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Full text of "The Caxtons: A Family Picture"

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Jlsi t f^Lo 



THE CAXTONS: 



$ IMs lidsn. 



BY 

SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON, Babt. M.P. 

AVtmOU O* *' BIBVSI," BM. 



** Every flunlly Is a Iditoij Ik Itsdf, amd evvn a poem (• 
tfaate who know bow to search ita pafea."— Laxabvimx. 

** Dt, proboi BMret doelli Juventa 
JH, senectuti plHclde qoietem 
IloiowliB geaU date remqae prolenqaa 
Btdfecwoaaae." 

HoKAT. Oarmm SmmUmv. 



NefD Stiitlotu 



LONDON: 
ROXJTLEDGE, WARNE, AND ROUTLEDGE, 

FABBINGDON STREET. 

KEW TORK: 66» WALKER STREET. 

1862. 




Li- 




iO r\ 

. 1927 / / 






PEEPACR 



If it be the good fortune of this work to possess any interest 
for the Novel reader, that interest, perhaps, will be but little 
derived from the cnstomaiy elements of fiction. The plot is 
extremely slight ; the incidents are few, and, with the exception 
of those which involve the fate of Vivian, such as may be found 
in the records of ordinary life. 

Begarded as a Novel, this attempt is an experiment some- 
what apart from the previous works of the author; it is the first 
of his writings in which Humour has been employed less for the 
purpose of satire than in illustration of amiable characters ; — ^it is 
the first, too, in which man has been viewed less in his active 
relations with the world, than in his repose at his own hearth : — 
in a word, the greater part of the canvass has been devoted to 
the completion of a simple Faicxly Fictube. And thus, in any 
appeal to the sympathies of the human heart> the common 
household affections occupy the place of those livelier or larger 
passions which usually (and not imjustly) arrogate the foregrojiirii I 
in Bomantic composition. 

In the Hero whose autobiography connects the different 
characters and events of the work, it has been the Author's 
intentioii to imply the influences of Home upon the conduct and 
career of youth; and in the ambition which estranges Pisis- 
TBATUS for a time from the sedentary occupations in which the 
man of civilised life must usually serve his apprenticeship to 
Fortune or to Fame, it is not designed to describe the fever of 



if FBEFACE. 

Genius conscious of superior powers and aspiring to high 
destinies, but the natural tendencies of a fresh and buoyant 
mindy rather vigorous than contemplative^ and in which the 
desire of action is but the symptom of health* 

PisiSTBATUs, in this respect (as he himself feels and implies), 
becomes the specimen or type of a dass the numbers of which 
are daily increasing in the inevitable progress of modem civili- 
sation. He is one too many in the midst of the crowd: he is 
the representative of the eacuberant energies of youth, turnings 
as with the instinct of nature for space and development, from 
the Old World to the New. That which may be called the 
interior meaning of the whole is sought to be completed by the 
inference that^ whatever our wanderings our happiness will 
always be found within a narrow compass, and amidst the objects 
more immediately within our reach;— but that we are seldom 
sensible of this truth (hackneyed though it be in the Schools of 
all Philosophies) till our researches have spread over a wider 
BXGBL, To insure the blessing of repose, we require a brisker 
excitement than a few turns up and down our room. Content 
is like that humour in the crystal, on which Claudian has 
lavished the wonder of a child and the fancies of a Poet— r 

** Yivis gemma umieadt aqiui.'' 

E. a I4 

(Mober. 1840 



THE CAXTONS. 



PART FIRST. 



CHAPTER I. 



* Sib — sir, it is a boy !" 

^' A boy," said my fiither, looking 
"ap from bis book, and evidently much 
nuzzled j " what is a boy ?" 

Now my father did not mean by 
that interrogatory to challenge philo- 
sophical inqmry, nor to demand of the 
bcnest bnt nnenlightened woman who 
had just rushed into his study, a solu- 
tion of that mystery, physiological 
and psychological, which has puzzled 
so many curious sages, and lies still 
involved in the question, "Wliat is 
man ?" For, as we need not look fur- 
ther than Dr. Johnson's Dictionary 
to know that a boy is "a male child" 
•— ». «., the male young of man; so he 
who would go to the depth of things, 
tnd know scientifically what is a boy, 
must be able to ascertain "what is a 
man?" But, for aught I know, my 
father may have been satisfied with 
BufiTon on that soor^ or he may have 
cided with Monboddo. He may have 
agreed with Bishop Berkeley — ^he 
may have contented himself with 
Professor Combe — ^he may have re- 
garded the genus spiritually, like 
Zeno, or materially like Epicurus. 
Grant that boy is the male young of 
man, and he would have had plenty 
of definitions to choose firom. He 
might have said, '* Man is a stomach 
^-ergOf boy a male young stomach. 
Man is a brains— boy a male young 
Ko. 333. 



brain. Man is a bundle of habits—* 
boy a male yo^mg bundle of liabits. 
Man is a machine-^boy a male yomig 
machine. Man is a tail-less monkey 
-~boy a male young tail-less monkey. 
Man is a combination of gases — boy 
a male young combination of gases. 
Man is an appearance — ^boy a male 
young appearance," &c. &c.,- and 
etcetera, ad infinitum! And if none 
of these definitions had entirely t^atis- 
fied my fiither, I am perfectly per- 
suaded that he would never have 
come to Mrs. Primmins for a new onei. 

But it so liappened that my father 
was at that moment engaged in the 
important consideration whether the 
Iliad was written by one Homer — or 
was rather a collection of simdry bal« 
lads, done into Greek by divers hands, 
and finally selected, compiled, and re> 
duced into a whole by a Committee of 
Taste, under that elegant old tyrant 
Pisistratus; and the sudden affirma- 
tion " It is a boy," did not seem to 
him pertinent to the thread of the dis- 
cussion. Therefiire he asked, " What 
is a boy?-*^vaguely, and, as it were, 
taken by surprise. 

** Lord, sir !" said Mrs. Primmins, 
" what is a boy ? Why, the baby !" 

" The baby !" repeated my fiither, 
rising. "What, you don't mean to 
say that Mrs. Caxton is — eh — ?" 

"Yes I do," said Mrs. Primmins^ 
B 1 



8 



THE CAXTONSt 



dropping a cnrtsoy; "and as fine 
a little rogue as ever I set eyes upon." 

"Poor, dear woman!" said my 
£Either with great compassion. "So 
soon, too — 80 rapidly!" he resumed 
inatoneof musingsurprife. "Why, it 
18 hut the other day we were married !" 

"Bless my heart, air," sud Mrs. 
Primmins, much scandalized, "it is 
ten months and more." 

"Ten months!" said my &ther 
with a sigh. "Ten months! and I 
hifve not finished fifty pages of my 
refutation of Wolfe's monstrous the- 
ory! In ten months a child!— and 
I'll be bound complete— -hands, feet^ 
eyes, ean, and nose! — and not like 
ibis poor Infant of Mind (and my 
fiither pathetically placed his hand on 
the trealis^— of which not^kung is 
fiormed and shaped— not even the first 
joint of the little finger ! Why, my 
wife is a predous woman! Well, 
keep * her quiet. Heaven preserve 
ber, and send me strength — ^to sup- 
port this blessing !" 

" But your honour will look at the 
bcibv?— come, mr!" and Mrs. Prim- 
mins laid hold of my Cither's sleeve 
cooxingly. 

" Look at it — ^to be sure," said my 
fiither kindly; "look at it, certainly; 
iti(^butfiurtopoorMrB.CaxtGn; after 
taking so much trouble, dear soul 1" 

Therewith my &ther, drawing his 
dressing-robe round him in more 
stately fields, followed Mrs. Primmins 
iip-stairs into a room very carefully 
darkened. 

" How are you, my deAr P" said my 
fiither with compassionate tenderness, 
as he groped his way to the bed. 

A faint vcnce muttered, "Better 
now, and so happy.!". And, at the 
same moment, Mn. Primmins pulled 
my father away, lifted a coverlid from 
a small cradle, and, holding a candle 
within an inch of an undeveloped nose, 
cried emphatically, "There— bless it!" 

"Of oouxsAi ma'am, I bless it," 



said my father rather peevishly. '* It 
is my duty to bless it; Bless it! 
And this, then, is the way we come 
into the world! — red, very red,— 
blushing for all the Allies we are des- 
tined to commit." 

My fietther sat down on the nurse's 
chair, the women grouped round him. 
He continued to gaze on the contents 
of the cradle, and at length said 
musingly :—^*' And Homer was once 
like this r* 

At this moment — and no wonder, 
considering the propinquity of the 
candle to his visual organs — Homer's 
infant likeness oonimetioed the fat 
untefcoted meledies of nature. 

" Homer inqwoved greatly in mag^ 
ing as he grew older," obemred j£:* 
Squillfl^ the aoooncheur, who was en- 
gaged m sons mysteries in a oomer 
ofthevoom. 

My ftther stopped his eani^- 
"Little things can malce a great 
noise," said he pluloBophically ; " and 
the smaller the thing the greater 
n<Hse it can make." 

So saying, he crept on tiptoe t^ \2ie 
bedy and, das^nng the pale hand held 
out to him, whispered some words 
that no doubt charmed and soothed 
the ear that heard them, for that pale 
hand was suddenly drawn firom his 
own and thrown tenderly round his 
neck. The sound of a gentle kiss was 
heard through the stillness. 

"Mr. Oaxton, sir," cried Mn 
Squills, in rebuke^ "you agitate my 
patient — ^yoa must retire." 

My fiither raised his mild fkce, 
looked round apologetically, brushed 
his ^es with the back of his hand, 
stole to the door, and vanished. 

««I think," said a kind gossip 
seated at the other side of my mother's 
bed, "I think, my dear, that Mr. 
Caxton might have shown more joy, 
— more natural feeling, I may say,-— 
j at the sight of the baby : and bttch 
a baby 1 But all men are just the 



A FAMILY I'iCTUliK 



tame, my djBar— lirates— all brateg, 
depend upon it.^ 

" Poor Amrfan!" sighed my mother 
feebly — ^'how little yoa miderstand 
himr 

" And now I shall dear the room," 
nSd Mr. Sqiulls. " Go to deep, Mrs. 
Caxfacm.*' 

"Mr.SquHls,'' ezc3flimed mymother, 
and the hed-curtaSns trembled, "pray 
see that Mr. Cazton does not set him- 
self on iSre; — and, Hr. fiqnilb^ tell 
him not to be vei»d and miss me, — 
I shall be down very soon — shaVt If* 

«If yoa keep yooxself easj, yon 
^ri]]^ma'aixu* 



•* Piray, say so ; — aod| Mmmins,"— 

*• Ye^ ma'am.'* 

"Every one, I ftar, is n^lectmg 
yoor master. Be sure, — (and my 
mother's lips approached dose to Mrs. 
PrimminB* ear,) — ^be sure that yoa-«» 
air his nightcap yourself." 

"Tender creatures those women," 
soliloquised Tdx, Squills, as, after 
dearing the room of all present, save 
Mrs. Prinunins and the nurse, he took 
1^ way towards my ftther's study^ 
EnoounteriBg the £x>tman in the pas- 
sage, — " John," said he, " take supper 
into yomr master's room, and mike ii# 
some pusfihy will you ? — stiffish I" 



CHAFTEB n. 



"Ms. Catigv, how on earth did 
you ever oome to marry?" asked Mr. 
SquiDs, abruptly, with his feet on the 
hob, while stirring up his punch. 

That was a home question, whidi 
many men might reasonably resent; 
but my &ther scarcdy knew what 
tesentment was. 

*< Squills," said h^ turning round 
from his books, and laying one finger 
on the surgeon's arm confidentially, — 
"Squills," said he, " I myself should 
be glad to know how I came to be 
married." 

Mr. SqiuIls was a jovial good- 
hearted man — stout, fiit, and with fine 
teeth, that made his laugh pleasant to 
look at as wdl as to hear. Mr. 
Squills, moreover, was a bit of a phi- 
losopher in his way ; — studied human 
nature in curing its diseases; — and 
was accustomed to say, that Mr. Caz- 
ton was a better book in himself than 
all he had in his library* Mr. Squills 
laughed and nibbed his hands. 

My fiither resumed thoughtfully, 
and in the tone of one who moralises-^ 

"There are three great events in 



life, or — ^burth» mamag^ and death* 
None know how they are bom, few 
know how they die. But I suspect 
that many can account £)r the inter- 
mediate phenomenon — ^I cannot." 

"It was not for money, — it must 
have been for love^" observed Mr* 
Squills; "and your young wife is as 
pretty as she is good." 

"Ha!" said my fiither, "I re. 
member." 

" Do yon, or?" exdaimed Squills, 
highly amused. " How was it ?" 

My father, as was often the case 
with hin^ protracted his reply, and 
then seemed rather to commune with 
himself than to answer Mr. Squills. 

" The kindest, the best of men,''' 
he m\amvLrQ(i'-^"Abyssu8 UntdiUonki 
and to think that he besto>ved on me 
the only fisrtune he had to leave, in- 
stead of to his own flesh and blood. 
Jack and Kitty. All at least that I 
could grasp deficiente taanu, of his 
Latin, Hs Greek, his Orientals. What\ 
do I not owe to him |" 

"To whom P" asked Squills. "Good 
Locdy what's the man talking abouik'? 



ff 



THE CAXTONSs 



"Yes, sir," said my fiither, roufflng 
liimself, ''such was Giles Tibbets, 
M.A., Sol Scientianim, tator to the 
humble scholar you address, and father 
to poor Kitty. He left me his Elze- 
virs; he left me also his orphan 
daughter." 

"Oh! asa wife— " 

" No, as a ward. So she came to 
live in my house. I am sure there 
was no harm in it. But my neigh- 
bours said there was, and the widow 
"Weltraum told me the girl's character 
would suffer. What could I do? — 
Oh yes, I recollect all now ! I married 
her, that my old fiiend's child might 
have a roof to her head, and come to 
no harm. You see I was forced to do 
her* that injury; for, after all, poor 
young creature, it was a sad lot for 
her« A dull book-worm like' me — 
cochlecB vitam atgens, Mr* Squills — 
leading the life of a snaiL But my 
shell was all I could offer to my poor 
friend's orphan." 

*' Mr. Oaxton, I honour you,'* sfdd 
Squills emphatically, jumping up, and 
spilling half a tumblerM of scalding 
punch over my father's legs. " You 
have a heart, sir! and I understand 
why your wife loves you. You seem 
a cold man; but you have tears in 
your eyes at this moment." 

**I dare say I have,** said my 
i&ther, rubbing his shins : " it was 
boiling !" 

" And your son will be a comfort to 
you both," said Mr. Squills* reseating 
himself, and, in his friendly emotion, 
wholly abstracted from all conscious- 
ness (Xf the suffering he had inflicted. 
'* He will be a dove of peace to your 
«rk." 

" I don't doubt it," said my father 
mefrilly; ''only those doves, when 
they are small, are a very noisy sort 
of birds*-»of» taUfim avium caniua 
somnum reduceni. However, it might 
have been worse. Leda had twins." 
' ** So had Mrs. Barnabas last week," 



rejoined the accoucheur. " Who knows 
what may be in store for you yet? 
Here's a health to Master Caxton. 
and lots of brothers and sisters to- 
him!" 

" Brothers and sisters ! I am sure 
Mrs. Caxton will never think of such 
a thing, sir," said my &ther almost 
indignantly. "She's much too good 
a wife to behave so. Once, in a way, 
it is all very well; but twice — ^and as 
it is, not a paper in Its place, nor a 
pen mended the last three days: I, 
too, who can only write * ctispide 
dmiutculd' — ^and the Baker coming 
twice to me for his bill too! The 
lUthyite are troublesome deities, Mr. 
SquUls." 

" Who are the Hithyise ?" asked the 
accoucheur. 

" You ought to know," answered 
my father smiling. "The female 
deemons who presided over the Neo- 
gilos or New-bom. They take the 
name from Juno. See Homer, book 
XI, By the by, will my Neogilos be 
brought up like Hector or Astyanox 
— videlicet^ nourished by its mother 
or by a nurse?" 

"Which do you prefer, Mr. Cax- 
ton ?" asked Mr. Squills, breaking the 
sugar in his tumbler. "In this I 
always deem it my duty to consult 
the wishes of the gentleman." 

*' A nurse by all means, then,'* said 
my &ther. " And let her caiTy him 
wpo Jcolpo, next to her bosom. I 
know all that has been said about 
mothers nursing their own infi\nts>. 
Mr. Squills; but poor Kitty is so- 
sensitive, that I think a stout healthy 
peasant woman wOl be the best for 
the boy's future nerves, and his 
mother's nerves, present and future 
too. Heigh-ho! — I shall miss the 
dear woman very much; when wnlt 
she be up, Mr. Sqmlls ?" 

Oh, in less than a fortnight !" 
And then the Neo^os shall go 
to school \ i^o holjpo^ the nurse with 



«i 



t€ 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



faim, and all will be right again," add 
my father, with a look of sly mys- 
taioos hnmonr, which was peculiar 
to him. 



i»» 



" School ! when he's jnst horn f 
"Can't hegin too soon/' said my 

father positively; "thafs Helvetins, 

Cfpimofa, and it la mine too !^ 



\n 



CHAPTER m. 



TnAT I was a very wonderful child, 
I take for granted; hut, nevertheless, 
it was not oi my own knowledge that 
I came into poesesnon of the drcnm- 
itanoes set down in my f<»mer chap- 
ters. But my &the^8 conduct on 
the occasion of my hirth made a 
notable impression upon all who wit- 
nessed it; and Mr. Squills and Mrs. 
Primmins have related the fiicts to 
me sufficiently often, to make me as 
Well acquainted with them as those 
worthy witnesses themselves. I fimcv 
I see my father hefore me, in his 
dark-grey dressing-gown* and with 
his odd, half sly, half innocent twitch 
of the mouth, and peculiar puzzling 
look, from two quiet, abstracted, in- 
dolently handsome eyes, at the mo- 
ment he agreed with Helvetius on the 
propriety of sending me to school as 
soon as I was bom. Nobody knew 
exactly what to make of my Either — 
his wife excepted. The people of Ab- 
dora sent for Hippocrates t^o cure the 
supposed insanity of Democritus, " who 
at that time," saith Hippocrates drily, 
^was seriously engaged in Philoso- 
phy." That same people of Abdera 
would certainly hetve found very 
alarming symptoms of madness in 
my poor fatiier; for, like Democritus, 
** he esteemed as nothing the things, 
great or small, in which the rest of 
tiie world were empbyed." Accord- 
ingly, some set him down as a sage, 
some as a fool. The neighbouring 
dergy respected him as - a scholar, 
** breathing libraries;" the ladies de- 
spised hiih as an abs^t pedant, who I 



had no more gallantry than a stock or 
a stone. The poor loved him for liis 
charities, but laughed at him as a 
weak Bort of man, easily taken in. 
Yet the squires and fiuincrs found 
that, in their own matters of rural 
business, he had always a fund of 
curious information to impart; and 
whoever, young or old, gentle or sim- 
ple, learned or ignorant, asked his 
advice^ it was given with not more 
humility than vrisdom. In the com« 
#non ai&irs of life, he seemed incapa- 
ble of acting for hunself; he left all 
to my mother ; or, il' taken unawares^ 
was pretty sure to be the dupe. But 
in those very afiairs— if another con- 
sulted him^-his eye brightened, his 
brow cleared, the desire of serving 
made him a new bdng : cautious, pro- 
found, practicaL Too lazy or too 
languid where only his own interests 
were at stake — ^touch his benevolence, 
and all the wheels of the clockwork 
felt the impetus of the master-spring. 
No wonder that, to others, the nut of 
such a character was hard to crack I 
But, in the eyes of my poor mother, 
Augustine (familiarly Austin) Caxton 
was the best and the greatest of 
human beings ; and she ought to liavo 
known him well, for she studied liim 
with her whole heart, knew every 
trick of his face, and, nine times out 
of ten, divined what he was going to 
say, before he opened his lips. Yet 
certainly there were deeps in his 
nature which the plummet of her ten-^ 
der woman's wit had never sounded; 
and, certiunly, it sometimes happened 



THE CATTONS* 



that> even in his moit damestio eol- 
loqniABmiB^ my mother was in donbt 
whether he was the nmple straight- 
forward penon he was mostly taken 
for. There was, indeed, a kind of 
suppressed subtle irony about him, 
too unsubstantial to be popularly 
called humour, but dimly implying 
some sort of jest, which he kept s^ to 
himself; and this was only noticeable 
when he said something that sounded 
Very grave, or appeared to the grave 
rery silly and irrationaL 

That I did not go to school — at 
least to what Mr. Squills understood 
by the word school-^quite so soon as 
intended, I need scarcely observe. In 
&ct, my mother managed so well— 
my nursery, by means of double doors, 
tras so placed out of heanng~-that 
my fiither, for the most part, was 
privileged, if he pleased, to forged 
my existence. He was once vaguelja 
Tccalled to it on the occasion of my 
ehristening. Now> my Mher was a 
Bhy man, and he particularly hated 
ftll ceremonies and public spectacles. 
He became unessily aware that a 
great ceremony, in which he might 
be called upon to play a prominent 
part, was at hand. Abstracted as he 
was, and conveniently deaf at times, 
he had heard such significant whispers 
about ''taking advantage of the 
bishop's he&ng in the neighbourhood,^' 
and "twelve new jdly-glasses being 
a.bsolutely wanted," as to assure liim 
fhat some deadly festivity was in the 
wind. And when the question of 
godmother and god&ther was £urly 
put to him, coupled with the remark 
fliat this was a fine opp o r tu nity to 
netttm the civilities of llie ndghbomv 
liood, he felt that a strong effort at 
Mcape was the only thing left. Ac- 
cordingly, having, seemingly without 
listenings heard the day fixed, and 
seen, as they thought, without observ- 
ingy the chintz chairs in the best 
drawing-room uncovered (my dear 



mother was the tidiest woman in thir 
world), my fkther suddenly disco- 
vered that there was to be a great 
book sale, twenty miles off, .whleii 
would last four days, and attend It he 
must. My mother sighed; but she- 
never contradicted my father, even 
when he was wrong, as he certainly 
was in this case. She only dropped 
a timid intimation that she feared " It 
would look odd, and the world might 
misconstrue my fiither's absence — ^had 
not she better put off the christening?'' 

*'My dear," answered my fkthery 
"it will be m^ duty, by and by, to 
christen the boy^--a duty not done in 
a day. At present, I ha;ve no doubt thak 
the bishop will do very well without 
me. Let the day stand, or, if yoa 
put it off, upon my word and honour 
I believe that the wicked anctioneer 
win put off the book sale also. Of 
one thing I am quite tare, that tiie 
sale and the christening will take plaod 
at the same thne." 

There was no getting over thiai 
but I am certain my dear mother had 
much less heart than before in unoo* 
vering the chintz diairs in l^e best 
drawing-room. Hve yean later tlds 
would not have happened. My mother 
would Iiave kissed my fi&ther, and 
said " Stay," and hewould have stayed. 
But she was then very young an4 
timid; and he, wild man, not of the 
woods, but the doisters^ nor yet 
civilized into the traetabilitiesof hon^ 
In short, the post-chaise was ordered 
and the carpet-bag packed. 

"My love," said my mother, the 
night befixre this Hegira^ looking up 
tram her work-— ** my kvei, there is one- 
thing yoa hoveqnite fiirgot to settle— 
I beg pardon to disturbing you, but 
it is important!— baby's name; shan^ 
we call him Augustine?" 

^Augustine,'* said my iather» 
dreamily; ''why, that name's mine.** 

*' And yon wodid like your boy's ta 
be the same?" * 



A VAMtLY PICHTBE. 



*No," said my &ther, xonsing 
himself. " Nobody would know which 
was which. I should catch myself 
learning the Latin accidence or play- 
ing at marbles. I should never inow 
Tvr own identity, and Mrs. Primmins 
would be giring me pap/' 

My motber smiled; and. putting 
her handy which was a very pretty 
one, on my &ther^8 shoolder, and 
looking at him tenderly, she said, 
" There's no fear of mistaking yon for 
any other, even your son, dearest. 
Still, if you prefer another name^ what 
shaU it be?'' 

" Sai^uel,'' said my &thec.. ** Br. 
Fiarr's name is SamneL" 

''La, my love! Samuel is the 
ugliest name—" 

My &ther did not hear the excla- 
mation, he was again deep, in his 
books; presently hie started up: — 
"Barnes says Homer is Solomon. 
Bead Omeroa baokwarda^ in the 
Hebrew manner—- -" 

**Ye^ my lov^'* interrupted my 
mother^ " Bat baby's christian, name?" 

" Omeros— •Soremo— Sdemo— ^• 
lomol" 

"Sokmo! shocking," said my 
mother. 

"ShockiDg, indeed,'^ echoed my 
&thflir; "an outrage to common 
sense." Then^ after glandng again 
over his books, he broke out musingly 
— " Bn^ after all, it is nanaense to 
suppose that Homer was not settled 
till Aw time." 

" Whose?" asked my mother, me- 
chazucaUy. 

My fEither lifted up his finger. 

My mother oontinued, after a diort 
pause, "Arthur is a pretty name. 
Then there's William — Henry — 
Charles—Bobert. What shall it be, 
love?" 

^Pisistratns?" said my £sither (who 



had hung fire till then), in a tone of 
contempt — " PiBistratus, indeed!" 

"Pisistratus! a very fine name^ 
said my mother joyftilly — "Pisiit 
tratus Caxton. Thank you, my love* 
Fisistratas it shall be." 

" Do yon contradict me? Bo yoa 
side with Wolfe and Heyne, and tfart 
pragmatiGal fidlow, Yioo? Do ytra 
mean to say that the Bhapsodists— ^ 

"No^ indeed," interrupted my 
mother. " My dear, you frighten me."* 

My fi&ther sighed, and threw him- 
self back in his chair. My mother 
took courage and resumed. 

"Pisistratus is a long name toot 
Still one could caU him Sisty." 

"Sist€{,yiator,"muttered my fiithan 
"thafstritel" 

"No, Sisty by itself— short. Thank 
you, my dear." 

Pour days afterwards, on his re- 
turn from the book sale, to my fiiither^fl 
inexpressible bewildennent^ he was 
informed that " Pisistratus was grow- 
ing the very image of him." 

When at length the good man waa 
made tharoughly aware of the ieuob, 
that his son and heir boasted a name 
so memorable in history as that home 
by the enslaver of A^ena^ and the 
dispnted arranger of Homer-^and it 
was asserted to be a name that he 
himself had suggested — ^he was as 
angry as BO mild a man could be. "Bat 
itisinfSmums!" he exclaimed. "Pisis- 
tratus christened! Pisistratus! who 
lived six hundred years before Christ 
was bom. Good heavem^ madam! 
yoa have made me the fiither of an 
Anadnromsm." 

My mother burst into tears. But 
the evil was irremediable. An att»* 
chronism I was^ and an anachronism 
I must oontxQue.to the end of the 
duster. 



8 



THE CAITONS: 



CHAPTER IV. 



«( 



Oif ooorse, wc, yoa will begin soon 
to educate your son yoonelf ?" said 
Hr. Squills. 

"Of course, sir/' said my fiither, 
"'yon have read Martinus ScriblemsP' 

" I don't understand you, Mr. Cax- 
ton." 

'' Then yon have not read Martinus 
Scriblerus, Mr. Squills!" 

''Conader that I have read it^ and 
what then?" 

"Why then. Squills," said my 
fiither familiarly, " yon would know, 
that though a scholar is often a fix)], 
ho is never a fool so supreme, so super- 
lative, as when he is defiicing the first 
nnsullied page of the human history, 
by entering into it the commonplaces 
of his own pedantry. A scholar, sir 
—at least one like me— is of all per- 
sons the most unfit to teach young 
children. A mother, sir-*a simple^ 
natural, loving mother — jb the infimf s 
true gmde to knowledge." 

"Egad, Mr. Caxton, in spite of 
Helvetius^ whom you quoted the 
night the boy was bom— egad, I 
bddeve you are right." 

" I am sure of it^" said my fiither; 
^at least as sure as a poor mortal can 
be of anything. I agree with Helve- 
tius, the child should be educated 
from its birth; but how? — ^there is 
the mb : send him to school forthwith ! 
Certainly, he is at school already with 
the two g^eat teachers, Nature and 
liOve. Observe, that childhood and 
genius have the same master-organ in 
common — ^inquisitiveness. Let child- 
hood have its way, and as it began 
where genius begins, it may find what 
genius finds. A certain Greek writer 
''«lls us of some man, who, in order to 
save his bees a troublesome flight to 
Hymettufl^ cut their wings, and placed 



before them the finest flowers he could 
select The poor bees made no honey. 
Now, sir, if I were to teach my boy 
I should be cutting his wings, and 
giving him the flowers he should find 
himself. Let us leave Nature alone 
for the present, and Nature's loving < 
proxy, the watdiful mother." 

Therewith my fiither pointed to 
his heir sprawlii^ on the grass, and 
plucking daisies on the lawn; while 
the young mother's voice rose merrily, 
laughing at the child's glee. 

" I shall make but a poor bill out 
of your nurseiy, I se^" said Mr. 
Squills. 

Agreeably to these doctrines^ 
strange in so learned a fiither, I 
thrived and fiourished, and learned to 
spell, and make pot-hooks, under the 
joint care of my mother and Dame 
Primming. This last was one of an 
old race fisurt dying away — ^the race of 
old ^thftil servants— -tiie race of old 
tale-telling nurses. She had reared 
my mother before me; but her affec* 
tion put out new fiowers for the new 
generation. She was a Devonshire 
woman — and Devonshire women, es« 
pecially those who have passed their 
youth near the seacoast, are generally 
superstitibous. She had a wonderful 
budget of fables. Before I was six 
years old, I was erudite in that primi- 
tive literature, in which the legends 
of all nations are traced to a common 
fijuntain — Puss in Boots, Tom Thumb, 
Fortunio, Fortunatus, Jack the Giant 
KiUer, — tales like proverbs^ equally 
fiuniliar, under difierent versions, to 
the infant worshippers of Budh and 
the hardier children of Thor. I may 
say, without vanity, that in an exa- 
mination in those venerable classics, I 
could have taken honoursi 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



9 



My dear mother had rame little 
mifigiviiigs aa to the soUd benefit to 
he derived from such fimtastic erudi- 
tion, and timidly consnlted my &ther 
thereon. 

" My love," answered my &ther, in 
that tone of voice whichalways pnzded 
even my mother, to he sure whether 
he was in jest or earnest — '<in all 
these fables, certain philosophers could 
easily discover symbolical significations 
of the highest morality. I have my- 
self written a treatise to prove that 
Pkm in JBoots is an allegory upon the 
progress of the human understanding, 
having its origin in the mystical 
schools of the Egyptian priests, and 
evidently an illustration of the worship 
rendered at Thebes and Memphis to 
those feline quadrupeds, of whidi they 
make both religious symbols and ela- 
borate mummies." 

"My dear Austin," said my mo- 
ther, opening her blue eyes, ''you 
don't think that Sisty will discover all 
those fine things in Puss in Soots!" 

•*My dear Kitty," answered my 
&ther, "you don't think, when you 
were good enough to take up with 
me, that you found in me all the fine 
things I have learned from books. 
You knew me only as a harmless 
creature, who was happy enough to 
please your fimcy. By and by you dis- 
covered that I was no worse for all the 
quartos that have transmigrated into 
ideas within me — ^ideas that are mys- 
teries even to myself. If Sisty, as 
you call the child, (plague on that un- 
lucky anachronism ! which you do well 
to abbreviate into a dissyllable,)if Sisty 
can't discover all the wisdom of Egypt 
in Fuss in Boots, what then ? Fuss 
in Boots is harmless, and it pleases 
his fiuicy. All that wakes curiosity 
is wisdom, if innocent — all that pleases 
the fimcy now, turns hereafter to love 
or to knowledge. And so, my dear, 
go back to the nursery." 

But I should wrong thee, O best of 



fiithers! if I suffered the reader to 
suppose, that because thou didst seem 
so indifferent to my birth, and so care* 
less as to my early teaching, therefore 
thou wert, at heart, indifferent to 
thy troublesome Neogilos. As I grew 
older, I became more sensibly aware 
that a fiither's eye was upon me. I 
distinctly remember one incident, that 
seems to me, in looking back, a crisis 
in my infemt life, as the first tangible 
link between my own heart and that 
calm great souL 

My fiither was seated on the lawn 
before the house, his straw hat over 
his eyes, ^t was summer,) and his book 
on his lap. Suddenly a beautiful delf 
blue-and-white flower-pot, which had 
been set on the window-sill of an 
upper story, fell to the ground with a 
crash, and the finigments spluttered 
up round my fiiither's legs. Sublime 
in his studies as Archimedes in the 
siege, he continued to read; Impamr 
dumferient ruUuB! 

"Dear, dear!" cried my mother, 
who was at work in the porch, ** my 
poor flower-pot that I prized so mudi! 
Who could have done this? Frimmina^ 
Primmins!" 

Mrs. Primmins popped her head out 
of the fiiital window, nodded to the 
summons, and came down in a trice, 
pale and breathless. 

" Oh!" said my mother, mournfully, 
"I would rather have lost all the 
plants in the greenhouse in the great 
blight last May, — ^I would rather the 
best tea-set were broken! The poor 
geranium I reared myself and the 
dear, dear flower-pot which Mr. Cax- 
ton bought for me my last birthday! 
That naughty child must have done 
this!" 

Mrs. Primmins was dreadfully afraid 
of my father — ^why, I know not, ex- 
cept that very talkative social persons 
are usually afraid of very silent shy 
ones. She cast a hasty glance at her 
master, who was beginning to evince 



10 



THS C/UCrONS: 



ffigns of attention, and cried promptly, 
^ No, ma'am, it was not the dear boy, 
bless hia flesh, it was 1 1** 

" Yon ? how- could yon be .bo care- 
less? and you knew how 1 prized 
them both. O Frimmins I" 

Frimmins began to seb^ 

«' Don't tell fibs, nnrsey," said a 
small shrill voice; and Master Sisty 
(coming oat of tiie house as bold as 
brass) oontiniiedrapid^ — ^^ don't scold 
Prinunins, mamma: it was I who 
pushed ont the flower-pot." 

" Hush!" Baidnnise,morefiight6ned 
than ever, and looking aghast towards 
my fiither, who had very deliberately 
taken off his hat, and was regarding 
the scene with serions eyes wide awake. 

"Hush! And if he did break it, 
ma'am, it was quite an accident; he 
was standing so, and he never meant 
it. Did yon, master Sisty? Speak ! 
(this in a whisper) or Fla will be so 
angry." 

"Well,'* sud my mother, «'I sup- 
pose it was an accident; take care in 
ibtmre^ my child. Yoaaresony, Isee, 
to have grieved me. There's a kiss; 
don't fret." 

" No, mamma^ yon must not kiss 
me ; I don't deserve it. I poshed ont 
the flower-pot on porpose." 

"Ha! and why?" said my ftther, 
walking np. 

Mrs. Frimmins trembled like a leaf. 

"For fnn!" said I, hanging my 
head — "yoBt to see how yotfd lool^ 
papa ; and thaf s the truth of it. Now 
beat me, do beat me !" 

My fiither l^irew his book fifty 
yaids ofl^, stooped down, and caught 
me to his breE»t. "Boy," he said, 
**you have done wrong : yon shall re- 
pair it by remembering all your life 
that yonr fkther Id^sed God for 
giving him a son who spoke truth in 
spite of fear! Oh! Mrs. Primmins, 
t^ next fable of this kind you try to 
leach him, and we paH for ever !" 

From tiiat time I first date the 



hour when I felt that I loved my 
fiither, and knew that he loved me; 
I fix>m that time too, he began to con* 
verte with me. He would no longer, 
if he met me in the garden, pass by 
with a smile and nod ; he would stop^ 
put ius book in his podcet, and though 
his talk was often above my compre- 
hemnon, still someliow I felt happier 
and better, and less of an infimt, when 
I thought over it, and tried to puzzle 
ont the meaning; for he had a way 
of suggesting, not teaching — putting 
things into my head, and then leaving 
them to work out their own problems. 
I remember a special instance with 
respect to that same flower-pot and 
geranium. Mr. Squills, who was a 
bachelor, and well to do in the world, 
often made me little presents. Not 
long after the event 1 have narrated, 
he gave me one &r exceeding in value 
those usually bestowed on children,—- 
it was a beautiM large domino-box in 
cut ivory, painted and gilt. This do- 
mino-box was my delight. I was 
never weary of playing at dominoes 
with Mrs. Primmins, and I slept with 
the box under my pillow. 

"Ah!" said my Mher one day 
when he finmd me ranging the ivory 
parallelograms in the parlour, "ah! 
you like that better i^an all your 
playthings, eh?" 

" O yes, papa." 

"You would be very sorry if your 
mamma were to throw that box out 
of the window, and break it for fan.** 
I looked beseediingly at my fiither, 
and made no answer. 

"But perhaps you would be very 
glad," he resumed, " if suddenly one 
of those good fiiiries you read of could 
change the domino-box into a beauti- 
M geranium in a beautiful blue-and- 
white flowei'-pot, and you could have 
the pleasure of putting it on your 
mamma's window-sill." 

"Indeed I would!" said I, half 
crying. 



A FAMILT PICTURE. 



11 



<« 



«c' 



*■ My dear boy» I botiere yoa; but 
goodwishes don't mend bad action*— 
good actions mand bad actions." 

So a&ymgf he shut the door and 
went oat. I cannot teQ yoa how 
puzzled I was to make out what my 
fiither meant by his aphorism. But I 
know that I played at dominoes no 
more that day. The next moining 
my &ther foimd me seated by myse^ 
imder a tree in the garden; hepansed 
and looked at me wi^ his grnve bright 
eyes Tery steadily. 

"Mj boy,'* aid he, ''I am going 
to walk to ^ (a town about two 
nules off,) will you come ? and, by the 
by, fetch your domino-box : I should 
like to show it to a person there.'^ I 
ran in for the box, and, not a little 
proud of walking ^th my &ther upon 
the high-road, we set out. 

" Papa," said I by the way, " there 
are no ftaries now.'^ 

What then, my child?" 
Why— how then can my domino^ 
box be dianged into » geranium and 
a blue>and-white flower-pot f* 

« My dear/* said my fiither, leaning 
his hand on my Bhoulder, "everybody 
who is in eaamest to be good, carries 
two fiuries about withhim---<me here," 
and he touched my heart; *'and one 
here," and he touched my forehead. 

'*! dont understand, papa." 

** I can wait tin you do^ Fisistratus ! 
What a name I" 

My &ther stopped at a nursery 
gardener's, and, after loddng over the 
ilowersy paused befi)re a large donUe 
geranium. "Ah, this Is &ier than 
that which your Tuawima was so foaad 
Cft What is the cost, sir?" 

"Only 7s. 6d.," aaid the gardener. 

My fiither buttoned up his pockets 
*I can't afford it to-day," said h^ 
gently, and we walked out. 

On entering the town, we stopped 
again at a china- warehouse. " Hare 
you a flower-pot l&e that I bought 
seme montlB ago? Ah, here is en^ 



marked 3s.6d. Yes, that is theprice. 
Well, when your mamma's birthday 
comes again, we must buy her another. 
That is some months to wait. And 
we can wai^ Master Sisty. For truth, 
that blooms all the year round, is 
better than a poor geranium ; and a 
word that is never brdken, is better 
than a piece of delf." 

My heady which had drooped before^ 
rose agun; but the mslK^joy at my 
heart abnost stifled me. 

"I have called to pay your little 
bin," said my father, entering the shop 
of one of those fimcy stationers com- 
mon in country towns, and who seU 
all kinds of pretty toys and nidi-nacks. 
* And by the way," he added, as the 
smiling shopman looked over his book» 
for the entry, " I think my little boy 
here can show you a much handsomer 
specimen of French workmanship than 
that woric-box which you enticed Mrs. 
Caxton into raffling fbr, last winter. 
Show your domino-boi^ my dear." 

I produced my treasure, and thfr 
Aapam was liberal in his commen« 
datkms^ " It is always well, ny boy, 
to know what a thing is worth, in 
case one wishes to part wHh it. If 
my yoong gentleman gets tired of his 
playthings what will you give him 
teit?" 

'«Why, nr," mad the shopman, "I 
fear we could not afford to give more 
than eighteen shillings fer it, unless 
the young gentleman took some of 
these pretty things in exchange." 

"l^hteen shmingsl" said my fii- 
ther; "you would give thai sum* 
Well, my boy, w h e n ev e r you do grow 
tired of your box, you hare my leave 
to sell it." 

My ftther paid his bill and went 
oat. I lii^ered behind a few moments, 
and jdnwL lum at the end of the 
sbreet. 

"Piqpa, papa!" I cried, clap^ng> 
my hands, " we can buy the geranium 
can buy the flower-pot." And 



13 



THE CAXTONS: 



I pulled a hanidful of silver from my 
pockets. 

" Did I not say light P" said my 
father, passmg his handkerchief over 
his eyes — ** You have found the two 
&iries!" 

Oh! hew proud, how overjoyed I 
was, when, after placing vase and 
flower on the window-sill, I plucked 
my mother hy the gown, and made 
her follow me to the spot. 

<< It is lus doing, and his money T 
«aid my father ; ** good actions have 
mended the had." 

'< What !" cried my mother, when 



she had learned all ; ** and your poor 
domino-hox that you were so fond of! 
We will go hack to-morrow, and \i^ 
it hack, if it costs us douhW 

" Shall we huy it hack, Pisistratufi?'' 
asked my father. 

*' Oh no — no — ^no ! It would sp(nl 
all," I cried, huiying my &ce on my 
other's hreast. 

''My wife," said my father, so- 
lenmly, '* this is my first lesson toour 
child — the sanctity and the happiness 
of self-sacrifice — ^undo not what it 
should teach to his dying day. 



CHAPTER V. 



WhxiT I was between my seventh 
and my eighth year, a change came 
over me, which may perhaps he fiii- 
miliar to the notice of those parents 
who hoast the anxious blessing of an 
only child. The ordinary vivacity of 
childhood forsook me ; I became quiet, 
sedate, and thoughtful. The absence 
of playfellows of my own age, the 
companionship of mature minds alter- 
nated only by complete solitude, gave 
something precocious, whether to my 
imagination or my reason. The wild 
fables muttered to me by the old nurse 
in the summer twilight, or over the 
winter's hearth— the effort made by 
my struggling intellect to comprehend 
the grave, sweet wisdom of my fiither's 
suggested lessons— tended to feed a 
passion for reverie, in which all my 
&culties strained and struggled, as in 
the dreams that come when sleep is 
nearest waking. I had learned to read 
with ease, and to write with some 
fluency, and I already began to imi- 
tate, to reproduce. Strange tales, 
.akin to those I had gleaned fi^m fairy- 
land— »rude songs, modelled from such 



verse-books as fell into my handi^, 
began to mar the contents of marble- 
covered pagesy designed for the less 
ambitious purposes of round text and 
multiplication. My mind was yet 
more dbturbed by the intensity of my 
home aflections. My love for both 
my parents had in it something mor- 
bid and painfuL I often wept to think 
how little I could do for those I loved 
so well. My fondest flmcies built up 
imaginary ^fBculties for them, which 
my arm was to smoothe. These feel- 
ings, thus cherished, made my nerves 
over-susceptible and acute. Nature 
began to afi'ect me powerfully; and 
frinn that afiection rose a restless cu- 
riomty to analyse the charms that so 
mysteriously move^ me to joy or awe, 
to smiles or tears. I got my fiither 
to explain to me the elements of astro- 
nomy; I extracted from Squills, who 
was an ardent botanist, some of the 
mysteries in the life of flowers. But 
music became my darling paasion. 
My mother (though the daughter of 
a great scholar — a scholar at whose 
name my fii.ther raised his hat if it 



A FAMILY PIOTUBE. 



33 



happened to be on his bead) poflsessed, 
I must own it fairly, leas book-learn- 
ing than many a bmnUe tradesman's 
daughter can boast in this more en- 
lightened generation; bat she bad 
some natoxal gifls which bad ripened. 
Heaven knows bow! into womanly ac- 
eompHshments. She drew with some 
elegance, and painted flowers to ex- 
quisite perfectioD. She played on more 
than cue instrument with more than 
hoazding-school skill ; and though she 
gang in no language but ber own, few 
ooidd bear har sweet vdce without 
bong deeply touched. Her music, ber 
songs, bad a wondrous effect on me. 
Thus, altogether, a kind of dreamy yet 
delightful melancholy seized upon my 
whole being; and this was the more 
remarkable, because contraiy to my 
early temperament, which was bold, 
acdve, and hilarious. The change in 
my character began to act upon my 
form. From . a robust and vigorous 
infimt, I g^w into a pale and lender 
boy. I began to ail and mope. Mr. 
Squills was called in. 

''Tonicsr said Mr. Squills; "and 
don't let him sit over his book. Send 
him out in the air — make him play. 
Come here, my boy — ^these oi^ans are 
growing too large; and Mr. Squills, 
who was a phr^ologist^ placed his 
hand on my forehead. "Crad, nr, 
here's an ideality for you; and, bless 
my soul, what a constnictiveness !" 

My father pushed aside his papers, 
and walked to and iro the room with 
his hands behind him ; but he did not 
sav a word till Mr. Squills was gone. 



"My dear,'' then said be to my 
mother, on whose breast I was lean- 
uig my aching ideality — "my dear, 
Fisistratus must go to school in good 
earnest." 

" Bless me, Austin !— at bis age ?" 

" He is nearly eight years old." 

" But he 18 so forward." 

" It is for that reason he must go 
to schooL" 

" 1 don't quite understand you, my 
love. I know he is getting past m^; 
but you who are so clever ** 

My fother took my mother's hand 
— " We can teach 1dm nothing now, 
Kitty. We send him to school to be 
taught " 

** By some schoolmaster who knows 
much less than you do ** 

"By little schoolboys, who will 
make him a boy again," said my fother, 
almost sadly. " My dear, you remem- 
ber that, when our Kentish gardener 
planted those filbert-trees» and when 
they were in their third year, and you 
began to calculate on what they would 
bring in, you went out one mornings 
and found he had cut them down to 
the ground. Tou were vexed, and 
asked why. What did the gardener 
say? * To prevent their bearing too 
soon.' There is no want of fniitful- 
ness here — ^put back the hour of pro- 
duce^ that the plant may last." 

" Let me go to school," said I, lift- 
ing my languid head, and smiling on 
my &ther. I understood him at once, 
and it was as if the voice of my life 
itself answered him. 



XHE CAXTCXNBt 



CHAPTEBTL 



A YEAS, after the reiolxitioii tbaoB 
come to,I wofl at liome ibr the holidays. 

''I hope," flaid my mother, "t^t 
they are doing ^sty jturfaoe. I do 
thisk he is not nearly so quick aehild 
ashe washeforehewenttoiehooL I 
Ttish yon would earamitie him, AnstiiL^ 

" I have examined l^m» my dear. 
It is just as I eipected ; and I am 
qmte safcisfled.'' 

''What! yon really think he has 
come on ?" said my mother, joyMly. 

"He does not eare a button for 
hotany now,** said Mr. Squills. 

^AnA he nsed to he so fond of 
mnn<v dear hoy!" observed my mother, 
with a ogfa. ''Good gracioas, what 
ndm is thatr 

''Tonr son's pop-gnn against the 
window," said my ftther. ''It is 
Incky it is only the 'vnndow; it would 
have made a less deafening noise, 
though, if it had been Mr. Squills' 
head, as it was yesterday morning." 

"The left ear," observed Squills; 
''and a very sharp blow it was, too. 
Yet you are satisfied, Mr. Caxton?" 

"Yes ; I think the boy is now as 
great a blockhead as most boys of his 
age are," observed my fitther with 
great complacency. 

"Dear me, Ausiin^— a great block- 
head!" 

" What else did he go to school 
for?" asked my Mher. And observ- 
ing a certain dismay in the &ce of his 
female audience, and a certain sur- 
prise in that of his male, he rose and 
stood on the hearth, with one hand in 
his waistcoat, as was liis wont when 
about to philosophise in more detail 
than was usual to him. 

"Mr. Squills," sud he, "you have 
had great experience in families." 
'As good a practice as any in the 



<c 



ooan%/' said Ife. Squills pgroudlys 
"more than I can manage. I ahidi 
advertise Ibr a partner." 

^And," resumed my &fcher« "yoa 
most hum observed afaoost invariably 
that, in every farailty, there is vrhak 
ftthei^ mother, unde, and auxt^ ]»o- 
nomioe to be one wundecM diild." 

''One at lead,** aaad Mr. Sc^^Sia, 
smfliBff. 

^^U eM,." enriinied my UOm, 
"to si^ this 18 parental partiality,-— 
but it is not so. Bzamine that oUld 
as a atranger, and it willstartle your- 
seUl Yon stand amaaed at its eager 
coriosilTr— its quick comprehension— 
its ready wit— its deiioate perception. 
Qfben, too, you will find some &culty 
striking^ developed; the child w^ 
have a turn far mechamcs, pezhiq^ 
and make you a model of a tsbeam^ 
boat— -or it wiU have an ear tuned to 
verse, and will write you a poem like 
that it has got by heart from 'Tha 
Speaker'— <xr it will take to botany 
(Uke Piostratus), with the old maad 
its aunt— -or it will play a march on 
its sister's pianoforte. In short, even 
yon. Squills, will dedare that it is 
really a wonderful child." 

"Upon my word," said Mr. SquiUa 
thoughtfully, "there's a great d^ of 
truth in what you say. Little Tom 
Dobbs if a wonderM cluld — so is 
Frank Stepmgton — and as for Jofani^ 
Styl^, I must bring him here for yoa 
to hear him prattle on Natural His- 
tory, and see how well he handles his 
pretty little microscope." 

" Heaven forbid !" said my ^Either. 
"And now let me proceed. These 
fhawnata or wonders last till when, 
Mr. Squills ? — ^last till the boy goes to 
school, and then, somehow or other, 
the thaumaia vanish into thin air, like 



A FAHILT PICTI7BE. 



IS 



ghosts at the cockcrow. A year after 
the prodigy has been at the academy, 
father and mother, uncle and aont, 
plague yon no more with his doings 
and sayings; the extraordinary inflmt 
has become a very ordinary little boy. 
Is it not so, Mr. Squills." 

*' Indeed yoa are right, sir. How 
cGd you come to be so observant? you 
never seem to— 



M 



"Hush!" interrupted my father; 
and then, looking fondly at my moth- 
er's anxious face, he said, soothingly, 
— " Be comforted : this is wisely or- 
dained — and it is for the best" 

"It must be the &nlt of the 
schooV said my mother, shaking her 
head. 

** It is the necessiiy of the schodl. 



and its virtue, my Kate. Let any 
one of thsese wonderful children — 
wonderful -as you thought Sisty him- 
self— -gtay at home, and you will see 
its head grow bigger and bigger, and 
its body tloinner and thinner — eh, Mr. 
Sqmlls? — till the mind take all 
nouiishment from the frame, and the 
frame, in turn, stint or make dckly 
the mind. Tou see that noble oak 
from the window. If the Chinese 
had brought it up, it would have been 
a tree in miniature at tve yeais old, 
and at a hundred, you would have set 
it in a j9ower-pot on your tables no 
higger than it was at five — a curio- 
sity for its noaturity at one age — ^a 
show for its diminutiveness at the 



other. No! the ordeal for talent is 
school; restore the stunted Tw»iTiilrin 
to the growing child, and then let the 
child, if it can,- healthily, hardily, 
natmully, work its slow way up into 
greatness. If greatness be denied it, 
it will at least be a man, and that is 
better then to be a Uttle Johnny 
Styles all its hfe — an oak in a pill- 
box." 

At that moment I rushed into the 
room, glowing and panting, health 
on my cheek — vigour in my limbs — 
all cUldhood at my heart. ''Oh, 
mamma^ I have got up the kite—so 
high] — come and see. Do comii^ 
papa." 

" Certunly," said my fiither ; ''only 
don't cry so loud — ^kites make no 
noise in ridng; yet, you see how they 
soar above the world. Come, Kate. 
Where is my hat ? Ah — ^thank you, 
my boy." 

" Kitty," sdd my father, looldng at 
the kite^ which, attached by its string 
to the peg I had stuck into the 
ground, rested calm in the sky, 
''never fear but what our kite shfdl 
fly as high ; only, the human soul has 
stronger instincts to mount upward 
than a few sheets of paper ona frame* 
work of lath. But, observe, that to 
prevent its bdng lost in the freedom 
of spacer we must attach it lightly to 
earth; and, observe again, my dear, 
that the lugher it soars^ the moore 
string we must giye it." 






u 



THE CAXTONSt 



PAET SECOND. 



CHAPTER L 



Whsk I had reached the age 
of twelve, I had got to the head of 
the preparatory school to wMch I 
had been sent. And having thus 
exliansted all the oxygen of learn- 
ing in that little recdver, my pa- 
rents looked out for a wider range 
for my inspirations. During the last 
two years in which I had been at 
school, my love for study had re- 
turned ; but it was a vigorous, wake- 
ful, undreamy love, stimulated by 
competition, and animated by the 
practical desire to exceL 

My father no longer sought to 
curb my intellectual aspirings. He 
had too great a reverence for scholar- 
ship not to wish me to become a 
scholar if possible ; though he more 
than once said to me somewhat sadly, 
** Master books, but do not let them 
master you. Read to live, not live to 
read. One slave of the lamp is 
enough for a household: my servitude 
must not be a hereditary bondage." 

My father looked round for a suit- 
able academy; and the fame of Dr. 
Herman's "Philhellenic Institute" 
came to his ears. 

** Now, this Dr. Herman was the 
son of a Qerman music-master, who 
had settled in England. He had 
completed his own education at the 
University of Bonn ; but finding learn- 
ing too common a drug in that mar- 
ket to bring the high price at which 



he valued his own, and having some 
theories as to political freedom which 
attached Imn to England, he resolved 
upon setting up a school, which he 
defflgned as an " Era in the History of 
the Human Mind." Dr. Henran 
was one of the earliest of those new- 
&shioned authorities in education, who 
have, more lately, spread pretty 
numerously amongst us, and would 
have ^ven, perhaps, a dangerous 
shake to the foundations of our great 
classical seminaries, if those last had 
not very wisely, though very cau- 
tiously, borrowed some of the more 
sensible principles which lay mixed 
and adulterated amongst the crotchets 
and chimeras of their innovating rivals 
and assailants. 

Dr. Herman had written a g^eat 
many learned works against every 
pre-existing method of instruction: 
that which had made the g^reatest 
noise was upon the infamous fiction of 
Spellhto Books: "A more lying, 
roundabout, puzzle-headed delusion 
than that by which we convube the 
clear instincts of truth in our ac- 
cursed systems of spelling, was never 
concocted by the father of falsehood." 
Sudi was the exorcUum of this fiimous 
treatise. "Forinstance,take the mono- 
syllable Cat, What a brazen forehead 
you must have, when you say to ao 
infant, c, A, T , — spell Cat : that i^ 
three sounds forming a totally oppo- 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



1«^ 



r.te compound — opposite in every de- 
tail, opposite in the whole — compose a 
poor little monosyllable, which, if you 
would but say the simple truth, the 
child will learn to spell merely by 
looking at it ! How can three sounds, 
which run thus to the ear, see — eh — 
tee, compose the sound cat? Don't 
they i-ather compose ihe sound see-eh- 
te, or ceati^ ? How can a system of 
education llourish that begins by so 
monstrous a falsehood, which the sense 
of hearing suffices to contradict ? No 
wonder that the hornbook is the de- 
spah* of mothers!" From this in- 
stance, the reader will perceive that 
Dr. Herman, in his theory of educa- 
tion, began at the beginning! — he 
took the bull fsurly by the horns. As 
for the rest, upon a broad principle of 
eclecticism, he had combined together 
every new^ patent invention for youth- 
ful idea-shooting. He had taken his 
trigger from Hofnryl ; he had bought 
his wadding from Hamilton; he had 
got his copper-caps from Bell and 
Lancaster. The youthful idea! he 
had rammed it tight! — he had ram- 
med it loose! — he liad ranuned it 
with pictorial illustrations! — he had 
rammed it with the monitorial sys- 
tem ! — he had rammed it in every 
conceivable way, and with every 
imaginable ramrod; but I have mourn- 
ful doubts whether he shot the youth- 
ful idea on inch farther than it did 
under the old mechanism of flint and 
steel ! Nevertheless, as Dr. Herman 
really did teach a great many things 
too much neglected at schools; as, 
bes'des Latin and Greek, he taught a 
vast variety in that vague inflnlte 
now-a-days called "useful knowledge;" 
as he engaged lecturers on chemistry, 
engineering, and natural history; as 
arithmetic and the elements of physi- 
cal science were enforced with zeal 
and care; as all sorts of gymnastics 
were intermingled with the sports of 
the play -ground; — so the youthful 
No. 334. 



idea, if it did not go fiirther, spread 
its shots in a wider direction ; and a 
boy could not stay there Ave years 
without learning something, which is 
more than can be said of all schools ! 
He learned at least to use his eye^ 
and his ears, and his limbs; order, 
cleanUness, exercise, grew into habits; 
and the school pleased the ladies and 
satisfied the gentlemen; in a word, it 
thrived: and Dr. Herman, at the 
time I speak of, numbered more than 
one hundred pupils. Now, when the 
worthy man first commenced the task 
of tuition, he had proclaimed the 
humanest abhorrence to the barbaroun 
system of corporeal punishment. But, 
alas! as his school increased in num- 
bers, he had proportionately recanted 
these honourable and anti-birchen 
ideas. He had, reluctantly, perhaps, 
— honestly, no doubt, but with ^lU 
determination — come to the conclu- 
sion that there are secret springs 
which can only be detected by the 
twigs of the divining rod; and hav- 
ing discovered with what comparative 
ease the whole mechanism of his little 
government could be carried on by the 
admission of the birch-regulator, so, 
as he grew richer, and lazier, and 
fatter, the Philhellenic Institute spun 
along as glibly as a top kept in viva- 
cious movement by the perpetual 
application of the lash. 

I believe that the school did not 
suffer in reputation from this sad 
apostasy on the part of the he:)d- 
master; on the contrary, it seemed 
more natural and English — less out- 
landish and heretical. And it was at 
the zenith of its renown, when, one 
bright morning, with all my clothes 
nicely mended, and a large plumcake 
in my box, I was deposited at its hos- 
pitable gates. 

Amongst Dr. Hermanns various 
whimsicalities, there was one to whicli 
he had adhered with iijore fidelity 
than to the anti-corporoflu puiii^hia^^c 

c 3 



15 



THE CAXTONS? 



articles of Hs creed; and, in fact, it 
was upon this that he had caused 
those imponng words, "Philhellenic 
Institute," to hlaze in gilt capitals in 
front of his academy. He belonged 
to that illustrious class of scholars 
who are now waging war on our po- 
pular mythologies, and upsetting all 
the associations which the Etonians 
»nd Harrovians connect with the 
household names of ancient history. 
In a word, he sought to restore to 
scholastic purity the mutilated ortho- 
graphy of Greek appellatiyos. He was 
extremely indignant that little boys 
should be brought up to confound 
Zeus with Jupiter, Ares with Mars, 
Artemis with Diana — the Greek deities 
with the Roman ; and so rigidly did 
he inculcate the doctrine that these 
two sets of personages were to be 
kept constantly contradistinguished 
from each other, that his cross-exami- 
nations kept us in eternal confusion. 

" Vat," he would exclaim, to some 
new boy fresh from some grammar 
school on the Etonian system — "Vat 
do you mean by dranslating Zevis 
Ju^Mter? Is dat amatoiy, irascible, 
cloud-compelling god of Olympus, vid 
his eegle and his aegis, in the smallest 
degree resembling de grave, formal, 
moral Jiqnter Optimus Maximus of 
the Boman Cajn,tol ? — a god« master 
Simpkins, who would have been per- 
fectly shocked at the idea of nmning 
after innocent Frftulein dressed up^as 
a swan or a bull ! Iput dat question 
to you vonce for all. Master Simp- 
kins." Master Simpkins took core to 
agree with the Doctor. ** And how 
could you,^ resmned Dr. Herman 
majestically, turmng to some other 
criminal dmnnus — "how could you 
presume to dranslate de Ares of 
Homer, sir, by the audadous vul- 
garism Man? Ares, Master Jones, 
who roared as loud as ten l^oosand 
men when he was hurt ; or as you 
▼ill xo«r if I catch you calUng 



him Mars again ! Aret^ who covered 
seven plectra of ground; confound 
Area, the manslayer, with the Mars 
or Mavors whom de Romans stole 
from de Sabines ! Mars, de solenm 
and calm protector of Rome ! Mas- 
ter Jones, Master Jones, you ought to 
be ashamed of yourself!" And then 
waxing enthusiastic, and warming 
more and more into German gutturals 
and pronunciation, the good Doctor 
would lift up his hands, with two 
great rings on his thumbs, and ex* 
claim — " Und Du ! and dou, Aphro* 
ditk; dou, whose bert de Seasons vel- 
comed! dou, who ^dstput Atoms into 
a coffer, and den tid dum him into an 
anemone ; dou to be called Venus by 
dat snivel-nosed little Master Budder- 
field! Venus, who presided over 
Baumgartens and fimerals, and nasty 
tinking sewers! Venus Ooacina — 

mein Gott! Come here. Master 
Budderfield; I must fiog you for dat; 

1 must indeed, liddle boy!" As our 
Philhellenic preceptor carried his 
archseological purism into all Greek 
proper names, it was not likely that 
my unhappy baptismal would escape. 
The first time I signed my exercise I 
wrote "Piastratus Caxton" in my 
best round-hand. "And dey call 
3rour baba a scholar t" said the doctor 
contemptuously. " Your name, sir, is 
Greek; and, as Greek, you vill be 
dood enough to write it, vith vat you 
call an e and an o — ^p, £, i, s, x, s, t, 
B, A, T, o, s. Vat can you expect for 
to come to. Master Caxton, if you 
don't pay de care dat is proper to 
your own dood name — de e, and de o? 
Ach ! let me see no more of your vile 
eoiTuptions ! Mein Gott ! Pi ! ven 
de name is Pel !" 

The next time I wrote home to my 
fkther, modestly implying that I was 
short of cash, that a trap-bat would 
be acceptable, and that the favourite 
goddess amongst the boys (whether 
Greek or Roman was very immate- 



A FAMILY PICJTURE. 



19 



rial) was Dwa Mbneta, I felt a glow 
of clmaicaL pride in signing myself, 
"your affectionate Peidstratos/' The 
next post brought a sad damper to my 
fidiolastio exnltataon. The letter ran 
thus:— 

" My Deab Sok, — I prefer my old 
acqnamtanoes Thncydides and Fiens- 
tratns to Thonkadides and Pdsistra- 
tos. Horace is familiar to me, but 
Horatins is only known to me as 
Codes. PiEastratas can play at trap- 
ball ; bnt I find no authority in pore 
Greek to allow me to suppose that 
that game was known to Peiastratos. 
I should be too happy to send you a 



drachma or so^ but I have no coins 
in my possesion current at Athens at 
the time when Fisistratus was spelt 
PeisistratoB.— Your affectionatefather, 

*»A. Caxtos,*' 

Venly, here indeed was the first 
practical embarrassment produced by 
that melancholy anachronism which 
my father had so prophetically de- 
plored. However, nothing like ex- 
perience to prove the value of com- 
promise in this world! Peisnstratos 
continued to write exercises, and a 
second letter from Fisistratus was 
followed by the trap-bat. 



CHAPTEB n. 



I WAS somewhere about sixteen 
when, ongoing home for the holidays, 
I found my mother's brother settled 
among the household Jjare*. TJnde 
Jack, as he was &miliarly called, was 
a light-hearted, plauable, enthumastic, 
talkative fellow, who had spent three 
small fortunes in trying to make a 
large one. 

Uncle Jack was a great speculator ; 
but in all his speculations he never 
affected to tlunk of himself, — it was 
always the good of his fallow-creatures 
that he had at heart, and in this un- 
grateful world feUow-creatures are not 
to be relied upon! On coming of 
age, he inherited £6000 from his 
maternal grandfiither. It seemed to 
hhn then that his fiellow-creatures 
were sadly imposed upon by thdr 
tailors. Those ninthoparts of huma- 
nity notoriously eked out their frac- 
tional ezistenoe by asking nine times 
too much for the dothing which dvi- 
lisatioDy and perhaps a change of di- 
nmte^ render more necenary to us 



than to our predecessors, the Ficts. 
Out of pure philanthropy. Uncle Jack 
started a " Grand National JBenetfO* 
Uwt Clothing Comfo/py** which un« 
dertook to supply the public with 
inexpressibles of the best Saxon doth 
at 78. 6d. a pair; coats^ snper- 
fine, £1 18s.; and waistcoats at so 
much per dozen. They were all to 
be worked off by steam. Thus the 
rascally tailors were to be put down, 
humanity dad, and the philanthro- 
pists rewarded (but that was a se- 
condary consideration) with a clear 
return of 80 per cent. In spite of 
the evident charitableness of this 
Christian derign, and the irrefingable 
calculations upon' which it was based, 
this company died a victim to the 
ignorance and unthankfulness of our 
fellow-creatares. And all that re- 
mained of Jack's £6000 was a fifty- 
fourth share in a small steam-eng^e^ 
a large assortment of ready-made 
pantidoonsy and the liabilities of iSbB 
directors* 
02 



80 



THE CAXTONSt 



Uncle Jack disappeared, and went 
on his travels. The same spirit of 
philanthropy which characterised the 
speculations of his purse attended the 
risks of his person. Unde Oack had 
a natural leaning towards all dis- 
tressed communities: if any tribe, 
race, or nation was down in the world. 
Uncle Jack threw himself plump into 
the scale to redress the balance. 
Poles, Greeks (the last were then 
%htLDg the Turks), Mexicans, Spa- 
niards — ^Unde Jack thrust his nose 
into all their squabbles ! Heaven for- 
bid I should mock thee, poor Uncle 
Jack! for those generous predilec- 
tions towards the unfortunate ; only, 
whenever a nation is in a misfortune, 
there is always a job going on! The 
Polish cause, the Greek cause, the 
Mexican cause, and the Spanish cause, 
are necessarily mixed up with loans 
and subscriptions. These Continental 
patriots, when they take up the sword 
with one hand, generally contrive to 
thrust the other hand deep into their 
neighbours' breeches' pockets. Uncle 
Jack went to Greece, thence he went 
to Sjyain, thence to Mexico. No doubt 
he was of great service to those 
afflicted populations, for he came back 
with unanswerable proof of their gra- 
titude, m the shape of £3000. Shortly 
after this appeared a prospectus of the 
"New, Grand, National, Benevolent 
Insurance Company, for the Indus- 
trious Classes." This invaluable do- 
cument, after setting forth the im- 
mense benefits to society arising from 
habits of providence, and the intro- 
duction of insurance companies — 
proving the infamous rate of pre- 
miums exacted by the existent offices, 
and their inapplicability to the wants 
of the honest artisan, and declaiing 
that nothing but the purest inten- 
tions of benefiting their fellow-crea- 
tures, and raising the moral tone of 
Bodety, had led the directors to insti- 
tute a new sodety, founded on the 



noblest prindplesand the most mode- 
rate calculations — ^proceeded to de* 
monstrate that twenty-four and a half 
per cent, was the smallest possible 
return the shareholders could antid- 
pate. The company began under the 
fairest auspices: an archbishop was 
caught as president, on the condition 
always that he should give nothing 
but his name to the society. Uncle 
Jack — more euphoniously dengnated 
as "the celelnrated philanthropist, 
John Jones Tibbcts, Esquire" — was 
honorary secretary, and the capital 
stated at two millions. But such was 
the obtuseness of the industrious 
classes, so little did they percdve the 
benefits of subscribing onc-and-nine- 
pence a-week from the age of twenty- 
(me to fifty, in order to secure at the 
latter age the annuity of £18, that 
the company dissolved into thin air, 
and with it dissolved also Uncle Jack's 
£3000. Nothing more was then seen 
or heard of him for three years. So 
obscure was his existence, that on the 
death of an aunt who left him a small 
fiirm in Cornwall, it was necessary to 
advertise that "If John Jones Tib- 
bets, Esq., would apply to Messrs. 
Blunt and Tin, Lothbuiy, between 
the hours of ten and four, he woula 
hear of something to his advantage." 
But, even as a conjuror declares that 
he will call the ace of spades, and the 
ace of spades, that you thought you 
had safely under your foot, turns up 
on the table — so with tliis advertise- 
ment suddenly turned up Uncle Jack. 
With inconcdvable satisfaction did 
the new landowner settle himself in 
his comfortable homestead. Thefiirn^ 
which was about two hundred acres, 
was in the best possible condition, and 
saving one or two chemical prepara- 
tions, which cost Uncle Jade, upon 
the most sdentific prindples, thirty 
acres of budc-wheat, the ears of which 
came up, poor things, all spotted an^ 
speckled, as if they had been inoca* 



A FAMILY PICTURK. 



91 



jated with the small-pox, Uncle Jack 
for the first two years was a thiiymg 
man. Unluckily, however, one day 
Uncle Jack discovered a coal-mine in 
a beautiful field of Swedish turnips; 
m another week the house was fuU of 
engineers and naturalists, and in an- 
other month appeared, in my uncle's 
best style, much improved by prac- 
tice, a prospectus of the "Grrand, 
National, anti-Monopoly Coal Com- 
pany, instituted on behalf of the poor 
• householders of London, and against 
the Monster Monopoly ot the London 
Coal Wharfs. 

"A vein of the finest coal has been 
discovered o . the estates of the cele- 
brated philanthropist, John Jones 
Tibbets, Esq. This new minet, the 
Molly Wheal, having been satisfac- 
torily tested by that eminent engi- 
neer, Giles Compass, Esq., promises an 
inexhaustible field to the energies of 
the benevolent and the wealth of the 
capitahst. It is calculated that the 
b^ coals may be dehvered, screened, 
at the mouth of the Thames, for 18s. 
per load, yielding a profit of not less 
than forty-eight per cent, to the 
shareholders. Shares, £50, to be paid 
in five instalments. Capital to be sub- 
scribed, one milhon. For shares, early 
appHcation must be made to Messrs. 
Blunt and Tin, sohdtors, Lothbury." 
Here, then, was something tangible 
for fellow-creatures to go on — ^there 
was land, there was a mine, there was 
coal, and there actually came share- 
holders and capitaL Unde Jack was 
fio persuaded tliat his fortune was now 
to be made, and had, moreover, so 
great a dc^e to share the glory of 
ruining the monster monopoly of the 
London wharfs, that he refused a very 
large ofier to dispose of the property 
altogether, remained chief shareholder, 
and removed to London, where he set 
up his carriage, and gave dinners to 
iiis fellow-directors. For no less than 
three years did tliis company flourish. 



having submitted the entire Erection 
and working of the mines to that 
eminent engineer, Giles Compass- 
twenty per cent, was paid r^ularly 
by that gentleman to the share- 
holders, and the shares were at more 
than cent, "per cent., when one bright 
morning Giles Compass, Esq., unex- 
pectedly removed himself to that 
ivider field for genius like his, the 
United Stat<es ; and it was discovered 
that the mine had for more than a 
year run Itself into a great pit of 
water, and that Mr. Compass had 
been paying the shareholders out of 
thdr own capital. My uncle had the 
satisfaction this time of being ruined 
in very good company ; three doctors 
of divinity, two oouniy members, a 
Scotch lord, and an East India di- 
rector, were all in the same boat — 
that boat which went down with the 
coal-mine into the great water-pit ! 

It was just after this event that 
Uncle Jade, sanguine and hght- 
hearted as ever, suddenly recollected 
his sister,Mrs.Caxton,and not knowing 
where else to dine^ thought he would 
repose his limbs under my father's 
trades dtrea, which the ingenious 
W. S. Landor opines should be trans- 
lated "mahogany." You never saw 
a more charming man than Unde 
Jack. All plump people are more 
popular than thin people. There is 
something jovial and pleasant in the 
sight of a round face ! What conspi- 
racy could succeed when its head waa 
aiean and hungry.-looking fellow, hke 
Cassius ? If the Boman patriots had 
had Unde Jack amongst them, per- 
haps they would never have furnished 
a tragedy to Shakspeare. Unde Jack 
was as plump as a partridge— not 
unwieldy, not corpulent, not obese, 
not "vastus" which Cicero objects to 
in an orator — ^but every crevice com- 
fortably filled up. Like the ocean, 
** time wrote no wrinkles on his glasety 
(or brassy) brow." His natural lines 



S3 



THE CAXTONSi 



were all upward eorvei^ his smile most 
ingratiAting, his eye so frank, even his 
trick of rubbing his clean, well-fed, 
English-looking hands, had something 
about it coaxing and debannair, some- 
thing that actuially decoyed you into 
trasting yonr money into hands so 
prepossessing. Indeed, to him might 
be fUlly applied the expresnon — 
"Sedem animsB in extremis digitis 
habet ;" " He had his sonl's seat in 
his finger-ends/' The oilics observe 
that few men have ever nnited in 
equal perfection the ima^nalive with 
the sdentific faculties. " Happy he,'' 
exdaims Schiller, " who combines the 
enthusiast's warmth with the worldly 
man's light" — light and warmth. 
Uncle Jack had them both. He was 
a perfect symphony of bewitching 
enthusiasm and convindng calculation. 
JMcsBopolis in the Aehamenses, in pre- 
senling a gentleman called Nicharchus 
to the audience, observes — ^*He is 
small, I confess, but there is nothing 
lost in him ; all is knave that is not 
fooL" Parodying the equivocal com- 
pliment, I may say that though Uncle 
Jack was no ^ant, there was nothing 
lost in him. Whatever was not phi- 
lanthropy was arithmetic, and what- 
ever was not arithmetic was philan- 
thropy. He would have been equally 
dear to Howard and to Cocker. Uncle 
Jack was comely, too^dear-skinned 
and florid, had a little mouth, with 
good teeth, wore no whiskers, shaved 
Ills beard as close as if it were one of his 
^rand national companies; his hair, 
mce somewhat sandy, was now rather 
greyish, which increased the respec- 
tability of his appearance; and he wore 
it flat at the sides and nused in a peak 
at the top; his oi^ans of construc- 
tiveness uid ideality were pronounced 
by Mr. Squills to be prodigious, and 
those freely developed bumps gave 
great breadth to his forehead. Well- 
shaped, too, was Unde Jack, about 
five feet dght> the proper height for 



an active man of business. He wora 
a black coat; but to make the nap 
look the fresher, he had given it the 
rdief of gilt buttons, on which were 
wrought a small crown and anchor; 
at a distance this button looked like 
the king's button, and gave him the 
air of one who has a place about 
Court. He always wore a white nedc- 
cloth without stardi, a frill, and a 
diamond pin, which last furnished him 
with obsorations upon certain mines 
of Mexico, which he had a great, but 
hitherto unsatisfied desire of seeing 
worked by a grand National United 
Britons Company. His waistcoat of 
a morning was pale buflV— of an even* 
ing, embroidered vdvet; wherewith 
were connected sundry schemes of an 
" association for the improvement of 
nati,ve manu£Eu;tures." His trousers, 
matutinally, were of the colour vul- 
garly called "blotting-paper ;" and he 
never wore boots, wMch, he said, un- 
fitted a man for excercise, but short 
drab gaiters and square-toed shoes. 
His watch-diain was garnished with 
a vast number of seals : each seal» 
indeed, represented the device of some 
defunct company, and they might be 
said to resemble the s(»lps of the 
slain, worn by the aboriginal Iroquois 
— concerning whom, indeed, he had 
once entertained philanthropic de- 
ragns, compounded of convernon to 
Christianity on the prindples of the 
English Episcopal Church, and of an 
advantageous exchange of beaver-skins 
for bibles, brandy, and gunpowder. 

That Uncle Jack should win my 
heart was no wonder; my mother's 
he had always won from her earliest 
recollection of his having persuaded 
her to let her great doll (a present 
from her godmother) be put up to a 
raffle for the benefit of the chimney- 
sweepers. ** So like him — so good !" 
she would often say penrively ; " they 
paid sixpence a-piece for the raffles- 
twenty tidcets, and the doll cost £2. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



28 



Nobody was taken in, aikL the doll, 
poor thing (it had such blue eyes!) 
went for a quarter of its value. But 
Jack said nobody could guess what 
good the ten shillings did to the 
chimney-sweepers." Naturally enough, 
I say, my mother liked Undo Jack ! 
but my father liked him quite as well, 
and that was a strong proof of my 
uncle's powers of captivation. How- 
ever it is noticeable that when some 
retired scholar is once interested in 
an active man of the world, he is 
more inclined to admire him than 
otiiers are. Sympathy with such a 
oompanion gratifies at once his curi- 
osity and his indolence ; he can travel 
with him, scheme with him, fight 
with him^ go with him through all 
the adventures of which his own 
books speak so eloquently, and all the 
time never stir from his easy-chair. 
My &ther said "that it was like 
listening to Ulysses to hear Uncle 
Jack V* Uncle Jack, too, had heen 
in Greece and Asia Minor, gone over 
the site of the siege of Troy, ate 
figs at Marathon, shot hares in the 
Peloponnesus, and drank three pints of 
brown stout at the top of the Great 
pyramid. 

Therefore, Uncle Jack was like a 
book of reference to my father. Verily 
at times he looked on him as a book, 
and took him down after dinner as 
he would a volume of Dodwell or 
Pausanias. In fact, I believe that 
scholars who never move from their 
cells are not the less an eminently 
curious, hustling, active race, rightly 
understood. Even as old Burton 
sidth of himself — "Though I live 
a collegiate student, and lead a mo- 
nastic life, sequestered from those 
tumults and trouhles of the world, I 
hear and see what is done abroad, how 
others run, ride, turmoil, and mace- 
rate themselves in town and country :" 
which citation sufiiceth to show that 
sdiolars aro naturally the most active 



men of the world, only that while 
their heads plot with Augustus, fight 
with Juhus, sail with Columbus, and 
change the face of the globe with 
Alexander, Attila, or Mahomet, there 
is a certain mysterious attraction, 
which our improved knowledge of 
mesmerism will doubtless soon explain 
to the satisfaction of science, between 
that extremer and antipodal part of 
the human frame, called in the vul- 
gate "the seat of honour,'' and the 
stuffed leather of an armed chair. 
Leai*ning somehow or other sinks 
down to that part into which it was 
first driven, and produces therein a 
leaden heaviness and weight, which 
counteract those lively emotions of 
the brain, that might otherwise ren- 
der students too mercurial and agile 
for the safety of established order. 
I leave this conjecture to the consi- 
deration of experimentalists in the 
physics. 

I was still more delighted than my 
father with Unde Jack. He was faU 
of amusing tricks, could conjure won- 
derftilly, make a bunch of keys dance 
a hornpipe, and if ever you gave him 
haJf-a-crown, he was sure to turn it 
into a hal^enny. He was only un- 
successful in turning my halQ>ennie3 
into halfcrowns. 

We took long walks together, and 
in the midst of his most diverting 
conversation my uncle was always an 
observer. He would stop to examine 
the nature of the soil, fill my pockets 
(not his own) with great lumpj of 
clay, stones, and rubbish, to analyse 
when he got home, by the help of 
some chemical apparatus he had bor- 
rowed from Mr. Squills. He would 
stand an hour at a cottage door, ad- 
miring the little girls who were straw- 
platting, and then walk into the 
nearest farm-houses, to suggest the 
feasibility of "a national straw-plat 
association." All this fertility of in- 
tellect was, alasl wasted in that "in- 



S4 



THE CAXTONS: 



grata terra" into whicli Unde Jack | the gurrounding oountry, b^ins to 
had &llen. No squire could be per- j cast a hungry eye on his own littlo 
snadedintothebelief that his mother- 1 ones, Uncle Jack's mouth, long de- 
stone was pregnant with minerals; firaudedofjuider and more legitimate 



no farmer talked into weaving straw 
plot into a proprietary association. 
So^ even as an ogre, having devastated 



morsels, began to water for a bite of 
my innocent father. 



CHAPTER III. 



At this time we were living in what 
may be called a very respectable style 
for people who made no pretence to 
ostentalion. On the skirts of a large 
village stood a square red brick house, 
about the date of Queen Anne. Upon 
the top of the house was a balustrade ; 
why, heaven knows — for nobody, ex- 
cept our great tom-cat Balph, ever 
walked upon the leads — ^but so it was, 
and so it often is in houses from the 
time of Elizabeth, yea, even to that 
of Victoria. This balustrade was 
divided by low piers, on each of which 
was placed a round ball. The centre 
of the house was distinguishable by 
an architrave, in the shape of a 
triangle, under which was a niche, 
probably meant for a figure, but the 
figure was not forthcoming. Below 
this was the window (encased with 
carved pilasters) of my dear mother's 
little sitting-room; and lower still, 
T^sed on a flight of six steps, was a 
very handsome-looking door, with a 
projecting porch. All the windows, 
with smallisJi panes and largish frames, 
were relieved with stone copings ; — so 
that the house had an air of soli^ty, 
and well-to-do-ness about it — nothing 
tricky on the one hand, nothing de- 
cayed on the other. The house stoci 
a little back firom the garden gates, 
which were large, and set between 
two piers sm^mounted with vases, 
many might object, that in wet 



' weather you had to walk some way 
to your cuniage; but we obviated 
that objection by not keeping a car- 
riage. To the right of the house the 
enclosure contained a little lawn, a 
laurel hermitage, a square pond, a 
modest green-house, and half-a-dozen 
plots of mignonette, heliotrope, roses, 
pinks, sweetwilliam, &c. To the lefc 
spread the kitchen-garden, lying 
screened by espaliers yielding the 
finest apples in the neighbourhood, 
and divided by three winding gravel 
walks, of which the extremest was 
backed by a wall, whereon, as it lay 
full south, peaches, pears, and necta- 
rines sunned themselves early into 
well-remembered fiavour. This walk 
was appropriated to my fiither. Book 
in hand, he would, on fine days, pace 
to and firo, often stopping, dear man, 
to jot down a pencil-note, gesticulate 
or soliloquise. And there, when not 
in his study, my mother would be 
sure to find him. In these deambu- 
lations, as he called them, he had 
generally a companion so extraordi- 
nary, that I expect to be met with a 
hillalu of incredulous contempt when 
I specify it. Nevertheless I vow and 
protest that it is strictly true, and 
no invention of an exaggerating ro- 
mancer. It happened one day that 
my mother had coaxed Mr. Caxton to 
walk with her to market. By the 
way they passed a sward of green, on 



A FAMILY PICTUKB. 



S5 



which Btnidxj liitlo boys were en* 
gaged upon the lapidatlon of a lame 
dack. It seemed that the dnck was to 
have been taken to market, when itwas 
discovered not only to be lame^, but 
dyspeptic; perhaps some weed had 
disagreed with its ganglionic appara- 
tus, poor thing. However that bes, 
the goodwiie had declared that the 
duck was good for nothing; and upon 
the petition of her chil^n, it had 
been consigned to them for a little 
innocent amusement, and to keep 
them out of barm's way. My mother 
declared that she never before saw 
her lord and master roused to such 
animation. He dispersed the urchins, 
released the duck, carried it home, 
kept it in a basket, by the fire, fed it 
and phydcked it till it recovered; 
and then it was consigned to the 
square pond. But lo ! the duck knew 
its benefactor; and whenever my 
father appear^ outside his door, it 
would catch sight of him, flap from 
the pond, gain the lawn, and hobble 
after him, (for it never quite recovered 
the use cf its lefb leg,) till it reached 
the walk by the peaches ; and there 
sometimes it would sit, gravely watch- 
ing its master's deambulations ; some- 
times stroll by his side, and, at all 
events, never leave him, till, at his 
return home, he fed it with his own 
hands; and, quacking her peaceful 
adieus, the nymph tiien retired to 
her natural element. 

With the exception of my mother's 
favourite morning-room, the principal 
sitting-rooms — ^that is, the study, the 
dining-room, and what was em- 
phatically called "the best drawing- 
room," which was only occupied on 
great occasions — ^looked south. Tall 
beeches, firs, poplars, and a few oaks, 
backed the house, and indeed sur- 
rounded it on all sides but the south ; 
so that it was well sheltered from the 
winter cold and the summer heat. 
Our prindpal domestic, in dignity and 



station, was Mrs. Frimmins, who was 
waiting gentlewoman, housekeeper, 
and tyrannical dictatrix of the whole 
establishment. Two other maids, a 
gardener, and a footman, composed 
the rest of the serving household. 
Save a few pasture-fields, which he 
let, my father was not troubled with 
land. His income was derived from 
the interest of about £15,000, partly 
in the three per cents, partly on 
mortgage; and what with my mother 
and Mrs. Frimmins, this incomo 
always yielded enough to satisfy my 
father's single hobby for books, pay 
for my education, and entertain our 
neighbours, rarely, indeed, at dinner, 
but very often at tea. My dear 
mother boasted that our society was 
very select. It consisted chiefly of 
the clergyman and his family, two old 
maids who gave themselves great airs, 
a gentleman who had been in the 
East India service, and who lived in a 
large white house at the top of the 
hill; some half-a-dozen squires and 
their wives and children; Mr. Squills, 
still a bachelor: and once a-year 
cards were exchanged — and dixmers 
too — ^with certain aristocrats, who in- 
spired my mother with a great deal of 
imnecessary awe; since she declared 
they were the most good-natured easy 
people in the world, and always stuck 
their cards in the most conspicuous 
part of the looking-glass frame over 
the chimney-piece of the best drawing- 
room. Thus you perceive that our 
natural position was one highly credit- 
able to us, proving the soundness of 
our finances and the gentility of our 
pedigree — of which last more here- 
after. At present I content myself 
with saying on that head, that even 
the proudest of the neighbouring 
squirearchs always spoke of us as a 
very ancient family. But all my 
father ever said, to evince pride of 
ancestry, was in honour of William 
Caxton, citizen and printer in the 



26 



THE CAXTOSSt 



xcSgn of Edward TVj-^^Cixnxm et 
yenerabile nomen !" an ancestor a man 
of letters xnigfat be justly vain of. 

''HeuB," said my father, stopping 
short, and lifbmg bis eyes from the 
Colloquies of Erasmus, ''salve multmn, 
jncondissime.'' 

Unde Jaek was not much of a 
scholar, but he knew enough Latin to 
answer, " Salve tantmidem, mi frater." 

My fiither smiled approvingly. " I 
see yoa comprehend true mrbiuuty, or 
politeness, as we phrase it. There is 
an elegance in addressing the husband 
of your sister as brother. Erasmns 
commends it in his opening chapter, 
under the head of' Salutandi formulae.' 
And,indeed,"addedmy&ther thought- 
fully, "there is no great difference 
between politeness and affection. My 
author here observes that it is polite 
to express salutation in oertun minor 
distresses of nature. One should 
salute a gentleman in yawning, salute 
him in hiccnping, salute him in 
sneezing, salute him in coughing; — 
and that evidently because of your 
interest in his health; for he may 
dislocate his jaw in yawning, and the 
hiccup is often a symptom of grave 
disorder, and snee^ng is perilous to 
the small blood-vessels of the head, 
and coughing is either a tracheal, 
bronchial, puhnonary, or ganglionic 
aflSsction.*' 

"Very true. The Turks always 
salute in sneezing, and they are a 
remarkably polite people," said Uncle 
Jack. " But, my dear brother, I was 
just looking with admiration at these 
apple-trees of yours. I never saw 
&ier. I am a great judge of apples. 
I find, in talking with my sister, that 
you make very little profit by them. 
Thafs a pity. One might establish 
a cider orchard in this coimty. You 
can take your own fields in hiuid ; you 
can hire more, so as to make the 
whole, say a hundred acres. You can 
plant a very ejctensive apple-orchard 



on a grand scale. I hove just nm 
through the calculations; they are 
quite startling. Take 40 trees per 
acre — ^thafs the proper average — at 
Is. 6d. per tree; 4000 trees for 100 
acres £900 ; labomr of digging, trench* 
uigy say £10 an acre — ^total for 100 
acres, £1000. Pave the bottoms of 
the holes to prevent the tap-root 
striking down into the bad soil— oh, 
I am very close and caieM you see, 
in all minutise! — always was — ^pave 
'em with rubbish and stones, 6d. a 
hole; that for 4000 trees the 100 
acres is £100. Add the rent of the 
land, at 30s. an acre, £150. And how 
stands the total ?" Here Unde Jaek 
proceeded rapidly tiddng off the items 
with his fingers »— 



" Trees, 


• 


£300 


Labour, 


• 


1000 


Paving holes^ 


• 


100 


Benl^ 


• 


150 



Total, 



£1550 



That's your expense. Mark. — Now 
to the profit. Orchards in Kent 
realise £100 an acre, some even £150; 
but let* s be moderate^ say only £50 
an acre, and your gross profit per 
year, from a capital of £1550, will be 
£5000,— £5000 a-year. Think of 
that, brother Caxton. Deduct 10 per 
cent., or £500 a-year, for gardeners^ 
wages, manure, &c., and the net pro* 
duct is £4500. Your fbrtune's made, 
man — it is made — I wish you joy V* 
And Unde Jack rubbed his hands. 

" Bless me, father," said eagerly the 
young Hsistratus, who had swallowed 
with ravished ears every syllable and 
figure of this inviting calculation, 
** Why, we should be as rich as Squire 
BoUick ; and then, you know, sir, you 
could keep a pack of fox-hounds !" 

"And buy a large library," added 
Uncle Jack, with more subtle know- 
ledge of human nature as to its ap- 
propriate temptations. " Thei-e's my 



A FAMILY MCTUBE. 



27 



Mend the archbishop's collection to 
be sold." 

Slowly Tecovering his breath, my 
&ther gently turned his eyes from 
one to the other; and then, laying 
his left hand on my head, while with 
the right he held up £rasmas re- 
bokingly to Uncle Jack, said — 

"See how easily yon can sow 
covetonsness and avidii^ in the yontii- 
M mind Ah, brother !" 

** Ton are too severe, sir. See how 
the dear boy hangs his head ! Fie ! 
— ^natural enthnsiasm of his years — 
'gay hope by £incy fed,' as l^e poet 
says. Why, for that fine boy's sake, 
yoa ought not to lose so certain an 
occasion of wealth, I may say, nntold. 
For, observe, yon will form a nursery 
of crabs; each year yon go on 
grafting and enlai^ng yonr planta- 
taon, renting, nay, why not baying, 
more land ? Gad, sir ! in twenty 
years yon might cover half the county; 
bnt say yon stop short at 2000 acres, 
why, the net profit is £90,000 a-year. 
A duke's income — a duke's-— and 
going a-beg^g as I may say." 

"But stop," said I modestly; "the 
trees don't grow in a year. I know 
when our last apple-tree was planted 
—it is five years ago — it was then 
three years old, and it only bore one 
hatf-bufihel last autumn." 

"What an intelligent lad it is! 
—Good head there. Oh, he'll do 
credit to his great fortune, brother," 
said Unde Jack approvingly. " True, 
my boy. But in the meanwhile we 
could fiU the ground, as they do in 
Kent, with gooseberries and currants, 
or onions and cabbages. Nevertheless, 
considering we are not great capital- 
ists, I am afraid we must ^ve up a 
share of oiu: profits to diminish our 
outlay. So, harkye, Pisistratus — (look 
at him, brother — simple as he stands 
there, I think he is bom with i\ silver 
spoon in his mouth) — ^harkye, now to 
the mysteries of speculaticGu Yourj 



father shall qoietly buy the land, and 
then, presto! we will issue a pro* 
spectus, and start a Company. Asso- 
ciations can wait five yean for a 
return. Every year, meanwhile, in- 
creases the value of the shares. Yoor 
father takes, we say, fifty shares at 
£50 each, paying only an instalment 
of £2 a share. He sells 36 shares at 
cent, per cent. He keeps the remiun- 
ing 15, and his fortune's made all the 
same ; only it is not quite so large as 
if he had kept the whole concern in 
his own hands. What say you now» 
brother CaxtonP 'Viane edere pomwmV 
as we used to say at school." 

" I don't want a shilling more than 
I have got," said my &ther resolutely. 
"My wife would not love me better; 
my food would not nourish me more; 
my boy would not, in all probability^ 
be half so hardy, or a tenth part ao 
industrious; an d " 

"But," interrupted Uncle Jadc» 
pertinaciously, and reserving his grand 
argumoit for the last, " the good yoa 
would confer on the commimity — ^the 
progress given to the natural jnfoduc- 
tions of yoiur country, the wholesome 
beverage of cider, brought within 
cheap reach of the labouring classes. 
If it was only for your sake, should I 
have urged this question? should I 
now P is it in my character ? But for 
the sake of the public ! mankind ! of 
our fellow-creatures ! Why, sir, Eng- 
land could not get on if gentlemen 
like you had not a little philanthropy 
and speculation." 

" PapsB !" exclaimed my father, "to 
think that England can't get on with- 
out turning Austin Caxton into an 
apple-merchant ! My dear Jack, listen. 
Yon remind me of a colloquy in this 
book; wait a bit — here it is — Paw- 
phagus and Codes. — Cocles recog- 
nizes his fiiend, who had been absent 
for many years, by his eminent and 
remarkable nose. — ^Pamphagus says, 
rather irritably, that he is not ashamed 



28 



THE CAXTONSt 



of bis nose. ' Asbamed of it ! no, 
indeed/ says Codes: 'I never saw 
a nose tliat conld be put to ^ many 
uses !' ' Ha,' says Pampbagos, (wbose 
curiosity is- aroused,) 'uses! wbat 
nses?' Wbereon (lepidissime f ra- 
ter t) Cocles, witb eloquence as rapid 
as yours, runs on witli a countless list 
of tbe uses to wbicli so vast a develop- 
ment of tbe organ can be applied. ' If 
tbe cellar was deep, it could sniff up 
tbe wine like an depbant's trunk,-— if 
tbe bellows were unsung, it could 
blow tbe fire, — ^if tbe lamp was too 
glaring, it could suffice for a sbade,— 
it would serve as a speaking-trumpet 
to a berald, — ^it could sound a signal 
of battle in tbe field, — ^it would do for 
a wedge in wood-cutting — a spade for 
cUgging — a scytbe for mowing — an 
ancbor in sailing; till Fampbagus 
cries out, ' Lucky dog tbat I am ! and 
I never knew before wbat a useful 
piece of furniture I carried about with 
me.' " My fatber paused and strove 
to wbistle, but that effort of harmony 
failed him — and he added — smiling, 
" So much fi)r my apple-trees, brother 
John. Leave them to their natural 
destination of filling tarts and dump- 
lings." 

Uncle Jade looked a little discom- 
posed fat a moment; but he then 
laughed with his usual heartiness, and 
saw that he had not yet got to my 
other's blind side. I confess that my 
fevered parent zose in my «gtimatioii 



after that conference ; and I began to 
see that a man may not be quite with- 
out common sense, though be is a 
scholar. Indeed, whether it was that 
Unde Jack's visit acted as a gentle 
stimulant to his relaxed finculties, or 
that I, now grown older and wiser, 
began to see his diaracter more clearly, 
I date from those summer holidays, 
the commencement of that familiar 
and endearing intimacy which ever 
after existed between my fiither and 
myself. Often I deserted the more 
extendve rambles of Unde Jack, or 
the greater allurements of a cricket* 
match in the village, or a day's fish- 
ing in Squire Rollick's preserves, for 
a quiet stroll with my fittber by the 
old peadi-wall; — sometimes silent, 
indeed, and already musing over the 
future, while he was busy with the 
past, but amply rewarded when, sus- 
pending bis lecture, he would pour 
forth hoards of varied learning, ren* 
dered amuang by bis quaint com- 
ments, and that Socratic satire whidi 
only fell short of wit because it never 
passed into malice. At some moments!, 
indeed, the vein ran into doquence; 
and with some fine heroic sentiment 
in his old books, his stooping form 
rose erect, his eye fiasbed; and yoa 
saw that he bad not been originally 
formed and wholly meant for thii 
obscure sedusion in which his barm- 
leas dayi now wore contentedly awaj. 



A FJQflLY FIGTUBH. 



M 



CHAPTER IV. 



"EOADy mr, the oounty is going 
to the dogs ! Our sentiments are not 
represented in parliament or oi;t of 
it. The County Mercury has ratted, 
and bo hang^ to it! and now we 
have not one newspaper in the whole 
shire to express the sentiments of the 
respectable part of the community?" 

This speech was made on the occa- 
non of one of the rare dinners given 
by Mr. and Mrs. Caxton to the gran- 
dees of the neighbomrhood, and uttered 
by no less a person than Squire Bol- 
lick, of Rollick Hall, chairman of the 
quarter-sessions. 

I confess that I (for I was per- 
mitted on that first occasion not only 
to dine with the gaests, but to out- 
stay the ladies, in virtue of my grow- 
ing years, and my promise to abstain 
from the decanters) — I confess, I say, 
that J, poor innocent, was puzzled to 
conjecture what sudden interest in 
the county newspaper could cause 
Unde Jack to pride up his ears like a 
war-horse at the sound of the drum, 
and rush so incontinently across the 
interval between Squire BoUick and 
h)msel£ But the mind of that deep 
and truly knowing man was not to be 
plumbed by a chit of my age. You 
could not fish for the shy salmon in 
that pool with a crooked pin and a 
bobbin, as you would for minnows ; 
or, to indulge in a more worthy illus- 
tration, you could not say of him, as 
St. Gregory saith of the streams of 
Jordan, " A lamb could wade easily 
through that ford.'' 

" Not a county newspaper to advo- 
cate the rights of " here my unde 

stopped, as if at a loss, and whispered, 
in my ear, " What are his politics ?" 
"Don't know," answered I. Unde Jade 
intoiiively took down from his memory 



the phrase most readily at hand, and 
added, with a nasal intonation, " the 
rights of our distressed fellow-crea- 
tures r 

My fkther scratdied his eyebrow 
with his fore-finger, as he was apt to 
do when doubtAil; the rest of the 
company — a silent set — looked up. 

" Fellow-creatures !" said Mr. Bol* 
Uck— "feUow-fiddlesticks !" 

Unde Jack was clearly in the 
wrong box. He drew out of it cau- 
tiously — "I mean," said he, "our 
respect<tblefe\haw-creAtuxe8;" and then 
suddenly it occurred to him that a 
"County Mercury" would naturally 
represent the agricultural interest, 
and that if Mr. Bollick said that the 
"County Mercury ought to behanged," 
he was one of those politidans who 
had already begun to call the agricul- 
tural interest " a Vampire." Flushed 
with that landed discovery, Unde 
Jack rushed on, intending to bear 
along with the stream, thus fortu- 
nately directed, all the "rubbish"* 
subsequently shot into Covent Garden 
and Hall of Commerce. 

''Yes, respectable feUow-creatnre^ 
men of capital and enterprise ! For 
what are these country squires com- 
pared to our wealthy merchants? 
What is this agericultural interest that 
professes to be the prop of the land ?" 

" Professes !" cried Squire Bollick 
— "it ia the prop of the land ; and as 
for those manufiicturi:^^ fellows who 
have bought up the Mercury " 

"Bought up the Mercury, have 
they, the villains !" cried Unde Jack, 
interrupting the Squire;, and now 



* "We talked sad mbbish when we flrst 
began," says Mr. Cobden in one of his 
speeches. 



',» 



THE CAXTOlfS: 



bnrstiDg into full scent — ^" Depend 
upon it, sir, it is a part of a diabolical 
system of buying up, which must be 
exposed manfully. — ^Tes, as I was say- 
ing, what is that agricultural interest 
which they desire to ruin ? which they 
declare to be so bloated — ^whidi they 
call ' a vampire !' they the true blood- 
suckers, the venomous millocrats ! 
Fellow-creatures, sir ! I may well call 
distressed fellow-creatures the mem- 
bers of that much sufiering class of 
which yon yourself are an ornament. 
What can be more deserving of our 
best efforts for relief, than a country 
gentleman like yourself well say — of 
a nominal £5000 a-year — compelled 
to keep up an establishment, pay for 
his fox-hounds, support the whole 
population by contributions to the 
poor-rates, support the whole church 
by tithes ; all justice, jaUs, and pro- 
secutions by the county rates — all 
'thorough£sures by the highway rates — 
ground down by mortgages, Jews, 
or jointures ; having to provide for 
younger children ; enormous expenses 
for cutting his woods, manuring his 
model fiirm, and £ittening huge oxen 
till every pound of flesh costs him five 
pounds sterling in oil-cake ; and then 
the lawsaits necessary to protect his 
rights; plundered on all hands by 
poachers, iheep-stealers, dog-stealers, 
churchwardens, overseers, gardeners, 
gamekeeper8,and that necessary rascal, 
his stewwd. If ever there was a dis- 
tressed fellow-creature in the world, 
it is a country gentleman with a g^eat 
estate.** 

My £&ther evidently thought this 
an exquisite piece of banter, for by 
the comer of his mouth I saw that he 
chuckled inly. 

Squire BoUick, who had interrupted 
tibe speech by sundry approving excla- 
mations, particularly at the mention 
<^ poor-rates, tithes, county rates, 
mortgages, and poachers, here pushed 
ih» bottle to Unde Jade, and said^ 



civilly, — " There's a great deal of truth 
in what you say, Mr. Tibbets. The 
agricultural interest is going to ruin; 
and when it doesi, I would not give 
that for Old England \" and Mr. Rol- 
lick snapped his finger and thuiub. 
"But what is to be done-~done lor 
the county ? There's the rub." 

"I was just coming to that," quoth 
Unde Jade. '' You say that you have 
not a county paper that upholds your 
cause, and denounces your enemies." 
Not since the Whigs bought the 
ehire Mercury.' 



«< 



»f 



« 



Why, good heavens ! Mr.Bdlii^ 
how can you suppose that you will 
have justice done you, if at this time 
of day you neglect the press P The 
press, sir — ^there it is — ^air we breathe! 
Whsit you want is a great national — 
no, not a national — a. fboyincial 
proprietary weekly journal, supported 
liberally and steadily by that mighty 
party whose very existence is at stake. 
Without such a paper, you are gone, 
you are dead, extinct, defunct, buried 
alive; with such a paper, well con- 
ducted, well edited by a man of the 
world, of education, of practical expe- 
rience in agriculture and human na- 
ture, mines, com, manure, insurances, 
acts of parliament, cattle-shows, the 
state of parties, and the best interests 
of sodety — ^with sudi a man and sudi 
a paper, you will carry all before you. 
But it must be done by subscription, 
by association, by co-operation, by a 
Grraad Provindal Benevolent Agricol- 
toral Anti-innovating Sodety." 

"Egad, sir, you are right!" said 
Mr. BoUick, slapping his thigh; ''and 
I'll ride over to our Lord-Lieutenant 
to-morrow. His eldest son ought to 
carry the county." 

** And he will, if yon encourage the 
press and set up a journal," said Und« 
Jack, rubbing his hands, and thea 
gently stretdiSig them out, and draw, 
ing them gradually together, as if he 
were already endoaing in that aiiy 



A FAMILY PICTUHE. 



81 



drde tbe uoBuspecting gameas of the 
imboni association. 

All happiness dwells more in the 
hope than the possession ; and at that 
moment, I dare be sworn that Uncle 
Jack felt a livelier rapture, oircum 
pracordia, warming his entrails^ and 
diffusingthroughout his whole frame of 
five feet eight the prophetic glow of the 
Mflgna Diva Moneta, than if he had 
enjoyed for ten years the actual pos- 
session of King CrcQsus's privy purse. 

" I thought Unde Jack was not a 
Tory/' said I to my Mher the next 
day. 

Hy father, who cared nothing for 
politics, opened his eyes. 

' Are you a Tory or a Whig, papa?** 
Um,*' said my father — " there's a 
great deal to he said on both sides of 
the question. You see, my boy, that 
Mrs. Primming has a great many 
moulds for our butter-pats; sometimes 
they come up with a crown on them, 
flometunes with the more popular im- 
press of a cow. It is all very well 
fm those who dish up the butter to 
print it according to their taste, or in 
proof of their abilities; it is enough 
£)ir us to butter our bread, say grace, 
and pay for the dauy. I>o you un- 
derstand P** 

"Not a bit, sir." 



tt 



t€ 



"Your namesake PSsistratoB was 
wiser than you, then,'* said my father. 
"And now let us feed the duck. 
Where's your uncle ?** 

"He has borrowed Mr. Squill's 
mare, sir, and gone with Squire Rol- 
lick to the great lord they were talk- 
ing of." 

" Oho !" said my fiither, " brother 
Jack is gvnng to print his butter !" 

And indeed Uncle Jack played his 
cards so well on this occasion, and set 
before the Lord-Lieutenant, with 
whom he had a personal interview, so 
fine a prospectus, and so nice a calcu- 
lation, that before my holidays were 
over, he was installed in a very hand- 
some office in the ooimty town, with 
private apartments over it, and a 
salary of £500 a-year — for advocating 
the cause of bis distressed fellow 
creatures, including noblemen, squires^ 
yeomanry, formers, and all yearly 
subscribers in the New Peopeietaby 

AaBICULTUSUi ANTI-HrNOVATINO- 

SHiSE Weebxt Gazette. At 

the head of his newspaper Uncle Jack 
caused to be engraved a crown sup- 
ported by a fiail and acrook, with the 
motto, "Pro rege et grege:" — ^And 
that was the way in whkh Unde Jack 
printed bis pats of butter. 



CHAPTER V. 



I gSEMXD to Tayseilf to have made 
a leap in life when I returned to 
■MhooL I no longer &lt as a Ix^. 
Unde Jack, oat of his own parse, had 
presented ne mth my first pair of 
Wellington boots; my mother had 
been ooaced into allowing me a small 
tail to jackets lutherto tail-less; my 
eollan^ which had beoi wont, spaniel- 
like, to fiap and &11 about my nedc, 
aow, terrier-wise^ stood erect uid 



rampant, encompassed with a drcmn- 
vallation of whalebone, buckram, and 
black silk. I was, in truth, nearly 
sevente«i, and I gave myself the airs 
of a num. Now, be it observed, that 
that crisis in adolescent eadstenoe 
wherein we first pass fscm. Master 
Sisty into Mr. PLdstratus, or IRsis- 
tratos Caxton, Esq. — ^wherdn we ar- 
rogate, and with tacit conoesmon firom 
our diders^ the long-envied title of 



32 



THE CAXTONS : 



€< 



young man'' — always seems a sadden 
and imprompt npshooting and eleva- 
tion. We do not mark the gradaal 
preparations thereto; we rememher 
only one distinct period in. which all 
the signs and symptoms hnrst and 
effloresced together; Wellington boots, 
coat tail, cravat, down on the upper 
lip, thoughts on razors, reveries on 
yomig ladies, and a new kind of sense 
of poetry. 

I began now to read steadily, to 
understand what I did read, and to 
cast some anxious looks towards the 
future, with vague notions that I had 
a place to win in the world, and that 
nothing is to be won without per- 
severance and labour; and so I went 
on till I was seventeen, and at the 
head of the school, when I received 
the two letters I subjoin. 

1. — Fbom ATJGFBTnrB Caxtok, Esq. 

" My deab Son, — I have informed 
Dr. Herman that you will not return 
to him after the approaching holidays. 
Tou are old enough now to look for- 
ward to the embraces of our beloved 
Alma Mater, and I think studious 
enough to hope for the honours she 
bestows on her worthier sons. You 
are already entered at Trinity, — and 
in fancy 1 see my youth return to me 
in your image. I see you wandering 
where the Cam steals its way through 
those noble gardens ; and, confusing 
you with myself, I recall the old 
dreams that haunted me when the 
chiming bells swung over the placid 
waters. ' Verum secretumque Mouseion, 
quam multa dictatis, quam multa in- 
venitis!' There at that illustrious 
college, unless the race has indeed 
degenerated, you will measure your- 
self with young giants. You will see 
those who, in the Law, the Church, 
the State or the still cloisters of 
Learning, are destined to become the 
eminent leaders of your age. To 



rank amongst them you are not for- 
bidden to aspire; he who in youth 
' can soom delight, and love laborious 
days,' should pitch high his ambition. 

"Your Uncle Jack says he has 
done wonders with his newspaper,— 
though Mr. Bollick grumbles, and 
declares that it is full of theories, and 
that it puzzles the farmers. Unde 
Jack, in reply, contends that he cre- 
ates an audience, not addresses one, 
— and sighs that his genius is thrown 
away in a provincial town. In fact, 
he really is a very clever man, and 
might do much in London, I dare 
say. He often comes over to dine 
and sleep, returning the next morn- 
ing. His energy is wonderful — and 
contagious. Can you imagine that 
he has actually stured up the Hame 
of my vanity, by constantly poking 
at the bars ? Metaphor apart — I find 
myself collecting all my notes and 
commonplaces, and wondering to see 
how easily they &J1 into method, and 
take shape in chapters and books. I 
cannot help smiling when I add, that 
I fancy I am going to become an 
author; and smiling more when I 
think that your Uncle Jack should 
have provoked me into so egr^ious 
an ambition. However, I have read 
some passages of my book to your 
mother, and she says, 'it is vastly 
fine,' which is encomraging. Your 
mother has great good sense, though 
I don't mean to sav that she Iuls 
much learning, — ^which is a wonder, 
considering that He de la Mirandola 
was nothing to her father. Yet he 
died, dear great man, and nev^ 
printed a line, — ^while I — ^positively 
I blush to think of my temerity ! 

" Adieu, my son ; make the best of 
the time that remains with you at 
the Fhilhellenio. A full mind is the 
true Pantheism, jp2en0 Jovis, It is 
only in some comer of the brain 
which we leave empty that Vice can 
obtain a lodging. Wlien she knocks 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



33 



at your door^ mj bod, be able to say, 
*No room for your ladyship, — pass 
on.' Your afTectionato £a.ther, 

"A. Caxtok." 

2.-«Fbo]£ Mbs. Caxtoit. 

"Mt dbabsst SiBTr,<— Yon are 

eoming home ! — ^My heart is so fall of 

that thought that it eeems to me as 

if I could Bot write anything else. 

Dear diild, you are oondng home ;— 

yoa hare done with school, you have 

done with strangers^-— yoa are onr 

own, all our own son again ! Yoa are 

mine again, as yoa were in the cradle, 

the nursery, and, the garden, Sisty, 

when we nsed to throw daldes at 

each other ! Yoa will laugh at me 

80, when I tell you, that as soon as I 

heard you were coming home tor good, 

I crept away from the zoom, and went 

to my drawer where I keep, you 

Enow, aU my treasures. There was 

your little cap that I worked myself, 

and your poor little nankeen jacket 

that you were so proud to throw off 

—oh ! and many other relics of you 

when you were HtUe Sisty, and I was 

not the cold formal ' Mother* you call 

me now, but dear ' Manmia.' I kissed 

them, Sisty, and said, 'my little 

child is coming back to me again !' 

So toolish was I, I forgot all the long 

years that have passed, and fancied I 

tx>uld carry you agzun in my arms, 

and that I should again coax you to 

say 'God bless papa.' Well, well! 

I write now between laughing and 

crying. You cannot be what you 

were, but you are still my own dear 

son — ^^'our other's son^-dearer to me 

than all the world — except that 

ilither. 

'' 1 am 80 glad, too, that you will 
come so soon : come while your &>ther 
is really warm with his book, and 
while you can encourage and keep 
him to it. For why should he not be 
great and famous ? Why should not 

No. 335. 



all adnure him as we do P You know 
how proud of him I always was ; but 
I do so long to let the world know 
whif I was so proud. And yet, after 
all, it is not only because he is so wise 
and learned, — but because he is so 
good, and has such a large noble 
heart. But the heart must appear 
in the book too, as well as the learn- 
ing. For though it is full of things 
I don't understand — every now and 
then there is something I do imder- 
stand — ^that seems as if that hcurc 
spoke out to all the world. 

" Your uncle has undertaken to get 
it published; and your father is going 
up to town with him about it, as soon 
as the first volume is finished. 

"All are quite well except poor 
Mrs. Jones, who has the ague very 
bad indeed ; Primmins has made her 
wear a charm fbr it, and Mrs. Jones 
actually declares she is already much 
better. One can't deny that there may 
be a great deal insudi things, though 
it seems quite against the reason. 
Indeed your fiither says, 'Why not ? 
A charm must be accompanied by a 
strong wish on the part of the charmer 
that it may succeed,— and what is 
magnetism but a wish?' I don't 
quite comprehend this ; but, like aU 
your father says, it has more than 
meets the eye, I am quite sure. 

" Only three weeks to the holidays, 
and then no more school, Sisty — no 
more school ! I shall have your room 
all done freshly, and made so pretty ; 
they are coming about it to-morrow. 

"The duck is quite wcU, and I 
really don't think it is quite as lame 
as it was. 

" Gk)d bless you, dear, dear child 
Your affectionate happy mother. 

" K. C." 

The interval between these letters 
and the morning on wHch I was to 
return home, seemed to me like one 
of those long, restless, yet half-dreamy 



I 



34 



THE CAXTONS t 



days which In some infant malady I 
had passed in a siok-hed. I went 
through my taskwork mechanically, 
composed a Greek ode in fiureweU to 
the Philhellenic, whidi Dr. Herman 
pronounced a ehef d^oeuwe, and my 
father, to whom I sent it in tidumph, 
retmned a letter of false English 
with it, that parodied aU my Hellenic 
barharisms by imitating them in my 
mother tongue. However, I swallowed 
the leek, and consoled myself with 
the pleasmg recollection that, after 
spending six years in learning to 
write had Greek, I should never have 
any further occasion to avail myself 
of so precious an aoeomplishmen^ 

And so came the last day. Then 
alone, and in a kind of delighted 
melancholy, I revisited each of the 
old haunts. The robber's cave we 
had dug one winter, and maintained, 
fflx of us, against all the police of the 
lit^e kingdom. The place near the 



pales where I had fought my first 
battle. The old beech stump on 
which I sate to read letters from 
home I With my knife, rich in six 
blades, (besides a cork-screw, a pen- 
picker, and a button4iookt) I carved 
my name in large capitals over my 
desk. Then night came, and the bell 
rang, and we went to our rooms. And 
I opened the window and looked out. 
I saw all the stars, a^d wondered 
which was mine-^which should light 
to &me and fortune the manhood 
about to commence. Hope and Am- 
bition were high within me;->-and 
yet, behind th^m, stood Melancholy. 
Ah ! who amongst you, readers, can 
now summon back aU those tiioughts, 
sweet and sad— all that untold, half- 
oonsdons regret for the past— all 
those vague longings for the fixture, 
which made a poet of the dullest on 
the last night before leafving boyhood 
and school for ever I 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



35 



PAET THIED. 



CHAPTBBL 



It was & Tsoantifbl Bamnier Bffta?* 
nooQ when the coach set me down ftt 
my father's gate. Mn. Primmms 



hoHBelf ran out to welcome me ; and 
I had scarcely escaped fimn thewaarm 
clasp of her friendly hand, hefore I 
was in the arms of my mother. 

As soon as that tenderest of parents 
was convinced that 7 was not fiEimished, 
sedng that I had dined two hours 
ago at Ihr. Herman's, she led me 
gently across "tiie garden towards the 
arbour. " Ton will find yonr ftther 
so cheerfU,'' said she, wiinng away a 
tear. *' His brother is with him." 

I stopped. Sis brofiher! Will 
the reader believe it F-*-I had never 
heard that he had a brother, so little 
were family affiors ever discussed in 
m}r hearing. 

*'* Sis brother V said L "Have I 
then an Uncle Caxton as well as an 
Uncle Jack?" 

*• Yes, my love,** said my mother. 
And then she added, ''Your father 
and he were not such good friends as 
they onght to have been, and the 
Captain has been abroad. However, 
thank heaven! they ore now qmte 
reconciled.** 

We had time for no more-^we were 
in the arbour. There, a table was 
spread with wine and fruit— -the 
gentlemen were at thdr dessert ; and 
those gentlemen were my fiither, 
Uncle Jack, Mr. Squills, and— "tall, 



lean, buttoned-to-fhe-chin— •an erects 
martial, nu^estae, and imposing per- 
sonage, who seemed worthy of a place 
in my great ancestor's " Boke of Chi- 
valrie." 

All rose as I entered; but my poot 
fiither, who was always slow in his 
movonentsi, had the last of me. Unde 
JadL had left the very powerful im- 
pressien of his great seal-ring on my 
fingers; Mr. Squills had patted me 
on the shonlder, and pronounced me 
" wondeif oily grown ;" my new-found 
rdative had widi great dignilysaid, 
" Nephew, your hand, sir — I am Cap- 
tain de Caxton;** and even the tame 
duck had taken her beak from her 
wing, and robbed it gently between 
my legs, which was her usual mode 
of salutetion, before my fitther placed 
his pale hand on my forehead, and, 
loc^ng at me for a moment with un- 
utterable sweetness, said, ''More and 
more like your mother— God bless 

you I** 

A chair had been kept vacant for 
me between my fiither and his brother. 
I sat down in haste, and with a ting- 
ling colour on my cheeks and a rising 
at my throat, so much had the unusual 
kindness of my father's greeting 
affected me; and then there cam6 over 
me a sense of my new position. I was 
no longer a sdioolboy at home for his 
brief holiday: I had returned to the 
shelter of the roof-tNe to become my* 

92 



\. 



36 



THE CAXTONSt 



self one of its rapports. I was at last 
a man, priTileged to aid or solace those 
dear ones who had ministered, as yet 
withont retam, to me. . That is a very 
strange crisis in onr life when we 
come home **for goodt* Home seems 
a different thing: before, one has heen 
but a sort of guest after all, only wel- 
comed and indulged, and little festi- 
vities held in honour of the released 
and happy child. But to come home 
for ffood-^to have done with school 
and boyhood— is to be a g^est, a child 
no more. It is to share the everyday 
life of cares and duties— it is to enter 
into the confidences of home. Is it 
not so? I could have buried my face 
in my hands, and wept! 

My father, with all his abstraction 
and all his simplicity, had a laiack now 
and then of penetrating at once to the 
heart. I verily believe he read all 
that was passing in mine as easily as 
if it had been Greek. He stole his 
arm gently round my waist and whis- 
pered, **Hush!" Then lifting his 
voice, hecried aloud, " Brother Boland, 
you must not let Jack have the best 
of the argument." 

** Brother Austin,'* replied the Cap- 
tain, very formally, "Mr. Jack, if I 
may take the liberty so to call him" — 

"You may indeed," cried Unde 
Jack. 

"Sir," said the Captain, bowing, 
''it is a familiarity that does me 
honour. I was about to siiy that 
Mr. Jack has retired firom the field." 

" Far from it," said Squills, drop- 
ping an effervesdng powder into a 
chemical mixture which he had been 
preparing with great attention, com- 
posed of sherry and lemon-juice-*- 
" far from it. Mr. Tibbets— whose 
organ of combativeness is finely deve* 
loped, by the by — ^was saying"— 

" That it is a rank sin and shame in 
the nineteenth century," quoth Unde 
Jack, "that a man like my friend 
Qbptain Caxton"--- 



" De Caxton, sir— Mr. Jack." 

" De Caxton— of the highest mili- 
tary talents, of the most illustrious 
descent — a hero spmno: from heroes- 
should have served so many years, 
and with rach distinction, in his 
Majesty's service, and should now 
be only a captain on half-pay. This, 
I say, comes of the infamous system of 
purchase, wHch sets up the highest 
honours for sale as they did iu the 
Boman empire"'— 

My father pricked up his cars; but 
Unde Jade pushed on before my 
fkther oonld get ready the forces ot 
his meditated interruption. 

" A system which a little effort, a. 
little muon, can so easily terminate. 
Yes^ sir,"— and Unde Jack thumped 
the table, and two cherries bobbed up 
and smote Captain de Caxton on the 
nose—" yes, sir, I will undertake to 
say that I could put the army upon a 
very different footing. If the poorer 
and more meritorious gentlemen, like 
Captain de Caxton, would, as I was 
just observing, but unite in a grand 
anti>aristocratic association, each pay- 
ing a small sum quarterly, we could 
realize a capital suffident to outpur- 
chaseall these undeserving individuals,, 
and every man of merit should have 
his liur chance of promotion." 

" Egad, sb," said Squills, "there is 
something grand in that— ch, Cap- 
tiun?" 

" No, or," replied the Captain quito 
seriously; " th^e is in monarchies bat 
one fountain of honour. It would bti 
an interference with a soldier's firs!; 
duty— his respect for his sovereign." 

"On the contrary," said Mr. 
Squills, "it would still be to tho 
sovereigns that one would owe the 
promotion." 

"Honour," pm*sued the Captsdn, 
colouring up, and unheeding this 
witty interruption, " is the reward of 
a soldier. What do I care that a 
young jackanapes buys his colonelcy* 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



37 



ever my head? Sir, he does not buy 
:&oin me my wounds and my services. 
Sir, he does not buy from me the 
medal *I won at Waterloo. He is a 
ncli man, and I am a poor man; he is 
called—- colonel, because he paid money 
for the ncMne. That pleases him; 
well and good. It would not please 
me: I had rather remain a captain, 
and feci my dignity, not in my title, 
but in the services by which it has 
been won. A beggarly, rascally as- 
sodation of stockbrokers, for aught I 
know, buy me a company! I don't 
want to be trndvil, or I would say 
damn 'em, Mr. — sir— Jack!" 

A sort of thrill ran through the 
Captain's audience— even Uncle Jack 
seemed touched, for he stared very 
hard at the grim veteran, and said 
nothing. The pause was awkward-— 
Mr. Squills broke it. " I should like," 
quoth he, "to see your Waterloo 
medal— you have it not about you?" 

" Mr. Squills," answered the Cap- 
tain, "it lies next to my heart while 
I live. It shall be buried in my 
cofHu, and I shall rise with it, at the 
word of command, on the day of the 
Grand Review!" So saying, the 
Captain leisurely unbuttoned his coat, 
and, detaching from a piece of striped 
ribbon as ugly a specimen of the art 
of the silversmith (begging its pardon) 
as ever rewarded merit at the expense 



of taste, placed the medal on the 
table. 

The medal passed round, without a 
word, from hand to hand. 

"It is strange," at last said my 
father, "how such trifles can be made 
of such value-— how in one age a man 
sells his life for what in the next age 
he would not give a button! A Greek 
esteemed beyond price a few leaves of 
olive twisted into a drcular shape, and 
set upon his head— a very ridiculous 
headgear we should now call it. An 
American Indian prefers a decoration 
of human scalps, which, I apprehend, 
we should all agree (save and except 
Mr. Squills, who is accustomed to such 
things) to be a very disgusting addi- 
tion to one's personal attractions; and 
my brother values this piece of silver, 
which may be worth about Ave shil- 
lingSy more than Jack does a gold 
mine, or I do the library of the 
London Museum. A time will come 
when people will think that as idle a 
decoration as leaves and scalps." 

" Brother," said the Captain, "there 
is nothing strange in the matter. It 
is as plain as a pike-staff to a man 
who understands the principles of 
honour." 

" Possibly," said my father mildly. 
" I should like to hear what you have 
to say upon honour. I am sure it 
would very much edify us alL' 



» 



3& 



THE CAXTONS 



CHAPTER IL 



U7 rXCUZ SOIiAlTD'S DISCOUXSX TTBOS HONOIJIU 



«t 



u 



€t 



GwxTJJSMXS," hegtm the Captain^ 
at the distmct appeal thus made to 
him— -'* Gentlemen, God made the 
earth, bnt mam made the garden. 
God made man, bat man re-ereates 
himself." 

"Tme, "by knowledge/' said my 
&ther. 

By mdnstej,** said Uacle Jack. 

By the physical eondi&ms of his 
body/' said Mr. Sqmlls. " He ooold 
not haye made himself otiier than he 
was at ffarst in the woods and wilds if 
he had fins like a fish, or ooold only 
diofeter gibberish like a monkey. 
Hands and a tongne, sir; ihese are 
fhe instruments €£ progrefls.** 

«<Mr. Squills," said my fid^ier, 
nodding, " Anazagoras said very mueii 
the same thing before yon, tooehing 
the hands.'* 



€t 



I can't help that,'' aiDSwered Mr. 
gqtdlls; ''one coold not open one's 
lips, if one were bound to say what 
aobody else had said. But, after all, 
our snperiority is less in our hands 
than the greatness of onr tkmnbs" 

" Albinns, de Soeleto, and onr own 
learned William Lawrence, have made 
a similar remark," again put in my 
lather. 

" Hang it, sir!" exclaimed Squills, 
"what business have you to know 
everything?" 

"Everything! No; but thumbs 
furnish subjects of inv^igation to the 
simplest understanding," said my 
&tber, modestly. 

" Gentlemen," recommenced my 
Uncle Holand, "thumbs and han^ 
are given to an Esquimaux, as well as 
to scholars and surgeons — and what 
the deuce are they the wiser for them ? 



Sirs, you cannot reduce us thus int(» 
medumism. Look within. Man, I 
say, recreates himself. How? By 

THE PBIirCIPZ.E OP HONOUS. His 

first desire is to excel some <xie else— 
his first impitlse is distinction above 
his feEows. Heaven places in his 
sool, 88 if it were a compass, a needle 
that always pcnnts to one endy-^viz., 
to honour in l^at which those aroiancL 
him consider honourable. Therefore, 
as man at first is exposed to all 
dangers ^enm wHd beasts^ and firom 
men as savage as lumself, CotmAGhi 
beoeanes the first quality mankind 
must honour: tberefore the savage is 
courageoiis; therefore he covets the 
praise for eonrage; therefcHre he deco- 
rates himself with the skins of the 
beasts he has subdued, or the scalps 
of the foes he has slaha. Sirs, don't 
tell me thaft the skins and the sealps 
are only hade and leaither; they are 
trq^es of honour. IXm^ tell me 
that th^ are ridiculous and disgust- 
ing; they become glorious as proofi». 
tiiat the savage has emerged out of 
the first brute-like egolasm, and at- 
tached price to the praise which men 
never ^ve except for works that 
secure or advance their welfare. By 
and by, sirs, our savages discover that 
they cannot live in safety amongst 
themselves, unless they agree to speak 
the truth to each other: therefore 
Tbuth becomes valued, and grows 
into a principle of honour; so, brother 
Austin will tell us that in the primitive 
times, truth was always the attribute 
of a hero." 

" Right," said my father : " Homer 
emphatically assigns it to Achilles." 

*' Out of truth comes the necessity 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



39 



for some kiud of radc justice and law. 
Therefore men, after courage in the 
warrior, and truth in all, begin to 
attach honour to the elder^ whom they 
intrustwith preserving justiceamongvt 
them. So, sirs. Law is bom''-^ 

"But the first lawgiven waise 
priests,'' quoth my &ther. 

" Sirs, I am oQOung to that. Whence 
arises the desire of hononr, hnt £ram 
man's necessity of excelling — ^in other 
words, of improving his fiicnlties for 
the heneJU of others, — though, uneon^ 
sdous of that consequence, man only 
strives for their praue? But that 
desire for honour is unextingniahable^ 
and man is naturally anxious to carry 
its reiwards beyond the gm^a* There- 
fore, he who has slain most lions or 
enemies, is naturally prone to believe 
that he shall have the beet hunting 
fields in the country beyondt and take 
the best place at the banquet. Sfatnre, 
in all its operatSons, impvesses man 
with the idea of an invisble Power; 
and the prmciple of honoup-^that is, 
the desire of pMise and reward— 
makes him anzioas fbr the approval 
which that Power can bestow. Thence 
comes the first rude idea of BELiazoK;. 
and in the death-hymn at the stake, 
the savage chants songs prophetic of 
the distinctions he 'a about to recdve. 
Sodety goes on; hamlets are built; 
property is established. He who has 
more than another has more power 
than another. Power is honoured. 
Man covets the honour arfstached to 
the power which is attached to pos- 
sesaoD. Thus the soil is cultivated; 
thus the rafts are constructed; thus 
tribe trades with tribe; thus Cox- 
If BBGE is founded, and Civisizaxion 
commenced, ^rs, all that seems least 
connected withhonour, as we approach 
tlie vulgar days of the present, has its 
origin in honour, and is but an abuse 
of its prindples. K men now-a^days 
are hucksters and trader»>^if even 
military honourti are purchased, and a 



rogue buys his way to a peerage-— 
still all arise fiwm thedesire for honour, 
which sodety, as it grows old, gives 
to the outward signs of titles and 
gdd, instead of, as once, to its inward 
e86entia]%-*ssourage, truth* justice, 
en t erprise. Therefbre, I say, sirs, that 
honour is the foundation of all im- 
provement in mankind." 

''You have argued Uke a sohcx>l- 
man, brother," said Mr. Caxton ad- 
miringly; "but still, as to this round 
piece of diver — don't we go back to 
the most barbarous ages in estimating 
so highly such things as have no real 
value in themselves — as could not 
give us one opportunity for instruct- 
ing our minds? 

" Could not pay for a pair of boots," 
added unde Jack. 

" Or," said Mr. Squills, "save you 
one twinge of the cfffsed rheumatism 
you' have got fbr life from that nighfs 
bivouao in. the- Portuguese marshes — 
to say nothing of the ballet in your 
cmiiam, and that cork leg, which 
must much diminish the salutary 
e£bcts of your constitutional walk." 

"Gentlemen," resumed the Cap- 
tain, nothing abashed, " in going back 
to those barbarous ages, I go back to 
the true principles of honour. It is 
precisely becaose t^is round piece of 
silver has no value in the market that 
it is pricdess, for thus it is only a 
proof of desert. Where would be the 
sense of service in this medal, if it 
could buy back my leg, or if I could 
bargain it away for forty thousand a- 
year ? No, drs, its value is this— 
that when I wear it on my breast, 
men shall say, ' that formal old fellow 
is not so useless as he seems. He was 
one of those who saved England and 
freed Europe.' And even when I con- 
ceal it here," (and, devoutly Idssing 
the medal, Unde Roland restored it to 
its ribbon and Its resting-place), "and 
no eye sees it, its value is yet greater 
in tlic thought that my country has 



J- 



40 



THE CAXTONSt 



not degraded the old and tnie prin- 
ciples of honour, by payuag the sol- 
dier who fought for her in the same 
coin as that in which you, Mr. Jack, 
sir, pay your bootmaker's bilL No, 
no, gentlemen. As courage was the 
first virtue that honour called forth— 
the first virtue &om which all safety 
ttid civilization proceed, so we do 
right to keep that one virtue at least 



dear and unsullied fi:om all the money- 
making, mercenary, pay-me-ia-cash 
abominations which are the vices, not 
the virtues, of the civilization it has 
produced.'' 

My Unde Roland here came to a 
full stop; and, filling his glass, roso 
and said solemnly — "A last bumper, 
gentlemen,-- 'To the dead who died 
for England I"* 



CHAPTER in. 



** Indeed, my dear, you must take 
it. You certainly have caught cold : 
you sneezed three times together." 

" Yes, ma'am, because I would take 
a pinch of Unde Roland's snu£^ just 
to say that I had taken a pinch out of 
his box — ^the honour of the thing, you 
know." 

'' Ah, my dear ! what was that very 
clever remark you xxiade at the same 
time, which so pleased your father-^ 
something about Jews and the col- 
lege?" 

" Jews and— oh ! 'puherem Olym' 
^picum collegisse juvat,' my dear 
mother-^which means, that it is a 
pleasure to take a pindi out of a brave 
man's snuff-box. I say, mother, put 
down the posset. Yes, 1*11 take it; 
I will, indeed. Now, then, sit here 
— ^that's right— and tell me all you 
know about this famous old Captain. 
Imprimis, he is older than my father?" 

"To be sure!" excliumed my 
mother indignantly; " he looks twenty 
years older; but there is only five 
years' real difference. Your father 
must always look young." 

" And why does Unde Roland put 
that absurd Frendi de before his name 
-*and why were my father and he not 
good friends — and is he married— and 
has he any children ?'^ 



Scene of this conference — my own 
little room, new papered on purpose 
for my return for good — ^trellis-work 
paper, fiowers and birds — all so fx'esh, 
and so new, and so clean, and so gay 
—with my books ranged in neat 
shdves, and a writing-table by the 
window; and, without the window, 
shines the stall summer moon. The 
window is a little open— you scent the 
flowers and the new-mown hay. Past 
eleven; and the boy and his dear 
mother are all alone. 

*' My dear, my dear ! you ask so 
many questions at once." 

" Don't answer them, then. Begin 
at the beginning, as Nurse Primmins 
does with her fairy tales^* Once on a 
tune.' " 

" Once on a time, then," said my 
mothei^^-'kisnng me between the eyes 
— " once on a time, my love, there 
was a certain clergyman in Cumber- 
land, who had two sons ; he had but 
a small living, and the boys were to 
make their own way in the world. 
But dose to the parsonage, on the 
brow of a hill, rose an old ruin, 
with one tower left, and this, with 
half the country round it, had once 
bdonged to the clergyman's family; 
but aU had been sold — all gone piece 
by piece, you see, my dear, except the 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



41 



presentation to the living (what they 
call the advowson was sold too), which 
had been secured to the last of the 
family. The elder of these sons was 
your Uncle Roland-— the younger was 
your father. Now I believe the first 
quarrel arose from the absurdest thing 
possible, as your father says; but 
Koland was exceedingly touchy on all 
things connected with his ancestors. 
He was always poring over the old 
pedigree, or wandering amongst the 
Toins, or reading books of knight- 
errantry. Well, where this pedigree 
began I know not, but it seems that 
King Henry II. gave some lands in 
Cumberland to one Sir Adam de Cax- 
ton; and from that time, you see, the 
pedigree went regularly from fiither 
to son till Heniy V.; then, apparently 
from the disorders produced, as your 
£ither says, by the Wars of Ihe Roses, 
there was a sad blank left— only one 
or two names, without dates or mar- 
riages, till the time of Henry VII., 
except that, in the reign of Edward 
IV., there was one insertion of a 
William Cazton (named in a deed). 
Xow in the village church there was 
a beautiful brass monument, to one 
Sir William de Caxton, who had been 
killed at the battle of Bosworth, fight- 
ing for that wicked Emg Richard III. 
And about the same time there lived, 
as you know, the great printer, 
William Caxton. Well, your fiither, 
happening to be in ioym on a visit to 
his aunt> took great trouble in hunt- 
ing up all the old papers he oould 
find at the Herald's Collie ; and sure 
enough he was overjoyed to satisfy 
himself that he was descended, not 
from that poor Sir William, who had 
been killed in so bad a cause, but from 
the great printer, who was from a 
younger branch of the same &mily, 
and to whose descendants the estate 
came, in the reign of Henry VIII. 
It was upon this that your Uncle Ro- 
land quan*elled with him; a&d ia- 



deed I tremble to think that they may 
touch on that matter again. ' 

"Then, my dear mother, I must 
say my uncle was wrong tliore, so fur 
as conunon sense is concerned; but 
still, somehow or other, I can under- 
stand it. Surely this was not the only 
cause of estrangement?" 

My mother looked down, and moved 
one hand gently ov^r the other, which 
was her way when embarrassed. 
"What was it, my own mother ?" said 
I, ooaxingly. 

"I beUeve— that is, I— I think that 
they were both attached to the same 
young lady." 

" How! you don't mean to say that 
my father was ever in love with any 
one but you ?" 

"Yes, Sisty — ^yes, and deeply ! and," 
added my mother, after a slight pause, 
and with a very low sigh, " he never 
was in love with me; and what is 
more, he had the frankness to tell me 
so!" 

" And yet you"— - 

"Married him — yes!" eaid my 
mother, raising the softest and purest 
eyes that ever lover could have wished 
to read his fate in — " Yes, for the old 
love was hopeless. I knew that I 
could make him happy, I knew that 
he would love me at last, and he does 
so ! My son, your father loves me !'• 

As she spoke, there came a blush 
as innocent as \di^in ever knew, to 
my motlier's smooth cheek; and she 
looked so £dr, so good, and still so 
young, all the while, tliat you would 
have said that either Duslus, the 
Teuton fiend, or Kock, the Scandina- 
vian sea-imp, from whom the learned 
assure us we derive our modem Dai- 
mones, "The Deuce," and Old Nick, 
had indeed possessed my father, if he 
had not learned to love such a creature. 

I pressed her hand to my lips, but 
my heart was too full to speak for a 
moment or so ; and then I partially 
clwnged the subject. 



42 



THE CAXTONSj 



t€^ 



'Well, and this rivalry estranged 
them more ? And who ¥ras the 
lady?" 

"Your £ither never told me, and I 
never asked," said my mother simply. 
" But she was very cQfferent from me» 
I know. Very accomplished, very 
beautiful, very high-bom." 

*'For all that, my &ther was a 
lucky man to escape her. Pass on. 
What did the Captam do?" 

"Why, about that time your grand- 
father died, and shortly after an aunt, 
on the mother's ade, who was rich 
and saving, died, and unexpectedly 
left themeach sixteen thousand pounds. 
Your uncle, with his share, bought 
back, at an enormous price, the old 
castle and some land round it, which 
they say does not bring him in three 
\ hundred a year. With the little that 
remained, he pundiased a commisaon 
in the army; and the brothers met no 
more till last week, when Bolttnd sud- 
denly arrived." 

"He did not marry this accom- 
plished young lady P" 

"No ! but he married another, and 
is a widower." 

"Why, he was as inconstant as my 
&ther; and I am sure without so 
good an excuse. How was that ?" 

" I don't know. He says nothing 
about it." 

Has he any cluldren?" 
Two, a ton— 4>y the by, you must 
never speak about him. Your tmde 
briefly said, when I asked him what 
"was his &mily, < A girl, ma'am. I had 
a son, but — ' 

" *He is dead,* cried your father, in 
his kind pitying vcnce. 

"'Dead to me, brother->and you 
will never mention his name !' You 
should have seen how stem your uncle 
looked. I was terrified." 

"But the girl— why did not he 
bring her here?" 

"She is still in France, but he 
talks of going over for her; and we I 



ts 



tti 



have half promised to visit them both 
in Cumberland. But, bless me ! is that 
twelve? and the posset quite cold !" 

" One word more, dearest mother 
—one word. My Other's book— is 
he still going on with it ?" 

" Oh yes, indeed 1" cried my mother, 
clasping her hands; "and he must 
read it to you, as he does to me — 
you will understand it so welL I have 
always been so anxious that the world 
should know him, and be proud of him 
as we are, so- d o anxious! — ^for, per- 
haps, Sisty, if he had married that 
graat lady, he would have roused him- 
self, been more ambitious-<*end I could 
only make him happy, I could not 
make him great !" 

" So he has listened to you at last?" 

" To me !" said my mother, shaking 
her head and smiling gently : " Ko, 
rather to your Uncle Jack, who^ I am 
happy to say, has at length got a 
■propec hold over him." 

" A proper hold, my dear mother t 
Flray beware of Unde Jack, or we 
shall be all swept into a coal-mine,, or 
explode with a grand national com- 
pany for making gunpowder out of 
tea-leaves!" 

" Wicked child !" said my mother, 
laughing ; and then, as she took up 
her can<^ and fingered a moment 
while I wound my watch, she said 
musingly, — '-Yet Jack is very, very 
clever,->-and if for your sake we could 
make a fortune, Sisty!" 

" You frighten me out of my wits» 
mother ! You are not in earnest ?" 

"And if my brother could be the 
means of nusing him in the world"— 

" Your brother would be enough to 
sink all the ships in the Channel,, 
ma'am," said I, quite irreverently. I 
was shocked before the words were 
well out of my mouth ; and throwing 
my arms round my mother's neck, 
kissed away the pain I had inflicted. 
When I was left alone, and in my 
o^vn little crib, in which my slumber 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



43 



liad ever been so soft and easy, — I 
mi^lit as well have been lying npan 
cut straw. I tossed to and £ro-— I 
conld not sleep. I rose, threw on 
my dressing-gown, lighted my candle, 
and sat down by the table near the 
window. First I thought of the im> 
finished outfine of my Other's yonft, 
BO sttddeDly iketched before me. I 
filled np the »*i«mwg oolonrs, and tra- 
ded the }[nctare espbizied all that had 
often peiplexed my conjectves. I 
comprehendedy I nq^iose by some 
secret sympathy in my own natve, 
(for ecperifioee in iminlrind ooold haire 
taught m» ISffctle enough,) how an ar- 
dent, serious, inqmriBg imiid— strug- 
gling into paoion vnder the load of 
knowledge^ had, with that stimnliu, 
sadly and abruptly withdrawn, sank 
into the quiet of passive, aimless 
study. I c o mpieiwnded how, in the 
indolence of a happy but nnimpas- 
sioned nuEmage, wi;& a oompanion so 
gentle, so provideixt and watchful, yet 
so little formed to lonse, and tadc, 
and fire an intdlect nastmrally cahn 
and meditative,— years upon yean 
had crept away in the learned idle- 
ness d a solitaiy scholar. I omnpre- 
hended, too, hotw gcadoally and sloidy, 
as my fivtber entered that stage of 
middle life, when all men are most 
prone to ambition— the long-silenced 
whispers were heard again; and the 
mind, at last escaping firom the hst- 
1e» weight which a baffled and dis- 



appointed heart had laid upon it, saw 
once more, &ir as in youth, the only 
true mistress of Qenius — ^Fame. 

Oh ! how I sympathised, too, in my 
mother's gentle triumph. Looking 
o^rer the past I could see, year aftei 
year, how she had stolen more and 
more into my other's heart of hearts 
"-how what had been kindness liad 
grown into love^-^^how custom and 
habit, and the ooimtleBs links in the 
sweet charities of home, had suppUed 
that i^mpa^hy wil^ the genial maiv 
whi^ had been missed at first by the 
kmely sdiobr. 

Nest I thought of the grey, eagle- 
eyed oid sokBer, with his ruined toirer 
and baxren aerei^— 4md saw before me 
his pvoud, preju^^oed, dnvalrous boy- 
hood, gfidmg through the ruins or 
porh^ orer the mouldy pedigree. 
And this son, so disowned, — fixr what 
dnk o^ftmee f-^-m aiwe crept over me. 
And this g i rl - h is ewe lamb— his all 
-^was she &ir? had she blue eyes 
like my mother, or alugh Boman nose 
and beetle browslike Captain Bc^md f 
I mused, and miosed, and mused — and 
the candle went out— and the moon- 
light grew looader and stiller ; lall at 
lasfc I was sailing in a baboon with 
Unde Jack, and had just tumbled 
into Idle Red Sea— when the well- 
known voice of nurse Frimmins re- 
stored me to lifie with a " God bless 
my heart ! the boy has not been in bed 
all this 'varsal night !" 



AA 



THE CAXTONSi 



■ » 



GHAPTEB rv. 



As sooTl^as I was dressed I hastened 
•down stairs, for I longed to revisit my 
old haunts— 'the little plot of garden 
I had sown with anemones and cresses; 
the walk by the peach wall ; the pond 
wherein I had angled for roach and 
perch. ' 'rf 

Entering tfie^ hall, I discovered my 
Unde Boland in a great state of em- 
barrassment. The maid*servant was 
iscrubbing the stones at the hall-door; 
she was naturally plump,— nmd it is 
astonishing how much more plump a 
female becomes when she is on all- 
iburs!-»the maid-servant, then, was 
scrubbing the stones, her &ce turned 
from the captain; and the captain, 
evidently meditating a sortie, stood 
ruefully gazmg at the obstacle before 
him and hemming aloud. Alas, the 
maid-servant was deaf t I stopped, 
curious to see how Unde Roland would 
•extricate himself firom the dileinma. 

Finding that his hems were in 
vain, my unde made himsdf as small 
JUS ho could, and glided close to the 
left of the wall : at that instant, the 
maid turned abmptiy round towards 
the right, and oompletdy obstructed, 
by this manceuvre, the slight crevice 
iihrough which hope had dawned on 
her captive. My unde stood stodc* 
still, — and, to say the truth, he could 
not have stirred an inch without com- 
ing into personal contact with the 
rounded charms which blockaded his 
movements. My unde took off his 
hat and scratched his forehead in great 
peq;)lexity. Presently, by a slight turn 
of the flanks, the oppoang party, while 
leaving him an opportunity of return, 
entirdy preduded all chance of egress 
in that quarter. My uncle retreated 
In haste, and now presented lumself 
to the right wing of the enemy. He 



had scarcely done so when, withoat 
looking beMnd her, the blockading 
party shoved aade the pail that crip- 
pled the range of her operations, and 
so placed it that it formed a formid- 
able barricade, whidi my uncle's cork 
leg had no chance of surmounting. 
Therewith Captain Roland lifted his 
eyes appealingly to heaven, and I 
heard him distinctly ejaculate*^ 

" Would to heaven she were a crea* 
tnre in breeches I" 

But happily at this moment the 
maid-servant turned her head sharply 
round, and, seeing the captain, rose 
in an instant, moved away the pail, 
and dropped a frightened curtsey. 

My Unde Boland touched his hat. 
" I beg you a thousand pardons, my 
good girl," said he ; and, with a half 
bow, he slid into the open air. 

"Ton have a solcUer's politeness, 
unde," said I, tuddng my arm into 
Captain Roland's. 

** Tush, my boy," said he, smiling 
seriously, and colouring up to the 
temples; "tush, say a gentleman's! 
To us, sir, every woman is a lady, in 
right of her sex." 

Now, I had often occasion later to 
recall tiiat aphorism of my uncle's $ 
and it served to explain to me how a 
man, so prgudiced on the score of 
family pride, never seemed to consider 
it an offence in my &ther to have 
married a woman whose pedigree was 
as brief as my dear mother's. Had 
she been a Montmorenci, my unde 
could not have been more respectful 
and gallant than he was to that meek 
descendant of the Tibbctses. He held, 
indeed, whidi I never knew any other 
man, vain of fiunily, approve or sup- 
port, — a doctrine deduced from the 
following syllogisms : 1st, That bii'th 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



4& 



was not raltiable in itself, but as a 
transmisEion of certain qualities which 
descent from a race of warriors ehoold 
perpetuate, viz., tmth, coarage, ho« 
nouT ; 2dly, That, whereas from the 
woman's side we derive our more in- 
tellectual faculties, from the man's we 
derii;^ our moral; a dever and witty 
man generally has a dever and witty 
mother ; a brave and honourable man, 
a bravo and honourable &ther. Thcro> 
ibre, all the qualities which attention 
to race should perpetuate, are the 
manly qualities traceable only from the 
father's side. Again, he held that 
while the aristocracy have higher and 
more chivalrous notions, the people 
generally have shrewder and livelier 
ideas. Therefor^ to prevent gentle- 
men from degenerating into complete 
dunderheads, an admixture with the 
people, provided always it was on the 
female side, was not only excusable, 
bnt expedient ; and, finally, my unde 
held, that, whereas a man is a rude, 
coarse, sensual animal, and requires 
all manner' of assodatioDS to dignify 
and refine him, women are so natu- 
rally susceptible of everything beauti- 
ful in sentiment, and generous in pur- 
pose, that she who is a true woman is 
a fit peer for a king. Odd and pre- 
posterous notions, no doubt, and ca- 
pable of much controversy, so far 
as the doctrine of race (if that be 
any way tenable) is concerned; but 
then the plain fiict is, that my Unde 
Koland was as eccentric and contra- 
dictory a gentleman— >a a aa w hy, 
as you and I. are, if we once venture 
to think for oursdves. 

" Well, sir, and what profession are 
yen meant for ? " asked my unde^ 
" not the army, I fear ?" 

" I have never thought of the sub* 
joct, uncle." 

"Thank heaven," said Captain Bo* 
land, "we have never yet had a lawyer 
in the family! nor a stockbroker, nor 
tradesman-— ahem !" 



I saw that my great ancestor the 
printer suddenly rose up in that hem • 

" Why, uncle, there are honourable 
men in all callings.'' 

" Certainly, sir. But in all callings 
honour is not the first prindple of 
action." 

"But it may be^ sir, ii a man of 
honour puifue it! There are some 
soldiers who have been great rascals!" 

My unde looked posed, and his 
black brows met thoughtfully. 

** You are right, boy, I dare say,** 
he answered somewhat mildly. "Buc 
do you think that it ought to give me 
as much pleasure to look on my old 
ruined tower, if I knew it had been 
bought by some herring-dealer, like 
the first ancestor of the Folesi, as I do 
now, when I know it was given to a. 
knight and gentleman (who traced his 
descent from an Anglo-Dane in the 
time of King Alfred), for services 
done in Aquitaine and Gascony, by 
Henry the Flantagenet? And £> 
you mean to teU me that I should 
have been the same man if I had not 
from a bcyy associated that old tower 
with all ideas of what its owners 
were, and should be, as knights and 
gentlemen? Sir, you would have 
nmde a different bdng of me, if at the 
head of my i)edigree you had dapped 
a herring-d^er ; though, I dare 8ay» 
the herring-dealer might have been 
as good a man as ever the Anglo* 
Dane was ! God rest him ! ** 

<*And for the same reason, I 6np« 
pose, sir, that you think my £ither 
never would have been quite the same 
bdng he is, if he had not made that 
notable discovery touching our descent 
from the great William Caxton, the 
printer \" 

My unde bounded as if he had 
been shot ; bounded so incautiously^ 
oonddering the materials of which 
one leg was composed, that he would 
have fiJlen into a strawberzy-bed if I 
had not caught him by the arm* 



45 



THE GAXTQNSz 



"Why, yoo— ycm — you young jack- 
anapes,'' cried the captain, Bhaking me 
off as soon as he had tegaxned his 
equilibrium. "You do not mean to 
inherit that in&mous crotchet my 
brother has got into his head? You 
do not mean to exchange Sir William 



de CaxtoD, who fought and fell at 
Bosworth, fbr the mechanic idio sold 
black-letter pamphlets in the Sanc- 
tuary at Westminster P'' 

*'That depends on the evidence, 
unde!" 

*'No, sir, like all noble troths, it 
depends upon faifk. Men, now-a- 
days," coatinued my unde^ with a 
look of ineffiible disg^ust, ''actually re- 
quire that truths should be proved." 

*' It is a sad conceit on their part, 
no doubt, my dear undo. But till a 
troth is proved, how can we know 
liifltitisatnri&P'' 

I thought that in lliat veiy saga- 
<nou8 question I had eflPectually caught 
mymude. NotL He slipped through 
it like an eeL 

" Sir," said he, "< whatever, inTroth, 
makes a man's heart warmer, and his 
soul purer, is a belief not a knowledge. 
.!]^oof, nr, is a handcuff-— belief is a 
wing ! Want proof as to an ancestor 
in the reign of King Richard ! Sir, 
you cannot even prove to tiie sat- 
is&ction of a logunan that you are 
the son of your own &ther. Sir, a 
religious man does not want to reason 
about bis reli^on— religion is not ma- 
thematics. Religion is to be felt, not 
proved. There are a great many 
things in the religion of a good man 
whicharenotinthe catechism. Proof!" 
continued my unde, growing violent 
— " Proof, nr, is a low, Tulgar, level- 
lmg,ra8cally Jacobin — Belief is a loyal, 
generous, chivalrous gentleman ! No, 
no— prove what you please, you shall 
never rob me of one belief that has 
made m o " 

''The finest-hearted creature that 
ever talked nonsense," said my father. 



who came op, like Hohiee's deity, aA 
the right moment. " What is it you 
must bdieve in, brotiiar, no matter 
what the proof agaisst you P" 

My unde was sile&t, and with great 
^M^gy dug tiie poi&t of his cane into 
tbegraveL 

** He will not believe in our great 
ancestor the printer/' said I, UMilid* 
oudy. 

My fiither's calm brow was over- 
cast in a moment. 

** Brother," said the captain, k^fHly, 
" you halve a right to your own ideas^ 
bat yon should take care how they 
contaminate yoor duld." 

"Contaminate!" said my &ther; 
and fer the first time I saw an angry 
sparkle fiash fiom his eyes, but be 
checked himself on the instant: 
" change the word, my dear brother." 

" No, sir, I will not change it ! To 
bdie the records of the &mily !" 

"Records] A brass plate in a vil- 
lage church against all the books of 
theOoHegeofAimsl" 

"To renoonce yow anoestor, a 
knight who died in tiie field !" 

"For the worst cause that man 
ever fought fer !" 

"On behalf of his king!" 

" Who had murdered his nephews !" 

"A Imight! with our crest on Ins 
helmet" 

" And no brains underneath it, or he 
would never have had them knocked 
out finr so bloody a villain !" 

"A rascally, drudging, money- 
making printer !" 



Ml 



The wise and glorious introducer 
of the art that has enlightened a 
world. Prefer for an ancestor, to ono 
whom scholar and sage never name 
but in homage, a worthless, obscure, 
jotter-headed booby in mail, whose only 
record to men is a brass plate in a 
church in a village !" 

My unde turned round perfectly 
livid. "Enough, shr! enough! lam 
insulted sufficiently. I ought to have 



A FAMILY PICTUER 



W 



expected it. I v/ish you and yotir 
son a very good day.*' 

My Cither stood aghast. The cap- 
tain was hobbling ofi to the iron gate; 
in another moment he would have 
"been, out of oar precincts. I ran up 
and hung upon him. " Unde, it is 
all my ^Eiult. Between you and me, 
I am quite of your side ; pray, forgive 
us hoth. What could I have been 
thinking of, to vex you so ? And my 
father, whom your visit has made so 
happy V 

My uncle paused, feeling for the 
latch of the gate. My fiither had now 
come up, and <aught his hand. "What 
are aH the printers that ev^ Hved, 
and all the books they ever printed, 
to one wrong to thy fine heart, brother 
BolandP Shame on me! A book- 
man's weak point, you know ! It is 
very true— I should never have taught 
the boy one thing to give you pun, 
hroth^ Roland; — ^though I don't 
remember," continued my fitther, with 
a perplexed lo(^, ''that I ever did 
teach it him ^ther I Fisistratus, as 
yon vahie my blesamg, respect as your 
ancestor. Sir William de Caxton, the 
hero of Boflworth. Ck>me, come, 
brother T* 



" I am an old fool," said unde Ho- 
land, " whichever way we look at it. 
Ah, you young dog I you are laughing 
at us both!" 

" I have ordered breakfast on the 
lawn," said my mother, coming out 
£rom the porch, with her cheerful 
smile on her lips ; " and I think the 
devil will be done to your liking to- 
day, brother Boland." ; 

« We have had enough of the devil , 
already, my love," said my father, 
wiping his forehead. 

So, while the birds sang overhead, 
or hopped familiarly across the sward 
for the crumbs thrown forth to them, 
while the sun was still cool in the 
east, and the leaves yet rustled with 
the sweet air at morning, we all sat 
down to our table, with hearts as 
reconciled to each other, and as peace- 
ably disposed to thank God for the 
fair world around us, as if the river 
had never run red tiuroi:^h the field 
of Bosworth, and that excellent Mr. 
Caxton had never set all mankind by 
the ears with an irritating invention, 
a thousand times more provocative of 
our combative tendendes than the 
blast of the trumpet and the gleam of 
thehfumer! 



4S 



THE CAXTONS: 



CHAPTER V 



" Bbotheb," said Mr. Caxton, " I 
will walk with you to the Reman 
encampment." 

The Captain felt that this proposal 
>. was meant as the greatest peace- 
offering my father conld think of; for, 
1st, ^t was a very long walk, and my 
&,thcr detested long walks ; 2ndly, it 
was the sacriiioe of a whole day's labour 
at the Groat Work. And yet, with 
that quick sensibility, which only the 
^generous possess, Uncle Roland ac- 
cepted at once the proposal. If he 
had not done so, my fother would have 
had a heavier heart for a month to 
come. And how could the Great 
Work have got on while the author 
was every now and then disturbed by 
a twinge of remorse ? 

Half' an hour after breakfast, the 
brothers set off arm-in-arm; and I 
followed, a little apart, admiring how 
sturdily the old soldier got over the 
ground, in spite of the cork leg. It 
was pleasant enough to listen to thdr 
conversation, and notice the contrasts 
between these two eccentric stamps 
from Dame Nature's ever-variable 
mould, — Nature who casts nothing in 
stereotype, for I do believe that not 
even two fleas can be found identically 
the same. 

My father was not a quick or mi- 
nute observer of rural beauties. He 
had so little of the organ of locality, 
that I suspect he could have lost his 
way in his own garden. But the 
Captain was exquisitely alive to ex- 
tenial impressions— not a feature in 
the landscape escaped him. At every 
fiiutastic gnarled pollard he halted to 
gaze ; his eye followed the lark soar- 
ing up from Ins feet ; when a fresher 
air came firom the hill-top, his nostrils 
Ablated, as if voluptuously to inhale 



i<» delight. My father, Vith all hi» 
learning, and though his study had 
been in the stores of all languai^e, was 
very rarely eloquent. The CiJptain 
had a glow and a passion in his words 
which, what with his deep, tremulous 
voice, and animated gestoi'os, gave 
sometlung poetic to half of what he 
uttered. In every sentence of Ro- 
land's, in every tone of his voice, and 
every play of his f^e, there was some 
outbreak of pride : but, imless you set 
him on his hobby of that great an- 
cestor the printer, my father had not 
as much pride as a homceopathist could 
have put into a globule. He was not 
proud even of not being proud. Chafe 
all his feathers, and still you could 
rouse but the dove. My fkther was 
slow and mild, my uncle quick and 
fiery ; my father reasoned, my unde 
imagined ; my &thcr was very seldom 
wrong, my uncle never quite in the 
right ; but, ta my father once said of 
him, « Roland beats about the bush 
till he sends out the very bird that we 
went to search for. He is never in the 
wrong without suggesting to us what 
is the right." All in my uncle was 
stem, rough, and angular ; all In my 
father was sweet, polishcd,and rounded 
into a natural grace. My uncle*s cha- 
racter cast outamultiplicityof shadows, 
like a Gothic pile in a northern sky. 
My father stood serene in the light, 
like a Greek temple at mid-day in a 
southern clime. Tlieir persons cor- 
responded with their natures. My 
uncle's high aquiline features, bronzed 
hue, rapid fire of eye, and upper lip 
tliat always quivered, were a notable 
contrast to my father's delicate profile, 
quiet, abstracted gaze, and the steady 
sweetness that rested on his musing* 
smile. Roland's forehead was singu- 



A PAMILT PICTURE. 



4» 



My high, and tobc to a peak in the 
snminit where phrenologists place the 
organ of veneration, but it was nar- 
row, and deeply fhrrowed. Angos- 
tine's might be as high, bat then soft, 
^Skj hair waved carelessly over it — 
concealing its height, but not its vast 
breadth— on which not a wrinkle was 
visible. And yet, witha]^ there was a 
great &inily likeness between the two 
brothers. When some softer senti- 
ment subdued him» Boland caught the 
very look of Augustine; when some 
high emotion animated my &ther, you 
mi^ht have taken him for Boland. I 
have often thought sinc^ in the 
greater experience of mankind which 
Hfe has afforded me, that if, in early 
years, their destinies had been ex- 
changed — ^if Boland had taken to lite- 
rature, and my father had been forced 
into action -— that each would have 
had greater worldly success. For 
Roland's pasdon and energy would 
have given immediate and forcible 
effect to study; he might have been 
a Hstorian or a poet. It is not study 
alone that produces a writer; it is 
wtensUy, In the mind, as in yonder 
chimney, to make the fire bum hot and 
quick, you must narrow the draught. 
Whereas, had my fiither been forced 
into the pfractical world, his calm 
^th of comprehenfflon, his clearness 
of reason, his general accuracy in such 
notions as he once entertained and 
pondered over> joined to a temper 
that crosses and losses could never 
ra£9e, an utter freedom from vanity 
and self-love, from prejudice and pas- 
aon, might have made him a very 
wise and enlightened counsellor in the 
great affiiirs of life— a lawyer, a diplo- 



matist, a statesman, for what I know, 
even a g^reat general — ^if his tender 
humanity had not stood in the vray of 
his military mathematics. 

But, as it was — ^with his slow pulse 
never stimulated by action, and too 
little stirred by even scholarly amU« 
tion — my Other's mind went on 
widening and widening, till the drde. 
was lost in the great ocean of con- 
templation ; and Boland's pasdonate 
eners^, fretted into fever by every 
let and hindrance, in the strugglo 
with his kind— and narrowed more 
and more as it was curbed within the 
channels of active disdpline and duty 
—missed its due career altogether | 
and what might have been the poei^ 
contracted into the humourist. 

Yet, who that had ever known yc^ 
could have wished you other than ye 
were — ^ye guileless,afrectionate,hone8<^ 
simple creatures? simple both, in spite 
of all the learning of the one, all the 
prejudices, whims, irritabilities, and 
crotchets of the other ? There you 
are — seated on the hdght of the old 
Boman camp, with a volume of the 
Stratagems of Polyoenus (or is it Fron- 
tinus ?) open on my fiither's lap ; the 
sheep grazing in ^e furrows of the 
drcumvallations ; the curious steer 
gazing at you where it halts in the 
space whence the Boman cohorts glit- 
tered forth. And your boy-biogra- 
pher standing behind you with folded 
arms; and, — as the scholar read or 
the soldier pointed his cane to each 
fancied post in the war, — filling up 
the pastoral landscape with the eagles 
of Agricola and the scythed cars of 
Boadicea! 



Ko. 386. 



E 



60 



TH£ CAXTONSt 



CHAPTER YL 



^1t Is never the same two hours 
together in this country,^ said my 
TTncte Bolan^ as» after dinner, or 
rather after dessert, we jomed my 
mother m the drawing-roonL 

Indeed, a eold drizzling rain had 
come on within the last two honrs; 
and, tbongh it was Jnly, it was as 
chiHy as if it had been October. My 
mother whiEKpered to m^ and I went 
ont : in ten minntes more, the logs 
(for we fiyed in a wooded eoontiy) 
hlazed merrily in the grate. Why 
oonM not my moth^ have rung the 
bell, and ordered the servant to light 
• fire? My dear reader, Captam 
Bdand was poor, and he made a 
capital virtne of economy f 

The two brofchers drew their chairs 
near to the hearth, my fitther at the 
left, my vncle at the right; and I 
and my mother sat down to ** Fox and 



»* 



Cofl^ came #m— one cop £>r the 
Ctaptain, for the rest of the party 
arcnded that exciting beverage. And 
on that cnp was a pctnre of — ^His 
Grace the Dnke of WelGngton I 

During our visit to the Boman 
camp, my mother had borrowed Mr. 
Squills* chaise, and driven over to our 
market-town, for the express purpose 
of greefang the Captcdn's eyes with 
the face of his old chief. 

My unde changed colour, rose, 
fifted my mother's hand to )^ lips, 
and sat himself down agun in silence. 

" I have heard,'' said the Captain 
after a pause, *'that the Marquis of 
Hastings, who is every inch a soldier 
and a gentleman — and that is saying 
not a little, for he measures seventy- 
five inches from the crown to the sole 
—when he received Louis XVIII. 
(then ap exile) at Donnington, fitted 



up his apartments exactly like those 
iJs majesty had occupied at the 
Tuileries. It was a kingly attention^ 
(my Lord Hastings, you know, is 
sprung firan the Flantagenets,) a 
kingly attention to a king. It cost 
some money and made some noise. A 
woman can show the same royal deli- 
cacy of heart in this bit of porcelain* 
and so quietly, that we men all think 
it a matter of course, brother Austin.** 

''You are such a worshipper of 
women, Bdandy that it is melancholy 
to see you nngle. You must marry 
againP* 

My unde first smiled, then fiowned^ 
and lastly sighed somewhat heavily. 

''Your time wiU pass slowly ix& 
your old tower, poor brother," con- 
tinued my fbther, "with only your 
little girl iar a oompaDion." 

"And the pesti'' said my nnde$ 
** the past, that mighty worM" — 

** Do you stQl rrad your old hooka 
of chivihry, f^roissart and the Chro- 
nicles, Falmerin of England and Ama- 
disofGaul?" 

<* Why," said my unde, reddening, 
^ I have tried to improve myself with 
studies a little more substantiaL AncT* 
(he added with a sly smile) ''there 
will be your great book toe many 
a long winter to come." 

'' Um r said my &ther, bashfully. 

** Do you know,** quoth my unde, 
** that Dame IVmmins is a very in> 
telligent woman; fuU of fimcy, and a 
capital stoiy-teller ?** 

'* Is not she, uncle?" cried I, leav- 
ing my fox in a comer. *' Oh, if you 
could hear her tell the tale of King 
Arthur and the Enchanted Lake, or 
the Grim White Woman !" 

"I have already heard her tell 
both," said my unde. 



A FAMILT FICfFUBE. 



51 



** The deace you have, brother I 
My dear, we must look to this. These 
captains are dangerous gentlemen in 
an orderly household. Pray« where 
oould you have had the opportunity of 
such private communications with 
Mrs. Primmins ?" 

"Once," said my unde, readily, 
'^wlten I went into her room, while 
ihemeaofded my stool:; andonoe" — ^he 
rtopped short, and looked down. 

« Once wbBD. ?— oat with it." 

^VHi&ai sbe was waonniDg my hedf** 
and my uiMle, in a half whisper. 

^Besr!^ sud my mother, inno- 
eently, **tiiat^s how the sheets came 
hy that "bad hdk is the midcBe. I 
ttongbt it vTBff the wamung^paa.'* 

"I amqtuteidio^sdl^&lterediiiy 
nude. 

"Toil well may he,** sail nrf 
ft^her. *^jA womKB: who hss' ooeu 
heretofore aftove all smpicSoDf But 
erane^** ht said, seeing- ^at wj tmcte 
looked atA, and was no doubt easting 
ip the probable price of twice six 
jirds ot BoUsnd— ''bat come, you 
were alwajs a fkmoas rhapeodfist or 
Ide-teller jonnelfi Gom^ Boland; 



let us have some story of your own; 
something which your experience has 
left strong in your impressions." 

"Let us first have the candles," 
said my mother. 

The candles were brought, the cur- 
tains let down — we all drew our 
chairs to the hearth, but, in the 
interval, my uncle had sank into a 
gloomy reverie ; and, when we called 
upon him to begin, he seemed to shake 
off wii^ eflbrt some recoUectfeus q£ 
pain. 

" Ton aA me,' he saxd, *ta leK 
yoa some tale whid^ my own ex- 
perience has left deeply marked xb 
my impresffions — ^I win teH yoa one 
apart from my own life, bat whidt 
te often haunted me. It is sad and 
strange, ma^am." 

<« Ma'am, hrofherT* said my mother 
ireproadbfn^, letting her smaB hand 
drop upon that whidi, large and sa»> 
'bonst, the- Captain waved towards her 
as he spoke. 

** Austin^ you hava mai'ijed as 
aagelf* saiimy ande; and bewail 
bflifieve, tile oidy brothes'in-law wov* 
ever xaade so hasBnrdoas an auMitioau 



59 



THE CAXTONS: 



CHAFTEB Vn. 



mr VNOLB bolavb's xaio. 



^ It was in Spain^ no matter wliere 
or how; that it was my fortmie to 
take prisoner a French officer of the 
lame rank that I then held — a Hea- 
tenant; and there was so mnch sum- 
laxity in omr sentiments that we 
became intimate friends—the most 
intimate friend I ever had, sister, out 
of this dear circle. He was a rough 
soldier, whom the world had not well 
treated; but he never railed at the 
world, and maintained that he had 
had his deserts. Honomr was his idol, 
jid the sense of honomr paid Idm for 
lie loss of all else. 

" We were both at that time volmi- 
leers in a foreigpn service — in that 
worst of service, dvil war, — he on one 
nde, I the other, — ^both, perhaps, dis- 
appointed in the cause we had severally 
espoused. There was something mmi- 
lar, too, in our domestic relationships. 
He had a son — a boy — ^who was all in 
life to him, next to his country and 
his duty. I, too, had then such a 
son, though of fewer years." (The 
Captain paused an instant: we ez- 
ehanged glances, and a stifling sen- 
sation of pain and suspense was felt by 
all his listeners.) ** We were accus- 
tomed, brother, to talk of these 
children — ^to picture their future* to 
compare our hopes and dreams. We 
hoped and dreamed alike. A short 
time sufficed to establish this confi- 
dence. My prisoner was sent to head- 
quarters, and soon afterwards ex- 
changed. 

"We met no more till last year. 
Being then at Paris, I inquired for 
my old friend, and learned that he 
was living at R , a few miles 



from the capitaL I went to yihSt 
him. I found his house empty and 
deserted. That very day he had been 
led to prison, chaj^;ed with a terrible 
crime. I saw him in that prison, and 
from his own lips learned his story. 
His son had be^ brought up, as he 
fondly believed, in the habits and 
principles of honourable men; and, 
having finished his .education, came 
to reside with Imn at B— • The 
young man was accustomed to go fre- 
quency to Paris. A young French- 
man loves pleasure, sster, and pleasure 
is found at Paris. The &ther thought 
it natural, and stripped his age of 
some comforts to sni^ly luxuries to 
the son's youth. 

"Shortly after the young man*s 
arrival, my friend perceived that he 
was robbed. Moneys kept in his 
bureau were abstracted he knew not 
how, nor could guess by whom. It 
must be done in the night. He con- 
cealed himself, and watdied. He saw 
a stealthy figure glide in, he saw a 
fiilse key applied to the lock — he 
started forward, seized the felon, and 
recognised his son. What should the 
fiither have done P I do not ask y off> 
sister! I ask these men; son and 
fiither, I ask yon.'' 

" Expelled hun the house," cried I. 

"IXme his duty, and reformed the 

unhappy wretch," said my fiither. 

"Niemo r^pent^ iurpimmus semper 

fiiU — "So man is wholly bad all at 

once." 

" The fiither did as you would have 
advised, brother. He kept the youth ; 
he remonstrated with him; he did 
more— he gfive him the key of the 



A FAHILT FIOTUBE. 



63 



Inreai;. ' Take what I have to giye,' 
said he : ' I would zather he a heggar 
than knew my son a thifi£' '* 

" Bight : and the youth repented, 
and heoime a good man f" fflrolaimed 
my father. 

Captain Boland shook hia head. 
"The youth promued amendment^ 
and seined penitent. He spoke of 
the temptationa of Pazu^ the gaming- 
table^ uid what not. He gave np 
his daily viaitB to the capiteL He 
seemed to apply to study. Shortly 
after this, tho neighhonrhood was 
alarmed by reports cf night robberies 
on the road. Hen, masked and armed, 
plmidered traveUera^ and even broke 
into houses. 

"The police were on the alert. 
One night an old brother officer 
knocked at my finend's door. It was 
late : the veteran (he was a cripple, by 
the way, like myself — strange oo- 
inddenoe!) was in bed. He came 
down in haste, when his servant woke, 
and told him that his old friend, 
womided and bleeding, songht an 
asyhun nnder his roof. The wonnd, 
however, was slight. The gnest had 
been attacked and robbed on the road. 
The next morning the proper anthorily 
ot the town was sent for. The plun^ 
dered man described his loss— some 
liUets of five hundred finmcs in a 
pocket-book, on which was embroi- 
dered his name and coronet (he was 
a vioomte). The g^uest staid to din- 
ner. Late in the forenoon, the son 
looked in. The guest started to see 
him : my friend noticed his paleness. 
Shortly after, on pretence of feintness, 
the guest retired to his room, and 
sent for his host. ' My friend,' said 
he, 'can you do me a &vour ?•— go to 
flie magistrate and recall the evidence 
. have given/ 

«' Impossible,' said the host 'What 
crotchet is thisP 

*'The guest shuddered. 'FetteF 
wad he: ' I do not wish in my oldare 



to be hard on others. Who knows 
how the robber may have been 
tempted, and who knows what rela* 
lations he may have— honest many 
whom his crime would degrade fiir 
ever! Good heavens! if detected* it 
is the galleys, the galleys!' 

"'And what ti^enP— 4ha robber 
knew what he braved.' 

"'But did his fiUher know itr 
cried the guest. 

"A light broke upon my unhappy 
comrade in arms: he caught his fri^d 
by the hand-—' You turned pale at my 
son's sight— where did you ever see 
Imn before? Speaki^ 

" ' Last night, on the road to Paris. 
The mask slipped aside. Call back 
my evidence!' 

"'You are mistaken,' said my 
friend, calmly. ' I saw my son in his 
bed, and blessed him, before I went to 
my own.' 

'"I will believe you,' said the 
guest; 'and never shall my hasty 
suspicion pass my lips — ^but call back 
the evidence.' 

" The guest returned to Biris be- 
fore dusk. The &ther conversed with 
his son on the subject of his studies; 
he followed him to his room, waited 
till he was in bed, and was then about 
to retire^ when the youth sai^ 
'Father, you have forgotten your 
blessing.' 

"The &ther went back, laid his 
hand on the boy's head and prayed. 
He was credulous— &thers are so! 
He was persuaded that his friend had 
been decdved. He retired to rest, 
and fell asleep. He woke suddenly in 
the nuddle of the night, and felt (I 
here quote his words)-—' I felt,' said 
he, ' as if a voice had awakened me— 
a voice that said "Rise and search." 
Iroseat once, struck a light* and went 
to my son's room. The door was 
locked. I knocked once, twice, thrice^ 
—no answer. I dared not call alouc^ * 
lest I should rouse the servants. I 



THE CAXTOKS. 



w8nt ^bnpn the itein I opeoed the 
hadE-door— I peesed to the etabke. 
My ownhone mm ^bae, mot my eonfe. 
My hofse nrighed; it was old, like 
mysetf-HBj (M duirger at Mount St. 
Jean! I rtde hadi^ I crept into liie 
shadow of Hw waU hy my eoa's door, 
and flBtmgmi&ed my fight. I felt as 
if I were athiefm^Belf."* 

* Brofiier,'' intenrapted my mother 
under her breath, " speak in your own 
fravdfl^ not in tiiia wretdied fetter's. 
I know not why, bat it would shodc 



The Captain nodded. 

" Before daybreak, my Mend heard 
tbe hack-door open gentily; a foot aa- 
oended the stiur— « key grated in the 
door of the room dose at hand — the 
fisther glided through the dark into 
that chamber bdnnd his uneeen eon. 

** He heard tiie dink of tbe tinder- 
box; a light was struck; it spread 
over the room but he had tune to 
plaoe himself bdiind the window-cur- 
tain whkh was dose at hand. The 
figure before him stood a moment or 
80 motionless, and seemed to Usten, 
for it turned to the right, to the left, 
its visage covered with the blade 
hideous made wlddi is worn in cami- 
tals. Slowly the made was removed; 
eould that be his son's foce? the son 
of a brave man? — it was pale and 
ghastly with sooundrd fears; the base 
drops stood onl^ brow; the eye was 
ha^^pinl and blooddiot. He lodced 
as a coward looks when death stands 
before him. 

"The youth walked, or rather 
akdlked, to the secretaire, unlodeed it, 
opened a secret drawer; placed within 
it the contents of his pockets and his 
frightful mask ; the father approached 
sc^ly, looked over his shoulder, and 
taw in the drawer the podeet-book 
embrddered with his friend's name. 
Xeanwlule, the son took out his 
* pistds, uncocked them cautioody, and 
was about also to secrete them when 



his fiUiier anested Ub am. 'BcMmt, 
tlie me of Uiese is yet to oome.* 

" The 8<m's knees kno^edtogether^ 
an CTfiaination for mousy bmt finm 
Ms H^; but when, veooferiii^ the 
mere diode of his dastard nerves, be 
pero dve d it was not Uie gripe of some 
lurding of the law, but a fother's 
hand that bad dntcfaed his arm, the 
vileandBdty wfaidi knows fear only 
from % bodily oanae, none from the 
awe of duBDie, returned to him. 

*"Tosh, dr,' he sdd, 'waste not 
time bi reproadiei^ for, I fear, tii6 
^0ii*^dfiiMt are on my trad:. It is 
wen that yon aro here; yoacansweaar 
that I have qpent the night at home* 
Unhand me, old man — ^I have these 
witnesses stiU to secarebe,' and he 
pdnted to the garments wet and dab> 
Ued with the mod of the roads. He 
had ecarody spoken when the walls 
diook; there was tin heavy datter off 
hooA on the rfngiag pacvement with« 
ootk 

*"Theycame!' cried tiieson. ^O^ 
dotard! savo your son from tiie gal» 
l^ys.' 

"'The gafl^^ the galleys P said 
3ie fiitiier staggering bade; 'it is 
true— ^ said — " the galleys." ' 

" There was a loud knoddng at the 
gate. The gent^armes surrounded 
the house. 'Open, in the name of 
the law.' No answer came, no door 
was opened. Some isi the gent* 
tPcwmesTode to the rear of tiie houses 
in which was placed the stable-yard. 
From the window of the son's room, 
the fother saw the sudden blase of 
tordies, the shadowy forms of the men- 
hunters. He heard the datter of arms 
as they swung themsdves from tiieir 
horses. He heard a voice cry, * Yes 
this is the robber's grey ho rso eoo, it 
still reeks with sweat!' And behbid 
and in fronts at dther door, again came 
the knocking, and again the dion^ 
'Open, in the name of the law.' 
Then lights began to gleam fieM 



«<i 



A FAMIIiY PIOTUBE. 



• 



the casements of the neighbonring 
booses; then the space filled rapidly 
mih carious wonderers startled from 
their sleep; the world was aitlr, and 
the crowd came roimd to know what 
CBone «r ivteit tdia» had ecrteped the 
old fBoi^er's hoBie. 

"SadGbady, va^Un, Acn^wM heard 
thenfort«f«fiieana; aadftmiante 
«r so aflarwafiiB iiie front door was 
cfmei, a&d the aokBer a^norad. 

'''iSiAer/ he said to &e ^ow- 
^wrmaz 'wfaaflb wooidyoa?' 

'' * We aeek a xohber who it witUa 
yoorwifia.' 

"'IJmoirit; moatfcnd&idhim 
I wifi lead fiw vay.' 

" fie Meeaded the strin, he tfaMvr 
cpen hia aaB*! loaa; the oficera of 
jvstiee pomed te,«nd on the #oar iay 
the rohher's oQTpae. 

"They looked «t each ot^er m 
MM«i«m4. ''Takeirliiitialeftyoa,' 
widthe&liier. 'Wbe the dead man 
reseoed from the galleys; take the 
finog man goel vHhMe hands xeats the 
dead UK's hloodf 

** I waa pveseDt at say fi^end'i triaL 
13>e fikcte hiad fooome hnewn hefore- 
haiid. He stood these mth his grey 
hair, and hissmtilated limfaa, and the 
deep soar on hia visage;, aad the cross 
-of the Legion of HoDoar on his breast j 



and when he had told his tale>» he 
ended with these words — 'I have saved 
the son whom I reared for Francei, 
from a doom that wonld have spared 
the life to brand it with disgrace. la 
tfaism«rimeP I give yon my life in 
eichange fer 'Boy son's disgrace. BoeB 
my ooontr^ need m Tiottm! I have 
hred iot my oonntry's glory, and I 
can die oontented to satisfy its hnvB j 
sure that, if you blame me, yon wi& 
not despise; emieliiat the haoods that 
give me to the headsman will scattor 
floivran osw my gnnro. l%ns I oen* 
ftas alL I, m soldier, look tqudA 
amoDget a nation of soldiers; and In 
<lw name ef the star which ^tters en 
my hreaet, I dare the Fa&ers cf 
Franoe to eosdemn mef 

*13wy acquitted \!&& solcEer— at 
least tikey gave a ver£ot answering 
4» what in oar eovrts is called ' jnSti- 
fiaUe hoBncide.' A dioiit rose in the 
oonrt, whk^ no eeeemoniail Toiee eonSd 
atill; tiiecrowdwotddha^ehomehm 
in trimnph to his house;, bnt his loc^ 
rq^ed such vanities. To has hoose 
he vetomed indeed, aad the day after- 
wards Itieyfenndhhn dead, heiMethe 
cradfie in whidi ^s ftnst prayer hak 
been hreathed over his siidess d^d. 
New, fisfjher and son, I aek yon^ do yen 
eondesBB that Butaf* 



M 



THE CAXTONSs 



CHAFT£B YIIL 



Mr faihet took three strides np 
md down the TOQm, andtliei], haltiiig 
on bis hearOi, and fiidng hSs brother, 
he thus spoke -^ ** I candemn his 
deedyBolaod! At best he was but a 
hsngbty egotist. I understand why 
Bmtns shoold day bis sons. By that 
sacrifice he saved his coontry! What 
£d this poor dupe of an exaggeration 
save? — ^nothing but his own name. 
He could not lift the crime from his 
son's soul, nor the dishonoor from his 
son's memory. He could bat gratify 
his own vain pride; and, insennbly to 
himself his act was whispered to him 
by the fiead that ever whispers to the 
heart of man, * Dread men's ojnnioiis 
more than God's law!' Oh, my dear 
brother, what minds like yours should 
guard against the most is not the 
meanness of evil-— it is the evil that 
takes false nobility, by garbing itself 
in the royal magnificence of good." 
My nnde walked to the window, 
opened it, looked out a moment, as if 
to draw in fresh air, closed it gently, 
and came back again to his seat ; but 
during the short time the window had 
been left open, a moth flew in. 

** Tales like theiBe," renewed my 
fiither, pityingly—" whether told by 
some great tragodian, or in thy rimple 
style, my brother*— tales like these 
have thdr uses: they penetrate the 
heart to make it wiser ; but all wisdom 
is meek, my BoUmd. They invite us 
to put the question to ourselves that 
thou hast asked— ^ Can we condenm 



this manP and reason answera^ a§ I 
have answered— * We pity the man, 
we condemn the deed.' Wo t ake 
care^mylove! thatmothwillbeinthe 
candle. We whMi-^'wkisJk^ f 



and my fiither stopped to drive away 
tiie moth. My uncle tamed, and 
taking his handkerchief firam the 
lower part of his fiioe, of which he 
had wished to conceal the workings^ 
he flapped away the moth from the 
flame. My mother moved the candles 
finom the moth. I tried to catch the 
moth in my fiither's straw-hat. The 
deuce was in the moth ! it baffled us 
all; now circling against the ceiling, 
now sweeping down at the fiital lights. 
As if by a rimultaneous impulse, my 
fiither approached one candle, my 
undo approached the other; and just 
as the moth was wheeling round and 
round, irresolute which to choose for 
its funeral pyre, both candles were 
put out^ The fire had burned down 
low in the grate, and in the sudden 
dimness my fiither's soft sweet voice 
came finrth, as if firom an invisible 
bmg: "We leave ourselves in the 
dark to save a moth from the flame^ 
brother! shall we do less fiw oar 
fellow-men? Extinguish, oh! hu- 
manely eztingmsh the light of our 
reason, when thedarknessmore fiivours 
our mercy." Before the lights were 
relit, my undo had left the room* 
His brother followed bun; my mother 
and I drew near to each other, and 
talked in whispers. 



L 



A FAIOLX nCTUBK 



57 



PAET FOUETH. 



CHAPTER L 



I WAS always an early Tiser. Happy 
the man wlu> is! Every mormng, 
day comes to lum with a virgin's love, 
fuU of bloom, and polity, and fresh- 
ness. The yonth of Nature is oon- 
tagionsy like the gladness of a happy 
ehnd. I doubt if any man can be 
caUed 'old' so long as he is an early 
riser, and an early walker. And oh, 
Yonth! — taiie my word of it — ^yonth 
in dresnng-gown and slippers, dawd- 
Hng over breakfast at noon, is a very 
deo^jnt ghastly image of that yonth 
which sees the son blnsh over the 
mountains, and the dews sparkle upon 
blossoming hedgerows. 

Pasmng by my ftther's study, I was 
surprised to see the windows unclosed 
— «urprised more, on looking in, to 
see him bending over his books — ^fbr I 
had never before known him study till 
after the morning meaL Students 
are not usually early riserai, for stu- 
dents, alas! whatever their age, are 
rarely young. Tes ; the Great Book 
must be getting on in serious earnest. 
It waa no longer daUiance with learn- 
ing : this was work. 

I passed through the gates into the 
road. A few of the cottages were 
giving signs of returning life; but it 
was not yet the hour for labour, and 
no ''Good morning, sur," greeted me 
<m the road. Suddenly at a turn, 
which an overhanging beech-tree had 
before concealed, I came fuU upon my 
Uncle Boland. 



"What! you, sir? So early f 
Hark, the clock is striking five I" 

"Not later ! I have walked well 
for a lame man. It must be more 



than four miles to 



"Tou have been to 



and back." 
: not on 



M 



business? No soul would be up.' 

" Yes, at inns, there is always some 
one up. Ostlers never sleep ! I have 
been to order my humble chaise and 
pair. I leave you to-day, nephew." 

"Ah, uncle, we have offended you. 
It was my folly, that cursed print — *' 

"Pooh!" said my unde, quickly. 
" Offended me, boy ! I defy you !" and 
he pressed my hand roughly. 

"Yet this sudden determination! 
It was but yesterday, at the Boman 
Camp, that you planned an excursion 
with my &ther, to C Castle." 



M 



Never depend upon a whimsical 

man. I must be in London to-night.** 

" And return to-morrow ?" 

"I know not when," said my uncLe^ 

gloomily; and he was silent for some 

moments. At length, leaning less 

lightly on my arm, he continued-* 

"Young man, you have pleased me. 

I love that open, saucy brow of yours, 

on which Nature has written 'Trust 

me.' I love those clear eyes, that 

look one manfully in the foce. I 

must know more of you-— much of you. 

You must come and see me some day 

or other inyourancestors'ruinedkeep.'' 

"Come! that I wilL And yoa 

[shall show me the old tower—" 



s$ 



TUB CAXSWB. 



" And the traces of the oatworks V 
cried my unde, flonriBhing his stick. 

"And the pedigree — " 

"A.J, and your great-great-grand- 
&ther's armour, which he wore at 
Marston Moor " 

"Yes, and the brass {date in tfaa 
church, nncle/' 

" The denoe is in the boy ! Come 
here, come here ; I've three minds to 
break your head, sir V* 

"It is a pity somebody had iiot 
broken the rascally printw's, before 
lie bad tiie ux^wdenoe to disgSMse nsi 
by having a lunfly, nnele.'' 

CaptilB ficScad tried hand toj 
fiown, but be coold not "Fihawr 
said kfik fltoooiiuE. i P*d taJHiair sdo£ 
''The world of thedead is wide; why 
ghoold the gfaoeto josaevs?" 

"We cam never escape the ghosts, 
imcle. 13i0f bttUBt w ahrays. We 



cannot think or act, Si^at the sonl of 
some man, who has lived before, points 
the way. The dead never die, espe- 
cially rinc o ■ " 

"Since what, boy P— you speak 
welL" 

"Smoe our great ancestor intro- 
duced priniang,'' said I, majestically. 

My undo whistled **Malbroti^ s^en 
va-t-en guerre" 

I had not the heart to plague him 

"Peace!" said I, creepng cautiously 
wttbki the ^iNk «f tiie «Cidc 

"iNb! I fixvwam yo»— " 

"Peace! and ^^esoibe te me wa^ 
little oeoBiv ysor pretty daagbter-* 
fat psetty I Am sure she is." 

"Peac^" said b^ vdcI^ oaiHiig. 
Bat yea wamt oome and judge Hat 



GHAFTSB n. 



Vvaia'SUXLLS^wmgaaB, Before 
be went, he was dosetod for an hour 
vith aiy ^ther, who thenaeoompanied 
bim to the gate ; and we all <a»wdBd 
xieond bim as he stepped into bis chaise. 
When flie Captain was gone^ I tried 
to sound xqy &i;her as tothe<»Hise of 
aosuddeaadepartorei Butmy&ther 
was impeDetrable in ali that related 
to bis brother'saeofets. Whether or 
not the (i^ptaiii bad ever confided' to 
him tbecanseof his diqpleasore withius 
mystery whidiL much haunted 
ly fiutiier was mute on thai scores 
M^ to m^ mother and mysdf. For 
two or three days, hcwever, Mr. Cax- 
ten was evidently wasettled. He did 
mat ewa take to his Great Work, but 
walked mvch akMM^ or accompanied 
Oily l^ the dude, and without even a 
^ book in his hand. But by degrees the] 



achdarly habits returned to him; my 
mother mended his pen^ and tfae 
work went OB. 

P<]r my pert^ left mooh to myself 
especially la the mormagiV Ib^gpanto 
muse restiesdyover the ^sture, Un- 
grateful that I wai^ the happiness €ii 
home eeased to ooniieiit me. I heard 
a&r the roar ef the great world, and 
roved impatieat by the shore. 

At lengthy one evenii^, my &the^ 
with some modest hums and ha^ and 
an unafiected bludi on his lair fore- 
head, gratified a prayer frequently 
urged on him» and read me some por- 
tions of the Oreat Work. I oannot 
ezpreas thefeelings this lecture created 
— ^they were sompthing akin to awe. 
F<^ the dengn of this book was aa 
immfflise — and towards its eBecutioi^ 
a learning so vast and vanoos hadaA- 



A 9AMILT PICItJBE. 



St 



]ii]m8tcredf--4ihit it fltemed to me wi 
if a spirit bad opmed to me « new 
irorld, wMch bad always been before 
ny feety bat wbich my <iwn bfonaxi 
UiiiduesB bflpu biusertx) <x>nceajied from 
me. The imspeakaXiie patae&oe with 
whidi an tiiese materiaJs bad been 
coflected, year a^^er year — the eaee 
wiib wbich Y^Cfw, by tbe calm power 
of geninsy tiiey seemed of themsdlTes 
to &11 into baxmony and <ys(fcem— 4he 
m»orF:cioo8 bnmifity with which the 
Mbglar exposed ibe tftoreB of « labo- 
rioos ]]ft7---All oombined to rebnke my 
own TOBtlessDess and sanbitaoiiy while 
Ibey fflledme witii a pride in myfiUber, 
which SBTodmy wounded egotxsm from 
ft pang. H-ere> indeed, was one of 
those boolcs whidi embrace an ex« 
Istenoe; like tiie IHdlonaiy of Ba^ 
orthe HiBtoty of Gibbon, or the JFiuH 
MeUemci of Cfinton, it was a hook to 
wlncb tiiODBBBDds of books had centric 
bnted, onify to make the originality of 
the angle mind more hold and dear. 
Into the fhmaoe aH vessels of gold, of 
i&ages, had been oast; bat from tbe 
moold oame the new coin, with its 
amgle stamp. And happily, the sab- 
ject of Ibe work did not forind to fbe 
writer tbe indolgence of his naSee, 
pecoliar irony of homoiir— so qi]^ii^ 
yet so profoand. My fiither's hook 
was the " Hjstoiy of Homaa Snor." 
It was, iiierefore, the moral history of 
mankind, told with tmfii and eamest- 
nesB, yet with an arch, Tinmalignant 
smile. Sometimes, indeed, the smile 
drew tears. But in aU tnie hamoor 
lies its germ, pathos. Oh! hy the 
goddess Moria or Folly, bnt he was at 
home in his theme! HoTiewedman 
first in the savage state, preferring in 
this the posUiTe aoooonts of Toyagers 
and travdlers, to the Tagne myths of 
antiqmty, and the dreams of speeola- 
tors on oar pristime state. From 
Anstoalia and Abysrima he drew pic- 
tures of mortality anadomed, aslhrety 
as if he had lived amongst Bosfamea 



and savages all his Bfe. Hmu be 
crossed over the Atkintic, and hrongfat 
before yon Ihe American Indian, with 
his nol:^ mtore^ stmggltng into the 
dawn of <9riliBallioB, when friend Penii 
cheated Urn out of his bfarthtighl^ 
and the AngkhSaxon drove him hack 
into darkness. He showed hoth um^ 
togy and contrast between IhSs speoK 
men of oor kind, and others eqoalty 
apart from the extremes of Ihe twnige 
state and the eaUnred. The Arabia 
his tent, ihe Teuton in his Hsresta^ tim 
Greenknder m his hoat, the Fm m Ui 
reindeer ear. Up sprang the rode 
gods of the north, and the resBseitated 
Dnudism, passing from its earisori! 
tempieless belief into tiiekuter oonn^ 
tionsof<roDmieUandidol. TTpspmng, 
by their side, Ihe Satam of the Hios- 
nidaas, the mystie Bodh of India, the 
elementary ddties of the BBhagiH^ 
tiie Naith and Serapis ot' Sgypfci the 
Onnnad of FOrsia^tfae Bel of Babyks^ 
the winded genii of the giaoefol SinK 
rm. How nature and b&siiBped the 
religion; how the reii^on shaped the 
manners; how, and hy wliat inflaenoe^ 
some trihes were fbnnedfbr progress; 
how others '^^rare destined to remain 
statiomurj^, or be swaiiowed np in war 
and davery by tiieir brethren, was 
tcdd with a precision dear and strong 
as the voioe of Fate. Not only an 
antiqinrian and pi^tologist, bat an 
anatomist and piiilosophe]>— my fiUher 
hrooght to bear on all these grave 
points the varioos specakKtkos involved 
in the dktinction of races. He showed 
bow race in perfection is produced, up 
toacertainpoint,byadn^xtare; how 
aU mixed races have been the most 
intelligent — how,in proportion as kwal 
cizcomstanoe and religions frith per- 
ndtted the eariy fosion of different 
tribes, races improved and qmdLened 
into the refinements of dvilisatioak 
He tracked the p ro gre ss and disper* 
sion of the Hellenes, from thdr mytii- 
ical cradle in Thessaly; and showed 



60 



THE CAXTONSt 



how those who settled near the sea- 
shores, and were compelled into com- 
merce and intercourse with strangers, 
gave to Ghreece her marvellous accom- 
plishments in arts and letters — ^the 
flowers of the ancient world. How 
others, like the Spartans^ dwelling 
evermore in a camp^ on guard against 
their ndghhours, and rigidly preserv- 
ing their Dorian purity of extraction, 
oontrihnted neither artists, nor poets;, 
aorphilosophers to the goldentreasure- 
house of mind. He took the old race 
of the Celts, Cimry, or Cimmerians. 
He compared the Celt who, as in 
Walesf, the Scotch Highlands, in Bre- 
tagne, and in nncomprehended Ire- 
land, retains his old characteristics and 
purity of breed, with the Celt, whose 
blood, mixed by a thousand channels, 
dictates from Paris the manners and 
revolutions of the world. He com- 
pared the Norman in his ancient Scan- 
dinavian home, with that wonder of 
intelligence and chivalry into which he 
grew, fhsed imperceptibly with the 
Frank, the Gk>th, and the Anglo- 
Saxon. He compared the Saxcm, sta- 
tionary in the land of Horsa, with the 
colonist and dviliser of the globe^ as 
he becomes, when he knows not 
through what channels — French, 
Flemish, Danish* Welch, Scotch, and 
Irish — ^he draws his sanguine blood. 
And out from all these speculations, to 
which I do such hurried and scanty 
justice, he drew the blessed truth, 
that carries hope to the land of the 
Caffire, the hut of the Bushman— that 
there is nothing in the flattened skull 
and the ebon aspect that rejects God's 
law — ^improvement ; that by the same 
principle which raises the dog, the 
lowest of the animals in its savage 
state, to the highest after man — ^viz., 
admixture of race— you can elevate 
into nations of majesty and power the 
outcasts of humanity, now your com- 
passion or your scorn. But when my 
fiither got into the marrow of his 



theme — ^when quitting these prelimi- 
nary discussions,hefell pounce amongst 
the would-bewisdom of the wise; when 
he dealt with civilisation itself, its 
schools, and porticos, and academies; 
when he bared the absurdities couched 
beneath the colleges of the Egyptians^ 
and the Symposia of the Greeks ; when 
he showed that, even in their ovm 
&vourite pursuit of metaphysics, the 
Greeks were children; and, in their 
own more practical region of politicly 
the Romans were visionaries and bun- 
glers; — ^when, following the stream of 
error through the Middle Ages, he 
quoted the puerilities of Agrippa^ the 
crudities of Cardan, and passed, with 
his calm snule, into the seUons of the 
chattering wits of Paris in the 
dghteentih century, oh ! then his irony 
was that of Ludan, sweetened by the 
gentie spirit of Erasmus. For not 
even here was my other's satire oi 
the cheerless and Mephistophelian 
schooL From this record of error he 
drew forth the grand eras of truth. 
He showed how earnest men never 
think in vain, though their thoughts 
may be errors. He proved how, in 
vast cycles, age after age, the human 
mind marches on — ^like the ocean, re- 
ceding here, but there advandng. 
How from the speculations of the 
Greek sprang all true philosophy; how 
from the institutions of the Boman 
rose all durable systems of govern- 
ment; how from the robust follies of 
the north came tlie glory of chivalry, 
and the modem delicacies of honour, 
and the sweet harmonising iDfl.uenoe8 
of woman. He tracked the ancestry 
of our Sidneys and Bayards from the 
Hengists, G^iserics,andAttilas. Full 
of all curious and quaint anecdote-— of 
original illustration — of those niceties 
of learning which spring frxmi a taste 
cultivated to the last exquisite polish 
— ^the book amused, and allured, and 
charmed; and erudition lost its pe- 
dantry now in the simplidty of M<nx- 



A TAmLY FXCTUBJB. 



61 



ttSgne, now in the penetradon of lift 
Brny^. He lived in each time of 
which he wrote, and the time fived 
again in him. Ah ! what a writer of 
rominces he wonld have heen, if— if 
what? If he had had as sad an ex- 
perience of men's passionsy as he had 
the happy intnition into thdr hnmotm. 
But he who wonld see the minor of 



the shore, mnst look where it is cast 
on the river, not the ocean. The nar- 
row stream reflects the gnarled tree, 
and the paosiiig herd, and the viUage 
spire, and the romanee of the land- 
scape. Bnt the sea reflects only the 
vast oatiine of the headland, and tho 
lights of the etenal heaveii. 



CHAFTEBm. 



"It is Lomhard Street to a China 
oronge,'' qnoth Undo Jack. 

"Are the odds in fivoiir of &me 
against fliilnre so great? Yon do not 
speak, I fear, from experience hrother 
Jad^" answered my ^Either, as he 
stooped down to tickle the dndk nnder 
the left ear. 

'* Bnt Jack'nhhetB is DotAngiistine 
Caxton. JackTibbetsis not a scholar, 
a genius, a wondr— '^ 

"Stop,'' cried my &ther. 

"After all," said Mr. SqmBs, 
"though I am no flatterer, Mr. l^b- 
bets is not so fax out. That part of 
your book which compares the crania 
or skulls of the different races is 
Buperb. Lawrence or Dr. Frichard 
could not have done the thing more 
neatly. Such a book mnst not be 
lost to the world; and I agree with 
Mr. Hbbete that yon should publish 
as soon as possible." 

"It is one thing to write and 
another to pnbhsh," said my flither, 
irresolutely. "When one considers 
all the great men who have published ; 
when one tlnnks one is going to in- 
trude one's-self andadously into the 
company of Aristotle and BaooDy of 
Lock^ of Herder-— of all the grave 
philosophers who bend over Nature 
with brows weighty with thought- 
one may well pause, and—" 

''Poohr interrupted Unde Jack; 



" sdence is not a chiby it is an oeean. 
It is open to the oockboat as the 
frigate. One man carries across it a 
frdghtage of ingots, another may fish 
there for herrings. Who can ex- 
haust the sea? who say to inteUed^ 
'the deeps of philosophy are pre- 
occupied?*" 

"Admirable!" cried Squills. 

"So it is really your advice^ my 
friends," said my fbther, who seemed 
struck by Uncle Jack's doqnent illus- 
trations, "that I should desert my 
household gods, remove to London, 
since my own library ceases to supply 
my wants; take lodgings near the 
British Museum, and finish off one 
volume^ at least, incontinently." 

"It is a dnty you owe to your 
country," said Unde Jack, solemnly. 

"And to yourself," urged SquiUs. 
"One must attend to ^ natural 
evacuations of the brain. Ah! yon 
may smile, ar; but I have observed 
that if a man has much in his head, 
he must give it vent or it oppresses 
him ; the whole system goes wrong. 
From being abstracted, he grows 
stupefied. T^e wdght of the pressure 
affects the nerves. J would not even 
guarantee you from a stroke of para» 
lysis." 

"Oh, Austin!" cried my mother 
tend6rly,and throwing her arms round 
my father's neck. 



6d 



THSGlXTOQTSt 



'Come, lAt, jtn am tooqmn^^ 
I. 
^'And wiiftt i» to beeome atjoa, 

go ivkh VB, and VMettlft yo«r nixid 
ftr tho UDsrenBty P^ 

"MjuMto bM writid metoUo 
castle; and ki til* aeaniriiBlB I wUI 

stay here, &g hard, and take care of 
the duck." 

''All alone ?'' said my mother. 

"No. All alone! Why Uncle 
Jack win come here as often as ever^ 
I hope.*' 

Unde Jack shook his head. 

"IffOy By* hoy' 1 stiMl go to toim, 
iwilh yoDT fttilsp. Toa donti vsder^ 
rtand tlwse 'ftings. I afaall see tbo 



gentlenen aire to he dealt with. 1 
aUR prepare the lifterapf cMea fbr 
^h» appearaaee of the hook. Issjioft 
it is a sacrifice of interest, I kaoir. 
Ify Jonrnal wiB soffer. Bat friend- 
ASp and ny eomtiT'e good hefixre all 



^'l^ear Jeckl** and xngr mottir 
aSdcttonaisefty. 

^I eamak svffer il»" cried Buy 
finUur. "Ten are suidaig a good 
iJBOoiBe.. Fob ave doieg weik where 
yott are; and as to seeing the hook- 
seiler»<-^why» wliea the work is ready, 
yo« CBoat ooBW to tovA lor a weel^ 
a»i aaltle t^t affiur/' 

"Poor dear Austin/' said Uncle 
Jack^ with an air of superiority and 
compasaon. "A week! Sir, the 
advent of a hook that is to succeed 
reqniee the preparation of months. 
Pshaw ! I am no genius, hut I am a 
pvaetfealnajk I km whatft wbat. 
Leave me aloBflk'* 

But ley fcttwr contitpoed 0h # iwityt 
aiid Unde Jac^ at laafc c w ad to urge 
the mafctar. The jonniia^ to ftme 
aiMl LendoB was ae w ae tt led; hntiay 
ihttMr wwdd aofc henr ef sgr sfeayiBg 
hehind. 

Ke; FisiBtrabiannB&xifieds go aho 
ti>towBaDdMetlh»wvirid; the dude 
would take care of itwif 



GHAPTKB IT« 



We had taken tSie precantkn to 
sead, the day heibre, to aecioe oar 
diieeoBapleaient ofplacoB- four in all 
(mdai^aig one Ibr Mfik I^naaniiis)-— 
m, or vpon, tte fM &iatky eoadi 
Oified thie Son, which had lali^ hecs 
sat up ^ the iqpeciai oeanenaeiice of 
t^ neighhoarhood. 

Tba» hmunary, lisioDg in a town 
aibout seven v^ea ^staafe fiom as^ 
deeeiihed at ftrsi a very eiratie eriott 
aandst the eonfciguoua viBages, hefore 
it fiaaBty rtraci: inle &e byroad of 
enlightenment, and thence perfomied 
its jouffney, in tiie fhU eyes of man, 
alt the Mi§€Btie paoe of six miles and 
ahalfanhour. If y fiiHiffl!, with 



pedEeta £0!^ ol hoobw aad a quarto o* 
^'eelMim €» ik» Prin^^ World" 
&r lighfe Madmg under hie aarm; my 
raolhflr witkk a libtle hadcc^ OQirtaiii!* 
ing sandwiches, and hSseoits of her 
ownhatkiag; Kr&Fkimimns» with, a 
near uanhveUa^ purcbMnd £» tbe oc- 
cadtfsviKBd a hirdttge ^^^wfnwevpig a. 
caflMay> endeaved to her not more by 
song than age, and a severe pip 
thtoQgb ^i^aeh she had sneoessfiilly 
nursed it— «ad I B^fsail^ waited at 
the gates t» weloone 1^ celestiaL 
visitor. The gardener^ with a wheel- 
hamw fiiH cf hesna and portman- 
teaus, stood a little in the van; aand 
thftlMnan* who wm to fbflow wben 



A FJOflLT PICTU1tE« 



6S 



loi^^BB^htAhem fovad, Iiad goMto 
s lisiiif^ CBttBenee to wstch thedaw»- 
n^ of tlie eiqwcAed Sbd« and appriie 
v of ite vppnmA bj the eoneeiiMl 
mgoal ai a haodkoraliiet fixed to a 



Tlie qaaint eld hom» looted at «e 
moaxnhSfy firon aD its dea n r te d win- 
dows. The fitter Mbre its thradiold, 
and in Hb opes ludl; wiq» of fltrsw 
or baj tiutt liad been t»edfor|NidE- 
iag; baekefta and Imves tintt bad 

Men ^neiujmiwtm Mid FQCCtsd j Othen^ 

ootded and fnled, retarwei. to Iblkyir 



and bufiied wifBig women laft be> 
bind standii^balf-warf between honae 
and garden^flitey wiufpem|f to oaeb 
oflier^ and looking^ aa tf tiiey bad not 
dapt ftff wecisa^'^aifo to a fleone, 
vmify 80 trim and Ofderly^ an aapaot 
of paffebe^ abandonnient nd deB(>la- 
tion. Hie OeaiuB of tiie i^aee seemed 
to reproach ns. I felt the oanene 
wife againtt tb, and turned my 
earliest i^aze ftom tbe baontt behind 
witih m tSigh, as the eoadi now drew 
up with aD fts gnndenr. An im- 
poatant personage^ who^ despite tbe 
heat of tbe day, was envelc^d in a 
'vaat nipei'lluity of beleber, in the 
mkht of which gaUoped a g3t ftx, 
and who rejoiced in tbe naone of 
**gtaa&* descended to inftvnospo- 
fiftdy, that ootly three plaoefl^ two in- 
side and one oat* wereait onrdisposaly 
the rest having been pre-engaged a 
ftrtnight before onr orders were no- 



Kow, aa I knew that Mrs. Mm-* 
adns waain^fipeiisable to the comforts 
of my honoured parents^ (the merest^ 
aa aha had onee lived in London, and 
knew n& its ways,) I suggested that 
she dionld take ^e ontiSde seat, and 
that I flhonld perform tbe journey on 
foot— It priittitiTe mode of transport, 
whidi baa its dmrms to a yoimg man 
with stoat limbs and gay spirits. The 
goard^s outstretched aim left my 



mother fittle tine to oppose this pro- 
positioD, to whidi my fiddler assented 
witii a nlent sqneeae of tbe band. 
Andyhaving pr e u med to,foin them at a 
ibim9y hotd near the Strand, to wbidi 
Mr. SqaSbr had reeonunended them 
aa peeoharfy genteel and quiet, and 
wared my hat fiuwweQ to my poor 
metiier, who ooni^ued to stretdi her 
meek fiice ooft of the window tin tbe 
coach was whirled off in a dood Kko 
one of tbe Homeno heroes, I turned 
wi^n^ to pat vp a few necessary 
artides in a small knapsack, whidi I 
remembered to bare seen in the ham- 
ber^oom, and which had appertained 
to my maternal grandftithBr; and 
with that on my riioalder, and a 
strong staff in my hand. I set off to- 
wards iSbe great city at as brisk a 
pace as if I were only hoond to the 
neoct riihigo. AecordSngiy, abooft 
noon I was both tired and hnngry^ 
and seeing' by the waynde one of 
those pretty inns yet pecoliar to Engw 
land, bat which, thaa^ to the rail« 
ways^ will soon be amongst the things 
beforo the Flood, I sat down at a 
table mider some dSpped limes, nn-^ 
ba^edmy knapsad^ and ordered my 
ample fioe, witii the £gnity of one- 
whoi, for tbe first time in his Bfe, be- 
speaks bis own finner, and pi^ for it 
oot of his own pocket. 

While engaged on a radier of bacon 
and a tankard of what tbe landlord 
celled ^ No mistake/* two pedestriana^ 
passing the same road which I bad 
travCTsed, paosed, cast a nmnltaneoos 
look at my occ up ati o n , and induced 
no doubt by its allarementii^ seated 
themsdres under the same lime-treefl^ 
thoogh at the fiother end of tiie table. 
I surveyed the new-comers with the 
cariosity natoral to my years. 

The elder of tbe two might hare 
attuned the age of thirty, though 
sundry deep lii^, and hues fo rm e riy 
fiorid and now fiided, speaMng <^ 
fittigne^ care^ or jBssipation, might 



64 



THfi CAXTONSt 



have made bun look Bomewbat older 
than he was. There was nothing 
very prepoflsesBing in hia appearance. 
He was dressed with a pretenaion ill 
snited to the oostome appropriate to 
a foot-traveUer. His coat was pinched 
asid padded; two enonnous pins, con- 
nected by a chain, decorated a very 
stiff stock of bine satan, dotted with 
yellow stars; his hands were cased in 
veiy dingy gloves, which had once 
becni straw-colonredy and the siud 
bands played with a whalebone cane 
sormonnted by a formidable knob, 
which gave it the appearance of a 
"life-preserver/' As he took off a 
white napless hat, which he wiped 
with great care and affection with the 
deeve of his right arm, a profosion 
of stiff curls 'instantly betrayed the 
art of man. Like my landlord's ale, 
in that wig there was " no mistake :" 
it was brought (after the fiishion of 
the wigs we see in the popular effigies 
of George IV. in his youth) — ^low over 
his forehead and was raised at the top. 
The wig had been oiled, and the oil 
had imbibed no small quantity of 
dust ; oil and dust had alike left their 
impression on the forehead and cheeks 
of the wig's proprietor. For the rest, 
the expression oL his face was some- 
what impudent and reckless, but not 
without a certain droUery in the 
comers of his eyes. 

The younger man was apparentiy 
about my own age, a year or two 
older, perhaps — -jud^ng rather from 
his set and sinewy frame than his 
boyish countenance. And this last, 
boyish as It was, could not &il to de- 
mand the attention even of the most 
careless observer. It had not only 
the darkness, but the character of the 
g^psy face^ with large brilliant eyes, 
raven hair, long and wavy, but not 
curling; the features were aquiline, 
but delicate, and when he spoke he 
showed teeth dazzling as pearls. It 
was impossible not to admhre the an- 



gular beauty of the ccMmtenaiioe; 
and yet, it had that ejqpresBDon at 
once stealthy and fierce^ which war 
with society has stamped upon the 
lineaments of the race of which it re* 
minded me. But, withal, there was 
somewhat of the air of a gentlemaa 
in this young wayfiurer. His dress 
consisted of a black velveteen shoot* 
ing-jacket, or rather short firock, with 
a broad leathern strap at the waist^ 
loose white trousers, and a foraging 
cap, which he threw carelessly on the 
table as he wiped his brow. Turning 
round impatiently, and with some 
haughtiness, from his companion, he 
surveyed me with a quick, observant 
flash of his piercing eyes, and then 
stretched himself at length on the 
bench, and appeared other to dose or 
muse, till, in obedience to his compa- 
nion's orders, the board was spread 
with all the cold meats the larder conld 
supply. 

" Beef!" said his companion, screw- 
ing a pinchbeck glass into his righteye* 
"Beef; — mottled, cowey — humph* 
Lamb;-— oldish — ^rawish— muttony— 
humph. Pie ;-~6talish. Veal P — ^no^ 
pork. Ah! what will you have?'' 

" Help yourself," replied the young 
man peevishly as he sat up, looked 
disdfunfully at the viands, and, after 
a long pause, lasted first on^ then the 
other, with many shrugs of the shoul- 
ders and muttered exclamations of 
discontent. Suddenly he looked np 
and called for brandy; and, to my 
surprise, and I fear admiration, he 
drank nearly half a tumblerful of that 
poison undUuted, with a oompoeuTe 
that spoke of habitual use. 

<' Wrong!" said his companion, 
drawing the bottle to himself, and 
mixing the alcohol in careful propor- 



tions with water. " Wrong ! coats of 
stomach soon wear out with that kind 
of dothes-bruah. Better stick to the 
'yeasty foam,' as sweet Will says. 
That young gentleman sets you a good 



▲ FAMILY PICTURE, 



65 



example/' and therewith the speaker 
nodded at me fimiiliarly. Inexpe- 
rienced as I was, I surmised at once 
that it was his intention to make ac- 
quaintance witii the neighbonr thus 
sainted. I was not deceived. «Any- 
thing to tempt you^ mr ?'* asked this 
flodal personage after a short pause, 
and d^wrilnng a semicircle witii the 
point of his knife. 

«I thank yon» sir, but I have 
dined." 

"What then? < Break out into a 
Kcond course of mischief/ as the swan 
leeoDunends — swan of Avon, ar! No? 
'Well, then, I chaa^ you with this 
cnp of sack/ Are yon going &x, if I 
may take the fiherty to ask V* 

" To London." 

<<0h!" said the traveller— while 
lug young companion lifted his eyes ; 
and I was again struck with their re- 
markahle penetration and briUiancy. 

"London is the best place in the 
world £]r a lad of s^nrit. See life 
there; ' glass of fashion and mould of 
form.' Fond of the play, sir?" 

"I never saw one/' 

"Possible!" cried the gentleman, 
drop^nng the handle of his knife, and 
bringing np the point horizontally: 
"then, young man," he added so- 
lemnly, "you have— but I won't say 
what yoQ have to see. I won't say — 
no, not if yon could cover this table 
with golden guineas, and exdaim with 
the generous ardour so engaging in 
youth, ' Mr. Peacock, these are yours, 
if you will only say what I have to 
see!'" 

I laughed outright — ^may I be for* 
^ven for the boast, but I had the re- 
putation at school of a pleasant laugh. 
The young man's face grew dark at 
the sound : he pushed ^u^ his plate 
andraghed. 

"Why," continuedhis friend, "my 
companion here, who, I suppose, is 
about your own age, he could tell yon 
what a play is ! he could tell you what 

No. as'T 



it 



tt 



life is. He has viewed the manners 
of the town: 'perused the traders,' 
as the swan poetically remarks. Have 
you not, my lad, eh ?" 

Thus directly appealed to, the boy 
looked up with a smile of scorn on his 
lips — 

^'Tes, I know what life is, and T 
say that life, like poverty, has strangt 
bed-tellows. Ask me what life is now, 
and I say a melodrama; ask me what 
it is twenty years hence, and I shall 

say ^" 

A farce ?" put in his comrade. 
No, a tragedy — or comedy as Mo- 
li&re wrote it/' 

" And how is that?" I asked, into- 
rested and somewhat surprised at the 
tone of my contemporary. 

"Where the play ends in the 
triumph of the wittiest rogue. My 
friend here has no chance !" 

«' Praise fjfom Sff Hubert Stanley/ 
hem — ^yes, Hal Peacock may be witty, 
but he is no rogue." 

" That was not exactly my mean* 
ing," said the boy drily. 

" 'A fico for your meaning,' as the 
swan says. — Hallo, you, sir! Bully 
Host, dear the table, fresh tumblers 
— hot water — sugar — ^lemon, — and— 
the bottie's out ! Smoke, »r ?" and 
Mr. Peacock offered me a cigar. 

Upon my refusal, he carefdlly 
twirled round a very uninviting spe- 
cimen of some fabulous havannah — 
mdstened it all over, as a boa-con- 
strictor may do the ox he prepares for 
deglutition; bit off one end, and 
lighting the other from a little ma* 
chine for that purpose which he dre%r 
from his pocket, he was soon absorbed 
in a vigorous effort (which the damp 
inherent in the weed long resisted) to 
poison the surrounding atmosphere. 
Therewiththe younggentleman, either 
from emulation or in self-defence, ex- 
tracted from Ins own pouch a cigar- 
case of notable elegance, being of 
velvet embrddered apparently h$ 

V 6 



66 



THE CAXTONSt 



flome fiur haxkSif fat ^ From Juliet^' 
was very legibly worked thereon — 
selected a dgar of better appearance 
than that in favoor with hia comrade, 
and seemed quite as fiMniUar with the 
tohaooo aa he had been with the 
brandy. 

" Fast, 8ir--£ut lad that r quoth 
Kr. Peacock, in the short gasps which 
lus resolofce straggle with his miinvit- 
ing victim alone permitted — "nothing 
bat — (j^vS^ paff ) — your troo— (sack, 
sock) — syl — Bylr--sylYar— doesHorhim. 
Ont^by theliord! 'the jaws of dark- 
ness have devoured it op;''' and 
again Mr. Peacock applied to his 
phosphoric machine. Ttds time par 
tionce and perseverance sooeeeded. 



eradition in Kr. Pleaeocit's estimation^ 
I hong my head and looked down. 

<<That is righV' renewed Mr. Pea- 
cock more be^dgnly; ''yoa have the 
ingennoas shame of yonth. It is pro* 
misiiig, sir — * lowliness is yoang am- 
Intion's ladder/ as the swan says. 



and the heart of the cigar responded 
by a doll red spark (leaving the sides 
wholly nntooched) to the inde&tiga- 
ble ardoor of its wooer. 
' This feat acoomplishecl, Mr. Pea- 
cock exclaimed triomphantly, "And 
now, what say yoo, my lads, to a 
game at CBids P— three of as— whist 
and a dummy — nothing better — eh?'' 
As he spoke he prodnced from his coat 
pocket a red silk handkerchief, a 
bnnch of keys, a nightcap, a tooth- 
brash, a piece of sbiving-soap, £mr 
lamps of sugar, the remains of a bon, 
a razor, and a pack of cards. Select- 
ing the last» and returning its motley 
accompaniments to the a%8S whence 
they had emerged, he tamed iqs wi^ 
a jerk of his thumb and finger, Ute 
knave of dobs^ and placing it on the 
top of the rest» slapped the cards em- 
phaticallyon the table. 

" You are very good, bat I don't 
know whist," said L 

" Not know whist— not been to a 
play — ^not smoke! Then pray teQ 
me,jomig man," (said he nu^esticaUy, 
and with a frown,) "what on earth 
you do know!" 

Much consternated by this direct 

4^peal, and greatly ashamed of my 

..noranoa of the cardinal points of 



Mount the first step, and learn wldst 
—sixpenny points to begin with." 

Notwithstanding any newness in 
actual life^ I had had the good finr- 
tune to learn a little of the way before 
mei, by those mnch-slandered guides 
called novels— works which are often 
to the inner world what maps are to 
the outer ; and sundry recollections of 
" Oil BIm" and the " Tlcar of Wake- 
field" came stfawwt me. I had no 
wish to emulate the worthy Moses, 
and fialt that I might not have even 
the shagreen spectacles to boast of, in 
my negotiatkms with this new Mr. 
Jenkinson. Accordingly, shaking my 
head, I called finrmy bilL As I took 
oat my poise — ^knit by my mother — 
with one gold piece in one comer, 
and sundry silver ooes in the other, I 
saw thait the eyes of Mr. Peacock 
twinkled. 

" Poor spirit^ sir ! poor sj^t, young 
man! ' IKiis avarice sticks deep,' as 
the swan beantifrilly observes. * No- 
thing venture!, notl^ng have.' " 

** Nothing have^ nothing ventare," 
Iretumed, plucking vtp spirit. 

"Nothing have!— Yoong sir, do 
yoa doubt my soKdity-^my a^tal"-"- 
niy 'golden joys?*" 

" Sir, I spoke of myself. I am not 
rich enough to gamble." 

" Oamble !" exclaimed Mr. Peacock, 
in virtuous indignation*-" Gamble ! 
what do yoa mean, sir P Yoa insult 
me !" and he rose threateningly, and 
slapped lus white hat on his wig. 

"Pshaw! let him alone, Hal," said 
the boy contemptuously. " Sir, if he 
is impertinent, thrash him.'* (This 
was tome.) 

''Impertinent! — thrash!'' ex- 



A FAKILT nCTUBB. 



«7 



daimed Mr. Pcaoodc^ waxing ▼ery 
red; bnt catching the tneer on fail 
'companion's lip, he sat down, and 
sabfiided into sollen rilenoe. 

Meanwhile I paid my Uli This 
dnty» rarely a cheerful one, perfimned, 
I looked roond for my knapaack, and 
percrived that it was in the boy's 
ikands. He was very ooolly reading 
the address which, in ease of accident^ 
I pmdently i^aeed on it— •"Fias* 
Iratiis Caztcm, £sq., -— ^ Hotel, 
*— Street,— Strand." 

I took my knapsack firam hhsi, more 
torprised at sodi a breaoh of good 
maunera in a young gentleman who 
knew life so well, than I dxnild have 
been at a similar error on the part of 
Mr. Peacock. He made no apology, 
bat nodded fiirewell, and stretched 
himself at fall length on the bench. 
Mr. Peaeock, now absorbed in a game 
of patienee^ voocbsafed no retom to 
my paftiag salntatioD^aiid in another 



moment I was aloiie on the high-road. 
My thoaghts tamed long npon tha 
yoong man I had left : mixed with a 
sort of instinctive oompattlofiate A»e- 
boding of an iU fhtore fbr one witli 
inch hablti^ and hi sodi oompanion- 
ship, I felt an invidmitary admiralaon^ 
less even fat his good looks than his 
ease, audacity, and tiie careless sup^ 
fiority he assomed over a comrade so 
modi older than himself. 

The day was &r gone when I saw 
the stores of a town at whidi I in- 
tended to rest Ibf the night. The 
bom of a coach behind made me tom 
my head, and, as the rehicle passed 
me, I saw on ^ontdde Mr. Peacock^ 
still straggling with a dgar— it ooald 
scarcely be the same^— and his yoong 
finend stretched on the roof amongst 
the loggage, leaning his handsome 
head on hit hand, and apparently 
anobservant boHi d tte and arery 
one elff ^ 



CHAPtSBV. 



I iJK apt— jiidging ^fotistdcaUy 
perhaps, fraok my own experience—^ 
measare a yoong man's chance of what 
18 termed practical snooess in life, by 
what may seem at first two very 
Vnlgar qoalities; viz., his inquisitive* 
ness ai^ his animal vivacity. A 
enriosity which springs forward to 
examine everything new to his infiir- 
mation-— a nervous activity, ajqproach- 
ing to restlessness, which rarely allows 
bodily fatigoe to interfere with some 
object in view— constitute, in my 
mind, very profitable stock in hand 
to begin the world with. 

Tbed as I was, after I had per- 
formed my ablutions, and refiredied 
myself in the Uttle cofl^room of the 
inn at which I pot up, witib the pe* 
destrian's best beverage, fiuniliar cmd 



oA-calomnBated tea, looold not retist 
the tentptetkm of tbe broad, bostUng 
street^ which, lighted with gas^ shone 
on me throogh the dim windows of 
the coffiae-toom. I had never before 
seen a large town, and the oontrast of 
lamp-lit, busy night in the streets, with 
sobor, deserted inght in the lanes and 
fields, struck me forcibly. 

I sauntered ont, therefore, jostlhag 
and jostled, now ga^g at the win- 
dows, now hoRied akmg the tide of 
life, till I found myself before a cook- 
shop, roond Which clustered a small 
knot of housewives, ditizens, and hon* 
gry-looking children. While contem- 
plating t^ groop, and marvelling 
how it comes to pass that the stajde 
boffiness of earth's mijority is how, 
when» and where to eat» my ear wae 

p2 



68 



THE CAXTONSi 



struck ^th ** ' In Troy there lies the 
scene/ as the illnstrious Will remarks." 

liooking round, I perceived Mr. 
Peacock pointing his stick towards an 
open doorway next to the cook-shop, 
the hall heyond which was lighteid 
with gas, while, painted in black let- 
ters on a pane of glass oyer the door, 
was the word " Billiards." 

Suiting the action to the word, the 
speaker plunged at once into the aper- 
ture, and vanished. The boy*compa- 
nion was following more slowly, when 
his eye caught mine. A slight blush 
came over 1^ dark cheek ; he stopped, 
and leaning against the door-jambs^ 
gazed on me hard and long before he 
said — " Well met again, or ! Tou 
find it hard to amuse yourself in this 
duU place ; the nights are long out of 
London." 

** Oh," said I, ingenuously, *' every- 
tMng here amuses me ; the lights, the 
shops, the crowd ; but, then, to me 
everything is new." 

The youth came from his loung^ng- 
place and moved on, as if inviting me 
to walk; while he answered, rather 
with bitter sullenness, than the melan- 
choly his words e3q>re8sed<-— 

'* One thing, at least, cannot be new 
to you j it is an old truth with us be- 
fore we leave the nursery—' Whatever 
is worth having must be bought ; etyo, 
he who cannot buy, has nothing worth 
having.' " 

«I don't think," said I, wisely, 
''that the things best worth having 
can be bought at alL Tou see that 
poor dropsical jeweller standing before 
his shop-door, — his shop is the finest 
in the street, — and I daresay he would 
be very glad to give it to you or me 
in return for our good health and 
strong legs. Oh no! I think with 
my father — ^'All that are worthhaving 
are given to all ;— -that is, nature and 
labour." 

"Your &ther says that; and you 
go by what your fiither says ! Of 



course, all others have preached that, 
and many other good doctrines, since 
Adam preached to Cain; but I don't 
see that the &thers have found their 
sons very credulous listeners." 

" So much the worse for the sons," 
said I, bluntly. 

"Nature," continued my new ac- 
quaintance, without attending to my 
ejaculation — ** nature indeed does give 
U8 much, and nature also orders each 
of us how to use her gifts. If nature 
give you the propenuty to drudge, 
you will drudge; if she give me the 
e>mbition to rise, and the contempt for 
W>rk, I may rise — ^but I certainly 
skifill not work." 

"Oh," said I, "you agree with 
SquiUs, I suppose, and fim^ we are 
all glided by the bumps on our fore- 
heads?" 

"And the blood in our vans, and 
our mother's mOk. We inherit other 
things besides gout and consumption. 
So you always do as your fiither teUs 
you ! Gk)od boy !" 

I was piqued. Why we should be 
ashamed of being taunted fi^r good- 
ness, I never could understand; but 
certainly I felt humbled. However, 
I answered sturdily — " If you had as 
good a father as I have, you would 
not think it so very extraordinary to 
do as he tells you." 

" Ah ! so he is a very good father, 
is he ! He must have a great trust 
in your sobriety and steadiness to let 
you wander about the world as he 
does." 

" I am going to join him in Lon- 
don." 

"In London! Oh, does he live 
there ?" 

" He is going to live there fbr some 
time." 

" Then, perhaps, we may meet. I, 
too, am going to town." 

"Oh, we shall be sure to meet 
there !" said I, with firank gladness f 
for my interest in the young man wa» 



A FAMILY PICTUHE. 



69 



not diminished by bis oonversation, 
however mncb I ^Usliked tbe senti- 
ments it expressed. 

T)ie kd langbed, and bis langb wbb 
peculiar. It was low, musical, but 
hollow and artifidaL 

" Sine to meet ! London is a lai^e 
place : wbere sball you be found ?'* 

I gave bim, without scrapie, tbe 
addr^ of tbe hotel at wbicb I ex- 
pected to find my father; althougbbis 
deliherate inspection of my knapsack 
most already bave apprised bim of tbat 
address. He listened attentively, and 
repeated it twice over, as if to im- 
press it on bis memory; and we botb 
walked on in silence, till, turning up 
a small passage, we suddenly found 
oorselves in a large cburcbyard, — a 
flagged patb stretched diagonally 
across it towards tbe market-place, on 
which it bordered. In tbis cburcb- 
yard, upon a grave-stone, sat a young 
Savoyard; bis burdy-gurdy, or wbat- 
ever else bis instrument might be 
called, was on bis lap; and be v^as 
gnawing bis crust, and feeding some 
poor little wbite mice (standing on 
their hind-legs on the burdy-gurdy) 
as merrily as if be bad cbosen tbe 
gayest resting-place in tbe world. 

We botb stopped. The Savoyard, 
seeing us, put bis arch bead on one 
nde, showed all bis white teeth in 
that happy smile so pecuUar to bis 
race, and in wbicb poverty seems to 
b^ so blithely, and gave the handle 
of his instrument a turn. 

"Poor child!" said L 

"Aha, you pity him! but why? 
According to your rule, Mr. Caxton, 



he is not so much to be pitied; tbe 
dropsical jeweller would give bim as 
much for bis limbs and health as 
for ours ! How is it — answer me, son 
of so wise a father — ^that no one pities 
the dropsical jeweller, and all pity the 
healthy Savoyard? It is, sir, because 
there is a stem truth which is stronger 
than all Spartan lessons — Poverty is 
tbemaster-ill of tbe world. Lookround. 
Does poverty leave its signs over the 
graves? Look at tbat large tomb 
fenced round ; read tbat long inscrip- 
tion: — 'Virtue' — 'best of husbands' 
— ' affectionate father*—' inconsolable 
grief* — 'sleeps in the joyful hope,' 
&c. &c. Do you suppose these stone- 
less moimds hide no dust of what were 
men just as good ? But no epitaph 
tells their virtues; bespeaks their 
wives' grief; or promises joyful hope 
to them !*' 

" Does it matter ? Does God care 
for tbe epitaph and tombstone ?*' 

"Datemi qualche cosaP* said the 
Savoyard, in bis touching patois, still 
smiling, and holding out bis little 
band ; therein I dropped a small coin. 
Tbe boy evinced bis gratitude by a 
new turn of tbe burdy-gurdy. 

" That is not labour,** said my com" 
panion ; " and bad you found bim at 
work, you bad given him nothing. I 
too bave my instrument to play upon^ 
and my mice to see after. Adieu !*' 

He waved bis hand, and strode 
irreverently over the graves back in 
the direction we bad come. 

I stood before tbe fine tomb with 
its fine epitaph : the Savoyard looked 
at me wistfully. 



70 



TH£ GAXTONS: 



CHAFTBB VI. 



Thb SftToyard looked »t me wist- 
ibHy. I wished to enter mto conTer- 
satlon with him. That waa not et^y* 
However, I hegan :— 

PisisTBATiTS. — '' Youmnst be often 
hnngrv enongh, my poor boy. Do 
the nuce feed you ?** 

Bjltoyaxd puts hi0 head (m cm 
side, shakes it, and strokes Iwa mice. 

PrsiBTBATirs.-^" You are very fond 
of the mice; they are your only 
firiaids, I fear." 

Sat oYABp, evidently understandixig 
Fldstratos^ruhs his &ce gently against 
the miee, then puts them so^y doim 
on a grave, and g^ves a torn to the 
hnrdy-gurdy. The mice play uneon* 
oemedly over ijie grave. 

PisiSTBATirs, pcnnting first to the 
beasts* then to the instrument.—- 
''Which do you like best, the jmoe or 
the hurdy-gurdy ?*' 

Satoyabd shows his teeth^^con- 
oders — stretches lumadf on the graas 
—plays with the mice— "and answers 
volubly. 

FisifTBATirs, by the help of Lal^n 
comprehending that the Savoyard 
says that the mice are alive, and the 
htffdy-gurdy is not — "Yes» a live 
finend is better than a diead one. 
Mortua est hurda-gurda V* 

Sayoyabd shakes his head vehe' 
mently.— *' N6 — ^nd ! Eocellenza* non 
^ morta!*' and strikes up a lively air 
on the slandered instrument, The 



Savoyard's &ce brightens— -jia look* 
h^py : the mice run &om the grave 
into his bosom. 

FisiSTSATus, affected, and patting 
the questioii in Latin.-w" Have you » 
&ther?" 

Sato7ASD> with hia fiuse overcaat. 
«»"K6*-£ooellenaa!" then pausiiig 
a littlfi!, he says briskly, "Sisi!*' aad 
plays a solema air on the hnrdy* 
gQrdy-''*fitops-^re6t6 one hand on t£e 
instrument^ and laisea the other to^ 
heaven. 

PisiSTBATira understands. «- The 
father is like the buidy-gurdy« ali 
once dead and living. The mere fomi 
is a dead thing, but the music Uvea. 
FisiBtratua drqpe another small pece 
of silver on the groond, and torn* 
away. 

Qod help and God Ueas tbee> 
Savoyard. Thou hast done PisistratD* 
all ihe good in the world. Thoa 
hast corrected the hard wisdom of tho 
young gentleman in the velveteen 
lacketi Pisistratus is a better lad for 
having stopped to listen to thee. 

I regained the entranee to tho 
cburchyard-p-I looked back^<-there 
sat the Savoyard, still amidst men'a 
graves, but under God's sky. He 
was still kxddng at me wistfully ; and 
when he caught my eyei he pressed 
his hand to his heart, and snuled. 
God help and God bless thee^ young 
Savoyard. 



A FAMILY PICTURE, 



n 



PART FIFTH. 



GHAFTEB I. 



Iv setting off the next moniiiig, the 
Boots, whose heart I had woo. hy an 
extra azpenoe for calliDg me hetimes, 
good-naturedly mfiirmed me that I 
might taeve a mile of the jomn^^ and 
hare a very pleaeant walk into the 
hsrgain, if I took the footpath through 
a gaitleman's park, tiie lodge of which 
I shoold see aiboat seven miles from 
tiietown. 

" And the gromids are showed too^'^ 
said the Bo^ ^if so be yon has a 
mind to stay aiid see 'em. Bnt dnft 
yoa go to the gardener, heU want 
half-a-crown; there's an old 'oman at 
the lodge, who wiU show yon all that's 
worth seeing— -the walks and the Ing 
cascade — far a tizzy. Yon may make 
nse of my name/' he added proadiy — 
''Bob, boots at the Lion. She be a 
^aont o* nune» and she nunds them 
that come from me pertiklerly." 

Not donbting that the purest phi- 
lanthropy actuated these oonnsels, I 
thanked my sfaockheaded friend, and 
asked careleflsly to whom the park 
bdoDged. 

"To Mnster Trevanion, the great 
parliament man," answered the Boots. 
"Yon has heard o' him, I gness, sir P'' 

I shook my head, surprised, every 
honr, more and more, to find how very 
little there was in it. 

'* They take&iniAie Moderate Man^a 
Jcmmal at the Lamb ; and they say 
in the tap there that he's one of the 
cleverest chaps in the House o' Com- 



mons," oontinned tiie Boots in a con- 
fidential whisper. *' Bnt we takes in 
the FeopU^s TMmderboU at the lion,, 
and we knows better this Mnster Tre- 
vanion: he is bnt a trimmer — ^milk 
and water, — ^no ^orator, — ^not th^ 
right sort, — ^yon understand ?" 

Perfisctly satisfied that I understood 
nothing about it, I smiled, and said, 
" Oh yes f and siHpjnng on my knap- 
sack, oommenoed my adventures; the 
Boots bawling after me, "Mind, sir, 
you tells Aaunt I sent you !" 

The town was only languidly put- 
ting fi^rth symptoms of returning lifis, 
as I strode through the streets; a 
pale sickly unwholesome look on tiie 
face of the slothful Phoebus had suc- 
ceeded the feverish hectic of the past 
night ; the artisans whom I met glided 
by me, haggard and dgected ; a few 
early diops were alone open; one or 
two drunken men, emer^ng from the 
lanes, sallied homeward with broken 
pipes in their mouths; bills, ¥rith large 
captals, calling attention to "B^ 
family teas at 4b, a-Ib. :" "the arrival 
of Mr. Sloman's caravan of wild 
beasts," and Dr. IVem's " Paraoelfflan 
Pins of Immortality," stared out dull 
and uncheering from the walls of 
tenantless dilapdated houses, in that 
chiU sunrise which fiivours no illusion* 
I was glad when I had left the town 
behind me, and saw the reapers in the 
corn-fields, and heard the chirp of the 
birds. I arrived at the lodge of which 



79 



THE CAXTONS: 



fhe Boots had spoken: aprettyrastic 
bcdldiiig balf-oonoealed by a belt of 
plantations, mth two large iron gates 
fo the owner's fiiends, and a small 
tnm-stile for the public, who, by some 
itrange neglect on his part, or sad 
want of interest with the ndghbour- 
ing magistrates, had still preserved a 
right to cross the rich man's do- 
mains, and look on hia grandenr, 
limited to compliance with a reason- 
able request mQdly stated on the 
notice-board, "to keep to the paths." 
As it was not yet eight o'clock, I had 
plenty of time before me to see the 
grounds, and, profiting by the eco- 
nomical hint of the Boots, I entered 
the lodge, and inquired for the old 
lady who was Aaunt to Mr. Bob. 
A young woman, who was busied in 
preparing breakfiEtft,nodded with great 
dviliiy to this request, and, hast^iing 
to a bundle of clothes which I then 
perceived in the comer, she cried, 
** Ghrandmother, here's a gentleman to 
see the cascade." 

The bundle of dothes then turned 
round, and exhibited a human coun- 
tenance, which lighted up with great 
intelligenoe as the grand-daughter, 
turning to me^ said with nmplidty— 
"She's old, honest cretur, but she 
still likes to earn a sixpence, shr;" 
and taking a crutch-staff in her hand, 
while her grand-daughter put a neat 
bonnet on her head, this industrious 
gentlewoman sallied out at a pace 
which surprised me. 

I attempted to enter into conversa- 
tion with my guide; but she did not 
seem much inclined to be sociable, 
and the beauty of the glades and 
groves which now spread before my 
eyes recondled me to silence. 

I have seen many fine places ssnoe 
then, but I do not remember to have 
seen a landscape more beautiM in its 
peculiar English character than that 
which I now gazed on. It had none 
of the feudal characteristics of ancient 



parks, with jgaaA, oaks^ fhntasdc pol- 
lards, glens covered with fern, and 
deer grouped upon the slopes ; on the 
contrary, in spite of some fine trees, 
chiefly beech, the impresnon conveyed 
was tiiat it was a new place — a made 
place. You might see ridges on the 
lawns which showed where hedges 
had been removed; the pastures were 
parcelled out in dividons by new wire- 
fences; young plantations, planned 
with exquisite taste, but without the 
venerable formality of avenues and 
quinconxes, by wMch you know the 
parks that date from Elizabeth and 
James, diversified the rich extent of 
verdure; instead of deer, were short- 
homed cattle of the finest breed — 
^eep that would have won the prize 
at an agricoltoral show. Everywhere 
there was the evidence of improve- 
ment— enei^—caintal; but capital 
clearly not employed for the mere 
purpose of return. The ornamental 
was too conspicuouBly predominant 
amidst the lucrative, not to say elo- 
quently— '^ The owner is wilUng to 
make the most of his land, but not 
the most of his money." 

But the old woman's eagerness to 
earn sixpence had impressed me un- 
fiiivourably as to the character of the 
master. ** Kete," thought I, " are all 
the signs of riches ; and yet this poor 
old woman, living on the very thi«sh-' 
old of opidence, is in want of a six- 
pence." 

These surmises, in the indulgence 
of which I piqued mysdf on my 
penetration, were strengthened into 
convictions by the few sentences 
which I succeeded at last in eliciting 
from the old woman. 

"Mr. Trevanion must be a rich 
man," said I. 

«0 ay, rich eno'l" grumbled my 
guide. 

" And," said I, surveying the ex* 
tent of shubbery or dressed gfroond 
through which our way wouxid, now 



A FAMILY PICTUBE. 



n 



emerging into lawns and glades, now 
"belted by rare garden-trees, now (as 
every inequality of the ground was 
turned to advantage in the landscape) 
sinking into the dell, now climbing up 
the slopes, and now confining the 
view to some object of graceful art or 
enchanting nature : — " And," said I, 
" he must employ many hands here- 
plenty of work, eh \" 

"Ay, ay — I don't say that he don't 
&id work for those who want it.. But 
it ain't the same place it wor in my 
day." 

" You remember it in other hands, 
&en?" 

" Ay, ay ! When the Hogtons had 
it, honest folk! My good man was 
the gardener — ^none of those set-up 
fine gentlemen who can't put hand to 
a spade." 

Poor fiEuthful old woman ! 

I began to hate the unknown pro- 
prietor. Here clearly was some mush- 
room usurper who had bought out the 
old simple hospitable &mily, neglected 
its ancient servants, left them to earn 
tizzies by showing waterfalls, and in- 
scdted their eyes by his selfish wealth. 

'' There's the water all spzTt— 
it wam't so in my day," said the 
guide. 

A rivulet, whose murmur I had 
long heard, now stole suddenly into 
view, and gave to the scene the 
crowning charm. As, relapsing into 
silence, we tracked its silvan coursei, 
under dipping chestnuts and shady 
limes — ^the house itself emerged on 
the opposite side— a modem building 
of white stone, with the noblest 
Corinthian portico I ever saw in this 
country. 

** A fine house, indeed,'' said I. ** Is 
Mr. Trevanion here mudi P" 

** Ay, ay— I don't mean to say that 
he goes away altogether, but It aint 
as it wor in my day, when the Hogtons 
lived here all the year round in th^ 
warm house, not that one; 



.*> 



Good old woman^ and these poor 
banished Hogtons ! thought I : hate- 
ful parvenu ! I was pleased when a 
curve in the shrubberies shut out the 
house from view, though in reality 
brining us nearer to it. And the 
boasted cascade, whose roar I had 
heard for some moments, came in 
sight. 

Amidst the Alps, such a waterfall 
would have been insignificant, but 
contrasting ground highly dressed, 
with no other bold features, its efi'ect 
was striking, and even grand. The 
banks were here narrowed and com- 
pressed ; rocks, partly natural, partly 
no doubt artificial, gave a rough as- 
pect to the mar^; and the cascade 
fell from a considerable height into 
rapid waters, which my guide mum- 
bled out were "mortal deep." 

" There wor a madman leapt over 
where you be standing," said the old 
woman, " two years ago last June." 

" A madman ! why," said I, observ- 
ing, with an eye practised in the 
gymnafflum of the Hellenic Institute^ 
the narrow space of the banks over 
the g^ — ^"why, my good lady, it 
need not be a madman to perform 
that leap." 

And so saying, with one of those 
sudden impulses which it would be 
wrong to ascribe to the noble quality 
of courage, I drew back a few steps, 
and cleared the abyss. But when 
from the other ade, I looked back at 
what I had done, and saw that failure 
had been death, a sickness came over 
me, and I felt as if I would not have 
re-leapt the gulf to become lord of 
the domain. 

"And how am I to get back?'* 
said I in a forbm voice, to the old 
woman, who stood staring at me on 
the other side— "Ah! I see there is 
a bridge below." 

" But you can't go over the bridge; 
there's a gate on it; master keeps 
the key himself. Tou are in the 



74 



THE CAXTOKS t 



private gTOimds vow. Dear— dear! 
the sqmre would be so angry if he 
knew. Yoa mnrt go bad:; and 
theyH see yoa from the honse ! Dear 
me! dear— dear! What ahall I doP 
Can't yoa leap back again ?*' 

Moved by these piteous exdama- 
tions, and nofc wishing to sdbject the 
poor old lady to the wrath of a mas- 
ter, evidently an onfeeling tyrant, I 
resolved to pfaick np coorage and re- 
leap the dangeroos abyss. 

" Oh yes — never fear/' said I, there- 
fore. " What's been done onoe ought 
to be done twice, if needfoL Just 
get oat of my way, inll yoa?" 

And I receded several paces over a 
groand mnch too rough to fiivonr my 
ran tor a spring. Bnt my heart 
knocked against my ribs. I Mt that 
impnlse can do wonders where prepa- 
ration fidls. 

"Yoa had best be qnick, then,'^ 
said the old woman. 

Horrid old woman! I began to 
esteem her less. I set my teetii, and 
was aboat to rash on, when a voice 
close beside me said — 

" Stay, yoong man; I wQl let yoa 
through the gate.'' 

I turned round sharply, and saw 
close by my nde, in great wonder that 
I had not seen him before, a man, 
whose homely (but not working) dress 
seemed to intixnate his station as that 
of the head gardener, of whom my 
gaide had spoken. He was seatedon 
a stone under a chestnut-tree, with 
an ugly cur at his feet, who snarled 
at me as I turned. 

" Thank you, my man," said I joy- 
fhlly. ** I confess frankly that I was 
very much afraid of that leap." 

** Ho ! Yet you said, what can be 
done once can be done twice." 

« I did not say it could be done, 
but ouffht to be done." 

"Humph! That's better put." 
' Here the man rose — ^the dog came 
and smelt my legs; and then, as if 



satisfied with my respe c tability, w^- 
ged the stump ci his taiL 

I looked across the water£ill for 
the old woman, and to my surprise, 
saw her hobbling back as &st as she 
could. 

" Ab !" said I, laughing, " the poor 
old thing is afraid youll t^her mas- 
ter—for you're the head gardener, I 
suppose P But I am the ooily person 
to blame. Pray say that, if yon men- 
tion the circumstance at all !" and I 
drew out half-a-crown, which I prof- 
fered to my new conductor. 

He put back the money witb a 
low "Humph — not amiss." nien, 
in a loader voices '^Nb occaaon to 
bribe me, young man ; I saw it alL" 

" I fear your master is rather hard 
to the poor Hogtons* old servants." 

"Is he? Oh! humph — ^my master. 
Mr. Trevanion you mean P" 

" Yes." 

" Well, I dare say people say so. 
This is the way." And he led me 
down a little glen away from the 

Everybody must have observetl, 
that after he has incurred or escaped 
a great danger, his spirits rise won- 
derfully — ^he is in a state of pleasing 
exdtemcnt. So it was with me. I 
talked to the gardener d ctmir ouvert, 
as the French say: and I did not 
observe that his diort monosyllables 
in rejoinder all served to dniw out 
my little history — my journey, its 
destination ; my schooling under Dr. 
Herman, and my father's Great Book. 
I was only made somewhat suddenly 
aware of the fkmilarity that had 
sprung up between us, when, just as, 
having performed a circuitous mean- 
der, we regained the stream and stood 
before an iron gate^ set in an arch of 
rock-work, my companion sidd simply 
— "And your name, young gentle> 
man P Whafs your name P" 

I hesitated a moment ; but having 
heard that such communications were 



A FAMILY PICTUBE. 



7ft 



nsoally made hy the viidtorB of show 
places, I answered — "Oh! a very 
venerable one, if your marter is whi^ 
they call a bibliomaniAC — Cazton." 

"Caxton!" cried the gardener with 
some vivadty . '* There is a Cumber- 
land fiunHy of that name—" 

"That's mine; and my Unde 
Boland la the head of that fiimily ." 

"And yen are the son of Angnstiiie 
Caxton?" 

"I am. Too have heard of my 
dear father, thenP' 

"We will not pass by the gate 
BOW. Follow me — Ihis way;** and 
my g^ide, turning abruptly roond, 
s^ode np a narrow palh, and the 
house stood a hnndred yards befioe 
me ere I recovered my sniprise. 

"Flardon me,'' said !« "hut where 
are we gdng, my good fiiend?** 

<* Good friend— ^[oodfidend! Well 
said, sir. You are gdng amongst 
good friends. I was at college with 
yoor father. I loved him weQ. I 
knew a little of your uncle too. My 
nanoe is Trevanion.'* 

BHnd young fbol that I was! The 
moment my guide tdd his name, I 
was struck with amasement at my 
vnaooountable mistake. The small. 



inRgnifleant figure took instant dig 
nity; the homely dress, of rotigh, 
^axk broadcloth, was the natural imd 
hecoming deshahille of a country gen- 
tleman in his own demesnes. Even 
the ugly our became a Scotch terrier 
of the rarest breed. 

My guide smiled good-naturedly at 
my stupor; and patting me on the 
shoulder, said—* 

"It is the gardener yon must 
iqpolog^ to, not me. Me is a veiy 
handsome fellow, six feet high.'* 

I had not found my tongue before 
we had ascended a broad flight of 
stairs under the portico; passed a 
spacious hall, adorned with statues 
md fragrant with large orange-trees; 
and, entering a small room, hung with 



pctures, in whidi were arranged all 
the appliances for hreah&st, my com- 
panion said to a lady, who rose from 
behind the tea-um, " My dear EUinor 
-—I Introduce to you the son of our 
old friend Augustine Gazton. Make 
him stay with us as long as he can. 
Young gentleman, in Lady EUinor 
TrevBDkm think that yon see one 
whom you ong}it to know well— 
fhmily friendships should descend." 

My host said these last wtnrds in an 
Imposing tone, and then pounced on 
a letter-bag on the table, drew forth 
an immense heap of letters and news* 
papen, threw himself Into an arm* 
chair, and seemed perfectly fbrgetftd 
of my existence. 

The lady stood a moment in mute 
surprise, imd I saw that she changed 
colour from pale to red, and red t» 
pale, befinre she came forward with 
the enchanting grace of unaffiacted 
kindness, took me by the hand, drew 
me to a seat next to her own, and 
asked so cordially after my fother, my 
unde^ my whole fimiily, that in frro 
minutes I felt myself at home. Ijad^ 
EUinor listened with a smile (though 
with moistened eyes, whidb die wiped 
every now and then) to my artless de« 
taib. At length she said — 

"Have you never heard your 
father qpeak of me — ^I mean of ua-^ 
of the Trevanions?** 

"Never,*' said I bluntly; "and 
that would puzzle me, only my dear 
Either, you know, is not a great 
talker." 

" Indeed ! He was very animated 
when I knew him," said Lady EUinor, 
and she turned her head and righed. 

At this moment there entered a 
young lady, so fresh, so blooming, so 
lovely, that every other thought 
vafiisbed out of my head at once. She 
came in singing, as gay as a bird, and 
seeming to my adoring sight quite as 
native to the skies. 

" Fanny,"8a3d Lady EUinor, "^ukiB 



76 



THE CAXTONS: 



hands with Mr. Caxton, the son of 
one whom I have not seen since I was 
little older than you, hut whom I re- 
member as if it were but yesterday." 

Miss Fanny blnshed and smiled, 
and held out her hand with an easy 
frankness which I in vain endeavonred 
to imitate. During breakfast, Mr. 
Trevanion continued to read his letters 
and glance over the papers, with an 
occasional ejacnlation of ''Pish!" 
"StufT." — ^between the intervals in 
which he mechanically swallowed his 
tea, or some small morsels of dry toast. 
Then rising with the suddenness which 
characterised his movements, he stood 
on his hearth for a few moments 
buried in thought; and now that 
a large brimmed hat was removed 
from his brow, and the abruptness of 
his first movement, with the sedate- 
ness of his after pause, arrested my 
curious attention, I was more than 
ever ashamed of my mistake. It was 
a careworn, eager, and yet musing 
oountenaace, hollow-eyed, and with 
deep lines; but it was one of those 
fiioes which take dignity and refine- 
ment from that mental cultivation 
whichdistinguishes the true aristocrat, 
viz., the highly educated, acutely in- 
telligent man. Very handsome might 
that &ce have been in youth, for the 
features, though small, were ex- 
quisitely defined; the brow, partially 
bald, was noble and masnve, and there 
was almost feminine delicacy in the 
curve of the lip. The whole expression 
of the face was commanding, but sad. 
Often, as my experience of life in- 
creased, have I thought to trace upon 
that expressive visage the history of 
energetic ambition curbed by a fiuti« 
dious philosophy and a scrupiUous con- 
sdience; but then all that I could see 
was a vague, dissatisfied melancholy, 
which dejected me I knew not why. 

Pnsently Trevanion returned to 
the table, collected his letters, moved 
slowly towards the door, and vamshed. 



His wiib's eyes followed him ten- 
derly. Those eyes reminded me of 
my mother's* as, I verily believe, did 
all eyes that expressed afiection. 1 
crept nearer to her, and longed to 
press the white hand that lay so list- 
less before me. 

"Will you walk out with ua?*^ 
said Miss Trevanion, turning to me. 
I bowed, and in a few minutes I found 
myself alone. While the ladies lefb 
me, for their shawls and bonnets I 
took up the newspapers which Mr. 
Trevanion had thrown on the table, 
by way of something to do. My eye 
was caught by his own name; it oc- 
cuired often, and in all the papers. 
There was contemptuous abuse in one, 
high eulogy in another; but one 
passage^ in a journal that seemed to 
aim at impartiality, struck me so 
much as to remain in my memory; 
and I am sore that I can still quote 
the senses though not the exact words. 
The paragraph ran somewhat thus:— 

''In the present state of parties, our 
contemporaries have, not unnaturally, 
devoted much space to the claims or 
demerits of Mr. Trevanion. It is a 
name that stands unquestionably high 
in the House of Commons; but, as 
unquestionably, it commands little 
sympathy in the country. Mr. Tre- 
vamon is essentially and emphatically 
a member of parliament. He is a 
close and ready debater; he is an ad- 
mirable chairman in committees. 
Though never in office, his long expe- 
rience of public life, his gratuitous at- 
tention to public business, have ranked 
him high among those practical poli- 
ticians from whom ministers are se- 
lected. A man of spotiess character 
and excellent intentions, no doubt, he 
must be considered ; and in him any 
cabinet would gain an honest and a 
usefbl member. There ends all wo 
can say in his praise. As a speaker, 
he wants the fire and enthusiasm 
which engage the popular.sympathies. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



77 



He Has tbe ear of the House, not the 
heart of the country. An oracle on 
sabjects of mere bosmess, in the ereat 
questions of policy he is comparanvely 
a failure. He never embraces any 
party heartily; he never espouses any 
question as if wholly in earnest. The 
moderation on which he is said to 
pique himself, often exhibits itself in 
fastidious crotchets, and an attempt at 
philosophical orginality of candour, 
which has long obtained him, with his 
enemies, the reputation of a trimmer. 
Such a man drcumstanoes may throw 
into temporary power; but can he 
command lasting influence ? No : let 
Mr. GDrevaaion remain in what nature 
and position assign as his proper post 
— ^tltfit of an upright, independent, 
able member of parliament ; conciliat- 
ing sennble men on both ades, when 
party runs into extremes. He is un- 
done as a calnnet xnimster. His 
scruples would break up any govern- 
ment; and his want of decision — ^when, 
as in all human aflbirs, some errors 
must be conceded to obtain a great 
good — would shipwreck his own 
&me." 

I had just got to the end of this 
paragraph, when the ladies returned. 

My hostess observed the newspaper 
in my hand, and said, with a con- 
strained snule, " Some attack on Mr. 
Trevaniou, I suppose?" 

" No," said I, awkwardly ; for, per- 
haps, the paragraph that appeared to 
me so impartial, was the most galling 
attack of all. " No, not exactly." 

" I never read the papers now — at 
least what are called the leading 
articles — ^it is too painM; and once 
they gave me so much pleasure — that 
was when the career began, and be- 
fore the fume was made." 

Here Lady EUinor opened the win- 
dow which admitted on the lawn, and 
in a few moments we were in that 
part of the pleasure-grounds which 
the family reserved from the public 



M 



curiomty. We passed by rare shrubs 
and strange flowers, long ranges of 
conservatories, in which bloomed and 
lived all the marvellous vegetation of 
Africa and the Indies. 

"Mr. Trevanion is fond of flowers?'* 
said I. 

The &ir Fanny laughed. "I don't 
think he knows one from another." 

** Nor I either," said I : "that is, 
when I fkbrly lose nght of a rose or a 
hoUyhock." 

" The fium will interest you more,' 
said Lady Ellinor. 

We came to fkrm buildings recently 
erected, and no doubt on the most 
improved principle. Lady Ellinor 
pointed out to me machines and con* 
trivanoes of the newest fashion, for 
abridging labour, and perfecting the 
mechanic operations of agriculture. 

"Ah, then, Mr. Trevanion is fond 
of farming." 

The pretty Fanny laughed again. 

"My father is one of the great 
oracles in agriculture, one of the g^reat 
patrons of all its improvements; but, 
as for being fond of farming, I doubt 
if he knows his own fields when he 
rides through them." 

We returned to the house; and 
Miss Trevanion, whose frank kindness 
had £dready made too deep an impres* 
sion upon the youthfrd heart of Pisis- 
tratus the Second, ofleredto show me 
the picture-gallery. The collection 
was confined to the works of English 
artists; and Miss Trevanion pointed 
out to me the main attractions of the 
gallery. 

"Well, at least Mr. Trevanion is 
fond of pictures!" 

" Wrong again," said Fanny, shak- 
ing her arch head. " My father is 
said to be an admirable judge ; but he 
only buys pictures from a sense of 
duty — ^to encourage our own painters* 
A picture once bought, I am not sure 
that he ever looks at it again !" 

" What does he then—" I stopped 



78 



THE CAXTONSt 



shorty for I felt my meditated qiiesti(m 
irog ill-bred. 

"What does he like then? yon 
were about to say. Why, I lutve 
known him, of ooazse, anoe I oonld 
knonr anything; but I have never 
yet discovered what my &ther does 
like. No— not even poHtio^ though 
he lives iat politics alcme. You look 
puzzled ; you will know him better 
tome day, I hope; but you wiU never 
solve the mystery — ^what Mr. Tre- 
▼anion Hkes/' 

" Youaie wrong," saiid Lady Elli- 
nor, who had followed us into the 
room, onhflard by ua. "I can tell 
you what your &ther does more than 
like— what he loves and serves every 
liour of his noble life— justice^ bene- 
ficence, honour, and his country. A 
man who loves these may be excused 
finr indifGerenoe to the last geranium 
or the newest plough, or even (though 
that offends you more, Fanny) the 
£reshest masterpiece by Landseer, or 
the latest fiishion honoured by Miss 
Trevanion." 

<< Mamma!" said Fanny, and the 
tears sprang to her eyes. 

But Lady EUinor looked to me 
mblime as she spoke, her eyes kindled, 
her breast heaved. The wife taking 
the husband's part against the child, 
and comprehending so well what the 
child felt not, despite its experience 
of every day, and what the world 
would never know, despite all the 
vigilance of its praise and its blame, 
was a picture^ to my taste, finer than 
any in the collection. 

Her fiioe softened as she saw the 
tears in Fanny's bright hazel eyes ; 
ahe held out her hand, which her 
ehild kissed tenderly : and whisper- 
ing, "'Tis not the giddy word you 
must go by, miunma, or there will be 
aomething to fbrgive every minute," 
Miss Trevanion glided fi^mi the room. 

"Have yon a sister?" asked Lad^ 



« 



fi 



« No.? 

" And Trevanioa has no son," she 
said mournfully. The blood rushed 
to ifiy cheekSi Oh, young fool, again ! 
We were both silent, when tiie door 
was opened, and Mr. Trevanion en- 
tered. 

"Humph," said he, smiling as he 
saw me — and his smile was charming 
though rare. "Humph, young sir, 
I came to seek fiiryou,— -I have been 
rode^ I fear : pardon it-— that thought 
has only jost occurred to me, so I left 
my Blue Books, and my amanuensis 
hurd at work on them, to ask you 
to come out fiar half an hour,— just 
half an hour, it is all I can give you 
— a deputation at One ! Ton ^Bne 
and sleep here, of course?" 

"Ah,fflrl my mother will be so 
uneasy if I am not in town to-night." 

"Pooh!" said the member, "111 
send an express." 

Oh, no indeed; thank yon." 
Why not ?" 

I hesitated. "You see, sir, that 
nqr father and mother are both new 
to London: and though I am new 
too^ yet they may want me — I may 
be of use." Lady EUinor pot her 
hand on my head, and sleeked down 
my hair as I spoke. 

"Bight, young man, right; yoa 
will do in the world, wrong as that 
is. I don't mean that youlL tueceed, 
as the rogues say — thafs another 
question; but, if yon don't rise^ 
you'll not fall. Now, put on yomr 
hat and come with me ; well walk 
to the lodge — ^you will be in time foot 
a coach." 

I took my leave of Lady EUinor, 
and longed to say something about 
< compliments to Miss Fanny;* but the 
words stuck in my throat, and my 
host seemed impatient. 

"We must see you soon again!'* 
said Lady EUinor kindly, as ^e foil* 
lowed us to the door. 
Mr. Trevanion walked on brisUty 



A FAMILY MCTUBE. 



79 



and in silenoe— one hand in hig bosom, 
the other swinging caieleaBly a thick 
walking-stick. 

"But I mnst go roond by the 
faridge," said I, **for I fiirgot my 
knapsack. I threw it off when I 
made my leap, and the old lady cer- 
tainly never took charge of it." 

" Come, then, this way. How old 
are yon?*' 

" Seventeen and a half." 

"Yoa know Latin and Greek as 
they know them at schools^ I sap- 
pose?" 

"I think I know them pretty well, 
sir." 

"Does yonr ftther say so P" 

"Why, my &ther is &stidioas; 
however, he owns that he is satisfied 
on the whole/' 

" So am I, then. Mathematics ?" 

"A little." 

"Good." 

Here the oonvenation dropped for 
some tune. I had finmd and restrap- 
ped the knapsack, and we were near 
the lodge, when Mr. Trevanion said, 
ahraptly, "Talk, my young friend, 
talk : I like to hear yon talk — ^it re- 
freshes me. Nobody has talked na- 
tarally to me these last ten years." 

The request was a complete damper 
to my ingenuous eloquence : I could 
not have talked natorally now for the 
life of me. 

"I made a mistake, I sec^" said my 
companion good-humouredly, noticing 
my embarrassment. "Here we are 
at the lodge. The coach will be by 
in five minutes : you can spend that 
time in hearing tiie did woman praise 
the Hogtons and abuse me. And 
hark you, sir, never care three straws 
for praifie or bhmie — leather and 
prunella ! praise and blame are here!" 
And he struck his hand upon his 
breast^ with almost passionate em- 
phasis. "Take a specimen. These 
Hogtons were the bane of the place ; 
tUKdQcatcd and miserly ; their land a 



wilderness, thear village a {ng-sty. I 
come, with capital and intelligence; 
I redeem the soil, I banish pauper- 
isxn, I civilise all around me; no 
merit in me — I am but a type of 
capital guided by education — a ma- 
chine. And yet the old woman is 
not the only one who will hint to 
you that the Hogtons were angels, 
and myself the usual antithesis to 
angels. And, what is more, sir, be- 
cause that old woman, who has ten 
shillings a-week from me, sets her 
heart upon eamingher axpences— and 
I give her that privileged luxury— « 
every visitor she talks to goes away 
with the idea that I, the rich Mr. 
Trevanion, let her starve on what she 
can pick up from the aight-seers. Now, 
does that signify a jot? Good-by. 
Tell your &ther his old friend must 
see him; profit by his calm wisdom; 
his old friend is a fool sometimes, and 
sad at heart. When you are settled, 
send me a line to St. James's Square, 
to say where you are. Humph ! that* s 
enough." 

Mr. Trevanion wrung my hand, 
and strode off. 

I did not wait for the coach, but 
proceeded towards the turn-stile, 
where the old woman, (who had cither 
seen, or scented from a distance, that 
Uxxy of which I was the impersona- 
tion)— 



t€ 



Hushed in firim repose, did wait her morn- 
ing preyT* 



My opinions as to her sufferings, 
and the virtues of the departed Hog- 
tons^ somewhat modified, I content^ 
myself with dropping into her open 
palm the exact sum virtually agreed 
on. But that palm still remained 
open, and the fingers of the other 
clawed hold of me as I stood, im- 
pounded in the curve of the turn- 
stile, like a cork in a patent cork-screw. 

" And threepence for Nephy Bob,- 
said the old lady. 






so 



THE CAXTONSs 



t€ 



Threepence for nephew Bob^ and 
whv ?" 

" 'Tis his parquisites when he re- 
commends a gentleman. Ton would 
not have me pay oat of my own earn- 
ings : for he foill have it or heHl ruin 
my hizziness. Poor folk must be 
paid for their trouble.** 

Obdurate to this appeal^ and men- 
tally consigning Bob to a master 
whose feet would be all the hand- 
somer for boots, I threaded the stile 
and escaped. 

Towards evening I reached Lon- 
don. Who ever saw London for the 
"Brst time and was not disappointed ? 
Those long suburbs melting inde- 
finably away into the capital, forbid 
all surprise. The gradual is a great 
^senchanter. I thought it prudent 
to take a hackney-coach, and so jolted 

my way to the hotel, the door 

of which was in a small street out of 
the Strand, though the greater part of 
the building'fkcedthat noisy thorough- 
fare. I found my fiither in a state of 
great discomfort in a little room, 
which he paced np and down like a 
lion new caught in his cage. My 
poor mother was full of complaints— 
for the first time in her life, I found 
her indisputably crossish. It was an 
ill time to relate my adventures. I 
had enough to do to listen. They 
had all day been hunting for lodgings 
in vain. My father's podcet had been 
picked of a new India handkerchief. 
Primmins, who ought to know Lon- 
don so well, knew nothing about it, 
and declareditwastumedtopsy-turvy, 
and all the streets had changed names. 
The new silk umbrella, left for five 
minutes unguarded in the hall, had 
been exchanged for an old gingham 
with three holes in it. 

It was not till my mother remem- 
bered, that if she did not see herself 
that my bed was well aired, I should 
certainly lose the use of my limbs, and 
therefore disappeared with Primmins 



and a pert chambermaid, who seemed 
to think we gave more trouble than 
we were worth — ^that I told my 
father of my new acquaintance with 
Mr. Trevanion. 

He did not seem to listen to me till 
I got to the name SVevanion. He 
then became very pale, and sat down 
quietly. " Go on," said he, observing 
I stopped to look at him. 

When I had told all, and given 
him the kind messages with which I 
had been charged by husband and 
wife, he smiled faintly: and then, 
shacQng his fiioe with his hand, he 



seemed to muse, not cheerfully, per 
hapsj, for I heard him sigh once or 
twice. 

'<And EUinor,'* said he at last, 
without looking up. ''Lady Ellinor, 
I mean — she is very, very '* 

" Very what, or P' 

** Very handsome still P'* 

'* Handsome ! Tes, handsome, cer- 
tainly; but I thought more of her 
manner than her fiioe. And then 
Fanny, Miss Fanny is so young \" 

"Ah!" said my father, murmur- 
ing in Greek the celebrated lines of 
which Pope's translation is fiimiliar to 
all: 

"Like leaves on trees tbe race of man is 
found, 
TSTow green in yoaHi, now withering on 
the ground." 

" Well, so they wish to see me. Bid 
EUinor, Lady Ellinor, say that, or her 
— ^her husband?** 

"Her husband certainly — Lady 
Ellinor rather implied than said it.* 



M 



"We shall see,** said my fkther. 
"Open the window, this room is 
stifling.** 

I opened the window which looked 
on the Strand. The noise — the voices 
— ^the trampling feet — ^the rolling 
wheels became loudly audible. My 
father leant out for some moments, 
and I stood by his side. He turned 
to me with a serene feuoe, "Every 



A FAMILY PICTUBE. 



81 



ant on the hill," said he, "carries its 
load, and its home is hut made hy 
the hnrden that it hears. How happy 
am I! — ^how I should hless God! 
How light my hurden ! How secure 
my home !" 

My mother came in as he ceased. 
He went up to her, put his arm round 
her waist and kissed her. Such 



caresses with him had not lost their 
tender charm hy custom : my mother's 
hrow, hefore somewhat ruAied, grew 
smooth on the instant. Yet slie lifted 
her eyes to his in soft surprise. *' I 
was hut thinking," said my father 
apologetically — " how much I owed 
you, and how much I love you !" 



CHAPTER 11. 



Ain> now behold ns, three days 
after my arrival, settled in all the 
state and grandeur of our own house 
in Kussell-street, Bloomshury: the 
lihrary of the Museiun close at hand. 
My father spends his mornings in 
those lata silentia, as Virgil calls the 
world heyond the grave. And a world 
beyond the grave we may well call that 
land of the ghosts, a book collection. 

*' Pisistratus," said my £ither, one 
evening as he arranged his notes be- 
fore him, and rubbed his spectacles. 
" Pisistratus, a great library is an 
awifitl place ! There, are int^red all 
the remains of men since the Flood. 

"It is a burial-place!" quoth my 
Uncle Roland, who had that day 
fi>nnd lis out. 

"It is an Heraclea!" said my 
&ther. 

"Please, not such hard words," 
said the captain, shaking his head. 

" Heraclea was the city of necro- 
mancers, in which they raised the 
dead. Do I want to speak to Cicero ? 
I invoke him. Do I want to chat in 
the Athenian market-place, and hear 
news two thousand years old? I 
write down my charm on a slip of 
paper, and a grave ma^cian calls me 
up Aristophanes. And we owe all 
this to our ancest- 

" Brother !" 
No. 338. 



» 



"Ancestors, who wrote books—* 
thank you." 

Here Roland offered his snuff-hox 
to my father, who, abhorring snuff, 
beni^ily imhihed a pinch, and sneezed 
five times in consequence : an excuse 
for Unde Roland to say, which he 
did five times, with great unction^ 
" God bless you, brother Austin !" 

As soon as my father had recovered 
himself, he proceeded, with tears in 
his eyes,, but calm as before the inter* 
ruption — for he was of the philosophy 
of the Stoics :— 

" But it is not tJk€it which is awfbl* 
It is the presuming to vie with these 
'spirits elect:' to say to them, 'Make 
way — I too claim place with the 
chosen. I too would confer w^ith the 
living, centuries after the death that 
consumes my dust. I too' — Ah, Pi- 
sistratus ! I wish Uncle Jack had 
been at Jericho before he had brought 
me up to London, and placed me in 
the midst of those nders of the 
world !" 

I was busy, while my father spoke, 
in making some pendent shelves for 
these " spirits elect ;" for my mother, 
always provident where my father's 
comforts were concerned, had foreseen 
the necessity of some such accommo* 
dation in a hired lodging-house, and 
had not only carefully brought up t« 
O 6 



82 



THE CAXTOI^S: 



town my Httle bax of tools, but gone 
oat henelf that morning to buy the 
raw materials. Checking the plane 
in its progress over the smooth deal, 
" My dear father/* said I, « if at the 
Philhellenic Institute I had looked 
with as much awe as yon do on the 
big fellows that had gone before me, 
I should have stayed, to all eternity, 
the lag of the Infant Division — " 

" Pisistratus, you are as great an 
agitator as your namesake,*' cried my 
father, smiling. "And so, a fig for 
the big fellows V 

And now my mother entered in her 
pretty evening cap, all smiles and 
good humour, having just arranged a 
room for Unde Koland, concluded 
advantageous negotiations with the 
laundress, held high council with Mrs. 
Primmins on the best mode of defeat- 
ing the extortions of liondon trades- 
men ; and, pleased with henelf and 
all the world, she kissed my father's 
forehead' as it bent over his notes; 
and came to the tea-table, which only 
waited its presiding deity. My Unde 
lloland, with his vismX gauntry, 
started up, kettle in hand, (our own 
um — for we had one — ^not binng yet 
mipacked,) and having performed, 
with soldier-like method, the chival- 
tous office thus volunteered, he jdned 
ne at my employment, and said — 

"There is a better steel for the 
hands of a well-bom lad than a car- 
penter's plane — " 

Aha! uncle — ^that depend*—'' 
Depends ! Avhat on ?** 

"On the use one makes of it. Peter 
atte Great was better employed in 
making ships than Charles XII. in 
catting throats." 

♦'Poor Charles XII.!" said my 
uncle, sighing pathetically-^^ a very 
Brare fellow !" 

'• Rty he did not like the ladies a 
nttle better !" 

"No man is perfect!" said my 
mde senientiouily. " But, serioniky. 



if 



u 



yon are now the male hope of the 
family — ^you are now — " my undo 
stopped and his face darkened. I saw 
that he thought of his son — ^that mys- 
terious son! And, looking at him 
tenderly, I observed that his deep 
lines had grown deeper, his iron-grey 
hair more grey. There was the trace 
of recent suffering on his fiice; and 
though he had not spoken to us a word 
of the business on which he had lefb 
os^ it required no penetration to per- 
ceive that it had come to no success 
ful issue. 

My uncle resumed — " Time out or 
mind, every generation of our house 
has given one soldier to his country. 
I look round now : only one branch 
s budding yet on the old tree; 
and—" 

" Ah ! uncle. But what would 
they say? Do you think I should 
not like to be a soldier? D<m,'t 
tempt me !" 

My unde had recourse tohissnuff- 
box: and at that moment, unfortu- 
nately, perhaps, for the laurels that 
might otherwise have wreathed the 
brows of Pisistratut of England, pri- 
vate conversation was stopped by the 
sadden and noisy entranoe of Unde 
Jack. No apparition ooold have been 
more unexpected. 

"Here I am, my dear friends. 
How d'ye do — how are yon all? 
Captain de Caxton, yonrs heartily. 
Yes, I am released, thank heaven ! I 
have given up the drudgery of that 
pitiftd provincial paper. I was not 
made for it. An ocean in a tea-cup ! 
I was indeed— little, sordid, narrow 
interests — and I, whose heart em- 
braces all bumanil^. You might as 
well turn a drde into an isolated 
triangle." 

" Isosoeles I" said my father, sigh- 
ing as he pushed aside his notes, and 
very slowly becoming aware of the 
eloquence that destroyed all chance ol 
Airther progress thnt night in the 



A FAMILY PICTOBE. 



6S 



Great Book. ''Isosceles triangle^ 
Jack 'fibbets — ^not isolated." 

** Isosceles or isolated, it is all one" 
said Unde Jack, as he rapidly per- 
formed three evolutions, hy no means 
eonsbtent with his ikTOuite l^eory 
of 'the gmctoBt hapinness of the 
greatest number :' — ^first, he emptied 
into the cap which he took from my 
mother's himds, haif the thrifty oon- 
tents of a London cream-jug; se- 
condly, he reduced the circle of a 
muffin, by the abstraction of three 
triangles, to as nearly an isoseeles as 
poinble; and thirdly, striding towards 
the fire, lighted in oomideration of 
Captain de Caxton, and hooking his 
eoat-tails under his arms, while he 
sipped his tea> he permitted another 
dicie pecahar to humamty wholly to 
edipte the luminary it approached. 

" Isolated or isosceles, it is all the 
same thing. Man is made fbr his fel- 
lotw-creatores. I had long been dis- 
gusted with the interferenoe of those 
selfish Squirearehs. Your departure 
decided me. I have concluded nego- 
tiations with a London firm of spirit 
and cafntal, and extended views of 
philantfaropiy. On Saturday last I re- 
tired firom the samea of the oligarchy. 



I am now in my true capacity of 
protector of the million. My pro- 
spectus is printed — here it is in my 
pocket. — ^Another cup of tea, sister, 
little more cream and another muffin. 
Shall I ring?" Bwiag disembar- 
rassed himself of his cup and saucer, 
Unde Jack then drew fbrth from his 
pooket a damp sheet of printed paper. 
In large capitals stood out " The Akti- 
MoNOPOLT GAZKirra, or PoPirLAifc 
Chaxpiok." He waved it triumph- 
antly befi)r6 my fiither's eyes. 

" Pffflstratos," sidd my father, "look 
here. This is the way your Uncle 
Jack now prints his pats o£ butter.^- 
A cap of liberty growing out of an 
open book! Good! Jack-— good! 
good!" 

" It is JaoolMcal l** exclaimed the 
Captain. 

« Very » likely," said my father J 
" but knowledge and freedom are the 
best devices in the world, to print 
upon pats of butter intended for the 
market." 

" Pats of butter ! I don't under- 
stand," said Uncle Jack. 

" The less you understand, the bet- 
ter will the butter sell. Jack," said 
my father, settling back to his notea. 



«s 



S4 



THE CAXTONS: 



CHAPTER IIL 



Ukcle Jack had made up his mind 
to lodge with us, and my mother 
fonud some difficulty in indndng him 
to comprehend that there was no hod 
to spare. 

"Thafs unlucky," said he. "I had 
no sooner arrived in town than I was 
pestered with invitations; but I re- 
fused them all, and kept myself for 
you." 

" So kind in you ! so like you \" 

said my mother; " but you see " 

" Well, then, I must be off and find 
a room. Don't fret, yon know I can 
break&st and dine with you, all the 
same ; that is, when my other friends 
will let me. I shall be dreadfully per- 
secuted." So saying. Uncle Jack re- 
pocketed his prospectus, and wished 
us good-night. 

The clock had struck eleven; my 
mother had retired ; when my fkther 
looked up from his books, and re- 
turned his spectacles to their case. I 
had finished my work, and was seated 
over the fire, thinking now of Fanny 
Trevanion's hazel eyes — ^now, with a 
heart that beat as high at the thought, 
of campaigns, battle-fields, laurels, and 
glory ; while, with his arms folded on 
his breast and his head drooping. 
Uncle Roland gazed into the low 
clear embers. My father cast his eyes 
round the room, and, after surveying 
his brother for some moments, he said, 
»abno8t in a whisper-— 

** My son has seen the Trevamons. 
They remember us, Roland." 

The Captain sprang to his feet, and 
began whisth'ng; a habit with him 
when he was much disturbed. 

** And Trevanion wishes to see us. 
Pisistratus promised to give lum our 
address ; shall he do so, Roland ?" . 

<* If you Uke it^" answered the Cap- 1 



tain, in a military attitude, and draw- 
ing himself up till he looked seven feet 
high. 

" I should like it," said my father, 
mildly. "Twenty years since we 
met." 

** More than twenty," said toy un- 
do, with a stem smile; "and the 
season was — ^the fiJl of the leaf!" 

« Man renews the fibre and mate- 
rial of his body every seven years," 
said my father; " in three times seven 
years he has time to renew the inner 
man. Can two passengers in yonder 
street be more unlike each other, than 
the soul is to the soul after an interval 
of twenty years ? Brother, the plough 
does not pass over the soil in vain, 
nor care over the human heart. New 
crops change the character of the 
land; and the plough must go deep 
indeed before it stirs u|i the mother- 
stone." 

" Let us see Trevanion," cried my 
uncle : then, turning to me, he sai<^ 
abruptly, ** what fiimily has he?" 

" One daughter." 

"No son?" 

"No." 

"That must vex the poor foolish 
ambitious man. Oho ! you admire 
this Mr. Trevanion much, eh ? Yes, 
that fire of manner, his fine words, 
and bold thoughts, were made to 
dazzle youth." 

"Fine words, my dear uncle !^- 
fire ! I should have said, in hearing 
Mr. Trevanion, that his style of con- 
versation was so homely, yon would 
wonder how he could have won such 
fame as a public speaker." 

"Indeed!" 

"The plough has passed there,'* 
said my father. 
■ " But not the plough of care : rich. 



A FAMILY PICTtJRE. 



85 



faxnons, EUinor his wife, and no 
•aon!" 

" It IB becaiue his heart ia some- 
times sad that he would see ns." 

Boland stared first at my &ther, 
next at me. ** Then/' quoth my unde, 
heartily, ''in God's name, let him 
come. I can shake him hy the hand, 
as I would a brother solder. Poor 
Trevauion I Write to him at onoe, 
Sisty." I 



I sat down and obeyed. When I 
had sealed my letter, I looked up, 
and saw that Boland was lighting his 
bed-candle at my father's table; and 
my &ther, taking his hand, said some- 
thing to him in a low vcMce. X 
guessed it related to his son, for he 
shook his head, and answered ina stem, 
hollow voice, "Renew grief if yon 
please — not shame. On that subject 
—silence !" 



CHAPTER IV. 



Lett to myself in the earlier part 
of the day, I wandered, wistful and 
lonely, through the vast wilderness of 
London. By degrees I familiarised 
myself with that populous solitude. I 
ceased to pine for the green fields. 
That active energy all around, at first 
saddening, became soon exhilarating, 
and at last contagious. To an indus- 
trious mind, nothing is so catching as 
industry. I began to grow weary of 
my golden holiday of unlaborious 
d^dhood, to sigh for toil, to look 
around me for a career. The Uni- 
Tersity, which I had before antidpated 
with pleasure, seemed now to fade 
into a dull monastic prospect: after 
having trod the streets of London, to 
wand^ through doisters was to go 
back in life. Day by day, my mind 
grew sennbly within me; it came out 
firom the rosy twilight of boyhood — 
it felt the doom of Cain, under the 
broad sun of man. 

Unde* Jack soon became absorbed 
-in his new speculation for the good of 
the human race, and, except at meals 
(whereat, to do him justice, he was 
punctual enough, though he did not 
keep us in ignorance of the sacrifices 
he made, and the invitations he re- 
iiued, for our sake), we sddom saw 



bun. The Captain, too, generally 
vanished after breakfiist, seldom dined 
with us, and it was often late before 
he returned. He had the latch-key of 
the house, and let himself in when he 
pleased. Sometimes (for his chamber 
was next to mine) his step on the 
stairs awoke me; and sometimes I 
heard him pace his room with per- 
turbed strides,or flemded that I caught 
a low groan. He became every day 
more care-worn in appearance, and 
every day the hair seemed more grey, 
Tet he talked to us all easily and 
cheerfully; and I thought that I was 
the only one in the house who per- 
cdved the gnawing pangs over which 
the stout old Spartan drew the deco- 
rous cloak. 

Pity, blended with admiration, 
made me curious to learn how these 
absent days, that brought nights so 
disturbed, were consumed. I felt that, 
if I could master the Captain's secret, 
I might win the right both to oomfiart 
and to aid. 

I resolved at length, after many 
consdenlious scruples, to endeavour 
to satisfy a curiosity, excused by its 
motives. 

Accordingly, one morning, after 
watchmg him from the liOQse^ I atola 



86 



THE CAXTOKS: 



in his track, and followed him at a 
distance. 

And this was the outline of his 
day. He set off at first with a £bnn 
stride, despite his lamffliess — ^his gaunt 
figfnre erect, the soldierly chest well 
thrown oat from the threadhaie bat 
specklesfl coat. First, he tock his way 
towards the purlieos of Leicester 
Square; several times^ to and fro, did 
he pace the isthmus that leads from 
Piccadilly into that reservoir of fo- 
reigners, and the lanes and courts 
that start thence towards Si. MarttnVi. 
After an homr or two so passed, the 
step became more slow; and often the 
sleek, napless hat was lifted op, and 
the brow wiped. At lengtb he bent 
hiswi^towards the two great theatres, 
paused before the pky^bOls, as if de- 
liberatang seriously on the chances of 
eotertainmeut tiiey severally prof- 
fered, wandered slowly thtoo^ the 
«mall streets that surround tiiose 
temples of the Kuse, and finally 
lemerged into the Strand. There he 
vested himself for an hour, at a «niall 
<iOQk-shop; and, as I passed the win- 
dow and glanced within, I could see 
him seated before the ample dinner, 
which he scarcely touched, and poring 
over the advertisement columns of the 
Times. The Times finished, and a 
&w morsds distastefully swallowed, 
the Captain put down his shilling in 
silence, ree^ving his pence in ex- 
change, and I had just tune to slip 
aside as he reappeaied at the thresh- 
old. He looked round as he lingered, 
but I took care he should not detect 
me ; and then stnidc off towards the 
more fiishionable quarters of the town. 
It was now theaftemooD, and, thon^ 
not yet the seation, the streets swarmed 
with life. As he eame into Waterloo 
Fboe, a slight but museolar figure, 
buttoned up across the breast, like his 
own, cantered by on a handsome bay 
^o*^ — every, eye was on that figure. 
Uade SdendstopiMd shaft, and lifted 



his hand to his hat; the rider touched 
his own with his forefinger, and can- 
tered on-^Unde Boiland turned round 
and gazed. 

''Who," I asked, of a shop-boy just 
befine me, also staring with all his 
eyes — "who is that gentleman on 
horseback ?" 

^ Why, the Duke to be sure," said 
the boy eontemptuously. 

"The Duke?" 

« Wellmgton— stu-pid \" 

"Thank you," said • I, meekly. 
IThcle Roland had moved on into 
Regent Street, but with a brisker 
step : the sight of the old chief had 
doUe the old soldier good. Here 
again he paced to and fro; till I, 
watching him from tiie other side of 
the way, was ready to drop with 
fotigae, stout walker though I was. 
But the Captain's day was not half 
done. He took out his wstch, put it 
to his ear, and then, replacing it^ 
passed into Bond Street, and thence 
into Hyde Ftak. There, evidently 
wearied out, he leant against the rails, 
near the faron» statue, in an attitude 
that spoke despondenoy. I aeatedt 
myself on the grass near the statue* 
and gazed at him: the park was empty 
compared with the streets, but etiU 
there were some equestrian idlers, aad 
many foot-loungers. My node's qre 
turned wistfblly on each: once or 
twice, some gentleman of a military 
aspect (whidi I had already leanied to 
detect) stopped, looked at him, ap- 
pioechedy and spoke; but the Captain 
seemed as if ashamed of sudi greet- 
ings. He answered shortlyy and' 
turned again. 

The day waned— eveniag came on 
«^he Captain again looked at his 
watch-— shook his head, and made his 
way to a bench, where he aat per- 
ftetly motionless; lus hat over his 
brows, his arms fiddedi till upiose 
ihemooii. I had tasted nothing since 
bnakfiwtf I wasftn^faed, hat I atUI 



A FAMILY PICTURK 



87 



kept my post like an old Boman 
sentinel. 

At lenj^h the Captain rose, and re- 
entered Kocadilly ; but how different 
hh nuen and bearing ! languid, stoop- 
ing, hischest sunk — ^hisheadindined — 
Ms limbs dragging one after the other, 
his lameness painfully perceptible. 
What a contrast in the broken invalid 
at night from the stalwart veteran of 
ihe morning ! 

How I longed to spring forward 
to offer my arm ! but I did not dare. 

The Captain stopx)ed near a cab- 
stand. He put his hand in his pocket 
«— he drew out his purse — ^he passed 
his fingers over the network; the 
parse idipped again into the pocket, 
and, as if with a heroic effort, my 
uncle drew up his head, and walked 
on sturdily. 

"Wliere next?" thought I. 
"Surely home ! No, he is pitiless !" 

The Captain stopped not till he ar- 
rived at one of the small theatres in the 
Strand; tbefi heread the bill,and asked 
if half-price was beg^n. ''Just begun,'' 
was the answer, and the Captain 
entered. I also took a ticket and 
followed. Passmg by the open doors 
of a refreshment room, I fortified my- 
self with some biscuits and soda-water. 
And in another minute, for the first 
time in my life, I beheld a play. But 
the play did not fascinate me. It was 
the middle of some jocular after- 
piece ; roars of laughter resounded 
round me. I could detect nothing to 
laugh at, and sending my keen eyes 
into every comer, I perceived at last, 
in the uppermost tier, one face as 
saturnine as my own. EureJca ! It 
was the Captain's! "Why should 
he go to a play if he enjoys it so little!" 
thought I; "better have spent a 
shilling on a cab, poor old fellow!" 

But soon came smart-looking men, 
and still smarter-looking ladies, around 
the solitary comer of the poor Captain. 
He grew fidgety — he rose — he 



vanished. I left my place, and stood 
without the box to wattli for him. 
Down stairs he stumped — I recoiled 
into the shade ; and after standing a 
moment or two, as in doubt, he entered 
boldly the refreshment room or saloon. 

Now, since I had left that saloon, 
it had become crowded, and I slipped 
in unobserved. Strange was it, gro- 
tesque, yet pathetic, to mark the old 
soldier in the midst of that gay swarm. 
He towered above all like a Homeric 
hero, a head taller than the tallest; 
and his appearance was so remarkable, 
that it invited the instant attention 
of the fair. I, in my simplicity, 
thought it was the natural tenderness 
of that amiable and penetrating sex, 
ever quick to detect trouble and 
anxious to relieve it, which induced 
three ladies, in silk attire — one having 
a hat and plume, the other two mth 
a profusion of ringlets — ^to leave a 
little knot of gentlemen with whom 
they were converang, and to plant 
themselves betbre my uncle. I ad- 
vanced through the press* to hear what 
passed. 

"You are looking for some one^ 
I'm sure," quoth one familiai-ly, tap- 
ping his arm with her fim. 

The Captain started. " Ma'am, 
you are not wrong," said he. 

"Can I do as well?" said one ot 
those compassionate angels, with 
heavenly sweetness. ^ 

"You are very kind, I thank you; 
no, no, ma'am," said the Captain with 
his best bow. 

"Do take a glass of negus," said 
another, as her friend gave way to 
her. "You seem tired, and so am 
I. Here this way;" and she took 
hold of his arm to lead him to the 
table. The Captain shook his head 
mournfully; and then, as if suddenly 
aware of the nature of the attentions 
so lavished on him, he looked down 
upon these fair Armidas with a look 
of such mild reproach — such sweet 



S8 



THE CAXTONS: 



compassion— not shaking off the hand, 
in his chiyalrons devotion to the sex 
which extended even to all its out- 
casts — ^that each bold eye fell abashed. 
The hand was timidly and involun- 
tarily withdrawn from the arm and 
my uncle passed his way. 

He threaded the crowd, passed out 
at the fttrther door, and I, guessing 
liis intention, was in waiting for his 
steps in the street. 

** Now home at last, thank heaven V* 
thought I. Mistaken still ! My uncle 
went first towards that popular haunt, 
which I have since discovered is called 
^ the Shades;" but hesoon re-emerged, 
and finally he knocked at the door of 
« private house, in one of the streets 
out of St. James's. It was opened 
jealously, and closed as he entered, 
leaving me without. What could 
this house be! As I stood and watched, 
flome other men approached, — again 
the low single knock, — ^again the 
Jealous opening, and the stealthy 
entrance. 

A policeman passed and repassed 
me. ''Don't be tempted, young 
man," said he, looking hard at me : 
••take my advice, and go home." 

'■What is that houses then?" said 



I, witli a sort of shudder at tins 
ominous warning. 

" Oh, you know." 

" Not I, I am new to London." 

" It is a heU," said the policeman — 
satisfied, by my frank manner, that I 
spoke the truth. 

" Qod bless me — a what ! I could 
not have heard you rightly P" 

" A hell ; a gambling-house !" 

«0h!" and I moved on. Could 
Captain Boland, the rigid, the thrifty^ 
the pemuious, be a gambler? The 
light broke on me at once : the un- 
happy fiither sought his son ! I leant 
against the post, and tried hard not to 
sob. 

By and by, I heard the door opens 
the Captain came out and took the 
way homeward. I ran on before, and 
got in first, to the inexpresable relief 
both of father and mother, who had 
not seen me nnce breakfiast, and who 
were in equal consternation at my 
absence. I submitted to be scolded 
with a good grace. ^'I had been 
sight-seeing, and lost my way;" 
begged for some supper, and slunk to 
bed ; and five minutes afterwards the 
Captain's jaded step came wearily up 
the stain. 



A FAMILY PICTURB. 



S9 



PAET SIXTH. 



CHAPTER L 



**I don't Imow tiiaV' sud my 

What is it my Mher does not 
know? My &ther does not know 
that " happiness is onr bdng's end 
and aim/' 

And pertinent to what does my 
&ther reply, by words so sceptical, to 
an assertion so seldom disputed ? 

Reader, Mr. Trevanion has been 
half an hour seated in our little 
•drawing-room. He has received two 
cups of tea from my mother's &ir 
hand ; he has made himself at home. 
With Mr. Trevanion has come another 
old iiiend of my other's, whom he 
has not seen since he left college—Sir 
Sedley Beaudesert. 

Now, you must understand that it 
is a warm night, a little after nine 
o'clock — a night between departing 
summer and approaching autumn. 
The windows are open — we have a 
balcony, which my mother has taken 
«are to fiU with flowers— the air, 
though we are in London, is sweet 
and fresh-— the street quiet, except 
that an occasional carriage or hackney 
abrlolet rolls rapidly by— ^a few 
stealthy passengers pass to and fro 
noiselessly on their way homeward. 
We are on dasmc ground— -near that 
old and venerable Museum, the dark 
monastic pile which the taste cf the 
age had spared then—and the quiet 
of the temple seems to hallow the 



precincts. Captain Roland is seated 
by the fireplace, and, though thei*e is 
no fire, he is shading his face with 
a hand*Bcreen; my &ther and Mr. 
Trevanion have drawn their chairs 
dose to each other in the middle of 
the room; Sir Sedley Beaudesert 
leans against the wall near the win- 
dow, and behind my mother, who 
looks prettier and more pleased than 
usual, since her Austin has his old 
friends about him ; and I, leaning my 
elbow on the table, and my chin upon 
my hand, am gazing with great admi- 
ration on Sir Sedley Beaudesert. 

O rare specimen of a race fast de- 
caying! — specimen of the true fine 
gentleman, ere the word dandy was 
known, and before exquisite became a 
noun substantive— let me here pause 
to describe thee! Sir Sedley Beau- 
desert was the contemporary of 
Trevanion and my father; but, with- 
out affecting to be young, he still 
seemed so. Dress, tone, look, man« 
ner — all were young — ^yet all had a 
certain dignity which does not belong 
to youth. At the age of five-and- 
twenty, he had won what would have 
been fiune to a French marquis of the 
old rigime, viz. — ^the reputation of 
bdng " the most charming man of his 
day" — ^the most popular of oar sex** 
the most &voured, my dear lady* 
reader, by yours. It is a mistake, I 
believei to suppose that it does not 



90 



THE CAXTONS: 



require talent to become the fashion ; 
at all events. Sir Sedley was the 
fashion^ and he had talent. He had 
travelled much, he had read much — 
especially in memoirs, history, and 
belles-lettres, — he made verses with 
grace and a certain originality of easy 
wit and courtly sentiment— he con- 
versed delightfully — ^he was polished 
and urbane in manner — ^he was brave 
and honourable in conduct ; in words 
he could flatter — ^in deeds he was 
oncere. 

Sir Sedley Beaudesert had never 
nuirried. Whittever his years, he was 
still young enough in looks to be 
married for love. He was high'bom, 
he was rich, ; he was, as I have said, 
popular ; yet on his £air features there 
was an expression of melancholy ; and 
on that forehead — pure from the lines 
of ambition, and free from the weight 
of study — ^there was the shadow of 
unmistflJcable regret. 

"I don't know that," said my 
father; "I have never yet found in 
life one man who made happiness his 
end and aim. One wants to gain 
a fortune, another to spend it— one to 
get a place, another to build a name ; 
but they aU know very well that it is 
not happiness they search for. No 
Utilitarian was ever actuated by self- 
interest, poor man, when he sat down 
. to scribble his unpopular crotchets to 
prove self-interest universal. And as 
to that notable distinction—- between 
self-interest vulgar and self-interest en- 
lightened — ^the more the self-interest 
is enlightened, the less we are in- 
fluenced by it. If you tell the young 
.man who has just written a fine book 
or made a fine speech, that he will 
.not be any happier, if he attain to 
the £une of Milton or the power of 
Pitt, and that, for the sake of his own 
iiappiness^ he had mudi better culti- 
.vate a fimn, live in the country, and 
Vostpone to the last the days of dys- 
jpepsia and gout, he will answer you 



fairly — * I am quite as sensible of that 
as you are. But I am not thinking 
whether or not I shall be happy. I 
have made up my mind to be, if I 
can, a great author or a prime minis- 
ter.' So it is with all the active sons 
of the world. To push on is the law 
of nature. And you can no more say 
to men and to nations than to 
children, — 'Sit still, and don't wear 
out your shoes V " 

" Then," said Trevanion, " if I tell 
you I am not happy, your only answer 
is, that I obey an inevitable law." 

"ISo ! I don't say that it is an in- 
evitable law that man should not be 
happy; but it is an inevitable law 
that a man, in spite of himself, riiould 
live for something higher than his 
own happiness. He cannot live in 
himself or for himself^ however ego- 
tistical he may try to be. Every 
desire he has links him with others. 
Man is notamadiiile— heis a part of 



one." 

** True, brother, he is a soldier, not 
an army," said Captain Boland. 

"Lite is a drama, not a mono- 
logue," pursued my &ther. " Drama 
is derived from a Greek verb, sig- 
nifying to do. Every actor in the 
drama has something to do, whidi 
helps on the progress of the whole : 
that is the object for which the 
Author created him. Do your part» 
and let the Crreat Fky get on." 

" Ah!" said Trevanion briskly, "but 
to do the part is the difficulty ! Every 
actor helps to the catastrophe, and yet 
must do his part without knowing 
how all is to end. Shall he help tiie 
curtain to fiill on a tragedy or a 
comedy ? Come, I will tell you the 
one secret of my public life— *tiuit 
which, explains all its fiulure (for, in 
spite of my position, 1 have &iled) and 
its regrets — I totmt cotwieHon !** 

"Exactly," said my Either; "bc- 
oaose to every question tliere are two 
8ides> and yon look at them both." 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



91 



"Yoa have said iV' answered 
Trevapiop, smiling alao. ''For pub- 
lic life a 'man shonld be one-sided ; he 
moBt act with a party ; and a party 
insists that the shield is silver, when, 
if it will take the trouble to turn the 
comer, it will see that the reverse of 
the shield is gold. Woe to the man 
who makes that discovery alone, while 
his party are still swearing the shield 
is silver, and that not onoe in his lif<^ 
hut every night V 

"You have said quite enough to 
convince me that you ought not to 
belong to a party, but not enough to 
convince me why you should not be 
happy,'' said my fitther. 

"Do you remember," said Sir 
Sedley Beaudesert, "an anecdote of 
the first Duke of PortlaadP He had 
a gallery in the gnat stable of his 
viUbEi in Holland, where a concert was 
given once a-week, to chew and amuse 
his horses! I have no doubt the 
horses thrived aU the better for it. 
What Trevanion wants is a concert 
once a-week. With him it is always 
saddle and spur. Yet, after all, who 
would not envy him? If life be a 
drama, his name stands high in the 
phiybiU, and is printed in capitals on 
the walls." 

"Envy me!" cried Trevanion— 
" XE !-^-no, you are the enviable man 
— you who have only one grief in Hbe 
world, and that so absurd a one, that 
I will make you blush by disclosing it. 
Hear, O sage Austin! — sturdy 
^land I — Olivares was haunted by a 
spectre, and Sedley Beaudesert by the 
^ead of old age \" 

" Well," said my mother seriously, 
''I do thmk it requires a great sense 
of religion* or, at all events^ children 
of one's own, in whom one is young 
again, to recondle one-self to be- 
coming old." 

" My dear ma'am," said Sir Sedley, 
who had slightly coloured at Tre- 
TBiu0n'schflaeg8^lmtliadnowxeoo¥ered 



lus easy self-possession, ''you have 
spoken so admirably that you give me 
courage to confess my weakness. X 
do dread to be old. All the joys ot 
my life have been the joys of youth. 
I have had so exquisite a pleasure in 
the mere sense of living, that old age, 
as it comes near, terrifies me by ita 
dull eyes and grey hairs. I have lived 
the life of the butterfly. Summer is 
over, and I see my flowers withering; 
and my wings are chilled by the first 
airs of winter. Yes, I envy Trevanion ; 
for, in public hfe, no man is ever 
young ; and, while he can work, he is 
never old." 

"My dear Beaudesert," said my 
fether, "when St. Amable, patron 
saint of Biom, in Auvergpie, went to 
Bome, the sun waited upon him as a 
servant, carried his cloak and glovea 
for him in the heat, and kept off the 
rain, if the weather changed, like an 
umbrella. You want to put the son 
to the same use ; you are quite right ; 
but then, you see, you must first be a 
saint before you can be sure of the 
sun as a servant." 

Sir Sedley smiled charmingly ; but 
the smile changed to a sigh as he 
added, " I don't think I should much 
mind b^ng a saint, if the sun would 
be my sentinel instead of my courier. 
I want nothing of him but to stand 
stilL You see he moved even for St. 
Amable. My dear madam, you and I 
understand each other; and it is a 
very hard thing to grow old, do what 
one will to keep young." 

"What say you, BoLind, of these 
two malcontents ?" asked my fiither. 
The captain turned uneasily in his 
chair,for the rheumatism was gnawing 
his idiioulder, and sharp pains were 
shooting through his mutilated limb. 

''I say," answered Boland, "that 
these men are wearied with marching 
from Brentfiird to Windsor — thaik 
they have never looown the bivooae.': 
and the battie." 



^2 



THE CAXTONS 



Both the gmmblen turned their 
eyes to the veteran : the eyes rested 
first on the ftirrowed, care-worn Imes 
in his eagle fiioe— then they fell on 
the stiff, outstretched cork limb—and 
then they tamed away. 

Meanwhile my mother had softly 
nsen, and under pretence of looking 
for her work on the table near him, 
bent over the old soldier and pressed 
his hand. 

" Gentlemen/' fl«d my &ther;» ** I 



don't think my brother ever heard of 
NichooomSy the Greek comic writer; 
yet he has illustrated him very ably. 
Saith Nichocorus, 'the best cure fot 
drunkenness is a sudden calamity.' 
For chrome drunkenness, a continued 
course of real misfortune must be very 
salutary !" 

No answer came from the two 
complainants; and my fiither took up 
a great book. 



CHAPTER TL 



" My firiends," said my fether, look- 
ing up from his book, and addressing 
himself to his two visitors, '' I know 
of one thing, milder than calamity, 
that would do you both a great d^ 
of good." 

'< What is that ?" asked Sir Sedley. 

"A saflEron bag, worn at the pit of 
the stomach V 

*' Austin, my dear!" said my mo- 
ther, reprovingly. 

My Mher did not heed the inter- 
ruption, but continued, gravely — 
** Nothing is better for the spirits ! 
Boland is in no want of saffiron, be- 
cause he is a warrior; and the desire 
of fighting, and the hope of victory, 
infuse such a heat into the spirits as 
is profitable for long life, and keeps 
up the system." 

« Tut !" said Trevanion. 

"But gentlemen in your predica- 
ment must have recourse to artificial 
means. Nitre in broth, for instance 
-—about three grains to ten— ^cattle 
fed upon nitre grow fat); or earthy 
odour»-Hroch as exist in cucumbers 
and cabbage. A certain great lord 
had a clod of fresh earth, laid in a 
"napkin, put under his nose every 
morning after sleep. Light anoint- 



ing of the head with oil, mixed with 
roses and salt, is not bad; but, upon 
the whole, I prescribe the saffiron bag 
at the " 

" Sisty, my dear, will you look for 
my scissors ?" said my mother. 

" What nonsense are you talking ! 
Question ! question !" cried Mr. Tre- 
vanion. 

" Nonsense !" exclaimed my fiither, 
opening his eyes : '' I am ^ving yoa 
the advice of Lord Bacon. Tou want 
conviction — conviction comes from 
passion — ^passion from the spirits- 
spirits from a saffron bag. Yoa, 
Beaudesert, on the other hand, want 
to keep youth. He keeps youth 
longest who lives longest. Nothing 
more conduces to longevity than a 
saffron bag, provided always it is worn 
at the* 



ft 



" Sisty, my thimble V* said my mo* 
ther. 

"You laugh at us justly," said 
Beaudesert, smiling; ''and the same 
remedy, I dare say would cure ut 
both!" 

"Yes,'' said my ftther, ^there is 
no doubt of that. In the pit of the 
stomach is tiiat great central web of 
nerves called the ganglions; thence 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



9^ 



they affect the head and the heart. 
Mr. Squills proved that to us, Sisty." 

" Yes," said I ; " but I never heard 
Mr. Sqidlla talk of a Baffix>n bag." 

"Oh, foolish boy! it is not the 



saffiron bag — it is the belief in the 
saffiron bag. Apply belief to the 
centre of the nerves, and all wiU go- 
well*" said my father. 



CHAPTER IIL 



"Bft it Ss a devil of a thing to 
have too nice a conscience!" quoth 
the member of parliament. 

''And it is not an angel of a thing 
to lose one's front teeth !" sighed the 
fine gentleman. 

Therewith my father rose, and, 
putting his hand into his waistcoat, 
more wo, delivered his fiunous 

SSBMOir VTOW THE COlOrxZION BB- 
TWBEK FAITH AND PX7BF0SB. 

Famous it was in our domestic 
drcle. But, as yet, it has not gone 
beyond. And since the reader, I am 



sure, does npt turn to the Caxton. 
Memdrs with the expectation of find- 
ing sermons, so to that circle let its 
fitme be circumscribed. All I shall 
say about it is, that it was a very 
fine sermon, and that it proved indis- 
putably, to me at least, the salubrious 
effects of a safiEron bag applied to the 
great centre of the nervous system. 
But the wise Ali saith, that " a fool 
doth not know what maketh him look 
little, neither will he hearken to him 
that adviseth hun." I cannot assert 
that my father's friends were fools, 
but they certainly came under this 
definition of Folly, 



CHAPTER IV. 



Fob therewith arose, not convic- 
tion, but discussion; Trevanion was 
logical, Beaudesert sentimental. My 
father held firm to the saffiron bag. 
When James the First dedicated to 
the Duke of Buckingham his medita- 
tion on the Lord's Prayer, he gave a 
very sensible reason for selecting his 
grace for that honour, — " For," saith 
the king, ''it is made upon a very 
short and plain prayer, and, therefore, 
the fitter for a courtier, for courtiers 
are for the most part thought nei- 
ther to have lust nor leisure to say 
long prayers ; fiking best courte tMsse 



et long disner,** I suppose it was for 
a similar reason that my fsither per- 
sisted in dedicating to the member of 
parliament and the fine gentleman 
this " short and plarne" morality of 
his — to wit, the saf&on bag. He was 
evidently persuaded, if he could once 
get them to apply that, it was all that 
was needful; that they had neither 
lust nor leisure for longer instructions. 
And this saffron bag, — ^it came down 
with such a whack, at every round in 
the argument! You would have 
thought my father one of the old 
plebeian combatants in the popular 



t)4> 



THE CAXTONSs 



ordeal, who, forbidden to use sword 
and lance, fonght with a eand-hag 
tied to a flail : a very stnnning weapon 
it was when filled only with sand; 
hut a hag filled with saflSron, — it was 
irresistihle ! Though my father had 
two to one against him, they could 
not stand such a deuce of a weapon. 
And after tuts and pishes innumerable 
^m Mr. Trevanion, and sundry bland 
grimaces Irom Sir Sedley Beaudesei't, 
they fairly gave in, though they would 
not own they were beaten. 

** Enough," said the member, " I 
fiee that you don't comprehend me ; 
I must continue to move by my own 
impulse." 

My father's pet book was the Col- 
loquies of Erajsmus ; he was wont to 
say that those Colloquies furnished 
lifB with illustrations in every page. 
Out of the Colloquies of Erasmus he 
now answered the member : — 

"Babirius, wanting his servant 
Syrus to get up," quoth my fhther, 
"cried out to him to move. *I do 
move,' said Syrus. * I see you move,* 
replied Babirius, 'but you mote no- 
thing/ To return to the sa&on 
bag, " 

" Confound the saffixm bag !" cried 
TTrevanion, in a rage ; and then soften- 
ing his lo6k 88 he drew on his gloves^ 
he turned to my mother, and said, 
with more politeness than was natural 
to, or at least customary with him: — 

" By the way, my dear Mrs. Cax- 
ton, I should tell you that Lady 
EllinoF comes to town to-morrow, on 
purpose to call on you. We shall be 
here some little time, Austin; and 
though London is so empty,, there are 
still some persons of note to whom I 
should like to introduce you, and 



n 



"'Saj," mid my fkther; *'y<rar 
world and my world are not the same. 
Books for me, and men fbr you. Nei- 
t|ier Kitty nor I can ebange our 
halnts, even for fHendshipj she has 



a great piece of work to finish, and so 
have I. Mountains cannot stir, espe- 
cially when in labour ; but Mahomet 
can come to the mountain as often as 
he likes." 

Mr. Trevanion insisted, and Sir 
Sedley Beaudesert mildly put in his 
own claims; both boasted acquaint- 
ance with literary men, whom my 
father would, at all events, be pleased 
to meet. My Either doubted whether 
he could meet any literary men more 
eloquent than Cicero, or more amufflng 
than Aristophanes ; and observed, that 
if such did exist, he would rather 
meet them in tiieir books than in a 
drawing-room. In fine, he was im- 
movable; and so also, with less argu- 
ment, was Captain Boland. 

Then Mr. Trevanion turned to me. 

''Your son, at all events, should 
see something of the world." 

My mother's soffc eye sparkled. 

"My dear Driend, I thank yoo,** 
said my father, touched ; '* and Pisis- 
tratus and I \dll t^k it over." 

Our guests had departed. All four 
of us gathered to the open window, 
and eijoyed in silence the cool air and 
the moonlight. 

" Austin," said my mother at last, 
" I fear it is for my sake that you re- 
fiise going amongst your old friends : 
you knew I should be fnghtened by 
such fine people, and"— - 

"And we have been happy for 
more than dghteen years without 
them, Kitty! My poor Mends are 
not happy, and we are. To leave 
well' alone is a golden rule worth all 
in Pythagoras. The ladies of Bu- 
bastis, my dear, a place in Egypt 
where the cat was wcmhipped, always 
kept rigidly aloof firom Uie gentle- 
men in Athribis, who adored the 
shrew-mice. Cats are domestic ani- 
mals,— -your direw-mice are sad gad- 
abouts : yon can't find a better model^ 
nxy Kitty, than the ladies of 0a» 
bestisr. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



95 



"How Trevanion is altered 1" said 
Boland, musingly — " he who was so 
lively and ardent '/' 

" He ran too fest up-hill at first, 
and has been out of breath ever since," 
said my lather. 

" And Lady Ellinor/' said Koland, 
hesitatingly, "shall yon see her to- 
morrow ?" 

" Yes \" said my father, calmly. 

As Captain Boland spoke, some- 
thing in the tone of his question 
seemed to fiash a conviction on my 
mother's heart, — ^the woman there 
was quick : she drew back, turning 
pale, even in the moonlight, and 
lixed her eyes on my father, while I 
felt her hand which had clasped mine 
tremble convulsively. 

I understood her. Yes, this Lady 
Ellinor was the early rival whose 
name till then she had not known. 
She fixed her eyes on my fifither, and 
at his tranquil tone and quiet look she 
breathed more freely, and, sliding her 
hand from mine, r^ed it fondly on 
his shoulder. A few moments after- 
wards, I and Captain lloland found 
ourselves standing alone by the ^vin- 
dow. 

"You are young, nephew," said 
the Captain; "and you have the 
name of a fallen iamily to raise. Your 
father does well not to reject for you 
that opening into the great world 
which Trevanion ofifers. As for me, 
my business in London seems over : 
I cannot find what I came to seek. I 
have sent for my daughter; when she 
>>ffrlves I shall retu jn to my old tower 5 



and the man and the ruin will crumble 
away together." 

" Tush, unde ! I must work hard 
and get money ; and then we will re- 
pair the old tower, and buy back the 
old estate. My father shall sell the 
red brick house ; we will fit him up a 
library in the keep ; and we will all 
live imited, in peace, and in state, as 
grand as our ancestors before us." 

While I thus spoke, my uncle's 
eyes were fixed upon a comer of the 
street, where a figure, half in shade, 
half in moonlight, stood motionless, 
" Ah !" said I, following his eye, " I 
have observed that man, two or three 
times, pass up and down the street on 
the other side of the way, and turn 
his head towards our window. Our 
guests were with us then, and my 
father in full discourse, or I should 
have"— 

Before I could finish the sentence 
my uncle, stifling an exclamation, 
broke away, hurried out of the room, 
stumped down the stairs, and was in 
the street, while I was yet rooted to 
the spot with surprise. I remained 
at the window, and my eye rested on 
the figiffe. I saw the Captain, with 
his bare head and his grey hair, cross 
the street ; the figure started, turned 
the comer, and fled. 

Then I followed my uncle, and 
arrived in time to save him from 
falling: he leant his head on my 
breast, and I heard him murmur, — 
" It is he — it is he ! He has watched 
us ! — ^he repents !" 



96 



THE CAXTONS: 



CHAPTER V. 



The next day Lady Ellinor called; 
but, to my great disappointment, 
without Fanny. 

Whether or not some joy at the 
incident of the previous night had 
served to rejuvenate my uncle^ I know 
not, but he looked to me ten years 
younger when Lady Ellinor entered. 
How careAiIly the buttoned-np coat 
was brushed I how new and glossy 
was the black stock ! The poor Cap- 
tain was restored to his pride, and 
mighty proud he looked ! With a 
glow on his cheek, and a fire in his 
eye ; his head thrown back, and his 
whole air composed, severe, Mavor- 
tian and majestic, as if awaiting the 
charge of the French cuirassiers at 
the head of his- detachment. 

My father, on the contrary, was as 
usual (till dinner, when he always 
dressed punctiliously, out of respect 
to his Kitty) in liis easy morning 
gown and slippers ; and nothing but 
a certain compression in his lips, 
which had lasted all the morning, 
evinced his anticipation of the visit, 
or the emotion it caused him. 

Lady Ellinor behaved beautifiolly. 
She could not conceal a certain ner- 
vous trepidation, when she first took 
the liand my father extended ; and, in 
touching rebuke of the Captain's 
stately bow, she held out to him the 
hand left disengaged, with a look which 
brought Koland at once to her side. 
It was a desertion of his colours to 
which notliing, short of Key's shame- 
ful conduct at Napoleon's return from 
Elba, affords a parallel in history. 
Then, without waiting for introduc- 
tion, and before a word indeed was 
said. Lady Ellinor came to my mo- 
ther so cordially, so caressingly — she 
threw into her smile, voice, manner. 



such winning sweetness, that I, inti- 
mately learned in my poor mother's 
simple loving heart, wondered how 
she refrained from throwing her arms 
round Lady EUinor's neck and kissing- 
her outright. It must have been a 
great conquest over herself not to do 
it! My turn came next ; and talking 
to me, and about me, soon set all 
parties at their ease— at least ap- 
parently. 

What was said I cannot remember ; 
I do not think one of us could. But 
an hour slipped away, and there was 
no gap in the conversation. 

With curious interest, and a survey 
I strove to make impartial, I com- 
pared Lady Ellinor with my mother. 
And I comprehended the fascination 
which the high-bom lady must, in 
their earlier youth, have exercised 
over both brothers, so dissimilar to 
each other. For charm was the cha- 
racteristic of Lady Ellinor — a charm 
indefinable. It was not the mere 
grace Of refined breeding, though 
that went a great way; it was a 
charm that seemed to spring from 
natural sympathy. Whomsoever 
she addressed, that person appear^ 
for the moment to engage all her at- 
tention, to interest her whole mind. 
She had a gift of conversation very 
peculiar. She made what she said 
like a continuation of what was said 
to her. She seemed as if she had 
entered into your thoughts, and 
talked them aloud. Her mind was 
evidently cultivated with great care, 
but she was perfectly void of pedan- 
try. A hint, an allusion, sufficed to 
show how much she knew, to one well 
instructed, without mortifying or per- 
plexing the ignorant. Yes, there 
probably was the only woman my 



X TAMILT PICTUKB. 



^7 



fitther had ever met who oonld be the 
companion to his mind, walk through 
the garden of knowledge by his side, 
and trim the flowers while he cleared 
the vistas. On the other hand, there 
was an inborn nobility in Lady 
Ellinor's sentiments that mnst have 
stmck the most susceptible chord in 
Boland's nature, and the sentiments 
took eloquence from the look, the mien, 
the sweet dignity of the very turn of 
the head. Yes, she must have been 
a fitting Oriana to a young Amadis. 
It was not hard to see that Lady 
EUinor was ambitious — that she had 
a love of fame, for fame itself— that 
she was proud — that she set value 
(and that morbidly) on the world's 
opinion. This was perceptible when 
she spoke of her husband, even of her 
daughter.' It seemed to me as if she 
valued the intellect of the one, the 
beauty of the other, by the gauge of 
the social distinction it conferred. 
She took measure of the gift, as I 
was taught at Dr. Herman's to take 
measure of the height of a tower — 
by the length of the shadow it cast 
upon the ground. 

My dear father ! with such a wife 
you would never have lived eighteen 
years, shivering on the edge of a 
Great Book. 

My dear unde, with such a wife 
yon would never have been contented 
with a cork leg and a Waterloo 
medal ! And I understand why Mr. 
Trevanion, ** eager and ardent" as ye 
say he was in youth, with a heart bent 
on the practical success of life, won 
the hand of the hdress. Well, you 
see Mr. Trevanion has contrived not 
to be happy ! By the side of my 
fistening, admiring mother, with her 
blue eyes moist, and her coral lips 
apart. Lady EUinor looks faded. Was 
she ever as pretty as my mother is 



now ? Never. But she was much 
handsomer. What delicacy in the 
outline, and yet how decided in spite 
of the delicacy! The eyebrow so 
defined — ^the profile slightly aquUine, 
BO clearly cut — ^with the curved nos- 
tril, which, if phynognomists are 
right, shows sensibility so keen ; and 
the classic Hp that, but for the neigh- 
bouring cUmple, would be so haughty. 
But wear and tear are in that &ce. 
The nervous excitable temper has 
helped the fret and cark of ambitious 
life. My dear uncle, I know not yet 
your private life. But as for my fa- 
ther, I am sure that, though he might 
have done more on earth, he would 
have been less fit for heaven, if he had 
married Lady EUinor. 

At last this visit — dreaded, I am 
sure, by three of the party, was over, 
but not before I had promised to 
dine at the Trevanions* that day. 

When we were again alone, my &- 
ther threw off a long breath, and, 
looking round him cheerfiiUy, said, 
" Since Pisistratus deserts us, let us 
console ourselves for his absence- 
send fbr brother Jack, and aU four go 
down to Richmond to drink tea." 

« Thank you, Austin," said Roland. 
** But I don't want it, I assure you !" 

"Upon your honour?" said my 
father in a half whisper* 

*'Upon my honour." 

**Nor I either! So^ my dear 
Eitty, Roland and I wiU take a walk, 
and be back in time to see if that 
young Anachronism looks as handsome 
as his new London-made clothes wiU 
aUow him. Properly speaking, he 
ought to go with an apple in his 
hand, and a dove in his bosom. But 
now I think of it, that was luckUy 
not the fashion with the Atheniana 
tm the time of Aldbiades I" 



No. 339. 



H 



THfi CAXTONSt 



CfiAPTEE tX 



tov may judge of the effect tliat 
my dinner at Mr. Trevanion's, with a 
long conversation after it with Lady 
Mlinor, made npon my mind, when, 
oh my return home, after haying 
•atisfied all questions of par^t^ 
curiosity, I said nervously, and look- 
ing down, — "My dear &ther, — ^I 
should like very much, if you have no 
ohjection, — ^to — ^to" — 

"What, my dear?'* asked my fii- 
ther kindly. 

"Accept an offer Lady Ellinor has 
made me, on the part of Mr. Treva- 
nion. He wants a secretary. He is 
kind enough to excuse my inexpe- 
rience, and declares I shall do very 
weU, and can soon get into his ways. 
Lady Bllinor says (I continued with 
dignity) that it will he a great open- 
ing in puhlic life for me ; and at all 
events, my dear &ther, I shall see 
much of the world, and learn what I 
really think will he more usefol to 
me than anything they will teach me 
at college." 

Hy mother looked anxiously at my 
fathw. " It will indeed he a great 
thing for Sisty,'* said she timidly; 
and then, taking courage, she added 
— " And that is just the sort of life he 
Is formed for" — 

" Hem !" sidd my undo. 

My father ruhhed his spectacles 
thoughtfully, and replied, after along 
pause,— 

" You may he right, K^tty : I don't 
think Pisistratus is meant for study ; 
action will suit him hetter. But what 
does this office lead to ? '' 

"Puhlic employment, nr," said I 
boldly; " the service of my country." 

" If that he the case," quoth Bo- 
land, " I have not a word to say. 
But I should have thought that for a 



lad of q>irit» a descendant of the oU 
De Caxtons, the army would have*'-^ 

"The annyl" exclaimed my mo- 
ther, clasping her hands, and looking 
involuntarily at my unde's oork leg* 

"The armyl" repeated noy &tbar 
peevishly. " Bless my soul, Bolaiid, 
you seem to think man is made for 
nothing else but to be shot at! You 
would not like the army, Fins- 
tratus?" 

" Wl^y, sir, not if it pained you 
and my dear mother; otherwise^ in- 
deed"— 

"Papsel" said my ftther, inters 
rupting me. '* This all comes of your 
giving the bqy that ambitious, un> 
comfortable name;, Mrs. Caxton; what 
could a Pisistratus be but the plague 
of one's Ufe ? That idea <^ serving 
his country is Pisistratus ipsissimus 
all over. If ever I have another sob 
(Dii melioral) he has only got to be 
called Eratostratus, and then he wiH 
be burning down St. Paul's ; which I 
believe was, by the way, first made 
out of the stones of a temjde to 
Diana ! Of the two, certainly, yoti 
had better serve your country witii a 
goose-quill than by poking a bayoitet 
into the ribs of some unf<Mi;unate In* 
dian; — I don't think there are any 
other people whom the service of one'ft 
country makes it necessary to kiUjust 
at present, — eh, Roland?" 

". It is a very fine field, In^Ua»" said 
my uncle, sententiously. '< It is the 
nursery of captains." 

"Is it? Those plants take ^ ft 
g^reat deal of g^round, then, that might 
be more profitably cultivated. iji4 
indeed, considering that the tallest 
captains in the world will be ulti* 
mately set into a box not above seven 
feet at the longest, it is astonishiDg 






A FAKILT PIC1TT&1S. 



M 



what A 4pttBtitgr ^ voom that wpotaa 
of arbor mortis takei in the growing ! 
Howarer, PifflBtntoa^ to return to 
your refaest^ I wiH i^akit^nt^ md 
talk to Treyanion." 

«0r rather to Lady EUinor/' aaad 
I iiqpmdeDtly: my mother slightly 
fihivered. and took her hand from 
mme. I felt cut to the heart fay the 
■Up of my own tongue. 

" That, I think, your mother coold 
dQ best,'' sud my father, drily, ''if 
she wants to he quite convinced that 
somebody will see that your sthicts aie 
aired. Por I suppose they mean yon to 
lodge at TroYanion V 

"Oh, no V* cried my mother. ** He 
might as well go to ooUege then. I 
thought he was to stay with us ; only 
go in the morning, bat^ of ooors^ 
sleep here.' 



M 



*If I knoir niythkig of Trcv*. 
luon,'' sod my lather, " his s ecre t ary 
will be eKpeoted to do without sleep. 
Poor beyl yon don't know what it it 
yoa desire. Andyet,«t your age, I* 
—my faither stopped short* "Not* 
he renewed abruptly after a long si* 
lenoc^ and as if soUkquinng. " ISk) : 
man is never wrong while he Hves 
for others. The philosopher who con- 
templates from the rook is a less noble 
image than the sailor who struggles 
with the storm. Why should there 
be two of ns ? And could he be an 
idter ego, even if I wished it ? Im« 
possible !" My father turned on his 
chair, and laying the left leg on the 
right knee^ said smilingly, as he bent 
down to. look me ftill in the face; 
"But, I^tratus, will you promise 
me always to wear the saf&on beg P'^ 



CHAPTER TIL 



I HOW make a long stride in my 
narrative. I am domesticated with 
the Trevaniona. A very short con- 
versation with the statesman sufficed 
to decide my febther ; and the pith of 
it lay in this nngle sentence nt'tered 
by Trevanion — "I promise yoa one 
thing — he shall never be idle V 

Looking back, I am convinced that 
my father was right, and that he un- 
derstood my character, and the temp- 
tations to which I was most prone, 
when he consented to let me resign 
college and enter thus prematurely <m 
the world of men. I was naturally 
so joyous that I should have made 
college life a holiday, and then, in 
repentance^ worked myself into a 
phthisis. 

And my father, too, was right, that, 
though I could study, I was not meant 
&r a student. 



After ttB, the thing was an experi- 
ment. I had time to spare : if the 
experiment fiiiled, a year's delay 
would not necessarily be a year*A 
loss. 

I am ensconced, then, at Mr. Tre> 
vanion's. I have been there some 
months — it is late in the winter; parlier 
ment and the season have commenced. 
I work hard — ^Heaven knows harder 
than I should have worked at oollege. 
Take a day for sample. 

Trevanion gets up at eight o'doel^ 
and in all weathers rides an hour 
before breakfast; at lune he takes 
that meal in his wife's dressing-room <. 
at half'past nine he comes into his 
study. By that inme he expects 4o 
find done by his secretary the work 1 
am about to describe. 

On coming home, or rather befoi* 
going to bed» whidi is nnally aAwr 

h2 



ieo 



THE CAXTONbt 



^hree Vclocky it it Mr. Tteyanion's 
habit to leave on ijie table of the a^d 
study a list of directions for the se- 
cretary. The following, which I take 
at random fi*oni many I have pre- 
served, may show thoir mnitifarions 
liature:— 

' 1. Look oat in the Beports (Committee 
House of Lords) for the last seven years — 
all that is said about the growth oi flax — 
mark the passages for me. 

2. Do. do.—" Lrish Emigration." 

3. Hunt out second volume of Karnes's 
Historj of Man, passaee containing " Beid's 
Logic" — don't know where the book is I 

4. How does the line beginning "Lumina 
eonjurent, inter" something, end? Is it in 
Graj? See! 

6. FracastoriuB writes — "Quantum hoc 
ii\fecit vitium, ^uot adiverit urbes." Query, 
ought it not, m strict grammar, to be — 
infeeerit instead of infecit? — ^if jou don't 
know, write to father. 

6. Write the four letters in f\ill from the 
notes I leave, i.e. about the Ecclesiastical 
Courts. 

i. Look out Population Betums — strike 
average of last five jears (between mortality 
and births) in Devonshire and Lancashire. 

8. Answer these six begging letters: "No" 
— civilly. 

9. Toe other six, to constituents — "that 
I have no interest with Government." 

10. See, if you have time, whether any of 
the new books on the round table are not 
trash. 

. * 11. I want to know ali* al>oat Indian 
oom? 

12. Lonnnus says something, somewhere, 
in reeret for uncongenial pursuits, (public 
life, Isuppose) — ^what is it r N.B. Loneinus 
is not in my London Catalogue, but is here, 
I know — 1 think in a box in the lumber- 
room. 

13. Bet right the calculation I leave on the 
poor-rates. I have made a blunder some- 
where. &o. Sto, 

. Certainly my &ther knew Mr. Tre- 

Tanion ; he never expected a secretary 

to sleep ! To get through the work 

required of me by half-past nine, I get 

np by candle-light. At half-past nine 

I am still hunting for Lon^ns, when 

Mr. Trevanion comes in with a bmidle 

of letters. 

Answers to half the said letters &11 

to my share. Directions verbal — in 

A species of short-hand talk. While 

I write, Mr. Trevanion reads the 

newspapers — examines what I have 

4oiie^Hsiakeg notes therefrom, some 



for Birliament, somsfbroonvenatioi], 
some for correspondence — skims over 
the Parliamentaiy papers of the 
morning — and jots down directions 
for extracting, abridging, and com- 
paring them, with others, perhape 
twenty years old. At eleven he walks 
down to a C!ommittee of the Honse 
of Onnmons — ^leaving me plenty to 
do — till half-past three, when Le 
retmms. At four, Fanny puts her 
head into the room — and I lose 
mine. Four days in the week Mr. 
Trevanion then disappears for the 
rest of the day — dines at Bellamy's 
or a club— expects me at the House 
at eight o'clock, in case he thinks of 
something, wants a fact or a quota* 
tion. He then releases me — generally 
with a fresh list of instructions. But 
I have my holidays, nevertheless. On 
Wednesdays and Saturdays Mr. Tre- 
vanion gives dinners, and I meet the 
most eminent men of the day — on 
both sides. For Trevanion is on both 
sides himself — or no side at all, which 
comes to the same thing. On Tues- 
days, Lady Ellinor ^ves me a ticket 
for the Opera^ and I get there at 
least in time for the ballet. I have 
already invitations enough to balls 
and soirees, for I am regarded as an 
only son of great expectations. I am 
treated as becomes a Caxton who has 
the right, if he plealses, to put a De 
before his name. I have grown very 
smart. I have taken a passion for 
dress — natural to eighteen. I like 
everything I do, and every one about 
me. I am over head and ears in love 
with Fanny Trevanion — ^who breaks 
my heart, nevertheless; for she flirts 
with two peers, a life-guardsman, 
three old members of parliament. Sir 
Sedley Beaudesert, one ambassador, 
and dl his attaches, and, positively, 
(the audacious minx!) with a bishops 
in full wig and apron, who, people say, 
means to marry agfun. 

Pisistratus has lost colour and flesh. 



A FAMILY PIGTUBH 



101 



Effi mother nys lie is very mnch. im- 
pfoved, — that he takes to be the na- 
tural effect produced by Stultz and 
Hoby. Unde Jack says he is ** fined 
down." 

His &ther looks at him and writes 
to TrevanioSy— • 



** Dear T.— I refbsed a salary fixr 
my son. Grive him a horse, and two 
hours a-day to ride it. Yoxsn, A. G." 

The next day I am master of a 
pretty bay mare, and riding by the 
side of Fanny Trevanion. Alas! alasl 



CHAPTER VIIL 




I HATE not mentioned my Uncle 
Boland. He is gone — abroad — to 
fetch his daughter. He has stayed 
longer than was expected. Does he 
seek his son still — ^there as here? 
My father has finished the first por- 
tion of his work, in two great volumes, 
tlnde Jack, who for some time has 
i)een looking melancholy, and who 
now seldom stirs out, except on Sun- 
^ys, (on which days we all meet at 
my fi&ther's and dine together) — 
Uncle Jack, I say, has undertaken to 
sell it. 

"Don't be over sanguine," says 
Uncle Jack, as he locks up the MS. in 
two red boxes with a sUt in the lids, 
which belonged to one of the defunct 
companies. "Don't be over sanguine 
asto the price. These publishersnever 
venture much on a first experiment. 
They must be talked even into looking 
at the book." 

"Oh!" said my father, "if they 
will publish it at all, and at their own 
risk, I should not stand out for any 
other terms. 'Nothing great,' said 
Dryden, 'ever came firom a venal 
pen!'" 

"An uncommonly foolish observa- 
tion of Dryden's," returned Uncle 
Jack : "he ought to have known bet- 
ter." 

"So he did," said I, ^for he used 
his pen to fill his pockets — ^poor man !" 

" Bat the pen was not venal, mas- 



ter Anachronism," said my..iather« 
"A baker is not to be called venal if 
he sells his loaves — ^he is venal if ha: 
sells himself: Dryden only sold his 
loaves." 

"And we must sell yours," said 
uncle Jack, emphatically. "A thou- 
sand pounds a volume will be about 
the mark, eh?" 

"A thousand pounds a volume?'*: 
cried my fiither. " Gibbon, I &ncy, 
did not receive more." 

"Very likely; Gibbon had not ai 
Uncle Jack to look after his inte« 
rests," said Mr. Tibbets, laughing and 
rubbing those smooth hands of his, 
"No! two thousand pounds the tri^o 
volumes! a sacrifice, but still I recom*. 
mend moderation." 

" I should be happy, indeed, if the 
book brought in anything," said my 
&ther, evidently fasdnated — "for that 
young gentleman is rather expensive; 
and you, my dear Jack; — ^perhaps 
half itie sum may be of use to you!" 

"To me ! my dear brother," cried 
Uncle Jack — ** to me ! why, when my 
new speculation has succeeded, I shall 
be a millionaire !" 

"Have you a new speculation^ 
uncle ?" said I anriously. ** What is 
it?" 

'Mum!" said my unde, putting his 
finger to his lip, and looking all round 
the room--«Mum!! Mum ! !" 

FlsiSTBATTTS.-— " A Grand National 



10^ 



THE CAXTOKSi 



Conpany fbf blowing up heih Houses 
ofF&riiiiment!" 

Mb. Caxtow.— "ITpon my life, I 

kope something newer than that; for 

^^y> to judge by the newspapers, 

don't want brother Jackfs assistance 

o blow up each other V* 

Unolb Jack — (mysteriously.) — 
''Newspapers! you don't often read a 
newspaper, Austin Caxton !" 

Mb. Caxton. — "Granted, John 
Tibbets !" 

TJnclb Jack. — "But if my specu- 
lation make you read a newspaper 
every day?** 

Mb. Caxton, (astounded.)— >" Make 
me read a newspaper every day P* . 

Uncl^Jace, (warming, toad ex- 
panding his hands to the fire.)— -"As 
V^ fts the Times r 

Mb. Caxton, (unearily.)— "Jadk, 
you alarm me !*' 

TJnclb Jack. — ^"And make you 
write in it too-*a leader V* 

Mb. Caxton, pushing baek his 
chair, seizes the only weapon at his 
command, and hurls at Uncle Jack a 
great sentence of Ghreek — " Tovt fitv 
yap 9iPai xcLkfuruvs, 6cr€ Kcn avBpO' 
iro<f)ay€iv !"• 

Uncle Jack, (nothing daunted.) 
-^"Ay, and put as much Greek- as 
you like into it!" 

Mb. Caxton, (relieved and soften- 
ing.)~-"My dear Jack, yon are a 
great man — ^let ns hear youP' 

Then Uncde Jack began. Now» 
perhaps my readers may have re- 
marked that this ilhistrioas specula- 
tor was really fortunate in lus ideas. 
Bis speculations in themselves always 
Iwd something sound in the kernel, 
consideringhowbarrenthey were in the 



* '*Some were bo barbarous as to eat 
thflir own qMcies." The senteiiee refen to 
the S<7tliiaiM, and is in Strabo. I mention 
^m anthwity, for Strabo i» not an authcw 
that any man encaged on a leas wmrk than 
the History of BUunan Error is expected to 
Itore by heart* 



frnit ; and th» It was that made hmi 
so dangerous. The idea Unde Jadt 
had now got hoM of will, I am con- 
vinced, make a man's fortune one of 
these days; and I relate it with s 
sigh, in thk^ing how mudihas gone 
out of the family. Kno^r, then, it 
was nothing less than setting up a 
daily paper on the plan of the Times, 
but devoted entirely to Art, Litera- 
ture, and Science — Mental Frogreaa, 
in short; I say on the plan of the 
Times, for it was to imitate the 
mighly machinery of that diurnal illa- 
nainator. It was to be the Literary 



Sahnoneus of the Political Jupiter; 
and rattle its thunder over the bridge 
oi knowledge. It was to have corre* 
spondents in all parts of the globe ; 
everythingthat related tothe chronicle 
of the mind, from the labour of the 
nnssionary in the South* Sea Islands^ 
or the researdi of a traveller in par- 
suit of that mirage called l^buctoo, 
to the last new novel at Paris, or the 
last great emendation of a Greek pai> 
tide at a German univeraty, was to 
find a place in this focus of light. It 
was to amuse, to instruct, to interest 
— there was nothing it was not to do. 
Kot a man in the whole reading public, 
not only of the three kingdoms, not 
only of the British empire, but under 
the cope of heaven, that it was not to 
touch somewhere, in head, in heart, or 
in podEet. The most crotchety mem- 
her of the intellectual community 
might find his own hobl^ in those 
stables. 

«Think,''cried Unde Jadt,— "think 
of the march of nnnd — tbhA ot the 
pasnon for dieap knowledge— think 
how little quarterly, monthly, weekly 
journals can keep pace with tiie main 
wants of the age. As well have a 
wedcly journal on poHtics, as a weekly 
journal on all the matters still more 
interesting than politics to the mass of 
the public. My Literary Times onee 
started, people will wonder how they 



▲ FAMILY FIOTUBE. 



10k 



had erer fired witboal ii t Sir, they 
have not lived without it— they have 
vegetated — they have lived in holes 
and caves, like the Troggledikes." 

"Troglodytes," sud my fether, 
mildly — "from trogle, a cave — and 
dwmi, to go under. They lived in 
Ethiopia^ and had their wives in com- 

" As to the last point, I dont say 
that the pnhlic, poor creatnres, are as 
* bad as that,^ said Uncle Jack, can- 
didly; "hut no simile holds good in 
all it8 pcnnts. And the public are no 
less Troggledmnmies, or whatever you 
call them, compared with what they 
will be when living under the fuU 
light of my Literary Times. Sir, it 
will be a revolution in the world. It 
will bring literature out of the clouds 
into the parlour, the cottage, the 
kitchen. The idlest dandy, the finest 
fine lady, will find something to her 
taste; the bunest man of the mart and 
counter will find some acquisition to 
lus practical knowledge. The practi- 
cal man will see the progress of divi- 
nity, medicine, nay, even law. Sir, 
the Indian will r^^ me under the 
banyan ; 1 shall be in the seraglios of 
the East; and over my sheets the 
American Indian will smoke the 
calumet of peace. We shall reduce 
politics to its proper level in the 
affiiirs of life — praise literature to its 
due place in the thoughts and busi- 
ness of men. It is a grand thought ; 
and my heart swells with pride while 
I contemplate it V* 

" My dear Jack," said my fiither, 
gerionaly, and rising with emotion, " it 
w a grand thought, and I honour you 
for it. Ton are quite right — it would 
be a revoluiion! It would educate 
mankind insensibly. Upon my life, I 
shoold be proud to write a lead^, or 
a par^^ph. Jack, you will immor- 
talise yourself!" 

"I believe I shall," said Undo 
Jackf modestly; "but I have not said 



a word yet on the greatest attraciion 
of all"— 

" Ah I and that ^'^ 

"Thb Ai>vebti8emints P' cried 
my unde, spreading his hands with 
all the fingers at angles, like the 
threads of a spider's web. " The ad- 
vertisements — oh, think of them ! — ^a 
perfect SI Doradd. The advertise- 
ments, ar, on the most moderate cal- 
culation, will bring us in £50,000 a-i 
year. My dear IHsistratus^ I shall 
never marry; you are my hdr. Em- 
brace me !" 

So saying, my Uncle Jack threw 
himself upon me, and squeezed out of 
breath the prudential demur that was 
rising to my lips. 

My poor mother, between laughing 
and sobbing, faltered out — "And it is 
TMf brother who will pay back to his 
son all — an he gave up for me !" 

While my father walked to and fro 
the room, moro exdted than ever I 
saw him before, muttering, "A sad 
useless dog I have been hitherto ! I 
should like to serve the world! I 
should indeed !" 

Unde Jack had fiiirly done it this 
time. He had found out the only 
bait in the world to catdi so shy a 
carp as my father— "A<er^ lethalu 
arufuto" I saw that the deadly hook 
was within an inch of my father's 
nose, and that he was gazing at ik 
with a fixed determination to swal- 
low. 

But if it amused my father P Boy 
that I was, I saw no further. I 
must own I myself was dazzled, and, 
X>erhaps^ with diildlike malice, de- 
lighted at the perturbation &£ my 
betters. The young carp was pleased 
to see the waters so playfully in move- 
ment, when the old carp waved his 
tail, and swayed himsdf on his fins. 

"Mum!" sud Unde Jack, rdeas- 
ing me : " not a word to Mr. Tie* 
vanion, to apy one." 

"But why?" 



1.04 



THE CAXTONSs 



"Why? God bless ;my soul. 
Why ? If my scheme g^ets wind, do 
you suppose some one will not clap on 
aail to be before me ? Tou fingbten 
me out of my senses. Promise me 
&ithMly to be silent as the grave — " 

" I should like to hear Trevanion's 
opinion too " — 

''As well hear the town crier! 
Sir, I have trusted to your honour. 
Sir, at the domestic hearth aU secrets 
■re sacred. Sir, I — " 

''My dear Unde Jad^ yoa have 



said quite enough. Kot a word will 
I breathe V* 

**Vm. sure you may trust lmn> 
Jack," sud my mother. 

" And I do trust him — ^with wealth 
untold," replied my uncle. "May I 
ask you for a little* water — ^with a 
trifle of brandy in it — and a biscuity 
or indeed a sandwich. This talking 
makes me quite hungry." 

My eye fell upon Unde Jack as he 
spoke. Poor Uncle Jaol^ he had 
gxownthinl 



▲ FAMILY PICTUSS. 



106 



PAET SEVENTH. 



CHAPTER L 



811TH Dr. Lather, "When I saw 
Br. Gode hegin to tell his puddings 
hanging in the chimney, I told hhn. 
he would not live long I" 

I wish I had copied that passage 
from « The Table Talk" in large round 
hand, and set it before my father at 
breakfast, the mom preceding that 
&tal eve in which TJnde Jadk per- 
suaded him to tell his puddings. 

Tet, now I think of it. Uncle Jack 
hung the puddings in the chimney, — 
but he did not persuade my &th^ to 
tell them. 

Beyond a vagud surmise that half 
the suspended "tomacula" would fur- 
nish a breakfast to TJnde Jack, and 
that theyouthfulappetite of Pimsfzatus 
would despatch the rest, my &ther 
did not g^ve a thought to the nutri- 
tiooa properties of the puddings, — 
in odier words, to the two thousand 
pounds which, thanks to Mr. Tibbets;, 
dangled down the chimney. So &r 
•8 ^e Great Work was concerned, my 
ftther only cared for its publication, 
not its profits. . I will not say that he 
might not hunger for praise^ but I am 
quite sure that he did not care a 
button for pudding. Nevertheless, it 
was an infi^ist and sonister auguiy for 
Austin Caxton, the very appearance, 
t^ very suspension and danglement 
of any puddings whatsoever, right over 
his ingle-nook, when those puddings 
were made by the sleek hands, of 



TJnde Jack I None of the puddings 
which he, poor man, had aU his life 
been stringing, whether from bis own 
chimn^s, or the chimneys of other 
people, had turned out to be real 
puddings, — ^they had always been the 
eidola, the eracheitwngen, the phan- 
toms and semblances of puddings. I 
question if TJnde Jack knew much 
about Democritus of Abdera. But he 
was certainly tainted with the philo- 
sophy of that fimciful sage. He 
peopled the air with images df colossal 
stature^ which impressed all his dreams 
and divinations, and from whose in- 
fluences came his very sensations and 
thoughts. His whole being, asleep or 
waking, was thus but the reflection of 
great phantom puddings ! 

As soon as Mr. Tibbets had pos- 
sessed himself of the two volumes of 
the " History of Human Error," he 
had necessarily established that hold 
upon my &ther whidi hitherto those 
lubricate hands of his had &iled to 
effect* He had found what he had so 
long sighed for in vain, his poini 
(Fappui, wherein to fix the Archi- 
median screw. He fixed it tight in 
the "History of Human Error/' and 
moved the Caxtonian world. 

A day or two after the conversation 
recorded in my last chapter, I saw 
TJncle Jack coming out of the ma« 
hogany doors of my fiither's banker 1 
andy from that timc^ there seemed nii» 



106 



THE CAXTONSi 



reason why Mr. Hbbets should not 
visit his relations on week days as 
well as Sundays. Not a day, indeed, 
passed hut what he held long conver- 
sations with my &ther. He had 
much to report of his interviews with 
the pnhlishers. In these conversa- 
tions he naturally recvrred to that 
grand idea of the " Literary Times,'' 
which had so dazzled my poor father's 
imagination ; and, having heated the 
iron, Unde Jack was too knowing a 
man not to strike while it was hot. 

When I think of the simplicity my 
wise ikther exhibited in this crisis oi 
his life, I mnst own that I am hseu 
moved hy pity than admiratioB fbr 
tiuit poor great-hearted student. We 
have seen that oat of the learned 
indolence of twenty years, the ambi- 
tion which is the instinct of a man of 
genina had emerged; the serious pre- 
paration of the Great Book fbr the 
pemsal of the world, had insensibly 
testored the claims of that noisy world 
on the mlent individuaL And there- 
with came a noble remorse that he 
had hitherto done so Httle fbr Ins 
tpedes. Was it enough to write 
quartos upon the past history of 
Hnman Error f Was it not his duty, 
when the occasion was fiurly presented, 
to enter upon that present, daily, 
lioarly war with Error — whi<di is the 
sworn chivalry of Ejiowledge? St. 
Oeorge did not dissect dead dragona, 
he fbught the live one. And Lon- 
don^ with that magnetle atmosphere 
which in great capitals fills the breath 
of Ufb witii stimulating partieles^ had 
lbs share in quickening the slow poise 
of the student. In the country, he 
read but his old authors^ and Uved 
with them through the gone ages. 
In the dty, my fhther, during the 
Intervals d! repose ^om the Qreat 
Book, and atiU more now that the 
Great Book had eome to a pause,*— 
ibspected the Mterature of his own 
ttme. It had a procBgknis eifeot 



M 



upon him. He was unlike the orcB- 
nary run of scholars, and, indeed, of 
readers for that matter — who, in thdr 
superstitious homage to the dead, are 
always willing enough to sacrifice the 
Uving. He did justice to the marvel- 
Ions futility of intellect which charac- 
terizes the authorship of the present 
age. By the present age, I do not 
only mean the present day, I com 
mence with the century. "What, 
said my father one day in dispute with 
Trevanion-i-^what characterizes the 
literature of our time is — ^its human 
iniereH. It is true that we do not see 
scholars addressing scholars, but men 
addressilng men, — ^not that sAolar* 
are fewer, but that the reading poblio 
is more large. Authors in f^ ages 
address themselves to what interests 
their readers; the same things do setr 
interest a vnt commuidty which in* 
terested half a score of monks or booty 
worms. The literary poHf was oneo- 
OB oligarchy, it is now- a repablia It 
is the genOTfd brilfiaBcy of the atme* 
sphere whidh prevents your aoticin^ 
the rize of any particular staft jH 
you not see that with the coll^mtion 
of the masses has awakened the latent 
ture of the aflTeeticms ? Bvery senti- 
ment finds an expositor, every feelia^ 
an oracle. Like Epunen^des^ I have 
been siee^^g in a cave; and, wakings 
I seo those whom I left children aro 
bearded men ; and towns have sprang 
up !n tiie landscapes which I left M 
solitary wastes.** 

Thence^ the reader may peresiva 
the causes of the change wMc^ had 
come over ny fhther. As Bobsui 
Hall sayn^ I thhOe of Dr. Kipfris, <»ha 
had hdd so many bodes at the top 
of his head, that tiie braim ooold ae* 
move/* But the eleetridty had umt 
penetrated the heaii, and the quiek^ 
ened vigoiir of that noble ergw 
enabled me brain to stir. Meanwl^ 
I leave my fhther to these inflaenceib 
Slid to the eonti&iioiiB coftveiMilioBe «t 



A FAULT FICTURE. 



1« 



Uvde Jade, aid poned with Um 
tiffead of my own ^^oAioii. 

Thanks to Mr. TrcvaBkn, mj 
balnti were sot fhoae winch ftvoar 
friendshipa with the idle» hoi I Ibnned 



men a ftv jean older than iiij^», 
iHio held BnboidiBBte ntoftticDs in 
the pnUic offioee^ or were IcecpiBg 
their temn lor the har. There wae 
no want of alnlity amongst tiieee 
gentlemen; hat thej had not yet 
aetUed into the stem proee of Efe. 
Their hnay hours only made them 
BBore dispoaed to enjoy the hours of 
reiaxatian. And when we got to- 
gether, a Teiy gay, light-hearted set 
we were! We had neither money 
enough to he Tery eztraTBgant^ nor 
Insure enough to he Teey dissipatedi 
hut we amused ounetvea notwith- 
standing. My new friends were 
wondeifidly erudite in all matters 
eonneeted with the theatres. From 
an opera to a haUet^ from Hamlet to 
the last fiuroe from the French, they 
had the literature of the stage at the 
fnger^^nds of their straw-coloured 
glores. They had a pretty large ac« 
quaintance with actors and actresses, 
and were perfect Walp^litU m the 
minor scandals of the day. To do 
them justicei, howe?er, they were not 
indifferent to tiie more masculine 
knowkdge necessary in ''this wrong 
wosld.^ They talked as £dniliarly of 
the real actors of life as of the sham 
CBies. They could adjust to a hair the 
lifal pretensions of contending states- 
men. Thi^ did not profess to he 
deep hi the mysteriea of foreign 
cabtnetsj, {with the ezoeption of one 
young gentleman connected with the 
Foreign OSBce, who prided himsdf on 
knowing exactly what the Russians 
meant to do with India-^when they 
got it!); hut» to make amends, the 
minority of them had penetrated the 
dosest secrets of our own» It is true 
atmi, aeoording U^ a proper BsAh 



dhrision of Ubonr, each took sosae 
particular memher of the goyernuHiBt 
for his special ohservation ; just as ths 
most ddUhl surgeons^ however pro- 
foundly versed in the general structure 
of oar frame, rest tiidr anatomical 
fione on the light they throw on par- 
ticular parts of it,— one man taking 
the hrain, another the duodenum, a 
third the spinal cord, while a fourth^ 
perhaps^ is a master of all the symp* 
toms invested hy a pensile finger^ 
Accordingly, one of my friends ap* 
propriated to himself the Home 
Department; another the Cbloniesi 
and a third, whom we all regarded aa 
a future Talleyrand, (or a De Rets at 
least,) had devoted himself to the 
spedal study of Sv Rohert Fed, and 
knew, hy the way in which that pre» 
found and inscrutable statesman threw 
open his .coat, every thought that was 
peering in his hreast ! Whether law* 
yers or officials, they all had a gfreat 
idea of themsdves—higfa notions of 
what they were to ke, rather than 
what they were to d&, some day. At 
the king of modem fine gentlemen 
said of himself, in paraphrase of Vol* 
taire, ^they had letters in their 
po(^ets addressed to Posterity,-— 
which the dianees were^ however, 
that they might forget to deliver.^ 
Somewhat ''priggpsh" most of them 
might he; hut, on the whole, they 
were for more interesting than mere 
idle men of pleasure. There was 
about them, as features of a general 
fiunily tikeness^ a redundant activity 
of life — a gay exuberance of amhitkm 
—a light-hearted earnestness when at 
work<-« schoolhoy'a esgoyment of the 
hours of play. 

A great contrast to thess young 
men was Sir Sedl^ Besudesert, wlw 
was pointedly kind to me, and whose 
hachelor^s house was always open to 
me after noon; Sir Sedley was visiUe 
to no ene^ hut his valet, before that 
hour. A perfeet baohelor'a house it 



108 



THE CAXTONSs 



was, too— with its windows opening on 
the Park, and sofas niched into the 
windows, on which yon might loll at 
yoor ease, like the philosopher in 
Lncretias, — 

^'Despioere iinde qmoM alios, paasimqne 

videre, 
. Brrare,"— 

and see the gay crowds ride to and fro 
Botten Bow — without the &tigae of 
joining them, espedally if the wind 
was in the east. 

There was no affectation of cost- 
liness ahout the rooms, hut a wonder- 
fal accumulation of comfort. Every 
patent chair that proffered a variety 
in the art of lounging found its place 
there; and near every chair a little 
tahle, on which yon might deposit 
your hook or your coffee-cup, without 
the trouhle of moving more than your 
hand. In winter, nothing warmer 
than the quilted curtains and Ax- 
Ininster carpets can he conceived. In 
summer, nothing airier and cooler than 
the muslin draperies and the Indian 
mattings. And I defy a man to 
know to what perfection dinner may 
be brought, unless he had dined with 
Sir Sedley Beaudesert. Certainly, if 
that distinguished personage had but 
been an egotist, he had been the hap- 
piest of men. But, unfortunately for 
him, he was singularly amiable and 
kind-hearted. He had the bonne 
digestion, but not the other requisite 
for worldly felicity — the mawoais 
ccev/r. He felt a sincere pity for 
every one else who lived in rooms 
without patent chairs and little coffee 
tables — whot« windows did not look 
on the Park, with sofas niched into 
their recesses. As Henry IV. wished 
every man to have his pot aufeu, so 
Sir Sedley Beaudesert, if he could 
have had his way, would have every 
man served with an early cucumber 
for his fish, and a canuffe of iced 
water by the ude of his bread and 



cheese. He thns evinoed on politics t 
naive simplidty, which deUghtfhUy 
contrasted his acuteness on matters 
of taste. I remember his saying, in 
a discussion on the Beer BiU, *'The 
poor ought not to be allowed to drink 
beer, it is so particularly rheumatic ! 
The best drink in hard work is dry 
champagne — (not mouateux) — ^I found 
that out when I used to shoot on the 
moors." 

Indolent as Sir Sedley was, he had 
contrived to open an extraordinary 
number of drains on his wealth. 

First, as a landed proprietor, there 
was no end to applications from dis- 
tressed fiirmers, aged poor, benefit 
societies, and poachers he had throvm 
out of employment by giving up his 
preserves to please his tenants. 

Next, as a man of pleasure, the 
whole race of womankind had legiti- 
mate demands on him. From a dis- 
tressed duchess, whose picture lay 
perd/a under a secret spring of his 
snuff-box, to a decayed laundress, to 
whom he might have paid a compli- 
ment on the perfect involutions of a 
frill, it was quite sufficient to be a 
daughter of Eve to establish a just 
daim on Sir Sedley's inheritance 
from Adam. 

Again, as an amateur of art» and a 
respectfrd servant of every muse, all 
whom the public had fiuled to patro- 
nise — painter, actor, poet, musician^ 
turned, like dying sun-flowers to the 
sun, towards the pitying smile of Sir 
Sedley Beaudesert. Add to these the 
general miscellaneous multitude, who 
" had heard of Sir Sedley's high cha- 
racter for benevolence," and one may 
well suppose what a very costly repu- 
tation he had set up. In fiict, though 
Sir Sedley could not spend on what 
might fairly be called "himself," a 
fifth part (^ lus very handsome in* 
come, I have no doubt that he found 
it difficult to make both ends meet at 
the doseof the year. That he did scv 



A FAMILY PICTUEB. 



109 



lie owed perhaps to two rnles which 
his philosophy had peremptorily 
adopted. He never made dehts, and 
he never gamhled. For hoth these 
admirable aberrations from the or- 
dinary routine of fine gentlemen, I 
believe he was indebted to the soft- 
. ness of his ctisposition. He had a 
~ great compasdon for a wretch who 
\, was dunned. "Poor fellow!" he 
I would say, " it must be so painiul to 
I him to pass his life in saying No." So 
little did he know about that dass of 
promisers, — as if a man dunned ever 
said No. As Beau Brummell, when 
asked if he was fond of vegetables, 
owned that he had once eat a pea, 
■0 Sir Sedley Beaudesert, owned that 
he had once played high at piquet. 
** I was so unlucky as to win," said 
he, referring to that indiscretion, 
''and I shall never forget the anguish 
on the fkce of the man who paid 
me. Unless I could always lose, it 
would be a perfect purgatory to 
play." 

Now nothing could be more dif- 
ferent in their kinds of benevolence 
than Sir Sedley and Mr. Trevanion. 
Mr. Trevanion had a great contempt 
for individual charity. He rarely put 
his hand into his purse — ^he drew a 
great cheque on his bankers. Was a 
congregation without a church, or a 
village without a school, or a river 
without a bridge, Mr. Trevanion set 
to work on calculations, found out the 
exact sum required by an algebraic 
X — y, and paid it as he would have 
paid his hutcher. It must be owned 
that the distress of a man, whom he 
allowed to be deserving, did not ap- 
peal to him in vain. But it is as- 
tonishing how little he spent in that 
way. For it was hard, indeed, to con- 
vince Mr. Trevanion that a deserving 
man ever was in such distress as to 
want charity. 

Tliat Trevanion, nevertheless, did 
bfinitely aioro real good than Sir 



Sedley, I believe; hut he did it as a 
mental operation — ^by no means as an 
impulse from the heart. I am sorry 
to say that the main difference was 
this, — distress always seemed to ac« 
cumulate round Sir Sedley, and vanish 
from the presence ofTrevanion. Where 
the last came, with his busy, active, 
searching mind, energy woke, im- 
provement sprang up. Where the 
first came, with his warm kind hearty 
a kind of torpor spread under its rays; 
people lay down and basked in the 
liberal sunshine. Nature in one broke 
forth like a brisk sturdy winter, in the 
other like a lazy Italian summer. 
Winter is an excellent invigorator, 
no doubt, but we all love summer 
better. 

Now, it is a proof how lovable Sir 
Sedley was, that I loved him, and 
yet was jealous of him. Of all the 
satellites round my fair Cynthia, 
Fanny Trevanion, I dreaded most 
this amiable luminary. It was in vain 
for me to say with the insolence of 
youth that Sir Sedley Beaudesert 
was of the same age as Fanny's 
Mher; — to see them together, he 
might have passed for lYevanion's 
son. No one amongst the younger 
generation was half so handsome aa 
Sedley Beaudesert. He might be 
eclipsed at first sight by the showy 
effect of more redundant locks and 
more brilliant bloom. But he had but 
to speak, to smile, in order to throw a 
whole cohort of dandies into the 
shade. It was the expresmon of his 
countenance that was so bewitching; 
there was something so kindly in its 
easy candour, its benign good-nature. 
And he understood women so well! 
He flattered their foibles so insensibly; 
he commanded their affection with so 
gradous a dignity. Above all, what 
with his accomplishments, his peculiar 
reputation, his long celibacy, and the 
soft melancholy of his sentiments, he 
always contrived to interest them. 



IM 



fiacAXToarot 



Hun mM soft Affatnaing ^vodmh bgr 
wfaem this channiag man did not 
•eem ji»b on iiM point «f being 
oavgkt ! It WM like the wight of a 
splendid timit in a truufiarent ftreaBii, 
niliBg penavely to and ho yenr fly^ 
IB « wiU and a wont aort of way. 
SiMh a trout ! it would be a tboosand 
pi^es to leave }am, when evidently ao 
weUdiapowd! That troat» fiur maid, 
or gentle widow, woold have kq[it yon 
-^whipping the atream and dragging 
the fly-'-from monung to dewy eve. 
Certainly I don't wish wone to my 
Utterest foe of five-and-twenty than 
mob a rival aa Sedl^ Beaodeaert at 
aeven^and-forty. 

Fanny, indeed, perplexed me hor- 
ribly. Sometimes I fanded she liked 
me ; but the &ti<7 scarce thrilled me 
with delight before it vanished in the 
frost of a careless look* or the cold 
beam of a aarcaatic laugh. Sp<»led 
darling of the world as she was, she 
aeemed so innocent in her eroberant 
liappinesfl^ that one forgot all her 
£ralt8 in that atmosphere of joy which 
ahe difibsed around her. And, despite 
her pretty insolence, she had so kind 
a woman's heart below the snrihoe ! 
When she once saw that she had 
pained you, she was so soft, so winning, 
80 humble, tall she had healed the 
wound. But then, if she saw she had 
pleased you too much, the little witch 
was never easy till she had plagued 
you again. Aa heiress to so rich a 
fiithec, er rather perhaps mother, (for 
the fortune came from Lady Ellmor,) 
ahe was naturally sunounded with 
admirers not wholly disinterested. 
She did right to plague them — but 
Mx! Poor boy that I wai^ why 
should I seem more dinnterested than 
others! how should she perceive all 
that lay hid in my young deep heart? 



Was I took la all worlcDy pretanrfoBtr 
the least wwthy of her admirera, and 
might I not aeem, therefore, the moat 
meraenaiy ? I who never thought ol 
her fortune^ or if that thought did 
oome acroas mc^ it waa to make ma 
start and turn paleS And then it 
vanished at her first glance, asaghoat 
from the dawn. How hard it is to 
oonvinoe youth, that sees all the 
world of the ftiture before it, and 
covers that future with golden palace^ 
of the inequalities <^ lif e ! In my 
fontastic and sublime romance, I 
looked out into that Qreat Beyonc^ 
saw myself orator* atatesmaiy minigter^ 
ambassador — Heaven knowa what— 
laying laurels, which I mistook for 
rent-rolls, at Fanny's feet. 

Whatever Fanny might have dis* 
covered as to the state c^ my heart, it 
seemed an abyss not worth prying 
into by either Trevanion or Lady 
Ellinor. The first, indeed, as may 
be su{^)osed« waa too busy to think al 
such trifles. And Lady Ellinor treated 
me aa a mere boy — almost like a boy 
ofher own, she was so kind to me. But 
she did not notice much the things 
that lay immediately around her. Li 
brilliant oonversatiQn with poets, wlt% 
and statesmen — ^in qrmpathy with the 
toila of her husband — or proud 
schemes for his aggrandisement. Lady 
Ellinor lived a life of excitement. 
Those large eager shining eyes of her^ 
bright with some feverish discontent^ 
lodked fiur abroad as if for new worlds 
to conquer — the world at her feet 
escaped from her vision. She loved 
her daughter, she was prond of her, 
trusted in her with a superb repose— 
she did not watch over her. Lady 
Ellinor stood alone on a TnnnnfAin^ and 
amidst a doud. 



A FAtflLY PICTITBE. 



lU 



CHAFTEB IL 



OsB day tlie Trevtaions bad all 
gfme into &e oocmtry^ on a visit to a 
retired miniflt«i:^ difitaatly related to 
Lady £2Ui]ior, and who was one of the 
few persons Trevanion himself conde- 
scended to consults I had atotost a 
holiday. I went to call on Sir Sedky 
•Beaadeiiert. I had always long^ to 
aound him on one subject^ and had 
never dared^ Tim time I rescdved to 
pluck up oomvge. 

''Ah^ my young friend P said he, 
risiBg from the oontemplati(» of a 
viUanons picture l^ a yovaag artist, 
which he had just henevolenaly pur- 
chased, " I was tlunking of you tbis 
mormng.— ^ Wait a mefmeat, Summers 
{this to the Yalet)^ Be so good as to 
take iiiis picture^ let it be packed up 
and go down into the ixmstty . It is 
a sort of inctfore," he adde<|> taming 
to me, " that reqinres a large hoosa. 
I have an old galloy with little oas»> 
ments that let in no light. It Is 
astonishmg how conyeaient I have 
found itl" As soon as the piotore 
was gone^ Sir Sedley drew a long 
hreeAh^ as if relieved j ^nd resuned 
more gaily— 

"Yes, I WBS thii^nag of yoti; and 
if you will forgive any interference in 
your affiurs^-from yoar lather's (dd 
friend — I should be greatly honoured 
by your permissioB to adc Trevamon 
whfUb he suiqposes is to be the «dti- 
mate benefit of the horrible -laboun 
he inflicts upon you"—* 

«But^ B^ dear Sir Sedl^, I like 
the labours; I am perfectly ^xstt- 
tented"— , 

''Not to remain always seoretacy 
to one who, if there were no ^business 
to be done among men» would set 
about teaching the ants to buUd hiUs 
vgoa better arelnt«ctaral pnncq^les! 



My dear rir, Trei«iiion is an awAd 
man, a stupendous nan->— one eatokm 
foHfftte if one is in the sane room 
with htm three miBUtes! At your 
age, an age that oogfat to be so hat^," 
continoed ^r Sedley, wil^ a compa»- 
sion perfectly ang^lio, " it is sad to 
see ss little enjoyment !" 

''But, Sir Sedley, I assure ym, 
that you are mistakea. I thoroughly 
eigoy myself; and have I ndt heard 
even you confess that one may be idle 
and not haj^y ?** 

"I did not confess that till I was 
on the wrong side of forty!" said Sit 
Sedley with a slight diade on his 
brow. 

"Nobody would ever think yott 
were on the wrong edde of feH^l'* 
said I with artM flatterT^ winding 
into my salgeot* "lldies Ttevtaaat 
feriBstaaoe?"-*^ 

I paosed. S^ Se^ey looked havd 
at me^ fron his bright daik-Un* 
eye«^ "Well, Miss Trevankm ifor 
instanoe?"-^ 

"Miss IVevatnoB^ who has aH tfaa 
best-looking feUows in London round 
her evidentiy prefers you to any of 
them." 

I said this with a great galp. I 
was obstinately bent on plumbing the 
depth of my own fears. 

Sir Sedley rose; he lud his hand 
kindly on mine, and said, "Do lot 
let Fanny Trevanion torment yon evan 
more than her fether does!-^'-**''* 

"I don't nndfirstand yoi^ Sir 
,1** 

But if I understand you, that is 
m<»e to the pwrpesd* A girl like Miss : 
Trevanion is cruel taU ^e discovers 
she has a heart. Itisnot safe to ride 
one's own with any woman tUl ^e 
hteceagedtobeao oq iiittei My dear. 



(( 



.133 



THE CAXTONS:' 



young fiiend, if yoa took life less in 
earnest, I should spare you the pam 
of these hints. Some men sow flowers, 
some plant trees — you are planting a 
tree xmder which you will soon find 
that no flower will grow. Well and 
good, if the tree could last to bear 
fruit and give shade ; but beware lest 
you have to tear it up one day or 
other; for then — what then? why 
you will find your whole life plucked 
ftway with its roots V* 

Sir Sedley said these last words 
with so serious an emphasis, that I 
was startled from the con^ion I had 
felt at the former part of his address. 
He paused long, tapped his snuff- 
box, inhaled a pinch slowly, and con- 
tinued, with his more accustomed 
iprightliness. 

" Gk> as much as you can into the 
world — again I say * enjoy yourself.' 
And again I ask, what is all this la- 
bour to do for you ? On some pen, 
fiff less eminent than Trevanion, it 
would impose a duty to aid you in 
a practical career, to secure yoa a 
public employment — ^not so on him. 
He would not mortgage an inch of his 
independence by asHng a favour from 
a minister. He so thinks occupation 
the delight of life, that he occupies 
you out of pure affection. He does 
not trouble his head about your future. 
He supposes your &ther will provide 
far thaty and does not consider that 
meanwhile your work leads to no- 
thing ! Think over all this. I have 
BOW bored you enough.^' 

I was bewildered — ^I was dumb: 
these practical men of the world, how 
they take us by surprise ! Here had 
I oome to 9ow»d Sir Sedley, and here 
was I plumbed, gauged, measured, 
turned inside out, without having got 
an inch beyond the surface of that 
smiling, dfbowiuiir, unruffled ease. 
Yet with his invariable delicacy, in 
fpite of all tins horrible frankness. Sir 
Sedley had not tufA a word to wound 



what he might think the more sensi 
tive part of my amowr propre — ^not a 
word as to the inadequacy of my prei 
tensions to think seriously of Fanny 
Trevanion. Had we been the Celadon 
and Chloe of a country village, he 
could not have regarded us as more 
equal^ so far as the world went. And 
for the rest, he rather insinuated that 
poor Fanny, the great heiress, was not 
worthy of me, than that I waa not 
worthy of Fanny. 

I felt that there was no wisdom in 
stammering and blushing out denials 
and equivocations ; so I stretched my 
hand to Sir Sedley, took up my hat^ 
—and went. Instinctively I bent my 
way to my father's house. I had not 
been there for many days. Not only 
had I had a great deal to do in the 
way of business, but I am ashamed to 
say that pleasure itself had so en^ 
tangled my leisure hours, and Miss 
Trevanion especially so absorbed them^ 
that, without even uneasy forebocUng^ 
I bad left my father fluttering his 
wings more feebly and feebly in the 
web of Uncle Jack. When I arrived 
in Bussell Street, I found the fly and 
the spider cheek-by-jowl together. 
Uncle Jack sprang up at my entrance^ 
and cried, " Congratulate your flEtther. 
Congratulate him J — ^no ; congratulate 
the world!'* 

« What, nnde !" said I, with a dis- 
mal effort at sympathiong liveliness^ 
" is the * Literary l^es* konched at 
last?" 

"Oh, that is allsettled— «ettled long 
since. Here's a specimen of the type 
we have chosen for the leaders." And 
Undo Jack, whose pocket was never 
without a wet sheet of some kind or 
other, drew fbrth a steaming papyral 
monster, which in point of size was to 
the political " Times" as a mammoth 
may be to an elephant. ** That is all 
settled. We are only preparing our 
contributors, and shall put out our 
programme next week or the week 



A IrAMlLY PICTURE. 



113 



after. No, Pisistratos, I mean the 
Great Work." 

" My dear father, I am so glad. 
What ! it is reaUy sold, then?" 

" Hum I" said my &tber. 

"Sold!" hurst forth Uncle Jack. 
•*Sold — no, sir, we would not sell 
ft ! No : if all the hooksellers feU 
down on their knees to us, as they 
will some day, that hook should not 
he sold ! Sir, that hook is a revolu- 
tion — it is an era — it is the eman- 
cipator of genius from mercenary 
thraldom ; — that book !" 

I looked inquiringly from uncle to 
fitther, and mentally retracted my 
congratulations. Then Mr. Caxton, 
slightly blushing, and shyly rubbing 
his spectacles, said, ''You see, Pisis- 
tratus, that though poor Jack has 
devoted uncommon pains to induce 
the publishers to recognise the merit 
he has discovered in the * History of 
Human Error,' he has failed to do so." 

"Not a bit of it ; they all acknow- 
ledge its miraculous learning — its — " 

" Very true ; hut they don't think 
it will sell, and therefore most selfishly 
refiise to buy it. One bookseller, in- 
deed, offered to treat for it if I would 
leave out all about the Hottentots and 
Caffres, the Greek philosophers and 
Egyptian priests, and confining myself 
solely to polite society, entitle the 
work 'Anecdotes of the Courts of 
Eiu'ope, ancient and modern.' " 

" The wretch !" groaned Uncle Jack. 
** Another thought it might be cut 
up into little essays, leaving out the 
quotations, entitled * Men and Man- 
ners.' A third was kind enough to 
observe, that though this particular 
work was quite imsaleable, yet, as I 
appeared to have soma historical in- 
formation, he should be happy to 
undertake a historical romance from 
*my graphic pen' — that was the 
phrase, was it not. Jack ?" 
Jack was too full to speak. 
•^-" Provided I would introduce a 
No. 340. 



proper love-plot, and make it into 
three volumes post octavo, twenty- 
three lines in a page, neither more 
nor less. One honest fellow at last 
was found, who seemed to me a very 
respectable and indeed enterprising 
person. And after going through a 
list of calculations, which showed that 
no possible profit could arise, he gene- 
rously offered to give me half of those 
no-profits, provided I would guarantee 
half the very visible expenses- I was 
just meditating the prudence of ac- 
cepting this proposal, when your uncle 
was seized with a sublime idea, which 
has whisked up my book in a whirl- 
wind of expectation." 

" And that idea ?" said I, despon- 
dently. 

"That idea," qiioth Uncle Jack, 
recovering himself, "is simply and 
shortly this. From time immemorial, 
authors have been the prey of the 
publishers. Sir, authors have lived in 
garrets, nay, have been choked in the 
street by an unexpected crumb of 
bread, like the man who. wrote the 
play, poor fellow !" 

" Otway," said my fether. " The 
story is not true — no matter." 

" Milton, sir, as everybody laiows, 
sold Paradise Lost for ten pounds — 
ten pounds, sir ! In short, instances 
of a like nature arc too numerous to 
quote. But the booksellers, sir — they 
are leviathans — ^they roll in seas of 
gold. They subsist upon authors as 
vampires upon little children. But 
at last endurance has reached its 
limit — the fiat has gone forth — ^the 
tocsin of liberty has resounded — au- 
thors have burst their fetters. And 
we have just inaugurated the institu- 
tion of *The Grand ANXi-PrBLisHEE 
Confederate Authors' Society,' 
by which, Pisistratus — by which, mark 
yon, every author is to be his own 
publisher j that is, every author who 
joins the Society. No more submis- 
sion of immortal works to mercenary 
T. 8 



114 



THE CAXTONS: 



calcnlaton, to sordid tastes— -no more 
hard bargaiiis and broken hearts ! — 
no more crumbs of bread choking 
great tragic poets in the streets — 
no more Paradises Lost sold at £10 
apiece ! The author brings his book 
to a select oonunittee appointed for 
the purpose ; men of delicacy, educa- 
tion, and refinement — authors them- 
selves; they read it, the Society 
publish; and after a modest deduction, 
which goes toward the funds of the 
Society, the Treasurer hands over the 
profits to the author." 

** So that in fact. Uncle, every au- 
thor who can't find a publisher any- 
where else, will of course come to the 
Society. The fraternity will be nu- 
merous.** 

« It will mdeed.** 

And the speculation — ^ruinous." 

BuinouB, why ?" 

Because, in all mercantile nego- 
tiations, it is ruinous to invest capital 
in supplies which fail of demand. Yoa 
imdertake to publish books that book- 
sellers will not publish — why ? be- 
cause Ixxjksellers can't sell them ! It 
is ju8t probable that you'll not sell 
them any better than the booksellers. 
Ergo, the more your business the 
larger your deficit. And the more 
numerous your society, the more dis- 
astrous your condition. Q.E.D.'* 

" Pooh ! The select committee 
will decide what books are to be pub- 
lished." 

" Then, where the deuce 's the ad- 
vantage to the authors \ I would as 



ft 



« 



ft 



lief submit my work to a publisher ai 
I would to a select committee of au- 
thors. At all events, the publisher is 
not my rival; and I suspect he is the 
best judge, after aU, of a book — as an 
aoooncheur ought to be of a baby." 

" Upon my word, nephew, you pay 
a bad oompliment to your father's 
Great Work, which the booksellers 
will have notiiing to do with." 

That was ard^ly said, and I was 
posed; when Mr. Carton observed^ 
with an apologetic smile — 

*' The fact is^ my dear Pisistratua^ 
that I want my book published with- 
out diminishing the little fortune I 
keep for you some day. Uncle Jack 
starts a sodety sotopublishit. — Health 
and long lifb to Uncle Jack's society ! 
One can't look a gift horse in the 
mouth." 

Here my mother entered, rosy from 
a shopping expedition with Mrs. 
Primmins ; and in her joy at hearing 
that I onild stay dinner, all else was 
fbrgotten. By a wonder, which I did 
not regret, Unde Jack really was 
engaged to dine out. He had other 
hxms in the ire berides the ** Literary 
Times" and the "Confederate Authors' 
Society;" he was deep in a scheme 
for maldng house-tops of felt, (which, 
under other hands, has, I believe, since 
succeeded;) and he had found a rich 
man (I suppose a hatter) who seemed 
well inclined to the project, and had 
actually asked him to dine and ex- 
pound his views. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



US 



CHAPTER ni. 



HSBB we tliree are seated ronnd 
the open window — after dinner — 
familiar as 'in the old happy time — 
and my mother is talking low that 
she may not disturb my &ther^ who 
seems in thonght.— 

Cr-cr-crrr-cr-cr ! I feel it — ^I have 
it. — Where ! What ! Where ! 
Knock it down — brush it off! For 
Heaven's sake, see to it! — Crrrr- 
crrrrr — there — ^here — ^m my hair— in 
my sleeve — ^in my ear. — Cr-cr. 

I say solemnly, and on the word of 
a Christian, that, as I sat do¥m to 
begin this chapter, being somewhat In 
a brown study, the pen insensibly 
slipt from my hand, and, leamng back 
in my chair, I fell to gazing into the 
fire. It is the end of June, and a 
remarkably cold evening — even for 
that time of year. And while I was 
80 gazing, I felt something crawling, 
just by the nape of the neck, ma*am. 
Instinctively and mechanically, and 
still musing, I put my hand there, 
and drew forth— What ? That what 
'*t is which perplexes me. It was a 
thing — ^a dark thing — a much bigger 
thing than I had expected. And the 
sight took me so by surprise, that I 
gave my hand a violent shake, and 
the thing went — ^where I know not. 
The what and the where are the 
knotty points in the whole question ! 
Ko sooner had it gone than I was 
sdzed with repentance not to have 
examined it more closely — not to 
have nscertained what the creature 
was. It might have been an earwig 
*-« Tory large motherly earwig — an 
earwig fax gone in that way in which 
earwigs wish to be who love their 
lordB. I have a profound horror of 
earwigs-^I firmly believe that they 
do get into the ear. That u a lub- 



ject on which it Is useless to argue 
with me upon pMlosophical grounds. 
I have a vivid recollection of a story 
told me by Mrs. Primmins — How a 
lady for many years suffered under 
the most excruciating headaches; how, 
as the tombstones say, ''physicians 
were in vain;" how she died; and 
how her head was opened, and how 
such a nest of earwigs — ^ma'am — such 
a nest ! — Earwigs are the prolifickest 
things, and so fond of their off:$pring \ 
They sit on their eggs like hens — and 
the young, as soon as they are bom^ 
creep imder them for protection^ 
quite touchingly! Imagine such an 
establishment domesticated at one's 
tympanum ! 

But the creature was certainly 
larger than an earwig. It might 
have been one of that genus in the 
family of ForficulidcB, called Labi' 
doura — monsters whose antennae have 
thirty joints ! There is a spedes ot 
this creature in England, but to the 
great grief of naturalists^ and to the 
great honour of Providence, very 
rarely found, infinitely larger than 
the common earwig or Forficulida 
auriculana. Could it have been an 
early hornet? It had certainly a 
black head, and great feelers. I have 
a greater horror of hornets, if pos- 
sible, than I have of earwigs. Two 
hornets will kill a man, and three a 
carriage-horse sixteen hands high* 
However, the creature was gone.— 
Tes, but where ? Where had I so 
rashly thrown it? It might have 
got into a fold of my dresfdng-gown 
or into my slippers — or, in diorty 
anywhere, in the various recesses for 
earwigs and homete which a gentle- 
man's habiliments affi)rd. I satisfy 
myself at last, af fiur af I esax, seeing 

Id 



116 



THE CAXTONSi 



fhat I Am not alone in the room — 
Miat it is not upon me. I look npon 
the carpet — the rug — the chair — 
under the fender. It ia non woentus, 
I barbarously hope it is frizzing be- 
hind that great black coal in the 
grate. I pluck up courage — I pru- 
dently remove to the other end of 
the room. I take up my pen — I be- 
gin my chapter— very nicely, too, I 
think upon the whole. I am just 
getting into my subject^ when— cr-cr- 
cr-cr-cr — crawl — crawl — crawl — 
ereep— creep — creep. Exactly, my 
dear ma'am, in the same place it 
was before ! Oh, by the Powers ! I 
forgot aU my scientific regrets at not 
having scrutinised its genus before, 
whether Forficulida or Labidoura, 
I made a desperate lunge with both 
hands — something between thrust 
and cut, ma'am. The beast is gone. 
Yes, but again where ? I say that 
that where is a very horrible question. 
Having come twice, in spite of all 
my precautions — and exactly on the 
same spot, too — it shows a confirmed 
disposition to habituate itself to its 
quarters — ^to effect a parochial set- 
tlement upon me ; there is something 
awful and preternatural in it. I as- 
sure you that there is not a part of 
me that has not gone cr-cr-cr ! — ^that 
has not crept, crawled, and forficu- 
lated ever since ; and I put it to you 
what sort of a chapter I can miake | 



after such a—My good little gprl, 
will you just take the candle, and 
look carefully under the table? — 
that's a dear ! Yes, my love, very 
black indeed, with two horns, and 
inclined to be corpulent. Gentbmea 
and ladies who have cultivated aa 
acquaintance with the 'Phoenician 
language, are aware that Belzebub, 
examined etymologically and entomo- 
logically, is nothing more nor less 
than Baalzebub — "the Jupiter-fly'' 
— an emblem of the Destroying At- 
tribute, which attribute, indeed, is 
found in all the insect tribes more or 
less. Wherefore, as Mr. Payne 
Knight, in his Inquiry into Symbo* 
liccU Languages, hath observed, the 
Egyptian priests shaved their whole 
bodies, even to their eyebrows, lest 
unaware they should harbour any of 
the minor Zebnbs of the great BaaL 
If I were the least bit more per- 
suaded that that black cr-cr were 
about me still; and that the sacrifice 
of my eyebrows would deprive him 
of shelter, by the souls of the Ptole- 
mies ! I would, — and I will too. 
Ring the bell, my little dear ! John, 
my — ^my cigar-box ! There is not a 
cr in tiie world that can abide the 
fumes of the Havannah! Pshaw! 
sir, I am not the only man who lets 
his first thoughts upon cold steel end, 
like this chapter, in-— Pff— pff-« 



A FAMILY PICTUEE. 



117 



CHAPTER IV. 



ETEBYTHirra in this world is of 
use, even a black thing crawling over 
tbe nape of one's neck ! Grim nn- 
knowu! I shall make of thee— a 
simile ! 

I think, ma'am, yon will allow 
t^at if an incident such as I have de- 
scribed had befallen yourself and you 
had a proper and lady -like horror of 
earwigs, (however motherly and fond 
of their offspring,) and also of early 
hornets, — and hideed of all unknown, 
things of the insect tribe with black 
h6ads and two great horns, or feelers, 
or forceps, jnst by your ear — I think, 
ma'am, you will allow that you would 
find it difficult to settle bad: to your 
former pladdity of mood and inno- 
cent stitch- work. Ton would feel a 
ibmething that grated on your nerves 
•^-and <a^d-cr*d " all over you like," 
as the children say. And the worst 
is, that you would be ashamed to say 
it. You would feel obliged to k)ok 
pleased and join in the conversation, 
and not fidget too much, nor always 
he shaking your flounces, and looking 
into a dark comer of your apron. 
Thus it is with many other things in 
life besides Uack insects. Osae has a 
secret caxe — an abstraction-— a some- 
thing between the memory and the 
feeling, of a dark crawling a, which 
ooe has never dared to aualyse. So 
I sat by my mother, trying to smile 
and taU: as in the old thns^— but 
longing to more aboat and look 
aroond, and escape to my own floli- 
tude, and take tbe ckfthes off my 
mind, and see what itwms that had so 
troubled and terrified me — fiar tnmble 
and terror were upon me. And my 
mother, who was always (heaven bkss 
her!) inquisitive enough in aU tiiat 
owicerned her darling AraduaDisixiy 



was especially inquiintive that evening. 
She made me say where I had been, 
and what I had done, and how I had 
spent my time, — ^and Fanny Treva- 
nion, (whom die had seen, by the 
way, three or four times, and whom 
she thought the prettiest person in 
t^e world) — oh, she must know ex- 
actly what I thought of Fanny Tre- 
vanion! 

And all this while my ^Either 
seeoied in thought ; and so, with my 
arm over my mother's chair, and my 
hand in hers, I answered my mother's 
questions — sometimes by a stammer, 
sometimes by a violent effort at volu- 
bility; when at some interrogatory 
that went tingling right to my heart, 
I turned uneasily, and there were my 
father's eyes fixed on mine. Fixed as 
they had been — when, and none knew 
why, I pined and languished, and my. 
^Either said "he must go to«chool.'' 
Fixed, with quiet watchM tender* 
ness. Ah no !-^his thoughts had not 
been on the Great Work-— he had 
been deep in the pages of that less 
worthy one for which he had yet 
more an author's paternal care. I met 
those eyes, and yearned to throw my* 
self on his heart-— and tell him alL 
Tdl him what ? Ma'am, I no more 
knew what to tell him, than i know 
what that black thing was which ha& 
so woiried me all this blessed even- 
ing! 

« Pifflstratus,** said my father softly, 
" I fear yon lucve forgotten the safiOron 
hag." 

"No^ indeed, tar," saad I smilmg. 

**He," resumed my father, — ^**he 
who wean the safifron bag has more 
cheerfiiiy settled spirits than yon seem 
to have^ my poor boy." 

^Kydaar Austin, his sptriti an 



318 



THE CAXTONS: 



Tery good, I tliiiik,'* said my mother 
anxioiuly. 

My father skook his head — then 
he took two or three turns about the 
room. 

*<ShaIl I ring for candles, fflr? It 
IS getting dark: you will wish to 
read?" 

"No, Fisistratufl^ it is yon who 
shall read, and this hour of twilight 
best suits the bode I am about to 
open to you." 

So saying, he drew a chair between 
me and my mother, and seated himself 



gravely, looking down a long time in 
silence — thsa turning his eyes to each 
of us alternately. 

** My dear wife," etad he, at length, 
almost solemnly, **! am going to 
speak of myself as I was before I 
knew yofu." 

Even in the twilight I saw that 
my mother^s countenance changed. 

"Yon have respected my secrets^ 
Eatherine, tenderly — honestly. Now 
the time is come when I can tell them 
to you and to our son.' 



» 



CfiAPTEB V. 



HT VATHSB'S TIBST LOT& 



••IXOST my mother early; my 
&ther (a good man, but who was so 
indolent that he rarely stured from 
his chain and who often passed whole 
days without speaking, like an Indian 
dervish) left Boland and myself to 
educate ourselves much according to 
our own tastes. Roland shot, and 
hunted, and fished, — read all the 
poetry and books of chivalry to be 
found in my father's collection, which 
was rich in such matters, and made a 
great many copies of the old pedi- 
gree } — ^the only thing in which my 
father ever evinced much vital inter- 
est. Early in life I conceived a pas- 
sion for graver studies, and by good 
luck I foimd a tutor in Mr. Tibbets, 
who, but for his modesty, Kitty, 
would have rivalled Forson. He was 
a second Budseud for industry, and by 
the way, he said exactly the same 
thing that Budssus did, viz. 'that 
the only lost day in his lifb was that 
in which he was married ; for on that 
day he had only had nx hours fbr 



reading!' Under fluch a master I 
could not fall to be a scholar. I came 
from the nniversity with such distinc- 
tion as led me to look sanguinely on 
my career in the world. 

" I returned to my father's quiet 
rectory to pause and oonader what 
path I should take to feme. The rec- 
tory was just at the feot of the hill, 
on the brow of which were the ruins 
of the castle Boland has since pur» 
chased. And though I did not feel 
for the ruins the same romantic vene* 
ration as my dear brother (for, my 
day-dreams were more cokMired by 
classic than fieudal recollections,) I yet 
loved to climb the hill, book in hand, 
and built my castles in the air amidst 
the wrecks of that which tinoe had 
shattered on the earth. 

" One day, entering the old weed- 
grown courts I saw a lady seated on 
my &vourite spot, sketching the ruins. 
The lady was youngs — ^more beautiful 
than any woman I had yet seen, at 
least to my ^ea. In a word, I was 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



119 



&9CuiatGd, and, as the trite phrase 
goes, 'spell-bound.' I seated myself 
at a little distance, and contemplated 
her withont desiring to speak. By 
and by, from another part of the 
rains, which wwe then nninhabited, 
came a tall, imposing, elderly gentle- 
man, with a benignant aspect ; and a 
little dog. The dog ran up to me 
barking. This drew the attention of 
both lady and gentleman to me. The 
gentleman approached, called off the 
dog, and apologised with mnch polite- 
ness. Surveying me somewhat cu- 
riously, he th^i began to ask ques- 
tions about the old place and the fa- 
mily it had belonged to^ with the 
name and antecedents of which he was 
well acquainted. By degrees it came 
out that I was the descendant of that 
family, and the younger son of the 
humble rector who was now its repre- 
sentative. The gentleman then in- 
troduced himself to me as the Earl of 
Kainsforth, the principal proprietor in 
the neighbourhood, but who had so 
rarely visited the county during my 
diildhood and earlier youth that I 
had never before seen hhn. His only 
son, however, a young man of great 
promise, had been at the same college 
with me in my first year at the uni- 
versity. The young lord was a read- 
ing man and a scholar ; and we had 
become slightly acquainted when he 
left for his travds. 

''Now, on hearing my name. Lord 
Bainsforth took my hand cordially, 
and, leading me to his daughter, said, 
* Think, Ellinor, how fortunate! — this 
is the Mr. Cazton whom your brother 
80 often spoke o£' 

** In short, my dear Pisistratus, the 
ice was brdcen, the acquaintance 
made, and Lord Rainsforth, saying he 
was come to atone for his long ab- 
sence from the county, and to reside 
at Compton the greater part of; 
the year, pressed me to visit him. 
I did so. Lord Bainsforth's liking 



to me increased: I went there 
often." 

My fiither paused, and seeing my 
mother had fixed her eyes upon him 
with a sort of mournful earnestness, 
and had pressed her hands very tightly 
together, he bent down and kissed her 
forehead. 

"There is no cause, my child!" 
said he. It was tne only time I ever 
heard him address my mother so pa- 
rentally. But th<m I never heard 
him before so grave and solemn — ^uot 
a quotation, too — it was incredible : it 
was not my fati.er speaking, it was 
another man. "Yes, I went there 
often. XiOrd Kainsforth was a re- 
markable person. Shyness, that was 
wholly without pride, (which is rare,) 
and a love for quiet literary pursuits, 
had prevented his taking that per- 
sonal part in public life for which he 
was richly qualified ; but his reputa- 
tion for sense and honour, and his 
personal popularity, had given him no 
inconsiderable influence even, I be- 
lieve, in the formation of cabinets, 
and he had once been prevailed upon 
to fill a high diplomatic situation 
abroad, in which I have no doubt that 
he was as miserable as a good man 
can be xmder any infliction. He was 
now pleased to retire from the world, 
and look at it through the loopholes 
of retreat. Lord Kainsforth had a 
great respect for talent, and a warm in- 
terest in such of the young as seemed 
to him to possess it. By talent, in- 
deed, his family had risen, and were 
strikingly characterised. His an- 
cestor, the first peer, had been a 
distinguished lawyer; his fiither had 
been celebi^atcd for scientific attain- 
ments; his children, Ellinor and 
Lord Pendarvis, were highly ac- 
complished. Thus the family iden- 
tified themselves with the aristo- 
cracy 9f intellect, and seemed un- 
conscious of their claims to the 
lower aristocracy of rank. You must 



120 



THE CAXTONS : 



bear this in mind throughout my 
Btory. 

" Lady ElUnor shared her father's 
tastes and habits of thoug^ht — (she 
^vas not then an heiress.) Lord 
Rainsforth talked to me of my ca- 
reer. It was a time when the French 
Kevohition had made statesmen look 
round with some anxiety to strengthen 
the existimr order of things, by al- 
liance with 'Ml in the rising generation 
who evinced such ability as might in- 
fluence their contemporaries. 

^ University distinction is, or was 
formerly, among the popular pass- 
ports to public lite. By degrees, Lord 
Kainsforth liked me so well as to 
suggest to me a seat in the House of 
Commons. A member of Parliament 
might rise to anything, and Lord 
Kainsforth had sufficient influence to 
effect my return. Dazzling pros- 
pect this to a young scholar fresh 
from Thucydides, and with Demos- 
thenes fresh at his tongue's end. My 
dear boy, I was not then, you see, 
quite what I am now ; in a word, I 
loved Ellinor Compton, and therefore 
I waA ambitious. You know how 
ambitious she is still. But I could 
not mould my ambition to hers. I 
could not contemplate entering the 
senate of my country as a dependent 
on a party or a patron — as a man who 
must make his fortune there — as a 
man who, in every vote, must con- 
sider how much nearer he advanced 
himself to emolument. I was not 
even certun that Lord Bainsforth's 
views on politics were the same as 
mine would be. How could the poli- 
tics of an eiqperienced man of the 
world be those of an ardent young 
student ? But had they been identi- 
cal, I felt that I could not so creep into 
equality with a patron's daughter. 
No ! I was ready to abandon my own 
morescfaolastic predilections — tostnun 
every energy at the bar — to carve or 
force my own way to fortune — ^aud if 



I arrived at independence, then-^ 
what then ? why, the right to speak 
of love, and aim at power. This was 
not the view of Ellinor Compton. The 
law seemed to her a tedious, needless 
drudgery : there was nothing in it to 
captivate her imagination. She lis- 
tened to me with that charm which 
she yet retains, and by which she 
seems to identify herself with those 
who speak to her. She would turn 
to me with a pleading look when her 
father dilated on the brilliant pros- 
pects of a parliamentary success ; for 
he (not having gained it, yet having 
lived with those who had) overvalued 
it, and seemed ever to wish to enjoy 
it through some other. But when I, 
in tuini, spoke of independence, of the 
bar, Ellinor's face grew overcast. The 
world — ^the world was with her, and 
the ambition of the world, which is 
always for power or effect ! A part of 
the house lay exposed to the east 
wind. 'Plant half-way down the 
hill,' said I one day. * Plant !' cried 
Lady Ellinor — *it will be twenty 
years before the trees grow up. No^ 
my dear father, build a wall, and 
cover It with creepers \* That was 
an illustration of her whole chai*acter. 
She could not wait till trees had time 
to grow; a dead wall would be so much 
more quickly thrown up, and para^ 
site creepers would give it a prettier 
effect. Nevertheless, she was a grand 
and noble creature. And I — ^in love! 
Not so discouraged as you may sup- 
pose; for Lord Rainsforth often 
hinted encouragement, which even I 
could scarcely misconstrue. Not car* 
ing for rank, and not wishing for 
fortufie beyond competence for his 
daughter, he saw in me all he re- 
quired — a gentleman of ancient birth, 
and one in whom his own active mind 
could prosecute that kind of mental 
ambition which overflowed in him, 
and yet had never had its vent. And 
Ellinor! — Heaven forbid 1 should say 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



121 



she loved me, — ^but something made 
me think she could do so. Under 
these notions, suppressing all mj 
hopes, I made a bold effort to master 
the influences round m^ and to adopt 
that career I thought worthiest of 
us all. I went to London to read for 
the bar/' 

"The bar! is it possible ?" cried L 
Hy father smiled sadly. 

** Everything seemed posdbleto me 
then. I read some months. I began 
to see my way even in that short 
time; beg^an to comprehend what 
would be the difficulties before me, 
and to feel there was that within me 
which could master them. I took a 
holiday and returned to Cumberland. 
I found Roland there on my return. 
Always of a roving, adventurous tem- 
per, though he had not then entered 
the army, be had, for more than two 
years, been wandering over Great 
Britun and Ireland on foot. It was 
a young knight-errant whom I em- 
braced, and who overwhelmed me 
with reproaches that I should be 
leadmg for the law. There had 
never been a lawyer In ^be ftmily 1 
It was abont that time, I thisk, t^at 
I petrified him with the discovery of 
tiie pdbiterl I knew not esactly 



wherefore, whether from jealousy, 
fear, foreboding — ^but it certainly was 
a pain that seized me — when I learned 
from Roland that he had become inti- 
mate at Compton Hall. Roland and 
Lord Rainsforth had met at the house 
of a neighbouring gentleman, and 
Lord Rainsforth had welcomed his 
acquaintance, at first, perhaps, for 
my sake, afterwards for his own. 

" I could not for the life of me,** 
eonlanued my &ther, "ask Roland if 
he admired EUinor ; but when I found 
that he did not put that question to 
me, I trembled ! 

*'We went to Compton together, 
speaking little by the way. We stayed 
there some days." 

My fiither here thrust his hand 
into his waistcoat— all men have their 
little ways, which denote much ; and 
when my father thrust his hand into 
his waistcoat, it was always a sign of 
some mental efibrt — ^he was gcnng to 
prove, or to argue^ to moralise, or to 
preach. Therefore, though I was 
listening before with all my ears, I 
believe I had, speaking n^iagnetically 
and mesmerically> an extra pair of 
ears, a new sense supplied to me^ 
when my fiither pat his htatA into his 
waistcoa t . 



193 



THE CAXTONS: 



CHAPTER VI. 



^ITHSBEIir VY VATHEB 00KTIVUE8 HIS 8T0BT. 



^'Thebb is not a mystical creation, 
type, symbol, or poetical invention for 
meanings abstmse, recondite, and in- 
comprehensible, which is not repre- 
sented by the female gender," said my 
father, having his hand quite buried 
in his wtustcoat. '* For instance, the 
Sphynx and Isis, whose veil no man 
had ever lifted, were both ladles, 
Kitty ! And so was Persephone, who 
must be always either in heaven or 
hell — and Hecate, who was one thing 
by night and another by day. The 
Sibyls were females ; and so were the 
Gorgons, the Harpies, the Furies, the 
Fates, and the Teutonic Valkyrs, 
Normes, and Hela herself: in short, 
all representations of ideas, obscure, 
inscrutable, and portentous, are nouns 
feminine." 

Heaven bless my father ! Augus- 
tine Caxton was himself again! I 
began to fear that the story had 
slipped away from him, lost in that 
labyrinth of learning. But, luckily, 
88 he paui^ for breath, his look fell 
on those limpid blue eyes of my mo- 
ther's, and that honest open brow of 
hers, which had certainly nothing in 
common with Sphynges, Fates, Furies, 
or Valkyrs; and, whether his heart 
smote him, or his reason made him 
own that he had fidlen into a very 
disingenuous and unsound train of 
assertion, I know not, but his front 
relaxed, and with a smile he resumed 
^^'* Ellinor was the last person in the 
world to deceive any one willingly. 
Bid she deceive me and Boland that 
we both, though not conceited men, 
fended that, if we had dared to speak 
openly of love, we had not lo dared in 



vain ? or do yon tlunk, Kitty, that a 
woman really can love (not much, 
perhaps, but somewhat) two or threes 
or half-a-dozen at a time ?** 

"Impossible!" cried my mother. 
" And as for this Lady Ellinor, I am 
shocked at her— I don't know what to 
caU it !" 

"Nor I either, my dear," said my 
father, slowly taking his hand from 
his waistcoat, as if the effort were too 
much for him, and the problem were 
insoluble. "But thisi, begging your 
pardon, I do tlunk, that before a 
young woman does really, truly, and 
cordially centre her affections on one 
object, she suffers &ncy, Imaginatioiu 
the desire of power, curiosity, or 
heaven knows what, to simulate even 
to her own mind, pale reflections of 
the luminary not yet risen — parhelia 
that precede the sun. Don't judge of 
Boland as you see him now, Piisistra- 
tus — grim, and grey, and formal; 
imagine a nature soaring high amongst 
daring thoughts, or exuberant with 
the nameless poetry of youthful life 
— ^with a frame matchless for bound- 
ing elasticity — an eye bright with 
haughty lire — a heart from which 
noble sentiments sprang like sparks 
from an anvil. Lady Ellinor had an 
ardent, inquisitive imagination. This 
bold fiery nature must have moved 
her interest. On the other hand, she 
had an instructed, full, and eager 
mind. Am I vain if I say, now after 
the lapse of so many years, that in 
my mind her intellect felt compaoioii- 
ship? When a woman loves, and 
marries, and settles, why then she be- 
comes—A one wholes a completed 



A FAMILT PICTUBE. 



123 



bnng. But a girl Hke Ellinor has in 
her many women. Various herself, 
all varieties please her. I do believe 
that, if either of us had spoken the 
word boldly. Lady Ellinor would have 
shrunk back to her own heart — ex- 
amined it, tasked it, and g^ven a 
frank and generous answer. And he 
who had spoken first might have had 
the better chance not to receive a 
'No.' But neither of us spoke. And 
perhaps she was rather curious to 
know if she had made an impression, 
tiian anxious to create it. It was not 
that she willingly deceiv.ed us, but her 
whole atmosphere was delusion. Mists 
come before the sunrise. However 
this be, Boland and I were not long 
in detecting each other. And hence 
arose, first coldness, then jealousy, 
then quarrel.'' 

''Oh, my fiither, your love must 
have been indeed powerful, to have 
made a breach between the hearts of 
two such brothers !" 

"Yes," said my fieither; "it was 
amidst the old ruins of the cs)stle, 
there, where I had first seen Ellinor 
— that, winding my arm roimd 
Itoland's neck, as I found him seated 
amongst the weeds* and stones, his 
face buried in his hands — it was there 
that I said — ' Brother, we both love 
this woman! My nature is the 
calmer of the two, I shall feel the 
loss less. Brother, shake hands, and 
God speed you, for I go I' " 

** Austin !" murmured my mother, 
sinking her head on my father's 
breast. 

"And therewith we quarrelled. 
For it was Roland who insisted, while 
the tears rolled down his eyes, and he 
stamped his foot on the ground, that 
he was the intruder, the interloper — 
that he had no hope — ^that he had 
been a fool and a madman — and that 
it was for him to go ! Now, while we 
were disputing, and words began to 
run high, my Cither's old servant 



entered the desolate place, with a note 
from Lady Ellinor to me, asking for 
the loan of some book I had pndsed. 
Koland saw the handwriting, and 
while I turned the note over and over 
irresolutely, befidre I broke the seal, 
he vanished. 

" He did not return to my father's 
house. We did not know what had 
become of him. But I, thinking 
over that impulsive volcanic nature, 
took quick alarm. And I went la 
search of him ; came on his track at 
last ; and, after many days, found him 
in a miserable cottage amongst the 
most dreary of the dreary wastes 
which form so large a part of Cum* 
berland. He was so altered I scarcely 
knew him. To be brief, we came at 
last to a compromise. We would 
go back to Couipton. This suspense 
was intolerable. One of us at least 
should take courage and learn his 
fiite. But who should speak first? 
We drew lots, and the lot fell on 
me. 

"And now that I was really to 
pass the Rubicon, now that I was t«» 
impart that secret hope which had 
animated me so long — ^been to me a 
new life—what were my sensations ? 
My dear boy, depend on it that that 
age is the happiest, when such feel- 
ings as I felt then can agitate us no 
more. They are mistakes in the 
serene order of that majestic life 
which heaven meant for thoughtful 
man. Our souls should be as stars on 
earth, not as meteors and tortured 
comets. What eould I offer to Ellinor 
— ^to her father ? What but a future 
of patient labour? And in either 
answer, what alternative of misery !— 
myown existenceshattered, or Roland's 
noble heart ! 

" Well, we went to Compton. In 
our former visits we had been almost 
the only guests. Lord Rainsforth did 
not much afiect the intercourse of 
country squires, less educated then 



J 34 



THE CAXTONS: 



than now. And in excuse for Ellinor 
and fur us, we were almost the only 
men of our own age she had seen in 
that large dull house. But now the 
London season had broken np, the 
house was filled ; there was no longer 
that fEimiliar and constant approach to 
the mistress of the Hall, which had 
made ns like one family. Great ladies, 
fine people were round her; a look, a 
ffiuile^ a passing word were as much as 



I had a right to ex]pect. And the 
talk, too, how different! Before, I 
could speak on books, — I was at home 
there ! Boland could poor forth his 
dreams, his chivalrous love for the 
past, his bold defiance of the unknown 
future. And Ellinor, cultivated and 
fianciful, could sympathise with both. 
And her father, scholar and gentle- 
man, could i^mpathise too. But 



now—' 



p» 



CHAPTER VIL 



WEEBEIH HT Vi-TEOB BBINOB OUT HIB DElfOTTSKEyT. 



"It is no use in the world," said 
iny father, "to know all the lan- 
guages expounded in grammars and 
splintered up into lexicons, if we don't 
learn the language of the world. It 
is a talk apart» Kitty,'' cried my 
father, warming up. '' It is an ana- 
glyph — a spoken anaglyph, my dear! 
If all the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians 
had been A B C to you, still if you 
did not know the anaglyph, you 
would know nothing of the true mys- 
teries of the priests.* 

*' Neither Boland nor I knew one 
qrmbol letter of the anaglyph* Talk, 
talk — ^talk on persona we never heard 
of, things we never cared for. All 
we thought of importanoe, puerile or 
pedantic trifles — all we thought so 
trite and childish, the grand momen- 
tous business of life i If you fibund a 
little schoolboy, on his half holiday, 
^hing for minnows with a crooked 
pin, and you began to teU him of all 
the wonden of the de^ the laws of 



* The uu^lyph was pecnliar to the Egyp- 
1i«ii priests— the faieroglypb generally known 
|0 tM wall ednmtecU 



the tide8,and the ante^uvian relics of 
iguanodon and ichthyosaurus — ^nay, if 
you spoke but of pearl fisheries, and 
coral banks, or water kelpies and 
naiad^ would not the little boy cry 
out peevishly, * Don't tease me with 
all that nonsense ! let me fish in peace 
for my minnows.' I think the little 
boy is right after his own way — it was 
to fish for minnows that he came ouf> 
poor child, not to hear about ig^ua- 
nodons and water-keljnes \ 

''So the company fished for min- 
nows, and not a word could we say 
about our pearl fisheries and coral 
banks ! And as for fishing for min- 
nows ourselves, my dear boy, we 
should have been less bewildered if 
you had asked us to fish for a mer- 
maid! Do you see, now, one reason 
why I have let you go thus early into 
the world ? Well, but amongst these 
minnow-fishers there was one who 
fished with an air that made the 
QunnowB look larger than salmons. 

^ Trevanion had been at Cambridge 
with me. We were even intimate. 
He was a young man like myself, with 
bis way to make in the world. Poor 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



125 



t8 I— of ft fiunily upon a par witU 
mine — old enough, but decayed. There 
was, however, this difference between 
ns. He had connexions in the great 
world — I had none. Like me, his 
chief pecuniary resource was a oollege 
fellowship. Now, Trevanion had es^ 
blished a high reputation at the XJni- 
versity ; but less as a scholar, though 
a pretty fair one, than as a man to 
rise in life. Every faculty he had 
was an energy. He aimed at every- 
thing — ^lost some things, gained others. 
He was a great speaker in a debating 
society, a member of some politico- 
economical club. He was an eternal 
talker — brilliant, various, paradoxical, 
Horid — different from what he is now. 
For, dreading fancy, his career since 
has been one effort to curb it. But 
all his mind attached it£elf to some- 
thing that we Englishmen call solid i 
it was a large mind — not, my dear 
Kitty, like a fine whale sailing through 
knowledge from the pleasure of ssdl- 
ing — but like a polypus, that puts 
forth all its feelers for the purpose of 
catching hold of something. Tre- 
vanion had gone at once to London 
from the University: his reputation 
and his talk dazzled his connexions, 
not unjustly. They made an effort-^ 
they got him into Parliament: he 
had spoken, he had succeeded. He 
came to Oompton in the flush of his 
virgin fame. I cannot convey to you 
who know him now— with his care- 
worn face, and abrupt dry manner,-— 
reduced by perpetual gladiatorship to 
the skin and bone of his former self-r 
what that man was when he first 
stepped into the arena of life. 

"You see^ my listeners, that you 
have to recollect that we middle-aged 
folks were young then — ^that is to say, 
we were as different from what we 
are now, as the green bough of sum- 
mer is from the dry wood, out of 
which we make a ship or a gate-post. 
Neither man nor wood comes to the 



uses of life till the green leaves are 
stripped and the sap gone. And then 
the uses of life transform us into 
strange things with other names : the 
tree is a tree no more— it is a gate or 
a ship ; the youth is a youth no more^ 
but a one-legged soldier; a hollow* 
eyed statesman; a scholar spectacled 
and slippered ! WhenMicyllus — (here 
the hand slides into the waistcoat 
again!) — ^when Micylius," said my 
&ther, "asked the cock that had 
once been Pythagoras,* if the afiOiir of 
Troy was really as Homer told it, the 
cock replied scornfully, ' How could 
Homer know anything about it? — > 
at that time he was a camel in Bac- 
tria.' Pisistratus, according to the 
doctrine of metempsychosis, you might 
have been a Bactrian camel — when 
that which to my life was the siege of 
Troy saw Roland and Trevanion be- 
fore the walls. 

" Handsome yon can see that Tre- 
vanion has been; but the beauty of 
his countenance then was in its per- 
petual play, its intellectual eagerness; 
and his conversation was so discursive, 
so various, so axumated, and above all, 
so full of the things of the day ! If 
he had been a priest of Serapis for 
fiftyyears, he could not have known 
the anaglyph better! Therefore he 
filled up every crevice and pore of 
that hollow society with his broken, 
inquisitive, petulant light. Therefore 
he was admired, talked of, listened to ; 
and everybody said, 'Trevanion is a 
rising man.' 

" Yet I did not do him then the 
justice I have done since — ^for we stu- 
dents and abstract thinkers are apt 
too much, in our first youth, to look 
tp the depth of a man's mind or 
knowledge, and not enough to the 
surface it may cover. There may be 
more water in a flowing stream, only 
four feet deep, and certainly more 



* LvouVf Tk» Dnam ^Mieglku, 



126 



THE CAXTONB. 



fbroe and more health, than in a sul- 
len pool, thirty yards to the hottom. 
I did not do Trevanion justice. I did 
not see how naturally he realized Lady 
Ellinor's ideal. I have siud that she 
was like many women in one. Tre- 
vanion was a thousand men in one. 
He had learning to please her mind, 
eloquence to dazzle her fancy, heauty 
to please her eye, reputation precisely 
of the kind to allure her vanity, 
honour and conscientious purpose to 
satisfy her judgment. And, ahove 
fill, he was amhitious. Amhitious not 
as I — not as Roland was, hut amhi- 
tious as EUinor was : ambitious, not 
to realize some grand ideal in the 
silent heaH, but to grasp the practi- 
cal positive substances that lay with- 
out. 

** Ellinor was a child of the gteat 
world, and so was he. 

" I saw not all this, nor did Bo- 
land; and Trevanion seemed to pay 
no particular court to Ellinor. 

** But the time approached when I 
ought to speak. The house began to 
tliin. Lord Bainsforth had leisure to 
resume his easy conferences with me; 
and one day, walking in his gar- 
den, he gave me the opportunity. 
For I need not say, Pisistratus," said 
my father, looking at me earnestly, 
** that before any man of honour, if of 
inferior worldly pretensions, will open 
his heart seriously to the daughter, it 
is his duty to speak first to the pa- 
rent, whose confidence has imposed 
that trust." I bowed my head, 
and coloured. 

" I know not how it was," con- 
tinuefl my father, '' but Lord Bains- 
forth turned the conversation on Elli- 
nor. After speaking of his expecta- 
tions in his son, who was returning 
home, he said, ^ But he will of course 
enter public life — ^will, I trust, soon 
marry, have a separate establishment, 
ftnd I shall see but little of him. My 
Ellinorl—- I cannot bear the thought 



of parting wholly with her. And 
that, to say the selfish truth, is one 
reason why I have never wished her to 
marry a rich man, and so leave me for 
ever« I coold hope that she will give 
herself to one who may be contented 
to vM&de at least great part of the 
year with me— who may bless me 
with another son; not steal from me 
a daughter. I do not mean that h« 
should waste his lif^ in the country ; 
his oocnpotioDs Woold probably lead 
him to London. I care not where 
my AoKM is — all I want is to keep my 
home. Yon know' (he addec^ with a 
smile that I thought meaning,) 'how 
often I have implied to you that I 
have no volgar ambition for Ellinor. 
Her portion must be very small, for 
my estate is fltrictly entailed, and I 
have lived too much np to my income 
all my life to hope to save much now. 
But het tastes do not reqoirie expense ; 
and while I live, St least, there need 
be no diange. She can only prefer a 
man whose talents, congenial to hers^ 
will win their own career, and ere I 
die that career may be made.' Lord 
Bainsforth paused; and then — ^how, 
in what words I know not— but out 
all burst!— 4ny long-suppressed, timid, 
anxious, doubtful, fearful love. The 
strange energy it had given to a na- 
ture till then so retiring and calm ! 
My recent devotion to the law — ^my 
confidence that, with such a prize I 
could succeed — ^it was but a transfer 
of labour from one study to another. 
Labour could conquer all tliini^s, and 
custom sweeten them in the conquest. 
The bar was a less brilliant career 
than the -senate. But the first aim 
of the poor man should be indepen- 
dence. In short, Hsistratus, wretched 
egotist that I was, I forgot Boland in 
that moment ; and I spoke as one who 
felt his life was in his words. 

"Lord Bainsforth looked at me, 
when I had done, with a countenance 
fall of afiection, but it was not cheerfoL 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



127 



*'My dear Caxton,' said he, tre- 
mnloiisly, * I own that I once wished 
thia — wished it from the hour I knew 
yoa; hut why did you so long — ^I 
never suspected that — ^nor, I am sure, 
did Elinor/ He stopped short, and 
added quickly — 'However, go and 
speak, as you have spoken to me, to 
£IIinar. Go^ it may not yet he too 
late. And yet — ^hut go.' 

"Too late ! — what meant those 
words ? Logrd Bainsforth had turned 
hastily down another walk, and left 
me alone^ to ponder over an answer 
which concealed a riddle. Slowly I 
took my way towards the house, and 
sought Lady EUinor, half hoping, 
balfdreading to find her alone. There 
was a little room communicating with 
a ooDservatory, where she usually sat 
in the morning. Thither I took my 
eoarse. 

"That room, I see it still! — the 
walls covered with pictures from her 
own handy many were sketches of the 
haonts we had visited together — ^the 
ample ornaments, womanly but not 
effeminate — ^the very books on the 
taUe^ that had been made familiar by 
dear associations. Yes; there, the 
Tatao in which we had read together 
the ejnsode of Clorinda — there, the 
JEschjfUu in which I translated to her 
the FrometJieui, Pedantries these 
might seem to some ; pedantries, per- 
haps, they were ; but they were proo& 
of that congeniality wMch had knit 
the man of books to the daughter of 
the world. That room, it was the 
home of my heart. Such, in my 
vanity of spirit, methought would be 
the air round a home to come. I 
looked about me, troubled and con- 
fused, and, halting timidly, I saw 
EUinor before me, leaning her fiice on 
her handy her cheek more flushed than 



usual, and tears in her eyes. I ap- 
proached in silence, and, as I drew my 
chair to the table, my eye fell on a 
glove on the floor. It was a man's 
glove. Do you know," said my &- 
ther, "that once, when I was very 
young, I saw a Butch picture called 
The Glove, and the subject was of 
murder. There was a weed-grown 
marshy pool, a desolate dismal land- 
scape, that of itself inspired thoughts 
of ill-deeds and tenor. And two men, 
as if walking by chance, came to thia 
pool ; the finger of one pointed to a 
blood-stained glove, and the eyes of 
both were fixed on each other, as if 
there were no need of words. That 
glove told its tale ! The picture had 
long haunted me in my boyhood, hut it 
never gave me so uneasy and fearful 
a feeling as did that real glove upon 
the floor. Why ? My dear Pisistra- 
tus, the theory of fbrebodings involves 
one of those questions on which we 
may ask 'why' for ever. More 
chilled than I had been in speaking to 
her fibither, I took heart at last, and 
spoke to EUinor" — 

My flkther stopped short, the moon 
had risen, and was shining fuU into 
the room and on his feuse. And by 
that light the feuse was changed; 
young emotions had brought back 
youth — ^my fiither looked a young 
man. But what pain was there ! If 
the. memory alone could raise what, 
after all, was but the ghost of sufiier- 
ing, what had been its Uving reaUty ! 
Involuntarily I seized his hand; my 
father pressed it convulsively, and 
said, with a deep breath — "It was too 
late; Trevanion was Lady EUinor's 
accepted, plighted, happy lover. My 
dear Katherine, I do not envy him 
now; look up, sweet wife! look fos^l 



»» 



128 



THE CAXTONSi 



CHAPTEE Vm. 



*Ellinob (let me do her justice) 
was shocked at my silent emotion. 
"No human lip could utter more tender 
sympathy^ more nohle self-reproach; 
but that was no balm to my wound. 
So I left the house; so I never re- 
turned to the law ^ so all impetus, all 
motive for exertion, seemed taken from 
my being ; so I went back into books. 
And so, a moping, despondent, worth- 
less mourner might I have been to the 
end of my days, but that heaven, in 
its mercy, sent thy mother^ I^istra- 
tus, across my path; and day and 
night I bless GK)d and her, for I have 
been, and am — oh, indeed, I am, a 
happy man !" 

My mother threw herself on my 
father's breast, sobbing violently, and 
then turned from the room without a 
word — ^my father's eye, swimming in 
tears, followed her; and then, after 
pacing the room for some moments in 
silence, he came up to me, and lean- 
ing his arm on my shoulder, whis- 
pered, "Can you guess why I have 
now told you all this, my son ?" 

" Yes, partly : thank you, fether," 
I faltered, and sat down, for I felt 
faint. 

" Some sons," said my father, seat- 
ing himself beside me, "would find in 
their father's follies and errors an ex- 
cuse for their own ; not so will you, 
Pisistratus." 

" I see no folly, no error, sir; only 
nature and sorrow/' 



«f 



Fttuse ere yon thus think,** 
said my &ther. "Great was the 
folly, and great the error, of indulg- 
ing imagination that had no basis-— of 
linking the whole usefulness of my life 
to the will of a human creature like 
myself. Heaven did not design the 
passion of love to be this tyrant ; nor 
id it so with the mass and multitude 
of human life. We dreamers, solitary 
students like me, (»r half-poets like 
poor Roland, make our own disease. 
How many years, even after I had re* 
guned serenity, as your mother gave 
me a home long not appreciated, have 
I wasted ! The mainstring of my ex- 
istence was snapped — I took no note 
of time. And therefore now, you see, 
late in life. Nemesis wakes. I look 
back with regret at powers neglected, 
opportunities gone. Gralvanically I 
brace up energies half-palsied by dis- 
use ; and you see me, rather than rest 
quiet and good for nothing, talked into 
what» I daresay, are sad follies, by an 
Uncle Jack ! And now I behold 
EUinor again ; and I say in wonder, 
'All this — all this — all this agony, all 
this torpor, for that haggard &ce, 
that worldly spirit V So is it ever in 
life. Mortal things fiide; immortal 
things spring more freshly with every 
step to the tomb. 

** Ah !" continued my father, with 
a sigh, ''it would not have been so, if 
at yoxur age I had found out the secret 
of the saffixm bag 1" 



A FAMILY PICTdBSL 



UO 



CHAFTEB nC 



"And Boland^ ^r," said I— "how 
did he take it ?" 

"With all the indignation of a 
proud nnreasonahle man. More in- 
dignant, poor fellow, for me than 
himself. And bo did he wound and 
gall me by what he said of Ellinor, 
and so did he rage against me hecanse 
I would not share his rage, that again 
we quarrelled. We parted, and did 
not meet for many years. We came 
into sadden possession of our little 
fixtunes. His he devoted (as you may 
know) to the purchase of the old ruins, 
and the commisfflon in the army, 
which had always heen his dream — 
and so went his way, wrathfuL My 
share gave me an excuse for indolence 
-—it satisfied all my wants ; and when 
my old tutor died, and his young child 
heimne my ward, and, somehow or 
other, fh>m my ward my wife, it 
allowed me to resign my foDowship, 
and live amongst my hooks— still as a 
book my8el£ One comfort, some- 
what before my marriage, I had con- 
odved; and tbat, too, Boland has 
anoe said was comfort to him. Elli- 
nor became an heiress. Her poor 
brother died; and all of the estate 
that did not pass in the male line de- 
volved on her. That fortune made a 
gulf between us almost as wide as her 
marriage. For Elhnor, poor and 
portionless, in spite of her rank, I 
could have worked, striven, slaved. 
But EUinor biohI it would have 
trashed me. This was a comfort. But 
still, still the past-— that perpetual 
achlmg sense of something tiiat had 
seemed the essential of life withdrawn 
from life, evermore^ evermore ! What 
was left was not sorrow, it was a vcnd^ 
-Had I lived more with men, and less 



with dreams and books, I should have 
made my nature large enough to bear 
the loss of a single passion. But in 
solitude we shrink up. No plant 
so much as man needs the sun 
and the air. I comprehend now why 
most of our best and wisest men 
have lived in capitals ; and therefore 
again I say, that one scholar in a &- 
mily is enough. Confiding in your 
sound heart and strong honour, I turn 
you thus betimes on the world. Have 
I done wrong ? Prove that I have not, 
my child. Do you know what a very 
good man has said ? Listen and fol- 
low my precept, not example. 

" * The state of the world is such, 
and so much depends on action, that 
everything seems to say aloud to 
every man, 'Do something — do it— 
doit!"'* 

•I was profoundly touched, and I 
rose refreshed and hopeful, when 
suddenly the door opened, and who 
or what in the world should come in; 
but certainly he, she, it, or they, shall 
not come into this chapter ! On that 
point I am resolved. No, my dear 
young lady, I am extremely flattered; 
— I feel for your curiosity j but really 
not a peep— not one! And yet — 
well then, if you will have it, and 
look so coaxingly — ^who or what, I 
say, should come in abrupt, unex- 
pected — taking away one's breath, 
not giving one time to say " By your 
leave, or with your leave," but making 
one's mouth stand open with surprise, 
and one's eyes fix in a big round 
stupid stare, bnt-^ 

THB VND OF THE OHAPTEB. 



• JUmabu <tf^ Sw. SiOuurd CM^Ip. 811 



No. 841. 



^ 



180 



THE CAXTONSs 



PAET EIGHTH. 



CHAPTER L 



Thebs entered, in the front draw- 
ing-room of my other's house m 
Bnssell Street — an Elf !! ! clad in 
white, — small, delicate, with cmrls of 
jet over her shoulders ; — ;with eyes so 
large and so lustrous that they shone 
through the room, as no eyes merely 
human could possibly slune. The Elf 
approached, and stood facing us. The 
flight was so unexpected, and the ap- 
parition so strange, that we remained 
for some moments in startled silence. 
At length my &ther, as the bolder 
and wiser man of the two, and the 
more fitted to deal with the eerie 
things of another world, had the au- 
dacity to step close up to the little 
creature, and, bending down to ex- 
amine its fkce, said, " What do you 
want, my pretly child ?" 

Pretty child ! was it only a pretty 
child after all? Alas, it would be 
well if all we mistake for fiuries at 
the first glance could resolve them- 
selves only into pretty children ! 

'* Come,'' answered the child, with 
a foreign accent, and taking my father 
by the lappet of his coat, " come, poor 
papa is so ill ! I am frightened ! come 
--and save him— 



ft 



" Certainly," ezdaimed my father, 
quickly: "Where's my hat, Sisty? Cer- 
tainly, niy child, we will go and save 

pap*-" 

"Bui ivho is papa?" asked Pisis- 

tnttiuH-* question that would never 



have occurred to my father. He nerer 
asked who or what the sick papas ot 
poor children were, when the childi^i 
pulled him by the lappet of his ooat 
—"Who is papa?" 

The child looked hard at me^ and 
the big tears rolled from those largo 
luminous eyes, but quite silently. At 
this moment a full-grown figure filled 
up the threshold, and, emergfing from 
the shadow, presented to us tiie as- 
pect of a stoat, well-favoured young 
woman. She dropped a curtsey, and 
then said, mindngly, 

"Oh, mis8^ you ought to have 
waited fbr me, and not alarmed the 
gentlefolks by running up-stairs in 
that way. If you please, tar, I was 
settling with the cabman, and he 
was so imperent : them low feDowg 
always are, when they have only us 
poor women to deal with, sir,— 
and " 

" But what is the matter ?" cried 
I, for my father had taken the child 
in his arms, soothingly, and she wai 
now weeping on his breast. 

" Why, you see, sir, (another curt- 
sey,) the gent only arrived last night 
at our hotel, sir— The Lamb, dose by 
Lunnun Bridge — and he was taken 
ill — and he's not quite in his right 
mind like :— 40 we sent fat the doctor, 
and the doctor looked at the brass 
plate on the gent's carpet bag^ sxr,^ 
and then he looked into tb« Cotirl 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



131 



Onidey and he said, 'There is a Mr. 
Caxton in Great Russell Street, — is 
he any relation ?' and this young lady 
said, ' Thafs my papa's brother, and 
wo were going there.' And so^ sir, 
as the Boots was out, I got into a 
cab, and miss would oome with me^ 
and 



n 



" Roland— Roland ill! Quick — 
quick, quick !" cried my &ther, and, 
with the child still in his arms, he ran 
down the stairs. I followed with his 
hat, which of course he had forgotten. 
A cab, by good luck, was passing our 
very door; but the chambermaid 
would not let us enter it till she had 
satisfied herself that it was not the 
same she had dismissed. This pre- 
liminary investigation completed, we 
entered, and drove to The Lamb. 

The chambermaid, who sate oppo- 
mte, passed the time in ineffectual 
overtures to relieve my father of the 
little girl, who still clung nestling to 
his breast, — in a long epic, much 
broken into episodes, of the causes 
which had led to her dismissal of the 
late cabman, who, to swell his tare, 
had thought proper to take a '* cir- 
cumbendibus !"<— and with occasional 
tugs at her cap, and smoothings down 
of her gown, and apologies for being 
such a figure^ especiaSy when her 
eyes rested on my satin cravaf> or 
drooped on my shii^g boots. 

Arrived at The Lamb, the cham- 
bermaid, with conscious dignity, led 
us up a large staircase, which seemed 
interminable. As she mounted the 
region above the third story, she 
paused to take breath, and inform us, 
apologetically, that the house was fuU, 
but that, if the '* gent" stayed over 
Friday, he would be moved into No. 
64^ " with a look-out and a dumbly." 
My little cousin now slipped from my 
&ther's arms, and, running up the 
stairs, beckoned to us to follow. We 
did BO, and were led to a door, at 
which the child st'^pped and listened; ( 



then, taking off her shoes, she stclo 
in on tip-toe. We entered after her. 

By the light of a single candlo 
we saw my poor uncle's &ce : it was 
flushed with fever, and the eyes had 
that bright, vacant stare which it 
is so terrible to meet. Less terrible 
is it to find the body wasted, the 
features sharp with the great life< 
struggle, than to look on the face 
from wluch the mind is gone, — ^the 
eyes in which there is no recognition. 
Such a sight is a starting shock to 
that unconscious habitual materialism 
with which we are apt familiarly to 
regard those we love: for, in thus 
missing the mind, the heart, the affec- 
tion that sprang to ours, we are sud« 
denly made aware that it was the 
something within the form, and not 
the form itself, that was so dear to 
us. The form itself is still, perhaps^ 
little altered; but that Hp which 
smiles no welcome, that eye which 
wanders over us as strangers, that ear 
wluch distinguishes no more our voices^ 
— ihe friend we sought is not there ! 
Even our own love is chilled back—^ 
grows a kind of vague superstitious 
terror. Yes>, it was not the matter, 
still present to us, which had con- 
dilated all those subtle nameless sen- 
timents which are classed and fused 
in the word '' affection/' — ^it was the 
airy, intangible, dectric sometJiing,"^ 
the absence of whidi now appals us. 

I stood speechless — ^my &ther crept 
on, and took the hand that returned 
no pressure :— The child only did not 
seem to share our emotions,— -but, 
clambering on the bed, laid her cheek 
on the breast and was still. 

" PisLstratus," whispered my fether, 
at last, and I stole near, hushing my 
breath,—" Fisistratus, if your mother 
were here !" 

I nodded : the same thought had 
struck us bol^. His deep wisdom, my 
active youth, both felt their nothing- 
ness then and thereb In the side 

jlZ 



i32 



THE CAXTONSf 



'chamber, both turned belplessly to 
miss the tooman. 

So I stole out, descended the stairs, 
and stood in the open air in a sort of 
frtunned amaze; Then the tramp of 
'teet, and the roll of wheels, and the 
great London roar, revived me. That 
conta^on of practical life which Inlls 
the heart and stimulates the brain, — 
'what an intellectual mystery there is 
in its common atmosphere! In an- 
other moment I had singled out, like 
•an inspu»tion, from a long file of those 
ministrants of our Trivia, the cab of 
the lightest shape and with the 
strongest horse, and was on my way, 

not to my mother's but to Dr. M 

H , Manchester Square, whom I 

'!knew as the medical adviser to the 
'Trevanions. Fortimately, that kmd 
'and able physician was at home, and 
'he promised to be with the sufferer 
before I myself could join him. I 
then drove to Bussell Street, and 
'broke to my mother, as cautiously as 
I could, the intelligence with which I 
was charged. 

When we arrived at The Lamb, 
we found the doctor ahready writing 
his prescription and injunctions : the 
activity of the treatment announced 
the dang^. I flew for the surgeon 
who had been before called in. Happy 
those who are strange to that inde- 



scribable ffllent bustle which the nck- 
room at times presents — that conflict 
which seems ahnost hand to hand 
between life and death — ^when all the 
poor, unresisting, unconscious frame is 
given up to the war against its ter- 
rible enemy ; the dark blood flowing 
— flowing; the hand on the pulse, 
the hushed suspense, every look on the 
physidan's bended 'brow; then the 
sinaplasms to the feet, and the ice to 
the head ; and now and then, through 
the lull or the low whispers, the in- 
coherent voice of the sufferer — ^bab- 
bling, perhaps, of green fields and 
fiEiiry-land, whUe your hearts are break- 
ing ! Then, at length, the slee^h^* 
in that sleep, perhaps, the crisis — ^the 
breathless watch, the slow waking, 
the first seme words-^the old smile 
again, only fiunter— -your gushing 
tears, your low-—'' Thank God ! thank 
Godr 

Picture aQ this; it is past : Roland 
has spoken — ^his sense has returned-* 
my mother is leaning over him — ^his 
clod's small hands are clasped round 
his neck — the surgeon, who has been 
there nx hours, has tskken up his hat^ 
and smiles gaily as he nods fiacrewell 
— and my &ther is leaning against 
the wally his face covered vii^ laa 



A FAHILT PICTUBB. 



m 



• CHAPTER IL 



All this had heen so sadden thalv 
to use the trite phrase — for no other 
is so expressive — it was like a dream. 
I felt an absolute, an imperious want 
of solitude, of the open air. The swell 
of gratitude almost stifled nie — the 
room did not seem large enough for 
my big heart. In early youth, if we 
find it difficult to control our feelings, 
80 we find it difficult to vent them in 
the presence of others. On the spring 
side of twenty, if anytlung affects us, 
we rush to lock ourselves up in our 
room, or get away into the streets or 
the fields ; in our earher years we are 
still the savages of Nature, and we do 
as the poor brute does, — ^the wounded 
stag leaves the herd, and, if there is 
anything on a dog's faithM heart> he 
dinks away into a comer. 

Accordingly, I stole out of the 
hotely and wandered through the 
streets, which were quite deserted. It 
was about the first hour of dawn, the 
most comfortless hour there is, espe- 
cially in London! But I only felt 
freshness in the raw air,^ and soothing 
in the desolate stillness. The love my 
l^lcle inspired was veiy remarkable 
in its nature: it was not like that 
quiet affection with which those ad- 
yanoed in life must usually content 
tiiemselves, but connected with the 
more vivid interest that youth 
awakens. There was in hii^ still 
tp much of vivacity and fire, ui his 
errors and crotchets so much of the 
self-delusion of youth, that one could 
scarce fiemcy him other than young. 
Those Quixotic exaggerated notions of 
•ionour, that romance of sentiment, 
which no hardship, car% grief, disap- 
pointment, oould wear away, (singular 
Ul a period when, at two^and-twenty, 
{OQH^ mendedare themselves ItlasSa !) 



seemed to leave him all the charm ol 
boyhood. A season in London^ had 
made me more a man of the world, 
older in heart than he was. Then, 
the sorrow that gnawed him with such 
silent sternness. No, Captain Roland 
was one of those men who seize hold 
of your thoughts, who mix themselves 
up with your lives. The idea that 
Roland shoiild die— ^e with the load 
at his heart unlightened, was one that 
seemed to take a spring out of the 
wheels of nature, an object out of the 
aims of life — of my life at least. Fop 
1 had made it one of the ends of my 
existence to bring back the son to th^ 
father, and restore the smile tha^ 
must have been gay once, to the 
downward curve of that iron lip. But 
Roland was now out of danger,-^ 
and yet, like one who has escaped 
shipwreck, I trembled to look back on 
the danger past; the voice of the 
devouring deep still boomed in my 
ears. While rapt in my reveries, I 
stopped mechanically to hear a dock 
strike — ^four ; ^ and, looking round, I 
perceived that I had wandered firom^ 
the heart of the city, and was in one 
of the streets that lead out of the 
Strand. Immediately before me, on 
the doorsteps of a large shop whoso 
dosed shutters wore as obstinate ft 
stillness as if they had guarded the 
secrets of seventeen centuries in a 
street in Pompeii,->-reclined a form 
fast asleep ; the arm propped on the 
hard stone supporting the head, and 
the lunbs xmeasily strewn over the 
stairs. The dress of the dumberer 
was travd-stained, tattered, yet with 
the remains of a certain pretence : aa 
urof faded, shabby, penniless gentility 
made poverty more painftJ, because it 
siQemod tQ induKkte imfitness ^ gra|ypli^ 



184 



THE CAXTONSr 



with it. The face of this person was 
hollow and pale, but its expression, 
even in sleep, was fierce and hard. I 
drew near and nearer; I recognised 
^e countenance, the regular features, 
the raven hair, even a peculiar grace- 
fulness of posture: the young man 
whom I had met at the inn by the 
way-side, and who bad left me alone 
with the Savoyard and his mice in the 
churchyard, was before me. I re- 
mained behind the shadow of one of 
llie columns of the porch, leaning 
against the area rails and irresolute 
whether ornotso slight onacquaintance 
justified me in waking the sleeper, 
when a policeman, suddenly emerging 
from an angle in the street, terminated 
.my deliberations with the decision of 
bis practical profession; for he lud hold 
of the young man's arm and shook it 
roughly, — "You must not lie here; 
get up and go home I" The sleeper 
woke with a quick start, rubbed his 
eyes, looked round and fixed them 
upon the policeman so haughtily, that 
that discriminating functionary pro- 
bably thought that it was not from 
sheer necessity that so improper a 
couch had been selected, and with an 
ail of greater respect be said, " You 
have been drinking, young man, — 
can you find your way home?" 

^Yes," said the youth, resettling 
himself, ''you see I have found it l" 

" By the Lord Hany !" muttered 
the policeman, "if he ben't going to 
sleep again ! Come, come, ¥ralk on, 
or I must walk you off." 

My old acquaintance turned round. 
" Policeman," said he, with a strange 
sort of smile, "what do you think 
this lodging is worth? — I don't say 
for the night, for you see that is over, 
but for the next two hours? The 
lodging is primitive, but it suits me; 
I should think a shilling would be a 
£Edr price fi^r it— eh ?* 

** You love your joke, ax," said the 
polijQemv^ with a brow much re- 



laxed, and opening his hand mecha> 
nically. 

" Say a shilling, then — ^it is a bar* 
gain ! I hire it of you upon credit* 
Oood-night. and call .me at six 
o'clock." 

With that the young man settled 
himself so resolutely, and the police* 
man's &ce exhibited such bewilder- 
ment, that I burst out laughing, and 
came from my hiding-place. 

The policeman looked at me. " Do 
you know this — ^this- 



»» 



St 



This gentleman?" sud I, gravely. 
" Yes, you may leave him to me;" and 
I slipped the price of the lodging into 
the policeman's hand. He looked at 
the shilling — ^he looked at me — he 
looked up the street and down the 
street — shook his head, and walked 
off. I then approached the youth, 
touched him, and said — "Can you 
I'emember me, sir; and what have 
you done with Mr. Peacock ?" 

Stbangeb, (after a pause.) — ^"I re- 
member you; your name is Caxton«" 

PiSIBTEATUB. — " And yOUTS ?" 

Stbangeb. — "Poor-devil, if yon 
ask my pockets— pockets, which are 
the symbols of man; Dare-devil, if 
you ask my heart. (Surveying me 
from head to fbot) — ^The world seems 
to have smiled on you, Mr. Caxton ! 
Are you not ashamed to speak to a 
wretch lying on the stones ?— bat, to 
be sure, no one sees you." 

PisiBTBATirs, (sententiously.) «« 
" Had I lived in the last century, I 
nught have found Samuel Johnson 
lying on the stones." 

STBANasB, (rising.)— "You have 
spoilt my sleep; you had a right, 
since yon paid for the lodging. Let 
me walk with you a few paces; you. 
need not fear — I do not pick pockets 
—yet!" 

PisiBTBiTxrs.— " You say the world 
has smiled onme; I fear it hieui frx>wned 
on you. I don't say 'courage,' fior 
you seem to have enough of that ; bol 



A FAMILY PICTURE, 



135 



I ny 'patience,* wHch u the rarer 
quality of the two." 

Stbanoeb. — ^"Hem ! — (again look- 
ing at me keenly)— Why is it that you 
stop to speak to me— one of whom 
yon know nothing, or worse than 
nothing?" 

PisiSTBATUS. — "Because I have 
often thought of you ; hecause you in- 
terest me; because — pardon me — I 
would help you if I can — ^that is, if 
you want help/* 

STSAiraEB. — "Want! — ^I am one 
want! I want sleep^I want food; 
—I want the patience you recommend 
—patience to starve and rot. I have 
travelled from Paris to Boulogne on 
foot, with twelve sous in my pocket. 
Out of those twelve sous in my pocket 
I saved four; with the four I went to 
a Inlliard-room at Boulogne; I won 
just enough to pay my passage and 
buy three rolls. You see I only re- 
quire capital in order to make a for- 
tune. If with four sous I can win 
ten francs in a night, what could I 
win with a capital of four sovereigns, 
and in the course ot a year ? — that is 
an application of the Eule of Three, 
which my head aches too much to 
calculate just at present. Well, those 
three rolls have lasted me three days; 
the last crumb went for supper last 
night. Therefore, take care how you 
offer me money, (for that is what men 
mean by help.) You see I have no 
option but to take it. But I warn you, 
don't expect gratitude! — I have none 
in me !" 

PisiSTBJLTirs. — ^"You are not so 
bad as you paint yourself. I would 
do something more for you, if I can, 
than lend you the little I have to 
offer. Will you be frank with me ?" 

STBANasB. — "That depends — I 
have been frank enough Idtherto, I 
flunk." 

PisiBTBJLTUS. — "True; so I pro- 
ceed without scruple. Don't tell me 
your name or your condition, if you 



object to such confidence ; but tell hm 
if you have relations to whom you 
can apply? You shake your head: 
well, then, are you wUling to work 
for yourself? or is it only at the bil- 
liard table (pardon me) that you can 
try to make four sous produce ten 
francs ?" 

Stbakgeb, (musing.) — I under* 
stand you. I have never worked yet 
— I abhor work. But I have no ob- 
jection to try if it is in me." 

PisiSTEATXTS. — "It is in you: a 
man who can walk from Paris to 
Boulogne with twelve sous in his 
pocket, and save four for a purpose—* 
who can stake those fbur on the cool 
confidence in his own skill, even at 
billiards — ^who can subsist for three 
days on three rolls — and who, on the 
fourth day, can wake frt)m the stones 
of a capital with an ^e and a spirit 
as proud as yours, has in him aU the 
requisites to subdue fortune." 

Steakqbb. — "Do you work?— 
you ?" 

PisiSTBATUS. — "Yes — and hard.** 

Stbangeb. — " I am ready to worl;^ 
then." 

PiBiSTEATTTS. — "Good. Now,what 
can you do ?" 

Stbastgeb, (with his odd smile.)— 
" Many things useful. I can split a 
bullet on a penknife: I know the secret 
tierce of Coulon, the fendng-master : 
I can speak two languages (bemdes 
English) like a native, even to thdr 
slang: I know every game in the 
cards: I can act comedy, tragedy, 
fiurce : I can drink - down Bacchus 
himself. I can make any woman I 
please in love with me — that is, any 
woman good-for-nothing. Can I earn 
a hands^e livelihood out of all this^ 
wear kid gloves, and set up a cabriolet? 
You see my wishes are modest !" 

PisiSTSATUS. — "You speak two 
languages, you say, like a native— • 
French, I suppose, is one of them 2^ 

Stbahqbe, — " Yes," 



186 



THE CAXTONSs 



. Fx8i8TBATU8.«-'*Win joa teach 

itr 

SiJUi^aEB, (haughtily.) — ''No. Jb 
mis gewtilhofiMne, which means more 
or less than a gentleman. GentiU 
homme means well hom, hecanse free 
horn — ^teachers are slaves!" 

PisiSTBATUS, (unconsciously imi- 
tating Mr. Trevanion.)— " Stuff!" 

Stbanoeb, (looks angry, and then 
laughs.) — "Very true; stilts don't 
suit shoes like these ! But I cannot 
teach: heaven help those Z should 
teach ! — anything else ?" 

PisiBTEATUS. — " Anything else I— 
you leave me a wide margin. You 
know French thoroughly — ^to write as 
well as speak ? — ^that is much. Give 
xne some address where I can find 
you— or will you call on me ?" 

Stbangeb. — "No! Any evening 
at dusk I will meet you. I have no 
address to give; and I cannot show 
these rags at another man's door." 
„ PisiSTBATUS.-— " At . nine in the 
evening, then, and here in the Strand, 
on Thursday next. I may then have 
found something that will suit you. 
Meanwhile" — (slides his purse into 
the Stranger's hand. N.B. — ^Purse 
not very fill.) 

..Stranger, with the air of one con- 
ferring a favonr, pockets the purse ; 
and there is something so striking in 



the very ahsenoe of all emotion at so 
acddental a rescue from starvation^ 
that Pisistratus exclaims— 

*' I don't know why I should have 
taken this fancy to you, Mr. Dare- 
devil, if that he the name that pleases 
you hest. The wood you are made of 
seems cross grained, and full of knots ; 
and yet, in the hands of a skilful 
carver, I think it woidd he worth 
much." 

Stbanoeb, (startled.) — " Do you ? 
do you ? None, I helieve, ever thought 
that hefore. But the same wood» I 
suppose, that makes the gihbet, could 
make the mast of a man-of-war. L 
tell yon, however, why you have taken 
this fancy to me — the strong sym- 
pathize with the strong. You, too, 
could subdue fortune !" 

PisiBTEATUB.— "Stop; if SO— if 
there is congeniality between us, then 
liking should be reciprocal. Come, 
say that ; for half my chance of help- 
ing you is in my power to touch your 
heart." 

Stra^x&sr, (e^dentiy softened.)-* 
"If I were as great a rogue as I 
ought to be, my answer would be easy 
enough. As it is, I delay it. Adieu. 
— On Thursday." 

Stranger vanishes in the labyrinth 
of alleys round Leicester Square, 



X FAMILY PICTUBE* 



MT 



CHAPTER in. 



Ok my return to The Lamb, I 
found that my uncle was in a soft 
sleep ; and alter a morning vmt from 
the surgeon, and his assurance that 
the fever was ^t subsiding, and all 
cause for alarm was gone, I thought 
it necessary to go back to Trevanion's 
house, and explain the reason for my 
night's absence. But the family had 
not returned from the country. Tre- 
vanion himself came up for a few 
hours in the afternoon, and seemed to 
feel much for my poor uncle's illness. 
Though, as usual, very busy, he accom- 
panied me to The Lamb, to see my 
father, and cheer him up. Boland 
still continued to mend, as the sur- 
geon phrased it; and as we went 
back to St. James's Square^ Trevanion 
had the consideration to release me 
from my oar in his galley for the next 
few days. My mind, relieved from my 
anxiety for Boland, now turned to my 
new friend. It had not been without 
fua object that I had questioned the 
young man as to his knowledge of 
French. Trevanion had a large cor- 
respondence in foreign countries which 
was carried on in that language, and 
here I could be but of little help to 
him. He himself, though he spoke 
and wrote French with fluency and 
grammatical correctness, wanted that 
intimate knowledge of the most deli- 
cate and diplomatic of all languages 
to satisfy his classical purism. For 
Trevanion was a terrible word-weigher. 
His taste was the plague of my life 
and his own. His prepared speeches 
(or rather perorations) were the most 
^nished pieces of cold diction that 
OQuld be conceived under the marble 
portico of the Stoics, — ^so tiled and 
tinned, trimmed and tamed^^that th^y 
iiever admitted a sentence that coi^dl 



warm the hearty or oiie that oould 
offend the ear. He had so great 
a horror of a vulgarism that, like 
Canning, he would have made a 
periphrasis of a couple of lines to 
avoid using the word ' cat.' It was 
only in extempore speaking that a ray 
of his real genius oould indiscreetly 
betray itself. One may judge what 
labour such a super-refinement of taste 
would inflict upon a man writing in a 
language not his own to some dis- 
tingaished statesman, or some literary 
institution, — ^knowing that language 
just well enough to recognise all the 
native elegances he failed to attain. 
Trevanion, at that very moment, was- 
employed upon a statistical document, 
intended as a communication to a* 
Society at Copenhagen, of which he 
was an honorary member. It had' 
been for three weeks the torment of 
the whole house, especially of poor 
Fanny, (whoso French was the best at 
our joint disposal.) But Trevanion 
had found her phraseology too mincing, 
too effeminate, too much that of the 
boudoir. Here, then, was an oppor- 
tunity to introduce my new friend, 
and test the capacities that I fancied 
he possessed. I therefore, though 
with some hesitation, led the subject 
to ''Bemarks on the Mineral Trea^ 
sures of Great Britain and Ireland," 
(such was the title of the work in- 
tended to enlighten the savans of. 
Denmark ;) and, by certain ingenious 
circumlocutions, known to all able 
applicants, I introduced my acquaint- 
ance with a young gentleman who 
possessed the most familiar and inti- . 
mate knowledge of French, and who 
might be of use in revising the manu- • 
script. I knew enough of Trevanion 
to feel that I could not reveal tbo 



IBS 



THE CAXTONSt 



cSreunurtances under which I had 
formed that acqnamtance, for he was 
much too practical a man not to have 
been firightened oat of his wits at the 
idea of sabmittiDg so classical a per- 
fermance to so (jOsreputable a scape- 
grace. As it was, however, Trevanion, 
whose mind at that moment was full 
of a thousand other things, cav^ht at 
^y suggestion, with very little cross- 
questioning on fche subject, and before 
he left London, consigned the manu- 
fcript to my charge. 

« My friend is poor," said I, timidly, 

** Oh ! as to tha V cried Trevanion 
hastily, '* if it be a matter of charity. 
I put my purse in your hands ; but 
don't put my manuscript in his ! If 
it be a matter of business, it is another 
affidr; and I must judge of his work 
before I can say how much it Is worth 
—perhaps nothing V* 

So ung^radous was tins excellent 
man in his very virtues ! 

« Kay," said I, " it is a matter of 
business, and so we will consider it." 

"In that case," said Trevanion, 
concluding the matter, and buttoning 
his pockets, "if I dislike his worl^ 
nothings if I like it, twenty g^uineas. 
Where are the evening papers ?" and 
in another moment the member of 
Parliament had forgotten the statist^ 
and was pishing and tuttang over the 
Olobe or the Sun. 

On Thursday, my unde was well 
enough to be moved into our house ; 
and on the same evening, I went 
forth to keep my appointment with 
the stranger. The clock struck nine 
as we met. The palm of punctuality 
might be divided between us. He 
had profited by the interval, since our 
last meeting, to repair the more ob- 
vious defidendes of his wardrobe; 
and tliough there was something still 
wild, dissolute, outlandish, about his 
whole appearance, yet in the elastic 
energy of his §tep, and the resolute 
anorance of his bearings there was 



that wUdi Nature gives to her own 
aristocracy, — ^for, as far as my obser* 
vation goes, what has been called the 
"g^rand air" (and which is wholly 
distinct firam the polish of manner, or 
the urbane g^race of high breeding) is 
always accompanied, and perhaps pro* 
duced, by two qualities— courage, and 
the desire of command* It is more 
common to a half-savage nature than 
to one wholly dvilized. The Arab 
has it^ so has the American Indians 
and I suspect that it was more fre- 
quent among the knights and barons 
of the middle ages than it is among 
the polished gentlemen of the modem 
drawing-room. 

We shook hands, and walked on a 
few moments in nlence; at leng^ 
thus commenced the Stbavgsb, — 

"Ton have found it more difficulty 
I fear, than you imagined, to make 
the empty sack stand upright. Con- 
sidering that at least one-third of 
those bom to work cannot find it^. 
why should I?" 

PisiSTBATTS.— "I am hard-hearted 
enough to bdieve that work never 
fiiUs to those who seek it in good 
earnest. It was said of some man, 
fiimous for keeping his word, that ' if 
he had promised you an acorn, and all 
the oaks in England fiuled to produce 
one, he would have sent to Norway 
for an acorn.' If I wanted work, and 
there was none to be. had in the Old 
World, I would find my way to the 
New. But, to the point: I have 
found something for you, which I do 
not think your taste will oppose, and 
which may open to you the means of 
an honourable independence. But I 
cannot Well explain it in the streets : 
where shall we g^ ?" 

STBAif GhSB, (after some hedtation,) 
— " I have a lodg^ing near here^ whidh 
I need not blush to take you to — ^I 
mean, that it is not among rog^nes and 
cast-aways." 

FlsiBTBATTTB, (mudi pleased, and 



A FAMILT PICTURE. 



139 



tfJdng the stranger's ann.)— << Come, 
then." 

FSfflsfcratos and the stranger pass 
over Waterloo Bridge, and pause be- 
fore a small house of respectable ap- 
pearance. Stranger admits them both 
"with a latch-key — ^leads the way to 
the third story — strikes a light, and 
does the honours to a small chamber, 
dean and orderly. Pisistratus ex- 
plains the task to be done, and opens 
the mannscript. The stranger draws 
his chair deliberately towards the 
light, and runs his eye rapddly oyer 
the pages. Pisistratus trembles to 
see him pause before a long array of 
figures and calculations. Certmnly it 
does not look inviting; but, pshaw! 
it is scarcely a part of the task, which 
limits itself to the mere correction of 
words. 

Stbakoeb, (briefly.) — "There must 
be a mistake here — stay ! — ^I see — " 
(He tunis back a few pages, and cor- 
rects with rapid precision an error in 
a somewhat complicated and abstruse 
calculation.) 

PisiSTBATUS, (surprised.) — "You 
leem a notable arithmetidan." 

STSAirchEB. — "Did I not tell you 
that I was skilful in. all games of 
nungled skill and chance P It requires 
an arithmetical head for that : a first- 
rate card-player is a financier spoilt. 
I am certain that you never could find 
a man fortunate on the turf, or at the 
gaming-table, who had not an excel- 
lent head for figures. Well, this 
French is good enough apparently; 
there are but a few idioms, here and 
there, that, strictly speaking, are more 
English than French. But the whole 
is a work scarce worth paying for V* 

PisiBTBATTS. — " The wo^k of the 
head fetches a price not proportioned 
to the 'quantity, but the quality. 
When shall I call for this ?" 

STBAiTGhEB. — ^" To-morrow.'* (And 
he puts the manuscript away in a 
diawer.) 



We then conyersed on various 
matters for nearly an hour; and my 
impression of this young man's natu* 
ral ability was confirmed and heigh- 
tened. But it was an ability as wrong 
and perverse in its directions or in* 
stincts as a French novelist's. He 
seemed to have, to a high degree, the 
harder portion of the reasoning &- 
culty, but to be almost wholly with- 
out that arch beautifier of character, 
that sweet purifier of mere intellect 
^■^ihe imagination. For, though we 
are too much taught to be on our 
guard against imagination, I hold it, 
with Captain Boland, to be the di?. 
vinest kind of reason we possess, and 
the one that leads us the least astray. 
In youth, indeed, it occasions errors, 
but they are not of a sordid or de- 
basing nature. Newton says that one 
final effect of the comets is to recruit 
the seas and the planets by a conden- 
sation ot the vapours and exhalations 
therein; and so even the crratie 
flashes of an ima^nation really health- 
ful and vigorous deepen our know- 
ledge and brighten our lights; they 
recruit our seas and our stars. C^ 
such flashes my new friend was as 
innocent as the sternest matter-of- 
fact person could desire. Fandes he 
had in profusion, and very bad ones $ 
but of imagination not a scintilla! 
His mind was one of those whidi live 
in a prison of logic, and cannot, or 
will not, see beyond the bars : sudi a 
nature is at once podtive and scepti« 
caL This boy had thought proper to 
dedde at once on the numberless 
complexities of the social world from 
his own harsh experience. With him 
the whole system was a war and a 
dieat. If the universe were entirdy 
composed of knaves, he would be sure 
to have made his way. Now this 
bias of mind, alike direwd and un« 
amiable, might be safe enough if ac- 
companied by a lethargic temper; 
but it threatened to become tetrihla 



140 



THE OAXTOKSt 



vid dangoxnui is one who, in defiiiilt 
of imaginatioii, possessed abondance 
of passion : and this was the case with 
Ihe young outcast. Fasnon, in him, 
comprehended many of the worst 
emotions which militate against hu- 
man happiness. You could not con- 
tradict him, hut you raised quick 
choler ; you could not speak of wealth, 
hut the cheek paled with gnawing 
envy. The astonishing natural ad- 
vantages of this poor boy — ^his beauty, 
his readiness^ the daring spirit that 
breathed around him like a fiery at- 
mosphere — ^had raised his constitu- 
tional self-confidence into an arro- 
gance that turned his very chums to 
admiration into prejudices ag^nst 
him. Irascible, envious, arrog^t — 
bad enough, but not the worst, for 
these salient angles were all varnished 
over with a coldrepellant cynicism— 
bis passions vented themselves in 
sneers. There seemed in him no 
moral susceptibility; and, what was 
niore remarkable in a proud nature, 
little or nothing of the true point of 
honour. He had, to a morbid excess, 
that desire to rise which is vulgarly 
^lled ambition, but no apparent wish 
for fame, or esteem, or the love of his 
species ; only the hard wish to suc- 
ceed, not shine, not serve, — succeed, 
that he might have the right to 
despise a world winch galled his self- 
conceit, and ei\joy the pleasures which 
the redundant nervous life in lum 
seemed to Grave. Such weie the 



more patient attribntea of a character ' 
that, ominous as it was, yet interested 
me, and yet appeared to me to be re- 
deemable, — 'uay, to have in it the. 
rude elements of a certain greatness. 
Ought we not to make something 
great out of a youth under twenty, 
who hasi, in the highest degree, quick- 
ness to conceive and courage to exe- 
cute ? On the other hand, all Acui- 
ties that can make greatness contain 
those that can attun goodness. In 
the savage Scandinavian, or the ruth* 
less Frank, lay the germs of a Sidney 
or a Bayiud. What would the best 
of us be, if he were suddenly placed 
at war with the whole world? And 
this fierce spirit was at war with the 
whole world-~a war self-sought, per- 
haps^ but it was war not the less. 
Yon must surround the savage with 
peace, if you want the virtues of 
peace. 

I cannot say that it was in a single 
interview and conference that I came 
to these convictions ; but I am rather 
summing up the impressions which I 
received as I saw more of this person, 
whose destiny I presumed to take 
under my charge. 

In going away, I 8aid» " But, at 
all events, you have a name in your 
lodgings: whom am I to ask for 
when I call to-morrow ?*' 

*'0h, you may know my name 
now," said he, smiling i *it i* Yiviaa 
— Frands Vivian,** 



A FAMILY PIGTUBS. 



141 



CHAPTER IV. 



I SBHEUBXS one moraing, when a 
boy, loitering by an old wall, to watch 
the operations of a garden spider, 
whose web seemed to be in great re* 
qnest. When I first stopped, she 
was engaged very quietly with a fly 
of the domestic species, whom she 
manii^ed with ease and dignity. Bat 
jnst when she was most interested in 
that absorbing employment, cftme a 
eoople of May-flies, and then a gnat, 
and then a bine-bottle,— all at differ- 
ent angles of the web. NcTer was a 
poor spider so distracted by her good 
fortune ! She evidently did not Imow 
which godsend to take first. The 
aboriginal victim bang released, she 
slid half-way towards the May-flies; 
then one of her dght eyes caught 
sight of the blue-bottle ! wad she Aot 
off in that direction :^-when the hum 
ef the gnat again diverted her ; and 
in the middle of this perplexity, 
poonoe came a yomig wasp in a violent 
passion ! Then the spider evidently 
lost her presence of nnnd; she became 
dean demented ; and after standing, 
stupid and stock-still, in the middle of 
her meshes, for a minnte or two^ she 
ran off to her hole as fiist as she 
could run, and left her guests to shift 
fer themsdves. I confess that I am 
somewhat in the dilemma of the 
attractive and amiable insect I have 
just described. I got on well enough 
while I had only my domestic fly to 
see after. But now that there is 
fomething fluttering aff every end of 
my nefc» (and espedally since the ad- 
vent of that passioiiate yodng wasp, 
who is tuning and buodng in the 
nearest comer!) I am fiurly at a 
loss which I should (first grapple with 
•'^'^nd, alas ! tmlike the spider, I have 
loJioI^wherel eaa^ude myself and 



let the web do the weaver's work. 
But I will imitate the spider as far as 
I can; and while the rest hum and 
struggle away -their impatientk un- 
noticed hour, I will retreat into the 
inner labyrinth of my own life. 

The illness of my unde, and my 
renewed aoquwntance with Vivian^ 
had naturally sufficed to draw my 
thoughts from the rash and unpropi* 
tious love I had ooncdved for Fanny 
Trevanion. During the absence of 
the fiunily from London, (and they 
stayed some time long^er than had 
been ^cpected,) I had leisure^ how- 
ev^, to recall my fiither's touching 
history, and the moral it had so obvi* 
oudy preached to me;. and I fonned 
so many good resolutions^ that it was 
with an untrembling hand that I 
welcomed Miss Trevanion at last to 
London, and with a firm heart that I 
avoided, as much as possible, the fiital 
chann of her society. The alow oon> 
valesoenoe of my unde gave me a 
just excuse to discontinue our rides. 
What time T^revanion qiared me^ it 
was natural that I should spend with 
my fiunily. I went to no balls nor 
parties. I even absented myself from 
Trevanion's periodical dinners. Miss 
Trevanion at first rallied me on my 
sedusion, with her usual livdy malice. 
But I continued worthily to completo 
my martyrdom. I took care that no 
reproachful look at the gaiety that 
wrong my aoul should betray my 
secret. Then Fanny seemed either 
hurt or disdainful, and avoided alto- 
gether entering her other's study i 
all at once^ she dianged her tactic9^ 
and was seiaed with a stnmge flesire 
for knowkdget whidi brought her 
into .the room to look fbr a book, or 
aak ai.quflition9 4entlme&a-day. Iwaii 



142 



THE CAXTONSt 



proof to aH Bat, to speak truth, I 
was profoundly wretched. Lookmg 
back now, I am dismayed at the re- 
membrance of my own sa£fering8 ; my 
health became seriously affected; I 
dreaded alike the trial of the day and 
the anguish of the night. Hy only 
distractions were in my visits to 
Vivian, and my escape to the dear 
drde of home. And that home was 
my safegnard and preservative in that 
crisis of my life : its atmosphere of 
impretending honour and serene 
virtue strengthened all my resolu- 
tions ; it braced me for my struggles 
against the strongest passion whigh 
youth admits, and counteracted the 
evil vapours of that air in which 
Vivian's envenomed spirit breathed 
and moved. Without the influence 
of such a home, if I had succeeded in 
the conduct that probity enjcnned 
towards those in whose house I was a 
trusted guest, I do not think I could 
have resisted the contagion of that 
malign and morbid bitterness against 
&te and the world, which love, 
thwarted by fortune, is too inclined of 
itself to conceive, and in the expres- 
sion of which Vivian was not without 
the eloquence that belongs to earnest- 
ness, whether in truth or falsehood. 
But, somehow or other, I never left 
the little room that contained the 
grand suffering in the face of the 
veteran solcUer, whose lip, often 
quivering with anguish, was never 
heard to murmur ; and the tranquil 
wisdom which had succeeded my &- 
ther's early trials, (trials like my 
own,) and the loving smile on my 
mother's tender fkoe, and the inno- 
cent childhood of Blanche, (by which 
name the Elf had £imiliarised herself 
to us,) whom I already loved as a sis- 
ter, — without feeling that those four 
walls contained enough to sweeten the 
world, had it been filled to its 'capa- 
cious brim with gall and hyssop. 
' Trevanion had been more than 



satisfied with Vivian's performance—* 
he had been struck with it. For 
though the corrections in the mere 
phraseology had been very limited, 
they went beyond verbal amendments 
—they suggMted such words as im* 
proved the thoughts; and, besides 
that notable correction of an arith* 
metical error, which Trevanion's mind 
was formed to over-appreciate, one 
or two brief annotations on the mar* 
gin. were boldly hazarded, prompting 
some stronger link in a chain of rea- 
soning, or indicating the necessity for 
some farther evidence in the assertion 
of a statement. And all this from 
the mere natural and naked logic of 
an acute mind, unaided by the 
smallest knowledge of the subject 
treated of! Trevanion threw quite 
enough work into Vivian's hands, and 
at a remuneration sufficiently liberal 
to realise my promise of an indepen- 
dence* And more than once he asked 
me to introduce to him my friend. 
But this I continued to elude-~-heaven 
knows, not from jealousy, but amply 
because I feared that Vivian's manner 
and way of talk would singularly dis- 
please one who detested presumptiaii, 
and understood no eccentricities but 
his own* 

Still Vivian, whose industry was of 
a strong wing, but only for short 
flights, had not enough to employ 
more than a few hours of his day, 
and I dreaded lest he should, firom 
very idleness, fall back into old habitu^ 
and re-seek old friendships. His 
cynical candour allowed that both 
were sufficiently disrepntable to jus* 
tify grave apprehensions of such a re* 
suit J accordingly, I contrived to find 
leisure in my evenings to lessen hii 
emtui, hy accompanying him in 
rambles through the gas-lit streeti^ 
or occasionaUy, for an hour or so^ to 
one of the theatres. 

Vivian's first care, on finding him* 
self rich enough, had been bertowed 



J 



A JFAMILY PICniRB. 



14.1 



<mlu8 person; and those two Realties 
of observation and imitation which 
minds so ready always eminently pos- 
sess, had enabled him to achieve ihat 
gracefal neatness of costume peculiar 
to the English gentleman. For the 
first few days of his metamorphosis, 
traces indeed of a constitutional love 
of show, or vulgar companionship, 
were noticeable ; but one by one they 
disappeared. First went a gaudy 
neckcloth, with collars turned down ; 
then a x>air of spurs vanished; and 
lastly, a diabolical instrument that he 
called a cane — ^but which, by means 
of a running bullet, could serve as a 
bludgeon at one end, and concealed a 
dagger in the other — subsided into 
the ordinary walking-stick adapted to 
our peaceable metropolis. A ramilar 
change, though in a less degree, gra- 
dually took place in his manner and 
lus .conversation. He grew less 
abrupt in the one, and more calm, 
perhaps more cheerful, in the other. 
It was evident that he was not insen- 
sible to the elevated pleasure of pro- 
viding for himself by praiseworthy 
exertion — of feeling for the first time 
that his intellect was of use to hhn, 
ereditahUf, A new world, though 
still dim — seen throdgh mist and fog 
•—began to dawn upon him. 

Such is the vanity of us poor mor- 
tals, that my interest in Vivian was 
probably increased, and my aversion 
to much in him materially softened, 
by observing that I had gained a sort 
of ascendancy over his savage nature. 
When we had first met by the road- 
ride, and afterwards conversed in the 
churchyard, the ascendancy was cer- 
tainly not on my side. But I now 
came from a larger sphere of society 
than that in which he had yet moved. 
1 had seen and listened to the first 
men. in England. What had then 
dazzled me only, now moved my pity. 
On the other hand, his active mind 
could not but observe the change in 



me; and, whethir from envy or a 
better feeling, he v/bs willing to learn 
&om me how to eclipse me, and re- 
sume his earlier superiority — not to be 
superior chafed him. Thus he lis- 
tened to me with docility when I 
pointed out the books which con- 
nected themselves with the various 
subjects inddental to the miscella- 
neous matters on which he was em- 
ployed. Though he had less of the 
Kterary turn of mind than any one 
equally clever I had ever met, and had 
read Httle, considering the quantity 
of thought he had acquired, and the 
show he made of the few works with 
which he had voluntarily made him- 
self familiar, he yet resolutely sate 
himself down to study; and though 
it was clearly against the grain, I 
augured the more favourably from 
tokens of a determination to do what 
was at the present irksome for a pur- 
pose in the future. Yet, whether I 
should have approved the purpose— 
had I thoroughly understood it — ^is 
another question! There were abysses^ 
both in l^s past life and in his charac- 
ter, which I could not penetrate* 
There was in him both a reckless 
frankness and a vigilant reserve : hia 
frankness was apparent in his talk on 
all matters immediately before us; in 
the utter absence of all efibrt to make 
himself seem better than he was. 
His reserve was equally shown in the 
ingenious evasion of every species 
of confidence that could admit me 
into such secrets of his hfe as he 
chose to conceal : where he had been 
bom, reared, and educated ; how he 
came to be thrown on his own re- 
sources ; how he had contrived, how 
he had subsisted, were all matters on 
which he had seemed to take an oath 
to Harpocrates, the god of silence. 
And yet he was full of anecdotes of 
what he had seen^ of strange compa- 
nions, whom he never named, bat 
with whom he had been thirown* 



144 



THE CAXTONSi 



And, to do liim Justice, I remarked 
tiiat, though his preoocioos experience 
teemed to haye been gathered from 
the holes and comers, the sewers and 
dnuns of life, and though he seemed 
ivholly without dislike to dishonesty, 
and to regard virtue or vice with as 
serene an indifference as some grand 
poet who views them both merely as 
ministrants to his art, yet he never 
betrayed any positive breach of ho- 
nesty in himself. He could laugh over 
the story of some ingenious fraud that 
he had witnessed, and seem insensible 
to its turpitude ; but he spoke of it in 
the tone of an approving witness, not 
of an actual accomplice. As we grew 
more intimate, he felt gradually, how- 
ever, th&t pudor, or instinctive shame, 
which the contact with minds habi- 
tuated to the distinctions between 
wrong and right unconsciously pro- 
duces, and such stories ceased. He 
never but once mentioned his family, 
and that was in the following odd and 
abrupt manner:-— 

"Ah \" cried he one day, stopping 
suddenly before a print-shop, ''how 
that reminds me of my dear, dear 
mother." 

" Which ?" said I eagerly, puzzled 
between an engraving of BaffiieUe's 
* Madonna," and another of "The 
Brigand's Wife." 

Vivian did not satisfy my curiosity, 
but drew me on in spite of my re- 
luctance. 

"You loved your mother, tiienP" 
said I, after a pause. 

" Yes, as a whelp may a tigress." 

"Thafs a strange comparison." 

"Or a bull-dog may the prize- 
fighter, his master ! Bo youlike that 
better P" 

"Not much; is it a comparison 
your mother would like P" 

" Like ?•— she is dead!" said he, ra- 
ther falteringly. 

I pressed his arm closer to mine. 

^ I nndentaxid you," said he, with 



his cjmc repellant sfnile. "But yoa 
do wrong to feel for my loss. I feel 
for it ; but no one who cares for me 
should sympathise with my grie£" 

"Why?" 

" Because my mother was not what 
the world would call a good woman* 
I did not love her the less for that. 
And now let us change the sub- 
ject." 

" Nay; nnce you have said so mnch, 
Vivian, let me coax you to say on. la 
not your fether living?" 

" Is not the Monument stancUngP" 

'' I suppose so ; what of that?" 

"Why, it matters very little to 
dther of us; and my question answers 
yours!" 

I could not get on after this, and I 
never did get on a step &rther. I 
must own that if Vivian did not im- 
part his confidence liberally, neither 
did he seek confidence inquisitively 
from me. He listened with interest 
if I spoke of Trevanion, (for I told 
him fr^mkly of my connection with 
that personage, though you may be 
sure that I said nothing of Fanny,) 
and of the brilliimt world that my re- 
sidence with one so distinguished 
opened to me. But if ever, in the 
folness of my heart, I began to speak 
of my parents, of my home, he 
evinced dther so impertinent an ^mifct^ 
or assumed so chillhig a sneer, that I 
usually hurried away from him, as 
well as the subject, in indignant £s« 
gust. Once espedally, when I asked 
him to let me introduce him to my 
father--a point on which I was really 
anxious, for I thought it impossible 
but that the devil within him would 
be softened by that contact — ^he sai^ 
with his low, scornful laugh — 

"My dear Caxton, when I was t 
child, I was so bored with 'Telema* 
chus,' that, in order to endure it, I 
turned it into travesty." 

^'WellP" 

^Are yoa not afraid that the game 



A FAMILY FICrUBS. 



U^ 



wicked dispodiioii sdght make a cari- 
cature of yonr Ulysses ?" 

I did not see Mr. YiTian for three 
days after that speech; and I should 
not have seen him then, only we met, 
by accident, under the Colonnade of 
the Qpera-Honse. Vivian was lean- 
ing against one of the columns, and 
watching the long procession which 
swept to the only temple in vogue 
that Art has retained in the English 
BaheL Coaches and chariots, bla- 
zoned with arms and ooronete— ca- 
briolets (the brougham had not then 
replaced them) of sober hue,but exqui- 
site appointment* with gigantic horses 
and pgmy " tig^ers," da&ed on, and 
rolled off before him. Fair women 
and gay dresses, stars and ribbons^ 
the rank and tiie beanty of the pa- 
trician world — passed him by. And 
I could not resist the compassion with 
which this lonely, friendless, eager, 
discontented spirit inspired me— gaz- 
ing on that gorgeous existence in 
which it fimcied itsiBlf fbrmed to shine, 
with the ardour of desire and the 
despair of exclusion. 9y one glimpse 
of that dark countenance, I read what 
was pasang within the yet darker 
heart. The emotion might not be 
anuable, nor the thoughts wise, yet, 
were they unnatural ? I had expe- 
rienced something of them— not at 
the Esght of gay-dressed people, of 
wealth and idleness, pleasure and 
fiisbion; but when, at the doom of 
Parliament, men who have won noble 
names, and whose word had weight 
on the destinies of glorious Englsmd, 
brushed heedlessly by to their grand 
arena; or when, amidst the hdiday 
crowd of ignoble pomp, I had heard 
the murmur of £une buzz and gather 
round some lordly labourer in art or 
letters* That contrast between glory 
■0 near, and yet so far, and one'sown 
obscurity, of course I had felt it — ^who 
has not? Alas! many a youth not 
fiited to be a Themistode^ will yet 



feel that the troplues of a Hiltiades 
will not suffer him to sleep ! So I 
went up to "Vivian and laid my hand 
on his shoulder. 

<« Ah !" said he^ more gently than 
usual, '* I am glad to see you — and ta 
apologise— I offended you the other 
day. But you would not get very- 
gracious answers £rom souls in pur* 
gatory, if you talked to them of the 
happiness of heaven. Never speak to 
me about homes and fiithers! Enough, 
I see you forgive me. Why are you 
not going to the opera ? You can?" 

" And yon too, if you so please. A 
ticket is shamefully dear, to be sure; 
still, if you are fond of music, it is a 
luxury you can afford.'^ 

** Oh, you flatter me if you fancy 
the prudence of saving withholds me! 
I did go the other night, but I shall 
not go again. Music! — when you go 
to the opera, is it for the music?" 

" Only purtially, I own : the lights, 
the scene, the pageant, attract me 
quite as much. But I do not think 
the opera a very profitable pleasure 
for dther of us. For rich idle people^ 
I dare say, it may be as innocent an 
amusement as any other, but I find it' 
a sad enervator/' 

"And I just the reverse— a hor- 
rible stimulimt ! Caxton,doyouknow 
that^ nngiadous as it will sound ta 
you, I am g^rowing impatient of this 
'honourable independence!' What 
does it lead to ? — Aboard, dothes, and 
lodging, — can it ever bring me any- 
thing more ?" 

*' At firsts "Vivian, you limited your 
aspirations to kid gloves and a cab* 
ridet : it has brought the kid glovea 
already ; by and by it will bring tha 
cabriolet !" 

"Our wishes grow by what they 
feed on. You live in the great world 
— ^you can have excitement if you 
please it — I want exdtement, I want 
the world, I want room for my mind, 
manl Do you understand me?** 
L 10 



146 



THE CAXTONSi 



««' 



Terfectly-"ttid fymiMitlufle with 
'you, mj poor Yivian; bat it will all 
oome. Ffttieoce, as I preached to 
yon while dawn rose so comfortless 
over the streets of London. Ton are 
aot losing time; fill yonr mind; read, 
study, fit yourself for ambition. Why 
wish to fly till you have got your 
wings? Liye in books now: after 
all, they are splendid palaces, and 
open to us all, rich and poor." 

"Books, books!' — ah, you are the 
son of a bookman ! It Lb not by books 
that men get on in the world, and 
eijoy life in the meanwhile." 

" I don't know that ; but, my good 
&II0W, you want to do both — get on 
in the world as fiist as labour can, 
and enjoy life as pleasantly as indo* 
lence may. Ton want to live like the 
butterfly, and yet have all the honey 
of the bee; and, what is the very 
deuce of the whole, even as the but- 
terfly, you ask every flower to grow 
up in a moment ; and, as a bee, the 
whole hive must be stored in a quar- 
ter of an hour! Patience, patience, 
patience." 

Vivian nghed a fierce agh. "I 
suppose," said he, after an unquiet 
pause, "that the vagrant and the 
outlaw are strong in me^ for I long to 
run back to my old existence, which 
was all action, and therefore allowed 
no thought." 

While he thus said, we had wan- 
dered round the Colonnade, and were 
in that narrow passage in which is 
situated the more private entrance to 
the opera : dose by the doors of that 
entrance, two or three young men 
were lounging. As Vivian ceased, the 
ycMce of one of these loungers came 
laughingly to our ears. 

" Oh !" it said, apparently in an- 
swer to some question, "I have a 
much quicker way to fortune than 
that; I mean to marry an heiress !" 

Vivian started, and looked at the 
speaker. He was a very goodJooking 



fellow. Vivian continued to loolt al 
him, and deliberately, from bead to- 
foot; he then turned away with a 
satisfied and thoughtful smile. 

" Certainly," said I, gravely, (con- 
struing the smile,) "you are right 
there; you are even better-looldng 
than that heiress-hunter !" 

Vivian coloured; but before he 
could answer, one of the loung^ers, as 
the group recovered from the gay 
laugh which their companion's ea^ 
coxcombry had excited, said,>-« 

" Then, by the way, if you want 
an hdress, here comes one of the 
greatest in England; but instead of 
being a younger son, with three g^ood 
lives between you and an Irish peer-, 
age^ one ought to be an earl at least 
to aspire to Fanny Trevanion !" 

The name thrilled through me — I 
felt myself tremble-^and, looking up^ 
I saw Lady EUinor and Miss Treva- 
nion, as they hurried from thdr car- 
riage towards the entrance of the 
opera. They both recognised me^ and 
Fanny cried,— 

"Touhere! How fortunate ! You 
must see us into the box, even if you 
run away the moment after." 

"But I am not dressed for the 
opera," said I, embarrassed. 

" And why not ?" asked SOss Tre- 
vanion ; then, dropinng her voice, she 
added, "Why do you desert us so 
wilfully ?" — and, leaning her hand 
on my arm, I was drawn irresistibly 
into the lobby. The young loungers 
at the door made way for us, and eyed 
me, no doubt, with envy. 

" Nay !" said I, affecting to laugh, 
as I saw Miss -Trevanion waited fat 
my reply. "Tou forget how little 
time I have for such amusements now, 
—and my und o " 

" Oh, but mamma and I have been 
to see your uncle to-day, and he is* 
nearly well — is he not mamma? I 
cannot tell you how I Hke and admire, 
him. He is just what I fimgr ^ 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



U7 



Donglas of the old day. But mamma 
18 impatient. Well, you must dine 
with ns to-morrow — promise! — not 
adieu hut au revoir/* and Fanny 
glided to her mother's arm. Lady 
FUinor, always kind and conrteons to 
me, had good-naturedly lingered till 
this dialogue, or rather monologue, 
was over. 

On returning to the passage, I found 
Vivian walking to and fro; he had 
lighted his cigar, and was smoking 
energetically. 

^So this great hdress,'' said he, 
smiling, "who, as &r as I could see 
-—under her hood — seems no less &ir 
than rich, is the daughter, I presume, 
of the Mr. Trevanion whose efiusions 
yon so kindly suhmit to me. He is 
very rich, then ? You never sfud so, 
yet I ought to have known it : hut 
you see I know nothing of your beau 
monde^— not even that Miss Trevanion 
is one of the gpreatest heiresses in 
Englatod.'* 

" Yes, Mr. Trevanion is rich," said 
I, repressing a sigh — " very rich." 

" And you are his secretary ! My 
dear fi^end, you may well offer me 
patience, for a large stodi: of yours 
win, I hope, he superfluous to you." 
I don't understand you." 
Yet you heard that yoong gen- 
tleman, as well as myself; and yon 
are in the same house as the 
heiress." 

« Vivian !" 

** Well, what have I said so mon- 
strous?" 

<'Fooh! since you refer to that 
young gentleman, you heard, too, what 
his companion told him, — ' one ought 
to he an earl, at least, to aspire to 
Fanny Trevanion !' " 

*' Tut ! as well say that one ought 
to he a millionaire to aspire to a mil- 
lion ! — ^yet I helieve those who make 
millions ^penerally hegin with pence." 

'* That helief shotdd he a comfort 
and enoouragement to you, Vivian. 



«< 



u 



And, now, good-night,'-^! lusve mudi 
to do." 

"Good-night, then," sud Vivian, 
and we parted. 

I made my way to Mr. Trevanion'a 
house, and to the study. There was 
a formidahle arrear of husiness waiting 
for me, and I sate down to it at first 
resolutely ; hut, hy degrees, I found 
my thoughts wandering firom the 
eternal hlue-hooks, and the pen slipped 
from my hand, in the midst of an ex- 
tract from a Report on Sierra Leone. 
My pulse heat loud and quick ; I was 
in that state of nervous fever which 
only emotion can occasion. The sweet 
voice of Fanny rang in my ears ; her 
eyes, as I had last met them, unusually 
gentle — almost heseeching — gazed 
upon me wherever I turned: and 
then, as in mockery, I heard again 
those words, — " One ought to he an 
earl, at least, to aspire to" — Oh ! did 
I aspire ? Was I vain fool so frantic P 
— household traitor so consummate ? 
No, no ! Then what did I under the 
same roof? — ^why stay to imhihe this 
sweet poison, that was corroding the 
very springs of my life ? At that 
self-guestion, which, had I heen hut a 
year or two older, I should have asked 
long hefore, a mortal terror seized 
me ; the hlood rushed from my heart, 
apd lefb me cold — ^icy cold. To leave 
the house! leave Fanny! — never 
again to see those eyes — ^never to hear 
that voice ! — hetter die of the sweet 
poison than of the desolate exile f I 
rose — I opened the windows — I 
walked to and fix> the room : I could 
decide nothing — think of nothing; 
all my mind was in an uproar. With 
a violent effort at self-mastery, I ap- 
proached the tahle again. I resolved 
to fiirce myself to my task, if it were 
only to re-collect my faculties, and 
enahle them to hear my own torture. 
I turned over the hooks impatiently, 
when, lo! huried amongst them, what 
met my eye — archly, yet reproach- 



m 



THE CAXTOKSf 



fblly — the fiice of Fanny herself!) 
Her miniature was there. It had 
heen, I knew, taken a few days he- 
fore, hy a yonng artist whom Treva- 
nion patronised. I suppose he had 
carried it into his study to examine 
it, and so left it there carelessly. The 
painter had seized her peculiar ex- 
pression — her inefiahle smile — so 
charming, so malidous; even her 
favourite posture — the small head 
turned over the rounded Hehe-like 
shoulder — the eye glancing up from 
under the hair. I know not what 
change in my madness came over me; 
but I sank on my knees, and, kisnng 
the miniature again and again, burst 
into tears. Such tears! I did not 
hear the door open— I did not see the 
shadow steal over the floor: a light 
band rested on my shoulder, trembling 
as it rested — ^I started. Fanny herself 
was bending over me ! 

" What is the matter ?" she asked, 
tenderly. *♦ What has happened? — 
your unde— your &mily — all well? 
Why are you weeping ?'* 

I could not answer; but I kept 
my hands clasped over the miniature, 
that she might not see what they 
contained. 

*' Will you not answer P Am I not 
your friend? — almost your sister? 
Come, shall I call mamma ?** 
s— yes; go-go." 
No, I will not go yet. What have 
you thm ?-*what are you Mdipg f^ I 



t€ 



ti 



And innocently, and sister-like 
those hands took mine ; and so-— and 
so— the picture became visible! There 
was a dead olence. I looked up 
through my tears. Fanny had re* 
coiled some steps, and her cheek was 
very flushed, her eyes downcast. I 
felt as if I had committed a crime- 
as if dishonour dung to me ; and yet 
I repressed — yes, thank Heaven ! I 
repressed the cry that swelled from my 
heart, that rushed to my lips — " Pity 
me, for I love you !" I repressed i^ 
and only a groan escaped me — ^the 
wul of my lost happiness! Then, 
rising, I laid the miniature on the 
table, and said, in a voice that I be* 
lieve was firm— 

« Miss Trevanion, you "home been aa 
kind as a sister to me, and therefore 
I was bidding a brother's farewell to 
your likeness; it i» so ^e yon—* 
this!'' 

** Farewell r echoed Fanny, alall 
not looking up. 

** Farewell^-tfirfer / There, I have 
boldly said the word; for — ^for** — ^I 
hurried to the door, and, there turn* 
ing, added, with what I meant to be 
a smile— "for they say at home that 
I — ^I am not well ; too much for me 
this; you know mothers will be fool- 
ish; and — and— I am to speak to 
yourflither to-morrow; and — good- 
night — God blesft you^ Miss Ttwtt* 
nioni^ 



A FAMILY PICTUBK 



U9 



PAET NINTEL 



CHAPTER L 



A2n> my fikther pushed adde bis 
books. 

O yonng reader, whoever thoa art, 
•—or reader, at least, who hast been 
young,— -caiist thoa not rememher 
some time when, with thy wild troa- 
bles and sorrows as yet borne in secret, 
thou bast come back from that hard, 
stem world which opens on thee 
when thou pnttest thy foot oat of the 
threshold of home— come back to 
the four quiet walls, wherem thine 
elders At in peace — and seen, with a 
sort of sad amaze, how calm and mi- 
^sturbed all is there ? That gene- 
ration which has gone before thee in 
the path of the passions — the genera- 
tion of thy parents— (not so many 
year^, perdiance, remote from thine 
own}— how immovably &r off, in its 
«till repose, it seems from thy turbn- 
lent youth I It has in it a stillness 
as of a classic age, antique as the 
statues of the Greeks. That tranquil 
monotony of routine into which those 
lives that preceded thee have merged 
•—the occupations that they have 
found sufficing for their happiness, by 
the fireside— in the arm-chair and 
oomer appropriated to each — how 
strangely they contrast thine own 
feverish excitement ! And they make 
zoom for thee, and bid thee welcome, 
and Ihen resettle to thdr hushed 
pursuits, as if nothing had happened ! 
Nothing had happened ! while in thy 
Jieart> perhaps, the whole world seems 



to have shot from its axis, all the 
elements to be at war ! And yon sit 
down, crushed by that quiet happiness 
which you can share no more, and 
smUe medianically, and look into the 
fire; and, ten toone, you say nothing 
till the time comes for bed, and you 
take up your candle, and creep mise* 
rably to your lonely room. 

Now, if in a stage-ooadi in thedepth 
of winter, when three passengers are 
warm and snug, a fourth, aU besnowed 
and frozen, descends from the out- 
aide and takes place amongst them, 
straightway all the three passengers 
shift their places, uneacdly puU up 
their cloak oollars, re-arrange their 
" comforters,*' feel indignantly a sen- 
sible loss of calorio— the intruder has 
at least made a sensation. But if yon 
had all the snows of the Graminans 
in your heart, you might enter unno- 
ticed; take care not to tread on the 
toes of your opposite neighbour, and 
not a soul is disturbed, not a " com- 
forter" stirs an inch ! I had not slept 
a wink, I had not even laid down iH 
that night — ^the night in which I had 
said friewell to Fanny Trevanion— • 
and the next morning, when the sun 
rose^ I wandered out — ^where I know 
not. X have a dim recollection of 
long, grey, solitary streets — of the 
river that seemed flowing in dull, 
sullen silence, away, for away, into 
some invifidble etemily— -trees and 
turf> and the gay vcnoes of clul dr eiw 



V- 



150 



THE CAXTONSi 



I most bare gone from one end of 
the great Babel to the other : but my 
memory only became dear and dis- 
tinct when I knocked, somewhere be- 
fore noon, at the door of my Other's 
house, and, passing heavily np the 
stairs, came into the drawing-room, 
which was the rendezvous of the little 
family; for, since we had been in 
London, my fiither had ceased to have 
his study apart, and contented him- 
self with what he called "a comer" 
^-a comer wide enough to contain two 
tables and a dumb waiter>with chiurs 
d discretion all littered with books. 
On th^ opposite side of this capa- 
cious comer sat my unde, now nearly 
. convalescent, and he was jotting down, 
in his stiff, military hand, certain 
figures in a little red account-book — 
for you know already that my unde 
Boland was, in his expenses, the most 
•methodical of men. 

My other's face was more benign 
than usual, for before him lay a proof 
.—the first proof of lus first work — 
.his one work-r>the Great Book ! Tes ! 
.it had poatively found a press. And 
the first proof of your first work — ask 
any author what that is ! My mother 
was out, with the &ithM Mrs. Prim- 
mins, shopping or marketing, no 
doubt; so, while the brothers were 
thus engaged, it was natural that my 
entrance should not make as much 
noise as if it had been a bomb, or a 
singer, or a dap of thunder, or the 
last ''great novd of the season," 
or anything else that made a noise 
in those days. For what makes a 
lioise now? Now, when the most 
astonishing thing of all is our easy 
familiarity with things astounding^^ 
when we say, listlessly, "Another re< 
volution at Paris," or, ** By the by, 
there is the deuce to do at Vienna I" 
•*-when De Joinville is catching fish 
in the ponds at Claremont, and you 
tiardly turn bade to look m^ Metter- 
|dqh on the pier at Brighton.! 



My unde nodded and g^wled in* 
distinctly ; my fiiither — 

"Pat aside his books; you have 
told us that already." 

Sir, you are very much mistaken; 
it was not then that ho put aside his 
books, for he was not then engaged in 
them — he was rea^ng his proo£ 
And he snuled, and pointed to it (the* 
proof I mean) pathetically, and with 
a kind of humour, as much as to say 
—"what can you expect, Pisistratns? 
—my new baby in short dothes— or 
long prinier, which is all the same 
thing !" 

I took a diair between the two, and 
looked first at one, then at the other 
— heaven forgive me! — I felt a rebd« 
liousi, ungrateful spite against both. 
The bitterness of my soul must have 
been deep indeed to have overflowed 
in that direction, but it did* The 
grief of youth is an abominable egotist, 
and that is the truth. I got up from 
the diair, and walked towards the 
window; it was open, and outside the 
window was Mrs. Primmins* canary, 
in its cage. London air had agreed 
with it, and it was singing lustily. 
Now, when the cftnary saw me stand- 
ing opposite to its cage, and regard* 
mg it seriously, and, I have no doubt^ 
with a very sombre aspect, the crea* 
ture stopped short, and hung its head 
on one side, looking at me obliqudy 
and Buspidouisly. Finding that I did 
it no hfurm, it began to hazard a few 
broken notes, timidiy and interroga- 
tively, as it were^ pausing between 
each; and at length, as I made no 
reply, it evidently thought it had 
solved the doubt, and ascertained that 
I was more to be pitied than feared 
—for it stole gradually into so soft 
and silvery a strain that^ I verily be* 
lieve, it did it on purpose to comfiirfi 
me! — ^me, its old friend, whom it had 
unjustly suspected. Never did any 
music touch me so home as did that 
long, plaintiye cadence. And when the 



A FAHILT HCTCtlK 



181 



Inrd ceased, it perched itself dose to 
the hars of the cage, and looked at me 
steadily with its hright intelligent 
eyes. I felt mine water, and I turned 
back and stood in the centre of the 
room, irresolute what to do, where to 
go. My father had done with the 
proof, and was deep in his folios. Bo- 
land had dasped his red aooonnt-hook. 



restored it to his pocket, triped'his 
pen carefolly, and now watched me 
from nnder his great heetle-hrows. 
Suddenly he rose, and, stamping on 
the hearth with his cork-leg, ex- 
dumed, " Look up from those cursed 
hooks, brother Austin ! What is there 
in your son's fiioeP Construe that, 
if you can V* 



CHAPTEUIL 



Akd my fother pushed adde his 
liooks, and rose hastily. He took off 
his spectacles, and rubbed them me- 
thanically, but he said nothing ; and 
my unde, staring at him for a mo- 
ment, in surprise at his silence, burst 
out— 

*' Oh ! I see ; he has been getting 
Into some scrape, and you are angry. 
He ! young blood will have its way, 
Austin — ^it wilL I don't blame that 
—it is only when — come here, Sisty. 
Zounds ! man, come here." 

My &ther gently brushed off the 
Captain's hand, and, advancing to- 
wards me, opened his arms. The 
next moment I was sobbing on his 
breast. 

*« But what is the matter ?" cried 
Captain Boland — "will nobody say 
what is the matter ? Money, I suppose 
'•—money, you confomided extravagant 
young dog. Luckily you have got an 
uncle who has more than he knows 
What to do with. How much? Fifty? 
*^-A hundred ? — ^two hundred ? How 
can I write the dieque, if youll not 
•peak." 

' " Hush, brother ! it is no money 
you can give that will set this right. 
My poor boy ! Have I guessed truly ? 
tHd I guess truly the other evening, 

trhen " 

t ^'Yem siT«-'V^' I 'have been so 



wretched. But I am better now— I 
can tell you all." 

My unde moved slowly towards tho 
door : his fine sense of ddicacy made 
him think that even he was out of 
place in the confidence between son. 
and &ther. 

" No, unde," I said, haf ding out 
my hand to him, "stay; you too can 
adrise me^strengthen me. I have 
kept my honour yet — ^help me to 
keep it still." 

At the sound of the word honour. 
Captain Boland stood mute, and 
raised his head quickly. 

So I told all — ^incoherently enough 
at first, but clearly and manfully as I 
went on. Now I know that it is not 
the custom of lovers to confide in fii- 
thers and uncles. Judging by those 
mirrors of life^ plays and novels, they 
choose better; — valets and chamber- 
maids, and friends whom they have 
picked up in the street, as I had 
picked up poor Francis Vivian — ^to 
these they make clean breasts of their 
troubles. Butfiithers and uncles— to 
them they are close, impregnable; 
"buttoned to the chm." The Cax- 
tons were an eccentric fiimily, and 
never did anything like other people. 
When I had ended, I lifted up my 
eyes, and said pleadingly, "Now, teU 
me, is there no hope— none P" 



159 



THE CAXTONSi 



''Why ghonld then be ncme?" 
cried Captain Boland hastily— "The 
De Caztons are as good a idmily as 
the TrevBiiions; and as for yoanelf, 
all I wiU say is, that the young lady 
might choose worse for her own hap- 
piness/' 

I wrong my musk's hand, and 
tamed to my Uther in anxious fear — 
for I knew that, in spite of his se- 
cluded hahits, few men ever formed a 
sounder judgment on worldly matters, 
when he was fiurly drawn to look at 
them. A thing wonderlal is that 
plain wisdom which scholars and poets 
often have for others^ though they 
rarely deign to use it for thamselyes. 
And how on earth do they get at it? 
.'J looked at my fother, and the vague 
' hope Boland had excited fell as I 
looked. 

"Brother," said he ilowl/, and 
ehakiug his head, "the world, which 
gives codes and laws to those who 
live in it^ does not care much for a 
pedigree, unless it goes with a title- 
-deed to estates." 

"Trevanion was not richer than 
Pisistratus when he married Lady 
£llinor," said my unde. 

"True; hut Lady Ellinor was not 
then an heiress, and her fother viewed 
these matters as no other peer in 
England perhaps would. ' As for 
Trevanion himself, I dare say he has 
no prejudices about station, but he is 
strong In common sense. He values 
himself on being apractical man. It 
would be folly to talk to him of bve, 
and the affections of youth. He 
would see In the son of Austin Cax- 
ton, living jn the interest of some 
fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds, 
such a match for his daughter as no 
prudent man in his position could ap- 
prove. And as for Lady Ellinor"—- 

"She owes us much, Austin!" ex- 
claimed Boland, his foce darkening. 

" Lady Ellinor is now what, if we 
had known her better^ she promised 



always to be— -the ambitious, briniant; 
scheming woman of the world. la it 
notso, Firastratns?" 

I said nothing, I felt too much. 

"And does the ^rl fike you?*^ 
but I think it is cUwr she does !" ex* 
claimed Boland. " Fate-^fate; it has 
been a fotal fomily to us 1 Zounds ! 
Austin, it was your fiuilt. Why did 
you let him go there ?" 

"My son is now a man— at least in 
heart, if not in years — can man be 
shut from danger and trial ? They 
found me in tiie old parsonage^ 
brother !" said my fi&ther mildly. 

My unde walk^, or rather stumped, 
three times up and down the room$ 
and he then stopped short, folded his 
armsi, and came to a dedsion— 

" If the girl likes yon, your doty la 
doubly dear— you can't take advan* 
tage of it. Tou have done right to 
leave the house, for the temptation 
might be too strong." 

"But what excuse shall I make to 
Mr. Trevankm?" said I feebly— 
"what story can I invent? So care- 
less as he is while he trusts^ so pene- 
trating if he once suspects, he will 
see through all my subterfoges, and 
—and—" 

" It is as plain as a pike-staf^" said 
my unde, abruptiy — "and there need 
be no subterfuge in the matter. 'I 
must leave you, Mr. Trevanion,' 
'Why?' says he. 'Don't ask me.' 
He innsts. 'Well then, sir, if yoa 
must know, I love your daughter. I 
have nothing — she is a great heiress* 
You will not approve of that love^ and 
therefore I leave you!'* That is the 
course that becomes an English gentle* 
man. Eh, Austin ?" 

" You are never wrong when your 
mstincts speal^ Boland," said my 
fother. " Can you say tiiis, Hsistra- 
tus, or shall I say it for you ?" 

"Let him say it himsdf," said 
Boland; "and let lum Judge himsdl 
of the answer. He is youngs be il 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



153 



dever, he may make a figure in the 
world. Trevanion tnaif answer, 'Win 
the lady after you have won the laurel, 
like the knights of old.' At all events, 
yon will hear the worst/' 

** I will go/' said I firmly; and I 
took my hat and left the room* As I 
was passing the landing-place, a light 
step stole down the upper flight of 
stairs, and a little hand seized my 
own. I turned quickly, and met the 
full, dark, seriously sweet eyes of my 
cousin Blanche. 

"Don't go away yet, Sisty," said 
she ooaxingly. ** I have heen waiting 
for yon, for I heard your voice, and 
did not like to come in and disturh 
you." 

" And why did you wait Ibr me, my 
Httle Blanche ?" 

« Why! only to see you. But your 
eyes are red. Oh, couan!" — and, 
before I was aware of her childish 
impulse, she had sprung to my neck 
and kissed me. Now Blandie was 
not like most children, and was very 
sparing of her caresses. So it was 
pat of the deeps of a kind heart that 
that kiss came. I returned it with- 
out a word; and, putting her down 
gently, descended the stairs, and was 
in the streets. But I had not got &r 
before I heard my other's voice; and 
he came up, and hooking his arm into 
miAe, said, ** Are there not two of us 
that suffer? — ^let us he together !" I 



pressed his arm, and we walked on in 
silence. But when we were near Tre- 
vanion's house, I sud, hesitatingly, 
** Would it not he better, sir, that I 
went in alone. If there is to he an 
explanation between Hr. Trevanion 
and myself. Would it not seem as if 
your presence impHed either a request 
to him that would lower us both, or a 
doubt of me that — ** 

'* You will go in alone^ of course : I 
will wait for you — ** 

"Not in the streets — oh, no! 
fiither," cried I, touched inexpressibly. 
For all this was so unlike my father's 
habits, that I felt remorse to have so 
communicated my young griefe to the 
calm dignity of his serene life. 

" My son, you do not know how I 
love you. I have only known it my- 
self lately. Look you, I am living in 
you now, my first-bom; not in my 
other son — ^the Great. Book : I must 
have my way. Go in; that is the 
door, is it not ?" 

I pressed my other's hand, and I 
felt then, that while that hand could 
reply to mine, even the loss of Fanny 
Trevanion could not leave the world a 
blank. How much we have before us 
in life, while we retain our parents ! 
How much to strive and to hope fori 
What a motive in the conquest of our 
sorrow — ^that they may not sorrow 
with us 1 



CHAPTER ra. 

I MJHT E BBD Trovanlon's study. It I "A pretty fellow you are," said he, 
was an hour in which he was rarely at 'looking up, "to leave me all the 
home^ but I had not thought of that; : morning, without rhyme or reason ! 
and I saw without surprise that, con- ; And my committee is postponed — 
tniiy to his custom, he was in his; chairman ill; people who get ill should 
arm-chair, reading one of his favourite ! not go into the House of Commons. 
chuHUC authors, instead of being in So here I am looking into Propertius: 



some committee-room of the House of 
CommoDS. 



Parr is right; not so elegant a writer 
as Tibullus, But what &e deuce ar« 



151 



THE CAXT0N8. 



you alxmt f — ^why dont yon nt down P 
Humph! yon look grave—- yon have 
something to say, — say it 1" 

And* putting down Propertlns, the 
acute, sharp face of Trevanion in- 
stantly hecame earnest and atten- 
tive. 

<'My dear Mr. Trevanion,'' said I 
with as much steadiness as I conld as- 
sume^ '' yon have heen most kind to 
me; and out of my own &mily 
there is no man I love and respect 
more." 

TBEYJjnoir, — ^ Humph ! What* s 
all this ? (In an under tone)— Am I 
going to he taken in ? 

PisiBTBATUS. — ^Do not think me 
ungratefhl, then, when I say I come 
to recngn my office— to leave the house 
where I have heen so happy. 

Tbetanion.— Leave the house! 
Pooh I I have overtasked yon. I will 
be more merciful in future. Ton must 
forgive a political economist ; it is the 
&ult of my sect to look upon men as 
machines. 

PisiBTBATirs, (smiling faintly.)— 
No, indeed ; that is not it^ I have 
nothing to comphun of; nothing I 
could wish altered— could I stay. 

Tbbtavion, (examining me 
thoughtfully.) — ^And does your &ther 
approve of your leaving me thns ? 

PlBISTEATTTS. — ^Ycs— fully. 

Tbeyanion, (musing a moment.) 
I see, he would send you to the Uni- 
versity, make you a hook-worm like 
himself: pooh! that will not do — ^you 
will never become wholly a man of 
books — ^it is not in you. Young man, 
though I may seem careless, I read 
characters, when I please it, pretty 
quickly. You do wrong to leave me ; 
you are made for the great world — ^I 
can open to you a high career. I wish 
to do so ! Lady EUinor wishes it-» 
nay, insists on it — ^for your father's 
sake as well as yours. I nevw ask a 
&vour from ministers, and I never 
wilL But Qiere Trevanion rose sud- 



denly, and, with an erect mien and a 
quick gesture of his arm, he added)-— 
but a minister can dispose as he 
pleases of his patronage. Look yon, 
it is a secret yet, and I trust to your 
honour. But, before the year is out, 
I must be in the cabinet. Stay with 
me^ I guarantee your fortunes — ^three 
months ago I would not have said 
that. By and by I will open Parlia- 
ment for you — you are not of age yet 
-—work till then. And now sit down 
and write my letters — a sad avrear ! 

''My dear, dear Mr. Trevanion!'* 
said I, so affected that I could scarcely 
speak, and seizing his hand, which I 
pressed between both mine—*' I dare 
not thank you — I cannot ! But yoa 
don't know my heart — ^it is not am- 
bition. No! if I could but stay here 
on the same terms for ever— Aerff"— • 
looking ruefully on that spot where 
Fanny had stood the night before. 
" But it is impossible !— ^ yon knevr 
all, yoa would be the first to bid me 
go!" 

" You are in debt," said the man of 
the world, coldly. " Bad, very bad—* 
still—" 

"No, sir; no! worse" — 

"Hardly posnble io be worsen 
young man — ^hardly! But, jnst as 
you will; you leave me, and will not 
say why. 6ood-by. Why do yoa 
linger ? Shake hands, and go !" 

" I cannot leave you thus : I — ^I— ^ 
sir, the truth shall out. ' I am raeb 
and mad enough not to see Mjss Tre- 
vanion without forgetting that I am 
poor, and"— 

"Ha!" hiterrupted Trevanion 
softly, and growing pale, "this is a 
misfortune^ indeed! And I, who 
talked of reading characters ! Truly, 
truly, we would-be practical men are 
fools— fools! And yoa have made 
love to my daughter !" 

"Sur? Mr. Trevanion! — no— 
never, never so base ! La your hoose^ 
trusted by you,— how could yoathinlsf 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



i5& 



it? t dared, it may be^ to love — 
at all events, to feel that I coold not 
be iDserndble to a temptationtoo strong 
for me. Bat to say it to your heiress 
—to ask love in retom— I would as 
soon have broken open your desk! 
Frankly I tell yon my foUy : it is a 
folly, not a disgrace.'' 

Trevanion came up to me abruptly, 
as I leant against the bookcase, and, 
grasping my band with a cordial 
kindness, scud, "Pardon me! Yon 
have bidiaved as your other's •aon 
should — I envy him such a son! 
Kow, listen to me— I cannot give you 
my daughter—" 

" BeHeve me, sir, I never—" 
" Tut, Usten ! I cannot give you 
my daughter. I say nothing of ine- 
quality — ell gentlemen are equal; 
and if not, any impertinent affectation 
of superiority, in such a case, would 
come ill from one who owes his own 
fortune to his wife ! But, as it is, I 
^ve a stake in the world, won not by 
fortune only, but the labour of a 
life, the suppression of half my nature 
—the drudging, squaring, taming 
down all that made the glory and joy 
of my youth — to be that hard matter- 
of-&ct thing which the English world 
expect in a statesman ! This station 
has gradually opened into its natural 
result — power! I tell you I shall 
soon have high office in the adminis- 
tration: I hope to render great ser- 
vices to England — for we English 
poUticianSy whatever the mob and 
the press say of us, are not selfish 
place-hunters. I refused office, as 
high as I look for now, ten years ago. 
We beUeve in our opinions, and we 
hail the power that may carry them 
faito effisct. In this cabinet I shall 
have enemies. Oh, don't think we 
leave jealousy behind us, at the doors 
of Downing Street ! I shall be one 
of a minority. I know well what must 
happen: like all men in power, li 
must strengthen myself^ by other! 



heads and hands than my own. My 
daughter shall bring to me the 
allianoe of that house' in England 
which is most necessary to me. My 
life fitlls to the ground, like a child's 
pyramid of cards, if I waste — I do not 
say on you, but on men of ten times 
your fortune (whatever that be,) the 
means of strength which are at my 
disposal in the hand of Fanny Tre« 
vanion. To this end I have looked; 
but to this end her mother has schemed 
— ^for these household matters are 
within a man's hopes, but belong to a 
woman's policy. So much for us. 
But to you, my dear, and frank> and 
high-souled young friend — ^to you, if 
I were not Fanny's &ther — if I were 
your nearest relation, and Fanny could 
be had for the asking, with all her 
princely dower, (for it is princely,) — '• 
to you I should say, fly from a load 
upon the heart, on the genius, the 
energy, the pride, and the spirit, 
which not one man in ten thousand 
can bear; fly from the curse of owing 
everything to a wife ! — ^it is a reversal 
of all natural position, it is a blow to 
all the manhood within us. You know 
not what it is ; I do ! My wife's for- 
tune caime not till after marriage-^ 
so far, so well ; it saved my reputa« 
tion from the charge of fortune* 
hunting. But, I tell you, ffurly, that 
if it had never come at all, I should be 
a prouder, and a greater, and a happier 
man than I have ever been, or ever 
can be, with all its advantages; it 
has been a millstone round my neck* 
And yet EUinor has never breathed a 
word that could wound my pride. 
Would her daughter be as forbearing? 
Much as I love Fanny, I doubt if she 
has the great heart of her mother. 
You look incredulous ;-— naturally. 
Oh, you think I shall sacrifice my 
child's happiness to a politician's am* 
bition. Folly of youth ! Fanny would 
be >vretched with yon. She might 
not think so now; she would five 



156 



THE CAXTONSf 



yean hence t Fanny will make an 
admirable dacbess, oomitessy great 
lady; bnt wife to a man who owes all 
to her ! — ^no, no, don't dream it ! I 
shall not sacrifice her happiness, de- 
pend on it. I speak plainly, as man 
to man — man of the world to a man 
j ust entering it — ^but still man to man ! 
What say you ?" 

** I will think crret all yon tell me. 
I know that yon are speaking to me 
most generously — as a father would. 
Now let me go, and may Qod keep 
you and yours V* 

**Qo— I return your blesong — 
go ! I don't insult yon now with 
offers of service ; but^ remember, 
yon have a right to command them — 
in all ways, in all times. Stop! — 
take this comfort away with you — a 
torry comfort now, a great one here- 
after. In a position that might have 
moved anger, scorn, pity, yon have 
made a barren-hearted man honour 
and admire you. You, a boy, have 
made me^ with my grey hainj, think 



better of the whole world : tell your 
fkthw that" 

I closed the door, and stole out 
softly — softly. But when I got into 
the hall, Fanny suddenly opened the 
door of the breakfast parlour, and 
seemed, by her look, her gesture, to 
invite me in. Her &ce was very 
paH and there were traces of tears on 
the heavy lids. 

I stood still a moment, and my 
heart beat violently. I then muttered 
something inarticulately, and, bowing 
low, hastened to the door. 

I thought, but my ears might 
deceive me, that I heard my name pro* 
nounced; but fortunately the tail 
porter started from his newspaper and 
Ins leathern chair, and the entrance 
stood open. I joined my fkther. 

"It is all over," said I, with a 
resolute smile. " And now, my dear 
father, I feel how grateful I should 
be for all that your lessons — your life 
—have taught me j^for, believe me^ 
I am not unhappy/ 



ft 



CHAPTEB IV. 



Wb came back to my other's house, 
and on the stairs we met my mother, 
whom Roland's grave looks, and her 
Austin's strange absence, had alarmed. 
My father quietly led the way to 
a little room, which my mother had 
appropriated to Blanche and herself; 
and then, placing my hand in that 
which had helped his own steps f]X>m 
the stony path down the quiet vales 
of life, he said to me,—" Nature gives 
you here the soother ;" and, so saying, 
he left the room. 

And it was true, O my mother! 
that in thy ample loving breast nature 
did place the deep weUs of comfort ! 
We come to men finr philosophy — ^to 
women &r cansolation. And the tho«i« 



sand weaknesses and regrets — the 
sharp sands of the minntiss that make 
up torrow — all these, which I could 
have betrayed to no man — ^not even 
to him, the dearest and tenderest of 
all men — I showed without shame to 
thee ! And thy tears, that fell on my 
cheek, had the balm of Araby ; and 
my heart» at length, lay lulled and 
soothed under thy moist gentle eyes. 
I made an effort, and joined the 
little circle at dinner; and I &lt 
grateful that no violent attempt was 
made to raise my s^nrits— nothing but 
affection^ more subdued, and soft, and 
tranquil. Even little Blanche, as if 
by the intiution of sympathy, ceased 
her babble^ and seemed to hush her 



A FAMILY PICTUEE, 



157 



footstep as aiie crept to my nde. Bnt 
after dhmer, when we had reassembled 
in the drawing-room, and the lights 
shone bright, and the cortains were 
let down — and only the qnick roll of 
some passing wheels reminded ns that 
there was a world withoat — my father 
began to talk. He had laid aside all 
his work ; the younger bnt less perish- 
able child was forgotten, — and my 
&ther began to talk. 

** It is,'' said he mnrangly, " a well- 
known thing, that particular drugs or 
herbs suit the body according to its 
particular diseases. When we are ill, 
we don't open our medidne-chest at 
random, and take out any powder or 
phial that comes to hand. The skil- 
ful doctor is he who adjusts the dose 
to the malady." 

"Of that there can be no doubt," 
quoth Captain Boland. "I remem- 
ber a notable instance of the justice of 
what yon say. When I was in Spain, 
both my horse and I fell iU at the 
same time; a dose was sent for each ; 
and, by some infernal mistake, I 
swallowed the horse's physic, and the 
horse, poor thing, swallowed mine I" 

** And what was the result ?" asked 
my &ther. 

'' The horse diedl" answered Boland 
mournfully — "a yaluable beast-— 
bright bay, with a star I" 

"And you?" 

" Why, the doctor sud it ought to 
have killed me ; but it took a great 



deal more than a paltry bottle of 
physic to kil] a man in my re^ment." 

*'Neverth(le8s, we arrive at the 
same conclusion," pursued my father^ 
— " I with my theory, you with your 
experience, — that the phync we take 
must not be chosen hap-hazard ; and 
that a mistake in the bottle may kill 
a horse. But when we come to the 
medicine for the mind, how little do 
we think of the golden rule which 
common-sense applies to the body !" 

"Anan," said the Captain, "what 
medicine is there for the mind? 
Shakspeare has said something on 
that subject, which, if I recollect 
right, implies that there is no minis- 
tering to a mind diseased." 

" I think not, brother ; he only said 
phyrac (meaning boluses and black 
draughts) would not do it. And 
Shakspeare was the last man to find 
fiiult with his own art ; for, verily, he 
has been a great physidan to the 
mind." 

*' Ah ! I take you now, brother,— 
books again! So you think that, 
when a man breaks his heart, or 
loses Ms fortune, or his daughter— 
(Blandie, child, come here) — ^that yoa 
have oply to clap a plaster of print 
on the sore place, and all is well. I 
wish yon would find me such a cure." 

"Will you try it?" 

''If it Is not Greeks" said my 
unde* 



CHAFTEB y« 



KT TATHXB*8 CBOTOHXT OS THB BY&SOmO 0EEHI8TBT OF BOOKS* 



** It," said my &ther — and here his 
hand was deep in his waistcoat — "if 
we accept the authority of Diodorus, 
as to the inscription on the great 
Egyptian library — and I don't see 
why Diodonis should not be m near 



the mark as any one else ?" added my 
fiither interrogatively, turning round. 
My mother thought herself the 
person addressed, and nodded her 
grradous assent to the authority tit 
Diodonis. His opinion thVui fEKrtifiedr 



15& 



THE CAXTONSt 



my &ther oontinned,-*-"!^ I say, we 
accept the aathority of Diodonu, 
the inscription on the Egyptian 
library was — 'The Medicine of the 
Mind.' Now, that phrase has be- 
come notoriously trite and hackneyed, 
and people repeat vaguely that books 
are the medicine of the mind. Yes ; 
but toapply the medicine is the thing!" 

<' So you have told us a^ least twice 
before, brother," quoted the Captain, 
bluffly. "And what Diodorus has to 
do with it, I know no more than the 
man of the moon." 

" I shall never get on at this rate," 
■aid my &ther, in a tone between 
reproach and entreaty. 

"Be good children, Boland and 
Blanche both," said my mother, stop- 
jnng from her work, and holding up 
her needle threateningly — and indeed 
inflicting a slight puncture upon the 
Captain's shoulder. 

" Bem acu tetigisti, my dear," said 
my father, borrowing Cicero's pun on 
the occasion.* " And now we shall go 
upon velvet. I say, then, that books, 
iaken indiscriminately, are no cure to 
the diseases and tactions of the 
mind. There Is s world of science 
necessary in the taking them. I 
have known some people in great 
sorrow fly to a novel, or the last light 
book in fashion. One might as well 
take a rose-draught for the plague ! 
Light reading does not do when the 
heart is really heavy. I am tolct that 
Goethe, when he lost his son, took to 
study a science that was new to him. 
Ah! Goethe was a physician who 
knew what he was about. In a great 
grief like that, you cannot tickle and 
divert the mind ; you must wrench it 
away, abstract, absorb— bury it in an 
abyss, hurry it Into a labyrinth. 
Therefore, for the irremediable sor- 
rows of nuddle life and old age, I 



* Cicero's Joke on a senator who was the 
son of a taiVor — " Thou hast tonched the 
lyUng shmqe^lj,". (or with a nee^ler-oeit.) 



recommend s strict chronic oonise of 
sdenoe and hard reasoning — Counter* 
irritation. Bring the brain to act 
upon the heart! If sdenoe is too 
much against the gfrain, (for we have 
not all got mathematical heads,) some- 
thing in the reach of the humblest 
understanding, but sufficiently search- 
ing to the highest — a new language 
— Greek, Arabic^ Scandinavian, Chi- 
nese, or Welch! For the loss of. 
fortune, the dose should be applied 
less directly to the understanding. — 
I would administer something elegant 
and cordiaL For as the heart ia 
crushed and lacerated by a loss in the 
affections, so it is rather' the head thbt 
aches and suffers by the loss of money. 
Here we find the higher dass-of poets 
a very valuable remedy. For observe 
that poets of the grander and more 
comprehensive kind of genius have in 
them two separate men, quite dis- 
tinct from each other — the imagina- 
tive man, and the practical, drcnm- 
stantial man; and it is the happy 
mixture of these that suits diseases of 
the mind, half imaginative and half 
practical. There is Homer, now lost 
with the gods^ now at home with the 
homeliest, the very ' poet of drcnm* 
stance,' as Gray has finely called him; 
and yet with imagination enough to 
seduce and coax the dullest into for- 
getting, for a while, that little spot on 
his desk which his banker's book can 
cover. There is Virgil, fiir below 
him, indeed— 

'Tirgil the wise, 
TThose verse walks highest, bat not flies,** 

as Cowley expresses it. But Virgil 
still has genius enough to be two 
men — ^to lead you into the fields, not 
only to listen to the pastoral reed, 
and to hear the bees hum, but to note 
how you can make the most of the 
glebe and the vineyard. There is 
Horace, charming man of the world, 
who will condole with you feelingly 
on the loss of your fortune^ and by r p 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



15« 



means imdervBlne the good things of 
this Hfe; but who will yet show you 
that a man may be happy with a vile 
modicum, or pcurva rura. There is 
fihakspeare, who, above all poets, is 
the mysterious dual of hard sense and 
empyreal &ncy — ^and a great many 
more, whom I need not name ; but 
who, if you take to them gently and 
quietly, will not, like your mere phi- 
losopher, your unreasonable stdc, tell 
you that you have lost nothing; but 
who will insensibly steal you out of 
this world, with its losses and crosses, 
and slip yon into another world* be- 
fore you kxiow where you are! — ^a 
world where you.are just as welcome, 
though you carry no more earth ot 
your lost acres with you than covers 
the sole of your shoe. Then, for hy- 
pochondria and satiety, what is better 
than a brisk alterative course of travels 
•^especdally early, out-of-the-way, 
marvellous, legendary travels ! How 
they freshen up the spirits! How 
they take you out of the humdrum 
yawning state you are In. See, with 
Herodotus, young Greece spring up 
into Ufe; or note with him how al- 
ready the wondrous old Orient world 
is crumbling into giant decay ; or go 
with Carpini and Bubruquis to Tar- 
tary, meet 'the carts of Zagathai 
laden with houses, and think that a 
great city is travelling towards yon.'* 
Gaze on that vast wild empire of the 
Tartar, where the descendants of 
Jenghis * multiply and disperse over 
the immense waste desert, which is as 
boundless as the ocean.' Sail with the 
early northern discoverers, and pene- 
larate to the heart of winter, among 
sea-serpents and bears, and tusked 
morses, with the faces oP men. Then, 
what tbink you Of Columbus, and the 
stem soul of Cortes, and the kingdom 
oi Mexico, and the strange gold city 
of the Peruvians, with that audacious 



* ^VBBV^TnS, ABpt. «uL 



brute Pizarro? and the Polynesians^ 
just for all the world like the ancient 
Britons P and the American Indians^ 
and the South-Sea Islanders? how 
petulant, and young, and adventurous^ 
and £rtsky your hypochondriac must 
get upon a regimen like that ! Then, 
for that vice of the mind which I call 
sectarianism— not in the reli^ous 
sense of the word, but little, narrow 
prejudices, that make you hate your 
next-door neighbour, because he has 
hb eggs roasted when you have yours 
boiled; and gossiping and prying 
into people's afl&irs, and backbiting, 
and thinking heaven and earth are 
coming togetiier, if some broom touch 
a cobweb that you have let grow over 
the window-sill of your bruns — ^what 
like s large and generous, mildly 
aperient (I b^ your pardon, my dear) 
course of history ! How it clears away 
all the fumes of the head! — ^better 
than the hellebore with which the old 
leeches of the middle ages purged the 
cerebellum. There, amidst all that 
g^reat whirl and siurmbad, (storm« 
bath,) as the Germans say, of king- 
doms and em^nres, and races and 
ages^ how your mind enlarges beyond 
that little, feverish animosity to John 
Styles; or that unfortunate pre* 
possession of yours, that all the world 
is interested in your grievances against- 
Tom Stokes and his wife I 

" X can only touch, yon see, on a 
few ingredients in this magnificent 
pharmacy— its resources are bound- 
less, but require the nicest discretion. 
I remember to have cured a disconso-' 
late widower, who obstinately refused* 
every other medicament, by a strict, 
course of g^ogy. I dipped him deep 
into gneiss and mjca schist. Amidst' 
the fij»t strata, I suffered the watery 
action to expend itself upon cooling 
crystallised masses; and, by the time 
I had got him into the tertiary period, 
amongst the transition chalks of 
Maestricht^ and the oonchif erous marli. 



160 



THE CAXTONSi 



of Goflan, lie was ready for a new wife. 
Kitty, xny dear! it is no langhing 
jnatter. I made no less noti^le a 
:CciTe of a young scholar at Cambridge^ 
who was meant for the church, when 
he suddenly caught a cold fit of free- 
thinking, with great shiverings, from 
wading out of his depth in Spinosa. 
None of the divines, whom I first 
tried, did him the least good in that 
state; so I turned over a new lea^ 
and doctored him gently upon the 
chapters of fidth in Abraham Tucker's 
book, (you should read it, Sisty;) then 
I threw in strong doses of Fichte; 
aft«r that I put him on the Scotch 
metaphysicians, with plunge-baths into 
certun German transcendentalists ; 
and having convinced him that faith 
is not an unphilosophical state of mind, 
and that he might believe without 
compromising his understanding -— 
for he was mightily conceited on that 
score — I threw in my divines, which 
he was ncr<v fit to digest; and his 
theological constitution, since then, 
has become so robust, that he has 
eaten up two livings and a deanery ! 
In fact, I have a plan for a library 
that, instead of heading its compart- 
ments, 'Philology, Natural Sdence^ 
Poetry,' &c, one shall head them ac- 
cording to the diseases for which they 
are severally good, bodily and mental 
—up from a dire calamity, or the 
pangs of the gout, down to a fit of the 
spleen or a slight catarrh; for which 
last your light reading comes in with a 
whey-posset and barley-water. But," 
continued my &ther, more gravely, 
''when some one sorrow, that is yet 
reparable, gets hold of your mind like 
a monomania — ^when you think, be- 
cause heaven has denied you this or 
that, on winch you had set your heart, 
that all your life must be a blank — 
oh ! then diet yourself well on biogra- 
phy — ^the biography of good and great 
men. See how little a space one sor- 
row really makes in life. See scarce 



a page, perhaps, g^ven to some grief 
similar to your own ; and how trium< 



phantly the life suls on beyond it I 
Yon thought the wing was broken ! 
—Tut— tut — it was but a bruised 
feather ! See what life leaves behind 
it when all is done ! — a summary of 
positive fiicts far out of the re^on of 
sorrow and suffering, linking them- 
selves with the bdng of the world.* 
Yes, biography is the medicine here ! 
Boland, you sud you would try my 
prescription — here it is," — and my 
&ther took up a book, and reached it 
to the Capttun. 

My uncle looked over it — Life tff 
the Beverend Bobert Sail, "Brother, 
he was a Dissenter, and, thank heaven ! 
I am a church-and-state man, to the 
back-bone \" 

" Robert Hall was a brave man, 
and a true soldier under the Great 
Commander," said my &ther, artfully. 

The Captain mechanically carried 
lus forefinger to his fisrehead in mUi- 
taiy fashion, and saluted the book 
respectfully. 

"I have another copy for yon, 
Pisistratus— that is mine which I have 
lent Boland. This« which I bought for 
you to-day, yon will keep." 

"Thank you, sir," said I, listlessly^ 
not sedng what great good the I^e 
of Bobert Hall could do me, or why 
tiie same medidne should suit the old 
weather-beaten unde, and the nephew 
yet in his teens. 

"I .have said nothing," resumed 
my father, slightly bowing his broad 
temples, ''of the Book of Books, for 
that is the Ugnum vittB, the cardinal 
medicine for alL These are but the 
subsidiaries : for, as you may remem* 
her, my dear Kitty, that I have said 
before — we can never keep the system 
quite right unless we place just in the 
centre of the g^reat ganglionic system, 
whence the nerves carry its influence 
gently and smoothly through the* 
whole frame— THE Satvbok Ba&I" 



A FAMILY FICT17BE. 



M 



CHAPTER VL 



ArrsB Inreakftffc the next morning, 
I took my hat to $fO oat, when my 
fkther, looking at me, and seeing by 
my countenance that I had not slept, 
said gently — 

"My dear PisistratnSy yoa have 
not tried my medicine yet." 

" What medicine, sir 2** 

*' Robert HalL" 

" No,indeed,notyet,"8aidI,8miling. 

'' Do 80, my son, before yon go ont ; 
depend on it, yoa will enjoy yonr 
walk more." 

I confess that it was with some re- 
luctance I obeyed. I went back to 
my own room, and sate resolutely 
down to my task. Are there any of 
you, my readers, who have not read 
the Life of Robert Hall f If so, in 
the words of the great Captain Cuttle, 
** When fonndf make a note of it." 
Never mind what yonr theological 
ojnnion is — £piscopa]ian,Presbyterian, 
Baptist, Fsedobaptist, Independent, 
Quaker, Unitarian, Philosopher, Free- 
thinker, — send for Robert Hall ! Yea, 
if there exist yet on earth descendants 
of the arch-hereses, which made such 
a noise in thdr day — men who be- 
lieve with Satnminus that the world 
was made by seven angels; or with 
Banlides, that there are as many 
heavens as there are days in the year ; 
or with the Nicolaitanes, that men 
ought to have their wives in common, 
(plenty of that sect still, especially in 
the Red Republic;) or with their suc- 
cessors, the Gnostics, who believed in 
Jaldaboath; or with the Carpacra- 
tians, that the world was made by 
the devil I or with the Cerinthians, 
and Ebionites, and Nazarites, (which 
last discovered that the name of Noah's 
wife was Ouiia, and that she set the 
ark on fire ;) or with the V alentinians. 

No. 343. 



who taught that there were thirty 
JSones, ages, or worlds, bom out of 
Profundity, (Bathos,) male, and Si« 
lence, female ; or with the Marcites, 
Colarbasii, and Heracleonites, (who 
still kept up that bother about Mones, 
Mr. Profnndity and Mrs. Silence;) 
or with the Ophites, who are said to 
have worshipped the serpent ; or the 
Cainites, who ingeniously found out a 
reason for honouring Judas, because 
he foresaw what good would come to 
men by betraying our Saviour; or 
with the Sethites, who made Seth a 
part of the divine substance; or with 
the Archonticks, Ascothyptfls, Cer- 
donians, Marcionites, the disciples of 
Apelles, and Severus, (the last was a 
tee-totaller, and said wine was begot 
by Satan !) or of Tatian, who thought 
all the descendants of Adam wer^ 
irretrievably damned except them- 
selves, (some of those Tatiani are cer- 
tainly extant !) or the Cataphrygians^ 
who were also called Tascodragitss, 
because they thrust their forefingers 
up their nostrils to show their devo- 
tion; or the Pepuzians, Quintilians, 
and Artotyrites ; or — ^but no matter. 
If I go through all the follies of men 
in search of Uie truth, I shall never 
get to the end of my chapter, or back 
to Robert Hall : whatever, then, thoa 
art, orthodox or heterodox, send for 
the Life of Robert Hall, It is the 
life of a man that it does good to man- 
hood itself to contemplate. 

I had finished the biography, which 
is not long, and was musing over it, 
when I heard the Captain's cork-leg 
upon the stairs. I opened the door 
for him, and he entered, book in hand, 
as I, also, book in hand, stood ready 
to receive him. 

" Well, aar," 8ai4 Roland, seating 
X U 



11« 



THE CAXTONS: 



liimself, "has the prescriptiQn done 
yon any good ?** 

* Yes, unde — great/* 

" And me too. B j Jnpiter, Sisty, 
that same Hall was a fine fellow ! I 
wonder if the medidne has gone 
through the same channels in hoth ? 
Tell me, first, how it has affected yoa." 

** Imprimis, then, my dear nncle, I 
fkncy that a book like this must do 
good to all who live in the world in 
the or^&mry manner, by admitting 
us into a circle of life of which I sns- 
pect we think bat little. Here is a 
man oonnecdng himself directly with 
a heavenly purpose, and cultivating 
considerable faculties to that one end ; 
seeking to accomplish his soul as far 
as he can, that he may do most good 
on earth, and take a higher eidstenoe 
up to heaven; a man intent upon a sAb- 
lime and spiritual duty : in short, living 
as it were in it, and so filled with the 
consciousness of immortality, and so 
itrong in the link between God and 
man, that, without any affected sto- 
icism, without being insensible to pain 
—-rather, perhaps, from a nervous 
temperament, acutely feeling it — ^he 
yet has a happiness wholly indepen- 
dent of it. It is impossible not to be 
thrilled with an admiration that ele- 
vates while it awes you, in reading 
that solemn ' Dedication of himself to 
God.* This offering of 'soul and 
body, time, health, reputation, talents,* 
to the divine and invisible Principle 
of Good, caUs us suddenly to contem- 
plate the selfishness of our own views 
and hopes, and awakens us from the 
egotism that exacts all and resigns 
nothing. 

" But this book has mostly struck 
upon the chord in my own heart, in 
that characteristic which my father 
indicated as belonging to all biography. 
Here is a life of remarkable fulness, 
great study, great thought, and great 
action; and yet," said I, colouring, 
"how small a plaes tho»^ feelings, 



which have tynmnised over me, 
made all else seem blank Aod v(h^ 
hold m that life. It is not as if «te 
mto ^ere a cold and hard ascetic; 
it is easy to see in him not only re- 
markable tenderness avd warm affec- 
tiiOD8» but strong self-wifl, and the 
passion of all vigorous natures. Tes ! 
I understand better now what exist* 
ence in a true man should be." 

''AH that is very well said," quoth 
the Captain, "but it did not strike 
me. What J. have seen in this book 
is courage. Here is a poor creature 
rolling on the carpet with agony ; from 
childhood to death tortured by a mys* 
terious incurable malady — a mali^dy 
that is described as ' an internal ap- 
paratus of torture ;* and who does, by 
his heroism, more than hear it— he 
puts it out of power to affect him ; 
and though (here is the passage) ' his 
app<nntment by day and by night was 
incessant piun, yet high enjoyment 
was, notwithstanding, the law of his 
existence.' Robert Hall reads me a 
lesson — me, an old soldier, who 
thought myself above taking lessons 
— in comrage, at least. And, as 
I came to that passage when, in 
the sharp paroxysms before death, he 
says, 'I have not complained, have 
I, sir? — and I won't complain!'—- 
when I came to that passage I started 
up, and cried, 'Roland de Caxton, 
thou hast been a coward! and, ui 
thou hadst had thy deserts, thou hadst 
been cashiered, broken, and drummed 
out of the regiment long ago !* ** 

"After all, then, my fiither was 
not so wrong — ^he placed his guns 
right, and fired a good shot.*' 

" He must have been ftom 6° to 9° 
above the crest of the parapet," said 
my uncle, thoughttully — "which, I 
take it, is the best elevation, both for 
shot and shells, in enfilading a work.** 

" What say you, then, Captain ?— 
up with our knapsacks, and on with 
the march !" 



A FAMILY PICTUBE. 



16S 



••Mght about — ^faceP' cried my 
xmde, as erect as a column. 

"No looking back, if we can help 
it*' 

*'Fiill in the front of the enemy. 
'Up, guards, and at 'em !' 



>M 



€H 



' England expects evety man to do 
his duty!'" 

"Cypress op laurel 1" cried my 
unde, waving the book over hk 
head. 



CHAPTER VII. 



I WEVT out— and to see Fnmds 
Viyian; to, on leaving Mr. Tre- 
fanion, I was not without anxiety for 
my new finend's future provision. 
But Vivian was trom home, and I 
strolled ftom his lodgings into the 
saburbs on the ofher side of the river, 
and began to meditate seriously on the 
best course now to pursue. In quit- 
tingmy present occupations,! redgned 
prospects far more brilliant, and for- 
tcmes ikr more rapid thani could ever 
hope to realize in any other entrance 
into life. But I felt the necessity, if 
I desired to keep steadfi»t to tb&t 
more healthful frame of mind I had 
obtained, of some manly and con- 
tinuous labour—- some earnest employ- 
ment. My thoughts flew back to the 
univernty ; and the quiet of its clois- 
ters, which, until I had been blinded 
by the glare of the London world, and 
g^ef had somewhat dulled the edge of 
my quick derires and hopes, had 
seemed to me cheerless and unalter- 
ing — took an inviting aspect. It pre- 
sented what I needed most — a new 
scene, a new arena, a partial return 
into boyhood ; repose for paanons pre- 
maturely raised; activity for the rea- 
soning powers in fresh directions. I 
had not lost my time in London : I 
had kept up, ^ not studies purely 
dasfflcal, at least the habits of appli- 
cation ; I had sharpened my general 
oomprehennon, and augmented my 
Tesourcea. Accordingly, when I re- 



turned home, I resolved to speak to 
my &ther. But I found he had fore- 
stalled me; and* on entering, my 
mother drew me up stairs into her 
room, with a smile kindled bymy smile, 
and told me that she and her Austin 
had been thinking that it was best 
that I should leave London as soon a* 
possible; that my fo,ther found he 
could now dispense with the library of 
the Museum for some months; that 
the time for which they had taken 
their lodgings would be up in a few 
days; that the summer was for ad- 
vanced, town odious, the country 
beautifol — ^in a word, we were to go 
home. There I could prepare myself 
for Cambridge, till the long vacation 
was over; and, my mother added 
hesitatingly, and with a pre&toiy cau- 
tion to spare my health, that my 
father, whose income could ill afford 
the requisite allowance to me, counted 
on my soon lightening his burden, by 
getting a scholarship. I felt how 
much provident kindness there was in 
all this— even in that hint of a scholar* 
ship, which was meant to rouse my 
foculties, and spur me, by affectionate 
incentives, to a new ambition. I was 
not loss delighted than gratefuL 

"Butpoor Roland," saidi, "andlittlfi 
Blanche-— will they come with us ?" 

"I fear not," said my mother, "for 
Roland is anxious to get back to his 
tower; and in a day or twQy he will 
be well enough to move.' 

H2 



»» 



164. 



THE CAXTONSf 



« 



'Do yoa not think, my dear mother, 
that, somehow or other, this lost son 
of his had something to do with Bo- 
land's illness — ^that the illness was as 
much mental as physical ?" 

"1 have no douht of it, Sisty. What 
a sad, bad heart that yonng man must 
haver 

"My uncle seems to have aban- 
doned all hope of finding him in Lon- 
don ; otherwise, ill as he has been, I 
am sure we could not have kept him 
at home. So he goes back to the old 
tower. Poor man, he must be dull 
enough there ! We must contrive to 
pay him a visit; Does Blanche ever 
speak of her brother ?*' 

**Noj for it seems they were not 
brought up much together — at all 
events, she does not remember him. 
How lovely she is ! Her mother 
must surely have been very hand- 
some." 

"She is a pretty child, certainly, 
though in a strange style of beauty 
—such immense eyes ! — and affec- 
tionate, and loves Boland as she 
ought." 

And here the conversation dropped. 

Our plans being thus decided, it 
was necessary that I should lose no 
time in seeing Vivian, and making 
some arrangement for the future. His 
manner had lost so much of its abrupt- 
ness, that I thought I could venture 
to recommend him personally to Tre- 
Tanion ; and I knew, after what had 
passed, that Trevanion would make a 
point to oblige me. I resolved to 
consult my &ther about it. As yet, 
I had either never found, or never 
made the opportunity to talk to my 
&ther on the subject, he had been so 
occupied; and, if he had proposed to 
see my new friend, what answer could 
I have made, in the teeth of Vivian's 
cynic objections? However, as we 
were now going away, that last con- 
idderation ceased to be of impor- 
tence; and, for the firsts the student 



had not yet entirely settled bade to 
his books. I therefore watched the 
time when my father walked down to 
the Museum, and, slipping my arm in 
his, 1 told him, briefly and rapidly, as 
we went along, how I had formed this 
strange acquaintance, and how I was 
now situated. The story did not in- 
terest my fiither quite so much as I 
expected, and he did not understand 
all the complezitiM of Vivian's cha- 
racter — how could he? — for he 
answered briefly, "I should think 
that, for a young man, apparently 
without a sixpence, and whose educa- 
tion seems so imperfect, any resource 
in Trevanion must be most temporary 
and uncertain. Speak to your undo 
Jack — he can find him some place, I 
have no doubt — perhaps a readership 
in a printer's office, or a reporter's 
place on some journal, if he is fit fl>r 
it. But if you want to steady him» 
let it be something regular." 

Therewith my fii.ther dismissed the 
matter, and vanished through the 
gates of the Museum. Readership to 
a printer — ^reportership on a journal— 
for a young gentleman with the high 
notions and arrogant vanity of Francis 
Vivian — ^his ambition already soaring 
far beyond kid gloves and a cabriolet ! 
The idea wns hopeless ; and* perplexed 
and doubtful, I took my way to 
Vivian's lodgings. I found him at 
home, and unemployed, standing by 
his window, with folded arms, and in 
a state of such reverie that he was 
not aware of my entrance tall I had 
touched him on the shoulder. 

" Ha !" said he then, with one of 
his short, quick, impatient mghs, " I 
thought you had given me up, and 
forgotten me — but you look pale and 
harassed* I could almost think you 
had grown thinner within the last few 
days." 

" Oh ! never mind me, Vivian : I 
have come to speak of yourself. I 
have left Trevanion; it is settled thai 



A FAMILY PICTURK 



165 



I should goto the tmirernty — and we 
all quit town in a few days." 
" In a few days ! — all ! — ^who are 

aur 

« My family — ^fiitlier,mother, uncle, 
ooosin, and myself. But, my dear 
fellow, now let ns think seriously 
what IS best to he done for yoo. lean 
present yon to Trevanion." 

« Ha r 

" But Trevanion 10 a hard, thongh 
an excellent man ; and, moreover, as 
he is always changing the subjects 
that engross him, in a month or so he 
may have nothing to give yon. You 
nid yon would work — ^wiU you con- 
sent not to complain if the work can- 
not be done in kid gloves ? Young 
men who have risen high in the 
world have begun, it is well known, 
as reporters to the press. It is a 
tttuation of respectability, and hi re- 
quest, and not easy to obtain, I &ncy; 
but still—" 

Vivian interrupted me hastily — 

^ Thank you a thousand times ! but 
what yoa say confirms a resolution I 
had taken before you came. I shall 
make it up with my fimiily, and re- 
turn home." 

"Oh ! I am so really glad. How 
wise in you I" 

Vivian turned away his head 
abruptly — 

** Your pictures of &mily life and 
domestic peace, you see," he said, 
" seduced me more than you thought. 
"When do you leave town ?" 

Why, I believe* early next week?" 
So soon," said Vivian, thought- 
fully. ''Well, perhaps I may ask you 
yet to introduce me to Mr. Treva- 
nion ; for — who knows ?— my fiunily 
and I may fall out again. But I will 
oonnder. I think I have heard you 
say that this Trevanion is a very old 
fiiend of your fiither's or uncle's ?" 

" He, or rather Lady Ellinor, is an 
dd friend of both." 

«Aiid therefore would listen to 



u 



your recimmendations of me. But 
perhaps I may not need them. So 
you have left — ^lefb of your own ac- 
cord — a situation that seemed more 
enjoyable, I should think, than rooms 
in a college; — ^left — ^why did you 
leave ?" 

.And Vivian fixed his bright eyeu 
full and piercingly on mine. 

"It was only for a time, for a 
trial, that I was there," said I, eva- 
sively ; ** out at nurse, as it were, till 
the Alma Mater opened her arms— 
ahna indeed she ought to be to my 
other's son." 

Vivian looked unsatisfied with my 
explanation, but did not question me 
farther. He himself was the first to 
turn the conversation, and he did this 
with more afiectionate cordiality than 
was common to him. He inquired 
into our general plans, into the pro« 
babilities of our return to town, and 
drew from me a description of our 
rural Tusculum. He was quiet and 
subdued ; and once or twice I thought 
there was a moisture in those lumi* 
nous eyes. We parted with more of 
the unreserve and fondness of youth- 
ful friendship— -at least on my part^ 
and seemingly on his — ^than had yet 
endeared our singular intimacy; tor 
the cement of cordial attachment had 
been wanting to an intercourse in 
which one party refrised all confidencei, 
and the other mingled distrust and 
fear with keen interest and compas* 
sionate admiration. 

That evening, before lights were 
brought in, my father, turning to 
me, abruptly asked if I had seen my 
friend, and what he was about to dow 

" He thinks of returning to his 
family," said I. 

Boland, who had seemed dozing;, 
winced uneasily. 

"Who returns to his fiimily?^ 
asked the Captain. 

" Why, you must know," said my 
fitther^ " that Sisty has fished up a 



106 



THE CAXTONSt 



friend of whom he can give no ac- 
ooctnt that would satisfy a policeman, 
and whose forttines he thinks himself 
mider the necessity of protecting. 
Toa are very lucky that he haa not 
picked your pockets, Sisty; hnt I 
dare say he has? Whafs his 
name ?" 

"Tivian," said I — «Frands 
Vivian." 

*'A good name, and a Cornish," 
said my &ther. ''Some derive it 
from the Romans — Vivianns ; others 
from a Celtic word, which means" — 

""Vivian!" interrupted Rcdand— 
** Vivian ! — I wonder if it he the son 
of Colonel Vivian?" 

*'He is certainly a gentleman's 
BOO," said I ; ** hut he never told me 
what his fiimily and connexions 



» 



were. 

"Vivian," repeated my uncle— 
•• poor Colonel Vivian ! So the young 
man is going to his fiither. I have 
no douht it ia the same. Ah !"-— 

** What do you know of Cobnel 
Vivian, or }na son ?" said I. ** Pray, 
tell me, I am so interested in this 
young man." 

"I know nothinic of either^ except 



hy gosmp," said my undo* moodily. 
"I (M hear that Colonel Vivian* 
an excellent officer and honoorahle 
man, had heen in — in — (Roland'a 
voice fiiltered) — ^in great grief about 
his son, whom, a mere boy, he had 
prevented from some improper mai^ 
riage, and who had run away and left 
him — ^it was supposed fiir America. 
The story affected me at the time," 
added my undei, tiying to spetdc 
calmly. 

We were all silent, fbrwe felt why 
Roland was so disturbed, and why 
Colonel Vivian's grief should have 
touched him home. Similarity in 
affliction makes us brothers even to 
the unknown. 

" You say he is going home to his 
family— I am heartily glad of it I'* 
said the envying old soldier, gaSantly* 

The Ughts came in then, and two 
minutes alter, Unde Roland and I 
were nestled dose to each othw, nde 
by side; and I was reading over his 
shoulder, and his finger was silently 
resting on that passage that had so 
struck him~-" I have not oon^plained 
— ^have I, nrP— «nd X won't eom* 
plainr 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



m 



PAET TENTH. 



CHAPTER L 



Ht tmde^s cotjectiiro as to the 
parentBge of Francis Vivian seemed 
to me a pontive cUsoovery. Nothing 
more likely than that this wiUnl hoy 
had formed some headstrong attadi-. 
ment which no fikther would sanction, 
and BO, thwarted and irritated, thrown 
himaftlf on the world. Sudi an ez- 
planatioii was the more agreeable to 
me, as it cleared np much that had 
appeared discreditable in the mystery 
that snrromided Vivian. I could never 
bear to think that he had done any- 
thing mean and oiminal, however I 
might believe he had been rash and 
fruity. It was natural that the un- 
friended wanderer should have been 
thrown into a society, the equivocal 
character of which had fidled to re- 
volt the audacity of an inquisitive 
mind and adventurous temper; but 
it was natural, alao^ that the habits 
of gentle birth, and that silent edu- 
cation whidi English gentlemen com- 
monly receive from thdr very cradle, 
ahonld have preserved his honour, at 
least, intact through all. Certainly 
the pride, the notion^ the very fiiults 
of the wellboni had remained in full 
Ibroe— *why not the better qualities, 
however smothered for the time ? I 
felt thankful for the thought that 
Vivian was returning to an dement 
in which he might repuriiy his mind, 
«»>reflt himsetf for that qdiere to 
wl^ch he belonged ^*-*thankful that 
W6 might yet meQt» and our present 



half intimacy mature, perhaps, into 
healthful frieDdship. 

It was with such thoughts that I 
took up my hat the next morning to 
seek Vivian, and judge if we had 
gained the right due, when we were 
startled by what was a rare sound at 
our door — ^the postman's knock. My 
father was at the Museum ; my mo- 
ther in high conference, or dose pre* 
paration for our a^roaching depar* 
ture, with Mrs. Primmins; Rolanc^ 
I, and Blanche had the room to our- 
selves. 

"The letter is not for me," said 
Pisistratus. 

*' Nor for me, I am sure^" said Ihe 
Captain, when the servant entered 
and confuted him — ^for the letter was 
for him. He took it up wonderingly 
and suspidously, as Glumdalclitch 
took up Qulliver, or as ^ naturalists) 
we take up an unknown creature^ 
that we are not quite sure will not 
bite and sting us. Ah ! it has stung 
or bit you. Captain Boland ! for yoa 
start and change colour — ^you supr 
press a cry as you break the seal-—* 
you breathe hard as you read — and 
the letter seems short — but it takes 
time in the reading, for you go over 
it again and again. Then you foldit 
up— crumple it — ^thrust it into your 
breast pocket — and look round li^e 9 
man waking fitun a dream.* Is it a 
dream of pain or of pleasure ? Yenbf, 
I cfuuiot guesa^ for nothing k oa 



!C8 



THE CAXTONSf 



that eagle face either of pain or plea- 
Bore, but rather of fear, a^tation, 
bewilderment. Yet the eyes are 
bright, too, and there is a smile on 
that iron lip. 

My nncle looked ronnd, I say, and 
called hastily for his cane and his hat, 
and then began buttoning his coat 
across his broad breast, though the 
day was hot enough to have unbut- 
toned every breast in the menropolis. 

" Ton are not going out, unde?" 

*^ Yes, yes." 

'"But are you strong enough yet? 
Let me go with you ?" 

" No. sir; no. Blanche, come here." 
He took the child in his arms, sur- 
veyed her wistfully, and kissed her. 
"You have never given me pain, 
Blanche: say, ' God bless and prosper 
yon, &ther !" 

** God bless and prosper my dear, 
dear papa!" said Blanche, putting 
her little hands together, as if in 
prayer. 

"There — that dionld bring me 
luck, Blanche," said the captain, 
gfuly, and setting her down. Then 
seizing his cane firom the servant, and 
putting on his hat with a determined 
air, he walked stoutly forth; and I 
«aw him, from the window, march 
along the streets as cheerfully as if he 
had been besieging Badajoz. 

"God prosper the^ tool" said I, 
involuntarily. 

And Blanche took hold of my hand, 
and said in her prettiest way, (and 
her pretty ways were many,) " I wish 
you would come with ns, cousin ^sty, 
and help me to love papa. Poor papa! 
he wants us both — ^he wants all the 
love we can give him!" 

" That be does, my dear BlancSie; 
and I thmk it a great mistake that 
we don't all live together. Your 
papa ought not to go to that tower of 
his, at the world's end, but come to 
our snug, pretty house, with a garden 
Ibll of flowery for you to be Queen 



of the May — from May to November; 
— ^to say nothing of a duck that is 
more sagacious than any creature in 
the Fables I gave you the other day." 

Blanche laughed and clapped her 
hands — " Oh, that would be so nice ! 
But," — and she stopped gravely, and 
added, "but then, you see, there 
would not be the Tower to love papa ; 
and I am sure that the Tower must 
love him very much, for he loves it 
dearly." 

It was my turn to laugh now. ** I 
see how it is, you little witch !" said 
I; "you would coax us to come and 
live with you and the owls ! With 
all my heart, so &r as I am cod- 
oemed." 

" Sisty,^ said Blanche, with an ap- 
palling solemnity on her face, "do 
you know what I've been thinking?" 

" Not I, miss — ^what ? — something 
very deep, I can see — ^very horrible^ 
indeed,! fear— yon look so serious." 

" Why, I've been thinking," conti- 
nued Blanche, not rdaxing a muscle^ 
and without the least Int of a blush 
— " I've been thinking that I'll be 
your little wifia ; and then, of course^ 
we shall all live together." 

Blanche did not blush, but I did. 
" Ask me that ten years hence, if you 
dare^ you impudent little thing ; and 
now, run away to Mrs. Primmiiis, and 
tell her to keep you out of mischief 
for I must say good mormng." 

But Blanche did not run away, and 
her dignity seemed exceedingly hurt 
at my mode of taking her alarming 
proportion, for she retired into a 
comer pouting^ and sat down with 
great migesty. So there I left her, 
and went my way to Vivian. He was 
out; bat, sedng books on his tables 
and having nothing to do^ I resolved 
to wait for his return. Ihadenougfa 
of my fiither in me to torn at once to 
the books for company; and, by the 
side of some graver works which I 
had recommended^ I foond eertaiB 



A FAMILY PICTURE, 



169 



novels in French, that Yivian had 
got from a circulating library. I had 
a curiosity to read these — for, except 
the old classic novels of France, this 
mighty branch of its popular litera- 
ture was then new to me. I soon got 
interested, but what an interest! — 
the interest that a nightmare might 
excite, if one caught it out of one's 
sleep, and set to work to examine it. 
By the side of what dazzling shrewd- 
ness, what deep knowledge of those 
holra and comers in the human sys- 
tem, of which Gk>ethe must have 
spoken when he said somewhere — (if 
I recollect right, and don't misquote 
him, which 1*11 not answer for) — 
** There is something in every man's 
heart which, if we could know, would 
' make us hate him," — ^by the side of 
all this, and of much more that showed 
prodigious boldness and energy of in- 
tellect, what strange exaggeration — 
what mock nobility of sentiment — 
what hioonceivable perversion of rea- 
soning — ^what damnable demoralisa- 
tion I The true artist, whether in 
Bomanoe or the Drama, wiU often 
neceesarily interest us in a vicious or 
criminal character — but he does not 
the less leave dear to our reprobation 
the vice or the crime. But here I 
found myself called upon not only to 
feel interest in the villain (which 
would be perfectly allowable, — I am 
very much interested in Macbeth and 
Lovelace,) — ^but to admire and sympa- 
thise with the viUany itself. Nor was 
it the oonfwdon of all wrong and right 
in individual diaracter that shocked 
me the most — ^but rather the view of 
Gociety altogether, painted in colours 
jBO hideous that, if true, instead of a 
revolution, it would draw down a 
deluge ; — ^it was the hatred, carefully 
instUled, of the poor against the rich 
—it was the war breathed between 

• 

class and class-^it was that envy of 
all superiorities, which loves to show 
kself by allowing virtue 'only to a 



blouse, and asserting that a man miut 
be a rogue if he belong to that rank 
of society in which, fircm the very 
gifts of education, from the necessary 
associations of circumstance, n^uery 
is the last thing probable or natural. 
It was all this, and things a thousand 
times worse* that set my head in a 
whirl, as hour after hour slipped on, 
and I still gazed, spell-bonnd, on 
these Chimseras and Typhons — these 
symbols of the Destroying Principle. 
"Poor Vivian!" said I, as I rose at 
last, "if thou readest these books 
with pleasure, or from habit, no won- 
der that thou seemest to me so ob- 
tuse about right and wrong, and to 
have a great cavity where thy brain 
should have the bump of ' consden* 
tiousness* in full salience I" 

Nevertheless, to do those demo- 
niacs justice, I had got through time 
imperceptibly by their pestilent help; 
and I was startled to see, by my watch, 
how late it was. I had just resolved 
to leave a Une fixing an app<»ntment 
for the morrow, and so depart, when 
I heard Vivian's knock — a knock tlut 
had great character in it — ^haughty, 
impatient, irregular; not a neat, sym- 
metrical, harmonious, unpretending 
knock, but a knock that seemed to set 
the whole house and street at defiance: 
it was a knock bullying — a knock os- 
tentatious—a knock irritating and 
offensive — ** impiger," and *• ira- 
cundus." 

But the step that came up the 
stairs did not suit the knock ! it was 
a step light, yet firm — sbw, yet 
elastic 

The maid-servant who had opened 
the door had, no doubt, informed 
Vivian of my visit, for he did not seem 
surprised to see me ; but he cast that 
hurried suspidous look round the 
room which a man is apt to cast when 
he has left his papers about, and finds 
some idler, on whose trustworthiness 
he by na means depends, seated la 



iro 



THE CAXT0K8: 



the midst of fhe nng^narded secrets. 
The look was not fattering; but 
my oonsdenoe was so onreproachf al 
that I laid all the blame upon the 
general suspidousness of Vivian's 
<diaracter. 

** Three honn^ at least, haye I been 
here V* said I, maliciously. 

" Three hours I" — again the look. 

"And this is the worst secret I 
have diBoovered,'' — and I pointed to 
those literary Manidieans. 

" Oh !" said he carelessly, '* French 
novels ! — ^I don't wonder you stayed 
fo kmg. I can't read your English 
novels — ^flat and insipid: there are 
truth and life here." 

''Truth and life!" cried I, every 
hidr on my head erect with astonish- 
ment — "then hurrah fbr fidsehood 
and death !" 

"They don't please yon; no ac- 
counting for tastes." 

" I beg your pardon— I account for 
yours, if you really take for truth and 
life monsters so ne&st and flagitious. 
For heaven's sake, my dear fellow, 
don't suppose that any man could get 
on in England — get anywhere but to 
the Old Bailey or Norfolk Island, if 
he squared his conduct to such topsy- 
turvy notions of the world as I find 
here." 

"How many years are yon my 
senior," asked Vivian sneeringly, "that 
you should play the mentor, and oor^ 
rect my ignorance of the world P" 

"Vivian, it is not age and expe- 
rience that speak here, it is some- 
thing fiu* wiser than tiiey — ^the in- 
stinct of a man's heart, and a gentle- 
man's honour." 

" Well, weU," said Vivian, rather 
discomposed, "let the poor books 
alone I you know my creed— that 
books influence us little one way or 
the other." 

" By the great Egyplaan library, 
and the sonl of Diodcvus ! I wish you 
ioold hear n^ fikther upon that poiat. 



Come," added I, witii sublime com* 
pasdion — ^"oome;, it is not too late-— i 
do let me introduce you to my ikther. 
I will consent to read French novels 
all my life, if a single chat with 
Austin Caxton does not send you 
home with a happier &oe and a 
lighter heart. Come, let me tako 
you back to dine with us to-day." 

" I cannot," said Vivian, with some 
confusion-—" I cannot, for this day I 
leave London. Some other time per- 
haps — fiir," he added, but not heartily, 
" we may meet agun." 

" I hope so," said I, wringing his 
hand, " and that ie likely,— smoe, hi 
spite of yourself I have guessed your 
secret^-your birth and parentage." 

" How!" cried Vivian, turning pa]% 
and gnawing lus lip— "what do yoa 
mean ? — speak." 

" Well then, are you not the lost^ 
runaway son of Colonel Vivian? 
Come, say the truth ; let us be oonfi* 
dants." 

Vivian threw off a succession of hii 
abrupt sighs ; and then, seating him- 
self, leant his fiu» on the table, con- 
fused, no doubts to find himself dis- 
covered. 

" You are near the mark," said he 
at last, " but do not ask me farther 
yet. Some day," he cried impetuously, 
and springing suddenly to his feet-^ 
"some day you shall know all: yesf 
some day, if I Uve, when that name 
shall be high in the world ; yes, when 
the world is at my feet!" He 
stretched his right hand as if to gprasp 
the space, and his whole &ce was 
lighted with a fierce enthunasm. The 
glow died away, and with a slight re- 
turn of his scwnful bboSLo, he said-* 
"Dreams yet; dreams! And now, 
look at tUs paper." And he drew 
out a memoranda, scrawled over with 
figures. 

"TUs, I thhdc, Is my peenniaiy 
debt to you; in a ftw days, I shall 
diBchargeik Qive me jonr addren/' 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



171 



"OhP* said I, pained, ^can yon 
ipaak to me of money, ViviBn ?" 

''It is one of those instincts of 
hononryon cite so often/' answered 
he, OQlomring. ** Pardon me." 

"That is my address," siud I, 
stooping to write, in order to conceal 
my wounded feelings. ''You will 
avail yonrself of it, I hope, often, and 
tell me that yon are well and happy." 

** When I am happy you shall 
know." 

"Yon do not reqmre any introduc- 
tion to Trevanion ?" 

Yimn hesitated: "Ko, I think 
act If ever I do, I will write for 
it." 

I took np my hat, and was about 
to go— fbr I was still chilled and 
mortified — ^when, aa if by an irre- 
sistihle impulse, Yivian came to me 
hastily, flong his arms ronnd my neck, 
and kissed me as a boy kisses his 
orother. 

''Bear with me!" he cried in a 
Altering vcnce : " I did not think to 
love any one as yon have made me 
love you, though sadly against the 



grain. If yon are not my good angel, 
it is that nature and Imbit are too 
strong for yon. Certainly, some day 
we shall meet again. I shall have 
time, in the meanwhile, to see if the 
world can be indeed 'mine oyster, 
which I with sword can open.' I 
would be aut Ctesar out mdlus/ 
Yery little other Latin know I to 
quote from ! If Caesar, men will for- 
give me all the means to the end ; if 
ntUlus, London has a river, and in 
every street one may bay a cord !" 

" Vivian ! Yivian !" 

"Now go, my dear finend, while 
my heart is softened — go, before I 
shock yon with some return of the 
native Adam. Go — go !" 

And taking me gently by the arm, 
Francis Yivian drew me from the 
room, and, re-entering, locked his 
door. 

Ah! if I could have left him Bobert 
Hall, instead of those execrable Ty- 
phous! But would that medicine 
have suited his case, or must grim 
Experience write sterner prescriptions 
with iron hand ? 



CHAPTER 11. 



WsKir I got back, just in time for 
j&mer, Roland had not returned, nor 
did he return till late m the evening. 
AH our eyes were directed towards 
him, as we rose with one aceord to 
give him welcome ; but his face was 
like a mask — ^it was locked, and rigid, 
and unreadable. 

Shutting the door careftilly after 
him, he came to the hearth, stood on 
it, upright and calm, for a few mo- 
menta^ and then asked-^ 

^ Has Bhinche gone to bed P" 

''Yes," said my mother, "but not 
la dwp^ I am, snxej she madia me 



promise to tell her when yon came 
back." 

Roland's brow relaxed. 

" To-morrow, sister," said he, slowly, 
" will you see that she has the projj^ 
mourning made for her ? My son is 
dead." 

" Dead !" we cried with one voice, 
and surrounding him with one im- 
pulse. 

" Dead I impossible— yon oouldnot 
say it so calmly. Dead — how do you 
know ? You may be deceived. Wha 
told you P — why do you think so P" 

^'I have seen his remains," said my 



173 



THE CAXTONS: 



uncle, wit^ the same gloomy calm. 
•' We will all momn for him. Pisis- 
tratus, you are heir to my name now, 
as to your Other's. Qood-night ; ex- 
cuse me» all — all you dear and kind 
ones; I am worn out." 

Roland lighted his candle and went 
away, leaving us thunder-struck ; hut 
he come hack again — looked round — 
took up hiB hook, open in the favour- 
ite passage — ^nodded again, and again 
vanished. We looked at each other 
as if we had seen a ghost. Then my 
father rose and went out of the room, 
and remained in Roland's till the 
night was wellnigh gene ! We sat up 
—my mother and I — ^tillhe returned. 
His henign fiioe looked profoundly 
•ad. 

" How 18 it^ ur P Can you tell us 
more?** 

My father shook his head. 

'' Roland prays that you may pre- 
•erve the same forhearanoe you have 



shown hitherto, and never menlnon 
his son's name to him. Peace he to 
the living, as to the dead. Kitty, this 
changes our plans ; we must all go to 
Cumherland — ^we cannot leave Roland 
thus !" 

" Poor, poor Roland !** said my 
mother, throufifh her tears. " And to 
think that Either and son were not 
reconciled. But Roland forgives him 
now— oh yes ; now !" 

'* It is not Roland we can censure,* 
said my lather, almost fiercely; "it 

is ^but enough. We must hurry 

out of town as soon as wc can : Ko- 
land will recover in the native air of 
his old ruins." 

We went up to hed mournfully. 
"And so," thought I, "ends one 
grand ohject of my life ! — I had hoped 
to have brought those two together. 
But, alas ! what peacemaker like the 
grave I" 



CHAPTER III. 



Mt uncle did not leave his room 
for three days, hut he was much 
closeted with a lawyer ; and my &ther 
dropped some words which seemed to 
imply that the deceased had incmred 
debts, and that the poor Captain was 
making some charge on his small pro- 
perty. As Roland had said that he 
heed, seen the remuns of his son, I 
took it, at first, for granted that we 
should attend a funeral, hut no word 
of this was said. On the fourth day, 
Roland, in deep mourning, entered a 
hackney coach with the lawyer, and 
was absent about two hours. I did 
not doubt that he had thus quietly 
fulfilled the last mournful offices. On 
his return, he shut himself up again 
fcr the rest of the day, and would not 



see even my fkther. But the next 
morning he made his appearance as 
usual, and I even thought that he 
seemed more cheerful than* I had yet 
known him — ^whether he played a 
part, or whether the worst was now 
over, and the grave was less cruel 
, than imcertainty. On the following 
day, we all set out for Cumberland. 

In the interval. Uncle Jack had 
been almost constantly at the houses 
and, to do him justice, he had seemed 
unaffectedly shocked at the calamity 
that had befiiUen RoUmd. There was» 
indeed, no want of heart in Unde 
Jack, whenever yon went straight at 
it; but it was hard to find if yoa 
took a circuitous route towards it 
through the pockets. The worUqr 



A FAMILY PICTUfiB. 



173 



•pecoktor liad indeed much biubiess 
to transact with my fitther hefore he 
left town. The AnH-Puhlisher So- 
dety had heen set np, and it was 
through the obstetric aid of that fra- 
ternity that the Great Book was to 
he ushered into the world. The new 
jonmal, the Literary Timet, was also 
iar advanced — ^not yet out, hut my 
father was fiiirly in for it. There 
were preparations fat its debut on a 
vast scale, and two or three gentle- 
men in black — one of whom looked 
like a lawyer, and another like a 
printer, and a third uncommonly like 
a Jew — called twice, with papers of 
a very formidable aspect. All these 
preliminaries settled, the last thing I 
heard Uncle Jack say, with a slap on 
my father's back, was, "Fame and 
fortune both made now! — ^yon may 
go to sleep in safety, for you leave 
me wide awake. Jack Tibbets never 
deeps \" 

I had thought it strange that, 
^ce my abrupt exodus from Treva- 
nion's house, no notice had been taken 
of any of us by himself or Lady 
Ellinor. But on the very eve of our 
departure, came a kind note from 
Txcvanion to me, dated from his 
favourite country seat, (accompanied 
by a present of some rare books to 
my father,) in which he said briefly 
tluit there had been iUness in his 
fiimily, which had obliged him to 
leave town for a change of air, but 
that Lady Ellinor expected to call on 
my mother the next week. He had 
found amongst his books some curious 
works of the Middle Ages, amongst 
others a complete set of Cardan, 
which he knew my father would like 
to have, and so sent them. There 
was no allusion to what had passed 
between us. 

In reply to this note, after due 
thanks on my father's part, who 
seized upon the Cardan (Lyons edi- 
tioDy 1663, ten volumes folio) as a 



dlk-worm does upon a mnlberry-leai 
I expressed our joint regrets that 
there was no hope of our seeing Lady 
Ellinor, as we were just leaving town. 
I should have added something on the 
loss my unde had sustained, but my 
father thought that, since Roland 
shrank from any mention dS his son, 
even by his nearest kindred, it woukl- 
be his obvious wish not to parade his 
affliction beyond that circle. 

And there had been illness in Tre* 
vanion's family! On whom had it 
fidlen? I could not rest satisfied 
with that general expresnon, and I 
took my answer myself to Trevanion's 
house, instead of sending it by the 
post. In reply to my inquiries, the 
porter said that all the fitmily were 
expected at the end of the week; 
that he had heard both Lady Ellinor 
and Miss Trevanion had been ratlier 
poorly, but that they were now bet« 
ter. I left my note with orders to 
forward it; and my wounds bled 
afresh as I came away. 

We had the whole coach to our- 
selves in our journey, and a silent 
journey it was, till we arrived at a 
little town about eight miles from my 
uncle's residence, to which we could 
^^y get through a cross-road. My 
uncle insisted on preceding us that 
night, and, though he had written, 
before we started, to announce our 
coming, he was fidgety lest the poor 
tower should not make the best figure 
it could ; so he went alone, and we 
took our ease at our inn. 

Betimes the next day we hired a 
fly-coach— for a chaise could never 
have held us and my father's books 
— and jogged through a labyrinth of 
viUanous lanes, which no Marshal 
Wade had ever reformed from their 
primal chaos. But poor Mrs. Frim- 
mins and the canary-bird alone seemed 
sensible of the jolts ; tbe former, who 
sat opposite to us, wedged amidst a 
medley of package^ all marked 



174 



VHE CAXTONBt 



M 



*' Ctate, to be kept top uppermost, 
(why I know not, Ibr they were bat 
books, and whether theyhiy top or 
bottom it coold not materially affect 
their value,)— 'the former, I say, con- 
trived to extend her arms over those 
disjecta membrct, and, griinng a win- 
dow-siU with the right hand, and a 
wmdow-sill with the left^ kept her 
eeat rampant^ like the split eagle of 
the Austrian Empire — in fiust, it 
would be well, now-a^lays^ if the split 
eagle were as firm as Mrs. Fkimmins! 
A» for the canary, it never failed to 
respond, by an astonished ehirp^ to 
every ''Qracious me!" and "Lord 
aave us V* which the delve into a rut, 
or the bump out of it, sent forth 
from Mrs. Primmins's lips, with aU 
the emphatic dobr of the <' At, at!" 
in a Qreek chorus. 

But my &ther, with his broad hat 
over his brows, was in deep thought. 
The scenes of his youth were rising 
before him, and his memory went, 
smooth as a spirifs wing, over delve 
and bump. And my mother, who 
sat next him, had her arm on his 
shoulder, and was watching his face 
jealously. Bid she think tbtA, in that 
thoughtful fiice, there was regret for 
the old love? Blanche, who had 
been very sad, and had wept much 
and quietiy since they put on her the 
mourning, and tdd her that she had no 
brother, (though she had no remem- 
brance df the lost,) began now to 
evince in&ntine curiodty and eager- 
ness to catch the first peep of her 
Other's beloved tower. And Blanche 
sat on my knee, and I shared her im- 
patience. At last there came in view 
a church spire— a church — a plain 
square building near it, the parson- 
age, (my father's old home)— a long 
straggling street of cottages and rude 
shops, with a better kind of house 
here and there — and in the hinder 
ground, a grey deformed mass of wall 



and min, placed <m one of tiiost «■!• 
nonces on which the ])aiies loved to 
pitch camp or build loort, with ona 
high, mdfl^ Anglo-Normaii tower 
rising from the midst Few treet 
were round it» and those ather poplars 
or firs, 8ave» as we approadied, one 
mighty oak— integral and unscathed^ 
The road now wound behind the par- 
sonage, and up a steep ascent. Such 
a road! — ^the whole pariah ought to 
have been flogged for it ! If I had 
sent up a road like that^ even on a 
map^ to Br. Herman, I should not 
have sat down in comfort for a week 
to come! 

The fly-coach came toa full stop. 

"Let us get out," cried I, opening 
the door, and springing to tiie ground 
to set the example. 

Blanche followed, and my respected 
parents came next. Bat when Mrs. 
Pkimmins was aboat to heave herself 
into movement, 

"Papmr said my fiither. «I 
think, Mrs. Primmins, you must re- 
main in, to keep the books steady." 

** Lord love you I" cried Mrs. Prim* 
mins, aghast. 

" The subtraction of such a mase^ 
or mo^M-Hmpple and elastic as aU 
flesh is, and fitting into the hardcore 
ners of the inert matter — such a sub- 
traction, Mrs. Primmins, would leave 
a vacuum which no natural system, 
certainly no artifidal organization, 
could sustain. There would be a re- 
gular dance of atoms, Mrs. Primmins; 
my books would fly here, there^ on 
the floor, out of the window ! 

**CorpofU qffMum etifuoniam ommia ir 
onvm." 

The business of a body Hke joan, 
Mrs. Primmins, is to press all things 
down-^to keep them tight, as you 
will know one of these days— that ia, 
if you will do me the favour to read 
Lucretiui^ and master that material 
philosophy, of which I may say, with* 



A FAMILY PICTOKE. 



175 



ont flattery, my dear Mrs. Primmiiu, 
that you are a tiving illuBtration." 

These, the first words my &ther 
had spoken since we set out from the 
inn, seemed to assure my mother 
that she need have no apprehension 
as to the character of hiis thoughts, 
fin* her brow cleared, and she said, 
langhing, 

" Only look at poor Primmins, and 
then at that hill r 

"Ton may snbtract Primmins, if 
yon will he answerable for the rem- 
nant, Kitty. Only, I warn yon, that 
it is against all the laws of physics." 

So saying, he sprang lightly for- 
ward, and, taking hold of my arm, 
paused and looked round, and drew 
the loud free breath with which we 
draw native air. 

"And yet," sud my father, after 
that gratdPiil and affectionate inspira- 
tion — *« and yet, it must be owned, 
that a more ugly country one cannot 
see out of Cambridgeshire."* 

"Nay," said I, "it is bold and 
large, it has a beauty of its own. 
Those immense, undulating, unculti- 
vated, treeless tracts have surely their 
eharm of wildness and solitude ! And 
how they suit the character of the 
Iroin ! All is feudal there! I under- 
stand Roland better now." 

"I hope to Heaven Cardan will 
come to no harm !" cried my &ther ; 
"he is very handsomely bound; and 
he fitted beautifully just into the 
fleshiest part of that fidgety Prim- 
mins." 

Blanche, meanwhile, had run far 
before us, and I followed fast. There 
were still the remains of that deep 
trench (surrounding the ruins on three 
sides, leaving a ragged hill-top at the 



* This certainlj cannot be said of Cum- 
berland generally, one of the most beautiful 
eounties in Great Britain. But the imme- 
diate district to which Mr. Caxton's excla- 
mation refers, if not ugly, is at least sayage, 
bare, and nUtek 



fourth) which made the fhvourite finv 
tiflcation of all the Teutonic tribes* 
A causeway, nused on brick arcbesy 
now, however, supplied the place of 
the drawbridge, and the outer gate 
was but a mass of picturesque ruin* 
Entering into the courtyard or bailey, 
the old castle mound, from which 
justice had been dispensed, was in full 
view, rinng higher than the brokea 
walls around it, and partially over- 
grown with brambles. And there 
stood, comparatively whole, the Tower 
or Keep, and from its portals emerged 
the veteran owner. 

His ancestors might have received 
us in more state, but certunly they 
could not have given us a warmer 
greeting. In &ct, in his own domain^ 
Boland appeared another man. His 
stiffiiess, which was a little repulsive 
to those who did not understand it» 
was all gone. He seemed less proud, 
precisely because he and his pride, on 
that ground, were on good terms with 
each other. How gallantly he ex- 
tended — ^not his arm, in our modem 
Jack-and- Jill sort of fiishion— but his 
right hand to my mother; how care* 
fully he led her over "brake, bush, 
and scaur," through the low vaulted 
door, where a tall servant, who it waa 
easy to see, had been a soldier — ^inthe 
precise livery, no doubt, warranted by 
the heraldic colours (bis stockings 
were red !)— «tood upright as a sen- 
try. And, coming into the hall, it 
looked absolutely cheerM — ^it took us 
by surprise. There was a great fire- 
place, and, though it was still sum- 
mer, a great fire ! It did not seem a 
bit too much, for the walls were stone, 
the lofty roof open to the rafters, 
while the windows were small and 
narrow, and so high and so de^ sunk 
that oue seemed in a vault. Never- 
theless, I say the room looked sodable 
and cheerful — ^thanksprincipallytothe 
fire, and partly to avery ingenious med- 
ley of old tapestry at one ^,a2id mat* 



176 



THE CAXTONSt 



ting at the oth(n*,&Btened to the lower 
part of the walls, seoouded hy an ar- 
rangementof fumitiiru which didcredit 
to myimcle's taste for the picturesque. 
After we had looked ahout and ad- 
mired to onr hearts' content, Roland 
took ns — not np one of those nohle 
staircases you see in the later manorial 
residences — ^but a little winding stone 
stair, into the rooms he had appro- 
priated to his guests. There was first 
a small diainber, which he called my 
father's study — in truth, it would 
have done for any philosopher or 
saint who wished to shut out the 
world — and might have passed for the 
interior of such a columu as the Sty- 
lites inhabited; for you must have 
climbed a ladder to have looked out of 
the window, and then the vision of no 
short-sighted man could have got over 
the interval in the wall made by the 
narrow casement, which, after all, 
gave no other prospect than a .Cum- 
berland sky, with an occasional rook 
in it. But my fiither, I think I have 
■aid before, did not much care fbr 
scenery, and he looked round with 
great satisfaction upon the retreat 
assigned him. 

" We can knock up shelves for 
your books in no time," said my uncle, 
rubbing his hands. 

"It would be a charity," quoth 
my father, " for they have been very 
long in a recumbent position, and would 
like to stretch themselves, poor things. 
My dear Roland, this room is made 
for books — so round and so deep. I 
shall sit here like Truth in a wdl." 

"And there is a room for you» 
•ister, just out of it," said my uncle, 
opening a little, low, prison-like door 
into a channing room, for its window 
was low, and it had an iron balcony ; 
"and out of that is the bedroom. 
For you, Pisistratus, my boy, I am 
afraid that it is soldier's quarters, in- 
deed, with which you will have to put 
up. Bat never mind; in a day or 



two we shall make all worthy a gene- 
ral of your illustrious name— for be 
was a great general, Pisistratus the 
First — ^was he not, brother ?" 

" All tyrants are," said my father : 
" the knack of soldiering is indu^en- 
sable to them." 

" Oh, you may say what you please 
here!" said Roland, in high good- 
humour, as he drew me down stairs^ 
still apologising for my quarters, and 
so earnestly, that I made up my mind 
that I was to be put into an oubUeUe* 
Nor were my suspi<nons much dis- 
pelled on seeing that we had to leave 
the keep, and pick our way into what 
seemed to me a mere heap of rubbish, 
on the dexter side of the court. But 
I was agreeably surprised to find, 
amidst these wrecks, a room with a 
noble casement, commanding the whole 
country, and placed immediately over 
a plot of ground cultivated as a garden* 
The furniture was ample, though 
homely; the floors and walls well 
matted ; and, altogether, despite the 
inconvenience of having to cross the 
courtyard to get to the rest of the 
house, and being wholly without the 
modem luxury of a bell, I thought 
that I could not be better lodged. 

" But this is a perfect bower, my 
dear uncle ! Depend on it, it was the 
bower-chamber of the Dames de Cax- 
ton — heaven rest them !" 

** No," said my uncle, gravely ; ** I 
suspect it must have been the chap* 
Iain's room, for the chapel was to the 
right of you. An earlier chapel, in* 
deed, formerly existed in the keep 
tower — for, indeed, it is scarcely a 
true keep without chapel, well, and 
hall. I can show you part of the 
roof of the first, and the two last are 
entire; the well is very curioui^ 
formed in the substance of the wall at 
one angle of the hall. In Charles the 
First's time^ our ancestor lowered his 
only son down in a bucket, and kept 
him there six hours, whilQ a Malignant 



▲ FAMILY PICTUEB. 



177 



mob was stormiiig iSke tower. I need 
not say that our anoeifcor himself 
scorned tx> hide from such a rabble, 
&r he was a grown man. The boy 
liyed to be a sad spendthrift, and nsed 
the well ibr cooling his wine. He 
drank np a great many good acres." 

" I should scratch him out of the 
pedigree, if I were yon. But, pray, 
have you not disoo^ered the proper 
ohamber of that great Sir William, 
about whom nsy ikther is fo shame- 
My sceptical ?" 

" To tell you a secret,*' answered 
the Captain, giving me a sly poke in 
the ribs, " I haye put your father into 
it! Therearethe initial letters W.C. 
let into the cusp of the York rose, and 
the date, three years before the battle 
of Bosworth, over the chinme^ece*" 

I could not help joining my uncle's 
irH*n, low laugh at this charaoteristic 
pleasantry ; and after I had compli- 
mented him on so judicious a mode of 
pKmng his point, I asked him how 
he could possibly have contrived to 
fit up the ruin so well, especially as 
he had scarcely viated it since his 
purcbajse. 

" Why," said he, '' some years ago, 
that poor &llow you now see as my 
aervant, and who is gardenor, bailiff, 
seneschal, butier, and anything else 
you can put him to, was sent out of 
the army on the invalid list. So I 
placed him here; and as he is a 
capital carpenter, and has had a very 
ihir education, I told him what I 
wanted, and put by a small sum every 
year for repairs and furnishing. It is 
astonishing how little it cost me; for 
Bolt» poor fellow, (that is his name,) 
caught the right s^mt of the thing, 
and most of the ftaniture, (which you 
tee is ancient and suitable,) he picked 
up at different cottages and farm- 
bouses in the ndghbourhood. As it 
is, however, we have plenty more 
looms here and there — only, of late," 
continued my ujide, slightly changing 



colour, " I had no money to spare. 
But come," he resumed, with an evi- 
dent effort — " come and see my bar- 
rack: it is on the other side of the 
hall, and made out of what no doubt 
were the butteries." 

We reached the jtsrd and found the 
fly-coadi had just crawled to the 
door. My other's head was buried 
deep in the vehicle, — ^he was gather^ 
ing up his packages, and sending out^ 
orade-like, various muttered objurga- 
tions and anathemas upon Mrs. Prim- 
mins and her vacuum; which Mrs. 
Primmins, stfviding by and making a 
lap with her apron to receive the 
packages and anathemas simultane- 
ously, bore with the mildness of an 
angel, lifting up her eyes to heaven and 
murmuring something about "poor 
old bones." Though, as for Mrs. 
Primmins's bones, they had been 
myths these twenty years, and y6u 
might as soon have found a Plesio- 
saurns in the fat lands of Bomn^ 
Marsh as a bone amidst those layers 
of flesh in which my poor father 
thought he had so carefully cottoned 
up his Cardan. 

Leaving these pattieB to at^ust 
matters between them, we stepped 
under the low doorway, and entered 
Roland's room. Oh, certainly BoUi 
had caught the spirit of the thing I-** 
certainly he had penetrated down to 
the pathos that lay within the deepp 
of Boland's character. Bufibn says 
" the style is the man ;" there, the 
room was the man. That nameless, 
inexpilsssible, soldier-like, methodical 
neatness which belonged to Boland~f- 
that was the first thing chat struck 
one — ^that was the general character 
of the whole. Then, in details, there^ 
in stout oak shelves, were the books 
on which my father loved to jest his 
more imaginative brother, — ^there they 
were, Froissart, Barante, JoinvlUe^ 
the MoH cP Arthur, Amadi» of Gavi^ 
Spenser's Fixiry Queen, a noble oopgf 



17S 



•niE CAXTONSt 



of Strutt's JTbr^a, Ma1]et'i Northern 
AnHquiHes, Percy's Beliques, Pope's 
Homer, books on gvamery, archery, 
hawking, furtiflcation — old chivalry 
and modem war together cheek-by* 
jowl. 

Old diivalry and modem war! — - 
look to that tilting helmet with the 
tall Caxton crest, and look to that 
trophy near !t, a French cuirass — 
and that old banner (a knight's pen- 
non) snrmonnting those crossed bayo- 
nets. And over tlie chimney-piece 
there — bright, clean, and, I warrant 
yout dusted daily— -are Bdand's 



own sword, his holsters and pistols^ 
yea, the saddle, pierced and lacerated, 
from which he had reeled when that 
leg — I gasped — I felt it aU at a glance, 
and I stole softly to the spot, and, had 
Boland not been there, I could have 
kissed that sword as reverently as if 
it bad been a Bayard's or a Sidney's. 
My uncle was too modest to g^eas 
my emotion ; he rather thought I had 
turned my &ce to conceal a smile at 
his vanity, and stud, in a deprecatiniii^ 
tone of apology — " It was all Bolt*a 
ddng, foolish iiellow. 



» 



CHAPTER IV. 



OxTB host regaled us with a hospi- 
tality that notably contrasted his eco- 
nomical thrifty habits in London. To 
be sure, Bolt had caught the great 
pike which headed the feast; and 
Bolt, no doubt, had helped to rear 
those fine chickens ab ovoj Bolt, I 
have'no doubt, made that excellent 
Spanish omelette $ and, for the rest, 
the products of the idieepwalk and 
the garden came in as volunteer auxi- 
liaries — ^very different from the mer- 
cenary recruits by which those metro- 
politan Condottieri, the butcher and 
greengrocer,hastentheruinof that me- 
lancholy commonwealth called "gen- 
teel poverty." 

Our evening passed cheerfully; and 
Boland, contrary to his cnstoifi, was 
talker in chief. It was eleven o'clock 
before Bolt appeared with a lantern 
to conduct me through the courtyard 
to my dormitory among the ruins — a 
ceremony which, every night, shine or 
dark, he insisted upon punctiliously 
performing. 

It was long before I could sleep— 
l>efore I could believe that but so few 
^ys bad elapsed linoe Boland heaxd 



of his son's death— that son wnoMir 
fate had so long tortured him; and 
yet, never had Boland appeared so 
free from sorrow ! Was it natural- 
was it effort? Several days passed 
before I could answer that question, 
and then not wholly to my satisfac- 
tion. Effort there was, or rather re- 
solute systematic determination. At 
moments Boland's head drooped, his 
brows met, and the whole man seemed 
to sink. Tet these were only mo- 
ments ; he would rouse himself up, 
like a dozing charger at the sound of 
a trumpet, and shake off the creeping 
w^ght. But whether from the vigour 
of his determination, or from some ud 
in other trains of reflection, I could 
not but perceive that Roland's sad- 
ness really was less grave and bitter 
than it had been, or than it was na- 
tural to suppose. He seemed to 
transfer, daily, more and more^ his 
affections from the dead to thosearound 
him, espedaUy to Blanche and myself 
He let it be seen that he looked on 
me now as his lawful successor — as 
the future supporter of his name : he 
was fimd of confiding to me all 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



17Sf 



little plans, and consulting me on 
them. He would walk with me 
around his domains, (of which I shall 
say more hereafter,) — point out, fVom 
every eminence we climbed, where 
the broad lands which his forefathers 
had owned stretched away to the ho- 
rizon; unfold with tender hand the 
mouldering pedigree, and rest Hn- 
gerlngly on those of his ancestors who 
had held martial post, or had died on 
the field. There was a crusader who 
had followed Bichard to Ascalon; 
there was a knight who had fbught 
at Aginconrt; there was a cavalier, 
(whose picture was still extant,) with 
fiiir love-locks, who had fallen at Wor- 
cester — ^no doubt the same who had 
cooled his son in tliat well which the 
son devoted to more agreeable asso- 
ciations. But of all these worthies 
there was none whom my uncle, p^- 
haps from the spirit of contradiction, 
valued like that apocryphal Sir Wil- 
liam: and why? because, when the 
apostate Stanley turned the fortunes 
of the field at Bosworth, and when 
that cry of despair — " Treason ! trea> 
son V burst firom the lips of the last 
Flantagenet, ** amongst the fidthless,'' 
this true soldier, "faithftd found!'' 
liad fiallen in that lion-rush which 
Kichard made at his foe. "Your 
&ther tells me that Bichard was a 
murderer and usurper," quoth my 
unde. " Sir, that might be true or 
not ; but it was not on the field of 
battle that his followers were to rea- 
son on the character of the master who 
trusted them, espedally when a legion 
of foreign hirelings stood opposed to 
them. I would not have descended 
firom that turncoat Stanley to be lord 
of all the lands the Earls of Derby can 
boast of. Sir, in loyalty, men fight and 
£e for a grand principle and a lofty 
pasnon ; and tl^ brave Sir William 
was paying back to the last Flan- 
tagenet the benefits he had reodved 
£rom the first !^ 



€€ 



And yet it may be doubted," said 
I maliciously, " whether William Cax- 
ton the printer did not — " 

** Plague, pestilence, and fire seize 
William Caxton the printer, and his 
invention too V* cried my uncle bar- 
barously. "When there were only 
a few books, at least they were gocd 
ones ; and now they are so plentiful, 
all they do is to confound the judg- 
ment, unsettle the reason, drive the 
good books out of cultivation, and 
draw a ploughshare of innovation 
over every andent landmark ; seduce 
the women, womanise the men, upset 
states, thrones, and churches; rear a 
race oi chattering, conceited coxcombs, 
who can always find books in plenty 
to excuse them from doing their 
duty; make the poor discontented, 
the rich crotdiety and ^ivhimsical, re- 
fine away the stout old virtues into 
quibbles and sentiments ! All imagi- 
nation formerly was expended in noble 
action, adventure, enterprise, high 
deeds and asphutions; now a man 
can but be imaginative by feeding on 
the folse exdtement of passions he 
never felt, dangers he never shared; 
and he fritters away all there is of 
life to spare in him upon the fictitious 
love-sorrows of Bond Street and St. 
James's. Sir, chivalry ceased when 
the press rose ! And to fosten upon- 
me, as a forefather, out of all men 
who ever lived and sinned, the very- 
man who has most destroyed what I 
most valued — ^who, by the Lord ! with 
his cursed invention has wellnigh got 
rid of respect for fore&thers altoge^ 
ther — ^is a crudty of which my brother 
had never been capable, if that 
printec's devil had not got hold of 
him!" 

That a man in this blessed nine- 
teenth century should be sudi a Van- 
dal! and that my Unde Roland 
should talk in a strain that Totila 
would have been ashamed of, within 
BO short a time after my fiither*! 

V2 



180 



THE CAXTONSt 



•uientUKc And enidiie aration on the 
Hygeiaua of Books, wa9 enoagh to 
make one de^Mur of the progress of 
intellect and the perfectihility of onr 
species. And I have no manner of 
douht that, all the while, my uncle 
had a brace of hooks in his pockets, 
'Bobert Hall one of them ! In truth, 
he had talked himself into a passion, 
and did not know what nonsense he 
was saying. But this explosion of 
Captain Koland's has shattered the 
thread of my matter. Pouff ! I must 
take breath and begin again ! 

Yes, in spite of my sai^dnees, the 
old soldier evidently took to me more 
and more. And, besides our critical ex- 
amination of the property and the pecU- 
gree, he carried me with him on long 
excursions to distant villages, where 
some memorial of a d^imct Caxton, a 
ooat of vmis^ or an epitaph on ik 
tombstone, might be still seen. And 
be made me pore over t(qpographical 
works and county histories, (forgetful, 
Qoth thai he wa^ that for tho^e very 
authorities he was indebted to the re- 
pudiated printer !) to find some anec- 
dote of 1^ beloved dead ! In truth, 
the county for mUes sound bore the 
vesHffia oi tj^ose old Cax^ons; their 
bandwrtting was on many a broken 
walL And, obscure as they all were 
QOmpared to that great operative of 
tibe Sanctuary at Westminster, whom 
my &ther dung to-r-still, that the 
yesterdays that had lighted them the 
way to dusty death had cast no glare 
on dishonoured scutcheons seemed 
dear, from the popular respect and 
traditicmal affection in which I found 
that the name was still hdd in ham- 
let find homestead* It was pleasant 
to see the veneration with which this 
B^att hidalgo of some thj^ee hundred 
a-y^ear was hdd, and the patriarchal 
affection with whidi be returned it. 
Koland was a man who wpiviiLd walk 
Into a cottage, rest hi9«ork leg on the 
hBfif^ and talik. ^ t^ )^W tc^eth^. 



upon all that lay nearest to the hearii 
of the owners. There is a peculiar 
qwrit of aristocracy amongst agricul-. 
tural peasants: they Hke old namea. 
and fiunilies ; they identify themsdvea 
with the honours of a house, as if of ita 
clan. They do not care so much for 
wealth as townsfolk aad the middle 
daas do ; they have a pity, but a re* 
spectful one, for weU-bom poverty.. 
And then this Bdand, too ^-* who. 
would go and dine in a oookshop, and 
receive change ^r a shilling, and shun 
the ruinous luxury of a hack cabri-. 
olet — could be positively extravaganti 
in his liberalities to those around him. 
He was altogether another being ia 
his paternal acres. The shabby-geOA 
teel, half-pay captava, lost in the 
whirl of London, here luxuriated into 
a dignified ease of maoner that Ches- 
terfield might have admired. And, if 
to please is the tru^ sign of politeness^ 
I ¥ash you could have seen the fiicet 
that smiled upon Captain Roland, aa 
be walked down the village^ nodding 
iVom side to nde. 

One day afrank, hearty, old womai^ 
who had known Roland as a boy, 
seeing him lean on my ami, stopped 
us, as she said bluffly, to take a " geud 
luik*' at me. 

Fortunatdy I waa stalwart enough 
to pass muster, even in the eyes of a 
Cumberland matron; and after a 
compliment at whid]^ Roland seemed 
much pleased, she said to ma> but 
pointing to the Caiptava:-rr 

** Hegh, sir, now yea ha the bva 
time before you ; you maun een try 
and be as geud as he. And if life last» 
ye wull too — &ir there never www a 
bad ana of that stock. Wi' heads 
kindly stnp'd to ^he least, and lifted 
manfti' oop to che highest— -that ye 
all war* a% ye came from the Ark. 
Blesains on the ould napie^-^-thougb 
little pelf goes w^itih it-rrit sounds on 
the pjBur uyiQ^f ^^ tike a bit of 
feould i' 



|W 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



181 



* ^ TkijUfa ntft setsnow/' ioid Bofamd, 
ife we turned away, " what we owe to 
B name, and what to cor f orefiitben ? 
-Mio yoa not see why the remotest 
lincestor has a right to onr respect 
and eonsidenition — for he i^ras a 
ftkteAt? 'Honour your parents*-^ 
the law does not say, ' Honour yootr 
tiiildrenP' If a child disgrace us, 
And the dead, and the sanctity of tfais 
^reat heritage of tiieir virtues — the 
tuimes^^rfhe does-^" Roland stopped 
dlhort, and added fervently, " But you 
lire my heir now-^^I have no fear! 
What matter one foolish old man's 
iorfows ?<— ^the name, that property of 



generations, is ssred, thank Heaven^— 
Uie name !" 

Now the riddle wss solved, and I 
understood why, amidst all his natural 
grief for a son's loss, that prond 
Mher was consoled. ¥or he was kiss 
himself a flither thfta a son — son to 
the long dead^ From ev^dty grave 
wherd a progenitor slept^ he had 
heard a paint's voice. He could 
hear to he h^reaved, if the fore&thert 
were not dishonoured. Roland was 
more than half a Roman — ^the son 
might still ding to his household 
affectioris, b(it the lare» were a part 
of his religiOiK 



■rt > 



CHAPTER V. 



Birr I ouglit to he hard at work, 
J)Tcpacring myself for Cambridge. The 
dcuc3 l-^how can I ? 'Hie point in 
tead^mical education oh which I re- 
quire mo^ preparation is Greek e6m- 
(Kisition. I coiiie to my &ther, who, 
one might think, wjeis at home enough 
in this. But rare indeed is it to find 
ft great scholar who is a good teadher. 

My dear father ! if one is oont^t 
to take you in your own way, there 
never was a more adiinirable iiistruc- 
tor for ihe heart, the 1m^, the prin- 
ciples, or the tAste-^whieh ^ii have 
discovered that theire ilB itome obe sore 
to he hefll^-'— one deft!6t to b^ re- 
paired: and you hi^vb irubbed your 
dpectacKes^ and got your hahd fkiriy 
mto that recess betvMeii yt^tir iiill and 
your wail^tcoat. But to g^ to you. Cut 
and dry, moiiotoitoilsly, i<^^i^ly,-^ 
hook and ekerd^ ih'hiiiid^J-Jto see the 
teoui^M patience #ith whidi yoti 
teilr yoiirsi^ from thbt ^Mt volume 
6f Cardfitn hi the v^ honeyniodti of 
possession^-^asid thto to niTto those 
mild 6yehli<d^ gkM«Ui]>y distML tiidili- 
(telves !nto p^^exed diagonals, ov^dT 
tomd ^fidse ^[oantity or flemebairhardiili 



e6llo<iiition-<^tin there steal forth that 
horrible ^' Pajpe !" which means more 
on y6ur lips thiul I am sure it ever 
did When Lalin was a live language^ 
and ''Fiapse!" a natural and tin* 
pedantic qacnlationt'-^^io, I would 
sooner blund^ through the dark by 
myself a thoitsand times, than light 
my rui^ight at the latnp of that 
Fhleg^thoniaii " Papo !" 

And thien n&y fitther would wisely 
ai^ kihdly, btit wondrous dowly, erase 
thtee-fourtiis of one's pet verses, and 
intorcalate others tiiat one saw werd. 
cacquijsite, but ooold not ekactiy se^ 
why. i^d theh one asked why ; aad 
my father shodk hSs head in dei^eiiv 
&tod daid'^'" But you o«ight to feei 
Why!^' 

In shorty ichoSarship to him waa 
like poetry : he could no more teach 
it you ijkm Ffiidar could hate ttuighli 
yob how to iliake ah ode. Ton 
breftthed the ai<oma, but you could no 
iaord ekiafd and analyse it, tiian; with 
tiie op6niiig of your naked hand, you 
couldcBhly o^ the scent of a roso. I 
soon 1^ my fhther in peace to Car« 
dan, and ta the Q«eat Bobl^ ^hich 



189 



THE CAXTONSi 



last, by the wwy, advanced bat slowly. 
For Unde Jack had now insisted on 
its being published in qnarto, with 
iUostrative plates; and those plates 
took an immense time, and were to 
cost an immense snm — ^bnt that cost 
was the afisur of the Anti-Publisher 
Society. But how can I settle to work 
by myself? No sooner have I got 
into my room — •penitus ab orhe divisus, 
M I rashly think — ^than there is a tap 
atjthe door. Kow it is my mother, 
who is benevolently engaged upon 
making cortfuns to all the windows, (a 
trifling saperflmty that Bolt had for- 
gotten or disdained,) and who wants 
to know how the draperies are 
fashioned at Mr. Trevanion's : a pre- 
tence to have me near her, and see 
with her own eyes that I am not 
fretting ; the moment she hears I have 
shut myself up in my room, she is 
sure that it is for sorrow. Now it is 
Bolt, who is making book-shelves for 
my father, and desires to consult me at 
every turn, especially as I have given 
him a Gothic design, which pleases 
him hugely. Now it is Blanche^ whom, 
in an evil hour, I undertook to teach 
to draw, and who comes in on tiptoe, 
vowing she'll not disturb me» and sits 
80 quiet that she fidgets me out of 
all patience. Now, and much more 
often, it is the Captain, who wants me 
to walk, to ride, to fish. And, by St. 
Hubert ! (saint of the cbase,) bright 
August oomes — and there is moor- 
game on those barren wolds — and my 
imde has given me the gun he shot 
with at my age — single-barrelled, flint 
lock — ^but you would not have laughed 
at it if you had seen the.strange feats 
it did in Boland*s hands — while in 
mine, I could always lay the blame 
on the flint lock I Time, in short, 
passed rapidly ; and if Boland and I 
had our dark hours, we chased them 
away before they could settle-Hshot 
them on the wing as they got up. 
• Then, too^ though the immediate 



scenery around my uncle's was eo 
bleak and desolate, the country within 
a few miles was so full of objects of 
interest — of landscapes so poetically 
grand or lovely ; and ooca^onally we 
coaxed my father from the Cardans 
and spent whole days by the margin 
of some glorious lake. 

Amongst these excursions, I mtdtt 
one by myself to that house in which 
my fkther had known the bliss ami 
the pangs of that stem first-love 
which still left its scars fresh on my 
own memory. The houses large and 
imposing, was shut up — ^the Tre- 
vanions had not been there for years 
— the plea3urc-gpx)unds had been con* 
tracted into tiie smallest possible 
space. There was no positive decay 
or ruin — that Trevanion would neyec 
have allowed; but there was the dreary 
look of absenteeship everywhere. I 
penetrated into the house with the 
help of my card and half-a-crown. I 
saw that memorable boudoir — I could 
fancy the very spot in which . my 
father had heard the sentence that 
had changed the current of his life. 
And when I returned home, I looked 
with new tenderness on my father's 
placid brow — and blessed anew that 
tender helpmate, who, in het patient 
lov«), had chased from it every shadow. 

I had received one letter from 
Vivian a few days after our arrival. 
It had been re-directed from my 
fiither's house, at which I had given 
him my address. It was short, but 
seemed cheerful. He said, that he 
believed he had at last Idt on the 
right way, and should keep to it^— 
that he and the world were better 
friends than they had been— that the 
only way to keep friends with the 
world was to treat it as a tamed 
tiger, and have one hand on a crow- 
bar while one fondled the beast with 
the other. He endoeed me a bank- 
note, which somewhat more than 
covered his debt to me^ and bade ma 



A FAMILY PICTURE 



183 



'jptij him the flarpluB when he diould 
daim it as a millionaire. He gave 
me no address in his letter, but it 
bore the post-mark of €k)dalming. I 
had the impertinent curiosity to look 
.into an old topographical work upon 
Surrey, and in a supplemental itine- 
rary I found this passage,. "To the 
lelt of the beech-wood, three miles 
from Godalming, you catch a glimpse 
of the elegant seat of Francis Vivian, 
Esq." To judge by the date of the 
work, the said Francis Vivian might 
be the grand£ither of my friend, his 
namesake. There could no longer be 
any doubt as to the parentage of this 
prodigal son. 

The long vacation was now neariy 
over, and all his guests were to 
leave the poor Captain. In tut, we 



had made a oonnderable trespass on 
his hospitality. It was settled that I 
was to accompany my &ther and mo- 
tlier to their long-neglected petuUes, 
and start thence for Cambridge. 

Our parting was sorrowful — even 
Mrs. Primmins wept as she shook 
hands with Bolt. But Bolt, an old 
soldier, was of course a lady's man. 
The brothers did not shake hands 
only — they fondly embraced, as bro- 
thers of that time of life rarely do 
now-a-days, except on the stage. And 
Blanche, with one arm round my mo- 
ther's neck and one round mine, sobbed 
in my ear,— "But I will be your 
Uttle wife, I wilL" Finally, the fly- 
coach once more received us all — all 
but poor Blanche, and we looked 
round and missed her* 



CHAPTER VL 



Alva MATSBlAhna Mater! New- 
fishioned folks, with their large theo- 
ries of educatiop, may And firadt with 
thee. Bat a true Spartan mother 
thou art — ^hard and stem as the old 
matron who bricked up her son Pan- 
sanias, bringii^ the -flrst stone to 
immure him ; hard and stem, I say, 
to the wortldess, but full of nuyestic 
tenderness to the worthy. 

For a youi^ man to go up to Cam- 
bridge (I say nothix^ of Oxford, 
knowing nothing thereof) merely as 
routine work, to lounge through three 
years to a degree among the oi 
iroXXoft — for such an one, Oxford 
Street herself, whom the immortal 
Opium-Eater hath so direly apostro- 
phised, 18 not a more careless andstony- 
faearted mother. But for him who 
will read, who will work, who win 
seize the rare advantages proffered, 
who will select his friends judiciously 
— yea, out of that vast ferment of 
young idea in its lusty vigour^ choose 



the good and r^ect tiie bad->there is 
plenty to make those three years rich 
with fruit imperishable — three years 
nobly spent^ even though one must 
pass over the Ass's Bridge to get into 
the Temple of Honour. 

Important changes in ^e Acade- 
mical system have been recently an- 
nounced, and honours are henceforth 
to be accorded to the successful dis- 
dples in moral and natural sciences. 
By the side cf the old throne of Ma- 
theffls, they have placed two very 
jtaesM-fauteuiU d la Voltaire. I have 
no objection J but» in those three years 
of life, it is not so much the thing 
learned, as the steady perseverance in 
learning something that is excellent. 

It was fortunate, in one respect, 
far me that I had seen a little of the 
real world — the metropolitan, before I 
came to that numic one — ^the doistraL 
For what were called pleasures in the 
last, and which might have allured 
me^had I come fresh from school, had 



IM 



THS CAlTOBBt 



BO dnm for me iioif« Hard «diiiik- 
fag mad bigli pbiy, a eertain muUire 
oft co M i cii c w and eztraYagaaccv made 
tbe faflfakm among the kDe wbcB I 
mt aft tbe murenity, eoMslePlaaeo 
•'-frheii Wordsworth waa marter of 
Trhntj : it may be altered notir. 

But I bad abeadj oatfived mdi 
temptatioDi^ and ao, natmfalijr, I was 
thnmn oat of the lociet j of the idle, 
and ■omevliat into that of the kbo- 
rious. 

Still, to speak franidy, I bftd no 
longer the old pkasmv in books. If 
my acqnaintance with the great world 
had destroyed tbe temptation to pne- 
iile excesses, it*bad also increased my 
eonstitotioDfll tendency to practical 
action. And, alas! in spite of all the 
benefit I had derired fpom Robert 
Hall, there were times when memory 
was so poignant that I had no choiee 




bat to rash from the lonely room 
hannted by tempting phantoms too 
dangeronsly fiiir, and sober down the 
fever of the heart by some Tiolent 
bodily ihtigne. The atdoor which 
belongs to early yooth, and which it 
best dedicates to knowledge, had been 
charmed prematorely to shrines less 
severely sacred. Therefore thoogh I 
laboared, 4t was with that IhU *eH$e 
of lab(mr which (as I foond aft a much 
Inter period of Ufb) the truly triom- 
phant stndent never knows. Learn- 
ing — that marble image— warms into 
life, not at tbe tcxl of the diisel, bat 
the worship of tiie sculptor. The 
mechanical workman finds bat the 
Tdoeless stone. 

At my uncVft sooh a thing ai a 
newspaper rarely made iti) appearance. 
At Cambridge, even among reading 
men, the newspapers had their due 
importance. Politics ran high*; and 
I had not been three days at Cam- 
bridge before I iieard Trevauion's 
name. Ne%vspaperfr, therefore, had 
their charms for me. Trevanion's 
pro^ecy abont Idmself seemed -abodt 



baWfifcd 

intfaeOafaiBet. Trevankm'a 
wwbaiified to and fro,atrBck 
to bbmcj, higli and lorn. 
Still tiw changes were 
and the Cabinet hddfirm. 
Not a word in tha Monumg Pof^ 
the iMid affukiamable intdU^ 
as to fua a ours that would have 
agitated me more than the riband 
fidl of goveramenta— no hint of " tbe 
qieedy nnpliab of tha danghter and 
aole h e iie a s of m distingnialied and 
wea l t hy oommoaer:^ only now and 
then, in e n—M r a ting the circle of 
brilfiani gnests at the hooae of acme 
party dueJ^ I gulped ban^ the heart 
that mabed to my lips, when I saw 
the namea of La^ EUmor and Miss 



Bat amongst ijl that proMc pro* 
geny of the periodical press — ^remote 
oflSipring of my great namesake and 
anoerfttr. (for I hold the fiuih of my 
fiither,)— where waa the lAteraty 
2¥sMt?-^''%hathid 80 k»g retarded 
its promised UoaMms? Not a lai 
in the shape of advertiaementa had 
yet emerged from ita mother earth. 
I hoped firam my heart that the whde 
tlung waa abandoned, and would not 
mention it in my letters homei, lest I 
should revive tiie mere idea of itb 
Boi^ in defimlt of the Zi^erary Time»^ 
there ^d appear a new .journal, a 
daQy joanial» too? a tall, fuender, and 
meagre atripHng, with a vast heaAl, 
by mvg. of prospeetnsy which pio- 
troded itself for three vreeks sacoes- 
sively at the top of the lending ar- 
ticle; — witha fine and subtle body of 
paragpntpha ;-Hmd the smidlest legs, 
in tibe way of advertisements, that 
any poor newspaper ever stood upoa ! 
And yet iSais attenuated journal had 
a plump and plethoric title, a title 
that snmoked of turtle and venison ; 
and aldermanic^ pwtly, graiidioHC, 
Fflktaifian title— it was called Tub 
CAHTAUBVt And all chose fine^ subtle 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



185 



pangnphg were larded oat with re- 
cipes how to make money. There was 
in El Dorado in every sentence. To 
believe that Paper, you would think 
DO man had ever yet found a proper 
return for his pounds, shillings, and 
pence. Tou would turn up your 
nose at twenty per cent. There was 
a great deal ahout Ireland — not her 
wrongs, thank Heaven ! but her fldi- 
eries: a long inquiry what had be- 
come of the pearls for which Britain 
was once so fiunous: a learned dis- 
qtlisition upon certain lost gold mines 
BOW hapi^y re-discovered; a very 
ifigenious proposition to turn London 
smoke into manure, by a new chemi- 
cal process : recJommendations to the 
poor to hat($h chickens in ovens like 
the andent Egyptians: agricultaml 
schemes for sowing the waste lands in 
England with onions, upon the sys- 
tem adopted near Bedford — net pro- 
duoe one hundred pounds an acre. In 
short, according to that paper, every 
rood of ground might well maintain 
its man, and every shilling be like 
Hobson's money-bag, "the fruitful 
parent of a hundred more." For 
three days, at the newspaper rooili of 
^ Union Club, tiien talked Of this 
journal; some pished, some sneered, 
iome wondered: till an iU-natnred 
nathematuaan, who had just taken 
his degree, and had spare time on his 
kttui^sent ft ]bDg latter to the Morih I 



inff ChrofUele, showing up more 
blunders, in some article to which 
the editor of The Capitalist had spe- 
Cinlly invited attention, than would 
have paved the whole island of Laputa. 
After that time, not a soul read The 
Capitalist, iSow long it dragged on 
its existence I know not ; but it cer- 
tainly did not die of a maladie ds 
Idngueur, 

Little thought I, when I joined in 
the laugh against The CapitaHH, that 
I ought rather to have followed it to 
its grave, in black crape and weepers, 
— ^unfceHng wretch that I was ! Bui, 
like a poet, O Capitalist / thou went 
not discovered, and appredated, and 
prized, and mourned, till thou wert 
dead and buried, and the bill came in 
tot thy monument ! 

The first tertn of my college life 
was just expiring, when I received a 
letter from my mother, so agitated, 
so alarming - at first reading so un* 
intelligible — that I could only see 
that some gp^eat misfintune had be- 
fiiUen US; and I stopped short and 
dropped on my knees to pray fat the 
life and health of those whom that 
misfortune more specially seemed to 
menace; and then— and then, towards 
the end of tlie la^ blurred sentence^ 
read twice, thrice, over — I could cry^ 
*' Thank Heaven, thank Heaven I it 
is only, thto, money after tJl 1^ 



186 



THE CAXTONS 



PAET ELEVENTH. 



CHAPTER L 



The next day, on the oatside of 
the Cambridge Telegraph, there was 
one passenger who ought to have im- 
pressed his fellow-travellers with a 
very respectfiil idea of his lore in the 
dead languages ; for not a single syl- 
lable, in a live one, did he vouchsafe to 
utter from the moment he ascended 
that " bad eminence," to the moment 
in which he regained his mother 
earth. " Sleep," says honest Sancho, 
** covers a man better than a cloak." 
I am ashamed of thee, honest Sancho! 
thou art a sad plagiarist ; for Tibullus 
said pretty nearly the some thing be- 
fore thee,— • 

*' Te sonmos ftisoo velavit amioto."* 

But is not silenoe as good a cloak 
88 sleep ?-— does it not wrap a man 
round with as offusc and impervious 
a fold? Silence — ^what a world it 
covers!— what busy schemes — ^what 
bright hopes and dark fears — ^what 
ambition, or what despair ! Do you 
ever see a man in any society sitting 
mute for hours, and not feel an un- 
easy curiosity to penetrate the wall 
he thus builds up between others and 
himself ? Does he not interest you 
far more than the brilliant talker at 
your left — the airy wit at yoxa right, 
whose shafts fall in vun on the sullen 
barrier of the ^ent man ! Silence, 
dark sister of Kox and Erebus, how, 

•TibaUo8,iii.4^65. 



layer upon layer, shadow upon sha- 
dow, blacknos upon blackness, thoa 
stretchest thyself from hell to heaven* 
over thy two chosen haunta— man's 
heart and the grave ! 

So, then, wrapped in my great- 
coat and my silence, I performed my 
journey; and on the evening of the 
second day I reached the old-&9hu>ned 
brick house. How shrill on my ears 
sounded the bell ! Hd^v strange and 
ominous to my impatience seemed the 
light gleaming across the windows 
of the haU ! How my heart beat as 
I watched the &ce of the servant who 
opened the gate to my summons ! 

"AH wen?" cried I. 

'^ All well, nr," answered the ser- 
vant cheerfblly. "Mr. Squills, in* 
deed, is with master, but I don't tiunk 
there is anything the matter.'' 

But now my mother appeared at 
the thresholcC and I was in her 
arms. 

" Sisty, Sisty ! — ^my dear, dear son! 
— beggared, perhaps-Hmd my £Bult— 
mine." 

** Tours ! — come into this room, out 
of hearing^ — your feult ?" 

"Yes— yes !— for if I had had no 
brother, or if I had not been led 
away, — ^if I had, as I ought> entreated 
poor Austin not to" — 

"My dear, dearest mother, fftm 
accuse yourself for what, it seems, was 
my uncle's misfortune — I am sore 
not even his fitult ! (I made a gulp 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



1S7 



i^ere.) No, lay the ikitlt on the right 
fihonlderg — the deflinct shoulders of 
that horrihie progenitor, William 
Caxton the printer, for, though I 
don't yet know the particulars of 
what has happened, I will lay a wager 
It is connected with that fatal inven- 
tion of printing. Come, come — my 
father is well, is he not ?" 
"Yes, thank Heaven." 
" And I too, and Koland, and little 
Blanche ! Why, then, yon are right 
to tliank Heaven, for your true trea- 
sures are untouched. But nt down 
acd cxplfun, pray." 

** I cannot explain. I do not un- 
derstand anything more than that he, 
ay hrother, — mine ! — has involved 
Austin in — in**— (a fresh burst of 
tears.) 

I comforted, scolded, laughed, 
preached, and adjured in a breath; 
and then, drawing my mother gently 
on, entered my father's study. 

At the table was seated Mr. Squills^ 
pen in hand, and a glass of his fa- 
vourite punch by his side. My father 
was standing on the hearth, a shade 
more pale, but with a resolute expres- 
sion on his countenance, which was 
new to its indolent thoughtAil mild- 
ness. He lifted his eyes as the door 
opened, and then, putting his 6nger 
to his lips, as he glanced towards my 
mother, he said gaily, *'No great 
harm done. Don't believe her ! Wo- 
men always exaggerate, and make re- 
ahties of their own bugbears : it is 
the vice of their lively ima^nations, 
as Wierus has clearly shown in ac- 
ooxmting for the marks, moles, and 
hare-lips which they inflict upon their 
innocent infants before they are even 
bom. My dear boy," added my fa- 
ther, as I here kissed him and smiled 
in his face, " I thank you for that 
smile ! God bless you I*' He wrung 
my hand, and turned a little aside. 

*' It is a great comfort,'* renewed / 
03 J fiither^ iSter a short pause, " to | 



know, when a misfortune happens, 
that it could not be helped. Squills 
has just discovered that I have no 
bump of cautiousness ; so that, rrani- 
ologically speaking, if I had escaped 
one imprudence, I should certainly 
have run my head against another." 

" A man with your development it 
made to be taken in," said Mr. Squills, 
consolingly. 

" Do you hear that, my own Kitty? 
and have you the heart to blame 
Jack any longer — a poor creature 
cursed with a bump that would take 
in the Stock Exchange? And can 
any one resist his bump. Squills ?" 

" Impossible !" said the surgeon 
authoritatively. 

" Sooner or later it must involve 
him in its airy meshes — eh. Squills ? 
entrap him into its fatal cerebral cell* 
There his fate wiuts him, like the ant- 
lion in its pit." 

"Too true," quoth Squills. "What 
a phrenological lecturer you would 
have made !" 

" Go, then, my love," said my f^ 
ther, " and lay no blame but on this 
melancholy cavity of mine, where 
cautiousness — ^is not! Go, and let 
Sisty have some supper ; for Squills 
says that he has a fine development of 
the mathematical orpranp,and we want 
his help. W^e are hard at work on 
figures, Pisistratus." 

My mother looked broken-hearted, 
and, obeying submissively, stole to the 
door without a word. But as she 
reached the threshold she turned 
round, and beckoned to me to follow 
her. 

I whispered my father, and went 
out. My mother was standing in 
the hall, and I saw by the lamp that 
she had dried her tears, and that her 
face, though very sad, was more oom« 
posed. 

" Sisty," she said, in a low voice 
which struggled to be firm, " promise 
me that you will tell me all— the 



18S 



THE CAXT0N8: 



worst, Sisty. They keep it from me, 
and that is my hardest punishment ; 
for when I don't know all that he — 
that Austin suffers, it seems to me 
as if I liad lost his heart. Oh, Sisty ! 
my child, my cluld, don't fear me ! I 
shall be happy whatever befalls us, if 
1 once get back my privilege — my 
privilege, Sisty, to comfort, to share ! 
—do you understand me ?" 

*' Tes, indeed, my mother ! And 
with your good sense, and dear wo- 
man's wit, if you will but feel how 
much We want them, you will be the 
best counsellor we could have. So 
never fear ; yon and I will have no 
secrets." 

My mother kissed me, and went 
sway with a less heavy step. 

As I re-entered, my father came 
across the room and embraced me. 

"My son," he siud in a faltering 
voice, " if your modest prospects in 
life are ruined"— 

" Father, father, can you think of 
me at such a moment ! Me ! — Is it 
possible to ruin the young, and strong, 
and healthy ! Buin me, with these 
thews and sinews! — ruin me, with 
the education you have given me — 
thews and sinews of the mind ! Oh 
no ! there. Fortune is harmless ! And 
.you forget, sir, — ^thesafiVon bag!" 

Squills leapt up,and,wiping his eyes 
with one hand, gave me a sounding 
slap on the shoulder with the other. 

" I am proud of the care I took of 
your infancy. Master Caxton. That 
comes of strengthening the digestive 
organs in early childhood. Such sen- 
timents are a proof of magnificent 
ganglions in a perfect state of order. 
Wlieu a man's tongue is as smooth 
as I am sure yours is» he slips 
through misfortune like an eel." 

I laughed outright,my father smiled 
fidntly : and, seating myself, I drew 
towards me a paper filled with Squills' 
memoranda^ and said, " Now to find 
tile unknown quantity. What on 



earth is thisf 'Supposed value of 
books, £750.' Oh, fiither ! this is 
impossible. I was prepared for any- 
thing but that. Tour books — ^they 
are your life !" 

"Nay," said my fkther; "afler 
all, th^ are the emending party in 
this case, and so ought to be the 
principal victims. B^des, I believe 
I know most of them by heart. But^ 
in truth, we are only entering all our 
effects, to be sure (added my fiither 
proudly) that» come what may, we are 
not dishonoured." 

" Humour him," whispered Squilb'; 
** we will save the books." Then he 
added aloud, as he laid finger and 
thumb on my pulse, " One, two, three, 
about seventy — capital ptilse — soft 
and full — ^he can bear the whole : l<ft 
us administer it." 

My father nodded — -"Certainly. 
But, Pisistratua^ we must manag^ 
your dear mother. Why she shduld 
think of blaming herself, because 
poor Jack took Avrong ways to enrich 
us, I cannot understand. But as I 
have had occasion before to remark^ 
Sphinx is a noun feminine.'* 

My poor fiither I that was a vain 
struggle for thy wonted innocent 
humour. The lips quivered* 

Then the story came out. It seems 
that, when it was resolved to under- 
take the publication of the LUerarjf 
Timet, a certain nuihbel* of share- 
holders had been got together by the 
indefatigable energies of Uncle Jack; 
and in the deed of aissociation and 
partnership, my father's name figured 
conspicuously as theholder of a fourth 
of this joint property. If in this my 
father had committed some irnpru* 
dence, be had at least done nothing 
that> according to the ordinary calcu- 
lations of a secluded studeht, ootdd be- 
come ruinous. But, Just at the tim^ 
when we were in the htirry of leavm|^ 
town. Jack had represented to my 
fatbto thdt it might b6 i^ece^ftr^ tb 



▲ FAMILY PICTUIE. 



1891 



ijlter a little the plan of tbe paper ; 
and, m order to aUure a larger circle 
of readers, touch somewhat on the 
more vulgar news and interests of the 
day. A chaoige of plan might involve 
a change of title ; and he suggested 
to my &ther the expediency of leav- 
ing tiie smopth hands of Mr. Tihbets 
altogether unfettered, as tp the teoh- 
mcal name and precise form of the 
publication. To tliis my father had 
unwittingly assented, on hearing that 
the other shareholdars would do the 
same. Mr. Peck, a printer of oon- 
siderahle opulence, and highly respec- 
table name, had heen found to ad- 
vance the sum necessary for the pub- 
lication of the earlier numbers, upon 
the guarantee of the said act of 
partnership and the additional secu- 
rity of my father's signature to a 
document, authorising Mr. IHbbets to 
make any change in the form or title 
of the periodical that might be judged 
^visable, concurrent with the con- 
4ent of the other shareholders. 

Now it seems that Mr. Peck had, in 
his previous conferences with Mr. 
Tibbets, thrown much cold water on 
the idea of the IMerwry Times, and 
had suggested something that should 
** catch the monied public^"-?— the &ct 
being, as was afterwards discovered, 
that the printer, whose spirit of en- 
terprise was congenial to Uncle Jack's, 
had shares in three or four specula- 
tions^ to which he was naturally glad 
of an opportunity to invite the atten- 
tion of the pubUc. In a word, no 
sooner was my pocnr fikther'a back 
turned, than the IMerary THmes was 
dropped incontinently, and Mr. Peck 
and Mr. Tibbets began to concentrate 
their luminous notiona into that bril- 
liant and comet-like apparition which 
ultimately blazed forth und^ the titjle 
fiiThe CapUaUs^. 

From this change of enteFprise the 
more prudent and responsible of the 
original shf^holdera l^id altpgethcar 



withdrawn, A majority, indeed, were 
left; but the greater part of those 
were shareholders of that kind most 
amenable to the influences of Uncle 
Jack, and willing to be shareholders in 
anything, since as yet they were pes* 
sessors of nothing. 

Aaeored of my ftther's responsibi- 
lity, the adventurous Peck put plenty 
of spirit into the first launch of The. 
Capitalist, All the walls were pla- 
carded with its announcements; cir- 
cular advertisements ran firom one 
end of the kingdom to the other. 
Agents were engaged, correspondents 
levied en maeee. The invasion of 
Xerxes on the Greeks was not more 
munificently provided for than that or 
The CoipitaM upon the credulity and 
avarice of mankind. 

But as Providence bestows upon 
fishes the instrument of fins, whereby 
they balance and direct their move- 
ments, however rapid and erratic^ 
through the pathless deeps ; so to the 
cold-blooded creatures of our own 
species-r-that may be classed under 
the genus moxtbt-xakbbs — the same 
protective power accords the fin-like 
properties of prudence and caution, 
wherewith your true money-getter 
buoys and guides himself mi^estically 
through the great ^eas of speculation. 
In short, the fishes the net was cast 
for were all scared from the sur&ce 
at the first splash. They came round 
and smelt at the mesh with their sharp 
bottle-noses, and then, plying those 
invaluable fins, made off as &st aa 
they could — ^plunging into the mud 
— hiding themselves under rocks and 
coral banks. Metaphor apart, the 
capitalists buttoned up their pockets, 
land would have nothing to say to 
their nameaakie. 

Not a word of this change, so abhor- 
rent to all the no1(i<H^ of poor Augus- 
1 tine Caxten, had been breathed .to him 
I by Peak or Tibbets. He ate, and slq^t^ 
[and worked a^ the Qreat Booky.oooi* 



190: 



THE CAXTOXSt 



Bionally wonderiT>g why he had not 
heard of the advent of the JAierary 
Times, nnconscious of all the awfal 
responsihilities which The Capitaligt 
was entailing on him ; — ^knowing no 
more of The Cajntalistthan he did of 
the last loan of the Rothschilds. 

Difficalt was it for all other hnman 
nature, save my father's, not to 
breathe an indignant anathema on the 
scheming head of the brother-in-law 
who had thus violated the most sacred 
obligations of trust and kindred, and 
80 entangled an unsuspecting recluse. 
But, to give even Jack IMbbets his 
due, he had firmly convinced himself 
that The Capitalist would make my 
father's fortune; and if he did not 
announce to him the strange and 
anomalous de\'elopment into which 
the original sleeping chrysalis of the 
JAterary Times had taken portentous 
wing, it was purely and wholly in the 
knowledge that my father's "pre- 
judices," as he termed them, would 
stand in the way of his becoming a 
CroBsus. And, in fact, Uncle Jack 
had believed so heartily in his own 
project, that he had put himself 
thoroughly into Mr. Peck's power, 
signed bills in his own name to some 
£ibulou8 amount, and was actually 
now in the Fleet, whence his peni- 
tential and despairing confession was 
dated, arriving simaltaneously with a 
short letter from Mr. Peck, wherein 
that respectable printer apprised my 
father that he had continued, at his 
own risk, the publication of The Ca- 
pitalist, as far as a prudent care for 
his family would permit ; that he need 
not say that a new daily journal was 
a very vast experiment , that the ex- 
pense of such a paper as The Capi- 
talist was immeasurably greater than 
that of a mere literary periodical, as 
originaJUy laggested; and that now^ 
being constrained to come upon the 
shareholders for the sums he bad ad- 
viQoedf amounting to several thou- 



sands, he requesfed my iHther to 
settle with him immediately — deli- 
cately implying that Mr. Caxton him- 
self might settle as he could with the 
other shareholders, most of whom, he 
grieved to add, he had been misled hy 
Mr. Tibbets into believing to be men 
of substance, when in reality they 
were men of straw ! 

Xor was this aU the evil. The 
"Great Anti-Bookseller Publishing 
Society," — which had maintained a 
struggling existence— evinced by ad- 
vertisements of sundry forthcoming 
works of solid interest and enduring 
nature, wherein, out of a long lif:\^ 
amidst a pompous array of " Poems; ' 
"Dramas not intended for the Stage;" 
** Essays by Phileutheros, PhUanthro- 
pos, Philopolis, Philodemu8,and Fliila- 
lethes," stood prominently forth, "The 
History of Human Error, Vols. I. and 
II., quarto, with iUustrations," — the 
"Anti-Bookseller Society," I say, that 
had hitherto evinced nascent and 
budding life by these exfoliations from 
its slender stem, died of a sudd{n 
blight, the moment its sun, in tie 
shape of Undo Jack, set in tie 
Cimmerian regions of the Fleet ; and 
a polite letter from another prin- 
ter (O William Caxton, William 
Caxton! — ^fatal progenitor!) inform- 
ing my father of this event, stated 
complimentarily that it was to him, 
" as the most respectable member of 
the Association," that the said printer 
would be compelled to look for ex- 
penses incurred, not only in the very 
costly edition of the " History of 
Human Error," but for those incmred 
in the print and paper devoted to 
" Poems," " Dramas not intended for 
the Stage," " Essays by Phileutheros, 
Philanthropos, Philopolis, Philodemns, 
and Philalethes," with sundry other 
works, no doubt of a very valuable 
nature, but in which a considerable 
loss, in a peccmiary point of view^ 
must be necessarily expected. 



A FAMILY, PICTnfeE. 



191 



I own thnt, as soon as I had mas- 
tered the above aprreeable facts, and 
asoertnined from Mr. Squills that my 
father really did seem to have ren- 
dered himself legally liable to these 
demands, I leant back in my chair« 
atamied and bewildered. 

"So yon see/' said my fkther, 
*that as yet we are contending with 
monsters in the dark — ^in the dark all 
monsters look letrger and nglier. 
Even Angnstns CsMar, though cer- 
tainly he had never scrupled to make 
as many ghosts as suited his con- 
venience, did not like the chance of a 
visit from them, and never sat alone 
M tenebrU. What the amount of the 
smns claimed from me may be, we 
know not; what may be gained from 
the other shareholders is equally ob- 
scure and undefined. But the first 
thing to do is to get poor Jack out of 
prison." 

" Uncle Jack out of prison !'' ez- 
daimed I : "surely, sir, that is carry- 
ing forgiveness too far." 

'* Why, he would not have been in 
prison if I had not been so blindly 
f orgetful of his weakness, poor man ! 
I ought to have known better. But 



my vanity misled me; I must needs 
publish a great book, as if (said Mr. 
Cazton, looking round the shelves) 
there were not great books enough in 
the world ! I must needs, too, think 
of advancing and circulating know- 
ledge in the form of a journal — I, 
who had not knowledge enough of the 
character of my own brother-in-law to 
keep myself from ruin ! Come what 
will, I should think myself the 
meanest of men to let that poor crea- 
ture, whom I ought to have con- 
sidered as a monomaniac, rot in pri- 
son, because I, Austin Caxton, wanted 
common serkse. And (concluded my 
father resolutely) he is your mother's 
brother, Pisistratus. I should have 
gone to town at once; but, hearing 
that my wife had written to you, I 
waited till I could leave her to the 
companionship of hope and comfort—- 
two blessings that smile upon every 
mother in the fiice of a son like yon. 
To-morrow I go." 

" Not a bit of it," said Mr. Squills 
firmly; "as your medical adviser, I 
forbid you to leave the house for tho 
next six days.' 



>* 



CHAPTER n. 



•'Sib,* continued Mr. Squills, 
biting off the end of a cigar which he 
polled from his pocket, "you concede 
.to me that it is a very imx>ortant 
business on which you propose to go to 
London." 

" Of that there is no doubt," re- 
plied my fiither. 

" And the doing of business well or 
ill entirely depends upon the habit of 
body!" cried Mr. Squills triumphantly. 
"Do you know, Mr. Caxton, that 
while you are looking so cahn, and 
talking so quietly — just on purpose to 
iostain your son and delude your 



wife — do you know that your pulse, 
which is naturally little more than 
sixty, is nearly a hundred ? Bo you 
know, sir, that your mucous mem- 
branes are in a state of high irrita- 
tion, apparent by the papilla at the 
tip of your tongue ? And if, with a 
pulse Uke this, and a tongue like that, 
you think of settling money matters 
with a set of sharp-witted tradesmen, 
all I am say is, that you are a 
ruined man." 

" But " — ^began my father. 

"Did not Squire Rollick," pur«- 
sued Mr. Squills— " Squire Rolliok, 



m 



THE CAXTONS. 



the hardest he&d at a bargain I know 
qf-T-<Hd not Squire Bollick sell that 
pretty little farm of his, Soranny 
polt, for thirty per cent, helow its 
yalueP And what w^s the cause, 
tar ?-r-the whole oounty was in ama^e ! 
-TT-what was the cause, but an inci- 
pient simmering attack of the yellow 
jaundice, which made him take a 
gloomy view of humtui life, and the 
agricultu]:al interest ? On the other 
hand, did not Lawyer Cool, the most 
prudent man in the three kingdoms 
•r-Lawyer Cool, who was so mcthodi- 
qal, that all the clocks in the comitry 
were set by his watch — plunge one 
yioming hoover heels into a frantic 
speculation for cultivating the bogs 
in Ireland (his watch did not go right 
fbr the next three months, which 
made our whole shire an hour in ad- 
vance of the rest of England !) And 
what was the cause of that nobody 
^ew, till I was called in, and found 
the cerebral membrane in a state of 
acute irritation, probably just in the 
region of his acquisitiveness and 
ideality. Nq, Mr. Caxton, yon will 
stay at home, and take a soothing 
preparation I shall send you, of lettuce 
leaves and marsh-mallows. But I" 
continued Squills, lighting his ci^u*, 
and taking two determiued whiffs — 
^ but I will go up to town and settle 
the buaness for you, and take with 
me this young gentleman, whose di- 
gestive Actions are just in a st^te to 
deal safely with those horrible ele- 
ments of dyspepsia — the L. S. D." 

As he spoke, Mr. SqtiiUs set his foot 
l&gnificantly npon mine. 

" But^'* resumed my father mildly, 
**thongh I thank you very much, 
Squills, for your kind offer, I do not 
recognise the necessity of accepting it. 
X am not so bad a philosopher as you 
aeem to imagine ; and the blow I have 
received has not so deranged my 
physical organization as to render me 
vifit to transact my affairs." 



M 



Hum!" gmated Squills, 
np and seizing my &tber's pulse j 
"ninety-six — ninety -six if a beat! 
And the tongue, mrV* 

" Pshaw!" qnoth my fother, ''yoa 
have not even seen my tongue!" 

" No need of that, I know what 
it is by tbii state of the eyelids-^ 
tip scarlet, aides rough as a nutmeg* 
grater!" 

"Pshaw!" again stud my ^M^hsc^ 
t^ time impatiently. 

" WcU," said Squills solemnly, "it 
is my duty to say, (here my mothev 
entered, to tell me that supper was 
ready,) and I say it to yon, Mrs. 
Caxton» and to yo^, liCr. H^tratus. 
Caxton, as the parties-most nearly in- 
terested, that if you, sir, go to Xjoudop. 
upon this matter, I'll not answer |v 
the consequences." 

"Oh! Austin, Ans^" <|ried my 
mother, running up and throwing hep 
arms round my father's neck; while 
I, little less alarmed by Squill's 8erip))S< 
tone and aspect, represented strongly 
the inutility of Mr. Caxton's personal 
interference at the present momenW 
All he oould do on arriving in town 
would be to put the matter into the 
hands of a good lawyer, and that we 
could do for him ; it would be time 
enough to send for him when the ex- 
tent of the mischief done was more 
clearly ascertained. Meanwhile Squills 
griped my Cher's pulse, and my mo- 
ther hung on his neck. 

" Ninety-six — ^ninety-seven!" groan- 
ed Squills in a hollow voice. 

" I don't believe it !" cried my f^ 
ther, almost in a passion-r—" never 
better nor cooler in my life." 

"And the tongue — ^look at Us 
tongue, Mrs. Caxton — a tongue, 
ma'am, so bright that you could see 
to read by it !" 

"Oh! Austin, Austin!" 

" My dear, it is not my tongue that 
is in &ult, I assure you," sud my 
fifcthn: qp^ddog throngb Itis teeth; 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



1£S 



*'Knd tlie man knows no more of my 
tongue than he does of the Mysteries 
of Eleusis." 

" Put it out then." ^fxclaimed 
Squills, *'and if it be not as I say; 
you have my leave to go to London, 
and throw your whole fortune into 
the two great pits you have dug for 
it Put it out!" 

"Mr. Squills!" said my father, co- 
louring — ** Mr. Squills, for shame!" 

"Dear, dear, Austin! your hand is 
80 hot — you are feverish, I am sure: 



>» 



« Not a bit of it » 

" But, sir, only just gratify Mr. 
Squills," said I coaxingly. 

"There, there!" said njy fither, 
fairly baited into submission, and shyly 
exhibiting for a moment the extremest 
end of the vanquished organ of elo- 
quence. 

Squills darted forward his lynx-like 
eyes. " Red as a lobster, and rough 
as a gooseberry-bush !" cried SqiUls, 
in a tone of savage joy. 



CHAPTER IIL 



How was it possible for one poor 
tongue, 80 reviled and persecuted, so 
humbled, insulted, and triumphed 
over — to resist three tongues in league 
against it? 

Finally, my father 3rielded, and 
Squills, in high spirits, declared that 
he would go to supper with me, to 
Bee that I ate nothing that could 
tend to discredit his rdiance on my 
system. Leaving my mother still 
with ber Austin, the good surgeon 
then took my arm, and, as soon as we 
were in the next room, shut the door 
carefully, wiped his forehead, and said 
— " I think we have saved him!" 

"Would it really, then, have injured 
my father so much ?" 

** So much ! — why, you foolish 
young man, don't you see that, with 
his ignorance of business, where he 
himsdf is concerned — though, for any 
other one^ business, neither Rollick 
nor Cool has a better judgment — and 
with his d — d Quixotic spirit of ho- 
nour worked up into a state of ex- 
citement, he would have rushed to 
Mr. Tibbets, and exchumed, 'How 
much do you owe ? there it is!' — set- 
tled in the same way with these 
printers, and come back without a 
nzpenoe; whereas you and I can look 

No. 845. 



coolly about ns, and reduce the in- 
iiammation to the minimum!" 

" I see, and thank you heartily^ 
Squills." 

" Besides," said the surgeon, witk 
more feeling, " your father has really 
been making a noble effort over him- 
self. He satfers more than you would 
think — ^not for himself (for I do be- 
lieve that, if he were alone in the 
world, he would be quite contented if 
he could save fifty pounds a-year and 
his books,) but for your mother and 
yourself; and a fresh access of emo- 
tional exdtement, all the nervous 
anxiety of a journey to London on 
such a business, might have ended in 
a paralytic or epileptic affection. Now 
we have him here snug; and the 
worst news we can give him will be 
better than what he will make up his 
mind for. But you don't eat." 

"Eat! How cm I? My poor 
fether!" 

" The effect of grief npon the gas- 
tric juices, through the nervous sys- 
tem, is very remarkable," said Mr. 
Squills, philosophically, and helping 
himself to a broiled bone; "it in- 
creases the thirst, while it takes away 
hunger* No— don't touch port! — 
heating! Sheny and water." 

o 13 



IH 



THE CAXTOKS: 



CHAPTEBIV. 



Ths hotne-door had dosed upon 
Mr. Squillfi — ^that gentleman having 
promised to breakfast with me the 
next morning, so that we might take 
the coach firom oar gate — and I re- 
mained slone, seated by the supper- 
table, and revolying aU I had h^ird, 
when my &ther walked in. 

" Pisistratus/' said he gpravely, and 
looking roond him, "your mother!— 
suppose the worst — ^your first care, 
then, must be to try and secure 
something for her. Ton and I are 
men — we can never want, while we 
have health of mind and body; but a 
woman — and if anything happens to 
me—" 

My father's lip writhed as it uttered 
these brief sentences. 

''My dear, dear £ither!'' said 1, 
suppressing my tears with difficulty, 
** aU evils, as yon, yourself said, look 
worse by antidpation. It is im- 
possible that your whole fortune can 
be involved. The newspaper did not 
run many weeks ; and only the first 
volume of your work is printed. Be- 
sides, there must be other share- 
holders who will pay their quota. Be- 
lieve me, I feel sanguine as to the 
residt of my embassy. As for my 
poor mother, it is not the loss ot for- 



tune that will wound her-— depend on 
it, she tlunks very little of that ; it is 
the loss of your confidence." 

'* My confidence!** 

"Ah yes ! tell her all your fears, as 
your hopes. Do not let your affec- 
tionate pity ezdude her from one cor- 
ner of your heart.'* 

''It is that — ^it is ihcft, Austin, 
—my husband — ^my joy — my pride 
—my soul — ^my alll" cried a bo% 
broken voice. 

My mother had crept in, imob- 
served by us. 

My &ther looked at us both, and 
the tears which had before stood in 
his eyes forced their way. Then 
opening his arms — into which his 
Kitty threw herself joyfully — ^he lifted 
those moist eyes upward, and, by the 
movement of his lips, I saw that he 
thanked Qod. 

I stole out of the room. I felt 
that those two hearts should be left to 
beat and to blend alone. And fi^m 
that hour, I am convinced that Aa- 
gustine Caxton acquired a stouter 
philosophy than that of the stdcs. 
The fortitude that concealed pain was 
no longer needed, for the pain was no 
longer fdt. 



CHAPTER V. 



Mb. Squills and I performed our 
journey without adventure, and, as we 
were not alone on the coach, with 
little conversation. We put up at a 
small inn at the dty, and the next 
morning I sallied forth to see Treva- 
nion — for we agreed that he would 
be the best person to advise us. But^ 



on arriving at St. James's Square;, 1 
had the disappointment of hearing 
that the whole family had gone to 
Paris three days before^ and were not 
expected to return till the meeting d 
Parliament. 

This was a sad discouragement, fi>r 
I had counted much on Trevoaian'i 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



l&o 



dear hesA, and that extraordinaiy 
range of acoomplishment in all mat- 
ters of business — all that related to 
practical life — ^which my old patron 
pre-eminently possessed. The next 
thing would be to find Trevanion's 
lawyer (for Trevanion was one of 
those men whose solicitors are sure 
to be able and active). But the fact 
teas that he left so little to lawyers, 
that he had never had occasion to 
communicate with one since I had 
known him ; and I was therefore in 
ignorance of the very name of his 
solicitor; nor could the porter, who 
was left in charge of the house, en- 
lighten me. Luckily, I bethought' 
myself of Sir Sedley Beaudesert, who 
ooiild scarcely fiiil to give me the in- 
formation required, and who, at all 
events, might recommend to me some 
other lawyer. So to him I went. 

I found Sir Sedley at breakfast 
with a young gentleman who seemed 
about twenty. The good baronet was 
delighted to see me ; but I thought 
it was with a little confusion, rare to 
his cordial ease, that he presented me 
to his cousin. Lord Castleton. It 
was a name familiar to me, though I 
had never before met its patrician 
owner. 

The Marquis of Castleton was in- 
deed a subject of envy to young 
dlersy and afforded a theme of inte- 
rest to grey-beard politicians. Often 
had I heard of "that lucky fellow 
Castleton," who, when of age, would 
step into one of those colossal fortunes 
which would realise the dreams of 
Aladdin — a fortune that had been out 
to nurse since his minority. Often 
had I heard graver gossips wonder 
whether Castleton would take any 
active part in public life — ^whether he 
would keep up the &mily- influence. 
His mother (still alive) was a supe- 
rior woman, and had devoted herself, 
from lus childhood, to supply a father's i 
lo6fl^ and fit him for his great portion. | 



It was said that he wap clever-— had 
been educated by a tutor of great 
academic distinction, and was reading 
for a double first class at Oxford. 
This young marquis was indeed the 
head of one of those few houses still 
left in England that retain feudal im- 
portance. He was important, not only 
from his rank and his vast fortune, 
but firom an immense circle of power- 
ful connections ; from the ability of 
his two predecessors, who had been 
keen pcditicians and cabinet-ministers; 
from the prestige they had bequeathed 
to his name ; from the pecuhar na- 
ture of his property, which gave him 
the returning interest in no less than 
six parliamentary seats in Great Bri- 
tain and Ireland — ^besides the indi- 
rect ascendancy which the head of the 
Castletons had always exercised over ' 
many powerful and noble allies of that 
princely house. Iwasnot aware thathe 
was related to Sir Sedley, whose world 
of action was so remote from politics ; 
and it was with some surprise that I 
now heard that announcement, and 
certainly with some interest that I, 
perhaps from the verge of poverty* 
gazed on this young hdr of &bulous 
£1 Dorados. 

It was easy to see that Lord Castle- 
ton had been brought up with a care- 
ful knowledge of his future greatness, 
and its serious responsibilities. He 
stood immeasurably aloof ftova. all the 
affectations common to the youth of 
minor patricians. He had not been 
taught to value himself on the cut of 
a coat, or the shape of a hat. His 
world was far above St. James's-street 
and the dubs. He was dressed plainly, 
though in a style peculiar to himself 
— a white neckcloth, (which was not 
at that day quite so uncommon for 
morning use as it is now,) trousers 
Mdthout straps, thin shoes and gaiters. 
In his manner there was nothing of 
the superdlious apathy which charac* 
terises the dandy introduced to some . 

02 



19P 



THE CAXTONSt 



one whom he doubts if he can nod to 
from the bow-window at White's — " 
none of such vulgar coxcombries had 
Lord Castleton; and yet a young 
gentleman more emphatically cox- 
comb it was • impossible to see. He 
had been told, no doubt, that, as the 
head of a house which was almost in 
itself a party in the state, he should 
be bland and civil to all men ; and 
this duty being grafted upon a nature 
singularly cold and unsocial, gave to 
his politeness something so stiff, yet 
so condescending, that it brought the 
blood to one's cheek — though the 
momentary anger was counterbalanced 
by a sense of the almost ludicrous 
contrast betw^een this gracious majesty 
of deportment, and the insignificant 
figure, with the boyish beardless face, 
by which it was assumed. Lonl 
Castleton did not content himself with 
« mere bow at our introduction. 
Huch to my wonder how he came by 
the information he displayed, he made 
me a little speech after the manner of 
Louis XIV. to a provincial noble — 
studiously modelled upon that royal 
maxim of urbane policy which instructs 
a kmg that he should know something 
of the birth, parentage, and family, of 
his meanest gentleman. It was a 
little speech, in which my other's 
learning, and my uncle's services, and 
the amiable qualities of your humble 
servant, were neatly interwoven — 
delivered in a falsetto tone, as if 
learned by heart, though it must have 
been necessarily impromptu; and 
then, reseating himself, he made a 
gracious motion of the head uid hand, 
as if to authorise me to do the same. 
Conversation succeeded, by galvanic 
jerks and spasmodic start4>-— a conver- 
sation that Lord Castleton contrived 
to tug to completely out of poor Sir 
Sedley's ordinary course of small and 
perished small-talk, that that charm- 
ing personage, accustomed, as he well 
' duservMl* to be Coiyphsus at hiA own 



table, was completely silenced. With 
his light reading, his rich stores of 
anecdote, his good-humoured know- 
ledge of the di'awing-room world, he 
had scarce a word that would fit into 
the great, ro^gh, serious matters which 
Lord Castleton threw upon the table, 
as he nibbled his toast. Nothing but 
the most grave and practical subjects 
of human interest seemed to attract 
this future leader of mankind. The 
fact is that Lord Castleton had been 
taught everything that relates to pro* 
party — (a Imowledge which embraces 
a very wide circumference.) It had 
been said to him, ''You will be an 
inunense proprietor — knowledge is 
essential to your self-preservation. 
You will be puzzled, bubbled, ridi- 
culed, duped everyday of your life, if 
you do not make yourself acquainted 
with all by which property is asssdled 
or defended, impoverished or increased. 
You have a vast stake in the country 
— ^you must learn all the interests of 
Europe — nay, of the civilized w^orld— 
for those interests react on the country, 
and the interests of the country are ol 
the greatest possible consequence to 
the interests of the Marquis of Castle- 
ton." Thus the state of the Continent 
— the policy of Mettemich — the con- 
dition of the Papacy — the growth of 
Dissent — the proper mode of dealing 
with the general sprit of Democracy, 
which was the epidemic of European 
monarchies — the relative proportions 
of the agricultural and manufacturing 
population— ^corn-laws, currency, and 
the laws that regulate wages — a criti- 
cism on the leading speakers of the 
House of Commons, with some dis- 
cursive observations on the importance 
of fattening cattle — ^the introduction 
of flax into Ireland — emigration — ^the 
condition of the poor — ^the doctrines 
of Mr. Owen — the patholc^ of pota- 
toes ; the connection between potatoes^ 
pauperism, and patriotism ; these, and 
such-like atupeudous subjects for ro- 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



197 



flecticm — all brancbing more or less 
intricately from the single idea of the 
Castleton property — ^the yonng lord 
dlscQssed and disposed of in half-a- 
dozen prim, poised sentences— evinc- 
ing, I mnst say in justice, no incon- 
siderable information, and a mighty 
solemn turn of mind. The oddity 
was, that the subjects so selected and 
treated should not come rather from 
some young hamster, or mature 
political economist, than from so gor- 
geous a lily of the field. Of a man 
less elevated in rank one would cer- 
tainly have swd— *' Cleverish, but a 
prig ;" but there really was something 
80 respectable in a personage bom to 
such fortunes, and having nothing to 
do but to bade in the sunshine, volun- 
tarily taldng such pains with himself, 
and condescending to identify his own 
interests — the interests of the Gfustle- 
ton property— with the concerns of 
his lesser feUow-mortals, that one felt 
the young marquis had in him the 
stuff to become a very considerable 
man. 

PocMT Sir Sedley, to whom all these 
matters were as unfamiliar as the 
theology of the Talmud, after some 
vun efforts to slide the conversation 
into easier grooves, fairly gave in, and, 
with a oompasnonate smile on his 
handsome countenance, took refuge in 
his easy-chair and the contemplation 
of his snuff-box. 

At last, to our great relief, the ser- 
vant announced Lord Castleton's car- 
riage; and with another speech of 
overpowering affability to me, and a 
cold shake ci the hand to Sir Sedley, 
Lord Castleton went his way. 

The breakfiist parlour looked on the 
street, and I turned mechanically to 
the window as Sir Sedley followed his 
guest oiit of the room. A travelling 
carriage with four post-horses, was at 
the door ; and a servant, who looked 
like a fordgner, was in waiting with 
hiB mastei't dook. As I saw Lord 



Castleton step into the street, and 
wrap himself in his costly mantle 
lined with sables, I observed, more 
than I had while he was in the room, 
the enervate slightness of his frail 
form, and tbe more than paleness of 
his thin joyless face ; and then, instead 
of envy, I felt compassion for the 
owner of all this pomp and grandeur 
—felt that I would not have ex- 
changed my hardy health, and easy 
humour, and vivid capacities of enjoy* 
ment in /things the slightest and most 
within the leactk of all men, for the 
wealth and greatness which that po(v 
youth perhaps deserved the more for 
putting them so little to the service 
of pleasure. 

«WeU," said Sir Sedley, -and 
what do you think of him ?*' 

''He is just the sort of man Tre- 
vanion would like," said I evasively. 

"Ilat is true,*' answered Sir Sed- 
ley, in a serious tone of voice, and 
looking at me somewhat earnestly. 
** Have you heard ? — ^but no, you can- 
not have heard yet.'' 

"Heard what?" 

"My dear young friend," said the 
kindest and most delicate of all fine 
gentlemen, sauntering away that he 
might not observe the emotion he 
caused, "Lord Castleton is going to 
Paris to join the Trevanions. The 
object Lady Ellinor has had at heart 
for many a long year is won, and our 
pretty Fanny will be Marchioness of' 
Castleton when her betrothed is of 
age — ^that is, in six months. The two 
mothers have settled it all between 
them !" 

I made no answer, but continued to 
look out of the window. 

"This alliance," resumed Sir Sed- 
ley, "was all that was wanting to 
assure Trevanion's position. When 
parliament meets, he will have some 
great office^ Poor man ! how I shall 
ptyhim! It is extraordinary to me," 
oontumed Sir Sedley, benevolently 



19$ 



THE CAXTONSi 



going on, that I miglit have ibll time 
to recover myself, "how contagions 
that disease called ' business* is in our 
foggy England ! Not only Trevanion, 
you see, has the complaint in its very 
worst and most complicated form, but 
that poor dear cousin of mine, who is 
so young, (here Sir Sedley sighed,) 
and might ei\joy himself so much, is 
worse than you were when Trevanion 
was fagging you to death. But, to be 
sure, a great name and position, like 
6astleton's, must be a very heavy 
affliction to a conscientious mind. 
Yon see how the sense of its respon- 
ribilities has ctged him already— -posi- 
tively, two great wrinldes under his 
eyes. Well, after all, I admire him, 
and respect his tutor x a soil naturally 
very thin, I suspect, has been most 
carefully cultivated; and Castleton, 
with Trevanion's help, will be the first 
man in the peerages-prime minister 
some day, I dare say. And when I 
think of it, how grateM I ought to 
feel to his father and mother, who 
produced him qmte in their old age ; 
for, if he had not been bom, I should 
have been the most miserable of men 
—yes, poffltively, that horrible mar- 
qnisate would hiftve come to me ! I 
never think over Horace Walpole's 
regrets, when he got the earldom of 
Orford, without the deepest sym- 
pathy, and without a shudder at the 
thought of what my dear Lady Cas- 
tleton was kind enough to save me 
from — all owing to the Ems waters, 
after twenty years' marriage I Well, 
my young friend, and how are all at 
home P' 

As when, some notable performer 
not having yet arrived behind the 
scenes, or having to change his dress, 
or not having yet quite recovered an 
unlucky extra tumbler of exdting 
fluids — and the' green curtain has 
therefore unduly dJelayed its ascent-^ 
you perceive that the thorough-bass in 
the orchestra charitably devotes him* 



self to a prelude of astonlshiTig pro* 
lixity, calling in Lodoiaka or Def 
Freiachwtz to b^uile the time^ and 
allow the procrastinatinghistrioleisur« 
suffident to draw on his flesh-coloured 
pantaloons, and give himself the pro- 
per complexion for a Coriolanns or 
Macbeth— even so had Sir Sedley 
made that long speech, requiring no 
rejoinder, till he saw the time had 
arrived when he could artfully close 
vrith the flourish of a final interroga- 
tive, in order to g^ve poor Pisistratus 
Caxton an preparation to compose 
himself and step forward. There is 
certainly somethmg of exquisite kind- 
ness, and thoughtful benevolence, in 
that rarest of gifts,— ^/Sm hreedingf 
and when now, re-manned and reso- 
lute, I turned round and saw Sir 
Sedley's soft blue eye shyly, but be- 
nignantly turned to me — while, with 
a grace no other snuff-taker ever had 
since the days of Pope, he gently pro- 
ceeded to refresh himself by a pinch 
of the celebrated Beaudesert mixture 
—I felt my heart as gratefully moved 
towards him as if he had conferred on 
me some colossal obligation. And t^ 
crowning question — " And how are all 
at home?" restored me entirely to 
my self-possession, and for the moment 
distracted the bitter current of my 
thoughts. 

I replied by a brief statement of 
my Other's involvement, disgpiising 
our apprehensions as to its extent^ 
speaking of it rather as an annoyance 
than a possible cause of ruin, and 
ended by asking Sir Sedley to give 
me the aiddress oS Trevanion's lawyer. 
The good baronet listened with 
great attention ; and that quick pene- 
tration whidh belongs to a man of the 
world enabled him to detect, that I 
had smoothed over matters more than 
became a fluthful narrator. 

He shook his head, and, seating 
himself on the sofa, motioned me to 
come to his side; then* leamng his 



A FAMILY PICTUHE. 



199 



aarm over mj sboalder, lie laid in his 
.fledoctive, winniiig way«— 

"We two young fellowi ehonld 
nndentand each othier when we talk 
of money matters. I cm say to yon 
what I oonld not say to my respect- 
able senicn^— by three years j yomr ex- 
cellent father. Frankly, then, 1 sus- 
pect this is a bed business. I know 
little abont newspapers, except that I 
Lave to subscribe to one in my county, 
which costs me a small income; but 
I know that a London daily paper 
might ruin a man in a few weeks. 
And as for shazehdders, my dear 
Caxton, I was once teased into being 
a shareholder in a canal that ran 
through my property, and ultimately 
ran off with £30,000 o^ it! The 
other shareholders were all drowned 
in the canal, like Pharaoh and his 
host in the Bed Sea. But your ftther 
is a great scholar, and must not be 
plagued with such matters. I owe 
him a great deal. He was very kind 
to me at Cambridge, and gave me the 
taste for reading, to which I owe the 
pleasantest hours of my Hfe. So^when 
you and the lawyers have fbund out 
what the extent of the misdiief is, 
yoa and I must see how we can best 
settle it. What the deuce ! my young 
friend — I have no ' encumbrances^' as 
the servants, with great want of 
politeness, call wives and diildren. 
And I am not a miserable great 
landed millionaire, like that poor 
dear Castleton, who owes so many 
duties to society that he can't spend a 
shilling, except in a grand way, and 
purely to benefit the public So go, 
iny boy, to Trevanion's lawyer : he is 
mine too. Clever fellow— sharp as a 
needle, Mr. Pike, in Great Ormond 
Street — name on a brass plate; and 
when he has settled the amount, we 
young scapegraces will help each 
other, ^vithout a word to the old 
folks." 

What good it does to a man. 



throughout lilb, to meet kindness and 
generosity like this in his youth I 

I need not say that I was too 
fiiithfhl a representative of my &ther*s 
sdiolarly pride, and susceptible inde* 
pendenoe of spirit, to accept this pro- 
posal; and probably Sir SedSey, rich 
and liberal as he was, did not dream 
of the extent to which his proposal 
might involve him. But I expressed 
my gratitude^ so as to please and 
move this last relic of the De Cover- 
leys, and went ftarn his bouse straight 
to Mr. Pike's oflSce, with a little note 
of introduction from Sir Sedley. I 
found Mr. Pike exactly the man I 
had anticipated from Trevanion's cha* 
racter— shorty quick, intelligent, in 
question and answer; imposing, and 
somewhat domineering, in manner— 
not overcrowded wi& business, but 
with enough for experience and re- 
sjjectability ; neither young nor old ; 
neither a pedantic machine of parch- 
ment, nor a jaunty dff-hand coxcomb 
of West End manners. 

" It is an ugly affiiir," said he^ 
" but one that requires management. 
Leave it all in my hands fiv three 
daySi Don't go near Mr. Tibbets, 
nor Mr. Peck : and on Saturday next» 
at two o^dock, if you will call here, 
yon shall know my opinion of the 
whole matter." With that, Mr. 
Pike glanced at tbe dock, and I took 
up my hat and went. 

There is no place more ddightftd 
than a great capital, if you are com- 
fortably settled in it— have arranged 
the methodical disposal of your time, 
and know how to take business and 
pleasure in due proportions. But a 
flying visit to a groit capital, in an 
unsettled, unsatisfactory way — at an 
inn— an mn in the City, too— indth a 
great worrying load of business on 
your mind, of which you are to hear 
no more for three days; and an adiing« 
jealous, miserable sorrow at the heart, 
such as I had— leaving yoa no labour 



800 



THE ClXTONSs 



to pnrme, and so plearare thafc yon 
have the heart to share in — oh, a 
great capital then is indeed forlorn, 
wearisome, and oppressive I It is the 
Castle of Indolence, not as Thomson 
huilt it, but as Beckford drew in his 
Hall of Eblis — a wandering np and 
down, to and firo — a great awful space, 
with your hand pressed to your heart; 
and— -oh for a rush on somo half- 
tamed horse, through the measureless 
green wastes of Australia! That is 
the place for a man who has no home 
in the Babel, and whose hand is ever 
pressing to his heart, with its dull, 
burning pain. 

Mr. Squills decoyed me the second 
evening into one of the small theatres; 
and very heartily did Mr. Squills 
e^joy.all he saw, and all he heard. 
And while, with a conylnve effort of 
the jaws, I was trying to laugh too^ 
suddenly in one of the actors, who was 
performing the worshipful part of a 
parish beadle, I'recognised a £EU»that 
I had seen before. Five minutes after- 
wards I had disappeared from the side 
of Squills, and was amidst that strange 

world — BEHnfD THX CiCXNBS. 

My beadle was much too busy and 
important to allow -me a good oppor- 
tunity to accost him, till the piece 
was over. I then seized hold of him, 
as he was amicably sharing a pot of 
ported with a gentleman in black 
shorts and a laced wustooat^ who was 
to play the part of a broken-hearted 
&ther in the Domestic Drama in Three 
Acts, that would conclude the amuse- 
ments of the evening. 

" Excuse me," said I apologetically; 
*'but as the Swan pertinently ob- 
serves, — 'Should auld acquaintance 
be forgot?"* 

** The Swan, sir !" cried the beadle 
aghast — " the Swan never demeaned 
himself by such d— d broad Scotch 
as that !" 

" The Tweed has its swans aa well 
u the Avon* Mr. Peacock." 



•«St—Bt— hush— hush— h— !!--*!'» 
whispered the beadle in great alarm, 
and eyeing me, with savage observa- 
tion, under his corked eyebrows. 
Then, taking me by the arm, ho 
jerked me away. When he had got 
as far as the narrow limits of th<t 
little stage would allow, Mr. Pea.oek 



ti 



Sir, you have the advantage of 
me ; I don't remember you. Ah ! 
you need not look ! — by gad, sir, I am 
not to be bullied, — ^it was all fair play. 
If you will play with gentlemen, sir, 
you must run the consequences." 

I hastened to appease the worthy 
maui 

*' Indeed, Mr. Peacock, if yoa re- 
member, i refused to play with you ; 
and, so far from wisfadng to offend yon, 
I now come on purpose to oompfiment 
you on your excellent acting, and to 
inquire if you have heard anything 
lately of your young friend Mr. 
Vivian." 

" Vivian ? — ^never heard the name^ 
sir. Vivian ! Pooh, yon are trying 
to hoax me; veiy good !" 

** I assure you, Mr. Peac"— 

" St — st — How the deuce did yoa 
know that I was once called Peao— 
that is, people called me Peao — A 
friendly nickname, no more — drop it, 
sir, or you 'touch me with noble 
anger !' " 

"Well, well; 'the rose by any 
name will smell as SH'eet,' as the 
Swan, this time at least judicioiisly, 
observes. But, Mr. Vivian, too, seeing 
to have other names at his disposaL 
I mean a young, dark, handsome man 
— or rather boy — ^with whom I met 
you in company by the roadnde^ one 
morning." 

" O— h," said Mr. Peacock, lookhig 
much relieved, " I know whom you 
mean, though I don't remember to 
have had the pleasure of seeing yoa 
before. No ; I have not heard any- 
thing of the young man lately. I 



A FAMILY PICTITRE. 



8(n 



wish I did know sometlung of him. 
He was a ' gentleman in my own way.' 
Sweet WiU has hit him off to a 
hair! — 

*The conrtier'0, soldier's, ■ehoUr's eye, 

tongue, sword.' 

Such a hand with a cae ! — yon should 
huve seen him seek the 'hubhle repu- 
tation at the cannon's mouth.' I iftay 
say/' continued Mr. Peacock, empha- 
tically, " that he was a regular trump 
->trump 1" he reiterated with a start, 
as if the word had stung him— 
" trump ! he was a bbick !" 

Then fixing his eyes on me, drop- 
ping his tarns, interlacing his fingers, 
in the manner recorded of Tahna in 



the oelebnited '^Qu'en dis-tuP' he 
resumed in a hollow voiee^ sloir and 
distinct^ 

" When-H8aw— you— him,— young 
o^— m — a— a — ^nnn ?" 

Fin^g the tables thus turned on 
myself, fmd not willing to give Mr. 
Peao— any due to poor Vivian, (who 
thus appeared, to my great aatisfac* 
tion, to have finally dn^ped an ac- 
quaintance more versatile than re- 
putable^) I contrived, by a few evasive 
sentences, to keep Mr. Peao— 's 
curiosity at a distance, tUl he was 
summoned in baste to change his 
attire for the domestic dranuu And 
so we parted. 



CHAPTER VL 




I HATB law details as cordially as 
my readers can, and therefore 1 shall 
content myself with stating that Mr. 
I^e's management^ at the end» not of 
three daya^ but of two week% was so 
admirable, that Uncle Jack was drawn 
oat of prison, and my fiither extracted 
firom all his liabilities^ by a sum two- 
thirds less than was first startlingly 
sabmitted to our indignant honor — 
and that^ too, in a manner that would 
have satisfied the oonsdence of the 
most punctilious formalist^ whose con- 
tribution to the national fund, for an 
omitted payment to the Income Tax, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer ever 
had the honour to acknowledge. Still 
the sum was very large in proportion 
to my poor fiither's income j and what 
with Jack's debts, the daims of the 
Anti-Publisher Sodety's printer— in- 
duding the very expensive plates that 
had been so lavishly bespoken, and in 
great part completed, fiar the Eigtory 
ofRwnan Hrror — and, above all, the 
liabilities incurred on The Capitalitti 



what with the pUmi, aft Mr. Pedt 
tedmically phrased a great upas-tree 
of a total, brandling out into typecs 
cases!, pihiting-preBBes, engines, Ac, 
all now to be resold at a third of their 
value i what with advertisements and 
hills, that had covered all the dead 
walls by which mblnsh might be shot, 
throughout the three kingdoms ; what 
with the does of reporters, and salaries 
of writers, who had been engaged foe 
a year at least to Ths CapU<ili&i, and 
whose daims survived the wretdi they 
had killedand buried; what,in8hor^ 
with all that the combined ingenuity 
of Undo . Jadic and Printer Peck could 
supply finr the utter ruin of the Cax- 
ton fiimily<— even after all deductions!, 
curtailments, and after all that one 
could extract in the way of just con- 
tribution from the least unsubstantial 
of those shadows called the share- 
holders-— my fiither's fortune was re- 
duced to a sum of between seven and 
eight thousand pounds, which being 
placed at mortgage at 4 per cent* 



202 



THE CAXTONSi 



3^elded just £872 lOi. a-year— *en(nigh 
for my father to live upon, but not 
enough to afford also ^ son Pisis- 
tratos the adTantagee ei education 
at Trinity College^ Cambridge. The 
blow fell rather upon me than my 
fiither, and my yoong shonlden bore 
it withoot mnch wincing. 

This settled, to onr nniyersal satis- 
£iction, I went to pay my &rewell 
▼isit to Sir Sedley Beandesert. He 
liad made mndi of me» during my 
«tay in London. I had breakfiisted 
and dined wltb him pretty often ; I 
had presented Sqnills to him« who no 
sooner, set eyes upon that splendid 
oonformation» than he .described his 
character with the nicest accuracy, 
as the necessary consequence of such a 
development for the rosy pleasures «f 
life. We had never once retouched 
on the subject of Fanny's marriage, 
and both of us tacitly avoided even 
mentioning the Trevanions. But in 
this last visit, though he maintained 
the same reserve as to Fanny, he re- 
ferred without scruple to her.&ther. 

** Well, my young Athenian," said 
he, after congratulating me on the 
Jesuit of the negotiations, and endea* 
youring again in vain to bear at least 
eome share in my other's losses— 
*' well, I see I cannot press this &rtheri 
but at least I can press on you any 
little interest I may have, in obtaining 
some appointment for yourself in one 
of the public offices. Trevanion could 
of course be more usefbl, but I can 
understand that he is not the kind of 
man yoa would like to apply to." 



" Shan I own to yon, my dear Sir 
Sedley, that I have no taste for offi- 
dal employment P I am too fond of 
my liberty. Since I have been at 
my uncle's old Tower, I account for 
half my character by the Borderer^a 
blood that is in me. I doubt if I 
am meant for the life of cities ; and 
I *havo odd floathig notions in my 
head, that will serve to amuse me 
when I get home^ and may settle into 
schemes. And now to change the 
sulject^ may I ask what kind of per- 
son has succeeded me as Mr. Treva- 
nion's secretary P' 

"Why, he has got a broad- 
shouldercd, stoo^g fellow, in spec- 
tacles and cotton stoddngs, who has 
written upon ' Bent,' I b^eve — an 
ima^^tive treatise in his case, I fear, 
for rent is a thing he could never have 
received, and not often been trusted 
to pay. However, he is one of your 
political economists, and wants Tro* 
vanion to sell his picturesi, as ' unpro- 
ductive cajntaL' Less mild than 
Pope's Nardssa, *to make a wash,' 
he would certainly 'stew a child.' 
Besides this offidal secretary, Treva- 
nion trusts, however, a good deal to 
a clever, good-looking^ young gentle- 
man, who is a great &vourite witii 
him." 

<< What is Ms name?" 

" His name P--oh, Govrer; a na- 
tural son, I beiUeve^ of one of the 
Ckywer fiimily/' 

Here two iof &r Sedley's fellow 
fine gentlemen lounged in, and mj 
Tint ended. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



809 



CHAPTER VH. 



" 1 8WEAB,*' cried my toicle, " that 
it ihall be so/' And with a big 
frown, and a trocdlent air, he seized 
the &tal instniment. 

*' Indeed, brother, it must not/' 
said my father, laying one pale, scho- 
hrlike hand mildly on Captain Ro- 
land's brown, bellicose, and bony fist; 
and with the other, outstretched, 
protecting the menaced, palpitating 
victim. 

Not a word had my nnde heard of 
onr losses, until they had been ad- 
justed, and the sum paid; for we all 
knew that the old Tower would have 
been g^e*-sold to some neighbour- 
ing squire or jobbing attorney — at 
the fint impetuous impulse of Unde 
Roland's aflfectiouate generosity. Aus- 
tin endangered ! Austin ruined ! — ^he 
would never have rested till he came, 
cadi in hand, to his deliverance. 
Therefore, I say, not till all was set- 
tled did I write to the Captun, and 
tell him gaily what had chanced. 
And, however light I made of our 
misfortunes, the letter brought the 
Captain to the red bride house the 
same evening on which I myself 
reached it, vaA aboat an hour later. 
My uncle had not sold the Tower, 
but he came prepared to cany us off 
toitvi et armi8._ We must live with 
bim, and on him — ^let or edl the 
brick house, and put out the rem- 
nant of my other's income to nurse 
end accumulate. And it was on find- 
ing my £ather'8 resistance stubborn, 
and that hitherto he had made no 
way, that my nnde, stepping back 
into the hall, in which he had left 
his carpet bag, &c., returned with an 
old oak case, and, touching a spring 
roller, out flew the Caxton pedigree. 

Out it flew— covering all the table, 



and undulating, Nile-like, till it had 
spread over books, papers, my mo- 
ther's work-box, and the tea-service^ 
(fbr the table was large and oompen* 
dious, emblematic of its owner's mind) 
-—and then, flowing on the carpet, 
dragged its dow length along, till it 
was stopped by the fender. 

"Now," said my unde solemnly, 
"there never have been but two 
causes of difference between you and 
me, Austin. One is over ; why should 
the other last ? Aha ! I know why 
you hang back ; you think that W9 
may quarrel about it !" 

" About what, Roland ?" 

"About it, I say— and 111 be d—d 
if we do !" cried my uncle, redden- 
ing. "And I have been thinking a 
great deal upon the matter, and I 
have no doubt you are right. So I 
brought the old parchment with me, 
and yon shall see me fill up the blank, 
just as you would have it. Now, 
then, you will come and live with me, 
and we can never quarrel any more.^" 

Thus saying, Unde Roland looked 
round for pen and ink; and, having 
found them'->not without cUfficulty^ 
fiir they had been submerged under 
the overflow of the pedigree-*he waji 
about to fill up the lacuna, or hitUtis, 
which had given rise to audi memo- 
rable controversy, with the name of 
"William Caxton, printer in the 
Sanctuary," when my ikther, dowly 
recovering his breath, and aware of 
his brother's purpose^ intervened* It 
would have done your heart good to 
hear them— 00 completdy, in the in- 
consistency of human nature, had 
they changed rides upon the question 
— ^my fkther now all fbr Sir William 
de Caxton, the hero of Bosworth ; 
my undo aU for the immortal printor. 



904 



THE CAXTOKSt 



And in this discnsrion they grew ani- 
mated: their eyes sparkled, their 
voices rose— Roland's voice deep and 
thunderous, Austin's sharp and pierc- 
ing. Mr. Squills stopped his ears. 
Thus it arrived at that pointy when 
my unde doggedly came to the end 
of all arg^nmentation — ** I swear that 
it shall he so ;" and my Mher, trying 
the last resource of pathos, looked 
pleadingly into Boland*s eyes, and 
ioid, with a tone soft as mercy, « In- 
deed, hrother, it must not." Mean- 
while the dry parchment crisped, 
creaked, and tremhled iu every pore 
of its yellow skin. 

" But," sud I, coming in, oppor- 
tunely, like the Horatian deity, " I 
don't see that either of yoa gentle- 
men has a right so to dispose of my 
fmcestry. It is quite clear that a 
<nuin has no possession in posterity. 
^Posterity may possess him ; bat deuce 
<a bit will he ever he the better fyt 
liis great great-grandchildren 1" 

Squills. — Hear, hear ! 

P18I8TBATIT8, (warming.)*-But a 
«man's ancestry is a positive property 
to him. How much, not only of 
acres^ but of his constitution, his 
temper, his conduct, character, and 
nature, he may inherit from some 
progenitor ten times removed ! Nay, 
without that progenitor would he 
ever have been bom— would a Squills 
ever have introduced him into the 
world, or a nurse ever have canned 
him upo kolpo ? 

Squills. — ^Hear, hear! 

PiBiBTBATUB, (with dignified emo- 
tion.) — ^No man, therefore, has a right 
to rob another of a foreikther, with a 
stroke of his pen, from any motives, 
howsoever amiable. In the present 
instance, you will say, perhaps, that 
the ancestor in question is apocryphal 
— ^it may be the printer, it may be 
the knight. Granted; but here, 
where history is in fiiult, shall a mere 
sentiment dedds P While both are 



doubtful, my imagination appropriates 
both. At one time I can reverence 
industry and learning in the printer ; 
at another, valour and devotion in the 
knight. This kindly doubt gives me 
two great forefathers ; and, through 
them, two trains of idea that in* 
fluence my conduct under different 
circumstances. I will not permit 
yon. Captain Roland, to rob me of 
either forefather — either train of idea. 
Leave, then, this sacred void unfilled, 
nnprofaned; and accept this com- 
promise of chivalrous courtesy— -wh'le 
my fiither lives with the Captain, we 
will believe in the printer; when 
away from the Captain, we will stand 
firm to the knight. 

« Good V* cried Unde Roland, as I 
paused, a little out ot breath. 

" And," said my mother mMj, "1 
do think, Auston, there is a way of 
settling the matter which will please 
all parties. It is quite sad to think 
that poor Roland, and dear little 
Blanche, should be aU alone in the 
Tower; and I am sure that we should 
be much happier altogether.'' 

''There!" cried Roland triumph- 
antly. "If yon are not the most 
obstinate, hard hearted, unfeeling 
brute in tlie world — ^which I dont 
take yon to be — ^brother Austin, after 
that really beautiful speech of your 
wife's, there ia not a word to be said 
farther." 

" But we have not yet heard Kitty 
to the end, Roland." 

"I beg your pardon a thousand 
times, ma'am— «ster/' said the Cap- 
tain, bowing. 

** Well, I was going to add," said 
my mother, " that we will go and 
live with yon, Roland, and dub our 
little fortunes together. Blandie and 
I will take care of the houses and we 
shall be just twice as rich together as 
we are separately." 

" Pret^ sort of hospitality that l" 
grunted the Captain. *< I did not 



A FAMILY PICTUEE. ' 



205 



expect yoa to throw mt over in that 
way. Ko, no; you must lay by for the 
boy there — ^what's to become of him ?" 

" But we shall all lay by for him," 
said my mother simply ; ** you as well 
as Austin. We shall have more to 
sare, if we have more to spend." 

"Ah, save! — ^that is easily said: 
there would be a pleasure in saving, 
then," said the Captain mournfully. 

" And what's to become of me ?" 
cried Squills, very petulantly. *' Am 
I to be left here in my old age — not 
a rational soul to speak to, and no 
other place in the village where there's 
a drop of decent punch to be had ! 
'A plague on both your houses !' as 
the chap said at the theatre the other 
night." 

" There's room for a doctor in our 
neighbourhood, Mr. Squills," said the 
Captain. The gentleman in your 
profession who does for us, wants, I 
know, to sell the business." 

" Humph," said Squills — " a hor- 
ribly healthy neighbourhood, I sus- 
pect!" 

" Why, it has that misfortune, Mr 
Squills; but with your help," said 
my uncle, slyly, " a great alteration 
for the better may be effected' in that 
respect." 

Mr. Squills was about to reply, 
when ring — a-ting — ring — ting ! 
there came such a brisk, impatient, 
make-one's-self-at-home kind of tin- 
tinnabular alarum at the great gate, 
that we all started up and looked at 
each other in sm'prise. Who could it 
possibly be ? We were not kept long 
in suspense ; for in another moment. 
Uncle Jack's voice, which was always 
very dear and distinct, pealed through 
the hall ; and we were still staring at 
each other when Mr. Tibbets, with a 
bran-new muiHer round his neck, and 
a peculiarly comfortable greatcoat — 
b^ double Saxony, equally new — 
dashed into the room, bringing with 
him a very considerable quantity of 



cold air, which he hastened to thaw, 
first in my father's arms, next in my 
mother's. He then made a rush at 
the Captain, who ensconced himself 
behind the dumb waiter with a " Hem I 
Mr. — sir — Jack — sir — hem, hem !'* 
Failing there, Mr. Tibbets rubbed off 
the remaining frost upon his double 
Saxony against yoiur humble servant; 
patted Squills affectionately on the 
back, and then proceeded to occupy 
his favourite position before the fire. 

" Took you by surprise, eh ?" said 
Uncle Jack, nnpeeling himself by the 
hearth-rug. " But no — not by sur- 
prise; you must have known Jack's 
heart: you at leasts Austin Cazton,who 
know everything — you must have seen 
that it overflowed with the tenderest 
and most brotherly emotions; that 
once delivered from that cursed Fleet 
(you have no idea what a place it i£^ 
sir), I could not rest, night or day, 
till J had flown here — here, to the 
dear family nest — poor wounded dove 
that I am 1" added Uncle Jack pathe- 
tically, and taking out his pocket* 
handkerchief from the double Saxony, 
which he had now flung over my fa- 
ther's arm-chair. 

Not a word replied to this eloquent 
address, with its touching peroration. 
My mother himg down her pretty 
head, and looked ashamed. My uncle 
retreated quite into the comer, and 
drew the dumb waiter after him, so 
as to establish a complete fortification. 
Mr. Squills seized the pen that Bo- 
laud had thrown down, and began 
mending it furiously — that 'is, cut- 
ting it into slivers — thereby denoting, 
symbolically, how he would like to do 
with Uhde Jack, could he once get 
him safe and snug under his manipular 
operations. I bent over the pedigree^ 
and my fiither rubbed his spcctades. 

The silence would have been ap- 
palling to another man: nothing 
appalled Uncle Jack. 

Uncle Jack turned to the fire, and 



206 



THE CAXTONSt 



warmed iint 0110 feot, then the other. 
This comfortable ceremony performed, 
he agam fkced the company — and re- 
sumed, mnsinglj, and as if answering 
some imaginary observations — 

" Yes, yes — ^you are right there— 
and a deooed xmlncky specnUtion it 
proved too. But I was ovemiled by 
that fellow Peck. Says I to him — 
says I — ' CapitaliH! pshaw — ^no po- 
pular interest there — ^it don't address 
the great public ! Very confined class 
the capitalists ; better throw ourselves 
boldly on the people. Tes,' said I, 
* call it the an^t-Capitalist.' By Jove ! 
sir, we should have carriedall bdTore us ! 
but I was overruled. The Anti-Capi- 
ialist ! — what an idea ! Address the 
whole reading world there, sir: every- 
body hates the capitalisb-— everybody 
would have his ndghbonr's money. 
The AnU-CcLpitaUtt ! — sir, we should 
have gone off, in the manufacturing 
towns, like wildfire. But what could 
I do ? " 



« 



John Tibbets," said my Mher, 
solemnly, "Capitaiist or Anti-Capi- 
taHst, thou hadst a right to follow 
thine own bent in either — ^bnt always 
provided it had been with thine own 
money. Thou scest not the thing, 
John Tibbets, in the right pcnnt of 
view; and a little repentance in the 
fiioe of those thou hast wronged, would 
not have misbecome thy father's son, 
and thy sister's brother !" — 

Never had so severe a rebuke issued 
from the mild lips of Austin Caxton ; 
and I raised my eyes with a compas- 
sionate thrill, expecting to see John 
Tibbets gradually sink and disappear 
through the carpet. 

** Repentance !" cried Uncle Jack, 
bounding up, as if he had been shot. 
** And do yon think I have a heftrt of 
stone, of pummystone !^-do you think 
I don't repent ? I have done nothing 
but repent — I shall repent to my 
dying day." 

" Then there is no more to be said, 



Jack," cried my fhther, softening, and 
holdhig out his hand. 

" Yes !" cried Mr. 'Hbbets, soring 
the hand, and presnng it to the heart 
he had thus defended from the suspi- 
cion of bdng pummy — ** yes, — that 
I should have trusted that dander- 
headed, rascally, curmudgeon Feck: 
that I should have let bun call it 2^ 
Capitalist, despite all my oonvictioiu^ 
when the Awti— 



>» 



«c 



Pshaw !" interrupted my &tberi 
drawing away his hand. 

. ** John," said my mother, gravely, 
and with tears in her vmce, ** yon for- 
get who delivered you from prison,— 
you forget whom you have nearly 
consgned to prison yourself— yoa 
forg " 

•'Hush, hush!" said my father,"thi8 
will never do ; and it is you who for- 
get, my dear, the obligations I owe 
to Jack. He has reduced my fortune 
one-half, it is true ; but I verily think 
he has made the three hearts, in which 
lie my real treasures, twice as large 
as they were before. Pisistratus, my 
boy, ring the bell." 

"My dear Kitty," cried Jack, 
whimperingly, and stealing up to my 
mother, '*don^t be so hard on me; I 
thought to make all your fortunes^ 
1 did, indeed." 

Here the servant entered. 

" See that Mr. Tibbets' things are 
taken up to his room, and that there 
is a good fire," said my &ther. 

"And," continued Jack, loftily, "I 
wiU make all your fortunes yet I 
have it herel" and he struck hi8 
head. 

" Stay a moment !" said my&ther 
to the servant, who had got back to 
the door. " Stay a moment," said my 
fkther, looking extremely frightened; 
" perhaps Mr. Tibbets may prefer the 
inn!" 

« Austin," said Uncle Jack, with 
emotion, " if I were a dog, with no 
home but a dog-kennel, and you came 



k FAMILY PICTURE. 



207: 



tome for shelter, I would turn oat — 
to give you the hest of the straw !" 

My £(ther was thoroughly melted 
this tune. 

"Frmunins will be sore to see 
everything is made comfi)rtable for 
Mr. Tibbets,'' said he, waving his 
hand to the servant. "Something 
nice for supper, Kitty, my dear — 
and the largest punch-bowl. Ypu 
Ike punch. Jack ?'* 

" Punch, Austin !" said Undo Jack« 



putting his handkerchief to his 
eyes. 

The Captiun pushed aside the dumb 
waiter, strode across the room, and 
shook hands with Unde Jad^; my 
mother buried her face in her apron, 
and fitirly ran off; and Squills said in 
my ear, " It all comes of the biliary 
secretions. Nobody could account for 
this, who did not know the peculiarly 
fine organisation of your fiither's — 



908 



THE CAXTOXSt 



PAET TWELFTII. 



CHAFTEB L 



Thi "Ee^pTA Ss completed — ^we bave 
all taken roost in the old tower. My 
father's books have arrived by the 
waggon, and have settled themselves 
quietly in their new abode — filling 
up the apartment dedicated to their 
owner, including the bed-chamber and 
two lobbies, 'ihe duck also has ar- 
rived, under wing of Mrs. Piimmins, 
and has reconciled herself to the old 
stewpond ; by the side of which my 
father has found & walk that cx)mpen- 
sates for the peach wall — especially 
as he has made acquaintance with 
sundry respectable carps, who permit 
lum to feed them after he has fed the 
duck — a privilege of which (since, 
if any one else approaches, thn carps 
are off in an instant) my father is 
naturally vain. All privileges are 
valuable in proportion to the exclu- 
siveness of their enjoyment. 

Now, from the moment the first 
carp had eaten the bread my father 
threw to it, Mr. Caxton had mentally 
resolved, that a race so confiding 
should never be sacrificed to Ceres 
and Primmins. But all the fishes 
on my uncle's property were under 
the special care of that Proteus, Bolt 
— and Bolt was not a man likely to 
sufier the carps to earn their bread 
without contributing their fuU share 
to the wants of the community. But, 
like master, like man ! Bolt was an 
aristocrat fit to be hung d la lanteme. 
He out-Bnlanded Roland in the re- 



spect he entertained for soonding 
names and old fiftmUies ; and by that 
bait my &ther caught him with such 
skUl, that you might see that, if 
Austin Caxton had been an angler of 
fishes, he could have filled his basket 
full any day, shine or rain. 

" You observe. Bolt," said my fe- 
ther, beginning artfully, '* that those 
fishes, dull as you may think theo^ 
are creatures capable of a syllogism ; 
and if they saw that, in proportion to 
their civihty to me, they were de- 
populated by you, they would put two 
and two together, and renounce my 
acquuntance." 

" Is that what you call bang silly 
Jems, sir ?" said Bolt : ''faith, there is 
many a good Christian not half so 
wise '/* 

" Man," answered my father, 
thoughtfdlly, " is an animal less syl- 
logistical, or more siUy-Jemical, than 
many creatures popularly esteemed 
his inferiors. Yes, let but one of 
those Cyprinidai, with his fine sense 
of logic, see that, if his fellow-fishes 
eat bread, they are suddenly jerked 
out of their element, and vanish for 
ever ; and though you broke a quar- 
tern loaf into crumbs, he would snap 
his tidl at you with enlightened con- 
tempt. If," said my father, solilo- 
quising, " I had been as syllogistic as 
those scaly logicians, I should never 
have swallowed that hook, which^ 
himi ! there — least said looDioefc 



A FAMILY PICTXmE. 



209 



mttkded. Bat» Mr. Bolt, to return 
to the Cyprinidae." 

" Whaf s the bard name you call 
them 'ere carp, your honour ?" asked 
Bolt. 

'* Cyprmidse, a iiimily of the section 
Malacoptergii Abdominales/' replied 
Mr. Caxton ; ** their teeth are gene- 
rally confined to the Fharyngeans, 
and thdr branchiostegous rays are but 
few — ^marka of distinction from fishes 
Tulgar and Toradous." 

" Sir/' said Bolt, glancing to the 
stewpond, *' if I had known they had 
been a £imily of such importance, I 
am sure I should have treated them 
with more respect." 

** They are a very old family. Bolt, 
and have been settled in England 
since the fourteenth century. A 
younger branch of the family has 
established itself in a pond in the 
gardens of Peterho£^ (the celebrated 
palace of Peter the Great, Bolt — an 
emperor highly respected by my bro- 
ther, for he killed a great many people 
very gloriously in battle, beside those 
whom he sabred for his own private 
amusement.) And there is an officer 
or servant oi the Imperial Household, 
whose task it is to summon those 
Bussian Cyprinidso to dinner, by ring- 
ing a bell, shortly after which, you 
may see the emperor and empress, 
with all their waiting ladies and gen- 
tlemen, coming down in their carriages 
to see the Cyprinid» eat in state. So 
you perceive. Bolt, that it would be a 
republican, Jacobinical proceeding to 
stew members of a family so intimately 
oasociated with royalty." 

«*Dear me, sir l" said Bolt, "1 am 
very glad you told me. I ought to 
have known they were genteel fish, 
they are so mighty shy — as all your 
real quality are." 

My fi&ther smiled, and rubbed his 
hands gently ; he had carried his point, 
and- henceforth the Cyprinidse of the 
section Malacoptergii Abdominales 

No. 346. 



were as sacred in Bolt's eyes as cats 
and ichneumons were in those of a 
priest in Thebes. 

My poor father ! with what true 
and unostentatious philosophy thou 
didst accommodate thyself to the 
greatest change thy quiet, harmless 
life had known, since it had passed 
out of the brief burning cycle of the 
passions. Lost was the home, en- 
deared to thee by so many ncnseless 
victories of the mind — so many mute 
histories of the heart — for only the 
scholar knoweth how deep a charm 
lies in monotony, in the old associa* 
tions, the old ways, and habitual 
clockwork of peaceful time. Yet, the 
home maybe replaced — ^thy heart built 
its home round itself everywhere — 
and the old Tower might supply the 
loss of the brick house, and the walk 
by the stewpond become as dear as 
the haunts by the sunny peach wall. 
But what shall replace to thee the 
bright dream of tbine innocent am- 
bition, — that angel-wing which had 
glittered across thy manhood, in the 
hour between its noon and its setting ? 
What replace to thee the Magnum 
Opus — the Great Book! — fiur and 
broadspreading tree — ^lone amidst the 
sameness of the landscape — now 
plucked up by the roots ! The oxy- 
gen was subtracted from the air of 
thy life. For be it known to you, O 
my compassionate readers, that with 
the death of the Anti-Publisher So- 
ciety the blood-streams of the Greiri; 
Book stood still — its pulse was ar- 
rested — ^its full heart beat no more. 
Three thousand copies of the first 
seven i^eets in quarto, with sundry 
unfinished plates, anatomical, archi- 
tectural, and graphic, depicting vari- 
ous developments of the human skull 
(that temple of Human Error), from 
the Hottentot to the Greek ; sketehes 
of ancient buildings, Cyclopean and 
Pelasgic ; Pyramids, and Pur-tors, all 
signs af races whose handwriting waa 

s 14 



810 



THE CAXTONS ; 



tQ their walls ; landscftifeB to display 
the influence of Nature upon the cus- 
toms, creeds, and philosophy of men — 
here showing how the broad Chaldean 
wastes led to the contemplation of 
the stars; and illustrations of the 
Zodiac, in eluddation of the mysteries 
of symbol worship ; fantastic vagaries 
of earth fresh from the Deluge, tend- 
ing to impress on early superstition 
the awful sense of the rude powem 
of Nature; views of the rocky defiles 
of Laconia; Sparta, neighboured by 
the " silent Amyclse," explaining, as 
it were, geographically, the iron cus- 
toms of the warrior colony (arch 
Tories, amidst the shift and roar of 
Hellenic democracies), contrasted by 
the seas, and coasts, and creeks of 
Athens and Ionia, tempting to ad- 
venture, commerce, and change. Yea, 
my father, in his suggestions to the 
artist of those few imperfect plates, 
had thrown as much light on the in- 
fancy of earth and its tribes as by 
the " shining words" that flowed from 
his cahn, starry knowledge! Plates 
and copies, all rested now in peace 
and dust — "housed with darkness 
and with death," on the sepulchral 
shelves of the lobby to which they were 
consigned — ^rays intercepted — ^worlds 
incompleted. The Prometheus was 
bound, and the fire he had stolen 
from heaven lay imbedded in the 
flints of his rock. For so costly was 
the mould in which Undo Jack and 
tue Anti-Publisher Society had con- 
trived to cast this Exposition of Hu- 
man Error, that every bookseller 
shyed at its very sight, as an owl 
blinks at daylight, or human error at 
truth. In vain Squills and I, before 
are left London, had carried a gigantic 
^ecimen of the Magnum Opus into 
the back-parlours of firms the most 
opulent and adventurous. Publisher 
after publisher started, as if we had 
held a blunderbuss to his ear. All 
Paternoster Kow uttered a *' Lord 



deliver us!" Human Error foond 
no man so epregiously its victim as 
to complete those two quartos, with 
the prospect of two others, at his own 
expense. Now, I had earnestly hoped 
that my Mher, for the sake of man- 
kind, would be persuaded to risk some 
portion, — and that, I own, not a small 
one-— of his remaining capital on the 
conclusion of an undertaking so ^bo- 
rately begun. But there my father 
was obdurate. No big words about 
mankind, and the advantage to un- 
born generations, could stir him an 
mch. "Stuff!" said Mr. Caxton, 
peevishly. " A man's duties to man- 
kind and posterity hegin with his 
own son; and having wasted half 
your patrimony, I will not take an- 
other huge slice out of the poor re- 
mainder to gratify my vanity, for 
that is the plain truth of it. Man 
must atone for sin by expiation. By 
the book I have sinned, and the book 
must expiate it. Pile the sheets up 
in the lobby, so that at least one man 
may be wiser and humbler by the 
sight of Human Error, every time he 
walks by so stupendous a monument 
of it." 

Verily, I know not how my &• 
ther could bear to look at those 
dumb fragments of himself-— strata of 
the Caxtonian conformation lying 
layer upon layer, as if packed np and 
disposed for the inquisitive genius of 
some moral Murchison or Mantell. 
But for my part, I never glanced at 
their repose in the dark lobby, with- 
out thinking, *' Courage, Pisistratus ! 
courage ! there's something worth 
living for; work hard, grow rich, and 
the Great Book shall come out at last." 

Meanwhile^ I wandered over the 
country, and made acquaintance with 
the farmers, and with Trevanion's 
steward — an able man, and a great 
agriculturist — and Ileamed from them 
a better notion of the nature of my 
uncle's domains. Those domains oo- 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



fill 



▼ered an immeme acreage, whidi, 
save a small farm, was of no Talue at 
present. But land of the same sort 
had heen la'ely redeemed by a simpl» 
Jdnd of draining, now well knovTa in 
Comberland; and, with capital^ Bo- 
land's barren moors might beoome a 
Boble property. Bat capital, where 



was that to oome from? Nature 
gives ns all except the means to torn 
her into marketable aoooont. As old 
E*I«iiitussaith so wittily, "Day, night» 
water, son, and moon, are to be had 
gratis; Ibr everything else— -down 
with yoor dost i" 



CHAPTER IL 



NoTHiKa has been heard of Uncle 
Jack. Before we left the brick house, 
the captain gave him an invitation to 
the Tower — ^more, I suspect, out of 
compliment to my mother than from 
the unbidden impulse of his own incli- 
nations. But Mr. Tibbets politely 
declined it. During his stay at the 
brick house, he had received and writ- 
ten a vast number of letters — some of 
those he received, indeed, were left at 
the village post-office, under the alpha- 
betical addresses of A B or X Y. For 
DO misfortone ever paralyzed the ener- 
gies of Uncle Jack. In the winter of 
adversity he Tsnished, it is true, but 
even in vanishing he vegetated stilL 
He resembled those cU^c^ termed the 
Proloeoceus mvcUes, which g^ve a rose 
colour to the Polar snows that con- 
oeal them, and flourish unsuspected 
amidst the general dissolution of Na- 
ture. Unde Jack, then, was aa lively 
and sanguine as ever — though he 
began to let £Edl vague hints of inten- 
tions to abandon the general cause of 
his fellow-creatures, and to set up 
business henceforth purely on his own 
account; wherewith my &ther — to 
the great shock of my belief in his 
philanthropy — expressed himself much 
pleased. And I strongly suspect that, 
when Unde Jack wrapped himself 
up in his new double Saxony, and went 
off at last, he carried with him some- 
thing more than my fiither's good 



wishes in aid of his converrion to ego- 
tistical philosophy. 

" That man will do yet,*' said my 
father, as the last glimpse was caught 
of Uncle Jack standing up on the 
stage-coadi box, beside the driver—* 
partly to wave his hand to us as we 
stood at the gate, and partiy to array 
lumself more commodiously in a boz» 
coat, with six capes, which the coach^ 
man had lent him. 

''Do you think so, sir?'* said 1^ 
doubtfully. « May I ask why ?" 

Mb. Caxtok. — On the cat prin- 
dple — ^that he tumbles so lightly. 
You may throw him down fh>m St. 
Paul's, and the next time you see him 
he wUl be scrambling a-top of the 
Monument. 

PisiSTBATUfi. — But a cat the most 
viparious is limited to lune lives; and 
Uncle Jack must be now far gone in 
his eighth. 

Mb. Caztov, (not heeding that 
answer, for he has got his hand in his 
waistcoat.) — ^The earth, according to 
Apuleius, in his TreoHse on the FhUo* 
sophy of Plato, was produced ftoiak 
right-angled triangles; but fire and 
air from the scalene triangle — ^tbe 
angles of which, I need not say, are 
very different from those of a right- 
angled triangle. Now I think there 
are people in the world of whom one 
can only judge rightly according to 
those mathematical prindples a^q^Ued 

p2 



81S 



THE CAXrONS: 



toiheir original oanstnictioa: fer, if 
air or firepredoniuiatesmoiiriiatiirM^ 
we are scalene trianglea; — ^if earth, 
right-angled. Kow, as air ia ao 
notably manifested in Jack's confor- 
mation, he ifly nolens volent, produced 
in oonfonnity with his preponderating 
element. He is a scalene trianglei, and 
most he judged, accordingly, npon 
irreg^olar, lop-nded principles; whereas 
yon and I, common-place mortals^ are 
produced, like the earth, which is oar 
preponderating element, with our tri- 
angles all right-angled, oomfiirtable 
and complete — for which hlesmng let 
ns thank Providence, and he charitable 
to those who are necessarily windy 
and gaseons, firom that nnlud^ scalene 
triangle upon which they have had 
the misfortune to he constructed, and 
which, you perceive, is quite at vari- 
ance with the mathematical constitu- 
tion of the earth ! 

PisiSTEATUS. — Sir, I am very 
happy to hear so simple, easy, and in- 
telligible an explanation of Uncle 
Jac^s pecuHarities; and I only hope 
that, for the future, the cddes of his 
scalene triangle may never he pro- 
duced to our rectangular conforma- 
tions. 

Mb. Caxtoit, (descending fitnn his 
stilts, with an air as mildly reproach- 
ful as if I had been cavilling at the 
virtues of Socrates.) — ^You don't do 
your uncle justice, Rsistratus; he is a 
very clever man; and I am sure that, 
in spite of his scalene misfortune, he 
would be an honest one — ^that is 
(added Mr. Caxton, correcting him- 
self), not romantiodly or heroically 
honest — ^but honest as men go— if he 
could but keep bis head long enough 
above water; but, you see, when the 
best man in the world is engaged in 
the process of sinking, he catches hold 
of whatever comes in his way, and 
drowns the very friend who is swim- 
nung to save him. 

Vi&iBTB^TV&. — Perfectly true, sir ; 



bat Uncle Jadr makes it his borineft 
to be alwagfg sinking! 

Mb. Cjlzton, (with mnveU.) — And 
bow oould it be otherwise, when he 
has been carrying all his fellow-crea- 
tures in his breeches' pockets ! Now 
he has got rid of that dead w^ht, I 
should not be surprised if he swam 
like a cork. 

PisiSTBATTS, (whoj, suice the Capt- 
taligt, has become a strong Anti- 
Jackian.) — But if, air, you really think 
Unde Jack's love for his fellow crea- 
tures is genuine, that is surely not 
the worst part of lum. 

Mb. Caxtoit. — O literal ratiocina- 
tor, and dull to the true logic of Attic 
irony ! can't you comprehend that an 
affection may be genuine as felt by 
the man, yet its nature be spurious in 
relation to others? A man may 
genuinely believe he loves his fellow 
creatures, when he roasts them like 
Torquemada, or guillotines them like 
St. Just ! Happily Jack's scalene tri- 
angle, bdng more produced from air 
than from fire, does not give to lug 
philanthropy the inflammatory cha- 
racter which distinguishes the benevo- 
lence of inquiffltors and revolutionists. 
The philanthropy, therefore, takes a 
more flatulent and innocent form, and 
expends its strength in mounting 
paper balloons, out of which Jack 
pitches himself, with all the fellow 
creatures he can coax into sailing with 
him. No doubt Unde Jack's philan- 
thropy is sincere, when he cuts the 
string and soars up out of right ; but 
the sincerity will not much mend thrir 
bruises when himself and fellow crea- 
tures come tumbling down neck and 
heels. It must be a very wide heart 
that can take in all mankind— and of 
a very strong fibre to bear so much 
stretching. Such hearts there are, 
heaven be thanked! — and all praise to 
them ! Jack's is not of that quality. 
He is a scalene triangle. He is not 
a circle ! And yet, if he would but 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



213 



let it rest, it is a good heart — a very 
good hearty'* continned my &ther, 
warauDg into a tenderness quite in- 
&ntdne, all things considered. ''Poor 
Jack ! that was prettily said of him 
— ' That if he were a dog, and he had 
no home but a dog-kennel, he would 



turn out to give me the best of the 
straw !* Poor brother Jack I" 

So the discussion was dropped; and, 
in the meanwhile. Uncle Jack, like 
the short'&ced gentleman in the 
Sfectatob, "distinguished himself by 
a profound silence.** 



CHAPTER III. 



Blakghe has contrived to associate 
herself, if not with my more active 
cUversions — in running over the coun- 
try, and making friends with the^- 
mers — still in all my more Idsurely 
and domestic pursuits. There is about 
her a silent charm that it is very 
hard to define — ^bnt it seems to arise 
from a kind of innate sympathy with 
the moods and humours of those she 
loves. If one is gay, there is a cheer- 
ful ring in her mlver laugh that seems 
gladness itself; if one is sad, and 
creeps away into a comer to bury 
one's head in one's hands, and muse 
-»by-and-by, and just at the right 
moment, when one has mused one's 
fill, and the heart wants something 
to refresh and restore it, one feels two 
innocent arms round one's neck — 
looks up— and lo! Blanche's soft 
eyes, fidl of wistful compassionate 
Idndness; though she has the tact 
not to question — ^it is enough for her 
to sorrow with your sorrow— -«he 
cares not to know more. A strange 
child! — ^fearledef, and yet seemingly 
fond of things that inspire children 
with fear; fond of tales of fay, sprite, 
and ghost, which Mrs. Primmins draws 
fresh and new from her memoiy, as a 
conjuror draws pancakes hot and hot 
from a hat. And yet so sure is 
Blanche of her own innocence that 
they never trouble her dreams in her 
lone little room, fiill of caliginous 
ooKuers and nookfl;, with the winds 



moaning round the desolate ruins, 
and the casements rattling hoarse in 
the dungeon-like wall. She would 
have no dread to walk through the 
ghostly keep in the dark, or cross the 
churchyard, what time, 

**Bv the moon's doubtful and malignant 
Hgkt," 

the grave-stones look go spectral, and 
the shade from the yew-trees lies so 
still on the sward. When the brows 
of Boland are gloomiest, and the com- 
presaon of his lips makes sorrow look 
sternest, be sure that Blanche is 
couched at his feet, waiting the mo- 
ment when, with some heavy sigh, 
the muscles relax, and she is sure of 
the smile if she climbs to his knee. 
It is pretty to chance on her gliding 
up brokeA turret stairs, or standing 
hushed in the recess of shattered 
casements, and you wonder what 
thoughts of vague awe and solemn 
pleasure can be at work under that 
still little brow. 

She has a quick comprehension of 
all that is taught to her; she already 
tasks to the full my mother's educa- 
tional arts. My fkther has had to 
rummage his library for books, to feed 
(or extinguish) her desire for "farther 
information;" and has promised les- 
sons in French and Italian — at some 
golden time in the shadowy *'By- 
and-By" — ^wluchare receivedso grate* 
fully that one might think Blanche 



su 



THE CAXTONSt 



nustook TiUnuique uid Novelle Mo- 
rali for baby-hoones and dolls. Hea- 
ven send her thrnigh French and 
Italian with better inocess than at- 
tended Mr. Carton's lessons in Greek 
to Pisistratas ! She has an ear for 
mnsic, which my mother, who is no 
bad judge, declares to exquisite. 
Luckily there is an old Italian set- 
tled in a town ten miles off, who is 
said to be an .excellent music-master, 
and who comes the round of the 
neighbouring squirearchy twice a- 
week. I have taught her to draw — 
an accomplishment in wluch I am not 
without skill — and she has already 
taken a sketch from nature, which, 
barring the perspective, is not so 
amiss; indeed, she has caught the 
notion of "idealiong" (which pro- 
mises future originality) from her 
own natural instincts, and given to 
the old witch-elm, that hangs over 
the stream, just the bough that it 
wanted to dip into the water, and 
floften off the hard lines. My only 
fear is, that Bkncbe should become 
too dreamy and thoughtful. Poor 
child, she has no one to play with ! 
So I look out, and get her a dog — 
frisky and young, who abhors seden- 
tary occupations — a spaniel, small and 
ooal-black, with ears sweeping the 
ground. I baptise him "Jube»"in 
honour cf Addison's Cato, and in con- 
nderation of his sable curls and Mau- 
ritanian complexion. Blanche does 
not seom so eerie and elf-like while 
gliding through the ruins, when Juba 
barks by her side, and scares the birds 
ftom the ivy. 

One day I had been padng to and 
fro the hall, which was deserted; 
and the sight of the armour and por- 
tnuts — dumb evidences of the active 
and adventurous lives of the old inha- 
bitants, which seemed to reprove my 
own inactive obscurity — ^had set me 
off on one of those Pegas^an hobbies 
on which youth momits to the skies 



-^delivering maidens on rocks, and 
killing Qorgons and monsters — when 
Juba bounded in, and Blanche came 
after him, her straw hat in her hand. 

Blanche. — I thought you were 
here, Sisty: may I stay? 

PisiSTBATirs. — Why, my dear child* 
the day is so fine that instead of losing 
it in-doors, you ought to be running in 
the fields with Juba. 

JvBA. — Bow — ^wow. 

Blakche. — ^Will you come too? 
If Sisty stays in, Blanche does not 
care for the butterflies ! 

IHsistratus, seeing that the thread 
of his day-dreams is broken, consents 
with an air of reagnation. Just as 
they gun the door, Blanche pauses^ 
and looks as if tbeie were something 
on her mind. 

PisiSTBATrs.-^What now, Blanche ? 
Why are you making knots in that 
ribbon, and writing invisible charac- 
ters on the floor with the point of 
that busy little foot ? 

Blanche, (mysteriously.)— -I have 
found a new room, Sisty. Do you 
think we may look into it ? 

PisiSTEATirs. — Certiunly ; unlesB 
any Bluebeard of your acquaintance 
told you not. Where is it P 

Blanche.— Up stair»— to the lelb. 

PisiSTBATUS.— That littleold door, 
going down two stone steps, which is 
always kept locked? 

Bjanche.— Tes ! it is not locked 
to-day. The door was i^ar, and I 
peeped in; but I would not do more 
till I came and asked you if yon. 
thought it would not be wrong. 

PisiSTRATTs. — ^Yery good in yon^ 
my discreet little cousin. I have no 
doubt it is a ghost-trap; however, 
with Juba's prptection, 1 think we 
might venture together. 

Pisistratus, Blanche, and Joba 
ascend the stairs, and turn off down 
a dark passage to the left, away frtna 
the rooms in use. We reach the arch* 
pointed door of oak planks nailed 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



215 



roQghly together — ^we posh it open, 
and perceive that a small stair winds 
down from the room : it is just over 
Eoland's chamher. 

The room has a damp smell, and 
has probahly been left open to he 
lured, for the wind comes through the 
Tinharred casement, and a billet hnins 
00. the hearth. The place has that 
attractive, fascinating ur which be- 
longs to a lumber-room, than which I 
know nothing that so captivates the 
interoiit and fancy of young people. 
What treasures, to them, often lie 
hid in those quaint odds and ends 
which the elder generations have dis- 
carded as rubbish ! All children are 
by nature antiquarians and relic- 
9 hunters. Still there is an order and 
precision with which the articles in 
that room are stowed away that be- 
Hes the true notion of lumber — ^none 
of the nuldew and dust which g^ve 
Boch mournful interest to things aban- 
doned to decay. 

In one corner are piled up cases, and 
military-looking trunks of outlandish 
tag&ct, with B. D. C. in brass nails 
on their sides. From these we turn 
with involuntary respect, and call off 
• Juba, who has wedged himself behind 
in pursuit of some imaginary mouse. 
But in the other comer is what seems 
to me a child's cradle — ^not an English 
one evidently: it is of wood, seem- 
ingly Spanish rosewood, with a rail- 
work at the back, of twisted columns; 
and I should scarcely have known it 
to be a cradle but for the fairy-like 
quilt and the tiny pillows, which pro- 
claimed its uses. 

On the wall above the cradle were 
arranged sundry little articles, that 
had, perhapi^ once made the joy of a 
Quid's heart — ^broken toys with the 
paint rubbed off, a tin sword and 
trumpet, and a few tattered books, 
mostly in Spanish — by theur shape 
and look, doubtless children's books. 
Kear tbwe stood, aa the floor* a pic- 



ture with its fkoe to the wall. Juba 
had chased the mouse that his &acy 
still insisted on creating, behind this 
picture, and, as he abruptly drew 
back, the picture fell into the hands 
I stretched forth to receive it. I 
turned the face to the light, and wai 
surprised to see merely an old &mily 
portrait ; it was that of a •gentleman 
in the flowered vest and stiff ruff 
which referred the date of his exist- 
ence to the rdgn of Elizabeth — a 
man with a bold and noble counte- 
nance. On the comer was placed a 
fiided coat of arms, beneath which wm 
inscribed, "Hebbebt db Caxion, 
£q: AitB: Mtatc: 35." 

On the back of the canvas I ob- 
served, as I now replaced the picture 
against the wall, a labd in Roland's 
handwriting, though in a younger and 
more running hand than he now wrote. 
The words were these: — "The best 
and bravest of our line. He charged 
by Sidney's side on the field of Zut- 
phen; he fought in Drake's ship 
against the armament of Spain. £f 
ever I have a ■ " The rest of the 
label seemed to have been torn off. 

I turned away, and felt a remorse 
ful shame that I had so far gratified 
my curiosity, — ^if by so harsh a name 
the powerful interest that had ab- 
sorbed me must be called. I lookecl 
round for Blanche ; she had retreated 
from my side to the door, and, with 
her hands before her eyes, was weep- 
ing. As I stole towards her, my 
glance fell on a book that lay on a 
chair near the casement, and beside 
those relies of an infiou^ once pure 
and aerene. By the old-&shioned 
silver clasps, I recognised Boland's 
Bible. I felt as if I had been almost 
guilty of pro&nation in my thought- 
less intrusion. I drew away Blanch^ 
and we descended the stairs noise- 
lessly; and not till we were on our 
fikvourite spot, amidst a heap of ruins 
on the feudal justice-hill^ did I seek: 



216 



THE CAXTONS : 



to Mm away her tean and ask the 
cause. 
" Hy poor brother V* lobhed Blanche, 
*'they must have been hU — and we 
■hall never, never aee him again! — 
and poor papa's Bible, which he reads 
when he is very, very sad ! I did not 
weep enough when my brother died. 
I know better what 'death is now! 
Poor papa! poor papa! Don't die, 
too, SUty!" 

There was no nmiung after butter- 
flies that morning ; and it was long 
before I could soothe Blanche. In- 
deed, she bore the traces of dejection 
in her soft looks for many, many days; 
and she often asked me, sighingly, 
^ Don't you think it was very wrong 
in me to take you there?" Poor 
little Blanche, true daughter of Eve, 
she would not let me bear my due 
ahare of the blame ; she would have 
it aU in Adam's primitive way of jus- 
tioe-*" The woman tempted me, and 
I did eat." And since then Blanche 
has seemed more fond than ever of 
Boland, and comparatively deserts me 
to nestle close to him, and closer, till 
he looks up and says, " My child, you 
are pale; go and run after the butter- 



flies ;" and she nys now to him, not 
to me — "Come too!" drawing him out 
into the sunshine with a hand that 
will not loose its hold. 

Of all Roland's line, this Herbert 
de Caxton was "the best and bravest!" 
yet he had never named that ancestor 
to me — never put any forefiitber in 
comparison with the dubious and my- 
thical Sir William. I now remem- 
bered once, that, in going over the 
pedigree, I had been struck by the 
name of Herbert — ^the only Herbert 
in the scroll — and had asked, " What 
of him, uncle ?" and Boland had mut- 
tered something inaudible, and turned 
away. And I remembered, also, that 
in Roland's room there was the mark 
in the wall where a picture of that# 
size had once hung. The picture had 
been removed thence before we first 
came, but must haVe hung there for 
years to have left that mark on the 
wall; — perhaps suspended by Bolt^ 
during Roland's long continental ab- 
sence. "If ever I have a"— -— 
What were the misnng words? Alas! 
did they not relate to the son- 
missed for ever, evidently not flir- 
gotten still? 



CHAPTER IV, 



My uncle sat on one side the fire- 
place, my mother on the other ; and 
1, at a small table between them, pre- 
pared to note down the results of 
their conference ; for they had met in 
high council, to assess their joint for- 
tunes — determine what should be 
brought into the common stock, and 
set apart for the Civil List, and what 
should be laid aside as a Sinking- 
Fund. Now my mother, true woman 
as she was, had a womanly love of 
•how in her own quiet way — of 
making "a genteel figure" in the 
^es of the neighbourhood— of seeing 



that sixpence not only went as far as 
sixpence ought to go, but that, in the 
going, it should emit a nuld but im- 
posing splendour^ not, indeed, a 
gaudy flash — a startling Borealian 
coruscation, which is scarcely within 
the modest and placid idiosyncrames 
of sixpence — ^but a gleam of gentle 
and benign light, just to show where 
a sixpence had been, and allow you 
tune to say " Behold!" before 

" The jaws of darlmeM did deroor it up.** 

Thus, as I once before took occarion 
to apprise the reader, we had always 



A FAMILY PICTDBE. 



Si7 



bdd a very respectable pontion in the 
neighbourhood ronnd our sqnare brick 
hoTise; been as sociable aa my Other's 
habits would permit; given our little 
tea-parties, and our occasional dinners, 
and, without attempting to vie with 
our richer assodates, tiiere had always^ 
been so exquisite a neatness, so notable 
a housekec^yhig, so thoughtful a dispo- 
ntion, in short, of all the properties 
indigenous to a well-spent sixpence, 
in my mother's management, that 
there was not an old maid within 
seven miles of us who ^d not pro- 
nounce onr tea-parties to be perfect ; 
and the great Mrs. Rollick, who gave 
forty guineas a-year to a professed 
cook and housekeeper^ used regularly, 
whenever we dined at Bollidk Hall, 
to call across the table to my mother 
(who therewith blushed up to her 
ears), to apologise for the strawberry 
jcUy. It is true, that when, on re- 
turning home, my mother adverted 
to that flattering and delicate com- 
pliment, in a tone that revealed the 
self-conceit of the human heart, my 
father — whether to sober his Kitty's 
vanity into a proper and Christian 
mortification of sprit, or from that 
strange shrewdness which belonged to 
him — would remark that Mrs. BoUick 
was of a querulous nature; that the 
compliment was meant not to please 
my mother, but to spite the professed 
cook and housekeeper, to whom the 
butler would be sure to repeat the 
invidious apology. 

In settling at the Tower, and 
assuming the head of its establish- 
ment, my mother was naturally anx- 
ious that, poor battered invalid though 
the Tower was, it should still put its 
best leg foremost. Sundry cards, 
despite the thinness of the neighbour- 
hood, bad been left at the door: 
various invitations, which my unde 
had hitherto declhied, had greeted 
his occupation of the ancestral ruin. 



and had become more numerous nnoe 
the news of our arrival had gone 
abroad; so that my mother saw bdPore 
her a very suitable field for her hos- 
pitable accomplishments — a reasonable 
ground for her ambition that the 
Tower should hold up its head, as be- 
came a Tower that held the head of 
the fifunily. 

But not to wrong thee, O dear 
mother ! as thou sittest there, opposite 
the grim Captain, so fair and so neat» 
— ^with thine apron as white, and thy 
hair as trim and as sheen, and thy 
morning cap, with its ribbons of blue, 
as coquettishly arranged as if thou 
hadst a fear that the least negligence 
on thy part might lose thee the heart 
of thine Austin — not to wrong thee 
by setting down to frivolous motives 
alone thy feminine visions of the 
social amenities of life, I know that 
thine heart, in its provident tender* 
ness, was quite as much interested afl 
ever thy vanities could be, in the 
hospitable thoughts on which thou 
wert intent. For, first and foremost* 
it was the wish of thy soul that thine 
Austin might, as little as possible, be 
reminded of the change in his fbr- 
txmes, — ^might miss as little as possible 
those interruptions to his abstracted 
scholarly moods, at which, it is true^ 
he used to fr«t and to pshaw and to 
cry PapsB ! but which nevertheless 
always did him good, and freshened 
up the stream of his thoughts. And, 
next, it was the conviction of thine 
understanding that a little society, 
and boon companionship, and the 
proud pleasure of showing his ruinsf, 
and presiding at the hall of his fore- 
fathers, would take Roland out of 
those gloomy reveries into which he 
still fell at times. And, thirdly, for 
us young people ought not Blanche 
to find companions in children of her 
own sex and age ? Already in those 
large black eyes there was something 



21S 



THE CAXTOKSi 



melancholy and brooding, as there is 
in the eyes of all children who live 
only with their elders ; and for I^sis- 
tratus, with his altered prospects, and 
the one great gnawing memory at his 
heart — ^which he tried to conceal from 
himself, bnt which a mother (and a 
mother who had loved) saw at a 
glance — what coald be better than 
such union and interchange with the 
world around us, small though that 
world might be, as woman, sweet 
binder and blender of all sodal links, 
might artfully effect ?— So that thou 



didst not go, like the awfbl l^ren* 
tine, 

" Sopra lor Tanita die par persona,*' 

' over thin shadows that mocked the 
substance of real forms,' but rather it 
.was the real forms that appeared as 
shadows or vanUa, 

What a digresnon !-— can I never 
tell my story in a plain straight* 
forward way ? Certainly I was bom 
under Cancer, and all my movements 
are circumlocutory, udeway a^ and crab* 
like. 



CHAPTER V. 



** I THivs, Boland," said my mo- 
ther, "tliat the establishment is 
settled. Bolt, who is equal to three 
men at least; Prinunins, cook and 
housekeeper; Molly, a good stirring 
girl — and willing, (though I've had 
some difficulty in persuading her to 
submit not to be called Anna Maria !) 
Their wages are but a small item, my 
dear Roland," 

"Hem!" sud Roland, "once we 
can't' do with fewer servants at less 
wages, I suppose we must call it 
small." 

*< It is so," said my mother with 
mild positiveness. "And, indeed, 
what with the game and fish, and 
the garden and poultry-yard, and 
your own mutton, our housekeeping 
will be next to nothing." 

"Hem!" again said the thrifty 
Boknd, with a slight inflection of the 
beetle brows. "It may be next to 
nothing, ma'am — sister — just as a 
butcher's shop may be next to North- 
umberland House, but there is a 
vast deal between nothing and that 
next neighbour you have given it." 

Tins speech was so like one of my 
fiither's — ^so ne^he an imitation of that 
iobtle reasoner's use of the rhetorical 



figure called aktakaclasib (or repeti* 
tion of the same words in a different 
sense), that I laughed and my mother 
smiled. But she smiled reverently^, 
not thinking of the aktanaolasis, aa^ 
laying her hand on Roland's arm, she 
replied in the yet more formidable 
figure of speech called epiphoneka 
(or exclamatjon), "Yet, with aU youx 
economy, you would have had us — ** 

" Tut !" cried my undo, parrying 
the SPiFHOiTBiiA with a masterly 
AP08I0FESIS (or breaking off); "tut! 
if yon had done what I wished, I 
should have had more pleasure for my 

money 1" 

My poor mother^s rhetorical ar- 
moury supplied no weapon to meet 
that artfcd apobiopssis; bo she 
dropped the rhetoric altogether, and 
went on wil^ that "unadorned elo* 
quence" natural to her, as to other 
great financial reformers: — "Well* 
Roland, but I am a good housewife, I 
assure you, and — don't scold; but 
that you never do^ — I mean, don't 
look as if you would like to scdd; the 
fact is, that, even after setting aside 
£100 a-year for our little parties—" 

"Little parties! — a hundred a 
year !" eried the Captain aghast. 



A FAMILT PICTUBE. 



nft 



My moCher pumied her way re- 
morselessly, — ''Which we can well 
afford; and without cotmiang your 
half-pay, which yoa must; keep for 
pocket-money and yonr wardrohe and 
Blanche's, I calcnlate that we can 
allow Pisistratns £150 a*year, whidi, 
with the scholarship he is to get, will 
keep him at Cambridge," (at that, 
seeing the acholardiip was as yet 
amidst the Fleasmres of Hope, I shook 
my head doubtfully); ''and," con- 
tinued my mother, not heeding that 
sign of dissent, "we shall still have 
something to lay by/' 

The Captain's face assumed a ludi- 
crous expression of compassion and 
horror; he evidently thought my 
mother's misfortunes had turned her 
head. 

His tormentor comtinned. 

**¥or" said my mother> with a 
pretty calculating diake of her head, 
and a movement of the right fore- 
finger towards the five fingers of the 
left hand, "£370— the interest of 
Austin's fortuno — and £50 that we 
may reckon for the rent of our house, 
make £420 a-year. Add your £330 
a-year firom the fcmn, sheep-walk, and 
cottages that you let, and the total is 
£750. Now, with all we get for no- 
thing for our housekeeping, as I said 
before, we can do very well with £500 
a-year, and indeed make a handsome 
figure. So, after allowing Sisty £150, 
we still have £100 to lay by for 
Blanche." 

" Stop, stop, stop !" cried the Cap- 
tain in great ajpitation; "who told 
you that I had £330 a-year ?" 

** Why, Bolt^— don't be angry with 
him." 

" Bolt is a blockhead. From £330 
a-year take £200, and the remiunder 
ia all my income, besides my half-pay." 

My mother opened her eyes, and so 
did I. 

"To that £130 add, if you pleaset, 
£180 of yonr own. AU that you have 



over, my dear sister. Is yours or Aus- 
tin's» or your boy's; but not a shilling 
can go to g^ve luxuries to a miserly^ 
batt^^d old soldier* Do you under* 
stand me ?" 

"No, Boland," said my mother, 
" I don't understand you at all. Does 
not your property bring in £330 a- 
year?" 

" Yes, but it has a debt of £200 
a-year on it," said the Captain gloomily 
and reludamtly. 

"Oh, Boland!** cried my mother 
tenderly, and approaching so near 
that, had my Mher been in the room, 
I am sure she would have been bold 
enough to kiss the stem Captain, 
though I never saw him look sterner 
and less kissable. "Oh, Roland!" 
cried my mother, concluding that 
famous sriFHOiniiCA which my uncle's 
APOSioPESis had before nipped in the 
bud, " and yet you woold have made 
us> who are twice as rich, rob yoa of 
thisUttleaU!" 

"Ah !" siud Roland, trying to smiley 
^but I should have had my own way 
then, and starved you shockingly. 
No talk then of ' little parties,' and 
such-like. But you must not now 
turn the tables against me, nor bring 
your £420 a-year as a set-off to my 
£130." 

" Why,** saidmy mother generously, 
"you forget the money's worth that 
you contribute — all that your grounds 
supply, and all that we save by it. X 
am sure that that's worth a yearly 
£300 at the least." 

"Madam — ^sister," said the Captaiiif 
" I'm sure you don't want to hurt my 
feelings. All Iliave to say is, that, 
if you add to what I bring an equal 
sum'-"to keep up the poor old ruin— 
it is the utmost that I can allow, and 
the rest is not more than Pisistratns 
can spend." 

So saying, the Captiun rose, bowed^ 
and, before either of us could stop 
him» hobbled out of the ro<Hn. 



S20 



THE CAXTONB 



" Dear me, Sisty f' mid my mother, 
wringing her hands, ** I have certainly 
displeased him. How could I gaess 
he had so large a deht on the pro- 
perty?" 

'* Did not he pay hia son'R debts P 
Is not that the reason that—'' 

"Ah!" interrupted my mother, 
almost crying, "and it waa that 
which ruffled him, and I not to guess 
it? WhatshaUIdo?" 

" Set to work at a new calculation, 
dear mother^ and let him have his 
own way." 

" But then," said my mother, " your 
imde will mope himself to death, and 
your father will have no relaxation, 
while you see that he has lost his 
former object in hia books. And 
Blanche — and you too. If we were 
only to contribute what dear Roland 
does, I do not see how, with £260 
B-year, we could ever bring our neigh- 
bours round us! I wonder what 
Austin would say ! I have half a I 



mind — ^no, 111 go and look over the 
week-books with Primmins." 

My mother went her way sorrow- 
fully, and I was left alone. 

Then I looked on the stately old 
hall, grand in its forlorn decay. And 
the dreams I had begun to cherish at 
my heart swept over me, and hurried 
me along, &r, far away into the 
golden land, whither Hope beckons 
youth. To restore my father's for- 
tunes — ^re-weave the links of that 
broken ambition which had knit bis 
genius with the world — ^rebuild those 
fallen walls — cultivate those barren 
moors — ^revive the andent name — 
glad the old soldier's age — and be to 
both the brothers what Roland had 
lost — a son ! These were my dreams ; 
and when I woke irom them, lo ! they 
had left behind an intense purpose, a 
resolute object. Dream, O youth !— 
dream manfully and nobly, and thy 
dreams shall be prophets ! 



CHAPTER VL 



XiIITIB 7B01C PI8ISTBATV8 CAXTON^ TO ALBBBT TXEVASlGSf ESQ., tf.P« 
{The cotifeithH qfa jfoiUh who in the Old World Jtndt Umtejf one loo fnany.) 



'*MT DBAS Mr. TBETAlflOir, — ^I 

thank you cordially, and so we do all, 
for your reply to my letter, informing 
you of the villanous traps through 
which we have passed — ^not indeed 
with whole skins, but stiill whole in 
life and limb — ^which, considering that 
the traps were three, and the teeth 
sharp, was more than we could rea- 
sonably expect. We have taken to 
the wastes, like wise foxes as we are, 
and I do not think a bait can be found 
that will again snare the foxpatemaL 
As for the fox filial, it is different, 
and I am about to prove to you that 
be Ss bazning to redeem the family 



disgrace. Ah! my dear Mr. Treva* 
nion, if you are busy with 'blue-books' 
when this letter reaches yon, stop 
here, and put it aside for some rare 
moment of leisure. I am about to 
open my heart to you, and ask you, 
who know the world so well, to aid 
me in an esca|)e firom those fMmmai^ 
Ua moBnia, wherewith I find that 
world beg^ and enclosed. For look 
you, sir, you and my father were right 
when you both agreed that the mere 
book-life was not meant for me. And 
yet what is not book-lif^ to a young 
man who would make his way through 
the ordinary and conventional pa^ 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



221 



to fortune? All the profesffloiis are 
10 book-lined, book-hemmed, book- 
ehoked, that wherever these strong 
hands of mine stretch towards action, 
they find themselves met by octavo 
ramparts, flanked with quarto crenel- 
lations. For first, this college life, 
opening to scholarships, and ending, 
perchance, as you political economists 
would desire, in Malthusian fellow- 
ships — premiums for celibacy — con- 
sider what manner of thing it is ! 

" Three years, book upon book,— a 
great Dead Sea before one, three 
years long, and all the apples that 
grow on the shore full of the ashes of 
pica and primer ! Those three years 
ended, the fellowship, it may be won, 
—still books — ^books— if the whole 
world does not close at the college 
gates. Bo I, from scholar, effloresce 
into literary man, author by profession ? 
— books — books! Do I go into the 
law? — books — books. Ars longa, 
vita brevis, which, paraphrased, means 
that it is slow work before one fags 
one's way to a brief! Do I turn 
doctor? Why, what but books can 
kill time, until, at the age of forty, 
a lucky chance may permit me to k^ 
something else? The church (for 
which, indeed^ I don't profess to be 
good enough), — ^that is book-life par 
excellence, wheth^, inglorious and 
poor, I wander through long lines of 
divines and fathers; or, ambitious of 
bishoprics, I amend the corruptions, 
not of the human heart, but of a 
Greek text, and through defiles of 
scholiasts and commentators win my 
way to the See. In short, barring 
the noble profession of arms — which 
yott know, after all, is not precisely 
the road to fortune — can you tell me 
any means by which one may escape 
these eternal books, this mentid clock- 
work, and corporeal lethargy ? Where 
can this passion for life that runs riot 
through my veins find its vent? 
Where can these stalwart limb^ and 



this broad chest, grow of value and 
worth, in this hot-bed of cerebral in- 
fiammation and dyspeptic intellect? 
I know what is in me ; I -know I have 
the qualities that should go with stal« 
wart limbs and bread chest. I have 
some plain common sense, some promp- 
titude and keenness, some pleasure in 
hardy danger, some fortitude in bear- 
ing pain— qualities for which I bless 
Heaven, for they are qualities good 
and useM in private life. But in the 
forum of men, in the market of fortune^ 
are they not flocci, nauci, nihili ? 

" In a word, dear sir- and friend, in 
this crowded Old World, there is not 
the same room that our bold fore- 
fiithers found for men to walk about, 
and jostle their neighbours. No; 
they must mt down like boys at 
their form, and work out their tasks, 
with rounded shoulders and' aching 
fingers. There has been a pastoral 
age, and a hunting age, and a fighting 
age. Now we have arrived at the age 
sedentary. Men who sit longest carry 
all before them : puny delicate fellows, 
with hands just strong enough to 
wield a pen, eyes so bleared by the 
midnight lamp that they see no joy 
in that buxom sun, (which draws mo 
forth into the fields, as life draws the 
living), and digestive organs worn 
and macerated by the relentless fla- 
gellation of the brain. Certainly, if 
this is to be the Keign of Mind, it is 
idle to repine, and kick against the 
pricks; but is it true that all these 
qualities of action that are within me 
are to go for nothing? If I were 
rich and happy in mind and circum- 
stance, well and good; I should shoot, 
hunt, fiirm, travel, enjoy life, Knd snap 
my fingers at ambition. If I were so 
poor and so humbly bred that I could 
turn gamekeeper or whipper-in, as 
pauper gentlemen virtually did of old, 
well and good too } I should exhaust 
this troublesome vitality of mine, by 
nightly battles with piMcheni, and 



823 



IHE CATTQNSs 



leaps over doable &ykeB and sione 
walls. If I ware so depressed of 
tpuit that I could live without re- 
morse on my father's small means, 
and ezdaim with ClaTidian, 'The 
earth gives me feasts that cost 
nothmg/ well and good too; it 
were a life to suit a vegetable^ or a 
▼ery minor poet. But as it is !— bere 
I open another leaf of my heart to 
you! To say that, being poor, I 
want to make a fortune^ is to say that 
I am an Englishman. To attach our- 
selves to a thing podtive, belongs to 
our practical race. Even in our 
.dreams, if we build castles in the air, 
they are not CattUi of Indolence,^^ 
indeed they have very little of the 
castle about them, and look much 
more like Hoare's Bank on the east 
mde of Temple Bar I I desire, then, to 
make a* fortune. But I differ £rom 
my countrymen, first, by desiring only 
what you lich men would call but 
a stnaU fortune; secondly, in wishing 
that I may not upend my whole life 
in that fortune-making. Just see^ 
now, how I am placed. 

*< Under ordinary drcumstances, I 
must begin by takhig firom my tather 
a large dice <^an income that will ill 
spare paring. According to my cal- 
culation, my parents and my nnde 
want all they have got*-and the sub- 
traction of the yearly sum on whidi 
Pidstratus is to live, till he can live 
by his own labours, would be so much 
taken from the decent comforts of 
his kindred. If I return to Cam- 
bridge, with all economy, I must thus 
narrow still more the ret anffusia 
domi — and when Cambridge is over, 
and I am turned loose upon the world 
— ^fiidling, as is likely enough, of the 
support of a fdlowdiip — ^how many 
years must I work, or rather, alas ! 
not work, at the bar, (which, after all, 
seems my best calling) before I can 
In my turn provide for those who, till 
IhM^ rob themsdves for me ? — ^tOl I 



have arrived at middle lil^ and they 
are old and worn out— 4iU the chink 
of the gdden bowl sounds but hollow 
at the ebbing well! I would wish 
that> if I can make money, those I 
love best may eigqy it wl:dle ei^oy- 
ment is yet left to them; that my 
fother diall see The Butory of 
Human Error complete^ bound in 
rusda on his didves ; that my mother 
shall have the innocent pleasures that 
content her, before age steals the 
light from her happy smile ; that be- 
fore Bdand's hair is snow-white (alas 1 
the snows there thicken fast), he shall 
lean on my arm, while we settle to- 
gether where the ruin diall be re- 
paired or where left to tiie owls; and 
where tiie dreary bleak waste around 
shall laugh with the gleam of com .^— • 
for you know the nature of this Cum- 
berland edl— -you, who possess much 
of it» and have won so many fiur acres 
from the wild ^— you know that my 
nude's land, now (save a dngle fiinn) 
scarce worth a diiUing an acre, needs 
but capital to become an estate mors 
lucrative than ever his ancestots 
owned. Tou know thal^ for you have 
applied your capital to tiie same kind 
of land, and, in doing so^ what bless- 
ings — whidi you scarcdy think of in 
your London library — you have 
effected! — ^what months you fee^ 
what hands yon employ! I have 
calculated that my unde's moon^ 
which now scarce maintain two or 
three diepherdi^ could,' manured by 
money, maintain two hundred families 
by thdr labour. All this is worth 
tr^^ng for ! therefore Pisistratus wants 
to make money. Not so much! he 
does not require millions— « few spare 
thousand pounds would go a long way; 
and with a modest capital to begin 
with, Boland should become a true 
Squire, a real landowner, not the 
mere lord of a desert. Now then, 
dear sir, advise me how I may, with 
such qualities as I poiaes% arrive il 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



833 



that Ci^til— ^, md liefore it is too 
late-*Bo that money-makiDg may not 
last till my grave. 

"Tmrnng in despair from this 
dvilised world of oars, I have cast my 
eyes to a world far older, — and yet 
more to a world in its giant child- 
hood. India here, — ^Anstoilia there ! 
—what say yon, sir— yon who will 
see dispassionately those things that 
float before my eyes through a golden 
haze, looming large in the distance P 
Such is my confidence in yonr judg- 
ment, that yon have hut to say, ' Fool, 
give up thine £1 Dorados and stay at 
home — stick to the books and the 
desk — annihilate that redundance of 
animal life that is in thee — gprow a 
mental machine — ^thy physical gifts 
are of no avail to thee— take thy 
place among the slaves of the Lamp' 
<^«Dd I will obey without a murmur. 
But if I am right — ^if I have in me 
attributes that here find no market; 
if my repinings are but the instincts 
of nature, that, out of this decrepit 
civilisation^ desire vent for growth 
in the young stir of some more rude 
and vigorous sodal system — then give 
me^ I pray, that advice which may 
dothe my idea in some practical and 
tangible embodiments. Have I made 
mysdf understood ? 

*' We take no newspaper her^ but 
occasionally one finds its way from 
the parsonage; and I have lately 
rqj(nced at a paragraph that spoke of 
your speedy entrance into the adminis- 
tration as a thing certain. I write to 
you before yon are a minister; and 
you see what 1 seek is not in the way 
of official patronage: A niche in an 
office!— -oh, to me that were worse 
than alL Tet I did labour hard with 
you, but — thiUvrM different! I write 
to yon thus frankly, knowing your 
warm noble heart — ^and as if you were 
my father. Allow me to add my 
humble but earnest congratulations 
on Miss Trevanion's approaching mar- 



riage with one worthy, if not of her« 
at least of her station. I do so as be* 
comes one whom you have allowed to 
retain the right to pray Ibr the hap* 
piness of you and yours. 

*' My dear Mr. Trevamon, this is a 
long letter, and I dare not even read 
it over, lest, if I do, I should not send 
it. Take it with all its faults, and 
judge of it with that kindness with 
whidi yon have judged ever 

"Tour giatefhl and devoted servant. 



LETTSB mOH ALBSBT TRWASIOV, 
SSQ. 1C.F., TO PISI8TSA.TirS CAXTON. 

Zdbrarg ^ Ae Hou$e o/ Ommoni, 
TKe$dajf night. 

" My DBAS PlSISTBATTTS, — ^•^ ••• 

iBXspl we are in fiir it finr two mortal 
hours. I take fiight to the library, 
and devote those hours to you. Don't 
be conceited, but that picture of your- 
self which yon have placed before me 
has struck me with all the force of an 
originaL The state of mind which yon 
describe so vividly must be a very com- 
mon onei, in our era of civilisation, yetl 
have never before seen it made so pro- 
minent and life-like. TouhavebeCTLin 
my thoughts all day. Tes, how many 
young men must there be like you, in 
this Old World, able, intelligent, 
active, and persevering enough, yet 
not adapted foit success in any <k our 
conventional professions — 'mute, in- 
glorious Baleighs.' Tour letter, young* 
artist^ 18 an illustration of the philo- 
sophy of colonising. I comprehend 
better, after reading i1^ the old Qreek 
colonisation,— the sending out not 
only the paupers, the refuse of an 
over-populated state, but a large pro- 
portion of a better class — ^fellows full 
cf pith and sap* and exuberant vitality. 



234 



f HE CATTONS t 



like younel^ blending, in chose wite 
eleruchia, a certain portion of the 
aristocratic with the more democratiic 
element; not taming a rabble loose 
upon a new soil, but planting in the 
foreign allotments all the rudiments 
of ft harmonious state, analogous to 
that in the mother country — not only 
getting rid of hungry craving mouths, 
but furnishing vent for a waste sur- 
plus of intelligence and comrage, which 
at home is really not needed, and 
more often comes to ill than to good ; 
— here only menaces our artificial em- 
bankments, but there, carried off in 
an aqueduct, might give life to a 
desert. 

"For my part, in my ideal of 
colonisation, I should like that each 
exportation of human beings had, as 
of old, its leaders and chiefs — not so 
appointed from the mere quality of 
rank, often, indeed, taken from the 
humbler classes — but still men to 
whom a certain degree of education 
should g^ve promptitude, quickness, 
(idoiptahility — men in whom their 
followers can confide. The Greeks 
understood that. Nay, as the colony 
makes progress — as its principal town 
rises into the dig^ty of a capital — a 
polis that needs a polity — I sometimes 
think it might be wise to go still fiir- 
ther, and not only transplant to it a 
high standard of civilisation, but draw 
it more closely into connexion with the 
parent state, and render the passage 
of spare intellect, education, and 
civility, to and fro, more fiuiile, by 
drafting off thither the spare scions of 
royalty itself. I know that many of 
my more * liberal' fi^ends would pooh- 
pooh this notion ; but I am sure that 
the colony altogether, when arrived 
to a state that would bear the im- 
portation, would thrive all the better 
for it. And when the day shall come, 
(as to all healthful colonies it must 
oome sooner or later) in which the 
settlement has grown an independent 



state, we may thereby have laid the 
seeds of a constitution and a civilisa- 
tion similar to our own — ^with self- 
developed forms of monarchy and 
aristocracy, though of a rimpler 
growth than old sodeties accept, and 
not left a strange motley chaos of 
struggling democracy — an uncouth 
livid giant, at which the Frankenstein 
may well ia-emble — ^not because it is a 
giant, but because it is a giant half 
completed.* Depend on it, the New 
World will be friendly or hostile to 
the Old, not in proportion to the 
kinship of race, but in proportion to 
the similarity of manners and institu- 
tions — a mighty truth to which we 
colonisers have been blind. 

*' Fusnng from these more distant 
speculations to this positive present 
before us, you see already, from what 
I have said, that I sympathise with 
your aspirations — that I oonstme 
them as you would have me ; — ^look- 
ing to your nature and to your objects^ 
I give you my advice in a word-— 
Emigrate ! 

" My advice is, however, founded 
on one hypothesis — ^viz., that you are 
perfectly sincere — ^you will be con- 
tented with a rough life, and with a 
moderate fortune at the end of your 
probation. Don't dream of emigra- 
ting if you want to make a million, 
or the tenth part of a million. Don't 
dream of emigrating, unless you can 
et^'oy its hardships^ — ^to bear them is 
not enough ! 

** Australia is the land for yoa» as 
you seem to surmise. Australia u the 
land for two classes of emigrants: 
1st, The man who has nothing but 



* These paees were sent to press before 
the author nad seen Mr. Wakefield's recent 
work on Colonisation, wherein the views 
here expressed are enforced with great 
earnestness and conspicuous sagacity. The 
author is not the less pleased at this coinci- 
dence of ooinion, because he has the mis- 
fortune to aissent from certain other pacts 
of Mr. WakeAeld'a ehkborate theoxy. 



A FAMILY PICTURE- 



S25 



Ills wiis, And plenty of them ; 2dly, 
The man who has a small capital, and 
Who is contented to spend ten years 
in trebling it. I as8mne that you 
belong to the latter class. Take out 
£3000, and, before you are thirty 
years old, you may return with 
£10,000 or £12,000. If that satisfies 
you, think seriously of Australia. By 
coach, to-morrow, I will send you 
down all the best books and reports 
on the subject; and I will get you 
what detailed information I can from 
the Colonial Office. Having read 
these, and thought over them dispas- 
sionately, spend some months yet 
among the sheep-walks of Cumber- 
land j leum all you can, from all the 
shepherds you can find — from Thyrsis 
to Mcnalcas. Do more ; fit yourself 
in every way for a life in the Bush ; 
where the philosophy of the division 
of labour is not yet arrived at. Learn 
to turn your hand to everything. Be 
something of a smith, something of a 
carpenter — do the best you can with 
the fewest tools; make yourself an 
excellent shot ; break in all the wild 
horses and ponies you can borrow and 
beg. Even if you want to do none of 
these things when in your settlement, 
the having learned to do them will 
fit you for many other things not 
now foreseen. De-jfine-gentlemamae 
yourself from the crown of your head 
to the sole of your foot, and become 
the greater aristocrat for so ddng; 
for he is more than an aristocrat, he 
is a king, who suffices in all things 
for himself — ^who is his own master, 
because he wants no valetaUle, I 
think Seneca has e^ressed that 
thought before me; and I would 
quote the passage, but the book, I 
fear, is not in the library of the 
House of Commons. But now — 
(cheers, by Jove ! I suppose • • * • • 

is down I Ah ! it is so ; and C 

is up, and that cheer followed a sharp 
hit at me. How I wish I were your 
Ko. 347. 



age» and going to Australia with you!) 
But now — to resume my suspended 
period — but now to the important 
point — capital. Tou must take that, 
unless you go as a shepherd, and then 
good-by to the idea of £10,000 in ten 
years. So, you see, it appears at the 
first blush that you must still come to 
your father ; but, you will say, with 
this difference, that you borrow the 
capital with every chance of repaying 
it instead of frittering away the income 
year after year till you are eight-and- 
thirty or forty at least. Still, Pisis- 
tratus, you don't, in this, gain your 
object at a leap ; and my dear old 
friend ought not to lose his son and 
his money too. You say you write to 
me as to your own father. You know 
I hate profes^ons ; and if you did not 
mean what you say, you have offended 
me mortally. As a father, then, I 
take a father's rights, and speak 
plainly. A friend of mine, Mr. Bold- 
ing, a clergyman, has a son — a wild 
fellow, who is likely to get into all 
sorts of scrapes in England, but with 
plenty of good in him, notwithstand- 
ing — ^firank, bold — not wanting in 
talent, but rather in prudence-^ 
eafflly tempted and led away into ex- 
travagance. He would make a capi- 
tal cdonist, (no such temptations in 
the Bush !) if tied to a youth like 
you. Now I propose, with your leave, 
that his father shall advance him 
£1500, which shall not, however, bo 
placed in his hands, but in yours, as 
head partner in the firm. You, on 
your side, shall advance the same 
sum of £1500, which yon shall bor* 
row from me, for three years without 
interest. At the end of that time 
interest shall commence, and the 
capital, with the interest on the said 
first three years, shall be repaid to 
me, or my executon^ on your return. 
After you have been a year or two in 
the Bush, and felt your way, and 
learned your business^ you may then 
Q 15 



S36 



THE CAXTONSt 



safely borrow £1600 more from your 
ffttber ; and, in the meanwhile, yon 
and your partner will have had 
toj2:ether the full sum of £3000 to 
commence with. You see in this 
proposal I make you no gift, and I 
run no risk, even by your death. If 
you die insolvent, I will promise to 
come on your father, poor fellow ! — 
for small joy and small care will he 
have then in what may be left of his 
fortune. There — I have said all ; and 
1 will never forgive you if you reject 
an aid that will sen^e you so much, 
l^nd cost me so little. 

" I accept your congratulations 
on Fanny's engagement with Lord 
Castleton. When you return from 
Australia you will still be a young 
man. she (though about your own 
years) almost a middle-aged woman. 



with her head frdl of pompi and 
vanities. All ^Is have a short 
period of ^Ihood in common; but 
when they enter womanhood, the 
woman becomes the woman of her 
class. As for me, and the office as- 
signed to me by report, you know 
what I said when we puted, and— 

but here J comes, and tells me 

that ' I am expected to speak, and 
answer N , who is just up, brim- 
ful of malice,' — ^the House crowded, 
and hungering for personalities. So 
I, the man of the Old World, gird 
up my loins, and leave you with a 
sigh, to the fresh youth of the New— 

' Ne tiU sit dnros acnisse in prodift dentes.' 

"Yours affectionately, 

«Albsbt Tseyaniov/' 



CHAPTER VII. 



So, reader, thou art now at the 
secret of my heart. 

Wonder not that I, a bookman's 
son, and, at certain periods of my 
life, a bookman myself, though of 
lowly grade in that venerably class — 
wonder not that I should thus, in that 
transition stage between youth and 
manhood, have turned impatiently 
from books. — Most students^ at one 
time or other in their existence, have 
felt the imperious demand of that 
restless principle in man's nature, 
which calls upon each son of Adam 
to contribute his share to the vast 
treasury of human deeds. And though 
great scholars are not necessarily, nor 
usually, men of action, — yet the men 
of action whom History presents to 
our survey, have rarely been without 
a certain degree of scholarly nurture. 
For the ideas which books quicken, 
b<x)ks cannot always satisfy. And 
though the royal pupil of Aristotle sle^t 



with Homer under his pillow, it 
not that he might dream of comporting 
epics, but of conquering new lUons 
in the East. Many a man, how little 
soever resembling Alexander, may still 
have the conqu^-or's aim in an object 
that action only can achieve, and the 
book under his pillow may be the 
strongest antidote to his repose. And 
how the stem Destimes that shall 
govern the man weave their first de- 
licate tissues amidst the earliest asso- 
ciations of the child! — Those idle 
tales with which the old credulotui 
nurse had beguiled my infancy — tales 
of wonder, knight-errantry, and ad- 
venture, had left behind them »eds 
long latent — seeds that might neva 
have sprung up above the soil — bi;ct 
that my boyhood was so early put 
under the burning-glass, and in the 
quick forcing-house, of the London 
world. Tliere, even amidst books and 
study, lively observation and petulant 



A ]^A]ViILY PICTURE. 



in 



ambition broke lorth from the lush 
foliage of romance — that fruitless 
leafiness of poetic youth ! And there 
passion, which is a revolution in all 
the elements of individual man, had 
called a new state of being, turbulent 
and eager, out of the old habits and 
conventional forms it had buried — 
ashes that speak where the fire has 
been. Far from me, as from any 
mind of some manliness, be thp at- 
tempt to create interest by dwellmg 
at length on the struggles against a 
rash and misplaced attachment, which 
•it was my duty to overcome ; but all 
vuch love, as 1 have before implied, is 
a terrible unsettler :-— 

^ Where once such ftiries dance, no grass 
doth ever grow." 

To re-enter boyhood, go with meek 
dodlity through its disciplined routine 
^how hard had I fbund that return, 
amidst the cloistered monotony of 
eoUege ! My love for my father, and 
my submismon to his wish, had indeed 
given some animation to objects other- 
wise distasteful; hut, now that my 
return to the University must be at- 
tended with pofl&tive privation to 



those at home, the iuea became utterly 
hateful and repugnant. Under pre- 
tence that I found myself, on trial, 
not yet sufficiently prepared to do 
credit to my other's name, I had 
easily obtained leave to lose the ensu- 
ing college term, and pursue my 
studies at home. This gave me tim^ 
to prepare my plans, and bring round 
— ^how shall I ever bring round to my 
adventurous views those whom I 
propose to desert ? Hard it is to get 
on in the world — ^very hard! But 
the most painful step in the way if 
that which starts from the threshold 
of a beloved home. 

How — ah, how, indeed ! *' No, 
Blanche, you cannot join me to-day ; 
I am going out for many hours. So 
it will be late before I can be home.'^ 

Home ! — the word chokes me ! 
Juba slinks back to his young mis- 
tress, disconsolate; Blanche gazes ai 
me ruefully from our favourite hill- 
top, and the flowers she has been 
gathering fall tmheeded from her 
basket. I hear my mother's voice 
singing low, as she sits at work by 
her open casement. How~— ah, how, 



tea 



THE CAXTOSBi 



PAET THIETEENTH. 



CHAPTER L 



tSfS. Chbtbostou, in liif work on 
The Priesthood, defends deceit, if for 
a good porpose, by many Scriptural 
examples ; ends his first book by as- 
serting that it is often necessary, and 
that much benefit may arise from it ; 
and be^ns his second book by saying 
that it ought not to be called deceit, 
but **good mcmoffement.*** 

Qood management, then, let me 
oall the innocent arts by which I now 
sought to insinuate my project into 
&Your and assent with my unsus- 
pecting family. At first I began with 
Holand. I easily induced him to read 
some of the books, full of the charm 
of Australian life, which Trevanion 
had sent me; and, so happily did those 
descriptions suit his own erratic tastes, 
and the free half-savage man that lay 
rough and large within that soldierly 
nature, that he himself, as it were, 
seemed to suggest my own ardent de- 
sire — sighed, as the careworn Tre- 
vanion had done, that "he was not 
my age/' and blew the flame that 
consumed me with his own willing 
breath. So that when at last — 
wandering one day over the wild 
moors — I laid, knowing his hatred of 
'aw and lawyers — 

" Alas, uncle, that nothing should 
be left for me but the bar !" 

Captain Roland struck his cane into 

« • Hohler's Tranalatioo. 



the peat, and exclaimed, **2orm6s, 
sir ! the bar and lying, with truth 
and a world fresh from God before 
you V 

" Your hand, uncle — we understand 
each other. "Now help me with those 
two quiet hearts at home I" 

" Plague on my tongue ! what have 
I done?" said the Captain, looking 
aghast. Then, after musing a little 
time, he turned his dark eye on me, 
and growled out, " I suspect, young 
sir, you have been laying a trap for 
me ; and I have ^en into it, like an 
old fool as I am." 

Oh, sir, if you prefer the bail*— 
Rogue !" 

Or, indeed, I might perhaps get 
a clerkship in a merchant's office ?" 

" If you do, I will scratch yoa out 
of the pedigree V* 

'* Huzza, then, for Australana I** 

" Well, well, well," said my unde, 

"With a smile on his Up, and a tear in hii 
eyej" 

"the old sea-king's blood wHl f^Mroe 
its way — a solcUer or a rover, there 
is no other choice for you. We 
shall mourn and miss you ; but who 
can chain the young eagles to the 
eyrie ?" 

I had a harder task with my 
father, who at first seemed to listen to 
me as if I had been talking of an ex* 
cursion to the moon. But I threw in 



"I 



<< 



«( 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



229 



A dexterous dose of the old Greek 
CleruchuB — cited by TrevanioB — 
which set him off fall trot on his 
hobby, till after a short ezcursioii to 
Eaboea and the Chersonese, he was 
fably lost amidst the Ionian colonies 
of Asia Minor. I then gradually and 
artfhlly decoyed him into his fiivourite 
science of £thnology; and, while he 
was specnlating on the origin of the 
American savages, and considering the 
rival claims of Cimmerians, Israelites, 
nnd Scandinaviana, I said qnietly, — 
"And you, sir, who think that all 
human improvement depends on the 
mixture of races — ^you, whose whole 
theory is an absolute sermon upon 
emig^ration, and the transplanting and 
interpolity of our species — you, sir, 
should be the last mau to chidn your 
son, your elder son, to the scnl, while 
your younger is the very missionary of 
rovers." 

" Pisistratus," sud my father, "yon 
reason by synecdoche — ornamental but 
ilfogical;" and therewith, resolved to 
hear no more, my &ther rose and re- 
treated into his study. 

But his observation, now quickened, 
began from that day to follow my 
moods and humours — ^then he himself 
grew nlent and thoughtful, and filially 
he took to long conferences with Bo- 
land. The result was that» one 
evening in spring, as I lay listless 
amidst the weeds and fern that sprang 
up through the melancholy ruins, I 
felt a hand on my shoulder ; and my 
father, seating himself beride me on a 
fragment of stone, said earnestly-*— 
** PIsistratus, let us talk — I had hoped 
better things from your study of Bo- 
bertHall.** 

** Nay, dear fiither, the medicine 
did me great good: I have not re- 
pined rinoe, and I look steadfiistly and 
cfaeerAilly on life. But Bobert Hall 
ftdfilled his miauon, and I would fblfil 
mine." 

** Is there no mission in tl\y native 



land, planeticose and exallotriote 
spirit?"* asked my father, with com- 
passionate rebuke. 

"Alas, yes! But what the im- 
pulse of genius is to the great, the 
instinct of vocation is to the mediocre. 
In every man there is a magnet ; in 
that thing which the man can do best 
there is a loadstone." 

** FftpsB V said my father, opening 
h Is eyes ; " and are no loadstones to be 
found for you nearer than the Great 
Australasian Bight ?" 

•* Ah, MT, if you resort to irony I 
can say no more !" My fi&ther looked 
down on me tenderly, as I hung my 
head, moody and abashed. 

"Son," said he, "do you think 
that there is any real jest at my 
heart, when the matter discussed is 
whether you are to put wide seas and 
long years between us?" I pressed 
nearer to his side, and made no 
answer. 

" But I have noted you of late," 
continued my father, " and I have ob- 
served that your old studies are grown 
distasteful to you ; and I have talked 
with Bolandy and I see that your de- 
sire is deeper than a boy's mere whim. 
And then I have asked myself what 
prospect I can hold out at home to 
induce you to be contented here, and 
I see none ; and therefore I should say 
to you, ' Go thy ways, and God shield 
thee' — ^but,Pisistratus,yo«r mother /^ 

" Ah, sir, that is indeed the ques- 
tion ! and there indeed I shrink. But^ 
after all, whatever I were — whether 
toiling at the bar, or in some pub- 
lic office — I should be still si- 
much from home and her. And thei 
you, sir — she loves you so entirely, 
that " 

" No," interrupted my fhther ; "you 
can advance no arguments like these 



* Words coined by lir. Caxton firaxi 
vAeuwrucoc, disposed to roaming, and e^oJU 
Aorptow, to export, to alieaate. 



930 



THE CAXTONSfi 



to tooch a motber's heart. There is when you want to go oat^ tap ma 
bat one argument that oomes home ; on the shoulder, and say * Come.' At 
th e r e i s it for your good to leave ! the end of those two months I will 
her ? If so, there will be no need of , say to you ' Go/ or ' Stay/ And yoa 



fhrther words. But let ns not decide 
that question hastily; let you and I 
be together the next two months. 
Bring your books and sit with me; 



will trust me ; and if I say the last^ 
you will submit ?" 
" Oh yes, sir — ^yes !** 



CHAPTER II. 



Thu ooinpact made^ my ikther 
rpQsed himself firom all his studies-^ 
dievoted his whole thoughts to me-« 
sought with all his gentle wisdom to 
wean me imperceptibly from my one 
fixed tyrannical idea, ranged throc^h 
hjw wide pharmacy of books ibr such 
medicaments as might alter the sys- 
tem of my thoughts. And little 
thought he that his veiy tenderness 
and wisdom worked against him, for 
at each new instance of either my 
heart called aloud, "Is it not that 
thy tenderness may be repaid, and thy 
wisdom be known abroad, that I go 
iirom thee into the strange land, my 
father !" 

And the two months expired, and 
n^y fiither saw that the magnet had 
turned unalterably to the loadstone in 
the great Augtralasian Bight ; and he 
■aid to me, " Go, and comibrt^ your 
mother. I have told her your wish, 
and authorised it by my consent, for I 
believe now that it is for your good." 

I found my mother in the little 
room she had appropriated to. herself 
next my father's study. And in that 
room there was a pathos which I have 
no words to express ; for my mother's 
meek, gentle, womanly soul spoke 
there> so that it was the Home of 
Home. The care with which she had 
transplanted from the brick house, 
and lovingly arranged, all the humble 
memorials of old times, dear to her. 
aflfoctions — the black mlhouette of my : 



, father's profile cut in paper, in the fnQ 
pomp of academics, cap and gown, 
(bow had he ever consented to sit for 
it !) framed and glazed in the place of 
honour over the little hearth; and 
boyish sketches of mine at the Hellenie 
Institute, first essays in sepia and. 
Indian ink, to animate the walls, and 
bring her back, when she sat there in 
the twilight musing alone, to sonny 
hours, when Sisty and the yoong 
mother threw daisies at eaeh other ^-• 
and, covered with a great glass shade, 
and dusted eadi day with her own 
hand, the flower-pot Sisty had bought 
with the proceeds of the domino-box, 
on that memorable occasion on which 
he had learned " how bad deeds «re 
repaired with good." There, in one 
comer, stood the little cottage pianos 
which I remembered all my life— old* 
fashioned, and with the jingling voice 
of approaching decrepitude^ bat still 
associated with such melodies aa^ after 
childhood, we hear never more ! And 
in the modest hanging shelves^ which 
looked so gay with ribbon^ and tas* 
sels, and nlken oords — ^my mother'a 
own library, saying more to the heart 
than all the cold wise poeta whose 
souls my father invoked in his giand 
Heraclea. The Bible over which, with 
eyes yet untaught to read».I hadhong 
in vague awe, and love^ as it lay open 
on my mother's ]aa^ while her sweet 
voices then only serious, was made thft 
otbcIq of iti trutba. fjid vaij finl 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



831 



lesson-tjooks were there, all hoarded. 
And bpund in blue and gold, but elabo- 
lately papered up, Cotoper^s Poems'-^ 
a gift from my lather in the days of 
courtship — sacred treasure, which not 
even I had the privilege to touch; 
Mid which my mother took out only 
in the great crosses and trials of con- 
jugal lii^, whenever some words less 
kind than usual had dropped unawares 
from her scholar's abscnit lips. Ah ! 



all these poor household gods, all 
seemed to look on me with mild 
angOT ; and from all came a voice to 
my soul, ''Cruel, dost thou forsake 
us !" And amongst them sat my 
mother, desolate as Rachel, and weep* 
ing silently. 

"Mother! mother!" I cried, fell- 
ing on her neck, " forgive me— it is 
past — I cannot leave you 1' 



i« 



CHAPTER III. 



•'No — ^no! it is for your good — 
Austin says so. Go — it is but the 
first shock." 

Then to my mother I opened the 
sluices of that deep I had concealed 
from scholar and solcUer. To her I 
poured all the wild, restless thoughts 
whidi wandered through the ruins of 
love destroyed — to her I confessed 
what to myself I had scarcely before 
avowed. And When the picture of 
that, the darker, side of my mind was 
ahown, it was with a prouder face, 
and less broken voice, that I spoke of 
the manlier hopes and nobler aims 
that gleamed across the wrecks and 
fhe desert, and showed me my escape. 

" Did you not once say, mother, 
that you had felt it like a rehiorse, 
that my Other's genius passed so 
noiselessly away, — half accusing the 
happiness you gave him for the death 
of bis ambition in the content of his 
mind ? Bid yon not feel a new ob- 
ject in life when the ambition revived 
at last, and you thought you heard 
the applause of the world murmuring 
round your scholar's cell? Did you 
not share in the day-dreams your 
brother conjured up, and exclaim, ' If 
my brotlier could be the meiins of 
raising him in the world !' and when 
foa thought we had found the way to 



fkme and fortune, did you not sob 
out from your full heart, ' And it is 
my bi^other who will pay back to hU 
son — all — all he gave up for me' P" 

" I cannot bear this, Sisty ? — cease^ 
cease!" 

"No; for do you not yet under* 
stand me ? Will it not be better still, 
if your son — ^yours — ^restore to your 
Austin all that he lost, no matter 
how ? If through your son, mother, 
you do indeed make the world hear 
of your husband's genius — ^restore the 
spring to his mind, the glory to his 
pursuits — if you rebuild even that 
vaunted ancestral name, which is glory 
to our poor sonless Roland — ^if your sou 
can restore the decay of generations, 
and reconstruct fr^m the dust the' 
whole house into which you have en- 
tered, its meek presiding angel ? — ah, 
mother ! if this can be done, it will' 
be your work; for tmless you can' 
share my ambition — ^unless you can 
dry those eyes, and smile in my face, 
and bid me go, with a cheerful voice 
— all my courage melts from my 
heart, and agidn I say, I cannot leave 
you !" 

Then my mother folded her arms' 
round me, and we both wept, and 
could not speak-^biit we were both 
•happy. 



S33 



THE CAXTONSs 



CHAFTEB IV. 



Now tbe worst was over, and my 
mother was the most heroic of xa all. 
80 I began to prepare myself in good 
earnest, and I followed Trevanion's 
Instructions with a perseverance which 
t could never, at that young day, 
have thrown into the dead life of 
books. I was in a good school, amongst 
our Cumberland ^eep-walks, to learn 
those simple elements of rural art 
which, belong to the pastoral state. 
Mr. Sidney, in his admirable Au9tr€^ 
Uan Hand-Booh, recommends young 
gentlemen who think of becoming 
settlers in the Bosh to bivouac for 
three months on Salisbuiy Plain. 
That book was not then written, or I 
might have taken the advice ; mean- 
while I think, with due respect to 
•uch authority, that I went through 
k preparatory tndning quite as useful 
m seasoning the future emigrant. I 
associated readily with the kindly 
peasants and craftsmen, who became 
my teachers. With what pride I 
presented my &ther with a desk, and 
my mother with a work-box, fashioned 
by my own hands I I made Bolt a 
lock for his plate-chest, and (that last 
was iny magiram opus, my great 
masterpiece) I repaured and absolutely 
set going an old turret-dock in the 
tower, that had stood at 2 p.m. since 
£he memory of man. I loved to 
think, each time the hour sounded, 
that those who heard its deep chime 
would remember me. But the flocks 
were my main care. The sheep that 
I tended and helped to shear, and the 
lamb that I hooked out of the great 
marsh, and the three venerable ewes 
that I nursed through a mysterious 
sort of murrain, which puzzled all the 
n^ghbourhood — are they not written 
in thy loving chronicles, House of 
CaxtonI 



And now, since much of the sneoess 
of my experiment must depend on tlie 
friendly terms I could establish with 
my intended partner, I wrote to Tre- 
vanion, begging him to get the young 
gentleman who was te join me, and 
whose capital I was to administer, to 
come and visit us. Trevanion com» 
plied, and there arrived a tall fellow, 
somewhat more than six feet high, 
answering to the name of Guy Bolding; 
in a cut-away sporting-coat, with a 
dog-whistle tied to the button-hole; 
drab shorts and gaiters, and a waist- 
coat with all manner of strange fur* 
tive pockets. Guy Bolding had lived 
a year and a half at Oxford as a ** fast 
man;'' so "fast" had he lived that 
there was scarcely a tradesman at 
Oxford into whose books he bad not 
contrived to run. 

His father was compelled to with^ 
draw him from the university, at 
whidi he had already had the honour 
of being plucked for "the little go;** 
and the young gentleman, on b^ng 
asked for what profession he was fit, 
had replied with conscious pride," That 
he could tool a coach V* In despair* 
the sire, who owed his living to Tre- 
vanion, had asked the statesman's ad- 
vice, and the advice had fixed me with 
a partner in expatriation. 

My first feeling, in greeting the 
"fiist" man, was certainly that of 
deep disappointment and strong re- 
pugnance. But I was determined 
not to be too fastidious; and, having 
a lucky knack of suiting mysdf pretty 
well to all tempers (without wliich a 
man had better not think of load- 
stones in the great Australasian 
Bight), 1 contrived before the first 
week was out to estabUsh so many 
points of connection between us^ that 
we became the best friends in the 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



m 



motld. Indeed, it would have been 
my fault if we bad not, for Guy 
Bolding, witb all bis feults, was one 
of tboae excellent creatures who are 
nobody's enemies bat their own. His 
good-humoor was inexbanstible. Not 
a hardship or privation came amiss 
to him. He had a phrase "Snch 
fhn \" that always rushed laughingly 
to his lips when another man would 
have cursed and groaned. If we lost 
our way in the great trackless moors, 
missed our dinner, and were half- 
fiimished, Guy rubbed hands that 
would have felled an ox, and chuckled 
out " Such fun \" If we stuck in a 
bog, if we were caught in a thunder- 
storm, if we were pitched head-over- 
heels by the wild colts we undertook 
to break in, Guy Bolding's sole elegy 
was '' Such fun !" That grand shib- 
boleth of philosophy only forsook him 
at the sifffat of an open book. I den't 
think that, at that iime, he could 
)iave found "fun'' even in Don 
Quixote. This hilarious temperament 
had no insensibility ; a kinder heart 
never beat, — but, to be sure, it beat 
to a strange, restless, tarantula sort 
of measure, which kept it in a per- 
petual danc(5. It made him one of 
those officiously good fellows, who are 
never quiet themselves, and never let 
any one else be quiet if they can help 
it. But Guy's great &ult, in this 
prudent world, was his absolute in- 
eontinence of money. If you had 
tmmed a Euphrates of gold into his 
podcets at morning, it would have 
been as dry as the great Sahara by 
twelve at noon. What he did with 
the money was a mystery as much to 
himself as to every one else. His &- 
ther said in a letter to me, that ^ he 
had seen him shying at sparrows with 
half-crowns!" That such a young 
man could come to no good in Eng- 
land, seemed perfectly dear. Still, it 
is recorded of many great men, who 
did not end their days in a workhouse^ 



that they were equally non-retenlive 
of money. Schiller, when he had 
nothing else to give away, gave the 
dothes from his back, and Goldsmith 
the blankets firom bis bed. Tender 
hands found it necessary to pick 
Beethoven's podsets at home before 
he walked out. Great heroes, who 
have made no scruple of robbing the 
whole world, have been just as kvish 
as poor poets and musidans. Alex* 
ander, in parcelling out his spoils, left 
himself ** hope !" And as for Julius 
Csesar, he was two millions in debt 
when he shied his last half-crown at 
the sparrows in GauL Encouraged 
by these illustrious examples, I had 
hopes of Guy Bolding; and the more 
as he was so aware of his own in- 
firmity that he was perfectly contented 
with the arrangement which made me 
treasurer of his capital, and even be-i 
sought me, on no account, let him be^ 
ever so hard, to permit his own money 
to come in his own way. In fiict, I 
contrived to gain a great ascendancy 
over his simple, generous, thoughtless 
nature ; and by artful appeals to his 
affections — ^to all he owed to his &•* 
ther for many bootless sacrifices, jmd 
to the duty of providing a little dower 
for his infiuit idster, whose meditated 
portion had half gone to pay his col-« 
lege debts — I at last succeeded in fiz<« 
ing into his mind an object to save- 
for. 

Three other companions £d I select 
for our Cleruchia. The first was the 
son of our old shepherd, who had 
lately married, but was not yet en- 
cumbered with children, — a good 
shepherd, and an intelligent, steady 
fellow. The second was a very djfn 
forent diaracter; he had been the 
dread of the whole squirearchy. A 
more bold and dexterous poacher did 
not exist. Now my acquaintance 
with this latter person, niuned Will 
Peterson, and more popularly '* Will 
0* the yhs]^" had commenced thuii 



9H 



THE CAXTONSt 



— -Bolt had nflnaged to rear in k 
inudl oopM about a mUe from the 
hoiue— and whidi was tbe only bit of 
ground in my nude's domains that 
Slight by ooortesy be called "a wood*' 
-*-a young colony of pbeasantsy that 
)ie dignified by the title of a "pre- 
serve." This colony was andadously 
despoiled and grievously depopulated, 
in spite of two watchers, who, with 
Bolt, guarded for seven nights succes- 
lively the slumbers of the infant set- 
tlement. So insolent was the assault, 
that bang, bang went the felonious 
g^n — ^behind, before — ^within but a 
few yards of the sentinels — and the 
gunner was off, and the prey seized, 
before they could rush to Uae spot. 
The boldness and skill of the enemy 
90on proclaimed him, to the experi- 
enced watchers, to be Will o' the 
Wisp : and so great was their dread 
of this fellow's strength and courage, 
and so complete their despair of being 
8 match for his swiftness and cunning, 
that after the seventh nijght the 
^jvatchers refused to go out any longer; 
oad poor Bolt himself was confined to 
his bed by an attack of what a doctor 
would have called rheumatism, and a 
moralist, rage. My indignation and 
sympathy were greatly excited by 
this mortifying £ulure, and my in- 
terest romantically aroused by the 
anecdotes I had heard of Will o' the 
Wisp; accordingly, armed with a thick 
bludgeon, I stde out at night, and 
took my way to tbe copse. The leaves 
nf ere not off the trees^ and how the 
poacher contrived to see his victims I 
know not; but five shots did he fire, 
and not -in vain, without' allowing me 
to catch a glimpse of him. I then 
Betreated to the outskirt of the copse, 
and waited patiently by an angle, 
-^hich commanded two sides of the 
wood. Just as the dawn began to 
pieep, T saw my man emerge within 
tJtventy yards of me. I held my breath, 
iofferedhim togeta&ar steps firom the* 



wood, crept on so as to interoeiyt 
retreat^ and then pounce — such a 
bound ! My hand was on his shoulder 
— ^prr, prr,— 'UO eel was ever more 
lubricate. He slid from me like a 
thing immaterial, and was off over 
the moors with a swiftness which 
might well have baffled any clod* 
hopper — a race whose calves are ge- 
nerally absorbed in the soles of their 
hobnail shoes. But the HeQenie In* 
stitute, with its classical gymnasia, had 
trained its pupils in all bodily exei^ 
cises; and thoi^ the Will o' the Wisp 
was 4wiffc fi)r a ck)dhopper, he was no 
match at running for any youth who 
has spent his boyhood in the disdpline 
of cricket, prisoner's bar, and hunt^ 
the-hare. I reached him at lengthy- 
and brought him to bay. 

" Stand back !" said he, panting, 
and taking urn with his gun : «it ii 
loaded." 

" Yes," said I ; " but though you're 
a brave poacher, you dare not fire at 
your fellow-man. Crive up the g^ 
this instant." 

My address took him by surprise; 
he did not fire. I struck up the 
barrel, and closed on him. We grap^ 
pled pretty tightly, and in the wrestle 
the gun went off. The man loosened 
his hold. " Lord ha' mercy ! P 
have not hurt you ?** he said Mter^ 
ingly. 

"My good fellow> — no,** said 1} 
"and now let us throw aside gan 
and bludgeon, and fight it out like 
Englishmen, or else let us sit down 
and talk over it like friends.^' 

The Will o' the Wisp scratched itv 
head and laughed. 

"Well, you're a queer one !" quoth^ 
it. And the poacher dropped the 
gun and sat down. 

We did talk it over, and I obtuned* 
Peterson's promise to respect the pre- 
serve hencefbrth; and we thereon' 
grew so cordial that he walked home^ 
with me, andewn^resented me^ shyly 



A FAMILT PICTURE. 



93» 



and apo&ogeiicanyy with tke five phea- 
fiants he had shot. From that time I 
loaght him out. He was a young 
fellow not four and twenty, who had 
taken to poaching from the wild sport 
of the things and from some confused 
notions that he had a licence frtxm 
Nature to poach. I soon found out 
that he was meant for hetter things 
than to spend nx months of the 
twelve in prison, and finish his life on 
the gallows after killing a game- 
keeper. That seemed to me his most 
prohahle destiny in the Old World, so 
I talked him into a huming desire for 
the New one: and a most valuable aid 
in the Bush he proved too. 

My third selection was in a person- 
age who could bring little physical 
strength to help us, bat who had more 
mind (though with a wrong twist in 
it) t^ban both the others put together. 

A worthy couple in the vilhqgfe had 
a son, who being slight and puny, 
compared to the Cumberland breed, 
was shouldered out of the market of 
agricultural labour, and went off, yet 
s boy, to a manufacturing town. Now 
about the age of thirty, this mechanic^ 
disabled for his work by a long illness^ 
came home to recover ; and in a short 
time we heard of nothing but the 
pestilential doctrines with which he 
was either shocking or infecting our 
primitive villagers. According to re- 
port, CoK^ra itself never engendered 
a democrat more awfuL The poor 
man was really very ill, and his 
parents very poor; but his unfortu- 
nate doctrines dried up all the streams 
of charity that usually flowed through 
our kin<Uy hamlet. The clergyman 
(an excellent man, but of the old 
school) walked by the house as if it 
were tabooed. The apothecary said, 
"Miles S<][uare ought to have wine;'' 
but he did not send him any. The 
fiirmers held his name in execration, 
fiir he had incited all their labourers 
to strike for another shilling a-week. 



And but fbr the old Tower, Mile^ 
Square would soon have found his way 
to the only republic in which he coul4 
obtain that democratic fratemisatioii 
for which he aghed — ^the grave being, 
I suspect the sole commenwealtt\ 
which attains that dead flat of social 
equality, that life in its every prin**; 
ciple so heartily abhors. 

My unde went to see Miles Square^ 
and came back the colour of purple^ 
Miles Square had preached him i| 
long sermon on the unholiness ci war« 
" Even in defence of your king and 
country!'' had roared the Captain i 
and Miles Square had rephed with i| 
remark upon kings in general, that 
the Captain could not have repeated 
without expecting to see the old 
Tower fall about his ears; and with; 
an observation about the country in 
particular, to the effect that "the 
country would be much better off if i(i 
were conquered!" On hearing the 
report of these loyal and patriotiQ 
repliesf, my fi&ther s^d, ** Papie I" 
and, roused out of his usoal philoso? 
phical indifference went himself to 
visit Miles Square. My fiither re» 
turned as pale as my unde had been 
purple. *'And to think," said he 
moumfoUy, " that in the town whence 
this man comes, there are, he tells 
me, ten thousand other of Ood's 
cr^ures who speed the work of civi* 
lisation while execrating its laws !" 

But neither father nor unde mad^ 
any opposition when, with a basket 
ladto with wine and arrow-root, and 
a neat little Bible, bound in brown, 
my mother took her way to the ex« 
communicated cottage. Her visit was 
as signal a &ilure as those that pre^ 
ceded it. Miles Square refused the 
basket; "he was not going to accept 
alms, and eat the bread of charity ;'' 
and on my mother meekly suggesting 
that, «if Mr. Miles Square' would 
condescend to look into the Bible, hi^ 
would see that even diariig^ was n% 



^36 



THE OAXTONSt 



t&n in giver or reciinent/' Mr. Miles 
Square had undertaken to prove "that, 
according to the Bible, he had as mnch 
ft right to my mother's property as 
she had — that all things shonld be in 
common — and, when all things were 
in common, what became of charity ? 
Ko; be ooold not eat my uncle's 
arrow-root, and drink his wine, while 
xny uncle was improperly withholding 
from him and his fellow-creatures so 
many unprofitable acres: the land 
belonged to the people.*' It was now 
the turn of Pisistratns to go. He 
vent once, and he went often. Miles 
Square and Pisistratns wrangled and 
ai^pied — argued and wrangled — and 
ended by taking a fimcy to each other; 
ior this poor Miles Square was not 
half so bad as his doctrines. His 
errors arose from intense sympathy 
with the sufferings he had witnessed, 
amidst the misery which accompanies 
the reign of millocraiUm, and from 
the vague aspirations of a half-taugbt, 
impassioned, earnest nature. By de- 
grees, I persuaded him to drink the 
wine and eat the arrow-root, en at- 
tendatU that millennium which was to 
restore the land to the people. And 
then my mother came again and 
softened his hearty and« for the first 
time in his life^ let into it-s cold 
erotchets the warm light of human 
gratitude. I lent him some books, 
amongst others a few volumes on 
▲nstnilia. A passage in one of the 



latter, in which it was said ''that an 
intelligent mechanic usually made his 
way in the colony, even as a shepherd, 
better than a dull ag^cultnral la* 
bourer," caught hold of his fimcy, and 
seduced his aspirations into a healthfid 
direction. Finally, as he recovered, 
he entreated me to let him accompany 
me. And as I may not have to return 
to Miles Square, I think it right here 
to state, that he did go with me to 
Australia, and did succeed, first as a 
shepherd, next as a 8uperintendant» 
and finally, on saving money, as a 
landowner; and that, in spite of his 
opinions of the unLoliness of war, he 
was no sooner in possesaon of a com* 
fortable log homestead, than he de- 
fended it with uncommon gallantry 
against an attack of the aborigines^ 
whose right to the sdl was, to say the 
least of it, as good as his claim to my 
uncle's acres; that he commemo* 
rated his subsequent acquisition of a 
fresh allotment, with the stock on it^ 
by a little pamphlet, published at 
Sydney, on the Samftity of the SighU 
of Property; and that, when I left 
the colony, having been much pestered 
by two refractory "helps" that he 
had added to his establishment, he had 
just distinguished himself by a very 
anti-lcvelling lecture upon the duties 
of servants to their employers. What 
would the Old World have done for 
this man! 



CHAPTER V. 



I HAD not been in haste to con- 
clude my arrangements, for, indepen- 
dently df my wish to render myself 
acquainted with the small useful 
crafts that might be necessary to me 
in a life that makes the individual 
man a state in himself, I naturally 
desured to habituate my kindred to 
the idea of onr separation, and to plan 



and provide for them all such sub- 
stitutes or distractions, in oompensa* 
tion for my loss, as my fertile imagi- 
nation could suggest. At first, fer 
the sake of Blanche, Roland, and my 
mother, I talked the Captain into re- 
luctant sanction of his sister-in-law's 
proposal, to unite their incomes and 
share alike, without connderlng which 



A FAMILY PICTURK. 



937 



party Inooght the larger proportion 
into the firm. I represented to him 
that, nnleas he made that sacrifice of 
his pride, my mother would be wholly 
withoat those little notable uses and 
objects — those small household plea- 
sures — so dear to woman; tha^ all 
society in the neighbourhood would 
be impossible, and that my mother's 
time would hang so heavily on her 
hands, that her only resource would 
be to muse on the absent one and fret. 
Nay, if he persisted in so Mae a pride, 
I told him, fairly, that I should ui^ 
my father to leave the Tower. These 
representations succeeded, and hospi- 
tality had commenced in the old hall, 
and a knot of gossips had centred 
round my mother — ^groups of laugh- 
ing cbilcben had relaxed the still brow 
of Blanche — and the captfun himself 
was a more cheerful and social man. 
My next point was to engaf^e my fa- 
ther in the completion of the Great 
Book. " Ah, sir,'' said I, " give me 
an inducement to toil, a reward for 
my industry. Let me think, in each 
tempting pleasure^ each costly vice — 
No, no; I will save for the Great 
Book ! and the memory of the fiither 
shall still keep the son firom error. 
Ah, look you, sir! Mr. Trevanion 
ofiiered me the loan of the £1500 ne- 
cessary to commence with; but you 
generously and at once sfdd — ' No ; 
you must not begin life under the load 
of debt.' Andlknewyouwererightand 
yielded — ^yielded the more grateftdly 
that I could not but forfeit something 
of the just pride of manhood in in- 
curring such an obligation to the fa- 
ther of — Miss Trevanion. Therefore 
I have taken that sum firom you — a 
sum that would almost have sufficed 
to establish your younger and wor- 
thier child in the world for ever. To 
that child let me repay it, otherwise 
I will not take it. Let me hold it as 
a trust for the Great Book ; and pro- 
mise me that the Great Book shall 



be ready when yomr wanderer retains* 
and accounts for the misang talent.** 

And my fiither pished a little, and 
rubbedoff thedewthathad gathei ed oa 
his spectacles. But I would not leave 
him in peace till he had given me his 
word that the Great Book should go 
on d p<u dM giant — nay, till I had 
seen him sit down to it with good 
heart, and the wheel went round 
again in the quiet mechanism ci that 
gentle life. 

Finally, and as the culminating 
acme of my diplomacy, I effected the 
purchase cMf the neighbouring apothe* 
cary's practice and good-will for 
Squills, upon terms which he wil* 
lingly subscribed to ; for the poor man 
had pined at the loss of his favourite 
patients, though. Heaven knows, they 
did not add much to his income. And 
as for my &ther, there was no man 
who diverted him more than Squills^ 
though he accused him of being a ma* 
terialist, and set his whole spiritual 
pack of sages to worry and bark at 
him, from Plato and Zeno to Beid 
and Abraham Tucker. 

Thus, although I have very loosely 
intimated the flight of time, more 
than a whole year elapsed firom the 
date of our settlement at the Tower 
and that fixed for my departure. 

In the meanwhile, despite the rarity 
amongst us of that phenomenon, a 
newspaper, we were not so utterly cut 
off fix)m the sounds of the fiur-boom« 
ing world beyond, but what the intel* 
ligence of a change in the administra* 
tion, and the appcnntment of Mr* 
Trevanion to one of the great offices 
of state reached our ears. I had kept 
up no correspondence with Trevanion 
subsequent to the letter that occa- 
sioned Guy Bolding's vi^t ; I wrote 
now to congratulate him : bis reply 
was short and hurried. 

An intelligence that startled me 
more, and more deeply moved my 
hearty was oonveyed to me, some three 



tSB 



THE CAXTONS 



nonths or lo befim my departare, 
1)7 Treranion'g steward. The ill 
^lealth of Lord Castleton had deferred 
ius marriage, intended originally to 
'be celebrated as soon as he arrived of 
•ge. He left the nniversity with the 
^nonrs of "a double "first class;" and 
his oonstitation appeared to rally from 
the effects of studies more severe to 
lum than they might have been to a 
man of quicker and more biiUiant ca- 
pacities — when a feverish cold, caught 
at a county meeting, in which his first 
frablic appearance was so creditable as 
fully to justify the warmest hopes 
of his party, produced inflammation 
of the lungs, and ended fatally. The 
startling contrast forced on my mind 
«-~liere, sudden death and cold clay — 
there, youth in its first flower,princely 
rank, boundless wealth, the sanguine 
expectation of an illustrious career, 
and the prospect of that happiness 
which smiled from the eyes of Fanny 
•»— that contrast impressed me with a 
itrange awe: death seems so near to 
iui when it strikes those whom life 



most flatters and caresses. Whence 
is that curious sympathy that we all 
have with the possessors of worldly 
greatness, when the hour-glass is 
shaken and the scythe descends? If 
the fiunous meeting between Dio- 
genes and Alexander had taken place 
not before, but after the achievements 
which gave to Alexander the name of 
Great, the cynic would not, perhaps^ 
have envied the hero his pleasures nor 
his splendours — ^neither the charms of 
Statira nor the tiara of the Mede ; 
but if, the day after, a cry had gone 
forth, " Alexander the Grreat is deadP 
verily I believe that Diogenes wonld 
have coiled himself up in his tub, and 
felt that, with the shadow of the 
stately hero, something of glory and 
of warmth had gone from that san** 
which it should darken never more. 
In the nature of man, the humblest 
or the hardest, there is a something 
that lives in all of the Beautiful or 
the Fortunate, which hope and desire 
have appropriated, even in the vami> 
ties of a childish dream. 



CHAPTEB VL 



• ^'Wht are yon hereall alone, cousin? 
How cold and still it is amongst the 
graves!" 

'* Sit down bende me, Blanche ; it 
is not colder in the churchyard than 
on, the village green." 

• And Blanche sat down beside me, 
nestled close to me, and leant her 
head upon my shoulder. We were 
both long silent. It was an eviening 
in the early spring, clear and serene 
»^the roseate streaks were fading 
gradually from the dark grey of long, 
narrow, fantastic douds. Tall, leaf- 
less poplars, that stood in orderly 
level line, on the lowland between the 
churchyard and the hill, with its 
crown of ruins, left their sharp sum- 
mns distinct against the sky. Bat 



the shadows coiled duQ and beavy 
round the evergreens that skirted the 
churchyard, so that their outline was 
vague and confused ; and there 
was a depth in that lonely still- 
ness, broken only when the thrush 
flew out from the lower bushes, and 
the thick laurel leaves stirred reluo- 
tantly, and again were rigid in repose. 
There is a certain melancholy in the 
evenings of early spring, which is 
among those influences of Nature 
the most universally recognised, the 
most difficult to explain. The silent 
stir of reviving life, which does not 
yet betray ragns in the bud and blos- 
som—only in a softer deamess in the 
air, a more lingering pause in the 
slowly lengthening day; a more deli- 



A FAMILY PICTDllB. 



630 



este fresktieflB and Mm in the twi- 
light atmosphere; a more lively, yet 
still nnqniet note from the birids, 
settling down'Hnto their ooverts; — 
the vague sense xmder all that hush, 
which still outwardly wears the bleak 
sterility of winter — of the busy 
.vhange, hourly, momently, at work 
.—renewing the youth of the worlds 
/edothing with vigorous bloom the 
^eletons of things — all these mes- 
«age8 from the heart of Nature to the 
heart of Man may well affect and 
move us. But why wit{i melancholy? 
2^0 thought on our part connects and 
construes the low, gentle voices. It 
Is not tkouffhi that replies and rea- 
sons: it is feeling that hears and 
^breams. Exanune not, O child of 
man! — examine not that mysterious 
melancholy with the hard eyes of thy 
reason ; thou canst not impale it on 
the spikes of thy thorny logic, nor 
describe its enchanted circle by pro- 
blems conned from thy schools. Bor- 
derer thyself of two worlds — ^the Dead 
and the Living — give thine ear to the 
tones, bow thy soul to the shadows, 
that steal, in the Season of Change, 
from the dim Border Land. 

Blanche, (in a whisper.) — ^What 
are you thinking of? — speak, pray! 

PisiSTBATUS. — I was not thinking, 
Blanche ; or, if I were, the thought 
is gone at the mere effort to seize or 
detain it. 

Blanche, (after a pause.) — I know 
what you mean. It is the same with 
me often — so often, when I am sitting 
by myself, quite still. It is just like 
the story Frimmins was telling us the 
other evening, "how there wds a 
woman in her village who saw things 
and people in a piece of crystal, not 
bigger than my hand :* they passed 

* In primitiye yiUagea, in the west of 
EngUmd, the belief that the absent may be 
seen in a piece of crystal is, or was not 
many years ago, by no means an uncommon 
superstition. I bare seen more than one of 
these magic mirrors, which Spenser, by the 



along as large as We, but they were 
only pictures in the crystal." Since 1 
heard the story, when aunt asks me 
what I am thinking o^ I kmg to say^, 
** Vm. not thinking ! I am seeing pic* 
tnres in the crystal !" 

FiBiSTBATUs. — Tell my father 
that} h will please him. There is 
more philosophy in it than you vr% 
aware of, Blanche. There are wise 
men who have thought the whole 
world, its '' pride, pomp, and circum- 
stance," only a phantom image— Ht 
picture in the crystal. 

Blanche. — ^And I shall see you-* 
see us both, as we are sitting here-— 
and that star which has just risen 
yonder — see it all in my crystal-— 
when you are gone!— ^gone, cousin I 
(And Blanche's head drooped.) 

There was something so quiet and 
deep in the tenderness of this poor 
motherless child, that it did not affect 
one superficially, like a child's loud 
momentary affection, in which we 
know that the first toy will replace 
us. I kissed my little cousin's pale 
fiice, and said, " And I too, Blanche^ 
have my crystal ; and when I consult 
it, I shall be very angry if I see you 
sad and fretting, or seated alone. For 
you must know, Blanche, that that is 
all selfishness. God made us, not to 
indulge only in crystal pictures, weave 
idle fancies^ pine alone, and mourn 
over what we cannot help — but to be 
alert and active — givers of happiness. 
Now, Blanche, see what a trust I am 
going to bequeath you. You are to 
supply my place to all whom I leave. 
You are to bring sunshine wherever 
you glide with that shy, soft step— - 

way, has beautifully described. They are 
about the size and shape of a swan's egg. 
It is not every one, however, who can be a 
ciTstal-seer ; like second-sight, it is a specisd 
girt. N.B. — Since the above note (appended 
to the first edition of this work) was written, 
crystals and crystal-seers have become very 
familiar to those who interest themselves in 
speculations upon the disputed phenomeoA 
ascribed to Mesmexioal Ckurvojfcmetm 



81-0 



THE CAXTONS 



whether to yofor father, when yoa see 
hiB browB knit and his arms crossed 
(that, indeed, yoa always do), or to 
mine, when the volaxne drops from 
hifl hand — when he walks to aikl fro 
the room, restless, and murmuring to 
himself— then you are to steal up to 
him, put your hand in his, lead him 
hack to his books» and whisper, ' What 
will Sisty say if his younger hrother, 
the Gtreat Book, is not grown up 
when he comes hack ?' — ^And my poor 
mother, Blanche! — ah, how can I 
counsel yon there — how tell you where 
to find comfort for her? Only, 
Blanche, steal into her heart and be 
her daughter. And, to fulfil this 
threefold trust, you must not Oontent 
yourself with* seeing pictures in the 
crystal— do yoa understand mo f" 



u 



Oh yes," tidd Blanche^ raism; 
her eyes, while the tears rolled from 
them, and folding her arms resolutely 
on her breast. * 

"And 80," said I,. "as we two, nt> 
ting in this quiet burial-ground, take 
new heart for the duties and cares of 
life, so see, Blandie, how the stars 
come out, one by one, to smile upon 
us; for they, too, glorious orbs as 
they are, perform their appcMoted 
tasks. Things seem to approximate to 
God in proportion to their vitality and 
movement. Qf aU things, least inert 
and sullen should be the soul of man. 
How the grass grows up over the very 
graves— quickly it g^ws and greenly 
—but neither so quick nor so greei^ 
my Blanche, as hope and oomfivt 
from human ■orrowi.'' 



▲ TIMILT PICTUBB. 



Hk 



PAET FOUETEENTH. 



CHAPTER I. 



Thsbb is a beantifol and singular 
passage in Dante (which has not per- 
haps attracted the attention it de- 
serves), wherein the stem Florentine 
defends Fortune from the popular 
accosations against her. According 
to him, she is an angelic power ap- 
pointed hy the Supreme Beang to 
direct and order the course of human 
splendours; she oheys the will of Qod; 
she is blessed, and, hearing not those 
who blaspheme her, calm and aloft 
amongst the other angelic powers^ re- 
volves her spheral course, fuid r^oioes 
in her beatitude.* 

This is a conception very different 
froma the popular notion which Aris- 
tophanes, in his true instinct of things 
popular, expresses by the sullen lips of 
his Plutus. That deity accounts for 
his blindness by saying, that ** when 
a boy, he had indiscreetly promised to 
viait only the good," and Jupiter was 
flo envious of the good that he blinded 
the poor money-god. Whereon Chre- 
mylas asks him, whether, "if he 
TOoovered his sight, he would firequent 
the company of the good ?" " Cer- 
tainly," qnoth Plutus, "for I -have 
not seen them ever so long." "Nor 
I either," rejoins Chremylus pthily, 
** for all I can see out of both eyes." 

But that misanthropical answer of 
Chremylus is neither here nor there, 
and only diverts us from the real 



* Dante here evidently aasooiatM Fortune 
with the planetwry influences of judicial as- 
teologr. It is doubtful whether Schiller ever 
read JJante; butinoneof hismostthon^t- 
ftalpoemshe undertakes the same defence 
of Fortune, making the Foxtonate a part of 
the Beautiful, 

Ko. 348. * 



question, and that is, "Whether For- 
tune be a heavenly. Christian ^oigel, 
or a blind, blundering, old heathen 
d^ty?" For my part, I hold with 
Dante— -ibr which, if I were so 
pleased, or if, at this period of my 
memoirs, I had half a dozen pages to 
spare, I could give many good reasons. 
One thing, however, is quite dear — 
that, whether Fortune be more like 
Plutus or an angel, it is no use abusing 
her— one may as well throw stones at 
a star. And I think if one looked 
narrowly at her operations^ one might 
perceive that she gives every man a 
chance, at least once in his life; if he 
take and make the best of it>, she will 
renew her visits; if not^ Uur ad 
attra I And therewith I am reminded 
of an incident quaintly narrated by 
Mariana in bis " History of Spain," 
how the army of the Spanish kings 
got out of a sad hobble among the 
mountains at the Pass of Loss, by the 
help of a shepherd, who showed them 
the way. "But," suth Mariana, 
parenthetically, "some do say the 
shepherd was an ange^ ; for, after he 
had shown the way, he was never 
seen more." That \a, the angelio 
nature of the g^oide was proved by 
being only once seen, and, after 
having got the army out of the 
hobble, leaving it to fight or run 
away, as it had most mind tob 
Now I look upon that shepherd or 
angel, as a very good type of my for- 
tune at least. The apparition showed 
me my way in the rocks to the great 
"Battieof Life;" after that,--ho]d 
fast and strike hard I 
B 16 



THE CAXTOKSt 



Behold me fai London with Uncle 
Bolflod. My poor parents natomlly 
iHflhed to aooompany vae, and take 
the last glimpse of the adventurer on 
hoard ship ; hut I, knowing that the 
parting would seem less dreadful to 
them by the hearthstone, and while 
they ooold say, " He is with Roland 
^he IB not yet gone from the land" 
••—insisted on their staying belmid; 
and thos the ftrewell was spoken. 
But Roland, the old toldieiv had so 
many practical instmctions to give^- 
eoold so hel^ me in the chmce of the 
(mtfit, and the preparations fbt tiie 
toyage, that I ooold not reftise his 
flompanionship to the last. Guy 
Bolding, wha had gona to take leave 



; of his &ther, was to join me in towi^ 

I as well as my hmnhler Cnmherland 
colleagaes. 

As my mide and I were both of 
one mind upon the question of eco- 
nomy, we to6k up our quarters at a 
lodging-house in the City ; and there 
it was that I first made acquaintjince 
with a part of London, of which few 
of my politer iMiders even pretend to 
he cognisant. I do not mean any 
sneer at the City itself, my dear alder- 
man; that jest is worn ont» I am 
not alluding to streets^ courts^ and 
lanes ; what I mean may be seen at 
the west end — not so w^ as at the 

I east, but still seen very £ur]y; I 

I mean — ^ikb Hovsi-tgps ! 



CHAPTER n. 

BEIVO ▲ CHAPTEB OK fiOUSE-tOPB. 



THt HOtrss-TOPs! what % sober- 
king effect that prospect produces on 
tbe mind. But a great many requi- 
sites go towards the selection of the 
tight point of survey. It is not 
enough to secure a lodging in the 
attic; you must not be fobbed off 
with a fhmt attic that faces the street, 
l^rst, your attic must be unequivocally 
m back attic ; secondly^ the house in 
which it is located must be slightly 
elevated above its ndghbours ; thirdly, 
lifae window must not lie slant on the 
roof, as is common with attics — ^in 
which case you only catch a peep of 
that leaden canopy which infatuated 
Londoners call the sky — but must be 
a window perpendicular, and not half 
tilocked up by the parapets of that 
fbsse called the gutter; and, lastly, 
the sight must be so humoured that 
you cannot catch a glimpse of the 
pavements : if you once see the world 
beneath, the whole charm of that 
world above is destroyed. Taking it 
for granted that you have secured 



these requintes^ open yonr 
lean your chin on both hands, tbe 
elbows propped oommodiously oa tbe 
sill, and contemplate the eztiaocidfiniry 
scene which spreads before you. Tot 
find it difficult to believe 1^ csn be 
so la^anquil on high, while it is so 
ninsy and turbulent below. What 
astonishing stillness ! Eliot Warboi^ 
ton (seductive enchanter!) reoom* 
mends you to sail dovm the Nile if yoa 
want to lull the vexed spirit. It is 
easier and cheaper to hire an attic ia 
Holbom ! You don't have the croco- 
diles, but you have animals no len 
hallowed in Egypt — the cats! And 
how harmoniously the tranquil crea- 
tures blend with the proepect — ^how 
ncnselessly they glide along at the 
distance, pause, "peer about, and dis- 
appear. It is only from the attie 
that you can appreciate the picta- 
resque which belongs to our domes- 
ticated tigerkin! The goat should 
be seen on the Alps, and the cat on 
the housG-top. 



A PAiiiLT Hcrnma 



%4S 



By degreef the oarioos eye takes 
the scenery in detail : and first, what 
fiuitastic variety in the heights and 
shapes of the diimney-pots ! Some 
all level in a row, nniform and respect- 
able, but quite uninteresting; others, 
again, rising out of all proportion, and 
imperatively tasking the reason to 
oonjeoture why they are so aspiring. 
Keason answers that it is bnt a homely 
ezpeciUent to give freer vent to the 
smoke ; wherewith Imagination steps 
in, and represents to you all the tee^ 
long, and fuming, and worry, and 
care, which the owners of that chim- 
ney, now the tallest of all, endured, 
before, by building it higher, th^ got 
rid of the vapoun. Tou see the dis- 
tress of the cook, when the sooty in- 
vader rushed down, " like a wolf on 
the fold," faiHX spring on the Sunday 
Joint. Yon hear the exdamations of 
the mistress (perhaps a brid^-^house 
newly ftimished) when, with white 
apron and cap, ehe ventured into the 
drawing Toom, and was straightway 
nhlted by a joyous dance of those 
moBads, oidled viilgarly smuts. You 
&el manly indignation at the brute of 
a liridegroom, who rushes out from the 
door> with the snmts dandbog after 
him, and swears, " Smoked out again ! 
By the Arch-smoker himself! I'll go 
and dine at the club/' All this 
might well have been, till the ohim- 
ney-pot was raised a few feet nearer 
heaven; and now perhaps that long- 
suffering family owns the happiest 
home in the Bow. Such oontrivanoes 
to get rid of the smoke ! It is not 
every one who merely heightens his 
chinmey; others dap on the hcUow 
tormentor all sorts of odd headgear 
aodoowls. Here> patent contrivances 
act the purpose of weathercocks, 
swaying to and fro with the wind; 
tbiire^ others stand as fixed, as if, by 
a "siejubeo,** they had settled the 
buoneas. But of all those houses that, 
in the street^ one passes by, unsus- 



picious of whalfs the matter within* 
there is not one in a hundred but 
what there has been the devil to do^ 
to cure the chimneys of smoking ! At 
that reflection. Philosophy dismisses 
the subject; and decides that, whether 
one lives in a hut or a palace, the first 
thing to do is to look to the heartb^- 
and get rid of the vapours. 

New beauties demand us. What 
endless undulations in the various de- 
clivities and ascents; here a slant, 
there a zig-zag! With what majestic 
disdain yon roof rises up to the left ! 
Doubtless, a palace of Qeiai or Gin 
(which last is the proper Arabic word 
for those builders of halls oht of no- 
thing, employed by Aladdin). Seeing 
only the roof of that palace boldly 
breaking the skyline — how serene 
your contemplations ! Perhaps a star 
twxukles over it, and you muse on soft 
eyes far away; while below, at the 
threshold— No, phantoms! we see you 
not from our attic Note, yonder, 
that precipitous faU — ^how ragged and 
jagged the roof-scene descends in a 
gorge. He who would travel on foot 
through the pass of th&t defile, of 
which we see but the picturesque 
summits, stops his nose, averts his 
eyes, guards his pockets, and hurries 
along through the squalor of the grim 
London lazzaroni. But, seen above, 
what a noble break in the skyline ! 
It would be sacrilege to exchange that 
fine gorge fi^r a dead flat of dull roof- 
tops. Look here — ^how delightful !— 
that desolate house with no roof at all 
-—gutted and skinned by the last Lon« 
don fire ! You can see the poor green- 
and-white paper still clinging to the 
walls, and the chasm that once was a 
cupboard, and the shadows gathering 
black on the aperture that once was 
a hearth ! Seen below, how quickly 
you would cross over the way ! That 
great crack forbodes an avaUmche;. 
you hold your breath, not to bring it 
down on your head. But^ seen above, 
b2 



94A 



THE CAXTOKS: 



what aeompanionate inqnitlfcive cbarm 
in the skeleton rain! How your 
ikncy mns riot — ^repoopling the cham- 
hen, hearing the last cheerfol good 
night of that destined Pompeii — 
ci'eeping on tiptoe with the mother, 
when ^e gives her fkrewell look to 
the bahy. Now all is midnight and 
silence ; then the red, crawling ser- 
pent comes out. Lo ! his breath ; 
hark! his hiss. Now, s^nre after 
spire he winds and he coils ; now he 
soars up erect — crest snperb, and 
forked tongue — ^the beantiful horror ! 
llien the start from the sleep, and the 
doubtfal awaking, and the run here 
and there, and the mother's msh to 
the cradle ; the cry from the window, 
and the knock at the door, and the 
spring of those on high towards the 
stair that leads to safety below, and 
the smoke mshing up like the surge 
of a hell ! And they run back stifled 
and blinded, and the floor heaves 
beneath them like a bark on the sea. 
Hark ! the grating wheels thundering 
low; near and nearer comes the en- 
gine. Fix the ladders ! — ^there ! there ! 
at the window, where the mother 
stands with the babe ! Splash and 
hiss comes the water ; pales, then flares 
out, the fire: foe defies foe; element, 



element. How snb^e is the war! 
But the ladder, theladder ! — ^there, at 
the window ! All else are saved : the 
clerk and his books ; the lawyer with 
that tin box of title-deeds; the land- 
lord, with his policy of inKuranoe ; the 
miser, with his bank-notes and gdd: 
all are saved— all, bat the babe and 
the mother. What a crowd in the 
streets ! how the light crimsons over 
the gazers, hundreds on hundreds! 
All those feces seem as one fiu», with 
fear. Not a man mounts the ladder. 
Yes, there— gaUant fellow ! God in- 
spires — God shall speed thee! How 
plainly I see him ! his eyes are dosed, 
his teeth set. The serpent leapa 
up, the forked tongue darts upon 
him, and the reek of the breath 
wraps him round. The crowd haa 
ebbed back like a sea» and the smoke 
rushes overthem aU. Ha ! what dim 
forms are those on the ladder ? Near 
and nearer — crash come the roof-tilei^ 
Alas, and alas ! — no ! a cry of joy— • 
"Thank Heaven!" and the womea 
force their way through the men to 
come round the child and the mother. 
All is gone save that skeleton ruin. 
But the ruin is seen from oftotw. O 
Art ! study life from the roQf«to|Nil 



CHAPTER m. 



I WAS again foiled in seeing Tre- 
▼anion. It was the Easter recess, and 
he was at the house of one of his 
brother ministers, somewhere in the 
north of England. But Lady EUinor 
vna in London, and I was ushered 
into her presence. Nothing could be 
more oorcUal than her manner, though 
she was evidently much depressed in 
spirits, and looked wan and careworn. 

After the kindest inquiries relative 
to my parents and' the Captain, she 
catered with much sympathy into my 
achemes and plans^ which she said 



Trevamon had confided to her. The 
sterling kindness that belonged to m j 
old patron (despite his affected ang^ 
at my not accepting his proffered 
loan) had not only saved me and mj 
fellow-adventurer all trouble as to 
allotment orders, bat procored advice 
as to choice of site and soSi, from the 
best practical experience^ which we 
found afterwards exceedingly nseftd. 
And as Lady EUinor gave me the little 
packet of papers, with Trevanion'e 
shrewd notes on the margin, she said 
with ft half sigh, <* Albert bids 



A FAMILY riVtVHE. 



845 



my that he wiihet he were as sanguine 
•f his snooess in the cabinet as of 
years in the Bush." She then turned 
to her husband's rise and prospects, 
and her face began to change. Her 
eyes sparkled, the colour came to her 
cheeks — " But you are one of the few 
who know him," she said, interrupting 
herself suddenly ; "you know how he 
sacrifices all things^ joy, leisure, 
health — ^to his oountiy. There is not 
one selfish thought in his nature. 
And yet such envy — such obstades 
still ! and " (her eyes dropped on ber 
dress, and I perceived that she was in 
mourning, though the mourning was 
not deep), *'an4" she added, "it has 
pleased Heaven to withdraw from his 
side one who would have been worthy 
his alliance." 

I felt for the proud woman, though 
her emolion seemed more that of pride 
than sorrow. And perhaps Lord 
Castleton's highest merit in her eyes 
had been that of ministering to ber 
busband's power and her own ambi- 
tion. I bowed my head in silence and 
thought of Fanny. Did she, too, pine 
for the lost rank, or rather mourn the 
lost lover? 

After a time, I said hesitatingly, 
"I scarcely presume to condole with 
you. Lady Ellinor ! yet believe me, few 
things ever shocked me like the death 
you allude to. I trust Miss Trevanion's 
health has not much sufiiered. Shall 
Inot see her befixre I leave England ?" 

Lady Ellinor fixed her keen bright 
^es searchingly on my countenance, 
and perhaps the gaze satisfied her, for 
she held out her hand to me with a 
frankness almost tender, and said— 
"Had I bad a son, the dearest wish of 
my heart bad been to see you wedded 
to my daughter." 

' I started up — ^the blood rushed to 
my cheeks, and then left me pale as 
doith. I looked reproachfully at 
Lady EUinor, and the woard " cruel !" 
^itoredon my lips. 



"Tes," oontinned Lady Ellmor, 
mournfully, "that was my real 
thought, my impulse of regret, when 
I first saw you. But, as it is, do 
not think me too hard and worldly, 
if I quote the lofty old French pro- 
verb, Noblesse oblige. Listen to mid, 
my young friend— we may never 
meet again, and I would not have 
your other's son think unkindly of 
me, with all my fiiults. From my 
first childhood I was ambitious — ^not 
as women usually are, of mere wealth 
and rank — but amlntious as noble men 
are, of power and fame. A woman 
can only indulge such amlntion by 
investing it in another. It was not 
wealth, it was not rank, that attracted 
me to Albert Trevanion: it was the 
nature that dispenses with the wealth, 
and commands the rank. Nay," con- 
tinued Lady Ellinor, in a voice that 
slightly trembled, " I may have seen 
in my youth, before I knew Tre- 
vanion, one (she paused a moment, and 
went on hurriedly) — one who wanted 
but ambition to have realised my 
ideaL Perhaps, even when I married 
— and it was said fi)r love— I loved 
less with my whole heart than with 
my whole mind. I may say this 
now, for now every beat of this pulse 
is wholly and only true to him with 
whom I have schemedji and toiled, and 
aspired ; with whom I have grown as 
one; with whom I have shared the 
struggle, and now partake the triumph^ 
realising the visions of my youth." 

Again the light broke frrom the 
dark eyes of this grand daughter 
of the world, who was so superb a 
type of that moral contradiction — am 
ambitious woman. 

" I cannot tell you," resumed Lady 
Ellinor, sofbening, " how pleased I waa 
when you came to live with us. Tour 
fiither has perhaps spoken to you of 
me, and of our fint acquaintance !" 

Lady Ellinor paused abruptly, and 
gurveyed meas she paused. I was nlent,* 



SM 



CAZTONa 



t» 



^ Terhtp^, too^ he has hlamad me ? 

■he resumed, with a heightened ooloiif. 

"Heneverhlamedjoo^LadyElliiiorr 

"He had a right to do so— • 
though I douht if he would have 
Uamed me oa the tme gromod. Yet 
no ; he never oonld haye done me the 
wrong that year node did, when, 
long yean ago, Mr. De Caxton in a 
letter— the very Inttemess of which 
disarmed all anger — eoeosed me of 
having trifled with Austin — ^nay, with 
himself! And ke, at least, had no 
right to reproach me^" continued 
Lady Ellinor wannly, and with a 
eurre of her haughty lip ; ''fiat if I 
&lt interest in Ida wild thirst iot 
some romantic gloiy, it was hot in the 
hope that, what made the one hrother 
•0 restless might at least wake the 
other to the amhitionthat would have 
become his intellect, and aroused his 
energies. Bnt these axe old tales of 
Ibllies and delusions now no more: 
only this will I say, that I have ever 
felt, in thinking of yomr ikther, and 
even of yoor stemer nnde^ as if my 
eonsdence reminded me of a debt 
which I longed to discharge— if not 
to them, to thdr children. So, when 
ve knew yoo, believe me, that your 
interests, yonr €areer,instantly beoune 
to me an object. But mistaking yon 
»-when I saw yoor ardent industry 
bent on serious olgectfl^ and accom- 
panied by a mind so freshand buoyant; 
and, absorbed as I was in schemes or 
projects far beyond a woman's ordi- 
aazy province of hearth and home— I 
sever dreamed, while you were our 
guest-^never dreamed of danger toyou 
cr Fanny. I wound yon — ^pardon me; 
but I must vindicate myself. I repeat 
that, if we had a son to inherit cur 
aame^ to bear the burthen whaeh the 
world lajjrs upon those who are bom to 
hifluence the world's destinies, there 
is no one to whom Ibrevanion and 
myself would sooner have entrusted 
the hapynesa of a dan gh te r . Botmy 



daughter is ths sole re p w e ntaiive of 
the mother's line, of the ihther^s 
name : it is not her happiness alone 
that I have to oonsult, it is her duty 
— ^uty to her birthright, to the 
career of the noblest of England's 
patriots— duty, I may say, without 
exaggeniasm, to the countiy for the 
sake of which that career is run V* 

"Say no more, Lady Ellinor; say 
no more. I understand you. I 
have no hope> — I never had hope — ^it 
was a madness — ^it is over. It is but 
as a friend that I ask again, if I may 
see Miss Trevaaion in your presence 
before-— before I go alone into this long 
exile, to leave;, perhaps^ my dust in a 
stranger's soil ! Ay, look in my fSioe 
—you cannot ftar my resolutioo, my 
honour, my truth. But once^ Lady Elfi* 
nor— butencemore. Do I adc in vain?'' 

Lady EUinw was evidently mndi 
moved. I bent down almost in the 
attitude of kneeling; and, brushing 
away her tean with one hand, she 
laid the other on my head tenderly^ 
and said in a yery low yoice— 

*' I entreat you not to aak me; I 
entreat you not to see my daughter. 
You have shown thatyon are not selfish 
-^-conqueryoorselfstilL Whatifsndian 
interview, however guarded yon might 
be^ were but to agitatei, mmerve my 
child, unsettle her peao^ prey upon-— ** 

''Oh, do not speak thue— she did 
not shaie my fiselkigB !" 

"Could her motiier own it if she 
did? Come, eome^ remember how 
young yon both are. When yon re< 
turn aU these dMMne will be for* 
gotten; then we can meet ae before 
—then I will be year second naottier, 
and again yom* career ahall be my care; 
for do not think that we shall leavv 
you so long in this exile as you seen 
toforbode. No, no; it is bat an ab- 
sence — an ^curston— -not a search 
after fofftune. Yomr fortune — kap» 
tihat to us when you retu»!" 

« And I am to see hei Bo Buesf X 



▲ FAMIL7 PICTITBB. 



1^/ 



urarmtvecl, as I nm, sn4 wont lile&tly 
towards the window to oonoeal my 
face. The great straggles in life are 
limited to moments. In the drooping 
of the head npon the hoiom — ia. the 
pressure of the hand upon the brow— 
we may scarcdly consume a second in 
oar threescore years and ten; but 
what revolutions of our whole being 
may pass within us, while that single 
sand drops noiseless down to the 
bottom of the hour-glass. 

I came back with firm step to Lady 
Eltinor^ and said calmly, '* My reason 
tells me that you are right, and I 
submit. Forgive me! and do not 
think me ungrateful and over-proud, 
if I add, that you must leave me still 
the object in life that consoles and 
encourages me through all." 

."What object is that?" asked 
Lady Ellinor, hesitatingly. 

'* Independence for myself, and ease 
to those lor whom lile is still sweet. 
This is my twofold object $ and the 
means to efifeet it must be my own 
heart and my own hands. And now, 
convey all my thanks to your noble 
husband, and accept my warm prayers 
far yourself and het^-^whom I will 
not name. Farewell, Lady Ellinor." 

''No^ do not leave me so hastily; 
I have many things to discuss with 
you— ^t least to ask of yon. Tell me 
how your &ther bears his reverse P— - 
tell me, at least, if there be aught he 
will silver us to do for him ? There 
•re many appohitments in Trevanion's 
range of ii^uence that would suit 
even the wilful inddenee of a man of 
letters. Come, be £nink with me !" 

I could not retust so much kindness; 
■o I sat down, and, as collectedly as I 
could, replied to Ltdy Ellinor's ques- 
tions, and sought to convince her that 
my &ther only felt his losses so far as 
they affected me, and that nothing in 
Trevanion's power was Ukely to tempt 
1dm from his retreat, or calculated to 
cgmpepsote fi>r a change ia Inhabits. 



Tunung at last firom my parents. 
Lady Ellinor inquired fbr BoUm4» 
and, on learning tiiat he was with me 
in town, expressed a strong desire to 
see him. I t(dd her I would com- 
municate her wish, and she then said 
thoughtfully — 

"He has a son, I tlunk, and X 
have heard that there is some unhappy 
dissension between them." 

" Who eould have told you thatP' 
I asked in surprise, knowing how 
closely Eoland had kept the secret of 
his &mily afflictions. 

" Oh, I heard so from some one who 
knew Captain Roland — I forget when 
and where I heard it — ^but is it not 
the ftct ?" 

" My unele Boland has no son.^ 

"How!" 

" His son is dead." 

" How such a loss must grieve hmi«r 

I did not speak. 

"But is he sure that his son is 
dead? What joy if he were nns- 
taken-»]f the son yet lived !" 

" Nay, my unde has a brave hearty 
and he is resigned ; — ^but, pardon me^ 
have you heard anything of that son V* 

"I!— -what should I hear? I 
would &ln learn, however, from your 
unde himself, what he might like to 
tell me of his sorrows-~or if, indeed 
there be any chance tha t " 

"That— what?" 

" That — that lus son still survives.^ 

"I think not," siud I; "and I 
doubt whether you will learn much 
from my unde. Still there is some- 
thing in your words that belies their 
apparttit meaning, and makes me 
suspect that you know more than you 
will say." 

" Diplomatist r* sidd Lady Emnor^ 
half smiling; but then, her face set- 
tling into a seriousness almost sever^ 
she added— "It is terrible to thuils 
that a father should hate his son !** 

"Hate! — Boland -haU his son^ 
What calumny is this f^ 



M8 



THE CAXTONSi 



" He doQf not do 10^ then ! Aimre 
me of that; I shall be so glad to 
kxiow that I have been mismformed." 

" I can tell yon this, and no more 
;«— for no more do I know— -that if 
ever the soul of a father were wrapt 
up in a son — ^fuari hope, gladness, 
■OfTOW, all reflected back on a other's 
heart from the shadows on a son's 
life— iEtoland was that £ither while 
the son lived still." 

''I cannot disbelieve yon I" ex- 



claimed Lady Ellinor, thoogh in a 
tone of surprise. " Well, do let nm 
see your unde." 

" I will do my best to induce him 
to visit you, and learn all that yoa 
evidently conceal from me." 

Lady Ellinor evasively repUed to 
this insinuation, and shortly after- 
wards I left that house in which I 
had known the happiness that brings 
the folly, and the grief that bequeaths 
the wisdom. 



CHAPTER IV. 



I ^AD always felt a warm and 
almost filial affection fox Lady Ellinor, 
independently of her relationship to 
Fanny, and of the gratitude with 
which her kindness inspired me : for 
there is an affection very peculiar in 
its nature, and very high in its degree, 
which results from the blending of 
two sentiments not often alUed, — ^viz, 
pity and admiration. It was impos- 
able not to admire the rare gifts and 
great qualities of Lady Ellinor, and 
not to feel pity for the cares, anxieties, 
and sorrows whidi tormented one 
who, with all the sensitiveness of 
woman, went forth into the rough 
world of man. 

My Other's confesrion had some- 
what impaired my esteem for Lady 
ElHnor, and had left on my mind the 
uneasy impression that she had trifled 
with his deep, and Roland's impetuous 
heart. The conversation that had 
just passed allowed me to judge her 
with more justice — allowed me to see 
that she had really shared the affec- 
tion she had inspired in the student, 
but that ambition had been stronger 
than love— an ambition, it might be, 
irregular, and not strictly feminine, 
but still of no vulgar nor soridid kind^ 
I gathered, too, from her hints and 
•UusiaDfl^ her true esumse for Roland's 



misconception of her apparent interest 
in himself: she had but seen, in the 
wild energfies of the elder brother, 
some agency by which to arouse the 
serener feculties of the younger. She 
had but sought, in the strange oomet 
that flashed before her, to fix a lever 
that might move the star. Nor could 
I withhold my reverence from the 
woman who, not being married pre- 
cisely from love, had no sooner linked 
her nature to one. worthy of it, than 
her whole life became as fondly de- 
voted to her husband's as if he had 
been the object of her first romance 
and her earliest affectious. K even 
her child ivas so secondary to her 
husband — ^if the fate of that child was 
but regarded by her as one to be ren- 
dered subservient to the g^rand des- 
tinies of Trevanion — still it was im- 
possible to recognise the error of that 
conjugal devotion without admir- 
ing the wife, though one might 
condemn the mother. Turning ficom 
these meditations, I felt a lover's thrill 
of selfish joy, amidst all the mournful 
sorrow comprised in the thought that 
I should see Fanny no more. Was it 
true, as Lady Ellinor implied, though 
delicately, that Fanny still cherished 
a remembrance of me — which a 
interview, a last foreweU, might 



A FAMILY PICTUBB. 



949 



•sraken too dangeraaily fbr her peace? 
Wel]» that was a thought that it he- 
oame me not to mdnlge. 

What oonld Lady Ellinor have 
heard of Boland and his son ? Was 
it poBsihle that the lost lived still ? 
Asking myself these questionB, I ar- 
rived at our lodgings, and saw the 
Captain himself before me^ busied with 
the inspection of sondiy specimens of 
the rade necessaries anAustralian ad- 
venturer requires. There stood the 
old soldier, by the window, examining 
nanowly into the temper of hand- 
saw and tenor-saWy broad axe and 
drawing-knife; and as I came up to 
him, he looked at me firam under his 
Uack brows, with gruif compassion, 
and said, peevishly-— 

** Fine weapons these tat the son of 
a gentleman !— one bit of steel in the 
shape of a sword were worth them all." 

"Any weapon that conquers &te 
is noble in the hands of a brave man, 
nude." 

** The b(^ has an answer for every- 
thing," quoth the Captain, smiling, 
as he took oat his purse and paid the 
shopman. 

When we were alone, I said to him 
— -" Unde^y ou must go and see Lady 
Ellinor; shedenresmetoteUyoaso." 

•* Rhaw !" 

«* You will not r 

«?No!" 

" Unde, I think that she has some- 
thing to say to you with regard to— • 
to— pardon me ! — to my counn." 

*' To Blanche ?" 

*' No, no— the counn I never saw." 

Boland turned pale, and, sinking 
down on a chair, faltorad out—" To 
him — ^to my son ?" 

"Yes; but I do not think it is 
news that will afflict you. Unde, are 
you sure that my cousin is d^d ?" 

"What!— how dare you! — who 
doubts it? I>ead— dead to me fbr 
ever ! Boy, would you have him live 
to dishcBBOur these grey hairs?" 



" Sir, sur, forgive me^-nnde, for- 
gave me : but, pray, go to see Lady 
Ellinor ; for whatever she has to say, 
I repeat that I am sure it will be 
nothing to wound you." 

"Nothing to wound me — yet re* 
ktetoAtm/" 

It is imposnble to convey to the 
reader the despair that ivas in those 
words. 

"Perhap8,"said I,alter along pauses 
and in a low voice — ^for I was awe- 
stricken — " perhaps — ^if he be dead** 
he may have repented of all offence to 
yon bdbre he died." 

"Repented— ha, ha!" 

"Or, if he be not dead ^* 

" HuA, boy— hush !" 

" While there is life, there is hope 
of repentance." 

"Look you, nephew," said the 
Captain, rising and folding his arms 
resolutdyon his breast — "lookyoo, 
I desired that that name might never 
be breathed. I have not cursed my 
son yet; could he come to life — 
the curse might &11! You do not 
know what torture your words have 
given me, just when I had opened 
my heart to another son, and found 
that son in you. With respect to the 
lost, I have now but one prayer, and 
you know it-— the heartbroken i»rayer 
-—that his name never more may 
come to my ears !" 

As he dosed these words, to whidi 
I ventured no reply, the Captain took 
long, disordered strides across the 
room ; and suddenly, as if the space 
imprisoned, or the air stifled him, he 
sdzed his hat, and hastened into the 
streets. Beooveriug my surprise and 
dismay, I ran after him ; but he com- 
manded me to leave him to his own 
thoughts, in a voice so stem, yet so 
sad, that I had no choice but to obey. 
I knew, by my own experience, how 
necessary is solitude in the moments 
when grief is strongest and thought- 
most troubled. 



ifio 



THB CAXTONSt 



CHAPTER V. 



HouBS elapaed, and tbe Captain 
liad not returned home. I began to 
feel uneasy, and went finrth in leardi 
of him, though I knew not whither 
to direct my steps. I thought it, how- 
erer, at least probable that he had 
not been aUe to resist visiting Lady 
Ellinor, so I went first to St. James's 
Square. My suspidons were correct ; 
the Captain had been there two hours 
before. Lady EUinor herself had g<me 
out shortly after the Captain left. 
Wlule the porter was giving me tins 
information, a carriage stopped at the 
door, and a footman, stepping up, gave 
the porter a note and a small parcel, 
•eemingly of books, saying simply, 
*'From the Marquis of Castleton." 
▲t the sound of that name I turned 
hastily, and recognised Sir Sedtey 
Beaudesert seated in the carriage^ and 
looking out of the window with a d^- 
jeoted, moody expresdon of counte* 
nance, very dififerent from lus ordinary 
aspect, except when the rare nght of 
a grey hair or a twinge of the tooth- 
ach reminded him that he was no 
longer twenty-five. Lideed,the change 
was so great that I exclaimed, du- 
biously — " Is that Sir Sedley Beau- 
desert ?" The fi>otman looked at me, 
and touching his hat said, with a ccm- 
descending snule, — "Yes, sir*<-n0w 
the Marquis of Castleton." 

Then, fisr the first time since the 
young lord's death, I remembered Sir 
Sedley's expreasions of gratitude to 
Lady Castleton, and the waters of 
Ems, for having saved him from 
" that honible mai^uisate." Mean- 
while, my old fiiend had pere^ved 
xae, exclaiming, — > 

"What! Mr. CaxtonI I am de- 
lighted to see yon. Open the door, 
l^mas. Fray come in, come in." 

I obeyed; and the new Lord Cas- 
Ueton made room for me by his side. 
Are you in a hurry ?^ said hoi 



«< 



« 



if so, shall I take yon anywhere F-* 
if not, give me half an hour of your 
time, while I drive to the City.'* 

As I knew not now in what diree> 
tion, more than another, to prosecute 
my search for the Capiain, and as I 
thought I might as well call at our 
lodghigs to inquire if he had not re- 
turned, I answered that I should be 
very happy to accompany his lord- 
ship; "though the City,^ said I, 
smiling, "sounds to me strange upon 
the lips of Sir Sedley — I beg pardrai^ 
I should say of Lord " 

"Don't say any such thing; let me 
once more hear i^e grateful sound of 
Sedley Beaudesert. Shut the doei^ 
Thomas; to Qraoeehurch Street— 
Messrs. Fudge and fidget.^ 

The carriage drove on. 

"AsadafffictionhasbefiOlen me,** 
said the marqius, "and none syni« 
pathise with me !" 

" Tet all, even nnaoquaintad with 
the late loid, must have felt shoeked 
at the death of one ao yonng, and so 
full of promise." 

" So fitted in every way to bear the 
burthen of the great Castleton name 
and property~*«nd yet yon see it killed 
him ! Ah ! if he had been but a 
simple geutleman, or if he had had a 
le^ conscientious desire to do his 
duties, he would have lived to a good 
old age. I know what it is already* 
Oh, if yon saw ihe piles of letters en 
my table! I poatively dread the 
post. Sudi colossal imprevement on 
the property which the poor boy had 
begun, for me to finidL What do 
you think takes me to Fudge and 
Fidget* s P Sur, they ar« tfat agents 
for an infernal coal-mine which mf 
coushi had reopened in Durham, to 
plague my life out with another thirty 
thousand pounds a-year ! How am I 
to (spend the money 9'»'4u«r am I to 
spend itP Thei^'a a oold-Uooded 



A TAMTLX mams. 



m 



head steward, wlio says that chanty 
is the greatest crime a man in high 
station can commit; it demoralises 
the poor. Then, becaose some half- 
a-dozen formers sent me a round- 
robin, to the effect that their rents 
were too high, and I wrote them word 
that the rents should be lowered, 
there was such a hullabaloo — yon 
would have thought heaven and efurth 
were coming together. ' If a man in 
the position of the Marquis of Castle- 
ton set the example of letting land 
below its value, how could the poorer 
squires in the country exist ? — or, if 
they did exist, what injustice to ex- 
pose them to the charge that they 
were grasping landlords, vampfares, 
and bloodsuckers ! Clearly if Lord 
Castieton lowered his rents (they were 
too low already), he stmck a mortal 
blow at the property of his ndgh- 
bours^ if they £:^owed his example : 
or at their characters if they did not.' 
Ko man can tell how hard it is to do 
good, unless fortune ^ves him a hun- 
dred thousand pounds a-year, and 
says, — * Now, do good with it !' Sed- 
ley Beaudesert might follow his whims, 
and all that would be said against 
him was, 'good-natured, simple fel- 
low !' But if Lord Castieton foUow 
his whims, you would think he was a 
second Catihne— unsettling the peace, 
and undermining the prosperity, of 
the entire nation !" Here the wretched 
man paused, and nghed heavily ; then, 
as his thoughte wandered mto a new 
ehannel of woe, he resumed,—" Ah ! 
if you could but see the Ibrlom great 
h<mse I am expected to inhabit, cooped 
up between dead walls, instead of my 
pretty rooms, with the windows full 
on the Park ; and the balls I am ex- 
pected to give, and the parliamentary 
interest I am to keep up : and the 
villanous proposal made to me to be- 
come a lord steward or lord chamber- 
lain, because it suits my rank to be a 
■ort of a servant. Oh^ Rustratua I 



you lucky dog^«-net twenty-one^ and 
with, I dare say, not two hundred 
pounds a-year in the world V 

Thus bemoaning and bewailing his 
sad fortunes, the poor marquis ran 
OB, till at last he exclaimed, in a tone 
of yet deeper despair, — 

" And everybody says I must marry, 
too! — ^that the Castieton line must 
not be extinct ! The Beaudeserts are 
a good old fomily eno' — as old, for 
what I know, as the Castletons; but 
the British empire would suffer no loss 
if they sunk into the tomb of the Car 
pulets. But that the Castieton peer- 
age should expire, is a thought of 
crime and woe, at which all the mo- 
thers of England rise in a phalanx ! 
And so, instead of visiting the sins <^ 
the fathers on the sons, it is the 
father that is to be sacrificed for the 
benefit of the third and fourth gene- 
ration \" 

Despite my causes for seriousness^ 
I could not help laughing; my oom- 
panion turned on me a look of reproaeh. 

" At least,'' said I, composing my 
countenance, "Lord Castieton has 
one ocnnfort in his afiSictions — ^if he 
must many, he may choose as he 



M 



"That 18 predsely what Sedloy 
Beaudesert could, and Lord Castieton 
cannot do," said the marquis gravely. 
" The rank of Sur Sedley Beaudesert 
waa a quiet and comfortable rank—- 
he might niany a curate's daughter, 
or a duke's — and please his eye or 
grieve lus heart as the caprice took 
him. But Lord Castieton must many, 
not for a wife, but for a marchioness, 
— marry some one who wUl wear Ma 
raanik ioic him, — take the trouble of 
splendour off his hands, and allow 
him to retire into a comer, and dream 
that he is Sedley Beaudesert once 
more I Yesi, it must be so — the 
crowning sacrifice must be completed 
at the altar. But a truce to my oom- 
pliunts* TrQvanion infonns mef yoa 



158 



THE CAXTONSi 



sre going to AiBtraiBa» cim that be 
true?" 

'« Perfectly troe." 

" They say there la a aad want of 
ladies there/' 

" So much the better,— I shall be 
all the more steady/' 

** Well, there*8 something in that. 
Have yon seen Lady Ellinor ?" 

'* Yes — ^this morning/' 

" Poor woman ! — a g^reat blow to 
her — we have tried to console each 
other. Fanny, you know, is staying 
at Ozton, in Surrey, with Lady Castle- 
ton— the poor lady is so fond of her 
-—and no one haa comforted her like 
Ftamy/' 

" I was not aware that Miss Tre- 
▼anion was out of town." 

** Only for a few days, and then she 
and Lady Ellinor jdn Trevanion in 
the north — ^you know he is with Lord 

N , settling measures on which«- 

but alas! they consult me now on 
those matters— force their secrets on 
me. I have, Heaven knows how 
many votes! Poor me! Upon my 
word, if Lady Ellinor was a widow, 
I should certainly make np to her; 
vety dever woman, nothkig bores 
her/' (The marquis yawned — Sir 
Bedley Beaudesert never yawned.) 
^Trevanion has provided for his 
Scotch secretary, and is about to g^ 
a place in the Foreign Office for that 
young fellow Qcmet, whom, between 
you and me, I don't like. But he has 
bewitched Trevanion !" 

** What sort of a person is this Mr. 
Gower? — I remember you said that 
he was clever, and good-looking/' 

'*He is both, but it h not the 
devemess of youth ; he is as hard 
and sarcastic as if he had been cheated 
fifty times, and jilted a hundred! 
Neither are his good looks that letter 
of recommendation which a handsome 
fuse is stud to be. He has an expres- 
sion of countenance very much like 
that of Lord Hertford's pet bkiod- 



boondf when a stranger eomas faito 
the room. Very sledc, handsome dog, 
the bloodhound is certainly — well- 
mannered, and I dare say exceedingly 
tame; but still you have but to look 
at the comer of the eye, to know 
that it is only the habit of the draw- 
ing-room that suppresses the orea« 
ture's oonstitntional tendency to seize 
yon by the throat, instead of g^vin^ 
you a paw. Still this Mr. Gower haa 
a very striking head — something^ 
about it Moorish or Spanish, like a 
picture by MuriUo: I half suspect that 
he is less a Gower than a gypsy !" 

<'What!"— I cried, as I listened 
with rapt and breathless attention to 
this description. " He is then vei^ 
dark, with high narrow forehead, 
features slightly aquiline, but very de- 
licate, and teeth so damling that the 
whole fiboe seems to sparkle when he 
smiles — ^though it is only the lip that 
smiles, not the eye." 

"Exactly as you say; yon have 
seen him, then ?" 

** Why, I am not aore^ since yon 
say his name is Gower/' 

** Se says his name is Gower," re- 
turned Lord Castleton, drily, as he 
inhaled the Beaudesert mixture. 

** And where is he now ? — ^with Mr* 
Trevanion?" 

^ Yes, I believe so. Ah ! here we 
are — Fudge and Fidget ! But, per* 
haps/' added Lord Castleton, with a 
gleam of hope in his blue eye — ^'per- 
haps they are not at home !" 

Alas ! that was an illusive ''imagin- 
ing," as the poets of the nineteenth 
century unaffectedly express them- 
selves. Messrs. Fudge and Fidget 
were never out to such clients as the 
Marquis of Castleton : with a deep 
sigh, and an altered expresaon of 
fiice, the Victim of Fortune slowly 
descended the steps of the carriage. 

" I can't ask you to wait for me^** 
said he: ''Heaven only knows how 
long I shall be. kept! Take the car* 



A FAMILY FicrrtrBE. 



85S 



riage where yoa will, and send it back 
to me." 

" A thousand thanks, my dear lord, 
I would rather walk — hut you will 
let me call on yoa before I leave 
town.'* 

" Let you !— -I insist on it. I am 
stall at the old quarters — ^onder pre- 
tence," said the marquis^ with a sly 
twinkle of the eyelid, ** that Castleton 
House wants painting !" 

" At twelve to*morrow, then ?" 

^ Twelve to-morrow. Alas ! that* s 
jnat the hour at which Mr. Screw, 
the agent for the London property, 
(two squares, seven streets^ and a 
hme!) is to call." 

" Perhaps two o'clock will suit yon 
better?" 

"Two! — -just the hour at which 
Mr. Plausible, one of the Castleton 
members, insists upon telling me why 



his oonsdenoe will not let him yott 
with Trevanion !" 

" Three o'clock P" 

" Three ! — just the hour at which 
I am to see the Secretary of the 
Treasury, who has promised to relieve 
Mr. Plauffible's oonsdence ! But come 
and dine with me — ^you will meet the 
executors to the will !" 

"Nay, Sir Sedley — ^that is, my dear 
lord — I will take my chance, and look 
in after dinner." 

" Do so; my guests are not Uvely ! 
What a firm step the rogue has! Only 
twenfy, I think — ^twenty ! and not an 
acre of property to plague him !" So 
saying, the marquis dolorously shook 
his head, and vanished through the 
ncHseless mahogany doors, behind which 
Messrs. Fudge and Fidget awutedthe 
unhappy man, — ^with the accounts of 
the Gr^t CasUeton coal-mine. 



CHAPTER VL 



Oir my way towards our lodgings, 
I resolved to look in at a humble 
tavern, in the coffee-room of wluch 
tiie Captain and myself halntually 
dined. It was now about the usual 
hour in which we took that meal, and 
he might be there waiting for me. I 
had just gamed the steps of this 
tavern, when a stage-coach came rat- 
tling along the pavement, and drew 
up at an inn of more pretensions than 
that which we fovoured, ntuated with- 
in a few doors of the Utter. As the 
coach stopped, my eye was caught by 
the Trevanion livery, which was very 
pecoliar. Thinking I must be de- 
odved, I drew near to the wearer of 
the livery, who had just descended 
fkxim the roof, and while he paid the 
coachman, g^vehis orders to a wuter 
who emerged from the inn — "Half- 
and-half, cold without!" The tone 
of the voice struck me as familiar, 
imdy the man now looking up, I be- 



held the features of Mr. Peaoodc 
Yes, unquestionably it was he. The 
whiskers were shaved— there were 
traces of powder in the hair or the 
wig — ^the livery of the Trevanions 
(ay, the very livery— crest-button, and 
all) upon that portly figure, which I 
had hut seen in the more august 
robes of a beadle. But Mr. Peacock 
it was — Peacock travestied, but Pea* 
cock still. Before I had recovered 
my amaze, a woman got out of a 
cabriolet, that seemed to have been 
in waiting for the arrival of the coach, 
and, hurrying up to Mr. Peacock, 
said in the loud impatient tone com- 
mon to the fairest of the fair sex, 
when in haste — " How late you are ! 
— I was just going. I must get back 
to Oxton to-night." 

Oxton — ^Miss Trevanion was stay^ 
ing at Oxton ! I was now dose be- 
hind the pair— I listened with i^y 
heart in my ear. 



SSi 



THE CAXTQSBs 



"So j<m AtH, my dear — m job 
■hall; just oome in, wffl you." 

^No, no; I have only tea minntei to 
ttftdi tlieooedL Hsve yon ai^ letter 
lor me from Mr. Qomrer ? Hovr can 
I be eore, if I don't aee it mider his 

«'Hiiahr «ud Peacodc, sinking 
bis Yoice so low tiiat I ooold only 
catch the words^ " no name!! — letter, 
pooh. 111 tell yon." He then drew 
her apart, and whispered to her for 
iome momentB. I watdied the wo- 
man's face, which was bent towards 
her compunon's, and it seemed to 
show qnidc intelHgenoe. She nodded 
her haid more than onoe^ as if in im- 
patient aswnt to what was said; and, 
after » idiakiDg of band% hurried off 
to the cab; then, as if a though 
•track her, she ran back, and said — 

** But in case n^ lady should not 
go— if there's any change of plan." 

" There'll be no change, yon may 
be sure — positively to-morrow — ^not 
too early; you understand?" 

"Yes, yes; good by"— and the 
woman, who was dressed with a quiet 
neatnesB, that seemed to stamp her 
profession as that of an abigail (black 
cloak, with long eape — of tliat pecu- 
Kar idlk which seems spun on purpose 
fn ladies'-maids — ^bonnet to match, 
with red and black ribbons), hastened 
once more away, and in another mo- 
ment the cab cbove off furiously. 

What could all this mean P By 
this time the waiter brought Mr. 
Peacock the half-aiid-half. He de- 
spatched it hastily, and then strode 
on towards a neighbouring stand of 
cabriolets. I followed him ; and just 
a% alter beckoning one of the vehicles 
from the stand, he had ensconced 
himself therein, I sprang up the steps 
and placed myself by his side. " Now, 
Mr. Peacock," said I, "you will tell 
me at once how you come to wear that 
livery, or I sliall order the cabman 
to drive to Lady Ellinor Treva- 



^»t 



myiell' 

''And who tiie devil !>-Ah, you're 
the young gentleman that came to 
me behind tiie aoenes — ^I remember.'* 

"Where to, sur?" asked the cab- 



" To-to London Bridge," smd Mi:, 
Peacock. 

The man momited the boa, and 
drove on. 

" Well, Mr. Peacock, I wait your 
answer. I guem by your &oe that 
you are about to tell me a lie ; I ad* 
vise you to speak the truth." 

" I don't know what bunness yoa 
have to question me," aaid Mr. Pea- 
cock sullenly ; and Tainng his glance 
from his own deuched fists, he sn^ 
fered it to wander over xoy form 
with so vindictive a s'gmficanoe, that 
I interrupted the survey by saying, 
" ' Will yoU/ encounter the house i* 
as the Swan interrogatively puts it — 
shall I order the cabman to drive to 
St. James's Square ?" 

" Oh, yon know my weak pointy 
sir; any man who can quote Will— 
sweet Will — has me on the hip," re- 
joined Mr. Peacock, smoothing hb 
countenance^ and spreading his palms 
on his knees. "But if a man does 
fiill in the world, and, after keeping 
Hervants of his own, is obliged to be 
himself a servant^ 

* I win not sbaaM 
To tell yoa what I am/ '* •* 

" The Swan 8ay8» ' To tell you what 
I tO(M,' Mr. Peacock. But enough of 
this trifling; who placed you with Mr. 
Trevanion ?" 

Mr. Peacock looked down for a 
moment, and then fixing his eyes on 
me, said^" Well, I'll tell you : you 
asked me, when we met last> about 
a yomig gentleman — Mr. — Mr. 
Vivian." 

PiBiflTBATUS. — Proceed. 

Peacock. — I know you don't want 
to harm him. Bcsideik " He hau p 



A FAMILY PICTirRB. 



955 



prodperoiu firt,''aiid one day or other, 

—mark my words, or rather my fnend 

WiU's— 

" He will bestride thk narreur world 
Like a Coloeeus." 

Upon my Hfe he will — like a Co]oiBii% 

" And we petty men •*— 

PisiSTBATiTS, (saragely.)— Go on 
with your story. 

Peacock, (snappishly.) — I am 
going on with it ! Ton put me out ; 
where was I — oh — ah — ^yes. I had 
just been soldixp — ^not a penny in my 
pocket ; and if you could have seen 
my coat — ^yet that was better than 
the small-clothes! Well, it was in 
Oxford Street — ^no, it was in the 
Stnmd, near the Lowther — 

'"'ThesonwMiBthelieaTera: aadtheproad 

day 
Attended, with the pleasnret of the world." 

F18IBTBATU8, (lowering the glass.) 
-»To St. James's Square? 

Pbacook. — No, no; to London 
bridge. 
'* How use doth breed a habit in a^num 1'* 

1 will go on — ^hoDonr bright. So I 
met Mr. Vivian, and as he had known 
me in better days, and has a good 
'heart of his own, ha says — 

" Horatio,— or I do forget myBelf.'* 

I^unstratos puts his hand on the 
check-string. 

Pbaoock, (correcting Wmself.) — I 
mean — Why, Johnson, my good fellow. 

PisiBTSATTJS. — Johnson ! — oh, 
that* s your name — not Peacock. 

Pbacoce. — Johnson and Peacock 
both, (with cUgnity.) When you know 
the world as I do, sir, you will find 
that it is Ul travelling this " naughty 
irorW without a change of names in 
-your portmanteau. 

"Johnson," says he, "my good 
feBow," and he pulled out his purse. 
••Sir," said I, "if, 'exempt firom 
public haunt,' I could get something 
to do when this dross is gone. In 
London there are sermons in stones, 
certainly, but not 'good in every- 



thing,'— an observa^on I ilioiBld take 
the liberty of making to the Swan, if 
he were not now, alas! 'the baseless 
fikbrio of a vision.' " 

PiBiflTBATUS. — Take care ! 

Peacock, (hurriedly.) — Then tays 
Mr. Vivian, " If you don't mind wear- 
ing a livery, till I can provide for you 
more suitably, my old friend, thwe^ 
a vacancy in the establishment o€ 
Mr. Trevanion." Sir, I accepted the 
proposal, and that's why I wear thsi 
livery. 

Ptbistbatus. — ^And pray, what bu- 
edness had you with that yoipig w<^ 
man, whom I take to be Miss Treva- 
nion's maid? and why should she come 
from Oxton to see you? 

I had expected that these questions 
would confound Mr. Peacock ; but if 
there really were anything in them to 
cause embarrassment, the ci-devamit 
actor was too practised in his profes- 
sion to exhibit it. He merelysmiled, 
and, smoothing jauntily a veiy tum- 
bled shirt-firont, he saic^ "Oh, sir, fie! 

< Of this matter. 
Is Htfle Cnirid's ermfty enow made.* 

If you must know my love afffdrs^ 
that young woman is, as the vulgar 
say, my sweetheart." 

"Yoxur sweetheart!" I exclaimed, 
greatly relieved, and acknowledging 
at once the probability of the state- 
ment. "Yet," I added suspiciously — 
" yet, if so, why should she expect Mr. 
Gower to write to her?" 

" You're quick of hearing, nr; but 
though 
' All adoration, daly, and obsenr- 



ance: 



All humbleness, and patience, and impa- 
tience/ 

the young woman won't marry a 

livery servant — proud creature ! — 

very proud! — and Mr. Gower, you 

see, knowing how it was, felt for me, 

and told her, if I may take such liberty 

with the Swan, that she should 

< Never lie hr Johnson's sido 

With an urquiet booI^' 



856 



THE CAXTOKS: 



for that be wcfM get me a place In 
the Stamps ! The silly girl said the 
would have it in hlack and white — as 
if Mr. Gower would write to her ! 

"And now, tar," continued Mr. 
Peacock, with a simpler gravity, "yon 
are at liherty, of coarse, to say what 
yon please to my lady, "hut I hope 
youil not try to take the hread oat 
of my month hecaose I wear a livery, 
and am fool enoogh to he in love with 
a waiting-woman — I, nr, who ooald 
have married ladies who have played 
the first parts in life — on the metro- 
politan stage." 

I had nothing to say to these re- 
prrscntations — ^they seemed plannhle; 
and though at fint I had suspected 
that tbo man had only resorted to the 
buffoonery of his quotations in order 
to gpain time for invention, or to divert 
my notice from any flaw in his narra* 
tive, yet at the dose, as the narrative 
seemed probable, so I was willing to 
believe the buffoonery was merely 
characteristic. I contented myself, 
therefore, with asking— 

** Where do you come firom now ?" 

** From Mr. Trevanion, in the coan- 
tty, with letters to Lady Ellmor.'' 

"Oh! and so the young woman 
knew yoa were coming to town?" 

" Yesi, tar ; Mr. Trevanion told tdib, 
some days ago^ the day I shoald have 
to start." 

"And what do you and the yonng 
woman propose doing to-morrow, if 
there is no change of plan?" 

Here I certainly thought there was 

a slight, scarce perceptible, alteration 

in Mr. Peacock's countenance, but he 

answered readily, "To-morrow, a little 

assignation, if we can both get out— 

' Woo me, now I am in a holiday hnmoiir. 
And like enough to oonaent.' 



,>f 



8wan again, sir; 

"Humph! — so then Mr. Gower 
and Mr. Vivian are the same person f 

Peacock hesitated. ''Thafs not 
«ny secret, or; ' I am oomlnned by a 



sacred vow.' Toa a«e too mxuh the 
gentleman to peep through theblanket 
of the dark, and to ask me, who wear 
the whips and stripes — I mean the 
plush small-clothes and shoulderknoas 
— the secrets of another gent^ to 
whom 'my services are bound.' " 

How a man past thirty fdls a man 
scarcely twenty!— what superiority 
the mere fiict of living-on gives to the 
dullest dog ! I l^t my lip and was 
silent. 

"And," pursued Mr. Peacock, "if 
you knew how the Mr. Vivian yoa 
inquired after loves yoa! When I 
told him inddentally, bow a young 
gentleman had come behind the scenes 
to inquire after him, he made me de- 
scribe you, and then said, quite moam- 
fnlly, ' If ever I am what I hope to 
become, how happy I shall be to shake 
that kind hand once more,' — veiy 
words, sir !— honour bright ! 

<I think there** ne'er a man in ChristendoiB 
Can leiaer hide Ub hate or lore than he.' 



And if Mr. Vivian has some reason 
to keep himself concealed still — if his 
fortune or ruin depend on yoor not 
divulgmg his secret for a while— I 
can't think jtm are the man he need 
fear. 'Fon my lifi^ 

' I wish I was as sore of a good dinner,* 

as the Swan toocfaingly exclaims. I 
^ .re swear that was a wish often on 
the Swan's lips in the privacy of his 
domestic life!" 

My heart was softened, not by the 
pathos of the much profimed and dese- 
crated Swan, but by Mr. Peacock's 
unadomedre]petitk>n of '^vian'swords; 
I turned my fice from the sharp eyes 
of my companion— the cab nowstopped 
at the foot of London Bridge. 

I had no more to ask, yet still there 
was some uneasy curiosity in my min^ 
which I could hardly define to myself 
— was it not jealousy? Vivian so 
handsome and so darixig — ke at least 
Imight see the great heiress; Imdj 



A FAMILY PICTIifRE. 



257 



£IUnor perlutpft thoogbt of no danger 
there. But — I — I was a lover still, 
and — ^nay, such thoughts were fol^ 
indeed! 

*' My man," said I to the ex-oome- 
dian, " I neither wish to harm Mr. 
Tiyian (if I am so to call him), nor 
yon who imitate him in the variety of 
your names. But I tell you fidriy. 



that I do noi liilLe your being in Mr* 
Trevanion's enifkloyHient, and I advise 
you to get oat of it as soon as pos- 
sible. I say nothing mpre as yet, for 
I shall take time to consider well 
what you have told me." 

With that I hastened away, and 
Mr. Peacock continued his solitary 
journey over Londoa Bridge. 



CHAPTEK VII. 



Ahtdst all that lacerated my heart, 
or tormented my thoughts, that event- 
ful day« I felt at 1^^ one joyous 
emotion, when, on entering our little 
drawing-room, I found my unde seated 
there. 

The Captain had placed before him 
on the table a large Bible, borrowed 
fiK»a the landlady. He never travelled, 
to be sure^ without his own Bible, but 
the print of that wag sma^ and the 
Ostein's ^es began to fail him at 
night. So this was a Bible with 
large type ; and a candle was placed 
on either side of it ; and the Captain 
leant his elbows on the table, and 
both his hands were tightly clasped 
upon his forehead — ^tightly, as if to 
shut out the tempter, and force lus 
whole soul upon the page. 

He sat the image of iron courage ; 
in every line of that rigid form there 
was resolutiiA. " I will not listen to 
my heart; I mU read the Book^ and 



leara toauffier as baonnes a Christian 

There was such a pathos in the 
stem sufferer'fi attitude^ that it spoke 
those words as pliunly as if his lips 
had Kaid them. 

Old soldier ! thou hast done a soldierfs 
part in many a bloody field ; but it I 
could make visible to the world thy 
brave soldi^'ssoul, I would paint thee 
as I saw thee then!— ^Out on this 
tyro's hand! 

At the movement X made, the Cap- 
tain loQked up, and the strife he had . 
gone through was written u]xm his 
&ce. 

" It has done me good," said he 
simply, and he closed the book. 

I drew my chair near to him, and 
hung my arm over his shoulder. 

" No cheering newa^ then V* a^ked 
I in a whisper. 

Boland shook his head, and gently 
laid his finger on his lips* 



CHAPTBR VIII. 



It was impossible for. me to intrude 
upon Boland's thoughts, whatever 
their nature, with a detail of those 
circumstances which had roused in me 
a keen and anxious interest in things 
apart from his sorrow. 

Yet as *' restless 1 roU'd around n^ 
weary bed,'* and revolved the renewal 
of Vivian's connoQtion with a man of 

No. 349. 



character so equivocal as PeacocK, the 
establishment of an able and unscru- 
pulous tool of his own in the service 
of Trevanion, the care with which lie 
haA concealed from me his change of 
name, and his intimacy at the very 
house to which I had frankly offered 
to present him ; the familiarity which 
his creature had contrived to effeefc 
» 17 



' 958 



THE CAXTOXSf 



with Miss Trevanlon's maid, the words 
that had passed between them — ^plau- 
sibly aooomited for, it is true, yet 
•till suspicious — and, above all, my 
p linful recollections of Vivian's reck- 
less ambition and unprincipled senti- 
ments — ^nay, the effect that a few 
random words upon Fanny's fortune, 
and the luck of winning an heiress, 
had sufficed to produce upon his 
heated fsuicy and audadous temper: 
when all these thoughts came upon 
me, strong and vivid, in the darkness 
of night, I longed for some ooqfldant, 
more experienced in the world than 
myself, to advise me as to the course 
I ought to pursue. Should I warn 
Lady Ellinor? But of what?— 4jhe 
character of a servant, or the designs 
of the fictitious Qower ? Against the 
first I could say, if nothing very posi- 
tive, still enough to make it prudent 
to dismiss him. But of Gower or 
Vivian, what could I say without — ^not 
indeed betraying his confidence, for 
that he had never given me — but 
without belying the professions of 
friendship that I myself had lavishly 
made to him ? Perhaps, after all, he 
might have disclosed whatever were 
his real secrets to Trevanion ; and, if 
not, I might indeed ruin his prospects 
by revealing the aliases he assumed. 
'But wherefore reveal, and wherefore 
warn ? Because of suspidons that I 
could not myself analyse — suspicions 
founded on circumstances most of 
whicli liad already been seemingly ex- 
plained away. Still, when morning 
came, I was irresolute what to do; 
and after watching Roland's counte- 
nance, and seeing on his brow so g^reat 
a weight of care^ that I had no option 
but to postpone the confidence I pined 
to place m his strong understanding 
and unerring sense of honour, I 
wandered out, hoping that in the 
fresh air I might recollect my thoughts, 
and solve the problem that perplexed 
jue. I had enough to do in sundiy 



small orders finr my voyage, and com- 
missions for Bolding, to occupy me 
some hours. And, this businesis don^ 
I found myself moving westward: 
mechanically, as it were, I had come 
to a kind of half-and-half resolution 
to call upon Lady Ellinor, and ques- 
tion her, carelessly and incidentally, 
both about Gower and the new ser- 
vant admitted to the household. 

Thus I found myself in Regent 
Street, when a carriage, borne by 
post-horses, whirled rapidly over the 
pavement— scattering to the right 
and left all humbler equipages — and 
hurried, as if on an errand of life and 
death, up the broad thoroughfure 
leading into Portland Place. But, 
rapidly as the wheels dashed by, I had 
seen distinctly the fiice of Fanny 
Trevanion in the carriage, and that 
tsice wore a strange expression, whidi 
seemed to me to speak of anxiety and 
grief; and, by her side — ^was not 
that the woman I had seen with 
Peacock ? I did not see the face of 
the woman, but I thought I reoo- 
gpiised the doak, the bonnet, and pe- 
culiar turn of the head. If I could 
be mistaken there, I was not mistaken 
at least as to the servant on the seat 
behind. Looking back at a butcher's 
boy, who had just escaped being nrn 
over, and was revenging himself 
by all the imprecations the Dire of 
London slang could suggest, the fiuM 
of Mr. Peacock was exposed in full to 
my gaze. 

My first impulse, on recovering my 
surprise, was to spring after the car* 
riage ; in the haste of that impulse, I 
cried " Stop V* But the carriage was 
out of sight in a moment, and my 
word was lost in air. Full of pre- 
sentiments of some evil — I knew not 
what — I then altered my course, and 
stopped not, till I finmd myself pant- 
ing and out of breath, in St. James's 
Square— at the door of Trevanion's 
ho u s e - inthehalL The porter had « 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



259 



newspaper in hiB hand as he admitted 
me. 

. ** Where is Lady Ellinor ? — I most 
lee her instantly." 

" No worse news of master, I hope, 

" Worse news of what ?•— of whom ? 
i— of Mr. Trevanion ?" 

"Did you not know he was sud- 
denly taken iU, sir; that a servant 
came express to say so last night P 
Lady ElUnor went off at ten o'clock 
to j(nn him.'* 

" At ten o'clock last night r* 

"Yes, sir; the servant's account 
alarmed her ladyship so much.*' 

" The new servant, who had hcen 
recommended hy Mr. Qower ?" 

" Yes, sir — Henry," answered the 
porter, staring at me. " Please, sir, 
here is an account of master's attack 
in the paper. I suppose Henry took 
it to the office hefore he came here, 
which was very wrong in him ; hut I 
am afraid he's a very foolish fellow." 

"Never mind that. Miss Tre- 
vanion — I saw her just now — she did 
not go with her mother : where was 
she going, then ?" * 

« Why, sir — ^but pray step into the 
parlour." 

" No, no — speak I" 

"Why, sir, before Lady Ellinor 
set out, she was afraid that there 
miffht he something in the papers to 
alarm Miss Fanny, and so she sent 
Henry down to Lady Castleton's, to 
beg her ladyship to make as light of 
it as she could; but it seems that 
Henry blabbed the worst to Mrs. 
Mole." 

"WTioisMrs. Mole?" • 

" Miss Trevanion's maid, sir — a new 
maid ; and Mrs. Mole blabbed to my 
young lady, and so she took fright, 
and insisted on coming to town. And 
Lady Castleton, who is ill herself in 
bed, could not keep her, I suppose, 
— esi)edally as Henry sud, though he 
<r.vA\t to have known better, 'that 



she would be in time to arrive before 
my lady set off.' Poor Miss Tre- 
vanion was so disappointed when she 
found her mamma gone. And then 
she would order fresh horses, and 
would go on, though Mrs. Bates (the 
housekeeper, you know, sir) was very 
angry with Mrs. Mole, who encouraged 
Miss; and" — 

"Good heavensl Why did npt 
Mrs. Bates go with her ?" 

" Why, sir, you know how old Mrs, 
Bates is, and my young lady is always 
so kind that she would not hear of it, 
as she is going to travel night and 
day; and Mrs. Mole said ^e had 
gone all over the world with her last 
lady, and that" — 

"IseeitalL WhereisMr.Gower?" 

"Mr. Gower, sir!" 

" Yes ! Can't you answer ?" 

" Why, with Mr. Trevanion, I be- 
lieve, sir." 

" In the north — • what is the 
address ?" 

« Lord N , C HaU, near 

W- 



» 



I heard no more. 

The conviction of some villanous 
snare struck me as with the swiftness 
and force of lightning. Why, if Tre- 
vanion were really ill, had the false 
servant concealed it from me ? Why 
suffered me to waste his thne, instead 
of hastening to Lady Ellinor ? How, 
if Mr. Trevanion's sudden illness had 
brought the man to London — how 
had he known so long beforehand (as 
he himself told me, and his appoint- 
ment with the waiting-woman proved) 
the day he should arrive ? Why now, 
if there were no design of which Miss 
Trevanion was the object — why so 
frustrate the provident foresight of 
her mother, and take advantage of 
the natural yearning of affection, the 
quick impuke of youth, to hurry oft 
a girl whose very station forbade her 
to take such a journey without suit- 
able protection — against what must 
• 2 



800 



THE CAXir>KSt 



"be the wish, and wlnt dearly were 
the instructioQB, of Lady EUlnorP 
Alone^ worse than alone! FUmy 
Trevanion wa9 then in the hands ai 
two servants, who were the Instra- 
ments and confidants of an adrenturer 
like Vivian; and that, conference 
"between those servants — ^those broken 
references to the morrow, conpled 
\rith the name Vivian had assumed : 
needed the unerring instincts of love 
more canse fbr terror? — ^teiror the 
dwrker, because the exact shape it 
should assume was obscure and in- 
^tigtinct. 

I sprang from the house. 

I hastened into the Haymarket, 
gnmmoned a cabriolet^ drove home as 
fast 88 I could (fbr I had no money 
about me fbr the journey I meditated); 
sent the servant of the lodging to en- 
'gage a chaise-and-fbur, rushed into 
&e room, where Boland fortunately 
still was, and exclaimed — ^Unde, 
come with me ! — take money, plenty 
of money! — some viUany I know, 
though I can't explain it, has been 
pracSsed on the Trevanions. We 
may defeat it yet. I will teU you all 
"by the way— come, come !** 

" Certainly. But villany ! — ^and to 
people of such a station — ^pooh! — 
collect yourself. Who is the villain ?** 

"Oh, {he man I had loved as a 
friend — the man whom I myself 
helped to make known to Trevanion 
—Vivian— Vivian !" 

«« Vivian!— ah, the youth I have 
heard you - speak of. But how P-^ 
TUlany to whom — ^to Trevanion P' 

" You torture me with your qnes- 
lions. Listen^<-this Vivian (I know 
him) — ^he has introduced into the 
house, as a servant, an agent capable 
of any txick and fraud; that aervant 



has aided Um to win over lier mM 
— Fanny's— -Miss Trevanion's. Mise 
IVeranion Is an heiress^ Vivian an 
adventurer. My head swims rounds 
I cannot explain now. Ha ! I will 
write a line to Lord Castleton-^tefl 
him my fbars and suspidons — ^he will 
follow us, I know, or do what is best." 

I drew ink and paper towards me, 
and wrote hastily. My nncle came 
round and lo(dced over my shoulder. 

Suddenly he exohumed, seizing my 
arm, "Gower, Gower! What name 
istWsP You said 'Vivian.*" 

'* Vivian or Oower— «tlie same 
person." 

My uncle hurried oat of the room. 
It was natural that he should leave 
me to make our jdnt and brief pre« 
parations ^ departure. 

I finished my lettor, sealed it, and 
when, five minutes afterwards^ the 
chaise came to the door, I gave it to 
the ostler who accompanied the 
horses, with ix\junctions to deliver it 
forthwith to Lord Castkton himself. 

My uncle now descended, and 
stepped from the thi«shold with a 
firm stride. '* Comfort yourself," he 
said, as . he .entered the diaise, into 
whidi I had already thrown my8e)£ 
" We may be mistaken yet." 

*' Mistaken! You do not know 
this young man. He has eveiy 
quality that could entangle a girl 
like IVmny, and not, I fear, one senti- 
ment of honour, that would stand in 
the way of Ins ambition. I judge him 
now as by a revelation«*-too late— oh 
Heavens, if it be too late!" 

A gproan broke from Roland's Gps. 
I hea^ in it a proof of his sympathy 
with my emotion, and grasped his 
hand; it was as edd aa tlie hand of 
the dead* 



A FAMILY FICTUKB. 



m 



PAET FIFTEENTH. 



CHAFTEB I. 



Thbbx would have been nothing in 
irbat had chanoed to justify the sos- 
spicions that tortured me, but for my 
impreasioDA M to the character of 
Vivian. 

Reader, hast thou not, in the easy, 
tareless sodability of youth, formed 
ftoquaintanee with some one, in whose 
more engaging or brilliant qualities 
thou has^ — not lost that dislike to de- 
fects or vices which is natural to an 
age when, even while we err, we adore 
what ia good, and glow with enthu- 
siasm for the ennobling sentiment and 
the virtuous deed — ^no^ happily, not 
lost dislike to what is bad, nor thy 
quick sense of it— but conceived a 
keen interest in the struggle between 
the bad that revolted, and the good 
that attracted thee, in thy companion F 
Then, perhaps, thou hast lost sight of 
tarn for a time — suddenly thou beaorest 
that he has done something out of the 
way of ordinary good or common-place 
evil ; and, in either— the good or the 
evil— thy mind runs rapidly back over 
its old reminiscences, and of either 
tiioa sayest, "How natoial! — only 
So-and-so could have done this thing V 

Thufi I fdt respecting Vivian. The 
moat remarkable qualities in his cha- 
racter were his keen power of calcula- 
tion, and his unhentating audacity—* 
qualities that lead to &me or to in* 
fiuny, according to the cultivation of 
the moral sense and the direction of 
the passions. Had I recognised those 
qualities in some agency apparently of 

food — and it seemed yet donbtftd if 
Ivian were the agent-— I should have 
^snect " It M he I and the better angel 



has triumphed!" With the same 
(alas! with a yet more impulsive) 
quickness, when the agency was d! 
evil, and the agent equally dubious, I 
felt that the qualities revealed the 
man, and that the demon had pre-, 
vailed. 

Mile after mile, stage after stagey 
were passed, on the dreary, inter- 
minable, high north road. I nar- 
rated to my companion, more intelli- 
gibly than I had yet done, my causes, 
for apprehension. The Captain at 
first Hsitened eagerly, then checked 
me on the sudden. *' There may be 
nothing in all this V* he cried. " Sir, 
we must be men here — ^have our heads 
cool, our reason dear ; stop !" And, 
leaning back in the chaise, Kolandre- 
fused &rther conversation, and, as the 
night advanced, seemed to sleep. I 
took pity on his fi^tig^e, and devoured 
my heart in silence. At each stage 
we heard of the party of which we 
were in pmrsuit. At the first stage or 
two we were less than an hour be- 
hind; gradually, as we advanced, we 
lost ground, despite the most lavish, 
liberality to the post-boys. I sup- 
posed, at length, that the mere cir- 
cumstance of chan^g, at eadi relay^ 
the chaise as well as the horses, was 
the cause of our comparative slowness i 
and, on saying this to Boland, as we 
were changing horses, somewhere 
about midnight, he at once called up 
the master of the inn, and gave him 
his own price for permisuon to retails 
the chaise tUl the journey's end. 
This wi^.8p unlike "Boland's or^naiy 
th^ i^Wihar deiiling with mymo^^ 



369* 



THE CAXTONSt 



or his own— fo nnjoftified by the for- 
tane of either — that I could not help 
xnattering somethuig in apology. 

''Can yon gpiess why I was a 
miser ?" said Roland calmly. 

"A miser !— anything bnt that! 
Only prudent — ^military men often are 



fO 



» 



tt 



I was a miser/* repeated the Cap- 
tain, with emphasis. "I began the 
habit first when my son was but a 
child. I thought him high-spirited, 
and with a taste for extravagance. 
* Well/ said I to myself, * I will save 
fw him ; boys will be boys.' Then, 
afccrwards, when he was no more a 
child, (at least he began to have the 
vices of a man!) I suid to myself, 
'Patience, he may reform still ; if not, 
I will save money, that I may have 
power over his self-interest, since I 
have none over his heart. I will bribe 
him into honour !' And then — and 
then — God saw that I was very 
pi'oud, and I was punished. Tell 
them to di'Ive faster — faster — why, 
this is a snaiVs pace !** 

All that night, all the next day, till 
towards the evening, we pursued our 
journey, without pause, or other food 
than a cnist of bread and a glass of 
wine. But we now picked up the 
ground we had lost, and gained upon 
the carriage, llie night had closed in 
when we arrived at the stage at wliich 

the route to Lord N 's branched 

from the direct north road. And 
here, making our usual inquiry, my 
worst suspicions were confirmed. The 
carriage we pursued had changed 
horses an hour before, but had not 

taken the way to Lord N 's ; — 

continuing the (Hrect road into Scot- 
land. The people of the inn had not 
seen the lady in the carriage, for it 
was already dark, but the man-ser- 
vant (whose livery they described) had 
drde -ed the horses. 

llie last hope that, in spite of ap- 
pearanc«^ no treachery had been de- 



igned, here vanished. The Captain^ 
at first, seemed more ^smaycd than 
myself, but he recovered more quickly. 
** We will continue the journey on 
horseback," he said; and hun-ried to 
the' stables. All objections vanished 
at the sight of his gold. In five 
minutes we were in the saddle, with a 
postilion, also mounted, to .iccompany 
us. We did the next stage in little 
more than two-thirds of the time which' 
we should have occupied in our fbnncr 
mode of travel — mdeed, 1 found it 
hard to keep pace with R-uland. We 
remounted ; we were only t'.venty-five 
minutes behind the carriage. We' 
felt confident that we should overtake 
it before it could reach the next town 
— ^the moon was up — we could scefjr 
before us — we rode at fall speed. 
Milestone after milestone glided by ;- 
tho carriage was not visible. We 
arrived at the post-town, or rather 
village; it contained but one posting-- 
house. We were long in knockirg 
up the ostlers — no carriage had ar- 
rived just before us ; no cirriage had 
passed the place since noon. 

What mystery was this ? 

"Back, back boy!" s:iid Soland, 
with a soldier's quick wit, and spar- 
ring his jaded horse from the yard. 
" They will have taken a cross-road or 
by-lane. We shall track them by the 
hoofs of the horses, or the print of the 
wheels." 

Our postilion grumbled, and pointed 
to the panting sides of our horses. 
For answer, Roland opened his hand 
— fhll of gold. Away we went bock 
through the dull sleeping village, back 
into the broad moonlit thoroughikre. 
We came to a cross-road to the right, 
but the track we pursued still led us 
straight on. We had measured back 
nearly half the way to the post-town 
at which we had last changed, when 
k) ! there emerged from a by^bme tvQ 
postilions and their horses ! 

At that sight oar companions shoot* 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



269 



fa}g loud, pushed on bi-fore us and 
b^ed his fellows. A few words gave 
OS the information we sought. A 
wheel had come off the carriage just 
hy the turn of the road, and the young 
1 dy and her servants had taken re- 
flige in a small inn not many yards 
down the lane. The man-servant had 
dismissed the posthoys after they had 
baited thdr horses, saying they were 
to come again in the morning, and 
bring a blacksmith to repair the wheel. 

" How came the wheel off P'' asked 
Roland sternly. 

"Why, sir, the linch-jnn was all 
rotted away, I suppose and came 
out." 

" Did the servant get off the dickey 
after you set out^ and before the aod- 
dent happened ?" 

*'Why, yes. He said the wheels 
were catching fire, that they had not 
the patent axles, and he had forgot to 
have them oiled.'' 

" And he looked at the wheels, and 
shortly afterwards the lineh-pin came 
out? Eh?" 

"Anan, sir I" said the postboy, 
•taring; "why, and indeed so it was!" 

"Come on, Fisistratus, we are in 
time; but pray God — ^pray God — 
that" — the Captain dashed his spur 
into the horse's sides, and the rest of 
his words was lost to me, 

A few yards back fxx»m the cause- 
way, a broad patch of green before it, 
stood the inn — a sullen, old-&shioned 
building of cold grey stone, looking 
livid in the moon-lighiv with bhtck firs 
at one side, throinnng over half of it a 
dismal shadow. So solitary! not a 
house, not a htit near it. If they who 
kept the inn were such that villany 
might reckon on th^ connivance, and 
innocence despair of their aid — ^there 
was no neighbourhood to alarm — ^no 
refuge at l^d. The spot was well 
chosen. 

The doors of the inn were closed ; 
there was a light in the room below ; 



but the outside shutters were drawn 
over the windows on the ilrst floor. 
My uncle paused a moment, and said 
to the postilion — 

" Do you know the back way to the 
premises ?'* 

" No, sir : I df)e8n't often come by 
this way, and they be new folks that 
have taken the house — and I hear it 
don't prosper over much." 

" Knock at the. door ; we will staii4 
a little aside while you do so. If any 
one ask what you waat — ^merely say 
you would speak to the 8ervant---that 
you have found a purse; — here, hold 
up mine." 

Boland and I had dismounted, and 
my uncle drew me dose to the wall by 
the door. Observing that my impa* 
tience ill submitted to what seemed to 
me idle preliminaries. 

"Hist!" whispered he; "if tliere 
be anything to conceal within, they 
will not answer the door till some one 
has reconnoitred; were they to see 
us, they would refuse to open. But 
seeing only the postboy, whom they 
will suppose at first to be one of thoso 
who brought the carriage, they will 
have no suspicion. Be ready to rush 
in the moment the door is unbarred.'' 

My uncle's veteran experience did 
not deceive him. There was a lon^ 
silence before any reply was made to 
the postboy's summons; the light 
passed to and fro rapidly across the 
window, as if persons were moving 
within. Boland made ngu to the post- 
boy to knock again ; he did so twice 
— ^thrice — and at last, from an attie 
window in the roof, a headobtruded» 
and a voice cried, "Who are you ?— ^ 
what do you want ?" 

"I'm the postboy at the Bed 
Lion; I want to see the servant with 
the brown carriage: I have fouxid 
this purse !" ; 

" Oh, that's all— wait a bit." 

The head disappeared; we crept 
along under the projecting eaves oC 



(64 



THE CAnOKSt 



tbe boose; we heead tbe bar lifted 
from the door ; the door itself cau- 
tioosly opened; one spring and I 
stood within, and set my back to tbe 
door to admit Roland. 

"Ho, help ! — thieves !— belp !'* 
eried a load yoice, and I felt a band 
gripe at my throat. I strode at ran- 
dom in tbe dark, and witb effect, fbr 
my Uow was followed by a groan and 
a corse. 

Roland, meanwhile, bad detected a 
ray throogh tbe chinks of a door in 
the ball, and, goided by it, foond bis 
way into tbe room at tbe window of 
which we bad seen tbe light pass and 
go, while witboot. As be tlurew tbe 
door open, I boonded after him, and 
saw, in a kind of parknir, two females 
<-^he one a stranger, no doobt the 
hostess, the other the treacheroos abt- 
gaal. Their faces evinced their terror. 

"> Woman,'' I said, seizing the last, 
« where is Miss Treranion?" In- 
stead of replying, tbe woman set np a 
lond shriek. Another light now 
gleamed from tbe staircase which 
£nmediately ikoed the door; and I 
•heard a voice, that I recognised 
as Peacock's, cry oat, " Who's there? 
-*Wbat'8 the matter P" 

I made a msh at tbe stairs. A 
Irarly form (that of the landlord, who 
^ad recovered from my Uow) ob- 
Itmcted my way for a moment, to 
measore its lengtb on tbe floor at tbe 
aext. I was at the top of the stairs; 
-Peacock recognised me, reccnled, and 
•cxtingoisbed the light. Oaths, cries, 
and dnieks now resounded throogh 
ibedark. Amidst them all, I sad- 
-denly beard a voice exdidm, " Here, 
bere! — ^help!" It was tbe vdce of 
Penny. I made my way to tbe right, 
whence tbe voice came, and r^elved 
« violent blow. Fortunately, it icll 
on the arm which 1 extended, as men 
dowho foel theirway tbrougli the dark. 
It was not the right arm, and I seized 
«Dd €k»ed on my anailaat. Rolaad 



now came np, a cmdie In Ms ban^ 
and at that sight my antagonist, who 
was -no other than Peacock, slipped 
from me, and made a rosb at the 
stairs. Bat the captain caogbt him 
witb bisgraspof iron. Fearing nothing 
for Roland in a contest witb any 
single foe, and all my thooglits bent 
on the rescoe of her whose voice again 
broke on my ear, I had already (be- 
fore tbe light of the candle which Ro- 
land held went oot in tbe struggle 
between himself and Peacock) caught 
sight of a door at the end of tbe pas- 
sage, and thrown myself against it: it 
was locked, bat it shook and groaned 
to my pressore. 

"UdLd back, wboever yoo are:" 
cried a v<^ce from tbe room within, 
fitr different from that wail of distrets" 
which bad guided n^ steps. '* Hold 
back, at tbe peril of your Vfe!" 

The voice, thetbreat, redoubled my 
strength; the door flew from its flB«» 
tenlngs. I stood in tbd room. I 
saw Fanny at my feet, daxping my' 
hands; then, raising berself, she' 
bung on my shoulder and nnirmnred 
" Saved !" Oppoeite^to me, bb face 
detbrmed by pMsion, bis eyesliterally 
blazmg with ssvnge flre^ hb noHtrlls 
distended, bis lips apart,stood the man 
I have oidled Francis Vivian. 

''Fanny — Miss TrevankMw-^bai 
outrage— what viUany is this ? Too 
have not met this man at your free^ 
dioice,-M)h vpmkl'* l^vian spnng' 
fosrwardL 

" Quesfion wo one but me. Xh^ 
band that lad)r,*-ehe is my betrothed- 
-"-shall be my wifo." 

''No, no, ne^>-dont believe bim,' [ 
cried Fanny; ^ I have been betra^' 
by my own servant»^-4roaght hereb I] 
know not bow! I heard my lather 
was ill ; I was on my way to hSmr 
that man met me here^ and dared 



» 



"Itiss TVMWiiOD— f«i^ I daNd to 
say I Jored yoo/* • 



A IfAUihY PICTURE. 



Tm 



"Profcecfc me irom himl^^you will 
protect me from him I" 

"No^ madam!" said a Toioe behhid 
me, in a 4eep tone, " it is I who daim 
the right to protect joa from that 
man ; it is I who now draw anrand 
.you the arm of one sacred, even to 
him; it is I who^ from this epot, 
^launch upon his head — a fiither's 
corse. Violator of the hearth ! Baf- 
fled ravifther! — go thy way to the 
doom which thou hast chosen for 
thyself. Gkxl will be merciful to me 
ye^ and ^ve me a grave before thy 
coarse find its close in the hulks-— or 
.at the gallows I" 

A sickness came over me — ai«rror 
froze my veins — I reeled back, and 
leant for support against the walL 
Boland had passed his arm round 
Fanny, and she, frail and trembling, 
dung to his broad breast^ looking 
fearfully up to his &ce. And never 
In that face, ploughed by deep emo- 
<tions, and dark with unutterable sor- 
xows, had I seen an expression so 
grand in its wrath, so sublime in its 
.despair. Following the direction of bis 
^ye, stem and^ed as the look of one 
who prophesies a destiny and de- 
nounces a doom, I shivered as I gazed 
.npon the son. His whole frame 
Jeemed collapsed and shrinking, as if 
already withered by the curse; a 
jghastly whiteness overspread the 
cheek, usually glowing with the dark 
bloom of oriental youth ; the knees 
Imodced together ; and, at last, with 
jtk ^unt exdbimation of pain, like the 
cry 6f one who receives a deathblow, 
he bowed h's fiice over his clasped 
liands, and so remained-*-sti]l, but 
lowering. 

Instinctively I advanced, and placed 
myself between the &ther and the 
soDf murmuring, "Spare him; see, 
iiis own heart crushes him down." 
tThen stealing towards the ton, I 
whispered, "Go, go; the crime was 
^Dot committeiji the come caa be.n- 



called.'' But my words touched k 
wrong chord in that dark and rebel- 
lious nature. The young man with- 
drew his hands hastily trcm his fiioe 
and reared his front in passionate de- 
fiance. 

Waving me aside, he cried, "Away! 
I acknowledge no authority over my 
actions and my fiite; I allow no 
mediator between this lady and 
myself. Sir," he continued, gazing 
gloomily on his father — "sir, you 
forget our compact. Our ties were 
severed, yourpower over me annulled; 
I resigned the name you bear ; to yoa 
I was, and am still, as the dead. I 
deny your right to step between me 
and the object dearer to me than life.^ 

"Oh i" (and here he stretched fortii 
his hands towards Faimy) — "Oh, Miss 
Trevanion, do not refuse me one 
prayer, however you condemn me. 
Let me see you alone but for one 
moment; let me but prove to you 
that, g^lty as I may have been, it 
was not from the base motives- you 
will hear imputed to me— that it was 
not the heiress I sought to decoy, it 
was the woman I sought to win ; oh, 
hear me — ** 

" Ko, no^" murmured Fanny, clings 
ing closer to Koland, " do not leave 
me. li^ as it seems, he is your son» 
I forgive him; but let him go— I 
shudder at his very voice!" 

" Would.you have me, indeed, an- 
nihilate the memory of the bond 
between us?" saidBoland, in a hollow 
voice; "would yon have me see in 
you only the vile tldef, the lawksi 
felon,— deliver you up to juatioe, on 
strike yon to my feet ? Let the m^ 
mory still save you, and begone!" 

Again I caught hold of the ginltj 
son, and again he broke from my gnuip^ 

" It is," he said, folding his arms 
deliberately on his breast — " it is for 
me to command in this house ; all wfae 
are within it must submit to my 
epKlen. Yoa, air, who hold r^ii» 



S6d 



THE CAXTONSt 



tation, nfime, and honour, at bo high 
a price, how can yon fail to see that 
you wonld rob them from the lady 
whom yon would protect from ihe 
insult of my affection P How would 
the world receive the tale of your 
rescue of Miss Trevanion ? how believe 
that — Oh, pardon me, madam — Miss 
Trevanion — Fanny — pardon me — I 
am mad; only hear me— alone — 
alone — and then if you, too, say 'Be- 
gone,' I submit without a murmur; I 
allow no arbiter but you/^ 

But Fanny still clung doser, and 
closer still, to Roland. At that mo- 
ment I heard voices and the tramp- 
ling of feet below, and supposing that 
the accomplices in this villany were 
mustering courage, perhaps, to mount 
to the assistance of their employer, I 
lost all the compassion that had hi- 
therto softened my horror of the 
young man's crime, and all the awe 
with which that confession had been 
attended. I therefore, this time, 
seized the false Vivian with a gripe 
that he could no longer shaJce off, and 
aaid sternly— 

" Beware how you aggravate your 
offence. If strife ensues, it will not 
be between &ther and son, and — " 

Fanny sprang forward. ** Do not 
provoke this bad, dangerous man. I 
fear him not. Sir, I ioiU hear you, 
and alone." 

*<Never!" cried I and Roland m- 
innltaneously. 

Vivian turned his look fiercely to 
me, and with a sullen bitterness to 
his &th6r, and then, as if resigning 
his former prayer, he said — "Well, 
then, be it so; even in the presence 
of those who judge me so severely, I 
will speak, at least" He paused, and 
throwing into his vmce a passion that, 
had the repugnance at his guilt been 
less, would not have been without 
pathos, he continued to address 
Fanny: "I own that, when I first 
■ow youy I might have thought of 



love, as the poor and ambitions tfenk 
of the w^ay to wealth and powd*. 
Those thoughts vanished, and nothing 
remained in my heart but love and 
madness. I was as a man in a delirium 
when I planned this snare. I knew 
but one object — saw but one heavenly 
vision. Oh! mine — mine at least in 
that vinon — are you indeed lost to me 
for ever!" 

There was that in this man's tone 
and manner which, whether arising 
from accomplished hypocrisy, or ac- 
tual, if perverted feeling would, I 
thought, find its way at once to the 
heart of a woman who, however 
wron§^>d, had once loved him ; and* 
with a cold misgiving, I fixed mj 
eyes on Miss Trevanion. Her loo^ 
as she turned with a visible tremor, 
suddenly met mine, and I believe that 
she discerned my doubt, for afcer suf- 
fering her eyes to rest on my own, 
with something of mournful reproach, 
her lips curved as with the pride of 
her mother, and for the first time in 
my life I saw anger on her brow. 

** It is well, sir, that you have thus 
spoken to me in tMb presence of 
others, for in their presence I call 
upon you to say, by that honour 
which the son of this gentleman may 
for a while forget, but cannot whoUy 
forfeit, — I call upon you to say, whe- 
ther by deed, woiicl, or sign, I, Frances 
Trevamon, ever gave you cause to bc^ 
lieve that I returned the feeling yoti 
say you entertained for me, or encou- 
raged yon to dare this attempt to 
place me in your power." 

•*No!" cried Vivian readily, bn| 
with a writhing lip— "no; but where 
I loved so deeply, perilled all my for* 
tune for one fiiir and free occarion to 
tell you so alone, I would not think 
that such love could meet only loath- 
ing and disdain. What ! — ^has nature 
shaped me so unkindly, that where I 
love no love can reply P What ! htk 
the accident of birth shut me out frma 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



267! 



the right to woo and mate with the 
highborn ? For the last, at 1ea»t that 
gentlemfln in justice should tell you, 
since it has been his care to instil the 
haughty lesson into me, that my 
lineage is one that befits lofty hopes, 
and warrants fearless ambition. Mv 
hopes, my ambition — they were you ! 
Oh, Miss Trevanion, it is true that to 
win you I would have braved the 
world's laws, defied every foe, sive 
him who now rises before me. Yet, 
believe me, believe me, had I won 
what I dared to aspire to, you would 
not have been disgraced by your 
choice; and the name, for which I 
thank not my father, should not have 
been despised by the woman who par- 
doned my prosumption, nor by the 
man who now tramples on my anguish 
and curses me in my desolation/' 

Not by a word had Roland sought 
to interrupt his son — ^nay, by a fe- 
Terish excitement, wliich my heart 
understood in its secret sympathy, he 
had seemed eagerly to court every 
syllable that could extenuate the 
darkness of the offence, or even imply 
Bome less sordid motive for the base- 
ness of the means. But as the son 
now closed with the words of unjust 
reproach, and the accents of fierce 
desjmir — closed a defence that showed, 
in its false pride and its perverted 
eloquence, so utter a blindness to 
every principle of that Honour which 
had been the father's idol, Roland 
placed his hand before the eyes that 
he had previously, as if spell-bound, 
fixed on the hardened offender, and 
once more drawing Fanny towards 
him, said — 

" His breath pollutes the fur that 
innocence and honesty should breathe. 
He says ' All in this house are at his 
command,' — why do we stay ? — let us 
go." He turned towards the door, 
and Fanny with him. 

Meanwhile the louder sounds below 
had been silenced for some moments) 



but I heard a step In the hall. Tivian 
started, and placed himself before us. ^ 

'' No, no, you cannot leave me thus^ 
Miss Trevanion. 1 resijjn you — be it 
so; I do not even ask for pardon. 
But to leave this house thus, without 
carriage, without attendants, without 
explanation ! — ^the blame &lls on mo 
— it shall do so. But at least vouch* 
safe me the right to repair what I 
yet can repair of the wrong, to protect 
all that is left to me — ^your name." 

As he spoke, he did not perceive (for 
he vns ^ing us, and with his back- 
to the door) that a new actor had 
noiselessly entered on the scene, and, 
pausing by the threshold, heard his^ 
last words. 

"The name of Miss Trevanion, sir 
-—and from what ?" asked the new 
comer, as he advanced and surveyed 
Vivian with a look that, but for ita 
quiet, would have seemed disdain. 

" Lord Castleton !" exclaimed Fanny^ 
lifting up the face she had buried iii= 
her hands. 

Vivian recoiled in dismay, and 
gnashed his teeth. 

" Sir," said the marquis, " I await 
your reply ; for not even you, in my 
presence, shall imply that one re^* 
proach can be attached to the name 
of that lady." 

<* Oh, moderate your tone to me, 
my Lord Castleton I" cried Vivians 
" in you at least there is one man 
I am not forbidden to brave and defy. 
It was to save that lady from the cold 
ambition of her parents — it was to 
prevent the sacrifice of her youth and 
beauty, to one whose sole merits are 
his wealth and his titles — ^it was this 
that impelled me to the crime I have 
committed, this that hurried me on 
to risk all for one hour, when youth 
at least oould plead its cause to youth; 
and this gives me now the power tp 
say that it does rest with me to pro- 
tect the name of the lady, whom your 
very servility to that world which yon 



THE CAXtOSSs 



Imnn maib ' joAr idol IbrUds jou to 
daim fiom the iMartleH ambition 
that woold Mcrifioe the daughter to 
the vanity of the paienta. Ha! 
the fatnre KarduoneM of Caitle- 
ton on her way to Sootknd with a 
pennileM adveiitarer! Ha! if my 
Upe are sealed, who bat I can seal 
the Ups of those bdow in my lecret ? 
The secret shall be kept, hot on this 
oonditioa -^ you shall not triumph 
where 1 have fiuled ; I may lose what 
I adored, but I do not resign it to 
another. Ha ! have I foiled yon, my 
Lord CasUeton ?— ha, ha !" 

'* No, sir ; and I almost forgive yon 
the vilhmy you have not effected, for 
informing me, for the first time^ that 
had [ presumed to address Miss IVe- 
vanion, her parents at least would 
have pardoned the presumption. Trou- 
ble not yourself as to what your ac- 
complices may say. They have already 
confessed their in&my and your own. 
Out of my path, sir l" 

Then, with the benign lode of a 
ftithcr, and the lofty grtuse of a prince, 
* liord Castleton advanced to Fanny. 
Looking round with a shudder, she 
hiistily placed her hand in his, and, 
by so doing, perhaps prevented some 
violence on the part of Vivian, whose 
heaving breast, and eye bloodshot, 
and still unquailing, showed how little 
•ven shame hadsubdued his fiercerpas- 
tions. But he made no offer to detain 
them, and his tongue seemed to cleave 
to bis lips« Now, as Fanny moved to 
the door, she passed Roland, who. 
stood motionless and with vacant 
looks, like an image of stone; and 
with a beautiful tenderness, for which 
(even at 'this distant date^ recalling 
it), I say, " God requite thee, Fanny," 
•he liiid her other hand' on Roland's 
arm, and said, "Come too : jfowt arm 

•tai!" 

- But Roland's limbs trembled and 
MAned to stir; his head, relaxing, 
drooped on hisbr«ast» his ^m dosed. 



Bven Lord GastletoQ n w so stnxdk 
(though mwble to guess the true and 
terrible cause of his dejection) that ha 
forsot his desire to hasten fiom the 
spot, and cried with all his kindlineaa 
of heart, ''You are ill — you ^nt| 
give him your arm, Pisistratus." 

" It is nothing," said Rolandyfeebly, 
as he leant heavily on my arm, while 
I turned back my head with all the 
bitterness of that reproach which 
filled my heart, speaking in the eyea 
that sought Aim, whose place should 
have been where mine now was. And, 
oh ! — ^thank heaven, thank heaven ! 
— ^the look was not, in vain. In the 
same moment the son was at the 
father's knees. 

" Oh, pardon — pardon ! Wretch, 
lost wretch though I be, I bow my 
head to the curse. Let it fidl — bat 
on me, and on me, only— not on year 
own heart too." 

Fanny burst into tears, sobbing oat^ 
* Forgive him, as I do." 

Roland did not heed her. 

" He thinks that the heart was not 
shattered before the curse cooldoome^" 
he^said, in a voice so weak as to bo 
scarcely audible. Then, raising his 
eyes to heaven, his lips moved as if he 
prayed inly. Pausing, he stretched 
his hands over his son's head, and^ 
averting his fiuse, said, " I revoke the 
curse. Pray to thy God for pardon.** 

Perhaps not daring to trust himself 
fhrther, he then made a violent eflbrt« 
and hurried from the room. 

We followed silently. When w^ 
gained the end of the pass:ige, the 
door of the room we had left dosed 
with a sullen jar. 

As the sound smote on my ear, with 
it came so terrible a sense of the soU« 
tude upon which that door had dosed 
— so keen and quick an apprehensioa 
of some fearful impidse, suggested by- 
passions so fierce, to a condition so 
forlo^'--that instinctivdy I stopped, 
and then hurried bade to the chamb^n 



A FAMILY PICTUBK 



Hie lock of fhe door liaviiig beei^ 
preyiQusly forced, there was no barrier 
to oppose my entrance. I adyanced, 
and beheld a spectacle of such agony, 
as can only be conceived by those 
who haye looked on the grief which 
takes no fbrtitude from reason, no 
coniiolation from conscience — the grief 
which tells ns what would be the 
earth were man abandoned to his pas- 
sions, and the chance of the atheist 
reigned alone in the merciless heayens. 
Pride himibled to the dust ; ambition 
shiyered into fragments ; loye (or the 
passion mistaken for it) blast^ into 
ashes; life, at the first onset, be- 
reaved of its holiest ties, forsaken by 
its truest gaide; shame that writhed 



Ibr revengei, and remorse that kne^ 
not prayeivHill, all blended, yet di&» 
tinct, were in that awftd spectacle <$' 
the guilty son. 

Aad I had told but twenty years^ 
and my heart had been mellowed in 
the tender sunshine of a happy home» 
and I had loved this boy as a stranger, 
and, lo ! — ^he was Roland's son ! I 
forgot aU elte, looking upon that an- 
guish; and X threw myself on the 
grotmd by the form that writhed 
there, and, folding my arms round 
t|ie breast which in vain repelled me^ 
I whispered, "Comfort — comfort — . 
lifo is long. Tou shall redeem the 
past, you shall ef&uce the stiun, and 
your fiither shall bless you yet 1'' 



CHAPTEB II. 



T oonj) not stay long with my tm- 
happy cousin, but still I stayed long 
enough to make me think it probable 
fhat Lord Castleton's carriage would 
"have left' the inn : and when, as I 
passed the hall, I saw it standing be- 
ibre the open door, I was seized with 
fear for Roland ; his emotions might 
have ended in some physical attack. 
Nor were those foars without foun- 
dation. I found Fanny kneeling be- 
aide the old soldier in the parlour* 
wliere we had seen the two women, 
and bathing his temples, while Lord 
Castleton was binding his arm; and 
'the marquis's fitvourite valet, who, 
amongst his other gifts, was some- 
thing of a surgeon, was wiping the 
bl%de of the penknife that had served 
instead of a lancet. Lord Ca^tleton 
nodded to me, "Don't be uneasy — 
a little fifiinting fit — we have bled 
htm. He is safe now-Hsee, he i9 re- 
covering." 

Roland's eyes, as they opened* 
turned to me with an anxious, in- 
quiring look. I smiled upon him as 
1 kissed his forehead, and eould, with 



a safe conscience, wlnsper words winch 
neither &ther nor Christian could 
reftise to receive as comfort. 

In a few minutes more we had left 
the house. As Lord Castleton's car- 
riage only held two, the marqnii^ 
having assisted Miss Trevanion and 
Roland to enter, quietly mounted the 
seat behind, and made a sign to me to 
come by his side, for there was room 
for both. (His servant had taken 
one of the horses that had brought 
thither Roland and myself, and al- 
ready gone on before.) No conver* 
sation took place between us then. 
Lord Castleton seemed profoundly 
afiected, and I had no words at m j 
command. 

When we reached the inn at which 
Lord Castleton had changed horses, 
about six miles distant, the marquia 
infflsted on Fanny's taking some rest 
for a few bourse for indeed she waa 
thoranghly worn out. 

I attended my uncle to his room, 
but he oply answered my assurances of 
his son's repentance with a pressure 
of the hand, and then, gliding from 



,870 



THE CAXTOKSs 



me, went into the fertbest recess of 
the room, and there knelt down. 
When he rose, he was passive and 
tractable as a child. He suffered me 
to assist him to nndress; and when 
he hod lain down on the bed, he turned 
his face qmetly from the light, and, 
after a few heavy nghs, sleep seemed 
mercifully to steal upon him. I lis- 
tened to his breathing till it grew low 
and regular, and then descended to 
the sitting-room in which I had* left 
Lord Castleton, for he had asked me 
in a whisper to seek him there. 

I found the marquis seated by the 
fire, in a thoughtful and dejected 
attitude. 

" I am glad you are come/' said he, 
making room for me on the hearth, 
*'for I assure you I have not felt so 
mournful for many years; we have 
much to explain to each other. Will 
you begin : they say the sound of the 
bell dissipates the thunder-doud. And 
there is nothing like the voice of a 
frank, honest nature to dispel all the 
clouds that come upon us when we 
think of our own &ults and the vil- 
lany of others. But I beg you a 
thousand pardons-^that young man, 
your relation! — your brave uncle's 
son ! Is it possible !" 

My explanations to Lord Castleton 
were necessarily brief and imperfect. 
The separation between Roland and 
his son, my ignorance of its cause, my 
belief in the death of the latter, my 
chance acquaintance with the sup- 
posed Vivian ; the interest I took in 
him ; the relief it was to the fears for 
his fiite with which he inspired me, 
to think he had returned to the home 
I ascribed to him : and the circum- 
stances which had induced my sus- 
picions, justified by the result — all 
this was soon hurried over. 

" But, I beg your pardon," said the 
Imarquis, interrupting me, " did you, 
txi your friendship for one so unlike 
|ou» even by your own partial aooount, 



never suspect that yoa had rtmnUe^ 
upon your lost cousin ?" 

"Such an idea never could have 
crossed me." 

And here I must observe, that 
though the reader, at the first intro* 
duction of Vivian, would divine the 
secret, — ^the penetration of a reader 
is wholly different from that of the 
actor in events. That I had chanced 
on one of those curious coincidences 
in the romance of real life, which a 
reader looks out for and expects in 
following the course of narrative^ was 
a supposition forbidden to me by a 
variety of causes. There was not the 
least family resemblance between 
Vivian and any of his relations ; an^ 
somehow or other, in Roland's son I 
had pictured to myself a form and acha- 
racter wholly different from Vivian's. 
To me it would have seemed impossible 
that my couan could have been so 
little curious to hear any of our joint 
fSftmily affairs ; been so unheedful, or 
even weary, if I spoke of Roland—* 
never, by a word or tone, have be- 
trayed a sympathy with his Idndred. 
And my other conjecture was so pro- 
bable ! — son of the Colonel Vivian 
whose name he bore. And that letter, 
with the post-mark of " Godalming I" 
and my belief, too, in my oouan's 
death ; even now I am not surprised 
that the idea never occurred to me. 

I paused from enumerating these 
excuses for my dulness, angry with 
myself, for I noticed that Lord Castle* 
ton's fair brow darkened; — and he 
exclaimed, ** What deceit he must 
have gone through before he could 
become such a master in the art !" 

'* That is true, and I cannot deny 
it," said L "But hb punishment 
now is awful: let us hope that re- 
pentance may follow the chastise- 
ment. And, though certainly it must 
have been his own fault that drove 
him from his father's home and 
guidance, yet^ so driveut let as make 



A FAMILY PICTURB. 



971 



iome aOowanoe for the mflnence of 
«vil companionship on one so young 
•—for the suspidons that the know- 
ledge of evil produces, and turns into 
a kind of fiilse knowledge of the 
world. And in this last and wont of 
all his actions"-— 

"Ah, how justify that?" 

''Justify it! — good heavens! jus- 
tify it ! — ^no. I only say this, strange 
as it may seem, that I helieve his af- 
fection for Miss Trevanion was for 
herself: so he says, from the depth of 
an anguish in which the most insin- 
cere of men would cease to feign. 
But no more of this,— -she is saved, 
thank Heaven I" 

"And you helieve," said Lord 
Castleton musingly, " that he spoke 
the truth when he thought that 
I"~- The marquis stopped, coloured 
slightly, and then went on. " But 
DO; Lady EUiuor and Trevanion, 
whatever might have heen in their 
thoughts, would never have so forgot 
, their dignity as to take him, a youth 
—almost a stranger — nay, take any 
one into their confidenco on such a 
•uhject." 

" It was hut hy hroken gasps, in- 
coherent, disconnected words, that 
Vivian, — I mean my cousin, — gave 
. me any explanation of this. But Lady 
K , at whose house he was stay- 
ing, appears to have entertained such 
.a notion, or at least led my coufiin to 
think so." 

" Ah ! that is poanble/' said Lord 
Castleton, with a look of relief. 

•* Lady N and 1 were hoy and 

girl together; we correspond; she 
has written to me suggesting that 
—Ah! I see, — an indiscreet wo- 
-man. Hum ! this comes of kdy cor- 
respondents !" 

Lord Castleton had recourse to 
the Beaudesert mixture; and then, 
as if eager to change the subject, be- 
gan his own explanation. On receiv- 
ing my letter, be saw evea more 



cause to suspect a snare than I had 
done, fbr he had that morning re- 
cdved a letter from Trevanion, nofe 
mentioning a word about his illness; 
and on turning to the newspaper, 
and sedng a paragraph headed, 
" Sudden and alarming illness of Mr* 
Trevanion," the marquis had suspected 
some party manceuvre or unfeeling 
hoax, since the mail that had brought 
the letter must have travelled aa 
quickly as any messenger who had 
given the information to the news« 
paper. He had, however, immediately 
sent down to the office of the journal 
to inquire on what authority the pa« 
ragraph had been inserted, while he 
despached another messenger to SU 
James's Square. The reply from the 
office wasy that the message had been 
brought by a servant in Mr. Treva- 
nion's livery, but was not admitted as 
news until it had been ascertained by 
inquiries at the minister's house that 
Lady EUinor had received the same 
inteUigence, and actually left town 
in consequence. 

" I was extremely sorry for poor 
Lady Ellinor's uneasiness," said Lord 
Castleton, "and extremely puzzled, 
but I stiU thought there could be no 
real ground for alarm until your let- 
ter reached me. And when you there 
stated your conviction that Mr. 
Grower was mixed up in this fiEible, and 
that it concealed some snare upon 
Fanny, I saw the thing at a glance. 

The road to LordN ^'s, till within 

the last stage or two, would be the 
road to Scotland. And a hardy and 
unscrupulous adventurer, with the 
asnstance of Miss Trevanion's ser- 
vants, might thus entrap her to Scot- 
land itsdf, and there work on her 
fears ; or, if he had hope in her affec- 
tions, entrap her into consent to a 
Scotch marriage. You may be sure^ 
therefore, that I was on the road as 
soon as possible. But as your mes* 
senger came aU the way from the 



S7S 



THE CAXTONS: 



dty, and not to qndckly perbaps as he 
img^t have come; and then, as there 
was the carriage to see to, and the 
horsea to send fbr, I fbnuid myself 
more than an honr and a half behind 
yon. Fortunately, however, I made 
good groondf ai^ should probably 
have overtaken yon half-way, but that, 
on passing between a ditch and wag- 
gon, the carriage was upset, and that 
aomewhat delayed me. On arriving 
at the town where the road branched 
off to Lord N— 's, I was rejoiced 
to learn yon had taken what I was 
(rare would prove the right direction, 
and finally I gained the clue to that 
^Fillanous inn, by the report of the post- 
boys who had taken Miss Trevanion's 
oarriage there, and met you on the 
road. On reaching the inn, I found 
two fellows conferring outside the 
door. They sprang in as we drove 
np, but not before my servant Sum- 
mers — a quick fellow, you know, who 
has travelled ^th me fVom Norway 
'to Nubia — ^had quitted his seat, and 
£^t into the house, into which I fbl- 
' lowed him with a step, you dog, as 
active as your own ! Egad ! I was 
twenty-one then! Two fellows had 
already knocked down poor Sum- 
-mers and showed plenty of, fight. Do 
you know," said the- marquis, inter- 
rupting himself with an air of serio- 
comic humiliation — "do you know 
that I actiially — no, you never will 
believe it — ^mind 'tis a secret— ac- 
tually broke my cane over one fellow's 
shoulders? — ^look !'* (and the mar- 
quis held up the fragment of the la- 
mented weapon.) '* And I half sus- 
-pact, but I can't say positively, that 
-I had even the necessity to demean 
myself by a blow with the naked 
-hand — clenched too! — quite Eton 
>ligain — ^upon my honour it was. Ha, 
ha!" 

And the marquis — whose magnifl- 
'oent prc^rtions, in the full vigour of 
nanr'a stroxtgest^ if Bot lus most com- 



bative, ag^ would have made h!m ft 
formidable antagonist, even to a 
xsouple of prize-fighters, supposing He 
had retamed a little of Kton skill in 
such encounters — ^laughed with the 
glee of a schoolboy, whether at the 
iliought of his prowess, or his sense 
of the contrast between so rude a re- 
course to primitive warfare, and his 
own indolent habits, and almost femi- 
nine good temper. Componng him- 
self, however, with the quick recoUee- 
tion how little I could share his 
hilarity, he resumed gravely, " It took 
us some time — I don't say to defeat 
our foes ; but to bind them, wluch I 
thought a necessary precaution ; — one 
fellow, Trevanion's servant, all the 
while stunning me with quotations 
firom Shakspeare. I then gently 
laid hold of a gown, the bearer of 
which had been long trying to scratdi 
me ; but bdng luckily a small woman^ 
had not succeeded in reaching to my 
eyes. But the gown escaped, and 
fluttered off to the kitchen. I fed* 
lowed, and there I found Miss Trevii- 
nion's Jezebel of a maid. She waa 
terribly frightened* and affected to 
be extremely penitent. I own to yoa 
that I don't care what a man says ih 
the way of slander, but a woman's 
tongue against another woman — espe- 
dally if that tongue be In the mouth 
of a lady's lady — I think it always 
worth silencing; I therefore con- 
sented to pardon this woman on con- 
dition die would find her way here 
before morning. No scandal shall 
come from her. Thus you see some 
minutes elapsed before I joined yon; 
but I minded that the less, as I heard 
you and the Captain were already in 
the room with Miss Trevanion ; and 
not, alas! dreaming of your connection 
with the culprit, I was wondering 
^at could have delayed you so long^ 
—afraid, I own it, to find that Miss 
Trevanion's - heart might have been 
seduced by that — hem — hcml— 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



87S 



lundBame^-^yoimg — hem— -hem ! — • 
There's no fear of that?" added Lord 
CastiLeton, anxioasly, as he hent his 
bright eyes ttpoa mine. 

I felt mysdf oolomr as I answered 
firmly, " It is just to Miss Trevanion 
to add, that the nnhappy man owned, 
in her presence and in mine, that he 
had nerer had the slightest euoourage- 
ment for his attempt — never one 
eaiise to believe that she approved 
the affection which, I try to think, 
blinded and maddened himself." 

"I believe you; for I think" — 
Lord Castleton paused uneasily, again 
looked at me, rose, and walked about 
the room with evident agitation ; then, 
as if he had come to some resolution, 
he returned to the hearth and stood 
£bang me. . 

« My dear young friend," said he, 
with his irresistible kindly frankness, 
'< this is an occasion that excuses all 
things between ns, even my imperti- 
nence. Your conduct from first to 
last has been such, that I wish, from 
the bottom of my heart, that I had a 
daughter to ofSet you, and that you 
felt for her as I believe you feel for 
Miss Trevanion. lliese are not mere 
words; do not look down as if 
ashamed. All the marqmsates in the 
world would never give me the pride 
I ^ottld feel, if I could see in my life 
one steady self-sacrifice to duty and 
honour, equal to that which I have 
witnessed in yon." 

« Oh, my knrd ! my lord 1" 

''Hear me out. That yon love 
Fann^ Trevanion I know; that she 
may have innocently, timidly, half- 
unconsciously, returned that affection, 
I tlnnk prolMkble. But**— 

'*! know what you would say; 
spare me — I know it alL" 

" No ! it is a thing impossible; and, 
if Lady EUinor could consent, there 
would be such a life-long regret on 
hm piirt> such a weight of obligation 
en yoan, that-^-no^ I repeat^ it is 

No. 350. 



impossible ! But let us both think of 
this poor girL I know her better 
than you can — have known her from 
a child; know all her virtues — ^the| 
are charming; all her faults — ^the} 
expose her to danger. These parents 
of hers — ^with thdr genius and am« 
bition — ^may do very well to rule 
England, and influence the world; 
but to guide the finte of that child-— 
no !" Lord Castleton stopped, for he 
was affected. I felt my old jealousy 
return, bnt it was no longer bitter. 

" I say nothing," continued the 
marquis, " of this position, in which, 
without fiiult of hers, Miss Trevanion 
is placed : Lady Ellinor's knowledge 
of the world, and woman's wit, will 
see how all that can be best put right. 
Still it is awkward, and demands 
much consideration. But, putting 
this aside altogether, if you do firmly 
believe that Miss Trevanion is lost to 
you, can you bear to think that she is 
to be flung as a mere cypher into the 
account of the worldly greatness of an 
aspiring politician — married to some 
minister, too busy to watch over her; 
or some dukes, who looks to pay off 
his mortgages with her fortune- 
minister or duke only regarded as a 
prop to Trevanion's power against a 
counter cabal, or as giving his section 
a preponderance in the Cabinet ? Be 
assured such is her most likely destiny, 
or rather the beginning of a destiny 
yet more moumfrd* Now, I tell you 
this, that he who marries Fanny 
Trevanion should have little other 
object, for the first few years of mar- 
riage, than to correct her fiiilings and 
develop her virtues. Believe one who, 
alas ! has too dearly bought his know- 
ledge of woman — ^hers is a character 
to be formed. Well, then, if this 
prize be lost to you, would it be an 
irreparable grief to your generous 
afifection to think that it has fallen 
to the lot of one who at least knows 
his responsibilities^ and who will r»i 

T 18 



874 



THE CAXTONSi 



deem Us own life, hitherto wasted, 
hy the steadfast endeavour to ftilfil 
them ? Can you take this hand still, 
and press it, even though it he a 
rival's ?" 

" My Lord ! This from yon to me, 
is an honoor that — " 

"Yon wiQ not take my hand? 
Then, helieve me, it is not I that will 
^ve that grief to your heart." 

Touched, penetrated, melted hy this 
generosity in a man of such lofty 
claims, to one of my age and fortunes, 
I pressed that nohle hand, half raising 
it to my lips — an action of respect that 



would have misheoome neither; hot 
he gently withdrew the hand, in the 
instinct of his natural modesty. I 
had then no heart to speak further 
on such a subject, but, faltering out 
that I would go and see my uncle, I 
took up the light, and ascended the 
stairs. I crept noiselessly into Ro- 
land's room, and shading the light, 
saw that, though he slept, his &ce 
was very troubled. And then I 
thought, " What are my young griefs 
to his ?" and sitting be»de the bed, 
communed with my own heart and 
was still ! 



CHAPTER III. 



At sunrise I went down into the 
ntting-room, having resolved to write 
to my father to join us; for I felt 
how much Roland needed his comfort 
and his counsel, and it was no great 
distance from the old Tower. I was 
surprised to find Lord Castleton stiU 
seated by the fire; he had evidently 
not gone to bed. 

« That's right," said he ; " we must 
encourage each other to recruit na- 
ture," and he pointed to the breakfast 
things on the table. 

I had scarcely tasted food for many 
hours, but I was only aware of my own 
hunger by a sensation of faintness. I 
eat unconsciously, and was almost 
ashamed to feel how much the food 
restored me. 

** I suppose," said I, ** that you will 
■oon set off to Lord N.'s?" 

"Nay, did I not tell you, that I 
have sent Summers express, with a 
note to Lady Ellinor, begging her to 
come here ? I did not see, on reflec- 
tion, how I could decorously accom- 
pany Miss Trevanion alone, without 
even a female servant, to a house full 
of gossiping guests. And even had 
your unde been well enough to go 
with U8^ his presence would but have 



created an additional cause for wonder; 
so, as soon as we arrived, and while 
you went up with the CapUun, I 
wrote my letter and despatched mj 
man. I expect Lady Ellinor will be 
here before nine o'dock. Meanwhile^ 
I have already seen that infamous 
waiting-woman, and taken care to 
prevent any danger from her gar- 
rulity. And you will be pleased to 
hear that I have hit upon a mode of 
satisfying the curiosity of our friend 
Mrs. Gnmdy— that is, * the World* — 
without injury to any one. We moat 
suppose that that footman of Tre- 
vanion's was out of his mind — ^it is 
but a charitable, and your good father 
would say, a philosophical suppositkni. 
All great knavery is madness ! The 
world could not get on if truth and 
goodness were not the natural ten- 
dencies of sane minds. Bo yoa un- 
derstand?" 

"Not quite." 

" Why, the footman, being out of 
his mind, invented this mad story of 
Trevanion's illness, frightened Lady 
Ellinor and Miss Trevanion out of 
their wits with his own chimera, and 
hurried them both off, one alter tbe 
other* X havin j^ hea^d from Tre* 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



275 



yauion, and knowing he oonld not 
hare been ill when the servant left 
him, set off, as was natural in so old 
a friend of the family, saved her from 
the freaks of a maniac, who, getting 
more and more flighty, was beginning 
to play the Jack o' Lantern, and 
leading her. Heaven knows where! 
over the country; — and then wrote 
to Lady Ellinor to come to her. It 
IB but a hearty laugh at our expense, 
and Mrs. Grundy is content. If you 
don't want her to pity, or backbite, 
let her laugh. She is a she Cerberus 
— she wants to eat you : well — stop 
her mouth with a cake. 

"Yes," continued this better sort 
of Aristippus, so wise under all his 
seeming levities; " the cue thus given, 
everything favours it. If that rogue 
of a lackey quoted Shakspeare as 
much in the servants' hall as be did 
while I was binding him neck and 
heels in the kitchen, that's enough for 
all the household to declare be was 
moon-stricken; and if we find it neces- 
sary to do anything more, why, we 
must induce hkn to go into Bedlam for 
A month or two. The disappearance 
of the waiting woman is natural; 
either I or Lady Ellinor send her 
about her business for her folly in 
being so gulled by the lunatic. If 
that's ui^just, why, injustice to ser- 
vants is common enough — public and 
private. Neither minister nor lackey 
can be forgiven, if he help us into a 
scrape. One must vent one's passion 
on something. Witness my poor cane: 
though, indeed, a better illustration 
would be the cane that Louis XIV. 



broke on a footman, because his ma- 
jesty was out of humour with a prino^ 
whose shoulders were too sacred for 
royal indignation. 

" So you see," concluded Lord Cas- 
tleton, lowering his voice, "that your 
uncle, amongst all his other causes of 
sorrow, may think at least that his 
name is spared in his son's. And the 
young man himself may find reform 
easier, when freed from that despair 
of the possibility of redemption, which V 
Mrs. Grundy inflicts upon those who 
— Courage, tlien ; life is long !" 

** My very words I" I cried ; " and 
so repeated by you. Lord Castleton, 
they seem prophetic." 

"Take my advice, and don't lose 
sight of your cousin, while has pride 
is yet humbled, and his heart perhaps 
softened. I don't say this only for 
his sake. No, it is your poor uncle I 
think of: noble old fellow. And now, 
I think it right to pay Lady Ellinor 
the respect of repuring, as well as I 
can, the havoc three sleepless nights 
have made on the exterior of a gentle- 
man who is on the shady ade of re- 
morseless forty." 

Lord Castleton here left me, and I 
wrote to my fiither, begging him to 
meet us at the next stage (which was 
the nearest point from the high road 
to the Tower), and I sent off the 
letter by a messenger on horseback. 
That task done, I leant my head upon 
my hand, and a profound sadness 
settled upon me, despite all my efforts 
to face the future, and think only of 
the duties of life — ^not its sorrows* 



CHAITER IV. 



Betobe nine o'clock. Lady Ellinor 
arrived, and went straight into Miss 
Trevanion's room. I took refuge in 
my uncle's. Roland was awake and 
ctim, bat so feeble that he made no 



effort to rise; and it was his calm, 
indeed, that alarmed me the most— -it 
was like the calm of nature thoroughly 
exhausted. He obeyed me mec^ni- 
cally, as a patient takes from your 
t2 



876 



THE CAXTONS: 



hand the dnntght, of which he is 
ahnost nnoonscioiUy when I pressed 
him to take food. He smiled on me 
fiuntly, when I spoke to him; hut 
made me a ngn that seemed to im- 
plore flilenoe. Then he turned his 
face from me, and hnried it in ihe 
pillow; and I thought that he slept 
again, when, raising himself a little, 
and feeling for my hand, he said in a 
scarcely audihle voices—- 

"Where is hep" 

" Would you see him, sir P" 

" No, no ; that would kill me— «nd 
then — wliat would hecome of him ?" 

** He has promised me an interview, 
and in that interview I feel assured 
he will ohey your wishes, whatever 
they are." 

Roland made no answer. 

" Lord Castleton has arranged all, 
fio that his name and madness (thus 
let us call it) will never he known." 

"Pride, pride! pride stiU!" — 
murmured the old soldier. "The 
name, the name— Hvell, that is much ; 
but the living soul !— I wish Austin 
were here." 

" I have sent for him, tar." 

Eoland pressed my hand, and was 
•gain silent. Then he hegan to 
mutter, as I thought, incoherently, 
ahout the Peninsula and obeying 
orders; and how some officer woke 
Lord Wellington at night, and said 
that something or other (I could not 
catch what-^the phrase was technical 
and military) was impossible; and 
how Lord Wellington asked " Where's 
the order-book P" and looking into 
the order-book, said, " Not at all im- 
possible, for it is in the order-book ;" 
and so Lord Wellington turned round 
and went to sleep agun. Then sud- 
denly Boland half rose, and said in a 
Y<Moe dear and firm, " But Lord Wel- 
lington, though a great captain, was 
a fidlible man, sir, and the order-book 
waa his own mortal handiworkw^-Oet 
mth^BibWr 



Oh Bohmd, R(Jand! and I had 
feared that thy mind was wandering! 

So I went down and borrowed a 
Bible, in large characters, and placed 
it on the bed before him, opening the 
shutters, and letting in God's day 
upon Qod's word. 

I had just done this, when there 
was a slight knock at the door. I 
opened it, and liord Castleton stood 
without. He asked me, in a whisper, 
if he might see my unde. I drew 
him in gently, and pdnted to the 
soldier of life, " learning what was not 
impossible," from the unerring Order- 
Book. 

Lord Castleton gazed with a 
changing countenance, and, without 
disturbing my unde^ stole back. I 
followed him, and genUy dosed tlie 
door. 

"You must save his son," he siud, in 
a faltering voice*— "you must; and 
tell me how to hdp you. That sight ! 
—no sermon ever touched me more. 
Now come down, and receive Lady 
£llinor's thanks. We are going. She 
wants me to tell my own tale to my 
old friend, Mrs. Grundy : solgowitli 
them. Come !" 

On entering the sitting-room, Lac^ 
Ellinor came up and fiurly embraced 
me. I need not repeat her thank% 
still less the pnuses, which fell cold 
and hollow «i my ear. My gaae rested 
on Fanny where she stood apart— her 
eyes, heavy with fresh tears, bent oa 
the ground. And the sense of all her 
charms— the memory of the tender* 
exquirite kindneas she had shown t» 
the stridcen. frther;. the geneEOiia 
pardon she had extended to the 
criminal son; the looks she had bent 
upon me on that memorable night-* 
looks that had spoken sudi trust in my 
presence— the moment in wfaidi she 
had dung to me for protoctioiiy and 
bar breath be«i warm upon Bqr dMek 
— all these rushed over me; and I 
£ilt.thftl the itoiggk o£ iDMa^hawai 



A FAUiLT picrnmK 



877 



undone — that I had never loved her 
as I loved her then — ^when I saw her 
hat to lose her evermore ! And then 
there came for the firsts and, I now 
r^oice to thmk, for the only time, a 
bitter, ungrateftil accnsation against 
the cruelty of forhme and the dispari- 
ties of life. What was it that set our 
two hearts eternally apart, and made 
hope impossible ? Not nature, bnt the 
fortune that ^ves a second nature to 
the world. Ah, could I then think 
that it is in that second nature that 
the soul is ordained to seek its trials, 
and that the elements of human 
virtue find thdr harmonioaB place! 
What I answered I know not. Neither 
know I how long I stood there listen- 
ing to sounds which seemed to have 
no meaning, till there came other 
sounds which indeed woke my sense, 
and made my blood ran cold to hear, 
-^the tramp of the horses, the grating 
of the wheels, the voice at the door 
that said, "All was ready." 

Then Fanny lifted her eyes^ and 
tiiey met mine; and then involun- 
tarily and hastily she moved a few 
steps towards me, and I clasped my 
right hand to my heart, as if to still 
its beating, and remained still. Lord 
Castleton had watched us both. I 
felt that watch was upon us, though 
I had till then shunned his looks: 
now, as I turned my eyes from 
Fanny's, that look came full upon 
me — soft, oompasnonate, benignant. 
Suddenly, and with an unutterable 
ezpresfflon of nobleness, the marquis 
txnmed to Lady EUinor, and said — 
''Fftrdon me for telling you an old 
story. A friend of mine — a man of 
my own years — ^had the temerity to 
hope that he might one day or other 
win the affections of a lady young 
enough to be his daughter, and whom 
drcumstanoes and his own heart led 
him to prefer from all her sex. My 
friend had many rivals; and you will 
not wonder— for you have seen the 



lady. Among thodki was a ^^oong 

grentleman, who for months had been 

an inmate of the same house-^Hushy 

Lady Ellinor ! you will hear me out ; 

the interest of my story is to oome) 

— ^who respected the sanctity of the 

house he had entered, and had left it 

when he felt he loved, for he was 

poor and the lady rich. Some time 

after, this gentleman saved the lady 

from a great danger, and was then on 

the eve of leaving England^— (Hush ! 

again — hush!) My friend was pre* 

sent when these two young persons 

met, before the probable absence of 

many years, and so was the mother of 

the lady to whose hand he still hoped 

one day to aspire. Hesaw that his voung 

rival wished to say, ' Farewell V and 

without a witness; that farewell was 

all that his honour and his reason 

could suffer him to say. My friend 

saw that the lady felt the natural 

gratitude for a great service, and the 

natural pity for a generous and im« 

fortunate affection; for so. Lady 

Ellinor, he only interpreted the sob 

that reached his ear! What think 

you my friend did ? Your high mind 

at once conjectures. He said to him* 

self — * If I am ever to be blest with 

the heart which, in spite of disparity 

of years, I yet hope to win, let me 

show how entire is the trust that I 

place in its integrity and innocence : 

let the romance <^ first youth be 

closed— the farewell of pure hearts 

be spoken — ^unimlnttered by the idle 

jealousies of one mean suspicion.' 

With that thought, which yo«. Lady 

Ellinor, will never stoop to blame, he 

placed his hand on that of the noble 

mother, drew her gently towards the 

door, and calmly confident of the 

result, left these two young natures 

to the unwitnessed impulse of maiden 

honour and manly duty." 

All this was said and done with a 
grace and earnestness that thrilled 
the listeners : word and action suited 



278 



THE CAXTONS 



to each with fo inimitable a harmony, 
that the spell was not broken till the 
y(noe ceased and the door closed. 

That monmfiil bliss for which I 
had so pined was voochsafed : I was 
alone with her to whom, indeed, 
hononr and reason forbade me to say 
more than the last &rewelL 

It was some time before we re- 
covered-^before wefeli that we were 
alone. 

O, ye moments, that I can now 
recall with so little sadness in the 
mellow and sweet remembrance, rest 
ever holy and nndiadosed in the 
solemn recesses of the heart. Yes ! 
-—whatever confession of weakness 
was interchanged, we were not un- 
worthy of the trust that permitted 
the mournful consolation of the part- 
ing. No trite love-tale — ^with vows 
not to be fulfilled, and hopes that the 
future must belie — ^mocked the reali- 
ties of the life that lay before us. 
Yet on the confines of the dream we 
saw the day rising cold upon the 
world : and if — children as we well- 
nigh were — we shrunk somewhat 
firom the light, we did not blaspheme 
the sun, and cry " There is darkness 
in the dawn V* 

All that we attempted was to com- 
fort and strengthen each other for 
that which must be : not seeking to 
conceal the grief we felt, but pro- 
mising, with simple fieiith, to struggle 
against the grief. If vow were pledged 
between us — that was the vow — each 
for the other's sake would strive to 
enjoy the blesungs Heaven left us 



still. Wen may I say that we were 
children ! I know not, in the broken 
words that passed between us, in the 
sorrowful hearts which those words 
revealed — I know not if there were 
that which they who own, in human 
passion, but the storm and the whirl- 
windy would call the' love of maturer 
years — ^the love that g^ves fire to the 
song, and tragedy to the stage; but I 
know that there was neither a word 
nor a thought which made the sorrow 
of the children a rebellion to the 
heavenly Fathar. 

And again the door unclosed, and 
Fanny walked with a firm step to hct 
mother's side, and, pausing there, ex* 
tended her hand to me, and said, as I 
bent over it, '* Heaven will be with 
you V 

A word firom Lady EUinor; a 
frank smile from him — ^the rival ; one 
last, last glance from the soft eyes ot 
Fanny, and then SoUtude rushed upon 
me — rushed, as something visible^ 
palpable, overpowering. I felt it in 
the glare of the sunbeam — I heard it 
in the breath of the air ! like a ghost 
it rose there — ^where she had filled 
the space with her presence but a 
moment before. A something seemed 
gone from the universe for ever; a 
change like that of death passed 
through my being; and when I woke 
to feel that my being lived again, I 
knew that it was my youth and its 
poet-land that were no more, and that 
I had passed, with an unconscious step^ , 
which never could retrace its way, 
into the hard world of laborious man! 



A FAMILY PICTUBBi 



S79 



PAET SIXTEENTH. 



CHAPTER L 



** Please, nr, he this note for 
you?" asked the waiter. 

** For me — yes; it is my name.'' 

I did not recognise the handwriting, 
and yet the note was from one whose 
writing I had often seen. But for- 
merly the writing was cramped, sti£^ 
perpendicular (a fdgned hand, though 
I guessed not it was feigned) ; now it 
was hasty, irregular, impatient — 
scarce a letter formed, scarce a word 
that seemed finished— andyet strange- 
ly leg^hle withal, as the handwriting 
o£ a hold man almost always is. I 
opened the note listlessly, and read — 

**1 have watched for you all the 
morning. I saw her go. Well ! — I 
did not throw myself under the hoo& 
of the horses. I write this in a puh- 
lie-house, not far. Will you follow 
the hearer, and see once again the 
outcast whom all the rest of the world 
will shun ?" 

Though I did not recog^nise the 
hand, there could he no douht who 
was the writer. 

** The hoy wants to know if there's 
an answer," said the waiter. 

I nodded, took up my hat, and left 
the room. A ragged hoy was stand- 
ing in the yard, and scarcely six 
words passed hetween us, hefore I was 
following him through a narrow lane 
that faceid the inn, and terminated in 
a turnstile. Here the hoy paused, 
and making me a sign to go on, went 
back his way whistling. I passed the 
trnnstile, and found myself in a green 
field, with a row of stunted wiUows 
hanging over a narrow rilL I looked 
rounds and saw Vivian (as I intend 



still to call him) half kneeling, and 
seemingly intent upon some object in 
the grass. 

My eye followed his mechanically. 
A young unfledged bird that had leib 
the nest too soon, stood, all still and 
alone, on the bare short sward — ^its 
beak open as for food, its gaze*fixed 
on us with a wistful stare. Methought 
there was something in the forlorn 
bird that softened me more to the 
forlomer youth, of whom it seemed a 
type. 

" Now,'* said Vivian, speaking half 
to himself, half to me, ** did the bird 
&11 from the nest, or leave the nest 
at its own wild whim ? The parent 
does not protect it. Mind, I say not 
it is the parent's fault — ^perhaps the 
fi&ult is all with the wanderer. But^ 
look yon, though the parent is not 
here^ the foe is !— -yonder, see !" 

And the young man pdnted to a 
large brindled cat, that, kept back 
from its prey by our unwelcome 
neighbourhood, slall renuuned watch- 
ful, a few paces off, stirring its tail 
gently backwards and forwards, and 
with that stealthy look in its round 
eyes, dulled by the sun — ^half fierce^ 
half frightened— which belongs to its 
tribe, when man comes between tha 
devourer and the victim. 

" I do see," said I ; "but a pass- 
ing footstep has saved the bird !" 

"Stop!" said Vivian, laying my 
hand on his own— and with his old 
bitter smile on his Hp— "stop! do 
you think it mercy to save the Inrd ? 
What from ? and what for ? Prom 
a natural enemy-^fkom a short pang 



2S0 



THE CAXT0I7S t 



and a qnick death? Fie! — ^is not 
that better than slow starvation ? or, 
if yon take more heed of it, than the 
prison-bars of a cage ? Yon cannot 
restore the nest, you cannot recall the 
parent! Be wiser in your mercy: 
leave the bird to its gentlest fate \" 

I looked hard on Vivian; the Hp 
had lost the bitter smile. He rose 
and turned away. I sought to take 
np the poor bird, but it did not know 
its friends, and ran from me, chirping 
piteously — ^ran towards the very jaws 
of the grim enemy. I was only just 
m time to scare away the beast, which 
sprai^ up a tree, and glared down 
through the hanging boughs. Then 



I followed the bird, and, as I followed, 
I heard, not knowing at first whence 
the sound came, a short, quick, tre- 
mulous note. Was it near ? was it 
far ? — ^from the earth ? in the sky ?^ 
Poor parent-bird ! like parent-love, it 
seemed now far and now near; now 
on earth, now in sky ! 

And at last, quick and sudden, as if 
bom of the space, lo ! the little wings 
hovered ovar me ! 

The young bird halted, and I also. 

"Come," said I, "ye have found 
each other at last; settle it between 
you !" 

I went back to the outcast. 



i*""^ 



CHAPTER TL 



PiBiBTEATXTS. — ^How Came you to 
know we had stayed in the town ? 

Vivian. — Do you think I could 
remain where you left me ? I wan- 
dered out — ^wandered hither. Paw- 
ing at dawn through yon str^s, I 
saw the ostlers loitering by the gates 
of the yard, overheard them talk, and 
so knew you were all at the innr--all! 
(He sighed heavily.) 

PisiSTBATTJS. — Your poor father is 
Tery ill! O cousin, how could you 
fling from you so much love ! 

Vivian. — Love ! — his ! — my fe- 
ther's! 

PisiSTEATTJS.-- Po you really not 
believe, then, that your father loved 
you? 

Vivian.— If I had believed it, I 
had never left him ! All the gold of 
the Indies had never bribed me to 
leave my mother ! 

PisisiaATU8.^Th]s is indeed a 



strange misconception of yours. If 
we call remove it, all may be well 
yet. Need there now be any secrets 
between us ? (persuasively.) Sit down, 
and tell me all, cousin. 

Afi^er some hesitation, Vivian com- 
plied ; and by the clearing of his brow, 
and the very tone of his voice, I felt 
sure that he was no longer seeking to 
disguise the truth. But, as I after- 
wards learned the Cither's tale as well 
as now the son's, so, instead of re- 
peating Vivian's words, which — not 
by design, but by the twist of a mind 
habitually wrong — distorted the &cts|, 
I will state what appears to me the 
real case, as between the parties so 
unhappily opposed. Beader, pardon me 
if the recital be tedious. And if thoa 
thinkest that I bear not hard enough 
on the erring hero of the story, re- 
member that he who recites judges as 
Austin's son must judge of Boland's. 



A rAMILT PICTURE, 



281 



CHARTER in. 
YTVIASf. 



XT TES XITTBAKCB 07 LITE SITfl— THB KOTHIB. 



It W9B during the war in Spain 
that a severe wound, and the fever 
which ensued, detained Roland at the 
house of a Spanish widow. His hostess 
had once heen rich ; hut her fortune 
had heen ruined in the general cala- 
mities of the country. She had an 
only daughter, who assisted to nurse 
and tend the wounded Englishman; 
and when the time approached for 
Roland's departure, the frank grief of 
the young Ramouna hetrayed the im- 
pression that the guest had made 
upon her affections. Much of grati- 
tude, and something, it might he, 
ef an exquisite sense of honour, 
aided, in Roland's hreast, the charm 
naturally produced hy the heauty of 
his young nurse, and the knightly 
compassion he felt for her ruined jfbr- 
tunes and desolate condition. 

In one of those hasty impulses 
common to a generous xiature — and 
which too often fetally vindicate the 
rank of Prudence amidst the tutelarv 
Powers of Life — Roland committed 
the error of marriage with a girl of 
whose connections he knew nothing, 
and of whose nature little more than 
its ^varm spontaneous susceptihility. 
In a few days suhsequent to these 
Tash nuptials, Roland rejoined the 
march of the army ; nor was he ahle 
to return to Spain till after the 
crowning victory of Waterloo. 

Maimed hy the loss of a limh, and 
with the scars of many a nohle wound 
still fresh, Roland then hastened to a 
home, the dreams of which had soothed 
the hed of pain, and now replaced the 
earlier visions of renoAvn. During 
his ahsence a son had heen horn to 
him — a son whom he might rear 
to take the place he had left in his 



country's service ; to renew, in tome 
iuture fields, a career that had fiiiled 
the romance of his own antique and 
chivalrous amhition. As soon as that 
news had reached him, his care had 
heen to provide an English nurse for 
the infiEmt — so that, with the first 
sounds of the mother's endearments, 
the child might yet hear a voice from 
the fiither's land. A female relation 
of Bolt's had settled in Spain, and 
was induced to undertake this duty. 
Natural as this appointment was to a 
man so devotedly English, it displeased 
his wild and pasraonate Ramouna. She 
had that mother's jealousy, strongest 
in minds uneducated; she had also 
that peculiar pride which helongs to 
her country-people, of every rank and 
condition ; the jealousy and the pride 
were hoth wounded hy the sight of 
the English nurse at the child's 
cradle. 

That Roland, on regaining his 
Spanish hearth, should he disappointed 
in his expectations of the happiness 
awaiting him there, was the inevitahle 
condition of such a marriage; ennce, 
not the less for his mihtary hluntness, 
Roland had that refinement of feel- 
ing, perhaps over-fastidious, which he- 
longs to all natures essentially poetic: 
and as the first illusions of love died 
away, there could have heen little in- 
deed congenial to his stately temper 
in one divided from him hy an utter 
ahsence of education, and hy the 
strong, hut nameless, distinctions of 
national views and manners. The dis- 
appointment, prohahly, however, went 
deeper than that which usually at- 
tends an ill-assorted union; for, in- 
stead of hringing his wife to his old 
Tower (an expatriation which sh 



2SS 



THE CAXTONSt 



would doaliilesB liave resisted to the 
vtmoet), he accepted, maimed aa he 
was, not very long after hia retnm to 
Spidn, the offer of a military post 
nnder Ferdinand. The Cavalier doc- 
trines and intense loyalty of Roland 
attached him, withont reflection, to 
the service of a throne which the 
English arms had contrihnted to esta- 
blish; while the extreme unpopularity 
of the Constitutional Party in Spain, 
and the stigma of irreligion fixed to 
it by the priests, aided to foster Ro- 
land's belief that he was supporting a 
beloved king agunst the professors of 
those revolutionaiy and Jacobinical 
doctrines, which to him were the very 
atheism of politics. The experience 
of a few years in the service of a bigot 
so contemptible as Ferdinand, whose 
highest object of patriotism was the 
restoration of the Inquisition, added 
another disappointment to those which 
had already embittered the life of a 
man who had seen in the grand hero 
of Cervantes no follies to satirise, but 
high virtues to imitate. Poor Quixote 
himself — ^he came mournfully back to 
his La Mancha, with no other reward 
for his knight-errantiy than a deco- 
ration which he disdained to place 
beside his simple Waterloo medal, and 
a grade for which he would have 
blushed to remgn his more modest, but 
more honourable English dignity. 

But, still weaving hopes, the san- 
guine man returned to his Penates. 
His child now had grown from infancy 
into boyhood — the child would pajss 
naturally into his care. Delightful 
occupation ! — At the thought, home 
smiled again. 

Now, behold the most pernicious 
drcmnstance in this ill-omened con- 
nection. 

The father of Ramouna had been 
one of that strange and mysterious 
race which presents in Spiun so many 
features distinct from the characte- 
ristics of its kindred tribes in more 



dvilised lands. The Gitano, or gypsey 
of Spain, is not the mere vagrant we 
see on our commons and road-sides. 
Retaining, indeed, much of his law- 
less principles and predatory inclina- 
tions, he lives often in towns, exercises 
various callings, and not unfrequently 
becomes rich. A wealthy Gitano had 
married a Spanish woman :* Roland's 
wife had been the offspring of this 
marriage. The Gitano had died while 
Ramouna was yet extremely young, 
and her childhood had been free 
from the influences of her paternal 
kindred. But, though her mother, re- 
taining her own religion, had brought 
up Runoima in the same faith, pure 
from the godless creed of the Gitano 
—and, at her husband's death, had 
separated herself wholly from his 
tribe — still she had lost caste with 
her own kin and people. And while 
struggling to regain it, the fortune^ 
which made her sole chance of success 
in that attempt, was swept away, so 
that she had remained apart and soli- 
tary, and could bring no friends to 
cheer the solitude of Ramouna during 
Roland's absence. But, while my 
uncle was still in the service of Fer- 
dinand, the widow died ; and then the 
only relatives who came round Ra- 
mouna were her fii.ther's kindred* 
They had not ventured to claim af- 
finity while her mother lived; and 
they did so now, by attentions and 
caresses to her son. This opened to 
them at once Ramouna's heart and 
doors. Meanwhile the English nurse 
— ^who, in spite of all that could 
render her abode odious to her, had, 
from strong love to her charge, stoutly 
maintained her post — died, a few 
weeks after Ramouna's mother, and 
no healthful influence renudned to 
counteract those baneful ones to 

* A Si>aMard very nurely indoMl marricfl 
a Qitana, or female gypsey. But occaaianally 
(obseires Mr. Borrow) a wealthy Gitano 
inanriM a Spanish female. 



A FAMILY PICTUBB. 



8S3 



which the har of the honest old 
GaxtoDs was sahject. Bnt Roland 
retnmed home in a hmnonr to he 
pleased with all things. Joyously he 
clasped lus wife to his hreast, and 
thought, with self-reproach, that he 
had forhome too little, and exacted 
too mnch — he would he- wiser now. 
Delightedly he acknowledged the 
heauty, the intelligence, and manly 
bearing of the boy, who played with 
his sWord-knot, and ran off with his 
pistols as a prize. 

The news of the Englishman's ar- 
riral at first kept the lawless kinsfolk 
from the house ; but they were fond of 
the boy, and the boy of them, and in- 
terviews between him and these wild 
comrades, if stolen, were not less fre- 
quent. Gradually Boland's eyes be- 
came opened. As, in habitual inter- 
course, the boy abandoned the reserve 
which awe and cunning at first 
imposed, Boland was inexpressibly 
shocked at the bold principles his son 
affected, and at his utter incapacity 
even to comprehend that plain honesty 
and that frank honour which, to the 
English soldier, seemed ideas innate 
and heaven-planted. Soon afterwards, 
Boland found that a system of plunder 
was carried on in his household, and 
tracked it to the connivance of the 
wife and the agency of his son, for 
the benefit of lazy braves and disso- 
lute vagrants. A more patient man 
than Boland might weU have been 
exasperated — a more waiy man con- 
founded by this discovery. He took 
the natural step-— perhaps insisting 
on it too summarily — perhaps not 
allowing enough for the uncultured 
mind and lively passions of his wife — 
lie ordered her instantly to prepureto 
accompany him from the place, and 
to abandon all communication vdth 
her kindred. 

A vehement refusal ensued; but 
Boland was not a man to give up 
•och a pointy and at length a fialse 



submission, and a feigned repentance, 
soothed his resentment and obtained 
his pardon. They moved several 
miles from the place ; but where they 
moved, there, some at least, and those 
the worst, of the balefal brood, steal- 
thily followed. Whatever Bamouna's 
earlier love for Boland had been, it 
had evidently long ceased, in tha 
thorough want of sympathy between 
them, and in that absence which, if 
it renews a strong affection, destroys 
an affection akeady weakened. But 
the mother and son adored each other 
with all the strength of their strongs 
wild natures. Even under ordinary 
drcumstances, the other's influence 
over a boy yet in childhood is exerted 
in vain, if the mother lend herself to 
baffle it. And in this miserable posi- 
tion, what chance had the blunt, stem, 
honest Boland (separated from his son 
during the most ductile years of in- 
&ncy) against the ascendancy of a 
mother who humoured all the fimlts^ 
and gratified all the wishe^ of her 
darling? 

In his despair, Boland let &U the 
threat that, ^thus thwarted, it would 
become his duty to withdraw his son 
from the mother. This threat in- 
stantly hardened both hearts against 
him. The wife represented Boland 
to the boy as a tyrant, as an enemy 
— as one who had destroyed all the 
happiness they had before enjoyed 
in each other — as one whose severity 
showed that he hated his own child; 
and the boy believed her. In his 
own house a firm union was formed 
against Boland, and protected by the 
cunning which is the force of the 
weak against the strong. 

In spite of all, Boland could never 
forget the tenderness with which the 
young nurse had watched over the 
wounded man, nor the love — genuine 
fisr the hour, though not drawn from 
the feelings which withstand the wear 
and tear of life— that lips so beauti* 



284 



THE CAXTGSS, 



M had pledged Um in tiie by-gone 
dftys. These thoughts mnst have come 
perpetually between his feelings and 
his judgment, to embitter still more 
his position — ^to harass still more his 
heart-. And if, by the strength of 
that sense of dnty which made the 
force of his character, he could have 
strung himself to the fiilfllmcnt of the 
threat, humanity, at all events, com- 
pelled him to delay it — ^his wife pro- 
mised to be again a mother, filandie 
was bom. How could he take the 
in&nt from the mother's breast, or 
abandon the daughter to the fatal in- 
fluences from which only, by so yiolent 
an effort, he could free the son ? 

No wonder, poor Roland, that those 
deep fruTows contracted thy bold 
front, and thy hair grew grey before 
its time! 

Fortunately, perhaps^ ftr all par- 



I ties, Bohmd's wife died while Blanche 
I was still an infant. She was taken iU 
of a fever— ^e died delirious, clasping 
her boy to her breast, and praying the 
saints to protect him firom 1^ cruel 
father. How often that deathbed 
haunted the son, and justified his 
bdief that there was no parent's love 
in the heart which was now his sole 
shelter from the world, and the " pelt- 
ing of its pitiless rain." Again I say, 
poor Roland ! for I know that» in that 
harsh, unloving dismpture of such 
solemn ties, thy large, generous heart 
forgot its wrongs; again didst thoa 
see tender eyes bending over the 
wounded stranger — again hear low 
murmurs breathe the warm weakness 
which the women of the south deem 
it no shame to own. And now did it 
all end in those ravings of hate^ and in 
that glazing gaze of terror I 



CHAPTER IV. 



SHS PBBOBPTOB* 



RoiiAin) removed to France, and 
fixed his abode in the environs of 
Paris. He placed Blanche at a con- 
vent in the immediate neighbourhood, 
going to see her dally, and gave him- 
self up to the education o£ his son. 
The boy was apt to learn, but to un- 
learn was here the arduous task-— and 
for that task it would have needed 
either the passionless experience, the 
exquinte forbearance of a practised 
teacher, or the love, and confidence, 
and yielding heart of a beUeving 
pupil. Roland fblt that he was not 
the man to be the teacher, and that 
his son's heart remained obstinately 
closed to him. He looked round, and 
found at the other side of Paris what 
seemed a suitable preceptor — a young 
Frenchman of some distinction in 
letters, more especially in sdence, with 
an a Frenchman's eloquence of talk, 



fbll of high-flotm^&ig sentiments that 
pleased the romantic enthusiasm of tiie 
Captain; so Roland, with sanguine 
hopes^ confided his son to this man's 
care. The boy's natural quickness 
mastered readily all that pleased his 
taste ; he learned to speak and write 
French with rare fblidty and pre- 
cision. His tenacious memory, and 
those fiexile organs in which the 
talent iar languages is placed, servec^ 
with the help of an English master, to 
revive his earlier knowledge of his 
other's tongue, and to enable him to 
speak it with fluent correctness -« 
though there was always in his accent 
something which had struck me as 
strange; but not suspecting it to be 
foreign, I had thought it a theatrical 
affectation. He did not go ftr into 
science— 'litde fivther, perhaps, than, 
a smattering of FrenMsh mathematka' 



A FAMILY PICTUEE. 



S88 



but he acquired a remarkable fiunlity 
and promptitnde in calcolation. He 
devoored eagerly the light reading 
thrown in hia way, and picked np 
thence that kind of knowledge which 
novels and plays afford, for g^ood or 
evil, according as the novel or the 
play elevates the understanding and 
ennobles the passions, or merely cor- 
mpts the &ncy, and lowers the stan- 
dnd of human nature. But of all 
that Roland desired him to be taught 
the son remained as ignorant as befiire. 
Among the other misfortunes of this 
ominous marriage^ Boland's wife had 
possessed fiU the superstitions of a 
Boman Catholic Spaniard, and with 
these the boy had unconsciously inter- 
mingled doctrines &r more dreary, 
imbibed £rom the dark paganism of 
the Git&nos. 

Roland had sought a Protestant for 
his 6(m's tutor. The preceptor was 
nominally a Protestan1>-*a biting de- 
rider of all superstitions indeed ! He 
was such a Protestant as some de- 
fender of Voltaire's religion says the 
Great Wit would have been had he 
lived in a Protestant country. The 
Frenchman laughed the boy out of his 
■uperstitions, to leave behind them the 
sneering scepticism of the JEncyelO' 
pMie, without those redeeming ethics 
on which all sects of philosophy are 
agreed, but which, unhappily, it re- 
^jiaires a philosopher to comprehend. 

This preceptor was, doubtless, not 
aware of the mischief he was doing ; 
and for the rest, he taught his pupil 
after his own system — a mild and 
plauable one, very much like the sys- 
tem we at home are recommended to 
adopt— "Teach the understanding, all 
else win follow;" "Learn to read 
§QmetUiig, audit will all come right;" 
" Follow the bias of the pupil's mind; 
thus you develop genius, not thwart 
it." Mind, Undostanding, Genius, 
»-#De things 1 But^to educate the 
«4ifi]o iDa% yoa mask eduoite some- 



thing more than these. Not for want 
of mind, understanding, genius, have 
Borgias and Neroslefb their names as 
monuments of - horror to mankind. 
Where, in all this teaching, was one 
lesson to warm the heart and guide 
the soul P 

Oh, mother mine ! that the boy had 
stood by thy knee, and heard from 
thy lips, why life was given us, in 
what life shall end, and how heaven 
stands open to us m'ght and day ! Oh, 
&ther mine ! that thou hadst been his 
preceptor, not in book-learning, but 
the heart's ample wisdom ! Oh that 
he had learned from thee, in parables 
closed with practice, the happiness of 
self-sacrifice, and how "good deeds 
should repair the bad !" 

It was the misfortune of this boy, 
with his daring and his beauty, that 
there was in his exterior and his man- 
ner that which attracted indulgent in^ 
terest, and a sort of compasdonate ad- 
miration. The Frenchman liked him 
—^believed his story— thought him 
ill-treated by that luard-visaged Eng- 
lish soldier. All English people were 
so disagreeable, particularly English 
soldiers; and the Captain once moa> 
tally offended the Frenchman by cal* 
ling Yilainton un grand hofnme, and 
denying, with brutal indignation, that 
the English had poisoned Napoleon! 
So, instead of teaching the son to 
love and revere hisfibther, the French^ 
man shrugged his shoulders when 
the boy broke into some unfilial com- 
plaint, and at most said, " Mais, cher 
enfa/nt, tonp^e est Anglais, — c^est tout 
dire/' Meanwhile, as the child sprang 
rapidly into precocious youth, he was 
permitted a liberty in his hours of 
leisure, of which he availed himself 
with sJl the zest of his earlier habits 
and adventurous temper. He formed 
acquaintances among the loose young 
haunters of oaf<^ and spendthrifts of 
that ca{dtal— 4he wits! He became 
an OTfiellent awoidsman and pistoU 



886 



THE CAXTONSt 



shot— adroit in all games in which 
skill helps fortune. He learned he- 
times to famish himself with money, 
by the cards and the billiard-halls. 

Bat, delighted with the easy home 
he had obtained, he took care to 
school his features, and smooth lus 
manner in his father's visits — to 
make the most of what he had learned 
of less ignoble knowledge, and, with 
his characteristic imitativeness, to dte 
the finest sentiments he had found in 
his plays and novels. What father is 
not credulous? Boland believed, and 
wept tears of joy. And now he 
thought the time was come to take 
back the boy — to return with a 
worthy heir to the old Tower. He 
thanked and blessed the tutor — ^he 
took the son. But, under pretence 
that he had yet some things to master, 
whether in book knowledge or manly 
accomplishments, the youth begged 
his ikther, at all events, not yet to 
return to England — to let him attend 
his tutor daily for some months. 
Boland consented, moved from his old 
quarters, and took a lodging for both 
in the same suburb as that in which 
the teacher resided. But soon, when 
they were under one roof, the boy's 
habitual tastes, and his repugnance to 
all paternal authority, were betrayed. 
To do my unhappy cousin justice (such 
as that justice is), though he had the 
cunning for a short disg^uise, he had 
not the hypocrisy to maint4iin ejste- 1 



matic deceit. He could play a part 
for a while, from an exulting joy in 
his own address; but he could not 
wear a mask with the patience of 
cold-blooded dissimulation. Why enter 
into painful details, so easily (Uvined 
by the intelligent reader? The faults 
of the son were precisely those to 
which Rohmd would be least indul- 
gent. To the ordinary scrapes of 
high-spirited boyhood, no father, I am 
sure, would have been more lenient; 
but to anything that feemed low^ 
petty — ^that grated on him as a gentle- 
man and soldier — there, not for 
worlds would I have braved the dark- 
ness of his frown, and the woe that 
spoke like scorn in his voice. And 
when, after all warning and prohibi* 
tion were in vain, Boland found his 
son, in the middle of the night, in a 
resort of gamblers and sharpers, carry- 
ing all before him with his cue, in the 
full flush of triumph, and a great 
heap of five-&anc pieces before him, 
you may conceive with what wrath 
the proud, hasty, passionate man 
drove out, cane in hand, the obscene 
associates^ flinging after them the 
son's ill-gotten gains ; and with what 
resentM humiliation the son was com- 
pelled to follow the father home. 
Then Boland took the boy to Eng- 
land, but not to the old Tower ; that 
hearth of his ancestors was still too 
sacred for the footsteps of the vagrant 
heir! 



CHAPTEB r. 

VSK EEASTH -WITHOITT TB17ST, AJX1> THE 'WORLD 'WITHOTTT ▲ OI7IDX* 



Abtd then, vainly grasping at every 
argument his blunt sense could sug- 
gest — then talked Boland much and 
grandly of the duties men owed — 
even if they threw off all love to theur 
&ther — still to their Other's name; 



grew irritable and harsh, and seemed, 
no doubt, to the perverted ears of the 
son, unlovely and unloving. And 
that pride, without serving one pur- 
pose of good, did yet more mischief; 
for the youth caught the disease, but in 



and then his pride;, always so livelyjawrongway. And he said to himself-^ 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



887 



"Ho, then my father is a great 
man, with all these ancestors and big 
words! And he has lands and a 
castle — and yet how miserably we 
live, and how he stints me ! But, if 
he has cause for pride in all these 
dead men, why, so have I. And are 
these lodgings, these appurtenances, 
fit for the 'gentleman' he says I am?" 

Even in England, the gypsey blood 
broke out as before, and the youth 
found vagront associates. Heaven 
knows how or where; and strange- 
looking forms, gaudily shabby, and 
disreputably smart, were seen lurking 
in the corner of the street, or peering 
in at the window, slinking off if they 
saw Boland — and Boland could not 
stoop to be a spy. And the son's 
heart grew harder and harder against 
his father, and his father's &ce now 
never smiled on him. Then bills came 
in, and duns knocked at the door. Bills 
and duns to a man who shrunk from 
the thought of a debt as an ermine 
from a spot on its fur ! And the son's 
short answer to remonstrance was, — 
"Am I not a gentleman ? — these 
are the things gentlemen require." 
Then perhaps Boland remembered 
the experiment of his French friend, 
and left his bureau unlocked, and 
said, "Buin me if you will, but no 
debts. There is money in those 
drawers — they are unlocked." That 
trust would for ever have cured of 
extravagance a youth with a high 
and delicate sense of honour: the 
pupil of the Gitanos did not under- 
staiid the trust; he thouglit it con- 
veyed a natural, though ungracious 
permission to take out what he 
wanted — and he took! To Boland 
this seemed a theft, and a theft of 
the coarsest kind: but when he so 
said, the son started indignant, and 
saw in that which had been so touch- 
ing an appeal to his honour, but a 
trap to decoy him into disgrace. In 
shorf^ neither could understand the 



other. Boland forbade his son to stir 
from the house ; and the young man 
the same night let himself out, and 
stole forth into the wide world, to 
enjoy or deiy it in his own wild way. 

It would be tedious to follow him 
through his various adventures and 
experiments on fortune (even if I 
knew them all, which I do not). And 
now, putting altogether aside his 
right name, which he had voluntarily 
abandoned, and hot embarrassing the 
reader with the earlier aliases as* 
sumed, I shall give to my unfortu' 
nate kinsman the name by which I 
first knew him, and continue to do so 
until — ^heaven grant the time may 
come! — ^having first redeemed, he may 
reclaim, his own. It was in joining a 
set of strolling players that Vivian 
became acquainted with Peacock; and 
that worthy, who had many strings 
to his, bow, soon grew aware of Vi- 
vian's extraordinary skill with the 
cue, and saw therein a better mode 
of making their joint fortunes than 
the boards of an itinerant Thespis 
frirnished to either. Vivian listened 
to him, and it was while their inti- 
macy was most fresh that I met them 
on the high-road. That chance meet- 
ing produced (if I may be allowed to 
believe his assurance) a strong, and, 
for the moment, a salutary effect upon 
Vivian. The comparative innocence 
and freshness of a boy's mind were 
new to him; the elastic healthful 
spirits with which those gifts were 
accompanied startled him, by the 
contrast to his own foitied gaiety and 
secret gloom. And this boy was his 
own cousin ! 

Coming afterwards to London, he 
adventured inquiry at the hotel in the 
Strand at which I had given my ad- 
dress ; learned where we were ; and, 
passing ope night into the street, saw 
my uncle at the window — to reco« 
gnise and to fly from him. Having 
then some money at his disposal^ he 



988 



THE CAXTONB: 



broke off aVrnpCly from the set in 
which he had been thrown. He had 
molved to return to France — he 
would try for a more respectable 
mode of existence. He had not found 
happiness in that liberty he had won, 
nor room for the ambition that began 
to gnaw him, in those pursuits from 
which his fiither had vainly warned 
him. His most reputable friend was 
his old tutor ; he would go to him. 
He went; but the tutor was now 
married, and was himself a &ther, 
and that made^i wonderful alteration 
in his practical ethics. It was no 
longer moral to aid the son in rebel- 
lion to his &ther. Vivian evinced his 
usual sarcastic haughtiness at the re- 
ception he met, and was requested 
civilly to leave the house. Then 
i^ain he flung himself on his wits at 
Paris. But there were plenty of wits 
there sharper than his own. He got 
into some quarrel with the police^* 
not» indeed, for any dishonest prac^ 
tices of his own, but from an unwary 
acquaintance with others less scrupu- 
lous, and deemed it prudent to quit 
France. Thus had I met him again, 
Ibrlom and ragged, in the streets of 
London. 

Meanwhile Boland, after the first 
Tain search, had yielded to the indig- 
nation and disgust that had long 
rankled within him. His son had 
thrown off his authority, becauseit pre- 
served him from dishonour. His ideas 
of discipline were stem, and patience 
had been well-nigh crushed out of his 
heart. He thought he could bear to 
resign his son to his fiite — ^to disown 
him, and to say, " I have no more a 
•on." It was in this mood that he 
had first visited our house. But when, 
on that memorable night in which he 
had narrated to his thrilUng listeners 
the dark tale of a fcUow-su^erer'swoe 
and crime — betraying in the tele, 
to my other's quick sympathy, his 



own sonow and passion — it did nol 
need much of his gentler brothei^s 
subtle art to learn or guess the whole, 
nor much of Austin's mild persuasion 
to convince Rcdnnd that he had not 
yet exhausted aU effi>rte to track the 
wanderer and reclaim the erring 
child. Then he had gone to London 
— ^then he had sought every spot 
which the outcast would probably 
haunt — then had he saved and 
pinched from his own necessities to 
have wherewithal to enter theatres 
and gaming-houses, and fee the agen- 
des of police ; then had he seen the 
form for which he had watehed and 
pined, in the street below his window, 
and cried, in a joyous delusion, " He 
repents \" One day a letter reached 
my uncle, through his banker's, from 
the French tutor (who knew of no 
other means of tracing Boland but 
through the house by whidi his 
salary had been paid), informing him 
of his son's visit. Boland sterted in- 
stently for Paris. Arriving there, he 
could only learn of his son through 
the police, and from them only learn 
that he had been seen in the company 
of accomplished swindlers, who were 
already in the hands of justice ; but 
that the youth himself, whom there 
was nothing to criminate, had been 
suflbred to quit Paris, and had taken, 
it was supposed, the road to England 
Then, at last, the poor Captein's stout 
heart gave way. His son the compa- 
nion of swindlers ! — could he be sure 
that he was not their accomplice ? It 
not yet, how small the step between 
companionship and participation! He 
took the child left him stiH from tbe 
convent, returned to England, and 
arrived there to be seized with fever 
and delirium->-apparently on the same 
day (or a day before that on which) 
the son had dropped, shelterless and 
peumless, on the stones of London. 



▲ FAMILY PICTUKB. 



CHAPTER VL 



SnS ATTEMPT TO HVILD A TEVFLE TO 70BTUinE OTTT OF THE 

BUIKS OF HOME. 



** Bttt/* said Viviaii, pimniii]^ hig 
tale^ ''but when you came to my a.\^ 
not knowing me — when yon relieved 
me — when from your own lips, for 
the first time, I heard words' that 
praised me, and for qualities that im- 
plied I might yet be ' worth much' 
— ^Ah I (he added mournfully) I re- 
member the veiy words — a new light 
broke upon me-^-struggling and dim, 
but light still. The ambition with 
which I had sought the truckling 
Frenchman revived, and took wor- 
thier and more definite form. I 
would lift myself above the mire, 
make a name, rise in life I" 

Vivian's head drooped, but he 
tfused it quickly, and laughed, his 
low, mocking laugh. What follows 
of this tale may be told sucdnctly. 
Retaining his bitter feelings towards 
bis fkther, he resolved to continue his 
inc(^nito — ^he gave himself a name 
likely to mislead conjecture, if I con- 
versed of him to my femily, since he 
knew that Roland was aware that a 
Colonel Vivian had been afflicted by a 
runaway son — and, indeed, the talk 
upon that subject had first put the 
notion of flight into his own head. 
He caught at the idea of becoming 
known to Trevanion; but he saw rea- 
sons to forbid his being indebted to 
me far the introduction — ^to forbid 
my knowing where he was : sooner or 
later that knowledge could scarcely 
fiiil to end in the discovery of his real 
name. Fortunately, as he deemed, 
fiir the plans he began to meditate, 
we were aU leaving London — he 
ahoiild have the stage to himself 
And then boldly he resolved upon 
what he regarded as the master- 
scheme of life— viz., to obtun a small 

No. 3 >1. 



pecuniary independence, and to eman* 
clpate himself formally and entirely 
from his father's control. Aware of 
poor Roland's chivalrous reverence 
for his name, firmly persnadt^d that 
Roland had no love for tho son, but 
only the dread that the son might 
disgrace him, he determined to avail 
himself of his father's prejudices in 
order to effect his purpose. 

He wrote a short letter to Roland 
(that letter which had given the poor 
man so sanguine a joy — ^that letter 
after reading which he had said to 
Blanche, " Pray for me"), stating 
simply that he wished to see his 
fiither ; and naming a tavern in the 
City for the meeting. 

The interview took place. And 
when Roland, love and forgiveness in 
his heart, — but (who shall blame 
him?) dignity on his brow and re- 
buke in his eye — approached, ready 
at a word to fling himself on the 
boy's breast, Vivian, seeing only the 
outer signs, and interpreting them by 
his own sentiments — recoiled, folded 
his arms on his bosom, and said 
coldly, "Spare me reproach, sir — ^it 
is unavailing. I seek you only to 
propose that you shall save your name 
and resign your son." 

Then, intent perhaps but to gain 
his object, the unhappy youth de- 
clared his fixed determination never 
to live with his fiither, never to ac- 
quiesce in his authority, resolutely to 
pursue his own career, whatever thai 
career might be, explaming none d 
the circumstances that appeared moit 
in his disfiivour — rather, perhapi^ 
thinking that» the worse his fiither 
judged of him, the more chance h» 
had to achieve his purpose. " All I 

V 19 



290 



THE CAXTONSi 



ask of yon," he said, "is this : Give 
me the least you can afford to pre- 
serye me from the temptation to rob, 
or the necessity to starve ; and T, in 
my tnm, promise never to molest you 
in life — ^never to degrade you in my 
death ; whatever my misdeeds, they 
will never reflect on yourself, for you 
shall never recognise the misdoer ! 
The name you' prize so highly shall 
he spared." Sickened and revolted, 
Boland attempted no argument — 
there was that in the son's cold man- 
ner which shut out hope, and against 
which his pride rose indignant. A 
meeker man might have remon- 
strated, implored, and wept — that 
wasnotinBoland'snature. Hehad hut 
the choice of three evils, to say to his 
son: "Fool, I command thee to follow 
me!'* or say, "Wretch, since thou 
wouldst cast me off as a stranger, as a 
stranger I say to thee — Go, starve or 
rob as thou wilt !" or lastly, to bow 
his proud head, stunned by the blow, 
and say, " Thou reftisest me the obe« 
dience of the son, thou demandest to 
be as the dead to me. I can control 
thee not from vice, I can g^de thee 
not to virtue. Thou wouldst sell me 
the name I have inherited stainless, 
and have as stainless borne. Be it so ! 
fi— Kame thy price!" 

And something like this last was 
the father's choice. 

He listened and was long olent ; 
and then he said slowly, " Pause be- 
fore you decide." 

'* I have paused long — my dedslon 
is made! this is the last time we meet. 
I see before me now the way to for- 
tune, fitirly, honourably; you can aid 
me in it only in the way I have said. 
B^ect me now, and the option may 
never oome again to either!' 



i*» 



And then Boland said to himself, 
" I have spared and saved for this son; 
what care I for aught else than 
enough to live without debt, creep 
into a comer, and await the grave ! 
And the more I can give, why, the 
better duinoe that he will abjure the 
vile associate and the desperate 
course." And so, out of his small in- 
come, Roland surrendered to the rebel 
child more than the half. 

Vivian was not aware of his father's 
fortune — ^he did not suppose the sum 
of two hundred pounds a-year was an 
allowance so <Usproportioned to Bo- 
land's means — ^yet when it was named, 
even he was siruck by the generosity 
of one to whom he hhnself had given 
the right to say, " I take thee at thy 
wordj 'just enough not to starve I' " 

But tiien that hatefrd cynicism 
which, caught from bad men and evil 
books, he called "knowledge of the 
worldC" made him think " it is not for 
me, it is only for his name;", and he 
said aloud, " I accept these terms^ or; 
here is the address of a solicitor mth 
whom yours can settle them. Pare- 
well for ever." 

At those last words Boland started, 
and stretched out his arms vaguely 
like a blind man. But Vivian bad 
already thrown open the window (the 
room was on the ground floor) and 
sprang upon the alL " Farewell," he 
repeated : " tell the world I am dead." 

He leapt into the street^ and the 
father drew in the out-stretched arma^ 
smote his heart, and said — "WeD, 
then, my task in the world of man is 
over I I will back to the old ruin— 
the wreck to the wrecks — and the 
sight of tombs I have at least rescued 
from dishonour shall oamfort me fcr 
alir 



A FAMILY PICTUEE. 



291 



CHAPTER Vn. 



THB BS9tn/T8— PSBTEBTED AMBITION — SELFISH PASSION— THE nnXLLXOV 
DISTOBTSD BT THE CB00KEDNES3 OE THE HEABT. 



Yiyian's schemes thus prospered. 
He had an income that permitted him 
the outward appearances of a gentle- 
man — an independence modest, in- 
deed, but independence still. We 
were all gone from London. One 
letter to me with the postmark of the 
town near v;hich Colonel Yivian lived, 
sufficed to confirm my belief in his 
parentage, and in his return to his 
friends. He then presented himself 
to Trevanion as the young man whose 
pen I had employed in the member's 
service; and knowing that I had 
never mentioned his name to Treva- 
nion — for, without Vivian's permission, 
I should not, considering his apparent 
trust in me, have deemed myself 
authorised to do so — ^he took that of 
Gower, which he selected, haphazard, 
from an old Court Guide, as having 
the advantage — ^in common with most 
names borne by the higher nobility of 
England— of not being confined, as 
the ancient names of untitled gentle- 
men usually are, to the members of a 
single ffimily. And when, with his 
wonted adaptability and suppleness, 
he had contrived to lay aside, or 
smooth over, whatever in his manners 
would be calculated to displease Tre- 
vanion, and had succeeded in ezdiang 
the interest which that generous 
statesman always conceived for ability, 
he owned, candidly, one day, in the 
presence of Lady Ellinor — ^for his ex- 
perience had taught him the com- 
parative ease witi^ which the sym- 
pathy of woman is enlisted in anything 
tl)at appeals to the imagination, or 
seems out of the ordinary beat of life 
— ^that he had reasons for concealing 
his connections for the present-— that 
he bad oaose to believe I suspected 



what they were, and, from mistaken 
regard for his welfare, might acquaint 
his relations with his whereabout. He 
therefore begged Trevanion, if the 
latter had occasion to write to me, not 
to mention him. This promise Tre« 
vanion gave, though reluctantly ; for 
the confidence volunteered to him 
seemed to exact the promise ; but as 
he detested mystery of all kinds, the 
avowal might have been fatal to any 
farther acquaintance ; and under aus« 
pices 80 doubtfal, there would have 
been no chance of his obtaining that 
intimacy in Trevanion's house which 
he desired to establish, but for an 
accident which at once opened that 
house to him almost as a home. 

Vivian had always treasured a lock 
of his mother's hair, cut off on her 
deathbed; and when he was at his 
French tutor's, his first pocket-money 
had been devoted to the purchase of a 
locket, on which he had caused to be 
inscribed bjs own name and his 
mother's. Through all his wander- 
ings he had worn this relic : and in 
the direst pangs of want, no hunger 
had been keen enough to induce him 
to part with it. Now, one morning 
the ribbon that suspended the locket 
gave way, and his eye restoig on the 
names inscribed on the gold, he 
thought, in his own vague sense of 
right, imperfect as it was, that his 
compact with his fiither obliged him 
to have the names erased. He took 
it to a jeweller in IMccadilly for that 
purpose, and gave the requisite order, 
not taking notice of a lady in the fur- 
ther part of the shop. The locket 
was still on the counter after Vivian 
had left, when the lady coming for- 
ward observed i1», and saw the namei 

112 



S93 



THE CArroKar: 



on the surface. She had heen struck 
by the peculiar tone of the voice, 
which she had heard before; and that 
very day Mr. Gower received a note 
from Lady Ellinor Trevanion, request- 
ing to see him. Much wondering, he 
went. Presenting him with the locket, 
she said smiling, " There is only one 
gentleman in the world who calls 
himself De Caxton, tmless it be his 
son. Ah ! I see now why yon wished 
to conceal yourself from my Mend 
Fisistratus. But how is tMs? can 
you have any difference with your 
father ? Confide in me^ or it is my 
duty to write to him." 

Even Vivian's powers of dissimula- 
tion abandoned him, thus taken by 
surprise. He saw no alternative but 
to trust Lady Ellinor with his secret, 
and implore her to respect it. And 
then he spoke bitterly of his fikther's 
dislike to him» and his own resolution 
to prove the injustice of that dislike 
by the position he would himself 
establish in the world. At present, 
his &ther believed him dead, and per- 
haps was not ill-pleased to think so. 
He would not dispel that belief, till he 
could redeem any boyish errors, and 
force his family to be nroud to ac- 
knowledge him. 

Though Lady Ellinor was slow to 
believe that Eoland could dislike his 
son, she could yet readily believe that 
he was harsh and choleric, with a sol- 
dier's high notions of discipline ; the 
young man's story moved her, his de- 
llermination pleased her own high 
spirit; — always with a touclf^of ro- 
mance in her, and always sympa- 
thiang with each desire dt ambition, 
ihfi entered into Vivian's aspirations 
with an alacrity that surprised himselfl 
Shewas charmed with the ideaof minis- 
tering to the son's fortunes, and ultL- 
xnately reconciling him tothe Mher^-^ 
through her own agency ; — ^it would 
ahme for any fhult of which Roland 
QOHld accuse hoEself in the oildtimsk 



She undertook to impart the secret 
to Trevanion, for she would have no 
secrets from him, and to secure hs 
acquiescence in its concealment fipom 
all others. 

And here I must a little digress 
from the dtronological course of my 
explanatory narrative, to inform the 
reader that, when Lady Ellinor had 
her interview with Roland, she had 
been repelled by the sternness of his 
manner firom divulging Vivian's secret. 
But on her first attempt to sound or 
oondliate him, she had begun with 
some eulogies on Trevanion's new 
friend and assistant, Mr. Qower, and 
bad awakened Roland's suspicions of 
that person's identity with his son** 
suspicions which had given him a 
terrible interest in our joint deliver* 
anoe of Miss Trevanion. Bat so 
heroically had the poor soldier sought 
to resist his own fears, that on the 
way he shrank to put to me the que»- 
tions that might paralyse the energies 
which, whatever the answer, were 
theo BO much needed. "For," said 
he to my fr.ther, *<I felt the blood 
surging to my tompks; and if I had 
said to Hsistratns, 'Describe this 
man,' and by his deacripfion I had 
recognised my son, and dreaded lest I 
might be too late to arrest him from 
so treacherous a crime, my braia 
would have given way;--and so I did 
not dare!" 

I return to the ihrdad of my story. 
From the time that Vivian confided 
in Lady Ellinor, the way ¥nis cleared 
to his most' ambitioas hopes; and 
though his acquisitions were not snili* 
dentiy scholastic and varioiis to per* 
mit Trevanion to select* him as • 
secretary, yet^ short of sleeipng ettiie 
house* he i^as little lass intiinMifcn 
there than I had been. 

Among Vivian's sehemesof ad vanc e* 
meat, tluit of wkumg the hand and 
heart of the great heiness had noi; 
beoa eneof the iMUt MUfunn. 



A FAMILY KCTUBE. 



99a 



hope was annalled when, not long 
after his infamacy at her other's 
house, she became engaged to young 
Lor^ CasUeton. But he oould not 
see Miss Trevanioa with impunity — 
(alas ! who, with a heart yet free, 
oould be insensible to attractions so 
winning ?) He permitted the love-*- 
such love as his wild, half-educated, 
half -savage nature acknowledged — ^to 
creep into his soul — ^to master it ; but 
he felt no hope, chexished no scheme 
while the young lord lived. With 
the death of her betrothed, Fanny was 
£ree ; then he began to hope-^not yet 
to scheme. Accidentally he encoun- 
tered Peacock — pertly from the levity 
that accompanied a false good nature 
that was constitutional with him, 
partly trovo. a vague idea that the man 
might be useful, Vivian established 
his quondam assodate in the service 
of Trevanion. Peacock soon gained 
the secret of Vivian's love for Fanny, 
and, dazzled by the advantages that 
a marriage with Miss Trevanion would 
confer on his patron, and might re- 
flect on himselt^ and delighted at an 
occasion to exercise his dramatic ac- 
eomplishments on the stage of real 
life, he soon practised the lesson that 
the theatares had taught him — ^viz. to 
9mke a ^ub-intrigue between maid 
and valet, serve the schemes and 
insure the success of the lover. If 
Vivian had some opportunities to im- 
ply his admiration. Miss Trevanion 
gave him none to plead his cause. But 
the softness of her nature, and that 
graceful kindness which surrounded 
her like an atmosphere, emanating 
unconsciously from a fpxVi harmless 
desire to please;, tended to deceive 
him. Hb own personal gifts were so 
rare, and, in his wandering life^ the 
effect they had produced bad so in- 
creased his reliance on them, that he 
thought he wanted but the fidr oppor- 
tunity to woo in order to win. In 
this itatft of mental intoxicatioi^ Tr^ 



vanion havhig pranded tat his Scotch 
secretary, took him to Lord N ■ ■■■ * 8. 
His hostess was one of those middle- 
aged ladies of fashion, who like to 
patronise and bring forward young 
men, accepting gratitude for con- 
descension, as a homage to beauty. 
She was struck by Vivian's exterior, 
and that "picturesque" in look and 
in manner which belonged to him. 
Naturally garrulous and indiscreet, 
she was unreserved to a pupil whom 
she conceived the whim to make " au 
faU to sodety." Thus she talked to. 
him among other topics in fashion, of 
Miss Trevanion, and expressed her be- 
lief that the present Lord Castieton 
had always admired her ; but it was 
only on his accession to the marquisate 
that he had made up his mind to 
marry, or, from his knowledge of Lady 
Ellinor's ambition, thought that the 
Marquis of Castieton might achieve 
the prize which would have been 
refused to Sir Sedley Beaudesert. 
Then, to corroborate the predictions 
she hazarded, she repeated, perhap9 
with exaggeration, some passages from 
Lord Castleton's replies to her own 
suggestions on the subject. Vivian's 
alarm became &tally excited; un- 
regulated passions easily obscured a 
reason so long perverted, and a con- 
sdence so habitually dulled. There is 
an instinct in all intense affection 
(whether it be corrupt or pure) that 
usually makes its jealousy prophetic. 
Thus, from the first, out of aU the 
brilliant idlers round Fanny Treva- 
nion, my jealousy had pre-eminentiy 
festened on Sir Sedley Beaudesert^ 
though, to aU seeming, without a 
cause. From the same instinct, T^vian 
had conceived the same vague jealousy 
— a jealousy, in his instance, coupled 
with a deep dislike to his supposed 
rival, who luul wounded his self-love. 
For the marquis, though to be haughty 
or ill-bred, was impossible to thsi 
blandnein of his nature^ had never 



2H 



THE CAXTONS 



shown to YiTfaa the genial ooortesies 
he had laviBbed upon me, and kept 
politely aloof from his acqniuntance 
—while Vivian's personal vanity had 
been wonnded by that drawing-room 
effect which the proverbial winner 
of all hearts produced without an 
effort — an effect that threw into the 
shade the youth and the beauty (more 
striking but infinitely less prepossess' 
ing) of the adventurous rival. Thus 
animonty to Lord Castleton conspired 
with Vivian's passion for Fanny, to 
Touse all that was worst by nature 
and by rearing, in this audacious and 
turbulent spirit. 

His confidant, Peacock, suggested, 
from his stage 9zperience, the out- 
lines of a plot, to which Vivian's 
astuter intellect instantly gave tangi- 
Inlity and colouring. Peacock had 
already found Miss Trevanion's wait- 
ing-woman ripe for any measure that 
might secure himself as her husband, 
and a provision for life as a reward. 
Two or three letters between them 
settled the preliminary engagement-s. 
A friend of the ex-6omedian's had 
lately taken an inn on the north road, 
and might be relied upon. At that 
inn it was settled that Vivian should 
meet Miss Trevanion, whom Peacock, 
by the aid of the abigail, engaged to 
lure there. The sole difficulty that 
then remained would, to most men, 
have seemed the greatest — ^viz., the 
consent of Miss Trevanion to a Scotch 
marriage. But Vivian hoped all 
things &om his own eloquence, art, 
and passion; and by -an inoonsLstency, 
however strange, still not unnatural 
in the twists of so crooked an intellect, 
he thought that» by insisting on the 
intention of her parents to sacrifice 
her youth to the very man of whose 
attractions he was most jealous — ^by 
the picture of ^Qsparity of years, by 
the caricature of his rival's foibles and 
frivolities, by the commonplaces of 
beauty bartered for amlntion," &c.» 



«< 



he might enlist her fbonrof the altap- 
native on the side of the choice urged 
upon her. The plan proceeded, the 
time came: Peacock pretended the 
excuse of |i sick relation to leave Tre- 
vanion ; and Vivian a day before, on 
pretence of visiting the picturesque 
scenes in the neighbourhooid, obtained 
leave of absence. Thus the plot went 
on to its catastrophe. 

"And I need not ask," said I, try- 
ing in vain to conceal my indignation, 
" how Miss Trevanion received your 
monstrous proposition !" 

Vivian's pale cheek grew paler, but 
he made no reply. 

" And if we had not arrived, what 
would you have done P Oh, dare you 
look into the gulf of infiimy you have 
escaped !" 

"I cannot, and I will not bear 
this !" exdaimed Vivian, starting xxp, 
** I have laid my heart bare before you, 
and it is ungenerous and unmanly 
thus to press upon its wounds. Yoa 
can moralise, you can speak coldly — 
but— I— I loved!" 

" And do you think," I burst forth, 
— ** do you think that I did not love 
too! — love longer than you have 
done; better than, you have done; 
gone through sharper struggles, 
darker days, more sleepless nights 
than you, — and yet — ** 

Vivian caught hold of me. 

"Hush!" he cried; "is tUs in- 
deed true ! I thought you might have 
had some faint and fleeting ^cy for 
Miss Trevanion, but that yon curbed 
and conquered it at once. Oh no ! it 
was impossible to have loved reaO>. 
and to have surrendered all chance as 
you did ! — ^have left the house, have 
fled from her presence! N0--C0I 
that was not love !" 

" It w€u love ! and I pray Heaven 
to grant that, one day, you may know 
how little your affection sprang from 
those feelings which make true love 
sublime as honour, and meek as it 



▲ FAMILT PICTUEB. 



09S 



ligion! Oh! ooniriii, ooonn — with 
those rare ^fts, what yon might have 
heen ! what, if you wiU pass through 
repentance, and ding to atonement — 
what, I dare hope, yon may yet he ! 
Talk not now of your love ; I talk not 
of mine ! Love is a thing gone from 
the lives of hoth. Qo hack to earlier 
thoughts, to heavier wrongs! — your 
father ! — that nohle heart which you 
have so wantonly lacerated, which you 
have so lifctle comprehended !" 

Then with all the warmth of emo- 
lion I hunied on — showed him the 
true nature of honour and of Roland 
(for the names were one !) — showed 
him the watch, the hope, the manly 
anguish I had witnessed, and wept — 
If not his son — ^to see ; showed him 



the poverty and privadon to whidk 
the &ther, even at the last, had con- 
demned himself, so that the son might 
have no excuse for the sins that Want 
whispers to the weak. This, and 
much more, and I suppose with the 
pathos that helongs to all earnestness, 
I enforced, sentence after sentence-* 
yielding to no interruption, over- 
mastering all dissent ! driving in the 
truth, nail after nail, as it were, into 
the ohdurate heart, that I constrained 
and grappled to. And at last, the 
dark, hitter, cynical nature gave way, 
and the young man fell sobhing at my 
feety and cried aloud, "Spare me, 
spare me 1 I see it aU now ! Wretch 
that I have been 1'' 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Ok leaving Vivian I ^d not pre- 
■ame to promise him Roland's imme- 
diate pardon. I did not urge him to 
attempt to see his fitther. I felt the 
time was not come for dther pardon 
or interview. I contented myself 
with the victory I had already gained. 
I judged it light that thought, soli- 
tude, and suffering should imprint 
more deeply the lesson, and prepare 
the way to the steadfast resolution of 
reform. I left him seated by the 
stream, and with the promise to in- 
form him at the small hosteliy, where 
he imk up his lodging, how Roland 
struggled through his illness. 

€^ returning to the inn, I was 
imeasy to see how long a time had 
elapsed since I had lefb my uncle. 
But on coming into his room, to my 
surprise and relief, I found him up 
and dressed, and with a serene, though 
iatigued, expression of countenance. 
He asked me no questions where I 
had heen — ^perhaps from sympathy 
irith my feelings in parting with 



Miss Trevanion— perhaps from con- 
jecture that the indulgence of those 
feeling^ had not wholly engrossed my 
time. 

But he said simply, '' I think I un- 
derstood from you that you had sent 
for Austin — is it so ?" 

** Yes, sir; but I named • • •, as 
the nearest point to the Tower, for 
the place of meeting." 

" Then let us go hence fbrthwith— > 
nay, I shall be better for the change. 
And here, there must be curiosity, 
conjecture — ^torture \" — said he, lock- 
ing \m hands tightly together : "order 
the horses at once I" 

I left the room accordingly; and 
while they were getting ready the 
horses, I ran to the place where I had 
left Vivian. He was still there, in 
the same attitude, covering his &oe 
with his hands, as if to shut out the 
sun. I told him hastily of Roland's 
improvement) of our approaching de- 
parture, and asked him an address in 
London st which I oould find hmu 



896 



THE CAXTQHB: 



He gBve 1B0 as lib dindioii ibe nme I wbera I am tolie fiiand. 
lodging at whidi I had ao often Yiatedj gladly lie wliere I wu 
Uni. **!£ tiiere IwiioTacaiicjtliereididiioifiniahflie 
fir Bifl^^ Mid hck " I ihan leave word I lua band and left him. 



fint Iwonld 
^ He 
Ipceased 



CHAPTER DL 



SoMi dajahave ebpaed: we are in 
Londoiiy Mkj Mher with ns; and Bo- 
JandUwyomutted Austin to tell me 
hia tale^ and received thnrngh Austin 
an that '^^vian's narrative to me sug- 
gested, whether in extennation of the 
pasty or in hope of redemption in the 
fntmre. And Anslan has ineKpresaibly 
aoothed his brother. And Boland's 
ordinary ronghness has gone^ and his 
looks are meek, and his voice low. 
But he talks little, and smiles never. 
He asks me noqnesfions ; does not to 
me name his son, nor recnr to the 
voyage to Australia, nor ask '* why it 
is pat off/' nor interest himself as 
before in preparations for it — he has 
no heart for anything. 

The voyage is put off till the next 
vessel sails, and I have seen Yivian 
twice or thrice, and the result of the 
interviews has disappointed and de- 
pressed me. It seems to me that 
much of the previous effect I had 
produced is already obliterated. At 
the very nght of the great Babel — 
the evidence of the ease, the luxury, 
the wealth, the pomp; — ^the strife, 
the penury, the limine, and the rags, 
which the focus of dvUization, in the 
disparities of old societies, inevitably 
gathers together — the fierce com- 
bative cUsposition seemed to awaken 
again; the perverted ambition, the 
hostility to the world; the wrath, 
the scorn ; the war with man, and 
the rebellious murmur against Heaven. 
There was still the one redeeming 
pdnt of repentance for his wrongs to 
his fkther — ^his heart was still softened 
there; and, attendant on that soft- 
ness, I hailed a principle mom like 



that of bonoor tiun I bad yet reoog- 
niaed in Vivian. He eanoeUed tha 
agreement wbidi had asBored him of a 
provision at the cost of his fiither^a 
oomfiirtB. <* At leasts there," he said, 
** I win iignre him no more !" 

But while, on this point, repent* 
anoe seemed genuine, it was not so 
with regard to hia conduct towards 
Mias Trevankm. His gypsy nurtorc^ 
his loose asBOciates, his extravagant 
French romances^ Ids theatrical mode 
of looking upon love intrigues and 
stage plots, seemed all to rise between 
his intelligenoe and the due sense of 
the fraud and treachery he had prac- 
tised. He seemed to feelmore shame 
at the exgoaare than at the goUt; 
more despair at the £ulure of suc- 
cess than graldtode at escape firom 
crime. In a word, the nature of a 
whole life was not to be remodelled 
at once — at least by an artificer so 
miskiUed as I. 

After one of these interviews, I 
stole into the room where Austin sat 
with Boland, and, watching a season- 
able moment when Boland, shaking 
off a reverie, opened his Bible, and 
sat down to it, with each muacle in 
his &ce set, as I had seen it before^ 
into iron resolution, I beckoned my 
father from the room. 

FisiSTSATUS. — ^I have again seen 
my cousin. I cannot make the way 
I wish. My dear £Either, you must 
see him. 

Mb. Caxtok. — I?— yes^assuredly^ 
if I can be of any service. But will 
he listen to me ? 

FisiSTfiATU9. — I think so. A 
young man will often respect in Ida 



A FAMILT PICTUBE. 



207 



elder, wbat he will resent as a pre- 
sumption in his contemporaiy." 

Mb. Caztok. — It may he so: 
(then more thoughtftiUy), hut yon 
descrihe this strange hoy's mind as a 
wreck ! — ^in what part of the moulder- 
ing timbers can I fix the gn^pling- 
hook P Here, it seems that most of 
the Bnppofts on which we can best 
rely, when we wonld save another, 
&]1 ns. Beli^on, honour, the as- 
BoeiatiQns of diildhood, the bonds of 
home, filial obedience— even the in- 
telUgenoe of self-interest, in the phi- 
loeophlcal sense of the word. And I, 
too ! — a m^re book-man ! My dear 
aoQ ! — I desp^ ! 

PisiSTBATUS. — No, you do not de- 
8pai]>— no, yon must succeed ; for, if 
you do not, what is to become of Uncle 
Boland ? Do you not see his heart is 
fast breaking ? 

Mb. CAXT0K.«-<3iet me my hat ; I 
will go. I win save this Ishmael — 
I wiU not leave him till he is saved ! 

F1SIBTBA.TTJ8, (some minutes after, 
•8 they are walking towards Vivian's 
lodging.) — ^Yon ask me what support 
you are to ding to. A strong and a 
good one, ar. 

Mb. Caxton. — ^Ahl what is that? 

F1SISTBATTT8. — ^Affection ! there is 
a nature capable of strong aflfection 
at the core of this wild heart ! He 
could love his mother ; tears gush to 
his eyes at her name — ^he would have 
starved rather than part with the 
memorial of that love. It was his 
belief^ in his fistther's indifiierence, or 
dislike, that hardened and embruted 
him — it is only when he hears how 
that father loved him, that I now 
nielt his pride and curb his pasoons. 
lou have affection to deal with!— do 
you despair now ? 

My &ther turned on me those eyes 
80 inexpressibly benign and mild, and 
repKedsofUy, "No!" 

We reached the house; and my 
fiither said, as we knocked at the 



door, " If he is at ocmdc, eore me. 
This 18 a hard study to which yon 
have set me; I must work at it 
alone.'' 

Vivian was at home, and the door 
closed on his visitor. My fiiiher stayed 
some hours. 

On returning home, to my great 
surprise I found Trevanion with my 
uncle. He had found us out — ^no 
easy matter, I should think. But a 
good impulse in Trevanion was not of 
that feeble kind which turns home at 
the sight of a difficulty. He had 
come to London on purpose to see and 
to thank us. 

I did not think there had been so 
much of delicacy—- of what I may call 
the ** beauty of kindness" — in a man 
whom incessant business had render- 
ed ordinarily blunt and abrupt. I 
hardly recc^nised the impatient Tre- 
vanion in the soothing, tender, subtle 
respect that rather implied than 
sp(^e gratitude, and sought to in- 
annate what he owed to the unhappy 
fiither, without touching on his 
wrongs from the son. But of this 
kindness — which showed how Tre- 
vanion's high nature of gentleman 
raised him aloof from that coarseness 
of thought which those absorbed 
wholly in practical affiurs (rften con- 
tract—of this kindness, so noble and 
so touching, Boland seemed scarcely 
aware. He sat by the embers of the 
neglected fire, his hands grasping the 
arms of his elbow-chair, his bead 
drooping on his bosom ; and only by 
a deep hectic flush on his dark cheek 
could you have seen that he distin- 
guished between an ordinary visi^/v 
and the man whose child he hsA 
helped to save. This minister of state 
— ^this high member of the elect, at 
whose gift are places, peerages, gold 
sticks, and ribbons — ^has nothing at 
his command for the bruised spirit of 
the half-pay soldier. Before that 
poverty, that grief, and that prid% 



298 



THE CAXTONS^ 



the King's CoanseDor was powerless. 
Only when Trevanion rose to depart, 
MMnething like a sense of the soothing 
intention which the visit implied 
seemed to ronse the repose of the old 
man, and to hreak the ice at its snr- 
face; for he followed Trevanion to 
the door, took hoth his hands, pressed 
them, then turned away, and resumed 
his seat. Trevanion heckoned to me, 
and I followed him down stairs^ and 
into a little parlour which was xmoc- 
cnpied. 

After some remarks upon Roland, 
fbll of deep and considerate feeling, 
and one quick, hurried reference to 
the son — ^to the effect that lus guilty 
attempt woidd never he known hy the 
world — Trevanion then addressed 
himself to me with a warmth and 
urgency that took me by surprise. 
''After what has passed," he ex- 
claimed, " I cannot suffer yon to leave 
England thus. Let me not feel with 
you, as with your uncle, that there is 
nothing hy which I can repay — ^no, I 
will not so put it — stay and serve 
your country at home: it is my 
prayer — it is EUinor's. Out of all at 
my disposal, it will go hard hut what 
1 shall find somethkig to suit you." 
And then, hurrying on, Trevamon 
spoke flatteringly of my pretensions, 
in right of birth and capabilities, to 



honourable employment^ and plaoed 
before me a picture of public life-* 
its prizes and distinctions — which, for 
the moment at least, made my heart 
beat loud and my breath come quick. . 
But still, even then, I felt (was it an 
unreasonable pride ?) that there was 
something that jarred, something 
that humbled, in the thought of hold- 
ing all my fortunes as a dependeni^ 
on the father of the woman I love^ 
but might not aspire to ; — something 
even of personal degradation in the 
mere feeling that I was thus to be 
repaid for a service, and recompensed 
for a loss. But these were not reasons 
I oould advance ; and, indeed, so for 
the time did Trevanion's generodty 
and eloquence overpower me, that I 
oould only Mter out my thanks, and 
my promise that I would consider and 
let him know. 

With that xnromise he was forced 
to content himself; he told me to 
direct to him at his &vourite country 
seat, whither he was going that day, 
and so left me. I looked round the 
humble parlour d the mean lodging- 
house, and Trevanion's words came 
again before me like a flash of golden 
light. I stole into the open ur, and 
wandered through the crowded street^ 
agitated and disturbed. 



CHAPTER X. 



Sevxbal days elapsed — and of each 
day my flither spent a considerable 
part at Vivian's lodging^. But he 
maintained a reserve as to his success, 
begged me not to question him, and 
to refriun also for the present from 
visiting my cousin. My unde guessed 
or knew his brother's mission ; for I 
observed that, whenever Austin went 
noiseless away, his eye brightened, 
and the colour rose in a hectic flush 
to his cheek. At last my fiither came 



to me one morning, his carpet-bag ia 
his hand, and said, " I am going away 
for a week or two. Keep Bobuid 
company till I return." 

« Going with «jfi r 

" With him." 

''That is a good sign." 

" I hope so : that is all I can say 
now." 

The week had not quite passed 
when I received from my father the 
letter I am about to place before tha 



▲ FAMILY PICTURE. 



299 



reader, and yoa xnny judge bow enr- 
vestlj his soul must have been in ibe 
task it bad volunteered, if you observe 
how little, comparatively speaking, 
the letter contains of tbe subtleties 
and pedantries (may the last word be 
pardoned, for it is scarcely a just one) 
which ordinarily left my ^ther, a 
scholar even in the midst of his emo- 
tions. He seemed here to have aban- 
doned his books, to have put the human 
heart before tbe eyes of his pupil, and 
laid, '* Bead and «i»-learn V* 

To PiSISTBATUB CaXTOV. 

** Mt dsas Son,— -It were needless 
to tell you all the earlier difficulties I 
have had to encounter with my charge, 
nor to repeat all the means which, 
acting on your suggestion (a correct 
one), I have employed to arouse feel- 
ings long dcnrmant and confused, and 
allay others, long prematurely active 
and terribly distinct. The evil waa 
simply this: here was the intelligence 
of a man in all that is evil — and the 
ignorance of an In&nt in all that is 
good. In matters merely worldly, 
what wonderful acumen ! in the plain 
prindples of right and wrong, what 
gross and stolid obtuseness ! At one 
time, I am straining all my poor wit 
to grapple in an encounter on the 
knottiest mysteries of sodal bl» ; at 
another, I am guiding reluctant fingers 
over the bom-book of the most obvious 
morals. Here hieroglyphics, and there 
pot-hooks ! But as long as there is 
affection in a man, why, there is 
Nature to begin with ! To get rid of 
all the rubbish laid upon her, clear 
back the way to that Nature, and 
start afresh — ^that is one's only chance. 
** Well, by degrees I won my way, 
waiting iwtiently till the bo8om,plea8ed 
with l£e relief, disgorged itself of all 
' its perilous stuff,' — ^not chiding — ^not 
even remonstrating, seenung almost 
to ^ir.pathise^ till I got him, Socra- 



ticaUy, to disprove hfanself. When I 
saw that he no longer feared me— 
that my company had become a relief 
to him — I proposed an excursion, and 
did not tell him whither. 

" Avoiding as much as possible the 
main north road (fbr I did not wish, 
as you may suppose, to set fire to a 
train of associations that might blow 
us up to the dog-star), and, where 
that avoidance was not jXMsible, tra- 
velling by night, I got him into the 
neighbourhood of the old tower. I 
would not adnut him under its roof. 
But you know the little inn, three 
miles off, near the trout stream ? — ^we 
made our abode there. 

'< Well, I have taken him into the 
village, preserving his incognito. I 
have entered with him into cottagesi, 
and turiied the talk upon Bolimd. 
Tou know how your uncle is adored; 
you know what anecdotes of his bold^ 
wann-hearted youth once, and now of 
bis kind and charitable age, would 
spring up from the garrulous lips of 
gratitude ! I made him see vrith hia 
own eyes, hear with his own ears, 
how il who knew Boland loved 
and honoured him—^except his son. 
Then I took him round ibe ruins— 
(still not suffering him to enter the 
house), for those ruins are the key to 
Boland's character — seeing them, one 
sees the pathos in his poor foible of 
family pride. There, you distinguish 
it £rom the insolent boasts of the 
prosperous, and feel that it is little 
more than the pious reverence to the 
dead — 'thetenderculture of the tomb.' 
We sat down on heaps of mouldering 
stone, and it was there that I explained 
to him what Boland was in youth, and 
what he had dreamed that a son 
would be to him. I showed him the 
graves of bis ancestors, and explained 
to him why they were sacred in 
Boknd's eyes ! I had gained a great 
way, when he longed to enter the 
borne that should have been his ; and 



9oa 



THE CAXTONS: 



I ooold make him pmue of his own 
aooord, and say, ' No, I most first be 
worthy of it/ Then yon woold have 
vmiled — sly satirist that you are— to 
have heard me impresmng npon this 
acute, sharp-witted yoath, all that we 
plain folk understand hy the name of 
BOKB^-iuS perfect trust and truth, its 
simple holiness, its exquisite happiness 
ivbeing to the world what conscience 
]m to the human mind. And after 
that, I brought in his sister, whom 
till then he had scarcely named — ^for 
whom he scarcely seemed to care-^ 
brought her in to aid the lEkther, and 
endear the home. ' And you know,' 
said I, ' that if Roland were to die, it 
would be a brother's duty to supply 
his place ; to shield her innocence — ^to 
protect her name ! A good name is 
■omething, then. Your &ther was 
not so wrong to prize it. You would 
like yours to be that which your 
sister woold be proud to own !' 

" While we were talking, Blanche 
suddenly came to the spot, and rushed 
to my arms. She looked on him as a 
stranger ; but I saw his knees tremble. 
And then she was about to put her 
hand in his — ^but I drew h^ back. 
Was I cruel ? He thought so. But 
when I dismissed her, I replied to his 
reproach, ^Yoor sister is a part of 
Home. If you think yourself worthy 
of either, go and daim both ; I will 
not. object.' — 'She has my mother's 
^es.* said he, and walked away. I 
left him to muse amidst the ruins, 
whUel went in to see your poor mother, 
and relieve her fears about Roland, 
and make her understand why I could 
not yet return home, 

** This brief nght of his idster has 
sunk deep into him. But I now ap- 
proa<di what seems to me the great 
^fficulty of the whole. He is fully 
anxious to redeem his name— to re- 
gain his home. So fiur so welL But 
he cannot yet see ambition, except 
with haxd» worldly eyes. He still 



fSemdes that all he has to do Is to get 
money and power, and some of those 
empty prisses in the Great Lottery 
which we often win more easily by 
our nns than our virtues. (Here fd ^ 
lows a long passage from Seneca^ 
omitted as superfluous.) He does 
not yet even understand me — or, if 
he does, he i^des me a mere book- 
worm indeed, when I imply that he 
might be poor, and obscure, at the 
bottom of fortune's wheel, and yet be 
one we should be proud of! He snp- 
poses that, to redeem his name, he 
has only got to lacker it. Don't 
think me merely the fond father, 
when I add my hope that I shall use 
you to advantage here. I mean to 
talk to him to-morrow, as we return 
to London, of you, and of your amln- 
tton : you shall hear the r^ult. 

" At this moment (it is past mid- 
night), I hear his st^ in the room 
above me. The window-sash aloft 
opens— for the third time : would to 
heaven he could read the true astro- 
logy of the stars ! There they are — 
bright, luminous, benignant. And I 
seeking to chain this wandering comet 
into the harmonies of heaven ! Better 
task than that of astrologers, and as- 
tronomers to boot ! Who among them 
can ' loosen the band of Orion ?' — but 
who amongst us may not be per- 
mitted by God to have sway over the 
action and orbit of the hiunan soul ? 

^ Your ever affectionate father, 

-A. a" 

Two days after the recdpt of this 
letter, came the following; and thoo^ 
I would fiun suppress those references 
to myself which must be ascribed to a 
father's partiality, yet it is so needfol 
to retain them in connection with 
Vivian, that I have no choice but tt 
leave the tender flatteries to the in- 
dulgence of the kind. 

"My DBAS 8oir,«— I was sot tos 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



801 



taurine as to the effect that your 
simple story would produce upon your 
cousin. • Without implying any con- 
trast to his o^vn conduct, I described 
that scene in which you threw your- 
self upon our sympathy, in the strug- 
gle between love and duty, and asked 
for our counsel and support; when 
Boland gave you his blunt advice to 
tell all to Trevanion; and when, 
amidst such sorrow as the heart in 
youth seems scarcely lai^e enough to 
hold, you caught at truth impulsively, 
and the truth bore you safe irom the 
shipwreck. I recounted your silent 
and manly struggles — ^your resolution 
not to suffer the egotism of pasmon to 
unfit you for the aims and ends of 
that spiritual probation which we call 
XIFE. I showed you as you were, 
still though tftd ,for us, interested in 
our interests — ^smiling on us, that we 
might not guess that you wept in 
secret! Ob, my son — my son! do 
not think that, in those times, I did 
not feel and pray for you I And 
while he was melted by my own 
emotion, I turned from your love to 
your ambition. I made h>m see that 
you, too, had known th«7 restlessness 
which belongs to young ardentnatures; 
that you, too, had your dreams of 
fortune, and aspirations for success. 
But I painted that ambition in its 
true colours : it was not the desire of 
a selfish intellect, to be in yourself a 
somebody — a something — ^raised a step 
or two in the social ladder, for the 
pleasure of looking down on those at 
the foot, but the warmer yearning of 
a generous heart : your ambition was 
to repair your fitther's losses — minister 
to your lather's very tbible, in hU 
idle desire of fame — supply to your 
unde what he had lost in his natural 
heir — link your success to useful Ob- 
jects, your interests to those of your 
kind, your reward to the proud and 
gfttefol smiles of those you loved. 
That was thine ambition, O my tender 



Anachronism ! And when, as I closed 
the sketch, I said, ' Pardon me : you 
know not what delight a finther feels^ 
when, while sending a son away from 
him into .the world, he can speak and 
think thus of him ! But this, yoi; 
see, is not your kind of ambition. 
Let us talk of making money, and 
driving a coech-and-four through this 
villanous world,' — your cousin sank 
into a profound reverie ; and when he 
woke from it, it was like the waking 
of the earth after a night in spring^-* 
the bare trees had put forth buds ! 

"And, some time after, he star- 
tled me by a prayer that I would 
permit him, with his father's consent, 
to accompany you to Australia. The 
only answer I have given him as yet, 
has been in the form of a question : 
' Ask yourself if I ought ? I cannot 
wish Pisistratus to be other than he 
is ; and unless you agree with him in 
all his principles and objects, ought I 
to incur the risk that you should give 
him your knowledge of the world, and 
inoculate him with your ambition?' 
He was struck, and had the candour 
to attempt no reply. 

" Kow, Pisistratus, the doubt I ex- 
pressed to him is the doubt I feel. 
For, indeed, it is only by home-truths, 
not refining arguments, that I can 
deal with this unscholastic Scythian, 
whoi fresh from the Steppes, comes 
to puzzle me in the Portico. 

*' On the one hand, what is to be- 
come of him in the Old World ? At 
his age, and with his energies, it would 
be impossible to cage him with us in 
the Cumberland ruins ; weariness and 
discontent would undo all we could 
do. He has no resource in books — 
and, I fear, never will have ! But to 
send him forth into one of the over- 
crowded profesdons — to place him 
amidst all those ' disparities of social 
life,' on the rough stones of which he 
is perpetually grinding his heart-^ 
turn him adrift .amongst al tha 



802 



THE CAXTONSt 



tempt-ationt ho which he is moBt 
prone — this is a trial which, I fear, 
wi]l he too sharp for a conversion so 
incomplete. In the New World, no 
douht, his energies would find a safer 
field ; and even the adventnrons and 
desultory hahits of his childhood might 
there bo put to healthful account. 
Those complaints of the disparities of 
the civilised world find, 1 suspect, an 
eaner, if a blnfier reply fVom the poli- 
tical economist than the Stoic philo- 
■opher. ' You don't like them, you 
find it hard to submit to them,' says 
the political economist; ' but they are 
the laws of a dvilised state, and you 
can't alter them. Wiser men than 
you have tried to alter them, and 
never succeeded, though they turned 
the earth topsy-turvy! Very well; 
but the world is wide — go into a state 
that is not so civilised. The dispa- 
rities of the Old World vanish amidst 
the New ! Emigration is the reply of 
Nature to the rebellious cry against 
Art.' Thus would say the political 
economist; and, alas, even in your 
case, my son, I found no reply to the 
reasonings! I acknowledge, then, 
that Australia might open the best 
safety-valve to your cousin's discon- 
tent and denres ; but I acknowledge 
also a counter-truth, which va this—- 
9 It is not permitted to an honest man 
to corrupt himself for the sake of 
others.' That is almost the only 
maxim of Jean Jacques to which I 
can cheerfully subscribe! Do you 
feel qmU) strong enough to resist all 
the influences which a companionship 
of this kind may subject you to — 
strong enough to bear lus burthen as 
well as your own — strong enough, also 
—ay, and alert and vigihmt enough 
•— ^ prevent those influences harm- 
ing the others, whom you have under- 
taken to guide, and whose lots are 
confided to youP Pause well, and 
consider maturely, for this must not 
depend upon a generous impuIsOi I 



think that your cousin would now 
pass under your charge with a sincere 
desire for reform; but between sin- 
cere desire and steadfitf t performance 
there is a long and dreary interval-^ 
even to the best of us. Were it not 
for Roland, and had I one grain less 
confidence in you, I could not enter- 
tain the thought of laying on your 
young shoulders so great a responsi- 
bility. But every new responsibility 
to an earnest nature is a new prop to 
virtue ; — and all I now ask of you is 
—to remember that it if a solemn 
and serious charge, not to be under- 
taken without the most deliberate 
gauge and measure of the strength 
with which it is to be home. 

"In two days we shall be b& 
London. — ^Yours, my Anachronism^ 
anxiously and fondly, 

«A.C." 

I was in my own room while I read 
this letter, and I had just finished it 
when, as I looked up, I saw Boland 
standing opponte to me. " It is from 
Austin," said he ; then he paused a 
moment, and added, in a tone that 
seemed quite humble, " May I see it ? 
— and dare 1 P" I placed the letter 
in his hands, and retired a few paces, 
that he might not think I watched 
his countenance while he read it. And 
I was only aware that he had come to 
the end by a heavy, anxious, but not 
disappointed sigh. Then I turned 
and our eyes met, and there was 
something in Roland's look, inquiring 
— and, as it were, imploring. I in- 
terpreted it at once. 

"Oh, yes, uncle," I said, smiling} 
" I have reflected, and I have no far 
of the result. Before my fiither wrote^ 
what he now suggests had become 
my secret wish. As fijr our other 
companions, their simple natures would 
defy all such sophistries as — ^but he is 
already half-cured of those. Let him 
come with me^ and when he return 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



803 



he shall be worthy of a plnce in your 
heart, beside bis sister Blanche. I 
feel, I promise it — do not fear for 
me ! Such a change will be a talis- 
man to myself. I will shun evei'y 
error that I might otherwise commit, 
80 that he may have no example to 
entice him to err." 

I know that in youth, and the 
guperstition of first love, we are cre- 
dulously inclined to believe that love, 
and the possession of the beloved, are 
the only happiness. But when my 
uncle folded me in his arms, and called 
me the hope of his age, and stay of 
his house — the music of my father's 
praise still ringing^ on my heart — I do 
affirm that 1 knew a prouder bliss 
than if Trevanion had placed Fann/s 
hand in mine, and said, "She is 
yours.'* 

And now the ^e was cast — the 
decision made. It was with no regret 
that I wrote to Trevanion to decline 
his offers. Nor was the sacrifice so 
great — even putting aade the natural 
pride which had before inclined to it 
— as it may seem to some ; for, rest- 
less though I was, I had laboured to 
constrain myself to other views of life 
than those which dose the vistas of 
ambition witl^ images of the terrestrial 
deities — Power and Bank. Had I 
not been behind the scenes, noted all 
of joy and of peace that the pursuit 
of power had cost Trevanion, and seen 
how little of happiness rank gave even 
to one of the polished habits and 



graceful attributes of Lord Castleton 9 
Yet each nature seemed fitted so well 
— the first for power, the last for 
rank ! It is marvellous with what 
liberality Providence atones for the 
partial dispensations of Fortune. In- 
dependence, or the vigorous pursuit 
of it; affection, with its hopes and 
its rewards; a life only rendered by 
Art more susceptible to Nature — in 
which the physical enjoyments are 
pure and healthful — in which the 
mond faculties expand harmoniously 
with the intellectual — and the heart it 
at peace with the mind ; is this a 
mean lot for amlition to desire — and 
is it so far out of human reach? 
« Know thyself," said the old philo- 
sophy. " Improve thyself," swth the 
new. The great object of the Sojourner 
in Time is not to waste all his pas- 
sions and gifts on the things external, 
that he must leave behind — that 
which he cultivates within is all that 
he can carry into the Eternal Pro- 
gress. We are here but as school- 
boys, whose life begins where school 
ends ; and the battles we fought with 
our rivals, and the toys that we 
shared with our playmates, and the 
names that we carved, high or low, 
on the wall, above our desks — will 
they so much bestead us hereafter ? 
As new fates crowd upon us, can they 
more than pass through the memory 
with a smile or a sigh ? Look back 
to thy school days, and answer. 



/i 



'^.^ 



CHAPTER XI. 




^ 



J»vS# v., 



Two weeks since the date of the 
preceding chapter, have passed; we 
have slept our last, for long years to 
come, on the English soil. It is night 
i^-and Vivian has been admitted to an 
interview with his fiither. They have 
been together alone an hour and 
more^ and I ,and my father will not 



disturb them. But the clock strikes 
— the hour is late — the ship sfuls to- 
night — we should be on board. And 
as we two stand below, the door opens 
in the room above, and a heavy step 
descends the stairs; the father ia 
leaning on the son's arm. You should 
see how timidly the eon guides tha 



804 



THE CAXTONSt 



halting step. And now as the light 
gleams on their faces, there are tears 
on Vivian's cheek ; hat the £ice of 
Boland seems calm and happy. 
Happy ! when ahoat to he separated, 
perhaps for ever, from his son P Yes, 
happy, hecause he has found a son for 
the first time ; and is not thinking of 
years and absence, and the chance of 
death — but thankful for the Divine 
Mercy, and cherishing celestial hope. 
If ye wonder why Roland is happy in 
such an hour, how vainly have 1 
sought to make him breathe, and live, 
and move before you ! 

• • • • 

We are on board ; our. luggage all 
went first. I had had time, with the 
help of a carpenter, to knock up 
cabins for Vivian, Guy Bolding, and 
myself, in the hold. For, thinking 
we could not too soon lay aside the 
pretensions of Europe -— *' de-^ne- 
gentlemanise" ourselves, as Trevanion 
recommended — ^we had engaged steer- 
age passage, to the great humoiunng 
of our finances. We had, too, the 
luxury to be by ourselves, and our 
own Cumberland folks were round us^ 
as our friends and servants both. 

We are on board, and have looked 



our last on those we are to leave, and 
we stand on deck leaning on each 
other. We are on board, and the 
lights, near and far, shine frt>m the 
vast city ; and the stars are on high, 
bright and clear, as for the first mari- 
ners of old. Strange noises, rough 
voices, and crackling cords, and here 
and there the sobs of women, mingling 
with the oaths of men. Now the 
swing and heave of the vessel — ^the 
dreary sense of exile that comes 
when the ship fairly moves ever the 
waters. And still we stood, and 
looked, and listened; silent, and lean- 
ing on each other. 

Night deepened, the city vanished 
— not a gleam from its myriad lights ! 
The river widened and widened. How 
cold comes the wind !-*--i8 that a gale 
from the sea ? The stars g^w faint 
—the moon has sunk. And now, how 
desolate seem the waters in the com- 
fortless grey of dawn! Then we 
shivered and looked at each other, 
and muttered something that was not 
the thought deepest at oar hearts, and 
crept into our berths — ^feeling sure it 
was not for sleep. And sleep came on 
us, soft and kind. The ocean lulled 
the exiles as on a mother's breast 



A 7AMILT PICTUBS. 



SOS 



PAET SEVENTEENTH. 



CHAPTER I. 



The stage-scene has dropped. Settle 
yourselyes, xny good au^ence; chat 
each with his neighbour. Bear ma- 
dam, in the boxes, take up your 
opera-glass and look about yon. Treat 
Tom and pretty Sal to some of those 
fine oranges, O thou happy looking 
mother in the two-shilling gallery! 
Yes, brave 'prentice boys, in the tier 
above, the cat-call by all means 1 
And yxm, "most potent, grave, and 
reverend seigneurs," in the front row 
ei the pit — practised critics and steady 
old play-goers — who shake your heads 
at new actors and play-wrights, and, 
true to the creed of your youth, (for 
the which all honour to you !) firmly be- 
lieve that we are shorter by the head 
than those ^nts our grandfkther»— 
laugh or scold as you will, while the 
drop-scene still shuts out the stage. 
It is just that yon should all amuse 
yourselves in your own way, spec- 
tators ! for the interval is long. All 
the actors have to change their 
dresses; all the scene-shifters are at 
work, hiding the " ades " of a new 
world into their grooves; and in high 
disdain of all unity of time, as of place, 
yon will see in the play-bills that 
there is a great demand on your be- 
fief . You are called upon to suppose 
that we are older by five years than 
when you last saw us " fret our hour 
upon the stage." Five years! the 
author tells us espedally to humour 
the belief by letting the drop-scene 
linger longer than usual between the 
lamps and the stage. 

Flay up ! ye fiddles and kettle- 
drums! the lime is elapsed^ Stop 

No. 852. 



that cat-call, young gentleman! — 
heads down in the pit there ! Now 
the flourish is over — ^the scene draws 
up : look before. 

A bright, clear, traYisparent atmo- 
sphere — bright as that of the East, 
but vigorous and bracing as the air of 
the North; a broad and fair river, 
rolling through wide grassy plains; 
yonder, fiur in the cUstance, stretch 
away vast forests of evei^een, and 
gentle slopes break the line of the 
cloudless horizon; see the pastures. 
Arcadian with sheep in hundreds and 
thousands -— Tbyrsis and Menalcas 
would have had hard labour to count 
them, and small time, I fear, for sing- 
ing songs about Daphne. But, alas ! 
Daphnes are rare : no nymphs with 
garlands and crooks trip over those 
pastures. 

Turn your eyes to the right, nearer 
the river; just parted by a low fenc# 
from the thirty acres or so that 
are fiurmed for amusement or con- 
venience, not for profit — thc^ comes 
from the sheep-— you catch a glimpse 
of a garden. Look not so scomfrilly 
at the primitive horticulture — such 
gardens are rare x the Bush. I 
doubt if the stateiy King of the Peak 
evermore rejoicedinthe fiimous conser- 
vatory, through which you may drive in 
your carriage, than do the sons of the 
Bush in the herbs and blossoms* which 
taste and breathe of the old fiitherland. 
Qo on, and behold the palace of the 
patriarchs — ^it is of wood, I grant 
you, but the house we build wil£ our 
own hands is always a palace. Did 
you ever build one when you wera a 

Z 20 



S09 



THB CAXTONSt 



boy? And the lords of that palace 
are lords of the land, almost as &r as 
yon can see, and of those numberless 
Jocks ; and, better still, of a health 
which an antedilavian might have 
envied, and of nerves so seasoned with 
horse-breaking, cattle-driving, fight- 
ing with wild blacks — chases from 
them and after them, for life and for 
death — ^that if any passion vex the 
breast of those kings of the Bnshland, 
fear at least is erased from the list. 

See here and there through the 
landscape, rude huts like the masters' 
— ^wild spirits and fierce dwell within. 
But they are tamed into order by 
plenty and hope ; by the hand open 
but firm, by the eye keen but just. 

Now, out from those woods, over 
those green rolling plains* harum- 
scarum, helter-skelter, long hair flying 
wild, and all bearded, as a Turk or a 
pard, comes a rider yon recognise. 
The rider dismounts^ and another old 
acquaintance turns from a shepherd, 
with whom he has been conversing on 
matters that never plagued Thyrsis 
and Menalcas, whose sheep seem to 
have been innocent of foot-rot and 
scab— -and accosts the horseman. 

PiBiSTRATTJS. — My dear Guy, where 
on earth have you been ? 

Guy, (producing a book from his 
pocket, with great triumph.)— There! 
Dr. Johnson's Iam9 <3f the Poets, I 
could not get the squatter to let me 
have Kenilworth, though I offered him 
three sheep for it. Dull old fellow, 
that Dr. Johnson, I suspect ; so much 
the bettor, the book will last all the 
longer. And here's a Sydney paper, 
too, only two months old ! (Guy 
■takes a short pipe, or dodeen, from hii9 
hat, in the buid of which it had been 
Stuck, fills and lights it.) 

PiBiSTBATTTB. — ^You must havo rid- 
den thirty miles at the least. To think 
nigfour turning book-hunter, Guy ! 

GiTY BoLDfNa, (philosophically.) — 
Aj» one don't know tdie worth of a 



thing lall one has lost it. Ko sneers 
at me, old fellow ; you, too, declared 
that yon were bothered out of your 
life l^ those books, till yon fennd how 
long the evenings were without them. 
Then, the first new book we got — an 
old volume of the Spectaior ! — such 
fun! 

PlSTSTBATUS. — Very true. The 
brown cow has calved in your absence. 
Do you know, Guy, I think we shall 
have no scab in the fold this year. If 
80, there will be araresumtolay by! 
Things look up with us now, Guy. 

Gut BoLDnra. — ^Yes! Very dif- 
ferent from the first two years. Ton 
drew a long fece then. How wise 
you were^ to insist on our learning ex- 
perience at another man's station be- 
fore we hazarded our own capital! 
But, by Jove ! those sheep, at firsts, 
were enough to plague a man out of 
his wits. What with the wild dogs, 
just as the sheep had been washed and 
ready to shear; then that cursed 
scabby sheep of Joe Timmes'Sy that we 
caught rubbing his sides so compla- 
cently against our unsuspectii^ poor 
ewes. I wonder we ^d not run away. 
But "Fatie»tia /^'— what is that 
line in Horace! Never mind now. 
" It is a long lane that has no turning" 
does just as well as anything in 
Horace, and Virgil to bo<^ I say, 
has not Vivian been here ? 

PisiSTBATUS. — ^No; but he win be 
sure to come to-day. 

Gut Bolding. — He has much the 
best berth of it. Horse-breeding and 
cattle-feeding; gallojnng after those 
wild devils ; lost in a forest of horns j 
beasts lowing, scampering, goring, 
tearing off like mad bufialoes j horses 
galloping up hill, down hill, over 
rocks, stones, and timber; whips 
cracking, men shouting — ^your neck 
all but broken ; a great bull making 
at you full rush. Such fun ! Sheep 
are dull things to look at after a boll- 
hunt and a cattle feast. 



A FAMILY PICTURE. 



807 



PiscSTSATirs. — Every man to his 
taste in the Bush. Chie may make 
one's money more easily and safely, 
with more adventure and sport, in the 
buoolic department. But one makes 
larger profit and quicker fortune, with 
good luck and good care, in the pas- 
toral — and our object, I take it, is to 
get back to England as soon as we can. 

GuyBolding. — Humph! I should 
be content to live and die in the Bush 
-—nothing like it, if women were not 
so scarce. To think of the redundant 
spinster population at home, and not 
a spinster here to he seen within 
thirty miles, save Bet Goggins, in- 
deed — and she has only one eye ! But 
to return to Vivian — ^why should it 
be our object^ more than his, to get 
back to England as soon as we can/ 

PisiBTBATUS. — Not more, cer- 
tainly; But you saw that an excite- 
ment more stirring than that we find 
in the sheep had become necessary to 
him. You know he was growing dull 
and dejected; the cattle station was 
to be sold a bargain. And then the 
Burham bulls, and the Yorkshire 
horses, which Mr. Trevanion sent you 
and me out as presents were so 
tempting, I thought we might fairly 
add one speculation to another; and 
since one of us must superintend the 
bucolics, and two of us were required 
for the pastorals, I think Vivian was 
the best of us three to intrust with 
the first ; and, certainly, it has suc- 
ceeded as yet. 

Gut. — Why, yes, Vivian is quite 
in his element— always in action, and 
always in command. Let him be 
first in everything, and there is not a 
finer feUow, nor a better tempered — 
present company excepted. Hark! 
the dogs, the crack of the whip; there 
he is. And now, I suppose, we may 
go to dinner. 

Unter VmAir. 
His frame has grown more athletici 



his ^e, more stead&st and less rest* 
less, looks yon fiiU in the fiice. His 
smile is more open; but there is a 
melancholy in his expressiou, almost 
approaching to gloom. His dress is 
the same as that of Pisistratus and 
Guy — white vest and trousers ; loose 
nedcdoth, rather gay in colour; broad 
cabbage-leaf hat ji, his moustache and 
beard are trimmed with more care 
than ours. He has a large whip in 
his hand, and a gun slung across his 
shoulders. Gh*eeting8 are exchanged ; 
mutual inquiries as to cattle and 
sheep, and the last horses despatched 
to the Indian market. Guy shows 
the Lives of the Poets ; Vivian asks 
if it is possible to get the Life of 
Clive, or N(vpoleon, or a copy of 
Phdarch. Guy shakes his head — 
says, if a JEtoh^on Crusoe will do as 
well, he has seen one ia a very tat- 
tered state, but ia too great request 
to be had a bargain. 

The party turn into the hut. 
Miserable animals are bachelors in aU 
countries; but most miserable in 
Bushland. A man does not know 
what a helpmate of the soft sex is in 
the Old World, where women seem a 
matter of course. But in the Bush, 
a wife is literally bone of your bone^ 
flesh of your flesh— your better hal^ 
your ministering angel, your Eve of 
the Eden — ^in short, all that poets 
have sung, or young orators say at 
public dinners, when called upon to 
give the toast of " The Ladies." Alas! 
we are three bachelors, but we are 
better off than bachelors often are in. 
the Bush. For the wife of the shep- 
herd I took from Cumberland does me 
and Bolding the honour to live in our 
hut, and make things tidy and com* 
foitable. She has had a couple of 
children since we have been in the 
Bush ; a wing h'ts been added to the 
hut for that increase of family. The 
children, I dare say, one might have 
thought a sad nuisance in England ; 

Z2 



808 



THE CAXTONS: 



bnt I declare that, suCTOonded as one 
Is bj great bearded men, from sunrise 
to sunset, there is something hmnanis- 
ing, mufflcal, and Christian-like in the 
very squall of the baby. There it 
goes — bless it ! As for my other 
companions from Cmnberland, Miles 
Square, the most aspiring of all, has 
long- Icit me, and is^niperintendent to 
a groat sheep-owner some two hundred 
miles off. The Will-o'-the- Wisp is con- 
signed to the cattle station, where he is 
Vivian's bead man, finding time now 
and then to indulge his old poaching 
propensities at the expense of parrots, 
black cockatoos, pigeons, and kanga- 
roos. The sh^herd remains with us, 
and does not seem, honest fellow, to 
care to better himself ; he has a feeling 
of clanship, which keeps down the 
ambition common in Australia. And 
his wife-HSUch a treasure ! I assure 
you, the sight of her smooth, smiling 
woman's fiice, when we return home 
at nightfall, and the very flow of her 
gown, as she turns the " dampers"* 
in the ashes, and fills the teapot, have 
In them something holy and angelical. 
How lucky our Cumberland swain is 
not jealous ! Not that there is any 
cause, enyiable dog though he be; 
but where Desdemonas are so scarce, 
if you could but guess how green-eyed 
their Othellos generally are ! Excel- 
lent husbands, it is true— «none better; 
but you had better think twice before 
you attempt to play the Cassio in 
Bushland! There, however, she is, 
dearcreature ! — ^rattling among knives 
and forks, smoothing the table-cloth, 
settmg on the salt beef, and that rar^ 
luxury of pickBes (the last pot in our 
store), and the proiduce o