Part 4 out of 11
himself on terra firma; while the horse, snorting hard, and rubbing his
head against the breast and arms of the ostler, who held him tightly by
the rein, seemed to ask, is his own way, "Are there any more of you?"
A suspicion that the horse was an old acquaintance crossed Philip's mind;
he went up to him, and a white spot over the left eye confirmed his
doubts. It had been a foal reserved and reared for his own riding! one
that, in his prosperous days, had ate bread from his hand, and followed
him round the paddock like a dog; one that he had mounted in sport,
without saddle, when his father's back was turned; a friend, in short, of
the happy Lang syne;--nay, the very friend to whom he had boasted his
affection, when, standing with Arthur Beaufort under the summer sky, the
whole world seemed to him full of friends. He put his hand on the
horse's neck, and whispered, "Soho! So, Billy!" and the horse turned
sharp round with a quick joyous neigh.
"If you please, sir," said Philip, appealing to the liveryman, "I will
undertake to ride this horse, and take him over yon leaping-bar. Just
let me try him."
"There's a fine-spirited lad for you!" said the liveryman, much pleased
at the offer. "Now, gentlemen, did I not tell you that 'ere hanimal had
no vice if he was properly managed?"
The horse-dealers shook their heads.
"May I give him some bread first?" asked Philip; and the ostler was
despatched to the house. Meanwhile the animal evinced various signs of
pleasure and recognition, as Philip stroked and talked to him; and,
finally, when he ate the bread from the young man's hand, the whole yard
seemed in as much delight and surprise as if they had witnessed one of
Monsieur Van Amburgh's exploits.
And now, Philip, still caressing the horse, slowly and cautiously
mounted; the animal made one bound half-across the yard--a bound which
sent all the horse-dealers into a corner-and then went through his paces,
one after the other, with as much ease and calm as if he had been broken
in at Mr. Fozard's to carry a young lady. And when he crowned all by
going thrice over the leaping-bar, and Philip, dismounting, threw the
reins to the ostler, and turned triumphantly to the horse-dealer, that
gentleman slapped him on the back, and said, emphatically, "Sir, you are
a man! and I am proud to see you here."
Meanwhile the horse-dealers gathered round the animal; looked at his
hoofs, felt his legs, examined his windpipe, and concluded the bargain,
which, but for Philip, would have been very abruptly broken off. When
the horse was led out of the yard, the liveryman, Mr. Stubmore, turned to
Philip, who, leaning against the wall, followed the poor animal with
"My good sir, you have sold that horse for me--that you have! Anything
as I can do for you? One good turn de serves another. Here's a brace of
"Thank you, sir! I want no money, but I do want some employment. I can
be of use to you, perhaps, in your establishment. I have been brought up
among horses all my life."
"Saw it, sir! that's very clear. I say, that 'ere horse knows you!"
and the dealer put his finger to his nose.
"Quite right to be mum! He was bred by an old customer of mine--famous
rider!--Mr. Beaufort. Aha! that's where you knew him, I s'pose. Were
you in his stables?"
"Hem--I knew Mr. Beaufort well."
"Did you? You could not know a better man. Well, I shall be very glad
to engage you, though you seem by your hands to be a bit of a gentleman-
elh? Never mind; don't want you to groom!--but superintend things. D'ye
know accounts, eh?"
Philip repeated to Mr. Stubmore the story he had imparted to Mr. Clump.
Somehow or other, men who live much with horses are always more lax in
their notions than the rest of mankind. Mr. Stubmore did not seem to
grow more distant at Philip's narration.
"Understand you perfectly, my man. Brought up with them 'ere fine
creturs, how could you nail your nose to a desk? I'll take you without
more palaver. What's your name?"
"Come to-morrow, and we'll settle about wages. Sleep here?"
"No. I have a brother whom I must lodge with, and for whose sake I wish
to work. I should not like him to be at the stables--he is too young.
But I can come early every day, and go home late."
"Well, just as you like, my man. Good day."
And thus, not from any mental accomplishment--not from the result of his
intellectual education, but from the mere physical capacity and brute
habit of sticking fast on his saddle, did Philip Morton, in this great,
intelligent, gifted, civilised, enlightened community of Great Britain,
find the means of earning his bread without stealing it.
"_Don Salluste (souriunt)_. Je paire
Que vous ne pensiez pas a moi?"--Ruy Blas.
"_Don Salluste_. Cousin!
Don Cesar. De vos bienfaits je n'aurai nulle envie,
Tant que je trouverai vivant ma libre vie."--Ibid.
Don Sallust (smiling). I'll lay a wager you won't think of me?
Don Sallust. Cousin!
Don Caesar. I covet not your favours, so but I lead an independent
Phillip's situation was agreeable to his habits. His great courage and
skill in horsemanship were not the only qualifications useful to Mr.
Stubmore: his education answered a useful purpose in accounts, and his
manners and appearance were highly to the credit of the yard. The
customers and loungers soon grew to like Gentleman Philips, as he was
styled in the establishment. Mr. Stubmore conceived a real affection for
him. So passed several weeks; and Philip, in this humble capacity, might
have worked out his destinies in peace and comfort, but for a new cause
of vexation that arose in Sidney. This boy was all in all to his
brother. For him he had resisted the hearty and joyous invitations of
Gawtrey (whose gay manner and high spirits had, it must be owned,
captivated his fancy, despite the equivocal mystery of the man's
avocations and condition); for him he now worked and toiled, cheerful and
contented; and him he sought to save from all to which he subjected
himself. He could not bear that that soft and delicate child should ever
be exposed to the low and menial associations that now made up his own
life--to the obscene slang of grooms and ostlers--to their coarse manners
and rough contact. He kept him, therefore, apart and aloof in their
little lodging, and hoped in time to lay by, so that Sidney might
ultimately be restored, if not to his bright original sphere, at least to
a higher grade than that to which Philip was himself condemned. But poor
Sidney could not bear to be thus left alone--to lose sight of his brother
from daybreak till bed-time--to have no one to amuse him; he fretted and
pined away: all the little inconsiderate selfishness, uneradicated from
his breast by his sufferings, broke out the more, the more he felt that
he was the first object on earth to Philip. Philip, thinking he might be
more cheerful at a day-school, tried the experiment of placing him at one
where the boys were much of his own age. But Sidney, on the third day,
came back with a black eye, and he would return no more. Philip several
times thought of changing their lodging for one where there were young
people. But Sidney had taken a fancy to the kind old widow who was their
landlady, and cried at the thought of removal. Unfortunately, the old
woman was deaf and rheumatic; and though she bore teasing _ad libitum_,
she could not entertain the child long on a stretch. Too young to be
reasonable, Sidney could not, or would not, comprehend why his brother
was so long away from him; and once he said, peevishly,--
"If I had thought I was to be moped up so, I would not have left Mrs.
Morton. Tom was a bad boy, but still it was somebody to play with. I
wish I had not gone away with you!"
This speech cut Philip to the heart. What, then, he had taken from the
child a respectable and safe shelter--the sure provision of a life--and
the child now reproached him! When this was said to him, the tears
gushed from his eyes. "God forgive me, Sidney," said he, and turned
But then Sidney, who had the most endearing ways with him, seeing his
brother so vexed, ran up and kissed him, and scolded himself for being
naughty. Still the words were spoken, and their meaning rankled deep.
Philip himself, too, was morbid in his excessive tenderness for this boy.
There is a certain age, before the love for the sex commences, when the
feeling of friendship is almost a passion. You see it constantly in
girls and boys at school. It is the first vague craving of the heart
after the master food of human life--Love. It has its jealousies, and
humours, and caprices, like love itself. Philip was painfully acute to
Sidney's affection, was jealous of every particle of it. He dreaded lest
his brother should ever be torn from him.
He would start from his sleep at night, and go to Sidney's bed to see
that he was there. He left him in the morning with forebodings--he
returned in the dark with fear. Meanwhile the character of this young
man, so sweet and tender to Sidney, was gradually becoming more hard and
stern to others. He had now climbed to the post of command in that rude
establishment; and premature command in any sphere tends to make men
unsocial and imperious.
One day Mr. Stubmore called him into his own countinghouse, where stood a
gentleman, with one hand in his coatpocket, the other tapping his whip
against his boot.
"Philips, show this gentleman the brown mare. She is a beauty in
harness, is she not? This gentleman wants a match for his pheaton."
"She must step very hoigh," said the gentleman, turning round: and Philip
recognised the beau in the stage-coach. The recognition was
simultaneous. The beau nodded, then whistled, and winked.
"Come, my man, I am at your service," said he.
Philip, with many misgivings, followed him across the yard. The
gentleman then beckoned him to approach.
"You, sir,--moind, I never peach--setting up here in the honest line?
Dull work, honesty,--eh?"
"Sir, I really don't know you."
"Daun't you recollect old Greggs, the evening you came there with jolly
Bill Gawtrey? Recollect that, eh?" Philip was mute.
"I was among the gentlemen in the back parlour who shook you by the hand.
Bill's off to France, then. I am tauking the provinces. I want a good
horse--the best in the yard, moind! Cutting such a swell here! My name
is Captain de Burgh Smith--never moind yours, my fine faellow. Now,
then, out with your rattlers, and keep your tongue in your mouth."
Philip mechanically ordered out the brown mare, which Captain Smith did
not seem much to approve of; and, after glancing round the stables with
great disdain of the collection, he sauntered out of the yard without
saying more to Philip, though he stopped and spoke a few sentences to Mr.
Stubmore. Philip hoped he had no design of purchasing, and that he was
rid, for the present, of so awkward a customer. Mr. Stubmore approached
"Drive over the greys to Sir John," said he. "My lady wants a pair to
job. A very pleasant man, that Captain Smith. I did not know you had
been in a yard before--says you were the pet at Elmore's in London.
Served him many a day. Pleasant, gentlemanlike man!"
"Y-e-s!" said Philip, hardly knowing what he said, and hurrying back
into the stables to order out the greys. The place to which he was bound
was some miles distant, and it was sunset when he returned. As he drove
into the main street, two men observed him closely.
"That is he! I am almost sure it is," said one. "Oh! then it's all
smooth sailing," replied the other.
"But, bless my eyes! you must be mistaken! See whom he's talking to
At that moment Captain de Burgh Smith, mounted on the brown mare, stopped
"Well, you see, I've bought her,--hope she'll turn out well. What do you
really think she's worth? Not to buy, but to sell?"
"Well, that's a good day's work; and I owe it to you. The old faellow
would not have trusted me if you had not served me at Elmore's--ha! ha!
If he gets scent and looks shy at you, my lad, come to me. I'm at the
Star Hotel for the next few days. I want a tight faellow like you, and
you shall have a fair percentage. I'm none of your stingy ones. I say,
I hope this devil is quiet? She cocks up her ears dawmnably!"
"Look you, sir!" said Philip, very gravely, and rising up in his break;
"I know very little of you, and that little is not much to your credit.
I give you fair warning that I shall caution my employer against you."
"Will you, my fine faellow? then take care of yourself."
"Stay, and if you dare utter a word against me," said Philip, with that
frown to which his swarthy complexion and flashing eyes gave an
expression of fierce power beyond his years, "you will find that, as I am
the last to care for a threat, so I am the first to resent an injury!"
Thus saying, he drove on. Captain Smith affected a cough, and put his
brown mare into a canter. The two men followed Philip as he drove into
"What do you know against the person he spoke to?" said one of them.
"Merely that he is one of the cunningest swells on this side the Bay,"
returned the other. "It looks bad for your young friend."
The first speaker shook his head and made no reply.
On gaining the yard, Philip found that Mr. Stubmore had gone out, and was
not expected home till the next day. He had some relations who were
farmers, whom he often visited; to them he was probably gone.
Philip, therefore, deferring his intended caution against the gay captain
till the morrow, and musing how the caution might be most discreetly
given, walked homeward. He had just entered the lane that led to his
lodgings, when he saw the two men I have spoken of on the other side of
the street. The taller and better-dressed of the two left his comrade;
and crossing over to Philip, bowed, and thus accosted him,--
"Fine evening, Mr. Philip Morton. I am rejoiced to see you at last. You
remember me--Mr. Blackwell, Lincoln's Inn."
"What is your business?" said Philip, halting, and speaking short and
"Now don't be in a passion, my dear sir,--now don't. I am here on behalf
of my clients, Messrs. Beaufort, sen. and jun. I have had such work to
find you! Dear, dear! but you are a sly one! Ha! ha! Well, you see we
have settled that little affair of Plaskwith's for you (might have been
ugly), and now I hope you will--"
"To your business, sir! What do you want with me?"
"Why, now, don't be so quick! 'Tis not the way to do business. Suppose
you step to my hotel. A glass of wine now, Mr. Philip! We shall soon
understand each other."
"Out of my path, or speak plainly!"
Thus put to it, the lawyer, casting a glance at his stout companion, who
appeared to be contemplating the sunset on the other side of the way,
came at once to the marrow of his subject.
"Well, then,--well, my say is soon said. Mr. Arthur Beaufort takes a
most lively interest in you; it is he who has directed this inquiry. He
bids me say that he shall be most happy--yes, most happy--to serve you in
anything; and if you will but see him, he is in the town, I am sure you
will be charmed with him--most amiable young man!"
"Look you, sir," said Philip, drawing himself up "neither from father,
nor from son, nor from one of that family, on whose heads rest the
mother's death and the orphans' curse, will I ever accept boon or
benefit--with them, voluntarily, I will hold no communion; if they force
themselves in my path, let them beware! I am earning my bread in the way
I desire--I am independent--I want them not. Begone!"
With that, Philip pushed aside the lawyer and strode on rapidly. Mr.
Blackwell, abashed and perplexed, returned to his companion.
Philip regained his home, and found Sidney stationed at the window alone,
and with wistful eyes noting the flight of the grey moths as they darted
to and fro, across the dull shrubs that, variegated with lines for
washing, adorned the plot of ground which the landlady called a garden.
The elder brother had returned at an earlier hour than usual, and Sidney
did not at first perceive him enter. When he did he clapped his hands,
and ran to him.
"This is so good in you, Philip. I have been so dull; you will come and
"With all my heart--where shall we play?" said Philip, with a cheerful
"Oh, in the garden!--it's such a nice time for hide and seek."
"But is it not chill and damp for you?" said Philip.
"There now; you are always making excuses. I see you don't like it. I
have no heart to play now."
Sidney seated himself and pouted.
"Poor Sidney! you must be dull without me. Yes, let us play; but put on
this handkerchief;" and Philip took off his own cravat and tied it round
his brother's neck, and kissed him.
Sidney, whose anger seldom lasted long, was reconciled; and they went
into the garden to play. It was a little spot, screened by an old moss-
grown paling, from the neighbouring garden on the one side and a lane on
the other. They played with great glee till the night grew darker and
the dews heavier.
"This must be the last time," cried Philip. "It is my turn to hide."
"Very well! Now, then."
Philip secreted himself behind a poplar; and as Sidney searched for him,
and Philip stole round and round the tree, the latter, happening to look
across the paling, saw the dim outline of a man's figure in the lane, who
appeared watching them. A thrill shot across his breast. These
Beauforts, associated in his thoughts with every evil omen and augury,
had they set a spy upon his movements? He remained erect and gazing at
the form, when Sidney discovered, and ran up to him, with his noisy
As the child clung to him, shouting with gladness, Philip, unheeding his
playmate, called aloud and imperiously to the stranger--
"What are you gaping at? Why do you stand watching us?"
The man muttered something, moved on, and disappeared. "I hope there are
no thieves here! I am so much afraid of thieves," said Sidney,
The fear grated on Philip's heart. Had he not himself, perhaps, been
judged and treated as a thief? He said nothing, but drew his brother
within; and there, in their little room, by the one poor candle, it was
touching and beautiful to see these boys--the tender patience of the
elder lending itself to every whim of the younger--now building houses
with cards--now telling stories of fairy and knight-errant--the
sprightliest he could remember or invent. At length, as all was over,
and Sidney was undressing for the night, Philip, standing apart, said to
him, in a mournful voice:--
"Are you sad now, Sidney?"
"No! not when you are with me--but that is so seldom."
"Do you read none of the story-books I bought for you?"
"Sometimes! but one can't read all day."
"Ah! Sidney, if ever we should part, perhaps you will love me no longer!"
"Don't say so," said Sidney. "But we sha'n't part, Philip?"
Philip sighed, and turned away as his brother leaped into bed. Something
whispered to him that danger was near; and as it was, could Sidney grow
up, neglected and uneducated; was it thus that he was to fulfil his
"But oh, what storm was in that mind!"--CRABBE. _Ruth_
While Philip mused, and his brother fell into the happy sleep of
childhood, in a room in the principal hotel of the town sat three
persons, Arthur Beaufort, Mr. Spencer, and Mr. Blackwell.
"And so," said the first, "he rejected every overture from the
"With a scorn I cannot convey to you!" replied the lawyer. "But the
fact is, that he is evidently a lad of low habits; to think of his being
a sort of helper to a horse dealer! I suppose, sir, he was always in the
stables in his father's time. Bad company depraves the taste very soon;
but that is not the worst. Sharp declares that the man he was talking
with, as I told you, is a common swindler. Depend on it, Mr. Arthur, he
is incorrigible; all we can do is to save the brother."
"It is too dreadful to contemplate!" said Arthur, who, still ill and
languid, reclined on a sofa.
"It is, indeed," said Mr. Spencer; "I am sure I should not know what to
do with such a character; but the other poor child, it would be a mercy
to get hold of him."
"Where is Mr. Sharp?" asked Arthur.
"Why," said the lawyer, "he has followed Philip at a distance to find out
his lodgings, and learn if his brother is with him. Oh! here he is!"
and Blackwell's companion in the earlier part of the evening entered.
"I have found him out, sir," said Mr. Sharp, wiping his forehead. "What
a fierce 'un he is! I thought he would have had a stone at my head; but
we officers are used to it; we does our duty, and Providence makes our
heads unkimmon hard!"
"Is the child with him?" asked Mr. Spencer.
"A little, quiet, subdued boy?" asked the melancholy inhabitant of the
"Quiet! Lord love you! never heard a noisier little urchin! There they
were, romping and romping in the garden, like a couple of gaol birds."
"You see," groaned Mr. Spencer, "he will make that poor child as bad as
"What shall us do, Mr. Blackwell?" asked Sharp, who longed for his
brandy and water.
"Why, I was thinking you might go to the horse-dealer the first thing in
the morning; find out whether Philip is really thick with the swindler;
and, perhaps, Mr. Stubmore may have some influence with him, if, without
saying who he is--"
"Yes," interrupted Arthur, "do not expose his name."
"You could still hint that he ought to be induced to listen to his
friends and go with them. Mr. Stubmore may be a respectable man, and---"
"I understand," said Sharp; "I have no doubt as how I can settle it. We
learns to know human natur in our profession;--'cause why? we gets at
its blind side. Good night, gentlemen!"
"You seem very pale, Mr. Arthur; you had better go to bed; you promised
your father, you know."
"Yes, I am not well; I will go to bed;" and Arthur rose, lighted his
candle, and sought his room.
"I will see Philip to-morrow," he said to himself; "he will listen to
The conduct of Arthur Beaufort in executing the charge he had undertaken
had brought into full light all the most amiable and generous part of his
character. As soon as he was sufficiently recovered, he had expressed so
much anxiety as to the fate of the orphans, that to quiet him his father
was forced to send for Mr. Blackwell. The lawyer had ascertained,
through Dr. ---, the name of Philip's employer at R----. At Arthur's
request he went down to Mr. Plaskwith; and arriving there the day after
the return of the bookseller, learned those particulars with which Mr.
Plaskwith's letter to Roger Morton has already made the reader
acquainted. The lawyer then sent for Mr. Sharp, the officer before
employed, and commissioned him to track the young man's whereabout. That
shrewd functionary soon reported that a youth every way answering to
Philip's description had been introduced the night of the escape by a man
celebrated, not indeed for robberies, or larcenies, or crimes of the
coarser kind, but for address in all that more large and complex
character which comes under the denomination of living upon one's wits,
to a polite rendezvous frequented by persons of a similar profession.
Since then, however, all clue of Philip was lost. But though Mr.
Blackwell, in the way of his profession, was thus publicly benevolent
towards the fugitive, he did not the less privately represent to his
patrons, senior and junior, the very equivocal character that Philip must
be allowed to bear. Like most lawyers, hard upon all who wander from the
formal tracks, he unaffectedly regarded Philip's flight and absence as
proofs of a reprobate disposition; and this conduct was greatly
aggravated in his eyes by Mr. Sharp's report, by which it appeared that
after his escape Philip had so suddenly, and, as it were, so naturally,
taken to such equivocal companionship. Mr. Robert Beaufort, already
prejudiced against Philip, viewed matters in the same light as the
lawyer; and the story of his supposed predilections reached Arthur's ears
in so distorted a shape, that even he was staggered and revolted:--still
Philip was so young--Arthur's oath to the orphans' mother so recent--and
if thus early inclined to wrong courses, should not every effort be made
to lure him back to the straight path? With these views and reasonings,
as soon as he was able, Arthur himself visited Mrs. Lacy, and the note
from Philip, which the good lady put into his hands, affected him deeply,
and confirmed all his previous resolutions. Mrs. Lacy was very anxious
to get at his name; but Arthur, having heard that Philip had refused all
aid from his father and Mr. Blackwell, thought that the young man's pride
might work equally against himself, and therefore evaded the landlady's
curiosity. He wrote the next day the letter we have seen, to Mr. Roger
Morton, whose address Catherine had given to him; and by return of post
came a letter from the linendraper narrating the flight of Sidney, as it
was supposed with his brother. This news so excited Arthur that he
insisted on going down to N---- at once, and joining in the search. His
father, alarmed for his health, positively refused; and the consequence
was an increase of fever, a consultation with the doctors, and a
declaration that Mr. Arthur was in that state that it would be dangerous
not to let him have his own way, Mr. Beaufort was forced to yield, and
with Blackwell and Mr. Sharp accompanied his son to N----. The
inquiries, hitherto fruitless, then assumed a more regular and business-
like character. By little and little they came, through the aid of Mr.
Sharp, upon the right clue, up to a certain point. But here there was a
double scent: two youths answering the description, had been seen at a
small village; then there came those who asserted that they had seen the
same youths at a seaport in one direction; others, who deposed to their
having taken the road to an inland town in the other. This had induced
Arthur and his father to part company. Mr. Beaufort, accompanied by
Roger Morton, went to the seaport; and Arthur, with Mr. Spencer and Mr.
Sharp, more fortunate, tracked the fugitives to their retreat. As for
Mr. Beaufort, senior, now that his mind was more at ease about his son,
he was thoroughly sick of the whole thing; greatly bored by the society
of Mr. Morton; very much ashamed that he, so respectable and great a man,
should be employed on such an errand; more afraid of, than pleased with,
any chance of discovering the fierce Philip; and secretly resolved upon
slinking back to London at the first reasonable excuse.
The next morning Mr. Sharp entered betimes Mr. Stubmore's counting-house.
In the yard he caught a glimpse of Philip, and managed to keep himself
unseen by that young gentleman.
"Mr. Stubmore, I think?"
"At your service, sir."
Mr. Sharp shut the glass door mysteriously, and lifting up the corner of
a green curtain that covered the panes, beckoned to the startled
Stubmore to approach.
"You see that 'ere young man in the velveteen jacket? you employs him?"
"I do, sir; he's my right hand."
"Well, now, don't be frightened, but his friends are arter him. He has
got into bad ways, and we want you to give him a little good advice."
"Pooh! I know he has run away, like a fine-spirited lad as he is; and as
long as he likes to stay with me, they as comes after him may get a
ducking in the horse-trough!"
"Be you a father? a father of a family, Mr. Stubmore?" said Sharp,
thrusting his hands into his breeches pockets, swelling out his stomach,
and pursing up his lips with great solemnity.
"Nonsense! no gammon with me! Take your chaff to the goslings. I tells
you I can't do without that 'ere lad. Every man to himself."
"Oho!" thought Sharp, "I must change the tack."
"Mr. Stubmore," said he, taking a stool, "you speaks like a sensible
man. No one can reasonably go for to ask a gentleman to go for to
inconvenience hisself. But what do you know of that 'ere youngster.
Had you a carakter with him?"
"What's that to you?"
"Why, it's more to yourself, Mr. Stubmore; he is but a lad, and if he
goes back to his friends they may take care of him, but he got into a bad
set afore he come here. Do you know a good-looking chap with whiskers,
who talks of his pheaton, and was riding last night on a brown mare?"
"Y--e--s!" said Mr. Stubmore, growing rather pale, "and I knows the
mare, too. Why, sir, I sold him that mare!"
"Did he pay you for her?"
"Why, to be sure, he gave me a cheque on Coutts."
"And you took it! My eyes! what a flat!" Here Mr. Sharp closed the
orbs he had invoked, and whistled with that self-hugging delight which
men invariably feel when another man is taken in.
Mr. Stubmore became evidently nervous.
"Why, what now;--you don't think I'm done? I did not let him have the
mare till I went to the hotel,--found he was cutting a great dash there,
a groom, a pheaton, and a fine horse, and as extravagant as the devil!"
"O Lord!--O Lord! what a world this is! What does he call his-self?"
"Why, here's the cheque--George Frederick de--de Burgh Smith."
"Put it in your pipe, my man,--put it in your pipe--not worth a d---!"
"And who the deuce are you, sir?" bawled out Mr. Stubmore, in an equal
rage both with himself and his guest.
"I, sir," said the visitor, rising with great dignity,--"I, sir, am of
the great Bow Street Office, and my name is John Sharp!"
Mr. Stubmore nearly fell off his stool, his eyes rolled in his head, and
his teeth chattered. Mr. Sharp perceived the advantage he had gained,
"Yes, sir; and I could have much to say against that chap, who is nothing
more or less than Dashing Jerry, as has ruined more girls and more
tradesmen than any lord in the land. And so I called to give you a bit
of caution; for, says I to myself, 'Mr. Stubmore is a respectable man.'"
"I hope I am, sir," said the crestfallen horse-dealer; "that was always
"And the father of a family?"
"Three boys and a babe at the buzzom," said Mr. Stubmore pathetically.
"And he sha'n't be taken in if I can help it! That 'ere young man as I
am arter, you see, knows Captain Smith--ha! ha!--smell a rat now--eh?"
"Captain Smith said he knew him--the wiper--and that's what made me so
"Well, we must not be hard on the youngster: 'cause why? he has friends
as is gemmen. But you tell him to go back to his poor dear relations,
and all shall be forgiven; and say as how you won't keep him; and if he
don't go back, he'll have to get his livelihood without a carakter; and
use your influence with him like a man and a Christian, and what's more,
like the father of a family--Mr. Stub more--with three boys and a babe at
the buzzom. You won't keep him now?"
"Keep him! I have had a precious escape. I'd better go and see after
"I doubt if you'll find her: the Captain caught a sight of me this
morning. Why, he lodges at our hotel. He's off by this time!"
"And why the devil did you let him go?"
"'Cause I had no writ agin him!" said the Bow Street officer; and he
walked straight out of the counting-office, satisfied that he had "done
To snatch his hat--to run to the hotel--to find that Captain Smith had
indeed gone off in his phaeton, bag and baggage, the, same as he came,
except that he had now two horses to the phaeton instead of one--having
left with the landlord the amount of his bill in another cheque upon
Coutts--was the work of five minutes with Mr. Stubmore. He returned
home, panting and purple with indignation and wounded feeling.
"To think that chap, whom I took into my yard like a son, should have
connived at this! 'Tain't the money'tis the willany that 'flicts me!"
muttered Mr. Stubmore, as he re-entered the mews.
Here he came plump upon Philip, who said--
"Sir, I wished to see you, to say that you had better take care of
"Oh, you did, did you, now he's gone? 'sconded off to America, I dare
say, by this time. Now look ye, young man; your friends are after you, I
won't say anything agin you; but you go back to them--I wash my hands of
you. Quite too much for me. There's your week, and never let me catch
you in my yard agin, that's all!"
Philip dropped the money which Stubmore had put into his hand. "My
friends!--friends have been with you, have they? I thought so--I thank
them. And so you part with me? Well, you have been very kind, very
kind; let us part kindly;" and he held out his hand.
Mr. Stubmore was softened--he touched the hand held out to him, and
looked doubtful a moment; but Captain de Burgh Smith's cheque for eighty
guineas suddenly rose before his eyes. He turned on his heel abruptly,
and said, over his shoulder:
"Don't go after Captain Smith (he'll come to the gallows); mend your
ways, and be ruled by your poor dear relatives, whose hearts you are
"Captain Smith! Did my relations tell you?"
"Yes--yes--they told me all--that is, they sent to tell me; so you see
I'm d---d soft not to lay hold of you. But, perhaps, if they be gemmen,
they'll act as sich, and cash me this here cheque!"
But the last words were said to air. Philip had rushed from the yard.
With a heaving breast, and every nerve in his body quivering with wrath,
the proud, unhappy boy strode through the gay streets. They had betrayed
him then, these accursed Beauforts! they circled his steps with schemes
to drive him like a deer into the snare of their loathsome charity! The
roof was to be taken from his head--the bread from his lips--so that he
might fawn at their knees for bounty. "But they shall not break my
spirit, nor steal away my curse. No, my dead mother, never!"
As he thus muttered, he passed through a patch of waste land that led to
the row of houses in which his lodging was placed. And here a voice
called to him, and a hand was laid on his shoulder. He turned, and
Arthur Beaufort, who had followed him from the street, stood behind him.
Philip did not, at the first glance, recognise his cousin; illness had so
altered him, and his dress was so different from that in which he had
first and last beheld him. The contrast between the two young men was
remarkable. Philip was clad in a rough garb suited to his late calling--
a jacket of black velveteen, ill-fitting and ill-fashioned, loose fustian
trousers, coarse shoes, his hat set deep over his pent eyebrows, his
raven hair long and neglected. He was just at that age when one with
strong features and robust frame is at the worst in point of appearance
--the sinewy proportions not yet sufficiently fleshed, and seeming
inharmonious and undeveloped; precisely in proportion, perhaps, to the
symmetry towards which they insensibly mature: the contour of the face
sharpened from the roundness of boyhood, and losing its bloom without yet
acquiring that relief and shadow which make the expression and dignity of
the masculine countenance. Thus accoutred, thus gaunt, and uncouth,
stood Morton. Arthur Beaufort, always refined in his appearance, seemed
yet more so from the almost feminine delicacy which ill-health threw over
his pale complexion and graceful figure; that sort of unconscious
elegance which belongs to the dress of the rich when they are young--seen
most in minutiae--not observable, perhaps, by themselves-marked forcibly
and painfully the distinction of rank between the two. That distinction
Beaufort did not feel; but at a glance it was visible to Philip.
The past rushed back on him. The sunny lawn-the gun offered and
rejected-the pride of old, much less haughty than the pride of to-day.
"Philip," said Beaufort, feebly, "they tell me you will not accept any
kindness from me or mine. Ah! if you knew how we have sought you!"
"Knew!" cried Philip, savagely, for that unlucky sentence recalled to him
his late interview with his employer, and his present destitution.
"Knew! And why have you dared to hunt me out, and halloo me down?--why
must this insolent tyranny, that assumes the right over these limbs and
this free will, betray and expose me and my wretchedness wherever I
"Your poor mother--" began Beaufort.
"Name her not with your lips--name her not!" cried Philip, growing livid
with his emotions. "Talk not of the mercy--the forethought--a Beaufort
could show to leer and her offspring! I accept it not--I believe it not.
Oh, yes! you follow me now with your false kindness; and why? Because
your father--your vain, hollow, heartless father--"
"Hold!" said Beaufort, in a tone of such reproach, that it startled the
wild heart on which it fell; "it is my father you speak of. Let the son
respect the son."
"No--no--no! I will respect none of your race. I tell you your father
fears me. I tell you that my last words to him ring in his ears! My
wrongs! Arthur Beaufort, when you are absent I seek to forget them; in
your abhorred presence they revive--they--"
He stopped, almost choked with his passion; but continued instantly, with
equal intensity of fervour:
Were yon tree the gibbet, and to touch your hand could alone save me from
it, I would scorn your aid. Aid! The very thought fires my blood and
nerves my hand. Aid! Will a Beaufort give me back my birthright--
restore my dead mother's fair name? Minion!--sleek, dainty, luxurious
minion!--out of my path! You have my fortune, my station, my rights; I
have but poverty, and hate, and disdain. I swear, again and again, that
you shall not purchase these from me."
"But, Philip--Philip," cried Beaufort, catching his arm; "hear one--hear
one who stood by your--"
The sentence that would have saved the outcast from the demons that were
darkening and swooping round his soul, died upon the young Protector's
lips. Blinded, maddened, excited, and exasperated, almost out of
humanity itself, Philip fiercely--brutally--swung aside the enfeebled
form that sought to cling to him, and Beaufort fell at his feet. Morton
stopped--glared at him with clenched hands and a smiling lip, sprung over
his prostrate form, and bounded to his home.
He slackened his pace as he neared the house, and looked behind; but
Beaufort had not followed him. He entered the house, and found Sidney in
the room, with a countenance so much more gay than that he had lately
worn, that, absorbed as he was in thought and passion, it yet did not
fail to strike him.
"What has pleased you, Sidney?" The child smiled.
"Ah! it is a secret--I was not to tell you. But I'm sure you are not the
naughty boy lie says you are."
"Don't look so angry, Philip: you frighten me!"
"And you torture me. Who could malign one brother to the other?"
"Oh! it was all meant very kindly--there's been such a nice, dear, good
gentleman here, and he cried when he saw me, and said he knew dear mamma.
Well, and he has promised to take me home with him and give me a pretty
pony--as pretty--as pretty--oh, as pretty as it can be got! And he is to
call again and tell me more: I think he is a fairy, Philip."
"Did he say that he was to take me, too, Sidney?" said Morton, seating
himself, and looking very pale. At that question Sidney hung his head.
"No, brother--he says you won't go, and that you are a bad boy--and that
you associate with wicked people--and that you want to keep me shut up
here and not let any one be good to me. But I told him I did not believe
that--yes, indeed, I told him so."
And Sidney endeavoured caressingly to withdraw the hands that his brother
placed before his face.
Morton started up, and walked hastily to and fro the room. "This,"
thought he, "is another emissary of the Beauforts'--perhaps the lawyer:
they will take him from me--the last thing left to love and hope for.
I will foil them."
"Sidney," he said aloud, "we must go hence today, this very hour-nay,
"What! away from this nice, good gentleman?"
"Curse him! yes, away from him. Do not cry--it is of no use--you must
This was said more harshly than Philip had ever yet spoken to Sidney; and
when he had said it, he left the room to settle with the landlady, and to
pack up their scanty effects. In another hour, the brothers had turned
their backs on the town.
"I'll carry thee
In sorrow's arms to welcome Misery."
HEYWOOD's Duchess of Sufolk.
"Who's here besides foul weather?"
The sun was as bright and the sky as calm during the journey of the
orphans as in the last. They avoided, as before, the main roads, and
their way lay through landscapes that might have charmed a Gainsborough's
eye. Autumn scattered its last hues of gold over the various foliage,
and the poppy glowed from the hedges, and the wild convolvuli, here and
there, still gleamed on the wayside with a parting smile.
At times, over the sloping stubbles, broke the sound of the sportsman's
gun; and ever and anon, by stream and sedge, they startled the shy wild
fowl, just come from the far lands, nor yet settled in the new haunts too
soon to be invaded.
But there was no longer in the travellers the same hearts that had made
light of hardship and fatigue. Sidney was no longer flying from a harsh
master, and his step was not elastic with the energy of fear that looked
behind, and of hope that smiled before. He was going a toilsome, weary
journey, he knew not why nor whither; just, too, when he had made a
friend, whose soothing words haunted his childish fancy. He was
displeased with Philip, and in sullen and silent thoughtfulness slowly
plodded behind him; and Morton himself was gloomy, and knew not where in
the world to seek a future.
They arrived at dusk at a small inn, not so far distant from the town
they had left as Morton could have wished; but the days were shorter than
in their first flight.
They were shown into a small sanded parlour, which Sidney eyed with great
disgust; nor did he seem more pleased with the hacked and jagged leg of
cold mutton, which was all that the hostess set before them for supper.
Philip in vain endeavoured to cheer him up, and ate to set him the
example. He felt relieved when, under the auspices of a good-looking,
good-natured chambermaid, Sidney retired to rest, and he was left in the
parlour to his own meditations. Hitherto it had been a happy thing for
Morton that he had had some one dependent on him; that feeling had given
him perseverance, patience, fortitude, and hope. But now, dispirited and
sad, he felt rather the horror of being responsible for a human life,
without seeing the means to discharge the trust. It was clear, even to
his experience, that he was not likely to find another employer as facile
as Mr. Stubmore; and wherever he went, he felt as if his Destiny stalked
at his back. He took out his little fortune and spread it on the table,
counting it over and over; it had remained pretty stationary since his
service with Mr. Stubmore, for Sidney had swallowed up the wages of his
hire. While thus employed, the door opened, and the chambermaid, showing
in a gentleman, said, "We have no other room, sir."
"Very well, then,--I'm not particular; a tumbler of braundy and water,
stiffish, cold without, the newspaper--and a cigar. You'll excuse smoking,
Philip looked up from his hoard, and Captain de Burgh Smith stood before
"Ah!" said the latter, "well met!" And closing the door, be took off
his great-coat, seated himself near Philip, and bent both his eves with
considerable wistfulness on the neat rows into which Philip's bank-notes,
sovereigns, and shillings were arrayed.
"Pretty little sum for pocket money; caush in hand goes a great way,
properly invested. You must have been very lucky. Well, so I suppose
you are surprised to see me here without my pheaton?"
"I wish I had never seen you at all," replied Philip, uncourteously, and
restoring his money to his pocket; "your fraud upon Mr. Stubmore, and
your assurance that you knew me, have sent me adrift upon the world."
"What's one man's meat is another man's poison," said the captain,
philosophically; "no use fretting, care killed a cat. I am as badly off
as you; for, hang me, if there was not a Bow Street runner in the town.
I caught his eye fixed on me like a gimlet: so I bolted--went to N----,
left my pheaton and groom there for the present, and have doubled back,
to bauffle pursuit, and cut across the country. You recollect that voice
girl we saw in the coach; 'gad, I served her spouse that is to be a
praetty trick! Borrowed his money under pretence of investing it in the
New Grand Anti-Dry-Rot Company; cool hundred--it's only just gone, sir."
Here the chambermaid entered with the brandy and water, the newspaper,
and cigar,--the captain lighted the last, took a deep sup from the
beverage, and said, gaily:
"Well, now, let us join fortunes; we are both, as you say, 'adrift.' Best
way to staund the breeze is to unite the caubles."
Philip shook his head, and, displeased with his companion, sought his
pillow. He took care to put his money under his head, and to lock his
The brothers started at daybreak; Sidney was even more discontented than
on the previous day. The weather was hot and oppressive; they rested for
some hours at noon, and in the cool of the evening renewed their way.
Philip had made up his mind to steer for a town in the thick of a hunting
district, where he hoped his equestrian capacities might again befriend
him; and their path now lay through a chain of vast dreary commons, which
gave them at least the advantage to skirt the road-side unobserved. But,
somehow or other, either Philip had been misinformed as to an inn where
he had proposed to pass the night, or he had missed it; for the clouds
darkened, and the sun went down, and no vestige of human habitation was
Sidney, footsore and querulous, began to weep, and declare that he could
stir no further; and while Philip, whose iron frame defied fatigue,
compassionately paused to rest his brother, a low roll of thunder broke
upon the gloomy air. "There will be a storm," said he, anxiously. "Come
on--pray, Sidney, come on."
"It is so cruel in you, brother Philip," replied Sidney, sobbing. "I
wish I had never--never gone with you."
A flash of lightning, that illuminated the whole heavens, lingered round
Sidney's pale face as he spoke; and Philip threw himself instinctively on
the child, as if to protect him even from the wrath of the unshelterable
flame. Sidney, hushed and terrified, clung to his brother's breast;
after a pause, he silently consented to resume their journey. But now
the storm came nearer and nearer to the wanderers. The darkness grew
rapidly more intense, save when the lightning lit up heaven and earth
alike with intolerable lustre. And when at length the rain began to fall
in merciless and drenching torrents, even Philip's brave heart failed
him. How could he ask Sidney to proceed, when they could scarcely see an
inch before them?--all that could now be done was to gain the high-road,
and hope for some passing conveyance. With fits and starts, and by the
glare of the lightning, they obtained their object; and stood at last on
the great broad thoroughfare, along which, since the day when the Roman
carved it from the waste, Misery hath plodded, and Luxury rolled, their
Philip had stripped handkerchief, coat, vest, all to shelter Sidney; and
he felt a kind of strange pleasure through the dark, even to hear
Sidney's voice wail and moan. But that voice grew more languid and
faint--it ceased--Sidney's weight hung heavy--heavier on the fostering
"For Heaven's sake, speak!--speak, Sidney!--only one word--I will carry
you in my arms!"
"I think I am dying," replied Sidney, in a low murmur; "I am so tired and
worn out I can go no further--I must lie here." And he sank at once upon
the reeking grass beside the road.. At this time the rain gradually
relaxed, the clouds broke away--a grey light succeeded to the darkness
--the lightning was more distant; and the thunder rolled onward in its
awful path. Kneeling on the ground, Philip supported his brother in his
arms, and cast his pleading eyes upward to the softening terrors of the
sky. A star, a solitary star-broke out for one moment, as if to smile
comfort upon him, and then vanished. But lo! in the distance there
suddenly gleamed a red, steady light, like that in some solitary window;
it was no will-o'-the-wisp, it was too stationary--human shelter was then
nearer than he had thought for. He pointed to the light, and whispered,
"Rouse yourself, one struggle more--it cannot be far off."
"It is impossible--I cannot stir," answered Sidney: and a sudden flash of
lightning showed his countenance, ghastly, as if with the damps of Death.
What could the brother do?--stay there, and see the boy perish before his
eyes? leave him on the road and fly to the friendly light? The last plan
was the sole one left, yet he shrank from it in greater terror than the
first. Was that a step that he heard across the road? He held his
breath to listen--a form became dimly visible--it approached.
Philip shouted aloud.
"What now?" answered the voice, and it seemed familiar to Morton's ear.
He sprang forward; and putting his face close to the wayfarer, thought to
recognise the features of Captain de Burgh Smith. The Captain, whose
eyes were yet more accustomed to the dark, made the first overture.
"Why, my lad, is it you then? 'Gad, you froightened me!"
Odious as this man had hitherto been to Philip, he was as welcome to him
as daylight now; he grasped his hand,--"My brother--a child--is here,
dying, I fear, with cold and fatigue; he cannot stir. Will you stay with
him--support him--but for a few moments, while I make to yon light? See,
I have money--plenty of money!"
"My good lad, it is very ugly work staying here at this hour: still--
where's the choild?"
"Here, here! make haste, raise him! that's right! God bless you! I
shall be back ere you think me gone."
He sprang from the road, and plunged through the heath, the furze, the
rank glistening pools, straight towards the light-as the swimmer towards
The captain, though a rogue, was human; and when life--an innocent life
--is at stake, even a rogue's heart rises up from its weedy bed. He
muttered a few oaths, it is true, but he held the child in his arms; and,
taking out a little tin case, poured some brandy down Sidney's throat and
then, by way of company, down his own. The cordial revived the boy; he
opened his eyes, and said, "I think I can go on now, Philip."
. . . . . . . .
We must return to Arthur Beaufort. He was naturally, though gentle, a
person of high spirit and not without pride. He rose from the ground
with bitter, resentful feelings and a blushing cheek, and went his way to
the hotel. Here he found Mr. Spencer just returned from his visit to
Sidney. Enchanted with the soft and endearing manners of his lost
Catherine's son, and deeply affected with the resemblance the child bore
to the mother as he had seen her last at the gay and rosy age of fair
sixteen, his description of the younger brother drew Beaufort's indignant
thoughts from the elder. He cordially concurred with Mr. Spencer in the
wish to save one so gentle from the domination of one so fierce; and
this, after all, was the child Catherine had most strongly commended to
him. She had said little of the elder; perhaps she had been aware of his
ungracious and untractable nature, and, as it seemed to Arthur Beaufort,
his predilections for a coarse and low career.
"Yes," said he, "this boy, then, shall console me for the perverse
brutality of the other. He shall indeed drink of my cup, and eat of my
bread, and be to me as a brother."
"What!" said Mr. Spencer, changing countenance, "you do not intend to
take Sidney to live with you. I meant him for my son--my adopted son."
"No; generous as you are," said Arthur, pressing his hand, "this charge
devolves on me--it is my right. I am the orphan's relation--his mother
consigned him to me. But he shall be taught to love you not the less."
Mr. Spencer was silent. He could not bear the thought of losing Sidney
as an inmate of his cheerless home, a tender relic of his early love.
From that moment he began to contemplate the possibility of securing
Sidney to himself, unknown to Beaufort.
The plans both of Arthur and Spencer were interrupted by the sudden
retreat of the brothers. They determined to depart different ways in
search of them. Spencer, as the more helpless of the two, obtained the
aid of Mr. Sharp; Beaufort departed with the lawyer.
Two travellers, in a hired barouche, were slowly dragged by a pair of
jaded posters along the commons I have just described.
"I think," said one, "that the storm is very much abated; heigho! what an
"Unkimmon ugly, sir," answered the other; "and an awful long stage,
eighteen miles. These here remote places are quite behind the age,
sir--quite. However, I think we shall kitch them now."
"I am very much afraid of that eldest boy, Sharp. He seems a dreadful
"You see, sir, quite hand in glove with Dashing Jerry; met in the same
inn last night--preconcerted, you may be quite shure. It would be the
best day's job I have done this many a day to save that 'ere little
fellow from being corrupted. You sees he is just of a size to be useful
to these bad karakters. If they took to burglary, he would be a treasure
to them--slip him through a pane of glass like a ferret, sir."
"Don't talk of it, Sharp," said Mr. Spencer, with a groan; "and
recollect, if we get hold of him, that you are not to say a word to Mr.
"I understand, sir; and I always goes with the gemman who behaves most
like a gemman."
Here a loud halloo was heard close by the horses' heads. "Good Heavens,
if that is a footpad!" said Mr. Spencer, shaking violently.
"Lord, sir, I have my barkers with me. Who's there?" The barouche
stopped--a man came to the window. "Excuse me, sir," said the stranger;
"but there is a poor boy here so tired and ill that I fear he will never
reach the next town, unless you will koindly give him a lift."
"A poor boy!" said Mr. Spencer, poking his head over the head of Mr.
"If you would just drop him at the King's Awrms it would be a chaurity,"
said the man.
Sharp pinched Mr. Spencer in his shoulder. "That's Dashing Jerry; I'll
get out." So saying, he opened the door, jumped into the road, and
presently reappeared with the lost and welcome Sidney in his arms.
"Ben't this the boy?" he whispered to Mr. Spencer; and, taking the lamp
from the carriage, he raised it to the child's face.
"It is! it is! God be thanked!" exclaimed the worthy man.
"Will you leave him at the King's Awrms?--we shall be there in an hour or
two," cried the Captain.
"We! Who's we?" said Sharp, gruffly. "Why, myself and the choild's
"Oh!" said Sharp, raising the lantern to his own face; "you knows me, I
think, Master Jerry? Let me kitch you again, that's all. And give my
compliments to your 'sociate, and say, if he prosecutes this here hurchin
any more, we'll settle his bizness for him; and so take a hint and make
yourself scarce, old boy!"
With that Mr. Sharp jumped into the barouche, and bade the postboy drive
on as fast as he could.
Ten minutes after this abduction, Philip, followed by two labourers, with
a barrow, a lantern, and two blankets, returned from the hospitable farm
to which the light had conducted him. The spot where he had left Sidney,
and which he knew by a neighbouring milestone, was vacant; he shouted an
alarm, and the Captain answered from the distance of some threescore
yards. Philip came to him. "Where is my brother?"
"Gone away in a barouche and pair. Devil take me if I understand it."
And the Captain proceeded to give a confused account of what had passed.
"My brother! my brother! they have torn thee from me, then;" cried
Philip, and he fell to the earth insensible.
"Vous me rendrez mon frere!"
CASIMER DELAVIGNE: _Les Enfans d'Edouard_.
['You shall restore me my brother!]
One evening, a week after this event, a wild, tattered, haggard youth
knocked at the door of Mr. Robert Beaufort. The porter slowly presented
"Is your master at home? I must see him instantly." "That's more than
you can, my man; my master does not see the like of you at this time of
night," replied the porter, eying the ragged apparition before him with
"See me he must and shall," replied the young man; and as the porter
blocked up the entrance, he grasped his collar with a hand of iron, swung
him, huge as he was, aside, and strode into the spacious hall.
"Stop! stop!" cried the porter, recovering himself. "James! John!
Mr. Robert Beaufort had been back in town several days. Mrs. Beaufort,
who was waiting his return from his club, was in the dining-room.
Hearing a noise in the hall, she opened the door, and saw the strange
grim figure I have described, advancing towards her. "Who are you?"
said she; "and what do you want?"
"I am Philip Morton. Who are you?"
"My husband," said Mrs. Beaufort, shrinking into the parlour, while
Morton followed her and closed the door, "my husband, Mr. Beaufort, is
not at home."
"You are Mrs. Beaufort, then! Well, you can understand me. I want my
brother. He has been basely reft from me. Tell me where he is, and I
will forgive all. Restore him to me, and I will bless you and yours."
And Philip fell on his knees and grasped the train of her gown. "I know
nothing of your brother, Mr. Morton," cried Mrs. Beaufort, surprised and
alarmed. "Arthur, whom we expect every day, writes us word that all
search for him has been in vain."
"Ha! you admit the search?" cried Morton, rising and clenching his
hands. "And who else but you or yours would have parted brother and
brother? Answer me where he is. No subterfuge, madam: I am desperate!"
Mrs. Beaufort, though a woman of that worldly coldness and indifference
which, on ordinary occasions, supply the place of courage, was extremely
terrified by the tone and mien of her rude guest. She laid her hand on
the bell; but Morton seized her arm, and, holding it sternly, said, while
his dark eyes shot fire through the glimmering room, "I will not stir
hence till you have told me. Will you reject my gratitude, my blessing?
Beware! Again, where have you hid my brother?"
At that instant the door opened, and Mr. Robert Beaufort entered. The
lady, with a shriek of joy, wrenched herself from Philip's grasp, and
flew to her husband.
"Save me from this ruffian!" she said, with an hysterical sob.
Mr. Beaufort, who had heard from Blackwell strange accounts of Philip's
obdurate perverseness, vile associates, and unredeemable character, was
roused from his usual timidity by the appeal of his wife.
"Insolent reprobate!" he said, advancing to Philip; "after all the absurd
goodness of my son and myself; after rejecting all our offers, and
persisting in your miserable and vicious conduct, how dare you presume to
force yourself into this house? Begone, or I will send for the
constables to remove YOU!
"Man, man," cried Philip, restraining the fury that shook him from head
to foot, "I care not for your threats--I scarcely hear your abuse--your
son, or yourself, has stolen away my brother: tell me only where he is;
let me see him once more. Do not drive me hence, without one word of
justice, of pity. I implore you--on my knees I implore you--yes, I,--I
implore you, Robert Beaufort, to have mercy on your brother's son. Where
is Sidney?" Like all mean and cowardly men, Robert Beaufort was rather
encouraged than softened by Philip's abrupt humility.
"I know nothing of your brother; and if this is not all some villainous
trick--which it may be--I am heartily rejoiced that he, poor child! is
rescued from the contamination of such a companion," answered Beaufort.
"I am at your feet still; again, for the last time, clinging to you a
suppliant: I pray you to tell me the truth."
Mr. Beaufort, more and more exasperated by Morton's forbearance, raised
his hand as if to strike; when, at that moment, one hitherto unobserved--
one who, terrified by the scene she had witnessed but could not
comprehend, had slunk into a dark corner of the room,--now came from her
retreat. And a child's soft voice was heard, saying:
"Do not strike him, papa!--let him have his brother!" Mr. Beaufort's arm
fell to his side: kneeling before him, and by the outcast's side, was his
own young daughter; she had crept into the room unobserved, when her
father entered. Through the dim shadows, relieved only by the red and
fitful gleam of the fire, he saw her fair meek face looking up wistfully
at his own, with tears of excitement, and perhaps of pity--for children
have a quick insight into the reality of grief in those not far removed
from their own years--glistening in her soft eyes. Philip looked round
bewildered, and he saw that face which seemed to him, at such a time,
like the face of an angel.
"Hear her!" he murmured: "Oh, hear her! For her sake, do not sever one
orphan from the other!"
"Take away that child, Mrs. Beaufort," cried Robert, angrily. "Will you
let her disgrace herself thus? And you, sir, begone from this roof; and
when you can approach me with due respect, I will give you, as I said I
would, the means to get an honest living."
Philip rose; Mrs. Beaufort had already led away her daughter, and she
took that opportunity of sending in the servants: their forms filled up
"Will you go?" continued Mr. Beaufort, more and more emboldened, as he
saw the menials at hand, "or shall they expel you?"
"It is enough, sir," said Philip, with a sudden calm and dignity that
surprised and almost awed his uncle. "My father, if the dead yet watch
over the living, has seen and heard you. There will come a day for
justice. Out of my path, hirelings!"
He waved his arm, and the menials shrank back at his tread, stalked
across the inhospitable hall, and vanished. When he had gained the
street, he turned and looked up at the house. His dark and hollow eyes,
gleaming through the long and raven hair that fell profusely over his
face, had in them an expression of menace almost preternatural, from its
settled calmness; the wild and untutored majesty which, though rags and
squalor, never deserted his form, as it never does the forms of men in
whom the will is strong and the sense of injustice deep; the outstretched
arm the haggard, but noble features; the bloomless and scathed youth, all
gave to his features and his stature an aspect awful in its sinister and
voiceless wrath. There he stood a moment, like one to whom woe and wrong
have given a Prophet's power, guiding the eye of the unforgetful Fate to
the roof of the Oppressor. Then slowly, and with a half smile, he turned
away, and strode through the streets till he arrived at one of the narrow
lanes that intersect the more equivocal quarters of the huge city. He
stopped at the private entrance of a small pawnbroker's shop; the door
was opened by a slipshod boy; he ascended the dingy stairs till he came
to the second floor; and there, in a small back room, he found Captain de
Burgh Smith, seated before a table with a couple of candles on it,
smoking a cigar, and playing at cards by himself.
"Well, what news of your brother, Bully Phil?"
"None: they will reveal nothing."
"Do you give him up?"
"Never! My hope now is in you."
"Well, I thought you would be driven to come to me, and I will do
something for you that I should not loike to do for myself. I told you
that I knew the Bow Street runner who was in the barouche. I will find
him out--Heaven knows that is easily done; and, if you can pay well, you
will get your news."
"You shall have all I possess, if you restore my brother. See what it
is, one hundred pounds--it was his fortune. It is useless to me without
him. There, take fifty now, and if--"
Philip stopped, for his voice trembled too much to allow him farther
speech. Captain Smith thrust the notes into his pocket, and said--
"We'll consider it settled."
Captain Smith fulfilled his promise. He saw the Bow Street officer. Mr.
Sharp had been bribed too high by the opposite party to tell tales, and
he willingly encouraged the suspicion that Sidney was under the care of
the Beauforts. He promised, however, for the sake of ten guineas, to
procure Philip a letter from Sidney himself. This was all he would
Philip was satisfied. At the end of another week, Mr. Sharp transmitted
to the Captain a letter, which he, in his turn, gave to Philip. It ran
thus, in Sidney's own sprawling hand:
"DEAR BROTHER PHILIP,--I am told you wish to know how I am, and therfore
take up my pen, and assure you that I write all out of my own head. I am
very Comfortable and happy--much more so than I have been since poor deir
mama died; so I beg you won't vex yourself about me: and pray don't try
and Find me out, For I would not go with you again for the world. I am
so much better Off here. I wish you would be a good boy, and leave off
your Bad ways; for I am sure, as every one says, I don't know what would
have become of me if I had staid with you. Mr. [the Mr. half scratched
out] the gentleman I am with, says if you turn out Properly, he will be a
friend to you, Too; but he advises you to go, like a Good boy, to Arthur
Beaufort, and ask his pardon for the past, and then Arthur will be very
kind to you. I send you a great Big sum of L20., and the gentleman says
he would send more, only it might make you naughty, and set up. I go to
church now every Sunday, and read good books, and always pray that God
may open your eyes. I have such a Nice Pony, with such a long tale. So
no more at present from your affectionate brother, SIDNEY MORTON."
Oct. 8, 18--
"Pray, pray don't come after me Any more. You know I neerly died of it,
but for this deir good gentleman I am with."
So this, then, was the crowning reward of all his sufferings and all his
love! There was the letter, evidently undictated, with its errors of
orthography, and in the child's rough scrawl; the serpent's tooth pierced
to the heart, and left there its most lasting venom.
"I have done with him for ever," said Philip, brushing away the bitter
tears. "I will molest him no farther; I care no more to pierce this
mystery. Better for him as it is--he is happy! Well, well, and I--I
will never care for a human being again."
He bowed his head over his hands; and when he rose, his heart felt to him
like stone. It seemed as if Conscience herself had fled from his soul on
the wings of departed Love.
"But you have found the mountain's top--there sit
On the calm flourishing head of it;
And whilst with wearied steps we upward go,
See us and clouds below."--COWLEY.
It was true that Sidney was happy in his new home, and thither we must
now trace him.
On reaching the town where the travellers in the barouche had been
requested to leave Sidney, "The King's Arms" was precisely the inn
eschewed by Mr. Spencer. While the horses were being changed, he
summoned the surgeon of the town to examine the child, who had already
much recovered; and by stripping his clothes, wrapping him in warm
blankets, and administering cordials, he was permitted to reach another
stage, so as to baffle pursuit that night; and in three days Mr. Spencer
had placed his new charge with his maiden sisters, a hundred and fifty
miles from the spot where he had been found. He would not take him to
his own home yet. He feared the claims of Arthur Beaufort. He artfully
wrote to that gentleman, stating that he had abandoned the chase of
Sidney in despair, and desiring to know if he had discovered him; and a
bribe of L300. to Mr. Sharp with a candid exposition of his reasons for
secreting Sidney--reasons in which the worthy officer professed to
sympathise--secured the discretion of his ally. But he would not deny
himself the pleasure of being in the same house with Sidney, and was
therefore for some months the guest of his sisters. At length he heard
that young Beaufort had been ordered abroad for his health, and he then
deemed it safe to transfer his new idol to his _Lares_ by the lakes.
During this interval the current of the younger Morton's life had indeed
flowed through flowers. At his age the cares of females were almost a
want as well as a luxury, and the sisters spoiled and petted him as much
as any elderly nymphs in Cytherea ever petted Cupid. They were good,
excellent, high-nosed, flat-bosomed spinsters, sentimentally fond of
their brother, whom they called "the poet," and dotingly attached to
children. The cleanness, the quiet, the good cheer of their neat abode,
all tended to revive and invigorate the spirits of their young guest, and
every one there seemed to vie which should love him the most. Still his
especial favourite was Mr. Spencer: for Spencer never went out without
bringing back cakes and toys; and Spencer gave him his pony; and Spencer
rode a little crop-eared nag by his side; and Spencer, in short, was
associated with his every comfort and caprice. He told them his little
history; and when he said how Philip had left him alone for long hours
together, and how Philip had forced him to his last and nearly fatal
journey, the old maids groaned, and the old bachelor sighed, and they all
cried in a breath, that "Philip was a very wicked boy." It was not only
their obvious policy to detach him from his brother, but it was their
sincere conviction that they did right to do so. Sidney began, it is
true, by taking Philip's part; but his mind was ductile, and he still
looked back with a shudder to the hardships he had gone through: and so
by little and little he learned to forget all the endearing and fostering
love Philip had evinced to him; to connect his name with dark and
mysterious fears; to repeat thanksgivings to Providence that he was saved
from him; and to hope that they might never meet again. In fact, when
Mr. Spencer learned from Sharp that it was through Captain Smith, the
swindler, that application had been made by Philip for news of his
brother, and having also learned before, from the same person, that
Philip had been implicated in the sale of a horse, swindled, if not
stolen, he saw every additional reason to widen the stream that flowed
between the wolf and the lamb. The older Sidney grew, the better he
comprehended and appreciated the motives of his protector--for he was
brought up in a formal school of propriety and ethics, and his mind
naturally revolted from all images of violence or fraud. Mr. Spencer
changed both the Christian and the surname of his protege, in order to
elude the search whether of Philip, the Mortons, or the Beauforts, and
Sidney passed for his nephew by a younger brother who had died in India.
So there, by the calm banks of the placid lake, amidst the fairest
landscapes of the Island Garden, the youngest born of Catherine passed
his tranquil days. The monotony of the retreat did not fatigue a spirit
which, as he grew up, found occupation in books, music, poetry, and the
elegances of the cultivated, if quiet, life within his reach. To the
rough past he looked back as to an evil dream, in which the image of
Philip stood dark and threatening. His brother's name as he grew older
he rarely mentioned; and if he did volunteer it to Mr. Spencer, the bloom
on his cheek grew paler. The sweetness of his manners, his fair face and
winning smile, still continued to secure him love, and to screen from the
common eye whatever of selfishness yet lurked in his nature. And,
indeed, that fault in so serene a career, and with friends so attached,
was seldom called into action. So thus was he severed from both the
protectors, Arthur and Philip, to whom poor Catherine had bequeathed him.
By a perverse and strange mystery, they, to whom the charge was most
intrusted were the very persons who were forbidden to redeem it. On our
death-beds when we think we have provided for those we leave behind--
should we lose the last smile that gilds the solemn agony, if we could
look one year into the Future?
Arthur Beaufort, after an ineffectual search for Sidney, heard, on
returning to his home, no unexaggerated narrative of Philip's visit, and
listened, with deep resentment, to his mother's distorted account of the
language addressed to her. It is not to be surprised that, with all his
romantic generosity, he felt sickened and revolted at violence that
seemed to him without excuse. Though not a revengeful character, he had
not that meekness which never resents. He looked upon Philip Morton as
upon one rendered incorrigible by bad passions and evil company. Still
Catherine's last request, and Philip's note to him, the Unknown
Comforter, often recurred to him, and he would have willingly yet aided
him had Philip been thrown in his way. But as it was, when he looked
around, and saw the examples of that charity that begins at home, in
which the world abounds, he felt as if he had done his duty; and
prosperity having, though it could not harden his heart, still sapped the
habits of perseverance, so by little and little the image of the dying
Catherine, and the thought of her sons, faded from his remembrance. And
for this there was the more excuse after the receipt of an anonymous
letter, which relieved all his apprehensions on behalf of Sidney. The
letter was short, and stated simply that Sidney Morton had found a friend
who would protect him throughout life; but who would not scruple to apply
to Beaufort if ever he needed his assistance. So one son, and that the
youngest and the best loved, was safe. And the other, had he not chosen
his own career? Alas, poor Catherine! when you fancied that Philip was
the one sure to force his way into fortune, and Sidney the one most
helpless, how ill did you judge of the human heart! It was that very
strength of Philip's nature which tempted the winds that scattered the
blossoms, and shook the stem to its roots; while the lighter and frailer
nature bent to the gale, and bore transplanting to a happier soil. If a
parent read these pages, let him pause and think well on the characters
of his children; let him at once fear and hope the most for the one whose
passions and whose temper lead to a struggle with the world. That same
world is a tough wrestler, and has a bear's gripe.
Meanwhile, Arthur Beaufort's own complaints, which grew serious and
menaced consumption, recalled his thoughts more and more every day to
himself. He was compelled to abandon his career at the University, and
to seek for health in the softer breezes of the South. His parents
accompanied him to Nice; and when, at the end of a few months, he was
restored to health, the desire of travel seized the mind and attracted
the fancy of the young heir. His father and mother, satisfied with his
recovery, and not unwilling that he should acquire the polish of
Continental intercourse, returned to England; and young Beaufort, with
gay companions and munificent income, already courted, spoiled, and
flattered, commenced his tour with the fair climes of Italy.
So, O dark mystery of the Moral World!--so, unlike the order of the
External Universe, glide together, side by side, the shadowy steeds of
NIGHT AND MORNING. Examine life in its own world; confound not that
world, the inner one, the practical one, with the more visible, yet
airier and less substantial system, doing homage to the sun, to whose
throne, afar in the infinite space, the human heart has no wings to flee.
In life, the mind and the circumstance give the true seasons, and
regulate the darkness and the light. Of two men standing on the same
foot of earth, the one revels in the joyous noon, the other shudders in
the solitude of night. For Hope and Fortune, the day-star is ever
shining. For Care and Penury, Night changes not with the ticking of the
clock, nor with the shadow on the dial. Morning for the heir, night for
the houseless, and God's eye over both.
"The knight of arts and industry,
And his achievements fair."
THOMSON'S _Castle of Indolence: Explanatory Verse to Canto II._
In a popular and respectable, but not very fashionable quartier in Paris,
and in the tolerably broad and effective locale of the Rue ----, there
might be seen, at the time I now treat of, a curious-looking building,
that jutted out semicircularly from the neighbouring shops, with plaster
pilasters and compo ornaments. The _virtuosi_ of the _quartier_ had
discovered that the building was constructed in imitation of an ancient
temple in Rome; this erection, then fresh and new, reached only to the
_entresol_. The pilasters were painted light green and gilded in the
cornices, while, surmounting the architrave, were three little statues--
one held a torch, another a bow, and a third a bag; they were therefore
rumoured, I know not with what justice, to be the artistical
representatives of Hymen, Cupid and Fortune.
On the door was neatly engraved, on a brass plate, the following
"MONSIEUR LOVE, ANGLAIS,
And if you had crossed the threshold and mounted the stairs, and gained
that mysterious story inhabited by Monsieur Love, you would have seen,
upon another door to the right, another epigraph, informing those
interested in the inquiry that the bureau, of M. Love was open daily from
nine in the morning to four in the afternoon.
The office of M. Love--for office it was, and of a nature not
unfrequently designated in the "_petites affiches_" of Paris--had been
established about six months; and whether it was the popularity of the
profession, or the shape of the shop, or the manners of M. Love himself,
I cannot pretend to say, but certain it is that the Temple of Hymen--as
M. Love classically termed it--had become exceedingly in vogue in the
Faubourg St.--. It was rumoured that no less than nine marriages in the
immediate neighbourhood had been manufactured at this fortunate office,
and that they had all turned out happily except one, in which the bride
being sixty, and the bridegroom twenty-four, there had been rumours of
domestic dissension; but as the lady had been delivered,--I mean of her
husband, who had drowned himself in the Seine, about a month after the
ceremony, things had turned out in the long run better than might have
been expected, and the widow was so little discouraged; that she had been
seen to enter the office already--a circumstance that was greatly to the
credit of Mr. Love.
Perhaps the secret of Mr. Love's success, and of the marked superiority
of his establishment in rank and popularity over similar ones, consisted
in the spirit and liberality with which the business was conducted. He
seemed resolved to destroy all formality between parties who might desire
to draw closer to each other, and he hit upon the lucky device of a
_table d'hote_, very well managed, and held twice a-week, and often
followed by a _soiree dansante_; so that, if they pleased, the aspirants
to matrimonial happiness might become acquainted without _gene_. As he
himself was a jolly, convivial fellow of much _savoir vivre_, it is
astonishing how well he made these entertainments answer. Persons who
had not seemed to take to each other in the first distant interview grew
extremely enamoured when the corks of the champagne--an extra of course
in the _abonnement_--bounced against the wall. Added to this, Mr. Love
took great pains to know the tradesmen in his neighbourhood; and, what
with his jokes, his appearance of easy circumstances, and the fluency
with which he spoke the language, he became a universal favourite. Many
persons who were uncommonly starched in general, and who professed to
ridicule the bureau, saw nothing improper in dining at the _table
d'hote_. To those who wished for secrecy he was said to be wonderfully
discreet; but there were others who did not affect to conceal their
discontent at the single state: for the rest, the entertainments were so
contrived as never to shock the delicacy, while they always forwarded the
It was about eight o'clock in the evening, and Mr. Love was still seated
at dinner, or rather at dessert, with a party of guests. His apartments,
though small, were somewhat gaudily painted and furnished, and his
dining-room was decorated _a la Turque_. The party consisted-first, of a
rich _epicier_, a widower, Monsieur Goupille by name, an eminent man in
the Faubourg; he was in his grand climacteric, but still _belhomme_; wore
a very well-made _peruque_ of light auburn, with tight pantaloons, which
contained a pair of very respectable calves; and his white neckcloth and
his large gill were washed and got up with especial care. Next to
Monsieur Goupille sat a very demure and very spare young lady of about
two-and-thirty, who was said to have saved a fortune--Heaven knows how--
in the family of a rich English _milord_, where she had officiated as
governess; she called herself Mademoiselle Adele de Courval, and was very
particular about the de, and very melancholy about her ancestors.
Monsieur Goupille generally put his finger through his _peruque_, and
fell away a little on his left pantaloon when he spoke to Mademoiselle de
Courval, and Mademoiselle de Courval generally pecked at her bouquet when
she answered Monsieur Goupille. On the other side of this young lady sat
a fine-looking fair man--M. Sovolofski, a Pole, buttoned up to the chin,
and rather threadbare, though uncommonly neat. He was flanked by a
little fat lady, who had been very pretty, and who kept a boarding-house,
or _pension_, for the English, she herself being English, though long
established in Paris. Rumour said she had been gay in her youth, and
dropped in Paris by a Russian nobleman, with a very pretty settlement,
she and the settlement having equally expanded by time and season: she was
called Madame Beavor. On the other side of the table was a red-headed
Englishman, who spoke very little French; who had been told that French
ladies were passionately fond of light hair; and who, having L2000. of
his own, intended to quadruple that sum by a prudent marriage. Nobody
knew what his family was, but his name was Higgins. His neighbour was an
exceedingly tall, large-boned Frenchman, with a long nose and a red
riband, who was much seen at Frascati's, and had served under Napoleon.
Then came another lady, extremely pretty, very _piquante_, and very gay,
but past the _premiere jeunesse_, who ogled Mr. Love more than she did
any of his guests: she was called Rosalie Caumartin, and was at the head
of a large _bon-bon_ establishment; married, but her husband had gone
four years ago to the Isle of France, and she was a little doubtful
whether she might not be justly entitled to the privileges of a widow.
Next to Mr. Love, in the place of honour, sat no less a person than the
Vicomte de Vaudemont, a French gentleman, really well-born, but whose
various excesses, added to his poverty, had not served to sustain that
respect for his birth which he considered due to it. He had already been
twice married; once to an Englishwoman, who had been decoyed by the
title; by this lady, who died in childbed, he had one son; a fact which
he sedulously concealed from the world of Paris by keeping the unhappy
boy--who was now some eighteen or nineteen years old--a perpetual exile
in England. Monsieur de Vaudemont did not wish to pass for more than
thirty, and he considered that to produce a son of eighteen would be to
make the lad a monster of ingratitude by giving the lie every hour to his
own father! In spite of this precaution the Vicomte found great
difficulty in getting a third wife--especially as he had no actual land
and visible income; was, not seamed, but ploughed up, with the small-pox;
small of stature, and was considered more than _un peu bete_. He was,
however, a prodigious dandy, and wore a lace frill and embroidered
waistcoat. Mr. Love's vis-a-vis was Mr. Birnie, an Englishman, a sort of
assistant in the establishment, with a hard, dry, parchment face, and a
remarkable talent for silence. The host himself was a splendid animal;
his vast chest seemed to occupy more space at the table than any four of
his guests, yet he was not corpulent or unwieldy; he was dressed in
black, wore a velvet stock very high, and four gold studs glittered in
his shirt-front; he was bald to the crown, which made his forehead appear
singularly lofty, and what hair he had left was a little greyish and
curled; his face was shaved smoothly, except a close-clipped mustache;
and his eyes, though small, were bright and piercing. Such was the
"These are the best _bon-bons_ I ever ate," said Mr. Love, glancing at
Madame Caumartin. "My fair friends, have compassion on the table of a
"But you ought not to be a bachelor, Monsieur Lofe," replied the fair
Rosalie, with an arch look; "you who make others marry, should set the
"All in good time," answered Mr. Love, nodding; "one serves one's
customers to so much happiness that one has none left for one's self."
Here a loud explosion was heard. Monsieur Goupille had pulled one of the
_bon-bon_ crackers with Mademoiselle Adele.
"I've got the motto!--no--Monsieur has it: I'm always unlucky," said the
The epicier solemnly unrolled the little slip of paper; the print was
very small, and he longed to take out his spectacles, but he thought that
would make him look old. However, he spelled through the motto with some
"Comme elle fait soumettre un coeur,
En refusant son doux hommage,
On peut traiter la coquette en vainqueur;
De la beauty modeste on cherit l'esclavage."
[The coquette, who subjugates a heart, yet refuses its tender
homage, one may treat as a conqueror: of modest beauty we cherish
"I present it to Mademoiselle," said he, laying the motto solemnly in
Adele's plate, upon a little mountain of chestnut-husks.
"It is very pretty," said she, looking down.
"It is very _a propos_," whispered the _epicier_, caressing the _peruque_
a little too roughly in his emotion. Mr. Love gave him a kick under the
table, and put his finger to his own bald head, and then to his nose,
significantly. The intelligent _epicier_ smoothed back the irritated
"Are you fond of _bon-bons_, Mademoiselle Adele? I have a very fine
stock at home," said Monsieur Goupille. Mademoiselle Adele de Courval
sighed: "_Helas_! they remind me of happier days, when I was a _petite_
and my dear grandmamma took me in her lap and told me how she escaped the
guillotine: she was an _emigree_, and you know her father was a marquis."
The _epicier_ bowed and looked puzzled. He did not quite see the
connection between the _bon-bons_ and the guillotine. "You are _triste_,
Monsieur," observed Madame Beavor, in rather a piqued tone, to the Pole,
who had not said a word since the _roti_.
"Madame, an exile is always _triste_: I think of my _pauvre pays_."
"Bah!" cried Mr. Love. "Think that there is no exile by the side of a
The Pole smiled mournfully.
"Pull it," said Madame Beavor, holding a cracker to the patriot, and
turning away her face.
"Yes, madame; I wish it were a cannon in defence of _La Pologne_."
With this magniloquent aspiration, the gallant Sovolofski pulled lustily,
and then rubbed his fingers, with a little grimace, observing that
crackers were sometimes dangerous, and that the present combustible was
_d'une force immense_.
"Helas! J'ai cru jusqu'a ce jour
Pouvoir triompher de l'amour,"
[Alas! I believed until to-day that I could triumph over love.]
said Madame Beavor, reading the motto. "What do you say to that?"
"Madame, there is no triumph for _La Pologne_!" Madame Beavor uttered a
little peevish exclamation, and glanced in despair at her red-headed
countryman. "Are you, too, a great politician, sir?" said she in
"No, mem!--I'm all for the ladies."
"What does he say?" asked Madame Caumartin.
"_Monsieur Higgins est tout pour les dames_."
"To be sure he is," cried Mr. Love; "all the English are, especially with
that coloured hair; a lady who likes a passionate adorer should always
marry a man with gold-coloured hair--always. What do _you_ say,
"Oh, I like fair hair," said Mademoiselle, looking bashfully askew at
Monsieur Goupille's peruque. "Grandmamma said her papa--the marquis--
used yellow powder: it must have been very pretty."
"Rather _a la sucre d' orge_," remarked the _epicier_, smiling on the
right side of his mouth, where his best teeth were. Mademoiselle de
Courval looked displeased. "I fear you are a republican, Monsieur
"I, Mademoiselle. No; I'm for the Restoration;" and again the _epicier_
perplexed himself to discover the association of idea between
republicanism and _sucre d'orge_.
"Another glass of wine. Come, another," said Mr. Love, stretching across
the Vicomte to help Madame Canmartin.
"Sir," said the tall Frenchman with the riband, eying the _epicier_ with
great disdain, "you say you are for the Restoration--I am for the Empire
"No politics!" cried Mr. Love. "Let us adjourn to the salon."
The Vicomte, who had seemed supremely _ennuye_ during this dialogue,
plucked Mr. Love by the sleeve as he rose, and whispered petulantly,
"I do not see any one here to suit me, Monsieur Love--none of my rank."
"_Mon Dieu!_" answered Mr. Love: "_point d' argent point de Suisse_. I
could introduce you to a duchess, but then the fee is high. There's
Mademoiselle de Courval--she dates from the Carlovingians."
"She is very like a boiled sole," answered the Vicomte, with a wry face.
"Still-what dower _has_ she?"
"Forty thousand francs, and sickly," replied Mr. Love; "but she likes a
tall man, and Monsieur Goupille is--"
"Tall men are never well made," interrupted the Vicomte, angrily; and he
drew himself aside as Mr. Love, gallantly advancing, gave his arm to
Madame Beavor, because the Pole had, in rising, folded both his own arms
across his breast.
"Excuse me, ma'am," said Mr. Love to Madame Beavor, as they adjourned to
the salon, "I don't think you manage that brave man well."
"_Ma foi, comme il est ennuyeux avec sa Pologne_," replied Madame Beavor,
shrugging her shoulders.
"True; but he is a very fine-shaped man; and it is a comfort to think
that one will have no rival but his country. Trust me, and encourage him
a little more; I think he would suit you to a T."
Here the attendant engaged for the evening announced Monsieur and Madame
Giraud; whereupon there entered a little--little couple, very fair, very
plump, and very like each other. This was Mr. Love's show couple--his
decoy ducks--his last best example of match-making; they had been married
two months out of the bureau, and were the admiration of the
neighbourhood for their conjugal affection. As they were now united,
they had ceased to frequent the table d'hote; but Mr. Love often invited
them after the dessert, _pour encourager les autres_.
"My dear friends," cried Mr. Love, shaking each by the hand, "I am
ravished to see you. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Monsieur and
Madame Giraud. the happiest couple in Christendom;--if I had done
nothing else in my life but bring them together I should not have lived
The company eyed the objects of this eulogium with great attention.
"Monsieur, my prayer is to deserve my _bonheur_," said Monsieur Giraud.
"_Cher ange_!" murmured Madame: and the happy pair seated themselves
next to each other.
Mr. Love, who was all for those innocent pastimes which do away with
conventional formality and reserve, now proposed a game at "Hunt the
Slipper," which was welcomed by the whole party, except the Pole and the
Vicomte; though Mademoiselle Adele looked prudish, and observed to the
_epicier_, "that Monsieur Lofe was so droll, but she should not have
liked her _pauvre grandmaman_ to see her."
The Vicomte had stationed himself opposite to Mademoiselle de Courval,
and kept his eyes fixed on her very tenderly.
"Mademoiselle, I see, does not approve of such _bourgeois_ diversions,"
"No, monsieur," said the gentle Adele. "But I think we must sacrifice
our own tastes to those of the company."
"It is a very amiable sentiment," said the _epicier_.
"It is one attributed to grandmamma's papa, the Marquis de Courval. It
has become quite a hackneyed remark since," said Adele.
"Come, ladies," said the joyous Rosalie; "I volunteer my slipper."
"_Asseyez-vous donc_," said Madame Beavor to the Pole. Have you no games
of this sort in Poland?"
"Madame, _La Pologne_ is no more," said the Pole. "But with the swords
of her brave--"
"No swords here, if you please," said Mr. Love, putting his vast hands on
the Pole's shoulder, and sinking him forcibly down into the circle now
The game proceeded with great vigour and much laughter from Rosalie, Mr.
Love, and Madame Beavor, especially whenever the last thumped the Pole
with the heel of the slipper. Monsieur Giraud was always sure that
Madame Giraud had the slipper about her, which persuasion on his part
gave rise to many little endearments, which are always so innocent among
married people. The Vicomte and the _epicier_ were equally certain the
slipper was with Mademoiselle Adele, who defended herself with much more
energy than might have been supposed in one so gentle. The _epicier_,
however, grew jealous of the attentions of his noble rival, and told him
that he _gene'_d mademoiselle; whereupon the Vicomte called him an
_impertinent_; and the tall Frenchman, with the riband, sprang up and
"Can I be of any assistance, gentlemen?"
Therewith Mr. Love, the great peacemaker, interposed, and reconciling the
rivals, proposed to change the game to _Colin Maillard-Anglice_, "Blind
Man's Buff." Rosalie clapped her hands, and offered herself to be
blindfolded. The tables and chairs were cleared away; and Madame Beaver
pushed the Pole into Rosalie's arms, who, having felt him about the face
for some moments, guessed him to be the tall Frenchman. During this time
Monsieur and Madame Giraud hid themselves behind the window-curtain.
"Amuse yourself, men ami," said Madame Beaver, to the liberated Pole.
"Ah, madame," sighed Monsieur Sovolofski, "how can I be gay! All my
property confiscated by the Emperor of Russia! Has _La Pologne_ no
"I think you are in love," said the host, clapping him on the back.
"Are you quite sure," whispered the Pole to the matchmaker, that Madame
Beavor has _vingt mille livres de rentes_?"
"Not a _sous_ less."
The Pole mused, and, glancing at Madame Beavor, said, "And yet, madame,
your charming gaiety consoles me amidst all my suffering;" upon which
Madame Beavor called him "flatterer," and rapped his knuckles with her
fan; the latter proceeding the brave Pole did not seem to like, for he
immediately buried his hands in his trousers' pockets.
The game was now at its meridian. Rosalie was uncommonly active, and
flew about here and there, much to the harassment of the Pole, who
repeatedly wiped his forehead, and observed that it was warm work, and
put him in mind of the last sad battle for _La Pologne_. Monsieur
Goupille, who had lately taken lessons in dancing, and was vain of his
agility--mounted the chairs and tables, as Rosalie approached--with
great grace and gravity. It so happened that, in these saltations, he
ascended a stool near the curtain behind which Monsieur and Madame Giraud
were ensconced. Somewhat agitated by a slight flutter behind the folds,
which made him fancy, on the sudden panic, that Rosalie was creeping that
way, the _epicier_ made an abrupt pirouette, and the hook on which the
curtains were suspended caught his left coat-tail,
"The fatal vesture left the unguarded side;"
just as he turned to extricate the garment from that dilemma, Rosalie
sprang upon him, and naturally lifting her hands to that height where she
fancied the human face divine, took another extremity of Monsieur
Goupille's graceful frame thus exposed, by surprise.
"I don't know who this is. _Quelle drole de visage_!" muttered Rosalie.
"_Mais_, madame," faltered Monsieur Goupille, looking greatly
The gentle Adele, who did not seem to relish this adventure, came to the
relief of her wooer, and pinched Rosalie very sharply in the arm.
"That's not fair. But I will know who this is," cried Rosalie, angrily;
"you sha'n't escape!"
A sudden and universal burst of laughter roused her suspicions--she drew
back--and exclaiming, "_Mais quelle mauvaise plaisanterie; c'est trop
fort_!" applied her fair hand to the place in dispute, with so hearty a
good-will, that Monsieur Goupille uttered a dolorous cry, and sprang from
the chair leaving the coat-tail (the cause of all his woe) suspended upon
It was just at this moment, and in the midst of the excitement caused by
Monsieur Goupille's misfortune, that the door opened, and the attendant
reappeared, followed by a young man in a large cloak.
The new-comer paused at the threshold, and gazed around him in evident
"Diable!" said Mr. Love, approaching, and gazing hard at the stranger.
"Is it possible?--You are come at last? Welcome!"
"But," said the stranger, apparently still bewildered, "there is some
mistake; you are not--"
"Yes, I am Mr. Love!--Love all the world over. How is our friend Gregg?
--told you to address yourself to Mr. Love,--eh?--Mum!--Ladies and
gentlemen, an acquisition to our party. Fine fellow, eh?--Five feet
eleven without his shoes,--and young enough to hope to be thrice married
before he dies. When did you arrive?"
And thus, Philip Morton and Mr. William Gawtrey met once more.
"Happy the man who, void of care and strife,
In silken or in leathern purse retains
A splendid shilling !"--The Splendid Shilling.
"And wherefore should they take or care for thought,
The unreasoning vulgar willingly obey,
And leaving toil and poverty behind.
Run forth by different ways, the blissful boon to find."
"Poor, boy! your story interests me. The events are romantic, but the
moral is practical, old, everlasting--life, boy, life. Poverty by itself
is no such great curse; that is, if it stops short of starving. And
passion by itself is a noble thing, sir; but poverty and passion