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Full text of "Marston Lynch: His Life and Times, His Friends and Enemies, His Victories and Defeats, His Kicks ..."

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HARVARD 
COLLEGE 

LIBRARY 




(X<5T 7 I • '-'^ 




HARVARD 

COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 



MAESTON LYNCH; 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES 
HIS FRIENDS AND ENEMIES 
HIS VICTORIES AND DEFEATS 
HIS KICKS AND HALFPENCE. 



PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY 
ROBERT B. BROUGH, 

LATS SDITOB OV tSB "WXLGOXB aVXSl" 

WITH PORTRAIT 
AKD A 

MEMOIR OP THE AUTHOR 

By GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA. 



LONDON: 
WARD AND LOCK, FLEET STREET. 

HDCCCLX* 



2-3.411^ "^^.^\ 



HARVARD COLLE«f MBflARY 
FROM 
f THE BEQUEST OF 
KVCRT MNSEN WENDELL 






MEMOIE OF THE AUTHOR 



I TAKE up to-day, the pen which has fallen from a dead 
man's hand. The sadness of my task is embittered by the 
consciousness that the writer whose decease I record, was 
one of my oldest and dearest friends. But a few days 
since, and bowing under a recent domestic bereavement of 
my own, I read the affectionate tribute which a friend and 
fellow-labourer had paid to the memory of one whom I 
had known and esteemed for fourteen years. Yesterday, 
it was poor Albebt Smith. To-day it is my duty to 
trace a few lines in sorrowful mention of another loss to 
literature and to friendship. Their theme, alas ! is 

BOBEBT BbOUGH. 

He died on the night of the twenty-sixth of June, at 
his brother-in-law's house at Manchester. His dear Nurse 
— ^his widow now — had got him so far in the hope of taking 
him to North Wales. There had been little hope of him 
for months ; but just a feeble chance remained that the 
bracing atmosphere of a mountainous country might do 
him good. His medical advisers had forbidden that he 
should be taken to the sea-side. There was no use in send- 



n MEMOIR OP THE AUTHOR. 

inghim to Nice, or to Devonsliire, or totlie*Islie of WigHt. 
Indeed, for montlis, those nearest and dearest to liim knew 
that the most that could be done for him was to soothe 
and cherish him to the end. There was just a little oil 
left in his lamp, and it was consumed, and he died. He 
had not any chronic or organic disease that I am aware of, 
beyond an inherent weakness — a weakness that seemed to 
waste away his muscular fibre with such slow, unerring 
regularity, that you might almost note the progress of his 
decay, day by day, for years. I knew him first in 1847. 
He was a mere boy; but he was weak and ailing. He 
never looked well. Each successive time I saw him until 
ft few weeks since he was in some degree or manner worse ;. 
and now he is Better — ^for he is dead. 

Robert Barnabas Brough was bom|[in London in 1828. 
Three brothers and three sisters, all hale and hearty, I am 
glad to believe, survive him. He passed a considerable por- 
tion of his childhood and his youth in Wales and in the North . 
of England. His father, one of the [worthiest and most 
amiable of men, was engaged in some commercial pursuits ; 
and his sons had a plain English Education. Eobert Brough 
had neither Latin nor Greek ; but before his thirtieth year- 
he was always learning something — ^he had taught himself 
plenty of Erench, and some German, and a little Spanidi. 
I am sure, poor fellow, that he had a sufficient appredar 
tion of the advantages of a classioal education ; but, as 
from the age of fifteen or sixteen he had to earn his live- 
lihood by the labour of his own hands and brain, the most 
he could do was to add to his stoek of knowledge suck. 



MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR. - VU 

adjuncts as lie deemed most valuable for his working 
career. His taste and capacity for pictorial art was yeiy 
great, and under favourable circumstances might have been 
developed into fame and fortune. He would, with that 
proper artistic training he could never afford to imdergo, 
have become a graceful and varied artist. As it is, he 
only leaves behind him a few unfinished oil-sketches and a 
mass of humourous drawings. His comic pictorial efforts 
will bear a very favourable comparison with those of 
Thomas Hood. 

I believe that, as a lad, who had to push his own way 
and get his own bread, he tried half-a-dozen avocations 
before he discovered his real one, Literature. He was a 
merchant's clerk and a portrait painter at Manchester and 
at Liverpool. He was fond of amateur acting ; and he, 
with his brother William, wrote plays and acted in them, 
and painted the scenery, as dozens of. boys have done 
before. The brothers even started a little weekly satirical 
paper, called the lAverpool Lion, to which Eobert Brough, 
in addition to parodies and Jokes, and comic essays, con- 
tributed political and humourous cartoons, in that style of 
which Mr. Leech is so great a master. It happened that 
Eobert and William Brough had written a burlesque 
on the ** Tempest," called the " Enchanted Isle." This, 
being performed at Liverpool, attracted the notice of Mr. 
Benjamin Webster, then " starring " in that town. The 
" Enchanted Isle " was a very boyish production, but it 
was full of broad fun, and was not even deficient in very 
bxflliftnt wit. The piece was transplanted to metropolitan 



vm HBMOIB OF THE AUTHOB. 

soil, and performed with great success at the Adelphi 
Theatre. Other managers became eager for burlesques, 
and the "Brothers Brough," to Eobert's misfortune, 
attained immediate popularity, and, in theatrical circles, 
celebrity. 

I say, for his misfortune ; for he leapt at once from 
provincial obscurity, raw, half-taught, and quite deficient 
in worldly experience, into a prominent position among the 
wits and viveurs of a bustiing time. He had almost 
everything to learn ; but his dramatic successes made him 
Bt once the compeer of such men as Planche, Morton, 
Oxenford, Bourdcault, Beach, Albert Smith, Charles 
Kenny, Shirley Brooks, and Mark Lemon, men who had 
been before the public for years — ^who were used to its 
ways, and indifferent to its sedvctions. He had the run 
of the green-rooms and the literaiy circles, when it would 
have done him much more good to have had the run of a 
decent library, or even of a garret, a book-stall, or a coffet - 
shop, with some back numbers of the Quarterly Bemew on 
its shelves. Then he speedily found that Christmas and 
Easter will not come a dozen times a year, and that he 
tx)uld not earn a livelihood by burlesque writing, however 
handsomely those productions might be paid for. Let it 
not be imagined that the managers starved him. I believe 
that from Messrs. Charles Kean, Buckstone, Webster, 
Keeley, and E. T. Smith, and especially from Messrs. 
Bobson and Emden, he never received anything but kind 
wA generous treatment. But they could not be always 
bringing out new pieces, and he could not be always 



MEHOIE OF THE AUTHOB. IX 

inveating them. The " Brothers Brough" parted com- 
pany — as joint-authors, at least, never as affectionate 
relatives — and each betook himself to the work-a-day life 
of literature. He married very early in life, and has left a 
widow and three young children to mourn his untime 



Bobert Brough had little aptitude for the dry but 
remunerative labours of the daily and weekly press. His 
forte lay in humourous narrative, in light essay, in pure 
joke-weaving dxA persiflage^ in satiric, and sometimes in 
pathetic, not sentimental, poetry. When he had room and 
tune, he was an admirable story-teller ; and some of his 
ballads are replete with grace and picturesque colour^ 
Summing up his works from memory, I can chiefly recr H 
his sharply satirical Songs of the Governing Classes; 
bis translations, or rather adaptations of Beranger's 
Songs of the Bnvpire^ the Feace^ and the Eestora* 
tion; his novels of Marston Lgnehy and Which is 
which? or * Miles Cassidy^s Contract, This was the 
last hook he published ; and the Saturday JRevieto thought 
the fact of the author being on Ms death-bed, too 
favourable an opportunity for making* a savage onslaught 
on him. It is so safe to attack a dying man! llien 
he wrote a Life of Sir John Falste^, as text for Mr. 
George Cruikshank's admirable plates, illustrating the fat 
knight's history. There is, also, from his pen, a capital 
translation of Alphonse Karr's novel. La Famille Alain ; 
and in the Train, a magazine underiaken as a speculation 
among a knot of friendly literary men, there is dispersed a 



X MEMOIE OF THE AUTHOB. 

number of exqaisite paraphrases of Victor Hugo's Odes et 
Ballades. His brother, John Cargill Brough, is about to 
collect the best of his poetical fragments for republication. 

In Household JPords, and ^11 the Year Botmdy he 
wrote a variety of graphic essays and pictures of manners^ 
and notably a charming little piece of fugitive poetiy, 
entitled " Neighbour Nelly." He was an early and pro- 
lific contributor to the comic publications called the Man 
in the Moon and Diogenes ; but I don't know what cUque 
interest or clique squabbles excluded him from the columas 
of Punch, For some period, also, he officiated as Editor 
of the Atlas, Eor a shorter term he held a literary 
appointment with Mr. Buckstone at the Haymarket 
Theatre. For some months he was the Brui^els ccHrres^- 
pondent of the Sunday Times ; but newspaper work, as I 
have already observed, was unsuitable to his turn of 
mind. His last regular engagement was with the pro- 
prietor of the Welcome Guest, as its conductor and 
chief contributor. Of his productions in the Welcome 
Guest my readers are the best judges. I may, however, 
offer an opinion that "Doctor Johnson" is one of the 
most beautiful poems that ever flowed from the pen of a 
contemporary writer. 

How am I to speak further — and with common for- 
titude — of my dear, dead friend ? — I, who knew him, and 
loved him, and was once young and enthusiastic, and poor 
and miserable, with him; who have often lagged behind 
to let him win the race, and fondly hoped to see him one 
day prosperous and faxnouB ; who am not worthier than 



MEH01& OF THE AUTHOB. XI 

he, and am yet alive^ the senior, and strong? If his 
memoiy be assailed, I shall know how to rebuke and 
shame the slanderers ; but I had rather that his praises 
came from other lips. As I write this, in the silence of 
the night, I lift my eyes &om the blotted sheet, and see 
hanging round my room the pictures of three dear Mends, 
all good and tender, and true as Bob was. They are all 
dead : all dead within six months* Who is the survivor 
that can tell when his turn may come, and when a fiiendly 
hand may be required to close his eyes, and turn his 
picture to the wall P 

Geobge Augustus Sal a. 

Bbomptoit, Jufy 2Mh, 1860. 



MAESTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTER I. 



TOPOGBAPHICAL, AND DISCURSIVE, BUT GENTEEL 

THROUGHOUT. 

There is situated on the north west coast of England 
a very important sea-port town, which, with the reader's 
gracious permission (it is as well to err on the polite side with 
a new acquaintance), I shall call out of its name, and 
speak of as Longport. I have six excellent reasons for 
doing so. The iirst is, because I choose. The other five 
are equally good, but for six more reasons (which are still 
better) I intend keeping them to myself. 

About two miles from Longport, on the high road to 
York, there stood, some few years ago, an isolated suburb 
of excessive gentility, entitled Ash Grove. I speak of it 
in the past tense, because the participle "isolated" no 
longer applies to it — the spirit of conmiercial enterprise, 
supposed by writers in " Chambers' Edinburgh Journal " 
to be so conducive to the happiness of this country, 
having long since connected it with the town by an agree- 
able chain of factories, tan-pits, " cottage property," and a 

B 



2 MAESTON LYNCH. 

gas-works or two — ^which is all very civilised and satisfac- 
tory. At the time I speak of, none of these spirited indi- 
cations of national prosperity existed ; but, in their stead, 
you walked through two miles of common-place fields and 
hedges — ^very pleasing to the eye and bracing to the 
spirits, but, from a commercial point of view, most con- 
temptible. 

Ash Grove consisted of a single row of houses, " semi- 
detached," and (with one tremendous exception, to be 
noticed presently) as like each other as a handful of horse- 
beans — {1 am fond of novelty in my similes, and consider 
this a striking improvement on the two peas of conven- 
tional literature). They were of inodem construction — 
in fact, they might be considered the pioneers or outworks 
of the noble army of civilization that has, since, so suc- 
cessfully invested the territory. To say they were of 
modem construction is admission of some swindle or other 
in their arrangement— of some pretentions to appear what 
they were not. Each house, in fact, meanly assumed to 
be twice its size. This was managed by a system of reci- 
procal economy — ^two houses being bmlt together in one, 
lawn to look like a single residence — as though each had 
said to its Siamese neighbour, " You pretend to be part of 
me to mi/ friends, and I'll pretend to be part of you to 
t/our friends." Of course nobody was taken in by it. But 
this seems no objection whatever to the ingenious invenr 
tions of the great modem science of veneering. 

There were nine houses in Ash Grove. From this state- 
ment, the reader with a mathematical turn will at once di- 
vine that there was one house that did stand by itself. 
This was Number Nine — the imposing exception alluded 
to in a foregoing parenthesis. Of Number Nine and its 
distinguished occupants (the first family in Ash Grove !) 
we shall speak in due order. Their rank and social im* 
portance would entitle them to precedence ; but as we aie 
fond of numerical precision, and moreover take a Eed Be- 
publican delight in insulting Great People, we will begin 
with Number One. 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 3 

Miss Crooze's s«iiinarj for young ladies. Terms forty 
pounds per annmn, six towels, and a spoon and fork, to 
be returned to the pnpil on leaving — (yon are requested to 
bear this in mind, as a fact significant of Miss Crooze's 
snpmoiity of character) ; only a Hmited number of pupils 
taken ; extra accomplishments by the first masters in Long- 
port. Miss Crooze was the " fine woman" of the row. 
She was just leaving off being young, but continued to 
be handsome. In right of having Hved six years as 
governess in the family of one of the wealthiest ship- 
owners of Longport, who had had the good sense and 
breeding to treat her as an equal, she was supposed to be- 
long to " superior" society — just as from a pair of very 
tinck black eyebrows, and a sHght appearance of having 
neglected to shave, she was supposed to be strong-minded. 
In reaUty, her father was a highly respectable tafior, in the 
ooonty of Monmouth, and her smallest pupil (Polly Bicker- 
staff) bullied her incessantly. As she was a perfect lady 
by nature (if the term be not profanation appHed to one of 
sach humble origin) and a thoroughly intelligent, accom- 
plished, and honest woman — ^as it was found the very 
rawest material, in the shape of girl, could not remain long 
in contact with her, without in some measure catching 
iAiJd humanising influence of her goodness, candour, and 
refinement — Grove House Seminary flourished. The 
*' limited number" was always filled up by people whose 
forty annual pounds might never be doubted, and the 
black-haired Spanish-looMng tailor's daughter went on her 
quiet way and prospered— -putting away money in the 
honest hope that some deserving, sensible fellow might yet 
be found to claim it, with herself, before the silver streaks 
should utterly predominate over the raven black, and the 
little Hues at the comers of the large dark eyes should 
deepen and widen— warning her to keep it to herself. 

Number Two. Mrs. Murke — ^paradoxically known as 
**Mrs. Murke, the old maid," so called, because she had oc- 
cupied the same house fox some years, in a single capacity, 
and only recently taken to heisetf a husband, which inno- 

B 2 



4 MABSTON LYNCH. 

vation had made no difference whatever in her character 
and external habits. Her most striking characteristics 
were red velvet dresses, and an infinite number of bodily- 
ailments — ^rendered interminable by an iron constitution, 
of which she was given to boast. Mr. Murke was nobody. 
He had not so much as a red velvet waistcoat, or a tooth- 
ache, to rescue him from temporary oblivion. If you had 
asked any resident in Ash Grove (and, mind you, they 
were all pretty well up in their neighbours* business in 
that active colony) to describe to you Mr. Murkes' age, 
his personal experience, his profession, his means, in short, 
anything about him, you would have received no satisfac- 
tory or definite answer. 

The responsible tenant of Niunber Three was EHza 
Crayner ; but, in the eyes of the row. Miss Crayner had 
no independent existence. The Miss Crayners — for there 
were two — were looked upon as one and indivisible. They 
dressed alike, moved, talked, and thought alike. The same 
easterly wind tinged their virgin noses with the same 
roseate hue ; the same sensitiveness to bad smells — to which 
they appeared perennial martyrs — caused those delicate 
organs to curl in precisely the same manner. They were 
on the wrongest possible side of five-and-thirty, but sus- 
tained by a hopeful faith in the endurance of some un- 
remembered attractions. They were extremely well con- 
nected ; and, in consequence thereof, had refused to " go 
out" in life — that is to say, to accept comfortable situa- 
tions — ^preferring to starve genteelly in Ash Grove on the 
proceeds of surreptitiously marketed fancy-work, recruiting 
their mortified systems by periodical invasions of their 
numerous good connections. Their dependencies were a 
fast brother — ^in a genteel banking-house (salary eighty 
pounds a-year — annual expenditure a hundred)— and an 
obscure father in the Docks, who was kept in the back- 
ground as much as possible ; but who would occasionally 
assert himself (under Dock influences) by insulting the 
neighbouring maid-servants, and borrowing shiUiugs. 
The Miss Crayners had also a lodger, but of him anon. 



MAUSTON LYNCH. O 

At Number Pour the Kufflestone family had pitched its 
tent. More gentiKty — albeit it was impossible wholly to 
conceal the fact that Kufflestone was a grocer in High- 
street, Longport. But Mrs. Kufflestone (whose education, 
at the expense of an imknown father, of whom it had pro- 
bably been the death, had cost more than that of six of the 
accomplished little ladies Marian Crooze turned out to 
ornament society two or three times a-year), always spoke 
of the shop as " the warehouse," or the " counting-house." 
Mrs. Hufflestone was. pretty and young, and remarkable, 
beyond those attractions, for a habit of nursing t^vins in a 
low-necked yellow satin dress, with her hair in curl-papers. 
Mrs. Eufflestone's mamma was a turbaned pensioner on 
the establishment. Transatlantic visitors from the Docks, 
invited home to cement an occasional bargain with Mr. 
Kufflestone, had pronounced that lady ** a caution." 

With Number Five we have nothing to do, the inhabi- 
tants of that mansion being arrogant, exclusive people, 
who do not recognise their neighbours, and consequently 
will form no part of oidr dramatis persona. It is true that 
Mr, Smuff is a Landing Surveyor, and his wife enjoys a 
little independent property — ^privileges which might entitle 
them to hold themselves aloof a little. But we can have 
no patience with people who give themselves such airs, as 
soup, fish, and wine to dinner every day, whether there is 
company or not (a fact patent to all the inhabitants of Ash 
Grove, through back stairs influence), and who consider 
themselves better than their equals. 

Numbers Six and Seven must be considered unlet, 
but will possibly find occupants in the course of our, 
history. 

We have so much to say about Number Eight, that we 
• will begin a new chapter to say it. 



! 
I 

6 MAKSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTER n. 

TEBPSICHOEEAN AND SEASONABLE. — FINALLY 

MYSTEEIOUS. 

Gheistmas eve ! It was a great day for Ash Grove. 
Mrs. Mempebbles, of Number Eight, had issued cards for 
a genuine, old-fashioned, English Christmas party. Evay- 
body was to be there (Smuff, of course, contemptuously 
excepted). There was to be « mistletoe, and the 
cushion-dan^ce, and everything in the hearty old-fashioned 
style. 

Mrs. Merripebbles had carried out her old-fashioned 
prejudices so far as to make her old Highland servant, 
Elspeth Mac Something (the dan has never been rightly 
ascertained), represent the cards of invitation orally, and in 
her own person. That weird oflBlcial, some days back, had 
been seen flying from house to house in Ash Grove, coit- 
veying the thrilling tidings, after the manner of the Eiery 
Cross of her own primitive people, and requesting drams 
from the invited, in the most unblushing manner. Every- 
body agreed to come ; for Mrs. Merripebbles was genial 
and popular, and fan was certain. All available hands 
were immediately set to work on ball dresses (for the time 
was short), and the sums the Miss Crayners must have 
earned, furtively and by night, by lending a helping hand 
(purely to obUge a friend, and on consideration that it 
shall not be mentioned to a living soul) would more than 



JIAE8T0N LYNCH. 7 

aecount for the tmwonted splendour in which those 
a|iinsterB were enabled to appear on the momentQiis 
evening. 

And who was Mrs. Merripebbles ? 

Mrs. Merripebbles, reader, was the wife of Mr. Merri- 
pebbles. I wiW. forestal your second question, and inform 
yon, at once, that Mr. Merripebbles was the husband of 
Mrs. Merripebbles. 

It was a peculiarity of Ash Grove, and probably is of 
Hie civilisation of which such settlements are the repre- 
sentatives — ^that the husbands in it went for nothmg. 
Wives were paramount ; daughters had a powerful voice 
in the representation; mothers, and even sisters, were 
tremendous. But ^ husband was a mere man to go to 
business in the morning ; return at a stated time (and in 
a becoming condition) in the evening ; and be called upon 
in town on Saturday at' the counting-house, to settle an 
imperative claim, for which nothing on account would be 
taken and no time allowed. 

Mr. Merripebbles was no exception to this rule. He 
-was just the sort of man who could not be any exception 
to any rule, if he tried. 

He was a mild-mannered stockbroker, six feet high, and 
wei^ in the back, between forty and fifty, who wore hats 
nmch too large for him. He would have been happy and 
easy-gcdng had h§ not been so easily frightened. He lived 
in a perpetual state of alarm at bankruptcy, cholera, and 
eternal perdition. He would probably have gone melan- 
choly mad on one of these considerations, had not his 
attention been constantly distracted from their contempla- 
tion by a more proximate object of terror in the shape of 
his wife. Merripebbles loved his wife, not passionately — 
lie was not strong enough for that, — ^but abjectly, and 
reverenced her every word. Mrs. Merripebbles was 
norUiy of love and reverence ; but if ever there was a 
Tartar, she was one. 

Menipebbles came home from the office, at six o'clock, 
to assist in preparations for the party. He was in high 



b MARSTON LYNCH. 

glee, for there was a good deal of the child about the poor 
timid old boy, and the notion of a party pleased him. He 
had, moreover, hit upon a stupendous surprise for his wife 
in the shape of a huge game pie, which he had brought 
home on his lap in the omnibus (suffering severely from 
gravy in the transit). He rang the bell cheerfully, and 
thought over a little pun he intended letting oiF at supper- 
time, if he could remember it. At that **if" he grew 
despondent. Merripebbles had no memory ! 

Mrs. Merripebbles opened the door herself, in a high, 
state of flour. She was a stout, comely woman of forty, 
with a good face, if it would always keep so. But it 
changed about waywardly. 

The sight of his dear, tyrannical, trouble-giving, trouble- 
• saving helpmate, cheered our friend (you are requested to 
look on him as a friend, reader, for he is one of the best 
old fellows in the world) up at once. He forgot the pun 
— immediately and for ever — ^and gave her a hearty kiss, 
which she returned as heartily. 

"Save us, Mr. Merripebbles!" she said, seeing his 
bruised and greasy parcel ; " what have you got there ?" 

" That's tellings," said her husband, with an abortive 
wink. 

"Don't be ridiculous, Mr. Merripebbles. You surely 
haven't been laying out money ?" 

" My dear, I thought"— ' 

" You thought — nonsense — let me see what it is. A 
game pie — that must have cost you thirty shillings at 
least. And pray what is to become of me and the children 
if you waste your money in this manner ?" 

" My dear, I thought surely at Christmas time" — 

" Christmas time, indeed ! A nice time to be wasting 
our little means in riot and luxury — when we ought to be 
thinking of our souls, and giving what we can to the poor. 
I know what you are going to say, Mr. Merripebbles ; 
that the party was my planning, and none of yours : it 
was your place to check me, Mr. Merripebbles" — 

" Surely, my dear — I see no wrong in giving our neigh' 






MAESTO:: LYXCH. 

bours a little harmless recreation. And with regard to 
expense — ^if you'd only got a little plainer' supp^-and 
cooked it at home" — 

"Mind your own business, Mr. Merripebbles. What 
money I spend is my own. I am accountable to nobody. 
You are talking in this way just 'to exasperate me, when 
you see my hands are fiill — ^not a soul to help me — and 
all the blanc-marige to make." 

This conversation had led the speakers into the drawing- 
room, sumptuously prepared for the evening's entertain- 
ment, round which Merripebbles glanced with intense 
satisfaction. A stolid; bony looking girl of fourteen, with 
a puzzling face, gorgeously dressed in evening costume, 
entered, and threw herself with nonchalance on a sofa. 
Mrs. Merripebbles turned sharply on her. 

Aren't you ashamed of yourself, Maud," she said, 
putting on your new satin slip and tarlatan at this time 
of the evening, when the people won't be here these two 
hours ?" 

Maud was impassible. 

"I agree with your mamma, Maud," said poor old 
Merripebbles, with a certain deference in his manner 
(which was not remarkable, as he showed the same to 
everybody). " When you see her so fully occupied you 
might make an eifort to assist her " 

" If Mamma wanted help, there was plenty to be bad 
for money," said Miss Maud, with the most perfect in- 
difference, buttoning a difficult glove. 

Mrs. Merripebbles turned back hotly on her husband — 

" Mr. Merripebbles, have the kindness to interfere with 
your own children.* Maud can do as she likes. She is 
not your child, and though she has no father, I'll let you 
know — James's Church I " (this was a favourite inter- 
jection with Mrs. Merripebbles) "I've left the sherry 
bottle on the kitchen table, and that old Jezebel 
Elspeth "— 

Mrs. Merripebbles darted impetuously from the room, 
and m a few moments was heard singing placidly to a 



10 MARSTON LYNCH, 

<rustard-beating accompaniment. This was followed by a 
breakage of crockery, and a "rowing match" with the 
Gaelic Elspeth, that seemed likely to end in blows, but 
was suddenly dissipated in a hearty burst of laughter, at 
some Tindivulged kitchen pleasantry. Soon a^rwards 
the lady returned to the drawing-room with a beaming 
-countenance, kissed old Merripebbles (to his intense 
delight) under the mistletoe, complimented Maud on her 
dioice of attire, and skipped upstairs to dress, like a stout 
fairy. 

" Your mother is a most extraordinary woman," said 
Merripebbles, smoothing his bald head, and looking de- 
precatiugly at his step-daughter (for such was Miss 
Maud's relationship to him) ; " sometimes I really don't 
know what to make of her." 

"I know what to make of her weU enough," was 
Maud's icy reply ; " she makes herself very lidi- 
•cubus." 

Merripebbles looked at the young censor with some- 
thing as much like indignation as he was capable of. It 
sometimes occurred to him (dimly, as most things did), 
that a Httle hard smacking occasionally would be no bad 
discipline for this spoiled and self-willed young lady. 
But all interference with Maud on his part was rigidly 
tabooed. Maud was his wife's daughter by a dead 
husband, whom that wife sometimes abused him for 
speaking of as an imjust man (the strongest term Mend- 
pebbles could apply to an unmitigated scoundrel), and for 
defending whom against some incredibly heinous accusa- 
tion she sometimes threatened him with separation a 
menaa et thoro. Moreover, Maud Carlton was a ward in. 
Chancery, and a wealthy heiress. Poor Merripebbles was 
the least of worldly of mortals, but his trade was in 
money, and he had felt its terrors. He therefore treated 
Maud with a queer awkward respect. Maud treated hist 
with contempt, sometimes warming into pity. 

Merripebbles shifted from the dangerous ground. 

" We shall have a nice party, I suppose, Maud ? '* 



XASBTON LTKCH 11 

" Y^m. sure I don't know." 

" But Mr. Lyndi is coming, isn't he, my dear ? *' 

** I don't see that he will make it a nice party. He'« 
Toy pompous and stupid. He'll bring Lucy, I suppose. 
That's something. I Uke Lucy.'* 

Miss Carlton, aged fourteen, gave out her likes and 
dislikes as the edicts of an absolute monarch, which, in 
flome measure, she was. 

** Young Mr. Tofts from Number Nine is coming. I 
met him in town to-day." 

*' He's an awkward, long-legged boor ; no girl can 
dt&oe with him if she wants to keep a skirt to her frock." 

" My dear, you should not be prejudiced. He's a veiy 
exodlent, rising young man. He has got a splendid 
bnainess, and is making money " — 

*' I've got pltsnty of money," said Miss Carlton, with a 
yawn. And she put her feet on the sofa, turning her bade 
<m her step-parent, who looked ruefully, as for sympathy, 
at the unsuccessful pie. 

The first knock at the door came. Old Merripebbles 
jomped up with delight at the sound, like a boy at a 
pantomime when " the fim begins." Miss Crooze was the 
fint visitor; come early to see if she could do anything. 
She had trudged down the road through the snow, by her- 
fldf, in a hood and goloshes. These, she threw off in a 
boi^ess-like manner, and beamed on the empty room like 
what is conventionally called a duchess, which means, 
Ifte a handsome diatingu^ woman, though I have seen 
dudiessess who do not come up to the definition. Merri- 
pebbles kissed her under the misletoe immediately, 
perfonning a short dance of triumph by himself in the 
passage, ^ter the achievement. 

Mrs. Merripebbles came down glowing with good 
knmour, matronly beauty, and violet satin. [Ignominious 
dimissal of Merripebbles to the upper regions to change 
his linen.] 1^ guests began to anjive in quick auo- 
oesaoQ. The Miss Crayners — ^frostbitten but sportive— 
amunmcing that their brother Albert couldn't arrive tUL 



12 MARSTON LYNCH. 

late, as he was dining with some gentlemen. They had 
taken the liberty of bringing Mr. Howker, the gentleman 
who was staying with them (the Miss Crayners would 
not plead guilty to a lodger) — they were sure Mrs. Merri- 
pebl)les would not mind. 

Mrs. Merripebbles was delighted to see any friends of 
theirs (she reaUy was). Mr. Howker, who was short and 
common-place looking, moreover, wearing pumps (even 
then obsolete at Ash Grove), appeared of a comic and 
familiar turn. He " hoped he saw " Mrs. Merripebbles 
— which pleasantry he followed up by the more practical 
one of kissing that lady under the misletoe. The two 
Miss Crayners ran np stairs, screaming in terror; but 
Mr. Howker (whose rent was probably all right) seemed 
to entertain no idea of pursuit. He entered the ball- 
room with a pantomime bow, which was unfortunately lost 
on Marian Crooze, who was looking out her quadrille 
music, and upon Miss Carlton, who appeared to be asleep. 
Mr. Howker walked to the fire-place, where he looked over a 
begrimed copy of verses, apparently getting the wordsby heart . 

More knocks. Enter Mrs. Murke, in red velvet and 
sciatica, with the impalpable, indefinable Murke hovering 
somewhere in the rear, as her shadow. Enter Mrs. Euffle- 
stone, in pink satin and feathers, with her five sisters, aU 
more or less dependant on Eufflestone, and turbaned 
mother. Various supernumerary guests throng the scene. 
Eventually a quadrille is formed, and Miss Crooze (who 
doesn't care about dancing — she has enough of teaching 
it) strikes up her own favourite set in her best manner, 
.which is a very good one indeed. Howker attempts to 
be very prematurely funny in Cavalier Seul ; but the 
pumps are against him ; he is frowned down, and remains 
at a temporary disadvantage. 

A very loud aggressive knock ! A thrill goes througb 
the assembly, and murmurs of "Mr. Lynch" are heard. 
Mr. Lynch is a wealthy Longport merchant and banker-^ 
Mrs. Merripebbles' distant relative. As it is known he 
could buy up all Ash Grove with greater fiEicility than any 



MARSTON LYNCH. 13 

settler in tliat district could pay for a pair of boots, lie is a 
diaracter to be looked on with awe. But it is not Mr. 
Lyndi. It turns out to be only Mr. Tofts from Number 
Nine. Mr. Tofts is a rising young solicitor, and rents 
the lai^est bouse in the row. Mr. Tofts counted on a 
sensation on his entry, which he would, under ordinary 
circumstances, have created. But, unfortunately, Mr. 
Ljmch is expected, and Tofts has the humiliation of know- 
ing h^ is looked on in the light of a disappointment. He 
stalks gloomily to a seat, and affects lassitude — having at 
aU events succeeded in throwing a momentary damp over 
the festivities. 

But Tofts's sister follows and restores liveliness. She is 
stoat, florid, good-looking, and rather vulgar. She is 
rapturous in her manner — coming in with an evident 
determination to take the room by storm. She kisses every- 
body fervently, especially the two Miss Crayners (whom 
she has kept up half the preceding night to "take in" the 
dress, beneath whose bondage her unwieldy form heaves 
and creaks like a ship) ; she seems to say, " Oh ! let us 
^oy ourselves without distinction of rank. Forget that 
I live at Number Nine, and am a favoured mortal. I am 
not proud I assure you." She seizes old Merripebbles, 
gushingly, by the arm, addresses him as "a Love," and 
vows she will dance the first quadrille with nobody but 
him — an arrangement to which that smiling veteran sub- 
mits, as it is his custom to do under aU circumstances. 

At length comes a knock that cannot be mistaken. It 
is Lynch this time. He enters and all is hushed. Gre- 
gory Lyivjh is a hard-featured, puffed-out man of forty-five 
or fifty — a type with which we have all been familiarised, 
in novels and life a thousand times ; one of those men that 
have been graphically described as " unable to take their 
hands out of tiieir pockets." He strode across the room 
and patronised Mrs. Merripebbles with a condescending 
shake of the hand, and a noisy greeting. He nodded to 
the host and said, " How are you, MerripebUes, how are 
you?" barely acknowledged young Toft's greeting (whose 



14 MAE8T0N LYNCH. 

rank on 'Change fell 50 per cent, in the estimation of all 
present), glared on the company generally, and stood on 
the heartb-nig defiantly, as who should say, " Dare to be 
merry in my presence, and I'll sell some of you up." Itfr. 
Gregory Lynch next buttoned up his coat and complained 
that the room was cold. He had apparently brought the 
cold in with him as everybody felt chilly. 

What business had a man of his description in such an 
assemblage of harmless merry-makers ? The only possi- 
ble e^^cuse for his beii^ there was a little, quiet, slim giil 
of Maud Carlton's age, who had slij^ed in with him, and 
gone up to kiss Maud, by whose side she remained for.the 
rest of the evening. 

Honest, impulsive Mrs. Merripebbles, who was no more 
afraid of her rich relative than she would be of yon, 
reader, saw his depressing influence, and walked him ofPto 
cards in the adjoining room, where he was left at the mercy 
of Mrs. Eufflestone's mamma, Mrs. Murke, and a dummy 
of some kind — ^probably Mr. Murke. 

After such terrible stagnation something enlivening was 
wanted. Howker, who had watched his opportunity, sat 
down to the piano, and, unsolicited, burst into soi^. It 
was a comic song after the manner of John Parry. Heaven 
knows how many sleepless nights Howker had spent (after 
office' hours) in studying it. At any rate, he sang it very 
weU. The effect was electric. Howker's pumps and 
Cavalier Seul were foi^otteu immediately. He became at 
once master of the situation. Miss Tofts pronounced him 
a " droU dear." Mrs. Merripebbles laughed till she cried. 
Merripebbles (whose weak point, if he only dared give way 
to it, was humour) thrust liquor into the hands of Howker, 
nigh speechless with gratitude for the amusement that 
vocalist had afforded him, and falteringly requested him to 
sing another. Howker sang another. It was better than 
the first. The two Miss Crayners looked triumphantly 
around, as much as to say, " Get a gentleman like that to 
stay with you if you can ?" Howker skipped blithely 
frcmi the mxLsic-stool and requested the honour of Miss 



MARSTON LYNCH. 15- 

Crooze's hand for the next polka — ^an honour which Marian^ 
who was never proof against good humour and the desire 
to please, immediately accorded, to the unspeakable disgust 
of young Tofts and Albert Crayner (recently arrived), both 
of whom she had ioformed ^' she never danced." 

How short-Hved is human glory ! There came another 
knock at the door ; after which Howker became for the rest 
of the evening as a thiug that was not and had not be«[L 

" Hech 1 mam !" cried old Elspeth, rushing iuto the 
ball-room without apology, (a formality she never indulged 
in), " There's the queerest mon speering after Mesther 
Lynch. Look* till hun." 

The queer personage alluded to had followed Elspeth ta 
the ball-room door. He was a handsome yomig man, 
with a dark, intelligent face, and sharp piercing eyes — ^not 
without a twmkle of humour, and a long, black moustache. 
What was most remarkable was, that he was attired in a 
complete Mexican suit, richly ornamented with tassels and 
silver bells, resembling the costume of a Spanish bull- 
fighter. 

" I beg your pardon," said this outlandish personi^e, 
in the most perfect English, and graceftdly removing his 
slouched sombrero as Mrs. Merripebbles approadied him, 
" Excuse my intrusion ; but this stupid woman would not 
let me state my business quietly. Mr. Gregory Lynch is 
here, I believe." 

" I am Mr. Gregory Lynch," said that imposing per- 
sonagle, who was no more free from curiosity than the 
youngest girl in the house, and had pressed forward with 
the crowd. 

" I am Don Sancho de Sanmarez," said the stranger,^ 
"but that is immaterial. I have just lauded from 
America, and have left your brother-in-law, or cousin, 
Mr. Everard Lynch, who was my fellow passenger, at 
year house, I fear in a dying condition." 

"Brother-in-law — Everard," gasped Mr. Gregory, be- 
traying more emotion at the tidings thftn anybody had 
thought him capable oL 



I 

J 



16 MABSTON LYNCH. 

" Yes ; I leanit where you had gone, and, as I know 
the town well, thought I would come and fetch you my- 
self. I have a vehicle at the door. I fear time is 
precious — " 

" Certainly, Mr. — ^a-hem — Count ; I am much obliged 
to you for your attention. My dear Mrs. Merripebbles, 
pray keep Lucy for the night. I'm with you, sir." 

The foreign gentleman was sitting on a hall chair 
apparently in a state of exhaustion — 

" Pardon me — I have done all I need do. I am sadly- 
fatigued and not well. K this lady will allow me to rest 
myself a minute or two, I can get a fly at the end of the 
road, and return to my hotel." 

"My dear sir — " and Mr. Gregory Lynch rushed 
down the lawn in the most extraordinary state of excite- 
ment. In a few minutes wheels were heard driving off at 
a rapid pace. 

The process of thinking was a weakness in which our 
impetuous Mend Mrs. Merripebbles was not accustomed 
to indulge (there are not wanting misogynist philosophers 
to acquit the female sex, generally, from the slightest 
tendency to that failing). When she learnt that Mr. 
Everard Lynch (a distant relative, whom she had never 
seen) was in a dying condition, her first impulse was to 
dismiss her guests and send out for sackdolh and ashes, 
or their readiest substitutes. But the sudden and un- 
expected departure of Mr. Gregory Lynch — ^whom she 
looked upon as a species of Incubus or Erankenstein 
monster, incautiously invoked by herself — ^was such a 
relief to her spirits, that she felt a necessity for a more 
reckless degree of hilarity than had been yet introduced ip 
the course of the evening's entertainment. When, to 
this, was added the presence of a titled foreigner of dis- 
tinguished manners, and in such a costume as had never 
before been seen at Ash Grove — ^if even in Longport — she 
felt at once that nothing was to be done but to b^n to 
spend the evening. 

She accordingly took Don Sancho by the arm, as 



MARSTON LYNCH. 17 

though she had known him for years, and the appearance 
of a stranger in a Mexican dress was an organised portion 
of her programme, and dragged him into the ball-room. 

" My dear Madam," the stranger protested ; "in thia 
ridiculous dress ?" 

" Nonsense !" said Mrs. Merripebbles, " half the girls 
are in Iotc with it. You know that as well as I do." 

More than half the girls, and some of the matrons, were 
in love with it. Whether Don Sancho knew it as well as 
his hostess remains to be seen. 

Of course the entreS of this unforeseen Mexican — or 
whatever he was — created a powerful sensation. Mrs. 
Eufflestone (whose expensive education had comprised 
Spanish) fluttered up to him (her mamma exasperating the 
other young ladies by circulating the announcement that, 
whatever the gentleman's nation, Arabella was competent 
to discourse with him; which, as the gentlemen spoke 
most excellent English, seemed not imreasonable). Miss 
Tofts, in a heavy whisper to the eldest Miss Crayner, 
remarked that the new comer put her in mind of Wgdlack 
as Massaroni, on the force of which compKment I do not 
profess to enlarge. The gentlemen exchanged sneers; 
young Tofts remarking in a side whisper to Albert 
Crayner (whom he was not in the habit of recognising 
under omnibus circumstances) that he didn't know there 
had been a masquerade at " the Koyal " on that particular 
evening; to which Mr. Crayner responded by a wink, 
significantly buttoning the pockets of his inexpressibles 
(which contained one and threepence)* Howker, who was 
a mere honest plebeian and bnffoon, utterly incapable of 
envy, hatred, or malice, planted his chair in front of the 
exotic visitor and stared at him, apparently learning him 
by heart, 6is though he were a comic song. 

As soon as Don Sancho had been comfortably installed 
on a sofa, and recruited with a couple of glasses of wine, 
he rallied marvellously. 

" Understand me," he said with the utmost bonhommie, 
** had I expected to find myself in such agreeable society, 



J 



18 MABSTON LYNCH. 

I sliould have taken measures to appear in a more 
civilized costume. But I had worn this dress on board 
ship (you can't think how comfortable it is), having been 
used to it. My poor travelling companion becoming 
suddenly worse on our reaching this port, I had to help 
him ashore, anyhow, without time to change. Having 
simply a message to deliver, I thought I might hide 
myself under a big cloak, and sneak off to my hotel — " 

" You speak very good English for a foreigner, sir," said 
young Mr. Tofts, with thoroughly genteel impertinence. 

" There is nothing very remarkable about that," replied 
the new lion promptly, "as I was educated at Tiinity 
CoUege, Dublin." 

There was a frankness about -this parry for which Mr. 
Tofts had not been prepared. He turned away and com- 
menced a demi-semi flirtation with Mrs. Eufflestone. 

Albert Crayner, flattered by the notice of Tofts, and 
hoping for recognition in the nine o'clock vehicle of the 
following morning, determined to follow up his advantage. 
He said in the ear of his new-found patron, ^but loud 
enough to be heard by the whole room-^ 

" I didn't know that Don was an Irish title." 

" Do you happen to know that Donkey is occasionally 
an English title, young man," said the Don sharply ; and 
then, turning round to Merripebbles, whose constitutional 
timidity appeared excited by the mere possibility of a row, 
" I beg your pardon. This gentleman uttered a rudeness 
evidently intended for my ears. As a stranger I was 
bound to resent it. But I owe, not him, but you, your 
lady, and guests, an explanation, of who I am. I have 
given you my name. I intend staying at the York Hotel. 
I am the son of a noble Mexican family, educated in 
Ireland. I heartily forgive this young gentleman his ex- 
cusable rudeness to me, inasmuch as my bizarre costume, 
and unceremonious appearance, unquestionably entitled 
me to criticism, humorous or speculative. I trust he will 
forgive my return rudeness. K not, he has my ad- 
dress." 



MAHSTON LYNCH. 19 

The difEculty was easily settled. Mrs. Mempebbles 
led Albert Crayner up to shake hands with the Don. 
Albert, flattered at the bare possibility of his ever fighting 
a duel, apologised Msomely — assuring the latter that he 
had meant nothing (which was what he usually meant). 
The Don insisted upon Albert securing a partner for a 
new dance. If he (the Don) was to be a damper on the 
evening's amusement he would be off to the York im- 
mediately. 

The Don was no damper. Quite the contrary. He 
made that evening party such an entertainment as never 
was known in Ash Grove before or since. He told the 
most wonderful stories of wild sports in the West. He 
sang a Spanish duett with slatternly, clever Mrs. Kuffle- 
stone, accompanying the performance on an old guitar — 
produced from unknown recesses at Number Three — 
which he strung and tuned in no time. He made the 
dignified reserved Marian Crooze confess that she had 
learnt the Fandango, as a show dance for pet pupils on 
breaking-up occasions, and prevailed on her to dance it 
with him, Mrs. Eufflestone (who was a perfect genius at 
every accomplishment but that of keeping her children 
clean) learning the tune in three minutes, and playing it 
in a manner to make Pugni or Alfred Mellon ashamed of 
himself. He talked law, politics, and Exchange to Tofts 
— always paying that dignified personage the compliment 
of assuming that he imderstood the topic of conversation. 
He whispered fast jokes in Albert Crayner's ear. He en- 
couraged Merripebbles in the art of joking, repeating the 
mild little whispered attempts of his host aloud, and 
always managing to improve them on the w^ay. He 
brought Howker out ; csdled upon him for songs which 
that vocalist had never thought of attempting, and always 
helped him out with words or tune when in a difficulty. 
He proposed the health of Mr. and Mrs. Merripebbles at 
supper (with a touching allusion to the pie), representing 
Merripebbles in such a fine-old-English-gentleman-light as 
to make that stockbroker disport Imnself, after supper, in 

c 2 



20 MAESTON LYNCH, 

Sir Koger de Coverley, not to say with arrogance, but 
with unwonted self-assertion. 

Knally, on breaking up for the evening, he insisted on 
Tofts, Crayner, and Howker accompanyii^ in a fly to the 
York, with a view to cigars. The position of Tofts, as 
the first man in the row, would not admit of such con- 
cession. He declined, with obvious reluctance. Albert 
Crayner — ^too glad of any new acquaintance worth boast- 
ing of — was only too happy. Howker, who was a 
most unmitigated hero-worshipper, would have foUowed 
Don Sancho to the world's end. 



" Heiress to four thousand a-year you say — the little 
step-daughter ? " said the Don. 

" Some say six," was the reply of Crayner. 

" And which of you are after her P " 

Crayner sniggered. 

"7 wouldn't have her with twenty thousand," said 
honest old Howker, with a spasmodic burst; "she'll 
never be the woman Miss Crooze is I " 

" Ah ! " said Don Sancho de Saumarez. 



"Goodness sake! Mr. Merripebbles, this has. been an 
awfiil night." 

" Awftd, my dear ! I'm sure Mr. Howker was most 
agreeable (though he does not dress like a gentleman; 
his pumps were not what we might have expected), and 
the stories of Don Sancho! — ^what is his name? My 
memory is getting worse and worse.'* 

" Your memory, indeed, Mr. Merripebbles ; it must be 
bad, to go dancing Sir Eoger de Coverley, and making 
Uttle jokes when poor Mr. Everard Lynch is lying on his 
death bed." 

" But, my dear, I never saw Mr. Everard Lynch.'* 

"Nor I either. But I've heard of him — and the 



MAESTON LYNCH. 21 

changeable face of Mrs. Merripebbles became sad and 
compassionate — " I've heard of him after he'd married his 
cousin, and her father turned them out of doors. I've 
heard of him beggbig day after day at her brother 
Gregory's door (why on earth Mr. Merripebbles you could 
allpw me to ask such a man to the party, I can't imagine j 
but it's just like you). I've heard of him striking 
Gregory to the earth, when he was half famished, for 
reriling his dead wife — Gregory's own sister ! I've heard 
of him — ^half in rags — all clever poet, painter, musician as 
he was — dragging himself and his little baby boy to that 
grave in St. Michael's churchyard — Get your Bible, Mr. 
Merripebbles." 

Merripebbles got his Bible. 

" Maud Carlton, you spoiled worldling that you are ; 
Lucy Lynch, you littie helpless puppet (God knows what 
wiU become of you !), come to prayers. Where's that old 
wretch Elspeth ? — ^look after the whiskey. Let us all try 
and be better. Mr. Merripebbles read a chapter — and 
God forgive us ! " 

There can be no harm, reader, in hoping that you have 
not more on your conscience requiring Divine forgiveness 
than had good warmhearted Mrs. Merripebbles, or in 
stating that Merripebbles read a chapter at his wife's 
bidding, devoutly and unquestioning, just as he would 
have danced a hornpipe (or at all events tried it) if called 
upon by the same authority, believing that all she ordered 
was for the best. 



** Good night, Lucy." 

" Good night, Maud, dear." 



" Kiss me again ; I love you, Lucy." 

" I know you do, Maud ; but I wish you loved more 
people." 

"Do you? I don't. Besides, there are very few 
people I could love, if I tried." 



J 



22 MAB8T0N LYNCH. 



" I think there are very few people I could not love for 
something or other.'* 

"Mr. Howker, in his pumps, for instance; or that 
chattering mountebank rope-dancer, with his lies and 
spangles ?" 

" Mr. Howker seemed very good-humoured and obliging. 
But now you mention it, Maud, I didn't like the Mexican 
gentleman, and I don't think that I could." 

" Kiss me again, Lucy, and go to sleep." 



MAKSTON LYNCH 



CHAPTEE m, 

THE MOENINa AFTER, AND ITS EVENTS. 

And now I confess to being in a dilemma as how I am 
to proceed with my story. Do not crow, reader, with pre- 
mature exultation at the idea of my breaking down at the 
commencement of my third chapter. I am not going to 
break down at all. The story is all right — ^take my word 
for it. I know perfectly well what is going to become of 
everybody. I could explain Don Sancho de Saumarez — 
at a moment's notice, if necessary — down to the nether- 
most root of his family tree. I have got the death warrant 
of my villain (by the way, you don't biow what he is yet) 
ready made out. I know every trial and hardship my hero 
and heroine (you don't know who they are either) have to 
go through, and how they are to do it. I could tell you 
what will be the fate of Miss Carlton's fortune, much 
better than I could if that desirable possession were actu- 
ally at my disposal. The particulars of Howker's wedding 
— ^which is not expected to come off before the very last 
chapter — I have all before me, down to the very shoe- 
strings of the bridegroom ! 

But the question — how to make use of the immense 
mass of material in my possession ? How shall I tell my 
story? Shall I be dramatic and conversational, or de- 
scriptive and analytical ? Shall I be graphic' and detailed 



24 I MAESTON LYNCH. 

lite A, or suggestive and tantalising like B ? Shall I 
imitate C*s short sentences, or D's long sernions ? Shall 
I dilute my single glass of wine in a gallon of water like 
E, or condense my haunch of venison into a single lozeno-e 
like F ? I am new to the business, and wish to do my 
best. I have already received abundance of good advice, 
and much wholesome chastening. One great authority 
accuses me of being " wilfully smart." I plead guilty to 
the adverb — ^hoping the result may justify the fdjeetivel 
Another brands me as a cockney ; — ^him I at once disarm 
by the confession that I was bom in Little St. Thomas the 
Apostle's, about five-and-twenty yards from Bow Church 
steeple — so what can he expect? A third advises me 
strongly not to be funny : that gentleman had better wait 
till he comes to my murder scene. A fourth (I need 
hardly say in the columnis of a Scotch journal) recom- 
mends me to read the novels of Sir Walter Scott before 
attempting to write one myself. But I have read them ! 

Perhaps, after all, my best plan will be to tell my story 
in my own way, if I have a way of my own ; or if not, in. 
any body else's that lends itself to the subject. It may 
occur to the reader that a still better plan would have been 
to do so without making a fiiss about it. Thanking the 
reader most cordially for the suggestion, I will act upon it, 
and proceed — ^merely premising that having taken up my 
literary quarters in Ash Grove, I feel very comfortable in 
that locality, and have no intention of leaving it till I feel 
my credit in the neighbourhood quite exhausted. 

The Kow was terribly " used up" on the morning after 
the party. Howker going to town by the nine o'clock 'bua 
(I assure you he called it so) was a dismal sight. Had he 
walked to town in the pumps — the subject of such execra- 
tion on the preceding evening — ^retaining the limp white 
cravat and damaged shirtfiill, he could not have looked 
worse. He was yeUow, sir, and despondent. He had not 
the courage to glance up at Miss Orooze's closdy-curtained 
window. Visions of reduced salary haunted him. He 
doubted the solvency of his employers. He envied a 



l^AESTON LYNCH. 25 

sportive pig wallowing in the mud of the unbuilt side of 
the Grove. The blue dots of his beard were ghastly to 
behold. 

'Twas not much better with Albert Crayner, who, belong- 
ing to a more genteel, though less lucrative, house of 
business, had an extra matutinal hour in which to recruit 
himself. The ten o'clock vehicle was his means of transit. 
Portified with much hot coffee, and the delusive fallacy of 
a very stiff collar (as yet " all rounders" were not) he was 
enabled to enter on his daily labours with a degree of forced 
and unnatural buoyancy. But it fell through in no time, 
and he became an object of pity to the very messengers. 

Miss Crooze breakfasted in bed. Care of the morning 
school was entrusted to Miss Fanshawe, the assistant go- 
verness, also a late guest at the party, though not pre- 
viously mentioned. Miss Fanshawe being over-indulged, 
like every other member pf the establishment — ^the supe- 
rior's reputed strong mind notwithstanding — ^preferred 
sleep in Miss Crooze's arm chair to hearing lessons. The 
resdt was anarchy — (the arch-spirit of turbulence being 
represented by Polly Bickerstaff, the "limb" of^ Grove 
HoQse) — ^to such an extent, as to call forth repeated raps 
at the wall from Mrs. Murke, next door, whose dissipa- 
tion had flown to her right shoulder, and laid her up as a 
permanency. The effect upon Mr. Murke is of no more 
consequence than any other event in the life of that nega- 
tive personage. , 

Whatever may have been his success as an evening's 
amusement, Don Sancho de Saumarez cer<|^y did not 
bear the morning's reflection of Ash Grove generally. 
Viewed through the distorting glass of jaded nerves and 
deranged livers, he was seen to lamentable disadvantage. 
The Miss Crayners, over their mortifying breakfast, at 
which meal they presented an attenuated lank appearance, 
not insuggestive of a damaged pair of stockings hung out 
to dry, pronounced him unhesitatingly — ^an Englishman. 
The force of censure could scarcely go further. Mr. Tofts 
having exhausted all such minor causes of quarrel — as weak 



26 MARSTON LYNCH^ 

tea, tough toast, &c— with his sister and housekeeper 
was delighted at the opportunity of that young lady speak* 
ing favourably of the Don, to annoy her by stigmatisinff 
him, at once, as a " play actor." ^ 

Mrs. Ruflestone's mamma — doubtless, a judge of such 
inatters — ^feared the Don would turn out to be nothing but 
a clever impostor. In what important degree he had im- 
posed on Mrs* Ruflestone's mamma, the writer has no 
means of ascertaining. The family breakfast of the 
Merripebbles establishment was conducted in gloomy 
silence. Mrs, Merripebbles was wretched and remorseftd 
and she always gave the tone to the household. The 
principle of repentance for having enjoyed ourselves in an 
innocent manner may be looked upon as a purely English 
invention. 

Altogether Ash Grove was in the seediest possible con- 
dition [the editor took me to task last month about my 
" slang :" I assured him I was only a little in advance of 
my age : in a few years " seedy" will be incorporated with 
the dictionary], ahd the reputation of Don Sancho de 
Saumarez at the lowest possible ebb, when the sound of 
hoofs at full gallop was heard entering the Grove. Every 
head, not absolutely enveloped in a night-cap, was at the 
window. To the astonishment of everybody, Don Sancho 
himself, dressed, not as a Mexican, but as an English 
nobleman (at all events according to the notion of that 
character in Ash Grove) was seen galloping past on a 
magnificent blood mare. 

The sensation he had created on the previous evening 
was eclipsed and forgotten. His hat, boots, gloves, whip, 
saddle — everything — ^were faultless. He went up in the 
market immediately, and stood, in the estimation of the 
Row, it is impossible to say how much per cent, higher 
than ever. 

He pulled up at Number Eight with a rush, and rang 
the bdl eagerly. Old Elspeth appeared, enjoying a pro- 
menade breakfast of bread and cold turkey, which she 
seemed in no hurry whatever to finish. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 2? 

" Now then, old lady," said the Don, sharply ; " open 
thfi gate — I'm in a hurry." 

" Save us ! " exclaimed the old woman, recognising the 
voice, and gaping with astonishment. "If it is-na the 
braw callant o' yestreen, that sang the sangs — ane o' em 
Eobbie *ums's, too, an' in gude Scotch — ^an' a' horse- 
back!" 

" Come, come, let me in, will you." 

The Mexican sprang from his charger, and secured the 
bridle to the railings. The old woman proceeded to open 
the gate, by no means hurrying herself, and making ad- 
miring comments upon the stranger's personal appearance 
as she did so. 

" The braw claes o' him ! — the trews and the patent 
shoon ! 'Deed, Sir, ye'll play the deel wi' the lasses mair 
in this dress than the ither. But I aye tauld them a' ye 
were o' the recht sort:" 

" WeU, never mind that," said the Don, with good- 
humoured impatience," I must see your master." 

" Then ye'll just hae to gang back to Longport. He's 
gane tilt the office. And the gloves, too 1 — ]ike the verra 
snaw ! Staun up till I look at you." 

" Pshaw, nonsense ! Your mistress, then." 

" Well, ye can see her. She's big enoo. But ye'U no 
see her as she .wajs yestreen. Ye'll hae nae smiles and 
satin the day. It's a' gingham an* groanin'. And the 
bomiie black coat, too ! The recht sort, sirs I The recht 
sort ! but I tauld them so." 

And with such marks of patronage and approval, the 
old woman preceded the stranger to the house, occasionally 
stopping to turn him deliberately round for inspection, and 
anooth his garments, as if he were a pet animal, always 
referring to her original conviction of his belonging to the 
"recht sort." 

Mrs. Merripebbles was lingering over her untasted meal, 
in company with her daughter and the young girl who had 
been addressed on the previous evening as Lucy Lynch,,when 
Bon Sancho was introduced. His visit appeared to cause 



28 MAESTpN LYNCH. 

more surprise tlian pleasure to the lady of the house, whose 
innate good breeding, however (is the phrase a bull or not ?), 
secured him a polite reception. He was requested to be seated. 

" There seems to be a fatality," said the Don, after an 
interchange of salutations, in which he had singled out 
Miss Carlton for marked attention, who, howeveit barely 
returned his civility ; " there seems a fatality that I should, 
intrude upon your family drcle at the most unseasonable 
time. But when you learn the business that has brought 
me, you will excuse it." 

" I think," said the Don, looking round, after a short 
pause, " what I have to communicate had better be to you 
alone. I am greatly pressed for time, and if these young 
ladies wiH pardon me" — 

" Maud and Lucy Lynch — ^go up to the nursery." 

The two girls left the room. 

" Mr. Gregory Lynches daughter, I presume P" the Don 
inquired, catching at the name. 

" No, poor thing. I wish she was. His step daughter 
only. But she is very little older than his own children, 
and we call her Lynch, perhaps to make her believe that 
she has a father. Heaven knows she wants one ! But I 
am detaining you, sir. Pray proceed with your busi- 
ness P" 

" I am the bearer of bad news. Mr. Everard Lynch 
died last night 1" 

" When we were rioting and dancing. Grood heavens 
forgive us !" And Mrs. Merripebbles groaned. 

" That, however, is not the object of my visit, for which, 
to tell you the truth, I could iU spare the time. You aie 
related to the family of the deceased, I believe ?" 

"Distantly — but no matter the degree. Yes." 

" Then I have, no doubt, done right in coming here. It 
appears there was a painful scene at his brother-in-law's, 
when the death took place." 

" How so ?" 

'' Why the poor man's son, young Marston Lynch, whom 
you know, of course — " 



MAESTON LYNCH. 29 

** I liave never seen him.'* 

** An excitable, impetuous, soft-hearted fellow ; only 
eighteen, or he'd know better. It seems there have been 
family differences — " 

" There have, indeed. I hope Gregory Lynch will be 
forgiven.'* 

" Not by my young friend Marston, certainly. I will 
be as brief as I can. The father, feeling himself dying, 
insisted on his being taken to his relation's house, with a 
-view to making peace and securing a protector for his son. 
The boy opposed this strongly, but gave in to his sick 
feither's wishes. No sooner, however, was the breath out 
of the poor man's body, than the lad — ^half mad, no doubt, 
poor fellow ! — ^the father and son were greatly attached to 
each other — flew into a paroyxsm, declared that his father's 
corpse should not remain in the house of the man who had 
killed his mother." 

" He did kill her ! he did ! he did !" said Mrs. Merri- 
pebbles, sobbing convulsively. 

" He was for carrying it away by main force ; and I 
believe he would have done so if his strength had not been 
expended by long fatigue and watching. As it was, he 
shut himself up with the body tUl daybreak, and then sent 
forme." 

" Why for you ?'* 

" I don't know ; probably because I had taken a fancy 
to him on board ship, and he could think of no nearer 
fiiend in his trouble. I was on the point of starting for 
London ; my family affairs are very pressing ; but I could 
not, of course, resist such a summons. I found him very 
much broken, but perfectly calm and firm in lus determi- 
nation to remove the body immediately — ^to a workhouse, 
he said, if necessary. I tried to reason with him, but soon 
saw it would be as useless as cruel to do so in his present 
state. He attributes to lus uncle the death, not only of 
bis mother but his father, who had been driven to the un- 
settled harrassing life that ultimately killed him, by the 
persecutions of his £unily. The kindest thing seemed to 



30 MARSTON LYNCH. 

me to humour him in his fancy, bad or good. I saw the 
uncle. To do him justice, he seemed very much distressed 
himself, and expressed every sympathy for the hoy, whose 
violent conduct seemed more to grieve than incense him." 

" A canting hypocrite 1" Mrs. Merripebbles' broke in. 

" However, the lad will not hear of any assistance from 
that quarter. I promised to aid him in carrying out his 
wishes, whatever they might be, so far as my means would 
allow. I should impress upon you that there is no 
stronger tie between us than that of fellow passengers," 
added the Don, with a deprecating wave of the hand at the 
allusion to his own humanity. 

" Then God bless you for it, whoever you are," said 
Mrs. Merripebbles, drowned in tears, and her massive 
frame quivering with emotion. " The boy was right ; Grod 
bless hun for his truth to his parent's memory ! He was 
right ! It would have been desecration to leave the poor 
corpse in that house. You did well to come to me, sir ; 
I thank you for it. I am only a distant relation, but no 
matter 1 The boy shall not want a mother while I live. 
I have money of my own. I don't care that for what Mr. 
Merripebbles says. He shall have a home here. His 
poor father shaU be buried from a friend's house, not from 
his murderer's. I am very much obliged to you, indeed, 
I will fetch them myself, the dead and the living." 

And Mrs. Merripebbles rang the bell, sobbing convul- 
sively. 

Elspeth appeared immediately, not even making a feint 
to conceal the fact that she had been listening at the door, 
and was despatched for a fly. 

Don Sancho looked at his excited hostess with a queer 
studious expression, in which, however, honest admiration 
formed a prominent ingredient. 

" My dear madam," he said, " I am glad to see that 
my poor young friend — ^we knock up friendships at sea in 
no time — has met with so kind a protectress. But my 
chief object in coming to you was to suggest the sraootliing 
away of difficulties between him and his relation." 



MAESTON LYNCH. 31 

" No : Mrs. Merripebbles would not hear of it. The lad 
should not be dependent on the destroyer of his parents." 

" But I fear his father has left him in a most helpless 
condition." 

" He shall come here ; he can assist Mr. Merripebbles 
in his business. We will get him a situation." 

""Then, in that case, I leave the matter in your hands, 
and must really attend to my own interests, which I repeat 
are very pressing ; indeed, if I had not spen that blood 
mare for sale in the stable of my hotel, I doubt if I could 
possibly have spared the time. Only one thing remains, 
for me to do." 

And the Don placed in the hands of Mrs. Merripebbles 
a crisp, crackling new twenty-pound note. 

" It's very little," he said apologetically, " not worth 
mentioning ; but I am an extravagant man, and at present 
an embarrassed man. The claims on my purse are 
numerous. It is all I can do for him. You are more fit 
to take care of it than he is, and it Inay help to lighten 
present expenses. He need never know where it came 
from." 

" God bless you again, for a true Christian," said Mrs. 
MerripebMes, sobbing afresh. " But you will have yom* 
reward." 

" Pshaw, my dear madam — do not exaggerate trifles — 
I must really go — ^if I leave my new mare tugging any 
longer at your railings she'U cut her mouth to pieces. 
Tut ! I had nearly forgotten." 

Don Sancho stopped, as if struck by a sudden recollec- 
tion — 

" In the chances of life," he began, in a tone of some 
sadness, " it is more than probable that we shall never 
meet again." 

" Pray do not say so." 

"Whether or not, I shall never forget the pleasant 
welcome I received to a land I consider almost my own, 
in my cordial reception by a charming family circle to 
whom I was utterly unknown. Hurried as I was this 



cc 



32 MAESTON LYNCH. 

morning, I wished to bring with me a slight memorial of 
the stranger you were so kind as to treat as a friend. 
Permit me." 

The Don produced from a small parcel some exquisite- 
specimens of Mexican feather work and wax figures ; also 
a richly embroidered fan, on which sparkled a few jeweb 
of value. 

" Mere toys !" slightingly he said, " and of no value 
whatever ; but if you will keep these on your mantelpiece 
and request your charming daughter to use the fan occa- 
sionally — ^merely in remembrance of a grateftd bird of 
passage — they are not worth thanks I assure you. By 
the way, our young friend has my London address in case 
I can at any time be of service to him. I promise 
nothing. My own means, as I have told you, are limited; 
but I have friends." 

You deserve them," sighed Mrs. Merripebbles. 
Don't be too siire of that — ^the mare will positively 
have your railings down. My dear madam, once for all, 
I wish you aU health and happiness." 

Mrs. Merripebbles first seized his hand, then kissed it ; 
then, unable to control the grateful emotions of her nature, 
literally hugged him in her arms and kissed him on both 
cheeks, blushing as she did so, and murmuring in 
apology— 

" I might be your mother, you know. Gk)d send that 
my own boy may grow up as good and handsome — as 
mindful of his fellow creatures in their misfortunes !" 

Don Sancho de Saumarez tore himself away : brushed 
something from his eyes with the back of his glove; 
released the mare from her bondage ; and vaulted into the 
saddle like an acrobat. The entire Boip was on the watch 
for his re-appearance. Mrs. Kufflestone, reckless of con- 
ventionalities, rushed out at the front door in an intolera- 
ble state of deshabille, and for want of a better signal, 
brandished a twin at the flying stranger in token of adieu. 
The Miss Crayners peered at him through the muslin 
window curtain. Elspeth, returning from the fly expedi- 
tion, hailed his appearance with a wild^a« d'exta^ — ^pro- 



MABSTON LYNCH. 33 

bably a Highland fling or a Strathspey. The Don threw 
her a splendid gratuity, npon which she uttered a Gaelic 
yell, to the temporary discomfiture of the mare. A dozen 
small female noses were flattened against Miss Crooze's 
schoolroom window. The Don flew past them all, and at 
the top of the road, splashed from head to foot, young 
Mr. Tofts, who was waiting for the eleven o'clock 
omnibus. 

The horse and rider were soon out of sight. And thus 
the brilliant apparition of Don Sancho de Saumarez dis- 
appeared from the horizon of Ash Grove, leaving a reputa- 
tion behind him like that of a comet. 

"Mamma," said Maud Carlton, as her parent was 
getting into the fly on her impetuous errand of humanity, 
" Elspeth has told me all about this business. I k&ow 
what yoU are going to do. You will be sorry for it." 

" You heartless, spoiled creature, what do you meanP' 

" Not what you mean, Mamma" — there was an unusual 
gentleness in Miss Carlton's manner. "But you give 
way to your feelings and then repent it. You will make 
this poor boy think there is a home for him, and in a few 
days will be tired of the burden. Don't fly out with me. 
I only waxit to say that you have plenty of money of mine^ 
that you have saved for me, as you call it, out of my 
allowance from the trustees — as if 1 should ever want it 1 
Piay make use of it in this matter." 

Mrs. Merripebbles stared at her queer daughter with 
the utmost astonishmmt. She said nothing, but squeei^d 
her in her arms, giving her a loud enthusiastic kiss. 

The fly drove off. When Miss Carlton rejoined her 
oompanioix she displayed signs of moisture about the eyes, 
which ga^¥e her an entirely novel and unprocedfinted 
appearance. 



34 MARSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTEK lY. 



SHORT, BUT IMPORTANT, AS IT INTRODUCES THE HERO, 



More excitement for Ash Grove ! A funeral and a new 
resident. Mr. Everard Lynch was buried in St. MichaeFs 
Church, Longport, in the very grave to which he had so 
often led the weeping mourner who followed him to it. 
After the funeral, Marston Lynch took up his residence as 
a member of the Merripebbles' family. 

His grief at first was so violent and inconsolable as 
partly to dismay and puzzle his new found friends. On 
the eve of the funeral Mrs. Merripebbles had said to her 
husband — 

" I declare I don't know what to do with this poor lad. 
I quite tremble for to-morrow. I have been thiiiing that 
it would be better if he had some one with him nearer his 
own age. He seems very affectionate and grateftd for our 
attention, but we are old people compared to him, and can 
hardly enter into his feelings; and you know, Mx. 
Merripebbles, you'll be in no state to support anybody 
to-morrow — ^you'U be as bad as he." 
. Merripebbles felt it. He turned white, and quiver^ at 



MABSTON LYNCH. 35 

the idea of the trial in store for his poor old weak nerves 
and sensitive nature. 

"You're quite right, my dear — quite right, as you 
always are," he faltered, rubbing his forehead with his 
pocket handkerchief. 

" K we knew some nice respectable young man we 
could ask?" 

" To be sure — some nice respectable young man ; there 
is Mr. Tofts, he's a nice young man, and highly re- 
spectable." 

" Don't be utterly ridiculous, Mr. Merripebbles. Mr. 
Tofts, indeed ! A nice man to call in for sympathy. I 
would as soon think of looking for it — ^in — ^your umbrella," 
said Mrs. Menipebbles, snatching at the readiest iUustra- 
tration of stiffness and emptiness. 

" What do you say to Mr. Albert Crayner?" said Merri- 
pebbles, hopelessly, after a pause — ^not that he had the 
slightest idea of his suggestions being adopted, but because 
he felt himself called upon to say something. 

** He's a fool, Mr. Merripebbles, and you are another to 
think of such a thing," was the gracious response. " But 
what have I been thinking of all the time. There's Mr. 
Howker; to be sure, — the very man !" 

" Mr. Howker — ^my — dear ! " Merripebbles fairly gasped 
with astonishment. " The very last man I should have 
thought of." 

" Of course, because he is the right one." 

" But consider his manners and style of dress." 

" Dress, indeed ! You do try my patience sometimes. 
Do you think poor young Mr. Lynch would derive any 
consolation' from being turned loose in a tailor's shop ? 
Mr. Howker has got a heart in his bosom, and that's of 
more importance than boots." 

A little reflection convinced Merripebbles that the in- 
stinctive judgment of his wife was, as usual, right. 
Accordingly Howker was invited to assist at the funeral. 
He was intensely flattered at the honour so unexpectedly 
thrust upon him. He came, full of importance, in the 

D 2 



36 MAUSTON LYNCH. 

newest and worse iitting snit of mourning imaginable — 
having obtained a holiday for the purpose. 

He performed the office of consoler admirably — ^more 
than justifying Mrs. Merripebbles' election. He was a 
dull, commonplace fellow enough, of limited intellect and 
attainments ; but, fortunately, there are subtle powers of 
perception in kind and honest natures that lie deeper than 
the head. Howker appreciated the grief of his young 
charge perfectly. He was at his side throughout the day 
— ^never obtruding himself — ^never attempting jarring com- 
monplace consolations. When wanted, he was there — 
when in the way, he made himself invisible. He respected 
the sufferer's paroxysms, rather encouraging them to have 
vent than attempting to check them. He did not insult 
the orphan's sacred privilege of grief, by pretending to 
equal participation in it — ^though his eyes wete wet all the 
day. What was wanted he fetched — ^but he pressed and 
offered nothing. In a word, he fully understood the deep 
and beautiftd sympathy of silence. 

The result of this one day's true service was, that Howker 
and young Marston Lynch became fast friends. Two cha- 
racters more dissimilar could scarcely be imagined. We 
have seen what Howker was, whereas Marston Lynch was 
a youth of delicate organisation and poetical temperament, 
with great versatility of talent in a Mgh state of cultiva- 
tion. A good deal has been written about the " likings of 
the unlike." The fact that clever people should attach 
themselves to inferior natures has been considered a pheno- 
menon worthy of various explanatory theories. The 
glorious democratic principle of the affections is generally 
here lost sight of. Why do wise and great men love 
children — or dogs P 

In the course of time young Lynch's grief began par- 
tially to wear off, and he became a great favourite with the 
Eow. He was tall, tolerably good looking, and well 
formed, though, as yet, somewhat angular. He was 
generous, affectionate, and gratefol — rather violent at 
times — ^but placable in the extreme. He became strongly 



MAB3T0N LYNCH. 37 

attached to his benefiactoTs, as indeed he had cause, for 
they had treated him, since his calamity^ with uniform 
kindness and affection. W 

Some wedcs had elapsed since his father's death, and 
nothing had been said with respect to the young man's 
prospects in life. His host and hostess forbore to allude 
to the subject from motives of delicacy during his first 
grief — and it was rather a perplexing feature in their 
guest's character, that, however gratrful for their hospi- 
taUty, he took it rather as a matter of course, and as a 
thing to be permanent. Once or twice his uncle, Mr. 
Gregory Lynch, had made proposals to provide for hini, 
but these he always rejected indignantly. He said he 
would prefer starving or sweeping the streets. But prac- 
tically he seemed to prefer good dinners from the Merri- 
pebhles' kitchen, and scouring the library, which, for a 
middle class family, was tolerably extensive. He read 
incessantly, and frequently spent hours alone in his chamber 
converting an immense quantity of paper into manuscript, 
the nature of which he was shy of divulging. He was 
fond of long walks, either by himself or with Howker, in 
whom he had established a sort of right and property. On 
Sundays, or in the lengthened spring evenings, when 
business was over, his humble friend would accompany 
him to his parents' grave, where he would sometimes give 
way to passionate exclamations, sometimes sit in moody 
silence— during which Howker would retire to a respectful 
distance, and wait patiently, extinguishing the very cigar 
he loved, in deference to the solemn scene. 

Things were going on in this way, when it became ob- 
served that young Lynch was taking more pains than 
formerly with his personal appearance. His mourning was 
more carefully brushed, and the Merripebbles' washing bill 
augmented fearfully. It was mooted abroad that young 
Lynch was passionately enamoured of Miss Orooze — exactly 
eleven years his senior. 

Nevertheless, young Lynch seemed as far from doing 
anything towards paying for his washing as ever. His 



38 MAKSTON LYNCH. 

entertainers were beginning to get uneasy, and a little 
irritated, when things t6ok an unexpected turn. 

A sad calamity happened in the Kow. Poor little 
frivolous Mrs. Eufflestone lost one of her twins, and as 
nearly broke her heart over it as the demurest matron 
could haVe done. It was felt as a common misfortune — 
for, with all their little scandals and bickerings, the Ash 
Grove inhabitants were a good simple-hearted race, and 
there was a kind of family tie between them. Mrs, 
Merripebbles, who had been sitting up all night with the 
little sufferer — when all was done, entered her own house 
bathed in tears. 

" It's aU over — all over 1 " she said, " poor little tiny 
mite ! poor little thing ! " 

Marston Lynch was in an arm chair by the fire, reading 
Byron. He put his book down. He was a soft-hearted 
fellow, and he shared the general grief. 

" So pretty it looks," said Mrs. Merripebbles — " like a 
bit of waxwork. Oh ! if there was only some one here to 
take its portrait before it begins to change ! It would be 
such a comfort to the poor Uttle mother." 

Marston Lynch started up — 

" Do you think so ? " 

**Do I think so! You wouldn't ask if you were a 
mother. But it's impossible now. It's too far to send 
to Longport, and I wouldn't have it done after that 
beautiful look has left the little face-F-and it won't last — 
it won't last." 

" I'U do it in ten minutes," said Marston Lynch. And 
he ran upstairs, returning almost immediately with a flat 
japanned box in his hand and a small strained canvass. 

"Eh, dear! Mr. Marston," said his hostess in as- 
tonishment ; " Can you paint ? " 

" To be sure I can." 

" Why, who taught you ? " 

" He who taught me everything I know — ^that is worth 
knowing," replied Marston, with a tear in his eye, ** my 
dear father." 



MABSTON LYNCH, 39. 

" But you have never shown us your powers — '* 

" It was his box," Marston said in a broken voice : 
" I hadn't the heart to touch it before : but now I can be 
the means of doing a service — Let us go at once.'* 

In a few minutes our hero was' iu the chamber of death ; 
and in less than a quarter of an horn* had dashed off what, 
in the judgment of the simple people around him, was a 
masterly oil sketch of the little dead cherub. Certainly 
he had caught the expression most happily and pleasantly. 
The gratitude of the poor little mother was boundless, and 
the picture remained in her possession, a treasure, that 
bales of yeUow satin and all the ostrich feathers of the 
desert could not have purchased from her. 

But here was a discovery! Marston Lynch could 
paint portraits. Mrs. Merripebbles at once resolved to 
turn it to a business account. All her influence in the 
^w, and elsewhere, shpuld be employed to procure him 
sitters. Marston accepted the hint that he was to do 
something for his living very quietly, and expressed him- 
self ready to begin. A tliee-quarter portrait of Mrs, 
Murke was the first commission, and a sitting was duly 
appointed. 



40 MAS8TON liYN<3H. 



CHAPTEK Y. 

BETROSPECTIVE AND POSSIBLY PEOSAIC ; BVT UNFOB- 

TUNATELY INDISPENSABLE. 



Lynch — Gregory of the name, not Marston— was a 
widower. At the period of which we treat he had sus» 
tained that disconsolate character for about four years with 
remarkable fortitude and propriety. A. strong party of 
detractors, of the sentimental way of thinking — (usually 
headed by Mrs. Merripebbles : though, of course, at the 
slightest indication of good feeling on the part of the 
enemy, she would desert to his cause at a moment's notice) 
— ^were in the habit of charging him gravely, first, with 
having married a sickly widow for her money; and, 
secondly, with aggravation of the unfortunate lady's suf- 
ferings by systematic ill-treatment, with a view to getting 
her out of the world. That Gregory's keen business 
habits and an excellent eye to investment may have in- 
fluenced him somewhat in his matrimonial specidations is 
more than possible, but there is no reason to believe that 
the married life of the deceased Mrs. Lynch had been more 
imhappy than that of a listless commonplace woman must 
always be when united to a worldly-hearted commonplace 
man, amidst the dull conventionalities of English middle 
class society. 

Mrs. Lynch had, as above hinted, " brought her hus- 



XA-ftSTON LYNCH* 41 

band money.'' That familiar expression was literally 
appiioable to the case in point, as Mrs. Lynch never saw 
modi of her money again — her lord and master quietly 
n^sorbing it with the rest of his possessions, as lawfiil 
though inadequate tribute to his great aniperiority and 
amdesceBjdon. 

The bereaved gentleman's famaly consisted of four in- 
tolerable children (the eldest boy at a public school), and 
the step-daughter, of whom the reader has already had a 
passing glimpse. For this young lady, no provision had 
been made by her mother, who was indeed legally power- 
less of affecting, as she would have been morally incapable 
of proposing, such a thing. The orphan was, therefore, 
entirely dependent on her step-father, a circumstance of 
which she was speedily made aware. Gregory Lynch 
looked upon her as a monster of extortionate encumbrance, 
and himself a model of benevolence and magnanimity, for 
aHowing her food, clothes, and lodging, together with the 
privilege of exercising in his mansion the entir© duties of 
hoosekeeper and nursery governess, and many of those of 
dressmaker and maid of all work. That the girl was 
thoroughly well housed, clothed, and fed, and supplied 
with every necessity of her young existence, with the trifling 
exception of affection, there can be no doubt ; but the 
latter article was one in which the great commercial house 
of Gregory Lynch did not deal largely. And the slender 
stock in the possession of the head of the firm was 
"wanted for the business." 

Longport was proud of Gregory lynch. It is rather 
dMicult to say why, as his only remarkable achievement in 
connection with that township had been to cause an im- 
msxiae quantity of its circulating medium to flow into his 
own pockets, and stop there. But it is surely a refutation 
of the common charge of want of chivalrous feeling in 
commercial communities, where every body is trying to get 
the ^better of his neighbours, that the men who do not 
stcoeed in that desirable experiment profess the most dis- 



42 HABSTON LYNCH* 

interested admiration for those who do. Probably it is on 
the principle that makes a beaten man always speak in 
exaggerated terms of his victor's strength and prowess. 
At any rate Gregory Lynch, though not physically prepos- 
sessing was an object of admiration and reverence as he 
walked the streets. " One of our Longport men, sir," strug- 
gling insolvents and half-starved clerks would say ; " got 
on entirely by his own exertions. EecoUect him when he 
kept a litUe peddling haberdasher's shop at the top of the 
High Street. And look at him now ! — one our merchant 
princes, sir," — and so on. 

It is true there was usually some little romance in these 
glowing narrations ; but some license must be allowed to 
the imaginative classes. It would completely have spoiled 
the picture to state, that the little peddling haberdasher's 
shop at the top of the High Street had done a thriving 
business in the time even of Gregory Lynch's father, a nice 
old gentleman, who had served his country during the last 
war, with a few navy contracts for hosiery, &c. — at a time 
when the present meddling spirit of prying into public 
business was unknown, and enterprising speculators (with 
good introductions) could reaUy hope to turn an honest 
penny at the ,cost of the country, by which it is well known 
certain people are bom to be supported. It would also 
have materially weakened the Gregorian Myth to mention 
that, as unexpected channels of commerce flowed into the 
town, the value of household property increased at an 
incredible ratio, and that the said haberdasher's shop, with 
a few surrounding tenements, freehold possessions of the 
Lynches, became a splendid source of income. It was 
also worth forgetting that in his father's lifetime Gregory 
Lynch had been a bad son (to a still worse father, it is 
true), a heartless brother, and a coarse profligate. Should 
any invidious malcontent rake up those forgotten bygones, 
the staunch defenders of the Faith in Lynch had always 
the answer ready — " that young men will be a little wild ; 
and, after all, even in his most dissolute days, nobody can 



MABSTON LYNCH* 43 

deny that Gregory was always a capital man of business, 
and kept an eye to the main chance," which was strictly 
true, and of course compensated for aU. failings. 

We are all of us liable to commit mistakes. Most of 
us, in the opinion of certain fatalists, at some one period 
of our lives, commit a grand and fatal error, the conse- 
quences of which will materially influence the remainder 
of our existence. Such a calamity had happened to Mr. 
Gregory Lynch in early life. He had committed — an 
error;- which, if discovered, (albeit actuated by that 
laudable spirit for which we find him so enthusiastically 
admired, the desire to better himself,) could scarcely have 
been excused even by his own most ardent supporters on 
the score of youthful indiscretion. But, fortunately, it had 
not been discovered ; I say fortunately, because, sm'ely, it 
would have been a pity that so glorious a career should 
have been injured or prevented by what his admirers would 
unhesitatingly pronounced — a serious mistake, at its very 
outset. 

T'requent reference has been madfe to the family feuds 
by which Gregory Lynch, and his less prosperous relations, 
were divided. To explain these, a short dissertation on 
the mysteries of English aristocracy will be necessary. 

In mentioning the word aristocracy, do not think, 
reader, I am about to meddle with the " genuine article," 
the real creme de la crime — to not one member of which 
I have ever had the privilege of speaking (though there is 
ao teUing to what honours a diligent literary career, con- 
ducted on principles of becoming deference, may not lead 
me). What I wish to allude to is an indefinable spirit 
that descends, as it were, like an exhalation from the 
unapproachable realms above, pervading and influencing 
English society down to its very dregs. Have you never 
known people with no clearly ascertained grandfathers — 
(not that I place any particular stress on that family 
luxury : I have known people who never had grandfathers, 
.or at best very bad ones, attain to, and not absolutely 
disgrace, the highest positions) — have you not heard such 



44 MABSTON JQTNGH. 

people talk with complacency about the "family," and 
rqcdce in being a " Smith," a "Brown," a " Slogginson," 
or a " Powler," as the case may be ? Have you never 
known shopkeepers — (I mean, of course, reader, in your 
capacity of moral philosopher and student of character ; I 
aasure you it is only by such means I have ever been 
brought into contact with such people) staring, as it were, 
their shop-fronts out of coimtenance — ^ignoring their very 
existence — ^and " cutting " other shopkeepers for being 
"in trade !" Is it a case impossible of occurrence for a 
confectioner to cast his daughter off for ever, for bringing 
disgrace on the family by marrying a baker ? Can you 
tell me why it is so much more respectable to be a " com- 
mission agent " than a linen-draper — a clerk at a-pound 
a week, than a shopman at two ? Can you explain to me 
by what Brahmin-like lex non scHpta it shall be honour- 
able to seU wine, and disgraceful to sell boots or trousers 
— and, as an inner question, why the sale of trousers 
should involve less contamination than that of boots ? 
Finally, could you ever satisfactorily account for the moral 
scruples of the decayed gentlewoman in Douglas Jerrold's 
story, who, though reduced to gain a livelihood by selling 
apples in the gallery of Drury-lane Theatre, had the feel- 
ings of a bom lady about her, and " would die rather than 
take in the cat's meat ?" And did you ever for a moment 
doubt that old apple-woman to be the very type and 
epitoms of English humbug and pretension ? 

The Lynches, of High Street, Longport, the haber- 
dashery connection notwithstanding, aspired to " family" 
honours. Old Lynch, in the intervals of leisure afforded 
by his arduous pursuits of swindling the country, and 
driving tight bargains with African captains (we are speak- 
ing of the very good old times when the nuisance of a 
Man and a Brother was unknown) was accustomed to 
solace himself with sight of a certain family tree, designed 
on parchment, as having its root in the gastric regions of 
a mail-clad Norman warrior: its latest remarkable fruit 
being one Timothy Lynch, who was marginally observed 



MABSTON LYNCH. 45 

to have " sold ye estate." The Lynches had also a crest, 
which was duly graven on the very first teaspoon the 
family fortunes afforded. Of the genuineness of these 
heraldic pretensions I am no judge. I do not attach the 
importance to such matters that some popular writers do ; 
having studied hterature rather as an art per te, than as a 
pendant to the noble science of coach-painting. 

At any rate, when Gregory Lynch's sister fell in love 
with, and married, against her father's wishes, a distant 
relation, belonging to a despised and outcast branch of the 
family (it is impossible to say why), — a man, moreover, 
who had the additional stigma of a tendency to the fine 
arts, who was clever at anything but earning a livelihood, 
having, at an average, a dozen schemes per week, for 
making his fortune and regenerating society, — the sort of 
man, in fact, who never ought to marry at all, but who 
always does marry early in life to the most unsuitable 
partner that can be met with — ^when this unholy alliance 
took place, the indignation of the family knew no bounds. 
The door was shut upon the offending couple for ever. 
Mr. Lynch, senior, was understood to have heaped the 
most fearful imprecations on their devoted heads. Mr. 
, Lynch, junior, was implacable in his resentment. The 
unhappy bridegroom was always spoken of as "that 
scoundrel," — " that fellow," — " that scum," and so forth. 
Every opportunity to ruin his prospects in life was takooL 
advantage of; and of such opportunities rich men, in a 
'provincial town, will find no scarcity to exercise over a 
poor enemy. Mr. Lynch, senior, had never been remark- 
able for paternal tenderness, nor his son for any striking 
amoxmt of brotherly affection. The facility with whi(£ 
both dismissed daughter and sister from their thoughts 
(except to swear at her occasionally) may be taken as an 
indication thst their rage was not excited on the principle 
of the tigress bereft of her young. That their nearest 
relation might die of want for anything they cared, they 
proved practically — ^by allowing her to do so. 

And yet no name or punishment in their opinion was 



46 MAKSTON LYNCH. 

sufficiently bad for Everard Lynch, for the crime of 
running away with a daughter of the house he had already 
disgraced by being connected with, however remotely. 
There was no moral objection to Everard Lynch. He 
was a gentleman in breeding — and of far higher education 
than anybody bearing his name. Mere poverty could not 
have been his crime, for he had many available abilities 
that, with the slightest assistance (which would have been 
readily afforded to a favoured suitor,) might easily have 
been employed in a profitable •direction. But on the 
inexplicable Brahmin-like principle of caste I have alluded 
to, the marriage was considered derogatory; and the 
haberdasher'is family of High Street, Longport, were as 
much scandalised by the union of their daughter with a 
scholar and a gentleman (not the latter perhaps, according 
to the code of my talented friend Gules Fitz Plush, of the 
Weekly Panel atid Coachjpaintera* Magazine) as a ducal 
house would be at the elopement of one of its female 
scions with a curate. 

The young wife died — a very yoimg wife indeed — if not 
absolutely from direct want, in consequence of a life of 
hardship and privation she had been neither framed nor 
taught to bear. The husband wandered in various parts 
of the world in pursuit of divers ignis fatui of fortune. 

The father's death took place soon after that of his 
daughter. His end was a wretched one — aggravated by 
much heartless disobedience on the part of the son he had 
so cherished and trained in his own worldly image. It- 
was indeed said, in his latter days, that to such a pitch of 
exasperation had his son's ill-concealed and impatient 
cupidity for the succession wrought him, that he vowed 
to leave the latter without a penny, bequeathing all his 
possessions to the child of the daughter whom, in his 
maudlin penitence, he was in the habit of deploring he 
had so ill-treated. 

However, as quarrels between the father and son were 
of no unfrequent occurrence, the threat was looked on as 
an idle one, which, it would seem, proved to be the case. 



MAHSTON LYNCH. 47 

The old sinner died intestate: Gregory inherited the 
already snug property ; sowed his coarse wild oats ; and 
proceeded to employ his wealth in the glorious manner 
which won for him golden opinions from aU sorts of people 
—at least from all sorts of people in Longport. 



48 ItABSTON LYMCH, 



CHAPTER VI. 

IN WHICH A PERSON BY THE NAME OP BBOWN 
HONOURS GREGORY LYNCH WITH A VISIT. 



Gregory Lynch lived in a very large, very square, very 
new house, in a suburb of Longport, much more con- 
venient and aristocratic (the adjectives generally go 
together) than Ash Grove, and proportionably expensive. 
The mansion, which was of a cold, moist, grey com- 
plexion, externally composed of a material strongly 
resembling frozen putty, had been facetiously mentioned 
in the architect's bill as a building in the Italian school, 
and was as much like a Venetian or Florentine palace as 
Gregory Lynch, the merchant prince, and Mayor of Long- 
port in posse, was like Lorenzo de Medici, or the Doge of 
Venice. 

" Huskisson Lodge," as Mr* Lynch had baptised his 
residence in honour of a statesman whose tnanes would 
scarcely feel flattered by the compliment, was rather re- 
markable for a presence of plate glass, shining mahogany, 
strong boundary waUs, and wire fences, coupled with an 
absence of trees, flowers, comfort, and geniality, than for 
anything else. And in this respect, even, it was scarcely 
remarkable, being so very like its neighbours. 

About ten days after the death of his kinsman, the master 



MABSTON LYNCH4 49 

of Hnskisson Lodge came home to dmner. Gregory 
Lynch dined at home usually, not from choice, but 
necessity. There were no clubs in Longport as yet, and 
to dine in the taverns and restaurants of the town — good 
accommodation enough for clerks and salesmen — ^would 
be infra dig. Certainly the house of Gregory Lynch was 
no particular attraction to him* Its dearest inmates were 
three children of tender years, the offspring of a wife he 
never particularly cared about. His housekeeper was an 
overtaxed child whom he hated, as we always hate those 
whom we have injured. The establishment generally he 
looked upon as a mere source of expenditure, undertaken 
to satisfy the exigences of society. Unless he had a 
dinner party of satellites, before whom he could display 
his wealth and boast of his successes, Gregory Lynch, 
under his own roof, was miserable. 

He was very miserable that evening, after a solitary, 
ill-cooked, and pompously-served dinner. He had been 
strangely depressed ever since the unexpected appearance 
and death of his kinsmab ; so much so, as to lead to the 
postponement, at his own request, of certain negotiations 
for municipal honours to which he aspired. This, how- 
ever, told in his favour. Though the affections are not 
usually at a high premium on the Longport Exchange, 
still, when a man has performed the first essential duty in 
life, that of making a fortune, it is customary to apply the 
Biblical maxim of '^ to him that hath shall be given," in a 
manner peculiar to Longport, and such like communities. 
Accordingly, every note in the musical repertoire of Fame 
having been repeated ad nauseam, on the trumpet of that 
popular instrumentalist in *' the regular way of business," 
it was a pleasant variation to find that Gregory Lynch, in 
addition to his recognised merits, was a model Of affect* 
ionate brothers and inconsolable relations in. general. 
When to this was added the knowledge that the kinsman, 
whose loss the hero so much deplored, had been, when 
alive,. Ms most implacable enemy, and had injured him in 
the dearest chambers of his heart, and that moreover the 

s 



$0 HABSTOK LYNCH. 

itead man's son had, with imchnstian maligDity and in- 
gratitude, reacted overtnres of friendship from the all- 
mereiful Giegoiy, the town was fiilly prepared to see that 
saint-like gentleman appear some fine morning on the 
dcmie of the Exchange in wings and Tobes of shining 
'light, and vanish upward into that firmament his nn- 
eartldy nature so fitt«l him to adorn. 

Gregory Lynch finished his dinner and a bottle of ex- 
cellent port, and wheeled his easy chair to the front of a 
blazing fire. But neither wine nor fire seemed to warm or 
t^eer him. His dining-room was famished to perfeotion — 
with every contrivance for comfort that mechanical in- 
genuity could suggest. Better curtains, chairs, fire-place 
screens, and door-ways, tsould not be invented. But it was 
the corpse of Comfort with the soul absent. 

A flippant, conventially-obsequious, reaDy insolent, 
feanale^servant entered the room, and announced — 

" A gentleman, Sir, — ^if you. please 1" 

*' I am not at home," said the master, peevishly.; " I 
told you so." 

" I told him so, Sir ; but he says he must see you." 

"His name?" 

"Name of Brown, Sir; important business, he says, 
Sir; more important to you than to him, Sir; -so he 
said. Sir." 

Gregory tried to «mile contemptuously, but the ex- 
'pression died away from his lips, and gave wi^ ito oae of 
pain and indecision. He stirred the fire petulantly, . And 
bit his nails. Then, as if his thoughts were too op- 
pressive, he said, with a species of despexate iadiffer- 



" Show him in — ^I will see him !" 

Bo you bdieve in presentiments, Teader? I do. .And 
eoRold explain them to you on'tiie most material gfomids, 
'if I were writing a meta^^ysioal treatise instead of a 
ataxy. At any rate, Gvegory Lynch had a pnsentimmt 
about Brown which was n(ft an agieeable one. He tiied 
"to dissemUe it. 



. MAHSTOIT LYNCH. 61 

" Some beggmg-letter fellow/' be muttered to himself, 
'VfheD. the girl had left the room. " Some schemer— «om»«- 
body in want of sixpence, with a plan to put thousands in 
mypoclet. The old istory, of course"— the old story. I 
ahaH soon get rii of him !" 

He kept repeating this Kke a chorus, as if to persuade 
himself that his words were the echo of his feelings ; but 
on the appearance of Mr. Brown he glanced up at that 
visitor with a feverish eagerness of inquiry — strangely aft 
Tariance with his assumed indifference. 

It took some time to see whom or what Mr. Brown was 
Kke. In the first place he was enyeloped in a shaggy, 
pilot coat, almost the very worst for wear ; a "wide-awake*' 
ha^ was drawn closely over his eyes, while his nose and 
mouth were concealed in the numerous folds of a worsted 
comforter. He carried a very thick stick ; and if Mr. 
Gregory' Lynch had ever seen that charming domestic 
drama of the " Wreck Ashore" (a rational treat which it is 
more ihsn. probable his tastes had never led him to indulge 
in), he would have been strongly reminded of one or more 
of the numerous truculent personages of the piratical per- 
saasioQ who pervade that best of all unassuming dramatic 
compositions. 

Gregory Lynch attempted to put on his grand reception 
look, and to overawe Brown at the very threshold. IBut 
he iiad evidently mistaken his man. ^rown shut the 
door-; looked round the room as if he had bought it ; 
nodded to its tenant with hasty condescension ; drew a 
chair to the fire, threw off his bat and coat, and proceeded to 
unrol himself fipom the comforter, like fi self-acting mummy. 

" Colcl, isn't it ?" said Mr. Brown, stopping at the third 
fold to warm his hands. 

'Ghregory Lynch, under ordinary crreumstanees, would 
doifbtless hav^ replied, without attempting « joke (an art 
in^hich he did not exce^, *that it certainly was codl. But 
he was too much interested in watching the countenance, 
gradually foeii^ disclosed to Ms gaze, to be oven eocidentally 
focdiious. 

E 2 



52 MABSTOK LYNCH. 

BrpWti, having thoroughly wanned his extremities, 
divested himself entirely of his woollen swathing band^ 
which he tossed into his hat. He then wheeled suddenly 
round in his chair, striking an apparently studied attitude, 
and stared at Gregory Lynch, with the Evident intention 
of startling and discountenancing that gentleman. He 
succeeded triumphantly. 

For the coimtenance with those keen black eyes, looking 
into the very depths of whatever soul Gregory Lynch 
possessed, was one that had haunted his dreams for several 
nights. He had never seen the face, or one like it, but 
once, and then only for a few seconds. But he had seen 
it in an evU moment ; its owner had come upon him like 
a bird of ill-omen — ^a bearer of troublous tidmgs — and the 
face and form had ever sin9e been present in visions of 
impending calamity, that had weighed upon him — soaring 
above all others, like — ^well, for want of a better illustra- 
tion, like the demon with spreading wings, which my friend 
Kenny Meadows invariably introduces into his pictures 
when he is hard up for a background. 

The visitor was either the brother of Don Sancho de 
Saumarez, or the Don himself, sadly in want of shaving, 
and disguised as a long-shore ruffian. The latter proved 
to be the case. 

" We are quite alone, I suppose P" said the aoi disant Mr. 
Brown, poking the fire, with the air of a man who intends 
changing his coal merchant on the following morning. 

" We are certainly alone," replied Gregory, recovering 
himself a little, and attempting to be stiffly repellant. 
** But I should like to know what has procured me the 
distinguished honour — '* 

" Tut, never mind that sort of thing." The visitor 
waved his hand impatiently. " My time is precious. You 
recognise me, I perceive. Only, have the loudness to call 
me Brown, in case of interruptions. I have particular 
reasons for concealing my real name." 

" Doubtless," observed Gregory, with a grim smile. 

" One reason," said the Don, sharply resenting the in- 



MARSTON LYNCH. 53 

tended sarcasm, "may be, that I do not consider it 
altogether creditable to be seen in intimate relations with 
a man like yourself." 

The face of Gregory Lynch became as red as the wattles 
of a turkey-cock. But the fire of his visitor's eyes ap- 
peared to exercise an almost instantaneous power of bleach- 
ing. To use an appropriate commercial image, the coimte- 
nance of the Longport merchant turned from turkey red 
to a very coarse specimen of calico sheeting. 

The visitor seemed to feel his ascendancv, and like it. 

" There !" he said cheerfully, " we have something else 
to do than to bandy sarcasms. My name and position 
matter liftle except to save time. If you perfectly under- 
stand who I am — a Mexican nobleman of English educa- 
tion — in the constant habit of travelling between the two 
countries, you will at once perceive that I am liable to be 
made the agent of communications (especially having a 
rather troublesome reputation for a good nature) between 
English residents in Mexico and their friends^-or the 
contrary, as the case may be." 

"Proceed, sir." 

*'I must do so, and speedily, as my time is short. 
Paul Donovan died in Vera Cruz, on the 10th of last 
April. I was with him." 

Gregory Lynch appeared to swallow an unseen pill of 
large dimensions. He got it down, however, and resumed 
his composure, only displaying symptoms of incipient 
strangulation after the effort. 

" And pray, sir," he faltered slowly, with a very help- 
less attempt at indifference, " Mr. Brown — or whatever 
you wish to be called — in what manner can the death of 
your friend — " 

"I beg your pardon," the visitor interrupted with his 
habitual quickness, " Your friend, if you have no objec- 
tion. He was my friend long ago, when he was a gentle- 
man and a man of honour. I need not say that was 
at a period before he had known you, and become a 
scoundrel." 



64 MAESTON LYNCH. 

Ghrogory Lynch, started up fiercely, and moved towards 
the bd^. 

"What are you going to do?" inquired the visitor 
deliberately, taking out a cigar case. 

" To- have you turned out of my house." 

'' Pooh, nonsense ! sit down ; you know you are not 
going to do anything of the kind." 

Mr. Brown fit a very pale-looking fragrant cigar, which 
he proceeded to smoke with much enjoyment. 

His prediction proved thoroughly correct, Mr. Lynch 
did not ring the bell, but returned slowly to his seat, 
much like a beaten hound, with a determination to bite 
his chflstiser at the first opportunity. 

" That's better," said Don Sancho. " And now let us 
oome to business. I perceive you perfectly understand 
the subject of that which has brought me here, though 
you will be rather surprised at the turn it has taken?" 

"I perfectly understand," retorted Gregory, with a 
courageous effort, " that you have come upon some errand 
of conspiracy or extortion." 

•'Worse, my dear sir, worse," said Mr. Brown, sucking 
his cigar luxuriantly. " I have come here to compound a 
felony." 

•'Then, in that case, I think a police-officer is the 
fittest person to listen to youi" 

And Gregory made another &eble movement towards 
the bell. 

Don Sancho smoked impassably, his hands thrust into 
his pocket with Yankee-like freedom. Gregory Lynch 
returned to his seat again without having rung the bell. 

" Now, yon know perfectly well this is all nonsense," 
said the visitor, in a playfiil argumentative tone. " My 
time is really precious, and you had much better hear 
what I have to say quietly." 

" True, sir, true." Gregory L3rnch rubbed his hands 
and tried to laugh pleasantly. " You are right. As yet 
I should have but a very slender case against you : merely 
obtruding on my privacy and saying rude things is no 



MAilSTON LYNCH. 55 



\. 



particular crime in the eyes of the law.. I thank you, for 
the su^estion. You shall have plenty of rope, sir. I 
am pe^ecUy prepared to hear anything you nmy have to 
a&y. 

" Are you quite- sure?" 

" Perfectly." 

Don Saacho whistled a few bars of a Spanish air; paid, 
particular attention to the ash of his cigar ; took, out hia^ 
watch, which was a very handsome gold one, secured by a 
massive chain ; and performed a few other trivialities . in 
the airiest conceivable manner. Then he suddenly resumed 
his basilisk air, and, looking Gregory Lynch fuU in die 
eyes, said, in a distinct and measured tone — 

"I have your father's real will in my pocket." 

If the pill Mr. Gregory Lynch was supposed to have 
swallowed a few minutes ago had been an ignited bomb- 
shell, and had just exploded, he could scarcely have dis* 
played stronger indications of an internal shock. 

Don Sancho appeared to possess the faculty of following 
ap an advantage in the most dramatic manner. He rose 
from his seat, and ere his host could falter out a word, 
seized the latter by the arm, and continued rapidly, in, & 
hissing voice — 

" Yes, the will, leaving all the money on which you have 
built your fortune to your nephew, Marston Lynch — a will 
dictated by envy, hatred, and malice, unquestionably,, for 
which its framer is no doubt suffering at pres^iut, but a. 
legal will nevertheless. Your accomplice, Donovan, drew 
it up, and, as you believe, sold it you ; that is the mistake 
of scoundrels trusting each other. Fortunately for honest 
people they are obliged to. You look surprised. What 
was the price you paid your legal friend for giving you the 
will to- destroy ? The means to escape the country. And. 
what for ? To evade the consequences of a felony. What 
was that felony ? A clever forgery. He who can forge 
once can forge twice. At any rate the document which 
Donovan gave you as your father's will was a forgery, 
lou doubt it. Would you like to look at the original,? 



56 MARSTON LYNCH. 

Here it is— don't try to snatch it ih^r-^'^ 
feUow." ' ^'^^^^^ a good 

But ere the last sentence was well spokpti T\yr, r^ 
Lynch /lad tried to snatch the document H?«t.i ' ?\^°^ 
him with something like fiendish SS^ A^l^ Y'''' 
as it bent over the table, nearly toucheil' i^ I , '^^^> 
pistol which Don Sancho de Samnarez ^Sth ^""f ''^ * 
amae, pointed at him. ' ^^'^ * pleasant 

The Don replaced the document in his hrBo.* 
and. with a py laugh, snapped the pistol in ^e air° t' 
was innocent even of a cap. * ^^ 

*' I am afraid," he remarked, drvlv '' flia+ 
troubled with our old friend the Sy'conscLr You 
are frightened at an unloaded pistol, and dare not'^ve^ 
man m custody who has come to threaten you in youTown 
house armed with murderous weapons. I wish to h 
you the will to convince you that it was genuine I n ^ 
ceive that you recognised it as a/ac simile of that wW]" 
you destroyed, at once. We understand each other-^ot 
perfectly, for you possibly consider me as great a ro^ue as 
yourself. Sit stiU a moment, and I will convince vou to 
the contrary. Do you smoke ? I have no wish to treat 
you as a friend, but I see your wits are rather mud 
died ;^ and if you are a smoker there is nothing like a 
cigar." 

And the visitor tossed a cigar to his host with a gesture 
of withering contempt. 

Gregory Lynch responded with a coarse imprecation 
"Don't do that," said Mr. Brown, "because in xa\ 
coimtry we don't allow such liberties, however disgraceful 
the associates we condescend to mix with. Listen to me 
Donovan had preserved the real will — ^with a view of 
extorting money from you — and serve you right ! This 
was fourteen years ago ;, he was then thought consumptive 
— ^you hoped he was ; but a warm climate saved his life 
He turned penitent and religious, in- Mexico — always hav- 
ing been a staunch Catholic — got into the hands of the 
priests, as you would call it, confessed the diabolical scheme 



MA.KSTON LYNCH. 57 

to which he had been party, and the other one he had 
planned of trading upon the secret. His dying wish was 
that retribution should be made to young Lynch, if possi- 
ble. The will he had saved he delivered into the hands 
of the priests — it may surprise a man of your way of think- 
ing to learn that Catholic priests can be honest men, and 
honourable gentlemen. No matter! At any rate, they 
are anxious to carry out the last wishes of their penitent ; 
which I am commissioned to enforce. T have completed 
my chain of evidence. The genuineness of the will cannot 
be doubted. And, unless you accede to my propositions, I 
shall ring your own bell myself, and give you in custody 
to that force you were so anxious to summon a while 
ago." 

Gregory Lynch had turned all sorts of colours during 
the above harangue, which had been delivered with a 
certain rapid intensity that prohibited all interruptions. 

There was a pause, during which Mr. Brown smoked 
Hke a lime-kiln. 

" Sir," said Gregory at length, with a dismal attempt 
at dignified self-possessioh ; ** when attacked by a robber, 
it depends on the sum demanded whether I yield or not. 
If I have only a few shillings about me, I give them up 
cheerfully. A larger sum is worth a struggle. , Your plan 
appears tolerably well laid, and calculated to give me some 
annoyance. May I ask the sum you require for the pre- 
cious fabrication you have there ?" 

" Pardon me," said his visitor dryly. " I have not 
come here to sell other men's possessions. I do not part 
with this wiU, which is not a fabrication in the sense you 
make of this word." 

And Mr. Brown hummed the Cachuca to Spanish 
words. 

Gregory Lynch looked at him with a feeling somewhat 
akin to the admiration with which the unsuccessful trades- 
men of Longport were accustomed to regard himself. 

" You are a clever man, sir," he said at length. 

" I know it," was the reply, " You are not." 



58r MAR3T0N LIJNCH. 

"Indeed!" 

" No, or you would not have put yourself in my power 
Pourteoi years ago you must have been at least thHyl 
three, so that you had not the excuse of youth for maloM' 
an ass of yourself " ^ 

" In a word," said Gregory Lynch, desperately, " what 
do you require ?" 

Don Sancho waited till he had finished his tune, and 
then replied deliberately — 

" Two hundred pounds ! " 

After which, he lit a fresh cigar. 

" And do you really suppose I am going to give you 
two hundred pounds unconditionally ?" 

^* I know you are." Don Sancho looked at his watch 
ap^ ; " and you must do it witMn ten minutes, for I want 
to catch the London express train. Your cheque will be 
sufficient." 

" I have a good mind to give you a cheque — '* 

" Of course you have — " 

" As an experiment to see whether you wiU have the 
hardihood to present it in the morning." 

" I shall not be in Longport myself, so you will hav« ta 
make it payable to the bearer-" 

Gregory Lynch was a perfect object of pity in his 
powerless anger. 

" And pray — supposing I accede to this demand; in 
order to save what I consider more than two hundned 
pounds' worth of aimoyance — what guarantee have I that 
you will not apply to me for more money to-morrow ?" 

" None whatever. It's your own fault. You should'nt 
steal wills. The ten minutes are nearly up. Take the 
pen at once." 

Gregory Lynch had mechanically put his hand in. a 
drawer; and. drawn out something which he endeavonxed 
to conceal, as if ashamed of the action. The quick 
eye of his persecutor detected a cheque-book at a 

glance. . 

"Pshaw !" said Gregory, throwing down tba pen^that 



he had nnconscioualy taken up. " Thia is more fblly — 
madness." 

" I have no doubt but it will end in that ; but it is your 
own fault. Look s^arp." 

"KIrefiise." . 

" You can't. However, understand me thorou^y. I 
am detennined that Marston Lynch shall come to his own. 
Having the secret in my possession, I sought out the 
father and son. I found them in New York, and em- 
barked with them in England as an accidental fellow-pas- 
senger. I soon discovered that they were not the people 
to he trusted with the management of their own interests. 
You, with your superior wecdth and coolness, would have 
got the better of them. I kept my own counsel. Marston 
Lynch, whom I am proud to call my friend, is a man 
whom the world will hear of yet. It would not suit my 
purpose to quarrel with him — certainly not in the interest 
of a man like you. It would be easy for you to make resti- 
tntion to him, though the comparatively small inheritance 
of which you have robbed him has mounted up to some- 
thing by this time — the houses in High Street that were 
left to him, are, I know, very valuable property — ^but if he- 
were aware of the secret, in his present feelmgs towards 
you, he would move heaven and earth (I should tell you 
he has influential friends to back him) to ruin you — a pro- 
cess to which I should not have the slightest objection, 
only that as I know what English law is — in the meantime 
he might ruin himself. And, in the meantime also, as I 
want money for present exigences, I see no more harm in 
extorting it from you than in skinning a tiger." 

" K I refuse," said Gregory Lynch again. 

" You wiU have caused me an expensive journey, much 
loss of time, and considerable derangement of my plans ; 
liberties I allow nobody to take with me with impunity." 

Gregory Lynch had written a cheque, apparently in a 
dreamy state of undecided muddle ; but he clutched it 
Riluctantly in his hand. 
I Don Sancho snatched it from him. Gregory Lynch 



60 MAESTON LYNCH. 

started up instinctively as if to dispute the possession. 
The Don held it out to him airily, between his finger and 
thumb, saying quietly — 

" I took it from you because you had drawn it out for 
me, and I am in a hurry. If you wish to take it back, 
here it is. We are not both thieves." 

Gregory Lynch sank heavily in his easy chair, uttering 
a savage curse." 

" Keep it and be ," he muttered — " only mind, 

don't let me see your face again. Eight or wrong, I fancy 
it wont be difiicult to make a case against you." 

" You will see me again, I hope frequently," repKed 
Don Sancho, buttoning up the cheque in his breast pocket, 
" though the pleasure will certainly not be on my side. 
Stay, I want something more." 

" Take care," said Gregory, hoarsely, " you have tried 
my patience already — " 

" I am glad of it. I want the whole of this sum for 
my own use. But as it is really and truly Marston 
Lynch's money, and as I know he must want money him- 
self, I should not feel comfortable in using it, unless I 
knew his wants were provided for. Send him a cheque 
for fifty pounds to-morrow. Mind, I rely upon you. My 
time is up." 

Mr. Brown was by this time re-enveloped in his pUot 
coat, wideawake, and comforter, and was moving towards 
the door. 

"Stay," cried Gregory Lyach, throwing off the last 
feint of independence, and with almost abject submission ; 
"Marston Lynch will have no assistance jfrom me — ^he 
would not accept it." 

" True," replied Don Sancho, stopping. " I forgot that. 
Give me the cheque ; I'll see that he gets it. Look 
sharp." 

Lynch obeyed, not merely submissively, but almost 
gratefully. Mr. Brown pocketed the second cheque, re- 
kindled his cigar, and darted to the door. There he 
stopped again. 



MARSTOK LYNCH^ 61 

" To set your mind at ease," he said — using his mes- 
meric power to its utmost extent — " I may as well tell you, 
that I shall want you to do me a service that will cost you 
nothing, but will more than compensate for any trouble 
I may have taken in saving you from the hulks or treadmill. 
It is my intention that Marston Lynch, you, and myself 
shall all be gainers by this little opportunity — ^you being 
the only one of the three not deserving it. Pleasant 
dreams to you." 

Mr. Brown was gone. He seemed to clear the staircase 
at a. jump. The street door slammed, and a vehicle was 
heard dashing down the road at a break-neck rate. Mr. 
Brown's cab had evidently been waiting. 

There were folding-doors in Mr. Lynch's dining-room, 
leading to a smaller apartment, with which there was no 
outer communication. Scarcely had Mr. Brown departed, 
when a gentle tap was heard against the folding doors. 

Gregory Lynch started up as if he had been shot — with 
which, believing it, in my inexperience, to be a good 
tantahsing melodramatic incident, I shall take the liberty 
of concluding the chapter. 



62 MA.BSTON LYNCH. 



GEAPTEE VII. 



WHICH IS BO SBTOKT THAT IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER 
OE NOT THE PUBLISHEE WILL PAY FOK IT, 



"Hoobay! Howkerl here's a game," cried Marston 
Lynch, dancing round the easel on which stood the rapidly 
progressing portrait of Mrs. Murke, and waving an 
opened letter in his hand ; " here's a lark ! " 

"Brayvo! our side," said Howker, from the neigh- 
bouring sofa, applauding with his, by no means, recently 
washed palms, "what's up?" 

It was certainly weU for Howker, -that he possessed 
considerable moral and social excellencies, otherwise his 
toleration to a refined nature would have been difficult. 
All his personal friends were either " gents," " parties," 
or, in very familiar cases, " coves." He had faith in 
blue satin stocks and Literaiy and Scientific Institutions. 
An act of good breeding he was wont to define as "the 
genteel thing." He was a patron of cheap tailors and 
still cheaper tobacconists. The odour of his Cubas was 
unendurable. Of his baneful tendency to pumps and 
shirt friUs, on full dress occasions, too much has already 
been said. His favourite poet was Doctor Mackay. 

What's up?" he repeated, breathing volcanic clouds 



« 



HAB9T0N LYNCH. 68 

fix)m his execrable Cuba, to the lasting detriment of the 
Mempebbles' curtains. 

"What's up?" said Marston Lynch, fairly crowing 
with joy. " Why, I'm up — ^up in the stirrups. Here's a 
letter from that brick, Don Sancho de Saumarez, enclosing 
a twenty pound note." 

" Hooroar ! for him ! " said Howker, with an enthu- 
siastic leap. 

" Listen to the letter : — ' Dear Marston, my affairs are 
more flourishing than I expected to find them. I enclose 
you a twenty pound note, as a loan for which I shall exact 
exorbitant interest. So you'd better begin saving up at 
once.' Isn't that prime, Howker ? * Take care of it, and 
only make use of it to lighten the expenses to which your 
kind friend, Mrs. Merripebbles, is put on your account.' 
Of course she shall have it all. * Stick to work at literature 
and the fine arts (don't beKeve anybody who tells you you 
OB&'t succeed at both at once), and, remember, you have 
always a friend who hopes great things from you in — 
Yours affectionately, S. de Saumarez.' 

"'P.S. — 'Kind regards to Mrs. M. and her charming 
daughter for whom IMve just dispatched a packet of songs 
(newly published) of my own writing. Ask her to sing 
them. Eather cool, isn't it, for a " furriner" like jue to 
presume to write songs in the English language, and get 
paid for them ? JBowever, don't be jealous.' " 

"There, Howker, old boy, isn't he a brick?" 

" I always gaid he was the most stunning party I ever 
net widi," said Howker, rapturously. 

"Yes, Howker, but you needn't call ^a ^ntleman a 
^ stunning party,' you -know. 

" Then what do you call the same gentleman a ' brick' 
for?" said Howker, rather warmly. 

"TiMttwasinfim," 

"And suppose I ciioose to xall him a 'stunning party' 
m.'iiaa. or in eamest, what ithen? I maintain he is one, 
«udi'l»ei]ig my sentiments." 

Howker was possiUy not aware that there is an 
aristocracy in slang, as in all things else. 



64 MARSTON LYNCH, 



CHAPTER VIII; 



WHICH, CONSCIENTIOUSLY SPEAKING, OUGHT TO HAVE 
BEEN THE END OF CHAPTER THE SIXTH. 



Gregory Lynch, having started up, as if he had been 
shot, as already stated, flew to the folding doors and 
opened them. 

Poor little Lucy Wareing, his step-daughter, stood oow** 
ering before him, white with cold and apprehension, 

" What the were you doing then?" Gregory asked 

fiercely. 

" Don't be angry, papa," said the girl, shrinking as if 
from a blow (let us do Gregory the justice to state that he 
had never given her one in his life.) " I'm veiy sorry ; 
but there was a fire in that room before you came home — 
I was very tired — I've been sitting up a great deal since 
Pranky has been ill — and — I didn't hear you come in — 
you only waked me with your talking — I am very sorry — 
I know I ought to have been up-stairs to give Frank his 
medicine — ^but — " 

" But you preferred to stop there eavesdropping?'* 

*' No, papa!" the girl answered with a slight flush, her 
indignation for a moment getting the better of her consti- 
tutional timidity. '' I did not, indeed; but I did not like 
to disturb you till you were alone.^ 



99 



MARSTON LYNCH. 65 

Was it possible that she had indeed slept over the criticai 
moment and heard nothing of consequence? The idea of 
anybody being within hearing of a conversation "to his dis- 
paragement, and not caring to Hsten to it from interested 
motives, never occurred to Mr. Lynch as a possibility. 

** But you must have heard something of what passed 
between me and the person who has just left?" 

" No, indeed, papa; I would not have dared." 

" You are not telling me a lie? You'll rue it if you are. 
Come, speak out." 

" Indeed, papa, I am not; pray do not hold me so." 
Her step-father had clutched her roughly by the arm. " I 
did not hear a word, indeed, indeed." 

Gregory was fain to release her arm. But he was far 
from satisfied. 

" Of course you saw who it was?" he inquired, watch- 
ing her narrowly, after a pause. 

" No, papa, how could I? the doors were shut." 

The keyhole had suggested itself to Gregory Lynch as 
the obvious and natural means of observation under the cir* 
cumstances; but he did not think proper to mention it. 

" At least, you recognised the voice?" 

" No, papa — that is, I thought — though I must have 
been mistaken — I thought it was like — " 

"Whose?" 

" The — the foreign gentleman we met at Mrs. Merri- 
pebbles'." 

" You were wrong; it was not he." 

One of the few scriptural precepts, or examples, Mr. Lynch 
liad ever cared to lay much to heart was one which he had 
adapted and amplified after his own particular manner. He 
was accustomed to say, not in his haste, but at his most 
deliberate leisure, that all men, including women and chil- 
dren, were liars. People of this way of thinking are usually 
baffled wheU'you tell them, unexpectedly, what they know 
to be the truth. Gregory Lynch was baffled by the inge- 
nuousness of his step-daughter; and felt highly incensed at 
her for taking so great a liberty with him. 

P 



66 MARSTON LYNCH. 

He continued his cross-examination; — 

" Do you mean to tell me you did not liear any single 
sentence or word of importance — tlie name, for instance, of 
any particular person?" 

" Yes, papa, I thought I heard Marston's name, and no 
doubt it was that made me think of the Mexican gentle- 
man " 

" What about Marston?" 

" Not a word, papa, that I could understand." The 
girl's face, though st01 pale and fearful, was perfectly op«i 
and candid. 

" If she is deceiving me," thought Gregory, '^ she is 
more artful than I gave her credit for, and vdll require some 
management." 

The appearance of innocence itself was always a very 
suspicious circumstance to Mr. Gregory Lynch. He looked 
upon it as a sign of good acting. However, he had no 
alternative for the present, but to assume and believe in the 
truth of the girl's stoiy — supposing only that she had been 
asleep. 

"I see you are mistaken altogether. The person is a 
man who has given me some annoyance lately, and I 
wished to know if you had ever seen him hanging about 
the place before. I should have been glad if you had 
listened — accidentally overheard, I mean, what passed be- 
tween us." 

" I am sorry I did not, papa. May I go now ?" 

"Yes." 

" Good night, papa." 

The girl was tripping out of the room like a happy 
fawn, with a marvellously brightened countenance. The 
one great aim of this poor child's life was, to avoid, or, 
once in it, to escape from, the presence of her step-father. 
And hers was one of those unfortunate faces that can dis- 
semble no emotions. Finding herself free to go, after this 
terrible encounter, her delight was boundless. And she 
showed it. 

But Gregory could only read in her expression' signs of 



MABSTON LYNCH. 6? 

exultation at having successfully dupedhim, an achievement, 
as he considered it, of such difficulty and magnitude that 
the feelings of anybody having accomplished it would be 
naturally uncontrollable. He started up from the chair 
into which he had fallen, and seized the girl by the arm 
more rudely than before. 

She uttered a suppressed scream, and turned deadly 
pale. ** The very picture of detected guilt," thought the 
virtuous Gregory. 

Much nonsense has been written about the boldness of 
innocence. Unless gifted with excellent nerves and muscles, 
favourable opportunity, and at all events an equal adver- 
sary, Innocence is possibly the greatest coward living. 
At any rate it is certain that Miss Wareing both looked 
and felt guilty. It is equally so that her confusion was 
heightened by her utter ignorance of the crime which she 
supposed she must have committed. 

" You have been telling me lies, Miss," said Gregory 
I^ch. 

" Indeed, papa, I have not," the child persisted, but al- 
most inaudibly. 

Mr. Lynch was not free from a certain abstract respect 
for the liar who sticks to it, regarding that character as a 
worthy adversary to cope with. Still he vas fond of rapid 
and decisive victories. A prolonged siege exasperated him 
beyond all hope of mercy for the garrison. 

" Come, come, young madam," he said, his grasp tight- 
ening on the slight arm, till thS fraU figure of the girl 
shook to and iro like a leaf in the wind, with the quiverings 
of his uncontrollable excitement ; ** no tricks with me. 
We'll see which is the strongest. Gut with the whole 
story. No getting hold of my secrets for other people's 
eara. No fine stories against me, to back up lies about 
yonr ill-treatment here. Out with it aU — every word; 
and if you conceal or prevaricate a syllable, you will wish 

you had been dead rather " 

He stopped suddenly ; for the light weight had increased 
in his grasp. The girl was fainting with terror. 

F 2 



68 MAESTON LYNCH. 

She was a very obstinate girl, certainly. 

He threw rather than placed her on a convenient so£ei. 
He was rather glad she had stopped him. He had been on 
the eve of committing himself. 

He attempted some not very gentle means at restora* 
tion. The girl rallied a little. He must alter his. 
tactics. 

" There, Lucy, I did'nt mean to frighten you ; but I 
have had my temper tried to-night. You know I detest 
falsehood. I wished particularly, as I have told you, that 
you should have overheard what occurred between me and 
— — , the man who has just left. I thought you had 
done so and was annoyed at what seemed a sort of — ia 
short, want of candour — ^and so forth. But you heard 
nothing ?" 

** Nothing," the girl protested ; but in the clumsiest 
and most faltering manner. 

" I am sorry for it. Go up-stairs." 

The little nervous face was bright again, and the little 
feet tripped briskly, a second time, to the door. 

" Stay I" 

She stopped on the threshold, pale and more guilty- 
looking than ever. 

" While Prank is ill, said Gregory, with a sorry simula- 
tion of paternal tenderness for his measle-struck offspring, 
" I don t wish you to leave the house, nor yet to receive 
any visitors, — the people of Ashgrove especially." 

" Very well, papa." 

Lucy's countenance fell visibly. 

" She is disappointed," said Gregory to himself. " The 
minx has heard everything, and counted on that quarter 
for making it useful. Lock and key must be put in force. 
And hark ye," he added aloud, with a cowering look; 
" not a word of what you have heard to-night, or what 
you have not heard to living soul." 

** Good night, papa," 

Lucy's feet were heard pattering up-stairs in the dis- 
tance. She had escaped the dreaded iSresenoe alive, which. 



MAKSTON LYNCff. 69 

was all she cared about. At the second stbry, she was 
heard singing like an uncaged bird. 

Gregory Lynch holding the handle of the parlour-door 
in his hand, followed her with eyes and ears in the upper 
darkness. He was probably ignorant of the dramatic story 
of Cromwell and the page, and a regret that he had omitted 
to poniard Lucy in her sleep may never have occurred to 
him. But, if he had possessed a little more imagination 
tiian he did, his feelings at the moment might have shaped 
themselves into a wish that the bannisters would give way 
at the fourth landing, and the eldest bom of his late wife be 
dashed to atoms on the marble pavement at the entrance 
hall to Huskisson Lodge. 

You see what sins the dangerous faculty of imagination 
will lead us to ! Gregory Lynch was spared so unholy a 
wish ; still he felt somewhat annoyed at the idea of his 
step-daughter going to sleep comfortably in a small room 
at the top of his own house, and waking in the morning 
alive, and in the fullest possession of her faculties. 

Unless we act upon the cruel belief that people deserve 
to be punished for their misdeeds, Gregory Lynch was an 
object of pity. As I wish the interest of this story rather 
to depend on the development of character than on 
.dramatic surprises (I may be allowed to speak of the 
attempt, ere the failure of the deed shall have utterly con- 
founded me), I may as well state in the coldest matter of- 
fact manner, that Gregory Itad committed the offence, the 
mere accusation of which we have already seen cost him 
two hundred and fifty pounds. Quarrelling with a vicious 
old father, who had threatened to deprive him of what he 
had been taught to believe his just inheritance — as much 
as though slave-ships bad been feudal castles, and hosiery 
contracts, lands allotted by William the Conqueror — he 
had taken precautions to secure his birthright — that was 
all. True, those precautions had been exceptional, and 
even illegal. But he had taken them as a stem duty, 
much as he would have provided a feather-bed with which 



70 MAHSTON LYNCH. 

to smother his lamented parent, had that patriarch, been 
attacked with hydrophobia. 

He had succeeded, and, as it were, earned his victory 
solely by the exercise of his own courage and ingenuity. 
He had prevented a despised and outcast branch of 1^8 
family from usurping his own possessions. These posses- 
sions had consequently seemed more than ever his, as bj 
right of conquest. 

And now, after years of impunity, as he was just reach- 
ing the height of Ms ambition (such ambition as he wps 
capable of entertaining), he was upset and degraded by a 
concatenation of accidents. A man who might be an 
Irish rope-dancer for anything he knew had been to 
Mexico, and met with another man who had physically 
promised to die of consumption a dozen years ago. A 
boy, who also had no right to be alive, had suddenly 
appeared as a resident in the same town, burning with 
vicious animosity towards him. A prying eavesdropping 
child had most probably overheard a conversation that 
might damn him. 

It is no proof of any monstrosity of character in Gregory 
Lynch that remorse had little to do with the agony by 
which he was rent, as he sat alone in his wretched splendid 
apartment biting his nails and groaning. He had com- 
nitted, it is true, a legal felony ; but the moral enormity 
of the act, according to the code of his education, was, as 
we have seen, trivial. Moreover, it was long ago ; and 
I think we may come to the conclusion, reader, that of all 
earthly creditors. Conscience is the one whose little account 
it is the easiest to " square," with a little time to do it in. 
In the fortunately Improbable event of eithei; of us 
murdering our mutual friend Jones from motives pf 
personal antipathy, or an eye to the reversion of his little 
property, there is no doubt that the remainder of our 
respective lives would be particularly uncomfortable. But 
the name of the spectre haunting us would not be Jones — 
it would go by the appellation of Calcraft. 

Fear of indefinable consequences, then, \^as the para- 



liAESTON LriSOH. 71 

mount feding that agitated Mr. Gregory Lynch. Next to 
that, resentment at the idea of his having been possibly 
duped, with the certainty that he had been insulted and 
hmniliated. This Irish-Mexican adventurer, as he loved 
to consider his late tormentor, had taken him by storm — 
had made him commit himself — worse than all, had got 
jQxmey out of him, a calamity which, had he been more his 
own master at the moment, might have been prevented. 

But, bitter as was the present, there was the vague 
future. These three — ^man, boy, and girl — what was the 
eoctent of their power over him? 

Hating them all three most cordially, Mr. Gregory 
Lynch, in his perplexity, drank another bottle of old port, 
and went to bed* 



./' 



1IA.B3T0N LYNCH. 



CHAPTEK iX. 



PROGEESS. 



Mrs. Murke's portrait was a triumpliant success. Not 
only was the likeness pronounced striking by the entire 
Eow ; but, further, the picture found favour in the eyes of 
the fair original, on two distinct grounds. First, the hue 
and texture of the red velvet she loved had been depicted 
with rare fidelity. Secondly, a tinge of gentle melancholy 
the artist had thrown into the expression, reminded * her 
forcibly of how she had looked after her last memorable 
attack of neuralgia. Mrs. Murke regarded her iUnesses 
as great events to be recorded in history, like battles ; and 
was fond of possessing tangible trophies or memorials of 
their occurrence. Looking on the famous attack of 
neuralgia as the Great Eire of London of her existence 
(she was wont to say there was very little left of her after 

it) ^Marston Lynch's portrait may be considered as its 

appropriate Monument. 

A portrait mania immediately set in in Ash Grove, the 
inhabitants of which were organised much on the principle 
of Panurge's sheep. Where any one led, the rest followed. 
A novelty of any kind gener^y went through the Bow, 
like measles or influenza. The fortunate Marston found 
himself inundated with commissions, and prospects of 



UABSTON LYNCH. 73 

i 

what to him seemed boundless wealth were opened to 
him. !First, the grateful Eufflestones, anxious to make 
some return for the priceless little treasure with which our 
hero had solaced them in their troubles, set him to work 
on a family group of great magnitude (the turban of Mrs. 
Bofflestone's mamma towering over all in the middle dis- 
tance), at a good remunerative price. The progress of 
this was so satisfactory as to induce young Mr. Tofts, 
who was a keen man of business, and laiew all about the 
fluctuations of markets, to command a life-size portrait of 
his sister, ere the rising artist's price should be augmented. 
The young lady having cost her brother a good deal lately 
in satins and jewelleiy, for the proper maintenance of his 
state, that gentleman thought it no bad economy to make 
use of those splendours for the embellishment, by their 
pictorial representation, of his newly-furnished dining- 
room. During the sittings for the last-named subject. 
Miss Tofts made hot love to our hero, and talked to him 
about Tennyson. But not only was the painter's heart 
elsewhere — ^the young lady's H's were defective. So 
Marston passed safely through the perilous ordeal. 

Mrs. Merripebbles herself — ^honestly proud of the 
success of her protege- — ^repeatedly commissioned him to 
make stupendous groups, at exorbitant prices, of herself 
and family ; but, usually, on a rise in the price of potatoes, 
or the advent of a school-bill, countermanded them on the 
following day, with much groaning on the subject of 
earthly vanities, and the duty of retrenchment generally. 

Bumours of our hero's attachment to Miss Crooze, the 
handsome, though no longer girlish, schoolmistress of 
Number One, have already reached the reader. A brief 
scene will give an insight into that matter. 

Marston was at work on a picture in the Merripebbles' 
breakfast parlour. (He had coolly appropriated that apart- 
ment as his atelier, and was impervious to hints as to the 
smell of oils and the injurious effects of trampled pigments 
on carpets of Brussels manufacture.) Miss Crooze looked 
in, just to see how he was getting on. Somehow, IMiss 



74 KAJtSTON LYNCH. 

Crooae had been very fond of looking in — to see how he 
was getting on — of late, between school hours. 

Having criticised the work in hand rather seyerdy — (it 
must be remembered that Miss Grooze was a ''fins 
woman," and bound to be severe in virtue thereof) — abe 
inquired casually of our hero what he would chaige for 
painting a portrait of herself. 

"Of you!" cried Marston, raptiyronaly, starting from 
his seat and throwing his palette with the paint down- 
wards on a damask covered chair. " Of you ! Oh ! if I 
ODuld have dared to ask — " 

** Dajred ! what nonsense 1" said Miss Grooze, redden- 
ing visibly, but trying to be cool and " sup^or." " Ask 
what you like — I only want to see if I can afford it." 

" You misunderstand me," said Marston, " wilfully 
(which was the case). If you would let me attempt thoae 
featuses — do you suppose I would accept payment?** 

Miss Grooze thought he would be very foolish indeed 
if he did not. And, endeavouring to restore the conversa* 
tion to its original business footing, resumed — 

" Gome, tell me your lowest price ; I can't afford much, 
you know ; but I should like to send a copy of my face, 
before it gets quite unlike what it used to be, to — " 

"To whom?" Marston asked fiercely, grasping has 
maulstick. 

" To one who loves me very much," answered Marian, 
coquetti^y. She couldn't resist it, though she felt she 
was doing wrong. 

Marston Lynch threw away his maulstick, aiMl sank 
heavily in his chair. 

" Never I" he cried theatrically ; " I would rather cut 
my right hand off." 

He clutched his palette and brushes again, and pro- 
ceeded to make such a mess of Miss Tofts' countenance as 
cost him days to rectify. 

Marian approached him gently and laid her beautiful 
white, but alas ! perceptibly wrinlded hand on his shoulder. 
Marston quivered beneath the touch, and, unable to con- 



MABSTON LYNCH. 75 

troul himself, seized the hand in his own and covered it 
with kisses — sobbing convulsively. 

" You foolish boy," said Marian, looking at him sadly, 
bat compassionately — (was the compassion all for him?)— 
**Do you know how old I am ?" 

" No 1" exclaimed Marston, with energy ; " and I don't 
want to. Love is of no age ; and I love you. You know 
it, and have known it for weeks and weeks." 

"For weeks and weeks," said the sad sweet v(H«e. 
" And do you not know that in weeks md weeks, very few 
of ihem too, I shall be — " 

She bit her lip savagely to arrest the self-condemniaag 
word. Why, after all, shoidd it be uttered ? and yet ^ 
felt ashamed of the reticence. 

But what did MaFston care for the flight of time? 
E^nember he was barely eighteen ! His thoughts were 
far otherwise engaged. 

" Let me know the worst," he implored with tears in his 
^es. " If there is no hope, tell me. For whom did you 
want the portrait ?" 

What woman, with an honest love offered to hei — 
however impossible its acceptance — can reject the flower 
without indulging in a whiff of its perfume? What 
•woman, though she might not afford to buy diamonds, 
cacL pass a jeweller's shop window ? 

''Not for a lover," she answered, wiUi a re-assurii^ 
saule ; " do not be afraid of that. Only for my poor oU 
father." 

And in truth it was the thought of the honest old 
tailor in Monmouthshire had suggested the propositiooi, 
ixmpled perhaps with an unconfessed inclination for sitting 
occasionally alone in the society of that ridiculous, 
romantic, amusing, warm-hearted boy-painter. 

"Your father," cried our hero, br^htening up, aad 
seizing the lady's hand once more. " Oh, let me do it ! 
Let me, as a gift not to you, but to him ; let me, by sendr 
lag him a poor reminder of that face that he must lov« 



76 MASSTON LYNCH. 

90, earn some daim to his regard, that I may at least 
have an advocate in him who — " 

" Tut ! let go my hand. Here's Mrs. Merripebbles.** 

Marston attacked the portrait again with niinona effect 
as that lady entered the room. 

*' Fve been asking Mr. Marston what he will paint my 
portrait for/' said Marian, perfectly self-possessed, and in 
her coldest manner, '^ to send to my father ; but I cannot 
get him to name the price." 

" Price I " cried Mis, Merripebbles, who was generous 
by fits and starts with the services of other people as wdtli 
her own. " Why nothing to be sure. Eh, dear I Paint- 
ing such a handsome face as yours will bring him troops 
of customers ; and who knows but a handsome portrait^ 
painted in his best manner. wiU bring you a husband ? » 

Mrs. Merripebbles laughed heartily for several minutes. 
She was in excellent spirits that day, having just received 
her dividends. 

PinaUy, it was agreed that Marston should paint Miss 
Crooze's portrait for a nominal price, the lady steadily re- 
fusing his gratuitous services. 

Marian withdrew ; the coolness of the " fine woman '* 
being sorely tried by the burning glances of her boy-lover. 

Who shall say but that poor schoolmistress, with her 
thirty years just knelling, with her splendid form wither- 
ing, and her warm heart wasting, as she stood in her 
lonely room, coimting the silver streaks in her raven hair, 
dwelling with exaggeration upon each poor charm that 
remained to her, striving against hope to strike a balanoe 
in favour of love against time ; recalling aH the old tales 
she had read of perennial beauties preserving their love- 
liness through generations of suitors, and reconciling 
these to other tales of poets and men of genius becoming^ 
prematurely old, and cHnguig for support but to tender- 
ness and devotion ; bitterly wondering that half a dozen 
paltry years either way should be a barrier between her 
and a happiness she would have deserved; but feeling in 
her sad, worldly, thirty years' knowledge, that the barrier 



HABSTOK LYNCH. 77 

Was tliere — ^impassable as Charon's ferry — ^who shall say 
but that she was as legitimate an object of the hoHest 
cxnnpassion as the heroine of any soul's tragedy that ever 
Was written P Who shall say that her petulant snappings 
and bickerings when she returned to her dreary day work, 
after that one brief glimpse of a Paradise unattainable, 
were more contemptible than the ravings of the tragedy 
queen in her dungeon ? 

Marston Lynch's connexion increased rapidly — ^and the 
breakfast-parlour was getting into such a mess that it be- 
came absolutely neoessary to give him notice to quit. 

And here a little digressive explanation of our hero's 
character and antecedents becomes necessary. He was a 
plant of the tendril species. Though he had not known a 
settled home since his infancy, the most precious elements 
of domesticity had been furnished him in the care and 
fiienddiip of his father from whom he had never been 
separated except by death. He was not at all self-reliant. 
The very talents his parent had so sedulously cultivated 
in him he had never known the value of. At the time 
we are treating of, he had not yet got over his astonish- 
ment at finding he could turn one of his accomplishments 
to profitable account. Everything he had previously at- 
tempted had been under the guidance and correction of 
his father, and had appeared to him more that father's 
work than his own. This was the astonishment of the 
child first walking alone. 

After the sad blow that had deprived him of his dearly- 
loved guide and companion, he had gratefully accepted the 
friends into whose hands fate had thrown him, as the 
legitimate successors to his father's care of him. 

He had become deeply attached to them, and with good 
reason. The new home, with its unforeseen affections 
and pleasant associations, had done much to throw his 
great sorrow into the background. He could no more*^ 
bear to contemplate the leaving that home than he could . 
have borne, three months ago, to look forward to the 
death of his father. 



78 MABSTON LYNCH. 

Though careless and unexperienced in the minor matters 
that make up life, it must not be supposed that Marston 
Lynch underrated the real substantial kindness of "his 
hosts towards him. On the contrary, he exaggerated it 
immensely ; and, in the riches of his imagination, planned 
tremendous schemes for their fortune and happiness. 
Nor was he behind-hand in the practical gratitude of the 
present. Every farthing he had received, from any source, 
he would have poured into the lap of his benefactress' 
whose persistent refusal of any recompense whatever only 
served to heap up a compound interest of affection and 
reverence on the original debt of obligation. 

Accordingly, it will be understood, that when Mrs. 
Merripebbles, one morning, in her kindest manner, sug- 
gested to Marston that now he was making such progress 
in his profession, it would be advisable for him to remove 
to more commodious quarters, where he might pursue his 
studies with less restraint, his countenance fell visibly, 
and tears stood in his eyes (tears, by the way, on the 
shortest provocation formed one of Marston*s besetting 
failings through life). 

His hostess saw his distress, and understood it. She 
took him kindly by the hand and did what she had never 
done before — Classed him. 

•' My poor boy," she said, smoothing his hair like a 
child's, " don't think we wish to get rid of you. God 
help me ! it would be 'like losing one of my own. But, 
you must remember, you are quite a man now, and will 
soon be a famous one, I hope. You will be better thrown 
a little on your own resources, than getting stupid among 
a lot of girls and old women. You needn't leave the 
neighbourhood ! The Miss Orayners have two beautifiil 
rooms to let, that will just suit you, for a very small rent. 
You will be with your Mend, Mr. Howker, and can see 
us whenever you please, with the knowledge that you are 
your own master." 

Marston brightened up immediately. This compromise 
gave things an unexpected turn. There was something 



IIARSTON LY14CH. 79 

glorious in the prospect of living in his own establishment 
— ^being free to come and go whenever he pleased — and 
yet not absolutely driven to rely upon those habits of self- 
dependence which ^well, which he never managed to 

acquire in the whole course of his life ! 

That evening Marston Lynch was Howker's fellow- 
lodger, on which occasion, as in assertion of his newly- 
attained independence, he ignited his first pipe, under th« 
tuition and guidance of his more experienced friend. He 
has never been wholly free from the smell of tobacco 
Mnce. 

Miss Crooze's portrait, viewed as a likeness, was a 
failure; but as a dazzling representation of the most 
angelic beauty in the first flush of youth, a marvellous 
triumph. It must be recorded here that Marston Lynch 
remained madly in love with the mature original for the 
space of nearly five calendar months. 



so MABSTON LYNCH, 



I ■ 



CHAPTEBX. 



A WATSB PAETY ON THE WYNDE. 



SuMMEE came. And thougli Longport is the second, 
or tMrd, or fourtli, or fifth, I don't know which, town in 
the kingdom, containing the census knows how many 
thousand inhabitants, and with a yearly tonnage of 
shipping that the Messrs. Chambers of Edinburgh only can 
calulate, nevertheless, summer in Longport is a very 
different sort of thing to what Londoners may imagine it. 
True, there are reeking courts and foul alleys in Longport, 
where the sun never penetrates, on an almost metropolitan 
scale — a fact that would seem to entitle the town to the 
high rank of civilisation it claims for itself. But the snn- 
slune and the meadows are not so many dreary miles away: 
and there is the glorious river Wynde, washing the quays 
of the town, not with the refuse of some dozen miles of 
sewerage, but bringing bright green salt water from the 
neighbouring ocean and fresh invigorating sea breezes. 

It is a fine thing for Longport, that proximity to the 
ocean. I don't mean from the Chambers' point of view, 
as a mere convenience for commerce — ^whose steamer 
funnels somewhat interfere with jwy view of the case. (I 
am not of that school of philosophy that believes rivers to 
have been created for the purpose of feeding navigable 



^AESTON LYNCH. TSl 

<»naLs.) L mean it is a fine thing in the opportunities it 
affords the pent-up townsman for an occasional, even if 
imconscious, communion with nature. Howker could 
sniff the sea breeze through the counting-house window 
behind which he was imprisoned daily from nine to six. 
I have seen a sea»gull fly right over the top of High-street, 
and all but perch on the roof of what had been Mr.Lynch's 
outfitting establishment. 

There is no such stream for water parties as the Wynde. 
The bounteous river accommodates all tastes. If you are 
« yachting man, and feel inclined to rough it a little, half 
4Ui hour's sail with a light breeze down the river brings 
you fairly into the ocean. If yon wish for a romantic 
dreamy excursion in still water between wooded shores 
that cast deep reflections, you have scarcely passed the im- 
mense line of docks and warehouses, up the river, when a 
bend in the stream brings you among snug country seats, 
lich £firm lands, and white cottages, with undulating back- 
hands, ami more than one ivied church and ruined abbey 
peeping from among the foliage. 

Then, down the river, on either side towards the sea 
are scattered miniature Margates and Eamsgates, with 
their bright spruce hotels, neat rows of houses, and trim 
bathing-machines. And up the river towards the country, 
you find old village inns in shady nooks, with their mar- 
vellous larders, and their wainscoted dining-rooms over- 
looking the quiet river, and their thickly-wooded shrub- 
beries and pleasure gardens. It was no bad idea, that of 
btnlding a town on the Wynde. 

One dazzling morning in June, the Wynde looked at its 
very best. A thousand noble ships leaving the port with 
a favourable breeze almost brought you round to the 
Chambers' way of thinking, and made you believe that 
oominerce was something more than a necessary evil, a 
means for administering to our wants ; and was really and 
tmly A positive good in itself. The little fierce busy 
Btenmets were darting to and from the various river 
suburbs like water-insects. Parties of pleasure were 

G 



82 MAESTQN LYNCH. 

getting under weigh, in crafts of every build, mocking the 
toilers on the quays with merry notes of music. A light 
river mist silvered over, without concealing, the distant 
landscape, while it softened down the more ignoble details 
of the town. The gulls appeared to think the entire scene 
got up expressly for their amusement — ^and were in a frantic 
state of exuberance. 

A merry party of holiday makers were just embarking 
in a kind of sailing boat, laden with mighty preparations 
for a picnic. They were all, the master of the boat ex- 
cepted, old friends. First, Mr. and Mrs. Merripebbles, the 
ktter radiant and boisterous, the former smiling but ap- 
prehensive, and with a general tendency to get in the way. 
Secondly, Miss Crooze, with her pet spaniel, Charley, 
object of undying hatred and jealousy to Marston Lyncbu 
Thirdly, Marston himself, having doffed his mourning for 
the nonce, and attired in a nautical suit of ineffable cox- 
combry. Fourthly, Howker (favoured with a holiday), 
in a hideous parody of the same. Fifthly, Miss Tofts. 
Sixthly, Miss Maud Carlton, and 

Lucy Wareing. 

Had Gregory Lynch, then, relaxed in his suspicious 
severity ? He had been compelled to. Mrs. Merripebbles, 
detecting a tendency on his part to coerce and confine the 
girl, had besieged him hotly — charging him with divers 
impossible enormities — and representing his character 
generally in the most monstrous lights. Gregory, feeling 
his position rather weak at present, was not inclined to 
challenge battle on any score with so redoubtable an ad- 
versary. And as he had no absolute proof that the girl 
was dangerous to him — and even if he had, was without 
means of preventing her from some day divulging aU she 
knew, dungeons and fetters not forming part of the economy 
of Huskisson Lodge, he was fain to assign her to her old 
associates, trusting to her general dread of his anger to 
keep silence, supposing she had anything to conceal. He 
meditated getting rid of her to a distance at an early- 
period, as soon as he could fix upon an appropriate desti* 



jiAIlSTON LYNCH. 83 

uation. In the meantime, slie led much her old life — 
coldness and drudgery at home, unmingled happiness when 
her only friends fetched her out into the world's sunshine. 
It is needless to say that, being the unwitting means of 
adding to her step-father's perplexities, she was hated by 
that gentleman more than ever. 

As the two young ladies we have just mentioned to- 
gether will each exercise a material influence over the 
future life of Marston Lynch, let us give a glance at their 
relations towards him at the present juncture. 

He liked them both very well — as he liked most people 
when he knew them. He hated Gregory Lynch only in 
the abstract — much as he hated the villains in romances. 
And let us remark, by the way, that for all he knew of his 
relation's conduct, his hatred would have been most un- 
just if it had been altogether real ; but there was a good 
deal of youthful affection in it — a good deal of the desire to 
Oppose a ' big wig." Had Gregory had time to prepare 
his plans ; had he chosen the proper moment to conciliate 
his nephew he might easily have converted him into a 
partisan, whose faith not all the schemes, assertions, or 
proofs of Don Sancho de Saumarez could have shaken. 

To return to the two girls — Marston himself always 
spoke of them as the " two girls." He considered them 
mere children, as indeed so they were, but he forgot that 
he was a child also. He patronised them immensely, as 
was becoming in the desponding lover of Marian Crooze. 
In Lucy he took an especial interest; instituting himself, as 
it were, her champion by verbal protest against the oppres- 
sion, real and iitiagined, of her detested step-father. And 
as Lucy was timid and loving and clinging by nature, she 
felt grateful for this doughty championship of rights she 
was at a loss to comprehend, and only wished he would 
not threaten such terrible visitations on the head of the 
individual whom she never remembered having done hei 
any particular harm. And Marston Lynch thought her 
a veiy nice little girl indeed for liking him. 

Miss Carlton's nature was not at all timid or dinging. 

G 2 



84 MABSTON LYNCH.. 

With regard to the loving — we will see about that by-and- 
by. She was a very cool young lady, accustomed to do 
exactly as she pleased. It pleased her to like Marston 
Lynch very well indeed. It was not of the least conse- 
quence to her that he treated her as a child, patronised 
her insultingly, ordered her out of the room when he 
wished to be alone^ and fell in love with grown up womeu 
before her eyes. She allowed him to take all those liber- 
ties, as she would have allowed a pet lap-dog to tear her 
best dress in pieces. She thought him very good, very 
clever, apd very handsome. And she had been early 
taught that whatever she saw that was rare and precious 
might be hers for the asking. 

Those who remember what they were at eighteen, need 
scarcely be told that Marston Lynch never connected a 
thought of love with either of those girls. Once when 
that worldly scoundrel Howker had hinted that it would 
be no bad plan for his friend to secure the affections 
(" stick up to" was his phrase) of so wealthy a heiress as 
Miss Carlton, Marston threatened to quarrel with him out- 
right and for ever, charging him with a base design of 
weaning his, Marston's, affections from Miss Crooze, from 
interested motives. 

(It was perfectly true that Howker was in love with 
Miss Crooze. But he had no need of such scheming. He 
was verging on thirty himself, and knew that the passion of 
his young friend would not last him long. So he waited, 
like a coffee-room philosopher who knows that the evening 
paper must be disengaged in ten minutes.) 

Both the girls were in their sixteenth year. Lucy, frail 
and delicate, had already formed into something like a littJe 
fairy woman. Maud, on the contrary, was long, strong, 
and bony — ^with nothing attractive about her but a 
splendid head of dark hair and eyes to match. Th^ were 
certainly beautiful. But for the rest she was a problem. 

And now the pleasure boat has tacked twice across the 
river and is making, with a side wind, for Milwood Abbey 
where the picnic is to be held. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 8S 

The festivities, it should be stated, are at the expense of 
Marston Lynch, who has just received the money for his 
original picture-#-sold from the Longport Exhibition. 

Now, why has Marian Crooze decked herself out in this 
manner? Why is her appearance so youthful, and her 
dress so becoming ? Why is it that the silver streaks in 
her black hair have disappeared and in their place the sun- 
light, as it plays on the glossy bands, is obstructed by 
coarse Wotches of some rough greasy material? She 
knows it is of no use. She knows that if her boy-lover 
-yrete to make that proposal she has had so much trouble 
in staving off for weeks, she would not accept him. She 
would die rather than bring misery on his head, to pur- 
chase a few brief months of delusive happiness that she 
herself would give up all for — ^let the waking from the 
dream be what it might. And yet there she is, dressed 
like a girl — ^much more attractive than any girl present — 
and driving Marston Lynch to despair by her disdaiofdl 
coquetry. 

All I can say is, if any one of my readers grudges her 
%o trifling a consolation I have no wish to cidtivate that 
reader's acquaintance. 

They have reached MHwood Abbey. The boat is 
Hioored to a tree, and they disembark there. Friends are 
there to meet them: Mr. Tofts, prominent among the 
numbet, with a surprise prepared, in the shape of cases of 
diampagne and a band of music. (Tofts has an eye upon 
Miss Carlton, who sees through him with the keenness of 
five-and-forty, and despises him accordingly.) 

Dinner is served in the ruins. Tofts has brought some 
friends of his — landed proprietors — ^with whom to overawe 
^e assembly. The landed proprietor's family have brought 
a friend with them — a captain of cavalry — with whom to 
overawe Tofts. The cavahy captain, in order to show the 
extreme goodness of his breeding, cuts his friends, the 
landed proprietors (whose proprietaryship is on a very 
limited scale, or it would, doubtless, have been otherwise) ; 
and attaches himself for the rest of the day to Miss Crooze 



86 MAUSTON LYNCH. 

whom he considers the only handsome woman present, 
albeit somewhat passee, and whose acquirements enaUe 
him to display his knowledge of the French language, 
which it may be parenthetically added, is limited. Marian 
flirts designedly with the cavalry captain, with whom she 
is secretly disgusted. She is also secretly disgusted with 
herself, but she can't help it. It is so much pleasanter to 
see Marston pacing up and down the thicket — glaring 
like a tiger, ready to spring out on the cavalry officer— 
than to point him to her grey hairs, show him her 'wrinkles 
awaken him from his dream, and never know what it is to 
be loved again! 

The day passed as all days will do. There had been 
much mirth, but Marston had not tasted it. He had 
deeply meditated on the question of duelling, and came to 
the conclusion that under some circumstances it was justi- 
fiable. 

They were to return as they came, in the boat. Tofts 
remained where he was, being on a visit to his friends, the 
landed proprietors. The cavalry officer had particular 
business in Longport, and would feel grateful for a 
lift in the boat. Miss Crooze made room for him at her 
side. 

Oh, how Marston longed for a storm and a shipwreck, 
in which all the rest of the company might be providen- 
tially saved, with the exception of his heart's idol, whose 
salvation was to rest between him and the cavalry officer ! 
Which would come off best ? 

No such calamity occurred, however, though our hero's 
desperation managed to bring about something nearly as 
disastrous. 

The evening was beautiful, and there were yet two dear 
hours of dayl^ht. It was agreed that they should drift 
down past the the city, with the ebbing tide, and leave the 
boat at one of the suburban watering-places alluded to 
(where the cavalry officer had proposed supper), returning 
home by one of the steamers. 

They had already passed the city, and were in the broad 



MABSTON LYNCH. 87 

moTitli of the river. The tide was ebbing rapidly, and 
Marian was flirting with the cavalry officer horribly. 

A fresh breeze sprang up, necessitating some adjijstment 
of the sail, when the agreeable discovery was made that the 
boatman was drunk. The cavalry officer looked alarmed. 
He was no coward ; but neither was he a sailor, and he 
doubted whether he was in the hands of any one Tvho might 
be worthy of the name. 

" I say, by Jove," he said, ** do you think we're all right 
here ? Hadn't we better go back ?" 

Marston laughed sardonically. 

"Don't be ajfraid, sir," he said. "There are people 
here who can take care of you." 

" I am obliged to you for the assurance, young gentle- 
man," said the officer, with more dignity and propriety 
of expression than he had yet shown ; " but I was think- 
ing of lives more precious than my own, that have no 
right to be trusted in inexperienced hands." 

" All lives here, sir, are precious," said Marston, bom- 
bastically ; " but the most precious is fortunately in safer 
hands than yours. Fear nothing, madam," he added 
grandly to Miss Crooze, who immediately burst out laugh- 
ing, as did also the cavalry officer. 

"Upon my soul," said the latter, "you are a most 
amusing young fellow. Only don't put our respective 
courage to the test by upsetting the boat with your move- 
ments." 

Marston was in an agony of jealousy and — fear, that he 
was going to cry ! 

" Sit down, Marston ; there's a good boy," said Marian 
maliciously ; " and if you want to sit by me, here, nurse 
Charley." 

And she flopped her spaniel down in Marston's lap. 

"Yes, nurse Charley," said the cavalry officer, laughing 
immensely. " You'll find it capital amusement, by Jove ! 
soothing to the feelings. Eh, halloa !" 

Marston Lynch, purple with rage, had started up and 
hurled the spaniel overboard. 



88 MAKSTON LYNCU: 

" Prove yoiir courage," ^aid lie fiercely to thfe soldier 
«* and rescue tlie other pet puppy." 

The dog was endeavouring to paddle agamst the tide 
which was too strong for him. Marian screamed and 
iTTung her hands; she had lost one whose lovfe, at ail 
events, would have lasted with his life. The captain looked 
exceedingly blank. 

Marston's heart smote him. He had sacrificed a poor, 
affectionate dog, for a palti-y p6int~-f6r an epigram in a 
passion. He was an excellent swimmer. He threw off' 
his jacket and hat, and leapt into the water. 

1 will do Marston Lynch the justice to say that 
he did this, not with any view to effect an after credit^ 
but solely from a remorseful sense of justice to the 
dog. 

The spaniel, after having been whirled round and round 
in several ineffectual attempts to battle with the tide j had 
given himsdf up to the stream, to which his light, buoyant 
form scarcely offered the slightest resistance, and was 
already far in the distance. Marston Lynch, though, as I 
have said, a good swimmer, and with the tide in his favour, 
was of a bony frame, and moreover encumbered by his 
clothes. It was an exertion to him to keep afloat, as- he 
was not physically strong. The dog receded j&x)m him* 
rapidly ; but he swam on unconscious of the swi^.nei» 
with which he was being borne from the boat, and not 
noticing that the shores were widening on each side of 

Him. 

The excitement in the boat was intense. If ever tke- 
whole embarkation had been in danger, it was now. In 
vain Howker and the soldier implored them not to lean so 
much on one side. They could think of nothing bul 
Marston and his safety. Poor Marian Crooze, with her 
elbows resting on the gunwale, and clutching her white 
cheeks with her finger-nails till the blood came, looked 
fifty years old, as she glared despairingly at .the receding 
speck which just indicated that the head of Marston Lynch 
IS above water. Such wind as there was, was against 



JfAESTON LYNCH. M 

them^ and the boat by no means kept pace witb the current. 
The cavalry officer, prompt, like all his class, in real 
dfltager, seized a long disused oar, and applied himself to 
towing with all his might. Howker, with a blank &oe, 
promptly imitated his example. They worked stoutly, but 
they Were clumsy oarsmen. They could not gain on the 
swimmer, who, however, in his turn, had gained on the 
dog. Finding himself in a side current, where the waters 
ran less violently, the latter had instinctively turned agam, 
struggling once more with the tide. Marston Lynch swam 
rapidly towards him, and, to the delight of the passengers 
in the boat, was seen to clutch the animal, and turn to 
swim back. 

The fact is, a swimmer with the tide is like a man in a 
balloon, whose ignorance of the space he traverses, or the 
isbe he ilys at, is so strikingly described by my friend, 
Henry Mayhew, in, the second chapter of the "Great 
World of London." Marston, who scarcely thought he 
had swam more than a score yards or so from his friends, 
waa. scarcely perceptible to them. The fact of his having 
recovered the dog they ascertained more from his action 
than by anything that was visible of the latter. 

To return was no such easy task. The wind had fresh- 
oied dead against the tide, and the hull of the sailing boat 
being of ancient build, offered a great body of resistance. 
The swimmer, evidently attempting to gain the boat, was 
as obviously receding from it. The suspense was agonising. 
The women crowded over the larboard side nearly upsetting 
the boat. Lucy Wareing, her sensitive nerves strung to 
their utmost pitch of intensity, had leapt with one foot on 
to the gunwale, supporting herself with one hand by a stay, 
wlmre.the wind swayed her light form to and fro like a 
pennon. 

Suddenly they were startled even from their absorbing 
oonitem^ations by a voice that none recognised, proceeding 
from the centre of the boat above all their headsj exclaim* 
ing with intense distinctness — 

" I wiU make the fortune of any who wiU save him. 1 



90 MAESTON LYNCH. 

will give any of yon hundreds — thousands — ^if you wfll save 
him. Saye him, you cowards 1" 

The last sentence was uttered in a perfect shriek. All 
looked up. Maud Carlton had mounted on a bulkhead 
leading to the closet that served as a cabin, and was stand- 
ing upright clutching the mast feverishly, her bonnet 
blown back, her long black hair streaming behind her, and 
her splendid black eyes looking twice their size. She had 
grown suddenly noble and beautiful, and stood there facing 
the wind like a young Pythoness. 

" Save him," she screamed, " there's not a hair on his 
head that isn't worth all your Hves, and twenty thousand 
of mine. Pull your oars — ^row away — ^row away, men, like 
devils! Ho! Marston, keep up, boy; swim quietly — 
not too fast ; keep up, and we'll catch you." 

She roared the latter words through her hands with the 
lungs of a stentor, and catching the jvind with the judg- 
ment of an old sailor. She then leapt down, and in less 
time than a sentence can be written had seized every avail- 
able floating thing on deck — kegs, planks, and what not, 
and thrown them overboard with what seemed supernatural 
strength — always throwing them to the spot whence it 
seemed most iflcely they would float in the swimmer's 
direction. 

This done, she clutched Marian Crooze by the wrist with 
a jerk, looked fiercely in the blank despairing face of the 
governess, and said, between her teeth, in a voice that was 
Aknost fiendish, " If he is lost through you, your lapdog, 
and your nonsense, I'll be hanged for your murder. 
Mind !" 

She then strode to the helm, and thrusting the muddled 
and scared boatman away, seized the tiller and held it 
firmly to keep the boat in its present course. 

Miss Carlton had never been on the water before in her 
life, except on a river steamboat, and you could not have 
taught her the simplest rule in navigation in twenty years 
of schooling. 

All I have described occurred in a very few seconds. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 91 

Howker and the soldier rowed manfully. Maud Carlton 
held the tiller, with both hands, rigid to its place. The 
breeze lulled a little. Marston Lynch, apparently stout of 
heart as ever, was rapidly nearing the boat, when a dozen 
screams announced a fresh calamity. 



32 Kabston lynch. 



CHAPTER XL 

IN WHICH THE AUTHOR, AFTEE CONSIDERABLE LABOUR,. 
SUCCEEDS IN FISHING HIS HERO OUT OF THE WATER. 

Marston Lynch having been left in the water for the- 
space of thirty-one days, common humanity would suggest 
an immediate attention to his case. Nevertheless, as he 
jumped overboard of his own free will — and certainly 
wanted cooling at the time — I think the hydropathic course 
of treatment to which he so voluntarily submitted his case 
should have the amplest opportunities for testing its advan- 
tages. In my opinion, Marston Lynch thoroughly deserved 
a ducking. I intend keeping him in the water as long as 
is consistent with his persond safety, as a warning to him 
for the future. 

Besides, the reader must be biu*ning to know whence 
proceeded the screams that so abruptly broke the conclud- 
ing stillness of my last chapter. As I detest keeping people 
in suspense, it behoves me to neglect everything in order to 
satisfy the reader's laudable curiosity on that head. If, 
therefore, he will accompany me (with his proverbial gentle- 
ness, of course) about two miles further down the river, 
and allow me to introduce him to some new acquaintances 
— to half-an-hour of whose conversation it wiU be necessary 
for him to listen, patiently — ^he will receive the information 
he requires, almost immediately, 

Just when Charley, in houndish unconsciousness of the 



>IAESTON LyNCH. 93 

peiils of the deep awaiting hiin, was eiyoying the last few 
jsioments of comfort on his mistress's lap, a small pleasure 
yacht, of elegant modem build, and fitted up in the most 
luxurious manner, entered the mouth of the Wynde, sailr 
ing beautifully before the breeze, with her head due fojr 
Longport. 

There were five people on board. Two of these were 
the boat's crew, a man and a boy, of whom no description 
is necessary. The remaining three were the owner of the 
vessel and two gentlemen, his guests, who were lounging 
on deck in the lazy enjoyment of exquisite champagne and 
faultless Havannahs; at the same time, drinking and in* 
haling the yet more exhilarating and soothing influences of 
the sea breeze and summer evening. 

The yacht was named the " Fayaway," and its owner 
was named Biglow T. Miles, Esq. Is it necessary to add 
that he was an American gentleman? Why is it that all 
American gentlemen have fuU grown Christian and sur- 
names, with one or more budding sprouts, as it were, of 
nomenclatm'e, in the shape of initials between them? I 
cannot tell; but such is certainly the case. Is it that the 
secondary names of American gentlemen generally .are bad 
ones, that the owners would rather not bring forward to 
the Ught of pubUc scrutiny? Or is it that the national 
habit of time-saving impels the citizens of the great Ee- 
public to get over the ground in speaking of themselves, 
as in other matters, as rapidly as possible? It has been 
this moment suggested to me that Americans are not the 
only gentlemen marked by the peculiarity in question ; and 
that even I myself have a mysterious initial in the very 
heart of my nominative system, which I am shy of explain- 
ing. But nothing could be in worse taste than to call upon 
a satirist to look at home before abusing his neighbours. 

All American gentlemen are not necessarily ugly, cada- 
verous likenesses of an ill-omened bird of prey, such as the 
comic artists of this country love to depict them. Neither 
are they all such swindlers, liars, and garrulous boasters, 
as the British comic writer generally finds it desirable to 



94 MAESTON LYNCH. 

consider tliem, for the purposes of " copy.'* Biglow T. 
liiles, Esquire, was a good-looking gentleman of thirty* 
with a face rather plump than otherwise. His eyes w^ 
merry and honest, describing when fiilly opened (as th^ 
usually were) two nearly perfect circles. He had a ma^'^ 
nificent flowing beard, which he loved to caress. So fi^ 
from being a boaster or blagueur, he rarely opened his 
mouth, except to speak in monosyllables; and though some^ 
thing of a humorist and a great deal of an observer, was shy 
and modest to a fault. To counterbalance these un-national 
ciiaracteristics, it must be stated that he was purely ortho* 
dox in the matters of very tail shiny hats of the sugar4oaf 
pattern ; of uncomfortable length of limb, necessitating the 
most indescribable postures ; and of unbridled indulgence 
in the transatlantic practices of chewing tobacco, and 
"whittling." At the period of Mr. Miles's introduction 
to the reader, the gunwale of the Fayaway was undulated 
by various " scoopings," the unwritten log of many coast- 
ing voyages. But surely, in a free country, a man may be 
allowed to whittle his own pleasure boat ! 

Mr. Biglow T. Miles was the son of a wealthy Georgian 
{danter. He had come to Europe to make the grand tour. 
Finding himself very comfortable at Longport, the place of 
his landing — on account of the society, or the hotel, or the 
whiskey — ^he had remained there for two years, paying his 
bill every morning, and always intending to start for the 
Mediterranean on the following Monday. He had pur- 
chased the Eayaway, as a matter of incidental accommoda- 
tion, just as he would have bought a clean collar to go out 
to dinner in. 

The Fayaway was now returning from an excursion out 
seaward, the object of which had been to witness the trial 
of a new American steamer, constructed upon some novel 
principle. Mr. Miles cared nothing whatever about me- 
chanical science or the interests of commerce, but happen- 
ing to meet with two acquaintances who did, and were 
interested in the pending experiment, had volunteered the 
dvantages of his yacht and society. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 95 

His two friends were Longport mercliants. Two words 
will depict one of them — Gregory Lynch. The other was 
a short square jolly personage, whom I may also spare 
myself the trouble of describing, in detail, by a very simple 
process : he bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Eobert 
Keeley. I wish I could always express a pleasant meaning 
by an image so agreeably familiar to the entire British 
community. 

The latter gentleman, who possibly had a respectable 
business-like surname on the door-plate of his counting- 
house, but who, in circles of intimacy, appeared to be 
known only as " Billy," was the jester of the party, and in 
right of that office, pretty well monopolised the conversa- 
tion. Gregory Lynch was grimly taciturn. The American 
seemed to consider BiUy in the light of a choice quid, to 
be enjoyed in silence. 

The conversation had turned upon the art of swim- 
ming; that is to say Billy had commenced talking on 
that subject. 

"Swim!" said Billy, in peroration of a voluble harangue, 
of which the text had been his own marvellous achieve- 
ments in the art of natation. " I'd swim right from here 
to America, only no boat could keep up with me, and I 
should founder for want of provisions. Come ! for a fair 
wager — I'll swim either of you two to the North Light and 
back, and carry the other on my shoulders. It's only two 
miles. Don't both speak at once." 

Both gentlemen declined having connexion with the 
wager on either of the proposed conditions. 

" I forgot — ^you've both said you never learned to swim," 
Billy rattled on. " I see how it is — Gregory never thought 
it worth his while, knowing he wasn't bom to be drowned. 
(You know you'll come to a bad end, Gregory — don't you, 
old boy ?) As for Longfellow, here, there's no water on 
the face of the earth deep enough to go over his head. I 
never believed in the sea-serpent till I made his acquaint- 
ance, since when nothing in the matter of length and scali- 
ness would surprise me coming from an American source. 



96 MARSTON LYNCH. 

How long did it take you to wade over from New York, 
Furlongs ?" 

(The personal length of the American was an inex- 
haustible source of pleasantry to the facetious Billy, who 
never wearied of ringing the changes on his friend's sug- 
gestive surname.) 

** It wasn't done wading, Billy," said the States-noLau, 
with a roguish twinkle of the eye. 

" Oh ! I daresay ; you'd persuade us you came over by 
steamer, as if there was a funnel long enough for you to 
stand upright in ! How, then ? 

"I jumped it," said Mr. Mies, stolidly, "trumping" 
BiUy with his own weapons. 

" Good again ! One for the Seven-Leagued Interest. 
Why don't you laugh, Gregory ? Have you been com- 
mitting any crimes, more than usually, in the way of busi- 
ness lately ?" 

Gregory forced a laugh, and, as if considering that his 
want of sociability required some apology, said he had not 
been well lately, xn corroboration of which statement he 
attempted to get up a cough. 

" I m sorry to hear that," said BiDy, shaking his head 
with mock gravity. " Very bad symptoms, indeed I It's 
a case of what we used to call tussis churchyardiensUy when 
I was trying to like to be a doctor. You're booked, my 
dear friend, and had better apply yourself to serious reading 
at once." 

Billy was one of those truly British wags whose j?a*w< 
d^appui of humour consists of raillery on the most ghastly 
and alarming subjects. This is a purely Anglo-Saxon 
quality, and may be considered a specimen of whaJt 
Kingsley calls "the slow himiorous cruelty of tUe 
Teuton.^' 

" It's conscience that's pulling him down. I shoulcbi't 
Kke to have what he's got on his mind — ^should you. Tall- 
boys ? But then you havn't got a mind, so you can't 
answer. By the way, Gregory, didn't I hear a fellow 
pitching into you the other night ?" 



MABSTON LYNCH. 97 

"Possibly," Gregory observed, with a smile of in- 
difference. 

" Yes ; at a party — ^up Ash Grove way. You caught it, 
Sir, I can tell you. Grand-Tnmk-Extension here never 
gave it a nigger half so viciously. It was a nephew of 
yours — painter or something of that sort. I presume, 
finom the way in which he spoke of you, you had the 
care of his happy childhood, and embezzled his pocket- 
money." 

BiUy said this in his airiest manner, and, as he meant 
nothing whatever by his words, had no thought of observ- 
ing their effect on the comitenance of Gregory Lynch. 
The effect itself, though but momentary, was certainly dis- 
agreeable. 

" He is a foolish lad who has taken a crotchet into his 
head against me," Gregory remarked, casually. "His 
father and I had some differences in early life. I have no 
animosity against the boy. He is very young — and I am 
glad to hear he is making his way so well." 

" Now, P^^niff, drop it," said Billy. " If you begin 
to be civil to anybody, you must be contemplating murder 
at least. Foolish lad ! I like that. Because he doesn't 
like you. If I was a painter, with an eye for the beauti- 
ful, and so forth, I d have your blood for bringing 
the Ugly into the family ! Hi ! parasols in a boat ! 
Here, Longman, Eees, and Company, chuck us the 
glass." 

And the volatile Billy, who, though verging on five-and- 
fdrty, and of respectable corpulence, nevertheless considered 
himself a lady-killer and connoisseur of the sex — applied 
himself to the scrutiny of a distant sail, signalised by the 
attractions he had alluded to. 

** Why, there's old Merripebbles, the stockbroker, and 
his fat wife," said Billy, with a ship's telescope at his eye ; 
" and a lot of girls. Eh ? There seems to be something 
the matter. By Jove I there's a man overboard — 
look!" 

In the direction where the speaker's finger pointed, 

H 



98 MARSTON LYNCH. 

about half way between the yacht and the distant boat, a 
dark spot was seen, indicating a human head. 

" He's all right," said Billy, with the air of a judge ; 
" he's a swimmer. The tide is against him, and the boftt 
seems to be under the management of a deputation firom 
the worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors. But he*ll 
do. No funk about that fellow. I wonder who it is ? 
By the Lord Harry, Gregory ! it's the very boy we've been 
talking of — ^your nephew. I'd know his head if it was 
cut off." 

Gregory Lynch snatched the telescope from the speaker, 
white as the sail, and trembling from head to foot, A 
glance satisfied him as' to the swimmer's identity. 

" You're right," he said, almost inaudibly. " Is time 
any danger?" 

" Not a ha'porth, old boy," Billy answered kindly, wi& 
a possible misapprehension of his friend's emotion. ' ' Doa't 
alarm yourseK; he's making straight for the boat, and the 
tide's with her. That's right. Longitude. We may as 
well be near him in case of accident." 

The American, with ready presence of mind, had altered 
the yacht's course, at the first detection of the accident. 
They were now making as straight in the direction o£ the 
swimmer as a side wind permitted. 

" He'll do — ^he'll do !" said BiUy* ^ a state of oonsidep- 
able excitement ; " they'll catch lum, thanks to the tide, 
and none of those infernal crab-catchers, who are daiBg 
their best to drown him. Yah 1 you fishfags — ihsn's a 
stroke ! He's all right now, Gregory, old fellow ; don't 
alarm yourself. If I hadn't felt sure of my man I should 
have been overboard to help him long ago." 

Billy was not boasting idly. He was a perfect dolphin, 
or Triton of the deep — as many of our nOTthem coast gen- 
tlemen fortunately are — ^and was as brave as a lioa. 

The distance between the two boats was matenilly 
diminished. The movements of Marston Lyndi were 
watched from the deck of each with equal interest. The 
three yachtsmen seemed perfectly assured of his safety. 



HABSTON LYNCH. 99 

when the screams from the sailing boat, whose explanation 
we have been so long in arriving at, broke through the 
evening stilhiess. 

" What nowP" cried the American, leaping to his feet. 

A dark object like a mass of drapery floated swiftly firom 

the sailing boat, glidiag past the nearly exausted swimmer, 

and growing snmller every second. Marston Lynch was 

seen to turn and follow it. 

** A girl overboard !'* said Billy, in a low despairia^; 
voice, dropping Ms telescope after a brief scrutiny. " Curst? 
them, they ruin everything. Look, Gregory — I can't," 

Gregory took the glass again, holding it in his quivering 
hand with the greatest difficulty. He saw the face of his 
step-daughter, Lucy Wareiog, sink and re-appear three dis- 
tinct times. A fourth time it disappeared for several 
seconds. Marston Lynch disappeared at the same time, 
but was seen again with the apparently lifeless form of the 
girl on one arm. At the same moment a minute speck was 
seen to float away from him with the tide. This was the 
unhappy Charley, abandoned after so much risk to the 
mercy of the elements. 

The reader will remember the perilous position in which 
Lucy was last described on the edge of the sailing boat. 
In her nervous eagerness to watch Marston' s move- 
ments — ^forgetM of all other considerations — she had lost 
her slight balance, at the most critical moment, and fallen 
into the water. 

** He*s got her,"Bifly cried, with all his enthusiasm re- 
vived; " he's a trump, and shall have a medal for it. 
Hard a-starboard, Longshanks! we're making dead for 
them, now. The yacht wiU catch them quicker than I 
aould. D — ^n the fdlow I he doesn't see us. This way, 
ah(^ ! Turn ! — this way 1" 

Bilfy's stentorian voice succeeded in making itself heard 
Marston Lynch, encumbered by his new burden, turned in. 
the direction of the yacht, towards which, though further 
off than ins own boat, the cusrent of the tide made it much 
easier for him to swim. 

n 2 



100 MAESTON LYNCH. 

The girl's clothes, which had kept her afloat at first, 
were now saturated with water. She was a dead weight 
on the arm of her preserver. The swimmer's face that 
Gregory Lynch was watcliing so intently through the no 
longer needed glass, was one of intense despair. Marston 
Lynch, within a few yards of the yacht, was sinking from 
sheer exhaustion, but no thought of relinquishing his 
sacred charge seemed to occur to him. 

Two of the three beings whose existence had made life 
almost insupportable to Gregory Lynch, were on the point 
of perishing before his eyes — one in the other's armsl 
The excitement of the crisis drove him almost mad. 

The warm-hearted American had cast off his hat and 
coat. Billy stopped him as he[was about to leap overboard. 

" What are you at, you fool ?" he said, rapidly — " You 
can't swim a stroke. Don't you see we're coming straight 
upon them. Steady, my lad. Keep up ! By G — he's 
past us : it's time now." 

Billy leaped upon the bulwark, and had already com- 
menced a plunge forward, when Gregory Lynch struck him 
a violent blow on the forehead, that sent him reeling back 
on the deck, and finally toppling down into the shallow 
hold of the vessel. 

Scared and terrified by the mad act to which his desperate 
excitement had impelled him, Gregory Lynch fainted. 



When he recovered his senses he found the yacht filled 
with people. The sailing-boat was alongside. Marston 
Lynch had been saved by a life-buoy, thrown out by the 
Ainerican, and brought on board with his precious charge, 
by the assistance of the sailing-master and his boy, both 
expert swimmers. Marston was on deck exhausted, but 
conscious. The women were applying restoratives to 
Lucy in the- cabin, ably assisted by Howker and the 
wivjJry officer — ^Biglow T. Miles, Esquire, producing 
every conceivable necessary from incredible lodcers, and 
malong himself generally useful. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 101 

Gregory, whose first emotion liad been the dread of 
meeting human eyes, was astonished to find himself the 
object of much solicitation. He was the centre of a sym- 
pathising circle, of which Billy, with a deep cut on his 
forehead, his face and shirt-front saturated with blood 
(which he appeared to consider of no moment whatever), 
was the most conspicuous member — ^holding forth elo- 
quently to the rest of the company on the recent mishaps. 

" You see," he heard Billy say, " the poor fellow didn't 
know what he was about. I'd no idea he was so tender- 
hearted. Mad as a March hare, I give you my word: 
Longman, old boy, you saw him knock me head over heels 
to prevent my jumping overheard, just because I'd done 
the same thing to you. But then, 1 could swim and you 
couldn't ; and then, when he thought he'd done wrong, 
fainted slap 1 Hi ! he's coming to. Holloa ! Gregory, 
old brick, it's all right ! Both safe as the bank." 

" Thank God !" said Gregory, shuddering, 

" Oh, I dare say," said Billy, glad to return to his face- 
tious principles, when he found all danger over. " That 
won't do. We've just been saying how obvious it was 
that you wanted your nephew and step-daughter to be 
drowned in order to inherit their property. Hi I what's 
the row ? Gregory, old boy, I was only joking. He's 
fainted again. I'm d — d if I ever make another joke as 
long as I live." 

Gregory hod fainted again. 

The yacht put in at the nearest landing-place on the 
Longport side of the river. All available conveyances 
were chartered for the tran^ort of the sufferers to their 
Tarious homes. Marston Lynch was conveyed to his lodg- 
ings in a fly, under the auspices of Howker and M£s 
Crooze, who on this occasion defied conventionalities, and 
wept all the way. She, moreover, rendered herself un- 
sightly by despoiling herself of all outward garments — 
such as mantle and victorine, in favour of the patient — 
which acts of self-devotion only served to pile up the 
admiration of Howker on the principle of compound in- 



102 MAESTON LYNCH. 

terest. Ghregory Lynch was taken to his own house, his 
especial driver being exhorted to the greatest care hj Mrs. 
Merripebbles, who thenceforth boasted of her wealthy 
kinsman as a model of sensibility and affection for at least 
six weeks. Lucy Wareing remained at the nearest hotels 
in charge of Miss Carlton and her mother. 



<c 



Billy r* said Biglow T. Miles, Esquire, to his fri^Ml, 
as they walked leisurely towards the York Hotel, with a 
view to the nocturnal cigar^ after the fatigues of the day. 

" HoUoa !" 

" Ton didn't ought to have said that to Lynch." 

« What ?" 

" About his wanting to drown the young 'uns, to coHie 
into their property." 

" Well, but hang it, a joke's a joke." 

"Now and again it is, perhaps; but sometimes it 
am t. 

"What do you mean?" 

" Well, I mean this : that nothing's a joke, so long as 
it's true, jind by the living Hookey ^ ^t was; or there^s 
no snakes /" 

" By Jove !" exclaimed Billy, whistling and looking 
more Hke Eobert Keeley than ever. 

Two days afterwards Charley was brought hcHoe by a 
speculative fisherman, who considered ^yq shilliDgs and a 
remarkably large glass of rum ample jecompense fw saviog 
a life whose imperilment had nearly cost the sacrifice of two 
interesting human creatures, and the premature termioa- 
tion of a startling history. As we may not have occasion 
to allude to our four-footed Mend agam, it may as well be 
stated that a four miles' swim had done him a world of 
good, and was probably the means of fortifying his consti- 
tution for the incredible longevity to which he has aheady 
attained. 



MABSTON LYNCH. i03 



\ 



CHAPTEE XII. 

MABSTON LYNCH TO DJN 3ANCH0 BE SAUMAEEZ, CAEB 
OT MONS. JULES LAGEANGE, SOHO SQUABE, LONDON. 

LoNGPOBT, June 2%td, 18 — . 

My dear Sir, — And yet I don't half like " dear Sir/' 
though I have tried] every other form of address. " My 
dear Don" was too off-hand. Not only did " My dear 
Soncho" appear too familiar, but, saving your presence, I 
can only bring myself to believe Sancho to be a real name 
away from Don Quixote. ' Such are English prejudices 
that no advantage of travel can remove ! " My dear Sau- 
marez," was too manly for a cub Kke me. I had a shy at 
" My dear Friend," but that put me in mind of a corres- 
pondence I used to conduct for the poor dear governor 
(about one of his inventions that were to roast larks in the 
air, and connect this planet with the moon — ^bless his 
dreamy old memory !) with some Pennsylvanian Quakers 
in the paper trade ; and the memory of those gentlemen 
was " a caution." I think if you had a decent English 
name I could venture to call you by it. But in the mean- 
time I am obliged to fall back upon the conventional 
" Sir." Do suggest a means for its abolition in your nerfc, 
as it makes me very uncomfortable. 

We have had terrible doings here since you last heard of 
me. Moving accidents by flood and field ; I might aJmos; 
say, battle and murder, and sudden death. In the first 
place I should tell you, the Merripebbles tribe has struck 
its tents. Sloped, sir ! Yamosed, bag and baggage, and 



104 MARSTON LYNCH. 

are off to Morence. Old Mempebbles received suddea 
orders from the commander-in-chief to sell his business 
and cut. Wasn't he glad, rather ! Won't he be jolly, 
pottering about Italy, eating grapes, making little puns on 
the shopkeepers' signs, and tourists' vocabularies, and 
groaning over the enormities of the Catholic religion ? 

But I should have told you the cause of their sudden 
exodus. However dreadftdly out of order, I must do so 
now. And yet I scarcely know how. It implies the 
necessity of a terribly long story, of which I am the hero ; 
a hond fide hero, I assure you ; rescuing young ladies from 
death ; mspiring tender passions in impracticable quarters, 
and I don't know what aU. I am trying to laugh over the 
matter ; but I confess it is with forced merriment. I am 
awfully frightened of boring you ; but, as you have shown 
such an unmistakeable interest in my welfare, and requested 
me to keep you informed on all my movements — at the risk 
of being tiresome — ^^I must tell you of what has recently 
happened. 



[Here follows a lengthy account of so much of the inci- 
dents detailed iii the last two chapters, with their apparent 
causes and consequences, as came within our hero's im- 
mediate observation. A few pardonable reservations are 
made on the subject of Miss Crooze and Charley ; nor do 
we find the slightest allusion to the cavalry officer. Still, 
the material facts are stated from the writer's point of 
view, much in the order in which they have been already 
placed before the reader. In the good old times the 
chronicler would have been permitted to avail himself of 
this document in extemo ; which, being written with aU 
the grandiloquent fluency of a young gentleman just begin- 
ning to feel his crowquills, might possibly have proved 
the reverse of uninteresting. But in the present day, time 
and printed space are precious ; and the said chronicler 
must content Inmself with the extraction of such fragments 
as are absolutely indispensable to the development of the 



MARSTON LYNCH. 105 

natrative — (a necessity to be lamented, as the letter would 
have filled the number admirably). The chronicler may 
be allowed to state that Miss Crooze is only once alluded 
to by name, and that, casually and in terms of humorous 
disparagement — ^a fact that may be taken as indicative of 
some change in our hero's wayward affections.] 



Well, would you believe it ? ' because that queer girl 
Maud — (I don't suppose you remember her, or if you do 
it does not matter, as she gets too long for her frocks 
eveiy day, and can't be a bit like what you do remember) 
— ^because she happened to be the only person on board 
with any presence of mind, and didn't want to see me 
drowned if it could be helped, old Mother M. must take it 
into her head that there " was something between us," as 
the maid-servants say. A likely story ! However, the 
old girl called on me in the moking-as I thought, na- 
turaUy enough, to inquire what sort of a night I had had 
after the perils and the dangers they were all past. Not a 
bit of it ! She had come to bid me good-bye, with any 
amount of solemn you please. They were off to Florence. 
The dear old lady minced matters no more than usual. 
After Maud's conduct of the preceding day she said it was 
impossible for them to remdn in Long^ort as long as I 
was in it. There could be no mistaking Maud's feelings 
towards me. (Feelings in a pinafore I How romantic !) 
She wished me well, and wouldn't for worlds iiyure my 
promising prospects ; but I must be aware that I was no 
fit match, &c., &c. Did you ever hear such bosh ! How- 
ever, it isn't a very pleasant thing to be suspected of 
harbouring mercenary designs on a school-girl's fortune, is 
it ? I protested, with what I suppose was " becoming in- 
dignation" — said I had na intention, and so forth; in 
short, to clinch the matter, I let her into the secret of a 
predilection in another quarter. (As that has come to 
quite a timely end, I needn't bore you, or humiliate my- 
self, with the particulars.) She shook her head, and said 



106 MABSTON LXKGII. 

43he knew all about that — (how, it puzzles me to guess, 
I never mentioned it to a soul) — ^but tliat I was veay 
joung at present, and would soon know my own inteiesto 
better. I offered to go to London, or Mancliester, or 
Timbuctoo, if she liked ; but she would hear of nothiiig of 
the kind. All their plans were made up. They were to 
leave the country, Maud, contrary to all expectations, 
had consented to the arrangement, and it was advisable to 
take the young lady wMle in the humour. What a 
desponding condition my white muslin, bread-and-butter 
adorer must be in, eh ? However, I musn't speak ill of 
her. I certainly owe her one, for acting as an amateur 
Grace Darling in my behalf. They say she swore like a 
trooper, threatened to brain people with marlin-spikes 
and what not. Bather alarming symptons, don't you 
think so'? Howker(whom I have mentioned to you — 
one of the best fellows in the world, though a bit 
of a pleb) said she put him in mind of Joan of Axe, and 
he'd have followed her through fire or water. Howker is 
loose in his history, and I suspect the salt-water associa- 
tions led him to confound Joan with Noah's Ark. With 
all becoming gratitude to Joan for her exertions, it strikes 
me that the Darby whom Fate may have in store for her 
had better prepare himself for some rough weather. It is 
very certain that my name is not Darby, 

Well, we saw the last of them yesterday. Though I 
had been forbidden the house, I couldn't resist the tempta- 
tion of rushing out to say good-bye, as the last fly drove 
up the lane. The old girl cried and kissed me, and told 
me I ought to hate her for being a wicked, mercenaiy, 
worldly, unchristian wretch, and that she had a good mind 
to turn back and unpack everything, and that I might 
console myself with the knowledge that Maud would be 
miserable for life, and grow up a bad heartless woman. 
What a rum source of consolation ! And what a rum old 
girl she is ! Still, I am not ashamed to confess that I fdt 
very much inclined to commit suicide, when I saw the last 
of her darling old broad shoulders disappearing round the 



MAfiSTON LY:fifx:;a. 107 

jBoroer t)f the York Eoad I don't care how long you may 
iaugh, but I tell you candidly, I cried for three-quarters 
of an hour. 

I hope you are not quite asleep, as I have not yet come 
to the real purport of my letter. That has reference to 
4he man whom, as you biow, I hate with what Mrs. M. 
would call unchristian noalignity. I don't care what you 
have said, or may say ; I am like the poet who 

-'* in a golden age was born, 



With golden skies above, 
Bom to ijhe hate of Hate, the scorn of Seem, 
The love of LoYe;*' 

I don't think this is a yery golden age, and I have never 
3U)tioed any partknilarly golden phenomena in the skies of 
my native Longport. But if there is anything in this age, 
or under those skies, more particularly hateful and scornful 
thasL anything else, it is my respectable Unde, Gregory 
Lynch. He is a bad man — worse than you will believe, 
ex tiban I could have dreaded. I am not speaking now 
from mere temper : the thing has become too grave. 

I am convmeed that what his friend (can su^ men have 
friends P) said in jest, ioa8 founded upon truth, I am cer- 
tain, not only from hii^ conduct on this occasion, but from 
otiier evidences, that he has robbed or injured that poor 
cbSd — in such a way as to make her very existaice a 
Inirden and a reproach to him. There can be no doubt 
iiat he tried to prevent mg saving her life! Is it not 
horrible to think that she is absolutely dependent on him? 
Ii^ as I suspect, he is in possession of property lawfully 
hers (most likdiy descending from her mother, whom he 
tyrannised over and killed), is her life safe in Ms hands ? 
Who 'would case to know what had become of her? 
What being would hav« the ooorage to ^lefier a grave 
cbaige against so wealthy and worsihipfrd a personage ? I 
only know one — ^that is, I think I know him — il it be 
possible to work out the difficdt problem of " Know 
thyself." I have not forgotten that to Gregory Lynch I 



108 "MABSTON LYNCH. ' 

owe the great blank of my life ; tliat my mother died too 
early for me to preserve her memory. This may make me 
a rancorous adversaiy: at any rate, it will make me k 
dangerous one. I will watch him closely, and if I -find 
that this poor child, whose life I have been the providen- 
tial means of saving at the risk of my own, and for whose 
happiness I feel, strangely enough, to have become 
thereby responsible — (I suppose whatever is worth savins 
is worth guarding); if I find he has accomplished or 
meditates the slightest wrong against her, let him bewar&! 
I stuck to her in the water as long as I felt there was life 
in either of us. I intend continuing the process on earth. 
I am a bit of a fatalist, and whatever influences criminally- 
acquired wealth may bring to bear against me, I think it 
has been proved that I was not bom to be drowned by 
Gregory Lynch. 

They have elected the fellow a town councillor. He is 
about to be made a country magistrate — (on the strength 
of landed property — ^whose, I wonder?) I was almost 
self-persuaded to get out an ironical poster at his election 
recommending people to vote for Lynch, ''the model 
brother and husband." I would have done it, but for the 
^acredness of the souvenir. As it is I have done some- 
thing. When I heard of his appointment to the bench 
(the idea of such a man sitting in judgment on criminals I) 
I knocked off some verses headed " Midas," and signed 
" Apollo." Cool to call myself Apollo, wasn't it ? But 
it helped out my notion. I took the ground that Midas 
was made a judge after he had displayed a power of turn- 
ing everything into gold, and for that reason only, and 
that it was utterly vain on the part of Apollo (meaning the ' 
bard) to invest him with asses' ears. Nobody could see 
them for the dazzle of his suiroimding gold. The thin^ 
wasn't very good, of course ; but I thmk you'd like it, if 
only for its ferocity. Well, I sent it to the Longport Flail * 
(a paper opposed to G. L. in politics : you wiU receive a 
copy with this). Would you believe it, sir ? They not 
only inserted i^ but I had a complimentaiy note from the 



MAESTON LYNCH. 109 

editor, pointing out two or three more subjects I might, 
treat in the same stinging manner. Of course I did them 
immediately. I wish that sort of thing would pay ; for, 
really, a man might be doing something better than paint- 
ing stockbrokers' clerks' wives at three pound ten a head 
— and not doing them creditably. By the way, have you 
ever thought over any of those dramatic notions I told you 
of on board? I daresay you have forgotten all about 
them. StiU I should like to do something in that line, if 
a judge like yourself would give me any encouragement as 
to my chances. 

And now (having bothered you beyond the licence even 
of your Mendship), I will spare you. 

Believe me, my dear Don Saumarez (I don't like that 
compromise either), 

Yours, with the sincerest gratitude for all favours, 

Mabston Lynch. 



Answee to the Above. 

Long* 8 Hotely I/mdon, June 25, 1856. 

My dear Marston, — Honneur aux braves / A few days 
ago I should have said Que vivan loa hravos ! but as you 
will see presently, I have found it necessary to change my 
mother tongue. As you couldn't maoage to be familiar 
with me under a Spanish name, try what you can do with 
a French one. To explain : I am rather under a cloud at 
present, and wish to observe a sort of partial incog,, for 
family reasons. Consider the eccentric individual now ad- 
dressing you as going by the name of Eugene Delorges. 
It is a pseudonym I adopted a few years ago in this 
country (though one to which I am partially entitled by 
maternal descent : we date from the Delorges, and quarter 

the but never mind that rubbish), when I took up, 

for amusement, with some literary pursuits which I am 



110 MAKSTON LYNCH. 

mamentarily compelled to resume for profit. This neces- 
sity, however, will soon blow over, and I shaD. nev« have- 
the incentive to become a great aathor (if I had the poorer) 
that will, no doubt, soon make you one. 

Gt) a-head ! in whatever you feel to be your Tocation. 
Don't leave Longport at present. Ton will find it (don't 
let your youth feel insulted) a good nursery ground. 
Pitch into TJnde Gregory if you tlnnk: it good practice — 
though I dare say he is not half so bad a fellow as I like 
you for considering him. I know what very young blood 
is — ^remember I am verging on the detestable thirty — and 
should despise you for tolerating any wrong, real or 
fancied. However, knowing the world, I don't mind ad- 
mitting that it is just possible there may be some little 
screw loose between lam and the pretty step-daughter, 
such as your ardent sympathies may have imagined. If 
so — as I believe I can form a more correct judgment of 
the motives of your knight-errantry than yourself — (know- 
ing that impetuous young gentlemen do not usually fish 
attractive young ladies out of the water without after con- 
sequences) — I should be very glad, for your sake, to see it 
set right. However, let us act with caution. Let me 
have the names of Mr. Lynch's two friends of the yacht. 
I know a good many Americans in Longport — ^perhaps 
the one. If G. has smuggled a little of his step-daughter's 
money, he can easily be persuaded to make it good under 
proper representations, especially in fwoowr of the yowng 
lady^B future hmba7id, that future husband being a gentle- 
man with a turn for satirical journalism. In the meantime 
I am soriy for the departure of the Ash Grove family. 
Tou have hinted that they were Miss Lucy's best Mends, 
and made things agreeable to her. I am afraid if that 
young lady should be placed in an unusual pining con- 
dition, she will have such claims on your sympathies as 
wiU preclude all possibility of attention to Literature and 
the Fine Arts. It is true you will be able to paint 
Marianas in the Moated Grange — ^and write touching 
^joems on the subject of Captivity. The great advantage 



MABSTON LYNCH. Ill 

of Art is, tliat the painter can pay his debts by a picture 
of the interior of the Queen's Bench ; and the author can 
leaoTate his constitution with the price of an amusing 
work on bile. 

1 am off to the Continent for a few days. It is post 
time, and I must conclude. Address to me here. All 
letters will be forwarded to me. Always your friend and 
admirer, S. De Saumakez ; 

(or, for the present,) 

Eugene Delobges. 

(Whichever you please, my pretty little dear ; only put 
the latter on the outside of your letters.) 



112 MABSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTEE.Xm, 

IN WHICH THE LADY OP SHALOTT YIELDS^ TO TEMPTA- 
TION AND LOOKS OUT OP WINDOW. 

A FEW days after the memorable water party, Marston 
made a morning call on the object of his affections. Miss 
Grooze had been summoned to Longport on business ; and 
our hero was hospitably and fascinatingly received by Miss 
Fanshawe, the assistant governess, in her superior's 
absence. Marston had never seen Miss Fanshawe before, 
except at church, where her somewhat arduous duties of 
whipper-in to a dozen very little girls, perversely inattentive 
to the more abstruse questions of theology, placed her 
rather at a disadvantage during sermon time. He was now 
greatly struck by her eyes and conversation. The former 
were blue and capacious, the latter was sprightly. Her 
remarks upon middle-aged spinsters generally, and those 
in a scholastic position especially, betrayed great knowledge 
of the world. She was very lively upon black cosmetigue, 
and a toilette institution known as " the Tweezer^," in a 
manner which Marston, as an embryo satirist, was bound 
to appreciate. There was also a vein of sentiment about 
Miss Fanshawe to soften any acerbity that might be per- 
ceptible in her more purely intellectual phase. Her eye- 
lashes, which were very long and silky, quivered and 
glistened as she spoke of young girls in living prisons, 
without friends or protectors, and at the mercy of jealous 
elders. She allud^ feelingly to an adored mother and an 



MAESTON LYNCH. 113 

estranged brother, witli an excusable glance at certain 
departed family splendours. She was resigned though, 
and would be even happy in her present position, if she 
could only meet with common appreciation; nay, the 
absence of misrepresentation alone would satisfy her. 
Finally she brightened up suddenly, and expressed her 
conviction that Mr. Lynch m,ust think her very stupid. 
For what had he to do with her grievances ? After all. 
Miss Crooze was one of the best creatures in the world — 
having her tempers, no doubt ; but it became the young 
to be tolerant of such feelings. She (Miss Fanshawe) had 
tried to please^ — she would admit, from interested motives, 
as Heaven knew, she wanted a friend sorely enough. 
Perhaps there was a want of natural sympathy. It was 
very Mnd of Mr. Lynch to sit and talk to her. She never 
spoke to a soul but children and menials. 

Marston Lynch fell in love with Miss Fanshawe, and 
out of it with Miss Crooze. He was very much ashamed 
oi himself — ^his habitual condition through life ; but he 
cxndd'nt help it — ^another of his prevailing weaknesses. 
His chief aim during this juncture of his existence being to 
keep out of the way of Miss Crooze, whom he felt he had 
wrongBd deeply ; there were natural difficulties in the way 
of his seeing much of that lady's subordinate, his new idol. 
Accordingly, things had not gone very far between them, 
when our hero was pulverized by the discovery that a 
wealthy Australian Sexagenarian (of convict origin), who 
had come to England for a wife, with only a week to 
secure one in, had signallized Miss Fanshawe in church 
one Sunday, proposed to her on the following day, married 
her on the Wednesday, and embarked with her for Mel- 
boiime on the Saturday. 

From the outset of these events, it was observed that 
Miss Crooze abruptly neglected her toilet. She complained 
opoily of liieumatism, and wore ungainly head-dresses of 
lodtted fabric. Several complaints were lodged, by 
soiiolais, of increased snappishness in the lady's temper, 
nqndly becoming unbearable. 



114 MAESTON LYNCH. 

AH of wliich signs were patiently and with satisfaction 
noted by Howker, as indications that his long-coveted 
matrimonial prize was depreciating in market value, bikI 
gradually coming within the reach of his humble means. 



It was a bad day for the Lady of Shalott when that 
abominably dashing Sir Lancelot came swaggering and 
jingUng past her window. She couldn'nt help looking out 
at him — ^the fellow was so confoundedly attractive I She 
knew well, that to fulfil her destiny, she ought to have sat 
still in her chamber, wearing his image as reflected in her 
magic mirror on her magic tapestry — just as though he 
were a mere abbot on an ambling pad, or an apple-woman 
in a red cloak. She knew that if she once attempted to 
look out into the actual world, her mirror would crack 
from side to side — and that her weaving occupation would 
be gone for ever, — that nothing would be left to her but 
to launch her boat with the stream, to sail down to 
Camelott, never reaching it alive — and die on the way 
singing feebly — earning nothing but an off-hand prayer for 
her soul from the object of her fntile martyrdom. 

Is the above too mystic and unintelligible? Yeiy 
possibly. I should like ,to have as many readers as 
Tennyson. I know I have not ; but still, there must be a 
considerable number who read even me, who know nothing 
whatever of him. There are more people who own high- 
mettled chargers, than who habitually travel by the three 
o'clock Whitechapel omnibus. "What then ? Have I any 
right to insult and mystify such as are good enough to 
travel by my little twopenny halfpenny conveyance, by 
talking tp them about the speed and paces of a 
Tennyson 

I am afraid I am not getting the wheels of my vehicle 
out of the mud of mystification alluded to, very rapidly. 



MAESTON LYNCH. 115 

On the contrary, I feel them sinking deeper and deeper 
every moment. Besides, you know as weU 'as I do that 
secretly, and in my heart, I don't think Whitechapel of* 
myself at all^ And why should I be so absurd as to con- 
sider it bad taste on your part, to read my — well, let us 
say, amusing productions ? You know I believe to the 
contrary. We are both clever fellows, that is the long and 
short of it ; and if you don't care about reading Tennyson, 
it may possibly be that you have another favourite author 
rather absorbing to the attention, and whose style, if less 
pretentious and florid, may possess certain minor attrac- 
tions which 

[Here the reader interrupts with an indignant cry of 
" Now then, stupid !" The writer, overwhelmed with 
confusion, is made to feel that he has escaped from the 
frying-pan without successftilly reaching the hob. He again 
changes his tactics.] 

In that beautiful poem, then, reader, with which we 
have both been so long familiar, wliich may have been in- 
tended by the author (pur mutual favourite) for nothing- 
more than an exquisitely simple fairy tale, an ingenious 
friend of mine, years ago, pointed out a symbolic meaning, 
that might possibly astonish the bard himself. That friend 
(who being an Artist and a Poet himself has a right to be 
heard on such a subject) — that friend represented the Lady 
of Shalott as the type of the artist's uatm*e and vocation. 
She was doomed to a solitary and laborious life — but oh 1 
a life of endless charms and consolations if faithfully per- 
severed in. She was to sit with her back to the window, 
and never turn round, under the penalty of a fearful curse. 
But she was provided with a wonchous mirror that reflected 
all passing behind her — that was the Artist's mind — her 
privilege. She had to weave the sights of the world, she 
was not compelled or permitted to mix with, on a magic 
web — that was the Artist's canvas or writing desk — her 
giound of task-work. To neglect her task, was to forfeit 
her privilege. She grew "half sick of shadows," in her 
solitude. One shadow more dazzUng than the rest crossed 



T ^ 



J16 MAESTON LYNCH. 

her mirror. Slie could not help but glauoe out on the 
reality. The' glance was destruction. 

She made three paces throngli the rooniy 
She left the web — she left the room — 
She saw the water lily bloom. 
She saw the helmet and the plume. 

She look'd down to Camelott. 
Out flew the web, and floated wide. 
The mirror crack*d from side to side, 
" The curse is come upon me,** cried 

The lady of Shalott* 

Have I explained my friend's meaning, and has it hdped 
to a tardy comprehension of my own ? Has it made you 
feel a sad foreboding, that my poor weak, sensitive easy 
shuttlecock of a hero — ^has been akeady dazzled by a vision 
of passing glory — ^inducing him to turn his glance fix)m 
the life of peaceful contemplation and glorious labour in 
which we have seen him embarked ? He has got impatient 
with his artist web-work. He is sick of trying to paint 
shadows, and not succeeding to his satisfaction. The 
Lancelot that has lured him from his study is Literature— 
not the Literature which is Art and Peace— but that which 
is Turbulence and Action. He has been pleased with the 
success of his miserable little newspaper philippics. He 
has been patted on the head and praised for clever bits of 
satire on subjects for which, in his heart, he cares nothing. 
He has begun to criticise pictures in a Longport Journal. 
He is trenchantly severe on better painters than himself. 
His eyes are precociously opened to the faults of Ms own 
works. Unfortunately, the habit of fault-finding is not 
the best groundwork for self-improvement. His own easel 
is despised and neglected, not without secret and shameful 
yearnings after the good path he has quitted. He has 
become a clever critic. He is " Young Lynch, the Long- 
port Prodigy. He is to astonish the Londoners one day 
with his slashing manner. He persuades himself ^t he 
is pleased with the prospect. It is strange, though, that 
at his age, and with his gentle nature and simple traimng, 



MAESTON LYNCH. 117 

he should jump so readily at the distractions of admiring 
" society," — ^none of it society tliat hie secretly cares about. 
He goes to vapid soirees and even riotous tavern assem- 
blies, where he shines immensely, it is true. He takes no 
quiet walks with Howker now. He is as unwilling to be 
left alone with that mute counsellor as with his other de- 
serted Mend, the paint box — ^which has not been dusted 
for a fortnight. He has in fact — 

" Look'd down to Camelott j" 

in his progress towards which tumultuous city it now 
becomes our duty to follow him. 



118 MAKSTGN LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

IN WniCH TIMBER IS PROVIDED lOR ERECTING THE 
LONGPORT "WHIPPING POST." 

Marston was rushing down to the Long port Flail 
office, in a great hurry with some " copy/' being a stino*- 
ing article on the then ISlayor of the town, with whose 
person and character the writer was wholly unacquainted ; 
but the " facts" and line of treatment had been furnished 
by his editor. One of our hero's greatest claims to the 
honours of periodical literature, was the rapidity with 
wliich he could express himself with verve and originality 
on any given text. I will do him the justice to state that 
he never in his life (which became a sad one, with many 
grinding temptations) wrote a line against his honest con- 
victions. But he was, unfortunately — especially at the 
early period we now treat of — a terrible weathercock in 
the matter of opinion. He was easily swayed by kind- 
ness, and, as he was a sadly vain fellow, flatteiy was 
always a kindness to him. So he got flattered dread- 
fuUy. 

As he was hurrying past the comer of the York Hotel, 
his head-long career was unceremoniously arrested by a far 
from gentle rap on the crown of his hat, administered by 
an unmistakeable walking-stick. 

Marston turned round angrily — he was keenly resentful 



MARSTON LYNCH. 119 

of insult by nature — and witnessed a very remarkable 
sight. 

Seated on a round and commodiously-surfaced stone 
post, was a very long gentleman with his very long legs 
curled ingeniously round the extempore throne, so as to 
preserve a somewhat difficult equilibrium. A very shiny 
hat was held on the extreme back of his head by the exer- 
cise of less explicable prehensile powers of muscle. Ac- 
cording to the received laws of gravity it ought to have 
been rolling in the gutter; but it held on persistently. 
The gentleman was smoking an overgrown cigar, and 
" whittling" an expensive walking-stick. 

We presume the reader has already recognised the 
sketch. The original was no other than Biglow T, Miles, 
Esquire, enjoying his fourth cigar on his favourite post, on 
to which he was accustomed to climb, not without personal 
risk* ev.ery morning after breakfast, remaining there (wind 
and weather permitting) during the great portion of the 
forenoon. The attractions of this particular post, as an 
easy and eccentric point of observation of coming and 
going life in Longport, were suppose to constitute by no 
means the feeblest tie that bound Mr. Miles to that city. 
Certain it is, he was faithful to it. Even the cutting 
strictures of the Longport boy population (and the Long- 
port boys " chaff" exceedingly well for a provincial town) 
failed to shake his constancy. It is true that halfpence 
were no object to him, and black mail may have had some- 
thing to do with the impunity he enjoyed. 

"Holloa!" said Biglow; having arrested our hero's 
attention in the unceremonious manner described. 

"Holloa!" Marston replied, moUified in an instant. 
He did not recognise the speaker, but the good-humoured 
face of the American assured him at once of friendly in- 
tentions. The precarious position of the latter, moreover, 
was ample excuse for Ids not risking any hasty attempt at 
the ordinary means of salutation. 

Having secured his man, Mr. Miles proceeded to imwind 
himself, and descend from his elevation. He then deli- 



1^0 MAESTON LYNCH. 

berately shoved a cigar, companion to the gigantic spe- 
cunen he was smoking, into Marston's mouth, and shcx^ 
hands warmly with him, inquiring how he found himself. 

"Eeally," said Marston, awkwardly; "you have tbe 
advantage — " 

" Ah ! I forgot — ^River, you know — ducking business '* 

This lucid explanation was suificient. Marston recog- 
nised the hospitable owner of the yacht "Fayaway;" 
apologised and shook hands again. 

Mr. Miles, with deep satisfaction, then looked at him all 
over in silence for a few seconds. This investigation con- 
duded, he propounded the following question : — 

"Going to paint?" 

Marston replied, that he should probably do so in tlie 
course of the day. 

** Then come on, now." 

Mr. Miles started off in the direction of a back street. 
Our hero followed wonderingly. Thoughts of commia- 
sions from a wealthy patron revived his affection for the 
deserted paint-box. 

Mr. Miles led the way to the bar of a neighbouring 
tavern; when they had entered, he laconically requested 
Marston to " name his coloiur." 

The hero of these pages then understood that *• to pwat** 
in the M2es vo6abulary, meant to restore and fortify the 
inner man with alcoholic stimulus. 
• He accordingly named his " colour.** 

His colour was a very mild one then. I believe he 
named "sherry and cloves," or some similar nauseous 
compound, such as humane publicans appear to keep on 
their shelves for the purpose of frightening away — ^by the 
unction of severe bilious attacks — ^very young gentlemoi 
from a too early acquaintance with the mysteries of their 
unhallowed shrines. Marston too rapidly learned the use 
of much stronger colours to be found on the same petetie ! 

Biglow T. Miles, to follow out his own metaphor, wa» 

an experienced artist, accustomed to the most ccnrrosive 

*«»ments, which (as he probably would have expressed it 



MARSTON LYNCH. 121 

bimself), he was in the habit of " laying on thick," with 
an utter scorn of that feeble diluent medicine, water. He 
made known his chromatie wants on this occasion by the 
moiiGsylLable *' Scotch." 

A very large glass had been filled with neat whiskey ere 
he had spoken, and placed before him as a matter of course. 
Mr. Miles, equally as a matter of course, returned it 
empty, in a second, to be refilled ; and, as a third matter 
of course, emptied it again. 

Having fortified himself with this second coating, as it 
were, Mr. Miles leaned his back against the metal counter 
of the bar, supporting himself by his elbows (doubled up 
as if he had been pinioned), and slid his legs as for for- 
ward as possible on the floor, as if ambitious of reposing 
their extremities on the opposite window cill — some four 
yards distant. In this comfortable attitude he felt pre- 
pared for conversation, and even took the initiative by in- 
quiring — 

"Well, how's things?" 

Marston replied, that things were unusually flourishing; 
and, a little flushed with the sherry and cloves (though he 
seldom wanted such incentive to loosen the floodgates of 
his speech and confidence at the first comer's bidding), 
launched into a glowing narration of his recent successes. 
He inf(»med his entertainer that he was beginning to make 
a position in literature — ^that was to say, a position for a 
yoimg man; specified certain articles that had won praise 
fitom stem editors of mauy years' standing; finally, he 
requested Mr. Miles' attention to the article he was just 
taking down to the office, which he read with &iq inflex- 
ions of the voice and exuberant gestures, from beginning 
to end. Mr. Miles applauded, and considered it a fitting- 
occasion for another " Scotch", in which he pledged our 
hero's future success. Marston was delighted. I am 
afraid, if nobody else had been there, he would have read 
the article to the barmaid 1 

Marston took another sherry and doves (if, indeed, it was 
not noyeau : I will not be sure : he was very iH the next 



122 MARSTON LYNCH. 

day^ at any rate), and became more talkative. He thanked 
Mr. Miles in a neat speech for that gentleman's exertions 
in saving his life, and subsequent hospitality to himself and 
friends, which told so severely on the long American's 
modesty, that another coating of Scotch became indispens* 
able. 

This disposed of, he picked himself up (at the great risk 
of dislocating his shoulders), and looking down on our hero 
— ^much like a good-natured crane at a frog, whom he had 
determined to spare and make a friend of for the future — ► 
addressed to him the inquiring monosyllable — 

"Dine?" 

" How do you mean — ? " 

" To-day." 

Marston admitted that he intended performing the inte- 
resting operation alluded to in the course of the twenty-four 
hours, 

" Now ? " 

Well ; the day was certainly getting on, and our hero 
felt something like an appetite. But he had first to leave 
his copy at the printing-office. 

"ThataUf" 

" All." 

" Then come on." 

Biglow T. Miles, Esquire, strode out of the bar as he 
had entered it, Marston Lynch following. They rounded 
the comer and ascended the massive steps of the York 
Hotel, which, as everybody who has visited Longport 
knows, is a much handsomer building than Buckingham 
Palace. Marston noticed, as they moimted, certain light 
brown stains on the otherwise spotless stones, arranged 
with no contemptible eye to artistic pattern, which he waa 
at no great loss to attribute to the morning exertions of his 
new Mend. Mr. Miles had, in fact reinforced himself with 
a new quid on leaving the bar, and was observed to give 
the mosaic a few finishing touches as he passed. 

Marston knew that this was not the way to the printing* 
office, and that his copy ought to have been in half-an-houx 



MABSTON LYXCH. 123 

« 

ago. I think I have abeady indicated, as a salient point 
in his character, that " he couldn't help it ! " 

When they had reached the splendidly-paved and g:ilded 
entrance hall, Mr. Miles, signalling an attendant with a 
motion of the forefinger, uttered the brief command of 
"Boots," and led. the way upstairs to his private sitting- 
room. 

Thither the hoots followed them, and was commissioned 
by the American to convey Marston's manuscript to its 
destination, greatly to the author's relief. He felt he 
would never have taken it himself. The waiter was then 
summoned — ^the best-dressed and most gentlemanly man, 
Marston thought, he had ever seen in his life. Mr. Miles 
ejaculated, — 

« Dinner." 

" For yourself only, Sir, or does the gentleman dine 
with you ? " 

"Two." 

** Very good, Sir — ^may I ask if you have any selection 
to make ? " 

" Everything — ^first chop — wid lots." 

*' Thank you. Sir. Inunediately, I presume ? " 

" Now." 

" You shall be attended to. Sir." 

The waiter seemed not only gentlemanly, but necro- 
mantic. He, was back in a few seconds, superintending 
the laying of the cloth by a numerous staff of under waiters 
' — ^who seemed like well-paid curates obeying the paternal 
instructions of a firm but considerate dean. This seemed 
to occupy no time whatever : and the freshest and hottest 
of soup was served immediately. The other courses fol- 
lowed in succession as rapid as was necessary — ^the gentle- 
manly waiter pervading all the arrangements, like a bland 
chaplain whose blessing was practically efficacious. 

It was the first real diner de luxe Marston had ever 
partaken of. He had long been accustomed to ease and 
{denty, amongst comfortable middle class people ; but this 
excess of splendour and indifference to cost was something 



124 MAESTOK LYNCH. 

entirely novel to him. He was not a glutton; and I 
believe he was more charmed by the lights, the ornaments 
of the room, the lavish plate, the beantiftil glass, and 
above all by the flattering homage of well-organised anti- 
cipation of his every want, than by the endless variety of 
meats and wines he partook of. Certain it is that he was 
charmed and intoxicated (I don't mean the latter in its 
Kteral sense ; though, of course, that came on also, in the 
course of the evening.) There was moreover the im- 
mense charm of the kmdness and real good breeding of his 
host ; the very awkward eccentricities of whose external 
manner obviously arose from an impossibility, in Iris 
nature, of affection of any sort. Had Marston been feasted 
with double splendour, by an ostentatious parvenu (such a 
one, for instance, as he loved to represent his uncle Gre- 
gory), or had he felt that he had merely been retained for 
the purpose of amusing a blasi millionaire — ^a kind of 
motive which your clever fellows are too apt to set down 
any civility with which you may treat them — ^he would 
have felt uneasy and resentful. As it was he could not 
help feeling enrJaptured with the splendid hospitality of the 
self-indulgent good-natured American — ^who was sa obvi- 
ously incapable of insulting or humiliating even a waiter ! 
Not the least enjoyment of the evening was in the feet 
that our hero was allowed to have all the talk to himself. 
He liked that immensely, I can tell yon. And when a few 
choice vintages had been wasted an him (not on Biglow 
though, by no means) his glibness was unbounded. He 
told his host more about his past life than I could have 
told you, up to the present time, if I had every page of 
the " Train" to myself from the first line of the first nnm« 
ber (a condition which might have interfered materially 
with the sale of this now tolerably prosperous publicatidn). 
He let out all about Miss Crooze — ^nay more, all about 
Miss Fanshawe, which case was more trying of review 
from its recencyr He gave a funny — ^but, it must be ad- 
mitted, complimentary — sketch of Howker, as a humop- 
ous type of English middle-class character, curious to tfan 



MAESrON LYNCH. 125 

Transatlaiitic student. He recited many hundred verses of 
his composition — ^Biglow T. Miles paying homage to each 
ode by a copious libati(m. He was intensely proud of his 
acquaintance with Don Sancho de Saumarez» more espe- 
cially on a hint that his host was slightly acquainted, and, 
as it appeared, not unfavourably, witib that patrician. He 
was, of course, bitter on the subject of Gregory, in whose 
side, he intended to be a mom of Satirical Literature ; as 
soon as the oppressoa: in question should aehieve such 
municipal dignity as would make him worth assailing. 
What he wanted, though, to effect this, and other purposes 
of similar patriotic moment, was an organ to himself. 
Editors were prejudiced and identified with -parties. He 
wanted a weekly sheet where he could, as he expressed it, 
** kick up his heels" — ^where he could write honest satire 
(which he eould illustrate himself with caricatures on wood, 
by the way) pitch into humbug generally. But, however, 
it required eapitaL 

At tMs juncture, Mr. Biglow T. Miles got from his 
chair, or rather from his three chairs, for he had been 
sitting on one with each heel supported by another, and 
rang the bell. 

" What's the matter ?" Marston inquired, stopping with 
arath» vacant stare. He had advanced to that after- 
dinner stage, when it is not advisable to interrupt the 
fluency of narration. Becovery of the thread in such cases 
becomes troublesome. 

" All right," was Biglow's reply ; " go-a4iead." 

Marston found aonie difficulty in going a head. The 
instantaneous entrance of the gentlemanly waiter, did away 
with the necessity of his doing so. 

The gentlemanly waiter, who, although it was getting 
late in the evening, appeared newly-dressed and combed, 
— ^probably his carriage was at the do6r, to take him to an 
aristocratic party, — waited respectfully, but not abjectly, 
for instructions. 

*' I want some more Pomaid," said Biglow, " and a 
printer." 



126 MARSTON LYNCH. 



" And — I beg your pardon, Sir ?" 

" A printer." 

" Certainly, Sir ; a master printer, or a journeyman ?" 

" A master." 

" Very good, Sir" (if the Emperor of all the Eussias 
nad been called for, it is doubtful if the gentlemanly waiter 
would have been surprised by, or wholly unprepared to 
meet, the order). " I am afraid at this time of the even- 
ing it will be difficult to meet with one. They mostly live 
out of the tpwn." 

" Send, and look." 

" Of course, I shall do so, Sir. No doubt some of them 
will be detained at their offices by night-work. I will 
make proper inquiries. Pomard, I think you said, 
Sir?" 

The gentlemanly waiter sent iip the Pomard immedi- 
ately, and the master printer soon after. Possibly he had 
a bin of master printers in his cellar, and merely assimied 
difficulty of supply, as an excuse for overcharging for the 
luxury. However, the master printer was introduced and 
supplied with Pomard. 

I will not describe the master printer this month. My 
friend William M^Connell gave you his portrait last month 
■ — and it was excellent ; his shirt-frill and protuberant 
stomach were to the life. He was represented seated 
opposite to Messrs. Lynch and Miles, waiting to know 
what important business had induced them to send for him 
at that unwonted hour. 

Perhaps some of my readers (I don't mean you prover- 
bially gentle one) will remember a foot-note that explained 
the premature appearance of the engraving alluded to — 
which they will only be too eager to bring into court against 
me. They will suspect that I had not then written the 
chapter which was assumed to be only standing over for 
want of room. Upon my word I had. But, as a warn- 
ing to printers and editors, if they should presume to keep 
my copy standing over this month, I have put the concern 
*o unheard-of expense in writing the chapter over again. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 127 

I have so amplified the result of Marston Lynch's encoun- 
ter with Miles, that I am obliged to leave off on the very 
threshold of the subject of that picture. If they keep me 
" standing over" a second time, I shall re-write it again, 
at ten times the length. So, reader, if ever you want to 
get over that particular incident in my story^ you had better 
write letters to the editor, imploring him to give my copy 
that consideration as to time and space to which it is fairly 
entitled. 

[P.S. I hope you .are not sorry that I altered the chapter 
at all — on the hypothesis that it might have been better, 
because shorter, as it stood.] 



128 MARSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XV. 

IN WHICH THE LONGPOET WHIPPING-POST IS ESTA- 
BLISHED, AND THE natives' BEGIN TO CATCH IT 
SMARTLY, 

The master printer showed himself a man of Iceen 
husiness habits, by finishing his magnum of pomard before 
speaking a word, thus securing an actual good while in liia 
power, lest the business in hand should prove of a natuie 
calculated to place matters on a less amicable footing. 

" Well, gentlemen," he inquired, (setting his glass down 
to be immediately refilled by the hospitable Biglow), " and 
in what particular direction can I have the honour of 
serving you ?" 

Possibly his long intimacy with books had inspired the 
master printer with an ambition to talk like one. At any 
rate he did so on all occasions to the best of his imitative 
ability. 

Biglow came to the point at once, and said, " We want 
to start a paper." 

"A paper — good!" The master printer frowned 
thoughtfully, and held his head on one side, alter the 
manner of a grave bird. 

" Daily or weekly ?" 

"Weekly, I suppose — eh, Marston?" 

" Weekly, of course." 

"Weekly — good! A daily experiment in this town 
would have brought you to the verge of ruin in a fortnig^ 



MARSTON LYNCH. 129 

gentlemen. I give you my word of honour. It has been 
tried — ^twice. Take my advice, gentlemen, and make it 
weekly." 

The master printer said this benignly — ^with the air of 
one giving philanthropic counsel at considerable sacrifice 
of his own interests. 

" But," he added, after a pause, looking up from a briet 
consultation with his second glass of pomard; "the 
market's full even there, gentlemen. It is my duty, as 
one intimate with the question in all its bearings, to warn 
you that the market is full." 

Marston observed that the proposed undertaking would 
not be likely to clash with any existing interests. 

" Just what I was about to do myself the honour to 
observe," said the master printer, with a graceful bow. 
** With new capital and enterprise — with new blood, if I 
may be allowed the expression, gentlemen — ^with principles 
in accordance with the requirements of the age we live in, 
—a weekly journal might not only command innumerable- 
fresh channels, but " (the master printer's warmth caused 
him not only to break down a little in his peroration, 
but to forget his exordium) — " you might beat the whole 
blessed lot out of the field in no time !" 

Marston explained. The new enterprise was not in- 
tended to be a newspaper, but a satirical journal. 

The master printer looked rather sorry. He had 
possibly been indulguig in visions of printing expenses — 
considerably narrowed in their prospective circle by this 
elucidation. However, he gulped down his disappointment 
with some pomard, and looked up sideways again. 

*' A satirical journal ? Good ! There is unquestionably 
room for a satirical journal in this metropolis of northern 
oonmierce, if I may be allowed the expression. But, 
gentlemen," he continued, with a second burst of candour, 
** it has been tried before." 

" Indeed ?" Marston inquired. 

** It is my duty to tell you that the experiment has^een 
tried before — on two occasions. There was the Longpori 



130 MAKSTON LYNCH. 



FiffOTO 



Figaro myself, conaiderably." 

" But," Marston asked, " were not the papers you speak 
of (without oflfence to you — I did not know you had been 
connected with either) of a low and scurrilous chaxacter, 
depending on slanderous exposures of prirate life, rather 
than on tiie caatigation of public vices ? 'Were they not 
•conducted on principles of black mail or extortion 'from 
obscure, timid people, afraid of havmg their names brought 
before the public in connection with some ridiculous or 
disgusting charge ?" 

The printer had waved his hand to and fro with a 
smiling countenance while Marston was speaking, in sign 
of anticipatory acquiescence. 

" The gentleman has been kind enough to- express my 
very thoughts, to frustrate, if I may be allowed the ex- 
pression, my very words," he said sweetly, as if makisig 
Marston a present of those valuable articles in the most 
hands(Hne manner. Pre — cisely — ^that was exactly wtere 
it was. Scurrilous and low were the words. Extortion 
and black-mail were the piinciples, as the gentleman very 
justly, and with groat; propriety, shows. Such things, for 
instance, as *It is not true that young Mr. Jenks the 

• counter-jumper at Manchester House, was seen Idssing the 
carrotty-headed milliner of Ehzabeth-street, over the garden 

* railings, at two o'clock in the morning.' That was not 
satire, you know. And, ' Things to be admired !- Widow 
Jones's httle green bottle, wi& the greasy cork, in Uie 
corner cupboard. Yonng Snobbins's patent leathers, that 
creak to be paid for.' Yout^n't call that sort of thing 
oastagating public vices, gentlemen." The speaker con- 
dud^, loolang around with a triumphant air, "I defy 
anybody. It's impossible." And the master printeFsettkd 
.the matter with a most oondusive pinch of snuff. 

'* Of course we should avoid ->an3fthiDg of that dcscr^ 
tion," Marston said. 

** Of fisone," accmfejwed the^piinter, paddling the air as 
befioia.; ^laodvihats when .you would .hit ^em. ¥6u 



MABSTON LYNCH. 131 

wotdd take entirely new ground.. You would giye them 
something quite (fifferent to what they have been sc- 
customed to — " 

" K they've been accustomed to anything like what my 
yoFong friend here can give them — I'll eat them without 
salt," Biglow broke in, warmly, his enthusiastic partisant- 
ship lending him unusual volubiKty. 

" I don't in the least doubt it, Sir," the printer assented, 
with one of his best bows. "The gentleman's powers are 
perhaps not wholly unknown to me. Young Mr. Lynch, 
I beHeve P" 

"My name is Lynch," said Marston, with a confused 
bow. 

" You are known. Sir — ^well known in this town. Hon- 
ourably, moreover. And now I see clearly with whom I 
have to deal ; if a satirical paper can be started, ensured 
of a supply of such writing as young Mr. Lynch can give 
us" (Marston, in his confusion, drained Biglow's glass of 
neat brandy in mistake for his own wine, and nearly choked 
himself with coughing), " why the tMng is safe. Sir. 
Safei" 

The master printer looked round fiercely in remote 
comers of the room, as if in search of concealed disputants, 
to be annihilated on the spot. 

" And pictures — don't forget that," said Biglow ; "that 
will be something new to them." 

" Pictures P I)o you mean to tell me the work will be 
illustrated P" 

In first chop style." t 

Ah ! if that could be done ? — ^why, it's going with 
greased wheels. But excuse me, gentlemen" — and .the 
speaker assumed the air of one about to propound a poser 
— "Excuse me, gentlemen ; where 's your talent ?" 

" Here," roared RigLwv, slapping his protege on '^e 
hack, with a force that made the glasses dance on the 
table. 

"Bless my sotd, you don't mean that young Mr. 

Lynch " '' -i 

K 2 






y 



132 MARSTON LYNCH. 

" Hasn't his match with the pencil," said the American, 
who took our hero's artistic powers for granted, on the 
latter's own representations. 

Marston modestly explained that he was an artist by 
education ; that he had some little practice in drawing on 
wood in America ; and that if an engraver could be found 
in the town capable of doing justice to his drawings, he 
had little doubt of making a weekly caricature on some 
local subject of the week — a by no means unattractive 
feature in the proposed periodical. 

The printer shut up and pocketed his snuff-box, with 
the air of a man who has nothing more to say. He smiled 
an apology for helping himself to another glass of pomard, 
which he eyed against the light enjoyingly for some seconds. 

" Thompson's your man," at last he said, briefly. 

" Who is Thompson ?" 

" A wood-engraver from London — a pupil of Ebenezer 
Landells — ^not a bad guarantee, gentlemen. Now the 
question is, when can he have the first drawing ? Thomp- 
son requires time to do an artist justice, and a good start 
is everything." 

" You are satisfied with our prospects of stability ?" 
Marston faltered. 

" Yah !" said the disinterested printer (Marston thought 
him so) with a testy movement of the head — " Am I satis- 
fied with the stability of the Pier Head ? You will do me 
the justice to admit, gentlemen, that I carefully mentioned 
every obstacle in your way. I'm sure anything that could 
be done in the way of cold water I did it. You can't say 
I encouraged you. I am not a sanguine man by nature — 
and when you first mentioned the speculation, I confess I 
didn't see it. Not one atom, gentlemen. But now you 
bring such an array of convincing arguments — ^now I hear 
what it is to be like — ^gentlemen, I haven't been five-and- 
twenty years feeling the pulse of this town without know- 
ing a little of its constitution. It will hit them. Sir — safe 
as the Bank — safe as the bank of young Mjr. Lynch's 
respected unde.*' 



HABSION LYNCH. 133 

The printer treated young Mr. Lynch with one of his 
best bows. He was evidently under the not uncommon 
impression that to address people in the third person 
singular, is a very subtle delicacy in the art of conversation, 
We are possibly indebted to the chronicles of Parliamentary 
eloquence for this nuisance, in company with many others 
of a more serious calibre. 

. "Don't call him my respected unde," said Marston, 
petulantly ; "I don't respect him, for one.'* 

" You don't !" cried the printer, whom the pomard was 
gradually warming into a state of naive joviality, — " True, 
I remember — Judge Midas, in the Flail — devflish good it 
was, too. Then, in that case, I don't mind confessing 
myself that I hate the beast." 

The two friends laughed heartily. 

" He's a bad lot, Sir," the printer went on ; " opposed 
to all rational improvements in the town, and might have 
got me some of the Council printing to do, as easy as look. 
But he'd see me hanged first." 

A fresh burst of laughter greeted this candid confession, 
in which the printer joined, helping himself to the last 
half glass of pomard, and putting his legs on a chair— as 
if he lived there. 

" Well, old boy," said Biglow, tossing a cigar case to 
his new acquaintance ; " and what's the figure to be ?" 

All the faculties of the man of business were aroused in 
an instant. The printer took out a note book — ^and, 
though his cigar rolled about in his mouth unmanageably, 
his hold on the pencil was firm, and his eye keenly awake. 

" I suppose we'd say crown size?" 

" Certainly," said Marston, who had acquired some 
luaowledge (a very slight one) of printing-house techni- 
calities. 

" Twelve, or sixteen pages ?" 

" Twelve." Our hero had a London model-publication 
before him. 

** And we'd go to press with not more than two thou- 
sand-^to begin with?" 



134 V MABSTON L¥!KCH. 

The two geutlenien, who had not the means of fomimg 
the slightest opinion on the subject, agnsed^ grav^y, that 
it would be preposterous to think of more as> a comm^ice- 
m€a9it« They would ha^^re given^ the same opinion had« 
the proposition been for fire hundred,, or for' twenty 
thottsand. 

The printer made a few brief calculations on a leaf of 
hi« note book which' he handed to Biglow — ^his instinct 
readily pointing out to him whidi was the capitalists 

Biglow barely glaaoed at the amount, which he saw 
would be by no means ruinous, even without the slightest 
prospect of returns, and acceded to it without inspecting 
the details. He referred the contractor- to Marston- for all 
instructions, contenting himself with a - general command- 
to " get on a-head." 

The printet's attempts to conceal his exultation were 
deplorably futile. He had possibly satisfied himself 
as^ to Mr. Miles's position and solvency beforehand, 
as he asked no impertinent questions on the delicate 
subject. 

** A' moment," he said, with a radiant air, poising his 
note book in one hand and beating time with his pen& in 
the other ; "let us not forget, gentlemen, this is a matter 
of speculation. I am as much interested in its success as 
either of you. It isn't often business matters are com- 
m^ced so agreeably, and I hope for continuance of 
present understanding." (A bow.) "You, gentlemen, 
invfst respectively your money and talents." (Another.) 
" i, also, should like my little risk in the matter, if you- 
will permit me. Perhaps young Mr. Lynch will be good 
enough to answer me a few questions ?" 

Young Mr. Lynch assented by a movement of the 
hand. 

The printer commenced a course of interrogation after 
the manner of electors badgeriag a candidate on- the 
hustings. 

" May I ask if young Mn Lynch is prepared to take 
the popular side on the Paving and Lighting Question ?" 



MABSTON LYNCH. 135. 

'^ Gertaioly/' replied Maiston, who > had no idea!w4iai 
the qnestion meant* 

" All right/' said'Biglow, who was dozing, and- had not 
iMenk listening. 

"Good." The printer made a note- awd oontinned: 
*' Is young Mr. Lynch disposed to support the neW' street 
from Petersham Square down to St. Martin's Docks ; or 
— ^if I. may be allowed the expression-^-to pitch into it?" 

" Well, really," Marston began, " I have given so little 
attention to the matter — " 

" You know it's an infernal shame ! aod they oughtn't 
to. do it," suggested the prints, quickly. 

" Send it to blazes,^ Marston !" said Biglow, with an 
incipient hiccup. 

" Good !" and the printer made another' note, appa^ 
reoily satisfied with the capitalist's instructions, and 
centmued-^— 

" Will young Mr. Lynch go in for the more extended 
r^Mresentation of tradesmen in the Town* Couneii, — at 
present monopolised by the merchants ?" 

" Decidedly," replied the Editor. 

" All right," said the Capitalist. 

The printer put up his praidl and pocketed his note 
book. 

"In that case, gentlemen," he said (" a little brandy- 
aad*water with your permission, as the wine is out — ^wish- 
ing you good health and every success), if such views are 
to be adopted, so convinced am I of the brilliant future 
before us, and so anxious to respond to the gentlemanly 
maimer in -which I have been met (gentlemen, toward»you 
again) that though I have put down my estimates at the 
lowest figure — still, tiU the paper has quite reached paying 
point —gentlemen, /'ZZ knock off themaokininp r 

N^her Marston Lynch nor his patron had looked at 
the itoa of machining, or had the slightest cone^tion of 
its probable importance. But they had arrived at that 
stage of the evening- when statistics are superseded by 
emotions. There was something so intensely magnanimous 



136 MARSTON LYNCH. 

in the printer's manner of conceding the boon (whatever it 
might have been), that they at once looked upon him iti 
the light of a benefactor. They rose simultaneously; 
grasped him each by a hand, and promoted hirn to the 
rank of friend on the spot. 

Biglow T. Miles, Esquire ; Marston Lynch, his friend 
of half a day's standing ; and the printer, his other friend, 
of scarcely an hour's acquaintance, made a convivial night 
of it. 

In the above manner was the foundation laid for the 
once famous weekly journal, still possibly remembered in 
the vicinity of its birth; to which it was decided that 
same evening, after much incoherent discussion, the name 
of the Longport Whipping Post should be given. All 
preliminaries were recapitulated and settled in the coolness 
of the following day. Biglow was to be held responsible 
for all expenses (the celebrated item of machining provi- 
sionally excepted, which our friends were a little dis- 
appointed to find by no means heavy) ; Marston, for all 
contributions, illustrations, and general management. The 
American, whose generosity never stopped at half mea- 
sures, insisted on paying our hero a weekly sum for his 
trouble, tUl the sale of the paper should yield compensatory 
profits. After this, the property was to be made over to 
the young Editor as a present. 

It need scarcely be stated that, to the easy-going Yir- 
ginian Sybarite, the speculation was of no more import* 
ance than his yacht or his horse; the mere freak of a 
moment to be abandoned at another. It was a pleasure to 
him to feed the hobby of a clever and • interesting lad 
who had been thrown in his path ; and Biglow had never 
been trained to deny himself any pleasures he took a fanc^ 
for. Fortunately he was one of those rare egotists, whose 
selfishness embraces a very large circle of the human family : 
Ms favourite indulgence (and the one he spent most money 
upon) was in affording pleasure to others. 

With Marston Lynch the case was different. He looked 
upon the new field so unexpectedly opened to his exertions 



HA.SSTON LYNCH. 137 

as a rare chance in life — ^which very possibly it was. He 
entered upon his duties with a feeling of trembling respon- 
sibility. He was at first utterly daunted by the task be- 
fore him. Who was he ? What right had he to claim 
the public attention? Above all, where could he find 
^ough to say to fill the dreary waste of blank paper that 
stared him in the face ? He soon got over all this. At 
first, when he had written a slashing prospectus and drawn 
a fantastic title-page, he felt completely aground. For 
two or three days he could only manage to send to the 
printer's some laboured paragraphs, which he was horrified 
to discover occupied in type scarcely any space at alL But 
the practical habits of his new friend Prebble (so was the 
printer called) speedily rallied him. That business-like 
individual sent boys to him for " copy," with brief notes 
saying so many columns must be in by such a time, also 
suggesting subjects for treatment, in an off-hand matter- 
of-course manner. These .communications all breathe(^ 
such confidence ia our hero as an established literary 
power, that his very pride urged him to respond in a be- 
coming manner. As he covered slip after slip of paper, he 
felt alarmed at his own growing power, not of writing 
brilliantly (Marston, at a much later period of his life, has 
been heard to say that he never had any opinion of his own 
writings till he had completely forgotten them : then, he 
would occasionally find, in turning over old pages, snatches 
that rather surprised him by their goodness, and the dis- 
covery that they were his own), but of working himself 
into a state of excitement on utterly uninteresting subjects. 
This facility of forcing sympathy or indignation where they 
had not previously existed, shook his faith in writers that 
had gone before him. It was his first step towards cynic- 
ism. But the exigences of the press and the delights of 
production soon absorbed all other considerations. The 
young writer saw a goodly printed sheet filled almost, ex- 
clusively with his own compositions. By the time he had 
spelt, over and over again, every line, he was firmly con- 



138: MA&BTDK liXKCH. 

vinoed that each .word had beendietated fi^mihe-deptks 
of . his heart's :smo3nty , 

The early days of the^iW^ki^^g*FostwNehjno meaaa 
thadeast happy* (^^oiucherousi existence. He had a- snog 
little room to himself in tbe neighbourhood of the piintiug- 
of&c& — ^fitted up at th&^cpenseof his patron with th&oixost 
orthodox . editorial appurt^iaBces. These were^ a .sOTiroo oi 
long enduring, delight ;, and here h& was treated witb* 
supreme respect; by • ail comers. Hither Mr. Prebbie, who- 
was. of a chirpy and. sanguine disposition, would come 
sereral .times a day in high splints, which he imparted to our 
busy, hero, by glowing accounts of the sensation they:WW6 
alreadjT creating^ and loud, encomiums our the excellenee of 
the copy as^itwasirapidly sent in. The furniture soon be-- 
gan to- show- signs of repeated visits from Biglow with Ms- 
imaparing knife. (The carpet had been thoughtfully 
sdected of awarm Cavendish tint, and therefore preserved" 
its colour.) The Virginian, indeed, spent the greater -part • 
of his time in. the Editor's room, which he kept plentifiiUy- 
stocked^ with luxurious provisions. His^long farm wns^ 
soon favourably known in the neighbouring bar parlofurj 
where the most unexjceptionable " Scotch" was kept inun* 
failing supply. Biglow was muc^ taken by the mysteries 
of the printing-office,, where he was idolised in return,- asod 
where a growing tendency on the paort of the operatives to 
join incorporated temperance societies- had seemed lurno^'- 
countably checked with his* advent^ and was oertaii^y 
followed by a most decided reaction. He was always at 
hand, with his imp^turbable good temper, exhaustless 
generosity, and, above all, unchanging approbation, to 
encourage Marston in his labours. 

Nearly the whole of the work fell on our hero's shoni*' 
ders. Nuinberless: provincial talents had been pointed o«t 
to him as likely to render- him valuable assistance: These"- 
certainly had^ been profuse enough in their offers and' 
experiments; Prebbie knew^ at least, a dozen feUows oi* 
unsuipassabie anartnesSi Howker volunteered the- oolleo*- 



MA.BSTOK LYNCH. 139 

iwe scanrices of the entire oomposition class, of* the. Literary 
and Scientific Institution to which he belonged — ^wha pub- 
lidb6d> (for presentation) a miscellany, selected from the 
Sodety's^album, once a. year., to the. admiration of ahun-^ 
dred tea tables. All these, aspirates would* have given 
tkms ears to appear in g^iuine print ; and itpained Mkrs-^ 
ton sadly to re^e their contributions insertion.. But. they 
i«tere, for the most part, sad trash; he was true to his 
artistic instincts, in the fastidious balance of which they 
were found so terribly, wanting.. He fell* back on his own* 
resotirces,.and made two or three dozen bitter enemies to 
bi^in with. He received some little assistance from a 
very, unexpected source — from no less a personage than 
Biglow himself. The worthy Yirginian had not one spark 
of vanity or ambition of any kind in his whole composition. 
But he. was a bit of a humourist, and frequently struck . 
out in conversation queer scraps of American character and 
observaticm, which Marston eagerly seized and committed 
to puper — 'by no. means to the detriment of the number 
in progress. Prebble was useftd, too, but rather embar- 
rassing. As a red-hot local politician he was invaluable ; 
but 'for his guiding counsel, Marston (who was a mere 
puppet in his 'hands in this department) would never have: 
had' an opinion to express on matters relating to the Body 
Corporate of Longporty whose proceedings he secretly 
loathed. But as an ambitious wag Prebble wastroublc" 
some. He would bring suggestions purporting to be 
faeetious,* that made the perspiration stand in cold beads 
OB our hero's forehead, in his futile endeavours to discover 
their point. Sometimes the ambitious printer would hit 
on.a tolerable joke, which* Marston was only too delighted 
to 'please him by inserting. But hia general doom was., 
tike wnste-paper basket, pebble was a philosopher, .how- 
eveK. He consoled his wounded vanity by a* refiection that. 
aU mess, of genius were^^' cranky/' and was. too magnani-s 
moos to let his. blighted hopes abate one jot his admiration, 
for our hero's character and abilities, which was-boundlesSw 



140, HABSTON LYNCH. 

and genuine — ^and continued so throughout their queer 
acquaintance. 

The first number of the IF^ippitig Post made a decided 
sensation. Its most prominent attraction was a page-size 
caricature, consisting of a group of local magnates (who 
had been pointed out by the patriot Prebble as the sort of 
men to be held up to loathing and ignominy), in convict 
attire, and with their legs chained together. The subject 
was entitled, "Waiting for the Whip." Marston had 
been very happy in most of the likenesses, and the en- 
graver had done him full justice. The appearance of a 
tolerably executed wood-cut, embodying a subject of local 
satire, was certainly a novelty in a provincial town. It is 
needless to say that^ prominent among the group of male- 
factors, the artist had represented his own uncle — a very 
monster of ludicrous deformity. Gregory also cut an im- 
portant — of course not favourable — figure in the text. 
Marston had been regretting that the number would have 
to make its appearance, and his detested relative be let off 
with no more severe punishment than one or two insignifi- 
cant paragraphs — ^wMch he considered byno meansadequat« 
to the culprit's deserts. But just on the eve of publication, 
he was informed that a column was still wanting. His 
topics and invention were tolerably exhausted. He took 
up an unopened newspaper, just arrived, and glanced over 
the report of a Town Council Meeting on the previous day 
— ^in search of any name or subject on which to hang either 
pun or parody. He saw the name of Gregory Lynch, and 
was interested in a moment. Gregory's evil genius — or 
perhaps Marston's good one — ^had prompted the former to 
oppose a municipal grant for some proposed Public Baths 
and Washhouses, on the score of necessary economies. This 
was enough for our impetuous hero. His uncle had dared 
to oppose a sanitary measure of the highest public neces- 
sity ; he seized a pen, and the printer's devil had to wait 
a very short time indeed for the following tremendous 
effusion :— 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 141 

LYNCH LAW. 

A aBEGK)BIAK CHANT. 

{J^ Honourable Mernber for the Ta^e*-atreet TTard loquitur,) 

Your worship, sirs ! npon my word 

I'm floored, astonish'd, puzzled, vex'd, too ; 
What, talk of cleanliness ! — ahsurd ! 

Do, pray, reflect, on what it's next to. 
What, scruh the people's greasy polls 
Cooling their hrains — to think they've souls ? 
Of tell-tale water grant supplier 
To wash the dust from out their eyes ? 
Comhs are lost on mangy cuhs. 

Soon you'll change your cry, I hope ; 
Bum the mangles ! smash the tuhs ! 
Down with water ! no more soap ! 

Bethink ye of the dire effect 

Of cleansing all the population : 
They'll hold each polish'd nose erect 
Sniffing ideas ahove their station. 
Will folks, who spotless garments don. 
Among the mud be trampled on ? 
Besides clean hands would make them shirk 
For us, their share of dirty work. 
Combs are lost on mangy cubs. 

Soon you'll change your cry I hope : 
Bum the mangles ! smash the tubs ! 
Down with water ! no more soap ! 

Why, sirs, when this good town was young. 

Think you that any present magnate 
Had left the mud from whence he sprung. 

Had he not let the waters stagnate ? 
Who, with a clean and healthy home. 
To plough the seas for us woidd roam ? 
Who'd steal us slaves, save slaves for pay. 
Body and soul as dark as they ? 

Combs are lost on mangy cubs. 

Soon you'll change your cry, I hope : 
Bum the mangles ! smash the tubs ! 
Down with water ! no more soap ! 

* Gregory Lynch represented the Cape-street Ward in the 
liongport Council Chamber. The term substituted was meant 
in galling allunon to his former occupation. 



142 MABSTON LYNCH. 

A limpid drauf^ht from well or brook 

Awakens thirst for cooling knowledge : 
A snowy shirt suggests a book ; 

From washing* tubs they'll want a college. 
These unborn wants to satisfy. 
For time and wages more they^ll cry : 
Our giant fortunes put to route. 
The universe will be washed out ! 

Combs are lost on mangy cubs. 

Soon you'll change your cry I hope : 
Burn the mangles ! smash the tubs ! 
Down with water ! no more soap ! 

In addition to the above magnificent tirade levelled at 
his uncle's conservatism (Marston was quite mistaken by 
the way : Gregory was a moderate liberal in politics — ^his 
opposition to the washing question was a mere matter of 
temporary expediency), our hero dashed off the following 
" stinging" paragraphs, which he instructed the printer to 
distribute in various parts of the number: — 

'* The Gee at Wateb ' Pabty.* — The objections of the Hon- 
ourable Haberdasher for Tape-street, to the proposed Hydraulic 
Improvements are easily understood. He cannot bear the idea 
of any pvmp spouting but himself." 

" A Remabk in * Eeoles Vein.' — A wealthy councillor (the 
origin of whose fortune may not be so Black as it is painted) has 
expressed a determination to crush the Public Baths and Wash- 
houses scheme, which (in his inimitable playful manner) he 
speaks of as the J9^(2ro-headed monster." 

" QxjiTB A NEW View oe it. — It appears we are wrong to 
assume that the distinguished opponent of public cleanliness is 
at all actuated by a spirit of malevolence towards the lower 
orders. He says what he has done is entire- y for their good. 
Scrubbing cannot be beneficial to them, as he remembers hamng 
once received a good towelling himself, and he didn't like it 
at all." 

And then the required column was complete. 

The first number- realised a bond fide sale of fifteen hun- 
dred. Prebble was in ecstades. He declared that he had 
never known anything within mch a closa shave of pairing 
esppcMes iu his U&. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 143 



CHAPTEE XYI. 

MB. GEBGORr LYNCH SEES COMPANY. 

Mb. Biglow T. Miles's fayoimte post — I do not allude 
to the Longport 'Whipping Post, but to its proprietor's 
daily seat in front of the York Hotel — ^was found by that 
gentleman most convenient for purposes of study. It was 
not only his social observatory, but his reading room also. 
It amounted to a positive calamity when a wet day com- 
pelled him to digest his 2VW« in the coffee-room, instead 
of on the eminence he loved. 

The sky was cloudless on the morning of the Whipping 
Post's first appearance. Biglow, cheered by the favour- 
able omen, had brought his honorary copy (printed on fine 
paper, and sent by special messenger to await his rising, 
on the breakfast table) uncut into the open air, in order to 
enjoy it thoroughly. He had mounted his throne, round 
which Ms legs seemed to entwine like ships' cables, with- 
out reference to conventional anatomy, and was soon 
luxuriating deeply in the new ^sensation of contemplating a 
work of literature in the production of which he had 'been 
himself concerned. 

The mere smell of the wet ink and paper' had afforded 
him unmixed satisfaction for some time. This beginning 
to pall a little, he betook himself to 'cutting the leaves 
dowly, ixad -regai'dmg each page separately as a mere 



144 MABSTON LYNCH. 

artistic effect of light and shade. He tried numerous 
devices of folding and opening. He looked at the paper, 
as a whole, from various points of view, — at arm's length, 
with his eyes half closed, with his head nearly upside 
down. He inspected the wood-cuts minutely: he was 
much impressed by the ingenious process of "crosa- 
hatching." The result of ail these experiments was a 
conviction that the Whipping Post was a publication 
calculated to inspire admiration and envy, and one without 
which no gentleman's library could possibly be complete. 
The literature — of which he had read every word in the 
proofs — he reserved as a bonne bouche. Having exhausted 
all external attractions, he commenced deliberately with a 
tailor's advertisement at the top of the title page (which 
struck him as being rather well written), and proceeded to 
go straight through the work without missing a line. He 
had got to the second page and was beginning to feel 
rather literary than otherwise at the discovery of one of 
his own "notions," felicitously dressed up by Marston, 
when a pleasant voice, close to his ear, was heard saying, 

" Mr. Miles, from Yirginia, I think ? " 

" All right," said Biglow, fairly toppling off his perch 
in his astonishment at a challenge that reminded him of 
his distant home. 

When he had recovered his legs, and a portion of his 
composure, he found himself confronted by an elegantly 
formed and dressed man, of the middle height, whose ap- 
pearance, at the first glance, was extremely youthful, but 
at a second, considerably less so. His face was eminently 
handsome, and ornamented by a graceful jet-blade 
moustache. The black was obviously not genuine. At 
the first glance you would have thought it the device of a 
vain youth aspiring precociously to the honours of man- 
hood. At the second, you wondered whether it might not 
be necessitated by an obtrusive and possibly premature 
grey hair or so. The stranger's clothes were faultless as 
to fit and material, though of apparently studied plainness, 
^e one or two unobtrusive articles of jewellery he wore 



BCASSTON LYNCH. 145 

weie eTideQ% of great mhie. ALtogether, th& maH's 
aspect was refined and prepossessiBg. 

" I blow your &£e, but I don't remember you/' said 
Biglow, always blunt in spoedi^ but courteous in manner. 

"And yet I haye not forgotten a v^y delightful 
evening I spent in yxnir society, some four years ago, in 
N«w York." 

. " By -JoYe, yes," said the American, shaking hands, 
warmly, " dinner with those jolly fellows of the theatre. 
PsB. delighted to see you,, and^-^hang me if I can remem- 
ber your name now." 

^ Tlffi name I then boi» is not worth the trouble," said 
. the stranger, with a ftajak smile, " as it was not my own. 
I was simpk making an ass of myself as an amateur actor, 
and .had the grace to spare my family a little. Permit me 
to iniiroducet myseK by a name which^. I trust, I am no 
kmger doing anything to make ridiculous." 

And the stranger, from a handsome filagree case, pre- 
sented a yery thin enamelled card, on which was engrayed 
in the French manner, without any titular prefix,, simply 
the name — - 

" SaNCHO DE SAtMAEEZ," 

surmounted by a crest. 

" To be saie," said Biglow ; "I remember now. Don 
SaiHnaiez,. I think ? " 

. " That is my name when I am at home, as. the Irisht 
man says," answered our old acquaintance, laughing. 
''' I find, the distinction rather a nuisance in this country, 
and haye ceased to make use of it— except," he added 
with some dignity, ^' in eyent of my claim to it being dis* 
pnted. Haye you ssy particular business to oceimy you 
tkismonang?" 

Biglow's round eyes became like an owl'a with astonish-* 
meat. His countenance broke slowly into an eaqiazksiye 
gzin. The idfia of hh bdrng occupied by particular 
faofliDes& al msf time was a>mueh better jske than a&y/ in 
ibiuLimffpoKi Whipping' Fa^t. 



146 MARSTON LYNCH. 

He replied tliat he was a perfectly idle man, as usual. 

"Then, wiU you walk?" , 

The Mexican offered his arm, which Biglow accepted, 
instinctively turning in the direction of his favourite bar 
round the corner. He considered this happy meeting 
with a gentleman of whose social qualities he had such 
pleasant recollections, an historical event, to be celebrated 
in the choicest colours of his own favourite school of 
painting. 

The elegant Don Sancho expressed not the slightest as- 
tonishment or uneasiness at being led into the obscure 
tavern. He, moreover, took kindly to his paint, knocking 
off, to the admiration of his entertainer, a small glass of. 
fiery whiskey, in sporting phrase, without turning a hair. 
He was a gentleman of cosmopolitan accomplishments^ 

" A very fair glass of whiskey," he said, with a frown 
and smack of a connoisseur ; " but vastly inferior to our 

" What's that ?" asked Biglow eagerly, pricking up his 
ears at the suggestion of an untried drink. 

" A Mexican spirit, distilled from the prickly pear. 
That diluted with half Scotch whiskey, would make a fair 
glass of grog." 

Biglow meditated a moment on the propriety of at once 
abandoning his long-deferred trip to the Mediterranean, 
and taking the first ship to Mexico. He sighed, and 
thinking it best to cling to present good, proposed a 
second glass of Scotch. 

"No," said Saumarez decisively; " it's against my. 
principle to drink in the morning ;" and then he added, 
quickly divining that an admission of systematic tempe- 
perance would lower him in his companion's estimation^) 
" it's a ruinous plan, depend upon it. It quite spoils you 
for the evening." 

Biglow admitted that there might be something in that. 
But not being of so calculating a disposition himself, and,, 
never having found his evening's amusement at all inter-* 
%red with by his morning's refection, took a hasty nip. 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 14? 

by himself and followed his newly-found friend into the 
street. 

The Mexican took his arm, and they walked in the 
direction of the business part of the town. 

" You may think our meeting of this morning an acci- 
dent," said the former after a short silence : ** it was 
not so." 

" No ?" 

" I learnt you were here from mutual friends. In the 
first pl^e — 

" Marston, I suppose. He told me he knew you." 

" From Marston, precisely, whose handiwork I see you 
have got hold of there — ^very smart and clever it is too, 
full of boyish ferocity, but none the worse for that. By 
the way, he is deeply indebted to you ; few lads meet with 
such a friend to start them in life. However , I also have 
my ambition to serve him in my quiet way. It is in his 
interest I am now taking you this pleasant walk." 

" Glad to hear it," said honest Biglow. " How ?" 

The reader has already had some inkling of Don Sancho's 
penchant for sudden " effects" of conversation. On the 
present occasion, he looked his companion ftdl in the face 
for some seconds, in silence, and then said slowly — 

" I want you to come on 'Change with me, and shake 
hands with Gregory Lynch." 

The Virginian withdrew his arm, and stopped, with a 
look of displeasure. 

" I know your objections," pursued the other ; " and 
you are wrong. Till that day on the river" (Biglow 
started), " you were Gregory Lynch's frequent guest, and 
as frequently his host. Since then you have avoided 
him in a most marked manner, your motive for doing 
so being a suspicion too horrible to be lightly enter- 
tained." 

'** Who told you of this ?" asked the astonished Yir- 
ginian ; " I never mentioned" — 

"No matter; let it suffice that I know it — and you 
admit it. You believe that in preventing your friend from 

L 2 



148 MAESTON LYNCH, 

saTing his nephew and step-daughter, he was conscijous of 
what he was doing ?" 

'' He gave Billy a back-hander with the aim of a piize- 
fighter, and the face of a devil," added Bigbw with a 
shjadder. 

" I am aware of it. Marston has got hold of the whole 
story — ^not from you, I am convinced — and takes exactly 
your view of it. It terrified me at first, I admit. But, as 
a friend of the family, I have taken some pains to sift the 
matter, and I am convinced you are both wrong. In the 
first place, consider the effects of a panic on one wholly un- 
used to physical dangers. I lately saw a man come out of 
aburning house, into which he had rushed to save his own 
child, with something enveloped in a shawl which he 
g:ijarded like a demon. It turned out to be an empty salt 
box. I could multiply cases by hundreds. A drowning 
man will not only catch at a straw — he will push away a 
plank from him to get hold of it. The next questicajt. is 
one of motive. Why should Gregory wish for the death 
of either of the young people ? There seems no question 
of inheritance at stake. The girFs mother's property he 
sacked legally as her husband. With regard to Marston, 
the old man (Gregory's father) died intestate. Nearly all 
his property was freehold : the sou inherited. Such little 
personal property as there was, was duly divided— and 
Marston's share duly wasted by his weak visionary of a 
father. Eemember, if you are doing the man an injustice, 
it, is a most fearful one." 

'^ True : I fancied I had kept £dl this to myself, but you 
have so completely taken me off my guard*' — 

Don Sancho smiled a smjie of satiafaction. Perhaps the 
taking people off' thdx guard wast an art he had studied, 
and he was flattered by the eomphment of success,; 

" Understand me," he resumed, " I am no bosom friend 
of Gregory Lynch. God forbid there should be any sym- 
pathy between me and such a man. I am forced into a 
hollow business connexion with him, which takes \b& out- 
^ida forms of friendship*. But if I demised him saose 



MARSTON LYNCH. 149 

than I do, I would take some pains to clear him or any 
other man of the fearftd suspicion you have attached to 
lum, or — ^which I should like as well — ^to bring the suspi- 
cion to a certainty. But I beHeve and hope it is ground- 
less. It is on Marston's account, however, I would seek 
to bring you into contact with him. You are greatly 
respected in this town for your social qualities, and, it 
must be added, for your wealth. You are known to be 
the lad's great friend, and your continued coolness towards 
Ids uncle would widen the breach between them, perhaps 
irreparably. I do think of my poor young friend's future. 
I am not a sentimental man:" (Don Sancho whipped 
something away from his eyelash as if he was ashamed of 
it, and his voice dropped a little), "but Hove the boy as a 
brother. I think I see in him promise — of what I miglit 
liave been myself: pshaw ! — that's not the question. He 
will make his way in the world — with friends — not other- 
wise. You are a mere bird of passage : here to-day, gone 
to-morrow. So am I. Besides, I have not your means — 
at present, at all events. Left to his own resources, with 
his rich uncle for an enemy (which Marston is doing 
tis he^t to make him), what is to become of the poor 
fellow?" 

" You're a devilish good feUow yourself," said Biglow, 
a little confused in his reasoning, but willing to sink every 
consideration iuhis desire for Marston's welfare. " Come 
along.'' 

" You will meet Gh^goiy as if nothing had happened?'' 

« If he likes." 

■" Why he can hardly be aware of your repugnttnce, as 
yet, at all events. My object was to nip it in the bud. 
Certainly, he can not attribute it to its real motive, unless, 
indeed,'"— the Don gave a slight shudder, — " but I will not 
ifaink it possible. Do not let me, however, persuade you 
to do anything against your convictions." 

"AH right," said Biglow, urging him on uneasily. 
" Let's go." 

"If you adhere to your suspicions, in God's name do 



150 MABSTON LYNCH. 

not let me shake them ; on the contrary, if you believe 
there is justice to be done, let me rather assist you to do 
it. Or if you think I have penetrated into your thoughts 
unjustifiably, I give you my honour that what has passed 
between us shall be sacred." 

" Go a-head," said Biglow. 

They walked towards the Exchange. Don Sancho 
changed the conversation, and spoke pleasantly on various 
general subjects. Biglow was ill at ease. The noise of 
deep surging water buzzed in his ears as he went along, 
and a wan despairing face in the agonies of death, side by 
side with another, that death seemed already to have 
kissed, accompanied him like attendant phantoms. 

The Exchange flags of Longport form a very pleasant 
lounging sort of promenade in the fine sunny weather; 
and if you think the Longport merchants men of too grave 
and business-like a character to enjoy its advantages 
thoroughly, you were never more mistaken in your Ufe. 
They have a good deal of fan there, I assure you. It is 
true they do not possess the inestimable privilege of closed 
doors, enjoyed by their neighbours of the Stock Exchange, 
whose practical hilarity, I am informed on good authority, 
does not even stop short at Leap-Frog and Follow-my- 
Leader. Nevertheless, the merchants and brokers, ship or 
cotton (any of whom would discharge a clerk for whistling 
in business hours), have their little practical jokes and 
friendly interchanges of banter, which no amount of public 
scrutiny can wholly deprive them of. Above all, they are 
careful not to overwork themselves : knowing their import- 
ance as the main props and stays of a commercial country, 
they make a point of confining their own exertions to a 
little talk among themselves in the early part of the day, 
leaving to underlings (regularly paid for the purpose) the 
care of working out all laborious details — the unimportant 
one of spending the money excepted. This prevents too 
great a wear and tear of their valuable constitutions, and 
^s the means of preserving them to the conmiunity, fqr 

uch we can never be sufficiently thankful. 



MABSTON LYNCH, 151 

The only drawback, in fact, to the pastoral delights of 
the Exchange flags (the gloom shed by an occasional 
bankruptcy excepted) is rather an undue preponderance of 
leisure. The merchant princes-Jike many other terrestrial- 
potentates — sometimes find it rather difficult to get through 
the morning. Biscuits, sherry, and the daily and weekly 
papers are of some slight assistance ; but these diversions 
'■ are limited. It will therefore, be believed that the advent 
of any new source of amusement is hailed by the assemble4 
elders of commerce with all the rapture of innocent hearts 
— ^not to say of schoolboys. This was a principle 
thoroughly understood by those astute observers, in all 
communities, the news-boys ; a strong detachment of which 
sagacious order, within ten minutes of the first issue of the 
Lanffpart WTiippirig Post, made its appearance with large 
unopened bundles of that infant publication, which were 
readily disposed of. 

The merchants were delighted — especially those who 
were not satirised in the journal, and whose friends were. 
Gregory Lynch's appearance on 'Change was the signal for 
a shout of exultation; that is to say, among such of his 
.confreres as were rich enough to take that liberty: the 
poorer merchants bowed respectfully and made way for 
him, retiring to obscure comers to gloat over the para- 
graphs in his disfavour among themselves. The remorseless 
Billy, who with a foreknowledge of the impending fun had 
come early on purpose, singled out his victim at once. He 
seized Gregory by the button-hole, and held him captive 
while he read aloud, in mock heroic tones, and interspersed 
with marginal remarks in his own uncompromising style, 
M arston's most withering phillipics. A select audience of 
Longport magnates formed a circle round the pair, and 
contemplated the slow torture of their iriend with un- 
bounded rapture. One venerable old gentleman, with a 
very purple face (reputed to be worth a million or two), 
was obliged to give vent to the exuberance of his delight 
in a series of short standing jumps, with his hands thrust 
deep in the pockets of his inexpressibles. 



152 .MABSTON X.TNCH. 

'^negory bore it pretty patiently. He appenred pre- 
oociopied and uncomfortable, but from some moire remote 
'ean«e. Lsttteiiy he had been greatly complimented on bis 
improved lodes taid iiipirits. Things had, in fact, gone 
smoothly Tvith Mm. His speculations had succeeded. He 
had heard nothing more of Don Sancho, and had begun to 
hope there was some hitch in that gentleman's case against 
him. With regard to the river adventure— a -slight rder- 
ence to what has been already said on Ghregory's substrtute 
for a conscience will satisfy the reader that he soon felt 
easy on that score. Findmg his conduct attended by no 
after inconveniences, he readSy persuaded himsdf that he 
had acted unintentionally — ^that he had lost his presence of 
mind, and so forth. In a short time he would probabfy 
succeed in believing that he had lent valuable assistance to 
the sufferers rather than otherwise. Tlie only thing that 
served to keep any mieasiness alive on this head was the 
immistakeable coohiess of Biglow, which he was at no loss 
to attribute to its tight cause. But he knew the American 
was a discreet man, and not given to babble. Moreover, 
he would doubtless soon leave the country. The volatile 
Billy, upon whom all impressions were evanescent, had 
rapidly forgotten his friend's dark suspicions, and tte&ted 
Lynch as formerly. Altogether Gregory had been eaaier 
in his mind than for months past. 

This morning, though, there was a decided change in 
him. He was pale and absent. He scarcely heard the 
wondrous facetiae, quoted or improvised by Billy, that 
elicited such peak of laughter around him. He began to 
be fatigued, not by the remarks of his satirist, or their 
commentator, but by being held to o&e spot. His ear %as 
mechanically following the chorus of Marston's metrical 
Onslaught — which Billy had adapted to a d^annt of his 
own invention, and was declaiming vigorously — when he 
felt the touch of a light whip-handle on his shoulder. 

He turned roimd and beheld Don Sancdio de SaumareK» 
hb handsome face radiant with friendship, 'hanging aaHcahfy 
on the arm of Biglow Miles. 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 163 

•* How do you do ? " said the former, rapidly thrusting 
out his hand, which a slight compression of the brows 
over the keen authoritative black eyes commanded Gregory 
to accept amicably. 

Gregory obeyed, wondering why he did so. 

" My friend Miles, it seems, you are already acquainted 
with," said Saumarez in his blandest tones, at the same 
tiffle wringing Lynch's hand significantly. 

The ground seemed to reel under the unfortunate mer- 
chant. A friendship between those two — ^what could it 
bode ? He found himself shaking hands with Miles, and 
uttering words without coherency. 

A new surprise was in store for him, and not him alone. 
Billy looked up from his paper, in which he had been 
pointing out a choice morsel to the purple-faced old mil- 
Honnaire. 

* '* Holloa ! Longshanks ! " he cried ; " and Saumarez 
with you. Why everybody seems to know everybody 
else ! How are you both ? " 

Billy shook hands with them both heartily. 

Gregory Lynch and Biglow were equally astonished at 
tMs new intimacy. 

" I fancy my acquaintance with my friend Miles is of 
longCT date than any of yours," said Don Sancho. " Lynch 
— ^a word with you. I have just come from Genoa, and 
brought you a message from our friends, the Merripebbles. 
Gentlemen, excuse us a moment." 

And he led the bewildered Gregory to a short distance 
from the group, with gestures of the most easy intimacy. 

" I'm not ^aid to trust myself with you, you see," he 
began ; *'iX8 ice are not on the river, I am not frightened. 
You received my note ? " 

" I received a bit of tomfool theatrical mystery, signed 
h^ somebody, saying I should see him to-day," the mer- 
chant growled. 

" Yott knew perfectly well it was from me. It was signed 
with my name, Sancho de Saumarez— a name it recom- 
mended you to speak of with respect on all occasions. 



154 MARSTON LYNCH. 

Don't forget that. You see that man who accompanies 
me?" "^ 

"WeU?" 

** You know him. He is a man of integrity and honour, 
things you don't value ; but also a man of wealth, a thing 
you do. He has shunned you lately. You know why." 

" I don't understand — " 

" You do. Don't let us enter into particulars ; it is not 
a nice subject. I have acted in your interest to-day, 
and induced him to give up his suspicions for the pii- 
sent." 

" Whatever this gibberish may mean," said Gregory, 
with a clumsy sneer, " it seems you've changed yonr 
tactics." 

" Fortunately for you. It suits my purpose to be in 
concert with you. I am not in raptures with the honour, 
but you may thank your stars. You have a dinner party 
to-night ?" 

" What the — " Gregory began. 

" I'll join it. Miles can be persuaded to accompany 
me. His accepting your hospitality after the occurrence 
might weaken his evidence^ if called for. There I don't 
turn all colours in that manner. Eemember where you 
are, and the people who are looking at you. My dear 
Miles," and the speaker wheeled his victim suddenly 
rpund, so as to confront the group they had recently left, 
pitching his voice, as he did so, in a loud key, " our friend 
Lynch wants us to dine with him to-day. Can you ?" 

If ever Gregory Lynch had been impressed with the 
awfiil majesty of Impudence, he was at that moment. 

" Do, Bigfellow !" Billy struck in ; " I'm going for 
one. We'll take sixteen copies of the Whipping Post with 
us, and chaff Gregory till he's blue in the face. He 
doesn't look a good colour now, but he hasn't half had |t 
yet." 

Biglow stammered out an acceptance of the iilvitation/ 
not very cordially. 

"Then it's a bargain," said Don Sancho, briskly. 



MARSTON LYNCH. ' 155 



ts 



Gregory, good-bye for the present. Come Miles, we idle 
dogs have no right to trespass on these busy bees in honey 
time. My fellow was to have been here with the cart five 
minutes ago. Oh, there he is. Hi ! What time, Gregory ? 
Six?" 

Gregory nodded helplessly from the remote realms of 
dream-land into which the events of the last few minutes 
had whirled him. 

A handsome dog-cart drew up to the nearest kerb stone 
in charge of a faultless tiger of the latest metropolitan 
pattern, Saumarez waving an airy adieu to the mercantile 
group hurried Biglow (as much astonished as any one) to 
a seat in the vehicle ; leapt on to the box, touched the 
horse (a gigantic grey) with the whip ; and tooled down 
the High-street at a spanking rate, to the wonder and ad- 
miration of Longport generally. 

" Who's that fellow, Gregory " asked the merchant. 

" I — I don't know — that is, he's a young man of a 
very good Mexican family I believe — a friend of Merri- 
pebbles, the stock-broker." 

K the prevailing ambition of Don Sancho de Saumarez 
were really to take people ofi:* their guard, he may be con- 
sidered on this occasion to have killed several birds by one 
very decisive stone. 

We will not follow Gregory Lynch through the laby- 
tiuth of new perplexities that beset him. Let it suffice, 
that he felt more prostrate than ever before the influence of 
his mysterious persecutor. The cause of this was a mad- 
dening reflection that if the alleged proof of his early guilt, 
in the possession of the latter were genuine (which he 
had vainly tried to doubt) the facts of his conduct on the 
memorable occasion of the water party, would form a 
damning auxiliary in their establishment before a court of 
justice. On the whole, he was relieved by the discovery 
that the Mexican had some apparent motive for conciliat- 
ing him. 

Six o'clock arrived, and with it, at the customary inter- 
vals, the dinner guests of Huskisson Lodge. Billy was 



156 MARSTON LYNCH. 

among the first, with rather more white neck-tie tham was 
niecessary, but resplendent of jewellery, and with the gene- 
ral bearing of two-and-twenty. Our old acquaintenoe, 
Mr. Tofts, was of the invited. It was his first admission 
to the mysteries of the Gregorian table — consequently, a 
day to be marked with a white stone in the merchant- 
prince-let's calendar. Tofts was a very fair specimen of 
Young Longport — where, as in other social latitudes, the 
rising generation is happily an improvement on its fore- 
runner. 

Old Longport cared for making money exclusively. 
Longport the younger inherits all his father's taste for that 
agreeable pursuit, and is quite as clever at it. But he has 
dawning perceptions of a distinction between means and 
ends, denied to his predecessor. He worships the family 
idol — ^money — with equal, but more enlightened devotion. 
He is not content with secret homage to the shrine — he 
accepts the Deity's blessings, and enjoys them openly. Old 
Longport was a sordid anchorite, given to fasting and cas- 
tigation. Young Longport is a jovial priest, in purple and 
fine linen, with his Gothic abbey amid rich pastures, with 
a goodly refectory, and costly illuminated missals. Mr. 
Tofts, while emancipating himself " by his own unaided 
exertions," as the pleasant fiction has it (I should like to 
see the phenomenon who really succeeded in life by such 
means), with surprising rapidity from a very obscure busi- 
ness position, had also made praiseworthy efforts to qualify 
himself for an infiuential station that seemed so read^ 
within his grasp. He had read a good deal (rather on tbe 
"cramming system, it is true), and never omitted the 
opportunity of a week's holiday to dash over as 
many thousand miles of Continential Kailway as might 
be practicable. He had more than a smattering of the 
principal modem languages, and could pass respectable 
muster in any general conversation on the arts and liteiiB- 
ture. Al&)gether — bating a little supercilious pompdttty 
— ^Mr. Tof^s was a very presentable sort of person. No 
truer index to his growing importance in the pabhc esleem 



MABSTON LYNCH. 157 

could be given then his recognition by Gregory Lynch as 
an intimate. 

The remaining guests, our old acquaintances excepted, 
were wealthy nonentities — shrewd, clever fellows enough, 
in their own sphere, but mere ciphers out of it. Biglow 
and Don Sancho were the last to arrive. The former was 
a little bit flushed — (they had been feting the printers in 
honour of number one, to the utter subversion of all dis- 
cipline) — ^but a florid waistcoat, such as could not have 
bloomed on«this cold side' of the Atlantic, served to tone 
down the tints of his countenance. His companion was 
in. faultless dinner costume, and in the highest imaginable 
^irits. 

Don Sancho was the life and soul of the evening. The 
churlish mistrust invariably evinced by Englishmen of the 
wealthy classes towards a stoanger — especially one who 
lays Imnself out to be entertaining — was soon overcome 
in the assembly by his easy manners, inexhaustible flow of 
conversation, and, above all, by his chameleon powers of 
adapting himself to surrounding circumstances. He. talked 
Exchange, stock and scrip, to the merchants, with sur- 
prising mastery of his subject. He explained fluctuations 
of money markets in brief historical essays, and picturesque 
glances at existing states of society. If a proposed foreign 
railway or mining company were alluded to, he had either 
travelled over the country, and could illustrate its resour- 
ces from his own experience — (generally in the form of 
exeiting adventure, often telling humorously against him- 
self) — or he could impart information on the subject, de- 
rived from other sources, that invariably proved of a nature 
most agreeable to his interlocutors. He entered warmly 
into all their dry, utilitarian topics, to which he gave an 
artistic and ahuost poetic colouring that surprised and flat- 
tered his hearers. He was moreover patient of interrup- 
tion aad contradiction ; and possessed the subtle art of 
{ai^ng' to receive enlightenment,, while in reality dis- 
pensing it. 

The merchants listened with almost childish attention to 



158 MABSTON LYNCH. 

the accomplished traveller and viveur, to whom so many 
unknown worlds, as well as their own narrow one, seemed 
familiar. He, in reality, monopolised the conversation 
without appearing to do so, He was prompt to discover 
the hobby of each convive, and which he took care to trot 
out gently now and then — never failing to give the animal 
an encouraging pat on the shoidder. He put words into 
the mouth of the speechless, and helped to deliver the diffi- 
dent. To Mr. Tofts he was especially attentive, and he 
had his reward. His encouragement of that gentleman 
was the means of affording him (Don Sancho) an oppor- 
tunity of establishing himself in the estimation of his 
hearers in a less equivocal position than he had previously 
occupied. 

Mr. Tofts had been to London recently, and discoursed 
of theatres. Mr. Tofts knew French tolerably well, so he 
preferred discoursing of the St. James's. He even went 
so far (incited by Don Sancho) as to attempt an imitation 
of a celebrated Parisian comedian, at that time delighting 
the Londoners, in a tolerably sparkling vaudeville. 

Toft's imitation was pronounced faultless by the mer- 
chants who were not judges, and by the stranger who was 
one. 

" But you must pardon me for saying," said the latter, 
" not that it is of the shghtest consequence — ^that the last 
passage was incorrectly given — so much in fact as to 
destroy the writer's meaning. 

" I think not,"a nswered Tofts, modestly. " I have the 
book at home. I read it only last week." 

"Then," retorted the Mexican, with a chuckle, "yon 
have possibly the advantage over me, for I only wrote it 
last year^ 

Tie amusing stranger was evidently believed to be 
joking. He, as evidently, enjoyed the impression. 

** Indeed 1" said Mr. Tofts, with good-humoured in- 
credulity. " Have I the honour of addressing M. Eug&ie 
Delorges?" 

" My name is Sancho Eugene Delorges Morcartz de 



MAESTON LYNCH, 15^ 

Saumarez," answered the other. " I am descended by my 
mother's side from a noble French family and a very 
ancient Irish one. Only, in my capacity of French vavde- 
villiste, I do not think proper to display my polyglot 
nomenclature in its integrity." 

A brief explanation convinced the assembly that the 
speaker was in reality a French litterateur of some honour- 
able standing. 

" I see the name of a Vicomte Uugine Delorges at the 
head of several French Joint Stock (Companies," observed 
an old speculator. "Any relation?" 

" I am the person," said the Don quietly. 

Tliis created an immense sensation — ^not, however, wholly 
favourable at first. It was rapidly cleared up. 

" I think," said the object of interest, in a tone of 
relishing jocularity, " I can see at the corner of my friend 
Toft's mouth an incipient sneer intended for my Vicomte- 
ship. I hope it will not be necessary for me to explain 
that * Vicomte' in France means the son of a Count. My 
father is the Conde Balthazar Lope de Saumarez in the old 
Castilian nobility. ^ I fell in love with an actress once, who 
persuaded me to take a Parisian theatre. I did so in the 
title I have since borne, and by which I am not unfavour- 
ably known in Paris. It is supposed to have some in- 
fluence in a prospectus. There is not the least disguise as 
to the nature of my claim to it." 

After this, the hero's reputation was fiilly established — 
more especially when it became known, on the assertion of 
several grave authorities present, that certain of the specu- 
lations of which the Vicomte Eugene was a director, were 
in a thriving condition. It transpired further, that the 
versatile stranger had (under another name) written two or 
three successful novels in English. Wary capitalists, who 
had hitherto held aloof from the wiles of his conversation, 
noT^ took wine with him approvingly. 

.Gregory Lynch experienced a wonderful feeling of relief, 
without being able to account for it, at the discov^ that 



160 MiJlSTON LYNCH. 

his former pearsecutor was a man of apparent respectability 
and positioa. 

The night wore away and the guests began to depart. 
Don Sancho received and accepted nmnerooB invitations to 
envied mansions. As the last knot was dispersing, he 
said to the host, in liis airiest tones — 

"Gregory, old boy; I think Til sleep here to-night. 
You and I have business to talk over. Tell them to make 
me up a bed somewhere." 

Gregory gave the required instructious mth the best 
grace imaginable. 

Biglow Miles and BiHy walked to Longport together. 
The former had been silent throughout the evening fix)ni 
combined causes. Billy with hisfacetioB had been throfm 
in the shade by the voluble stranger. Billy didn't like it. 

" I say, Long," he asked pettishly, when they were, ia 
the open air; " who wthat gassy chap, Saumarez?" 

" Why, I thought he was a Mend of yours?" 

" Never saw hm till the other nighi. , He came vritti 
an introduction about some share business. It was after 
office hours, and he apologised for following me to my 
rooms. There were a lot of us there, very jolly — and he 
seemed very jolly, so we asked him to stop, and he made 
himself at home like winking. But don't you know all 
about him?" 

"I only knew he was a devilish good actor about four 
years ago in New York." 

" Actor, eh 1 that was his game, was it ? What line ?" 

" Everything," was the complacent reply. " There's a 
late house open. Let's go in and paint." 

And so the two friends went into the late house, and 
painted. 

Perhaps ere they had quite concluded the operation, the 
subject of their late discourse was bringing to a dose an 
amicable conversation with his hospitable entertainer in 
ijiat very room where we have already seen them teie^ortite 
under more hostile circumstances. 



MAE8T0N LYNCH. 161 

" Well," said Don Sanchp de Saumarez, " this is better 
tlian cutting each other's throats, isn't it ?" 

•'Yah! I see your move plain enough now, at all 
events," Mr. Lynch replied, in an amiable growl ; " there's 
four thousand a-year to be won." 

" My dear Lynch, you mercantile people think of 
nothing but money. The money, though very good in its 
way, is nothing to the accompanying treasure. You'll 
write the letter ?" 

" Write it yourself— I'll sign it." 

"Copy it will be better. And now, show me my 

» 

loom. 

" How about the devotion to your dear young friend ?" 
asked Lyndi, with a surly grin. 

" My dear Lynch, you ought to be a sufficient judge of 
diaracter to have perceived that if any man happen to stand 
in my way, I am not the likely person to move. How 
¥eiy fortunate for you that I am no longer riding in your 
diredion. Here are the candles." 



H 



162 IIABSTOK LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

IN WHICH ME. GEBGOEY LYNCH DOES A VEEY 
FOOLISH THING FOE HIS TIME OP LIFE. 

Don Sancho Eugene Delorges Moriarty de Saumaiez 
-or, as he in his modesty chose to be styled — Mr. 
Saumarez, remained in Longport for the space of several 
weeks, and did there achieve much profit and popularity. 
As the honoured guest of Ghregory Lynch, he was, in virtue 
of that position, provided with a passport to every door 
that was particularly well worth knockuig at. His social 
qualities made him a favourite wherever he went. As 
nothing could be discovered to his prejudice — on the con- 
trary, as upon close and severe investigation he was proved 
to be really the man he represented himself, namely, the 
clever author and speculator whom the world knew favour- 
ably under the various names, his claims to which he so 
good humou]3edly explained on all requisite occasions — 
Longport felt rather flattered by his countenance than 
otherwise. Moreover, unlike most amusing people, he 
appeared in no want of money. Nay, he set his admirers 
perfectly at their ease on that very ticklish score, by show- 
ing a great aptitude for making it. As a recognised 
amateur on 'Change — a sort of honorary member — ^he 
struck " in " with a few lucky speculations, displaying the 
greatest sagacity in his manner of " staking," and coming 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 163 

off on all occasions a winner. A self-feeding lion was 
decidedly a novelty, and one to be encouraged. 

Mr. Saumarez, however, was too good a judge to out- 
live a reputation. In the height of his popularity — (which 
coincided with the depth of winter) — ^he declared himself 
" bored " with a northern climate — and the monotonous 
excitements of a mercantile commimity. He was off to 
Genoa one fine morning, carrying with him the regrets of 
a hundred desolate circles, and some very good names to 
add to his prospectuses. He carried something else with 
him which will be mentioned Hereafter. 

Mr. Saumarez decidedly left his mark behind him. One 
achievement of his alone would be sufficient to immortalise 
him in the annals of Longport. He provided Mr. Gregory 
Lynch with a wife. 

The fact was not so generally known as from the mag- 
nitude of its importance it deserved to be. Even the 
favoured Gregory himself never ftdly recognised the pecu- 
liar influence to which he owed his enviable happiness. 
Neither did the bride (of whom anon). Nevertheless, but 
for the diplomacy of Mr. Saumarez, the tremendously 
interesting event would never have come off. 

It happened in this wise ; — 

One morning, after a brilliant soiree^ at which Mr. 
Saumarez had been the central lion, reflecting honour upon 
Mr. Gregory Lynch as his keeper — (Gregory had grown 
almost fond of his former bugbear, whom he looked upon 
as a man who had possessed the power to drive a hard 
bargain with him, but who had been so good as to let him 
off cheap and not press for payment) — 5he merchant and 
his now formally established guest were at breakfast. The 
latter inquired, in a pleasant argumentative tone, — 

" Lynch, why the devil don't you get married ?" 

" Married ! Good heavens ! I never thought of such 
a thing." 

" More fool you." 

" Why ?" 

" Why I Because you can never achieve the position 

M 2 



164 JMARSTOlf LX^CK. 

you Aspdre to unleas you dQ» You have no home. Lmtmg 
people here i» worse than taking them to an hotd — because 
they are worse aeryed. . You have m eonnections — ^not 
eyen a family to show. You keep your chkkkeau m the 
badE-ground as if you were ashamed of them*^ 
" They are yeiy young." 

*' Just so ; but unless you have somebody to bring them 
forward, what are you to do with them when they grow 
up P The female head of your family appeals to be a gid 
whom you do not particularly care about." 
Gregory looked as if he didn't, 

*' At present you can ooly look upon them^ — ^I mean 
your children — in the light id poor relations — ^mere drags 
upon you, to be provided for some day. Now, if you made 
an alliance with one of the great meroantfle houses (you 
merchant princes ace like other princes ; your game is to 
identify yourselves with the imperial jGamiles), all these 
young folks would become desirable investments — ^a source 
of profit and honour to the parent stock. My dear fellow, 
I haven't lived among the petty Gepaim courts for 
nothing." 

" Well, reaEy, I may have thought of sueh a thing ; but 
considerations of my time of life — " 

" My dear fellow, you are not fifty — and since I have 
8^n fit to relieve your mind from some little oppresnve 
matters, you positively look ten years younger* You 9x9 
really not an ill-looking man." * 

Gregory Lynch pulled up his shirt collar, aod squinted 
at the chimney-glass. 

*' What would you advise me to do P' 

*• Marry Miss Gragstone/ 

"MissCragstoneP' 

Gregory fell back in his ann*chair« apparently over- 
wiielmed by a too daring proposition, 

Mr. Saumarez continued — 

" Why not ? She's in love with yOu. Don't laugh : 
of course I don't mean that — ^the idea of her being in k)ve 
with anybody is xaiber top absurd. B^i I know this — 



MTAUSTON LTKCK, 165 

I've had a great deal of conversation with her lately,' and 
I am convinced that if you choose to throw the handker- 
chief to her, stiff as she looks, she'll bend her baek to pick 
it np;" 

Gregory ^t up and paced the room backwards and 
forwards — rubbii^ his forehead the while. Here was a 
matter to be thought of. 

The great mercantile firm of Cragstone Brothers was to 
that of Gregory lanch and Co. much as the houses of 
Guelph, Bapsburgh, and Eomanoff respectively may be con- 
sidered to the faimly of Cobourg. Where Gregory Lynch 
commanded hundreds, the Brothers Cragstone played with 
thousands. Where Gregory Lynch owned streets, the 
Brothers Cragstone built towns. They had steamers to 
his fishing smacks : fleets to his squadrons. Hats that 
were only touched to Gregory Lynch, flew off in the mud 
before the Brothers Cragstone. 

Amongst their other valuable possessions the Brothers 
Cragstone owned a sister — a mature spinster of six and 
thirty, who, to do her justice, looked considerably younger. 
The Sister Cragstone was remarkably handsome — as far as 
concerned the moulding of her flesh, the texture and 
quantity of her han:, and the colour of her skin ; but into- 
lerably repulsive-looking, if an unmistakeable expression 
of arrogance, selfishness, and supercilious conceit be taken 
into account. An immense opinion of her own import- 
ance to the world, both from her intrinsic merits, and by 
reflection as a member of the great house of Cragstone,. 
had led her to devote the energies of her thirty-six years 
exclusively to the laudable duty of taking care of herself; 
in which task of devotion — the lady not being troubled 
with any of those weak-minded considerations for other 
people, which occasionally, in some of us, distract the 
attrition — ^her vigilance had never relaxed a moment. She 
was amply repaid for her trouble by the preservation of a 
smooth skin and an erect carriage, at a time of life when, 
the faces of silly sentimental people are usually a little 
furrowed and their backs slightly bowed. 



166 HAUSTON LYNCH. 

Suitors had sought Miss Cragstone's hand, of course, 
and knights on their bended knee, with vows that no 
maiden heart, &c., &c. But Miss Cragstone was Miss^ 
Cragstone still. The awe-struck people in the social 
regions below whispered that the lady was hard to please. 
But this was only true in one sense. Miss Cragstone was, 
perhaps, not so hard to be pleased, as she found it hard to 
please the most desirable sort of admirers. Miss Cragstone's 
style of fascination being rather too much in the "queenly,** 
style as it is sometimes styled, but as it reaUy means, in the 
excessively disagreeable line. She had cultivated the very 
distinguished faculty of contempt — with a view to inspiring 
the world with a due sense of her own exalted position 
above it — ^so successfully, that the world, at all events the 
eligible male portion of it, was afraid to approach her. She 
had persevered for yearsan insulting, " cutting," patronis- 
ing, sneering, and turning her handsome nose up at the 
world in the most consistent manner, and yet that perverse 
male portion alluded to, instead of falling at her imperial 
feet like dutiful subjects, persisted in running away like 
slaves frightened of the whip. So Miss Cragstone at six 
and thirty was Miss Cragstone stiU. 

It must not be supposed, however, that Miss Cragstone 
was a desponding spinster. Quite the contrary. Her 
opinion of her own value was unabated. She considered 
that any one she might condescend to marry — ^in the unac- 
countably delayed event of the right man presenting him- 
self — would be as higlily favoured as ever. Still peculiar 
reasons existed why Miss Cragstone should come down a 
little in the matrimonial terms should occasion offer. The 
Brothers Cragstone, whom she had long lorded it over with 
the rest of their contemptible species, were now married 
men with growing families. Somehow or other. Miss 
Cragstone's power and sway over their respective mansions 
was°not what it used to be. Certain conspirators, in the 
shape of wives, may have had some influence in this altered 
state of affairs. At any rate. Miss Cragstone's queenly 
edicts began to be met with something like open rebellion 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 167 

— even to threats of despotism. There was no hint as yet 
of reducing the supplies — ^let the Brothers Cragstone be- 
ware how they attempt anything of the kind ! Carriages, 
dresses, and retinue were hers at command, as formerly, 
and the royal privilege of inspiring terror whenever she 
made her appearance, was still hers ummpaired. But 
she felt that her empire was divided, and she longed for 
a kingdom of her own, over which to reign in undisputed 

majesty. 

So that when the diplomatic ambassador from the Court 
of Lynch, His Excellency Don Sancho, &c., Saumarez (at 
first acting without instructions from his Court), opened 
the delicate mission with which he had been charged — ^by 
himself. Her Majesty, Sybil the First, Queen of all the 
Cragstones, was quite ready to listen to his negociations. 
Gregory Lynch was past the heyday of youth, it is true ; 
but that promised submission to the prerogative. He was 
a little vulgar : — ^he would be the more awed by refinement 
and superiority. He was of low origin : well ! well ! the 
founder of the House of Cragstone, himself had forged 
his own sceptre. Finally, Gregory Lynch was comfortably 
rich — and as that vexatious eligible man seemed stiu 
detained somewhere or another, and would not come — 
why the proposed alliance was a matter for considera- 
tion. 

We wiU not pry into the hallowed secrets of diplomacy, 
to ascertain by what delicate means the wily ambassador 
brought his mission to a successful close. We will not 
divulge the imperceptible course of insinuations by which 
ihe Longport Beatrice was first led to look upon her 
unconscious Benedick in the light of a pimng Cymon, 
softened and humanized by the influence of an Iphigenia 
he feared to approach. We will respect the veil that 
hangs over the numerous subtle devices employed to bring 
the eventually stricken Gregory (to descend for once to 
non-diplomatic language) "up to the scratch," suffice it 
that, in the month of January, the exciting news spread 
through the length and breadth of Longport, that His 



168 HABSTON LYNCH. 

Mercantile Highness, Prince Gregory, was about to 
marry into the Commercial-Royal Fannly of Cragstone. 
The preliminaries of the alHance being duly settled. His 
ExoeUency Don Sancho de Saomarez went on his Gksioese 
way rejoicing — ^with what reason may, in the fulness of 
time, transpire. 

The Brothers Cragstone came down very handsome^ 
in the matter of dowry, so much so in fact, and with such 
barely decent alacrity, as almost to lead to a belief that 
they were only too glad to get rid of their splendid sisterly 
encumbrance at any price. This implied insult, howeTer, 
to his bride elect, was one that Gregory could afford to 
pocket. He was thoroughly satisfied with the idea of 
completing the fdmiture of his magnificent house with a 
magnificent wife — ^who moreover paid a ccmsiderable 
portion of her own expenses in advance. 

Miss Cragstone visited Husldsson Lodge previoiis to 
her marriage, with a view to appraising the prenases, 
stock, and fixtures, before finally concluding the ba^am 
which should make her their possessor. The decision was 
fevonrable. The Kve stock — I beg their pardon, Hie 
children — she looked upon as an encombrance to the 
estate — ^but the counterbalancing advantages decided her 
on putting up with them as a temporary inconvenience, to 
be disposed of on some future occasion. Miss Wareing 
she regarded as a trifling blemish on the fair prospect — so 
easy of removal at any time as to be unworthy of eon- 
flideration. 

The wedding was, of course, very splendid. The ddor 
Brother Cragstone, always celebrated for his liberal prims- 
pies, outdid himself in the gashing ahanddn of generoaity 
with which he gave his sister away at drarch. The 
happy pair departed, per North-Westem Eailway, for 
London, en route for the North of Italy. The event was 
ehronicled in the Longport serious papers in the fbUowii^ 
terms: — 

^Mabsied. — On Satarday, the 10th inst., at St. Aim^s 
ureh, Gregory Lynch, Esq., of Huskiflson L<M3ge, aeai? Loi^ 



MASSTON LYNCH. 169 

I 

port, to Sybil Anne, only daughter of the late Jehoeaphat 
Cragstone, Esq., of this town, and of Freestone Park, 
Rintshire." 

The comic journal of Longport, i.e., the WTdjpping Post 
(which had seriously astonished the natives by its pre- 
ternatural longevity) briefly alluded to the occurrence as 
follows : — 

*' MATBnfONL&ii. — ^We understand from the pnblic prints that 
the Hononrahle Member for Tape Street has entered the holy 
state of matrimony. We trust tiiai he had previously taken the 
precantion of obtaining a divorce — ^from his opinions, to which 
he was so notoriously wedded.'' 

« 

It is possible that the talented and precocious young 
editor of the publication just quoted regretted being 
restrained by the canons of good taste from expressing 
himself more strongly on the subject. 



170 MARSTON LYNCH, 



CHAPTEE XVIII. 

IN WHICH MB. MAESTON LYNCH DOES A VERY 
FOOLISH THING FOE HIS TEME OF LIFE. 

Whatever may have been the amount of bliss en- 
joyed by Mr. Gregory Lynch and his gracious bride during 
the earliest sta^e of their wedded career, there was one 
person, at all events, to whom their honeymoon brought 
days of unclouded happiness. This was Lucy Wareing. 

I have already attempted to display the little lady to you 
as a delicate, sensitive creature, to whose nature kindness 
and happiness were as indispensable as Hght and warmth to 
the flower. (We laugh at those jolly trite old similes 
when we are not in want of them, but are very happy 
to fall back upon them on an emergency notwithstanding.) 
She was happy now to be left alone in the big house, and 
grateful to those who had been so kind as to leave her 
there. I have said alone, for her only companions were 
little children (whom, by the way, as they will take no veiy 
active part in my history, I have not thought necessaiy to 
particularise), and uncongenial domestics. But the tiny 
children loved her for her care of them ; and the strong, 
independent servants pitied her for her uncomplaining 
loneliness. She had nothing to fear — and what a novel 
treat that was ! There was no terrible latchkey to the 
door to send her heart into her mouth with its relentless 
\eavy sounds. There were no heavy footsteps — ^as of 



MAESTON LYKCH. 171 

seven-leaugued boots — to make her count the stairs as they 
ascended late at night, and make her feel an ever-recurring 
wonder that they should stop at the landing beneath her, 
instead of mounting upwards until they trampled her to 
destruction. The haughty lady who had visited her two 
or three times — ^frightening her out of her wits on each oc- 
casion — had been so good as to go abroad for six weeks. 
What a good haughty lady ! Six weeks ! It was an eter- 
nity. And the little inconsistent body frisked merrily about 
the house with no more foresight, reader, than you and I 
display when we enjoy good dinners and invest money in 
the funds, with the full knowledge that in fifty years, at 
the outside, the worms will be enjoying and investing in 
us. It should be mentioned, in extenuation of the young 
lady's blind enjoyment of present good, that, though 
brought up in Longport, the advantages of a business ed- 
ucation had been denied to her, and she knew no better 
than to apply practically the maxim of a somewhat obsolete 
guide, with whose teachings she had some acquaintance, 
and who has left his opinion on record, that " sufficient 
for the day is the evil thereof." 

I am afraid though, when I come to look the truth fully 
in the face, it will have to be admitted that Miss Wareing's 
happiness during this pleasant period, was not entirely 
atbibutable to the negative causes I have mentioned. I 
am not sure whether at the time I speak of, those Paving 
and Lighting People, upon whose conduct Mr. Prebble, 
the printer, entertains such very strong opinions one way 
or another, had or had not opened a new street in the 
suburbs of Longport, rendering it a short cut from Ash Grove 
to the centre of the town, by passing Huskisson Lodge. 
I think something of the kind must have occurred ; other- 
wise it would be an inexplicable circumstance that, from 
the first day of Gregory Lynch's departure, a young gen- 
tleman whose way te the haunts of business had previously 
lain by a route at least three quarters of a mile distant, 
began to pass the house regularly every morning. 

The young gentleman was rather well-looking, and de- 



^7-2 MAE310W BTNCB, 

d^edly weU-grown. Thotigli, ke ««>«ld not be mam «^ 
twenty yea« pf age. he had displayed a highty S?eSS 
moi^he of ««pectable dim^i^ns, thoV I f^ tf 
the taith wnld be ascertained, not so bklk as TlZ 
painted He mom,ver had the appearance ^ IX 
Woomed mta a, splendid fteahness ^ attire-^ii^^ 

violeta and nmnnuo wihi me 



There was nothing remarkable in the feet that M«u 
Wamng shonld have noticed this young eentiem^ ^' 
first appearance-inasmuch. as she^pass^^S^X'^ 
ofW moirmgs working like a b^, and sing^KK 
lard (the h*ter only when, the weather was ^TLd^ 
Grcgoiy Lynch absent) at her little top window L^' 
looked on the public road. There was notS^o^t SS 
way in the young gentJeman's wa,Tng his hat to Zt\^ 
giacioua&mihanty, or m returning his salute with a bS 
smde andmany noddings of her golden curls. It w^ If 
fectly withm the range of oidinary circumstances thaUh^ • 
proceedings should be repeated on «ie following m«™^ 
But I confess it boks a Kttle hke design^ thT3^ 
somebody that^ on the third morning, theyoun||Slf 
man, ere he had reached the house by two or hT 
hnndred yards, should, on suddenly tm^ning a comer Z^ 
Mm Waremg m the act of taking hw two vot«^ 
charges out for a walk. But it should be mnembirSt 
tne winter had bean so severe and hrsg, and lie s&ri 
had set in with such unwonted- loveliness, diat it wm^ 
possible to stay in doora I It is moreover well knnm 
that young people cannot possibly haw too nmdt fi^ 

Miss Wareing advanced towards the young- gentlemaii 

wiliiout betraying the slightest confusion at the enoomrfsr 
(ste knew she had come out puiposely to seek it;, and was 
not clever at pretences) beyond a rosy bluA that ctvf^ei^ 
her- bright face all over^— and extended her hand to him; 

He took it, and held it,, rather as if he liked, it tfumi 
Otherwise. 

« WeU,, Maiston." 



JftASATON X«T»CH. 17S 



" Well, Lac^r 

^* I tbeught I fihoiild meet yon." 






** And you came on purpose ?" 

" Yes, indeed — " tlie large, liOBest, blu€i,€yes completed 
the senk»ee as plaafily .as &^ could ii^eak, with — ^' what 
else fihould I he here for?'^ 

" And so I did," said Marston, with a laugh; " how 
eipita% cafidid we both are, and what a deal q£ troid^le it 
Bavea! Bear little Lo^, I thought I ahould never see 
yott again." 

« I did'nt." 
No?" • ^ 

No. Eveiything is so pleasant just now with me. 
The weather is so lovely ; the hooae is so — so quiet ; I am 
flo welL I — I don' know why, but I thought I should 
see you/' 

*' Does seeing me complete the ha^iness^ then, Lucy ?" 

" Yes." 

Oh i that terrible fascination of innocent candour ! 
What a power it exercises! If those designing young 
ladies whom I hear of as existing in the world (but whom 
I have always considered as fabulous creations) could only 
imitate it, what much greater damage would they achieve 
than by their affectations of maidenly reserve and shyness ! 
But I suppose it must be inimitable» or they would surely 
have a try of it. 

Marston was fairly disconcerted by the looks of undis- 
guised admiration with which this little maiden regarded 
him, and by the evident happiness in his sodety, which she 
never dreamt of concealing. 

He took her hand agam, and held it in his own a little 
longer than before, ^e let it lie there in peifect 
security. 

" Wiy, Lucy, what a little woman yon have grown !" 

•*A veiy little woman P' said Jjacsy, with a smile 
that proved her a very pretty little woman, at all events. 

**Axt you in a huny to get home?" 

*' CHli no I Tbxxe ib nx^ody at home now to — ^to find 



174; MARSTON LYNCH. 

fault with me ; and tlie children have only just come tnA. 
I can walk till they are tired — ^if I may walk with yon*" : 

" Should you like to walk with me, Lucy ?" 

** Very much indeed, if you will let me." 

And the young lady accepted the arm that was offerU 
her, with a merry laugh, and skipped along like a fawn by 
the owner's side. 

Marston led one of the children by his disengaged hand 
— ^Lucy by the other. In this order they walked towards 
the town. Miss Wareing manifesting a decided inclinatiaii 
to burst into song by the way, wholly regardless of tfae 
mightily respectable tract of country they were traversmg. 

" And so you are reaUy happy, Lucy ?" 

" I am very happy indeed — to-day." 

And Miss Wareing, in her happiness, picked an earty 
spring flower that was obtruding through the railings of a 
most respectable garden, thereby displaying a lamentable 
ignorance of the rights of property. 

" And yet Saumarez told me you were treated with mose 
harshness than ever." 

A slight cloud darkened Lucy's sunny face, as she 
replied — 

" I am sure he was very wrong. I wish people would 
not take so muoh trouble about me — that is, I don't mean 
all people. All I want is to be let alone — ^no, I don't 
mean that — I don't exactly know what I do mean. But 
I liave been left to myself a good deal lately ; and I have 
been very happy. It is not fair to blame papa — I mean 
Mr. Lynch — ^for not caring much about me, and^ finding 
me in the way, as I dare say I am. But he's gone to 
Italy, Italy, Italy — " Miss Wareing's words were beginning 
to set themselves to joyous music — " and so — ^Look at that 
dear funny old lady in the large bonnet." 

Miss Wareing burst into a silvery laugh at the sight of 
an unconscious elderly female, ornamented as she had 
described, calmly walking on the other side of the way. 

The exuberance of spirits was contagious. Marston 
'^It that she could scarcely contain herself for the happiness 



MABSTON LYNCH. 175 

fifae derived from his presence — ^a happiness he could not 
help reflecting. What a terrible* enslaver is that discovery 
that we can minister to the happiness of another being I 

We will not follow these joang people any further in 
itheir walk — idiich was of very brief duration, for on an 
ttdmanion finom Marston that he had business to attend to 
(an admission he immediately repented having made) Lucy 
would on no account hear of her delaying him a moment 
longer. They parted, with a mutual promise to meet on 
the following day. Lucy, with a beaming countenance, 
stood watchmg the departing form of her late compaidon « 
aa long as he was in sight. Whenever he looked back, as 
he did many times, she waved her hand joyously. When 
he had wholly disappeared, she gazed for several seconds 
at the comer of the distant street that had concealed him 
from her view. Then she turned brisklv round to attend 
to her young charges. The smallest of those two indivi- 
duals looked a little fatigued. She whipped him up in her 
arms, covered him with kisse», dispelled the last trace of 
displeasure on his countenance, by a nursery pleasantry of 
some kind, and incited his maturer companion to a brisk 
trot homeward. The grim household gods of Huskisson 
Lodge were startled tAroughout the day by such echoing 
melodies as they had never before Kstened to. 

Marston Lynch and Lucy Wareing met and walked 
together on the following day, and on many following days, 
under similar circumstances. Each day Lucy looked 
happier, healthier, and more beautiful. Was Marston in 
love with Lucy ? He did not know. He frequently asked 
himself the question, but always schemed so to answer 
himself contemptuously in the negative. And yet, why 
was he so fond of seeking her society — always taking pains 
to set off his person and conversation to the best advantage 
for the occasion ? The answer to this was obvious. The 
rule of the gu'l's life was oppression and isolation ; kindness 
and sympathy were its exceptions. He had saved her life, 
and she was, of course, grateful to him. He was kinder 
to her than anybody else was ; and it must be admitted 



176 MASSTON LYNCH. 

(wil^ioat the slightest yanity, of course,) that his istellectaal 
attainments were vastly superior to anything she waslilcdy 
to be brought in contact witL It was natuTal that sike 
should take a pleasure in his society. And as the poor 
child had sudi &w pleasures^ it would be downright bar- 
barity to deny her iliis one. 

Oh, Marston Lynch, my young fioend! BelieTe me 
this kind of sophistry is dangerous — ^veiy dangerous indeed. 
EspedaUy for a not veiy strong young gentleman, 
just commencmg to hobble through life with no better 
crutch than Literature ! 

Was Lucy in love with Marston ? She never thought 
of asking herself the question at all. I fear this lady was 
not at all of a refl^ive or calculating disposition, but 
rather of the emotional order. The weaker was beautiful; 
and Marston was handsome, and good, and kind, and 
clever ; and the walks were lovely. Miss Wareing eiyoyed 
the happy time with aU. her soul, like— I am a&aid I 
must fsdl back upon my old friends the flowers and the 
sun for a sinule. 

At length a new element of joy was added to the delight- 
ful walks— one of extended freedom. Before the departuie of 
the newly-married couple it had been arranged that the 
olive branches of the Huskisson Lodge nursery grounds 
should be transplanted for a short time to the domain of 
one of the Brothers Cragstone — an arrangement originate 
with the family of the latter, as a graceful attention to 
their new relation. Accordingly, towards the third quarter 
of the honeymoon. (I fear Gregory Lynch, roaming from 
flower to flower with his mejestic Queen Bee, had left all 
the honey in the hive at home to be sipped by that little 
busy-buzzsing Lucy), the young folks were fetched away 
in a carriage by their new aunt — a good-natured, simpLfr- 
hearted wtunan, though she did live in a castle, and oxild 
never induce people to keep their hats on or thdr backs 
straight in her presence. The kind lady would glad^ 
have included Lucy (of whose existence she had never 
even heard) in her live cargo; but that demure little 



MARSTON LYNCH. 177 

person was seized with a sudden and invincible spirit of 
subordination. She had received no instructions to leave 
the house, and could on no account think of acting ^vithout 
orders in so important a matter. The good woman, after 
kissing her, patting her downy cheeks, admiring her golden 
curls, and loading her with compliments and presents (all 
of which Miss Wareing accepted without the least surprise, 
as natural accessories to the happy season her kind fate 
had provided for her), drove away without her, and Lucy 
was left literally the mistress of the situation, with her 
actions unfettered, and the big house all to herself. She- 
scampered up and down the echoing stciircases, and frisked 
in and out of the deserted rooms like an insane mouse. 

There were no limits to the walks now — nor was any 
subterfuge necessary for their being undertaken. Marston 
came openly to fetch Lucy, who took his arm at the gate 
in the most imblushing manuer. Our hero, by the way, 
never could be prevailed upon, absolutely, to enter Gregory 
Xiynch's house; the ringing of that gentleman's bell he 
considered a species of pollution. The female servants — 
wholly occupied with their own happiness, and that of 
certain captive butchers, bakers, and policemen — ^were not 
spies to be dreaded ; and the circumstance that there were 
neighbours with eyes in their heads was as indifferent to 
Xiucy as the possibility of the moon being inhabited. 

They were very delightful walks those — all tenderness, 
love, and confidence — ^though without a word of what is 
usually called love-making being interchanged. The chief 
topic of conversation was always Marston, his achievements 
and prospects — a topic, you may believe, he was neve;r 
weary of discussing, nor his companion of Kstening to. 
During those days the editorship of the Longport JFMp- 
ping Fost was conducted in the most slovenly manner. 
The numbers were got up anyhow. Formerly despised and 
regected contributors, (amongst them the writer of these 
pages), were lifted into the seventieth heaven of delirious 
happiness, by seeing their communications inserted by the 
basketfdll, without excision or modification. The circula- 

N 



178 MAESTON LYKCH. 

tion fell off deplorably, and the coimtenance of Prebbfe 
was sorrowful to behold. 

And where was the spirited proprietor — ^the enterprisBii^ 
Biglow — ^that he suffered such neglect of his interests? I 
have forgotten — or rather have not had an opportunity to 
state. But with the approach of winter that speculator 
had found his favourite post no longer tenable. It was 
always either damp or chonmy with rain, coated with ice 
like a tall twelfth-cake, or nightcapped with a pyramid of 
snow. It was impossible to sit down upon it. Moreover, 
the public house round the comer had changed hands m. 
favour of a degenerate landlord, under whose rigime tlie 
quality of the " Scotch" deteriorated shamefully. One 
disgustingly wet morning, Biglow paid his bill at the 
York, according to his daily custom, ordered a fly, and 
started at last for the Mediterranean, leaving Marston the 
copyright of the WMppinff Pod (then on the verge of 
" paying-point)," as a present — ^with a moderate balanoe 
at his banker's, to wind up or carry on the concern as )ie 
might choose. Marston would have adopted the former 
course — for he was getting rather tired of provincial fame^ 
and burned for a wider fleld (to which enpasmnt, he had 
been encouraged by several successes in the metropcditan 
periodicals) ; but the enthusiastic Prebble, whose fakk m 
the vitality of the p^per was unaccountable, offered to take 
it off our hero's hands, retaining him as editor at a reduced 
salary. So the IP hipping Fost lingered on, with MantoA 
Lynch as its presiding spirit. 

I have said that Miss Wareing was not of a calcuktii^ 
or far-seeing disposition. Nevertheless, to make use of 
my tiresome old flowers once more (this shall be the koi 
time, I give you my honour), I believe there are bodib 
specimens which close up their leaves and droop instine* 
tively at the approach of bad weather, long before the 
clouds have shown themselves. The happy time was all 
but over. A letter had been received annoonoing thai 
Mr. Lynch and his bride would be home on the follewng 
day. The two—lovers shall I call them, or what?- 



MABSTON LYNCH-. 179 

out for their last walk. Lucy's face was not half so bright 
as it had been ; the eyelids quivered, and she was quite 
pale. 

Still there was one fine day, and one long walk before 
lier, — and there was Marston by her side, as handsome 
axkd as kind as ever. To-morrow was a very long way off, . 
after all. 

They had neither of them dared to speak of their ap- 
proaching separation. Marston talked about himself and 
Ms brilliant prospects with unusual volubility — a volubility, 
in £8u^, that seemed almost forced. In the midst of a 
glowing prospectus of some tremendous literary under- 
taking that was to storm the two hemispheres, Lucy inter- 
zupted him, looking him full in the face, and speaking, 
almost for the first time of herself, said — 

" Marston, do you think I am clever ?" 

"Clever! why upon my word, Lucy, I have never 
thought of it. You are very good, and very pretty." 

" Yes, I know — at least, I did not mean that, but do 
yon think there is anything I could do to earn money — 
so as not to be one bit a tax or burden upon — any body 
that cared for me ?" 

** Well I really don't know, Lucy." 

" Nor I, but I want to know — I have no idea how much 
devemess it requires. There are a great many things I 
oazL do — quite well, indeed." 

She said this with an earnestness that made her com- 
panion smile. 

" Indeed, Lucy, and what are they?" 

"Oh,, nothing like what you can do, of course. I 
«KNild never write beautiful poetry and stories, — I could 
never write anything, for I cannot even speak so as to 
express what I mean. I can draw, though — ?' 

" You can draw very prettily, Lucy." 

"Yes — that's aQ; and I am afraid that isn't enough, 
Bttk I can play the piano better than any one I know — 
BKoeg^i Mrs. Enfflestone. 1 plaj much better than Maud, 
«r Ifiss Cxooze hers^.^ 

N 2 



180 MAKSTON LYNCH. 

'* Well, Lucy ?'* 

** What I want to know is — do not people live by 
teaching such things — and live very well ?" 

" Not very well, I am afraid, Lucy. It is a life of 
drudgery and anxiety at best." 

" Then that would never do — ^it would make me cross 
and weary, and perhaps ailing. It would spoil my 
looks — '* 

" You vain little puss !" 

" Indeed I am not. But I should like always to look 
pleasant, and healthy, and cheering — and to have so much 

time to improve myself and make me fit " She 

stopped and turned slightly red — adding immediately, — 
"TeU me, Marston, do you think I could act on the 
stage ?" 

" On the stage, Lucy ! Good heavens !" 

" I have often thought I could. I have been to the 
theatre two or three times with Mrs. Merripebbles, and I 
have seen girls who were not a bit cleverer or" — she added 
with slight hesitation, — " prettier than myself, very much 
praised and admired for what I think I could do better. 
Do not they earn a great deal of money — and live very 
comfortably?" ^ , 

"Far from it, Lucy. The majority of them do not 
earn enough to maintain them in respectability — a state 
which they have frequently too many temptations to quit. 
In order to attain anything Hke competence and position, 
you would have to go through many years of poverty, toil, 
and insult — through many scenes of misery and vice." 

"Vice?'' Lucy shuddered. 

" Yes ; you would be brought into contact with peojde 
whose conduct and principles would first shock, and ulti- 
mately deaden your pure and sensitive nature. At best, 
you would have .such a struggle to maintain your own 
interests that you would become calculating Qud selfish." 

" Enough, Marston — I see it woidd never do. Never." 

" But what are you thinking of, Lucy ?" Marston in- 
|uired with forced gaiety. " Surely you do not propose 



MAaSTON liYNCH. 181 

to leave your step-father's roof, and commence life on your 
Qwn account ?" 

" My own account ! Oh ! No — I mean when I think 
of such a thing it would be impossible. But go on talk- 
ing about yourself, Marston." 

Marston could no longer talk about himself. That self 
seemed no longer to have an independent existence. He 
mused over the girl's artless questions. He knew that 
they referred to a dim vision of passing her life with him 
— supposing it could be proved she could do so without 
being a burden to him — as well as if she had put her wild 
dreams (as she considered them) into words. He had 
vainly endeavoured to repress the feeling that she was as 
necessary to his existence as he to hers. He thought of 
the coming morrow, and foresaw his loneliness. But 
though a bold swimmer and a fearless satirist, Marston 
Liynch, in some matters, was "a coward, and a most 
devout cowEird — religious in't." Young as he was, he 
knew himself and his own helplessness of character. He 
shuddered at the terrible responsibility of another being's 
welfare. 

But here was this graceful, spiritual, little lady hanging 
lovingly on his arm — and Gregory Lynch would be home 
to-morrow ! 

They were at some distance from the house, but walking 
without any fixed destination. 

Marston broke a long silence : — 

•* Which way shall we walk, Lucy ?" 

•* Whichever way you please." 

**Kemember, this is the last walk we can take 
together." 

Lucy's eyeballs started; the muscles of her face 
quivered painfully ; and the little gloved hand trembled 
violently on Marston's arm. 

** Let us make the best of our time and make it a very 
lonsj walk." 

Oh 1 a very long one." 

Have you no choice of roads ?" 



cc 



1S% MAKSfON LYNCH. 

" Well, Maxston, if yon wisli me to say, there is one 
walk I have often thought of asking you to tal^ me." 

"And that is " 

**To go and see the river." 

" The river ! Ah, Lucy, you love the river, then ?" 

f Yes, Marston." 

" Did you always love the river so mudi ?" 

" No, Marston, not till " 

A choking sound checked Miss Wareing's nttexanoe. 
Streams of tears were rolling down her cheeks from her 
strained blue eyes. 

" Not till it was so good as to throw you into my anDs, 
dear Lucy, Marston said tenderly. He was on the p(»Bt 
of adding — ** arms that you shall never leave, my darling,'* 
but his cowardly angel stepped in, and imposed silence. 

" Come, then, let us walk to the river." 

And towards the river they walked, closer to each other 
than they had ever walked before. 

Though much earlier in the year, it was just such another 
day as that of the memorable water party. The sky was 
as blue, the gulls were as busy, and the river looked as 
sparkling and as lovely. 

The young couple stood on the town pier, their eyes, by 
common consent, directed towards the spot where their 
perilous adventure had taken place. Then the two pairs 
of eyes turned round and met. The little gloved hand 
pressed more heavily on the arm ; the little form nestled 
more tenderly and beseechingly to the beloved aide, as if 
imploring not to be driven away from it. 

Marston's cowardly angel showed symptoms of dozing". 

A little noisy, angry, steamer was snorting and kiekmg^ 
in the water, impatient to get away from a shore with 
which it appeared on the worst terms imaginable. The 

destination of the boat was B , the suburban bathing 

place on the other side of the Wynde, towards which onr 
friends had been sailing, as will be remembered, with, 
supper intentions, at the time of the famous accident. 
The stock of passengers was complete, and the moment 



HAKSTON LYNCH. 183 

departure had arrived. Marston put his foot on tlie 
plank of communication with the shore, just as a man iraa 
about to remoTe it, and looked round at Lucy. 

" Shall we— ?" was all he said. 

"Oh, yesV was the eager response; and the two 
yoimg people, perfectly understanding each other's meaU'* 
ni^,'went on board the irascible little steamer, which, 
being iximiediately released &om the detested shore, and 
bming no forthur cause for complaint, went on its way in 
the best temper imaginable. 

A quarter of an hour's steaming brought them to the- 
scene of their former perils. The two stood gazing at the 
vaier with hearts too full for words. 

Marston felt obliged to say something, so he said, 
playfiiBy, " Jump in again, Lucy ; I am sadly out of 
practice with my swimming." 

liBcj elung to him with a look of terror. 

•* Oh ! no, no ! " she said quickly. " Do not jest upon 
it. Though I bve to think of it — ^to think how brave and 
aArang you were — ^yet it frightens me when I think how 
neaiiy you were sacrificed in saving my little worliiless 
life/* 

•* I didn't think it worthless, Lucy, you may depend, or 
I should never have taken so much trouble to pre- 
a c a t t it." 

Lncy did not appear to heed the remark, but continued, 
as if to herself — 

"Nearly sinking — all but drowned, they said you were 
— and yet would not let go of me — a senseless dead weight 
tkat was dragging you down. While " — She stopped, and 
nsbengOig her musing tone to one of earnestness, said, 
" C^ Marston I you ought to love Maud much better 
iliBime." 

**I am very sorry to hear it, Lucy, for indeed I do not* 
But may I ask why ?" 

** Because wh^ I was- endangering your life — a helpless 
eaeanbrance fettering your movements — Maud was work- 
ings like a giant or a horse to save you. How I have k>ved 



184 MAKSTON LYNCU. 

Maud for that. How I wish I was strong and resolute— 
and rich, like her." 

^' You would not be half so loyeable as you are, being 
weak, and timid, and penniless, my Lucy." 

The steamer reached its destination, and our two young 
firiends landed with the rest of the passengers. The littte 
watering-place was a pretty toy village (they tell me it is 
quite a large town now), with a beautiM beach, and 
backed by a pleasant landscape. The day, as I have said, 
was remarkably fine for the time of year ; and the two 
young people walked about the beach and the fields, not 
till they were tired — ^that undesirable consummation was a 
long way off — ^but till one of them was hungry. Yes, 
unromantic as the admission may be, it was getting late in 
the afternoon, and Marston Lynch most decidedly wanted 
his dinner. 

He proposed that they should al fresco in the pleasure- 
gardens of the Httle sea-side hotel. Lucy, who would have 
walked all day without once thinking of such a thing as 
food, was delighted at the proposition. She would at any 
time have given up her dinners for a moment's glimpse of 
Marston ; but a dinner with Marston ! She had never 
thought so much of eating in her life before. 

Accordingly a dinner they had, and a veiy nice dinner 
too — ^materially as well as by its higher associations. But 
for the near and rapid approach of , that dreadful cloud, 
TO-MOEEOW, Lucy's happiness woidd have been perfect. 

After dinner they had more country walks, and then tea 
at the hotel. The happy time was all but over. The sun 
began to set on the last day of their freedom. There was 
now no blinking the fact, that those two dismal homes 
must be returned to. They resolved to prolong their day's 
enjoyment to the last possible moment, and only to return 
to Longport by the last steamer, which left a little after 
dark. 

I remember when I resided at Longport (or rather when 
I was in a place of business there ; for, like the heroine of 
the louching Westminster legend, I had my dwelling *' on 



MAKSTON LYNCH, 185 

the other side of the water) ", and used to waste an im- 
mense quantity of my employer's time and papier in writing 
contributions to the Longport Whipping Post, some of 
which Mr. Lynch (whom I looked up to with considerable 
awe) was so good as to insert; there was one subject 
which I made peculiarly my own, and on my treatment of 
which the talented young editor was pleased to compliment 
me in the most handsome manner. This subject was the 
liver steamers— upon which, I no doubt, wrote with con- 
siderable feeling — as they were a source of unending 
nuisance to me. There were opposition companies, whose 
amiable object seemed to be, not so much to enrich them- 
selves as to ruin their opponents. From threepenny fares 
they got down to twopenny; from twopenny to penny 
ones. With this unreasonable cheapness came a more than 
corresponding amount of nastiness. The boats were bad, 
the machinery worse ; the crews ill-paid, and consequently 
incompetent. The result was scrapes and accidents innu- 
merable. I was constantly getting in trouble at the office 
through the want of punctuality in the boats ; and as I 
was by no means remarkable for that valuable business 
qnahty myself, I considered their assistance superfluous. 
It is true that the medal had its reverse. If I happened 
to be too late through my own laziness, I could ^ways 
throw the blame on the broad shoidders of the steambeat 
companies. 

Ihe boat that was bearing Lucy Wareing and Marston 
Lynch towsirds Longport made a sudden stoppage when 
about half way on her journey. The shattered old ma- 
chinery had become seriously affected in some vital part, 
and could make no further exertions. The boat drifted 
with the tide down nearly to the mouth of the river, when 
it was foimd necessary to cast anchor on a mud-bank. 
The passengers had the pleasure of waiting on board for 
about four hours, till assistance could be procured. 

In consequence of this vexatious accident, before 
Marston Lynch and his fair companion reached the vicinity 
oi Huskisson Lodge it was nearly two o'clock in the 



ISS MAKSTON LTNCH. 

morning, wiiieli all riglit-ixiinded readers will agree witb 
me in pionoimcmg a veiy pretty time of night for a ycfuiii^ 
lady to be out of doors with no companion but a yoxsag 
gentleman. 

It had oome on to rain violently, and no conveyance- 
being obtainable, Lucy's thin garments were soon wet 
through. Marston hurried her homewards as ]:apidly as 
possible. The wind and rain allowed them little time for 
conversation. They deferred their adieuxs till the follow- 
ing morning. The married pair were not expected tQl 
late in the day ; they would have one last opportunity of 
meeting, however brief, and then — ^WeU, what then ? 

They turned the comer of a street that brought them 
full in sight of Huskisson Lodge. 

Both started back in horror. There were lights in aJl 
the windows. The sound of bustling feet and the mo^^e^ 
ment of heavy packages was heard, also that of voices in 
angry altercation. 

The dreadM truth flashed upon them at once. T%e 
master and mistress of the house had returned home, pre- 
maturely, during their absence. 

What was to be done ? 

A moment's reflection convinced Marston that there 
was but one course he could pursue. That was to restore 
the girl to her guardians and explain honourably tbe 
causes of her absence and its protraction. Conquering 
his repugnance to a meeting with his unde, and endea- 
vouring to re-assure the half-fainting Luc^ by sociL 
consolatioiis as he could think of, he approached the 
house and knocked boldly at the door. 

It was opened in a second by Gregory Lynch himscif — 
his oountenanoe distorted with anger and other leas 
obvious emotions. 

Luc^^s absence had been discovered. The secret of its 
origin had been wonned out of the servants. Mr. aiid 
Mn. Lynch had commenced their domestic career of a 
'* housewarming " of a most exciting nature on the 
itlgect. 



HABSTON LYNCH^ 187 

'* I have brought tiiis young lady home," said Maiston 
^piiddy, before his uncle had time to speak. " Howeyer 
vnaooeptable my presence may be, you must listen to my 
explanation — " 

^ Mr. Lynch, shut that door," said an imperious YOioe 
ftom the dining room. 

Mr. Lynch held the handle, and looked undecided. 
Montan pursued — 

" You shall hear me — ^and I insist you will not visit on 
lijeor head, an offence for which I alone am to blame — '' 

'' Mr. Lynch, do you hear me," said the voice in a 
londer key. 

" My dear — at any rate let us hear " 

The speech was cut short by the appearance in the 
passage of Mrs. Lynch herself — ^who burst from the 
dmmg room — ^her face the very incarnation of rage 'and 
cxnelty. 

*' I have told you I would not be insulted in mv own 
house, on the first day of my coming to it," she said in a 
ofaoking Yoice. " How dare you pollute this place with 
your presence ? Leave the house, you abandoned hussey.'* 

And with the vulgar spite of an infuriated fish-fag, 
rather than the dignity of an offended matron, the magni- 
ficent Sybil, thrust Lucy Wareing rudely through the 
door. Marston descended a step to save her from falling* 
Tke door was immediately slammed in their faces. 

I trust the reader will allow th^ I have got my hero 
into a very pretty situation. 

What was to be done P Marston's horror and indigna- 
tioii at the barbarity he had just witnessed were forgotten 
in his perplexity as to what provision he should make for 
his helpless charge. 

He was not long deciding. 

*' Come, Lucy," he said, after a painful silence, as he 
«lMped tfa^ sobbing girl comfortinglVto his breast, "dij 
your tears, my darling. This is a sad adventure, but we 
may both live-to bless it. There is something more than 
idumee in this. Providence seems to have designed me to. 



188 MAUSTON L^NCH. 

watch over and protect you. Do not regret the home you 
have lost — I will make a better one for you that you shall 
never leave. Lucy, you must be my dear darlmg little 
wife." 

She burst from his embrace with a wild cry, and 
exclaimed frantically — 

" No, Marston, no ! It must not be — not this way — 
not forced and driven upon you like this. K it had come 
at another time, and of your own free will, it would have 
made me happier than ever Uving girl deserved to be. 
No, it shall not be — ^let me go, Marston — it is cruel to 
hold me when you know how weak I am — ^let me go and 
never, never see me again." 

She struggled violently to get away from him; he 
detained her with gentle force. 

" Lucy, my darling, be calm. I say it shall be, and 
was meant to be. I already feel humbly thankful for the 
accident that has previously brought this about. With- 
out it, I confess, my selfish fears — no, not selfish, for 
they were fears that I should not be able to make you 
happy." . 

" Oh, Mai'ston ! " 

** WeU, they are at an end now, so never mind them 
I feel more strong and hopeful at this moment than I 
ever did before. You have made me feel like a mau, 
Lucy. I have a man's duties, and a man's strength 
before me. They shall all be devoted to making my dear 
little woman proud and happy." 

She gently placed her arms about his neck, and pressed 
her streaming face to his heart. She could only sob and 
exclaim — " It is too much — ^it is not real ! " several times- 
in succession. 

*' It is not half enough, my Lucy, and it is as real as 
your love," said Marston. " I shall always look back to 
this pouring night as the bright morning of my exist- 



ence." 



But the pouring night was only bright morning in a 
figurative sense. Materially speaking, it was a subject for 



' MARSTON LYNCH. 189 

• 

serious consideration. Where could Lucy be disposed of 
for the night ? Marston thought of his own landladies ; 
but the acerbity of the spinsters Crayners disposition was 
encouraging for so delicate an occasion. Pshaw ! what 
was Marston thinking of? There was Miss Crooze, to be 
sure. The thing was settled at once. 

It was a good mile and-a-half s walk to Ash Grove — 
and the rain continued with unabated violence. But 
never was the brightest moonlight promenade more 
fraught with bliss to two young lovers. Marston was 
astonished at his own serenity of mind and approval of the 
step he had taken. Lucy's heart was too full to speak, 
except in broken interjections. 

But as ihey neared their destination, she grew calm and 
thoughtful, and said in a sweet self-possessed voice — 

" Marston, before we part for the night, you must pro- 
mise me one thing faithfilly." 

" WUHngly my darUng — and that is ? " 

" That if to-morrow " Lucy checked a convulsive 

sob, and preserved her composure — ^though she spoke with 
embarrassed slowness — "that if to-morrow you should 
repent of what has occurred to-night, you shall tell me 



so— '» 



« And if I should do so, Lucy ? " 

" I dare not think of it — but, come what will, it must 
be done — or I should find it out, without you telling me, 
and you shall be free as if nothing had ever happened." 

" It's a very safe promise, Lucy, as I should never have 
to redeem it." 

" Oh ! Marston, are you sure ? " her voice gave way 
completely. " Can you be happy with me ? Am I good 
enough? Can I make myself so? I will try so hard. I 
will make myself so light a weight " — 

" That I shall be able to swim through life with you in 
my arms as easily as through the river. Eh, Lucy ? " 

" Marston, I have been thinking of that all the way." 

"Of what?" 

" Of the river. It seems as if I was bom to be a 



190 MARSTON LYNCH. 

helpless burden to you, to impede your moyements, to 
jetard your progress." 

*' EeooUect, Miss Wareing, if you please/* said Marstoa, 
gaily, " that I am au exceUent swimmer, and that it was 
anxiety on my account caused you to tumble into the waket. 
Here we are at Miss Crooze's." 

There was a light in the ^tting-room, for Marian was a 
late reader. Marston rang the bell. 

After some delay, and an inquiry from the voice of 
Miss Crooze as to the nature of her untimely visitors^ the 
door was opened and Marian appeared, candle in haaad, ia. 
the most unsightly of fireside costumes. 

She gazed at the dripping pair with speechless astonieb- 
ment. 

" Miss Crooze, — ^Marian," said Marston, in a low im- 
ploring Yoiee. " This is my dear little wife, who is turned 
out this bitter night without a home. Grive her one fwr 
to-night, for our old friendship's sake." 

Marian started back angrHy. Her dark eyes flashed, 
and she clutched the Mghtened girl by the wrist in no 
very gentle manner. Then, auddeidy relenting at the> sight 
of the pitiful little figure that was shrinking from her, 
lifted Lucy in her strong arms as she would have lifted an 
infant, kissed her tenderly, and carried her to her warm 
fire-side, like a careful mother. 

About a fortnight afterwards the following paragraph 
appeared in the Longport journals : — 

''Mabbied. — On Monday, the 14tb inst., Marston Lynch, 
Esq., of Ash Gh'ove, Longport, to Lucy, only daughter of the 
late Peregrine Wareing, Esq., of Manchestw." 



MABSTON LYNCH. 191 



CHAPTER XIX. 



SAUMABEZ MADE EASY. 



There is a little matter peniding between me and the 
jreader, which I am aware has been allowed to "stand 
over " a great deal too long. This is a lucid and unequi- 
TOcal explanation of Don Sancho de Saumarez. As I am 
about to leave Longport — taking with me as many mem- 
bers of my little pen and ink family as I can convemen% 
acQommodate — and as I wish to do so respectably, carrying 
a good name with me to my future sphere of action, it be- 
hoves me to consider well what out-standing claims there 
are against me, that they may be met, if possible. 

In a very early chapter, as one or two inveterate readei's 
may remember, I issued a sort of manifesto as to my inten- 
tions in the conduct of this narrative. I repudiated any 
design of exciting interest either by suspended mysterj^ or 
melodramatic surprise. I declared that my purpose was 
at once to lay bare my characters to the best c^ my ability, 
and let them plead by their own consistent words and 
actioDS for the Oder's /ympathy or ayemon. As an author 
who has not wholly succeeded in carrying out his oiigiaal 
intention, I believe I shall not quite stand ^one by a mil- 
lion or so of clever people who have gone hefose me. Still, 
I have endeavoured to adhere to mine — and oannot better 
prove my sincerity than by promptly remedying my shout- 



192 MARSTON LYNCH. 

c5omings in this respect, when I am conscious of them — 
wbich, by the way, reader, you may take as a fine moral 
example worthy of imitation in most things. You are, 
moreover, perfectly welcome to it, and are requested not to 
thank me ; as any thing of the kind would make me 
uncomfortable. 

I feel that, with regard to Don Sancho, I have kept up 
a mystery wholly irreconcUeable with my professions. And 
yet I think I can give myself the paradoxical consolaticHi 
of having done it very badly. The other day I caught a 
very true Briton of my acquaintanoe, whose glory it is to 
despise everything foreign, making use of a French expres- 
sion. I taxed him immediately with the disgraceful IM- 
patriotism. He was not a bit abashed. " Yes, my boy," 
he replied triumphantly, " I did speak French for once. I 
own it. But I flatter myself I pronounced it so that mo 
Frenchman could have ufiderstood what I meant/" Just 
so, I flatter myself, that though I have wilfully mystified 
you as to who and what Don Sancho really was, I have, in 
spite of myself, shown you occasional glimpses of his cha- 
racter that must have let you into the real state of the case. 

The last paragraph is intolerably conceited. How do I 
know I am able artist enough to make you understand that 
I have drawn a particular species of quadruped, without 
writing under it — " This is a horse." I see I had better 
tell you all I know about Don Sancho de Saumarez imme- 
diately. 

I will begin by avowing that his title was no more Don 
and his name no more Sancho, than yours or mine. That 
is one of the few statements that can be made of him with 
anything like positive certainty. What his real name and 
origin may have been is a problem not altogether easy of 
solution. He had been known, at different times, by a 
score of titles — ^to any one of which, on occasion^ he could 
establish a claim — by some ingeniously built theory, the 
praisemdlance of which baffled even those who had listened 
to, and believed in, a contradictory one on the previous 
day. 



1 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 193 

I have admitted, then, to start with, that he was an in- 
veterate liar. He certainly was : and he had carried the 
art to such perfection that his inventions could rarely be 
detected from the truth. He was like a well counterfeited 
coin, that may excite your suspicions, but which rings so 
well and appears so nearly of the right weight and impres- 
sion that you are fain to take it, in spite of your instinctive 
repugnance. Stripped of the many specious coatings of 
romance, with which, from time to time, he had embellished 
it, his naked history may be accepted as something closely 
resembling the following : — 

He was the son of an Irish adventurer and a Spanish 
dancer. Let not my thin-skinned readers on the other side 
of St. George's Channel take imibrage at the former epithet, 
nor at what is to follow. Ireland from an early date has 
been prolific in adventurers — ^in the most invidious sense 
of the term — a circumstance no more discreditable to the 
Irish character than the abundance of pickpockets in London 
is to the English. The thing is easily explained. Ireland 
is virtually a conquered country, with a race of Helots. 
The holders of the land are " gentlemen" (a word for which 
I confess to an early and deeply-rooted abhorrence). All 
their descendants, and consequently their hangers-on and 
imitators, must be gentlemen too. Work is as discreditable 
to the Irish "man of fanifly" as to the Inca of Peru, or 
the Carolinian planter. But, unfortunately, to illustrate 
my meaning by a vulgar image, the sow has not always 
sufficient teats for the litter, and the little pigs must be fed. 
Hence the tribe of social free-lances and fortune hunters 
that we have been typified in the O' Triggers and Mulli- 
ginns of modem literature — ^types of which every patriot- 
ically-minded Irishman must admit, while deploring, the 
truth. 

The father of the young man whose career I am about 
to sketch was the cadet son of a reckless and impoverished 
Irish family. Thrown on his own resources at an early 
age, he commenced life with the idSe fixi of leaping sud- 
denly into the false position he believed his birthright. In 



IM MARSTON LTNCH. 

-i^e puzsnit of ihis aim he wasted talents and ^K^gies 
)irtiich, properly applied, must have-secuxed him an honour- 
jflble poadtion in any commHxdty. He was imluoky in his 
jpeccdsttions. Heiresses refased to foe carried off, and 
^idxble companies wouM fonrst with fatal persistency. The 
xspidity of his moml descent may be oenceiyed. The un- 
vcmpidoiis speculator became the professional gamestcvr — 
^he gftmester was shortly recognised as the cheat. Buined 
m means And reputalsion, but still with a dogged bc^ef in 
'his right to live at the expense of o^diers, he found himself 
reduced, at the middle time ef life, to the wretched expe- 
ieUent of marrying a popular dancer of more than question- 
Able r^utation — ^whose earnings the fleeced, and at whose 
iitegularitieshewmked. The dancer bore a son (whose 
:»esemblance to her husband excited some astonishment), 
sobject of tthe present tremarks. 

Like Maarston Lynch, Sancho de Saixmarez (I will adhere 

tto the UAme for the sake Of simplicity) was the heir to 

xacmsideraible talents and accompli^ments. But — less for- 

Btnxnate tdian our hero in this respect— he had not the 

•advttiftage of receiving them with a favourable moral bias. 

As I shall have to display him performing many base and 

discreditable actions, I would have this duly considered in 

his extenuation. He had been reared in an. atmosphere of 

pretension axtd- dishonesty. Heiiad been taught to^oon- 

^der talents only as a means for taking advantage of the 

wodd. The human virtues were only Taluable for the in- 

isseest they would bring in. Temperance was to be enoou- 

vagftd, that the head imglilt be kept cool. Good breeding, 

caird the cultivation of the external elegancies, were good 

^'the obtaining of false credit. :Pro£dsenes8 and ^ho^i- 

ctality meee ipreliminary steps to fleedng. Education was 

an investment that would bring in returns in a thoosand 

diffeieiEt tways. '* Knowledge is power'* — ^was a maxim 

to be {loeeptcd in a Jvery different sense to that intended by 

Saccm. 

The gxdck^witted'lad 'kamed his iniquitous lesson only 
jtoo'sead%. At Idte- age of (nineteen he was Itift to his «wn 



MAJWaTON LYNCH tl&5 

xesotujces. His mother, the •dauoer — worn out by a life of 
vice and ill-treatment — 'had i^itirely lost the charms whioh 
ensured her popularity — >and mack her a desirable invest- 
ment to her calculating husband. The latter had throivoi 
ber off like an old garment, and attached himself to a more 
youthful and profitable yocalifit — 4he wih of another man. 
The wretched woman — ^never at any time of a strong mind 
"—^md having long had all «nlf-re§pect beaten out of .her — 
died at an early. age, a eomfiimed drunkard — only rescued 
j&om. starvation by the fruits of her son's first vultures as 
a ckevaim' d^mdmtrie on his own account. It is a good 
.trait in his character, that to the last 4ie had never aban- 
doned a parent, to whose tend^ness he had never been 
much indebted,. and for whose character he could not but 
feel the utmost contempt. 

Le the reader imagine a, youth of nineteen, of premature 
pb^ical development, with a keen relish of life, having 
travelled half over the world in the company of black-legs 
aad iTWindlers from his cradle (for ^the father, while using 
Ms wife's earnings as a reserve, had never neglected his 
own calling as professional gamester) — ^with a knowledge 
of almost eveiy European language, and a xeady faculty of 
self-adaptation to any circumstances — moreover, never 
having had a single moral principle instilled into his 
nature : imagine, I say, such a personage thrown loose 
•upon London, and .consider whether or not he was an a 
position of danger to himself and society. 

His iirst eisperiment would seem at a glance to have 
been of a character to encourage him in .an honourable 
career. He wrote a novel that achieved a brilliant though 
ephemeral success. This was foUowed by another*, with 
equally fortunate results. A third succeeded, that -was a 
deplorable failure. It was soon discovered that .the two 
first ware, refi|)ectively, barefaced thefts 'firom the Piencdi 
and Grerman. This, however, was a matter intesnating 
only to the critics. The ^public were amused, that ^was 
sufBcient. in the third adventure it is probable that ihe 
writer had rashly trusted to his own resources. 

o 2 



196 MARSTON LYNCBt. 

Still, supposing the young Bohemian to have really pos- 
sessed original talents of a character to ensure him a In- 
timate position in literature, it is doubtful whether success 
so obtained would have satisfied him. The thing was too 
straightforward. His gigantic organ of secretiveness re- 
quired exercise of a more artfiil and involved character. 
The only kind of literary triumph he thoroughly rejoiced 
in was such as having successfully frustrated another man's 
idea, having mystified the world by the forging of another 
man's style, or having borrowed a plot, character, or ex- 
pression, from an obscure source, and kept detection at 
bay. The organ of veneration was almost absent from his 
head ; but there were two literary names that he held in 
something nearly approaching to reverence. These were 
Chatterton and Daniel De Foe, whom he respected, not as 
able writers, but as gigantic hoaxers. The literary swin- 
dles of Mr» Edgar Poe had not yet reached this country, 
or a third idol might have graced the shrine. 

The young gentleman, in fact, was something like the 
enthusiastic pickpocket recently examined by Mr. Henry 
Mayhew, who declared that, "if he had two thousand 
a-year he wouldn't give up stealing." No honour or profit 
was, in his estimation, worth having, unless obtained 
by some ingenious chicanery. It is not to be supposed 
that such propensities would remain long satisfied with 
venial tricks upon the reading and publishing world. His 
name soon got mixed up with graver deceptions, and, at a 
very early age, he was a marked man in London, with a 
fly-blown reputation. 

Still his youth, talents, and many excellent qualities 
secured him a very long impunity. He was tolerated even 
by men of irreproachable lives — ^fiilly aware of his moral 
shortcomings. He was, indeed, an excellent companion, 
faultlessly good-tempered, and without a grain of malioe 
in his composition. 

One day a popular author, more celebrated for his 
honhommie than for any particular delicacy of taste, said to 
% — 



a«;ARSTON LYNCH, J 4^7 

** I say, you, whatever you call yourself to-day, I won- 
der, amongst all your schemes, you have never thought of 
the dodge of turning honest. You are a devilish pleasant 
fellow, but we can't recognise you, you are such a thunder- 
ing rogue. Why don't you drop it, and become one of 

'* I am fond of antitheses,'* was the well-earned reply. 

Another popular author, more celebrated for his im- 
mense opinion of his own influence than for the possession 
of any other quality, publicly announced his intention of 
taking the young scapegrace in hand, with a view to his 
immediate reformation. He invited him to dinner, and 
cruelly monopolised the conversation during and after the 
feast, by the enunciation of moral principles of the "round 
hand copy" school. The young man wept tears of contri- 
tion, and promised speedy amendment. His self-satisfied 
mentor boasted prodigiously of the convert his eloquent 
preaching had secured to morals and society. 

The next day the strenuous exertions of his most influ- 
ential weU- wishers liad to be employed in order to save the 
hopeful neophyte from criminal prosecution, on a most dis- 
creditable bill transaction. 

But there was one active principle in the nature of the 
man I treat of, even more absorbing than the fondness for 
plotting and intrigue. It was vanity — of the most insa- 
tiable description. This passion may have been the means 
of saving him the commission of many of the graver 
offences — ^to which mere calculation woiid possibly have 
led him — as he would at any time forego interest or honour 
for the sake of a moment's effect. It even led him to per- 
form many meritorious actions ; as the desire to appear 
good — whatever its basis — ^inevitably must do. He would 
^ve his last guinea to a road-side beggar for a moment's 
reputation as a millionaire ! 

Still the gratification of the latter passion often went 
hand in hand with his worst propensities. Alone— without 
witnesses — ^he was humane enough to save a drowning fly, 
or, what requires more self-denial, to assist a prostrate 



198 MAB8TON LYl^eH. 

fiiend-; Bni he wa» capable of murdarag' his brotiier ifhe 
eonltB think ot any eou^ de thSaire that' Tfould make \b» 
esscntioB: go off wiiii miusual eclat: Ife was, physiGa%, 
ar great coward ; and/ as I have indfeatedj Bad not a par- 
ticle of vindfctiveness in. his composition- NcYCTtlieleBs, 
he had fought a duel with imperturbable sang froid — 
nearly killing an adversary for whom, secretly, he had the 
strongest personal' n^ard. 

Some months before the opening of our narratiTe—find^ 
ing his great strongholds, London and Pkris, a little too 
hot to hold him — ^he had emigrated to America, at the 
head of an operatic speculation. A« he W8» an admirable, 
clear-headed man of business, he easily made this tell to 
his profit. From the United States he proceeded to 
Spanish America — every inch of which ground he had 
gone over in his youth with his unprincipled parents. 
Having disbanded his troupe in Mexico (not leaving them 
in the lurch, for be it understood he was incapable of deli- 
berate cruelty or mere avarice, and his earning* on this 
occasion enabled him to behave munificently to all in his 
employ), he was proceeding northwai'd to create a sensation 
in New York, with exaggerated accounts of his ne^y- 
acquired wealth (in reality but a few hundreds), and a 
bran new romance as to his personal history, when he met, 
by accident, in Vera Cruz, Gregory Lynch's wretchfid 
heart-broken accomplice — Donovan. Strange to say, 1^ 
account given by our ingenious friend, while temporarily 
rejoicing in the name of Brown, of his rdaticms with this 
person, was founded on actual trul^. They had been 
really schoolfellows ; and the poor, contrite, spiritless 
wretch, unexpectedly cheered in his- last moments by- the 
presence of a man he had known, and not imdeservedly 
loved as a boy — had relieved his aching heart by a confes- 
sion of his guilt, in the forlorn hope that tardy justioe 
might be done to those he had injured. Saumarez took 
the most careful notes of the case, and promised the dying 
man his wishes should be attended to. "When he had'fbl-^ 
lowed the poor outcast to his grave— not without^ harvin^ 



MABSTON LYNCH, ItSt 

previously surrouuded his siok-bed with every comfoii that 
money or kindness could procure — -he at once started fw 
New York, with the determination of applying the know^ 
ledge he had obtained to his own advantage, lb rapidly 
conceived a plot, the intricacy of which excited all the ajw 
dour of his intriguing nature. He had receivted a hint of 
the presence of ]\£artin Lynch and his father in New Yorfe. 
His iirst idea was to associate himself witii their inteFeste^ 
aad sdl his secret to them at the expense of Gregory . Ha 
found them starting for England, the fether evidently in a 
dying state. He took a passage in the same ship, andpvo- 
oeeded rapidly to study the character of the pair; He soon 
discovered that no satisfactory results were to be expeotdd 
from them. He resolved to keep his own counsel-^-and 
make his secret valuable by intimidating Gregoiy . 

During the passage homeward he became sincerely 
attached to Marston Lynch. He resolved, secretly^ that 
our hero, should derive some benefit from the plot he 
had ooncocted— provided bis own interests were not. inters 
fered-with 

Don Sancho de Saumarez was very attentive to; JfiBr; 
Everard Lynch during the passage — equally from a desae 
to possess himself of every detail of the famfly history, and 
from genuine humanity of disposition. His bonkommie 
and knowledge of the world, as has been seen, rapidly e»»» 
deared him to Marston. Perhaps the daily assoeiation 
with such an ingenuous nature as that of our hero, made 
Don Smicho de Saumarez a better man during that fort^- 
night than he had ever been before, or ever became aftei^ 
wards. It is a pity those American liners cross over 9% 
rapidly ! Who knows but if the voyage had endured a £e»w 
weeks longer, the unconscious teacMngs of the youngs 
man would have sunk deeply into the corrupted heait dt 
his worldly companion, and Don Sancho de Saumamv 
might have landed in England a reformed' being. Who 
knows ? I am sure I do not. It were a pity that lile 
maxyellous developments of steam navigation, should be le* 
tarddd^for the mere reserve of one human soul from viee. 



200 MABSTON LYNCH, 

Besides, if Don Sancho de Saiimarez had been cured of 
being a scamp before the opening of our first chapter, 
what would have become of this delightful history? 
Obviously, whatever is, including Mr, Pope's philosophy, 
is right 1 

And now, whatever it may cost me, I am about to tear 
off the last scrap of romantic gold lace that made Doa 
Sancho de Saumarez a picturesque personage. Hence- 
forth, he mu9t be utterly commonplace. He put on that 
Mexican dress in which he was first introduced to the 
reader, solely because he knew he had to call at a house 
where there was an evening party. His pretending to feel 
faint in the lobby was pure humbug. He had never felt 
better in his life ; but he had made up his mind to be in- 
vited to spend the evening. The blood mare which made 
such havoc of the turf and female hearts of Ash Grove on 
the following morning he had simply hired : he never rode 
her a second time. The twenty-pound note he gave Mrs. 
Merripebbles was, at least, ten pounds more than he could 
comfortably afford. There was not the least necessity for 
him to disguise his person or to call himself Brown on the 
occasion of his visit to Gregory Lynch. But he could be 
nothing if not melodramatic. 

It is true that in establishing for himself a reputation for 
high breeding and munificence in Ash Grove he had an 
ulterior design. From the first hint of Miss Carlton's for- 
time, he had smelt out another plot worthy the engagement 
of his faculties. An heiress of such importance, surrounded 
by mere hourgeoisy he thought would become an easy prey. 
But it was against his principle to win her by easy means. 
He resolved to marry her one day 5 but the prize was not 
worth having unless obtained over surmounted difficulties : 
if none of sufficient magnitude occurred, he would make 
them. Hence his desire to attach Marston Lynch to Lucy, 
at the first hint of Maud's partiality for our hero ; henoe 
his willingness to waive his power ever Gregory, for the 
sake of that gentleman's countenance and valuable intro- 
duction ; hence his furtherance of Gregory's marriage with 



\ 



MAESTON LYNCH. 201 

a narrow-minded, spiteful woman, wlio would be sure, by 
her ill-treatment, to throw Lucy into the arms of the chi- 
valrous and warm-hearted Marston — a result that circum- 
stances brought about more rapidly than the self-styled 
hidalgo could have anticipated. 

Do you understand Don Sancho now, reader ? I hope 
you do. As I have hinted, I shall have to show him to 
you in the performance of many discreditable actions. But 
for my sake do not think too harshly of him. K, when I 
shall have done with him, it should turn out that you 
regard hiTii in a wholly detestable light, I shall have dealt 
unjustly with him. Bear with him and me, as I intend to 
go on abusing, despising, and liking him immensely, to the 
end of all these agreeable chapters. 



20a HAS&TON LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE GKEAT METROPOLIS^ 

• 

About four months after Marston Lynch's marriage — 
a period which happened to coincide with the height of 
the London season — a heavily laden cab drove up to the 
Bedford Hotel, Covent Garden ; a very sensible thing for 
a cab to do at any time, supposing such vehicles to take 
the slightest interest in the welfare and comfort of their 
passengers. 

The usual crowd of waiters and satellites were at the 
door immediately — a vista of spruce chamber-maids liniTig 
the entrance-hall, pleasantly terminating in a distant view 
of the landlady's own smiling countenance. Ere the 
majestic head waiter had well touched the handle of the 
cab door, and prepared the muscles of his body for his 
courtly bow, the door on the other side of the vehicle was 
burst open from within, and a tall handsome young lady, 
in elegant travelling n€glig6 leapt out into the road, with 
supreme indifference to the orange skins and cabbage stalks 
which are indigenous to every inch' of Covent Garden soil 
not absolutely protected by foot pavement. 

She swept pass the somewhat awe-stricken officials with 
most perfect nonchalance, and was heard ordering a private 
room in a tone of voice that seemed to imply habits of 
undisputed command. She was soon seen tearing up the 
hotel staircase — ^hotly in chase of a flying chamber-maid — 



MAASTON LYICGU.. 20.3 

at a* rate of speed that would have made the action of 
less gracefully adjusted limbs in the highest degree un- 
dignified. 

" Where m that girl off to ?" said a female Toice from the 
eab. And the dusty and travel-stained countenance of 
Mrs. Merripebbles peered through the open door, after the 
reia:eatiag form of her impetuous daughter — with an expres- 
sion strongly resembling that of an anxious hen, whose 
brood of ducklings has taken for the first time to the 
water. ** Do go and look after her, Mr. Merripebbles; 
You ought to be ashamed of yourself — a man of your age 
to have no more controul over such a mere child!" 

Our meek old friend merely shrugged Ins shoulders. It 
was rather a difficult task, as he was somewhat too long^ in 
tiie back to sit comfortably in any earthly cab, and was, 
moreover, fairly built up in bandboxes and carpet bags. 
His better half alighted, and darted in pursuit of Miss 
Carlton. The head waiter and his assistants, by a series 
of Layard-like exertions, succeeded in unearthing the ex- 
stockbroker from the various strata of luggage in which 
he had been embedded. 

He straightened himself on tiiie pavement with some 
difficulty — smiling like an amiable s^ent who had 
been frozen and was grateful for the approach of warm 
weather. 

But then came a terrible revulsion of teeling. His wife 
had left him to settle with the cabman ! How ever was he 
Ujf get through it P 

Of course, the driver was the most trucident of his 
secies. Such men always, instinctively, get hold of ihe 
xnildest fares. 

Meiripebbles, in fear and trembling,, requested the ter* 
rible man to name his price. It should be stated that 
those were the days of eightpenny mileage — ^for the name 
of Eitzroy had not yet earned the execration of cabraanity 
and' that the vehicle had come no greater distance than 
from the South Eastern Eailway Station. 

''Well; the fare's six bob," said the driver crudly, 



204 MARSTON LYNCH. 

and with a perfectly demoniac expression of counte- 
nance. 

(Why do cabmen always speak of *' the fare" with such 
a mixture of spitefulness and contempt, as if they con- 
sidered it a mere drop in the ocean of their merited remu- 
neration?) 

Merripebbles almost shrank into his boots. Jfe groped 
in his trowsers pocket and clutched nervously at what he 
felt to be eightt shillings. If he only dared offer so con- 
temptible a sum ! 

The cabman leant forward on his box, clutching the whip 
threateningly — as if he had half a mind to give Mr. Mer- 
ripebbles a thrashing — and added in a more uncompromis- 
ing tone of voice than before 

" And there's two women and all that blessed dollop of 
luggage." 

Our old friend looked remorsefully at the carpet bags, and 
felt somehow as if he had committed an offence against 
society in getting married. He added another shilling to 
the handful, aud proffered the. combined amount with a 
quivering hand. 

The cab was out of sight in a second. 

Merripebbles feared that he had acted meanly — ^the man 
had evidently driten off in disgust, with all the honest 
pride of outraged poverty ; and he was, perhaps, the father 
of a large family ! Still, Merripebbles was glad to be re- 
lieved of the terrible presence. On the whole, he felt 
supremely happy. He had been dragged away from 
Chamounix at a moment's notice. He liked that above 
all things. His wife and step-daughter had been so kind 
as to bring him to London, and were going to take him 
to the play that very evening. 

He was pleased beyond measure. Having made a point 
of looking after the housing of the luggage, he stood in the' 
portico of the Bedford Hotel, gazing at the cabbages with 
an aspect of waggish benignity. He felt in a frame of 
mind for enjoying life. He rushed over the way, and 
purchased a pennyworth of cherries, which he enjoyed 



MARSTON LYNCH* 205 

under the piazzas with a relishing sense of dissipa- 
tion. 

Not for long, though. He was soon fetched by a waiter. 
" The lady" wanted to see him immediately. 

Mrs. Merripebbles was seated in a private sitting-room, 
Marius-like, among the bandboxes and portmanteaus. Her 
husband nearly choked himself with a cheirystone, and 
smashed tSe remainder of his purchase by sitting down on 
his coat pocket, where he had hurriedly concealed it. He 
suffered from moisture and " clanmiiness" of the pocket 
for days, not daring to divulge the source of his un- 
easiness. 

"Well, Mr. Merripebbles, and pray where have you 
been?" 

" My dear, I have been seeing after the things." 

Merripebbles blushed, and felt himself the most harden^ 
of liars. 

" Stuff and nonsense, Mr. Merripebbles ! The things 
have been brought in this hour (they had barely been 
twenty minutes in London) : I see you are determined to 
drive me mad. After having brought me goodness knows 
how many miles to go to a theatre, and then leaving me at 
the mercy of goodness knows who." 

Merripebbles thought of the cabman. He felt that he 
had, at least, undergone his share of the perils of the 
voyage. He was hurt ; but, of course, did not say so. 

" My dear," he said, in his usual deprecating manner, 
" you are a little flurried by your journey. Perhaps a cup 
of tea will set you right. I am sure, when you are more 
yourself, you will give your own common-sense a little 
play." 

" I know what you mean, Mr. Merripebbles, and it*s 
just like you. You were going to throw the blame on me 
for coming all the way from Chamounix to see Mr. Marston's 
new piece-j-as if I cared for such vanities. Lord save us, 
what would the Eeverend Mr. Birch say ? But you know 
very well that if we hadn't come Maud would have come 
without us." 



206 MAllSTON liYNOB. 

" Then, my love — ^with all respect— don*t you think we 
did quite right in coming with her ?" 

" Don't telk nonsense, Mr. Merripebbles : you encourage 
that girl in all her wilfakiess.and vanities. If she wBilted 
to inarry a sweep you would be ready to give her away 
to-morrow — dressed up «e a Jack in the green, if she 
ordered you." 

Merripebbles eould not gainsay this hmmliating hyjjo- 
thesis. His wife contimied, in a sort of iil-tempei©d 
soliloquy — 

" Upon my word I sometimes wish aU newspapers were 
burnt, and their writers with them. Just because a stray 
copy of the Swndqiy Times happens to reach us, in a place 
where we were living an orderly and pious life, saying thiit 
this new play by young Mr. Lynch, of Longport, is ex- 
pected to cieate 'SUch a sensation at the Cork-stareet 
Theatre. I know what you mean, Mr. Merripebbles, ^ 
your smiling, you are glad we come. You are like a 
baby—" 

" My dear, I am pleased to think of our young *fiiend 
being likely to succeed so well in the walk of life he bas 
chosen. In spite of the Eeverend Mr. Birch — ^who is a 
very able man — I do not see that there is anything in 
dramatic amusements — " 

" You are simply delighted that you are going to tHe 
Theatre. That is all." 

" My dear, if you wish it, I will stay where I am." 

" Don't be ridiculous, Mr. Merripebbles, I would lay a 
wager you haven't even thought of getting a box : perhaps 
you would like myself and daughter to sit in the front row 
of the gallery ?" 

Merripebbles felt himself absolutely " cornered" in the 
discussion. He fell back upon his old remedy of rubbii^ 
his head and staring at nothing. 

A waiter entered the room, and placed an envelope witli 
a large seal on the table. 

''Private box — ^Mr. Sams's," was his laconic ex]^- 
nation. 



MAESTON LYNCH. 207 



<c 



Who is Mr. Sams ?" inquired Mrs. Merripebbles. 

The waiter stared. Not to know who Mr. Sams was — 
tndibin a circuit of a hundred miles or so about any of the 
Xiomdon theatres — ^was a condition of mental darkness which 
no Covent Garden waiter could wholly appreciate. 

However, it was not in his engagement to be astonished 
st any eccent^city that the privileged locataires of the 
Bedford might indulge in. So he controlled his feeMngs, 
aad^said meekly — 

"Number One, St James's-street — Library, and Opera 
boxes." 

"But how does he come to know us? I'm sure it's 
very kind of him — ^but I don't even know the name." 

Now the waiter saw his way clearly. 

"Young lady — ^Number Twelve — sent for hairdresser, 
joid Prinrate Box, Coark^street Theatre — first thing. Hair- 
dresser up stairs, now. Only private box left — large let, 
this evening. Mr. Sams's compliments — ^three guineas. 
Coming!" 

Exit waiter, precipitately. 

:Mts. Merripebbles groaned. 

" Three guineas ! Well, to be sure, I shall expect the 

-TQof to fall in upon us for such sinful extravagance. It's 

enough to keep half-a-dozen poor families for a week! 

And only to think how moderate the boxes were at Milan 

dotd Geoioa.'^ 

"limust say it is very extravagant on the part of Maud. 
We might just as well have gone to the pubUc boxes." 

"I dare aay, Mr. Merripebbles, to be crowded among 
linendrapers and shoemakers. Lord forgive me for 
despising people in a hunibler condition than ourselves ! 
Sut yon needn't be afraid. If Maud is extravagant, it is 
with her own money, and she has never been indebted to 
. jfon for a dEftrthing. There, I heg your pardon, Mr. Merri- 
qiebMes. Yon nsedn't fly out. Because I happen to be 
,^ed and «nmed by a stu|>id'widced expensive joumey, 
^ninieedaL^ make -that an excuse for reminding me of my 
failings, which I see you were going to. It would be 



208 MAKSTON LYNCH. 

nrncli more manly of you to get out my black satin dress 
and white mantle, which you laiow I've laid on the top of the 
oilskin trunk, as well as I can tell you. Oh, here is Maud.** 

Maud Carlton had entered the room — splendidly and 
becomingly dressed in evening costume. She had groA^Ti 
more beautiful than I care about attempting to describe. 
Perhaps the reader will be kind enough to save me the 
trouble by remembering the rough sketch I gave of the 
girl, and filling it up with all the richness of womanly 
form and colour which his fertile imagination is capable of 
conceiving. He will scarcely imagine a more lovely, 
thoroughly-bred looking woman than Miss Carlton ap- 
peared as she entered that private sitting-room in Mrs. 
Warner's Bedford Hotel. 

She carried in her hand a splendid bouquet, composed 
of flowers appropriate to her personality — ^magnificent in 
their simplicity — simple in their magnificence ! 

Mrs. Merripebbles at once forgot her iU-hudiour in 
excusable maternal pride. But she recovered it at the 
sight of the bouquet. 

" Goodness sake. Maud — ^where have you been getting 
those splendid flowers ?" 

"At the proper place, I suppose. I sent out for a 
bouquet, and they sent me several to choose from. But 
are you not ready yet ?" 

" Eeady ! Why we haven't been three minutes in tlLe 
house yet." (Merripebbles thought wonderingly of that 
hour he had been accused of wasting.) " I haven't even 
had time to order a cup of tea, for which I am dying — ^as 
you know perfectly weU, Mr. Merripebbles." 

" Then I shall be compelled to go without you," said 
Miss Carlton, with the most perfect calmness, as she pro- 
ceeded to ring the bell. 

" Go without us, indeed. Tou bad, improper girL 
Mr. Merripebbles — ^perhaps if you will ask one of the 
menials of the house to show me a little attention, I may 
stand a chance of having my black satin and white mantle 
looked out." 



MABSTON LYNCB. 1209 

By about five minutes to seven our three friends were 
comfortably installed in a commodious private box on the 
grand tier of the Cork Street Theatre. My readers know 
as well as I do that there is no such theatre in London — 
nor ever has been. But let it be remembered that I am a 
dramatic author by profession ; and if I were to specify 
the particular theatre I mean by its real title, the manager 
would probably consider himself satirised, and refuse my 
next five-act tragedy. I am aware it may be urged that I 
run the risk of offending all the managers in London, by 
leaving it. an open question, as each will most probably 
consider that I mean his identical establishment. But to 
this I can give no more satisfactory answer, than that it 
can't be helped ! 

And now, reader, lest the abrupt Bear-and-Fiddle-like 
termination of this chapter should give offence, I will 
behave towards you with greater candour than ever yet 
was displayed by mortal author : I will let you into tbe 
real state of the case which prevents my continuing at 
present. If, when you have learnt it, you jshall harbofor 
animosity towards me, your reputation for humanity is 
done for. The fact is, reader (upon my word and honofmrl) 
I have got the tooth-ache, and a dentist in human fona 
awaits me in the breakfast parlour. 



210 MABSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

IN TVHICn MARSTON LYNCH GETS CALLED BEFORE 

THE CURTAIN. 

There is a street at the back of Burlington Grardens, 
Piccadilly, known as Cork-street, Most of my metro- 
politan readers will be aware that there is no such thing 
as a theatre in Cork-street, or within a circle of half of a 
mile round it. I have, therefore, chosen to name the par- 
ticular temple of Thespis (that I believe, is the orthodox 
expression) at which Marston Lynch made his debut as a 
dramatic author — ^the Cork-street Theatre. My brother 
members of the Society of British Piece-makers will folly 
appreciate my reasons. 

It was close upon seven o'clock, and Cork-street was in 
a tolerable state of commotion — ^particularly in the vicinity 
of the free list entrance to the theatre. That stern and 
uncompromising section of the British audience — ^thc 
holders of orders — had assembled in large numbers at an 
early hour, and were already clamouring and disputing for 
their rights with their accustomed truculency. Nor weie 
the more profitable doors (from a managerial point of 
view) without their numerous besiegers. For it was the 
first night of a new piece, by a new author, from whiok 
and from whom great things were expected. 

It should be borne in mind that I am speaking of foux^ 



MARSTON LYNCH. 211 

teen ypars ago, when the London theatre was still an 
institution to be believed in. Probably, because there 
was yet a lingering tradition among good actors that it 
vras much better policy for half a dozen of them to hang 
together, than to disseminate themselves over the coimtry, 
that each might possess a theatre (and some supernumera- 
ries) to himself. The Cork-street Theatre, at the period I 
speak of, was more conservative in this respect than any 
of its neighbours, numbering in its corps dramatiqtce, no 
less than eight people, of both sexes, whom the public 
cared to see open their mouths and exercise their limbs. 
So that whever a reasonable majority of these eight people 
could be induced to act in unison, the public felt some 
interest as to the result of their combined exertions, and 
came to look at them. 

All those eight people are still aHve and flourishing. 
But one of them persists in playing SpaHacus and Claude 
Melnotte at the Great National Morning Herald Theatre, 
Houndsditch. The second is the only recognised Othello 
on the stage ; but he has a weakness in favour of two 
hondred pounds a-night (with a stipulation of a bad logo) 
which prevents his services being very frequently sought 
after. The third is the leading comedian at the Temple 
Bar Theatre, where he has it all his own way, being 
privileged, by the terms of his engagement, to refuse all 
farces — ^not containing a steam-boat scene wherein he can 
introduce his celebrated sea-sick business into an inverted 
umbrella. The fourth (an excellent Grandfather White' 
head) has been driven to California, in search of an 
audience capable of appreciating his performance of Romeo 
to his fat scorbutic wife's Juliet, The fifth left the stage 
in disgust on finding himself " put into " Sir Oliver 
Swface — a, wilful insult to a man who had delighted the 
public as Charles for two-and-forty years. The sixth has 
a theatre of her own, as well as a house in May-Fair, a 
Brongham and four horses : the theatre is not supposed to 
be a profitable concern ; but the lavish outlay in the matter 
of.new pieces and costumes, fitted to the fair lessee by the 

p 2 



212 MAESTON LYNCH. 

most skilM artists, continues unabated. The •-* venth 
rules paramount at the Mark Lane Theatre, whe*3 she 
does exactly as she pleases, to the chronic exasperation of 
the manager's wife. The eighth is disengaged; is only 
thirty-seven with the appearance of twenty-five ; is a 
splendid woman, and a perfect genius ; and is, moreover, 
willing and able, for a moderate salary, to play anything 
from Tilly Slowhoy to Lady Macbeth. But there is no 
theatre for her to play in, and no actors to support her. 

The Cork-street Theatre was shut up about eight, and 
pulled down about six years ago. Its manager passed 
Basinghall-street triumphantly last week as a tallow mer- 
chant. It was his fifth time of asking. 

The theatre was filling rapidly, and the relentless crowd 
at the free Hst entrance were becoming unmanageable. 
It is a curious fact that the possession of a gratuitous 
admission to a theatre should invariably sour the sweetest 
temper, and convert mildness into ferocity. The ticket- 
of-leave man (as the holder of an order is now facetiously 
termed in box-keeping circles) always insist on the best 
place, the most slavish attention, and is infinitely more 
hard to please with the performances than the quiet, 
unassuming person who pays his money cheerfully to be 
amused. The ticket-of-leave man begins by looking upon 
the manager — ^to whose theatre, and by whose politeness^ 
he is gratuitously admitted — ^as his chief enemy and 
oppressor. If he comes in good time he complains of the 
tyranny of being kept waiting. If he comes too late^ and 
Ins order is refused admission (as he has been plainly told 
in writing that it wiU be, if presented after a certain time) 
he brands his arch-opponent as a thief and swindler, 
decoying people to the theatre under false pretenoee — ^the 
real object being to make them pay money for their 
evening's amusement — ^an imposition which i^ ticket-cf- 
leave man revolts at, and, as a role, will not submit to. 
If he finds the theatre full of people who have paid for 
their places — Done of whom the officials will turn out to 
make room for him — ^he considers himself robbed, and 



MARSTOX LYNCH, 213 

meditates legal redress. He has been known to knock 
down box-keepers. If he is in the habit of visiting the 
theatre frequently (of course on his usual terms) he resents 
the constant repetition of a popular performance as a 
personal inqury. It is the business of that scoundrel the 
manager to provide him with variety. This being denied 
him, he has the ever present revenge of talking loud 
during the representation — and, if pushed to extremes, of 
hissing. 

On this particular evening the ticket-of-leave man was 
exasperated beyond the usual, boiinds. Certainly he was 
rather hardly dealt with ; but with his usual mad buU im- 
petuosity, he butted his indignation at the wrong people. 

Crowds of orders had been already admitted. AH tihe 
best seats in the boxes were filled. It had been found 
necessary to return money to several people, for whom no 
reasonable accommodation could be arranged. Instruc- 
iioDB arrived that no further orders were to be admitted. 

A howl, as of baffled wolves with a bam door slammed 
in their faces greeted the announcement. 

" This is infamous — a robbery — an imposition," said a 
perspiring greengrocer, brandishing a piece of paper (which 
he had received from a lodging-house landlady who owed 
him for vegetables ; who had obtained it from a lodger 
who owed her for rent ; to whom it had been given by the 
proprietor of a struggling journal who owed him for copy ; 
who had accepted it from an actor who owed him for a 
puff; who had begged it from the author who owed him 
for nothing). " A pretty sort of thing for an order to be 
refused before seven o'clock. A nice way to make a new 
piece succeed. My order is the author's own name. Here 
it is, signed ' M. Lynch.' " 

I am very sorry," said the official, with perfect calm. 
But Mr. Lynch has exceeded the usual author's pri- 
vilege, and has given more ordeis than he was entkled 

to." 

(So he had ! Was it not just like him, reader.^) 
" Oh, I dare say," said one. 



cc 



214 M*AKSTON LYNCH. 

" A pretty excuse," said anotherc 

" To get our money." 

« Swindle !" 

« Eobbery !" 

** I shall write to the Times" 

" I shall pay to the pit, and if the new piece doesn't 
get hiss'd — it won't be my fault." 

"I have orders," said the box-keeper, "to pass any 
one into the pit who wishes it." 

" The pit ! you insolent scoundrel !" said the green- 
grocer, who had a corpulent wife on his arm. " And do 
you suppose ladies are going to sit in your filthy pit ?" 

" Make way there !" said a stalwart, elderly personage, 
with a black moustache, and an Irish brogue, both of un- 
matchable ferocity. " I'm for the press. They'll have to 
let me in. Two for the Fenn^f Cane,** 

" I am sorry I cannot admit you," said the box-keeper. 

" What ;" — ^the Irishman fairly shuddered with aston- 
ishment at the audacity ; " you refuse the Cane's orders ?" 

" Very seldom, sir," said a quiet, middle-aged gentle- 
man in a resplendent over-coat, who was standing in front 
of the check-taker's wicket. "But sometimes we are 
compelled to limit our civilities to the editor's friends.'* 

" Civilities ! May be you think it's a favour you're 
granting. Do you think I come here foj pleiwure ?" 

" If not, for what else ?" 

" I am to write a notice." 

" Mr. Brown, I believe, does that for your paper, and 
he came in five minutes ago with his own personal 
admission." 

"What the devil is Mr. Brown to me? I belong to 
the Press — I show you my credentials — and, you mean to 
say, you refuse me admission ?" 

" Certainly." 

" Then I shall complain to your manager." 

" You had better," said the man in the dazzling coat, 
with an unmoved countenance. 

" No impertinence, sir. I shall send up my card, and. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 215 

if I find he supports you in your insolence — ^let him look 
out " 

And the Irish gentleman strode away, looking pistols 
and shillelahs. Some humane bystanders felt that it 
would be a charity to warn the manager of the terrible 
doom so obviously in store for him. Had they heard the 
Irish gentleman's observation, as he took the anA of a dis- 
appointed friend, they would probably have felt relieved. 
The observation was as follows : — 

" If the spalpeens ever get another advertisement out of 
me for their trumpery penny-rag — ^I'll eat all the hair-dye 
and pomatum in the shop." 

Two well-dressed young men elbowed their way through 
the crowd towards the wicket of entrance. One of them, 
who was very tall, and spoke with a sHght provincial 
accent, presented a card to the check-taker, with some 
embarrassment, as if not altogether sure as to the dignity 
of the proceeding, and said — 

" I have just received this from the gentleman whose 
name you see there. If it is not available for to night — 
my friend and I will take two stalls — or a private box." 

The check-taker passed the card to the quiet gentleman 
in the dazzling coat, who looked at it through a massive 
gold eye-glass. 

"Ha! S. de Saumarez!" he said. **I didn't know 
he was in town. Shall we see him this evening ?" 

" He left us just now to go round by the stage-door," 
said the gentleman who had presented the card. 

" So — I'm glad of that," said he of the coat. " Saumarez 
brings luck. I augur a good success from his coming. 
But I'm sure I don't know what to do with 'you two 
gentlemen " 

The two gentlemen looked as if they did not at all know 
what to do with themselves. 

"I couldn't give you stalls for love or money," con- 
tinued the other. " The dress circle is full. And I can't 
think of putting Mends of my friend Saumarez into the 
upper boxes." 



316 MA.RSTON LYXCII. 

The friends of his fnesd evideniUy wondered reij macii 
what was to be their destination, and who their Maid's 
friend was. 

" You would be deafened in the orchestra, azkd have 
yovor brains knocked out behind the soeues. I am afindd, 
gentlemen, you will have to put up with my private box. 
My name is Toplin." 

Mr. Tofts, of Longport, and his young friend, when 
they had recovered from the startling efPects of this double 
denouement — bowed reverential homage to the well-known 
London Manager. Mr. Toplin wrote plays himsdf occa- 
sionally, and wrote them pretty well. Either from habit 
of dramatic compositicm or to keep himself in practice, he 
generally managed to mix up a htl^e mystery and suspidon 
in the most trivial incidents in his Hfe. Keenly relishix^ 
the astonishment of the two young provincials at the oveiv 
whebning honour he had thrust upon them, he motioned 
them to follow a key-bearing offidaL 

They had to pass the stall entrance when a gentleman 
was just presentbig vouchers for himself and a lady. 

" Mr. Tofts, I hope to see you," said the gentleman, in 
a fieaniliar voice — " Why, all Longport's here — ^the town 
mast be empty." 

" Good evening, Mr. Howker. Excuse me, I am rather 
ia a hurry. Bless « my soul, Miss Crooze ! Who would 
have thought of seeing you here, and " 

Mr. Tofts was probably going to add, " and with — such 
a companion." Fortimately, the sentence was not comr 
pleted. 

Marian blushed a little, and stated that she had come 
to London to see a sick friend ; and Mr. Howker havixig 
come up with some more gentlemen to see Marston's piece, 
had been so kind as to call and offered to conduct her to 
the theatre — adding, that . of course, she shared the com- 
mon anxiety of Marston's friends as to his success. 

"Rather," said Howker, "There were fifteen (rf us 
from the Literary and Scientific came up by the Mail Ex« 
nress last night. Prebble's in the pit with a. dozen mora. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 217 

niae piinters came up by the ParliamentaTy tltts marniiig. 
'HudisiW^ Towed to take in six men each to the gallery, and 
BWD^T anybody who hisses." 

" Indeed — ^I am glad to hear it — ^I amisure I wish ereiy 
SQCoess. My Mend and I are going' to look at the piece 
fimm ^e Manageb's Box ! Grood etemng. 

Ji&. Toflts and his fidend followed their condnetor. 

The Manager had been standing by, during the brief 
eaeounier ci our old acquaintances. He lodged at his 
mrteh. It was two minutes past seven. The overture 
had commenced. Mr. Toplin returned to the free list oflce 
to indulge in his favourite amusement of watching the 
loonies of the baffled Ticket-of-leave men who came too 
lale^ Do not judge harsMy of him. Every hand that 
ever clutched an order he knew to be against him. Why 
should theatrical managers, of all classes in the world, be 
exempt from human weaknesses? As he stood gazing 
from a secure eminence at the sea of wrathful combinations 
bel0w him, with much of the cruel serenity, with which 
Nere may be siqpposed to have looked down from the im- 
perial hcoi in the amphitheatre, when tigers were making 
good sport with the Christians^ Mr. Toplin thus solilo- 
qnised — 

"There's something in this young fellow. Eriends 
iodk to see his piece from all parts of the world. I just 
waix^ied a box frdl, who have evidently come all the way 
fiMNB Italy on purpose. That shows a strong power of 
getting hdd of people's affections. I tell hinri to confine 
hisiBelf to about twenty ordears for the first night, and he 
sends in something like a hundred and My people. 
There's impetuosity, daring * Spanchenmtt de coettr, ^lan,' 
(Mx. Toplin was so proud of his Euench, that he even 
ihou^t in it) about that. If this thing of his succeeds 
to night, I'll set him to wjork on a passion piece for Miss 
Melton." 

Tte Cork*street Manager piqued himself (not without 
some reason) upon the astuteness of his perceptions ; but 
SKne espedally upon a power of building up theories 



218 HABSTOK LYNCH* 

upon the most trivial data. He was accustomed to judge 
people's characters from the colour of their hair, the shape 
of their nails, th^ir manner of sneezing, their pronounda- 
tion of certain diphthongs. Upon this perilous ex pede 
Eerculem principle of reasoning, he would build his most 
serious engagements. It is needless to say that it led him 
frequently into the wildest mistakes, just as an astrono- 
nomical calculation, if you happen to be the sixtieth part 
of an inch wrong in setting your instrument, you may 
find yourself a billion or so miles from the truth in your 
result. 

The Manager's Box was very splendid, and luxuriously 
comfortable. Mr. Tofts felt that the dignified thing would 
be to lean back behind the curtain as if he was used to it ; 
but the temptation to show himself under such enviable 
circumstances was too strong. Under the pretence of 
pointing out to his young friend (the inexperienced son of 
a wealthy cotton-broker, whom Tofts had brought up to 
London to astonish with, and bear witness to his own 
knowledge of town life) the beauties of the house and the 
celebrities assembled within it, Mr. Tofts leaned conspicu- 
ously forward. 

" Do you see those two very young-looking men in the 
box opposite, with such very grey hair and such black 
moustaches, that make them look like two Mousquetaiies 
of the Kegency ? One is Oxenford, the other Stirling 
Coyne. That little fierce-looking man, with the lai^ 
light eyes, is Jerrold; that bull-headed-looking man, in 
the buttoned-up coat, is Captain Manyat. Bather a dull- 
looking fellow to wright such smart novels, eh?" 

" Who's that sickly-looking man talking to him ?" 

"Hood," said Mr. Tofts, fearlessly. He had never 
seen Hood in his life, but he was determined that his gal- 
lery of celebrities should be well stocked. 

** There's a gentleman noddiug to you opposite." 

"Ha! that's Albert Smith, one of the writers on 
* Punch.' I met him at a party last season." 

Mr. Tofts nodded violently ; but it turned out that the 



MAESTON XYNCH, 219 

gentleman alluded to was nodding to some ladies in the 
next box. This created a feeling of awkwardness. 

*^ There's a fellow in the pit nodding to you. Tofts, and 
no mistake." 

So there was. The fellow had, moreover, a case bottle 
in his hand, from which he expressed, by the most exube- 
rant pantomime, that he drank to the health of Mr. Tofts 
and to the success of the new piece. 

Mr. Tofts drew in his head abruptly, 

"Who is he. Tofts?" 

" A printer fellow in Longport, who does my cards and 
circulars for me — ^that is, he did do them ; but he gets no 
more work from me. D — n his vulgar familiarity !" 

Don Sancho de Saumarez entered the box with his 
usual briskness, and his usual air of mysterious import- 
ance. 

" It's all right," he said ; " I've been round to all the 
dubs and all the newspapers. Everybody is here worth 
securing for a first night. I've introduced Marston to all 
the men worth knowing. The thing's quite safe. I've 
been slapping all the actors on the back. They all like 
their parts, and mean to go in and win. Mrs. Swann is 
in love with Marston, especially since I have told her he is 
recently married to a pretty girl ; and it all depends upon 
her. There ! they're ringing up ; I must be off !" 

Exit Don Sancho as he came, leaving Mr. Tofts and 
his friend with a vague impression that a brilliant success 
is about to come off, entirely and solely attributable to 
the diplomacy of Don Sancho de Saumarez. The audi- 
ence settle themselves in their places and the curtain 
goes up. 

I am not going to describe Marston Lynch's play, which 
was deservedly successftd for one entire season, and has 
since been as deservedly forgotten. It was a fresh piece 
of writing containing some excellent points and situations, 
but marvellously loose in construction. We of the present 
fastidious generation that expect so much and get so little 
in the matter of dramatic art, are not to consider our aunts 



^20 MARSTOX LYNCH. 

and uncles fools for tolerating such pieces as they did. It 
should be borne in mind that their most indifferent points 
were garnished in those days with sauces such as we have 
no idea of. Who could conceive a shambling two-act fieurce, 
4 turning upon a sorry practical jc^e, and necessitating 
s^out twenty changes of scene, supported, in the present 
day by Robson, Murray, the Keeleys, Buckstone, Wigan, 
Mrs. Charles Matthews, Mrs. Stirling, and Miss Woolgar 
(I beg her pardon — ^Mrs. Alfred Mellon)? Yet in the 
much-despised, but oh ! how much regretted, old theatrical 
times, such combinations have been built upon the most 
wretched foundations. Mundens, Knights, Emerys, John- 
stons, Jordans, Orgers, Glovers, have united to give ike 
cachet of popularity to productixms that a Surrey manager 
of the present day would not purchase at the rate of five 
shillings an act. 

Marston Lynch's play had the great merit of affording 
half a dozen popular favourites the opporfeunity of display* 
ing themselves in constant juxta-position with one another 
in parts that suited them. When the company became 
disbanded, the play was worth nothing. But on its first 
production it was triumphantly successful. The active 
partisanship of such people as Mr. Tofts in the manager's 
box, Mr. Howker in the stalls, Mr. Prebble in the pit, and 
the nine printers with him, fifty-four Mends in the gallory, 
may in some manner account for the uiMisual enthusiasm 
displayed on the occasion. 

At the conclusion of the piece there was a vocifeioua 
call for the author. 

Out hero made his first appearance on any stage, led an 
by Mr. Toplin, the manager, and Mrs. Swann, who had 
played the heroine. He needed some such experienced 
support to prevent him from walking through the footHghts 
into the drum, for he seemed more dead than alive. As 
he neared the centre of the stage (which he afterwards 
dedared he believed, at the time, to be at least ten miles 
across), a splendid bouquet stmdc: him on the cheek. It 
^ad been hurled at him with vigorous precision of aim, by 



MABSTON LYNCH. 221 

a handsome young lady in a private box, who by her 
hearty and unconcealed enthusiasm, had distracted a good 
deal of the pubHc attention during the performance. Mr. 
TopKn picked up the bouquet and handed it to Mrs. 
Swann, who with her celebrated giggle and toss of neck, 
insisted on Marston's acceptance of the favour. Marston 
dropped the bouquet three times. These proceedings 
eKcited a round of applause (which Mrs. Swann appro- 
priated) and much general merriment. The young lady 
who had thrown the bouquet seemed nevertheless to con- 
sider it a very good and hand fide transaction. 

About half an hour after the conclusion of the piece, 
Marston Lynch came out of the Manager's private room, 
with a confused idea that he was walking on his hands, 
having left his head at home, and with a cheque for a 
hundred and fifty pounds somewhere in his boots. The 
matter-of fact presence of Don Sancho de Saumarez, with 
Mrs. Swann on his ann — ^a very Grolconda of diamonds, 
and a perfect Siberia of furs — ^readied our bewildered hero 
to something like a conscioujsness of natural li£e. 

" Come on," said Saumaurez, sharply, " we're waitii^ 
for you. Oh, I forgot. Sir Frederick Manderville — Mr. 
Lynch." 

Marston bowed to a resplendent mass of fine hnen and 
whiskea» — ^that bowed in reteim. 

** We're gouig to sup at Sir Erederick's," said Saumarez, 
" and he insists on your coming with us." 

Mrs. Swann endorsed the invitation with one of her 
most mehiug looks. 

** I am very sorry," Marston stammeied, " I really 
cannot — I am wanted at home — ." 

•* Will your mother whip you ?" 

" No. But my wife will miss me — sbe was to» 91 to 
eome to the theatre this evening : it is cruel keeping her 
in suspense so long." 

'' Pshaw ! she's in bed along ago. If not, haIf-«n-hour 
dther way can't make much dlfSsrence." 

" Saumarez ! you are a horror," said lifis. Swann, 



222 HABSTON LYNCH. 

raising all the battery of her eyes upon Marston. ^'I 
couldn't retard such a deliciously interesting meeting by 
a single moment for worlds. Go home, sir ! You don't 
deserve to have a brilliant success or a pretty wife. I am 
sure she is pretty." 

" She is," said Marston, " and veiy good." 

" There, do go home to her at once, if you ever wish 
me to speak to you again, or I shall believe you are as bad 
as the rest." 

Mrs. Swann's eyes said " Come," as plainly as eyes 
could speak; and hers were very speaking eyes. 

They had reached the street — a Brougham was waiting 
with the door open. 

" Jump in," said Saumarez, " we can all four squeeze in 
for a short distance." 

" But," Marston protested faintly. 

" Don't be an ass — ^you needn't stay long, you know." 

"Well, if I thought you wouldn't press me." 

"There, ^ou needn't get quite so close to Mrs.Swaiin. 
We're not so crowded as all that comes to. Jermin Street, 
Eh, Sir Frederick P 

" Yes — drive home." 

" Don't touch me, or speak to me, or come near me," 
said Mrs. Swanu, in anything but a pittiless. \oiie of voice. 
" I declare you are all monsters alike— old ana young.'* 



At about four o'clock on the following morning a 
Hansom cab stopped at a house in Cecil-street, Strand, at 
the parlour window of which, dimly shown by a flickering 
light inside, the shadow of a little ringletted head was seen 
anxiously pressed against the glass. As the cab stopped 
the shadow disappeared, and, in an instant, the street-door 
flew open, and Lucy Lynch appeared, shivering with cold 
and terror. 

The cabman was assisting Marston out of the vehicle. 

" "VMiat is it," said Lucy, in a choking sickened voice,- 
" I« he hurt ?" 



MABSTON LYNCH. 223 

" Hurt, bless you/no, ma'am," said the driver. " Only 
a little bit cut." 

" Cut ! Where ?' said the unsophisticated little wife, 
clutching her staggering husband in her arms, and 
manipulating his head and face with nervous rapidity. 

"Had a drop too much, ma'am — that's all," the 
humane cabman explained. " He won't hurt. My fare's 
paid. Good night, ma'am." 

Lucy half carried our hero (?) into the sitting-room, 
where he fell groaning in an easy chair. 

" What is it, Marston : teU me ?'* 

" Get me a razor and let me cut my throat," was the 
modest request of her husband. 

" Don't talk like that — I have been very lonely and 
very frightened, but now I see you safe I don't mind it. 
TeU me, your piece ? " 

" Greatest success of the season," hiccupped the drunken 
scribe, suddenly forgetting his remorse. " Called before 
the^curtain — complimented by everybody — a hundred and 
fifty pounds. What's o'clock ? " 

" I don't know, but it's rather late." 

" And you have been shivering here in the cold, while 
I — . Don't undress me — I am a degraded wretch, not 
worthy to be touched by such hands as yours." 

"I am only loosening your collar, darling. Tell me 
one thing, IVIarston : in the middle of your triumph to- 
night — ^for I can see you have had a real one — did you 
once think of me? — or if you did, otherwise than as a 
burden and a stumbling-tlock in your path ? " 

** I thought of you all the time as an angel, and myself 
as a heartless demon, so help me Heaven ! " Marston 
blurted out, with more truth than distinctness. 

** Don't think like that — ^that would make me tiresome 
to you in the long run. Neglect me whenever you please 
— I don't call this neglect to-night — this is nothing ; 
only love me — ^love me always." 

1 1 Marston burst into a calf-like howl, and buried his face 
in his wife's bosom. 



224 MAR8TON LYNCH* 

" Don't cry — I can't bear that ; for after all, it is on 
my account. And you know I was never to cause you a 
pang or a remorse, much less a tear. But unless you 
help me in that, as in other things, I can do nothnig. 
There, go to sleep so ; and, in the morning, tell me j31 
about the play and the actors." 

Marston howled himself to sleep, muttering incohe- 
rently, at intervals, such remarks as " Infernal scoundrel ! ' 
" Hundred and fifty pounds !" " Called at eleven o'clock!" 
" Sir Frederick !" " Miscreant !" " Angel 1" &c., &c. 

Lucy sat up all night, watching her graceless spouse as 
he lay snorting and writhing in the large arm-chair; 
propping up his head ; covering him with warm clothes ; 
bathing his forehead, and listening to his breathing ; keep- 
ing herself awake by frequently kissing the unconscious 
drunkard, and dwelling on his many virtues. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 225 



CHAPTER XXII. 

MARSTON LYNCH AWAKENS ONE MORNING TO FIND 
HIMSELF FAMOUS BUT POORLY. 

As daylight began to show itself — ^which it does in Lon- 
don in a palpable form, like the ^Egyptian darkness — 
assuming a thick puddingy consistency, (suggesting the 
possibility of its being eaten with a spoon if it seem not 
too unwholesome); and as the round of a new day's trou- 
bles commenced their ill-omened ramble, from West to 
East, along the neighbouring strand — a fresh terror seized 
upon the little shivering wife whom we left studying the 
edifying spectacle of a man of genius reduced considerably 
below the moral and intellectual level of a hog. The 
people of the house ! What if they should come and find 
him there in that condition ere she should be able to rouse 
him ? The prospective shame was too horrible not to sug- 
gest its own remedy. The little woman decided, with the 
promptness of despair, that if Marston would not be 
roused, he must be carried, dragged, pushed, shoved, or 
bundled to bed, and that she must do it. 

Roused, ]^f arston decidedly would not be. Lucy tried a 
forlorn hope of shakes, kisses, and exhortations ; and then 
bravely confronted the inevitable but apparently super- 
human task before her. 

An inebriated literary gentleman, doubled up in an easy 
chair, showing no signs of human vitaKty, save stertorous 
breathing, and an occasional symptom of requiring the use 
of a wash-hand basin, is certainly not an heroic sight. I 
am afitdd, as a subject, the tableau would be rejected by 



226 MARSTON LYNCH. 

• 

the judges in sucli matters, as utterly beneath, the dignity 
of classic art. Yet, in my humble opinion, the group of 
that small woman, whose arms do not seem strong enough 
to nurse a fat baby, calmly measuring with her eyes those 
six feet of deadly drunken humanity, with no pm-pose 
visible in her countenance but the resolute one of getting- 
the degrading bundle to bed, and out of the way of shame 
— contains in it the true elements of the sublime. Any 
sculptor of my acquaintance is welcome to the suggestion. 

Lucy took a rapid but comprehensive glance of the field 
of battle ; reviewed the state of her own forces ; decided on 
her plan of attack, and went boldly into action. 

Fortunately, their bed-room was on the ground floor, at 
the back of the sitting room. The easy chair containing^ 
the deboshed poet, was at about three yards from the door 
of communication. The bed was at about the same dis- 
tance on the other side. First of all, Lucy threw the door 
wide open. Then she " turned down" the bed, carefolly 
plearing the intervening floor of all obstacles. This 
achieved, she returned on tiptoe (for there must be no 
noise) to the fallen hero, whom she deliberately proceeded 
to try to lift. Marston moved about as much as Saint 
Paul's would have done if she had blown against the walls 
of that edifice with a pair of toy bellows. With a clearness 
of inductive reasoning, which would not have discredited 
Mahomet, she decided that if Marston could not be got 
out of the chair, the chair must go with him. The neces- 
sity for Marston being forced to go to bed proverbial wis- 
dom had long since decided for her. It was evident that 
the bed would not come to him. 

Mrs. Marston Lynch lifted up the carpet, that the 
castors of the easy chair might roll more easilv. She 
summoned all her strength for a grand push. T^ie chair 
moved at least eighteen inches; but it made a noise on the 
bare boards. This would never do. Mrs. Lynch carefully 
laid down the carpet again, and commenced pushing once 
more. The chair moved at a much slower rate, but, this 



MABSTOK LYNCH. 2^7 

time^ quite xtoiselessly. About tMrty successive pushes 
were enotigli to bring the chair and its s^isekss burden to 
the bed side. 

- Then our indomitable little friend flew back to the sitting 
room,: and removed every trace of disorder with the skill 
.and rapidity of a stoiy-book fairy. She closed the door 
noiselessly ; bolted it inside, and courageously faced the 
ininor difficulty of getting Marston into bed. 

On entering upon this task she again reminds us of the 
nursery tales. But this time, instead of the benevolent and 
all-skilful fairy, she appears in the character of the witch's 
victim — commanded to make a rope of sand, to fetch water 
in a broken pitchar, or to catch a salmon in a net of cob- 
webs. 

Was the princess in the fairy tale ever daunted by the 
sqpparent impossibility of the task set for her to do ? Do 
we riot always see her set forth, pitcher in hand, to the 
work, with evident* faith that some good power will inter- 
vene to make the crazy vessel watertight? Does she not 
quietly spin the cobwebs into threads, and sit down to 
knit it into meshes with a sad but trusting heart — ^neyer 
doubting but that some good-natured salmon will allow 
himself to be caught by the flimsy device. 

Lucy had brought her husband to the edge of the bed. 
She divested him of such clothing as she could manage 
(men's hard waistcoat buttons were terrible trying to her 
little fingers). She bathed his temples with Jlau-de- 
Cologtie ; of course kissed him several times — ^as if thai 
would do any good ! — and waited patiently till the im- 
wieldy ship she had undertaken to convey to the harbour 
of Bed should, by some process of lurdiing or tacking, 
facilitate her exertions. 

The wished-for occasion arrived; Marston suddenly 
started up and hqwled dismally. Exhausted by the brief 
paroxysm, he fell, with at least half his weight, on the bed. 
The artful Lucy had watched her opportunity. Even her 
Uttle arms had sufficient power of leverage to hoist the 
remainder of the inanimate mass into a horizontal posture. 



228 MARSTON LYNCH. 

The task was achieved, Lucy was half dead — ^but what 
of that ? Her husband was in bed— and tucked in, nobody 
but herseK being a whit the wiser. 

Mistress Lucy Lynch looked very wan by the now broad 
daylight, and very fragile — aye, and alas I very ill. But 
she slipped off her pretty gossamer robes with marvellous 
rapidity, and, with a radiant face, accompanying her move- 
ments by the aotto voce humming of a pleasant tune — ^which 
was then popular, and to which words had been written 
by Marston Lynch Esq., she flopped on her knees, remaia- 
ing in that position, I regret to say, but a very short time 
-—and was soon nestling by the side of the unconscious 
sot, who was life, and death, and earth, and heaven to 
her. And Mrs. Lynch slept soimdly and happily for the 
space of six hours. Merely waking every ten minutes 
to assure herself that her drunken darling was not 
suffocated. 

At the expiration of the time mentioned, Mistress Lucy 
was awakened by a violent ringing at the street door bell; 
and as she hurried on her clothes with a dreadful sense of 
late hours and dissipation, for which she alone was to blame, 
she heard a well-known voice in the sitting-room humming 
cheerful melodies. With a few magic touches she succeeded 
in investing herseK with all the orthodox graces of a 
morning beauty. Except, alas ! the essential one of bloom 
on the cheeks — ^and hastened to give Sancho de Saumaiez 
a cordial welcome. 

Lucy liked Saumarez, a weakness that was shared by 
most men and women who had ever spoken to him. If, 
in the strongly perceptive, womanly side of her character, 
she felt that he was not a man to be trusted, yet, in her 
more child-like aud predominate phase, she wa? never 
proof against his exhaustless bonhommie and superficial 
kindliness* He was just the sort of visitor she would have 
liked to receive first on this trying morning. She knew 
him for the kind messenger who would never come charged 
with any but comfortable tidings* In the absence of those 
he would stop away. 



]f ABSTON - LYKCH. %2^ 

Saumarez looked really what is vulgarly called " a sight 
for sore eyes." He was attired in the choicest of morning 
costume. His moustache was a prodigy of blackness> his 
cheeks a miracle of the closest shaving; his linen, of 
course, was faultless. He appeared fidl of Hfe, health, 
and spirits. 

He was sitting in an easy chair, half buried in newspapers 
which he had brought with him. 

Lucy divined the truth at once. These were the day's 
papers, contaimng critiques upon Marston's piece. They 
were favourable. Otherwise the couleur de rose philoso** 
pher would never have marred his pleasant reputation by 
bringing them. 

Saumarez leaped up from his chair on Lucy's entrance, 
and commenced acting a lively scene in the ffenre of low 
comedy. 

First of aU he hid his face in his hat, as if ashamed to 
meet public scrutiny. He then ran into the comer with 
his face to the waU, heaving his shoulders as with contrite 
sobbing. Then he looked round furtively between his 
fingers, and turned back to the wall — howling as in the 
deadliest terror, and kicking out his left leg spasmodically 
in true down fashion. 

Lucy laughed heartily. 

Saumarez turned briskly at the sound, and made a 
grimace expressive of rapturous relief. Then he shook his 
head in the style of a harlequin, feeling it carefully with 
his hand) as if doubtful of its being still on his 
shoulders. 

"Why, it isn't snapped off, I declare," he said. "It's 
what I fully expected. But I suppose I'm to catch it in 
sonie other fashion. Please to give it me at once^ and get 
it over* Only be merciful, because I didn't go to do it. 
And remember I have a wife and sixteen smsdl children 
to support— eight of them twins under the age of six 
months." 

Bon Sancho affected to weep, using his forefinger as a 
handkerchief. 



Lucy, MgHy amused and cheered by his tomfoolery — as 
he intended her to be — held out her hand. 

Saumarez put his hands in his pockets, drawing- Imns^ 
up with comic dignity. 

**No 1' I won't have it. It's flat hypocrisy. I am tbe^- 
' husband's friend.' I was spoken of not ten nnnutes ago 
as * that Saumarez' — ^probably as * that wretch Saumarez.' 
It is true that that Saumarez doesn't produce a successful 
comedy twice a week, and doesn't experience the minor 
pleasure of seeing a friend produce one every night. And 
on such an occasion if that Saumarez did happen to g^t- 
dilmk and disorderly, and drag his friend into the vortex— 
but never mind I I came here on purpose to be pitched 
into. You are requested to lay it on mildly, and 
with the smallest' possible quantity of brine in the 
pickle." 

" Wias the piece very successful, then?" 

" The greatest success for years, my dear Mrs. Lynch," 
answered Saumarez, with momentary seriousness ; " and^ 
indeed, you ought to be very highly congratulated. But 
I have brought you all the newspapers. They will tell 
you what the world thinks of your husband. I suppose he 
is not out of bed yet ?" 

" Oh dear, no." 

" Ah ! there's the difference between old and young 
sinners, you see. I was up at seven — and if you'd seen 
m^ last night — well, no matter. Forgive us our sins, say I." 

"I only hope he may not be seriously ill,'* said Lucy, 
in a quivering voice. 

" I beg your pardon. HI? If that is his idea we'll 
soon put a stop to it." 

Saumarez seized the poker and tongs and ent«*ed the 
bedroom, making an insufferable charivari as he shouted,- 

"Hi! Marstou! Thieves! Muider! Fire! Tott'm 
wanted at Court ! Here's the police 1 i' 

Marston opened his eyes with a dismal expression of 
terror; moaned, " Oh Lord, what's that ?' Let me alone;" 
and went to sleep again. 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 231 

" Do you tliink I had better send for a doctor? " Lucy 
^sked, tremtdously. 

" Send for a doctor ? Send for a white elephant." 
■ " Here, Monsieur le Malade ! you're to put your feet m 
:^Tiel, and sweQlow a mustard poultice immediately." 
' '** Please to let me alone," was again murmured from the 
•blankets ' 

" Oh, indeed ! Did you ever happen to taste cold pig, 
my fii^d ? If not you wiU soon become acquainted with 
that savoury viand. Stop, I'll try another method, as the 
■liookery books sfty. Hey ! Marston ! (very loud in the 
-sleeper's ear) the Times says you've stolen your plot from 
Beaumont and Fletcher.^' 

Marston jumped up in bed and stared round him ludi- 
•crously. 

" I thought that would do it. Here, drink your soda 
water, you drunken rascal" (Lucy had brought in a bottle 
of that refreshing fluid with her. I am afraid its being 
kept on the premises and her knowledge of its utility is a 
bad sign), "and then try and swallow some breakfast. I 
found your bloaters cold on the table, so I put 'em down 
to the fire." 

^ Marston took the soda water with a hand that rocked to 
imd fro, and put the glass with some difficulty to his Kps. 
The Hquid disappeared like a drop of water on a heated bar. 

Marston remarked that he felt his head coming in half. 

** Naturally enough : walking across the stage with the 
glare of the footlights before you, and deafening applause 
on all sides of you, is enough to give any one a headache. 
Eh, Mrs. Lucy ? " 

*** Did Marstoh do that?" Lucy inquired, with pleasure, 
opening her eyes. 

** AU that— aye, more ; had a bouquet thrown him." 

" How I should like to have been there." 

" Well, fcut first for the Yarmouth bloaters. What ho! 
the castors. Let there be mustard galore, and cayenne 
shall be hot in the mouth. Does Mrs. Lynch imagine that 
because «he is virtuous there shall be no more — thingamy 



232 HAESTON LYNCH. 

and what's-a-name ? Give me the fakements. I have a 
receipt for a patent sauce, which I intend publishing in 
shilling bottles, called La Sauce du Matin Aprhy or Morn- 
ing ASer Sauce. I have drawn up an advertisement, 
headed, ' No more hot coppers ! ' and * Do you bruise 
your wives yet ? ' I hope he was too drunk to use the 
poker when he came home, Mrs. L ? You may see me 
maldng it, if you like, only don't blow the secret. For 
none is genuine unless signed by me, Elizabeth Lazenby. 
What a jolly table Elizabeth must keep. I wish she'd 
marry me, and leave me all her pickles." 

Battling on in this manner, Saumarez ransacked Lucy's 
little cheffonier of every savoury condiment he could lay his 
hands on, and proceeded to mix his invaluable preparation, 
with much mock solemnity. He pronounced cabalistic 
words over the salt ; he took out his watch, and appeared 
absorbed in counting the seconds which the mustard was 
dissolving in the vinegar. He affected despair when he 
found he had put the catsup in first, instead of the ancho- 
vies, and threatened to commit suicide, a la Fatel, by 
falling on a table-spoon. 

Marston watched him through the open door, laughing 
and moaning alternately. Lucy had entirely forgotten her 
fatigues and misgivings ; the Kvely visitor had, as it were, 
cleared the moral atmosphere for her. She felt inexpres- 
sibly grateful to him for making so light of what she had 
feared was an irremediable dishonour. 

When Saumarez had put the finishing touch to his cu- 
linary operations, he twisted up a newspaper into the form 
of a cook's nightcap, which he gravely put on his head; he 
stuck the comers of another into his waistcoat pockets for 
an apron. Lucy was in ecstades, Marston roared, and 
begged him to desist, for pity's sake. 

The amateur chef de cuisine arranged his breakfast deli- 
cacies on a waiter, and marched into the bed-room with it, 
falling upon one biee as he presented the repast. 

" What a fool you are, Saumarez. How you have made 
my head ache." 



MABSTON LYNCH. 233 

" Ah ! that's a part of my treatment — homoeopathic 
you know. Pitch into the military gentleman from Yar- 
mouth. How is he ? " 

« Prime." 

" Can you eat him ? " 

" Two of him." 

" Ah, but one's a dose. You did not think you could 
eat five minutes ago, did you?" 

" I turned sick at the very idea." 

" It's the effect of my magic sauce, which I learnt the 
secret of from the Chdder Arabs of the Great St. Ber- 
nard, in Madagascar. Eat gently — ^not so much at a time, 
and I'll facilitate digestion by the fumes of incense. First 
(^ all, I will read you the opinion of my night-cap on your 
last night's production. You shall then hear what my 
apron has to say on the same subject." 

" To be sure. What was that you said about the Times f 
I was scarcely awake." 

" You were not awake at all my friend, and not likely to 
be, if I hadn't let off a roaring, splitting lie in your ears. 
Mrs. Lucy, I will trouble you for the rest of the papers. 
Thank you. You are now requested to draw near and 
listen to the words of wisdom — ^wisdom so wise, that 
it is able to digest and publish its oracle between the- 
hours of one and three in the morning. We will be- 
gin with the Times, Silence in the galleries, if you 
please." 

Marston suspended his breakfast, and Lucy held her 
breath. Saumarez began to read. 

Marstbn's ears tingled with astonished delight, as he 
listened to a rapid and masterly analysis of his play, 
illustrated by happily chosen extracts, and interspersed by 
most flattering eidogies. A resums of the author's past 
career was given, and from it good auguries were drawn 
as to his future. The piece and its writer were imequivo-> 
cally pronounced valuable acquisitions to the London 
stage. Then followed remarks upon the actors, who 
were praised and counselled with what seemed admirable 



2S4 MAI^^TON LYNCH, 

justness of discerument. Some strictures upon mluor 
blemislies in the work followed, which Marston felt to be 
as encouraging as the praise. There was a joyous tone of 
animal spirits about the whole, as though it were the wojrk 
of an enthusiastic kindly nature deliffhted with an oppor- 
tunity of awarding praise with sincenty. 

Marston fell back upon his pillow somewhat overcome. 
Lucy clutched the sheet from the hands of the reader, and 
made some demonstration of kissing it. Eepressing this 
impulse, she retired to a comer, to read the notice with 
her own eyes. 

There was a silence for some seconds. 

"Well?" 

" Well I It is too well. I never expected such praise 
from such a source. But is it not too good to be 
sincere ? " 

" I would stake my life on its sincerity. Whenever 

tells you clearly what a piece is about, who were the 
actors in it, and what they played, and finishes, up by 
declaring the thing worthily successful, you may depend 

upon it he means what he says. 's weak point is 

that he cannot bear to abuse people. Perhaps he knows 
that the power he wields is terrible, and is timid of using 
it against the weak, being of a merciful disposition. When 
he has a bad piece to criticise, he says nothing about it 
except its title, but amuses you with some pleasant 
anecdote of Edmimd Kean or ^stophanes — quite draw- 
ing you off the unpleasant scent of a failure. He has 
been very much abused for not praising bad things ; but 
I nevpr knew him abuse a good one. On the contrary, he 
relishes a spark of genius like a glass of good wine ; and a 
blaze of it like a bottle. He is a very strong man witK a 
Tery big fist. He scorns to knock a little fellow down 
with it;, aqid nothing pleases him so much as the chance 
of exercising his muscular palm, by vigorously slapping a 
Titan op the shoulder." 

"IwishlwasaTitanl" 

"You are a pitiful hearted one. There! kis^your 



dish of butter, and be quiet, while I read to you firdm thQ. 
Mwrhing Appetiierr 

. The Appetiser^ 8 notice consisted of a resume of the newj- 
piecd as^ conscientiously and lucidly written as that of the. 
Times, This was followed by a statement that the pro- 
duction had been rapturously received by a crowded and 
enthusiastic audience, and might be considered established 
as a genuine and enduring success. This much declared, 
the writer proceeded to state, in a very straightforward 
way, and giving his reasons, that he had not liked the 
piece at all himself, and had left the theatre wondering by 
what stimulants the unmistakable delight of the audience 
bad been excited. 

" That sounds fair enough," said Marston ; " though it 
is decidedly not complimentary." 

" Why not ? There is an artistic and detailed exposi- 
tion of your piece. Anybody can understand what it is 
like from reading the article, followed by a faithful record 
of its approval by the public. Having fulfilled this im- 
portant duty, the writer proceeds to give his own inde* 
pendent opinion. Why should he be bullied into liking 
your piece by the bravos of fifteen hundred people ? This 
man does his work more honestly than any of the 
theatrical so-called critics I know of. He knows that his 
primafy business is that of a reporter. If the public had 
hissed your piece and he had liked it, he would have been 
equally faithful." 

"Well he seems a good sort of fellow — I'm sorry he 
didn't like it. That's aU." 

" You needn't be. He is a man without humour^ full 
of honhommie, animal spirits, and kindliness, a capital 
scholar and logician, but utterly deficient in that Other 
Haftf of the Intellect whidbiCariyle considers necessary to 
make a perfect man. Eor him, Moliere, Hood, and Eabe- 
kas are mere buffoons and scoffers. He has written 
admirably on Shakspeare. But he only tacks the master 
OIL his heroic side. The glorious ** carpenter's scenes" of 
downs, fools, and topers, I believe he would like to cujk 
oat altogether. It strikes me he must have firamed some* 



S36 HABSTON LYNCH. 

wiiere in his study that passage in MiLton's preface, wherein 
the respectable John asserts .his patronising approval of 
tragedy as a means of poetical expression, provided it be 
not degraded by the admixture of " comick stuff." And 
now we will proceed to the Illustriotis Woodcutter, ^^ 
" But the Woodcutter is a weekly paper.'* 
" There you see the advantage of producing a piece on 
a Thursday. You get noticed in the weeklies. I have 
bought aU the country editions. Listen to the voice of 
the Woodman : — 

** On Thorsday night was produced at the Cork-street Theatre^ 
a comedy in three acts, entitled • * * which will add new- 
lustre to Mr. TopUn's already brilliant managerial campaign. 
Nothing could exceed the splendour and magnificence of the 
dresses and appointments which indeed surpasses all the former 
efforts of Mr. Toplin's management i the plot of the piece is as 
follows. **«*««**•• 
The author whose services Mr. Toplin has been so fortunate to 
secure for the literary execution of this work is Mr. Marston 
Lynch, a young gentleman from the North of England, of whom 
we predict great things if he will only continue to write for this 
admirably conducteid theatre, the well chosen company of which 
seems so curiously adapted to the interpretation of his inspira- 
tions. The actors were wonderfully fitted with thdr parts, an 
additional proof — if any were needed — of the managerial skill 
by which the theatre is swayed. Mr. Toplin could not have 
fraud a better representation of the gloomy baronet than Mr. 
— — , whose delivery of the well written speech at the end 
(tf the second act convinces us that he possesses capabilities of a 
very high order for the interpretation of the poetical dramia. 
We advise Mr. Toplin to thii^ of this. The piece was tho- 
roughly successful, and on the fall of the curtain, in answer to 
an enthusiastic call, the young author was led on to the stage 
by Mr. Toplin himself, a grateful tribute on the part of the e8« 
tablished fitvourite to the merit of the inei^erienced neophyte ?' 

'* There's a good deal of Mr. Toplin in that. But I 
suppose it is well meant. Who wrote it ?" 

'* Old Slimey. And the turn of the notice is a safe in- 
dication that he has sent in a five-act tragedy in blank 
▼erse, which Toplin has not yet opened. As soon as 
Toplhi has opened it — and sent it back as he of course will 
—Slimey will begin abusing the Cork-street Theatre and 



MAESTON LYNCH. 237 

everybody connected therewith, and continue to do so till 
ie has another manuscript nearly ready. Then he will 
begin to soften down in his tone, and, by the time the fifth 
act is stitched together, will be as civil as he is now. Slimey 
manages to write about three unactable tragedies • per 
annum, and the tide of his favourable criticism ebbs and 
flows accordingly." 

" Poor old boy !" 

" Poor old boy as much as you please. I can sympa- 
thise with the incapable as well as anybody. But Sluney's 
meanness is not confined to mere crawling. He has a little 
sly bottle of venom that he can uncork to obHge his patrons 
when occasion serves. He is a poor apothecary if you 
please, but he will sell his poison to Tybalt, for purpose^ 
of assassination, as readily as to Romeo for those of suicide. 
The other day two pieces were produced at different 
theatres, founded on the same subject. One was by Slimey 's 
editor ; the other by an outsider. That by Slimey's editor 
was bad and was damned. The other was successful, and 
is filling the theatre after a run of a hundred and odd 
nights. Well, simply to toady his patron, Slimey wrote a 
notice, that, for hun, was really ingenious ! in which he 
compared the two pieces and excused what he pretended 
was a common failure, on the score of bad selection in their 
mutual subject. You left off reading with an impression 
that Slimey's master (who was named at full length, with 
a beautiftil and comprehensive digest of his past and pos- 
sible-past literary achievements) must have written the 
more successful piece of the two, and that the nameless 
writer was answerable for the imbecilities of the noto- 
riously damned one." 

" You are very severe," said Marston. 

*' I think it a beautiful notice," said Lucy. 

" Oh ! that's the case, is it ? Then I see the patient 
has had enough soothing medicine, and is quite prepared 
to submit to the actual cautery. Look out .1 Here's the 
Adrusum coming. Gar la plume du corheauP^ 

And Don Sancho opened the terrible publication alluded 



238 HAB8T0N IiYNCH^ 

to, with an explosive pop in Marston's face, as if it w^reti 
piece of ordnance. 

« Well," said the lattar, •' Tm not dead yet. Let Bfr 
hear what Peter McGrawler has to say." 

*< Peter McGrawler, young man," said the Tisitor, witii 
mock gravity, '^ as you ought to know, was . dethroned 
years ago, and accepted office under GoTemment as the 
public executioner. But Peter, though he unquestionably 
had his failings, was a perfect Julins Caesar compared with 
the crowd of nameless pretenders — ^slaves, eunuchs, and 
barbarians — ^who have disputed his empire in these days of 
the A«m(eum^8 DecHne and Fall. The threadbare purple, 
at present, hangs, in a looped and windowed condition, on 
the shoulders of an ignoble Dacian, named Hayporth 
. Dibbs." 

** Hayporth Dibbs. Good Heavens !" 

^' The good Heavens have not interfered in the business, 
you may depend ; but for some wise purpose have chosen 
to shut their eyes to its transaction. Gome \ what have 
you done to offend Hayporth ?" 

" To offend him — I don't know. But surely you don't 
mean to say that it*s that fellow from Longport ?" 

" Hayport is of Longport origin. Aprh ?*' 

" But he is an ass I" 

" Then you ought to have kept away, from his hands. 
But he is'nt quite &a ass, or he could not have raised Mm* 
sdf from nothing to be, in a few months, the editor of liie 
ji8inceuMiW\dc]i is not too much of a something Igrantyou." 

." But how on earth, man — ^You must be joking ! It 
seems only the other day that this fellow was barely Honr- 
ker's equal at the Essay and Discussion Meetiogs of the 
Longport Institute — ^the standing joke and butt of all 
newspaper, offices, for his persistent determination to ap- 
pear in print on the slightest pretence, and the sorry figure 
he cut there when allowed to show himself. He has not 
the brains to write a police report with sufficient deamess 
to make you understand which was the magisteate and 
which the prisoner." 



MAB3T0N LYNCH, 289 

' **Perliaps not. But he lias sufficient impudence to edit 
the uisinauu, and would have to command the Channel 
Fleet if he could get the chance — which chance he would 
get if it were to be had for asking for. The other day, 
indeed 1 No doubt it seemed only the other day to several 
noble Romans, that the long-legged Maximin had been the 
fellow-blackguard and perhaps the butt of gladiators and 
footracers in the Chersonese. But he was the Emperor of 
Some for all that — ^lopping off their heads, stealing their 
virgins, and confiscating their goods, with all the exube- 
rant zest of a parvenu in power — just such as Hayporth 
himself loves to exercise. It is true there are these diffe- 
rences between ' Maximin and Hayporth — that the formier 
was a big man. In these respects the parallel is striking. 
Maximin attracted the attention of a Roman Emperor in 
a provincial tour, by his indomitable strength and patience 
in keeping up with the imperial chariot during a drive of 
Lord knows how many miles. By a similar feat of en- 
durance the raw-boned, bare-legged, * gillie wet foot' of a 
northern manufacturing town — ^whom we now see entrusted 

' with power, for life and death, over the reputations of the 
greatest writers of the day — ^managed to plod himself into 
ndtice. A literaiy magnate, who is a wit and nothing else 
(but to be a wit is something) — who only lives by breath- 
ing toadyism— went down to Longport for change of his 
peculiar vital air. He presided at soirees, at grave lec- 
tures. He was flattered, and fooled to the top of his bent. 
Hayporth DIbbs — ^then the mere outsider of the loca 
press — the Triton amongst Mechanics' Institute minnows 

' that you knew him — having carefully tucked up his cordu- 
roys, prepared himself for a run, to accompany the 
triumphal car as long as it was in motion. Hayporth's 

• wind was of the longest. He succeeded in forcing himself 

* upon the great man's notice by the intolerable loudness of 
Ms shouts. To drop my Roman metaphor, and take up 
another, he fastened himself upon the unprotected Lion, 
during the latter's stay in the Korth, and would not be 
shaken off. The Lion was annoyed perhaps. ' But with 



240 JfAESTON LYNCH. 

the tenacity of theflea^ Hayporth combined tlie usefulness 
of the Jackal — so he was toleratecL The Lion returned to 
London, and on reaching his residence found Hayporth 
waiting for him on the doorstep (I have changed my meta- 
phor again), wagging his tail, and with his head crouched 
abjectly between his fore paws. Such a very devoted cur 
could not be kicked into the street. The great man ad- 
mitted the faithful animal to his already well-stocked 
kennel ; and, finding that the creature could eat toads, fed 
him bountifully. Hayporth has since worn the great 
man's collar, and has indeed displayed all those qualities 
which we agree to consider noble in the dog, but which we 
call cur-like in the man. He is devoted to his master's 
interests. He is always ready to fawn upon that master's 
friends. He will even submit to being kicked or cuffed 
by the amis de la fnaison — nay, by the very grooms and 
shoe-blacks attached to the premises. But he will snap 
fiercely at strangers — ^would worry any man he was set on 
to attack by his proprietor. He is very jealous of other 
dogs, whom he will maltreat ruthlessly if they happen to 
be his inferiors in size and weight. Cats, rats, rabbits, 
and such minor animals he loves to destroy, in the very 
wantonness of his natural ferocity. He is a very well-bred 
dog, and waits prettily for all the bones and crumbs that 
fall from his master's table. Amongst other things he has 
* begged,' sitting up on his hind legs, for the editorship of 
the Asinaum, and they have thrown it to him." 

" A veiy -^sopian apologue. But surely to be abused 
by such a man is no discredit ?" 

" Avast heaving I There you have a beautiful illustra- 
tion of our glorious anonymous system. It is not Hay- 
porth Dibbs, the ex-counter jumper, who abuses you, but 
the powerful Asirusum — a time-honoured literary tribunal, 
before whose edicts Scott^, Byrons, Thackerays, and 
Dickenses have trembled. If, indeed, the pubhc knew 
who was the High Priest of the Oracle, and of what mate- 
rials his assistant clergy are coirposed — ^gangling school- 
boys, * discarded, unjust serving-men, younger sons of 



MA.RSTON LYKOfi. 041 

younger brothers, revolted tapeters, and ostlers tradefallen' 
— then, indeed, the days of the AsiruBum, and all snch 
phantoms, would be numbered. But as it is — ^you had 
better read his article." 

Marston did as he was requested, biting his lips and 
changing all sorts of colours during the process. 

"It is very severe," he said, throwing the paper down, 
when he had finished. "Very unkind, as I feel, in its 
intention; and yet 1 am bound to admit that it is 
thoroughly just." 

" Just ! How do you mean ?" 

" All the faults he has mentioned are those of which I 
have been miserably conscious — only unable to remedy." 

" Then the next time you want a joint of meat I advise 
you to send an experienced carrion crow to market for 
you. You may rely upon the morsels of his selection 
Deing in a genuine ' gamey condition.' But answer my 
starting question. Apart from the indelible injuiy of 
being a cleverer fellow than himself what have you done to 
annoy Hayporth ?" 

" Lord forgive me. I'm afraid I have — " 

" What ?" 

" Chaffed him in the WMpping Post,'* 

" I thought as much. Take my word for it — ^to turn 
the fable of Cadmus topsy turvy — ^you will find every 
letter you have ever sown in that lively young publication 
spring up in the form of dragon's teeth, that will beset 
your path through life. But I have now got you into 

?foper training for the day's exertions. Get up and dress ; 
want you to come out with me on a mission." 

Saumarez retired to the' parlour. Marston was soon 
dressed to perfection. You see, he had such a skilful and 
devoted little valet-de-chambre. 

Lucy handed her husband his hat and gloves with such 
a wistful look, which he immediately translated into " How 
I should like to go out with you !" 

He kissed her, assuring her that he was was going out 
on business — ^the business of Saumarez. Lucy said, 

B 



84.2 MAESTON LYNCH. 

u jfeyer mind, she was very weU at home C..u 
Marston give her any money?" ^^^' ^"^^ 

Money ! How thoughtless of him to be snr^ n^ 
course he could, any amount of it B„f ^! T?' V 
Toplin^s unchanged check. ^'^^ ^^ ^^ only 

«< Got any money, Saumarez?" 
«' Heaps I What do you want ?** 
« Somettiing for this Kttle spendthrift to <r« .i, • 
with. What's that? A ten po^r ttP?^ 
ru give it you when you get^ o^ t£ V 
Don't say I never gave you anything. Yc^ur^Z ^?' 
Gk>od bye." ^ ^ ^"""^ ^y spend it 

At a few yards from his own door M«^4^ 

postman, who I^d^hima letter. Tw^SL^SS' 
apologising on behalf of Miss Crooze and himself K 
calling. They had come up to see Mar<.tnnrl 1 ? i 
piece but Miss Crooze had i leave for L^^ort 7t 
early tram. Common gallantry compelled S HowlT 
to .^«ni with the lady m the capacity of protect^ ' 
hai '^ri."^*' -^^ Saumarez/when Ma^ton 

A few minutes afterwards Marston found himself won- 
dering what his compamon had meant -"^^''" wou 

When the servant of the lodging-house came up to ask 
the lady in the parlours what she would like for dkmap 

^^^,!? -.Pf^ °r '"P^"^ ^^*' '^ ^d not fed^' 
and would wait tiU tea tmie, as she did not think mT 
Lynch would dme at home. Lucy hid the ten pound note' 
^eMy m an obscure recess. She did not go"^ shopping 
at aU ; but sat m doors aU dw learning the more fevoS 
of the critics on the husband's piece by heart 

"I wonder if he wiU come home this evedng in time 
for me to see it 1" she said to herself. 



MABSTON LYNCH. 243 



CHAPTEE XXIII. 

OLD PBIENDS AND N£W FAC£S. 

** The Mempebbles are here." 

** You don't mean that ? Have you told Lucy ?" 

** No : and I don't want you to do so. That's why I 
am so glad those Longport people have gone back. They 
might have told her." 

** I don't see what you are driving at." 

" I will pull up in four words — I am in love/* 

"You!" 

*' Even I — ^Apemantus, the cynic — ^Alcibiades, the Syba- 
rite — ^whatever you please. And with Maud Carlton." 

"Little Maud?" 

*^ Little Maud is as tall as Mrs. Siddons, and as lovely 
as Jimo. What are you grinning at ?" 

"Nothing. Only it really seems so very odd. It's 
true I forgot she has four thousand charms per annum." 

'* She has six thousand pounds per annum ; and I coidd 
mairy a woman worth twenty thousand pounds per 
annum to-morrow, if I cared to sell my valuable person 
and liberty for such considerations," said Don Sancho, in 
a somewhat hurt and and thoroughly conceited tone. 

" My dear fellow, I did'nt mean to be offensive. I am 
sure I congratulate her, no you. But — " 

" You don't see , yet what I am driving at ! We 
have one or two comers to turn before it will be fairly 
in sight. I am now taking you to visit the family ; and I 
ask you, as a friend — and by way of a great favour — 



244 MABSTON LYNCH. 

simply to conceel from them the fact of your being 
married." 

" Good heavens ! What for ?" 

" Well, I must tell you — ^though it involves a humiliating 
admission — it was Maud who threw you the bouquet last 
night." 

" By Jove I How like her." 

'' Eather more so than is agreeable to all parties. To 
come to the point, the case stands thus. I have 
been thrown frequently in contact with her during 
my travels of the last two years. The result I have told 
you. I have not yet declared myself, nor will I till I have 
ascertained the reed state of her affections. She treats me 
with unifbrm kindness, but I more than half suspect she is 
sick in love with-— You !" 

"Nonsense!" 

" I should like to hope so. Still, I wish to make sure. 
Her dragging her friends to England, as i^e evidently has 
done, merely to be present at the first night of your plajr, 
is rather suspicious. I want to see you together, with no 
idea on her part that you are a bird already brought down 
and trapped." 

" Surely you don't want the girl to be entrapped to 
making love to a married man ?" 

" Don't be too conceited, my young friend. Miss Carl- 
ton, has too much good taste and maidenly delicacy to 
make lave to any man. But I have pretty sharp eyes — 
most lovtiA have — and I think I shall be able to judge 
from one^ ov • at the outside two, interviews, the real state of 
the case. 11 my worst suspicions are confirmed, I shall 
simply desist from my intenticms. Fortunately, the world 
is pretty ksgd, and travelling is cheap. I will not have 
any man's iMorings — -passez le mot — and I will try to forget 
her. Here we are at their hotel. Do you promise, before 
we enter P Mmd, I consider this as a test of friendshi|K — of 
the oneniauly friendship I hold dearest." 

Samqarfis. wnmg Marston's hand, and looked extremely 
sentimental* 



MABSTON LYNCH. 245 

Marston, whose nature was as open as the day, and who 
aUiorred aU kinds of artifice and concealment, felt some- 
thing jar within liim at the strange proposal. But the 
artful Saumarez had attacked him on his weak sides of 
vanity and sentiment. Marston plucked up his collar^ 
twirled his moustache, returned the cordial pressure of his 
companion's hand, and gave the required promise. 

They entered the comfortable parlour of the snug-looking 
Bedford Hotel, and sent up their, cards to Mr. Merri- 
pebblcs. 

They were shown into a handsome sitting-room, where 
'Maud, seated in an easy chair, was seen haif buried in a 
diaos of newspapers. Marston recogni^d them as dupli- 
cate copies of the collection Saumarez had brought to his 
oim lodgings in the morning. Mrs. Merripebbles was in 
a remote comer groaning over an unoonsoling book, by 
ike Kev. Mr. Somebody, whereof the burden was the ine- 
vitable perdition consequent upon the indulgence in stage 
plays. Old Merripebbles was wagging his head over the 
the week-before-last's Furiehy and looked supremely happy. 

The three rose to welcome their visitors according to 
their various forms of expressing hospitality. 

M[aud advanced with her two statue-like arms cordially 
outstretched. Marston placed his hands in hers with a 
feeling that somehow they had no right there. 

'* Good God I how beautiful ! " was his inward ex- 
clamation. 

" How kind of you to come and see us," said Maud, as 
with beaming eyes she scrutinised Marston from head to 
foot with intense satisfaction. " How well you are look- 
ing 1 I told you he would come, mamma, though he is 
the greatest man in London to-day. You see we know all 
about it from the papers.'* 

Mrs. Merripebbles was heard to mutter something 
about ** indelicate." Then she threw down the Eeverend 
Somebody's book against theatres, and proceeded to 
cuddle Marston in a very affectionate, not to say slobber- 
ing manner. 



•246 MABSTON LYNCH. 

Old Merripebbles testified to his delight after his usual 
iii&ntine fashion. He thrust his hands deeply into his 
trousers pocket, and danced round the visitors, stopping 
to shake hands profusely with Saumarez, till such tiine as 
Marston should be at liberty. 

If the object of Saumarez in arranging the visit had 
been really what he had declared to Marston, he would 
soon have found the solution of his problem in the loc^ of 
mingled pride and rapture with which Maud Carlton 
received our hero — ^which look was that of an Andro- 
mache welcoming a victorious Hector who belonged to 
her. 

" You have come to spend the day with us ? '* Maud 
inquired. 

" Certainly, if you will tolerate us,'\ was the reply of*— 
not Marston, but Don Sancho de Saumarez. 

" Dear me ! I am so delighted, or rather, I ought to 
say, honoured,." said ' old Merripebbles. " Pray, my 
dear, let us have something extremely nice for dioxier. 
You understand those things so much better than I do. 
Perhaps Mr. Saumarez and Mr. Marston — ^allow me to 
shake hands again, and assure you that I never was so 
much honoured in the whole course of my life — ^perhs^ 
these gentlemen will assist you in ordering what is proper 
— though a mere beefsteak in such society — ^not that I 
wish it to be a beefsteak; on the contrary, turtle and 

champagne would be more in accordance with 1 b^ 

your pardon, dear." 

The visitors remained to dinner, which did not consiBt 
of a beefsteak. 



HAU8T0N LTNOH 247 



CHAPTER XXIV. 



STRANGE WATEBS, WITH BBEAKEBS A-HEAD. 



Notwithstanding the excellent hotel dinner^ the 
choice wines, the genial hospitality of his hostess, the 
splendid presence of Maud, and the improving conversa- 
tion of Saumarez — ^to say nothing of the childish delight 
of old Merripebbles, in itself enough to send a Timon 
back to Athens — ^Marston had seldom passed a more un- 
comfortable day than that of his re-union with his kind old 
Longport friends after so long a separation. 

He could scarcely analyse the feelings that disturbed 
him. The most prominent among them was that he was 
guilty of a deception. He felt that on entering the room 
he should have said at first, " My dear old friends, who 
have been like parents to me, I am married to Lucy 
Waieing, whom you know and love, and have come to ask 
your blessing for us both." But he had not said so — h% 
had practically asserted by his behaviour that nothing of 
the kind had taken place. He was ashamed to confess 
the error. And as shame is the most intolerable of all 
sensations, he got rid of it as quickly as he could. 
Sophistry was at hand to help him as usual. Was he not 
serving his oldest and truest friend ? Was not that proud 
descendant of the Hidalgos — ^with his sensitive heart torn 



248 HABSTOK LYNCH. 

by love for a young capridous girl, who perhaps scorned 
him — an object of sympathy? "Of course," Marston 
thought — that is, he pretended to think — " the idea of the 
girl's being in love with me is preposterous, after the 
many opportunities she has had of enjoying the society of 
a man so infinitely my superior in rank, attainments, and 
all the rest of it." In the process of drawing comparisons 
between himself and Saumarez (meaning them, of course, 
to be in favour of the latter), Marston found himself 
observing that his friend's hair was getting rather thin on 
the forehead, and that there were undeniable prints of the 
crow's foot on the comers of his friend's brown eyelids. 
All the more reason, he thought, for hmnouring the poor 
fellow. I'm told love is like the measles — ^all the more 
serious when taken late in life. We must allow the pocw^ 
patient to be a little capricious. 

Highly satisfied with this rhetorical conclusion, our 
hero proceeded to try and feel comfortable. But Mia» 
Carlton would not allow him to feel anything of the kind. 

Increased years and power had not in the least degree 
weakened the leading article in that young lady's oreed — 
namely, that she had come on earth solely to do as she 
liked. She was now, to all intents and purposes, in the 
fcdl enjoyment of her goodly fortune ; for thougk barefy 
eighteen, she had, by a species of coup d'etat, declared her- 
sdf of age in the most regal fashion. Her mother being 
her principal trustee (the other was an obscure relative in 
perpetual dread, for his life, of the wrath of Mrs. Merri* 
pebbles), the heiress found no difficulty in getting such 
sums of money as she required, and disposing of than as 
she thought fit. She thought fit to dispose of all in the 
furtherance of her one object iu life — namely, that of 
qualifying herself to become the wife of Marston Lynch. 
Of that gentleman's merit she had formed a . doubtless 
exaggerated estimate. Being gifted with an ardent im- 
agination, she had prophesied a most brilliant future for 
the man— or rather, the boy — ^she idolised, and thought 
that he would require a yery superior sort of wife. She 



MARSTON LYNCH. 24S^ 

ind submitted, meekly, to be separated from him, bodily ; 
that she might have time to bring herself nearer to him^ 
mentally. Finding everybody aromid her worshipping 
her for her money, Miss Carlton, as will not unfrequently 
liappen in such cases, felt the most withering contempt 
for that commodity — except as a means to a given end. 
If it had once struck her that Marston would have been 
happy with her — ^proud of her — and kind to her, with Jber 
money alone, she would have simply offered herself and it 
together, and taken no fixrther trouble. But such a 
possibility never entered into her head. It would have 
been to degrade her phoenix to the level of the clumsy 
speculators, who, from time to time, insulted her under- 
standing by business-like proposals of marriage, and 
whom she was never long in sending about their business, 
more or less civilly. It should be borne in mind that this 
young liady had never received a fashionable education. 
The honest uncertain old mother was not such a fool, or 
such a humbug, as to give her daughter a dog's-eared 
peerage by way of horn-book. Otherwise, Miss Carlton's 
aedded character might have been so bent as to insist 
npon an alliance with a poor younger son of a noble 
family ; and I dare say in this, as in most cases, her 
wishes might have been easily realised. I have no com- 
plaint to make as to this culpable omission in her rearing. 
Possibly it may account for her growing up in the beHef 
tliat there was no more important person or class of 
persons in the world than herself. If so, let aU mothers 
whose daughters are wealthy in their own right, take 
warning by the terrible example. 

At any rate, immediately on leaving England, Miss 
Carlton had set resolutely to work to improve herself in 
ef^ery possible way. The fact of her loving Marston Lynch 
(as she certain] y did very ardently), was in her mind suflB^- 
cient proof of liigf being a very.great personage, and worthy 
of any. trouble or s.^wjrifice. As she had very great talents 
^Bf fact, from the circumstance of some of her dearest 
fnsnds pronouncing h ^J^ a niad womau in after life, there is 



S5D HABSTOK LYNCH. 

reason to snppose slie was something of a genius), sHe made 
rapid progress in all her studies. She had a splendid oon-i^ 
tralto voice, and Marston liked music. He must, there- 
fore, have music of a very superior^quality, without going 
from home for it. Maud was the terror and delight of 
the first Venetian and Neapolitan music masters; the 
terror, from her intolerable trantrums when they did not 
bring her on fast enough — ^the delight, on account of her 
marvellous quickness and thoroughly artistic nature (nor 
let us forget the lavishment of the gold pieces, when ikej 
made her satisfied with her own progress). Marston knew 
languages. Maud, to make up for her deficiencies in other 
matters, of which he was the sole acknowledged master, 
must know more than he. She was a fine French, Spanisliy 
and Italian scholar within eighteen months (there was a; 
little due to honest Miss Crooze for this, by-the-bye,) and, 
at the time of our renewing her acquaintance, was already 
•deep in German, whereof Marston knew not a sentence. 
She studied history, poetry, and (especially) painting, witli 
;^eat ardour and success. In a word, from the sole impetus 
of her headstrong unquestioning love, she succeeded in 
making herself a very uncommon specimen of that rara ams 
in terriSy a beautiful and accomplished lady. 

And yet she was a perfect child — a spoilt one, of course. 
For you see she had not been trained to do all this for iAnd 
sake of society — ^that is to say, to show off before a few 
thousand people for whom she did not care a pin, and who 
would naturally care much less for her. She had done it 
of her own accomit, for the sake of a man she had been so 
indelicate as to love. It stands to reason that she would 
%e punished in the long run for such very unbecoming 
conduct. But it is not my business to anticipate. 

At Genoa, in her eighteenth year, she had looked at 
herself in the glass, and rapidly reviewed her mental attainf- 
ments. She declared herself a sufficiently near approai^ 
to perfection to return to England. She ordc^ her 
mother and step-father to hold themselves in readiness fat 
H speedy departure. She would keep him waiting no longer* 



MABSTON LYNOH. 2hl 

- • " Upon my word, Maud," said her mother; " Your con- 
duct is the most indelicate." 

*' You must not say that, mamma: anything but that, 
for it is wide of the truth." 

- ** But a young man who has never even proposed — ** 

*' Whoever does propose to a giil of fourteen, ezoept 
designing hucksters? Besides, he is poor, and wofoitd 
never propose to me." 

** James's ,Churchl Girl, are you going to propose to 
him?" 

• " If I see he loves me, as he must, I think" (Maud 
glanced at the mirror), " he will soon be able to see that I 
|ove him. I have never been taught to disguise my feel- 
ings, mamma. God bless you for that, the greatest good 
you have ever done me. There was no disguise of my 
love when I steered the boat, and threw the casks about to 
save his life. He cannot have forgotten that." 

" My child, that was three years ago." 

" I have loved him for more than three years." 

" But we have never heard from him." 

^* No, thanks to your maternal precautions. But hehae 
heard of me, as you know." 

" Through Don Sancho de Saumarez ? My poor child, 
do you suppose a man, dying in love for you himself, would 
deliver messages to a rival?" 

" So ! A man whose addresses you yourself have en- 
couraged you admit to be base enough to betray his friend. 
Thank you, mamma, for your own opinion of Don Sancko 
de Saumarez, which coincides with my own« We will 
talk no more on this subject if you please." 

The next day a stray London newspaper informed them 
that a new piece was in preparation at the Cork-street 
Theatre, which expect^ to create, &c. &c. The author- 
ship was attributed to Mr. Marston Lynch of Longport, a 
yonng writer of great provincial celebrity, and already 
^(ivourably known as a contributor to the metropolitan 
magazines. There were said to be good parts for Mra. 
^wann, Mr. Dashwood, Mr. Muggins, &c. &o. 



952 ICA&STON LTNGH. 

"Via going to Loudon, mamma," said Maud» "jovt 
may accompany me or not as you think fit." 

Mrs. Merripebbles wept and scolded a good deal. She 
declaimed against stage plays and worldly vanities ii> 
general, and predicted a shameful end for her daughter. 
Thea she suddenly remembered that Marston had promified 
to put her and old Elspeth the Scotch servant in the first 
play he ever wrote, and wondered whether he had ever kept 
l^s promise, and whether or not she should be able to 
recognise herself. She remembered certain salient points 
in the character of Elspeth which she feared the dramatist 
had overlooked, and regretted that she had not been at his 
elbow during the labours of composition. She was in 
high glee during the rest of the day, and performed pro- 
digies of packing — occasionally resting in her labours to 
laugh at some long-forgotten facetise of Marston Lynch's 
— whom she declared she had always loved and admired 
(which was strictly true). She rated Old Merripebbles for 
standing with his hands in his pockets and smoking his 
filthy cigarettes (the sole dissipation with which our nuld 
old friend had been contaminated in the very vortex of 
continental immorality) — ^instead of taking an interest in 
the welfare of a young man whose triumphs they were 
going to witness — and whom, if he had any feelmg, he 
ought to regard as a son. Once in the course X)f the day 
she performed a ^ew steps of the Highland Fling from 
memory, as she had once seen it executed in the back- 
kitchen at Ash Grove (by particular desire, and on that 
occasion only) by the sprightly Elspeth. She even com- 
mitted herself at one period by embracing Maud rapturously 
—declaring that young lady to be her own true daughter 
and that she honoured her for fixing her choice upon a 
man of genius instead of consenting to pass her life 
among a set of clerks and stockjobbers. This was said in 
the presence of Merripebbles on purpose to humiliate that 
negotiant, who immediately felt very much ashamed of 
himself and Ids order. 

Mrs. Memgebbles, after a hot supper — with some 



MARSTON LYNCH. 258 

Lachryraae Christi — retired to rest very much fatigued, 
and groaning piteously. She wondered if she might be 
forgiven for having judged too harshly of the benighted 
Italian Catholics by whom she was surrounded. At least 
ihey had the grace to do penance for their sins. 

Old Mcrripebbles was in suppressed iextacies. He 
loved travelling. He loved London. He loved going to 
the play. He loved Marston Lynch with all his hwiest 
old heait, believing our hero to be the most gifted per- 
sonage an the face of the earth. To be sure there was also 
Don Sancho de Saumarez, who was a gentleman of dis- 
tinguished manners and great attainments. But then he 
was not so — so — well, he was not so young as Marston. 
You see, the old gentleman, who had the meanest opinion 
of himself, never felt himself so much at home as when 
among very yoimg people. He felt that the young people 
appreciated him, and you may be sure they did. They 
laughed at him occasionally, and now and then played hiTn 
very cruel tricks. But this was what thdl old boy liked 
above all things. 

Everything had happened, as usual, in accordance with 
Miss Carlton's wishes. They had reached London just in 
time to witness the first performance of the chefd^oeuvre. 
Maud had seen our hero — handsome, better grown, more 
manly than she had hoped — clamoured for and applauded 
by two thousand people. She believed him to be the 
greatest man in the world. 

In the morning she had read his name in the newspapers 
— ^those^wonderftd mysterious newspapers 1 — discussed, as 
it seemed to her, with the same importance, as the kings 
and statesmen in the neighbouring columns. And here he 
was, fresh from his triumph — come to lay himself at her 
feet. And there she was, to raise him up, and press him 
to her heart. 

It must not be supposed that Miss Carlton went through 
the latter interesting process literally, in the presence of 
her mamma, Mr. Mcrripebbles, and the stricken Sancho 
(whom she would rather had not made his appearance on 



954 MABStOX LYNCH. 

the occaaon, but whom slie felt sufficiently happy, and at 
peace with all men, to tolerate). Self-willed and impetu- 
ous as was this young lady, she was by no means deficient 
in real female delicacy, and proper respect for the conve- 
nances. But ,she made no disguise of her delight at seeing^ 
Marston- agfiin ; of her admiration of his genius, his 
triumphs, and his presence. She told him frankty how 
they had come all the way from Genoa on purpose to see 
his play ; how they had seen it, and how masterly a pro- 
duction it was ; and finally, how she had felt sure that he 
would be the first to find them out in London, and hasten 
to see them. 

" Not the first, my dear," said Mrs. Merripebbles.. 

" True," said Maud. . " You were not up early enough 
for that. Sir. Mr. Tofts has been here. But Mr. Tofts 
has not the excuse for late rising, of having produced a 
play — which all London is going mad about — on the pre- 
vious evening. Nor is Mr. Tofts at all likely to be con- 
fined to his bed owing to a. fatigue of that description." 

This was at an early stage of the visit. Marston began 
to feel hopeful. 

" If Tofts has been here," he thought, "he must have 
told them of it. Well, it will be a comfort to make an 
end of this morbid ridiculous white lying business, which 
is not at all to my taste, and which, after all, cannot 
possibly serve Saumarez." 

By " it" Marston had meant his marriage. It never 
occurred to him that Mr. Tofts (in company with a few 
'more members of the human species) might possibly have 
escaped all knowledge of that most important event ;. or, 
having been apprised thereof, might be so rude as . to 
forget aU about it. .You see, we all consider ourselves 
such very great people, and think all the world takes such 
an immense interest in us and our doings ! 

The sequel of the conversation suggested the humiliating 
probability that Tofts had not made the slightest allusiott 
to our hero beyond a passing compliment on his success of 
the ppreceding eveni^g^ 



MABSTON LYNCH* 255 

^' How that young man has got on, to be sure," said 
Mrs. Merripebbles. " Scarcely six-and-twenty, and abready 
a large shipowner." 

'^Indeed!" said Marston, carelessly; "I thought he 
was a lawyer — or something of that kind." 

** So he was ; but he turned shipbroker, and without a 
penny of capital to begin life with, has played his cards 
so well that he is now the principal owner of the Carlton 
line of Quebec packets." 

''The Carlton line?" Marston asked, awakened to, a 
feeble interest in the doings of Tofts. 

" Yes. And the principal ship, which he told us aU 
about — ^horse-power, state-rooms, brass railings, and all 
the rest of it — is called *The Maud.' Do you see any- 
thing significant in that, Mr. Marston ?" 

" Why — ^yes— I suppose it means something," Marston 
answered, as if he thought that no meaning whatsoever on 
the part of Tofts could be of very deep significance. 

" He has just returned from Canada — a hasty visit — and 
expects to be called back again shortly to make a length- 
ened stay. It is my opinion he came to Europe with the 
intention of fetching somebody. And I think I know 
somebody, who, if she were not blind, might go back to 
Canada as Mrs. Tofts." 

" Mamma," said Miss Carlton, quietly, " Do you know 
tliat you are talking very like a vulgar housemaid? Why 
not at once say that ' Tofts is willing,' or make some allusion 
to . my keeping company with him. You could not place 
the question, which is one such as ought never to be publicly 
brought forward, in a more oft'ensive light." 

" This to me, you abandoned — ^wicked, impious girl." 

" I must say, Maud," struck in the headstrong Merri- 
pebbles, " that such language as that to your mamma, in 
my presence — " 

" Hold ffour tongue if you please, Mr. Merripebbles. 
You are ready enough to abandon your own children to 
the care of foreign schoolmasters and menials. Fray do 
not waste your superfluous paternal tyranny on my child 



556 MAE8T0N LYNCH. 

— wlio has no father to protect her, and who doesn't deserve 
one, or any other blessing." 

jVIrs. Merripebbles sobbed, and wished she was dead ; 
and then turned dreadfully pale in terror of being taken at 
her word. 

Old Merripebbles, who felt himself a very monster of 
heartlessness, and expected alnioet to be given into well 
merited custody for deserting his offspring (comfortably 
installed in Enghsh boarding-schools at Nice), stood 
quaking on the hearth-rug, ashamed to look his guests in 
the face. 

Maud, with a frank assuring smile, held out her hand to 
him. The old gentleman bent over the snowy jewelled 
pahn, which he was almost afraid to press with courtly 
gratitude. This approval from the Queen Eegnant was 
quite enough for him. He was a happy man again. 

" You must forgive me, mamma," said Maud. " If we 
htwe been offensive to each other we are surely quits on 
that score. But as you have brought the objectionable 
question forward, pray let us try and Settle it. Do you 
wish me to marry Mr. Tofts — ^who, by the way, has not 
yet asked me — ^but supposing he had offered himself, 
would you Avish me to accept him ?'* 

" Who says I did? " inquired her mother, tartly. 

" Would you wish me to marry Mr. Tofts, papa ? " 

Mr. Merripebbles broke out into an evident perspiration, 
and rubbed his thin locks about violently — 

" Why, my dear young lady, I don't know — that is to 
«ay, I should consider it an honour myself " 

"Why?" 

" Weil, Mr. Tofts has got on so remarkably well." 

" You mean he has made money ? But that is precisely 
what I do not want. We have not a- single taste in com* 
mon. I do not love him, and we could never })ossibly be 
happy together. Why on earth — as I am fortunately 
placed above the necessity of sacrificing my happiness for 
the means of existence — should I marry a man who could 
at best only give me six horses instead of two ? " 



MABSTON LYNCH. 357 

'* Let her alone ! — ^let her alone ! " said Mrs. Merri- 
pebbles, who had just recovered her (ill) temper : " in a 
few mintites she^U out with it all. What a hurry she was 
in to come to England and all the rest of it. This is leap 
year, I believe, and nothing on earth would surprise me " 

" Mother ! " Miss Carlton rose from her seat angrily, 
her beautiful frame quivering aU over. 

" How were the vines looking when you left Piedmont, 
Mr. Merripebbles ? '* broke in Don Sancho, loudly, with a 
too evident wish to turn the conversation. 

The look with which Miss Carlton favoured the speaker 
"was decidedly not one of gratitude. She felt that the pro- 
ceeding was coarsely indelicate. It was calling attention 
to an implication that should have been passed over. 

'Marston Lynch felt his cheeks flame. 

Maud recovered her composure as well as she could, 
-and talked to Marston about old times and old friends. 
She believed she had seen Miss Crooze in the stalls on 
the previous evening with some one remarkably like Mr. 
'Howker. But Maud was a Httle near-sighted; and besides 
had been too much absorbed in the performance to verify 
the feet. And indeed it could not have been the lady and 
gentleman alluded to, or they would surely have found 
them out. Was Marston still at daggers drawn with his 
rich tmcle, and had he heard anything lately of that darling 
little Lucy, whom the questioner had neglected shamefully 
for the last several months ? 

Marston's lip quivered. He was anxious to blurt out 
the whole truth. He looked imploringly to Saumarez, as 
begging absolution from his rashly given promise. 

Saumarez had thought fit to assume the bearing of a 
wretched and despondent lover, to whom there is no hope 
left. He understood Marston's glance, and replied with a 
*^espairing toss of the head, which plainly expressed "Do 
as you like! Don't mind me. I am a poor devil not 
'Wortti a thought ! " 

■Marston felt extremely sorry for his friend. Besides, as 
fme or two of my readers may know, when once you have 

s 



258 MAESTON LYNCH. 

lent youTself to a lie, the process of redeeming yourself 
from a creditor of that description is remarkably humiliating. 
So he resolved to say nothing about his marriage on tlmt 
evening, and exerted himself strenuously to put a very 
Damon to Don Sancho's Pythias. 

After dinner (the cloth was laid at 3 p.m. : I hope the 
reader needs not to be told, at this late hour of the story 
that the Merripebbles was not a fashionable family) they 
had music : Maud awakened rare melodies on the old hotel 
piano, and sang songs of all nations in great vaiie^. 
Amongst others Marston noticed one or two unpretending 
ballads which sounded strangely familiar to him, but which 
he could not at once recognise. He soon claimed them, 
however, as his own — early scraps of verse he had l<flig 
thrown aside and forgotten. He was agreeably surpri^ 
to find them not utterly destitute of some kind of merit, 
and inunensely flattered by the homage of their preservalipa 
by the young lady, who had adapted them all to appropriate 
airs either of her own composition or selection. But the 
flattery made him imcomfortable, and he felt he was accept- 
ing it imder false pretences. 

" All men are not equally fortimate," said Saumarez with 
a deplorable sigh. *' I once sent Miss Carlton songs of 
my own composition. But they are deservedly forgotteik" 

" By no means. I remember your songs perfectly welL 
I will sing you as many of them as you like." 

" Pray do I Let us have one of old Sancho's" said 
Marston, patronising his distinguished friend most affably. 

" How would you Uke it ? In your own very excellent 
English, or in the original French, Spanish, or Itatian, as 
the case may be ? I have all the versions." 

Don Sancho bit his lips, and then laughed gaUy. 

" Ring the bell, Mr. Merripebbles, and order handcaffs 
for one. The thief is detected. Guilty of felonious trans- 
lation attended with violence. But I am so hardened in 
my sin as not to feel ashamed of it. What would you 
have ? I am not a man of genius. I love art and poeby, 
and like to contribute my mite to their treasuries. FoUd 



MARSTON LYNCH. 259 

tout! Je ramasse mon bien ou je le trouve. We are not 
all admitted to the innermost recesses of the temple. I see 
younger and more gifted men step in before me, and wish 
them God speed. But let me and other poor devils wor- 
ship in peace, in the mud below the outer steps. If I 
can't be Endymion, let me sit out in the moonlight now 
and then." 

Don Sancho concluded this remarkably fine apologue — 
in which the element of moonshine was appropriately con- 
spicuous — in a voice tremulous with emotion ^le had been 
pronounced the best Romeo on the American stage by the 
first New York papers). The whole assembly was touched; 
for it was obvious that, under the symbol of Art Worship, 
the speaker had intended to imply the hopelessness of his 
derotion to a more tangible goddess. 

Marston felt extremely sorry for his friend and for Maud, 
and quite ashamed of his own excellences and attractions. 
K vanity and sham sentiment had not been so busily at 
work within him, it might have occurred to him that he 
would do very well to kick his dear friend down stairs for 
acting a most shameful and unworthy part ; namely, in 
leading on a pure-minded young lady (whom he himself 
professed to love) to' commit herself by an admission of 
preference for a married man. 

The tears of Mrs. Merripebbles rose to the surface with 
their accustomed readiness. Old Merripebbles led the 
stricken hidalgo to a seat, gave him a bunch of grapes, 
and pKed him with claret — just as he had been accustomed 
to solace his own beloved Tommy (aged seven) with cakes 
and halfpence when in trouble. 

" I have one of your songs here which I have always 
liked," said Maud, with more kindness in her manner than 
she had yet shown to their elder visitor : " I will sing it 
you like." 

Don Sancho bowed his head meekly. 

Maud sang a really well written song — a little common 
place and "flashy" in sentiment and imagery, but fault 
less as to rhyme and measure. The singer threw such 

8 2 



MO MARSTON LTNCH. 

deep feeling into her expression as to give the thing more 
importance than was its due. 

" Beautiful 1" said Marston. *^ Why, Saumarez, T 
-couldn't write a song like that." 

" Generosity in a conqueror is a double defeat," was the 
inflated answer. 

At half-past six Maud declared that she was going to 
dress for the theatre. 

'' What theatre ?" 

What theatre? Marston's theatre, of course. She 
intended going every night, till she had the new piece by 
heart. 

Marston had not the least objection to go and see his 
own piece. Nor was he altogether sorry of the opportu- 
nity to show his friends what a great man he was — ^how 
he would bully the box-keepers, and so forth. 

Stop : he had one objection, which perhaps ought to be 
considered the least objection. He had left a little lady all 
by herself in a lodging-house in Cecil-street, who would 
'ime given her ears 

" Pshaw ! he said to himself. " She is not at all well. 
T kept her up too late last night : poor little darling, it 
would be a shame to spoil a second night's rest for her — 
in her present condition. Besides, there is my promise to 
'Saumarez. And no doubt she has been up to her eyes in 
■shopping with the money I left her, and must have fallen 
asleep over some grand * cutting out' scheme. I will bring 
her to see Maud to-morrow, and explain all." 

The friends went to the theatre all together. 

When the performance was over, they exchanged fare- 
wells on the steps of the theatre. The two young men 
declined an invitation to return to sup at the hotel. 

"We shall see you to-morrow?" said Maud, whose 
cordial manner towards Marston had materially cooled in 
the course of the day, and given place to one of anxious 
diffidence. 

" Certainly," replied Marston, scarcely knowing what he 

said. 



MAttSTON LYNCH. 2&1: 

" Well, Saumarez, I hope- jou are satisfiedi," he asked 
of his friend, as they walked home; alone. " I can teE. 
yoa that this deception has been a source of gxeat pain; 
tame." 

''^Doa't speak of it. What has it been to me ? Satis- 
fied ? I am dissatisfied with myself and everything else. . 
I beHeve I am half mad. I feel like an old drivelling, 
dotard, though I am only tliirty-four. Promise me one, 
thing." 

" Not a thing like the last, I hope." 
. " The same thing — let it stand over to-morrow. Don't 
go near them, if you like — but leave me to-morrow to. 
myself. After that, do as you please. Confess the whole, .. 
and spare me as little as I deserve." 

/* But what excuse am I to offer?" 

" I don't know. I don't know anything, leave me toe* 
njorrow to think if I can*" 

" You really pain me to see you in this state. Be it aa, 
you wish. Cojne home to supper — I dare say Lucy will: 
be sitting up." (How was it Marston had thought she 
was in bed three hours ago ?) 

" No, I can't. I am no company for anybody. Be- 
sides — Pshaw ! I must tell you I take a pleasure in humi- 
liating myself. Do you know where I am going to finish 
the evening ?" 

"HowcanlteU?" 

" Among the cabbages in Covent Garden Market, look- 
ing up at a light in the Bedford Hotel till it goes out. 
There, good night. 

Don Sancho de Saumarez burst from his friend with a 
bitter laugh, and withdrew to a quiet game at billiards, 
with some friends in the Q.imdrant. 

" Poor old fellow !" said Marston. 

Of course Lucy was sitting up, and flew to the street 
door at her husband's well-known step. It was so good 
of him to come home so early and so well, and she had 
such a nice little supper waiting for him. 

Did a chill come over Marston Lynch as he contrasted 



J 



262 MAttSTON LYNCH. 

the homely lodging-liouse parlour lighted by two dim 
candles, with the brilliant mirrored and lustred suite of 
rooms in which he had passed the day ; the paltry supper 
of warmed-up meat and salad with the sumptuous banquet 
he had partaken of; the little cold, anxious, trembling 
figure that hung round him as if for warmth and life, with 
the magnificent self-possessed beauty who might have been 
his with all her wealth and charms ? Did he look forward 
shudderingly into the inevitable, and contrast it hopelessly 
with the vanished possible. 

7or one moment perhaps. But if a man's weakness 
had led him to give way to such feelings, he had enough 
of a man's strength to combat them. He kissed his little 
wife heartily, and said he would never leave her for a day 
again. He stirred up the fire, and was astonished to find 
how comfortable the little place looked. Finally, he en- 
joyed a hearty supper of broiled bones and pickles, and 
cleared out the salad bowl. How thoroughly jLucy en- 
joyed seeing him eat, I liave no words to tell. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 263 



CHAPTER XXV, 

A SHOET ONE — BUT FULL OP BITSINESS. 

• The next day was to be a fete day with the happy Lucy. 
Marston was to spend the day with her. They were to 
dine at Uichmond (if it had been at a baked potato-stall^ 
Lucy would have been equally pleased in such company), 
and go to see the piece in the evening. 

Marston went out early in the morning to change Mr. 
Toplin's cheque. He had never had so much money in his 
possession before, He took a cab, of course, though he 
had nowhere particular to go to, and stopped the vehicle 
at various jewellers and dealers in finery — ^from whom he 
made costly purchases — a great many for himself, but far 
more for Lucy. 

He discharged the driver at the top of Cecil-street, and 
walked. 

Towards his own home ? No. Towards Covent Garden. 

He had not the slightest intention of calling at the Bed- 
ford, of course. But Lucy liked flowers, and he was de- 
termined to take her home the most splendid bouquet that 
money could purchase. 

He bought his bouquet, and met old Merripebbles dissi- 
pating in a pennyworth of apples. 

" Come up," said the old boy, " you'll find them all at 
home." 

Marston attempted an apology, he had promised his 

He was nearly letting the cat out of the bag — ^he had 



264 MABSION LYl^CH. 

promised his manager to meet him at the theatre about a 
new piece. 

" They'll be delighted to hear all about it, and I dare 
say won't press you to stop — and a little Hock and sofla 
water — " 

The wicked old rascal ! Where had he learned such 
drinks? 

Well, Marston would just step up and pay his respects 
to the ladies. 

He found them in the society of Don Sancho de Sau- 
marez, who looked pale and interestuig. His moustachios 
were remarkably black this morning, and the colour con- 
trasted admirably with his " Wertherfaced" complexion. 

"Another bouquet, Maud," cried Mrs. Merripebbles, 
" you won't refuse this one ?" 

" Not if it is intended for me, certainly," said Maud, 
calmly. 

What could Marston do but offer her the bouquet — Bay- 
ing that he had just purchaseiit with the intention ofi-- 
leaving it for her. He was pressed for time, but would 
she accept it aa the gift of an old and sincere ■ fiiend ? 

" As the gift of an old and sincere friend, certainly," 
said Maud, with some sadness in her voice and counte- 
nance as she took the flowers. 

" But whose was the rejected bouquet ?" Marston hxr 
quired, gaily. "Not yours, old. fellow, I hope. You 
deserve better treatment. 

" No," said Saumarez, bitterly, " I have long left off 
bringing themv My offerings are never accepted. I am 
an eel who is used to skinning. The last victim of my 
species, who has just wriggled out of the apartment in a 
most wretched condition, is Tofts." 

" TQujoum\ Tofts ?" 

" Yes," Mrs. Merripebbles interposed, " he has to start 
for Canada to-morrow, and came this morning with a formal 
proposal of marriage. Nothing could be more delicate ot 
flattering. than. the way in which he declared himself?" 

" He could not have offered to buy a ship, a cargo aad 



MARSTON LYNCH.. 265 

all, in a more thoroughly business-Hke and straightforward 
manner," said Maud, contemptuously. 

" Now, Maud, be quiet, we have agreed not to quarrel 
to-day, and, after my promise to accede to all your wishes, 
it is really too bad of you. You may guess what answer 
he received, Mr. Marston." 

" I hope he was sent about his business to give place to 
a better man," said Marston, warmly glancing at his 
Mend. 

** Something of that, perhaps," said the mother. " We 
are all friends here, I hope ; even you, Mr. Saumarez, I 
believe, have my dear child's interest at heart ? Marston, 
I will trifle with her and with you no longer. Mr. Tofts, 
in answer to a question that he put, was informed that my 
daughter's affections were elsewhere disposed of." 

" Silence, Mother,," said Maud, quivering with shama. 
aod a thousand other emotions : ** this, is wrong. This is. 
not. the place. Spare me!" 

She was about to hurry from the room. 

" Stay, Maud !" Marston cried. " This has gone too 
far. My dear friends, I have been to blame. But hear 
me?" 

" Marston Lynch !" cried Don Sancho, in a loud voice, 
leaping from his seat, "You are under a promise to 



me. 



" I know it." 

" I claim its fulfilment. Leave the house with me. I 
must speak to you alone." 

And he hurried the wondering Marston out of the apart- 
ment, and into the Covent Garden Piazzas, leaving the 
family trio aghast with astonishment. 

" Now, Saumarez, what is the meaning of this tom- 
foolery ?" 

"Tomfoolery! Idiotcy^! Madness! Padded rooms 1 
Handcuffs and whips, that is the meaning of it, I suppose. 
If Ihad let you speak the truth it would have blasted me 
in her opinion for ever and ever.." 

" But the .truthi must come out." 



266 MAHSTON LYNCH. 

"Oat with it, then, and ruin me. Destroy my last 
chance. Let her despise me — and get it over. But you 
promised me till to-morrow." 

" What matters a day ?" 

" Everything. You can coin an excuse — a lie. I have 
known men do more than that to serve a friend — or, at 
least, yoa can give me time to play my last card ; and, if 
that fails, to escape over the seas. I tell you, man, I only 
hoped for this day's enjoyment of her society — and then — 

then But what is that to you ? But, go back and 

tell them all. You cannot place my conduct — into which 
my blind passion has hurried me — in a blacker light than 
I shall place it when all is over. There, go." 

" I shall not again visit our friends, Saumarez, till I 
take my wife to see them." Marston answered quickly. 
" I will keep my word with you, and my motives for con- 
cealing my marriage shall remain a mystery, let them think 
what they will. I think that your most honest plan would 
be to return to them yourself, and save me the trouble of 
a confession." 

" And confess myself a pitiful, plotting dastard^ — as I 
have been ? I should still like to have a hope to cling to. 
But, enpugh. God bless you, my boy. You have be- 
haved nobly. We may never meet again." 

Don Sancho walked hurriedly away, brushing his eye- 
lids with the back of his buckskin gloves. 

"I hope he won't do himself any harm," thought 
Marston, looking after the retreating figure of his friend. 
" He's as mad as a March hare. 

In case any uneasiness should be felt on the score of 
Don Sancho de Saumarez, it must be stated here that he 
did himself no harm whatever, beyond such as may have 
accrued from the inhalation of a choice Havannah cigar, 
which he smoked enjoyingly in Kilpack's Divan, seated on 
the counter, against which he drummed his patent leather 
heels with the greatest satisfaction for the space of half-an- 
hour. 

The clock of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, sounded the 



MARSTOK LYNCH. 267 

hour of noon. Marston was overdue at Cecil-street. He 
bought a second bouquet — ^handsomer than the first — and 
went home to fetch his wife in a cab. 

They dined at the Star and Garter — would I had time 
and space to describe the innocent joys of that dinner. 
Marston was absent, and pre-occupied it is true — ^but 
then, what weighty undertakings had he not on his mind? 
Nevertheless, he was all kindness and devotion to Lucy. 
He told her of his future Hterary schemes— how many 
plays he intended writing within the next six months — and 
how he would naturally raise his scale of prices, in propor- 
tion to each success. Lucy thought the dinner a little too 
costly, it is true; but then, what was good enough for 
such a man as her husband ? 

In the evening they returned to town by rail, and drove 
in state to the Cork Street theatre. 

Then Lucy was in her glory. The servants of the 
theatre recognised her husband, and treated him with sub- 
mission. Great men, great authors, critics, and what not, 
came up to them with compliments and congratulations, 
and all seemed proud of an introduction to the pretty 
modest little wife of the successful author. Even the 
great Toplin himself, retreating into the body of the house 
for breathing time, after a terrible engagement with his 
arch enemies of the free list, was fain to stop and shake 
hands with his young friend, to whom he said (with his 
most courtly bow to the pretty little wife) — 

" Lucky dog ! Lucky dog ! Carry all away before you, 
everywhere. I see Thursday night was not your first 
brilliant success by any means. Glad I've seen you, Mrs. 
Lynch — always delighted to find my authors are men of 
taste. Thought well of him last night, but feel sure of 
him now." 

" What a nice gentleman !" said Lucy, as Toplin, after 
a " more exquisite bow than the other," retmned to the 
attack at the free barrier list. 

They were shown into a private box, "Mr. Lynches 
box," as the entire house was audibly informed, to the 



268 MAESTON LXNGH. 

great deliglit of Lucy. And then to have Mr. Lynch by 
her side, and to know that all those people were assembled 
to Ksten to Mr. Lynch'a play ! 

The first act of Mr. Lynch's play proceeded without in- 
terruption. Lucy anticipating each word as spoken by the 
actors — occasionally getting a little pettish when they went 
wrong. She had copied out the manuscript herself in^ 
beautiful school hand, and knew it by heart. 

When the first act was over, Lucy, by the dignity of her 
position as the author's wife, felt emboldened to glance 
round the house. 

" Good heavens, Marston ! who is that beautiful girl 
staring at us from the opposite box. I know the face — ^it 
must be — ^Marston, it is Maud Carlton ?" 

The reader will conceive that Marston was inexpressibly 
delighted by the discovery. 

" It is Maud. There is Mr. Merripebbles with her, and 
behind him — ^why it is your friend Saumarez, Marston." 

Marston was delighted, of course. 

"She has seen me. She has left the box. She h. 
coming round to. us. How beautiful she has grown." 

Li a few seconds the rustle of brocade was heard outside 
the box-door. A tap followed. Marston opened the. 
door, and Lucy and Maud were in each other's arms. 

" You darling little Lucy I I should have known you 
anywhere, you arc not a bit altered, except just a little 
prettier. When did you come to London ? To-day, of 
course, or Marston would have told us. I am jealous of 
him already, for liaving. picked you. up before me." 

•" Marston, did you know that Maud was in London P" 

" My dear — Maud — Miss Carltou' — ^I would have ex- 
plained this morning, had it not been for " — 

Don Sancho looked in at the box-door with a Mesphis- 
tophilean grin, (he had adapted Famt to the English stage 
himself, and his performance of the Demon had be^ 
highly applauded in Baltimore and Boston.) 

"- What is. the meaning^ of this ?" said Maud, clutching 



cc 



MABSTQN LYNCH. 269 

at Lucy's left hand, on which, her quick eye had detected 
the wedding-ring. 

Have you seen her, Marston, and not told her ?" 
It is not my fault, so help me heaven, Maud. Lucy 
is my wife ; we have been married four months. I would 
have brought her to see you to-morrow." 

Miss Carlton stood rigidly for a few moments, like one 
in a fit of catalepsy. Her cheeks were courlourless, her 
lips blue. Then she turned slowly round and walked out 
of the box. They could hear her heavy-measured steps in 
the box lobby when the curtain had drawn up for the 
second act. 
Don Sancho de Saumarez followed the yoimg lady. 



i 



270 MARSTOX LYNCH. 



CHAPTEE XXVI. 

DON SANCHO MAKES LOVE APTEE AN ECCENTRIC 

FASHION. 

It is most likely that Miss Carlton in full evening dress, 
as she was, would have marched from the box-lobby into 
Cork-street — ^right among the cabmen and orange-women 
— had it not been for the intervention of the check-taker's 
barrier. There she was brought to a standstill, and stood 
gazing with sullen wildness down the entrance of the 
theatre. If the little iron railing before her had belonged 
to a bridge — ^with dark deep gurgling water on the other 
side of it, instead of a lighted hall thronged with lackeys 
and idlers — there is little reason to doubt that the young 
lady would have jumped over it. A civil official, (such 
things do exist here and there, even in theatres) noticing 
her agitated condition, and knowing it was no fit place for 
a young lady, as he could see she was, to stand alone in, 
asked her, as a hint, if she was waiting for her carriage. 
She waved her hand mechanically, and said, " get me one." 
A cab was called, and Maud leaped into it, with a con- 
temptuous disregard of such dependencies as cloak, fen, 
opera-glass, stepfather. Sec., which she had left behind her 
in the box, and told the man to drive the Bedford Hotel. 

Don Sancho got in a cab immediately after her. It is 
possible that Maud's driver, with the acute perceptions 
of his order, divined that he had got hold of an inex- 
perienced fare, and went a mile or so out of his way, with 
a view to earning an honest shilling for his struggling wife 



MARSTON LYNCH. 271 

and family. It is also likely that Don Sancho's driver, by 
a similar mental process, made up his mind that his fare 
was one with whom no such liberties might be taken ; or, 
perhaps, the descendant of the hidalgos — (by the way, 
" hidalgo " means somebody's son : clearly our friend was 
an hidalgo) — ^with his usual seeking after effect — even 
with no better audience than a cabman — had done a little 
retail Mont€ Christo business on the way, and encouraged 
the man to speed by rare munificence. At any rate, when 
Maud entered the sitting-room of the hotel, to be alone 
for a little while — (her mother, she knew, had retired to 
bed early, being unwell) — to try and tame her maddening, 
writhing thoughts into something like order, — ^there was 
Don Sancho seated at a table, in an imexceptionable atti- 
tude, with the lamp so disposed as to set off his interesting 
face and figure to the best advantage. 

Maud started with a feeling of something like terror. 
For a moment she thought this man must possess some 
supernatural power. It seemed to her, she had left him a 
few seconds ago miles away, such had been the hurry and 
pre-occupation of her thoughts ; and here he was before 
her as if by magic, perfectly calm and collected. She was 
really and truly afraid of him. 

Nothing could have pleased Don Sancho de Saumarez 
better. In fact, he had " led up to " the situation, and 
he was an experienced dramatist and stage-manager, as we 
have learnt. 

" I believe you are a devil," said Miss Carlton, in a 
voice wherein hatred certainly had the best of it over 
fear. 

Don Sancho was immensely flattered. You could not 
have paid him a compliment more to his taste. He put on 
his coldest smile, and elevated the extremities of his thin 
black eyebrows to their utmost Mephistophelean pitch. 

" Why have you come here ?" 

** To seize an opportunity," said the actor, calmly. 

" Of humiliating me ? Have you not had sufficient P 
But no ! You must reap the fruits of your labours." 



272 MAHSTO-N XY^CH. 

"T hope so in time. They have been long and ardaons 

CTiongh." 

Maud sat down heavily, and pressed her hand against 
her burning brow, tossing her lovely forest of ringlets 
about in splendid disorder. 

*' You have done this,'* she resumed, looking up fiercely. 

' " I cannot teU you what, nor how. But I feel that I owe 

you this worse than death and shame that has come 

upon me. You have weighed upon my life like an evil 

destiny ever since I have known you." 

The Brummagem O. Smith could scarcely contain bis 
"satisfaction. 

" Why have you done this ?" Maud asked, ahnost im- 
ploringly. " Now that you have triumphed, you oarmot 
refuse to tell me. I am curious to know what motive you 
could have for pursuing me with such malignity." 

" What have I done, Maud ?" Saumarez inquired in a 
sweet voice, suddenly changing to an expression of naive 

simplicity. 

The question was certainly a tryiug one. What had he 
done ? Maud could not answer him ; and yet her wwnan's 
instinct told her that he had done all. * - 

" Was it my fault, Maud?" (He had never called her 
Maud till this evening ; she winced at the familiarity as an 
evidence that he was gaining an ascendancy over her.) 
** Was it my fault, Maud, that you fixed your affections on 
Marston Lynch ?" 

^* How dare you ?" she began fiercely. 

" Surely, I may allude to what you have never yourself 
striven to conceal, as I know to my misery. Was it my 
fault that he should be ass and dolt enough to fix his 
affections on another less worthy than yourself? ^ You 
complimented me just now with an ironical suspioio&'of 
demoniac power. I confess if I had possessed such a ^ 
I might have exerted it to bring about such a result as has 
happened without my interference. But being only a 
simple mortal I do not possess the secret of love philtres^ 
Would to God I did I Would to God I did I" 



MABSTON LYNCH, 273 

Don Sancho repeated this with an excellent imitation of 
heartfelt anguish, burying his face in his hands, and rock- 
ing to and fro on his chair. 

His manner calmed, if not softened her, a little. 

" Then why was this concealment, if not to make me an 
object of scorn to myself and others ?" 

" What concealment ?" 

The question was asked in a bland tone of astonish* 
ment. 

" You know what -I mean, but you are here to pain and 
exult over me. Well ! as you say, I have made no con- 
cealment of my feelings, even to you, whom I know to be 
one mass of duplicity. I mean, Marston Lynch's mar- 
nage. His marriage! Oh, Grod,. in Heaven!" 

" And do you think this is a triumph to me, Maud 
Carlton, to hear my rival — even now that he is lost — 
lamented over with a passion that removes me further from 
hope than ever ? Can I enter into Marston Lynch's secret 
thoughts ? Can I tell you his motive for concealing his 
marriage?" 

" You knew of it." 

" Maud Carlton, I did not." 

Don Sancho leapt to his feet indignantly as he spoke. 
He really managed to bring a flush into his pale cheeks, 
and looked a noble picture of outraged virtue. 

Don Sancho de Saumarez had studied the theory of 
Lying as assiduously as he had cultivated its practice. It 
was one of his maxims that lies are like bullets, the biggest 
do the surest service. 

Maud was baffled but not convinced. 

** Why are you here now ?" she asked sullenly. 

" Why am I ever here ? Why is it that I cannot keep 
myself away in spite of scorn and insult ? But let that 
pass. I followed you, Maud, to protect you," 

" From whom, pray ?" 

** From yourself, probably. When you left the theatre, 
I could have wished myself a demon indeed. Would you 
know why?" 

T 



%14! Mi.SSTON LYNCH. 

Maude tossed her head. 

*^ Because a demon possessed you." 

Don Sancho was highly pleased with this epigram ; and 
made a mental note of it for his next dramatic adaptation 
firom the Prench. 

" You are right," said Maud, strongly excited. " I was 
— I am possessed of a demon. The little miserable pale- 
feced doll ! I left her in mercy, or I should have wrenched 
her puny hand oiF. Fool, dolt, idiot, as he is. Theie 
must be love- spells or philtres in the world, or he could 
never have preferred such a baby to me. To me !" Mias 
CJarlton drew herself up to her full height, and surv<^yed 
herself angrily in a mirror. Don Sancho admired h«: veiy 
much indeed, and persuaded himself for the mtoment iheit 
he was dying in love for her. 

" He did not know you, Maud. Thank Heaven 1" 

" \^^ly p" 

** Because had he known you in time, he would have 
won you from me. He is my superior in every way," (Don 
Sancho knew the value of a little humihty) : " I should 
have given up all hope." 

" Do so now— once and for ever." 

*' No, by Heavens ! I wiU win you yet." 

« You think so." 

" I do — I will. Your love for lam is at an end. It 
will soon change to hate. He has slighted you, and you 
oam never forgive him. You will hate him the moire wh^i 
you see him prosperous and happy with another — insulting 
you with their very happiness. You cannot live without 
love, Maud. In time you wiU have tested the value of 
mine — and will aeo^t it." 

Maud Beamed not to heed the last, part of his speech. 
She sat bhing her hp, beating her pretty foot against tha 
carpet, and repeating, " Happy— prosperous I— Happj — 
prosperous ! — and with her." 

Then die wheded round on her chair, and addrcsaiiig 
het yisf/Urt in a choking voiee, comm^ced — 

" Saumarez, I believe I could almost love you, tf — 



» 



( 



Jtf^SSION XYZfCH. 275 

She paused 

" K there is a condition, name it," 

Maud laughed. 

" I meant to say if instead of a scheming trickster, you 
were a bold villain." 

" I am neither, Maud ; but proceed." » 

Maud laughed again. A cracked, jarring, unpleasant 
laugh it was — so different to her usual silvery tones, 

" I was going to give a bit of bombast in your own style 
—and to say that if you could show me them both dead, 
with knives in their hearts, and tell me it was your work, 
I would pay you like a bold bravo, with a handsome price 
— and marry you. There — Cleave me. You have taken 
me at an unkind advantage. Why, man, you are a pitiM 
coward to pry into a poor girl's weaknesses, and listen to 
her ravings. Good night." 

Don Sancho rose and took her hand. She tried to re- 
lease it, but the effort seemed hardly worth the making. 
She left it there. 

" Maud Carlton," said Saumarez, fixing his eyes upon 
her, and speaking in measured tones. ''I know you 
better than you think. You have been grievously out- 
raged — ^not intentionally, perh^^s — ^but the thing is done. 
You spoke just now, hghtly, of a terrible revenge. Ee- 
venge on such a scale is, of course, out of the question. 
But revenge of some kind you must and will have, I can 
give it you." 

" By nuirrying me ? Frankly, I should consider it no 
great triumph." 

*' I have it in my power to make Marston Lynch a xioh 
man." 

*' So had L How will that serve me ? " 

** Bead this," 

Pon Sancho produced a document from his breast podcet, 
aad held it open, without xelinquishing it, for Maud to read. 
It was no other than our old acquaintance the will, which 
had exercised such an influeaoe on the nerves and cheque 
liook of Mr* Gkrogoiy Lynch. 

T 2 



276 HABSTON LYNCH. 

" I cannot read to-night, my head is swimming. What 
is the meaning of this ? " 

" A will, which, if once made public, makes Marston. 
Lynch a freehold proprietor, and his wife a rich man's 
lady, surrounded by every luxury and honour, — richer 
than yourself, Maud." 

" Give it to me." 

Miss Carlton clutched at the document spitefully. Don 
Sancho retained his possession of it. 

" Not yet, at any rate. Hear a few words that may 
give you some idea of the lengths my passion for you has 
led me. This wiU came into my possession — no matter 
how — some time back. It brought me to England that I 
might do justice to Marston Lynch, who is entitled by this, 
his grandfather's will, to a great portion of his uncle's pro- 
perty. Two years ago I had completed the chain of 
evidence necessary to establish its validity. Marston was 
. on the eve of becoming wealthy, when " 

"What?" 

** When I discovered that you loved him. He was more 
than my match already. I was not going to put the ad- 
ditional weapons in his hands of riches and power. Marston 
Lynch was my friend : but if my brother stood in my way, 
in love, I would remove him." 

" I do not understand you." 

** You shall. I am a selfish man, and, where my own 
interest and passions are concerned, an unscrupulous one. 
I have concealed this will to further my own interests with 
you, by retarding those of my rival. Promise me some 
lope, and it shall never see light." 

" Would you commit a robbery P " 
" You were only half in bitter jest, awhile ago, when 
you proposed that I shoxild commit two murders. Yes, 
, Maud, I could become either a scheming trickster or a bold 
villain to win you. It depends on a word from you whether 
Marston Lynch is to become a rich man or a starving 
beggar. Continue to treat me as you have done, 
and I have no longer any motive for continuing a crime. 



HABSTON LYNCH. 277 

Marston and his wife shall be happy, if I cannot 
be so." 

He had held the will temptingly open, and Maud had 
spelt it line by line. She was nearly mad. All the worst 
passions of her ardent nature had been aroused by th6 
sorely trying events of the evening. She was as vindictive 
as she was loving. Bemember that her fine glowing nature 
was as a rank imcultivated garden, with scarcely a weed 
eradicated; beautiful as were its flowers, rich as were many 
of its fruits. She had lived for a dream which had been 
cruelly dissipated. She hated Lucy Lynch from the bottom 
of her heart. Her quick imagination had divined, that with 
herself, backed by the magic of her wealth, Marston Lynch 
would have been a happy honoured man — would have had 
the means to develope his character and realise his ambitions: 
whereas, with a timid, helpless partner like Lucy, his career 
would be tranmielled and his life eventually embittered. Af 
first she thought her anger towards the poor httle wife was 
disinterested, on Marston's account. What right had the 
designing little schemer to spread her toils to clog a great 
man's steps for her own selfish gratification ? She (Maud) 
would have helped, supported him, with her strength and 
wealth, and, above all, her love, which was as great as her- 
self. But when she saw before her the written evidence of 
a possibility that Mai'ston and Lucy might be happy to- 
gether — ^independent of her, her wealth, or her revenge — - 
she was bound to recognise the ravaging power of base 
selfish jealousy. She would rather see them both dead 
than happy with each other. 

•.^"Give it to me," she said, clutching at the will 
again. 

** Unconditionally, Maud ?" 
. " I do not know. I cannot teU its value ; but I cannot 
bear the thought that he should see her happy and smiling ; 
he would grow to love her. She is beautiful after all — 
above all, when she is happy. The madman ! 1 would 
have loved him through everything. I would love him 
' now if he would leave her. What are their laws to me ? 



278 MAESTON LYNCH. 

I would sing ballads in the streets for him. I would 
drudge, slave, suffer, steal for him. My God, what love 
the fool has lost !'* 

The artistic sense of Saumarez — ^if nothing higher — was 
thoroughly roused. He admired the strong, agonised, 
untutored, lawless girl more than ever. If he had been 
an honest man he would have obeyed a momentary im- 
pulse to speak half-a-dozen words, that might have placed 
the poor shaken spoilt child in the way of peace, if not to 
happiness. But, alack ! he was thirty-four years of age, 
and an artificial rogue of some twenty years' induration. 
He had prepared a very pretty plot, which it would be a 
thousand pities to spoil. 

" Here is the wiD, Maud,'* he said, folding up the docn- 
mient and handing it to her. 

She took it eagerly at first, and then seemed terrified at 
^s possession. 

" What am I to do with it ?** 

*' What you please. Bring me to the hulks with it, if 
you like ; only remember it was done for your sake. I 
have only one condition to make. 

" What is that P" 

" That you do not destroy it till we are married.'* 

" Take it back, then." 

*' If I do, it will only be to give it to Marston and con- 
fess all. I am sick of this course, if no reward is to come 
of it. ShaU I take it ?'* 

«< No — ^no ; I must see them ruined — ^beggars — starving 
beggars." 

" You shall. I wfll do any good or evil you may com- 
mand me, Maud, only make yourself the price. After all, 
why should I affect to love Marston Lynch ? I hate him. 
I have hated him ever since he has crossed my path. I have 
power to injure him beyond what you hold in your hand. 
If I can punish him for his insolent slights to you ; if I 
can show him to you, with his pet wax doll, ruined, broken, 
snd miserable, loathmg and detesting each other — " 

'* Show me that, and take all I have." 



u 



MARSTOK LYNCH, 279 

Miss Carlton h(id grown very ugly within the last few 
minutes. 

" You make me out a very common trickster indeed. 
If I chose to scheme for money, I have brains enough to 
do it, on a larger scale thwi you, have any conception ofc 
I want you, Maud, not your money." 

" Then take me, with or without it," said Maud, with a 
contemptuous toss of her beautiful body, as though she 
were throwing that precious creation away as a thing no 
longer of any value. 

Mr. Merripebbles, scared and breathless, entered the 
apartment. Maud, at a sign from SaumareK, concealed 
the will in her bosom . She immediately repented of having 
done so ; but it was too late to retract. 

Dear, dear !" said old Merripebbles, intensely flutteisd. 
What is the meaning 6f all this ? Maud, I waited in 
the box half an hour for you. Then I went over to Mc. 
Marston's box, and he quite confused me with explana- 
tions about something or other. To think of his being 
married to little Lucy, all the time, and — Mr. Saumarez 
you are not going, surely ?" 

" I am sorry I am compelled to, Sir. Miss Carlton — 
perhaps I may be allowed to say Maud — ^to-night was 
indisposed. I hope to be received for the future on a more 
intimate footing." 

What could Maud say ? 

" Good night," that was all. 

Mr. Saumarez appeared to receive this parting saluta- 
tion with rapture, and held the speaker's hand much 
longer than was intended, bidding the aforesaid speaker be 
composed, with an assurance that he would look round the 
first thing in the morning. As Mr. Merripebbles showed 
him to the door, Don Sancho pressed the old stockbroker's 
hand very warmly, whispering in that gentleman's ear a 
comforting assurance that he believed he had made it all 
right at last. 

" I am sure I am very much honoured and delighted," 
said the old boy, with a not very delighted face — " but," 



S80 MARSTON LYNCH. 

he added to himself, when the visitor ha^ departed, " I had 
hoped it was to be Mr. Marston ; though, of course, that 
is out of the question." 

Don Sancho de Saumarez sped along the Covent Garden 
t^iazzas (bound for the Quadrant) at a brisk lively 
pace, that threatened to break into a dance, musing as 
follows : — 

" So ! I have made her an accomplice in what she 
believes to be a criminal transaction ; and have promised 
to bring Marston Lynch, to ruin. Poor old Marston ! I'm 
sure I shan't take any trouble in the matter. I shall just 
leave him to himself — ^he'll do it fast enough, without my 
assistance — and shall claim credij; for the consequence. 
She's a splendid young virago, and it will have a glorious 
effect when it gets wind that she's going to marry me." 

Don Sancho de Saumarez surpassed himself at billiards 
that evening. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 281 



CHAPTER XXVII, 

MABSTON MAKES THE ACQUAINTANCE OF SEVERAL 
DISTINGUISHED PUBLIC CHARACTERS — ONE ESPE- 
CIALLY. 

On the following morning Marston and Lucy left their 
lodgings early, en route for the Bedford Hotel, to call on 
their old friends, and soothe the irritated Maud if possible. 
Our unfortunate hero felt himself in a position which, had 
it not been so acutely painful, would have been excessively 
ridiculous. He was willing himself to explain everything. 
But what was there he really could explain ; and who was 
likely to ask for an explanation ? He could not go and 
apologise to Miss Carlton for having first inspired that 
volcanic young lady with a tender passion, and subsequently 
married somebody else. Should he keep away altogether 
and let the scrape right itself? His ingenuous and candid 
nature revolted at the idea. He would face his old bene- 
factors ; and, if they should have any reproaches to make, 
would endeavour to bear or meet them. After all, perhaps 
he was exaggerating the whole difficulty. Maud had been 
wayward and rude to Lucy at the theatre. What of that ? 
Maud had always been wayward, and rudeness was no 
novel phrase in her behaviour. He decided that he would 
take his wife to her old friends, and ignore everything, but 
a want of candour on his part in concealing his marriage 
from people to whom his welfare was dear, for which con- 



283 MAESTON LYNCn. 

cealment, temporarily, he would say there was a special 
reason. What reason? To this inquiry he would only 
answer himself with a hearty mental curse at his dear 
friend Saumarez, and a recognition of increased perplexity. 

As to Lucy, she was in a state of intense bewilderment 
at the whole affair. What motive could Marston have for 
concealing from her his knowledge of the family being in 
London, and his frequent visits to them, any more than, on 
the other hand, for keeping his marriage a secret from 
them? Lucy had not a spark of jealousy in her composi- 
tion. Nor had she as yet learned to believe in the possi- 
bility of her idolized husband being induced-^for any 
earthly consideration — ^to act disingenuously or unwiady. 
Marston could only explain to her that he had acted on an 
unconditional promise given to Saumarez. Lucy strove 
to admire this scrupulous adherence to an engagement, 
however extracted, and succeeded in discovering therein 
something like magnanimity. But from that time forth 
she conceived an instinctive aversion to Don Sancbo, 
to which she adhered ever after with true feminine 
tenacity. 

They reached the hotel, and sent up their cards to the 
heads of the family. 

In a short time the servant returned, with the embar- 
rassed countenance of one charged with an ungracious 
message. Mrs. Merripebbles and Miss Cariton respect- 
fully declined receiving the visitors. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lj^ich walked back to Cecil-street — ^silent 
and unhappy. 

In the course of the day, Marston, at Lucy's suggestion, 
wrote to Mrs. Merripebbles, expressing, in warm terms, 
his gratitude, and that of his wife, for the many kindnesses 
received from the stockbrocker's famOy, with his r^ret 
that any misunderstanding should have shut them out 
from so dear a circle. He briefly said that he bad been 
bound in honour to keep the change in his condition a 
secret, for a certain time, for a reason he was not even then 
at liberty to make public, but which, in justice to himself. 



>y 



MARSTON LYNCH, 283 

he would declare to Mrs. Merripebbles personally, if she 
would favour him with an interview. 

In a few hoiu*s the letter was returned with the seal un- 
broken. 

** Who could have told them yomr address?" asked the 
suspicious Lucy. 

" Who ? Why, anybody. There can be no difficulty 
in finding out where I live," replied the popular author, 
conceitedly. 

" There is only one person who could have told them, 
Mrs. Lynch persisted. 

" You mean Saumarez? Suppose he did ? If they 
asked him my address, of course he would give it. My 
dear, I don't like to see you so suspicious. You see 
treachery in everything." 

" From that quarter I do.'* 

Don Sancho de Saumarez never visited Marston Lynch 
again at the residence of the latter, who rather gave his 
'Wife to understand that he had cut the Mexican's acquaint- 
ance, in obedience to her repeated urging. But, after a 
slight coolness, the two gentlemen soon began to meet in 
green-room's, cofFee-rooms, and at the chamber of their 
mutual bachelor acquaintances, on much of their former 
footing. On one occasion, after a somewhat lively supper, 
when Marston was in rather a sentimental condition, 
Saumarez melted the last icicle by seizing his young friend 
rapturously by the hand, and exclaiming, in a passionate 
whisper — 

** Marston ; I can't bear this. You have sacrificed your- 
self most nobly for me. You have saved me more than 
Kfe. I have hopes now — ^which, if you had divulged my 
unworthiness, w'ould have been destroyed for ever. All 
shall be explained and atoned for. Only say we are 
fiiends." 

" My dear fellow ** 

The remainder of the scene was tearful and incoherent. 
Marston did not mention this formal reconciliation to his 



284 MAESTON LYNCH. 

wife. Women were so prejudiced. Saumarez was a good 
fellow after all. Besides, as they must be thrown con* 
stantly together in the way of business, what folly to keep 
up the semblance of a feud between them 1 

Marston Lynch was at work* upon a new comedy — ^in 
five acts, if you please — ^about which he talked a great deal 
more than was necessary, but with which he made no 
great progress. This he attributed to various causes — ^toa 
much company — other literary engagements — ^laziness, &c., 
&c., all of which obstructions he perennially resolved to 
remove on the following Monday, and attack the magnum 
optia in earnest. 

The secret was, our hero had set himself a task beyond 
his present powers, and was afraid of it. He was in the 
perilous position of a young man depending upon literature 
for his existence who had been precociously successful. In. 
such cases, the entire journey seems as easy as the first 
step. At the second, or third, the ground usually becomes 
hilly. Marston, at this time, had not had sufficient expe- 
rience of art or nature to carry him through the ambitious 
project he had formed ; and good natured friends, jealous 
of his early success, already began to inquire with sneering 
impatience for the promised ckefd^ceuvre. 

Altogether, though, Marston found no lack of employ- 
ment, and that, as long as it lasted, lucrative enough in its 
way. He had a ready pen, and his name being well before 
the public, found no difficulty in obtaining access to the 
periodicals, then a more profitable vein to work than at 
present. On one especially — of which more hereafter — 
he became a person of some importance. Various desul- 
tory commissions, moreover, were offered him frequently 
enough for literary work, very little to his taste. Some <rf 
his proposed engagements were queer enough, as the fol- 
lowing specimen will testify : — 

One morning, as Marston was writing, the servant 
brought him a card. Mr. Marston looked at it. 

"Mr. Tipton — ^who the deuce is Mr. Tipton?" he 



MAKSTON LYNCH, 285 

asked himself. " I know no one of the name but the man 
who sings comic songs, of a questionable description, at the 
Supper Taverns." 

The visitor, on being shown in, turned out to be the 
popular vocalist himself. 

He was a quaint, vulgar-looking, good-humoured fellow, 
dressed in an expensive caricature of the prevailing fashion. 
He was not alone : and his companion excited no little 
surprise in our hero. This was a graceful delicate little 
girl, of some five years old, splendidly and tastefully 
dressed, whom the comic singer seeemed to treat with 
great tenderness. 

" How do you do, sir?" said Mr. Tipton, shaking hands 
with our hero with much cordiality, and helping himself to 
a seat with the little girl on his knee. " No occasion for 
introduction between us, eh? Public characters ought to 
know each other. Birds of a feather you know." 

Marston having resisted a momentary temptation to 
kick his visitor out of the room, laughed heartily, and 
asked in what way he might have the pleasure of serving 
Mr. Tipton. 

"Ah 1 that's my style — ^business first, pleasure after- 
wards. We shall get on I see. Now, I want you to 
write me a song." 

" Indeed 1 " Marston turned slightly red, and was 
about to add, " and what the devil is that to me." But 
it was evident, from the man's manner, he had no idea he 
was conferring anything but the highest honour, in the 
offer of his patronage. 

** Yes, something spicy. Run, and look out of window, 
my love," said he to the little girl, who obeyed him, 
" Something in the style of my " 

And, with a vulgar wink, he named a song, of which 
Marston remembered to have heard the commencement 
only, having been driven out of the room by its atrocious 
character. 

He arose from his chair with offended dignity. 

«* You have applied to the wrong person, sir," * 



286 MABSTON LYNCH. 

"Not a bit," Mr. Tipton interrupted pleasantly. 
" Don't make a mistake. Money's no object to me for a 
taking article. Name your own price — ^and the money 
down when it is fLnisbed. Say ten pounds — twenty, if 
you like — and I'll give you a cheque for half in advance." 

Mr. Tipton had no idea that an author could feel any 
but pecuniaiy scruples at writing in his peculiar school 
of composition. 

Marston saw it was useless being angry with the man. 
He merely said his time was too much occupied now to 
undertake any new engagements. 

" Then, take your own time. Choose your own sub- 
ject — ^for you're the man for my money. Mind, half in 
advance, whenever you like to begin." 

" We'll see about it. I am rather pressed for time just 
now. Good morning." 

" Good bye. I know how . you literary swells are 
occupied. Come along, my pet. Mind, pile it up as 
strong as you please ; in your raciest style." 

"That's a sweet little girl of your's, Mr. Tipton," 
Marston said, anxious to evade the disagreeable subject. 

" Yes, sir, she is," said the vocalist, parting the child's 
hair, and kissing her on the forehead; "she's rather a 
good *un — ^and she's to be a lady — she is." 

" Is she your only one P " 

" Yes, sir, the only one," said the man huskily ; " and 
not mine, sir. She's my sister's child — ^my sister's child." 

" Have you no children of your own ? " 

" Four — all dead, sir ; and the mother — ^and my sister, 
her mother, attending of 'em. That was in the bad time, 
that was — ^before I got my present high position. No 
jellies, and game, and. broth, and the best advice in them 
days, sir." 

The fiinger looked up with a queer, rueful gasp, and 
lesumed his burden of " But she s to be a lady, a real 
lady, she is ; and shall have all that money can buy her." 

" Do yott 8^d her to a good school? " 

** School 1 No, air. Not yet. It will have to come 



MAKSTON LYNCH* 287 

to that, some day ; but I can't brin^ my mind to it yet. 
She has first-rate masters in the day-time ; but I can't let 
her go away from me as yet, day or night." 

** Good heavens ! Why, you don't take her to that 
abominable singing-place with you, surely ? " 

"Every night, sir; and she's put to bed in Mrs. 
Higson's room, as soon as I get there, in a cot fit for a 
queen. Why, you don't suppose I'd let her hear a word of 
the rough talk that goes on in the concert-room ? " 

" Well, I should hope not." 

" I should hope not. Not a rough word shall ever 
come near her ears. But I'm detaining you, sir. Jump 
up, pet — ^pick-a-back! Never mind the door, sir; and 
don't forget, whenever you're ready. The money's as 
safe as the Bank. Sir, to you. Gee-up ! " 

Mr. Tipton cantered up Cecil-street, with the child on 
Ms back, shouting joyously, and flogging him with the toy 
parasoL 

" That is a queer application of the aristocratic princi- 
ple, certainly," Marston mused, " or the sacrifice of the 
many to the few ! That fellow devotes himself exclusively 
to the corruption of the rising generation, to save money, 
in order that one httle lady may be developed into a 
perfect specimen of womankind ! We hve and learn I 
As Mr. Squeers says — ' she's a rum 'un is Natur ! ' But 

d^ ^a the feUow^s impudence for wanting to make me 

his accomplice ! " 



388 MAE9T0N LYNCH. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

I 

IN WHICH MABSTON LYNCH HAS SOME OF HIS NOBLES 
BBOUGHT DOWN TO NINEPENCE. 

Mb. Mebbipebbles took a farnislied house at the 
West End of London ; that is to say, Mr. Merripebbles 
took it nominally — ^the real tenants being his wife and Miss 
Carlton. The house was furnished as most well-to-do 
middle-class dwellings are, now-a-days, without a trace of 
character or individuality, without one relic or indication 
that would make you decisively say '* such and such a kind 
of man lived there once." Poor old Merripebbles was not 
the sort of man to leave any very vivid mark after him. 
His changeable restless wife was one of those active 
reformers, who are generally discovered, at the end of a 
given period, to have left things in exactly the state they 
found them. The one being in their little household, who 
alone could have given true colour and character to the 
dreary platitudes of glass and mahogany around them, was 
a chaa^ged being, talong interest in few things, 

Maud was very wretched. Not grief, but anger — dull, 
vindictive, unrelenting anger had Uken possession of her 
— to the exclusion of all other feelings. Her beautiful 
dream of life was over : the fairy prince had married the 
pretty shepherdess — treating her, the all-powerful en- 
chantress, with disdain. She would weave spells around 
them yet, and crush them in their own rose bower. 



MAKSTON LYNCH. 289 

Sometimes for days slie would neglect her toilette, her 
studies, almost her food even — and mope in savage lone- 
liness. Then she would take a self-torturing pleasure in 
dressing herself in her costliest garments, and displaying 
her rarest accomplishments, passing herself in scornful 
leview, as it were ; as though to say, "And he refused all 
this ;" — the all " this," splendid in external beauty and a 
thousand graces, being valueless to the vast heart full of 
love within, that had been rejected too. 

I think a really wise firiend at this period would have 
saved Miss Carlton from herself. But alas! she had none 
such acquaintances in London; they had but few, and 
these were people pinned down to the senseless conven- 
tionalities of middle-class life, young women brought up 
to think of nothing but to catch husbands — a description 
of *' game" which, I am assured by numerous complaining 
mammas, the utter uselessness (not by any means invaria- 
bly counterbalanced by the existence of a very remarkable 
degree of ornament) of the modern class daughter is 
making more " shy" every day. Among such young 
persons, who are merely saved from utter frivolity by a 
strong dash of heartless cynicism in the pursuit of their 
material interests, a nature like Maud's could find little 
syncypathy. 

"Xoimg ladies of this kind, pinched, padded, gummed, 
greased, and tortured, laughing over their hothouse 
bouquets (the price of which in more honest times would 
have bought shirts for their struggUng, bankrupt, despair- 
ing fathers), Maud was thought masculine. It was be- 
cause she was so feminine, that those little speaking dolls 
could not comprehend her. 

lAH that there was of her was thoroughly woma.u, she 
was big of heart, and brain ! — she was a giant vine, trail- 
ing on the earth, her rich fruits crushed and wasting for 
want of a goodly tree to twine herself round. Any miser- 
able sticks were enough for the Httle creeping plants about 

Mrs. Merripebbles scolded and entreated, consoled and 

u 



290 MABSTON LYNCH. 

cried. She treated' her daughter with a good deal of 
choice invective which she called religious exhortation. 
She set divers weak-eyed individuals in black coats, and 
white cravats of various cuts, to talk to the young lady. 
The reception experienced by those gentlemen was seldom 
encouraging. The best consolation they had to offer her 
wounded spirit, was generally in the form of a lecture • 
. upon surplices or painted windows. Some of them, of a 
more practical turn, were of opinion that she could not do 
better than devote her energies and fortune to the cause of 
the unconverted Heathen, and in fact emigrate with the 
speaker as a Missionary bride: an allusion to the street 
door usually cut short their interviews. 

Sometimes it pleased her to show herself in public 
when Marston Lynch and his wife were most likely to see 
her. She would taunt Lucy with her dazzHng beauty and 
riches, fi;om opera boxes and carriages. The rueful woe- 
be-gone looks the poor little successful rival would ca9t 
towards her lost friend, were triumphs to the latter. 

But the triumph of all was still with Luoy, and the 
thought rankled. 

And how was our worthy friend, Don Sancho de Sau- 
marez, getting on all this time ? 

Well, upon the whole, he was progressing as favoiablj 
, as could be expected. In the iirst place, he was in Mau^.s 
most secret confidence. In the second, he was nearer h^ 
equal in intelligence and acquirements than any one else 
she was in the habit of seeing. Moreover, dogged w»d 
persistent admiration of a woman, in spite of cruelty and 
insult, will eventually have some "softening influence on the 
most obdurate. Even Maud could explain to herself how 
it had been brought about. Don Sancho was a dai^y^ 
visitor at her mother's house, with a kind of tacit under- 
standing that he was Miss Carlton's suitor. 

There was one thing that perplexed our diplomatic 
friend not a little. This was Maud's unshaken determina- 
tion of vengeance upon Marston and Lucy. Saumarez bad 
made her a promise to which she intended hoiding Urn. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 291 

He had promised to show her enemies, as she called our 
poor unoffending young friends, ruined. Let him do this 
and he might claim his reward. 

Now, as we have seen, Don Sancho was a very good- 
natured fellow, and without a particle of malice. It would 
give him real pain to ruin Marston. 

Besides, he didn't see very clearly how he was to do it. 
He had intended to act upon the principle of giving our 
hero plenty of rope, and then taking credit to hiriiself fot 
his execution.' However, as he thought Marston had not ' 
perhaps quite rope enough, he thought there would be no 
harm in buying him an extra yard or two. 
. He was really a very pleasant fellow. If he was doing 
you an ill turn, he was sure to do it agreeably. If he had 
found it necessary, as might happen in an extreme case, to 
poison a friend, he would have infallibly made the mixture 
palatable. The little shove he meditated giving our hero 
down hill he administered in the shape of a most friendly 
slap on the shoulder. 

He induced one of the scores of small capitalists for 
whose discovery he had a remarkable nose, to start a 
satirical publication, of which he ma'de Marston the Editor 
at a tolerable salary. 

This act of friendship stood him in excellent stand. It 
even partially reconciled him to Lucy. You see this good 
fellow could not bear to have enemies. 

The principles of the new journal were avowedly of the 
most savage description. Every public character, on 
the least provocation, was to be attacked without mercy. 
Marston having a decided vocation for this kind of com- 
position, was not long in attracting to himself and his paper 
a considerable share of the public attention. A few week's 
• editorship saw Master Lynch in the possession of a widely 
increased London reputation, and also of some few dozen 
influential and dangerous enemies. 

I think that an enthusiastic young author, with nothing 
but his authorship to depend on, had better (from the point 
of view, be it understood, of material interest) — take to 

u 2 



.202 MABSTON LYNCH. 

I drinking, gambling, horse-racing, alchemy, the search after 
the Elixir of Life — travel, in fact, on any of the turnpike 
roads to ruin that reach the goal by a short cut — than seek 
it by the circuitous and cheerless path of personal satire. 
It is all loss and no gain. You attack a hundred people : 
you immediately make a hundred enemies, — almost as ex- 
pensive a stud to maintain as a hundred horses. If you 
are honest, keen-sighted, and eloquent, so much the worse 

• for you. Your feelings prompt you to select the basest of 
mankind for your castigation : your wits give you the 
clearest insight «s to the faults by which they are most 
distinguished, and naturally most anxious to conceal ; your 
eloquence lends you colours to paint them as they are. A 
bad man hates the truth, as an ugly woman does a photo- 
graph. The secret that he is an ass, is the most dangw- 

• ous one you can impart to a fool. He will never forgive 
it, for may it not have been true ? 

The Eoman proverb, that " written letters will remain," 
is more true as applied to satirical than to any other class 
of literature. I believe that there never was a Hne printed 
against any person — ^in his own country and language — 
that did not come to his eyes with full knowledge of, or 
shrewd means of guessing at the writer, and not one such 
line, do I believe, was ever really forgotten or forgiven. 
No matter how obscure your organ, how harmless your 
intention, — if you have once removed the cuticle of a moral 
sore, however slight, the patient will remember the pain, 
and store up its memory against the operator. And of 
the classes the most dangerous to satirise are those usually 
.selected by the young writer (on the irrational principle of 
the unclean bird) as butts for his satire, namely, the men 
of his own thin-skinned order. I have often seen " quar- 
rels of authors" apparently made up, the former enemies 
awearing by and hugging .each other Hke Siamese twins. 
If ever there has been a paper war between two such 
people, I look upon the alliance as unsoimd ; one that no 
community of interests or ties of subsequent good-fellow- 
ship can hold. long together. 



MAESTON LYNCH. 298i 

They may dedicate books to each other — write, live, eatj. 
drink, and smoke together ! there will still rankle in thd; 
breast of one, at leasts some such recollections as the: 
fbllowing :— 

" This man once exposed me in the act of plagiarism j. 
injustice, or ignorance. He robbed me of half such or 
such a success by proving that I had stolen my fable from 
another writer. He dragged my former needy existence to 
light, when I was compelled to do things for a livelihood 
that I have not since cared to talk about. He cut up my 
favourite book or lashed my pet song. He called my poli- 
tical honesty into question on this occasion, and ridiculed 
my grammar on that." 

And, take my word for it, this smouldering fire will 
break out at some future time. The two friends cool. 
One of them — say the honest but inconsiderate satirist — 
following what I maintain to be his inevitable destiny, has 
not kept pace with the world so rapidly as his late friend 
and former enemy. The latter, wise in his generation, has 
made friends, and has many'gates of success open to himk 
It is now in his power to help the other with commissions, 
introductions, favorable notices, and what not. Let the 
other ask for anything of the kind, and speedily awaken 
to a sense of his mistake. 

And the man who thus takes what he conceives to be 
his legitimate revenge, need not be a bad or vindictive 
man in the least. With all the imaginative classes, amour 
propre is excessive, and its promptings are too often mis- 
taken for principles. 

The most philosophic among us, even though at the 
moment he rises from the last dash of a savage article upon 
an unknown or disliked author, reading a similar stricture 
upon his own works, will, to a certain extent, believe the 
writer of the latter to have been actuated by motivea of 
baseness and calumny or envy. 

If I were to see to-morrow Sir Edward Lytton and Mr. 
Alfred Tennyson walking arm in arm, laughing at each 
other's jokes, and hanging on each other's words, do yott 
suppose I should believe in the genuineness- of such* a 



294 HAftSTON LTKCH. 

coalition? Can the Poet Laureate — unless he be mora 
than man, and less than Poet — ever forget the sneer at his 
merits (aimed through his pension) in the New Tinum? 
If Sir Edward were to live for a hundred years — ^attaining 
to a thousand cheap editions, ten thousand Baronetcies^ 
and a million University Eectorships, would he not writhe 
to his dying day under the scorching of these eight im- 
perishable lines in the Old Tinum and the New ? 

** Such was the Old — ^bere comes the New! 

Regard him — a familiar face! 
I thought we knew him — What ! 'tis yon. 

The padded man who wears the stays. 

" Who charm'd the girls and kill'd the hoys. 
With dandy pathos, when you wrote, — 
A Lion you ! — ^who made a noise. 
And shook a mane en papillottes V* 

No ! the " mane en papillottes" is beyond earthly for- 
giveness. 

Take another view of the picture. Assume that through 
ignorance, temper, or prejudice, you have attacked a good 
man unjustly In adcUtion to having a crime on your con- 
science, premeditated or not, you have a good man for 
your enemy — a sad state of things at any time. Por there 
are few men so good that they can do no more than forgive 
an ii\justice. The best can rarely bring themselves to 
esteem or encourage its perpetrator. 

And of the above homily, what is the moral ? I really 
do not know of any, except the one pointed at by Dr. 
Watts, in his excellent ballad of " the Busy Bee,** — only 
for little children*' in the striking lines upon the '' angzy 
passions," read "Uterary gentlemen," It weakens the 
rhythm, but naturally strengthens the application to the 
case in point. 

At any rate Marston Lynch made enemies by his, or 
ratner Don Sancho's new publication — ^many of them men 
who at a future time might have been glad and able to 
serve him. He made little else it is true. Por writing of 
that lively and pregnant description, though greatly relished 
among the personal friends of the satirised, does not always 



MAEStOK LYNCHi 295 

command appreciators outside those circles. The publi- 
cation, in fact, did not pay. Marston Lynch, after having 
submitted to a dozen successive reductions of salary, found 
Mmself suddenly deprived of his weekly excitement. The 
Journal stopped. 

At this period Mrs. Lynch was on the eve of making an 
addition to the family. 

Marston finished his five-act comedy in a huny. He 
had quite departed from his original design. The con- 
clusion was an anti-climax, vamped up from stale French 
materials. Marston took it to his friend Toplin, of the 
Cork-steeet Theatre. 

Mr. Toplin having detained the MS. a month, returned 
it unopened. Marston had questioned, in his late Journal, 
the talents and charms of a new actress, a great favourite 
of Mr. Toplin' s, but, it should be added, not of Mrs. 
Toplin's. The manager had been heard to say, that he 
would have nothing to do with a pitiful fellow who could 
be so unmanly as to attack a lady. 

The piece " went the round" of all the principal theatres, 
and was rejected at all in succession. 

Lucy was confined of a little boy — ^who came into the 
worl(^ with a scanty supply of comforts waiting for him. 
' Marston, driven by his necessities, consented to the pro- 
duction of his piece at one of the minor theatres, that 
had been taken by a needy speculator, chiefly with a 
view to extorting money from amateurs, ambitious for a 
pubKc debut. Our hero was to be paid a small sum for 
each nightly representation; the piece was acted by a 
wretched gang of shop-boys, ballet girls, and supernume- 
raries. The theatre, sank into disrepute by various suc- 
cessive mismanagements, was considered beneath the 
notice of the newspapers. The piece dragged on for a 
^eek, and then died out of the bills. Marston was not 
sorry — ^he had been ashamed of it. 

Hopeless struggling, " cold water," and unceasing dis- 
appointment are a bad regimen for young men of our hero' 
constitution. 

Marston Lynch fell ill. 



296 MABSTON LTfNCH. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 



IN WHICH MRS. MERRIPEBBLES IS ATTACKED WITtt 
CHOLERA AND OTHER AILMENTS. 

The cholera visited London, and Mrs. Merripebbles, as 
might have naturally have been expected, made immediate 
arrangement for catching it. She began by frightening 
herself dreadfully, and passing in dismal review the dead^ 
liest sins she remembered to have recently committed. 
Having satisfied herself that the purchase of a rather 
handsome bonnet, a Saturday night visit to the opera, the 
written permission to her eldest son at boarding-school to 
learn the fiddle, and a few such enormities, were quite 
sufficient grounds for a special visitation of an avenging 
providence on her offending head, and having thereby 
worked herself into a state of nervous preparation for any 
contagious or epidemic malady that might happen to pre- 
sent itself, she proceeded to raise her edifice on the 
foundation she had so elaborately planned. She studied 
in succession every quack panacea that she saw advertised 
or heard suggested, following the directions of each (and 
compelling all members of her household who would 
submit to her dictation, to do the same), with scrupulous 
and enthusiastic fidelity until its successor appeared. It 
was certainly no fault of our idipetuous old friend if the 
cholera woidd not visit her hospitable mansion. She 
spared no paias to coax the expected guest by assurances 
^f a favourable reception. She dosed Merripebbles with 



MABSTON LYNCH* 297 

patent pills till that crushed worm was almost upon 
the point of turning, and actually did hint at business 
in the North of England. The piUs, however, it was 
suddenly proved on the representations of a homoeopathic 
apostle, would eventually result in convulsions and death. 
So they were abandoned; and the family nourishment, 
for the space of two or three days, consisted of half a 
thimble-ful of globules. Homoeopathy, in its turn, came 
as speedily to grief, and the Cold Water Cure did injury 
in its stead. Number 38 a, Westphalia ViHa (Oh ! those 
villas, terraces, and gardens of modem civilization ! when 
will one of them acquire such a distinctive character as to 
make any name more appropriate to it than another?) 
was converted into a temporary tank. The bluenosed and 
ague-stricken Merripebbles (the cafe-au-lait which he 
loved being ruthlessly cut off) sat shivering over a break-- 
fest-cup full of milk and water, and washed-out servants 
gave warning as distinctly as their chattering teeth would 
allow them. Hydropathy went the way of its predecessors, 
and was succeeded by a reign of camivorism. Animal 
food was discovered to be the only preventive or remedy 
for cholera. The butcher's bills of Number 38a augmented 
fearfully, and the mansion from morning till night smelt 
like a Fleet Street tavern. This ensang^iined state of 
things continued till the nominal master of the house felt 
himself rapidly degenerating into cannibalism, and sickened 
al the bare mention of steak and gravy. StiU, the cholera 
most uncivilly refused to come, in spite of the hospitable 
arrangements made for its welcome. Mrs. Merripebbles 
thought she would give it another chance. A diplomatist, 
in the Cognac interests, had pointed out, through the 
columns of a daily newspaper, that the only possible 
safety for the human race, during the existing crisis, lay 
in the immoderate consumption of neat brandy. It was 
now the spirit merchant's turn to crow defiance at the 
supplanted butcher. Under the new dispensation, Mrs. 
Merripebbles herself (usually a pattern of abstemiousness) 
suiffered frequently from headache, and required, more than 



MS KARSTON LYNCH. 

once, to be conducted to her bed-chamber in a most 
decided state of medicine ; while the lax behaviour of her 
domestics (especially that of her most obedient servant^ 
otherwise husband), at this stage of the Merripebbles' 
domestic pharmacy, was such as to suggest grave in- 
quiries into the comparative evils of diseases and remedies.^ 
A vegetarian high-priest turned up opportunely, while the 
house had yet a character to lose, and the greengrocer 
came in for his turn of patronage. Cucumbers, melons, 
vegetable marrows, cabbages, and stone fruit — ^with dder 
and preparations of lemon-juice as beverages — ^were the 
staple articles of consumption in the establishment ; and, 
at length, Mrs. Merripebbles had her reward. A ooii«» 
scientious persistence in this last-mentioned nutritious 
regime, for three or four days, made her seriously ill. 
She had now the triumph of proving her words good. 
She had said, from the commencement, that she knew she 
"was going to have the cholera, and now she had got it. 
Mrs. Merripebbles took to her bed, with excusable pride 
and satisfaction. 

During this time, Mslud Carlton had, as usual, pursued 
her own course — eating and drinking what she pleased 
(when she cared to do either), and treating her mother's 
sanitary fidgets with her habitual contempt for all irrational 
vagaries save her own. One evening, though, she per- 
ceived that Mrs. Merripebbles was seriously indisposed, 
and in need of assistance. The emergency was a godsend 
to Miss Carlton. We have seen this young lady exr» 
clusively occupied in nursing a certain vulture, to which 
all kmds of ugly adjectives might be applied — selfish, 
morbid, and what not — which she encouraged to feed upon 
her inmost heart. The illness of a really affectionate and 
beloved parent induced her to neglect this objectionable 
pet for a brief while, and allowed her to give unfetteied 
play to the strong and good sense and stronger love of 
her unspoiled nature. 

She carried her mother up to bed (the nominal assistance 
of a weak-kneed footman counting for nothing in tiie 



MASSTOK LYNCH. ^99 

transaction). She sent out for simple remedies, which she 
Implied with her own hand, and watched her parent 
through a long night, as lovingly and as tenderly as Lucy 
Lynch herself could have done. No; no, not quite as 
tenderly, perhaps ; for, when Maud's mother said a foolish 
thing (as she did frequently), Maud could not repress an 
expression of contempt for fools and foolishness generally 
— ^the eternal mistake of foolish people of all ranks — social 
or intellectual. 

In the morning, Mrs. Merripebbles, awakening from a 
feverish sleep, insisted on getting up. She was much 
better, she said. Maud saw that she was nothing of the 
kind, and refused her permission. 

Mrs. Merripebbles, of course, flew into a passion. She 
had gained one point by proving that she had been 
attacked by cholera (which was not the case). It was now 
her duty to establish a second by manifesting that her last 
pet nostrum was an efficacious remedy for the disease that 
was hunying thousands of unprepared immortal souls to 
perdition, &c. Briefly, she insisted on being supplied with 
a certain draught from the particular Pharmacopoeia just 
tlien in favour, which Maud knew to be all but a deadly 
poison under the circumstances, preparatory to putting on 
bier clothes, that she might go forth to administer health 
and consolation in the highways and alleys. 

Maud paid no attention to the request, knowing its un- 
reasonableness. A servant entered and announced the 
arrival of Don Sancho de Saumarez — (he had resumed 
the Spanish honorary distinction, for want of other 
variety). 

" I forbid you to receive that man, Maud," said Mrs. 
Merripebbles, sharply. 

" Tell him so," said Maud, quietly, to the servant ; " or 
rather tell him my mother is ill, and I cannot leave her. 
He may come again." 

" No, let him wait" — (the patient sat up in her bed) — 
" till I come down to tell him what I think of him — 
what I know of him, and forbid him my house for ever." 



300 MABSTON LYNCH. 

" You had better not excite yourself, mamma ; my mes- 
sage will be sufficient for the present." 

The servant left the room, well knowing which message 
it would be most incumbent on her to deliver — ^namely, 
Miss Carlton's. 

It should be stated that Mrs: MeMipebbles, during her 
cholera panic, believing that the time was come for her to 
set her house in order, had looked around her to see in 
what condition she would be likely to leave things after 
her. The prospect of her daughter at the mercy of Don 
Sancho had not appeared to her in a favourable light. The 
emergency of the case enabled her mental vision to act ; 
unobstructed by temper or prejudice, she had been per-* 
mitted to see Don Sancho pretty much as he was. She 
felt him to be undeserving of Maud's love, and knew, 
moreover, that Maud did not love him. Their constant 
meetings and secret conferences inspired her with suspicion. 
The tie that bound two such uncongenial spirits was to her 
a- mystery. She considered her daughter's soul in peril, 
and paid Don Sancho de Saumarez the compliment of be- 
lieving him the fiend by whom it was endangered. Sancho 
would have been delighted to know that he stood so high 
in anybody's estimation. 

" Give me my draught, Maud — let me go and speak to 
that man," said Mrs. Merripebbles. 

" It is useless, mamma— *he will have left the house." 

Maud believed so. 

" I say he has not. He is waiting for you. You wish 
to keep me here while you are plotting — Heaven knows 
what mischief. What is it you do plot together?" 

" I will give you your draught, mamma, if you please ; 
and you may follow your own counsel. I repeat, the man 
will have left the house — ^he dare not refuse to do so at 
my bidding. I will answer any questions you like when 
you are better ; but you are feverish and over-excited now. 
Shall I give you the draught ?" 

" Yes." 

Maud, who had always been accustomed to treat her 



51ARST0N LYNCH. 301 

motlier as a child, and who had now not the slightest in- 
tention of quitting the room all day, thought it an act of 
simple policy to substitute for the mixture demanded, 
which she knew would be injurious, a strong composing 
draught, of which she believed her patient stood in need. 
The latter having shown during the night that her palate 
was vitiated by fever, the young nurse imagined the diffe- 
jcence of flavour would not be detected. 

Mrs. Merripebblea, with the cunning of an invalid, 
watched the whole proceeding, and attaiehed to it an undue 
significance. She took the potion from her daughter's 
hand, and aifected to swallow it. In reality she only held 
it in her mouth. In a few seconds she sank back upon her 
pillow, and counterfeited slumber. 

Maud sat for a few seconds with a book on her lap, 
and her eyes fixed on vacancy. The servant returned 
with a message that DonSaumarez could, on no account, 
leave the house without seeing Miss Carlton, the business 
he had to communicate being of the utmost importance. 

Maud gave vent to an exclamation of impatience ; she 
was really annbyed at being called away from her mother's 
bedside. Moreover, to be drawn back into the train of 
thought and feeling which the presence of Saimiarez sug- 
gested was irksome to her. This one little bit of unselfish 
duty had been such a relief ! 

She said briefly that she would receive the not over 
welcome visitor, and motioned the servant from the room. 

She stooped her fiace over her mother's, on which she 
left a scarcely palpable kiss, really to assure herself that 
she might leave her patient for a few minutes in safety. 
The counterfeit sleeper construed the movement differently, 
and acted her part with increased persistence. 

Maud descended to the front drawing room (an apart- 
ment which she had appropriated to her own use for some 
reason or another : the view pleased her, or the noise was 
less ; in a word, the queen willed it), where she found Don 
Sancho de Saumarez awaiting her in an imposing attitude 
on the sofa. This room, it should be observed, was sepa- 



302 MABSTON Ll^NCH. 

rated from an inner one (having independent external com- 
mnnication), by folding doors, after the invariable fashion 
of modem well-to-do dwellings. The folding doors were 
closed, and the inner apartment was one but seldom made 
use of. 

The Son of Somebody was unusually mysterious, and 
the close observer would have detected a slight dash of 
brigand or bravo in his otherwise picturesque garb. His 
hat was a thought more slouched and broaider in the brim 
than usual. He also wore an imposing mantle, which he 
grasped from the inside as though it concealed the hilt of 
a poniard. Don Sancho had evidently left home this 
morning in the capacity of a villain, and had " made up " 
accordingly. 

He kept the slouched hat on till the idol of his affec* 
tions had made her appearance, when he started up froin 
his gloomy j90«& and cast it from him contemptuously (not 
till she had had time to observe the set of it, though). 
The lady received him with what a less persistant admirer 
might have considered chilling contempt. Don Sancho 
did not mind this in the least. He bent over the lovely 
jewelled hand that was nonchalantly held out to him, and 
touched it respectfully with his lips. It was the first time 
he had attempted such a freedom. Miss Carlton made a 
scarcely perceptible movement — expressive of indignant 
revulsion — and looked at her hand as if she considered it 
had received contamination from the jet-black moustaclie 
of our Mexican diplomatist (she needed not have been 
alarmed: the dye would not come off,) but afterwards 
threw it, as it were, from her heavily, on to the table, as 
though she were reckless what became of it. 

"A daring liberty, I admit," said the burlesque Ite 
Diavolo, " but I have earned the right to it." 

** How so ?" 

Don Sancho buried his gloved hand in one of the 
recesses of his mantle, and drew forth — ^not a pistol or a 
poniard — ^but a harmless sheet of note paper, written over 
in a pale, nervous, Httle female hand, which he threw on 



MAESTON LYNCH. 803 

to the table, as though he had been Faulconbridge, and 
the sheet of paper the Duke of Austria's head. 

Maud forgot that there was such a thing as a sick 
iiDoiher in the world/ Her cheek turned crimson as she 
recognised the handwriting and signature, and she bit her 
lips in a fierce and ill-omened manner. The letter was in 
Xiucy Lynch's hand-writing — ^her rival's (the contempt she 
feit for the timid, tremulous caligraphy was indescribable !) 
and was dated from an imknown street in Kentish Town. 
Maud's vindictive bosom glowed with triumph as she read 
the following lines : — 

Dear Mb. Saumarez, — I am afraid this will not find 
^ou, as, from the fact that you have not been to see us for 
so long, I suppose you to have lefk London. If it does 
breach you, I hope it will bring you to see us. Marston 
has been ill with a brain fever, and has not long been pro- 
nounced out of danger. We were compelled to leave our 
Comfortable rooms where you came to see us, for we could 
not afford the expense. We are in a veiy humble place 
now, but I do not think that will be an obstacle to your 
coining to see us. I am siure if you would come and sit a 
little with my dear husband you would do him much good. 
His friends — ^Mr. Markworth, and Mr. Clough especially 
— have been most kind to us in our great troubles. But 
for them my dear Marston would not have been preserved 
to me. But I know he thinks more of you than any other 
fidend. He is so weak and despondent, he requires some 
one like you to encourage him^ with hopes for the future. 
Dear Mr. Saumarez, I do not write to ask you for assist- 
ance — I have no fear for the future — ^for I know what my 
husband's vast talents are when he is able to exercise 
them, and that he is good as he is clever, and will exert 
himself for me and his darling child as he would not 
for his own sake. But I know it must be some time 
before he can resume his occupations, and his weak condi- 
tion makes him exaggerate his difficulties. He says he 
had no business to turn author — that the small faculties he 
had have left him, and that he will never be able to work 



804 MAESTON LYNCH. 

again. Tou know him better than that, and I wish you 
would come and encourage him by a few of yonr cheering 
words. If you would tell him of something to do (such as 
you are constantly hearing of) — and that you know he tcUl 
be able to do it aA well as ever he could in his life — it would 
do hiTn so much good. We do not want money at aU. 
We have money for a month at least. Marston had a 
book sent him to translate before he was taken ill. Mr. 
Markworth has translated it for him — and would not take 
any of the money for it — was not that kind of him ? He 
has done it very well — Marston says a great deal better 
than he could — but of course / cannot believe that. In a 
week or two he will be quite well and able to write a play 
or paint a picture. I cannot tell you how patient he has 
been, and how good to me. The only thing that makes 
-him peevish, I know, is seeing me, as he thinks, straitened 
and overworked. But I reaUy am very strong, though I do 
not look it. Dear Mr. Saumarez, pray excuse this tedious 
scrawl, and if you can find time do come and see Marston. 
He talks about taking a common clerk's situation, and all 
kinds of wild things (owing to his weakness), which I 
know a few words from you would drive out of his head. 
He is calling to me for Ms draught, and it is time I should 
■conclude. 

** Dear Sir, yours very sincerely, 

" Lucy Lynch. 
*' P.S. I do not write at all a good hand, but I can 
copy very neatly. I copied Marston's plays for him, and 
they were quite satisfied with my work at the theatres. 
Do you think you could get me any copying to do ? It 
wo old be a great amusement for me in the long evenings 
—only I would not have Marston know I did such a thing 
for worlds. It would make him wretched ; but / shotdd 
positively like it above all things — for the mere sake of 
being occupied." 

Maud Carlton had left oiF biting her rosy Kp. It 
quivered a little, and her hand trembled, as she read the 



MABSTON LYNCH. 30S 

close of this rambling attempt at self-deception. But she 
had cast her better angel from her ; and, to be obdurate 
as she had determined, she must needs be cruel to ex- 
aggeration. 

" Well?" she said, laying down the letter. 

" Well," Saumarez echoed, "are you satisfied?" 

" What with ?" 

" With the hopeless degradation of your enemies — ^and 
mine in the share I have taken in effecting it ?" 

" No — ^you are an impostor. What have you done to- 
wards it? Were you the means of giving the man the brain 
fever ? " 

" Yes," was the cool reply. 

Maud was nonplussed by the deliberate statement. After 
a few seconds' pause she asked — 

"How so?" 

" I overtaxed his brain and undermined his resources. 
I repeat, are you satisfied ? " 

Miss Carlton buried her face in her hands, and then rose 
to walk angrily backwards and forwards. She turned 
abruptly upon her companion with the question — 

" Have you been black-hearted villain enough to leave 
this letter unanswered ? " 

" Yes." 

" You have left your friend to misery and starvation for 
the sake of your own interest ? " 

" Say passion, and I admit it. For the third time, are 
you satisfied ? " 

Saumarez could be nothing he pretended to be — ^not even 
a scoundrel. He received Lucy's letter when he happened 
to be in a good humour (as he generally was) and remark- 
ably flush of money. He had sent Mrs. Lynch a friendly 
loan of ten pounds, enclosed in the most genial and en- 
couraging letter imaginable — apologising merely for not 
paying the requested visit, on the plea of urgent business 
on the Continent. The latter may be taken at once as 
a proof that he had no intention of leaving England for the 
present. 



3(]ft MABSTON LYNCH. 

" No/' said Maud, after another- pause — ^and s^eakin^ 
rather to herself than wishing to compliment the msai she 
considered the mere instrument of her vindictiveneas with 
any explanation of her motives — "No — no! a hundred: 
times, No ! He is happier — ^better — more beloved than 
ever. Here is this wax doll lifted into martyrdom by her 
devotion to him. No doubt he loves her, and has faith in 
her. They have a child. He has friends, who love and 
toil for him. Why should mere chance comers — people 
whose names I never heard — ^have the privilege of being 
near him in his sorrows, and of helpmg him through them, 
to mock me with his felicity and greatness that I alone am 
debarred from sharing ? Who are these men ? " 

" Nobodies. Ask nine people out of ten what they are, 
and your answer will be, * starving vagabonds.' One of 
the men, mentioned in the letter, is a writer, whose name 
has never appeared in print, and is notorious for his powers 
of doing other people's work well, and his own carelessly. 
The other is a clever painter, who would neglect a. com- 
mission for a Duchess's portrait, in order to paint a sign 
in liquidation of a tavern supper." 

" How dare you revile such men, who can be true to a 
suffering friend, knowing what you are yourself? " 

" I do not revile them. I merely describe them. They 
are better men than I am — 4han I liave been, for the. last 
six months, at any rate. They are men who can do no 
good for themselves-, but are incapable of doing any. harm 
to others. You see, I am perfectly aware of my own moxal 
iofeTionty." 

^''They are noble creatuxes/' Maud exclaimed, vii^ 
spontaneous enthusiasm, ** whatever elae they are. And 
what must he be who- can command the friendship of such' 
meo'? NO) nor^I cannot bear — the thought that he. can 
befell and happy, and honoured, and owe. none, of it. to 
me^ is intoleraiUe.'^ 

*' Wliat will satisfy' you?" inquired Saumaxes^ with an* 
assumed expiJissioA of despair.'^' <^ I confess I am geitiiig 
weaiy of my task. It is not so easy to be a Tas(^a» I 



MAESTON LYNCH. 307 

thought it, whatever the reward. Eelease me from my 
promise, I will release you from yours — and Marston Lynch 
will become a rich man in a week." 

" How so ? " Miss Carlton snapped sharply at the new 
bait offered to her vengeful appetite. • 

" His uncle's health is failing. He is getting alarmed 
at the prospect of death, and remorseful for past misdeeds. 
He is coming to London in a few days, expressly to find 
out and befriend Marston ; he has written to tell me so." 

" Let him dare ! " Maud laid her hand on her writing- 
desk, in which Don Sancho well knew the document, so 
perilous to Gregory Lynch, which he had entrusted to her, 
to be concealed. 

" Nothing short of the .absolute ruin of these young 
people wiU appease you, then ? " 

" Nothing, nothing ! " Maud's voice was hoarse^ Her 
rich quick imagination had called up a picture of the man 
she loved ending his days happily with the woman she 
hated — which her evil untrained temper could not bear. 

" Give me back that will, then." 

" What for ? " 

" To use in furtherance of your cruel determination. I 
find I cannot recede. Ask me no more questions — ^make 
no further conditions, except this stipulation, that if, in a 
month's time, I do not claim the reward, having earned it 
on yom* own terms — for which I have forfeited all claims 
to honour and self-respect — our contract is at an end." 

Maud unlocked her desk and took forth the wiU. She 
was about to hand it, with some reluctance, to her com- 
panion, when she hastily drew back her hand, and replaced 
it in its original tiding place with great precipitancy. 

Saumarez had for once proved Mmself a bad actor. His 
eyes had glistened too brightly and his fingers had quivered 
too nervously in eagerness to recover possession of the. 
parchment. 

** 'No,^ said Maud, as she relocked her desk. '^ Tbu are 
too eager for it. If this be really the life and death power 
you have represented it, I will hold it in my hands. Fulfil 

X 2 



308 MA&STON LYNCH. 

your contract by other means. You have been villain 
enough to cheat Marston Lynch of his inheritance ; I will 
have a guarantee that you do not cheat me of my revenge." 
A groan was heard from the inner room, and the sound 
as a heavy body falling. 

Maud ran to the folding doors and burst them open — 
Saumarez following. 

Mrs. Merripebbles lay on the carpet half dressed, 
clutching at a table cover, which she had dragged down 
with a shower of albums and parlour ornaments. 

" Mamma !" 

Maud seized her mother round the waist, and endea* 
voured to lift her to a sofa. 

" Stand off, girl ! — do not touch me," the mother 
shrieked, with an expression of horror ; and then added^ 
hurriedly, in a subdued and unnatural tone : " I am in 
pain all over, my dear — ^that is why you must not touch 
me. I came down to ask you to fetch a doctor. I fainted 
at the door. That is all." 

" But, mamma, — ^the draught I gave you " 

" Aha ! ihe draught !" Mrs. Merripebbles screamed 
again her own natural scream, and once more subsided 
into her constrained tone. *'It is the pain, my dear. 
Fetch me a doctor. Go yourself, and leave me in the 
front room " 

*' Eun, you," said Maud to Saumarez, as if she had been 
speaking to a dog. 

Saumarez could desire nothing better. Any chance to 
distinguish himself; even that of offering cabmen half-a- 
crown a mile to drive like the devil ! 

He disappeared in an instant. 

" Let me take you up to bed, mamma," said Maud, her 
eyes full of tears. 

" No ; the front room — on the sofa. Then go, and call 
the servants. They will not hear the bell." 

Maud did as she was desired. She conducted her mother 
to a couch in the front room, which she hastily quitted, 
taking her writing desk with her. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 309 

*' She has taken it!" gasped the sick woman, looking 
after her daughter ; " and I may die, and never know its 
contents." 

Maud returned in a few seconds, without her writing 
desk, but followed by two or three servants, and old Merri- 
pebbles, just arrived from an unwonted business absence 
of forty-eight hours. The poor broken-hearted old fellow 
came staggering into the room, rocking to and fro, like a 
reed shaken by the wind, under the shock of this terrible 
calamity, and fell moaning on his knees by the side of the 
adored, imperious wife, by whom he lived and moved and 
had his being. 

" Not ill — my darling — ^my honoured wife. Not very 
— dangerously — seriously ? Tell me you are not so, from 
your own dear sensible lips — and I shall know it is the 
truth." 

To the astonishment of Merripebbles, instead of a rebuke 
for this somewhat irrational display of feeling, such as he 
might have expected, he received only a tight cuddle round 
the neck, and a shower of kisses on his bald head from the 
lips that had been the temple porches of his own oracle for 
twenty years. 

. " Send them away — all but you — my dear, good hus- 
band," said a sweet voice, that Merripebbles scarcely re- 
cognised. 

The whisper had been overheard, and the room was 
cleared in an instant. Merripebbles sat on the sofa, 
clutching his wife's hot hand tightly, as though his nervous 
fingers could keep in the life he feared was ebbing, and 
quaking with the apprehension of a helpless nature brought 
face to face with responsibility. 

** My good, kind husband," Mrs. Merripebbles began ; 
" it is just possible that I am dying — " 

" No— no." 

" It may be so — I hope not ; for I should like to live 
to be a better wife to you " 

" Couldn't do it." 

Merripebbles swallowed two streaming rivulets of tears, 
which nearly choked him. 



SIO MAK3TON LYNCH. 

" I am not afraid, but I have an earthly duty to perfonn. 
Tou will perform it for me — ^will you not — ^if I should be 
taken away ? You never denied me anything yet." 

** Never could." 

" Then — ^time may be short — I suffer terribly ; that un- 
happy girl, Maud, is conspiring with that moustached and 
painted villain (God forgive me if I am unjust ; but no, I 
am nof) to rob and ruin Marston Lynch. I do not know 
how, but the proofs are in her desk. I overheard a con- 
versation between them. She thought she had given me 
laudanum, but I outwitted her " 

" My dear, pardon my presumption, but I think this 
must be the effects of fever. Miss Carlton, Maud, your 
daughter, with the moral and religious training you ha¥^ 
given her, to be guilty of the slightest impropriety, mudi 
more " 

Mrs. Merripebbles smiled a sad smile, and tenderly 
kissed the swollen veins of her husband's quivering attenu- 
ated hand. 

" Bless your old wrong head ! As you always believed 
me infallible when I was wayward and peevish, it is natural 
you should oppose me when I am for once right. I have 
spoiled that girl, as you have spoiled me. I have encour- 
aged her too much in her pride of wealth and beauty. 
What it has led her to it may be too late for me to leam. 
Promise me, perhaps as a last request, that you will strive to 
remedy any wrong I may have done her. If she has done 
wrong, consider it my fault, and treat it as I would have 
you treat a fault committed by me — not hushed up, or 
varnished over, but wiped out by the sternest atonement. 
Promise me this, my dear, faithful, simple-hearted Frank, 
who have been so foolishly obedient to me, through good 
and evil. This is a good request ; comply with it, and 
you may feel less remorse for having devoted the best of 
your life to obeying the caprices of a wilful wicked woman. 
You will approve of the last tiling she asked you to do; 
and so forget the many foolish ones. Promise me, my dear 
good Frank." 

Merripebbles howled. He threw his long carcase, with 



limp outstretched arms, across the prostrate form of his 
wife, and could only gasp, to an imaginaTy audience on the 
ceiling — 

" She is ill — she is dying ! What will become. of me? 
She never spoke so like an angel before, and it's the first 
time she ever called me Frank in her life !" 

Still Merripebbles could not believe that a polished gen- 
tleman like Mr. Saumarez, and an accomplished young lady 
like 'Miss Oarlton, could be guilty of anything wrong. His 
wife was wandering. 

Don Sancho de Saumarez speedily made his appearance, 
accompanied by one of the most distinguished physicians 
in London. The Don had been cereful to select -a knight. 

As I happen to be writing for The Train, and not for 
TAe Lancet, a kind of consideration often overlooked by 
modem writers of narrative, I wiU spare my readers the 
details of Mrs. Merripebbles' symptoms and medical treat- 
ment ; and simply state that «he was pronounced by the 
physician in a most dangerous state ; in which condition 
I will leave her for the present in the aifectionate care of 
her husband and daughter. 

Don Sancho finding himself rather at a discount, took 
his leave, and soliloquised , — 

"Confound the old woman and her cholera! If it 
had'nt been for her I should have recovered possession of 
the precious document. However, she can do no great 
harm with it." 

" What a spiteful madcap it is ; and what an abomina- 
ble nuisance 1 Now, if Marston were a sensible feUow, 
we might arrange it together. Gret him to dress up in rags 
and take a crossing, just for a day or two — and point him out 
to her under these circumstances, and she would be satis- 
fied. Or we might get up a sham report of the poor little 
wife committing suicide, driven to it by her husband's ill- 
treatment — it the young fools would only play into my 
hands. No, that wouldn't do; Marston a supposed 
widower, and my game is effectually floored. However, 
they have such ridicuously strait-laced notions that neither 



312 MABSTON LYNCH. 

of them would accede to any such proposition. What a 
fool Marston is to be sure ! Why if he would but consent 
to help me as a friend in my very rational pursuit of Miss 
C.*s comfortable fortune, I should only be too glad to put 
a few hundreds in his pocket by way of commission. But 
he wouldn't! Just now, too, when there are so many 
good things I might throw in his way ! There is nothing 
I hate so much as disobliging a friend. But in the pre- 
sent case I really have no alternative. If I can injure 
him I must ; and T suppose I can, if I try. Hard lines ! 
for I really like him. Perhaps, though, I can make it up 
to him some day in one way or another." 

The Don went to dine at his club, when he was congra- 
tulated by many distinguished persons — ^who had not been 
aware of his existence for the past three or four years 
(though he had repeatedly during that period dined at the 
next table to all of them) — on the rumour of his approach- 
ing marriage with a Longport heiress worth twenty odd 
thousand pounds a-year, an estimate of Miss Carlton's 
private fortune which Don Sancho de Saumarez was careful 
not to point out as exaggerated. 



XABSTON LYNCH* 313 



ClIAPTEE XXX. 



TERRA INCOGNITA. 



There exists in the moral topography of London, and 
of every great city whereunto the inexorable army of 
civilization, with its inalienable troop of camp followers — 
Wealth, Misery, Luxury, and Art — ^has penetrated, a 
kind of debateable ground, or no man's land, to which, till 
within our own time, no definite name or boundaries could 
be assigned; but the limits of which are now pretty 
generally understood, and which its enterprising dis- 
coverers have christened Bohemia. The territory has 
only recently been explored. For centuries, the world 
went on around it with scarcely an idea of its existence, 
and knowing no more of its whereabouts, its products, 
laws, and customs, than those of Prester John's kingdom, 
of the Aztec city of refuge, of Candide's El Dorado, or of 
the fabulous white republic of the Jebel-el-Kumri, in 
central Africa. There was said to be such a place, and it 
was believed to be inhabited by a strange race of men. 
That •was all the world knew, or cared to know, about the 
matter. Gradually the restless spirit of discovery, ex- 
ploring the moral as indefatigably as the physical world, 
led, after much circum-navigation, to the shores of 
Bohemia being sighted. A positive longitude and lati- 
tude Were thus assigned to the country in the social map. 
Still the place remained only a kind of Japan — a land 



814 MABSTON LYNCH. 

whose harbours had been entered, and whose inhabitants 
had been seen and spoken with. Voila tout! Its in- 
terior continued unvisited, and its customs a mysteiy. 
The former might have been penetrated, and the latter 
unravelled, without much difficulty or opposition on the 
part of the inhabitants, had the aspect of the country been 
more attractive. But the Bohemian coasts were pro- 
nounced barren and inhospitable, and Bohemian manners 
repellant. So the first adventurous visitors from the 
outer world sailed away in search of fairer climates and 
more genial tribes, and the Bohemians were left, in their 
bleak and barren fastnesses, to the undisturbed enjoyment 
of their own devices. 

The time is not far distant when we shall be as familiar 
with Jeddo as with Battersea. Enterprise is like a raging 
fire, that " doth consume the thing which feeds its fiiry," 
and will not bate while there is a stick unconsumcd within 
its reach. Civilization abhors ostracism in nations as 
nature abhors a vacuum. A community, now-a-days, has 
no more chance of living in and for itself, without letting 
the rest of the world into its secrets, than a settler in a 
New England village would have of passing a quiet month 
without imparting to his neighbours the fullest particular 
of his name, his age, his birthplace, his occupation, and 
his poKtical opinions. The mystery of Japan is doomed. 
Empires with fleets and armies to employ, merchants wiA 
ventures to make, savants pining for scientific novelties, 
authors perishing for want of unhackneyed subjects — 
these have sniifed the untasted prize from afar oif , and are 
flocking roimd it like wolves round a newly-slain carcass. 
Let the mysterious empire refuse to open its gates to the 
clamorous visitors, and, like another wolf — ^he of the 
fable — ^they will speedily make an excuse for indignant^ 
forcing them. The pressure from without is terrible — 
heaven knows how many tons weight to the Japanese 
cubic-foot — and the sides of the hermetically-sealed natkm 
must collapse under it. Most of us may live to read 
" our own correspondent's " letters in the IHmes, written 



MAaSTOIJ Ll^NCH. 316 

from the British Lion Hotel, the Cafe de TEurope, or the 
Columbian House, in Jeddo. 

As it must be, according to the " manifest destiny " of 
Japan, so has it already been with Bohemia. The barriers 
of that formerly isolated country have been broken down, 
and its ports opened to the world. Still, little is yet 
known of it. The scanty accounts hitherto published 
have either been founded on the one-sided representations 
of interested natives, on the observations of hasty and 
superficial visitors, or, more frequently, on the statements 
of mendacious personages who have never visited the 
country at all. 

I have lived and suffered in Bohemia, and, I thank 
heaven, have escaped from it so long ago as to be able to 
speak of its miseries, which no longer afflict me, without 
undue bitterness ; and of its joys, which no longer tempt 
me, without partial fondness. Let me attempt a brief 
description of the land, as I know it, 

Bohemia Proper, otherwise called Petroea, or the Stony 
(there are other Bohemian provinces which I have never 
visited, but not one of which is entitled to the name of 
Bohjmia Telix), is a kind of backslum suburb to the sister 
cities of literature and art. It is a stronghold of rebels, 
whereunto, as to the cave of Adullam, resort all such in- 
habitants of those regions as are in distress — " every one 
that is in debt, and every one that is discontented '* — with 
the edicts of the modem king Saul, society — whom they 
are leagued together by a solemn vow to conquer and bend 
to the recognition of their claims. But, alas, for the 
Bohemian camp ! there, the parallel with the Adullamites 
ceases. King Saul is too strong for them ; and never a 
David has yet shown among them to organise and lead 
them to victory. 

Many pleasant and humourous definitions of the Bo- 
hemian have been attempted. Those who really know 
biiTi and his sufferings will acknowledge that his case is 
too serious a one for a feeling man to make light of. The 
inhabitants of Bohemia may be characterised generally as 



316 MAESTON LYNCH. 

men with liigh artistic or literary aspirations who cannot 

succeed in life. The causes of their non-success may be 

infinite. The Bohemian may be indolent, or vicious, or 

ignorant, or simply incapable. He may be an artist be- 

heving himself sent into the world with a mission for 

historic frescoes and altar-pieces, but whom an unaccounfr 

able negligence in early life to learn the external proportions 

of the human figure, or the chronic want of the price of a 

few yards of canvass, may have reduced to the ignoble 

necessity of colouring theatrical portraits or cheap photo* 

graphs for a miserable livelihood. He may be a high-art 

dramatist, believing in liis powers to resuscitate the 

Elizabethan drama (the Bohemian has generally faith in 

his own powers for achieving something or other that is 

not wanted) — ^which is as dead as Queen Elizabeth lierself, 

and no one wishes to be startled by the apparition of its 

ghost — and unable to devot« his mind to the supply of 

any real literary want of the day, such as nov^l, essay, 

or leading article. He may be a poet, and accustomed 

only to express himself in verse, in an age when verse is 

paid for (when at all) at a not much higher scale per 

measurement than the more expensive kinds of bonnet 

ribbon. He may be a profound philosopher and politician 

(I know such a Bohemian), with a knowledge of almost 

every spoken language and written book, able to write 

lucidly and brilliantly upon any subject, but who is 

branded as " crotchetty" — that is to say, who prefers real 

independence of thought and action in a ragged coat and 

with dinner at certain intervals, to intellectual prostitution 

or uncongenial drudgery for the pitiful prizes of external 

respectability and a sufficiency of creature comforts. The 

Bohemian may be simply an ambitious ass, willing to turn 

his hand to any thing, but capable of accomplishing 

nothing satisfactorily; or an unfortunate waif or stray, 

thrown by accident on to the uncongenial soil, withoui 

strength or skill to wrest from it even such bitter and 

scanty fruits as it is capable of producing ; or lie may be 

a man of genius, with a tendency to fiy off at a tangent 



MAESTON 3iYNCH. 317 

from his existing engagements in pursuit of some new 
experiment of living — or, simply, to get drunk and forget 
them. 

There is another phase of Bohemianism, an exceptional 
one, it is true, whtch is, perhaps, the most deplorable of 
all — ^the literary Bohemian endowed with great and avail- 
able general powers (what the French so happily charac- 
terise by the simple word facilite), who has sold himself 
into slavery, who writes in violation of his conscience and 
instincts, for the sake of a little ready money. His extri- 
cation from the gulf is is far more hopeless than that of his 
needier and less capable brethren, who have still some 
sustaining principle and have not forfeited all hope ot self- 
respect. Respectable people, shaking their heads, wall de- 
plore that such a man, with his vast talents and abundant 
earnings, should lead the life he does — ^namely, one of utter 
improvidence and dissipation . But the respectable people — 
perfectly satisfied with the propriety of their own pursuits, 
whatever they may be — do not know that this man's intel- 
lectual perceptions of what is right and wrong make him 
regard his exercise of those talents, for which they envy and 
admire him, with loathing, and the money it brings him as 
the wages of sin. The earnings of such a man are like the 
fairy money of the old superstition — they change quickly 
to dirt ; wasted, as ill-gotten gains usually are. 

Many respectable well-to-do authors and artists who have 
laboured ploddingly and successfully to hit the public 
taste, and whom you know in the enjoyment of their com- 
fortable reward, will tell you rare stories of their early 
struggles in Bohemia, representing their past career as 
something terribly reckless and improvident, beset with 
difficulties of their own making. These men are usually 
impostors, who, if they ever visited Bohemia at all, must 
have done so in the dillettante spirit of Prince Eodolph as- 
sociating with the thieves in the " Mysteries of Paris ;" 
men w)io may have thrown themselves into the gulf as a mere 
passing experiment, but who had taken care to secure them- 
selves to the shore by a rope of safety of some kind. The true 



31 S MARSTON LYNCH. 

Bohemian is essentially an impracticable man. He will 
not be led by tether or driven in harness, He is at war 
with society, and usually dies with his weapons in his 
hand. Sometimes, it is true, j3m par la f aim, with a wife 
and children clamouring round him, he will lay down 
his weapons and go over, a docile soldier, to the ranks of 
his enemy, to make war on his former associates, betraying 
their stratagems and exposing their weaknesses ; but these 
are rare exceptions. 

The Bohemian is improvident, because he is poor. He 
can never estimate his earnings ; therefore it is unreason- 
able that he should be expected to regulate his expenditure. 
He only receives money fitfully and uncertainly — often at 
long intervals; and your starving man is always intempe- 
rate in eating when he can get the chance. He drinks more 
than is good for him, as a rule; for much of his lot as a rule 
is cast in taverns, which are too often his exchange, his 
studio, and even his home. If he have a nominal home to 
go to, the door is frequently guarded by a griffin, in the 
shape of an unpaid landlady ; or still worse, it is the abode 
of beings who Will close his harassed day by a repetition (if 
silent, all the less bearable) of the reproaches that the world 
is ever casting in his teeth for opportunities wasted and 
successes not achieved. He is reckless of his personal ap- 
pearance, for he loves not the world and the world loves not 
him, and he will not invest his hard-earned shillings in 
broad doth and fine linen for the world's satisfaction. 
These are some of the Bohemian's numerous failings. His 
virtues, like those of all human beings whatsoever, vary 
according to circumstances. Those which more particu- 
larly attach themselves to his order are endurance, gene- 
rosity, and above all an admirable degree of esprit de corps. 
Bohemians are true to one another through all difiSculties. 
In the depth of their own sufferings they wiQ help their 
still more un&rttmate brethren, as a matter of course, just 
as a shipwrecked man on a raft will share his wallet of 
piOfsaio&BiWitk bis; fellow passengers. Heaven help them, 
andaUpoarwretehes whatsoever, if this were not the role. 



MARSTON LYNCH. 319 

It was on this inhospitable shore that Marston Lynch, 
at the age of twenty-four, found himself with a wife and 
child clinging to him, hopelessly shipwrecked, after a brief 
and troubled voyage, in dangerous seas, which he had rashly 
undertaken without a sailor's strergth or experience, in 
which he had seen all his little worldly venture go down, 
and the turmoil and excitement of which had left him 
prostrate. Wrecked in Bohemia ! it is as bad as to be 
wrecked in Kamschatka, where the natives may be kind 
and sympathising, but where there is no housing but seal- 
skin tents, and little food but the bark of trees and fish 
oil; where the nights are interminable and the frosts 
death ! 

It was fortunate for Master Lynch that he found the 
rough Bohemians kind and sympathising. But for their 
timely help, such as it was, he would have perished. 
When he was taken ill he was at the very end of his re- 
sources. He had no prospect of receiving money unless 
earned by the exercise of his brain. He was attacked with 
brain fever, and reduced to the condition of a mechanic 
with his arms broken, — worse, for mechanics provide 
against such emergencies by mutual-assistance funds — 
provisions which literary men never think of, or, if they 
do, can never agree sufficiently among themselves to put in 
practice. There was not one of Marston's old friends to 
whom he or his poor distracted little wife for him (Marston 
himself was delicious on the second day), could apply for 
temporary assistance. The breach with the Merripebbles' 
family, so mysterious in its origin to Lucy, left no hope 
from that quarter. Gregory Lynch was out of the ques- 
tion. The movements of Sauniarez were so eccentric that 
there was no knowing where to find him, even if his friend- 
ship could be relied on, which Lucy had once more begun 
to doubt. Biglow Miles, last heard of at St. Petersburg, 
en route for the Mediterranean, might be at tibe antipodes 
by- this time. To dejMdve Lucy of her last hope, an en- 
velope had arrived by post on the very morning after her 
bjosband had taken to his bed, enclosing' wedding cards 



320 MARSTOX LYNCH. 

from Mr. and Mrs. Howker, and a note, in which the late 
Marian Crooze — after a little awkward preamble, whidi 
read, perhaps, just the least thing in the world like an 
apology for her tjondescension in having at last rewarded 
Howker's fidelity by making him the happiest man in the 
world, expressed her pleasure in stating that her dear and 
affectionate husband (the adjectives underlined by way of 
compensation for any possible injustice done to the now- 
adored Howker in the opening passages), had been ap- 
pointed to the management of a branch of the business 
with which he had been so long connected, recently estab- 
lished at Gibraltar ; to which pleasant locality the happy 
pair were about to sail immediately, there to take up thor 
residence as a permanency .To this was added a postscript, 
in the bridegroom's hand, inviting Marston and Lucy to 
come out and see them whenever the former's engagemeats 
would permit, with the assurance that a new book of 
travels in Spain, by M. L., Esq., with illustrations by the 
author, was what the public wanted above all things, and 
would be more than sufficient to pay all travelling ex- 
penses. " Mind you doy^ the bride had written in con- 
clusion, with a true woman's determination to have the last 
word. 

" If I could only take him there when he is bett^, to 
restore him quite to health," Lncy murmured, as she laid 
down the letter, kissing her imconscious patient. 

The only intimate acquaintance our hero (let the word 
stand since it is written ; but I shall not apply it to poor 
Marston again) had made since his sojourn in London had 
been a few young men of his own age, belonging to the 
class whose characteristics I have attempted to sketch. 
Let no one be in too great a hurry to attribute this i» a 
taste for low society. Bohemian society is not low; it is 
simply eccentric, exceptional. Its intellectual attractions 
are of a very high order. If it is deficient in social elegan* 
cies and amenities, it is also free from the unmeanii^ md 
wearisome restraints of what is called "polite sodety^" 
Drawing-room philosophers may write till they tiiv*, or er^i 



VABSTON LYNCH. 321 

tin tbey incur that dreadful calamity of soiling their 
finger-nails, they will not succeed in convincing the rational 
poriion of the community that it is better and wiser to 
waste one's time in the senseless fritter of " morning calls" 
and evening "receptions," than to sit and listen to the 
fearless discussion of vital truths by men of wit and learn- 
ing, even though the Temple of Debate have a sanded 
floor, and its rites be performed to the unholy incense of 
tobacco-smoke. Marston Lynch not being what is called 
" a man of the world," did not possess the gift of making 
firiends from motives of poUcy. He coidd not suddenly 
foil in love, as some people can, with a lord, a banker, a 
miUionaire, a literary magnate, or a publisher, and take 
such rapturous interest in the welfieure and family doings of 
such people as to claim ^immediate reward in the shape of 
substantial friendship, patronage, or employment. The 
only acquaintance Marston cared t^ cultivate was with 
people of his own age, with some congeniality of taste or 
ehaincter. The majority of such persons, among whom 
the chances of London life had thrown him, were men of 
the classes I have alluded to. 

Bat these were, for the most part, out-of-door comrades, 
scarcely known even by sight to Lucy. Some of them, 
Marston had occasionally brought home for a cigar, and a 
ohat ; but they had usually stopped so late, consumed so 
much gin-and-water, and spoken such dreadful profanation 
of men and things that Lucy had been accustomed to hold 
in the highest veneration, that the poor little woman looked 
upon them with something like pious horror. There was 
one gentleman, it was true — Mr. Glough, the celebrated 
artist — who had somewhat redeemed his character by taking 
BOtiee of " baby," and earning the Mendship of that im- 
portant personage: but even this was an unsatisfactory 
offiset to the unbecoming tint of Mr. Clough's linen, his 
inordinate passion for onions, and his unpleasant practices 
of swearing at every tenth word, and backing the majority 
of his assertions by bets. Another gentleman, Mr. Walrus, 
(the distinjcuiflhed dramatist, poet, essayist, caricaturist, 
* Y 



323 MAR8T0N LTKCH. 

isd, in his opinion, vocalist and actor,), wbom Lucy bad 
been very mucb disposed to like, from tbe extreme auavity 
ef bk manners and tbe bigb moral tone of bia conyerBatioii, 
in whicb be was accustomed to rebuke tbe too great fn»- 
dom of bis companions. But Mr. Walrus unfortu&atdLy 
displayed a tendency to get early drunk and quarreteome; 
and was, fiurtbennope, once detected in winking at tbe 
lodging-bouse nudd-servant, wbo bappened to enter tiie 
ipom during bis ^unciation of a deligbtful s^atimeBt in 
praise of virtue, wortby of Solomon, or of Josepb Suifiiee : 
wbereby Walrus felL Tbere was also, little Doctcr 
Kussknacker, tbe Viennese refugee, also a liavourite with. 
baby, "wbo spoke Englisb witb scarcely a foreign accent, 
and knew evertbing; who was a pattern of poUtenesa, 
good-bumour, and s^stemionfliieas ; wbo would not even 
smoke, and confined himself to one weak glaee of giog per 
nigbt ; who never made bis appearance without some li^ 
mark of attention to his pretty hostess, if it were onfy a 
bunch of violets, a small purchase of choice &uit, or the 
loan of an amusing book; wbo would listen to Mrs. 
Lyncb's long and exciting stories of baby's ailim^ita and 
THTogress in knowledge of the world, wilb as muck, patience 
and interest as if be had been a wet^norse on probation, 
instead of a doctor of medldxK and philosophy, and oop- 
reeponding member of numeroBa learned societies. Loty 
was disposed to like the doctor exceedmgly, had she Bot 
heani him speak, seriously and exdtedly, in dakno^ of 
''Bed Eepublicans" (horrid creatures, only assodated in 
iiucy's mind witb the butchery of that poor dear queen, 
Marie Antoinette) ; and humourously, in disparagement of 
her (Lucy's) favourite clergyman, li&s. Lynch could not 
stand this. She at once diarged the doctor witb l»BiBg a 
man of no religion whatever. To this tbe doctor reptiied, 
with grave and respeotiul launilxty, that Mrs, Lynch was m 
«rror : be bad beeai bom of Buddhist parents, but bad been 
educated by a missionary of the shaking <^aiker perraaakm. 
The worst of these men, Lucy complmned, was, that ycm 
could ^v^ tell when they were in earnest or aot» 



HABSTON LXl?Cff. 



At my irate, L«cy coasjBukred none of tiiiem in tlie h{ 
of fiioGLds to irkna ske could apply in the luMir of fleed, 
Jwd ske known tiieir addresses (whidi ii^ wkat v«iy Ibir 
people did know). IIk poor girl's «xpeiieEices of m&k 
lad been limited ; she kaew not the tests to diatingHwh 
4ifae true from the &lse. But on. the third d^y, Mar^tom 
jgnm worse. The only sign of consciouffliess he had shown 
doling 1^ two first days had been persistently and oohe- 
nently to forbid his wife to send lor medical aid. A morl^ 
ioTor <^ expense had ti^n possession of him — ^not unna- 
tiiral to a penniless man with a fev^^ brain, hucy, erar 
Accustomed to obey, had comptied wiiii his wishes. Bn^ 
aHm moming he was so mudi worse. Was she 6oiag 
light in obeyiog even hnn, who was never wrong, iiow that 
Jie was not master of his own soises P She would hnve 
s^ven anything for «ome one to conrall — «iren •one of thosb 
l««ge^^ho scoffed and made g«ne of eyerytiik^. 
<die had scarcely fosmied the wish when Mr. Markwoith w» 
tasmoiuioed. 

Mr. Markworth was one (^ " those strange men" whom 
Xiicy lad not liked at all, ins offence being that he was 
^' 80 satarical.'' This is a £K?ourite adjective with kdies, 
which ti>ey employ for the e^resaon of a variety of dk- 
ngieeabk sieanings, escept ihe rig^ t>iie. Mr. MarkwerUi 
vos an easy-going cynic, who, haTing a possibly misplaoed 
<)entempt f<» most things, always spoke with contcBiptih- 
ous tokratioii of everyS^ig^which was perfecUy sinoeie 
on kis part, but which Mrs. Lynch interpreted as beii^ 
meant ironically. Howerer, ^ was very wrong in dis* 
Ming Mr. Markworth, as she soon had reason to adsdL 

This Markworth was a young inan ci good fomily, who 
knd been edneated at college with the bel^ that he would 
jakerit a comfeitable fortune. His father had speculated* 
iest every &rdiing, and i^iot himself. Young MatkwMik 
ints left to himself with no resources but tiae exeardse of his 
own talents — ^wkich were eonsidasabie, but not of a fro- 
itactive or popularly available chanctec He saw no path 
•pen to kim bat i£at of Ikenrtiixie — liar wkiok he felt but 

Y 2 



824 MABSTOK LYNCH. 

little vocation and no enthusiasm whatever. He wrote for 
a bare subsistence, with which he was negatively content. 
The effort of composition was hateM to him. Want and 
obscurity were preferable to sustained labour. He was a 
galley-slave to the stem task-mistress, Necessity, whom he 
only served upon compulsion, and within the strict letter 
of their hard bargain. He was a philosopher in his way. 
defying Destiny with much cheerfulness, from the bottom 
of the Bohemian pit into which he had been thrown, to 
cast him any lower. He was a man without hopes, and 
with the most infinitesimal cares. 

He had called this morning intending to loiter away as 
much of the day in Marston's society as the latter might 
be disposed to allow him. He was greatly distressed to 
hear of his friend's illness, and with an expression of deep 
interest (Lucy wondered whether he was " making game'j 
requested to see the patient. His experience at once told 
him that Marston was in great danger. He briefly in- 
formed Lucy that he thought medical assistance necessary, 
and that he would go immediately in search of a doctor. 

He left the house, and soon returned in a cab (Mr. 
Markworth never divulged by what means he had raised 
the funds to liquidate that and subsequent expenses in the 
course of the day), accompanied by Doctor Nussknacker, 
laden with sundiy packages and phials, and Mr. Thomas 
Glough, as an unattached reserve in case of emergencies — 
the latter flushed as to countenance, thick as to speech, and 
damaged as to hat. Mr. Clough having expressed the 
deepest concern for Marston, apologised to Lucy for his 
disordered appearance, on the plea that he had beeu up all 
night, finishing a pictureby gaslight for the exhibition, and 
that he had been suddenly called to his friend's assistance 

before he had time to . The oratorical performance 

concluded abruptly with a hiccough; and Mr. Clough 
threw himself despairingly on a sofa, where he slept £be 
sleep of innocence for the space of one hour. 

The Doctor was a man of business, and, what was better, 
a man of brains and experience. He was a diadple of 



MABSTON LYNCH 325 

the sage, Easpail. Marston speedily found himself lifted 
as from a lake of infernal fire into a cool Elysium by the 
magic application of eau sedative — of which fountains 
should flow in every street, and all lancets, leech-jars, and 
blister materials whatsoever (which its invention should 
ere this have superseded), confiscated to pay the expenses of 
their erection. The Doctor and Markworth declared their 
intention of sitting up with their patient all night. It 
was wonderful by what simple words and cheering per- 
suasions they induced Lucy, soon after their arrival, to quit 
that bedside which she had declared she positively would 
7wt leave on any account, to take a few hours' rest. The 
department for which Mr. Clough had been retained was 
that of light porter and general man of all work. As 
soon as he had recovered from his nap, he was sent out for 
physic, with which he returned, bringing in with him also 
an unmistakeable odour of fresh malt liquor, a small 
cylindrical paper labelled ** Best Birdseye," and two clean 
pipes (the Doctor, as we have seen, did not smoke). Poor 
Lucy was strangely embarrassed by, and strangely gratefii^ 
to, these odd auxiliaries. They had but two rooms, and, 
alas ! no servant. Finding their means getting narrower, 
she had dismissed her little nursemaid, on the plea of in- 
capacity ; and in answer to all Marston's exhortations that 
a successor should be engaged, had said " she would see 
about it" — " there was no hurry" — ** Baby was teething, 
and she could not bear him out of her arms," and the Hke. 
They were in debt, too, with the lodging-house people, and 
at every necessity for ringing the bell Lucy felt sick and 
giddy. It was marvellous how Mr. Clough relieved her 
on tne majority of those trying points. He set the dis- 
ordered room to rights with the skill and celerity (and 
much of the aspect) of a " drudging goblin." He made 
a bed of great coats and cloaks on the softi, and insisted 
that Lucy should go to sleep thereon instanter, bidding her 
not to mind him as he was old enough to be her grand- 
father (Mr. Clough was in his three-and-twentieth year), 
and &cet]0U8ly offering, if Mrs. Lynch shoidd object to 



siDoke, to go out, »id prerail on tbe fire to do the same. 
Lucy, half amilingly, was yielding to the aleep she foond it 
no longer possible to resist, when Baby, from his cradled 
pos^ at the £oot cf the so£a, began to cry. Iixksj started 
np;.. Mr. Gloiigh sternly ordered her to lie down agara^ 
and took the sqmdMng h^ to the estates of Lyndi in his 
arms. As a role there ia always scnne one thing which a 
Boheimmi can do much better than his I^stimate work. 
Mr. Clough couldn't paint a baby Tciy well, but he oes- 
taiidy possessed the gilb of amusing and quieting one to a 
remarkable degree. Whether he hsd cultivated this as va. 
eeeentric acconqpliskaient, less expensive of indolgenee 
than billiards, ^ttles, or the colouring of meerschaums, or 
whether it came naturally to him through a love and tai- 
deraess for helpless and ionooent creatures, might be dis- 
puted by skQM debaters ; but I, for my part, incline to 
the latter opinion. Certain it is that, on this occasion 
Mfflrston Lynch, jmnor, was speedily brought, by his graitia 
tKatment, &om crying to crowing, and theBce as rapidly 
to deeping. 

'^What an exoettent family man yon would make 
Mr. Chmgh," murmured poor Ixcj, with liast*cloaed 
^s. 

And it was one of the stupidest things she ever said m 
her life. Mr. Clough thought so. 

WhmL Lucy awdkened &om her nap in the evening, die 
found tea and shrimps awaiting her consumption. (Mi: 
dough had captured a flying mJsrdtant of the latter, after 
a hoi chase,, terminating at fiie bottom of Salisbury-street). 
Baby, the inde&tigable, was up agam, and crowing in the 
highest glee imaginable on his new nurse's lap. The doo-^ 
tor and ids^ compankm were seated by the fire. They told 
her the patient was asleep, and progressing as &vourablf 
as they could expect. She crept nois^ssly into the bed*- 
room.. Marston was tossdng restlessly in a sony enoi^ 
si^bstitute far sleep. Bat his &fie and hands had beta 
wadied, hiiBMnen dbanged, and his bed made. BverythiB^ 
in the room was in perfeKBt ordsr. Mr.. Thcunaa GlDogk 



MABSTON X.TNCH. Z2l 

had officiated ia the doable capacity of housemaid and 
valet de chambre, 

I have no wish to dii^arage the kiadneas of that gea* 
tleniaa's heart, the excellence of his iiKfcentioiis, or the yaloe 
of his services. But lest I should be accused o£ drawing a 
faultless monster, which the world never saw (by the way, 
I Aave akeady hinted at one or two blemishes in Mr, 
Clough's moral organization that should fully establish his 
human fallibility), I must mention another peculiarity in 
the Bohemian character, to the rule of which Mr. Giough 
was no exception. I have stated that the Bohemian ca» 
always do something better than his professional task. 
Let me add that he likes doing anything better than the 
same. The slightest excuse for neglecting his daily avoca- 
tions is to him a godsend. Mr. Clough had been called, 
ficom the easel and brashes he loathed, to run errands, make 
beds, wash invalids, and nurse babies ; and he was sor 
premely happy. 

In the fuiittiss of time, Mr. Clough proposed supper, 
and went to fetch it. The materials were not costly or 
remarkably delicate. They consisted of a very large crab, 
aome saveloys, and a pale slab of perspiring cheese. Mr. 
Clough was a little saddened to find that lus hostess would 
not partake of any of these luxuries, which he had pur- 
chased expressly for her, iu the belief that she required 
^* strengthening." In furtherance of this view, he had 
also taken the lib^y of bringing in with him a half-gallon 
eau of the mildest porter, participation in which Mza. 
Lynch also thankfully declined. Lucy insisted on passing 
the night by her husband's bedside. The doctor and 
Markworth yi^ded the post to hw, holding themselves in 
seadinesa for any emergency in the adjoining roonu The 
three friends sp^dt the night together, sleeping as they best 
could on the chairs and sofa, and beguiling the wakeful 
hours with cribbage, and, except in the doctor's case, ooor 
sAant application to the mild porter and the best birdseyc. 
Mr. Clough had sternly opposed a movement to convey 
Baby into the sick room. An atmosphere of dense tobacco- 



328 MAB8T0K LYNCH. 

smoke not being greatly conducive to slumber in the eaoiy 
stages of infancy, Baby proved wakeful throngbout tbe 
nigbt. Mr. Clougb never mnmmred at tbe constant daims 
tbereby made on bis attention. Wbenever Baby wanted 
to be taken up, up be was taken. Mr. Clougb swore 
frigbtfully over Ids cribbage losses, called bis adversaries 
by the foulest names, and accused them of tbe basest 
practices ; but never so much as an impatient exclamation 
.escaped him on Baby's account, even when tbe exigences 
of his infant charge disturbed him at a critical point of 
the game. Lucy, in the next room, alternately shuddered 
at his fearful oaths, and wept tears of blessing and thank- 
ulness at the merry songs and inexhaustible nonsense with 
which he kept the child amused. She wondered that it 
could be the same man ! 

Marston Lynch lay for many days in a most precarious 
condition. It is certain that nothmg but the greatest skUl 
and, the most constaat attention could have saved him. 
These, the staunch adherence of his rough and ready 
Bohemian friends supplied him with. It will be believed 
that Lucy's opinion of those gentlemen underwent a rapid 
and material change. She considered that, with one ex- 
ception of course, there were no other such good men in 
the world. They had saved her husband's life — and what 
could ever repay that service ? But with what wondrous 
unselfish devotion — with what utter hopelessness of reward 
they had effected this great good ! It was true that their 
conduct was only another tribute to Marston's worth that 
be could attach to him the friendship of such men 1 But 
then, was it not a further proof of their excellenoe that 
they could practically appreciate bis goodness P And how 
land they were to her ; but this was on Marston's account 
of course ! How wonderfully they relieved her of every 
anxiety, lightened her of every burden — and all of them 
poor struggling men ! She could never repay them ; bnt 
how she hoped Marston would get strong immediately, H 
it were only to put some of those great schemes of his in 



KAUSTON LYNCH. 829 

piacdce to make his fortune, if only that he might load 
these noble fellows with wealth and honours. 

Poor little Lucy ! She never once thought of the good 
that was in herself that would draw forth such good as 
might be in others as unerringly as loadstone will attract 
loadstone. She little thought that the friendly offices, 
conunenced in a spirit of matter-of-course good fellowship 
for Marston's sake, had been continued and augmented in 
t^idemess and pity for herself. She little thought that 
her unwonted apparition on the gloomy horizon of these 
<^eerless Bohemians, 

" Sick of pacing np and down 
Ever more this London town," 

for the most part without kin or home or aim, was like the 
rising of a bright particular star of hope and solace. The 
Bohemians idolized her to a man. She became like a pet 
vivandiere — the daughter of a raggfed regiment. She 
reigned an absolute Kttle queen of Bohemia, without know- 
ing it. Her subjects vied with one another in forestalling 
and gratifying her wishes. There was one primary neces- 
sity to her happiness, namely, the re-establishment of her 
husband's health. If mortal men could accomplish this, 
they would do so speedily for the reward of seeing her 
happy and blooming. 

Masculine reader of mine, have you ever lived in a re- 
mote Indian station, or hunted in the back woods of Ame- 
nca, or been a long sea voyage in a ship without female 
passengers, or existed for a length of time, under any cir- 
cumstances that did not permit of intercourse with the 
society of chaste and cultivated females ? If so, you will 
be able to appredate the delight of my Bohemians at find- 
ing themselves permitted to enjoy the friendship, and 
minister to the happinees, of a pure-hearted and accom- 
plished little lady like Lucy Lynch. 

Not to canvass motives individually, it would be difficult 
to over-estimate the services performed by the men I allude 
to — to our sick author and Ids Kttle household. In the 



S30 MAJLSTON LYlfGS. 

fist place, they stared oS tbe immediate hcnrrmrs of pecRi* 
niary necessity, whick might otherwiBe ha^e eonaigned the* 
whole trio, husband, wife, and diild, to the hospital or 
workhouse grave. Miorkworth was an inTalualskLe auxiliaij. 
He had not the lightest objection to any amount c^ abso- 
lute labour, provided he was spared the pain of seeking ost 
inventing it (let me do him the jnatice to say that had aaj 
such objection existed he would have overcome it for a 
Mold's sake, rather than £or his own.) Marston, whea 
taken ill, had a few commissions on hand, tranalati^Hia, 
compilations, and others. Most of them he had com* 
menced — ^the plans of all being laid out, so that the mere 
writing of them was plain sailing to a competent person. 
Markworth, who wrote rapidly and admirably when his 
constructive powers were not taxed, thought finishing those 
works as good a plan for getting over the day as any othiw. 
Moreover, having no local habitation just then, and hating 
tavern benches and tavern sodety as cordially as he took 
the trouble to hate anything, the privilege of writing at 
Marston's lodgings all day £uid sleeping on Marston's sola 
at night, with no more disagreeable person to talk to than 
Lucy, amounted to positive pleasure. Markworth finished 
all Marston's commissions in rapid succession. This not 
only brought in money to the household ; but, also, in a 
measure, saved the chiefs reputation from tarnish by the 
fulfilment of his engagements. Phil. Walrus, who was 
impulsively generous, had also a rich unde,. whom he 
'^ bled" periodically, by the most transparent and base* 
faced devices. He came in opp(»rtandy with assistance on 
more than one occasion. Doetor Nussknacker, who had a 
republican contempt for money, ami, like Markwortii, never 
ctoed to earn more than a bare suffidenoy for his slender 
wants — ^which he did by teaching languages — could onlbf 
testify his devotion to the cause by suffering his littb 
connection of pupils to go to rack and ruin,, for the pur- 
pose of spenda^ a day at Marstou's bedside, hast^iing 
his iecov(»y hj a thousand frisncUy dmaes not usmUgr 
included ia the diities of a medical adviser. Mr. Chnigh. 



MAXaXOK LYNCH. 331 

cotttiiiUiB d to confiiie Mmaelf to the moual department : he 
fetched whatever was wanted, and, when oa the premifies., 
rolieTed Jjuey of the one arduous duty she had never been 
aMeto aceomphsh with anything like satisfaction to herself 
and hofiband — ihsii oi answering duns. Mr. Glough had 
been, aocustomed to this Idnd of work ftam an early 
date, and usually p»fonned it with great ooohieas aad sue* 
When he found Lucy o^^ressed with household 
», if the weather happened to be fine, he would volun- 
teer to take baby for a walk up and down the pavement of 
Geoit^treet, pledging himself to go no further. Cecil- 
stoaeet usually extended to the Strand — sometimes to a 
greater dLstance; and baby, at this early stage of hia. 
caner, became a firequenter of numerous wine-vaults and 
bar-pailours of the vicinity, to the wonder and admiiatioiL 
of matnrer habituia, — 

It needed some sudi providential assistance, forMarston's 
raoovrary was slow and tedious. Even as it was, th^ were 
senetimes reduced to sad straits : for the soil of Bohemia 
is barren, and the crops axe not always sufficient for the 
farmer's consumption. As soon as Marston was weJl 
enough to be removed with safety, it was found expedient 
to vacate the snug lodgings in Cecilnstreet for a less costly 
residence in Kentish-town. Thither I now propose to con.- 
dact my readers. 

The time is some two or three nights after the events 
roooided in my last chapter. The scene is a small apart- 
ment — ^type of a cbiss infinitely more wretched, in my 
opinion, than that ''worst imi's womt room," in which Mr.. 
Pope chose to perpetrate his barbarous murder of the Duke 
of Backingham — ^the sitting-room of a third-rate suburban 
lodgmg^faouse. Who has not known — Chappy the London»^ 
who h£» not ! — ^the miserable low ceiling--the damp walls 
^4lie narrow window that wDl never shut — the warped 
door, with its lode thvee inches bdow the staple — the four 
spider-legged cane-bottomed chairs — the scanty muslin 
cartaina, waving to and firo in the diaxight, Uke detached 
cdbpweba — the diatartuig glass over the mantel^ieee — ^the 



332 MAESTON LYNCH. 

mangy peacock feathers, and the hideous plaster ornaments? 
Let me be spared a description in full. 

At one side of as good a fire as a grate about the size of a 
moderate coffee-mill would admit of, sat, in a Windsor elbow 
chair, propped up with piUows, an emaciated and caie-wom 
young man, staring at the fire with a countenance in which 
no expression was visible but one of hopeless despair. This 
was Marston Lynch. Near him sat a pretty, pale-faced 
little woman, busy with needle-work, from which she rose 
every now and then to arrange the invalid's pillow, to 
smooth his hair, to clasp his hand silently, or to whisper 
cheering words in his ear. It is needless to say who this 
was. Opposite Marston sat a sturdy, broad-shouldered, 
Saxon-faced young fellow, with unkempt hair and a fierce 
moustache, in ill-made clothes, the worse by many a stain 
and patch, and aggressive thick-soled higfalow boots, who 
smoked from two inches of blackened clay, and brandished 
' a stout healthy babe in his arms. This couple was Thomas 
Clough and Marston Lynch, junior. Esquires. Also 
smoking, and writing at a ricketty, ink-stained Pembroke 
table, that kept up a creaking accompaniment to eveiy 
movement of hia pen, was a young man some three or four 
years older than Marston, with a handsome but rather im- 
passive countenance. This was Markworth. 

"What a time Walrus is gone," Marston exclaimed, in a 
hollow, peevish voice. 

" Hold your grumbling," said Clough, breaking 

off short in a cheerful nurseiy rhyme. " If you wanted 
him to go to the Strand and back in five minutes, why 
didn't you order round your carriage and pair ! " 

"I am very much obliged to you, Clough, for your 
many acts of kindness," Marston began, in a tone of dig- 
nified injury, " but " 

" If you say that infernal word ' kindness' to me again 
I'll shy the" — ^Mr. Clough was about to add " baby at 
your head," but he substituted "pipe" for the former 
noun, in timely consideration for Mrs. Lynch's feelings. . 

"It is very foolish for you, Clough, to be angry wHk 



MABSTON X«YNCH. 333 

what Lynch says," Markwortli interposed quietly, without 
looking up from his paper. " It is natural to his weak 
state to be irritable, and, perhaps, unreasonable ; but then 
it is, perhaps, natural for you to be the same under all cir- 
dunstanoe — so it can't be helped." 

" Do you want anything at your head, Markworth ?" 
the wrathful Clough inquired. 

« Certainly not. Why ?" 

*' Because, don't be so infernally aggravating." 

" I have no wish to aggravate anybody. I only think if 
you and Marston can't help saying disagreeable things 
to one another, the best plan will be to go on saying them 
as fast as you like, and neither to care about it. It won't 
distuib me in the least. I like it quite as weH as any- 
thing else." 

Mr. dough's countenance broke slowly into a wide 
grin. Lucy pacified her husband with a noiseless kiss on 
the forehead. 

" 1 think Clough's blowings up do me good," Marston 
said, with a melancholy smile ; '* they put something like 
life into me. You and Lucy, Markworth, let me have too 
ifluch my own way." 

'* Clough certainly has the extraordinary gift of getting 
angry with people and things which I do not possess my- 
self, but which was doubtless ordained in him for some 
beneficent purpose." 

" Cluck I duck I cluck ! isn't he a thundering fool, 
my stunner?" was Mr. Clough's commentary to the 
baby. 

" Do you think Walrus will succeed P" Marston asked, 
after a pause. 

'* No ; sure he won't." Mr. Clough was decided on 
the point. 

'* He seemed very sanguine." 

*' Sanguine 1 he's always sanguine. I never knew him 
that he was not going to get three hundred and seventy 
pounds next Tuesday, at five-and-twenty minutes past two 
ja the afternoon. jDo you think a blowing card like 



834 MABSTON LTN€K. 

Haresfoot w31 gm tin on «ceoimt of a pace tAwt fann't 
got a line wnttea ? He's a bi^er fool than I take 'him 
fe if he does P" 

'* But Mr. Wahns says the idea is iucIl an nffig;ina] and 
beautiful one/' Lucy interposed ; *' and Mr. Hamfootirill 
be glad to secuie it £rom any oithier vanA^." 

'' Mr. Walrus can talk a doskey^s hmd leg off, I bawc 
no doubt " 

''What preposterous nonsense, Olongh," infcennipted 
Markwortk, " the days of miracles are passed — lie oould 
not do anything of the kmd." 

Mr. Markwc^ was some&ing i£ a pmist Vnlgv, 
illogical, or unmeaning figures oi speedi almost icnti^ 
him. 

'' Well, he won't talk any money out of old HsreabtiL 
at any rate.*' 

''If I do not get sometliing to^iaorrow," Manlon 
groaned, " what shaU I do ?" 

" Do without,*' Mr. Clough suggested. 

" But I have prcHnised to pay the people of the bonaa." 

« Tell them you can't." 

" I dare not face them." Marston bniied his faoe%i 
has hands, and rocked to a&d fro. "I cannot do it 
Laugh at and demise me if you like — I deserve it, I 
— but I cannot — ^anything but thiA !" 

Lucy shuddered, and her heart seemed to stop 
mg. She, too, could do anything but ^Ud. 

" Then if you were so precious anxitms to pay theni, 
why the deuce did you waste that tenner of Dm 
Thingamy's?^ 

Marston groaned again. 

" Oh I 3k&. Clough, do not name that — ^you know il 
was my fault,!' Lucy said, with her eyes full of tears. 

Mr. Clough confessed that he deserved to hav« his head 
punched, and requested baby to perform tiiat offioe for 
him. 

" I could not hdp it," Lucy eoatimed. 

''No, she couldn't,'' said Marston; "poopie caaae at 



HASStON LrNCH. $% 

41X1 ualuoky hour and olantoiired for money — s^e could not 
refiise them. I must ix>t biame hessf — I nevear couid." 

" Bless you," Lucy whispered, with a gmitelfol pressure 
of Marston's hand. 

A ti^CTsendous koockmg at the street-door ^caosod the 
little egg-shell of a house to tremble to its six-inch deep 
foundation. 

" Here's iiiil r 

A light footstep eleaved the litt^ frtsarcase in aboifk 
liiree bounds, and Mr. Phihp Walnis burst into the room. 
He looked veiy much as though he would burst out of it 
again, for Walrus was colossal of stature, and the little 
'Sitting-room scarcely lai^e enoo^ to hold him without 
damage to its walls, floor, and celUng. 

" Well, my busy bees," said Philip, sitting on a weak 
ehair, which caused him considerable alarm hj an ominous 
crack and undulation beneath his wdght : " still sipping 
the sweets of iDduslay P Talking about sippmg, is there 
anything to drink ? No ? I'm glad of it. A taste for 
ardent spirits is the conker-^oim of modem «oeiety. Mrs. 
Lucy you're laughing— Fm afraid you don't appreciate 
the high morality of those sentiments for which " 

'* Stow your gab, and tell us how you got on.," said 
Mr. Clough, pditely. 

" Tommy, my dear child, imless you immedif^ly coun- 
terfeit the manners ei a gentleman, I'll slap your face and 
pull your hair. Don't put the baby too near to me, for 
I haven't leooTered from the meades. Well 1 I've seen 
oU Hazesfoot." 

" What does he say ?" Manston asked, listlessly. 

" Thundering old humbug ! Giinned in my face, and 
said wheal we eould ehow him the manuscript it would 
receive his best attention. I'll show him up in the Penny 
Cane, and ruin him. However, it ^besn't matter, old 
feUow. / couldn't have wntten the piece without your 
asflistanoe, and you'll be aMe to fiidsh it to your own 
satisfaction." 

* "When ehaH I be «Ue to finish anything?'* said 
Marston, bitterly. 



336 MABSTON LYNCH. 

" Look here, Phil," Clough observed ; " money must be 
had to-morrow. What have you got " 

" Seven-and-six." 

" That's no use. Where did you get it ?" 

'* Half-a-crown on the bustle, from the stage-door- 
keeper, to pay the cab that wasn't waiting ; three-and-six 
from Charles, at the Blue Monkey, to make my little 
account round money, so that I should remember it the 
easier ; and eigbteenpence from the boy at the Gane office. 
He'd been up two nights, and was too sleepy to say he 
hadn't got any money." 

'* Well, we must have more. Mark s finishing a tale of 
Marston's for the Domestic Teapot That will be two 
quid to the good." (It should be observed that Mr. 
Clough never would, on any account, make use of an 
ordinary expression if, by going a little out of his way, he 
could discover a slang equivalent.) 

'' I won't touch a penny of it," said Marston, peevishly. 

" Stop a bit, my dear child. You will if your medical 
advisers pronounce it good for you. In the first place, 
Mrs. Lucy, take charge of these five white gentlemen for 
present exigences." 

''Don't take them, Lucy. I am sick of plundering 
and fleecing you fellows. It must come to an end." 

"So it shall. Only wait for the words of wisdom. 
Mrs. Lucy, do as you are bid, like a good child." 

" Lucy, you shall not — " 

" Oh ! then, I had better go to Wolverhampton. You 
mean to say you refuse to borrow from me five shillings, 
which I shall expect you to pay back to-morrow ?" 

" To-morrow, indeed 1 " 

" I repeat that I shall expect you to pay me back 
to-morrow." 

" What do you mean ?" 

*' Ah, now you are coming to reason. Mv children, I 
I have prepared a dramatic suprise for you. Vo you know 
that handwriting?" 

Walrus produced a letter, the address of which he sab- 
mitted to Marston's inspection. 



MABSTON LYNCH. S37 



" Why, it is Gregory LyncL's — ^my uncle." 

" Just so ; and my particular Mend and faithful correa- 
pendent." 

" You — ^how long have you Imown him ?** 

" Never saw or spoke to the buffer in my life, and don't 
want to. But he writes what is called a good letter, dots 
his t's prettily, and crosses, his i's like copper-plate. 
Attention." 

Mr. Walrus rose in an oratorical attitude and read, with 
much gesticulation, the following epistle to his wondering 
auditors. 

" To Philip WaJriM, Eaq. 

" I)£AB Sib — In answer to your polite note just re- 
ceived, which does the greatest credit alike to your head 
and heart (* a hackneyed phrase,' Mr. Walrus commented, 
* but let us hope merited'), I have only to say that the 
differences unhappily existing between myself and your 
friend, my nephew, Marston Lynch, were never of my 
seeking. 1 am extremely grieved to hear of his late illness 
and present distresses, of which, if I had received any 
earlier intimation, I would have taken measures to alleviate 
them, to the best of my ability. I am in very delicate 
health myself, and my stay in London wiQ be limited. K 
Marston's health will permit him to call upon me, I shall 
be happy to see him, with my step-daughter, Lucy, to- 
morrow, at eleven o'clock, when I have to request that he 
will meet me with an utter forgetfulness of past misunder- 
standings. If he should be unable to come himself, if you, 
or any other friend he may appoint, wiU call on me at the 
time I have made, I shall be glad to make some arrange- 
ments for his present comfort and ultimate benefit. Thank- 
ing you for your kindness in calling my attention to the 
matter. 

Believe me, dear Sir, 

" Very truly, yours, 

" Gbegoby Lynch. 

** Long's Hotel, Bond-street, Thursday .■• 



338 MAUSTON LYNCH. ' 

Marston remained nursing his chin in silence for some 
seconds. 

" So you had written to him on my account ? " 

" Of course, I had, my dear child." 

*• Why did you not teU me ? " 

*' Well, I wanted to. I flatter myself the epistle was 
rather choice in its way, and it went to my heart to wasto 
it entirely on old Gregory and the Post-office. But then 
you see, my infant, you probably would have raised aome 
objection." 

" That I certainly should." 

« Like a^ fool 1 " Mr. Clough growled. 

** You will see, papa, will you not, dear? " Lucy asked, 
imploringly, her wan face flushed by a new-bom hope. 

" No." 

" Ohl but you will though, my estimable young Mend.** 

'* I will have no assistance from that man," said Marston, 
petulantly. "He is a villain. I have told you over and 
over again that I am convinced he has robbed Iaicj" 

" Then, don't you think it would be advisable to get 
back a little on account, while the dear old gentleman is in 
a restitution humour ? " 

" I will not take a penny from liim. I can never thank 
you, dear friends, enough K)r what you have done. I ought 
not to refuse you anything. But if you would force me to 
humble myself to that man, I can only beg you, as a last 
favour, to leave me to my fate ; and forgive me — ^forgive 
me ; for I cannot do it." 

Tom Clough rose from his seat, placed the baby in his 
mother's lap, and stood on the hearth-rug, with his arms 
folded, coi^onting Marston Lynch with a stem coun- 
tenance. 

" Now, look here, Marston Lynch," he said, " I say a 
good many things, and a good many stupid and a ^ood 
many blackguard things, that I don't mean in particolar. 
But what 1 am going to say now I do mean. If yon lei 
any of your damned nonsense stand in the way of this 
opportunity, not only of saving your own life, which isn't 



MAitSTON LYNCH. 339 

of much consequence, but of bringing back some colour 
to your wife's cheeks, and flesh on her bones, which is — 
if I catch you at this sort of game, I tell you, by the Lord 
Harry, ill or well, weak or strong, 1*11 give you such an 
infernal thrashing that you won't recover for a month, 
that's all." 

Mr. Clough lit a fresh pipe angrily, and sat down. 

Lucy placed the baby on Marston's lap, and throwing 
hersetf at her husband's feet, clasped them both with 
her arms. 

" You will go and see him, Marston, for my sake and 
baby's, will you not ? " 

Marston Lynch was silent. He trembled, and tears 
rolled down his cheeks. 



t 3 



340 ' MAKSTON LYNCH. 



CHAPTEK XXXI. 

BEGINNING LIFE AGAIN. 

Pew of Marston Lynch's resolutions were difficult to 
shake. The one that he would on no account accept his 
uncle's offers of reconciliation gave way speedily under the 
weight of his friends' remonstrances and his wife's exhor- 
tations. V 

On the following morning Marston and Lucy were up 
and dressed early ; and something like an hour and a half 
ere there would be much prospect of Gregory Lynch's 
being out of bed, this pair had left their magnificent 
suburban villa (I really believe the wretched little rabbit- 
hutch was called a villa), en route for Long's Hotel, Bond- 
street — ^the temporary sojourn of the great Longpoit 
merchant. 

There were two reasons for this early stirring. Pirst, 
Marston, always impatient, had become more so than ever 
since his iUness, and having made up his mind to the 
magnanimous course of accepting the olive-branch held 
out to him by his uncle, he could not rest till the imposing 
ceremony had been performed. He had awakened sereral 
times in the night to ask Lucy the time, like a child eager 
for the dawn of a long promised holiday. He had been 
unable to eat his breakfast, and, had the resources of his 
wardrobe permitted, there is no doubt that he would have 
made many experimental changes in the decoration of his 
outward man before feeling satisfied with his personal 



MAESTON LYNCH. 341 

appearance for so great am occasion. But, alas ! tbe days 
of wearable coats, waistcoats, and trousers in tke plund^ 
or even dual number, were over with Marsion Lynch: 
and such luxuries as b%ast-pins, rings, and watches, wane 
as memories of a past existence. Marston Lynch was 
shabby, or to borrow an image from the poetiy of the 
pres^it generation, "seedy" — a state of things by no 
means agreeable to any member of the community, but 
whidi, to the artistic or poetical mind, is simply intokra- 
able. The same mental condition which makes a sturdy 
picturesque beggar, with matted locks and beard, and 
streaming with parti-coloured rags, an object of admira- 
tion, renders the miserably-clad " respectable man," with 
his threadbare coat, of a foi^ott^i make, buttoned up to 
conceal badness or deficiency of linen, which it only 
morally exposes — ^his limp hat, that would only have been 
not laughable two years ago when such shapes were worn, 
by everybody — darned gloves, and saw-hke shirt collar — 
an object c^ ridicule and pity. Why P Are artists and 
poets, then, such indifferent philosophers that they care to 
judge of men, or be judged of men themselves, by the cat 
and newness of their outward garments ? It may be so. 
Or it may be that the man — the stru^Mng man at all 
events — who now-a-days professes a ccmtempt for external 
appearances, is a greater fool than the man who pro- 
nounces him one for the practiced expression of 8»ch 
contempt. On another hand, it is toierabiy certain that 
artists and poets have a keener sense of the ridiculous than 
other people. Coats, hats, gloves, and shirt-collars, as at 
present constructed, are richculous objects in themselvies, 
«>d can only be worn without a sense of shame a«i dis- 
comfort when in their newest gloss and currency. An 
ifftide of modem clothing that has once falkai into the 
rearward of fashKm is a conspicuous absurdity ; and its 
wearer stands in the unenviable position of a fool who has 
adhered t6 an obsolete foUy. Moreover, there is some- 
thing sadly ndicttlous in the toadyism which poverty pays 
to riches, by obeying its sumptuary laws, as to disocoufort 



342 MABSTON LYNCH. 

and hideoasness in dress, when debarred of any of the 
i»mpensating advantages which alone can make such 
tyranny tolerable. Why should a poor gentleman, whose 
poverty makes the name a mockery, and excludes him 
from every comfortable dinner-table where he may have 
once been welcome, stint himself in his daUy supply of 
cold beef and cabbage for the sake of a shadowy 
semblance of the broad-cloth and beaver proprieties pur- 
chased at second-hand shops, at seemingly low but r^iUy 
exorbitant prices — ^things that neither defy cold nor disann 
suspicion — when, in a clean blouse or a stout workman's 
dreadnought, according to season, a defiant wide-awake, 
and an honest pair of fustian continuations, for him the 
stout might foam, the pig might smoke, and the apple- 
sauce cream — ^aye, by Saint Anne, and stuffing should be 
hot in the mouth? There must be insurmountable ob- 
stacles to such an independent course ; for it is one we 
never see a poor gentleman adopting. However, there 
are soundly politic reasons why the artist or writer^ living 
by the exercise of his talents, should be well-dressed. To ' 
be otherwise is an admission of poverty. This would be 
of no consequence, but that the world persists in attribu- 
ting poverty, which is equivalent with non-success, to 
incapacity ; the mere suspicion of which, to such men as I 
speak of, is fatal. Briefly, Marston Lynch was not and 
could not be well-dressed for the present. He hurxied 
over his toilette with the contemptuous haste of an actor 
gabbling a part he is ashamed of being obliged to play. 

The second reason why Marston Lynch and Loqr 
should be early a-foot was a reason, as some will pvo- 
nounce, with more reason in it. Kentish-town was a kmg 
way from Bond-<dtreet, and Marston Lynch was veiy 
weak ; he could only as yet walk slowly and with diffioolty. 
As yet the days of cheap omibuses were not; and the 
more expensive conveyances then in vogue were beyond 
their means. The small sum left by Wahrua on the 
preceding evening had been absorbed at once in the vottex 
of household necessities. The journey must be perfamoi 



MABSTON LTNGH. 343 

> 

OB foot, and by slow and easy stages. Marstou would 
have xmdertaken it alone, but Lucy would not let him. 
He might be taken ill on the road, or ^'a thousand 
things," as Mrs. Lucy expressed it : though I should like 
to &0W, in the event of any one of those thousand con- 
tii^neies presenting itself, what she, poor little soul, 
could have done to meet it? However, so impressed 
was she with the necessity of accompanying Marston, with 
a view to his support and protection, that she even con- 
sented to leave "baby" in charge of the landlady's 
daughter, an undersized damsel, of doubtM trustworthi- 
ness, and of slovenliness as to which there was no doubt 
ivhatever^ The little mother's apprehensions, it is true, 
had been greatly calmed by her usual ally on such emer-* 
■geneies, Mr. Thomas Clough, who had preferred passing 
ttLG night uncomfortably on chairs in Marston's sitting- 
Toom, rather than be driven to the Bohemian's last ex- 
tremity of goiQg home — and who had expressed his 
intention of passing the day in the inmiediate neighbour- 
hood, for the purpose of making careful studies of a 
picturesque pump by which he had been fascinated, and 
promised to look in, fix)m time to time, with a supervising 
6ye to the nursery arrangements. 

Look at poor Marston Lynch, with an emaciated face, 
stooping shoulders and threadbare garments, leaning, with 
one hand, on a walking stick, and with the other, on a frail 
and slender arm that should have leant on his. Consider 
that he has a four miles' walk before him, which he must 
perform for the want of a shilling, and which it will take 
ham two hours to accomplish. Consider that the object of 
that walk is to humble himself (for it is useless to bHnk the 
truth) before a man by whom he believes himself to have 
been wronged, and whom, in the pride of his youth, strength, 
and talents, he had taunted, defied, and insulted on every 
possible occasion. And upon the charity (he repeats the 
-word bitterly to himself many times between his dosdd 
teeth) of thai man depends his only hope of relief, peace, 
luid healthi perhaps of life. Having reconciled himsdf to 



344 HAESTOM LTKCH. 

the acceptance of assistance from his micle, Itis mmd can, 
for the present, take in no more disagreeabie possibilities. 
The idea that that assistance may yet fail him, he will not 
contemplate. It is his one resource left, and fail him it 
must not. He is going to beg — ^that is quite hmniliatioii 
enough — ^the ah&s must be abundant. He is like a famished 
man on a raft, who can only strain his eyes to one speck on 
the horizon ; it is, it. must be, the long expected ship that 
is to bring him succwir. How will Grcgory Lynch recdve 
him ? What will be the extent of his relating kindness, 
or, as Marston loves to consider it, taixly justice? What 
will be the amount of submission exacted from him in re- 
turn for the means to grow strong, to rest, and to live P 
These are the only questions Marston Lynch can ask him«- 
self. All his old projects of self-rdiiance and exertion for 
wealth and fame are as vanished dreams of the past, even 
as the shipwrecked man's memories of bome, and strife, and 
duty — ^all forgottetfin the thought of the bread that should 
be contained in the hold of that one ship on the horizon. 

Contrast this picture with one I have shown you of a 
handsome impetuous boy fancying that the world was at his 
foot, who was petted, caressed, and loved by all who knew 
him, who had too early tasted the seductive sweets of fame 
and luxury; and admit that whatever the faults and filings 
of my poor anti-hero may have been» his punishment is at 
least as much as he can bear. 

How? Has he not a noble and devoted wife who loves 
him more than all the world, and a darling child? With 
these blessings, what can happen to harm hun ? 

Hunger for three, reader. That is the answer. Tiy it 
— for one — ^to begin with ; and see how you like it. 

I have heard somewhere a stupid old song of a past 
generation, (when the "Jolly God," the "rosy mom,"' and 
similar stereotypes, were imi^dtly believed in as essentials 
to genuine poetry), which ^eaks of "lovdy wonum" as 
tfte being who 

" Doubles np our joys and fivides our cares." 

It is a lie. It is only his happiness that an honest man will 



MAESTON LYNCH. 345 

<jonseiit to, or even can, share with the woman lie loves. 
There can be no division of sorrow any more than there 
can be a division of typhus fever. The man who, being 
wretched himself, derives a consolation from inoculating 
those nearest to him with his misery is not one whose ac- 
quaintance I desire. , Such people (who are by no means 
uncommon remind me of Mr. Fag in the " Rivals," who, 
because he had been buDied by Ms master, kicks the 
errand-boy. 

Marston walked very slowly, and had to rest many times. 
Poor Lucy encouraged and cheered him to the best of her 
powers, which were not very great, Lucy being only a kind 
of lunar satellite, in a system of which Marston Lynch was 
the solar centre. Her face could only reflect back such 
Kght as the sim shed upon it. When Marston's face was 
€dipsed by sorrow that of his little wife was in d^kness. 

On this occasion Lucy was rather iuclined to be hopeful 
than otherwise. The fact that Marston had consented to 
forgive his unde — ^for doing she had not the clearest idea 
what — ^was a greater matter for rejoicing ; Gregory's re- 
lenting was a sufficient proof that her husbai^'s great 
merits were at last about to be recognised. She was, more- 
over, grateful to Gregory Lynch for affording her an oppor- 
tunity of ceasing to think unfavourably of him. She was 
a little timid at the prospect of meeting him it is true, and 
Absolutely firightened at the possibility of the terrible 
Mrs. Gregory being present at the interview. But Lucy 
was one of the bravest cowards in the world. In the old 
times of martyrdom she would have gone trembling rfl over 
to the stake, or suffered herself to be frightened to death 
bv wild beasts with the greatest firmness and determina- 
tion. However, it Was very certain that on this particular 
occasion no possible harm could come to her, for would 
not her husband be present ? It was remarkable and cha- 
racteristic that Mrs. Lynch persisted in considering her 
husband a model of physical as well as moral courage and 
strength; and the evidence of her senses that he was 
scarcely able to drag himadf dong the pavement without 



346 HAR9T0)) LTNCH. 

the assistance of her arm and a waUdng-stick did not at all 
veaken her firm conviction that, in the event of her being 
insulted or aggrieved by a passing giant, her compamoa 
could at a moment's notice, by the exercise of some latent 
power within him, rouse himsdf to the infliction of t^rribk 
chastisement on the offender. 

They spoke very little on the way. Marston indulged 
in a few feeble rhodomontades as to the dignified attitude 
it was his intention to assume in the presence of his hum- 
bled and repentant kinsman ; how he would accept of no 
service at that kinsman's hands that would at all com- 
promise him in his own estimation ; that he would rather 
starve ; and much nonsense of that kind. Marston knew 
in his heart that he would rather not starve, and that he 
had for more than a twelvemonth forfeited the right to do 
so. If suicide be justifiable at aU, it can oply be so in the 
singular number. Humiliating as was the admissioB, 
Marston could not deny to himself that he was prepared 
to accept any terms Ms uncle might propose, not ab80^ 
lutely and shamefully degrading ; and to accept them, 
moreover, with thankfubiess and rejoicing. So he left off 
bragging, and occupied himself with building castles in the 
air as to the peaceful life in store for himself and his dear 
ones. 

The last half mile or so of their journey was performed 
in silence. The approaching interview engaged all iheSj 
thoughts. As they neared the hotel Lucy cast a depie*' 
eating glance over her humble attire, and blessed the 
invention of plate-glass shop windows, which enabled her 
to obtain that indispensable glimpse of the state of ber 
head-gear without wmch no woman of any age can present 
herself in unaccustomed society. Marston was -like an 
actor at the wing mumbling over his parti and meditating 
the manner of his entrA on the scene. 

They reached the door of the hotel, before which a pd» 
vate brougham was waiting. Our two poor relations 
observed this, not for any connexion that it suggested wit& 
the movements of their wealthy Jdnsman, but from ttm 



MASSTON LYNCH. 347 

common tendency of the human mind on the eve of trying 
crises to seek relief from its absorbing occupation by noticing 
indifferent objects. The driver of the vehicle, standing at 
the horse's head, touched his hat to Marston, with a look 
of recognition and a kind of qualified civility. Marston 
remembered to have seen the man's face, but could not call 
to mind where. The question was not worth asking, and 
was instantaneously forgotten. Marston and Lucy, with 
beating hearts, pressed each other's arm, exchanged a re- 
assuring smile, and were about to enter the hotel, when — 

Don Sancho de Saumarez, with Maud Carlton on his 
arm, swept past them out of the hotel, entered the car- 
riage, and were driven off rapidly in the direction of 
Oxford-street. 

The incident occurred in less time than I have taken to 
tell it, but in these two or three seconds a complete drama 
•was enacted. Lucy's flimsy washed-out muslm skirt had 
come in contact with the magniflcent flounces of Miss 
Carlton. The two women had drawn back, exchanging 
glances of mutual recognition and aversion. Lucy had, 
without any definite reason, instinctively connected Maud 
Carlton with the origin of their present misfortunes. She 
had divined that there were grounds of jealousy and strife 
between them, and, with all her gentleness, Mrs. Lucy was 
quite woman enough to hate, and that pretty strongly, any 
one of her own sex whom she might suspect of designs — 
past, present, or possible — ^prejudicial to her heart's peace. 
The first cry of surprise over, on the occasion aUuded to, 
she had shrunk from Miss Carlton as from the touch of 
pollution, dung proudly to her precious husband, whom 
6he protected, as it were, from the designs of the wicked 
iinchBaitress by a look of defiance aib insolently contemptuous 
«<-aye, and as cruel — as ever Maud's own face had worn in 
her bitterest and most wayward mood. One of Lucy's 
old glances — humble, deprecating, and imploring — ^would, 
Mrhaps, have touched Maud's heart, and the elaborate 
ralmc of Don Sancho de Saumarez might have been scat* 
tesed to the winds by one impetuous gust of forgiveness 



348 KABSTON LXNOH. 

imd self-repToach. But tke little yixeii (pro tern) had 
diosen, in ihat one moyement, to declare war, whick tiie 
more powerful fury accepted. Miss Carlton retained the 
assault witii a withering smile of hatred and triumph, and 
a searching, comprehensiTe look, which ^as Lucy f<^ 
took in the whole list of their miseries — ^her old boauet 
with faded ribbons, her mended gloves and shoes, ha 
pale cheeks and sunken eyes, Marston's stooping shoulders 
and emaciated form, his dejected face, the whitening seams 
of his coat, his darned and patched linen — ^it seemed evea 
to penetrate to the shabby dogs'-eared leather portenummiie 
in her pocket, that for weeks had contained nothing but 
pawnbrokers' duplicates — even to the empty' drawers and 
eupboards of their miserable apology for a home in Kentish 
Town. All these Miss Carlton seemed to know and rejoice 
in, as she threw herself back on the cushions of her snug 
vehicle, of which she drew up the window with an im- 
patient jerk, as if to interpose a material barrier betwen 
herself and the atmosphere contaminated by the breath of 
unfortunate wretches. 

Marston had remained motionless. The gallant San- 
marez had recognised him, but being taken by surprise, 
and without time for the construction of a plot (without 
which preparaticm he could do nothing), had brushed past 
his former Mend with a sneaking precipitancy, and a some* 
what cur-like expression on his usually engaging counte- 
nance, which, on this occasion only in the course of this 
history, was observed to be somewhat flushed. 

Our young couple looked after the receding carriage 
for some seconds in silence. Then they look^ at each 
other. 

" What can this mean P" 
No good, I fear ; but let us know at once." 
Yes, let us know," Lucy said, with a heavy sigh. 

Neither had the insincerity to pretend to the other 1ii«t 
the visit of the pair who had just departed had been Made to 
any other resident in the hotel than their unde ; or that it 
might have been one to him of mere fonnatity, and in ao 



« 
« 



HAB8T0N LYNCH. 349 

way coimecied with their own business. They instinc- 
tivdy felt the contrary was the case, and enta^ the hotel 
with the ^oomy piescieaoe of calaodty. 

Marston inquired of a waiter if Mr. Gregory Lynch was 
within ; and was answered in the alSrmatiye. 

The visitors sent np their cards, and waited in the 
entrance-hall a few anxious moments, that seemed hours. 

The waiter returned with a curt message to the effiect 
that Mr. Lynch could not be seen. 

Lucy troubled, add Marston's lip quiyered as he fial- 
teied, 

*' Perhaps he is not up yet." 

" Yes, he's up, but he can't be seen — ^that's the messagc."^ 

" Perhaps if we were to call again *' 

" The lady said you nced'nt trouble yoursehes to call 
agiBn, as Mr. Lynch dechned seeing yon." 

The man ddiveced it respectfully enough, and with 
evident reluctance. 

The lady — I presume you mean Mrs. Lyneh ?" 

Yes sir," the waiter good-naturedly added, as a 

o(»npensation to the man whom his official position had 
compelled him to be the means of distressing. 

** Was Mr. Lynch present, may I ask ?" 

« He was." 

"And he said nothing?" 

" Nothing whatever, sir," 

" Thank you ; then we will not trouble ourselves a 
seeondtune. Grood morning to you." 

" Gt)od morning, sir. Going to have a change in the 
weather, I think." 

He was a compassionate waiter to bestow this amount of 
civility, without hope of a shilling, upon the two young 
people who looked so disappointed and so poor ; and a 
thoughtful one to run as he did to hold the glass door 
vpeu for their exit, bowing to Itocy as she passed precisely 
as he had bowed five minutes ago to €be splendid lady in 
the brougham. It was as kind on the waiter's part as 
the gift of a quartern loaf from a baker. 



cc 



350 MAUSTON LYNCH. 

When they reached the street, the forced self-composure 
which Marston had observed before the hotel servants, gave 
way utterly. He could not speak. He trembled fear* 
fully. The muscles of his face quivered, and at length a 
torrent of tears rolled nown his cheeks. 

"Dear, dear Marston — don't. For heaven's sake — 
anything but that 1" 

" What shall we do ?" 

That was now the question. 

They walked mechanically towards Piccadilly. Lucy 
squeezing her husband's arm to her own, pressing Yds^ 
hand beneath her shawl, and imploring him xu>t to give 
way. 

" It is very cruel." 

" It is very — ^very — very cruel.'* 

" Was that letter written only to raise false hopes, and 
cast me lower than ever by disappointing them P" 

" No — ^no. I cann6t believe that ; there has been some 
misunderstanding— or some misrepresentation " 

" From whom ?" 

"I don't know — from his wife, perhaps — or — or — 
No matter, let us forget it, dear, as if it had never hap- 
pened." 

* Yes, let us forget it — that is the only plan. I must 
set to work and earn some money. Yes, I must set to 
work." 

" That's my own dear. Let us go home." 

Home !| Marston shuddered. He had never contem- 
plated re-entering that wretched place except to leave it 
for ever. 

" Let us go to Walrus's.' I want to rest ." 

Walrus's lodgings were not far off. The hospitable 
Philip was fortunately at home, and gave them such wel- 
come as he could afford. He was shocked at the inex- 
plicable cruelty of the treatment they had received, and 
expressed his intention of " having it out with oldOregoiy,** 
as a personal matter, — ^he having been made the xmoon** 
scions instrument of Marston's disappointment. 



it 
«c 



MABSTON LYNCH. 351 

" No, Phil. ; let it rest," said Marston. " It is over. 
I liave been the victim of a terrible vengeance of some 
kind. But whoever they may be I cannot risk a second 
contest with such enemies. It seems as though it had 
killed me already, and I am beginning a new liife. Yes, 
and I must begin to-day — now, and in earnest. Lucy, 
my dear, go home." 
And you, dear ?" 

I ? — oh, I must — see about something. I must caH 
on publishers, and so forth — get something to do, in fact ; 
or what will become of us ?" 

Lucy suppressed a heaving sigh. 

" But you are not weU-enough to-day — ^you should keep 
quiet." 

" Quiet ? "Where ? Where the coalman knocks at the 
door three times an hour, and the baker bullies you froni 
his cart up to the first-floor window, and the green-grocer 
forces his way up-stairs, and takes a seat with his back 
against the door ? Thank you, my dear. Such circum- 
stances are not conducive to the flow of inspiration, or the 
composure of thoughts." 

** What wiU become of us P" 

Mr. Walrus suggested a monosyllabic remedy. 

"Bolt." 
. " From Fryingpan-court into Fireplace-alley — even if 
we could raise a cab-fare, for that distance ? I don't see 
any advantage in the change. Can you pay Lucy's omni- 
bus home, as she calls it, Phil ?" 

" To be sure — ^anda fewbobover; but what's your move ?" 

" Oh ! I don't know. I must try — something. Lucy, 
dear, Phil, will see you into an omnibus. I'll rest a bit, 
and think of something. There go, there's a good girl, or 
I shall be angry." 

He hcd been often angry with her of late. Lucy was 
giddy vidth despair. What should she do P There was 
Marston, scarcely recovered from a fever, and crushed with 
a bitter disappointment, in a wild and unsettled state. 



352 MABSTON LYNCH. 

claiming to be left to himself in town. On tlie otiber 
hand, she had been three hours away from baby 1 — ^a state 
of things previously unkibown ia the existence of that 
individual. She could not decide for herself. As usual, 
she resolved that Marston should decide for her. She Sj^ 
proached him, and taking hia hand in hers looked bun 
earnestly in the face, saying, 

" How do you think I can leave you, dear, in this state ? 
Ask yourself, and teU me what I ought to do." 

Always that terrible responsibility of directing the actions 
and providing for the happiness of another ; Gould she 
never relieve him of so much as one grain of the load, by 
a single act of self-reliance and decision? No I Marston 
felt, that while she lived, so completely was her volition 
absorbed in his, that he alone must bear the burden ; and 
even though it should crush him, all she could do would 
be to watch Ids sufferings and weep. The chai^ be had 
undertaken was one that would allow of no sleeping at his 
post. In his present weak and dejected condition, what a 
relief it would have been for him — to give way to lamen- 
tation or despair. He was sick oi life, and could almost 
have made an end to it : but his life was not his own. 
Here was this little woman at his elbow dimning him for 
that supply of hope and moral support with which he was 
as much bound to furnish her as with gowns, bonnets, and 
house room. 

Bankrupt as was Marston Lynch of the commodiides 
required of him, he was an honest debtor. He roused 
himself from his despairing mood with such demonstrations 
of strength and cheerfulness as he could assume — ^kissed 
his wife, and answered 83 follows :— 

** Go home, my darling, and attend to your child; you 
may do so safely. I am not such a coward as to make 
away with myself — if that is what you are afraid of. I 
am only going to do what I told you- — ^to seek &r some 
employment — " 

" But you are not fit to walk about." 

" Let me see a fair chance of earning some money and 
I shall be fit to run." 



MABSTON LYNCH. 353 

" And you will come Kome straight ?*' 

" Straight." 

" And will promise me not to give way ?" 
* ** On my honour." 

** And promise me, not on your honour, but on your 
love, that if you should meet with firesh disappointments 
in what you seek, you will not let them make you in the 
least bit in the world unhappy ?*' 

This was rather tyrannical — Marston felt it so. It was 
like extorting a promise from a man that he would never 
cry out in the event of his burning his fingers. Our wives, 
are, however, very exacting in such matters, and they must 
have their way. Marston gave the required promise, and 
wondered if he should be able to keep it. 

" I believe you." 

Luc^ kissed her husband many times, and whispered in 
his ear several exhortations on the subject of " keeping 
up," and departed on her homewai'd-bound journey, Mr. 
Walrus volunteering to escort her to her conveyance. 

Marston having fortified himself with an hour's rest and 
a substantial meal, provided by his entertainer, walked 
forth on his mission of beginning the world again. 

Alas I he little thought how near the very beginning he 
would have to commence the operation. He called on 
several publishers in succession to whom he was mortified 
to find his name almost or entirely unknown. His only 
success as an author had been in connexion with dramatic 
literature — a department quite distinct and apart from that 
of ordinary publishing business. He was received in all 
cases politely, but with one unvarying result. He was 
asked what he had brought to show. He had brought 
nothing. He could merely mention certain subjects for 
books which he had thought of, and which he felt con- 
fident of being able to treat successfully. The publishers 
felt no doubt of this whatever, and would be happy to give 
liis manuscripts their earliest attention on any of the works 
being completed. In answer to requests for casual em- 
ployment, such as translations, compilations, &g., he was 

2 A 



^i^'^/itit^ 



354ci.>5*^^^j^^^^^jjrfiAESTON LYNCHi 

always told that such undertakings usually emanated, like 
original works, from the writos ; and in the event of any- 
thing of the kind originating with the publishers, they 
were naturally in the habit of entrusting them to people 
whom they had been in the habit of employing, and with 
whose capabilities they were well acquainted. Marston 
soon got weary of this repetition, and was about to return 
home disconsolately, in a frame of mind very inadequate 
to the fulfilment of his promise to Lucy, when his eye was 
attracted by a name on a door-plate which he recognised 
as that of a publisher whom he remembered to have heard 
spoken of in no very complimentary terms, either as to his 
liberality or graciousness, by certain writers of his acquaini- 
ance. This publisher was, moreover, one of the very 
highest caste, and Marston had Hot yet the courage to 
present himself at any but second or third-rate houses. 
What had deterred him? Not any imder-estimate of his 
own powers, depend upon it. It was simply the con- 
sciousness of his shabby appearance that made him un- 
willing to parade his present miseiy in places where he had 
yet some lingering ambition to be one day received with 
distinctio^ — ^an ambition which proves that there was some 
hope for Marston Lynch yet. 

" Well, he can't eat me," thought Marston ; " and bear 
as they describe him, he may have the politeness to oflfer 
me a chair for five minutes, which will be a god -send. It 
will only make one more disappointment, and there's no 
hurry for getting home." 

It was that going home, without having conquered a 
single publisher, that !Marston Lynch was afraid of. 

So, overcoming the restraints of feeling, Marston Lynch 
called upon the Publisher, entered into an important en- 
gagement, and became a Pofulae Writek. 



i 



THE END. 

25 ^-^ 




Mq|^^«*i 



I T 



y