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Social 
vicissitudes 



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SIX-SHILLING NOVELS. 



-*-=*^ 



In Jeopardy. By George Manville Fenn. 

The Master of the Ceremonies. By G. Manville 

Fenn. 
Double Cunning. By G. Manville Fenn. 
The Lady Drusilla : A Psychological Romance. 

By Thomas Purnell. 

Tempest Driven. By Richard Dowling. 

The Chilcotes. By Leslie Keith. 

A Mental Struggle. By the Author of " Phyllis." 

Her Week's Amusement. By the Author of 

" Phyllis." 
The Aliens. By Henry F Keenan. 
Lil Lorimer. By Theo. Gift. 
Louisa. By Katharine S. Macquoid. 
A Lucky Young Woman. By F- C. Philips. 
As in a Looking Glass. By F. C. Philips. 
Social Vicissitudes. By F C. Philips. 
That Villain, Romeo ! By J. Fitzgerald Molloy. 
The Sacred Nugget. By B. L. Farjeon. 
Proper Pride. By B. M. Croker. 
Pretty Miss Neville. By B. M. Croker. 
The Prettiest Woman in Warsaw. By Mabel 

Collins. 

A Terrible Legacy. By G. Webb Appleton. 

[In the Press. 



Three-and-Sixpenny Novels. 

Two Pinches of Snuff. By William Westall. 
The Confessions of a Coward and Coquette. 

By the author of " The Parish of Hilby," &c. 
A Life's Mistake. By Mrs. Lovett Cameron. 
In One Town. By the author of " Anchor Watch 

Yarns," &c. 
Anchor Watch Yarns. By the Author of " In One 

Town," &c. 
Atla; A Story of the Lost Island. By Mrs. J. 

Gregory Smith. 
Less than Kin. By J: E. Panton. 
A Reigning Favourite. By Annie Thomas (Mrs. 

Pender Cudlip). 
The New River; A Romance of the Days of Hugh 

Myddelton. By Somerville Gibney. 
Under Two Fig Trees. By H. Francis Lester. 
Comedies from a Country Side. By W Outram 

Tristram. 



Two- Shilling Novels. 

Great Porter Square. ByB.L. Farjeon. 6th Edition. 
The House of White Shadows. By B. L. Farjeon. 

4th Edition. 
Grif. By B. L. Farjeon. 6th Edition. 
Snowbound at Eagle's. By Bret Harte. 3rd 

Edition. 
The Flower of Doom. By M. Betham-Edwards. 

2nd Edition. 
Viva. By Mrs. Forrester. 3rd Edition. 
A Maiden all Forlorn. By the Author of " Molly 

Bawn." 4th Edition. 
Folly Morrison. By Frank Barrett. 4th Edition. 
Honest Davie. By Frank Barrett. 3rd Edition. 
Under St. Paul's. By Richard Dowling. 2nd 

Edition. 
The Duke's Sweetheart. By Richard Dowling. 

2nd Edition. 
The Outlaw of Iceland. By Victor Hugo. 



TO 

COLONEL GEORGE PHILIPS 

tfh (Queen's Own) Hussars 

Woc&c SKetcbes are IDefcicatet) 

BY 

HIS AFFECTIONATE BROTHER 
F C. PHILIPS 



SOCIAL 



VICISSITUDES 



SOCIAL 
VICISSITUDES 



BY 



F. C. PHILIPS 

AUTHOR OF 
'AS IN A LOOKING-GLASS," "a LUCKY YOUNG WOMAN," BTC. 



NEW EDITION 



LONDON 
WARD & DOWNEY, 12 YORK ST., COVENT GARDEN 

[All rights reserved] 



CONTENTS. 



The Tiger's Eye 

Royal Recognition . 

Natural Jurisprudence . 

The Little Menage in South Street 

The Church and the Stage 

The Shadow on the Blind 

The Biter Bit . 

"Eien se va Plus" 

"There's many a Slii' " 

A Modern Hermit . 

Viscount Lackland ; or, Usury 

Tit for Tat 

Le Beyers de la Medaille 

Episcopal Discipline 

A Prudent Marriage 

A Modern Othello . 

The Cave of Tuornoxius 

A Modern Election 

A Military Matchmaker 

The New Inn . 

A Modern Judge 

University Discipline . 

Between the Lines . . 



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19 
26 

36 
44 
57 
64 
73 
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95 
102 
108 

115 
124 
136 
US 
151 
169 
17S 
1S5 
193 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



St. James's visits St. George's 

A Modern Esau 

Le Dessods des Cartes . 

The Schooner and the Launch 

What we are Coming to 

Am I a Failure? 

" Vestigia Nulla Eetrorsum '' 

The Clerical Element . 

" Killing no Murder " 

"A New Way to tay Old Debts' 

A University Career . . 



PAGB 

198 

203 

217 

224 

233 
241 
248 
256 

264 

280 
287 



SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 



THE TIGER'S EYE. 

Colonel Vandeleur was an officer who, on many occa- 
sions, had done a good deal more than smell powder. 
As a mere boy, fresh from Eton, he went out straight 
to the Crimea, and got his first promotion for heading 
a little party of volunteers who captured a rifle-pit 
and from it turned the enemy's line by taking them in 
flank. This distinguished service had marked him out 
very early in his career, and he was one of those whose 
interest at the Horse Guards had been strictly due to 
personal merit, and not to private influence. 

At the time of our story he was still in the prime of 
life, capable of any amount of hardship and fatigue, a 
keen sportsman, and, among men at any rate, a universal 
favourite. Nor were his good looks spoiled in any way 
by his glass eye. Some sand, thrown up by a Eussian 
shell which had burst in the trenches, had struck him 

B 



2 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

in the face, and his right eye had to be sacrificed. In 
its place he carried an eye of glass, which was perfectly 
well matched, and almost defied detection, his own 
features being, as a rule, if not exactly stolid, certainly 
very far from vivacious. 

He had made but one mistake in life. At the acre 
of forty-five he had married a girl of eighteen, and ho 
was now playing Hercules to her Omphale, and the 
veriest slave of her caprices, down to the slightest 
detail. The match had been a matter of regret to 
all his friends, many of whom had found that the 
young wife's intolerable self-assertion and petulance 
made it almost impossible for them any longer to 
see their old comrade, except on rare occasions at the 
club. 

Now, it so happened that the Colonel and his wife 
were staying at the Bedford Hotel at Brighton, and 
that Sir Greville Sykes was also fixed in quarters at 
the Old Ship. Vandeleur and Sykes had known each 
other for some years, and so it was only natural that 
the Vandeleurs coming across Sykes at Mutton's should 
ask him to dinner, and afterwards see a good deal of 
him, and that they should make up between them, more 
or less, a little party of three. 

A stroke of luck had befallen Vandeleur. An old 
uncle, a retired chief clerk in Chancery, had died 
suddenly, leaving him all his money Xinety-five 



THE TIGER'S EYE. 3 

thousand pounds is a very comfortable sum. The 
sooner you get it out of the hands of the lawyers and 
into your own, the better. So Vandeleur was always 
hurrying up to London, and, as he expressed it, pegging 
away at the musty old dullards of Lincoln's Inn 
Fields. 

One day he had a downright explosion with the 
second partner of the eminent firm of Tail, Tail, 
Remainder, and Tail, and had even gone the length of 
threatening to transfer his business to the younger and 
quicker hands of Messrs. Shortcroft and Eaid. This so 
terrified the man of tape, that he not only promised to 
wind the whole business up in a fortnight, but actually 
suggested a cheque for a couple of thousand pounds for 
any little immediate needs, and, what is more, drew 
the document and signed it. 

"This is jolly," said Vandeleur to himself. "It 
is now only twelve, and I can easily be back for 
dinner." 

So first he drove up to the bank and cashed the 
cheque ; then he paid the bulk of the money into his 
own bank ; and then he had some sherry and a caviare 
sandwich at the Rag. Next he strolled up into Bond 
Street and made some purchases — some gloves, a brace- 
let, and a sunshade— for his wife,- together with a most 
charming silver chatelaine. And for himself, half a 
dozen boxes of cigars, and a walking-stick to which 

B 2 



4 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

he took a fancy. Then he returned to his club to 
lunch. 

Beim? much encumbered with the dust of travel, he 
set to work about his ablutions in earnest, and before 
commencing them removed his glass eye. It somehow 
slipped through his fingers, fell with a crash on the 
stone floor, and splintered into a thousand fragments. 

Now, it is not so easy, as Vandeleur knew, to get a 
glass eye at a minute's notice. You must devote a 
morning to the carrying out of such a matter, and have 
your own eye very carefully matched. It is as trouble- 
some an undertaking as a visit to your dentist. So he 
resolved to make a second visit to London next week, 
and bring up his wife, with carte hlanche to ransack 
Bond Street and Begent Street on her own account. 
Meantime, he hurried round to the eminent taxidermist 
who had always set up all his big game for him, and 
explained his position. 

" I don't want to go down to Brighton with a green 
patch, you know," he observed. " What can you do 
for me ? " 

" We don't keep human eyes, sir. You should go to 
an optician's or a surgical instrument maker's." 

" So I will when I am next in town, or will come up 
on purpose to do it. But I've only twenty minutes in 
which to catch my train, so you must fix me up 
somehow." 



THE TIGER'S EYE. 5 

The shopman hesitated, but at last produced a box 
with trays full of eyes of every kind. One was at last 
selected which fitted fairly well. 

" It will do," said the Colonel, as he looked at him- 
self in the glass. "At all events it is better than 
nothing. What beast was it meant for ? " 

" A tiger, sir." 

The Colonel laughed as he took his change. " Begad, 
I ought to have known it," said he, "without being 
told ! If any one knows a tiger's eye, it's your humble 
servant. I've shot them, ah ! by the score, the brutes." 

The shopman thought his customer was bouncing, 
and was just about to giggle, when he suddenly looked 
at the Colonel, seemed to catch an awkward expression 
in his features, and recovered himself abruptly 

Away rattled Yandeleur in a quick hansom to 
Victoria. " Drive sharp ! " he said. When deposited at 
the station, he tendered the Jehu his legal fare. The 
fellow looked at it in disgust. " Why, what's this ? " he 
was beginning, when he suddenly seemed to think 
better of it. " Beg your pardon, sir ; I was a-thinking 
it was from Camberwell." And he clambered into his 
seat, and went meditatively away 

" I'd as soon drive the devil hisself," he said, when 
he joined his friends upon the rank. " It was awful. 
Talk of Mr. Newfield ! He can look at you and reckon 
you \ip, he can. But no beak in London's in it with 



6 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

this cove. ' Six months/ I 'eard 'im say. Leastways 
I 'card 'im look it. That's to say, I see 'im look it." 

Innocent of all this, the Colonel purchased an assort- 
ment of papers and seated himself in a carriage. It 
was a very odd thing, he thought. Actually a lady 
who was in the same compartment whispered something 
to her husband in a state of great excitement. The 
guard was summoned, and they transferred themselves 
to another carriage. "A curious business," said the 
Colonel ; " they can't take me for the ghost of Lefroy." 
Then the train started, and he settled down to his 
papers. 

From the station he drove to the Bedford, telling the 
porter to bring up his packages. His wife was seated 
in the window, busied with Ouida's latest effort of ima- 
gination. She jumped up and came to meet him. 

" I was wondering when you would return," she said. 
" I thought perhaps you might stop and dine at your 
club, and come down by the last train, or perhaps to- 
morrow morning." 

" Why should you think that ? " he asked, not at all 
unnaturally. It was annoying, when he had come down 
with a lot of presents for her, that she should not be 
more cordial in her welcome. 

She looked at her husband for a moment, made a step 
towards him, then turned round, threw herself upon 
the sofa, and burst into tears. 



THE TIGER'S EYE. 7 

"Oh, don't kill me! Don't kill me! I've been 

dreadfully wicked, horribly wicked, but don't kill 

me!" 

* # * * » 

Colonel Vandeleur went back to town that night by 
the late express, and took up his quarters at an hotel 
in Jerrnyn Street much frequented by him in his 
bachelor days. Next morning he received a short letter 
from his wife, which was at once incoherent and yet 
explicit. Also it was truthful, which her letters, as a 
rule, were not. 

He meditated a good deal and went round to Lincoln's 
Inn Fields. Then he went to the club, hunted out an 
old friend, and took him to dinner. They dined t&e-d- 
Ute in a private room, and sat talking until very small 
hours in the morning. The consultation over at last, 
the Colonel wrote a letter, and a confidential clerk from 
the office of his solicitors took it down next morning to 
Brighton to make sure of personal delivery. 

" At my time of life I am averse to a scandal, nor 
have I any wish to marry again. I have no secrets and 
no attachment or even an ordinary entanglement that 
I have hidden from you. Your position will not be 
affected. Your settlements will remain as they are. 
But I impose one condition on you. You will have to 
live at Southwold, whether you like the place or not, 
and I forbid you to leave it even for a day, except by 



8 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the written orders of my doctor, who will at any time 
come down from London to see yon. 

"I may also tell you that your movements will be duly 
and regularly reported to me. A clay will be enough 
for you to make your arrangements. On any business 
matter, however small, you may write to my solicitors. 

" There is thus nothing that need trouble you. For 
myself, I am leaving England, and have no fixed plans. 
If you write to me, I shall refer the letter to my 
solicitors, so that you may spare yourself all attempts 
to shake an irrevocable determination. Were you not 
a Protestant, I should advise you to go into a convent. 
As it is, I have done the next best thing for you. 

" Charles Vandeleuk." 

yfc 9fc 9fc ?fc $? 

Mrs. Vandeleur is much respected at Southwold, 
where the curates and the old maids compare her 
troubles and sorrows to those of poor clear Lady Byron. 
She is very charitable and immensely energetic, and on 
minor points of parish administration the Lector defers 
to her. 

Colonel Vandeleur himself is yachting and shooting, 
not extravagantly at all, but in true sportsmanlike 
fashion. I lis hair is grizzled, but he is still as erect as 
a dart, and, as his friends profanely put it, with covert 
allusion to the two principal misfortunes of his life 
"his eye is not dim, nor his natural force abated." 



( 9 ) 



ROYAL RECOGNITION. 

From "The Grand" Prance, on tour, to H.R.H. the 
Pri-nce of Mona, K.G., on board the Yacht "Alicia" 
Cowes, 1. of W 

Headquarters " Merriment Army," 

Theatre Royal, Ryde, I. of W., 

August 7, 1882. 

Sir, — In the first place, I humbly beg to assure your 
Eoyal Highness of the feelings of respect and devotion 
with which I venture to address your Eoyal Highness. 
Secondly, I have the honour to inform your Eoyal High- 
ness that I have just taken up a strong position here, 
with a small but admirably equipped and well-drilled 
army, which is ready and willing at the word of com- 
mand to march to the assault of any number of hearts, 
even at the risk of encountering the bursting of laughter, 
the file-firing of applause, or the volley of encores. 
Thirdly, I am compelled by my responsible position to 
respectfully warn your Eoyal Highness that, on the 
slightest intimation of your Eoyal Highness's intention 
to enter into an engagement with me and the troops 



io SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

which I have the honour of commanding, I shall (with- 
out further notice) attack the Alicia in force, board 
her, and (if possible) carry her by storm and kill all 
aboard with my new coruscations of wit. 

I am, Sir, with the deepest respect, 

Your Eoyal Highness's 
Most devoted and obedient Servant, 

Aetiiue, Geinwell France, 

General Gommanding-in-Cldef. 



From H.R.H. the Prince of Mona, to " The Grand " 
Prance, Theatre Royal, Byde. 

Yacht " Alicia," Cowes, Tuesday. 

The Prince of Mona has received General Prance's 
ultima turn, and, in reply, begs to assure him that he is 
perfectly ready to engage the "Merriment Army" at 
9 p.ji. to-morrow. At the same time the Prince con- 
siders it only right to inform General Prance that he 
will have to encounter, not only the whole of the 
Alicia's available forces, but also an appreciable con- 
tingent which the Prince has impressed from other 
ships now in harbour. The Prince can promise the 
General a " warm" reception. 



ROYAL RECOGNITION. II 

From Lady Goldmine, Steam Yacht " Pomposo" Coiccs, 
to the Hon. Mrs. Bluesang, Yacht " Alicia," Cowes. 

August 8. 

My dear Mrs. Bluesang, — You will be glad to 
hear that we are aboard the dear Pomposo at last. Sir 
Croesus insisted on staying in town till this morning, 
owing to that tiresome Egyptian business, and I posi- 
tively dreaded the arrival of the post. lie was quite 
capable of giving up the regatta-week altogether, and 
I couldn't very well commission the Pomposo without 
him, could I, dear ? You see I am quite a sailor 
already I suppose it is the result of being on salt 
water, though we are safe at anchor novj, and sleep 
on shore, of coursr. But I am forgetting the object of 
my letter. Will you lunch with us to-morrow, at 
1.30, aboard? I'm afraid you won't get anything 
much better than an able seaman's rations ("junk" 
and " six-water grog," perhaps, though what that is 
I don't know, " jolly tar " though I am), but I'm sure 
you won't mind " roughing it " for once. Our own 
party is only ten or twelve, and I have not sent out 
many cards, so we shall be quite " en famille." 

P.S.V.P. by the pinnace. I was just going to put 
" bearer " ! 

Ever yours, 

Angelina Goldmine. 



12 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

P.S. — I have just heard, by the merest chance, that 
" The Grand " Prance is to sing to the Prince to- 
morrow night. I hear he is excruciatingly funny. I 
do so long to hear him. Of course, I have never had 
the chance. I have been taken once, with a deep veil 
on, to the Eldorado ; hut the Corinthian Saloon and 
the Alcazar are, alas ! impossible. And to think 
that a word from you to the sweet Princess would 
enable me to hear Prance ! And aboard the Alicia, 
too! 



From the Hon. Mrs. Bluesang to Lady Goldmine. 

Yacht " Alicia," August 8, 1882. 

Dear Lady Goldmine, — I am sorry to be unable 
to accept your kind invitation to lunch, as just at 
present my time is not my own. A few intimate 
friends of the Prince dine on board to-morrow; and 
there is, I believe, to be a little music on deck after- 
wards. Beyond this, I know nothing about H.E.H.'s 
arrangements. 

Very truly yours, 

Ethel Bluesang. 



ROYAL RECOGNITION. 13 

From Orlando Kean Macrcady Kcmble Fitz-Iiantcr, of the 
Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, to H.R.H. the Prince of 
Mona, K.O., on hoard the Yacht " Alicia," Cowcs, 
Isle of Wiijht. 

August 10, 1882. 

May it please your Royal Highness, 
Sir, — It has come to my ears, through sources which 
I deem to be sufficiently trustworthy, that, but yester- 
e'en, a person calling himself " The Grand " Prance had 
the inestimable honour of going through his perform- 
ance before your Eoyal Highness and a distinguished 
circle of your Eoyal Highness's "most familiar friends." 
Although, owing to the underhand machinations of a 
cowardly clique, I have as yet been debarred from the 
privilege of appearing before your Eoyal Highness on 
the boards of " Old Drury," the nightly and enthusiastic 
approbation of an appreciative although provincial 
audience, and the many laudatory critiques which I 
herewith am bold to enclose, encourage me to hope 
that your Eoyal Highness, in your capacity of the 
most august as well as most enlightened patron of 
the drama whom old England can boast, will deign 
to command the attendance of the most humble of 
" Her Majesty's Servants " on board the Alicia, when 
he will do his utmost to prove that there are still 
professors of the histrionic art among us capable of 



14 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

interpreting the mind of the Divine Bard, although 
they may not be assisted by unlimited capital or gifted 
with an indistinct utterance and a shambling gait. 
I am, Sir, &c. &c. &c, 
Orlando Kean Macready Kemble Fitz-Eanter. 

P.S. — I may add that my motives in addressing your 
Eoyal Highness are entirely disinterested. I should not 
dream of making any charge, however small, for my 
humble services. 

From A. Manuensis, Esq., Private Secretary to the Prince 
of Mona, to 0. K. M. K. Fitz- Painter, Esq. 

Yacht "Alicia," August 10, 1882. 

Sir, — I am commanded by H.E.H. the Prince of 
Mona to acknowledge the receipt of your letter. 
H.E.H. has no occasion for the services you are good 
enough to offer. 

I am, Sir, &c. &c, 

A. Manuensis. 

From Sir Simon Lobom, Bart., Yacht " Nouvclor" Ryde, 
to the Viscountess Cheltenham, Gardenia Cottage, 
Coives. 

August 8, 1882. 

My dear Lady Cheltenham, — You went into such 



ROYAL RECOGNITION. 15 

fits of laughter when we had our little conversation at 
the garden party yesterday that I am afraid you thought 
I was joking. It certainly is laughable that a man of 
my means should anticipate any difficulty in being 
elected to the R.Y.S. But, then, you see, the old fogies 
who work the oracle there knew my father, who, I am 
ashamed to say, was once a navvy, and they can't for- 
get it, although I have done everything that a lavish 
expenditure can do to. efface the stigma upon our 
escutcheon. 

Now, I have set my mind upon getting into the R.Y.S. 
and I don't care what it costs me. I have been duly 
presented to the Prince of Mona, and have met him 
once or twice in a friendly way at garden parties and 
smoking concerts. 

So, you see that, if my name happened to crop up 
in your next conversation with H.I1.H., and you 
happened to say that a man who owns a steam yacht 
of 700 tons, a schooner of 300, and a 20-ton cutter 
(besides being real good company) ought to belong to 
the Squadron, it is very likely that H.E.H. might back 
me at the election next week. No one, however 
austere, could refuse you anything, I am sure; not 
even if you were to tell a fellow that life was very 
expensive, and duns very troublesome, and a friend's 
help very welcome. I know I should be too happy to 
receive any such confidence from Lady C, and to prove 



16 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

myself worthy of it by prompt action and strict 

secrecy. 

Yours always sincerely, 

Simon Lobobx. 

From Lady Cheltenham to Sir Simon Lolom, Bart. 

Gardenia Cottage, Coves, August 9, 1882. 
Dear Sir Simon, — Your too funny letter was handed 
to me just as my husband and I were embarking for 
the Alicia. Of course, I took it as it was meant — one 
of your amusing practical jokes — and laughed so much 
all the way that Lord Cheltenham (from whom, of 
course, I have no secret) insisted on sharing the fun. 
Well, he laughed a good deal, and then showed it to 
the Prince, who also laughed a good deal. But they 
both agreed that the Squadron was too " fogey " for a 
person of your infinite humour. And then they made 
me read it aloud, and we all roared with laughter. You 
will be glad to hear that the Princess was particularly 
amused, and suggested that you should take it to the 
Mediterranean Fleet, and make them all laugh out 
there. I am still laughing, so that I can hardly hold 

my pen. 

Yours, in fits, 

Blanche Cheltenham. 

P.S. — You will be pleased to know that my husband is 
still quite able to continue my pittance of £5000 a year. 



ROYAL RECOGNITION. 17 

From Hercules Q. Goalicd, Yacht " Pride of Columbia," 
Cowes, to H.B.H. the Prince of Mona, KG. 

August 8, 1882. 

Sir, — Some twenty years ago you were riding out 
with a party in the environs of New York. You 
stopped a few miles from the city and allowed a shabby 
young man to hold your horse while you got down to 
take a look round at the prospect. You kind of took 
to that young man's face ; and when he told you he 
was walking to New York to make his fortune, you gave 
him a silver dollar. That shabby young man marked 
it, and invested it on condition that the identical 
coin should be handed back to him if successful. 
He was. He has kept that dollar ever since. It is 
now mounted in diamonds, and will descend to his 
family as an heirloom. 

/ am that shabby young man ; and your dollar has 
brought me millions. That is, your dollar, my brains, 
and God's blessing. 

Now, I feel sort of nervous writing to a future 
Emperor and King. I'm not posted in the etiquette 
of the British Court. But I want you, more'n I ever 
wanted anything, to visit your Dollar, where it hangs 
irftny state cabin. If I could see you there, and shake 
you by the hand, and look at that Dollar meantime, it 
would make me happy 

- 



j 8 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

If it can't be done, I should value the cartes of your- 
self, your consort, and your children. You are a great 
prince, and I am a plain man. But there can't be any 
much harm in my saying, " God bless you ! " 

Hercules Q. Goahed. 

From the Prince of Monet to Hercules Q. Gocthecl, Esq. 

Yacht " Alicia," Tuesday Evening. 

The Prince of Mona has received Mr. Goahed's letter 
with much satisfaction. He encloses the latest photo- 
graphs of himself, the Princess, and his sons and 
daughters. The Prince will be happy to visit the Dollar 
to-morrow morning at eleven o'clock. 

Notice Board at B.Y.S. Castle, Govxs, 

HONORARY MEMBER. 

Hercules Q. Goahed, Esq., New York Yacht Club, 
schooner yacht Pride of Golumoia. 
Proposed by H.K.H. the Commodore. 
Seconded by Lord Cheltenham. 



( 19 ) 



NATURAL JURISPRUDENCE. 

Scene. — The principal bedroom of Mr. Justice Grippeu's 
villa at Usher. Time, 2 A.M. His lordship is dis- 
covered in bed, snoring the sleep of the just. He is 
roused by the entry of Mr. William Sikes. 

Mr. Justice Gripper {starting up in bed). Hullo! 
Who's there ? 

Me. William. Sikes {cheerfully). Only me, guv'nor. 

Mr. J. G. And who the devil are you, sir ? 

Mr. W S. You'll know soon enough, guv'nor. {Sits 
down in an easy-chair.) My name's Sikes — William 
Sikes of Hoxton. Your lordship knows me and I know 
you. You keep quiet and civil for once in your life, 
and you're all right. Ah ! ring the bell, would ye ? Try 
that again, and I'll crack your old head with the 
water-jug ! 

Mr. J. G. {livid v:ith indignation). Leave the room, 
sir! 

Mr. W S. {pleasantly). Ah, you always used to like 
to get rid o' me in a hurry No ; I ain't going to leave 
the room, and it's no good your calling your servants.- 

c 2 



20 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Two of them are jugged in the cellar, the t'other's in the 
swim. And the women-folk are in bed with the sheets 
over their heads. Fust of all, let's make ourselves 
comfortable. You're a good judge of a cigar, you are. 
{Extracts a choice regalia from his pocket, lights it, and 
mixes himself a stiff glass from a spirit-case on the table.) 
Now, look here, you old pig, do you know me now ? 
You've had me to rights once or twice; it's my turn 
now. 

Mr. J. G. You will pay for this, sir ! I never forget 
a face. 

Mr. W S. Don't you ? Now, take care ; none of your 
wiolent language. You've more to thank me for than 
you know of. I've two pals with me in this job. You 
gave one of 'em four-and-twenty not so long ago, and 
he wanted us to tie you up to the bedpost, shove a towel 
in your old mouth, and give you four dozen. He'd 
a-done it if I hadn't stopped him. I says, " No," I says, 
" no unnecessary wiolence ; his lordship 'nil do what's 
right and square. Let's act judicial," says I. 

Mr. J. G. You insolent blackguard ! Not so long 
ago you would all have swung for this. 

Mr. W. S. {unth a broad grin). That job would 
a-suited you, my lord. Don't I see you at it, rolling it 
out, "place from whence you came, proper place of 
execution," all the rest of it ! I've heard you never 
take to your dinner so kindly as after a good hanging 



NATURAL JURISPRUDENCE. 21 

match. You a judge ! Ugh ! What was her blessed 
Majesty about ? (Assitmcs an expression of intense dis- 
gust, and expectorates freely.) 

Mr. J. G. I will not bandy words with you, you 
ruffian. Take what you want, and leave me. 

Mr. W S. Easy does it, guv'nor. I'm a-going to 'ave 
a little talk to you — improve the shining hour, you 
know ; and if you ain't civil, blowed if I don't pass the 
word, and we'll see how you like a dozen or so. Lord, 
I wonder at my own meekness, I do. But there, 
always was tender-hearted. (Changes suddenly from 
banter to ferocity) Look here, you bald-headed old viper, 
'ow long have you been a judge ? What ! you won't 
answer ? (rises threateningly from his chair). 

Mr. J- G. (with an effort). Nine years. 

Mr. W S. (producing a piece of rope, and tying knots 
in it abstractedly). Yes, and you took to the work 
natural. You've never missed hanging your dozen a 
year ; and as for the stretches you've ladled out, if you 
was to add them together, Methoosalum 'ud never see 
through it. I've a good mind to give you a dozen, 
I have. (Sittings the rope meditatively.) Ain't yer 
ashamed of yourself, you vindictive old sneak ? (Pause 
and silence, during which Mr. Sikes mixes some more 
fo*andy-and-icater.) 

Mr. W. S. (continuing). And you, too ! you putting 
down crime ! Why {with intense disgust), there wasn't 



22 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

a bigger rip than you about town, and I believe there 
ain't now. I know yer. I was in that little job at 
Brompton, I was — Linden Lodge. Yes, I see you 
remember. You was Mr. Serjeant Gripper then, and I 
owed you one, young as I was ; and so, when we'd 
collared the swag, I stuck all your papers on the fire. 
Weren't you in a stew next day in court ? 

Mr. J. G-. (viciously). Tiiat was you, was it, you 
clog ? 

Mr. W. S. (slappi r iig his leg). Yes, guv'nor ; and 'ere 
wc are again. (Laughs.) Well, I never see a judge in 
a nightcap before. (Thoughtfully) I should like to see 
it drawed a little lower clown, and this 'ere bit o' rope 
below it. ( With sudden ferocity) You hung my own 
uncle, you did, you old butcher ! a better man than you 
any day. His wife and children was fond of him, and 
that's more than you can say. And then you talked so 
precious big about gambling being the root of all evil. 
Why, I'm told you play higher than any of the nobs in 
your lot, and I seen yer with my own eyes planking it 
down in fifties on the cloth at Doncaster. Ugh ! I'd 
like to make yer get the proclamation agin wice and 
immorality by heart, like the kids do their Catechism ! 

Mr. J. G-. Have you finished, sir ? 

Mr. W S. I soon shall, my pippin. The best o' the 
swag's in the cart by this time. That's a nice watch o : 
yours (rising). 



NA TURAL JURISPRUDENCE. 23 

Mr. J. G. (with something like real dignity). Leave 
that watch, you scoundrel ! 

Mr. W S. {opening the case). Giv you by Lady Grip- 
per. Ha ! Well, I carn't 'elp it, although yer feelings 
does yer credit. You turned my uncle off, you know. 
{Attaches the watch to his waistcoat.) Studs — ah ! and 
links. Now, just take off them rings, becos, if I have 
to help yer, I might hurt yer. (Looks about the room, 
restores its contents to the dressing-bag, and snaps the 
lock.) I think that's all ; them candlesticks are only 
plated. I don't want yer lordship's letters (examining 
Mr. Justice Gripper's coat). Yer ain't so much cash 
about yer as I could a-wished. Hows'ever (pocketing 
money and notes), every little helps. This yere's good 
gold, I'll lay (taking up set of artificial teeth). You'll 
miss these yere over your toast this morning. Well, I 
must be a-going. 

Mr. J. G. (retaining composure with great effort). You 
shall pay for this yet, you impudent villain ! 

Mr. W S. (menacingly). Now, you just stow that bad 
language, 'cos I won't have it — not even from a judge. 
And you look 'ere (composes his face into an expression 
of mock judicial solemnity), Joseph Gripper, you're a 
man of desperate character. You're a bald-headed 
old sinner. You've gambled and you've rushed enough 
for a dozen. Yer never did a good turn to anybody in 
your life ; and yer never will. There ain't a soul who 



24 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

knows you who don't wish you was dead. There's some 
of the judges (shaking his head profoundly) — your com- 
panions in guilt — as try to be gentlemen in so far as 
their 'orrible course of life allows of it. You've never 
tried to be a gentleman — it ain't in yer. How you 
came to be a judge I don't know. If you had your 
rights, you'd be doing time. Don't get purple in the 
face, and don't shake your fist at the Court, or the 
Court'll be shaking its fist at you. Lord ! I've heard 
you so often, I can do the trick quite natural. Let 
to-night be a warning to you for the rest of your sinful 
old life, and be thankful the Court hasn't given yer that 
three dozen. (Here Me. Sikes lights a farewell cigar and 
becomes grave.) Look you here, Mr. Justice Gripper. 
When I was a boy, your father gave me a month for 
stealing apples. I wasn't twelve. I picked up in the 
Jug with a lot of fellows as was bigger than myself. 
When I came out, what was I to do ? Nobody 'ud 
have a word to say to me. Then you prosecuted me at 
Quarter Sessions, and made it as hot as ever you could 
for me. Larceny of a coat it was, and I got eighteen 
months. Next time I see yer you was Recorder, 
and next time I see yer you was at the Old 
Lailey. I'm a thief, I know I am ; but strike me blind 
if I ain't a better man than you are ! I ain't so mean, 
I ain't so greedy, I ain't so spiteful and wenemous, and 
I ain't such a liar : I'd scorn it. Now, I'm going to 



NATURAL JURISPRUDENCE. 25 

lock yer in, and I hope afore you die you'll have a wisit 
from my poor uncle's ghost, as you made so many jokes 
over. I see you a-grinning now, you old wolf. (Casts 
his eye round the room.) Nothing more. If you dare 
to make any noise or to open your mouth for the next 
ten minutes, I'll come back and stop it for you for once 
and for all. (Blows out the candle, shuts the door after 
him, locks it on the outside, and descends the stairs.) 

The reflections of Mr. Justice G ripper are for some 
time not marked by that lucidity, logical precision, and 
exactitude, nor have his ejaculations that dignity and 
felicitude of expression, upon which he has so often 
been complimented by the public press. 



( 26 ) 



THE LITTLE MENAGE IN 
SOUTH STREET. 

George Fairholme was the third son of a rector in the 
shires, whose income allowed him to send his sons one 
after the other to a public school, and then to the 
university. These two stages concluded, the worthy 
rector used to tell each boy in his turn that he had now 
got his start in life and must shift for himself. 

This they all somehow managed to do. The know- 
ledge of the Eev. Mr. Fairholme was limited. He had 
forgotten all the Greek and Latin he ever knew, and he 
had never in his life learnt anything else beyond the 
minimum of theology required for ordination, at a time 
when bishops were lax, and when a duke was heard to 
declare, confirming his ducal word with his ducal oath, 
that he would have his negro footman ordained the 
next day if he chose, and offered to bet heavily on the 
event. 

The history of the first son, who was in a marching 
regiment, and of the second, who was in the navy, need 
not concern us. The third, through the interest of the 



inv. UTTI.E MENAGE IN SOUTH STREET 27 

member for the county, got a nomination to tlie Foreign 
Office, the clerks in which have chances of better things, 
and with a little luck occasionally get them. He was 
looking out, when our story commences, for a stroke 
of luck of this kind — a paid attache-ship, or something 
of that sort — and by way of improving his prospects 
generally in that direction, or indeed in any other, lie 
decided to make a prudent marriage. Accordingly, 
Miss Constance Thorndyke, daughter of Lord Eustace 
Thorndyke, fourth brother of the Duke of Surrey, 
became Mrs. George Fairholme. 

Her father, on her wedding-day, gave Mrs. George, 
with tears in his eyes, a pearl and ruby locket. In it 
was a cheque for ,£500, the half of the sum which the 
devoted parent had extracted from his eldest brother for 
the specific purpose of dowry in ready money 

Now, the expenses of a honeymoon on the Continent 
and many other things incidental to a marriage in good 
society, such as lockets for the bridesmaids, make a 
hole in five hundred pounds, and when George Fair- 
holme returned from his honeymoon at Xice, he found 
that he had difficulties to face which may be briefly thus 
enumerated. 

His pay in the Foreign Office was exactly three 
hundred a year, less income-tax, to which he could add 
about three or four hundred a year more, which he had 
to work very hard to make up. In the first place, he 



28 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

belonged to one or two clubs, and lie played a remark- 
ably good game of whist. He also betted judiciously. 
Pray let it not be supposed that there was ever a ques- 
tion about this, even amongst his enemies. Any man 
who had breathed a word against his honour would 
have been laughed at. It has been said that the 
University Boat-race is the one rowing event that has 
never been sold, and, consequently, the public puts on 
its money with confidence, from Croesus who follows it 
in his launch, down to the costermonger who invests 
his dollar and trudges down to Putney on foot. Now, 
Fairholme's play was as much above suspicion as the 
University Boat-race itself. He also wrote a little, and 
perhaps, one way and another, his whole income ranged 
from seven to eight hundred a year. 

Let us take the per contra account. As a bachelor, 
he had lived in very comfortable lodgings in Eyder 
Street. He now had to pay for a small house in South 
Street, Park Lane, and to keep three maidservants. 
His wife needed a hired brougham. He could not take 
her out to dinner in a four-wheeled cab, and it would 
have been fatal to his chances to have given up 
society. 

Going out to dinner involves giving dinners, and 
there are other expenses incidental to Mayfair ; for it 
costs a man with a house far more to dine at home 
tctc-d-tcte with his wife than it would, if he had the 



THE LITTLE MENAGE IN SOUTH STREET 29 

requisite moral courage, to boldly take her to a 
restaurant, and there share with her a dinner of the 
same quality. 

Then, too, there was his wife's pin-money, and there 
were rates and taxes and other things of which a 
bachelor in lodgings knows nothing. The quarterly 
coal-bill when presented in February is an item to 
make a man groan, even if his cook does not receive a 
commission on it from the coal-merchant, and Fair- 
holme began to think that his wife must be a wonderful 
manager. She never exceeded her allowance, or wanted 
a cheque in advance, or told him of a troublesome bill 
which she had overlooked ; and yet they lived in as 
good style as did friends of his with three or four times 
his income. 

An end to his happiness — a very sudden and sad one 
— came at last. His wife had been with him to a quasi- 
state ball given by the Eussian Ambassador. Within 
a week about a hundred of the ladies who had been 
present were seized with typhoid fever. The Lancet 
took the matter up, and there was an investiga- 
tion. As there is nothing like accuracy in science, we 
give its result. It was a scientific "house that Jack 
built." These ladies had all refreshed themselves with 
some vanilla cream. The milk in this cream was 
traced to the dairy in Daleshire which had supplied it. 



3 o SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

This was a dairy constructed on sanitary principles, 
and visited weekly by a medical inspector, who had 
overlooked the fact that the water supplied to the cows 
came from a well which ought to have been closed some 
years back, and securely bricked over, as the whole 
sewage of the farm leaked pleasantly into it. 

Among those who were stricken down, and whose 
case was hopeless from the first, was Mrs. Fairholme. 

Her husband returned from the funeral looking; as 
he had looked for many days, at least ten years older. 
The servants instinctively avoided him. The blinds 
were drawn up, and he wandered moodily about the 
house like a caged panther. 

There were his wife's little tropical birds in their 
gilded cage. There was her fernery with its green 
frogs and speckled lizards ; her piano, her writing-case, 
her picture on the wall — everywhere something to 
remind him of her, down even to the Little silver ink- 
stand she had given him on his last birthday. He had 
never been able, poor fellow, to afford her jewellery, 
beyond some little trifle such as a locket or inexpensive 
bracelet on New Year's Day, or on some other such 
occasion. But, like a good and economical wife, she 
had hired her jewellery for the evening, or when she 
attended a drawing-room, from Messrs. Polonius, of 
Bond Street. This, she explained to him, was a practice 
as common as to hire a brougham, and Messrs. Polonius, 



J. U. A J-* 1^1. 



ITTLE MENAGE IN SOUTH STREET 31 



with whom her family had dealt for years, would always 
let her have the same articles over again if she gave 
a few days' notice, so that, as she used laughingly to 
say, her friends quite believed them to be her own, 
and could hardly conceal their envy. 

"lam a clever little wife, dearest, am I not ? " she 
would say, as she put up her face to be kissed before 
he took her out to some dinner or ball. "Don't be 
afraid. I won't drop this pendant. Why " — and here 
she would clap her little hands — " it would cost my 
darling nearly a year's income." 

From the drawing-room he wandered upstairs. He 
was going to leave that night, and bury himself for a 
month in Brittany. He went into his dressing-room 
for a few odd things, and then took a look round the 
bedroom. Suddenly a thought struck him, and he 
rang the bell. It was answered by the housemaid. 

"Send Mary to me," he said shortly. Now, Mary 
had been in the family in a double capacity. She 
waited at table and acted as Mrs. Fairholme's maid. 

" Mary," he said, " I want the key of the wardrobe." 
He cotild not bring himself to mention his wife, even 
indirectly. " There are some things there which I must 
take back to Mr. Polonius before I go away to-night. 
I would rather not have them left in the house." 

Mary turned round to hunt for the key, but her face 
became very pale. 



32 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

"You have been sitting up lately," he said, as she 
found the key and brought it him. "You may go 
to-night to your people in the country. When I return, 
I fear you must find another place. Where is the 
jewellery ? " 

Mary, paler than ever, pointed out a large Eussian 
leather jewel-case, found him the key of it, and fairly 
burst into tears. 

"They are all from Mr. Polonius ?" he asked. 

" All, sir," sobbed Mary. " Poor dear mistress never 
went anywhere else." 

And so, with his own valise and with the case of 
jewellery, Fairholme drove straight to the emporium 
of that prince among diamond merchants, and strode 
into the shop. 

" This," said he to the junior partner, who met him 
on the mat, " is the jewellery Mrs. Fairholme hired of 
you. I wish you to check it and give me a receipt. 
You may send in your account at once." 

The man looked bewildered, but he said nothing. 
He took the key Fairholme handed him, and opened 
the box, remarking — for he could see Fairholme's deep 
mourning — that it was a fine day, an observation he 
seemed to think might prove inspiriting. 

" Not ours, sir," he said, as he opened the first morocco 
case — a necklace of diamonds and pearls. "These," 
and he pointed to the name on the white satin inside 



J. flJZ. L* 



ITTLE MENAGE IN SOUTH STREET- 33 



the lid, " are from Messrs. Triplet. Nor these either ; 
nor yet these. I do not see anything of ours, sir, as- 
yet." 

Evidently bewildered, the man lifted the upper tray. 
Under it were letters. Then, without moving a muscle 
of his face, he was about to replace the tray, when 
Fairholme stopped him, took out the letters hurriedly, 
and begged him to make them up into a small parcel. 
This task the man accomplished, and Fairholme left 
the shop with the case in his hand and the letters in 
his pocket. 

When he had gone, the junior partner allowed his 
features to relax into a curious kind of smile. 

The jewels were left at his bankers', sealed up. There 
were yet two hours for his train from Victoria. So he 
turned into the Marlborough, sat down at a table by 
the window, and ordered some brandy He seldom or 
never touched brandy, so now it settled his nerves, and 
in a mechanical way he opened the packet. 

The letters in it told their own story. The jewellery 
had not been hired from Mr. Polonius, nor indeed from 
anybody else. Every article that he had left at the 
bankers' had its own little packet of letters. 

I hold that George Fairholme was doing nothing 
dishonourable in this, though I need not discuss the 
casuistry of the matter. He began with a letter from 
the Duke of Eadnor. The coronet and crest struck 

D 



54 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

him, as he had not the honour of the Duke's acquaint- 
anc3, so he opened the letter and read it. Then he 
read one or two of the others. Then he made a parcel 
of the lot, which he carefully sealed up, and so left the 
club. 

There was still an hour to catch his train, so he had 
time to buy a despatch-box for the letters. He also pro- 
vided himself with cigars and a few other things of 
which a widower does not usually think on the day 
of his wife's funeral. And then he drove to Victoria. 
Here it became apparent that he had changed his 
plans. Anyhow, he abandoned the idea of Brittany 
and took a ticket to Paris, which he reached soon after 
six the next morning. 

He devoted the day to writing letters, mostly on busi- 
ness. He instructed his solicitors to arrange for the 
sale of the lease of the little house in South Street, with 
all its effects if possible, except a few of his own which 
he specified. He also wrote a short and carefully con- 
sidered letter to Lord Eustace Thorndyke, and another 
to the chief of his department at the Foreign Office, 
mentioning that he should probably apply for a fort- 
night's further leave of absence than he had obtained. 
This took time, but he did not seem to feel tired, 
although he had been many hours without sleep. 

He posted his letters himself, and then dined at the 
Cafe" Anglais. No man ever selected a dinner more 



'JTTLE MENAGE IN SOUTH STREET 35 

carefully, or drank his champagne more deliberately or 
with greater appreciation. 

His dinner finished, he lit a cigar, then drove to the 
Varietds. Judic played that night in one of her most 
characteristic parts. The play was " Xiniche." No one 
laughed at it more heartily than did George Fairholme. 
The play over, he strolled into Bignon's, and concluded 
the day with a supper of the kind which has made that 
establishment famous throughout Europe. 



( 36 ) 



THE CHUBCH AND THE STAGE. 

Scene. — The Chdteau d'Arques, near Dieppe. The 
Archbishop of Lancaster is discovered inspecting 
the ruins with the aid of his " Baedeker." Turning 
a corner, he comes suddenly upon Mr. Nash, of 
Wash's Theatre. 

A. OF L. Delighted to meet you again, sir. I hope 
we shall again be near each other to-night at the table 
d'hote. Allow me to say that I was much impressed 
with your remarks on the policy of the Government. 
It seems to me that Mr. Gladstone sadly needs discre- 
tion. He puts his confidence too rashly in young and 
untried men. In political, as indeed in ecclesiastical, 
matters, judgment is at present much needed. 

Mr. Nash (cheerfully). You're quite right, your 
Grace. I am no politician myself, but I can quite see 
how the public is led astray I was very much 
interested in what you were saying last night about 
the uncertainty of the popular judgment. "Why, you 
never can tell whether a piece will run a thousand 
nights, or whether you will have to take down the 



THE CHURCH AND THE STAGE. 37 

bills before the week is over. All I can see is, that 
the public are our masters ; and it's my own private 
impression that they know about as little of dramatic 
art as they do of theology. 

A. of L. I beg your pardon, sir. I was not aware 
that — may I take the liberty of asking ? — ur — I had — 
ur — in fact — ur — imagined that — ur — you were in 
some way connected with the diplomatic service. I 
presume, from what I gather 

Me. Nash. Right you are, your Grace. I am an 
actor, and have been so most of my life. My name's 
Nash, of Nash's Theatre. Low comedy is my par- 
ticular line, although I am considered uncommonly 
good in character parts. I wish I could see your Grace 
at my house now and again. I am sure you'd enjoy 
" Pots and Kettles," and " Twiddlecombe's Troubles " is 
really amusing, I give you my word. 

A. OF L. (archiepiscopally surveying his gaiters). I 
was not aware, Mr. Nash, to whom I was talking, 
althou.h I confess that it gives me great pleasure to 
meet you. I take considerable interest in the drama, 
and was much pleased with the manner in which the 
undergraduates of St. Christopher's reproduced the 
" Supplices " of iEschylus the year before last. And 
this makes me the more regret that talents such as 
yours should be, as I cannot but think, thrown away. 
If the great gifts which you undoubtedly possess had 



33 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

been, under Divine guidance, turned into another 
channel, what invaluable results might not have ensued ! 
These are grave times, and every man should do what 
he can to aid the cause of the Faith. 

Mi:. Nash. I entirely agree with your Grace. The 
times are very grave — especially from your Grace's 
point of view. But it seems to me that it is the 
Church which is in fault, rather than the stage. You 
think I ought to put my gifts to higher purposes ? 
What do you do with your great gifts ? You took a 
first class in classics, and you were Warden of your 
college when my nephew was an undergraduate there. 
And you have written a book on " Prehistoric Pytha- 
goreanism," and another on the "Mutual Outlines of 
Intuition and Faith." But what do you do now ? 
Literally nothing. You spend the Parliamentary 
season in London attending to your duties, as you call 
them, in the House of Lords. You pass the Vacation 
on the Continent, first sticking a notice in the papers 
to say that letters of emergency are to be addressed to 
your secretary. I really fail to see what a Bishop 
has to do except to ordain, to consecrate, and to 
confirm. 

A. of L. I assure you, Mr. Nash, the work of a 
diocese in these days is overwhelming. 

Mr. Nash. I will take your Grace's word for it. 
But you will allow me to use your C race's own ar-u- 



THE CHURCH AND THE STAGE. 39 

ment. I want to see the immense abilities of the 
Episcopal Bench put to better purpose. It seems to 
me, in my humble judgment, that the Bishops are not 
such a power for good as they ought to be. The fact is, 
your Grace, that of late years the Church has somehow 
ceased to draw. 

A. of L. The expression is painfully familiar, Mr. 
Nash. 

Mr. Nash. I beg your Grace's pardon, I am sure ; 
but you know what I mean. The Church has got no 
real hold on public feeling. An eminent preacher is 
not half so well known as an eminent actor. There is 
not a man alive in these days with the power that used 
to be wielded by men such as Wesley and Irving — 
who, by-the-way, were Nonconformists. Why, if pho- 
tography be the mere test of popularity, the Bishops 
of the Established Church are actually eclipsed by the 
principal Nonconformist ministers. 

A. of L. I presume, of course, Mr. Nash, that you 
are speaking in earnest ; if so, I must remind you that 
the theatre is only a place of idle amusement, and has 
attractions of its own for the thoughtless crowds by 
whom it is frequented. 

Mr. Nash. That is exactly where your Grace is 
wrong. The crowds that frequent a theatre are not 
at all thoughtless. The pieces that draw the largest 
houses always have something in them. 



40 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

A. of L. Surely, Mr. Nash, what are called bur- 
lesques 

Mi;. Nash. Burlesques, your Grace, are as played 
out as Eitualism. The public wants a piece prettily 
mounted, but it wants something more. You must 
have real wit, and in serious pieces you must have real 
feeling. I happen to be proud of my calling, and I am 
certain that the hold of the stage upon the public in 
England at the present day is as great as it was in 
Athens in the days of Sophocles, with whom your 
Grace is better acquainted than I am. Everybody talks 
about a new play. Who ever talks about a new 
sermon ? Everybody knows our chief actors ; they are 
as well known as Cabinet Ministers. Who knows the 
names of the Bishops, or even how many of them there 
are ? Every penny paper keeps a dramatic critic. 
When do you ever see a report of a sermon ? If there 
were any vitality in the Church it would come out in 
Convocation. Who ever reads the debates in Convoca- 
tion, or troubles about them ? 

A. of L. The Church, Mr. Nash, does its work in its 
own way It has no adventitious advantages. 

Mr. Nash. The Church has every advantage, your 
Grace. Look at Moody and Sankey. They had nothing 
in the way of stage effects beyond a harmonium. Louk 
at the Salvation Army. Not that I am at all too fond 
of it myself. But look how it gets hold of the people. 



THE CHURCH AND THE STAGE. 41 

Now, the Church of England, somehow, doesn't do this. 
Ritualism never had any hold on the masses, who are 
always suspicious of anything like Roman Catholicism. 
The Low Church set — the Clapham School — is defunct. 
Not even a maid-of-all-work thinks it wrong to enjoy 
her Sunday holiday, and nobody that I know of reads 
Mrs. Hannah More. Broad Church is too shadowy for 
the English mind, which never really appreciates the 
higher criticism. If the Church wishes to be a power, 
it must make a new departure for itself. There is 
more connection than might be supposed between the 
Reformation and the great outburst of the Elizabethan 
drama. The stage was never so full of life as it is at 
this minute. Why the Church so dead ? 

A. of L. Although I cannot agree with your remarks, 
Mr. Nash, they yet are extremely suggestive. I cannot, 
of course, admit that the stage is at all educating the 
national mind. 

Mr. Nash. Of course not. Your Grace does not ever 
go to theatres, and has no means of judging. But what 
is the Church doing ? 

A. OF L. Tell me, sir, what you can suggest that the 
Church ought to do, or what it is that she leaves 
undone. 

Mr. Nash. There are the cathedrals, your Grace. 
They are the finest public buildings in England ; and 
they are practically useless. The English ritual — if a 



42 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

layman may speak on such a subject — is very attractive. 
English clergymen — some of them — are men of great 
ability. When I am at Oxford by any accident, I 
never miss University sermon in the morning, and 
I enjoy evening chapel at Magdalen or New. But, 
take England all over, the Church wants life, else 
Dissent would not be so strong as it is. Let the best 
men preach, your Grace. Make more use of your cathe- 
drals. Have shorter services, and make them more 
attractive, and the Church will then get hold of the 
people, as it has got hold of them in the country parts 
of France. And let me advise your Grace to go to the 
theatre once or twice, and see for yourself one or two of 
the kinds of plays that are really successful, and ask 
yourself what it is in them that makes them take. 

A. of L. (with a dignified smile). I cannot promise 
to take your advice, Mr. Nash, but much of what you 
have said has interested me profoundly. (Assumes the 
air of one who considers the conversation to have been 
closed by an appropriate benediction.) 

Mr. Nash (taking the hint). Your Grace is too kind. 
I dare say all this is new to you. If you want to move 
people, you must give them something new, and you 
must let it be good as well. I've been on the stage for 
thirty years, and I ought to know. (Bows his farewell.) 

A. OF L. (meditatively). I should certainly never 
have taken him for an actor. I never knew those kind 



THE CHURCH AND THE STAGE. 43 

of people were ever gentlemen, or even educated. I 
often wish myself that we were more like the judges — 
more of a power. I'm sure I take great trouble over 
my charges ; and I was five years over my " Harmony 
of the Major and Minor Prophets," which not even the 
Spectator has noticed. I see whom he had in his mind. 
He was thinking of men like Liddon, Farrar, and 
Kingsley. But men of that sort are always dangerous 
(shakes his head pr oundly). You are never sure what 
they may not commit you to. 

Me. Nash (assuming his stock faded expression of 
intense silent enjoyment). Eum old buffer ! Got a good 
appearance. Well preserved. Well got up. Fine 
voice. Pleasant manners. He ought to take, but he 
doesn't. Why on earth is it that parsons, big and little 
alike, do get so abominably cramped in their style ? 
That's what I wanted to tell him. However, it's no 
business of mine, and it will be all the same a huudred 
years hence. 



( 44 ) 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 

Sam Chapman was a Yarmouth man, and skipper of 
a large ketch, which regularly trawled on the Dogger 
Bank. The vessel was Sam's own. During his early 
days he had been a seafaring man, and had visited 
every part of the world. But he was Norfolk to the 
backbone, and more Yarmouth than Norfolk. So when 
his old mother died, and he sold up her boarding and 
lodging house, and generally realized her estate, and 
discovered that he was worth nearly a couple of thou- 
sand pounds, he had a smack built for him in the 
yard of Messrs. Fellowes, and found himself master of 
his own vessel, and with a comfortable sum at the 
bank. Sam was now some thirty years of age ; sun- 
burned like any Spaniard, with crisp curly hair, dark- 
brown eyes, large white teeth, and an immense physique. 
His build was that of a bear, his manners were those 
of a schoolboy, his laugh was exhilarating; but he 
had a will of his own, and he could use his lists 
upon provocation. 

One way and another, Sam was making about two 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 45 

hundred and fifty pounds a year. He owned no man 
as master, and so got full price for his fish. When on 
shore he had always gold in his pocket, and lie used to 
sit among the notables, in the smoking-rooms of the 
Angel in the market-place, and the Eoyal and the Crown 
and Anchor on the old quay, and discuss the affairs 
of State and the condition of the fish-market. Sam 
was a warm man. The big salesmen would associate 
with him ; the editor of the leading Yarmouth paper did 
not contradict him. He could have been in the Town 
Council if he had pleased. And when he returned one 
day for his week on shore, after eight weeks on the 
Bank, he found he had been elected churchwarden. 
Clearly, then, Sam ought to get married. Everybody 
told him so. And Sam accordingly did marry the 
prettiest girl in Yarmouth — where beauty is more 
common than might be supposed. The marriage for 
a time was happy Sam was proud of his wife, and 
Mrs. Chapman was proud of her handsome husband, 
who could take his ketch out through the Gat on 
the darkest night, drink his rum-and-water against 
the oldest skipper in the town, and punch the head of 
any man in Yarmouth, Lowestoft, or even Gorleston. 
Sam took a charming little house in Eow 11 84, one 
of the most fashionable Eows in Yarmouth. There 
were a parlour, and a kitchen, and a back yard, and 
two bedrooms ; and Sam furnished the house from top 



46 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

to bottom in the most approved style, and hung up 
portraits of the Royal Family, and had the door and 
shutters painted in bright green nicely picked out 
with vermilion, and had put upon the door an un- 
obtrusive brass plate with the inscription "SamL 
Chapman, Master Mariner." He used to be away for 
his eight weeks on the Bank, and then spend his week 
on shore while the Mary Jane was refitting. Only one 
thing troubled him. He was a kind-hearted man, and 
fond of children ; and he had no family. 

After three or four years, dark suspicions began to 
gather in Sam's mind, and he confided them to his 
brother skippers in the smoking-room of the Angel, 
not four hundred yards from Eow 1 1 84. 

"When I came back o' Monday," said Sam, "she'd 
got a new silk dress, and she said she'd bout it out 0' 
her savins. I didn't say nout, but I arst her where 
she'd bout it, and she said at Shipley's for five pound, 
and it was very cheap. So I goes round to Skipley, 
and I sees old Ketteridge, his managing man. She had 
bout the dress there, and she'd had it made there. 
That were trew, but the dress and the trimmins were 
seventeen pound fifteen; so I says to Ketteridge, 'How 
was it paid ? ' 'In gold/ says he. Now. I don't like 
the look 0' that ; " and Sam brought his fist down 
on the table with a blow that would have stunned 
a pig. 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 47 

Now, Sam's friends had known perfectly well what 
was coming. People talk a good deal at Yarmouth. 
They talk in the market-place, and on the fish-wharf, 
and along the quay ; and they chat at their doors in 
the Eows. Mrs. Chapman's gorgeous apparel and her 
general "goings on" had long been discussed at 
Yarmouth tea-tables ; but Sam was so good a fellow 
that no man liked to tell him what might, after all, be 
mere conjecture. 

" Young women '11 allers be young women," said a 
gentleman of authority in the herring trade. " They 
likes dress. It comes natural to 'em. Don't you get 
them ideas into your head, Sam." 

And in this sage judgment the other notables con- 
curred. But the old salesman was uneasy in his mind, 
and Sam was moody. 

"If I catch him," said Sam, "I'll murder him!" 
And so the matter dropped. 

It was about the autumn equinox when the Mary 
Jane was towed down river by the United Service, 
and Sam stood boldly away through the Gat. The 
wind began to freshen, and presently a regular north- 
easter burst upon the vessel — one of those north-easters 
that come tearing down from the North Sea and sweep 
the Norfolk coast. The Mary Jam was well handled, 
but the weather was too much for her. She carried her 
maintop-mast and mizentop-mast. Her mainsail was 



48 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

blown into ribbons. And when the gale subsided she 
lay-to under jib and mizen. Late in the evening of the 
next day the United Service spied her on the horizon, 
steamed up to her, and towed her into Yarmouth. 
Sam, who was tired and weary, sought the friendly 
shelter of the smoking-room of the Crown and Anchor. 
There was no occasion for sympathy, for Sam was a 
solvent man, the Mary Jane was insured, and the worst 
of the business was the loss of a week to make her 
good again. But, of course, Sam was a hero, and he 
told his tale several times over several glasses of rum- 
and-water, until the clock reached the fatal hour of 
eleven and the company was turned out. Then Sam 
walked home to Eow 1184. 

He passed through the little wicket gateway, and 
made his way along the cobble-paved alley till he 
reached his own house. The passage and parlour 
window were dark, but in the window above there was 
a light. Somehow cr other the silk dress came into 
Sam's mind, and he filled his pipe, forgetting to light it, 
and leaned against the opposite wall. 

Presently upon the blind appeared the shadow of 
Mrs. Chapman, who was letting down her hair and then 
coiling it up. Sam watched intently, for the hour was 
late, and he felt curious as to where his wife had 
been spending the evening. Then, suddenly, there 
appeared on the blind a sea nd shadow. It was not 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 49 

Sam's shadow, and it was not that of Mrs. Chapman. 
The second shadow attempted to caress the first, and 
the first shadow hit the second back with the hairbrush, 
Sam said nothing and did nothing. He waited till the 
light was put out. Then he waited and meditated for 
a good hour. Smacksmen are not always quick at 
making up their mind. But he realized the situation 
at last, and he also recollected that there was no egress 
from the house except by the little passage which 
passed the door of the sitting-room. 

Crossing the Eow in a stride and a half, Sam battered 
at his own knocker violently. After a time the upper 
window opened, and Mrs. Chapman put out her head. 
" Go away," said that virtuous spouse, " or my husband 
will come down and thrash you." Sam battered again. 
"Go away," said the lady, "or I'll shriek for the 
police." 

" You come down, Polly, and let me in," said Sam. 
" It's me— it's Sam." 

" It ain't," said Mrs. Chapman. " Sam's at sea." 
And she shut the window. 

Then Sam wrenched up a cobble out of the footway, 
and sent it through the window with a crash. This 
brought Mrs. Chapman to the window again. " Come 
down," he said, " and let me in, or I'll put my back 
against the door and burst it.' 

In a few seconds Mrs. Chapman was at the door, 

E 



50 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

a few clothes hurried on her, and her face like 
ashes. 

" I didn't know it was you, Sam, dear. I thought 
you were at sea." 

" So I were, but I've come back." 

" What has happened, Sam, dear ? " 

" Plenty and enow. Shipwreck." 

" Oh ! Sam, I'm so glad you're back safe. I was 
praying for you on my knees to-night when the wind 
blew." 

" Were you ? " said Sam. 

" Yes, Sam, dear ; and then, when I heard the knock- 
ing at the door, I was so frightened. Do sit down, 
deary, for a little. The fire's alight still. Let me pull 
your boots off for you and bring you some beer." 

" You may bring me a jug of beer," said Sam, " but 
I'll keep my boots on." And he sat down in the large 
Windsor chair that faced the door of the little sitting- 
room. 

" Fll just go and get the beer, dear/' said Mrs. 
Chapman; and she was going to shut after her the 
door into the passage. 

" Leave that door open," said Sam. " I alius like a 
door open. ' 

Mrs. Chapman went for the beer, and returned with 
it, and with a heavy heart. She did not know how 
long Sam had been standing in the Eow. She had no 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 51 

idea how many cards he held in his hand. But she felt 
there was danger about, and she was almost paralyzed 
with terror. At Sam's bidding she filled his glass, 
heaped coals upon the fire, and sat down opposite to 
him. It was now nearly two o'clock in the morning. 
Sam lit his pipe and smoked and said nothing. The 
wretched woman sat and watched him, wondering 
what was to come. 

"Hadn't I better shut the door, Sam? There's a 
terrible draught." 

" I alius like a door open," repeated Sam. " I like 
to hear the old clock in the passage." 

Now, this was untrue, and Mrs. Chapman knew it. 
Presently she said patiently, " Sam, dear, I'm tired. 
Let me go up and get the room ready for you. You 
must want sleep badly." 

" I don't want no sleep," answered Sam. " I like 
sitting here afore the fire with you." 

This also was untrue, and Mrs. Chapman knew as 
much. The clock in the passage struck half-past two, 
and three, and four, and Sam sat smoking on steadily, 
watching the passage, and also watching his wife's 
face grow paler and paler. But he smoked in silence, 
and his demeanour was absolutely inscrutable. 

Soon after four, Sam's quick ear detected a movement 
in the room above, and heard the window gently opened. 
Sam got up out of his chair, and stepped as quietly as 

E 2 



52 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

he could into the passage. Mrs. Chapman, in her chair 
fairly swooned with terror and tension. Sam waited 
with his hand on the latch of the street-door until he 
heard something drop into the Row from the window 
above. Then he came out at one step, and laid hold of 
the man he had been waiting for. 

That man never told his grievances in a police-court, 
or sued Sam for assault. But how Sam dealt with him 
is matter of tradition on Yarmouth quay to this day, 
When he was found by the police, lying senseless in 
the middle of the market-place, he had a dislocated 
ankle, three or four broken ribs, and hardly a tooth left 
in his head. He was a young solicitor, so perhaps he 
had a wholesome horror of law. Anyhow, he went 
home, and, as soon as he could, sold his Yarmouth 
practice, and settled down somewhere in Northumber- 
land at a considerable distance from the sea-coast. 

Sam returned, and sat down again. Presently his 
wife came to herself, and looked at him in speechless 
agony. 

"There's been a drunken man in the Eow," said 
Sam, " and I've a- kicked him into market-place. Get 
me another jug of beer." 

By this time Mrs. Chapman knew all. She brought 
the beer, and sat down in abject silence while her lord 
and master replenished his glass. 

Sam sat, and smoked and smoked and smoked, while 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 53 

the wretched woman opposite him could hear the 
beating of her own terrified heart. The clock in the 
passage struck five, and then six, and then seven, and 
then eight. As it finished the last stroke of eight, Sam 
got up out of his chair and strode to the passage. The 
miserable woman clung to him. 

" For God's sake, forgive me, Sam ! " she cried. 
" Do forgive me ! I will be good ! Indeed I will ! " 

Sam made jio answer, but he extracted a light 
walking-stick from the umbrella-stand, and he then 
and there gave his wife a beating of which Norfolk 
wives speak to this day with bated breath. Mrs. 
Chapman staggered to the house of a neighbour — a 
kindly soul not without frailties of her own — and was 
there helped to bed more dead than alive. 

Having got so much of his business off his mind, 
Sam walked down to the quay, and entered the office 
of Mr. Trumbell, auctioneer, estate agent, valuer, sur- 
veyor, shipbroker, &c. 

" Mr. Trumbell," he said, " you've heard of my loss ; 
what'll you give me for the Mary Jane as she stands, 
and get what you can out of the insurance of her ? " 

Mr. Trumbell gasped. " My dear Chapman, you 
mustn't take things this way. Look here. If you want 
a hundred, or a couple of hundred, have it from me. 
Your bill is all the security I want." 

" If you don't buy the Mary Jane" said Sam, " I'll 



54 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

sell her myself at auction this afternoon at Bridge 
Stairs. I'll give you ten minutes to consider." 

Now Mr. Trumbell was a man of the world, and he 
knew Sam Chapman to be a man of his word. So he 
said, " "Well, Sam, I'll take her. Fellowes shall throw 
his eye over her. She was built in his yard. It won't 
take him half an hour, and he'll do what's fair between 
man and man." 

" Eight you are," said Sam. " Send round to him at 
once. I'll come to you for your cheque at four o'clock 
this afternoon." 

This did not astonish Trumbell, for he was a 
wealthy man, and large transactions in ready cash are 
not uncommon in the shipping business. 

But he was fairly amazed when Sam said, " And 
now, Trumbell, there's another thing. I want you to 
sell off my sticks in Eow 1 184. It's getting on for ten. 
Get some of your men, and come along at once." 

Trumbell, who was an honest man, expostulated in 
vain. He pointed out that the sale would be a forced 
one, and at a ruinous loss ; that the furniture was all 
new ; that they ought to have a catalogue printed, and 
advertise the sale in the papers. Sam was obdurate. 

So the bellman was sent for, and he made pro- 
clamation with his bell along the quay, and on the fish- 
wharf, and in the market-place, and on the sands ; and 
the neighbours, all more or less ignorant of what had 



THE SHADOW ON THE BLIND. 55 

happened, came to buy. Trumbell was a man who 
took a pride in his work as an auctioneer, and he has 
been heard to say he could have cried over the prices. 
"When the sale was over, even to the smallest stick and 
scantiest scrap of carpet in the little house, Sam walked 
down with Trumbell to his office. 

" I'll take your cheque for the auction money, 
Trumbell," he said, "and your cheque for the smack." 

So the two cheques were given on the eminent house 
of Lacon on the old quay. There was just time to 
cash them before four o'clock, and Sam changed them 
into notes, drawing out his own balance at the 
same time. 

Whatever ideas Mr. Trumbell may have had, he kept 
them to himself. Sam engaged the great Nelson room 
at the Crown and Anchor, and dined there in state 
with Trumbell and some twenty other friends whom he 
collected. Everybody knew what had happened, but 
nobody alluded to it. A good deal of wine was drunk, 
and after the wine a good deal of punch. Then Sam 
rose to his legs, and said, " Good-bye, boys. I'm off to 
London by the last train." 

And off he was, and he has not since been seen in 
Yarmouth. He is heard of from time to time. He has 
been seen at Barcelona, at Buenos Ayres, and at San 
Francisco. He does not look a day older, and is as 
handsome as ever. 



56 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mrs. Chapman, on the other hand, has become pa$s<?e. 
She has never thoroughly recovered from the effect of 
that night of terror. If you visit Yarmouth during the 
season, you can see her on the pier, showily dressed, 
and evidently painted. But she is not received in 
Yarmouth society, and everybody in Yarmouth sym- 
pathizes with Sana. 



( 57 ) 



THE BITER BIT. 

From Miss Ada Norton, 15A L-i inter Gardens, W., to 
the Hon. Mrs. Masher, Harh-xv:aij Hall, near Mallun, 
Yorkshire. 

February 15, 1886. 

My ever dearest Di, — You will be surprised at 
hearing from me again so soon after my last letter ; 
but when I tell you that this one is strictly on business 
you will understand my object, and will further it (I 
am sure, dear), if at all possible. 

As you know, I have been doing the Brighton season 
under the wing of our dear Ethel. With her position, 
as the wife of the great Sir Timothy Porker, and the 
chatelaine of the biggest house in Palmyra Square, she 
was, of course, able to give me heaps of opportunities. 
She did her very best, that I will say — and so did I. 
Well, although I told you the other day that I expected 
at least two of " them " to declare themselves before we 
left Brighton, here we are again back in London, with 
my prospects of making a good match no farther 
advanced than before we left Leinster Gardens. 



58 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Ah, if poor, dear Mamma were only alive ! A mother 
can land many a big, undecided fisb, where even the 
best of chaperons is powerless. But I must not com- 
plain — Ethel has been most sympathetic throughout; 
London is already quite full ; and I am to stay on here 

until Easter. That is, unless ! Unless you ask 

me to come and stay vnth yoic, dear, for a few 
weeks ! 

Don't look so horrified at my cool impertinence, Di ; 
I shouldn't suggest such a thing, if it were not that I 
feel that you are a true friend. Were we not known 
at school as the Three Graces ? and did we not vow an 
offensive and defensive alliance against every eligible 
parti in the kingdom ? 

Being the only maiden out of the three with any 
money at all, by rights I should have gone off first. 
Three hundred a year is not a fortune, true enough ; 
but it inspires confidence. Now you are the Hon. Mrs. 
Masher, future Viscountess Toffton ; Ethel is Lady 

Porker, future millionaire ; and I well, I am 

nobody. 

Now I want to be somebody ! 

To come to the point. This morning Ethel received 
a letter from a friend of hers who is staying with 
Lord and Lady Paddington. Among other tit-bits of 
news, she revealed the fact that one of the guests 
at Paddington Towers is a Mr. Templcton, who has 



THE BITER BIT 59 

lately come into an enormous fortune from a distant 
relative. 

Now, Padclington Towers is only two miles from 
Harkaway Hall. And you live at Harkaway Hall. 
Need I say more ? 

Write soon to your ever devoted 

Ada. 

P.S. — Of course you will horn this letter as soon as 
read. 

From the Hon. Mrs. Masher to Miss Ada Norton. 

February 16, 1886. 

My deakest Ada, — Come, by all means, and stay as 
long as you like. I will meet the train which arrives 
at Malton, 3.55 p.m., the day after to-morrow. 

Yours in haste, 

Diana Masher. 

P.S. — Mr. Templeton dined here yesterday- He is 
quite too pleasant. 

From Richard Templeton, Esq., Paddinrjton Towers, 
neeir Malton, York, to Captain Swift, Grand Hotel, 

Paris. 

'February 24, 1886. 

Dear Old Boy,— It's freezing hard to-day, so there's 
no hunting ; the ice won't bear, so there's no skating ; 



60 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the women won't be down for another hour, after the 
ball last night, so there's no flirting. "What can I do 
better than ease my conscience while I have leisure to 
feel its sting, and answer your last jovial effusion ? 

I have been here about a fortnight, and have had 
several good runs with the York and Ainsty, and one 
or two good bags in the coverts. Old Paddington is a 
rare good sort ; there are some good people staying in 
the house ; and we have had some good theatricals, good 
dances, and good dinners. 

However, until a few days ago, I was boring myself, 
notwithstanding all the efforts of my gracious hostess. 
Whether it is that I am sinking into the sere and 
yellow, or whether it is that one has gone through the 
country-house routine so often ; I was distinctly boring 
myself. 

I think, however, I must confess that the truth of it 
is that I am beginning to feel the necessity of settling 
down. My life has not been all cakes and ale, as you 
know ; and now I should like to enjoy myself a little 
with a congenial companion. I am now in a position 
to marry, and (without vanity) to marry well. But, 
alas ! the women are all so palpably looking out for rich 
husbands, that I hate the sight of them. 

I should say hated. For, a few days ago, I made a 
most charming acquaintance, and I have found it 
improve upon farther acquaintance. 



THE BITER BIT. 61 

There is staying with a Mr. Masher, of Harkaway 
Hall, close by, a certain Miss Norton. I took her in to 
dinner last Tuesday, and, since then, have come across 
her several times. Her very remarkable beauty attracts 
me, of course ; but what (to me) is her greatest charm 
lies in the fact that she has repeatedly told ine she hates 
mercenary marriages ; and, if ever she marries (which 
she doesn't intend to), she will marry a man whom she 
can love and respect for himself alone. Indeed, as I 
understand she has an independent fortune, she can 
afford to indulge her fancy. 

Her innocent prattle is quite refreshing after the 

By Jove ! I hear her voice in the hall, so good-by 

Yours ever, 

Dick. 

P.S. — Young Podsnap, who has £2000 a year, is 
evidently smitten. But she won't have anything to 
say to him. 

From Miss Ada Norton, Paddington Towers, to Lady 
Porker, 15A Leinster Gardens, London, W 

March 3, 1886. 

My darling Ethel, — Hurrah! I have done the 
trick at last, my dear. 

I brought him to the point by saying that " my cruel 
relations wished to force me into an alliance with a 



62 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

man of vast wealth, but whom I could not, ah ! I could 
not love." 

II en ttait temps, for Dick was getting quite jealous of 
poor little Podsnap, and, as likely as not, would have 
gone off in a huff. Now, Jack Podsnap is a dear boy, 
and his £2000 a year would, under other circumstances, 
have been very nice; but £2 50,000 is not an every-day 
haul. 

The enamoured Dick immediately proposed an elope- 
ment and prompt marriage. I as immediately accepted, 
provided dear Di gave her consent, and chaperoned us 
up to your place. We shall be married from your 
house, dear, the day after to-morrow ! 

Isn't it all too lovely ? I will wire all details. In 
greatest haste. 

Ever your happy 

Ada. 

P.S. — I forgot to tell you that Mr. Templeton's son 
by his first marriage is also staying in the house. He 
is the most awful youth I ever beheld, and affects the 
aesthetic craze. His eyes are like boiled gooseberries, 
and his hair is as long as mine. He actually had the 
audacity to propose to me. Of course I gave him the 
snubbing he deserved. 

A. 



THE BITER BIT 63 

From John Podsnap, Esq., Paddington Towers, to 
Mrs. Podsnap, 24B En.ton Square, Loruhja, S.1V 

March, 5, 1886. 

My dearest Mother, — All is over ' She has refused 
me ! ! But that is nothing to what she has done ' ' 
She has eloped with Templeton ! ! ' ' 

If it were not for you I should contemplate suicide. 
As it is, expect me by first train to-morrow. 

Your wretched son, 

Jack. 

P.S. — Give the devil her due, however ! She must be 
disinterested ! Although she has only ^300 a year of 
her own, she is lovely. He is bald, a good deal over 
fifty and has nothing but his Civil Service pension of 
£75° a year. Of course you know he is a widower 
and that a maternal great-uncle left his boy a quarter 
of a million last year. 



( 64 ) 



"KIEN NE VA PLUS." 

It was seven o'clock in the evening, and Walter Gerald 
was walking up and down under the clock at Victoria 
Station. He was a very unhappy man. Many men 
in his position would have solved the great problem of 
life for once and for all ; would have done so on their 
own account, without taking friends into their council. 

At length the train was ready, and Gerald found 
himself in a first-class carriage bound for Dover. It is 
a short journey, but not the less a tedious one, and the 
train was no sooner out of Victoria than he lit a cigar, 
and under its influence began to consider his position 
and to reflect upon it. 

His life had been a very sad one. He was the 
youngest son of a large family. The orders given to 
him had been, " Make your own way in the world. 
You have been sent to Eton, you have been sent to 
Trinity, you have been called to the Bar, you have 
an allowance of ^ioo a year which is paid to you 
punctually. What more have you any right to expect ? " 
On this understanding he had commenced Life, and, 



" RIEN NE VA PLUS." 65 

extraordinary as it may seem, he had failed. When I 
say he had failed, I mean that he saw no prospect 
before him beyond that of three or four hundred a year 
as a hard-working junior at the Bar. It was a dreary 
outlook. 

lie had further complicated matters and entangled 
himself. Not that his entanglements were in any way 
dishonourable. He was a man with many faults and 
no vices. He did not drink ; he did not gamble. He 
was entirely innocent of intrigue or of anything even 
remotely approaching to it. His tastes were those of 
a healthy man. He hated a ball-room ; he loved the 
fresh air and the smell of the sea. Such men make 
the best colonists. As a colonist he would have done 
well. 

Unhappily for him, there was the skeleton in his 
cupboard. I am not going to excuse him or to invent 
excuses for him. I have only to tell the facts. He 
had, to use the only word that fits all the circumstances, 
eloped with the eldest daughter of an old county 
family. She was older than himself ; how much older 
she would hardly have cared to confess. She had 
certain superficial accomplishments that pleased him. 
She could hold her own in conversation, unless, by 
accident, a little French drifted in. She could play the 
piano and sing a little ; above all, she could pretend. 
She pretended, for instance, to understand Browning, 



66 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

and to study him. In reality she was an inveterate 
reader in her own bedroom of penny dreadfuls. 

Women of this kind have the advantage of a man. 
And the reason is very obvious : it is because the man, 
in his folly, trusts the woman, whereas the woman does 
not trust the man. The man is chivalrous. He sees a 
woman whom he believes to be all soul and heart, 
although there may have been certain deficiencies in 
her education. His idea is that he will raise her to his 
own level ; and that is his honest iutention. The idea 
of the woman is to secure herself a position, from the 
advantage of which she can insult her old friends and 
acquaintances. Her vision is a big house with a retinue 
of servants, with herself as mistress, and with her 
husband to sign cheques. I will do the English shrew, 
or vixen, or whatever you like to call her, this amount 
of justice — that her notions are limited to social 
aggrandisement. The idea of deceiving her husband on 
any vital matter seldom if ever enters into her head. 
This is, perhaps, because most Englishwomen, especially 
those of a certain type, are as incapable of genuine 
emotion as they are cf artistic feeling. 

Under these circumstances and these conditions 
Gerald started for Dover, where he had business- 
business so genuine that even his wife had been satisfied 
with it as a sufficient cause for his journey. As he 
went down, however, he meditated with himself, and 



" RIEN NE VA PLUS* 67 

when he reached Dover his plans were somewhat 
changed. He stopped there for a day. The next 
thing that he did was to depute the whole of his 
business to agents whom he could trust. He then 
wired to his wife, giving her an address in Dover 
which he had arranged. Lastly, he started for Monte 
Carlo. 

Monte Carlo has been described over and over again. 
I am not going to repeat the fault. Everybody knows 
what the place is like. Everybody knows how you play 
at the tables, how you almost invariably lose, and how 
you sometimes win, and how the journey is sure to do 
you good, as you cannot possibly lose more money than 
you take with you. 

At Monte Carlo Gerald had luck, or, in the language 
of the place, he was en veine. He did not break the 
bank, nor did he have German barons and French 
financiers stand wondering behind his chair. This 
kind of business I will leave to professional writers of 
romance, who transport a gipsy girl from her canvas 
tent to the salon, and there make her, to all intents and 
purposes, tweak duchesses by the nose. It is my 
business to give history, and confine myself to possi- 
bilities. Now and again men win at Monte Carlo, and 
Gerald was among the now and again. It was not the 
coolness of his mood, for he was boiling over with 
passion ; it was not in his power of watching the game 

F 2 



C3 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

and calculating chances, because he was profoundly 
ignorant of all mathematical questions, and could not 
for the life of him have solved the most ordinary 
problem in algebra offered to candidates for an Army 
examination. 

But he played, and, somehow, he won. The money 
came in. He put his winnings into his pocket, and 
played with the money he commenced with. He won 
again, and he put more money into his pocket. Some- 
body must, now and again, win something at Monte 
Carlo, or else nobody would go there. Late that 
evening Gerald counted up his winnings at the Hut el 
de Paris. No doubt luck had favoured him, and unless 
luck favours a man you do not often make him the 
hero of your story. If Gerald had lost, and had been 
obliged to go to the English Consul, or to apply for the 
viitlujue from the Administration, or otherwise to cadge, 
I should not be telling his story As matters were, he 
had won something like £800. He banked the greater 
part of this amount, sending some money to his wife, 
and remained where he was. 

The game still continued to favour him. You cannot 
account for its extraordinary chances. Men on the 
Turf believe that they know everything. Now and 
again some "rank outsider," to use the customary 
phraseology, is picked out by a fortunate backer. It 
proves to be the winner, and a little fortune is made. 



"IUEN NE VA PLUS" 69 

Some men go under. Of these the history remains 
unwritten. Gerald, so far from going under, remained 
fortunate. He had elected to take his chance of 
winning upon the gambler's cast, and he won upon 
it. Fortune, as I have said, no doubt favoured him. 
Any village schoolmaster could write the history of 
the world, commencing from first principles, if there 
were not unluckily big men in the way to upset his 
calculations. Big men, or big winners, it is all one. 
You may conquer a province or break the bank. Of 
the two, if history is credible, the easier achievement 
is to conquer a province. 

When Gerald left Monte Carlo, after paying his 
hotel-bill and otherwise satisfying all just demands 
upon him, he had, as Englishmen would say, in his 
pocket, or, as Americans would say, concealed about 
his person, no less a sum than £6000. 

What is £6000 ? If you care to gamble with it on 
the Stock Exchange or elsewhere, you may turn it into 
£60,000 or even more. If you invest it on solid 
security, you will be worth something like £250 a 
year. You may make another calculation. You may 
consult the tables of mortality, take from them your 
own estimate of life, cut your money up into portions, 
and allow yourself so much a year, overlooking the 
chance that you may outlive the tables of mortality, 
and so possibly be reduced to the workhouse. Or you 



70 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

may put your money into the Lands of a solicitor. 
You will approach him humbly, and you will beg him 
as a favour, and as a something entirely out of the 
way of ordinary business, to invest your money for 
you upon good security But then the solicitor 
may bolt with the money. And, if so, where are 
you ? 

Walter Gerald did none of these things. He lodged 
his money at a responsible bank, and he instructed 
them to act as his agents, and not only to let him draw 
against his dividend, but also to let him touch his 
capital within limits. His bankers were a very old 
firm, between the Eoyal Exchange and what used to be 
Temple Bar. All the clerks of that establishment look 
like partners, and the porter at the door could not 
possibly run after a thief if he wished to do so, being 
too heavily weighted with buttons which are generally 
believed to be of solid bullion. 

He next hailed a hansom, which drove him to an 
hotel in Trafalgar Square, a well-known resort for 
Americans, one at which he used to stay when he was 
a lad at Cambridge. Then he sent a letter to his beloved 
wife by special messenger, not trusting it to the ordinary 
mechanism of the Post Office. The letter was simple, 
and, at the same time, characteristic. I cannot help 
giving it in its own terms : — 



"RIEN NE VA PLUS." 71 

"My dear Wife, — You have repeatedly told me 
that you could do better without me. I do not 
accept you as infallible, but iteration is next door to 
inspiration. I have come to believe that you are 
right. 

" In this letter is a cheque for £200. You may take 
it as a free gift. My bankers have instructions to 
honour your cheques to the same amount for each year, 
so that you are a year to the good. I trust you will not 
live beyond your income. This is entirely for your 
own sake. 

"I have it upon your own authority, in fact from 
your own lips, that I am only fit for a billiard-marker. 
You under-judged my capabilities. When you are near 
Mont Blanc the mountain looks very small ; but it 
takes a very remarkable woman to climb to the peak 
of it. You are, in a way, a remarkable woman. But 
as you have now that small and certain income for 
which you have always pestered me, I leave you in the 
assurance that you are happy. 

" For my own part, I am returning to Monte Carlo, 
where I have accepted the office of croupier. The 
weekly salary attached to this position will sufficiently 
meet my modest requirements, the chief of which is 
solitude during my leisure hours. Should you take it 
into your head to follow me up, I may assure you in 
advance that you will find the police at Monte Carlo 



72 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

extremely troublesome, especially if any attempt is 
made to interfere with the officers of administration 
of the Salon des Etrangers, or in any way to annoy 
them. 

" Good-by. I shall taste the joys of Paradise before 
my time. 

"Walter Gerald." 



( 73 > 



"THERE'S MANY A SLIP- 



Irom Benjamin Abrams, Esq., of Cncsus Chambers, 
Regent Street, to Captain the Hon. Cornelius Fit:;- 
Blarncy, Grenadier Guards, Wellington Barracks, 
S.W. 

July i, 1885. 

Sir, — When you called upon me last week, in re 
your overdue promissory note, you represented to me 
that you were still engaged to be married to Miss 
Torchey, the wealthy ironmaster's only daughter. 

On the strength of that representation, I consented 
to renew the bill and advance you a further sum of 
money I have since ascertained beyond a doubt that 
there was no truth in your statement, and that you, 
moreover, knew it to be false. 

Under these circumstances, I have no alternative, 
consistent with my duty to myself and to society, but 
to say that, if you do not take immediate steps to 
refund me the hard cash you have obtained from me 
under false pretences, I shall instruct my solicitor to 



74 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

take criminal proceedings against you without further 

notice. 

Your obedient Servant, 

Benjamin Abrams. 

P.S. — To prove that I am in full possession of the 

facts, I need only add that your engagement was broken 

off by the lady in consequence of your connection with 

Miss Pussy de Clare, and that you were ejected from 

the house by the lady's father in a somewhat summary 

fashion. 

B. A. 

Irom the Earl of Mavourneen, Castle Blarney, Ireland, 
to Captain the. Hon. C. Fitz- Blarney. 

July 7, 1885. 

My Poor Boy, — You must have been mad to have 
got yourself into such trouble. You must be still 
madder to imagine for one moment that I can get you 
out of it. Por the last two years I have received no 
rents at all. My tenants couldn't pay Now I have 
no hope of receiving rent at all. For now my tenants 
icon't pay. Not to mention that there are certain 
mortgages, which — but why tell you what you know 
as well as myself ? I am, to all intents and purposes, 
a pauper. 

But, though I can't send you any money, I can send 



" THERE'S MANY A SLIP " 75 

you a piece of news. That charming Lady Cheltenham 
(who helped me to lancer you, as I dare say you — 
forget) has a Miss Semantha Babb staying with her, an 
American orphan-heiress. 

Make your peace with Israel, and — Verb. sap. sat. 
Your affectionate Father, 

Mavoukxeex. 

From Captain the Hon. C. Fitz-Blarney, to Lady Chel- 
tenham, of 15 Dado Street, May fair, W 

July 10, 1885. 

My dear Lady Cheltenham, — I really was beginning 
to think that you had given up us poor Cockneys une 
fois pour toutes, when the Duke told me yesterday (the 
Duke, you know, your Duke) that you were up for the 
season, and intended once again to prove that the salon 
is not yet a thing of the past even in benighted, slangy 
London. 

I am longing to know which is your " at-home " day, 
as I have quite a stock of news for you. Or, better 

still, shall I call some morning, as I Well, shall I ? 

Tout a vous, 

Chaklie. 

I hear you have a young lady from the States, a 
Miss Babb, under your wing. I am sure she must be 
the daughter of dear old Babb of New York, who was 



76 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

so tremendously kind to me when I passed through on 
my way to Niagara. I am only too charmed to have 
the opportunity of doing all that I can to mark my 
sense of her father's cordiality. 

From Lady Cheltenham, Lakes Hotel, Windermere, 
to Capt. the Hon. G. Fitz- Blarney . 

July 20, 1885. 

Deae Capt. Fitz-Blabney, — I had no intention of 
coming to town at all this year ; but as my friend, Miss 
Babb, wished to be presented, and to take a peep at 
English society, I took a house for a month. 

Miss Babb, I am sorry to say, came to the conclusion 
that we amuse ourselves moult tristcment in London, 
and so has persuaded me to take her to Trouville. We 
are here for a time to satisfy her romantic yearning to 
breathe this poetry-laden air, and to prepare for the dis- 
sipation of those quiet little French watering-places. 

The " dear old Babb " you mention will not serve 
you much, I fear, with us, as Miss Babb's father died 
thirty years ago, only two years after she was born. 
That was, perhaps, as well ; for it would have been a 
great grief io him when the small-pox spoilt her beauty 
so sadly. 

I have no more time to waste on you ; so, — ta, ta ! 
Yours truly, 

Blanche Cheltenham. 



" THERE'S MANY A SLIP » 77 

P.S. — I hear that Miss Torchey has jilted you. 
Deluded girl ! She little knows what a treasure 
she has lost. "The disinterested love of an honest 
heart " N'est ce pas ? 

Telegram from the Capt. the lion. C. Fit-. -Blarney 
to Manager, Lakes Hotel, Windermere. 

July 21, 1885. 
Shall arrive this afternoon, five sharp. Keep best 
rooms you have at liberty for me. 

From Capt. the Hon. C. Fitz-Blamey to Miss Scmantha 

Bdbb (delivered by hand under cover of a flat 

candlestick). 

"Windermere, August 5, 1885. 

My dearest Friend, — Forgive the way I address 
you. This is my first letter to you. And, after the 
happy fortnight I have passed in your company, I can 

not say "Dear Miss Babb," and I dare not say 

what so fain I would. 

So let it stand. I hope I may call you " my friend." 
I know you are the dearest I ever had. One short fort- 
night has proved to me that there is, at least, one woman 
who can understand the yearnings, the cravings, the 
sufferings of a man's world-lacerated heart! I feel 
that in you I have found a friend. 



78 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

But I do not write to tell you what you know as well 
as I do, or as Lady Cheltenham. I write to tell you 
more than Lady Cheltenham's constant interference at 
sympathetic moments will allow me to say in words. 
In finding a friend, I have lost my heart. I love you, 
Semantha ! 

Therefore I leave you. And to-morrow. For you 
are rich, and I am poor ! For the same reason, I 
broke off my engagement to Miss Torchey. Lady 
Cheltenham would smile incredulously at this, no doubt ! 
But the proof of the fact lies here, ; — for honour's sake, 
I refused an alliance with a woman whom I only liked. 
Koio, for the same honour's sake, I refrain from breath- 
ing a word of love to one whom I whom I 

Oh, that you too were poor ! How I would work for 
you ! How I would slave ! How I would 

Farewell, Semantha ! Fare thee well ! 

Ever and only yours, 

Charlie. 

Forgive this blurred and hurried scrawl. A man is 
not always master of feelings as deep as those I am 
now trying to control. 



" THERE'S MANY A SUP " 79 

From Miss Scmantha Babb to Capt the Hon. C. Fitz- 
Blarney {delivered by hand, under cover of a breah- 
fast-cup). 

August 6, 1885. 

If you really must go, you can say good-ly to me 
after breakfast on the island. I shall go out in a canoe. 
I am real sorry for you. Perhaps you won't need to go 
at all though. Perhaps ! 

From Capt. the Hon. C Fitz- Blarney, Langham Hotel, 
W., to Benjamin Abrams, Esq. 

August 2r, 1885. 
My own precious Darling, — Just time to tell you 
of a dreadful and cruel disappointment. Can't arrange 
legal matters till 27th, although I have moved heaven 
and earth to get away to-morrow. Don't forget your 
silly old lover ; and, above all, don't let the Frenchmen 
make love to you. 

More by next post. In greatest haste, 

Your ever devoted and adoring 

Charlie. 

A thousand thanks for the cheque, which will set 
my poor old father free at last. But without your love, 
what comfort would even the sight of a father's joy be 
to one so deep in love as I ? 



So SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Copt, the Hon. 0. Filz- Blarney, to Miss Scmantha 
Bcibb, Hotel de Paris, Trouville. 

August 21, 1885. 

Dear Benjy, — Enclosed I send you a cheque for the 
balance of our little account. I had to kid precious 
strong to get it, but at all events there it is. You won't 
doubt my honour again, I don't think. And I think 
you are not sorry that you didn't bring an officer and a 
gentleman to smash for once. 

Well, let bygones be bygones ! Pussy de Clare is 
helping me to celebrate the burial of my bachelorhood ; 
we have some fellows coming to dinner to-night ; and 
the address is "Eoseleaf Lodge, Brompton Boad." 
Come, if you like, at eight sharp ; and bring some one 
nice with you. But mind she is not American, heavily 
pitted, and thirty-three, as I should politely decline 
such a painful reminder of what waits me at Trouville. 

Yours forgivingly, 

C. Fitz-Blai:xey. 

The preceding returned, addressed to Capt. the IL>d<nmil>lc 
Charles Fit::- Blarney, in the hand uniting 0/ Jlias 
Scmantha Babb, postmark " Trouville 



( 8i ) 



A MODERN HERMIT. 

He was, beyond all question, a very curious mau ; and 
I came across him in an unexpected manner. I was on 
a tricycle tour in the north of Devon ; and I suddenly 
discovered that I wanted oil. I came to this conclusion 
at the top of a steep hill. Below me the road ran down 
to a small stream, which marked out the valley Over 
the stream ran a bridge ; and at the corner of the bridge 
was a small cottage with a patch of garden. 

As I dismounted from my vehicle, I discerned my 
friend. He was dressed in a loose suit of tweed, and 
wore a straw hat with an unusually broad brim ; and 
he was engaged in pruning and trimming a black 
Hamburg grape-vine that was trailed in rich clusters 
round about his chimney-stack. It was a model of a 
cottage. Commencing with the bridge, there ran along 
the side of the road a low stone wall with a little gate 
in it. This formed one boundary of the estate. Then 
a thick hedc;e of hawthorn ran in a semi-circle down to 
the river. The river itself formed the third boundary 
Towards the edge of the stream sloped down a smooth 

G 



82 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

lawn of fresh turf, radiant with small beds of flowers. 
The rest of the garden was conducted upon economical 
principles. There were lettuces and cabbages and 
rhubarb ; there were some fine raspberry-canes ; there 
was a plantation of gooseberry and currant trees ; there 
was also an asparagus bed, a cucumber frame, and a 
patch reserved for vegetable marrows. But everywhere, 
in and between the beds, and about the borders, were 
standard roses, rich in all the luxuriance of their 
magnificent blossom. 

He was halfway up his ladder, against the chimney- 
stack, busy with his vine, when I called o.it to ask him 
if he could oblige me with a little oil. He turned his 
head, descended the ladder, and opened the little gate 
as I dismounted. I explained my difficulty — that my 
bearings had become heated ; and I soon found myself 
inside his cottage, which consisted, so far as I could see, 
of two little rooms and a garret in the roof. The one 
was fitted as a kitchen, with a coal-bunker, a cooking- 
stove, a small copper, and a dresser, with pots and 
kettles below it, and abundance of clean crockery on 
its upper shelves. The sitting-room — the second — re- 
minded me of my own old college chambers — except 
that there was a certain nautical atmosphere about it. 
Tnone corner were three ship's bunks, fitted against the 
wall and ranged one above another. Tightly screwed 
to the mantelpiece was a ship's chronometer in its case. 



A MODERN HERMIT. 83 

There were no chairs, but there were settles against the 
wall. And in every nook and corner there were book- 
shelves crowded with books. 

The little matter of the oil was soon arranged. But 
after I had got my bearings into working order and wa3 
about to resume my journey, my friend invited me to 
stay and smoke a pipe. I have not as yet described 
his appearance. He seemed some fifty years of age, 
but time had dealt kindly with him. His hair was 
closely cropped, but he wore an immense beard which 
rolled down over his flannel shirt. His chest was deep, 
his shoulders were broad, his limbs were muscular, his 
whole build was somewhat heavy and bearish, and there 
was a curious look in his dark brown eyes, as if he were 
looking at things and thinking of things many hundreds 
of miles away. While noticing these facts, I had lit my 
pipe in compliance with his invitation, but I was 
astonished to see him open a bunker under one of the 
settles, and produce a bottle of what proved to be 
genuine Leoville, and of a very good season. He also 
placed on the table, from out of a cupboard in the 
chimney corner, a box of cigars, the brand and quality 
of which were beyond dispute. I preferred, however, 
to remain faithful to my well-used briar-root, and, as I 
was lighting it, I complimented my host on the extent of 
his library. 

" It is not so large as I could wish," he said, " but I 

G 2 



84 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

have chosen it very carefully. Up there on the little 
shelf are all the classics worth reading, in the Tauchnitz. 
I have no room for such duffers as Livy, Sallust, and 
Eutropius. One must economize space in a hut like 
this. My French library is scanty. You will rind 
Montaigne, Brantome, Babelais, Moliere, and a few odd 
volumes of Balzac, Voltaire, and George Sand. As 
for German " — here he burst into a tremendous laugh — 
" I cannot read it, and I do not intend to learn. My 
English books are enough to last anybody through the 
longest winter. With Ben Jonson, and Defoe, and 
Fielding, and a few other such friends, a man need 
never feel dull or wearied." 

" Then you live here all the year round ? " I 
asked. 

" Yes," he replied, " I have been here now for some 
years, and I shall probably stop here for many years to 
come. The place suits me. My rent is only twenty 
pounds, and my landlord is good enough to allow me to 
roam through his woods and to fish his waters as I 
please. I do not abuse the permission, and it adds 
greatly to my enjoyment. I am fond of flowers. I 
grow my own fruit and vegetables, as you can see. 
Poultry and pigeons are destructive, but I have some 
fine rabbits. I would keep a pig, were it not for the 
trouble of attending to the beast." 

I began to feel strangely interested. My new friend 



A MODERN HERMIT. Sj 

had spoken without the least reserve, and yet there 
was evidently some sort of a secret about him. In a 
tentative kind of way I asked him whether he found 
life dulL 

"Not at all," he replied. " Nigger here" — Nigger 
was an overgrown bulldog, who was at the moment 
stretched out at full length, precisely where the patch 
of warm sunshine slanted on the threshold — " is capital 
company. You know what Landor said : that he was 
sorry for the man who had got a wife, and had not got 
a dog. Then I have my garden ; and I can catch eels 
from the lawn. In the evening I go down to the Horse 
and Groom. The big men of the village — the butcher, 
and baker, and candlestick-maker — discuss affairs of 
State there, and are very severe on Mr. Gladstone. 
Then, too, the curate looks in now and again, and drinks 
tea and plays chess, and tries to gently coax me into the 
right path. What path are you in yourself ?" 

I was a little bit upset by the suddenness of the 
question, and was beginning to stammer out a vague 
answer, when he sharply interrupted me. 

" No, I don't want your religious views. The religious 
opinions of a man are no good to anybody but himself, 
and they are not always that. I mean, what are you, 
and what is the station in life to which it has pleased 
Providence to call you ? " 

I told him that I was an assistant surgeon in a large 



S6 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

London hospital, and was now enjoying a short autumn 
holiday. 

"Yours," said he, "is the finest profession in the 
world. If you really love science, you will never feel 
the want of anything else. I wasted the first thirty 
years or so of my life over other things, and it is too 
late for me now to begin. But I know a little mathe- 
matics, and keep on pegging away at them. The 
curate helps me. He was a Senior Optime or some- 
thing of the sort. Then, too, I am fond of botany and 
of ornithology. I have made a very fair herbal, and 
that case behind you contains at least a hundred 
varieties of English beetles not as yet described in 
any catalogue of which I know." 

Although he was thus frank, there was yet something 
about him that made cross-examination impossible. 
My first and only attempt at it was a signal failure. 

" You have yachted in your time ? " I suggested, 
indicating the ship's chronometer. 

" A chronometer," he answered, " keeps better time 
than a clock, and gives less trouble. As for my bunks, 
I had them built because they take up very little room, 
and I do not care to sleep in the cockloft under the 
tiles, or to put a friend there." 

I was so disconcerted by this failure to extract infor- 
mation that I at once turned the conversation towards 
the broad channel of general topics. "VVe finished the 



A MODERN HERMIT. 87 

Leoville and strolled out into the garden. My friend 
showed me his beehives, which were in perfect working 
order and all fitted with the latest appliances. 

He insisted that I should sample his apricots, which 
ran in rich luxuriance over the southern wall of his 
cottage. I also inspected a huge trunk with holes in 
it, wherein he kept a supply of eels to meet any sudden 
emergency of the table. Nigger meantime followed 
closely at our heels. 

" I am my own gardener," he said, " my own cook, 
my own housemaid, and my own bailiff. Nigger here 
keeps the boys away from the apricots and the honey 
I hope I shall see you on your return, and, indeed you 
will be welcome at any time." 

I thanked him cordially for his hospitality, and also 
for a small bunch of choice stock roses which he in- 
sisted on making up for me. 

" Give them," he said with a laugh, " to the young 
lady at the bar, and you will get a better dinner and a 
more gracious smile." 

We shook hands cordially, and I departed. He came 
out into the road to see me off. As I turned the corner 
I looked back. He was standing in the road puffing at 
the end of his cigar and with Nigger crouched at his 
ankle. We waved our hands to each other. I rounded 
the corner, and I have not seen him since. 

Have I any ideas of my own about this strange 



88 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

hermit, with his library, and his cottage, and his bull- 
dog, and his bees, and his excellent claret ? I never 
care to speculate about the affairs of other men. To 
do so when they have shown you unsolicited hospitality 
is not only impertinent, but ungrateful. And yet I 
think the secret of my friend's life was hardly a secret 
at all. Over the mantelpiece, above the chronometer, 
exquisitely framed and carefully protected from the air 
by glass, hung the portrait of a woman. She seemed 
about twenty-five years of age, she was extraordinarily 
beautiful, and in her lap lay a rich wealth of freshly 
cut roses. 



( 8 9 ) 



VISCOUNT LACKLAND; OR, USURY. 

Scene: — Promenade des Anglais, Nice. Mr. Barker 
{senior partner of Messrs. Barker, Mortmain, Barker, 
& Draft, of Lincoln's Inn Fields) is dicidiny his 
attention between " Galignani " and the view. Eider 
Mr. Laman Eike. 

Mr. Eike. How are you, Mr. Barker, eh ? Glorious 
weather, this. 

Mr. Barker {stiffly). Good-morning to you, Mr. 
Eike\ {Becomes intensely interested in "Galignani") 

Mr. E. {undaunted). Tried the tables, eh, Mr. 
Barker ? You've earned your holiday. I hope you are 
enjoying it. 

Mr. B. Our amusements differ, I imagine, Mr. Eike. 
I never gamble. 

Mr. E. Ah, well, you see, I do. I lost a cool two 
thou, last night. 

Mr. B. Indeed ! {Obtrusively refolds his " Galignani.") 

Mr. E. Well, if our amusements differ, business 
brings us together, anyhow. You'll be wanting to see 
me pretty soon, I expect, over young Lackland's matters. 



90 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

I don't intend to wait any longer. I know old Bare- 
acres is a client of yours. 

Me. B. I enjoy his lordship's confidence, Mr. Eike\ 

Me. E. Then you'll enjoy it soon to some tune. It's 
thirty thou, you'll have to find, or else the game's up. 
I'll take nothing less, if I have to make the young man 
a bankrupt and buy in the reversion. I'm the only 
creditor of importance, and the cards are in my hand. 

Me. B. {laying down his " Galignani"). Of course, 
Mr. Eik£, there is such a thing as a Court of Equity. 
I need hardly remind a gentleman of your experience 
of that. 

Me. E. (chuckling). I have met you in it once or 
twice, Mr. Barker, when you haven't exactly held 
trumps. You got precious little change out of me last 
time. 

Me. B. (with assumption of dignity). It is a pity, sir, 
that our courts do not give more adequate protection to 
reckless and inexperienced young men. 

Me. E. (lighting a huge cigar and sitting down). Why, 
Mr. Barker — Cigar ? Oh, don't smoke ? sorry for you — 
why, I don't see very much difference between my 
business and yours. Half your work is raising money, 
and the rest making out bills of costs. 

Me. B. (judicially). Pardon me, sir; there is the very 
greatest difference. 

Mr. E. I don't see it, then, I'm blest if I do ! Look 



VISCOUNT LACKLAND j OR, USURY 91 

here, I lend young Lackland solid money. I charge 
him stiff for it ; but look at my risk. I shall be out of 
my money a long time, anyway. Perhaps I shall never 
see it ; for old Bareacres is a good life, and I'm a little 
dickey. "Well, I've insured Lackland very heavily. It 
costs me a lot a year, I can tell you. Ten to one, if he 
dies a little too soon, the offices will dispute the policies, 
and say he used to drink, and that I'm only a Jew 
money-lender. Then I've always got the chance that 
the father or the son, or both of them, will dispute the 
whole thing. A man who risks his money that way 
expects to make on it ; and you know I do my business 
fair and square. I charge a big price. But then 
there's the stuff down, and no deductions. 

Mr. B. Possibly, sir. But if young men like Lord 
Lackland were commonly prudent, they would raise 
money — if they had to raise it at all — in a legitimate 
manner, through the regular channel, and at a reason- 
able rate. 

Me. E. " Eeasonable rate," Mr. B. ! 

Me. B. My name is Barker, Mr. Eike\ 

Me. E. Very well, Mr. Barker, then. "Eeasonable 
rate " ! Eeasonable gammon ! Look here : what do yov, 
do ? You won't lend a cent without security up to the 
hilt, and you charge five per cent, for doing it. It pays 
you a precious deal better than investing in Consols, 
and it's quite as safe. Then, a nice little lawyer's bill 



92 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

you run up over the job, you and your son-in-law the 
conveyancer who prepares the deeds, which are all 
common form, you know ; as common form as a bill of 
exchange. And I suppose solicitors never get commis- 
sion on life insurance. And then, as soon as you can 
decently work it, your client is " very sorry, but he is 
obliged to call his money in." And so you have to 
find another client and transfer the securities to him, 
and go through the whole rig over again. 

Mr. B. I do not know if you mean to be offensive, 
sir. 

Me. E. Not a bit of it. But I know this, that, what 
with one thing and another, you make thirty per cent. 
on your money, with security as safe as the Bank. I 
take no security, and when I have reckoned my losses 
perhaps I make fifty. I wish I was in the legitimate 
line myself, but I'm bringing my boy up to it anyhow. 
He's at Eton, you know, along with your sons. They're 
rather thick, I believe. 

Mr. B. {disconcerted). I was not aware of the fact. 

Mr. E. (cheerfully). Oh yes. I mean my boy to be 
respectable, you know. Live in Grosvenor Square ; go 
to church ; take the chair at missionary meetings like 
you fellows do. I'm too fond of the tables, I am. And 
I like baccarat, and I'm fond of horseflesh ; and every 
now and then I get the "knock" pretty heavy, I can 
tell you. But the boy's a good boy; not a young rip 



VISCOUNT LACKLAND j OR, USURY. 93 

like Lackland. And (meditatively) I shouldn't mind 
seeing him county member. And Lackland Towers 
might suit him some da)'. Odder things hav 
happened. 

Me. B. Mr. Eikd, your sentiments towards your son 
do you every credit, but the Lackland estate is strictly 
entailed. 

Mr. E. (knocking away an inch and a half of ash). Is 
it ? Well, entails don't always last, and there are other 
firms than yours, Mr. Barker. But really I should like 
to settle this matter amicably (Rises.) 

Mr. B. (rising also). Sir, in cases such as this, I 
always advise my clients to avoid, if possible, the enor- 
mous expense and painful publicity of litigation. 

Mr. E. (stretching his legs). I reckon they don't find 
private arrangements very much cheaper, anyhow. 
Your firm have a fine business, Mr. B. And I like 
that place of yours in Berkshire very much. You 
made a good bargain when you bought up the equity 
of it. 

Mr. B. (preserving his equanimity). Well, Mr. Eike, I 
am sure you have no personal feeling in Lord Lackland's 
matters. 

Mr. E. (emphatically). Not a d — n ! 

Mr. B. And I should wish, for the sake uf the family, 
that matters were arranged without scandal. I have 
heard something of the Viscount's entanglements ; 



94 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

besides, Lord Bareacres is in precarious health, and any 
sudden shock 

Mr. E. {dryly). Is he ? I didn't know it. "Well, Mr. 
Barker, I'm at the Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo. If 
you'll dine with me to night 

Me. B. I am very much afraid I am engaged. But I 
am here for some time ; we shall meet again, no doubt. 
{Offers his hand, which Me. E. shakes heartily. Aside to 
himself, resuming his seat, and forgetful of his " Galig- 
nani" and the prospect) That's a dangerous fellow! I 
must wire to Draft. Thirty thousand, he said. He'll 
take twenty at once. The Bank will do it for us at 
four. "We must make it five and a half, and the costs 
will come to something. A very dangerous fellow 
indeed ! {Meditates.) 

Mb. E. {to himself as he saunters in a satisfied lounge 
toivards the Gare, en route for Monte Carlo). Sly old 
scoundrel ! Means mischief, or he wouldn't have ended 
so civilly. Wants his own pick at the bones, does he ? 
Infernal old hypocrite! He'd stand in with me to- 
morrow, if I gave him the chance. You are a nailer, you 
are, Mr. B., you and your piety ; but you ain't a patch 
on Sol Isaacs. Sol will best you yet, my boy {Throws 
av:ay his cigar, and, vMstles the Glou-Glou duet from 
"La Mascotte" in an undertone of quiet content.) 



( 95 ) 



TIT FOE TAT. 

From Miss Dorothy Sampson, iy Pomona Gardens, 
Bayswater, to Sir Reginald Foglc, Bart., Baccarat 
Club, Pall Mall, S. W. 

July 20, 1S85. 

My darling Eegy, — I feel most acutely that it is 
not for me to write to you first, after the way in which 
you treated me at Lady Cheltenham's last night, even 
if it were only to ask you for an explanation of your 
extraordinary behaviour. Instead of coming to claim 
the dance I had promised you, although you had 
acknowledged Mamma's bow, and therefore must have 
known that I was there, you filled your card nearly up 
before coming near me. And when I said, as ivas only 
natural, that it was rather unusual conduct, you went 
off in a huff, talking about returning presents and never 
seeing each other again, and so on. 

But, Eegy, you know I love you. Although you have 
run through so much money, and have been so wild, I 
am quite ready to wait till you get that appointment ; 
and we can satisfy Papa that, at all events, you are a 



96 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

good boy. So, you can't call me so very unkind, after 

all, can you ? This is our first quarrel — let it be our 

last. 

I shall expect you to call to-morrow afternoon to be 

forgiven. 

Yours still the same, 

Dollie. 



From Sir Reginald Fogle, Bart., to Miss Dorothy 
Sampson. 

July 21, 1885. 

My dear Miss Sampson, — I have just received your 
very kind letter, and for which I thank you sincerely 
At the same time, you must be aware from what you 
have seen of me that I am not a man to come to a 
determination lightly, nor, having come to it, lightly to 
depart from it. I have lately noticed (and specially 
the night before last) the lamentable incompatibility of 
our tempers. Far be it from me to blame you for the 
misunderstanding between us ! On the contrary, let 
us both be thankful that you are not yet irrevocably 
bound to one possessed of a heart so sensitive as not to 
be able to support a slight, however unmerited, from 
the object of his affections. 

I therefore think it better far — 

" Best for you, and best for me " 



TIT FOR TAT 97 

— that we should part. Enclosed you will find the 
letters you have addressed to me, and the cigar-case. 
I will leave the rest to your discretion. My letters to 
you, I know, are in good hands. 

Believe always that I shall entertain the deepest 
respect for you. I trust that the end of our engage- 
ment will not also prove the end of our friendship. 
Forgive me if I give you pain. It is only to save you 

misery. 

Always most sincerely yours, 

Eeginald Foglb. 

P.S. — I am sure you will not misinterpret me if I 
add that I hear your father, although one of the most 
respected merchants in Leeds, is not the Mr. Sampson 
of Leeds. Now, how could we live? I, depending 
upon the remote possibility of an appointment of £200 
a year — you, with the tastes, habits, and aspirations of 
an extravagant woman. Impossible ! 



From Miss Dorothy Sampson to Sir Reginald Fogle, 

Bart. 

November 21, 1885. 

Dear Sir Eeginald, — I was glad to meet you in 
Piccadilly the other day, but I was sorry to see you 
look so pre-occupied. I do trust it is not the little 

H 



98 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

mistake which I made in entrusting my life's happiness 
to your care which occasions your grief. I assure you 
that your letter to me after Lady Cheltenham's ball 
quite dispelled any girlish folly I might have retained 
in my head. 

Why did you tell me, by-the-way, that " the appoint- 
ment " was a certainty of £2000 a year, if it was only 
an improbability of £200 ? 

But, as the actors say, "a truce to this." I have 
been enjoying myself vastly ; and I trust that, for all 
your careworn looks, you have been doing the same. 

We are at home on Wednesdays. Pray call ; that 
is, if you meant what you said about " friendship " in 
your letter. 

Sincerely yours, 

Doeothy Sampson. 

P.S. — Talking of friendship, I am ready to prove my 
friendship for you. Listen ! Mrs. Thompson is staving 
at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, with her two daughters. 
One is lovely — one is plain. But one has just come 
into her godmother's money (£150,000). I am sorry 
to say that I hear it is the plain one. Why not go 
down and make love to her? She is very romantic, 
so pray don't tcdic about settlements if you want to 
succeed. If you marry her, don't forget that you owe 
it to the friendship of your old friend Dnllie. 



TIT FOR TAT- 99 

From, Sir Reginald Fogle, Bart., Grand Hotel, 
Brighton, to James Similler, Esq., Baccarat Clvb, 
Pall Mall, S.W. 

January 5, 1886. 

Dear Jimmy, — Just received yours. I can only say 
that it is all right. It will be all settled in a day or 
two. I am very sorry that I can't promise you any- 
thing just at present, as the girl is very peculiar, and 
won't even listen to the mention of anything connected 
with money. However, I've done the trick this time, 
I think. She's booked, I feel sure. The sister is one 
of the sweetest girls I ever saw, and such a beauty, but 
"where the treasure is there must my heart be also !" 
My one, Sarah (pretty name, isn't it ?), is most certainly 
plain, but she is well gilt. .£150,000 is not so bad, is 
it, old man ? 

You shall have the amount I owe you as soon as the 
wedding is over. 

Yours always, 

Eegy. 

P.S. — I would send you something on account, only 
the expenses of the wedding and the honeymoon will 
make more than a big hole in my ready money. And, 
until we are married, I can't claim much control over 
hers ; can I ? 

H 2 



ioo SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Sir Reginald Fogle, Bart., Grand Hotel, 

Brighton, to Miss Sarah Thompson, Grand Hotel, 

Brighton. 

January 8, 1886. 

I love you madly, passionately, and you know it. 
Think me foolisli, think me — well, anything you please ; 
but believe in my sincerity when I tell you that I can- 
not stay on here — nay, more, that I cannot stay in 
England — unless you deliver me from this awful sus- 
pense. 

Shall I go, or not ? Tell me, darling Sarah. 
Yours ever, and always, 

Eegixald. 

From the " Times" of the 2$th of February 1886. 

On the 23rd inst., at St. Vitus's, Bayswater, by the 
Eev. Aloysius Brown (uncle of the bride) assisted by 
Canon Cruttwell, Vicar of the Parish, Sir Beginald 
Fogle, Bart., of Bogle Hall, Brokenshire, to Sarah, elder 
daughter of John Thompson, Esq., of 15 Modderit 
Square, Bayswater, W. 

From Miss Dorothy Sampson, to Sir Reginald Fogle, 
Bart., Hotel des Princes, Paris. 

February 29, 1SS6. 

Dear Sir Beginald, — Allow me to congratulate you 



TIT FOR TAT 101 

on the occasion of your wedding, which I saw announced 
in the Times of the 25th. 

I am afraid you must be a sadly changeable man. I 
remember you once wrote to me to say that you could 
not marry unless the young lady had money. Why did 
you go and fall in love with Miss Sarah Thompson, 
when it is her pretty sister, Miss Blanche Thompson, to 
whom the £150,000 was left ? 

However, to a man possessed of a sensitive heart 
like yours, the mere suggestion of a mercenary motive 
must be unutterably disgusting. So I will say no more 
but this — that your disinterested choice does equal 
honour to your head and your heart. 

Yours, 

Dorothy Sampson. % 

I don't quite remember whether, in my last letter 
to you, I said that the money had been left to Sarah. 
Did I? 



( 102 ) 



LE SEVERS DE LA MEDAILLE. 

From James Haddcrly, Esq., Manager of the Hilarity 
Theatre, Piccadilly, to Lord Eustace Wayle, Crocus 
Club, Pall Mall. 

January 22, 188 1. 

My dear Lord Eustace, — I was not surprised at 
receiving your letter, as I have suspected you, for some 
time past, of a more than decided partiality for Miss 
Undine Duval ; I have now and then fancied that she 
might one day return it. 

You could not have done better than apply to me. 
An actress may deceive her own family as to her 
morals and her manners, but she will find it very hard 
to take in her manager. 

As Miss Duval has been a member of my company 
for over two years, I am therefore speaking with 
authority when I say that I should no more believe an 
imputation against her character than against my own 
sister's. 

It is true that she takes leg-parts in opera-bouffe, and 
that she has always had hosts of admirers ; but she is a 



LE RE VERS DE LA MEDAILLE. 103 

lady, if ever there was one, and whoever may speak 

lightly of her lies in his throat. 

It is obvious that my testimony must be disinterested, 

since, if you marry her, I lose the best " draw " I have 

had yet. Well, then, I will conclude with this — if she 

consents to become your wife, you are a devilish lucky 

man! 

Yours very sincerely, 

James Hadderly. 

From the Duke of Barhellion, Castle Barhellion, NM., 
to Lord Eustace Wayle, Grand Hotel, Paris. 

February 22, 1881. 

Dear Eustace, — As your letter, just received, informs 
me that your marriage with an actress is now a fait 
accompli, I shall not waste either time or paper with the 
enumeration of my various and very natural objections 
thereto. 

It is ridiculous to remind me that Dukes have some- 
times sought their wives on the stage. A Duke can do 
many things that a Duke's dependent cannot. 

But, after all, you are one of my sons. 

On condition, therefore — 

1st. That your wife never again performs in public, 
and, 

2nd. That you both live out of England, I will allow 



104 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

you ^"500 a year, upon which sum, together with the 
income of £300 you have under your poor mother's will, 
you ought to be able to live very comfortably. 

I warn you that the continuance of this allowance 
depends entirely upon your strict fulfilment of the 
conditions I impose. I thank you for the expression 
of your filial devotion. 

Yours affectionately, 

Baebelliox. 



From Lady Eustace Wayle, Magnolia Villa, Bcdlaboola 
Road, Melbourne, to Mrs. Duval, 173 Craven Street, 
Strand. 

January 30, 1883. 

You keep saying that I don't answer your inquiries 
about Eustace. Well, my dear Mother, I don't say 
anything about him, because there is nothing cheering 
to say. He cannot help being an invalid, poor fellow ; 
but I don't think that I should have married hirn if I 
had known that he was consumptive. Besides, what 
with doctors' bills, the delicacies he cannot live without, 
the carriage exercise he must have, and so on, we can- 
not make both ends meet. 

You may as well know it at once. I have had to go 
back to the stage. I feel that if once Eustace were to 
find that marriage bad deprived him of his accustomed 



LE RE VERS DE LA MEDAILLE. 105 

luxuries, he would cease to love me — perhaps end by 
hating me. 

And so I have got an engagement at a Melbourne 
theatre at £12 a week. It is a long drive from bere, 
and when I have done at night I have to sit up, as a 
rule, nursing, till about three in the morning — some- 
times later. So it isn't a very lively state of things, is 
it, dearest Mother ? . . . . 

From Capt. Hugh Forrester, A.D.C., Government House, 

Melbourne, to Charles O'Shantcr, FJxq., 2>rd Life 

Guards, Knightsbridge. 

February 30, 1SS4. 

.... Who do you think is out here with his wife ? 
Who do you think lets his wife act in boys' parts at the 
Gaiety, and cops the salary to pay for his pretty 
victoria and fine old port? Why, Eustace Wayle, 
who used to be thought rather a good fellow, and has 
now turned into a selfish, invalidish beast. Poor 
Undine! I used to be awfully fond of her — I am 
afraid I am so still. It is too dreadful to think of the 
life she must lead, particularly since the Duke's agents 
have fcnxnd out that she has returned to the stage. It 
seems that the Duke stopped Wayle's allowance the 
moment he heard of it. And friend Wayle (who was 
ready enough to let her do it, as he thought, " on the 
quiet") now rounds on her, and says she has ruined 



106 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

him. It makes my blood boil when he talks of it. 
Don't take any notice of what I say in this disjointed 
letter. Above all, don't think that Undine has ever 
given me the slightest encouragement to breathe a word 
of my devotion. She is an angel ! . . . . 

From Messrs. Shortcroft & Raul, i 5 Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
to Lord Eustace Wayle, Melbourne. 

July io, 1884. 

My Lord, — We have the honour to inform you that, 
according to the will of your lamented father, the Duke 
of Barbellion (whose decease we announced to you by 
telegram), you are entitled to the sum of £50,000, free 
of legacy duty, which sum we hold at your disposal. 

Awaiting your lordship's instructions, we are, my 

lord, 

Your lordship's obedient Servants, 

Shoktceoft & Eaid. 

From Captain Forrester, Long's Hotel, Bond Street, JV., 
to Lady Eustace Wayle, Grand Hotel, Brighton. 

January 17, 1885. 
My darling Undine, — I have just received your 
letter. You acknowledge that your married life has 
never been happy ; that, at the best, you have been 
nothing more than a nurse and a bread-winner ; that 
your husband's conduct has every year become more 



LE REVERS DE LA MJSDAILLE. 107 

selfish and cruel; and that, now he has come into some 
money, he openly regrets having married you — and yet 
you refuse to come to my loving arms and tender care. 

Well, I respect you for the refusal, darling. It shows 
you are worthy of my love. But, thanks be, there is a 
way out of the dilemma. 

Leave him. Come up to London. We will openly 

take apartments together as man and wife. But I 

pledge you my word of honour, as an officer and a 

gentleman, that I will only come to see you as I would 

a sister until he has got his divorce, and then — then, we 

will be married immediately ! 

Your own, 

Hugh. 

Telegram from U. Wayle, Brighton, to Capt. Forrester, 
London, January 18, 1885. 

'Meet me, Victoria, five-thirty this afternoon. Have 
decided to act as you wish. 

Divorce Court Proceedings, subsequently reported in 
the " Times." 
Wayle v. Wayle and Forrester. 
This was an undefended action, and the allegations 
of the petitioner having been fully proved, the Court 
pronounced a decree nisi, with costs against the co- 
respondent. 



( io8 ) 



EPISCOPAL DISCIPLINE. 

Scene : — The Horticultural Fete at Crichelhampton- 

on-Sea. 

The Bishop of Crichel, in an apostolic attitude, is 
watching the conclusion of the lawn-tennis match for 
the championship of the county. The match is over, 
and the conqueror, the Kev. Thomas Jones, B.A., 
raises his forefinger to the peak of his flannel cap as 
he crosses the shadow of the episcopal gaiters. 

The Bishop oe Ceichel. Good-morning, Mr. Jones. 
You have won the match, I learn. 

Mr. Jones. Yes, my lord ; I have pulled it off this 
time ; glory be ! 

The Bishop. Eeally, Mr. Jones, that is not quite the 
language — ur — which — ur — I should have hoped to 
have heard 

Mr. Jones. Why, Bishop ? You're from Cambridge, 

and so am I. I was rowing in Third Trinity when 

your lordship was tutor at Kat's. I thought your 

wordship would be glad to know that we'd lowered tho 



EPISCOPAL DISCIPLINE. 109 

dark blue. Colonel Bowyer, of the garrison, laid me a 
pony to ten on the Rural Dean, who was so great a player 
at Oxford. Used to play Mark Pattison, you know. 

The Bishop. I cannot altogether regret this meeting, 
Mr. Jones, because it — ur — gives me — ur — the oppor- 
tunity of saying a few words to you. Shall we walk 
aside ? 

Mr. Jones {thrusting his racket under his arm). 
Certainly, my lord. 

The Bishop. I have been anxious for this opportunity 
for a long time, Mr. Jones. 

Me. Jones. I live five miles from your lordship's 
Palace. A letter could easily have fetched me. 

The Bishop (severely). And I rejoice that it has come 
at last. The Archdeacon, Mr. Jones, does not speak well 
of you. I am told that you keep a yacht, that you hunt, 
and that you shoot ; and to-day I learn with amazement, 
from your own lips, that you bet ! 

Me. Jones (penitentially). It was a very little bet,- 
my lord. Only twenty-five pounds, and with my 
brother-in-law. 

The Bishop. Twenty-five pounds, Mr. Jones, is 

Me. Jones. The precise income of your lordship's 
private chaplain. Yes, my lord. I pay my own curate 
two hundred. 

The Bishop. Mr. Jones, the total value of your 
vicarage is only two hundred and seventy-five. 



no SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Me. Jones. Yes, my lord, with a very nice house and 
garden, and eighteen acres of glebe. But the parish 
is a very straggling one, so I keep a curate to do the 
light work for me. 

The Bishop {simmering). I would have you under- 
stand, Mr. Jones, that I am speaking seriously Your 
levity is ill-assumed. When a beneficed clergyman in 
my diocese keeps a yacht, and hunts, and shoots, he sets 
a bad example, and neglects the — ur — opportunities of 
— ur — edification which have been graciously bestowed 
upon him. 

Mr. Jones (defiantly). My lord, you're Bishop of 
Crichel, and I am Vicar of Pebblehampton. By 
what right does your lordship speak to me in this 
way ? 

The Bishop. As being, by the grace of God, your 
ecclesiastical superior. Your conduct, Mr. Jones, has 
long pained me very deeply, and I must insist on an 
alteration. 

Mr. Jones. Look here, my lord. I have two hundred 
and seventy-five a year. I pay two hundred out of my 
own pocket to a curate whom I am not obliged to keep. 
My brother, a medical man, who has no occasion to 
practise, lives with me at the Vicarage, and attends all 
the poor for nothing. My curate looks after the old 
women and hears the children their Catechism. I, my- 
self, preach on Sundays, audit the parish charities, and 



EPISCOPAL DISCIPLINE. in 

supplement the poor-law out of my private purse. 1 
will not ask your lordship how your episcopal revenue 
is apportioned. 

The Bishop (uneasily). Sir, there are many demand? 
which-* 

Mr. Jones. Yes, I know. Your lordship has a large 
family. 

The Bishop (reaching boiling point). Sir ! 

Me. Jones (unabashed). Yes, my lord. There have 
been five good livings in your lordship's gift. Two 
have gone to your lordship's sons, and three to your 
lordship's sons-in-law. 

The Bishop (boiling over). Sir ! I exercise the patron- 
age which Heaven has placed in my hands with a due 
regard 

Me. Jones. Oh, yes, my lord. You never promote a 
man who rides to hounds, or follows the partridges, or 
keeps a fifteen-ton yawl. 

The Bishop (choking with indignation). Certainly not. 
And let me tell you, Mr. Jones, that I have warned you 
as a father might warn an erring son, and that, unless I 
soon hear differently from the Archdeacon, I shall feel 
it my painful duty to take the opinion of my 
Chancellor. 

Me. Jones (placidly). Your fourth son-in-law and 
recognized leader of the Muckborough sessions. Very 
well, Bishop. I see him coming this way with your 



112 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

family party. Before they reach ear-shot, let me tel 
you just this — that you're a humbug. 

[The Bishop turns purple with indignation 

Mr. Joxes (utterly unmoved by . the episcopal v;rath 
and emphasizing his sentences by slapping the palm of hi 
hand ivith the rim of his tennis racket). Yes, my lord, i 
humbug. I care as little for your lordship as for you: 
lordship's Archdeacon or your lordship's Chancellor. J 
rowed in the Third Trinity boat, and I was fourth classic 
Your lordship never did anything at Cambridge, and yoi 
never would have been a Bishop but for the influence 
of your wife's brother's sister-in-law with her own sister 
the wife of the. Lord Chancellor. You do not yachl 
because you can't afford it, and would be sea-sick if yoi 
could. As for shooting and hunting, you know rathei 
less about them than you do about cricket. You art 
notoriously mean in money matters ; and yet you dan 
to censure me, who spend in my parish very much mor( 
than my small stipend. 

The Bishop (recovering breath). I was not aware, Mr, 
Jones, that the Lord had so blessed 

Mi;. Joxes (brusquely). The Lord ! It was my uncle 
Dan Murdoch, the ironmaster. 

The Bishop (gasping). Of Gartsherrie ? 

Mr. Jones. Exactly so ; well, he did his duty by me 
and so a few hundreds a year spent in my parish don't 
hurt me. 



EPISCOPAL DISCIPLINE. 113 

The Bishop. Indeed. I was not aware that Provi- 
dence had — ur — so — ur; but — ur — here are my wife 
and daughters. May we hope to see you and Mrs. 
Jones this evening at the Palace ? 

Mr. Jones (good-naturedly). Thanks, ray lord. I and 
my brother, the doctor, are both bachelors, and we dine 
to-night with the garrison. 

The Bishop (with episcopal persuasiveness). Then to- 
morrow evening. My wife and daughters will 

Me. Jones. I see them within ten yards, Bishop, and 
I am somewhat scantily dressed. I can't come to- 
morrow. I am off for two days' trawling. Good-bye, and 
think better of me. I entirely forgive the Archdeacon. 

[Exit. 
Mrs. Bishop and the family appear on the scene. 

Mrs. Bishop (authoritatively). I trust, Bishop, you 
have spoken to that man as he deserves. The Arch- 
deacon has just assured me 

The Bishop (testily). Bother the Archdeacon ! 

Mrs. Bishop (horror-struck). Bishop ! 

The Bishop. Yes, Maria, Mr. Jones is a credit to the 
diocese. 

Eldest Miss Bishop (scorn/ally). I don't think a 
clergyman a credit to the diocese, pa, when he smokes a 
short wooden pipe in the cut-flower tent, wears a black 
necktie, and actually drives up the offieers from the 
barracks in their four-in-hand. 

1 



H4 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

The Bishop (sharply). Hold your tongue, Elizabeth ! 
Maria, a word with you (walks apart with Mrs. Bishop). 
The gifts of Providence are manifold. Mr. Jones has 
been amply blessed. He and his brother are nephews 
and co-heirs of Mr. Murdoch, the great Iron King. 
Mr. Jones is doing admirable work in his parish. God 
has blessed his labours, and I feel it my duty to single 
him out for preferment. Elizabeth is twenty-seven, I 
think. Yes, exactly so. Maria, you will write and ask 
Mr. Jones and his brother to dinner. 

(Scene closes.) 



( "5 ) 



A PRUDENT MAPJUAGE. 

Irom Sir James Coynless, Bellwether Castle, Loamshire, 
to the Dowager Lady Hookham, 17A Palmeiro, 
Square, Brighton. 

October 20, 1875. 

My dear Lady Hookham, — I dare say you will be 
surprised at hearing from me, but when I tell you I am 
writing in the greatest perplexity, and upon the most 
delicate matter, you will, I am sure, understand my 
object in addressing you, and excuse the trouble I am 
giving you. You will see by the address that we are 
at present still staying with the Bellwethers. Under 
ordinary circumstances our visit should now terminate ; 
but Evelina has been the life and soul of the party, and 
Lady Bellwether has fallen quite in love with her. And, 
on my side, Lord Bellwether, who is not so young as he 
was, and is very fond of a good opponent at chess, and 
a good listener to his interminable stories about 
George IV. — Lord Bellwether declares that I am the 
only man in the house worth associating with. 

That means, for me, free quarters till further notice ; 

I 2 



n5 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 



and for Evelina, the chance of securing one of the two 
most eligible partis I have yet succeeded in finding for 
her. But, alas ! my dear lady, there is an adder in the 
path. What was the use the other day, when we went 
in a party to Carlingford Abbey, of my putting the 
wretched girl into the phaeton with young Lord Bullion 
because I was nervous, and "preferred Evelina's place 
in the landau with dear Lady Bellwether" ? "What was 
the use, when Juteley, the rich cotton broker, came for 
a walk with my misguided daughter and myself, of my 
"having a warning of my old complaint," after a 
hundred yards or so, and leaving them to finish a two 
hours' stroll alone ? 

Alas ! my dear lady, none. 

For there has been staying in the house a certain 
George Lynch, who, I believe, is by trade a barrister, 
who I am certain is falling in love with Evelina, and 
who, I fear, is inducing her to reciprocate his folly. He 
certainly is not repulsive in appearance, nor is he 
dressed otherwise than as a gentleman. And he pos- 
sesses some sort of superficial talent in the scribbling 
of rhymes and the tinkling of the pianoforte. 

But I feel sure he considers himself lucky if he 
makes £300 a year. This is bad enough, but the worst 
has to come : — Lady Bellwether favours and assists the 
fellow in his audacious design ! 

Prompt flight is, of course, the only way out of it. 



A PRUDENT MARRIAGE. 117 

But here i3 the dilemma; I am very comfortable here, 
and I don't want to fly. I want to stay on. 

Can you — will you, dear Augusta, help me in this 
delicate matter ? Could you — would you invite Evelina 
to stay with you at Brighton, at once, for a time ? If 
such a thing could be arranged, you would be the most 
beneficent " dca ex machind" ever heard of. 

Think of it, and write as quickly as possible to your 

distracted 

James. 

I looked at your portrait last night ! Thirty years 
ago ! " Hei mihi propter Uos !" 

From George Lynch, 3 Pump Court, Middle Temple, to 
Miss Coynless, 1 7 A Palmeiro, Square, Brighton. 

November g, 1875. 

My own darlixg Lina, — Little did I think when I 
was introduced to you by Lady Bellwether that, scarcely 
more than a fortnight after, we two should be standing 
under the beeches, in the glorious autumn sun, plighting 
our troth to each other ! You need not enjoin caution 
upon me, my sweet. 

And now to the main point in this scrawl. I am 
working very hard — going to make a fortune — for you . 
But I shall lose courage unless I see my sweetheart 
now and then — say once a fortnight. 



n8 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

It is now more than a fortnight since you left the 
Castle so suddenly. Will you slip out next Thursday 
morning, and meet me at the station, by the train 
which arrives from Victoria at eleven o'clock ? 

We can have a couple of hours on the downs all to 
ourselves ; and then I might meet you and the dragon 
in the afternoon by accident in the King's Eoad. Say 
" Yes," and comfort the heart of 

Yours ever and only, 

Geoege. 



From Hiss Coynlcss, Brighton, to George Lynch, London. 

January 20, 1876. 

My deaeest Geoege, — I write these few lines in great 
distress of mind, to tell you that you must discontinue 
your visits to Brighton. I have long felt sure, from her 
manner, that some spy has been reporting our meetings 
to the dragon ; and it has been painful enough to put 
up with the hints and innuendoes which have been 
heaped upon me in consequence. But after having 
been caught together in the waiting-room, as we were 
the other day, my life has been simply unenduralJe. 
Well, then, be a good boy ; wait till we come up to 
town. In greatest haste, your unhappy 

Lixa. 



A PRUDENT MARRIAGE. 119 

P.S. — Don't answer this, / feel sure she suspects 
something, and she is quite capable of opening my 
letters. 

P.P.S. — Of course I know Lord Rattelpayte. Isn't he 
one of Lady Hookham's oldest friends ? What of that ? 

Miss Coynless, Brighton, to George Lynch, London. 

February 10, 1876. 

Dear George, — I was very much surprised at meeting 
you yesterday morning on the pier, after my despairing 
entreaty to you not to come down here again. Appa- 
rently you care little whether I am bullied to death by 
those upon whom I depend for a home, as long as 
you can indulge what you call " love," and what seems 
much more like a selfish desire to have your own way. 

But I was more than surprised at the letter which I 
have just received from you. What ! just because you 
find me listening to the band with Lord Eattelpayte, I 
am to be treated with eight pages of preaching and 
warning and recrimination ! 

I am quite aware that Lord E. is eccentric. And 
what if he is ? What if he does wear his hair in 
ringlets? What if he did go "hop, skip, and jump" 
down the pier the other day ? What if he did perform 
strange antics at the Levee last season ? 

That does not justify your most cruel accusation of 



120 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

insanity ! Everybody knows who he is. And an Earl 
can indulge in many freaks that would seem quite odd 
in the case of a nobody. 

As for your unjust suspicion about infidelity, I can 
only say that there is nothing whatever between Lord E. 
and myself but the most ordinary friendship. If you 
are so suspicious and so frightfully jealous now, what 
will you be when you are married ? 

I hope you are very, very sorry for ever having 
written such a letter. 

Yours sincerely, 

LlNA. 

From Sir James Coynless, Bart, 1 1 Rue de la Montague, 

Brussels, to the Earl of Battelpayte, 112 Bclyrave 

Square. 

April 30, 1876. 

My dear Lord Eattblpayte, — The only objection 
I had to the brilliant offer you have made to my 
beloved daughter was, in a word, the very brilliancy 
of it. 

It would be obviously unfitting that my dear child 
should contract an alliance so splendid that it would 
(owing to his straitened circumstances) either entirely 
separate her from her doting father, or reduce him 
to dependence upon the intermittent (and perhaps 
grudging) generosity of a son-in-law. 



A PRUDENT MARRIAGE. 121 

But the idea, which you say has occurred to your 
solicitors, of securing a suitable annuity to the grand- 
father of the future Earl of Eattelpayte, in addition to 
the very handsome settlement you propose to make 
upon your bride, has put my scruples to flight. As 
long as honour is safe, you know, my dear lord ! I 
have, therefore, no hesitation in giving my hearty 
consent to your proposal, and in praying Heaven to 
bless the union in which conjugal love will be blended 
with filial consideration and respect. 

I will duly inform you of my arrival in town, and 
meanwhile am, my dear lord, 

Yours most truly, 

James Coynless. 

Extract from the " Times" of May 9, 1876. 

Marriages. — On the 8th inst., at St. George's, 
Hanover Square, by the Lord Bishop of Bumtifoo, 
assisted by the Bev. A. Lowmass, the Bight Hon. the 
Earl of Battelpayte, to Evelina, only daughter of Sir 
James Coynless, Bart., of Blankton Lodge, Bucks. 

From the "Barristers Budget" of May 1, 1886. 

We hear that among the next batch of Q.C.'s the 
Lord Chancellor has included the name of Mr. George 
Lynch, of the Middle Temple and the Western 
Circuit. 



122 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

We understand, further, that in a few days Mr. 
Lynch will lead to the altar the Hon. Miss Blanche 
Codex, daughter of the Lord Chief Justice of England. 
On both occasions Mr. Lynch may feel sure of the 
hearty congratulations of his many friends in both 
branches of the profession. 



From the Countess of Battclpayte, Grimley lowers, 
Cumberland, to George Lynch, Esq., Q.C., Athenecum 
Civb, Pall Mall, S. W. 

May 9, 1886. 

I learn by the Times, which has just arrived, that 
you have been made Q.C., and that you were married 
yesterday to the daughter of the Lord Chief Justice. 

Day for day, ten years ago, I married the EarL 
Day for day, ten years ago, you wrote me a letter of 
congratulation, which made me weep, hardened wretch 
that I was, so heart-broken, so forgiving, so manly a 
spirit did it breathe. 

Now that ten years have past. You have " conquered 
the world, notwithstanding the bleeding heart within." 
You are successful, and you deserve to be happy ; and 
now I write, with a bleeding heart, to offer you my 
sincerest congratulations. Will you accept them ? 
Yes, I think you will if you read on. 

For the last seven years I have lived in seclusion, 



A PRUDENT MARRIAGE. 123 

out in the wilds of Cumberland. My husband is a 
raving maniac, guarded day and night by two warders. 
My hair — the hair you used to fondle — is already grey 
— almost white. And my boy, my pretty boy, the only 
hope of my life, the only consolation I had — during thu 
past year has shown signs and symptoms, growing 
worse every day. Oh, George ! the taint is in his blood ! 
Are you not revenged ? May God bless and prosper 
you, George, now and always. And, whether or not you 
have the same mad love for your wife as once you had 
for me, may she be a helpmeet for you ; may you be 
very happy together ; and may you have sweet children 
to double your happiness and lighten your cares. 
Pity me and pray for me. 

Lina. 



( 124 ) 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 

It was winter time, and Captain Curzon had arranged 
to spend Christmas with the Lloyds at their place in 
North Wales — Tan-y-Bwllch. Captain Curzon had 
been for ten or twelve years in the Blues ; and, before 
joining that celebrated corps, he had spent a short time 
at Christ Church as a gentleman commoner, and a con- 
siderable number of years at Eton. He had rowed in 
the Eton Eight, played in the Eton and University 
Elevens, could hold his own at tennis with Heathcote, 
was a noted swimmer, a bold rider across country, a 
good shot, and a very capable and deservedly popular 
officer. For some months past he had been engaged — 
to use the customary English phrase — to Ethel, Sir 
John Lloyd's eldest daughter, and the match was one 
which the friends on each side regarded with the 
highest approbation. Captain Curzon was in every 
sense an eligible parti. He was young — comparatively 
speaking ; good-looking, of an old family, and fairly well 
off. He was in high favour at the Horse Guards, and 
it was perfectly certain that he might confidently look 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 125 

forward to rapid promotion iu his profession. Ethel 
Lloyd was about two-and-twenty years of age, and had 
been the recognized beauty of two consecutive London 
seasons. Her father, old Sir John Lloyd, of Tan-y- 
Bwllch, the second baronet of that title, claimed to be 
descended from the Welsh Kings. As to this assertion 
on his part there may have been reasonable doubts ; 
but as to his wealth there could be no possible question. 
He owned coal mines and slate quarries, and was sole 
proprietor of several acres of docks. And so people 
forgot that his grandfather had been a steward, bailiff, 
land agent, and rent collector, and accepted Sir John 
Lloyd's claim to royal descent with the most absolute 
faith. He was a county member, a deputy lieutenant, 
a chairman of quarter sessions, and a director of several 
railway companies. Altogether, the match arranged 
between Captain Curzon and Miss Ethel Lloyd was, to 
use the conventional term, eminently suitable. 

The courtship had been of the usual type. Captain 
Curzon had met Miss Lloyd in town when Sir John 
and his family came up for the season. He had paid 
her marked attention ; and he had at last written to Sir 
John to request an interview. This interview had 
taken place in Sir John's library in Eaton Square, a 
funereal room hung with maps of the Lloyd estates and 
plans of the Lloyd docks and sections of the Lloyd 
mines. The result of the negotiations was satisfactory 



126 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

in the extreme. Captain Curzon, who was madly in 
love with the beautiful Miss Ethel, found his suit 
warmly received by her father. Sir John, on the other 
hand, was delighted to see his daughter married to a 
man of high family and brilliant position. When 
Ethel herself was consulted, she did not ask time for 
consideration. She only stipulated that the marriage 
should be delayed for a year. As this was considered 
a sufficiently natural request, her reasons for it were 
not inquired into. And, to do Miss Ethel justice, she 
made in every way a pattern fiancde. Captain Curzon 
was incessant in his attentions. To tell the truth, he 
was very proud of his conquest. Wherever the Lloyds 
appeared, he was to be seen with them. Nor was there 
the slightest thing in Ethel's conduct to cause him the 
least shadow of anxiety. She scarcely danced with 
any one else, and the devotion of the two handsome 
young people to one another was matter of admiration 
in certain sections of society, and of ironical comment 
in others. 

Now, among Curzon's closest friends was a Captain 
Ealph Thornton of the Coldstreams. He and Curzon 
had been at the same tutor's at Eton and had rowed in 
the same boat. They had shared chambers in Albemarle 
Street, and Curzon had often helped his companion out 
of money difficulties — for Thornton was the cadet of 
a poor house, and had considerable difficulty in keeping 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 127 

afloat. Whether Thornton admired Ethel Lloyd himself, 
or whether, for reasons of his own, he was anxious that 
Curzon should remain single, will probably never be 
known. Captain Thornton is not the kind of man 
to make confessions. All that is certain is that he 
received the news of the forthcoming marriage very 
coldly. 

" I know her well enough, dear old fellow," he said. 
" She is, if anything, handsomer now than she was five 
years ago, and even then all the men in "Wales raved 
about her. Her people, you know, are not of very long 
standing ; and there was a cousin of hers, a mate in the 
Cunard Line, or the P and 0., or some such service — 
not the Queen's — whose head she completely turned. 
He actually proposed to her. You can guess the kind 
of reception he got from old Moneybags, who is 
ashamed of his extraction, and hates his poor relations 
like poison." 

" Well ? " asked Curzon, somewhat irritably. 

" * WelL' It was not exactly well. If the lad had 
stuck to his ship, he might by this time have been a 
purser, or a navigating lieutenant, or something of the 
sort. But the refusal utterly did for him. He went 
off to the Diamond Fields, and, according to the latest 
news, was either speai>.d by the natives or drowned 
while crossing a river — it does not matter which. Tou 
need not trouble yourself ; Miss Lloyd could not have 



128 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

cared much for him. I was in Wales at the time, as it 
happens. And she, like the rest of her family, took 
the news of his death with an equanimity which, 
although he was only a cousin, showed how hopeless 
the poor fellow's aspirations must have been." 

And with this the conversation dropped. 

Meantime, hour followed upon hour, clay upon day, and 
week upon week with marvellous rapidity Curzon's 
engagement was a subject of universal interest; he re- 
ceived from every quarter the warmest congratulations. 
Nor did the very smallest speck of cloud threaten the 
horizon of his happiness. Ethel was even more than 
all that he wished, and, although naturally somewhat 
reserved, and perhaps cold, in her disposition, she yet 
was evidently attached to her lover, and indeed admired 
him. His friends all assured him that she was the 
very woman of all others whom he ought to have 
chosen for his wife. And, as far as their knowledge 
went, his friends had, no doubt, every reason to flatter 
themselves that their judgment was correct. 

Curzon's fortune would have been sufficient in itself, 
but Ethel had no brothers, and Sir John was liberal in 
the matter of settlements. 

It was winter time, as I said at first ; Christmas was 
approaching, and in another th r ;o months the year of 
waiting would expire. Curzon, whose happiness seemed 
to grow day by day, ran down to Tan-y-B\vllch for the 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 129 

promised Christmas visit, accompanied by his friend, 
Captain Thornton. The preparations were on a grand 
scale. There was to be something like open house. 
There were to be two grand balls and private theatri- 
cals, and a concert and a dinner to the tenantry ; and 
when Curzon and his friend reached Tan-y-Bwllch 
Castle, they found the house already full of guests. 

Before dinner, Sir John, who was brimming over 
with hospitality, and almost bursting with that impor- 
tance which has been described as " the fulness of joy 
and hope," introduced his future son-in-law to the Lord 
Lieutenant, to the High Sheriff, to a Judge who had a 
country-house in the neighbourhood, and, amongst 
other persons, to " my nephew, Harold Dering." The 
dinner went off as such dinners usually do ; and 
towards the small hours most of the men who 
were staying in the house assembled in the billiard- 
room. 

Now, Thornton could play pool extremely well; in 
fact, it was a steady source of income to him. But he 
had no chance whatever with Dering, who kept on 
clearing the board with provoking and almost me- 
chanical precision. Thornton, who seemed to be much 
taken with him, and who had a genius for conversation, 
soon managed to draw him out. He was a young fellow 
about five-and-twenty, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, 
with tremendous limbs, sunburnt face and hands, crisp, 

K 



130 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

curling black hair, an immense beard, faultless teeth, 
and a laugh as noisy and as merry as that of a school- 
boy. 

He was utterly unlike any of the men in the room. 
He was not of their type. He looked like what he was 
— a colonist fresh from the diggings. But all artists 
and most women would have pronounced him the 
handsomest man of the company, and he was certainly 
the strongest. He strode round the table, and slouched 
over the cushions to make his stroke with all the lazy 
ease of a giant. He talked freely and unaffectedly of 
his adventures by field and flood, of the lions he had 
shot in the bush, of the hyeenas he had speared, and of 
the large diamonds he had found or assisted in finding. 
Unlike most Cape colonists, he had not apparently a 
single diamond about him ; but when the conversation 
turned on diamonds he unbuttoned his waistcoat, 
searched for his money belt, and produced a piece of 
whitey-brown paper in which were wrapped some 
dozen or" so of uncut stones, lustreless as yet, but 
evidently of enormous value. 

It was quite true that he had been speared by the 
natives, and he showed some ugly spear marks above 
the elbow, in the flesh of the right arm. It was also 
true that he had been swept away by a flood while 
attempting to ford a stream. He spoke of all these 
things as if they were everyday occurrences, and he 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 131 

was evidently altogether devoid of anything at all like 
conceit or self-sufficiency. 

As Curzon and Thornton were going to bed, the 
latter said : 

" I should look after that South African, Curzon, if I 
were you. I had thought he was dead, and told you 
so. Now he has unexpectedly turned up with a 
money-belt stuffed with diamonds. I do not wish to 
be taken for a prophet of evil news, but I cannot avoid 
an uneasy suspicion that his presence here bodes you 
no particular good." 

" What on earth do you mean ? " asked Curzon, 
turning shortly round on his heel in the corridor. 

"Oh, nothing at all particular," replied Thornton. 
" It merely occurred to me that I had heard this 
fellow's name in connection with that of Miss Lloyd, 
and I thought it only right to tell you as much." 

And with these words they parted for the night. 

Early next day preparations commenced for the in- 
tended theatricals. There were to be tableaux vivants 
and part songs ; and after these, " Othello " was to be acted . 
It took some time to settle the caste of the tragedy. 
Amateur actors are very difficult to please. Ultimately, 
however, after much intriguing and jealousy, the part 
of Othello was allotted to Curzon. He had had con- 
siderable experience, and he was about the only person 
in the house at all capable of playing the part. He 

K 2 



i 3 2 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

was the only one who had not schemed to secure it, 
with the exception of Thornton, who, having been 
chosen by acclamation for Iago, had quietly accepted 
the role,, and doggedly set to work to study it. 

Miss Lloyd, of course, was Desdemona. Dering was 
offered the part of Eoderigo, as being a happy-go-lucky, 
easy-hearted part, exactly suited to him. He declined 
it, however, on the sufficient ground that he knew 
nothing of acting, and did not want to " spoil the 
show." 

The days slipped rapidly by. It was a Monday, and 
the theatricals were fixed for the following evening. 

O o 

The ladies had retired for the night. The men had 
been shooting all day, and were most of them too tired 
for billiards. A few of them were in the smoking- 
room — Curzon among them. Thornton came quietly in 
and touched his arm. The two left together, and no- 
body noticed the matter. 

They stole noiselessly along the corridor till they 
reached the large conservatory. The electric light had 
not yet been extinguished. The fountain was playing. 
The golden fins were flashing in the marble basin. The 
air was heavy with perfume. In a deep corner, under 
the shadow of a huge tree fern, stood Ethel Lloyd and 
Harold Dering, face to face. His arms were round her, 
and his hands locked behind her waist. One of her 
hands rested on each of his shoulders, and the two were 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 133 

looking fixedly into each other's eyes. Curzon drew a 
long, deep, silent breath. Thornton grasped him by 
the wrist, and motioned him to be silent. 

In a few seconds Curzon had heard everything. 
Ethel had believed her cousin dead, and had consented 
to marry himself in utter weariness of home and life. 
Harold's unexpected return, and his still more un- 
expected reconciliation with her father, had been sudden 
and sharp surprises. All the old love in her had leaped 
fiercely out again into flame. Harold was no longer an 
adventurer. He was rich in any ordinary sense of the 
term. His yacht was lying at that moment in the bay, 
not ten miles from Tan-y-Bwllch Castle ; and in the 
confusion after the theatricals were over the two were 
to steal away And Curzon heard all this, and saw his 
promised wife rest her head upon her cousin's broad 
shoulder and burst into a passion of tears — tears of joy 
too intense for any other expression. And he turned 
on his heel and strode sharply along the corridor. 
Then re-entering the smoking-room, he filled a tumbler 
with brandy and drank it off. Then he sat looking at 
the fire, and Thornton sat opposite to him. Neither 
spoke. But there the two sat till the fire faded away 
into ashes, and the candles flared out in their sockets, 
and the servants came in to clear the room. 
******* 
The day was old when Curzon and Thornton next 



134 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

met. There was to have been a dress rehearsal, but 
Ethel had sent down word that she should not be able 
to appear until the evening. Most of the performers 
were sufficiently perfect in their parts, having been 
well drilled by a stage-manager brought down from 
London. So the rehearsal fell through. Dering had 
taken a gun, and walked towards the shore — in quest, 
he explained, of curlew. Everybody was in a kind of 
way doing nothing. It was a dull, wearisome dies -non. 

Thornton followed his friend out on the terrace, 
where he was pacing up and down, with an old pipe 
between his teeth. 

" What shall you do ? " he asked. 

" I can't tell until to-night," was the reply, " and I 
would prefer not to be talked to about it." 

******* 

The night came, and the play began. The audience 
were entranced. Welsh squires and their families are 
not very difficult to please. The stage-manager from 
London was in ecstasies. Never had an amateur 
company made such a success or done him greater 
credit. Desdemona was not perhaps all that could have 
been wished. There was a certain nervousness and 
coldness about her. But this, on the other hand, to a 
certain extent suited the part. Cassio was not badly 
played by a young giant some six feet high, a barrister 
on the North Wales Circuit. Iago, by ThorntoD, was, 



A MODERN OTHELLO. 135 

the London stage-manager declared, a marvel of careful 
study. Curzon's Othello was perfect. He seemed 
inspired, and in the bedroom scene grew intense. At 
last he came to the glorious lines — 

" And say, besides, that in Aleppo once, 
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk 
Beat a Venetian, and traduc'd the State, 
I took by the throat the circumcised dog 
And smote him — thus." 

As his voice was still dwelling on the last word he 
clasped his sword by its hilt with his hands joined 
raised it above his head, drove the blade straight into 
his chest, and fell forward on his face, with the blood 
gushing from his mouth. 

The women screamed and fainted, or went into 
hysterics, or ran away. The men swarmed up on to 
the stage. The first to lift Curzon up was Dering. 
There was nothing to be said. The sword had been 
driven with the whole strength of both arms right 
through the left lung, and the point stood out below 
the shoulder-blade. 

Then they thought of Desdemona, startled, even in 
their wild excitement, by her strange silence. Those 
who were nearest to the bed turned hastily and tore 
aside the curtains. 

The play had been acted out. Desdemona was dead. 



( 136 ) 



THE CAVE OF TROPHONIUS. 

Time: 12 a.m., Monday, June 8, 1885. 

Scene : — The outer room of Mr. Maurice Leyison in 
Burlington Gardens. Easy chairs, sofas, the morning 
papers, Army anal Navy List, Peerages, Directories, 
the Red Book, the Blue Booh, Burke's "landed 
Gentry" &c. &c. — A boy in buttons is serving brandy 
and soda. 

Present:— Captain Vandeleur, of the 27th Royal 
Plungers, The Honourable Mr. Astley Spark- 
ington, Viscount Hollycourt, Mi:. Winder, of 
the Odeon Theatre, Mr. John Smitherson, and others. 
They have cdl been laughing at a 'peculiarly racy story 
of Mr. Winder's, and then suddenly relapsed into 
dismal apathy. 

Viscount Hollycourt. A most beastly week. I 
had the straight tip for Paradox and put on my shirt. 
Then they made me back St. Helena, and I put on my 
night-gown and tooth-brush. Went to the governor 
on Saturday. Won't say where he told me to go to. 



THE CAVE OF TR0PH0N1US. 137 

Anyhow, it was warmer than this place, and that's 
saying something. "Went to him again yesterday 
morning. Told me he was going to church, and I'd 
better go too. Told him I should be posted at Tatter- 
sail's, and have to leave the regiment and my clubs. 
Said it would be the best thing for me. Talked to 
him like a father about the dishonour of the family 
name. Said I'd done that already — old thief. But I 
think he's breaking. 

Captain Vandeleur. My tip was worse than yours, 
my dear boy. I went neck or nothing on Crafton. 
Tips are the invention of Satan ; especially when they 
come red-hot from the stable. I stood to win a couple 
of thou., which would have made me comfortable. 
You may guess how I stand now. And under the 
present infernal system you can't raise money on your 
commission. 

Mr. Winder. Pardon, gentlemen. Hope I don't 
intrude. I had the wrong tip myself. Derby Monday, 
and here we are again. Isn't it odd ? All I want is 
a hundred. And if old Moses Levy won't let me have 
it, no more boxes for him. Maurice Levison, indeed ! 
I knew his father, old Sol Levy, when he had the 
front of the house at the Shoreditch, and young Mo 
here used to circumnavigate the pit with nuts and 
ginger-beer. But I'll work the oracle, no fear. Lay on, 
Macduff ! If Mr. Mo Levy (Sudden interruption, 



138 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

caused by the entry through a yveen babe door of Mr. 
Levlson's cleric, who whimpers a few words to Viscount 
Hollycourt, and retires again.) 

The Honourable Mr. Astley Sparkington. Well, 
I only want five hundred. But it is no good asking 
my governor. He couldn't let me have it if he would. 
And I'm precious sure he wouldn't if he could. ISTow, 
if old Judah Ben Israel here will do my little bit of 
stiff, I'm all right ; for I can manage to pay the 
interest, and if I do that he will always renew. If he 
doesn't, I must give bills to the bookies. Then my 
friend in the City will get them. Then there will be 
bankruptcy, sack from F. 0., and general burst. Never 
catch me backing a horse again. {A general groan of 
approval.) 

Captain Vandeleur. But what are you here for, 
Smitherson ? You never used to bet at Eton. 

Me. John Smitherson. No, I never did ; and I don't 
now as a rule. But I made a fool of myself this time. 
Got the straight tip — Xaintrailles to wit ! I thought 
of going abroad this summer for a bit, so I put the 
pot on and over-boiled it. You know my governor. 
Strictest Quaker in all Leeds. I daren't tell him. 
So here I am. Ah, Vandeleur ! I wish we were back 
at Eton. 

Viscount Hollycourt. And only in debt for tuck. 

Captain Vandeleur. Or you could lose your watch 



THE CAVE OF TROPHONIUS. 139 

and get an order for a new one, and then lose that. 
{Lights afresh cigar.) 

Confidential Clerk {entering). Lord Hollycourt. 
{Retires with that nobleman.) 

The Honourable Mr. Sparkingtox. I say, Winder, 
what will you give on his chance ? T don't think much 
of it. All the family land is in Ireland, and between 
Parnell and Gladstone Ireland is gone to the devil. I'll 
tell you what, I'll bet you a tenner it don't come oil'. 

Mr. Winder. Xo tenners to lose, my dear boy ; but 
I think it will. {Whistles the Dead March in 
"Saul." Re-enter through private door Lord Holly- 
court, followed by Mr. Maurice Levison himsilf. 
Mr. Maurice Levison is attired in a diamond stud 
and several diamond rings, relieved by such minor 
accessories as varnished boots, white gaiters, a blue New- 
market coat, curled hair, obtrusive cuffs, and a crimson 
necktie.) 

Mr. Levison. Good morning, my lord. Your Lord- 
ship shall hear from me at three o'clock precisely. 
Ah, Winder, my boy, how are you ? Come in. Pleasure 
first ; I always hate business. 

[Exeunt through private door Mr. Levison and 
Mr. Winder. 

Captain Vandeleur {anxiously) . Well ? 

Viscount Hollycourt. Well ! Had to give him a 
letter to my bankers. They're to let him know what 



i4o SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

my private account lias been for the last eighteen 
months. I think it will pass muster with old Israel, 
and if it does, he'll do the job. He's coming to me at 
the club at three. That looks like business. Besides, 
he's got to go to Tattersall's himself. I expect we 
shall go together. It will be a rare joke. 

The Honourable Me. Sparkington. Ah, Hollycourt, 
there's money in a title. 

Viscount Hollycourt. Sometimes. Anyhow, there's 

always money in a money-lender, and if I (Enter 

from the inner room Mr. Winder, with the step and 
manner of a Christian martyr going to the stake in red 
fire and limelight.) 

Omnes (cheerfully). Winder's done the trick. 

Me. Winder {casts his eye round and drops his voice 
to a whispered imitation of the late Mr. Buckstone). My 
dear boys, I've done the Jew. Le Jew est fait. Yive 
le Jew!" (Bubs his It amis and takes his departure in 
a comic double shuffle.) 

Mr. Levison {opening private door). Captain Van- 
deleur. 

Honourable Mr. Sparkington (as Vandeleur 
retire*). Now, I'll lay Vandeleur gets his money. He's 
not much of his own, it's true ; but he has the run of 
Cheltenham House. He has great interest at the 
Horse Guards. He's safe of a command — Eike knows 
that, and Eike knows his customers. 



THE CAVE OF TROPHONIUS. 141 

Viscount Hollycourt. I hope he won't get what 
he wants, that's all ; there'll be the less chance for 
me. Old Mo never likes to shell out too much in one 
day Well, I'm off! {Exit.) 

The Honourable Mr. Astley Sparkington {em- 
phatically). Selfish devil ! 

Mr. Smitherson. Don't know him. But I like 

Vandeleur, and I hope he'll have luck. "Why, talk 

Enter Captain Vandeleur through private door. 

Sparkington \ 

and . Well ? 

Smitherson. 

Vandeleur {in ivhispcr). All right. Said he'd do it 
with the name of a man he named. That very man 
told me this morning he'd do anything ; so I said to 
old Mo, " I can get his name at fifty, but not at more." 
Mo grumbled, and we settled at sixty. Off to fetch 
my man. Ta-ta. 

Clerk {through private door). Mr. Sparkington. 

{During Mr. Sparkington's absence Mr. Smitherson 
walks up and down the room in a very agitated condition, 
consults the Directories and Army List, and betrays other 
signs of impatience. To him there enters through the 
pxiblic door and unannounced, a gentleman of Hebrew 
persuasion, who calmly sits down, lights a cigar and begins 
to read the papers. Re-enter through the private door 
The Honourable Mr. Sparkington and Mr. Levison.) 



142 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Me. Levison. Xow, you've heard my last, Mr. 
Sparkington. I'll settle your book for you myself on 
our usual terms. But you don't get a cheque out of 
me. You'd only go down to Tattersall's and beg for 
time, and then you'd blew my cheque and come back 
to me when your time was up. Shall I settle your 
book, yes or no ? 

Mr. Spaekixgton. And twenty ready. 

Me. Levisox. ISTot a red cent. 

Me. Spaekington (sulkily). Then settle the book. 

[Exit. 

Me. Levison. Hullo, Jacobs, how are you ? Eeady 
for you in a moment. (Turning to Me. Smitheesox.) 
My private solicitor, Mr. Smitherson. All confidential. 
I've considered your letter. Sorry I can't do your 
business. You see you didn't mention any one. And 
you're only in lodgings off St. James's Square. And 
I don't think much of the Junior Cam and Isis Club. 
It's no show. Good morning. [Exit Me. Smitheesox. 

Me. Levison. Well, Sidney Jacobs, how goes it ? 
I'm just off to Tattersall's. Any news for me ? 

Me. Jacobs. There's news for me. Are you stark, 
staring mad ? 

Me. Levison. What do you mean ? 

Me. Jacobs. Who was that young chap you just 
kicked out ? 

Me. Levison. Don't know him from Adam. He don't 



THE CA VE OF TROPHONIUS. 143 

seem to have any friends. Says he's been to Eton 
and to Oxford. "Wants two hundred. They've all 
been to Eton and Oxford. That cock won't fight. 

Me. Jacobs (solemnly). You're an ass. You don't 
even know your own business. 

Me. Levison. Don't I ? I know it better than you 
do your dirty law. 

Me. Jacobs. Do you ? Well, I shall do that little 
bit myself. Ah, if young men would only come in 
the first instance to respectable professional practi- 
tioners ! 

Me. Levison (angrily). Stow your humbug ! What 
do you mean ? 

Me. Jacobs (gravely shaking his head in mock 
rebuke). Levison, Levison ! That mild young mug 
you've just kicked downstairs is the only son of 
Smitherson, Smitherson and Co., woollen warehouse 
at Leeds, and he hasn't a sister. 

Me. Levison (gaspingly). Good God ! 

Me. Jacobs. Yes, Levison, yes. And he's the only 
nephew of Smitherson's patent manure works at Lime- 
house, and the manure works haven't a son. Tm 
solicitor to the family. So I took care he didn't catch 
sight of me. 

Me. Levison (at the top of his voice). Benjamin! 
Benjamin ! (Enter confidential clerk.) Benjamin, you 
scoundrel, run after that gentleman at once — Mr. 



144 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Smitherson. If you don't catch him up, go to his 
lodgings, go to his club, go everywhere. Tell him he 
can have a couple of thousand. Bring him back in 
half-an-hour, or you'll know why And when you've 
found him, go to the Guards Club, and wait till Lord 
Hollvcourt comes in. and tell him I'll do half, and not 
more. And now, Jacobs, business is over for the day. 
Light a cigar, and let's have a bottle of cham. and a 
biscuit before I go down to Tattersall's. 



( 145 ) 



A MODERN ELECTION. 

From Thomas Ckecseman, Esq., Wholesale Chawll<r, 
32 Queen Victoria Street, EC, to Messrs. Shortcrojt & 
Haid, Lincoln's Inn Fields. 

-it -j May 20, i88v 

Sir, — I have duly received your favour of yesterday's 
date. In answer, I beg to state that I still consider 
the price put upon the St. Maur Abbey Estate ridiculous 
high, and quite ;£ 10,000 more than I should have bid 
under other circumstances. 

But as you say that if I don't close at once, Lord 
Rattlebury will, I'll give a point in your favour, and so 
the affair is settled. 

Please prepare all necessary documents as soon as' 
possible, and write me when I can call and sign. 
I am, Sirs, 

Tours obediently, 

Thomas Cheesemak. 

P.S. — Having taken a fancy to the place, prompt 
attention to the above is politely requested. 



146 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Lady Pursuing, of The Towers, Sluinberton, to the 
Rev. John Oldham, The Rectory, Sluinberton. 

September 5, 1885. 
My dear Me. Oldham, — Will you, or rather can yon, 
dine with us to-night, en famille, at 8 o'clock ? 
Yours very truly, 

Laura Pursang. 

P.S. — You will never guess who called here yesterday ! 
Those odious Cheesemans, who have just bought and 
re-decorated — or rather disfigured — dear old St. Maur 
Abbey. How I do pity poor Lady St. Maur ! Of 
course / had not dreamt of calling upon them. But 
they came, nevertheless, principally, it seemed, to afford 
the dreadful man an opportunity of " 'oping that, bein' 
neighbours, we should be friendly, drop in on each 
other " (!), and so on. 

From the Rev. John Oldham to Lady Pursang. 

September 5, 1885. 

My dear Lady Pursang, — I shall be charmed to 
dine to-night. With regard to " the odious one," I 
must tell you that he is anything but " odious " in my 
eyes just now. This very morning I have received a 
cheque for £500 in aid of the Piestoration Fund, and 
another for the same sum to be applied in the parish as 



A MODERN ELECTION. 147 

I think fit, enclosed in a letter signed, " Thos. Cheese - 



man." 



But (in your own words), you will never guess how 
the letter comes to an end ' "lama plain man, and 
want no thanks. An acknowledgment in the local paper 
will suffice " (! ! !). The italics are my own. 
Very sincerely yours, 

John Oldham. 

From Thomas Chccseman, Esq., of St. Maur Abbey, to 
the Secretary, Slumbcrton Infirmary. 

October 5, 1885. 
Sib, — I have much satisfaction in enclosing a draft 
for ;£ 1,000 on my bankers in favour of the Borough 
Infirmary. As a local landowner I take the greatest 
interest in all local institutions. Being a plain man, I 
neither expect nor do I wish for thanks for doing my 
duty according to my means. An acknowledgment in 
the local papers will suffice. 

Yours obediently, 

Thos. Cheesemax. 

Extract from the " Slumbert&n Sentinel," 

November 25, 1885. 

Last Thursday the Vale of Heath hounds met on the 

lawn of St. Maur Abbey. The princely hospitality of 

the new owner, Mr. Cheeseman, extended not only to 

L 2 



148 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the members of the Hunt and other usual recipients, 
but to the vast crowd of spectators. Casks of ale were 
broached, a plentiful meal was welcome to each and all, 
even the poorest, and " all went merry as a marriage bell." 
Sir Hubert St. Maur certainly left many a sorrowful 
heart when he quitted us ; but there is no doubt that the 
present munificent lord of St. Maur is an acquisition 
of the greatest moment to a rising and go-ahead 
borough like ours. On dit, that, in the event of Colonel 
Tomkins' serious and long-continued illness deciding 
him to accept the Chiltern Hundreds, there is a some- 
body, not a hundred miles off, who might be induced to 
stand for the borough. 

To the Electors of the Borough of Slumber ton. 

St. Maur Abbey, January 2, 1886. 

Gentlemen, — In consequence of the sad demise of 
your late lamented representative in Imperial Parlia- 
ment his seat is vacant. 

I have the honour to come forward as a candidate 
for that seat, and to solicit your votes. 

I am a plain man, and therefore will address you 
plainly. 

In politics, I say " Eule Britannia ! " I am a 
Constitutionalist — that is, a good Liberal and no bad 
Conservative. 



A MODERN ELECTION. 149 

Interference with farmers is un-English, in ray 
opinion. 

Taxation should be alike for all. 

I will vote against the admission of Atheists to 
Parliament ; but otherwise will allow every man to 
think as he pleases. 

In local matters I say, " Slumberton for ever ! " 

I have already done some little for Slumberton. Let 
Slumberton elect me, and I will do more. 

Leaving my candidature in the hands of my intelli- 
gent and patriotic neighbours, and soliciting all their 

votes. 

I am, Gentlemen, 

Your obedient servant, 

Thomas Ciieeseman. 

Telegram from Henry Bldbbs, Election Agent, 200 Great 
George Street, Westminster, S. W ., to Tlwmas Cheese- 
man, Esq., Shimberton. 

January 10, 18S6. 
Glad so many promises. Hope our men satisfy you. 
Eeport to-night that young St. Maur will contest. 
Carlton Club job. 

Telegram from Thomas Cheeseman, Esq., to Henry Blohbs. 

Let him come and try. Your men working to my 
satisfaction. Election a certainty. 



ISO SOCIAL VICISSITUDES 

Extracts from Special Edition of the "Slumberton 
Sentinel," January 13, 1886. 

BOKOUGH ELECTION. 
State of the Poll. 



12 noon. 


lhomas Cheeseman 


L. 372 




Aubrey St. Maur 


C. 201 


2 P.M. 


Cheeseman 


L. 585 




St. Maur 


C. 497 


3 RM. 


Cheeseman 


L. 609 




St. Maur 


C 573 


Close of the Poll. 


St. Maur 


C. 675 




Cheeseman 


L. 629 



Mr. Aubrey St. Maur, the Conservative candidate, 
and son of Sir Hubert St. Maur, the late owner of 
St. Maur Abbey, was therefore declared by the Mayor 
duly elected Member for the Borough of Slumberton 
by a majority of 46. The result was received by a 
vast crowd, apparently not wholly composed of Mr. 
St. Maur's supporters, with frantic and long-continued 
cheering. 



( i5i ) 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 



Me. Moss Abrahams, better known to his more 
familiar friends as Ikey Mo, was the largest money- 
lender in London. His transactions were on a colossal 
scale. Except for a duke or some peer of lesser rank 
with absolutely faultless introductions, he would under- 
take no business that was not in thousands. He had a 
great house in Portland Place and another in Palmeira 
Square, Brighton. He owned racehorses and also a 
club or two, having been blackballed successively at 
the Union, the Eeform, the Junior Athemeum, and the 
Devonshire. " Every gentleman," said Mr. Abrahams, 
" ought to belong to a club ; " and so, as no club would 
have him, he started one or two on his own account, at 
which he was of course elected, and which paid him for 
his enterprise, both directly and indirectly. 

Mr. Moss Abrahams was a great patron of the drama. 
Most lessees owed him money, or might at any moment 
want to do so, and he as rigorously insisted on his 



152 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

private box for all first nights as if he were sole 
proprietor of a daily paper. His equipages were much 
admired. He had one or two steam-launches and a 
large steam-yacht, the Miriam. He banked with the 
Bank of England ; and he always spent the season at 
"Monte Carlo, where he lived at the Hotel de Paris ; 
seldom lost, and occasionally broke the bank. For the 
rest, he was a little, fat, vulgar man, with execrable 
taste. Having a very red face and very pronounced 
features, he used to dye his whiskers black, and in 
summer time to disport himself in white gaiters, white 
waistcoat, a bright blue necktie, and a Newmarket coat, 
with a priceless orchid in its button-hole ; and thus 
apparelled he would swagger about in the Eow, or strut 
into Tattersall's, or march down St. James's Street, 
staring in at "White's, and Brooks's, and Boodle's, and 
Arthur's, and the Conservative, with the air of a man 
who could belong to them all if he pleased, but who 
scorned to do so. 

" He is a most insufferable little cad, that Moss 
Abrahams," said Lord Grey de Melton, looking out of 
one of the windows at White's as Ikey paraded past 
with his Malacca cane shouldered like a sword. 

" He's a rogue, who would be transported to-morrow 
if all his dirty doings were brought out," said the 
Honourable Oscar Snaflleton, of Her Majesty's 2nd 
Life Guards. 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 153 

"What do you think he had the cheek to do the 
other day ?" lisped little Bernard Duval, of the 
Foreign Office. " lie went to Dolly, old Skudmore's 
son, you know, and said, ' Look here, my lord, you owe 
me five thousand.' Of course Dolly knew it, and of 
course Dolly couldn't pay it. 'Look here, my lord/ 
says Ikey, ' I'll show you I'm a gentleman. You get 
your father to put me up for the Royal Yacht Squadron. 
If I'm elected I'll hand you back all your stiff, and I'll 
give you a thou, into the bargain.' " 

"I hope Dolly kicked him downstairs," said Lord 
Melton. 

"I don't know," said little Duval; "but that's the 
story." 

Meantime Mr. Abrahams had turned out of St. 
James's Street in the direction of St. James's Square, 
and entered one of his own clubs, where from the 
nominal proprietor down to the junior page, and the 
housekeeper to the lowest scullion, every employe - held 
office at his nod. Something had evidently disquieted 
him, for he ordered a pint of champagne, although it 
was not yet one in the day, lit an immense cigar, and 
began to look at the ceiling. "When a woman is 
making up her mind she looks at the ground ; when 
a man is making up his mind he looks at the ceiling. 
I cannot tell you why it is so, but I know it to be a 
fact. 



iS4 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mr. Moss Abrahams had a number of things upon 
his mind, all of which had concurred to annoy him ; it 
is a way things have. In the first place, Adolphus 
Lapwing, eldest son of the Earl of Skudmore, had 
positively laughed at the idea of Mr. Abrahams seeking 
admission to the charmed circle of the Eoyal Yacht 
Squadron. 

" Cuss his impudence," said Moss to himself between 
his teeth, "he shall pay for it. The Miriam hasn't 
her equal in the Solent, and I've spent thousands on 
her. The piano in the saloon is a Broadwood grand, 
and the glass, and plate, and china, and what not, are 
tip-top. Lazarus bought them in for me on purpose 
when we sold up Lord Swivvlechester. I'll go down 
there, though, this summer, if only to show them how I 
can do things ; and I daresay there'll be a few of them 
will be glad to see me outside their cursed club." And 
Mr. Abrahams grinned. 

But this was not the whole of his troubles. In the 
first place, he had some heavy charges on land from a 
young nobleman who had died at Malta shortly after 
coming into possession, and the administrators, together 
with the guardians of the infant heir, had actually been 
mean enough to bring a Chancery suit for an account, 
and for all manner of things unheard of between 
gentlemen ; and had also actually gone to the length 
of imputing downright fraud to Mr. Abrahams, than 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 155 

whom, as he used to boast, a more straightforward man 
never did business in a straightforward way. 

" It's ungrateful, that's what it is," said Mr. 
Abrahams, as he took a pull at his champagne, "but 
I shan't trouble about it. I shall leave it all to Clinch 
and Cutter, and I suppose they'll be able to tell me 
what I've got to swear to, and get it down for me in 
black and white. I always hated law." This last 
remark was strictly true, for in early life, before Mr. 
Moss Abrahams had amassed sufficient capital to start 
as a bill-broker and discounter, he had been involved 
in some little transactions which a high judicial 
functionary had declared to amount to a very aggra- 
vated case of bill-stealing. Then, too, there was his 
daughter Miriam — his only child. Now, Miriam was 
obstinately bent on marrying a young fool called Philip 
Tancred, who lived in lodgings in Chelsea, and exhibited 
at the Grosvenor Gallery, and whom she had met at 
parties, and with whom her father had absolutely for- 
bidden her to communicate, and to whom her father 
would certainly never have lent a twenty-pound note 
without the additional security of a good name, having 
no faith in artists or literary men, or indeed in anybody 
except heirs to entailed estates, theatrical lessees, and 
men on the turf. Heirs to entailed estates he took a 
strictly commercial interest in, but he had also all the 
instincts of his race for gambling and for the drama. 



156 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Beyond these he had no tastes whatever. He liked a 
good dinner, however, and felt flattered, and at least a 
quarter of an inch taller and six square inches less bald, 
when in return for a certain number of guineas he was 
enabled to put F.K.G.S. after his name in the Royal 
Red-Book and on his cards, and to crowd with dukes 
and other " nobs " at the addresses of distinguished ex- 
plorers. These were Mr. Moss Abrahams' cares, which 
somehow must have vanished by the time he had 
finished his champagne and thrown the stump of his 
cigar into the grate ; for as he rose from his easy-chair 
and rearranged his orchid he distended his chest in the 
manner of a pouter pigeon, gave a cheerful cock to his 
curly-brimmed hat, assumed a military swagger such as 
may sometimes be observed in sergeant-majors of 
militia, and swore quite pleasantly at the waiter who 
humbly opened the door for his departure. 

II. 

Colonel Wynnstay Dampier, of the Blues, only son of 
old Mr. Dampier of Medlicott Hall, Hertfordshire, was 
heavily in such few books as the business of Mr. Moss 
Abrahams made it necessary for him to keep. He had 
commenced by borrowing a thousand pounds on a bill 
for fifteen hundred at six months, and so things had 
gone on until his debt amounted upon stamped paper to 
something like eighty thousand pounds. 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 157 

Now, Mr. Moss Abrahams was a very clever man. 
But so, too, was Colonel Dampier. The eighty thousand 
pounds nominal debt represented something like twenty- 
five thousand pounds actually advanced. The rest was 
made up of interest, commission charges on renewal, and 
other such items, extending over many years. For Mr. 
Abrahams was a very clever man ; so clever, indeed, that 
he had never pressed Colonel Dampier for a moment, or 
even suggested unpleasant proceedings. He had made 
most careful inquiries, and had paid heavily for secret 
information. He had ascertained that the Dampiers 
succeeded son after father to Medlicott Hall since the 
days of Elizabeth. He knew that he was practically 
Colonel Dampier's only creditor. So he was waiting on 
for the old Squire's death, when he intended to propose 
to the Colonel that all his bills should be burnt, and 
that he should marry Miriam. 

" It's as good as if I gave him eighty thou, with her," 
said Mr. Abrahams ; " although I know precious well it 
ain't quite twenty-five. But he don't know that ; not 
he. He hasn't any idea. And she's a dam' good- 
looking girl, and had a splendid education. Plays the 
harp beautifully She's fit to marry a coronet, she is." 

But Mr. Abrahams had too much common sense to 
wish to see his daughter marry a coronet. To see her 
mistress of Medlicott Hall was quite sufficient for his 
ambition. It was a grand old Tudor mansion, with 



158 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

stone terraces and oaks about it, and elms in winch the 
rooks cawed ; and Moss, who really loved his daughter, 
did not wish to see her married too much above her 
rank, although he could have matched her any day with 
a bankrupt earl. Medlicott Hall, he thought, was just 
about the proper place for her. And he was quite 
right ; for Miriam Abrahams was tall and handsome ; 
was well educated, intelligent, and sympathetic beyond 
most women of her age ; gracious in manner, and very 
good and gentle. When she had become Mrs. Dampier, 
Moss proposed to retire from business, lest his occupa- 
tion should embarrass his daughter and son-in-law, and 
render his own visit to the Hall a source of anxiety. 
He intended to realise ; to take a house on the Terrace 
at Eichmond ; to spend the season at Monte Carlo as 
usual, and to keep his steam-yacht going during the 
calmer portions of the summer (he was never a very 
good sailor), in spite of the slight put upon that noble 
vessel and his important self by the Eoyal Yacht 
Squadron. And this was the way in which Mr. 
Abrahams used to count his eggs and reckon his 
chickens. 

Now, Colonel Dampier, of the Blues, was a gentleman, 
but he was also a very shrewd man of business. He 
had, for instance, never been sufficiently foolish to have 
his name in the books of more than one usurer at a 
time, or to get entangled in an action for divorce or 



A MILITAR Y MA TCH MAKER. 159 

breach of promise, or to have less than a thousand 
pounds to his credit at Cox's. He was a reserved man 
with but few friends. These, however, knew him, and 
could always trust to his kindness and generosity. He 
had borrowed money of Abrahams because he did not 
wish to distress the old Squire, who was economical in 
his habits, although not at all penurious or even close, 
and for whom he had a very great affection. But he 
knew to a penny what money he had had from Mr. 
Abrahams as well as did that gentleman himself, and 
he had made up his mind to pay the money-lender his 
twenty-five thousand pounds, with whatever interest he 
should deem fair, and not a penny more. 

But there was also another matter that weighed with 
Colonel Dampier. Phikp Tancred was his close per- 
sonal friend. They had known each other from lads, 
and they had shared many curious adventures. Tan- 
cred, although he exhibited in the Grosvenor Gallery, 
was by no means an ethereal creature, for whom per- 
fumes and music were sufficient sustenance. Where 
art was concerned he had all the sensitiveness of a 
woman. A touch of colour in the wrong place would 
at once give him the toothache, or, as ladies call it, 
neuralgia. But he was as sinewy and active as a 
greyhound. He had the heart of a schoolboy. He 
would tumble out of bed at any hour to net a river, 
or trap a badger, or steal the advantage of a slight 



160 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

breeze that had sprung up during the night, and was 
sufficient to lift the yacht four knots an hour. He 
could swim like an otter; he had picked up a little 
fencing in Paris ; he could ride across country, even 
in a steeplechase; he could drive tandem, which is 
much more difficult, if you will take my word for it, 
than four-in-hand ; and he was considered one of the 
twenty best tennis-players in Europe. In addition 
to this he also came of a good old English family, 
although, as a younger son, his income was extremely 
small. Dampier liked Tancred, and Tancred liked 
Dampier ; and Dampier had, in a kind of way, 
promised Tancred that if he would let things take 
their course and not unduly trouble himself, he should 
marry Miriam, daughter of Moss Abrahams, Esquire. 

Tancred, who had absolutely no knowledge of the 
world, trusted implicitly in Dampier. Dampier, who 
had considerable knowledge of the world, trusted im- 
plicitly to himself. 

" He ought to be very happy," said the Colonel, " if 
he gets back my twenty-five thousand pounds, with 
interest on it, settled on his daughter, and a good 
husband for her like dear old Philip. Bless his dear 
old nose !" — (only this was not the exact phrase the 
Colonel used) — " it's a very much better chance than 
he had any right to expect. I think he ought to 
give me a liberal commission ; I do indeed." And 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 161 

Colonel Dampier tumbled into his little soldier's bed, 
and dreamed that the whole of the North- West 
Provinces had been invaded by an army of Parsee 
bill-discounters, and that he and the Duke of Cam- 
bridge and the Lord Mayor had been sent out with 
a flotilla of torpedo boats to save India, and that the 
campaign had been stopped by telegraphic orders from 
Downing Street because there did not exist in the 
world a sufficient supply of orchids to allow every 
English officer to go into battle with a flower in his 
button-hole worthy of his rank. This may seem non- 
sense ; anyhow, it is what Colonel Dampier dreamed. 



III. 



Early next morning Colonel Dampier, while stroll- 
ing about his room in his pyjamas, and discussing a 
moderate breakfast of tea and dry toast, received a 
telegram which made him ring his bell violently. His 
servant obeyed the summons, and in a few minutes 
the Colonel was on his way to the Horse Guards. 
Here he saw certain officials, and left an application 
for a fortnight's leave of absence. Within a few hours 
after this he was at Medlicott Hall. Medlicott Hall 
was sorely troubled. Old Squire Dampier had been 
suddenly stricken down with paralysis. The best local 
doctors were present in the hall, and there were two 

M 



i62 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

consulting physicians from London. Lut the confra- 
ternity all shook their heads. Squire Dampier, during 
the course of his dinner, had been seized all at once 
with utter powerlessness of the right side of his body. 
He had lifted his fork with his left hand, but had been 
unable to use his right arm to grasp his knife. He 
had risen from his chair, but his right leg had given 
way under him, and he had fallen heavily to the 
ground. He was now more or less unconscious. He 
did not even recognize his son. His left arm was all 
that he could move, and with that he feebly tried to 
beat time on the counterpane. 

The principal London doctor took Colonel Dampier 
out, and asked him to join him in a walk under the 
verandah. 

"Your father, Colonel Dampier," said the great 
medical man, "will never recover consciousness. A 
large blood-vessel has broken on the brain, and there 
has been another rupture in the spinal cord, producing 
hemiplegia. Do you know if your father has left a 
will; for I ought to tell you that he is not now 
competent to make one 1" 

Colonel Dampier laughed lightly — a laugh not suffi- 
cient to break the solemnity of the question. 

"There has not been a will with us Dampiers, Sir 
Matthew," he answered that eminent physician, "since 
the days of Elizabeth. Medlicott Hall has always 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 163 

gone from the father to the eldest son. We have 
been a united family, and have never disputed about 
portions, or charges, or settlements and divisions of the 
personalty, and have never had to call in the appraiser 
to determine the value of the plate and china. I am 
perfectly certain my father has left no will whatever. 
I am his only child, and the only representative of the 
household. Everything will come to me as a matter 
of course. I shall never marry, and when I die the 
property must go as the Crown lawyers please." 

Sir Matthew bowed assent, and intimated that as he 
had now laid his views fully before Colonel Dampier, 
he thought it would be most advisible that he should 
see the old gentleman once again and then depart for 
town. 

So Sir Matthew earned another ten guineas for 
another consultation, and went home to Sackville 
Street, and Colonel Dampier sent a telegram off by 
a groom, with instructions to gallop as hard as he 
could to the nearest station. The telegram ran to 
this effect : — 

From Dampier, To Philip Tancred, 

Medlicott Hall, Cheyne Eialto, 

Hertfordshire, Chelsea. 

Come down at once. The 

old man is dead already. 

Put everything aside. 

M 2 



164 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

And then Colonel Dampier, who not only loved his 
father, but liked him (and liking between men is a 
good deal stronger than love), lit a cigar and walked 
up and down the terrace on the south side of the 
house. He knew the whole story. He was entirely 
the master of the situation. "When his father died — 
which was probably a matter of hours — he would not 
have a relative in the world ; and he had only one 
friend for whom he at all cared, Philip Tancred. 
Philip must marry Miriam — that was clear. Philip 
wished it, and Miriam wished it; and so the thing 
must be done. As for himself, his command as Colonel 
would expire in six months. He did not intend to 
make any application for further employment: he 
should take a yacht and roam the world. 

Thirteen years before this, Dampier had fallen in 
love, and had been treated as many men are treated 
who believe a girl and her parents. He was cured 
for ever of any such follies. He knew his own mind, 
and he valued his own liberty. With the whole world 
now before him he would chase walrus in the Kara 
Sea, the grizzly in the Eocky Mountains, the ounces 
in the ranges of Afghanistan, the elephant in the 
jungles of Ceylon, and the tapir in the swamps of 
the Bornese Archipelago. He saw before him an 
absolutely infinite future of delight. Twenty years of 
hunting in all climates, to be followed by a peaceful 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 165 

old age in England as a country magistrate, master of 
foxhounds, and member of half a dozen of the best 
London clubs. 

That night the old Squire passed peacefully away. 
He recovered consciousness just before his death, and 
was able to whisper to the Colonel, who sat by the 
bedside, with the old man's hand in his, "God bless 
you, my dear boy. I am proud to leave behind me 
such a representative of the old name. Good-bye, 
Wynn." A mutual pressure of the two hands followed. 
Colonel Dampier kissed his father's forehead. A sigh 
of blended satisfaction and relief escaped the Squire's 
lips, and all was over. 

The next few days were passed in making prepa- 
rations for the funeral, and Colonel Dampier received 
much assistance and consolation from his old friend, 
Philip Tancred, who arrived at the Hall just before 
Mr. Dampier's death. On the morning after the 
funeral, Colonel Dampier called on the lord of the 
manor, Sir Wilfred Blundell. Sir Wilfred was the 
same age as the Colonel, and had been with him at 
Harrow, and also in the Blues, but had retired from the 
service on his marriage some ten years previously. 

Now, Medlicott Hall was copyhold, and was held 
from father to son, subject to a fine being paid to the 
lord of the manor. And if this fine were not paid 
within ten days of the death of the tenant for life, 



1 66 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the estate would be forfeited. Dampier explained to 
Blundell exactly how he found himself situated, and 
it was at once agreed that the fine should not be paid, 
and that the copyhold should lapse. Immediately after 
the Squire's death Mr. Abrahams began to press for 
his money. His letters, however, remained unan- 
swered, and when Messrs. Clinch, Cutter, Moses, 
Shadrach, and Clinch commenced proceedings against 
the Colonel, they were compelled to inform their client 
that a forfeiture of the estate had taken place, and that 
the lord of the manor had taken possession. 

Poor Ikey tore his hair, and alternatively swore and 
cried. The man must be mad, he said. If he had 
wanted any more money he could have had it. There 
was only one thing to be done. He must go down 
himself to the Hall, and see if he could come to terms 
with Sir Wilfred. And accordingly he went down to 
Medlicott Hall, and at the entrance of the Park who 
should he see but Colonel Dampier strolling along 
with Philip Tancred. It is difficult to say which he 
hated most at that moment, his daughter's suitor or 
the Colonel. He stopped his fly, and rushed up to 
the two men, almost speechless with excitement. 

"What do you mean by this business? You have 
robbed me ? I'll prosecute you ! I'll let you and that 
precious beggar with you — who, I'll take my oath, has 
been in the conspiracy — know what I can do. My people 



A MILITARY MATCHMAKER. 167 

shall apply for a warrant to-morrow. If it costs me 
ten thou., I'll ruin you. I'll have the Attorney-General. 
I'll have Charles Bustle. I'll have George Trueis. I'll 
have Montagu " 

" Poor old chap," said the Colonel laughing, " I think 
that I can spare you a good deal of this expense. 
Listen to me. Be reasonable. I know what money 
I've had as well as you do. I've kept a note of every- 
thing. Now, I'm willing to return your money and 
twenty-five per cent, interest. And I will do so on 
one condition, and on one condition only, and that is, 
that you allow your daughter to marry my friend 
Philip. They are devotedly attached to each other, 
and you have no right to come between them. I am 
going away — at least I shall do so directly after the 
wedding — and they can live here as much as they 
please." 

" But you've lost the estate. How can you let any- 
body live here ?" 

" We shall see about that. Do you accept my offer ? 
That's the present question," replied the Colonel. 

And Mr. Moss Abrahams did accept the Colonel's 
offer; and the lord of the manor accepted Dampier 
as a fresh copyholder on the roll ; and the handsome 
Miriam became Mrs. Tancred ; and the wedding took 
place at the parish church at Medlicott, in the presence 
of the whole county, from the lord-lieutenant down to 



1 68 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the smallest farmer; and Old Ikey, who had settled 
a hundred thousand pounds upon his daughter, was 
delighted to find every one very civil to him. 

On the night of the wedding, in the smoking room, 
when every one had gone to hed but the Colonel and 
himself, Ikey said, " To-day has been the only really 
happy day I have ever had in my life. I must 
thank you, Colonel, for this ; neither you nor the 
young people shall find me ungrateful. Good-night." 



( i6 9 ) 



THE NEW INN. 

"VEL PfiOCHYTAM PK.KPOXO SuBUEtt/E." 

SCENE:— The "Green Dm yon," near Shooter's If ill. In 
front of the house is a large lawn with immense 
chestnuts running down to a pleasant trout stream. 
Higher up is a stone bridge, and beyond it an old 
mill. In the distance is the village church. The 
coffee-room windows look out upon an exquisite 
garden. Add, according to taste, poultry, pigeons on 
the roof, ostlers in their shirts, chambermaids in 
muslin caps, &c. Enter from a fly, Mr. Quickett, 
of the firm of Quickett, Driver, Quickett and Leech, 
Solicitors, of Lincoln's Inn Fields ; and Mr. Snelson, 
of the firm of Messrs. Snelson, Ledger and Co., 
Chartered Accountants, of Coleman Street. 
Mr. Quickett (he is fifty -five years of age, stout, 
double gold eye-glass, heavy vjatch-chain, and black band 
to hat ; the family solicitor all over. He addresses the 
young lady at the bar). Brandy cold, please, miss- 
And you, Snelson, the same I suppose. Let me see the 
landlord, please. We have to drive over to Twelve 



170 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Elms Park, and want dinner on our return. {The 
young lady calls the landlord, who comes in from the 
garden. He is about forty-five, tall, sunburnt, and looks 
suspiciously like a country gentleman?) 

Mr. Q. Er — landlord, my friend and I have to go 
over to Twelve Elms. And — er — we want dinner at 
four. A little bit of fish, and a roast foul, and an 
omelette, or something of that sort, and some cheese- 
fingers. Warm a bottle of your best claret, and have 
a bottle of port that you can thoroughly recommend 
carefully decanted. The job will stand that, Snelson, 
as "incidental expanses." 

Me. Snelson {he is tall, thin, bilious, tvith carefully 
trimmed ivliiskcrs, of age absolutely uncertain, and with 
cdl the appearance of a City man in heavy business). I 
hope so, I'm sure {chuckles). In fact, I know as much. 

Mr. Q. And a cigar, please. You don't smoke, I 
think, Snelson. No. Why {taking cigar from landlord), 
God bless my soul, it's Mr. Hardwicke Percival ! 

Landlord {laughing heartily). At your good service, 
Mr. Quickett. 

Mr. Q. Well ! {gasps) Well ! Of all— of all ! 

Well ! I knew you'd left the Bar, but I thought you'd 
gone abroad — to Heidelburg. Well ! I am surprised. 

Mr. P. And why ? 

Mr. Q. Well, you know, it seems so odd. You a 



THE NEW INN. 171 

University man, too. And your father with his posi- 
tion. And just as you were beginning to get into 
business. In a few years you would have had a good 
chance of silk. Well ! Eeally ! 

Mr. P. I don't see it, Quickett, at all. I'd quite as 
soon keep an hotel as be in the wine trade, like the son 
of a noble Duke we know : or on the Stock Exchange, 
as his cousin is. Keeping an hotel is an honest busi- 
ness and a profitable one. I like it quite as much as I 
should like banking, which is only pawnbroking and 
moneylending on a big scale, and in a swagger manner. 
You would not have been astonished if I had gone into 
a bank. Why should you think the worse of me 
because I am keeping a public-house ? Money is the 
only thing in these days. 

Me. S. (sentcntiously). Too true, I fear. Land is 
depreciating terribly — depreciating terribly. (Scruti- 
nizes critically a large 'photograph of Twelve Elms Park, 
hanging in the bar, and becomes absorbed in it.) 

Mr. Q. Well, well, but you were doing well at the 
Bar, you know; and the Bar is a profession for a 
gentleman. Every young Barrister (shakes his head 
judicially) has the chance of being a judge, or even 
Chancellor. Besides, with your father's influence, you 
would have been certain of a County Court judgeship. 

Mr. P I quarrelled with my father, Quickett. 

Mr. Q. (whistling). The deuce, you did ! Why ? 



1 7 2 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mi;. P Because I insisted on coming here. He said 
I was a blackguard, and was disgracing the family ; 
and I told him I would not take that language from 
any one — and I won't. 

Mi;. Q. (cautiously). Well, well, I don't like strong 
language — I never did ; but I think it's a great pity — 
don't you, Snelson ? 

Me. S. (who is now absorbed in some plans of Twelve 
Elms Park winch he has produced from his pocket). Eh ? 
Oh, yes! Oh, certainly! Most certainly! {Resumes 
Ms study of plans.) 

Mr. Q. And especially when you were getting on 
so well. Why, our list of fees used to be nearly a 
hundred guineas a term. 

Me. P. Eight you are, my dear Quickett ; and I had 
my check from you three times a year. But you were 
about the only client who did pay regularly — I might 
almost say the only one who paid at all. You don't 
know how I was robbed. 

Mr. Q. (tuith an air of superior solvency.) I can 
guess. I am quite aware that certain members of my 
branch of the profession 

Mi;. P Exactly so. And, besides, you must admit, 
Quickett, that the Bar is going to the deuce. For every 
brief to be held there are twenty men fighting for it ; 
and the fees, except for a very few men, are getting 
smaller and smaller. Look at Chuckster now. He's a 



THE NEW INN. 173 

good man. He's had silk for fifteen years, and you 
know that you can command him any day for five 
guineas. 

Mr. Q. (emphatically). It's true. 

Mr. P. Yes. You don't charge five guineas, Quickett, 
for coming down here to-day to throw your eye over 
Twelve Elms. I'll bet you a bottle your price is more 
like twenty. And so is Mr. Snelson's. 

Mr. S. (roused from his map). Eh ! Oh, certainly ! 
As senior partner, I consider my day entitles me to 
thirty guineas and my expenses. (Resumes study of 
map) 

Mr. P. (lighting one of his own cigars). Well, you 
see, there it is, Quickett. I had been about twenty 
years at the Bar, and I found I was making about £800 
a year gross. I am not vain. But I know I've good 
abilities, and I know I liked law. Take off expenses 
of chambers and circuit, and what was left me; I 
couldn't educate my family on it. And I had to work 
like a slave. Chambers and courts every blessed day 
from ten to five. And I hate London, and like the 
country. I had a little money of my own, as you know, 
so I bought this place — it's a pretty place, with plenty 
of grounds — and now (don't be afraid I shall over- 
charge you and Mr. Snelson) I am saving money every 
year. My two boys are at Rugby. I have a little 
house at Eastbourne for my wife and girls in the 



174 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

summer. I have glorious country air. I grow my own 
fruit and vegetables, keep my cows, feed my own pigs, 
shoot and fish, and in the hunting season get a couple 
of days a week with the hounds. I potter about all 
day long, and am as happy as man need be. My 
life is insured, and if I die to-morrow the business will 
fetch a good deal more than I gave for it. 

Mr. Q. But how about Mrs. Percival and the young 
ladies ? How do they like it ? Surely they were 
brought up to a different style of life. 

Mr. P Well, you see, that was a little difficult. 
But there is a private door to the house, and not one of 
them has ever been inside the bar, or knows how to 
draw a glass of ale. After I had been here a month or 
so, the parson found out who I was. Being an hotel- 
keeper, I belong to the superior branch of the profession. 
I am no ordinary licensed victualler. Then I was 
elected guardian and parish vestryman ; and then the 
parson's wife called. My wife has her pony carriage, 
and she and the girls get quite as much society as they 
want, especially at Eastbourne. I don't blink matters. 
I make no secret of what I am and what I have been ; 
and I find people take me for what they are kind 
enough to think I am worth. I had a case the other 
day in the County Court, and argued it myself. The 
judge recollected me. He was as jolly as possible. 
Came and dined with us, and I drove him over in my 



THE NEW INN. 175 

dog-cart to catch the night mail. He had a look at my 
poultry and pigs ; praised my mulberries and peaches ; 
and, as I am a sinner, said he envied me. 

Mi;. Q. (meditatively). Well, my dear Percival, it's 
an odd way of looking at things ; but perhaps you are 
right. I know I should like to retire myself. You 
know my little place at Ascot. Well, I can't get down 
there for more than two or three days at a time. 
There are a lot of nobs among our clients, and they 
would get huffed in a minute if I didn't look to their 
business personally. They won't be put off with Driver, 
whose manners are not what they might be, and Leech 
is too young for them. But have you no ambition 
left? 

Mr. P. Not a bit, except it be to live a quiet, happy, 
and healthy life. My business gives me no real trouble ; 
I only boss it. I should not have come out of my 
parlour, if you had not asked for me. I have all my 
books, and I read a good bit in the winter time. The 
country round here is splendid if you're fond of natural 
history. I have quite enough to do. Now, law makes 
the mind most infernally rusty. 

Me. Q. Well, my dear sir, perhaps you are right. 
Every man knows his own business best. I am sorry, 
I must say. I had hoped to see you on the Bench 
some day, but heaven only knows when it might have 
been. Anyhow, you'll forgive an old man for telling 



176 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

you that you were always a gentleman, and never 
possibly could be anything else. And now, Snelson 
and I must be off to Twelve Elms. Good-bye for the 
present. 

Mi!. P. (bowing with mock deference). Good-bye, 
gentlemen both. The dinners shall be ready. 

******* 

So Quickett and Snelson drive to Twelve Elms, and 
negotiate a heavy mortgage on it, and find that the 
fly has been stored with creature comforts ; and on 
their return they find that they are to dine with 
Percival, who gives them a dinner of his own ordering, 
with his best wine. And after dinner they join the 
ladies, and have some music, and Percival drives them 
over to the station in his own phaeton at a tremendous 
pace, and they are soon rolling up to town by the 
express. 

Mr. Q. A capital dinner and capital wine. I am 
sorry the young woman in the bar refused to give us a 
bill, but clearly he thought us his guests. (Op?ns 
basket.) These cucumbers are splendid. Look at the 
asparagus— rand here's seakale for you. 

Mr. S. A capital dinner, certainly. 

Mr. Q. And a capital fellow, Percival. Ah! he 
might have been anything if he had liked. "Well, he 
seems happy enough, anyhow, and his wife and 
daughters are charming. Eh, Snelson ? 



THE NEW INN. 177 

Mb. S. Oh ! Ah ! Yes, certainly 

Mr. Q. Charming. I shall certainly go down there 
again some Sunday, take a dozen fellows with me, and 
have a thundering good dinner for the benefit of the 
house. {Resigns himself to sleep, while Mit. Sxelson 
again pulls out his maps.) 



•8 



( 178 ) 



A MODERN JUDGE. 

Mr. Justice Jones is keeping his sixtieth birthday 
He has not celebrated it by a dinner-party. Lady 
Jones is in her own room, and is suffering from 
neuralgia. His eldest son is in Buller's column. His 
second son is at Liverpool, where he is flourishing 
immensely as a local barrister. The numerous daugh- 
ters of Mr. Justice Jones are all married, and livinsj 
in different parts of the world, one in a villa at 
Torquay, another at Hyderabad, another at a rectory 
in the Lincolnshire fens, another at Brussels. All his 
children have written him the usual letters. But, none 
the less, his lordship is lonely. He has had his soup, 
and his slip and his cutlet, and he has done his duty 
by his pint of port. But he feels as if he would like 
an hour at pool or a rubber at whist. He wishes he 
belonged to the Garrick or the Union, instead of the 
Athenaeum. A sort of strange frenzy steals into his 
brain, prompting him to ask the butler to take a chair, 
and light a cigar, and have a talk. Why should he 
not go to the theatre, or even to the music-hall ? Why 



A MODERN JUDGE. 179 

not ? But he is very tired, is Mr. Justice Jones. So 
he sits in his easy-chair, and he looks at the fire, and 
he thinks. 

First, he remembers his old school-days — how he got 
the medal for Latin verse, and the pewter pot for the 
quarter-mile swimming race, and how he secured a 
scholarship, and took his first-class in Moderations, 
and played in the college eleven, and took his first- 
class in Greats, and entered at the Inner Temple, and 
got his Fellowship at Balliol. Those were bright and 
cheerful days. Then came the drudgery of a Pleader's 
chambers, with their interminable shelves of reports. 
Then he remembers how he went sessions and circuit, 
and defended prisoners who had stolen eggs, or won 
money by the confidence trick, or mistaken some one 
else's house for their own, or broken the ribs of a 
county constable. And then came London business, 
with its pickings — a brougham smashed up by an 
omnibus ; a money-lender who has exceeded his powers 
under a bill of sale ; the cook who sues the licensed 
victualler for breach of promise of marriage ; the sub- 
urban householder who has got into a row with the 
jobbing builder over qualities and quantities ; the 
butcher whose account has been disputed. It was 
all practice, of course. But how miserable and dull 
and fiat and unprofitable it all was ! It paid, bow- 
ever, and Mr. Justice Jones remembers how he found 

N 2 



180 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

himself making £700 a year, and able to give up his 
Fellowship and marry Miss Edith Bumble, daughter 
of the second partner of Cobb, Dobbs, Bumble, Davis, 
Quicksetter and Sharp, of the Old Jewry (Cobb had 
been dead for twenty years, but the name still brought 
clients). Miss Edith Bumble, now Lady Jones, was 
not exactly intelligent, nor altogether sympathetic 
But the income of Mr. Jones leaped from £700 a 
year to a handsome total in four figures, and by the 
time he was forty he had taken silk. 

To do him justice, he had been a sound lawyer, and 
had deserved the success which had come to him in 
this somewhat roundabout way. He had a clear head. 
He knew his case law. He could write a clear and 
sensible opinion. He could address a jury in lucid 
and ordinary English. He could talk over an arbi- 
trator, and he could now and again teach the judges 
in Banc their business. Nobody doubted his ability, 
or his energy, or his straightforwardness and courage. 
Nobody was astonished when he moved from Curzon 
Street to Prince's Gate, or when Mrs. Jones took to 
a two-horse victoria, or when he became member for 
the immaculate borough of Great Kiddington, or when 
his portrait was hung. in the Boyal Academy, or when 
he bought himself a little estate in Essex, and sent his 
boys to Eton. And yet how dull his life had been ! 
Consultations at 9; robing-room at 10; court at 10.30. 



A MODERN JUDGE. 181 

Jury case before Mr. Baron Blunderstone, in which he 
signally defeats Proser, Q.C. Then lunch — sandwiches, 
and some sherry from his flask. Then an argument in 
Banc, in which — in his turn — he is utterly routed by Mr. 
Serjeant Jorkins, whose masterly exposition of the law 
with regard to ancient wells elicits compliments from 
the Bench, and produces a profound article in the Times 
of the next morning. Then chambers, dusty and dirty, 
with even the morocco chairs and bookcases looking 
dingy Consultation follows upon consultation. Then 
a quick cab to Prince's Gate, and a dull dinner; and 
after dinner, briefs and tea, and perhaps a cigar until 
nearly midnight. And next morning, the robing-rooin 
again. 

There is a pleasant side to the picture. The guineas 
rolled in. The banker's account took care of itself. 
The senior clerk wore a thick gold chain. But it was 
a terrible treadmill. No time to dine out. No time to 
read even the papers, much less current books ; hardly 
time to keep posted up in the law reports. It had been 
a positive relief to Mr. Jones, Q.C, when Long Vacation 
came, and he could go down to Essex, and stroll about 
his estate, and look at his ducks and cattle, and watch 
the progress of his trees, and jolt about the roads on his 
weight-carrying cob. 

He was fifty-two when he was made a judge, and 
everybody said it was a capital appointment. He had 



1 82 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

saved money, but it was a nuisance to find his income 
drop suddenly by some few thousands a year. And now 
his work is more monotonous and tiring than ever. He 
has to sit in chambers and to decide points that are the 
very A B C of litigation. He has to sit in Court, and 
keep counsel in order and preserve his own dignity, and 
preserve his own temper over disputes that are as devoid 
of all human interest as is a fossil of life. He feels as 
if he were a successful general sent with a hundred 
militiamen and two guns to capture a farmhouse which 
the farm labourers are holding with their pitchforks; 
or an explorer who, on returning from Thibet, or the 
Amazons, or equatorial Africa, is told off for two years 
to take soundings in the Serpentine and report upon the 
peculiarities of its bottom ; or a senior wrangler who 
has to hear day after day a more than Usually dull 
third form stumble through the second book of Euclid. 
He is now sixty, and there are seven more years before 
him of this toil of Sisyphus. He has had none of the 
pleasure out of life that other men have had. His time 
has never been his own. He has been to Paris once or 
twice, and to Mentone and to Koine, in much the same 
mechanical way as he has been to Brighton and to 
Scarborough. But all his real tastes and wishes have 
remained unfulfilled, and have died out of him, exactly 
as the fire is dying out in the grate at which he looks. 
From " the wild joy of living " he has been utterly cut 



A MODERN JUDGE. 183 

off. Of hunting, of shooting, of yachting he can tell 
nothing. When he went down to the House of 
Commons he was always too tired to do more than to 
vote steadily with his party, and now and again make 
a solid speech of fifteen minutes. He has never seen 
the southern sea break over a coral reef ; he has never 
sat under the shade of palm-trees nor seen the big game 
fall to his own rifle. He might have been behind a 
counter selling calico by the yard or butter by the 
pound, for all the real enjoyments that life has yielded 
to him. 

And now he is only one judge among many. He is 
not quite so self-assertive as are some of his legal 
colleagues. The daily papers occasionally take him to 
task. The Court of Appeal puts him right vexatiously 
over trumpery matters of detail. The Attorney-General, 
whom he can remember as a junior at the Middlesex 
Sessions and the Mayor's Court, is very frequently imper- 
tinent to him. The only comfort is that he is still in 
good health, and has an assured income. Seven years is 
a long time to wait for his pension ; but according to 
David he will then have three years left him, and accord- 
ing to the Carlisle tables of mortality, eight. He can then 
go down into Essex and grow roses, and breed poultry, and 
revive his old acquaintance with the classics, and drive 
about in a pony carriage, and enjoy the supreme pleasure 
of doing nothing. And at this point Mr. Justice Jones 



1 84 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

discovers that' the fire is out, and his feet are cold, and 
his pint of port is finished. And he recollects that at 
half-past ten to-morrow morning he has to deliver 
judgment in the interminable case of the Peddlington 
District Board of Works r. McTavish. And he slowly 
and sadly goes up to bed. 



( i8 S ) 



UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE. 

Scene : — The rooms of the Rev. Tiikoi'Iiilus Oxesimus 
Twentyman, in the great quadrangle, St. Margaret's 
Oxbridge. The rooms are oak peoielled, carved oak 
bookcases, richly bound books, thick Turkey carpet; 
line engravings from the Old Masters, portfolio of 
photographs in stand, some choice oil paintings, large 
chimney clock, &c. Mullioncd windows looking on to 
private garden of the "Warden of St Margaret's. 
Mr. Twentymax is discovered in his academic gown, 
seated in morocco chair at morocco-covered ■writing 
table. Enter Mr. Reginald Firebrace, decorously 
attired, 

Mr. Twentyman {mechanically). Sit down, Mr. Fire- 
brace. I am sorry that I have to complain of your 
conduct very seriously. Your attendance at chapel is 
most irregular. Four days last week you did not return 
to college until twelve o'clock. On the other three 
(considting his memoranda) I find that you entertained 
friends at dinner. You have persistently absented 
yourself from the Greek Testament lecture. Mr. 



1 86 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Towser informs me that your attendance at his Virgil 
lecture is most unsatisfactory. And Mr. Slight has 
written to complain that you have never attended his 
Algebra lecture at all. 

(Mr. Firebrace holes up and down, settles his scholar's 
gown on his shoidders, and runs his fingers through the 
asset of his cap.) 

Mu. T. (continuing). These are serious complaints, Mr. 
Firebrace. You hold a valuable scholarship, and the 
college expects you to set an example. Should your 
conduct not amend, a college meeting will be the 
inevitable result. 

Mr. F. (apologetically). I assure you, sir, I am work- 
ing as hard as I can. 

Mr. T. (austerely). Impossible, sir, when you do not 
attend your college lectures, and neglect the excellent 
advice given you by Professor Burrows in his " Pass 
and Class " on the salutary effects of regular attendance 
at divine worship. 

Mr. F. (looking through the open window vpon the lawn 
where the Earl oe Pimlico and Sir Hugh Carlyon arc 
playing lawn-tennis with the daughters of the Reverend 
the Warden). There are other undergraduates than 
myself, Mr. Sub-Warden, whose attendance at lectures 
is by no means constant. 

Mr. T. (getting red in the face). Sir, Lord Pimlico 
and Sir Hugh Carlyon are not in your position. They 



UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE. 187 

do not hold a scholarship from the college imposing 
upon them corresponding obligations. 

Mr. F {desperately). No, sir. Neither of them could 
get a scholarship if he tried, and I suppose that is why 
they are allowed to do just as they please. 

Mr. T. {raising his voice angrily). Mr. Firebrace ! 

Mr. F {with the air of a man who expects the worst). 
Yes, sir. I know that I have got a scholarship. 
and I tell you candidly that the reason I do not 
attend college lectures is because I cannot a f lord the 
time. 

(Mr. T. is absolutely paralyzed with astonishment.) 

Mr. F. {feeling that he has crossed the Iiulicon). Yes, 
sir. Why should I waste three hours a week with Mr. 
Towser, attending a Pass Virgil lecture ? I have a 
great respect for Mr. Towser. He has been very kind 
to me; but he took his degree thirty years ago. I 
forget now what sort of degree it was. I am at work 
this term on Lucretius with my private tutor, and I 
cannot afford the time for Virgil, even if I had not gone 
through him three times before I left Eton. I don't 
think even you, sir, could take down your Forbiger and 
puzzle me badly {Perceiving that Mr. Twentymax, 
who took a high degree himself, is a little mollified by this 
compliment) And then, sir, really it is waste of time 
to put me into Mr. Slight's Algebra. I went as far 
as the calculus at school. 



1 88 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Me. T. {judicially). Mr. Firebrace, you should have 
explained these facts to these gentlemen. 

Mr. F. I did to Mr. Slight, sir, and his answer was 
that during the first year elementary algebra is compul- 
sory; and I hadn't the heart to tell Mr. Towser the 
truth {getting holder), so I thought the easiest way was 
to cut the lectures altogether. I'm telling you the simple 
fact, sir. Now, if I were at Balli 

Mr. T. {suddenly and severely). Sir, I am astounded 
that you should presume to institute a comparison 
between St. Margaret's and any other college, even 
Balliol. It is our rule here that scholars on the foun- 
dation should attend the college lectures. Besides, sir, 
you are in receipt of charity You have a scholarship 
of £80 a year, and yet you live riotously and extrava- 
gantly. You entertain as if you were a man of position, 
and I am told you hunt. 

Mr. F. {turning red and ivhite, and red again). 
Certainly, sir, and my father knows it. 

Mr. T. {imperiously). Then your father ought to be 
ashamed of himself. 

Mr. F. {rising to his feet, and thrusting his hands into 
his pockets). Look here, Mr. Twentyman. You may 
say what you like of me ; but you had better not say a 
word against my father in my hearing. (Mr. Twenty- 
man, toho had been about to rise precipitately, si's down 
again.) My old father knows exactly how I live. I 



UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE. 189 

don't owe a penny in the 'Varsity. I'm not like Fimlico 
out there, whom old Mottle Jacobson won't trust with 
a hundred. What do you mean by telling me that I 
live on charity ? I have £80 from the college, and I 
pay it ,£30 a year for tuition and £18 for room rent ; I 
should like to know how I am to live on the balance. 

Mr. T. {putting on his college cap). You may go, sir. 
And you will please remain in your own rooms until 
two o'clock. I shall lay your conduct before a college 
meeting. 

Mr. F- {undaunted). No, Mr. Twentyman ; you have 
accused me of living on charity. It's you who live on 
charity. Your fellowship is £300 a year ; and you get 
your rooms, and your dinners, and everything else for 
nothing. And you have £500 a year for your tutorship. 
And all you do is to lecture twelve hours a week for 
eight months in the year, and to insult young fellows 
like myself, who are really trying to be a credit to the 
college. 

Mr. T. {rising to his feet and waving his hand). Leave 
the room, sir ! As Sub- Warden of this college, I tell 
you that you may consider your scholarship forfeited, 
and if the college takes my advice, you will most cer- 
tainly be expelled. 

Mr. F. Very well, Mr. Twentyman. My father 
won't break his heart. As for me, I don't care which 
college it is, or which university. I shall stand for 



190 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Balliol, and I hope I shall get it, thanks to Eton and 
not to St. Margaret's. And if you'll take my advice, 
you will spend next long in freshening up your 
iEschylus. The Medicean Manuscript is in the 
Vatican, you know. You are fond of Ebme, I believe. 

[Bows and exit. 

Scene changes to the room of the Warden's Lodge. Eater 
the Warden and Mr. Twentyman in consultation. 
Mr. T. is tremulous with anger ; the Warden is firm 
and judicial. 

The Warden. It won't do, my dear Twentyman ; it 
won't do. We can't expel him, you know, for nothing 
more than being insolent to you. 

Mr. T. Most insolent, Mr. Warden. 

The Warden. Yes, yes, yes. But then there's nothing 
else. As for the lectures, why, I always did think the 
Greek Testament lecture was waste of time. If you 
gave them the Epistles of St. Paul, now. But boys 
ought to do their gospels at school. And as for 
Towser's Virgil, why, between you and me, Towser is a 
little behind the time. And Eirebrace is a bright lad, 
too. I was dining with the Vice-Chancellor last night, 
and the Public Orator told me that the Latin verse lies 
between him and that dreadful Scotchman — McCandlish, 
of Orkney Hall. I am sure I hope it will come to St. 
Margaret's. 



UNIVERSITY DISCIPLINE. 191 

Mr. T. But the bad example, Mr. Warden. Mr. 
Firebrace's extravagance ! 

The Warden. Well, well, Twentyman ! His father's 
a West-country squire, and an old Eton man. I know 
all the family myself. You don't live cheaply yourself, 
you know, Twentyman — eli ? Besides, we all know 
that you are waiting for Slapton Parva to fall in, and 
then we shall lose your valuable services as tutor, and 
Providence will transfer you to a wider sphere of useful- 
ness. Eleven hundred a year — eh ? — and a nice rectory 
and sixty acres of glebe. 

Mr. T. (somewhat chfiinithj). I fail to sec, Mr. 
Warden, that the fact that I am senior clerical fellow, 
and so next in succession to Slapton Parva, has anything 
to do with Mr. Firebrace's misconduct. 

The Warden (cheerfully). Don't you ? Well, you 
see, his uncle is lord of the manor, that's all. And his 
mother is a daughter of the Lord Lieutenant, and one 
of his brothers is a son-in-law of the Bishop. The 
Firebraces are an old county family. Come in, my dear 
Twentyman, and have some lunch. Lord Pimlico and 
Sir Hugh Carlyon are inside. Come in. 

Mr. T. (to himself). It is hopeless to attempt to 
maintain discipline in St. Margaret's. I wish to 
Heaven old Kaven would die, as he ought to have done 
long ago, and Slapton fall in. 

The Warden (to himself). Vulgar fellow, Twenty- 



192 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

man ! Father was a cobbler at Slumborougli. Always 
did think those close Slumborougli fellowships a beastly 
nuisance. Wish some Commission would come and 
reform them away, and Twentyman with them. Must 
ask young Firebrace to dinner to-night. And I'll have 
Towser to meet him. Good company, Towser, though 
he is shamefully deaf. 

So Mr. FiREBRACE, much to his astonishment, is asked 
to dinner at the Warden's Lodge, where he meets Me. 
TOWSER, and becomes very good friends with that excellent 
old gentleman. And Mr. Twextymax sends next morning 
for an unlucky sizar, who lues no friends, and wlio has 
missed chapel, and confines him to gates for a fortnight. 
And St. Margaret's goes on much as usual. 



( 193 ) 



BETWEEN THE LINES. 

From Celandine, Court Millitur, 33 Monde Street, W., 
to the Hon. Diana Church-Mouse, 1 00 Curzon Street, 
May/air. 

May 1, 1882. 

Mademoiselle, — You did me the honour to-day, in 
the company of your sister, Madame la Comtesse de 
Fabricant d'Allumettes, to order a few dresses, which 
you were pleased to say would be amply sufficient for 
the present season. If Mademoiselle will deign to 
permit a person much experienced in such matters to 
address her (confidentially) on the subject, I would 
venture to observe : 

(istly) That the extraordinary beauty and dignity of 
Mademoiselle's appearance can only be properly set off 
by the most luxurious and elegant costumes. 

(2ndly) That although Mademoiselle's respected 
father, Lord Blarney, would doubtless not object to her 
making a rich marriage, yet his Lordship might not 
care to pay a heavy sum for Mademoiselle's outfit. 

(3rdly) That a rich marriage is, as a rule, chiefly 





194 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

secured by those who have the means of presenting a 
rich appearance ; and, as I have every confidence in 
Mademoiselle's power of attraction, I am prepared to 
supply her with every necessary of attire, including 
hosiery, boots, lace, jewellery, &c, on condition that 
Mademoiselle agrees to deal with me alone. 

I should not expect a settlement of the account until 
six months after the marriage, which I can prophesy 
(with my assistance) Mademoiselle will make. "Will 
Mademoiselle honour me with a personal reply to- 
morrow ? 

I trust that Mademoiselle will pardon the liberty I 
have taken in thus addressing her, and accept the 
assurance of my perfect devotion. 

Celandine. 



The Hon. Diana Church-Mouse to Celandine. 

May 2, 1882. 

Miss Church-Mouse has received Madame Celandine's 
letter, and»in reply, agrees to the conditions proposed. 
Miss Church-Mouse is unable to call until to-morrow, 
as she is going with her father to Lord Draco's garden 
party at Chiswick, and is compelled to start early, 
Madame Celandine may expect Miss Church-Mouse 
to-morrow morning about 12 o'clock. 



BETWEEN THE LINES. 195 

From the Earl of Draco, Spartan House, St. James's, to 
Celandine, 33 Monde Street, W 

May 1, 1883. 

The Earl of Draco encloses his cheque for £2700 in 
payment of Lady Draco's account with Madame 
Celandine. He also gives Madame Celandine notice 
that, for the future, the account of Lady Draco with 
her must not exceed the sum of ,£1000 per annum. 

From Celandine to the Countess of Draco (n^e Diana 
Church-Mouse. 

May 1, 1884. 

Madame la Comtesse, — You say that you have no 

money to pay me the £ 3990 you have run up within 

the year, and yet you wear jewels that are almost 

priceless. If you do not arrange something satisfactory 

with me to-morrow, I shall call upon the Earl with 

your letter. 

Celandine. 

Telegram from Diana Jones to Celandine. 

Impossible to do anything with jewels. Somebody 
would notice at once. Heirlooms. Suggest some other 
course. 

May 1, 1884. 

ft 9. 



196 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Celandine to the Countess of Draco. 

May i, 1884. 

Madame la Comtesse, — Just received your telegram. 
If you will bring me the tiara and set of stars, I can 
manage the affair for you in a way which will satisfy 
me and save you from exposure. 

I happen to know a gentleman who deals in jewellery, 
and he tells me that he can take out the large stones in 
the centre, and replace them with imitation, of the best 
quality, and lend you £4000 upon them. I feel sure 
that they will suit you. 

I shall only charge you £200 commission, which, as 
you see, will only leave you £190 in my debt. 

Celandine. 

From Celandine to the Countess of Draco. 

May I, 1885. 

Madame la Comtesse, — If you don't pay me this 
afternoon, I shall call upon Milord with your letters. 
The gentleman (in the jewellery line) who lent you the 
money is pressing me most cruelly At the same time 
I could even now help you out of the affair, if you 
would only listen to reason. 

Mr. Jacob Brummagem, one of my customers, saw 
you here the other day, and is ready to pay off your 



BETWEEN THE LINES. 197 

liabilities, as far as they concern me, for the honour of 
your acquaintance. Will you come to-morrow at 
4 o'clock and eat some strawberries, and drink a glass 
of champagne ? 

Celandine. 



From Jacob Brummagem, Esq., of the Gehenna Club, lie gait 
Street, and Shoddy Hall, Sheffield, to Celandine. 

May 1, 1885, 10.30 p.m. 

Dear Celandine, — Just received your note with 
enclosed telegram from Lady D. Shall be with you 
■punctually at 4 to-morrow and will bring the necessary 
Yours faithfully, 

Jacob Brummagem. 

P.S. — You might bring the fizz up open, and put a 
dash of Cognac in it, eh ? Twig ? 

Extract from daily papers of M ay 1, 1886. Draco v. Draco, 
Brummagem, Salax, Tarquin, and Tomnoddy . 

"The decree nisi in this celebrated case was tins 
morning made absolute." 



198 



ST. JAMES'S VISITS ST. GEOKGE'S. 

I. 

Boudoir of the Countess of Oaklands. Her Lady- 
ship is discussing afternoon tea with the Duchess of 
Stilton. 

Lady 0. It is all right, my dear. I have found out 
everything from young Harry Tempest. We must 
wait till it is just dark, and then take the "VYhitechapel 
omnibus to a place he calls the Minories. You turn 
down the Minories — you see I've got it all written 
down — until you come to the Tower. Then when you 
see the Tower in front of you, you must take your left 
hand and keep on going clown hill. Then you will 
come to a great, high, brick wall. That is the London 
Docks. Keep along with that wall on your right hand, 
and you're in Eatcliffe Highway. Harry has given me 
a list of the places to see. 

Duchess. Tell me. I am all impatience. 

Lady 0. First of all, on the left hand, is the 
Prussian Eagle, where they have songs and dancing in 
a room upstairs. Then on the right hand is Old Gravel 



ST JAMES'S VISITS ST GEORGE'S. 199 

Lane. There is a public house there called the Old 
King William, where a dreadful murder was committed 
ever so many years ago. De Quincey wrote all about 
it, you know ; and Harry tells me that if we were to go 
straight on we should come to High Street, Wapping, 
where that dreadful Tichborne Claimant used to live. 
But he says it's a very dangerous part, and that we had 
better keep in the Highway. You must not call it 
Eatcliffe Highway down there, by the way, my dear, or 
they will be angry and insult you. It is St. George's 
High Street, or High Street, St. George's, I forget 
which. Then a little further on is a dancing saloon 
called the Mahogany Bar. That we are particularly not 
to miss. And after that is the White Swan. They call 
it Paddy's Goose. My dear, it is the Albert Hall of the 
place. Harry says that you will find sailors there of 
every nation — Swedes, Danes, Americans, Frenchmen, 
and Bussians — and they all dance and chatter to one 
another in their own language. And he says that when 
we have seen that we had better take a cab — there is a 
cab rank just outside — and get away as soon as we can, 
for that the rest of the Highway is not safe. It will 
be too late, of course, to go to the shops where they 
sell the beasts and wild birds — Jamrach's — and the 
other places. Besides we can drive down any day 
and see those in the daytime without the least 
trouble. 



200 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Duchess. But I want to see the Opium Den, in 
" Edwin Drood," you know. 

Lady 0. Ah, my dear, that would be much too 
dangerous, except in the daytime. It is up a horrible 
court called Palmer's Folly, where Harry says we 
might get murdered in a moment, or even worse. But 
let us be off. The carriage is ready. I shall tell 
Osborne to put us down at Oxford Circus. 

II. 

The interior of a Whitechapcl omnibus. Among the 
company Sergeant Jackson, of the Grenadiers, 
quartered at the Tower, Mrs. OTlaxagiian, of the 
Whitcchapcl Road, and others. 

Conductor {pushing in the Duchess and Lady 0.). 
Eoom for two. 

Lady 0. {anxiously). Where ? 

Mrs. OTlanaghan. No room for such as them, I 
hope. 

Sergeant (rising). Take my seat, my dear. We are 
full up, and he knew it. 

[The Conductor rings his hdl,and the omnibus starts. The 
ladies not expecting the jerk, love their balance. Lady 
Oaklands clings to the knee of a stout gentleman. 

Stout Gentleman. You are pinchiug me. But 
never mind, madam. Take your time. 



ST JAMES'S VISITS ST GEORGE'S. 201 

Mrs. O'F (at the top of her voice). I don't move 
from my seat for painted Molls like them. 

{Chorus of sympathetic matrons). Not likely. 

Sergeant {pointing to the Duchess). The little lady 
can sit on your lap. {The Duchess follows the sugges- 
tion). 

Conductor. Hi ! Minories ! Tower 'ill ! All fares 
for the Minories. 

Lady 0. How much, please ? 

Conductor. Oh, stow your larks! You know as 
well as I do. Fourpence each. 

Lady 0. (feeling in her pocket). Good gracious ! I 
have lost my purse. 

Conductor. Now, then. Can't stop here all night. 
Fourpence each. 

Duchess. My dear. It's terrible. I have left my 
purse at home. 

Conductor. Oh, that tale be blowed! Here, I'll 
have a policeman in a moment. 

Lady 0. {almost fainting). "Will you take this 
ring. 

Conductor {with supreme contempt). Not likely ! 
Come, pay up. Fourpence each, or I calls the police. 

Sergeant Jackson (slipping a shilling into the 
Duchess's hand). Pay him, my dear. I'd punch his 
head if I couldn't see you was ladies. 



202 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mrs. O'F. (with supremely virtuous disdain). Yah 
Couple of lmssics ! 

Mrs. O'F.'s Neighbour. My daughter ain't up to 
much ; but if she was as had as either of them jades, 
I'd turn her neck and crop out of the house ! 

[The trio descend. 

Lady 0. (to Sergeant Jackson). How can I thank 
you? 

Sergeant (with greatest politeness). Not at all, my 
dear. Can't bear to see a gal in distress. Can't I see 
you part of the way home ? I wish I'd a comrade with 
me, with a stray shilling or two. I'm clean dried up. 
Can't even stand you a drink. Beside four 'd be 
company ; three's none. Come as far as the Tower, and 
I'll pick up a dollar somewhere. Never like to see a 
pretty face in trouble. Cheer up, my beauties. Two 
such slap-up gals as you never ought to want for 
nothing. 

Duchess. I beg your pardon, Sergeant, but I know 
your Colonel very well, and I couldn't go with you to 
the Tower. I don't mind telling you that I'm (in a 
whiter) the Duchess of Stilton. The Duke was in 
your regiment only three years ago, when he was Mr. 
Cheshire. But we wanted to see ltatclirTe Highway — 
out of fun, you know, Sergeant — and now we don't 
know what to do, or how to get back. 

Sergeant. God d (suddenly checking himself). 



ST. JAMES'S VISITS ST. GEORGE'S. 203 

Bless my soul ! Why, his Grace was in my battalion. 
Beg your Grace's most humble pardon. (Brings 
his hand to the salute). What can I do for your 
Grace ? 

The Duchess. You have done more than we can 
ever thank you for sufficiently already, Sergeant ; but 
even now my friend and I are in difficulties. We 
wanted, as I told you, to see Ratcliffe Highway, and 
now here we are quite helpless. Why, we might have 
been arrested if it had not been for you ! 

Sekgeant. Beg your Grace's pardon, but if the lady 
with you doesn't mind she could pawn that ring the 
conductor wouldn't take. There's a respectable shop 
just a few doors down. 

Duchess and Lady 0. Oh ! thank you ; that's 
capital. 

Lady 0. Will you take it and do it ? 

Sergeant. No, lady; they'd be asking me all kinds 
of questions. Take it in yourself, and (in a low tone) 
give the man your ladiesmaid's name and the right 
address. He'll give you a sovereign on it at once, and 
I'll show your Grace and the other lady to any part of 
the Highway you want. It isn't a safe place for ladies 
to go to alone. 



204 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

III. 

The Saloon at "Paddys Goose!' That favourite East- 
end {now) dance, the Mazurka, is being performed 
vnth all the native vigour of St. George's. The 
Sergeant is standing by the tvjo ladies, keeping watch 
over them with a stem sense of his responsibility. The 
ladies themselves are almost choked with bad tobacco 
smoke, the fumes of beer and spirits, the heat of the 
gas, and the peculiar aroma of damp sawdust. 

First Sailor {approaching the Duchess). Come 
along, Poll, let's toe it. 

Duchess. Sir ! 

Sergeant. Let the lady alone, Jack. 

First Sailor {to Duchess). Don't "sir" me. I 
ain't a warrant officer. {To Sergeant Jackson). 
Ought to be ashamed of yourself, you selfish lubber — 
wanting two of 'em to yourself. Why don't you stand 
'em a pot, and wet their gills ? 

Second Sailor. All alike, them lobsters; always 
mean. {Addressing Lady 0.). Come, my pretty, you 
like a sailor, I can tell by the look of you. Come and 
have a turn with me. Here, you {to Pot-boy), bring the 
lady a pint of stout. 

Lady 0. {in a whisper). My dear, it's horrible. Do 
let us go. 

Miss McCarthy {from Tiger Bay). Yah! West- 



ST. JAMES'S VISITS ST- GEORGE'S. 205 

end muck ! "Wonder they dare come amongst honest 
folk. 

Miss Dwyer (in a tone of conviction). The likes of 
them ought to be limbed — limbed! Look at 'em, 
dressed and painted up — robbing honest men. Look 
at the paint on 'em. Makes decent folk sick, it does. 
[Music ceases, and the Mazurka terminates with a stamp 
of extra energy. Band immediately strikes up the 
Caledonians. 

Duchess. We'll just see this, dear, and then we'll 
be going. I'm sure the Sergeant will see us into a cab. 
Merciful Heavens (puts her handkerchief hurriedly to 
her face) ! There's Captain Graham, of the Grenadiers, 
with a friend. (In a whisper.) What are we to do ? 
He'll be certain to tell Stilton, and I shall never hear 
the end of it. 

Lady 0. (gravely and desperately). I shall begin to 
cry in a moment, I know I shall. 

Captain Graham (strolling up, having recognized the 
Duchess and Lady 0., and dismissing the Sergeant 
with a nod). This is unexpected, Duchess. "Whatever 
has brought you here ; and you, too, Lady Oaklands. 

Lady O. Oh ! don't, Captain Graham. Don't— 
don't say anything. I'm frightened out of my life. 
Do take us away — please do at once. 

Duchess. Yes, please take us away, Captain Graham, 
and thank the Sergeant here. He has been so kind 



206 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

and attentive to us. That horrid conductor would have 
locked us up if he hadn't interfered. 

Captain Graham. Locked you up ! Conductor ! 

Duchess. Yes, Captain Graham. Locked us up 
because we hadn't any money to pay him ; the Sergeant 
here paid him himself, and then, as we were here, we 
thought we must see what the place was like, and so — 
{hesitating) — and so we had to pawn Lady Oaklands' 
ring, and the Sergeant said if we really wanted to see 
the place we had better let him come with us, as it 
wouldn't be safe to go alone, and we were just going to 
let him take us to a cab when we saw you. The fact 
is {lowering her voice) we've been " slumming ; " but 
(laughs) we'll never do it again. 

Captain Graham. Allow me (offers his arm to 
Duchess). (To Lady Oaklands.) My friend, Mr. 
Fortescue, will take charge of you. Sergeant Jackson, 
do you think you can find a cab ? 

Sergeant. Certainly, sir. 

Miss Dwyer. Yah ! Told yer so. There they go — 
the two of 'em. Blowed if they ain't collared three 
blokes between them ! ( With intense moral superiority.) 
Disgustin', I call it— disgustin' Get out, yer muck ! 
***** 

So ends an evening's Comedy of Errors. A week later, 
Sergeant Jackson becomes Sergeant-Major, for reasons 
best known to his Col on el, but which will alwavs 



ST /AMES'S VISITS ST. GEORGE'S. 207 

remain a mystery to his brother non-commissioned 
officers; and at about the same time he receives a 
cheque, with which he opens a comfortable little 
banking account. It had always been his ambition to 
end his days as a licensed victualler, but it is now 
certain that his licensed house will be a hotel, doing a 
good business. 



( 208 ) 



A MODEKN ESAU. 

The Vanstones were country gentlemen long before 
the time of James the First. Their estate was in 
Kent, on the banks of the Whipple, and the mill on that 
river, the pool of which was famous for its trout, was 
said to be as old as the time of the Plantagenets, 
although not a fragment of the original structure was 
remaining when his blessed Majesty King William the 
Fourth ascended the throne. 

The Vanstones had always been more or less eccentric, 
and it was a fact among them, as among many other 
old English families, that the father always cordially 
hated the sons, while the sons impartially divided 
between themselves such surplus of hate as they could 
spare after satisfying their consciences with regard to 
their father. 

The Squire Vanstone of that time (all through the 
great Civil War) sided with the King, for doing which 
he lost his life and his estates. The latter, however, 
were restored to his son when Charles the Second came 
to the throne, and from that day to this the Vanstones 
have been squires of importance in Kent, and owners 



A MODERN ESAU. 209 

of one of the largest estates in that " garden of Eng- 
land." 

Now, the late Squire Vanstone, who died some 
twenty years ago or more, had two sons, Godfrey and 
Owen, and through some neglect, oversight, or it may 
be even family quarrel, the entail had been broken, 
so that Squire Vanstone was absolute owner in what 
lawyers term the fee simple of every acre of land 
entered upon his rent roll, comprising the house, the 
park with its outlying villages, a good deal of land let 
in farms to highly desirable tenants, and more espe- 
cially — for the purposes of this story — the mill which 
artists would come down from London to sketch, and to 
fish in the waters of which was a privilege whose value 
was known to the miller, while he almost paid his rent 
by the judicious use cf the knowledge. 

Of the old Squire's two sons the elder went into the 
army, and while quartered at Canterbury mortally 
offended his father by marrying one of the daughters of 
a clergyman with a wretchedly small living, who was 
of no particular extraction, who had been a sizar at 
Cambridge, and had in no way whatever distinguished 
himself from the smallest Dissenting tub-thumper 
except by being the father of a most charming daughter 
— a distinction which tub-thumpers seldom achieve. 

Old Vanstone was furious at the marriage. He sent 
his son a cheque for a hundred pounds, and told him 



2io SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

that the keeper at the lodge gates had orders to refuse 
him admission. He sent for his lawyer, and had a will 
made in which he solemnly disinherited Esau, and 
made over everything to Jacob ; and Jacob, who was a 
good young man, and could consequently get at informa- 
tion by channels unknown to those of a worldly turn 
of mind, kept his own counsel, and, so far from stirring 
up his father's wrath, was always at hand to point out 
that errors of judgment are venial — that a man must 
leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife — 
that his elder brother, although impulsive, had yet 
behaved honourably, and so on, all of which, although 
doubtless well meant, only served to pour oil and 
sprinkle brimstone on the old gentleman's red-hot wrath. 
So the elder brother sold out of the army, and found, 
when he had realized everything, that he had some 
£i$oo, or thereabouts, clear. Some nine-tenths of this 
sum he deposited with his wife's father, and, commend- 
ing his wife to the charge of her parents, started, with a 
few ten-pound notes, for the United States. A week 
after he had left Liverpool the war between the Xorthern 
and the Southern States had broken out. He had gone 
to seek his fortune, and he put his sword at the service 
of General Grant. He rose rapidly, distinguished him- 
self, and returned to England with a very considerable 
sum of money. And so ends the first chapter in his 
history. 

* * * * * 



A MODERN ESA U. 211 

Godfrey Vanstone landed at Liverpool, where his 
wife and the boy, who had been born shortly after his 
departure, met him. His father, as he knew, had died 
during his absence, and had left everything to his 
younger brother. 

In want of a rest he proceeded with them to Clifton, 
where, for two or three weeks, he did actually 
nothing, except ride on the downs and saunter about 
the Bristol quays. 

Now the Bristol quays are strangely rich in old book- 
shops, and Godfrey, strolling one day along what may 
be called the Quai D'Orsay of the famous western sea- 
port, came across a volume which interested him for 
the simple reason that upon the vellum outside it were 
stamped his family arms. He took it up, and found it 
to be an old county history of Kent, thickly inter- 
leaved and, as book collectors term it, " inlaid " with 
maps and plans. Many of these were of later date than 
the book itself. Many were earlier, and had been bound 
in. The book took his fancy and excited his curiosity. 

" Where did this come from ? " he asked from the 
snuffy and bearded Socius of the beetle-browed little 
shop. 

" From Vanstone Hall, sir, Kent. Squire Vanstone 
has been selling off his old library and laying down 
new books, and a lot of the old ones found their way 
here. That large map, sir, in the middle is a map of 

p 2 



2is SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the Vanstone estate itself. There is a lot of inter- 
leaving of that kind, and it makes the book interesting 
to gentlemen who know Kent, not to say valuable to 
collectors." This last with a cough of apology and 
expectation. 

" I will give you," said Godfrey, looking through it 
again carelessly, " thirty shillings for it." 

" Two pounds, sir," said the bookseller firmly. " The 
binding alone is in valuable preservation, and well 
worth the money I am asking as a specimen." 

Ultimately Godfrey became the purchaser of the 
volume for thirty-five shillings. He took it back to 
his hotel, locked it carefully up, enjoyed his evening 
as usual with a game of billiards and a cigar, and early 
next morning sallied out and bought himself a watch- 
maker's lens. He then sent his wife and boy out for a 
drive, and began to examine the book and its maps 
and other interleaved matter very curiously. This took 
him some hours. The next day he went down again on 
to the Bristol quays, made inquiries, and retained the 
services of an old gentleman skilled in binding and 
black letter and press marks and colophons, and set 
him to work upon the book. 

This worthy, after some hours' labour, a pint of 
sherry, and a plate of sandwiches, had a report to make. 
The whole thing, he said, was very curious and very 
interesting. No doubt there was a mark, or had been 



A MODERN ESAU. 213 

a mark, in the shape of a cross upon the island in the 
mill pool. Certainly there was a number against that 
cross. Clearly, the number was 372. On page 372 
was an account of the little island, calling particular 
attention to an enormous poplar, and this account had 
been underlined Of that there could be no doubt. 
There were faint traces of writing at the foot of the page. 
From the character, the writing itself was about the 
time of the Commonwealth. It was in Latin, and it 
ran thus : — " Subter populum versus boream sex pedes 
mea omnia item quae ad Car. Humphrey, Mich. 
Pendelton, et Godf. Davenport pertinent. Quatuor 
pedes subter terrain. Hugo Vanstone." 

The old gentleman could spell out the Latin, but he 
could not understand it. He finished his sherry and 
sandwiches, expressed prolix thanks for a couple of 
guineas, and went his way rejoicing. 

Godfrey Vanstone (Colonel U.S.A.) then transacted a 
little legal business. He managed — never mind how, 
the details are tedious — to obtain for himself, under an 
assumed name, a year's tenancy of the little island, 
with a proviso for a year's renewal, representing that 
he wanted it for bottom- fishing, and that full right of 
fishing from the shore was absolutely necessary Then 
he left his wife and son in London and went down to 
the island himself, taking with him an old negro who 
had been his valet during part of the war, and who was 



2i4 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

as faithful as a Newfoundland and as reticent as an 
owl. 

Would he be recognized ? This he asked himself as 
he looked in the glass. Not unless he went about too 
much. He was as bronzed as a gipsy- He had grown 
an immense beard, and his hair fell down upon his 
collar. No, he would pass. So down they went, and 
on the island they pitched a little tent, he and Sambo, 
and began to fish. 

But where was the poplar ? He had never known 
or even heard of a poplar on the island. He recol- 
lected, however, the old saying, "As tall as the tree, 
so deep the roots." And at last he fixed on the place 
where the poplar ought to have been, according to the 
best of his judgment and belief. It was a spot rich in 
toadstools. That of itself meant decaying vegetable 
matter. Are not truffles found under the shelter of oaks ? 

Over this spot he pitched himself a second tent, under 
cover of which he and Mr. Sambo commenced digging. 
Sambo was cheerful and serenely indifferent. As well 
a digging job for Sambo as any other job. So they dug 
away until at about a depth of four feet Sambo struck 
his shovel against a big stone, jarred his elbow, and, 
forgetting his reserve, cursed in his native African by 
all his African Gods. 

The digging was stopped for the day. On the 
morrow it was resumed. They uncovered a Hat stone 



A MODERN ESA U. 215 

about five feet by three. This they prized up with a 
crowbar. Under it lay what the disinherited son had 
been seeking. There in a confused heap was the family 
plate, mixed with the locks and bolts and handles of 
the long since decayed chest in which it had been 
buried. In what had once been the iron casing of a 
small box not two feet long by one and a half wide 
were the jewels. And to show that they had found 
everything and need search no farther, with the jewels 
was a "hatful," as the rustics term it, of gold and 
silver, which had been too heavy to carry away in its 
bulk. The discovery of the coins and their date 
clinched the matter. No more need to dig another 
square yard in the little island. 
******* 

The treasure was cleverly taken away one foggy 
morning before sunrise in a tiny teakettle of a steam 
launch hired ad hoc, and on the third day it was safe in 
a room on the first floor in Jermyn Street. When, 
matters came to be reckoned up, Godfrey Vanstone 
found himself with a trifle over thirty-seven thousand 
pounds and still in the prime of life. 

He has a villa now at Cannes overlooking the glorious 
blue of the Mediterranean, where he lives happily with 
his wife for six months in the year. The summer is 
spent at Cowes or where else they please, for his 60- 
ton schooner will take him anywhere. 



216 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

The boy is at Rugby. Mr. Sambo does nothing. Hi3 
curly locks are as white as snow and his nickname is 
" Massa Snowball." 

The whole truth of the story was never known. 
Godfrey and Mr. Sambo preserved a judicious silence. 
Vague guesses were made, but they never got beyond 
guesswork. 

Only two incidents to finish. Owen Vanstone was 
struck down in the lobby of the House of Commons 
with paralysis. He may live for years, but he will 
never again set foot to the ground. When he dies 
childless, the Vanstone estates will revert to Godfrey or 
to his heirs. But the brothers have not met, and will 
never meet again on this side, at any rate, of the 
grave. 

The second incident is the fate of the old county 
history. It is preserved in a casket specially made for 
it in the Eue de la Paix. When he is asked why so 
costly a box was ordered for so worthless an old book, 
Godfrey only laughs. " The volume," he says, when 
his laugh is over, " has family associations. It is the 
only family relic I have which I at all value." 



( 217 ) 



LE DESSOUS DES CARTES. 

From HickS Meauseys, Esq., of 160 Grosvenor Square; 
Monplaisir, Coives, Isle of Wight ; and Pendragon 
Castle, Cornwall; to Captain the Hon. Vivian Roper, 
Lucullus Club, Piccadilly. 

160 Gbosvexor Square, W. 

My deaR'Eoper, — I feel sure that you will be glad 
to see by the above address that your old friend Jos is 
once more within hail of the Lucullus. It was hard to 
tear oneself away from the dear old Castle — " Far from 
the madding crowd," you know, and all that, eh ? — but, 
as my wife says, one owes a duty to society : what do 
you think ? Besides, her Grace the Duchess of Pen- 
dragon (valued friend of mine, the Duke) insists upon 
presenting her at the next Drawing-room ; and, unless 
we are to have another season as dull as ditch-water, 
people in our position must come to the fore. 

I cannot disguise from myself the fact that when 
Mrs. Meauseys sweeps into a drawing-room with me on 
her arm (I mean, leaning upon my arm), attired in 



218 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the crimson velvet that so well becomes her dark style 
of beauty, and showing off the Meauseys diamonds 
to their utmost advantage, she never fails to create 
a sensation. There is a stillness in the room, broken 
only by murmurs of universal admiration, that reminds 
me of the days of my youth, and the regalia-room at 
the Tower on a popular holiday. Talking of the Tower 
reminds me naturally of Pendragon Castle. You are, 
I believe, a connection of the Duke, and so probably 
knew it when the poor fellow was still able to keep 
open house. You, ought to see it now ! Since it came 
into my possession I have had it done up from top to 
bottom — such an improvement ! There was something 
in becoming lord of the Pendragon estates, a something 
in the fortunate discovery of the long-lost Meauseys 
arms, crest, and motto (of course we have now resumed 
the original orthography of the grand old name — please 
note this with regard to future correspondence); there 
was a something in all this, I say, which enabled me to 
give up the fascinating atmosphere of the money market 
without a pang. 

Talking of finance, my dear Eoper, reminds me that 
I came across a bit of blue paper of yours, which had 
somehow found its way into my desk. An acceptance 
for two-fifty, you see, rather overdue. I have much 
pleasure in enclosing it, and begging you to take your 
own time about the trifling affair. Between men of 



LE DESSOUS DES CARTES. 219 

honour, don't you know ? Noblesse oblige, as our motto 

puts it. Say no more about it. 

I was glad to see you in the Park the other day with 

the Earl of Wessex, a member of the committee of your 

club, by the way. Why not bring him down again 

to-morrow ? I could pick you up opposite the Achilles, 

and give you a trot round in the drag. And I dare say 

Mrs. M. will have a chop or something ready for us 

later on. 

Yours always, 

Eicke Meauseys. 

P.S. — Mind you bring Wessex. 

From Captain the Hon. Vivian Boper to Eicke 1 
Mea uscys, Esq. 

Lucullus Club, Piccadilly, W 
Dear Ike, — That's about right for spelling, isn't it ? 
Thanks for your letter and enclosure. As to the giddy 
" kite," since you insist upon it, I won't say another 
word about it. On my honour, I won't. Eely upon 
that. I am sorry, however, that neither I nor Lord 
Wessex will be able to join you in the Park this 
afternoon, as we are both commanded to attend the 
garden-party at Marlborough House. Lord Wessex 
dines with his mother to-night ; but I shall be happy 
to join you in the succulent chop towards nine. 

Faithfully yours, 

Vivian Eoper. 



220 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Eiclc4 Meauseys, Esq., to Viscount Shillelagh, 
Lucullus Club. 
Gehenna Club, Begent Street, W. 

My Lord, — I happened to be waiting to-day in the 
hall of the Lucullus for my old friend his Grace the 
Duke of Pendragon, who had invited me to lunch, when 
you came in, and, going up to the list of candidates for 
election, indulged in a somewhat critical series of obser- 
vations thereupon. Amongst other caustic remarks, I 
was slightly surprised to hear the following : " Moses ? 
"Why, verb imperative the past-participled impertinence 
of the past-participled blood-sucker ! I'm past-parti- 
cipled if I don't speak to every member of the club 
about it ! " 

As, upon referring to the list in question, I find that 
my name is the only one upon it which has the slightest 
resemblance to that of " Moses," I hereby require you to 
retract the whole of the first sentence I overheard, and 
to fulfil the threat contained in the second sentence — 
in favour of my candidature. 

You are no doubt aware that your promissory note for 
£7000 odd fell due last week, and that, although I 
have ceased to amuse myself with dabbling in finance, 
I may still have something to say as to the renewal 
of this particular note. If you chose, you might even 
now make a friend of 

Eicke Meauseys. 



LE DESSOVS DES CARTES. 221 

From Eicke" Meauseys, Esq., to Messrs. Shadrach, Meshach, 
& Abednego, Solicitors, of ijy Old Jewry, E.G. 

160 Ghosvenor Square, W- 
Proceed at once against Lord Shillelagh with the 
utmost rigour of the law. Is " Go to the devil and do 
your worst ! " actionable ? Serve him this afternoon if 
possible, and mind, as publicly as possible. 

E. M. 

From Messrs. Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, to Eicke' 
Meauseys, Esq. 

177 Old Jewry, E.O. 

Yourself v. The Viscount Shillelagh. 

Dear Sir, — Your honoured favour to hand. In ac- 
cordance with your valued instructions, we hurried on 
preliminaries, and our Mr. Abednego presented himself 
this morning at his lordship's chambers, St. James's 
Street. As his lordship was giving a large breakfast, 
the valet refused our junior partner admittance, until 
the diplomatic administration of a sovereign brought 
him to his senses. 

Our Mr. Abednego, therefore, was enabled, in accord- 
ance with your valued instructions, to serve the writ 
" as publicly as possible." We have, however, to regret 
that his lordship thought fit to kick our Mr. Abednego 



222 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

down his lordship's (extremely steep) stairs. A sum- 
mons for assault will, of course, be immediately served 
upon his lordship. We also rejoice to say that we 
have just received £7335 6s. 8d. from his lordship's 
solicitors, in full payment of your claim against him. 
We are, dear Sir, very faithfully yours, 

Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego. 

P.S. — We understand that Lord Shillelagh is engaged 
to be married to Miss Blobbs, the American heiress. 

From Eicki Meauseys, Esq., to Sir Charles Punter, Bart., 
of Baccarat Hall, Leicestershire, and the Lucullus 
Club, Piccadilly, W. 

Private and Confidential.] 

160 Gkosvenor Square, W- 
Mr. Eicke" Meauseys presents his compliments to Sir 
Charles Punter, and ventures to hope that the fact that 
he will probably soon be able to meet Sir Charles as a 
brother member of the Lucullus will excuse his address- 
ing him (under the circumstances) without a formal 
introduction. Bad news proverbially travels fast, and 
Mr. Meauseys has heard, like the rest of the world, of 
Sir Charles's heavy losses last Wednesday night. But, 
unlike the rest of the world, Mr. M. has a heart full of 
sympathy and a purse full of — well, enough to enable 
Sir Charles to retain his seat on the committee of the 



LE DESSOUS DES CARTES. 223 

Lucullus. Mr. Meauseys therefore begs to enclose a 
blank cheque, which he is hereby happy to authorize 
Sir Charles Punter to fill up for the full amount of his 
temporary necessities. 

P.S. — "A friend in need is a friend indeed." How 

glad I should bo if But fill up the cheque, dear Sir 

Charles. E. M. 

From the Manager of the London and Pend rayon Bank, 
Curnhill, to EirJce Mecutseys, E*j. 
Dear Sir, — I think it only right to inform you that 
Sir Charles Punter has presented your cheque for 
,£10,000, and has duly received that amount. I merely 
mention this as the writing (with the exception of your 
signature) was unknown to us. 

I am, dear Sir, your obedient Servant, 

John Cauteous, 

Manager. 

Extract from Letter of Arthur Nemo, Esq., the Albany 
to Ceqrtain Quidam, 100th Dragoon Guards, the 
Curragh. 

And now for two bits of news. Charley Punter has 
paid up ! And Ikey Moses, the money-lender of Croesus 
Chambers, the ruin of Lackland, Pendragon, and a host 
of others, has been elected by the Lucullus ! Shillelagh, 
who blackballed him, is furious. 



( 224 ) 



THE SCHOONER AND THE LAUNCH. 

I was living at Erith, one of the most delightful little 
places between London and the Nore for those who 
really love peace and quiet. A stockbroker, wise in 
his generation, had just built himself a summer bunga- 
low there on the edge of the chalk cliff, with a long 
strip of garden in which he took marvellous pride. I 
was always going up and down the river ; sometimes in 
a little open boat of my own, with a huge lateen sail, 
sometimes on a tug, sometimes in a sailing-barge — for 
I made it my business to know skippers of every kind, 
and to be a welcome guest on their craft. 

But there was one man whom I could never get near. 
He kept entirely to himself. His equals disliked him, 
and called him the "king of the bargemen," by way of 
mockery. He was a man of substance, for he owned 
one great billy-boy which he sailed himself, and in 
which he would fetch stone from Portland, or other 
such heavy cargoes, and, occasionally, if he wanted a 
long run, potatoes from Cornwall or the Islands. I 
used to meet him here and there upon the river, and I 



THE SCHOONER AND THE LAUNCH. 225 

could see that I was talking to a man who was, and 
always had been, a gentleman. But he did not care for 
conversation, and skilfully avoided the least approach 
to anything like intimacy. It was only later that I 
heard his story, and understood why he had thus 
become a floating hermit. I cannot, of course, say how 
far the tale is correct in detail, but I know that its 
broader lines are true. 

In his younger days he had been an artist — a long- 
shore artist, painting beach and river sketches, and 
with a pretty little yacht of his own, in which he used 
to potter about the coast in quest of subjects. He 
could paint with feeling ; and with his own private 
fortune, and his two, or perhaps three, small pictures in 
each year's Academy, was comfortably off. I may add 
that he was married, and loved his wife. Fortunately 
for both, there were no children. 

It was the old story. His wife was young, pretty, 
and weak. She liked dresses which he could not afford, 
and hungered bitterly for jewellery almost beyond the 
reach of a painter. She wearied of her quiet life and 
its simple pleasures — her garden, and flowers, and hot- 
house, and her tranquil summers in the Channel Islands 
or on the French coast. The end of course came. She 
ran away with a rich man, the son of a Liverpool 
cotton-broker, a mere brute with a thin veneer of 
education and culture upon him, and who had all that 

Q 



226 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

"insolence of wealth" which the Creek dramatists 
regarded as the bitterest, upon a man, of possible divine 
curses. Her husband did not go to the Divorce Court. 
He went on painting as usual ; and whatever he may 
have suffered, he turned out as good work as ever — 
some people even said better. 

One night, in the middle of a driving snowstorm, she 
came back to a small cottage he had taken at Deal, and 
tapped at the window. She was alone, helpless, and 
evidently dying. Her cough, and the flush on her 
cheek, told their own story. He forgave her, and she 
died in his arms. Then he left Deal, and for a year or 
two disappeared. When he was next seen, he had a 
small quick steam-launch, built almost on the lines of a 
torpedo-boat, in which he used to run about the coast 
between the North Foreland and the Scilly Islands. 
She was a strange craft, with marvellous speed, and 
when she dipped her funnel and burned smokeless coal, 
was hardly visible at any distance, except in the very 
clearest weather. 

He kept entirely to himself ; and some people said 
that his trouble had more or less unhinged his mind ; 
others that he had turned his attention to marine 
engineering, and meant to make a fortune out of it ; 
others that he had always been an odd kind of fellow, 
who might do anything. 

His engineer and fireman were Sunderland men. 



^HE SCHOONER AND THE LAUNCH. 227 

His cook and valet was a Maltese, of whom nobody 
knew anything, except that he seemed much attached 
to his master, and to have a natural hatred towards 
the rest of mankind. The fourth hand was a boy, 
who, when not engaged in dirty work, was always 
asleep. 

The Erith Yacht Club had at that time, and, for all I 
know, still keeps up, not only its rooms on shore, but 
also a floating-house moored close to the pier, from 
which it is entered by a gangway. It is, or once was, a 
topsail schooner, built for some rich man as a cruising 
yacht in which to visit the South Sea Islands and the 
China Seas, and, in a peaceable kind of way, emulate 
the adventures of Eajah Brooke in the Royalist. The 
masts have now been taken out, and the interior of the 
vessel fitted as a large saloon, with one or two bunks 
forward, behind a bulkhead, for members who may 
suddenly find themselves in want of a bed, and beyond 
these again, a steward's room. The coffee-room, if I 
may so term the saloon, is a most pleasant resort on 
the morning of a hot summer Sunday ; and I was seated 
here one day, placidly enjoying a cheroot and a brandy - 
and-soda, with a good allowance of ice, when I again 
heard somebody among those who were present use the 
words "the king of the bargemen." I dropped my 
paper and listened at once. 

" It was a funny story," said one of the dozen or so 

Q 2 



228 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

of men who occupied the divans and armchairs, "his 
running down that yacht." 

" Not at all funny, if you knew all about it," said a 
second. 

" I don't believe anybody does know all about it, or 
ever will," sententiously remarked a third. 

Then there was a silence. 

" How was it ? " asked another member, pouring him- 
self out some claret. 

"It happened upon this wise," replied the member 
who had been the second to speak. " I think that 1 
can cut the story short. His wife, you see — there 
always is a woman in affairs of this kind — was very 
pretty and very extravagant, and had many more whims 
than he could ever have gratified, if he had made four 
times the money he did ; and he must have made a 
pretty good income, too. Do you remember that odd 
poem of Browning's about the beautiful girl of Pornic 
who was buried in her golden hair ? " 

The members of the Erith Yacht Club are not, as a 
rule, readers of the author of " Sordello." None of those 
present had even so much as heard of the poem in 
question. 

"Wei]," continued the speaker, with that peculiar 
sense of enjoyment which is the reward of imparting 
knowledge, and is in many respects akin to pride, " his 
wife, you know, bolted with another fellow — a fellow 



**1E SCHOONER AND THE LAUNCH. 229 

with a pot of money, who took her away with him in 
his yacht. I remember seeing the yacht at Cowes. A 
fine craft she was. When he found she had gone, and 
with whom, he moped for a long time down somewhere 
on the south coast. People say she came back to him 
and he forgave her. That I should very much doubt ; 
he wasn't that kind of man. Anyhow, she died— there's 
no doubt about that — and after her death he gave up 
painting altogether. It was rather a pity, I thought at 
the time, and I think so still, for very few men could 
touch him in his own line. Well, he had a sort of 
blockade-runner built for him by the Thorneycrofts. 
She was a venomous-looking thing, but could go any 
number of knots an hour, and he used to knock about 
the coast in her." 

" I'd sooner have a decent yawl about four times the 
size," observed a stout member from behind a cloud of 
smoke in the corner of the saloon. " About a sixth the 
original expense, much less than a sixth the annual cost, 
and twenty times the comfort." 

" So a lot of fellows said at the time," continued the 
narrator. "Anyhow he got this launch; and it is a 
most curious thing that, one foggy night, she happened 
to run into a schooner yacht and cut her down to the 
water's edge. Nobody knows the rights or wrongs of 
the collision. The launch was hardly damaged at all, 
but the schooner was cut down almost to her keel ; for 



230 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

the launch had a bow like a ram, and went through the 
schooner's planks like a knife through a piece of note- 
pape 1 ". The launch stood by and picked up the 
schooner's crew. Oddly enough, they were all saved 
except the owner. He did not go down with the 
schooner, which was raised the next week, but his body 
was picked up a fortnight afterwards. The crabs and 
congers had been so busy with it that it would never 
have been identified but for the clothes and the letters 
in the pockets. There was an inquest, of course, but 
nothing came of it. I think it was what you call an 
open verdict. At all events, no more was heard of the 
matter ; and I suppose the exact nautical rights and 
wrongs of the whole thing will, as I have said, never be 
settled. The only men on the deck of the launch at the 
moment of the collision were the owner himself, who 
was at the wheel, and a sort of valet he had, a fellow 
from the Mediterranean, who seems to have been so 
terrified that he entirely lost his head, and could give 
no account whatever of how the thing happened. 
Anyhow, the crew of the schooner were agreed that 
the launch was not to blame; and I heard at the 
time that they were very handsomely treated after- 
wards by its owner, although really there was not 
the least obligation on him to do anything of the 
kind." 

" It seems odd that only the owner should have gone 



THE SCHOONER AND THE LAUNCH. 231 

down," observed the member from the corner of the 
room, " and nobody else." 

"So it does," dryly answered the narrator. "Odd 
things do happen in this world. It came out at the 
inquest, when he was picked up, that his skull was 
smashed and all his fingers broken, as if they had some- 
how been jammed, I won't say hammered, but anyhow 
pinched and splintered into matchwood. But a collision 
at sea, after all, is just like a collision on a railway. 
There may be half-a-dozen fellows in the same 
carriage. One has both his thighs broken, and dies 
then and there of the shock ; another has his knee- 
pan put out; and the other four escape with what 
they call in the papers 'no further injury than a 
severe shaking.' " 

"Who was the owner of the schooner?" asked a 
young member who had not spoken before. 

" As bad an egg as ever lived," was the answer. " Son 
of some Manchester cotton-spinner or Liverpool stock- 
broker. "Was kicked out of his regiment for something 
shady, and kicked out of his club, the Rag, because he 
couldn't explain why his Colonel was in the Wrong and 
he .in the right. Was blackballed at every other club 
afterwards. He was considered shady even on the 
Turf. One of his exploits was to run away with 
another fellow's wife — I can't remember whose. She 
was little better than a child, and as soon as he wsis 



23: 



SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 



tired of her he kicked her out into the streets, and I 
believe the poor thing was frozen to death in the snow. 
At all events she died of his ill-treatment — there's very- 
little doubt of that. He was always a cur, and drown- 
ing was too good a death for him." 



( 233 ) 



WHAT WE ARE COMING TO. 

Scene : A Court of Justice. On the Bench, Mr. Justice 
MUDDLESIDES of the Queen's Bench Division. In 
the box, a patient but evidently exasperated Jury. 
The body of the Court is blocked with junior bar- 
risters, averaging about three-and-hventy years of 
age. The well of the Court is blocked with witnesses 
on the subposna and otherwise. The gallery is packed 
with spectators like sardines in a box. On the Bench 
is the usual allowance of Countesses and other orna- 
ments of Society. 

Associate {calling on case). Silvertongue v. Jawkins. 

Mrs. Silvertongue, plaintiff in person (rising). I 
call the Archbishop of Canterbury upon his subpoena. 
Before he is sworn, I wish to say 

Mrs. Jawkins, defendant in person (rising). And I 
wish most emphatically to point out 

Mrs. S. You sit down. This place is not a bear- 
garden. I intend to conduct my case in my own way 

Mrs. J. My lord, before the Archbishop is called, I 
wish to take a preliminary objection. 



234 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mes. S. You can't. I defy you to do it. 

Me. Justice M. Eeally, ladies, if you conduct your 
own cases, you must follow the same rules as are 
imposed upon counsel. There can be no possible objec- 
tion to a witness unless he is incompetent to take the 
oath. 

Mes. J. I shall argue that point presently. Before 
the Archbishop is called, I wish to read some letters 
which I have here. {Produces a book about the size of a 
half-year's volume of the " Times.") 

Me. Justice M. What have these letters to do with 
the Archbishop's evidence ? 

Mes. S. Nothing whatever, and she knows it. 

Mes. J. The Jury will see when I have read them. 

Me. Justice M. (wearily). What is the date of these 
letters ? We have already had twenty-seven days 
occupied with the reading of letters which have had no 
bearing on the case, and which have been between per- 
sons wholly unconnected with it. 

Mes. J. They are a correspondence, my lord, which 
appeared between the years 1864 and 1872 in the 
Hogborough Independent, together with a series of 
twenty-seven leading articles in that journal, signed 
" Brutus." 

Mes. S. " Brutus " is your own brother-in-law, and 
you know it. 

Mes, J. He isn't. 



WHAT WE ARE COMING TO. 235 

Mrs. S. You know he is. You're a wicked woman ! 

Me. Justice M. The libel of which the plaintiff 
complains was written and published in the early part 
of 1884. I fail to see how the files of a paper twenty 
years ago can have anything to do with the case. 

Foreman of the Jury. My lord, we have already 
had a correspondence which passed between the plain- 
tiff and the defendant in the year 1835. 

Mrs. S. (lumping up). That's a wicked falsehood ! I 
wasn't born in 1835. I'm not forty ; and I've only 
been eight times to the House of Lords. 

Mr. Justice M. I will refer to my notes. 

Mrs. J. I shall not submit to your lordship's notes. 
Your lordship has been prejudiced against me from the 
first. The next case I have I shall subpoena your lord- 
ship, and ask you on oath if it isn't so (laughter in the 
back benches). Those schoolboys behind me may laugh 
as much as they please. I know more law than all 
of them put together. The Court of Appeal always 
listens to me, and the Master of the Eolls has compli- 
mented me five times. 

Mr. Justice M. I shall rule that letters and articles 
which appeared in a local paper twelve years before 
this action was brought are not admissible unless there 
is evidence to connect them with the plaintiff. 

Mrs. J. You will take a note that I object to your 
ruling. 



236 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Mr. Justice M. Certainly. Now, Mrs. Silvertongue, 
his Grace has been waiting in Court on his subpoena 
for a fortnight. "What is he going to prove ? 

Mrs. S. That he considers my poetry to have a moral 
and religious tendency, and that the criticisms of the 
defendant in her pamphlet, " A Shepperton Sappho," are 
malicious and libellous. 

Mr. Justice M. But that is matter for the Jury, 
Mrs. Silvertongue. You can't call his Grace to speak 
to his opinion of your poetry. That is the very ques- 
tion the Jury have to decide. 

Mrs. J. Of course you can't. Besides, the Jury have 
had all your poetry read to them twice, and know all 
about it. 

Foreman of the Jury. Too true (groans deeply). 

Mrs. S. I call the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Mr. Justice M. If he is only going to prove what 
you have said, I rule that you cannot call him. 

Mrs. S. I daresay he'll prove a good deal more 
(laughter). You never know what you can get out of 
an Archbishop until you try (roars of laughter, amidst 
which the Archbishop is sworn). 

Mrs. S. Your Grace has read my poems ? 

Archbishop. No, madam ; never (laughter). 

Mrs. S. Then you ought to have read them. I sent 
them all to you by parcel post, the day my private 
secretary served you with your subpoena in the lobby 



WHAT WE ARE COMING TO. 237 

of the House of Lords. Now, on your oath, have you 
not heard my poems greatly praised ? 

Archbishop. I have never even heard them men- 
tioned. 

Mrs. S. {to the Jury). That's always the way, gentle- 
men ; they are all in the conspiracy against me. (2'unis 
sharply to his Gracr) You may go down. 

Mrs. J. Wait a minute. Do you consider the phrase, 
" A Shepperton Sappho," libellous ? 

Archbishop. I could not say without the context. 

Mrs. J. Then I will read the context to you. 

Foreman of the Jury. My lord, if the context is the 
defendant's pamphlet, we have already had it read five 
times, my lord. 

Mr. Justice M. Certainly. The Court must really 
draw the line somewhere. I shall not allow the 
pamphlet to be read again. 

Mrs. J. May I give the Archbishop a copy of the 
pamphlet, and have him called again when he has 
read it ? 

Mrs. S. And may I give him another copy of my 
poems ? 

Mr. Justice M. I cannot compel his Grace to read 
the productions in question, or even to accept copies of 
them. 

Mrs. S. Then I shall move the Divisional Court for 
a mandamus to compel you to do so. My peace of 



238 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

mind has been ruined by this vile conspiracy. The 
defendant there, and her brother-in-law, who is 
" Brutus " of the Hogborough Independent, have broken 
up rny home and assailed my reputation. But I will 
have justice yet ; if I carry this case to the House of 
Lords ! 

Mr. Justice M. Who is your next witness, Mrs. 
Silvertongue ? 

Mrs. S. The Regius Professor of Poetry at Oxford. 

Mrs. J. What does he know about poetry ? (laughter). 

Mrs. S. More than you do (renewed laughter). 

Mr. Justice M. How long will his evidence take ? 

Mrs. S. I can't possibly say Perhaps four days. 
I want him to give his opinion of my poetry and of the 
libel. 

Mr. Justice M. It is now eight o'clock, and the 
Court has sat for ten hours. I shall adjourn until to- 
morrow. How many more witnesses have you to call, 
Mrs. Silvertongue ? 

Mrs. S. As far as I know, not more than one hundred 
and fifty. I have subpoenaed the President of the 
United States, the Emperor of China, and the King of 
Fiji. They have declined to attend, on the ground that 
they are out of the jurisdiction. I must conduct my 
case in my own way, and if they do not attend before I 
have finished, I must have an adjournment, that I may 
proceed against them by mandamus. 



WHAT WE ARE COMING TO. 239 

[A consultation takes place between the Jury, during 
the course of which the plaintiff and defendant 
tie iip their papers and strap up their books, 
and snort defiance severally at each other, and 
jointly at the learned. Judge] 

Foreman of the Jury. My lord, the Jury wish 
to submit to you that this case has already lasted 
seven weeks, and the defence has not yet been com- 
menced. They do not wish to hear the defence at all. 
They are perfectly satisfied that the plaintiff has no 
case. 

Mrs. J. Of course not 

Mrs. S. (vehemently). How dare you say I have no 
case, when you have not heard the whole of my evidence ? 
You have hardly heard a quarter of it. Am I to be 
denied justice because I am a woman ? I will go on 
with my case if I stop here for years. 

Foreman of the Jury (wearily). Have we no power 
to stop the case, my lord ? 

Mr. Justice M. I am afraid not, gentlemen. I am 
sure I wish I could help you. 

Associate. The Court is adjourned till ten o'clock 
to-morrow. 

[The Jury depart wearily. Mrs. Silvertongue and 
Mrs. Jawkins are loudly cheered as they issue 
from the Court, and are escorted along the street 



240 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

by an admiring and sympathetic crow 1. The 
Foreman OF the Juey loiters in a daze J con- 
dition on the steps of the Court.] 

Foreman of the Jury. I'm getting on for seventy, 
and I've served on juries for nearly fifty years. It 
wasn't so bad when we had Counsel. They knew how 
to do their work, and they put the thing before you. 
But ever since the new Act of Parliament, that if you 
want to employ Counsel you must pay for them your- 
self, whether you win or lose, and pay .£20 into Court 
for leave to do so things have been going from bad to 
worse. How it's to end I don't know. 



( 241 ) 



AM I A FAILURE? 

A DISCUSSION ON A QUESTION RECENTLY PROPOUNDED. 

Scene : A private room in the Dagmar Hotel. Time, 
10.15 P.M. Dramatis personce (all smoking and 
drinking according to taste) : James Johnson, Bar- 
rister-at-Law, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas John- 
son, and the Eev. William Johnson, Rector of 
Fendy -cum- Shingle, Cambridgeshire. 

Colonel Johnson. I don't think I am a failure in 
life : I've never had a chance. What on earth is a man 
to do in a double-battalion regiment ? And yet I 
suppose I am a failure, too. First at Sandhurst, then 
at Chatham, then Aldershot, then all over the shop. 
I shall be put on the compulsory list before long, and 
drop off on my half-pay. Of course I am a failure in 
life. Any man is a failure in life who can't marry, 
and bring up his family, and keep a dog-cart, and a 
pony carriage for his wife. I can't afford to keep a 
wife, let alone the pony carriage. That is what comes 
of serving one's country. I wish to Heaven, when we 
were out in India, I'd been quartermaster; I should 

R 



242 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

have saved money, and as soon as we came back I'd 
have sold out, and set up an hotel. 

Mr. James Johnson. Let us confine ourselves to the 
record. I myself am a dismal failure. I had every 
prospect at the Bar ; but my prospects have all 
vanished away into prospects, and remained such. 
Now, suppose we go through the questions. I will put 
them to myself. " Do I attribute my failure in life to 
drink ? " Certainly not. I never drink more than a 
gentleman ought. " To gambling ? " I never had as 
much as ten shillings on any event in my life, from the 
Derby down to a rubber of whist. Then he asks me 
" if I am dishonest." I wish I had him in the witness- 
box. Then he wants to know " if I have unfortunate 
acquaintances." Does he mean unfortunate for them, 
or unfortunate for me, or unfortunate for both ? Clearly 
the fellow is boxing the compass. Look at his next 
piece of impertinence. " Is my failure due to marriage, 
or is it due to single life ? " Now, I wonder if he has 
ever read his rejected addresses. First he calls you the 
scum of the people, and then he calls you the dregs of 
the people. Take a basin of good, honest patriotic beef 
or mutton soup, and you will find the scum at the top 
and the dregs at the bottom. How, then, can you be 
both at once ? Then he wants to know " if I am dis- 
inclined to work ; " and then, " if I ever lend or borrow." 
Never did either, and for the best of reasons. Then, he 



AM I A FAILURE t 243 

wants my views on politics, religion, and tobacco, A 
pretty good jumble that. Why didn't he ask my views 
on the quadration of the circle, the millennium, and the 
Tichborne Claimant ? And look at this : " Do I attri- 
bute my failure to general incapacity ? " And then the 
last question of all. If I don't attribute it to any of 
the causes he has named, " do I attribute it to any 
other cause ? " If I took these things up before a 
Master as interrogatories, I should have the whole lot 
struck out in chambers as superfluous and " scandalous." 

Eev. William Johnson. I, too, am a failure in life. 
But my failure can be easily accounted for. (Yell of 
laughter from his two brothers?) Yes, I repeat it — easily 
accounted for. Early in life, before my faculties were 
fully matured, the choice of a profession was thrust 
upon me. I chose the Church, and my abilities have 
been correspondingly cramped. What I want is a large 
field. Spurgeon and Haweis and men of that sort I 
regard as impostors. The times were never more ripe for 
a Loyola or a Savonarola. But if I dared to show what 
I feel is in me I should have the rural dean down upon 
me in a minute. After him I should have the bishop. 
The jealousy that exists in the Church is something 
altogether too contemptible. 

Mk. James Johnson. Jealousy ! Jealousy is only 
family interest and family feeling, or personal interest 
and personal feeling, turned inside out like the thumb 

R 2 



244 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

of a glove. No honest man is jealous of another. But 
what is the first word of your rogue ? " I'm as good a 
man as he. Why shouldn't I have his place ? " And 
then your rogue actually goes on to argue himself into 
the belief that you have robbed him of the place in 
question, and ought to be punished for doing so. If 
you only knew how men will truckle and cringe and 
eat dirt for any kind of preferment ! We once had a 
very pious Chancellor. Bless him ! He taught in a 
Sunday-school. But he was a great man and an honest 
one. Men who ought to be ashamed of themselves for 
doing so used to go and teach in his Sunday-school, and 
say they did it for the love of the thing. And then he 
used to make them county court judges, or shove them 
into some other office that they might eat a morsel of 
bread. 

Eev. William Johnson. I know the Lord Chancellor 
to whom you refer. He was very Low Church ; in fact, 
almost Calvinistic. So I can forgive him anything. 
If, he said to himself, I prefer Jones over Smith, it is 
but because I am a humble instrument in the hands of 
Providence. But admitting that he sinned, he sinned 
according to the best of his lights. He really believed 
himself a servant of the true faith. Now, the Lord 
Bishop of Putney was an offender of quite a different 
sort. He did the trick openly. 

Me James Johnson. As how ? I never heard of the 



AM I A FAILURE? 245 

old fellow, for my part. He kept pretty clear of the 
ecclesiastical courts, in which I have a fair practice, 
being, with all submission to the precious efficacy of 
your laying-on of hands, a much better theologian than 
yourself. 

Eev. William Johnson. Eevile, dear brother, if you 
please. I shall not revile again. The Bishop of 
Putney, whose Palace is not many miles from that of 
Mr. Robert Twignall, of whom you perhaps may have 
heard, was blessed, like Job, with a large family He 
had thirteen daughters, ranging from Jemima and Kezia 
down to Keren-happuch, and of varying shades and 
hues of ugliness. Had he been a curate in the country 
the girls must have starved or lived on cabbages, or 
gone out as governesses. But the Bishop of Putney 
has 1 50 livings in his gift ; so he married the whole 
batch, and I am told that they make very excellent 
wives, and are models of domestic economy. 

Colonel Johnson. Thank Providence I put on the 
stiff choker, and not the white one. A pretty thing if 
you had to get on at the Horse Guards by marrying the 
adjutant-general's or quartermaster-general's "elderly, 
ugly daughter." No, lads, I shall hold on till they 
retire me, shall leave with the rank of general, and 
look out for a nice widow. Lots of them about, I am 
told. I haven't been president of the mess in my 
younger days for nothing. I can keep the household 



246 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

accounts to a penny. And whatever I do, you won't 
find me at one of those infernal seaside places, half 
shingle and half mud, and with a floating population of 
bill-discounters, garrison-backs, shopkeepers, and volun- 
teer officers. I shall go somewhere inland, near a trout 
stream, grow my own cucumbers, keep my own pigs, 
and perhaps go in for roses or hollyhocks, or some such 
tomfoolery. Come and see me, and you shall always 
have a leg of mutton and a good bottle of claret. And 
you shall see a wife kept in thorough order. And we 
will send over to the Piebald Dragon for long clay 
pipes and tobacco. 

Me. James Johnson. I will attend the venue. 

Eev. William Johnson. I'll come. If I don't why 
{recollects himself, and coughs violently). 

Mr. James Johnson. Well, we are three failures. I 
don't want to be irreverent, dear brother William, but 
there's luck, you old Pilot, in odd numbers, and when 
three failures meet the result is likely to be a success. 

Eev. William Johnson, (lighting a long clay at the 
candle). Your sentiments are sensible, although a trine 
profane. I wish I could burn all churchwardens as 
easily and pleasantly as I light this one. But, alas ! 
the terrible spread of modern heresies has left us no 
short and ready way of dealing with recalcitrants. 

Mi;. James Johnson. Or with solicitors who won't 
pay their fees. 



AM I A FAILURE f 247 

Colonel Johnson {savagely). Or with the young prigs 
who join now-a-days, and can neither ride straight, nor 
run fair, nor look you in the face, nor take their whack 
after mess, and who think themselves Napoleons because 
they have passed a competitive examination. Fellows 
who have an harmonium in their quarters, and drink 
tea at five o'clock, and — (here the Colonel becomes in- 
coherent) and bring the service to the devil, sir, all 
round. (Snorts for breath) 

Eev. William Johnson. Send them to me, and let 
me point out to them the error of their ways. 

Me. James Johnson. And let me do something or 
other — well (begging your pardon, my dear brother), 
pass sentence upon them afterwards. "What did the 
learned Eecorder of Mudborough say ? " Prisoner, God, 
in His infinite goodness, has given you health and 
strength, instead of which you go about stealing ducks." 

Colonel Johnson. And so they would, if they had 
the chance. It's all owing to the infernal Eadicals. 
Come round to the Junior, and let's finish the evening. 
Don't look grumpy, Parson : Windmill Street has been 
shut for years. 



( 2 4 3 ) 



"VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM." 

From Mrs. Shadyside, Grand Hotel, Paris, to Lady 
Sparkler, Post Office, Pumpton Spa, Loamshire, 
England. 

January 20, 1886. 

My deaeest . Faustine. — I write to you more in 
sorrow than in anger, because I am sure that your 
extraordinary behaviour is less owing to any deliberate 
intention of hurting my feelings than to the presence of 
that (" loose screw ") which I have often told you existed 
in your pretty little golden noddle. 

In your last letter to me you said you had enjoyed 
your six weeks at Monte Carlo quite too much, and that 
your little card parties after the "rooms" were closed 
had been singularly successful. Moreover, you told me 
that you were bound for Paris, where you would auait 
vie, and that you and I could secure the appartamnt, 
Avenue Marigny, or something like it, and work the 
same little game that was so profitable last season. 

Lastly, you said that Prince Pouschkine was desalt 



VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM." 249 

at your departure, and he was certain to follow you to 
Paris before long. 

Now / am here. Pouschkine is here. But where, 
oh where, are you ? I find that " Ladi Sparrr-klerrr did 
descend 'ere, and 'ave refer all communications to Poste 
Eestante, Pumpton Spa." 

Where and what is Pumpton Spa? and what on 
earth are you doing there, of all people in the world ? 

Answer these questions by return of post, and for 
Heaven's sake come back as soon as possible to 
Yours distractedly and devotedly, 

Laura Shadyside. 



From Mrs. Milford, Laburnum Lodge, Church Road. 
Pumpton Spa, to Mrs. Shadyside, Grand Hotel, 
Paris. 

February 1, 1886. 

Darling Laura, — First and foremost, to explain why 
I gave my address here at the Post Office — simply 
because I am no longer " Lady Sparkler." I left her on 
the road, somewhere, I suppose. In plain language, I 
am passing by my maiden name, and have dropped my 
baptismal name (which certainly can hardly be called 
Christian); and therefore am now "Mrs. Frances Milford, 
widow of the Piev. John Milford." The Eev. John was 
my brother, but he died many years ago, so that don't 



250 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

matter. Now, for goodness' sake, don't make a mistake. 
From henceforth, Mrs. Milford to you and everybody else. 

Secondly, to explain why I've not kept my promise 
to you — why I am here. And that is a much more 
difficult task, because, when you know the reason, I'm 
sure you will laugh yourself into fits, and you know 
how I hate being laughed at. 

I'd better take the plunge at once. I am utterly 
sick of my past life. Although, as I said, I was en 
mine, at Monte Carlo, and had every prospect of most 
satisfactorily fleecing that stupid idiot, old Pouschkine, 
I don't know what came over me. I took the whole 
business en grippe. An indescribable longing came over 
me to drop the mask once and for all — to find rest — to 
retire to some place where I could live respectably and 
respected. 

Besides (now you will laugh) at Marseilles, a middle- 
aged couple, with two handsome boys and a lovely 
little girl, got into my carriage. At first I was naturally 
disgusted ; but before long they were so friendly to me, 
that I took a strange liking to them, and they were so 
loving to each other that I envied them — yes, envied 
them like I never envied man or woman before. And 
that's saying a good deal ! I could not help thinking 
to myself : " When i" am middle-aged shall I be happy 
as are these very ordinary people ? I have forfeited my 
right to a happy home. What man worth having 



•• VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM" 251 

would marry the divorcee in such a divorce case as 
mine was ? And in a few years my age will have lost 
me even the admiration which was the breath of my 
life, and will frighten away the dupes who once left 
their money on my card tables." Well, darling, to cut 
it short, I determined to go in for respectability, So I 
had my golden locks dyed a delicate brown, invested 
in a full widow's outfit, and came down here, as the 
most reputable place I could think of. I have taken a 
furnished cottage close by a church of the " lowest 
type," have been called upon by the vicar, who has 
enrolled me already on the list of his " workers," and I 
expect to live in the odour of sanctity, on the allowance 
poor Sir Henry has to make me. So no more for some 
time from 

Your reformed friend, 

F. S. 
(Frances Milford.) 

P.S. — I forgot to say that I have made the acquaint- 
ance of old Lady Throwstone. "We met in the Pump 
Eoom, and I accepted a tract from her with much 
gratitude. It was called "High-heeled Shoes for 
Dwarfs in Faith." She has taken quite a fancy to me, 
and now we go out tract distributing together. A good 
beginning, isn't it ? 



252 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Mrs. Mil fur d, The Deanery, <'anonl>ridye,Markshire, 
to Mrs. Shadydde, Grand Hotel, Paris. 

March r, 1886. 

Dearest, — You will be surprised to see a fresh 
address, but, alas ! I've left Pumpton Spa, or rather 
I've had to leave it. We had organized a Grand 
Temperance Festival in the Town Hall. We charitable 
ladies had arranged to act as waitresses. Old Lady 
Throwstone's son, Lord Badstock, the Iievival preacher, 
and his wife, came clown from London for the occasion. 
The feast was prepared when Lord and Lady Badstock 
appeared. Of course, the old Countess introduced Mrs. 
Milford as her co-worker, her right hand, que sa is-jc ? 
Who do you think Lady Badstock turned out to be ? 
Why, Miss Jawley, daughter of the M.P. who used to 
come to us in Park Lane when Sir Henry gave his 
political parties ! " I think I used to meet this lady" 
said Lady Badstock, " before she was divorced from poor 
Sir Henry Sparkler ! " 

[Tableau. — 7i7 il via fall u jrficr hayyayr. 

But I am not to be beaten. I made friends with the 
daughter of the Dean of Canonbridge at the hotel in 
London when I arrived from Paris, so I fully deter- 
mined to see what I could do on the strength of it. 
Need 1 sav that before 1 had been two hours in Canon- 



" VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM." 253 

bridge I was lunching at the Deanery, and on my 
stating my intention of looking out for a " little home 
near the Cathedral," had received an invitation to stay 
with the sweet girl until I could get settled. As you 
know, I am wonderfully successful with old men, and 
the Dean likes me very much, I fancy. Also my 
Church views, which are now strictly orthodox and 
cathedrally; also my voice, which has won me an 
invitation to sing " Angels ever bright and fair," at the 
approaching diocesan charities concert. 
Yours triumphantly, 

F. S. 
(Frances Milford.) 

P.S. — I think I'm pretty safe. Canonbridge is only 
three hundred and fifty miles from Pumpton Spa ! 

From Mrs. Milford, 7 Marine Parade, Dullton-on-Sca, 

to Mrs. Shadyside, 281 Avenue Mai-igny, Champs 

Elysees, Paris. 

April 1, 1886. 

My sweet Laura, — La femme propose, le Diable dis- 
pose ! Another change of address ! Such is scandal ! 

The Dean gave a grand luncheon before the concert 
I mentioned in my last. While we were waiting for 
the latest arrivals, he introduced the Bishop's daughter 
to me, with whom I need scarcely say I speedily made 



254 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

friends. She had only just confided to me the fact that 
she was engaged to such a nice man, when the door 
opened, and she whispered : " there he is ! " Of course 
he made for her as soon as he could, and v:lw do you 
think it was ? Sir Henry Sparkler ! ! ! 

He dragged her away from me, denounced me to the 
Dean ; I fainted — succession of tableaux ! 

But I will not be beaten. I left an address in London, 
where I stayed for a week to plan out a fresh campaign. 
Finally, I decided upon this place, which is aristocrati- 
cally and ritualistically minded. 

In another week my liberal donations and distinct 
vocation had decided the Vicar of St. Ethelfreda's to 
enrol me among the sisterhood attached to his church. 
In that capacity I have already made many useful 
friends, notably the Viscountess Eeredos. 

It may interest you to hear that I look very nice in 
my nun's costume, and utterly unrccogniseible. 
Yours very angularly, 

F. S. 
(Sister Frances.) 

P.S. — Lady Eeredos has just called to ask me to hold 
a stall with her at the Bazaar on the 6th. Illumina- 
tions, Catholic literature, and ornaments. 

P. P.S. — Thanks for your nnte just forwarded to me 
from town. It's no use whatever tempting me to join 
you in the Avenue Marigny I'm settled at last. 



VESTIGIA NULLA RETRORSUM." 255 

Telegram from Lady Sparkler, Dullton-on-Sea, to 
Mrs. Shadyside, Paris. 

April 6, 1 886, 6 p.m. 

Will be with you to-morrow night. Count Lansque- 
net recognized the nun at Bazaar. Lady Reredos in 
convulsions. General cut. Have supper ready. In- 
vite Pouschkine. Vogue la goitre. 



( 256 ) 



THE CLERICAL ELEMENT. 

From Miss Goldficld, 32 Hautton Square, S.W., to the 
Bev. Charles Jones, St. ^Esthattala's, Clergy House, 
Manchester. 

May 3, 1SS5. 

Dear Father Euphemistus, — You were good enough 
to tell me, when I last unburdened my soul to you, 
that even from the vortex of giddy fashion I might 
appeal to you in any difficult or delicate case of con- 
science. 

Oh ! how thankful we poor weak women ought to be 
for the revival of the celibate priesthood in the Church 
of England ! How could I go to Mr. Grafton, at Gold- 
field Court, or to the Hon. and Eev. Granville Badminton, 
our vicar here, with the tale of my troubles, without 
feeling, knowing that it would that very night be poured 
into the too- willing ears of their horrid wires? Never ! 

I have this mornin" received an offer of marriage — a 
most advantageous one, as far as I can see. It is from 
Lord Tertullian, an Irish Peer, but an M.P He is 
already Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 



THE CLERICAL ELEMENT 257 

although only forty. His appearance is agreeable, and 
his income ample. With my fortune (and me) to help 
him on, he could reach any position, I am sure. I am 
much inclined towards him, but I will abide by your 
decision. Always, dear Father Euphemistus, 
Your faithful daughter, 

Annie Goldfield. 

P.S. — I have had another letter from my cousin, Bob 
Crasher, the barrister. He assures me that my con- 
tinued refusal to see him will drive him into evil 
courses. Poor fellow ! So handsome, too. If he only 

had religion, I might But I will remember your 

advice. 

Irom the Rev. Charles Jones, St. ^Esthcvtala's, to 
Miss Goldfield, London. 

May 4, 1 885. 

Mv dear Daughter, — My sacred duties are just now 
pressing so heavily upon me that I must condense my 
answer to your very important letter into a line or two. 
I could not sanction your union with Lord Tertullian 
(advantageous though it may seem) consistently with 
my duty towards you and your Eternal Interests. 

The engrossing nature of political life, and the addi- 
tional load of worldly cares which it would involve, 
would incapacitate you from devoting yourself (as even 

s 



2 5 S SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

a married woman should) to the furtherance of the 
Cause in this benighted country. 

Besides, he is far too old to prove a helpmeet for you, 
only twenty-two as you are, and possessed of unusual 
feminine attractions. 

Think no more of him, dear child. 

Yours (in religion) affectionately, 

EUTHEMISTUS, O.S.X. 

P.S. — The Oratory at Goldfield Court is approaching 
completion. 

P.P.S. — Your cousin is a snare of the Devil, 

From Miss Goldfield, London, to the Bev. diaries Jones, 
St. JEsthoclala's. 

June 2, 1885. 

Dear Father Euthemistus, — Again I have to con- 
sult you upon my settlement in life. Captain de Bar, 
of the 5th (Queen's Musketeers) Dragoons, whose 
father's estate is only seven miles from Goldfield Court, 
has asked me to marry him. He is very good-looking, 
and the uniform is quite too exquisitely lovely I think 
I should be happy with him. What do you advise ? 

I am sorry to say that I could not attend the High 
Celebration on the Feast of St. yEstluvtala, as my aunt 
insisted upon my accompanying her to the First Meet 
cf the Four-in-lland Club. 



THE CLERICAL ELEMENT- 259 

I was right, was I not, dear Father, to deny myself 
and obey my aunt ? 

Your faithful daughter, 

Annie Goldfield. 

P.S. — Do let me speak (if only a word) to poor 
Bobby, dear Director. I saw him in the Park this 
morning ; and he looked so white and wretched. 

From the Rev. Charles Jones, St. JEsthcctcda's, to 
Miss Goldfield, London. 

June 3, 1885. 

My dear Child, — Immersed as I am in my sacred 
duties, I seize my pen to express my strong disapproval 
of Captain de Bar's candidature. A dragoon united 
to a faithful daughter of Holy Church ? Monstrous 
alliance ! You must dismiss him from your thoughts, 
my daughter ; and await the time when a more fitting 
mate shall present himself. 

As to your cousin, I cannot, so long as I have the 
charge of your conscience, consent to your holding the 
slightest communication with him. He has forfeited 
all claim to your esteem by his wicked threat of 
plunging into " evil courses." Alas ! no doubt he is 
already wallowing deep in the mire ! 

Yours (in religion) very affectionately, 

EUPHEMISTUS, O.S.X. 
S 2 



26o SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

P.S. — Your Oratory is now complete. Yesterday I 
■consecrated it with the utmost pomp. It should have 
been done by a Bishop, I know ; but some day I feel 
that I shall be called to the Episcopate, and my func- 
tions will, of course, act retrospectively. 

P.P.S. — Ah, my daughter, you should have been here 
■on the Feast of St. iEsthaetala ! We used incense for 
the first time (the best), and the High Altar was one 
blaze of wax candles ! 

From Miss Gold field, Yacht " Cygnet" Co ices, to the 
He v. Charles Jones, St. JEsthcdcda's. 

August 10, 1885. 
One line in haste, dear father, as we are just sending 
off our mail-bag, to tell you that Lieutenant Bay, E.X., 
has made me an offer. He is only twenty-eight, is 
deliriously good-looking, is ready to give up the Xavy. 
and has lately come into £100,000 under his uncle's 
will. 

Should I not be acting wisely to accept him ? 
Your faithful daughter, 

Annie Goldfield. 

P.S. — I have to confess that I broke your rule about 
Bobby to-day ; but I am sure you will furrive me when 
I tell you that I met him on Byde Pier this morning, 
bring wheeled about in a Bath-chair, and looking dread- 



THE CLERICAL ELEMENT 261 

fully ill. All that passed was this. I said : " I am 
more than sorry to see you looking so ill." And he 
said : " Thank you, Annie dear. I love you. Go on, 
Jacob ! " And he left me there. 



From the Her. Cliarles Jones, uEMainla's, to 
Miss Goldjicld, Coices. 

August 11,1885. 

My deaeest Daughter, — Although my sacred duties 
are now more than usually onerous, I write to say that a 
marriage with one who, as a sailor, has passed the best 
years of his life in treading the paths of debauchery 
and reckless adventure, is wholly out of the question 
for you. Think no more of Lieutenant Eay, dear 
daughter. 

Your conversation with your cousin Eobert was a 
distinct infraction of the rule I have laid down for you. 
It must not occur again. Do not believe in the illness 
which tempted yon to address this adventurer. It was 
put on to excite your pity. It is not yo:c this man 
loves, but your money. 

I positively forbid you to speak to him again. 
Yours (in religion) most affectionately, 

EUPHEMISTTTS, O.S.X. 

P.S. — The account for your Oratory comes to> 
£739 os ' 7z^-> an< l the improvements it has been your 



262 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

privilege to undertake at St. Astluetala's come to 
^1093 17s. 2d., so that (including your subscription of 
.£100 towards the working expenses) the total amounts 
to ^1932 17s gld. So you may send me a cheque for 
that sum. 

Telegram from Bev. Charles Jones, Manchester, to 
Miss Goldfkld, Cowes. 

August 15, 1885. 

Cheque duly received and cashed. It is not only we 
who thank you, but the whole Church. 

From Miss Goldfeld, Pier Hotel, Byde, to the Bev. Charles 
Jones, St. JEdhededet 's. 

August 23, 1885. 

Dear Mr. Jones, — I have received your letter of the 
2 1st, informing me that you are willing to break your 
ride of celibacy in my favour. 

You assert that your sole object is " to save me from 
the advances of unsuitable admirers, as well as from the 
designs of low adventurers, and to retain me under the 
influence of Holy Church." 

You may set your mind at rest about " the unsuitable 
admirers." They were very nice, but I have sent them 
all to the right about. 



THE CLERICAL ELEMENT. 263 

As for " the low adventurer," I happen to be sitting 
by his bedside with his mother, and I am going to marry 
him as soon as he is well again. That will be, I fondly 
hope, in about a month. Under these circumstances, 
however desirable it may seem to keep a private chap- 
lain at Goldfield Court, and to go to confession to one's 
husband, I am under the necessity of regretfully declin- 
ing your flattering offer. 

I remain, 

Faithfully yours, 

Annie Goldfield. 

P.S. — Bobby wishes me to say that, after a careful 
and impartial consideration of your letters to me, he 
has come to the conclusion that you are the most dis- 
•uterested man he ever heard of. 



( 264 ) 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 

A REVISED YEESIOX. 

From Hcrculis Snooks, Esq., 31** Avenue des Cliawps 
El>/se:s, Paris, to John Pobinson, Esq., 10 Plov:cl: a 
Buildings, TanfAe, London. 

January 28, 1885. 

Dear Old Max, — You ask me in your last letter 
why I have not written to you since you left us to 
resume your legal avocations ; and you suggest that I 
have probably got tired of the placid amenities of 
boarding-house existence to which you introduced me, 
and which we found so pleasant in each other's 
company, and that I am now " wallowing in a vortex 
of gilded depravity" My friend, you ought to know 
by this time that I have sown my wild oats ; that my 
" wallowing " days are over ; that (though I am still 
quite young, thanks be '.) my ambition and my tastes 
lie in the direction of a happy English home, where, 
in the shade of my own vine and fig-tree, I could 
cherish a wife of my bosom, and, by a judicious course 
©f hospitality and a consistent advocacy of the principles 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 26$ 

of the British Constitution, I might pave the way to a 
successful candidature for the House of Commons. 

No, my friend ; things are not what they seem. 
Your Hercules, though despondent, is immaculate ; 
and when you have heard my sad case you will give 
me your sympathy, not your blame. In a word, I am 
in love ; and I have been cruelly treated by the object 
of my affections. 

The very day after you left, she flashed upon my 
admiring gaze as I took my accustomed place at our 
table d'hote. 

She was a widow, hardly thirty, I should think. You 
know I have never entertained the popular and insane 
prejudice against widows which I hear so constantly 
expressed. There is a comfortableness in intercourse 
with a pretty widow which I find lacking in the 
spinster. They may be looking out for a second mate j 
but they are not sighing for heroes of romance ; they 
are seeking a sensible, gentlemanlike man of suitable 
age and position. I am just the man they like to deal 
with. 

My income of ^4000 a year places me above any 
suspicion of being actuated by mercenary motives ; my 
varied experience of the world, robust health, andl 
genial temperament render me (I can say it without 
vanity) a desirable companion. 

Well, this lady has golden hair, a child's face, 



266 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES, 

innocent blue eye, and a fine figure of her own. She 
wears, habitually, many diamonds. I was much 
.struck. 

" Miss Johnson," I could not help remarking to our 
worthy hostess, in a whisper, " what a very charming 
woman ! What an accpiisition to our circle ! " 

" Ah, Mr. Snooks ! " she replied, licking her lips as 
though she relished the flavour of so much outward 
and visible wealth, "you are right there. She is 
immensely wealthy. Who is she ? Why, Mrs. 
Pudvine, widow of Tudvine and Co., the largest 
firm of flax spinners in Leeds. And that means 
millions ! " 

I do not say for a moment that this information did 
not somewhat strengthen the attraction which the 
lovely creature already possessed for me. But I was 
already in love — in love at first sight. 

For three happy weeks I enjoyed the privilege of 
escorting Mrs. Pudvine almost wherever she went. 
She was, as it were, my Mrs. Pudvine ! Arabella — it 
was a blissful time ! She liked going about Paris, 
quite regardless of expense, which proved to me how 
fully accustomed she was to a life of regal magnificence ; 
boxes at the theatres, drags to Chantilly, flowers of the 
costliest nature. But, naturally enough, I was not 
going to allow her to share the expense, as she 
generously offered to do. I loved her ! 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 267 

One evening I sat down next her, as usual, at the 
table d'hote, fully determined to risk a proposal that 
very night. Opposite me, I noticed, for the first time, 
a man of remarkable appearance — a military-looking 
foreigner, not much uuder fifty : coal-black hair and 
moustache, both voluminous ; fierce black eyes, clean 
cut features, an air of conscious superiority. He, too, 
wore many diamonds. But he also wore a multi- 
coloured rosette in his button-hole, which scored many 
points in his favour ; for any moneyed snob can 
purchase jewels, but honorific distinctions are not for 
the vulgar herd. 

He immediately engaged Mrs. Pudvine in conversa- 
tion, and continued his success in the drawing-room 
after dinner. I cannot disguise the fact — he com- 
pletely cut me out, and on my own ground too. 

Then I went up to Miss Johnson, and asked her who 
this obnoxious personage might be. 

' : Ah, Mr. Snooks!" she replied, again licking her 
thin lips as when she described Mrs. Pudvine ; " Quite 
an acquisition, I assure you ! He is the Marquis de la 
Bafouade. He invested his money ten years ago in a 
large estate in Brazil ; and he was fortunate enough to 
discover a diamond mine there. And thai means 
millions ! " 

I need say no more. You will already have guessed 
the sequel. How the Marquis at once appropriated 



268 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

my widow (I almost wish she were " my widow," and I 
in my silent tomb) ; how she allowed herself to be torn 
from my company, and to be entertained by my rival 
at a big dinner at the Continental ; bow be is spending 
his money upon her even more lavishly than I should 
care to do ! 

As soon as I get the chance of speaking to her in 
private I shall propose. If she accepts me (no doubt 
she is only flirting with the Marquis to bring me to the 
point), I shall be the happiest of men ! If not, you 
may expect me in London by the next mail. 
Your distracted Friend, 

Hercules Snooks. 

I must say for him that he spends his money like 
water. Champagne all round again last night. We 
sat down twenty-seven to dinner ! 

Telegram from H. Snooks, Paris, to J. Bdbinson, London. 

January 23, 1885, 4.50 p.m. 

Have just had interview with A. P. Have received 
considerate but decided refusal. Shall leave for London 
by to-night's mail. Please call round at Langham 
Hotel to-morrow between nine and ten. Wish to 
confer with you as to selling estates and settling in 
Central Africa. Cannot trust myself in Europe until 
I feel less irritation against impertinent foreigner. 



"■KILLING NO MURDER." 269 

Irom the Marquis de la Bafouade, 31"* Avenue des 
Champs Elysees, to Mrs. Pudvine, do. do. 

January 24, 1885. 

Madame, — If I had consulted my heart, I should not 
have committed the avowal of my sentiments with 
regard to you to the unsympathetic medium of pen, 
ink, and paper. But there are certain matters upon 
which it is necessary you should clearly understand 
my intentions, and which the delicacy of my nature 
prefers to commit to writing. In any conversation 
between us there should be nothing to be discussed 
but a love as pure as passionate. 

Madame, I love you. That you know already, I am 
very sure. But I have the honour hereby to approach 
your fair feet with the object of formally offering you 
my rank, my wealth, my hand, and my heart. 

Your position places you naturally above being 
tempted by such a consideration ; but it is my inten- 
tion, if you accept my offer, to settle upon you abso- 
lutely and unreservedly all I possess, as well in the 
Brazils as elsewhere. 

From you I expect nothing ; I even hope for nothing 
— except your love. 

Deign, Madame, to accept the assurance of my 
devotion the most perfect, 

Maequis de la Bafouade. 



270 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Mrs. Piuhine to the Marquis de la Bafouade. 

January 25, 1885. 

My dear Marquis, — The letter which you handed 
me last night as I was retiring to rest does equal 
honour to your head and your heart. 

I shall be happy (nay, proud) to entrust my young 
life to the charge of such a man as yourself. 

What you propose as to settlements is generosity 
itself ! Although I may not come to you with quite so 
much wealth as you, have at command, you will find 
that I am a good manager, and that I shall take care 
to prove to your friends that you have married a 
woman who is not unsuited to the rank you have 
offered her. 

I shall be in the salon at twelve o'clock. Until then, 

believe me to be, 

Yours always, 

Bella. 

Extract from " Galignanis Messenger," February 25, 

1885. 

Yesterday morning the Marquis de la Bafouade led 
to the hymeneal altar Arabella, widow of the late 
Thomas Pudvine, of Leeds, England. The wedding 
took place at the English Church, Paie Marboeuf ; and 
though, at the lady's express desire, it was a very quiet 



"KILLING NO MURDER: 1 27T 

one, the bride's costume, diamonds, and remarkable- 
beauty were the cynosure of every eye that was privi- 
leged to witness the interesting ceremony. It is- 
rumoured that this was not only the alliance of two- 
hearts, but also of two colossal fortunes ; and that the- 
charming Marquise intends, next season, to show our 
grand pschutt how royally she can keep open house 
mime en plcine Be'jntbliquc. After the dejeuner de 
rigtieur at the Continental, the happy couple started 
for the Isle of "Wight, where they purpose spending 
the honeymoon prior to returning to London for the- 
season, 

From the Marquis de la Bafouade, General Post Office, 
St. Martin' s-lc- Grand , to the Marquise de Bafouade r 
Ambassadors Hotel, S. W.- 
May 2, 1885. 

Madame la Maequise, — Knowing what you do about- 
yourself, you will not be surprised to hear that, when I 
left the hotel and you this morning, I left both without, 
the remotest intention of returning to either. 

Until last Friday, I fully believed that you were- 
what you represented yourself to be — a millionaire. 
Under that impression I married you ; and under that 
impression I have spent upon your worthless person 
,£1300 of my hardly-earned gains at £carte\ You 



272 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

were more clever ; you kept all your ready money in 
your pocket. 

But when, after putting off so persistently my tender 
inquiries about your fortune, you positively refused to 
allow me to accompany you to your " solicitor's " last 
Friday, and, upon my insisting, " preferred " not to go 
at all, I began to smell a rat. 

Naturally enough, I employed a detective. 

Eesult — that there are two Mrs. l'udvines of Leeds 
now living, once widows. One was the wife of a 
publican in Briggate, and is now my wife — that's you. 
The other was the wife of a millionaire, and is now the 
Viscountess Battler — cest une autre affaire ! 

Well, I made a mistake. Having won £2000 hard 
cash one night, I determined to turn respectable, and 
invest it in hooking a big matrimonial fish. And for 
once I overreached myself. 

One comfort is, that you will have to pay the hotx-l 
bill, which I believe is rather heavy. Another is, that 
I found you out in time, and have still a hundred or 
two left to start again with. 

The heavy trunks that belong to me will sell for 
something; they are good solid leather. So also will 
the flour-bags with which they are filled. So you can't 
say that I left you entirely without resources. 

Of course, I took the precaution to remove my own 
personal elleetspi'/^ <l -petit. You remember how often 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 273 

my poor " tailor " had to call last week with my " new 
uniforms," which never were " quite a fit ! " 
Receive my blessing, and believe me to be, 
Your unfortunate husband, 

Marquis de la Bafouade. 

P.S. — Recollect that if / have swindled you, you have 
swindled me. Besides, if you do put the police on my 
track, I defy them to recognise me as I am dressed 
now. My own mother wouldn't know me ! 

From the Marquise de la Bafouade, Ambassador's Hotel, 
S. W., to Hercules Snooks, Esq., Snooks Hall, Abingdon, 
Oxon. 

May 2, 1885. 

My dearest Mr. Sxooks, — I write to you in despair. 
My husband (the supposed millionaire) has turned out 
to be not only an adventurer, but a common swindler. 

After making me pay for everything we have had 
until the present day — after losing the wlwle of my large 
fortune at the gambling table — he has fled the country. 
He has left me here without a penny. Our bill here is 
very nearly one hundred and fifty pounds. 

You loved me once. Need I say more ? Pray, pi-ay 
come up by the next train to rescue me from this fearful 
position. Delay would be fatal. If you are here to- 

T 



274 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

morrow all may yet be well. If not — the exposure 
will tdll 

Your weeping, 

Arabella. 

P.S. — Fool that I was to entrust my all to him, on 
the faith of his " Brazilian estates ! " Fool, fool that I 
was, to reject the love of the best, the dearest, the most 
reject alle of men, hoi c ever tempting might have been 
the prospect of converting the poor heathen negroes in 
Brazil! 

From Hercules Snooks, Fso., to the Marquise c!e la 
Bafou-j.de. 

3/ay3, 1S85. 

My dear Marquise, — Your letter just received has 
shocked me beyond the power of words to express. In 
order to relieve your present trouble, and to enable you 
to tide over until your friends can take you in, I forward 
a draft (uncrossed) for .£500 by the hands of a trusty 
servant. 

To do this, I shall have to give up many luxuries ; 
for, although I amjuv/Zy well of, I have, alas ! no estates 
in Brazil to fall back upon. But I act as my heart 
(which bleeds for you) dictates. 

I must, however, abstain from coming to see you. 
My principles are (thank Heaven !) stronger than my 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 275 

inclination. I must refrain from exposing myself to 
your fatal fascinations, as long as you are the wedded 
wife of another ! 

Yours in sorrow, but always truly, 

Hercules Snooks. 

From Miss Priscilla Howler, Marah Lodge, Leamington, 
to the Prince Dullah Baffoo Ahd, Temperance Hotel, 
John Street, Leamington. 

January 10, 1886. 

Dear Prince and Fellow- worker, — For three days 
and three nights I have prayerfully considered your 
proposal of a matrimonial union between us. I have, 
moreover, weighed, from a more worldly point of view, 
the arguments for and against such a step. 

The disadvantages are obvious. I am a good deal 
older than you ; your complexion is (to say the least) 
swarthy, and, according to your own confession, you are 
not blessed with a fixed income. 

But your fervid eloquence in pleading the cause of 
the Abyssinian mission for the conversion of the 
benighted heathen of the Soudan; the testimony in 
your behalf of the ministers of my denomination ; our 
common Christianity ; and your royal rank ; all are in 
your favour. I yearn to be labouring in the Soudan. 
The .£100,000 I possess does much in England ; what 
would it not accomplish in the Soudan ? 

T 2 



z?6 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Therefore, as I could not carry out my missionary 
•vocation, except as your wife, I consent to marry you, 
rand to entrust to your care my happiness and my 
tfortune. 

Your attached Friend, 

Pbiscilla. Howler. 

J?rom the Marquis de la Bafouadc, 1091 Pentonvilte 
Road, E.G., to the Marquise de la Bafouade, 31 Cnuc 
Road, Baystvater, W. 

January 11, 1SS6. 

My dearest Wife, — Ever since I left you I have 
*been wretched. Misfortunes have crowded upon me. 
I have suffered agonies of remorse. My life is a burden 
to me. 

I hear you are very poor. No doubt the preceding 
paragraph applies equally to you. 

If, then, your life is a burden to you, as it is to me (I 
mean, of course, as mine is to me), join me here to-mor- 
row. This is my plan. 

I have purchased a bottle of laudanum. On your 
side, do you the same. 

We will dine together, comfortably, and for the last 
time, in my little room. Then comfortably, and for the 
last time, we will retire to the conjugal couch. 

And then, we will mutually forgive each other all our 
sins, drink off our respective bottles of laudanum, and 



"KILLING NO MURDER." 277 

meet a peaceful and painless death in each other's arms. 
Verdict : — Overdose of opiate. 

If this suggestion smiles upon you, reply (if your 
means permit) by telegram. I will then proceed to* 
order a succulent repast — for the last time ! 

I have bought an ounce-bottle to make sure. You 
had better do the same. /, at all events, would not 
expose you, dearest, to the slightest chance of awakin"- 
alone in the next world. 

Your affectionate Husband, 

Marquis de la Bafouade. 

Telegram from, the, Marquise to the Marquis. 

January 12, 1886, 9.10 a.m. 

Letter just received. Proposal most sympathetic to* 
my state of mind. Agree joyfully "Will purchase 
necessary immediately. "With you at seven to-night. 

Extract from " The Daily Telegraph" February 21 f 

1886. 

Middlesex Sessions, February 20. 

(Before the Assistant-Judge.) 

Extraordinary Case. — Alphonse Duval (alias "Mar- 
quis de la Bafouade," "Prince Dullah Baffoo Ahd of 



27S SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

Abyssinia," &c. &c), aged fifty-two, and Arabella Duval 
{alias "Marquise de la Bafouade "), his wife, aged thirty- 
seven, were indicted on a variety of counts, including 
obtaining money on false pretences, obtaining goods and 
lodging by fraud, illegally pawning, inciting to commit 
suicide, &c. It appeared that in the early days of last 
month, each of the prisoners, having a chance of con- 
tracting an advantageous marriage on the death of the 
other, purchased a bottle of laudanum with the osten- 
sible object of seeking death in the other's arms. Each, 
however, had largely diluted the opiate with coloured 
water ; so that, when they woke from a deep sleep, they 
found that they had mutually intended to murder each 
other. A terrible scene followed, in consequence of 
which the female prisoner gave her husband in charge. 
Before the magistrate, she accused him of grievously 
assaulting her in order to obtain possession of a letter 
in which he incited her to commit suicide. He had 
succeeded in destroying the letter ; but the magistrate 
remanded him for inquiries. The publicity attached to 
this case brought up a host of witnesses from all parts 
of the country as to the fraudulent career of both 
parties ; and the result was that the magistrate caused 
the wife to be arrested, and fully committed both for 
trial. The jury yesterday found both prisoners guilty. 
His lordship, after commenting severely upon the 
infamous conduct of these clever swindlers, said that, 



"KILLING NO MURDER. n 279 

although they had not been previously convicted in this 
country, in view of the murderous intent of the incite- 
ment to suicide he found it impossible to pass upon 
them a less severe sentence than that of tive years' 
penal servitude, to be followed by three years' police 
supervision. 



( 28o ) 



"A NEW WAY TO PAY OLD DEBTS." 

From Richard Morrison, 3 Essex Court, Temple, to Percy 
Montmorency Gosling, Esq., I OH The Albany, W 

March 5, 1885. 

My dear Gosling, — As it is now nearly three 
months since you attained your majority, and conse- 
quently assumed control of your fortune, I write to 
ask you if it would be convenient to you now to repay 
the £468 which I advanced to you at various times 
during the two years we spent together abroad. 

When your uncle came to my chambers in January, 
1 88 1, and offered me £600 a year and my expenses 
to take charge of a ward in Chancery on his " Grand 
Tour " the prospect seemed very tempting. To a 
struggling barrister £600 a year seems an inex- 
haustible mine of wealth. 

I now regret that I undertook the task, for I find 
it difficult to fall back into the old sedentary life after 
so brilliant an episode of foreign travel ; but I spent 
a very pleasant time abroad with you, and I trust 



"A NEW WA Y TO PAY OLD DEBTS." 2Z1 

that you, on your side, can look back to our connection 
with satisfaction. 

I shall be very glad if you can let me have the 
money soon, as I should then be able to join my 
brother (the engineer) in a very profitable undertaking. 
Believe me always, 

Very sincerely yours, 

Richard Morrison. 

P.S. — Recollect that you never gave me I.O.U.'s for 
the advances, so this is strictly a debt of honour. 

From P. M. Gosling, Esq., to Richard Morrison, Esq. 

March 17, 1885. 

Dear Old Man, — Have just got back from Paris, 
and found your letter. I daresay your account is all 
right, but I have nothing to do with any back debts, 
you know, old chappie. You had better write to- 
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego, the solicitors to my 
trustees, and they will put it all right. I hope you are 
all right and jolly. I had great fun over in Paris. They 
made me an honorary member of the Cassecou Club. We 
had great fun there almost every night. I won two 
thou, there last Friday. Why don't you try your luck 
at baccarat ? It's no end of a good game. As to my 
paying that £468, that's a good 'un. That goes down 
in the bill. Happy thought ! Stick it down ^500 



282 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

The trustees won't be any the wiser. I am just off 
to Brighton, so no more from 

Yours, all there, 
Percy Montmorency Gosling. 

What do you think ? They have just made me a 
Deputy-Lieutenant for the county. I shall go to the 
next Levee in the uniform, which is very handsome. 

From Messrs. Shadrach, Meshach, & Ahcdnego, Solicitors, 
1 7c Lincoln's Inn Fields, to Richard Morrison, Esg. 

March 27, 1885. 

Dear Sir, — "We have submitted your communication 
of the 1 8th inst. to the Trustees in re Gosling, and we 
:are instructed to inform you that they absolutely decline 
to entertain your claim for £468 upon the estate. 

Firstly — According to your own statement, you have 
no acknowledgment whatever of the various alleged 
loans which have culminated in so serious a liability. 

Secondly — Even if you possessed such acknowledg- 
ments the trustees would not, under the circumstances, 
feel disposed to overlook the fact that these loans were 
made to a minor. The infant was in receipt of an 
ample income, and any such loans must have been 
made for purposes which, doubtless, you would not 
care to have known. 



"A NEW WAY TO PA Y OLD DEBTS." 283 

The trustees are surprised that you, as a barrister, 
should have made such an application. 

"We are, Sir, yours faithfully, 

SlIADRACH, MeSHACH, & ABEDNEGO. 

From Richard Morrison, Esq., to P. M. Gosling, Esq. 

March 28, 1885. 

My dear Gosling, — I enclose the insulting reply 
that I have received from your solicitors to my appli- 
cation for the ^468 you owe me. 

You will recollect that, on each occasion when I 
advanced you money, it was, as you said, with tears 
in your eyes, "to save your honour," and on your 
solemn promise that you would give up your fatal 
tendency to gambling and other ruinous dissipation. 
Each time I lent you the money against my better 
judgment, and after much hesitation. 

But I did it for your sake. "Will you now, for your 
own sake, pay back the money which was lent to " save 
your honour ?" 

Yours, very sincerely, 

Kichard Morrison. 

P.S. — If you are temporarily pressed I am quite 
prepared to take it by instalments. 



23 4 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From the Same to the Same. 

June 2S, 1885. 

Dear Sie, — This is the seventh time I write to ask 

you to pay the debt of honour you owe me. Let me 

know, by return of post, whether you intend to settle 

up or not. " Yes " or " No " will be a sufficient answer. 

Yours faithfully, 

ElCIIAED MOEEISON. 

Post-card from P. M. Gosling, Esq., to B. Morrison, Esq. 

June 29, 1885. 
I am surprised that you should continue to dun me 
for that coin, when I have referred you to the solicitors 
of my trustees. You know quite as well as I do that 
I am not responsible for the settlement of my estate 
during my minority. And, if I was, I have now a 
great many claims on my purse. Besides, I don't 
know how on earth you have run it up to nearly 
^"500. If there was not something fishy about it, 
the trustees would have paid up like a shot. 

PElIf'Y MOXTMOKEXCY GOSLING. 

Post-card from Pi. Morrison Esq., to P. M. Gosling, Esq. 

June 30, 1SS5. 
Sir, — You need not fear that I shall ever again 
condescend to hold any communication with you. I 



"A NEW WAY TO PA V OLD DEBTS." 285 

have, until now, been accustomed to deal with gentle- 
men. You, sir, are an unmitigated young cad, and you 
have swindled me out of £468. 

Richard Morrison. 



Extract from the "Daily Thunderer," March 10, 1886. 

Queen's Bench Division. 
Before Mr. Justice Wiggington and a Special Jury. 
Gosling v. Morrison. 
This protracted case was brought to a conclusion this 
morning. It was an action for libel brought by Mr. 
Percy Montmorency Gosling, of Gander Hall, Loam- 
shire, against Mr. Eichard Morrison, of The Temple, 
Barrister-at-Law. Mr. Morrison, who had travelled 
abroad for two years in charge of Mr. Gosling, then a 
Ward in Chancery, advanced liim sums of money, from 
time to time, to the total amount of ^468. Upon 
payment being refused on the plea of infancy, and that 
the money had been advanced for improper purposes, 
Mr. Morrison addressed a post-card to the plaintiff 
containing the alleged libel— i.e., that Mr. Gosling was 
" an unmitigated young cad " and had " swindled " him 
" out of ^468." Upon this Mr. Gosling brought an action 
for libel against the defendant, and claimed £5000 
damages. 

The Attorney-General, Mr. Gabbler, Q.C., and Mr. 



286 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

John Doe, appeared for the plaintiff; and the Solicitor- 
General, Mr. Talkeigh, Q.C., and Mr. Richard Eoe, 
appeared for the defendant. 

Mr. Justice Wiggington concluded his charge to the 
Jury by informing them that the principle of the law 
of libel was, that "the greater the truth, the greater 
the libel ;" and that, therefore, if they found that the 
plaintiff was indeed " an unmitigated young cad," and 
had indeed "swindled" the defendant "out of £468," 
they must, without hesitation, find for the plaintiff. 
The damages, of course, were a matter entirely within 
their province. The learned Judge then dismissed the 
Jury to their arduous duties. 

The Jury returned into Court, after an absence of 
five-eighths of a minute, with a verdict for the plaintiff, 
damages £5000. 

The learned Judge, expressing his entire concurrence 
with the verdict, gave judgment for the plaintiff, with 
£5000 damages and costs. 



C 387 ) 



A UNIVERSITY CAREER. 

From Mrs. Martin, Bellevue Cottage, Harrow-on-the-IIiH, 
to Edmund Martin, Esq., St. Ebbs' Culliye, Oxford. 

October 14, 1883. 

My own deak Boy, — Your interesting letter arrived 
this morning while we were at breakfast, and was very 
welcome. I read it first, of course, and then Lily read 
it aloud for the benefit of Polly and Frank, and her 
own. 

So my Ted is really an Oxford man at last ! I can 
hardly believe it. It seemed so impossible six months- 
ago. Of course here, as a home-boarder, your education 
has been very inexpensive, but Oxford ! And to think 
that it is your own hard work that has got you there- 
Is not that glorious ? 

Oh, my boy, I shall never forget the day when you 
won your Scholarship at St. Ebbs' ! I think I almost,, 
if not quite, cried with joy I was proud enough of you 
here when you came out First of the whole School,, 
when you got into the Cricket Eleven, when you won 
the Prize Poem. But I have far more cause for prides 



-z88 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

.and gratitude now that, instead of entering the Church 
through a Theological College, as you would have had to 
do, you will take Holy Orders with an Oxford degree. 
Perhaps you will get a Fellowship ; who knows ? How 
your poor dear father would have rejoiced at it ! It 
was his greatest wish to send you there, and if he had 
lived you were to have gone to his old college, Magdalen. 
And now, after all the grief and struggle, you really are 
jan Oxford man. " Mr. Martin of St. Ebbs ! " How 
well it sounds, does it not ? 

But I must not rattle on like this, or you will think 
that " the Mater " has something wrong with her 
mental organisation. 

I want you always, dear Ted, to write to me for 
anything you may require. You will soon find out, 
when you settle down, what is essential to your comfort. 
I daresay we have forgotten " a whole heap " of things 
in fitting you out ; so you must he sure and let us know 
.as the occasion arises. 

I should deal as little as possible with the Oxford 
tradesmen if I were you. Your dear father always said 
they were a set of rogues, who not only charge double for 
.everything, but actually supply inferior goods. 

I am very glad you are comfortable in your rooms. 
We are already looking forward to next year, when we 
mean to come down to " Commem." and invade your 
castle in a body. 



A UNIVERSITY CAREER. 289 

It is just post-time, so I will say no more than that 

we all send our best love, and hope you will write again 

soon. 

Ever your loving Mother, 

Agxes Maktin. 

From Alfred Gibbon, Esq., St. Ebbs' College, Oxford, to 
Edmund Martin, Esq. 

October 20, 1883. 

Dear Martin, — As an old Harrovian, I put up your 

name for the Harrow Club, and got you duly seconded. 

I am glad to say that you have been as duly elected ; 

so if you will come to my rooms after Hall to-night, we 

will go round to the Club together, and I will introduce 

you. 

Yours truly, 

A. Gibbon. 

From Messrs. Tweed & Angola, Tailors and Outfitters, ■ 
High Street, Oxford, to Edmund Martin, Esq. 

October 21, 1883. 

Dear Sir, — We venture to solicit the favour of your 
patronage during your stay at Oxford. 

The quality of our material, the stylishness of our 
cut, and the reasonableness of our charges, are such that 
we feel confident of giving you every satisfaction. If 

u 



290 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

you will honour us with a call we shall have much 
pleasure in taking your measure. 

Our firm is the oldest-established, and our terms of 
credit the most liberal, in Oxford. 

We are, dear Sir, &c. &c. 

Tweed & Angola. 

From Jewellers, Tobacconists, Picture Dealers, Livery 
Stable Keepers, Bog Fanciers, Wine Merchants, Con- 
fectioners, Grocers, &c. &c, to Edmund Martin, Esq. 

October 21 to 31, 1883. 

IOO odd facsimiles of Messrs. Tweed & Angola's 
Circular. 

From Lord Dashaicay, Christ Cliurch, Oxford, to 
Edmund Martin, Esq. 

February 2, 1SS4. 

Dear Maktin, — My father told me in the Christ- 
mas Vac. that he and your father were at Magdalen 
together and were great pals. 

I shall be very much pleased if you will come and 

wine with me to-morrow night about 8 P.M., so that we 

may rub noses. You'll find a jolly set of chappies, aud 

a hearty welcome. 

Yours, very truly, 

Pasha way. 



A UNIVERSITY CAREER. 291 

Extract from "The Sportsman" March 3, 1884. 
AYLESBURY STEEPLECHASES. 

GOLD CUP. 

Lord Dashaway's br. m. "Fairy " . E Martin . . I 
Mr. Tomkin's ch. g. " Prancer " . . Owner ... 2 
Sir H. Jar vis' br. g. "Wolloper" . , Owner ... 3 

From James Trumpington, Esq., of Christ Church, 
to Edmund Martin, Ex<j. 

June 1 8, 1884. 

Dear Martix, — I cannot understand how it is that 
you do not remember it. Fortunately, I have your own 
I.O.U's to the full amount (£87), and therefore shall be 
obliged if you will settle up by Monday at the latest, as I 
have myself some debts of honour to meet on that date. 

Truly yours, 

J. Teumpixgton. 

From Asher Davis, Tobacconist and Wine Merchant, 
Broad Street, Oxford, to Edmund Martin, Esq. 

June 20, 1884. 

Dear Sib, — If you will sign the enclosed bill for 
.£250 at three months, and return it by bearer, I will 
forward you my cheque for ,£150. The six dozen 



292 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

sherry and six boxes (ioo) cigars shall be delivered 
to-night. 

I am letting you have the money on very easy 
terms, as the Old Amontillado is dirt cheap at 84s., and 
the Cabanas at £4 4s. are simply given away. 

Respectfully yours, 

Asher Davis. 

From Jeiccllcrs, Tailors, Tobacconists, Livery Stable 
Keepers, &c. &c. &c, to Edmund Martin, Esq. 

Octoher 21 to 31, 1884. 

Dear Sir, — "We beg respectfully to draw your 
attention to our enclosed little account, and to remind 
you that we do not allow more than six months' credit 
except under special circumstances. 

Trusting for a continuance of past favours. 
We are, Sir, &c. &c. &c, 

" Dash, Dash, & Dash. 

Extract from Honours List in Moderations, published 
December 2, 1884. 



CLASS IV. 

inoggins e Cc 
Edmundus Martin e Coll. Sanct. Ebb. 



Jacobus Snoggins e Coll. Magd. 



A UNIVERSITY CAREER. 293 

Telegram from Edmund Martin, Paddington Station, to 
the Rev. Todeij Sterner, M.A., St. Ebbs' College, Oxford. 

Came up this morning without leave to see dentist. 
Just missed last train. Will return first train to-morrow. 
Full explanation. 

8.20 p.m., January 24, 1885. 

From the Rev Todey Sterner, M.A., Viee-Trinci'pal of 

St, Ebbs, to Mrs. Martin, Bcllevuc Cottage, Harrow-on- 

tlie-Hill. 

February 5, 1885. 

Dear Madam, — In answer to your letter of the 
2nd inst., I am desired by the Principal to say, that it 
is quite impossible for liim to reverse his decision (in 
which I may say I fully concur), and that he regrets 
you should have thought it advisable to have written to 
him at all upon the subject. 

The forfeiture of your son's scholarship, and the 
removal of his name from the College books, are but the 
natural consequence of a University career of shameless 
debauchery. 

The extravagances which in the case of an Under- 
graduate of good position and means might be over- 
looked, cannot be tolerated for an instant in the person 
of a Stipendiary of this College. 

I am, Madam, faithfully yours, 

Todey Steeneb, M.A. 



294 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

From Mrs. Martin, to the Rev. Todey Sterner, M.A. 

February 6, 1S85. 

Sir, — Your letter of yesterday's date requires an 
answer. It shall be brief and to the point. 

I will begin with your concluding paragraph. 
Firstly, I fail to see why " extravagances " should be 
■"overlooked" in any case. I fail to see why, just 
because he is at Oxford, an Undergraduate should 
indulge in vagaries which, in London, would certainly 
.exclude him from society, and might possibly subject 
him to the attentions of the police. 

With regard to the difference between an Under- 
graduate of position and a Stipendiary, I should not, if 
I were you, weigh too much upon the point. 

Pray, Sir, what are you yourself but a Stipendiary 
■of St. Ebbs ? A Stipendiary who neglects his duty. 

The colonel of a regiment (my brother was colonel 
of the 42nd Highlanders) is bound by no regidation to 
supervise the morals or expenditure of Ins officers, who, 
by the way, are men at large. But where is the colonel 
who, if he saw one of his subalterns indulge for a 
whole year in a "career of shameless debauchery," 
would not do his utmost, by kindly advice and remon- 
strance, to wean the poor fool from his evil courses ? 
You are paid to look after young fellows fresh from 



A UNIVERSITY CAREER. 295 

school and still " in statu pupillari " — Have you ever 
done so much as a regimental colonel ? Never ! 

With regard to the first paragraph of your letter, 
far be it from me to say one word in excuse of my poor 
lost boy's vices and follies. But this I will say : that, 
until my son went to Oxford, I never had occasion 
to feel anything but pride at his conduct. Some 
natures can go through the fire of temptation un- 
scathed. He, alas ! succumbed. But who put the 
temptation in his way ? You, sir ! Yes, you, and 
your system. 

You, who could abolish the fatal credit scandal. 
Let the University decree that no debt above £10 shall 
be recoverable in the Vice-Chancellor's Court, and there 
will very soon be an end of tailors' and jewellers' and 
wine-merchants' extortions. 

You, who could abolish the fatal custom of giving 
" wines." The idea of mere boys, who at home drink a 
glass or two of claret after dinner with their fathers, 
sitting down to a wine-party that costs £20 or £$0. 
The idea of such parties being given in rotation through- 
out the term ! The idea of such gentlemen's sons 
learning to become drunkards within the sacred walls 
of St. Ebbs ! 

You, in fine, who can "gate" a man for missing 
Chapels and Lectures ; who can fine a man for not 
wearing Ins gown in the street ; but who, well knowing 



296 SOCIAL VICISSITUDES. 

that all this " shameless debauchery " is going on, shut 

yours eyes until the inevitable crash arrives, and then, 

holding up your hands in horror, expel your victims, 

and shut your eyes again until it is time to repeat the 

virtuous operation. 

You, sir, have ruined my son. I am, therefore, 

without the slightest respect, 

Yours, 

Agnes Martin. 



PRINTED BY DALI.ANTYNR, HANSON AND CO. 
LONDON AND EDINBURGH 



AS IN A LOOKING-GLASS. 

BY 

F- C PHILIPS, 

Author of "A Lucky Young Woman." 

With a Frontispiece by Gordon Browne. 

Third Edition. Crown 8vo, 6s. 



" Clever beyond any common standard of cleverness." — Daily Telegraph. 
"Remarkably clever, full of sustained interest.' — World. 
" Marks a distinct epoch in novel-making." — St. Stephen' i Review. 
" There are ingenuity and originality in the conception of the book, and power 
in its working out."— Scotsman. 

"A powerful tragedy, a portfolio of character sketches, and a diorama of society 
scenes. Its characters are all real and living personages."— Globe. 

"This original and realistic novel is distinctly clever. ' — Morning Post. 

"It will be praised here, censured there, and read everywhere ; for it is uncon- 
ventional and original and in every sense a most attractive and remarkable novel." 
— Life. 

"That Mr. Philips story nas hit the public taste is sufficiently evident from the 
fact that it has reached a second edition before we have found time to notice it. Its 
success is not astonishing ; for it shows abundant cleverness, much knowledge of 
some curious phases of life, and a real insight into certain portions of that mysterious 
organ, the female heart." — St. James's Gazette. 

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heart a rake. Mr. Philips does not prove the truth of his motto in the cunningly 
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Certainly draws the reflection of an accomplished rake who is at the same time a very 
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rough sketches of an average novelist, it discharges the true function of every work 
of art by representing things as they actually are, and teaching the observer to dis- 
criminate between appearances and realities."— Saturday Review. 



WARD & DOWNEY, 12 York St., Covent Garden, London. 



A LUCKY YOUNG WOMAN. 



BY 



The Author of "As in a Looking-Glass," 
"Social Vicissitudes," &c. 

Three vols, crown 8vo, 3U. 6d. 



PRESS OPINIONS. 

"See, here are the adventures of a very charming lass." 
By F. C. Philips, Author of ' As in a Looking-GIass. 
The characters are crisply sketched, the touch is true and bold ; 
The story's fresh and full of go, and capitally told. 
Why is it bound in lavender? I am astonished — 
Why ' lay it up in lavender,' when bound to be well read." — Punch, 

" The story is one of modern life, and, in happy contrast to most stories of the 
kind, there is nothing offensive in it. The heroine, Marcia Conyers, is a fine 

girl, thoroughly English and perfectly natural. It is a pleasant, chatty story.' 

■ — Vanity Fair. 

"It contains at least one male character fit to rank in a gallery of ' types,' and it 
gives us a true and perfect sketch of that most difficult of all women — a good woman. 
It is certain that Mr. Philips has a perfect mastery over that subtle instrument — a 
woman's character ; he knows all her chords ; he can bring out by a single touch all 
her sweetest notes; in the whole range of feminine harmonies he never falters once. 
Marcia Conyers is a noble study of English girlhood. It is impossible to praist 

Mr. Philips' style too highly ; it is brilliant, full of colour, yet crisp and concise. H«r 
does not affect ordinary humour, but his wit is incisive. The tale runs smoothly 

from first chapter to last, and the interest is kept up to the end. ' A Lucky Young 
Woman ' is in short a brilliant novel of the very best kind. It places the author in the 
first rank of English novelists." — Si. Stephens Review. 

" If Mr. Philips is a realist, as some of his critics declare, he is, at any rate, free 
from the oppressive gloom which pervades the works of many followers of that school. 
We can bestow unstinted praise on the unflagging spirit and genuine humour with 
which Mr. Philips tells his story. Sir Hugo Conyers, a sort of aristocratic Pecksniff, 
is an exceedingly clever sketch ; while Marcia, the Mucky young woman,' is an ex- 
cellent specimen of a high-spirited and straightforward girl." — Atherurnm. 



WARD & DOWNEY, 12 York St., Covf.nt Garden, London. 



Mr. F. G. Philips' Novel 



The Dean and His Daughter. 

Three vols. 31/6. 

Jack and Three Jills. 

Two vols. 21/-. 

A Lucky Young Woman. 

With a Frontispiece by M. Fitzgerald. Crown 8vo. 6/-. 

" Mr. Philips' racy humour just suits the jaded palate of the day.' 
Times. 

" We can bestow unstinted praise on the unflagging spirit and genuine 
riumour with which Mr. Philips tells his story." — Athenceum. 

As in a Looking-Glass. 

With a Frontispiece by Gordon Browne. Sixth Editioi 
Crown 8vo. 6/-. 

"A powerful tragedy, a portfolio of character sketches, and a diorama c 
ociety soones. Its characters are all real and living personages." — Qlobe. 

" It shows abundant cleverness, much knowledge of some curious phase 
f life, and a real insight into certain portions of that mysterious organ, the 
emale heart." — Si. James's Gazette. 

Social Vicissitudes. 

Crown 8vo. 2/-. < 

"The smartest and most amusing set of sketches that has appeared sine 
[ra. Linton lashed the Young Woman of the Period." — St. Stephen's Review.