Part 1 out of 14
This etext was prepared by KENNETH DAVID COOPER
THE DUKE'S CHILDREN
by Anthony Trollope
1 When the Duchess was Dead
2 Lady Mary Palliser
3 Francis Oliphant Tregear
4 It is Impossible
5 Major Tifto
6 Conservative Convictions
8 He is a Gentleman
9 'In Media Res'
10 Why not like Romeo if I Feel like Romeo?
12 At Richmond
13 The Duke's Injustice
14 The New Member for Silverbridge
15 The Duke Receives a Letter,--and Writes One
16 Poor Boy
17 The Derby
18 One of the Results of the Derby
19 'No; My Lord, I Do Not'
20 Then He will Come Again
21 Sir Timothy Beeswax
22 The Duke in his Study
23 Frank Tregear wants a Friend
24 She Must be Made to Obey
25 A Family Breakfast-Table
26 Dinner at the Beargarden
27 Major Tifto and the Duke
28 Mrs Montacute
29 The Lovers Meet
30 What Came of the Meeting
31 Miss Boncassen's River-Party No. 1
32 Miss Boncassen's River-Party No. 2
33 The Langham Hotel
34 Lord Popplecourt
35 'Don't You Think--?'
36 Tally-ho Lodge
40 And Then!
42 Again at Killancodlem
43 What Happened at Doncaster
44 How It was Done
45 There Shall Not be Another Word About It
46 Lady Mary's Dream
47 Miss Boncassen's Idea of Heaven
48 The Party at Custins is Broken Up
49 The Major's Fate
50 The Duke's Arguments
51 The Duke's Guests
52 Miss Boncassen Tells the Truth
53 The I am Proud as a Queen
54 I Don't Think She is a Snake
56 The News is Sent to Matching
57 The Meeting at the Bobtailed Fox
58 The Major is Deposed
59 No One Can Tell What May Come to Pass
60 Lord Gerald in Further Trouble
61 'Bone of My Bone'
62 The Brake Country
63 'I've Seen 'em Like That Before'
64 'I Believe Him to be a Worthy Young Man'
65 'Do You Ever Think What Money Is?'
66 The Three Attacks
67 'He is Such a Beast'
68 Brook Street
69 Pert Popper
70 'Love May be a Great Misfortune'
71 'What am I to Say, Sir?'
72 Carlton Terrace
73 'I Have Never Loved You'
74 'Let Us Drink a Glass of Wine Together'
75 The Major's Story
76 On Deportment
77 'Mabel, Good-Bye'
78 The Duke Returns to Office
79 The First Wedding
80 The Second Wedding
When The Duchess Was Dead
No one, probably, ever felt himself to be more alone in the world
than our old friend the Duke of Omnium, when the Duchess died.
When this sad event happened he had ceased to be Prime Minister.
During the first nine months after he had left office he and the
Duchess remained in England. Then they had gone abroad, taking
with them their three children. The eldest, Lord Silverbridge, had
been at Oxford, but had his career there cut short by some more
than ordinary youthful folly, which had induced his father to
agree with the college authorities that his name had better be
taken off the college books,--all which had been cause of very
great sorrow to the Duke. The other boy was to go to Cambridge,
but his father had thought it well to give him a twelve-month's
run on the Continent, under his own inspection. Lady Mary, the
only daughter, was the youngest of the family, and she also had
been with them on the Continent. They remained the full year
abroad, travelling with a large accompaniment of tutors, lady's-
maids, couriers, and sometimes friends. I do not know that the
Duchess or the Duke had enjoyed it much; but the young people had
seen something of foreign courts and much of foreign scenery, and
had perhaps perfected their French. The Duke had gone to work at
his travels with a full determination to create for himself an
occupation out of a new kind of life. He had studied Dante, and
had striven to arouse himself to ecstatic joy amidst the
loveliness of the Italian lakes. But through it all he had been
aware that he had failed. The Duchess had made no such
resolution,-had hardly, perhaps, made any attempt; but, in truth
they had both sighed to back amongst the war-trumpets. They had
both suffered much among the trumpets, and yet they longed to
return. He told himself from day to day, that though he had been
banished from the House of Commons, still, as a peer, he had a
seat in Parliament; and that though he was no longer a minister,
still he might be useful as a legislator. She, in her careers as a
leader of fashion, had no doubt met with some trouble,--with some
trouble but with no disgrace; and as she had been carried about
among the lakes and mountains, among the pictures and statues,
among the counts and countesses; she had often felt that there was
no happiness except in that dominion which circumstances had
enabled her to achieve once, and might enable her to achieve
again--in the realms of London society.
Then, in the early spring of 187-, they came back to England,
having persistently carried out their project, at any rate in
regard to time. Lord Gerald, the younger son, was at once sent up
to Trinity. For the eldest son a seat was to be found in the House
of Commons, and the fact that a dissolution of Parliament was
expected served to prevent any prolonged sojourn abroad. Lady Mary
Palliser was at that time nineteen, and her entrance into the
world was to be her mother's greatest care and great delight. In
March they spent a few days in London, and then went down to
Marching Priory. When she left town the Duchess was complaining of
cold, sore throat, and debility. A week after their arrival at
Matching she was dead.
Had the heavens fallen and mixed themselves with the earth, had
the people of London risen in rebellion with French ideas of
equality, had the Queen persistently declined to comply with the
constitutional advice of her ministers, had a majority in the
House of Commons lost its influence in the country,--the utter
prostration of the bereft husband could not have been more
complete. It was not only that his heart was torn to pieces, but
that he did not know how to look out into the world. It was as
though a man should be suddenly called upon to live without hands
or even arms. He was helpless, and knew himself to be helpless.
Hitherto he had never specially acknowledged to himself that his
wife was necessary to him as a component part of his life. Though
he had loved her dearly, and had in all things consulted her
welfare and happiness, he had at times been inclined to think that
in the exuberance of her spirits she had been a trouble rather
than a support to him. But now it was as though all outside
appliances were taken away from him. There was no one of whom he
could ask a question.
For it may be said of this man that, though throughout his life he
had had many Honourable and Right Honourable friends, and that,
though he had entertained guests by the score, and though he had
achieved for himself the respect of all good men and the thorough
admiration of some few who knew him, he had hardly made for
himself a single intimate friend--except that one who had now
passed away from him. To her he had been able to say what he
thought, even though she would occasionally ridicule him while he
was declaring his feelings. But there had been no other human soul
to whom he could open himself. There was one or two whom he loved,
and perhaps liked; but his loving and his liking had been
exclusively political. He had so habituated himself to devote his
mind and his heart to the service of his country, that he had
almost risen above or sunk below humanity. But she, who had been
essentially human, had been a link between him and the world.
There were his three children, the youngest of whom was now nearly
nineteen, and they surely were links! At the first moment of his
bereavement they were felt to be hardly more than burdens. A more
loving father there was not in England, but nature had made him so
undemonstrative that as yet they had hardly known his love. In all
their joys and in all their troubles, in all their desires and all
their disappointments, they had ever gone to their mother. She had
been conversant with everything about them, from the boys' bills
and the girl's gloves to the innermost turn in their heart and the
disposition of each. She had known with the utmost accuracy the
nature of the scrapes into which Lord Silverbridge had
precipitated himself, and had known also how probable it was that
Lord Gerald would do the same. The results of such scrapes she, of
course, deplored; and therefore she would give good counsel,
pointing out how imperative it was that such evil-doings should be
avoided; but with the spirit that produced the scrapes she fully
sympathized. The father disliked the spirit almost worse than the
results; and was therefore often irritated and unhappy.
And the difficulties about the girl were almost worse to bear that
those about the boys. She had done nothing wrong. She had given no
signs of extravagance or other juvenile misconduct. But she was
beautiful and young. How was he to bring her out into the world?
How was he to decide whom she should or whom she should not marry?
How was he to guide her through the shoals and rocks which lay in
the path of such a girl before she can achieve matrimony?
It was the fate of the family that, with a world of acquaintance,
they had not many friends. From all close connection with
relatives on the side of the Duchess they had been dissevered by
old feelings at first, and afterwards by want of any similitude in
the habits of life. She had, when young been repressed by male and
female guardians with an iron hand. Such repression had been
needed, and had been perhaps salutary, but it had not left behind
it much affection. And then her nearest relatives were not
sympathetic with the Duke. He could obtain no assistance in the
care of his girl from that source. Nor could he even do it from
his own cousins' wives, who were his nearest connections on the
side of the Pallisers. They were women to whom he had ever been
kind, but to whom he had never opened his heart. When, in the
midst of the stunning sorrow of the first week, he tried to think
of all this, it seemed to him that there was nobody.
There had been one lady, a very dear ally, staying in the house
with them when the Duchess died. This was Mrs Finn, the wife of
Phineas Finn, who had been one of the Duke's colleagues when in
office. How it had come to pass that Mrs Finn and the Duchess had
become singularly bound together has been told elsewhere. But
there had been close bonds,--so close that when the Duchess on
their return from the Continent had passed through London on her
way to Matching, ill at the time and very comfortless, it had been
almost a thing of course, that Mrs Finn should go with her. And as
she had sunk, and then despaired, and then died, it was this woman
who had always been at her side, who had ministered to her, and
had listened to the fears and the wishes and hopes that she had
expressed respecting the children.
At Matching, amidst the ruins of the old Priory, there is a parish
burying-ground, and there, in accordance with her own wish, almost
within sight of her own bedroom-window, she was buried. On the day
of the funeral a dozen relatives came, Pallisers and McCloskies,
who on such an occasion were bound to show themselves, as members
of the family. With them and his two sons the Duke walked across
to the graveyard, and then walked back; but even to those who
stayed the night at the house he hardly spoke. By noon the
following day they had all left him, and the only stranger in the
house was Mrs Finn.
On the afternoon of the day after the funeral the Duke and his
guest met, almost for the first time since the sad event. There
had been just a pressure of the hand, just a glance of compassion,
just some murmur of deep sorrow,--but there had been no real speech
between them. Now he had sent for her, and she went down to him in
the room in which he commonly sat at work. He was seated at his
table when she entered, but there was no book open before him, and
no pen ready to his hand. He was dressed of course in black. That,
indeed, was usual with him, but now the tailor by his funeral art
had added some deeper dye of blackness to his appearance. When he
rose and turned to her she thought that he had at once become an
old man. His hair was grey in parts, and he had never accustomed
himself to use that skill in managing his outside person by which
many men are able to preserve for themselves a look, if not of
youth, at any rate of freshness. He was thin, of an adust
complexion, and had acquired a habit of stooping which, when he
was not excited, gave him an appearance of age. All that was
common to him; but now it was so much exaggerated that he who was
not yet fifty might have been taken for over sixty.
He put out his hand to greet her as she came up to him.
'Silverbridge,' he said, 'tells me that you go back to London
'I thought it would be best, Duke. My presence here can be of no
comfort to you.'
'I will not say anything can be of comfort. But of course it is
right that you should go. I can have no excuse for asking you to
remain. While there was yet a hope for her--' Then he stopped,
unable to say a word further in that direction, and yet there was
no sign of a tear and no sound of a sob.
'Of course I would stay, Duke, if I could be of any service.'
'Mr Finn will expect you to return to him.'
'Perhaps it would be better that I should say that I would stay
were it not that I know that I can be of no real service.'
'What do you mean by that, Mrs Finn?'
'Lady Mary should have with her at such a time some other friend.'
'There was none other whom her mother loved as she loved you--none,
none.' This he said almost with energy.
'There was no one lately, Duke, with whom circumstances caused her
mother to be so closely intimate. But even that perhaps was
'I never thought so.'
'That is a great compliment. But as to Lady Mary, will it not be
well that she should have with her, as soon as possible, someone,--
perhaps someone of her own kindred if it be possible, or, if not
that, at least one of her own kind?'
'Who is there? Whom do you mean?'
'I mean no one. It is hard, Duke, to say what I do mean, but
perhaps I had better try. There will be,--probably there have
been,--some among your friends who have regretted the great
intimacy which chance produced between me and my lost friend.
While she was with us no such feeling would have sufficed to drive
me from her. She had chosen for herself, and if others disapproved
of her choice that was nothing to me. But as regards Lady Mary, it
will better, I think, that from the beginning she should be taught
to look for friendship and guidance to those--to those who are more
naturally connected with her.'
'I was not thinking of any guidance,' said the Duke.
'Of course not. But with one so young, where there is intimacy
there will be guidance. There should be somebody with her. It was
almost the last thought that occupied her mother's mind. I could
not tell her, Duke, but I can tell you, that I cannot with any
advantage to your girl be that somebody.'
'Cora wished it.'
'Her wishes, probably, were sudden and hardly fixed.'
'Who should it be, then?' asked the father, after a pause.
'Who am I, Duke, that I should answer such a question?'
After that there was another pause, and then the conference was
ended by a request from the Duke that Mrs Finn would stay at
Matching for yet two days longer. At dinner they all met,--the
father, the three children, and Mrs Finn. How far the young people
among themselves had been able to throw off something of the gloom
of death need not here be asked; but in the presence of their
father they were sad and sombre, almost as he was. On the next
day, early in the morning, the younger lad returned to his
college, and Lord Silverbridge went up to London, where he was
supposed to have his home.
'Perhaps you would not mind reading these letters,' the Duke said
to Mrs Finn, when she again went to him in compliance with a
message from him asking for her presence. Then she sat down and
read two letters, one from Lady Cantrip, and the other from a Mrs
Jeffrey Palliser, each of which contained an invitation for his
daughter, and expressed a hope that Lady Mary would not be
unwilling to spend some time with the writer. Lady Cantrip's
letter was long, and went minutely into circumstances. If Lady
Mary would come to her, she would abstain from having other
company in the house till her young friend's spirits should have
somewhat recovered themselves. Nothing could be more kind, or
proposed in a sweeter fashion. There had, however, been present in
the Duke's mind as he read it a feeling that a proposition to a
bereaved husband to relieve him of the society of an only
daughter, was not one which would usually be made to a father. In
such a position a child's company would probably be his best
solace. But he knew,--at this moment, he painfully remembered,--that
he was not as other men. He acknowledged the truth of this, but he
was not the less grieved and irritated by the reminder. The letter
from Mrs Jeffrey Palliser was to the same effect, but was much
shorter. If it would suit Mary to come to them for a month or six
weeks at their place in Gloucestershire, they would both be
'I should not choose her to go there,' said the Duke, as Mrs Finn
refolded the latter letter. 'My cousin's wife is a very good
woman, but Mary would not be happy with her.'
'Lady Cantrip is an excellent friend for her.'
'Excellent. I know no one whom I esteem more than Lady Cantrip.'
'Would you wish her to go there, Duke?'
There came a piteous look over the father's face. Why should he be
treated as no other father would be treated? Why should it be
supposed that he would desire to send his girl away from him? But
yet he felt that it would be better that she should go. It was his
present purpose to remain at Matching through a portion of the
summer. What could he do to make a girl happy? What comfort would
there be in his companionship?
'I suppose she ought to go somewhere,' he said.
'I had not thought of it,' said Mrs Finn.
'I understood you to say,' replied the Duke, almost angrily, 'that
she ought to go someone who would take care of her.'
'I was thinking of some friend coming to her.'
'Who would come? Who is there that I could possibly ask? You will
'I certainly would stay, if it were for her good. I was thinking,
Duke, that perhaps you might ask the Greys to come to you.'
'They would not come,' he said, after a pause.
'When she was told that it was for her sake, she would come, I
Then there was another pause. 'I could not ask them,' he said;
'for his sake I could not have it put to her in that way. Perhaps
Mary had better go to Lady Cantrip. Perhaps I had better be alone
for a time. I do not think that I am fit to have any human being
with me in my sorrow.'
Lady Mary Palliser
It may be said at once that Mrs Finn knew something of Lady Mary
which was not known to her father, and which she was not yet
prepared to make known to him. The last winter abroad had been
passed at Rome, and there Lady Mary Palliser had become acquainted
with a certain Mr Tregear,--Francis Oliver Tregear. The Duchess,
who had been in constant correspondence with her friend, had asked
questions by letter as to Mr Tregear, of whom she had only known
that he was the younger son of a Cornish gentleman, who had become
Lord Silverbridge's friend at Oxford. In this there had certainly
been but little to recommend him to the intimacy of such a girl as
Lady Mary Palliser. Nor had the Duchess, when writing, ever spoken
of him as a probable suitor for her daughter's hand. She had never
connected the two names together. But Mrs Finn had been clever
enough to perceive that the Duchess had become fond of Mr Tregear,
and would willingly have heard something to his advantage. And she
did hear something to his advantage,--something also to his
disadvantage. At his mother's death, this young man would inherit
a property amounting to about fifteen hundred a year. 'And I am
told,' said Mrs Finn, 'that he is quite likely to spend his money
before it comes to him.' There had been nothing more written
specially about Mr Tregear, but Mrs Finn had feared not only that
the young man loved the girl, but that the young man's love had in
some imprudent way been fostered by the mother.
Then there had been some fitful confidence during those few days
of acute illness. Why should not the girl have the man if he were
lovable? And the Duchess referred to her own early days when she
had loved, and to the great ruin that had come upon her heart when
she had been severed from the man she loved. 'Not but that it has
been all for the best,' she had said. 'Not but that Plantagenet
has been to me all that a husband should be. Only if she can be
spared what I suffered, let her be spared.' Even when these
things had been said to her, Mrs Finn had found herself unable to
ask questions. She could not bring herself to inquire whether the
girl had in truth given her heart to his young Tregear. The one
was nineteen and the other as yet but two-and-twenty! But though
she asked no questions, she almost knew that it must be so. And
she knew also that the father was, as yet, quite in the dark on the
matter. How was it possible that in such circumstances she should
assume the part of the girl's confidential friend and monitress?
Were she to do so she must immediately tell the father everything.
In such a position no one could be a better friend than Lady
Cantrip, and Mrs Finn had already almost made up her mind that,
should Lady Cantrip occupy the place, she would tell her ladyship
all that had passed between herself and the Duchess on the
Of what hopes she might have, or what fears, about her girl, the
Duchess had said no word to her husband. But when she had believed
that the things of the world were fading away from her, and when
he was sitting by her bedside,--dumb, because at such a moment he
knew not how to express the tenderness of his heart,--holding her
hand, and trying so to listen to her words, that he might collect
and remember every wish, she had murmured something about the
ultimate division of the great wealth with which she herself had
been endowed. She had never, she said, even tried to remember what
arrangements had been made by lawyers, but she hoped that Mary
might be so circumstanced, that if her happiness depended on
marrying a poor man, want of money need not prevent it. The Duke
suspecting nothing, believing this to be a not unnatural question
expression of maternal interest, had assured her that Mary's
fortune would be ample.
Mrs Finn made the proposition to Lady Mary in respect to Lady
Cantrip's invitation. Lady Mary was very like her mother,
especially in having exactly her mother's tone of voice, her quick
manner of speech, and her sharp intelligence. She had also her
mother's eyes, large and round, and almost blue, full of life and
full of courage, eyes which never seemed to quail, and her
mother's dark brown hair, never long but very copious in its
thickness. She was, however, taller than her mother, and very much
more graceful in her movement. And she could already assume a
personal dignity of manner which had never been within her
mother's reach. She had become aware of a certain brusqueness of
speech in her mother, a certain aptitude to say sharp things
without thinking whether the sharpness was becoming to the
position which she held, and taking advantage of the example, the
girl had already learned that she might gain more than she would
lose by controlling her words.
'Papa wants me to go to Lady Cantrip,' she said.
'I think he would like it,--just for the present, Lady Mary.'
Though there had been the closest possible intimacy between the
Duchess and Mrs Finn, this had hardly been so as to the
intercourse between Mrs Finn and the children. Of Mrs Finn it must
be acknowledged that she was, perhaps fastidiously, afraid of
appearing to take advantage of her friendship with the Duke's
family. She would tell herself that though circumstances had
compelled her to be the closest and nearest friend of a Duchess,
still her natural place was not among dukes and their children,
and therefore in her intercourse with the girl she did not at
first assume the manner and bearing which her position in the
house would seem to warrant. Hence the 'Lady Mary'.
'Why does he want to send me away, Mrs Finn?'
'It is not true that he wants to send you away, but that he thinks
it will be better for you to be with some friend. Here you must be
so much alone.'
'Why don't you stay? But I suppose Mr Finn wants you to be back
'It is not that only, or, to speak the truth, not that at all. Mr
Finn could come here if that were suitable. Or for a week or two
he might do very well without me. But there are other reasons.
There is no one whom your mother respected more than Lady
'I never heard her speak a word about Lady Cantrip.'
'Both he and she are your father's intimate friends.'
'Does Papa want to be--alone here?'
'It is you, not himself, of whom he is thinking.'
'Therefore, I must think of him. Mrs Finn, I do not wish him to be
alone. I am sure it would be better that I should stay with him.'
'He feels that it would not be well that you should live without
the companionship of some lady.'
'Then let him find some lady. You would be the best, because he
knows you so well. I, however, am not afraid of being alone. I am
sure he ought not to be here quite by himself. If he bids me go, I
must go, and then of course I shall go where he sends me; but I
won't say that I think it best that I should go, and certainly I
do not want to go to Lady Cantrip.' This she said with great
decision, as though the matter was one on which she had altogether
made up her mind. Then she added, in a lower voice: 'Why doesn't
papa speak to me about it?'
'He is thinking only of what may be best for you.'
'It would be best for me to stay near him. Whom else has he got?'
All this Mrs Finn repeated to the Duke as closely as she could,
and then of course the father was obliged to speak to his
'Don't send me away, papa,' she said at once.
'You life here, Mary, will be inexpressibly sad.'
'It must be sad anywhere. I cannot go to college like Gerald, or
live anywhere just like Silverbridge.'
'Do you envy them that?'
'Sometimes, papa. Only I shall think of more of poor mama by being
alone, and I should like to be thinking of her always.' He shook
his head mournfully. 'I do not mean that I shall always be
unhappy, as I am now.'
'No, dear; you are too young for that. It is only the old who
suffer in that way.'
'You will suffer less if I am with you; won't you, papa? I do not
want to go to Lady Cantrip. I hardly remember her at all.'
'She is very good.'
'Oh, yes. That is what they used to say to mamma about Lady
Midlothian. Papa, do not send me to Lady Cantrip.'
Of course it was decided that she should not go to Lady Cantrip at
once, or to Mrs Jeffrey Palliser, and, after a short interval of
doubt, it was decided also that Mrs Finn should remain at Matching
for at least a fortnight. The Duke declared that he would be glad
to see Mr Finn, but she knew in his present mood the society of
any one man to whom he would feel himself called upon to devote
his time, would be a burden to him, and she plainly said that Mr
Finn had better not come to Matching at present. 'There are old
occasions,' she said, 'which will enable you to bear with me as
you will with your butler or your groom, but you are not as yet
quite able to make yourself happy with company.' This he bore
with perfect equanimity, and then, as it were, handed over his
daughter to Mrs Finn's care.
Very quickly there came a close intimacy between Mrs Finn and
Lady Mary. For a day or two the elder woman, though the place she
filled was one of absolute confidence, rather resisted than
encouraged the intimacy. She always remembered that the girl was
the daughter of a great duke, and that her position in the house
had sprung from circumstances which would not, perhaps, in the
eyes of the world at large, have recommended her for such a
friendship. She knew,--the reader may possibly know--that nothing
had ever been purer, nothing more disinterested than her
friendship. But she knew also--no one knew better--that the
judgement of men and women does not always run parallel with
facts. She entertained, too, a conviction with regard to herself,
that hard words and hard judgements were to be expected from the
world,--and were to be accepted by her without any strong feeling
of injustice,--because she had been elevated by chance to the
possession of more good things than she merited. She weighed all
this with a very fine balance, and even after the encouragement
she had received from the Duke, was intent on confining herself to
some position about the girl inferior to that which such a friend
as Lady Cantrip might have occupied. But the girl's manner and the
girl's speech about her own mother, overcame her. It was the
unintentional revelation of the Duchess's constant reference to
her,--the way in which Lady Mary would assert that 'Mamma used
always to say this of you; mamma always knew that you would think
so and so; mamma used to say that you had told her'. It was the
feeling thus conveyed, that the mother who was now dead had in her
daily dealings with her own child spoke of her as her nearest
friend, which mainly served to conquer the deference of manner
which she had assumed.
Then gradually there came confidences,--and at last absolute
confidence. The whole story of Mr Tregear was told. Yes; she loved
Mr Tregear. She had given him her heart, and had told him so.
'Then, my dear, your father ought to know about it,' said Mrs
'No; not yet. Mamma knew it.'
'Did she know all that you have told me?'
'Yes; all. And Mr Tregear spoke to her, and she said that papa
ought not to be told quite yet.' Mrs Finn could not but remember
that the friend she had lost was not, among women, the one best
able to give a girl good counsel in such a crisis.
'Why not yet, dear?'
'Well, because-. It is very hard to explain. In the first place,
because Mr Tregear himself does not wish it.'
'That is a very bad reason; the worst in the world.'
'Of course you will say so. Of course everybody would say so. But
when there is one person whom one loves better than all the rest,
for whom one would be ready to die, to whom one is determined that
everything shall be devoted, surely the wishes of the person so
dear as that ought to have weight.'
'Not in persuading you to do that which is acknowledged to be
'What wrong? I am going to do nothing wrong.'
'The very concealment of your love is wrong, after that love has
been not only given but declared. A girl's position in such
matters is so delicate, especially that of such a girl as you!'
'I know all about that,' said Lady Mary, with something almost
like scorn in her tone. 'Of course I have to be--delicate. I don't
quite know what the word means. I am not ashamed of being in love
with Mr Tregear. He is a gentleman, highly educated, very clever,
of an old family,--older, I believe, than papa's. And he is manly
and handsome; just what a man should be. Only he is not rich.'
'If he be all that you say, ought you not to trust your papa? If
he approve of it, he should give you money.'
'Of course he must be told; but not now. He is nearly broken-
hearted about dear mamma. He could not bring himself to care about
anything of that kind at present. And then it is Mr Tregear that
should speak to him first.'
'Not now, Mary.'
'How do you mean not now?'
'If you had a mother you would talk to her about it.'
'If she were still living she would tell your father.'
'But she didn't tell him, though she did know. She didn't mean to
tell him quite yet. She wanted to see Mr Tregear here in England
first. Of course I shall do nothing till papa does know.'
'You will not see him?'
'How can I see him here? He will not come here, if you mean
'You do not correspond with him?' Here for the first time the
girl blushed. 'Oh, Mary! if you are writing to him your father
ought to know it.'
'I have not written to him; but when he heard how ill poor mamma
was, then he wrote to me--twice. You may see his letters. It is all
about her. No one worshiped mamma as he did.'
Gradually the whole story was told. These two young persons
considered themselves to be engaged, but had agreed that their
engagement should not be made known to the Duke till something had
occurred, or some time had arrived, as to which Mr Tregear was to
be the judge. In Mrs Finn's opinion nothing could be more unwise,
and she made to induce the girl to confess everything to her
father at once. But in all her arguments she was opposed by the
girl's reference to her mother. 'Mamma knew it.' And it did
certainly seem to Mrs Finn as though the mother had assented to
this imprudent concealment. When she endeavoured, in her own mind,
to make excuse for her friend, she felt almost sure that the
Duchess, with all her courage, had been afraid to propose to her
husband that their daughter should marry a commoner without an
income. But in thinking all that, there could be now nothing
gained. What ought she to do--at once? The girl, in telling her,
had exacted no promise of secrecy, nor would she have given any
such promise; but yet she did not like the idea of telling the
tale behind the girl's back. It was evident that Lady Mary had
considered herself to be safe in confiding her story to her
mother's old friend. Lady Mary no doubt had had her confidence
with her mother,--confidences from which it had been intended by
both that the father should be excluded; and now she seemed
naturally to expect that this new ally should look at this great
question as her mother had looked at it. The father had been
regarded as a great outside power, which could hardly be overcome,
but which might be evaded, or made inoperative by stratagem. It
was not that the daughter did not love him. She loved him and
venerated him highly,--the veneration perhaps being stronger than
the love. The Duchess, too, had loved him dearly,--more dearly in
late years than in her early life. But her husband to her had
always been an outside power which had in many cases to be evaded.
Lady Mary, though she did not express all this, evidently thought
that in this new friend she had found a woman whose wishes and
aspirations for her would be those which her mother had
But Mrs Finn was much troubled in her mind, thinking that it was
her duty to tell the story to the Duke. It was not only the
daughter who had trusted her, but the father also; and the
father's confidence had been not only the first but by far the
holier of the two. And the question was one so important to the
girl's future happiness! There could be no doubt that the peril
of her present position was very great.
'Mary,' she said one morning, when the fortnight was nearly at an
end, 'your father ought to know all this. I should feel that I had
betrayed him were I to go away leaving him in ignorance.'
'You do not mean to say that you will tell?' said the girl,
horrified at the idea of such treachery.
'I wish that I could induce you to do so. Every day that he is
kept in the dark is an injury to you.'
'I am doing nothing. What harm can come? It is not as though I was
seeing him every day.'
'This harm will come; your father of course will know that you
became engaged to Mr Tregear in Italy, and that a fact so
important to him has been kept back from him.'
'If there is anything in that, the evil has been done already. Of
course poor mamma did mean to tell him.'
'She cannot tell him now, and therefore you ought to do what she
would have done.'
'I cannot break my promise to him.' 'Him' always meant Mr Tregear.
'I have told him that I would not do so till I had his consent,
and I will not.'
This was very dreadful to Mrs Finn, and yet she was most unwilling
to take upon herself the part of stern elder, and declare that
under the circumstances she must tell the tale. The story had been
told to her under the supposition that she was not a stern elder,
that she was regarded as the special friend of the dear mother who
was gone, that she might be trusted against the terrible weight of
parental authority. She could not endure to be regarded at once a
traitor by this young friend who had sweetly inherited the
affection with which the Duchess had regarded her. And yet if she
were to be silent now how could she forgive herself? 'The Duke
certainly ought to know at once,' said she, repeating her words
merely that she might gain some time for thinking, and pluck up
courage to declare her purpose, should she resolve on betraying
'If you tell him now, I will never forgive you,' said Lady Mary.
'I am bound in honour to see that your father knows a thing which
is of such vital importance to him and to you. Having heard all
this I have no right to keep it from him. If Mr Tregear really
loves you'--Lady Mary smiled at the doubt implied by this
suggestion--'he ought to feel that for your sake there should be no
secret from your father.' Then she paused a moment to think.
'Will you let me see Mr Tregear myself, and talk to him about it?'
To this Lady Mary at first demurred, but when she found that in no
other way could she prevent Mrs Finn from going at once to the
Duke and telling him everything, she consented. Under Mrs Finn's
directions she wrote a note to her lover, which Mrs Finn saw, and
then undertook to send it, with a letter from herself, to Mr
Tregear's address in London. The note was very short, and was
indeed dictated by the elder lady, with some dispute, however, as
to certain terms, in which the younger lady had her way. It was as
'I wish you to see Mrs Finn, who, as you know,
was dear mamma's most particular friend. Please go to
her, as she will ask you to do so. When you hear what
she says I think you ought to do what she advises.
'Yours for ever and always,
This Mrs Finn sent enclosed in an envelope, with a few words from
herself, asking the gentleman to call upon her in Park Lane, on a
day and hour fixed.
Francis Oliphant Tregear
Mr Francis Oliphant Tregear was a young man who might not
improbably make a figure in the world, should circumstances be
kind to him, but as to whom it might be doubted whether
circumstances would be sufficiently kind to enable him to use
serviceably his unquestionable talents and great personal gifts.
He had taught himself to regard himself as a young English
gentleman of the first water, qualified by his birth and position
to live with all that was most noble and most elegant, and he
could have lived in that sphere naturally and gracefully were it
not that part of the 'sphere' which he specially affected requires
wealth as well as birth and intellect. Wealth he had not, and yet
he did not abandon the sphere. As a consequence of all this, it
was possible that the predictions of his friends as to that figure
which he was to make in the world might be disappointed.
He had been educated at Eton, from whence he had been sent to
Christ Church; and both at school and at college had been the most
intimate friend of the son and heir of a great and wealthy duke.
He and Lord Silverbridge had been always together, and they who
were interested in the career of young noblemen had generally
thought he had chosen his friend well. Tregear had gone out in
honours, having been a second-class man. His friend Silverbridge,
we know, had been allowed to take no degree at all; but the
terrible practical joke by which the whole front of the Dean's
house had been coloured scarlet in the middle of the night, had
been carried on without any assistance from Tregear. The two young
men had then been separated for a year; but immediately after
taking his degree, Tregear, at the invitation of Lord
Silverbridge, had gone to Italy, and had there completely made
good his footing with the Duchess,--with what effect on another
member of the Palliser family the reader already knows.
The young man was certainly clever. When the Duchess found that he
cold talk without any shyness, that he could speak French
fluently, and that after a month in Italy could chatter Italian,
at any rate without reticence or shame, when she perceived that
all the women liked the lad's society and impudence, and that all
the young men were anxious to know him, she was glad to find that
Silverbridge had chosen so valuable a friend. And then he was
beautiful to look at,--putting her almost in mind of another man on
whom her eyes had once loved to dwell. He was dark, with hair that
was almost black, but yet was not black; with clear brown eyes, a
nose as regular as Apollo's, and a mouth in which was ever to be
found that expression of manliness, which of all characteristics
is the one which women love the best. He was five feet ten in
height. He was always well dressed, and yet always so dressed as
to seem to show that his outside garniture had not been matter of
trouble to him. Before the Duchess had dreamed what might take
place between the young man and her daughter she had been urgent
in her congratulations to her son as to the possession of such a
For though she now and then would catch a glimpse of the outer
man, which would remind her of that other beautiful one whom she
had known in her youth, and though, as these glimpses came, she
would remember how poor in spirit and how unmanly that other one
had been, though she would confess to herself how terrible had
been the heart-shipwreck which that other one had brought upon
herself; still she was able completely to assure herself that this
man, though not superior in external grace, was altogether
different in mind and character. She was old enough now to see all
this and to appreciate it. Young Tregear had his own ideas about
the politics of the day, and they were ideas with which she
sympathised, though they were antagonistic to the politics of her
life. He had his ideas about books too, as to manners of life, as
to art, and even ethics. Whether or no in all this there was not
much that was superficial only, she was not herself deep enough to
discover. Nor would she have been deterred from admiring him had
she been told that it was tinsel. Such were the acquirements, such
the charms, that she loved. Here was a young man who dared to
speak, and had always something ready to be spoken, who was not
afraid of beauty, nor daunted by superiority of rank; who, if he
had not money, could carry himself on equal terms among those who
had. In this way he won the Duchess's heart, and having done that,
was it odd that he should win the heart of her daughter also?
His father was a Cornwall squire of comfortable means, having
joined the property of his wife to his own for the period of his
own life. She had possessed land also in Cornwall, supposed to be
worth fifteen hundred a year, and his own paternal estate at
Polwenning was said to be double the value. Being a prudent man,
he lived at home as a country gentleman, and thus was able in his
county to hold his head as high as richer men. But Frank Tregear
was only his second son; and though Frank would hereafter inherit
his mother's fortune, he was by no means now in a position to
assume the right of living as an idle man. Yet he was idle. The
elder brother, who was considerably older than Frank, was an odd
man, much addicted to quarreling with his family, and who spent
his time chiefly in traveling about the world. Frank's mother, who
was not the mother of the heir also, would sometimes surmise in
Frank's hearing, that the entire property must ultimately come to
him. That other Tregear, who was now supposed to be investigating
the mountains of Crim Tartary, would surely never marry. And Frank
was the favourite also with his father, who paid his debts at
Oxford with not much grumbling, who was proud of his friendship
with a future duke, who did not urge, as he ought to have urged,
that vital question of a profession; and who, when he allowed his
son four hundred pounds a year, was almost content with that son's
protestations that he knew how to live as a poor man among rich
men, without chagrin and without trouble.
Such was the young man who now, in lieu of a profession, had taken
upon himself the responsibility of an engagement with Lady Mary
Palliser. He was tolerably certain that, should he be able to
overcome the parental obstacles which he would no doubt find in
his path, money would be forthcoming sufficient for the purposes
of matrimonial life. The Duke's wealth was fabulous, and as a
great part of it, if not the greater, had come from his wife,
there would probably be ample provision for the younger children.
And when the Duchess had found out how things were going, and had
yielded to her daughter, after an opposition which never had the
appearance even of being in earnest, she had taken upon herself to
say that she would use her influence to prevent any great weight
of trouble from pecuniary matters. Frank Tregear, young and
bright, and full of hearty ambitions, was certainly not the man to
pursue a girl simply because of her fortune; nor was he weak
enough to be attracted simply by the glitter of rank; but he was
wise enough with worldly wisdom to understand thoroughly the
comforts of a good income, and he was sufficiently attached to
high position to feel the advantage of marrying a daughter of the
Duke of Omnium.
There was one member of the family who had hitherto been half-
hearted in the matter. Lord Silverbridge had vacillated between
loyalty to his friend and a certain feeling as to the impropriety
of such a match for his sister. He was aware that something very
much better should be expected for her, and still was unable to
explain his objection to Tregear. He had not at first been
admitted into confidence, either by his sister or by Tregear, but
had questioned his friend when he saw what was going on.
'Certainly I love your sister,' Tregear had said; 'do you object?'
Lord Silverbridge was the weaker of the two, and much subject to
the influence of his friend; but he could on occasion be firm, and
he did at first object. But he did not object strongly, and
allowed himself at last to be content with declaring that the Duke
would never give his consent.
While Tregear was with his love, or near her, his hopes and fears
were sufficient to occupy his mind; and immediately upon his
return, all the world was nothing to him, except as far as the
world was concerned with Lady Mary Palliser. He had come back to
England somewhat before the ducal party, and the pleasures and
occupations of London life had not abated his love, but enabled
him to feel that there was something in life over and beyond his
love, whereas to Lady Mary, down at Matching, there had been
nothing over and beyond her love--except the infinite grief and
desolation produced by her mother's death.
Tregear, when he received the note from Mrs Finn, was staying at
the Duke's house in Carlton Terrace. Silverbridge was there, and,
on leaving Matching, had asked the Duke's permission to have his
friend with him. The Duke at that time was not well pleased with
his son as to the matter of politics, and gave his son's friend
credit for the evil counsel which had produced his displeasure.
But still he had not refused his consent to this proposition. Had
he done so, Silverbridge would probably have gone elsewhere: and
though there was a matter in respect to Tregear of which the Duke
disapproved, it was not a matter, as he thought, which would have
justified him in expelling the young man from his house. The young
man was a strong Conservative; and now Silverbridge had declared
his purpose of entering the House of Commons, if he did enter it,
as one of the Conservative party.
This had been a terrible blow to the Duke; and he believed that it
all came from the young Tregear. Still he must do his duty, and
not more than his duty. He knew nothing against Tregear. That a
Tregear should be a Conservative was natural enough--at any rate,
was not disgraceful; that he should have his political creed
sufficiently at heart to be able to persuade another man, was to
his credit. He was a gentleman, well educated, superior in many
things to Silverbridge himself. There were those who said that
Silverbridge had redeemed himself from contempt--from that sort of
contempt which might be supposed to await a young nobleman who had
painted scarlet the residence of the Head of his college--by the
fact of his having chosen such a friend. The Duke was essentially
a just man; and though, at the very moment in which the request
was made, his heart was half crushed by his son's apostasy, he
gave the permission asked.
'You know Mrs Finn,' Tregear said to his friend one morning at
'I remember her all my life. She used to be a great deal with my
grandfather. I believe he left her a lot of diamonds and money,
and that she wouldn't have them. I don't know whether the diamonds
are not locked up somewhere now, so that she can take them when
'What a singular woman!'
'It was odd; but she had some fad about it. What makes you ask
about Mrs Finn?'
'She wants me to go and see her.'
'I think I have heard your mother speak of her as though she loved
her dearly,' said Tregear.
'I don't know about loving her dearly. They were intimate, and Mrs
Finn used to be with her very much when she was in the country.
She was at Matching just now, when my poor mother died. Why does
she want to see you?'
'She has written to me from Matching. She wants to see me-'
'To tell you the truth. I do not know what she has to say to me;
though I can guess.'
'What do you guess?'
'It is something about your sister.'
'You will have to give that up, Tregear.'
'I think not.'
'Yes you will; my father will never stand it.'
'I don't know what there is to stand. I am not noble, nor am I
rich; but I am as good a gentleman as he is.'
'My dear fellow,' said the young lord, 'you know very well what I
think about all that. A fellow is not better to me because he has
got a title, nor yet because he owns half a county. But men have
their ideas and feelings about it. My father is a rich man, and of
course he'll want his daughter to marry a rich man. My father is
noble, and he'll want his daughter to marry a nobleman. You can't
very well marry Mary without his permission, and therefore you had
better let it alone.'
'I haven't even asked his permission as yet.'
'Even my mother was afraid to speak to him about it, and I never
knew her to be afraid to say anything else to him.'
'I shall not be afraid,' said Tregear, looking grimly.
'I should. That's the difference between us.'
'He can't very well eat me.'
'Nor even bite you;--nor will he abuse you. But he can look at you,
and he can say a word or two which you will find it very hard to
bear. My governor is the quietest man I know, but he has a way of
making himself disagreeable when he wishes, that I never saw
'At any rate, I had better go and see your Mrs Finn.' Then
Tregear wrote a line to Mrs Finn, and made his appointment.
From the beginning of the affair Tregear had found the necessity
of bolstering himself up inwardly in his attempt by mottoes,
proverbs, and instigations of courage addressed to himself. 'None
but the brave deserve the fair.' 'De l'audace, et encore de
l'audace, et toujours de l'audace.' He was a man naturally of
good heart in such matters, who was not afraid of his brother-men,
nor yet of women, his sisters. But in this affair he knew very
much persistence would be required of him, and that even with such
persistence he might probably fail, unless he should find that
more than ordinary constancy in the girl. That the Duke could not
eat him, indeed that nobody could eat him as long as he carried
himself as an honest man and a gentleman, was to him an inward
assurance on which he leaned much. And yet he was conscious,
almost with a feeling of shame, that in Italy he had not spoken to
the Duke about his daughter because he was afraid lest the Duke
might eat him. In such an affair he should have been careful from
the first to keep his own hands thoroughly clean. Had it not been
his duty as a gentleman to communicate with the father, if not
before he gained the girl's heart, at any rate as soon as he knew
he had done so? He had left Italy thinking that he would
certainly meet the Duchess and her daughter in London, and that
then he might go to the Duke as though this love of his had arisen
from the sweetness of those meetings in London. But all these
ideas had been dissipated by the great misfortune of the death of
Lady Mary's mother. From all this he was driven to acknowledge to
himself that his silence in Italy had been wrong, that he had been
weak in allowing himself to be guided by the counsel of the
Duchess, and that he had already armed the Duke with one strong
argument against him.
He did not doubt but that Mrs Finn would be opposed to him. Of
course he could not doubt but that all the world would now be
opposed to him,--except the girl herself. He would find no other
friend so generous, so romantic, so unworldly as the Duchess had
been. It was clear to him that Lady Mary had told the story of her
engagement to Mrs Finn, and that Mrs Finn had not as yet told the
Duke. From this he was justified in regarding Mrs Finn as the
girl's friend. The request made was that he should at once do
something which Mrs Finn was to suggest. He could hardly have been
so requested, and that in terms of such warm affection, had it
been Mrs Finn's intention to ask him to desist altogether from his
courtship. This woman was regarded by Lady Mary as her mother's
dearest friend. It was therefore incumbent on him now to induce
her to believe in him as the Duchess had believed.
He knocked at the door of Mrs Finn's little house in Park Lane a
few minutes before the time appointed, and found himself alone
when he was shown into the drawing-room. He had heard much of this
lady though he had never seen her, and had heard much also of her
husband. There had been a kind of mystery about her. People did
not quite understand how it was that she had been so intimate with
the Duchess, nor why the late Duke had left to her an enormous
legacy, which as yet had never been claimed. There was supposed,
too, to have been something especially in her marriage with her
present husband. It was believed also that she was very rich. The
rumours of all these things together had made her a person of
note, and Tregear, when he found himself alone in the drawing-
room, looked round about him as though a special interest was to
be attached to the belongings of such a woman. It was a pretty
room, somewhat dark, because the curtains were almost closed
across the windows, but furnished with a pretty taste, and now, in
these early April days, filled with flowers.
'I have to apologise, Mr Tregear, for keeping you waiting,' she
said as she entered the room.
'I fear I was before my time.'
'I know that I am after mine,--a few minutes,' said the lady. He
told himself that though she was not a young woman, yet she was
attractive. She was dark, and still wore her black hair in curls,
such as now seldom seen with ladies. Perhaps the reduced light of
the chamber had been regulated with some regard to her complexion
and her age. The effect, however, was good, and Frank Tregear felt
at once interested in her.
'You have just come up from Matching?' he said.
'Yes; only the day before yesterday. It is very good of you to
come to me so soon.'
'Of course I came when you sent for me. I am afraid the Duke felt
his loss severely.'
'How should he not, such a loss as it was? Few people knew how
much he trusted her, and how dearly he loved her.'
'Silverbridge has told me that he is awfully cut up.'
'You have seen Lord Silverbridge then?'
'Just at present I am living with him, at Carlton Terrace.'
'In the Duke's house?' she asked, with some surprise.
'Yes, in the Duke's house. Silverbridge and I have been very
intimate. Of course the Duke knows that I am there. Is there any
chance of him coming to town?'
'Not yet, I fear. He is determined to be alone. I wish it were
otherwise, as I am sure he would better bear his sorrow, if he
would go about with other men.'
'No doubt he would suffer less,' said Tregear. Then there was a
pause. Each wished that the other would introduce the matter which
both knew was to be the subject of their conversation. But Tregear
would not begin. 'When I left them all at Florence,' he said, 'I
little thought that I would ever see her again.'
'You had been intimate with them, Mr Tregear?'
'Yes; I think I may say that I have been intimate with them. I had
been at Eton and Christ Church with Silverbridge, and we have
always been much together.'
'I have understood that. Have you and the Duke been good friends?'
'We have never been enemies.'
'I suppose not that.'
'The Duke, I think, does not much care about young people. I
hardly know what he used to do with himself. When I dined with
them, I saw him, but I did not often do that. I think he used to
read a good deal, and walk about alone. We were always riding.'
'Lady Mary used to ride?'
'Oh, yes; and Silverbridge and Lord Gerald. And the Duchess used
to drive. One of us would always be with her.'
'And so you became intimate with the whole family?'
'So I became intimate with the whole family.'
'And especially so with Lady Mary?' This she said in her sweetest
possible tone, and with a most gracious smile.
'Especially so with Lady Mary,' he replied.
'It will be very good of you, Mr Tregear, if you endure and
forgive all this cross-questioning from me, who am a perfect
stranger to you.'
'But you are not a perfect stranger to her.'
'That is it, of course. Now, if you will allow me, I will explain
to you exactly what my footing with her is. When the Duchess
returned, and when I found her to be so ill, as she passed through
London, I went down with her into the country,--quite as a matter
'So I understand.'
'And there she died,--in my arms. I will not try to harass you by
telling you what those few days were; how absolutely he was struck
to the ground, how terrible was the grief of the daughter, how the
boys were astonished by the feeling of their loss. After a few
days they went away. It was, I think, their father's wish that
they should go. And I too was going away,--and had felt, indeed,
directly her spirit had parted from her, that I was only in the
way in his house. But I stayed at his request, because he did not
wish his daughter to be alone.'
'I can easily understand that, Mrs Finn.'
'I wanted her to go to Lady Cantrip who had invited her, but she
would not. In that way we were thrown together in the closest
intercourse. For two or three weeks. Then she told me the story of
'That was natural, I suppose.'
'Surely so. Think of her position, left without a mother! It was
incumbent on her to tell someone. There was, however, one other
person in whom it would have been much better that she should have
'I rather fancy that it is I who ought to tell him.'
'As far as I understand things, Mr Tregear,--which, indeed, is very
imperfectly,--I think it is natural that a girl should at once tell
her mother when a gentleman has made her understand that he loves
'She did so, Mrs Finn.'
'And I suppose that generally the mother would tell the father.'
'She did not.'
'No; and therefore the position of the young lady is now one of
great embarrassment. The Duchess has gone from us, and we must now
make up our minds as to what had better be done. It is out of the
question that Lady Mary should be allowed to consider herself to
be engaged, and that her father should be kept in ignorance of her
position.' She paused for his reply, but as he said nothing, she
continued: 'Either you must tell the Duke, or she must do so, or I
must do so.'
'I suppose she told you in confidence.'
'No doubt. She told me presuming that I would not betray her; but
I shall,--if that be a betrayal. The Duke must know it. It will be
infinitely better that he should know it through you, or through
her, than through me. But he must be told.'
'I can't quite see why,' said Tregear.
'For her sake,--whom I suppose you love.'
'Certainly I love her.'
'In order that she may not suffer. I wonder you do not see it, Mr
Tregear. Perhaps you have a sister.'
'I have no sister as it happens.'
'But you can imagine what your feelings would be. Should you like
to think of a sister as being engaged to a man without the
knowledge of any of her family?'
'It was not so. The Duchess knew it. The present condition of
things is altogether an accident.'
'It is an accident that must be brought to an end.'
'Of course it must be brought to an end. I am not such a fool as
to suppose that I can make her my wife without telling her
'I mean at once, Mr Tregear.'
'It seems to me that you are rather dictating to me, Mrs Finn.'
'I owe you an apology of course, for meddling in your affairs at
all. But as it will be more conducive to your success that the
Duke should hear this from you than from me, and as I feel I am
bound by my duty to him and to Lady Mary to see that he be not
left in ignorance, I think that I am doing you a service.'
'I do not like to have a constraint put upon me.'
'That, Mr Tregear, is what a gentleman, I fancy, very often feels
in regard to ladies. But the constraint of which you speak is
necessary for their protection. Are you unwilling to see the
He was very unwilling, but he would not confess so much. He gave
various reasons for delay, urging repeatedly the question of his
marriage was one which he could not press upon the Duke so soon
after the death of the Duchess. And when she assured him that this
was a matter of importance so great, that even the death of the
man's wife should not be held by him to justify delay, he became
angry, and for awhile insisted that must be allowed to follow his
own judgement. But he gave her a promise that he would see the
Duke before a week was over. Nevertheless he left the house in
dudgeon, having told Mrs Finn more than once that she was taking
advantage of Lady Mary's confidence. They hardly parted as
friends, and her feeling was, on the whole, hostile to him and to
his love. It could not, she thought, be for the happiness of such
a one as Lady Mary that she should give herself to one who seemed
to have so little to recommend him.
He, when he had left her, was angry with his own weakness. He had
not only promised that he would make his application to the Duke,
but that he would do so within the period of a week. Who was she
that she should exact terms from him after this fashion, and
prescribe days and hours? And now, because this strange woman had
spoken to him, he was compelled to make a journey down to the
Duke's country house, and seek an interview in which he would be
This occurred on a Wednesday, and he resolved that he would go
down to Matching on the next Monday. He said nothing of his plan
to anyone, and not a word passed between him and Lord Silverbridge
about Lady Mary during the first two or three days. But on
Saturday Silverbridge appeared at breakfast with a letter in his
hand. 'The governor is coming up to town,' he said.
'In the course of next week. He says that he thinks he shall be
here on Wednesday.'
It immediately struck Tregear that this sudden journey must have
some reference to Lady Mary and her engagement. 'Do you know why
he is coming?'
'Because of these vacancies in Parliament.'
'Why should that bring him up?'
'I suppose he hopes to be able to talk me into obedience. He wants
me to stand for the county--as a Liberal, of course. I intend to
stand for the borough as a Conservative, and I have told them so
down at Silverbridge. I am very sorry to annoy him, and all that
kind of thing. But what the deuce is a fellow to do? If a man has
got political convictions of his own, of course he must stick to
them.' This the young Lord said with a good deal of self-
assurance, as though he, by the light of his own reason, had
ascertained on which side the truth lay in the political contests
of the day.
'There is a good deal to be said on both sides of the question, my
boy.' At this particular moment Tregear felt that the Duke ought
to be propitiated.
'You wouldn't have me give up my convictions!'
'A seat in Parliament is a great thing.'
'I can probably secure that, whichever side I take. I thought you
were so devilish hot against the Radicals.'
'So I am. But then you are, as it were, bound by family
'I'll be shot if I am. One never knows how to understand you
nowadays. It used to be a great doctrine with you that nothing
should induce a man to vote against his political opinion.'
'So it is,--if he has really got any. However, as your father is
coming to London, I need not go down to Matching.'
'You don't mean that you were going to Matching?'
'I had intended to beard the lion in his country den; but now the
lion will find me in his own town den, and I must beard him here.'
Then Tregear wrote a most chilling note to Mrs Finn, informing her
with great precision, that, as the Duke of Omnium intended to be
in town one day next week, he would postpone the performance of
his promise for a day or two beyond the allotted time.
It is Impossible
Down at Matching Lady Mary's life was very dull after Mrs Finn had
left her. She had a horse to ride, but had no one to ride with
her; she had a carriage in which to be driven, but no one to be
driven with her, and no special places whither to go. Her father
would walk daily for two hours, and she would accompany him when
he encouraged her to do so; but she had an idea that he preferred
taking his walks alone, and when they were together there was no
feeling of confidence between them. There could be none on her
part, as she knew that she was keeping back information which he
was entitled to possess. On this matter she received two letters
from Mrs Finn, in the first of which she was told that Mr Tregear
intended to present himself at Matching within a few days, and was
advised in the same letter not to endeavour to see her lover on
that occasion; and then, in the second she was informed that this
interview with her father was to be sought not at Matching but in
London. From this letter there was of course some disappointment,
though some feeling of relief. Had he come there she might
possibly have seen him after the interview. But she would have
been subjected to the immediate sternness of her father's anger.
That she would now escape. She would not be called on to meet him
just when the first blow had fallen upon him. She was quite sure
that he would disapprove of the thing. She was quite sure that he
would be very angry. She knew that he was a peculiarly just man,
and yet she thought that in this he would be unjust. Had she been
called upon to sing the praises of her father she would have
insisted above all things on the absolute integrity of his mind,
and yet, knowing as she did that he would be opposed to her
marriage with Mr Tregear, she assured herself every day and every
hour that he had no right to make any such objection. The man she
loved was a gentleman, and an honest man, by no means a fool, and
subject to no vices. Her father had no right to demand that she
should give her heart to a rich man, or to one of high rank. Rank!
As for rank, she told herself that she had the most supreme
contempt for it. She thought that she had seen it near enough
already to be sure that it ought to have no special allurements.
What was it doing for her? Simply restraining her choice among
comparatively a few who seemed to her by no means best endowed of
Of one thing she was very sure, that under no pressure whatsoever
would she abandon her engagement to Mr Tregear. That to her had
become a bond almost as holy as matrimony itself could be. She had
told the man that she loved him, and after that there could be no
retreat. He had kissed her, and she had returned his caress. He
had told her that she was his, as his arm was round her; and she
had acknowledged that it was so, that she belonged to him, and
could not be taken away from him. All this was to her a compact so
sacred that nothing could break it but a desire on his part to
have it annulled. No other man had an idea entered into her mind
that it could be pleasant to join her lot in life with his. With
her it had been all new and all sacred. Love with her had that
religion which nothing but freshness can give it. That freshness,
that bloom, may last through a long life. But every change impairs
it, and after many changes it has perished forever. There was no
question with her but that she must bear her father's anger,
should he be angry; put up with his continued opposition, should
he resolutely oppose her; bear all that the countesses of the
world might say to her;--for it was thus that she thought of Lady
Cantrip now. And retrogression was beyond her power.
She was walking with her father when she first heard of the
intended trip to London. At that time she had received Mrs Finn's
first letter, but not the second. 'I suppose you will see
Silverbridge,' she said. She knew that Frank Tregear was living
with her brother.
'I am going up on purpose to see him. He is causing me much
'Is he extravagant?'
'It is not that--at present.' He winced even as he said this, for
he had in truth suffered somewhat from demands made upon him for
money; which had hurt him not so much by their amount as by their
nature. Lord Silverbridge had taken upon himself to 'own a horse
or two', very much to his father's chagrin, and was at that moment
part proprietor of an animal supposed to stand well for the Derby.
The fact was not announced in the papers with his lordship's name,
but his father was aware of it, and did not like it the better
because his son held the horse in partnership with a certain Major
Tifto, who was well known in the sporting world.
'What is it, papa?'
'Of course he ought to go into Parliament.'
'I think he wishes it himself.'
'Yes, but how? By a piece of extreme good fortune. West
Barsetshire is open to him. The two seats are vacant together.
There is hardly another agricultural county in England that will
return a Liberal, and I fear I am not asserting too much in saying
that no other Liberal could carry the seat but one of our family.'
'You used to sit for Silverbridge, papa.'
'Yes, I did. In those days the county returned four Conservatives.
I cannot explain it all to you, but it is his duty to contest the
county on the Liberal side.'
'But if he is a Conservative himself, papa?' asked Lady Mary, who
had some political ideas suggested to her own mind by her lover.
'It is all rubbish. It has come from that young man Tregear, with
whom he has been associating.'
'But, papa,' said Lady Mary, who felt that even in this matter she
was bound to be firm on what was now her side of the question. 'I
suppose it is as--as--as respectable to be a Conservative as a
'I don't know that at all,' said the Duke angrily.
'I thought that--the two sides were--'
She was going to express an opinion that the two parties might be
supposed to stand as equal in the respect of the country, when he
interrupted her. 'The Pallisers have always been Liberal. It will
be a blow to me, indeed, if Silverbridge deserts his colours. I
know that as yet he himself has had no deep thoughts on the
subject, that unfortunately he does not give himself much to
thinking, and that in this matter he is being taken over by a
young man whose position in life hardly justified the great
intimacy which has existed.'
This was very far from being comfortable to her, but of course she
said nothing in defence of Tregear's politics. Nor at present was
she disposed to say anything to his position in life, though at
some future time she might not be so silent. A few days later they
were again walking together, when he spoke to her about himself.
'I cannot bear that you should be left her alone while I am away,'
'You will not be long gone, I suppose?'
'Only for three of four days now.'
'I shall not mind, papa.'
'But very probably I may have to go to Barsetshire. Would you not
be happier if you would let me write to Lady Cantrip, and tell her
that you will go to her?'
'No, papa, I think not. There are times when one feels that one
ought to be almost alone. Don't you feel that?'
'I do not wish you to feel it, nor would you do so long if you had
other people round you. With me it is different. I am an old man,
and cannot look for new pleasures in society. It has been the
fault of my life to be too much alone. I do not want to see my
children follow me in that.'
'It is so very short time as yet,' said she, thinking of her
'But I think that you should be with somebody,--with some woman who
would be kind to you. I like to see you with books, but books
alone should not be sufficient at your age.' How little, she
thought, did he know of the state either of her heart or mind!
'Do you dislike Lady Cantrip?'
'I do not know her. I can't say that I dislike a person whom I
don't think I ever spoke to, and never saw above once or twice.
But how can I say that I like her?' She did, however, know that
Lady Cantrip was a countess all over, and would be shocked at the
idea of a daughter of a Duke of Omnium marrying the younger son of
a country squire. Nothing further was then said on the matter, and
when the Duke went to town, Lady Mary was left quite alone, with
an understanding that if he went into Barsetshire he should come
back and take her with him.
He arrived at his own house in Carlton Terrace about five o'clock
in the afternoon, and immediately went to his study, intending to
dine and spend the evening there alone. His son had already
pleaded an engagement for that afternoon, but had consented to
devote the following morning to his father's wishes. Of the other
sojourner in his house the Duke had thought nothing; but the other
sojourner had thought very much of the Duke. Frank Tregear was
fully possessed of that courage which induces a man who knows that
he must be thrown over a precipice, to choose the first possible
moment for his fall. He had sounded Silverbridge about the change
in his politics, and had found his friend quite determined not to
go back to the family doctrine. Such being the case, the Duke's
ill-will and hardness and general severity would probably be
enhanced by his interview with his son. Tregear, therefore,
thinking that nothing could be got by delay, sent his name in to
the Duke before he had been an hour in the house, and asked for an
interview. The servant brought back word that his Grace was
fatigued, but would see Mr Tregear if the matter in question was
one of importance. Frank's heart quailed for a moment, but only
for a moment. He took up a pen and wrote a note.
'MY DEAR DUKE OF OMNIUM,
'If your Grace can spare a moment, I think you
will find that what I have to say will justify the
'Your very faithful servant,
Of course the Duke admitted him. There was but one idea on his
head as to what was coming. His son had taken this way of making
some communication to him respecting his political creed. Some
overture or some demand was to be preferred through Tregear. If
so, it was proof of a certain anxiety on the matter on his son's
part which was not displeasing to him. But he was not left long in
the mistake after Tregear had entered the room. 'Sir,' he said,
speaking quite at once, as soon as the door was closed behind him,
but still speaking very slowly, looking beautiful as Apollo as he
stood upright before his wished-for father-in-law--'Sir, I have
come to ask you to give me the hand of your daughter.' The few
words had been all arranged beforehand, and were now spoken
without any appearance of fear or shame. No one hearing them would
have imagined that an almost penniless young gentleman was asking
in marriage the daughter of the richest and greatest nobleman in
'The hand of my daughter!' said the Duke, rising from his chair.
'I know how very great is the prize,' said Frank, 'and how
unworthy I am of it. But--as she thinks me worthy--'
'She! What she?'
'She think you worthy!'
'Yes, your Grace.'
'I do not believe it.' On hearing this, Frank simply bowed his
head. 'I beg your pardon, Mr Tregear. I do not mean to say that I
do not believe you. I never gave the lie to any gentleman, and I
hope I never may be driven to do so. But there must be some
mistake in this.'
'I am complying with Lady Mary's wishes in asking your permission
to enter your house as a suitor.' The Duke stood for a moment
biting his lips in silence. 'I cannot believe it,' he said at
last. 'I cannot bring myself to believe it. There must be some
mistake. My daughter! Lady Mary Palliser!' Again the young man
bowed his head. 'What are your pretensions?'
'Simply her regard.'
'Of course it is impossible. You are not so ignorant but that you
must have known as much when you came to me.'
There was so much scorn in his words, and in the tone in which
they were uttered, that Tregear in his turn was becoming angry. He
had prepared himself to bow humbly before the great man, before
the Duke, before the Croesus, before the late Prime Minister,
before the man who was to be regarded as certainly the most
exalted of the earth; but he had not prepared himself to be looked
at as the Duke looked at him. 'The truth, my Lord Duke, is this,'
he said, 'that your daughter loves me, and that we are engaged to
each other,--as far as that engagement can be made without your
sanction as her father.'
'It cannot have been made at all,' said the Duke.
'I can only hope,--we can both of us only hope that a little time
'It is out of the question. There must be an end of this
altogether. You must neither see her, nor hear from her, no in any
way communicate with her. It is altogether impossible. I believe,
sir, that you have no means?'
'Very little at present, Duke.'
'How did you think you were to live? But it is altogether
unnecessary to speak of such a matter as that. There are so many
reasons to make this impossible, that it would be useless to
discuss one as being more important than the others. Has any other
one of my family known of this?' This he added, wishing to
ascertain whether Lord Silverbridge had disgraced himself by
lending his hand to such a disposition of his sister.
'Oh, yes,' said Tregear.
'Who has known it?'
'The Duchess, sir. We had all her sympathy and approval.'
'I do not believe a word of it,' said the Duke, becoming extremely
red in the face. He was forced to do now that which he had just
declared that he had never done in his life,--driven by the desire
of his heart to acquit the wife he had lost of the terrible
imprudence, worse than imprudence, of which she was now accused.
'That is the second time, my Lord, that you have found it
necessary to tell me that you have not believed direct assertions
which I made to you. But, luckily for me, the two assertions are
capable of the earliest and most direct proof. You will believe
Lady Mary, and she will confirm me in the one and the other.'
The Duke was almost beside himself with emotion and grief. He did
know,--though now at this moment he was most loath to own to
himself that it was so,--that his dear wife had been the most
imprudent of women. And he recognized in her encouragement of this
most pernicious courtship,---if she had encouraged it,---a repetition
of that romantic folly by which she had so nearly brought herself
to shipwreck her own early life. If it had been so,---even whether
it had been so or not,--he had been wrong to tell the man that he
did not believe him. And the man had rebuked him with dignity. 'At
any rate it is impossible,' he repeated.
'I cannot allow that it is impossible.'
'That is for me to judge, sir.'
'I trust that you will excuse me when I say that I also must hold
myself to be in some degree a judge in the matter. If you were in
my place, you would feel--'
'I could not possibly be in your place.'
'If your Grace were in my place you would feel that as long as you
were assured by the young lady that your affection was valued by
her you would not be deterred by the opposition of her father.
That you should yield to me, of course, I do not expect; that Lady
Mary should be persistent in her present feelings when she knows
your mind, perhaps I have no right to hope. But should she be so
persistent as to make you feel that her happiness depends, as mine
does, on our marriage, then I shall believe that you will yield at
'Never!' said the Duke. 'Never! I shall never believe that my
daughter's happiness can be assured by a step which I should regard
as disgraceful to her.'
'Disgraceful is a violent word, my Lord.'
'It is the only word that will express my meaning.'
'And one which I must be bold enough to say you are not justified
in using. Should she become my wife tomorrow, no one in England
would think that she had disgraced herself. The Queen would
receive her on her marriage. All your friends would hold their
hands out to us,--presuming that we had your good-will.'
'But you would not have it.'
'Her disgrace would not depend upon that, my Lord. Should your
daughter so dispose herself, as to disgrace herself,--which I think
to be impossible,--your countenance could not set her right. Nor
can the withdrawal of your countenance condemn her before the
world if she does that with herself which any other lady might do
and remain a lady.'
The Duke, when he heard this, even in the midst of his wrath,
which was very violent, and the in the midst of his anger, which
was very acute, felt that he had to deal with a man,--with one whom
he could not put off from him into the gutter, and there leave as
buried in the mud. And there came, too, a feeling upon him, which
he had no time to analyse, but of which he was part aware, that
this terrible indiscretion on the part of his daughter and of his
late wife was less wonderful than it had at first appeared to be.
But not on that account was he the less determined to make the
young man feel that his parental opposition would be invincible.
'It is quite impossible, sir. I do not think that I need say
anything more.' Then, while Tregear was meditating whether to
make any reply; the Duke asked a question which had better have
been left unasked. The asking of it diminished somewhat from that
ducal, grand-ducal, quasi-archducal, almost Godlike superiority
which he had assumed, and showed the curiosity of a mere man. 'Has
anybody else been aware of this?' he said, still wishing to know
whether he had cause for anger against Silverbridge in the matter.
'Mrs Finn is aware of it,' said Tregear.
'Mrs Finn!' exclaimed the Duke, as though he had been stung by an
adder. This was the woman whom he had prayed to remain awhile with
his daughter after his wife had been laid in her grave, in order
that there might be someone near whom he could trust! And this
very woman whom he had so trusted,--whom, in his early associations
with her, he had disliked and distrusted, but had taught himself
both to like and to trust because his wife had loved her,--this
woman was the she-Pandarus who had managed matters between Tregear
and his daughter! His wife had been too much subject to her
influence. That he had always known. And now, in this last act of
her life, she had allowed herself to be persuaded to give up her
daughter by the baneful wiles of this most pernicious woman. Such
were the workings of the Duke's mind when the young man told him
that Mrs Finn was acquainted with the whole affair. As the reader
is aware, nothing could have been more unjust.
'I mentioned her name,' said Tregear, 'because I thought she had
been a friend of the family.'
'That will do, sir. I have been greatly pained as well as
surprised by what I have heard. Of the real state of the case I
can form no opinion till I see my daughter. You, of course, will
hold no further intercourse with her.' He paused as though for a
promise, but Tregear did not feel himself called upon to say a
word in one direction or the other. 'It will be my care that you
shall not do so. Good-morning, sir.'
Tregear, who during the interview had been standing, then bowed,
turned upon his heel and left the room.
The Duke seated himself, and, crossing his arms upon his chest,
sat for an hour looking up at the ceiling. Why was it that, for
him, such a world of misery had been prepared? What wrong had he
done, of what imprudence had been guilty, that, at every turn of
life, something should occur so grievous as to make him think of
himself the most wretched of men? No man had ever loved his wife
more dearly than he had done; and yet now, in that very excess of
tenderness which her death had occasioned, he was driven to accuse
her of a great sin against himself, in that she had kept from him
her knowledge of this affair;--for, when he came to turn the matter
over in his mind, he did believe Tregear's statement as to her
encouragement. Then, too, he had been proud of his daughter. He
was a man so reticent and undemonstrative in his manner that he
had never known how to make confidential friends of his children.
In his sons hitherto he had not taken pride. They were gallant,
well-grown, handsome boys with a certain dash of cleverness,--more
like their mother than their father; but they had not as yet done
anything as he would have made them do it. But the girl, in the
perfection of her beauty, in the quiescence of her manner, in the
nature of her studies, and in the general dignity of her bearing,
had seemed to be all that he had desired. And now she had engaged
herself, behind his back, to the younger son of a county squire!
But his anger against Mrs Finn was hotter than the anger against
anyone in his own family.
Major Tifto had lately become a member of the Beargarden Club,
under the auspices of his friend Lord Silverbridge. It was
believed, by those who had made some inquiry into the matter, that
the Major had really served a campaign as a volunteer in the
Carlist army in the north of Spain. When, therefore, it was
declared by someone else that he was not a major at all, his
friends were able to contradict the assertion, and to impute it to
slander. Instances were brought up,--declared by these friends to be
innumerable, but which did, in truth, amount to three of four,--of
English gentlemen who had come up from a former Carlist war,
bearing the title of colonel, without any contradiction or
invidious remark. Had this gallant officer appeared as Colonel
Tifto, perhaps less might have been said about it. There was a
little lack of courage in the title which he did choose. But it
was accepted at last, and, as Major Tifto, he was proposed,
seconded, and elected at the Beargarden.
But he had other points in his favour besides the friendship of
Lord Silverbridge,--points which had probably led to that
friendship. He was, without doubt, one of the best horsemen in
England. There were some who said that, across country, he was the
very best, and that, as a judge of hunters few excelled him. Of
late years he had crept into credit as a betting-man. No one
supposed that he had much capital to work with, but still, when he
lost a bet he paid it.
Soon after his return from Spain, he was chosen as Master of the
Runnymede Fox Hounds, and was thus enabled to write the letters
M.F.H. after his name. The gentlemen who rode in the Runnymede
were not very liberal in their terms, and had lately been
compelled to change their Master rather more frequently than was
good for that quasi-suburban hunt; but now they had fitted
themselves well. How he was to hunt the county five days a
fortnight, finding servants and horses, and feeding the hounds,
for eight hundred pounds a year, no one could understand. But
Major Tifto not only undertook to do it, but did it. And he
actually succeeded in obtaining for the Runnymede a degree of
popularity which for many years previous it had not possessed.
Such a man,--even though no one did know anything of his father or
mother, though no one had ever heard him speak of a brother or a
sister, though it was believed that he had no real income,--was
felt by many to be the very man for the Beargarden; and when his
name was brought up at the committee, Lord Silverbridge was able
to say so much in his favour that only two blackballs were given
against him. Under the mild rule of the club, three would have
been necessary to exclude him; and therefore Major Tifto was now
as good a member as anyone else.
He was a well-made little man, good-looking for those who like
such good looks. He was light-haired and blue-eyed, with regular
and yet not inexpressive features. But his eyes were small and
never tranquil, and rarely capable of looking at the person who
was speaking to him. He had small, well-trimmed, glossy whiskers,
with the best-kept mustache, and the best-kept tuft on his chin
which were to be seen anywhere. His face still bore the freshness
of youth, which was a marvel to many, who declared that, from
facts within their knowledge, Tifto must be far on the wrong side
of forty. At a first glance you would hardly have called him
thirty. No doubt, when, on close inspection, you came to look into
his eyes, you could see the hand of time. Even if you believed the
common assertion that he painted,--which it was very hard to
believe of a man who passed the most of his time in the hunting-
field or on a race-course,--yet the paint on his cheeks would not
enable him to move with the elasticity which seemed to belong to
all his limbs. He rode flat races and steeple chases,--if jump
races may still be so called; and with his own hounds and with the
Queen's did incredible things on horseback. He could jump over
chairs too,--the backs of four chairs in a dining-room after
dinner,--a feat which no gentleman of forty-five could perform,
even though he painted himself ever so.
So much in praise of Major Tifto honesty has compelled the present
chronicler to say. But there were traits of character in which he
fell off a little, even in the estimation of those whose pursuits
endeared him to them. He could not refrain from boasting,--and
especially from boasting about women. His desire for glory in that
direction knew no bounds, and he would sometimes mention names,
and bring himself into trouble. It was told of him that at one
period of his life, when misfortune had almost overcome him, when
sorrow had produced prostration, and prostration some expression
of truth, he had owned to a friend his own conviction that could
he have kept his tongue from talking of women, he might have risen
to prosperity in his profession. From these misfortunes he had
emerged, and, no doubt, had often reflected on what he himself had
then said. But we know that the drunkard, though he hates
drunkenness, cannot but drink,--that the gambler cannot keep from
the dice. Major Tifto still lied about women, and could not keep
his tongue from the subject. He would boast, too, about other
matters,--much to his own disadvantage. He was, too, very 'deep',
and some men, who could put up with his other failings, could not
endure that. Whatever he wanted to do he would attempt round three
corners. Though he could ride straight, he could do nothing else
straight. He was full of mysteries. If he wanted to draw Charter
Wood he would take his hounds out of the street at Egham directly
in the other direction. If he had made up his mind to ride Lord
Pottlepot's horse for the great Leamington handicap, he would be
sure to tell even his intimate friends that he was almost
determined to take the 'baronet's' offer of a mount. This he would
do even when there was no possible turn in the betting to be
affected by such falsehood. So that his companions were apt to
complain that there was no knowing where to have Tifto. And then,
they who were old enough in the world to have had some experience
in men, perceived that peculiar quality of his eyes, which never
allowed him to look anyone in the face.
That Major Tifto should make money by selling horses was, perhaps,
a necessity to his position. No one grumbled at him because he did
so, or thought that such a pursuit was incompatible with his
character as a sporting gentleman. But there were some who
considered that they had suffered unduly under his hands, and in
their bargains with him had been made to pay more than a proper