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Title: Pelham — Volume 07
Author: Lytton, Edward Bulwer Lytton, Baron
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 "Pelham — Volume 07" ***

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                              VOLUME VII.

                            CHAPTER LXXIII.

           Si ad honestatem nati sumus ea aut sola expetenda est, aut
           certe omni pondere gravior est habenda quam reliqua omnia.
                          --Tully.

             Cas.  Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
             I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
             And shew of love as I was wont to have.
                          --Julius Caesar.

I rose at my usual early hour; sleep had tended to calm, and, I hope,
also, to better my feelings. I had now leisure to reflect, that I had not
embraced my party from any private or interested motive; it was not,
therefore, from a private or interested motive that I was justified in
deserting it. Our passions are terrible sophists! When Vincent had told
me, the day before, that it was from men, not measures, that I was to
change, and that such a change could scarcely deserve the name, my heart
adopted the assertion, and fancied it into truth.

I now began to perceive the delusion; were government as mechanically
perfect as it has never yet been (but as I trust it may yet be), it would
signify little who were the mere machines that regulated its springs: but
in a constitution like ours, the chief character of which--pardon me, ye
De Lolmites--is its uncertainty; where men invariably make the measures
square to the dimensions of their own talent or desire; and where,
reversing the maxim of the tailor, the measures so rarely make the men;
it required no penetration to see how dangerous it was to entrust to the
aristocratic prejudice of Lincoln, or the vehement imbecility of
Lesborough, the execution of the very same measures which might safely be
committed to the plain sense of Dawton, and, above all, to the great and
various talents of his coadjutors. But what made the vital difference
between the two parties was less in the leaders than the body. In the
Dawton faction, the best, the purest, the wisest of the day were
enrolled; they took upon themselves the origin of all the active
measures, and Lord Dawton was the mere channel through which those
measures flowed; the plain, the unpretending, and somewhat feeble
character of Lord Dawton's mind, readily conceded to the abler components
of his party, the authority it was so desirable that they should exert.
In Vincent's party, with the exception of himself, there was scarcely an
individual with the honesty requisite for loving the projects they
affected to propose, or the talents that were necessary for carrying them
into effect, even were their wishes sincere; nor were either the haughty
Lincoln, or his noisy and overbearing companion, Lesborough, at all of a
temper to suffer that quiet, yet powerful interference of others, to
which Dawton unhesitatingly submitted.

I was the more resolved to do all possible justice to Dawton's party,
from the inclination I naturally had to lean towards the other; and in
all matters, where private pique or self-interest can possibly penetrate,
it has ever been the object of my maturer consideration to direct my
particular attention to that side of the question which such undue
partizans are the least likely to espouse. While I was gradually, but
clearly, feeling my way to a decision, I received the following note from
Guloseton:--

"I said nothing to you last night of what is now to be the subject of my
letter, lest you should suppose it arose rather from the heat of an
extempore conviviality, than its real source, viz. a sincere esteem for
your mind, a sincere affection for your heart, and a sincere sympathy in
your resentment and your interest.

"They tell me that Lord Dawton's triumph or discomfiture rests entirely
upon the success of the motion upon--, brought before the House of
Commons, on the--. I care, you know, very little for my own part, which
way this question is decided; do not think, therefore, that I make any
sacrifice when I request you to suffer me to follow your advice in the
disposal of my four votes. I imagine, of course, that you would wish them
to adopt the contrary side to Lord Dawton; and upon receiving a line from
you to that effect, they shall be empowered to do so.

"Pray, oblige me also by taking the merit of this measure upon yourself,
and saying (wherever it may be useful to you), how entirely, both the
voters and their influence are at your disposal. I trust we shall yet
play the Bel to this Dragon, and fell him from his high places.

"Pity me, my dear friend; I dine out to-day, and feel already, by an
intuitive shudder, that the soup will be cold, and the sherry hot. Adieu.

"Ever your's,

"Guloseton."

Now, then, my triumph, my vanity, and my revenge might be fully
gratified. I had before me a golden opportunity of displaying my own
power, and of humbling that of the minister. My heart swelled high at the
thought. Let it be forgiven me, if, for a single moment, my previous
calculations and morality vanished from my mind, and I saw only the offer
of Vincent, and the generosity of Guloseton. But I checked the risings of
my heart, and compelled my proud spirit to obedience.

I placed Guloseton's letter before me, and as I read it once more in
order to reply to it, the disinterested kindness and delicacy of one,
whom I had long, in the injustice of my thoughts, censured as selfish,
came over me so forcibly, and contrasted so deeply with the hollowness of
friends more sounding, alike in their profession and their creeds, that
the tears streamed fast and gushingly from my eyes.

A thousand misfortunes are less affecting than a single kindness.

I wrote, in answer, a warm and earnest letter of thanks for an offer, the
judicious kindness of which penetrated me to the soul. I detailed, at
some length, the reasons which induced me to the decision I had taken; I
sketched also the nature of the very important motion about to be brought
before the House, and deduced from that sketch the impossibility of
conscientiously opposing Lord Dawton's party in the debate. I concluded
with repeating the expressions my gratitude suggested, and after
declining all interference with Lord Guloseton's votes, ventured to add,
that had I interfered, it would have been in support of Dawton; not as a
man, but a minister--not as an individual friend, but a public servant.

I had just despatched this letter, when Vincent entered: I acquainted
him, though in the most respectful and friendly terms, with my
determination. He seemed greatly disappointed, and endeavoured to shake
my resolution; finding this was in vain, he appeared at last satisfied,
and even affected with my reasons. When we parted, it was with a promise,
confirmed by both, that no public variance should ever again alter our
private opinions of each other.

When I was once more alone, and saw myself brought back to the very foot
of the ladder I had so far and so fortunately climbed; when I saw that,
in rejecting all the overtures of my friends, I was left utterly solitary
and unaided among my foes--when I looked beyond and saw no faint loophole
of hope, no single stepping-stone on which to recommence my broken, but
unwearied career--perhaps one pang of regret and repentance, at my
determination, came across me: but there is something marvellously
restorative in a good conscience, and one soon learns to look with hope
to the future, when one can feel justified in turning with pride to the
past.

My horse came to the door at my usual hour for riding: with what gladness
I sprung upon his back, felt the free wind freshening over my fevered
cheek, and turned my rein towards the green lanes that border the great
city on its western side. I know few counsellors more exhilarating than a
spirited horse. I do not wonder that the Roman emperor made a consul of
his steed. On horseback I always best feel my powers, and survey my
resources; on horseback, I always originate my noblest schemes, and plan
their ablest execution. Give me but a light rein, and a free bound, and I
am Cicero--Cato--Caesar; dismount me, and I become a mere clod of the
earth which you condemn me to touch; fire, energy, etheriality have
departed; I am the soil without the sun--the cask without the wine--the
garments without the man.

I returned home with increased spirits and collected thoughts; I urged my
mind from my own situation, and suffered it to rest upon what Lady
Roseville had told me of Reginald Glanville's interference in my behalf.
That extraordinary man still continued powerfully to excite my interest;
nor could I dwell, without some yearning of the kindlier affections, upon
his unsolicited, and, but for Lady Roseville's communication, unknown
exertions in my cause. Although the officers of justice were still
actively employed in the pursuit of Tyrrell's murderer, and although the
newspapers were still full of speculations on their indifferent success,
public curiosity had began to flag upon the inquiry. I had, once or
twice, been in Glanville's company when the murder was brought upon the
tapis, and narrowly examined his behaviour upon a subject which touched
him so fearfully. I could not, however, note any extraordinary confusion
or change in his countenance; perhaps the pale cheek grew somewhat paler,
the dreaming eye more abstracted, and the absent spirit more wande ring
than before; but many other causes than guilt, could account for signs so
doubtful and minute.

"You shall soon know all," the last words which he had addressed to me,
yet rang in my ears, and most intensely did I anticipate the fulfilment
of this promise. My hopes too--those flatterers, so often the pleasing
antitheses of reason, whispered that this was not the pledge of a guilty
man; and yet he had said to Lady Roseville, that he did not wonder at my
estrangement from him: such words seemed to require a less favourable
construction than those he had addressed to me; and, in making this
mental remark, another, of no flattering nature to Glanville's
disinterestedness, suggested itself; might not his interference for me
with Lord Dawton, arise rather from policy than friendship; might it not
occur to him, if, as I surmised, he was acquainted with my suspicions,
and acknowledged their dreadful justice, that it would be advisable to
propitiate my silence? Such were among the thousand thoughts which
flashed across me, and left my speculations in debate and doubt.

Nor did my reflections pass unnoticed the nature of Lady Roseville's
affection for Glanville. From the seeming coldness and austerity of Sir
Reginald's temperament, it was likely that this was innocent, at least in
act; and there was also something guileless in the manner in which she
appeared rather to exult in, than to conceal, her attachment. True that
she was bound to no ties; she had neither husband nor children, for whose
sake love became a crime: free and unfettered, if she gave her heart to
Glanville, it was also allowable to render the gift lawful and perpetual
by the blessing of the church.

Alas! how little can woman, shut up in her narrow and limited circle of
duties, know of the wandering life and various actions of her lover.
Little, indeed, could Lady Roseville, when, in the heat of her
enthusiasm, she spoke of the lofty and generous character of Glanville,
dream of the foul and dastardly crime of which he was more than
suspected; nor, while it was, perhaps, her fondest wish to ally herself
to his destiny, could her wildest fancies anticipate the felon's fate,
which, if death came not in an hastier and kinder shape, must sooner or
later await him.

Of Thornton, I had neither seen nor heard aught since my departure from
Lord Chester's; that reprieve was, however, shortly to expire. I had
scarcely got into Oxford-street, in my way homeward, when I perceived him
crossing the street with another man. I turned round to scrutinize the
features of his companion, and, in spite of a great change of dress, a
huge pair of false whiskers, and an artificial appearance of increased
age, my habit of observing countenances enabled me to recognize, on the
instant, my intellectual and virtuous friend, Mr. Job Jonson. They
disappeared in a shop, nor did I think it worth while further to observe
them, though I still bore a reminiscetory spite against Mr. Job Jonson,
which I was fully resolved to wreak, at the first favourable opportunity.

I passed by Lady Roseville's door. Though the hour was late, and I had,
therefore, but a slight chance of finding her at home, yet I thought the
chance worth the trouble of inquiry. To my agreeable surprise, I was
admitted: no one was in the drawing-room. The servant said, Lady
Roseville was at that moment engaged, but would very shortly see me, and
begged I would wait.

Agitated as I was by various reflections, I walked (in the restlessness
of my mood) to and fro the spacious rooms which formed Lady Roseville's
apartments of reception. At the far end was a small boudoir, where none
but the goddess's favoured few were admitted. As I approached towards it,
I heard voices, and the next moment recognised the deep tones of
Glanville. I turned hastily away, lest I should overhear the discourse;
but I had scarcely got three steps, when the convulsed sound of a woman's
sob came upon my ear. Shortly afterwards, steps descended the stairs, and
the street door opened.

The minutes rolled on, and I became impatient. The servant re-entered--
Lady Roseville was so suddenly and seriously indisposed, that she was
unable to see me. I left the house, and, full of bewildered conjectures,
returned to my apartments.

The next day was one of the most important in my life. I was standing
wistfully by my fireplace, listening to a broken-winded hurdy-gurdy, with
the most mournful attention, stationed opposite to my window, when Bedos
announced Sir Reginald Glanville. It so happened, that I had that morning
taken the miniature I had found in the fatal field, from the secret place
in which I usually kept it, in order more closely to examine it, lest any
more convincing proof of its owner, than the initials and Thornton's
interpretation, might be discovered by a minuter investigation.

The picture was lying on the table when Glanville entered: my first
impulse was to seize and secrete it; my second to suffer it to remain,
and to watch the effect the sight of it might produce. In following the
latter, I thought it, however, as well to choose my own time for
discovering the miniature; and as I moved to the table, I threw my
handkerchief carelessly over it. Glanville came up to me at once, and his
countenance, usually close and reserved in its expression, assumed a
franker and bolder aspect.

"You have lately changed towards me," he said:--"mindful of our former
friendship, I have come to demand the reason."

"Can Sir Reginald Glanville's memory," answered I, "supply him with no
probable cause?"

"It can," replied Glanville, "but I would not trust only to that. Sit
down, Pelham, and listen to me. I can read your thoughts, and I might
affect to despise their import--perhaps two years since I should--at
present I can pity and excuse them. I have come to you now, in the love
and confidence of our early days, to claim, as then, your good opinion
and esteem. If you require any explanation at my hands, it shall be
given. My days are approaching their end. I have made up my accounts with
others--I would do so with you. I confess, that I would fain leave behind
me in your breast, the same affectionate remembrance I might heretofore
have claimed, and which, whatever be your suspicions, I have done nothing
to forfeit. I have, moreover, a dearer interest than my own to consult in
this wish--you colour, Pelham--you know to whom I allude; for my sister's
sake, if not for my own, you will hear me."

Glanville paused for a moment. I raised the handkerchief from the
miniature--I pushed the latter towards him--"Do you remember this?" said
I, in a low tone.

With a wild cry, which thrilled through my heart, Glanville sprung
forward and seized it. He gazed eagerly and intensely upon it, and his
cheek flushed--his eyes sparkled--his breast heaved. The next moment he
fell back in his chair, in one of the half swoons, to which, upon any
sudden and violent emotion, the debilitating effects of his disease
subjected him.

Before I could come to his assistance he had recovered. He looked wildly
and fiercely upon me. "Speak," he cried, "speak--where got you this--
where?--answer, for mercy's sake!"

"Recollect yourself," said I, sternly. "I found that token of your
presence upon the spot where Tyrrell was murdered."

"True, true," said Glanville, slowly, and in an absent and abstracted
tone. He ceased abruptly, and covered his face with his hands; from this
attitude he started with some sudden impulse.

"And tell me," he said, in a low, inward, exulting tone, "was it--was it
red with the blood of the murdered man?"

"Wretch!" I exclaimed, "do you glory in your guilt?"

"Hold!" said Glanville, rising, with an altered and haughty air; "it is
not to your accusations that I am now to listen: if you are yet desirous
of weighing their justice before you decide upon them, you will have the
opportunity: I shall be at home at ten this night; come to me, and you
shall know all. At present, the sight of this picture has unnerved me.
Shall I see you?"

I made no other rejoinder than the brief expression of my assent, and
Glanville instantly left the room.

During the whole of that day, my mind was wrought up into a state of
feverish and preternatural excitation. I could not remain in the same
spot for an instant; my pulse beat with the irregularity of delirium. For
the last hour I placed my watch before me, and kept my eyes constantly
fixed upon it. Should any one think this exaggerated, let him remember,
that it was not only Glanville's confession that I was to hear; my own
fate, my future connection with Ellen, rested upon the story of that
night. For myself, when I called to mind Glanville's acknowledgment of
the picture, and his slow and involuntary remembrance of the spot where
it was found, I scarcely allowed my temper, sanguine as it was, to hope.

Some minutes before the hour of ten I repaired to Glanville's house. He
was alone--the picture was before him.

I drew my chair towards him in silence, and accidentally lifting up my
eyes, encountered the opposite mirror. I started at my own face; the
intensity and fearfulness of my interest had rendered it even more
hueless than that of my companion.

There was a pause for some moments, at the end of which Glanville thus
began.



                            CHAPTER LXXIV.

                             I do but hide
             Under these words, like embers, every spark
             Of that which has consumed me. Quick and dark
             The grave is yawning;--as its roof shall cover
             My limbs with dust and worms, under and over,
             So let oblivion hide this grief.
             Julian and Maddalo.

             With thee, the very future fled,
                I stand amid the past alone;
             A tomb which still shall guard the dead
                Tho' every earthlier trace be flown,
                A tomb o'er which the weeds that love
                Decay--their wild luxuriance wreathe!
             The cold and callous stone above--
                             And only thou and death beneath.
             From Unpublished Poems by_____.


                 THE HISTORY OF SIR REGINALD GLANVILLE.

"You remember my character at school--the difficulty with which you drew
me from the visionary and abstracted loneliness which, even at that time,
was more consonant to my taste, than all the sports and society resorted
to by other boys--and the deep, and, to you, inexplicable delight with
which I returned to my reveries and solitude again. That character has
continued through life the same; circumstances have strengthened, not
altered it. So has it been with you; the temper, the habits, the tastes,
so strongly contrasted with mine in boyhood, have lost nothing of that
contrast. Your ardour for the various ambition of life is still the
antipodes to my indifference; your daring, restless, thoughtful,
resolution in the pursuit, still shames my indolence and abstraction. You
are still the votary of the world, but will become its conqueror--I its
fugitive--and shall die its victim.

"After we parted at school, I went for a short time to a tutor's in--
shire. Of this place I soon grew weary; and my father's death leaving me
in a great measure at my own disposal, I lost no time in leaving it. I
was seized with that mania for travel common enough to all persons of my
youth and disposition. My mother allowed me an almost unlimited command
over the fortune hereafter to be my own; and, yielding to my wishes,
rather than her fears, she suffered me, at the age of eighteen, to set
out for the Continent alone. Perhaps the quiet and reserve of my
character made her think me less exposed to the dangers of youth, than if
I had been of a more active and versatile temper. This is no uncommon
mistake; a serious and contemplative disposition is, however, often the
worst formed to acquire readily the knowledge of the world, and always
the most calculated to suffer deeply from the experience.

"I took up my residence for some time at Spa. It is, you know, perhaps, a
place dull enough to make gambling the only amusement; every one played--
and I did not escape the contagion; nor did I wish it: for, like the
minister Godolphin, I loved gaming for its own sake, because it was a
substitute for conversation. This habit brought me acquainted with Mr.
Tyrrell, who was then staying at Spa; he had not, at that time, quite
dissipated his fortune, but was daily progressing to so desirable a
consummation. A gambler's acquaintance is readily made, and easily kept,
provided you gamble too.

"We became as intimate as the reserve of my habits ever suffered me to
become with any one, but you. He was many years older than me--had seen a
great deal of the world--had mixed much in its best societies, and, at
that time, whatever was the grossierete of his mind, had little of the
coarseness of manner which very soon afterwards distinguished him; evil
communication works rapidly in its results. Our acquaintance was,
therefore, natural enough, especially when it is considered that my purse
was entirely at his disposal--for borrowing is twice blessed, in him that
takes and him that gives--the receiver becomes complaisant and conceding,
and the lender thinks favourably of one he has obliged.

"We parted at Spa, under a mutual promise to write. I forget if this
promise was kept--probably not; we were not, however, the worse friends
for being bad correspondents. I continued my travels for about another
year; I then returned to England, the same melancholy and dreaming
enthusiast as before. It is true that we are the creatures of
circumstances; but circumstances are also, in a great measure, the
creatures of us. I mean, they receive their colour from the previous bent
of our own minds; what raises one would depress another, and what
vitiates my neighbour might correct me. Thus the experience of the world
makes some persons more worldly--others more abstracted, and the
indulgence of the senses becomes a violence to one mind, and a second
nature to another. As for me, I had tasted all the pleasures youth and
opulence can purchase, and was more averse to them than ever. I had mixed
with many varieties of men--I was still more rivetted to the monotony of
self.

"I cannot hope, while I mention these peculiarities, that I am a very
uncommon character; I believe the present age has produced many such.
Some time hence, it will be a curious inquiry to ascertain the causes of
that acute and sensitive morbidity of mind, which has been, and still is,
so epidemic a disease. You know me well enough to believe, that I am not
fond of the cant of assuming an artificial character, or of creating a
fictitious interest; and I am far from wishing to impose upon you a
malady of constitution for a dignity of mind. You must pardon my
prolixity. I own that it is very painful to me to come to the main part
of my confessions, and I am endeavouring to prepare myself by lingering
over the prelude."

Glanville paused here for a few moments. In spite of the sententious
coolness with which he pretended to speak, I saw that he was powerfully
and painfully affected.

"Well," he continued, "to resume the thread of my narrative; after I had
stayed some weeks with my mother and sister, I took advantage of their
departure for the continent, and resolved to make a tour through England.
Rich people, and I have always been very rich, get exceedingly tired of
the embarrassment of their riches. I seized with delight at the idea of
travelling without carriages and servants; I took merely a favourite
horse, and the black dog, poor Terror, which you see now at my feet.

"The day I commenced this plan was to me the epoch of a new and terrible
existence. However, you must pardon me if I am not here sufficiently
diffuse. Suffice it, that I became acquainted with a being whom, for the
first and only time in my life, I loved! This miniature attempts to
express her likeness; the initials at the back, interwoven with my own,
are hers."

"Yes," said I, incautiously, "they are the initials of Gertrude Douglas."

"What!" cried Glanville, in a loud tone, which he instantly checked, and
continued in an indrawn, muttered whisper: "How long is it since I heard
that name! and now--now--" he broke off abruptly, and then said, with a
calmer voice, "I know not how you have learnt her name; perhaps you will
explain?"

"From Thornton," said I.

"And has he told you more?" cried Glanville, as if gasping for breath--
the "history--the dreadful--"

"Not a word," said I, hastily; "he was with me when I found the picture,
and he explained the initials."

"It is well!" answered Glanville, recovering himself; "you will see
presently if I have reason to love that those foul and sordid lips should
profane the story I am about to relate. Gertrude was an only daughter;
though of gentle blood, she was no match for me, either in rank or
fortune. Did I say just now that the world had not altered me? See my
folly; one year before I saw her, and I should not have thought her, but
myself honoured by a marriage;--twelve little months had sufficed to--God
forgive me! I took advantage of her love--her youth--her innocence--she
fled with me--but not to the altar!"

Again Glanville paused, and again, by a violent effort, conquered his
emotion, and proceeded:

"Never let vice be done by halves--never let a man invest all his purer
affections in the woman he ruins--never let him cherish the kindness, if
he gratifies the selfishness, of his heart. A profligate, who really
loves his victim, is one of the most wretched of beings. In spite of my
successful and triumphant passion--in spite of the delirium of the first
intoxication of possession, and of the better and deeper delight of a
reciprocity of thought--feeling, sympathy, for the first time, found;--in
the midst of all the luxuries my wealth could produce, and of the
voluptuous and spring-like hues with which youth, health, and first love,
clothe the earth which the loved one treads, and the air which she
inhales: in spite of these, in spite of all, I was any thing but happy.
If Gertrude's cheek seemed a shade more pale, or her eye less bright, I
remembered the sacrifice she had made me, and believed that she felt it
too. It was in vain, that, with a tender and generous devotion--never
found but in woman--she assured me that my love was a recompense for all;
the more touching was her tenderness, the more poignant my remorse. I
never loved but her; I have never, therefore, entered into the common-
place of passion, and I cannot, even to this day, look upon her sex as
ours do in general. I thought, I think so still, that ingratitude to a
woman is often a more odious offence--I am sure it contains a more
painful penalty--than ingratitude to a man. But enough of this; if you
know me, you can penetrate the nature of my feelings--if not, it is in
vain to expect your sympathy.

"I never loved living long in one place. We travelled over the greater
part of England and France. What must be the enchantment of love, when
accompanied with innocence and joy, when, even in sin, in remorse, in
grief, it brings us a rapture to which all other things are tame. Oh!
those were moments steeped in the very elixir of life; overflowing with
the hoarded fondness and sympathies of hearts too full for words, and yet
too agitated for silence, when we journeyed alone, and at night, and as
the shadows and stillness of the waning hours gathered round us, drew
closer to each other, and concentrated this breathing world in the deep
and embracing sentiment of our mutual love! It was then that I laid my
burning temples on her bosom, and felt, while my hand clasped her's, that
my visions were realized, and my wandering spirit had sunk unto its rest.

"I remember well that, one night, we were travelling through one of the
most beautiful parts of England it was in the very height and flush of
summer, and the moon (what scene of love--whether in reality, or romance-
-has any thing of tenderness, or passion, or divinity, where her light is
not!) filled the intense skies of June with her presence, and cast a
sadder and paler beauty over Gertrude's cheek. She was always of a
melancholy and despondent temper; perhaps, for that reason, she was more
congenial to my own; and when I gazed upon her that night, I was not
surprised to see her eyes filled with tears. "You will laugh at me," she
said, as I kissed them off, and inquired into the cause; "but I feel a
presentiment that I cannot shake off; it tells me that you will travel
this road again before many months are past, and that I shall not be with
you, perhaps not upon the earth." She was right in all her foreboding,
but the suggestion of her death;--that came later.

"We took up our residence for some time at a beautiful situation, a short
distance from a small watering place. Here, to my great surprise, I met
with Tyrrell. He had come there partly to see a relation from whom he had
some expectations, and partly to recruit his health, which was much
broken by his irregularities and excesses. I could not refuse to renew my
old acquaintance with him, and, indeed, I thought him too much of a man
of the world, and of society, to feel with him that particular delicacy,
in regard to Gertrude, which made me in general shun all intercourse with
my former friends. He was in great pecuniary embarrassment--much more
deeply so than I then imagined; for I believed the embarrassment to be
only temporary. However, my purse was then, as before, at his disposal,
and he did not scruple to avail himself very largely of my offers. He
came frequently to our house; and poor Gertrude, who thought I had, for
her sake, made a real sacrifice in renouncing my acquaintance,
endeavoured to conquer her usual diffidence, and that more painful
feeling than diffidence, natural to her station, and even to affect a
pleasure in the society of my friend, which she was very far from
feeling.

"I was detained at--for several weeks by Gertrude's confinement. The
child--happy being!--died a week after its birth. Gertrude was still in
bed, and unable to leave it, when I received a letter from Ellen, to say,
that my mother was then staying at Toulouse, and dangerously ill; if I
wished once more to see her, Ellen besought me to lose no time in setting
off for the continent. You may imagine my situation, or rather you
cannot, for you cannot conceive the smallest particle of that intense
love I bore to Gertrude. To you--to any other man, it might seem no
extraordinary hardship to leave her even for an uncertain period--to me
it was like tearing away the very life from my heart.

"I procured her a sort of half companion, and half nurse; I provided for
her every thing that the most anxious and fearful love could suggest; and
with a mind full of forebodings too darkly to be realized hereafter, I
hastened to the nearest seaport, and set sail for France.

"When I arrived at Toulouse my mother was much better, but still in a
very uncertain and dangerous state of health. I stayed with her for more
than a month, during which time every post brought me a line from
Gertrude, and bore back a message from 'my heart to her's' in return.
This was no mean consolation, more especially when each letter spoke of
increasing health and strength. At the month's end, I was preparing to
return--my mother was slowly recovering, and I no longer had any fears on
her account; but, there are links in our destiny fearfully interwoven
with each other, and ending only in the anguish of our ultimate doom. The
day before that fixed for my departure, I had been into a house where an
epidemic disease raged; that night I complained of oppressive and deadly
illness--before morning I was in a high fever.

"During the time I was sensible of my state, I wrote constantly to
Gertrude, and carefully concealed my illness; but for several days I was
delirious. When I recovered I called eagerly for my letters--there were
none--none! I could not believe I was yet awake; but days still passed
on, and not a line from England--from Gertrude. The instant I was able, I
insisted upon putting horses to my carriage; I could bear no longer the
torture of my suspense. By the most rapid journeys my debility would
allow me to bear, I arrived in England. I travelled down to--by the same
road that I had gone over with her; the words of her foreboding, at that
time, sunk like ice into my heart, 'You will travel this road again
before many months are past, and I shall not be with you: perhaps, I
shall not be upon the earth.' At that thought I could have called unto
the grave to open for me. Her unaccountable and lengthened silence, in
spite of all the urgency and entreaties of my letters for a reply, filled
me with presentiments the most fearful. Oh, God--oh, God, they were
nothing to the truth!

"At last I arrived at--; my carriage stopped at the very house--my whole
frame was perfectly frozen with dread--I trembled from limb to limb--the
ice of a thousand winters seemed curdling through my blood. The bell
rung--once, twice--no answer. I would have leaped out of the carriage--I
would have forced an entrance, but I was unable to move. A man fettered
and spell-bound by an incubus, is less helpless than I was. At last, an
old female I had never seen before, appeared.

"'Where is she? How!' I could utter no more--my eyes were fixed upon the
inquisitive and frightened countenance opposite to my own. Those eyes, I
thought, might have said all that my lips could not; I was deceived--the
old woman understood me no more than I did her; another person appeared--
I recognized the face--it was that of a girl, who had been one of our
attendants. Will you believe, that at that sight, the sight of one I had
seen before, and could associate with the remembrance of the breathing,
the living, the present Gertrude, a thrill of joy flashed across me--my
fears seemed to vanish--my spell to cease?

"I sprung from the carriage; I caught the girl by the robe. 'Your
mistress,' said I, 'your mistress--she is well--she is alive--speak,
speak?' The girl shrieked out; my eagerness, and, perhaps, my emaciated
and altered appearance, terrified her; but she had the strong nerves of
youth, and was soon re-assured. She requested me to step in, and she
would tell me all. My wife (Gertrude always went by that name), was
alive, and, she believed, well, but she had left that place some weeks
since. Trembling, and still fearful, but, comparatively, in Heaven, to my
former agony, I followed the girl and the old woman into the house.

"The former got me some water. 'Now,' said I, when I had drank a long and
hearty draught, 'I am ready to hear all--my wife has left this house, you
say--for what place?' The girl hesitated and looked down; the old woman,
who was somewhat deaf, and did not rightly understand my questions, or
the nature of the personal interest I had in the reply, answered,--'What
does the gentleman want? the poor young lady who was last here? Lord help
her!'

"'What of her?' I called out, in a new alarm. 'What of her? Where has she
gone? Who took her away?'

"'Who took her?' mumbled the old woman, fretful at my impatient tone;
'Who took her? why, the mad doctor, to be sure!'

"I heard no more; my frame could support no longer the agonies my mind
had undergone; I fell lifeless on the ground.

"When I recovered, it was in the dead of night. I was in bed, the old
woman and the girl were at my side. I rose slowly and calmly. You know,
all men who have ever suffered much, know the strange anomalies of
despair--the quiet of our veriest anguish. Deceived by my bearing, I
learned, by degrees, from my attendants, that Gertrude had some weeks
since betrayed sudden symptoms of insanity; that these, in a very few
hours, arose to an alarming pitch.--From some reason the woman could not
explain, she had, a short time before, discarded the companion I had left
with her; she was, therefore, alone among servants. They sent for the
ignorant practitioners of the place; they tried their nostrums without
success; her madness increased; her attendants, with that superstitious
horror of insanity, common to the lower classes, became more and more
violently alarmed; the landlady insisted on her removal; and--and--I told
you, Peham--I told you--they sent her away--sent her to a madhouse! All
this I listened to!--all!--aye, and patiently! I noted down the address
of her present abode; it was about the distance of twenty miles from--. I
ordered fresh horses and set off immediately.

"I arrived there at day-break. It was a large, old house, which, like a
French hotel, seemed to have no visible door; dark and gloomy, the pile
appeared worthy of the purpose to which it was devoted. It was a long
time before we aroused any one to answer our call; at length, I was
ushered into a small parlour--how minutely I remember every article in
the room; what varieties there are in the extreme passions! sometimes the
same feeling will deaden all the senses--sometimes render them a hundred
fold more acute!--

"At last, a man of a smiling and rosy aspect appeared. He pointed to a
chair--rubbed his hands--and begged me to unfold my business; few words
sufficed to do that. I requested to see his patient; I demanded by what
authority she had been put under his care. The man's face altered. He was
but little pleased with the nature of my visit. 'The lady,' he said,
coolly, 'had been entrusted to his care, with an adequate remuneration,
by Mr. Tyrrell; without that gentleman's permission he could not think
even of suffering me to see her. I controlled my passion; I knew
something, if not of the nature of private mad-houses, at least of that
of mankind. I claimed his patient as my wife; I expressed myself obliged
by his care, and begged his acceptance of a further remuneration, which I
tendered, and which was eagerly accepted. The way was now cleared--there
is no hell to which a golden branch will not win your admittance.

"The man detained me no longer; he hastened to lead the way. We passed
through various long passages; sometimes the low moan of pain and
weakness came upon my ear--sometimes the confused murmur of the idiot's
drivelling soliloquy. From one passage, at right angles with the one
through which we proceeded, came a fierce and thrilling shriek; it sunk
at once into silence--perhaps by the lash!

"We were now in a different department of the building--all was silence--
hushed deep--breathless: this seemed to me more awful than the terrible
sounds I had just heard. My guide went slowly on, sometimes breaking the
stillness of the dim gallery by the jingle of his keys--sometimes by a
muttered panegyric on himself and his humanity. I neither heeded nor
answered him.

"We read in the annals of the Inquisition, of every limb, nerve, sinew of
the victim, being so nicely and accurately strained to their utmost, that
the frame would not bear the additional screwing of a single hair
breadth. Such seemed my state. We came to a small door, at the right
hand; it was the last but one in the passage. We paused before it.
'Stop,' said I, 'for one moment:' and I was so faint and sick at heart,
that I leaned against the wall to recover myself, before I let him open
the door: when he did, it was a greater relief than I can express, to see
that all was utterly dark. 'Wait, Sir,' said the guide, as he entered;
and a sullen noise told me that he was unbarring the heavy shutter.

"Slowly the grey cold light of the morning broke in: a dark figure was
stretched upon a wretched bed, at the far end of the room. She raised
herself at the sound. She turned her face towards me; I did not fall, nor
faint, nor shriek; I stood motionless, as if fixed into stone; and yet it
was Gertrude upon whom I gazed! Oh, Heaven! who but myself could have
recognized her? Her cheek was as the cheek of the dead--the hueless skin
clung to the bone--the eye was dull and glassy for one moment, the next
it became terribly and preternaturally bright--but not with the ray of
intellect, or consciousness, or recognition. She looked long and hard at
me; a voice, hollow and broken, but which still penetrated my heart, came
forth through the wan lips, that scarcely moved with the exertion. 'I am
very cold,' it said--'but if I complain, you will beat me.' She fell down
again upon the bed, and hid her face.

"My guide, who was leaning carelessly by the window, turned to me with a
sort of smirk--'This is her way, Sir,' he said; 'her madness is of a very
singular description: we have not, as yet, been able to discover how far
it extends; sometimes she seems conscious of the past, sometimes utterly
oblivious of every thing: for days she is perfectly silent, or, at least,
says nothing more than you have just heard; but, at times, she raves so
violently, that--that--but I never use force where it can be helped.'

"I looked at the man, but I could not answer, unless I had torn him to
pieces on the spot. I turned away hastily from the room; but I did not
quit the house without Gertrude--I placed her in the carriage, by my
side--notwithstanding all the protestations and fears of the keeper:
these were readily silenced by the sum I gave him; it was large enough to
have liberated half his household. In fact, I gathered from his
conversation, that Tyrrell had spoken of Gertrude as an unhappy female
whom he himself had seduced, and would now be rid of. I thank you,
Pelham, for that frown, but keep your indignation till a fitter season
for it.

"I took my victim, for I then regarded her as such, to a secluded and
lonely spot: I procured for her whatever advice England could afford; all
was in vain. Night and day I was by her side, but she never, for a
moment, seemed to recollect me: yet were there times of fierce and
overpowering delirium, when my name was uttered in the transport of the
most passionate enthusiasm--when my features as absent, though not
present, were recalled and dwelt upon with all the minuteness of the most
faithful detail; and I knelt by her in all those moments, when no other
human being was near, and clasped her wan hand, and wiped the dew from
her forehead, and gazed upon her convulsed and changing face, and called
upon her in a voice which could once have allayed her wildest emotions;
and had the agony of seeing her eye dwell upon me with the most estranged
indifference and the most vehement and fearful aversion. But ever and
anon, she uttered words which chilled the very marrow of my bones; words
which I would not, dared not believe, had any meaning or method in their
madness--but which entered into my own brain, and preyed there like the
devouring of a fire. There was a truth in those ravings--a reason in that
incoherence--and my cup was not yet full.

"At last, one physician, who appeared to me to have more knowledge than
the rest of the mysterious workings of her dreadful disease, advised me
to take her to the scenes of her first childhood: 'Those scenes,' said
he, justly, 'are in all stages of life, the most fondly remembered; and I
have noted, that in many cases of insanity, places are easier recalled
than persons: perhaps, if we can once awaken one link in the chain, it
will communicate to the rest.'

"I took this advice, and set off to Norfolk. Her early home was not many
miles distant from the churchyard where you once met me, and in that
churchyard her mother was buried. She had died before Gertrude's flight;
the father's death had followed it: perhaps my sufferings were a just
retribution. The house had gone into other hands, and I had no difficulty
in engaging it. Thank Heaven, I was spared the pain of seeing any of
Gertrude's relations.

"It was night when we moved to the house. I had placed within the room
where she used to sleep, all the furniture and books, with which it
appeared, from my inquiries, to have been formerly filled. We laid her in
the bed that had held that faded and altered form, in its freshest and
purest years. I shrouded myself in one corner of the room, and counted
the dull minutes till the daylight dawned. I pass over the detail of my
recital--the experiment partially succeeded--would to God that it had
not! would that she had gone down to her grave with her dreadful secret
unrevealed! would--but--"

Here Glanville's voice failed him, and there was a brief silence before
he recommenced.

"Gertrude now had many lucid intervals; but these my presence were always
sufficient to change into a delirious raving, even more incoherent than
her insanity had ever yet been. She would fly from me with the most
fearful cries, bury her face in her hands, and seem like one oppressed
and haunted by a supernatural visitation, as long as I remained in the
room; the moment I left her, she began, though slowly, to recover.

"This was to me the bitterest affliction of all--to be forbidden to
nurse, to cherish, to tend her, was like taking from me my last hope! But
little can the thoughtless or the worldly dream of the depths of a real
love; I used to wait all day by her door, and it was luxury enough to me
to catch her accents or hear her move, or sigh, or even weep; and all
night, when she could not know of my presence, I used to lie down by her
bedside; and when I sank into a short and convulsed sleep, I saw her once
more, in my brief and fleeting dreams, in all the devoted love, and
glowing beauty, which had once constituted the whole of my happiness, and
my world.

"One day I had been called from my post by her door. They came to me
hastily--she was in strong convulsions. I flew up stairs, and supported
her in my arms till the fits had ceased: we then placed her in bed; she
never rose from it again; but on that bed of death, the words, as well as
the cause, of her former insanity, were explained--the mystery was
unravelled.

"It was a still and breathless night. The moon, which was at its
decrease, came through the half-closed shutters, and beneath its solemn
and eternal light, she yielded to my entreaties, and revealed all. The
man--my friend--Tyrrell--had polluted her ear with his addresses, and
when forbidden the house, had bribed the woman I had left with her, to
convey his letters--she was discharged--but Tyrrell was no ordinary
villain; he entered the house one evening, when no one but Gertrude was
there--Come near me, Pelham--nearer--bend down your ear--he used force,
violence! That night Gertrude's senses deserted her--you know the rest.

"The moment that I gathered, from Gertrude's broken sentences, their
meaning, that moment the demon entered into my soul. All human feelings
seemed to fly from my heart; it shrunk into one burning, and thirsty, and
fiery want--that was for revenge. I would have sprung from the bedside,
but Gertrude's hand clung to me, and detained me; the damp, chill grasp,
grew colder and colder--it ceased--the hand fell--I turned--one slight,
but awful shudder, went over that face, made yet more wan, by the light
of the waning and ghastly moon--one convulsion shook the limbs--one
murmur passed the falling and hueless lips. I cannot tell you the rest--
you know--you can guess it.

"That day week we buried her in the lonely churchyard--where she had, in
her lucid moments, wished to lie--by the side of her mother."



                              CHAPTER LXXV.

                     I BREATHED,
                     But not the breath of human life;
                     A serpent round my heart was wreathed,
                     And stung my very thought to strife.
                               --The Giaour.

"Thank Heaven, the most painful part of my story is at an end. You will
now be able to account for our meeting in the church-yard at _______.
I secured myself a lodging at a cottage not far from the spot which held
Gertrude's remains. Night after night I wandered to that lonely place,
and longed for a couch beside the sleeper, whom I mourned in the
selfishness of my soul. I prostrated myself on the mound; I humbled
myself to tears. In the overflowing anguish of my heart I forgot all that
had aroused its stormier passions into life.  Revenge, hatred,--all
vanished.  I lifted up my face to the tender heavens: I called aloud to
the silent and placid air; and when I turned again to the unconscious
mound, I thought of nothing but the sweetness of our early love and the
bitterness of her early death. It was in such moments that your footstep
broke upon my grief: the instant others had seen me,--other eyes had
penetrated the sanctity of my regret,--from that instant, whatever was
more soft and holy in the passions and darkness of my mind seemed to
vanish away like a scroll. I again returned to the intense and withering
remembrance which was henceforward to make the very key and pivot of my
existence. I again recalled the last night of Gertrude's life; I again
shuddered at the low murmured sounds, whose dreadful sense broke slowly
upon my soul. I again felt the cold-cold, slimy grasp of those wan and
dying fingers; and I again nerved my heart to an iron strength, and vowed
deep, deep-rooted, endless, implacable revenge.

"The morning after the night you saw me, I left my abode. I went to
London, and attempted to methodize my plans of vengeance. The first thing
to discover was Tyrrell's present residence. By accident I heard he was
at Paris, and, within two hours of receiving the intelligence, I set off
for that city. On arriving there, the habits of the gambler soon
discovered him to my search.   I saw him one night at a hell. He was
evidently in distressed circumstances, and the fortune of the table was
against him. Unperceived by him, I feasted my eyes on his changing
countenance, as those deadly and wearing transitions of feeling, only to
be produced by the gaming-table, passed over it. While I gazed upon him,
a thought of more exquisite and refined revenge than had yet occurred
to me flashed upon my mind.    Occupied with the ideas it gave rise to, I
went into the adjoining room, which was quite empty. There I seated
myself, and endeavoured to develop more fully the rude and imperfect
outline of my scheme.

"The arch tempter favoured me with a trusty coadjutor in my designs.
I was lost in a revery, when I heard myself accosted by name. I looked
up, and beheld a man whom I had often seen with Tyrrell, both at Spa and
(the watering place, where, with Gertrude, I had met Tyrrell). He was a
person of low birth and character; but esteemed, from his love of coarse
humour and vulgar enterprise, a man of infinite parts--a sort of Yorick--
by the set most congenial to Tyrrell's tastes. By this undue reputation,
and the levelling habit of gaming, to which he was addicted, he was
raised, in certain societies, much above his proper rank: need I say
that this man was Thornton? I was but slightly acquainted with him;
however, he accosted me cordially, and endeavoured to draw me into
conversation.

"'Have you seen Tyrrell?' said he, 'he is at it again; what's bred in the
bone, you know, etc.' I turned pale with the mention of Tyrrell's name,
and replied very laconically, to what purpose I forget. 'Ah! ah!'
rejoined Thornton, eying me with an air of impertinent familiarity,
'I see you have not forgiven him; he played you but a shabby trick at
______; seduced your mistress, or something of that sort; he told me all
about it: pray, how is the poor girl now?'

"I made no reply; I sank down and gasped for breath.  All I had suffered
seemed nothing to the indignity I then endured. She--she--who had once
been my pride--my honour--life--to be thus spoken of--and--. I could not
pursue the idea. I rose hastily, looked at Thornton with a glance which
might have abashed a man less shameless and callous than himself, and
left the room.

"That night, as I tossed restless and feverish on my bed of, thorns,
I saw how useful Thornton might be to me in the prosecution of the scheme
I had entered into; and the next morning I sought him out, and purchased
(no very difficult matter) both his secrecy and his assistance. My plan
of vengeance, to one who had seen and observed less of the varieties of
human nature than you have done, might seem far-fetched and unnatural;
for while the superficial are ready to allow eccentricity as natural in
the coolness of ordinary life, they never suppose it can exist in the
heat of the passions,--as if, in such moments, anything was ever
considered absurd in the means which was favourable to the end. Were the
secrets of one passionate and irregulated heart laid bare, there would be
more romance in them than in all the fables which we turn from with
incredulity and disdain, as exaggerated and overdrawn.

"Among the thousand schemes for retribution which had chased each other
across my mind, the death of my victim was only the ulterior object.
Death, indeed--the pang of one moment--appeared to me but very feeble
justice for the life of lingering and restless anguish to which his
treachery had condemned me; but my penance, my doom, I could have
forgiven: it was the fate of a more innocent and injured being which
irritated the sting and fed the venom of my revenge. That revenge no
ordinary punishment could appease. If fanaticism can only be satisfied by
the rack and the flames, you may readily conceive a like unappeasable
fury in a hatred so deadly, so concentrated, and so just as mine; and if
fanaticism persuades itself into a virtue, so also did my hatred.

"The scheme which I resolved upon was to attach Tyrrell more and more to
the gaming-table, to be present at his infatuation, to feast my eyes upon
the feverish intensity of his suspense; to reduce him, step by step, to
the lowest abyss of poverty; to glut my soul with the abjectness and
humiliation of his penury; to strip him of all aid, consolation,
sympathy, and friendship; to follow him, unseen, to his wretched and
squalid home; to mark the struggles of the craving nature with the
loathing pride; and, finally, to watch the frame wear, the eye sink, the
lip grow livid, and all the terrible and torturing progress of gnawing
want to utter starvation. Then, in that last state, but not before, I
might reveal myself; stand by the hopeless and succourless bed of death;
shriek out in the dizzy ear a name, which could treble the horrors of
remembrance; snatch from the struggling and agonizing conscience the last
plank, the last straw, to which, in its madness, it could cling, and
blacken the shadows of departing life, by opening to the shuddering sense
the threshold of an impatient and yawning hell.

"Hurried away by the unhallowed fever of these projects, I thought of
nothing but their accomplishment. I employed Thornton, who still
maintained his intimacy with Tyrrell, to decoy him more and more to the
gambling-house; and, as the unequal chances of the public table were not
rapid enough in their termination to consummate the ruin even of an
impetuous and vehement gamester like Tyrrell so soon as my impatience
desired, Thornton took every opportunity of engaging him in private play,
and accelerating my object by the unlawful arts of which he was master.
My enemy was every day approaching the farthest verge of ruin; near
relations he had none,--all his distant ones he had disobliged; all his
friends, and even his acquaintance, he had fatigued by his importunity or
disgusted by his conduct. In the whole world there seemed not a being who
would stretch forth a helping hand to save him from the total and
penniless beggary to which he was hopelessly advancing. Out of the wrecks
of his former property and the generosity of former friends, whatever he
had already wrung had been immediately staked at the gaming-house and as
immediately lost.

"Perhaps this would not so soon have been the case, if Thornton had not
artfully fed and sustained his expectations. He had been long employed by
Tyrrell in a professional capacity, and he knew well all the gamester's
domestic affairs: and when he promised, should things come to the worst,
to find some expedient to restore them, Tyrrell easily adopted so
flattering a belief.

"Meanwhile I had taken the name and disguise under favour of which you
met me at Paris, and Thornton had introduced me to Tyrrell as a young
Englishman of great wealth and still greater inexperience. The gambler
grasped eagerly at an acquaintance which Thornton readily persuaded him
he could turn to such account; and I had thus every facility of marking,
day by day, how my plot thickened and my vengeance hastened to its
triumph.

"This was not all.   I said there was not in the wide world a being who
would have saved Tyrrell from the fate he deserved and was approaching.
I forgot, there was one who still clung to him with affection, and for
whom he still seemed to harbour the better and purer feelings of less
degraded and guilty times. This person (you will guess readily it was a
woman) I made it my especial business and care to wean away from my prey;
I would not suffer him a consolation he had denied to me. I used all the
arts of seduction to obtain the transfer of her affections. Whatever
promises and vows--whether of love or wealth--could effect were tried;
nor, at last, without success: I triumphed.   The woman became my slave.
It was she who, whenever Tyrrell faltered in his course to destruction,
combated his scruples and urged on his reluctance; it was she who
informed me minutely of his pitiful finances, and assisted, to her
utmost, in expediting their decay. The still more bitter treachery of
deserting him in his veriest want I reserved till the fittest occasion,
and contemplated with a savage delight.

"I was embarrassed in my scheme by two circumstances: first, Thornton's
acquaintance with you; and, secondly, Tyrrell's receipt (some time
afterwards) of a very unexpected sum of two hundred pounds, in return for
renouncing all further and possible claim on the purchasers of his
estate. To the former, so far as it might interfere with my plans or lead
to my detection, you must pardon me for having put a speedy termination:
the latter threw me into great consternation; for Tyrrell's first idea
was to renounce the gaming-table, and endeavour to live upon the trifling
pittance he had acquired as long as the utmost economy would permit.

"This idea Margaret, the woman I spoke of, according to my instructions,
so artfully and successfully combated that Tyrrell yielded to his natural
inclination, and returned once more to the infatuation of his favourite
pursuit. However, I had become restlessly impatient for the conclusion to
this prefatory part of my revenge; and, accordingly, Thornton and myself
arranged that Tyrrell should be persuaded by the former to risk all, even
to his very last farthing, in a private game with me.   Tyrrell, who
believed he should readily recruit himself by my unskilfulness in the
game, fell easily into the snare; and on the second night of our
engagement, he not only had lost the whole of his remaining pittance,
but had signed bonds owning to a debt of far greater amount than he,
at that time, could ever even have dreamt of possessing.

"Flushed, heated, almost maddened with my triumph, I yielded to the
exultation of the moment. I did not know you were so near,--I discovered
myself,--you remember the scene. I went joyfully home: and for the first
time since Gertrude's death I was happy; but there I imagined my
vengeance only would begin; I revelled in the burning hope of marking the
hunger and extremity that must ensue.    The next day, when Tyrrell turned
round, in his despair, for one momentary word of comfort from the lips to
which he believed, in the fond credulity of his heart, falsehood and
treachery never came, his last earthly friend taunted and deserted him.
Mark me, Pelham: I was by and heard her! "But here my power of
retribution was to close: from the thirst still unslaked and unappeased,
the cup was abruptly snatched. Tyrrell disappeared; no one knew whither.
I set Thornton's inquiries at work. A week afterwards he brought me word
that Tyrrell had died in extreme want, and from very despair. Will you
credit that, at hearing this news, my first sensations were only rage and
disappointment? True, he had died, died in all the misery my heart could
wish, but I had not seen him die; and the death-bed seemed to me robbed
of its bitterest pang.

"I know not to this day, though I have often questioned him, what
interest Thornton had in deceiving me by this tale: for my own part,
I believe that he himself was deceived; certain it is (for I inquired),
that a person very much answering to Tyrrell's description had perished
in the state Thornton mentioned; and this might, therefore, in all
probability, have misled him.

"I left Paris, and returned, through Normandy, to England (where I
remained some weeks); there we again met: but I think we did not meet
till I had been persecuted by the insolence and importunity of Thornton.
The tools of our passions cut both ways: like the monarch who employed
strange beasts in his army, we find our treacherous allies less
destructive to others than ourselves. But I was not of a temper to brook
the tauntings or the encroachment of my own creature: it had been with
but an ill grace that I had endured his familiarity, when I absolutely
required his services; much less could I suffer his intrusion when those
services,--services not of love, but hire, were no longer necessary.
Thornton, like all persons of his stamp, had a low pride, which I was
constantly offending. He had mixed with men more than my equals in rank
on a familiar footing, and he could ill brook the hauteur with which my
disgust at his character absolutely constrained me to treat him. It is
true that the profuseness of my liberality was such that the mean wretch
stomached affronts for which he was so largely paid; but, with the
cunning and malicious spite natural to him, he knew well how to repay
them in kind. While he assisted, he affected to ridicule, my revenge;
and though he soon saw that he durst not, for his very life, breathe a
syllable openly against Gertrude or her memory, yet he contrived, by
general remarks and covert insinuations, to gall me to the very quick and
in the very tenderest point.   Thus a deep and cordial antipathy to each
other arose and grew and strengthened, till, I believe, like the fiends
in hell, our mutual hatred became our common punishment.

"No sooner had I returned to England than I found him here awaiting my
arrival.   He favoured me with frequent visits and requests for money.
Although not possessed of any secret really important affecting my
character, he knew well that he was possessed of one important to my
quiet; and he availed himself to the utmost of my strong and deep
aversion even to the most delicate recurrence to my love to Gertrude and
its unhallowed and disastrous termination. At length, however, he wearied
me. I found that he was sinking into the very dregs and refuse of
society, and I could not longer brook the idea of enduring his
familiarity and feeding his vices.

"I pass over any detail of my own feelings, as well as my outward and
worldly history. Over my mind a great change had passed: I was no longer
torn by violent and contending passions; upon the tumultuous sea a dead
and heavy torpor had fallen; the very winds, necessary for health, had
ceased:--
                "I slept on the abyss without a surge."

"One violent and engrossing passion is among the worst of all
immoralities, for it leaves the mind too stagnant and exhausted for those
activities and energies which constitute our real duties. However, now
that the tyrant feeling of my mind was removed, I endeavoured to shake
off the apathy it had produced, and return to the various occupations and
businesses of life.  Whatever could divert me from my own dark memories,
or give a momentary motion to the stagnation of my mind, I grasped at
with the fondness and eagerness of a child. Thus, you found me
surrounding myself with luxuries which palled upon my taste the instant
that their novelty had passed: now striving for the vanity of literary
fame; now, for the emptier baubles which riches could procure. At one
time I shrouded myself in my closet, and brooded over the dogmas of the
learned and the errors of the wise; at another, I plunged into the more
engrossing and active pursuits of the living crowd which rolled around
me,--and flattered my heart, that amid the applause of senators and the
whirlpool of affairs, I could lull to rest the voices of the past and the
spectre of the dead.

"Whether these hopes were effectual, and the struggle not in vain,
this haggard and wasting form, drooping day by day into the grave, can
declare; but I said I would not dwell long upon this part of my history,
nor is it necessary. Of one thing only, not connected with the main part
of my confessions, it is right, for the sake of one tender and guiltless
being, that I should speak.

"In the cold and friendless world with which I mixed, there was a heart
which had years ago given itself wholly up to me. At that time I was
ignorant of the gift I so little deserved, or (for it was before I knew
Gertrude) I might have returned it, and been saved years of crime and
anguish. Since then, the person I allude to had married, and, by the
death of her husband, was once more free. Intimate with my family, and
more especially with my sister, she now met me constantly; her compassion
for the change she perceived in me, both in mind and person, was stronger
than even her reserve, and this is the only reason why I speak of an
attachment which ought otherwise to be concealed: I believe that you
already understand to whom I allude, and since you have discovered her
weakness, it is right that you should know also her virtue; it is right
that you should learn that it was not in her the fantasy or passion of a
moment, but a long and secreted love; that you should learn that it was
her pity, and no unfeminine disregard to opinion, which betrayed her into
imprudence; and that she is, at this moment, innocent of everything but
the folly of loving me.

"I pass on to the time when I discovered that I had been either
intentionally or unconsciously deceived, and that my enemy yet lived!
lived in honour, prosperity, and the world's blessings. The information
was like removing a barrier from a stream hitherto pent into quiet and
restraint. All the stormy thoughts, feelings, and passions so long at
rest rushed again into a terrible and tumultuous action. The newly-formed
stratum of my mind was swept away; everything seemed a wreck, a chaos, a
convulsion of jarring elements; but this is a trite and tame description
of my feelings; words would be but commonplace to express the revulsion
which I experienced: yet, amidst all, there was one paramount and
presiding thought, to which the rest were as atoms in the heap,--the
awakened thought of vengeance!-but how was it to be gratified?

"Placed as Tyrrell now was in the scale of society, every method of
retribution but the one formerly rejected seemed at an end. To that one,
therefore, weak and merciful as it appeared to me, I resorted; you took
my challenge to Tyrrell; you remember his behaviour: Conscience doth
indeed make cowards of us all! The letter enclosed to me in his to you
contained only the commonplace argument urged so often by those who have
injured us; namely, the reluctance at attempting our life after having
ruined our happiness. When I found that he had left London my rage knew
no bounds: I was absolutely frantic with indignation; the earth reeled
before my eyes; I was almost suffocated by the violence--the whirlpool--
of my emotions. I gave myself no time to think,--I left town in pursuit
of my foe.

"I found that--still addicted, though, I believed, not so madly as
before, to the old amusements--he was in the neighbourhood of Newmarket,
awaiting the races shortly to ensue. No sooner did I find his address
than I wrote him another challenge, still more forcibly and insultingly
worded than the one you took. In this I said that his refusal was of no
avail; that I had sworn that my vengeance should overtake him; and that
sooner or later, in the face of heaven and despite of hell, my oath
should be fulfilled. Remember those words, Pelham, I shall refer to them
hereafter.

"Tyrrell's reply was short and contemptuous: he affected to treat me as a
madman. Perhaps (and I confess that the incoherence of my letter
authorized such suspicion) he believed I really was one. He concluded by
saying that if he received more of my letters, he should shelter himself
from my aggressions by the protection of the law.

"On receiving this reply, a stern, sullen, iron spirit entered into my
bosom. I betrayed no external mark of passion; I sat down in silence; I
placed the letter and Gertrude's picture before me. There, still and
motionless, I remained for hours. I remember well I was awakened from my
gloomy revery by the clock, as it struck the first hour of the morning.
At that lone and ominous sound, the associations of romance and dread
which the fables of our childhood connect with it rushed coldly and
fearfully into my mind: the damp dews broke out upon my forehead and the
blood curdled in my limbs. In that moment I knelt down and vowed a
frantic and deadly oath--the words of which I would not now dare to
repeat--that before three days expired, hell should no longer be cheated
of its prey.    I rose,--I flung myself on my bed, and slept.

"The next day I left my abode. I purchased a strong and swift horse; and,
disguising myself from head to foot in a long horseman's cloak, I set off
alone, locking in my heart the calm and cold conviction that my oath
should be kept. I placed, concealed in my dress, two pistols; my
intention was to follow Tyrrell wherever he went, till we could find
ourselves alone, and without the chance of intrusion. It was then my
determination to force him into a contest, and that no trembling of the
hand, no error of the swimming sight, might betray my purpose, to place
us foot to foot, and the mouth of each pistol almost to the very temple
of each antagonist.  Nor was I deterred for a moment from this resolution
by the knowledge that my own death must be as certain as my victim's. On
the contrary, I looked forward to dying thus, and so baffling the more
lingering, but not less sure, disease which was daily wasting me away,
with the same fierce, yet not unquiet delight with which men have rushed
into battle, and sought out a death less bitter to them than life.

"For two days, though I each day saw Tyrrell, fate threw into my way no
opportunity of executing my design. The morning of the third came,--
Tyrrell was on the race-ground; sure that he would remain there for some
hours, I put up my wearied horse in the town, and, seating myself in an
obscure corner of the course, was contented with watching, as the serpent
does his victim, the distant motions of my enemy. Perhaps you can
recollect passing a man seated on the ground and robed in a horseman's
cloak. I need not tell you that it was I whom you passed and accosted. I
saw you ride by me; but the moment you were gone I forgot the occurrence.
I looked upon the rolling and distant crowd as a child views the figures
of the phantasmagoria, scarcely knowing if my eyes deceived me, feeling
impressed with some stupefying and ghastly sensation of dread, and
cherishing the conviction that my life was not as the life of the
creatures that passed before me.

"The day waned: I went back for my horse; I returned to the course, and,
keeping at a distance as little suspicious as possible, followed the
motions of Tyrrell. He went back to the town, rested there, repaired to a
gaming-table, stayed in it a short time, returned to his inn, and ordered
his horse.

"In all these motions I followed the object of my pursuit; and my heart
bounded with joy when I at last saw him set out alone and in the
advancing twilight.  I followed him till he left the main road. Now, I
thought, was my time. I redoubled my pace, and had nearly reached him,
when some horsemen appearing, constrained me again to slacken my pace.
Various other similar interruptions occurred to delay my plot. At length
all was undisturbed. I spurred my horse, and was nearly on the heels of
my enemy, when I perceived him join another man: this was you; I clenched
my teeth and drew my breath, as I once more retreated to a distance. In a
short time two men passed me, and I found that, owing to some accident on
the road, they stopped to assist you. It appears, by your evidence on a
subsequent event, that these men were Thornton and his friend Dawson; at
the time they passed too rapidly, and I was too much occupied in my own
dark thoughts, to observe them: still I kept up to you and Tyrrell,
sometimes catching the outlines of your figures through the moon, light,
at others (with the acute sense of anxiety), only just distinguishing the
clang of your horses' hoofs on the stony ground. At last a heavy shower
came on: imagine my joy when Tyrrell left you and rode off alone!

"I passed you, and followed my enemy as fast as my horse would permit;
but it was not equal to Tyrrell's, which was almost at its full speed.
However, I came, at last, to a very steep and almost precipitous descent.
I was forced to ride slowly and cautiously; this, however, I the less
regarded, from my conviction that Tyrrell must be obliged to use the same
precaution. My hand was on my pistol with a grasp of premeditated
revenge, when a shrill, sharp, solitary cry broke on my ear.

"No sound followed: all was silence. I was just approaching towards the
close of the descent, when a horse without its rider passed me. The
shower had ceased, and the moon broke from the cloud some minutes before;
by its light I recognized the horse rode by Tyrrell; perhaps, I thought,
it has thrown its master, and my victim will now be utterly in my power.
I pushed hastily forward in spite of the hill, not yet wholly passed. I
came to a spot of singular desolation: it was a broad patch of waste
land, a pool of water was on the right, and a remarkable and withered
tree hung over it. I looked round, but saw nothing of life stirring. A
dark and imperfectly developed object lay by the side of the pond; I
pressed forward: merciful God! my enemy had escaped my hand, and lay in
the stillness of death before me!"

"What!" I exclaimed, interrupting Glanville, for I could contain myself
no longer, "it was not by you then that Tyrrell fell?" With these words,
I grasped his hand; and, excited as I had been by my painful and
wrought-up interest in his recital, I burst into tears of gratitude and
joy.  Reginald Glanville was innocent: Ellen was not the sister of an
assassin!

After a short pause, Glanville continued:

"I gazed upon the upward and distorted face, in a deep and sickening
silence; an awe, dark and undefined, crept over my heart: I stood beneath
the solemn and sacred heavens, and felt that the hand of God was upon me;
that a mysterious and fearful edict had gone forth; that my headlong and
unholy wrath had, in the very midst of its fury, been checked, as if but
the idle anger of a child; that the plan I had laid in the foolish wisdom
of my heart had been traced, step by step, by an all-seeing eye, and
baffled in the moment of its fancied success by an inscrutable and awful
doom. I had wished the death of my enemy: lo! my wish was accomplished,
--how, I neither knew nor guessed; there, a still and senseless clod of
earth, without power of offence or injury, he lay beneath my feet: it
seemed as if, in the moment of my uplifted arm, the Divine Avenger had
asserted His prerogative,--as if the angel which had smitten the Assyrian
had again swept forth, though against a meaner victim; and while he
punished the guilt of a human criminal, had set an eternal barrier to the
vengeance of a human foe!

"I dismounted from my horse, and bent over the murdered man. I drew from
my bosom the miniature, which never forsook me, and bathed the lifeless
resemblance of Gertrude in the blood of her betrayer.   Scarcely had I
done so, before my ear caught the sound of steps; hastily I thrust, as I
thought, the miniature in my bosom, remounted, and rode hurriedly away.
At that hour, and for many which succeeded to it, I believe that all
sense was suspended. I was like a man haunted by a dream, and wandering
under its influence! or as one whom a spectre pursues, and for whose eye
the breathing and busy world is but as a land of unreal forms and
flitting shadows, teeming with the monsters of darkness and the terrors
of the tomb.

"It was not till the next day that I missed the picture. I returned to
the spot; searched it carefully, but in vain; the miniature could not be
found: I returned to town, and shortly afterwards the newspapers informed
me of what had subsequently occurred. I saw, with dismay, that all
appearances pointed to me as the criminal, and that the officers of
justice were at that moment tracing the clew which my cloak and the color
of my horse afforded them. My mysterious pursuit of Tyrrell, the disguise
I had assumed, the circumstance of my passing you on the road and of my
flight when you approached, all spoke volumes against me. A stronger
evidence yet remained, and it was reserved for Thornton to indicate it;
at this moment my life is in his hands.  Shortly after my return to town,
he forced his way into my room, shut the door, bolted it, and, the moment
we were alone, said, with a savage and fiendish grin of exultation and
defiance, 'Sir Reginald Glanville, you have many a time and oft insulted
me with your pride, and more with your gifts: now it is my time to insult
and triumph over you; know that one word of mine could sentence you to
the gibbet.'

"He then minutely summed up the evidence against me, and drew from his
pocket the threatening letter I had last written to Tyrrell. You remember
that therein I said my vengeance was sworn against him, and that, sooner
or later, it should overtake him.   'Couple,' said Thornton, coldly, as he
replaced the letter in his pocket,--'couple these words with the evidence
already against you, and I would not buy your life at a farthing's
value.'

"How Thornton came by this paper, so important to my safety, I know not:
but when he read it I was startled by the danger it brought upon me; one
glance sufficed to show me that I was utterly at the mercy of the villain
who stood before me; he saw and enjoyed my struggles.

"'Now,' said he, 'we know each other: at present I want a thousand
pounds; you will not refuse it me, I am sure; when it is gone, I shall
call again; till then you can do without me.' I flung him a check for the
money, and he departed.

"You may conceive the mortification I endured in this sacrifice of pride
to prudence; but those were no ordinary motives which induced me to
submit to it. Fast approaching to the grave, it mattered to me but little
whether a violent death should shorten a life to which a limit was
already set, and which I was far from being anxious to retain: but I
could not endure the thought of bringing upon my mother and my sister the
wretchedness and shame which the mere suspicion of a crime so enormous
would occasion them; and when my eye caught all the circumstances arrayed
against me, my pride seemed to suffer a less mortification even in the
course I adopted than in the thought of the felon's gaol and the
criminal's trial,--the hoots and execrations of the mob, and the death
and ignominious remembrance of the murderer.

"Stronger than either of these motives was my shrinking and loathing
aversion to whatever seemed likely to unrip the secret history of the
past. I sickened at the thought of Gertrude's name and fate being bared
to the vulgar eye, and exposed to the comment, the strictures, the
ridicule of the gaping and curious public.    It seemed to me, therefore,
but a very poor exertion of philosophy to conquer my feelings of
humiliation at Thornton's insolence and triumph, and to console myself
with the reflection that a few months must rid me alike of his exactions
and my life.

"But, of late, Thornton's persecutions and demands have risen to such a
height that I have been scarcely able to restrain my indignation and
control myself into compliance. The struggle is too powerful for my
frame: it is rapidly bringing on the fiercest and the last contest I
shall suffer, before 'the wicked shall cease from troubling, and the
weary be at rest.' Some days since I came to a resolution, which I am now
about to execute: it is to leave this country and take refuge on the
Continent. There I shall screen myself from Thornton's pursuit and the
danger which it entails upon me; and there, unknown and undisturbed, I
shall await the termination of my disease.

"But two duties remained to me to fulfil before I departed; I have now
discharged them both. One was due to the warmhearted and noble being who
honoured me with her interest and affection,--the other to you. I went
yesterday to the former; I sketched the outline of that history which I
have detailed to you. I showed her the waste of my barren heart, and
spoke to her of the disease which was wearing me away. How beautiful is
the love of woman! She would have followed me over the world,--received
my last sigh, and seen me to the rest I shall find at length; and this
without a hope, or thought of recompense, even from the worthlessness of
my love.

"But enough!--of her my farewell has been taken.   Your suspicions I have
seen and forgiven; for they were natural: it was due to me to remove
them; the pressure of your hand tells me that I have done so; but I had
another reason for my confessions.  I have worn away the romance of my
heart, and I have now no indulgence for the little delicacies and petty
scruples which often stand in the way of our real happiness. I have
marked your former addresses to Ellen, and, I confess, with great joy;
for I know, amidst all your worldly ambition and the encrusted
artificiality of your exterior, how warm and generous is your real
heart,--how noble and intellectual is your real mind: and were my sister
tenfold more perfect than I believe her, I do not desire to find on earth
one more deserving of her than yourself. I have remarked your late
estrangement from Ellen; and while I guessed, I felt that, however
painful to me, I ought to remove, the cause: she loves you--though
perhaps you know it not--much and truly; and since my earlier life has
been passed in a selfish inactivity, I would fain let it close with the
reflection of having served two beings whom I prize so dearly, and the
hope that their happiness will commence with my death.

"And now, Pelham, I have done; I am weak and exhausted, and cannot bear
more--even of your society, now. Think over what I have last said, and
let me see you again to-morrow: on the day after, I leave England
forever."



                            CHAPTER LXXVI.

                      But wilt thou accept not
                   The worship the heart lifts above
                      And the Heavens reject not,
                   The desire of the moth for the star,
                      Of the night for the morrow,
                   The devotion to something afar
                      From the sphere of our sorrow?
                                 --P. B. Shelley.

It was not with a light heart--for I loved Glanville too well, not to be
powerfully affected by his history and approaching fate--but with a
chastised and sober joy, that I now beheld my friend innocent of the
guilt my suspicions had accused him of, and the only obstacle to my
marriage with his sister removed. True it was that the sword yet hung
over his head, and that while he lived, there could be no rational
assurance of his safety from the disgrace and death of the felon. In the
world's eye, therefore, the barrier to my union with Ellen would have
been far from being wholly removed; but, at that moment, my
disappointments had disgusted me with the world, and I turned with a
double yearning of heart to her whose pure and holy love could be at once
my recompence and retreat.

Nor was this selfish consideration my only motive in the conduct I was
resolved to adopt; on the contrary, it was scarcely more prominent in my
mind, than those derived from giving to a friend who was now dearer to me
than ever, his only consolation on this earth, and to Ellen, the safest
protection, in case of any danger to her brother. With these, it is true,
were mingled feelings which, in happier circumstances, might have been
those of transport at a bright and successful termination to a deep and
devoted love; but these I had, while Glanville's very life was so
doubtful, little right to indulge, and I checked them as soon as they
arose.

After a sleepless night, I repaired to Lady Glanville's house. It was
long since I had been there, and the servant who admitted me, seemed
somewhat surprised at the earliness of my visit. I desired to see the
mother, and waited in the parlour till she came. I made but a scanty
exordium to my speech. In very few words I expressed my love to Ellen,
and besought her mediation in my behalf; nor did I think it would be a
slight consideration in my favour, with the fond mother, to mention
Glanville's concurrence with my suit.

"Ellen is up stairs in the drawing-room," said Lady Glanville. "I will go
and prepare her to receive you--if you have her consent, you have mine."

"Will you suffer me, then," said I, "to forestal you? Forgive my
impatience, and let me see her before you do."

Lady Glanville was a woman of the good old school, and stood somewhat
upon forms and ceremonies. I did not, therefore, await the answer, which
I foresaw might not be favourable to my success, but with my customary
assurance, left the room, and hastened up stairs. I entered the drawing-
room, and shut the door. Ellen was at the far end; and as I entered with
a light step, she did not perceive me till I was close by.

She started when she saw me; and her cheek, before very pale, deepened
into crimson. "Good Heavens! is it you," she said, falteringly "I--I
thought--but--but--excuse me for an instant, I will call my mother."

"Stay for one instant, I beseech you--it is from your mother that I come-
-she has referred me to you." And with a trembling and hurried voice, for
all my usual boldness forsook me, I poured forth, in rapid and burning
words, the history of my secret and hoarded love--its doubts, fears, and
hopes.

Ellen sunk back on her chair, overpowered and silent by her feelings, and
the vehemence of my own. I knelt, and took her hand; I covered it with my
kisses--it was not withdrawn from them. I raised my eyes, and beheld in
her's all that my heart had hoped, but did not dare to pourtray.

"You--you," said she--when at last she found words--"I imagined that you
only thought of ambition and the world--I could not have dreamt of this."
She ceased, blushing and embarrassed.

"It is true," said I, "that you had a right to think so, for, till this
moment, I have never opened to you even a glimpse of my veiled heart, and
its secret and wild desires; but, do you think that my love was the less
a treasure, because it was hidden? or the less deep, because it was
cherished at the bottom of my soul? No--no; believe me that love was not
to be mingled with the ordinary objects of life--it was too pure to be
profaned by the levities and follies which are all of my nature that I
have permitted myself to develope to the world. Do not imagine, that,
because I have seemed an idler with the idle--selfish with the
interested--and cold, and vain, and frivolous, with those to whom such
qualities were both a passport and a virtue; do not imagine that I have
concealed within me nothing more worthy of you and of myself; my very
love for you shews, that I am wiser and better than I have seemed. Speak
to me, Ellen--may I call you by that name--one word--one syllable! speak
to me, and tell me that you have read my heart, and that you will not
reject it!"

There came no answer from those dear lips; but their soft and tender
smile told me that I might hope. That hour I still recall and bless! that
hour was the happiest of my life.



                            CHAPTER LXXVII.

             A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
                          --2nd Part of Henry VI.

From Ellen, I hastened to the house of Sir Reginald. The hall was in all
the confusion of approaching departure. I sprang over the paraphernalia
of books and boxes which obstructed my way, and bounded up the stairs.
Glanville was, as usual, alone: his countenance was less pale than it had
been lately, and when I saw it brighten as I approached, I hoped, in the
new happiness of my heart, that he might baffle both his enemy and his
disease.

I told him all that had just occurred between Ellen and myself. "And
now," said I, as I clasped his hand, "I have a proposal to make, to which
you must accede: let me accompany you abroad; I will go with you to
whatever corner of the world you may select. We will plan together every
possible method of concealing our retreat. Upon the past I will never
speak to you. In your hours of solitude I will never disturb you by an
unwelcome and ill-timed sympathy. I will tend upon you, watch over you,
bear with you, with more than the love and tenderness of a brother. You
shall see me only when you wish it. Your loneliness shall never be
invaded. When you get better, as I presage you will, I will leave you to
come back to England, and provide for the worst, by ensuring your sister
a protector. I will then return to you alone, that your seclusion may not
be endangered by the knowledge, even of Ellen, and you shall have me by
your side till--till--"

"The last!" interrupted Glanville. "Too--too generous Pelham, I feel--
these tears (the first I have shed for a long, long time) tell you, that
I feel to the heart--your friendship and disinterested attachment; but
the moment your love for Ellen has become successful, I will not tear you
from its enjoyment. Believe me, all that I could derive from your
society, could not afford me half the happiness I should have in knowing
that you and Ellen were blest in each other. No--no, my solitude will, at
that reflection, be deprived of its sting. You shall hear from me once
again; my letter shall contain a request, and your executing that last
favour must console and satisfy the kindness of your heart. For myself, I
shall die as I have lived--alone. All fellowship with my griefs would
seem to me strange and unwelcome."

I would not suffer Glanville to proceed. I interrupted him with fresh
arguments and entreaties, to which he seemed at last to submit, and I was
in the firm hope of having conquered his determination, when we were
startled by a sudden and violent noise in the hall.

"It is Thornton," said Glanville, calmly. "I told them not to admit him,
and he is forcing his way."

Scarcely had Sir Reginald said this, before Thornton burst abruptly into
the room.

Although it was scarcely noon, he was more than half intoxicated, and his
eyes swam in his head with a maudlin expression of triumph and insolence,
as he rolled towards us.

"Oh, oh! Sir Reginald," he said, "thought of giving me the slip, eh? Your
d--d servants said you were out; but I soon silenced them. 'Egad I made
them as nimble as cows in a cage--I have not learnt the use of my fists
for nothing. So, you're going abroad to-morrow; without my leave, too--
pretty good joke that, indeed. Come, come, my brave fellow, you need not
scowl at me in that way. Why, you look as surly as a butcher's dog with a
broken head."

Glanville, who was lived with ill-suppressed rage, rose haughtily.

"Mr. Thornton," he said, in a calm voice, although he was trembling in
his extreme passion, from head to foot, "I am not now prepared to submit
to your insolence and intrusion. You will leave this room instantly. If
you have any further demands upon me, I will hear them to-night at any
hour you please to appoint."

"No, no, my fine fellow," said Thornton, with a coarse chuckle; "you have
as much wit as three folks, two fools, and a madman; but you won't do me,
for all that. The instant my back is turned, your's will be turned too;
and by the time I call again, your honour will be half way to Calais.
But--bless my stars, Mr. Pelham, is that you? I really did not see you
before; I suppose you are not in the secret?"

"I have no secrets from Mr. Pelham," said Glanville; "nor do I care if
you discuss the whole of your nefarious transactions with me in his
presence. Since you doubt my word, it is beneath my dignity to vindicate
it, and your business can as well be dispatched now, as hereafter. You
have heard rightly, that I intend leaving England to-morrow; and now,
Sir, what is your will?"

"By G--d, Sir Reginald Glanville!" exclaimed Thornton, who seemed stung
to the quick by Glanville's contemptuous coldness, "you shall not leave
England without my leave. Ay, you may frown, but I say you shall not;
nay, you shall not budge a foot from this very room unless I cry, 'Be it
so!'"

Glanville could no longer restrain himself. He would have sprung towards
Thornton, but I seized and arrested him. I read, in the malignant and
incensed countenance of his persecutor, all the danger to which a single
imprudence would have exposed him, and I trembled for his safety.

I whispered, as I forced him again to his seat, "Leave me alone to settle
with this man, and I will endeavour to free you from him." I did not
tarry for his answer; but turning to Thornton, said to him coolly but
civilly: "Sir Reginald Glanville has acquainted me with the nature of
your very extraordinary demands upon him. Did he adopt my advice, he
would immediately place the affair in the hands of his legal advisers.
His ill health, however, his anxiety to leave England, and his wish to
sacrifice almost every thing to quiet, induce him, rather than take this
alternative, to silence your importunities, by acceding to claims,
however illegal and unjust. If, therefore, you now favour Sir Reginald
with your visit, for the purpose of making a demand previous to his
quitting England, and which, consequently, will be the last to which he
will concede, you will have the goodness to name the amount of your
claim, and should it be reasonable, I think Sir Reginald will authorize
me to say, that it shall be granted."

"Well, now!" cried Thornton, "that's what I call talking like a sensible
man; and though I am not fond of speaking to a third person, when the
principal is present, yet as you have always been very civil to me, I
have no objection to treating with you. Please to give Sir Reginald this
paper: if he will but take the trouble to sign it, he may go to the Falls
of Niagara for me! I won't interrupt him--so he had better put pen to
paper, and get rid of me at once, for I know I am as welcome as snow in
harvest."

I took the paper, which was folded up, and gave it to Glanville, who
leant back on his chair, half-exhausted by his rage. He glanced his eye
over it, and then tore it into a thousand pieces, and trampled it beneath
his feet: "Go!" exclaimed he, "go, rascal, and do your worst! I will not
make myself a beggar to enrich you. My whole fortune would but answer
this demand."

"Do as you please, Sir Reginald," answered Thornton, grinning, "do as you
please. It's not a long walk from hence to Bow-street, nor a long swing
from Newgate to the gallows; do as you please, Sir Reginald, do as you
please!" and the villain flung himself at full length on the costly
ottoman, and eyed Glanville's countenance with an easy and malicious
effrontery, which seemed to say, "I know you will struggle, but you
cannot help yourself."

I took Glanville aside: "My dear friend," said I, "believe me, that I
share your indignation to the utmost; but we must do any thing rather
than incense this wretch: what is his demand?"

"I speak literally," replied Glanville, "when I say, that it covers
nearly the whole of my fortune; for my habits of extravagance have very
much curtailed my means: it is the exact sum I had set apart, for a
marriage gift to my sister, in addition to her own fortune."

"Then," said I, "you shall give it him; your sister has no longer any
necessity for a portion: her marriage with me prevents that--and with
regard to yourself, your wants are not many--such as it is, you can share
my fortune."

"No--no--no!" cried Glanville; and his generous nature lashing him into
fresh rage, he broke from my grasp, and moved menacingly to Thornton.
That person still lay on the ottoman, regarding us with an air half
contemptuous, half exulting.

"Leave the room instantly," said Glanville, "or you will repent it!"

"What! another murder, Sir Reginald!" said Thornton. "No, I am not a
sparrow, to have my neck wrenched by a woman's hand like your's. Give me
my demand--sign the paper, and I will leave you for ever and a day."

"I will commit no such folly," answered Glanville. "If you will accept
five thousand pounds, you shall have that sum; but were the rope on my
neck, you should not wring from me a farthing more!"

"Five thousand!" repeated Thornton; "a mere drop--a child's toy--why, you
are playing with me, Sir Reginald--nay, I am a reasonable man, and will
abate a trifle or so of my just claims, but you must not take advantage
of my good nature. Make me snug and easy for life--let me keep a brace of
hunters--a cosey box--a bit of land to it, and a girl after my own heart,
and I'll say quits with you. Now, Mr. Pelham, who is a long-headed
gentleman, and does not spit on his own blanket, knows well enough that
one can't do all this for five thousand pounds; make it a thousand a
year--that is, give me a cool twenty thousand--and I won't exact another
sous. Egad, this drinking makes one deuced thirsty--Mr. Pelham, just
reach me that glass of water--I hear bees in my head!"

Seeing that I did not stir, Thornton rose, with an oath against pride;
and swaggering towards the table, took up a tumbler of water, which
happened accidentally to be there: close by it was the picture of the
ill-fated Gertrude. The gambler, who was evidently so intoxicated as to
be scarcely conscious of his motions or words (otherwise, in all
probability, he would, to borrow from himself a proverb illustrative of
his profession, have played his cards better) took up the portrait.

Glanville saw the action, and was by his side in an instant. "Touch it
not with your accursed hands!" he cried, in an ungovernable fury. "Leave
your hold this instant, or I will dash you to pieces!"

Thornton kept a firm gripe of the picture. "Here's a to-do!" said he
tauntingly: "was there ever such work about a poor--(using a word too
coarse for repetition) before?"

The word had scarcely passed his lips, when he was stretched at his full
length upon the ground. Nor did Glanville stop there. With all the
strength of his nervous and Herculean frame, fully requited for the
debility of disease by the fury of the moment, he seized the gamester as
if he had been an infant, and dragged him to the door: the next moment I
heard his heavy frame rolling down the stairs with no decorous slowness
of descent.

Glanville re-appeared. "Good God!" I cried, "what have you done?" But he
was too lost in his still unappeased rage to heed me. He leaned, panting
and breathless, against the wall, with clenched teeth, and a flashing
eye, rendered more terribly bright by the feverish lustre natural to his
disease.

Presently I heard Thornton re-ascend the stairs: he opened the door, and
entered but one pace. Never did human face wear a more fiendish
expression of malevolence and wrath. "Sir Reginald Glanville," he said,
"I thank you heartily. He must have iron nails who scratches a bear. You
have sent me a challenge, and the hangman shall bring you my answer. Good
day, Sir Reginald--good day, Mr. Pelham;" and so saying, he shut the
door, and rapidly descending the stairs, was out of the house in an
instant.

"There is no time to be lost," said I, "order post horses to your
carriage, and be gone instantly."

"You are wrong," replied Glanville, slowly recovering himself. "I must
not fly; it would be worse than useless; it would seem the strongest
argument against me. Remember that if Thornton has really gone to inform
against me, the officers of justice would arrest me long before I reached
Calais; or even if I did elude their pursuit so far, I should be as much
in their power in France as in England: but to tell you the truth, I do
not think Thornton will inform. Money, to a temper like his, is a
stronger temptation than revenge; and, before he has been three minutes
in the air, he will perceive the folly of losing the golden harvest he
may yet make of me for the sake of a momentary passion. No--my best plan
will be to wait here till to-morrow, as I originally intended. In the
meanwhile he will, in all probability, pay me another visit, and I will
make a compromise with his demands."

Despite of my fears, I could not but see the justice of these
observations, the more especially as a still stronger argument than any
urged by Glanville, forced itself on my mind; this was my internal
conviction, that Thornton himself was guilty of the murder of Tyrrell,
and that, therefore, he would, for his own sake, avoid the new and
particularizing scrutiny into that dreadful event, which his accusation
of Glanville would necessarily occasion.

Both of us were wrong. Villains have passions as well as honest men; and
they will, therefore, forfeit their own interest in obedience to those
passions, while the calculations of prudence invariably suppose, that
that interest is their only rule. [Note: I mean "interest" in the
general, not the utilitarian, signification of the word.]

Glanville was so enfeebled by his late excitation, that he besought me
once more to leave him to himself. I did so, under a promise, that he
would admit me again in the evening; for notwithstanding my persuasion
that Thornton would not put his threats into execution, I could not
conquer a latent foreboding of dread and evil.



                           CHAPTER LXXVIII.

             Away with him to prison--where is the provost?
                          --Measure for Measure.

I returned home, perplexed by a thousand contradictory thoughts upon the
scene I had just witnessed; the more I reflected, the more I regretted
the fatality of the circumstances, that had tempted Glanville to accede
to Thornton's demand; true it was, that Thornton's self-regard might be
deemed a sufficient guarantee for his concealment of such extortionate
transactions: moreover, it was difficult to say, when the formidable
array of appearances against Glanville was considered, whether any other
line of conduct than that which he had adopted, could, with any safety,
have been pursued.

His feelings too, with regard to the unfortunate Gertrude, I could fully
enter into, and sympathize with: but, in spite of all these
considerations, it was with an inexpressible aversion that I contemplated
the idea of that tacit confession of guilt, which his compliance with
Thornton's exactions so unhappily implied; it was, therefore, a thought
of some satisfaction, that my rash and hasty advice, of a still further
concession to those extortions, had not been acceded to. My present
intention was, in the event of Glanville's persevering to reject my offer
of accompanying him, to remain in England, for the purpose of sifting the
murder, nor did I despair of accomplishing this most desirable end,
through the means of Dawson; for there was but little doubt in my own
mind that Thornton and himself were the murderers, and I hoped that
address or intimidation might win a confession from Dawson, although it
might probably be unavailing with his hardened and crafty associate.

Occupied with these thoughts, I endeavoured to while away the hours till
the evening summoned me once more to the principal object of my
reflections. Directly Glanville's door was opened, I saw by one glance,
that I had come too late; the whole house was in confusion; several of
the servants were in the hall, conferring with each other, with that
mingled mystery and agitation which always accompany the fears and
conjectures of the lower classes. I took aside the valet, who had lived
with Glanville for some years, and who was remarkably attached to his
master, and learnt, that somewhat more than an hour before. Mr. Thornton
had returned to the house accompanied by three men of very suspicious
appearance. "In short, Sir," said the man, lowering his voice to a
whisper, "I knew one of them by sight; he was Mr. S., the Bowstreet
officer; with these men, Sir Reginald left the house, merely saying, in
his usual quiet manner, that he did not know when he should return."

I concealed my perturbation, and endeavoured, as far as I was able, to
quiet the evident apprehensions of the servant. "At all events, Seymour,"
said I, "I know that I may trust you sufficiently, to warn you against
mentioning the circumstance any farther; above all, let me beg of you to
stop the mouths of those idle loiterers in the hall--and, be sure, that
you do not give any unnecessary alarm to Lady and Miss Glanville."

The poor man promised, with tears in his eyes, that he would obey my
injunctions; and with a calm face, but a sickening heart, I turned away
from the house. I knew not where to direct my wanderings; fortunately, I
recollected that I should, in all probability, be among the first
witnesses summoned on Glanville's examination, and that, perhaps, by the
time I reached home, I might already receive an intimation to that
effect; accordingly, I retraced my steps, and, on re-entering my hotel,
was told by the waiter, with a mysterious air, that a gentleman was
waiting to see me. Seated by the window in my room, and wiping his
forehead with a red silk pocket-handkerchief, was a short, thickset man,
with a fiery and rugose complexion, not altogether unlike the aspect of a
mulberry; from underneath a pair of shaggy brows, peeped two singularly
small eyes, which made ample amends by their fire, for their deficiency
in size--they were black, brisk, and somewhat fierce in their expression;
a nose, of that shape, vulgarly termed bottle, formed the "arch sublime,"
the bridge, the twilight as it were, between the purple sun-set of one
cheek, and the glowing sun-rise of the other. His mouth was small, and
drawn up on each corner, like a purse--there was something sour and
crabbed about it; if it was like a purse, it was the purse of a miser: a
fair round chin had not been condemned to single blessedness--on the
contrary, it was like a farmer's pillion, and carried double; on either
side of a very low forehead, hedged round by closely mowed bristles, of a
dingy black, were two enormous ears, of the same intensely rubicund
colour as that inflamed pendant of flesh which adorns the throat of an
enraged turkey-cock; ears so large, and so red, I never beheld before--
they were something preposterous.

This enchanting figure, which was attired in a sober suit of leaden
black, relieved by a long, gold watch-chain, and a plentiful decoration
of seals, rose at my entrance, with a solemn grunt, and a still more
solemn bow. I shut the door carefully, and asked him his business:--as I
had foreseen, it was a request from the magistrate at--, to attend a
private examination on the ensuing day.

"Sad thing, Sir, sad thing," said Mr.--, "it would be quite shocking to
hang a gentleman of Sir Reginald Glanville's quality--so distinguished an
orator too; sad thing, Sir,--very sad thing."

"Oh!" said I, quietly, "there is not a doubt as to Sir Reginald's
innocence of the crime laid to him; and, probably, Mr.--, I may call in
your assistance to-morrow, to ascertain the real murderers--I think I am
possessed of some clue."

Mr.--pricked up his ears--those enormous ears. "Sir," he said, "I shall
be happy to accompany you--very happy; give me the clue you speak of, and
I will soon find the villains. Horrid thing, Sir, murder--very horrid.
It's too hard that a gentleman cannot take his ride home from a race, or
a merry-making, but he must have his throat cut from ear to ear--ear to
ear, Sir;" and with these words, the speaker's own auricular
protuberances seemed to glow, as if in conscious horror, with a double
carnation.

"Very true, Mr.--!" said I; "say I will certainly attend the examination-
-till then, good bye!" At this hint, my fiery faced friend made me a low
bow, and blazed out of the room, like the ghost of a kitchen fire.

Left to myself, I revolved, earnestly and anxiously, every thing that
could tend to diminish the appearances against Glanville, and direct
suspicion to that quarter where I was confident the guilt rested. In this
endeavour I passed the time till morning, when I fell into an uneasy
slumber, which lasted some hours; when I awoke, it was almost time to
attend the magistrate's appointment. I dressed hastily, and soon found
myself in the room of inquisition.

It is impossible to conceive a more courteous, and, yet, more equitable
man, than the magistrate whom I had the honour of attending. He spoke
with great feeling on the subject for which I was summoned--owned to me,
that Thornton's statement was very clear and forcible--trusted that my
evidence would contradict an account which he was very loth to believe;
and then proceeded to the question. I saw, with an agony which I can
scarcely express, that all my answers made powerfully against the cause I
endeavoured to support. I was obliged to own, that a man on horseback
passed me soon after Tyrrell had quitted me; that, on coming to the spot
where the deceased was found, I saw this same horseman on the very place;
that I believed, nay, that I was sure (how could I evade this), that that
man was Sir Reginald Glanville.

Farther evidence, Thornton had already offered to adduce. He could prove,
that the said horseman had been mounted on a grey horse, sold to a person
answering exactly to the description of Sir Reginald Glanville; moreover,
that that horse was yet in the stables of the prisoner. He produced a
letter, which, he said, he had found upon the person of the deceased,
signed by Sir Reginald Glanville, and containing the most deadly threats
against his life; and, to crown all, he called upon me to witness, that
we had both discovered upon the spot where the murder was committed, a
picture belonging to the prisoner, since restored to him, and now in his
possession.

At the close of this examination, the worthy magistrate shook his head,
in evident distress! "I have known Sir Reginald Glanville personally,"
said he: "in private as in public life, I have always thought him the
most upright and honourable of men. I feel the greatest pain in saying,
that it will be my duty fully to commit him for trial."

I interrupted the magistrate; I demanded that Dawson should be produced:
"I have already," said he, "inquired of Thornton respecting that person,
whose testimony is of evident importance; he tells me, that Dawson has
left the country, and can give me no clue to his address."

"He lies!" cried I, in the abrupt anguish of my heart; "his associate
shall be produced. Hear me: I have been, next to Thornton, the chief
witness against the prisoner, and when I swear to you, that, in spite of
all appearances, I most solemnly believe in his innocence, you may rely
on my assurance, that there are circumstances in his favour, which have
not yet been considered, but which I will pledge myself hereafter to
adduce." I then related to the private ear of the magistrate, my firm
conviction of the guilt of the accuser himself. I dwelt forcibly upon the
circumstance of Tyrrell's having mentioned to me, that Thornton was aware
of the large sum he had on his person, and of the strange disappearance
of that sum, when his body was examined in the fatal field. After noting
how impossible it was that Glanville could have stolen this money; I
insisted strongly on the distressed circumstances--the dissolute habits,
and the hardened character of Thornton--I recalled to the mind of the
magistrate, the singularity of Thornton's absence from home when I called
there, and the doubtful nature of his excuse: much more I said, but all
equally in vain. The only point where I was successful, was in pressing
for a delay, which was granted to the passionate manner in which I
expressed my persuasion that I could confirm my suspicions by much
stronger data before the reprieve expired.

"It is very true," said the righteous magistrate, "that there are
appearances somewhat against the witness; but certainly not tantamount to
any thing above a slight suspicion. If, however, you positively think you
can ascertain any facts, to elucidate this mysterious crime, and point
the inquiries of justice to another quarter, I will so far strain the
question, as to remand the prisoner to another day--let us say the day
after tomorrow. If nothing important can before then be found in his
favour, he must be committed for trial."



                            CHAPTER LXXIX.

                             Nihil est furacius illo
             Non fuit Autolyci tam piccata manus.
                          --Martial.

             Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?
                          --Horace.

When I left the magistrate, I knew not whither my next step should tend.
There was, however, no time to indulge the idle stupor, which Glanville's
situation at first occasioned; with a violent effort, I shook it off, and
bent all my mind to discover the best method to avail myself, to the
utmost, of the short reprieve I had succeeded in obtaining; at length,
one of those sudden thoughts which, from their suddenness appear more
brilliant than they really are, flashed upon my mind. I remembered the
accomplished character of Mr. Job Jonson, and the circumstance of my
having seen him in company with Thornton. Now, although it was not very
likely that Thornton should have made Mr. Jonson his confidant, in any of
those affairs which it was so essentially his advantage to confine
exclusively to himself; yet the acuteness and penetration visible in the
character of the worthy Job, might not have lain so fallow during his
companionship with Thornton, but that it might have made some discoveries
which would considerably assist me in my researches; besides, as it is
literally true in the systematized roguery of London, that "birds of a
feather flock together," it was by no means unlikely that the honest Job
might be honoured with the friendship of Mr. Dawson, as well as the
company of Mr. Thornton; in which case I looked forward with greater
confidence to the detection of the notable pair.

I could not, however, conceal from myself, that this was but a very
unstable and ill-linked chain of reasoning, and there were moments, when
the appearances against Glanville wore so close a semblance of truth,
that all my friendship could scarcely drive from my mind an intrusive
suspicion that he might have deceived me, and that the accusation might
not be groundless.

This unwelcome idea did not, however, at all lessen the rapidity with
which I hastened towards the memorable gin shop, where I had whilom met
Mr. Gordon--there I hoped to find either the address of that gentleman,
or of the "Club," to which he had taken me, in company with Tringle and
Dartmore: either at this said club, or of that said gentleman, I thought
it not unlikely that I might hear some tidings of the person of Mr. Job
Jonson--if not, I was resolved to return to the office, and employ Mr.--
my mulberry-cheeked acquaintance of the last night, in a search after the
holy Job.

Fate saved me a world of trouble; as I was hastily walking onwards, I
happened to turn my eyes on the opposite side of the way, and discovered
a man dressed, in what the newspapers term, the very height of the
fashion, namely, in the most ostentatious attire that ever flaunted at
Margate, or blazoned in the Palais Royale. The nether garments of this
petit maitre, consisted of a pair of blue tight pantaloons, profusely
braided, and terminating in Hessian boots, adorned with brass spurs of
the most burnished resplendency; a black velvet waistcoat, studded with
gold stars, was backed by a green frock coat, covered, notwithstanding
the heat of the weather, with fur, and frogged and cordonne with the most
lordly indifference, both as to taste and expense: a small French hat,
which might not have been much too large for my Lord of P--, was set
jauntily in the centre of a system of long black curls, which my eye,
long accustomed to penetrate the arcana of habilatory art, discovered at
once to be a wig. A fierce black mustacheo, very much curled, wandered
lovingly from the upper lip, towards the eyes, which had an unfortunate
prepossession for eccentricity in their direction. To complete the
picture, we must suppose some colouring--and this consisted in a very
nice and delicate touch of the rouge pot, which could not be called by so
harsh a term as paint; say, rather that it was a tinge.

No sooner had I set my eyes upon this figure, than I crossed over to the
side of the way which it was adorning, and followed its motions at a
respectful but observant distance.

At length my freluquet marched into a jeweller's shop in Oxford-street;
with a careless air, I affected, two minutes afterwards, to saunter into
the same shop; the shopman was shewing his bijouterie to him of the
Hessians with the greatest respect; and, beguiled by the splendour of the
wig and waistcoat, turned me over to his apprentice--another time, I
might have been indignant at perceiving that the air noble, on which I
piqued myself far more than all other gifts of nature, personal or
mental, was by no means so universally acknowledged as I had vainly
imagined--at that moment I was too occupied to think of my insulted
dignity. While I was pretending to appear wholly engrossed with some
seals, I kept a vigilant eye on my superb fellow customer: at last, I saw
him secrete a diamond ring, and thrust it, by a singular movement of the
fore finger, up the fur cuff of his capacious sleeve; presently, some
other article of minute size disappeared in the like manner.

The gentleman then rose, expressed himself very well satisfied by the
great taste of the jeweller, said he should look in again on Saturday,
when he hoped the set he had ordered would be completed, and gravely took
his departure amidst the prodigal bows of the shopman and his helpmates;
meanwhile, I bought a seal of small value, paid for it, and followed my
old acquaintance, for the reader has doubtless discovered, long before
this, that the gentleman was no other than Mr. Job Jonson.

Slowly and struttingly did the man of two virtues perform the whole
pilgrimage of Oxford-street. He stopped at Cumberland-gate, and, looking
round, with an air of gentlemanlike indecision, seemed to consider
whether or not he should join the loungers in the park: fortunately for
that well bred set, his doubts terminated in their favour, and Mr. Job
Jonson entered the park. Every one happened to be thronging to Kensington
Gardens, and the man of two virtues accordingly cut across the park, as
the shortest, but the least frequented way thither, in order to confer
upon them the dangerous honour of his company.

Directly I perceived that there were but few persons in the immediate
locality to observe me, and that those consisted of a tall guardsman and
his wife, a family of young children, with their nursery-maid, and a
debilitated East India captain; walking for the sake of his liver, I
overtook the incomparable Job, made him a low bow, and thus reverently
accosted him--

"Mr. Jonson, I am delighted once more to meet you--suffer me to remind
you of the very pleasant morning I passed with you in the neighbourhood
of Hampton Court. I perceive, by your mustachios and military dress, that
you have entered the army since that day; I congratulate the British
troops on such an admirable acquisition."

Mr. Jonson's assurance forsook him for a moment, but he lost no time in
regaining a quality which was so natural to his character. He assumed a
fierce look, and relevant sa moustache sourit amerement, like Voltaire's
governor [Note: Don Fernand d'Ibarra in the "Candide"]--"D--n your eyes,
Sir," he cried, "do you mean to insult me? I know none of your Mr.
Jonsons, and I never set my eyes upon you before."

"Lookye, my dear Mr. Job Jonson," replied I, "as I can prove not only all
I say, but much more that I shall not say--such as your little mistakes
just now, at the jeweller's shop in Oxford-street, perhaps it would be
better for you not to oblige me to create a mob, and give you in charge--
pardon my abruptness of speech--to a constable!--Surely there will be no
need of such a disagreeable occurrence, when I assure you, in the first
place, that I perfectly forgive you for ridding me of the unnecessary
comforts of a pocket-book and handkerchief, the unphilosophical appendage
of a purse, and the effeminate gage d'amour of a gold bracelet; nor is
this all--it is perfectly indifferent to me, whether you levy
contributions on jewellers or gentlemen, and I am very far from wishing
to intrude upon your harmless occupations, or to interfere with your
innocent amusements. I see, Mr. Jonson, that you are beginning to
understand me; let me facilitate so desirable an end by an additional
information, that, since it is preceded with a promise to open my purse,
may tend somewhat to open your heart; I am, at this moment, in great want
of your assistance--favour me with it, and I will pay you to your soul's
content. Are we friends now, Mr. Job Jonson?"

My old friend burst out into a loud laugh. "Well, Sir, I must say that
your frankness enchants me. I can no longer dissemble with you; indeed, I
perceive, it would be useless; besides, I always adored candour--it is my
favourite virtue. Tell me how I can help you, and you may command my
services."

"One word," said I: "will you be open and ingenuous with me? I shall ask
you certain questions, not in the least affecting your own safety, but to
which, if you would serve me, you must give me (and since candour is your
favourite virtue, this will be no difficult task) your most candid
replies. To strengthen you in so righteous a course, know also, that the
said replies will come verbatim before a court of law, and that,
therefore, it will be a matter of prudence to shape them as closely to
the truth as your inclinations will allow. To counterbalance this
information, which, I own, is not very inviting, I repeat, that the
questions asked you will be wholly foreign to your own affairs, and that,
should you prove of that assistance to me which I anticipate, I will so
testify my gratitude as to place you beyond the necessity of pillaging
rural young gentlemen and credulous shopkeepers for the future;--all your
present pursuits need only be carried on for your private amusement."

"I repeat, that you may command me," returned Mr. Jonson, gracefully
putting his hand to his heart.

"Pray, then," said I, "to come at once to the point, how long have you
been acquainted with Mr. Thomas Thornton?"

"For some months only," returned Job, without the least embarrassment.

"And Mr. Dawson?" said I.

A slight change came over Jonson's countenance: he hesitated. "Excuse me,
Sir," said he; "but I am, really, perfectly unacquainted with you, and I
may be falling into some trap of the law, of which, Heaven knows, I am as
ignorant as a babe unborn."

I saw the knavish justice of this remark; and in my predominating zeal to
serve Glanville, I looked upon the inconvenience of discovering myself to
a pickpocket and sharper, as a consideration not worth attending to. In
order, therefore, to remove his doubts, and, at the same time, to have a
more secret and undisturbed place for our conference, I proposed to him
to accompany me home; at first, Mr. Jonson demurred, but I soon half
persuaded and half intimidated him into compliance.

Not particularly liking to be publicly seen with a person of his splendid
description and celebrated character, I made him walk before me to
Mivart's, and I followed him closely, never turning my eye, either to the
right or the left, lest he should endeavour to escape me. There was no
fear of this, for Mr. Jonson was both a bold and a crafty man, and it
required, perhaps, but little of his penetration to discover that I was
no officer nor informer, and that my communication had been of a nature
likely enough to terminate in his advantage; there was, therefore, but
little need of his courage in accompanying me to my hotel.

There were a good many foreigners of rank at Mivart's, and the waiters
took my companion for an ambassador at least:--he received their homage
with the mingled dignity and condescension natural to so great a man.

As the day was now far advanced, I deemed it but hospitable to offer Mr.
Job Jonson some edible refreshment. With the frankness on which he so
justly valued himself, he accepted my proposal. I ordered some cold meat,
and two bottles of wine; and, mindful of old maxims, deferred my business
till his repast was over. I conversed with him merely upon ordinary
topics, and, at another time, should have been much amused by the
singular mixture of impudence and shrewdness which formed the stratum of
his character.

At length his appetite was satisfied, and one of the bottles emptied;
with the other before him, his body easily reclining on my library chair,
his eyes apparently cast downwards, but ever and anon glancing up at my
countenance with a searching and curious look, Mr. Job Jonson prepared
himself for our conference; accordingly I began.

"You say that you are acquainted with Mr. Dawson; where is he at
present?"

"I don't know," answered Jonson, laconically.

"Come," said I, "no trifling--if you do not know, you can learn."

"Possibly I can, in the course of time," rejoined honest Job.

"If you cannot tell me his residence at once," said I, "our conference is
at an end; that is a leading feature in my inquiries."

Jonson paused before he replied--"You have spoken to me frankly, let us
do nothing by halves--tell me, at once, the nature of the service I can
do you, and the amount of my reward, and then you shall have my answer.
With respect to Dawson, I will confess to you, that I did once know him
well, and that we have done many a mad prank together, which I should not
like the bugaboos and bulkies to know; you will, therefore, see that I am
naturally reluctant to tell you any thing about him, unless your honour
will inform me of the why and the wherefore."

I was somewhat startled by this speech, and by the shrewd, cunning eye
which dwelt upon me, as it was uttered; but, however, I was by no means
sure, that acceding to his proposal would not be my readiest and wisest
way to the object I had in view. Nevertheless, there were some
preliminary questions to be got over first: perhaps Dawson might be too
dear a friend to the candid Job, for the latter to endanger his safety;
or perhaps, (and this was more probable,) Jonson might be perfectly
ignorant of any thing likely to aid me: in this case my communication
would be useless; accordingly I said, after a short consideration--

"Patience, my dear Mr. Jonson--patience, you shall know all in good time;
meanwhile I must--even for Dawson's sake--question you blindfold. What,
now, if your poor friend Dawson were in imminent danger, and that you
might have the power to save him, would you not do all you could?"

The small, coarse features of Mr. Job, grew blank, with a curious sort of
disappointment: "Is that all?" said he. "No! unless I were well paid for
my pains in his behalf, he might go to Botany Bay, for all I care."

"What!" I cried, in a tone of reproach, "is this your friendship? I
thought, just now, that you said Dawson had been an old and firm
associate of yours."

"An old one, your honour; but not a firm one. A short time ago, I was in
great distress, and he and Thornton had, God knows how! about two
thousand pounds between them; but I could not worm a stiver out of
Dawson--that gripe-all, Thornton, got it all from him."

"Two thousand pounds!" said I, in a calm voice, though my heart beat
violently; "that's a great sum for a poor fellow like Dawson. How long
ago is it since he had it?"

"About two or three months," answered Jonson.

"Pray, have you seen much of Dawson lately?" I asked.

"I have," replied Jonson.

"Indeed!" said I. "I thought you told me, just now, that you were
unacquainted with his residence?"

"So I am," replied Jonson, coldly, "it is not at his own house that I
ever see him."

I was silent, for I was now rapidly and minutely weighing the benefits
and disadvantages of trusting Jonson as he had desired me to do.

To reduce the question to the simplest form of logic, he had either the
power of assisting my investigation, or he had not: if not, neither could
he much impede it, and therefore, it mattered little whether he was in my
confidence or not; if he had the power, the doubt was, whether it would
be better for me to benefit by it openly, or by stratagem; that is--
whether it were wiser to state the whole case to him, or continue to gain
whatever I was able by dint of a blind examination. Now, the disadvantage
of candour was, that if it were his wish to screen Dawson and his friend,
he would be prepared to do so, and even to put them on their guard
against my suspicions; but the indifference he had testified with regard
to Dawson seemed to render this probability very small. The benefits of
candour were more prominent: Job would then be fully aware that his own
safety was not at stake; and should I make it more his interest to serve
the innocent than the guilty, I should have the entire advantage, not
only of any actual information he might possess, but of his skill and
shrewdness in providing additional proof, or at least suggesting
advantageous hints. Moreover, in spite of my vanity and opinion of my own
penetration, I could not but confess, that it was unlikely that my cross-
examination should be very successful with so old and experienced a
sinner as Mr. Jonson. "Set a thief to catch a thief," is among the wisest
of wise sayings, and accordingly I resolved in favour of a disclosure.

Drawing my chair close to Jonson's, fixing my eye upon his countenance,
and throwing into my own the most open, yet earnest expression I could
summon, I briefly proceeded to sketch Glanville's situation (only
concealing his name), and Thornton's charges. I mentioned my own
suspicions of the accuser, and my desire of discovering Dawson, whom
Thornton appeared to me artfully to secrete. Lastly, I concluded, with a
solemn promise, that if my listener could, by any zeal, exertion,
knowledge, or contrivance of his own, procure the detection of the men,
whom I was convinced were the murderers, a pension of three hundred
pounds a-year should be immediately settled upon him.

During my communication, the patient Job sat mute and still, fixing his
eyes on the ground, and only betraying, by an occasional elevation of the
brows, that he took the slightest interest in the tale: when, however, I
touched upon the peroration, which so tenderly concluded with the mention
of three hundred pounds a-year, a visible change came over the
countenance of Mr. Jonson. He rubbed his hands with an air of great
content, and one sudden smile broke over his features, and almost buried
his eyes amid the intricate host of wrinkles it called forth: the smile
vanished as rapidly as it came, and Mr. Job turned round to me with a
solemn and sedate aspect.

"Well, your honour," said he, "I'm glad you've told me all; we must see
what can be done. As for Thornton, I'm afraid we shan't make much out of
him, for he's an old offender, whose conscience is as hard as a brick-
bat; but, of Dawson, I hope better things. However, you must let me go
now, for this is a matter that requires a vast deal of private
consideration. I shall call upon you tomorrow, Sir, before ten o'clock,
since you say matters are so pressing; and, I trust, you will then see
that you have no reason to repent of the confidence you have placed in a
man of honour."

So saying, Mr. Job Jonson emptied the remainder of the bottle into his
tumbler, held it up to the light with the gusto of a connoisseur, and
concluded his potations with a hearty smack of the lips, followed by a
long sigh.

"Ah, your honour!" said he, "good wine is a marvellous whetter of the
intellect; but your true philosopher is always moderate: for my part, I
never exceed my two bottles."

And with these words, this true philosopher took his departure.

No sooner was I freed from his presence, than my thoughts flew to Ellen:
I had neither been able to call nor write the whole of the day; and I was
painfully fearful, lest my precautions with Sir Reginald's valet had been
frustrated, and the alarm of his imprisonment reached her and Lady
Glanville. Harassed by this fear, I disregarded the lateness of the hour,
and immediately repaired to Berkeley-square.

Lady and Miss Glanville were alone and at dinner: the servant spoke with
his usual unconcern--"They are quite well?" said I, relieved, but still
anxious: and the servant replying in the affirmative, I again returned
home, and wrote a long, and, I hope, consoling letter to Sir Reginald.





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