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Title: Pelham — Volume 05
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 05" ***

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                                VOLUME V.

                            CHAPTER LVIII.

                   Mangez-vous bien, Monsieur?
                   Oui, et bois encore mieux.
                                 --Mons. de Porceaugnac.


My pamphlet took prodigiously. The authorship was attributed to the most
talented member of the Opposition; and though there were many errors in
style, and (I now think) many sophisms in the reasoning, yet it carried
the end proposed by all ambition of whatever species--and imposed upon
the taste of the public.

Sometime afterwards, I was going down the stairs at Almack's, when I
heard an altercation, high and grave, at the door of reception. To my
surprise, I found Lord Guloseton and a very young man in great wrath; the
latter had never been to Almack's before, and had forgotten his ticket.
Guloseton, who belonged to a very different set to that of the
Almackians, insisted that his word was enough to bear his juvenile
companion through. The ticket inspector was irate and obdurate, and
having seldom or ever seen Lord Guloseton himself, paid very little
respect to his authority.

As I was wrapping myself in my cloak, Guloseton turned to me, for passion
makes men open their hearts: too eager for an opportunity of acquiring
the epicure's acquaintance, I offered to get his friend admittance in an
instant; the offer was delightedly accepted, and I soon procured a small
piece of pencilled paper from Lady--, which effectually silenced the
Charon, and opened the Stygian via to the Elysium beyond.

Guloseton overwhelmed me with his thanks. I remounted the stairs with
him--took every opportunity of ingratiating myself--received an
invitation to dinner on the following day, and left Willis's transported
at the goodness of my fortune.

At the hour of eight on the ensuing evening, I had just made my entrance
into Lord Guloseton's drawing-room. It was a small apartment furnished
with great luxury and some taste. A Venus of Titian's was placed over the
chimney-piece, in all the gorgeous voluptuousness of her unveiled beauty-
-the pouting lip, not silent though shut--the eloquent lid drooping over
the eye, whose reveille you could so easily imagine--the arms--the limbs-
-the attitude, so composed, yet so redolent of life--all seemed to
indicate that sleep was not forgetfulness, and that the dreams of the
goddess were not wholly inharmonious with the waking realities in which
it was her gentle prerogative to indulge. On either side, was a picture
of the delicate and golden hues of Claude; these were the only landscapes
in the room; the remaining pictures were more suitable to the Venus of
the luxurious Italian. Here was one of the beauties of Sir Peter Lely;
there was an admirable copy of the Hero and Leander. On the table lay the
Basia of Johannes Secundus, and a few French works on Gastronomy.

As for the genius loci--you must imagine a middle-sized, middle-aged man,
with an air rather of delicate than florid health. But little of the
effects of his good cheer were apparent in the external man. His cheeks
were neither swollen nor inflated--his person, though not thin, was of no
unwieldy obesity--the tip of his nasal organ was, it is true, of a more
ruby tinge than the rest, and one carbuncle, of tender age and gentle
dyes, diffused its mellow and moonlight influence over the physiognomical
scenery--his forehead was high and bald, and the few locks which still
rose above it, were carefully and gracefully curled a l'antique: Beneath
a pair of grey shaggy brows, (which their noble owner had a strange habit
of raising and depressing, according to the nature of his remarks,)
rolled two very small, piercing, arch, restless orbs, of a tender green;
and the mouth, which was wide and thick-lipped, was expressive of great
sensuality, and curved upwards in a perpetual smile.

Such was Lord Guloseton. To my surprise no other guest but myself
appeared.

"A new friend," said he, as we descended into the dining-room, "is like a
new dish--one must have him all to oneself, thoroughly to enjoy and
rightly to understand him."

"A noble precept," said I, with enthusiasm. "Of all vices, indiscriminate
hospitality is the most pernicious. It allows us neither conversation nor
dinner, and realizing the mythological fable of Tantalus, gives us
starvation in the midst of plenty."

"You are right," said Guloseton, solemnly; "I never ask above six persons
to dinner, and I never dine out; for a bad dinner, Mr. Pelham, a bad
dinner is a most serious--I may add, the most serious calamity."

"Yes," I replied, "for it carries with it no consolation: a buried friend
may be replaced--a lost mistress renewed--a slandered character be
recovered--even a broken constitution restored; but a dinner, once lost,
is irremediable; that day is for ever departed; an appetite once thrown
away can never, till the cruel prolixity of the gastric agents is over,
be regained. 'Il y a tant de maitresses, (says the admirable Corneille),
'il n'y a qu'un diner.'"

"You speak like an oracle--like the Cook's Oracle, Mr. Pelham: may I send
you some soup, it is a la Carmelite? But what are you about to do with
that case?"

"It contains" (said I) "my spoon, my knife, and my fork. Nature afflicted
me with a propensity, which through these machines I have endeavoured to
remedy by art. I eat with too great a rapidity. It is a most unhappy
failing, for one often hurries over in one minute, what ought to have
afforded the fullest delight for the period of five. It is, indeed, a
vice which deadens enjoyment, as well as abbreviates it; it is a shameful
waste of the gifts, and a melancholy perversion of the bounty of
Providence: my conscience tormented me; but the habit, fatally indulged
in early childhood, was not easy to overcome. At last I resolved to
construct a spoon of peculiarly shallow dimensions, a fork so small, that
it could only raise a certain portion to my mouth, and a knife rendered
blunt and jagged, so that it required a proper and just time to carve the
goods 'the gods provide me.' My lord, 'the lovely Thais sits beside me'
in the form of a bottle of Madeira. Suffer me to take wine with you?"

"With pleasure, my good friend; let us drink to the memory of the
Carmelites, to whom we are indebted for this inimitable soup."

"Yes!" I cried. "Let us for once shake off the prejudices of sectarian
faith, and do justice to one order of those incomparable men, who,
retiring from the cares of an idle and sinful world, gave themselves with
undivided zeal and attention to the theory and practice of the profound
science of gastronomy. It is reserved for us, my lord, to pay a gratefu
tribute of memory to those exalted recluses, who, through a long period
of barbarism and darkness, preserved, in the solitude of their cloisters,
whatever of Roman luxury and classic dainties have come down to this
later age. We will drink to the Carmelites at a sect, but we will drink
also to the monks as a body. Had we lived in those days, we had been
monks ourselves."

"It is singular," answered Lord Guloseton--"(by the by, what think you of
this turbot?)--to trace the history of the kitchen; it affords the
greatest scope to the philosopher and the moralist. The ancients seemed
to have been more mental, more imaginative, than we are in their dishes;
they fed their bodies as well as their minds upon delusion: for instance,
they esteemed beyond all price the tongues of nightingales, because they
tasted the very music of the birds in the organs of their utterance. That
is what I call the poetry of gastronomy!"

"Yes," said I, with a sigh, "they certainly had, in some respects, the
advantage over us. Who can pore over the suppers of Apicius without the
fondest regret? The venerable Ude [Note: Q.--The venerable Bede--
Printer's Devil.] implies, that the study has not progressed. 'Cookery
(he says, in the first part of his work) possesses but few innovators.'"

"It is with the greatest diffidence," said Guloseton, (his mouth full of
truth and turbot,) "that we may dare to differ from so great an
authority. Indeed, so high is my veneration for that wise man, that if
all the evidence of my sense and reason were on one side, and the dictum
of the great Ude upon the other, I should be inclined--I think, I should
be determined--to relinquish the former, and adopt the latter." [Note:
See the speech of Mr. Brougham in honour of Mr. Fox.]

"Bravo, my lord," cried I, warmly. "'Qu'un Cuisinier est un mortel
divin!' Why should we not be proud of our knowledge in cookery? It is the
soul of festivity at all times, and to all ages. How many marriages have
been the consequence of meeting at dinner? How much good fortune has been
the result of a good supper? At what moment of our existence are we
happier than at table? There hatred and animosity are lulled to sleep,
and pleasure alone reigns. Here the cook, by his skill and attention,
anticipates our wishes in the happiest selection of the best dishes and
decorations. Here our wants are satisfied, our minds and bodies
invigorated, and ourselves qualified for the high delights of love,
music, poetry, dancing, and other pleasures; and is he, whose talents
have produced these happy effects, to rank no higher in the scale of man
than a common servant? [Note: Ude, verbatim.]

"'Yes,' cries the venerable professor himself, in a virtuous and
prophetic paroxysm of indignant merit--'yes, my disciples, if you adopt,
and attend to the rules I have laid down, the self-love of mankind will
consent at last, that cookery shall rank in the class of the sciences,
and its professors deserve the name of artists!'" [Note: Ibid.]

"My dear, dear Sir," exclaimed Guloseton, with a kindred glow, "I
discover in you a spirit similar to my own. Let us drink long life to the
venerable Ude!"

"I pledge you, with all my soul," said I, filling my glass to the brim.

"What a pity," rejoined Guloseton, "that Ude, whose practical science was
so perfect, should ever have written, or suffered others to write, the
work published under his name; true it is that the opening part which you
have so feelingly recited, is composed with a grace, a charm beyond the
reach of art; but the instructions are vapid, and frequently so
erroneous, as to make me suspect their authenticity; but, after all,
cooking is not capable of becoming a written science--it is the
philosophy of practice!"

"Ah! by Lucullus," exclaimed I, interrupting my host, "what a visionary
bechamelle! Oh, the inimitable sauce; these chickens are indeed worthy of
the honour of being dressed. Never, my lord, as long as you live, eat a
chicken in the country; excuse a pun, you will have foul fare."

         "'J'ai toujours redoute la volaille perfide,
           Qui brave les efforts d'une dent intrepide;
           Souvent par un ami, dans ses champs entraine.
           J'ai reconnu le soir le coq infortune
           Qui m'avait le matin a l'aurore naissante
           Reveille brusquement de sa voix glapissante;
           Je l'avais admire dans le sein de la cour,
           Avec des yeux jaloux, j'avais vu son amour.
           Helas! la malheureux, abjurant sa tendresse,
           Exercait a souper sa fureur vengeresse.'

"Pardon the prolixity of my quotation for the sake of its value."

"I do, I do," answered Guloseton, laughing at the humour of the lines:
till, suddenly checking himself, he said, "we must be grave, Mr. Pelham,
it will never do to laugh. What would become of our digestions?"

"True," said I, relapsing into seriousness; "and if you will allow me one
more quotation, you will see what my author adds with regard to any
abrupt interruption.

         "'Defendez que personne au milieu d'un banquet,
           Ne vous vienne donner un avis indiscret,
           Ecartez ce facheux qui vers vous s'achemine,
           Rien ne doit deranger l'honnete homme qui dine."

"Admirable advice," said Guloseton, toying with a filet mignon de poulet.
"Do you remember an example in the Bailly of Suffren, who, being in
India, was waited upon by a deputation of natives while he was at dinner.
'Tell them,' said he, 'that the Christian religion peremptorily forbids
every Christian, while at table, to occupy himself with any earthly
subject, except the function of eating.' The deputation retired in the
profoundest respect at the exceeding devotion of the French general."

"Well," said I, after we had chuckled gravely and quietly, with the care
of our digestion before us, for a few minutes--"well, however good the
invention was, the idea is not entirely new, for the Greeks esteemed
eating and drinking plentifully, a sort of offering to the gods; and
Aristotle explains the very word, THoinai, or feasts, by an etymological
exposition, 'that it was thought a duty to the gods to be drunk;' no bad
idea of our classical patterns of antiquity. Polypheme, too, in the
Cyclops of Euripides, no doubt a very sound theologian, says, his stomach
is his only deity; and Xenophon tells us, that as the Athenians exceeded
all other people in the number of their gods, so they exceeded them also
in the number of their feasts. May I send your lordship an ortolan?"

"Pelham, my boy," said Guloseton, whose eyes began to roll and twinkle
with a brilliancy suited to the various liquids which ministered to their
rejoicing orbs; "I love you for your classics. Polypheme was a wise
fellow, a very wise fellow, and it was a terrible shame in Ulysses to put
out his eye. No wonder that the ingenious savage made a deity of his
stomach; to what known and visible source, on this earth, was he indebted
for a keener enjoyment--a more rapturous and a more constant delight? No
wonder he honoured it with his gratitude, and supplied it with his peace-
offerings;--let us imitate so great an example:--let us make our
digestive receptacles a temple, to which we will consecrate the choicest
goods we possess;--let us conceive no pecuniary sacrifice too great,
which procures for our altar an acceptable gift;--let us deem it an
impiety to hesitate, if a sauce seems extravagant, or an ortolan too
dear; and let our last act in this sublunary existence, be a solemn
festival in honour of our unceasing benefactor."

"Amen to your creed," said I: "edibilatory Epicurism holds the key to all
morality: for do we not see now how sinful it is to yield to an obscene
and exaggerated intemperance?--would it not be to the last degree
ungrateful to the great source of our enjoyment, to overload it with a
weight which would oppress it with languor, or harass it with pain; and
finally to drench away the effects of our impiety with some nauseous
potation which revolts it, tortures it, convulses, irritates, enfeebles
it, through every particle of its system? How wrong in us to give way to
anger, jealousy, revenge, or any evil passion; for does not all that
affects the mind operate also upon the stomach; and how can we be so
vicious, so obdurate, as to forget, for a momentary indulgence, our debt
to what you have so justly designated our perpetual benefactor?"

"Right," said Lord Guloseton, "a bumper to the morality of the stomach."

The desert was now on the table. "I have dined well," said Guloseton,
stretching his legs with an air of supreme satisfaction; "but--" and here
my philosopher sighed deeply--"we cannot dine again till to-morrow!
Happy, happy, happy common people, who can eat supper! Would to Heaven,
that I might have one boon--perpetual appetite--a digestive Houri, which
renewed its virginity every time it was touched. Alas! for the
instability of human enjoyment. But now that we have no immediate hope to
anticipate, let us cultivate the pleasures of memory. What thought you of
the veau a la Dauphine?"

"Pardon me if I hesitate at giving my opinion, till I have corrected my
judgment by yours."

"Why, then, I own I was somewhat displeased--disappointed as it were--
with that dish; the fact is, veal ought to be killed in its very first
infancy; they suffer it to grow to too great an age. It becomes a sort of
hobbydehoy, and possesses nothing of veal, but its insipidity, or of
beef, but its toughness."

"Yes," said I, "it is only in their veal, that the French surpass us;
their other meats want the ruby juices and elastic freshness of ours.
Monsieur L--allowed this truth, with a candour worthy of his vast mind.
Mon Dieu! what claret!--what a body! and, let me add, what a soul,
beneath it! Who would drink wine like this? it is only made to taste. It
is like first love--too pure for the eagerness of enjoyment; the rapture
it inspires is in a touch, a kiss. It is a pity, my lord, that we do not
serve perfumes at dessert: it is their appropriate place. In
confectionary (delicate invention of the Sylphs,) we imitate the forms of
the rose and the jessamine; why not their odours too? What is nature
without its scents?--and as long as they are absent from our desserts, it
is in vain that the Bard exclaims, that--

                   "'L'observateur de la belle Nature,
             S'extasie en voyant des fleurs en confiture.'"

"It is an exquisite idea of yours," said Guloseton--"and the next time
you dine here, we will have perfumes. Dinner ought to be a reunion of all
the senses--

           "'Gladness to the ear, nerve, heart, and sense.'"

There was a momentary pause. "My lord," said I, "what a lusty
lusciousness in this pear! it is like the style of the old English poets.
What think you of the seeming good understanding between Mr. Gaskell and
the Whigs?"

"I trouble myself little about it," replied Guloseton, helping himself to
some preserves--"politics disturb the digestion."

"Well," thought I, "I must ascertain some point in this man's character
easier to handle than his epicurism: all men are vain: let us find out
the peculiar vanity of mine host."

"The Tories," said I, "seem to think themselves exceedingly secure; they
attach no importance to the neutral members; it was but the other day,
Lord--told me that he did not care a straw for Mr.--, notwithstanding he
possessed four votes. Heard you ever such arrogance?"

"No, indeed," said Golouston, with a lazy air of indifference--"are you a
favourer of the olive?"

"No," said I, "I love it not; it hath an under taste of sourness, and an
upper of oil, which do not make harmony to my palate. But, as I was
saying, the Whigs, on the contrary, pay the utmost deference to their
partizans; and a man of fortune, rank, and parliamentary influence, might
have all the power without the trouble of a leader."

"Very likely," said Guloseton, drowsily.

"I must change my battery," thought I; but while I was meditating a new
attack, the following note was brought me:--

"For God's sake, Pelham, come out to me: I am waiting in the street to
see you; come directly, or it will be too late to render me the service I
would ask of you.
                                    "R. Glanville."

I rose instantly. "You must excuse me, Lord Guloseton, I am called
suddenly away."

"Ha! ha!" laughed the gourmand; "some tempting viand--post prandia
Callirhoe."

"My good lord," said I, not heeding his insinuation--"I leave you with
the greatest regret."

"And I part from you with the same; it is a real pleasure to see such a
person at dinner."

"Adieu! my host--'Je vais vivre et manger en sage.'"



                             CHAPTER LIX.

             I do defy him, and I spit at him,
             Call him a slanderous coward and a villain--
             Which to maintain I will allow him odds.
             --Shakspeare.

I found Glanville walking before the door with a rapid and uneven step.

"Thank Heaven!" he said, when he saw me--"I have been twice to Mivart's
to find you. The second time, I saw your servant, who told me where you
were gone. I knew you well enough to be sure of your kindness."

Glanville broke off aburptly: and after a short pause, said, with a
quick, low, hurried tone--"The office I wish you to take upon yourself is
this:--go immediately to Sir John Tyrrell, with a challenge from me. Ever
since I last saw you, I have been hunting out that man, and in vain. He
had then left town. He returned this evening, and quits it to-morrow: you
have no time to lose."

"My dear Glanville," said I, "I have no wish to learn any secret you
would conceal from me; but forgive me if I ask for some further
instructions than those you have afforded me. Upon what plea am I to call
out Sir John Tyrrell? and what answer am I to give to any excuses he may
create?"

"I have anticipated your reply," said Glanville, with ill-subdued
impatience; "you have only to give this paper: it will prevent all
discussion. Read it if you will; I have left it unsealed for that
purpose."

I cast my eyes over the lines Glanville thrust into my hand; they ran
thus:--

"The time has at length come for me to demand the atonement so long
delayed. The bearer of this, who is, probably, known to you, will arrange
with any person you may appoint, the hour and place of our meeting. He is
unacquainted with the grounds of my complaint against you, but he is
satisfied of my honour: your second will, I presume, be the same with
respect to yours. It is for me only to question the latter, and to
declare you solemnly to be void alike of principle and courage, a
villain, and a poltroon.

                               "Reginald Glanville."

"You are my earliest friend," said I, when I had read this soothing
epistle; "and I will not flinch from the place you assign me: but I tell
you fairly and frankly, that I would sooner cut off my right hand than
suffer it to give this note to Sir John Tyrrell."

Glanville made no answer; we walked on till he stopped suddenly, and
said, "My carriage is at the corner of the street; you must go instantly;
Tyrrell lodges at the Clarendon; you will find me at home on your
return."

I pressed his hand, and hurried on my mission. It was, I own, one
peculiarly unwelcome and displeasing. In the first place, I did not love
to be made a party in a business of the nature of which I was so
profoundly ignorant. Besides, Glanville was more dear to me than any one,
judging only of my external character, would suppose; and
constitutionally indifferent as I am to danger for myself, I trembled
like a woman at the peril I was instrumental in bringing upon him. But
what weighed upon me far more than either of these reflections, was the
recollection of Ellen. Should her brother fall in an engagement in which
I was his supposed adviser, with what success could I hope for those
feelings from her, which, at present, constituted the tenderest and the
brightest of my hopes? In the midst of these disagreeable ideas the
carriage stopped at the door of Tyrrel's Hotel.

The waiter said Sir John was in the coffee-room; thither I immediately
marched. Seated in the box nearest the fire sat Tyrrell, and two men, of
that old-fashioned roue set, whose members indulged in debauchery, as if
it were an attribute of manliness, and esteemed it, as long as it were
hearty and English, rather a virtue to boast of, than a vice to disown.
Tyrrel nodded to me familiarly as I approached him; and I saw, by the
half-emptied bottles before him, and the flush of his sallow
countenance, that he had not been sparing of his libations. I whispered
that I wished to speak to him on a subject of great importance; he rose
with much reluctance, and, after swallowing a large tumbler-full of port
wine to fortify him for the task, he led the way to a small room, where
he seated himself, and asked me, with his usual mixture of bluntness and
good-breeding, the nature of my business. I made him no reply: I
contented myself with placing Glanville's billet doux in his hand. The
room was dimly lighted with a single candle, and the small and capricious
fire, near which the gambler was seated, threw its upward light, by
starts and intervals, over the strong features and deep lines of his
countenance. It would have been a study worthy of Rembrandt.

I drew my chair near him, and half shading my eyes with my hand, sat down
in silence to mark the effect the letter would produce. Tyrrel (I
imagine) was a man originally of hardy nerves, and had been thrown much
in the various situations of life where the disguise of all outward
emotion is easily and insensibly taught; but whether his frame had been
shattered by his excesses, or that the insulting language of the note
touched him to the quick, he seemed perfectly unable to govern his
feelings; the lines were written hastily, and the light, as I said
before, was faint and imperfect, and he was forced to pause over each
word as he proceeded, so that "the iron had full time to enter into his
soul."

Passion, however, developed itself differently in him than in Glanville:
in the latter, it was a rapid transition of powerful feelings, one angry
wave dashing over another; it was the passion of a strong and keenly
susceptible mind, to which every sting was a dagger, and which used the
force of a giant to dash away the insect which attacked it. In Tyrrell,
it was passion acting on a callous mind but a broken frame--his hand
trembled violently--his voice faltered--he could scarcely command the
muscles which enabled him to speak; but there was no fiery start--no
indignant burst--no flashing forth of the soul; in him, it was the body
overcoming and paralyzing the mind. In Glanville it was the mind
governing and convulsing the body.

"Mr. Pelham," he said at last, after a few preliminary efforts to clear
his voice, "this note requires some consideration. I know not at present
whom to appoint as my second--will you call upon me early to-morrow?"

"I am sorry," said I, "that my sole instructions were to get an immediate
answer from you. Surely either of the gentlemen I saw with you would
officiate as your second?"

Tyrrell made no reply for some moments. He was endeavouring to compose
himself, and in some measure he succeeded. He raised his head with a
haughty air of defiance, and tearing the paper deliberately, though still
with uncertain and trembling fingers, he stamped his foot upon the atoms.

"Tell your principal," said he, "that I retort upon him the foul and
false words he has uttered against me; that I trample upon his assertions
with the same scorn I feel towards himself; and that before this hour to-
morrow, I will confront him to death as through life. For the rest, Mr.
Pelham, I cannot name my second till the morning; leave me your address,
and you shall hear from me before you are stirring. Have you any thing
farther with me?"

"Nothing," said I, laying my card on the table, "I have fulfilled the
most ungrateful charge ever entrusted to me. I wish you good night."

I re-entered the carriage, and drove to Glanville's. I broke into the
room rather abruptly; Glanville was leaning on the table, and gazing
intently on a small miniature. A pistol-case lay beside him: one of the
pistols in order for use, and the other still unarranged; the room was,
as usual, covered with books and papers, and on the costly cushions of
the ottoman, lay the large, black dog, which I remembered well as his
companion of yore, and which he kept with him constantly, as the only
thing in the world whose society he could at all times bear: the animal
lay curled up, with its quick, black eye fixed watchfully upon its
master, and directly I entered, it uttered, though without moving, a low,
warning growl.

Glanville looked up, and in some confusion thrust the picture into a
drawer of the table, and asked me my news. I told him word for word what
had passed. Glanville set his teeth, and clenched his hand firmly; and
then, as if his anger was at once appeased, he suddenly changed the
subject and tone of our conversation. He spoke with great cheerfulness
and humour, on the various topics of the day; touched upon politics;
laughed at Lord Guloseton, and seemed as indifferent and unconscious of
the event of the morrow as my peculiar constitution would have rendered
myself.

When I rose to depart, for I had too great an interest in him to feel
much for the subjects he conversed on, he said, "I shall write one line
to my mother, and another to my poor sister; you will deliver them if I
fall, for I have sworn that one of us shall not quit the ground alive. I
shall be all impatience to know the hour you will arrange with Tyrrell's
second. God bless you, and farewell for the present."



                              CHAPTER LX.

                          Charge, Chester, charge!
                                 --Marmion.

                Though this was one of the first mercantile transactions
                of my life, I had no doubt about acquitting myself with
                reputation.
                --Vicar of Wakefield.

The next morning I was at breakfast, when a packet was brought me from
Tyrrell; it contained a sealed letter to Glanville, and a brief note to
myself. The latter I transcribe:--

"My Dear Sir,

"The enclosed letter to Sir Reginald Glanville will explain my reasons
for not keeping my pledge: suffice it to state to you, that they are such
as wholly to exonerate me, and fairly to satisfy Sir Reginald. It will be
useless to call upon me; I leave town before you will receive this.
Respect for myself obliges me to add that, although there are
circumstances to forbid my meeting Sir Reginald Glanville, there are none
to prevent my demanding satisfaction of any one, whoever he may be, who
shall deem himself authorized to call my motives into question,

"I have the honour,
                                    "John Tyrrell."

It was not till I had thrice read this letter that I could credit its
contents. From all I had seen of Tyrrell's character, I had no reason to
suspect him to be less courageous than the generality of worldly men; and
the conclusion of his letter, evidently pointed at myself, should I
venture to impugn his conduct, seemed by no means favourable to any
suspicion of his cowardice. And yet, when I considered the violent
language of Glanville's letter, and Tyrrell's apparent resolution the
night before, I scarcely knew to what more honourable motive to attribute
his conduct. However, I lost no time in despatching the whole packet to
Glanville, with a few lines from myself, saying I should call in an hour.

When I fulfilled this promise, Glanville's servant told me his master had
gone out immediately on reading the letters I had sent, and had merely
left word that he should not return home the whole day. That night he was
to have brought an important motion before the House. A message from him,
pleading sudden and alarming illness, devolved this duty upon another
member of our party. Lord Dawton was in despair; the motion was lost by a
great majority; the papers, the whole of that week, were filled with the
most triumphant abuse and ridicule of the Whigs. Never was that unhappy
and persecuted party reduced to so low an ebb: never did there seem a
fainter probability of their coming into power. They appeared almost
annihilated--a mere nominis umbra.

On the eighth day from Glanville's disappearance, a sudden event in the
cabinet threw the whole country into confusion; the Tories trembled to
the very soles of their easy slippers of sinecure and office; the eyes of
the public were turned to the Whigs; and chance seemed to effect in an
instant that change in their favour, which all their toil, trouble,
eloquence, and art, had been unable for so many years to render even a
remote probability.

But there was a strong though secret party in the state, which reminded
me of the independents in the reign of Charles the First, that, concealed
under a general name, worked only for a private end, and made a progress
in number and respectability, not the less sure for being but little
suspected. Foremost among the leaders of this party was Lord Vincent.
Dawton, who knew of their existence, and regarded them with fear and
jealousy, considered the struggle rather between them and himself, than
any longer between himself and the Tories; and strove, while it was yet
time, to reinforce himself by a body of allies, which, should the contest
really take place, might be certain of giving him the superiority. The
Marquis of Chester was among the most powerful of the neutral noblemen:
it was of the greatest importance to gain him to the cause. He was a
sturdy, sporting, independent man, who lived chiefly in the country, and
turned his ambition rather towards promoting the excellence of
quadrupeds, than the bad passions of men. To this personage Lord Dawton
implored me to be the bearer of a letter, and to aid, with all the
dexterity in my power, the purpose it was intended to effect. It was the
most consequential mission yet entrusted to me, and I felt eager to turn
my diplomatic energies to so good an account. Accordingly, one bright
morning I wrapped myself carefully in my cloak, placed my invaluable
person safely in my carriage, and set off to Chester Park, in the county
of Suffolk.



                             CHAPTER LXI.

                   Hinc Canibus blandis rabies venit
                                 --Virgil Georgics.

I should have mentioned, that the day after I sent Glanville Tyrrell's
communication, I received a short and hurried note from the former,
saying, that he had left London in pursuit of Tyrrell, and that he would
not rest till he had brought him to account. In the hurry of the public
events in which I had been of late so actively engaged, my mind had not
had leisure to dwell much upon Glanville; but when I was alone in my
carriage, that singular being, and the mystery which attended him, forced
themselves upon my reflection, in spite of all the importance of my
mission.

I was leaning back in my carriage, at (I think) Ware, while they were
changing horses, when a voice, strongly associated with my meditations,
struck upon my ear. I looked out, and saw Thornton standing in the yard,
attired with all his original smartness of boot and breeches: he was
employed in smoking a cigar, sipping brandy and water, and exercising his
conversational talents in a mixture of slang and jokeyism, addressed to
two or three men of his own rank of life, and seemingly his companions.
His brisk eye soon discovered me, and he swaggered to the carriage door
with that ineffable assurance of manner which was so peculiarly his own.

"Ah, ah, Mr. Pelham," said he, "going to Newmarket, I suppose? bound
there myself--like to be found among my betters. Ha, ha--excuse a pun:
what odds on the favourite? What! you won't bet, Mr. Pelham? close and
sly at present; well, the silent sow sups up all the broth--eh!--"

"I'm not going to Newmarket," I replied: "I never attend races."

"Indeed!" answered Thornton. "Well, if I was as rich as you, I would soon
make or spend a fortune on the course. Seen Sir John Tyrrell? No! He is
to be there. Nothing can cure him of gambling--what's bred in the bone,
Good day, Mr. Pelham--won't keep you any longer--sharp shower coming on.
'The devil will soon be basting his wife with a leg of mutton,' as the
proverb says--au plaisir, Mr. Pelham."

And at these words my post-boy started, and released me from my bete
noire. I spare my reader an account of my miscellaneous reflections on
Thornton, Dawton, Vincent, politics, Glanville, and Ellen, and will land
him, without further delay, at Chester Park.

I was ushered through a large oak hall of the reign of James the First,
into a room strongly resembling the principal apartment of a club; two or
three round tables were covered with newspapers, journals, racing
calendars, An enormous fire-place was crowded with men of all ages, I had
almost said, of all ranks; but, however various they might appear in
their mien and attire, they were wholly of the patrician order. One
thing, however, in this room, belied its similitude to the apartment of a
club, viz., a number of dogs, that lay in scattered groups upon the
floor. Before the windows were several horses, in body-cloths, led or
rode to exercise upon a plain in the park, levelled as smooth as a
bowling-green at Putney; and stationed at an oriel window, in earnest
attention to the scene without, were two men; the tallest of these was
Lord Chester. There was a stiffness and inelegance in his address which
prepossessed me strongly against him. "Les manieres que l'on neglige
comme de petites choses, sont souvent ce qui fait que les hommes decident
de vous en bien ou en mal."

      [The manners which on negects as trifles, are often precisely that
      by which men decide on you favourably of the reverse.]

I had long since, when I was at the University, been introduced to Lord
Chester; but I had quite forgotten his person, and he the very
circumstance. I said, in a low tone, that I was the bearer of a letter of
some importance from our mutual friend, Lord Dawton, and that I should
request the honour of a private interview at Lord Chester's first
convenience.

His lordship bowed, with an odd mixture of the civility of a jockey and
the hauteur of a head groom of the stud, and led the way to a small
apartment, which I afterwards discovered he called his own. (I never
could make out, by the way, why, in England, the very worst room in the
house is always appropriated to the master of it, and dignified by the
appellation of "the gentleman's own.") I gave the Newmarket grandee the
letter intended for him, and quietly seating myself, awaited the result.

He read it through slowly and silently, and then taking out a huge
pocket-book, full of racing bets, horses' ages, jockey opinions, and such
like memoranda, he placed it with much solemnity among this dignified
company, and then said, with a cold, but would-be courteous air, "My
friend, Lord Dawton, says you are entirely in his confidence Mr. Pelham.
I hope you will honour me with your company at Chester Park for two or
three days, during which time I shall have leisure to reply to Lord
Dawton's letter. Will you take some refreshment?"

I answered the first sentence in the affirmative, and the latter in the
negative; and Lord Chester thinking it perfectly unnecessary to trouble
himself with any further questions or remarks, which the whole jockey
club might not hear, took me back into the room we had quitted, and left
me to find, or make whatever acquaintance I could. Pampered and spoiled
as I was in the most difficult circles of London, I was beyond measure
indignant at the cavalier demeanour of this rustic Thane, whom I
considered a being as immeasurably beneath me in every thing else, as he
really was in antiquity of birth, and, I venture to hope, in cultivation
of intellect. I looked round the room, and did not recognize a being of
my acquaintance: I seemed literally thrown into a new world: the very
language in which the conversation was held, sounded strange to my ear. I
had always transgressed my general rule of knowing all men in all grades,
in the single respect of sporting characters: they were a species of
bipeds, that I would never recognize as belonging to the human race.
Alas! I now found the bitter effects of not following my usual maxims. It
is a dangerous thing to encourage too great a disdain of one's inferiors:
pride must have a fall.

After I had been a whole quarter of an hour in this strange place, my
better genius came to my aid. Since I found no society among the two-
legged brutes, I turned to the quadrupeds. At one corner of the room lay
a black terrier of the true English breed; at another was a short,
sturdy, wirey one, of the Scotch. I soon formed a friendship with each of
these canine Pelei, (little bodies with great souls), and then by degrees
alluring them from their retreat to the centre of the room, I fairly
endeavoured to set them by the ears. Thanks to the national antipathy, I
succeeded to my heart's content. The contest soon aroused the other
individuals of the genus--up they started from their repose, like Roderic
Dhu's merry men, and incontinently flocked to the scene of battle.

"To it," said I; and I took one by the leg and another by the throat, and
dashing them against each other, turned all their peevish irascibility at
the affront into mutual aggression. In a very few moments, the whole room
was a scene of uproarious confusion; the beasts yelled, and bit, and
struggled with the most delectable ferocity. To add to the effect, the
various owners of the dogs crowded round--some to stimulate, others to
appease the fury of the combatants. As for me, I flung myself into an arm
chair, and gave way to an excess of merriment, which only enraged the
spectators more: many were the glances of anger, many the murmurs of
reproach directed against me. Lord Chester himself eyed me with an air of
astonished indignation, that redoubled my hilarity: at length, the
conflict was assuaged--by dint of blows, and kicks, and remonstrances
from their dignified proprietors, the dogs slowly withdrew, one with the
loss of half an ear, another with a shoulder put out, a third with a
mouth increased by one-half of its natural dimensions.

In short, every one engaged in the conflict bore some token of its
severity. I did not wait for the thunder-storm I foresaw: I rose with a
nonchalant yaw n of ennui--marched out of the apartment, called a
servant--demanded my own room--repaired to it, and immersed the internal
faculties of my head in Mignet's History of the Revolution, while Bedos
busied himself in its outward embellishment.



                             CHAPTER LXII.

                       Noster ludos, spectaverat una,
                   Luserat in campo, Fortunae filius omnes.
                                 --Horace.

I did not leave my room till the first dinner-bell had ceased a
sufficient time to allow me the pleasing hope that I should have but a
few moments to wait in the drawing-room, previous to the grand epoch and
ceremony of an European day. The manner most natural to me, is one rather
open and easy; but I pique myself peculiarly upon a certain (though
occasional) air, which keeps impertinence aloof; in fine, I am by no
means a person with whom others would lightly take a liberty, or to whom
they would readily offer or resent an affront. This day I assumed a
double quantum of dignity, in entering a room which I well knew must be
filled with my enemies; there were a few women round Lady Chester, and as
I always feel reassured by a sight of the dear sex, I walked towards
them.

Judge of my delight, when I discovered amongst the group, Lady Harriett
Garrett. It is true that I had no particular predilection for that lady,
but the sight of a negress I had seen before, I should have hailed with
rapture in so desolate and inhospitable a place. If my pleasure at seeing
Lady Harriett was great, her's seemed equally so at receiving my
salutation. She asked me if I knew Lady Chester--and on my negative
reply, immediately introduced me to that personage. I now found myself
quite at home; my spirits rose, and I exerted every nerve to be as
charming as possible. In youth, to endeavour is to succeed.

I gave a most animated account of the canine battle, interspersed with
various sarcasms on the owners of the combatants, which were by no means
ill-received either by the marchioness or her companions; and, in fact,
when the dinner was announced, they all rose in a mirth, sufficiently
unrestrained to be any thing but patrician: for my part, I offered my arm
to Lady Harriett, and paid her as many compliments on crossing the suite
that led to the dining-room, as would have turned a much wiser head than
her ladyship's.

The dinner went off agreeably enough, as long as the women stayed, but
the moment they quitted the room, I experienced exactly the same feeling
known unto a mother's darling, left for the first time at that strange,
cold, comfortless place--ycleped a school.

I was not, however, in a mood to suffer my flowers of oratory to blush
unseen. Besides, it was absolutely necessary that I should make a better
impression upon my host. I leant, therefore, across the table, and
listened eagerly to the various conversations afloat: at last I
perceived, on the opposite side, Sir Lionel Garrett, a personage whom I
had not before even inquired after, or thought of. He was busily and
noisily employed in discussing the game-laws. Thank Heaven, thought I, I
shall be on firm ground there. The general interest of the subject, and
the loudness with which it was debated, soon drew all the scattered
conversation into one focus.

"What!" said Sir Lionel, in a high voice, to a modest, shrinking youth,
probably from Cambridge, who had supported the liberal side of the
question--"what! are our interests to be never consulted? Are we to have
our only amusement taken away from us? What do you imagine brings country
gentlemen to their seats? Do you not know, Sir, the vast importance our
residence at our country houses is to the nation? Destroy the game laws,
and you destroy our very existence as a people."

'Now,' thought I, 'it is my time.' "Sir Lionel," said I, speaking almost
from one end of the table to the other, "I perfectly agree with your
sentiments; I am entirely of opinion, first, that it is absolutely
necessary for the safety of the nation that game should be preserved;
secondly, that if you take away game you take away country gentlemen: no
two propositions can be clearer than these; but I do differ from you with
respect to the intended alterations. Let us put wholly out of the
question, the interests of the poor people, or of society at large: those
are minor matters, not worthy of a moment's consideration; let us only
see how far our interests as sportsmen will be affected. I think by a
very few words I can clearly prove to you, that the proposed alterations
will make us much better off than we are at present."

I then entered shortly, yet fully enough, into the nature of the laws as
they now stood, and as they were intended to be changed. I first spoke of
the two great disadvantages of the present system to country gentlemen;
viz. in the number of poachers, and the expense of preserving. Observing
that I was generally and attentively listened to, I dwelt upon these two
points with much pathetic energy; and having paused till I had got Sir
Lionel and one or two of his supporters to confess that it would be
highly desirable that these defects should, if possible, be remedied, I
proceeded to show how, and in what manner it was possible. I argued, that
to effect this possibility, was the exact object of the alterations
suggested; I anticipated the objections; I answered them in the form of
propositions, as clearly and concisely stated as possible; and as I spoke
with great civility and conciliation, and put aside every appearance of
care for any human being in the world who was not possessed of a
qualification, I perceived at the conclusion of my harangue, that I had
made a very favourable impression. That evening completed my triumph: for
Lady Chester and Lady Harriett made so good a story of my adventure with
the dogs, that the matter passed off as a famous joke, and I was soon
considered by the whole knot as a devilish amusing, good-natured,
sensible fellow. So true is it that there is no situation which a little
tact cannot turn to our own account: manage yourself well, and you may
manage all the world.

As for Lord Chester, I soon won his heart by a few feats of horsemanship,
and a few extempore inventions respecting the sagacity of dogs. Three
days after my arrival we became inseparable; and I made such good use of
my time, that in two more, he spoke to me of his friendship for Dawton,
and his wish for a dukedom. These motives it was easy enough to unite,
and at last he promised me that his answer to my principal should be as
acquiescent as I could desire; the morning after this promise commenced
the great day at Newmarket.

Our whole party were of course bound to the race-ground, and with great
reluctance I was pressed into the service. We were not many miles distant
from the course, and Lord Chester mounted me on one of his horses. Our
shortest way lay through rather an intricate series of cross roads: and
as I was very little interested in the conversation of my companions, I
paid more attention to the scenery we passed, than is my customary wont:
for I study nature rather in men than fields, and find no landscape
afford such variety to the eye, and such subject to the contemplation, as
the inequalities of the human heart.

But there were to be fearful circumstances hereafter to stamp forcibly
upon my remembrance some traces of the scenery which now courted and
arrested my view. The chief characteristics of the country were broad,
dreary plains, diversified at times by dark plantations of fir and larch;
the road was rough and stony, and here and there a melancholy rivulet,
swelled by the first rains of spring, crossed our path, and lost itself
in the rank weeds of some inhospitable marsh.

About six miles from Chester Park, to the left of the road, stood an old
house with a new face; the brown, time-honoured bricks which composed the
fabric, were strongly contrasted by large Venetian windows newly inserted
in frames of the most ostentatious white. A smart, green veranda,
scarcely finished, ran along the low portico, and formed the termination
to two thin rows of meagre and dwarfish sycamores, which did duty for an
avenue, and were bounded, on the roadside, by a spruce white gate, and a
sprucer lodge, so moderate in its dimensions, that it would scarcely have
boiled a turnip: if a rat had got into it, he might have run away with
it. The ground was dug in various places, as if for the purpose of
further improvements, and here and there a sickly little tree was
carefully hurdled round, and seemed pining its puny heart out at the
confinement.

In spite of all these well-judged and well-thriving graces of art, there
was such a comfortless and desolate appearance about the place, that it
quite froze one to look at it; to be sure, a damp marsh on one side, and
the skeleton rafters and beams of an old stable on the other, backed by a
few dull and sulky-looking fir trees, might, in some measure, create, or
at least considerably add to, the indescribable cheerlessness of the tout
ensemble. While I was curiously surveying the various parts of this
northern "Delices," and marvelling at the choice of two crows who were
slowly walking over the unwholesome ground, instead of making all
possible use of the black wings with which Providence had gifted them, I
perceived two men on horseback wind round from the back part of the
building and proceed in a brisk trot down the avenue. We had not advanced
many paces before they overtook us; the foremost of them turned round as
he passed me, and pulling up his horse abruptly, discovered to my
dismayed view, the features of Mr. Thornton. Nothing abashed by the
slightness of my bow, or the grave stares of my lordly companions, who
never forgot the dignity of their birth, in spite of the vulgarity of
their tastes, Thornton instantly and familiarly accosted me.

"Told you so, Mr. Pelham--silent sow, Sure I should have the pleasure of
seeing you, though you kept it so snug. Well, will you bet now? No!--Ah,
you're a sly one. Staying here at that nice-looking house--belongs to
Dawson, an old friend of mine--shall be happy to introduce you!"

"Sir," said I, abruptly, "you are too good. Permit me to request that you
will rejoin your friend Mr. Dawson."

"Oh," said the imperturbable Thornton, "it does not signify; he won't be
affronted at my lagging a little. However," (and here he caught my eye,
which was assuming a sternness that perhaps little pleased him,)
"however, as it gets late, and my mare is none of the best, I'll wish you
good morning." With these words Thornton put spurs to his horse and
trotted off.

"Who the devil have you got there, Pelham?" said Lord Chester.

"A person," said I, "who picked me up at Paris, and insists on the right
of treasure trove to claim me in England. But will you let me ask, in my
turn, whom that cheerful mansion we have just left, belongs to?"

"To a Mr. Dawson, whose father was a gentleman farmer who bred horses, a
very respectable person, for I made one or two excellent bargains with
him. The son was always on the turf, and contracted the worst of its
habits. He bears but a very indifferent character, and will probably
become a complete blackleg. He married, a short time since, a woman of
some fortune, and I suppose it is her taste which has so altered and
modernized his house. Come, gentlemen, we are on even ground, shall we
trot?"

We proceeded but a few yards before we were again stopped by a
precipitous ascent, and as Lord Chester was then earnestly engaged in
praising his horse to one of the cavalcade, I had time to remark the
spot. At the foot of the hill we were about slowly to ascend, was a
broad, uninclosed patch of waste land; a heron, flapping its enormous
wings as it rose, directed my attention to a pool overgrown with rushes,
and half-sheltered on one side by a decayed tree, which, if one might
judge from the breadth and hollowness of its trunk, had been a refuge to
the wild bird, and a shelter to the wild cattle, at a time when such were
the only intruders upon its hospitality; and when the country, for miles
and leagues round, was honoured by as little of man's care and
cultivation as was at present the rank waste which still nourished its
gnarled and venerable roots. There was something remarkably singular and
grotesque in the shape and sinuosity of its naked and spectral branches:
two of exceeding length stretched themselves forth, in the very semblance
of arms held out in the attitude of supplication; and the bend of the
trunk over the desolate pond, the form of the hoary and blasted summit,
and the hollow trunk, half riven asunder in the shape of limbs, seemed to
favour the gigantic deception. You might have imagined it an antediluvian
transformation, or a daughter of the Titan race, preserving in her
metamorphosis her attitude of entreaty to the merciless Olympian.

This was the only tree visible; for a turn of the road and the unevenness
of the ground, completely veiled the house we had passed, and the few low
firs and sycamores which made its only plantations. The sullen pool--its
ghost-like guardian--the dreary heath around, the rude features of the
country beyond, and the apparent absence of all human habitation,
conspired to make a scene of the most dispiriting and striking
desolation. I know not how to account for it, but as I gazed around in
silence, the whole place appeared to grow over my mind, as one which I
had seen, though dimly and drearily, before; and a nameless and
unaccountable presentiment of fear and evil sunk like ice into my heart.
We ascended the hill, and the rest of the road being of a kind better
adapted to expedition, we mended our pace and soon arrived at the goal of
our journey.

The race-ground had its customary compliment of knaves and fools--the
dupers and the duped. Poor Lady Chester, who had proceeded to the ground
by the high road (for the way we had chosen was inaccessible to those who
ride in chariots, and whose charioteers are set up in high places,) was
driving to and fro, the very picture of cold and discomfort; and the few
solitary carriages which honoured the course, looked as miserable as if
they were witnessing the funeral of their owner's persons, rather than
the peril of their characters and purses.

As we rode along to the betting-post, Sir John Tyrrell passed us: Lord
Chester accosted him familiarly, and the baronet joined us. He had been
an old votary of the turf in his younger days, and he still preserved all
his ancient predilection in its favour.

It seemed that Chester had not met him for many years, and after a short
and characteristic conversation of "God bless me, how long since I saw
you!--d--d good horse you're on--you look thin--admirable condition--what
have you been doing?--grand action--a'n't we behind hand?--famous fore-
hand--recollect old Queensberry?--hot in the mouth--gone to the devil--
what are the odds?" Lord Chester asked Tyrrell to go home with us. The
invitation was readily accepted.

                             "With impotence of will
             We wheel, tho' ghastly shadows interpose
             Round us, and round each other."--Shelley.

Now, then, arose the noise, the clatter, the swearing, the lying, the
perjury, the cheating, the crowd, the bustle, the hurry, the rush, the
heat, the ardour, the impatience, the hope, the terror, the rapture, the
agony of the race. Directly the first heat was over, one asked me one
thing, one bellowed another; I fled to Lord Chester, he did not heed me.
I took refuge with the marchioness; she was as sullen as an east wind
could make her. Lady Harriett would talk of nothing but the horses: Sir
Lionel would not talk at all. I was in the lowest pit of despondency, and
the devils that kept me there were as blue as Lady Chester's nose.
Silent, sad, sorrowful, and sulky, I rode away from the crowd, and
moralized on its vicious propensities. One grows marvellously honest when
the species of cheating before us is not suited to one's self.
Fortunately, my better angel reminded me, that about the distance of
three miles from the course lived an old college friend, blessed, since
we had met, with a parsonage and a wife. I knew his tastes too well to
imagine that any allurement of an equestrian nature could have seduced
him from the ease of his library and the dignity of his books; and
hoping, therefore, that I should find him at home, I turned my horse's
head in an opposite direction, and rejoiced at the idea of my escape,
bade adieu to the course.

As I cantered across the far end of the heath, my horse started from an
object upon the ground; it was a man wrapped from head to foot in a long
horseman's cloak, and so well guarded as to the face, from the raw
inclemency of the day, that I could not catch even a glimpse of the
features, through the hat and neck-shawl which concealed them. The head
was turned, with apparent anxiety, towards the distant throng; and
imagining the man belonging to the lower orders, with whom I am always
familiar, I addressed to him, en passant, some trifling remark on the
event of the race. He made no answer. There was something about him which
induced me to look back several moments after I had left him behind. He
had not moved an atom. There is such a certain uncomfortableness always
occasioned to the mind by stillness and mystery united, that even the
disguising garb, and motionless silence of the man, innocent as I thought
they must have been, impressed themselves disagreeably on my meditations
as I rode briskly on.

It is my maxim never to be unpleasantly employed, even in thought, if I
can help it; accordingly, I changed the course of my reflection, and
amused myself with wondering how matrimony and clerical dignity sat on
the indolent shoulders of my old acquaintance.



                            CHAPTER LXIII.

             And as for me, tho' that I can but lite
             On bookes for to read I me delight,
             And to hem give I faith and full credence;
             And in mine heart have hem in reverence,
             So heartily that there is game none,
             That fro' my bookes maketh me to gone.
                          --Chaucer.

Christopher Clutterbuck was a common individual of a common order, but
little known in this busy and toiling world. I cannot flatter myself that
I am about to present to your notice that rara avis, a new character--yet
there is something interesting, and even unhacknied, in the retired and
simple class to which he belongs: and before I proceed to a darker period
in my memoirs, I feel a calm and tranquillizing pleasure in the rest
which a brief and imperfect delineation of my college companion, affords
me. My friend came up to the University with the learning one about to
quit the world might, with credit, have boasted of possessing, and the
simplicity one about to enter it would have been ashamed to confess.
Quiet and shy in his habits and his manners, he was never seen out of the
precincts of his apartment, except in obedience to the stated calls of
dinner, lectures, and chapel. Then his small and stooping form might be
marked, crossing the quadrangle with a hurried step, and cautiously
avoiding the smallest blade of the barren grass-plots, which are
forbidden ground to the feet of all the lower orders of the collegiate
oligarchy. Many were the smiles and the jeers, from the worse natured and
better appointed students, who loitered idly along the court, at the rude
garb and saturnine appearance of the humble under-graduate; and the calm
countenance of the grave, but amiable man, who then bore the honour and
onus of mathematical lecturer at our college, would soften into a glance
of mingled approbation and pity, as he noted the eagerness which spoke
from the wan cheek and emaciated frame of the ablest of his pupils,
hurrying--after each legitimate interruption--to the enjoyment of the
crabbed characters and worm-worn volumes, which contained for him all the
seductions of pleasure, and all the temptations of youth.

It is a melancholy thing, which none but those educated at a college can
understand, to see the debilitated frames of the aspirants for academical
honours; to mark the prime--the verdure--the glory--the life--of life
wasted irrevocably away in a labor ineptiarum, which brings no harvest
either to others or themselves. For the poet, the philosopher, the man of
science, we can appreciate the recompence if we commiserate the
sacrifice; from the darkness of their retreat there goes a light--from
the silence of their studies there issues a voice, to illumine or
convince. We can imagine them looking from their privations to the far
visions of the future, and hugging to their hearts, in the strength of no
unnatural vanity, the reward which their labours are certain hereafter to
obtain. To those who can anticipate the vast dominions of immortality
among men, what boots the sterility of the cabined and petty present? But
the mere man of languages and learning--the machine of a memory heavily
but unprofitably employed--the Columbus wasting at the galley oar the
energies which should have discovered a world--for him there is no day-
dream of the future, no grasp at the immortality of fame. Beyond the
walls of his narrow room he knows no object; beyond the elucidation of a
dead tongue he indulges no ambition; his life is one long school-day of
lexicons and grammars--a fabric of ice, cautiously excluded from a single
sunbeam--elaborately useless, ingeniously unprofitable; and leaving at
the moment it melts away, not a single trace of the space it occupied, or
the labour it cost.

At the time I went to the University, my poor collegian had attained all
the honours his employment could ever procure him. He had been a Pitt
scholar; he was a senior wrangler, and a Fellow of his college. It often
happened that I found myself next to him at dinner, and I was struck by
his abstinence, and pleased with his modesty, despite of the gaucherie of
his manner, and the fashion of his garb. By degrees I insinuated myself
into his acquaintance; and, as I had still some love of scholastic lore,
I took frequent opportunities of conversing with him upon Horace, and
consulting him upon Lucian.

Many a dim twilight have we sat together, reviving each other's
recollection, and occasionally relaxing into the grave amusement of
capping verses. Then, if by any chance my ingenuity or memory enabled me
to puzzle my companion, his good temper would lose itself in a quaint
pettishness, or he would cite against me some line of Aristophanes, and
ask me, with a raised voice, and arched brow, to give him a fitting
answer to that. But if, as was much more frequently the case, he fairly
run me down into a pause and confession of inability, he would rub his
hands with a strange chuckle, and offer me, in the bounteousness of his
heart, to read aloud a Greek Ode of his own, while he treated me "to a
dish of tea." There was much in the good man's innocence, and
guilelessness of soul, which made me love him, and I did not rest till I
had procured him, before I left the University, the living which he now
held. Since then, he had married the daughter of a neighbouring
clergyman, an event of which he had duly informed me; but, though this
great step in the life of "a reading man," had not taken place many
months since, I had completely, after a hearty wish for his domestic
happiness, consigned it to a dormant place in my recollection.

The house which I now began to approach was small, but comfortable;
perhaps there was something triste in the old-fashioned hedges, cut and
trimmed with mathematical precision, which surrounded the glebe, as well
as in the heavy architecture and dingy bricks of the reverend recluse's
habitation. To make amends for this, there was also something peculiarly
still and placid about the appearance of the house, which must have
suited well the tastes and habits of the owner. A small, formal lawn was
adorned with a square fish-pond, bricked round, and covered with the
green weepings of four willows, which drooped over it, from their
station, at each corner. At the opposite side of this Pierian reservoir,
was a hermitage, or arbour of laurels, shaped in the stiff rusticity of
the Dutch school, in the prevalence of which it was probably planted;
behind this arbour, the ground, after a slight railing, terminated in an
orchard.

The sound I elicited from the gate bell seemed to ring through that
retired place with singular shrillness; and I observed at the opposite
window, all that bustle of drawing curtains, peeping faces, and hasty
retreats, which denote female anxiety and perplexity, at the unexpected
approach of a stranger.

After some time the parson's single servant, a middle-aged, slovenly man,
in a loose frock, and buff kerseymere nondescripts, opened the gate, and
informed me that his master was at home. With a few earnest admonitions
to my admittor--who was, like the domestics of many richer men, both
groom and valet--respecting the safety of my borrowed horse, I entered
the house: the servant did not think it necessary to inquire my name, but
threw open the door of the study, with the brief introduction of--"a
gentleman, Sir."

Clutterbuck was standing, with his back towards me, upon a pair of
library steps, turning over some dusky volumes; and below stood a pale,
cadaverous youth, with a set and serious countenance, that bore no small
likeness to Clutterbuck himself.

"Mon Dieu," thought I, "he cannot have made such good use of his
matrimonial state as to have raised this lanky impression of himself in
the space of seven months?" The good man turned round and almost fell off
the steps with the nervous shock of beholding me so near him: he
descended with precipitation, and shook me so warmly and tightly by the
hand, that he brought tears into my eyes, as well as his own.

"Gently, my good friend," said I--"parce precor, or you will force me to
say, 'ibimus una ambo, flentes valido connexi foedere.'"

Clutterbuck's eyes watered still more, when he heard the grateful sounds
of what to him was the mother tongue. He surveyed me from head to foot
with an air of benign and fatherly complacency, and dragging forth from
its sullen rest a large arm chair, on whose cushions of rusty horse-hair
sat an eternal cloud of classic dust, too sacred to be disturbed, he
plumped me down upon it, before I was aware of the cruel hospitality.

"Oh! my nether garments," thought I. "Quantus sudor incrit Bedoso, to
restore you to your pristine purity."

"But, whence come you?" said my host, who cherished rather a formal and
antiquated method of speech.

"From the Pythian games," said I. "The campus hight Newmarket. Do I see
right, or is not yon insignis juvenis marvellously like you? Of a surety
he rivals the Titans, if he is only a seven months' child!"

"Now, truly, my worthy friend," answered Clutterbuck, "you indulge in
jesting! The boy is my nephew, a goodly child, and a painstaking. I hope
he will thrive at our gentle mother. He goes to Trinity next October.
Benjamin Jeremiah, my lad, this is my worthy friend and benefactor, of
whom I have often spoken; go, and order him of our best--he will partake
of our repast!"

"No, really," I began; but Clutterbuck gently placed the hand, whose
strength of affection I had already so forcibly experienced, upon my
mouth. "Pardon me, my friend," said he. "No stranger should depart till
he had broken bread with us, how much more then a friend! Go, Benjamin
Jeremiah, and tell your aunt that Mr. Pelham will dine with us; and
order, furthermore, that the barrel of oysters sent unto us as a present,
by my worthy friend Dr. Swallow'em, be dressed in the fashion that
seemeth best; they are a classic dainty, and we shall think of our great
masters the ancients whilst we devour them. And--stop, Benjamin Jeremiah,
see that we have the wine with the black seal; and--now--go, Benjamin
Jeremiah!"

"Well, my old friend," said I, when the door closed upon the sallow and
smileless nephew, "how do you love the connubiale jugum? Do you give the
same advice as Socrates? I hope, at least, it is not from the same
experience."

"Hem!" answered the grave Christopher, in a tone that struck me as
somewhat nervous and uneasy, "you are become quite a humourist since we
parted. I suppose you have been warming your wit by the lambent fires of
Horace and Aristophanes!"

"No," said I, "the living allow those whose toilsome lot it is to mix
constantly with them, but little time to study the monuments of the dead.
But, in sober earnest, are you as happy as I wish you?"

Clutterbuck looked down for a moment, and then, turning towards the
table, laid one hand upon a MS., and pointed with the other to his books.
"With this society," said he, "how can I be otherwise?"

I gave him no reply, but put my hand upon his MS. He made a modest and
coy effort to detain it, but I knew that writers were like women, and
making use of no displeasing force, I possessed myself of the paper.

It was a treatise on the Greek participle. My heart sickened within me;
but, as I caught the eager glance of the poor author, I brightened up my
countenance into an expression of pleasure, and appeared to read and
comment upon the difficiles nugae with an interest commensurate to his
own. Meanwhile the youth returned. He had much of that delicacy of
sentiment which always accompanies mental cultivation, of whatever sort
it may be. He went, with a scarlet blush over his thin face, to his
uncle, and whispered something in his ear, which, from the angry
embarrassment it appeared to occasion, I was at no loss to divine.

"Come," said I, "we are too long acquainted for ceremony. Your placens
uxor, like all ladies in the same predicament, thinks your invitation a
little unadvised; and, in real earnest, I have so long a ride to perform,
that I would rather eat your oysters another day!"

"No, no," said Clutterbuck, with greater eagerness than his even
temperament was often hurried into betraying--"no, I will go and reason
with her myself. 'Wives, obey your husbands,' saith the preacher!" And
the quondam senior wrangler almost upset his chair in the perturbation
with which he arose from it.

I laid my hand upon him. "Let me go myself," said I, "since you will have
me dine with you. 'The sex is ever to a stranger kind,' and I shall
probably be more persuasive than you, in despite of your legitimate
authority."

So saying, I left the room, with a curiosity more painful than pleasing,
to see the collegian's wife. I arrested the man servant, and ordered him
to usher and announce me.

I was led instanter into the apartment where I had discovered all the
signs of female inquisitiveness, which I have before detailed. There I
discovered a small woman, in a robe equally slatternly and fine, with a
sharp pointed nose, small, cold, grey eyes, and a complexion high towards
the cheek bones, but waxing of a light green before it reached the wide
and querulous mouth, which, well I ween, seldom opened to smile upon the
unfortunate possessor of her charms. She, like the Rev. Christopher, was
not without her companions; a tall meagre woman, of advanced age, and a
girl, some years younger than herself, were introduced to me as her
mother and sister.

My entree occasioned no little confusion, but I knew well how to remedy
that. I held out my hand so cordially to the wife, that I enticed, though
with evident reluctance, two bony fingers into my own, which I did not
dismiss without a most mollifying and affectionate squeeze; and drawing
my chair close towards her, began conversing as familiarly as if I had
known the whole triad for years. I declared my joy at seeing my old
friend so happily settled--commented on the improvement of his looks--
ventured a sly joke at the good effects of matrimony--praised a cat
couchant, worked in worsted by the venerable hand of the eldest matron--
offered to procure her a real cat of the true Persian breed, black ears
four inches long, with a tail like a squirrel's; and then slid, all at
once, into the unauthorized invitation of the good man of the house.

"Clutterbuck," said I, "has asked me very warmly to stay dinner; but,
before I accepted his offer, I insisted upon coming to see how far it was
confirmed by you. Gentlemen, you are aware, my dear Madam, know nothing
of these matters, and I never accept a married man's invitation till it
has the sanction of his lady: I have an example of that at home. My
mother (Lady Frances) is the best-tempered woman in the world: but my
father could no more take the liberty (for I may truly call it such) to
ask even his oldest friend to dinner, without consulting the mistress of
the house, than he could think of flying. No one (says my mother, and she
says what is very true,) can tell about the household affairs, but those
who have the management of them; and in pursuance of this aphorism, I
dare not accept any invitation in this house, except from its mistress."

"Really," said Mrs. Clutterbuck, colouring, with mingled embarrassment
and gratification, "you are very considerate and polite, Mr. Pelham: I
only wish Mr. Clutterbuck had half your attention to these things; nobody
can tell the trouble and inconvenience he puts me to. If I had known, a
little time before, that you were coming--but now I fear we have nothing
in the house; but if you can partake of our fare, such as it is, Mr.
Pelham--"

"Your kindness enchants me," I exclaimed, "and I no longer scruple to
confess the pleasure I have in accepting my old friend's offer."

This affair being settled, I continued to converse for some minutes with
as much vivacity as I could summon to my aid, and when I went once more
to the library, it was with the comfortable impression of having left
those as friends, whom I had visited as foes.

The dinner hour was four, and till it came, Clutterbuck and I amused
ourselves "in commune wise and sage." There was something high in the
sentiments and generous in the feelings of this man, which made me the
more regret the bias of mind which rendered them so unavailing. At
college he had never (illis dissimilis in nostro tempore natis) cringed
to the possessors of clerical power. In the duties of his station, as
dean of the college, he was equally strict to the black cap and the
lordly hat. Nay, when one of his private pupils, whose father was
possessed of more church preferment than any nobleman in the peerage,
disobeyed his repeated summons, and constantly neglected to attend his
instructions, he sent for him, resigned his tuition, and refused any
longer to accept a salary which the negligence of his pupil would not
allow him to requite. In his clerical tenets he was high: in his judgment
of others he was mild. His knowledge of the liberty of Greece was not
drawn from the ignorant historian of her republics; [Note: It is really a
disgrace to the University, that any of its colleges should accept as a
reference, or even tolerate as an author, the presumptuous bigot who has
bequeathed to us, in his History of Greece, the masterpiece of a
declaimer without energy, and of a pedant without learning.] nor did he
find in the contemplative mildness and gentle philosophy of the ancients,
nothing but a sanction for modern bigotry and existing abuses.

It was a remarkable trait in his conversation, that though he indulged in
many references to the old authors, and allusions to classic customs, he
never deviated into the innumerable quotations with which his memory was
stored. No words, in spite of all the quaintness and antiquity of his
dialect, purely Latin or Greek, ever escaped his lips, except in our
engagements at capping verses, or when he was allured into accepting a
challenge of learning from some of its pretenders; then, indeed, he could
pour forth such a torrent of authorities as effectually silenced his
opponent; but these contests were rarely entered into, and these triumphs
moderately indulged. Yet he loved the use of quotations in others, and I
knew the greatest pleasure I could give him was in the frequent use of
them. Perhaps he thought it would seem like an empty parade of learning
in one who so confessedly possessed it, to deal in the strange words of
another tongue, and consequently rejected them, while, with an innocent
inconsistency, characteristic of the man, it never occurred to him that
there was any thing, either in the quaintness of his dialect or the
occupations of his leisure, which might subject him to the same
imputation of pedantry.

And yet, at times, when he warmed in his subject, there was a tone in his
language as well as sentiment, which might not be improperly termed
eloquent; and the real modesty and quiet enthusiasm of his nature, took
away from the impression he made, the feeling of pomposity and
affectation with which otherwise he might have inspired you.

"You have a calm and quiet habitation here," said I; "the very rooks seem
to have something lulling in that venerable caw which it always does me
such good to hear."

"Yes," answered Clutterbuck, "I own that there is much that is grateful
to the temper of my mind in this retired spot. I fancy that I can the
better give myself up to the contemplation which makes, as it were, my
intellectual element and food. And yet I dare say that in this (as in all
other things) I do strongly err; for I remember that during my only
sojourn in London, I was wont to feel the sound of wheels and of the
throng of steps shake the windows of my lodging in the Strand, as if it
were but a warning to recal my mind more closely to its studies--of a
verity that noisy evidence of man's labour reminded me how little the
great interests of this rolling world were to me, and the feeling of
solitude amongst the crowds without, made me cling more fondly to the
company I found within. For it seems that the mind is ever addicted to
contraries, and that when it be transplanted into a soil where all its
neighbours do produce a certain fruit, it doth, from a strange
perversity, bring forth one of a different sort. You would little
believe, my honoured friend, that in this lonely seclusion, I cannot at
all times prohibit my thoughts from wandering to that gay world of
London, which, during my tarry therein, occupied them in so partial a
degree. You smile, my friend, nevertheless it is true; and when you
reflect that I dwelt in the western department of the metropolis, near
unto the noble mansion of Somerset House, and consequently in the very
centre of what the idle call Fashion, you will not be so surprised at the
occasional migration of my thoughts."

Here the worthy Clutterbuck paused and sighed slightly. "Do you farm or
cultivate your garden," said I; "they are no ignoble nor unclassical
employments?"

"Unhappily," answered Clutterbuck, "I am inclined to neither; my chest
pains me with a sharp and piercing pang when I attempt to stoop, and my
respiration is short and asthmatic; and, in truth, I seldom love to stir
from my books and papers. I go with Pliny to his garden, and with Virgil
to his farm; those mental excursions are the sole ones I indulge in; and
when I think of my appetite for application, and my love of idleness, I
am tempted to wax proud of the propensities which reverse the censure of
Tacitus on our German ancestors, and incline so fondly to quiet, while
they turn so restlessly from sloth."

Here the speaker was interrupted by a long, low, dry cough, which
penetrated me to the heart. 'Alas!' thought I, as I heard it, and looked
upon my poor friend's hectic and hollow cheek, 'it is not only his mind
that will be the victim to the fatality of his studies.'

It was some moments before I renewed the conversation, and I had scarcely
done so before I was interrupted by the entrance of Benjamin Jeremiah,
with a message from his aunt that dinner would be ready in a few minutes.
Another long whisper to Christopher succeeded. The ci-devant fellow of
Trinity looked down at his garments with a perplexed air. I saw at once
that he had received a hint on the propriety of a change of raiment. To
give him due leisure for this, I asked the youth to shew me a room in
which I might perform the usual ablutions previous to dinner, and
followed him upstairs to a comfortless sort of dressing-room, without a
fire-place, where I found a yellow were jug and basin, and a towel, of so
coarse a huckaback, that I did not dare adventure its rough texture next
my complexion--my skin is not made for such rude fellowship. While I was
tenderly and daintily anointing my hands with some hard water, of no
Blandusian spring, and that vile composition entitled Windsor soap, I
heard the difficult breathing of poor Clutterbuck on the stairs, and soon
after he entered the adjacent room. Two minutes more, and his servant
joined him, for I heard the rough voice of the domestic say, "There is no
more of the wine with the black seal left, Sir!"

"No more, good Dixon; you mistake grievously. I had two dozen not a week
since."

"Don't know, I'm sure, Sir!" answered Dixon, with a careless and half
impertinent accent; "but there are great things, like alligators, in the
cellar, which break all the bottles!"

"Alligators in my cellar!" said the astonished Clutterbuck.

"Yes, Sir--at least a venomous sort of reptile like them, which the
people about here call efts!"

"What!" said Clutterbuck, innocently, and evidently not seeing the irony
of his own question; "What! have the efts broken two dozen bottles in a
week? Of an exceeding surety, it is strange that a little creature of the
lizard species should be so destructive--perchance they have an antipathy
to the vinous smell; I will confer with my learned friend, Dr.
Dissectall, touching their strength and habits. Bring up some of the
port, then, good Dixon."

"Yes, Sir. All the corn is out; I had none for the gentleman's horse."

"Why, Dixon, my memory fails me strangely, or I paid you the sum of four
pounds odd shillings for corn on Friday last."

"Yes, Sir: but your cow and the chickens eat so much, and then blind
Dobbin has four feeds a day, and Farmer Johnson always puts his horse in
our stable, and Mrs. Clutterbuck and the ladies fed the jackass the other
day in the hired donkeychaise; besides, the rats and mice are always at
it."

"It is a marvel unto me," answered Clutterbuck, "how detrimental the
vermin race are; they seem to have noted my poor possessions as their
especial prey; remind me that I write to Dr. Dissectall to-morrow, good
Dixon."

"Yes, Sir, and now I think of it--" but here Mr. Dixon was cut short in
his items, by the entrance of a third person, who proved to be Mrs.
Clutterbuck.

"What, not dressed yet, Mr. Clutterbuck; what a dawdler you are!--and do
look--was ever woman so used? you have wiped your razor upon my nightcap-
-you dirty, slovenly--"

"I crave you many pardons; I own my error!" said Clutterbuck, in a
nervous tone of interruption.

"Error, indeed!" cried Mrs. Clutterbuck, in a sharp, overstretched,
querulous falsetto, suited to the occasion: "but this is always the case-
-I am sure, my poor temper is tried to the utmost--and Lord help thee,
idiot! you have thrust those spindle legs of yours into your coat-sleeves
instead of your breeches!"

"Of a truth, good wife, your eyes are more discerning than mine; and my
legs, which are, as you say, somewhat thin, have indued themselves in
what appertaineth not unto them; but for all that, Dorothea, I am not
deserving of the epithet of idiot, with which you have been pleased to
favour me; although my humble faculties are indeed of no eminent or
surpassing order--"

"Pooh! pooh! Mr. Clutterbuck, I am sure, I don't know what else you are,
muddling your head all day with those good-for-nothing books. And now do
tell me, how you could think of asking Mr. Pelham to dinner, when you
knew we had nothing in the world but hashed mutton and an apple pudding?
Is that the way, Sir, you disgrace your wife, after her condescension in
marrying you?"

"Really," answered the patient Clutterbuck, "I was forgetful of those
matters; but my friend cares as little as myself, about the grosser
tastes of the table; and the feast of intellectual converse is all that
he desires in his brief sojourn beneath our roof."

"Feast of fiddlesticks, Mr. Clutterbuck! did ever man talk such
nonsense?"

"Besides," rejoined the master of the house, unheeding this interruption,
"we have a luxury even of the palate, than which there are none more
delicate, and unto which he, as well as myself, is, I know, somewhat
unphilosophically given; I speak of the oysters, sent here by our good
friend, Dr. Swallow'em."

"What do you mean, Mr. Clutterbuck? My poor mother and I had those
oysters last night for our supper. I am sure she as well as my sister are
almost starved; but you are always wanting to be pampered up above us
all."

"Nay, nay," answered Clutterbuck, "you know you accuse me wrongfully,
Dorothea; but now I think of it, would it not be better to modulate the
tone of our conversation, seeing that our guest, (a circumstance which
until now quite escaped my recollection,) was shown into the next room,
for the purpose of washing his hands, the which, from their notable
cleanliness, seemed to me wholly unnecessary. I would not have him
overhear you, Dorothea, lest his kind heart should imagine me less happy
than--than it wishes me."

"Good God, Mr. Clutterbuck!" were the only words I heard farther: and
with tears in my eyes, and a suffocating feeling in my throat, for the
matrimonial situation of my unfortunate friend, I descended into the
drawing-room. The only one yet there, was the pale nephew; he was bending
painfully over a book; I took it from him, it was "Bentley upon
Phalaris." I could scarcely refrain from throwing it into the fire--
another victim, thought I--oh, the curse of an English education! By and
by, down came the mother and the sister, then Clutterbuck, and lastly,
bedizened out with gewgaws and trumpery--the wife. Born and nurtured as I
was in the art of the volto sciolto pensieri stretti, I had seldom found
a more arduous task of dissimulation than that which I experienced now.
However, the hope to benefit my friend's situation assisted me; the best
way, I thought, of obtaining him more respect from his wife, would be by
showing her the respect he meets with from others: accordingly, I sat
down by her, and having first conciliated her attention by some of that
coin, termed compliments, in which there is no counterfeit that does not
have the universal effect of real, I spoke with the most profound
veneration of the talents and learning of Clutterbuck--I dilated upon the
high reputation he enjoyed--upon the general esteem in which he was held-
-upon the kindness of his heart--the sincerity of his modesty--the
integrity of his honour--in short, whatever I thought likely to affect
her; most of all, I insisted upon the high panegyrics bestowed upon him,
by Lord this, and the Earl that, and wound up, with adding that I was
certain he would die a bishop. My eloquence had its effect; all dinner
time, Mrs. Clutterbuck treated her husband with even striking
consideration: my words seemed to have gifted her with a new light, and
to have wrought a thorough transformation in her view of her lord and
master's character. Who knows not the truth, that we have dim and short-
sighted eyes to estimate the nature of our own kin, and that we borrow
the spectacles which alone enable us to discern their merits or their
failings from the opinion of strangers! It may be readily supposed that
the dinner did not pass without its share of the ludicrous--that the
waiter and the dishes, the family and the host, would have afforded ample
materials no less for the student of nature in Hogarth, than of
caricature in Bunbury; but I was too seriously occupied in pursuing my
object, and marking its success, to have time even for a smile. Ah! if
ever you would allure your son to diplomacy, show him how subservient he
may make it to benevolence.

When the women had retired, we drew our chairs near to each other, and
laying down my watch on the table, as I looked out upon the declining
day, I said, "Let us make the best of our time, I can only linger here
one half hour longer."

"And how, my friend," said Clutterbuck, "shall we learn the method of
making the best use of time? there, whether it be in the larger segments,
or the petty subdivisions of our life, rests the great enigma of our
being. Who is there that has ever exclaimed--(pardon my pedantry, I am
for once driven into Greek)--Euzexa! to this most difficult of the
sciences?"

"Come," said I, "it is not for you, the favoured scholar--the honoured
academician--whose hours are never idly employed, to ask this question!"

"Your friendship makes too flattering the acumen of your judgment,"
answered the modest Clutterbuck. "It has indeed been my lot to cultivate
the fields of truth, as transmitted unto our hands by the wise men of
old; and I have much to be thankful for, that I have, in the employ, been
neither curtailed in my leisure, nor abased in my independence--the two
great goods of a calm and meditative mind; yet are there moments in which
I am led to doubt of the wisdom of my pursuits: and when, with a feverish
and shaking hand, I put aside the books which have detained me from my
rest till the morning hour, and repair unto a couch often baffled of
slumber by the pains and discomforts of this worn and feeble frame, I
almost wish I could purchase the rude health of the peasant by the
exchange of an idle and imperfect learning for the ignorance, content
with the narrow world it possesses, because unconscious of the limitless
creation beyond. Yet, my dear and esteemed friend, there is a dignified
and tranquillizing philosophy in the writings of the ancients which ought
to teach me a better condition of mind; and when I have risen from the
lofty, albeit, somewhat melancholy strain, which swells through the
essays of the graceful and tender Cicero, I have indeed felt a momentary
satisfaction at my studies, and an elation even at the petty success with
which I have cherished them. But these are brief and fleeting moments,
and deserve chastisement for their pride. There is one thing, my Pelham,
which has grieved me bitterly of late, and that is, that in the earnest
attention which it is the--perhaps fastidious--custom of our University,
to pay to the minutiae of classic lore, I do now oftentimes lose the
spirit and beauty of the general bearing; nay, I derive a far greater
pleasure from the ingenious amendment of a perverted text, than from all
the turn and thought of the sense itself: while I am straightening a
crooked nail in the wine-cask, I suffer the wine to evaporate; but to
this I am somewhat reconciled, when I reflect that it was also the
misfortune of the great Porson, and the elaborate Parr, men with whom I
blush to find myself included in the same sentence."

"My friend," said I, "I wish neither to wound your modesty, nor to impugn
your pursuits; but think you not that it would be better, both for men
and for yourself, that, while you are yet in the vigour of your age and
reason, you occupy your ingenuity and application in some more useful and
lofty work, than that which you suffered me to glance at in your library;
and moreover, as the great object of him who would perfect his mind, is
first to strengthen the faculties of his body, would it not be prudent in
you to lessen for a time your devotion to books; to exercise yourself in
the fresh air--to relax the bow, by loosing the string; to mix more with
the living, and impart to men in conversation, as well as in writing,
whatever the incessant labour of many years may have hoarded? Come, if
not to town, at least to its vicinity; the profits of your living, if
even tolerably managed, will enable you to do so without inconvenience.
Leave your books to their shelves, and your flock to their curate, and--
you shake your head--do I displease you?"

"No, no, my kind and generous adviser--but as the twig was set, the tree
must grow. I have not been without that ambition which, however vain and
sinful, is the first passion to enter the wayward and tossing vessel of
our soul, and the last to leave its stranded and shattered wreck; but
mine found and attained its object at an age, when in others it is, as
yet, a vague and unsettled feeling; and it feeds now rather upon the
recollections of what has been, than ventures forward on a sea of untried
and strange expectation. As for my studies! how can you, who have, and in
no moderate draught, drank of the old stream of Castaly, how can you ask
me now to change them? Are not the ancients my food, my aliment, my
solace in sorrow--my sympathizers, my very benefactors, in joy? Take them
away from me, and you take away the very winds which purify and give
motion to the obscure and silent current of my life. Besides, my Pelham,
it cannot have escaped your observation, that there is little in my
present state which promises a long increase of days: the few that remain
to me must glide away like their predecessors; and whatever be the
infirmities of my body, and the little harassments which, I am led to
suspect, do occasionally molest the most fortunate, who link themselves
unto the unstable and fluctuating part of creation, which we term women,
more especially in an hymeneal capacity--whatever these may be, I have my
refuge and my comforter in the golden-souled and dreaming Plato, and the
sententious wisdom of the less imaginative Seneca. Nor, when I am
reminded of my approaching dissolution by the symptoms which do mostly at
the midnight hour press themselves upon me, is there a small and
inglorious pleasure in the hope that I may meet hereafter, in those
islands of the blest which they dimly dreamt of, but which are opened
unto my vision, without a cloud, or mist, or shadow of uncertainty and
doubt, with those bright spirits which we do now converse with so
imperfectly; that I may catch from the very lips of Homer the unclouded
gorgeousness of fiction, and from the accents of Archimedes, the
unadulterated calculations of truth."

Clutterbuck ceased, and the glow of his enthusiasm diffused itself over
his sunken eye and consumptive cheek. The boy, who had sat apart, and
silent, during our discourse, laid his head upon the table, and sobbed
audibly; and I rose, deeply affected, to offer to one for whom they were,
indeed, unavailing, the wishes and blessing of an eager, but not hardened
disciple of the world. We parted: on this earth we can never meet again.
The light has wasted itself away beneath the bushel. It will be six weeks
to-morrow since the meek and noble-minded academician breathed his last.



                             CHAPTER LXIV.

                   'Tis but a single murder.
                                 --Lillo: Fatal Curiosity.

It was in a melancholy and thoughtful mood that I rode away from the
parsonage. Numerous and hearty were the maledictions I bestowed upon a
system of education which, while it was so ineffective with the many, was
so pernicious to the few. Miserable delusion (thought I), that encourages
the ruin of health and the perversion of intellect by studies that are as
unprofitable to the world as they are destructive to the possessor--that
incapacitate him for public, and unfit him for private life--and that,
while they expose him to the ridicule of strangers, render him the victim
of his wife, and the prey of his domestic.

Busied in such reflections, I rode quickly on till I found myself once
more on the heath. I looked anxiously round for the conspicuous equipage
of Lady Chester, but in vain--the ground was thin--nearly all the higher
orders had retired--the common people, grouped together, and clamouring
noisily, were withdrawing: and the shrill voices of the itinerant hawkers
of cards and bills had at length subsided into silence. I rode over the
ground, in the hope of finding some solitary straggler of our party.
Alas! there was not one; and, with much reluctance at, and distaste to,
my lonely retreat, I turned in a homeward direction from the course.

The evening had already set in, but there was a moon in the cold grey
sky, that I could almost have thanked in a sonnet for a light which I
felt was never more welcomely dispensed, when I thought of the cross
roads and dreary country I had to pass before I reached the longed for
haven of Chester Park. After I had left the direct road, the wind, which
had before been piercingly keen, fell, and I perceived a dark cloud
behind, which began slowly to overtake my steps. I care little, in
general, for the discomfort of a shower; yet, as when we are in one
misfortune we always exaggerate the consequence of a new one, I looked
upon my dark pursuer with a very impatient and petulant frown, and set my
horse on a trot, much more suitable to my inclination than his own.
Indeed, he seemed fully alive to the cornless state of the parson's
stable, and evinced his sense of the circumstance by a very languid mode
of progression, and a constant attempt, whenever his pace abated, and I
suffered the rein to slumber upon his neck, to crop the rank grass that
sprung up on either side of our road. I had proceeded about three miles
on my way, when I heard the clatter of hoofs behind me. My even pace soon
suffered me to be overtaken, and, as the stranger checked his horse when
he was nearly by my side, I turned towards him, and beheld Sir John
Tyrrell.

"Well," said he, "this is really fortunate--for I began to fear I should
have my ride, this cold evening, entirely to myself."

"I imagined that you had long reached Chester Park by this time," said I.
"Did not you leave the course with our party?"

"No," answered Tyrrell, "I had business, at Newmarket, with a rascally
fellow of the name of Dawson. He lost to me rather a considerable wager,
and asked me to come to the town with him after the race, in order to pay
me. As he said he lived on the direct road to Chester Park, and would
direct and even accompany me, through all the difficult part of the ride,
I the less regretted not joining Chester and his party; and you know,
Pelham, that when pleasure pulls one way, and money another, it is all
over with the first. Well--to return to my rascal--would you believe,
that when we got to Newmarket, he left me at the inn, in order, he said,
to fetch the money; and after having kept me in a cold room, with a smoky
chimney, for more than an hour, without making his appearance, I sallied
out into the town, and found Mr. Dawson quietly seated in a hell with
that scoundrel Thornton, whom I did not conceive, till then, he was
acquainted with. It seems that he was to win, at hazard, sufficient to
pay his wager. You may fancy my anger, and the consequent increase to it,
when he rose from the table, approached me, expressed his sorrow, d--d
his ill luck, and informed me that he could not pay me for three months.
You know that I could not ride home with such a fellow--he might have
robbed me by the way--so I returned to my inn--dined--ordered my horse,
set off--en cavalier seul--inquired my way of every passenger I passed,
and after innumerable misdirections--here I am."

"I cannot sympathise with you," said I, "since I am benefitted by your
misfortunes. But do you think it very necessary to trot so fast? I fear
my horse can scarcely keep up with yours."

Tyrrell cast an impatient glance at my panting steed. "It is cursed
unlucky you should be so badly mounted, and we shall have a pelting
shower presently."

In complaisance to Tyrrell, I endeavoured to accelerate my steed. The
roads were rough and stony, and I had scarcely got the tired animal into
a sharper trot, before--whether or no by some wrench among the deep ruts
and flinty causeway--he fell suddenly lame. The impetuosity of Tyrrell
broke out in oaths, and we both dismounted to examine the cause of my
horse's hurt, in the hope that it might only be the intrusion of some
pebble between the shoe and the hoof. While we were yet investigating the
cause of our misfortune, two men on horseback overtook us. Tyrrell looked
up. "By Heaven," said he, in a low tone, "it's that dog Dawson, and his
worthy coadjutor, Tom Thornton."

"What's the matter, gentlemen?" cried the bluff voice of the latter. "Can
I be of any assistance?" and without waiting our reply, he dismounted,
and came up to us. He had no sooner felt the horse's leg, than he assured
us it was a most severe strain, and that the utmost I could effect would
be to walk the brute gently home.

As Tyrrell broke out into impatient violence at this speech, the sharper
looked up at him with an expression of countenance I by no means liked;
but in a very civil, and even respectful tone, said, "If you want, Sir
John, to reach Chester Park sooner than Mr. Pelham can possibly do,
suppose you ride on with us, I will put you in the direct road before I
quit you." (Good breeding, thought I, to propose leaving me to find my
own way through this labyrinth of ruts and stones!) However, Tyrrell, who
was in a vile humour, in no very courteous manner, refused the offer, and
added that he should continue with me as long as he could, and did not
doubt that when he left me he should be able to find his own way.
Thornton pressed the invitation still closer, and even offered, sotto
voce, to send Dawson on before, should the baronet object to his company.

"Pray, Sir," said Tyrrell, "leave me alone, and busy yourself about your
own affairs." After so tart a reply, Thornton thought it useless to say
more; he remounted, and with a silent and swaggering nod of familiarity,
soon rode away with his companion.

"I am sorry," said I, as we were slowly proceeding, "that you rejected
Thornton's offer."

"Why, to say truth," answered Tyrrell, "I have so very bad an opinion of
him, that I was almost afraid to trust myself in his company on so dreary
a road. I have nearly (and he knows it), to the amount of two thousand
pounds about me; for I was very fortunate in my betting-book today."

"I know nothing about racing regulations," said I; "but I thought one
never paid sums of that amount upon the ground?"

"Ah!" answered Tyrrell, "but I won this sum, which is L1,800., of a
country squire from Norfolk, who said he did not know when he should see
me again, and insisted on paying me on the spot: 'faith I was not nice in
the matter. Thornton was standing by at the time, and I did not half like
the turn of his eye when he saw me put it up. Do you know, too,"
continued Tyrrell, after a pause, "that I have had a d--d fellow dodging
me all day, and yesterday too; wherever I go, I am sure to see him. He
seems constantly, though distantly, to follow me; and what is worse, he
wraps himself up so well, and keeps at so cautious a distance, that I can
never catch a glimpse of his face."

I know not why, but at that moment the recollection of the muffled figure
I had seen upon the course, flashed upon me.

"Does he wear a long horseman's cloak?" said I.

"He does," answered Tyrrell, in surprise: "have you observed him?"

"I saw such a person on the race ground," replied I; "but only for an
instant!"

Farther conversation was suspended by a few heavy drops which fell upon
us; the cloud had passed over the moon, and was hastening rapidly and
loweringly over our heads. Tyrrell was neither of an age, a frame, nor a
temper, to be so indifferent to a hearty wetting as myself.

"God!" he cried, "you must put on that beast of your's--I can't get wet,
for all the horses in the world."

I was not much pleased with the dictatorial tone of this remark. "It is
impossible," said I, "especially as the horse is not my own, and seems
considerably lamer than at first; but let me not detain you."

"Well!" cried Tyrrell, in a raised and angry voice, which pleased me
still less than his former remark; "but how am I to find my way, if I
leave you?"

"Keep straight on," said I, "for a mile farther, then a sign-post will
direct you to the left; after a short time, you will have a steep hill to
descend, at the bottom of which is a large pool, and a singularly shaped
tree; then keep straight on, till you pass a house belonging to Mr.
Dawson--"

"Come, come, Pelham, make haste!" exclaimed Tyrrell, impatiently, as the
rain began now to descend fast and heavy.

"When you have passed that house," I resumed coolly, rather enjoying his
petulance, "you must bear to the right for six miles, and you will be at
Chester Park in less than an hour."

Tyrrell made no reply, but put spurs to his horse. The pattering rain and
the angry heavens soon drowned the last echoes of the receding hoofclang.

For myself, I looked in vain for a tree; not even a shrub was to be
found; the fields lay bare on either side, with no other partition but a
dead hedge, and a deep dyke. "Patientia fit melius," thought I, as Horace
said, and Vincent would say; and in order to divert my thoughts from my
situation, I turned them towards my diplomatic success with Lord Chester.
Presently, for I think scarcely five minutes had elapsed since Tyrrell's
departure, a horseman passed me at a sharp pace; the moon was hid by the
dense cloud, and the night, though not wholly dark, was dim and obscured,
so that I could only catch the outline of the flitting figure. A thrill
of fear crept over me, when I saw that it was enveloped in a horseman's
cloak. I soon rallied--"There are more cloaks in the world than one,"
said I to myself; "besides, even if it be Tyrrell's dodger, as he calls
him, the baronet is better mounted than any highwayman since the days of
Du Val; and is, moreover, strong enough and cunning enough to take
admirable care of himself." With this reflection I dismissed the
occurrence from my thoughts, and once more returned to self-
congratulations upon my own incomparable genius. "I shall now," I
thought, "have well earned my seat in parliament; Dawton will
indisputably be, if not the prime, the principal minister in rank and
influence. He cannot fail to promote me for his own sake, as well as
mine; and when I have once fairly got my legs in St. Stephen's, I shall
soon have my hands in office: 'power,' says some one, 'is a snake that
when it once finds a hole into which it can introduce its head, soon
manages to wriggle in the rest of its body.'" With such meditations I
endeavoured to beguile the time and cheat myself into forgetfulness of
the lameness of my horse, and the dripping wetness of his rider. At last
the storm began sullenly to subside: one impetuous torrent, ten-fold more
violent than those that had preceded it, was followed by a momentary
stillness, which was again broken by a short relapse of a less formidable
severity, and the moment it ceased, the beautiful moon broke out, the
cloud rolled heavily away, and the sky shone forth, as fair and smiling
as Lady--at a ball, after she has been beating her husband at home.

But at that instant, or perhaps a second before the storm ceased, I
thought I heard the sound of a human cry. I paused, and my heart stood
still--I could have heard a gnat hum: the sound was not repeated; my ear
caught nothing but the plashing of the rain drops from the dead hedges,
and the murmur of the swollen dykes, as the waters pent within them
rolled hurriedly on. By and by, an owl came suddenly from behind me, and
screamed as it flapped across my path; that, too, went rapidly away: and
with a smile, at what I deemed my own fancy, I renewed my journey. I soon
came to the precipitous descent I have before mentioned; I dismounted,
for safety, from my drooping and jaded horse, and led him down the hill.
At a distance beyond I saw something dark moving on the grass which
bordered the road; as I advanced, it started forth from the shadow, and
fled rapidly before me, in the moonshine--it was a riderless horse. A
chilling foreboding seized me: I looked round for some weapon, such as
the hedge might afford; and finding a strong stick of tolerable weight
and thickness, I proceeded more cautiously, but more fearlessly than
before. As I wound down the hill, the moonlight fell full upon the
remarkable and lonely tree I had observed in the morning. Bare, wan, and
giant-like, as it rose amidst the surrounding waste, it borrowed even a
more startling and ghostly appearance from the cold and lifeless
moonbeams which fell around and upon it like a shroud. The retreating
animal I had driven before me, paused by this tree. I hastened my steps,
as if by an involuntary impulse, as well as the enfeebled animal I was
leading would allow me, and discovered a horseman galloping across the
waste at full speed. The ground over which he passed was steeped in the
moonshine, and I saw the long and disguising cloak, in which he was
developed, as clearly as by the light of day. I paused: and as I was
following him with my looks, my eye fell upon some obscure object by the
left side of the pool. I threw my horse's rein over the hedge, and firmly
grasping my stick, hastened to the spot. As I approached the object, I
perceived that it was a human figure; it was lying still and motionless;
the limbs were half immersed in the water--the face was turned upwards--
the side and throat were wet with a deep red stain--it was of blood; the
thin, dark hairs of the head, were clotted together over a frightful and
disfiguring contusion. I bent over the face in a shuddering and freezing
silence. It was the countenance of Sir John Tyrrell!



                              CHAPTER LXV.

                 Marry, he was dead--
             And the right valiant Barlquo walked too late,
             Whom, you may say, if it please you, Fleance killed,
             For Fleance fled!
                          --Macbeth.

It is a fearful thing, even to the hardiest nerves, to find ourselves
suddenly alone with the dead. How much more so, if we have, but a
breathing interval before, moved and conversed with the warm and living
likeness of the motionless clay before us!

And this was the man from whom I had parted in coldness--almost in anger
--at a word--a breath! I took up the heavy hand--it fell from my grasp,
and as it did so, I thought a change passed over the livid countenance. I
was deceived; it was but a light cloud flitting over the moon;--it rolled
away, and the placid and guiltless light shone over that scene of dread
and blood, making more wild and chilling the eternal contrast of earth
and heaven--man and his Maker--passion and immutability--dust and
immortality.

But that was not a moment for reflection--a thousand thoughts hurried
upon me, and departed as swift and confusedly as they came. My mind
seemed a jarring and benighted chaos of the faculties which were its
elements; and I had stood several minutes over the corpse before, by a
vigorous effort, I shook off the stupor that possessed me, and began to
think of the course that it now behoved me to pursue.

The house I had noted in the morning was, I knew, within a few minutes'
walk of the spot; but it belonged to Dawson, upon whom the first weight
of my suspicions rested. I called to mind the disreputable character of
that man, and the still more daring and hardened one of his companion
Thornton. I remembered the reluctance of the deceased to accompany them,
and the well-grounded reason he assigned; and my suspicions amounting to
certainty, I resolved rather to proceed to Chester Park, and there give
the alarm, than to run the unnecessary risk of interrupting the murderers
in the very lair of their retreat. And yet, thought I, as I turned slowly
away, how, if they were the villains, is the appearance and flight of the
disguised horseman to be accounted for?

Then flashed upon my recollection all that Tyrrell had said of the dogged
pursuit of that mysterious person, and the circumstance of his having
passed me upon the road so immediately after Tyrrell had quitted me.
These reflections (associated with a name I did not dare breathe even to
myself, although I could not suppress a suspicion which accounted at once
for the pursuit, and even for the deed,) made me waver in, and almost
renounce my former condemnation of Thornton and his friend: and by the
time I reached the white gate and dwarfish avenue which led to Dawson's
house, I resolved, at all events, to halt at the solitary mansion, and
mark the effect my information would cause.

A momentary fear for my own safety came across me, but was as instantly
dismissed;--for even supposing the friends were guilty, still it would be
no object to them to extend their remorseless villany to me; and I knew
that I could sufficiently command my own thoughts to prevent any
suspicion I might form, from mounting to my countenance, or discovering
itself in my manner.

There was a light in the upper story; it burned still and motionless. How
holy seemed the tranquillity of life, to the forced and fearful silence
of the death scene I had just witnessed! I rung twice at the door--no one
came to answer my summons, but the light in the upper window moved
hurriedly to and fro.

"They are coming," said I to myself. No such thing--the casement above
was opened--I looked up, and discovered, to my infinite comfort and
delight, a blunderbuss protruded eight inches out of the window in a
direct line with my head; I receded close to the wall with no common
precipitation.

"Get away, you rascal," said a gruff, but trembling voice, "or I'll blow
your brains out."

"My good Sir," I replied, still keeping my situation, "I come on urgent
business, either to Mr. Thornton or Mr. Dawson; and you had better,
therefore, if the delay is not very inconvenient, defer the honour you
offer me, till I have delivered my message."

"Master, and 'Squire Thornton are not returned from Newmarket, and we
cannot let any one in till they come home," replied the voice, in a tone
somewhat mollified by my rational remonstrance; and while I was
deliberating what rejoinder to make, a rough, red head, like Liston's, in
a farce, poked itself cautiously out under cover of the blunderbuss, and
seemed to reconnoitre my horse and myself. Presently another head, but
attired in the more civilized gear of a cap and flowers, peeped over the
first person's left shoulder; the view appeared to reassure them.

"Sir," said the female, "my husband and Mr. Thornton are not returned;
and we have been so much alarmed of late, by an attack on the house, that
I cannot admit any one till their return."

"Madam," I replied, reverently doffing my hat, "I do not like to alarm
you by mentioning the information I should have given to Mr. Dawson; only
oblige me by telling them, on their return, to look beside the pool on
the common; they will then do as best pleases them."

Upon this speech, which certainly was of no agreeable tendency, the
blunderbuss palpitated so violently, that I thought it highly imprudent
to tarry any longer in so immediate a vicinity; accordingly, I made the
best of my way out of the avenue, and once more resumed my road to
Chester Park.

I arrived there at length; the gentlemen were still in the dining-room. I
sent out for Lord Chester, and communicated the scene I had witnessed,
and the cause of my delay.

"What, Brown Bob lamed?" said he, "and Tyrrell--poor--poor fellow, how
shocking! we must send instantly. Here, John! Tom! Wilson!" and his
lordship shouted and rung the bell in an indescribable agitation.

The under butler appeared, and Lord Chester began--"My head groom--Sir
John Tyrrell is murdered--violent sprain in off leg--send lights with Mr.
Pelham--poor gentleman--an express instantly to Dr. Physicon--Mr. Pelham
will tell you all--Brown Bob--his throat cut from ear to ear--what shall
be done?" and with this coherent and explanatory harangue, the marquis
sunk down in his chair in a sort of hysteria.

The under butler looked at him in suspicious bewilderment. "Come," said
I, "I will explain what his lordship means:" and, taking the man out of
the room, I gave him, in brief, the necessary particulars. I ordered a
fresh horse for myself, and four horsemen to accompany me. While these
were preparing, the news was rapidly spreading, and I was soon surrounded
by the whole house. Many of the men wished to accompany me; and Lord
Chester, who had at last recovered from his stupor, insisted upon heading
the search. We set off, to the number of fourteen, and soon arrived at
Dawson's house: the light in the upper room was still burning. We rang,
and after a brief pause, Thornton himself opened the door to us. He
looked pale and agitated.

"How shocking!" he said directly--"we are only just returned from the
spot."

"Accompany us, Mr. Thornton," said I, sternly; and fixing my eye upon
him--

"Certainly," was his immediate answer, without testifying any confusion--
"I will fetch my hat." He went into the house for a moment.

"Do you suspect these people?" whispered Lord Chester.

"Not suspect," said I, "but doubt."

We proceeded down the avenue: "Where is Mr. Dawson?" said I to Thornton.

"Oh, within!" answered Thornton.

"Shall I fetch him?"

"Do," was my brief reply.

Thornton was absent some minutes; when he re-appeared, Dawson was
following him. "Poor fellow," said he to me in a low tone--"he was so
shocked by the sight, that he is still all in a panic; besides, as you
will see, he is half drunk still."

I made no answer, but looked narrowly at Dawson; he was evidently, as
Thornton said, greatly intoxicated: his eyes swam, and his feet staggered
as he approached us; yet, through all the natural effects of drunkenness,
he seemed nervous and frightened. This, however, might be the natural,
and consequently innocent effect, of the mere sight of an object so full
of horror; and, accordingly, I laid little stress upon it.

We reached the fatal spot: the body seemed perfectly unmoved. "Why," said
I, apart to Thornton, while all the rest were crowding fearfully round
the corpse--"why did you not take the body within?"

"I was going to return here with our servant for that purpose," answered
the gambler; "for poor Dawson was both too drunk and too nervous to give
me any assistance."

"And how came it," I rejoined, eyeing him searchingly, "that you and your
friend had not returned home when I called there, although you had both
long since passed me on the road, and I had never overtaken you?"

Thornton, without any hesitation, replied--"because, during the violence
of the shower, we cut across the fields to an old shed, which we
recollected, and we remained there till the rain had ceased."

"They are probably innocent," thought I--and I turned to look once more
at the body which our companions had now raised. There was upon the head
a strong contusion, as if inflicted by some blunt and heavy instrument.
The fingers of the right hand were deeply gashed, and one of them almost
dissevered: the unfortunate man had, in all probability, grasped the
sharp weapon from which his other wounds proceeded; these were one wide
cut along the throat, and another in the side; either of them would have
occasioned his death.

In loosening the clothes another wound was discovered, but apparently of
a less fatal nature; and in lifting the body, the broken blade of a long
sharp instrument, like a case-knife, was discovered. It was the opinion
of the surgeon, who afterwards examined the body, that the blade had been
broken by coming in contact with one of the rib bones; and it was by this
that he accounted for the slightness of the last mentioned wound. I
looked carefully among the fern and long grass, to see if I could
discover any other token of the murderer: Thornton assisted me. At the
distance of some feet from the body, I thought I perceived something
glitter. I hastened to the place, and picked up a miniature. I was just
going to cry out, when Thornton whispered--"Hush! I know the picture; it
is as I suspected."

An icy thrill ran through my very heart. With a desperate but trembling
hand, I cleansed from the picture the blood, in which, notwithstanding
its distance from the corpse, the grater part of it was bathed. I looked
upon the features; they were those of a young and singularly beautiful
female. I recognized them not: I turned to the other side of the
miniature; upon it were braided two locks of hair--one was the long, dark
ringlet of a woman, the other was of a light auburn. Beneath were four
letters. I looked eagerly at them. "My eyes are dim," said I, in a low
tone to Thornton, "I cannot trace the initials."

"But I can," replied he, in the same whispered key, but with a savage
exultation, which made my heart stand still--"they are G. D., R. G.; they
are the initials of Gertrude Douglas and Reginald Glanville."

I looked up at the speaker--our eyes met--I grasped his hand vehemently.
He understood me. "Put it up," said he; "we will keep the secret." All
this, so long in the recital, passed in the rapidity of a moment.

"Have you found any thing there, Pelham?" shouted one of our companions.

"No!" cried I, thrusting the miniature in my bosom, and turning
unconcernedly away.

We carried the corpse to Dawson's house. The poor wife was in fits. We
heard her scream as we laid the body upon a table in the parlour.

"What more can be done?" said Lord Chester.

"Nothing," was the general answer. No excitation makes the English people
insensible to the chance of catching cold!

"Let us go home, then, and send to the nearest magistrate," exclaimed our
host: and this proposal required no repetition.

On our way, Chester said to me, "That fellow Dawson looked devilish
uneasy--don't you still suspect him and his friend?"

"I do not!" answered I, emphatically.





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