which, however trifling in
itself, can never be effaced from my memory. Every particular connected
with it, is indeed as fresh in my recollection as it was the day
after it happened. It was a circumstance which awakened long dormant
associations, and combined them with all the feelings and principles of
party spirit, which had first been inculcated by my father at home, and
which had been exercised so well and so continually by my companions at
school, as to have become the governing power of my mind.

Schoolboys, as well as men, can find or make a party question, and
quarrel out of any thing or out of nothing. There was a Scotch pedlar,
who used to come every Thursday evening to our school to supply our
various wants and fancies. The Scotch pedlar died, and two candidates
offered to supply his place, an English lad of the name of Dutton, and
a Jew boy of the name of Jacob. Dutton was son to a man who had lived as
butler in Mowbray's family. Lord Mowbray knew the boy to be a rogue,
but thought he was attached to the Mowbrays, and at all events was
determined to support him, as being somehow supposed to be connected
with his family. Reminding me of my early declaration at my father's
table against the naturalization of the Jews, and the _bon-mot_ I had
made, and the toast I had drunk, and the pledge I had given, Mowbray
easily engaged me to join him against the Jew boy; and a zealous
partisan against Jacob I became, canvassing as if my life had depended
upon this point. But in spite of all our zeal, noise, violence, and
cabal, it was the least and the most simple child in the school who
decided the election. This youngster had in secret offered to exchange
a silver pencil-case for a top, or something of such inadequate value:
Jacob, instead of taking advantage of the child, explained to him that
his pencil-case was worth twenty tops. On the day of election, this
little boy, mounted upon the top of a step-ladder, appeared over the
heads of the crowd, and in a small clear voice, and with an eagerness
which fixed attention, related the history of his pencil-case, and ended
by hoping with all his heart that his friend Jacob, his honest Jacob,
might be chosen. Jacob was elected. Mowbray and I, and all our party,
vexed and mortified, became the more inveterate in our aversion to the
successful candidate; and from this moment we determined to plague and
persecute him, till we should force him to _give up_. Every Thursday
evening, the moment he appeared in the school-room, or on the
play-ground, our party commenced the attack upon "the Wandering Jew,"
as we called this poor pedlar; and with every opprobrious nickname, and
every practical jest, that mischievous and incensed schoolboy zealots
could devise, we persecuted and tortured him body and mind. We twanged
at once a hundred Jew's-harps in his ear, and before his eyes we paraded
the effigy of a Jew, dressed in a gabardine of rags and paper. In the
passages through which he was to pass, we set stumbling-blocks in his
way, we threw orange-peel in his path, and when he slipped or fell, we
laughed him to scorn, and we triumphed over him the more, the more he
was hurt, or the more his goods were injured. "We laughed at his losses,
mocked at his gains, scorned his nation, thwarted his bargains, cooled
his friends, heated his enemies--and what was our reason? he was a Jew."

But he was as unlike to Shylock as it is possible to conceive. Without
one thought or look of malice or revenge, he stood before us Thursday
after Thursday, enduring all that our barbarity was pleased to inflict;
he stood patient and long-suffering, and even of this patience and
resignation we made a jest, and a subject of fresh reproach and taunt.

How I, who was not in other cases a cruel or an ill-natured boy, could
be so inhuman to this poor, unprotected, unoffending creature I cannot
conceive; but such in man or boy is the nature of persecution. At
the time it all appeared to me quite natural and proper; a just and
necessary war. The blame, if blame there were, was divided among so
many, that the share of each, my share at least, appeared to me so
small, as not to be worth a moment's consideration. The shame, if we had
any, was carried away in the tide of popular enthusiasm, and drowned
and lost in the fury and noise of the torrent. In looking back upon this
disgraceful scene of our boyish days--boyish indeed I can scarcely call
them, for I was almost, and Mowbray in his own opinion was quite, a
man--I say, in looking hack upon this time, I have but one comfort. But
I have _one_, and I will make the most of it: I think I should never
have done so _much_ wrong, had it not been for Mowbray. We were both
horribly to blame; but though I was full as wrong in action, I flatter
myself that I was wrong upon better or upon less bad motives. My
aversion to the Jew, if more absurd and violent, was less interested and
malignant than Mowbray's. I never could stand as he did to parley, and
barter, and chaffer with him--if I had occasion to buy any thing, I was
high and haughty, and at a word; he named his price, I questioned not,
not I--down was thrown my money, my back was turned--and away! As for
stooping to coax him as Mowbray would, when he had a point to gain, I
could not have done it. To ask Jacob to lend me money, to beg him to
give me more time to pay a debt, to cajole and bully him by turns, to
call him alternately usurer and _my honest fellow_, extortioner and
_my friend Jacob_--my tongue could not have uttered the words, my soul
detested the thought; yet all this, and more, could Mowbray do, and did.

Lord Mowbray was deeply in Jacob's debt, especially for two watches
which he had taken upon trial, and which he had kept three months,
making, every Thursday, some fresh excuse for not paying for them; at
last Jacob said that he must have the money, that his employer could
wait no longer, and that he should himself be thrown into prison.
Mowbray said this was only a trick to work upon his compassion, and that
the Jew might very well wait for his money, because he asked twice as
much for the watches as they were worth. Jacob offered to leave the
price to be named by any creditable watchmaker. Lord Mowbray swore
that he was as good a judge as any watchmaker in Christendom. Without
pretending to dispute that point, Jacob finished by declaring, that his
distress was so urgent that he must appeal to some of the masters. "You
little Jewish tell-tale, what do you mean by that pitiful threat? Appeal
to the higher powers if you dare, and I'll make you repent it, you
usurer! Only do, if you dare!" cried he, clenching his hand and opening
it, so as to present, successively, the two ideas of a box on the
ear, and a blow on the stomach. "That was logic and eloquence," added
Mowbray, turning to me. "Some ancient philosopher, _you_ know, or _I_
know, has compared logic to the closed fist, and eloquence to the open
palm. See what it is, Harrington, to make good use of one's learning."

This was all very clever, at least our party thought so, and at the
moment I applauded with the rest, though in my secret soul I thought
Jacob was ill used, and that he ought to have had justice, if he had
not been a Jew. His fear of a prison proved to be no pretence, for it
surmounted his dread of Mowbray's logic and eloquence, and of all the
unpopularity which he was well aware must be the consequence of his
applying to the higher powers. Jacob appealed, and Lord Mowbray was
summoned to appear before the head master, and to answer to the charge.
It was proved that the price set upon the two watches was perfectly
fair, as a watchmaker, who was examined on this point, declared. The
watches had been so damaged during the two months they had been in
his lordship's possession, that Jacob declined taking them back. Lord
Mowbray protested that they were good for nothing when he first had
them.

Then why did he not return them after the first week's trial, when
Jacob had requested either to have them back or to be paid for them? His
lordship had then, as half a dozen of the boys on the Jew's side were
ready to testify, refused to return the watches, declaring they went
very well, and that he would keep them as long as he pleased, and pay
for them when he pleased, and no sooner.

This plain tale put down the Lord Mowbray. His wit and his party now
availed him not; he was publicly reprimanded, and sentenced to pay Jacob
for the watches in a week, or to be expelled from the school. Mowbray
would have desired no better than to leave the school, but he knew that
his mother would never consent to this.

His mother, the Countess de Brantefield, was a Countess in her own
right, and had an estate in her own power;--his father, a simple
commoner, was dead, his mother was his sole guardian.

"That mother of mine," said he to us, "would not hear of her son's being
_turned out_--so I must set my head to work against the head of the head
master, who is at this present moment inditing a letter to her ladyship,
beginning, no doubt, with, '_I am sorry to be obliged to take up my
pen_,' or, '_I am concerned to be under the necessity of sitting down to
inform your ladyship_.' Now I must make haste and inform my lady mother
of the truth with my own pen, which luckily is the pen of a ready
writer. You will see," continued he, "how cleverly I will get myself out
of the scrape with her. I know how to touch her up. There's a folio, at
home, of old Manuscript Memoirs of the De Brantefield family, since the
time of the flood, I believe: it's the only book my dear mother ever
looks into; and she has often made me read it to her, till--no offence
to my long line of ancestry--I cursed it and them; but now I bless it
and them for supplying my happy memory with a case in point, that
will just hit my mother's fancy, and, of course, obtain judgment in my
favour. A case, in the reign of Richard the Second, between a Jew and my
great, great, great, six times great grandfather, whom it is sufficient
to name to have all the blood of all the De Brantefields up in arms for
me against all the Jews that ever were born. So my little Jacob, I have
you."

Mowbray, accordingly, wrote to his mother what he called a
_chef-d'oeuvre_ of a letter, and next post came an answer from Lady de
Brantefield with the money to pay her son's debt, and, as desired and
expected, a strong reproof to her son for his folly in ever dealing with
a Jew. How could he possibly expect not to be cheated, as, by his
own confession, it appeared he had been, grossly? It was the more
extraordinary, since he so well recollected the ever to be lamented case
of Sir Josseline de Brantefield, that her son could, with all his family
experience, be, at this time of day, a dupe to one of a race branded
by the public History of England, and private Memoirs of the De
Brantefields, to all eternity!

Mowbray showed this letter in triumph to all his party. It answered the
double purpose of justifying his own bad opinion of the tribe of Israel,
and of tormenting Jacob.

The next Thursday evening after that on which judgment had been given
against Mowbray, when Jacob appeared in the school-room, the anti-Jewish
party gathered round him, according to the instructions of their leader,
who promised to show them some good sport at the Jew's expense.

"Only give me fair play," said Mowbray, "and stick close, and don't
let him off, for your lives don't let him break through you, till I've
_roasted_ him well."

"There's your money," cried Mowbray, throwing down the money for the
watches--"take it--ay, count it--every penny right--I've paid you by the
day appointed; and, thank Heaven and my friends, the pound of flesh next
my heart is safe from your knife, Shylock!"

Jacob made no reply, but he looked as if he felt much.

"Now tell me, honest Jacob," pursued Mowbray, "honest Jacob, patient
Jacob, tell me, upon your honour, if you know what that word means--upon
your conscience, if you ever heard of any such thing--don't you think
yourself a most pitiful dog, to persist in coming here to be made game
of for twopence? 'Tis wonderful how much your thoroughbred Jew will
do and suffer for gain. We poor good Christians could never do as much
now--could we any soul of us, think you, Jacob?"

"Yes," replied Jacob, "I think you _could_, I think you _would."_

Loud scornful laughter from our party interrupted him; he waited calmly
till it was over, and then continued, "Every soul of you good Christians
would, I think, do as much for a father, if he were in want and dying,
as mine is." There was a silence for the moment: we were all, I believe,
struck, or touched, except Mowbray, who, unembarrassed by feeling, went
on with the same levity of tone as before: "A father in want! Are you
sure now he is not a father of straw, Jacob, set up for the nonce, to
move the compassion of the generous public? Well, I've little faith, but
I've some charity--here's a halfpenny for your father, to begin with."

"Whilst I live, my father shall ask no charity, I hope," said the son,
retreating from the insulting alms which Mowbray still proffered.

"Why now, Jacob, that's bad acting, out o' character, Jacob, my Jew;
for when did any son of Israel, any one of your tribe, or your twelve
tribes, despise a farthing they could get honestly or dishonestly? Now
this is a halfpenny--a good halfpenny. Come, Jacob, take it--don't be
too proud--pocket the affront--consider it's for your father, not for
yourself--you said you'd do much for your father, Jacob."

Jacob's countenance continued rigidly calm, except some little
convulsive twitches about the mouth.

"Spare him, Mowbray," whispered I, pulling back Mowbray's arm; "Jew as
he is, you see he has some feeling about his father."

"Jew as he is, and fool as you are, Harrington," replied Mowbray, aloud,
"do you really believe that this hypocrite cares about his father,
supposing he has one? Do _you_ believe, boys, that a Jew pedlar _can_
love a father gratis, as we do?"

"As we do!" repeated some of the boys: "Oh! no, for his father can't be
as good as ours--he is a Jew!"

"Jacob, is your father good to you?" said one of the little boys.

"He is a good father, sir--cannot be a better father, sir," answered
Jacob: the tears started into his eyes, but he got rid of them in an
instant, before Mowbray saw them, I suppose, for he went on in the same
insulting tone.

"What's that he says? Does he say he has a good father? If he'd swear
it, I would not believe him--a good father is too great a blessing for a
Jew."

"Oh! for shame, Mowbray!" said I. And "For shame! for shame, Mowbray!"
echoed from the opposite, or, as Mowbray called it, from the Jewish
party: they had by this time gathered in a circle at the outside of that
which we had made round Jacob, and many had brought benches, and were
mounted upon them, looking over our heads to see what was going on.

Jacob was now putting the key in his box, which he had set down in the
middle of the circle, and was preparing to open it.

"Stay, stay, honest Jacob! tell us something more about this fine
father; for example, what's his name, and what is he?" "I cannot tell
you what he is, sir," replied Jacob, changing colour, "nor can I tell
you his name."

"Cannot tell me the name of his own father! a precious fellow! Didn't
I tell you 'twas a sham father? So now for the roasting I owe you, Mr.
Jew." There was a large fire in the school-room; Mowbray, by a concerted
movement between him and his friends, shoved the Jew close to the fire,
and barricadoed him up, so that he could not escape, bidding him speak
when he was too hot, and confess the truth.

Jacob was resolutely silent; he would not tell his father's name. He
stood it, till I could stand it no longer, and I insisted upon Mowbray's
letting him off.

"I could not use a dog so," said I.

"A dog, no! nor I; but this is a Jew."

"A fellow-creature," said I.

"A fine discovery! And pray, Harrington, what has made you so
tender-hearted all of a sudden for the Jews?"

"Your being so hard-hearted, Mowbray," said I: "when you persecute and
torture this poor fellow, how can I help speaking?"

"And pray, sir," said Mowbray, "on _which_ side are you speaking?"

"On the side of humanity," said I.

"Fudge! On _whose_ side are you?"

"On yours, Mowbray, if you won't be a tyrant."

"_If!_ If you have a mind to rat, rat _sans phrase_, and run over to the
Jewish side. I always thought you were a Jew at heart, Harrington."

"No more a Jew than yourself, Mowbray, nor so much," said I, standing
firm, and raising my voice, so that I could be heard by all.

"No more a Jew than myself! pray how do you make that out?"

"By being more of a Christian--by sticking more to the maxim 'Do as you
would be done by.'"

"That is a good maxim," said Jacob: a cheer from all sides supported me,
as I advanced to liberate the Jew; but Mowbray, preventing me,
leaped upon Jacob's box, and standing with his legs stretched out,
Colossus-like, "Might makes right," said he, "all the world over. You're
a mighty fine preacher, Master Harrington; let's see if you can preach
me down."

"Let's see if I can't _pull_ you down!" cried I, springing forward:
indignation giving me strength, I seized, and with one jerk pulled the
Colossus forward and swung him to the ground.

"Well done, Harrington!" resounded from all sides. Mowbray, the instant
he recovered his feet, flew at me, furious for vengeance, dealing his
blows with desperate celerity. He was far my overmatch in strength and
size; but I stood up to him. Between the blows, I heard Jacob's voice
in tones of supplication. When I had breath I called out to him, "Jacob!
Escape!" And I heard the words, "Jacob! Jacob! Escape!" repeated near
me.

But, instead of escaping, he stood stock still, reiterating his prayer
to be heard: at last he rushed between us--we paused--both parties
called to us, insisting that we should hear what the Jew had to say.

"Young Lord--," said he, "and _dear_ young gentleman," turning to me,
"let poor Jacob be no more cause now, or ever, of quarrel between you.
He shall trouble you never more. This is the last day, the last minute
he will ever trouble you."

He bowed. Looking round to all, twice to the upper circle, where his
friends stood, he added, "Much obliged--for all kindness--grateful.
Blessings!--Blessings on all!--and may--"

He could say no more; but hastily taking up his box, he retired through
the opening crowd. The door closed after him. Both parties stood silent
for a moment, till Mowbray exclaimed, "Huzza! Dutton for ever! We've won
the day. Dutton for Thursday! Huzza! Huzza! Adieu! Adieu!--_Wandering
Jew!_"

No one echoed his adieu or his huzzas. I never saw man or boy look more
vexed and mortified. All further combat between us ceased, the boys one
and all taking my part and insisting upon peace. The next day Mowbray
offered to lay any wager that Jacob the Jew would appear again on the
ensuing Thursday; and that he would tell his father's name, or at least
come provided, as Mowbray stated it, with a name for his father. These
wagers were taken up, and bets ran high on the subject. Thursday was
anxiously expected--Thursday arrived, but no Jacob. The next Thursday
came--another, and another--and no Jacob!

When it was certain that poor Jacob would appear no more--and when
his motive for resigning, and his words at taking leave were
recollected--and when it became evident that his balls, and his tops,
and his marbles, and his knives, had always been better and _more
reasonable_ than Dutton's, the tide of popularity ran high in his
favour. _Poor Jacob_ was loudly regretted; and as long as schoolboys
could continue to think about the same thing, we continued conjecturing
why it was that Jacob would not tell us his father's name. We made many
attempts to trace him, and to discover his secret; but all our inquiries
proved ineffectual: we could hear no more of Jacob, and our curiosity
died away.

Mowbray, who was two or three years my senior, left school soon
afterwards. We did not meet at the university; he went to Oxford, and I
to Cambridge.



CHAPTER IV.

When the mind is full of any one subject, that subject seems to recur
with extraordinary frequency--it appears to pursue or to meet us at
every turn: in every conversation that we hear, in every book we open,
in every newspaper we take up, the reigning idea recurs; and then we are
surprised, and exclaim at these wonderful coincidences. Probably such
happen every day, but pass unobserved when the mind is not intent upon
similar ideas, or excited by any strong analogous feeling.

When the learned Sir Thomas Browne was writing his Essay on the Gardens
of Cyrus, his imagination was so possessed by the idea of a quincunx,
that he is said to have seen a quincunx in every object in nature.
In the same manner, after a Jew had once made an impression on my
imagination, a Jew appeared wherever I went.

As I was on my road to Cambridge, travelling in a stagecoach, whilst we
were slowly going up a steep hill, I looked out of the window, and saw
a man sitting under a hawthorn-bush, reading very intently. There was
a pedlar's box beside him; I thought I knew the box. I called out as we
were passing, and asked the man, "What's the mile-stone?" He looked
up. It was poor Jacob. The beams of the morning sun dazzled him; but he
recognized me immediately, as I saw by the look of joy which instantly
spread over his countenance. I jumped out of the carriage, saying that I
would walk up the hill, and Jacob, putting his book in his pocket, took
up his well-known box, and walked along with me. I began, not by asking
any question about his father, though curiosity was not quite dead
within me, but by observing that he was grown very studious since we
parted; and I asked what book he had been reading so intently. He showed
it to me; but I could make nothing of it, for it was German. He told me
that it was the Life of the celebrated Mendelssohn, the Jew. I had never
heard of this celebrated man. He said that if I had any curiosity about
it, he could lend me a translation which he had in his pack; and with
all the alacrity of good-will, he set down the box to look for the book.

"No, don't trouble yourself--don't open it," said I, putting my hand on
the box. Instantly a smile, and a sigh, and a look of ineffable kindness
and gratitude from Jacob, showed me that all the past rushed upon his
heart.

"Not trouble myself! Oh, Master Harrington," said he, "poor Jacob is not
so ungrateful as that would come to."

"You're only too grateful," said I; "but walk on--keep up with me, and
tell me how your affairs are going on in the world, for I am much
more interested about them than about the life of the celebrated
Mendelssohn."

Is that possible! said his looks of genuine surprised simplicity.
He thanked me, and told me that he was much better in the world than
formerly; that a good friend of his, a London jeweller of his own
tribe, who had employed him as a pedlar, and had been satisfied with his
conduct, had assisted him through his difficulties. This was the last
time he should go his rounds in England as a pedlar; he said he was
going into another and a much better way of business. His friend, the
London jeweller, had recommended him to his brother, a rich Israelite,
who had a valuable store in Gibraltar, and who wanted a young man to
assist him, on whom he could entirely depend. Jacob was going out to
Gibraltar in the course of the next week. "And now, Mr. Harrington,"
said he, changing his tone and speaking with effort, as if he were
conquering some inward feeling, "now it is all over, Mr. Harrington, and
that I am leaving England, and perhaps may never see you again; I wish
before I take leave of you, to tell you, sir, who my father was--_was_,
for he is no more. I did not make a mystery of his name merely to excite
curiosity, as some of the young gentlemen thought, nor because I was
ashamed of my low birth. My father was Simon the old clothes-man. I knew
you would start, Mr. Harrington, at hearing his name. I knew all that
you suffered in your childhood about him, and I once heard you say to
Lord Mowbray who was taunting you with something about _old Simon_, that
you would not have that known, upon any account, to your school-fellows,
for that they would plague you for ever. From that moment I was
determined that _I_ would never be the cause of recalling or publishing
what would be so disagreeable to you. This was the reason why I
persisted in refusing to tell my father's name, when Lord Mowbray
pressed me so to declare it before all your school-fellows. And now,
I hope," concluded he, "that Mr. Harrington will not hate poor Jacob,
though he is the son of--"

He paused. I assured him of my regard: I assured him that I had long
since got rid of all the foolish prejudices of my childhood. I thanked
him for the kindness and generosity he had shown in bearing Mowbray's
persecution for my sake, and in giving up his own situation, rather than
say or do what might have exposed me to ridicule.

Thanking me again for taking, as he said, such a kind interest in the
concerns of a poor Jew like him, he added, with tears in his eyes, that
he wished he might some time see me again: that he should to the
last day of his life remember me, and should pray for my health and
happiness, and that he was sorry he had no way of showing me his
gratitude. Again he recurred to his box, and would open it to show me
the translation of Mendelssohn's Life; or, if that did not interest me,
he begged of me to take my choice from among a few books he had with
him; perhaps one of them might amuse me on my journey, for he knew I was
a _reading young gentleman_.

I could not refuse him. As he opened the packet of books, I saw one
directed to Mr. Israel Lyons, Cambridge. I told Jacob that I was going
to Cambridge. He said he should be there in a few days, for that he took
Cambridge in his road; and he rejoiced that he should see me again. I
gave him a direction to my college, and for his gratification, in truth,
more than for my own, I borrowed the magazine containing the life of
Mendelssohn, which he was so anxious to lend me. We had now reached the
coach at the top of the hill; I got in, and saw Jacob trudging after me
for some time; but, at the first turn of the road, I lost sight of him,
and then, as my two companions in the coach were not very entertaining,
one of them, a great fat man, being fast asleep and snoring, the other,
a pale spare woman, being very sick and very cross, I betook myself to
my magazine. I soon perceived why the life of Mendelssohn had so deeply
interested poor Jacob. Mendelssohn was a Jew, born like himself in
abject poverty, but, by perseverance, he made his way through incredible
difficulties to the highest literary reputation among the most eminent
men of his country and of his age; and obtained the name of the
Jewish Socrates. In consequence of his early, intense, and misapplied
application in his first Jewish school, he was seized at ten years old
with some dreadful nervous disease; this interested me, and I went on
with his history. Of his life I should probably have remembered nothing,
except what related to the nervous disorder; but it so happened, that,
soon after I had read this life, I had occasion to speak of it, and
it was of considerable advantage in introducing me to good company
at Cambridge. A few days after I arrived there, Jacob called on me: I
returned his book, assuring him that it had interested me very much.
"Then, sir," said he, "since you are so fond of learning and learned
men, and so kind to the Jews, there is a countryman of mine now at
Cambridge, whom it will be well worth your while to be acquainted with;
and who, if I may be bold enough to say so, has been prepossessed in
your favour, by hearing of your humanity to poor Jacob."

Touched as I was by his eagerness to be of use to me, I could not help
smiling at Jacob's simplicity and enthusiasm, when he proceeded to
explain, that this person with whom he was so anxious to make me
acquainted was a learned rabbi, who at this time taught Hebrew to
several of the gownsmen of Cambridge. He was the son of a Polish Jew,
who had written a Hebrew grammar, and was himself author of a treatise
on fluxions (since presented to, and accepted by the university), and
moreover the author of a celebrated work on botany. At the moment Jacob
was speaking, certainly my fancy was bent on a phaeton and horses,
rather than on Hebrew or fluxions, and the contrast was striking,
between what he conceived my first objects at Cambridge would be, and
what they really were. However, I thanked him for his good opinion, and
promised to make myself acquainted with his learned countryman. To make
the matter secure, as Jacob was to leave Cambridge the next day, and as
the rabbi was at the house of one of his scholars in the country, and
was not to return to Cambridge till the ensuing week, Jacob left with me
a letter for him, and the very parcel which I had seen directed to
Mr. Israel Lyons: these I engaged to deliver with my own hands. Jacob
departed satisfied--happy in the hope that he had done me a service; and
so in fact it proved. Every father, and every son, who has been at the
university, knows how much depends upon the college companions with whom
a young man first associates. There are usually two sets: if he should
join the dissipated set, it is all over with him, he learns nothing; but
if he should get into the set with whom science and literature are in
fashion, he acquires knowledge, and a taste for knowledge; with all
the ardour inspired by sympathy and emulation, with all the facility
afforded by public libraries and public lectures--the collected and
combined information of the living and the dead--he pursues his studies.
He then fully enjoys the peculiar benefits of a university education,
the union of many minds intent upon the same object, working, with
all the advantages of the scientific division of labour, in a literary
manufactory.

When I went to deliver my packet to Mr. Lyons, I was surprised by seeing
in him a man as different as possible from my preconceived notion of a
Jewish rabbi; I never should have guessed him to be either a rabbi, or
a Jew. I expected to have seen a man nearly as old as Methuselah, with
a reverend beard, dirty and shabby, and with a blue pocket handkerchief.
Instead of which I saw a gay looking man, of middle age, with quick
sparkling black eyes, and altogether a person of modern appearance,
both in dress and address. I thought I must have made a mistake, and
presented my packet with some hesitation, reading aloud the direction to
Mr. Israel Lyons--"I am the man, sir," said he; "our honest friend
Jacob has described you so well, Mr. Harrington--_Mr. William Harrington
Harrington_ (you perceive that I am well informed)--that I feel as if
I had had the pleasure of being acquainted with you for some time. I am
very much obliged by this visit; I should have done myself the honour
to wait upon you, but I returned only yesterday from the country, and
my necessary engagements do not leave as much time for my pleasures as I
could wish."

I perceived by the tone of his address, that, though he was a Hebrew
teacher, he was proud of showing himself to be a man of the world. I
found him in the midst of his Hebrew scholars, and moreover with some
of the best mathematicians, and some of the first literary men in
Cambridge. I was awe-struck, and should have been utterly at a loss,
had it not been for a print of Mendelssohn over the chimney-piece, which
recalled to my mind the life of this great man; by the help of that I
had happily some ideas in common with the learned Jew, and we; entered
immediately into conversation, much to our mutual relief and delight.
Dr. Johnson, in one of his letters, speaking of a first visit from a
young gentleman who had been recommended to his acquaintance, says,
that "the initiatory conversation of two strangers is seldom pleasing
or instructive;" but I am sure that I was both pleased and instructed
during this initiatory conversation, and Mr. Lyons did not appear to be
oppressed or encumbered by my visit. I found by his conversation, that
though he was the son of a great Hebrew grammarian, and himself a great
Hebrew scholar, and though he had written a treatise on fluxions, and a
work on botany, yet he was not a mere mathematician, a mere grammarian,
or a mere botanist, nor yet a dull pedant. In despite of the assertion,
that

  "----Hebrew roots are always found
    To flourish best on barren ground,"

this Hebrew scholar was a man of a remarkably fertile genius. This visit
determined my course, and decided me as to the society which I kept
during the three happy and profitable years I afterwards spent at
Cambridge.

Mr. Israel Lyons is now no more. I hope it is no disrespect to his
memory to say that he had his foibles. It was no secret among our
contemporaries at Cambridge that he was like too many other men
of genius, a little deficient in economy--shall I say it? a little
extravagant. The difficulties into which he brought himself by his
improvidence were, however, always to him matters of jest and raillery;
and often, indeed, proved subjects of triumph, for he was sure to
extricate himself, by some of his many talents, or by some of his many
friends.

I should be very sorry, however, to support the dangerous doctrine, that
men of genius are privileged to have certain faults. I record with quite
a different intention these _facts_, to mark the effect of circumstances
in changing my own prepossessions.

The faults of Israel Lyons were not of that species which I expected to
find in a Jew. Perhaps he was aware that the Hebrew nation is in general
supposed to be too _careful_, and he might, therefore, be a little
vain of his own carelessness about money matters. Be this as it may,
I confess that, at the time, I rather liked him the better for it. His
disregard, on all occasions, of pecuniary interest, gave me a conviction
of his liberal spirit. I was never fond of money, or remarkably careful
of it myself; but I always kept out of debt; and my father gave me such
a liberal allowance, that I had it in my power to assist a friend. Mr.
Lyons' lively disposition and manners took off all that awe which I
might have felt for his learning and genius. I may truly say, that these
three years, which I spent at Cambridge, fixed my character, and the
whole tone and colour of my future life. I do not pretend to say that I
had not, during my time at the university, and afterwards in London, my
follies and imprudences; but my soul did not, like many other souls of
my acquaintance, "embody and embrute." When the time for my quitting
Cambridge arrived, I went to take leave of my learned friend Mr. Israel
Lyons, and to offer him my grateful acknowledgments. In the course of
the conversation I mentioned the childish terror and aversion with which
I had been early taught to look upon a Jew. I rejoiced that, even while
a schoolboy, I had conquered this foolish prejudice; and that at
the university, during those years which often decide our subsequent
opinions in life, it had been my good fortune to become acquainted with
one, whose superior abilities and kindness of disposition, had formed in
my mind associations of quite an opposite nature. Pleased with this
just tribute to his merit, and with the disposition I showed to think
candidly of persons of his persuasion, Mr. Lyons wished to confirm me in
these sentiments, and for this purpose gave me a letter of introduction
to a friend, with whom he was in constant correspondence, Mr. Montenero,
a Jewish gentleman born in Spain, who had early in life quitted that
country, in consequence of his horror of tyranny and persecution. He had
been fortunate enough to carry his wealth, which was very considerable,
safely out of Spain, and had settled in America, where he had enjoyed
perfect toleration and freedom of religious opinion; and as, according
to Mr. Lyons' description of him, this Spanish Jew must, I thought, be
a most accomplished and amiable person, I eagerly accepted the offered
letter of introduction, and resolved that it should be my first business
and pleasure, on arriving in London, to find and make myself acquainted
with Mr. Montenero.



CHAPTER V.

People like myself, of lively imagination, may have often felt that
change of place suddenly extinguishes, or gives a new direction to,
the ardour of their enthusiasm. Such persons may, therefore, naturally
suspect, that, as "my steps retired from Cam's smooth margin," my
enthusiasm for my learned rabbi might gradually fade away; and that,
on my arrival in London, I should forget my desire to become acquainted
with the accomplished Spanish Jew. But it must be observed that, with my
mother's warmth of imagination, I also had, I will not say, I inherited,
some of my father's "_intensity of will_,"--some of that firmness of
adhesion to a preconceived notion or purpose, which in a good cause is
called resolution, in a bad cause obstinacy; and which is either a curse
or a blessing to the possessor, according to the degree or habit of
exercising the reasoning faculty with which he may be endowed.

On my arrival in London, a variety of petty unforeseen obstacles
occurred to prevent my accomplishing my visit to the Spanish Jew. New
and never-ending demands upon my time arose, both in and out of my own
family, so that there seemed a necessity for my spending every hour
of the day and night in a manner wholly independent of my will. There
seemed to be some fatality that set at nought all my previous plans and
calculations. Every morning for a week after my arrival, I regularly
put my letter of introduction to Mr. Montenero into my pocket, resolving
that I would that day find him out, and pay my visit; but after walking
all the morning, to bear and to forbear various engagements, to execute
promised commissions, and to fulfil innumerable duties, I regularly
came home as I went out, with my letter in my pocket, and with the sad
conviction that it was utterly impossible to deliver it that day. These
obstacles, and this contrariety of external circumstances, instead of
bending my will, or making me give up my intention, fixed it more firmly
in my mind, and strengthened my determination. Nor was I the least
shaken from the settled purpose of my soul, by the perversity with which
every one in our house opposed or contemned that purpose. One morning,
when I had my letter and my hat in my hand, I met my father, who after
looking at the direction of the letter, and hearing that I was going on
a visit to a Spanish Jew, asked what business upon earth I could have
with a Jew--cursed the whole race--rejoiced that he had five-and-twenty
years ago voted against their naturalization in England, and ended as
he began, by wondering what in the name of Heaven could make me scrape
acquaintance with such fellows. When, in reply, I mentioned my friend,
Mr. Israel Lyons, and the high character he had drawn of Mr. Montenero,
my father laughed, saying that he would answer for it my friend Israel
was not an Israelite without guile; for that was a description of
Israelite he had never yet seen, and he had seen a confounded deal of
the world. He decided that my accomplished Spanish Jew would prove
an adventurer, and he advised me, a young man, heir to a good English
fortune, to keep out of his foreign clutches: in short, he stuck to the
advice he gave me, and only wished I would stick to the promise I gave
him, when I was ten years old, to have _no dealings with the Jews_.
It was in vain that I endeavoured to give my explanation of the word
_dealings_. My father's temper, naturally positive, had, I observed,
become, as he advanced in years, much more dogmatic and intolerant. I
avoided contradicting his assertions; but I determined to pursue my
own course in a matter where there could be nothing really wrong or
improper. That morning, however, I must, I perceived, as in duty bound,
sacrifice to my father; he took me under the arm, and carried me away
to introduce me to some commonplace member of parliament, who, as he
assured me, was a much fitter and more profitable acquaintance for me
than any member of the synagogue could possibly be.

The next morning, when, firm to my purpose, I was sallying forth, my
mother, with a face of tender expostulation and alarm, stopped me, and
entreated me to listen to her. My mother, whose health had always been
delicate, had within these three last years fallen into what is called a
very nervous state, and this, with her natural timidity and sensibility,
inclined her now to a variety of superstitious feelings--to a belief in
_presentiments_ and presages, omens and dreams, added to her original
belief in sympathies and antipathies. Some of these her peculiarities of
opinion and feeling had perhaps, at first, only been assumed, or yielded
to in her season of youth and beauty, to interest her admirers and
to distinguish herself in society; but as age advanced, they had been
confirmed by habit and weakness, so that what in the beginning might
have been affectation, was in the end reality. She was alarmed, she
said, by the series of strange coincidences which, from my earliest
childhood, had occurred, seeming to connect my fate, in some
extraordinary manner, with these Jews. She recalled all the
circumstances of my illness when I was a child: she confessed that she
had retained a sort of antipathy to the idea of a Jew--a weakness it
might be--but she had had dreams and _presentiments_, and my fortune
had been told her while I was at Cambridge; and some evil, she had been
assured, hung over me within the five ensuing years--some evil connected
with a Jew: in short, she did not absolutely believe in such prophecies,
but still it was extraordinary that the first thing my mind should
be intent upon, in coming to town, should be a Spanish Jew, and she
earnestly wished that I would avoid rather than seek the connexion.

Knowing my mother's turn for the romantic, I had anticipated her
delight at the idea of making acquaintance with a noble-minded travelled
Spaniard; but unluckily her imagination had galloped off in a contrary
direction to mine, and now my only chance was to make her hear reason,
and a very bad chance I knew this to be. I endeavoured to combat her
_presentiment_, and to explain whatever appeared extraordinary in
my love and hatred of the Jews, by recalling the slight and natural
circumstances at school and the university, which had changed my early
prejudice; and I laboured to show that no natural antipathy could have
existed, since it had been completely conquered by humanity and reason;
so that now I had formed what might rather appear a natural sympathy
with the race of Israel. I laboured these points in vain. When I urged
the literary advantages I had reaped from my friendship with Mr. Israel
Lyons, she besought me not to talk of friendship with persons of that
sort. I had now awakened another train of associations, all unfavourable
to my views. My mother _wondered_--for both she and my father were great
_wonderers_, as are all, whether high or low, who have lived only
with one set of people--my mother wondered that, instead of seeking
acquaintance in the city with old Jews and persons of whom nobody had
ever heard, I could not find companions of my own age and rank in life:
for instance, my schoolfellow and friend, Lord Mowbray, who was now in
town, just returned from abroad, a fine young officer, "much admired
here by the ladies, I can assure you, Harrington," added my mother.
This, as I had opportunity of seeing, was perfectly true; four, nearly
five years had made a great apparent change in Mowbray for the better;
his manners were formed; his air that of a man of fashion--a military
man of fashion. He had served a campaign abroad, had been at the siege
of Gibraltar, had much to say, and could say it well. We all know
what astonishing metamorphoses are sometimes wrought even on the most
hopeless subjects, by seeing something of the world, by serving a
campaign or two. How many a light, empty shell of a young man comes home
full, if not of sense, at least of something bearing the semblance of
sense! How many a heavy lout, a dull son of earth, returns enlivened
into a conversable being, who can tell at least of what it has seen,
heard, and felt, if not understood; and who for years, perhaps for ever
afterwards, by the help of telling of other countries, may pass in his
own for a man of solid judgment! Such being the advantages to be derived
by these means, even in the most desperate cases, we may imagine the
great improvement produced in a young man of Lord Mowbray's abilities,
and with his ambition both to please and to shine. In youth, and by
youth, improvement in appearance and manner is easily mistaken for
improvement in mind and principle. All that I had disliked in the
schoolboy--the tyrannical disposition--the cruel temper--the insolent
tone--had disappeared, and in their place I saw the deportment which
distinguished a gentleman. Whatever remained of party spirit, so
different from the wrangling, overbearing, mischievous party spirit of
the boy, was in the man and the officer so happily blended with love of
the service, and with _l'esprit de corps_, that it seemed to add a
fresh grace, animation, and frankness to his manner. The evil spirit of
persecution was dislodged from his soul, or laid asleep within him, and
in its place appeared the conciliating spirit of politeness. He showed
a desire to cultivate my friendship, which still more prepossessed me in
his favour.

Mowbray happened to call upon me soon after the conversation I had
with my mother about the Spanish Jew. I had not been dissuaded from my
purpose by her representations; but I had determined to pay my visit
without saying any thing more about the matter, and to form my own
judgment of the man. A new difficulty, however, occurred: my letter of
introduction had disappeared. I searched my pockets, my portfolios,
my letter-case, every conceivable place, but it was not to be found.
Mowbray obligingly assisted me in this search; but after emptying half
a dozen times over portfolios, pockets, and desks, I was ashamed to give
him more trouble, and I gave up the letter as lost. When Mowbray heard
that this letter, about which I was so anxious, was an introduction to
a Jewish gentleman, he could not forbear rallying me a little, but in a
very agreeable tone, upon the constancy of my Israelitish taste, and the
perfect continuance of my identity.

"I left you, Harrington, and I find you, after four years' absence,
intent upon a Jew; boy and man you are one and the same; and in your
case, 'tis well that the boy and man should an individual make; but for
my part, I am glad to change my identity, like all other mortals, once
in seven years; and I hope you think I have changed for the better."

It was impossible to think otherwise, especially at that moment. In a
frank, open-hearted manner, he talked of his former tyrannical nature,
and blamed himself for our schoolboy quarrel. I was charmed with him,
and the more so, when he entered so warmly or so politely into my
present distress, and sympathized with my madness of the moment. He
suggested all that was possible to be done to supply the loss of the
letter. Could not I get another in its stead? The same friend who gave
me one letter of introduction could write another. No; Mr. Israel Lyons
had left Cambridge, and I knew not where to direct to him. Could not I
present myself to Mr. Montenero without a letter? That might be
rather an awkward proceeding, but I was not to be stopped by any nice
observances, now that I had set my mind upon the matter. Unluckily,
however, I could by no means recollect the exact address of Mr.
Montenero. I was puzzled among half a dozen different streets and
numbers: Mowbray offered to walk with me, and we went to each of these
streets, and to all the variety of numbers I suggested, but in vain; no
Mr. Montenero was to be found. At last, tired and disappointed, as I was
returning home, Mowbray said he thought he could console me for the loss
of my chance of seeing my Spanish Jew, by introducing me to the most
celebrated Jew that ever appeared in England. Then turning into a street
near one of the play-houses, he knocked at the door of a house where
Macklin the actor lodged. Lord Mowbray was well acquainted with him, and
I was delighted to have an opportunity of seeing this celebrated man. He
was at this time past the meridian of ordinary life, but he was in the
zenith of his extraordinary course, and in the full splendour and vigour
of his powers.

"Here," said Mowbray, presenting me to Macklin, "is a young gentleman,
who is ambitious of being acquainted with the most celebrated Jew
that ever appeared in England. Allow me to introduce him to the real,
original Jew of Venice:

    'This is the Jew
    That Shakspeare drew!'

Whose lines are those, Harrington? do you know?"

"_Yours_, I suppose."

"Mine! you do me much honour: no, they are Mr. Pope's. Then you don't
know the anecdote?

"Mr. Pope, in the decline of life, was persuaded by Bolingbroke to go
once more to the play-house, to see Mr. Macklin in the character of
Shylock. According to the custom of the time, Pope was seated among
the critics in the pit. He was so much struck and transported with
admiration, that in the middle of the play, he started up, and repeated
that distich.

"Now, was not I right when I told you, Harrington, that I would
introduce you to the most celebrated Jew in all England, in all
Christendom, in the whole civilized world?"

No one better than Mowbray knew the tone of enthusiastic theatric
admiration in which the heroes of the stage like, or are supposed to
like, to be addressed. Macklin, who was not asy to please, was pleased.
The _lines_, or as Quin insisted upon their being called, the _cordage_
of his face relaxed. He raised, turned, and settled his wig, in sign
of satisfaction; then with a complacent smile gave me a little nod, and
suffered Lord Mowbray to draw him out by degrees into a repetition of
the history of his first attempt to play the character of Shylock. A
play altered from Shakespeare's, and called "The Jew of Venice," had
been for some time in vogue. In this play, the Jew had been represented,
by the actors of the part, as a ludicrous and contemptible, rather than
a detestable character; and when Macklin, recurring to Shakespeare's
original Shylock, proposed, in the revived Merchant of Venice, to play
the part in a serious style, he was scoffed at by the whole company of
his brother actors, and it was with the utmost difficulty he could screw
the manager's courage to the sticking-place, and prevail upon him to
hazard the attempt. Take the account in Macklin's own words. [Footnote:
Vide Macklin's Life.]

"When the long expected night at last arrived, the house was crowded
from top to bottom, with the first company in town. The two front rows
of the pit, as usual, were full of critics. I eyed them," said Macklin,
"I eyed them, sir, through the slit in the curtain, and was glad to
see them there; as I wished, in such a cause, to be tried by a _special
jury_. When I made my appearance in the green-room, dressed for the
part, with my red hat on my head, my piqued beard, my loose black gown,
and with a confidence which I had never before assumed, the performers
all stared at one another, and evidently with a stare of disappointment.
Well, sir, hitherto all was right, till the last bell rung; then, I
confess, my heart began to beat a little: however, I mustered up all the
courage I could, and recommending my cause to Providence, threw myself
boldly on the stage, and was received by one of the loudest thunders of
applause I ever before experienced. The opening scenes being rather tame
and level, I could not expect much applause; but I found myself listened
to: I could hear distinctly in the pit, the words '_Very well--very
well indeed! this man seems to know what he is about_.' These encomiums
warmed me, but did not overset me. I knew where I should have the pull,
which was in the third act, and accordingly at this period I threw out
all my fire; and as the contrasted passions of joy for the merchant's
losses, and grief for the elopement of Jessica, open a fine field for an
actor's powers, I had the good fortune to please beyond my most sanguine
expectations. The whole house was in an uproar of applause; and I was
obliged to pause between the speeches to give it vent, so as to be
heard. The _trial scene_ wound up the fulness of my reputation. Here
I was well listened to, and here I made such a silent yet forcible
impression on my audience, that I retired from this great attempt most
perfectly satisfied. On my return to the green-room, after the play was
over, it was crowded with nobility and critics, who all complimented
me in the warmest and most unbounded manner; and the situation I
felt myself in, I must confess, was one of the most flattering and
intoxicating of my whole life. No money, no title, could purchase what
I felt. By G--, sir, though I was not worth fifty pounds in the world
at that time, yet let me tell you, I was _Charles the Great_ for that
night."

The emphasis and enthusiasm with which Macklin spoke, pleased
me--enthusiastic people are always well pleased with enthusiasm. My
curiosity too was strongly excited to see him play Shylock. I returned
home full of the Jew of Venice; but, nevertheless, not forgetting my
Spanish Jew.--At last, my mother could no longer bear to see me perplex
and vex myself in my fruitless search for the letter, and confessed that
while we were talking the preceding day, finding that no arguments or
persuasions of hers had had any effect, she had determined on what she
called a pious fraud: so, while I was in the room--before my face--while
I was walking up and down, holding forth in praise of my Jewish friend
whom I did know, and my Jewish friend whom I did not know, she had taken
up Mr. Israel Lyons' letter of introduction to Mr. Montenero, and had
thrown it into the fire.

I was very much provoked; but to my mother, and a mother who was so fond
of me, what could I say? After all, I confessed there was a good deal of
fancy in the case on my side as well as on hers. I endeavoured to forget
my disappointment. My imagination turned again to Shylock and Macklin;
and, to please me, my mother promised to make a large party to go with
me to see the Merchant of Venice the next night that Macklin should act;
but, unfortunately, Macklin had just now quarrelled with the manager,
and till this could be made up, there was no chance of his condescending
to perform.

Meantime my mother having, as she thought, fairly got rid of the Jews,
and Mowbray having, as he said, cured me of my present fit of Jewish
insanity, desired to introduce me to his mother and sister. They had
now just come to town from the Priory--Brantefield Priory, an ancient
family-seat, where, much to her daughter's discomfiture, Lady de
Brantefield usually resided eight months of the year, because there
she felt her dignity more safe from contact, and herself of more
indisputable and unrivalled consequence, than in the midst of the
jostling pretensions and modern innovations of the metropolis. At
the Priory every thing attested, recorded, and flattered her pride of
ancient and illustrious descent. In my childhood I had once been with my
mother at the Priory, and I still retained a lively recollection of the
antique wonders of the place. Foremost in my memory came an old picture,
called "Sir Josseline going to the Holy Land," where Sir Josseline de
Mowbray stood, in complete armour, pointing to a horrid figure of a
prostrate Jew, on whose naked back an executioner, with uplifted whip,
was prepared to inflict stripes for some shocking crime.--This picture
had been painted in times when the proportions of the human figure were
little attended to, and when foreshortening was not at all understood:
this added to the horrible effect, for the executioner's arm and scourge
were of tremendous size; Sir Josseline stood miraculously tall, and the
Jew, crouching, supplicating, sprawling, was the most distorted squalid
figure, eyes ever beheld, or imagination could conceive.

After having once beheld it, I could never bear to look upon it again,
nor did I ever afterwards enter the tapestry chamber:--but there were
some other of the antique rooms in which I delighted, and divers pieces
of old furniture which I reverenced. There was an ancient bed, with
scolloped tester, and tarnished quilt, in which Queen Elizabeth had
slept; and a huge embroidered pincushion done by no hands, as you may
guess, but those of the unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, who, during
her captivity, certainly worked harder than ever queen worked before or
since.

Then there was an old, worm-eaten chair, in which John of Gaunt had
sat; and I remember that while Lady de Brantefield expressed her just
indignation against the worms, for having dared to attack this precious
relique, I, kneeling to the chair, admired the curious fretwork, the
dusty honeycombs, which these invisible little workmen had excavated.
But John of Gaunt's chair was nothing to King John's table. There was
a little black oak table, too, with broken legs, which was
invaluable--for, as Lady de Brantefield confidently affirmed, King John
of France, and the Black Prince, had sat and supped at it. I marvelled
much in silence--for I had been sharply reproved for some observation
I had unwittingly made on the littleness and crookedness of a dark,
corner-chimneyed nook shown us for the banqueting-room; and I had fallen
into complete disgrace for having called the winding staircases, leading
to the turret-chambers, _back stairs._

Of Lady de Brantefield, the _touch-me-not_ mistress of the mansion, I
had retained a sublime, but not a beautiful idea--I now felt a desire to
see her again, to verify my old notion.

Of Lady Anne Mowbray, who at the time I had been at the Priory, was a
little child, some years younger than myself, I could recollect nothing,
except that she wore a pink sash, of which she was very vain, and that
she had been ushered into the drawing-room after dinner by Mrs. Fowler,
at the sight of whom my inmost soul had recoiled. I remember, indeed,
pitying her little ladyship for being under such dominion, and longing
to ask her whether Fowler had told her the story of Simon the Jew. But
I could never commune with Lady Anne; for either she was up in the
nursery, or Fowler was at her back in the drawing-room, or little Lady
Anne was sitting upright on her stool at her mother's feet, whom I
did not care to approach, and in whose presence I seldom ventured to
speak--consequently my curiosity on this point had, from that hour,
slumbered within me; but it now wakened, upon my mother's proposing
to present me to Lady Anne, and the pleasure of asking and the hope
of obtaining an answer to my long-meditated question, was the chief
gratification I promised myself from the renewal of our acquaintance
with her ladyship.



CHAPTER VI.

My recollection of Lady de Brantefield proved wonderfully correct;
she gave me back the image I had in my mind--a stiff, haughty-looking
picture of a faded old beauty. Adhering religiously to the fashion of
the times when she had been worshipped, she made it a point to wear
the old head-dress exactly. She was in black, in a hoop of vast
circumference, and she looked and moved as if her being Countess
de Brantefield in her own right, and concentring in her person five
baronies, ought to be for ever present to the memory of all mankind, as
it was to her own.

My mother presented me to her ladyship. The ceremony of introduction
between a young gentleman and an old lady of those times, performed on
his part with a low bow and look of profound deference, on hers, with
back stepping-curtsy and bridled head, was very different from the
nodding, bobbing trick of the present day. As soon as the _finale_ of
Lady de Brantefield's sentence, touching honour, happiness, and family
connexion, would permit, I receded, and turned from the mother to the
daughter, little Lady Anne Mowbray, a light fantastic figure, bedecked
with "daisies pied," covered with a profusion of tiny French flowers,
whose invisible wire stalks kept in perpetual motion as she turned her
pretty head from side to side. Smiling, sighing, tittering, flirting
with the officers round her, Lady Anne appeared, and seemed as if she
delighted in appearing, as perfect a contrast as possible to her august
and formidable mother. The daughter had seen the ill effect of the
mother's haughty demeanour, and, mistaking reverse of wrong for right,
had given reserve and dignity to the winds. Taught by the happy example
of Colonel Topham, who preceded me, I learned that the low bow would
have been here quite out of place. The sliding bow was for Lady Anne,
and the way was to dash into nonsense with her directly, and full
into the midst of nonsense I dashed. Though her ladyship's perfect
accessibility seemed to promise prompt reply to any question that could
be asked; yet the single one about which I felt any curiosity, I could
not contrive to introduce during the first three hours I was in her
ladyship's company. There was such a quantity of preliminary nonsense
to get through, and so many previous questions to be disposed of: for
example, I was first to decide which of three colours I preferred, all
of them pronounced to be the _prettiest_ in, the universe, _boue de
Paris, oeil de l'empereur_, and a _suppressed sigh_.

At that moment, Lady Anne wore the _suppressed sigh_, but I did not
know it--I mistook it for _boue de Paris_--conceive my ignorance! No two
things in nature, not a horse-chestnut and a chestnut-horse, could be
more different.

Conceive my confusion! and Colonels Topham and Beauclerk standing by.
But I recovered myself in public opinion, by admiring the slipper on her
ladyship's little foot. Now I showed my taste, for this slipper had
but the night before arrived express from Paris, and it was called a
_venez-y voir_; and how a slipper, with a heel so high, and a quarter
so low, could be kept on the foot, or how the fair could walk in it, I
could not conceive, except by the special care of her guardian sylph.

After the _venez-y voir_ had fixed all eyes as desired, the lady turning
alternately to Colonels Topham and Beauclerk, with rapid gestures of
ecstasy, exclaimed, "The _pouf!_ the _pouf!_ Oh! on Wednesday I shall
have the _pouf_!"

Now what manner of thing a _pouf!_ might be, I had not the slightest
conception. "It requireth," said Bacon, "great cunning for a man in
discourse to seem to know that which he knoweth not." Warned by _boue de
Paris_ and the _suppressed sigh_, this time I found safety in silence. I
listened, and learned, first that _un pouf_ was the most charming thing
in the creation; next, that nobody upon earth could be seen in Paris
without one; that one was coming from Mademoiselle Berlin, per favour of
Miss Wilkes, for Lady Anne Mowbray, and that it would be on her head
on Wednesday; and Colonel Topham swore there would be no resisting her
ladyship in the _pouf_, she would look so killing.

"So killing," was the colonel's last.

I now thought that I had Lady Anne's ear to myself; but she ran on to
something else, and I was forced to follow as she skimmed over fields of
nonsense. At last she did stop to take breath, and I did get in my one
question: to which her ladyship replied, "Poor Fowler frighten me? Lord!
No. Like her? oh! yes--dote upon Fowler! didn't you?--No, you hated her,
I remember. Well, but I assure you she's the best creature in the world;
I could always make her do just what I pleased. Positively, I must make
you make it up with her, if I can remember it, when she comes up to
town--she is to come up for my birthday. Mamma, you know, generally
leaves her at the Priory, to take care of all the old trumpery, and show
the place--you know it's a _show place_. But I tell Colonel Topham, when
I've a place of my own, I positively will have it modern, and all
the furniture in the very newest style. I'm so sick of old reliques!
Natural, you know, when _I have been having_ a surfeit all my life of
old beds and chairs, and John of Gaunt and the Black Prince. But the
Black Prince, I remember, was always a vast favourite of yours. Well,
but poor Fowler, you must like her, too--I assure you she always speaks
with tenderness of you; she is really the best old soul! for she's
growing oldish, but so faithful, and so sincere too. Only flatters mamma
sometimes so, I can hardly help laughing in her face; but then you know
mamma, and old ladies, when they come to that pass, must be flattered to
keep them up--'tis but charitable--really right. Poor Fowler's daughter
is to be my maid."

"I did not know Fowler had a daughter, and a daughter grown up."

"Nancy Fowler! not know! Oh! yes, quite grown up, fit to be
married--only a year younger than I am. And there's our old apothecary
in the country has taken such a fancy to her! But he's too old and
_wiggy_--but it would make a sort of lady of her, and her mother will
have it so--but she sha'n't--I've no notion of compulsion. Nancy shall
be my maid, for she is quite out of the common style; can copy verses
for one--I've no time, you know--and draws patterns in a minute. I
declare I don't know which I love best--Fowler or Nancy--poor old
Fowler, I think. Do you know she says I'm so like the print of the Queen
of France. It never struck me; but I'll go and ask Topham."

I perceived that Fowler, wiser grown, had learned how much more secure
the reign of flattery is, than the reign of terror. She was now, as
I found, supreme in the favour of both her young and old lady. The
specimen I have given of Lady Anne Mowbray's conversation, or rather
of Lady Anne's mode of talking, will, I fancy, be amply sufficient
to satiate all curiosity concerning her ladyship's understanding
and character. She had, indeed, like most of the young ladies her
companions--"no character at all."

Female conversation in general was, at this time, very different from
what it is in our happier days. A few bright stars had risen, and shone,
and been admired; but the useful light had not diffused itself. Miss
Talbot's and Miss Carter's learning and piety, Mrs. Montague's genius,
Mrs. Vesey's elegance, and Mrs. Boscawen's [Footnote: See Bas-Bleu.]
"polished ease," had brought female literature into fashion in certain
favoured circles; but it had not, as it has now, become general in
almost every rank of life. Young ladies had, it is true, got beyond the
Spectator and the Guardian: Richardson's novels had done much towards
opening a larger field of discussion. One of Miss Burney's excellent
novels had appeared, and had made an era in London conversation; but
still it was rather venturing out of the safe course for a young lady to
talk of books, even of novels; it was not, as it is now, expected that
she should know what is going on in the literary world. The Edinburgh
and Quarterly Reviews, and varieties of literary and scientific
journals, had not

    "Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way."

Before there was a regular demand and an established market, there were
certain hawkers and pedlars of literature, fetchers and carriers of
bays, and at every turn copies of impromptus, charades, and lines by the
honourable Miss C----, and the honourable Mrs. D----, were put into my
hands by young ladies, begging for praise, which it was seldom in my
power conscientiously to bestow. I early had a foreboding--one of my
mother's _presentiments_--that I should come to disgrace with Lady Anne
Mowbray about some of these cursed scraps of poetry. Her ladyship had
one--shall I say?--_peculiarity_. She could not bear that any one should
differ from her in matters of taste; and though she regularly disclaimed
being a reading lady, she was most assured of what she was most
ignorant. With the assistance of Fowler's flattery, together with
that of all the hangers-on at Brantefield Priory, her temper had been
rendered incapable of bearing contradiction. But this defect was not
immediately apparent: on the contrary, Lady Anne was generally thought
a pleasant, good-humoured creature, and most people wondered that the
daughter could be so different from the mother. Lady de Brantefield was
universally known to be positive and prejudiced. Her prejudices were
all old-fashioned, and ran directly counter to the habits of her
acquaintance. Lady Anne's, on the contrary, were all in favour of the
present fashion, whatever it might be, and ran smoothly with the
popular stream. The violence of her temper could, therefore, scarcely
be suspected, till something opposed the current: a small obstacle would
then do the business--would raise the stream suddenly to a surprising
height, and would produce a tremendous noise. It was my ill fortune
one unlucky day to cross Lady Anne Mowbray's humour, and to oppose her
opinion. It was about a trifle; but trifles, indeed, made, with her,
the sum of human things. She came one morning, as it was her custom, to
loiter away her time at my mother's till the proper hour for going
out to visit. For five minutes she sat at some fashionable kind of
work--_wafer work_, I think it was called, a work which has been long
since consigned to the mice; then her ladyship yawned, and exclaiming,
"Oh, those lines of Lord Chesterfield's, which Colonel Topham gave me;
I'll copy them into my album. Where's my _album_?--Mrs. Harrington, I
lent it to you. Oh! here it is. Mr. Harrington, you will finish copying
this for me." So I was set down to the _album_ to copy--_Advice to a
Lady in Autumn_.

    "Asses' milk, half a pint, take at seven, or before."

My mother, who saw that I did not relish the asses' milk, put in a word
for me.

"My dear Lady Anne, it is not worth while to write these lines in
your _album_, for they were in print long ago, in every lady's old
memorandum-book, and in Dodsley's Collection, I believe."

"But still that was quite a different thing," Lady Anne said, "from
having them in her _album_; so Mr. Harrington must be so very good." I
did not understand the particular use of copying in my illegible hand
what could be so much better read in print; but it was all-sufficient
that her ladyship chose it. When I had copied the verses I must, Lady
Anne said, read the lines, and admire them. But I had read them twenty
times before, and I could not say that they were as fresh the twentieth
reading as at the first. Lord Mowbray came in, and she ran to her
brother:--"Mowbray! can any thing in nature be prettier than these
verses of Lord Chesterfield? Mowbray, you, who are a judge, listen to
these two lines:

    'The dews of the evening moat carefully shun,
    Those tears of the sky for the loss of the sun.'

_Now_, here's your friend, Mr. Harrington, says it's only a
_prettiness_, and something about Ovid. I'm sure I wish you'd advise
some of your friends to leave their classics, as you did, at the musty
university. What have we to do with Ovid in London? You, yourself, Mr.
Harrington, who set up for such a critic, what fault can you find, pray,
with

    'Keep all cold from your breast, there's already too much?'"

By the lady's tone of voice, raised complexion, and whole air of the
head, I saw the danger was imminent, and to avoid the coming storm, I
sheltered myself under the cover of modesty; but Mowbray dragged me out
to make sport for himself.

"Oh! Harrington, that will never do. No critic! No judge! You! with all
your college honours fresh about you. Come, come, Harrington, pronounce
you must. Is this poetry or not?

    '_Keep all cold from your breast, there's already too much_.'"

"Whether prose or poetry, I pronounce it to be very good advice."

"Good advice! the thing of all others I have the most detested from my
childhood," cried Lady Anne; "but I insist upon it, it is good poetry,
Mr. Harrington."

"And equally good grammar, and good English, and good sense," cried her
brother, in an ironical tone. "Come, Harrington, acknowledge it all,
man--all equally. Never stop half way, when a young--and such a young
lady, summons you to surrender to her your truth, taste, and common
sense. Gi' her a' the plea, or you'll get na good of a woman's hands."

"So, sir!--So, my lord, you are against me too, and you are mocking me
too, I find. I humbly thank you, gentlemen," cried Lady Anne, in a high
tone of disdain; "from a colonel in the army, and a nobleman who has
been on the continent, I might have expected more politeness. From a
Cambridge scholar no wonder!"

My mother laid down her netting in the middle of a row, and came to
keep the peace. But it was too late; Lady Anne was deaf and blind with
passion. She confessed she could not see of what use either of the
universities were in this world, except to make bears and bores of young
men.

Her ladyship, fluent in anger beyond conception, poured, as she turned
from her brother to me, and from me to her brother, a flood of nonsense,
which, when it had once broken bounds, there was no restraining in its
course. Amazed at the torrent, my mother stood aghast; Mowbray burst
into unextinguishable laughter: I preserved my gravity as long as
I possibly could; I felt the risible infection seizing me, and that
malicious Mowbray, just when he saw me in the struggle--the agony--sent
me back such an image of my own length of face, that there was no
withstanding it. I, too, breaking all bounds of decorum, gave way to
visible and audible laughter; and from which I was first recovered by
seeing the lady burst into tears, and by hearing, at the same moment,
my mother pronounce in a tone of grave displeasure, "Very ill-bred,
Harrington!" My mother's tone of displeasure affecting me much more than
the young lady's tears, I hastened to beg pardon, and I humbled myself
before Lady Anne; but she spurned me, and Mowbray laughed the more.
Mowbray, I believe, really wished that I should like his sister; yet
he could not refrain from indulging his taste for ridicule, even at her
expense. My mother wondered how Lord Mowbray could tease his sister in
such a manner; and as for Harrington, she really thought he had known
that the first law of good-breeding is never to say or do any thing that
can hurt another person's feelings.

"Never _intentionally_ to hurt another's feelings, ma'am," said I; "I
hope you will allow me to plead the innocence of my intentions."

"Oh, yes! there was no malicious _intent_: Not guilty--Not guilty!"
cried Mowbray. "Anne, you acquit him there, don't you, Anne?"

Anne sobbed, but spoke not.

"It is little consolation, and no compensation, to the person who is
hurt," said my mother, "that the offender pleads he did not mean to say
or do any thing rude: a rude thing is a rude thing--the intention is
nothing--all we are to judge of is the fact."

"Well, but after all, in fact," said Mowbray, "there was nothing to make
any body seriously angry."

"Of that every body's own feelings must be the best judge," said my
mother, "the best and the sole judge."

"Thank Heaven! that is not the law of libel _yet_, not the law of the
land _yet_," said Mowbray; "no knowing what we may come to. Would it not
be hard, ma'am, to constitute the feelings of one person _always_ sole
judge of the intentions of another? though in cases like the present I
submit. Let it be a ruled case, that the sensibility of a lady shall be
the measure of a gentleman's guilt."

"I don't judge of these things by rule and measure," said my mother:
"try my smelling-bottle, my dear." Very few people, especially women of
delicate nerves and quick feelings, could, as my mother observed, bear
to be laughed at; particularly by those they loved; and especially
before other people who did not know them perfectly. My mother was
persuaded, she said, that Lord Mowbray had not reflected on all this
when he had laughed so inconsiderately.

Mowbray allowed that he certainly had not reflected when he had laughed
inconsiderately. "So come, come. Anne, sister Anne, be friends!" then
playfully tapping his sister on the back, the pretty, but sullen back
of the neck, he tried to raise the drooping head; but finding the chin
resist the upward motion, and retire resentfully from his touch, he
turned upon his heel, and addressing himself to me, "Well! Harrington,"
said he, "the news of the day, the news of the theatre, which I was
bringing you full speed, when I stumbled upon this cursed half-pint
of asses' milk, which Mrs.. Harrington was so angry with me for
overturning--"

"But what's the news, my lord?" said my mother.

"News! not for you, ma'am, only for Harrington; news of the Jews."

"The Jews!" said my mother.

"The Jews!" said I, both in the same breath, but in very different
tones.

"_Jews_, did I say?" replied Mowbray: "Jew, I should have said."

"Mr. Montenero?" cried I.

"Montenero!--Can you think of nothing but Mr. Montenero, whom you've
never seen, and never will see?"

"Thank you for that, my lord," said my mother; "one touch from you is
worth a hundred from me."

"But of what Jew then are you talking? and what's your news, my lord?"
said I.

"My news is only--for Heaven's sake, Harrington, do not look expecting
a mountain, for 'tis only a mouse. The news is, that Macklin, the honest
Jew of Venice, has got the pound, or whatever number of pounds he wanted
to get from the manager's heart; the quarrel's made up, and if you keep
your senses, you may have a chance to see, next week, this famous Jew of
Venice."

"I am heartily glad of it!" cried I, with enthusiasm.

"And is that all?" said my mother, coldly.

"Mr. Harrington," said Lady Anne, "is really so enthusiastic about some
things, and so cold about others, there is no understanding him; he is
very, very _odd_."

Notwithstanding all the pains my mother took to atone for my offence,
and notwithstanding that I had humbled myself to the dust to obtain
pardon, I was not forgiven.

Lady de Brantefield, Lady Anne, and some other company, dined with us;
and Mowbray, who seemed to be really sorry that he had vexed his sister,
and that he had in the heyday of his spirit unveiled to me her defects
of temper, did every thing in his power to make up matters between us.
At dinner he placed me beside Anne, little sister Anne; but no caressing
tone, no diminutive of kindness in English, or soft Italian, could touch
her heart, or move the gloomy purpose of her soul. Her sulky ladyship
almost turned her back upon me, as she listened only to Colonel Topham,
who was on the other side. Mowbray coaxed her to eat, but she refused
every thing he offered--would not accept even his compliments--his
compliments on her _pouf_--would not allow him to show her off, as he
well knew how to do, to advantage; would not, when he exerted himself
to prevent her silence from being remarked, smile at any one of the many
entertaining things he said; she would not, in short, even passively
permit his attempts to cover her ill-humour, and to make things pass off
well.

In the evening, when the higher powers drew off to cards, and when Lady
Anne had her phalanx of young ladies round her; and whilst I stood a
defenceless young man at her mercy, she made me feel her vengeance. She
talked _at_ me continually, and at every opening gave me sly cuts, which
she flattered herself I felt sorely.

Mowbray turned off the blows as fast as they were aimed, or treated them
all as playful traits of lover-like malice, tokens of a lady's favour.

"Ha! a good cut, Harrington!--Happy man!--Up to you there, Harrington!
High favour, when a lady condescends to remember and retaliate. Paid you
for old scores!--Sign you're in her books now!--'No more to say to you,
Mr. Harrington'--a fair challenge to say a great deal more to her."

And all the time her ladyship was aiming to vex, and hoping that I was
heartily mortified, as from my silence and melancholy countenance she
concluded that I was; in reality I stood deploring that so pretty a
creature had so mean a mind. The only vexation I felt was at her having
destroyed the possibility of my enjoying that delightful illusion which
beauty creates.

My mother, who had been, as she said, quite nervous all this evening, at
last brought Lady Anne to terms, and patched up a peace, by prevailing
on Lady de Brantefield, who could not be prevailed on by any one else,
to make a party to go to some new play which Lady Anne was _dying_ to
see. It was a sentimental comedy, and I did not much like it; however, I
was all complaisance for my mother's sake, and she in return renewed her
promise to go with me to patronize Shylock. By the extraordinary anxiety
my mother showed, and by the pains she took that there should be peace
betwixt Lady Anne and me, I perceived, what had never before struck me,
that my mother wished me to be in love with her ladyship.

Now I could sooner have been in love with Lady de Brantefield. Give her
back a decent share of youth and beauty, I think I could sooner have
liked the mother than the daughter.

By the force and plastic power of my imagination, I could have turned
and moulded Lady de Brantefield, with all her repulsive haughtiness,
into a Clelia, or a Princess de Cleves, or something of the Richardson
full-dressed heroine, with hoop and fan, and _stand off, man_!--and then
there would be cruelty and difficulty, and incomprehensibility-something
to be conquered--something to be wooed and won. But with Lady Anne
Mowbray my imagination had nothing to work upon, no point to dwell on,
nothing on which a lover's fancy could feed: there was no doubt, no
hope, no fear, no reserve of manner, no dignity of mind.

My mother, I believe, now saw that it would not do, at least for the
present; but she had known many of Cupid's capricious turns. Lady Anne
was extremely pretty, and universally allowed to be so; her ladyship was
much taken notice of in public, and my mother knew that young men are
vain of having their mistresses and wives admired by our sex. But my
mother calculated ill as to my particular character. To the Opera and to
Ranelagh, to the Pantheon, and to all the fashionable public places of
the day, I had had the honour of attending Lady Anne; and I had had the
glory of hearing "Beautiful!" "Who is she?"--and "Who is with her?" My
vanity, I own, had been flattered, but no further. My imagination was
always too powerful, my passions too sincere and too romantic, to be
ruled by the opinions of others, or to become the dupe of personal
vanity. My mother had fancied that a month or two in London would
have brought my imagination down to be content with the realities of
fashionable life. My mother was right as to the fact, but wrong in
her conclusion. This did not incline me more towards Lady Anne, but it
disinclined me towards marriage.

My exalted ideas of love were lowered--my morning visions of life
fled--I was dispirited.

Mowbray had rallied me on my pining for Cambridge, and on preferring
Israel Lyons, the Jew, to him and all the best company in London.

He had hurried me about with him to all manner of gaieties, but still I
was not happy; my mind--my heart wanted something more.

In this my London life, I found it irksome that I could never, as at
dear Cambridge, pause upon my own reflections. If I stopped awhile, "to
plume contemplation's wings, so ruffled and impaired," some of the low
realities, some of the impertinent necessities of fashionable life,
would tread on my heels. The order of the day or night was for ever
pressed upon me--and the order of the day was now to go to this new
sentimental comedy--my mother's favourite actor, the silver-toned
Barry, was to play the lover of the piece; so she was sure of as many
fashionable young ladies as her box could possibly hold. At this period,
in England, every fashionable belle declared herself the partisan
of some actor or actress; and every fashionable beau aspired to the
character of a dramatic critic. Mowbray, of course, was distinguished
in that line, and his pretty little sister, Lady Anne, was, at least in
face, formed to grace the front box. The hours of the great world were
earlier then than they are now, and nothing interfered, indeed nothing
would have been suffered to interfere, with the hour for the play. As a
veteran wit described it, "There were at this time four estates in
the English Constitution, kings, lords, commons, and the theatre."
Statesmen, courtiers, poets, philosophers, crowded pell mell with
the white-gloved beaux to the stage box and the pit. It was thought
well-bred, it was _the thing_ to be in the boxes before the third act,
even before the second, nay, incredible as it may in these times appear,
before the first act began. Our fashionable party was seated some
minutes before the curtain drew up.



CHAPTER VII.

The beaux and belles in the boxes of the crowded theatre had bowed and
curtsied, for in those days beaux did bow and belles did curtsy; the
impatient sticks in the pit, and shrill catcalls in the gallery, had
begun to contend with the music in the orchestra; and thrice had we
surveyed the house to recognize every body whom any body knew, when the
door of the box next to ours, the only box that had remained empty, was
thrown open, and in poured an over-dressed party, whom _nobody knew_.
Lady de Brantefield, after one reconnoitring glance, pronounced them to
be city Goths and Vandals; and without resting her glass upon them for
half a moment, turned it to some more profitable field of speculation.
There was no gentleman of this party, but a portly matron, towering
above the rest, seemed the principal mover and orderer of the group. The
awkward bustle they made, facing and backing, placing and changing of
places, and the difficulty they found in seating themselves, were in
striking contrast with the high-bred ease of the ladies of our party.
Lady Anne Mowbray looked down upon their operations with a pretty air
of quiet surprise, tinctured with horror; while my mother's shrinking
delicacy endeavoured to suggest some idea of propriety to the city
matron, who having taken her station next to us in the second row, had
at last seated herself so that a considerable portion of the back part
of her head-dress was in my mother's face: moreover, the citizen's
huge arm, with its enormous gauze cuff, leaning on the partition which
divided, or ought to have divided, her from us, considerably passed the
line of demarcation. Lady de Brantefield, with all the pride of all
the De Brantefields since the Norman Conquest concentrated in her
countenance, threw an excommunicating, withering look upon the arm--but
the elbow felt it not--it never stirred. The lady seemed not to be made
of penetrable stuff. In happy ignorance she sat fanning herself for a
few seconds; then suddenly starting and stretching forward to the front
row, where five of her young ladies were wedged, she aimed with her fan
at each of their backs in quick succession, and in a more than audible
whisper asked, "Cecy! Issy! Henny! Queeney! Miss Coates, where's
Berry?"--All eyes turned to look for Berry--"Oh! mercy, behind in the
back row! Miss Berry, that must not be--come forward, here's my place
or Queeney's," cried Mrs. Coates, stretching backwards with her utmost
might to seize some one in the farthest corner of the back row, who
had hitherto been invisible. We expected to see in Miss Berry another
vulgarian produced, but to our surprise, we beheld one who seemed of a
different order of beings from those by whom she was surrounded. Lord
Mowbray and I looked at each other, struck by the same sentiment, pained
for this elegant timid young creature, as we saw her, all blushing and
reluctant, forced by the irresistible fat orderer of all things to "step
up on the seat," to step forward from bench to bench, and then wait in
painful pre-eminence while Issy, and Cecy, and Queeney, and Miss Coates,
settled how they could make room, or which should vacate her seat in her
favour. In spite of the awkwardness of her situation she stood with such
quiet, resigned, yet dignified grace, that ridicule could not touch her.
The moment she was seated with her back to us, and out of hearing, Lady
de Brantefield turned to her son and asked "Who is she?"

"An East Indian, I should guess, by her dark complexion," whispered Lady
Anne to me.

Some feather or lappet intercepted my view of her face, but from
the glimpse I caught of it as she passed, it struck me as uncommonly
interesting, though with a peculiar expression and foreign air--whether
she was handsome or not, though called upon to decide, I could not
determine. But now our attention was fixed on the stage. It was
announced to the audience that, owing to the sudden illness of the actor
who was to have performed the principal part in the comedy advertised
for this night, there was a necessity for changing the play, and they
should give in its stead the Merchant of Venice.

The Merchant of Venice and Macklin the Jew!--Murmurs of discontent from
the ladies in my box, who regretted their sentimental comedy and their
silver-toned Barry, were all lost upon me; I rejoiced that I should see
Macklin in Shylock. Before the performance began, my attention was again
caught by the proceedings of the persons in the next box. There seemed
to be some sudden cause of distress, as I gathered from exclamations
of "How unlucky!--How distressing!--What shall we do?--What can we
do?--Better go away--carriage gone!--must sit it out--May be she won't
mind--Oh! she will--Shylock!--Jessica!--How unfortunate!--poor Miss
Berry!"

"Jessica!" whispered Mowbray to me, with an arch look: "let me pass,"
added he, just touching my shoulder. He made his way to a young lady at
the other end of the box; and I, occupying immediately the ceded place,
stationed myself so that I had a better view of my object, and could
observe her without being seen by any one. She was perfectly still, and
took no notice of the whispering of the people about her, though, from
an indescribable expression in the air of the back of her head and neck,
I was convinced that she heard all that passed among the young and old
ladies in her box. The play went on--Shylock appeared--I forgot every
thing but him.--Such a countenance!--Such an expression of latent malice
and revenge, of every thing detestable in human nature! Whether speaking
or silent, the Jew fixed and kept possession of my attention. It was an
incomparable piece of acting: much as my expectations had been raised,
it far surpassed any thing I had conceived--I forgot it was Macklin, I
thought only of Shylock. In my enthusiasm I stood up, I pressed forward,
I leaned far over towards the stage, that I might not lose a word, a
look, a gesture. When the act finished, as the curtain fell, and the
thunders of applause died away, I heard a soft low sigh near me; I
looked, and saw the Jewess! She had turned away from the young ladies
her companions, and had endeavoured to screen herself behind the pillar
against which I had been leaning. I had, for the first time, a full view
of her face and of her countenance, of great sensibility, painfully,
proudly repressed. She looked up while my eyes were fixed upon her--a
sudden and deep colour spread over her face and mounted to her temples.
In my confusion I did the very thing I should not have done, and said
the thing of all others I should not have said. I expressed a fear
that I had been standing in such a manner as to prevent her from seeing
Shylock; she bowed mildly, and was, I believe, going to speak.

"You have indeed, sir," interrupted Mrs. Coates, "stood so that nobody
could see nothing but yourself. So, since you mention it, and speak
without an introduction, excuse me if I suggest, against the next act,
that this young lady has never been at a play before in her life--in
Lon'on, at least. And though it i'n't the play I should have chose for
her, yet since she is here, 'tis better she should see something
than nothing, if gentlemen will give her leave." I bowed in sign of
submission and repentance; and was retiring, so as to leave my place
vacant, and a full opening to the stage. But in a sweet, gentlewomanlike
voice, seeming, perhaps, more delightful from contrast, the young lady
said that she had seen and could see quite as much as she wished of the
play; and she begged that I would not quit my place. "I should oblige
her," she added, in a lower tone, "if I would continue to stand as I had
done." I obeyed, and placed myself so as to screen her from observation
during the whole of the next act. But now, my pleasure in the play was
over. I could no longer enjoy Macklin's incomparable acting; I was so
apprehensive of the pain which it must give to the young Jewess. At
every stroke, characteristic of the skilful actor, or of the master
poet, I felt a strange mixture of admiration and regret. I almost wished
that Shakspeare had not written, or Macklin had not acted the part so
powerfully: my imagination formed such a strong conception of the pain
the Jewess was feeling, and my inverted sympathy, if I may so call
it, so overpowered my direct and natural feelings, that at every fresh
development of the Jew's villany I shrunk as though I had myself been a
Jew.

Each exclamation against this dog of a Jew, and still more every general
reflection on Jewish usury, avarice, and cruelty, I felt poignantly. No
power of imagination could make me pity Shylock, but I felt the force of
some of his appeals to justice; and some passages struck me in quite a
new light on the Jewish side of the question.

    "Many a time, and oft,
    In the Rialto, you have rated me,
    About my moneys and my usances;
    Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;
    For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
    You call me misbeliever! cut-throat dog!
    And spit upon my Jewish gabardine;
    And all, for use of that which is my own.
    Well, then, it now appears you need my help.
    Go to, then--you come to me, and you say,
    Shylock, we would have moneys; you say so.

       *       *       *       *       *

Shall I bend low, and in a bondsman key, With bated breath, and
whisp'ring humbleness, Say this--Fair sir, you spit on me last
Wednesday; You spurned me such a day; another time You called me dog;
and for these courtesies I'll lend you thus much moneys?"

As far as Shylock was concerned, I was well content he should be used in
such a sort; but if it had been any other human creature, any other Jew
even--if it had been poor Jacob, for instance, whose image crossed my
recollection--I believe I should have taken part with him. Again, I
was well satisfied that Antonio should have hindered Shylock of half
a million, should have laughed at his losses, thwarted his bargains,
cooled his friends, heated his enemies; Shylock deserved all this: but
when he came to, "What's his reason?--I am a _Jew_. Hath not a Jew eyes?
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same
diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter
and summer as a Christian is?--If you prick us, do we not bleed?--If you
tickle us, do we not laugh?--If you poison us, do not we die?--and if
you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest,
we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is
his humility?--Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his
sufferance be, by Christian example?--Why, revenge."

I felt at once horror of the individual Shylock, and submission to the
strength of his appeal. During the third act, during the Jessica
scenes, I longed so much to have a look at the Jewess, that I took an
opportunity of changing my position. The ladies in our box were now so
happily occupied with some young officers of the guards, that there was
no farther danger of their staring at the Jewess. I was so placed that
I could see her, without being seen; and during the succeeding acts, my
attention was chiefly directed to the study of all the changes in
her expressive countenance. I now saw and heard the play solely with
reference to her feelings; I anticipated every stroke which could touch
her, and became every moment more and more interested and delighted with
her, from the perception that my anticipations were just, and that I
perfectly knew how to read her soul, and interpret her countenance. I
saw that the struggle to repress her emotion was often the utmost she
could endure; and at last I saw, or fancied I saw, that she grew so
pale, that, as she closed her eyes at the same instant, I was certain
she was going to faint; and quite forgetting that I was an utter
stranger to her, I started forward--and then unprovided with an apology,
could only turn to Mrs. Coates, and fear that the heat of the house was
too much for this young lady. Mrs. Coates, alarmed immediately, wished
they could get her out into the air, and regretted that her gentlemen
were not with their party to-night--there could be no getting servants
or carriage--what could be done? I eagerly offered my services, which
were accepted, and we conducted the young lady out. She did not
faint; she struggled against it; and it was evident that there was no
affectation in the case; but, on the contrary, an anxious desire not
to give trouble, and a great dread of exposing herself to public
observation. The carriage, as Mrs. Coates repeated twenty times, was
ordered not to come till after the farce, and she kept on hoping and
hoping that Miss Berry would be stout enough to go back to see "The Maid
of the Oaks." Miss Berry did her utmost to support herself; and said she
believed she was now quite well, and could return; but I saw she wished
to get away, and I ran to see if a chair could be had. Lord Mowbray, who
had assisted in conducting the ladies out, now followed me; he saw, and
called to one of his footmen, and despatched him for a chair.

"There, now," said Mowbray, "we may leave the rest to Mrs. Coates, who
can elbow her own way through it. Come back with me--Mrs. Abingdon plays
Lady Bab Lardoon, her favourite character--she is incomparable, and I
would not miss it for the world."

I begged Mowbray to go back, for I could not leave these ladies.

"Well," said he, parting from me, and pursuing his own way, "I see how
it is--I see how it will be. These things are ruled in heaven above, or
hell beneath. 'Tis in vain struggling with one's destiny--so you to your
Jewess, and I to my little Jessica. We shall have her again, I hope, in
the farce, the prettiest creature I ever saw."

Mowbray hastened back to his box, and how long it might be between my
return to the Jewess, and the arrival of the chair, I do not know: it
seemed to me not above two minutes, but Mowbray insisted upon it, that
it was a full quarter of an hour. He came to me again, just as I had
received one look of silent gratitude; and while I was putting the young
lady into the chair, and bustling Mrs. Coates was giving her orders and
address to the servant, Mowbray whispered me that my mother was in an
agony, and had sent him out to see what was become of me. Mrs. Coates,
all thanks, and apologies, and hurry, now literally elbowed her way back
to her box, expressing her reiterated fears that we should lose the best
part of "The Maid of the Oaks," which was the only farce she made it a
rule ever to stay for. In spite of her hurry and her incessant talking,
I named the thing I was intent upon. I said, that with her permission
I should do myself the honour of calling upon her the next morning to
inquire after Miss Berry's health.

"I am sure, sir," she replied, "Mr. Alderman Coates, and myself, will be
particularly glad of the honour of seeing you tomorrow, or any time;
and moreover, sir, the young lady," added she, with a shrewd, and to
me offensive smile, "the young lady no doubt's well worth inquiring
after--a great heiress, as the saying is, as rich as a Jew she'll be,
Miss Montenero."

"Miss Montenero!" repeated Lord Mowbray and I, in the same instant. "I
thought," said I, "this young lady's name was Berry.

"Berry, yes--Berry, we call her, we who are intimate, I call her
for short--that is short for Berenice, which is her out o' the way
Christian, that is, Jewish name. Mr. Montenero, the father, is a Spanish
or American Jew, I'm not clear which, but he's a charming man for a Jew,
and the daughter most uncommon fond of him, to a degree! Can't, now,
bear any reflections the most distant, now, sir, upon the Jews, which
was what distressed me when I found the play was to be this Jew of
Venice, and I would have come away, only that I couldn't possibly." Here
Mrs. Coates, without any mercy upon my curiosity about Mr. Montenero and
his daughter, digressed into a subject utterly uninteresting to me, and
would explain to us the reasons why Mr. Alderman Coates and Mr. Peter
Coates her son were not this night of her party. This lasted till we
reached her box, and then she had so much to say to all the Miss Issys,
Cecys, and Hennys, that it was with the utmost difficulty I could, even
by carefully watching my moment, obtain a card with her own, and another
with Miss Montenero's address. This time there was no danger of my
losing it. I rejoiced to see that Miss Montenero did not live with Mrs.
Coates.

For all further satisfaction of my curiosity, I was obliged to wait till
the next morning.



CHAPTER VIII.

During the whole of the night, sleeping or waking, the images of the
fair Jewess, of Shylock, and of Mrs. Coates, were continually recurring,
and turning into one another in a most provoking manner. At breakfast my
mother did not appear; my father said that she had not slept well, and
that she would breakfast in her own apartment; this was not unusual; but
I was particularly sorry that it happened this morning, because, being
left _tête-à-tête_ with my father, and he full of a debate on the
malt-tax, which he undertook to read to me from the rival papers, and to
make me understand its merits, I was compelled to sit three-quarters of
an hour longer after breakfast than I had intended; so that the plan
I had formed of waiting upon Mr. Montenero very early, before he could
have gone out for the day, was disconcerted. When at last my father had
fairly finished, when he had taken his hat and his cane, and departing
left me, as I thought, happily at liberty to go in search of my Jewess,
another detainer came. At the foot of the stairs my mother's woman
appeared, waiting to let me know that her lady begged I would not go out
till she had seen me--adding, that she would be with me in less than a
quarter of an hour.

I flung down my hat, I believe, with rather too marked an expression of
impatience; but five minutes afterwards came a knock at the door. Mr.
Montenero was announced, and I blessed my mother, my father, and the
malt-tax, for having detained me at home. The first appearance of Mr.
Montenero more than answered my expectations. He had that indescribable
air, which, independently of the fashion of the day, or the mode of any
particular country, distinguishes a gentleman--dignified, courteous, and
free from affectation. From his features, he might have been thought
a Spaniard--from his complexion, an East Indian; but he had a peculiar
cast of countenance, which seemed not to belong to either nation. He had
uncommonly black penetrating eyes, with a serious, rather melancholy,
but very benevolent expression. He was past the meridian of life.
The lines in his face were strongly marked; but they were not the
common-place wrinkles of ignoble age, nor the contractions of any of the
vulgar passions: they seemed to be the traces of thought and feeling. He
entered into conversation directly and easily. I need not say that this
conversation was immediately interesting, for he spoke of Berenice. His
thanks to me were, I thought, peculiarly gentlemanlike, neither too
much nor too little. Of course, I left him at liberty to attribute her
indisposition to the heat of the playhouse, and I stood prepared to
avoid mentioning Shylock to Jewish ears; but I was both surprised and
pleased by the openness and courage with which he spoke on the very
subject from which I had fancied he would have shrunk. Instead of
looking for any excuse for Miss Montenero's indisposition, he at once
named the real cause; she had been, he said, deeply affected by the
representation of Shylock; that detestable Jew, whom the genius of the
greatest poet that ever wrote, and the talents of one of the greatest
actors who had ever appeared, had conspired to render an object of
public execration. "But recently arrived in London," continued Mr.
Montenero, "I have not had personal opportunity of judging of this
actor's talent; but no Englishman can have felt more strongly than I
have, the power of your Shakspeare's genius to touch and rend the human
heart."

Mr. Montenero spoke English with a foreign accent, and something of a
foreign idiom; but his ideas and feelings forced their way regardless of
grammatical precision, and I thought his foreign accent agreeable. To an
Englishman, what accent that conveys the praise of Shakspeare can
fail to be agreeable? The most certain method by which a foreigner
an introduce himself at once to the good-will and good opinion of an
Englishman, is by thus doing homage to this national object of idolatry.
I perceived that Mr. Montenero's was not a mere compliment--he spoke
with real feeling. "In this instance," resumed he, "we poor Jews have
felt your Shakspeare's power to our cost--too severely, and, considering
all the circumstances, rather unjustly, you are aware."

"_Considering all the circumstances_," I did not precisely understand;
but I endeavoured, as well as I could, to make some general apology for
Shakspeare's severity, by adverting to the time when he wrote, and the
prejudices which then prevailed.

"True," said he; "and as a dramatic poet, it was his business, I
acknowledge, to take advantage of the popular prejudice as a _power_--as
a means of dramatic pathos and effect; yet you will acknowledge that we
Jews must feel it peculiarly hard, that the truth of the story on which
the poet founded his plot should have been completely sacrificed to
fiction, so that the characters were not only misrepresented, but
reversed."

I did not know to what Mr. Montenero meant to allude: however, I
endeavoured to pass it off with a slight bow of general acquiescence,
and the hundred-times-quoted remark, that poets always succeed better
in fiction than in truth. Mr. Montenero had quick penetration--he saw my
evasion, and would not let me off so easily. He explained.

"In the _true_ story, [Footnote: See Stevens' Life of Sixtus V.,
and Malone's Shakspeare.] from which Shakspeare took the plot of the
Merchant of Venice, it was a Christian who acted the part of the Jew,
and the Jew that of the Christian; it was a Christian who insisted
upon having the pound of flesh from next the Jew's heart. But," as
Mr. Montenero repeated, "Shakspeare was right, as a dramatic poet, in
reversing the characters."

Seeing me struck, and a little confounded, by this statement, and even
by his candour, Mr. Montenero said, that perhaps his was only the Jewish
version of the story, and he quickly went on to another subject, one far
more agreeable to me--to Berenice. He hoped that I did not suspect her
of affectation from any thing that had passed; he was aware, little
as he knew of fine ladies, that they sometimes were pleased to make
themselves noticed, perhaps rather troublesome, by the display of their
sensibility; but he assured me that his Berenice was not of this sort.

Of this I was perfectly convinced. The moment he pronounced the name of
Berenice, he paused, and looked as if he were afraid he should say too
much of her; and I suppose I looked as I felt--afraid that he would not
say enough. He gently bowed his head and went on. "There are reasons why
she was peculiarly touched and moved by that exhibition. Till she came
to Europe--to England--she was not aware, at least not practically
aware, of the strong prepossessions which still prevail against us
Jews." He then told me that his daughter had passed her childhood
chiefly in America, "in a happy part of that country, where religious
distinctions are scarcely known--where characters and talents are all
sufficient to attain advancement--where the Jews form a respectable part
of the community--where, in most instances, they are liberally educated,
many following the honourable professions of law and physic with credit
and ability, and associating with the best society that country affords.
Living in a retired village, her father's the only family of Israelites
who resided in or near it, all her juvenile friendships and attachments
had been formed with those of different persuasions; yet each had looked
upon the variations of the other as things of course, or rather as
things which do not affect the moral character--differences which take
place in every society."--"My daughter was, therefore, ill prepared,"
said Mr. Montenero, "for European prepossessions; and with her feeling
heart and strong affection for those she loves, no wonder that she has
often suffered, especially on my account, since we came to England; and
she has become, to a fault, tender and susceptible on this point."

I could not admit that there was any fault on her part; but I regretted
that England should be numbered among the countries subject to such
prejudices. I hoped, I added, that such illiberality was now confined to
the vulgar, that is, the ill-educated and the ill-informed.

The well-educated and well-informed, he answered, were, of course,
always the most liberal, and were usually the same in all countries. He
begged pardon if he had expressed himself too generally with respect
to England. It was the common fault of strangers and foreigners to
generalize too quickly, and to judge precipitately of the whole of a
community from a part. The fact was, that he had, by the business which
brought him to London, been unfortunately thrown among some vulgar
rich of contracted minds, who, though they were, as he was willing
to believe, essentially good and good-natured persons, had made his
Berenice suffer, sometimes more than they could imagine, by their want
of delicacy, and want of toleration.

As Mr. Montenero spoke these words, the image of vulgar, ordering Mrs.
Coates--that image which had persecuted me half the night, by ever
obtruding between me and the fair Jewess--rose again full in my view. I
settled immediately, that it was she and her tribe of Issys, and Cecys,
and Hennys, and Queeneys, were "the vulgar rich" to whom Mr. Montenero
alluded. I warmly expressed my indignation against those who could
have been so brutal as to make Miss Montenero suffer by their vile
prejudices.

"_Brutal_," Mr. Montenero repeated, smiling at my warmth, "is too strong
an expression: there was no brutality in the case. I must have expressed
myself ill to give rise to such an idea. There was only a little want of
consideration for the feelings of others--a little want of liberality."

Even so I could not bear the thought that Miss Montenero should have
been, on her first arrival in England, thrown among persons who might
give her quite a false idea of the English, and a dislike to the
country.

"There is no danger of that sort," he replied. "Had she been disposed to
judge so rashly and uncharitably, the humane and polite attentions she
met with last night from a gentleman who was an utter stranger to her,
and who could only know that she was a foreigner in want of assistance,
must have been to her at once conviction and reproof." (I bowed,
delighted with Mr. Montenero and with myself.) "But I hope and believe,"
continued he, "that my Berenice is not disposed to form uncharitable
judgments either of individuals or nations; especially not of the
English, of whom she has, from their history and literature, with which
we are not wholly unacquainted, conceived the highest ideas." I bowed
again, though not quite so much delighted with this general compliment
to my nation as by that peculiar to myself. I expressed my hopes that
the English would justify this favourable prepossession, and that on
farther acquaintance with different societies in London, Mr. and Miss
Montenero would find, that among the higher classes in this country
there is no want of liberality of opinion, and certainly no want of
delicacy of sentiment and manner--no want of attention to the feelings
of those who are of a different persuasion from ourselves. Just at this
moment my mother entered the room. Advancing towards Mr. Montenero, she
said, with a gracious smile, "You need not introduce us to each other,
my dear Harrington, for I am sure that I have the pleasure of seeing Mr.
Clive, from India."

"Mr. Montenero, from America, ma'am."

"Mr. Montenero! I am happy to have the honour--the pleasure--I am very
happy--"

My mother's politeness struggled against truth; but whilst I feared that
Mr. Montenero's penetration would discern that there was no pleasure
in the honour, a polite inquiry followed concerning Miss Montenero's
indisposition. Then, after an ineffectual effort to resume the ease and
cordiality of her manner, my mother leaned back languidly on the sofa,
and endeavoured to account for the cloud which settled on her brow by
adverting to the sleepless night she had passed, and to the fears of an
impending headache; assuring Mr. Montenero at the same time that society
and conversation were always of service to her. I was particularly
anxious to detain, and to draw him out before my mother, because I felt
persuaded that his politeness of manner, and his style of conversation,
would counteract any _presentiment_ or prejudice she had conceived
against him and his race. He seemed to lend himself to my views, and
with benevolent politeness exerted himself to entertain my mother. A Don
Quixote was on the table, in which there were some good prints, and from
these he took occasion to give us many amusing and interesting accounts
of Spain, where he had passed the early part of his life. From Don
Quixote to Gil Blas--to the Duc de Lerma--to the tower of Segovia--to
the Inquisition--to the Spanish palaces and Moorish antiquities, he let
me lead him backwards and forwards as I pleased. My mother was very fond
of some of the old Spanish ballads and Moorish romances: I led to the
_Rio Verde_, and the fair Zaida, and the Moor Alcanzor, with whom both
in their Moorish and English dress Mr. Montenero was well acquainted,
and of whom he was enthusiastically fond.

My mother was fond of painting: I asked some questions concerning the
Spanish painters, particularly about Murillo; of one of his pictures
we had a copy, and my mother had often wished to see the original. Mr.
Montenero said he was happy in having it in his power to gratify her
wish; he possessed the original of this picture. But few of Murillo's
paintings had at this time found their way out of Spain; national and
regal pride had preserved them with jealous care; but Mr. Montenero
had inherited some of Murillo's master-pieces. These, and a small but
valuable collection of pictures which he had been many years in forming,
were now in England: they were not yet arranged as he could wish, but
an apartment was preparing for them; and in the mean time, he should
be happy to have the honour of showing them to us and to any of our
friends. He particularly addressed himself to my mother; she replied in
those general terms of acquiescence and gratitude, which are used when
there is no real intention to accept an invitation, but yet a wish to
avoid such an absolute refusal as should appear ill-bred. I, on the
contrary, sincerely eager to accept the offered favour, fixed instantly
the time, and the soonest possible. I named the next day at one o'clock.
Mr. Montenero then took his leave, and as the door closed after him, I
stood before my mother, as if waiting for judgment; she was silent.

"Don't you think him agreeable, ma'am?"

"Very agreeable."

"I knew you would think so, my dear mother; an uncommonly agreeable
man."

"But--"

"But what, ma'am?"

"But so much the worse."

"How so, ma'am? Because he is a Jew, is he forbidden to be agreeable?"
said I, smiling.

"Pray be serious, Harrington--I say the more agreeable this man is, the
better his manner, the more extensive his information, the higher the
abilities he possesses, the greater are his means of doing mischief." "A
conclusive argument," said. I, "against the possession of good manners,
information, abilities, and every agreeable and useful quality! and an
argument equally applicable to Jews and Christians."

"Argument!" repeated my mother: "I know, my dear, I am not capable
of arguing with you--indeed I am not fond of arguments, they are so
unfeminine: I seldom presume to give even my opinion, except on subjects
of sentiment and feeling; there ladies may venture, I suppose, to have
a voice as well as gentlemen, perhaps better, sometimes. In the present
case, it may be very ridiculous; but I own that, notwithstanding this
Mr. Montenero is what you'd call an uncommonly agreeable man, there is
a something about him--in short, I feel something like an antipathy
to him--and in the whole course of my life I have never been misled by
these _antipathies_. I don't say they are reasonable, I only say that
I can't help feeling them; and if they never mislead us, you know
they have all the force of instincts, and in some cases instincts are
superior even to that reason of which man is so proud."

I did not advert to the _if_, on which this whole reasoning rested, but
I begged my mother would put herself out of the question for one moment,
and consider to what injustice and intolerance such antipathies would
lead in society.

"Perhaps in general it might be so," she said; "but in this particular
instance she was persuaded she was right and _correct_; and after all,
is there a human being living who is not influenced at first sight by
countenance! Does not Lavater say that even a cockchafer and a dish of
tea have a physiognomy?"

I could not go quite so far as to admit the cockchafer's physiognomy in
our judgment of characters. "But then, ma'am," concluded I, "before we
can judge, before we can decide, we should see what is called the play
of the countenance--we should see the working of the muscles. Now, for
instance, when we have seen Mr. Montenero two or three times, when we
have studied the muscles of his countenance--"

"I! I study the muscles of the man's countenance!" interrupted my
mother, indignantly; "I never desire to see him or his muscles again!
Jew, Turk, or _Mussulman_, let me hear no more about him. Seriously, my
dear Harrington, this is the subject on which I wished to speak to you
this morning, to warn you from forming this dangerous acquaintance.
I dreamed last night--but I know you won't listen to dreams; I have a
_presentiment_--but you have no faith in _presentiments_: what shall I
say to you?--Oh! my dear Harrington, I appeal to your own heart--your
own feelings, your own conscience, must tell you all I at this moment
foresee and dread. Oh! with your ardent, too ardent imagination--your
susceptibility! Surely, surely, there is an absolute fatality in these
things! At the very moment I was preparing to warn you, Mr. Montenero
appears, and strengthens the dangerous impression. And after all the
pains I took to prevent your ever meeting, is it not extraordinary that
you should meet his daughter at the playhouse? Promise me, I conjure
you," cried she, turning and seizing both my hands, "promise me, my dear
son, that you will see no more of this Jew and Jewess."

It was a promise I could not, would not make:--some morning visitors
came in and relieved me. My mother's imagination was as vivacious, but
not as tenacious as my own. There was in her a feminine mobility, which,
to my masculine strength of passion, and consequent tenacity of purpose,
appeared often inconceivable, and sometimes provoking. In a few minutes
her fancy turned to old china and new lace, and all the fears which had
so possessed and agitated her mind subsided.

Among the crowd of morning visitors, Lady Anne Mowbray ran in and
ran out; fortunately she could not stay one minute, and still more
fortunately my mother did not hear a word she said, or even see her
ladyship's exit and entrance, so many ladies had encompassed my
mother's sofa, displaying charming bargains of French lace. The subject
abstracted their attention, and engrossed all their faculties. Lady Anne
had just called to tell me a secret, that her mother had been saying
all the morning to every body, how odd it was of Mr. Harrington to take
notice whether a Jewess fainted or not. Lady Anne said, for her part,
she had taken my part; she did not think it _so_ odd of me, but she
thought it odd and ridiculous of the Jewess to faint about Shylock. But
the reason she called was, because she was dying with curiosity to know
if I had heard any more about the Jewess. Was she an heiress or not? I
must find out and tell: she had heard--but she could not stay now--going
to ride in the park.

I had often observed that my mother's _presentiments_ varied from day
to day, according to the state of her nerves, or of some slight external
circumstances. I was extremely anxious to prevail upon her to accompany
me to see the Spanish pictures, and I therefore put off my visit for
a day, when I found my mother had engaged herself to attend a party of
fair encouragers of smugglers to a cheap French lace shop. I wrote an
apology to Mr. Montenero, and Heaven knows how much it cost me. But
my heroic patience was of no avail; I could not persuade my mother to
accompany me. To all her former feelings, the pride of opinion and the
jealousy of maternal affection were now added; she was piqued to prove
herself in the right, and vexed to see that, right or wrong, I would not
yield to her entreaties. I thought I acted solely from the dictates of
pure reason and enlightened philanthropy.



CHAPTER IX.

Mowbray was curious, he said, to know how the Jewess would look by
daylight, and he begged that he might accompany me to see the pictures.
As I had told him that I had permission to take with me any of my
friends, I could not refuse his request, though I must own that I would
rather have gone without him. I was a little afraid of his raillery, and
of the quickness of his observation. During our walk, however, he with
address--with that most irresistible kind of address, which assumes
an air of perfect frankness and cordiality, contrived to dissipate my
feelings of embarrassment; and by the time we got to Mr. Montenero's
door, I rejoiced that I had with me a friend and supporter.

"A handsome house--a splendid house, this," said Mowbray, looking up
at the front, as we waited for admission. "If the inside agree with the
out, faith, Harrington, your Jewish heiress will soon be heard of
on 'Change, and at court too, you'll see. Make haste and secure your
interest in her, I advise you."

To our great disappointment the servant told us that neither Mr. nor
Miss Montenero was at home. But orders had been left with a young man
of his to attend me and my company. At this moment I heard a well-known
voice on the stairs, and Jacob, poor Jacob, appeared: joy flashed in
his face at the sight of me; he flew down stairs, and across the hall,
exclaiming, "It is--it is my own good Mr. Harrington!"

But he started back at the sight of Mowbray, and his whole countenance
and manner changed. In an embarrassed voice, he began to explain why
Mr. Montenero was not at home; that he had waited yesterday in hopes of
seeing me at the appointed time, till my note of apology had arrived.
I had not positively named any day for my visit, and Mr. Montenero had
particular business that obliged him to go out this morning, but that he
would be back in an hour: "Meantime, sir, as Mr. Montenero has desired,"
said Jacob, "I shall have the honour of showing the pictures to you and
your friend."

It was not till he came to the words _your friend_, that Jacob
recollected to bow to Lord Mowbray, and even then it was a stiff-necked
bow. Mowbray, contrary to his usual assurance, looked a little
embarrassed, yet spoke to Jacob as to an old acquaintance.

Jacob led us through several handsome, I might say splendid, apartments,
to the picture-room.

"Good! Good!" whispered Mowbray, as we went along, till the moment
we entered the picture-room; then making a sudden stop, and start of
recollection, and pulling out his watch, he declared that he had till
that minute forgotten an indispensable engagement--that he must come
some other day to see these charming pictures. He begged that I would
settle that for him--he was excessively sorry, but go he must--and off
he went immediately.

The instant he was out of sight, Jacob seemed relieved from the
disagreeable constraint under which he laboured, and his delight was
manifest when he had me to himself. I conceived that Jacob still
felt resentment against Mowbray, for the old quarrel at school. I was
surprised at this, and in my own mind I blamed Jacob.

I have always found it the best way to speak openly, and to go to the
bottom of mysteries and quarrels at once: so turning to Jacob, I asked
him, whether, in right of our former acquaintance, I might speak to him
with the freedom of one who heartily wished him well? The tears came
into his eyes, and he could only say, "Speak, pray--and thank you, sir."

"Then, Jacob," said I, "I thought you could not for such a number of
years bear malice for a schoolboy's offence; and yet your manner just
now to Lord Mowbray--am I mistaken?--set me right, if I am--did I
misinterpret your manner, Jacob?"

"No, sir," said he, looking up in my face, with his genuine expression
of simplicity and openness; "no, sir, you do not mistake, nor
misinterpret Jacob's manner; you know him too well, and his manner tells
too plainly; you do not misinterpret the feeling, but you mistake the
cause; and since you are so kind as to desire me to set you right, I
will do so; but it is too long a story to tell while you are standing."

"Not at all--I am interested--go on."

"I should not," said Jacob, "be worthy of this interest--this regard,
which it is joy to my very heart to see that you still feel for me--I
should not be worthy in the least of it, if I could bear malice so many
years for a schoolboy's offence.

"No, Mr. Harrington, the schoolboy young lord is forgotten. But long
since that time, since this young lord has been grown into a man, and an
officer--at Gibraltar--"

The recollection of whatever it was that happened at Gibraltar seemed to
come at this instant so full upon Jacob's feelings, that he could not go
on. He took up his story farther back. He reminded me of the time when
we had parted at Cambridge; he was then preparing to go to Gibraltar,
to assist in keeping a store there, for the brother and partner of
his friend and benefactor, the London jeweller, Mr. Manessa, who had
ventured a very considerable part of his fortune upon this speculation.

About that time many Jews had enriched themselves at Gibraltar, by
keeping stores for the troops; and during the siege it was expected that
it would be a profitable business. Mr. Manessa's store under Jacob's
care went on prosperously till the day when Lord Mowbray arrived at
Gibraltar with a regiment, of which, young as he was, he had been
appointed lieutenant-colonel: "He recognized me the first time we met;
I saw he was grown into a fine-looking officer; and indeed, Mr.
Harrington, I saw him, without bearing the least malice for any little
things that had passed, which I thought, as you say, were only schoolboy
follies. But in a few minutes I found, to my sorrow, that he was not
changed in mind towards me.

"His first words at meeting me in the public streets were, 'So! are
you here, _young Shylock?_ What brings you to Gibraltar? You are of the
tribe of Gad, I think, _thou Wandering Jew!_'

"Lord Mowbray's servants heard, and caught their lord's witticism: the
serjeants and soldiers repeated the colonel's words, and the nicknames
spread through the regiment, and through the garrison; wherever I
turned, I heard them echoed: poor Jacob was called _young Shylock_ by
some, and by others the _Wandering Jew_. It was a bitter jest, and soon
became bitter earnest.

"The ignorant soldiers really believed me to be that Jew whom Christians
most abominate. [Footnote: See Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, for
the ballad of the Wandering Jew.]

"The common people felt a superstitious dread of me: the mothers charged
their children to keep out of my way; and if I met them in the streets,
they ran away and hid themselves.

"You may think, sir, I was not happy. I grew melancholy; and my
melancholy countenance, they said, was a proof that I was what I was
said to be. I was ashamed to show my face. I lost all relish for my
food, and began to pine away. My master noticed it, and he was sorry
for me; he took my part, and spoke to the young lord, who thereupon grew
angry, and high words passed; the young lord cursed at my master for an
insolent Jew dog. As to me, his lordship swore that he knew me from a
boy; that he had known enough of my tricks, and that of course for that
I must bear him malice; and he vowed I should not bear it to him for
nothing.

"From that day there was a party raised against us in the garrison. Lord
Mowbray's soldiers of course took his part; and those who were most
his favourites abused us the most. They never passed our store any day
without taunt and insult; ever repeating the names their colonel had
given me. It was hard to stand still and mute, and bear every thing,
without reply. But I was determined not to bring my master into any
quarrel, so I bore all. Presently the time came when there was great
distress for provisions in the garrison; then the cry against the Jews
was terrible: but I do not wish to say more of what followed than is
necessary to my own story. You must have heard, sir, of the riot at
Gibraltar, the night when the soldiery broke into the spirit stores?"

I had read accounts of some such thing in the newspapers of the day;
I had heard of excesses committed by the soldiery, who were enraged
against the Jew merchants; and I recollected some story [Footnote:
Drinkwater's Siege of Gibraltar.] of the soldiers having roasted a pig
before a Jew's door, with a fire made of the Jew's own cinnamon.

"That fire, sir," said Jacob, "was made before our door: it was kindled
by a party of Lord Mowbray's soldiers, who, madly intoxicated with
the spirits they had taken from the stores, came in the middle of that
dreadful night to our house, and with horrible shouts, called upon my
master to give up to them the _Wandering Jew_. My master refusing to do
this, they burst open his house, pillaged, wasted, destroyed, and burnt
all before our eyes! We lost every thing! I do not mean to say _we--I_,
poor Jacob, had little to lose. It is not of that, though it was my all,
it is not of that I speak--but my master! From a rich man in one hour he
became a beggar! The fruit of all his labour lost--nothing left for
his wife or children! I never can forget his face of despair by that
fire-light. I think I see it now! He did not recover it, sir,--he died
of a broken heart. He was the best and kindest of masters to me. And can
you wonder now, Mr. Harrington, or do you blame Jacob, that he could
not look upon that lord with a pleased eye, nor smile when he saw him
again?"

I did not blame Jacob--I liked him for the warmth of his feeling for his
master. When he was a little composed, however, I represented that his
affection and pity might have raised his indignation too strongly,
and might have made him impute to Lord Mowbray a greater share than he
really had in their misfortunes. Lord Mowbray was a very young officer
at that time, too young to be trusted with the command of men in such
difficult circumstances. His lordship had been exceedingly blamable in
giving, even in jest, the nicknames which had prejudiced his soldiers
against an innocent individual; but I could not conceive that he had a
serious design to injure; nor could he, as I observed, possibly foresee
the fatal consequences that afterwards ensued. As to the excesses of
his soldiers, for their want of discipline he was answerable; but Jacob
should recollect the distress to which the soldiers had been previously
reduced, and the general prejudice against those who were supposed to be
the cause of the scarcity. Lord Mowbray might be mistaken like others;
but as to his permitting their outrages, or directing them against
individual Jews whom he disliked, I told Jacob it was impossible for me
to believe it. Why did not the Jew merchant state his complaint to the
general, who had, as Jacob allowed, punished all the soldiers who
had been convicted of committing outrages? If Lord Mowbray had been
complained of by Mr. Manessa, a court-martial would have been held;
and if the charges had been substantiated, his title of colonel or lord
would have availed him nothing--he would have been broke. Jacob
said, his poor master, who was ruined and in despair, thought not of
courts-martial--perhaps he had no legal proofs--perhaps he dreaded, with
reason, the popular prejudice in the garrison, and dared not, being a
Jew, appear against a Christian officer. How that might have been, Jacob
said, he did not know--all he knew was that his master was very ill, and
that he returned to England soon afterwards.

But still, argued I, if Lord Mowbray had not been brought to a
court-martial, if it had been known among his brother officers that he
had been guilty of such unofficer-like conduct, no British officer would
have kept company with him. I was therefore convinced that Jacob
must have been misinformed and deceived by exaggerated reports, and
prejudiced by the warmth of his own feelings for the loss of his master.
Jacob listened to me with a look of incredulity, yet as if with a wish
to believe that I was right: he softened gradually--he struggled with
his feelings.

"He knew," he said, "that it was our Christian precept to forgive our
enemies--a very good precept: but was it easy? Did all Christians find
it easy to put it in practice? And you, Mr. Harrington, you who can have
no enemies, how can you judge?"

Jacob ended by promising, with a smile, that he would show me that a Jew
could forgive.

Then, eager to discard the subject, he spoke of other things. I thanked
him for his having introduced me to Mr. Israel Lyons:--he was delighted
to hear of the advantage I had derived from this introduction at
Cambridge, and of its having led to my acquaintance with Mr. Montenero.

He had been informed of my meeting Miss Montenero at the theatre: and
he told me of his hopes and fears when he heard her say she had been
assisted by a gentleman of the name of Harrington.

I did not venture, however, to speak much of Miss Montenero; but I
expatiated on the pleasure I had in Mr. Montenero's conversation, and on
the advantages I hoped to derive from cultivating his society.

Jacob, always more disposed to affection and gratitude than to suspicion
or revenge, seemed happy to be relieved from the thoughts of Lord
Mowbray, and he appeared inspired with fresh life and spirit when he
talked of Mr. Montenero and his daughter. He mentioned their kindness
to the widow and children of his deceased master, and of Mr. Montenero's
goodness to the surviving brother and partner, the London jeweller,
Mr. Manessa, Jacob's first benefactor. The Manessas had formerly been
settled in Spain, at the time Mr. Montenero had lived there; and when
he was in some difficulties with the Inquisition, they had in some
way essentially served him, either in assisting his escape from that
country, or in transmitting his property. Jacob was not acquainted with
the particulars, but he knew that Mr. Montenero was most grateful for
the obligation, whatever it had been; and now that he was rich and the
Manessas in distress, he seemed to think he could never do enough for
them. Jacob became first acquainted, as he told me, with Mr. Montenero
in consequence of his connexion with this family. The widow had
represented him as being a faithful friend, and the two children of
his deceased master were fond of him. Mr. Montenero's attachment to the
Manessas immediately made him take notice of Jacob. Jacob told me that
he was to go to their house in the city, and to take charge of their
affairs, as soon as they could be settled; and that Mr. Montenero
had promised if possible to obtain for him a share in the firm of the
surviving brother and partner. In the mean time Jacob was employed
by Mr. Montenero in making out catalogues of his books and pictures,
arranging his library and cabinet of medals, &c., to all which he was
fully competent. Jacob said he rejoiced that these occupations would
keep him a little while longer at Mr. Montenero's, as he should there
have more frequent opportunities of seeing me, than he could hope for
when he should be at the other end of the town. "Besides," added he,
"I don't know how I shall ever be able to do without the kindness Mr.
Montenero shows me; and as for Miss Montenero--!" Jacob's countenance
expanded, and his voice was by turns softened into tenderness, and
raised to enthusiasm, as he again spoke of the father and daughter:
and when my mind was touched and warmed by his panegyric of
Berenice--pronounced with the true eloquence of the heart--she, leaning
on her father's arm, entered the room. The dignified simplicity,
the graceful modesty of her appearance, so unlike the fashionable
forwardness or the fashionable bashfulness, or any of the various airs
of affectation, which I had seen in Lady Anne Mowbray and her class of
young ladies, charmed me perhaps the more from contrast and from the
novelty of the charm. There was a timid sensibility in her countenance
when I spoke to her, which joined to the feminine reserve of her whole
manner, the tone of her voice, and the propriety and elegance of the
very little she said, pleased me inexpressibly. I wished only that she
had said more. However, when her father spoke, it seemed to be almost
the same as if she spoke herself--her sympathy with him appeared so
strongly. He began by speaking of Jacob: he was glad to find that I was
_the_ Mr. Harrington whom Jacob had been so eager to see. It was evident
that they knew all the good that grateful young man could tell of me;
and the smile which I received from the father and daughter at this
instant would have overpaid me for any obligations I could have
conferred. Jacob retired, observing that he had taken up all the time
with the history of his own private affairs, and that I had not yet
seen any of the pictures. Mr. Montenero immediately led me to one of
Murillo's, regretting that he had not the pleasure of showing it to my
mother. I began to speak of her sorrow at not being able to venture out;
I made some apology, but whatever it was, I am sure I did not, I could
not, pronounce it well. Mr. Montenero bowed his head courteously,
removed his eyes from my face, and glanced for one moment at Miss
Montenero with a look of regret, quickly succeeded by an expression in
his countenance of calm and proud independence. He was sorry, he
said, that he could not have the honour of seeing Mrs. Harrington--the
pleasure of presenting his daughter to her.

I perceived that he was aware of what I had hoped had escaped his
penetration--my mother's prepossession against him and his daughter. I
saw that he attributed it to a general prejudice against his race and
religion, and I perceived that this hurt his feelings much, though his
pride or his philosophy quickly repressed his sensibility. He never
afterwards spoke of my mother--never hoped to see her another day--nor
hoped even that the cold, which had prevented her from venturing out,
would be better. I was the more vexed and ashamed that I had not been
able to bring my mother with me. I turned the conversation as quickly as
I could to Mr. Israel Lyons.

I observed, by what Mr. Montenero said, that from the information he had
received from Mr. Lyons and from Jacob, he was thoroughly aware of my
early prejudices and antipathy to the Jews. He observed to his daughter,
that Mr. Harrington had double merit in his present liberality, since he
had conquered what it is so difficult, scarcely possible, completely to
conquer--an early prepossession, fostered perhaps by the opinion of many
who must have had great influence on his mind. Through this compliment,
I thought I saw in Mr. Montenero's, and still more in the timid
countenance of his daughter, a fear that I might relapse; and that
_these early prepossessions, which were so difficult, scarcely possible,
completely to conquer_, might recur. I promised myself that I should
soon convince them they were mistaken, if they had formed any such
notion, and I was flattered by the fear, as it implied that I had
inspired some interest. We went on with the pictures. Not being a
connoisseur, though fond of the arts, I was relieved and pleased to find
that Mr. Montenero had none of the jargon of connoisseurship: while his
observations impressed me with a high idea of his taste and judgment,
they gave me some confidence in my own. I was delighted to find that I
understood, and could naturally and truly agree with all he said, and
that my untutored preferences were what they ought to be, according to
the right rules of art and science. In short, I was proud to find that
my taste was in general the same as his and his daughter's. What pleased
me far more than Mr. Montenero's taste, was the liberality and the
enlargement of mind I saw in all his opinions and sentiments. There was
in him a philosophic calmness and moderation; his reason seemed to have
worked against great natural sensibility, perhaps susceptibility, till
this calm had become the unvarying temper of his mind. I fancied, also,
that I perceived a constant care in him to cultivate the same temper in
his daughter, and to fortify her against that extreme sensibility to
the opinion of others, and that diffidence of herself, to which, as I
recollected, he had formerly adverted.

After having admired some of Murillo's pictures, we came to one which I,
unpractised as I was in judging of painting, immediately perceived to be
inferior.

"You are quite right," said Mr. Montenero; "it is inferior to Murillo,
and the sudden sense of this inferiority absolutely broke the painter's
heart. This picture is by a painter of the name of Castillo, who had
thought comfortably well of himself, till he saw the master-pieces
of Murillo's genius; Castillo surveyed them for some time in absolute
silence, then turning away, exclaimed _Castillo is no more!_ and soon
Castillo was no more. From that moment he pined away, and shortly
afterwards died: not from envy," continued Mr. Montenero; "no, he was a
man of mild, amiable temper, incapable of envy; but he fell a victim
to excessive sensibility--a dangerous, though not a common vice of
character."

"Weakness, not vice, I hope," I heard Miss Montenero say in a low voice.

The father answered with a sigh, "_that_, however, cannot be called a
virtue, which incapacitates from the exercise of independent virtue, and
which, as you find, not only depresses genius, but may extinguish life
itself."

Mr. Montenero then turned to me, and with composure went on speaking of
the pictures. Ever since I knew I was to see these, I had been studying
Cumberland's Lives of the Spanish Painters, and this I honestly told
Mr. Montenero, when he complimented me upon my knowing all the names and
anecdotes to which he alluded: he smiled--so did his daughter; and he
was so good as to say that he liked me better for telling him this
so candidly, than if I had known all that the connoisseurs and
anecdote-mongers, living or dead, had ever said or written. We came to
a picture by Alonzo Cano, who, excelling in architecture, statuary, and
painting, has been called the Michael Angelo of Spain.

"He at least was not deficient in a comfortably good opinion of himself,
Mr. Montenero," said I. "Is not it recorded of Cano, that having
finished a statue of Saint Antonio de Padua for a Spanish counsellor,
the tasteless lawyer and niggardly devotee hesitated to pay the artist
his price, observing that Cano, by his own account, had been only
twenty-five days about it? The counsellor sat down, with stupid
self-sufficiency, to calculate, that at a hundred pistoles, divided by
twenty-five days, the artist would be paid at a higher rate than he was
himself for the exercise of his talents. 'Wretch! talk to me of your
talents!' exclaimed the enraged artist; 'I have been fifty years
learning to make this statue in twenty-five days!' And as he spoke,
Cano dashed his statue to pieces on the pavement of the academy. The
affrighted counsellor fled from the house with the utmost precipitation,
concluding that the man who was bold enough to destroy a saint, would
have very little remorse in destroying a lawyer.

"Happily for Cano, this story did not reach the ears of the
Inquisition," said Mr. Montenero, "or he would have been burnt alive."

Mr. Montenero then pointed out some exquisite pieces by this artist, and
spoke with enthusiasm of his genius. I perceived some emotion, of which
I could not guess the cause, in the countenance of his daughter;
she seemed touched by what her father said about this painter or his
pictures.

Mr. Montenero concluded his panegyric on Cano's genius by saying,
"Besides being a great genius, we are told that he was very religious,
and, some few peculiarities excepted, very charitable."

"You are very charitable, I am sure," said Miss Montenero, looking at
her father, and smiling: "I am not sure that I could speak so charitably
of that man." A sigh quickly followed her smile, and I now recollected
having heard or read that this painter bore such an antipathy to the
Jews, that he considered every touch of theirs as contamination; and, if
he accidentally came in contact with them, would cast off and give away
his clothes, forbidding the servant to whom he gave them, on any account
to wear them.

Miss Montenero saw that I recollected to what she alluded--that I had
a just feeling of the benevolent magnanimity of her father's character.
This raised me, I perceived, in the daughter's opinion. Though scarcely
a word passed at the moment, yet I fancied that we felt immediately
better acquainted. I ventured to go and stand beside her, from doing
which I had hitherto been prevented by I know not what insurmountable
difficulty or strange spell.

We were both opposite to a Spanish copy of Guido's Aurora Surgens.
I observed that the flame of the torch borne by the winged boy,
representing Lucifer, points westward, in a direction contrary to that
in which the manes of the horses, the drapery of Apollo, and that of the
dancing Hours, are blown, which seemed to me to be a mistake.

Berenice said that Guido had taken this picture from Ovid's description,
and that he had, with great art, represented, by the very circumstance
to which I objected, the swiftness of the motion with which the chariot
was driven forward. The current of the morning wind blowing from the
east was represented by the direction of the hair of Lucifer, and of the
flame of his torch; while the rapidity of the motion of the chariot was
such, that, notwithstanding the eastern wind, which would otherwise have
blown them towards the west, the manes of the horses, and the drapery of
the figures, were driven backwards, by the resistance of the air against
which they were hurried. She then repeated, in a pleasing but timid
manner, in support of her opinion, these two beautiful lines of
Addison's translation:

    "With winged speed outstrips the eastern wind,
    And leaves the breezes of the morn behind."

I need not say that I was delighted with this criticism, and with the
modest manner in which it was spoken: but I could not honestly help
remarking that, to the description immediately alluded to in Ovid,
Addison had added the second beautiful line,

  "And leaves the breezes of the morn behind."

Mr. Montenero looked pleased, and said to me, "It is very true, in the
immediate passage describing the chariot of the Sun issuing from the
gates of Heaven, this line is not in the original; but if you look
further back in the fable, you will find that the idea is still more
strongly expressed in the Latin than in the English."

It was with the utmost difficulty that I at last forced myself away, nor
was I in the least aware of the unconscionable length of my visit. What
particularly pleased me in the conversation of Miss Montenero was, that
she had none of those fashionable phrases which fill each vacuity of
sense, and which level all distinctions of understanding. There was none
of that commonplace stuff which passes for conversation in the world,
and which we hear and repeat till we are equally tired of others and of
ourselves.

There were, besides, in her manner and countenance, indications of
perfect sweetness of temper, a sort of feminine gentleness and softness
which art cannot feign nor affectation counterfeit; a gentleness which,
while it is the charm of female manners, is perfectly consistent with
true spirit, and with the higher or the stronger qualities of the mind.
All I had seen of Miss Montenero in this first visit inspired me with
the most ardent desire to see more. Here was a woman who could fill my
whole soul; who could at once touch my heart and my imagination. I felt
inspired with new life--I had now a great object, a strong and lively
interest in existence. At parting, Mr. Montenero shook hands with me,
which, he said, he knew was the English mode of showing kindness: he
expressed an earnest, but proudly guarded wish, that I might be _so
circumstanced_, and so inclined, as to allow him the pleasure he much
desired, of cultivating my acquaintance.



CHAPTER X

The interest which Berenice inspired, so completely absorbed my mind,
that I never thought again of Jacob and his story, till I met Lady Anne
and her brother the next morning, when I went to take a ride in the
park: they were with Colonel Topham, and some people of her ladyship's
acquaintance.

Lady Anne, after the usual preliminary quantity of nonsense, and after
she had questioned and cross-questioned me, to the best of her slender
abilities, about the Jewess, told me a long story about herself, and her
fears, and the fears of her mare, and a horse-laugh of Mowbray's which
Colonel Topham said no horse could stand: not much applause ensuing
from me, she returned to the witty colonel, and left me to her brother.
Mowbray directly began to talk about Jacob. He said he supposed Jacob
had not failed to make his Gibraltar story good; but that "Hear both
sides" was an indispensable maxim, even where such a favourite as Jacob
was concerned. "But first let us take one other good gallop," said
Mowbray; "Anne, I leave you here with Mrs. Carrill and Colonel Topham;"
and away he galloped. When he thought, as he said, that he had shaken
off some of my prejudices, he drew up his horse, and talked over the
Gibraltar affair.

His dashing, jocular, military mode of telling the thing, so different
from Jacob's plain, mercantile, matter-of-fact method, quite changed my
view and opinion of the transaction. Mowbray blamed himself with such a
good grace, and wished so fervently that he could make any reparation to
"the poor devils who had suffered," that I acquitted him of all malice,
and forgave his imprudence.

The frankness with which he spoke to Jacob, when they met, was proof
conclusive to me that he was incapable, as he declared, of harbouring
any malice against Jew or Christian. He inquired most particularly into
Jacob's own losses at Gibraltar, called for pen, ink, and paper, and in
his off-hand manner wrote a draft on his banker, and put it into Jacob's
hand. "Here, my honest Jacob, you are a Jew whose accounts I can take
at your word. Let this settle the balance between us. No scruples,
Jacob--no present, this--nothing but remuneration for your losses."

Jacob accepted Lord Mowbray's apologies, but could not by any means be
prevailed upon to accept from him any present or remuneration. He
seemed willing to forgive, but not to trust Lord Mowbray. All trace of
resentment was cleared from his countenance, but no condescension of
his lordship could move Jacob to throw off his reserve beyond a certain
point. He conquered aversion, but he would not pretend to like. Mr.
Montenero came into the room while we were speaking, and I presented
Lord Mowbray to him. There was as marked a difference as politeness
would allow in Mr. Montenero's manner towards his lordship and towards
me, which I justly attributed to Jacob's previous representations. We
looked at the pictures, and talked, and loitered, but I turned my eyes
in vain to the door every time it opened--no Miss Montenero appeared.
I was so much preoccupied with my object that I was silent, and left
Mowbray to make his own way, which no one was more capable of doing. In
a few minutes he was in full conversation. He went over again, without
my attending to it, his _pièce justificative_ about the riot at
Gibraltar, and Jacob, and the Manessas; and between the fits of my
reverie, I perceived Mowbray was talking of the Due de Crillon and
General Elliot, and red-hot balls; but I took no interest in the
conversation, till I heard him speak of an officers' ball at Gibraltar,
and of dancing with a Jewess. The very night he had first landed at
Gibraltar, there happened to be a ball to which he went with a friend,
who was also just landed, and a stranger. It was the custom to draw lots
for partners. His friend, a true-born Englishman, took fright at the
foreign-sounding name of the lady who fell to his lot--Mowbray changed
tickets with him, and had, he said, great reason to rejoice. The lady
with the foreign name was a Jewess, the handsomest, the most graceful,
the most agreeable woman in the room. He was the envy of every man,
and especially of his poor friend, who too late repented his rash
renunciation of his ticket. Lord Mowbray, by several other slight
anecdotes, which he introduced with happy effect, contrived to please
Mr. Montenero; and if any unfavourable prepossession had existed against
him, it was, I thought, completely removed. For my own part, I was
delighted with his presence of mind in recollecting all that was best
worth seeing in London, and arranging parties in which we could have the
honour of attending Miss Montenero, and the pleasure of being of some
use to her.

Mr. Montenero's own acquaintance in London was chiefly with the families
of some of the foreign ambassadors, and with other foreigners of
distinction; but his daughter was not yet acquainted with any English
ladies, except the lady of General B----, with whom the Monteneros had
been intimate in America. Lady Emily B---- was detained in the country
by the illness of one of her family, and Miss Montenero, having declined
going into public with Mrs. Coates, would wait quietly at home till
her English friends should come to town. Again shame for my mother's
remissness obliged me to cast down my eyes in awkward silence. But
Mowbray, Heaven bless him for it! went on fluently. This was the moment,
he said, before Miss Montenero should appear in public, and get into the
whirl of the great world, before engagements should multiply and
press upon her, as inevitably they would as soon as she had made her
début--this was the moment, and the only moment probably she would
ever have to herself, to see all that was worth a stranger's notice in
London. Mr. Montenero was obliged to Mowbray, and I am sure so was I.

Miss Montenero, infinitely more desirous to see than to be seen, was
pleased with the parties we arranged for her and from this time forward,
scarcely a day passed without our having the pleasure of attending
the father and daughter. My mother sighed and remonstrated in vain; my
father, absorbed in the House of Commons, was satisfied with seeing me
regularly at breakfast. He usually dined at clubs, and it was happily
his principle to let his son amuse himself his own way. But I assured
her, and truly, that I was only amusing myself, and that I had not
formed any serious intentions. I wished to see more of the lady.
Mowbray, with ready invention, continually suggested something
particularly well worth seeing or hearing, some delightful pretext for
our being together. Sometimes he accompanied us, sometimes he
excused himself--he had indispensable engagements. His _indispensable
engagements_ I knew were usually with ladies of a very different sort
from Miss Montenero. Mowbray was desperately in love with the young
actress who had played the part of Jessica, and to her he devoted every
moment he could command. I regretted for his sake his dissipated
tastes, but I felt the more obliged to him for the time he sacrificed to
friendship; and perhaps, to tell things just as they were, I was glad he
was safely in love with a Jessica of his own, as it secured me from all
apprehension of his rivalling or wishing to rival me. Miss Montenero
he confessed was not in the least to his taste. In this instance I was
quite satisfied that our tastes should completely differ. I never
liked him so well--we went on most happily together. I felt uncommonly
benevolent towards the whole world; my heart expanded with increased
affection for all my friends--every thing seemed to smile upon me--even
the weather. The most delicious morning I ever remember was that on
which we rowed along the banks of the Thames with Miss Montenero. I
always enjoyed every beautiful object in nature with enthusiasm, but now
with new delight--with all the enchantment of a first love, and of hope
that had never known disappointment.

I was almost angry with my dear friend Mowbray, for not being as
enthusiastic this day as I was myself.

There were certain points of taste and character on which we never could
agree; my romantic imagination and enthusiastic manner of expressing
myself, were often in contrast with his worldly comic mode of seeing and
talking. He hurt, sometimes, my feelings by his raillery--he pulled me
down too suddenly from my flights of imagination. By the flashes of his
wit he showed, perhaps too clearly, the danger of my fall from "high
sublime to deep absurd;" but, after all, I was satisfied that Miss
Montenero preferred my style, and in general I was content that he
should enjoy his dear wit and gay rhetoric--even a little at my expense.

The morning we went to Westminster Abbey, I own I was provoked with him,
for pointing out to my observation, at the moment when my imagination
was struck with the sense of sublimity at the sight of the awful pile,
the ridiculous contrast of the showman and his keys, who was impatiently
waiting till I had finished my exclamations; but I soon forgot both the
showman and the wit, while at every step, among the illustrious dead,
my enthusiasm was raised, and some anecdote of their lives, or some
striking quotation from their works, rushed upon my mind. I was inspired
and encouraged by the approbation of the father, and the sympathy of the
daughter.

As we were quitting the Abbey, Mr. Montenero stopped, turned to me, and
said, "You have a great deal of enthusiasm, I see, Mr. Harrington: so
much the better, in my opinion--I love generous enthusiasm."

And at the moment I flattered myself that the eyes of his daughter
repeated "I love generous enthusiasm," her father caught the expression,
and immediately, with his usual care, moderated and limited what he had
said.

"Enthusiasm well governed, of course, I mean--as one of your English
noblemen lately said, 'There is an enthusiasm of the head, and that is
genius--there is an enthusiasm of the heart, and that is virtue--there
is an enthusiasm of the temper, and that is--'"

Miss Montenero looked uneasy, and her father perceiving this, checked
himself again, and, changing his tone, added, "But with all its dangers
and errors, enthusiasm, in either man or woman, is more amiable and
respectable than selfishness. Enthusiasm is not the vice of the young
men or women of the present day."

"Certainly not," said Mowbray, who was now very attentive to every thing
that passed. I forgave him the witticisms with which he had crossed my
humour this morning, for the kind sympathy he showed with the pleasure I
felt at this moment. Afterwards, when Mowbray and I were alone together,
and _compared notes_, as we were in the habit of doing, upon all
that had been said, and had been looked, during the day, Mowbray
congratulated me upon the impression I had made by my eloquence.
"Enthusiasm, you see, is the thing both with father and daughter: you
succeed in that line--follow it up!"

I was incapable of affecting enthusiasm, or of acting any part to show
myself off; yet Mowbray's opinion and my own observations coinciding,
unconsciously and involuntarily, I afterwards became more at my ease in
yielding to my natural feelings and habitual expressions.

Miss Montenero had not yet seen the Tower, and Mowbray engaged himself
to be of our party. But at the same time, he privately begged me to keep
it a dead secret from his sister. Lady Anne, he said, would never cease
to ridicule him, if she were to hear of his going to the Tower, after
having been too lazy to go with her, and all the fashionable world, the
night before, to the Fantoccini.

Though I had lived in London half my childhood, my nervous disease
had prevented my being taken to see even the sights that children are
usually shown; and since my late arrival in town, when I had been my own
master, engagements and emotions had pressed upon me too fast to leave
time or inclination to think of such things. My object, of course, was
now merely to have the pleasure of accompanying Berenice.

I was unexpectedly struck, on entering the armoury at the Tower. The
walls, three hundred feet in length, covered with arms for two hundred
thousand men, burnished arms, glittering in fancy figures on the walls,
and ranged in endless piles from the ceiling to the floor of that long
gallery; then the apartment with the line of ancient kings, clad
in complete armour, mounted on their steeds fully caparisoned--the
death-like stiffness of the figures--the stillness--the silence of the
place--altogether awe the imagination, and carry the memory back to the
days of chivalry. When among these forms of kings and heroes who had
ceased to be, I beheld the Black Prince, lance couched, vizor down, with
the arms he wore at Cressy and Poictiers, my enthusiasm knew no bounds.
The Black Prince, from my childhood, had been the object of my idolatry.
I kneeled--I am ashamed to confess it--to do homage to the empty armour.

Mr. Montenero, past the age of romantic extravagance, could not
sympathize with this enthusiasm, but he bore with it.

We passed on to dark Gothic nooks of chambers, where my reverence for
the beds on which kings had slept, and the tables at which kings had
sat, much increased by my early associations formed of Brantefield
Priory, was expressed with a vehemence which astonished Mr. Montenero;
and, I fear, prevented him from hearing the answers to various
inquiries, upon which he, with better regulated judgment, was intent.

An orator is the worst person to tell a plain fact; the very worst
guide, as Mowbray observed, that a foreigner can have. Still Mr.
Montenero had patience with me, and supplied the elisions in my
rhetoric, by what information he could pick up from the guide, and from
Mowbray, with whom, from time to time, he stopped to see and hear, after
I had passed on with Berenice. To her quickness and sympathy I flattered
myself that I was always intelligible.

We came at last to the chamber where Clarence and the young princes had
been murdered. Here, I am conscious, I was beyond measure exuberant in
exclamations, and in quotations from Shakspeare.

Mr. Montenero came in just as I was ranting, from Clarence's dream--

"Seize on him, furies! take him to your torments!--With that, methought,
a legion of foul fiends Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears"

Such hideous cries! that with the very noise I made, I prevented poor
Mr. Montenero from hearing the answer to some historic question he was
asking. Berenice's eye warned me to lower my voice, and I believe
I should have been quiet, but that unluckily, Mowbray set me off in
another direction, by reminding me of the tapestry-chamber and
Sir Josseline. I remember covering my face with both my hands, and
shuddering with horror.

Mr. Montenero asked, "What of the tapestry-chamber?"

And immediately recollecting that I should not, to him, and before his
daughter, describe the Jew, who had committed a deed without a name,
I with much embarrassment said, that "it was nothing of any
consequence--it was something I could not explain."

I left it to Mowbray's superior presence of mind, and better address, to
account for it, and I went on with Berenice. Whenever my imagination was
warmed, verses poured in upon my memory, and often without much apparent
connexion with what went before. I recollected at this moment the
passage in Akenside's "Pleasures of the Imagination" describing the
early delight the imagination takes in horrors:--the children closing
round the village matron, who suspends the infant audience with her
tales breathing astonishment; and I recited all I recollected of

    "Evil spirits! of the deathbed call
    Of him who robb'd the widow, and devour'd
    The orphan's portion--of unquiet souls
    Ris'n from the grave, to ease the heavy guilt
    Of deeds in life conceal'd--of shapes that walk
    At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
    The torch of Hell around the murderer's bed!"

Mowbray and Mr. Montenero, who had stayed behind us a few minutes, came
up just as I was, with much emphasis and gesticulation,

    "Waving the torch of Hell."

I am sure I must have been a most ridiculous figure. I saw Mowbray on
the brink of laughter; but Mr. Montenero looked so grave, that he fixed
all my attention. I suddenly stopped.

"We were talking of 'The Pleasures of Imagination,'" said Berenice to
her father. "Mr. Harrington is a great admirer of Akenside."

"Is he?" replied Mr. Montenero coldly, and with a look of absence. "But,
my dear, we can have the pleasures of the imagination another time. Here
are some realities worthy of our present attention."

He then drew his daughter's arm within his. I followed; and all the time
he was pointing out to her the patterns of the Spanish instruments of
torture, with which her politic majesty Queen Elizabeth frightened her
subjects into courage sufficient to repel all the invaders on board the
invincible armada--I stood silent, pondering on what I might have said
or done to displease him whom I was so anxious to please. First, I
thought he suspected me of what I most detested, the affectation of
taste, sensibility, and enthusiasm; next, I fancied that Mowbray,
in explaining about the tapestry-chamber, Sir Josseline, and the
bastinadoed Jew, had said something that might have hurt Mr. Montenero's
Jewish pride. From whichever of these causes his displeasure arose,
it had the effect of completely sobering my spirits. My poetic fit was
over. I did not even dare to speak to his daughter.

During our drive home, Berenice, apropos to something which Mowbray had
said, but which I did not hear, suggested to her father some lines of
Akenside, which she knew he particularly admired, on the nature and
power of the early association of ideas. Mr. Montenero, with all the
warmth my heart could wish, praised the poetic genius, and the intimate
and deep knowledge of the human mind displayed in this passage. His
gravity gradually wore off, and I began to doubt whether the displeasure
had ever existed. At night, before Mowbray and I parted, when we talked
over the day, he assured me that he had said nothing that could make Mr.
Montenero displeased with me or any living creature; that they had been
discussing some point of English History, on which old Montenero had
posed him. As to my fears, Mowbray rallied me out of them effectually.
He maintained that Montenero had not been at all displeased, and that I
was a most absurd _modern self-tormentor._ "Could not a man look grave
for two minutes without my racking my fancy for two hours to find a
cause for it? Perhaps the man had the toothache; possibly the headache;
but why should I, therefore, insist upon having the heartache?"



CHAPTER XI.

Mowbray's indifference was often a happy relief to my anxiety of temper;
and I had surely reason to be grateful to him for the sacrifices he
continued daily to make of his own tastes and pleasures, to forward my
views.

One morning in particular, he was going to a rehearsal at Drury-lane,
where I knew his heart was; but finding me very anxious to go to the
Mint and the Bank with Mr. Montenero and Berenice, Mowbray, who had
a relation a Bank director, immediately offered to accompany us, and
procured us the means of seeing every thing in the best possible manner.

Nothing could, as he confessed, be less to his taste; and he was
surprised that Miss Montenero chose to be of the party. A day spent in
viewing the Mint and the Bank, it may perhaps be thought, was a day lost
to love--quite the contrary; I had an opportunity of feeling how the
passion of love can throw its enchantment over scenes apparently least
adapted to its nature.

Before this time I had twice gone over every part of these magnificent
establishments. I had seen at the Bank the spirit of order operating
like predestination, compelling the will of man to act necessarily and
continually with all the precision of mechanism. I had beheld human
creatures, called clerks, turned nearly into arithmetical machines.

But how new did it all appear in looking at it with Berenice! How would
she have been delighted if she had seen those machines, "instinct with
spirit," which now perform the most delicate manoeuvres with more than
human dexterity--the self-moving balance which indefatigably weighs,
accepts, rejects, disposes of the coin, which a mimic hand perpetually
presents!

What chiefly pleased me in Miss Montenero was the composure, the
_sincerity_ of her attention. She was not anxious to display herself: I
was the more delighted when I discovered her quickness of comprehension.
I was charmed too by the unaffected pleasure she showed in acquiring new
ideas, and surprised by the judicious _proportion_ of the admiration she
expressed for all that was in various degrees excellent in arrangement,
or ingenious in contrivance: in short....

"In short, man," as Mowbray would say, "in short, man, you were in love,
and there's an end of the matter: if your Berenice had hopped forty
paces in the public streets, it would have been the same with you."

That I deny--but I will go on with my story.

As we were going away, Mr. Montenero, after thanking Lord Mowbray and
his cousin, the Bank director, who had shown and explained every thing
to us with polite and intelligent patience, observed that the Bank was
to him a peculiarly interesting sight.

"You know," said he, "that we Jews were the first inventors of bills of
exchange and bank-notes--we were originally the bankers and brokers of
the world."

Then, as we walked to the carriage, he continued addressing himself
to his daughter, in a lowered voice, "You see, Berenice, here, as in a
thousand instances, how general and permanent good often results from
partial and temporary evil. The persecutions even to which we Jews
were exposed--the tyranny which drove us from place to place, and
from country to country, at a moment's or without a moment's warning,
compelled us, by necessity, to the invention of a happy expedient, by
which we could convert all our property into a scrap of paper, that
could be carried unseen in a pocket-book, or conveyed in a letter
unsuspected."

Berenice thanked Heaven that the times of persecution were over; and
added, that she hoped any prejudice which still existed would soon die
away.

Mowbray exclaimed against the very idea of the existence of such
prejudices at this time of day in England, among the higher classes.

He did not recollect his own mother, I believe, when he said this; but I
know I had a twinge of conscience about mine, and I did not dare to
look at Mr. Montenero; nor did I know well which way to look, when his
lordship, persisting in his assertion, asked Miss Montenero if she could
possibly imagine that any such vulgar prejudices existed among well-bred
persons. Berenice mildly answered, that she had really as yet enjoyed so
few opportunities of seeing the higher classes of society in London that
she could not form a judgment. She was willing to take upon trust his
lordship's opinion, who must have means of knowing.

I imagined that Mr. Montenero's eye was upon me, and that he was
thinking of my mother's never having made the slightest advance towards
an acquaintance with his daughter. I recollected the speeches I had
made on his first visit, pledging my mother to that which she had never
performed. I felt upon the rack--and a pause, that ensued afterwards,
increased my misery. I longed for somebody to say something--any thing.
I looked for assistance to Mowbray. He repeated, confidently, that
Miss Montenero might entirely rely upon what he said as to London and
England--indeed he had been a good deal abroad _too_. He seemed to be
glad to get to the continent again--I followed him as fast as I could,
and inquired whether he did not think that the French and Germans were
much improved in liberality, and a spirit of toleration.

"Give me leave," said Mr. Montenero, "to answer for the improvement of
the Germans. Fifteen years ago, I remember, when I was travelling in
Germany, I was stopped at a certain bridge over the Rhine, and, being
a Jew, was compelled to pay rather an ignominious toll. The Jews were
there classed among cloven-footed beasts, and as such paid toll. But,
within these few years, sixteen German princes, enlightened and inspired
by one great writer, and one good minister, have combined to abolish
this disgraceful tax. You see, my dear Berenice, your hope is quickly
fulfilling--prejudices are dying away fast. Hope humbly, but hope
always."

The playful tone in which Mr. Montenero spoke, put me quite at my ease.

The next day I was determined on an effort to make my mother acquainted
with Miss Montenero. If I could but effect a meeting, a great point
I thought would be gained. Mowbray undertook to manage it, and he,
as usual, succeeded. He persuaded his mother to go to an auction of
pictures, where he assured her she would be likely to meet with a
Vandyke of one of her ancestors, of whose portrait she had long been
in search. Lady de Brantefield engaged my mother to be of the party,
without her having any suspicion that she would meet the Monteneros.
We arrived in time to secure the best places, before the auction
began. Neither Mr. nor Miss Montenero were there; but, to my utter
discomfiture, a few minutes after we were seated, vulgar Mrs. Coates and
all her tribe appeared. She elbowed her difficult way onward towards us,
and nodding to me familiarly, seated herself and her Vandals on a line
with us. Then, stretching herself across the august Lady de Brantefield,
who drew back, far as space would permit, "Beg your pardon, ma'am, but I
just want to say a word to this lady. A'n't you the lady--yes--that sat
beside me at the play the other night--the Merchant of Venice and
the Maid of the Oaks, was not it, Izzy? I hope you caught no cold,
ma'am--you look but poorly, I am sorry to notice--but what I wanted
to say, ma'am, here's an ivory fan Miss Montenero was in a pucker and
quandary about." _Pucker and quandary!_--Oh! how I groaned inwardly!

"I was in such a fuss about her, you know, sir, that I never found out,
till I got home, I had pocketed a strange fan--here it is, ma'am, if it
is yours--it's worth any body's owning, I am sure."

The fan was my mother's, and she was forced to be much obliged. Lady de
Brantefield, still painfully holding back, did not resume her position
till some seconds had elapsed after Mrs. Coates had withdrawn her fat
bust--till it might be supposed that the danger of coming into contact
with her was fairly over. My mother, after a decent interval, asked me
if it were possible to move to some place where they could have more
air, as the crowd was increasing. Lord Mowbray and I made way for her
to a seat by an open window; but the persevering Mrs. Coates followed,
talking about the famous elbows of Mr. Peter Coates, on whose arm she
leaned. "When Peter chooses, there's not a man in Lon'on knows the use
of his elbows better, and if we'd had him, Mr. Harrington, with us at
the play, the other night, we should not have given you so much trouble
with Miss Montenero, getting her out."

Lord Mowbray, amused by my look of suffering, could not refrain
from diverting himself further by asking a question or two about the
Monteneros. It was soon apparent, from the manner in which Mrs. Coates
answered, that she was not as well pleased with them as formerly.

It was her maxim, she said, to speak of the bridge as she went over it;
and for her part, if she was to give her verdict, she couldn't but
say Miss Montenero--for they weren't on terms to call her Miss Berry
now--was a little incomprehensible sometimes.

A look of surprise from Lord Mowbray, without giving himself the trouble
to articulate, was quite sufficient to make the lady go on.

"Why, if it concerned any gentleman" (glancing her ill-bred eye upon
me), "if any gentleman was thinking of looking that way, it might be
of use to him to know the land. Miss Montenero, then, if truth must be
told, is a little touchy on the Jewish chapter."

Lord Mowbray urged Mrs. Coates on with "How, for instance?" "Oh, how!
why, my lord, a hundred times I've hurt her to the quick. One can't
always be thinking of people's different persuasions you know--and if
one asked a question, just for information's sake, or made a natural
remark, as I did t'other day, Queeney, you know, just about Jew
butchers, and pigeons--'It's a pity,' said I, 'that Jews must always
have Jew butchers, Miss Berry, and that there is so many things they
can't touch: one can't have pigeons nor hares at one's table,' said I,
thinking only of my second course; 'as to pork, Henny,' says I, 'that's
a coarse butcher's meat, which I don't regret, nor the alderman, a
pinch o' snuff'--now, you know, I thought that was kind of me; but Miss
Montenero took it all the wrong way, quite to heart so, you've no idear!
After all, she may say what she pleases, but it's my notion the Jews is
both a very unsocial and a very revengeful people; for, do you know, my
lord, they wouldn't dine with us next day, though the alderman called
himself."

My mother was so placed that she could not avoid hearing all that Mrs.
Coates said to Lord Mowbray; and though she never uttered a syllable,
or raised her eyes, or moved the fan she held in her hand, I knew by
her countenance the impression that was made on her mind: she would have
scorned, on any other subject of human life or manners, to have allowed
the judgment of Mrs. Coates to weigh with her in the estimation of
a single hair; yet here her opinion and _idears_ were admitted to be
decisive.

Such is prejudice! thought I. Prejudice, even in the proudest people,
will stoop to accept of nourishment from any hand. Prejudice not only
grows on what it feeds upon, but converts every thing it meets with into
nourishment.

How clear-sighted I was to the nature of prejudice at this moment,
and how many reflections passed in one instant, which I had never made
before in the course of my life!--Meantime Mrs. Coates had beckoned
to her son Peter, and Peter had drawn near, and was called upon by his
mother to explain to my lord the cause of the _coolness_ betwixt the
alderman and Mr. Montenero: "It was," she said, "about the Manessas, and
a young man called Jacob."

Peter was not as fluent as his mother, and she went on. "It was some
money matter. Mr. Montenero had begun by acting a very generous part,
she understood, at first, by way of being the benevolent Jew, but had
not come up to the alderman's expectations latterly, and had shown a
most illiberal partiality to the Manessas, and this Jacob, only
because they _was_ Jews; which, you know," said Mrs. Coates, "was very
ungentleman-like to the alderman, after all the civilities we had shown
the Monteneros on their coming to Lon'on--as Peter, if he could open his
mouth, could tell you."

Peter had just opened his mouth, when Mr. Montenero appearing, he closed
it again. To my inexpressible disappointment, Miss Montenero was not
with her father. Mr. Montenero smiled the instant he caught my eye, but
seeing my mother as he approached, he bowed gravely, and passed on.

"And never noticed me, I declare," said Mrs. Coates: "that's too good!"

"But Miss Montenero! I thought she was to be here?" cried Mowbray.

Mrs. Coates, after her fashion, stretching across two of her daughters,
whispered to the third, loud enough for all to hear, "Queeney, this
comes of airs!--This comes of her not choosing for to go abroad with me,
I suppose."

"If people doesn't know their friends when they has 'em," replied
Queeney, "they may go farther and fare worse: that's all I have to say."

"Hush!" said Peter, giving his sister a monitory pinch--"can't you say
your say under your breath? _he's_ within seven of you, and he has ears
like the devil."

"All them Jews has, and Jewesses too; they think one's always talking
of them, they're so suspicious," said Mrs. Coates. "I am told, moreover,
that they've ways and means of hearing."

To my great relief, she was interrupted by the auctioneer, and the sound
of his hammer. The auction went on, and nothing but "Who bids more?
going!--going!--who bids more?" was heard for a considerable time.
Not being able to get near Mr. Montenero, and having failed in all my
objects, I grew excessively tired, and was going away, leaving my
mother to the care of Mowbray, but he stopped me. "Stay, stay," said
he, drawing me aside, behind two connoisseurs, who were babbling about
a Titian, "you will have some diversion by and by. I have a picture to
sell, and you must see how it will go off. There is a painting that I
bought at a stall for nothing, upon a speculation that my mother, who is
a judge, will pay dear for; and what do you think the picture is? Don't
look so stupid--it will interest you amazingly, and Mr. Montenero too,
and 'tis a pity your Jewess is not here to see it. Did you ever hear of
a picture called the 'Dentition of the Jew?'"

"Not I."

"You'll see, presently," said Mowbray.

"But tell me _now_," said I.

"Only the drawing the teeth of the Jew, by order of some one of our most
merciful lords the kings--John, Richard, or Edward."

"It will be a companion to the old family picture of the Jew and Sir
Josseline," continued Mowbray; "and this will make the vile daub, which
I've had the luck to pick up, invaluable to my mother, and I trust very
valuable to me."

"There! Christie has it up! The dear rascal! hear him puff it!"

Lady de Brantefield put up her glass, but neither she nor I could
distinguish a single figure in the picture, the light so glared upon it.

Christie caught her ladyship's eye, and addressed himself directly to
her. But her ladyship was deaf. Mowbray pressed forward to her ear, and
repeated all Christie roared. No sooner did she understand the subject
of the picture than she turned to her son, to desire him to bid for her;
but Mowbray substituted Topham in his stead: Topham obeyed.

"Who bids more?"

A bidder started up, who seemed very eager. He was, we were told, an
engraver.

"Who bids more?"

To our surprise, Mr. Montenero was the person to bid more--and more,
and more, and more. The engraver soon gave up the contest, but her
ladyship's pride and passions rose when she found Mr. Montenero
continued to bid against her; and she persisted, till she came up to an
extravagant sum; and still she desired Colonel Topham to bid on.

"Beyond my expectation, faith! Both mad!" whispered Mowbray. I thought
so too. Still Mr. Montenero went higher.

"I'll go no higher," said Lady de Brantefield; "you may let it be
knocked down to that person, Colonel." Then turning to her son, "Who is
the man that bids against me?"

"A Jewish gentleman, ma'am, I believe."

"A Jew, perhaps--gentleman, I deny; no Jew ever was or ever will be a
gentleman. I am sure our family, since the time of Sir Josseline, have
had reason enough to know that."

"Very true, ma'am--I'll call for your carriage, for I suppose you have
had enough of this."

Mowbray carried me with him. "Come off," said he; "I long to hear
Montenero descant on the merits of the dentition. Do you speak, for you
can do it with a better face."

Mowbray seemed to be intent merely upon his own diversion; he must have
seen and felt how reluctant I was: but, taking my arm, he dragged me on
to Mr. Montenero, who was standing near a window, with the picture in
his hand, examining it attentively. Mowbray pushed me on close behind
Mr. Montenero--the light now falling on the picture, I saw it for the
first time, and the sight struck me with such associated feelings of
horror, that I started back, exclaiming, with vehement gestures, "I
cannot bear it! I cannot bear that picture!"

Mr. Montenero turned, and looked at me with surprise.

"I beg pardon, sir," said I; "but it made me absolutely--"

"Sick," said Mr. Montenero, opening the window, as I leaned back against
the wall, and the eyes of all present were fixed upon me. Ashamed of the
exaggerated expression of my feelings, I stood abashed. Mr. Montenero,
with the greatest kindness of manner, and with friendly presence of
mind, said he remembered well having felt actually sick at the sight of
certain pictures. "For instance, my lord," said he, addressing
himself to Lord Mowbray, "the famous picture of the flaying the unjust
magistrate I never could look at steadily."

I recovered myself--and squeezing Mr. Montenero's hand to express my
sense of his kind politeness, I exerted myself to talk and to look at
the picture. Afraid of Mowbray's ridicule, I never once turned my
eyes towards him--I fancied that he was laughing behind me: I did
him injustice; he was not laughing--he looked seriously concerned. He
whispered to me, "Forgive me, my dear Harrington--I aimed at _mamma_--I
did not mean to hurt you."

Before we quitted the subject, I expressed to Mr. Montenero my surprise
at his having purchased, at an extraordinary price, a picture apparently
of so little merit, and on such a disgusting subject.

"Abuse the subject as much as you please," interrupted Mowbray; "but as
to the merit of the painting, have the grace, Harrington, to consider,
that Mr. Montenero must be a better judge than you or I."

"You are too good a judge yourself, my lord," replied Mr. Montenero,
in a reserved tone, "not to see this picture to be what it really is,
a very poor performance." Then turning to me in a cordial manner, "Be
assured, Mr. Harrington, that I am at least as clear-sighted, in every
point of view, as you can possibly be, to its demerits."

"Then why did you purchase it?" was the question, which involuntarily
recurred to Mowbray and to me; but we were both silent, and stood with
our eyes fixed upon the picture.

"Gentlemen, if you will do me the honour to dine with me to-morrow,"
said Mr. Montenero, "you shall know the purpose for which I bought this
picture."

We accepted the invitation; Mowbray waited for to-morrow with all
the eagerness of curiosity, and I with the eagerness of a still more
impatient passion.

I pass over my mother's remonstrances against my _dining at the
Monteneros';_ remonstrances, strengthened as they were in vehemence,
if not in reason, by all the accession of force gathered from the
representations and insinuations of Mrs. Coates.

The next day came. "Now we shall hear about the dentition of the Jew,"
said Mowbray, as we got to Mr. Montenero's door.

And now we shall see Berenice! thought I.

We found a very agreeable company assembled, mixed of English and
foreigners. There was the Spanish ambassador and the Russian envoy--who,
by-the-by, spoke English better than any foreigner I ever heard; a
Polish Count, perfectly well bred, and his lady, a beautiful woman, with
whom Mowbray of course was half in love before dinner was over. The only
English present were General and Lady Emily B----. We soon learned, by
the course of the conversation, that Mr. Montenero stood high in the
estimation of every individual in the company, all of whom had known him
intimately at different times of his life, and in different countries.
The general had served in America during the beginning of the war; he
had been wounded there, and in great difficulties and distress. He and
his lady, under very trying circumstances, had been treated in the most
kind and hospitable manner by Mr. Montenero and his family. With that
true English warmth of gratitude, which contrasts so strongly and
agreeably with the natural reserve of English manner and habits, the
general and his wife, Lady Emily, expressed their joy at having Mr.
Montenero in England, in London, among their own friends.

"My dear, Mr. Montenero must let us introduce him to your brother
and our other friends--how delighted they will be to see him! And
Berenice!--she was such a little creature, General, at the time you saw
her last!--but such a kind, sweet, little creature!--You remember her
scraping the lint!"

"Remember it! certainly."

They spoke of her, and looked at her, as if she was their own child; and
for my part, I could have embraced both the old general and his wife.
I only wished that my mother had been present to receive an antidote to
Mrs. Coates.

"Oh! please Heaven, we will make London--we'll make England agreeable
to you--two years! no; that won't do--we will keep you with us for
ever--you shall never go back to America."

Then, in a low voice, to Mr. Montenero, the general added, "Do you think
we have not an Englishman good enough for her?"

I felt the blood rush into my face, and dreaded that every eye must see
it. When I had the courage to raise my head and to look round, I saw
that I was perfectly safe, and that no creature was thinking about me,
not even Mowbray, who was gallanting the Polish lady. I ventured then
to look towards Berenice; but all was tranquil there--she had not, I
was sure, heard the whisper. Mr. Montenero had his eye upon her; the
father's eye and mine met--and such a penetrating, yet such a benevolent
eye! I endeavoured to listen with composure to whatever was going on.
The general was talking of his brother-in-law, Lord Charles; a panic
seized me, and a mortal curiosity to know what sort of a man the
brother-in-law might be. I was not relieved till the dessert came on
the table, when, apropos to something a Swedish gentleman said about
Linnaeus, strawberries, and the gout, it appeared, to my unspeakable
satisfaction, that Lord Charles had the gout at this instant, and had
been subject to it during the last nine years. I had been so completely
engrossed by my own feelings and imaginations, that I had never once
thought of that which had previously excited our curiosity--the picture,
till, as we were going into another room to drink coffee, Mowbray said
to me, "We hear nothing of the dentition of the Jew: I can't put him in
mind of it."

"Certainly not," said I. "There is a harp; I hope Miss Montenero will
play on it," added I.

After coffee we had some good music, in different styles, so as to
please, and interest, and join in one common sympathy, all the company,
many of whom had never before heard each other's national music.
Berenice was asked to play some Hebrew music, the good general reminding
her that he knew she had a charming ear and a charming voice when she
was a child. She had not, however, been used to sing or play before
numbers, and she resisted the complimentary entreaties; but when the
company were all gone, except the general and his lady, Mowbray and
myself, her father requested that Berenice would try one song, and
that she would play one air on the harp to oblige her old friends: she
immediately complied, with a graceful unaffected modesty that
interested every heart in her favour--I can answer for my own; though no
connoisseur, I was enthusiastically fond of good music. Miss Montenero's
voice was exquisite: both the poetry and the music were sublime and
touching. No compliments were paid; but when she ceased, all were
silent, in hopes that the harp would be touched again by the same hand.
At this moment, Mr. Montenero, turning to Lord Mowbray and to me, said,
"Gentlemen, I recollect my promise to you, and will perform it--I will
now explain why I bought that painting which you saw me yesterday so
anxious to obtain."

He rang the bell, and desired a servant to bring in the picture which
he had purchased at the auction, and to desire Jacob to come with it. As
soon as it was brought in, I retired to the farther end of the room.
In Mowbray's countenance there was a strange mixture of contempt and
curiosity.

Mr. Montenero kindly said to me, "I shall not insist, Mr. Harrington, on
your looking at it; I know it is not to your taste."

I immediately approached, resolved to stand the sight, that I might not
be suspected of affectation.

Berenice had not yet seen the painting: she shrunk back the moment
she beheld it, exclaiming, "Oh, father! Why purchase such a horrible
picture?"

"To destroy it," said Mr. Montenero. And deliberately he took the
picture out of its frame and cut it to pieces, repeating, "To destroy
it, my dear, as I would, were it in my power, every record of cruelty
and intolerance. So perish all that can keep alive feelings of hatred
and vengeance between Jews and Christians!"

"Amen," said the good old general, and all present joined in that
_amen_. I heard it pronounced by Miss Montenero in a very low voice, but
distinctly and fervently.

While I stood with my eyes fixed on Berenice, and while Mowbray loudly
applauded her father's liberality, Mr. Montenero turned to Jacob and
said, "I sent for my friend Jacob to be present at the burning of this
picture, because it was he who put it in my power to prevent this horrid
representation from being seen and sold in every print-shop in London.
Jacob, who goes every where, and _sees_ wherever he goes, observed
this picture at a broker's shop, and found that two persons had been in
treaty for it. One of them had the appearance of an amateur, the other
was an artist, an engraver. The engraver was, I suppose, the person who
bid against Colonel Topham and me; who the other gentleman was, and why
he bought in to sell it again at that auction, perhaps Jacob knows, but
I have never inquired."

Then, with Jacob's assistance, Mr. Montenero burned every shred of this
abominable picture, to my inexpressible satisfaction.

During this _auto-da-fè_, Jacob cast a glance at Mowbray, the meaning
of which I could not at first comprehend; but I supposed that he was
thinking of the fire, at which all he had in the world had been consumed
at Gibraltar. I saw, or thought I saw, that Jacob checked the feeling
this recollection excited. He turned to me, and in a low voice told me,
that Mr. Montenero had been so kind as to obtain for him a lucrative and
creditable situation in the house of Manessa, the jeweller; and the next
day he was to go to Mr. Manessa's, and to commence business.

"So, Mr. Harrington, you see that after all my misfortunes, I am now
established in a manner far above what could have been expected for poor
Jacob--far above his most sanguine hopes. Thanks to my good friends."

"And to your good self," said I.

I was much pleased with Mowbray at this instant, for the manner in which
he joined in my praise of Jacob, and in congratulations to him. His
lordship promised that he would recommend his house to all his family
and friends.

"What a contrast," said Mowbray, as soon as Jacob had left the room,
"there is between Jacob and his old rival, Dutton! That fellow has
turned out very ill--drunken, idle dog--is reduced to an old-iron
shop, I believe--always plaguing me with begging letters. Certainly,
Harrington, you may triumph in your election of Jacob."

I never saw Berenice and her father look so much pleased with Mowbray as
they did at this instant.

Of the remainder of the evening I recollect nothing but Berenice, and of
my staying later than I ought to have done. Even after the general
and his wife had departed some time, I lingered. I was to go home in
Mowbray's carriage, and twice he had touched my shoulder, telling me
that I was not aware how late it was. I could not conceive how he could
think of going so early.

"Early!" He directed my eye to the clock on the chimneypiece. I was
ashamed to see the hour. I apologized to Mr. Montenero. He replied in a
manner that was more than polite--that was quite affectionate; and his
last words, repeated at the head of the stairs, expressed a desire to
see me again _frequently_.

I sprang into Mowbray's carriage one of the happiest men on earth, full
of love, hope, and joy.



CHAPTER XII.

"All gone to bed but you?" said I to the footman, who opened the door.

"No, sir," said the drowsy fellow, "my lady is sitting up for you, I
believe."

"Then, Mowbray, come in--come up with me to my mother, pray do, for one
instant."

Before she slept, I said, he must administer an antidote to Coates's
poison. While the impression was still fresh in his mind, I entreated
he would say what a delightful party we had had. My mother, I knew,
had such a high idea of his lordship's judgment in all that concerned
gentility and fashion, that a word from him would be decisive. "But let
it be to-morrow morning," said Mowbray; "'tis shamefully late to-night."

"To-night--to-night--now, now," persisted I. He complied: "Any thing to
oblige you."

"Remember," said I, as we ran up stairs, "Spanish ambassador, Russian
envoy, Polish Count and Countess, and an English general and his
lady--strong in rank we'll burst upon the enemy." I flung open the door,
but my spirits were suddenly checked; I saw it was no time for jest and
merriment.

Dead silence--solemn stillness--candles with unsnuffed wicks of
portentous length. My father and mother were sitting with their backs
half turned to each other, my mother leaning her head on her hand, with
her elbow on the table, her salts before her. My father sitting in his
arm-chair, legs stretched out, feet upon the bars of the grate, back
towards us--but that back spoke anger as plainly as a back could speak.
Neither figure moved when we entered. I stood appalled; Mowbray went
forward, though I caught his arm to pull him back. But he did not
understand me, and with ill-timed gaiety and fluency, that I would have
given the world to stop, he poured forth to my mother in praise of all
we had seen and heard; and then turning to my father, who slowly rose,
shading his eyes from the candle, and looking at me under the hand,
Lord Mowbray went on with a rapturous eulogium upon Harrington's Jew and
Jewess.

"Then it is all true," said my father. "It is all very well,
Harrington--but take notice, and I give you notice in time, in form,
before your friend and counsellor, Lord Mowbray, that by Jupiter--by
Jupiter Ammon, I will never leave one shilling to my son, if he marry
a Jewess! Every inch of my estate shall go from him to his cousin
Longshanks in the North, though I hate him like sin. But a Jewess for my
daughter-in-law I will never have--by Jupiter Ammon!"

So snatching up a bougie, the wick of which scattered fire behind him,
he left the room.

"Good Heavens! what have I done?" cried Mowbray.

"What you can never undo," said I.

My mother spoke not one word, but sat smelling her salts.

"Never fear, man," whispered Mowbray; "he will sleep it off, or by
to-morrow we shall find ways and means."

He left me in despair. I heard his carriage roll away--and then
there was silence again. I stood waiting for some explanation from my
mother--she saw my despair--she dreaded my anger: in broken and scarcely
intelligible, contradictory phrases, she declared her innocence of all
intention to do me mischief, and acknowledged that all was her doing;
but reminded me, that she had prophesied it would come to this--it would
end ill--and at last, trembling with impatience as I stood, she told me
all that had happened.

The fact was, that she had talked to her friend Lady de Brantefield, and
some other of her dear friends, of her dread that I should fall in love
with Miss Montenero; and the next person said I had fallen in love with
her; and under the seal of secresy,--it was told that I had actually
proposed for her, but that my father was to know nothing of the
matter. This story had been written in some young lady's letter to her
correspondent in the country, and miss in the country had told it to her
brother, who had come to town this day, dined in company with my father,
got drunk, and had given a bumper toast to "Miss Montenero, the Jewish
heiress--_Mrs. Harrington, jun. that is to be!_"

My father had come home foaming with rage; my mother had done all she
could to appease him, and to make him comprehend that above half what
he had heard was false; but it had gone the wrong way into his head, and
there was no getting it out again. My father had heard it at the most
unlucky time possible, just after he had lost a good place, and was
driven to the necessity of selling an estate that had been in his family
since the time of Richard the Second. My mother farther informed me,
that my father had given orders, in his usual sudden way when angry, for
going into the country immediately. While she was yet speaking, the door
opened, and my father, with his nightcap on, put his head in, saying,
"Remember, ma'am, you are to be off at seven to-morrow--and you sir,"
continued he, advancing towards me, "if you have one grain of sense
left, I recommend it to you to come with us. But no, I see it written
in your absurd face, that you will not--obstinate madman! I leave you
to your own discretion," cried he, turning his back upon me; "but, by
Jupiter Ammon, I'll do what I say, by Jupiter!" And carrying my mother
off with him, he left me to my pleasing reflections.

All was tumult in my mind: one moment I stood motionless in utter
despair, the next struck with some bright hope. I walked up and down the
room with hasty strides--then stopped short again, and stood fixed,
as some dark reality, some sense of improbability--of impossibility,
crossed my mind, and as my father's denunciation recurred to my ear.

A Jewess!--her religion--her principles--my principles!--And can a
Jewess marry a Christian? And should a Christian marry a Jewess? The
horrors of family quarrels, of religious dissensions and disputes
between father and child, husband and wife--All these questions, and
fears, and doubts, passed through my imagination backwards and forwards
with inconceivable rapidity--struck me with all the amazement of
novelty, though in fact they were not new to me. The first moment I saw
her, I was told she was a Jewess; I was aware of the difficulties, and
yet I had never fixed my view upon them: I had suffered myself to waive
the consideration of them till this moment. In the hope, the joy, the
heaven of the first feelings of the passion of love, I had lost sight of
all difficulties, human or divine; and now I was called upon to decide
in one hour upon questions involving the happiness of my whole life. To
be called upon before it was necessary too--for I was not in love, not
I--at least I had formed no idea of marrying, no resolution to propose.
Then bitterly I execrated the reporters, and the gossipers, and the
letter-writing misses, whose tattling, and meddling, and idleness, and
exaggeration, and absolute falsehood, had precipitated me into this
misery. The drunken brute, too, who had blundered out to my father that
fatal toast, had his full share of my indignation; and my mother, with
her _presentiments_--and Mowbray, with his inconceivable imprudence--and
my father, with his prejudices, his violence, and his Jupiter
Ammon--every body, and every thing I blamed, except myself. And when I
had vented my rage, still the question recurred, what was to be done?
how should I resolve? Morning was come, the grey light was peeping
through the shutters: I opened the window to feel the fresh calm air.
I heard the people beginning to stir in the house: my father and mother
were to be called at half after six. Six struck; I must decide at least,
whether I would go with them or not. No chance of my father sleeping it
off! Obstinate beyond conception; and by Jupiter Ammon once sworn, never
revoked. But after all, where was the great evil of being disinherited?
The loss of my paternal estate, in this moment of enthusiasm, appeared a
loss I could easily endure. Berenice was an heiress--a rich heiress, and
I had a small estate of my own, left to me by my grandfather. I could
live with Berenice upon any thing--upon nothing. Her wishes were
moderate, I was sure--I should not, however, reduce her to poverty; no,
her fortune would be sufficient for us both. It would be mortifying
to my pride--it would be painful to receive instead of to give--I had
resolved never to be under such an obligation to a wife; but with such
a woman as Berenice!--I would submit--submit to accept her and her
fortune.

Then, as to her being a Jewess--who knows what changes love might
produce? Voltaire and Mowbray say, "qu'une femme est toujours de la
religion de son amant."

At this instant I heard a heavy foot coming down the back stairs; the
door opened, and a yawning housemaid appeared, and started at the sight
of me.

"Gracious! I didn't think it was so late! Mistress bid me ask the first
thing I did--but I didn't know it was so late--Mercy! there's master's
bell--whether you go or not, sir?"

"Certainly not," said I; and after having uttered this determination, I
was more at ease. I sat down, and wrote a note to my father, in the most
respectful and eloquent terms I could devise, judging that it was better
to write than to speak to him on the subject. Then I vacated the room
for the housemaid, and watched in my own apartment till all the noises
of preparation and of departure were over; and till I heard the sound of
the carriage driving away. I was surprised that my mother had not come
to me to endeavour to persuade me to change my determination; but my
father, I heard, had hurried her into the carriage--my note I found on
the table torn down the middle.

I concluded that my cousin Longshanks was in a fair way to have the
estate; but I went to bed and to sleep, and I was consoled with dreams
of Berenice.

Mowbray was with me in the morning before I was dressed. I had felt so
angry with him, that I had resolved a hundred times during the night
that I would never more admit him into my confidence--however, he
contrived to prevent my reproaches, and dispel my anger, by the great
concern he expressed for his precipitation. He blamed himself so much,
that, instead of accusing, I began to comfort him. I assured him that
he had, in fact, done me a service instead of an injury, by bringing my
affairs suddenly to a crisis: I had thus been forced to come at once
to a decision. "What decision?" he eagerly asked. My heart was at this
instant in such immediate want of sympathy, that it opened to him.
I told him all that had passed between my father and me, told him my
father's vow, and my resolution to continue, at all hazards, my pursuit
of Berenice. He heard me with astonishment: he said he could not tell
which was most rash, my father's vow, or my resolution.

"And your father is gone, actually gone," cried Mowbray; "and, in spite
of his Jupiter Ammon, you stand resolved to brave your fate, and to
pursue the fair Jewess?"

"Even so," said I: "this day I will know my fate--this day I will
propose for Miss Montenero."

Against this mad precipitation he argued in the most earnest manner.

"If you were the first duke in England, Harrington," said he, "with the
finest estate, undipped, unencumbered, unentailed; if, consequently,
you had nothing to do but to ask and have any woman for a wife; still
I should advise you, if you meant to secure the lady's heart as well as
her hand, not to begin in this novice-like manner, by letting her see
her power over you: neither woman nor man ever valued an easy conquest.
No, trust me, keep your mind to yourself till the lady is dying to know
it--keep your own counsel till the lady can no longer keep hers: when
you are sure of her not being able to refuse you, then ask for her heart
as humbly as you please."

To the whole of this doctrine I could not, in honour, generosity, or
delicacy accede. Of the wisdom of avoiding the danger of a refusal I was
perfectly sensible; but, in declaring my attachment to Miss Montenero, I
meant only to ask permission to address her. To win her heart I was
well aware must be a work of time; but the first step was to deserve her
esteem, and to begin by conducting myself towards her, and her father,
with perfect sincerity and openness. The more I was convinced of my
father's inflexibility, the more desperate I knew my circumstances were,
the more I was bound not to mislead by false appearances. They would
naturally suppose that I should inherit my father's fortune--I knew that
I should not, if--

"So, then," interrupted Mowbray, "with your perfect openness and
sincerity, you will go to Mr. Montenero, and you will say, 'Sir, that
you are a Jew, I know; that you are as rich as a Jew, I hope; that
you are a fool, I take for granted: at all events, I am a madman and
a beggar, or about to be a beggar. My father, who is a good and a most
obstinate Christian, swore last night by Jupiter Ammon, the only oath
which he never breaks, that he will disinherit me if I marry a Jewess:
therefore, I come this morning to ask you, sir, for your daughter, who
is a Jewess, and as I am told, a great heiress--which last circumstance
is, in my opinion, a great objection, but I shall overcome it in favour
of your daughter, if you will be pleased to give her to me. Stay, sir, I
beg your pardon, sir, excuse the hurry of the passions, which, probably,
you have long since forgotten; the fact is, I do not mean to ask you
for your daughter,--I came simply to ask your permission to fall in love
with her, which I have already done without your permission; and I trust
she has, on her part, done likewise; for if I had not a shrewd suspicion
that your Jessica was ready, according to the custom of Jews' daughters,
to jump out of a two-pair of stairs window into her lover's arms, madman
as I am, I could not be such an idiot as to present myself before you,
as I now do, sir, suing _in forma pauperis_ for the pleasure of becoming
your son-in-law. I must further have the honour to tell you, and with
perfect sincerity and consideration let me inform you, sir, that my
Christian father and mother having resolved never to admit a Jewish
daughter-in-law to the honours of the maternal or paternal embrace, when
your daughter shall do me the favour to become my wife, she need not
quit your house or family, as she cannot be received into mine. Here,
sir, I will rest my cause; but I might farther plead--'"

"Plead no more for or against me, Mowbray," interrupted I, angrily
turning from him, for I could bear it no longer. Enthusiasm detests
wit much, and humour more. Enthusiasm, fancying itself raised above the
reach of ridicule, is always incensed when it feels that it is not safe
from its shafts.

Mowbray changed his tone, and checking his laughter, said seriously, and
with an air of affectionate sympathy, that, at the hazard of displeasing
me, he had used the only means he had conceived to be effectual to
prevent me from taking a step which he was convinced would be fatal.

I thanked him for his advice, but I had previously been too much piqued
by his raillery to allow his reasons even their due weight: besides, I
began to have a secret doubt of the sincerity of his friendship. In his
turn, he was provoked by my inflexible adherence to my own opinion; and
perhaps, suspecting my suspicion, he was the more readily displeased.
He spoke with confidence, I thought with arrogance, as a man notoriously
successful in the annals of gallantry, treating me, as I could not bear
to be treated, like a novice.

"I flatter myself, no man is less a coxcomb with regard to women than
I am," Lord Mowbray modestly began; "but if I were inclined to boast,
I believe it is pretty generally allowed in town, by all who know any
thing of these things, that my practice in gallantry has been somewhat
successful--perhaps undeservedly so; still, in these cases, the world
judges by success: I may, therefore, be permitted to think that I know
something of women. My advice consequently, I thought, might be of use;
but, after all, perhaps I am wrong: often those who imagine that they
know women best, know them least."

I replied that I did not presume to vie with Lord Mowbray as a man of
gallantry; but I should conceive that the same precepts, and the same
arts, which ensured success with women of a _certain class_, might
utterly fail with women of different habits and tastes. If the question
were how to win such and such an actress (naming one who had sacrificed
her reputation for Mowbray, and another, for whom he was sacrificing
his fortune), I should, I said, implicitly follow his advice; but that,
novice as I was in gallantry, I should venture to follow my own judgment
as to the mode of pleasing such a woman as Miss Montenero.

"None but a novice," Mowbray answered, laughing, "could think that there
was any essential difference between woman and woman." Every woman was
at heart the same. Of this he was so much convinced, that though he
had not, he said, any absurd confidence in his own peculiar powers of
pleasing, he was persuaded, that if honour had not put the trial quite
out of the question on his part, he could as easily have won the fair
Jewess as any other of her sex.

My indignation rose.

"Honour and friendship to me, my lord, are out of the question: forgive
me, if I own that I do not think your lordship would there have any
chance of success."

"At all events you know you are safe; I cannot make the trial without
your permission." "Your lordship is perfectly at liberty, if you think
proper, to make the trial."

"Indeed!--Are you in earnest?--Now you have put it into my head, I will
think of it seriously."

Then in a careless, pick-tooth manner, he stood, as if for some moments
debating the matter with himself.

"I have no great taste for matrimony or for Jewesses, but a Jewish
heiress in the present state of my affairs--Harrington, you know the
pretty little gipsy--the actress who played Jessica that night, so
famous in your imagination, so fatal to us both--well, my little
Jessica has, since that time, played away at a rare rate with my ready
money--_dipped me_ confoundedly--'twould be poetic justice to make one
Jewess pay for another, if one could. Two hundred thousand pounds, Miss
Montenero is, I think they say. 'Pon my sincerity, 'tis a temptation!
Now it strikes me--if I am not bound in honour--"

I walked away in disgust, while Mowbray, in the same tone, continued,
"Let me see, now--suppose--only suppose--any thing may be by
supposition--suppose we were rivals. As rivals, things would be
wonderfully fair and even between us. You, Harrington, I grant, have the
advantage of first impressions--she has smiled upon you; while I, bound
in honour, stood by like a mummy--but unbound, set at liberty by express
permission--give me a fortnight's time, and if I don't make her blush,
my name's not Mowbray!--and no matter whom a woman smiles upon, the man
who makes her blush is the man. But seriously, Harrington, am I hurting
your feelings? If what is play to me is death to you, I have done. Bind
me over again to my good behaviour you may, by a single word. Instead
of defying me, only swear, or, stay--I won't put you to your oath--say
candidly, upon your honour, Lord Mowbray puts you in fear of your love."

"I neither defy you nor fear you, my lord!" said I, with a tone and
look which at any other time Lord Mowbray, who was prompt enough to
take offence, would have understood as it was meant. But he was now
determined not to be provoked by any thing I could say or look. Standing
still at ease, he continued, "Not fear me!--Not bind me in honour!--Then
I have nobody's feelings to consult but my own. So, as I was
considering, things are marvellously nicely balanced between us. In
point of fortune, both beggars--nearly; for though my father did not
disinherit me, I have disinherited myself. Then our precious mothers
will go mad on the spot, in white satin, if either of us marry a Jewess.
Well! that is even between us. Then religious scruples--you have some,
have not you?"

"I have, my lord."

"Dry enough--there I have the advantage--I have none. Mosque--high
church--low church--no church--don't let me shock you. I thought you
were for universal toleration; I am for liberty of conscience, in
marriage at least. You are very liberal, I know. You're in love, and
you'd marry even a Jewess, would not you, if you could not contrive to
convert her? I am not in love, but shall be soon, I feel; and when once
I am in love!--I turn idolater, plump. Now, an idolater's worse than a
Jew: so I should make it a point of conscience to turn Jew, to please
the fair Jewess, if requisite."

"My lord, this trifling I can bear no longer; I must beg seriously that
we may understand each other."

"Trifling!--Never was more serious in my life. I'd turn Jew--I'd turn
any thing, for a woman I loved."

"Have you, or have you not, my lord, any intention of addressing Miss
Montenero?"

"Since I have your permission--since you have put it in my head--since
you have piqued me--frankly--yes."

"I thank you for your frankness, my lord; I understand you. Now we
understand each other," said I.

"Why, yes--and 'tis time we should," said Mowbray, coolly, "knowing one
another, as we have done, even from our boyish days. You may remember, I
never could bear to be piqued, _en honneur;_ especially by you, my dear
Harrington. It was written above, that we were to be rivals. But still,
if we could command our tempers--I was the hottest of the two, when we
were boys; but seeing something of the world, abroad and at home, has
done wonders for me. If you could coolly pursue this business as I
wish, in the comic rather than the heroic style, we might still, though
rivals, be friends--very good friends."

"No, my lord, no: here all friendship between us ends." "Be it so," said
Lord Mowbray: "then sworn foes instead of sworn friends--and open war is
the word!"

"Open war!--yes--better than hollow peace."

"Then a truce for to-day; to-morrow, with your good leave, I enter the
lists."

"When you please, my lord."

"Fearful odds, I own. The first flourish of trumpets, by that trumpeter
of yours, Jacob, has been in favour of the champion of the Jew pedlars;
and the lady with bright Jewish eyes has bowed to her knight, and he has
walked the field triumphantly alone; but Mowbray--Lord Mowbray appears!
Farewell, Harrington!"

He bowed, laughing, and left me. 'Twas well he did; I could not have
borne it another second, and I could not insult the man in my own
house--anger, disdainful anger, possessed me. My heart had, in the
course of a few hours, been successively a prey to many violent
conflicting passions; and at the moment when I most wanted the support,
the sympathy of a friend, I found myself duped, deserted, ridiculed! I
felt alone in the world, and completely miserable.

A truce for this day was agreed upon. I had a few hours' time for
reflection--much wanted. During this interval, which appeared to me a
most painful suspense, I had leisure to reconsider my difficulties.
Now that I was left to my own will entirely, should I decide to make an
immediate declaration? As I revolved this question in my thoughts, my
mind altered with every changing view which the hopes and fears of a
lover threw upon the subject. I was not perfectly well informed as
to the material point, whether the Jewish religion and Jewish customs
permitted intermarriages with Christians. Mowbray's levity had suggested
alarming doubts: perhaps he had purposely thrown them out; be that as
it would, I must be satisfied. I made general inquiries as to the Jewish
customs from Jacob, and he, careful to answer with propriety, kept also
to general terms, lest he should appear to understand my particular
views: he could tell me only, that in some cases, more frequently on the
continent and in America than in England, Jews have married Christian
women, and the wives have continued undisturbed in their faith; whether
such marriages were regularly permitted or not, Jacob could not say--no
precedent that he could recollect was exactly a case in point. This
difficulty concerning religion increased, instead of diminishing, in
magnitude and importance, the more my imagination dwelt upon it--the
longer it was considered by my reason: I must take more time before I
could determine. Besides, I was _curious_--I would not allow that I was
_anxious_--to see how Miss Montenero would conduct herself towards
Lord Mowbray--a man of rank--a man of fashion--supposed to be a man
of fortune--known to be a man of wit and gallantry: I should have an
opportunity, such as I had never before had, of seeing her tried; and I
should be able to determine whether I had really obtained any interest
in her heart. On this last point particularly, I could now, without
hazard of a mortifying refusal, or of a precipitate engagement, decide.
Add to these distinct reasons, many mixed motives, which acted upon me
without my defining or allowing them in words. I had spoken and thought
with contempt of Lord Mowbray's chance of success; but in spite of my
pride in my own superiority of principle and character, in spite of
my confidence in Berenice and in myself, I had my secret, very secret,
quailings of the heart. I thought, when it came to the point, that
it would be best to wait a little longer, before I hazarded that
declaration which must bring her to direct acceptance or rejection; in
short, I determined not to throw myself at her feet precipitately. I
took Mowbray's advice after all; but I took it when I had made it my own
opinion: and still I rejoiced that my resistance to the arrogant manner
in which Lord Mowbray had laid down the law of gallantry, had produced
that struggle of the passions, in the height of which his mask had
fallen off. I never could decide whether the thought of becoming my
rival really struck him, as he said it did, from the pique of the
moment; or whether he only seized the occasion to declare a design he
had previously formed: no matter--we were now declared rivals.



CHAPTER XIII.

After our declaration of hostilities, Lord Mowbray and I first met on
neutral ground at the Opera--Miss Montenero was there. We were both
eager to mark our pretensions to her publicly. I appeared this night to
great disadvantage: I certainly did not conduct myself prudently--I
lost the command of my temper. Lord Mowbray met me with the same
self-possession, the same gay, careless manner which had provoked me so
much during our last interview. To the by-standers, who knew nothing of
what had passed between us, his lordship must have appeared the pink of
courtesy, the perfection of gentlemanlike ease and good-humour; whilst
I, unable to suppress symptoms of indignation, of contempt, and perhaps
of jealousy, appeared, in striking contrast, captious, haughty, and at
best incomprehensible. Mr. Montenero looked at me with much surprise,
and some concern. In Miss Montenero's countenance I thought I saw more
concern than surprise; she was alarmed--she grew pale, and I repented of
some haughty answer I had made to Lord Mowbray, in maintaining a place
next to her, which he politely ceded to my impetuosity: he seated
himself on the other side of her, in a place which, if I had not been
blinded by passion, I might have seen and taken as quietly as he did. I
was more and more vexed by perceiving that Mr. Montenero appeared to be,
with all his penetration, duped this night by Mowbray's show of kindness
towards me; he whispered once or twice to Mr. Montenero, and they seemed
as if they were acting in concert, both observing that I was out of
temper, and Lord Mowbray showing Mr. Montenero how he bore with me. In
fact, I desired nothing so much as an opportunity of quarrelling with
him, and he, though determined to put me ostensibly and flagrantly in
the wrong, desired nothing better than to commence his operation by
the eclat of a duel. If Miss Montenero had understood her business as a
heroine, a duel, as every body expected, must have taken place between
us, in consequence of the happy dispositions in which we both were this
night: nothing but the presence of mind and unexpected determination
of Miss Montenero could have prevented it. I sat regretting that I
had given a moment's pain or alarm to her timid sensibility, while I
observed the paleness of her cheek, and a tremor in her under lip, which
betrayed how much she had been agitated. Some talking lady of the party
began to give an account, soon afterwards, of a duel in high life,
which was then the conversation of the day: Lord Mowbray and I were
both attentive, and so was Miss Montenero. When she observed that our
attention was fixed, and when there was a pause in the conversation
in which her low voice could be distinctly heard, she, conquering her
extreme timidity, and with a calmness that astonished us all, said, that
she did not pretend to be a judge of what gentlemen might think right
or wrong about duels, but that for her own part she had formed a
resolution--an unalterable resolution, never to marry a man who had
fought a duel in which he had been the challenger. Her father, who
was behind her, leaned forward, and asked what his daughter said--she
deliberately repeated her words.

That instant I recovered perfect command of temper--I resolved that at
all events I never would be the person to give the challenge, and Lord
Mowbray, at the same instant, I believe, resolved that I should, if he
could so manage it without appearing to be the aggressor. We were both
of us firmly convinced that Miss Montenero was in earnest; the manner
in which she spoke, and the strong evidence of her power over herself at
this moment, impressed us completely with this conviction. A young lady,
a stranger in London, averse from appearing, infinitely more averse
from speaking before numbers, who, when all eyes, and some of them no
friendly eyes, were fixed upon her, could so far conquer her excessive
susceptibility to the opinion of others, as to pronounce, in such
circumstances, such a new and extraordinary determination, was certainly
to be deemed capable of abiding by her resolution. She was much blamed,
I heard afterwards, for the resolution, and more for the declaration. It
was said to be "quite unfit for a lady, and particularly for so young a
lady. Till swords were actually drawn, she should never have thought
of such a thing: then, to presume that she or her fortune were of such
consequence, that her declaration could influence gentlemen--could have
any effect on Lord Mowbray! He did her a vast deal too much honour
in paying her any of those attentions which every body knew meant
nothing--a Jewess, too!"

Miss Montenero never afterwards spoke on the subject; the effect she
desired was produced, and no other power, I am persuaded, could have
been sufficient to have made me preserve command of myself, during my
daily, hourly trials of temper, in those contentions for her favour
which ensued. Lord Mowbray, by every secret art that could pique my
pride, my jealousy, or my love, endeavoured to provoke me to challenge
him. At first this struggle in my mind was violent--I had reason to fear
my rival's address, and practised powers of pleasing. He used his utmost
skill, and that skill was great. He began by exerting all his wit,
humour, and vivacity, to entertain in conversation; while I, with a
spell over my faculties, could not produce to advantage any one thing
I knew or had ever known. What became of my ideas I know not, but I
was sensible of my being very stupid and disagreeable. Aware of the
contrast, aware that Miss Montenero saw and felt it, I grew ten times
worse, more silent, and more stupid. Mowbray, happy and confident, went
on, secure of victory. He was an excellent actor, and he was now to act
falling in love, which he did by such fine degrees, and with a nicety
of art which so exquisitely imitated nature, that none but the most
suspicious or the most practised could have detected the counterfeit.
From being the most entertaining, lively man in London, Lord Mowbray
became serious, grave, and sentimental. From being a gallant, gay
Lothario, he was reformed, likely to make the best husband in the world,
provided he marry the woman he loves, and who has influence over him
sufficient to make his reformation last for life. This Lord Mowbray, in
every possible form of insinuation, gave Miss Montenero to understand
was precisely her case and his; she had first, he said, given him
a taste for refined female society, disgusted him with his former
associates, especially with the women of whom he could not now bear
to think; he had quarrelled with--parted with all his mistresses--his
Jessica, the best beloved--parted from irrevocably. This was dropped
with propriety in conversation with Mr. Montenero. The influence of a
virtuous attachment is well known. The effects on Lord Mowbray were,
as he protested, wonderful; he scarcely knew himself--indeed I scarcely
knew him, though I had been, as it were, behind the scenes, and had seen
him preparing for his character. Though he knew that I knew that he was
acting, yet this never disconcerted him in the slightest degree--never
gave him one twinge of conscience, or hesitation from shame, in my
presence. Whenever I attempted openly--I was too honourable, and he
knew I was too honourable, to betray his confidence, or to undermine him
secretly--whenever I attempted openly to expose him, he foiled me--his
cunning was triumphant, and the utmost I could accomplish was, in
the acme of my indignation, to keep my temper, and recollect Miss
Montenero's resolution.

Though she seemed not at first in the least to suspect Lord Mowbray's
sincerity, she was, as I rejoiced to perceive, little interested by his
professions: she was glad he was reformed, for his sake; but for her own
part, her vanity was not flattered. There seemed to be little chance
on this plea of persuading her to take charge of him for life. My heart
beat again with hope--how I admired her!--and I almost forgave Lord
Mowbray. My indignation against him, I must own, was not always as
steadily proportioned to his deserts as for the sake of my pride and
consistency I could wish to represent it. In recording this part of the
history of my life, truth obliges me to acknowledge that my anger rose
or fell in proportion to the degree of fear I felt of the possibility of
his success; whenever my hope and my confidence in myself increased, I
found it wonderfully easy to command my temper.

But my rival was a man of infinite resource; when one mode of attack
failed, he tried another. Vanity, in some form, he was from experience
convinced must be the ruling passion of the female heart--and vanity
is so accessible, so easily managed. Miss Montenero was a stranger, a
Jewess, just entering into the fashionable world--just doubting, as
he understood, whether she should make London her future residence, or
return to her retirement in the wilds of America. Lord Mowbray wished
to make her sensible that his public attentions would bring her at once
into fashion; and though his mother, the prejudiced Lady De Brantefield,
could not be prevailed upon to visit a Jewess, yet his lordship had a
vast number of high connexions and relations, to all of whom he
could introduce Mr. and Miss Montenero. Lady Anne Mowbray, indeed,
unaccountably persisted in saying every where, that she was certain
her brother had no more thought of the Jewess than of the queen of the
gipsies. Whenever she saw Miss Montenero in public, her ladyship had,
among her own set, a never-failing source of sarcasm and ridicule in
the Spanish fashion of Miss Montenero's dress, especially her long
veils--veils were not then in fashion, and Lady Anne of course
pronounced them to be hideous. It was at this time, in England,
the reign of high heads: a sort of triangular cushion or edifice of
horsehair, suppose nine inches diagonal, three inches thick, by seven
in height, called I believe a _toque_ or a _system_, was fastened on the
female head, I do not well know how, with black pins a quarter of a
yard long; and upon and over this _system_, the hair was erected, and
crisped, and frizzed, and thickened with soft pomatum, and filled with
powder, white, brown, or red, and made to look as like as possible to
a fleece of powdered wool, which _battened_ down on each side of the
triangle to the face. Then there were things called _curls_--nothing
like what the poets understand by curls or ringlets, but layers of hair,
first stiffened and then rolled up into hollow cylinders, resembling
sausages, which were set on each side of the system, "artillery tier
above tier," two or three of the sausages dangling from the ear down
the neck. The hair behind, natural and false, plastered together to
a preposterous bulk with quantum sufficit of powder and pomatum, was
turned up in a sort of great bag, or club, or _chignon_--then at the top
of the mount of hair and horsehair was laid a gauze platform, stuck full
of little red daisies, from the centre of which platform rose a plume
of feathers a full yard high--or in lieu of platform, flowers, and
feathers, there was sometimes a fly-cap, or a wing-cap, or a _pouf_. If
any one happens to have an old pocket-book for 1780, a single glance
at the plate of fashionable heads for that year will convey a more
competent idea of the same than I, unknowing in the terms of art, can
produce by the most elaborate description. Suffice it for me to observe,
that in comparison with this head-dress, to which, in my liberality and
respect for departed fashion, I forbear to fix any of the many epithets
which present themselves, the Spanish dress and veil worn by Miss
Montenero, associated as it was with painting and poetry, did certainly
appear to me more picturesque and graceful. In favour of the veil, I
had all the poets, from Homer and Hesiod downwards, on my side; and
moreover, I was backed by the opinion of the wisest of men, who has
pronounced that "_a veil addeth to beauty._" Armed with such authority,
and inspired by love, I battled stoutly with Lady Anne upon several
occasions, especially one night when we met at the Pantheon. I was
walking between Lady Emily B---- and Miss Montenero, and two or three
times, as we went round the room, we met Lady Anne Mowbray and her
party, and every time we passed, I observed scornful glances at the
veil. Berenice was too well-bred to suspect ill-breeding in others;
she never guessed what was going forward, till one of the youngest and
boldest of these high-born vulgarians spoke so loud as she passed, and
pronounced the name of _Montenero,_ and the word _Jewess,_ so plainly,
that both Miss Montenero and Lady Emily B---- could not avoid hearing
what was said. Lord Mowbray was not with us. I took an opportunity of
quitting the ladies as soon as general B----, who had left us for a few
minutes, returned. I went to pay my compliments to Lady Anne Mowbray,
and, as delicately as I could, remonstrated against their proceedings.
I said that her ladyship and her party were not aware, I was sure, how
loudly they had spoken. Lady Anne defended herself and her companions
by fresh attacks upon the veil, and upon the lady, "who had done vastly
well to take the veil." In the midst of the nonsense which Lady Anne
threw out, there now and then appeared something that was a little like
her brother Mowbray's wit--little bits of sparkling things, _mica,_
not ore. I was in no humour to admire them, and her ladyship took much
offence at a general observation I made, "that people of sense submit to
the reigning fashion, while others are governed by it." We parted this
night so much displeased with each other, that when we met again in
public, we merely exchanged bows and curtsies--in private we had seldom
met of late--I never went to Lady de Brantefield's. I was really glad
that the battle of the veil had ended in this cessation of intercourse
between us. As soon as Miss Montenero found that her Spanish dress
subjected her to the inconvenience of being remarked in public she laid
it aside. I thought she was right in so doing--and in three days' time,
though I had at first regretted the picturesque dress, I soon became
accustomed to the change. So easily does the eye adapt itself to the
fashion, so quickly do we combine the idea of grace and beauty with
whatever is worn by the graceful and the beautiful, and I may add, so
certainly do we learn to like whatever is associated with those we love.

The change of dress which Berenice had so prudently adopted, did not,
however, produce any change in the manners of Lady Anne and of her
party. Lady Anne, it was now evident, had taken an unalterable dislike
to Miss Montenero. I am not coxcomb enough to imagine that she was
jealous; I know that she never had the slightest regard for me, and
that I was not the sort of man whom she could like; but still I had been
counted, perhaps by others, in the list of her admirers, and I was a
young man, and an admirer the less was always to be regretted--deserting
to a _Jewess_, as she said, was intolerable. But I believe she was also
secretly afraid, that her brother was more in earnest in his attentions
to Miss Montenero, than she affected to suppose possible. From whatever
cause, she certainly hated Berenice cordially, and took every means of
mortifying me by the display of this aversion. I shall not be at the
trouble of recording the silly and petty means she took to vex. I was
not surprised at any thing of this sort from her ladyship; but I was
much surprised by her brother's continuing to be absolutely blind and
deaf to her proceedings. It is true, sometimes it happened that he was
not present, but this was not always the case; and I was convinced that
it could not be from accident or inadvertency, that it must be from
settled design, that he persisted in this blindness. Combining my
observations, I discovered that he wanted to make Miss Montenero
feel how impossible it was for her to escape the ridicule of certain
_fashionable impertinents_, and how impracticable it would be to
_get on_ among people of the ton in London, without the aid of such a
champion as himself. One day he suddenly appeared to discover something
of what was going forward, and assumed great indignation; then affecting
to suppress that feeling, "wished to Heaven he were _authorized_
to speak"--and there he paused--but no inclination to authorize him
appeared. I had sometimes seen Miss Montenero distressed by the rude
manner in which she had been stared at. I had seen her colour come and
go, but she usually preserved a dignified silence on such occasions.
Once, and but once, I heard her advert to the subject in speaking to
her father, when Lord Mowbray was not present. "You see, I hope, my
dear father," said she, "that I am curing myself of that _morbid
sensibility_, that excessive susceptibility to the opinion of others,
with which you used to reproach me. I have had some good lessons, and
you have had some good trials of me, since we came to England."

"How much I am obliged to those persons or those circumstances, which
have done what I thought was impossible, which have raised my daughter
in my opinion!" said her father. The look of affectionate approbation
with which these words were pronounced, and the grateful delight with
which Berenice heard them, convinced me that Lord Mowbray had completely
mistaken his ground--had mistaken strong sensibility for weakness of
mind. It now appeared, to my entire satisfaction, that Miss Montenero
was really and truly above the follies and the meanness of fashion.
She did not wish to be acquainted with these fine people, nor to make a
figure in public; but she did wish to see the best society in London,
in order to compare it with what she had been accustomed to in other
countries, and to determine what would be most for her future happiness.
Through the friendship of General B---- and his family, she had
sufficient opportunities of seeing in public, and enjoying in private,
the best society in London. Lord Mowbray, therefore, had no power over
her, as a leader of fashion; his general character for being a favourite
with the ladies, and his gallant style of conversation, did not make the
impression upon her that he had expected.

He did not know how to converse with one who could not be answered by
a play upon words, nor satisfied by an appeal to precedents, or the
authority of numbers and of high names.

Lord Chesterfield's style of conversation, and that of any of the
personages in Xenophon's Cyropaedia, could not be more different, or
less compatible, than the simplicity of Miss Montenero and the wit of
Lord Mowbray.

I never saw any one so puzzled and provoked as was this man of wit by a
character of genuine simplicity. He was as much out of his element with
such a character as any of the French lovers in Marmontel's Tales would
be tête-à-tête with a Roman or a Grecian matron--as much at a loss as
one of the fine gentlemen in Congreve's plays might find himself, if
condemned to hold parley with a heroine of Sophocles or of Euripides.

Lord Mowbray, a perfect Proteus when he wished to please, changed his
manner successively from that of the sentimental lover, to that of the
polite gallant and accomplished man of the world; and when this did
not succeed, he had recourse to philosophy, reason, and benevolence. No
hint, which cunning and address could improve to his purpose, was lost
upon Mowbray. Mrs. Coates had warned me that Miss Montenero was _touchy
on the Jewish chapter_, and his lordship was aware it was as the
champion of the Jews that I had first been favourably represented by
Jacob, and favourably received by Mr. Montenero. Soon Lord Mowbray
appeared to be deeply interested and deeply read in very thing that had
been written in their favour.

He rummaged over Tovey and Ockley; and "Priestley's Letters to the
Jews," and "The Letters of certain Jews to M. de Voltaire," were books
which he now continually quoted in conversation. With great address he
wondered that he had never happened to meet with them till lately; and
confessed that he believed he never should have thought of reading
them, but that really the subject had of late become so interesting! Of
Voltaire's illiberal attacks upon the Jews, and of the King of Prussia's
intolerance towards them, he could not express sufficient detestation;
nor could he ever adequately extol Cumberland's benevolent "Jew," or
Lessing's "Nathan the Wise." Quotations from one or the other were
continually in readiness, uttered with all the air of a man so deeply
impressed with certain sentiments, that they involuntarily burst from
him on every occasion. This I could also perceive to be an imitation of
what he had seen _suceed_ with me; and I was not a little flattered by
observing, that Berenice was unconsciously pleased, if not caught by the
counterfeit. The affectation was skilfully managed, with a dash of
his own manner, and through the whole preserving an air of nature
and consistency: so that he had all the appearance of a person whose
understanding, naturally liberal, had, on one particular subject, been
suddenly warmed and exalted by the passion of love. It has often been
said, that liars have need of good memories. Mowbray had really an
excellent memory, but yet it was not sufficient for all his occasions.
He contradicted himself sometimes without perceiving it, but not without
its being perceived. Intent upon one point, he laboured that admirably;
but he sometimes forgot that any thing could be seen beyond that
point--he forgot the bearings and connexions. He never forgot his
liberality about the Jews, and about every thing relative to Hebrew
ground; but on other questions, in which he thought Mr. Montenero and
his daughter had no concern, his party spirit and his want of toleration
for other sects broke out.

One day a Rabbi came to Mr. Montenero's while we were there, to solicit
his contribution towards the building or repairing a synagogue. The
priest was anxious to obtain leave to build on certain lands which
belonged to the crown. These lands were in the county where Lord
Mowbray's or Lady de Brantefield's property lay. With the most engaging
liberality of manner, Lord Mowbray anticipated the wishes of the Jewish
priest, declaring that he was happy on this occasion publicly and
practically to show his principles of toleration; he would immediately
use whatever influence he might possess with government to obtain the
desired grant; and if that application should fail, there was still a
resource in future. At present, unfortunately, his mother's opinions
differing from his own, nothing could be done; but he could, in future,
offer a site for a synagogue in the very part of the country that was
desired, on lands that must in time be his.

The priest was down to the ground, bowing, full of acknowledgments, and
admiration of his lordship's generosity and liberality of principle. A
few minutes afterwards, however, his lordship undid all he had done
with Berenice and with her father, by adding that he regretted that his
mother had given a lease of a bit of land to some confounded dissenters:
he was determined, he said, whenever the estate should come into his
own hands, to break that lease--he would have no meeting-house, no
dissenting chapel on his estate--he considered them as nuisances--he
would raze the chapel to the ground--he would much rather have a
synagogue on that spot.

Lord Mowbray walked to the window with the Jewish priest, who was eager
to press his own point while his lordship was in the humour.

Mowbray looked back for Mr. Montenero, but, to his evident
mortification, neither Mr. Montenero nor Berenice followed to this
consultation. Mr. Montenero turned to me, and, with a peculiar look of
his, an expression of grave humour and placid penetration, said, "Did
you ever hear, Mr. Harrington, of a sect of Jews called the Caraites?"

"Never, sir."

"The _Caraites_ are what we may call Jewish dissenters. Lord Mowbray's
notions of toleration remind me of the extraordinary liberality of one
of our Rabbies, who gave it as his opinion that if a _Caraites_ and a
Christian were drowning, we Jews ought to make a bridge of the body of
the Caraite, for the purpose of saving the Christian."

Berenice smiled; and I saw that my fears of her being duped by mock
philanthropy were vain. Lord Mowbray was soon tired of his colloquy with
the priest, and returned to us, talking of the Hebrew chanting at some
synagogue in town which he had lately visited; and which, he said, was
the finest thing he had ever heard. A Jewish festival was in a few days
to be celebrated, and I determined, I said, to go on that day to hear
the chanting, and to see the ceremony. In the countenance of Berenice,
to whom my eyes involuntarily turned as I spoke, I saw an indefinable
expression, on which I pondered, and finished by interpreting favourably
to my wishes. I settled that she was pleased, but afraid to show this
too distinctly. Lord Mowbray regretted, what I certainly did not in the
least regret, that he should be on duty at Windsor on the day of this
festival. I was the more determined to be at the synagogue, and there
accordingly I went punctually; but, to my disappointment, Berenice did
not appear. Mr. Montenero saw me come in, and made room for me near him.
The synagogue was a spacious, handsome building; not divided into
pews like our churches, but open, like foreign churches, to the whole
congregation. The women sat apart in a gallery. The altar was in the
centre, on a platform, raised several steps and railed round. Within
this railed space were the high-priest and his assistants. The
high-priest with his long beard and sacerdotal vestments, struck me as a
fine venerable figure. The service was in Hebrew: but I had a book
with a translation of it. All I recollect are the men and women's
thanksgivings.

"Blessed art thou, O Everlasting King! that thou hast not made me a
woman."

The woman's lowly response is, "Blessed art thou, O Lord! that thou hast
made me according to thy will."

But of the whole ceremony I must confess that I have but a very confused
recollection. Many things conspired to distract my attention. Whether
it was that my disappointment at not seeing Berenice indisposed me to be
pleased, or whether the chanting was not this day, or at this synagogue,
as fine as usual, it certainly did not answer my expectations. However
pleasing it might be to other ears, to mine it was discordant; and I was
afraid that Mr. Montenero should perceive this. I saw that he observed
me from time to time attentively, and I thought he wanted to discover
whether there was within me any remains of my old antipathies. Upon this
subject I knew he was peculiarly susceptible. Under this apprehension,
I did my utmost to suppress my feelings; and the constraint became
mentally and corporeally irksome. The ceremonials, which were quite new
to me, contributed at once to strain my attention, and to increase the
painful confusion of my mind. I felt relieved when the service was
over; but when I thought that it was finished, all stood still, as if
in expectation, and there was a dead silence. I saw two young children
appear from the crowd: way was made for them to the altar. They
walked slowly, hand in hand, and when they had ascended the steps,
and approached the altar, the priest threw over them a white scarf, or
vestment, and they kneeled, and raising their little hands, joined them
together, in the attitude of supplication. They prayed in silence. They
were orphans, praying for their father and mother, whom they had lately
lost. Mr. Montenero told me that it is the Jewish custom for orphans,
during a year after the death of their parents, to offer up at
the altar, on every public meeting of their synagogue, this solemn
commemoration of their loss. While the children were still kneeling, a
man walked silently round the synagogue, collecting contributions for
the orphans. I looked, and saw, as he came nearer to me, that this was
Jacob. Just as I had taken out my purse, I was struck by the sight of a
face and figure that had terrible power over my associations--a figure
exactly resembling one of the most horrible of the Jewish figures which
used to haunt me when I was a child. The face with _terrible eyes_
stood fixed opposite to me. I was so much surprised and startled by this
apparition, that a nervous tremor seized me in every limb. I let the
purse, which I had in my hand, fall upon the ground. Mr. Montenero took
it up again, and presented it to me, asking me, in a very kind voice,
"if I was ill." I recollected myself--when I looked again, the figure
had disappeared in the crowd. I had no reason to believe that Mr.
Montenero saw the cause of my disorder. He seemed to attribute it to
sudden illness, and hastened to get out of the synagogue into the fresh
air. His manner, on this occasion, was so kind towards me, and the
anxiety he showed about my health so affectionate, that all my fears of
his misinterpreting my feelings vanished; and to me the result of all
that had passed was a firmer conviction, than I had ever yet felt, of
his regard.

It was evident, I thought, that after all the disadvantages I had had
on some points, and after all the pains that Lord Mowbray had taken
to please, Mr. Montenero far preferred me, and was interested in the
highest degree about my health, and about every thing that concerned
me. Nevertheless, Lord Mowbray persevered in showing the most profound
respect for Mr. Montenero, by acting an increasing taste for his
conversation, deference for his talents, and affection for his virtues.
This certainly succeeded better with Berenice than any thing else his
lordship had tried; but when he found it please, he overdid it a little.
The exaggeration was immediately detected by Berenice: the heart easily
detects flattery. Once, when Lord Mowbray praised her father for some
accomplishment which he did not possess--for pronouncing and reading
English remarkably well--his daughter's glance at the flatterer
expressed indignation, suddenly extinguished by contempt. Detected and
baffled, he did not well know how, by a woman whom he considered as so
much his inferior in ability and address, Lord Mowbray found it often
difficult to conceal his real feelings of resentment, and then it was
that he began to hate her. I, who knew his countenance too well to
be deceived by his utmost command of face, saw the evil turn of the
eye--saw looks from time to time that absolutely alarmed me--looks of
hatred, malice, vengeance, suddenly changed to smiles, submission, and
softness of demeanour. Though extremely vain, and possessed with an
opinion that no woman could resist him, yet, with his understanding
and his experience in gallantry, I could not conceive it possible that,
after all the signs and tokens he had seen, he should persist in the
hope of succeeding; he was certainly aware that I was preferred. I knew
it to be natural that jealousy and anger should increase with fears and
doubts of success; and yet there was something incomprehensible in
the manner which, before Mr. Montenero, he now adopted towards me: he
appeared at once to yield the palm to me, and yet to be resolved not to
give up the contest; he seemed as if he was my rival against his will,
and my friend if I would but permit it; he refrained, with ostentatious
care, from giving me any provocation, checking himself often, and
drawing back with such expressions as these:--"If it were any other man
upon earth--but Mr. Harrington might say and do what he pleased--in any
other circumstances, he could not hazard contradicting or quarrelling
with _him_; indeed he could never forget--"

Then he would look at Berenice and at Mr. Montenero, and they would
look as if they particularly approved of his conduct. Berenice softened
towards him, and I trembled. As she softened towards him, I fancied she
became graver and more reserved towards me. I was more provoked by the
new tone of sentimental regret from Mowbray than I had been by any of
his other devices, because I thought I saw that it imposed more than any
thing else had done on Berenice and Mr. Montenero, and because I knew it
to be so utterly false.

Once, as we were going down stairs together, after I had disdainfully
expressed my contempt of hypocrisy, and my firm belief that my plain
truth would in the end prevail with Berenice against all his address,
he turned upon me in sudden anger, beyond his power to control, and
exclaimed, "Never!--She never shall be yours!"

It appeared as if he had some trick yet in store--some card concealed
in his hand, with which he was secure, at last, of winning the game. I
pondered, and calculated, but I could not make out what it could be.

One advantage, as he thought it, I was aware he had over me--he had no
religious scruples; he could therefore manage so as to appear to make
a great sacrifice to love, when, in fact, it would cost his conscience
nothing. One evening he began to talk of Sir Charles Grandison and
Clementina--he blamed Sir Charles Grandison; he declared, that for his
part _there was nothing he would not sacrifice to a woman he loved_.

I looked at Miss Montenero at that instant--our eyes met--she blushed
deeply--withdrew her eyes from me--and sighed. During the remainder of
the evening, she scarcely spoke to me, or looked toward me. She appeared
embarrassed; and, as I thought, displeased. Lord Mowbray was in high
spirits--he seemed resolved to advance--I retired earlier than usual.
Lord Mowbray stayed, and seized the moment to press his own suit. He
made his proposal--he offered to sacrifice religion--every thing to
love. He was refused irrevocably. I know nothing of the particulars, nor
should I have known the fact but for his own intemperance of resentment.
It was not only his vanity--his mortified, exasperated vanity--that
suffered by this refusal; it was not only on account of his rivalship
with me that he was vexed to the quick; his interest, as much as his
vanity, had suffered. I did not know till this night how completely
he was ruined. He had depended upon the fortune of the Jewess. What
resource for him now?--None. In this condition, like one of the Indian
gamblers, when they have lost all, and are ready _to run amuck_ on all
who may fall in their way, he this night, late, made his appearance at
a club where he expected to find me. Fortunately, I was not there; but a
gentleman who was, gave me an account of the scene. Disappointed at
not finding me, with whom he had determined to quarrel, he supped in
absolute silence--drank hasty and deep draughts of wine--then burst out
into abuse of Mr. and Miss Montenero, and challenged any body present
to defend them: he knew that several of their acquaintances were in
company; but all, seeing that from the combined effects of passion and
wine he was not in his senses, suffered him to exhale his fury without
interruption or contradiction. Then he suddenly demanded the reason of
this silence; and seemingly resolved to force some one into a quarrel,
[Footnote: Strange as it may appear, this representation is true.] he
began by the gentleman next to him, and said the most offensive and
provoking things he could think of to him--and to each in turn; but all
laughed, and told him they were determined not to quarrel with him--that
he must take four-and-twenty hours to cool before they would take
notice of any thing he should say. His creditors did not give him
four-and-twenty hours' time: a servant, before whom he had vented his
rage against the Jewess, comprehended that all his hopes of her were
over, and gave notice to the creditors, who kept him in their pay for
that purpose. Mowbray was obliged the next day to leave town, or to
conceal himself in London, to avoid an arrest. I heard no more of him
for some time--indeed I made no inquiries. I could have no farther
interest concerning a man who had conducted himself so ill. I only
rejoiced that he was now out of my way, and that he had by all his
treachery, and by all his artifices, given me an opportunity of seeing,
more fully tried, the excellent understanding and amiable disposition of
Berenice. My passion was now justified by my reason: my hopes were high,
not presumptuous--nothing but the difficulty about her religion stood
between me and happiness. I was persuaded that the change by which I had
been alarmed in Miss Montenero's manner towards me had arisen only
from doubts of my love, or from displeasure at the delay of an explicit
declaration of my passion. Determined, at all hazards, now to try my
fate, I took my way across the square to Mr. Montenero's--Across the
square?--yes! I certainly took the diagonal of the square.



CHAPTER XIV.

When I arrived at Mr. Montenero's I saw the window-shutters closed, and
there was an ominous stillness in the area--no one answered to my knock.
I knocked louder--I rang impatiently; no footsteps were heard in the
hall: I pulled the bell incessantly. During the space of three minutes
that I was forced to wait on the steps, I formed a variety of horrid
imaginations. At last I heard approaching sounds: an old woman very
deliberately opened the door. "Lauk, sir, how you do ring! There's not a
body to be had but me--all the servants is different ways, gone to their
friends."

"But Mr. and Miss Montenero--"

"Oh! they was off by times this morning--they be gone--"

"Gone?"

I suppose my look and accent of despair struck the old woman with some
pity, for she added, "Lauk, sir, they be only gone for a few days."

I recovered my breath. "And can you, my good lady, tell me where they
are gone?"

"Somewhere down in Surrey--Lord knows--I forget the names--but to
General somebody's."

"General B----'s, perhaps."

"Ay, ay,--that's it."

My imagination ran over in an instant all the general's family, the
gouty brother, and the white-toothed aide-de-camp.

"How long are they to stay at General B----'s, can you tell me, my good
lady?"

"Dear heart! I can't tell, not I's, how they'll cut and carve their
visitings--all I know is, they be to be back here in ten days or a
fortnight or so."

I put a golden memorandum, with my card, into the old woman's hand, and
she promised that the very moment Mr. and Miss Montenero should return
to town I should have notice.

During this fortnight my anxiety was increased by hearing from Mrs.
Coates, whom I accidentally met at a fruit-shop, that "Miss Montenero
was taken suddenly ill of a scarlet fever down in the country at General
B----'s, where," as Mrs. Coates added, "they could get no advice for her
at all, but a country apothecary, which was worse than nobody."

Mrs. Coates, who was not an ill-natured, though a very ill-bred woman,
observing the terrible alarm into which she had thrown me by her
intelligence, declared she was quite sorry she had _outed_ with the
news so sudden upon me. Mrs. Coates now stood full in the doorway of the
fruit-shop, so as to stop me completely from effecting my retreat; and
while her footman was stowing into her carriage the loads of fruit which
she had purchased, I was compelled to hear her go on in the following
style.

"Now, Mr. Harrington--no offence--but I couldn't have conceived it was
so re'lly over head and ears an affair with you, as by your turning as
pale as the table-cloth I see it re'lly is. For there was my son Peter,
he admired her, and the alderman was not against it; but then the Jewess
connexion was always a stumbling-block Peter could not swallow;--and as
for my Lord Mowbray, that the town talked of so much as in love with the
Jewess heiress--heiress, says I, very like, but not Jewess, I'll engage;
and, said I, from the first, he is no more in love with her than I
am. So many of them young men of the ton is always following of them
heiresses up and down for fashion or _fortin's_ sake, without caring
sixpence about them, that--I ask your pardon, Mr. Harrington--but I
thought you might, in the alderman's phrase, be _of the same kidney_;
but since I see 'tis a real downright affair of the heart, I shall make
it my business to call myself at your house to-morrow in my carriage.
No--that would look odd, and you a bachelor, and your people out o'town.
But I'll send my own footman with a message, I promise you now, let 'em
be ever so busy, if I hear any good news. No need to send if it be bad,
for ill news flies apace evermore, all the world over, as Peter says.
Tom! I say! is the fruit all in, Tom?--Oh! Mr. Harrington, don't trouble
yourself--you're too polite, but I always get into my coach best myself,
without hand or arm, except it be Tom's. A good morning, sir--I sha'n't
forget to-morrow: so live upon hope--lover's fare!--Home, Tom."

The next day, Mrs. Coates, more punctual to her word than many a more
polished person, sent as early as it was possible "to set my heart at
ease about Miss Montenero's illness, and _other_ _matters_." Mrs. Coates
enclosed in her note two letters, which her maid had received that
morning and last Tuesday. This was the way, as Mrs. Coates confessed,
that the report reached her ears. The waiting-maid's first letter had
stated "that her lady, though she did not complain, had a cold and sore
throat coming down, and this was alarming, with a spotted fever in the
neighbourhood." Mrs. Coates's maid had, in repeating the news, "turned
the sore throat into a spotted fever, or a scarlet fever, she did not
rightly know which, but both were said by the apothecary to be generally
fatal, where there was any Jewish taint in the blood."

The waiting-maid's second epistle, on which Mrs. Coates had written, "_a
sugar plum for a certain gentleman_," contained the good tidings "that
the first was all a mistake. There was no spotted fever, the general's
own man would take his Bible oath, within ten miles round--and Miss
Montenero's throat was gone off--and she was come out of her room. But
as to spirits and good looks, she had left both in St. James'-square,
Lon'on; _where her heart was, fur certain_. For since she come to the
country, never was there such a change in any living lady, young or
old--quite moped!--The general, and his aide-de-camp, and every body,
noticing it at dinner even. To be sure if it did not turn out a _match_,
which there was some doubts of, on account of the family's and the old
gentleman's particular oaths and objections, as she had an inkling of,
there would be two broken hearts. Lord forbid!--though a Jewish heart
might be harder to break than another's, yet it looked likely."

The remainder of the letter, Mrs. Coates, or her maid, had very
prudently torn off. I was now relieved from all apprehensions of spotted
fever; and though I might reasonably have doubted the accuracy of all
the intelligence conveyed by such a correspondent, yet I could not help
having a little faith in some of her observations. My hopes, at least,
rose delightfully; and with my hope, my ardent impatience to see
Berenice again. At last, the joyful notice of Mr. and Miss Montenero's
return to town was brought to me by the old woman. Mr. Montenero
admitted me the moment I called. Miss Montenero was not at home, or not
visible. I was shown into Mr. Montenero's study. The moment I
entered, the moment I saw him, I was struck with some change in his
countenance--some difference in his manner of receiving me. In what the
difference consisted, I could not define; but it alarmed me.

"Good Heavens!" I exclaimed, "is Miss Montenero ill?"

"My daughter is perfectly well, my dear sir."

"Thank Heaven! But you, sir?"

"I," said Mr. Montenero, "am also in perfect health. What alarms you?"

"I really don't well know," said I, endeavouring to laugh at myself,
and my own apprehensions; "but I thought I perceived some change in the
expression of your countenance towards me, my dear Mr. Montenero. You
must know, that all my life, my quickness of perception of the slightest
change in the countenance and manner of those I love, has ever been a
curse to me; for my restless imagination always set to work to invent
causes--and my causes, though ingenious, unluckily, seldom happened to
be the real causes. Many a vain alarm, many a miserable hour, has this
superfluous activity of imagination cost me--so I am determined to cure
myself."

At the moment I was uttering the determination, I stopped short, for I
felt that I could not keep it, on this occasion. Mr. Montenero sighed,
or I thought he sighed, and there was such an unusual degree of gravity
and deliberation in the mildness of his manner, that I could not believe
my alarm was without cause. I took the chair which he placed for me, and
we both sat down: but he looked so prepared to listen, that I could not
articulate. There was a sudden revulsion in my spirits, and all my ideas
were in utter confusion. Mr. Montenero, the kindness of whose manner was
not changed towards me, I saw pitied my confusion. He began to talk of
his excursion into the country--he spoke of General B---- and of the
whole county of Surrey. The words reached my ears, but conveyed no ideas
to my mind, except the general notion that Mr. Montenero was giving
me time to recover myself. I was grateful for the kind intention, and
somewhat encouraged by the softness of voice, and look of pity. But
still there was something so measured--so guarded--so prepared!--At
last, when he had exhausted all that he could say about the county of
Surrey, and a dead silence threatened me, I took courage, and plunged
into the middle of things at once. I cannot remember exactly the words,
but what I said was to this effect.

"Mr. Montenero, you know so much of the human heart, and of my heart,
that you must be aware of the cause of my present embarrassment and
emotion. You must have seen my passion for your incomparable daughter."

"I have seen it, I own--I am well aware of it, Mr. Harrington," replied
Mr. Montenero, in a mild and friendly tone; but there was something
of self-accusation and repentance in the tone, which alarmed me
inexpressibly.

"I hope, my dear good sir, that you do not repent of your kindness,"
said I, "in having permitted me to cultivate your society, in having
indulged me in some hours of the most exquisite pleasure I ever yet
enjoyed."

He sighed; and I went on with vehement incoherence.

"I hope you cannot suspect me of a design to abuse your confidence, to
win, if it were in my power, your daughter's affections, without your
knowledge, surreptitiously, clandestinely. She is an heiress, a rich
heiress, I know, and my circumstances--Believe me, sir, I have never
intended to deceive you; but I waited till--There I was wrong. I wish
I had abided by my own opinion! I wish I had followed my first impulse!
Believe me, sir, it was my first thought, my first wish, to speak to
you of all the circumstances; if I delayed, it was from the fear that
a precipitate declaration would have been imputed to presumption.
As Heaven is my judge, I had no other motive. I abhor artifice. I am
incapable of the base treachery of taking advantage of any confidence
reposed in me."

"My good sir," said Mr. Montenero, when at last I was forced to pause
for breath, "why this vehemence of defence? I do not accuse--I do not
suspect you of any breach of confidence. Pray compose yourself."

Calmed by this assurance, I recovered some presence of mind, and
proceeded, as I thought, in a most tranquil manner to express my regret,
at all events, that I should not have been the first person to have
explained to him my unfortunate circumstances. "But this," I said, "was
like the rest of Lord Mowbray's treacherous conduct."

I was going on again in a tone of indignation, when Mr. Montenero
again begged me to compose myself, and asked "to what unfortunate
circumstances I alluded?"

"You do not know then? You have not been informed? Then I did Lord
Mowbray injustice."

I explained to Mr. Montenero to what circumstances I had so
unintelligibly alluded. I gained courage as I went on, for I saw that
the history of my father's vow, of which Mr. Montenero had evidently
never heard till this moment, did not shock or offend him, as I had
expected that it would.

With the most philosophic calmness and benevolence, he said that he
could forgive my father for his prejudices the more readily, because he
was persuaded that if he had ever become known to my father, it would
not have been impossible to conquer this prepossession.

I sighed, for I was convinced this was a vain hope. There was some
confusion in the tenses in Mr. Montenero's sentence too, which I did not
quite like, or comprehend; he seemed as if he were speaking of a thing
that might have been possible, at some time that was now completely
past. I recollect having a painful perception of this one instant, and
the next accounting for it satisfactorily, by supposing that his foreign
idiom was the cause of his confusion of speech.

After a pause, he proceeded. "Fortune," said he, "is not an object to me
in the choice of a son-in-law: considering the very ample fortune which
my daughter will possess, I am quite at ease upon that point."

Still, though he had cleared away the two first great obstacles, I saw
there was some greater yet unnamed. I thought it was the difference of
our religion. We were both silent, and the difficulty seemed to me at
this moment greater, and more formidable, than it had ever yet appeared.
While I was considering how I should touch upon the subject, Mr.
Montenero turned to me and said, "I hate all mysteries, and yet I cannot
be perfectly explicit with you, Mr. Harrington; as far as I possibly
can, however, I will speak with openness--with sincerity, you may depend
upon it, I have always spoken, and ever shall speak. You must have
perceived that your company is particularly agreeable to me. Your
manners, your conversation, your liberal spirit, and the predilection
you have shown for my society--the politeness, the humanity, you showed
my daughter the first evening you met--and the partiality for her, which
a father's eye quickly perceived that you felt, altogether won upon
my heart. My regard for you has been strengthened and confirmed by
the temper, prudence, and generosity, I have seen you evince towards
a rival. I have studied your character, and I think I know it as
thoroughly as I esteem and value it. If I were to choose a son-in-law
after my own heart, you should be the man. Spare me your thanks--spare
me this joy," continued he; "I have now only said what it was just to
say--just to you and to myself."

He spoke with difficulty and great emotion, as he went on to say, that
he feared he had acted very imprudently for my happiness in permitting,
in encouraging me to see so much of his daughter; for an obstacle--he
feared an obstacle that--His voice almost failed.

"I am aware of it," said I.

"Aware of it?" said he, looking up at me suddenly with astonishment: he
repeated more calmly, "Aware of it? Let us understand one another, my
dear sir."

"I understand you perfectly," cried I. "I am well aware of the nature
of the obstacle. At once I declare that I can make no sacrifice, no
compromise of my religious principles, to my passion."

"You would be unworthy of my esteem if you could," said Mr. Montenero.
"I rejoice to hear this declaration unequivocally made; this is what I
expected from you."

"But," continued I, eagerly, "Miss Montenero could be secure of the free
exercise of her own religion. You know my principles of toleration--you
know my habits; and though between man and wife a difference of religion
may be in most cases a formidable obstacle to happiness, yet permit me
to hope--"

"I cannot permit you to hope," interrupted Mr. Montenero. "You are
mistaken as to the nature of the obstacle. A difference of religion
would be a most formidable objection, I grant; but we need not enter
upon that subject--that is not the obstacle to which I allude."

"Then of what nature can it be? Some base slander--Lord Mowbray--Nothing
shall prevent me!" cried I, starting up furiously.

"Gently--command yourself, and listen to reason and truth," said Mr.
Montenero, laying his hand on my arm. "Am I a man, do you think, to
listen to base slander? Or, if I had listened to any such, could I speak
to you with the esteem and confidence with which I have just spoken?
Could I look at you with the tenderness and affection which I feel for
you at this instant?"

"Oh! Mr. Montenero," said I, "you know how to touch me to the heart; but
answer me one, only one question--has Lord Mowbray any thing to do with
this, whatever it is?"

"I have not seen or heard from him since I saw you last."

"Your word is sufficient," said I. "Then I suspected him unjustly."

"Heaven forbid," said Mr. Montenero, "that I should raise suspicion in
a mind which, till now, I have always seen and thought to be above that
meanness. The torture of suspense I must inflict, but inflict not
on yourself the still worse torture of suspicion--ask me no farther
questions--I can answer none--time alone can solve the difficulty.
I have now to request that you will never more speak to me on this
subject: as soon as my own mind is satisfied, depend upon it I shall let
you know it. In the mean time I rely upon your prudence and your honour,
that you will not declare your attachment to my daughter, that you will
take no means, direct or indirect, to draw her into any engagement, or
to win her affections: in short, I wish to see you here as a friend
of mine--not a suitor of hers. If you are capable of this necessary
self-control, continue your visits; but if this effort be beyond your
power, I charge you, as you regard her happiness and your own, see her
no more. Consider well, before you decide."

I had confidence in my own strength of mind and honour; I knew that
want of resolution was not the defect of my character. Difficult as the
conditions were, I submitted to them--I promised that if Mr. Montenero
permitted me to continue my visits, I would strictly comply with all he
desired. The moment I had given this promise, I was in haste to quit the
room, lest Berenice should enter, before I had time to recover from the
excessive agitation into which I had been thrown.

Mr. Montenero followed me to the antechamber. "My daughter is not at
home--she is taking an airing in the park. One word more before we
part--one word more before we quit this painful subject," said he: "do
not, my dear young friend, waste your time, your ingenuity, in vain
conjectures--you will not discover that which I cannot impart; nor would
the discovery, if made, diminish the difficulty, or in the least add to
your happiness, though it might to your misery. It depends not on your
will to remove the obstacle--by no talents, no efforts of yours can it
be obviated: one thing, and but one, is in your power--to command your
own mind."

"Command my own mind! Oh! Mr. Montenero, how easy to say--how difficult
to command the passions--such a passion!"

"I acknowledge it is difficult, but I hope it is not impossible. We have
now an opportunity of judging of the strength of your mind, the firmness
of your resolution, and your power over yourself. Of these we must see
proofs--without these you never could be, either with my consent or
by her own choice, accepted by my daughter, even if no other obstacle
intervened.--Adieu." A bright idea, a sudden ray of hope, darted into my
mind. It might be all intended for a trial of me--there was, perhaps,
no real obstacle! But this was only the hope of an instant--it was
contradicted by Mr. Montenero's previous positive assertion. I hurried
home as fast as possible, shut myself up in my own room, and bolted the
door, that I might not be interrupted. I sat down to think--I could not
think, I could only feel. The first thing I did was, as it were, to
live the whole of the last hour over again--I recollected every word,
recalled every look, carefully to impress and record them in my memory.
I felt that I was not at that moment capable of judging, but I should
have the means, the facts, safe for a calmer hour. I repeated my
recollections many times, pausing, and forming vague and often
contradictory conjectures; then driving them all from my mind, and
resolving to think no more on this mysterious subject; but on no other
subject could I think--I sat motionless. How long I remained in this
situation I have no means of knowing, but it must have been for some
hours, for it was evening, as I remember, when I wakened to the sense of
its being necessary that I should exert myself, and rouse my faculties
from this dangerous state of abstraction. Since my father and mother had
been in the country, I had usually dined at taverns or clubs, so that
the servants had no concern with my hours of meals. My own man was much
attached to me, and I should have been tormented with his attentions,
but that I had sent him out of the way as soon as I had come home. I
then went into the park, walking there as fast and as long as I possibly
could. I returned late, quite exhausted; hoped I should sleep, and waken
with a calmer mind; but I believe I had overwalked myself, or my mind
had been overstrained--I was very feverish this night, and all the
horrors of early association returned upon me. Whenever I began to doze,
I felt the nervous oppression, the dreadful weight upon my chest--I saw
beside my bed the old figure of Simon the Jew; but he spoke to me with
the voice and in the words of Mr. Montenero. The dreams of this night
were more terrible than any reality that can be conceived; and even
when I was broad awake, I felt that I had not the command of my mind. My
early prepossessions and _antipathies_, my mother's _presentiments_,
and prophecies of evil from the connexion with the Monteneros, the
prejudices which had so long, so universally prevailed against the Jews,
occurred to me. I knew all this was unreasonable, but still the thoughts
obtruded themselves. When the light of morning returned, which I thought
never would return, I grew better.

Mr. Montenero's impressive advice, and all the kindness of his look
and manner, recurred to my mind. The whole of his conduct--the filial
affection of Berenice--the gratitude of Jacob--the attachment of
friends, who had known him for years, all assured me of his sincerity
towards myself; and the fancies, I will not call them suspicions, of the
night, were dispelled.

I was determined not to see either Mr. Montenero or Berenice for a few
days. I knew that the best thing I could do, would be to take
strong bodily exercise, and totally to change the course of my daily
occupations. There was an excellent riding-house at this time in London,
and I had been formerly in the habit of riding there. I was a favourite
with the master--he was glad to see me again. I found the exercise, and
the immediate necessity of suspending all other thoughts to attend to
the management of my horse, of sovereign use. I thus disciplined my
imagination at the time when I seemed only to be disciplining an Arabian
horse. I question whether reading Seneca, or Epictetus, or any moral
or philosophic writer, living or dead, would have as effectually
_medicined_ my mind. While I was at the riding-house, General B---- came
in with some young officers. The general, who had distinguished me with
peculiar kindness, left the young men who were with him, and walked
home with me. I refrained from asking any questions about Mr. or Miss
Montenero's visit at his house in Surrey; but he led to the subject
himself, and spoke of her having been less cheerful than usual--dwelt
on his wish that she and her father should settle in England--said there
was a young American, a relation of the Manessas, just come over; he
hoped there was no intention of returning with him to America. I felt a
terrible twinge, like what I had experienced when the general had first
mentioned his brother-in-law--perhaps, said I to myself, it may be
as vain. General B---- was going to speak further on the subject, but
though my curiosity was much raised, I thought I was bound in honour not
to obtain intelligence by any secondary means. I therefore requested the
general to let us change the subject. He tapped my shoulder: "You are
right," said he; "I understand your motives--you are right--I like your
principles."

On returning from the riding-house, I had the pleasure of hearing
that Mr. Montenero had called during my absence, and had particularly
inquired from my own man after my health.

I forgot to mention, that in one of the young officers whom I met at the
riding-house, I recognized a schoolfellow, that very little boy, who,
mounted upon the step-ladder on the day of Jacob's election, turned the
election in his favour by the anecdote of the silver pencil-case. My
little schoolfellow, now a lath of a young man, six feet high, was glad
to meet me again, and to talk over our schoolboy days. He invited me to
join him and some of his companions, who were going down to the country
on a fishing party. They promised themselves great sport in dragging a
fish-pond. I compelled myself to join this party for the mere purpose
of changing the course of my thoughts. For three days I was hurried from
place to place, and not a single thing that I liked to do did I do--I
was completely put out of my own way--my ideas were forced into new
channels. I heard of nothing but of fishing and fishing-tackle--of the
pleasures there would be in the shooting season--of shooting-jackets,
and powder-horns, and guns, and _proof_ guns. All this was terribly
irksome at the time, and yet I was conscious that it was of service to
me, and I endured it with heroic patience.

I was heartily glad when I got back to town. When I felt that I was able
to bear the sight of Berenice, I went again to Mr. Montenero's. From
that hour I maintained my resolution, I strictly adhered to my promise,
and I felt that I was rewarded by Mr. Montenero's increasing esteem
and affection. My conversation was now addressed chiefly to him, and I
remarked that I was always the chief object of his attention. I observed
that Berenice was much paler, and not in such good spirits as formerly:
she was evidently under great constraint and anxiety, and the
expression of her countenance towards me was changed; there was an
apprehensiveness, which she in vain endeavoured to calm--her attention
to whatever I was saying or doing, even when she appeared to be occupied
with other things, was constant. I was convinced that I was continually
in her thoughts; I felt that I was not indifferent to her: yet the
expression of her countenance was changed--it was not love--or it
was love strongly repressed by fear--by fear!--was it of her father's
disapprobation? I had been assured by Mr. Montenero, in whom I had
perfect confidence, that no power of mine could remove the obstacle,
if it existed--then his advice was wise not to waste my thoughts and
spirits in vain conjectures. As far as it was in human nature, I took
his advice, repressed my curiosity, and turned my thoughts from that
too interesting subject. I know not how long I should have maintained
my fortitude in this passive state of forbearance. Events soon called me
again into active exertion.



CHAPTER XV.

Party spirit, in politics, ran very high about this time in London--it
was in the year 1780. The ill success of the American war had put the
people in ill-humour; they were ready to believe any thing against the
ministry, and some who, for party purposes, desired to influence the
minds of the people, circulated the most ridiculous reports, and excited
the most absurd terrors. The populace were made to believe that the
French and the papists were secret favourites of government: a French
invasion, the appearance of the French in London, is an old story almost
worn out upon the imaginations of the good people of England; but now
came a new if not a more plausible bugbear--the Pope! It was confidently
affirmed that the Pope would soon be in London, he having been seen in
disguise in a gold-flowered nightgown on _St. James's_ parade at Bath.
A poor gentleman, who appeared at his door in his nightgown, had been
actually taken by the Bath mob for the Pope; and they had pursued him
with shouts, and hunted him, till he was forced to scramble over a wall
to escape from his pursuers.

Ludicrous as this may appear, the farce, we all know, soon turned to
tragedy. From the smallest beginnings, the mischief grew and spread;
half-a-dozen people gathered in one street, and began the cry of "No
popery!--no papists!--no French!"--The idle joined the idle, and the
discontented the discontented, and both were soon drawn in to assist
the mischievous; and the cowardly, surprised at their own prowess,
when joined with numbers, and when no one opposed them, grew bolder and
bolder. Monday morning Mr. Strachan was insulted; Lord Mansfield treated
it as a slight irregularity. Monday evening Lord Mansfield himself
was insulted by the mob, they pulled down his house, and burnt his
furniture. Newgate was attacked next; the keeper went to the Lord Mayor,
and, at his return, he found the prison in a blaze; that night the
Fleet, and the King's Bench prisons, and the popish chapels, were
on fire, and the glare of the conflagration reached the skies. I was
heartily glad my father and mother were safe in the country.

Mr. Montenero and Berenice were preparing to go to a villa in Surrey,
which he had just purchased; but they apprehended no danger for
themselves, as they were inoffensive strangers, totally unconnected
with party or politics. The fury of the mob had hitherto been directed
chiefly against papists, or persons supposed to favour their cause. The
very day before Mr. Montenero was to leave town, without any conceivable
reason, suddenly a cry was raised against the Jews: unfortunately, Jews
rhymed to shoes: these words were hitched into a rhyme, and the cry
was, "_No Jews, no wooden shoes_!" Thus, without any natural, civil,
religious, moral, or political connexion, the poor Jews came in
remainder to the ancient anti-Gallican antipathy felt by English feet
and English fancies against the French wooden shoes. Among the London
populace, however, the Jews had a respectable body of friends, female
friends of noted influence in a mob--the orange-women--who were most
of them bound by gratitude to certain opulent Jews. It was then, and I
believe it still continues to be, a customary mode of charity with the
Jews to purchase and distribute large quantities of oranges among the
retail sellers, whether Jews or Christians. The orange-women were thus
become their staunch friends. One of them in particular, a warm-hearted
Irishwoman, whose barrow had, during the whole season, been continually
replenished by Mr. Montenero's bounty, and by Jacob's punctual care, now
took her station on the steps of Mr. Montenero's house; she watched her
opportunity, and when she saw _the master_ appear in the hall, she left
her barrow in charge with her boy, came up the steps, walked in, and
addressed herself to him thus, in a dialect and tone as new, almost to
me, as they seemed to be to Mr. Montenero.

"Never fear, jewel!--Jew as you have this day the misfortune to be,
you're the best Christian any way ever I happened on! so never fear,
honey, for yourself nor your daughter, God bless her! Not a soul shall
go near yees, nor a finger be laid on her, good or bad. Sure I know them
all--not a mother's son o' the _boys_ but I can call my frind--not a
captain or lader that's in it, but I can lade, dear, to the devil and
back again, if I'd but whistle: so only you keep quite, and don't be
advertising yourself any way for a Jew, nor be showing your cloven
_fut_, with or without the wooden shoes. _Keep ourselves to ourselves_,
for I'll tell you a bit of a sacret--I'm a little bit of a cat'olic
myself, all as one as what _they_ call a _papish_; but I keep it to
myself, and nobody's the wiser nor the worse--they'd tear me to pieces,
may be, did they suspect _the like_, but I keep never minding, and you,
jewel, do the like. They call you a Levite, don't they? then I, the
Widow Levy, has a good right to advise ye; we were all brothers and
sisters once--no offence--in the time of Adam, sure, and we should help
one another in all times. 'Tis my turn to help _yees_ now, and, by the
blessing, so I will--accordingly I'll be sitting all day and night,
mounting guard on your steps there without. And little as you may think
of me, the devil a guardian angel better than myself, only just the
Widow Levy, such as ye see!"

The Widow Levy took her stand, and kept her word. I stayed at Mr.
Montenero's all day, saw every thing that passed, and had frequent
opportunities of admiring her address.

She began by making the footman take down "the outlandish name from
off the door; for no name at all, sure, was better _nor_ a foreign name
these times." She charged the footman to "say _sorrow_ word themselves
to the mob for their lives, in case they would come; but to lave it all
entirely to her, that knew how to spake to _them_. For see!" said she,
aside to me--"For see! them powdered numskulls would spoil all--they'd
be taking it too high or too low, and never hit the right _kay_, nor
mind when to laugh or cry in the right place; moreover, when they'd
get _frighted_ with a cross-examination, they'd be apt to be _cutting_
themselves. Now, the ould one himself, if he had me _on the table_ even,
I'd defy to get the truth out of me, if not convanient, and I in the
sarvice of a frind."

In the pleasure of telling a few superfluous lies it seemed to be
necessary that our guardian angel should be indulged; and there she sat
on the steps quite at ease, smoking her pipe, or wiping and _polishing_
her oranges. As parties of the rioters came up, she would parley and
jest with them, and by alternate wit and humour, and blunder, and
bravado, and flattery, and _fabling_, divert their spirit of mischief,
and forward them to distant enterprise. In the course of the day, we
had frequent occasion to admire her intrepid ingenuity and indefatigable
zeal. Late at night, when all seemed perfectly quiet in this part of the
town, she, who had never stirred from her post all day, was taken into
the kitchen by the servants to eat some supper. While she was away,
I was standing at an open window of the drawing-room, watching and
listening--all was silence; but suddenly I heard a shriek, and two
strange female figures appeared from the corner of the square, hurrying,
as if in danger of pursuit, though no one followed them. One was in
black, with a hood, and a black cloak streaming behind; the other in
white, neck and arms bare, head full dressed, with high feathers blown
upright. As they came near the window at which I stood, one of the
ladies called out, "Mr. Harrington! Mr. Harrington! For Heaven's sake
let us in!"

"Lady Anne Mowbray's voice! and Lady de Brantefield!" cried I.

Swiftly, before I could pass her, Berenice ran down stairs,
unlocked--threw open the hall-door, and let them in. Breathless,
trembling so that they could not speak, they sunk upon the first seat
they could reach; the servants hearing the hall-door unchained, ran into
the hall, and when sent away for water, the three footmen returned
with each something in his hand, and stood with water and salvers as
a pretence to satisfy their curiosity; along with them came the
orange-woman, who, wiping her mouth, put in her head between the
footmen's elbows, and stood listening, and looking at the two ladies
with no friendly eye. She then worked her way round to me, and twitching
my elbow, drew me back, and whispered--"What made ye let 'em in? Take
care but one's a mad woman, and t'other a bad woman." Lady Anne, who had
by this time drank water, and taken hartshorn, and was able to speak,
was telling, though in a very confused manner, what had happened. She
said that she had been dressed for the opera--the carriage was at the
door--her mother, who was to set her down at Lady Somebody's, who was to
_chaperon_ her, had just put on her hood and cloak, and was coming down
stairs, when they heard a prodigious noise of the mob in the street.
The mob had seized their carriage--and had found in one of the pockets
a string of beads, which had been left there by the Portuguese
ambassador's lady, whom Lady De Brantefield had taken home from chapel
the preceding day. The mob had seen the carriage stop at the chapel,
and the lady and her confessor get into it; and this had led to the
suspicion that Lady de Brantefield was a catholic, or in their language,
a concealed _papist_.

On searching the carriage farther, they had found a breviary, and one
of them had read aloud the name of a priest, written in the beginning
of the book--a priest whose name was peculiarly obnoxious to some of the
leaders.

As soon as they found the breviary, and the rosary, and this priest's
name, the mob grew outrageous, broke the carriage, smashed the windows
of the house, and were bursting open the door, when, as Lady Anne told
us, she and her mother, terrified almost out of their senses, escaped
through the back door _just in the dress they were_, and made their way
through the stables, and a back lane, and a cross street: still hearing,
or fancying they heard, the shouts of the mob, they had run on without
knowing how, or where, till they found themselves in this square, and
saw me at the open window.

"What is it? Tell me, dear," whispered the orange-woman, drawing me back
behind the footman. "Tell me, for I can't understand her for looking
at the figure of her. Tell me plain, or it may be the ruen of yees all
before ye'd know it."

I repeated Lady Anne's story, and from me the orange-woman understood
it; and it seemed to alarm her more than any of us.

"But are they _Romans?_" (Roman Catholics) said she. "How is that, when
they're not Irish!--for I'll swear to their not being Irish, tongue or
pluck. I don't believe but they're impostors--no right _Romans_, sorrow
bit of the likes; but howsomdever, no signs of none following them
yet--thanks above! Get rid on 'em any way as smart as ye can, dear; tell
Mr. Montenero."

As all continued perfectly quiet, both in the back and front of the
house, we were in hopes that they would not be pursued or discovered
by the mob. We endeavoured to quiet and console them with this
consideration; and we represented that, if the mob should break
into their house, they would, after they had searched and convinced
themselves that the obnoxious priest was not concealed there, disperse
without attempting to destroy or pillage it "Then," said Lady de
Brantefield, rising, and turning to her daughter, "Lady Anne, we had
better think of returning to our own house."

Though well aware of the danger of keeping these suspected ladies
this night, and though our guardian angel repeatedly twitched us,
reiterating, "Ah! let 'em go--don't be keeping 'em!" yet Mr. Montenero
and Berenice pressed them, in the kindest and most earnest manner,
to stay where they were safe. Lady Anne seemed most willing, Lady de
Brantefield most unwilling to remain; yet her fears struggled with her
pride, and at last she begged that a servant might be sent to her house
to see how things were going on, and to order chairs for her, if their
return was practicable.

"Stop!" cried the orange-woman, laying a strong detaining hand on the
footman's arm; "stop you--'tis I'll go with more sense--and speed."

"What is that person--that woman?" cried Lady de Brantefield, who now
heard and saw the orange-woman for the first time.

"Woman!--is it me she manes?" said the orange-woman, coming forward
quite composedly, shouldering on her cloak.

"Is it who I am?--I'm the Widow Levy.--Any commands?"

"How did she get in?" continued Lady de Brantefield, still with a look
of mixed pride and terror: "how did she get in?"

"Very asy!--through the door--same way you did, my lady, if ye had your
senses. Where's the wonder? But what commands?--don't be keeping of me."

"Anne!--Lady Anne!--Did she follow us in?" said Lady de Brantefield.

"Follow yees!--not I!--no follower of yours nor the likes. But what
commands, nevertheless?--I'll do your business the night, for the sake
of them I love in my heart's core," nodding at Mr. and Miss Montenero;
"so, my lady, I'll bring ye word, faithful, how it's going with ye at
home--which is her house, and where, on God's earth?" added she, turning
to the footmen.

"If my satisfaction be the object, sir, or madam," said Lady de
Brantefield, addressing herself with much solemnity to Mr. and Miss
Montenero, "I must take leave to request that a fitter messenger be
sent; I should, in any circumstances, be incapable of trusting to the
representations of such a person."

The fury of the orange-woman kindled--her eyes flashed fire--her arms
a-kimbo, she advanced repeating, "Fitter!--Fitter!--What's that ye
say?--You're not Irish--not a bone in your skeleton!"

Lady Anne screamed. Mr. Montenero forced the orange-woman back, and
Berenice and I hurried Lady de Brantefield and her daughter across the
hall into the eating-room. Mr. Montenero followed an instant afterwards,
telling Lady de Brantefield that he had despatched one of his own
servants for intelligence. Her ladyship bowed her head without speaking.
He then explained why the orange-woman happened to be in his house, and
spoke of the zeal and ability with which she had this day served us.
Lady de Brantefield continued at intervals to bow her head while Mr.
Montenero spoke, and to look at her watch, while Lady Anne, simpering,
repeated, "Dear, how odd!" Then placing herself opposite to a large
mirror, Lady Anne re-adjusted her dress. That settled, she had nothing
to do but to recount her horrors over again. Her mother, lost in
reverie, sat motionless. Berenice, meantime, while the messenger was
away, made the most laudable and kind efforts, by her conversation,
to draw the attention of her guests from themselves and their
apprehensions; but apparently without effect, and certainly without
thanks.

At length, Berenice and her father being called out of the room, I was
left alone with Lady de Brantefield and Lady Anne: the mother broke
silence, and turning to the daughter, said, in a most solemn tone of
reproach, "Anne! Lady Anne Mowbray!--how could you bring me into this
house of all others--a Jew's--when you know the horror I have always
felt--"

"La, mamma! I declare I was so terrified, I didn't know one house from
another. But when I saw Mr. Harrington, I was so delighted I never
thought about it's being _the Jew's_ house--and what matter?"

"What matter!" repeated Lady de Brantefield: "are you my daughter, and a
descendant of Sir Josseline de Mowbray, and ask what matter?"

"Dear mamma, that's the old story! that's so long ago!--How can
you think of such old stuff at such a time as this? I'm sure I was
frightened out of my wits--I forgot even my detestation of----But I must
not say that before Mr. Harrington. But now I see the house, and
_all that,_ I don't wonder at him so much; I declare it's a monstrous
handsome house--as rich as a Jew! I'm sure I hope those wretches will
not destroy _our_ house--and, oh! the great mirror, mamma!"

Mr. and Miss Montenero returned with much concern in their countenances:
they announced that the messenger had brought word that the mob were
actually pulling down Lady de Brantefield's house--that the furniture
had all been dragged out into the street, and that it was now burning.
Pride once more gave way to undisguised terror in Lady de Brantefield's
countenance, and both ladies stood in speechless consternation. Before
we had time to hear or to say more, the orange-woman opened the door,
and putting in her head, called out in a voice of authority, "Jantlemen,
here's one wants yees, admits of no delay; lave all and come out,
whether you will or no, the minute."

We went out, and with an indescribable gesture, and wink of
satisfaction, the moment she had Mr. Montenero and me in the hall, she
said in a whisper, "'Tis only myself, dears, but 'tis I am glad I got
yees out away from being bothered by the presence of them women, whiles
ye'd be settling all for life or death, which we must now do--for don't
be nursing and dandling yourselves in the notion that _the boys_ will
not be wid ye. It's a folly to talk--they will; my head to a China
orange they will, now: but take it asy, jewels--we've got an hour's
law--they've one good hour's work first--six garrets to gut, where they
are, and tree back walls, with a piece of the front, still to pull down.
Oh! I larnt all. He is a _'cute_ lad you sent, but not being used to it,
just went and ruined and murdered us all by what he let out! What do ye
tink? But when one of the boys was questioning him who he belonged to,
and what brought him in it, he got frighted, and could think of noting
at all but the truth to tell: so they've got the scent, and they'll
follow the game. Ogh! had I been my own messenger, in lieu of minding
that woman within, I'd have put 'em off the scent. But it's past me
now--so what next?" While Mr. Montenero and I began to consult together,
she went on--"I'll tell you what you'll do: you'll send for two chairs,
or one--less suspicious, and just get the two in asy, the black
one back, the white for'ard, beca'ase she's coming nat'ral from the
Opera--if stopped, and so the chairmen, knowing no more than Adam who
they would be carrying, might go through the thick of the boys at a
pinch safe enough, or round any way, sure; they know the town, and the
short cuts, and set 'em down (a good riddance!) out of hand, at any
house at all they mention, who'd resave them of their own frinds, or
kith and kin--for, to be sure, I suppose they _have_ frinds, tho' I'm
not one. You'll settle with them by the time it's come, where they'll
set down, and I'll step for the chair, will I?"

"No," said Mr. Montenero, "not unless it be the ladies' own desire to
go: I cannot turn them out of my house, if they choose to stay; at all
hazards they shall have every protection I can afford. Berenice, I am
sure, will think and feel as I do."

Mr. Montenero returned to the drawing-room, to learn the determination
of his guests.

"There goes as good a Christian!" cried the Widow Levy, holding up her
forefinger, and shaking it at Mr. Montenero the moment his back was
turned: "didn't I tell ye so from the first? Oh! if he isn't a jewel
of a Jew!--and the daughter the same!" continued she, following me as
I walked up and down the hall: "the kind-hearted cratur, how tinder she
looked at the fainting Jezabel--while the black woman turning from
her in her quality scowls.--Oh! I seed it all, and with your own eyes,
dear--but I hope they'll go--and once we get a riddance of them women.
I'll answer for the rest. Bad luck to the minute they come into the
house! I wish the jantleman would be back--Oh! here he is--and will
they go, jewel?" cried she, eagerly. "The ladies will stay," said Mr.
Montenero.

"Murder!--but you can't help it--so no more about it--but what arms have
ye?"

No arms were to be found in the house but a couple of swords, a pair
of pistols of Mr. Montenero's, and one gun, which had been left by the
former proprietor. Mr. Montenero determined to write immediately to his
friend General B--, to request that a party of the military might be
sent to guard his house.

"Ay, so best, send for the dragoons, the only thing left on earth for us
now: but don't let 'em fire on _the boys_--disperse 'em with the horse,
asy, ye can, without a shot; so best--I'll step down and feel the pulse
of all below."

While Mr. Montenero wrote, Berenice, alarmed for her father, stood
leaning on the back of his chair, in silence.

"Oh! Mr. Harrington! Mr. Harrington!" repeated Lady Anne, "what will
become of us! If Colonel Topham was but here! Do send to the
Opera, pray, pray, with _my_ compliments--Lady Anne Mowbray's
compliments--he'll come directly, I'm sure."

"That my son, Lord Mowbray, should be out of town, how extraordinary and
how unfortunate!" cried Lady de Brantefield, "when we might have had his
protection, his regiment, without applying to strangers."

She walked up and down the room with the air of a princess in chains.
The orange-woman bolted into the room, and pushed past her ladyship,
while Mr. Montenero was sealing his note.

"Give it, jewel!--It's I'll be the bearer; for all your powdered men
below has taken fright by the dread the first messenger got, and dares
not be carrying a summons for the military through the midst of _them_:
but I'll take it for yees--and which way will I go to get quickest to
your general's? and how will I know his house?--for seven of them below
bothered my brains."

Mr. Montenero repeated the direction--she listened coolly, then stowing
the letter in her bosom, she stood still for a moment with a look
of deep deliberation--her head on one side, her forefinger on
her cheek-bone, her thumb under her chin, and the knuckle of the
middle-finger compressing her lips.

"See, now, _they'll_ be apt to come up the stable lane for the back o'
the house, and another party of them will be in the square, in front;
so how will it be with me to get into the house to yees again, without
opening the doors for _them_, in case they are wid _ye_ afore I'd get
the military up?--I have it," cried she.

She rushed to the door, but turned back again to look for her pipe,
which she had laid on the table.

"Where's my pipe?--Lend it me--What am I without my pipe?"

"The savage!" cried Lady de Brantefield.

"The fool!" said Lady Anne.

The Widow Levy nodded to each of the two ladies, as she lit the pipe
again, but without speaking to them, turned to us, and said, "If
the boys would meet me without my pipe, they'd not know me; or smell
something odd, and guess I was on some unlawful errand."

As she passed Berenice and me, who were standing together, she hastily
added, "Keep a good heart, sweetest!--At the last push, you have one
will shed the heart's drop for ye!"

A quick, scarcely perceptible motion of her eye towards me marked her
meaning; and one involuntary look from Berenice at that moment, even
in the midst of alarm, spread joy through my whole frame. In the common
danger we were drawn closer together--we _thought_ together;--I was
allowed to help her in the midst of the general bustle.

It was necessary, as quickly as possible, to determine what articles
in the house were of most value, and to place these in security. It was
immediately decided that the pictures were inestimable.--What was to be
done with them? Berenice, whose presence of mind never forsook her,
and whose quickness increased with the occasion, recollected that the
unfinished picture-gallery, which had been built behind the house,
adjoining to the back drawing-room, had no window opening to the street:
it was lighted by a sky-light; it had no communication with any of the
apartments in the house, except with the back drawing-room, into which
it was intended to open by large glass doors; but fortunately these
were not finished, and, at this time, there was no access to the
picture-gallery but by a concealed door behind the gobelin tapestry of
the back drawing-room--an entrance which could hardly be discovered by
any stranger. In the gallery were all the plasterers' trestles, and the
carpenters' lumber; however, there was room soon made for the pictures:
all hands were in motion, every creature busy and eager, except Lady de
Brantefield and her daughter, who never offered the smallest assistance,
though we were continually passing with our loads through the front
drawing-room, in which the two ladies now were. Lady Anne standing up
in the middle of the room looked like an actress ready dressed for some
character, but without one idea of her own. Her mind, naturally weak,
was totally incapacitated by fear: she kept incessantly repeating as we
passed and repassed, "Bless me! one would think the day of judgment was
coming!"

Lady de Brantefield all the time sat in the most remote part of the
room, fixed in a huge arm-chair. The pictures and the most valuable
things were, by desperately hard work, just stowed into our place of
safety, when we heard the shouts of the mob, at once at the back and
front of the house, and soon a thundering knocking at the hall-door.
Mr. Montenero and I went to the door, of course without opening it, and
demanded, in a loud voice, what they wanted.

"We require the papists," one answered for the rest, "the two women
papists and the priest you've got within, to be given up, for your
lives!"

"There is no priest here--there are no papists here:--two protestant
ladies, strangers to me, have taken refuge here, and I will not give
them up," said Mr. Montenero.

"Then we'll pull down the house."

"The military will be here directly," said Mr. Montenero, coolly; "you
had better go away."

"The military!--then make haste, boys, with the work."

And with a general cry of "No papists!--no priests!--no Jews!--no wooden
shoes!" they began with a volley of stones against the windows. I ran to
see where Berenice was. It had been previously agreed among us, that
she and her guests, and every female in the house, should, on the first
alarm, retire into a back room; but at the first shout of the mob, Lady
de Brantefield lost the little sense she ever possessed: she did not
faint, but she stiffened herself in the posture in which she sat, and
with her hands turned down over the elbows of the huge chair, on which
her arms were extended, she leaned back in all the frightful rigidity of
a corpse, with a ghastly face, and eyes fixed.

Berenice, in vain, tried to persuade her to move. Her ideas were
bewildered or concentrated. Only the obstinacy of pride remained alive
within her.

"No," she said, "she would never move from that spot--she would not be
commanded by Jew or Jewess."

"Don't you hear the mob--the stones at the windows?"

"Very well. They would all pay for it on the scaffold or the gibbet."

"But if they break in here you will be torn to pieces."

"No--those only will be sacrificed who _have sacrificed_. A 'de
Brantefield'--they dare not!--I shall not stir from this spot. Who will
presume to touch Lady de Brantefield?"

Mr. Montenero and I lifted up the huge chair on which she sat, and
carried her and it into the back room.

The door of this room was scarcely shut, and the tapestry covering but
just closed over the entrance into the picture-gallery, when there was a
cry from the hall, and the servants came rushing to tell us that one of
the window-shutters had given way.

Mr. Montenero, putting the pistols into my hand, took the gun, ran
down stairs, and stationed himself so as to defend the entrance to the
window, at which the people were pelting with stones; declaring that he
would fire on the first man who should attempt to enter.

A man leaped in, and, in the struggle, Mr. Montenero's gun was wrested
from him.

On my presenting a pistol, the man scrambled out of the window, carrying
away with him the prize he had seized.

At this moment the faithful Jacob appeared amongst us as if by miracle.
"Master, we are safe," said he, "if we can defend ourselves for a few
minutes. The orange-woman delivered your letter, and the military
are coming. She told me how to get in here, through the house that is
building next door, from the leads of which I crept through a trap-door
into your garret."

With the pistols, and with the assistance of the servants who were
armed, some of them with swords, and others with whatever weapons came
to hand, we made such a show of resistance as to keep the mob at bay for
some moments.

"Hark!" cried Jacob; "thank Heaven, there's the military!" There was a
sudden cessation of stones at the window. We heard the joyful sound
of the horses' hoofs in the street. A prodigious uproar ensued, then
gradually subsided. The mob was dispersed, and fled in different
directions, and the military followed. We heard them gallop off. We
listened till not a sound, either of human voice or of horse's foot, was
to be heard. There was perfect silence; and when we looked as far as our
eyes could reach out of the broken window, there was not a creature to
be seen in the square or in the line of street to which it opened.

We ran to let out our female prisoners; I thought only of Berenice--she,
who had shown so much self-possession during the danger, seemed most
overpowered at this moment of joy; she threw her arms round her father,
and held him fast, as if to convince herself that he was safe. Her next
look was for me, and in her eyes, voice, and manner, when she thanked
me, there was an expression which transported me with joy; but it was
checked, it was gone the next moment: some terrible recollection seemed
to cross her mind. She turned from me to speak to that odious Lady de
Brantefield. I could not see Mr. Montenero's countenance, for he, at the
same instant, left us, to single out, from the crowd assembled in the
hall, the poor Irishwoman, whose zeal and intrepid gratitude had been
the means of our deliverance. I was not time enough to hear what Mr.
Montenero said to her, or what reward he conferred; but that the reward
was judicious, and that the words were grateful to her feelings in the
highest degree, I had full proof; for when I reached the hall, the widow
was on her knees, with hands uplifted to Heaven, unable to speak, but
with tears streaming down her hard face: she wiped them hastily away,
and started up.

"It's not a little thing brings me to this," said she; "none ever drew a
tear from my eyes afore, since the boy I lost."

She drew the hood of her cloak over her head, and pushed her way through
the servants to get out of the hall-door; I unbolted and unchained it
for her, and as I was unlocking it, she squeezed up close to me, and
laying her iron hand on mine, said in a whisper, "God bless yees! and
don't forget my thanks to the sweet _Jewish_--I can't speak 'em now,
'tis you can best, and joined in my prayers ye shall ever be!" said our
guardian angel, as I opened the door; and as she passed out, she added,
"You are right, jewel--she's worth all the fine ladies in Lon'on,
feathers an' all in a bag."

I had long been entirely of the Widow Levy's opinion, though the mode
of expression would never have occurred to me. What afterwards became of
Lady Anne and of her mother this night, I do not distinctly recollect.
Lady de Brantefield, when the alarm was over, I believe, recovered her
usual portion of sense, and Lady Anne her silly spirits; but neither of
them, I know, showed any feeling, except for themselves. I have an
image of Lady de Brantefield standing up, and making, at parting, such
ungracious acknowledgments to her kind hostess and generous protector,
as her pride and her prejudices would permit. Both their ladyships
seemed to be in a hurry to get out of the house, and I know that
I rejoiced in their departure. I was in hopes of one moment, one
explanatory word or look from Berenice. She was retiring to her own
apartment, as I returned, with her father, after putting those two women
into their carriage.

"I am now quite convinced," said Mr. Montenero, smiling, "that Mr.
Harrington never could have been engaged or attached to Lady Anne
Mowbray."

"Is it possible you ever imagined?"

"I did not _imagine_, I only heard and believed--and now I have seen,
and I disbelieve."

"And is this the obstacle, the invincible obstacle?" cried I.

Berenice sighed, and walked on to her room.

"I wish it were!" said Mr. Montenero; "but I pray you, sir, do not
speak, do not think of this to-night--farewell! we all want repose."

I did not think that I wanted repose till the moment I lay down in bed,
and then, overpowered with bodily fatigue, I fell into a profound sleep,
from which I did not awaken till late the next morning, when my man,
drawing back my curtains, presented to me a note from--I could hardly
believe my eyes--"from Miss Montenero"--from Berenice! I started up,
and read these words written in pencil: "My father is in danger--come to
us."

How quick I was in obeying may be easily imagined. I went well armed,
but in the present danger arms were of no use. I found that Mr.
Montenero was summoned before one of the magistrates, on a charge of
having fired from his window the preceding night before the Riot Act had
been read--of having killed an inoffensive passenger. Now the fact was,
that no shot had ever been fired by Mr. Montenero; but such was the rage
of the people at the idea that the _Jew_ had killed a Christian, and
one of their party, that the voice of truth could not be heard. They
followed with execrations as he was carried before the magistrate; and
waited with impatience, assembled round the house, in hopes of seeing
him committed to prison to take his trial for murder. As I was not
ignorant of the substantial nature of the defence which the spirit and
the forms of English law provide in all cases for truth and innocence,
against false accusation and party prejudice, I was not alarmed at the
clamour I heard; I was concerned only for the temporary inconvenience
and mortification to Mr. Montenero, and for the alarm to Berenice. The
magistrate before whom Mr. Montenero appeared was an impartial and very
patient man: I shall not so far try the patience of others as to record
all that was positively said, but which could not be sworn to--all that
was offered in evidence, but which contradicted itself, or which
could not be substantiated by any good witness--at length one
creditable-looking man came forward against Mr. Montenero.

He said he was an ironmonger--that he had been passing by at the time
of the riot, and had been hurried along by the crowd against his will
to Mr. Montenero's house, where he saw a sailor break open the
window-shutter of one of the lower rooms--that he saw a shot fired by
Mr. Montenero--that the sailor, after a considerable struggle, wrested
the gun, with which the shot had been fired, from Mr. Montenero, and
retreated with it from the window--that hearing the cry of murder in
the crowd, he thought it proper to secure the weapon, that it might be
produced in evidence--and that the piece which he now produced was that
which had been taken from Mr. Montenero.

I perceived great concern in the countenance of the magistrate, who,
addressing himself to Mr. Montenero, asked him what he had to say in his
defence.

"Sir," said Mr. Montenero, "I acknowledge that to be the gun which was
wrested from my hands by the sailor; and I acknowledge that I attempted
with that gun to defend my family and my house from immediate violence;
I am, however," continued he, "happy to have escaped having injured any
person, even in the most justifiable cause, for the piece did not go
off, it only flashed in the pan."

"If that be the case," said the magistrate, "the piece is still loaded."

The gun was tried, and it was found to be empty both of powder and ball.
As the magistrate returned the piece to the man, I came forward and
asked leave to examine it. I observed to the magistrate, that if the
piece had been fired, the inside of the barrel must retain marks of
the discharge, whereas, on the contrary, the inside of the barrel was
perfectly smooth and clean. To this the man replied, that he had cleaned
the piece when he brought it home, which might indeed have been true. At
this moment, I recollected a circumstance that I had lately heard from
the officers in the country, who had been talking about a fowling-piece,
and of the careless manner in which fire-arms are sometimes proved
[Footnote: See Manton on Gunnery.]. Upon examination, I found that what
I suspected might be just possible was actually the case with respect
to the piece in question--the touch-hole had never been bored through,
though the piece was marked as _proof_! I never shall forget the
satisfaction which appeared in the countenance of the humane magistrate,
who from the beginning had suspected the evidence, whom he knew from
former delinquency. The man was indeed called an ironmonger, but his
was one of those _old iron shops_ which were known to be receptacles of
stolen goods of various descriptions. To my surprise, it now appeared
that this man's name was Dutton: he was the very Dutton who had formerly
been Jacob's rival, and who had been under Lord Mowbray's protection.
Time and intemperance had altered him so much, that I had not, till I
heard his name, the slightest recollection of his face. What his motive
for appearing against Mr. Montenero might be, whether it was hatred to
him as being the patron of Jacob, whom Dutton envied and detested, or
whether Dutton was instigated by some other and higher person, I shall
not now stop to inquire. As he had not been put upon his oath, he had
not been guilty of perjury; he was discharged amidst the hootings of the
mob. Notwithstanding their prejudice against the Jews, and their rage
against a Jew who had harboured, as they conceived, two _concealed_
papists and a priest, yet the moment an attempt to bear false witness
against Mr. Montenero appeared, the people took his part. In England the
mob is always in favour of truth and innocence, wherever these are
made clearly evident to their senses. Pleased with themselves for their
impartiality, it was not difficult at this moment for me to convince
them, as I did, that Mr. Montenero had not harboured either papists or
priest. The mob gave us three cheers. As we passed through the crowd,
I saw Jacob and the orange-woman--the orange-woman, with broad expanded
face of joy, stretched up her arms, and shouted loud, that all the mob
might hear. Jacob, little accustomed to sympathy, and in the habit of
repressing his emotions, stood as one unmoved or dumb, till his eyes met
mine, and then suddenly joy spread over his features and flashed from
his dark eyes--that was a face of delight I never can forget; but I
could not stay: I hastened to be the first to tell Berenice of her
father's safety, and of the proof which all the world had had of the
falsehood of the charge against him. I ran up to the drawing-room, where
she was alone. She fainted in my arms.

And now you think, that when she came to herself, there was an end of
all my fears, all my suspense--you think that her love, her gratitude,
overcame the objection, whatever it may be, which has hitherto been
called invincible--alas! you are mistaken.

I was obliged to resign Berenice to the care of her attendants. A short
time afterwards I received from her father the following note:--

"My obligations to you are great, so is my affection for you; but the
happiness of my child, as well as your happiness, is at stake.

"I dare not trust my gratitude--my daughter and you must never meet
again, or must meet to part no more.

"I cannot yet decide: if I shall be satisfied that the obstacle do not
exist, she shall be yours; if it do exist, we sail the first of next
month for America, and you, Mr. Harrington, will not be the only, or
perhaps the most, unhappy person of the three.

"A. MONTENERO."



CHAPTER XVI.

The Sunday after the riots, I happened to see Mrs. Coates, as we were
coming out of St. George's church. She was not in full-blown, happy
importance, as formerly: she looked ill and melancholy; or, as one of
her city neighbours, who was following her out of church, expressed it,
quite "crest-fallen." I heard some whispering that "things were going
wrong at home with the Coates's--that the world was going down hill with
the alderman."

But a lady, who was quite a stranger, though she did me the honour to
speak to me, explained that it was "no such thing--worth a plum still,
if he be worth a farthing. 'Tis only that she was greatly put out of her
way last week, and frightened, till well nigh beside herself, by them
rioters that came and set fire to one of the Coates's, Mr. Peter's,
warehouse. Now, though poor Mrs. Coates, you'd think, is so plump and
stout to look at, she is as nervous!--you've no notion, sir!--shakes
like an aspen leaf, if she but takes a cup of green tea--so I prescribe
bohea. But there she's curtsying, and nodding, and kissing hands to you,
sir, see!--and can tell you, no doubt, all about herself."

Mrs. Coates's deplorably placid countenance, tremulous muscles, and
lamentable voice and manner, confirmed to me the truth of the assertion
that she had been frightened nearly out of her senses.

"Why now, sir, after all," said she, "I begin to find what fools we
were, when we made such a piece of work one election year, and said that
no soldiers should come into the town, 'cause we were _free Britons_.
Why, Lord 'a mercy! 'tis a great deal better _maxim_ to sleep safe in
our beds than to be _free Britons_ and burnt to death [Footnote: Vide
Mrs. Piozzi's Letters.]."

Persons of higher pretensions to understanding and courage than poor
Mrs. Coates, seemed at this time ready to adopt her maxim; and patriots
feared that it might become the national sentiment. No sooner were order
and tranquillity perfectly re-established in the city, than the public
in general, and party politicians in particular, were intent upon the
trials of the rioters, and more upon the question whether the military
had suppressed the riots constitutionally or unconstitutionally. It
was a question to be warmly debated in parliament; and this, after the
manner in which great public and little private interests, in the chain
of human events, are continually linked together, proved of important
consequence to me and my love affairs.

A call of the house brought my father to town, contrary to his will,
and consequently in ill-humour. This ill-humour was increased by the
perplexing situation in which he found himself, with his passions on
one side of the question and his principles on the other: hating the
papists, and loving the ministry. In his secret soul, my father cried
with the rioters, "No papists!--no French!--no Jews!--no wooden shoes!"
but a cry against government was abhorrent to his very nature. My
conduct, with regard to the riot at Mr. Montenero's, and towards the
rioters, by whom he had been falsely accused, my father heard spoken of
with approbation in the political circles which he most reverenced; and
he could not but be pleased, he confessed, to hear that his son had so
properly conducted himself: but still it was all in defence of the Jews,
and of the father of that Jewess whose very name was intolerable to his
ear.

"So, Harrington, my boy, you've gained great credit, I find, by your
conduct last Wednesday night. Very lucky, too, for your mother's friend,
Lady de Brantefield, that you were where you were. But after all,
sir, what the devil business had you there?--and again on Thursday
morning!--I acknowledge that was a good hit you made, about the gun--but
I wish it had been in the defence of some good Christian: what business
has a Jew with a gun at all?--Government knows best, to be sure; but
I split against them once before, three-and-twenty years ago, on the
naturalization bill. What is this cry which the people set up?--'_No
Jews!--no wooden shoes_!'--ha! ha! ha!--the dogs!--but they carried it
too far, the rascals!--When it comes to throwing stones at gentlemen's
carriages, and pulling down gentlemen's and noblemen's dwelling-houses,
it's a mob and a riot, and the rioters deserve certainly to be
hanged--and I'm heartily glad my son has come forward, Mrs. Harrington,
and has taken a decided and distinguished part in bringing the offenders
to justice. But, Harrington, pray tell me now, young gentleman, about
that Jewess."

Before I opened my lips, something in the turn of my physiognomy enraged
my father to such a degree that all the blood in his body came into
his face, and, starting up, he cried, "Don't answer me, sir--I ask
no questions--I don't want to hear any thing about the matter! Only
_if_--if, sir--if--that's all I have to say--if--by Jupiter Ammon--sir,
I won't hear a word--a syllable! You only wish to explain--I won't have
any explanation--I have business enough on my hands, without listening
to a madman's nonsense!"

My father began to open his morning's packet of letters and newspapers.
One letter, which had been directed to his house in the country, and
which had followed him to town, seemed to, alarm him terribly. He
put the letter into my mother's hand, cursed all the post-masters in
England, who were none of them to blame for its not reaching him sooner,
called for his hat and cane, said he must go instantly to the city,
but "feared all was, too late, and that we were undone." With this
comfortable assurance he left us. The letter was from a broker in
Lombard-street, who did business for my father, and who wrote to let him
know that, "in consequence of the destruction of a great brewery in the
late riots, several mercantile houses had been injured. Alderman Coates
had died suddenly of an apoplexy, it was said: his house had closed on
Saturday; and it was feared that Baldwin's bank would not stand the run
made on it."

Now in Baldwin's bank, as my mother informed me, my father had eight
days before lodged £30,000, the purchase money of that estate which he
had been obliged to sell to pay for his three elections. This sum
was, in fact, every shilling of it due to creditors, who had become
clamorous; and "if _this_ be gone," said my mother, "we are lost
indeed!--this house must go, and the carriages, and every thing; the
Essex estate is all we shall have left, and live there as we can--very
ill it must be, to us who have been used to affluence and luxury. Your
father, who expects his table, and every individual article of his
establishment, to be in the first style, as if by magic, without ever
reflecting on the means, but just inviting people, and leaving it to me
to entertain them properly--oh! I know how bitterly he would feel even
retrenchment!--and this would be ruin; and every thing that vexes him
of late brings on directly a fit of the gout--and then you know what his
temper is! Heaven knows what I had to go through with my nerves, and my
delicate health, during the last fit, which came on the very day after
we left you, and lasted six weeks, and which he sets down to your
account, Harrington, and to the account of your Jewess."

I had too much feeling for my mother's present distress to increase her
agitation by saying any thing on this tender subject. I let her accuse
me as she pleased--and she very soon began to defend me. The accounts
she had heard in various letters of the notice that had been taken of
Miss Montenero by some of the leading persons in the fashionable world,
the proposals that had been made to her, and especially the addresses of
Lord Mowbray, which had been of sufficient publicity, had made, I found,
a considerable alteration in my mother's judgment or feelings. She
observed that it was a pity my father was so violently prejudiced
and obstinate, for that, after all, it would not be an unprecedented
marriage. My mother, after a pause, went on to say, that though she was
not, she hoped, an interested person, and should scorn the idea of her
son's being a fortune-hunter--and indeed I had given pretty sufficient
proof that I was not of that description of suitors; yet, if the Jewess
were really amiable, and as capable of generous attachment, it would be,
my mother at last acknowledged, the best thing I could do, to secure an
independent establishment with the wife of my choice.

I was just going to tell my mother of the conversation that I had had
with Mr. Montenero, and of _the obstacle_, when her mind reverted to
the Lombard-street letter, and to Baldwin's bank; and for a full hour
we discussed the probability of Baldwin's standing or failing, though
neither of us had any means of judging--of this, being perhaps the
least anxious of the two, I became sensible the first. I finished, by
stationing myself at the window to watch for my father's return, of
which I promised to give my mother notice, if she would lie down quietly
on the sofa, and try to compose her spirits; she had given orders to be
denied to all visitors, but every knock at the door made her start, and
"There's your father! There's Mr. Harrington!" was fifty times repeated
before the hour when it was even possible that my father could have
returned from the city.

When the probable time came and passed, when it grew later and later
without my father's appearing, our anxiety and impatience rose to the
highest pitch.

At last I gave my mother notice that I saw among the walkers at the end
of the street which joined our square, an elderly gentleman with a cane.

"But there are so many elderly gentlemen with canes," said my mother,
joining me at the window. "Is it Mr. Harrington?"

"It is very like my father, ma'am. Now you can see him plainly picking
his way over the crossing."

"He is looking down," said my mother; "that is a very bad sign.--But is
he not looking up now?"

"No, ma'am; and now he is taking snuff."

"Taking snuff! is he? Then there is some hope," said my mother.

During the last forty yards of my father's walk, we each drew
innumerable and often opposite conclusions, from his slightest gestures
and motions, interpreting them all as favourable or unfavourable omens.
In the course of five minutes my mother's _presentiments_ varied fifty
times. At length came his knock at the door. My mother grew pale--to her
ear it said "all's lost;" to mine it sounded like "all's safe."

"He stays to take off his great coat! a good sign; but he comes heavily
up stairs." Our eyes were fixed on the door--he opened it, and advanced
towards us without uttering one syllable.

"All's lost--and all's safe," said my father. "My fortune's safe, Mrs.
Harrington."

"What becomes of your presentiments, my dear mother?" said I.

"Thank Heaven!" said my mother, "I was wrong for once."

"You might thank Heaven for more than once, madam," said my father.

"But then what did you mean by all's lost, Mr. Harrington; if all's
safe, how can all be lost?"

"My all, Mrs. Harrington, is not all fortune. There is such a thing as
credit as well as fortune, Mrs. Harrington."

"But if you have not lost your fortune, you have not lost your credit, I
presume," said my mother.

"I have a character as a gentleman, Mrs. Harrington."

"Of course."

"A character for consistency, Mrs. Harrington, to preserve."

"'Tis a hard thing to preserve, no doubt," said my mother.

"But I wish you'd speak plain, for my nerves can't bear it."

"Then I can tell you, Mrs. Harrington, your nerves have a great deal to
bear yet. What will your nerves feel, madam--what will your enthusiasm
say, sir--when I tell you, that I have lost my heart to--a Jewess?"

"Berenice!" cried I.

"Impossible!" cried my mother. "How came you to see her?"

"That's not for you to know yet; but first, young gentleman, you who are
hanging on tenter-hooks, you must hang there a little longer."

"As long as you please, my dear father," said I.

"_Your dear father_!--ay, I'm very dear to you now, because you are in
hopes, sir, I shall turn fool, and break my vow into the bargain; but I
am not come to _that_ yet, my good sir--I have some consistency."

"Oh! never mind your consistency, for mercy's sake, Mr. Harrington,"
said my mother, "only tell us your story, for I really am dying to hear
it, and I am so weak."

"Ring the bell for dinner," said my father, "for Mrs. Harrington's so
weak, I'll keep my story till after dinner." My mother protested she was
quite strong, and we both held my father fast, insisting--he being in
such excellent humour and spirits that we might insist--insisting upon
his telling his story before he should have any dinner.

"Where was I?" said he.

"You know best," said my mother; "you said you had lost your heart to a
Jewess, and Harrington exclaimed _Berenice!_ and that's all I've heard
yet."

"Very well, then, let us leave Berenice for the present"--I
groaned--"and go to her father, Mr. Montenero, and to a certain Mrs.
Coates."

"Mrs. Coates! did you see her too?" cried my mother: "you seem to have
seen every body in the world this morning, Mr. Harrington. How happened
it that you saw vulgar Mrs. Coates?"

"Unless I shut my eyes, how can I avoid seeing vulgar people, madam?
and how can I tell my story, Mrs. Harrington, if you interrupt me
perpetually, to ask how I came to see every soul and body I mention?"

"I will interrupt you no more," said my mother, submissively, for she
was curious.

I placed an arm-chair for my father--in my whole life I never felt so
dutiful or so impatient.

"There, now," said my father, taking his seat in the chair, "if you
will promise not to interrupt me any more, I will tell you my story
regularly. I went to Baldwin's bank: I found a great crowd, all pressing
their demands--the clerks as busy as they could be, and all putting a
good face upon the matter. The head-clerk I saw was vexed at the sight
of me--he came out from behind his desk, and begged I would go up stairs
to Mr. Baldwin, who wished to speak to me. I was shown up stairs to Mr.
Baldwin, with whom I found a remarkably gentlemanlike foreign-looking
man.

"Yes, sir--yes, ma'am--Mr. Montenero: it is well you did not either of
you interrupt me to tell me his name, for if you had, I would not have
told you a word more. Well, Mr. Baldwin, evidently wishing me at the
devil, came forward to receive me, and, in great perplexity, said he
would be at my command; he would settle my business immediately;
but must beg my pardon for five minutes, while he settled with this
gentleman, _Mr. Montenero_. On hearing the name, I am sure my look would
have said plain enough to any man alive but Baldwin, that I did not
choose to be introduced; but Baldwin has no breeding: so it was _Mr.
Montenero, Mr. Harrington--Mr. Harrington, Mr. Montenero_. I bowed, and
wished the _Jew_ in the Red Sea, and Baldwin along with him. I then took
up a newspaper and retreated to the window, begging that I might not be
any interruption. The cursed paper was four days old, so I put it down;
and as I stood looking at nothing out of the window, I heard Baldwin
going on with your Jew. They had a load of papers on the table, which
Baldwin kept shuffling, as he talked about the losses the house had
sustained by the sudden death of Alderman Coates, and the sad bankruptcy
of the executors. Baldwin seasoned high with compliments to the Jew upon
his known liberality and generosity, and was trying to get him to enter
into some security, which the Jew refused, saying that what he gave he
gave willingly, but he would not enter into security: he added, that
the alderman and his family had been unjustifiably extravagant; but
on condition that all was given up fairly to the creditors, and a new
course entered upon, he and his daughter would take care that the widow
should be provided for properly. As principal creditor, Mr. Baldwin
would, by this means, be first satisfied. I could not help thinking that
all the Jew said was fair enough, and firm too; but when he had said
and done, I wondered that he did not go away. He and Baldwin came to the
window to which I had retreated, and Baldwin, like a city bear as he is,
got in his awkward way between us, and seizing one button of my coat
and one of Mr. Montenero's, held us there face to face, while he went on
talking of my demand on the house.

"'You see, Mr. Harrington,' said he, 'how we are circumstanced. The
property of the firm is able to answer all fair demands in due course.
But here's a set and a run made against us, and no house could stand
without the assistance, that is, the forbearance of friends--that's what
we must look to. Some of our friends, in particular Mr. Montenero,
have been very friendly indeed--very handsome and liberal--and we have
nothing to say; we cannot, in reason, expect him to do more for the
Coates's or for us.' And then came accounts of the executors, &c., in
his banking jargon.

"What the deuce was all this to me, you know? and how awkward I felt,
held by the button there, to rejudge Mr. Montenero's acts! I had nothing
for it but my snuff-box. But Baldwin's a mere clerk--cannot guess at
the feelings of a gentleman. Mr. Montenero, I observed, looked down upon
Baldwin all the time with so much the air of a high-bred gentleman, that
I began to think he could not be the Jew--Montenero.

"Baldwin, still thinking only of holding him up as an example to me,
went on, saying, 'Mr. Montenero, who is a foreigner, and a stranger to
the house, has done so and so, and we trust our old friends will do as
much--Mr. Harrington in particular. There's our books on the table, open
to Mr. Harrington--he will see we shall be provided on the fifteenth
instant; but, in short, if Mr. Harrington draws his £30,000 to-day, he
drives us to pay in sixpences--so there's the case.' In short, it came
to this: if I drew, I certainly ruined them; if I did not draw, I ran a
great hazard of being ruined myself. No, Baldwin would not have it that
way--so when he had stated it after his own fashion, and put it into and
out of his banker's jargon, it came out to be, that if I drew directly
I was certain to lose the whole; and if I did not draw, I should have
a good chance of losing a great part. I pulled my button away from the
fellow, and without listening to any more of his jabbering, for I saw
he was only speaking _against time_, and all on his own side of the
question, I turned to look at the books, of which I knew I never should
make head or tail, being no auditor of accounts, but a plain country
gentleman. While I was turning over their confounded day-books and
ledgers in despair, your Jew, Harrington, came up to me, and with such
a manner as I did not conceive a Jew could have--but he is a Spanish
Jew--that makes all the difference, I suppose--'Mr. Harrington,' said
he, 'though I am a stranger to you, permit me to offer my services
in this business--I have some right to do so, as I have accepted of
services, and am under real obligations to Mr. Harrington, your son,
a young gentleman for whom I feel the highest attachment as well as
gratitude, but of whom I will now say only, that he has been one of
the chief means of saving my life and my character. His father cannot,
therefore, I think, refuse to let me show at least some sense of
the obligations I have willingly received. My collection of Spanish
pictures, which, without your son's exertions, I could not have saved
on the night of the riot, has been estimated by your best English
connoisseurs at £60,000. Three English noblemen are at this moment ready
to pay down £30,000 for a few of these pictures: this will secure Mr.
Harrington's demand on this house. If you, Mr. Baldwin, pay him, before
three hours are over the money shall be with you. It is no sacrifice of
my taste or of my pictures,' continued your noble Jew, in answer to my
scruples: 'I lodge them with three different bankers only for security
for the money. If Mr. Baldwin stands the storm, we are all as we
were--my pictures into the bargain. If the worst happen, I lose only a
few instead of all my collection.'

"This was very generous--quite noble, but you know I am an obstinate old
fellow. I had still the Jewess, the daughter, running in my head, and
I thought, perhaps, I was to be asked for my _consent_, you know,
Harrington, or some sly underplot of that kind.

"Mr. Montenero has a quick eye--I perceived that he saw into my
thoughts; but we could not speak to our purpose before Baldwin, and
Baldwin would never think of stirring, if one was dying to get him out
of the room. Luckily, however, he was called away by one of the clerks.

"Then Mr. Montenero, who speaks more to the point than any man I
ever heard, spoke directly of your love for his daughter, and said he
understood that it would not be a match that I should approve. I pleaded
my principles and religious difficulties:--he replied, 'We need not
enter into that, for the present business I must consider as totally
independent of any view to future connexion:'--if his daughter was going
to be married to-morrow to another man, he should do exactly the same
as he now proposed to do. He did not lessen her fortune:--he should
say nothing of what her sense of gratitude was and ought to be--she had
nothing to do with the business.

"When I found that my _Jupiter Amman_ was in no danger, and that the
love affair was to be kept clear out of the question, I was delighted
with your generous Jew, Harrington, and I frankly accepted his offer.
Baldwin came in again, was quite happy when he heard how it was settled,
gave me three drafts at thirty-one days for my money on the bankers Mr.
Montenero named: here I have them safe in my pocket. Mr. Montenero then
said, he would go immediately and perform his part of the business; and,
as he left the room, he begged Mr. Baldwin to tell his daughter that he
would call for her in an hour.

"I now, for the first time, understood that the daughter was in the
house; and I certainly felt a curiosity to see her. Baldwin told me she
was settling some business, signing some papers in favour of poor Mrs.
Coates, the alderman's widow. He added, that the Jewess was a charming
creature, and as generous as her father:--he told all she had done for
this widow and her children, on account of some kindness her mother had
received in early life from the Coates's family; and then there was a
history of some other family of Manessas--I never heard Baldwin eloquent
but this day, in speaking of your Jewess:--Harrington, I believe he is
in love with her himself. I said I should like to see her, if it could
be managed.

"Nothing easier, if I would partake of a cold collation just serving in
the next room for the friends of the house.

"You know the nearer a man is to being ruined, the better he must
entertain his friends. I walked into the next room, when collation time
came, and I saw Miss Montenero. Though I had given him a broad hint--but
the fellow understands nothing but his IOU's--he fell to introducing of
course: she is a most interesting-looking creature, I acknowledge, my
boy, if--she were not a Jewess. I thought she would have sunk into the
earth when she heard my name. I could not eat one morsel of the man's
collation--so--Ring for dinner, and let us say no more about the matter
at present: there is my oath against it, you know--there is an end of
the matter--don't let me hear a word from you, Harrington--I am tired to
death, quite exhausted, body and mind."

I refrained most dutifully, and most prudently, from saying one word
more on the subject, till my father, after dinner, and after being
refreshed by a sound and long-protracted sleep, began again to speak of
Mr. and Miss Montenero. This was the first time he omitted to call them
the Jew and Jewess. He condescended to say repeatedly, and with many
oaths, that they both deserved to be Christians--that if there was any
chance of the girl's conversion, even _he_ would overlook the father's
being a Jew, as he was such a noble fellow. Love could do wonders--as
my father knew when he was a young man--perhaps I might bring about her
conversion, and then all would be smooth and right, and no oath against
it.

I thanked my father for the kind concessions he now appeared willing
to make for my happiness, and from step to step, at each step repeating
that he did not want to hear a syllable about the matter, he made me
tell him every thing that had passed. Mowbray's rivalship and treachery
excited his indignation in the highest degree: he was heartily glad that
fellow was refused--he liked the girl for refusing him--some spirit--he
liked spirit--and he should be glad that his son carried away the prize.

He interrupted himself to tell me some of the feats of gallantry of his
younger days, and of the manner in which he had at last carried off my
mother from a rascal of a rival--a Lord Mowbray of those times.

When my father had got to this point, my mother ventured to ask whether
I had ever gone so far as to propose, actually to _propose_, for Miss
Montenero.

"Yes."

Both father and mother turned about, and asked, "What answer?"

I repeated, as nearly as I could, Mr. Montenero's words--and I produced
his note.

Both excited surprise and curiosity.

"What can this obstacle--this mysterious obstacle be?" said my mother.

"An obstacle on their side!" exclaimed my father: "is that possible?"

I had now, at least, the pleasure of enjoying their sympathy: and of
hearing them go over all the conjectures by which I had been bewildered.
I observed that the less chance there appeared to be of the match, the
more my father and mother inclined towards it.

"At least," said my mother, "I hope we shall know what the objection
is."

"It is very extraordinary, after all, that it should be on their side,"
repeated my father.

My mother's imagination, and my father's pride, were both strongly
excited; and I let them work without interruption.



CHAPTER XVII.

The time appointed for Mr. Montenero's final decision approached. In
a few days my fate was to be decided. The vessel that was to sail for
America was continually before my eyes.

It was more difficult to me to endure the suspense of these few days
than all the rest. My mother's sympathy, and the strong interest which
had been excited on the subject in my father's mind, were at first
highly agreeable; but there was so much more of curiosity and of pride
in their feelings than in mine, that at last it became irksome to me
to hear their conjectures and reflections. I did not like to answer
any questions--I could not bear to speak of Berenice, or even of Mr.
Montenero.

I took refuge in silence--my mother reproached me for my silence. I
talked on fast of any thing but that which interested me most.

My mother became extremely alarmed for my health, and I believe with
more reason than usual; for I could scarcely either eat, drink, or
sleep, and was certainly very feverish; but still I walked about, and
to escape from the constraint to which I put myself in her company,
to avoid giving her pain--to relieve myself from her hourly fond
inquiries--from the effort of talking, when I wished to be silent--of
appearing well, and in spirits, when I was ill, and when my heart was
dying within me, I escaped from her presence as much as possible. To
feed upon my thoughts in solitude, I either shut myself up in my room,
or walked all day in those streets where I was not likely to meet with
any one who knew me, or whom I knew; and there I was at least safe from
all notice, and secure from all sympathy: I am sure I experienced at
this time the truth of what some one has quaintly but justly asserted,
that an individual can never feel more completely alone than in the
midst of a crowded metropolis.

One evening when I was returning homewards through the city, fatigued,
but still prolonging my walk, that I might not be at home too early for
dinner, I was met and stopped by Jacob: I had not thought of him lately,
and when I looked up in his face, I was surprised by an appearance of
great perturbation. He begged pardon for stopping me, but he had been to
my house--he had been all over the town searching for me, to consult me
about a sad affair, in which he was unfortunately concerned. We were not
far from Manessa's, the jeweller's shop; I went in there with Jacob,
as he wished, he said, that I should hear Mr. Manessa's evidence on the
business, as well as his own. The affair was this: Lady de Brantefield
had, some time ago, brought to Mr. Manessa's some very fine antique
jewels, to be re-set for her daughter, Lady Anne Mowbray. One day,
immediately after the riots, both the ladies called at Mr. Manessa's,
to inquire if the jewels were ready. They were finished; the new setting
was approved: but Lady de Brantefield having suffered great losses by
the destruction of her house and furniture in the riots, and her
son, Lord Mowbray, being also in great pecuniary difficulties, it was
suggested by Lady Anne Mowbray, that her mother would be glad if Mr.
Manessa could dispose of some of the jewels, without letting it be known
to whom they had belonged. Mr. Manessa, willing to oblige, promised
secresy, and offered immediately to purchase the jewels himself; in
consequence, the jewels were all spread out upon a little table in the
back parlour--no one present but Jacob, Mr. Manessa, and the two ladies.
A great deal of conversation passed, and the ladies were a long time
settling what trinkets they would part with.

It was very difficult to accommodate at once the personal vanity of
the daughter, the family pride of the mother, and their pecuniary
difficulties. There occurred, in particular, a question about a topaz
ring, of considerable value, but of antique setting, which Lady Anne
Mowbray wished her mother to part with, instead of some more fashionable
diamond ornament that Lady Anne wanted to keep for herself. Lady de
Brantefield had, however, resisted all her daughter's importunities--had
talked a vast deal about the ring--told that it had been Sir Josseline
de Mowbray's--that it had come into his possession by ducal and princely
descent--that it was one of four rings, which had been originally a
present from Pope Innocent to King John, of which rings there was a full
description in some old chronicle [Footnote: Rymer's Foedera.], and
in Mr. Hume's History of England, to which her ladyship referred Mr.
Manessa: his curiosity [Footnote: For the satisfaction of any readers
who may have more curiosity upon the subject than Mr. Manessa had,
but yet who would not willingly rise from their seats to gratify their
curiosity, the passage is here given _gratis_. "Innocent wrote John a
mollifying letter, and sent him four golden rings, set with precious
stones; and endeavoured to enhance the value of the present, by
informing him of the many mysteries which were implied by it. He begged
him to consider, seriously, the _form_ of the rings, their _number_,
their _matter_, and their _colour_. Their form, he said, being round,
shadowed out eternity, which has neither beginning nor end. Their
number, four, being a square, denoted steadiness of mind, not to be
subverted either by adversity or prosperity, fixed for ever on the four
cardinal virtues. Gold, which is the matter, signified wisdom. The blue
of the sapphire, faith. The verdure of the emerald, hope. The redness
of the ruby, charity. And splendour of the topaz, good works." "By these
conceits," continued the historian, "Innocent endeavoured to repay John
for one of the most important prerogatives of the crown."], however,
was perfectly satisfied upon the subject, and he was, with all due
deference, willing to take the whole upon her ladyship's word, without
presuming to verify her authorities. While she spoke, she took the ring
from her finger, and put it into Jacob's hand, desiring to know if he
could make it fit her finger better, as it was rather too large. Jacob
told her it could be easily lessened, if her ladyship would leave it
for an hour or two with him. But her ladyship said she could not let Sir
Josseline's ring out of her own sight, it was of such inestimable value.
The troublesome affair of satisfying both the vain daughter and
the proud mother being accomplished--the last bows were made at the
door--the carriage drove away, and Manessa and Jacob thanked Heaven that
they had done with these _difficult_ customers. Two hours had scarcely
elapsed before a footman came from Lady de Brantefield with the
following note:--

"Lady de Brantefield informs Mr. Manessa that she is in the greatest
anxiety--not finding Sir Josseline de Mowbray's ring on her finger, upon
her return home. Her ladyship now recollects having left it in the hands
of one of Mr. Manessa's shopmen, a young man she believes of the name
of Jacob, the only person except Mr. Manessa, who was in the little
parlour, while her ladyship and Lady Anne Mowbray were there.

"Lady de Brantefield requests that Mr. Manessa will bring the ring
_himself_ to Lady Warbeck's, Hanover-square, where Lady de Brantefield
is at present.

"Lady de Brantefield desires Mr. M. will make _no delay_, as her
ladyship must remain in indescribable anxiety till Sir Josseline's ring
shall be restored. Her ladyship could not answer for such a loss to her
family and posterity.

"_Hanover-square, Tuesday._"

       *       *       *       *       *

Jacob was perfectly certain that her ladyship had not left the ring
with him; nevertheless he made diligent search for it, and afterwards
accompanied Mr. Manessa to Lady Warbeck's, to assure Lady de Brantefield
that the ring was not in their house. He endeavoured to bring to her
recollection her having put it on her finger just before she got into
the carriage; but this her ladyship would not admit. Lady Anne supported
her mother's assertions; and Lady de Brantefield ended by being
haughtily angry, declaring she would not be contradicted by a shopman,
and that she was positive the ring had never been returned to her.
Within eight-and-forty hours the story was told by Lady de Brantefield
and her friends at every card-table at the polite end of the town, and
it was spread by Lady Anne through the park and the ball-rooms; and the
ladies'-maids had repeated it, with all manner of exaggerations, through
their inferior but not less extensive circles. The consequence was, that
the character of Mr. Manessa's house was hurt, and Jacob, who was the
person accused as the cause of it, was very unhappy. The confidence
Mr. Manessa had in him, and the kindness he showed him, increased
his regret. Lady de Brantefield had, in a high tone, threatened a
prosecution for the value of her _inestimable_ ring. This was what both
Jacob and Mr. Manessa would have desired--a public trial, they
knew, would bring the truth to light; but her ladyship was probably
discouraged by her legal advisers from a prosecution, so that Mr.
Manessa and Jacob were still left to suffer by the injustice of private
whisperings. Jacob offered to replace, as far as he could, the value of
this ring; but in Lady de Brantefield's opinion nothing could compensate
for its loss. Poor Jacob was in despair. Before I heard this story, I
thought that nothing could have forced my attention from my own affairs;
but I could not be so selfish as to desert or neglect Jacob in his
distress. I went with my mother this evening to see Lady de Brantefield;
her ladyship was still at her relation's, Lady Warbeck's house, where
she had apartments to herself, in which she could receive what company
she pleased. There was to be a ball in the house this evening, but
Lady de Brantefield never mixed in what she called _idle gaieties_; she
abhorred a bustle, as it infringed upon her personal dignity, and did
not agree with her internal persuasion that she was, or ought to be, the
first object in all company. We found her ladyship in her own retired
apartment; her eyes were weak, and the room had so little light in it,
that when we first went in, I could scarcely distinguish any object: I
saw, however, a young woman, who had been reading to her ladyship,
rise as we entered, put down her book, and prepare to retire. My mother
stopped her as she was passing, and turning to me, said, that this was a
young person, she was sure, I should be glad to see, the daughter of an
old friend of mine.

I looked, and saw a face which awakened the most painful associations of
my childhood.

"Did not I perceive any likeness?" my mother continued. "But it was
so many years since I had seen poor Fowler, and I was so very young a
child, no wonder I should not in the least recollect."

I had some recollection--if I was not mistaken--I stammered--I
stopped. In fact, I recollected too well to be able to pay the expected
compliment. However, after I had got over the first involuntary shudder,
I tried to say something to relieve the embarrassment which I fancied
the girl must feel.

She, in a mincing, waiting-gentlewoman's manner, and with a certain
unnatural softness of voice, which again brought all the mother to my
mind, assured me that if I'd forgot her mother, she had not forgot me;
for that she'd often and often heard her mother talk of me, and she was
morally confident her mother had never loved any child so doatingly,
except, to be sure, her own present lady's, Lady Anne Mowbray. Her
mother had often and often regretted she could never get a sight or
sentence of me since I grew up to be a great gentleman, she
always having been stationary down at my lady's, in Surrey, at
the Priory--housekeeper--and I never there; but if I'd have the
condescension to wish to gratify her mother, as it would be the greatest
gratification in life--if Lady de Brantefield--

"Presently, perhaps--when I ring," said Lady de Brantefield, "and
you, Nancy Fowler, may come back yourself with my treble ruffles: Mrs.
Harrington, I know, will have the goodness to permit. I keep her as much
under my own eye, and suffer her to be as much even in the room with me,
as possible," added Lady de Brantefield, as Nancy left the room; "for
she is a young person quite out of the common line, and her mother
i--but you first recommended her to me, Mrs. Harrington, I remember."

"_The most faithful creature!_" said my mother, in the very tone I had
heard it pronounced twenty years before.

I was carried back so far, so forcibly, and so suddenly, that it was
some time before I could recover myself sufficiently to recollect what
was the order of the day; but no matter--my mother passed on quite
easily to the jewels, and my silence was convenient, and had an air
of perfect deference for Lady de Brantefield's long story of Sir
Josseline's ring, now told over, I believe, for the ninety-ninth time
this season. She ended where she began, with the conviction that, if
the secretary of state would, as he ought, on such an occasion, grant
a general search-warrant, as she was informed had been done for papers,
and things of much less value, her ring would be found in _that_ Jacob's
possession--_that_ Jacob, of whom she had a very bad opinion!

I took the matter up as quietly as was in my nature, and did not begin
with a panegyric on my friend Jacob, but simply asked, what reason her
ladyship had for her very bad opinion of him?

Too good reason, her ladyship emphatically said: she had heard her son,
Lord Mowbray, express a _very_ bad opinion of him.

Lord Mowbray had known this Jacob, she believed, when a boy, and
afterwards when a man at Gibraltar, and had always thought ill of him.
Lord Mowbray had said, that Jacob was avaricious and revengeful; as you
know Jews always are, added her ladyship.

I wondered she had trusted her jewels, then, in such hands.

There, she owned, she had for once been wrong--overruled by others--by
her daughter, Lady Anne, who said the jewels could be more fashionably
set at Manessa's than any where else.

She had never acted against her own judgment in her life, without
repenting of it. Another circumstance, Lady de Brantefield said,
prepossessed her, she owned, against this Jacob; he was from the very
dregs of the people; the son absolutely of an old clothes-man, she
had been informed. What could be expected from such a person, when
temptation came in his way? and could we trust to any thing such a low
sort of person would say?

Lady Anne Mowbray, before I had time to answer, entered dressed for
the ball, with her jewels in full blaze, and for some time there was a
suspension of all hope of coming to any thing like common sense. When
her mother appealed to her about Jacob, Lady Anne protested she took a
horrid dislike to his face the moment she saw him; she thought he had a
shocking Jewish sort of countenance, and she was positive he would swear
falsely, because he was ready to swear that her mamma had the ring on
her finger when she got into the carriage--now Lady Anne was clear she
had not.

"Has your ladyship," I asked, "any particular reason for remembering
this fact?"

"Oh, yes! several very particular reasons."

There is sometimes wisdom in listening to a fool's reasons; for ten to
one that the reasons will prove the contrary to what they are brought
to support, or will at least bring out some fact, the distant bearing of
which on the point of question the fool does not perceive. But when two
fools pour out their reasons at once, it is difficult to profit even
by their folly. The mother's authority at last obtaining precedency,
I heard Lady de Brantefield's cause of belief, first: her ladyship
declared that she never wore Sir Josseline's ring without putting
on after it a _guard ring_, a ring which, being tighter than Sir
Josseline's, kept it safe on her finger. She remembered drawing off the
guard ring when she took off Sir Josseline's, and put that into Jacob's
hands; her ladyship said it was clear to her mind that she could not
have put on Sir Josseline's again, because here was the guard ring on
her _wrong_ finger--a finger on which she never in her life wore it when
she wore Sir Josseline's, for Sir Josseline's was so loose, it would
drop off, unless she had the guard on.

"But was not it possible," I asked, "that your ladyship might this once
have put on Sir Josseline's ring without recollecting the guard?"

No, absolutely impossible: if Jacob and all the Jews upon earth swore
it (who, by-the-bye, would swear any thing), she could not be convinced
against her reason--she knew her own habits--her private reasons to her
were unanswerable.

Lady Anne's private reasons to her were equally unanswerable; but
they were so confused, and delivered with so much volubility, as to be
absolutely unintelligible. All I could gather was, that Fowler and her
daughter Nancy were in the room when Lady Anne and her mother first
missed the ring--that when her mother drew off her glove, and
exclaimed, "Bless me, Sir Josseline's not here!" Lady Anne ran up to
the dressing-table, at which her mother was standing, to try to find the
ring, thinking that her mother might have dropped it in drawing off her
glove; "but it certainly was not drawn off with the glove."

"But might not it be left in the glove?" I asked.

"Oh! dear, no: I shook the glove myself, and Fowler turned every
finger inside out, and Nancy moved every individual box upon the
dressing-table. We were all in such a fuss, because you know mamma's
so particular about Sir Josseline; and to tell you the truth, I was
uncommonly anxious, because I knew if mamma was vexed and lost the
ring, she would not give me a certain diamond cross, that makes me so
particularly remember every circumstance--and I was in such a flurry,
that I know I threw down a bottle of aether that was on mamma's
toilette, on her muff--and it had such a horrid smell!"

The muff! I asked if the muff, as well as the glove, had been searched
carefully.

"La! to be sure--I suppose so--of course it was shaken, as every thing
else in the room was, a hundred times over: the toilette and mamma's
petticoats even, and cloak, and gloves, as I told you."

"Yes, but the muff, did your ladyship examine it yourself?"

"Did I examine it? I don't recollect. No, indeed, after the aether,
how could I touch it? you know: but of course it was shaken, it was
examined, I am sure; but really I know nothing about it--but this, that
it could not possibly be in it, the ring, I mean, because mamma had her
glove on."

I requested permission to see the muff.

"Oh, mamma was forced to give it away because of the horrid smell--she
bid Fowler take it out of the room that minute, and never let it come
near her again; but if you want to see it, ring for Fowler: you can
examine it as much as you please; depend upon it the ring's no more
there than I am--send for Fowler and Nancy, and they can tell you how
we shook every thing to no purpose. The ring's gone, and so am I, for
Colonel Topham's waiting, and I must lead off." And away her ladyship
tripped, flirting her perfumed fan as she went. Persisting in my wish to
see the muff, Lady de Brantefield desired me to ring for Fowler.

Her ladyship wondered, she said, how I could, after the reasons she had
given me for her being morally certain that she had left the ring with
Jacob, and after Lady Anne had justly remarked that the ring could
not get through her glove, entertain a hope of finding it in such a
ridiculous place as a muff. But since I was so possessed with this idea,
the muff should be produced--there was nothing like ocular demonstration
in these cases, except internal conviction: "Did you ring, Mr.
Harrington?"

"I did."

And Miss Nancy with the treble ruffles in her hand now appeared.

"'Tis your mother, child, I want," said Lady de Brantefield.

"Yes, my lady, she is only just finished assisting to lay out the ball
supper."

"But I want her--directly."

"Certainly, my lady, directly."

"And bid her bring--" A whisper from me to my mother, and from my mother
to her ladyship, failed of effect: after turning half round, as if
to ask me what I said--a look which did not pass unnoticed by Miss
Nancy--her ladyship finished her sentence--"And tell Fowler I desire
she will bring me the muff that I gave her last week--the day I lost my
ring."

This message would immediately put Fowler upon her guard, and I was at
first sorry that it had been so worded; but I recollected having heard
an eminent judge, a man of great abilities and experience, say, that if
he were called upon to form a judgment of any character, or to discover
the truth in any case, he would rather that the persons whom he was to
examine were previously put on their guard, than that they were not; for
that he should know, by what they guarded, of what they were afraid.

Fowler appeared--twenty years had so changed her face and figure, that
the sight of her did not immediately shock me as I feared it would. The
daughter, who, I suppose, more nearly resembled what her mother had been
at the time I had known her, was, of the two, the most disagreeable
to my sight and feelings. Fowler's voice was altered by the loss of
a tooth, and it was even by this change less odious to my ear. The
daughter's voice I could scarcely endure. I was somewhat relieved from
the fear of being prejudiced against Fowler by the perception of
this change in her; and while she was paying me her compliments, I
endeavoured to fortify the resolution I had made to judge of her with
perfect impartiality. Her delight at seeing me, however, I could not
believe to be sincere; and the reiterated repetition of her sorrow
for her never having been able to get a sight of me before, I thought
ill-judged: but no matter; many people in her station make these sort
of unmeaning speeches. If I had suffered my imagination to act, I
should have fancied that under a sort of prepared composure there was
constraint and alarm in her look as she spoke to me. I thought she
trembled; but I resolved not to be prejudiced--and this I repeated to
myself many times.

"Well, Fowler, but the muff," said Lady de Brantefield.

"The muff--oh! dear, my lady, I'm so sorry I can't have it for you--it's
not in the house nowhere--I parted with it out of hand directly upon
your saying, my lady, that you desired it might never be suffered to
come nigh your ladyship again. Then, says I to myself, since my lady
can't abide the smell, I can't never wear it, which it would have been
my pride to do; so I thought I could never get it fast enough out of the
house."

"And what did you do with it?"

"I made a present of it, my lady, to poor Mrs. Baxter, John Dutton's
sister, my lady, who was always so much attached to the family, and
would have a regard for even the smallest relic, vestige, or vestment, I
knew, above all things in nature, poor old soul!--she has, what with
the rheumatic pains, and one thing or another, lost the use of her right
arm, so it was particularly agreeable and appropriate--and she kissed
the muff--oh! my lady, I'm sure I only wish your ladyship could have
witnessed the poor soul's veneration."

In reply to a question which made my mother ask about the "poor soul,"
I further learned that Mrs. Baxter was wife to a pawnbroker in
Swallow-street. Fowler added, "If my lady wished any way for the muff, I
can get it to-morrow morning by breakfast, or by the time _you's up_, my
lady."

"Very well, very well, that will do, I suppose, will it not, Mr.
Harrington?"

I bowed, and said not a word more--Fowler, I saw, was glad to get rid of
the subject, and to go on to the treble ruffles, on which while she and
my mother and Lady de Brantefield were descanting, I made my exit, and
went to the ball-room.

I found Lady Anne Mowbray--talked nonsense to her ladyship for a quarter
of an hour--and at last, _à propos _to her perfumed fan, I brought
in the old muff with the horrid smell, on purpose to obtain a full
description of it.

She told me that it was a gray fox-skin, lined with scarlet; that it had
great pompadour-coloured knots at each end, and that it was altogether
hideous. Lady Anne declared that she was heartily glad it would never
shock her eyes more.

It was now just nine o'clock; people then kept better hours than they
do at present; I was afraid that all the shops would be shut; but I
recollected that pawnbrokers' shops were usually kept open late. I lost
no time in pursuing my object.

I took a hackney coach, bribed the coachman to drive very fast to Mr.
Manessa--found Manessa and Jacob going to bed sleepy--but at sight of
me Jacob was alert in an instant, and joyfully ready to go with me
immediately to Baxter, the pawnbroker's.

I made Jacob furnish me with an old surtout and slouched hat, desiring
to look as shabby as possible, that the pawnbroker might take me for one
of his usual nightly customers, and might not be alarmed at the sight of
a gentleman.

"That won't do yet, Mr. Harrington," said Jacob, when I had equipped
myself in the old hat and coat. "Mr. Baxter will see the look of a
gentleman through all that. It is not the shabby coat that will make
the gentleman look shabby, no more than the fine coat can ever make _the
shabby_ look like the gentleman. The pawnbroker, who is used to observe
and find out all manner of people, will know that as well as I--but now
you shall see how well at one stroke I will disguise the gentleman."

Jacob then twisted a dirty silk handkerchief round my throat, and this
did the business so completely, that I defied the pawnbroker and all his
penetration.

We drove as fast as we could to Swallow-street--dismissed our hackney
coach, and walked up to the pawnbroker's.

Light in the shop!--all alive!--and business going on. The shop was so
full of people, that we stood for some minutes unnoticed.

We had leisure to look about us, as we had previously agreed to do, for
Lady De Brantefield's muff.

I had a suspicion that, notwithstanding the veneration with which it had
been said to be treated, it might have come to the common lot of cast
clothes.

Jacob at one side, and I at the other, took a careful survey of the
multifarious contents of the shop; of all that hung from the ceiling;
and all that was piled on the shelves; and all that lay huddled in
corners, or crammed into dark recesses.

In one of the darkest and most ignominious of these, beneath a heap of
sailors' old jackets and trowsers, I espied a knot of pompadour riband.
I hooked it out a little with the stick I had in my hand; but Jacob
stopped me, and called to the shopboy, who now had his eye upon us, and
with him we began to bargain hard for some of the old clothes that lay
upon the muff.

The shopboy lifted them up to display their merits, by the dimness of
the candle-light, and, as he raised them up, there appeared beneath the
gray fox-skin with its scarlet lining and pompadour knots, the Lady de
Brantefield's much venerated muff.

I could scarcely refrain from seizing upon it that moment, but Jacob
again restrained me.

He went on talking about the sailors' jackets, for which we had been in
treaty; and he insisted upon having the old muff into the bargain. It
actually was at last thrown in as a makeweight. Had she been witness to
this bargain, I believe Lady De Brantefield would have dropped down in a
swoon.

The moment I got possession of it, I turned it inside out.--There were
several small rents in the lining--but one in particular had obviously
been cut open with scissars. The shopboy, who thought I was pointing out
the rents to disparage my purchase, assured me that any woman, clever
at her needle, would with half-a-dozen stitches sew all up, and make the
muff as good again as new. Jacob desired the boy to show him some old
seals, rings, and trinkets, fit for a pedlar to carry into the country;
Jacob was, for this purpose, sent to the most respectable place at the
counter, and promoted to the honour of dealing face to face with Mr.
Baxter himself:--drawers, which had before been invisible, were now
produced; and I stood by while Jacob looked over all the new and old
trinkets. I was much surprised by the richness and value of various
brooches, picture settings, watches, and rings, which had come to this
fate: at last, in a drawer with many valuables, which Mr. Baxter told
us that some great man's mistress had, last week, been obliged to leave
with him, Jacob and I, at the same moment, saw "_the splendour of the
topaz_"--Lady de Brantefield's inestimable ring! I must do myself the
justice to say that I behaved incomparably well--did not make a single
exclamation, though I was sure it was the identical ring, the moment I
caught a glimpse of the topaz--and though a glance from Jacob convinced
me I was right. I said I could wait no longer, but would call again for
him in half an hour's time. This was what we had agreed upon beforehand
should be the signal for my summoning a Bow-street officer, whom
Mr. Manessa had in readiness. Jacob identified and swore to the
property--Mr. Baxter was seized. He protested he did not know the ring
was _stolen goods_--he could not recollect who had sold it to him; but
when we mentioned Fowler's name, he grew pale, was disconcerted, and not
knowing how much or how little we knew, decided at once to get out of
the scrape himself by giving her up, and turning evidence against her.
He stated that she had found it in the old muff, but that he never knew
That this muff had belonged to Lady de Brantefield. Mrs. Fowler had
assured Him that it had been left to her along with the wardrobe of a
lady with Whom she had formerly lived.

As soon as Baxter had told all the lies he chose to invent, and
confessed as much of the truth as he thought would serve his purpose,
his deposition was taken and sworn to. This was all that could then be
done, as it was near twelve o'clock.

Poor Jacob's joy at having his innocence proved, and at being relieved
from the fear of injuring the credit of his master's house, raised his
spirits higher than I ever saw them in my life before. But still his joy
and gratitude were more shown by looks than words. He thanked me once,
and but once, warmly and strongly.

"Ah! Mr. Harrington," said he, "from the time you were _Master_
Harrington at school, you were my best friend--always my friend in most
need--I trusted in you, and still I hoped!--hoped that the truth would
stand, and the lie fall. See at last our Hebrew proverb right--'_A lie
has no feet._'"



CHAPTER XVIII.

The next morning, before I left my room to go down to breakfast, my
servant told me that Lady de Brantefield's housekeeper, Mrs. Fowler,
begged to speak to me--she had been come some time. I went into my
mother's dressing-room, where she was waiting alone. I could not bear
to fix my eyes upon her; I advanced towards her, wishing, as I believe I
said aloud, that she had spared me the pain of this interview. I waited
in silence for her to speak, but she did not say a word--I heard the
unhappy woman sobbing violently. Suddenly she took her handkerchief from
before her face, and her sobs ceasing, she exclaimed, "I know you hate
me, Mr. Harrington, and you have reason to hate me--more--much more than
you know of! But Lord Mowbray is the most to blame."

I stood in astonishment. I conceived either that the woman was out
of her senses, or that she had formed the not unprecedented design of
affecting insanity, in hope of escaping the punishment of guilt: she
threw herself at my feet--she would have clasped my knees, but I started
back from her insufferable touch; provoked by this, she exclaimed, in a
threatening tone, "Take care, sir!--The secret is still in my power."

Then observing, I believe, that her threat made no impression, her tone
changed again to the whine of supplication.

"Oh, Mr. Harrington, if I could hope for your forgiveness, I could
reveal such a secret--a secret that so concerns you!"

I retreated, saying that I would not hear any secret from her. But I
stopped, and was fixed to the spot, when she added, under her breath,
the name of Montenero. Then, in a hypocritical voice, she went on--"Oh,
Mr. Harrington!--Oh, sir, I have, been a great sinner! led on--led on
by them that was worse than myself; but if you will plead for me with
my lady, and prevail upon her not to bring me to public shame about this
unfortunate affair of the ring, I will confess all to you--I will throw
myself on your mercy. I will quit the country if you will prevail on my
lady--to let my daughter's marriage go on, and not to turn her out of
favour."

I refused to make any terms; but my mother, whose curiosity could
refrain no longer, burst into the room; and to her Fowler did not plead
in vain. Shocked as she was with the detection of this woman's fraud, my
mother was so eager to learn the secret concerning me, that she promised
to obtain a pardon from Lady de Brantefield for the delinquent, if she
would immediately communicate the secret. I left the room.

I met my father with letters and newspapers in his hand. He looked in
consternation, and beckoned to me to follow him into his own room.

"I was just going in search of you, Harrington," said he: "here's a
devil of a stroke for your mother's friend, Lady de Brantefield."

"The loss of her jewels, do you mean, sir?" said I: "they are found."

"Jewels!" said my father; "I don't know what you are talking of."

"I don't know then what you mean, sir," said I.

"No, to be sure you do not, how could you? for the news is but this
instant come--in this letter which I was carrying to you--which is
addressed to you, as I found, when I got to the middle of it. I beg your
pardon for opening it. Stay, stay--this is not the right letter."

My father seemed much hurried, and looked over his parcel of letters,
while he went on, saying, "This is directed to William Harrington,
instead of William Harrington Harrington. Never mind about that now,
only I don't like to open letters that don't belong to me--here it
is--run your eye over it as fast as you can, and tell me--for I stopped,
as soon as I saw it was not to me--tell me how it is with Mowbray--I
never liked the fellow, nor his mother either; but one can't help
pitying--and being shocked--shocked indeed I was, the moment I read the
letter."

The letter, which appeared to have been written in great perturbation,
and at two or three different times, with different inks, was from a
brother officer of Lord Mowbray's. It began in a tolerably composed
and legible hand, with an account of a duel, in which the writer of the
letter said that he had been second to Lord Mowbray. His lordship
had been wounded, but it was hoped he would do well. Then came the
particulars of the duel, which the second stated, of course, as
advantageously for himself and his principal as he could; but even by
his own statement it appeared that Lord Mowbray had been the aggressor;
that he had been intemperate; and, in short, entirely in the wrong:
the person with whom he fought was a young officer, who had been his
schoolfellow: the dispute had begun about some trivial old school
quarrel, on the most nonsensical subject; something about a Jew boy of
the name of Jacob, and a pencil-case; the young gentleman had appealed
to the evidence of Mr. Harrington, whom he had lately met on a
fishing-party, and who, he said, had a perfect recollection of the
circumstance. Lord Mowbray grew angry; and in the heat of contradiction,
which, as his second said, his lordship could never bear, he gave his
opponent the lie direct. A duel was the necessary consequence. Lord
Mowbray insisted on their firing across the table: his opponent was
compelled to it. They fired, as it was agreed, at the same instant: Lord
Mowbray fell. So far was written while the surgeon was with his patient.
Afterwards, the letter went on in a more confused manner. The surgeon
begged that Lord Mowbray's friends might be informed, to prepare them
for the event; but still there were hopes. Lord Mowbray had begun to
write a letter to Mr. Harrington, but could not go on--had torn it to
bits--and had desired the writer of the present letter to say, "that he
could not go out of the world easy, without his forgiveness--to refer
him to a woman of the name of Fowler, for explanation--a waiting-maid--a
housekeeper now, in his mother's family. Lord Mowbray assured Mr.
Harrington, that he did not mean to have carried the _jest_ (the word
_jest_ scratched out), the thing farther than to show him his power to
break off matters, if he pleased--but he now repented."

This dictated part of the letter was so confused, and so much like the
delirium of a man in a fever, that I should certainly have concluded it
to be without real meaning, had it not coincided with the words which
Fowler had said to me. On turning over the page I saw a postscript--Lord
Mowbray, at two o'clock that morning, had expired. His brother officer
gave no particulars, and expressed little regret, but begged me
to represent the affair properly; and added something about the
lieutenant-colonelcy, which was blotted so much, either purposely or
accidentally, that I could not read it.

My father, who was a truly humane man, was excessively shocked by the
letter; and at first, so much engrossed by the account of the manner of
the young man's death, and by the idea of the shock and distress of
the mother and sister, that he scarcely adverted to the unintelligible
messages to me. He observed, indeed, that the writer of the letter
seemed to be a fool, and to have very little feeling. We agreed that
my mother was the fittest person to break the matter to poor Lady de
Brantefield. If my mother should not feel herself equal to the task, my
father said he would undertake it himself, though he had rather have a
tooth pulled out than go through it.

We went together to my mother. We found her in hysterics, and
Fowler beside her; my mother, the moment she saw us, recovered some
recollection, and pushing Fowler from her with both her hands, she
cried, "Take her away--out of my sight--out of my sight." I took the
hartshorn from Fowler, and bid her leave the room; ordering her, at her
peril, not to leave the house.

"Why did you tell Mrs. Harrington so suddenly, Mrs. Fowler?" my father
began, supposing that my mother's hysterics were the consequence of
having been told, too suddenly, the news of Lord Mowbray's death.

"I did not tell her, sir; I never uttered a sentence of his lordship's
_death_."

In her confusion, the woman betrayed her knowledge of the circumstance,
though on her first speaking to me she had not mentioned it. While I
assisted and soothed my mother, I heard my father questioning her. "She
heard the news that morning, early, in a letter from Lord Mowbray's
gentleman--had not yet had the heart to mention it to her lady--believed
she had given a hint of it to Lady Anne--was indeed so flurried, and
still was so flurried--"

My father, perceiving that Fowler did not know what she was saying,
good-naturedly attributed her confusion to her sorrow for her ladies;
and did not wonder, he said, she was flurried: he was not nervous, but
it had given him a shock. "Sit down, poor Fowler."

The words caught my mother's ear, who had now recovered her recollection
completely; and with an effort, which I had never before seen her make,
to command her own feelings--an effort, for which I thank her, as I knew
it arose from her strong affection for me, she calmly said, "I will
bear that woman--that fiend, in my sight, a few minutes longer, for your
sake, Harrington, till her confession be put in writing and signed: this
will, I suppose, be necessary."

"I desire to know, directly, what all this means?" said my father,
speaking in a certain repressed tone, which we and which Fowler knew to
be the symptom of his being on the point of breaking out into violent
anger.

"Oh! sir," said Fowler, "I have been a very sad sinner; but indeed I
was not so much to blame as them that knew better, and ought to know
better--that bribed and deceived me, and lured me by promises to do
that--to say that--but indeed I was made to believe it was all to end in
no harm--only a jest."

"A jest! Oh, wretch!" cried my mother.

"I was a wretch, indeed, ma'am; but Lord Mowbray was, you'll allow, the
wickedest."

"And at the moment he is dead," said my father, "is this a time--"

Fowler, terrified to her inmost coward soul at the sight of the powerful
indignation which appeared in my father's eyes, made an attempt to throw
herself at his feet, but he caught strong hold of her arm.

"Tell me the plain fact at once, woman."

Now she literally could not speak; she knew my father was violent, and
dreaded lest what she had to say should incense him beyond all bounds.

My mother rose, and said that she would tell the plain fact.

Fowler, still more afraid that my mother should tell it--as she thought,
I suppose, she could soften it best herself--interposed, saying, "Sir,
if you will give me a moment's time for recollection, sir, I will tell
all. Dear sir, if one had committed murder, and was going to be put
to death, one should have that much mercy shown--hard to be condemned
unheard."

My father let go her arm from his strong grasp, and sat down, resolved
to be patient. It was just, he said, that she, that every human creature
should be heard before they were condemned.

When she came to the facts, I was so much interested that I cannot
recollect the exact words in which the account was given; but this was
the substance. Lord Mowbray, when refused by Miss Montenero, had sworn
that he would be revenged on her and on me. Indeed, from our first
acquaintance with her, he had secretly determined to supplant me; and
a circumstance soon occurred which served to suggest the means. He
had once heard Miss Montenero express strongly her terror at seeing an
insane person--her horror at the idea of a marriage which a young friend
of hers had made with a man who was subject to fits of insanity. Upon
this hint Mowbray set to work.

Before he opened his scheme to Fowler, he found how he could bribe her,
as he thought, effectually, and secure her secrecy by making her
an accomplice. Fowler had a mind to marry her daughter to a certain
apothecary, who, though many years older than the girl, and quite old
enough to be her father, was rich, and would raise her to be a lady.
This apothecary lived in a country town near the Priory; the house,
and ground belonging to it, which the apothecary rented, was on her
ladyship's estate, and would be the inheritance of Lord Mowbray. He
promised that he would renew this lease to her future son-in-law,
provided she and the apothecary continued to preserve his good opinion.
His lordship had often questioned Fowler as to the strange nervous fits
I had had when a boy. He had repeated all he had heard reported; and
certainly exaggerated stories in abundance had, at the time, been
circulated. Lord Mowbray affirmed that most people were of opinion it
was _insanity_. Fowler admitted that was always her own opinion--Lord
Mowbray supposed that was the secret reason for her quitting my mother's
service--it certainly was, though she was too delicate, and afraid at
the time, to mention it. By degrees he worked Fowler partly to acquiesce
in all he asserted, and to assert all he insinuated. The apothecary had
been an apprentice to the London apothecary who attended me; he had seen
me often at the time I was at the _worst_; he had heard the reports too,
and he had heard opinions of medical men, and he was brought to assert
whatever his future mother-in-law pleased, for he was much in love with
the young girl. This combination was formed about the period when I
first became attached to Miss Montenero: the last stroke had been given
at the time when Mr. Montenero and Berenice were at General B----'s, in
Surrey. The general's house was within a few miles of the country town
in which the said apothecary lived; it was ten or twelve miles from the
Priory, where Fowler was left, at that time, to take care of the place.
The apothecary usually attended the chief families in the neighbourhood,
and was recommended to General B----'s family. Miss Montenero had a
slight sore throat, and no physician being near, this apothecary was
sent for; he made use of this opportunity, spoke of the friends he had
formerly had in London, in particular of Mr. Harrington's family, for
whom he expressed much gratitude and attachment; inquired anxiously and
mysteriously about young Mr. Harrington's state of health. One day
Miss Montenero and her father called at this apothecary's, to see some
curious things that had been found in a Roman bath, just dug up in the
county of Surrey. Fowler, who had been apprised of the intended
visit, was found in the little parlour behind the shop talking to the
apothecary about poor young Mr. Harrington. While Mr. and Miss Montenero
were looking at the Roman curiosities, Fowler contrived, in half
sentences, to let out what she wished to be overheard about _that_ poor
young gentleman's _strange fits_; and she questioned the apothecary
whether they had come on ever _very_ lately, and hoped that for the
family's sake, as well as his own, it would never break out publicly.
All which observations and questions the apothecary seemed discreetly
and mysteriously to evade answering. Fowler confessed that she could not
get out on this occasion the whole of what she had been instructed to
say, because Miss Montenero grew so pale, they thought she would have
dropped on the floor.

The apothecary pretended to think the young lady had been made sick
by the smell of the shop. It passed off--nothing more was done at that
time. Mr. Montenero, before he left the house, made inquiries who
Fowler was--learned that she had been, for many years, a servant in
the Harrington family,--children's maid. Her evidence, and that of the
apothecary who had attended me in my _extraordinary illness_, agreed;
and there seemed no reason to suspect its truth. Mr. and Miss Montenero
went with a party from General B----'s to see Brantefield Priory. Fowler
attended the company through the house: Mr. Montenero took occasion
to question her most minutely--asked, in particular, about a tapestry
room--a picture of Sir Josseline and the Jew--received such answers as
Lord Mowbray had prepared Fowler to give: so artfully had he managed,
that his interference could not be suspected. Fowler pretended to know
scarcely any thing of her young lord--she had always lived here at the
Priory--his lordship had been abroad--was in the army--always _on the
move_--did not know where he was now--probably in town: her present
ladies had her good word--but her heart, she confessed, was always with
her first mistress, Mrs. Harrington, and poor Master Harrington--_never
to be mentioned without a sigh_--that was noted in her instructions. All
that I or Mowbray had mentioned before Mr. Montenero of my aversion to
Fowler, now appeared to be but the dislike which an insane person is
apt to take against those about them, even to those who treat them
most kindly. Fowler was a good actress, and she was well prompted--she
produced, in her own justification, instructions, in unsigned letters of
Lord Mowbray's. I knew his hand, however disguised. She was directed to
take particular care not to go too far--to let things be _drawn_ from
her--to refuse to give further information lest she should do
mischief. When assured that the Monteneros were friends, then to tell
_circumstances agreed upon_--to end with a promise to produce a _keeper_
who had attended the poor gentleman not long since, who could satisfy
all doubts. Lord Mowbray noted that this must be promised to be done
within the ensuing month--something about a ship's sailing for America
was scratched out in these last instructions.

I have calmly related the facts, but I cannot give an idea of the
transports of passion into which my father burst when he heard them. It
was with the utmost difficulty that we could restrain him till the
woman had finished her confession. Lord Mowbray was dead. His death--his
penitence--pity for his family, quenched my father's rage against
Mowbray; all his fury rose with tenfold violence against Fowler. It
was with the greatest difficulty that I got her out of the room in
safety:--he followed, raging; and my mother, seeing me put Fowler into a
parlour, and turn the key in the door, began beseeching that I would not
keep her another instant in the house. I insisted, however, upon being
permitted to detain her till her confession should be put into writing,
or till Mr. Montenero could hear it from her own lips: I represented
that if once she quitted the house, we might never see her again; she
might make her escape out of town; might, for some new interest, deny
all she had said, and leave me in as great difficulties as ever.

My father, sudden in all his emotions, snatched his hat from the
hall-table, seized his cane, and declared he would that instant go and
settle the point at once with Mr. Montenero and the daughter. My mother
and I, one on each side of him, pleaded that it would be best not to
speak so suddenly as he proposed to do, especially to Berenice. Heaven
bless my mother! she called her _Berenice_: this did not escape my ear.
My father let us take off his hat, and carry away his cane. He sat down
and wrote directly to Mr. Montenero, requesting to see him immediately,
on particular business.

My mother's carriage was at the door; it was by this time the hour for
visiting.

"I will bring Mr. Montenero back with me," said my mother, "for I am
going to pay a visit I should have paid long ago--to Miss Montenero."

I kissed my mother's hand I don't know how many times, till my father
told me I was a _fool_.

"But," turning to me, when the carriage had driven off, "though I
am delighted that the _obstacle_ will be removed on their part, yet
remember, Harrington, I can go no farther--not an inch--not an inch:
sorry for it--but you know all I have said--by Jupiter Ammon, I cannot
eat my own words!"

"But you ought to eat your own words, sir," said I, venturing to jest,
as I knew that I might in his present humour, and while his heart was
warmed; "your words were a libel upon Jews and Jewesses; and the most
appropriate and approved punishment invented for the libeller is--to eat
his own words."



CHAPTER XIX.

My mother returned almost as quickly as my impatience expected, and from
afar I saw that Mr. Montenero was in the carriage with her. My heart did
certainly beat violently; but I must not stop to describe, if I could,
my various sensations. My mother, telling Mr. Montenero all the time
that she would tell him nothing, had told him every thing that was to
be told: I was glad of it--it spared me the task of detailing Lord
Mowbray's villany. He had once been my friend, or at least I had once
been his--and just after his death it was a painful subject. Besides, on
my own account, I was heartily glad to leave it to my father to complete
what my mother had so well begun.

He spoke with great vehemence. I stood by, proud all the time to show
Mr. Montenero my calmness and self-possession; while Fowler, who
was under salutary terror of my father, repeated, without much
prevarication, all the material parts of her confession, and gave up to
him Lord Mowbray's letters. Astonishment and horror at the discovery
of such villany were Mr. Montenero's first feelings--he looked at Lord
Mowbray's writing again and again, and shuddered in silence, as he cast
his eyes upon Fowler's guilty countenance. We all were glad when she was
dismissed.

Mr. Montenero turned to me, and I saw tears in his eyes.

"There is no obstacle between us now, I hope," said I, eagerly seizing
the hand which he held out to me.

Mr. Montenero pressed me in his arms, with the affection of a parent.

"Heyday! heyday!" said my father, in a tone between pleasure and
anger,--"do you at all know what you are about, Harrington?--remember!"

"Oh! Mr. Montenero," said my mother, "speak, for Heaven's sake, and tell
me that you are perfectly convinced that there was no shadow of truth."

"Nonsense! my dear, I beg your pardon, Mrs. Harrington," said my
father,--"to be sure he is convinced, he is not an idiot--all my
astonishment is, how he could ever be made to believe such a thing!"

Mr. Montenero answered my mother and my father alternately, assuring my
mother that he was quite convinced, and agreeing with my father that he
had been strangely imposed upon. He turned again to me, and I believe at
the same instant the same recollections occurred to us both--new light
seemed to break upon us, and we saw in a different point of view a
variety of past circumstances. Almost from the moment of my acquaintance
with Berenice, I could trace Lord Mowbray's artifices. Even from the
time of our first going out together at Westminster Abbey, when Mr.
Montenero said he loved enthusiasm, how Mowbray encouraged, excited me
to follow that line. At the Tower, my kneeling in raptures to the figure
of the Black Prince--my exaggerated expressions of enthusiasm--my poetic
and dramatic declamation and gesture--my start of horror at Mowbray's
allusion to the _tapestry-chamber_ and the picture of Sir Josseline--my
horror afterwards at the auction, where Mowbray had prepared for me the
sight of the picture of the Dentition of the Jew--and the appearance of
the figure with the terrible eyes at the synagogue; all, I now found,
had been contrived or promoted by Lord Mowbray: Fowler had dressed up
the figure for the purpose. They had taken the utmost pains to work
on my imagination on this particular point, on which he knew my early
associations might betray me to symptoms of apparent insanity. Upon
comparing and explaining these circumstances, Mr. Montenero further laid
open to me the treacherous ingenuity of the man who had so duped me by
the show of sympathy and friendship. By dexterous insinuations he
had first excited curiosity--then suggested suspicions, worked every
accidental circumstance to his purpose, and at last, rendered desperate
by despair, and determined that I should not win the prize which he
had been compelled to resign, had employed so boldly his means and
accomplices, that he was dreadfully near effecting my ruin.

While Mr. Montenero and I ran over all these circumstances,
understanding each other perfectly, but scarcely intelligible to
either my father or mother, they looked at us both with impatience and
surprise, and rejoiced when we had finished our explanations--and yet,
when we had finished, an embarrassing minute of silence ensued.

My mother broke it, by saying something about Miss Montenero. I do not
know what--nor did she. My father stood with a sort of bravadoing look
of firmness, fixing himself opposite to me, as though he were repeating
to himself, "If, sir!--If--By Jupiter Ammon! I must be consistent."

Mr. Montenero appeared determined not to say any more, but something
seemed to be still in reserve in his mind.

"I hope, Mr. Montenero," said I, "that now no obstacle exists."

"On my part none," replied Mr. Montenero; "but you recollect--"

"I recollect only your own words, my dear sir," cried I. "'either my
daughter and you must never meet again, or must meet to part no more'--I
claim your promise."

"At all hazards?" said Mr. Montenero.

"No hazards with such a woman as Berenice," said I, "though her
religion--"

"I would give," exclaimed my father, "I would give one of my fingers
this instant, that she was not a Jewess!"

"Is your objection, sir, to her not being a Christian, or to her being
the daughter of a Jew?"

"Can you conceive, Mr. Montenero," cried my father, "that after all I
have seen of you--all you have done for me--can you conceive me to be
such an obstinately prejudiced brute? My r prejudices against the Jews I
give up--you have conquered them--all, all. But a difference of religion
between man and wife--"

"Is a very serious objection indeed," said Mr. Montenero; "but if that
be the only objection left in your mind, I have the pleasure to tell
you, Mr. Harrington," addressing himself to me, "that your love and duty
are not at variance: I have tried you to the utmost, and am satisfied
both of the steadiness of your principles and of the strength of your
attachment to my daughter--Berenice is not a Jewess."

"Not a Jewess!" cried my father, starting from his spat: "Not a Jewess!
Then my Jupiter Ammon may go to the devil! Not a Jewess!--give you joy,
Harrington, my boy!--give me joy, my dear Mrs. Harrington--give me
joy, excellent--(_Jew_, he was on the point of saying) excellent Mr.
Montenero; but, is not she your daughter?"

"She is, I hope and believe, my daughter," said Mr. Montenero smiling;
"but her mother was a Christian; and according to my promise to
Mrs. Montenero, Berenice has been bred in her faith--a Christian--a
Protestant."

"A Christian! a Protestant!" repeated my father.

"An English Protestant: her mother was daughter of--"

"An English Protestant!" interrupted my father, "English! English! Do
you hear that, Mrs. Harrington?"

"Thank Heaven! I do hear it, my dear," said my mother. "But, Mr.
Montenero, we interrupt--daughter of--?"

"Daughter of an English gentleman, of good family, who accompanied one
of your ambassadors to Spain."

"Of good family, Mr. Harrington," said my mother, raising her head
proudly as she looked at me with a radiant countenance: "I knew she
was of a good family from the first moment I saw her at the play--so
different from the people she was with--even Lady de Brantefield asked
who she was. From the first moment I thought--"

"You thought, Mrs. Harrington," interposed my father, "you thought, to
be sure, that Miss Montenero _looked like a Christian_. Yes, yes; and no
doubt you had _presentiments_ plenty."

"Granted, granted, my dear; but don't let us say any more about them
now."

"Well, my boy! well, Harrington! not a word?"

"No--I am too happy!--the delight I feel--But, my dear Mr. Montenero,"
said I, "why--_why_ did not you tell all this sooner? What pain you
would have spared me!"

"Had I spared you the pain, you would never have enjoyed the delight;
had I spared you the trial, you would never have had the triumph--the
triumph, did I say? Better than all triumph, this sober certainty of
your own integrity. If, like Lord Mowbray--but peace be to the dead! and
forgiveness to his faults. My daughter was determined never to marry any
man who could be induced to sacrifice religion and principle to interest
or to passion. She was equally determined never to marry any man whose
want of the spirit of toleration, whose prejudices against the
Jews, might interfere with the filial affection she feels for her
father--though he be a Jew."

"_Though_"--Gratitude, joy, love, so overwhelmed me at this moment, that
I could not say another syllable; but it was enough for Mr. Montenero,
deeply read as he was in the human heart.

"Why did not I spare you the pain?" repeated he. "And do you think that
the trial cost _me_, cost _us_ no pain?" said Mr. Montenero. "The time
may come when, as my son, you may perhaps learn from Berenice--"

"The time is come!--this moment!" cried my father; "for you see the poor
fellow is burning with impatience--he would not be my son if he were
not."

"That is true, indeed!" said my mother.

"True--very likely," said Mr. Montenero, calmly holding me fast. "But,
impetuous sir, recollect that once before you were too sudden for
Berenice: after you had saved my life, you rushed in with the joyful
news, and--"

"Oh! no rushing, for mercy's sake, Harrington!" said my mother: "some
consideration for Miss Montenero's nerves!"

"Nerves! nonsense, my dear," said my father: "what woman's nerves were
ever the worse for seeing her lover at her feet? I move--and I am sure
of one honourable gentleman to second my motion--I move that we all
adjourn, forthwith, to Mr. Montenero's."

"This evening, perhaps, Miss Montenero would allow us," said my mother.

"This instant," said Mr. Montenero, "if you will do me the honour, Mrs.
Harrington."

"The carriage," said my mother, ringing.

"The carriage, directly," cried my father to the servant as he entered.

"Here's a fellow will certainly fly the moment you let him go," said my
father.

And away I flew, with such swiftness, that at the foot of the stairs I
almost fell over Jacob. He, not knowing any thing of what had happened
this morning, full of the events of the preceding night, and expecting
to find me the same, began to say something about a ring which he held
in his hand.

"That's all settled--all over--let me pass, good Jacob."

Still he endeavoured to stop me. I was not pleased with this
interruption. But there was something so beseeching and so kind in
Jacob's manner that I could not help attending to him. Had the poor
fellow known the cause of my impatience, he would mot certainly have
detained me. He begged me, with some hesitation, to accept of a ring,
which Mr. Manessa his partner and he took the liberty of offering me as
a token of their gratitude. It was not of any great value, but it was
finished by an artist who was supposed to be one of the best in the
world.

"Willingly, Jacob," said I; "and it comes at the happiest moment--if you
will allow me to present it, to offer it to a lady, who--"

"Who will, I hope," said my father, appearing at the top of the stairs,
"soon be his bride."

"His bride!"

Jacob saw Mr. Montenero's face behind me, and clasping his, hands, "The
very thing I wished!" cried he, opening the house-door.

"Follow us, Jacob," I heard Mr. Montenero say, as we stepped into the
carriage; "follow us to the house of joy, you who never deserted the
house of mourning."

The ring, the history of it, and the offering it to Berenice, prepared
my way in the happiest manner, and prevented the danger, which Mr.
Montenero feared, of my own or my father's precipitation. We told her in
general the circumstances that had happened, but spared her the detail.

"And now, my beloved daughter," said Mr. Montenero, "I may express to
you all the esteem, all the affection, all the fulness of approbation I
feel for _your choice_."

"And I, Miss Montenero!--Let me speak, pray, Mrs. Harrington," said my
father.

"By and by," whispered my mother; "not yet, my love."

"Ay, put the ring on her finger--that's right, boy!" cried my father, as
my mother drew him back.

Berenice accepted of the ring in the most gracious, the most graceful
manner.

"I accept this with pleasure," said she; "I shall prize it more than
ever Lady de Brantefield valued her ring: as a token of goodness and
gratitude, it will be more precious to me than any, jewel could be; and
it will ever be dear to me," added she, with a softened voice, turning
to her father, "very dear, as a memorial of the circumstances which have
removed the only obstacle to, _our_ happiness."

"Our," repeated my father: "noble girl! Above all affectation. Boy, a
truce with your transports! She is my own daughter--I must have a kiss."

"For shame, my dear," said my mother; "you make Miss Montenero blush!"

"Blushes are very becoming--I always thought yours so, Mrs.
Harrington--that's the reason I have given you occasion to blush for
me so often. Now you may take me out of the room, madam. I have some
discretion, though you think you have it all to yourself," said my
father.

I have some discretion, too, hereditary or acquired. I am aware that
the moment two lovers cease to be miserable, they begin to be tiresome;
their best friends and the generous public are satisfied to hear as
little as possible concerning their prosperous loves.

It was otherwise, they say, in the days of Theagenes and Chariclea.

"How! will you never be satisfied with hearing?" says their historian,
who, when he came to a prosperous epoch in their history, seems to have
had a discreet suspicion that he might be too long; "Is not my discourse
yet tedious?"

"No," the indefatigable auditor is made to reply; "and who is he, unless
he have a heart of adamant or iron, that would not listen content to
hear the loves of Theagenes and Chariclea, though the story should last
a year? Therefore, continue it, I beseech you."

"Continue, I beseech you:" dear flattering words! Though perhaps no one,
at this minute, says or feels this, I must add a few lines more--not
about myself, but about Mr. Montenero.

In the moment of joy, when the heart opens, you can see to the very
bottom of it; and whether selfish or generous, revengeful or forgiving,
the real disposition is revealed. We were all full of joy and
congratulations, when Mr. Montenero, at the first pause of silence,
addressed himself in his most persuasive tone to me.

"Mr. Harrington--good Mr. Harrington--I have a favour to ask from you."

"A favour! from me! Oh! name it," cried I: "What pleasure I shall have
in granting it!"

"Perhaps not. You will not have pleasure--immediate pleasure--in
granting it: it will cost you present pain."

"Pain!--impossible! but no matter how much pain if you desire it. What
can it be?"

"That wretched woman--Fowler!"

I shuddered and started back.

"Yes, Fowler--your imagination revolts at the sound of her name--she
is abhorrent to your strongest, your earliest, associations; but, Mr.
Harrington, you have given proofs that your matured reason and your
humanity have been able to control and master your imagination and your
antipathies. To this power over yourself you owe many of your virtues,
and all the strength of character, and, I will say it, the sanity of
mind, my son, without which Berenice--"

"I will see--I will hear Fowler this instant," cried I. "So far I will
conquer myself; but you will allow that this is a just antipathy. Surely
I have reason to hate her."

"She is guilty, but penitent; she suffers and must suffer. Her mistress
refuses ever to see her more. She is abandoned by all her family, all
her friends; she must quit her country--sails to-morrow in the vessel
which was to have taken us to America--and carries with her, in her
own feelings, her worst punishment--a punishment which it is not in our
power to remit, but it is in our power to mitigate her sufferings--I can
provide her with an asylum for the remainder of her miserable old age;
and you, my son, before she goes from happy England, see her and forgive
her. 'It is the glory of a man to pass by an offence.' Let us see and
forgive this woman. How can we better celebrate our joy--how can we
better fill the measure of our happiness, than by the forgiveness of our
enemies?"

"By Jupiter Ammon," cried my father, "none but a good Christian could do
this!"

"And why," said Berenice, laying her hand gently on my father's arm,
"and why not a good Jew?"

END OF HARRINGTON.



THOUGHTS ON BORES.

A bore is a biped, but not always unplumed. There be of both kinds;--the
female frequently plumed, the _male-military_ plumed, helmed, or
crested, and whisker-faced, hairy, _Dandy bore_, ditto, ditto,
ditto.--There are bores unplumed, capped, or hatted, curled or uncurled,
bearded and beardless.

The _bore_ is not a ruminating animal,--carnivorous, not
sagacious--prosing--long-winded--tenacious of life, though not
vivacious. The bore is good for promoting sleep; but though he causeth
sleep in others, it is uncertain whether he ever sleeps himself; as few
can keep awake in his company long enough to see. It is supposed that
when he sleeps it is with his mouth open.

The bore is usually considered a harmless creature, or of that class of
irrational bipeds who hurt only themselves. To such, however, I would
not advise trusting too much. The bore is harmless, no doubt, as long
as you listen to him; but disregarded, or stopped in mid-career, he will
turn upon you. It is a fatal, if not a vulgar error, to presume that the
bore belongs to that class of animals that have no gall; of which Pliny
gives a list (much disputed by Sir Thomas Browne and others). That
bores have gall, many have proved to their cost, as some now living,
peradventure, can attest. The milk of human kindness is said to abound
naturally in certain of the gentler bore kind; but it is apt to grow
sour if the animal be crossed--not in love, but in talk. Though I cannot
admit to a certainty that all bores have not gall, yet assuredly they
have no tact, and they are one and all deficient in sympathy.

A bore is a heavy animal, and his weight has this peculiarity, that
it increases every moment he stays near you. The French describe this
property in one word, which, though French, I may be permitted to quote,
because untranslatable, _il s'appesantit_--Touch and go, it is not in
the nature of a bore to do--whatever he touches turns to lead.

Much learning might be displayed, and much time wasted, on an inquiry
into the derivation, descent, and etymology of the animal under
consideration. Suffice it to say, that for my own part, diligence hath
not been wanting in the research. Johnson's Dictionary and old Bailey,
have been ransacked; but neither the learned Johnson, nor the recondite
Bailey, throw much light upon this matter. The Slang Dictionary, to
which I should in the first place have directed my attention, was
unfortunately not within my reach. The result of all my inquiries
amounts to this--that _bore_, _boor_, and _boar_, are all three
spelt indifferently, and _consequently_ are derived from one common
stock,--what stock, remains to be determined. I could give a string
of far-fetched derivations, each of them less to the purpose than
the other; but I prefer, according to the practice of our great
lexicographer, taking refuge at once in the Coptic.

Of one point there can be little doubt--that bores existed in ancient as
well as in modern times, though the deluge has unluckily swept away all
traces of the antediluvian bore--a creature which analogy leads us to
believe must have been of formidable power.

We find them for certain in the days of Horace. That plague, worse, as
he describes, than asthma or rheumatism, that prating, praising thing
which caught him in the street, stuck to him wherever he went--of which,
stopping or running, civil or rude, shirking or cutting, he could never
rid himself--what was he but a bore?

In Pope I find the first description in English poetry of the
animal--whether imitated from Horace, or a drawing from life, may be
questioned. But what could that creature be but a bore, from whom he
says no walls could guard him, and no shades could hide; who pierced
his thickets; glided into his grotto; stopped his chariot; boarded his
barge; from whom no place was sacred--not the church free; and against
whom John was ordered to tie up the knocker?

Through the indexes to Milton and Shakspeare I have not neglected to
hunt; but unfortunately, I have found nothing to my purpose in Milton,
and in all Shakspeare no trace of a bore; except it be that _thing_,
that popinjay, who so pestered Hotspur, that day when he, faint with
toil and dry with rage, was leaning on his sword after the battle--all
that bald, disjointed talk, to which Hotspur, past his patience,
answered neglectingly, he knew not what, and that sticking to him with
questions even when his wounds were cold. It must have been a bore of
foreign breed, not the good downright English bore.

All the classes, orders, genera, and species of the animal, I pretend
not to enumerate. Heaven forefend!--but some of those most commonly met
with in England, I may mention, and a few of the most curious, describe.

In the first place, there is the _mortal great bore_, confined to the
higher classes of society. A celebrated wit, who, from his long and
extensive acquaintance with the fashionable and political world, has had
every means of forming his opinion on this subject, lays it down as an
axiom, that none but a rich man, or a great man, _can_ be a great bore;
others are not endured long enough in society, to come to the perfection
of tiresomeness.

Of these there is the travelled and the untravelled kind. The travelled,
formerly rare, is now dreadfully common in these countries. The old
travelling bore was, as I find him aptly described--"A pretender to
antiquities, roving, majestic-headed, and sometimes little better than
crazed; and being exceedingly credulous, he would stuff his many letters
with _fooleries_ and misinformations"--_vide_ a life published by
Hearne--Thomas Hearne--him to whom Time said, "Whatever I forget, you
learn."

The modern travelled bore is a garrulous creature. His talk, chiefly
of himself, of all that he has seen that is incredible; and all that he
remembers which is not worth remembering. His tongue is neither English,
French, Italian, or German, but a leash, and more than a leash, of
languages at once. Besides his having his _quantum_ of the ills that
flesh is subject to, he has some peculiar to himself, and rather
extraordinary. He is subject, for instance, to an indigestion of houses
and churches, pictures and statues. Moreover, he is troubled with fits
of what may be called _the cold enthusiasm_; he babbles of Mont Blanc
and the picturesque; and when the fit is on, he raves of Raphael and
Correggio, Rome, Athens, Paestum, and Jerusalem. He despises England,
and has no home; or at least loves none.

But I have been already guilty of an error of arrangement; I should
have given precedence to the _old original English bore_; which should
perhaps be more properly spelt _boor_; indeed it was so, as late as the
time of Mrs. Cowley, who, in the Belle's Stratagem, talks of man's being
_boored_.

The _boor_ is now rare in England, though there are specimens of him
still to be seen in remote parts of the country. He is untravelled
always, not apt to be found straying, or stirring from home. His
covering is home-spun, his drink home-brewed, his meat home-fed, and
himself home-bred. In general, he is a wonderfully silent animal.
But there are talking ones; and their talk is of bullocks. Talking or
silent, the indigenous English bore is somewhat sulky, surly, seemingly
morose; yet really good-natured, inoffensive, if kindly used and rightly
taken; convivial, yet not social. It is curious, that though addicted
to home, he is not properly domestic--bibulous--said to be despotic with
the female.

_The parliamentary bore_ comes next in order. Fond of high places; but
not always found in them. His civil life is but short, never extending
above seven years at the utmost; seldom so long. His dissolution
often occurs, we are told, prematurely; but he revives another and the
same.--Mode of life:--during five or six months of the year these bores
inhabit London--are to be seen every where, always looking as if they
were out of their element. About June or July they migrate to the
country--to watering places--or to their own places; where they shoot
partridges, pheasants, and wild ducks; hunt hares and foxes, cause men
to be imprisoned or transported who do the same without _licence_; and
frank letters--some illegibly.

The parliamentary bore is not considered a sagacious animal, except
in one particular. It is said that he always knows which way the wind
blows, quick as any of the four-footed swinish multitude. Report says
also that he has the instinct of a rat in quitting a falling house. An
incredible power was once attributed to him, by one from Ireland, of
being able at pleasure to turn his back upon himself. But this may well
be classed among vulgar errors.

Of the common parliamentary bore there be two orders; the silent, and
the speechifying. The silent is not absolutely deprived of utterance;
he can say "Yes" or "No"--but regularly in the wrong place, unless well
tutored and well paid. The talking parliamentary bore can outwatch the
Bear. He reiterates eternally with the art peculiar to the rational
creature of using many words and saying nothing. The following are some
of the cries by which this class is distinguished.

"Hear! Hear! Hear!--Hear him! Hear him! Hear him!--Speaker! Speaker!
Speaker! Speaker!--Order! Order! Order!--Hear the honourable member!"

He has besides certain set phrases, which, if repeated with variations,
might give the substance of what are called his speeches; some of these
are common to both sides of the house, others sacred to the ministerial,
or popular on the opposition benches.

To the ministerial belong--"The dignity of this house"--"The honour of
this country"--"The contentment of our allies"--"Strengthening the
hands of government"--"Expediency"--"Inexpediency"--"Imperious
necessity"--"Bound in duty"--with a good store of _evasives_, as "Cannot
at present bring forward such a measure"--"Too late"--"Too early in the
session"--"His majesty's ministers cannot be responsible for"--"Cannot
take it upon me to say"--"But the impression left upon my mind
is"--"Cannot undertake to answer exactly that question"--"Cannot yet
_make up_ my mind" (an expression borrowed from the laundress).

On the opposition side the phrases chiefly in use amongst the bores are,
"The constitution of this country"--"Reform in Parliament"--"The good
of the people"--"Inquiry should be set on foot"--"Ministers should
be answerable with their heads"--"Gentlemen should draw
together"--"Independence"--and "Consistency."

Approved beginnings of speeches as follows--for a raw bore:

"Unused as I am to public speaking, Mr. Speaker, I feel myself on the
present occasion called upon not to give a silent vote."

For old stagers:

"In the whole course of my parliamentary career, never did I rise with
such diffidence."

In reply, the bore begins with:

"It would be presumption in me, Mr. Speaker, after the able, luminous,
learned, and eloquent speech you have just heard, to attempt to throw
any new light; but, &c. &c."

For a premeditated harangue of four hours or upwards he regularly
commences with

"At this late hour of the night, I shall trouble the house with only a
few words, Mr. Speaker."

The Speaker of the English House of Commons is a man destined to be
bored. Doomed to sit in a chair all night long--night after night--month
after month--year after year--being bored. No relief for him but
crossing and uncrossing his legs from time to time. No respite. If he
sleep, it must be with his eyes open, fixed in the direction of the
haranguing bore. He is not, however, bound, _bonâ fide_ to hear all that
is said. This, happily, was settled in the last century. "Mr. Speaker,
it is your duty to hear me,--it is the undoubted privilege, Sir, of
every member of this house _to be heard_," said a bore of the last
century to the then Speaker of the House of Commons. "Sir," replied the
Speaker, "I know that it is the undoubted right of every member of this
house to speak, but I was not aware that it was his privilege to be
always heard."

The courtier-bore has sometimes crept into the English parliament.--But
is common on the continent: infinite varieties, as _le courtisan propre,
courtisan homme d'état_, and _le courtisan philosophe_--a curious but
not a rare kind in France, of which M. de Voltaire was one of the finest
specimens.

Attempts had been made to naturalize some of the varieties of the
philanthropic and sentimental French and German bores in England, but
without success. Some ladies had them for favourites or pets; but they
were found mischievous and dangerous. Their morality was
easy,--but difficult to understand; compounded of three-fourths
sentiment--nine-tenths selfishness, twelve-ninths instinct,
self-devotion, metaphysics, and cant. 'Twas hard to come at a common
denominator. John Bull, with his four rules of vulgar arithmetic, could
never make it out; altogether he never could abide these foreign bores.
Thought 'em confounded dull too--Civilly told them so, and half asleep
bid them "prythee begone"--They not taking the hint, but lingering with
the women, at last John wakening out-right, fell to in earnest, and
routed them out of the island.

They still flourish abroad, often seen at the tables of the great. _The
demi-philosophe-moderne-politico-legislativo-metaphysico-non-logico-grand
philanthrope_ still scribbles, by the ream, _pièces justificatives_,
_projets de loi_, and volumes of metaphysical sentiment, to be seen
at the fair of Leipzig, or on ladies' tables. The greater bore, the
_courtisan propre_, is still admired at little _serene_ courts, where,
well-dressed and well-drilled--his back much bent with Germanic bows;
not a dangerous creature--would only bore you to death.

We come next to our own _blue bores_--the most dreaded of the
species,--the most abused--sometimes with reason, sometimes without.
This species was formerly rare in Britain--indeed all over the
world.--Little known from the days of Aspasia and Corinna to those
of Madame Dacier and Mrs. Montague. Mr. Jerningham's blue worsted
stockings, as all the world knows, appearing at Mrs. Montague's
_conversaziones_, had the honour or the dishonour of giving the name of
blue stockings to all the race; and never did race increase more rapidly
than they have done from that time to this. There might be fear that all
the daughters of the land should turn blue.--But as yet John Bull--thank
Heaven! retains his good old privilege of "choose a wife and have a
wife."

The common female blue is indeed intolerable as a wife--opinionative and
opinionated; and her opinion always is that her husband is wrong. John
certainly has a rooted aversion to this whole class. There is the deep
blue and the light; the _light_ blues not esteemed--not admitted at
Almacks. The deep-dyed in the nine times dyed blue--is that with which
no man dares contend. The _blue chatterer_ is seen and heard every
where; it no man will attempt to silence by throwing the handkerchief.

The next species--the _mock blue_--is scarcely worth noticing; gone
to ladies' maids, dress-makers, milliners, &c., found of late behind
counters, and in the oddest places. _The blue mocking bird_ (it must be
noted, though nearly allied to the last sort) is found in high as well
as in low company; it is a provoking creature. The only way to silence
it, and to prevent it from plaguing all neighbours and passengers, is
never to mind it, or to look as if you minded it; when it stares at you,
stare and pass on.

_The conversazione blue_, or _bureau d'esprit blue_. It is remarkable
that in order to designate this order we are obliged to borrow from
two foreign languages.--a proof that it is not natural to England; but
numbers of this order have been seen of late years, chiefly in London
and Bath, during the season. The _bureau d'esprit_, or _conversazione
blue_, is a most hard-working creature--the servant of the servants of
the public.--If a dinner-giving blue (and none others succeed well or
long), Champagne and ice and the best of fish are indispensable. She may
then be at home once a week in the evening, with a chance of having her
house fuller than it can hold, of all the would-be wits and three or
four of the leaders of London. Very thankful she must be for the honour
of their company. She had need to have all the superlatives, in and out
of the English language, at her tongue's end; and when she has exhausted
these, then she must invent new. She must have tones of admiration, and
looks of ecstasy, for every occasion. At reading parties,--especially
at her own house, she must cry--"charming!"--"delightful!" "quite
original!" in the right places even in her sleep.--Awake or asleep she
must read every thing that comes out that has a name, or she must talk
as if she had--at her peril--to the authors themselves,--the irritable
race!--She must know more especially every article in the Edinburgh and
Quarterly Reviews; and at her peril too, must talk of these so as not
to commit herself, so as to please the reviewer abusing, and the author
abused; she must keep the peace between rival wits;--she must swallow
her own vanity--many fail in this last attempt--choke publicly, and give
it up.

I am sorry that so much has been said about the blues; sorry I mean
that such a hue and cry has been raised against them all, good, bad, and
indifferent. John Bull would have settled it best in his quiet way by
just letting them alone, leaving the disagreeable ones to die off in
single blessedness. But people got about John, and made him set up one
of his "_No popery_" cries; and when becomes to that pitch be loses his
senses and his common sense completely. "_No blues!_" "Down with the
blues!"--now what good has all that done? only made the matter ten times
worse. In consequence of this universal hubbub a new order of things has
arisen.

_The blue bore disguised, or the renegade blue_. These may be detected
by their extraordinary fear of being taken for _blues_. Hold up
the picture, or even the sign of a blue bore before them, and they
immediately write under it, "'Tis none of me." They spend their lives
hiding their talent under a bushel; all the time in a desperate fright
lest you should see it. A poor simple man does not know what to do about
it, or what to say or think in their company, so as to behave himself
rightly, and not to affront them. Solomon himself would be put to it,
to make some of these authoresses unknown, avow or give up their own
progeny. Their affectation is beyond the affectation of woman, and it
makes all men sick.

Others without affectation are only arrant cowards. They are afraid to
stand exposed on their painful pre-eminence. Some from pure good-nature
make themselves ridiculous; imagining that they are nine feet high at
the least, shrink and distort themselves continually in condescension to
our inferiority; or lest we should be blasted with excess of light,
come into company shading their farthing candle--burning blue, pale, and
faint.

It should be noticed that the _bore condescending_ is peculiarly
obnoxious to the proud man.

Besides the _bore condescending_, who, whether good-natured or
ill-natured, is a most provoking animal--there is the bore _facetious_,
an insufferable creature, always laughing, but with whom you can never
laugh. And there is another exotic variety--the _vive la bagatelle bore_
of the ape kind--who imitate men of genius. Having early been taught
that there is nothing more delightful than the unbending of a great
mind, they set about continually to unbend the bow in company.

Of the spring and fall, the ebb and tide of genius, we have heard much
from Milton, Dryden, and others. At ebb time--a time which must come
to all, pretty or rich, treasures are discovered upon some shores; or
golden sands are seen when the waters run low. In others bare rocks,
slime, or reptiles. May I never be at low tide with a bore! Despising
the Bagatelle, there is the serious regular conversation bore, who
listens to himself, talks from notes, and is witty by rule. All rules
for conversation were no doubt invented by bores, and if followed
would make all men and women bores, either in straining to be witty, or
striving to be easy. There is no more certain method, even for him
who may possess the talent in the highest degree, to lose the power of
conversing, than by talking to support his character. One eye to your
reputation, one on the company, would never do, were it with the best
of eyes. Few people are of Descartes' mind, that squinting is pretty. It
has been said, that pleasure never comes, if you send her a formal card
of invitation; to a _conversazione_ certainly never; whatever she might
to a dinner-party. Ease cannot stay, wit flies away, and humour grows
dull, if people try for them.

Well-bred persons, abhorring the pedantry of the blues, are usually
_anti-blues_, or _ultra-antis_. But though there exists in a certain
circle a natural honest aversion to every thing like wit or learning,
is it absolutely certain that if taking thought won't do it, taking none
will do? They are determined, they declare, to have easy conversation,
or none.

But let the ease be high-bred and silent as possible--let it be the
repose of the Transcendental--the death-like silence of the Exclusive
in the perfumed atmosphere of the Exquisite; then begins the danger of
going to sleep--desperate danger. In these high circles are to be found,
_apparently_, the most sleepy of all animated beings. _Apparently_, I
say, because, on close observation, it will usually be found that,
like the spider, who, from fear, counterfeits death, these, from pride,
counterfeit sleep. They will sometimes pretend to be asleep for hours
together, when any person or persons are near whom they do not choose
to notice. They lie stretched on sofas, rolled up in shawls most part of
the day, quite empty. At certain hours of the night, found congregated,
sitting up dressed, on beds of roses, back to back, with eyes scarce
open. They are observed to give sign of animation only on the approach
of a blue--their antipathy. They then look at each other, and shrink.
That the _sham-sleeping bore_ is a delicate creature, I shall not
dispute, but they are intolerably tiresome. For my own part, I would
rather give up the honour and the elegance, and go to the antipodes
at once, and live with their antagonists, the _lion-hunters_--yea, the
_lion-loving_ bores.

Their antipodes, did I say? that was going too far: even the most
exaggerated ultra-anti-blues, upon occasion, forget themselves
strangely, and have been seen to join the common herd in running after
lions. But they differ from the _blue-lion-loving-bore_ proper, by never
treating the lion as if he were one of themselves. They follow and feed
and fall down and worship the lion of the season; still, unless he be
a nobleman, which but rarely occurs, he is never treated as a gentleman
_quite_; there is always a difference made, better understood than
described. I have heard lions of my acquaintance complain of showing
themselves off to these _ultra-antis_, and have asked why they let
themselves be made lions, if they disliked it so much, as no lion can
well be led about, I should have conceived, quite against his will? I
never could obtain any answer, but that indeed they could not help it;
they were very sorry, but indeed they could not help being lions. And
the polite lion-loving bore always echoed this, and addressed them with
some such speech as the following:--"My dearest, sir, madam, or miss
(as the case may be), I know, that of all things you detest being made a
lion, and that you can't bear to be worshipped; yet, my dear sir, madam,
or miss, you must let me kneel down and worship you, and then you must
stand on your hind legs a little for me, only for one minute, my dear
sir, and I really would not ask you to do it, only you are _such_ a
lion."

But I have not yet regularly described the genus and species of which
I am treating. The great lion-hunting bore, and the little lion-loving
bore, male and female of both kinds; the male as eager as the female to
fasten on the lion, and as expert in making the most of him, alive or
dead, as seen in the finest example extant, Bozzy and Piozzi, fairly
pitted; but the male beat the female hollow.

The common lion-hunting bore is too well known to need particular
description; but some notice of their habitudes may not be useless for
avoidance. The whole class male subsists by fetching and carrying bays,
grasping at notes and scraps, if any great name be to them; run wild
after verses in MS.; fond of autographs. The females carry albums; some
learn _bon mots_ by rote, and repeat them like parrots; others do not
know a good thing when they meet with it, unless they are told the name
of the cook. Some relish them really, but eat till they burst; others,
after cramming to stupidity, would cram you from their pouch, as the
monkey served Gulliver on the house-top. The whole tribe are foul
feeders, at best love trash and fatten upon scraps; the worst absolutely
rake the kennels, and prey on garbage. They stick with amazing tenacity,
almost resembling canine fidelity and gratitude, to the remains of the
dead lion. But in fact, their love is like that of the ghowl; worse than
ghowls, they sell all which they do not destroy; every scrap of the dead
lion may turn to account. It is wonderful what curious saleable articles
they make of the parings of his claws, and hairs of his mane. The bear
has been said to live at need by sucking his own paws. The bore lives
by sucking the paws of the lion, on which he thrives apace, and, in some
instances, has grown to an amazing size. The dead paws are as good for
his purpose as the living, and better--there being no fear of the claws.
How he escapes those claws when the lion is alive, is the wonder. The
winged lion, however, is above touching these creatures; and the real
gentleman lion of the true blood, in whose nature there is nothing of
the bear, will never let his paws be touched by a bore. His hair stands
on end at the approach or distant sight of any of the kind, lesser or
greater; but very difficult he often finds it to avoid them. Any other
may, more easily than a lion, _shirk a bore_. It is often attempted,
but seldom or never successfully. He hides in his den, but _not at home_
will not always do. The lion is too civil to shut the door in the bore's
very face, though he mightily wishes to do so. It is pleasant sport to
see a great bore and lion opposed to each other; how he stands or sits
upon his guard; how cunningly the bore tries to fasten upon him, and how
the lion tries to shake him off!--if the bore persists beyond endurance,
the lion roars, and he flies; or the lion springs, and he dies.

A more extraordinary circumstance than any I have yet noted, respecting
the natural history of lions and bores, remains to be told; that the
lion himself, the _greater_ kind as well as the lesser of him, are apt,
sooner or later, to turn into bores; but the metamorphosis, though the
same in the result, takes place in different circumstances, and from
quite different causes: with the lesser lion and lioness often from
being shown, or showing themselves too frequently; with the greater,
from very fear of being like the animal he detests.

I once knew a gentleman, not a bore quite, but a very clever man, one of
great sensibility and excessive sensitiveness, who could never sit still
a quarter of an hour together, never converse with you comfortably, or
finish a good story, but evermore broke off in the middle with "I am
_boring_ you"--"I must run away or I shall be a bore." It ended in his
becoming that which he most feared to be.

There are a few rare exceptions to all that has been said of the
caprices or _weaknesses_ of lions. The greatest of lions known or
unknown, the most agreeable as well as the noblest of creatures, is
quite free from these infirmities. He neither affects to show himself,
nor lies sullen in his den. I have somewhere seen his picture sketched;
I should guess by himself at some moment I when the lion turned painter.

"I pique myself upon being one of the best conditioned animals that ever
was shown, since the time of him who was in vain I defied by the knight
of the woful figure; for I get up at the first touch of the pole, rouse
myself, shake my mane, lick my chops, turn round, lie down, and go to
sleep again." It was bad policy in me to let the words "_go to sleep_"
sound upon the reader's ear, for I have not yet quite done; I have one
more class, and though last not least; were I to adopt that enigmatical
style which made the fortune of the oracle of Apollo, I might add--and
though least, greatest. But this, the oracular sublime, has now gone to
the gipsies and the conjurors, and I must write plain English, if I can.

I am come to the crass of the _infant bore_--the _infant reciting bore_;
seemingly insignificant, but exceedingly tiresome, also exceedingly
dangerous, as I shall show. The old of this class we meet wherever we
go--in the forum, the temple, the senate, the theatre, the drawing-room,
the boudoir, the closet. The young infest our homes, pursue us to
our very hearths; our household deities are in league with them; they
destroy all our domestic comfort; they become public nuisances, widely
destructive to our literature. Their mode of training will explain the
nature of the danger. The infant reciting bore is trained much after
the manner of a learned pig. Before the quadruped are placed, on certain
bits of dirty greasy cards, the letters of the alphabet, or short
nonsensical phrases interrogatory with their answers, such as "Who is
the greatest rogue in company?" "Which lady or gentleman in company will
be married first?" By the alternate use of blows and bribes of such food
as pleases the pig, the animal is brought to obey certain signs from his
master, and at his bidding to select any letter or phrase required
from amongst those set before him, goes to his lessons, seems to read
attentively, and to understand; then by a motion of his snout, or
a well-timed grunt, designates the right phrase, and answers the
expectations of his master and the company. The infant reciter is
in similar manner trained by alternate blows and bribes, almonds and
raisins, and bumpers of sweet wine. But mark the difference between him
and the pig. Instead of greasy letters and old cards, which are used
for the learned pig, before the little human animal are cast the finest
morsels from our first authors, selections from our poets, didactic,
pathetic, and sublime--every creature's best, sacrificed.

These are to be slowly but surely deprived of spirit, sense, and life,
by the deadly deadening power of iteration. Not only are they deprived
of life, but mangled by the infant bore--not only mangled, but
polluted--left in such a state that no creature of any delicacy, taste,
or feeling, can bear them afterwards. And are immortal works, or works
which fond man thought and called immortal, thus to perish? Thus are
they doomed to destruction, by a Lilliputian race of Vandals.

The curse of Minerva be on the heads of those who train, who incite them
to such sacrilegious mischief! The mischief spreads every day wide
and more wide. Till of late years, there had appeared bounds to its
progress. Nature seemed to have provided against the devastations of
the _infant reciter_. Formerly it seemed, that only those whom she had
blessed or cursed with a wonderful memory, could be worth the trouble of
training, or by the successful performance of the feats desired, to pay
the labour of instruction. But there has arisen in the land, men who
set at nought the decrees of nature, who undertake to make artificial
memories, not only equal but superior to the best natural memory, and
who, at the shortest notice, engage to supply the brainless with brains.
By certain technical helps, long passages, whole poems, may now
be learnt _by heart_, as they call it, without any aid, effort, or
cognizance of the understanding; and retained and recited, under the
same circumstances, by any irrational, as well and better, than by any
rational being, if, to recite well, mean to repeat without missing
a syllable. How far our literature may in future suffer from these
blighting swarms, will best be conceived by a glance at what they have
already withered and blasted of the favourite productions of our
most popular poets, Gray, Goldsmith, Thomson, Pope, Dryden, Milton,
Shakspeare.

Pope's Man of Ross was doomed to suffer first.

      "Rise, honest Muse, and sing the Man of Ross!"

Oh, dreaded words! who is there that does not wish the honest muse
should rise no more? Goldsmith came next, and shared the same fate. His
country curate, the most amiable of men, we heard of till he grew past
endurance.

As to learning any longer from the bee to build, or of the little
nautilus to sail, we gave it up long ago. "To be or not to be"--is a
question we can no longer bear.

Then Alexander's Feast--the little harpies have been at that too, and it
is defiled. Poor Collins' Ode to the Passions, on and off the stage, is
torn to very tatters.

The Seven Ages of Man, and "All the world's a stage, and all the men and
women in it"--gone to destruction.

The quality of mercy _is_ strained, and is no longer twice blest.

We turn with disgust from "angels and ministers of grace." Adam's
morning hymn has lost the freshness of its charm. The bores have got
into Paradise--scaled Heaven itself! and defied all the powers of
Milton's hell. Such Belials and Molochs as we have heard!

It is absolutely shocking to perceive how immortal genius is in the
power of mortal stupidity! Johnson, a champion of no mean force, stood
forward in his day, and did what his single arm could do, to drive the
little bores from the country church-yard.

"Could not the pretty dears repeat together?" had, however, but a
momentary effect. Though he knocked down the pair that had attempted to
stand before him, they got up again, or one down, another came on. To
this hour they are at it.

What can be done against a race of beings not capable of being touched
even by ridicule? What can we hope when the infant bore and his trainers
have stood against the incomparable humour of "Thinks I to myself?"

In time--and as certainly as the grub turns in due season into the
winged plague who buzzes and fly-blows--the little reciting bore
turns into the _dramatic_ or _theatric_ acting, reading, singing,
recitative--and finally into the everlasting-quotation-loving
bore--Greek, Latin, and English.

The everlasting quotation-lover doats on the husks of learning. He is
the infant reciting bore in second childishness. We wish in vain that it
were in mere oblivion. From the ladies' tea-tables the Greek and
Latin quoting bores were driven away long ago by the Guardian and the
Spectator, and seldom now translate for the country gentlewomen. But
the mere English quotation-dealer, a mortal tiresome creature! still
prevails, and figures still in certain circles of old blues, who are
civil enough still to admire that wonderful memory of his which has a
quotation ready for every thing you can say--He usually prefaces or
ends his quotations with--"As the poet happily says," or, "as Nature's
sweetest woodlark justly remarks;" or, "as the immortal Milton has it."

To prevent the confusion and disgrace consequent upon such mistakes,
and for the general advantage of literature, in reclaiming, if possible,
what has gone to the bores, it might be a service to point out publicly
such quotations as are now too common to be admitted within the pale of
good taste.

In the last age, Lord Chesterfield set the mark of the beast, as he
called it, on certain vulgarisms in pronunciation, which he succeeded
in banishing from good company. I wish we could set the mark of the bore
upon all which has been contaminated by his touch,--all those tainted
beauties, which no person of taste would prize. They must be hung up
viewless, for half a century at least, to bleach out their stains.

I invite every true friend of literature and of good conversation,
_blues_ and _antis_, to contribute their assistance in furnishing out a
list of quotations to be proscribed. Could I but accomplish this object,
I should feel I had not written in vain. To make a good beginning, I
will give half a dozen of the most notorious.

"The light fantastic toe," has figured so long in the newspapers, that
an editor of taste would hardly admit it now into his columns.

"Pity is akin to love,"--sunk to utter contempt; along with--"Grace
is in all her steps;" and "Man never _is_, but always _to be
blest_;"--"Youth at the prow, and pleasure at the helm;"--no longer safe
on a boating party.

The bourgeois gentilhomme has talked prose too long without knowing it.

"No man is a hero to his _valet de chambre_,"--gone to the valets
themselves.

"Le secret d'ennyer est celui de tout dire,"--in great danger of the
same fate,--it is so tempting!--but, so much the worse,--wit is often
its own worst enemy.

Some anatomists, it is said, have, during the operation of dissection,
caught from the subject the disease. I feel myself in danger at this
moment,--a secret horror thrills through my veins. Often have I remarked
that persons who undergo certain transformations are unconscious of the
commencement and progress in themselves, though quicksighted, when
their enemies, friends, or neighbours, are beginning to turn into
bores. Husband and wife,--no creatures sooner!--perceive each other's
metamorphoses,--not Baucis and Philemon more surely, seldom like them
before the transformation be complete. Are we in time to say the last
adieu!

I feel that I am--I fear that I have long been,

A BORE



ORMOND



CHAPTER I.

"What! no music, no dancing at Castle Hermitage to-night; and all the
ladies sitting in a formal circle, petrifying into perfect statues?"
cried Sir Ulick O'Shane as he entered the drawing-room, between ten and
eleven o'clock at night, accompanied by what he called his _rear-guard_,
veterans of the old school of good fellows, who at those times
in Ireland--times long since past--deemed it essential to health,
happiness, and manly character, to swallow, and show themselves able to
stand after swallowing, a certain number of bottles of claret per day or
night.

"Now, then," continued Sir Ulick, "of all the figures in nature or art,
the formal circle is universally the most obnoxious to conversation,
and, to me, the most formidable; all my faculties are spell-bound--here
I am like a bird in a circle of chalk, that dare not move so much as its
head or its eyes, and can't, for the life of it, take to its legs."

A titter ran round that part of the circle where the young ladies
sat--Sir Ulick was a favourite, and they rejoiced when he came among
them; because, as they observed, "he always said something pleasant, or
set something pleasant a-going."

"Lady O'Shane, for mercy's sake let us have no more of these permanent
circle sittings at Castle Hermitage, my dear!"

"Sir Ulick, I am sure I should be very glad if it were possible,"
replied Lady O'Shane, "to have no more _permanent sittings_ at Castle
Hermitage; but when gentlemen are at their bottle, I really don't know
what the ladies can do but sit in a circle."

"Can't they dance in a circle, or any way? or have not they an elegant
resource in their music? There's many here who, to my knowledge, can
caper as well as they modulate," said Sir Ulick, "to say nothing of
cards for those that like them."

"Lady Annaly does not like cards," said Lady O'Shane, "and I could not
ask any of these young ladies to waste their breath and their execution,
singing and playing before the gentlemen came out."

"These young ladies would not, I'm sure, do us old fellows the honour
of waiting for us; and the young beaux deserted to your tea-table a
long hour ago--so why you have not been dancing is a mystery beyond my
comprehension."

"Tea or coffee, Sir Ulick O'Shane, for the third time of asking?" cried
a sharp female voice from the remote tea-table.

"Wouldn't you swear to that being the voice of a presbyterian?"
whispered Sir Ulick, over his shoulder to the curate: then aloud he
replied to the lady, "Miss Black, you are three times too obliging.
Neither tea nor coffee I'll take from you to-night, I thank you kindly."

"Fortunate for yourself, sir--for both are as cold as stones--and no
wonder!" said Miss Black.

"No wonder!" echoed Lady O'Shane, looking at her watch, and sending
forth an ostentatious sigh.

"What o'clock is it by your ladyship?" asked Miss Black. "I have a
notion it's tremendously late."

"No matter--we are not pinned to hours in this house, Miss Black," said
Sir Ulick, walking up to the tea-table, and giving her a look, which
said as plainly as look could say, "You had better be quiet."

Lady O'Shane followed her husband, and putting her arm within his, began
to say something in a fondling tone; and in a most conciliatory manner
she went on talking to him for some moments. He looked absent, and
replied coldly.

"I'll take a cup of coffee from you now, Miss Black," said he, drawing
away his arm from his wife, who looked much mortified.

"We are too long, Lady O'Shane," added he, "standing here like lovers,
talking to no one but ourselves--awkward in company."

"_Like lovers!_" The sound pleased poor Lady O'Shane's ear, and she
smiled for the first time this night--Lady O'Shane was perhaps the last
woman in the room whom a stranger would have guessed to be Sir Ulick's
wife.

He was a fine gallant _off-hand_ looking Irishman, with something of
_dash_ in his tone and air, which at first view might lead a common
observer to pronounce him to be vulgar; but at five minutes after sight,
a good judge of men and manners would have discovered in him the power
of assuming whatever manner he chose, from the audacity of the callous
profligate to the deference of the accomplished courtier--the capability
of adapting his conversation to his company and his views, whether his
object were "to set the senseless table in a roar," or to insinuate
himself into the delicate female heart. Of this latter power, his age
had diminished but not destroyed the influence. The fame of former
conquests still operated in his favour, though he had long since passed
his splendid meridian of gallantry.

While Sir Ulick is drinking his cup of cold coffee, we may look back
a little into his family history. To go no farther than his legitimate
loves, he had successively won three wives, who had each, in her turn,
been desperately enamoured: the first he loved, and married imprudently
for love, at seventeen; the second he admired, and married prudently,
for ambition, at thirty; the third he hated, but married, from
necessity, for money, at five-and-forty. The first wife, Miss Annaly,
after ten years' martyrdom of the heart, sank, childless,--a victim,
it was said, to love and jealousy. The second wife, Lady Theodosia,
struggled stoutly for power, backed by strong and high connexions;
having, moreover, the advantage of being a mother, and mother of an only
son and heir, the representative of a father in whom ambition had,
by this time, become the ruling passion: the Lady Theodosia stood her
ground, wrangling and wrestling through a fourteen years' wedlock, till
at last, to Sir Ulick's great relief, not to say joy, her ladyship was
carried off by a bad fever, or a worse apothecary. His present lady,
formerly Mrs. Scraggs, a London widow of very large fortune, happened to
see Sir Ulick when he went to present some address, or settle some point
between the English and Irish government:--he was in deep mourning at
the time, and the widow pitied him very much. But she was not the sort
of woman he would ever have suspected could like him--she was a strict
pattern lady, severe on the times, and, not unfrequently, lecturing
young men gratis. Now Sir Ulick O'Shane was a sinner; how then could
he please a saint? He did, however--but the saint did not please
him--though she set to work for the good of his soul, and in her own
person relaxed, to please his taste, even to the wearing of rouge
and pearl-powder, and false hair, and false eyebrows, and all the
falsifications which the _setters-up_ could furnish. But after she had
purchased all of youth which age can purchase for money, it would
not do. The Widow Scraggs might, with her "lack lustre" eyes, have
speculated for ever in vain upon Sir Ulick, but that, fortunately for
her passion, at one and the same time, the Irish ministry were turned
out, and an Irish canal burst. Sir Ulick losing his place by the change
of ministry, and one half of his fortune by the canal, in which it had
been sunk; and having spent in unsubstantial schemes and splendid living
more than the other half; now, in desperate misery, laid hold of the
Widow Scraggs. After a nine days' courtship she became a bride, and she
and her plum in the stocks--but not her messuage, house, and lands, in
Kent--became the property of Sir Ulick O'Shane. "Love was then lord of
all" with her, and she was now to accompany Sir Ulick to Ireland. Late
in life she was carried to a new country, and set down among a people
whom she had all her previous days been taught to hold in contempt or
aversion: she dreaded Irish disturbances much, and Irish dirt more; she
was persuaded that nothing could be right, good, or genteel, that was
not English. Her habits and tastes were immutably fixed. Her experience
had been confined to a London life, and in proportion as her sphere of
observation had been contracted, her disposition was intolerant. She
made no allowance for the difference of opinion, customs, and situation,
much less for the faults or foibles of people who were to her strangers
and foreigners--her ladyship was therefore little likely to please or be
pleased in her new situation. Her husband was the only individual, the
only thing, animate or inanimate, that she liked in Ireland--and while
she was desperately in love with an Irishman, she disliked Ireland
and the Irish: even the Irish talents and virtues, their wit, humour,
generosity of character, and freedom of manner, were lost upon
her--her country neighbours were repelled by her air of taciturn
self-sufficiency--and she, for her part, declared she would have been
satisfied to have lived alone at Castle Hermitage with Sir Ulick. But
Sir Ulick had no notion of living alone with her, or for any body. His
habits were all social and convivial--he loved show and company: he had
been all his life in the habit of entertaining all ranks of people
at Castle Hermitage, from his excellency the Lord-Lieutenant and the
commander-in-chief for the time being, to Tim the gauger, and honest Tom
Kelly, the _stalko_.

He talked of the necessity of keeping up a neighbourhood, and
maintaining his interest in the county, as the first duties of man.
Ostensibly Sir Ulick had no motive in all this, but the hospitable wish
of seeing Castle Hermitage one continued scene of festivity; but under
this good fellowship and apparent thoughtlessness and profusion, there
was an eye to his own interest, and a keen view to the improvement of
his fortune and the advancement of his family. With these habits and
views, it was little likely that he should yield to the romantic,
jealous, or economic tastes of his new lady--a bride ten years older
than himself! Lady O'Shane was, soon after her arrival in Ireland,
compelled to see her house as full of company as it could possibly
hold; and her ladyship was condemned eternally, to do the honours to
successive troops of _friends_, of whom she knew nothing, and of whom
she disliked all she saw or heard. Her dear Sir Ulick was, or seemed, so
engrossed by the business of pleasure, so taken up with his guests, that
but a few minutes in the day could she ever obtain of his company. She
saw herself surrounded by the young, the fair, and the gay, to whom Sir
Ulick devoted his assiduous and gallant attentions; and though his age,
and his being a married man, seemed to preclude, in the opinion of the
cool or indifferent spectator, all idea of any real cause for jealousy,
yet it was not so with poor Lady O'Shane's magnifying imagination. The
demon of jealousy tortured her; and to enhance her sufferings, she was
obliged to conceal them, lest they should become subjects of private
mockery or public derision. It is the peculiar misfortune or punishment
of misplaced, and yet more of unseasonable, passions, that in their
distresses they obtain no sympathy; and while the passion is in all
its consequence tragics to the sufferer, in all its exhibitions it
is--ludicrous to the spectator. Lady O'Shane could not be young, and
would not be old: so without the charms of youth, or the dignity of age,
she could neither inspire love, nor command respect; nor could she find
fit occupation or amusement, or solace or refuge, in any combination
of company or class of society. Unluckily, as her judgment, never
discriminating, was now blinded by jealousy, the two persons of all his
family connexions upon whom she pitched as the peculiar objects of her
fear and hatred were precisely those who were most disposed to pity and
befriend her--to serve her in private with Sir Ulick, and to treat her
with deference in public: these two persons were Lady Annaly and her
daughter. Lady Annaly was a distant relation of Sir Ulick's first wife,
during whose life some circumstances had occurred which had excited her
ladyship's indignation against him. For many years all commerce between
them had ceased. Lady Annaly was a woman of generous indignation, strong
principles, and warm affections. Her rank, her high connexions, her high
character, her having, from the time she was left a young and beautiful
widow, devoted herself to the education and the interests of her
children; her having persevered in her lofty course, superior to all
the numerous temptations of love, vanity, or ambition, by which she was
assailed; her long and able administration of a large property, during
the minority of her son; her subsequent graceful resignation of power;
his affection, gratitude, and deference for his mother, which now
continued to prolong her influence, and exemplify her precepts in
every act of his own; altogether placed this lady high in public
consideration--high as any individual could stand in a country, where
national enthusiastic attachment is ever excited by certain noble
qualities congenial with the Irish nature. Sir Ulick O'Shane, sensible
of the disadvantage of having estranged such a family connexion, and
fully capable of appreciating the value of her friendship, had of late
years taken infinite pains to redeem himself in Lady Annaly's opinion.
His consummate address, aided and abetted and concealed as it was by
his off-hand manner, would scarcely have succeeded, had it not been
supported also by some substantial good qualities, especially by the
natural candour and generosity of his disposition. In favour of the
originally strong, and, through all his errors, wonderfully surviving
taste for virtue, some of his manifold transgressions might be forgiven:
there was much hope and promise of amendment; and besides, to state
things just as they were, he had propitiated the mother, irresistibly,
by his enthusiastic admiration of the daughter--so that Lady Annaly
had at last consented to revisit Castle Hermitage. Her ladyship and her
daughter were now on this reconciliation visit; Sir Ulick was extremely
anxious to make it agreeable. Besides the credit of her friendship, he
had other reasons for wishing to conciliate her: his son Marcus was just
twenty--two years older than Miss Annaly--in course of time, Sir
Ulick thought it might be a match--his son could not possibly make a
better--beauty, fortune, family connexions, every thing that the hearts
of young and old desire. Besides (for in Sir Ulick's calculations
_besides_ was a word frequently occurring), besides, Miss Annaly's
brother was not as strong in body as in mind--in two illnesses his life
had been despaired of--a third might carry him off--the estate would
probably come to Miss Annaly. _Besides_, be this hereafter as it might,
there was at this present time a considerable debt due by Sir Ulick to
these Annalys, with accumulated interest, since the time of his first
marriage; and this debt would be merged in Miss Annaly's portion, should
she become his son's wife. All this was well calculated; but to say
nothing of the character or affections of the son, Sir Ulick had omitted
to consider Lady O'Shane, or he had taken it for granted that her love
for him would induce her at once to enter into and second his views. It
did not so happen. On the contrary, the dislike which Lady O'Shane took
at sight to both the mother and daughter--to the daughter instinctively,
at sight of her youth and beauty; to the mother reflectively, on account
of her matronly dress and dignified deportment, in too striking contrast
to her own frippery appearance--increased every day, and every hour,
when she saw the attentions, the adoration, that Sir Ulick paid to Miss
Annaly, and the deference and respect he showed to Lady Annaly, all for
qualities and accomplishments in which Lady O'Shane was conscious that
she was irremediably deficient. Sir Ulick thought to extinguish her
jealousy, by opening to her his views on Miss Annaly for his son; but
the jealousy, taking only a new direction, strengthened in its course.
Lady O'Shane did not like her stepson--had indeed no great reason
to like him; Marcus disliked her, and was at no pains to conceal his
dislike. She dreaded the accession of domestic power and influence he
would gain by such a marriage. She could not bear the thoughts of having
a daughter-in-law brought into the house--placed in eternal comparison
with her. Sir Ulick O'Shane was conscious that his marriage exposed
him to some share of ridicule; but hitherto, except when his taste
for raillery, and the diversion of exciting her causeless jealousy,
interfered with his purpose, he had always treated her ladyship as he
conceived that Lady O'Shane ought to be treated. Naturally good-natured,
and habitually attentive to the sex, he had indeed kept up appearances
better than could have been expected, from a man of his former habits,
to a woman of her ladyship's present age; but if she now crossed his
favourite scheme, it would be all over with her--her submission to his
will had hitherto been a sufficient and a convenient proof, and the only
proof he desired, of her love. Her ladyship's evil genius, in the shape
of Miss Black, her humble companion, was now busily instigating her to
be refractory. Miss Black had frequently whispered, that if Lady O'Shane
would show more spirit, she would do better with Sir Ulick; that his
late wife, Lady Theodosia, had ruled him, by showing proper spirit; that
in particular, she should make a stand against the encroachments of Sir
Ulick's son Marcus, and of his friend and companion, young Ormond. In
consequence of these suggestions, Lady O'Shane had most judiciously
thwarted both these young men in trifles, till she had become their
aversion: this aversion Marcus felt more than he expressed, and Ormond
expressed more strongly than he felt. To Sir Ulick, his son and heir was
his first great object in life; yet, though in all things he preferred
the interest of Marcus, he was not as fond of Marcus as he was of young
Ormond. Young Ormond was the son of the friend of Sir Ulick O'Shane's
youthful and warm-hearted days--the son of an officer who had served
in the same regiment with him in his first campaign. Captain Ormond
afterwards made an unfortunate marriage--that is, a marriage without a
fortune--his friends would not see him or his wife--he was soon in debt,
and in great distress. He was obliged to leave his wife and go to
India. She had then one child at nurse in an Irish cabin. She died soon
afterwards. Sir Ulick O'Shane took the child, that had been left at
nurse, into his own house. From the time it was four years old, little
Harry Ormond became his darling and grew up his favourite. Sir Ulick's
fondness, however, had not extended to any care of his education--quite
the contrary; he had done all he could to spoil him by the most
injudicious indulgence, and by neglect of all instruction or discipline.
Marcus had been sent to school and college; but Harry Ormond, meantime,
had been let to run wild at home: the gamekeeper, the huntsman, and a
cousin of Sir Ulick, who called himself the King of the Black Islands,
had had the principal share in his education. Captain Ormond, his
father, was not heard of for many years; and Sir Ulick always argued,
that there was no use in giving Harry Ormond the education of an estated
gentleman, when he was not likely to have an estate. Moreover, he
prophesied that Harry would turn out the cleverest man of the two; and
in the progress of the two boys towards manhood Sir Ulick had shown
a strange sort of double and inconsistent vanity in his son's
acquirements, and in the orphan Harry's natural genius. Harry's
extremely warm, generous, grateful temper, delighted Sir Ulick; but he
gloried in the superior polish of his own son. Harry Ormond grew up with
all the faults that were incident to his natural violence of passions,
and that might necessarily be expected from his neglected and deficient
education. His devoted gratitude and attachment to his guardian father,
as he called Sir Ulick, made him amenable in an instant, even in the
height and tempest of his passions, to whatever Sir Ulick desired; but
he was ungovernable by most other people, and rude even to insolence,
where he felt tyranny or suspected meanness. Miss Black and he were
always at open war; to Lady O'Shane he submitted, though with an ill
grace; yet he did submit, for his guardian's sake, where he himself only
was concerned; but most imprudently and fiercely he contended upon every
occasion where Marcus, when aggrieved, had declined contending with his
mother-in-law.

Upon the present occasion the two youths had been long engaged to dine
with, and keep the birthday of, Mr. Cornelius O'Shane, the King of the
Black Islands--next to Sir Ulick the being upon earth to whom Harry
Ormond thought himself most obliged, and to whom he felt himself most
attached. This he had represented to Lady O'Shane, and had earnestly
requested that, as the day for the intended dance was a matter of
indifference to her, it might not be fixed on this day; but her ladyship
had purposely made it a trial of strength, and had insisted upon their
returning at a certain hour. She knew that Sir Ulick would be much vexed
by their want of punctuality on this occasion, where the Annalys were
concerned, though, in general, punctuality was a virtue for which he had
no regard.

Sir Ulick had finished his cup of coffee. "Miss Black, send away the
tea-things--send away all these things," cried he. "Young ladies, better
late than never, you know--let's have dancing now; clear the decks for
action."

The young ladies started from their seats immediately. All was now in
happy motion. The servants answered promptly--the tea-things retired
in haste--tables rolled away--chairs swung into the back-ground--the
folding-doors of the dancing-room were thrown open--the pyramids of
wax-candles in the chandeliers (for this was ere argands were on earth)
started into light--the musicians tuning, screwing, scraping, sounded,
discordant as they were, joyful notes of preparation.

"But where's my son--where's Marcus?" said Sir Ulick, drawing Lady
O'Shane aside. "I don't see him any where."

"No," said Lady O'Shane; "you know that he would go to dine to-day with
that strange cousin of yours, and neither he nor his companion have
thought proper to return yet."

"I wish you had given me a hint," said Sir Ulick, "and I would have
waited; for Marcus ought to lead off with Miss Annaly."

"_Ought_--to be sure." said Lady O'Shane; "but that is no rule for young
gentlemen's conduct. I told both the young gentlemen that we were to
have a dance to-night. I mentioned the hour, and begged them to be
punctual."

"Young men are never punctual," said Sir Ulick; "but Marcus is
inexcusable to-night on account of the Annalys."

Sir Ulick pondered for a moment with an air of vexation, then turning to
the musicians, who were behind him, "You four-and-twenty fiddlers all in
a row, you gentlemen musicians, scrape and tune on a little longer, if
you please. Remember _you are not ready_ till I draw on my gloves. Break
a string or two, if necessary."

"We will--we shall--plase your honour."

"I wish, Lady O'Shane," continued Sir Ulick in a lower tone, "I wish you
had given me a hint of this."

"Truth to tell, Sir Ulick, I did, I own, conceive from your walk and
way, that you were not in a condition to take any hint I could give."

"Pshaw, my dear, after having known me, I won't say loved me, a calendar
year, how can you be so deceived by outward appearances? Don't you
know that I hate drinking? But when I have these county electioneering
friends, the worthy red noses, to entertain, I suit myself to the
company, by acting spirits instead of swallowing them, for I should
scorn to appear to flinch!"

This was true. Sir Ulick could, and often did, to the utmost perfection,
counterfeit every degree of intoxication. He could act the rise,
decline, and fall of the drunken man, marking the whole progress, from
the first incipient hesitation of reason to the glorious confusion
of ideas in the highest state of _elevation_, thence through all
the declining cases of stultified paralytic ineptitude, down to the
horizontal condition of preterpluperfect ebriety.

"Really, Sir Ulick, you are so good an actor that I don't pretend to
judge--I can seldom find out the truth from you."

"So much the better for you, my dear, if you knew but all," said Sir
Ulick, laughing.

"If I knew but all!" repeated her ladyship, with an alarmed look.

"But that's not the matter in hand at present, my dear."

Sir Ulick protracted the interval before the opening of the ball as long
as he possibly could--but in vain--the young gentlemen did not appear.
Sir Ulick drew on his gloves. The broken strings of the violins were
immediately found to be mended. Sir Ulick opened the ball himself with
Miss Annaly, after making as handsome an apology for his son as the case
would admit--an apology which was received by the young lady with the
most graceful good-nature. She declined dancing more than one dance, and
Sir Ulick sat down between her and Lady Annaly, exerting all his powers
of humour to divert them, at the expense of his cousin, the King of
the Black Islands, whose tedious ferry, or whose claret, or more
likely whose whiskey-punch, he was sure, had been the cause of Marcus's
misdemeanour. It was now near twelve o'clock. Lady O'Shane, who had made
many aggravating reflections upon the disrespectful conduct of the young
gentlemen, grew restless on another _count_. The gates were left open
for them--the gates ought to be locked! There were disturbances in the
country. "Pshaw!" Sir Ulick said. Opposite directions were given at
opposite doors to two servants.

"Dempsey, tell them they need not lock the gates till the young
gentlemen come home, or at least till one o'clock," said Sir Ulick.

"Stone," said Lady O'Shane to her own man in a very low voice, "go down
directly, and see that the gates are locked, and bring me the keys."

Dempsey, an Irishman, who was half drunk, forgot to see or say any
thing about it. Stone, an Englishman, went directly to obey his lady's
commands, and the gates were locked, and the keys brought to her
ladyship, who put them immediately into her work-table.

Half an hour afterwards, as Lady O'Shane was sitting with her back to
the glass-door of the green house, which opened into the ball-room, she
was startled by a peremptory tap on the glass behind her; she turned,
and saw young Ormond, pale as death, and stained with blood.

"The keys of the gate instantly," cried he, "for mercy's sake!"



CHAPTER II.

Lady O'Shane, extremely terrified, had scarcely power to rise. She
opened the drawer of the table, and thrust her trembling hand down to
the bottom of the silk bag, into which the keys had fallen. Impatient of
delay, Ormond pushed open the door, snatched the keys, and disappeared.
The whole passed in a few seconds. The music drowned the noise of the
opening door, and of the two chairs, which Ormond had thrown down: those
who sat near, thought a servant had pushed in and gone out; but, however
rapid the movement, the full view of the figure had been seen by Miss
Annaly, who was sitting on the opposite side of the room; Sir Ulick was
sitting beside her, talking earnestly. Lady Annaly had just retired.
"For Heaven's sake, what's the matter?" cried he, stopping in the middle
of a sentence, on seeing Miss Annaly grow suddenly pale as death.
Her eyes were fixed on the door of the green-house; his followed that
direction. "Yes," said he, "we can get out into the air that way--lean
on me." She did so--he pushed his way through the crowd at the bottom of
the country dance; and, as he passed, was met by Lady O'Shane and Miss
Black, both with faces of horror.

"Sir Ulick, did you see," pointing to the door, "did you see Mr.
Ormond?--There's blood!"

"There's mischief, certainly," said Miss Black. "A quarrel--Mr. Marcus,
perhaps."

"Nonsense! No such thing, you'll find," said Sir Ulick, pushing on,
and purposely jostling the arm of a servant who was holding a salver
of ices, overturning them all; and whilst the surrounding company were
fully occupied about their clothes, and their fears, and apologies, he
made his way onwards to the green-house--Lady O'Shane clinging to
one arm--Miss Annaly supported by the other--Miss Black following,
repeating, "Mischief! mischief! you'll see, sir."

"Miss Black, open the door, and not another word."

He edged Miss Annaly on, the moment the door opened, dragged Lady
O'Shane after him, pushed Miss Black back as she attempted to follow:
but, recollecting that she might spread the report of mischief, if he
left her behind, drew her into the green-house, locked the door, and led
Miss Annaly out into the air.

"Bring salts! water! something, Miss Black--follow me, Lady O'Shane."

"When I'm hardly able--your wife! Sir Ulick, you might," said Lady
O'Shane, as she tottered on, "you might, I should have _thought_--"

"No time for such thoughts, my dear," interrupted he. "Sit down on the
steps--there, she is better now--now what is all this?"

"I am not to speak," said Miss Black.

Lady O'Shane began to say how Mr. Ormond had burst in, covered with
blood, and seized the keys of the gates.

"The keys!" But he had no time for _that_ thought. "Which way did he
go?"

"I don't know; I gave him the keys of both gates."

The two entrances were a mile asunder. Sir Ulick looked for footsteps on
the grass. It was a fine moonlight night. He saw footsteps on the path
leading to the gardener's house. "Stay here, ladies, and I will bring
you intelligence as soon as possible."

"This way, Sir Ulick--they are coming," said Miss Annaly, who had now
recovered her presence of mind.

Several persons appeared from a turn in the shrubbery, carrying some
one on a hand-barrow--a gentleman on horseback, with a servant and
many persons walking. Sir Ulick hastened towards them; the gentleman on
horseback spurred his horse and met him.

"Marcus!--is it you?--thank God! But Ormond--where is he, and what has
happened?"

The first sound of Marcus's voice, when he attempted to answer, showed
that he was not in a condition to give a rational account of any thing.
His servant followed, also much intoxicated. While Sir Ulick had been
stopped by their ineffectual attempts to explain, the people who were
carrying the man on the hand-barrow came up. Ormond appeared from
the midst of them. "Carry him on to the gardener's house," cried he,
pointing the way, and coming forward to Sir Ulick. "If he dies, I am a
murderer!" cried he.

"Who is he?" said Sir Ulick.

"Moriarty Carroll, please your honour," answered several voices at once.

"And how happened it?" said Sir Ulick.

"The long and the short of it, sir," said Marcus, as well as he could
articulate, "the fellow was insolent, and we cut him down--and if it
were to do again, I'd do it again with pleasure."

"No, no! you won't say so, Marcus, when you are yourself," said Ormond.
"Oh! how dreadful to come to one's senses all at once, as I did--the
moment after I had fired that fatal shot--the moment I saw the poor
fellow stagger and fall--"

"It was you, then, that fired at him," interrupted Sir Ulick.

"Yes, oh! yes!" said he, striking his forehead: "I did it in the fury of
passion."

Then Ormond, taking all the blame upon himself, and stating what had
passed in the strongest light against himself, gave this account of the
matter. After having drunk too much at Mr. Cornelius O'Shane's, they
were returning from the Black Islands, and afraid of being late, they
were galloping hard, when at a narrow part of the road they were stopped
by some cars. Impatient of the delay, they abused the men who were
driving them, insisting upon their getting out of the way faster than
they could. Moriarty Carroll made some answer, which Marcus said was
insolent; and inquiring the man's name, and hearing it was Carroll, said
all the Carrolls were bad people--rebels. Moriarty defied him to prove
_that_--and added some expressions about tyranny, which enraged Ormond.
This part of the provocation Ormond did not state, but merely said he
was thrown into a passion by some observation of Moriarty's; and first
he lifted his whip to give the fellow a horsewhipping. Moriarty seized
hold of the whip, and struggled to wrest it from his hand; Ormond then
snatched a pistol from his holster, telling Moriarty he would shoot him,
if he did not let the whip go. Moriarty, who was in a passion himself,
struggled, still holding the whip. Ormond cocked the pistol, and before
he was aware he had done so, the pistol accidentally went off--the ball
entered Moriarty's breast. This happened within a quarter of a mile of
Castle Hermitage. The poor fellow bled profusely; and, in assisting to
lift him upon the hand-barrow, Ormond was covered with blood, as has
been already described.

"Have you sent for a surgeon?" said Sir Ulick, coolly.

"Certainly--sent off a fellow on my own horse directly. Sir, will you
come on to the gardener's house; I want you to see him, to know what
you'll think. If he die, I am a murderer," repeated Ormond.

This horrible idea so possessed his imagination, that he could not
answer or hear any of the farther questions that were asked by Lady
O'Shane and Miss Black; but after gazing upon them with unmeaning eyes
for a moment in silence, walked rapidly on: as he was passing by the
steps of the green-house, he stopped short at the sight of Miss Annaly,
who was still sitting there. "What's the matter?" said he, in a tone of
great compassion, going close up to her. Then, recollecting himself, he
hurried forward again.

"As I can be of no use--unless I can be of any use," said Miss Annaly,
"I will, now that I am well enough, return--my mother will wonder what
has become of me."

"Sir Ulick, give me the key of the conservatory, to let Miss Annaly into
the ball-room."

"Miss Annaly does not wish to dance any more to-night, I believe," said
Sir Ulick.

"Dance--oh! no."

"Then, without exciting observation, you can all get in better at the
back door of the house, and Miss Annaly can go up the back stairs to
Lady Annaly's room, without meeting any one; and you, Lady O'Shane,"
added he, in a low voice, "order up supper, and say nothing of what has
passed. Miss Black, you hear what I desire--no gossiping."

To get to the back door they had to walk round the house, and in their
way they passed the gardener's. The surgeon had just arrived.

"Go on, ladies, pray," said Sir Ulick; "what stops you?"

"'Tis I stop the way, Sir Ulick," said Lady O'Shane, "to speak a word to
the surgeon. If you find the man in any dangerous way, for pity's sake
don't let him die at our gardener's--indeed, the bringing him here at
all I think a very strange step and encroachment of Mr. Ormond's. It
will make the whole thing so public--and the people hereabouts are so
revengeful--if any thing should happen to him, it will be revenged on
our whole family--on Sir Ulick in particular."

"No danger--nonsense, my dear."

But now this idea had seized Lady O'Shane, it appeared to her a
sufficient reason for desiring to remove the man even this night. She
asked why he could not be taken to his own home and his own people; she
repeated, that it was very strange of Mr. Ormond to take such liberties,
as if every thing about Castle Hermitage was quite at his disposal. One
of the men who had carried the hand-barrow, and who was now standing at
the gardener's door, observed, that Moriarty's _people_ lived five miles
off. Ormond, who had gone into the house to the wounded man, being told
what Lady O'Shane was saying, came out; she repeated her words as he
re-appeared. Naturally of sudden violent temper, and being now in the
highest state of suspense and irritation, he broke out, forgetful of all
proper respect. Miss Black, who was saying something in corroboration
of Lady O'Shane's opinion, he first attacked, pronouncing her to be an
unfeeling, _canting_ hypocrite: then, turning to Lady O'Shane, he said
that she might send the dying man away, if she pleased; but that if she
did, he would go too, and that never while he existed would he enter her
ladyship's doors again.

Ormond made this threat with the air of a superior to an inferior,
totally forgetting his own dependent situation, and the dreadful
circumstances in which he now stood.

"You are drunk, young man! My dear Ormond, you don't know what you are
saying," interposed Sir Ulick.

At his voice, and the kindness of his tone, Ormond recollected himself.
"Forgive me," said he, in a very gentle tone. "My head certainly is
not--Oh! may you never feel what I have felt this last hour! If this man
die--Oh! consider."

"He will not die--he will not die, I hope--at any rate, don't talk so
loud within hearing of these people. My dear Lady O'Shane, this foolish
boy--this Harry Ormond is, I grant, a sad scapegrace, but you must bear
with him for my sake. Let this poor wounded fellow remain here--I won't
have him stirred to-night--we shall see what ought to be done in the
morning. Ormond, you forgot yourself strangely towards Lady O'Shane--as
to this fellow, don't make such a rout about the business; I dare say he
will do very well: we shall hear what the surgeon says. At first I was
horribly frightened--I thought you and Marcus had been quarrelling. Miss
Annaly, are not you afraid of staying out? Lady O'Shane, why do you keep
Miss Annaly? Let supper go up directly."

"Supper! ay, every thing goes on as usual," said Ormond, "and I--"

"I must follow them in, and see how things _are_ going on, and prevent
gossiping, for your sake, my boy," resumed Sir Ulick, after a moment's
pause. "You have got into an ugly scrape. I pity you from my soul--I'm
rash myself. Send the surgeon to me when he has seen the fellow. Depend
upon me, if the worst come to the worst, there's nothing in the world I
would not do to serve you," said Sir Ulick: "so keep up your spirits, my
boy--we'll contrive to bring you through--at the worst, it will only be
manslaughter."

Ormond wrung Sir Ulick's hand--thanked him for his kindness; but
repeated, "it will be murder--it will be murder--my own conscience tells
me so! If he die, give me up to justice."

"You'll think better of it before morning," said Sir Ulick, as he left
Ormond.

The surgeon gave Ormond little comfort. After extracting the bullet, and
examining the wound, he shook his head--he had but a bad opinion of the
case; and when Ormond took him aside, and questioned him more closely,
he confessed that he thought the man would not live--he should not be
surprised if he died before morning. The surgeon was obliged to leave
him to attend another patient; and Ormond, turning all the other people
out of the room, declared he would sit up with Moriarty himself. A
terrible night it was to him. To his alarmed and inexperienced eyes
the danger seemed even greater than it really was, and several times he
thought his patient expiring, when he was faint from loss of blood. The
moments in which Ormond was occupied in assisting him were the least
painful. It was when he had nothing left to do, when he had leisure to
think, that he was most miserable; then the agony of suspense, and the
horror of remorse, were felt, till feeling was exhausted; and he would
sit motionless and stupified, till he was wakened again from this
suspension of thought and feeling by some moan of the poor man, or some
delirious startings. Toward morning the wounded man lay easier; and as
Ormond was stooping over his bed to see whether he was asleep, Moriarty
opened his eyes, and fixing them on Ormond, said, in broken sentences,
but so as very distinctly to be understood, "Don't be in such trouble
about the likes of me--I'll do very well, you'll see--and even suppose
I wouldn't--not a friend I have shall ever prosecute--I'll charge
'em not--so be easy--for you're a good heart--and the pistol went
off unknownst to you--I'm sure there was no malice--let that be your
comfort. It might happen to any man, let alone gentleman--don't _take
on_ so. Only think of young Mr. Harry sitting up the night with me!--Oh!
if you'd go now and settle yourself yonder on t'other bed, sir--I'd be
a grate dale asier, and I don't doubt but I'd get a taste of sleep
myself--while now wid you standing over or _forenent_ me, I can't close
an eye for thinking of you, Mr. Harry."

Ormond immediately threw himself upon the other bed, that he might
relieve Moriarty's feelings. The good nature and generosity of this poor
fellow increased Ormond's keen sense of remorse. As to sleeping, for him
it was impossible; whenever his ideas began to fall into that sort of
confusion which precedes sleep, suddenly he felt as if his heart were
struck or twinged, and he started with the recollection that some
dreadful thing had happened, and wakened to the sense of guilt and all
its horrors. Moriarty now lying perfectly quiet and motionless, and
Ormond not hearing him breathe, he was struck with the dread that he had
breathed his last. A cold tremor came over Ormond--he rose in his bed,
listening in acute agony, when to his relief he at last distinctly heard
Moriarty breathing strongly, and soon afterwards (no music was ever so
delightful to Ormond's ear) heard him begin to breathe loudly, as if
asleep. The morning light dawned soon afterwards, and the crowing of a
cock was heard, which Ormond feared might waken him; but the poor
man slept soundly through all these usual noises: the heaving of the
bed-clothes over his breast went on with uninterrupted regularity. The
gardener and his wife softly opened the door of the room, to inquire how
things were going on; Ormond pointed to the bed, and they nodded, and
smiled, and beckoned to him to come out, whispering that a _taste_ of
the morning air would do him good. He suffered them to lead him out,
for he was afraid of debating the point in the room with the sleeping
patient. The good people of the house, who had known Harry Ormond from
a child, and who were exceedingly fond of him, as all the poor people in
the neighbourhood were, said every thing they could think of upon this
occasion to comfort him, and reiterated about a hundred times their
prophecies, that Moriarty would be as sound and _good_ a man as ever in
a fortnight's time.

"Sure, when he'd take the soft sleep he couldn't but do well."

Then perceiving that Ormond listened to them only with faint attention,
the wife whispered to her husband, "Come off to our work, Johnny--he'd
like to be alone--he's not equal to listen to our talk yet--it's the
surgeon must give him hope--and he'll soon be here, I trust."

They went to their work, and left Ormond standing in the porch. It was
a fine morning--the birds were singing, and the smell of the honeysuckle
with which the porch was covered, wafted by the fresh morning air,
struck Ormond's senses, but struck him with melancholy.

"Every thing in nature is cheerful except myself! Every thing in this
world going on just the same as it was yesterday--but all changed for
me!--within a few short hours--by my own folly, my own madness! Every
animal," thought he, as his attention was caught by the house dog, who
was licking his hand, and as his eye fell upon the hen and chickens, who
were feeding before the door, "every animal is happy--and innocent! But
_if this man die--I shall be a murderer_."

This thought, perpetually recurring, so oppressed him, that he stood
motionless, till he was roused by the voice of Sir Ulick O'Shane.

"Well, Harry Ormond, how is it with you, my boy?--The fellow's alive, I
hope?"

"Alive--Thank Heaven!--yes; and asleep."

"Give ye joy--it would have been an ugly thing--not but what we could
have brought you through: I'd go through thick and thin, you know, for
you, as if it were for my own son. But Lady O'Shane," said Sir Ulick,
changing his tone, and with a face of great concern, "I must talk to you
about her--I may as well speak now, since it must be said."

"I am afraid," said Ormond, "that I spoke too hastily last night: I beg
your pardon."

"Nay, nay, put _me_ out of the question: you may do what you please with
me--always could, from the time you were four years old; but, you know,
the more I love any body, the more Lady O'Shane hates them. The fact
is," continued Sir Ulick, rubbing his eyes, "that I have had a weary
night of it--Lady O'Shane has been crying and whining in my ears. She
says I encourage you in being insolent, and so forth: in short, she
cannot endure you in the house any longer. I suspect that sour one" (Sir
Ulick, among his intimates, always designated Miss Black in this manner)
"_puts her up to it_. But I will not give up my own boy--I will take
it with a high hand. Separations are foolish things, as foolish as
marriages; but I'd sooner part with Lady O'Shane at once than let Harry
Ormond think I'd forsake him, especially in awkward circumstances."

"That, Sir Ulick, is what Harry Ormond can never think of you. He would
be the basest, the most suspicious, the most ungrateful--But I must not
speak so loud," continued he, lowering his voice, "lest it should waken
Moriarty." Sir Ulick drew him away from the door, for Ormond was cool
enough at this moment to have common sense.

"My dear guardian-father, allow me still to call you by that name,"
continued Ormond, "believe me, your kindness is too fully--innumerable
instances of your affection now press upon me, so that--I can't express
myself; but depend upon it, suspicion of your friendship is the last
that could enter my mind: I trust, therefore, you will do me the same
sort of justice, and never suppose me capable of ingratitude--though the
time is come when we must _part_."

Ormond could hardly pronounce the word.

"Part!" repeated Sir Ulick: "no, by all the saints, and all the devils
in female form!"

"I am resolved," said Ormond, "firmly resolved on one point--never to
be a cause of unhappiness to one who has been the source of so much
happiness to me: I will no more be an object of contention between you
and Lady O'Shane. Give her up rather than me--Heaven forbid! I the cause
of separation!--never--never! I am determined, let what will become of
me, I will no more be an inmate of Castle Hermitage."

Tears started into Ormond's eyes; Sir Ulick appeared much affected, and
in a state of great embarrassment and indecision.

He could not bear to think of it--he swore it must not be: then he
gradually sunk to hoping it was not necessary, and proposing palliatives
and half measures. Moriarty must be moved to-day--sent to his own
friends. That point he had, for peace sake, conceded to her ladyship, he
said; but he should expect, on her part, that after a proper, a decent
apology from Ormond, things might still be accommodated and go on
smoothly, if that meddling Miss Black would allow them.

In short he managed so, that whilst he confirmed the young man in his
resolution to quit Castle Hermitage, he threw all the blame on Lady
O'Shane; Ormond never doubting the steadiness of Sir Ulick's affection,
nor suspecting that he had any secret motive for wishing to get rid of
him.

"But where can you go, my dear boy?--What will you do with
yourself?--What will become of you?"

"Never mind--never mind what becomes of me, my dear sir: I'll find
means--I have the use of head and hands."

"My cousin, Cornelius O'Shane, he is as fond of you almost as I am, and
he is not cursed with a wife, and is blessed with a daughter," said Sir
Ulick, with a sly smile.

"Oh! yes," continued he, "I see it all now: you have ways and means--I
no longer object--I'll write--no, you'd write better yourself to King
Corny, for you are a greater favourite with his majesty than I am. Fare
ye well--Heaven bless you! my boy," said Sir Ulick, with warm emphasis.
"Remember, whenever you want supplies, Castle Hermitage is your
bank--you know I have a bank at my back (Sir Ulick was joined in
a banking-house)'--Castle Hermitage is your bank, and here's your
quarter's allowance to begin with."

Sir Ulick put a purse into Ormond's hand, and left him.



CHAPTER III.

But is it natural, is it possible, that this Sir Ulick O'Shane could so
easily part with Harry Ormond, and thus "whistle him down the wind to
prey at fortune?" For Harry Ormond, surely, if for any creature living,
Sir Ulick O'Shane's affection had shown itself disinterested and steady.
When left a helpless infant, its mother dead, its father in India, he
had taken the child from the nurse, who was too poor even to feed or
clothe it as her own; and he had brought little Harry up at his castle
with his own son--as his own son. He had been his darling--literally
his spoiled child; nor had this fondness passed away with the prattling,
playful graces of the child's first years--it had grown with its
growth. Harry became Sir Ulick's favourite companion--hunting, shooting,
carousing, as he had been his plaything during infancy. On no one
occasion had Harry, violent and difficult to manage as he was to others,
ever crossed Sir Ulick's will, or in any way incurred his displeasure.
And now, suddenly, without any cause, except the aversion of a wife,
whose aversions seldom troubled him in any great degree, is it natural
that he should give up Harry Ormond, and suffer him to sacrifice himself
in vain for the preservation of a conjugal peace, which Sir Ulick ought
to have known could not by such a sacrifice be preserved? Is it possible
that Sir Ulick should do this? Is it in human nature?

Yes, in the nature of Sir Ulick O'Shane. Long use had brought him to
this; though his affections, perhaps, were naturally warm, he had on
many occasions in his life sacrificed them to his scheming imaginations.
Necessity the necessity of his affairs, the consequences of his
extravagance--had brought him to this: the first sacrifices had not been
made without painful struggles; but by degrees his mind had hardened,
and his warmth of heart had cooled. When he said or _swore_ in the
most cordial manner that he "would do any thing in the world to serve a
friend," there was always a mental reservation of "any thing that does
not hurt my own interest, or cross my schemes."

And how could Harry Ormond hurt his interest, or cross his schemes? or
how had Sir Ulick discovered this so suddenly? Miss Annaly's turning
pale was the first cause of Sir Ulick's change of sentiments towards his
young favourite. Afterwards, during the whole that passed, Sir Ulick had
watched the impression made upon her--he had observed that it was not
for Marcus O'Shane's safety that she was anxious; and he thought she
had betrayed a secret attachment, the commencement of an attachment he
thought it, of which she was perhaps herself unconscious. Were such an
attachment to be confirmed, it would disappoint Sir Ulick's schemes:
therefore, with the cool decision of a practised _schemer_, he
determined directly to get rid of Ormond. He had no intention of
parting with him for ever, but merely while the Annalys were at Castle
Hermitage: till his scheme was brought to bear, he would leave Harry at
the Black Islands, and he could, he thought, recal him from banishment,
and force a reconciliation with Lady O'Shane, and reinstate him in
favour, at pleasure.

But is it possible that Miss Annaly, such an amiable and elegant
young lady as she is described to be, should feel any attachment, any
predilection for such a young man as Ormond; ill-educated, unpolished,
with a violent temper, which had brought him early into life into the
dreadful situation in which he now stands? And at the moment when,
covered with the blood of an innocent man, he stood before her, an
object of disgust and horror; could any sentiment like love exist or
arise in a well-principled mind?

Certainly not. Sir Ulick's acquaintance with unprincipled women misled
him completely in this instance, and deprived him of his usual power
of discriminating character. Harry Ormond was uncommonly handsome; and
though so young, had a finely-formed, manly, graceful figure; and his
manner, whenever he spoke to women, was peculiarly prepossessing. These
personal accomplishments, Sir Ulick thought, were quite sufficient to
win any lady's heart--but Florence Annaly was not to be won by such
means: no feeling of love for Mr. Ormond had ever touched her heart, nor
even crossed her imagination; none under such circumstances could have
arisen in her innocent and well-regulated mind. Sudden terror, and
confused apprehension of evil, made her grow very pale at the sight of
his bloody apparition at the window of the ball-room. Bodily weakness,
for she was not at this time in strong health, must be her apology, if
she need any, for the faintness and loss of presence of mind, which Sir
Ulick construed into proofs of tender anxiety for the personal fate of
this young man. In the scene that followed, horror of his crime, pity
for the agony of his remorse, was what she felt--what she strongly
expressed to her mother, the moment she reached her apartment that
night: nor did her mother, who knew her thoroughly, ever for an instant
suspect that in her emotion, there was a mixture of any sentiments
but those which she expressed. Both mother and daughter were extremely
shocked. They were also struck with regret at the idea, that a
young man, in whom they had seen many instances of a generous, good
disposition, of natural qualities and talents, which might have made
him a useful, amiable, and admirable member of society, should be, thus
early, a victim to his own undisciplined passion. During the preceding
winter they had occasionally seen something of Ormond in Dublin. In the
midst of the dissipated life which he led, upon one or two occasions,
of which we cannot now stop to give an account, he had shown that he was
capable of being a very different character from that which he had
been made by bad education, bad example, and profligate indulgence, or
shameful neglect on the part of his guardian.

Immediately after Sir Ulick had left Ormond, the surgeon appeared, and
a new train of emotions arose. He had no time to reflect on Sir Ulick's
conduct. He felt hurried on rapidly, like one in a terrible dream. He
returned with the surgeon to the wounded man.

Moriarty had wakened, much refreshed from his sleep, and the surgeon
confessed that his patient was infinitely better than he had expected
to find him. Moriarty evidently exerted himself as much as he possibly
could to appear better, that he might calm Ormond's anxiety, who stood
waiting, with looks that showed his implicit faith in the oracle, and
feeling that his own fate depended upon the next words that should be
uttered. Let no one scoff at his easy faith: at this time Ormond was
very young, not yet nineteen, and had no experience, either of the
probability, or of the fallacy of medical predictions. After looking
very grave and very wise, and questioning and cross-questioning a proper
time, the surgeon said it was impossible for him to pronounce any thing
decidedly, till the patient should have passed another night; but that
if the next night proved favourable, he might then venture to declare
him out of immediate danger, and might then begin to hope that, with
time and care, he would do well. With this opinion, guarded and dubious
as it was, Ormond was delighted--his heart felt relieved of part of the
heavy load by which it had been oppressed, and the surgeon was well feed
from the purse which Sir Ulick had put into Ormond's hands. Ormond's
next business was to send a _gossoon_ with a letter to his friend the
King of the Black Islands, to tell him all that had passed, and to
request an asylum in his dominions. By the time he had finished and
despatched his letter, it was eight o'clock in the morning; and he was
afraid that before he could receive an answer, it might be too late in
the day to carry a wounded man as far as the Black Islands: he therefore
accepted the hospitable offer of the village school-mistress, to give
him and his patient a lodging for that night. There was indeed no one in
the place who would not have done as much for Master Harry. All were in
astonishment and sorrow when they heard that he was going to leave the
castle; and their hatred to Lady O'Shane would have known no bounds,
had they learned that she was the cause of his _banishment_: but this he
generously concealed, and forbade those of his followers or partisans,
who had known any thing of what had passed, to repeat what they had
heard. It was late in the day before Marcus rose; for he had to sleep
off the effects of his last night's intemperance. He was in great
astonishment when he learned that Ormond was really going away; and
"could scarcely believe," as he said repeatedly, "that Harry was so mad,
or such a fool. As to Moriarty, a few guineas would have settled the
business, if no rout had been made about it. Sitting up all night with
such a fellow, and being in such agonies about him--how absurd! What
more could he have done, if he had shot a gentleman, or his best friend?
But Harry Ormond was always in extremes."

Marcus, though he had not a very clear recollection of the events of the
preceding night, was conscious, however, that he had been much more to
blame than Ormond had stated; he had a remembrance of having been very
violent, and of having urged Ormond to chastise Moriarty. It was not the
first time that Ormond had screened him from blame, by taking the whole
upon himself. For this Marcus was grateful to a certain degree: he
thought he was fond of Harry Ormond; but he had not for him the solid
friendship that would stand the test of adversity, still less would it
be capable of standing against any difference of party opinion. Marcus,
though he appeared a mild, indolent youth, was violent where his
prejudices were concerned. Instead of being governed by justice in his
conduct towards his inferiors, he took strong dislikes, either upon
false informations, or without sufficient examination of the facts:
cringing and flattery easily won his favour; and, on the other hand, he
resented any spirit of independence, or even the least contradiction,
from an inferior. These defects in his temper appeared more and more in
him every year. As he ceased to be a boy, and was called upon to act as
a man, the consequences of his actions became of greater importance;
but in acquiring more power, he did not acquire more reason, or greater
command over himself. He was now provoked with Ormond for being so
anxious about Moriarty Carroll, because he disliked the Carrolls, and
especially Moriarty, for some slight cause not worth recording. He went
to Ormond, and argued the matter with him, but in vain. Marcus resented
this sturdiness, and they parted, displeased with each other. Though
Marcus expressed in words much regret at his companion's adhering to
the resolution of quitting his father's house, yet it might be doubted
whether, at the end of the conference, these professions were entirely
sincere, whatever they might have been at the beginning: he had not a
large mind, and perhaps he was not sorry to get rid of a companion who
had often rivalled him in his father's favour, and who might rival him
where it was still more his ambition to please. The coldness of Marcus's
manner at parting, and the little difficulty which he felt in the
separation, gave exquisite pain to poor Ormond, who, though he was
resolved to go, did wish to be regretted, especially by the companion,
the friend of his childhood. The warmth of his guardian's manner had
happily deceived him; and to the recollection of this he recurred
for comfort at this moment, when his heart ached, and he was almost
exhausted with the succession of the painful, violently painful,
feelings of the last four-and-twenty hours.

The gossoon who had been sent with the despatch to the King of the Black
Islands did not return this day--disappointment upon disappointment.
Moriarty, who had exerted himself too much, that he might appear better
than he really was, suffered proportionably this night; and so did
Ormond, who, never before having been with any person delirious from
fever, was excessively alarmed. What he endured cannot be described: it
was, however, happy for him that he was forced to bear it all--nothing
less could have made a sufficient impression on his mind--nothing less
could have been a sufficient warning to set a guard upon the violence of
his temper.

In the morning the fever abated: about eight o'clock the patient sunk
into a sound sleep; and Ormond, kneeling by his bedside, ardent in
devotion as in all his sentiments, gave thanks to Heaven, prayed for
Moriarty's perfect recovery, and vowed with the strongest adjurations
that if he might be spared for this offence, if he might be saved from
the horror of being a murderer, no passion, no provocation should ever,
during the whole future course of his life, tempt him to lift his hand
against a fellow-creature.

As he rose from his knees, after making this prayer and this vow, he was
surprised to see standing beside him Lady Annaly--she had made a sign
to the sick man not to interrupt Ormond's devotion by any exclamation at
her entrance.

"Be not disturbed--let me not feel that I embarrass you, Mr. Ormond,"
said she: "I came here not to intrude upon your privacy. Be not ashamed,
young gentleman," continued she, "that I should have witnessed feelings
that do you honour, and that interest me in your future fate."

"Interest Lady Annaly in my future fate!--Is it possible!" exclaimed
Ormond: "Is it possible that one of whom I stood so much in awe--one
whom I thought so much too good, ever to bestow a thought on--such a one
as I am--as I was, even before this fatal--" (his voice failed).

"Not fatal, I hope--I trust," said Lady Annaly: "this poor man's looks
at this moment assure me that he is likely to do well."

"True for ye, my lady," said Moriarty, "I'll do my best, surely: I'd
live through all, if possible, for his sake, let alone my mudther's, or
shister's, or my own--'twould be too bad, after; all the trouble he
got these two nights, to be dying at last, I and _hanting_ him, may be,
whether I would or no--for as to prosecuting, that would never be any
way, if I died twenty times over. I sint off that word to my mudthier
and shister, with my curse if they'd do _other_--and only that they
were at the fair, and did not get the word, or the news of my little
accident, they'd have been here long ago; and the minute they come, I'll
swear 'em not to prosecute, or harbour a thought of revenge again' him,
who had no malice again' me, no more than a child. And at another's
bidding, more than his own, he drew the trigger, and the pistol went off
unknownst, in a passion: so there's the case for you, my lady."

Lady Annaly, who was pleased with the poor fellow's simplicity and
generosity in this tragi-comic statement of the case, inquired if she
could in any way afford him assistance.

"I thank your ladyship, but Mr. Harry lets me want for nothing."

"Nor ever will, while I have a farthing I can call my own," cried
Ormond.

"But I hope, Mr. Ormond," said Lady Annaly, smiling, "that when
Moriarty--is not that his name?--regains his strength, to which he
seems well inclined, you do not mean to make him miserable and good for
nothing, by supporting him in idleness?"

"No, he sha'n't, my lady--I would not let him be wasting his little
substance on me. And did ye hear, my lady, how he is going to lave
Castle Hermitage? Well, of all the surprises ever I got! It come upon me
like a shot--_my shot_ was nothing to it!"

It was necessary to insist upon Moriarty's submitting to be silent
and quiet; for not having the fear of the surgeon before his eyes, and
having got over his first awe of the lady, he was becoming too full of
oratory and action. Lady Annaly took Ormond out with her, that she might
speak to him of his own affairs.

"You will not, I hope, Mr. Ormond, ascribe it to idle curiosity, but to
a wish to be of service, if I inquire what your future plans in life may
be?"

Ormond had never formed any, distinctly. "He was not fit for any
profession, except, perhaps, the army--he was too old for the navy--he
was at present going, he believed, to the house of an old friend, a
relation of Sir Ulick, Mr. Cornelius O'Shane."

"My son, Sir Herbert Annaly, has an estate in this neighbourhood, at
which he has never yet resided, but we are going there when we leave
Castle Hermitage. I shall hope to see you at Annaly, when you have
determined on your plans; perhaps you may show us how we can assist in
forwarding them."

"Is it possible," repeated Ormond, in unfeigned astonishment, "that your
ladyship can be so very good, so condescending, to one who so
little deserves it? But I _will_ deserve it in future. If I get over
this--interested in _my_ future fate--Lady Annaly!"

"I knew your father many years ago," said Lady Annaly; "and as his son,
I might feel some interest for you; but I will tell you sincerely, that,
on some occasions, when we met in Dublin, I perceived traits of goodness
in you, which, on your own account, Mr. Ormond, have interested me
in your fate. But fate is an unmeaning commonplace--worse than
commonplace--word: it is a word that leads us to imagine that we are
_fated_ or doomed to certain fortunes or misfortunes in life. I have had
a great deal of experience, and from all I have observed, it appears
to me, that far the greatest part of our happiness or misery in life
depends upon ourselves."

Ormond stopped short, and listened with the eagerness of one of quick
feeling and quick capacity, who seizes an idea that is new to him, and
the truth and value of which he at once appreciates. For the first
time in his life he heard good sense from the voice of benevolence--he
anxiously desired that she should go on speaking, and stood in such an
attitude of attentive deference as fully marked that wish.

But at this moment Lady O'Shane's footman came up with a message from
his lady; her ladyship sent to let Lady Annaly know that breakfast was
ready. Repeating her good wishes to Ormond she bade him adieu, while
he was too much overpowered with his sense of gratitude to return her
thanks.

"Since there exists a being, and such a being, interested for me, I must
be worth something--and I will make myself worth something more: I will
begin from this moment, I am resolved, to improve; and who knows but
in the end I may become every thing that is good? I don't want to be
great."

Though this resolution was not steadily adhered to, though it was for
a time counteracted by circumstances, it was never afterwards entirely
forgotten. From this period, in consequence of the great and painful
impression which had been suddenly made on his mind, and from a few
words of sense and kindness spoken to him at a time when his heart was
happily prepared to receive them, we may date the commencement of our
hero's reformation and improvement--hero, we say; but certainly never
man had more faults than Ormond had to correct, or to be corrected,
before he could come up to the received idea of any description of hero.
Most heroes are born perfect--so at least their biographers, or rather
their panegyrists, would have us believe. Our hero is far from this
happy lot; the readers of his story are in no danger of being wearied,
at first setting out, with the list of his merits and accomplishments;
nor will they be awed or discouraged by the exhibition of virtue above
the common standard of humanity--beyond the hope of imitation. On
the contrary, most people will comfort and bless themselves with the
reflection, that they never were quite so foolish, nor quite so bad, as
Harry Ormond.

For the advantage of those who may wish to institute the comparison, his
biographer, in writing the life of Ormond, deems it a point of honour to
extenuate nothing; but to trace, with an impartial hand, not only every
improvement and advance, but every deviation or retrograde movement.



CHAPTER IV.

Full of sudden zeal for his own improvement, Ormond sat down at the foot
of a tree, determined to make a list of all his faults, and of all his
good resolutions for the future. He took out his pencil, and began on
the back of a letter the following resolutions, in a sad scrawling hand
and incorrect style.

HARRY OSMOND'S GOOD RESOLUTIONS.

Resolved 1st.--That I will never drink more than (_blank number_ of)
glasses.

Resolved 2ndly.--That I will cure myself of being passionate.

Resolved 3rdly.--That I will never keep low company.

Resolved.--That I am too fond of flattery--women's, especially, I like
most. To cure myself of that.

_Ormond_. Here he was interrupted by the sight of a little gossoon, with
a short stick tucked under his arm, who came pattering on bare-foot in
a kind of pace indescribable to those who have never seen it--it was
something as like walking or running as chanting is to speaking or
singing.

"The answer I am from the Black Islands, Master Harry; and would have
been back wid you afore nightfall yesterday, only _he_--King Corny--was
at the fair of Frisky--could not write till this morning any way--but
has his service to ye, Master Harry, will be in it for ye by half after
two with a bed and blanket for Moriarty, he bid me say on account he
forgot to put it in the note. In the Sally Cove the boat will be there
_abow_ in the big lough, forenent the spot where the fir dale was cut
last seraph by them rogues."

The despatch from the King of the Black Islands was then produced from
the messenger's bosom, and it ran as follows:

"Dear Harry. What the mischief has come over Cousin Ulick to be
banishing you from Castle Hermitage? But since he _conformed_, he was
never the same man, especially since his last mis-marriage. But no use
moralizing--he was always too much of a courtier for me. Come you to
me, my dear boy, who is no courtier, and you'll be received and embraced
with open arms--was I Briareus, the same way--Bring Moriarty Carroll
(if that's his name), the boy you shot, which has given you so much
concern--for which I like you the better--and honour that boy, who,
living or dying, forbade to prosecute. Don't be surprised to see
the roof the way it is:--since Tuesday I wedged it up bodily without
stirring a stick:--you'll see it from the boat, standing three foot
high above the walls, waiting while I'm building up to it--to get
attics--which I shall for next to nothing--by my own contrivance.
Meantime, good dry lodging, as usual, for all friends at the palace.
_He_ shall be well tended for you by Sheelah Dunshaughlin, the mother of
Betty, worth a hundred of her! and we'll soon set him up again with the
help of such a nurse, as well as ever, I'll engage; for I'm a bit of a
doctor, you know, as well as every thing else. But don't let any other
doctor, surgeon, or apothecary, be coming after him for your life--for
none ever gets a permit to land, to my knowledge, on the Black
Islands--to which I attribute, under Providence, to say nothing of
my own skill in practice, the wonderful preservation of my people in
health--that, and woodsorrell, and another secret or two not to be
committed to paper in a hurry--all which I would not have written
to you, but am in the gout since four this morning, held by the foot
fast--else I'd not be writing, but would have gone every inch of the way
for you myself in style, in lieu of sending, which is all I can now do,
my six-oared boat, streamers flying, and piper playing like mad--for I
would not have you be coming like a banished man, but in all glory, to
Cornelius O'Shane, commonly called King _Corny_--but no _king_ to you,
only your hearty old friend."

"Heaven bless Cornelius O'Shane!" said Harry Ormond to himself, as he
finished this letter. "King or no king, the most warm-hearted man on
earth, let the other be who he will."

Then pressing this letter to his heart, he put it up carefully, and
rising in haste, he dropped the list of his faults. That train of
associations was completely broken, and for the present completely
forgotten; nor was it likely to be soon renewed at the Black Islands,
especially in the palace, where he was now going to take up his
residence. Moriarty was laid on a bed; and was transported, with Ormond,
in the six-oared boat, streamers flying, and piper playing, across the
lake to the islands. Moriarty's head ached terribly, but he nevertheless
enjoyed the playing of the pipes in his ear, because of the air of
triumph it gave Master Harry, to go away in this grandeur, in the face
of the country. King Corny ordered the discharge of twelve guns on his
landing, which popped one after another gloriously--the _hospitable
echoes_, as Moriarty called them, repeating the sound. A horse, decked
with ribands, waited on the shore, with King Corny's compliments for
_Prince_ Harry, as the boy, who held the stirrup for Ormond to mount,
said he was instructed to call him, and to proclaim him "_Prince Harry_"
throughout the island, which he did by sound of horn, the whole way they
proceeded to the palace--very much to the annoyance of the horse, but
all for the greater glory of the prince, who managed his steed to the
admiration of the shouting ragged multitude, and of his majesty, who
sat in state in his gouty chair at the palace door. He had had himself
rolled out to welcome the coming guest.

"By all that's princely," cried he, "then, that young Harry Ormond was
intended for a prince, he sits ahorse so like myself; and that horse
requires a master hand to manage him."

Ormond alighted.

The gracious, cordial, fatherly welcome, with which he was received,
delighted his heart.

"Welcome, prince, my adopted son, welcome to Corny _castle--palace_,
I would have said, only for the constituted authorities of the
post-office, that might take exceptions, and not be sending me my
letters right. As I am neither bishop nor arch, I have, in their blind
eyes or conceptions, no right--Lord help them!--to a temporal palace.
Be that as it may, come you in with me, here into the big room--and
see! there's the bed in the corner for your first object, my boy--your
wounded chap; and I'll visit his wound, and fix it and him the first
thing for ye, the minute he comes up."

His majesty pointed to a bed in the corner of a large apartment, whose
beautiful painted ceiling and cornice, and fine chimney-piece with
caryatides of white marble, ill accorded with the heaps of oats and
corn, the thrashing cloth and flail, which lay on the floor.

"It is intended for a drawing-room, understand," said King Corny; "but
till it is finished, I use it for a granary or a barn, when it would not
be a barrack-room or hospital, which last is most useful at present."

To this hospital Moriarty was carefully conveyed. Here, notwithstanding
his gout, which affected only his feet, King Corny dressed Moriarty's
wound with exquisite tenderness and skill; for he had actually acquired
knowledge and address in many arts, with which none could have suspected
him to have been in the least acquainted.

Dinner was soon announced, which was served up with such a strange
mixture of profusion and carelessness, as showed that the attendants,
who were numerous and ill-caparisoned, were not much used to gala-days.
The crowd, who had accompanied Moriarty into the house, were admitted
into the dining-room, where they stood round the king, prince, and
Father Jos the priest, as the courtiers, during the king's supper at
Versailles, surrounded the King of France. But these poor people were
treated with more hospitality than were the courtiers of the French
king; for as soon as the dishes were removed, their contents were
generously distributed among the attendant multitude. The people blest
both king and prince, "wishing them health and happiness long to _reign_
over them;" and bowing suitably to his majesty the king, and to his
reverence the priest, without standing upon the order of their going,
departed.

"And now, Father Jos," said the king to the priest, "say grace, and draw
close, and let me see you do justice to my claret, or the whiskey punch
if you prefer; and you, Prince Harry, we will set to it regally as long
as you please."

"Till tea-time," thought young Harry. "Till supper-time," thought Father
Jos. "Till bed-time," thought King Corny.

At tea-time young Harry, in pursuance of his _resolution_ the first,
rose, but he was seized instantly, and held down to his chair. The royal
command was laid upon him "to sit still and be a good fellow." Moreover
the door was locked--so that there was no escape or retreat.

The next morning when he wakened with an aching head, he recollected
with disgust the figure of Father Jos, and all the noisy mirth of the
preceding night. Not without some self-contempt, he asked himself what
had become of his resolution.

"The wounded boy was axing for you, Master Harry," said the girl, who
came in to open the shutters.

"How is he?" cried Harry, starting up.

"He is _but soberly_; [Footnote: But soberly--not very well, or in good
spirits.] he got the night but middling; he concaits he could not sleep
becaase he did not get a sight of your honour afore he'd settle--I tell
him 'tis the change of beds, which always hinders a body to sleep the
first night."

The sense of having totally forgotten the poor fellow--the contrast
between this forgetfulness and the anxiety and contrition of the two
preceding nights, actually surprised Ormond: he could hardly believe
that he was one and the same person. Then came excuses to himself:
"Gratitude--common civility--the peremptoriness of King Corny--his
passionate temper, when opposed on this tender point--the locked
door--and two to one: in short, there was an impossibility in the
circumstances of doing otherwise than what he had done. But then the
same impossibility--the same circumstances--might recur the next night,
and the next, and so on: the peremptory temper of King Corny was not
likely to alter, and the moral obligation of gratitude would continue
the same; so that at nineteen was he to become, from complaisance, what
his soul and body abhorred--an habitual drunkard? And what would become
of Lady Annaly's interest in his fate or his improvement?"

The two questions were not of equal importance, but our hero was at this
time far from having any just proportion in his reasoning: it was well
he reasoned at all. The argument as to the obligation of gratitude--the
view he had taken of the never-ending nature of the evil, which must
be the consequence of beginning with weak complaisance--above all, the
_feeling_ that he had so lost his reason as not only to forget Moriarty,
but to have been again incapable of commanding his passions, if any
thing had occurred to cross his temper, determined Ormond to make a firm
resistance on the next occasion that should occur: it did occur the very
next night. After a dinner given to his chief tenants and the _genteel_
people of the islands--a dinner in honour and in introduction of his
_adopted son_, King Corny gave a toast "to the Prince presumptive,"
as he now styled him--a bumper toast. Soon afterwards he detected
_daylight_ in Harry's glass, and cursing it properly, he insisted on
flowing bowls and full glasses. "What! are you Prince _presumptuous_?"
cried he, with a half angry and astonished look. "Would you resist and
contradict your father and king at his own table after dinner? Down with
the glass!"

Farther and steady resistance changed the jesting tone and half angry
look of King Corny into sullen silence, and a black portentous brow of
serious displeasure. After a decent time of sitting, the bottle passing
him without farther importunity, Ormond rose--it was a hard struggle;
for in the face of his benefactor he saw reproach and rage bursting from
every feature: still he moved on towards the door. He heard the words
"sneaking off sober!--let him sneak!"

Ormond had his hand on the lock of the door--it was a bad lock, and
opened with difficulty.

"There's gratitude for you! No heart, after all--I mistook him."

Ormond turned back, and firmly standing and firmly speaking, he
said, "You did not mistake me formerly, sir; but you mistake me
now!--Sneaking!--Is there any man here, sober or drunk," continued
be, impetuously approaching the table, and looking round full in every
face,--"is there any man here dares to say so but yourself?--You, _you_,
my benefactor, my friend; you have said it--think it you did not--you
could not, but say it you may--_You_ may say what you will to Harry
Ormond, bound to you as he is--bound hand and foot and heart I--Trample
on him as you will--_you_ may. _No heart_! Oblige me, gentlemen, some
of you," cried he, his anger rising and his eyes kindling as he spoke,
"some of you gentlemen, if any of you think so, oblige me by saying so.
No gratitude, sir!" turning from them, and addressing himself to the old
man, who held an untasted glass of claret as he listened--"No gratitude!
Have not I?--Try me, try me to the death--you have tried me to the quick
of the heart, and I have borne it."

He could bear it no longer: he threw himself into the vacant chair,
flung out his arms on the table, and laying his face down upon them,
wept aloud. Cornelius O'Shane pushed the wine away. "I've wronged the
boy grievously," said he; and forgetting the gout, he rose from his
chair, hobbled to him, and leaning over him, "Harry, 'tis I--look up,
my own boy, and say you forgive me, or I'll never forgive myself. That's
well," continued he, as Harry looked up and gave him his hand; "that's
well!--you've taken the twinge out of my heart worse than the gout: not
a drop of gall or malice in your nature, nor ever was, more than in
the child unborn. But see, I'll tell you what you'll do now, Harry, to
settle all things--and lest the fit should take me ever to be mad
with you on this score again. You don't choose to drink more than's
becoming?--Well, you'se right, and I'm wrong. 'Twould be a burning shame
of me to make of you what I have made of myself. We must do only as well
as we can. But I will ensure you against the future; and before we take
another glass--there's the priest--and you, Tom Ferrally there, step
you for my swearing book. Harry Ormond, you shall take an oath against
drinking more glasses than you please evermore, and then you're safe
from me. But stay--you are a heretic. Phoo! what am I saying? 'twas
seeing the priest put that word _heretic_ in my head--you're not
a catholic, I mean. But an oath's an oath, taken before priest or
parson--an oath, taken how you will, will operate. But stay, to make all
easy, 'tis I'll take it."

"Against drinking, you! King Corny!" said Father Jos, stopping his hand,
"and in case of the gout in your stomach?"

"Against drinking! do you think I'd perjure myself? No! But against
pressing _him_ to it--I'll take my oath I'll never ask him to drink
another glass more than he likes."

The oath was taken, and King Corny concluded the ceremony by observing
that, after all, there was no character he despised more than that of
a sot. But every gentleman knew that there was a wide and material
difference betwixt a gentleman who was fond of his bottle, and that
unfortunate being, an habitual drunkard. For his own part, it was his
established rule never to go to bed without a proper quantity of liquor
under his belt; but he defied the universe to say he was ever known to
be drunk.

At a court where such ingenious casuistry prevailed, it was happy for
our hero that an unqualifying oath now protected his resolution.



CHAPTER V.

In the middle of the night our hero was wakened by a loud bellowing. It
was only King Corny in a paroxysm of the gout. His majesty was naturally
of a very impatient temper, and his maxims of philosophy encouraged him
to the most unrestrained expression of his feelings--the maxims of his
philosophy--for he had read, though in most desultory manner, and he had
thought often deeply, and not seldom justly. The turns of his mind, and
the questions he asked, were sometimes utterly unexpected. "Pray, now,"
said he to Harry, who stood beside his bed, "now that I've a moment's
ease--did you ever hear of the Stoics that the bookmen talk of? and can
you tell me what good any one of them ever got by making it a point to
make no noise, when they'd be _punished_ and racked with pains of body
or mind? Why, I will tell you all they got--all they got was no pity:
who would give them pity that did not require it? I could bleed to death
in a bath, as well as the best of them, if I chose it; or chew a bullet
if I set my teeth to it, with any man in a regiment--but where's the
use? nature knows best, and she says _roar_!" And he roared--for another
twinge seized him.

Nature said _sleep_! several times this night to Harry, and to every
body in the palace; but they did not sleep, they could not, while
the roaring continued: so all had reason to rejoice, and Moriarty in
particular, when his majesty's paroxysm was past. Harry was in a sound
sleep at twelve o'clock the next day, when he was summoned into the
royal presence. He found King Corny sitting at ease in his bed, and that
bed strewed over with a variety of roots and leaves, weeds and plants.
An old woman was hovering over the fire, stirring something in a black
kettle. "Simples these--of wonderful unknown power," said King Corny
to Harry, as he approached the bed; "and I'll engage you don't know the
name even of the half of them."

Harry confessed his ignorance.

"No shame for you--was you as wise as King Solomon himself, you might
not know them, for he did not, nor couldn't, he that had never set his
foot a grousing on an Irish bog. Sheelah, come you over, and say what's
this?"

The old woman now came to assist at this bed of botany, and with
spectacles slipping off, and pushed on her nose continually, peered over
each green thing, and named in Irish "every herb that sips the dew."

Sheelah was deeper in Irish lore than King Corny could pretend to be:
but then he humbled her with the "black hellebore of the ancients," and
he had, in an unaccountable manner, affected her imagination by talking
of "that famous howl of narcotic poisons, which that great man Socrates
drank off." Sheelah would interrupt herself in the middle of a sentence,
and curtsy if she heard him pronounce the name of Socrates--and at the
mention of the bowl, she would regularly sigh, and exclaim, "Lord save
us!--But that was a wicked bowl."

Then after a cast of her eyes up to heaven, and crossing herself on the
forehead, she would take up her discourse at the word where she had left
off.

King Corny set to work compounding plasters and embrocations, preparing
all sorts of decoctions of roots and leaves, famous _through the
country_. And while he directed and gesticulated from his bed, the old
woman worked over the fire in obedience to his commands; sometimes,
however, not with that "prompt and mute obedience," which the great
require.

It was fortunate for Moriarty that King Corny, not having the use of his
nether limbs, could not attend even in his gouty chair to administer the
medicines he had made, and to see them fairly swallowed. Sheelah, whose
conscience was easy on this point, contented herself with giving him a
strict charge to "take every bottle to the last drop." All she insisted
upon for her own part was, that she must tie the charm round his neck
and arm. She would fain have removed the dressings of the wound to
substitute plasters of her own, over which she had pronounced certain
prayers or incantations; but Moriarty, who had seized and held fast
one good principle of surgery, that the air must never be let into
the wound, held mainly to this maxim, and all Sheelah could obtain was
permission to clap on her charmed plaster over the dressing.

In due time, or, as King Corny triumphantly observed, in "a wonderful
short period," Moriarty got quite well, long before the king's gout was
cured, even with the assistance of the black hellebore of the ancients.
King Corny was so well pleased with his patient for doing such credit to
his medical skill, that he gave him and his family a cabin, and spot of
land, in the islands--a cabin near the palace; and at Harry's request
made him his wood-ranger and his gamekeeper--the one a lucrative place,
the other a sinecure.

Master Harry--Prince Harry--was now looked up to as a person
all-powerful with _the master_; and petitions and requests to speak for
them, to speak just one word, came pouring from all sides: but however
enviable his situation as favourite and prince presumptive might appear
to others, it was not in all respects comfortable to himself.

Formerly, when a boy, in his visits to the Black Islands, he used to
have a little companion of whom he was fond--Dora--Corny's daughter.
Missing her much, he inquired from her father where she was gone, and
when she was likely to return.

"She is gone off to the _continent_--to the continent of Ireland, that
is; but not banished for any misdemeanour. You know," said King Corny,
"'tis generally considered as a punishment in the Black Islands to be
banished to Ireland. A threat of that kind, I find sufficient to bring
the most refractory and ill-disposed of my subjects, if I had any of
that description, to rason in the last resort; but to that ultimate law
I have not recourse, except in extreme cases; I understand my business
of king too well, to wear out either shame or fear; but you are no
legislator yet, Prince Harry. So what was you asking me about Dora? She
is only gone a trip to the continent, to her aunt's, by the mother's
side, Miss O'Faley, that you never saw, to get the advantage of a
dancing-master, which myself don't think she wants--a natural carriage,
with native graces, being, in my unsophisticated opinion, worth all the
dancing-master's positions, contortions, or drillings; but her aunt's
of a contrary opinion, and the women say it is essential. So let 'em put
Dora in the stocks, and punish her as they will, she'll be the gladder
to get free, and fly back from their continent to her own Black Islands,
and to you and me--that is, to me--I ax your pardon, Harry Ormond; for
you know, or I should tell you in time, she is engaged already to White
Connal, of Glynn--from her birth. That engagement I made with the
father over a bowl of punch--I promised--I'm afraid it was a foolish
business--I promised if ever he, Old Connal, should have a son, and I
should have a daughter, his son should marry my daughter. I promised, I
say--I took my oath: and then Mrs. Connal that was, had, shortly after,
not one son, but two--and twins they were: and I had--unluckily--ten
years after, the daughter, which is Dora--and then as she could not
marry both, the one twin was to be fixed on for her, and that was him
they call White Connal--so there it was. Well, it was altogether a rash
act! So you'll consider her as a married woman, though she is but a
child--it was a rash act, between you and I--for Connal's not grown up a
likely lad for the girl to fancy; but that's neither here nor there: no,
my word is passed--when half drunk, may be--but no matter--it must be
kept sober--drunk or sober, a gentleman must keep his word--_à fortiori_
a king--_à fortiori_ King Corny. See! was there this minute no such
thing as parchment, deed, stamp, signature, or seal in the wide world,
when once Corny has squeezed a friend's hand on a bargain, or a promise,
'tis fast, was it ever so much against me--'tis as strong to me as if I
had squeezed all the lawyers' wax in the creation upon it."

Ormond admired the honourable sentiment; but was sorry there was any
occasion for it--and he sighed; but it was a sigh of pity for Dora:
not that he had ever seen White Connal, or known any thing of him--but
_White Connal_ did not sound well; and her father's avowal, that it had
been a rash engagement, did not seem to promise happiness to Dora in
this marriage.

From the time he had been a boy, Harry Ormond had been in the habit of
ferrying over to the Black Islands whenever Sir Ulick could spare him.
The hunting and shooting, and the life of lawless freedom he led on the
Islands, had been delightful. King Corny, who had the command not
only of boats, and of guns, and of fishing-tackle, and of men, but of
carpenters' tools, and of smiths' tools, and of a lathe, and of brass
and ivory, and of all the things that the heart of boy could desire,
had appeared to Harry, when he was a boy, the richest, the greatest, the
happiest of men--the cleverest, too--the most ingenious: for King Corny
had with his own hands made a violin and a rat-trap; and had made the
best coat, and the best pair of shoes, and the best pair of boots, and
the best hat; and had knit the best pair of stockings, and had made the
best dunghill in his dominions; and had made a quarter of a yard of fine
lace, and had painted a panorama. No wonder that King Corny had been
looked up to, by the imagination of childhood, as "a personage high as
human veneration could look."

But now, although our hero was still but a boy in many respects, yet in
consequence of his slight commerce with the world, he had formed some
comparisons, and made some reflections. He had heard, accidentally, the
conversation of a few people of common sense, besides the sly, witty,
and satirical remarks of Sir Ulick, upon _cousin Cornelius_; and it had
occurred to Harry to question the utility and real grandeur of some of
those things, which had struck his childish imagination. For example, he
began to doubt whether it were worthy of a king or a gentleman to be his
own shoemaker, hatter, and tailor; whether it were not better managed in
society, where these things are performed by different tradesmen: still
the things were wonderful, considering who made them, and under what
disadvantages they were made: but Harry having now seen and compared
Corny's violin with other violins, and having discovered that so much
better could be had for money, with so much less trouble, his admiration
had a little decreased. There were other points relative to external
appearance, on which his eyes had been opened. In his boyish days, King
Corny, going out to hunt with hounds and horn, followed with shouts
by all who could ride, and all who could run, King Corny hallooing the
dogs, and cheering the crowd, appeared to him the greatest, the happiest
of mankind.

But he had since seen hunts in a very different style, and he could no
longer admire the rabble rout.

Human creatures, especially young human creatures, are apt to swing
suddenly from one extreme to the other, and utterly to despise that
which they had extravagantly admired. From this propensity Ormond was in
the present instance guarded by affection and gratitude. Through all the
folly of his kingship, he saw that Cornelius O'Shane was not a person to
be despised. He was indeed a man of great natural powers, both of body
and mind--of inventive genius, energy, and perseverance, which might
have attained the greatest objects; though from insufficient knowledge,
and self-sufficient perversity, they had wasted themselves on absurd or
trivial purposes.

There was a strong contrast between the characters of Sir Ulick and
his cousin Cornelius O'Shane. They disliked and despised each other:
differing as far in natural disposition as the subtle and the bold,
their whole course through life, and the habits contracted during their
progress, had widened the original difference.

The one living in the world, and mixing continually with men of all
ranks and character, had, by bending easily, and being all things to
all men, won his courtier-way onwards and upwards to the possession of a
seat in parliament, and the prospect of a peerage.

The other, inhabiting a remote island, secluded from all men but those
over whom he _reigned_, caring for no earthly consideration, and for no
human opinion but his own, had _for_ himself and _by_ himself, hewed out
his way to his own objects, and then rested, satisfied--

"Lord of himself, and all his (_little_) world his own."



CHAPTER VI.

One morning, when Harry Ormond was out shooting, and King Corny, who had
recovered tolerably from the gout, was reinstated in his arm-chair in
the parlour, listening to Father Jos reading "The Dublin Evening Post,"
a gossoon, one of the runners of the castle, opened the door, and
putting in his curly red head and bare feet, announced, _in all haste_,
that _he "just seen_ Sir Ulick O'Shane in the boat, crossing the lake
for the Black Islands."

"Well, breathless blockhead! and what of that?" said King Corny--"did
you never see a man in a boat before?"

"I did, plase your honour."

"Then what is there extraordinary?"

"Nothing at all, plase your honour, only--thought your honour might like
to know."

"Then you thought wrong, for I neither like it, nor mislike it. I don't
care a rush about the matter--so take yourself down stairs."

"'Tis a long time," said the priest, as the gossoon closed the door
after him, "'tis a longer time than he ought, since Sir Ulick O'Shane
paid his respects here, even in the shape of a morning visit."

"Morning visit!" repeated Mrs. Betty Dunshaughlin, the housekeeper, who
entered the room, for she was a privileged person, and had _les grandes
et les petites entrées in this palace_"--Morning visit!--are you sure,
Father Jos--are you clear he isn't come intending to stay dinner?"

"What, in the devil's name, Betty, does it signify?" said the king.

"About the dinner!"

"What about it?" said Corny, proudly: "whether he comes, stays, or goes,
I'll not have a scrap, or an iota of it changed," added he in a despotic
tone.

"_Wheugh_.'" said Betty, "one would not like to have a dinner of
scraps--for there's nothing else to-day for him."

"Then if there _is_ nothing else, there _can_ be nothing else," said the
priest, very philosophically.

"But when strangers come to dine, one would make a bit of an exertion,
if one could," said Betty.

"It's his own fault to be a stranger," said Father Jos, watching his
majesty's clouding countenance; then whispering to Betty, "that was a
faulty string you touched upon, Mrs. Betty; and can't you make out your
dinner without saying any thing?"

"A person may speak in this house, I suppose, besides the clergy, Father
Jos," said Mrs. Betty, under her breath.

Then looking out of the window, she added, "He's half-way over the lake,
and he'll make his own apologies good, I'll engage, when he comes in;
for he knows how to speak for himself as well as any gentleman--and I
don't doubt but he'll get my Micky made an exciseman, as he promised
to; and sure he has a good right--Isn't he a cousin of King Corny's?
wherefore I'd wish to have all things proper. So I'll step out and kill
a couple of chickens--won't I?"

"Kill what you please," said King Corny; "but without my warrant,
nothing killed or unkilled shall come up to my table this day--and
that's enough. No more reasoning--quit the subject and the room, Betty."

Betty quitted the room; but every stair, as she descended to the
kitchen, could bear witness that she did not quit the subject; and for
an hour afterwards, she reasoned against the obstinacy and folly of
man, and the chorus in the kitchen moralized, in conformity and
commiseration--in vain.

Meantime Father Jos, though he regretted the exertions which Mrs. Betty
might discreetly have made in favour of a good dinner, was by no means,
as he declared, a friend or _fauterer_ of Sir Ulick O'Shane--how could
he, when Sir Ulick had recanted?--The priest looked with horror upon the
apostasy--the King with contempt upon the desertion of his party. "Was
he sincere any way, I'd honour him," said Cornelius, "or forgive him;
but, not to be ripping up old grievances when there's no occasion, can't
forgive the way he is at this present double-dealing with poor Harry
Ormond--cajoling the grateful heart, and shirking the orphan boy that
he took upon him to patronise. Why there I thought nobly of him, and
forgave him all his sins, for the generous protection he afforded the
son of his friend."

"Had Captain Ormond, the father, no fortune?" asked the priest.

"Only a trifle of three hundred a year, and no provision for the
education or maintenance of the boy. Ulick's fondness for him, more than
all, showed him capable of the disinterested _touch_; but then to belie
his own heart--to abandon him he bred a favourite, just when the boy
wants him most--Oh! how could he? And all for what? To please the wife
he hates: that can't be--that's only the ostensible--but what the raal
rason is I can't guess. No matter--he'll soon tell us."

"Tell us! Oh! no," said the priest, "he'll keep his own secret."

"He'll let it out, I'll engage, trying to hide it," said Corny: "like
all cunning people, he _woodcocks_--hides his head, and forgets his body
can be seen. But hark! he is coming up. Tommy!" said he, turning to
a little boy of five years old, Sheelah's grandchild, who was playing
about in the room, "hand, me that whistle you're whistling with, till I
see what's the matter with it for you."

King Corny seemed lost in examination of the whistle when Sir Ulick
entered the room; and after receiving and seating him with proud
courtesy, he again returned to the charge, blowing through the whistle,
earnestly dividing his observation between Sir Ulick and little Tommy,
and asking questions, by turns, about the whistle, and about all at
Castle Hermitage.

"Where's my boy? Where's Harry Ormond?" was the first leading question
Sir Ulick asked.

"Harry Ormond's out shooting, I believe, somewhere or somehow, taking
his pleasure, as I hope he will long, and always as long as he likes it,
at the Black Islands; at least as long as I live."

Sir Ulick branched off into hopes of his cousin Cornelius's living long,
very long; and in general terms, that were intended to avoid committing
himself, or pinning himself to any thing, he protested that he must not
be robbed of his boy, that he had always, with good reason, been jealous
of Harry's affection for King Corny, and that he could not consent to
let his term of stay at the Black Islands be either as long as Harry
himself should like, or during what he hoped would be the life of his
cousin, Cornelius O'Shane.

"There's something wrong, still, in this whistle. Why, if you loved him
so, did you let him go when you had him?" said Corny.

"He thought it necessary, for domestic reasons," replied Sir Ulick.

"_Continental policy_, that is; what I never understood, nor never
shall," said Corny. "But I don't inquire any farther. If you are
satisfied with yourself, we are all satisfied, I believe."

"Pardon me, I cannot be satisfied without seeing Harry this morning, for
I've a little business with him--will you have the goodness to send for
him?"

Father Jos, who, from the window, saw Harry's dog snuffing along the
path to the wood, thought he could not be far from the house, and went
to make inquiries; and now when Sir Ulick and King Corny were left alone
together, a dialogue--a sort of single combat, without any object but
to try each other's powers and temper--ensued between them; in which the
one on the offensive came on with a tomahawk, and the other stood on
the defensive parrying with a polished blade of Damascus; and sometimes,
when the adversary was off his guard, making a sly cut at an exposed
part.

"What are you so busy about?" said Sir Ulick.

"Mending the child's toy," said Cornelius. "A man must be doing
something in this world."

"But a man of your ingenuity! 'tis a pity it should be wasted, as I have
often said, upon mere toys."

"Toys of one sort or other we are all taken up with through life, from
the cradle to the grave. By-the-bye, I give you joy of your baronetage.
I hope they did not make you pay, now, too much in conscience for that
poor tag of nobility."

"These things are not always matters of bargain and sale--mine was quite
an unsolicited honour, a mark of approbation and acceptance of my poor
services, and as such, gratifying;--as to the rest, believe me, it was
not, if I must use so coarse an expression, _paid_ for."

"Not paid for--what, then, it's owing for? To be paid for still? Well,
that's too hard, after all you've done for them. But some men have no
manner of conscience. At least, I hope you paid the fees."

"The fees, of course--but we shall never understand one another," said
Sir Ulick.

"Now what will be the next title or string you look forward to, Ulysses,
may I ask? Is it to be Baron Castle Hermitage, or to get a riband, or a
garter, or a thistle, or what?--A thistle! What asses some men are!"

What savages some men are, thought Sir Ulick: he walked to the window,
and looking out, hoped that Harry Ormond would soon make his appearance.
"You are doing, or undoing, a great deal here, cousin Cornelius, I see,
as usual."

"Yes, but what I am doing, stand or fall, will never be my undoing--I am
no speculator. How do your silver mines go on, Sir Ulick? I hear all the
silver mines in Ireland turn out to be lead."

"I wish they did," said Sir Ulick, "for then we could turn all our lead
to gold. Those silver mines certainly did not pay--I've a notion
you found the same with your reclaimed bog here, cousin Cornelius--I
understand that after a short time it relapses, and is worse than ever,
like most things pretending to be reclaimed."

"Speak for yourself, there, Sir Ulick," said Cornelius; "you ought to
know, certainly, for some thirty years ago, I think you pretended to be
a reclaimed rake."

"I don't remember it," said Sir Ulick.

"I do, and so would poor Emmy Annaly, if she was alive, which it's
fortunate for her she is not (broken-hearted angel, if ever there was
one, by wedlock! and the only one of the Annalys I ever liked)," said
Cornelius to himself, in a low leisurely voice of soliloquy. Then
resuming his conversation tone, and continuing his speech to Sir Ulick,
"I say you pretended thirty years ago, I remember, to be a reformed
rake, and looked mighty smooth and plausible--and promised fair that
the improvement was solid, and was to last for ever and a day. But six
months after marriage comes a relapse, and the reclaimed rake's worse
than ever. Well, to be sure, that's in favour of your opinion against
all things pretending to be reclaimed. But see, my poor bog, without
promising so well, performs better; for it's six years, instead of six
months, that I've seen no tendency to relapse. See, the _cattle_ upon it
speak for themselves; an honest calf won't lie for any man."

"I give you joy of the success of your improvements. I admire, too, your
ploughing team and ploughing tackle," said Sir Ulick, with an ironical
smile. "You don't go into any indiscreet expense for farming implements
or prize cattle."

"No," said Cornelius, "I don't prize the prize cattle; the best prize a
man can get, and the only one worth having, is that which he must give
himself, or not get, and of which he is the best judge at all sasons."

"What prize, may I ask?"

"You may ask, and I'll answer--the prize of _success_; and, success to
myself, I have, it."

"And succeeding in all your ends by such noble means must be doubly
gratifying--and is doubly commendable and surprising," said Sir Ulick.

"May I ask--for it's my turn now to play ignoramus--may I ask, what
noble means excites this gratuitous commendation and surprise?"

"I commend, in the first place, the economy of your ploughing
tackle--hay ropes, hay traces, and hay halters--doubly useful and
convenient for harness and food."

Corny replied, "Some people I know, think the most expensive harness and
tackle, and the most expensive ways of doing every thing, the best; but
I don't know if that is the way for the poor to grow rich--it may be
the way for the rich to grow poor: we are all poor people in the Black
Islands, and I can't afford, or think it good policy, to give the
example of extravagant new ways of doing old things."

"'Tis a pity you don't continue the old Irish style of ploughing by the
tail," said Sir Ulick.

"That is against humanity to brute _bastes_, which, without any
sickening palaver of sentiment, I practise. Also, it's against an act of
parliament, which I regard sometimes--that is, when I understand them;
which, the way you parliament gentlemen draw them up, is not always
particularly intelligible to plain common sense; and I have no lawyers
here, thank Heaven! to consult: I am forced to be legislator, and
lawyer, and ploughman, and all, you see, the best I can for myself."

He opened the window, and called to give some orders to the man, or, as
he called him, the boy--a boy of sixty--who was ploughing.

"Your team, I see, is worthy of your tackle," pursued Sir Ulick--"A
mule, a bull, and two lean horses. I pity the foremost poor devil of a
horse, who must starve in the midst of plenty, while the horse, bull,
and even mule, in a string behind him, are all plucking and _munging_
away at their hay ropes."

Cornelius joined in Sir Ulick's laugh, which shortened its duration.

"'Tis comical ploughing, I grant," said he, "but still, to my fancy, any
thing's better and more profitable _nor_ the tragi-comic ploughing you
practise every sason in Dublin."

"I?" said Sir Ulick.

"Ay, you and all your courtiers, ploughing the half acre [Footnote:
Ploughing the half acre. The English reader will please to inquire the
meaning of this phrase from any Irish courtier.] continually, pacing
up and down that Castle-yard, while you're waiting in attendance there.
Every one to his taste, but--

    'If there's a man on earth I hate,
     Attendance and dependence be his fate.'"

"After all, I have very good prospects in life," said Sir Ulick.

"Ay, you've been always living on prospects; for my part, I'd rather
have a mole-hill in possession than a mountain in prospect."

"Cornelius, what are you doing here to the roof of your house?" said Sir
Ulick, striking off to another subject. "What a vast deal of work you do
contrive to cut out for yourself."

"I'd rather cut it out for myself than have any body to cut it out for
me," said Cornelius.

"Upon my word, this will require all your extraordinary ingenuity,
cousin."

"Oh, I'll engage I'll make a good job of it, in my sense of the word,
though not in yours; for I know, in your vocabulary, that's only a good
job where you pocket money and do nothing; now my good jobs never bring
me in a farthing, and give me a great deal to do into the bargain."

"I don't envy you such jobs, indeed," said Sir Ulick; "and are you sure
that at last you make them good jobs in any acceptation of the term?"

"Sure! a man's never sure of any thing in this world, but of being
abused. But one comfort, my own conscience, for which I've a trifling
respect, can't reproach me; since my jobs, good or bad, have cost my
poor country nothing."

On this point Sir Ulick was particularly sore, for he had the character
of being one of the greatest _jobbers_ in Ireland. With a face of
much political prudery, which he well knew how to assume, he began
to exculpate himself. He confessed that much public money had passed
through his hands; but he protested that none of it had stayed with him.
No man, who had done so much for different administrations, had been so
ill paid.

"Why the deuce do you work for them, then? You won't tell me it's for
love--Have you got any character by it?--if you haven't profit, what
have you? I would not let them make me a dupe, or may be something
worse, if I was you," said Cornelius, looking him full in the face.

"Savage!" said Sir Ulick again to himself. The tomahawk was too much for
him--Sir Ulick felt that it was fearful odds to stand fencing according
to rule with one who would not scruple to gouge or scalp, if provoked.
Sir Ulick now stood silent, smiling forced smiles, and looking on while
Cornelius played quite at his ease with little Tommy, blew shrill blasts
through the whistle, and boasted that he had made a good job of that
whistle any way.

Harry Ormond, to Sir Ulick's great relief, now appeared. Sir Ulick
advanced to meet him with an air of cordial friendship, which brought
the honest flush of pleasure and gratitude into the young man's face,
who darted a quick look at Cornelius, as much as to say, "You see you
were wrong--he is glad to see me--he is come to see me."

Cornelius said nothing, but stroked the child's head, and seemed taken
up entirely with him; Sir Ulick spoke of Lady O'Shane, and of his hopes
that prepossessions were wearing off. "If Miss Black were out of the
way, things would all go right; but she is one of the mighty good--too
good ladies, who are always meddling with other people's business, and
making mischief."

Harry, who hated her, that is, as much as he could hate any body,
railed at her vehemently, saying more against her than he thought, and
concluded by joining in Sir Ulick's wish for her departure from Castle
Hermitage, but not with any view to his own return thither: on that
point he was quite resolute and steady. He would never, he said, be the
cause of mischief. Lady O'Shane did not like him--why, he did not know,
and had no right to inquire--and was too proud to inquire, if he had a
right. It was enough that her ladyship had proved to him her dislike,
and refused him protection at his utmost need: he should never again
sue for her hospitality. He declared that Sir Ulick should no more be
disquieted by his being an inmate at Castle Hermitage.

Sir Ulick became more warm and eloquent in dissuading him from this
resolution, the more he perceived that Ormond was positively fixed in
his determination.

The cool looker-on all the time remarked this, and Cornelius was
convinced that he had from the first been right in his own opinion, that
Sir Ulick was "_shirking the boy_."

"And where's Marcus, sir? would not he come with you to see us?" said
Ormond.

"Marcus is gone off to England. He bid me give you his kindest love: he
was hurried, and regretted he could not come to take leave of you; but
he was obliged to go off with the Annalys, to escort her ladyship to
England, where he will remain this year, I dare say. I am much concerned
to say, that poor Lady Annaly and Miss Annaly--" Sir Ulick cleared his
throat, and gave a suspicious look at Ormond.

This glance at Harry, the moment Sir Ulick pronounced the words _Miss
Annaly_, first directed aright the attention of Cornelius.

"Lady Annaly and Miss Annaly! are they ill? What's the matter, for
Heaven's sake!" exclaimed Harry with great anxiety; but pronouncing both
the ladies' names precisely in the same tone, and with the same freedom
of expression.

Sir Ulick took breath. "Neither of the ladies are ill--absolutely ill;
but they have both been greatly shocked by accounts of young Annaly's
sudden illness. It is feared an inflammation upon his lungs, brought on
by violent cold--his mother and sister left us this morning--set off
for England to him immediately. Lady Annaly thought of you, Harry,
my boy--you must be a prodigious favourite--in the midst of all her
affliction, and the hurry of this sudden departure, this morning: she
gave me a letter for you, which I determined to deliver with my own
hands."

While he spoke, Sir Ulick, affecting to search for the letter among
many in his pocket, studied with careless intermitting glances our young
hero's countenance, and Cornelius O'Shane studied Sir Ulick's: Harry
tore open the letter eagerly, and coloured a good deal when he saw the
inside.

"I have no business here reading that boy's secrets in his face," cried
Cornelius O'Shane, raising himself on his crutches--"I'll step out and
look at my roof. Will you come, Sir Ulick, and see how the job goes on?"
His crutch slipped as he stepped across the hearth--Harry ran to him:
"Oh, sir, what are you doing? You are not able to walk yet without
me--why are you going? Secrets did you say?" (The words recurred to
his ear.) "I have no secrets--there's no secrets in this letter--it's
only--the reason I looked foolish was that here's a list of my own
faults, which I made like a fool, and dropped like a fool--but they
could not have fallen into better or kinder hands than Lady Annaly's."

He offered the letter and its enclosure to Cornelius and Sir Ulick.
Cornelius drew back. "I don't want to see the list of your faults, man,"
said he: "do you think I haven't them all by heart already? and as to
the lady's letter, while you live never show a lady's letter."

Sir Ulick, without ceremony, took the letter, and in a moment satisfying
his curiosity that it was merely a friendly note, returned it and the
list of his faults to Harry, saying. "If it had been a young lady's
letter, I am sure you would not have shown it to me, Harry, nor, of
course, would I have looked at it. But I presumed that a letter from old
Lady Annaly could only be, what I see it is, very edifying."

"Old Lady Annaly, is it?" cried Cornelius: "oh! then there's no
indiscretion, young man, in the case. You might as well scruple about
your mother's letter, if you had one; or your mother's-in-law, which, to
be sure, you'll have, I hope, in due course of nature."

At the sound of the words mother-in-law, a cloud passed over Sir Ulick's
brow, not unnoticed by the shrewd Cornelius; but the cloud passed away
quickly, after Sir Ulick had darted another reconnoitring glance on
Harry's open unconscious countenance.

"All's safe," said Sir Ulick to himself, as he took leave.

"_Woodcocked_! that he has--as I foresaw he would," cried King Corny,
the moment his guest had departed. "_Woodcocked_! if ever man did, by
all that's cunning!"



CHAPTER VII.

King Corny sat for some minutes after Sir Ulick's departure perfectly
still and silent, leaning both hands and his chin on his crutch. Then,
looking up at Harry, he exclaimed, "What a dupe you are! but I like you
the better for it."

"I am glad you like me the better, at all events," said Harry; "but I
don't think I am a dupe."

"No--if you _did_, you would not be one: so you don't see that it was
and _is_ Sir Ulick, and not her ladyship, that wanted and wants to get
rid of you?"

No, Harry did not see this, and would not be persuaded of it. He
defended his guardian most warmly; he was certain of Sir Ulick's
affection; he was sure Sir Ulick was incapable of acting with such
duplicity.

His majesty repeated, at every pause, "You are a dupe; but I like you
the better for it. And," added he, "you don't--blind buzzard! as your
want of conceit makes you, for which I like you the better, too--you
don't see the reason why he banished you from Castle Hermitage--you
don't see that he is jealous of your rivalling that puppy, Marcus, his
son."

"Rivalling Marcus in what, or how?"

"_With_ whom? boy, is the question you should ask; and in that case the
answer is--Dunce, can't you guess now?--Miss Annaly."

"Miss Annaly!" repeated Harry with genuine surprise, and with a quick
sense of inferiority and humiliation. "Oh, sir, you would not be
so ill-natured as to make a jest of me!--I know how ignorant, how
uninformed, what a raw boy I am. Marcus has been educated like a
gentleman."

"More shame for his father that couldn't do the same by you when he was
about it."

"But Marcus, sir--there ought to be a difference--Marcus is heir to
a large fortune--I have nothing. Marcus may hope to marry whoever he
pleases."

"Ay, whoever he _pleases_; and who will that be, if women are of my
mind?" muttered Corny. "I'll engage, if you had a mind to rival him--"

"Rival him! the thought of rivalling my friend never entered my head."

"But is he your friend?" said Cornelius.

"As to that, I don't know: he was my friend, and I loved him
sincerely--warmly--he has cast me off--I shall never complain--never
blame him directly or indirectly; but don't let me be accused or
suspected unjustly--I never for one instant had the treachery,
presumption, folly, or madness, to think of Miss Annaly."

"Nor she of you, I suppose, you'll swear?"

"Nor she of me! assuredly not, sir," said Harry, with surprise at the
idea. "Do you consider what I am--and what she is?"

"Well, I am glad they are gone to England out of the way!" said
Cornelius.

"I am very sorry for that," said Harry; "for I have lost a kind friend
in Lady Annaly--one who at least I might have hoped would have become my
friend, if I had deserved it."

"_Might have hoped!--would have become!_--That's a friend in the air,
who may never be found on earth. _If you deserved it_!--Murder!--who
knows how that might turn out--_if_--I don't like that kind of
subjunctive mood tenure of a friend. Give me the good imperative mood,
which I understand--be my friend--at once--or not at all--that's my
mood. None of your _if_ friends for me, setting out with a proviso and
an excuse to be off; and may be when you'd call upon 'em at your utmost
need, 'Oh! I said if you deserve it--Lie there like a dog.' Now, what
kind of a friend is that? If Lady Annaly is that sort, no need to regret
her. My compliments to her, and a good journey to England--Ireland well
rid of her! and so are you, too, my boy!"

"But, dear sir, how you have worked yourself up into a passion against
Lady Annaly for nothing."

"It's not for nothing--I've good rason to dislike the woman. What
business had she, because she's an old woman and you a young man, to set
up preaching to you about your faults? I hate prachers, feminine gender,
especially."

"She is no preacher, I assure you, sir."

"How dare you tell me that--was not her letter very _edifying?_ Sir
Ulick said."

"No, sir; it was very kind--will you read it?"

"No, sir, I won't; I never read an edifying letter in my life with my
eyes open, nor never will--quite enough for me that impertinent list of
your faults she enclosed you."

"That list was my own, not hers, sir: I dropped it under a tree."

"Well, drop it into the fire now, and no more about it. Pray, after all,
Harry, for curiosity's sake, what faults have you?"

"Dear sir, I thought you told me you knew them by heart."

"I always forget what I learn by heart; put me in mind, and may be I'll
recollect as you go on."

"Well, sir, in the first place, I am terribly passionate."

"Passionate! true; that is Moriarty you are thinking of; and I grant
you, that had like to have been a sad job--you had a squeak for your
life there, and I pitied you as if it had been myself; for I know what
it is after one of them blind rages is over, and one opens one's eyes
on the wrong one has done--and then such a cursed feel to be penitent in
vain--for that sets no bones. You were blind drunk that night, and that
was my fault; but my late vow has prevented the future, and Moriarty's
better in the world than ever he was."

"Thanks to your goodness, sir." "Oh! I wasn't thinking of my
goodness--little enough that same; but to ease your conscience, it was
certainly the luckiest turn ever happened him the shot he got, and so he
says himself. Never think of that more in the way of penitence."

"In the way of reformation though, I hope, I shall all my life," said
Harry. "One comfort--I have never been in a passion since."

"But, then, a rasonable passion's allowable: I wouldn't give a farthing
for a man that couldn't be in a passion on a proper occasion. I'm
passionate myself, rasonably passionate, and I like myself the better
for it."

"I thought you said just now you often repented."

"Oh! never mind what I said _just now_--mind what I'm saying now. Isn't
a red heat that you can see, and that warms you, better than a white
heat that blinds you? I'd rather a man would knock me down than stand
smiling at me, as cousin Ulick did just now, when I know he could have
kilt me; he is not passionate--he has the command of himself--every
feature under the courtier's regimen of hypocrisy. Harry Ormond, don't
set about to cure yourself of your natural passions--why, this is rank
methodism, all!"

"Methodism, sir?"

"_Methodism_, sir!--don't contradict or repeat me--methodism, that the
woman has brought you to the brink of, and I warn you from it! I did not
know till now that your Lady Annaly was such a methodist--no methodist
shall ever darken my doors, or lighten them either, with their _new_
lights. New lights! new nonsense!--for man, woman, or beast. But enough
of this, and too much, Harry. Prince Harry, pull that bell a dozen times
for me this minute, till they bring out my old horse."

Before it was possible that any one could have come up stairs, the
impatient monarch, pointing with his crutch, added, "Run to the head of
the stairs, Prince Harry dear, and call and screech to them to make no
delay; and I want you out with me; so get your horse, Harry."

"But, sir--is it possible--are you able?"

"I am able, sir, possible or not," cried King Corny, starting up on
his crutches. "Don't stand talking to me of possibilities, when 'tis a
friend I am going to serve, and that friend as dear as yourself. Aren't
you at the head of the stairs yet? Must I go and fall down them myself?"

To prevent this catastrophe, our young hero ran immediately and ordered
the horses: his majesty mounted, or rather was mounted, and they
proceeded to one of the prettiest farms in the Black Islands. As they
rode to it, he seemed pleased by Harry's admiring, as he could, with
perfect truth, the beauty of the situation.

"And the land--which you are no judge of yet, but you will--is as good
as it is pretty," said King Corny, "which I am glad of for your sake,
Prince Harry; I won't have you, like that _donny_ English prince or
king, they nicknamed _Lackland_.--No: you sha'n't lack land while I have
it to let or give. I called you prince--Prince of the Black Islands--and
here's your principality. Call out my prime minister, Pat Moore. I sent
him across the bog to meet us at Moriarty's. Here he is, and
Moriarty along with him to welcome you. Patrick, give Prince Harry
possession--with sod and twig. Here's the kay from my own hand, and I
give you joy. Nay, don't deny me the pleasure--I've a right to it.
No wrong to my daughter, if that's what you are thinking of--a clear
improvement of my own,--and she will have enough without it. Besides,
her betrothed White Connal is a fat grazier, who will make her as rich
as a Jew; and any way she is as generous as a princess herself. But if
it pains you so, and weighs you down, as I see it does, to be under any
obligation--you shall be under none in life. You shall pay me rent for
it, and you shall give it up whenever you please. Well! we'll settle
that between ourselves," continued his majesty; "only take possession,
that's all I ask. But I hope," added he, "before we've lived a year, or
whatever time it is till you arrive at years of discretion, you'll know
me well enough, and love me well enough, not to be so stiff about a
trifle, that's nothing between friend and friend--let alone the joke of
king and prince, dear Harry."

The gift of this _principality_ proved a most pernicious, nearly a
fatal, gift to the young prince. The generosity, the delicacy, with
which it was made, a delicacy worthy of the most polished, and little to
have been expected from the barbarian mock-monarch, so touched our young
hero's heart, so subjected his grateful spirit to his benefactor, that
he thenceforth not only felt bound to King Corny for life, but prone to
deem every thing he did or thought, wisest, fittest, best.

When he was invested with his petty principality, it was expected of him
to give a dinner and a dance to the island: so he f gave a dinner and a
dance, and every body said he was a fine fellow, and had the spirit of a
prince. "King Corny, God bless him! couldn't go astray in his choice of
a favourite--long life to him and Prince Harry! and no doubt there'd be
fine hunting, and shooting, and coursing continually. Well, was not it
a happy thing for the islands, when Harry Ormond first set foot on them?
From a boy 'twas _a_sy to see what a man he'd be. Long may he live to
_reign_ over us!"

The taste for vulgar praise grew by what it fed upon. Harry was in great
danger of forgetting that he was too fond of flattery, and too fond of
company--not the best. He excused himself to himself, by saying that
companions of some kind or other he must have, and he was in a situation
where good company was not to be had. Then Moriarty Carroll was
gamekeeper, and Moriarty Carroll was always out hunting or shooting with
him, and he was led by kind and good feelings to be more familiar and
_free_ with this man than he would have been with any other in the
same rank of life. The poor fellow was ardently attached to him, and
repeated, with delight, all the praises he heard of Master Harry,
through _the Islands_. The love of popularity seized him--popularity
on the lowest scale! To be popular among the unknown, unheard-of
inhabitants of the Black Islands,--could this be an object to any man
of common sense, any one who had lived in civilized society, and who had
had any thing like the education of a gentleman? The fact, argue about
it as you will--the fact was as is here stated; and let those who hear
it with a disdainful smile recollect that whether in Paris, London, or
the Black Islands, the mob are, in all essential points, pretty nearly
the same.

It happened about this time that Betty Dunshaughlin was rummaging in
her young lady's work-basket for some riband, "which she knew she might
take," to dress a cap that was to be hung upon a pole as a prize, to
be danced for at the _pattern_, [Footnote: _Patron_, probably--an
entertainment held in honour of the _patron_ saint. A festive meeting,
similar to a wake in England.] to be given next Monday at Ormond
Vale, by Prince Harry. Prince Harry was now standing by, giving some
instructions about the ordering of the entertainment; Betty, in the
mean time, pursued her own object of the riband, and as she emptied the
basket in haste, threw out a book, which Harry, though not much at this
time addicted to reading, snatched impatiently, eager to know what book
it was: it was one he had often heard of--often intended to read some
time or other, but somehow or other he had never had time: and now he
was in the greatest possible hurry, for the hounds were out. But when
once he had opened the book, he could not shut it: he turned over page
after page, peeped at the end, the beginning, and the middle, then
back to the beginning; was diverted by the humour--every Irishman loves
humour; delighted with the wit--what Irishman is not? And his curiosity
was so much raised by the story, his interest and sympathy so excited
for the hero, that he read on, standing for a quarter of an hour, fixed
in the same position, while Betty held forth unheard, about cap, supper,
and _pattern_. At last he carried off the book to his own room, that he
might finish it in peace; nor did he ever stop till he came to the end
of the volume. The story not finishing there, and breaking off in a most
interesting part, he went in search of the next volume, but that was not
to be found. His impatience was ravenous.

"Mercy, Master Harry," cried Mrs. Betty, "don't eat one up! I know
nothing at-all-at-all about the book, and I'm very sorry I tumbled it
out of the basket. That's all there is of it to be had high or low--so
don't be tormenting me any more out of my life for nothing."

But having seized upon her, he refused to let her go, and protested that
he would continue to be the torment of her life, till she should find
the other volume. Betty, when her memory was thus racked, put her hand
to her forehead, and recollected that in _the apple-room_ there was a
heap of old books. Harry possessed himself of the key of the apple-room,
tossed over the heap of tattered mouldy books, and at last found the
precious volume. He devoured it eagerly--nor was it forgotten as soon
as finished. As the chief part of the entertainment depended on the
characters, it did not fade from his imagination. He believed the story
to be true, for it was constructed with unparalleled ingenuity,
and developed with consummate art. The character which particularly
interested him was that of the hero, the more peculiarly, because
he saw, or fancied that he saw, a resemblance to his own; with some
differences, to be sure--but young readers readily assimilate and
identify themselves with any character, the leading points of which
resemble their own, and in whose general feelings they sympathize. In
some instances, Harry, as he read on, said to himself, "I would not--I
could not have done so and so." But upon the whole, he was charmed by
the character--that of a warm-hearted, generous, imprudent young man,
with little education, no literature, governed more by feeling than by
principle, never upon any occasion reasoning, but keeping right by happy
moral instincts; or when going wrong, very wrong, forgiven easily by the
reader and by his mistress, and rewarded at the last with all that
love and fortune can bestow, in consideration of his being "a very fine
fellow."

Closing the book, Harry Ormond resolved to be what he admired--and, if
possible, to shine forth an Irish Tom Jones. For this purpose he was
not at all bound to be a moral gentleman, nor, as he conceived, to be a
_gentleman_ at all--not, at least, in the commencement of his career:
he might become accomplished at any convenient period of his life,
and become moral at the end of it, but he might begin by being an
accomplished--blackguard. Blackguard is a harsh word; but what other
will express the idea? Unluckily, the easiest points to be imitated in
any character are not always the best; and where any latitude is given
to conscience, or any precedents are allowed to the grosser passions
for their justification, those are the points which are afterwards
remembered and applied in practice, when the moral salvo sentences are
forgotten, or are at best but of feeble countervailing effect.

At six o'clock on Monday evening the cap--the prize cap, flaming with
red ribands from the top of the pole, streamed to the summer air, and
delighted the upturned eyes of assembled crowds upon the green below.
The dance began, and our popular hero, the delight of all the nymphs,
and the envy of all the swains, danced away with one of the prettiest,
"smartest," "most likely-looking" "lasses," that ever appeared at any
former patron. She was a degree more refined in manner, and polished in
appearance, than the fair of the Black Islands, for she came from the
continent of Ireland--she had the advantage of having been sometimes
at the big house at Castle Hermitage--she was the gardener's
daughter--Peggy Sheridan--distinguished among her fellows by a nosegay,
such as no other could have procured--distinguished more by her figure
and her face than by her nosegay, and more by her air and motions, than
even by her figure or her face: she stepped well, and stepped out--she
danced an Irish jig to admiration, and she was not averse from
admiration; village prudes, perhaps, might call her a village coquette;
but let not this suggest a thought derogatory to the reputation of
the lively Peggy. She was a well-behaved, well-meaning, innocent,
industrious girl--a good daughter, a good sister, and more than one in
the neighbourhood thought she would make a good wife. She had not only
admirers, but suitors in abundance. Harry Ormond could not think of
her as a wife, but he was evidently--more evidently this day than ever
before--one of Peggy's admirers. His heart or his fancy was always
warmly susceptible to the charms of beauty; and, never well guarded by
prudence, he was now, with his head full of Tom Jones, prone to run into
danger himself, and rashly ready to hurry on an innocent girl to her
destruction. He was not without hopes of pleasing--what young man of
nineteen or twenty is? He was not without chance of _success_, as it is
called, with Peggy--what woman can be pronounced safe, who ventures to
extend to a young lover the encouragement of coquettish smiles?
Peggy said, "innocent smiles sure," "meaning nothing;" but they were
interpreted to mean something: less would in his present dispositions
have excited the hero who imitated Tom Jones to enterprise. Report says
that, about this time, Harry Ormond was seen disguised in a slouched
hat and _trusty_ [Footnote: Great coat.], wandering about the grounds
at Castle Hermitage. Some swear they saw him pretending to dig in the
garden; and even under the gardener's windows, seeming to be nailing up
jessamine. Some would not swear, but if they might trust their own eyes,
they might verily believe, and _could_, only that they would not, take
their oath to having seen him once cross the lake alone by moonlight.
But without believing above half what the world says, candour obliges us
to acknowledge, that there was some truth in these scandalous reports.
He certainly pursued, most imprudently "pursued the chase of youth and
beauty;" nor would he, we fear, have dropped the chase till Peggy
was his prey, but that _fortunately_, in the full headlong career of
passion, he was suddenly startled and stopped by coming in view of
an obstacle that he could not overleap--a greater wrong than he had
foreseen, at least a different wrong, and in a form that made his heart
tremble. He reined in his passion, and stood appalled.

In the first hurry of that passion he had seen nothing, heard nothing,
understood nothing, but that Peggy was pretty, and that he was in love.
It happened one evening that he, with a rose yet unfaded in his hand--a
rose which he had snatched from Peggy Sheridan--took the path towards
Moriarty Carroll's cottage. Moriarty, seeing him from afar, came out
to meet him; but when he came within sight of the rose, Moriarty's pace
slackened, and turning aside, he stepped out of the path, as if to let
Mr. Ormond pass.

"How now, Moriarty?" said Harry. But looking in his face, he saw the
poor fellow pale as death.

"What ails you, Moriarty?"

"A pain I just took about my heart," said Moriarty, pressing both hands
to his heart.

"My poor fellow!--Wait!--you'll be better just now, I hope," said
Ormond, laying his hand on Moriarty's shoulder.

"I'll never be better of it, I fear," said Moriarty, withdrawing his
shoulder; and giving a jealous glance at the rose, he turned his head
away again.

"I'll thank your honour to go on, and leave me--I'll be better by
myself. It is not to your honour, above all, that I can open my heart."

A suspicion of the truth now flashed across Ormond's mind--he was
determined to know whether it was the truth or not.

"I'll not leave you, till I know what's the matter," said he.

"Then none will know that till I die," said Moriarty; adding, after a
little pause, "there's no knowing what's wrong withinside of a man till
he is opened."

"But alive, Moriarty, if the heart is in the case only," said Ormond, "a
man can open himself to a friend."

"Ay, if he had a friend," said Moriarty. "I'll beg your honour to let me
pass--I am able for it now--I am quite stout again."

"Then if you are quite stout again, I shall want you to row me across
the lake."

"I am not able for that, sir," replied Moriarty, pushing past him.

"But," said Ormond, catching hold of his arm, "aren't you able or
willing to carry a note for me?" As he spoke, Ormond produced the note,
and let him see the direction--to Peggy Sheridan.

"Sooner stab me to the heart _again_," cried Moriarty, breaking from
him.

"Sooner stab myself to the heart then," cried Ormond, tearing the note
to bits. "Look, Moriarty: upon my honour, till this instant, I did
not know you loved the girl--from this instant I'll think of her no
more--never more will I see her, hear of her, till she be your wife."

"Wife!" repeated Moriarty, joy illuminating, but fear as instantly
darkening his countenance. "How will that be now?"

"It _will_ be--it shall be--as happily as honourably. Listen to me,
Moriarty--as honourably now as ever. Can you think me so wicked, so
base, as to say, _wife_, if--no, passion might hurry me to a rash, but
of a base action I'm incapable. Upon my soul, upon the sacred honour of
a gentleman--"

Moriarty sighed.

"Look!" continued Ormond, taking the rose from his breast; "this is the
utmost that ever passed between us, and that was my fault: I snatched
it, and thus--thus," cried he, tearing the rose to pieces, "I scatter it
to the winds of heaven; and thus may all trace of past fancy and folly
be blown from remembrance!"

"Amen!" said Moriarty, watching the rose-leaves for an instant, as they
flew and were scattered out of sight; then, as Ormond broke the stalk
to pieces, and flung it from him, he asked, with a smile, "Is the pain
about your heart gone now, Moriarty?"

"No, plase your honour, not gone; but a quite different--better--but
worse. So strange with me--I can't speak rightly--for the pleasure has
seized me stronger than the pain."

"Lean against me, poor fellow. Oh, if I had broken such a heart!"

"Then how wrong I was when I said that word I did!" said Moriarty. "I
ask your honour, your dear honour's pardon on my knees."

"For what?--For what?--You have done no wrong."

"No:--but I said wrong--very wrong--when I said stab me to the heart
_again_. Oh, that word _again_--it was very ungenerous."

"Noble fellow!" said Ormond.

"Good night to your honour, kindly," said Moriarty.

"How happy I am now!" said our young hero to himself, as he walked home,
"which I never should have been if I had done this wrong."

A fortunate escape!--yes: but when the escape is owing to good fortune,
not to prudence--to good feeling, not to principle--there is no security
for the future.

Ormond was steady to his promise toward Moriarty: to do him justice, he
was more than this--he was generous, actively, perseveringly generous,
in his conduct to him. With open heart, open purse, public overture,
and private negotiation with the parents of Peggy Sheridan, he at last
succeeded in accomplishing Moriarty's marriage.

Ormond's biographer may well be allowed to make the most of his
persevering generosity on this occasion, because no other scrap of good
can be found, of which to make any thing in his favour, for several
months to come. Whether Tom Jones was still too much, and Lady Annaly
too little, in his head--whether it was that King Corny's example and
precepts were not always edifying--whether this young man had been
prepared by previous errors of example and education--or whether he fell
into mischief because he had nothing else to do in these Black Islands;
certain it is, that from the operation of some or all of these causes
conjointly, he deteriorated sadly. He took to "vagrant courses," in
which the muse forbears to follow him.



CHAPTER VIII.

It is said that the Turks have a very convenient recording angel, who,
without dropping a tear to blot out that which might be wished unsaid or
undone, fairly shuts his eyes, and forbears to record whatever is said
or done by man in three circumstances: when he is drunk, when he is in a
passion, and while he is _under age_. What the _under age_, or what
the years of discretion of a Turk may be, we do not at this moment
recollect. We only know that our own hero is not yet twenty. Without
being quite as accommodating as the Mahometan angel, we should wish to
obliterate from our record some months of Ormond's existence. He felt
and was ashamed of his own degradation; but, after having lost, or worse
than lost, a winter of his life, it was in vain to lament; or rather, it
was not enough to weep over the loss--how to repair it was the question.

Whenever Ormond returned to his better self, whenever he thought of
improving, he remembered Lady Annaly; and he now recollected with
shame, that he had never had the grace to answer or to thank her for her
letter. He had often thought of writing, but he had put it off from day
to day, and now months had passed; he wrote a sad scrawling hand, and
he had always been ashamed that Lady Annaly should see it; but now the
larger shame got the better of the lesser, and he determined he would
write. He looked for her letter, to read it over again before he
answered it--the letter was very safe, for he considered it as his
greatest treasure.

On recurring to the letter, he found that she had mentioned a present of
books which she intended for him: a set of books which belonged to her
son, Sir Herbert Annaly, and of which she found they had duplicates in
their library. She had ordered the box containing them to be sent to
Annaly, and had desired her agent there to forward it; but in case any
delay should occur, she begged Mr. Ormond would take the trouble to
inquire for them himself. This whole affair about the books had escaped
Ormond's memory: he felt himself blush all over when he read the letter
again; and sent off a messenger immediately to the agent at Annaly, who
had kept the box till it was inquired for. It was too heavy for the boy
to carry, and he returned, saying that two men would not carry it, nor
four--a slight exaggeration! A car was sent for it, and at last Harry
obtained possession of the books. It was an excellent collection of what
may be called the English and French classics: the French books were,
at this time, quite useless to him, for he could not read French. Lady
Annaly, however, sent these books on purpose to induce him to learn a
language, which, if he should go into the army, as he seemed inclined to
do, would be particularly useful to him. Lady Annaly observed that Mr.
Ormond, wherever he might be in Ireland, would probably find even the
priest of the parish a person who could assist him sufficiently in
learning French; as most of the Irish parish priests were, at that time,
educated at St. Omer's or Louvain.

Father Jos had been at St. Omer's, and Harry resolved to attack him
with a French grammar and dictionary; but the French that Father Jos had
learnt at St. Omer's was merely from ear--he could not bear the sight of
a French grammar. Harry was obliged to work on by himself. He again put
off writing to thank Lady Annaly, till he could tell her that he had
obeyed her commands; and that he could read at least a page of Gil Blas.
Before this was accomplished, he learnt from the agent that Lady Annaly
was in great affliction about her son, who had broken a blood-vessel. He
could not think of intruding upon her at such a time--and, in short, he
put it off till it seemed too late to write at all.

Among the English books was one in many volumes, which did not seize his
attention forcibly, like Tom Jones, at once, but which won upon him by
degrees, drew him on against his will, and against his taste. He hated
moralizing and reflections; and there was here an abundance both of
reflections and morality; these he skipped over, however, and went on.
The hero and the heroine too were of a stiff fashion, which did not suit
his taste; yet still there was something in the book that, in spite
of the terrible array of _good people_, captivated his attention. The
heroine's perpetual egotism disgusted him--she was always too good and
too full of herself--and she wrote dreadfully long letters. The hero's
dress and manner were too splendid, too formal, for every day use: at
first he detested Sir Charles Grandison, who was so different from the
friends he loved in real life, or the heroes he had admired in books;
just as in old portraits, we are at first struck with the costume, but
soon, if the picture be really by a master hand, our attention is fixed
on the expression of the features and the life of the figure.

Sensible as Ormond was of the power of humour and ridicule, he was still
more susceptible, as all noble natures are, of sympathy with elevated
sentiments and with generous character. The character of Sir Charles
Grandison, in spite of his ceremonious bowing on the hand, touched the
nobler feelings of our young hero's mind, inspired him with virtuous
emulation, and made him ambitious to be a _gentleman_ in the best and
highest sense of the word: in short, it completely counteracted in his
mind the effects of his late study. All the generous feelings which were
so congenial to his own nature, and which he had seen combined in
Tom Jones, as if necessarily, with the habits of an adventurer, a
spendthrift, and a rake, he now saw united with high moral and religious
principles, in the character of a man of virtue, as well as a man of
honour; a man of cultivated Understanding, and accomplished manners.
In Sir Charles Grandison's history, he read that of a gentleman, who,
fulfilling every duty of his station in society, eminently _useful_,
respected and beloved, as brother, friend, master of a family, guardian,
and head of a large estate, was admired by his own sex, and, what struck
Ormond far more forcibly, was loved, passionately loved, by women--not
by the low and profligate, but by the highest and most accomplished of
the sex. Indeed, to him it appeared no fiction, while he was reading
it; his imagination was so full of Clementina, and the whole Porretta
family, that he saw them in his sleeping and waking dreams. The deep
pathos so affected him, that he could scarcely recall his mind to
the low concerns of life. Once, when King Corny called him to go out
shooting--he found him with red eyes. Harry was ashamed to tell him the
cause, lest he should laugh at him. But Corny was susceptible of the
same kind of enthusiasm himself; and though he had, as he said, never
been regularly what is called a _reading man_, yet the books he had read
left ineffaceable traces in his memory. Fictions, if they touched him at
all, struck him with all the force of reality; and he never spoke of the
characters as in a book, but as if they had lived and acted. Harry was
glad to find that here again, as in most things, they sympathized, and
suited each other.

But Corny, if ready to give sympathy, was likewise imperious in
requiring it; and Harry was often obliged to make sudden transitions
from his own thoughts and employments, to those of his friend. These
transitions, however difficult and provoking at the time, were useful
discipline to his mind, giving him that versatility, in which persons of
powerful imagination, accustomed to live in retirement, and to command
their own time and occupations, are often most deficient. At this
period, when our young hero was suddenly seized with a voracious
appetite for books, it was trying to his patience to be frequently
interrupted.

"Come, come--Harry Bookworm you are growing!--no good!--come out!" cried
King Corny. "Lay down whatever you have in your hand, and come off this
minute, till I show you a badger at bay, with half-a-dozen dogs."

"Yes, sir--this minute--be kind enough to wait one minute."

"It has been hiding and skulking this week from me--we have got it out
of its snug hole at last. I bid them keep the dogs off till you came.
Don't be waiting any longer. Come off, Harry, come! Phoo! phoo!
That book will keep cold, and what is it? Oh! the last volume of Sir
Charles--not worth troubling your eyes with. The badger is worth a
hundred of it--not a pin's worth in that volume but worked stools and
chairs, and China jugs and mugs. Oh! throw it from you. Come away."

Another time, at the very death of Clarissa, King Corny would have Harry
out to see a Solan goose.

"Oh! let Clarissa die another time; come now, you that never saw a Solan
goose--it looks for all the world as if it wore spectacles; Moriarty
says so."

Harry was carried off to see the goose in spectacles, and was pressed
into the service of King Corny for many hours afterwards, to assist
in searching for its eggs. One of the Black Islands was a bare, high,
pointed, desert rock, in which the sea-fowl built; and here, in the
highest point of rock, this Solan goose had deposited some of her eggs,
instead of leaving them in nests on the ground, as she usually does. The
more dangerous it was to obtain the eggs, which the bird had hidden in
this pinnacle of the rock, the more eager Corny was to have them; and
he, and Ormond, and Moriarty, were at this perilous work for hours. King
Corny directing and bawling, and Moriarty and Ormond with pole, net,
and polehook, swinging and leaping from one ledge of rock to another,
clambering, clinging, sliding, pushing, and pulling each other
alternately, from hold to hold, with frightful precipices beneath them.
As soon as Ormond had warmed to the business, he was delighted with the
dangerous pursuit; but suddenly, just as he had laid his hand on the
egg, and that King Corny shouted in triumph, Harry, leaping back across
the cleft in the rock, missed his footing and fell, and must have been
dashed to pieces, but for a sort of projecting landing-place, on which
he was caught, where he lay for some minutes stunned. The terror of poor
Corny was such that he could neither move nor look up, till Moriarty
called out to him, that Master Harry was safe all to a sprained ankle.
The fall, and the sprain, would not have been deemed worthy of a
place in these memoirs of our hero but from their consequences--the
consequences not on his body but on his mind. He could not for some
weeks afterwards stir out, or take any bodily exercise; confined to the
house, and forced to sit still, he was glad to read, during these
long hours, to amuse himself. When he had read all the novels in the
collection, which were very few, he went on to other books. Even those,
which were not mere works of amusement, he found more entertaining than
netting, fishing-nets, or playing backgammon with Father Jos, who was
always cross when he did not win. Kind-hearted King Corny, considering
always that Harry's sprain was incurred in his service, would have sat
with him all day long; but this Harry would not suffer, for he knew that
it was the greatest _punishment_ to Corny to stay within doors a whole
day. When Corny in the evening returned from his various out-of-doors
occupations and amusements, Harry was glad to talk to him of what he had
been reading, and to hear his odd summary reflections.

"Well, Harry, my boy, now I've told you how it has been with me all day,
let's hear how you have been getting on with your bookmen:--has it been
a good day with you to-day?--were you with Shakspeare--worth all the
rest--all the world in him?"

Corny was no respecter of authorities in hooks; a great name went for
nothing with him--it did not awe his understanding in the slightest
degree.

If it were poetry, "did it touch the heart, or inflame the imagination?"
If it were history, "was it true?" If it were philosophy, "was it sound
reasoning?" These were the questions he asked. "No cramming any thing
down his throat," he said. This daring temper of mind, though it
sometimes led him wrong, was advantageous to his young friend. It
wakened Ormond's powers, and prevented his taking upon trust the
assertions, or the reputations, even of great writers.

The spring was now returning, and Dora was to return with spring. He
looked forward to her return as to a new era in his existence: then he
should live in better company, he should see something better than he
had seen of late--be something better. His chief, his best occupations
during this winter, had been riding, leaping, and breaking in horses:
he had broken in a beautiful mare for Dora. Dora, when a child, was very
fond of riding, and constantly rode out with her father. At the time
when Harry Ormond's head was full of Tom Jones, Dora had always been his
idea of Sophy Western, though nothing else that he could recollect in
her person, mind, or manner, bore any resemblance to Sophia: and now
that Tom Jones had been driven out of his head by Sir Charles Grandison;
now that his taste for women was a little raised by the pictures which
Richardson had left in his imagination, Dora, with equal facility,
turned into his new idea of a heroine--not _his_ heroine, for she was
engaged to White Connal--merely a heroine in the abstract. Ormond had
been warned that he was to consider Dora as a married woman--well, so
he would, of course. She was to be Mrs. Connal--so much the better:--he
should be quite at ease with her, and she should teach him French, and
drawing, and dancing, and improve his manners. He was conscious that his
manners had, since his coming to the Black Islands, rusticated sadly,
and lost the little polish they had acquired at Castle Hermitage, and
during one _famous_ winter in Dublin. His language and dialect, he was
afraid, had become somewhat vulgar; but Dora, who had been refined by
her residence with her aunt, and by her dancing-master, would polish
him, and set all to rights, in the most agreeable manner possible. In
the course of these his speculations on his rapid improvements, and his
reflections on the perfectibility of man's nature under the tuition of
woman, some idea of its fallibility did cross his imagination or his
memory; but then he blamed, most unjustly, his imagination for
the suggestion. The danger would prove, as he would have it, to be
imaginary. What danger could there be, when he knew, as he began and
ended by saying to himself, that he was to consider Dora as a married
woman--Mrs. Connal?

Dora's aunt, an aunt by the mother's side, a maiden aunt, who had never
before been at the Black Islands, and whom Ormond had never seen, was to
accompany Dora on her return to Corny Castle: our young hero had settled
it in his head that this aunt must be something like Aunt Ellenor in Sir
Charles Grandison; a stiff-backed, prim, precise, old-fashioned looking
aunt. Never was man's astonishment more visible in his countenance than
was that of Harry Ormond on the first sight of Dora's aunt. His surprise
was so great as to preclude the sight of Dora herself.

There was nothing surprising in the lady, but there was, indeed, an
extraordinary difference between our hero's preconceived notion, and
the real person whom he now beheld. _Mademoiselle_--as Miss O'Faley
was called, in honour of her French parentage and education, and in
commemoration of her having at different periods spent above half
her life in France, looking for an estate that could never be
found--Mademoiselle was dressed in all the peculiarities of the French
dress of that day; she was of that indefinable age, which the French
describe by the happy phrase of "une femme _d'un certain age_," and
which Miss O'Faley happily translated, "a woman of _no particular age_."
Yet though of no particular age in the eye of politeness, to the vulgar
eye she looked like what people, who knew no better, might call an
elderly woman; but she was as alert and lively as a girl of fifteen: a
little wrinkled, but withal in fine preservation. She wore abundance of
rouge, obviously--still more obviously took superabundance of snuff--and
without any obvious motive, continued to play unremittingly a pair
of large black French eyes, in a manner impracticable to a mere
Englishwoman, and which almost tempted the spectator to beg she would
let them rest. Mademoiselle, or Miss O'Faley, was in fact half French
and half Irish--born in France, she was the daughter of an officer of
the Irish brigade, and of a French lady of good family. In her gestures,
tones, and language, there was a striking mixture or rapid succession of
French and Irish. When she spoke French, which she spoke well, and with
a true Parisian accent, her voice, gestures, air, and ideas, were all
French; and she looked and moved a well-born, well-bred woman:
the moment she attempted to speak English, which she spoke with an
inveterate brogue, her ideas, manner, air, voice, and gestures were
Irish; she looked and moved a vulgar Irishwoman.

"What do you see so wonderful in Aunt O'Faley?" said Dora.

"Nothing--only--"

The sentence was never finished, and the young lady was satisfied; for
she perceived that the course of his thoughts was interrupted, and all
idea of her aunt effaced, the moment he turned his eyes upon herself.
Dora, no longer a child and his playfellow, but grown and formed,
was, and looked as if she expected to be treated as, a woman. She was
exceedingly pretty, not regularly handsome, but with most brilliant
eyes--there was besides a childishness in her face, and in her slight
figure, which disarmed all criticism on her beauty, and which contrasted
strikingly, yet as our hero thought agreeably, with her womanish airs
and manner. Nothing but her external appearance could be seen this first
evening--she was tired and went to bed early.

Ormond longed to see more of her, on whom so much of his happiness was
to depend.



CHAPTER IX.

This was the first time Mdlle. O'Faley had ever been at Corny Castle.
Hospitality, as well as gratitude, determined the King of the Black
Islands to pay her honour due.

"Now Harry Ormond," said he, "I have made one capital good resolution.
Here is my sister-in-law, Mdlle. O'Faley, coming to reside with me here,
and has conquered her antipathy to solitude, and the Black Islands, and
all from natural love and affection for my daughter Dora; for which I
have a respect for her, notwithstanding all her eternal jabbering about
_politesse_, and all her manifold absurdities, and infinite female
vanities, of which she has a double proportion, being half French. But
so was my wife, that I loved to distraction--for a wise man may do a
foolish thing. Well, on all those accounts, I shall never contradict or
gainsay this Mademoiselle--in all things, I shall make it my principle
to give her her swing and her fling. But now observe me, Harry, I have
no eye to her money--let her leave that to Dora or the cats, whichever
pleases her--I am not looking to, nor squinting at, her succession. I
am a great hunter, but not legacy-hunter--that is a kind of hunting
I despise--and I wish every hunter of that kind may be thrown out, or
thrown off, and may never be in at the death!"

Corny's tirade against legacy-hunters was highly approved of by Ormond,
but as to the rest, he knew nothing about Miss O'Faley's fortune. He was
now to learn that a rich relation of hers, a merchant in Dublin, whom
living she had despised, because he was "neither _noble_, nor _comme il
faut_," dying had lately left her a considerable sum of money: so that
after having been many years in straitened circumstances, she was now
quite at her ease. She had a carriage, and horses, and servants; she
could indulge her taste for dress, and make a figure in a country place.

The Black Islands were, to be sure, of all places, the most unpromising
for her purpose, and the first sight of Corny Castle was enough to throw
her into despair.

As soon as breakfast was over, she begged her brother-in-law would show
her the whole of the chateau from the top to the bottom.

With all the pleasure in life, he said, he would attend her from the
attics to the cellar, and show her all the additions, improvements, and
contrivances, he had made, and all he intended to make, if Heaven should
lend him life to complete every thing, or any thing--there was nothing
_finished_.

"Nor ever will be," said Dora, looking from her father to her aunt with
a sort of ironical smile.

"Why, what has he been doing all this life?" said mademoiselle.

"Making a _shift_," said Dora: "I will show you dozens of them as we go
over this house. He calls them substitutes--_I_ call them make-shifts."

Ormond followed as they went over the house; and though he was sometimes
amused by the smart remarks which Dora made behind backs as they
went on, yet he thought she laughed too scornfully at her father's
_oddities_, and he was often in pain for his good friend Corny.

His majesty was both proud and ashamed of his palace: proud of the
various instances it exhibited of his taste, originality, and _daring_;
ashamed of the deficiencies and want of comfort and finish.

His ready wit had excuses, reasons, or remedies, for all Mademoiselle's
objections. Every alteration she proposed, he promised to get executed,
and he promised impossibilities with the best faith imaginable.

"As the Frenchman answered to the Queen of France," said Corny, "if it
is possible, it _shall_ be done; and if it is impossible, it _must_ be
done."

Mademoiselle, who had expected to find her brother-in-law, as she
owned, a little more difficult to manage, a little savage, and a little
restive, was quite delighted with his politeness; but presuming on his
complaisance, she went too far. In the course of a week, she made so
many innovations, that Corny, seeing the labour and ingenuity of his
life in danger of being at once destroyed, made a sudden stand.

"This is Corny Castle, Mademoiselle," said he, "and you are making it
Castle Topsy-Turvy, which must not be. Stop this work; for I'll have no
more architectural innovations done here--but by my own orders. Paper
and paint, and furnish and finish, you may, if you will--I give you a
carte-blanche; but I won't have another wall touched, or chimney
pulled down: so far shalt thou go, but no farther, Mdlle. O'Faley."
Mademoiselle was forced to submit, and to confine her brilliant
imagination to papering, painting, and glazing.

Even in the course of these operations, King Corny became so impatient,
that she was forced to get them finished surreptitiously, while he was
out of the way in the mornings.

She made out who resided at every place within possible reach of morning
or dinner visit: every house on the opposite banks of the lake was
soon known to her, and she was current in every house. The boat was
constantly rowing backwards and forwards over the lake; cars waiting or
driving on the banks: in short, this summer all was gaiety at the
Black Islands. Miss O'Faley was said to be a great acquisition in the
neighbourhood: she was so gay, so sociable, so communicative; and she
certainly, above all, knew so much of the world; she was continually
receiving letters, and news, and patterns, from Dublin, and the Black
Rock, and Paris. Each of which places, and all standing nearly upon
the same level, made a great figure in her conversation, and in the
imagination of the half or quarter gentry, with whom she consorted in
this remote place. Every thing is great or small by comparison, and she
was a great person in this little world. It had been the report of the
country, that her niece was promised to the eldest son of Mr. Connal of
Glynn; but the aunt seemed so averse to the match, and expressed this so
openly, that some people began to think it would be broken off; others,
who knew Cornelius O'Shane's steadiness to his _word of honour_, were
convinced that Miss O'Faley would never shake King Corny, and that
Dora would assuredly be Mrs. Connal. All agreed that it was a foolish
promise--that he might do better for his daughter. Miss O'Shane, with
her father's fortune and her aunt's, would be a great prize; besides,
she was thought quite a beauty, and _remarkable elegant_.

Dora was just the thing to be the belle and coquette of the Black
Islands; the alternate scorn and familiarity with which she treated
her admirers, and the interest and curiosity she excited, by sometimes
taking delightful pains to attract, and then capriciously repelling,
_succeeded_, as Miss O'Faley observed, admirably. Harry Ormond
accompanied her and her aunt on all their parties of pleasure: Miss
O'Faley would never venture in the boat or across the lake without him.
He was absolutely essential to their parties: he was useful in the boat;
he was useful to drive the car--Miss O'Faley would not trust any body
else to drive her; he was an ornament to the ball--Miss O'Faley dubbed
him her beau: she undertook to polish him, and to teach him to speak
French--she was astonished by the quickness with which he acquired
the language, and caught the true Parisian pronunciation. She often
reiterated to her niece, and to others, who repeated it to Ormond,
"that it was the greatest of pities he had but three hundred a year upon
earth; but that, even with that pittance, she would prefer him for a
nephew to another with his thousands. Mr. Ormond was well-born, and he
had some _politesse_; and a winter at Paris would make him quite another
person, quite a charming young man. He would have great _success_, she
could answer for it, in certain _circles_ and _salons_ that she could
name, only it might turn his head too much." So far she said, and more
she thought.

It was a million of pities that such a woman as herself, and such a girl
as Dora, and such a young man as Mr. Ormond might be made, should be
buried all their days in the Black Islands. Mdlle. O'Faley's heart
still turned to Paris: in Paris she was determined to live--there was no
_living_, what you call _living_, any where else--elsewhere people only
vegetate, as somebody said. Miss O'Faley, nevertheless, was excessively
fond of her niece; and how to make the love for her niece and the love
for Paris coincide, was the question. She long had formed a scheme of
carrying her dear niece to Paris, and marrying her there to some M. le
Baron or M. le Marquis; but Dora's father would not hear of her living
any where but in Ireland, or marrying any one but an Irishman. Miss
O'Faley had lived long enough in Ireland to know that the usual method,
in all disputes, is to split the difference: therefore she decided that
her niece should marry some Irishman who would take her to Paris, and
reside with her there, at least a great part of his time--the latter
part of the bargain to be kept a secret from the father till the
marriage should be accomplished. Harry Ormond appeared to be the very
man for this purpose: he seemed to hang loosely upon the world--no
family connexions seemed to have any rights over him; he had no
profession--but a very small fortune. Miss O'Faley's fortune might be
very convenient, and Dora's person very agreeable to him; and it was
scarcely to be doubted that he would easily be persuaded to quit the
Black Islands, and the British Islands, for Dora's sake. The petit
menage was already quite arranged in Mdlle. O'Faley's head--even the
wedding-dresses had floated in her fancy. "As to the promise given to
White Connal," as she said to herself, "it would be a mercy to save her
niece from such a man; for she had seen him lately, when he had called
upon her in Dublin, and he was a vulgar person: his hair looked as if it
had not been cut these hundred years, and he wore--any thing but what he
should wear; therefore it would be a favour to her brother-in-law, for
whom she had in reality a serious regard,--it would be doing him the
greatest imaginable benefit, to save him from the shame of either
keeping or breaking his ridiculous and savage promise." Her plan was
therefore to prevent the possibility of his keeping it, by marrying her
niece privately to Ormond before White Connal should return in October.
When the thing was done, and could not be undone, Cornelius O'Shane,
she was persuaded, would be very glad of it, for Harry Ormond was his
particular favourite: he had called him his son--son-in-law was almost
the same thing. Thus arguing with happy female casuistry, Mademoiselle
went on with the prosecution of her plan. To the French spirit of
intrigue and gallantry she joined Irish acuteness, and Irish varieties
of odd resource, with the art of laying suspicion asleep by the
appearance of an imprudent, blundering good nature; add to all this a
degree of _confidence_, that could not have been acquired by any means
but one. Thus accomplished, "rarely did she manage matters." By the very
boldness and openness of her railing against the intended bridegroom,
she convinced her brother-in-law that she meant nothing more than
_talk_. Besides, through all her changing varieties of objections, there
was one point on which she never varied--she never objected to going to
Dublin, in September, to buy the wedding-clothes for Dora. This seemed
to Cornelius O'Shane perfect proof, that she had no serious intention to
break off or defer the match. As to the rest, he was glad to see his own
Harry such a favourite: he deserved to be a favourite with every body,
Cornelius thought. The young people were continually together. "So much
the better," he would say: "all was above-board, and there could be no
harm going forward, and no danger in life." All was above-board on Harry
Ormond's part; he knew nothing of Miss O'Faley's designs, nor did he as
yet feel that there was for him much _danger_. He was not thinking as a
lover of Dora in particular, but he felt a new and extraordinary desire
to please in general. On every fair occasion, he liked to show how well
he could ride; how well he could dance; how gallant and agreeable he
could be: his whole attention was now turned to the cultivation of
his personal accomplishments. He succeeded: he danced, he rode to
admiration--his glories of horsemanship, and sportsmanship, the birds
that he shot, and the fish that he caught, and the leaps that he took,
are to this hour recorded in the tradition of the inhabitants of the
Black Islands. At that time, his feats of personal activity and address
made him the theme of every tongue, the delight of every eye, the
admiration of every woman, and the envy of every man: not only with the
damsels of Peggy Sheridan's class was he _the_ favourite, but with
all the young ladies, the belles of the half gentry, who filled the
ball-rooms; and who made the most distinguished figure in the riding,
boating, walking, tea-drinking parties. To all, or any of these belles,
he devoted his attention rather than to Dora, for he was upon honour;
and very honourable he was, and very prudent, moreover, he thought
himself. He was, at present, quite content with general admiration:
there was, or there seemed, at this time, more danger for his head than
his heart--more danger that his head should be turned with the foolish
attentions paid him by many silly girls, than that he should be a dupe
to a passion for any one of them: there was imminent danger of his
becoming a mere dancing, driving, country coxcomb.



CHAPTER X.

One day when Harry Ormond was out shooting with Moriarty Carroll,
Moriarty abruptly began with, "Why then, 'tis what I am thinking, Master
Harry, that King Corny don't know as much of that White Connal as I do."
"What do _you_ know of Mr. Connal?" said Harry, loading his piece. "I
didn't know you had ever seen him." "Oh! but I did, and no great sight
to see. Unlike the father, old Connal, of Glynn, who is the gentleman to
the last, every inch, even with the coat dropping off his back; and the
son, with the best coat in Christendom, has not the look of a gentleman
at-all--at-all--nor hasn't it in him, inside no more than outside."
"You may be mistaken there, as you have never been withinside of him,
Moriarty," said Ormond. "Oh! faith, and if I have not been withinside of
him, I have heard enough from them that seen him turned inside out, hot
and cold. Sure I went down there last summer, to his country, to see a
shister of my own that's married in it; and lives just by Connal's Town,
as the man calls that sheep farm of his." "Well, let the gentleman call
his own place what he will--" "Oh! he may call it what he plases for
me--I know what the country calls him; and lest your honour should not
ax me, I'll tell you: they call him White Connal the negre!--Think of
him that would stand browbating the butcher an hour, to bate down the
farthing a pound in the price of the worst bits of the mate, which he'd
bespake always for the servants; or stand, he would--I've seen him with
my own eyes--higgling with the poor child with the apron round the neck,
that was sent to sell him the eggs--" "Hush! Moriarty," said Ormond, who
did not wish to hear any farther particulars of Mr. Connal's domestic
economy: and he silenced Moriarty, by pointing to a bird. But the bird
flew away, and Moriarty returned to his point. "I wouldn't be telling
the like of any jantleman, but to show the nature of him. The minute
after he had screwed the halfpenny out of the child, he'd throw down,
may be, fifty guineas in gould, for the horse he'd fancy for his own
riding: not that he rides better than the sack going to the mill, nor so
well; but that he might have it to show, and say he was better mounted
than any man at the fair: and the same he'd throw away more guineas than
I could tell, at the head of a short-horned bull, or a long-horned bull,
or some kind of a bull from England, may be, just becaase he'd think
nobody else had one of the breed in all Ireland but himself." "A very
good thing, at least, for the country, to improve the breed of cattle."
"The country!--'Tis little the man thinks of the country that never
thought of any thing but himself, since his mother sucked him." "Suckled
him, you mean," said Harry. "No matter--I'm no spaker--but I know that
man's character nevertheless: he is rich; but a very bad character the
poor gives him up and down." "Perhaps, because he is rich." "Not at all;
the poor loves the rich that helps with the kind heart. Don't we
all love King Corny to the blacking of his shoes?--Oh! there's the
difference!--who could like the man that's always talking of the
_craturs_, and yet, to save the life of the poorest cratur that's forced
to live under him, wouldn't forbear to drive, and pound, and process,
for the little _con_ acre, the potatoe ridge, the cow's grass, or the
trifle for the woman's peck of flax, was she dying, and sell the
woman's last blanket?--White Connal is a hard man, and takes all to the
uttermost farthing the law allows." "Well, even so, I suppose the law
does not allow him more than his due," said Ormond. "Oh! begging your
pardon, Master Harry," said Moriarty, "that's becaase you are not a
lawyer." "And are you?" said Harry.

"Only as we all are through the country. And now I'll only just tell
you, Master Harry, how this White Connal sarved my shister's husband,
who was an under-tenant to him:--see, the case was this--" "Oh! don't
tell me a long case, for pity's sake. I am no lawyer--I shall not
understand a word of it." "But then, sir, through the whole consarning
White Connal, what I'm thinking of, Master Harry," said Moriarty, "is,
I'm grieving that a daughter of our dear King Corny, and such a pretty
likely girl as Miss Dora--" "Say no more, Moriarty, for there's a
partridge." "Oh! is it so with you?" thought Moriarty--"that's just
what I wanted to know--and I'll keep your secret: I don't forget Peggy
Sheridan--and his goodness."

Moriarty said not a word more about White Connal, or Miss Dora; and he
and Harry shot a great many birds this day.

It is astonishing how quickly, and how justly, the lower class of people
in Ireland discover and appreciate the characters of their superiors,
especially of the class just above them in rank.

Ormond hoped that Moriarty had been prejudiced in his account of White
Connal, and that private feelings had induced him to exaggerate. Harry
was persuaded of this, because Cornelius O'Shane had spoken to him
of Connal, and had never represented him to be a _hard_ man. In fact,
O'Shane did not know him. White Connal had a property in a distant
county, where he resided, and only came from time to time to see his
father. O'Shane had then wondered to see the son grown so unlike the
father; and he attributed the difference to White Connal's having turned
grazier. The having derogated from the dignity of an idle gentleman, and
having turned grazier was his chief fault in King Corny's eyes: so that
the only point in Connal's character and conduct, for which he deserved
esteem, was that for which his intended father-in-law despised him.
Connal had early been taught by his father's example, who was an idle,
decayed, good gentleman, of the old Irish stock, that genealogies and
old maps of estates in other people's possessions, do not gain quite
so much respect in this world as solid wealth. The son was determined,
therefore, to get money; but in his horror of his father's indolence and
poverty, he ran into a contrary extreme--he became not only industrious,
but rapacious.

In going lately to Dublin to settle with a sales master, he had called
on Dora at her aunt's in Dublin, and he had been "greatly struck," as he
said, "with Miss O'Shane; she was as fine a girl as any in Ireland--turn
out who they could against her; all her _points_ good. But, better
than beauty, she would be no contemptible fortune: with her aunt's
assistance, she would cut up well; she was certain of all her father's
Black Islands--fine improvable land, if well managed."

These considerations had their full effect. Connal, knowing that the
young lady was his destined bride, had begun by taking the matter
coolly, and resolving to wait for the properest time to wed; yet
the sight of Dora's charms had so wrought upon him, that he was now
impatient to conclude the marriage immediately. Directly after seeing
Dora in Dublin, he had gone home and "put things in order and in train
to bear his absence," while he should pay a visit to the Black Islands.
Business, which must always be considered before pleasure, had detained
him at home longer than he had foreseen: but now certain rumours he
heard of gay doings in the Black Islands, and a letter from his father,
advising him not to delay longer paying his respects at Corny Castle,
determined him to set out. He wrote to Mr. O'Shane to announce his
intention, and begged to have the answer directed to his father's at
Glynn.

One morning as Miss O'Faley, Mr. O'Shane, and Ormond, were at breakfast,
Dora, who was usually late, not having yet appeared, Miss O'Faley saw a
little boy running across the fields towards the house. "That boy runs
as if he was bringing news," said she.

"So he has a right to do," said Corny: "if I don't mistake that's the
post; that is, it is not the post, but a little _special_ of my own--a
messenger I sent off to _catch post_."

"To do what?" said Mademoiselle.

"Why, to catch post," said Corny. "I bid him gallop off for the life
and _put across (lake_ understood) to the next post town, which is
Ballynaslugger, and to put in the letters that were too late here
at that office there; and to bring back whatever he found, with no
delay--but gallop off for the bare life."

This was an operation which the boy performed, whenever requisite, at
the imminent hazard of his neck every time, to say nothing of his chance
of drowning.

"Well, Catch-post, my little rascal," said King Corny, "what have you
for us the day?"

"I got nothing at all, only a wetting for myself, plase your honour, and
one bit of a note for your honour, which I have here for you as dry as
the bone in my breast."

He produced the bit of a note, which, King Corny's hands being at that
time too full of the eggs and the kettle to receive graciously, was laid
down on the corner of the table, from which it fell, and Miss O'Faley
picking it up, and holding it by one corner, exclaimed, "Is this what
you call dry as a bone, in this country? And mighty clean, too--faugh!
When will this entire nation leave off chewing tobacco, I wonder! This
is what you style clean, too, in this country?"

"Why, then," said the boy, looking close at the letter, "I thought it
was clane enough when I got it--and give it--but 'tis not so clane now,
sure enough; this corner--whatever come over it--would it be the snuff,
my lady?"

The mark of Miss O'Faley's thumb was so visible, and the snuff so
palpable, and the effort to brush it from the wet paper so disastrous,
that Miss O'Faley let the matter rest where it was. King Corny put
silver into the boy's hand, bidding him not be too much of a rogue; the
boy, smiling furtively, twitched the hair on his forehead, bobbed his
head in sign of thanks, and drawing, not shutting, the door after him,
disappeared.

"As sure as I'm Cornelius O'Shane, this is White Connal _in propria
persona_," said he, opening the note.

"Mon Dieu! Bon Dieu! Ah, Dieu!" cried Mdlle. O'Faley.

"Hush! Whisht!" cried the father--"here's Dora coming." Dora came in.
"Any letter for me?" "Ay, darling, one for _you_."

"Oh, give it me! I'm always in a desperate hurry for my letters: where
is it?"

"No--you need not hold out your pretty hand; the letter is _for you_,
but not to you," said King Corny; "and now you know--ay, now you
guess--my quick little blusher, who 'tis from."

"I guess? not I, indeed--not worth my guessing," cried Dora, throwing
herself sideways into a chair. "My tea, if you please, aunt." Then,
taking the cup, without adverting to Harry, who handed it to her, she
began stirring the tea, as if it and all things shared her scorn.

"Ma chère! mon chat!" said Mdlle. O'Faley, "you are quite right to spare
yourself the trouble of guessing; for I give it you in two, I give it
you in four, I give it you in eight, and you would never guess right.
Figure to yourself only, that a man, who has the audacity to call
himself a lover of Miss O'Shane's, could fold, could seal, could direct
a letter in such a manner as this, which you here behold."

Dora, who during this speech had sat fishing for sugar in her tea-cup,
raised her long eyelashes, and shot a scornful glance at the letter;
but intercepting a crossing look of Ormond's, the expression of her
countenance suddenly changed, and with perfect composure she observed,
"A man may fold a letter badly, and be nevertheless a very good man."

"That nobody can possibly contradict," said her father; "and on all
occasions 'tis a comfort to be able to say what no one can contradict."

"No well-bred person will never contradict nothing," said Miss O'Faley.
"But, without contradicting you, my child." resumed Miss O'Faley, "I
maintain the impossibility of his being a _gentleman_ who folds a letter
so."

"But if folding a letter is all a man wants of being a gentleman," said
Dora, "it might be learnt, I should think; it might be taught--"

"If you were the teacher, Dora, it might, surely," said her father.

"But Heaven, I trust, will arrange that better," said mademoiselle.

"Whatever Heaven arranges must be best," said Dora.

"Heaven and your father, if you please, Dora," said her father: "put
that and that together, like a dutiful daughter, as you must be."

"Must!" said Dora, angrily.

"That offensive _must_ slipped out by mistake, darling; I meant only
being _you_, you must be all that's dutiful and good."

"Oh!" said Dora, "that's another view of the subject."

"You have a very imperfect view of the subject, yet," said her father;
"for you have both been so taken up with the manner, that you have never
thought of inquiring into the matter of this letter."

"And what is the matter?" said Miss O'Faley.

"_Form_!" continued the father, addressing himself to his daughter;
"_form_, I acknowledge, is one thing, and a great thing in a daughter's
eyes."

Dora blushed. "But in a father's eyes substance is apt to be more."

Dora raised her cup and saucer together to her lips at this instant,
so that the substance of the saucer completely hid her face from her
father.

"But," said Miss O'Faley, "you have not told us yet what the man says."

"He says he will be here whenever we please."

"That's never," said Miss O'Faley: "never, I'd give for answer, if my
pleasure is to be consulted."

"Luckily, there's another person's pleasure to be consulted here," said
the father, keeping his eyes fixed upon his daughter.

"Another cup of tea, aunt, if you please."

"Then the sooner the better, I say," continued her father; "for when a
disagreeable thing is to be done--that is, when a thing that's not quite
agreeable to a young lady, such as marriage--" Dora took the cup of
tea from her aunt's hand, Harry not interfering--"I say," persisted her
father, "the sooner it's done and over, the better."

Dora saw that Ormond's eyes were fixed upon her: she suddenly tasted,
and suddenly started back from her scalding tea; Harry involuntarily
uttered some exclamation of pity; she turned, and seeing his eyes still
fixed upon her, said, "Very rude, sir, to stare at any one so."

"I only thought you had scalded yourself."

"Then you only thought wrong."

"At any rate, there's no great occasion to be angry with me, Dora."

"And who is angry, pray, Mr. Ormond? What put it in your head that I was
doing you the honour to be angry with you?"

"The cream! the cream!" cried Miss O'Faley.

A sudden motion, we must not say an angry motion of Dora's elbow, had
at this moment overset the cream ewer; but Harry set it up again, before
its contents poured on her new riding-habit.

"Thank you," said she, "thank you; but," added she, changing the places
of the cream ewer and cups and saucers before her, "I'd rather manage
my own affairs my own way, if you'd let me, Mr. Ormond--if you'd leave
me--I can take care of myself my own way."

"I beg your pardon for saving your habit from destruction, for that is
the only cause of offence that I am conscious of having given. But I
leave you to your own way, as I am ordered," said he, rising from the
breakfast table.

"Sparring! sparring again, you two!" said Dora's father: "but, Dora,
I wonder whether you and White Connal were sparring that way when you
met."

"Time enough for that, sir, after marriage," said Dora.

Our hero, who had stood leaning on the back of his chair, fearing that
he had been too abrupt in what he had said, cast a lingering look at
Dora, as her father spoke about White Connal, and as she replied; but
there was something so unfeminine, so unamiable, so decided and bold,
he thought, in the tone of her voice, as she pronounced the word
_marriage_, that he then, without reluctance, and with a feeling of
disgust, quitted the room, and left her "to manage her own affairs, and
to take her own way."



CHAPTER XI.

Our young hero, hero-like, took a solitary walk to indulge his feelings;
and as he rambled, he railed to his heart's content against Dora.

"Here all my plans of happiness and improvement are again overturned:
Dora cannot improve me, can give me no motive for making myself any
thing better than what I am. Polish my manners! no, when she has such
rude, odious manners herself; much changed for the worse--a hundred
times more agreeable when she was a child. Lost to me she is every
way--no longer my playfellow--no chance of her being my friend. Her good
father hoped she would be a sister to me--very sorry I should be to have
such a sister: then I am to consider her as a married woman--pretty
wife she will make! I am convinced she cares no more for that man she is
going to marry than I do--marrying merely to be married, to manage her
own affairs, and have her own way--so childish!--or marrying merely
to get an establishment--so base! How women, and such young creatures,
_can_ bring themselves to make these venal matches--I protest Peggy
Sheridan's worth a hundred of such. Moriarty may think himself a happy
fellow--Suzy--Jenny, any body--only with dress and manner a little
different--is full as good in reality. I question whether they'd give
themselves, without liking, to any White Connal in their own rank, at
the first offer, for a few sheep, or a cow, or to have their own way."

Such was the summing up of the topics of invective, which, during a two
hours' walk, had come round and round continually in Ormond's indignant
fancy. He went plucking off the hawthorn blossoms in his path, till at
one desperate tug, that he gave to a branch which crossed his way, he
opened to a bank that sloped down to the lake. At a little distance
below him he saw old Sheelah sitting under a tree rocking herself
backwards and forwards; while Dora stood motionless opposite to her,
with her hand covering her eyes, and her head drooping. They neither of
them saw Ormond, and he walked on pursuing his own path; it led close
behind the hedge to the place where they were, so close, that the
sounds "Willastrew! Willastrew!" from Old Sheelah, in her funereal tone,
reached his ear, and then the words, "Oh, my heart's darling! so young
to be a sacrifice--But what next did he say?"

Ormond's curiosity was strongly excited; but he was too honourable to
listen or to equivocate with conscience: so to warn them that some one
was within hearing, he began to whistle clear and strong. Both the old
woman and the young lady started.

"Murder!" cried Sheelah, "it's Harry Ormond. Oh! did he overhear any
thing--or all, think ye?"

"Not I," answered Ormond, leaping over the hedge directly, and standing
firm before them: "I _overheard_ nothing--I _heard_ only your last
words, Sheelah--you spoke so loud I could not help it. They are as safe
with me as with yourself--but don't speak so loud another time, if
you are talking secrets; and whatever you do, never suspect me of
listening--I am incapable of _that_, or any other baseness."

So saying, he turned his back, and was preparing to vault over the hedge
again, when he heard Dora, in a soft low voice, say, "I never suspected
you, Harry, of that, or any other baseness."

"Thank you, Dora," said he, turning with some emotion, "thank you, Dora,
for this first, this only kind word you've said to me since you came
home."

Looking at her earnestly, as he approached nearer, he saw the traces of
tears, and an air of dejection in her countenance, which turned all
his anger to pity and tenderness in an instant. With a soothing tone he
said, "Forgive my unseasonable reproach--I was wrong--I see you are not
as much to blame as I thought you were."

"To blame!" cried Dora. "And pray how--and why--and for what did you
think me to blame, sir?"

The impossibility of explanation, the impropriety of what he had said
flashed suddenly on his mind; and in a few moments a rapid succession
of ideas followed. "Was Dora to blame for obeying her father, for being
ready to marry the man to whom her father had destined--promised her
hand; and was he, Harry Ormond, the adopted child, the trusted friend of
the family, to suggest to the daughter the idea of rebelling against her
father's will, or disputing the propriety of his choice?"

Ormond's imagination took a rapid flight on Dora's side of the question,
and he finished with the _conviction_ that she was "a sacrifice, a
martyr, and a miracle of perfection!" "Blame you, Dora!" cried he,
"blame you! No--I admire, I esteem, I respect you. Did I say that I
blamed you? I did not know what I said, or what I meant."

"And are you sure you know any better what you say or what you mean,
now?" said Dora.

The altered look and tone of tartness in which this question was asked
produced as sudden a change in Harry's _conviction_. He hesitatingly
answered, "I am--"

"He is," said Sheelah, confidently.

"I did not ask your opinion, Sheelah: I can judge for myself," said
Dora. "Your words tell me one thing, sir, and your looks another," said
she, turning to Ormond; "which am I to believe, pray?"

"Oh! believe the young man any way, sure," said Sheelah; "silence speaks
best for him."

"Best against him, in my opinion," said Dora.

"Dora, will you hear me?" Ormond began.

"No, sir, I will not," interrupted Dora. "What's the use of hearing or
listening to a man who does not, by the confession of his own eyes, and
his own tongue, know two minutes together _what_ he means, or mean two
minutes together the same thing? A woman might as well listen to a fool
or a madman!"

"Too harsh, too severe, Dora," said he.

"Too true, too sincere, perhaps you mean."

"Since I am allowed, Dora, to speak to you as a brother--"

"Who allowed you, sir?" interrupted Dora.

"Your father, Dora."

"My father cannot, shall not! Nobody but nature can make any man my
brother--nobody but myself shall allow any man to call himself my
brother."

"I am sorry I presumed so far, Miss O'Shane--I was only going to offer
one word of advice."

"I want no advice--I will take none from you, sir."

"You shall have none, madam, henceforward, from Harry Ormond."

"'Tis well, sir. Come away, Sheelah."

"Oh! wait, dear--Och! I am too old," said Sheelah, groaning as she rose
slowly. "I'm too slow entirely for these quick passions."

"Passions!" cried Dora, growing scarlet and pale in an instant: "what do
you mean by passions, Sheelah?"

"I mean _changes_," said Sheelah, "changes, dear. I am ready
now--where's my stick? Thank you, Master Harry. Only I say I can't
change my quarters and march so quick as you, dear."

"Well, well, lean on me," said Dora impatiently.

"Don't hurry, poor Sheelah--no necessity to hurry away from me," said
Ormond, who had stood for a few moments like one transfixed. "'Tis for
me to go--and I will go as fast and as far as you please, Dora, away
from you and for ever."

"For ever!" said Dora: "what do you mean?"

"Away from the Black Islands? he can't mean that," said Sheelah.

"Why not?--Did not I leave Castle Hermitage at a moment's warning?"

"_Warning!_ Nonsense!" cried Dora: "lean on him, Sheelah--he has
frightened you; lean on him, can't you?--sure he's better than your
stick. Warning!--where did you find that pretty word? Is Harry Ormond
then turned footman?"

"Harry Ormond!--and a minute ago she would not let me--Miss O'Shane, I
shall not forget myself again--amuse yourself with being as capricious
as you please, but not at my expense; little as you think of me, I am
not to be made your butt or your dupe: therefore, I must seriously beg,
at once, that I may know whether you wish me to stay or to go."

"To stay, to be sure, when my father invites you. Would you expose me to
his displeasure? you know he can't bear to be contradicted; and you know
that he asked you to stay and live here."

"But without exposing you to any displeasure, I can," replied Ormond,
"contrive--"

"Contrive nothing at all--do leave me to contrive for myself. I don't
mean to say _leave_ me--you take up one's words so quickly, and are so
passionate, Mr. Ormond."

"If you would have me understand you, Dora, explain how you wish me to
live with you."

"Lord bless me! what a fuss the man makes about living with one--one
would think it was the most difficult thing in the world. Can't you
live on like any body else? There's my aunt in the hedge-row walk,
all alone--I must go and take care of her: I leave you to take care
of Sheelah--you know you were always very good-natured when we were
children."

Dora went off quick as lightning, and what to make of her, Ormond did
not well know. Was it mere childishness, or affectation, or coquetry?
No; the real tears, and real expression of look and word forbade each
of these suppositions. One other cause for her conduct might have been
suggested by a vain man. Harry Ormond was not a vain man; but a little
fluttering delight was just beginning to play round his head, when
Sheelah, leaning heavily on his arm as they ascended the bank, reminding
him of her existence--"My poor old Sheelah!" said he, "are you not
tired?"

"Not now, thanks to your arm, Master Harry, dear, that was always good
to me--not now--I am not a whit tired; now I see all right again between
my childer--and happy I was, these five minutes past, watching you
smiling to yourself; and I don't doubt but all the world will smile on
ye yet. If it was my world, it should. But I can only wish you my best
wish, which I did long ago--_may you live to wonder at your own good
luck!_"

Ormond looked as if he was going to ask some question that interested
him much, but it ended by wondering what o'clock it was. Sheelah
wondered at him for thinking what the hour was, when she was talking of
Miss Dora. After a silence, which brought them to the chicken-yard door,
where Sheelah was "to quit his arm," she leaned heavily again.

"The marriage--that they are all talking of in the kitchen, and every
where through the country--Miss Dora's marriage with White Connal, is
reprieved for the season. She axed time till she'd be seventeen--very
rasonable. So it's to be in October--if we all live till those days--in
the same mind. Lord, he knows--I know nothing at all about it; but I
thank you kindly, Master Harry, and wish you well, any way. Did you ever
happen to see the bridegroom that is to be?"

"Never."

Harry longed to hear what she longed to say; but he did not deem it
prudent, he did not think it honourable, to let her enter on this topic.
The prudential consideration might have been conquered by curiosity;
but the honourable repugnance to obtaining second-hand information, and
encouraging improper confidence, prevailed. He deposited Sheelah safe on
her stone bench at the chicken-yard door, and, much against her will, he
left her before she had told or hinted to him all she did know--and all
she did not know.

The flattering delight that played about our young hero's head had
increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished. Of this he
was sensible. It should never come near his heart--of that he was
determined; he would exactly follow the letter and spirit of his
benefactor's commands--he would always consider Dora as a married woman;
but the prospect of there being some temptation, and some struggle, was
infinitely agreeable to our young hero--it would give him something to
do, something to think of, something to feel.

It was much in favour of his resolution, that Dora really was not at
all the kind of woman he had pictured to himself, either as amiable or
charming: she was not in the least like his last patterns of heroines,
or any of his approved imaginations of the _beau ideal_. But she was
an exceedingly pretty girl; she was the only very pretty and tolerably
accomplished girl immediately near him. A dangerous propinquity!



CHAPTER XII.

White Connal and his father--we name the son first, because his superior
wealth inverting the order of nature, gave him, in his own opinion,
the precedency on all occasions--White Connal and his father arrived
at Corny Castle. King Corny rejoiced to see his old friend, the elder
Connal; but through all the efforts that his majesty made to be more
than civil to the son, the degenerate grazier, his future son-in-law,
it was plain that he was only keeping his promise, and receiving such a
guest as he ought to be received.

Mademoiselle decided that old Connal, the father, was quite a gentleman,
for he handed her about, and in his way had some politeness towards the
sex; but as for the son, her abhorrence must have burst forth in
plain English, if it had not exhaled itself safely in French, in every
exclamation of contempt which the language could afford. She called
him _bête!_ and _grand bête!_ by turns, _butor! âne!_ and _grand
butor!--nigaud!_ and _grand nigaud!_--pronounced him to be "Un homme
qui ne dit rien--d'ailleurs un homme qui n'a pas l'air comme il faut--un
homme, enfin, qui n'est pas présentable--même en fait de mari."

Dora looked unutterable things; but this was not unusual with her. Her
scornful airs, and short answers, were not more decidedly rude to White
Connal than to others; indeed she was rather more civil to him than to
Ormond. There was nothing in her manner of keeping Connal at a distance,
beyond what he, who had not much practice or skill in the language of
female coquetry, might construe into maiden coyness to the acknowledged
husband lover.

It seemed as if she had some secret hope, or fear, or reason, for
not coming to open war: in short, as usual, she was odd, if not
unintelligible. White Connal did not disturb himself at all to follow
her doublings: his pleasure was not in the chase--he was sure the game
was his own.

Be bold, but not too bold, White Connal!--be negligent, but not too
negligent, of the destined bride. 'Tis bad, as you say, to be spoiling
a _wife_ before marriage; but what if she should never _be_ your wife?
thought some.

That was a contingency that never had occurred to White Connal. Had he
not horses, and saddles, and bridles, and bits, finer than had ever been
seen before in the Black Islands? And had he not thousands of sheep, and
hundreds of oxen? And had he not the finest pistols, and the most famous
fowling-pieces? And had he not thousands in paper, and thousands in
gold; and if he lived, would he not have tens of thousands more? And had
he not brought with him a plan of Connal's-town, the name by which he
dignified a snug slated lodge he had upon one of his farms--an elevation
of the house to be built, and of the offices that had been built?

He had so. But it happened one day, when Connal was going to ride out
with Dora, that just as he mounted, her veil fluttering before his
horse's eyes, startled the animal; and the awkward rider being unable
to manage him, King Corny begged Harry Ormond to change horses with
him, that Mr. Connal might go quietly beside Dora, "who was a bit of a
coward."

Imprudent father! Harry obeyed--and the difference between the riders
and the gentlemen was but too apparent. For what avails it that you have
the finest horse, if another ride him better? What avails it that you
have the finest saddle, if another become it better? What use to you
your Wogden pistols, if another hit the mark you miss? What avails
the finest fowling-piece to the worst sportsman? The thousands upon
thousands to him who says but little, and says that little ill? What
avail that the offices at Connal's town be finished, dog-kennel and
all? or what boots it that the plan and elevation of Connal's-town be
unrolled, and submitted to the fair one's inspection and remarks, if the
fair disdain to inspect, and if she remark only that a cottage and
love are more to her taste? White Connal put none of these questions to
himself--he went on his own way. Faint heart never won fair lady. Then
no doubt he was in a way to win, for his heart never quailed, his colour
never changed when he saw his fair one's furtive smiles, or heard her
aunt's open praises of the youth, by whom riding, dancing, shooting,
speaking, or silent, he was always eclipsed. Connal of Connal's-town
despised Harry Ormond of no-town--viewed him with scornful, but not with
jealous eyes: idle jealousies were far from Connal's thoughts--he was
intent upon the noble recreation of cock-fighting. Cock-fighting had
been the taste of his boyish days, before he became a money-making man;
and at every interval of business, at each intermission of the passion
of avarice, when he had leisure to think of amusement, this his first
idea of pleasure recurred. Since he came to Corny Castle, he had at
sundry times expressed to his father his "hope in Heaven, that before
they would leave the Black Islands, they should get some good _fun_,
cock-fighting; for it was a poor case for a man that is not used to
it, to be tied to a woman's apron-strings, twirling his thumbs all the
mornings, for form's sake."

There was a strolling kind of gentleman in the Islands, a Mr. O'Tara,
who was a famous cock-fighter. O'Tara came one day to dine at Corny
Castle. The kindred souls found each other out, and an animated
discourse across the table commenced concerning cocks. After dinner, as
the bottle went round, the rival cock-fighters, warmed to enthusiasm in
praise of their birds. Each relating wonders, they finished by proposing
a match, laying bets and despatching messengers and hampers for their
favourites. The cocks arrived, and were put in separate houses, under
the care of separate feeders.

Moriarty Carroll, who was curious, and something of a sportsman, had
a mind to have a peep at the cocks. Opening the door of one of the
buildings hastily, he disturbed the cock, who taking fright, flew about
the barn with such violence, as to tear off several of his feathers,
and very much to deface his appearance. Unfortunately, at this instant,
White Connal and Mr. O'Tara came by, and finding what had happened,
abused Moriarty with all the vulgar eloquence which anger could
supply. Ormond, who had been with Moriarty, but who had no share in
the disaster, endeavoured to mitigate the fury of White Connal and
apologized to Mr. O'Tara: O'Tara was satisfied!--shook hands with
Ormond, and went off. But White Connal's anger lasted longer: for many
reasons he disliked Ormond; and thinking from Harry's gentleness, that
he might venture to insult him, returned to the charge, and becoming
high and brutal in his tone, said that "Mr. Ormond had committed an
ungentlemanlike action, which it was easier to apologize for than to
defend." Harry took fire, and instantly was much more ready than his
opponent wished to give any other satisfaction that Mr. Connal desired.
Well, "Name his hour--his place." "To-morrow morning, six o'clock, in
the east meadow, out of reach and sight of all," Ormond said; or he was
ready at that instant, if Mr. Connal pleased: he hated, he said, to bear
malice--he could not sleep upon it.

Moriarty now stepping up privately, besought Mr. Connal's "honour, for
Heaven and earth's sake, to recollect, if he did not know it, what a
desperate good shot Mr. Harry notoriously was always."

"What, you rascal! are you here still?" cried White Connal: "Hold your
peace! How dare you speak between gentlemen?"

Moriarty begged pardon and departed. The hint he had given, however,
operated immediately upon White Connal.

"This scattered-brained young Ormond," said he to himself, "desires
nothing better than to fight. Very natural--he has nothing to lose in
the world but his bare life: neither money, nor landed property as I
have to quit, in leaving the world--unequal odds. Not worth my while
to stand his shot, for the feather of a cock," concluded Connal, as he
pulled to pieces one of the feathers, which had been the original cause
of all the mischief.

Thus cooled, and suddenly become reasonable, he lowered his tone,
declaring that he did not mean to say any thing in short that could
give offence, nothing but what it was natural for any man in the heat
of passion to say, and it was enough to put a man in a passion at first
sight to see his favourite bird disfigured. If he had said any thing too
strong, he hoped Mr. Ormond would excuse it.

Ormond knew what the heat of passion was, and was willing to make all
proper allowances. White Connal made more than proper apologies; and
Ormond rejoiced that the business was ended. But White Connal, conscious
that he had first bullied, then quailed, and that if the story were
repeated, it would tell to his disadvantage, made it his anxious request
that he would say nothing to Cornelius O'Shane of what had passed
between them, lest it should offend Cornelius, who he knew was so fond
of Mr. Ormond. Harry eased the gentleman's mind, by promising that he
would never say a word about the matter. Mr. Connal was not content till
this promise was solemnly repeated. Even this, though it seemed quite
to satisfy him at the time, did not afterwards relieve Connal from the
uneasy consciousness he felt in Ormond's company. He could bear it only
the remainder of this day. The next morning he left the Black Islands,
having received letters of business, he said, which required his
immediate presence at Connal's-town. Many at Corny Castle seemed willing
to dispense with his further stay, but King Corny, true to his word and
his character, took leave of him as his son-in-law, and only, as far
as hospitality required, was ready to "speed the parting guest." At
parting, White Connal drew his future father-in-law aside, and gave him
a hint, that he had better look sharp after that youth he was fostering.

"Harry Ormond, do you mean?" said O'Shane.

"I do," said Connal: "but, Mr. O'Shane, don't go to mistake me, I am
not jealous of the man--not capable--of such a fellow as that--a wild
scatterbrains, who is not worth a sixpence scarce--I have too good an
opinion of Miss Dora. But if I was in your place, her father, just for
the look of the thing in the whole country, I should not like it: not
that I mind what people say a potato skin; but still, if I was her
father, I'd as soon have the devil an inmate and intimate in my house,
nuzzling in my daughter's ear behind backs."

Cornelius O'Shane stoutly stood by his young friend.

He never saw Harry Ormond _muzzling_--behind backs, especially--did not
believe any such thing: all Harry said and did was always above-board,
and before faces, any way. "In short," said Cornelius, "I will answer
for Harry Ormond's honour with my own honour. After that, 'twould be
useless to add with my life, if required--that of course; and this ought
to satisfy any son-in-law, who was a gentleman--none such could glance
or mean to reflect on Dora."

Connal, perceiving he had overshot himself, made protestations of his
innocence of the remotest intention of glancing at, or reflecting upon,
or imagining any thing but what was perfectly angelic and proper in Miss
Dora--Miss O'Shane.

"Then that was all as it should be," Mr. O'Shane said, "so far: but
another point he would not concede to mortal man, was he fifty times his
son-in-law promised, that was, his own right to have who he pleased and
_willed_ to have, at his own castle, his inmate and his intimate."

"No doubt--to be sure," Connal said: "he did not mean--he only meant--he
could not mean--in short, he meant nothing at all, only just to put Mr.
O'Shane on his guard--that was all he meant."

"Phoo!" said Cornelius O'Shane; but checking the expression of his
contempt for the man, he made an abrupt transition to Connal's horse,
which had just come to the door.

"That's a handsome horse! certainly you are well mounted, Mr. Connal."

O'Shane's elision of contempt was beyond Mr. Connal's understanding or
feeling.

"Well mounted! certainly I am _that_, and ever will be, while I can
so well afford it," said Connal, mounting his horse; and identifying
himself with the animal, he sat proudly, then bowing to the ladies, who
were standing at an open window, "Good day to ye, ladies, till October,
when I hope--"

But his horse, who did not seem quite satisfied of his identity with the
man, would not permit him to say more, and off he went--half his hopes
dispersed in empty air.

"I know I wish," said Cornelius O'Shane to himself, as he stood on the
steps, looking after the man and horse, "I wish that that unlucky bowl
of punch had remained for ever unmixed, at the bottom of which I found
this son-in-law for my poor daughter, my innocent Dora, then unborn; but
she must make the best of him for me and herself, since the fates and
my word, irrevocable as the Styx, have bound me to him, the purse-proud
grazier and mean man--not a remnant of a gentleman! as the father was.
Oh, my poor Dora!"

As King Corny heaved a heartfelt sigh, very difficult to force from his
anti-sentimental bosom, Harry Ormond, with a plate of meat in his hand,
whistling to his dog to follow him, ran down the steps.

"Leave feeding that dog, and come here to me, Harry," said O'Shane, "and
answer me truly such questions as I shall ask."

"_Truly_--if I answer at all," said Harry.

"Answer you must, when I ask you: every man, every gentleman, must
answer in all honour for what he does."

"Certainly, answer _for_ what he does," said Harry.

"_For!_--Phoo! Come, none of your tricks upon prepositions to gain
time--I never knew you do the like--you'll give me a worse opinion. I'm
no schoolmaster, nor you a grammarian, I hope, to be equivocating on
monosyllables."

"Equivocate! I never equivocated, sir," said Harry.

"Don't begin now, then," said Cornelius: "I've enough to put me out of
humour already--so answer straight, like yourself. What's this you've
done to get the ill-will of White Connal, that's just gone?"

Surprised and embarrassed, Ormond answered, "I trust I have not his
ill-will, sir."

"You have, sir," said O'Shane.

"Is it possible?" cried Harry, "when we shook hands--You must have
misunderstood, or have been misinformed. How do you know, my dear sir?"

"I know it from the man's own lips, see! I can give you a straight
answer at once. Now answer me, was there any quarrel between you? and
what cause of offence did you give?"

"Excuse me, sir--those are questions which I cannot answer."

"Your blush, young man, answers me enough, and too much. Mark me, I
thought I could answer for your honour with my own, and I did so."

"Thank you, sir, and you shall never have reason--"

"Don't interrupt me, young man. What reason can I have to judge of the
future, but from the past? I am not an idiot to be bothered with fair
words."

"Oh! sir, can you suspect?"

"I suspect nothing, Harry Ormond: I am, I thank my God, above suspicion.
Listen to me. You know--whether I ever told it you before or not, I
can't remember--but whether or not, you _know_ as well as if you were
withinside of me--that in my heart's core there's not a man alive I
should have preferred for my son-in-law to the man I once thought Harry
Ormond, without a penny--"

"Once thought!"

"Interrupt me again, and I'll lave you, sir. In confidence between
ourselves, thinking as once I did, that I might depend on your
friendship and discretion, equally with your honour, I confessed, I
repented a rash promise, and let you see my regret deep enough that my
son-in-law will never be what Dora deserves--I said, or let you see
as much, no matter which; I am no equivocator, nor do I now unsay or
retract a word. You have my secret; but remember when first I had the
folly to tell it you, same time I warned you--I warned you, Harry, like
the moth from the candle--I warned you in vain. In another tone I warn
you now, young man, for the last time--I tell you my promise to me is
sacred--she is as good as married to White Connal--fairly tied up neck
and heels--and so am I, to all intents and purposes; and if I thought it
were possible you could consider her, or make her by any means consider
herself, in any other light, I will tell you what I would do--I would
shoot myself; for one of us must fall, and I wouldn't choose it should
be you, Harry. That's all."

"Oh! hear me, sir," cried Harry, seizing his arm as he turned away,
"kill me if you will, but hear me--I give you my word you are from
beginning to end mistaken. I cannot tell you the whole--but this much
believe, Dora was not the cause of quarrel."

"Then there was a quarrel. Oh, for shame! for shame!--you are not used
to falsehood enough yet--you can't carry it through--why did you attempt
it with _me_?"

"Sir, though I can't tell you the truth, the foolish truth, I tell you
no falsehood. Dora's name, a thought of Dora, never came in question
between Mr. Connal and me, upon my honour."

"Your honour!" repeated Cornelius, with a severe look--severe more in
its sorrow than its anger. "O Harry Ormond! what signifies whether the
name was mentioned? You know she was the thing--the cause of offence.
Stop! I charge you--equivocate no more. If a lie's beneath a gentleman,
an equivocation is doubly beneath a man."



CHAPTER XIII.

Harry Ormond thought it hard to bear unmerited reproach and suspicion;
found it painful to endure the altered eye of his once kind and always
generous, and to him always dear, friend and benefactor. But Ormond had
given a solemn promise to White Connal never to mention any thing that
had passed between them to O'Shane; and he could not therefore explain
these circumstances of the quarrel. Conscious that he was doing right,
he kept his promise to the person he hated and despised, at the hazard,
at the certainty, of displeasing the man he most loved in the world; and
to whom he was the most obliged. While his heart yearned with tenderness
towards his adopted father, he endured the reproach of ingratitude; and
while he knew he had acted perfectly honourably, he suffered under the
suspicion of equivocation and breach of confidence: he bore it all; and
in reward he had the conviction of his own firmness, and an experience,
upon trial, of his adherence to his word of honour. The trial may seem
but trivial, the promise but weak: still it was a great trial to him,
and he thought the promise as sacred as if it had been about an affair
of state.

It happened some days after the conversation had passed between him and
O'Shane, that Cornelius met O'Tara, the gentleman who had laid the
bets about the cock-fight with Connal; and chancing to ask him what had
prevented the intended battle, O'Tara told all he knew of the adventure.
Being a good-natured and good-humoured man, he stated the matter as
playfully as possible--acknowledged that they had all been foolish and
angry; but that Harry Ormond and Moriarty had at last pacified them by
proper apologies. Of what had passed afterwards, of the bullying, and
the challenge, and the submission, O'Tara knew nothing; but King Corny
having once been put on the right scent, soon made it all out. He sent
for Moriarty, and cross-questioning him, heard the whole; for Moriarty
had not been sworn to secrecy, and had very good ears. When he had been
turned out of the stable, he had retreated only to the harness-room,
and had heard all that had passed. King Corny was delighted with
Harry's spirit--and now he was Prince Harry again, and the generous,
warm-hearted Cornelius went, in impatience, to seek him out, and to beg
his pardon for his suspicions. He embraced him, called him son, and
dear son--said he had now found out, no thanks to him, Connal's cause of
complaint, and it had nothing to do with Dora.--"But why could not you
say so, man?"

He had said so repeatedly.

"Well, so I suppose it is to be made out clearly to be all my fault,
that was in a passion, and could not hear, understand, or believe.
Well, be it so; if I was unjust, I'll make it up to you, for I'll never
believe my own ears, or eyes, against you, Harry, while I live, depend
upon it:--if I heard you asking her to marry you, I would believe my
ears brought me the words wrong; if I saw you even leading her into the
church instead of the chapel, and the priest himself warning me of it,
I'd say and think, Father Jos, 'tis a mistake--a vision--or a defect of
vision. In short, I love and trust you as my own soul, Harry Ormond, for
I did you injustice."

This full return of kindness and confidence, besides the present delight
it gave him, left a permanent and beneficial impression upon our young
hero's mind. The admiration he felt for O'Shane's generous conduct, and
the self-approbation he enjoyed in consequence of his own honourable
firmness, had a great effect in strengthening and forming his character:
it also rendered him immediately more careful in his whole behaviour
towards Miss O'Shane. He was prudent till both aunt and niece felt
indignant astonishment. There was some young lady with whom Harry had
danced and walked, and of whom he had, without any design, spoken as
a pleasing _gentle_ girl. Dora recollected this praise, and joining it
with his present distant behaviour toward herself, she was piqued and
jealous; and then she became, what probably she would never otherwise
have been, quite decided in her partiality for Harry Ormond. The proofs
of this were soon so manifest, that many thought, and Miss O'Faley in
particular, that Harry was grown stupid, blind, and deaf. He was net
stupid, blind, or deaf--he had felt the full power of Dora's personal
charms, and his vanity had been flattered by the preference which Dora
showed for him. Where vanity is the ruling passion, young men are easily
flattered into being in love with any pretty, perhaps with any ugly
girl, who is, or who affects to be, in love with them. But Harry Ormond
had more tenderness of heart than vanity: against the suggestions of
his vanity he had struggled successfully; but now his heart had a hard
trial. Dora's spirits were failing, her cheek growing pale, her tone of
voice was quite softened; sighs would sometimes break forth--persuasive
sighs!--Dora was no longer the scornful lady in rude health, but the
interesting invalid--the victim going to be sacrificed. Dora's aunt
talked of the necessity of _advice_ for her niece's health. Great stress
was laid on air and exercise, and exercise on horseback. Dora rode every
day on the horse Harry Ormond broke in for her, the only horse she could
now ride; and Harry understood _its ways_, and managed it so much better
than any body else; and Dora was grown a coward, so that it was quite
necessary he should ride or walk beside her. Harry Ormond's tenderness
of heart increased his idea of the danger. Her personal charms became
infinitely more attractive to him; her defects of temper and character
were forgotten and lost in his sense of pity and gratitude; and the
struggle of his feelings was now violent.

One morning our young hero rose early, for he could no longer sleep,
and he walked out, or, more properly, he rambled, or he strolled, or
_streamed_ out, and he took his way--no, his steps were irresistibly
led--to his accustomed haunt by the water side, under the hawthorn bank,
and there he walked and picked daisies, and threw stones into the lake,
and he loitered on, still thinking of Dora and death, and of the
circles in the water, and again of the victim and of the sacrifice, when
suddenly he was roused from his reverie by a shrill whistle, that seemed
to come from the wood above, and an instant afterwards he heard some one
shouting, "Harry Ormond!--Harry Ormond!"

"Here!" answered Harry; and as the shouts were repeated he recognized
the voice of O'Tara, who now came, whip in hand, followed by his dogs,
running down the bank to him.

"Oh! Harry Ormond, I've brought great news with me for all at Corny
Castle; but the ladies are not out of their nests, and King Corny's Lord
knows how far off. Not a soul or body to be had but yourself here, by
good luck, and you shall have the first of the news, and the telling of
it."

"Thank you," said Ormond; "and what is the news?"

"First and foremost," said O'Tara, "you know birds of a feather flock
together. White Connal, though, except for the cock-fighting, I
never relished him, was mighty fond of me, and invited me down to
Connal's-town, where I've been with him this week--you know that much, I
conclude."

Harry owned he did not.

O'Tara wondered how he could help knowing it. "But so it was; we had a
great cock-fight, and White Connal, who knew none of my _secrets_ in the
feeding line, was bet out and out, and angry enough he was; and then I
offered to change birds with him, and beat him with his own Ginger by my
superiority o' feeding, which he scoffed at, but lookup the bet."

Ormond sighed with impatience in vain--he was forced to submit, and to
go through the whole detail of the cock-fight. "The end of it was, that
White Connal was _worsted_ by his own bird, and then mad angry was he.
So, then," continued O'Tara, "to get the triumph again on his side, one
way or another, was the thing. I had the advantage of him in dogs,
too, for he kept no hounds--you know he is close, and hounds lead to a
gentlemanlike expense; but very fine horses he had, I'll acknowledge,
and, Harry Ormond, you can't but remember that one which he could not
manage the day he was out riding here with Miss Dora, and you changed
with him."

"I remember it well," said Ormond.

"Ay, and he has got reason to remember it now, sure enough."

"Has he had a fall?" said Ormond, stopping.

"Walk on, can't ye--keep up, and I'll tell you all regular."

"There is King Corny!" exclaimed Ormond, who just then saw him come in
view.

"Come on, then," cried O'Tara, leaping over a ditch that was between
them, and running up to King Corny. "Great news for you, King Corny,
I've brought--your son-in-law elect, White Connal, is off."

"Off--how?"

"Out of the world clean! Poor fellow, broke his neck with that horse
he could never manage--on Sunday last. I left him for dead Sunday
night--found him dead Monday morning--came off straight with the news to
you."

"Dead!" repeated Corny and Harry, looking at one another. "Heaven
forbid!" said Corny, "that I should--"

"Heaven forbid!" repeated Harry; "but--"

"But good morning to you both, then," said O'Tara: "shake hands either
way, and I'll condole or congratulate to-morrow as the case may be, with
more particulars if required."

O'Tara ran off, saying he would be back again soon; but he had great
business to do. "I told the father last night."

"I am no hypocrite," said Corny. "Rest to the dead and all their
faults! White Connal is out of my poor Dora's way, and I am free from
my accursed promise!" Then clasping his hands, "Praised be Heaven for
_that_!--Heaven is too good to me!--Oh, my child! how unworthy White
Connal of her!--Thank Heaven on my knees, with my whole heart, thank
Heaven that I am not forced to the sacrifice!--My child, my darling
Dora, she is free!--Harry Ormond, my dear boy, I'm free," cried O'Shane,
embracing Harry with all the warmth of paternal affection.

Ormond returned that embrace with equal warmth, and with a strong sense
of gratitude: but was his joy equal to O'Shane's? What were his feelings
at this moment? They were in such confusion, such contradiction, he
could scarcely tell. Before he heard of White Connal's death, at the
time when he was throwing pebbles into the lake, he desired nothing so
much as to be able to save Dora from being sacrificed to that odious
marriage; he thought, that if he were not bound in honour to his
benefactor, he should instantly make that offer of his hand and heart
to Dora, which would at once restore her to health, and happiness,
and fulfil the wishes of her kind, generous father. But now, when
all obstacles seemed to vanish--when his rival was no more--when his
benefactor declared his joy at being freed from his promise--when he was
embraced as O'Shane's _son_, he did not feel joy: he was surprised to
find it; but he could not. Now that he could marry Dora, now that her
father expected that he should, he was not clear that he wished it
himself. Quick as obstacles vanished, objections recurred: faults which
he had formerly seen so strongly, which of late compassion had veiled
from his view, reappeared; the softness of manner, the improvement
of temper, caused by love, might be transient as passion. Then her
coquetry--her frivolity. She was not that superior kind of woman which
his imagination had painted, or which his judgment could approve of in a
wife. How was he to explain this confusion of feeling to Corny? Leaning
on his arm, he walked on towards the house. He saw Corny, smiling at his
own meditations, was settling the match, and anticipating the joy to all
he loved. Harry sighed, and was painfully silent.

"Shoot across like an arrow to the house," cried Corny, turning suddenly
to him, and giving him a kind push--"shoot off, Harry, and bring Dora to
meet me like lightning, and the poor aunt, too--'twould be cruel else!
But what stops you, son of my heart?"

"Stay!" cried Corny, a sudden thought striking him, which accounted for
Harry Ormond's hesitation; "Stop, Harry! You are right, and I am a fool.
There is Black Connal, the twin-brother--oh, mercy!--against us still.
May be Old Connal will keep me to it still--as he couldn't, no more than
I could, foresee that when I promised Dora that was not then born, it
would be twins--and as I said son, and surely I meant the son that
would be born then--and twins is all as one as one, they say. Promise
fettering still! Bad off as ever, may be," said Cornelius. His whole
countenance and voice changed; he sat down on a fallen tree, and
rested his hands on his knees. "What shall we do now, Harry, with Black
Connal?"

"He may be a very different man from White Connal--in every respect,"
said Ormond.

O'Shane looked up for a moment, and then interpreting his own way,
exclaimed, "That's right, Harry--that thought is like yourself, and the
very thought I had myself. We must make no declarations till we have
cleared the point of honour. Not the most beautiful angel that ever
took woman's beautiful form--and that's the greatest temptation man can
meet--could tempt my Harry Ormond from the straight path of honour!"

Harry Ormond stood at this moment abashed by praise which he did not
quite deserve. "Indeed, sir," said he, "you give me too much credit." "I
cannot give you too much credit; you are an honourable young man, and I
understand you through and through."

That was more than Harry himself did. Corny went on talking to himself
aloud, "Black Connal is abroad these great many years, ever since he was
a boy--never saw him since a child that high--an officer he is in the
Irish brigade now--black eyes and hair; that was why they called him
Black Connal--Captain Connal now; and I heard the father say he was come
to England, and there was some report of his going to be married, if I
don't mistake," cried Corny, turning again to Harry, pleasure rekindling
in his eye. "If that should be! there's hope for us still; but I see you
are right not to yield to the hope till we are clear. My first step,
in honour, no doubt, must be across the lake this minute to the
father--Connal of Glynn; but the boat is on the other side. The horn is,
with my fishing-tackle, Harry, down yonder--run, for you can run--horn
the boat, or if the horn be not there, sign to the boat with your
handkerchief--bring it up here, and I will put across before ten minutes
shall be over--my horse I will have down to the water's edge by the time
you have got the boat up--when an honourable tough job is to be done,
the sooner the better."

The horse was brought to the water's edge, the boat came across, Corny
and his horse were in; and Corny, with his own hands on the oar, pushed
away from land: then calling to Harry, he bid him wait on the shore _by_
such an hour, and he should have the first news.

"Rest on your oars, you, while I speak to Prince Harry.

"That you may know all, Harry, sooner than I can tell you, if all be
safe, or as we wish it, see, I'll hoist my neckcloth, _white_, to the
top of this oar; if not, the _black_ flag, or none at all, shall tell
you. Say nothing till then--God bless you, boy!" Harry was glad that he
had these orders, for he knew that as soon as Mademoiselle should be up,
and hear of O'Tara's early visit, with the message he said he had left
at the house that he brought _great news_, Mademoiselle would soon sally
forth to learn what that news might be. In this conjecture Ormond was
not mistaken. He soon heard her voice "Mon-Dieu!-ing" at the top of the
bank: he ducked--he dived--he darted through nettles and brambles, and
escaped. Seen or unseen he escaped, nor stopped his flight even when
out of reach of the danger. As to trusting himself to meet Dora's eyes,
"'twas what he dared not."

He hid, and wandered up and down, till near dinner-time. At last,
O'Shane's boat was seen returning--but no white flag! The boat rowed
nearer and nearer, and reached the spot where Harry stood motionless.

"Ay, my poor boy, I knew I'd find you so," said O'Shane, as he got
ashore. "There's my hand, you have my heart--I wish I had another hand
to give you--but it's all over with us, I fear. Oh! my poor Dora!--and
here she is coming down the bank, and the aunt!--Oh, Dora! you have
reason to hate me!"

"To hate you, sir? Impossible!" said Ormond, squeezing his hand
strongly, as he felt.

"Impossible!--true--for _her_ to hate, who is all love and
loveliness!--impossible too for _you_, Harry Ormond, who is all
goodness!"

"Bon Dieu!" cried Mademoiselle, who was now within exclamation distance.
"What a _course_ we have had after you, gentlemen! Ladies looking
for gentlemen!--C'est inouï!--What is it all? for I am dying with
curiosity."

Without answering Mademoiselle, the father, and Harry's eyes, at the
same moment, were fixed on one who was some steps behind, and who looked
as if dying with a softer passion. Harry made a step forward to offer
his arm, but stopped short; the father offered his, in silence.

"Can nobody speak to me?--Bien poli!" said Mademoiselle.

"If you please, Miss O'Faley, ma'am," cried a hatless footman, who
had run after the ladies the wrong way from the house: "if you please,
ma'am, will _she_ send up dinner now?"

"Oui, qu'on serve!--Yes, she will. Let her dish--by that time she is
dished, we shall be in--and have satisfied our curiosity, I hope," added
she, turning to her brother-in-law.

"Let us dine first," said Cornelius, "and when the cloth is removed,
and the waiting-ears out of hearing, time enough to have our talk to
ourselves."

"Bien singulier, ces Anglois!" muttered Mademoiselle to herself, as they
proceeded to the house. "Here is a young man, and the most polite of the
silent company, who may well be in some haste for his dinner; for to my
knowledge, he is without his breakfast."

Harry had no appetite for dinner, but swallowed as much as Mademoiselle
O'Faley desired. A remarkably silent meal it would have been, but for
her happy volubility, equal to all occasions. At last came the long
expected words, "Take away." When all was taken away, and all were gone,
but those who, as O'Shane said, would too soon wish unheard what they
were dying to hear, he drew his daughter's chair close to him, placed
her so as "to save her blushes," and began his story, by relating all
that O'Tara had told.

"It was a sudden death--shocking!" Mademoiselle repeated several
times; but both she and Dora recovered from the shock, or from the word
"shocking!" and felt the delight of Dora's being no longer a sacrifice.

After a general thanksgiving having been offered for her escape from the
_butor_, Mademoiselle, in transports, was going on to say that now her
niece was free to make a suitable match, and she was just turning to
wonder that Harry Ormond was not that moment at her niece's feet; and
Dora's eyes, raised slowly towards him and suddenly retracted, abashed
and perplexed Harry indescribably; when Corny continued thus: "Dora is
not free, nor am I free in honour yet, nor can I give any body freedom
of tongue or heart until I know farther."

Various exclamations of surprise and sorrow interrupted him.

"Am I never, never, to be free!" cried Dora: "Oh! am not I now at
liberty?"

"Hear me, my child," said her father; "I feel it as you do."

"And what is it next--Qu'est-ce que c'est--this new obstacle?--What can
it be?" said Mademoiselle.

The father then stated sorrowfully, that Old Connal of Glynn would by no
means relinquish the promise, but considered it equally binding for the
twin born with White Connal, considering both twins as coming under
the promise to his _son_ that was to be born. He said he would write
immediately to his son, who was now in England.

"And now tell me what kind of a person is this new pretender, this Mr.
Black Connal," cried Mademoiselle.

"Of him we know nothing as yet," said O'Shane; "but I hope, in Heaven,
that the man that is coming is as different from the man that's gone as
black from white."

Harry heard Dora breathe quick and quicker, but she said nothing.

"Then we shall get his answer to the father's letter in eight days, I
count," said Mademoiselle; "and I have great hopes we shall never be
troubled with him: we shall know if he will come or not, in eight days."

"About that time," said O'Shane: "but, sister O'Faley, do not nurse my
child or yourself up with deceitful hopes. There's not a man alive--not
a Connal, surely, hearing what happiness he is heir to, but would
come flying over post-haste. So you may expect his answer, in eight
days--Dora, my darling, and God grant he may be--"

"No matter what he is, sir--I'll die before I will see him," cried Dora,
rising, and bursting into tears.

"Oh, my child, you won't die!--you can't--from me, your father!" Her
father threw his arms round her, and would have drawn her to him, but
she turned her face from him: Harry was on the other side--her eyes met
his, and her face became covered with blushes.

"Open the window, Harry!" said O'Shane, who saw the conflict; "open the
window!--we all want it."

Harry opened the window, and hung out of it gasping for breath.

"She's gone--the aunt has taken her off--it's over for this fit," said
O'Shane. "Oh, my child, I must go through with it! My boy, I honour as I
love you--I have a great deal to say about your own affairs, Harry."

"My affairs--oh! what affairs have I? Never think of me, dear sir--"

"I will--but can't now--I am spent for this day--leave out the bottle of
claret for Father Jos, and I'll get to bed--I'll see nobody, tell Father
Jos--I'm gone to my room."

The next morning O'Tara came to breakfast. Every person had a different
question to ask him, except Dora, who was silent.

Corny asked what kind of man Black Connal was. Mademoiselle inquired
whether he was most French or English; Ormond, whether he was going to
be married.

To all these questions O'Tara pleaded ignorance: except with respect to
the sports of the field, he had very little curiosity or intelligence.

A ray of hope again darted across the mind of Corny. From his knowledge
of the world, he thought it very probable that a young officer in the
French brigade would be well contented to be heir to his brother's
fortune, without encumbering himself with an Irish wife, taken from an
obscure part of the country. Corny, therefore, eagerly inquired from
O'Tara what became of White Connal's property. O'Tara answered, that the
common cry of the country was, that all White Connal's profitable farms
were leasehold property, and upon his own life. Poor Corny's hopes were
thus frustrated: he had nothing left to do for some days but to pity
Harry Ormond, to bear with the curiosity and impatience of Mademoiselle,
and with the froward sullenness of Dora, till some intelligence should
arrive respecting the new claimant to her destined hand.



CHAPTER XIV

A few days afterwards, Sheelah, bursting into Dora's room, exclaimed,
"Miss Dora! Miss Dora! for the love of God, they are coming! They're
coming down the avenue, _powdering_ along! Black Connal himself flaming
away, with one in a gold hat, this big, galloping after, and all gold
over, he is entirely!--Oh! what will become of us, Master Harry, now!
Oh! it took the sight out of my eyes!--And yours as red as ferrets,
dear!--Oh! the _cratur_. But come to the window and look out--nobody
will mind--stretch out the body, and I'll hold ye fast, never fear!--at
the turn of the big wood do you see them behind the trees, the fir
dales, glittering and flaming? Do you see them at all?"

"Too plainly," said Dora, sighing; "but I did not expect he would come
in such a grand style. I wonder--"

"Oh! so do I, greatly--mostly at the carriage. Never saw the like with
the Connals, so grand--but the queer thing--"

"Ah! my dear Dore, un cabriolet!" cried Mademoiselle, entering in
ecstacy. "Here is Monsieur de Connal for you in a French cabriolet, and
a French servant riding on to advertise you and all. Oh! what are you
twisting your neck, child? I will have no toss at him now--he is all
the gentleman, you shall see: so let me set you all to rights while
your father is receive. I would not have him see you such a horrible
figure--not presentable! you look--"

"I do not care how I look--the worse the better," said Dora: "I wish to
look a horrible figure to him--to Black Connal."

"Oh! put your Black Connals out of your head--that is always in your
mouth: I tell you he is call M. de Connal. Now did I not hear him this
minute announced by his own valet?--Monsieur de Connal presents his
compliments--he beg permission to present himself--and there was I,
luckily, to answer for your father in French."

"French! sure Black Connal's Irish born!" said Sheelah: "that much I
know, any way."

A servant knocked at the door with King Corny's request that the ladies
would come down stairs, to see, as the footman added to his master's
message, to see old Mr. Connal and the French gentleman.

"There! French, I told you," said Mademoiselle, "and quite the
gentleman, depend upon it, my dear--come your ways."

"No matter what he is," said Dora, "I shall not go down to see him; so
you had better go by yourself, aunt."

"Not one step! Oh! that would be the height of impolitesse and
disobedience--you could not do that, my dear Dore; consider, he is not
a man that nobody knows, like your old butor of a White Connal. Not
signify how bad you treat him--like the dog; but here is a man of a
certain quality, who knows the best people in Paris, who can talk, and
tell every where. Oh! in conscience, my dear Dore, I shall not suffer
these airs with a man who is somebody, and--"

"If he were the king of France," cried Dora, "if he were Alexander
the Great himself, I would not be forced to see the man, or marry him
against my will!"

"Marry! Who talk of marry? Not come to that yet; ten to one he has no
thought of you, more than politeness require."

"Oh! as to that," said Dora, "aunt, you certainly are mistaken there.
What do you think he comes over to Ireland, what do you think he comes
here for?"

"Hark! then," said Sheelah, "don't I hear them out of the window?
Faith! there they are, walking and talking and laughing, as if there was
nothing at all in it."

"Just Heavens! What a handsome uniform!" said Miss O'Faley; "and a very
proper-looking man," said Sheelah.

"Well, who'd have thought Black Connal, if it's him, would ever have
turned out so fine a presence of a man to look at?"

"Very cavalier, indeed, to go out to walk, without waiting to see us,"
said Dora.

"Oh! I will engage it was that dear father of yours hoisted him out."

"Hoisted him out! Well, aunt, you do sometimes speak the oddest English.
But I do think it strange that he should be so very much at his
ease. Look at him--hear him--I wonder what he is saying--and Harry
Ormond!--Give me my bonnet, Sheelah--behind you, quick. Aunt, let us go
out of the garden door, and meet them out walking, by accident--that is
the best way--I long to see how _somebody_ will look."

"Very good--now you look all life and spirit--perfectly charming! Look
that manner, and I'll engage he will fall in love with you."

"He had better not, I can tell him, unless he has a particular pleasure
in being refused," said Dora, with a toss of her head and neck, and at
the same time a glance at her looking-glass, as she passed quickly out
of the room.

Dora and her aunt walked out, and accidentally met the gentlemen in
their walk. As M. de Connal approached, he gave them full leisure to
form their opinions as to his personal appearance. He had the air of a
foreign officer--easy, fashionable, and upon uncommonly good terms with
himself--conscious, but with no vulgar consciousness, of possessing a
fine figure and a good face: his was the air of a French coxcomb, who
in unconstrained delight, was rather proud to display, than anxious to
conceal, his perfect self-satisfaction. Interrupting his conversation
only when he came within a few paces of the ladies, he advanced with an
air of happy confidence and Parisian gallantry, begging that Mr. O'Shane
would do him the honour and pleasure to present him. After a bow, that
said nothing, to Dora, he addressed his conversation entirely to
her aunt, walking beside Mademoiselle, and neither approaching nor
attempting to speak to Dora; he did not advert to her in the least, and
seemed scarcely to know she was present. This quite disconcerted the
young lady's whole plan of proceedings--no opportunity was afforded
her of showing disdain. She withdrew her arm from her aunt's, though
Mademoiselle held it as fast as she could--but Dora withdrew it
resolutely, and falling back a step or two, took Harry Ormond's arm, and
walked with him, talking with as much unconcern, and as loudly as she
could, to mark her indifference. But whether she talked or was silent,
walked on with Harry Ormond, or stayed behind, whispered or laughed
aloud, it seemed to make no impression, no alteration whatever in
Monsieur de Connal: he went on conversing with Mademoiselle, and with
her father, alternately in French and English. In English he spoke
with a native Irish accent, which seemed to have been preserved from
childhood; but though the brogue was strong, yet there were no vulgar
expressions: he spoke good English, but generally with somewhat of
French idiom. Whether this was from habit or affectation it was not
easy to decide. It seemed as if the person who was speaking, thought in
French, and translated it into English as he went on. The peculiarity
of manner and accent--for there was French mixed with the Irish--fixed
attention; and besides Dora was really curious to hear what he was
saying, for he was very entertaining. Mademoiselle was in raptures while
he talked of Paris and Versailles, and various people of consequence and
fashion at the court. The Dauphiness!--she was then but just married--de
Connal had seen all the fêtes and the fireworks--but the beautiful
Dauphiness!--In answering a question of Mademoiselle's about the colour
of her hair, he for the first time showed that he had taken notice of
Dora. "Nearly the colour, I think, of that young lady's hair, as well
as one can judge; but powder prevents the possibility of judging
accurately."

Dora was vexed to see that she was considered merely _as a young lady_:
she exerted herself to take a part in the conversation, but Mr.
Connal never joined in conversation with her--with the most scrupulous
deference he stopped short in the middle of his sentence, if she began
to speak. He stood aside, shrinking into himself with the utmost care,
if she was to pass; he held the boughs of the shrubs out of her way,
but continued his conversation with Mademoiselle all the time. When they
came in from their walk, the same sort of thing went on. "It really
is very extraordinary," thought she: "he seems as if he was
spell-bound--obliged by his notions of politeness to let me pass
incognita."

Mademoiselle was so fully engaged, chattering away, that she did not
perceive Dora's mortification. The less notice Connal took of her,
the more Dora wished to attract his attention: not that she desired to
please him--no, she only longed to have the pleasure of refusing him.
For this purpose the offer must be made--and it was not at all clear
that any offer would be made.

When the ladies went to dress before dinner, Mademoiselle, while she was
presiding at Dora's toilette, expressed how much she was delighted with
M. de Connal, and asked what her niece thought of him? Dora replied
that indeed she did not trouble herself to think of him at all--that she
thought him a monstrous coxcomb--and that she wondered what could bring
so prodigiously fine a gentleman to the Black Islands.

"Ask your own sense what brought him here! or ask your own looking-glass
what shall keep him here!" said Miss O'Faley. "I can tell you he thinks
you very handsome already; and when he sees you dress!"

"Really! he does me honour; he did not seem as if he had even seen me,
more than any of the trees in the wood, or the chairs in the room."

"Chairs!--Oh, now you fish for _complimens!_ But I shall not tell you
how like he thinks you, if you were mise à la Françoise, to la belle
Comtesse de Barnac."

"But is not it very extraordinary, he absolutely never spoke to me,"
said Dora: "a very strange manner of paying his court!"

Mademoiselle assured Dora "that this was owing to M. de Connal's French
habits. The young ladies in Paris passing for nothing, scarcely ever
appearing in society till they are married, the gentlemen have no
intercourse with them, and it would be considered as a breach of respect
due to a young lady or her mother, to address much conversation to
her. And you know, my dear Dore, their marriages are all make up by
the father, the mother, the friends--the young people themselves never
speak, never know nothing at all about each one another, till the
contract is sign: in fact, the young lady is the little round what you
call cipher, but has no value in société at all, till the figure of de
husband come to give it the value."

"I have no notion of being a cipher," said Dora: "I am not a French
young lady, Monsieur de Connal."

"Ah, but my dear Dore, consider what is de French wife! Ah! then come
her great glory; then she reign over all hearts, and is in full liberté
to dress, to go, to come, to do what she like, with her own carriage,
her own box at de opera, and--You listen well, and I shall draw all that
out for you, from M. de Connal."

Dora languidly, sullenly begged her aunt would not give herself the
trouble--she had no curiosity. But nevertheless she asked several
questions about la Comtesse de Barnac; and all the time saying she did
not in the least care what he thought or said of her, she drew from
her aunt every syllable that M. de Connal had uttered, and was secretly
mortified and surprised to find he had said so little. She could not
dress herself to her mind to-day, and protesting she did not care how
she looked, she resigned herself into her aunt's hands. Whatever he
might think, she should take care to show him at dinner that young
ladies in this country were not ciphers.

At dinner, however, as before, all Dora's preconcerted airs of disdain
and determination to show that she was somebody, gave way, she did not
know how, before M. de Connal's easy assurance and polite indifference.
His knowledge of the world, and his talents for conversation, with the
variety of subjects he had flowing in from all parts of the world, gave
him advantages with which there was no possibility of contending.

He talked, and carved--all life, and gaiety, and fashion: he spoke of
battles, of princes, plays, operas, wine, women, cardinals, religion,
politics, poetry, and turkeys stuffed with truffles--and Paris for
ever!--Dash on! at every thing!--hit or miss--sure of the applause of
Mademoiselle--and, as he thought, secure of the admiration of the whole
company of natives, from _le beau-père_, at the foot of the table, to
the boy who waited, or who did not wait, opposite to him, but who stood
entranced with wonder at all that M. de Connal said, and all that he
did--even to the fashion in which he stowed trusses of salad into his
mouth with a fork, and talked--through it all.

And Dora, what did she think?--she thought she was very much mortified
that there was room for her to say so little. The question now was not
what she thought of M. de Connal, but what he thought of her. After
beginning with various little mock defences, avertings of the head,
and twists of the neck, of the shoulders and hips, compound motions
resolvable into _mauvaise honte_ and pride, as dinner proceeded, and
Monsieur de Connal's _success_ was undoubted, she silently gave up her
resolution "not to admire."

Before the first course was over, Connal perceived that he had her eye:
"Before the second is over," thought he, "I shall have her ear; and
by the time we come to the dessert, I shall be in a fair way for the
heart."

Though he seemed to have talked without any design, except to amuse
himself and the company in general, yet in all he had said there had
been a prospective view to his object. He chose his means well, and in
Mademoiselle he found, at once, a happy dupe and a confederate. Without
previous concert, they raised visions of Parisian glory which were to
prepare the young lady's imagination for a French lover or a French
husband. M. de Connal was well aware that no matter who touched her
heart, if he could pique her vanity.

After dinner, when the ladies retired, old Mr. Connal began to enter
upon the question of the intended union between the families--Ormond
left the room, and Corny suppressed a deep sigh. M. de Connal took an
early opportunity of declaring that there was no truth in the report of
his going to be married in England: he confessed that such a thing
had been in question--he must speak with delicacy--but the family and
connexions did not suit him; he had a strong prejudice, he owned, in
favour of ancient family--Irish family; he had always wished to marry
an Irish woman--for that reason he had avoided opportunities that might
have occurred of connecting himself, perhaps advantageously, in France;
he was really ambitious of the honour of an alliance with the O'Shanes.
Nothing could be more fortunate for him than the friendship which
had subsisted between his father and Mr. O'Shane.--And the
promise?--Relinquish it!--Oh! that, he assured Mr. O'Shane, was quite
impossible, provided the young lady herself should not make a decided
objection--he should abide by her decision--he could not possibly think
of pressing his suit, if there should appear any repugnance: in that
case, he should be infinitely mortified--he should be absolutely in
despair; but he should know how to submit--cost him what it would:
he should think, as a man of honour, it was his part to sacrifice his
wishes, to what the young lady might conceive to be for her happiness.

He added a profusion of compliments on the young lady's charms, with a
declaration of the effect they had already produced on his heart.

This was all said with a sort of nonchalance, which Corny did not at
all like. But Mademoiselle, who was summoned to Corny's private
council, gave it as her opinion, that M. de Connal was already quite in
love--quite as much as a French husband ever was. She was glad that her
brother-in-law was bound by his promise to a gentleman who would really
be a proper husband for her niece. Mademoiselle, in short, saw every
thing _couleur de rose_; and she urged, that, since M. de Connal had
come to Ireland for the express purpose of forwarding his present suit,
he ought to be invited to stay at Corny Castle, that he might endeavour
to make himself acceptable to Dora.

To this Corny acceded. He left Mademoiselle to make the invitation; for,
he said, she understood French politeness, and _all that_, better than
he did. The invitation was made and accepted, with all due expressions
of infinite delight.

"Well, my dear Harry Ormond," said Corny, the first moment he had an
opportunity of speaking to Harry in private, "what do you think of this
man?"

"What Miss O'Shane thinks of him is the question," said Harry, with some
embarrassment.

"That's true--it was too hard to ask you. But I'll tell you what I
think: between ourselves, Black Connal is better than White, inasmuch as
a puppy is better than a brute. We shall see what Dora will say or think
soon--the aunt is over head and ears already: women are mighty apt to
be taken, one way or other, with a bit of a coxcomb. Vanity--vanity! but
still I know--I suspect, Dora has a heart: from me, I hope, she has a
right to a heart. But I will say no more till I see which way the heart
turns and _settles_, after all the little tremblings and variations:
when it points steady, I shall know how to steer my course. I have a
scheme in my head, but I won't mention it to you, Harry, because it
might end in disappointment: so go off to bed and to sleep, if you can;
you have had a hard day to go through, my poor honourable Harry."

And poor honourable Harry had many hard days to go through. He had now
to see how Dora's mind was gradually worked upon, not by a new passion,
for Mr. Connal never inspired or endeavoured to inspire passion, but by
her own and her aunt's vanity. Mademoiselle with constant importunity
assailed her: and though Dora saw that her aunt's only wish was to
settle in Paris, and to live in a fine hotel; and though Dora was
persuaded, that for this, her aunt would without scruple sacrifice
her happiness and that of Harry Ormond; yet she was so dazzled by
the splendid representation of a Parisian life, as not to see very
distinctly what object she had herself in view. Connal's flattery, too,
though it had scarcely any pretence to the tone of truth or passion,
yet contrasting with his previous indifference, gratified her. She was
sensible that he was not attached to her as Harry Ormond was, but she
flattered herself that she should quite turn his head in time. She tried
all her power of charming for this purpose, at first chiefly with the
intention of exciting Harry's jealousy, and forcing him to break his
honourable resolution. Harry continued her first object for some
little time, but soon the idea of piquing him was merely an excuse for
coquetry. She imagined that she could recede or advance with her new
admirer, just as she thought proper; but she was mistaken: she had now
to deal with a man practised in the game: he might let her appear to
win, but not for nothing would he let her win a single move; yet he
seemed to play so carelessly, as not in the least to alarm, or put
her on her guard. The bystanders began to guess how the game would
terminate: it was a game in which the whole happiness of Dora's life
was at stake, to say nothing of his own, and Ormond could not look on
without anxiety--and, notwithstanding his outwardly calm appearance,
without strong conflicting emotions. "If," said he to himself, "I were
convinced that this man would make her happy, I think I could be happy
myself." But the more he saw of Connal, the less he thought him likely
to make Dora happy; unless, indeed, her vanity could quite extinguish
her sensibility: then, Monsieur de Connal would be just the husband to
suit her.

Connal was exactly what he appeared to be--a gay young officer, who had
made his own way up in the world--a petit-maître, who had really lived
in good company at Paris, and had made himself agreeable to women of
rank and fortune. He might, perhaps, as he said, with his figure, and
fashion, and connexions, have made his fortune in Paris by marriage, had
he had time to look about him--but a sudden run of ill-fortune at play
had obliged him to quit Paris for a season. It was necessary to make
his fortune by marriage in England or Ireland, and as expeditiously as
possible. In this situation, Dora, with her own and her aunt's property,
was, as he considered it, an offer not to be rashly slighted; nor yet
was he very eager about the matter--if he failed here, he should succeed
elsewhere. This real indifference gave him advantages with Dora, which
a man of feeling would perhaps never have obtained, or never have kept.
Her father, though he believed in the mutable nature of woman, yet
could scarcely think that his daughter Dora was of this nature. He could
scarcely conceive that her passion for Harry Ormond--that passion which
had, but a short time before, certainly affected her spirits, and put
him in fear for her health--could have been conquered by a coxcomb, who
cared very little whether he conquered or not.

How was this possible? Good Corny invented many solutions of the
problem: he fancied one hour that his daughter was sacrificing herself
from duty to him, or complaisance to her aunt; the next hour, he
settled, and with more probability, that she was piqued by Harry
Ormond's not showing more passion. King Corny was resolved to know
distinctly how the matter really was: he therefore summoned his daughter
and aunt into his presence, and the person he sent to summon them was
Harry Ormond.

"Come back with them, yourself, Harry--I shall want you also."

Harry returned with both the ladies. By the countenance of Cornelius
O'Shane, they all three augured that he had something of importance
to say, and they stood in anxious expectation. He went to the point
immediately.

"Dora, I know it is the custom on some occasions for ladies never to
tell the truth--therefore I shall not ask any question that I think will
put your truth to the test. I shall tell you my mind, and leave you to
judge for yourself. Take as long or as short a time to know your own
mind as you please--only know it clearly, and send me your answer by
your aunt. All I beg is, that when the answer shall be delivered to
me, this young man may be by. Don't interrupt me, Dora--I have a high
opinion of him," said he, keeping his eye upon Dora's face.

"I have a great esteem, affection, love for him:" he pronounced the
words deliberately, that he might see the effect on Dora; but her
countenance was as undecided as her mind--no judgment could be formed
from its changes. "I wish Harry Ormond," continued he, "to know all my
conduct: he knows that, long ago, I made a foolish promise to give my
daughter to a man I knew nothing about."

Mademoiselle was going to interrupt, but Cornelius O'Shane silenced her.
"Mademoiselle--sister O'Faley, I will do the best I can to repair that
folly--and to leave you at liberty, Dora, to follow the choice of your
heart."

He paused, and again studied her countenance, which was agitated.

"Her choice is your choice--her father's choice is always the choice of
the good daughter," said Mademoiselle.

"I believe she is a good daughter, and that is the particular reason I
am determined to be as good a father as I can to her."

Dora wept in silence--and Mademoiselle, a good deal alarmed, wanted to
remove Harry Ormond out of the young lady's sight: she requested him to
go to her apartment for a smelling-bottle for her niece.

"No, no," said King Corny, "go yourself, sister O'Faley, if you like it,
but I'll not let Harry Ormond stir--he is my witness present. Dora is
not fainting--if you would only let her alone, she would do well. Dora,
listen to me: if you don't really prefer this Black Connal for a husband
to all other men, as you are to swear at the altar you do, if you marry
him--"

Dora was strongly affected by the solemn manner of her father's appeal
to her.

"If," continued her father, "you are not quite clear, my dear child,
that you prefer him to other men, do not marry him. I have a notion I
can bring you off without breaking my word: listen. I would willingly
give half my fortune to secure your happiness, my darling. If I do not
mistake him, Mr. Connal would, for a less sum, give me back my promise,
and give you up altogether, my dear Dora."

Dora's tears stopped, Mademoiselle's exclamations poured forth, and they
both declared they were certain that Mr. Connal would not, for any thing
upon earth that could be offered to him, give up the match.

Corny said he was willing to make the trial, if they pleased.
Mademoiselle seemed to hesitate; but Dora eagerly accepted the proposal,
thanked her father for his kindness, and declared that she should be
happy to have, and to abide by, this test of Mr. Connal's love. If he
were so base as to prefer half her fortune to herself, she should, she
said, think herself happy in having escaped from such a traitor.

Dora's pride was wakened, and she now spoke in a high tone: she always,
even in the midst of her weaknesses, had an ambition to show spirit.

"I will put the test to him myself, within this hour," said Corny; "and
before you go to bed this night, when the clock strikes twelve, all
three of you be on this spot, and I will give you his answer. But stay,
Harry Ormond, we have not had your opinion--would you advise me to make
this trial?"

"Certainly, sir."

"But if I should lose half of Dora's fortune?"

"You would think it well bestowed, I am sure, sir, in securing her from
an unhappy marriage."

"But then she might not, perhaps, so easily find another lover with half
a fortune--that might make a difference, hey, Harry?"

"Impossible, I should think, sir, that it could make the least
difference in the affection of any one who really--who was really worthy
of Miss O'Shane."

The agitation into which Harry Ormond was thrown, flattered and touched
Dora for the moment; her aunt hurried her out of the room.

Cornelius O'Shane rang, and inquired where Mr. Connal was? In his own
apartment, writing letters, his servant believed. O'Shane sent to beg to
see him, as soon as he was at leisure.

At twelve o'clock Dora, Mademoiselle, and Ormond, were all in the study,
punctually as the clock was striking.

"Well, what is M. de Connal's answer?" cried Mademoiselle.

"If he hesitate, my dear Dore, give him up dat minute."

"Undoubtedly," said Dora: "I have too much spirit to do otherwise.
What's his answer, father?"

"His answer, my dear child, has proved that you knew him better than I
did--he scorns the offer of half your fortune--for your whole fortune he
would not give you up."

"I thought so," cried Dora, triumphantly.

"I thought so," echoed Mademoiselle.

"I did him injustice," cried Ormond. "I am glad that M. de Connal has
proved himself worthy of you, Dora, since you really approve of him--you
have not a friend in the world, next to your father, who wishes your
happiness more sincerely than I do."

He hurried out of the room.

"There's a heart for you!" said Corny.

"Not for me," said Mademoiselle: "he has no passion in him."

"I give you joy, Dora," said her father. "I own I misjudged the man--on
account of his being a bit of a coxcomb. But if you can put up with
that, so will I--when I have done a man injustice, I will make it up
to him every way I can. Now let him, he has my consent, be as great a
coxcomb as ever wore red heels. I'll put up with it all, since he really
loves my child. I did not think he would have stood the test."

Nor would he, had not he been properly prepared by Mademoiselle--she
had, before M. de Connal went to Corny, sent him a little billet,
which told him the test that would be proposed, and thus prevented all
possibility of her dear niece's being disappointed in her lover or her
husband.



CHAPTER XV.

Vain of showing that he was not in the slightest degree jealous,
Connal talked to Ormond in the freest manner imaginable, touching with
indifference even on the very subject which Ormond, from feelings
of delicacy and honour, had anxiously avoided. Connal seemed to be
perfectly aware how matters had stood before his arrival between Dora
and our young hero. "It was all very well," he said, "quite natural--in
the common course of things--impossible it should have been otherwise. A
young woman, who saw no one else, must inevitably fall in love with the
first agreeable young man who made love to her, or who did not make love
to her--it was quite equal to him which. He had heard wonders from his
father-in-law elect on that last topic, and he was willing to oblige
him, or any other gentleman or lady, by believing miracles."

Ormond, extremely embarrassed by the want of delicacy and feeling with
which this polished coxcomb spoke, had, however, sufficient presence of
mind to avoid, either by word or look, making any particular application
of what was said.

"You have really prodigious presence of mind, and _discretion_, and
_tact_, for a young man who has, I presume, had so little practice in
these affairs," said Connal; "but don't constrain yourself longer. I
speak frankly to take off all embarrassment on your part--you see
there exists none on mine--never, for a moment: no, how can it possibly
signify," continued he, "to any man of common sense, who, or what a
woman liked before she saw him? You don't think a man, who has seen any
thing of the world, would trouble himself to inquire whether he was,
or was not, the first love of the woman he is going to marry. To
_marry_--observe the emphasis--distinguish--distinguish, and seriously
let us calculate."

Ormond gave no interruption to his calculations, and the petit-maître,
in a tone of philosophic fatuity, asked, "Of the numbers of your English
or Irish wives--all excellent--how many, I pray you, do you calculate
are now married to the man they first, _fell in love with_, as they call
it? My good sir, not five per cent., depend on it. The thing is morally
impossible, unless girls are married out of a convent, as with us in
France, and very difficult even then; and after all, what are the
French husbands the better for it? I understand English husbands think
themselves best off. I don't pretend to judge; but they seem to prefer
what they call domestic happiness to the French _esprit de société_.
Still, this may be prejudice of education--of country: each nation has
its taste. Every thing is for the best in this world, for people who
know how to make the best of it. You would not think, to look at me, I
was so philosophic: but even in the midst of my military career I have
thought--thought profoundly. Every body in France _thinks_ now," said M.
de Connal, taking a pinch of snuff with a very pensive air.

"_Every body_ in France _thinks_ now!" repeated Ormond.

"Every man of a certain rank, that is to say."

"That is to say, of your rank," said Ormond.

"Nay, I don't give myself as an example; but--you may judge--I own I am
surprised to find myself philosophizing here in the Black Islands--but
one philosophizes every where." "And you would have more time for it
here, I should suppose, than in Paris?"

"Time, my dear sir--no such thing! Time is merely in idea; but
_Tais-toi Jean Jacques! Tais-toi Condillac!_ To resume the chain of our
reasoning--love and marriage--I say it all comes to much the same thing
in France and in these countries--after all. There is more gallantry,
perhaps, before marriage in England, more after marriage in
France--which has the better bargain? I don't pretend to decide.
Philosophic doubt for me, especially in cases where 'tis not worth while
to determine; but I see I astonish you, Mr. Ormond."

"You do, indeed," said Ormond, ingenuously.

"I give you joy--I envy you," said M. de Connal, sighing.

"After a certain age, if one lives in the world, one can't be
astonished--that's a lost pleasure."

"To me who have lived out of the world it is a pleasure, or rather a
sensation--I am not sure whether I should call it a pleasure--that is
not likely to be soon exhausted," said Ormond. "A sensation! and you
are not sure whether you should call it a pleasure. Do you know you've a
genius for metaphysics?"

"I!" exclaimed Ormond.

"Ah! now I have astonished you again. Good! whether pleasurable or
not, trust me, nothing is so improving to a young man as to be well
astonished. Astonishment I conceive to be a sort of mental electric
shock--electric fire; it opens at once and enlightens the understanding:
and really you have an understanding so well worth enlightening--I do
assure you, that your natural acuteness will, whenever and wherever you
appear, make you _un homme marquant."_

"Oh! spare me, Mr. Connal," said Ormond. "I am not used to French
compliment."

"No, upon my honour, without compliment, in all English _bonhommie_,"
(laying his hand upon his heart)--"upon the honour of a gentleman, your
remarks have sometimes perfectly astonished me."

"Really!" said Ormond; "but I thought you had lived so much in the
world, you could not be astonished."

"I thought so, I own," said Connal; "but it was reserved for M. Ormond
to convince me of my mistake, to revive an old pleasure--more difficult
still than to invent a new one! In recompense I hope I give you some
new ideas--just throw out opinions for you. Accept--reject--reject
now--accept an hour, a year hence, perhaps--just as it strikes--merely
materials for thinking, I give you."

"Thank you," said Ormond; "and be assured they are not lost upon me. You
have given me a great deal to think of seriously."

"_Seriously_!--no; that's your fault, your national fault. Permit me:
what you want chiefly in conversation--in every thing, is a certain
degree of--of--you have no English word--_lightness_."

"_Légèreté_, perhaps you mean," said Ormond.

"Precisely. I forgot you understood French so well.
_Légèreté_--untranslatable!--You seize my idea."

He left Ormond, as he fancied, in admiration of the man who, in his own
opinion, possessed the whole theory and practice of the art of pleasing,
and the science of happiness.

M. de Connal's conversation and example might have produced a great
effect on the mind of a youth of Ormond's strong passions, lively
imagination, and total ignorance of the world, if he had met this
brilliant officer in different society. Had he seen Connal only as a
man shining in company, or considered him merely as a companion, he must
have been dazzled by his fashion, charmed by his gaiety, and _imposed_
upon by his decisive tone.

Had such a vision lighted on the Black Islands, and appeared to our hero
suddenly, in any other circumstances but those in which it did appear,
it might have struck and overawed him; and without inquiring "whether
from heaven or hell," he might have followed wherever it led or pointed
the way. But in the form of a triumphant rival--without delicacy,
without feeling, neither deserving nor loving the woman he had
won--not likely to make Dora happy--almost certain to make her father
miserable--there was no danger that Black Connal could ever obtain any
ascendancy over Ormond; on the contrary, Connal was useful in forming
our hero's character. The electric shock of astonishment did operate in
a salutary manner in opening Harry's understanding: the materials
for thinking were not thrown away: he _did_ think--even in the Black
Islands; and in judging of Connal's character, he made continual
progress in forming his own: he had motive for exercising his
judgment--he was anxious to study the man's character on Dora's account.

Seeing his unpolished friend, old Corny, and this finished young man of
the world, in daily contrast, Ormond had occasion to compare the real
and the factitious, both in matter and manner: he distinguished, and
felt often acutely, the difference between that politeness of the heart,
which respects and sympathizes with the feelings of others, and that
conventional politeness, which is shown merely to gratify the vanity of
him by whom it is displayed. In the same way he soon discriminated,
in conversation, between Corny's power of original thinking, and M.
de Connal's knack of throwing old thoughts into new words; between the
power of answering an argument, and the art of evading it by a repartee.
But it was chiefly in comparing different ideas of happiness and
modes of life, that our young hero's mind was enlarged by Connal's
conversation--whilst the comparison he secretly made between
this polished gentleman's principles and his own, was always more
satisfactory to his pride of virtue, than Connal's vanity could have
conceived to be possible.

One day some conversation passed between Connal and _his father-in-law
elect_, as he now always called him, upon his future plans of life.

Good Corny said he did not know how to hope that, during the few years
he had to live, Connal would not think of taking his daughter from him
to Paris, as, from some words that had dropped from Mademoiselle, he had
reason to fear.

"No," Connal said, "he had formed no such cruel intention: the Irish
half of Mademoiselle must have blundered on this occasion. He would do
his utmost, if he could with honour, to retire from the service; unless
the service imperiously called him away, he should settle in Ireland:
he should make it a point even, independently of his duty to his own
father, not to take Miss O'Shane from her country and her friends."

The father, open-hearted and generous himself, was fond to believe what
he wished: and confiding in these promises, the old man forgave all that
he did not otherwise approve of in his future son-in-law, and thanked
him almost with tears in his eyes; still repeating, as his natural
penetration remonstrated against his credulity, "But I could hardly have
believed this from such a young man as you, Captain Connal. Indeed,
how you could ever bring yourself to think of settling in retirement
is wonderful to me; but love does mighty things, brings about great
changes."

French commonplaces of sentiment upon love, and compliments on Dora's
charms and his own sensibility, were poured out by Connal, and the
father left the room satisfied.

Connal then, throwing himself back in his chair, burst out a laughing,
and turning to Ormond, the only person in the room, said, "Could you
have conceived this?"

"Conceived what, sir?" said Ormond.

"Conceived this King Corny's capacity for belief? What!--believe that
I will settle in his Black Islands!--I!--As well believe me to be half
marble, half man, like _the unfortunate_ in the Black Islands of the
Arabian Tales. Settle in the Black Islands!--No: could you conceive a
man on earth could be found so simple as to credit such a thing?"

"Here is another man on earth who was simple enough to believe it," said
Ormond, "and to give you credit for it."

"You!" cried Connal--"That's too much!--Impossible!"

"But when you said it--when I heard you promise it to Mr. O'Shane--"

"Oh, mercy!--Don't kill me with laughing!" said he, laughing affectedly:
"Oh! that face of yours--there is no standing it. You heard me
_promise_--and the accent on _promise_. Why, even women, now-a-days,
don't lay such an emphasis on _a promise_."

"That, I suppose, depends on who gives it." said Ormond.

"Rather on who receives it," said Connal: "but look here, you who
understand the doctrine of promises, tell me what a poor conscientious
man must do who has two pulling him different ways?"

"A conscientious man cannot have given two diametrically opposite
promises."

"_Diametrically_!--Thank you for that word--it just saves my lost
conscience. Commend me always to an epithet in the last resource for
giving one latitude of conscience in these nice cases--I have not given
two diametrically opposite--no, I have only given four that cross one
another. One to your King Corny; another to my angel, Dora; another to
the dear aunt; and a fourth to my dearer self. First promise to King
Corny, to settle in the Black Islands; a gratuitous promise, signifying
nothing--read Burlamaqui: second promise to Mademoiselle, to go and
live with her at Paris; with _her_--on the face of it absurd! a promise
extorted too under fear of my life, of immediate peril of being talked
to death--see Vatel on extorted promises--void: third promise to my
angel, Dora, to live wherever she pleases; but that's a lover's promise,
made to be broken--see Love's Calendar, or, if you prefer the bookmen's
authority, I don't doubt that, under the head of promises made when a
man is not in his right senses, some of those learned fellows in wigs
would bring me off _sain et sauf_: but now for my fourth promise--I am
a man of honour--when I make a promise intending to keep it, no man so
scrupulous; all promises made to myself come under this head; and I have
promised myself to live, and make my wife live, wherever I please, or
not to live with her at all. This promise I shall bold sacred. Oblige me
with a smile, Mr. Ormond--a smile of approbation."

"Excuse me, Mr. Connal, that is impossible--I am sincere."

"So am I, and sincerely you are too romantic. See things as they are, as
a man of the world, I beseech you."

"I am not a man of the world, and I thank God for it," cried Ormond.

"Thank your God for what you please," said Connal; "but in disdaining to
be a man of the world, you will not, I hope, refuse to let me think you
a man of common sense."

"Think what you please of me," said Ormond, rather haughtily; "what I
think of myself is the chief point with me."

"You will lose this little brusquerie of manner," said Connal, "when you
have mixed more with mankind. Providentially, we are all made dependent
on one another's good opinion. Even I, you see, cannot live without
yours."

Whether from vanity, from the habit of wishing to charm every body
in every house he entered, especially any one who made resistance;
or whether he was piqued and amused with Ormond's frank and natural
character, and determined to see how far he could urge him, Connal went
on, though our young hero gave him no encouragement to hope that he
should win his good opinion.

"Candidly," said he, "put yourself in my place for a moment: I was in
England, following my own projects; I was not in love with the girl as
you--well, pardon--as anybody might have been--but I was at a distance,
that makes all the difference: I am sent for over by two fathers, and I
am told that in consequence of my good or evil fortune in being born a
twin, and of some inconceivable promise between two Irish fathers over
a punch-bowl, I am to have the refusal, I should rather say the
acceptance, of a very pretty girl with a very pretty fortune. Now,
except just at the moment when the overture reached me, it could not
have been listened to for a moment by such a man as I am."

"Insufferable coxcomb," said Ormond to himself.

"But, to answer a question, which I omitted to answer just now to my
father-in-law,--what could induce me to come over and think of settling
in the Black Islands? I answer--for I am determined to win your
confidence by my candour--I answer in one word, _un billard_--a
billiard-table. To tell you all, I confess--"

"Confess nothing, I beg, Mr. Connal, to me, that you do not wish to be
known to Mr. O'Shane: I am his friend--he is my benefactor."

"You would not repeat--you are a gentleman, and a man of honour."

"I am; and as such I desire, on this occasion, not to hear what I ought
neither to repeat nor to keep secret. It is my duty not to leave my
benefactor in the dark as to any point."

"Oh! come--come," interrupted Connal, "we had better not take it on this
serious tone, lest, if we begin to talk of duty, we should presently
conceive it to be our duty to run one another through the body, which
would be no pleasure."

"No pleasure," said Ormond; "but if it became a duty, I hope, on all
occasions, I should be able to do whatever I thought a duty. Therefore
to avoid any misunderstanding, Mr. Connal, let me beg that you will not
honour me farther with your confidence. I cannot undertake to be the
confidant of any one, of whom I have never professed myself to be the
friend."

"Ca suffit," said Connal, lightly. "We understand one another now
perfectly'--you shall in future play the part of _prince_, and not of
confidant. Pardon me, I forgot your highness's pretensions;" so saying,
he gaily turned on his heel, and left the room.

From this time forward little conversation passed between Mr. Connal and
Ormond--little indeed between Ormond and Dora. With Mademoiselle, Ormond
had long ceased to be a favourite, and even her loquacity now seldom
addressed itself to him. He was in a painful situation;--he spent as
much of his time as he could at the farm his friend had given him. As
soon as O'Shane found that there was no truth in the report of Black
Connal's intended marriage in England, that he claimed in earnest his
promise of his daughter, and that Dora herself inclined to the new love,
his kind heart felt for poor Harry.

Though he did not know all that had passed, yet he saw the awkwardness
and difficulty of Ormond's present situation, and, whatever it might
cost him to part with his young friend, with his adopted son, Corny
determined not to detain him longer.

"Harry Ormond, my boy," said he to him one day, "time for you to see
something of the world, also for the world to see something of you; I've
kept you here for my own pleasure too long: as long as I had any hope of
settling you as I wished 'twas a sufficient excuse to myself; but now
I have none left--I must part with you: and so, by the blessing, God
helping me to conquer my selfishness, and the yearnings of my heart
towards you, I will. I mean," continued he, "to send you far from me--to
banish you for your good from the Black Islands entirely. Nay, don't you
interrupt me, nor say a word; for if you do, I shall be too soft to have
the heart to do you justice. You know you said yourself, and I felt
it for you, that it was best you should leave this. Well, I have been
thinking of you ever since, and licking different projects into shape
for you--listening too to every thing Connal threw out; but all he
says that way is in the air--no substance, when you try to have and to
hold--too full of himself, that youngster, to be a friend to another."

"There is no reason why he should be my friend, sir," said Ormond--"I do
not pretend to be his; and I rejoice in not being under any obligations
to him."

"Right!--and high!--just as I feel for you. After all, I approve of your
own wish to go into the British service in preference to any foreign
service, and you could not be of the Irish brigade--Harry."

"Indeed, sir, I infinitely prefer," said Ormond, "the service of my own
country--the service in which my father--I know nothing of my father,
but I have always heard him spoken of as a good officer; I hope I shall
not disgrace his name. The English service for me, sir, if you please."

"Why, then, I'm glad you see things as I do, and are not run away with
by uniform, and _all that_. I have lodged the needful in the bank, to
purchase a commission for you, my son. Now! no more go to thank me, if
you love me, Harry, than you would your own father. I've written to
a friend to choose a regiment in which there'd be as little danger as
possible for you."

"As little danger as possible!" repeated Harry, surprised.

"Phoo! you don't think I mean as little danger of fighting. I would
not wrong you so. No--but as little danger of gambling. Not that you're
inclined to it, or any thing else that's bad--but there is no knowing
what company might lead the best into; and it is my duty and inclination
to look as close to all these things as if for my own son."

"My kind father--no father could be kinder," cried Harry, quite
overpowered.

"So then you go as soon as the commission comes--that's settled; and I
hope I shall be able to bear it, Harry, old as I am. There may perhaps
be a delay of a little time longer than you could wish."

"Oh! sir, as long as you wish me to stay with you--"

"Not a minute beyond what's necessary. I mention the cause of delay,
that you may not think I'm dallying for my own sake. You remember
General Albemarle, who came here one day last year--election time,
canvassing--the general that had lost the arm."

"Perfectly, sir, I remember your answer--'I will give my interest to
this _empty sleeve_.'"

"Thank you--never a word lost upon you. Well, now I have hopes that this
man--this general, will take you by the hand; for he has a hand left
yet, and a powerful one to serve a friend; and I've requested him to
keep his eye upon you, and I have asked his advice: so we can't stir
till we get it, and that will be eight days, or ten, say. My boy,
you must bear on as you are--we have the comfort of the workshop to
ourselves, and some rational recreation; good shooting we will have soon
too, for the first time this season."

Among the various circumstances which endeared Harry to our singular
monarch, his skill and keenness as a sportsman were not inconsiderable:
he knew where all the game in the island was to be found; so that, when
his good old patron was permitted by the gout to take the field, Harry's
assistance saved him a vast deal of unnecessary toil, and gratified him
in his favourite amusement, whilst he, at the same time, sympathized in
the sport. Corny, besides being a good shot, was an excellent mechanic:
he beguiled the hours, when there was neither hunting nor shooting, in
a workshop which was furnished with the best tools. Among the other
occupations at the work-bench, he was particularly skilful in making and
adjusting the locks of guns, and in boring and polishing the inside of
their barrels to the utmost perfection: he had contrived and executed a
tool for the enlarging the barrel of a gun in any particular part, so as
to increase its effect in adding to the force of the discharge, and in
preventing the shot from scattering too widely.

The hope of the success of his contrivance, and the prospect of going
out with Harry on the approaching first of September, solaced King
Corny, and seemed to keep up his spirits, through all the vexation he
felt concerning Connal and this marriage, which evidently was not to
his taste. It was to Dora's, however, and was becoming more evidently so
every hour--and soon M. Connal pressed, and Mademoiselle urged, and Dora
named--the happy day--and Mademoiselle, in transports, prepared to go
to Dublin, with her niece, to choose the wedding-clothes, and, Connal to
bespeak the equipages.

Mademoiselle was quick in her operations when dress was in question: the
preparations for the delightful journey were soon made--the morning for
their departure came--the carriage and horses were sent over the water
early--and O'Shane and Harry afterwards accompanied the party in the
boat to the other side of the lake, where the carriage waited with the
door open. Connal, after handing in Mademoiselle, turned to look for
his destined bride--who was taking leave of her father--Harry Ormond
standing by. The moment she quitted her father's embrace, Father Jos
poured with both his hands on her head the benedictions of all the
saints. Released from Father Jos, Captain Connal hurried her on: Harry
held out his hand to her as she passed. "Good bye, Dora--probably I
shall never see you again."

"Oh, Harry!" said she, one touch of natural feeling stopping her
short--"Oh, Harry!--Why?" Bursting into tears, she drew her hand
from Connal, and gave it to Harry: Harry received the hand openly and
cordially, shook it heartily, but took no advantage and no notice of the
feelings by which he saw her at that moment agitated.

"_Forgive_!" she began.

"Good bye, _dear_ Dora. God bless you--may you be as happy--half as
happy, as I wish you to be!"

"To be sure she will--happy as the day is long," said Mademoiselle,
leaning out of the carriage: "why will you make her cry, Mr. Ormond,
spoiling her eyes at parting? Come in to me--Dora, M. de Connal is
waiting to hand you, mon enfant."

"Is her dressing-box in, and all right?" asked Captain Connal, as he
handed Dora into the carriage, who was still weeping.

"Bad compliment to M. de Connal, mon amie. Vrai scandale!" said
Mademoiselle, pulling up the glass, while Dora sunk back in the
carriage, sobbing without restraint.

"Good morning," said Connal, who had now mounted his Mr. Ormond, "Adieu,
Mr. Ormond--command me in any way you please. Drive on!"



CHAPTER XVI.

The evening after the departure of the happy trio, who were gone to
Dublin to buy wedding-dresses, the party remaining at Castle Corny
consisted only of King Corny, Ormond, and Father Jos. When the candles
were lighted, his majesty gave a long and loud yawn, Harry set the
backgammon table for him, and Father Jos, as usual, settled himself in
the chimney corner; "And now Mademoiselle's gone," said he, "I shall
take leave to indulge myself in my pipe."

"You were on the continent this morning, Father Jos," said Cornelius.
"Did ye learn any news for us? Size ace! that secures two points."

"News! I did," said Father Jos.

"Why not tell it us, then?"

"I was not asked. You both seemed so wrapped up, I waited my time and
opportunity. There's a new parson come to Castle Hermitage."

"What new person?" said King Corny. "Doublets, aces, Harry."

"A new parson I'm talking of," said Father Jos, "that has just got the
living there; and they say Sir Ulick's mad about it, in Dublin, where he
is still."

"Mad!--Three men up--and you can't enter, Harry. Well, what is he mad
about?"

"Because of the presentation to the living," replied the priest, "which
government wouldn't make him a compliment of, as he expected."

"He is always expecting compliments from government," said Corny, "and
always getting disappointments. Such throws as you have, Harry--Sixes!
again--Well, what luck!--all over with me--It is only a hit at any rate!
But what kind of man," continued he, "is this new clergyman?"

"Oh! them parsons is all one kind," said Father Jos.

"All one kind! No, no more than our own priests," said Corny. "There's
good and bad, and all the difference in life."

"I don't know any thing at all about it," said Father Jos, sullenly;
"but this I know, that no doubt he'll soon be over here, or his proctor,
looking for the tithes."

"I hope we will have no quarrels," said Corny.

"They ought to be abolished," said Father Jos, "the tithes, that is, I
mean."

"And the quarrels, too, I hope," said Ormond.

"Oh! It's not our fault if there's quarrels," said Father Jos.

"Faults on both sides generally in all quarrels," said Corny.

"In lay quarrels, like enough," said Father Jos. "In church quarrels, it
don't become a good Catholic to say that."

"What?" said Corny.

"_That_," said the priest.

"Which?" said Corny.

"That which you said, that there's faults on both sides; sure there's
but one side, and that's our own side, can be in the right there can't
be two _right sides_, can there? and consequently I there won't be two
wrong sides, will there?--Ergo, there cannot, by a parity of rasoning,
be two sides in the wrong."

"Well, Harry, I'll take the black men now, and gammon you," said Corny.
"Play away, man--what are you thinking of? is it of what Father Jos
said? 'tis beyond the limits of the human understanding."

Father Jos puffed away at his pipe for some time.

"I was tired and ashamed of all the wrangling for two-pence with the
last man," said King Corny, "and I believe I was sometimes too hard and
too hot myself; but if this man's a gentleman, I think we shall agree.
Did you hear his name, or any thing at all about him, Father?"

"He is one of them refugee families, the Huguenots, banished France by
the adict of Nantz, they say, and his name's Cambray."

"Cambray!" exclaimed Ormond.

"A very good name," said O'Shane; "but what do you know of it, Harry?"

"Only, sir, I happened to meet with a Dr. Cambray the winter I was in
Dublin, whom I thought a very agreeable, respectable, amiable man--and I
wonder whether this is the same person."

"There is something more now, Harry Ormond, I know by your face," said
Corny: "there's some story of or belonging to Dr. Cambray--what is it?"

"No story, only a slight circumstance--which, if you please, I'd rather
not tell you, sir," said Ormond.

"That is something very extraordinary, and looks mysterious," said
Father Jos.

"Nothing mysterious, I assure you," said Ormond,--"a mere trifle, which,
if it concerned only myself, I would tell directly."

"Let him alone, father," said King Corny; "I am sure he has a good
reason--and I'm not curious: only let me whisper this in your ear
to show you my own penetration, Harry--I'd lay my life" (said he,
stretching over and whispering), "I'd lay my life Miss Annaly has
something to do with it."

"Miss Annaly!--nothing in the world--only--yes, I recollect she was
present."

"There now--would not any body think I'm a conjuror? a physiognomist is
cousin to (and not twice removed from) a conjuror."

"But I assure you, though you happened to guess right partly as to her
being present, you are totally mistaken, sir, as to the rest."

"My dear Harry, _totally_ means _wholly_: if I'm right in a part,
I can't be mistaken in the whole. I am glad to make you smile, any
way--and I wish I was right altogether, and that you was as rich as
Croesus into the bargain; but stay a bit, if you come home a hero from
the wars--that may do--ladies are mighty fond of heroes."

It was in vain that Ormond assured his good old imaginative friend that
he was upon a wrong scent. Cornelius stopped to humour him; but was
convinced that he was right: then turned to the still smoking Father
Jos, and went on asking questions about Dr. Cambray.

"I know nothing at all about him," said Father Jos, "but this, that
Father M'Cormuck has dined with him, if I'm not misinformed, oftener
than I think becoming in these times--making too free! And in the
chapel last Sunday, I hear he made a very extraordinary address to his
flock--there was one took down the words, and handed them to me: after
remarking on the great distress of the season--first and foremost about
the keeping of fast days the year--he allowed the poor of his flock,
which is almost all, to eat meat whenever offered to them, because, said
he, many would starve--now mark the obnoxious word--'if it was not for
their benevolent Protestant neighbours, who make soup and broth for
them.'"

"What is there obnoxious in that?" said Cornelius.

"Wait till you hear the end--'and feed and clothe the distressed.'"

"That is not obnoxious either, I hope," said Ormond, laughing.

"Young gentleman, you belong to the establishment, and are no judge in
this case, permit me to remark," said Father Jos; "and I could wish Mr.
O'Shane would hear to the end, before he joins in a Protestant laugh."

"I've heard of a 'Protestant wind' before," said Harry, "but not of a
Protestant laugh."

"Well, I'm serious, Father Jos," said Corny; "let me hear to the end
what makes your face so long."

"'And, I am sorry to say, show more charity to them than their own
people, the rich Catholics, sometimes do.' If that is not downright
slander, I don't know what is," said Father Jos.

"Are you sure it is not truth, Father?" said Corny.

"And if it was, even, so much the worse, to be telling it in the
chapel, and to his flock--very improper in a priest, very extraordinary
conduct!"

Father Jos worked himself up to a high pitch of indignation, and railed
and smoked for some time, while O'Shane and Ormond joined in defending
M'Cormuck, and his address to his flock--and even his dining with the
new clergyman of the parish. Father Jos gave up and had his punch. The
result of the--whole was, that Ormond proposed to pay his respects the
next morning to Dr. Cambray.

"Very proper," said O'Shane: "do so--fit you should--you are of his
people, and you are acquainted with the gentleman--and I'd have you go
and show yourself safe to him, that we've made no tampering with you."

Father Jos could not say so much, therefore he said nothing.

O'Shane continued, "A very exact church-goer at the little church there
you've always been, at the other side of the lake--never hindered--make
what compliment you will proper for me--say I'm too old and clumsy for
morning visitings, and never go out of my islands. But still I can love
my neighbour in or out of them, and hope, in the name of peace, to be on
good terms. Sha'n't be my fault if them tithes come across. Then I wish
that bone of contention was from between the two churches. Meantime, I'm
not snarling, if others is not craving: and I'd wish for the look of it,
for your sake, Harry, that it should be all smooth; so say any thing you
will for me to this Dr. Cambray,--though we are of a different faith, I
should do any thing in rason."

"Rason! what's that about rason?" said Father Jos: "I hope faith comes
before rason."

"And after it, too, I hope, Father," said Corny.

Father Jos finished his punch, and went to sleep upon it.

Ormond, next morning, paid his visit--Dr. Cambray was not at home; but
Harry was charmed with the neatness of his house, and with the amiable
and happy appearance of his family. He had never before seen Mrs.
Cambray or her daughters, though he had met the doctor in Dublin. The
circumstance which Harry had declined mentioning, when Corny questioned
him about his acquaintance with Dr. Cambray, was very slight, though
Father Jos had imagined it to be of mysterious importance. It had
happened, that among the dissipated set of young men with whom Marcus
O'Shane and Harry had passed that winter in Dublin, a party had one
Sunday gone to hear the singing at the Asylum, and had behaved in a very
unbecoming manner during the service. Dr. Cambray preached--he spoke
to the young gentlemen afterwards with mild but becoming dignity. Harry
Ormond instantly, sensible of his error, made proper apologies,
and erred no farther. But Marcus O'Shane in particular, who was not
accustomed to endure anything, much less any person, that crossed his
humour, spoke of Dr. Cambray afterwards with vindictive bitterness,
and with all his talents of mimicry endeavoured to make him ridiculous.
Harry defended him with a warmth of ingenuous eloquence which did him
honour; and with truth, courage, and candour, that did him still more,
corrected some of Marcus's mis-statements, declaring that they had all
been much to blame. Lady Annaly and her daughter were present, and this
was one of the circumstances to which her ladyship had alluded, when
she said that some things had occurred that had prepossessed her with
a favourable opinion of Ormond's character. Dr. Cambray knew nothing of
the attack or the defence till some time afterwards; and it was now so
long ago, and Harry was so much altered since that time, that it was
scarcely to be expected the doctor should recollect even his person.
However, when Dr. Cambray came to the Black Islands to return his visit,
he did immediately recognize Ormond, and seemed so much pleased with
meeting him again, and so much interested about him, that Corny's
warm heart was immediately won. Independently of this, the doctor's
persuasive benevolent politeness could not have failed to operate, as it
usually did, even on a first acquaintance, in pleasing and conciliating
even those who were of opposite opinions.

"There, now," said Corny, when the doctor was gone, "there, now, is a
sincere minister of the Gospel for you, and a polite gentleman into the
bargain. Now that's politeness that does not trouble me--that's not for
show--that's for _us_, not _himself_, mark!--and conversation! Why that
man has conversation for the prince and the peasant--the courtier and
the anchorite. Did not he find plenty for me, and got more out of me
than I thought was in me--and the same if I'd been a monk of La Trappe,
he would have made me talk like a pie. Now there's a man of the high
world that the low world can like, very different from--"

Poor Corny paused, checked himself, and then resumed--"Principles,
religion, and all no hinderance!--liberal and sincere too! Well, I only
wish--Father Jos, no offence--I only wish, for Dr. Cambray's sake,
and the Catholic church's sake, I was, for one day, Archbishop of
Canterbury, or Primate of all Ireland, or whatever else makes the
bishops in your church, and I'd skip over dean and archdeacon, and all,
and make that man--clean a bishop before night."

Harry smiled, and wished he had the power as well as the good-will.

Father Jos said, "A man ought to be ashamed not to think of his _own_
first."

"Now, Harry, don't think I'd make a bishop lightly," continued King
Corny; "I would not--I've been a king too long for that; and though only
a king of my own fashion, I know what's fit for governing a country,
observe me!--Cousin Ulick would make a job of a bishop, but I would
not--nor I wouldn't to please my fancy. Now don't think I'd make that
man a bishop just because he noticed and praised my gimcracks and
inventions, and _substitutes_."

Father Jos smiled, and demurely abased his eye.

"Oh! then you don't know me as well as you think you do, father," said
O'Shane. "Nor what's more, Harry, not his noting down the two regiments
to make inquiry for friends for you, Harry, shouldn't have bribed me to
partiality--though I could have kissed his shoe-ties for it."

"Mercy on you!" said Father Jos: "this doctor has bewitched you."

"But did you mind, then," persisted Corny, "the way he spoke of that
cousin of mine, Sir Ulick, who he saw I did not like, and who has been,
as you tell us, bitter against him, and even against his getting the
living. Well, the way this Doctor Cambray spoke then pleased me--good
morals without preaching--there's _do good to your enemies_--the true
Christian doctrine--and the hardest point. Oh! let Father Jos say what
he will, there's the man will be in heaven before many--heretic or no
heretic, Harry!"

Father Jos shrugged up his shoulders, and then fixing the glass in his
spectacles, replied, "We shall see better when we come to the tithes."

"That's true," said Corny.

He walked off to his workshop, and took down his fowling-piece to put
the finishing stroke to his work for the next day, which was to be
the first day of partridge-shooting: he looked forward with
delight--anticipating the gratification he should have in going out
shooting with Harry, and trying his new fowling-piece. "But I won't go
out to-morrow till the post has come in; for my mind couldn't enjoy
the sport till I was satisfied whether the answer could come about your
commission, Harry: my mind misgives me--that is, my calculation tells
me, that it will come to-morrow."

Good Corny's calculations were just: the next morning the little
post-boy brought answers to various letters which he had written about
Ormond--one to Ormond from Sir Ulick O'Shane, repeating his approbation
of his ward's going into the army, approving of all the steps Cornelius
had taken--especially of his intention of paying for the commission.

"All's well," Cornelius said. The next letter was from Cornelius's
banker, saying that the five hundred pound was lodged, ready. "All
well." The army-agent wrote, "that he had commissions in two different
regiments, waiting Mr. O'Shane's choice and orders per return of post,
to purchase _in conformity_."--"That's all well." General Albemarle's
answer to Mr. O'Shane's letter was most satisfactory: in terms that were
not merely _officially_ polite, but kind, "he assured Mr. O'Shane that
he should, as far as it was in his power, pay attention to the young
gentleman, whom Mr. O'Shane had so strongly recommended to his care,
and by whose appearance and manner the general said he had been
prepossessed, when he saw him some months ago at Corny Castle. There was
a commission vacant in his son's regiment, which he recommended to Mr.
Ormond."

"The very thing I could have wished for you, my dear boy--you shall
go off the day after to-morrow--not a moment's delay--I'll answer the
letters this minute."

But Harry reminded him that the post did not go out till the next day,
and urged him not to lose this fine day--this first day of the season
for partridge shooting.

"Time enough for my business after we come home--the post does not go
out till morning."

"That's true: come off, then--let's enjoy the fine day sent us; and my
gun, too--I forgot; for I do believe, Harry, I love you better even than
my gun," said the warm-hearted Corny. "Call _Ormond_. Moriarty; let
us have him with us--he'll enjoy it beyond all: one of the last day's
shooting with his own Prince Harry!--but, poor fellow, we'll not tell
him that."

Moriarty and the dogs were summoned, and the fineness of the day, and
the promise of good sport, put Moriarty in remarkably good spirits. By
degrees King Corny's own spirits rose, and he forgot that it was the
last day with Prince Harry, and he enjoyed the sport. After various
trials of his new fowling-piece, both the king and the prince agreed
that it succeeded to admiration. But even in the midst of his pride in
his success, and his joy in the sport, his superior fondness for Harry
prevailed, and showed itself in little, almost delicate instances of
kindness, which could hardly have been expected from his unpolished
mind. As they crossed a bog, he stooped every now and then, and plucked
different kinds of bog-plants and heaths.

"Here, Harry," said he, "mind these for Dr. Cambray. Remember yesterday
his mentioning that a daughter of his was making a botanical collection,
and there's Sheelah can tell you all the Irish names and uses. Some I
can note for you myself; and here, this minute--by great luck! the very
thing he wanted!--the andromeda, I'll swear to it: throw away all and
keep this--carry it to her to-morrow--for I will have you make a friend
of that Dr. Cambray; and no way so sure or fair to the father's heart as
by proper attention to the daughter--I know that by myself. Hush, now,
till I have that partridge!--Whirr!--Shot him clean, my dear gun!--Was
not that good, Harry?"

Thus they continued their sport till late; and returning, loaded with
game, had nearly reached the palace, when Corny, who had marked a covey,
quitted Harry, and sent his dog to spring it, at a distance much greater
than the usual reach of a common fowling-piece. Harry heard a shot, and
a moment afterwards a violent shout of despair;--he knew the voice to be
that of Moriarty, and running to the spot from whence it came, he found
his friend, his benefactor, weltering in his blood. The fowling-piece,
overloaded, had burst, and a large splinter of the barrel had fractured
the skull, and had sunk into the brain. As Moriarty was trying to raise
his head, O'Shane uttered some words, of which all that was intelligible
was the name of Harry Ormond. His eye was fixed on Harry, but the
meaning of the eye was gone. He squeezed Harry's hand, and an instant
afterwards O'Shane's hand was powerless. The dearest, the only real
friend Harry Ormond had upon earth was gone for ever!



CHAPTER XVII.

A boy passing by saw what had happened, and ran to the house, calling as
he went to some workmen, who hastened to the place, where they heard the
howling of the dogs. Ormond neither heard nor saw--till Moriarty said,
"He must be carried home;" and some one approaching to lift the
body, Ormond started up, pushed the man back, without uttering a
syllable--made a sign to Moriarty, and between them they carried the
body home. Sheelah and the women came out to meet them, wringing their
hands, and uttering loud lamentations. Ormond, bearing his burden as if
insensible of what he bore, walked onward, looking at no one, answering
none, but forcing his way straight into the house, and on--till they
came to O'Shane's bedchamber, which was upon the ground-floor--there
laid him on his bed. The women had followed, and all those who had
gathered on the way rushed in to see and to bewail. Ormond looked up,
and saw the people about the bed, and made a sign to Moriarty to keep
them away, which he did, as well as he could. But they would not be
kept back--Sheelah, especially, pressed forward, crying loudly, till
Moriarty, with whom she was struggling, pointed to Harry. Struck with
his fixed look, she submitted at once. _"Best leave him!"_ said she. She
put every body out of the room before her, and turning to Ormond, said,
they would leave him "a little space of time till the priest should
come, who was at a clergy dinner, but was sent for."

When Ormond was left alone he locked the door, and kneeling beside the
dead, offered up prayers for the friend he had lost, and there remained
some time in stillness and silence, till Sheelah knocked at the door,
to let him know that the priest was come. Then retiring, he went to the
other end of the house, to be out of the way. The room to which he went
was that in which they had been reading the letters just before they
went out that morning. There was the pen which Harry had taken from his
hand, and the answer just begun.

"Dear General, I hope my young friend, Harry Ormond--"

That hand could write no more!--that warm heart was cold! The certainty
was so astonishing, so stupifying, that Ormond, having never yet shed a
tear, stood with his eyes fixed on the paper, he knew not how long, till
he felt some one touch his hand. It was the child, little Tommy, of whom
O'Shane was so fond, and who was so fond of him. The child, with his
whistle in his hand, stood looking up at Harry, without speaking. Ormond
gazed on him for a few instants, then snatched him in his arms, and
burst into an agony of tears. Sheelah, who had let the child in, now
came and carried him away. "God be thanked for them tears," said she,
"they will bring relief;" and so they did. The necessity for manly
exertion--the sense of duty--pressed upon Ormond's recovered reason.
He began directly, and wrote all the letters that were necessary to his
guardian and to Miss O'Faley, to communicate the dreadful intelligence
to Dora. The letters were not finished till late in the evening. Sheelah
came for them, and leaving the door and the outer door to the hall open,
as she came in, Ormond saw the candles lighted, and smelt the smell of
tobacco and whiskey, and heard the sound of many voices.

"The wake, dear, which is beginning," said she, hastening back to shut
the doors, as she saw him shudder. "Bear with it, Master Harry," said
she: "hard for you!--but bear with us, dear; 'tis the custom of the
country; and what else can we do but what the forefathers did?--how else
for us to show respect, only as it would be expected, and has always
been?--and great comfort to think we done our best for _him that is
gone_, and comfort to know his wake will be talked of long hereafter,
over the fires at night, of all the people that is there without--and
that's all we have for it now: so bear with it, dear."

This night, and for two succeeding nights, the doors of Corny Castle
remained open for all who chose to come.

Crowds, as many, and more, than the castle could hold, flocked to King
Corny's wake, for he was greatly beloved.

There was, as Sheelah said, "plenty of cake, and wine, and tea, and
tobacco, and snuff--every thing handsome as possible, and honourable to
the deceased, who was always open-handed and open-hearted, and with open
house too."

His praises, from time to time, were heard, and then the common business
of the country was talked of--and jesting and laughter went on--and all
night there were tea-drinkings for the women, and punch for the men.
Sheelah, who inwardly grieved most, went about incessantly among the
crowd, serving all, seeing that none, especially them who came from a
distance, should be neglected--and that none should have to complain
afterwards, "or to say that any thing at all was wanting or niggardly."
Mrs. Betty, Sheelah's daughter, sat presiding at the tea-table, giving
the keys to her mother when wanted, but never forgetting to ask for them
again. Little Tommy took his cake and hid himself under the table, close
by his mother, Mrs. Betty; and could not be tempted out but by Sheelah,
whom he followed, watching for her to go in to Mr. Harry: when the door
opened, he held by her gown, and squeezed in under her arm--and when
she brought Mr. Harry his meals, she would set the child up at the table
with him _for company_--and to tempt him to take something.

Ormond had once promised his deceased friend, that if he was in the
country when he died, he would put him into his coffin. He kept his
promise. The child hearing a noise, and knowing that Mr. Harry had gone
into the room, could not be kept out; the crowd had left that room, and
the child looked at the bed with the curtains looped up with black--and
at the table at the foot of the bed, with the white cloth spread over
it, and the seven candlesticks placed upon it. But the coffin fixed
his attention, and he threw himself upon it, clinging to it, and crying
bitterly upon King Corny, his dear King Corny, to come back to him.

It was all Sheelah could do to drag him away: Ormond, who had always
liked this boy, felt now more fond of him than ever, and resolved that
he should never want a friend.

"You are in the mind to attend the funeral, sir, I think you told me?"
said Sheelah.

"Certainly," replied Ormond.

"Excuse me, then," said Sheelah, "if I mention--for you can't know what
to do without. There will be high mass, may be you know, in the chapel.
And as it's a great funeral, thirteen priests will be there, attending.
And when the mass will be finished, it will be expected of you, as first
of kin considered, to walk up first with your offering--whatsoever you
think fit, for the priests--and to lay it down on the altar; and then
each and all will follow, laying down their offerings, according as they
can. I hope I'm not too bold or troublesome, sir."

Ormond thanked her for her kindness--and felt it was real kindness. He,
consequently, did all that was expected from him _handsomely_. After the
masses were over, the priests, who could not eat any thing before they
said mass, had breakfast and dinner joined. Sheelah took care "the
clergy was well served." Then the priests--though it was not essential
that all should go, did all, to Sheelah's satisfaction, accompany the
funeral the _whole way_, three long miles, to the burying-place of
the O'Shanes; a remote old abbey-ground, marked only by some scattered
trees, and a few sloping grave-stones. King Corny's funeral was followed
by an immense concourse of people, on' horseback and on foot; men,
women, and children: when they passed by the doors of cabins, a set of
the women raised the funeral cry--not a savage howl, as is the custom
in some parts of Ireland, but chanting a melancholy kind of lament,
not without harmony, simple and pathetic. Ormond was convinced, that in
spite of all the festivity at the wake, which had so disgusted him, the
poor people mourned sincerely for the friend they had lost.

We forgot to mention that Dr. Cambray went to the Black Islands the day
after O'Shane's death, and did all he could to prevail upon Ormond to go
to his house while the wake was going on, and till the funeral should be
over. But Ormond thought it right to stay where he was, as none of the
family were there, and there was no way in which he could so strongly
mark, as Sheelah said, his respect for the dead. Now that it was all
over, he had at least the consolation of thinking that he had not shrunk
from any thing that was, or that he conceived to be, his duty. Dr.
Cambray was pleased with his conduct, and at every moment he could spare
went to see him, doing all he could to console him, by strengthening
in Ormond's mind the feelings of religious submission to the will of
Heaven, and of pious hope and confidence. Ormond had no time left him
for the indulgence of sorrow--business pressed upon him.

Cornelius O'Shane's will, which Sir Ulick blamed Harry for not
mentioning in the first letter, was found to be at his banker's in
Dublin. All his property was left to his daughter, except the farm,
which he had given to Ormond; this was specially excepted, with legal
care: also a legacy of five hundred pounds was left to Harry; a trifling
bequest to Sir Ulick, being his cousin; and legacies to servants. Miss
O'Faley was appointed sole executrix--this gave great umbrage to Sir
Ulick O'Shane, and appeared extraordinary to many people; but the will
was in due form, and nothing could be done against it, however much
might be said.

Miss O'Faley, without taking notice of any thing Ormond said of the
money, which had been lodged in the bank to pay for his commission,
wrote as executrix to beg of him to do various business for her--all
which he did; and fresh letters came with new requests, inventories to
be taken, things to be sent to Dublin, money to be received and paid,
stewards' and agents' accounts to be settled, business of all kinds, in
short, came pouring in--upon him, a young man unused to it, and with a
mind peculiarly averse from it at this moment. But when he found that
he could be of service to any one belonging to his benefactor, he felt
bound in gratitude to exert himself to the utmost. These circumstances,
however disagreeable, had an excellent effect upon his character, giving
him habits of business which were ever afterwards of use to him. It was
remarkable that the only point in his letters which had concerned his
own affairs still continued unanswered. Another circumstance hurt his
feelings--instead of Miss O'Faley's writing to make her own requests,
Mr. Connal was soon deputed by Mademoiselle to write for her. He spoke
of the shock the ladies had felt, and the distressing circumstances in
which they were; all in commonplace phrases, which Ormond despised, and
from which he could judge nothing of Dora's real feelings.

"The marriage must, of course," Mr. Connal said, "be put off for some
time; and as it would be painful to the ladies to return to Corny
Castle, he had advised their staying in Dublin; and they and he feeling
assured that, from Mr. Ormond's regard for the family, they might
take the liberty of troubling him, they requested so and so, and the
_executrix_ begged he would see this settled and that settled at last,
with gradually forgotten apologies, falling very much into the style
of a person writing to an humble friend or dependent, bound to consider
requests as commands."

Our young hero's pride was piqued on the one side, as much as his
gratitude was alive on the other.

Sir Ulick O'Shane wrote to Harry that he was at this time _peculiarly_
engaged with affairs of his own. He said, that as to the material point
of the money lodged for the commission, he would see the executrix, and
do what he could to have that settled; but as to all lesser points, Sir
Ulick said, he really had not leisure to answer letters at present. He
enclosed a note to Dr. Cambray, whom he recommended it to his ward to
consult, and whose advice and assistance he now requested for him in
pressing terms.

In consequence of this direct application from the young gentleman's
guardian, Dr. Cambray felt himself authorized and called upon to
interfere, where, otherwise, delicacy might have prevented him. It was
fortunate for Ormond that he had Dr. Cambray's counsel to guide him, or
else he would, in the first moments of feeling, have yielded too much to
the suggestions of both gratitude and pride.

In the first impulse of generous pride, Ormond wanted to give up the
farm which his benefactor had left him, because he wished that
no possible suspicion of interested motives having influenced his
attachment to Cornelius O'Shane should exist, especially with Mr.
Connal, who, as the husband of Dora, would soon be the lord of all in
the Black Islands.

On the other hand, when Mr. Connal wrote to him, that the executrix,
having no written order from the deceased to that effect, could not pay
the five hundred pounds, lodged in the bank, for his commission, Ormond
was on the point of flying out with intemperate indignation. "Was
not his own word sufficient? Was not the intention of his benefactor
apparent from the letters? Would not this justify any executor, any
person of common sense or honour?"

Dr. Cambray, his experienced and placid counsellor, brought all these
sentiments to due measure by mildly showing what was law and justice,
and what was fit and proper in each case; putting jealous honour,
and romantic generosity, as they must be put, out of the question in
business.

He prevented Ormond from embroiling himself with Connal about the
legacy, and from giving up his farm. He persuaded him to decline having
any thing to do with the affairs of the Black Islands.

A proper agent was appointed, who saw Ormond's accounts settled and
signed, so that no blame or suspicion could rest upon him.

"There seems no probability, Mr. Ormond," said Dr. Cambray, "of your
commission being immediately purchased. Your guardian, Sir Ulick
O'Shane, will be detained some time longer, I understand, in Dublin. You
are in a desolate situation here--you have now done all that you ought
to do--leave these Black Islands, and come to Vicar's Dale: you will
find there a cheerful family, and means of spending your time more
agreeably, perhaps more profitably, than you can have here. I am
sensible that no new friends _can_ supply to you the place of him you
have lost; but you will find pleasure in the perception, that you have,
by your own merit, attached to you one friend in me, who will do all in
his power to soothe and serve you.--Will you _trust_ yourself to me?"
added he, smiling, "You have already found that I do not flatter. Will
you come to us?--The sooner the better--to-morrow, if you can."

It scarcely need be said, that this invitation was most cordially
accepted. Next day Ormond was to leave the Black Islands. Sheelah was in
despair when she found he was going: the child hung upon him so that he
could hardly get out of the house, till Moriarty promised to return
for the boy, and carry him over in the boat often, to see Mr. Ormond.
Moriarty would not stay in the islands himself, he said, after Harry
went: he let the cabin and little tenement which O'Shane had given him,
and the rent was to be paid him by the agent. Ormond went, for the last
time, that morning, to Ormond's Vale, to settle his own affairs there:
he and Moriarty took an unusual path across this part of the island to
the waterside, that they might avoid that which they had followed
the last time they were out, on the day of Corny's death. They went,
therefore, across a lone tract of heath-bog, where, for a considerable
time, they saw no living being.

On this bog, of which Cornelius O'Shane had given Moriarty a share, the
grateful poor fellow had, the year before, amused himself with cutting
in large letters of about a yard long the words

"LONG LIVE KING CORNY."

He had sowed the letters with broom-seed in the spring, and had since
forgotten ever to look at them; but they were now green, and struck the
eye.

"Think then of this being all the trace that's left of him on the face
of the earth!" said Moriarty. "I'm glad that I did even that same."

After crossing this lone bog, when they came to the waterside, they
found a great crowd of people, seemingly all the inhabitants of the
islands, assembled there, waiting to take leave of Master Harry; and
each of them was cheered by a kind word and a look, before they would
let him step into the boat.

"Ay, go _to the continent_," said Sheelah, "ay, go to fifty continents,
and in all Ireland you'll not find hearts warmer to you than those of
the Black Islands, that knows you best from a child, Master Harry dear."



CHAPTER XVIII.

Ormond was received with much kindness in Dr. Cambray's family, in which
he felt himself at ease, and soon forgot that he was a stranger: his
mind, however, was anxious about his situation, as he longed to get into
active life. Every morning, when the post came in, he hoped there
would be a letter for him with his commission; and he was every morning
regularly surprised and disappointed, on finding that there was none. In
the course of each ensuing day, however, he forgot his disappointment,
and said he believed he was happier where he was than he could be any
where else. The regular morning question of "Any letters for me?" was
at last answered by "Yes; one franked by Sir Ulick O'Shane." "Ah! no
commission--I feel no enclosure--single letter--no! double." Double or
single, it was as follows:--

"DEAR HARRY,

At last I have seen the executrix and son-in-law, whom that great
genius deceased, my well-beloved cousin in folly, King Corny, chose
for himself. As to that thing, half mud, half tinsel, half Irish, half
French, Miss, or Mademoiselle, O'Faley, that jointed doll, is--all but
the eyes, which move of themselves in a very extraordinary way--a mere
puppet, pulled by wires in the hands of another. The master showman,
fully as extraordinary in his own way as his puppet, kept, while I was
by, as much as possible behind the scenes. The hand and ruffle of the
French petit-maitre, and the prompter's voice, however, were visible and
audible enough for me. In plain English, I suppose it is no news to you
to hear that Mdlle. O'Faley is a fool, and Monsieur de Connal, Captain
O'Connal, Black Connal, or by whatever other _alias_ he is to be called,
is _properly_ a puppy. I am sorry, my dear boy, to tell you that the
fool has let the rogue get hold of the five hundred pounds lodged in the
bank--so no hopes of your commission for three months, or at the
least two months to come. My dear boy, your much-lamented friend and
benefactor (is not that the style?), King Corny, who began, I think, by
being, years ago, to your admiration, his own tailor, has ended, I fear
to your loss, by being his own lawyer: he has drawn his will so that any
attorney could drive a coach and six through it--so ends 'every man
his own lawyer.' Forgive me this laugh, Harry. By-the-bye, you, my dear
ward, will be of age in December, I think--then all my legal power of
interference ceases.

"Meantime, as I know you will be out of spirits when you read this,
I have some comfort for you and myself, which I kept for a
bonne-bouche--you will never more see Lady O'Shane, nor I either.
Articles of separation--and I didn't trust myself to be my own
lawyer--have been signed between us: so I shall see her ladyship sail
for England this night--won't let any one have the pleasure of putting
her on board but myself--I will see her safe off, and feel well assured
nothing can tempt her to return--even to haunt me--or scold you. This
was the business which detained me in Dublin--well worth while to give
up a summer to secure, for the rest of one's days, liberty to lead
a bachelor's merry life, which I mean to do at Castle Hermitage
or elsewhere, now and from henceforth--Miss Black in no ways
notwithstanding. Miss Black, it is but justice to tell you, is now
convinced of my conjugal virtues, and admires my patience as much as
she used to admire Lady O'Shane's. She has been very useful to me
in arranging my affairs in this separation--_in consequence_, I have
procured a commission of the peace for a certain Mr. M'Crule, a man whom
you may remember to have seen or heard at the bottom or corner of the
table at Castle Hermitage, one of the _Cromwellians_, a fellow with
the true draw-down of the mouth, and who speaks, or snorts, through his
nose. I have caused him, not without some difficulty, to ask Miss Black
to be his helpmate (Lord _help_ him and forgive me!); and Miss Black,
preferring rather to stay in Ireland and become Mrs. M'Crule than to
return to England and continue companion to Lady O'Shane, hath consented
(who can blame her?) to marry on the spur of the occasion--to-morrow--I
giving her away--you may imagine with what satisfaction. What with
marriages and separations, the business of the nation, my bank, my
canal, and my coal-mines, you may guess my hands have been full of
business. Now, all for pleasure! next week I hope to be down enjoying my
liberty at Castle Hermitage, where I shall be heartily glad to have my
dear Harry again. Marcus in England still--the poor Annalys in great
distress about the son, with whom, I fear, it is all over. No time for
more. Measure my affection by the length of this, the longest epistle
extant in my hand-writing.

"My dear boy, yours ever,

"Ulick O'Shane."

The mixed and crossing emotions which this letter was calculated
to excite having crossed, and mixed, and subsided a little, the
predominating feeling was expressed by our young hero with a sigh, and
this reflection: "Two months at the least! I must wait before I can have
my commission--two months more in idleness the fates have decreed."

"That last is a part of the decree that depends on yourself, not on the
fates. Two months you must wait, but why in idleness?" said Dr. Cambray.

The kind and prudent doctor did not press the question--he was content
with its being heard, knowing that it would sink into the mind and
produce its effect in due season. Accordingly, after some time, after
Ormond had exhaled impatience, and exhausted invective, and submitted to
necessity, he returned to reason with the doctor. One evening, when the
doctor and his family had returned from walking, and as the tea-urn was
just coming in bubbling and steaming, Ormond set to work at a corner of
the table, at the doctor's elbow.

"My dear doctor, suppose I was now to read over to you my list of
books."

"Suppose you were, and suppose I was to fall asleep," said the doctor.

"Not the least likely, sir, when you are to do any thing kind for a
friend--may I say friend?"

"You may. Come, read on--I am not proof against flattery, even at my
age--well, read away."

Ormond began; but at that moment there drove past the windows a
travelling chariot and four.

"Sir Ulick O'Shane, as I live!" cried Ormond, starting up. "I saw
him--he nodded to me. Oh! no, impossible--he said he would not come till
next week--Where's his letter?--What's the date?--Could it mean this
week?--No, he says next week quite plainly--What can be the reason?"

A note for Mr. Ormond was brought in, which had been left by one of Sir
Ulick O'Shane's servants as they went by.

"My commission, after all," cried Harry. "I always knew, I always said,
that Sir Ulick was a good friend."

"Has he purchased the commission?" said Dr. Cambray.

"He does not actually say so, but that must be what his note means,"
said Ormond.

"Means! but what does it say?--May I see it?"

"It is written in such a hurry, and in pencil, you'll not be able to
make it out."

The doctor, however, read aloud--

"If Mr. Harry Ormond will inquire at Castle Hermitage, he will hear of
something to his advantage.

"U. O'SHANE."

"Go off this minute," said Mrs. Cambray, "and inquire at Castle
Hermitage what Mr. Harry Ormond may hear to his advantage, and let us
learn it as soon as possible."

"Thank you, ma'am," said Harry; and ere the words were well uttered, a
hundred steps were lost.

With more than his usual cordiality, Sir Ulick O'Shane received him,
came out into the hall to meet his dear Harry, his own dear boy, to
welcome him again to Castle Hermitage.

"We did not expect you, sir, till next week--this is a most agreeable
surprise. Did you not say--"

"No matter what I said--you see what I have done," interrupted Sir
Ulick; "and now I must introduce you to a niece of mine, whom you have
never yet seen--Lady Norton, a charming, well-bred, pleasant little
widow, whose husband died, luckily for her and me, just when they had
run out all their large fortune. She is delighted to come to me, and is
just the thing to do the honours of Castle Hermitage--used to the style;
but observe, though she is to rule my roast and my boiled, she is not to
rule me or my friends--that is a preliminary, and a special clause
for Harry Ormond's being a privileged _ami de la maison_. Now, my dear
fellow, you understand how the land lies; and depend upon it, you'll
like her, and find her every way of _great advantage to you_."

So, thought Harry, is this all the advantage I am to hear of?

Sir Ulick led on to the drawing-room, and presented him to a
fashionable-looking lady, neither young nor old, nothing in any respect
remarkable.

"Lady Norton, Harry Ormond--Harry Ormond, my niece, Lady Norton, who
will make this house as pleasant to you, and to me, and to all my
friends, as it has been unpleasant ever since--in short, ever since you
were out of it, Harry."

Lady Norton, with gracious smile and well-bred courtesy, received Harry
in a manner that promised the performance of all for which Sir Ulick
had engaged. Tea came; and the conversation went on chiefly between
Sir Ulick and Lady Norton on their own affairs, about invitations and
engagements they had made, before they left Dublin, with various persons
who were coming down to Castle Hermitage. Sir Ulick asked, "When are
the Brudenells to come to us, my dear?--Did you settle with the
Lascelles?--and Lady Louisa, she must be here with the vice-regal
party--arrange that, my dear."

Lady Norton had settled every thing; she took out an elegant
memorandum-book, and read the arrangements to Sir Ulick. Between whiles,
Sir Ulick turned to Ormond and noted the claims of those persons to
distinction, and as several ladies were named, exclaimed, "Charming
woman!--delightful little creature!--The Darrells; Harry, you'll like
the Darrells too!--The Lardners, all clever, pleasant, and odd,
will entertain you amazingly, Harry!--But Lady Millicent is _the_
woman--nothing at all has been seen in this country like her!--most
fascinating! Harry, take care of your heart."

Then, as to the men--this man was clever--and the other was quite a
hero--and the next the pleasantest fellow--and the best sportsman--and
there were men of political eminence--men who had distinguished
themselves on different occasions by celebrated speeches--and
particularly promising rising young; men, with whom he must make Ormond
intimately acquainted. Now Sir Ulick closed Lady Norton's book, and
taking it from her hand, said, "I am tiring you, my dear--that's enough
for to-night--we'll settle all the rest to-morrow: you must be tired
after your journey--I whirled you down without mercy--you look fatigued
and sleepy."

Lady Norton said, "Indeed, she believed she was a little tired, and
rather sleepy."

Her uncle begged she would not sit up longer from compliment;
accordingly, apologizing to Mr. Ormond, and "really much fatigued,"
she retired. Sir Ulick walked up and down the room, meditating for some
moments, while Harry renewed his intimacy with an old dog, who, at
every pause in the conversation, jumping up on him, and squealing with
delight, had claimed his notice.

"Well, my boy," exclaimed Sir Ulick, stopping short, "aren't you a most
extraordinary fellow? Pray did you get my note?"

"Certainly, sir, and came instantly in consequence."

"And yet you have never inquired what it is that you might hear to your
advantage."

"I--I thought I had heard it, sir."

"Heard it, sir!" repeated Sir Ulick: "what _can_ you mean?"

"Simply, sir, that I thought the advantage you alluded to was the
introduction you did me just now the favour to give me to Lady Norton;
you said, her being here would be _a great advantage to me_, and that
led me to conclude--"

"Well, well! you were always a simple good fellow--confiding in my
friendship--continue the same--you will, I am confident. But had you no
other thought?"

"I had," said Harry, "when first I read your note, I had, I own, another
thought."

"And what might it be?"

"I thought of my commission, sir."

"What of your commission?"

"That you had procured it for me, sir."

"Since you ask me, I tell you honestly, that if it had been for your
interest, I would have purchased that commission long ago; but there
is a little secret, a political secret, which I could not tell you
before--those who are behind the scenes cannot always speak--I may tell
it to you now confidentially, but you must not repeat it, especially
from me--that peace is likely to continue; so the army is out of the
question."

"Well, sir, if that be the case--you know best."

"I do--it is, trust me; and as things have turned out--though I could
not possibly foresee what has happened--every thing is for the best:
I have come express from town to tell you news that will surprise you
beyond measure."

"What can you mean, sir?"

"Simply, sir, that you are possessed, or soon will be possessed of--But
come, sit down quietly, and in good earnest let me explain to you.
You know your father's second wife, the Indian woman, the governor's
mahogany-coloured daughter--she had a prodigious fortune, which my poor
friend, your father, chose, when dying, to settle upon her, and her
Indian son; leaving you nothing but what he could not take from you,
the little paternal estate of three hundred pounds a year. Well, it
has pleased Heaven to take your mahogany-coloured step-mother and your
Indian brother out of this world; both carried off within a few days of
each other by a fever of the country--much regretted, I dare say, in the
Bombay Gazette, by all who knew them.

"But as neither you nor I had that honour, we are not, upon this
occasion, called upon for any hypocrisy, farther than a black coat,
which I have ordered for you at my tailor's. _Have also noted_ and
answered, _in conformity_, the agent's letter of 26th July, received
yesterday, containing the melancholy intelligence: farther, replied to
that part of his last, which requested to know how and where to transmit
the property, which, on the Indian mother and brother's demise, falls,
by the will of the late Captain Ormond, to his European son, Harry
Ormond, esq., now under the guardianship of Sir Ulick O'Shane, Castle
Hermitage, Ireland."

As he spoke, Sir Ulick produced the agent's letter, and put it into his
ward's hand, pointing to the "useful passages." Harry, glancing his eye
over them, understood just enough to be convinced that Sir Ulick was in
earnest, and that he was really heir to a very considerable property.

"Well! Harry Ormond, esq.," pursued Sir Ulick, "was I wrong when I told
you that if you would inquire at Castle Hermitage you would hear of
something to your advantage?"

"I _hope_ in Heaven," said Ormond, "and _pray_ to Heaven that it may be
to my advantage!--I hope neither my head nor my heart may be turned by
sudden prosperity."

"Your heart--oh! I'll answer for your heart, my noble fellow," said Sir
Ulick; "but I own you surprise me by the coolness of head you show."

"If you'll excuse me," said Ormond, "I must run this minute to tell Dr.
Cambray and all my friends at Vicar's Dale."

"Certainly--quite right," said Sir Ulick--"I won't detain you a moment,"
said he--but he still held him fast. "I let you go to-night, but you
must come to me to-morrow."

"Oh! sir, certainly."

"And you will bid adieu to Vicar's Dale, and take up your quarters at
Castle Hermitage, with your old guardian."

"Thank you, sir--delightful! But I need not bid adieu to Vicar's
Dale--_they_ are so near, I shall see them every day."

"Of course," said Sir Ulick, biting his lip; "_but_ I was thinking of
something."

"Pray," continued Sir Ulick, "do you like a gig, a curricle, or a
phaeton best, or what carriage will you have? there is Tom Darrel's
in London now, who can bring it over for you. Well, we can settle that
to-morrow."

"If you please--thank you, kind Sir Ulick--how _can_ you think so
quickly of every thing?"

"Horses, too--let me see," said Sir Ulick, drawing Harry back to the
fire-place--"Ay, George Beirne is a judge of horses--he can choose for
you, unless you like to choose for yourself. What colour--black or bay?"

"I declare, sir, I don't know yet--my poor head is in such a state--and
the horses happen not to be uppermost."

"I protest, Harry, you perfectly astonish me, by the sedateness of your
mind and manner. You are certainly wonderfully formed and improved since
I saw you last--but, how! in the name of wonder, in the Black Islands,
_how_ I cannot conceive," said Sir Ulick.

"As to sedateness, you know, sir, since I saw you last, I may well be
sobered a little, for I have suffered--not a little," said Harry.

"Suffered! how?" said Sir Ulick, leaning his arm on the mantel-piece
opposite to him, and listening with an air of sympathy--"suffered! I was
not aware--"

"You know, sir, I have lost an excellent friend."

"Poor Corny--ay, my poor cousin, as far as he could, I am sure, he
wished to be a friend to you."

"He wished to be, and _was,_" said Ormond.

"It would have been better for him and his daughter too," resumed Sir
Ulick, "if he had chosen you for his son-in-law, instead of the coxcomb
to whom Dora is going to be married: yet I own, as your guardian, I
am well pleased that Dora, though a very pretty girl, is out of your
way--you must look higher--she was no match for you."

"I am perfectly sensible, sir, that we should never have been happy
together."

"You are a very sensible young man, Ormond--you make me admire you,
seriously--I always foresaw what you would be Ah! if Marcus--but we'll
not talk of that now. Terribly dissipated--has spent an immensity of
money already--but still, when he speaks in parliament he will make a
figure. But good bye, good night; I see you are in a hurry to get away
from me."

"_From you!_ Oh! no, sir, you cannot think me so ungrateful. I have not
expressed, because I have not words--when I feel much, I never can say
any thing; yet believe me, sir, I do feel your kindness, and all the
warm fatherly interest you have this night shown that you have for
me:--but I am in a hurry to tell my good friends the Cambrays, who I
know are impatient for my return, and I fear I am keeping them up beyond
their usual hour."

"Not at all--besides--good Heavens! can't they sit up a quarter of an
hour, if they are so much interested?--Stay, you really hurry my slow
wits--one thing more I had to say--pray, may I ask to _which_ of the
Miss Cambrays is it that you are so impatient to impart your good
fortune?"

"To both, sir," said Ormond--"equally."

"Both!--you unconscionable dog, polygamy is not permitted in these
countries--Both! no, try again for a better answer; though that was no
bad one at the first blush."

"I have no other answer to give than the plain truth, sir: I am thinking
neither of polygamy nor even of marriage at present. These young ladies
are both very amiable, very handsome, and very agreeable; but, in short,
we are not thinking of one another--indeed, I believe they are engaged."

"Engaged!--Oh! then you have thought about these young ladies enough to
find that out. Well, this saves your gallantry--good night."

Sir Ulick had this evening taken a vast deal of superfluous pains to
sound a mind, which lay open before him, clear to the very bottom; but
because it was so clear, he could not believe that he saw the bottom. He
did not much like Dr. Cambray--Father Jos was right there. Dr. Cambray
was one of those simple characters which puzzled Sir Ulick--the idea of
these Miss Cambrays, of the possibility of his ward's having formed an
attachment that might interfere with his views, disturbed Sir Ulick's
rest this night. His first operation in the morning was to walk down
unexpectedly early to Vicar's Dale. He found Ormond with Dr. Cambray,
very busy, examining a plan which the doctor had sketched for a new
cottage for Moriarty--a mason was standing by, talking of sand, lime,
and stones. "But the young ladies, where are they?" Sir Ulick asked.

Ormond did not know. Mrs. Cambray, who was quietly reading, said she
supposed they were in their gardens; and not in the least suspecting
Sir Ulick's suspicions, she was glad to see him, and gave credit to his
neighbourly good-will for the earliness of this visit, without waiting
even for the doctor to pay his respects first, as he intended to do at
Castle Hermitage.

"Oh! as to that," Sir Ulick said, "he did not intend to live on terms
of ceremony with Dr. Cambray--he was impatient to take the first
opportunity of thanking the doctor for his attentions to his ward."

Sir Ulick's quick eye saw on the table in Harry's handwriting the _list
of books to be read_. He took it up, looked it over, and with a smile
asked, "Any thoughts of the church, Harry?"

"No, sir; it would be rather late for me to think of the church. I
should never prepare myself properly."

"Besides," said Sir Ulick, "I have no living in my gift; but if,"
continued he, in a tone of irony, "if, as I should opine from the list
I hold in my hand--you look to a college living, my boy--if you are
bent upon reading for a fellowship--I don't doubt but with Dr. Cambray's
assistance, and with some _grinder_ and _crammer_, we might get you
cleverly through all the college examinations. And doctor, if he did
not, in going through some of the college courses, die of a logical
indigestion, or a classical fever, or a metaphysical lethargy, he might
shine in the dignity of Trin. Coll. Dub., and, mad Mathesis inspiring,
might teach eternally how the line AB is equal to the line CD,--or
why poor X Y Z are unknown quantities. Ah! my dear boy, think of the
pleasure, the glory of lecturing classes of _ignoramuses_, and dunces
yet unborn!"

Harry, no way disconcerted, laughed good-humouredly with his guardian,
and replied, "At present, sir, my ambition reaches no farther than to
escape myself from the class of dunces and ignoramuses. I am conscious
that at present I am very deficient."

"_In_ what, my dear boy?--To make your complaint English, you must say
deficient in some thing or other--'tis an _Iricism_ to say in general
that you are _very deficient._"

"There is one of my particular deficiencies then you see, sir--I am
deficient in English."

"You are not deficient in temper, I am sure," said Sir Ulick: "come,
come, you may be tolerably well contented with yourself."

"Ignorant as I am!--No," said Ormond, "I will never sit down content in
ignorance. Now that I have the fortune of a gentleman, it would be so
much the more conspicuous, more scandalous--now that I have every way
the means, I will, by the blessing of Heaven, and with the help of kind
friends, make myself something more and something better than I am."

"Gad! you are a fine fellow, Harry Ormond," cried Sir Ulick: "I remember
having once, at your age, such feelings and notions myself."

"Very unlike the first thoughts and feelings many young men would have
on coming into unexpected possession of a fortune," said Dr. Cambray.

"True," said Sir Ulick, "and we must keep his counsel, that he may not
be dubbed a quiz--not a word of this sort, Harry, for the Darrells, the
Lardners, or the Dartfords."

"I don't care whether they dub me a quiz or not," said Harry, hastily:
"what are Darrells, Lardners, or Dartfords to me?"

"They are something to _me_," said Sir Ulick.

"Oh! I beg pardon, sir--I didn't know that--that makes it quite another
affair."

"And, Harry, as you are to meet these young men, I thought it well to
try how you could bear to be laughed at--I have tried you in this very
conversation, and found you, to my infinite satisfaction, _ridicule
proof_--better than even _bullet proof_--much better. No danger that a
young man of spirit should be bullied out of his opinion and principles,
but great danger that he might be _laughed_ out of them--and I rejoice,
my dear ward, to see that you are safe from this peril."

Benevolent pleasure shone in Dr. Cambray's countenance, when he heard
Sir Ulick speak in this manner.

"You will dine with us, Dr. Cambray?" said Sir Ulick. "Harry, you will
not forget Castle Hermitage?"

"Forget Castle Hermitage! as if I could, where I spent my happy
childhood--that paradise, as it seemed to me the first time--when, a
poor little orphan boy, I was brought from my smoky cabin. I remember
the day as well as if it were this moment--when you took me by the hand,
and led me in, and I clung to you."

"Cling to me still! cling to me ever," interrupted Sir Ulick, "and I
will never fail you--no, never," repeated he, grasping Harry's hand,
and looking upon him with an emotion of affection, strongly felt, and
therefore strongly expressed.

"To be sure I will," said Harry.

"And I hope," added Sir Ulick, recovering the gaiety of his tone, "that
at Castle Hermitage a paradise will open for your youth as it opened for
your childhood."

Mrs. Cambray put in a word of hope and fear about Vicar's Dale. To which
Ormond answered, "Never fear, Mrs. Cambray--trust me--I know my own
interest too well."

Sir Ulick turning again as he was leaving the room, said with an air of
frank liberality, "We'll settle that at once--we'll divide Harry between
us--or we'll divide his day thus: the mornings I leave you to your
friends and studies for an hour or two Harry, in this Vale of Eden--the
rest of the day we must have you--men and books best mixed--see Bacon,
and see every clever man that ever wrote or spoke. So here," added Sir
Ulick, pointing to a map of history, which lay on the table, "you will
have _The Stream of Time_, and with us _Le Courant du Jour."_

Sir Ulick departed. During the whole of this conversation, and of that
of the preceding night, while he seemed to be talking at random of
different things, unconnected and of opposite sorts, he had carefully
attended to one object. Going round the whole circle of human
motives--love, ambition, interest, ease, pleasure, he had made accurate
observation on his ward's mind; and reversing the order, he went round
another way, and repeated and corrected his observations. The points he
had strongly noted for practical use were, that for retaining influence
over his ward, he must depend not upon interested motives of any kind,
nor upon the force of authority or precedent, nor yet on the power
of ridicule, but principally upon feelings of honour, gratitude, and
generosity. Harry now no longer crossed any of his projects, but was
become himself the means of carrying many into execution. The plan of
a match for Marcus with Miss Annaly was entirely at an end. That young
lady had given a decided refusal; and some circumstances, which we
cannot here stop to explain, rendered Marcus and his father easy under
that disappointment. No jealousy or competition existing, therefore,
any longer between his son and ward, Sir Ulick's affection for Ormond
returned in full tide; nor did he reproach himself for having banished
Harry from Castle Hermitage, or for having formerly neglected, and
almost forgotten him for two or three years. Sir Ulick took the matter
up just as easily as he had laid it down--he now looked on Harry not
as the youth whom he had deserted, but as the orphan boy whom he had
cherished in adversity, and whom he had a consequent right to produce
and patronize in prosperity. Beyond, or beneath all this, there was
another reason why Sir Ulick took so much pains, and felt so much
anxiety, to establish his influence over his ward. This reason cannot
yet be mentioned--he had hardly revealed it to himself--it was deep down
in his soul--to be or not to be--as circumstances, time, and the hour,
should decide.



CHAPTER XIX.

After having lived so long in retirement, our young hero, when he was
to go into company again, had many fears that his manners would appear
rustic and unfashioned. With all these apprehensions as to his manners
there was mixed a large proportion of pride of character, which tended
rather to increase than to diminish his apparent timidity. He dreaded
that people would value him, or think that he valued himself, for his
newly acquired fortune, instead of his good qualities: he feared that he
should be flattered; and he feared that he should like flattery. In the
midst of all these various and contradictory apprehensions, he would
perhaps have been awkward and miserable, had he been introduced into
society by one who had less knowledge of the world, or less knowledge of
the human heart, than Sir Ulick O'Shane possessed. Sir Ulick treated
him as if he had always lived in good company. Without presupposing any
ignorance, he at the same time took care to warn him of any etiquette
or modern fashion, so that no one should perceive the warning but
themselves. He neither offended Ormond's pride by seeming to patronize
or _produce_ him, nor did he let his timidity suffer from uncertainty or
neglect. Ormond's fortune was never adverted to, in any way that could
hurt his desire to be valued for his own sake; but he was made to feel
that it was a part, and a very agreeable part, of his personal merit.
Managed in this kind and skilful manner, he became perfectly at ease and
happy. His spirits rose, and he enjoyed every thing with the warmth of
youth, and with the enthusiasm of his natural character.

The first evening that "the earthly paradise" of Castle Hermitage
re-opened upon his view, he was presented to all the well-dressed,
well-bred belles. Black, brown, and fair, for the first hour appeared to
him all beautiful. His guardian standing apart, and seeming to listen to
a castle secretary, who was whispering to him of state affairs, observed
all that was passing.

Contrary to his guardian's expectations, however, Ormond was the next
morning faithful to his resolution, and did not appear among the angels
at the breakfast-table at Castle Hermitage. "It won't last a good week,"
said Sir Ulick to himself. But that good week, and the next, it lasted.
Harry's studies, to be sure, were sometimes interrupted by floating
visions of the Miss Darrells, Dartfords, and Lardners. He every now and
then sung bits of their songs, repeated their bon-mots, and from time to
time laying down his book, started up and practised quadrille steps, to
refresh himself, and increase his attention. His representations of
all he saw and heard at Castle Hermitage, and his frank and natural
description of the impression that every thing and every body made upon
him, were amusing and interesting to his friends at Vicar's Dale. It was
not by satire that he amused them, but by simplicity mixed with humour
and good sense--good sense sometimes half opening his eyes, and humour
describing what he saw with those eyes, half open, half shut.

"Pray what sort of people are the Darrells and Dartfords?" said Mrs.
Cambray.

"Oh! delightful--the girls especially--sing like angels."

"Well, the ladies I know are all angels with you at present--that you
have told us several times."

"It's really true, I believe--at least as far as I can see: but you know
I have not had time to see farther than the outside yet."

"The gentlemen, however--I suppose you have seen the inside of some of
them?"

"Certainly--those who have any thing inside of them--Dartford, for
instance."

"Well, Mr. Dartford, he is the man Sir Ulick said was so clever."

"Very clever--he is--I suppose, though I don't really recollect any
thing remarkable that I have heard him say. But the wit must be _in_
him--and he lets out a good deal of his opinions--of his opinion of
himself a little too much. But he is much admired."

"And Mr. Darrell--what of him?"

"Very fashionable. But indeed all I know about him is, that his dress is
_quite the thing_, and that he knows more about dishes and cooks than I
could have conceived any man upon earth of his age could know--but they
say it's the fashion--he is very fashionable, I hear."

"But is he conceited?"

"Why, I do not know--his manner might appear a little conceited--but
in reality he must be wonderfully humble--for he certainly values his
horses far above himself--and then he is quite content if his boot-tops
are admired. By-the-bye, there is a _famous invaluable_ receipt he has
for polishing those boot-tops, which is to make quite another man of
me--if I don't forget to put him in mind about it."

"And Mr. Lardner?"

"Oh! a pleasant young man--has so many good songs, and good stories, and
is so good-natured in repeating them. But I hope people won't make him
repeat them too often, for I can conceive one might be tired, in time."

During the course of the first three weeks, Harry was three times in
imminent danger of falling in love--first, with the beautiful, and
beautifully dressed, Miss Darrell, who danced, sung, played, rode, did
every thing charmingly, and was universally admired. She was remarkably
good-humoured, even when some of her companions were rather cross. Miss
Darrell reigned queen of the day, and queen of the ball, for three days
and three nights, unrivalled in our young hero's eyes; but on the fourth
night, Ormond chancing to praise the fine shape of one of her very dear
friends, Miss Darrell whispered, "She owes that fine shape to a finely
padded corset. Oh! I am clear of what I tell you--she is my intimate
friend."

From that moment Ormond was cured of all desire to be the intimate
friend of this fair lady. The second peerless damsel, whose praises he
sounded to Dr. Cambray, between the fits of reading Middleton's Cicero,
was Miss Eliza Darrell, the youngest of the three sisters: she was not
yet _come out_, though in the mean time allowed to appear at Castle
Hermitage; and she was so _naïve_, and so timid, and so very bashful,
that Sir Ulick was forced always to bring her into the room leaning
on his arm;--she could really hardly walk into a room--and if any body
looked at her, she was so much distressed--and there were such pretty
confusions and retreatings, and such a manoeuvring to get to the
side-table every day, and "Sir Ulick so terribly determined it should
not be." It was all naturally acted, and by a young pretty actress.
Ormond, used only to the gross affectation of Dora, did not suspect that
there was any affectation in the case. He pitied her so much, that Sir
Ulick was certain "love was in the next degree." Of this the young lady
herself was still more secure; and in her security she forgot some of
her graceful timidity. It happened that, in standing up for country
dances one night, some dispute about precedency occurred. Miss Eliza
Darrell was the _honourable_ Eliza Darrell; and some young lady, who
was not honourable, in contempt, defiance, neglect, or ignorance, stood
above her. The timid Eliza remonstrated in no very gentle voice, and
the colour came into her face--"the eloquent blood spoke" too plainly.
She!--the gentle Eliza!--pushed for her place, and with her honourable
elbows made way for herself; for what will not even well-bred belles do
in a crowd? Unfortunately, well-bred beaux are bound to support them.
Ormond was on the point of being drawn into a quarrel with the partner
of the offending party, when Sir Ulick appearing in the midst, and not
seeming to know that any thing was going wrong, broke up the intended
set of country dances, by insisting upon it that the Miss Darrells had
promised him a quadrille, and that they must dance it then, as there was
but just time before supper. Harry, who had seen how little his safety
was in the eye of the gentle Eliza, in comparison with the most trifling
point of her offended pride, was determined in future not to expose
himself to similar danger. The next young lady who took his fancy was
of course as unlike the last as possible: she was one of the remarkably
pleasant, sprightly, clever, most agreeable Miss Lardners. She did not
interest him much, but she amused him exceedingly. Her sister had one
day said to her, "Anne, you can't be pretty, so you had better be odd."
Anne took the advice, set up for being odd, and succeeded. She was a
mimic, a wit, and very satirical; and as long as the satire touched only
those for whom he did not care, Ormond was extremely diverted. He did
not think it quite feminine or amiable, but still it was entertaining:
there was also something flattering in being exempted from this general
reprobation and ridicule. Miss Lardner was intolerant of all insipid
people--_flats_, as she called them. How far Ormond might have been
drawn on by this laughing, talking, satirical, flattering wit, there is
no saying; but luckily they fell out one evening about old Lady Annaly.
Miss Lardner was not aware that Ormond knew, much less could she have
conceived, that he liked her ladyship. Miss Lardner was mimicking her,
for the amusement of a set of young ladies who were standing round the
fire after dinner, when Harry Ormond came in: he was not quite as much
diverted as she expected.

"Mr. Ormond does not know the _original_--the copy is lost upon him,"
said Miss Lardner; "and happy it is for you," continued she, turning to
him, "that you do not know her, for Lady Annaly is as stiff and tiresome
an original as ever was seen or heard of;--and the worst of it is, she
is an original without originality."

"Lady Annaly!" cried Ormond, with surprise, "surely not the Lady Annaly
I know."

"There's but one that I know of--Heaven forbid that there were two! But
I beg your pardon, Mr. Ormond, if she is a friend of yours--I humbly beg
your forgiveness--I did not know your taste was so _very good!_--.Lady
Annaly is a fine old lady, certainly--vastly respectable; and I so far
agree with Mr. Ormond, that of the two paragons, mother and daughter, I
prefer the mother. Paragons in their teens are insufferable:--patterns
of perfection are good for nothing in society, except to be torn to
pieces."

Miss Lardner pursued this diversion of tearing them to pieces, still
flattering herself that her present wit and drollery would prevail with
Ormond, as she had found it prevail with most people against an absent
friend. But Ormond thought upon this occasion she showed more flippancy
than wit, and more ill-nature than humour. He was shocked at the want
of feeling and reverence for age with which she, a young girl, just
entering into the world, spoke of a person of Lady Annaly's years and
high character. In the heat of attack, and in her eagerness to carry
her point against the Annalys, the young lady, according to custom,
proceeded from sarcasm to scandal. Every ill-natured report she had ever
heard against any of the family, she now repeated with exaggeration
and asseverations--vehement in proportion to the weakness of proof.
She asserted that Lady Annaly, with all her high character, was very
hard-hearted to some of her nearest family connexions. Sweet Lady
Millicent!--Oh! how barbarously she used her!--Miss Annaly too she
attacked, as a cold-blooded jilt. If the truth must be told, she had
actually broken the heart of a young nobleman, who was fool enough to
be taken in by her sort of manner: and the son, the famous Sir Herbert
Annaly! he was an absolute miser: Miss Lardner declared that she knew,
from the best authority, most shameful instances of his shabbiness.

The instances were stated, but Ormond could not believe these stories;
and what was more, he began to doubt the good faith of the person by
whom they were related. He suspected that she uttered these slanders,
knowing them to be false.

Miss Lardner observing that Ormond made no farther defence, but now
stood silent, and with downcast eyes, flattered herself that she had
completely triumphed. Changing the subject, she would have resumed with
him her familiar, playful tone; but all chance of her ever triumphing
over Ormond's head or heart was now at an end: so finished the third of
his three weeks' _fancies_. Such evanescent fancies would not have been
worth mentioning, but for the effect produced on his mind; though they
left scarcely any individual traces, they made a general and useful
impression. They produced a permanent contempt for _scandal_, that
common vice of idle society. He determined to guard against it
cautiously himself; and ever after, when he saw a disposition to it in
any woman, however highly-bred, highly-accomplished, or highly-gifted,
he considered her as a person of mean mind, with whom he could never
form any connexion of friendship or love.

The Lardners, Darrells, Dartfords, vanished, and new figures were to
appear in the magic lantern at Castle Hermitage. Sir Ulick thought a few
preliminary observations necessary to his ward. His opinion of Ormond's
capacity and steadiness had considerably diminished, in consequence of
his various mistakes of character, and sudden changes of opinion; for
Sir Ulick, with all his abilities, did not discriminate between want of
understanding, and want of practice. Besides, he did not see the whole:
he saw the outward boyish folly--he did not see the inward manly sense;
he judged Ormond by a false standard, by comparison with the young
men of the world of his own age. He knew that none of these, even of
moderate capacity, could have been three times in three weeks so near
being _taken in_--not one would have made the sort of blunders, much
less would any one, having made them, have acknowledged them as frankly
as Ormond did. It was this _imprudent_ candour which lowered him most in
his guardian's estimation. From not having lived in society, Harry was
not aware of the signs and tokens of folly or wisdom by which the world
judge; the opinion of the bystanders had not habitual power over
him. While the worldly young men guarded themselves with circumspect
self-love against every external appearance of folly, Harry was
completely unguarded: they lived cheaply upon borrowed wisdom; he
profited dearly, but permanently, by his own experience.

"My dear boy," said Sir Ulick, "are you aware that his Excellency the
Lord Lieutenant is coming to Castle Hermitage to-morrow?"

"Yes, sir; so I heard you say," replied Harry. "What sort of a man is
he?"

"_Man!_" repeated Sir Ulick, smiling. "In the first place, he is a very
_great_ man, and may be of great service to you."

"How so, sir? I don't want any thing from him. Now I have a good fortune
of my own, what can I want from any man--or if I must not say _man_, any
_great_ man?"

"My dear Harry, though a man's fortune is good, it may be better for
pushing it."

"And worse, may it not, sir? Did not I hear you speaking last night of
Lord Somebody, who had been pushing his fortune all his life, and died
pennyless?"

"True, because he pushed ill; if he had pushed well, he would have got
into a good place."

"I thank Heaven, I can get that now without any pushing."

"You can!--yes, by my interest perhaps you mean."

"No; by my own money, I mean."

"Bribery and corruption! Harry. Places are not in this country to be
bought--openly--these are things one must not talk of: and pray, with
your own money--if you could--what place upon earth would you purchase?"

"The only place in the world I should wish for, sir, would be a place in
the country."

Sir Ulick was surprised and alarmed; but said not a word that could
betray his feelings.

"A place of my own," continued Ormond, "a comfortable house and estate,
on which I could live independently and happily, with some charming
amiable woman."

"Darrell, Dartford, Lardner, which?" said Sir Ulick, with a sarcastic
smile.

"I am cured of these foolish fancies, sir."

"Well, there is another more dangerous might seize you, against which I
must warn you, and I trust one word of advice you will not take amiss."

"Sir, I am very much obliged to you: how could I take advice from you as
any thing but a proof of friendship?"

"Then, my dear boy, I must tell you, _in confidence_, what you will find
out the first night you are in his company, that his Excellency drinks
hard."

"No danger of my following his example," said Harry. "Thank you, sir,
for the warning; but I am sure enough of myself on this point, because
I have been tried--and when I would not drink to please my own dear
King Corny, there is not much danger of my drinking to please a Lord
Lieutenant, who, after all, is nothing to me."

"After all," said Sir Ulick; "but you are not come to _after all_
yet--you know nothing about his Excellency yet."

"Nothing but what you have told me, sir: if he drinks hard, I think he
sets no very good example as a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland."

"What oft was thought, perhaps, but ne'er so bluntly expressed," said
Sir Ulick.

Sir Ulick was afterwards surprised to see the firmness with which
his ward, when in company with persons of the first rank and fashion,
resisted the combined force of example, importunity, and ridicule. Dr.
Cambray was pleased, but not surprised; for he had seen in his young
friend other instances of this adherence to whatever he had once been
convinced was right. Resolution is a quality or power of mind totally
independent of knowledge of the world. The habit of self-control can be
acquired by any individual, in any situation. Ormond had practised and
strengthened it, even in the retirement of the Black Islands.

Other and far more dangerous trials were now preparing for him; but
before we go on to these, it may be expected that we should not pass
over in silence the vice-regal visit--and yet what can we say about it?
All that Ormond could say was, that "he supposed it was a great honour,
but it was no great pleasure."

The mornings, two out of five, being rainy, hung very heavily on hand in
spite of the billiard-room. Fine weather, riding, shooting, or boating,
killed time well enough till dinner; and Harry said he liked this part
of the business exceedingly, till he found that some great men were very
cross, if they did not shoot as many little birds as he did. Then came
dinner, the great point of relief and reunion!--and there had been late
dinners, and long dinners, and great dinners, fine plate, good dishes,
and plenty of wine, but a dearth of conversation--the natural topics
chained up by etiquette. One half of the people at table were too
prudent, the other half too stupid, to talk. Sir Ulick talked away
indeed; but even he was not half so entertaining as usual, because
he was forced to bring down his wit and humour to _court quality_. In
short, till the company had drunk a certain quantity of wine, nothing
was said worth repeating, and afterwards nothing repeatable.

After the vice-regal raree show was over, and that the grand folk had
been properly bowed into their carriages, and had fairly driven away,
there was some diversion to be had. People, without yawning, seemed
to recover from a dead sleep; the state of the atmosphere was
changed; there was a happy thaw; the frozen words and bits and ends of
conversations were repeated in delightful confusion. The men of wit,
in revenge for their prudent silence, were now happy and noisy beyond
measure. Ormond was much entertained: he had an opportunity of being not
only amused but instructed by conversation, for all the great dealers in
information, who had kept up their goods while there was no market, now
that there was a demand, unpacked, and brought them out in profusion.
There was such a rich supply, and such a quick and happy intercourse of
wit and knowledge, as quite delighted, almost dazzled, his eyes; but his
eyes were strong. He had a mind untainted with envy, highly capable of
emulation. Much was indeed beyond, or above, the reach of his present
powers; but nothing was beyond his generous admiration--nothing above
his future hopes of attainment. The effect and more than the effect,
which Sir Ulick had foreseen, was produced on Ormond's mind by hearing
the conversation of some of those who had distinguished themselves in
political life; he caught their spirit--their ambition: his wish was no
longer merely to see the world, but to distinguish himself in it. His
guardian saw the noble ambition rising in his mind. Oh! at that instant,
how could he think of debasing it to servile purposes--of working this
great power only for paltry party ends?



CHAPTER XX.

New circumstances arose, which unexpectedly changed the course of our
hero's mind. There was a certain Lady Millicent, whose name Lady Norton
had read from her memorandum-book among the list of guests expected at
Castle Hermitage. Sir Ulick, as Ormond recollected, had pronounced her
to be a charming, elegant, fascinating creature. Sir Ulick's praise was
sometimes exaggerated, and often lavished from party motives, or given
half in jest and half in earnest, against his conscience. But when he
did speak sincerely, no man's taste or judgment as to female beauty,
manners, and character, could be more safely trusted.

He was sincere in all he said of Lady Millicent's appearance and
manners; but as to the rest, he did not think himself bound to tell all
he knew about her.

Her ladyship arrived at Castle Hermitage. Ormond saw her, and thought
that his guardian had not in the least exaggerated as to her beauty,
grace, or elegance.

She was a very young widow, still in mourning for her husband, a gallant
officer, who had fallen the preceding year at a siege in Flanders.

Lady Millicent, as Lady Norton said, had not recovered, and she feared
never would recover from the shock her health had received at the time
of her husband's death. This account interested Ormond exceedingly for
the young widow.

There was something peculiarly engaging in the pensive softness and
modesty of her manner. It appeared free from affectation. Far from
making any display of her feelings, she seemed as much as possible to
repress them, and to endeavour to be cheerful, that she might not damp
the gaiety of others. Her natural disposition, Lady Norton said, was
very sprightly; and however passive and subdued she might appear at
present, she was of a high independent spirit, that would, on any great
occasion, think and act for itself. Better and better--each trait suited
Ormond's character more and more: his own observation confirmed the high
opinion which the praises of her friend tended to inspire. Ormond was
particularly pleased with the indulgent manner in which Lady Millicent
spoke of her own sex; she was free from that propensity to detraction
which had so disgusted him in his last love. Even of those by whom, as
it had been hinted to him, she had been hardly treated, she spoke with
gentleness and candour. Recollecting Miss Lardner's assertion, that
"Lady Annaly had used Lady Millicent barbarously," he purposely
mentioned Lady Annaly, to hear what she would say. "Lady Annaly," said
she, "is a most respectable woman--she has her prejudices--who is there
that has not?--It is unfortunate for me that she has been prepossessed
against _me_. She is one of my nearest connexions by marriage--one to
whom I might have looked in difficulty and distress--one of the few
persons whose assistance and interference I would willingly have
accepted, and would even have stooped to ask; but unhappily--I can
tell you no more," said she, checking herself: "it is every way an
unfortunate affair; and," added she, after a deep sigh, "the most
unfortunate part of it is, that it is my own fault."

_That_ Ormond could hardly believe; and whether it were or not, whatever
the unfortunate affair might be, the candour, the gentleness, with
which she spoke, even when her feelings were obviously touched and warm,
interested him deeply in her favour. He had heard that the Annalys were
just returning to Ireland, and he determined to go as soon as possible
to see them: he hoped they would come to Castle Hermitage, and that this
coolness might be made up. Meantime the more he saw of Lady Millicent,
the more he was charmed with her. Sir Ulick was much engaged with
various business in the mornings, and Lady Norton, Lady Millicent, and
Ormond, spent their time together: walking, driving in the sociable, or
boating on the lake, they were continually together. Lady Norton, a very
good kind of well-bred little woman, was a nonentity in conversation;
but she never interrupted it, nor laid the slightest restraint on any
one by her presence, which, indeed, was usually forgotten by Ormond. His
conversation with Lady Millicent generally took a sentimental turn. She
did not always speak sense, but she talked elegant nonsense with a
sweet persuasive voice and eloquent eyes: hers was a kind of exalted
sentimental morality, referring every thing to feeling, and to the
notion of _sacrifice_, rather than to a sense of duty, principle,
or reason. She was all for sensibility and enthusiasm--enthusiasm in
particular--with her there was no virtue without it. Acting from the
hope of making yourself or others happy, or from any view of utility,
was acting merely from low selfish motives. Her "point of virtue was so
high, that ordinary mortals might well console themselves by perceiving
the impossibility of ever reaching it." Exalted to the clouds, she
managed matters as she pleased there, and made charming confusion. When
she condescended to return to earth, and attempted to define--no, not
to define--definitions were death to her imagination!--but to _describe_
her notions, she was nearly unintelligible. She declared, however,
that she understood herself perfectly well; and Ormond, deceived
by eloquence, of which he was a passionate admirer, thought that he
understood when he only _felt_. Her ideas of virtue were carried to
such extremes, that they touched the opposite vices--in truth, there was
nothing to prevent them; for the line between right and wrong, that
line which should be strongly marked, was effaced: so delicately had
sentiment shaded off its boundaries. These female metaphysics, this
character of exalted imagination and sensitive softness, was not
quite so cheap and common some years ago, as it has lately become. The
consequences to which it practically leads were not then fully foreseen
and understood. At all times a man experienced in female character,
who had any knowledge of the world, even supposing he had no skill in
metaphysics, would easily have seen to what all this tends, and where it
usually terminates; and such a man would never have thought of marrying
Lady Millicent. But Ormond was inexperienced: the whole, matter and
manner, was new to him; he was struck with the delicacy and sensibility
of the fair sophist, and with all that was ingenious and plausible in
the doctrine, instead of being alarmed by its dangerous tendency. It
should be observed, in justice to Lady Millicent, that she was perfectly
sincere--if we may use the expression _of good faith_ in absurdities.
She did not use this sentimental sophistry, as it has since been too
often employed by many, to veil from themselves the criminality of
passion, or to mark the deformity of vice: there was, perhaps, the more
immediate hazard of her erring from ignorance and rashness; but
there was also, in her youth and innocence, a chance that she might
instinctively start back the moment she should see the precipice.

One evening Sir Ulick was talking of Lord Chesterfield's Letters, a
book at that time much in vogue, but which the good sense and virtue of
England soon cast into disrepute; and which, in spite of the charms of
wit and style, in spite of many sparkling and some valuable observations
mixed with its corruption, has since sunk, fortunately for the nation,
almost into oblivion. But when these _private_ letters were first
published, and when my lord, who now appears so stiff and awkward, was
in the fashion of the day, there was no withstanding it. The book was a
manual of education--with the vain hope of getting cheaply second-hand
knowledge of the world, it was read universally by every young man
entering life, from the nobleman's son, while his hair was powdering, to
the 'prentice thumbing it surreptitiously behind the counter. Sir Ulick
O'Shane, of course, recommended it to his ward: to Lady Millicent's
credit, she inveighed against it with honest indignation.

"What!" said Sir Ulick, smiling, "you are shocked at the idea of Lord
Chesterfield's advising his pupil at Paris to prefer a reputable affair
with a married woman, to a disreputable intrigue with an opera
girl! Well, I believe you are right as an Englishwoman, my dear Lady
Millicent; and I am clear, at all events, that you are right, as a
woman, to blush so eloquently with virtuous indignation:--Lady Annaly
herself could not have spoken and looked the thing better."

"So I was just thinking," said Ormond.

"Only the difference, Harry, between a young and an elderly woman,"
said Sir Ulick. "Truths divine come mended from the lips of youth and
beauty."

His compliment was lost upon Lady Millicent. At the first mention
of Lady Annaly's name she had sighed deeply, and had fallen into
reverie--and Ormond, as he looked at her, fell into raptures at the
tender expression of her countenance. Sir Ulick tapped him on the
shoulder, and drawing him a little on one side, "Take care of your
heart, young man," whispered he: "no serious attachment here--remember,
I warn you." Lady Norton joined them, and nothing more was said.

"Take care of my heart," thought Ormond: "why should I guard it against
such a woman?--what better can I do with it than offer it to such a
woman?"

A thought had crossed Ormond's mind which recurred at this instant. From
the great admiration Sir Ulick expressed for Lady Millicent, and the
constant attention--more than gallant--tender attention, which Sir Ulick
paid her, Ormond was persuaded that, but for that half of the broken
chain of matrimony which still encumbered him whom it could not bind,
Sir Ulick would be very glad to offer Lady Millicent not only his
heart but his hand. Suspecting this partiality, and imagining a latent
jealousy, Ormond did not quite like to consult his guardian about his
own sentiments and proceedings. He wished previously to consult his
impartial and most safe friend, Dr. Cambray. But Dr. Cambray had been
absent from home ever since the arrival of Lady Millicent. The doctor
and his family had been on a visit to a relation at a distance. Ormond,
impatient for their return, had every day questioned the curate; and
at last, in reply to his regular question of "When do you expect the
doctor, sir?" he heard the glad tidings of "We expect him to-morrow, or
next day, sir, positively."

The next day, Ormond, who was now master of a very elegant phaeton and
beautiful gray horses, and, having for some time been under the tuition
of that knowing whip Tom Darrell, could now drive to admiration,
prevailed upon Lady Millicent to trust herself with him in his
phaeton--Sir Ulick came up just as Ormond had handed Lady Millicent into
the carriage, and, pressing on his ward's shoulder, said, "Have you the
reins safe?"

"Yes."

"That's well--remember now, Harry Ormond," said he, with a look which
gave a double meaning to his words, "remember, I charge you, the warning
I gave you last niwht--drive carefully--pray, young sir, look
before you--no rashness!--young horses these," added he, patting the
horses--"pray be careful, Harry."

Ormond promised to be very careful, and drove off.

"I suppose," thought he, "my guardian must have some good reason for
this reiterated caution; I will not let her see my sentiments till I
know his reasons; besides, as Dr. Cambray returns to-morrow, I can wait
another day."

Accordingly, though not without putting considerable restraint upon
himself, Ormond talked of the beauties of nature, and of indifferent
matters. The conversation rather nagged, and sometimes on her ladyship's
side as well as on his. He fancied that she was more reserved than
usual, and a little embarrassed. He exerted himself to entertain
her--that was but common civility;--he succeeded, was pleased to see
her spirits rise, and her embarrassment wear off. When she revived, her
manner was this day so peculiarly engaging, and the tones of her voice
so soft and winning, that it required all Ormond's resolution to refrain
from declaring his passion. Now, for the first time, he conceived a hope
that he might make himself agreeable to her; that he might, in time,
soothe her grief, and restore her to happiness. Her expressions were
all delicately careful to imply nothing but friendship--but a woman's
friendship insensibly leads to love. As they were returning home after
a delightful drive, they entered upon this subject, so favourable to
the nice casuistry of sentiment, and to the enthusiastic eloquence of
passion--when, at an opening in the road, a carriage crossed them so
suddenly, that Ormond had but just time to pull up his horses.

"Dr. Cambray, I declare: the very man I wished to see."

The doctor, whose countenance had been full of affectionate pleasure at
the first sight of his young friend, changed when he saw who was in the
phaeton with him. The doctor looked panic-struck.

"Lady Millicent, Dr. Cambray," Ormond began the introduction; but each
bowing, said, in a constrained voice, "I have the honour of knowing--"
"I have the pleasure of being acquainted--"

The pleasure and honour seemed to be painful and embarrassing to both.

"Don't let us detain you," said the doctor; "but I hope, Mr. Ormond, you
will let me see you as soon as you can at Vicar's Dale."

"You would not doubt that, my dear doctor," said Ormond, "if you knew
how impatient I have been for your return--I will be with you before you
are all out of the carriage."

"The sooner the better," said the doctor.

"The sooner the better," echoed the friendly voices of Mrs. Cambray and
her daughter.

Ormond drove on; but from this moment, till they reached Castle
Hermitage, no more agreeable conversation passed between him and his
fair companion. It was all constrained.

"I was not aware that Dr. Cambray had the honour of being acquainted
with Lady Millicent," said Ormond.

"O yes! I had the pleasure some time ago," replied Lady Millicent, "when
he was in Dublin--not lately--I was a great favourite of his once."

"Once, and always, I should have thought."

"Dr. Cambray's a most amiable, respectable man," said her ladyship: "he
must be a great acquisition in this neighbourhood--a good clergyman is
valuable every where; in Ireland most especially, where the spirit of
conciliation is much wanted. 'Tis unknown how much a good clergyman may
do in Ireland."

"Very true--certainly."

So with a repetition of truisms, interspersed with reflections on the
state of Ireland, tithes, and the education of the poor, they reached
Castle Hermitage.

"Lady Millicent, you look pale," said Sir Ulick, as he handed her out.

"Oh, no, I have had a most delightful drive."

Harry just stayed to say that Dr. Cambray was returned, and that he must
run to see him, and off he went. He found the doctor in his study.

"Well, my dear doctor," said Ormond, in breathless consternation, "what
is the matter?"

"Nothing, I hope," said the doctor, looking earnestly in Ormond's face;
"and yet your countenance tells me that my fears are well founded."

"What is it you fear, sir?"

"The lady who was in the phaeton with you, Lady Millicent, I fear--"

"Why should you fear, sir?--Oh! tell me at once--what do you know of
her?"

"At once, then, I know her to be a very imprudent, though hope she is
still an innocent woman."

"Innocent!" repeated Ormond. "Good Heavens! is it possible that there
can be any doubt? Imprudent! My dear doctor, perhaps you have been
misinformed."

"All I know on the subject is this," said Dr. Cambray: "during Lord
Millicent's absence on service, a gentleman of high rank and gallantry
paid assiduous attention to Lady Millicent. Her relation and friend,
Lady Annaly, advised her to break off all intercourse with this
gentleman in such a decided manner, as to silence scandal.
Lady Millicent followed but half the advice of her friend; she
discountenanced the public attentions of her admirer, but she took
opportunities of meeting him at private parties: Lady Annaly again
interfered--Lady Millicent was offended: but the death of her husband
saved her from farther danger, and opened her eyes to the views of a
man, who thought her no longer worthy his pursuit, when he might have
her for life."

Ormond saw that there was no resource for him but immediately to quit
Castle Hermitage; therefore, the moment he returned, he informed Sir
Ulick of his determination, pointing out to him the impropriety of his
remaining in the society of Lady Millicent, when his opinion of her
character and the sentiments which had so strongly influenced his
behaviour, were irrevocably changed. This was an unexpected blow upon
Sir Ulick: he had his private reasons for wishing to detain Ormond at
Castle Hermitage till he was of age, to dissipate his mind by amusement
and variety, and to obtain over it an habitual guidance.

Ormond proposed immediately to visit the continent: by the time he
should arrive at Paris, Dora would be settled there, and he should be
introduced into the best company. The subtle Sir Ulick, perceiving that
Ormond must change his quarters, advised him to see something of his
own country before he went abroad. In the course of a few days, various
letters of recommendation were procured for him from Sir Ulick and his
connexions; and, what was of still more consequence, from Dr. Cambray
and his friends.

During this interval, Ormond once more visited the Black Islands; scenes
which recalled a thousand tender, and a few embittering, recollections.
He was greeted with heartfelt affection by many of the inhabitants of
the island, with whom he had passed some of his boyish days. Of some
scenes he had to be ashamed, but of others he was justly proud; and from
every tongue he heard the delightful praises of his departed friend and
benefactor.

His little farm had been well managed during his absence; the trees
he had planted began to make some appearance; and, upon the whole, his
visit to the Black Islands revived his generous feelings, and refreshed
those traces of early virtue which had been engraven on his heart.

At Castle Hermitage every thing had been prepared for his departure; and
upon visiting his excellent friend at the vicarage, he found the whole
family heartily interested in his welfare, and ready to assist him,
by letters of introduction to the best people in every part of Ireland
which Ormond intended to visit.



CHAPTER XXI.

During the course of Ormond's tour through Ireland, he frequently found
himself in company with those who knew the history of public affairs
for years past, and were but too well acquainted with the political
profligacy and shameful jobbing of Sir Ulick O'Shane.

Some of these gentlemen, knowing Mr. Ormond to be his ward, refrained,
of course, from touching upon any subject relative to Sir Ulick; and
when Ormond mentioned him, evaded the conversation, or agreed in general
terms in praising his abilities, wit, and address. But, after a day or
two's journey from Castle Hermitage, when he was beyond his own and the
adjoining counties, when he went into company with those who happened to
know nothing of his connexion with Sir Ulick O'Shane, then he heard
him spoken of in a very different manner. He was quite astonished and
dismayed by the general abuse, as he thought it, which was poured upon
him.

"Well, every man of abilities excites envy--every man who takes a part
in politics, especially in times when parties run high, must expect to
be abused: they must bear it; and their friends must learn to bear it
for them."

Such were the reflections with which Ormond at first comforted himself.
As far as party abuse went, this was quite satisfactory; even facts, or
what are told as facts, are so altered by the manner of seeing them by
an opposite party, that, without meaning to traduce, they calumniate.
Ormond entrenched himself in total disbelief, and cool assertion of his
disbelief, of a variety of anecdotes he continually heard discreditable
to Sir Ulick. Still he expected that, when he went into other company,
and met with men of Sir Ulick's own party, he should obtain proofs of
the falsehood of these stories, and by that he might be able, not only
to contradict, but to confute them. People, however, only smiled, and
told him that he had better inquire no farther, if he expected to find
Sir Ulick an immaculate character. Those who liked him best, laughed off
the notorious instances of his public defection of principle, and of
his private jobbing, as good jokes; proofs of his knowledge of the
world--his address, his frankness, his being "not a bit of a hypocrite."
But even those who professed to like him best, and to be the least
scrupulous with regard to public virtue, still spoke with a sort of
facetious contempt of Sir Ulick, as a thorough-going friend of the
powers that be--as a hack of administration--as a man who knew well
enough what he was about. Ormond was continually either surprised or
hurt by these insinuations. The concurrent testimony of numbers who
had no interest to serve, or prejudice to gratify, operated upon him by
degrees, so as to enforce conviction, and this was still more painful.

Harry became so sore and irritable upon this subject, that he was now
every day in danger of entangling himself in some quarrel in defence of
his guardian. Several times the master of the house prevented this, and
brought him to reason, by representing that the persons who talked of
Sir Ulick were quite ignorant of his connexion with him, and spoke only
according to general opinion, and to the best of their belief, of a
public character, who was fair game. It was, at that time, much the
fashion among a certain set in Dublin, to try their wit upon each other
in political and poetical squibs--the more severe and bitter these
were, the more they were applauded: the talent for invective was in
the highest demand at this period in Ireland; it was considered as the
unequivocal proof of intellectual superiority. The display of it was
the more admired, as it could not be enjoyed without a double portion of
that personal promptitude to give the _satisfaction of a gentleman_,
on which the Irish pride themselves: the taste of the nation, both for
oratory and manners, has become of late years so much more refined, that
when any of the lampoons of that day are now recollected, people are
surprised at the licence of abuse which was then tolerated, and even
approved of in fashionable society. Sir Ulick O'Shane, as a well-known
public character, had been the subject of a variety of puns, bon-mots,
songs, and epigrams, which had become so numerous as to be collected
under the title of Ulysseana. Upon the late separation of Sir Ulick
and his lady, a new edition, with a caricature frontispiece, had been
published; unfortunately for Ormond, this had just worked its way from
Dublin to this part of the country.

It happened one day, at a gentleman's house where this Ulysseana had not
yet been seen, that a lady, a visitor and a stranger, full of some of
the lines which she had learned by heart, began to repeat them for
the amusement of the tea-table. Ladies do not always consider how
much mischief they may do by such imprudence; nor how they may hazard
valuable lives, for the sake of producing a _sensation_, by the
repetition of _a severe thing_. Ormond came into the room after dinner,
and with some other gentlemen gathered round the tea-table, while the
lady was repeating some extracts from the new edition of the Ulysseana.
The master and mistress of the house made reiterated attempts to stop
the lady; but, too intent upon herself and her second-hand wit to
comprehend or take these hints, she went on reciting the following
lines:--

  To serve in parliament the nation,
  Sir Ulick read his recantation:

    At first he joined the patriot throng,
    But soon perceiving he was wrong,
    He ratted to the courtier tribe,
    Bought by a title and a bribe;
    But how that new found friend to bind,
    With any oath--of any kind,
    Disturb'd the premier's wary mind.
    "_Upon his faith.--Upon his word,_"
    Oh! that, my friend, is too absurd.
    "_Upon his honour_."--Quite a jest.
    "_Upon his conscience_."--No such test.
    "_By all he has on earth_."--'Tis gone.
    "_By all his hopes of Heaven_."--They're none.
    "How then secure him in our pay--
    He can't be trusted for a day?"
    How?--When you want the fellow's throat--
    Pay by the job--you have his vote.

Sir Ulick himself, had he been present, would have laughed off the
epigram with the best grace imaginable, and so, in good policy, ought
Ormond to have taken it. But he felt it too much, and was not in the
habit of laughing when he was vexed. Most of the company, who knew any
thing of his connexion with Sir Ulick, or who understood the agonizing
looks of the master and mistress of the house, politely refrained from
smiles or applause; but a cousin of the lady who repeated the lines, a
young man who was one of the hateful tribe of _quizzers_, on purpose to
_try_ Ormond, praised the verses to the skies, and appealed to him for
his opinion.

"I can't admire them, sir," replied Ormond.

"What fault can you find with them?" said the young man, winking at the
bystanders.

"I think them _incorrect_, in the first place, sir," said Ormond, "and
altogether indifferent."

"Well, at any rate, they can't be called _moderate_," said the
gentleman; "and as to incorrect, the substance, I fancy, is correctly
true."

"_Fancy_, sir!--It would be hard if character were to be at the mercy of
fancy," cried Ormond, hastily; but checking himself, he, in a mild tone,
added, "before we go any farther, sir, I should inform you that I am a
ward of Sir Ulick O Shane's."

"Oh! mercy," exclaimed the lady, who had repeated the verses; "I am sure
I did not know that, or I would not have said a word--I declare I beg
your pardon, sir."

Ormond's bow and smile spoke his perfect satisfaction with the lady's
contrition, and his desire to relieve her from farther anxiety. So the
matter might have happily ended; but her cousin, though he had begun
merely with an intention to try Ormond's temper, now felt piqued by
his spirit, and thought it incumbent upon him to persist. Having drunk
enough to be ill-humoured, he replied, in an aggravating and ill-bred
manner, "Your being Sir Ulick O'Shane's ward may make a difference
in your feelings, sir, but I don't see why it should make any in my
opinion."

"In the expression of that opinion at least, sir, I think it ought."

The master of the house now interfered, to explain and pacify, and
Ormond had presence of mind and command enough over himself, to say no
more while the ladies were present: he sat down, and began talking about
some trifle in a gay tone; but his flushed cheek, and altered manner,
showed that he was only repressing other feelings. The carriages of
the visitors were announced, and the strangers rose to depart. Ormond
accompanied the master of the house to hand the ladies to their
carriages. To mark his being in perfect charity with the fair penitent,
he showed her particular attention, which quite touched her; and as he
put her into her carriage, she, all the time, repeated her apologies,
declared it should be a lesson to her for life, and cordially shook
hands with him at parting. For her sake, he wished that nothing more
should be said on the subject.

But, on his return to the hall, he found there the cousin, buttoning on
his great coat, and seeming loath to depart: still in ill-humour, the
gentleman said, "I hope you are satisfied with that lady's apologies,
Mr. Ormond."

"I am, sir, perfectly."

"That's lucky: for apologies are easier had from ladies than gentlemen,
and become them better."

"I think it becomes gentlemen as well as ladies to make candid
apologies, where they are conscious of being wrong--if there was no
intention to give offence."

"_If_ is a great peace-maker, sir; but I scorn to take advantage of an
_if_."

"Am I to suppose then, sir," said Ormond, "that it was your intention to
offend me?"

"Suppose what you please, sir--I am not in the habit of explanation or
apology."

"Then, sir, the sooner we meet the better," said Ormond. In consequence
Ormond applied to an officer who had been present during the
altercation, to be his second. Ormond felt that he had restrained his
anger sufficiently--he was now as firm as he had been temperate. The
parties met and fought: the man who deserved to have suffered, by
the chance of this rational mode of deciding right and wrong, escaped
unhurt; Ormond received a wound in his arm. It was only a flesh wound.
He was at the house of a very hospitable gentleman, whose family were
kind to him; and the inconvenience and pain were easily borne. In the
opinion of all, in that part of the world, who knew the facts, he had
conducted himself as well as the circumstances would permit; and, as it
was essential, not only to the character of a hero, but of a gentleman
at that time in Ireland, to fight a duel, we may consider Ormond as
fortunate in not having been in the wrong. He rose in favour with the
ladies, and in credit with the gentlemen, and he heard no more of the
Ulysseana; but he was concerned to see paragraphs in all the Irish
papers, about the duel that had been fought between M. N. Esq. jun. of
----, and H. O. Esq., in consequence of a dispute that arose about some
satirical verses, repeated by a lady on a certain well-known character,
nearly related to one of the parties. A flaming account of the duel
followed, in which there was the usual newspaper proportion of truth and
falsehood: Ormond knew and regretted that this paragraph must meet
the eyes of his guardian; and still more he was sorry that Dr. Cambray
should see it. He knew the doctor's Christian abhorrence of the whole
system of duelling; and, by the statement in the papers, it appeared
that that gallant youth, H. O. Esq., to whom the news-writer evidently
wished to do honour, had been far more forward to provoke the fight than
he had been, or than he ought to have been:--his own plain statement
of facts, which he wrote to Dr. Cambray, would have set every thing to
rights, but his letter crossed the doctor's on the road. As he was now
in a remote place, which the delightful mail coach roads had not then
reached--where the post came in only three days in the week--and where
the mail cart either broke down, lost a wheel, had a tired horse, was
overturned, or robbed, at an average once a fortnight--our hero had no
alternative but patience, and the amusement of calculating dates and
chances upon his restless sofa. His taste for reading enabled him to
pass agreeably some of the hours of bodily confinement, which men, and
young men especially, accustomed to a great deal of exercise, liberty,
and locomotion, generally find so intolerably irksome. At length his
wound was well enough for him to travel--letters for him arrived: a
warm, affectionate one from his guardian; and one from Dr. Cambray,
which relieved his anxiety.

"I must tell you, my dear young friend," said Dr. Cambray, "that while
you have been defending Sir Ulick O'Shane's public character (of
which, by-the-by, you know nothing), I have been defending your private
character, of which I hope and believe I know something. The truth is
always known in time, with regard to every character; and therefore,
independently of other motives, moral and religious, it is more prudent
to trust to time and truth for their defence, than to sword and
pistol. I know you are impatient to hear what were the reports to your
disadvantage, and from whom I had them. I had them from the Annalys;
and they heard them in England, through various circuitous channels of
female correspondents in Ireland. As far as we can trace them, we think
that they originated with your old friend Miss Black. The first account
Lady Annaly heard of you after she went to England, was, that you were
living a most dissolute life in the Black Islands, with King Corny,
who was described to be a profligate rebel, and his companion an
ex-communicated catholic priest; king, priest, and _Prince Harry_,
getting drunk together regularly every night of their lives. The next
account which Lady Annaly received some months afterwards, in reply to
inquiries she had made from her agent, was, that it was impossible to
know any thing for certain of Mr. Harry Ormond, as he always kept in the
Black Islands. The report was, that he had lately seduced a girl of the
name of Peggy Sheridan, a respectable gardener's daughter, who was going
to be married to a man of the name of Moriarty Carroll, a person whom
Mr. Ormond had formerly shot in some unfortunate drunken quarrel. The
match between her and Moriarty had been broken off in consequence. The
following year accounts were worse and worse. This Harry Ormond had
gained the affections of his benefactor's daughter, though, as he had
been warned by her father, she was betrothed to another man. The young
lady was afterwards, by her father's anger, and by Ormond's desertion
of her, thrown into the arms of a French adventurer, whom Ormond brought
into the house under pretence of learning French from him. Immediately
after the daughter's elopement with the French master, the poor father
died suddenly, in some extraordinary manner, when out shooting with this
Mr. Ormond; to whom a considerable landed property, and a large legacy
in money, were, to every body's surprise, found to be left in a will
which _he_ produced, and which the family did not think fit to dispute.
There were strange circumstances told concerning the wake and burial,
all tending to prove that this Harry Ormond had lost all feeling. Hints
were further given that he had renounced the Protestant religion, and
had turned Catholic for the sake of absolution."

Many times during the perusal of this extravagant tissue of falsehoods,
Ormond laid down and resumed the paper, unable to refrain from
exclamations of rage and contempt; sometimes almost laughing at the
absurdity of the slander. "After this," thought he, "who can mind common
reports?--and yet Dr. Cambray says that these excited some prejudice
against me in the mind of Lady Annaly. With such a woman I should
have thought it impossible. Could she believe me capable of such
crimes?--_me_, of whom she had once a good opinion?--_me_, in whose fate
she said she was interested?"

He took Dr. Cambray's letter again, and read on: he found that Lady
Annaly had not credited these reports as to the atrocious accusations;
but they had so far operated as to excite doubts and suspicions. In
some of the circumstances, there was sufficient truth to colour the
falsehood. For example, with regard both to Peggy Sheridan, and Dora,
the truth had been plausibly mixed with falsehood. The story of Peggy
Sheridan, Lady Annaly had some suspicion might be true. Her ladyship,
who had seen Moriarty's generous conduct to Ormond, was indignant at his
ingratitude. She was a woman prompt to feel strong indignation against
all that was base; and, when her indignation was excited, she was
sometimes incapable of hearing what was said on the other side of the
question. Her daughter Florence, of a calmer temper and cooler judgment,
usually acted as moderator on these occasions. She could not believe
that Harry Ormond had been guilty of faults that were so opposite to
those which they had seen in his disposition:--violence, not treachery,
was his fault. But why, if there were nothing wrong, Lady Annaly
urged--why did not he write to her, as she had requested he would, when
his plans for his future life were decided?--She had told him that her
son might probably be able to assist him. Why could not he write one
line?

Ormond had heard that her son was ill, and that her mind was so absorbed
with anxiety, that he could not at first venture to intrude upon her
with his selfish concerns. This was his first and best reason; but
afterwards, to be sure, when he heard that the son was better, he might
have written. He wrote at that time such a sad scrawl of a hand--he was
so little used to letter-writing, that he was ashamed to write. Then
it was _too late_ after so long a silence, &c. Foolish as these reasons
were, they had, as we have said before, acted upon our young hero; and
have, perhaps, in as important circumstances, prevented many young men
from writing to friends, able and willing to serve them. It was rather
fortunate for Ormond that slander did not stop at the first plausible
falsehoods: when the more atrocious charges came against him, Miss
Annaly, who had never deserted his cause, declared her absolute
disbelief. The discussions that went on, between her and her mother,
kept alive their interest about this young man. He was likely to have
been forgotten during their anxiety in the son's illness; but fresh
reports had brought him to their recollection frequently; and when their
friend, Dr. Cambray, was appointed to the living of Castle Hermitage,
his evidence perfectly reinstated Harry in Lady Annaly's good opinion.
As if to make amends for the injustice she had done him by believing any
part of the evil reports, she was now anxious to see him again. A
few days after Dr. Cambray wrote, Ormond received a very polite and
gratifying letter from Lady Annaly, requesting that, as "Annaly" lay in
his route homewards, he would spend a few days there, and give her
an opportunity of making him acquainted with her son. It is scarcely
necessary to say that this invitation was eagerly accepted.



CHAPTER XXII.

Upon his arrival at Annaly, Ormond found that Dr. Cambray and all his
family were there.

"Yes, all your friends," said Lady Annaly, as Ormond looked round with
pleasure, "all your friends, Mr. Ormond--you must allow me an old right
to be of that number--and here is my son, who is as well inclined, as
I hope you feel, to pass over the intermediate formality of new
acquaintanceship, and to become intimate with you as soon as possible."

Sir Herbert Annaly confirmed, by the polite cordiality of his manner,
all that his mother promised; adding that their mutual friend Dr.
Cambray had made him already so fully acquainted with Mr. Ormond, that
though he had never had the pleasure of seeing him before, he could not
consider him as a stranger.

Florence Annaly was beautiful, but not one of those beauties who strike
at first sight. Hers was a face which neither challenged nor sued
for admiration. There was no expression thrown into the eyes or the
eyebrows, no habitual smile on the lips--the features were all in
natural repose; the face never expressed any thing but what the mind
really felt. But if any just observation was made in Miss Annaly's
company, any stroke of genius, that countenance instantly kindled
into light and life: and if any noble sentiment was expressed, if
any generous action was related, then the soul within illumined the
countenance with a ray divine. When once Ormond had seen this, his eye
returned in hopes of seeing it again--he had an indescribable interest
and pleasure in studying a countenance, which seemed so true an index
to a noble and cultivated mind, to a heart of delicate, but not morbid
sensibility. His manners and understanding had been formed and improved,
beyond what could have been expected, from the few opportunities of
improvement he had till lately enjoyed. He was timid, however, in
conversation with those of whose information and abilities he had a
high opinion, so that at first he did not do himself justice; but in his
timidity there was no awkwardness; it was joined with such firmness of
principle, and such a resolute, manly character, that he was peculiarly
engaging to women.

During his first visit at Annaly he pleased much, and was so much
pleased with every individual of the family, with their manners, their
conversation, their affection for each other, and altogether with their
mode of living, that he declared to Dr. Cambray he never had been so
happy in his whole existence. It was a remarkable fact, however, that he
spoke much more of Lady Annaly and Sir Herbert than of Miss Annaly.

He had never before felt so very unwilling to leave any place, or so
exceedingly anxious to be invited to repeat his visit. He did receive
the wished-for invitation; and it was given in such a manner as left him
no doubt that he might indulge his own ardent desire to return, and to
cultivate the friendship of this family. His ardour for foreign travel,
his desire to see more of the world, greatly abated; and before he
reached Castle Hermitage, and by the time he saw his guardian, he had
almost forgotten that Sir Ulick had traced for him a course of
travels through the British islands and the most polished parts of the
Continent.

He now told Sir Ulick that it was so far advanced in the season, that he
thought it better to spend the winter in Ireland.

"In Dublin instead of London?" said Sir Ulick, smiling; "very patriotic,
and very kind to me, for I am sure I am your first object; and depend
upon it few people, ladies always excepted, will ever like your company
better than I do."

Then Sir Ulick went rapidly over every subject, and every person, that
could lead his ward farther to explain his feelings; but now, as usual,
he wasted his address, for the ingenuous young man directly opened his
whole heart to him.

"I am impatient to tell you, sir," said he, "how very kindly I was
received by Lady Annaly."

"She is very kind," said Sir Ulick: "I suppose, in general, you have
found yourself pretty well received wherever you have gone--not to
flatter you too much on your mental or personal qualifications, and, no
disparagement to Dr. Cambray's letters of introduction or my own, five
or six thousand a-year are, I have generally observed, a tolerably good
passport into society, a sufficient passe-partout." "Passe-partout!--not
_partout_--not quite sufficient at Annaly, you cannot mean, sir--"

"Oh! I cannot mean any thing, but that Annaly is altogether the eighth
wonder of the world," said Sir Ulick, "and all the men and women in it
absolutely angels--perfect angels."

"No, sir, if you please, not perfect; for I have heard--though I own I
never saw it--that perfection is always stupid: now certainly _that_ the
Annalys are not."

"Well, well, they shall be as imperfect as you like--any thing to please
you."

"But, sir, you used to be so fond of the Annalys. I remember."

"True, and did I tell you that I had changed my opinion?"

"Your manner, though not your words, tells me so."

"You mistake: the fact is--for I always treat you, Harry, with perfect
candour--I was hurt and vexed by their refusal of my son. But, after
all," added he, with a deep sigh, "it was Marcus's own fault--he has
been very dissipated. Miss Annaly was right, and her mother quite right,
I own. Lady Annaly is one of the most respectable women in Ireland--and
Miss Annaly is a charming girl--I never saw any girl I should have liked
so much for my daughter-in-law. But Marcus and I don't always agree
in our tastes--I don't think the refusal there, was half as great a
mortification and disappointment to him, as it was to me."

"You delight me, dear sir," cried Ormond; "for then I may feel secure
that if ever in future--I don't mean in the least that I have any
present thought--it would be absurd--it would be ridiculous--it would
be quite improper--you know I was only there ten days; but I mean if, in
future, I should ever have any thoughts--any serious thoughts--"

"Well, well," said Sir Ulick, laughing at Ormond's hesitation and
embarrassment, "I can suppose that you will have thoughts of some
kind or other, and serious thoughts in due course; but, as you justly
observe, it would be quite ridiculous at present."

"I beg your pardon, sir," interrupted Harry, "but it would even at
present be an inexpressible satisfaction to me to know, that if in
future such a thing should occur, I should be secure, in the first
place, of your approbation."

"As to that, my dear boy," said Sir Ulick, "you know in a few days you
will be at years of discretion--then my control ceases."

"Yes, sir; but not my anxiety for your approbation, and my deference for
your opinion."

"Then," said Sir Ulick, "and without circumlocution or nonsense, I tell
you at once, Harry Ormond, that Florence Annaly is the woman in the
world I should like best to see your wife."

"Thank you, sir, for this explicit answer--I am sure towards me nothing
can have been more candid and kind than your whole conduct has ever
been."

"That's true, Harry," exclaimed Sir Ulick. "Tell me about this duel--you
have fought a duel in defence of my conduct and character, I understand,
since I saw you. But, my dear fellow, though I am excessively obliged
to you, I am exceedingly angry with you: how could you possibly be
so hot-heated and silly as to _take up_ any man for relishing the
Ulysseana? Bless ye! I relish it myself--I only laugh at such things:
believe me, 'tis The best way."

"I am sure of it, sir, if one can; and, indeed, I have had pretty good
proof that one should despise reports and scandal of all kinds--easier
for oneself sometimes than for one's friends."

"Yes, my dear Ormond, by the time you have been half as long living
in the great and the political world as I have been, you will be quite
case-hardened, and will hear your friends abused, without feeling it
in the least. Believe me, I once was troubled with a great deal of
susceptibility like yours--but after all, 'tis no bad thing for you to
have fought a duel--a feather in your cap with the ladies, and a warning
to all impertinent fellows to let you alone--but you were wounded, the
newspaper said--I asked you where, three times in my letters--you never
condescended to answer me--answer me now, I insist upon it."

"In my arm, sir--a slight scratch."

"Slight scratch or not, I must hear all about it--come, tell me exactly
how the thing began and ended--tell me all the rascals said of me.--You
won't?--then I'll tell you: they said, 'I am the greatest jobber in
Ireland--that I do not mind how I throw away the public money--in short,
that I am a sad political profligate.'--Well! well! I am sure, after
all, they did me the justice to acknowledge, that in private life no
man's honour is more to be depended on."

"They did do you that justice, sir," said Ormond; "but pray ask me no
farther questions--for, frankly, it is disagreeable to me--and I will
tell you no more."

"That's frank," said Sir Ulick, "and I as frankly assure you I am
perfectly satisfied."

"Then, to return to the Annalys," said Ormond, "I never saw Sir
Herbert till now--I like him--I like his principles--his love of his
country--and his attachment to his family."

"He's a very fine fellow--no better fellow than Herbert Annaly. But as
for his attachment to his family, who thanks him for that? Who could
help it, with such a family? And his love for his country--every body
loves his country."

"More or less, I suppose," said Ormond.

"But, upon my word, I entirely agree with you about Sir Herbert, though
I know he is prejudiced against me to the last degree"

"If he be, I don't know it, sir--I never found it out."

"He will let it out by and by--I only hope he will not prejudice you
against me."

"That is not very easily done, sir."

"As you have given some proof, my dear boy, and I thank you for it. But
the Annalys would go more cautiously to work--I only put you on your
guard--Marcus and Sir Herbert never could hit it off together; and I am
afraid the breach between us and the Annalys must he widened, for Marcus
must stand against Sir Herbert at the next election, if he live--Pray
how is he?"

"Not strong, sir--he has a hectic colour--as I was very sorry to see."

"Ay, poor fellow--he broke some blood-vessel, I think Marcus told me,
when they were in England."

"Yes, sir--so Lady Annaly told me--it was in over-exerting himself to
extinguish a fire."

"A very fine spirited fellow he is, no doubt," said Sir Ulick; "but,
after all, that was rather a foolish thing, in his state of health.
By-the-by, as your guardian, it is my duty to explain the circumstances
of this family--in case you should hereafter _have any serious
thoughts_; as you say, you should know what comforted Marcus in his
disappointment there. There is, then, some confounded flaw in that
old father's will, through which the great Herbert estate slips to an
heir-at-law, who has started up within this twelvemonth. Miss Annaly,
who was to have been a nonpareil of an heiress in case of the brother's
death, will have but a moderate fortune; and the poor dowager will be
but scantily provided for, after all the magnificence which she has been
used to, unless he lives to make up something handsome for them. I don't
know the particulars, but I know that a vast deal depends on his living
till he has levied certain fines, which he ought to have levied,
instead of amusing himself putting out other people's fires. But I am
excessively anxious about it, and now on your account as well as theirs;
for it would make a great difference to you, if you seriously have any
_thoughts_ of Miss Annaly."

Ormond declared this could make no difference to him, since his own
fortune would be sufficient for all the wishes of such a woman as he
supposed Miss Annaly to be. The next day Marcus O'Shane arrived from
England. This was the first time that Ormond and he had met since
the affair of Moriarty, and the banishment from Castle Hermitage. The
meeting was awkward enough, notwithstanding Sir Ulick's attempts to make
it otherwise: Marcus laboured under the double consciousness of having
deserted Harry in past adversity, and of being jealous of his present
prosperity. Ormond at first went forward to meet him more than half way
with great cordiality, but the cold politeness of Marcus chilled him;
and the heartless congratulations, and frequent allusions in the course
of the first hour, to Ormond's new fortune and consequence, offended our
young hero's pride. He grew more reserved, the more complimentary Marcus
became, especially as in all his compliments there was a mixture
of _persiflage_, which Marcus supposed, erroneously, that Ormond's
untutored, unpractised ear would not perceive.

Harry sat silent, proudly indignant. He valued himself on being
something, and somebody, independently of his fortune--he had worked
hard to become so--he had the consciousness about him of tried
integrity, resolution, and virtue; and was it to be implied that he was
_somebody_, only in consequence of his having chanced to become heir
to so many thousands a year? Sir Ulick, whose address was equal to most
occasions, was not able to manage so as to make these young men like one
another. Marcus had an old jealousy of Harry's favour with his father,
of his father's affection for Harry: and at the present moment, he was
conscious that his father was with just cause much displeased with him.
Of this Harry knew nothing, but Marcus suspected that his father
had told Ormond every thing, and this increased the awkwardness and
ill-humour that Marcus felt; and notwithstanding all his knowledge of
the world, and conventional politeness, he showed his vexation in
no very well-bred manner. He was now in particularly bad humour, in
consequence of a _scrape_, as he called it, which he had got into,
during his last winter in London, respecting an intrigue with a married
lady of rank. Marcus, by some intemperate expressions, had brought on
the discovery, of which, when it was too late, he repented. A public
trial was likely to be the consequence--the damages would doubtless be
laid at the least at ten thousand pounds. Marcus, however, counting, as
sons sometimes do in calculating their father's fortune, all the credit,
and knowing nothing of the debtor side of the account, conceived his
father's wealth to be inexhaustible. Lady O'Shane's large fortune had
cleared off all debts, and had set Sir Ulick up in a bank, which was in
high credit; then he had shares in a canal and in a silver mine--he held
two lucrative sinecure places--and had bought estates in three counties:
but the son did not know, that for the borrowed purchase-money of two of
the estates Sir Ulick was now paying high and accumulating interest; so
that the prospect of being called upon for ten thousand pounds was most
alarming. In this exigency Sir Ulick, who had long foreseen how the
affair was likely to terminate, had his eye upon his ward's ready money.
It was for this he had been at such peculiar pains to ingratiate
himself with Ormond. Affection, nevertheless, made him hesitate; he was
unwilling to injure or to hazard his property--very unwilling to prey
upon his generosity--still more so after the late handsome manner in
which Ormond had hazarded his life in defence of his guardian's honour.

Sir Ulick, who perceived the first evening that Marcus and Ormond met,
that the former was not going the way to assist these views, pointed
out to him how much it was for his interest to conciliate Ormond, and
to establish himself in his good opinion; but Marcus, though he saw
and acknowledged this, could not submit his pride and temper to the
necessary restraint. For a few hours he would display his hereditary
talents, and all his acquired graces; but the next hour his ill-humour
would break out towards his inferiors, his father's tenants and
dependents, in a way which Ormond's generous spirit could not bear.
Before he went to England, even from his boyish days, his manners had
been habitually haughty and tyrannical to the lower class of people.
Ormond and he had always differed and often quarrelled on this subject.
Ormond hoped to find his manners altered in this respect by his
residence in a more polished country. But the external polish he had
acquired had not reached the mind: high-bred society had taught him
only to be polite to his equals; he was now still more disposed to
be insolent to his inferiors, especially to his Irish inferiors. He
affected to consider himself as more than half an Englishman; and
returning from London in all the distress and disgrace to which he had
reduced himself by criminal indulgence in the vices of fashionable, and
what he called _refined_, society, he vented his ill-humour on the poor
Irish peasants--the _natives_, as he termed them in derision. He spoke
to them as if they were slaves--he considered them as savages. Marcus
had, early in life, almost before he knew the real distinctions, or more
than the names of the different parties in Ireland, been a strong
party man. He called himself a government man; but he was one of those
partisans, whom every wise and good administration in Ireland has
discountenanced and disclaimed. He was, in short, one of those who make
their politics an excuse to their conscience for the indulgence of a
violent temper.

Ormond was indignant at the inveterate prejudice that Marcus showed
against a poor man, whom he had injured, but who had never injured
him. The moment Marcus saw Moriarty Carroll again, and heard his name
mentioned, he exclaimed and reiterated, "That's a bad fellow--I know him
of old--all those Carrolls are rascals and rebels."

Marcus looked with a sort of disdainful spleen at the house which Ormond
had fitted up for Moriarty.

"So, you stick to this fellow still!--What a dupe, Ormond, this Moriarty
has made of you!" said Marcus; "but that's not my affair. I only wonder
how you wheedled my father out of the ground for the garden here."

"There was no wheedling in the case," said Ormond: "your father gave it
freely, or I should not have accepted it."

"You were very good to accept it, no doubt," said Marcus, in an ironical
tone: "I know I have asked my father for a garden to a cottage before
now, and have been refused."

Sir Ulick came up just as this was said, and, alarmed at the tone of
voice, used all his address to bring his son back to good temper; and he
might have succeeded, but that Peggy Carroll chanced to appear at that
instant.

"Who is that?" cried Marcus--"Peggy Sheridan, as I live! is it not?"

"No, please your honour, but Peggy Sheridan that was--Peggy Carroll
_that is_," said Peggy, curtsying, with a slight blush, and an arch
smile.

"So, you have married that Moriarty at last."

"I have, please your honour--he is a very honest boy--and I'm very
happy--if your honour's pleased."

"Who persuaded your father to this, pray, contrary to my advice?"

"Nobody at all, plase your honour," said Peggy, looking frightened.

"Why do you say that, Peggy," said Ormond, "when you know it was I
who persuaded your father to give his consent to your marriage with
Moriarty?"

"You! Mr. Ormond!--Oh, I comprehend it all now," said Marcus, with his
sneering look and tone: "no doubt you had good reasons."

Poor Peggy blushed the deepest crimson.

"I understand it all now," said Marcus--"I understand you now, Harry."

Ormond's anger rose, and with a look of high disdain, he replied, "You
understand me, now! No, nor ever will, nor ever can. Our minds are
unintelligible to each other."

Then turning from him, Ormond walked away with indignant speed.

"Peggy, don't I see something like a cow yonder, _getting her bread_ at
my expense?" said Sir Ulick, directing Peggy's eye to a gap in the
hedge by the road-side. "Whose cow is that at the top of the ditch, half
through my hedge?"

"I can't say, please your honour," said Peggy, "if it wouldn't be Paddy
M'Grath's--Betty M'Gregor!" cried she, calling to a bare-footed girl,
"whose cow is yonder?"

"Oh, marcy! but if it isn't our own red rogue--and when I tied her legs
three times myself, the day!" said the girl, running to drive away the
cow.

"Oh! she strays and trespasses strangely, the red cow, for want of the
little spot your honour promised her," said Peggy.

"Well, run and save my hedge from her now, my pretty Peggy, and I will
find the little spot for her to-morrow," said Sir Ulick.

Away ran Peggy after the cow--while lowering Marcus cursed them all
three. Pretty Peg he swore ought to be banished the estate--the cow
ought to be hamstrung instead of having _a spot_ promised her; "but this
is the way, sir, you ruin the country and the people," said he to his
father.

"Be that as it may, I do not ruin myself as you do, Marcus," replied the
cool Sir Ulick. "Never mind the cow--nonsense! I am not thinking of a
cow."

"Nor I neither, sir."

"Then follow Harry Ormond directly, and make him understand that he
misunderstood you," said Sir Ulick.

"Excuse me, sir--I cannot bend to him," said Marcus.

"And you expect that he will lend you ten thousand pounds at your utmost
need?"

"The money, with your estate, can be easily raised elsewhere, sir," said
Marcus.

"I tell you it cannot, sir," said the father.

"I cannot bend to Ormond, sir: to any body but him--any thing but
that--my pride cannot stoop to that."

"Your pride!--'pride that licks the dust,'" thought Sir Ulick. It was in
vain for the politic father to remonstrate with the headstrong son. The
whole train which Sir Ulick had laid with so much skill, was, he feared,
at the moment when his own delicate hand was just preparing to give the
effective touch, blown up by the rude impatience of his son. Sir Ulick,
however, never lost time or opportunity in vain regret for the past.
Even in the moment of disappointment, he looked to the future. He saw
the danger of keeping two young men together, who had such incompatible
tempers and characters. He was, therefore, glad when he met Ormond
again, to hear him propose his returning to Annaly, and he instantly
acceded to the proposal.

"Castle Hermitage, I know, my dear boy, cannot be as pleasant to you
just now, as I could wish to make it: we have nobody here now, and
Marcus is not all I could wish him," said Sir Ulick, with a sigh. "He
had always a jealousy of my affection for you, Harry--it cannot
be helped--we do not choose our own children--but we must abide by
them--you must perceive that things are not going on quite rightly
between my son and me."

"I am sorry for it, sir; especially as I am convinced I can do no good,
and therefore wish not to interfere."

"I believe you are right--though I part from you with regret."

"I shall be within your reach, sir, you know: whenever you wish for me,
if ever I can be of the least use to _you_, summon me, and I am at your
orders."

"Thank you! but stay one moment," said Sir Ulick, with a sudden look
of recollection: "you will be of age in a few days, Harry--we ought to
settle accounts, should not we?"

"Whenever you please, sir--no hurry on my part--but you have advanced me
a great deal of money lately--I ought to settle that."

"Oh, as to that--a mere trifle. If you are in no hurry, I am in none;
for I shall have business enough on my hands during these few days,
before Lady Norton fills the house again with company--I am certainly a
little hurried now."

"Then, sir, do not think of my business--I cannot be better off, you
know, than I am--I assure you I am sensible of that. Never mind the
accounts--only send for me whenever I can be of any use or pleasure to
you. I need not make speeches: I trust, my dear guardian--my father,
when I was left fatherless--I trust you believe I have some gratitude in
me."

"I do," cried Sir Ulick, much moved; "and, by Heaven, it is impossible
to--I mean--in short, it is impossible not to love you, Harry Ormond."

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER XXIII.

There are people who can go on very smoothly with those whose principles
and characters they despise and dislike. There are people who, provided
they live in _company_, are happy, and care but little of what the
company is composed. But our young hero certainly was not one of these
contented people. He was perhaps too much in the other extreme. He could
not, without overt words or looks of indignation, endure the presence
of those whose characters or principles he despised--he could not, even
without manifest symptoms of restlessness or ennui, submit long to live
with mere companions; he required to have friends; nor could he make
a friend from ordinary materials, however smooth the grain, or however
fine the polish they might take. Even when the gay world at Castle
Hermitage was new to him--amused and enchanted as he was at first with
that brilliant society, he could not have been content or happy
without his friends at Vicar's Dale, to whom, once at least in the
four-and-twenty hours, he found it necessary to open his heart. We may
then judge how happy he now felt in returning to Annaly: after the
sort of moral constraint which he had endured in the company of Marcus
O'Shane, we may guess what an expansion of heart took place.

The family union and domestic happiness which he saw at Annaly,
certainly struck him at this time more forcibly, from the contrast
with what he had just seen at Castle Hermitage. The effect of contrast,
however, is but transient. It is powerful as a dramatic resource, but
in real life it is of no permanent consequence. There was here a charm
which operates with as great certainty, and with a power secure of
increasing instead of diminishing from habit--the charm of _domestic
politeness_, in the every day manners of this mother, son, and daughter,
towards each other, as well as towards their guests. Ormond saw and
felt it irresistibly. He saw the most delicate attentions combined with
entire sincerity, perfect ease, and constant respect; the result of
the early habits of good-breeding acting upon the feelings of genuine
affection. The external polish, which Ormond now admired, was very
different from that varnish which often is hastily applied to hide
imperfections. This polish was of the substance itself, to be obtained
only by long use; but, once acquired, lasting for ever: not only
beautiful, but serviceable, preserving from the injuries of time and
from the dangers of familiarity.

What influence the sister's charms might have to increase Ormond's
admiration of the brother, we shall not presume to determine; but
certainly he liked Sir Herbert Annaly better than any young man he had
ever seen. Sir Herbert was some years older than Ormond; he was in his
twenty-seventh year: but at this age he had done more good in life
than many men accomplish during their whole existence. Sir Herbert's
principal estates were in another part of Ireland. Dr. Cambray had
visited them. The account he gave Ormond of what had been done there,
to improve the people and to make them happy; of the prosperous state
of the peasantry; their industry and independence; their grateful, not
servile, attachment to Sir Herbert Annaly and his mother; the veneration
in which the name of Annaly was held; all delighted the enthusiastic
Ormond.

The name of Annaly was growing wonderfully dear to him; and, all of a
sudden, the interest he felt in the details of a country gentleman's
life was amazingly increased. At times, when the ladies were engaged,
he accompanied Sir Herbert in visiting his estate. Sir Herbert had
never till lately resided at Annaly, which had, within but a short time,
reverted to his possession, in consequence of the death of the person to
whom it had been let. He found much that wanted improvement in the land,
and more in the people.

This estate stretched along the sea-shore: the tenants whom he found
living near the coast were an idle, profligate, desperate set of people;
who, during the time of the late middle landlord, had been in the habit
of _making their rents_ by nefarious practices. The best of the set
were merely idle fishermen, whose habits of trusting to their
_luck_ incapacitated them from industry: the others were illicit
distillers--smugglers--and miscreants who lived by _waifs_ and
_strays_; in fact, by the pillage of vessels on the coast. The coast
was dangerous--there happened frequent shipwrecks; owing partly, as was
supposed, to the false lights hung out by these people, whose interest
it was that vessels should be wrecked. Shocked at these practices,
Sir Herbert Annaly had, from the moment he came into possession of the
estate, exerted himself to put a stop to them, and to punish, where he
could not reform the offenders. The people at first pleaded a sort of
_tenant's right_, which they thought a landlord could scarcely resist.
They protested that they could not make _the rent_, if they were not
allowed to make it in their own way; and showed, beyond a doubt, that
Sir Herbert could not get half as much rent for his land in those parts,
if he looked too scrupulously into the means by which it was made. They
brought, in corroboration of their arguments or assertions, the example
and constant practice of "many as good a jantleman as any in Ireland,
who had his rent made up for him that ways, very ready and punctual.
There was his honour, Mr. Such-a-one, and so on; and there was Sir Ulick
O'Shane, sure! Oh! he was the man to live under--he was the man that
knew when to wink and when to blink; and if he shut his eyes _properly_,
sure his tenants filled his fist. Oh! Sir Ulick was the great man for
_favour and purtection_, none like him at all!--He is the good landlord,
that will fight the way clear for his own tenants through thick and
thin--none dare touch them. Oh! Sir Ulick's the kind jantleman that
understands the law for the poor, and could bring them off at every
turn, and show them the way through the holes in an act of parliament,
asy as through a _riddle_!

"Oh, and if he could but afford to be half as good as his promises, Sir
Ulick O'Shane would be too good entirely!"

Now Sir Ulick O'Shane had purchased a tract of ground adjoining to Sir
Herbert's, on this coast; and he had bought it on the speculation that
he could let it at a very high rent to these people, of whose _ways and
means_ of paying it he chose to remain in ignorance. All the tenants
whom Sir Herbert _banished_ from his estate flocked to Sir Ulick's.

By the sacrifice of his own immediate interest, and by great personal
exertion, strict justice, and a generous and well secured system of
reward, Sir Herbert already had produced a considerable change for the
better in the morals and habits of the people. He was employing some of
his tenants on the coast, in building a lighthouse, for which he had
a grant from parliament; and he was endeavouring to establish a
manufacture of sail-cloth, for which there was sufficient demand. But
almost at every step of his progress, he was impeded by the effects
of the bad example of his neighbours on Sir Ulick's estate; and by
the continual quarrels between the idle, discarded tenants, and their
industrious and now prosperous successors.

Whenever a vessel in distress was seen off the coast, there was a
constant struggle between the two parties who had opposite interests;
the one to save, the other to destroy. In this state of things, causes
of complaint perpetually occurred; and Ormond who was present, when the
accusers and the accused appealed to their landlord, sometimes as lord
of the manor, sometimes as magistrate, had frequent opportunities of
seeing both Sir Herbert's principles and temper put to the test. He
liked to compare the different modes in which King Corny, his guardian,
and Sir Herbert Annaly managed these things. Sir Herbert governed
neither by threats, punishments, abuse, nor tyranny; nor yet did he
govern by promises nor bribery, _favour_ and _protection_, like Sir
Ulick. He neither cajoled nor bullied--neither held it as a principle,
as Marcus did, that the people must be kept down, or that the people
must be deceived. He treated them neither as slaves, subject to his
will; nor as dupes, or objects on which to exercise his wit or
his cunning. He treated them as reasonable beings, and as his
fellow-creatures, whom he wished to improve, that he might make them and
himself happy. He spoke sense to them; and he mixed that sense with
wit and humour, in the proportion necessary to make it palatable to an
Irishman.

In generosity there was a resemblance between the temper of Sir
Herbert and of Corny; but to Ormond's surprise, and at first to his
disappointment, Sir Herbert valued justice more than generosity.
Ormond's heart on this point was often with King Corny, when his head
was forced to be with Sir Herbert; but, by degrees, head and heart came
together. He became practically convinced that justice is the virtue
that works best for a constancy, and best serves every body's interest
in time and in turn. Ormond now often said to himself, "Sir Herbert
Annaly is but a few years older than I am; by the time I am of his age,
why should not I become as useful, and make as many human beings happy
as he does?" In the meantime, the idea of marrying and settling in
Ireland became every day more agreeable to Ormond; and France and Italy,
which he had been so eager to visit, faded from his imagination. Sir
Herbert and Lady Annaly, who had understood from Dr. Cambray that Ormond
was going to commence his grand tour immediately, and who heard him
make a number of preparatory inquiries when he had been first at Annaly,
naturally turned the conversation often to the subject. They had looked
out maps and prints, and they had taken down from their shelves the
different books of travels, which might be most useful to him, with
guides, and post-road books, and all that could speed the parting guest.
But the guest had no mind to part--every thing, every body at Annaly, he
found so agreeable and so excellent.

It must be a great satisfaction to a young man who has a grain of sense,
and who feels that he is falling inevitably and desperately in love, to
see that all the lady's family, as well as the object of his passion,
are exactly the people whom he should wish of all others to make
his friends for life. Here was every thing that could be desired,
suitability of age, of fortune, of character, of temper, of
tastes--every thing that could make a marriage happy, could Ormond
but win the heart of Florence Annaly. Was that heart disengaged?--He
resolved to inquire first from his dear friend, Dr. Cambray, who was
much in the confidence of this family, a great favourite with Florence,
and consequently dearer than ever to Ormond. He went directly to Vicar's
Dale to see and consult him, and Ormond thought he was confiding a
profound secret to the doctor, when first he spoke to him of his passion
for Miss Annaly; but to his surprise, the doctor told him he had seen
it long ago, and his wife and daughters had all discovered it, even when
they were first with him at Annaly.

"Is it possible?--and what do you all think?"

"We think that you would be a perfectly happy man, if you could win Miss
Annaly; and we wish you success most sincerely. But--"

"_But_--Oh, my dear doctor, you alarm me beyond measure."

"What! by wishing you success?"

"No, but by something in your look and manner, and by that terrible
_but_: you think that I shall never succeed--you think that her heart is
engaged. If that be the case, tell me so at once, and I will set off for
France to-morrow."

"My good sir, you are always for desperate measures--you are in too
great a hurry to come to a conclusion, before you have the means of
forming a just conclusion. Remember, I tell you, this precipitate temper
will some time or other bring some great evil upon you."

"I will be patient all my life afterwards, if you will only this instant
tell me whether she is engaged."

"I do not know whether Miss Annaly's heart be disengaged or not--I can
tell you only that she has had a number of brilliant offers, and that
she has refused them all."

"That proves that she had not found one amongst them that She liked,"
said Ormond.

"Or that she liked some one better than all those whom she refused,"
said Dr. Cambray.

"That is true--that is possible--that is a dreadful possibility," said
Ormond. "But do you think there is any probability of that?"

"There is, I am sorry to tell you, my dear Ormond, a probability against
you--but I can only state the facts in general. I can form no opinion,
for I have had no opportunity of judging--I have never seen the two
young people together. But there is a gentleman of great merit, of
suitable family and fortune, who is deeply in love with Miss Annaly, and
who I presume has not been refused, for I understand he is soon to be
here."

"To be here!" cried Ormond: "a man of great merit!--I hope he is not an
agreeable man."

"That's a vain hope," said Dr. Cambray; "he is a very agreeable man."

"_Very_ agreeable!--What sort of person--grave or gay?--Like any body
that I ever saw?"

"Yes, like a person that you have seen, and a person for whom I believe
you have a regard--like his own father, your dear King Corny's friend,
General Albemarle."

"How extraordinary!--how unlucky!" said Ormond. "I would rather my rival
were any one else than the son of a man I am obliged to; and a most
dangerous rival he must be, if he have his father's merit, and his
father's manners. Oh! my dear Dr. Cambray, I am sure she likes him--and
yet she could not be so cheerful in his absence, if she were much in
love--I defy her; and it is impossible that he can be as much in love
with her as I am, else nothing could keep him from her."

"Nothing but his duty, I suppose you mean?"

"Duty!--What duty?"

"Why, there really are duties in this world to be performed, though a
man in love is apt to forget it. Colonel Albemarle, being an officer,
cannot quit his regiment till he has obtained leave of absence."

"I am heartily glad of it," cried Ormond--"I will make the best use
of my time before he comes. But, my dear doctor, do you think Lady
Annaly--do you think Sir Herbert wish it to be?"

"I really cannot tell:--I know only that he is a particular friend of
Sir Herbert, and that I have heard Lady Annaly speak of him as being
a young man of excellent character and high honour, for whom she has a
great regard."

Ormond sighed.

"Heaven forgive me that sigh!" said he: "I thought I never should be
brought so low as to sigh at bearing of any man's excellent character
and high honour: but I certainly wish Colonel Albemarle had never been
born. Heaven preserve me from envy and jealousy!"

Our young hero had need to repeat this prayer the next morning at
breakfast, when Sir Herbert, on opening his letters, exclaimed, "My
friend, Colonel Albemarle--"

And Lady Annaly, in a tone of joy, "Colonel Albemarle!--I hope he will
soon be here."

Sir Herbert proceeded: "Cannot obtain leave of absence yet--but lives
_in hopes_," said Sir Herbert, reading the letter, and handing it to his
mother.

Ormond did not dare, did not think it honourable, to make use of
his eyes, though there now might have been a decisive moment for
observation. No sound reached his ear from Miss Annaly's voice; but Lady
Annaly spoke freely and decidedly in praise of Colonel Albemarle. As she
read the letter, Sir Herbert, after asking Ormond three times whether he
was not acquainted with General Albemarle, obtained for answer, that he
"really did not know." In truth, Ormond did not know any thing at that
moment. Sir Herbert, surprised, and imagining that Ormond had not yet
heard him, was going to repeat his question--but a look from his mother
stopped him. A sudden light struck Lady Annaly. Mothers are remarkably
quick-sighted upon these occasions. There was a silence of a few
minutes, which appeared to poor Ormond to be a silence that would never
be broken; it was broken by some slight observation which the brother
and sister made to each other upon a paragraph in the newspaper, which
they were reading together. Ormond took breath.

"She cannot love him, or she could not be thinking of a paragraph in the
newspaper at this moment."

From this time forward Ormond was in a continual state of agitation,
reasoning, as the passions reason, as ill as possible, upon even
the slightest circumstances that occurred, from whence he might
draw favourable or unfavourable omens. He was resolved--and that was
prudent--not to speak of his own sentiments, till he was clear how
matters stood about Colonel Albemarle: he was determined not to expose
himself to the useless mortification of a refusal. While in this agony
of uncertainty, he went out one morning to take a solitary walk, that he
might reflect at leisure. Just as he was turning from the avenue to
the path that led to the wood, a car full of morning visitors appeared.
Ormond endeavoured to avoid them, but not before he had been seen. A
servant rode after him to beg to know "if he were Mr. Harry Ormond--if
he were, one of the ladies on the car, Mrs. M'Crule, sent her
compliments to him, and requested he would be so good as to let her
speak with him at the house, as she had a few words of consequence to
say."

"Mrs. M'Crule!" Ormond did not immediately recollect that he had the
honour of knowing any such person, till the servant said, "Miss Black,
sir, that was--formerly at Castle Hermitage."

His old enemy, Miss Black, he recollected well. He obeyed the lady's
summons, and returned to the house.

Mrs. M'Crule had not altered in disposition, though her objects had been
changed by marriage. Having no longer Lady O'Shane's quarrels with her
husband to talk about, she had become the pest of the village of Castle
Hermitage and of the neighbourhood--the Lady Bluemantle of the parish.
Had Miss Black remained in England, married or single, she would
only have been one of a numerous species too well known to need any
description; but transplanted to a new soil and a new situation, she
proved to be a variety of the old species, with peculiarly noxious
qualities, which it may be useful to describe, as a warning to the
unwary. It is unknown how much mischief the Lady Bluemantle class may do
in Ireland, where parties in religion and politics run high; and where
it often happens, that individuals of the different sects and parties
actually hate without knowing each other, watch without mixing with one
another, and consequently are prone reciprocally to believe any stories
or reports, however false or absurd, which tend to gratify their
antipathies. In this situation it is scarcely possible to get the
exact truth as to the words, actions, and intentions, of the nearest
neighbours, who happen to be of opposite parties or persuasions. What a
fine field is here for a mischief-maker! Mrs. M'Crule had in her parish
done her part; she had gone from rich to poor, from poor to rich, from
catholic to protestant, from churchman to dissenter, and from
dissenter to methodist, reporting every idle story, and repeating
every ill-natured thing that she heard said--things often more bitterly
expressed than thought, and always exaggerated or distorted in the
repetition. No two people in the parish could have continued on speaking
terms at the end of the year, but that, happily, there were in this
parish both a good clergyman and a good priest; and still more happily,
they both agreed in labouring for the good of their parishioners. Dr.
Cambray and Mr. M'Cormuck made it their business continually to follow
after Mrs. M'Crule, healing the wounds which she inflicted, and pouring
into the festering heart the balm of Christian charity: they were
beloved and revered by their parishioners; Mrs. M'Crule was soon
detected, and universally avoided. Enraged, she attacked, by turns, both
the clergyman and the priest; and when she could not separate them, she
found out that it was very wrong that they should agree. She discovered
that she was a much better protestant, and a much better Christian, than
Dr. Cambray, because she hated her catholic neighbours.

Dr. Cambray had taken pains to secure the co-operation of the catholic
clergyman, in all his attempts to improve the lower classes of the
people. His village school was open to catholics as well as protestants;
and Father M'Cormuck, having been assured that their religion would
not be tampered with, allowed and encouraged his flock to send their
children to the same seminary.

Mrs. M'Crule was, or affected to be, much alarmed and scandalized at
seeing catholic and protestant children mixing so much together; she
knew that opinions were divided among some families in the neighbourhood
upon the propriety of this _mixture_, and Mrs. M'Crule thought it a fine
opportunity of making herself of consequence, by stirring up the matter
into a party question. This bright idea had occurred to her just about
the time that Ormond brought over little Tommy from the Black Islands.
During Ormond's absence upon his tour, Sheelah and Moriarty had
regularly sent the boy to the village school; exhorting him to mind his
_book_ and his _figures_, that he might surprise Mr. Ormond with his
_larning_ when he should come back. Tommy, with this excitation, and
being a quick, clever little fellow, soon got to the head of his class,
and kept there; and won all the school-prizes, and carried them home in
triumph to his grandame, and to his dear Moriarty, to be treasured up,
that he might show them to Mr. Ormond at his return home. Dr. Cambray
was pleased with the boy, and so was every body, except Mrs. M'Crule.
She often visited the school for the pleasure of finding fault; and she
_wondered_ to see this little Tommy, who was a catholic, carrying away
the prizes from all the others. She thought it her duty to inquire
farther about him; and as soon as she discovered that he came from the
Black Islands, that he lived with Moriarty, and that Mr. Ormond
was interested about him, she said she knew there was something
wrong--therefore, she set her face against the child, and against the
shameful partiality that _some people_ showed.

Dr. Cambray pursued his course without attending to her; and little
Tommy pursued his course, improving rapidly in his _larning_.

Now there was in that county an excellent charitable institution for the
education of children from seven to twelve years old; an apprentice
fee was given with the children when they left the school, and they
had several other advantages, which made parents of the lower classes
extremely desirous to get their sons into this establishment.

Before they could be admitted, it was necessary that they should have a
certificate from their parish minister and catholic clergyman, stating
that they could read and write, and that they were well-behaved
children. On a certain day, every year, a number of candidates were
presented. The certificates from the clergyman and priest of their
respective parishes were much attended to by the lady patronesses, and
by these the choice of the candidate to be admitted was usually decided.
Little Tommy had an excellent certificate both from Father M'Cormuck and
from Dr. Cambray. Sheelah and Moriarty were in great joy, and had
"all the hopes in life" for him; and Sheelah, who was very fond of
_surprises_, had cautioned Moriarty, and begged the doctor not to tell
Mr. Harry a word about it, _till all was fixed_, "for if the boy should
not have the luck to be chose at last, it would only be breaking his
little heart the worse, that Mr. Harry should know any thing at all
about it, sure."

Meantime, Mrs. M'Crule was working against little Tommy with all her
might.

Some of the lady patronesses were of opinion, that it would be expedient
in future, to confine their bounty to the children of protestants only.

Mrs. M'Crule, who had been deputed by one of the absent ladies to act
for her, was amazingly busy, visiting all the patronesses, and talking,
and fearing, and "hoping to heaven!" and prophesying, canvassing, and
collecting opinions and votes, as for a matter of life and death. She
hinted that she knew that the greatest interest was making to get in
this year a catholic child, and there was no knowing, if this went on,
what the consequence might be. In short Ireland would be ruined, if
little Tommy should prove the successful candidate. Mrs. M'Crule did
not find it difficult to stir up the prejudices and passions of several
ladies, whose education and whose means of information might have
secured them from such contemptible influence.

Her present business at Annaly was to try what impression she could make
on Lady and Miss Annaly, who were both patronesses of the school. As to
Ormond, whom she never had liked, she was glad of this opportunity of
revenging herself upon his little protégé; and of making Mr. Ormond
sensible, that she was now a person of rather more consequence than she
had been, when he used formerly to defy her at Castle Hermitage. She
little thought that, while she was thus pursuing the dictates of her own
hate, she might serve the interests of Ormond's love.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER XXIV.

When Ormond returned, in obedience to Mrs. M'Crule's summons, he
found in the room an unusual assemblage of persons--a party of morning
visitors, the unmuffled contents of the car. As he entered, he bowed as
courteously as possible to the whole circle, and advanced towards Mrs.
M'Crule, whose portentous visage he could not fail to recognize. That
visage was nearly half a yard long, thin out of all proportion, and
dismal beyond all imagination; the corners of the mouth drawn down, the
whites or yellows of the eyes upturned, while with hands outspread she
was declaiming, and in a lamentable tone deploring, as Ormond thought,
some great public calamity; for the concluding words were "The danger,
my dear Lady Annaly--the danger, my dear Miss Annaly--oh! the danger is
imminent. We shall all be positively undone, ma'am; and Ireland--oh!
I wish I was once safe in England again--Ireland positively will be
ruined!"

Ormond, looking to Lady Annaly and Miss Annaly for explanation, was
somewhat re-assured in this imminent danger, by seeing that Lady
Annaly's countenance was perfectly tranquil, and that a slight smile
played on the lips of Florence.

"Mr. Ormond," said Lady Annaly, "I am sorry to hear that Ireland is in
danger of being ruined by your means."

"By my means!" said Ormond, in great surprise; "I beg your ladyship's
pardon for repeating your words, but I really cannot understand them."

"Nor I neither; but by the time you have lived as long as I have in the
world," said Lady Annaly, "you will not be so much surprised as you now
seem, my good sir, at hearing people say what you do not understand. I
am told that Ireland will be undone by means of a _protégé_ of yours, of
the name of Tommy Dun--not Dun Scotus."

"Dunshaughlin, perhaps," said Ormond, laughing, "Tommy Dunshaughlin!
_that_ little urchin! What harm can little Tommy do to Ireland, or to
any mortal?"

Without condescending to turn her eyes upon Ormond, whose propensity to
laughter had of old been offensive to her nature, Mrs. M'Crule continued
to Lady Annaly, "It is not of this insignificant child as an individual
that I am speaking, Lady Annaly; but your ladyship, who has lived so
long in the world, must know that there is no person or thing, however
insignificant, that cannot, in the hands of a certain description of
people, be made an engine of mischief."

"Very true, indeed," said Lady Annaly.

"And there is no telling or conceiving," pursued Mrs. M'Crule, "how in
the hands of a certain party, you know, ma'am, any thing now, even the
leas and the most innocent child (not that I take upon me to say
that this child is so very innocent, though, to be sure, he is very
little)--but innocent or not, there is positively nothing, Lady Annaly,
ma'am, which a certain party, certain evil-disposed persons, cannot turn
to their purposes."

"I cannot contradict that--I wish I could," said Lady Annaly.

"But I see your ladyship and Miss Annaly do not consider this matter
as seriously as I could wish. 'Tis an infatuation," said Mrs. M'Crule,
uttering a sigh, almost a groan, for her ladyship's and her daughter's
infatuation. "But if people, ladies especially, knew but half as much
as I have learnt, since I married Mr. M'Crule, of the real state of
Ireland; or if they had but half a quarter as many means as I have
of obtaining information, Mr. M'Crule being one of his majesty's very
active justices of the peace, riding about, and up and down, ma'am,
scouring the country, sir, you know, and having informers, high and
low, bringing us every sort of intelligence; I say, my dear Lady Annaly,
ma'am, you would, if you only heard a hundredth part of what I hear
daily, tremble--your ladyship would tremble from morning till night."

"Then I am heartily glad I do not hear it; for I should dislike very
much to tremble from morning till night, especially as my trembling
could do nobody any good."

"But, Lady Annaly, ma'am, you _can_ do good by exerting yourself to
prevent the danger in this emergency; you _can_ do good, and it becomes
your station and your character; you _can_ do good, my dear Lady Annaly,
ma'am, to thousands in existence, and thousands yet unborn."

"My benevolence having but a limited appetite for thousands," said Lady
Annaly, "I should rather, if it be equal to you, Mrs. M'Crule, begin
with the thousands already in existence; and of those thousands, why not
begin with little Tommy?"

"It is no use!" cried Mrs. M'Crule, rising from her seat in the
indignation of disappointed zeal: "Jenny, pull the bell for the
car--Mrs. M'Greggor, if you've no objection, I'm at your service, for
'tis no use I see for me to speak here--nor should I have done so, but
that I positively thought it my duty; and also a becoming attention
to your ladyship and Miss Annaly, as lady patronesses, to let you know
beforehand _our_ sentiments, as I have collected the opinions of so many
of the leading ladies, and apprehended your ladyship might, before it
came to a public push, like to have an inkling or inuendo of how matters
are likely to be carried at the general meeting of the patronesses on
Saturday next, when we are determined to put it to the vote and poll.
Jenny, do you see Jack, and the car? Good morning to your ladyship; good
day, Miss Annaly."

Ormond put in a detainer: "I am here in obedience to your summons, Mrs.
M'Crule--you sent to inform me that you had a few words of consequence
to say to me."

"True, sir, I did wrap myself up this winter morning, and came out, as
Mrs. M'Greggor can testify, in spite of my poor face, in hopes of doing
some little good, and giving a friendly hint, before an explosion should
publicly take place. But you will excuse me, since I find I gain so
little credit, and so waste my breath; I can only leave gentlemen and
ladies in this emergency, if they will be blind to the danger at this
crisis, to follow their own opinions."

Ormond still remonstrating on the cruelty of leaving him in utter
darkness, and calling it blindness, and assuring Mrs. M'Crule that he
had not the slightest conception of what the danger or the emergency to
which she alluded might be, or what little Tommy could have to do with
it, the lady condescended, in compliance with Mrs. M'Greggor's twitch
behind, to stay and recommence her statement. He could not forbear
smiling, even more than Lady Annaly had done, when he was made to
understand that the _emergency_ and _crisis_ meant nothing but this
child's being admitted or not admitted into a charity school. While
Ormond was incapable of speaking in reply with becoming seriousness,
Florence, who saw his condition, had the kindness to draw off Mrs.
M'Crule's attention, by asking her to partake of some excellent
goose-pie, which just then made its entrance. This promised, for a
time, to suspend the discussion, and to unite all parties in one common
sympathy. When Florence saw that the _consommé_, to which she delicately
helped her, was not thrown away upon Mrs. M'Crule, and that the union of
goose and turkey in this Christmas dainty was much admired by this
good lady, she attempted playfully to pass to a reflection on the happy
effect that might to some tastes result from unions in party matters.

But no--"too serious matters these to be jested with," even with a glass
of Barsac at the lips. Mrs. M'Crule stopped to say so, and to sigh. Per
favour of the Barsac, however, Florence ventured to try what a little
raillery might do. It was possible, that, if Mrs. M'Greggor and the
chorus of young ladies could be made to laugh, Mrs. M'Crule might be
brought to see the whole thing in a less gloomy point of view; and might
perhaps be, just in time, made sensible of the ridicule to which she
would expose herself, by persisting in sounding so pompously a false
alarm.

"But can there really be so much danger," said Florence, "in letting
little children, protestant and catholic, come together to the same
school--sit on the same bench--learn the same alphabet from the same
hornbook?"

"Oh, my dear Miss Annaly," cried Mrs. M'Crule, "I do wonder to hear
you treat this matter so lightly--you, from whom I confess I did expect
better principles: 'sit on the same bench!' easily said; but, my dear
young lady, you do not consider that some errors of popery,--since
there is no catholic in the room, I suppose I may say it,--the errors of
popery are wonderfully infectious."

"I remember," said Lady Annaly, "when I was a child, being present once,
when an _honest man_, that is, a protestant (for in those days no man
but a protestant could be called an _honest man_), came to my uncle in
a great passion to complain of the priest: 'My lord,' said he, 'what
do you think the priest is going to do? he is going to bury a catholic
corpse, not only in the churchyard, but, my lord, near to the grave of
my father, who died a stanch dissenter.' 'My dear sir,' said my uncle,
to the angry _honest man_, 'the clergyman of the parish is using me
worse still, for he is going to bury a man, who died last Wednesday of
the small-pox, near to my grandmother, who never had the small-pox in
her life.'"

Mrs. M'Crule pursed up her mouth very close at this story. She thought
Lady Annaly and her uncle were equally wicked, but she did not choose
exactly to say so, as her ladyship's uncle was a person of rank, and
of character too solidly established for Mrs. M'Crule to shake.
She therefore only gave one of her sighs for the sins of the whole
generation, and after a recording look at Mrs. M'Greggor, she returned
to the charge about the schools and the children.

"It can do no possible good," she said, "to admit catholic children to
_our_ schools, because, do what you will, you can never make them good
protestants."

"Well," said Lady Annaly, "as my friend, the excellent Bishop of ----
said in parliament, 'if you cannot make them good protestants, make them
good catholics, make them good any-things.'"

Giving up Lady Annaly all together, Mrs. M'Crule now desired to have Mr.
Ormond's ultimatum--she wished to know whether he had made up his mind
as to the affair in question; but she begged leave to observe, "that
since the child had, to use the gentlest expression, the _misfortune_ to
be born and bred a catholic, it would be most prudent and gentlemanlike
in Mr. Ormond not to make him a bone of contention, but to withdraw the
poor child from the contest altogether, and strike his name out of the
list of candidates, till the general question of admittance to those of
his persuasion should have been decided by the lady patronesses."

Ormond declared, with or without submission to Mrs. M'Crule, that he
could not think it becoming or gentlemanlike to desert a child whom he
had undertaken to befriend--that, whatever the child had the misfortune
to be born, he would abide by him; and would not add to his misfortunes
by depriving him of the reward of his own industry and application,
and of the only chance he had of continuing his good education, and of
getting forward in life.

Mrs. M'Crule sighed and groaned.

But Ormond persisted: "The child," he said, "should have fair play--the
lady patronesses would decide as they thought proper."

It had been said that the boy had Dr. Cambray's certificate, which
Ormond was certain would not have been given undeservedly; he had also
the certificate of his own priest.

"Oh! what signifies the certificate of his priest," interrupted Mrs.
M'Crule; "and as for Dr. Cambray's, though he is a most respectable
man (too liberal, perhaps), yet without meaning to insinuate any thing
derogatory--but we all know how things are managed, and Dr. Cambray's
great regard for Mr. Ormond might naturally influence him a little in
favour of this little protégé."

Florence was very busy in replenishing Mrs. M'Greggor's plate, and
Ormond haughtily told Mrs. M'Crule, "that as to Dr. Cambray's character
for impartiality, he should leave that securely to speak for itself;
and that as to the rest, she was at liberty to say or hint whatever
she pleased, as far as he was concerned; but that, for her own sake, he
would recommend it to her to be sure of her facts--for that slander was
apt to hurt in the recoil."

Alarmed by the tone of confident innocence and determination with which
Ormond spoke, Mrs. M'Crule, who like all other bullies was a coward,
lowered her voice, and protested she meant nothing--"certainly no
offence to Mr. Ormond; and as to slander there was nothing she detested
so much--she was quite glad to be set right--for people did talk--and
she had endeavoured to silence them, and now could from the best
authority."

Ormond looked as if he wished that any authority could silence her--but
no hopes of that. "She was sorry to find, however, that Mr. Ormond was
positively determined to encourage the boy, whoever he was, to persist
as candidate on this occasion, because she should be concerned to do any
thing that looked like opposing him; yet she must, and she knew others
were determined, and in short, he would be mortified to no purpose."

"Well," Ormond said, "he could only do his best, and bear to be
mortified, if necessary, or when necessary."

A smile of approbation from Florence made his heart beat, and for some
moments Mrs. M'Crule spoke without his knowing one syllable she said.

Mrs. M'Crule saw the smile, and perceived the effect. As she rose to
depart, she turned to Miss Annaly, and whispered, but loud enough for
all to hear, "Miss Annaly must excuse me if I warn her, that if she
takes the part I am inclined to fear she will on Saturday, people I know
_will_ draw inferences."

Florence coloured, but with calm dignity and spirit, which Mrs. M'Crule
did not expect from her usual gentleness and softness of manners, she
replied, that "no inference which might be drawn from her conduct by any
persons should prevent her from acting as she thought right, and taking
that part which she believed to be just."

So ended the visit, or the visitation. The next day Lady Annaly, Miss
Annaly, Sir Herbert, and Ormond, went to Vicar's Dale, and thence with
the good doctor to the village school, on purpose that they might see
and form an impartial judgment of the little boy. On one day in the
week, the parents and friends of the children were admitted if they
chose it, to the school-room, to hear the lessons, and to witness the
adjudging of the week's premiums. This was _prize day_ as they called
it, and Sheelah and Moriarty were among the spectators. Their presence,
and the presence of Mr. Ormond, so excited--so over-excited Tommy, that
when he first stood up to read, his face flushed, his voice faltered,
his little hands trembled so much that he could hardly hold the book;
he could by no means turn over the leaf, and he was upon the point of
disgracing himself by bursting into tears.

"Oh! ho!" cried an ill-natured voice of triumph from one of the
spectators. Ormond and the Annalys turned, and saw behind them Mrs.
M'Crule.

"Murder!" whispered Sheelah to Moriarty, "if she fixes him with that
_evil eye_, and he gets the stroke of it, Moriarty, 'tis all over with
him for life."

"Tut, woman, dear--what can hurt him? is not the good doctor in person
standing betwixt him and harm? and see! he is recovering upon it
fast--quite come to!--Hark!--he is himself again--Tommy, voice and
all!--success to him!"

He had success, and he deserved it--the prizes were his; and when they
were given to him, the congratulating smiles of his companions showed
that Dr. Cambray's justice was unimpeached by those whom it most
concerned; that notwithstanding all that had been said and done directly
and indirectly, to counteract his benevolent efforts, he had succeeded
in preventing envy and party-spirit from spreading discord among these
innocent children.

Mrs. M'Crule withdrew, and nobody saw when or how.

"It is clear," said Lady Annaly, "that this boy is no favourite, for he
has friends."

"Or, if he be a favourite, and have friends, it is a proof that he has
extraordinary merit," said Sir Herbert.

"He is coming to us," said Florence, who had been excessively interested
for the child, and whose eyes had followed him wherever he went:
"Brother," whispered she, "will you let him pass you? he wants to say
something to Mr. Ormond."

The boy brought to Ormond all the prizes which he had won since the time
he first came to school: his grandame, Sheelah, had kept them safe in a
little basket, which he now put into Ormond's hands, with honest pride
and pleasure.

"I got 'em, and Granny said you'd like to see them, so she did--and
here's what will please you--see my certificates--see, signed by the
doctor himself's own hand, and Father M'Cormuck, that's his name, with
his blessing by the same token he gave me."

Ormond looked with great satisfaction on Tommy's treasures, and Miss
Annaly looked at them too with no small delight.

"Well, my boy, have you any thing more to say?" said Ormond to the
child, who looked as if he was anxious to say something more.

"I have, sir; it's what I'd be glad to speak a word with you, Mr.
Harry."

"Speak it then--you are not afraid of this lady?" "Oh, no--that I am
not," said the boy, with a very expressive smile and emphasis.

But as the child seemed to wish that no one else should hear, Ormond
retired a step or two with him behind the crowd. Tommy would not let go
Miss Annaly's hand, so she heard all that passed.

"I am afeard I am too troublesome to you, sir," said the boy.

"To me--not the least," said Ormond: "speak on--say all you have in your
mind."

"Why, then," said the child, "I _have_ something greatly on my mind,
because I heard Granny talking to Moriarty about it last night, over the
fire, and I in the bed. Then I know all about Mrs. M'Crule, and how,
if I don't give out, and wouldn't give up about the grand school, on
Saturday, I should, may be, be bringing you, Mr. Harry, into great
trouble: so that being the case, I'll give up entirely--and I'll go back
to the Black Islands to-morrow," said Tommy, stoutly; yet swelling so in
the chest that he could not say another word. He turned away.

As they were walking home together from the school, Moriarty said to
Sheelah, "I'll engage, Sheelah, you did not see all that passed the
day."

"I'll engage I did, though," said Sheelah.

"Why, then, Sheelah, you've quick eyes still."

"Oh! I'm not so blind but what I could see _that_ with half an eye--ay,
and saw how it was with them before you did, Moriarty. From the first
minute they comed into the room together, said I to myself, 'there's a
pair of angels well matched, if ever there was a pair on earth.' These
things is all laid out above, unknownst to us, from the first minute we
are born, _who_ we are to have in marriage," added Sheelah.

"No; not _fixed_ from the first minute we are born, Sheelah: it is
_not_," said Moriarty.

"And how should you know, Moriarty," said Sheelah, "whether or not?"

"And why not as well as you, Sheelah, dear," replied Moriarty, "if you
go to that?"

"Well, in the name of fortune, have it your own way," said Sheelah; "and
how do you think it is then?"

"Why it is partly fixed for us," said Moriarty; "but the choice is still
in us, always--"

"Oh! burn me if I understand that," said Sheelah.

"Then you are mighty hard of understanding this morning, Sheelah. See,
now, with regard to Master Harry and Peggy Sheridan: it's my opinion,
'twas laid out from the first, that in case he did not do _that_ wrong
about Peggy--_then_ see, Heaven had this lady, this angel, from that
time forward in view for him, by way of _compensation_ for not doing the
wrong he might have chose to do. Now, don't you think, Sheelah, that's
the way it was?--be a rasonable woman."

The rasonable woman was puzzled and silent, Sheelah and Moriarty having
got, without knowing it, to the dark depths of metaphysics. There was
some danger of their knocking their heads against each other there, as
wiser heads have done on similar occasions.

It was an auspicious circumstance for Ormond's love that Florence had
now a daily object of thought and feeling in common with him. Mrs.
M'Crule's having piqued Florence was in Ormond's favour: it awakened
her pride, and conquered her timidity; she ventured to trust her own
motives. To be sure, the interest she felt for this child was uncommonly
vivid; but she might safely avow this interest--it was in the cause of
one who was innocent, and who had been oppressed.

As Mrs. M'Crule was so vindictively busy, going about, daily, among the
lady patronesses, preparing for the great battle that was to be decided
on the famous Saturday, it was necessary that Lady and Miss Annaly
should exert themselves at least to make the truth known to their
friends, to take them to see Dr. Cambray's school, and to judge of the
little candidate impartially. The day for decision came, and Florence
felt an anxiety, an eagerness, which made her infinitely more amiable,
and more interesting in Ormond's eyes. The election was decided in
favour of humanity and justice. Florence was deputed to tell the
decision to the successful little candidate, who was waiting, with his
companions, to hear his fate. Radiant with benevolent pleasure, she went
to announce the glad tidings.

"Oh! if she is not beautiful!" cried Sheelah, clasping her hands.

Ormond felt it so warmly, and his looks expressed his feelings so
strongly, that Florence, suddenly abashed, could scarcely finish her
speech.

If Mrs. M'Crule had been present, she might again have cried "Oh! ho!"
but she had retreated, too much discomfited, by the disappointments of
hatred, to stay even to embarrass the progress of love. Love had made
of late rapid progress. Joining in the cause of justice and humanity,
mixing with all the virtues, he had taken possession of the heart
happily, safely--unconsciously at first, yet triumphantly at last. Where
was Colonel Albemarle all this time? Ormond neither knew nor cared; he
thought but little of him at this moment. However, said he to himself,
Colonel Albemarle will be here in a few days--it is better for me to see
how things are there, before I speak--I am sure Florence could not give
me a decisive answer, till her brother has disentangled that business
for her. Lady Annaly said as much to me the other day, if I understood
her rightly--and I am sure this is the state of the case, from the pains
Florence takes now to avoid giving me an opportunity of speaking to her
alone, which I have been watching for so anxiously. So reasoned Ormond;
but his reasonings, whether wise or foolish, were set at nought by
unforeseen events.



CHAPTER XXV.

One evening Ormond walked with Sir Herbert Annaly to the sea-shore, to
look at the lighthouse which was building. He was struck with all that
had been done here in the course of a few months, and especially with
the alteration in the appearance of the people. Their countenances had
changed from the look of desponding idleness and cunning, to the air
of busy, hopeful independence. He could not help congratulating Sir
Herbert, and warmly expressing a wish that he might himself, in the
whole course of his life, do half as much good as Sir Herbert had
already effected. "You will do a great deal more," said Sir Herbert:
"you will have a great deal more time. I must make the best of the
little--probably the very little time I shall have: while I yet live,
let me not live in vain."

"_Yet_ live," said Ormond; "I hope--I trust--you will live many years
to be happy, and to make others so: your strength seems quite
re-established--you have all the appearance of health."

Sir Herbert smiled, but shook his head.

"My dear Ormond, do not trust to outward appearances too much. Do not
let my friends entirely deceive themselves. I _know_ that my life cannot
be long--I wish, before I die, to do as much good as I can."

The manner in which these words were said, and the look with which they
were accompanied, impressed Ormond at once with a conviction of the
danger, fortitude, and magnanimity of the person who spoke to him.
The hectic colour, the brilliant eye, the vividness of fancy, the
superiority of intellectual powers, the warmth of the affections, and
the amiable gentleness of the disposition of this young man, were, alas!
but so many fatal indications of his disease. The energy with which,
with decreasing bodily and increasing mental strength, he pursued his
daily occupations, and performed more than every duty of his station,
the never-failing temper and spirits with which he sustained the hopes
of many of his friends, were but so many additional causes of alarm to
the too experienced mother. Florence, with less experience, and with a
temper happily prone to hope, was more easily deceived. She could not
believe that a being, whom she saw so full of life, could be immediately
in danger of dying. Her brother had now but a very slight cough--he had,
to all appearance, recovered from the accident by which they had been so
much alarmed when they were in England. The physicians had pronounced,
that with care to avoid cold, and all violent exertion, he might do well
and last long.

To fulfil the conditions was difficult; especially that which required
him to refrain from any great exertion. Whenever he could be of service
to his friends, or could do any good to his fellow-creatures, he spared
neither mental nor bodily exertion. Under the influence of benevolent
enthusiasm, he continually forgot the precarious tenure by which he held
his life.

It was now the middle of winter, and one stormy night a vessel was
wrecked on the coast near Annaly. The house was at such a distance from
that part of the shore where the vessel struck, that Sir Herbert knew
nothing of it till the next morning, when it was all over. No lives
were lost. It was a small trading vessel, richly laden. Knowing the vile
habits of some of the people who lived on the coast, Sir Herbert,
the moment he heard that there was a wreck, went down to see that the
property of the sufferers was protected from those depredators, who on
such occasions were astonishingly alert. Ormond accompanied him, and by
their joint exertions much of the property was placed in safety under
a military guard. Some had been seized and carried off before their
arrival, but not by any of Sir Herbert's tenants. It became pretty clear
that _the neighbours_ on Sir Ulick O'Shane's estate were the offenders.
They had grown bold from impunity, and from the belief that no
_jantleman_ "would choose to interfere with them, on account of their
landlord."

Sir Herbert's indignation rose. Ormond pledged himself that Sir Ulick
O'Shane would never protect such wretches; and eager to assist public
justice, to defend his guardian, and, above all, to calm Sir Herbert and
prevent him from over-exerting himself, he insisted upon being allowed
to go in his stead with the party of military who were to search the
suspected houses. It was with some difficulty that he prevailed.
He parted with Sir Herbert; and, struck at the moment with his
highly-raised colour, and the violent heat and state of excitation
he was in, Ormond again urged him to remember his own health, and his
mother and sister.

"I will--I do," said Sir Herbert; "but it is my duty to think of public
justice before I think of myself."

The apprehension Ormond felt in quitting Sir Herbert recurred frequently
as he rode on in silence; but he was called into action and it was
dissipated. Ormond spent nearly three hours searching a number of
wretched cabins from which the male inhabitants fled at the approach of
the military, leaving the women and children to make what excuses and
tell what lies they could. This the women and children executed
with great readiness and ability, and in the most pity-moving tones
imaginable.

The inside of an Irish cabin appears very different to those who come to
claim hospitality and to those who come to detect offenders.

Ormond having never before entered a cabin with a search-warrant,
constable, or with the military, he was "not _up_ to the thing"--as both
the serjeant and constable remarked to each other. While he listened to
the piteous story of a woman about a husband who had broken his leg
from a ladder, _sarving_ the masons at Sir Herbert's lighthouse, and was
_lying at_ the hospital, _not expected_, [Footnote: _Not expected_ to
live.] the husband was lying all the time with both his legs safe and
sound in a potato furrow within a few yards of the house. And _the
child_ of another eloquent matron was running off with a pair of
silver-mounted pistols taken from the wreck, which he was instructed to
hide in a bog-hole, snug--the bog-water never rusting. In one hovel--for
the houses of these wretches who lived by pillage, after all their
ill-gotten gains, were no better than hovels--in one of them, in which,
as the information stated, some valuable plunder was concealed, they
found nothing but a poor woman groaning in bed, and two little children;
one crying as if its heart would break, and the other sitting up behind
the mother's bolster supporting her. After the soldiers had searched
every place in vain, even the thatch of the house, the woman showing no
concern all the while, but groaning on, seeming scarce able to answer
Mr. Ormond's questions--the constable, an old hand, roughly bid her get
up, that they might search the bed; this Ormond would not permit:--she
lay still, thanking his honour faintly, and they quitted the house.
The goods which had been carried off were valuable, and were hid in the
straw of the very bed on which the woman was lying.


As they were returning homewards after their fruitless search, when they
had passed the boundary of Sir Ulick's and had reached Sir Herbert's
territory, they were overtaken by a man, who whispered something to the
serjeant which made him halt, and burst out a laughing; the laugh ran
through the whole serjeant's guard, and reached Ormond's ears; who,
asking the cause of it, was told how the woman had cheated them, and
how she was now risen from her bed, and was dividing the prize among the
_lawful owners_, "share and share alike." These lawful owners, all
risen out of the potato furrows, and returning from the bogs, were now
assembled, holding their bed of justice. At the moment the serjeant's
information came off, their captain, with a bottle of whiskey in his
hand, was drinking, "To the health of Sir Ulick O'Shane, our worthy
landlord--seldom comes a better. The same to his ward, Harry Ormond,
Esq., and may his eyesight never be better nor worse."

Harry Ormond instantly turned his horse's head, much provoked at having
been duped, and resolved that the plunderers should not now escape. By
the advice of serjeants and constables, he dismounted, that no sound of
horses' hoofs might give notice from a distance; though, indeed, on the
sands of the sea-shore, no horses' tread, he thought, could be heard. He
looked round for some one with whom he could leave his horse, but not a
creature, except the men who were with him, was in sight.

"What can have become of all the people?" said Ormond: "it is not
the workmen's dinner-hour, and they are gone from the work at the
lighthouse; and the horses and cars are left without any one with them."
He went on a few paces, and saw a boy who seemed to be left to watch the
horses, and who looked very melancholy. The boy did not speak as Ormond
came up. "What is the matter?" said Ormond: "something dreadful has
happened--speak!"

"Did not you hear it, sir?" said the boy: "I'd be loth to tell it you."

"Has any thing happened to--"

"Sir Herbert--ay--the worst that could. Running to stop one of them
villains that was making off with something from the wreck, he dropped
sudden as if he was shot, and--when they went to lift him up--But you'll
drop yourself, sir," said the boy.

"Give him some of the water out of the bucket, can't ye?"

"Here's my cap," said the serjeant. Ormond was made to swallow the
water, and, recovering his senses, heard one of the soldiers near him
say, "'Twas only a faint Sir Herbert took, I'll engage."

The thought was new life to Ormond: he started up, mounted his horse,
and galloped off--saw no creature on the road--found a crowd at the gate
of the avenue--the crowd opened to let him pass, many voices calling
as he passed to beg him to _send out word_. This gave him fresh hopes,
since nothing certain was known: he spurred on his horse; but when he
reached the house, as he was going to Sir Herbert's room he was met by
Sir Herbert's own man, O'Reilly. The moment he saw O'Reilly's face, he
knew there was no hope--he asked no question: the surgeon came out, and
told him that in consequence of having broke a blood-vessel, which bled
internally, Sir Herbert had just expired--his mother and sister were
with him. Ormond retired--he begged the servants would write to him at
Dr. Cambray's--and he immediately went away.

Two days after he had a note from O'Reilly, written in haste, at a very
early hour in the morning, to say that he was just setting out with the
hearse to the family burial-place at Herbert--it having been thought
best that the funeral should not be in this neighbourhood, on account
of the poor people at Annaly being so exasperated against those who were
thought to be the immediate occasion of his death. Sir Herbert's last
orders to O'Reilly were to this effect--"to _take care_, and to have
every thing done as privately as possible."

No pomp of funeral was, indeed, necessary for such a person. The great
may need it--the good need it not: they are mourned in the heart, and
they are remembered without vain pageantry. If public sorrow can soothe
private grief--and surely in some measure it must--the family and
friends of this young man had this consolation; but they had another and
a better.

It is the triumph of religion and of its ministers to be able to support
the human heart, when all other resources are of little avail. Time,
it is true, at length effaces the recollection of misfortune, and age
deadens the sense of sorrow. But that power to console is surely far
superior in its effect, more worthy of a rational and a social being,
which operates--not by contracting or benumbing our feelings and
faculties, but by expanding and ennobling them--inspiring us, not with
stoic indifference to the pains and pleasures of humanity, but with
pious submission to the will of Heaven--to the order and orderer of the
universe.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER XXVI.

Though Sir Ulick O'Shane contrived to laugh on most occasions
where other people would have wept, and though he had pretty well
_case-hardened_ his heart, yet he was shocked by the first news of the
death of Sir Herbert Annaly. He knew the man must die, he said--so must
we all, sooner or later--but for the manner of his death, Sir Ulick
could not help feeling a secret pang. He felt conscious of having
encouraged, or at least connived at, the practices of those wretches
who had roused the generous and just indignation of Sir Herbert, and in
pursuit of whom this fine young man had fallen a sacrifice.

Not only the "still small voice," but the cry of the country, was
against Sir Ulick on this occasion. He saw that he must give up the
offenders, and show decidedly that he desired to have them punished.
Decidedly, then, and easily, as ever prince abandoned secretary or
chancellor to save his own popularity, quickly as ever grand seignior
gave up grand vizier or chief baker to appease the people, Sir Ulick
gave up his "_honest rascals_," his "_rare rapparees_," and even his
"_wrecker royal_." Sir Ulick set his magistrate, Mr. M'Crule, at work
for once on the side both of justice and law; warrants, committals, and
constables, cleared the land. Many fled--a few were seized, escorted
ostentatiously by _a serjeant and twelve_ of Sir Ulick's corps, and
lodged in the county jail to stand their trial, bereft of all _favour
and purtection_, bonâ fide delivered up to justice.

A considerable tract of Sir Ulick's coast estate, in consequence of
this, remained untenanted. Some person in whom he could confide must be
selected to inhabit the fishing-lodge, and to take care of the cabins
and land till they should be relet. Sir Ulick pitched upon Moriarty
Carroll for this purpose, and promised him such liberal reward, that all
Moriarty's friends congratulated him upon his "great luck in getting
the appointment, against the man, too, that Mr. Marcus had proposed and
favoured."

Marcus, who was jealous in the extreme of power, and who made every
trifle a matter of party competition, was vexed at the preference
given against _an honest man_ and a _friend_ of his own, in favour of
Moriarty, a catholic; a fellow he had always disliked, and a protege
of Mr. Ormond. Ormond, though obliged to Sir Ulick for this kindness to
Moriarty, was too intent on other things to think much about the matter.
_When_ he should see Florence Annaly again, seemed to him the only
question in the universe of great importance.

Just at this time arrived letters for Mr. Ormond, from Paris, from M.
and Mad. de Connal; very kind letters, with pressing invitations to him
to pay them a visit. M. de Connal informed him, "that the five hundred
pounds, King Corny's legacy, was ready waiting his orders. M. de Connal
hoped to put it into Mr. Ormond's hands in Paris in his own hotel, where
he trusted that Mr. Ormond would do him the pleasure of soon occupying
the apartments which were preparing for him." It did not clearly appear
whether they had or had not heard of his accession of fortune. Dora's
letter was not from _Dora_--it was from _Mad. de Connal_. It was on
green paper, with a border of Cupids and roses, and store of sentimental
devices in the corners. The turn of every phrase, the style, as far
as Ormond could judge, was quite French--aiming evidently at being
perfectly Parisian. Yet it was a letter so flattering to the vanity of
man as might well incline him to excuse the vanity of woman. "Besides,"
as Sir Ulick O'Shane observed, "after making due deductions for French
sentiment, there remains enough to satisfy an honest English heart that
the lady really desires to see you, Ormond; and that now, in the midst
of her Parisian prosperity, she has the grace to wish to show kindness
to her father's adopted son, and to the companion and friend of her
childhood." Sir Ulick was of opinion that Ormond could not do
better than accept the invitation. Ormond was surprised, for he well
recollected the manner in which his guardian had formerly, and not many
months ago, written and spoken of Connal as a coxcomb and something
worse.

"That is true," said Sir Ulick; "but that was when I was angry about
your legacy, which was of great consequence to us then, though of none
now--I certainly did suspect the man of a design to cheat you; but it
is clear that I was wrong--I am ready candidly to acknowledge that I did
him injustice. Your money is at your order--and I have nothing to say,
but to beg M. de Connal ten thousand French pardons. Observe, I do not
beg pardon for calling him a coxcomb, for a coxcomb he certainly is."

"An insufferable coxcomb!" cried Ormond.

"But a coxcomb _in fashion_," said Sir Ulick; "and a coxcomb in fashion
is a useful connexion. He did not fable about Versailles--I have made
particular inquiries from our ambassador at Paris, and he writes me
word that Connal is often at court--_en bonne odeur_ at Versailles.
The ambassador says he meets the Connals every where in the first
circles--how they came there I don't know."

"I am glad to hear that, for Dora's sake," said Ormond.

"I always thought her a sweet, pretty little creature," said Sir Ulick,
"and no doubt she has been polished up; and dress and fashion make such
a difference in a woman--I suppose she is now ten times better--that is,
prettier: she will introduce you at Paris, and your own _merit_--that
is, manners, and figure, and fortune--will make your way every where.
By-the-bye, I do not see a word about poor Mademoiselle--Oh, yes! here
is a Line squeezed in at the edge--'Mille tendres souvenirs de la part
de Mdlle. O'Faley.'"

"Poor Mademoiselle!"

"Poor Mademoiselle!" repeated Sir Ulick.

"Do you mean _that thing half Irish, half French, half mud, half
tinsel?_" said Ormond.

"Very good memory! very sly, Harry! But still in the Irish half of her
I dare say there is a heart; and we must allow her the tinsel, in pure
gratitude, for having taught you to speak French so well--that will be a
real advantage to you in Paris."

"Whenever I go there, sir," said Ormond, coldly.

Sir Ulick was very much disappointed at perceiving that Ormond had
no mind to go to Paris; but dropping the subject, he turned the
conversation upon the Annalys: he praised Florence to the skies, hoped
that Ormond would be more fortunate than Marcus had been, for somehow
or other, he should never live or die in peace till Florence Annaly was
more nearly connected with him. He regretted, however, that poor Sir
Herbert was carried off before he had completed the levying of those
fines, which would have cut off the entail, and barred the heir-at-law
from the Herbert estates. Florence was not now the great heiress it was
once expected she should be; indeed she had but a moderate gentlewoman's
fortune--not even what at Smithfield a man of Ormond's fortune might
expect; but Sir Ulick knew, he said, that this would make no difference
to his ward, unless to make him in greater impatience to propose for
her.

It was impossible to be in greater impatience to propose for her than
Ormond was. Sir Ulick did not wonder at it; but he thought that Miss
Annaly would not, _could_ not, listen to him yet. _Time, the comforter_,
must come first; and while time was doing this business, love could not
decently be admitted.

"That was the reason," said Ulick, returning by another road to the
charge, "why I advised a trip to Paris; but you know best."

"I cannot bear this suspense--I must and will know my fate--I will write
instantly, and obtain an answer."

"Do so; and to save time, I can tell what your fate and your answer will
be: from Florence Annaly, assurance of perfect esteem and regard, as far
as friendship, perhaps; but she will tell you that she cannot think of
love at present. Lady Annaly, prudent Lady Annaly, will say that she
hopes Mr. Ormond will not think of settling for life till he has seen
something more of the world. Well, you don't believe me," said Sir
Ulick, interrupting himself just at the moment when he saw that Ormond
began to think there was some sense in what he was saying.

"If you don't believe me, Harry," continued he, "consult your oracle,
Dr. Cambray: he has just returned from Annaly, and he can tell you how
the land lies."

Dr. Cambray agreed with Sir Ulick that both Lady Annaly and her daughter
would desire that Ormond should see more of the world before he settled
for life; but as to going off to Paris, without waiting to see or write
to them, Dr. Cambray agreed with Ormond that it would be the worst thing
he could do--that so far from appearing a proof of his respect to
their grief, it would only seem a proof of indifference, or a sign
of impatience: they would conclude that he was in haste to leave his
friends in adversity, to go to those in prosperity, and to enjoy the
gaiety and dissipation of Paris. Dr. Cambray advised that he should
remain quietly where he was, and wait till Miss Annaly should be
disposed to see him. This was most prudent, Ormond allowed. "But
then the delay!" To conquer by delay we must begin by conquering our
impatience: now that was what our hero could not possibly do--therefore
he jumped hastily to this conclusion, that "in love affairs no man
should follow any mortal's opinion but his own."

Accordingly he sat down and wrote to Miss Annaly a most passionate
letter, enclosed in a most dutiful one to Lady Annaly, as full of
respectful attachment and entire obedience, as a son-in-law expectant
could devise--beginning very properly and very sincerely, with anxiety
and hopes about her ladyship's health, and ending, as properly, and as
sincerely, with hopes that her ladyship would permit him, as soon as
possible, to take from her the greatest, the only remaining source of
happiness she had in life--her daughter.

Having worded this very plausibly--for he had now learned how to write
a letter--our hero despatched a servant of Sir Ulick's with his epistle;
ordering him to wait certainly for an answer, but above all things to
make haste back. Accordingly the man took a cross road--a short cut, and
coming to a bridge, which he did not know was broken down till he was
_close upon it_, he was obliged to return and to go round, and did not
get home till long after dark--and the only answer he brought was, that
there was no answer--only Lady Annaly's compliments.

Ormond could scarcely believe that no answer had been sent; but the man
took all the saints in heaven, or in the calendar, to witness, that he
would not tell his honour, or any _jantleman_, a lie.

Upon a cross-examination, the man gave proof that he had actually seen
both the ladies. They were sitting so and so, and dressed so and so, in
mourning. Farther, he gave undeniable proof that he had delivered the
letters, and that they had been opened and read; for--_by the same
token_--he was summoned up to my lady on account of one of Mr. Ormond's
letters, he did not know _which_, or to _who_, being dated Monday,
whereas it was Wednesday; and he had to clear himself of having been
three days on the road.

Ormond, inordinately impatient, could not rest a moment. The next
morning he set off at full speed for Annaly, determined to find out what
was the matter.

Arrived there, a new footman came to the door with "_Not at home_,
sir." Ormond could have knocked him down, but he contented himself
with striking his own forehead--however, in a genteel proper voice, he
desired to see Sir Herbert's own man, O'Reilly.

"Mr. O'Reilly is not here, sir--absent on business."

Every thing was adverse. Ormond had one hope, that this new fellow,
not knowing him, might by mistake have included him in a general order
against morning visitors.

"My name is Ormond, sir."

"Yes, sir."

"And I beg you will let Lady Annaly and Miss Annaly know that Mr. Ormond
is come to pay his respects to them."

The man seemed very unwilling to carry any message to his ladies. "He
was sure," he said, "that the ladies would not see anybody."

"Was Lady Annaly ill?"

"Her ladyship had been but poorly, but was better within the last two
days."

"And Miss Annaly?"

"Wonderful better, too, sir; has got up her spirits greatly to-day."

"I am very glad to hear it," said Ormond. "Pray, sir, can you tell me
whether a servant from Mr. Ormond brought a letter here yesterday?"

"He did, sir."

"And was there any answer sent?"

"I really can't say, sir."

"Be so good to take my name to your lady," repeated Ormond.

"Indeed, sir, I don't like to go in, for I know my lady--both my ladies
is engaged, very particularly engaged--however, if you very positively
desire it, sir--"

Ormond did very positively desire it, and the footman obeyed. While
Ormond was waiting impatiently for the answer, his horse, as impatient
as himself, would not stand still. A groom, who was sauntering about,
saw the uneasiness of the horse, and observing that it was occasioned by
a peacock, who, with spread tail, was strutting in the sunshine, he
ran and chased the bird away. Ormond thanked the groom, and threw him a
_luck token_; but not recollecting his face, asked how long he had
been at Annaly. "I think you were not here when I was here last?" said
Ormond.

"No, sir." said the man, looking a little puzzled; "I never was here
till the day before yesterday in my born days. We _bees_ from England."

"We!"

"That is, I and master--that is, master and I." Ormond grew pale; but
the groom saw nothing of it--his eyes had fixed upon Ormond's horse.

"A very fine horse this of yours, sir, for sartain, if he could but
_stand_, sir; he's main restless at a door. My master's horse is just
his match for that."

"And pray who is your master, sir?" said Ormond, in a voice which he
forced to be calm.

"My master, sir, is one Colonel Albemarle, son of the famous General
Albemarle, as lost his arm, sir, you might have heard talk of, time
back," said the groom.

At this moment a window-blind was flapped aside, and before the wind
blew it back to its place again, Ormond saw Florence Annaly sitting on a
sofa, and a gentleman, in regimentals, kneeling at her feet.

"Bless my eyes!" cried the groom, "what made you let go his bridle, sir?
Only you sat him well, sir, he would ha' thrown you that minute--Curse
the blind! that flapped in his eyes."

The footman re-appeared on the steps. "Sir, it is just as I said--I
could not be let in. Mrs. Spencer, my lady's woman, says the ladies is
engaged--you can't see them."

Ormond had seen enough.

"Very well, sir," said he--"Mr. Ormond's compliments--he called, that's
all."

Ormond put spurs to his horse, and galloped off; and, fast as he went,
he urged his horse still faster.

In the agony of disappointed love and jealousy, he railed bitterly
against the whole sex, and against Florence Annaly in particular. Many
were the rash vows he made that he would never think of her more--that
he would tear her from his heart--that he would show her that he was no
whining lover, no easy dupe, to be whiffled off and on, the sport of a
coquette.

"A coquette!--is it possible, Florence Annaly?--_You_--and after all!"

Certain tender recollections obtruded; but he repelled them--he would
not allow one of them to mitigate his rage. His naturally violent
passion of anger, now that it broke again from the control of his
reason, seemed the more ungovernable from the sense of past and the
dread of future restraint.

So, when a horse naturally violent, and half trained to the curb, takes
fright, or takes offence, and, starting, throws his master, away he
gallops; enraged the more by the falling bridle, he rears, plunges,
curvets, and lashes out behind at broken girth or imaginary pursuer.

"Good Heavens! what is the matter with you, my dear boy?--what has
happened?" cried Sir Ulick, the moment he saw him; for the disorder of
Ormond's mind appeared strongly in his face and gestures--still more
strongly in his words.

When he attempted to give an account of what had happened, it was so
broken, so exclamatory, that it was wonderful how Sir Ulick made out the
plain fact. Sir Ulick, however, well understood the short-hand language
of the passions: he listened with eager interest--he sympathized
so fully with Ormond's feelings--expressed such astonishment, such
indignation, that Harry, feeling him to be his warm friend, loved him as
heartily as in the days of his childhood.

Sir Ulick saw and seized the advantage: he had almost despaired of
accomplishing his purpose--now was the critical instant.

"Harry Ormond," said he, "would you make Florence Annaly feel to the
quick--would you make her repent in sackcloth and ashes--would you make
her pine for you, ay! till her very heart is sick?"

"Would I? to be sure--show me how!--only show me how!" cried Ormond.

"Look ye, Harry! to have and to hold a woman--trust me, for I have had
and held many--to have and to hold a woman, you must first show her that
you can, if you will, fling her from you--ay! and leave her there: set
off for Paris to-morrow morning--my life upon it, the moment she hears
you are gone, she will wish you back again!"

"I'll set off to-night," said Ormond, ringing the bell to give orders to
his servant to prepare immediately for his departure.

Thus Sir Ulick, seizing precisely the moment when Ormond's mind was at
the right heat, aiming with dexterity and striking with force, bent and
moulded him to his purpose.

While preparations for Ormond's journey were making, Sir Ulick said
that there was one thing he must insist upon his doing before he
quitted Castle Hermitage--he must look over and settle his guardianship
accounts.

Ormond, whose head was far from business at this moment, was very
reluctant: he said that the accounts could wait till he should return
from France; but Sir Ulick observed that if he, or if Ormond were to
die, leaving the thing unsettled, it would be loss of property to
the one, and loss of credit to the other. Ormond then begged that the
accounts might be sent after him to Paris; he would look over them there
at leisure, and sign them. No, Sir Ulick said, they ought to be signed
by some forthcoming witness in this country. He urged it so much, and
put it upon the footing of his own credit and honour in such a manner,
that Ormond could not refuse. He seized the papers, and took a pen to
sign them; but Sir Ulick snatched the pen from his hand, and absolutely
insisted upon his first knowing what he was going to sign.

"The whole account could have been looked over while we have been
talking about it," said Sir Ulick.

Ormond sat down and looked it over, examined all the vouchers, saw
that every thing was perfectly right and fair, signed the accounts,
and esteemed Sir Ulick the more for having insisted upon showing, and
proving that all was exact.

Sir Ulick offered to manage his affairs for him while he was away,
particularly a large sum which Ormond had in the English funds. Sir
Ulick had a banker and a broker in London, on whom he could depend,
and he had, from his place and connexions, means of obtaining good
information in public affairs; he had made a great deal himself by
speculations in the funds, and he could buy in and sell out to great
advantage, he said, for Ormond. But for this purpose a _power of
attorney_ was necessary to be given by Ormond to Sir Ulick.

There was scarcely time to draw one up, nor was Sir Ulick sure that
there was a printed form in the house. Luckily, however, a proper
_power_ was found, and filled up, and Ormond had just time to sign
it before he stepped into the carriage: he embraced his guardian, and
thanked him heartily for his care of the interests of his purse, and
still more for the sympathy he had shown in the interests of his heart.
Sir Ulick was moved at parting with him, and this struck Harry the more,
because he certainly struggled to suppress his feelings. Ormond stopped
at Vicar's Dale to tell Dr. Cambray all that had happened, to thank him
and his family for their kindness, and to take leave of them.

They were indeed astonished when he entered, saying, "Any commands, my
good friends, for London or Paris? I am on my way there--carriage at the
door."

At first they could not believe him to be serious; but when they
heard his story, and saw by the agitation of his manner that he was
in earnest, they were still more surprised at the suddenness of his
determination. They all believed and represented to him that there must
be some mistake, and that he was not cool enough to judge sanely at this
moment.

Dr. Cambray observed that Miss Annaly could not prevent any man from
kneeling to her. Ormond haughtily said, "He did not know what she could
prevent, he only knew what she did. She had not vouchsafed an answer to
his letter--she had not admitted him. These he thought were sufficient
indications that the person at her feet was accepted. Whether he were or
not, Ormond would inquire no further. She might now accept or refuse, as
she pleased--he would go to Paris."

His friends had nothing more to say or to do, but to sigh, and to wish
him a good journey, and much pleasure at Paris.

Ormond now requested that Dr. Cambray would have the goodness to write
to him from time to time, to inform him of whatever he might wish to
know during his absence. He was much mortified to hear from the doctor
that he was obliged to proceed, with his family, for some months, to a
distant part of the north of England; and that, as to the Annalys,
they were immediately removing to the sea-coast of Devonshire, for the
benefit of a mild climate and of sea-bathing. Ormond, therefore, had no
resource but in his guardian. Sir Ulick's affairs, however, were to
take him over to London, from whence Ormond could not expect much
satisfactory intelligence with respect to Ireland.

Ormond flew to Dublin, crossed the channel in an express boat, travelled
night and day in the mail to London, from thence to Dover--crossed the
water in a storm, and travelled with the utmost expedition to Paris,
though there was no one reason why he should be in haste; and for so
much, his travelling was as little profitable or amusing as possible. He
saw, heard, and understood nothing, till he reached Paris.

It has been said that the traveller without sensibility may travel from
Dan to Beersheba, without finding any thing worth seeing. The traveller
who has too much sensibility often observes as little--of this all
persons must be sensible, who have ever travelled when their minds were
engrossed with painful feelings, or possessed by any strong passion.



CHAPTER XXVII.

Ormond had written to M. and Madame de Connal to announce his intentions
of spending some time in Paris, and to thank them for the invitation to
their house; an invitation which, however, he declined accepting; but he
requ