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Full text of "What will he do with it"

THE UNIVERSITY 

OF ILLINOIS 

LIBRARY 

623 
L2)9w 



The person charging this material is re- 
sponsible for its return on or before the 
Latest Date stamped below. 

Theft, mutilation, and underlining of books 
are reasons for disciplinary action and may 
result in dismissal from the University. 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS LIBRARY AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN 



IX ;'i 19'' 



UBRARY 



liljipifeglsiiihiiii^^^ 




'and SOPHY WOULD NOT ACT. p. 4OO. 

What will he do with it? vol. i. 



Shi; 6lobc (Edition. 

WHAT WILL 
HE DO WITH IT 

By PISISTEATUS CAXTON 

BY 

SIR EDWARD BULWER LYTTON, BART. 

COMPLETE IX TWO VOLUMES 

YOL. L 




PUILADELPHIA 
J. B. LIPPIXCOTT & CO. 

1868 



vv 



L^9 



r WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 
BOOK FIRST. 



. CHAPTER I. 

In which the History opens with a description of the Social Man- 
"^ ners, Habits, and Amusements of the English People, as exhi- 

bited in an immemorial National Festivity. — Characters to be 
commemorated in the History' introduced and graphically por- 
cd trayed, with a nasological illustration. — Original suggestions as 
3. to the idiosynacracies engendered by trades and callings, with 
^T* other matters worthy of note, conveyed in artless dialogue, after 

- O the manner of Hero<lii'u?, Father of History (Mother unknown). 

- '^ 

• • It was a summer Fair in one of the prettiest villages 

^ ^ in Surrey. The main street was lined with booths abound- 

^ ing in toys, gleaming crockery, gay ribbons, and gilded 

OJO gingerbread. Farther on, where the street widened into 

^ the ample village-green, rose the more pretending fabrics 

fM , which lodged the attractive forms of the Mermaid, the 

m Norfolk Giant, tlie Pig-faced Lady, the Spotted Boy, and 

the Calf with Two Heads ; while high over even these 

edifices, and occupying the most conspicuous vantage- 

1 * ^ ( 5 ; 

I 005853 



6 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

ground, a lofty stage promised to rural play-goers the 
" Grand Melodramatic Performance of The Remorseless 
Baron and the Bandit's Child." Music, lively if artless, 
resounded on every side ; drums, fifes, penny-whistles, cat- 
calls, and a hand-organ played by a dark foreigner from 
the height of whose shoulder a cynical but observant 
monkey eyed the hubbub and cracked his nuts. 

It was now sunset — the throng at the fullest — an ani- 
mated, joyous scene. The day had been sultry ; no clouds 
were to be seen, except low on the western horizon, where 
they stretched, in lengthened ridges of gold and purple, 
like the border-land between earth and sky. The tall 
elms on the green were still, save, near the great stage, 
one or two, upon which young urchins had climbed ; and 
their laughing faces peered forth, here and there, from the 
foliage trembling under their restless movements. 

Amidst the crowd, as it streamed saunteringly along, 
were two spectators — strangers to the place, as was 
notably proved by the attention they excited, and the 
broad jokes their dress and appearance provoked from 
the rustic wits — jokes which they took with amused good- 
humor, and sometimes retaliated with a zest which had 
already made them very popular personages ; indeed, 
there was that about them which propitiated liking. 
They were young, and the freshness of enjoyment was so 
visible in their faces that it begot a sympathy, and where- 
ever they went other faces brightened round them. 

One of the two whom we have thus individualized was 
of that enviable age, ranging from five-and-tvventy to 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 7 

Reven-and-twentY, in which, if a man cannot contrive to 
make life very pleasant — pitiable, indeed, must be the 
state of his digestive organs. But you might see by this 
gentleman's countenance, that if there were many like him, 
it would be a worse world for the doctors. His cheek, 
though not highly-colored, was yet ruddy and clear ; his 
hazel eyes were lively and keen ; his hair, which escaped 
in loose clusters from a jean shooting-cap set jauntily on 
a well-shaped head, was of that deep sunny auburn rarely 
seen but in persons of vigorous and hardy temperament. 
He was good-looking on the whole, and would have de- 
served the more flattering epithet of handsome, but for 
his nose, which was what the French call " a nose in the 
air" — not a nose supercilious, not a nose provocative, 
as such noses mostly are, but a nose decidedly in earnest 
to make the best of itself and of things in general — a 
nose that would push its way up in life, but so pleasantly 
that the most irritable fingers would never itch to lay 
hold of it. With such a nose a man might play the vio- 
loncello, marry for love, or even write poetry, and yet 
not go to the dogs. Never would he stick in the mud so 
long as he followed that nose in the air ! 

By the help of that nose this gentleman wore a black 
velveteen jacket of foreign cut ; a mustache and imperial 
(then much rarer in England than they have been since 
the siege of Sebastopol) ; and yet left you perfectly con- 
vinced that he was an honest Englishman, who had not 
only uo designs on your pocket, but would not be easily 
duped by any designs upon his own. 



8 W tl A T W I li L H E D W I T n I T r 

The companion of the personage thus sketched might 
be somewhere about seventeen ; but his gait, his air, hia 
lithe, vigorous frame, showed a manliness at variance 
with the boyish bloom of his face. He struck the eye 
much more than his elder comrade. Not that he was 
regularly handsome — far from it ; yet it is no paradox 
to say that he was beautiful — at least, few indeed were 
the women who would not have called him so. His hair, 
long like his friend's, was of a dark chestnut, with gold 
gleaming through it where the sun fell, inclining to curl, 
and singularly soft and silken in its texture. His large 
clear, dark-blue, happy eyes were fringed with long ebon 
lashes, and set under brows which already wore the ex- 
pression of intellectual power, and, better still, of frank cou- 
rage and open loyalty. His complexion was fair, and some- 
what pale, and his lips in laughing showed teeth exqui-- 
sitely white and even. But though his profile was clearly 
cut, it was far from the Greek ideal ; and he wanted the 
height of stature which is usually considered essential to 
the personal pretensions of the male sex. Without being 
positively short, he was still under middle height, and, 
from the compact development of his proportions, 
seemed already to have attained his full growth. His 
dress, though not foreign, like his comrade's, was pecu- 
liar ; a broad-brimmed straw-hat, with a wide blue rib- 
bon ; shirt collar turned down, leaving the throat bare ; 
a dark-green jacket of thinner material than cloth ; white 
trowsers and waistcoat completed his costume. He 
looked like a mother's darling — perhaps he was one. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 9 

Scratch across his back went one of those ingenious 
mechanical contrivances familiarly in vogue at fairs, which 
are designed to impress upon the victim to whom they are 
applied the pleasing conviction that his garment is rent 
in twain. 

The boy turned round so quickly that he caught the 
arm of the ofifender — a pretty village-girl, a year or two 
younger than himself. " Found in the act, sentenced, 
punished," cried he, snatching a kiss, and receiving a gen 
tie slap. " And now, good for evil, here's a ribbon for 
you — choose." 

The girl slunk back shyly, but her companions^jushed 
her forward, and she ended by selecting a cherry-colored 
ribbon, for which the boy paid carelessly, while his elder 
and wiser friend looked at him with grave, compassionate 
.rebuke, and grumbled out — "Dr. Franklin tells us that 
once in his life he paid too dear for a whistle ; but then, 
he was only seven years old, and a whistle has its uses. 
But to pay such a price for a scratchback ! Prodigal I 
Come along!" 

As the friends strolled on, naturally enough all the 
young girls who wished for ribbons, and were possessed 
of scratchbacks, followed in their wake. Scratch went 
the instruments, but in vain. 

"Lasses," said the elder, turning sharply upon them, 
his nose in the air, " ribbons are plentiful — shillings scarce ; 
and kisses, though pleasant in private, are insipid in pub- 
lic. What, still ! Beware ! know that, innocent as we 
seem, we are woman-eaters ; and if you follow us farther, 



10 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

you are devoured ! " So saying, he expanded bis jaws to 
a width so preternaturally large, and exhibited a row of 
grinders so formidable, that the girls fell back in conster- 
nation. The friends turned down a narrow alley between 
the booths, and though still pursued by some adventurous 
and mercenary spirits, were comparatively undisturbed as 
they threaded their way along the back of the booths, and 
arrived at last on the village-green, and in front of the 
Great Stage. 

" Oho, Lionel ?" qnoth the elder friend ; " Thespian and 
classical — worth seeing, no doubt." Then, turning to a 
grave cobbler in leathern apron, who was regarding the 
dramatis personce ranged in front of the curtain with sat- 
urnine interest, he said, " You seem attracted. Sir ; you 
have probably already witnessed the performance." 

" Yes," returned the Cobbler ; " this is the third day, • 
and to-morrow is the last. I arn't missed once yet, and 
I shan't miss; but it arn't what it was awhile back." 

" That is gad ; but then the same thing is said of every 
thing by every body who has reached your respectable 
age, friend. Summers and suns, stupid old watering- 
places, and pretty young women ' arn't what they were a 
while back.' If men and things go on degenerating in this 
way, our grandchildren will have a dull time of it !" 

The Cobbler eyed the young man, and nodded, ap- 
provingly. He had sense enough to comprehend the 
ironical philosophy of the reply — and our Cobbler loved 
talk out of the common way. " You speaks truly and 
cleverly, Sir. But if old folks do always say that things 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? li 

are worse than they were, ben't there always sommat in 
what is always said ? I'm for the old times ; my neigh- 
bor, Joe Spruce, is for the new, and says we are all a- 
progressing. But he's a pink — I'm a blue." 

"You are a blue!" said the boy Lionel — "I don't 
understand." 

" Young 'un, I'm a Tory — that's blue ; and Spruce is 
a Had — that's pink ! And, what is more to the purpose, 
he is a tailor, and I'm a cobbler." 

" Aha !" said the elder, with much interest ; " more to 
the purpose, is it ? How so ?" 

The Cobbler put the forefinger of the right hand on 
the forefinger of the left ; it is the gesture of a man 
about to ratiocinate or demonstrate — as Quintilian, in 
his remark on the oratory of fingers, probably observes ; 
or, if he has failed to do so, it is a blot on his essay. 

"You see, Sir," quoth the Cobbler, "that a man's 
business has a deal to do with his manner of thinking. 
Every trade, I take it, has ideas as belong to it. 
Butchers don't see life as bakers do ; and if you talk to 
a dozen tallow-chandlers, then to a dozen blacksmiths, 
you will see tallow-chandlers are peculiar, and black- 
smiths, too." 

"You are a keen observer," said he of the jean cap, 
admiringly ; "your remark is new to me ; I dare say it is 
true." 

" Course it is ; and the stars have summat to do with 
it : for if they order a man's calling, it stands to reason 
that thev order a man's mind to fit it. Now, a tailor sits 



12 WHAT WILL 11 E DO WITH IT? 

on his board with others, and is always a-talking with 
'era, and a-reading the news ; therefore he thinks, as his 
fellows do, smart and sharp, bang up to the day, but 
nothing 'riginal and all his own like. But a cobbler," 
continued the man of leather, with a majestic air, "sits by 
hisself, and talks with hisself ; and what he thinks gets \n- 
to his head without being put there by another man's 
tongue." 

"You enlighten me more and more," said our friend 
with the nose in the air, bowing respectfully. "A tailor 
is gregarious, a cobbler solitary. The gregarious go with 
the future, the solitary stick by the past. I understand 
why you are a Tory, and perhaps a poet." 

" Well, a bit of one," said the Cobbler, with an iron 
smile. "And many's the cobbler who is a poet — or 
discovers marvellous things in a crystal — whereas a tailor, 
Sir" (spoken with great contempt), "only see the upper- 
leather of the world's sole in a newspaper.'^ 

Here the conversation was interrupted by a sudden 
pressure of the crowd toward the theatre ; the two young 
friends looked up, and saw that the new object of at- 
traction was a little girl, who seemed scarcely ten years 
old, though in truth she was about two years older. She 
had just emerged from behind the curtain, made her 
obeisance to the crowd, and was now walking in front of 
the stage with the prettiest possible air of infantine so- 
lemnity. " Poor little thing ! " said Lionel. " Poor little 
thing ! " said the Cobbler. And had you been there, my 
reader, ten to one but you would have said the same. And 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? ] 3 

yet slie was attired in white satin, with spangled flounce 
and a tinsel jacket ; and she wore a wreath of flowers (to 
be sure, the flowers were not real) on her long fair curls, 
with gaudy bracelets (to be sure, the stones were mock) 
on her slender arms. Still there was something in her 
that all this finery could not vulgarize ; and since it could 
not vulgarize, you pitied her for it. She had one of those 
charming faces that look straight into the hearts of us all, 
young and old. And though she seemed quite self-pos- 
sessed, there was no effrontery in her air, but the ease of 
a little lady, with the simple unconsciousness of a child 
that there was anything in her situation to induce you to 
sigh, " Poor thing I " 

"You should see her act, young gents," said the Cob- 
bler. " She plays uncommon. But if you had seen him 
as taught her — seen him a year ago." 

" Who's that ? " 

"Waife, Sir. Mayhap you have heard speak of 
Waife?" 

"I blush to say, no." 

"Why, he might have made his fortune at Common 
Garden ; but that's a long story. Poor fellow ! he's broke 
down now, anyhow. But she takes care of him, little 
darling — God bless thee !" And the Cobbler here ex- 
changed a smile and nod with the little girl, whose face 
brightened when she saw him amidst the crowd. 

"By the brush and pallet of Raffaelle," cried the elder 
of the young men, " before I am many hours older I must 
have tliat child's head ! " 

I. — 2 



14 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT: 

" Her head, man ! " cried the Cobbler, aghast. 

"In my sketch-book. You are a poet — I a painter. 
You know the little girl ? " 

" Don't I ! She and her grandfather lodge with me — 
her grandfather — that's Waife — marbellous man ! But 
they ill-uses him ; and if it wasn't for her, he'd starve. 
He fed them all once ; he can feed them no longer — he'd 
starve. That's the world ; they use up a genus, and when 
it falls on the road, push on ; that's what Joe Spruce calls 
a-progressing. But there's the drum ! they're a-going to 
act. Won't you look in, gents ? " 

" Of course," cried Lionel, " of course. And, hark ye, 
Vance, we'll toss up which shall be the first to take that 
little girl's head." 

" Murderer in either sense of the word ! " said Yance, 
with a smile that would have become Correggio if a tyro 
had offered to toss up which should be the first to paint a 
cherub. 



CHAPTER II. 

The Historian takes a view of the British Stage as represented by 
the Irregular Drama, the Regular having (ere the date of the 
events to which this narrative is restricted) disappeared from the 
Vestiges of Creation. 

They entered the little theatre, and the Cobbler with 
them ; but the last retired modestly to the threepenny 
row. The young gentlemen w^ere favored with reserved 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 15 

seats, price one shilling. " Yery dear,'' marmiired Vance, 
as he carefully bnttoned the pocket to which he restored 
a purse v.oven from links of steel, after the fashion of 
chain mail. Ah, Mesf^ieura and Confreres, the dramatic 
authors, do not flatter yourselves that we are about to 
give you a complacent triumph over the Grand Melo- 
drame of "The Remorseless Baron and the Bandit's 
Child." We grant it was horrible rubbish, regarded in 
an aesthetic point of view, but it was mightily effective in 
the theatrical. Nobody yawned ; you did not even hear 
a cough, nor the cry of that omnipresent baby who is 
always sure to set up a Vagitus ingens, or unappeasable 
wail, in the midmost interest of a classical five-act piece, 
represented for the first time on the metropolitan boards. 
Here the story rushed on per fas aid nefas, and the au- 
dience went with it. Certes, some man who understood 
the stage must have put the incidents together, and then 
left it to each illiterate histrio to find the words — words, 
my dear confreres, signify so little in an acting play. 
The movement is the thing. Grand secret ! Analyze, 
practice it, and restore to grateful stars that lost Pleiad, 
the British Acting Drama. 

Of course the Bandit was an ill-used and most estimable 
man. He had some mysterious rights to the Estate and 
Castle of the Remorseless Baron. That titled usurper, 
therefore, did all in his power to hunt the Bandit out in 
his fastnesses, and bring him to a bloody end. Here the 
interest centred itself in the Bandit's child, who, we need 
not say, wa« the little girl in the wreath and spangles, 



16 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Styled in the playbill " Miss Juliet Araminta Waife ; " and 
the incidents consisted in her various devices to foil the 
pursuit of the Baron and save her father. Some of these 
incidents were indebted to the Comic Muse, and kept the 
audience in a broad laugh. Her arch playfulness here 
was requisite. With what vivacity she duped the High 
Sheriff, who had the commands of his king to take the 
Bandit alive or dead, into the belief that the very Lawyer 
employed by the Baron was the criminal in disguise, and 
what pearly teeth she showed when the lawyer was seized 
and gagged ; how dexterously she ascertained the weak 
point in the character of the " King's Lieutenant" (jeune 
premier), who was deputed by his royal master to aid 
the Remorseless Baron in trouncing the Bandit ; how 
cunningly she learned that he was in love with the Baron's 
ward {jeune amoreuse), whom that unworthy noble in- 
tended to force into a marriage with himself on account 
of her fortune ; how prettily she passed notes to and fro, 
the Lieutenant never suspecting that she was the Bandit's 
child, and at last got the King's soldier on her side, as 
the event proved. And oh how gayly, and with what 
mimic art, she stole into the Baron's castle, disguised her- 
self as a witch, startled his conscience with revelations 
and predictions, frightened all the vassals, with blue lights 
and chemical illusions, and venturing even into the usur- 
per's own private chamber while that tyrant was tossing 
restless on the couch, over which hung his terrible sword, 
abstrated from his coffer the deeds that proved the better 
rights of the persecuted Bandit. Then, when he woke 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? i] 

before she could escape with her treasure, and pursued 
her with his sword, with what glee she apparently set her- 
self on fire, and skipped out of the casement in an explo- 
sion of crackers. And when the drama approached its 
denouement, when the Baron's raeu, and the royal officers 
of justice, had, despite all her arts, tracked the Bandit to 
the cave, in which, after various retreats, he lay hidden, 
wounded by shots, and bruised by a fall from a precipice 

— with what admirable by-play she hovered around the 
spot, with what pathos she sought to decoy away the 
pursuers — it was the sky-lark playing round the nest. 
And when all was vain — when, no longer to be deceived, 
the enemies sought to seize her, how mockingly she 
eluded them, bounded up the rock, and shook her slight 
finger at them in scorn. Surely she will save that esti- 
mable Bandit still ! Now, hitherto, though the Bandit 
was the nominal hero of the piece, though you were always 
hearing of him — his wrongs, virtues, hair-breadth escapes 

— he had never been seen. Not Mrs. Harris, in the im- 
mortal narrative, was more q'uoted and more mythical. 
But in the last scene there was the Bandit, there in his 
cavern, helpless with bruises and wounds, lying on a rock. 
In rushed the enemies. Baron, High Sheriff, and all, to 
seize him. Not a word spoke the Bandit, but his attitude 
was sublime — even Yance cried -'Bravo;" and just as 
he is seized, halter round his neck, and about to be 
lianged. down from the chasm above leaps his child, hold- 
ing the title-deeds, filched from the Baron, and by her side 
the King's Lieutenant, who proclaims the Bandit's pardon, 

2 * 1' 



18 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ITT 

with due restoration to his honors and estates, and con- 
signs, to the astounded Sheriff, the august person of the 
Remorseless Baron. Then the affecting scene, father and 
child in each other's arms ; and then an exclamation, 
which had been long hovering about the lips of many of 
the audience, broke out, " Waife, Waife I " Yes, the 
Bandit, who appeared but in the last scene, and even then 
uttered not a word, was the once great actor on that 
itinerant Thespian stage, known through many a Fair for 
his exuberant humor, his impromptu jokes, his arch eye, 
his redundant life of drollery, and the strange pathos or 
dignity with which he could suddenly exalt a jester's part, 
and call forth tears in the startled hush of laughter; he 
whom the Cobbler had rightly said, " might have made a 
fortune at Covent Garden." There was the remnant of 
the old popular mime ! — all his attributes of eloquence 
reduced to dumb show ! Masterly touch of nature and 
of art in this representation of him — touch which all, who 
had ever in former years seen and heard hira on that stage, 
felt simultaneously. He came in for his personal portion 
of dramatic tears. " Waife, Waife ! " cried many a 
village voice, as the little girl led him to the front of the 
stage. He hobbled ; there was a bandage round his eyes. 
The plot, in describing the accident that had befallen the 
Bandit, idealized the genuine infirmities of the man — in- 
firmities that had befallen hira since last seen in that 
village. He was blind of one eye ; he had become 
crippled ; some malady of the trachea or larynx had 
seemingly broken up the once joyous key of the old 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 19 

pleasant voice. He did not trust himself to speak, even 
on that stage, but silently bent bis head to the rustic 
audience ; and Yance, who was an habitual play-goer, saw 
in that simple salutation that the man was an artistic 
actor. All was over, the audience streamed out afifected, 
and talking one to the other. It had not been at all like 
the ordinary stage-exhibitions at a village Fair. Yance 
and Lionel stared at each other in surprise, and then, by 
a common impulse, moved toward the stage, pushed aside 
the curtain, which had fallen, and were in that strange 
world which has so many reduplications, fragments of one 
broken mirror, whether in the proudest theatre, or the 
lowliest barn — nay, whether in the palace of kings, the 
cabinet of statesmen, the home of domestic life — the 
world we call "Behind the Scenes." 



CHAPTER III. 

Striking illustrations of lawless tyranny and infant avarice ex- 
emplified in the social conditions of Great Britain. — Supersti- 
tions of the Dark Ages still in force among the Trading Com- 
munity, furnishing valuable hints to certain American journalists, 
and highly suggestive of reflections humiliating to the national 
vanity. 

The Remorseless Baron, who was no other than the 
managerial proprietor of the stage, was leaning against a 
side-scene, with a pot of porter in his hand. The King's 
Lieutenant might be seen on the background, toasting a 



20 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

piece of cheese on the point of his lojal sword. The 
Bandit had crept into a corner, and the little girl was 
clingiDg to him fondly, as his hand was stroking her fair 
hair. Yance looked round, and approached the Bandit 
— "Sir, allow me to congratulate you; your bow was 
admirable. I have never seen John Kemble — before my 
time ; but I shall fancy I have seen him now — seen him 
on the night of his retirement from the stage. As to 
your grandchild, Miss Juliet Araminta, she is a perfect 
chrysolite." 

Before Mr. Waife could reply, the Remorseless Baron 
stepped up in a spirit worthy of his odious and arbitrary 
character. " What do you do here, Sir ? I allow no 
gents behind the scenes earwigging my people." 

"I beg pardon respectfully : I am an artist — a pupil 
of the Royal Academy ; I should like to make a sl^etch 
of Miss Juliet Araminta." 

" Sketch ! nonsense." 

" Sir," said Lionel, with the seasonable extravagance 
of early youth, "my friend would, I am sure, pay for the 
sitting — handsomely ! " 

" Ha !" said tlie manager, softened, "you speak like a 
gentleman, Sir: but, Sir, Miss Juliet Araminta is under 
my protection — in fact, she is my property. Call and 
si)eak to me about it to-morrow, before the first perform- 
ance begins, which is twelve o'clock. Happy to see any 
of your friends in the reserved seats. Busy now, and — 
and — in short — excuse me — servant, Sir — servant. Sir " 

The Baron's manner loft no room for further parley. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 21 

Vance bowed, smiled, and retreated. But, meanvrhile, 
his young friend had seized the opportunity to speak both 
to Waife and his grandchild ; and when Yance took his 
arm and drew him away, there was a puzzled, musing ex- 
pression on Lionel's face, and he remained silent till they 
had got through the press of such stragglers as still 
loitered before the stage, and were in a quiet corner of 
the sward. Stars and moon were then up — a lovely 
summer night. 

*' What on earth are you thinking of, Lionel ? I have 
put' to you three questions, and you have not answered 
one." 

" Yance," answered Lionel, slowly, " the oddest thing ! 
I am so disappointed in that little girl — greedy and mer- 
cenary ! " 

" Precocious villain ! how do you know that she is 
greedy and mercenary ? " 

" Listen : when that surly old manager came up to 
you, I said something — civil, of course — to Waife, who 
answered in a hoarse, broken voice, but in very good 
language. Well, when I told the manager that you 
would pay for the sitting, the child caught hold of my 
arm hastily, pulled me down to her own height, and whis- 
pered, ' How much will he give ?' Confused by a ques- 
tion so point-blank, I answered at random, 'I don't 
know; ten shillings, perhaps.' You should have seen 
her face ! " 

" Seen her face ! radiant, I should think so. Too 
much by half ! " exclaimed Yance. " Ten shillings ! 
spendthrift I " 



22 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Too much I she looked as you might look if one 
offered you ten shillings for your picture of ' Julius Caesar 
considering whether he should cross the Rubicon.' But 
when the manager had declared her to be his property, 
and appointed you to call to-morrow — implying that he 
was to be paid for allo^ving her to sit — her countenance 
became overcast, and she muttered, sullenly, ' I'll not sit ; 
I'll not ! ' Then she turned to her grandfather, and some- 
thing very quick and close was whispered between the 
two ; and she pulled me by the sleeve, and said in my ear 
— oh, but so eagerly ! — * I want three pounds; oh, tliree 
pounds ! if he would give three pounds ! And come to 
our lodgings — Mr. Merle, Willow Lane. Three pounds 
— three ! ' And with those words hissing in my ear, and 
coming from that fairy mouth, which ought to drop pearls 
and diamonds, I left her," added Lionel, as gravely as if 
he w-ere sixty, "and lost an illusion." 

"Three pounds!" cried Yance, raising his eyebrows 
to the highest arch of astonishment, and lifting his nose 
in the air toward the majestic moon ; — " three pounds ! a 
fabulous sum I Who has three pounds to throw away ? 
Dukes, with a hundred thousand a year in acres, have not 
three pounds to draw out of their pockets in that reck- 
less, profligate manner. Three pounds ! what could I 
not buy for three pounds ? I could buy the Dramatic 
Library, bound in calf, for three pounds ; I could buy a 
dress-coat for three pounds (silk lining not included) ; I 
could be lodged for a month for three pounds I And a 
jade in tinsel, just entering on her teens, to ask three 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ITT 



gs 



pounds for what ? for becoming immortal on the canvas 
of Francis Yance ? bother ! " 

Here Yance felt a touch on his shoulder. He turned 
round quickly, as a man out of temper does under similar 
circumstances, and beheld the swart face of the Cobbler. 

"Well, master, did not she act fine? — how d'ye like 
her ? " 

" Not much in her natural character ; but she sets a 
mighty high value on herself" 

"Anan, I don't take you." 

" She'll not catch me taking her ! Three pounds ! — 
three kingdoms," 

'Stay," cried Lionel to the Cobbler; "did not you 
say she lodged with you ? Are you Mr. Merle ? " 

" Merle's my name, and she do lodge with me — Willow 
Lane." 

" Come this way, then, a few yards down the road — 
more quiet. Tell me what the child means, if you can ?" 
and Lionel related the offer of his friend, the reply of 
the manager, and the grasping avarice of Miss Juliet 
Ararainta. 

The Cobbler made no answer; and when the young 
friends, surprised at his silence, turaed to look at him, 
they saw he was wiping his eyes with his sleeve. 

" Poor little thing ! " he said at last, and still more 
pathetically than he had uttered the same words at her 
appearance in front of the stage ; " 'tis all for her grand- 
father, I guess — I guess." 

"Oh," cried Lionel, joyfully, "I am so glad to think 
that. It alters the whole case, you see, Yance." 



24 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ITf 

" It don't alter the case of the three pounds," grumbled 
Vance. " What's her grandfather to me, that I should 
give his grandchild three pounds, when any other child 
in the village would have leaped out of her skin to have 
her face upon my sketch-book and five shillings in her 
pocket. Hang her grandfather ! " 

They were now in the main road. The Cobbler seated 
himself on a lonely milestone, and looked first at one of 
the faces before him, then at the other ; that of Lionel 
seemed to attract him the most, and in speaking it was 
Lionel whom he addressed. 

"Young master," he said, "it is now just four years 
ago when Mr. Rugge, coming here, as he and his troop 
had done at Fair-time ever sin' I can mind of, brought 
with him the man you have seen to-night, William Waife ; 
I calls him Gentleman Waife. However that man fell 
into such straits — how he came to join such a carawan 
would puzzle most heads. It puzzles Joe Spruce un- 
common ; it don't puzzle me." 

"Why?" asked Yance. 

" Cos of Saturn ! " 

" Satan ? " 

" Saturn — dead agin his Second and Tenth House, I'll 
swear. Lord of ascendant, mayhap in combustion of the 
sun — who knows?" 

" You're hot an astrologer ? " said Yance, suspiciously 
edging off. 

"Bit of it — no offence." 

" What does it signify ? " said Lionel, impatiently ; 



WHAT WILL HE D U WITH IT? 25 

" go on. So you called Mr. Waife, ' Gentleman Waife ;' 
and if you had not been an astrologer you would have 
been puzzled to see him in such a calling." 

"Ay, that's it ; for he warn't like any as we ever see 
on these boards hereabouts ; and yet he warn't exactly 
like a Lunnon actor, as I've seen 'em in Lunnon, either, 
but more like a clever fellow who acted for the spree of 
the thing. He had such droll jests, and looked so comi- 
cal, yet not commonlike, but always what I calls a gen- 
tleman — ^jnst as if one o' ye two were doing a bit of sport 
to please your friends. Well, he drew hugely, and so he 
did, every time he came, so that the great families in the 
neighborhood would go to hear him ; and he lodged iu 
my house, and had pleasant ways with him, and was what 
I call a scollard. But still I don't want to deceive ye, 
and I should judge him to have been a wild dog in his 
day. Mercury ill-aspected — not a doubt of it. Last 
year it so happened that one of the great gents who be- 
long to a Lunnon theatre was here at Fair-time. Whe- 
ther he had heard of Waife chanceways, and come ex- 
press to judge for hisself, I can't say ; like eno'. And 
when he had seen Gentleman Waife act, he sent for him 
to the inn — Red Lion — and offered him a power o' money 
to go to Lunnon — Common Garden. Well, Sir, Waife 
did not take to it all at once, but hemmed and hawed, 
and was at last quite coaxed into it ; and so he went. 
But bad luck came on it ; and I knew there would, for I 
gaw it all in my crystal." 

" Oh ! " exclaimed Vance, " a crystal, too ; really it is 
L— 3 



26 WHAT AVILL HE DO WITH IT? 

getting late, and if you had your crystal about you, you 
might see that we want to sup." 

" What happened ? " asked Lionel, more blandly, for 
he saw the Cobbler, who had meant to make a great effect 
by the introduction of the crystal, was offended. 

"What happened ? why, just what I foreseed. There 
was an accident in the railway 'tween this and Lunnon, 
and poor Waife lost an eye, and was a cripple for life — 
so he could not go on the Lunnon stage at all ; and wliat 
was w^orse, he was a long time awixt life and death, and 
got summat bad on his chest wi' catching cold, and lost 
his voice, and became the sad object you have gazed on, 
young, happy things that ye are." 

" But he got some compensation from the railway, I 
suppose ? " said Yauce, wnth the unfeeling equanimity of 
a stoical demon. 

" He did, and spent it. T suppose the gentleman broke 
out in him as soon as he had money, and ill though he 
w^as, the money went. Then it seems he had no help for 
it but to try and get back to Mr. Kugge. But Mr. Rugge 
w^as sore and spiteful at his leaving ; for Rugge counted 
on him, and had even thought of taking the huge theatre 
at York, and bringing out Gentleman Waife as his trump 
card. But it warn't fated, and Rugge thought himself 
ill-used, and so at first he would have nothing more to say 
to Waife. And truth is, what could the poor man do for 
Rugge? But then Waife produces little Sophy." 

" You mean Juliet Araminta ? " said Yance. 

"Same — in private life she be Sophy. And Waife 



27 

taught her to act, and put together the plays for her. 
And Rugge caught at her ; and she supports Waife with 
what she gets ; for Rugge only gives him four shillings a 
week, and that goes on 'baccy and suchlike." 

" Suchlike — drink, I presume ! " said Vance. 

" Xo — he don't drink. But he do smoke ; and he has 
little genteel ways with him, and four shillings goes on 
'em. And they have been about the country this spring, 
and done well, and now they be here. But Rugge behaves 
shocking hard to both on 'em ; and I don't believe he has 
any right to her in law, as he pretends — only, a sort of 
understanding which she and her grandfather could break 
if they pleased ; and that's what they wish to do, and 
that's why little Sophy wants the three pounds." 

" How ! " cried Lionel, eagerly. '■ If they had three 
pounds, could they get away ? and if they did, how could 
they live ? Where could they go ? " 

'• That's their secret. But I heard Waife say — the first 
night they came here — ' that if he could get three pounds, 
he had hit on a plan to be independent like.' I tell you 
what put his back up : it was Rugge insisting on his 
coming on the stage again, for he did not like to be seen 
such a wreck. But he was forced to give in ; and so he 
contrived to cut up that play-story, and appear hisself at 
the last without speaking." 

" My good friend," cried young Lionel, " we are greatly 
obliged to you for your story — and we should much hke 
to see little Sophy and her grandfather at your house to- 
morrow — can we ? " 



28 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Certain sure jou can — after the play's over ; to-night, 
if you like." 

" No, to-morrow ; you see my friend is impatient to get 
back now — we will call to-morrow." 

" 'Tis the last day of their stay," said the Cobbler. 
" But you can't be sure to see them safely at my house 
afore ten o'clock at night — and not a word to Rugge ! 
mum ! " 

" Not a word to Rugge," returned Lionel ; " good-night 
to you." 

The young men left the Cobbler still seated on the 
milestone, gazing on the stars and ruminating. They 
walked briskly down the road. 

"It is I who have had the talk now," said Lionel, in 
his softest tone. He was bent on coaxing three pounds 
out of his richer friend, and that might require some 
management. For among the wild youngsters in Mr. 
"Vance's profession, there ran many a joke at the skill 
with which he parried irregular assaults on his purse ; 
and that gentleman, with his nose more than usually in 
the air, having once observed to such scoffers " that they 
were quite welcome to any joke at his expense" — a wag 
had exclaimed, "At your expense ! Don't fear ; if a joke 
were worth a farthing, you would never give that per- 
mission." 

So when Lionel made that innocent remark, the soft- 
ness of his tone warned the ardst of some snake in the 
grass — and he prudently remained silent. Lionel, in a 
voice still sweeter, repeated, " It is I who have all the 
talk now I " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 29 

" Naturally," then returned Vance, " naturally you have, 
for it is you, I suspect, who alone have the intention to 
pay for it, and three pounds appear to be the price. 
Dearish, eh ? " 

"Ah, Vance, if I had three pounds ! " 

" Tush ! and say no more till we have supped. I have 
the hunger of a wolf" 

Just in sight of the next milestone the young travellers 
turned a few yards down a green lane, and reached a 
small inn on the banks of the Thames. Here they had 
sojourned for the last few days, sketching, boating, roam- 
ing about the country from sunrise, and returning to sup- 
per and bed at nightfall. It was the pleasantest little inn 
— an arbor, covered with honey-suckle, between the porch 
and the river — a couple of pleasure-boats moored to the 
bank ; and now all the waves rippling under moonlight. 

" Supper and lights in the arbor," cried Vance to the 
waiting-maid, "hey, presto — quick ! while we turn in to 
wash our hands. And harkye, a quart jug of that capital 
whisky-toddy." 



CHAPTER IV. 

Being a Chapter that links the Past to the Futuve by the gradual 
elucidation of Antecedents 

WAYSIDE inns, pedestrian rambles ! summer nights, 
under honey-suckle arbors, on the banks of starry waves I 
O Youth, Youth ! 
8^ 



30 W H A T W I L L H E D W I T n I T y 

Vance ladled out the toddy and lighted his cigar, and 
then, leaning his head on his hand, and his elbow on the 
table, he looked with an artist's eye along the glancing 
river. 

" After, all," said he, " I am glad I am a painter ; and 
I hope I may live to be a great one." 

" Xo doubt, if you live, you will be a great one" cried 
Lionel, with cordial sincerity. " And if I, who can only 
just paint well enough tp please myself, find that it gives 
a new charm to nature — " 

" Cut sentiment," quoth Vance, "and go on." 

"What," continued Lionel, unchilled by the admonitory 
interruption, " must you feel who can fix a fading sun- 
shine — a fleeting face — on a scrap of canvass, and say, 
' Sunshine and Beauty, live there forever ! ' " 

Vance "Forever! no! Colors perish, canvas rots. 
What remains to us of Zeuxis ? Still it is prettily said 
on behalf of the poetic side of the profession ; there is a 
prosaic one — we'll blink it. Yes; I am glad to be a 
painter. But you must not catch the fever of my calling. 
Your poor mother woald never forgive me if she thought 
I had made you a dauber by my example," 

Lionel (gloomily). " No. I shall not be a painter I 
But what can I be? How shall I ever build on the 
earth one of the castles I have built in the air ? Fame 
looks so far — Fortune so impossible ! But one thing I 
am bent upon" (speaking with knit brow and clenched 
teeth), " I will gain an indei)endence somehow, and sup- 
port my mother." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 31 

Yance. "Your mother is supported — she has ,the 
pension — " 

Lionel. " Of a captain's widow and" (he added, with 
a flushed cheek) " a first floor that she lets to lodgers ! " 

Vance. " Xo shame in that ! Peers let houses ; and on 
the Continent, princes let not only first floors, but fifth 
and sixth floors, to say nothing of attics and cellars. In 
beginning the world, friend Lionel, if you don't wish to 
get chafed at every turn, fold up your pride carefully, put 
it under lock and key. and only let it out to air upon 
grand occasions. Pride is a garment all stiff brocade 
outside, all grating sackcloth on the side next to the skin. 
Even kings don't wear the dalmaticum except at a coro- 
nation. Independence you desire ; good. But are you 
dependent now ? Your mother has given you an excel- 
lent education, and you have already put it to profit. My 
dear boy," added Vance, with unusual warmth, " I honor 
you, at your age, on leaving school, to have shut your- 
self up, translated Greek and Latin per sheet for a book- 
seller at less than a valet's wages, and all for the purpose 
of buying comforts for your mother ; and having a few 
pounds in your own pockets, to rove your little holiday 
with me, and pay your share of the costs ! Ah, there 
are energy and spirit and life in all that, Lionel, which 
will found upon rock some castle as fine as any you have 
built in air. Your hand, ray boy." 

This burst was so unlike the practical dryness, or even 
tlie more unctuous humor, of Frank Vance, tliat it took 
Lionel by surprise, and his voice faltered as he pressed 



82 WHAT "WILL HE P O -WITH IT? 

the hand held out to him. He answered, " I don't de- 
serve your praise, Vance, and I fear the pride you tell 
me to put under lock and key, has the larger share of the 
merit you ascribe to better motives. Independent ? No ! 
I have never been so." 

Vance. "Well, you depend on a parent — who, at 
seventeen, does not ? " 

Lionel. "T did not mean my mother; of course, I 
could not be too proud to take benefits from her. But 
the truth is simply this : my father had a relation, not 
very near, indeed — a cousin, at about as distant a remove, 
I fancy, as a cousin well can be. To this gentleman my 
mother wrote when my poor father died — and he was 
generous, for it is he who paid for my schooling. I did 
not know this till very lately. I had a vague impression, 
indeed, that I had a powerful and wealthy kinsman who 
took interest in me, but whom I had never seen." 

Vance. "Never seen?" 

Lionel. " No. And here comes the sting. On leaving 
school last Christmas, my mother, for the first time, told 
me the extent of my obligations to this benefactor, and 
informed mc that he wished to know my own choice as to 
a profession — that if I preferred Church or Bar, he would 
maintain me at college." 

Vance. " Body o' me ! where's the sting in that ? 
Help yoursoH" to toddy, my boy, and take more genial 
views of life." 

Lionel. " You have not heard me out. I then asked 
to see my benefactor's letters ; and my mothnr, uneon- 



W U A T WILL HE DO WITH IT? 33 

seious of the paiu she was about to inflict, showed me 
not only the last one, but all she had received from him. 
Oh, Yance, they were terrible, those letters ! The first 
began by a dry acquiescence in the claims of kindred — a 
curt proposal to pay my schooling, but not one word of 
kindness, and a stern proviso that the writer was never to 
see nor hear from me. He wanted no gratitude — he 
disbelieved iu all professions of it. His favors would 
cease if I molested him. * Molested ' was the word ; it 
was bread thrown to a dog." 

Yaxce. " Tut ! Only a rich man's eccentricity. A 
bachelor, I presume ? " 

Lionel. " My mother says he has been married, and 
is a widower." 

Yance. " Any children ? " 

Lionel. " My mother says none living ; but I know 
little or nothing about his family." 

Vance looked with keen scrutiny into the face of his boy- 
friend, and, after a pause, said, dryly — " Plain as a pike- 
staff. Your relation is one of those men who, having no 
children, suspect and dread the attention of an heir-pre- 
sumptive ; and what has made this sting, as you call it, 
keener to you, is — pardon me — is in some silly words 
of your mother, who, in showing you the letters, has hinted 
to you that that heir you might be, if you were sufficiently 
pliant and subservient. Am I not right?' 

Lionel hung his head, without reply. 

Yanck (cheeriiigly). " So, so ; no great harm as yet 
F.non2:h of the first letter. What was tlie last ? " 



34 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Lionel. " Still more offensive. He, this kinsman, this 
patron, desired my mother to spare him those references 
to her son's ability and promise, which, though natural 
to herself, had slight interest to him — him, the conde- 
scending benefactor ! — As to his opinion, what could I 
care for the opinion of one I had never seen ? All that 
could sensibly affect my — oh, but I cannot go on with 
those cutting phrases, which imply but this, ' All I can 
care for is the money of a man who insults me while he 
gives it. ' " 

Yance (emphatically.) "Without being a wizard, I 
should say your relative was rather a disagreeable person 
— not what is called urbane and amiable — in fact, a 
brute." 

Lionel. " You will not blame me, then, when I tell 
you that I resolved not to accept the offer to maintain 
me at college, with which the letter closed. Luckily Dr. 
Wallis (the head-master of my school,) who had always 
been very kind to me, had just undertaken to supervise a 
popular translation of the classics. He recommended 
me, at my request, to the publisher engaged in the under- 
taking, as not incapable of translating some of the less 
difficult Latin authors — subject to his corrections. When 
I had finished the first instalment of the work thus in- 
trusted to me, my mother grew alarmed for my health, 
and insisted on my taking some recreation. You were 
about to set out on a pedestrian tour. I had, as you say, 
some pounds in my pocket ; and thus I have passed with 
you the merriest days of my life " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 35 

Vance. " What said your civil cousin when your re- 
fusal to go to college was conveyed to him ? " 

Lionel. " He did not answer my mother's communica- 
tion to that effect till just before I left home, and then — 
no, it was not his last letter from which I repeated that 
withering extract — no, the last was more galling still, 
for in it he said, that if, in spite of the ability and promise 
that had been so vaunted, the dulness of a college and 
the labor of learned professions were so distasteful to me, 
he had no desire to dictate to my choice, but that as he 
did not wish one who was, however remotely, of his blood, 
and bore the name of Haughton, to turn shoeblack or 
pickpocket — Yance — Vance ! " 

Vance. "Lock up your pride — the sackcloth frets 
you — and go on ; and that therefore he — " 

Lionel. " Would buy me a commission in the army, 
or get me an appointment in India." 

Vance. " Which did you take ? " 

Lionel (passionately.) " Which ! so offered — which ? 

— of course neither! But, distrusting the tone of my 
mother's reply, I sat down, the evening before I left home, 
and wrote myself to this cruel man. I did not show my 
letter to ray mother — did not tell her of it. I wrote, 
shortly — that, if he would not accept my gratitude, I 
would not accept his benefits ; that shoeblack I might be 

— pickpocket, no ! that he need not fear I should disgrace 
his blood or my name ; and that I would not rest till, 
sooner or later, I had paid him back all that I had cost 
him, and felt relieved from the burdens of an obligation 



o6 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

which — which — " The boy paused covered his face 
with his hands, and sobbed. 

Vance, though much moved, pretended to scold liis 
friend, but finding that ineffectual, fairly rose, wound his 
arm brother-like round him, and drew him from the arbor 
to the shelving margin of the river. " Comfort," then 
said the Artist, almost solemnly, as here, from the inner 
depths of his character, the true genius of the man came 
forth and spoke — " Comfort, and look round ; see where 
the islet interrupts the tide, and how smilingly the stream 
flows on. See, just where we stand, how the slight peb- 
bles are fretting the wave — would the wave, if not fretted, 
make that pleasant music ? A few miles farther on, and 
the river is spanned by a bridge, which busy feet now are 
crossing ; by the side of that bridge now is rising a 
palace ; — all the men who rule England have room in 
that palace. At the rear of the palace soars up the old 
Abbey, where kings have their tombs in right of the 
names they inherit : men lowly as we have found tombs 
there, in right of the names which they made. Think, 
now, that you stand on that bridge with a boy's lofty hope, 
with a man's steadfast courage ; then turn again to that 
stream, calm with starlight, flowing on toward the bridge 
— spite of islet and pebbles." 

Lionel made no audible answer, though his lips mur- 
mured, but he pressed closer and closer to his friend's 
side ; and the tears were already dried on his cheek — 
though their dew still glistened in his eyes. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 37 



CHAPTER Y. 

Speculation? on the moral qualities of the Bandit. — Mr. Vance, 
"with mingled emotions, foresees that the acquisition of the 
Bandit's acquaintance may be attended with pecuniary loss. 

Yance loosened the boat from its moorings, stepped 
in, and took up the oars. Lionel followed, and sat by 
the stern. The Artist rowed on slowiv, whistling melodi- 
ously in time to the dash of the oars. They soon came 
to the bank of garden-ground surrounded with turf, on 
which fairies might have danced — one of those villas 
never seen out of England. From the windows of the 
villa the lights gleamed steadily ; over the banks, dipping 
into the water, hung large willows breathlessly ; the boat 
gently brushed aside their pendant boughs, and Yance 
rested in a grassy cove. 

And "Faith," said the Artist, gayly — "Faith," said 
he, lighting his third cigar, "it is time we should bestow 
a few w^ords more on. the Remorseless Baron and the 
Bandit's Child ! What a cock-and-a-bull story the Cob- 
bler told us ! He must have thought us precious green." 

Lionel (roused). " Nay, I see nothing so wonderful 
in the story, though much that is sad. You must allow 
that Waife may have been a good actor — you became 
quite excited merely at his attitude and bow. Natural, 
therefore, that he should have been invited to try his 

L — 4 



S8 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

chance on the London stage — not improbable that he 
may have met with an accident by the train, and so lost 
his chance forever — natural, then, that he should press 
into service his poor little grandchild — natural, also, that, 
hardly treated, and his pride hurt, he should wish to 
escape." 

Yance. "And more natural than all, that he should 
want to extract from our pockets three pounds — the 
Bandit ! No, Lionel, I tell you what is not probable, 
that he should have disposed of that clever child to a 
vagabond like Rugge — she plays admirably. The 
manager who was to have engaged him would have en- 
gaged her if he had seen her. I am puzzled." 

Lionel. " True, she is an extraordinary child. I can- 
not say how she has interested me." He took out his 
purse and began counting its contents. " I have nearly 
three pounds left," he cried, joyously. " £2 18s. if I give 
up the thought of a longer excursion with you, and go 
quietly home." 

Yance. "And not pay your share of the bill yonder ? " 

Lionel. "Ah, I forgot that ! But come, I am not too 
proud to borrow from you, and it is not for a selfish 
purpose." 

Yance. "Borrow from me, Cato ! That comes of 
falling in with bandits and their children. No, but let 
us look at the thing like men of sense. One story is 
good till another is told. I will call by myself on Rugge 
to-morrow, and hear what he says ; and then, if we judge 
favorably to the Cobbler's version, we will go at night 



•WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 39 

and talk with the Cobbler's lodgers ; and I dare say," 
added Yance, kindly, but with a sigh — "I dare say the 
three pounds will be coaxed out of me 1 After all, her 
head is worth it. I want an idea for Titania " 

Lionel (joyously). " My dear Yance, you are the best 
fellow in the world." 

Yance. " Small compliment to human-kind. Take the 
oars — it is your turn now." 

Lionel obeyed; the boat once more danced along the 
tide — thoro' reeds, thoro' waves, skirting the grassy islet 
— out into pale moonlight. They talked but by fits and 
starts. What of? — a thousand things. Bright young 
hearts, eloquent young tongues ! No sins in the past ; 
hopes gleaming through the future. Oh summer nights, 
on the glass of starry waves ! Oh Youth, Youth ! 



CHAPTER YI. 

Wherein the Historian tracks the Public Characters that fret their 
hour on the stage, into the bosom of private life. — The reader 
is invited to arrive at a conclusion which may often, in periodi? 
of perplexity, restore ease to his mind ; viz. : that if man will 
reflect on all the hopes he has nourished, all the fears he has 
admitted, all the projects he has formed, the wisest thing he can 
do, nine times out of ten, with hope, fear, and project, is to let 
them end with the chapter — in smoke. 

It was past nine o'clock in the evening of the following 
t^ay. The exhibition at Mr. Rugge's theatre had closed 
for the season in that village, for it was the conclusion 



40 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

of the Fair. The final performance had been begun and 
ended somewhat earlier than on former nights. The 
theatre was to be cleared from the ground by day-break, 
and the whole company to proceed onward betimes in the 
morning. Another Fair awaited them in an adjoining 
county, and they had a long journey before them. 

Gentleman Waife and his Juliet Araminta had gone 
to their lodgings over the Cobbler's stall. The rooms 
were homely enough, but had an air not only of the com- 
fortable, but the picturesque. The little sitting-room was 
very old-fashioned — paneled in wood that had once been 
painted blue — with a quaint chimney-piece that reached 
to the ceiling. That part of the house spoke of the time 
of Charles I. It might have been tenanted by a religious 
Roundhead ; and framed-in over the low door there was 
a grim faded portrait of a pinch ed-faced saturnine man, 
with long lank hair, starched band, and a length of upper- 
lip that betokened relentless obstinacy of character, and 
might have curled in sullen glee at the monarch's scaffold, 
or preached an interminable sermon to the stout Pro- 
tector. On a table, under the deep-sunk window, were 
neatly arrayed a few sober-looking old books ; yon would 
find among them Colley^s Astrology, Owen Feltham^s 
Besolves, Glanville on Witches, The Pilgrwi's Progress, 
an early edition of Paradise Lost, and an old Bible ; also 
two flower-pots of clay brightly reddened, and contain- 
ing stocks ; also two small worsted rugs, on one of which 
rested a carved cocoa-nut, on the other an egg-shaped 
ball of crystal — that last the pride and joy of the Cob- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 41 

bier's visionary soul. A door left wide open communi- 
cated with an inner room (very low was its ceiling), in 
which the Bandit slept, if the severity of his persecutors 
permitted him to sleep. In the corner of the sitting- 
room, near that door, was a small horse-hair sofa, which, 
by the aid of sheets and a needlework coverlid, did duty 
for a bed, and was consigned to the Bandit's child. Here 
the tenderness of the Cobbler's heart was visible, for over 
the coverlid were strewed sprigs of lavender, and leaves 
of vervain — the last, be it said, to induce happy dreams, 
and scare away witchcraft and evil spirits. On another 
table, near the fire-place, the child was busied in setting 
out the tea-things for her grandfather. Siie had left in 
the property-room of the theatre her robe of spangles 
and tinsel, and appeared now in a simple frock. She had 
no longer the look of Titania, but that of a lively, active, 
affectionate human child ; nothing theatrical about her 
now, yet still, in her graceful movements, so nimble but 
80 noiseless, in her slight fair hands, in her transparent 
coloring, there was Nature's own lady — that something 
which strikes us all as well-born and high-bred ; not that 
it necessarily is so — the semblances of aristocracy, in 
female childhood more especially, are often delusive. The 
souvenance flower wTought into the collars of princes 
springs up Avild on field and fell. 

Gentleman Waife, wrapped negligently in a gray dress- 
ing-gown, and seated in an old leathern easy-chair, was 
evidently out of sorts. He did not seem to heed the 
little preparations for his comfort, but, resting his cheek 
4* 



42 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

on his right hand, his left drooped on his crossed knees — 
an attitude rarely seen in a man when his heart is light 
and his spirits high. His lips moved — he was talking 
to himself. Though he had laid aside his theatrical 
bandage over both eyes, he wore a black patch over one, 
or rather where one had been ; the eye exposed was of 
singular beauty, dark and brilliant. For the rest, the 
man had a striking countenance, rugged, and rather ugly 
than otherwise, but by no means unprepossessing ; full of 
lines, and wrinkles, and strong muscle, with large lips of 
wondrous pliancy, and an aspect of wistful sagacity, that, 
no doubt, on occasion could become exquisitely comic — 
dry comedy — the comedy that makes others roar when 
the comedian himself is as grave as a judge. 

You might see in his countenance, when quite in its 
natural repose, that Sorrow had passed by there ; yet the 
instant the countenance broke into play, you would think 
that Sorrow must have been sent about her business as 
soon as the respect due to that visitor, so accustomed to 
have her own way, would permit. Though the man was 
old, you could not call him aged. One-eyed and crippled, 
still, marking the muscular arm, the expansive chest, you 
would have scarcely called him broken or infirm. And 
hence there was a certain indescribable pathos in his 
whole appearance, as if Fate had branded, on face and 
form, characters in which might be read her agencies on 
career and mind — plucked an eye from intelhgence, short- 
ened one limb for life's progress, yet left whim sparkling 
out in the eye she had spared, and a light heart's wild 
spring in the limb she had maimed not. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 43 

" Come, Grandy, come," said the little girl, roaxinirly ; 
"your tea will get quite cold ; your toast is ready, and 
here is such a nice egg — Mr. Merle says you may be sure 
it is nev7 laid. Come, don't let that hateful man fret you ; 
smile on your own Sophy — come." 

"If" — said Mr. Waife, in a hollow undertone — "if I 
were alone in the world." 

"Oh! Grandy." 

" 'I know a spot on "which a bed-post grows, 
And do remember where a roper lives.' 

Delightful prospect, not to be indulged : for if I were in 
peace at one end of the rope, what would chance to my 
Sophy, left forlorn at the other ? " 

" Don't talk so, or I shall think rou are sorry to have 
taken care of me." 

" Care of thee, child ! and what care ? It is thou 
who takest care of me. Put thy hands from my mouth ; 
sit down, darling, there, opposite, and let us talk. Now, 
Sophy, thou hast often said that thou wouldst be glad to 
be out of this mode of life even for one humbler and 
harder: think well — is it so?" 

"Oh! yes, indeed, grandfather." 

" No more tinsel dresses and flowery wreaths ; no more 
applause ; no more of the dear divine stage excitement ; 
the heroine and fairy vanished ; only a little common- 
place child in dingy gingham, with a purblind cripple for 
thy sole charge and playmate ; Juliet Araminta evapo- 
rated evermore into little Sophy ! " 

" It would be so nice ! " answered little Sophy, laugh- 
ins: merrilv. 



44 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" What would make it nice ? " asked the comedian, 
turning on her his solitary piercing eye, with curious in- 
terest in his gaze. 

Sophy left her seat, and placed herself on a stool at 
her grandfather's knee ; on that knee she clasped her 
tiny hands, and shaking aside her curls, looked into his 
face with confident fondness. Evidently these two were 
much more than grandfather and grandchild — they were 
friends, they were equals, they were in the habit of con- 
sulting and prattling with each other. She got at his 
meaning, however covert his humor ; and he to the core 
of her heart, through its careless babble. Between you 
and me. Reader, I suspect that, in spite of the come- 
dian's sagacious wrinkles, the one was as much a child as 
the other. 

"Well," said Sophy, "I will tell you, Grandy, what 
would make it nice — no one would vex and affront you, 
we should be all by ourselves ; and then, instead of those 
nasty lamps, and those dreadful painted creatures, we 
could go out and play in the fields, and gather daisies ; 
and I could run after butterflies, and when I am tired I 
should come here, where I am now, any time of the day, 
and you would tell me stories and pretty verses, and teach 
me to write a little better than I do now, and make such 
a wise little woman of me ; and if I wore gingham, but 
it need not be dingy, Grandy, it would be all mine, and 
you would be all mine too, and we'd keep a bird, and 
you'd teach it to sing ; and oh, would it not be nice I " 

" But, still, Sophy, we should have to live, and we could 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 45 

not live upon daisies and butterflies. And I can't work 
now — for the matter of that, I never could work — more 
shame for me, but so it is. Merle says the fault is in the 
stars — with all my heart. But the stars will not go to 
the jail or the workhouse instead of me. And though 
they want nothing to eat, we do." 

" But Grandy, you have said every day since the first 
walk you took after coming here, that if you had three 
pounds, we could get away and live by ourselves, and 
make a fortune ! " 

"A fortune — that's a strong word ; let it stand. A 
fortune ! But still, Sophy, though we should be free of 
this thrice execrable Rugge, the scheme I have in my 
head lies remote from daisies and butterflies. We should 
have to dwell in towns, and exhibit ! " 

" On a stage, Grandy ? " said Sophy, resigned, but 
sorrowful. 

"No, not exactly — a room would do." 

"And I should not wear those horrid, horrid dresses, 
nor mix with those horrid, horrid painted people ?" 

"No." 

"And we should be quite alone, you and I ? " 

"Hum! there would be a third." 

" Oh, Grandy, Grandy ! " cried Sophy, in a scream of 
shrill alarm. "I know — I know; you are thinking of 
joining us with the Pig-faced Lady ! " 

Mr. Waiff: (not a muscle relaxed). "A well-spoken 
and pleasing gentlewoman. But no such luck ; three 
pounds would not buy her." 



46 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Sophy. " I am glad of that ; I don't care so much for 
the Mermaid — she's dead and stuifed. But, oh '' (another 
scream), " perhaps 'tis the Spotted Boy ! " 

Mr. Waife. " Calm your sanguine imagination ; you 
aspire too high ! But this I will tell you, that our com- 
panion, whatsoever or whosoever that companion may be, 
will be one you will like." 

" I don't believe it," said Sophy, shaking her head. 
" I only like you. But who is it ? " 

"Alas ! " said Mr. Waife, "it is no use pampering our- 
selves with vain hopes ; the three pounds are not forth- 
coming. You heard what that brute Rugge said, that 
the gentleman- who wanted to take your portrait had 
called on him this morning, and offered lOs. for a sitting 
— that is, 5s. for you, 5s. for Rugge ; and Rugge thought 
the terms reasonable." 

"But I said I would not sit." 

"And when you did say it, you heard Rugge's language 
to me — to you. And now we must think of packing up, 
and be off at dawn with the rest. And," added the come- 
dian, coloring high, " I must again parade, to boors and 
clowns, this mangled form ; again set myself out as a 
spectacle of bodily infirmity — man's last degradation. 
And this I have come to — I!" 

" No, no, Grandy, it will not last long ! we will get the 
three pounds. We have always hoped on ! — hope still ! 
And besides, I am sure those gentlemen will come here 
to-night. Mr. Merle said they would, at ten o'clock. IX 
is near ten now, and your tea cold as a stone." 



WHATAVILLHEDOWITHIT? 47 

She hung on his neck caressingly, kissing his furrowed 
brow, and leaving a tear there, and thus coaxed him till 
he set to quietly at his meal ; and Sophy shared it, though 
she had no appetite in sorrowing for him — but to keep 
him company ; that done, she lighted his pipe with the 
best canaster — his sole luxury and expense ; but she al- 
ways contrived that he should afford it 

Mr. Waife drew a long whiff, and took a more serene 
view of affairs. He who doth not smoke hath either 
known no great griefs, or refuseth himself the softest con- 
solation, next to that which comes from heaven. "What 
softer than woman ? whispers the young reader. Young 
reader, woman teases as well as consoles. Woman makes 
half the sorrows which she boasts the privilege to. soothe. 
Woman consoles us, it is true, while we are young and 
handsome ; when we are old and ugly, woman snubs and 
scolds us. On the whole, then, woman in this scale, the 
weed in that, Jupiter, hang out thy balance, and weigh 
them both ; and if thou give the preference to woman, all 
I can say is, the next time Juno ruffles thee — Jupiter, 
trv the weed I 



48 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER YII. 

The Historian, in pursuance of his stern duties, reveals to the scorn 
of futui-e ages some of the occult practices which discredit the 
March of Light in the Nineteenth Century. 

May I come in ? " asked the Cobbler outside the door. 

"Certainly, come in," said Gentleman Waife. Sophy 
looked wistfully at the aperture, and sighed to see that 
Merle was alone. She crept up to him. 

"Will they not come?" she whispered. 

"I hope so, pretty one; it ben't ten yet." 

" Take a pipe, INIerle," said Gentleman Waife, with a 
grand Comedian air. 

" No, thank you kindly ; T just looked in to ask if I 
could do any thing for ye, in case — in case ye must go 
to-morrow." 

" Nothing ; our luggage is small, and soon packed. 
Sophy has the money to discharge the meaner part of our 
debt to you." 

"I don't value that," said the Cobbler, coloring. 

" But we value your esteem," said Mr. Waife, with a 
smile that would have become a field-marshal. "And so, 
Merle, you think, if I am a broken-down vagrant, it must 
be put to the long account of the celestial bodies ! " 

'• Not a doubt of it," returned the Cobbler, solemnly. 
^' I wish you would give me date and place of Sophy's 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 49 

Urth — that's what I want — I'd take her horryscope, I'm 
-*ure she'd be luckj." 

" I'd rather not, please," said Sophy, timidlj. 

"Rather not? — very odd. Why?" 

"I don't want to know the future." 
That is odder and odder," quoth the Cobbler, staring ; 
"I never heard a girl say that afore." 

" Wait till she's older, Mr. Merle," said Waife ; " girls 
don't want to know the future till they want to be mar- 
ried." 

" Sumraat in that," said the Cobbler. He took up the 
crystal. " Have you looked into this ball, pretty one, as 
I bade ye ? " 

"Yes, two or three times." 

"Ha! and what did you see?" 

" My own face made very long," said Sophy — " as long 
as that^^ — stretching out her hands. 

" The Cobbler shook his head dolefully, and, screwing 
up one eye, applied the other to the mystic ball. 

Mr. Waife. " Perhaps you will see if those two gen- 
tlemen are coming." 

Sophy. " Do, do ! and if they will give us three 
pounds ! " 

The Cobbler (triumphantly). " Then you do care to 
know the future, after aU ? " 

Sophy. " Yes, so far as that goes ; but don't look any 
farther, pray." 

The Cobbler (intent upon the ba,ll, and speaking 
L — 5 D t 



60 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

slowly, and in jerks). "A mist now. Ha ! an arm with a 
besom — sweeps all before it." 

Sophy (frightened). "Send it away, please." 

Cobbler. "It is gone. Ha! there's Rugge — looks 
very angry — savage, indeed." 

Waife. "Good sign that I proceed." 

Cobbler " Shakes his fist ; gone. Ha ! a young man, 
boyish, dark hair." 

Sophy (clapping her hands). " That is the young gen- 
tleman — the very young one, I mean — with the- kind 
eyes ; is he coming ? — is he, is he ? " 

Waife. " Examine his pockets ! do you see there three 
pounds ? " 

Cobbler (testily). " Don't be a interrupting. Ha ! he 
is talking with another gentleman, bearded." 

Sophy (whispering to her grandfather). " The old 
young gentleman." 

Cobbler (putting down the crystal, and with great de- 
cision). " They are coming here ; I see'd them at the 
corner of the lane, by the public-house, two minutes' walk 
to this door." He took out a great silver watch : " Look, 
Sophy, when the minute-hand gets there (or before, if 
they walk briskly), you will hear them knock." 

Sophy clasped her hands in mute suspense, half-credu- 
lous, half-doubting ; then she went and opened the room- 
door, and stood on the landing-place to listen. 

Merle approached the Comedian, and said, in a low 
voice, "I wish for your sake she had the gift." 

Waife. " The gift ! — the three pounds ! — so do I ! " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 51 

Cobbler. " Pooh ! worth a hundred times three pounds ; 
the gift — the spirituous gift." 

Waife. "Spirituous! don't like the epithet — smells 
of gin ! " 

Cobbler. " Spirituous gift to see in the crystal : if she 
had that, she might make your fortune." 

Gentleman Waife (with a sudden change of counte- 
nance). "Ah ! I never thought of that. But if she has 
not the gift, I could teach it her — eh?" 

The Cobbler (indignantly). " I did not think to hear 
this from you, Mr. Waife. Teach her — you ! make her 
an impostor, and of the wickedest kind, inventing lies 
between earth and them as dwell in the seven spheres ! 
Fie ! No, if she hasn't the gift natural, let her alone ; 
what here is not heaven-sent, is devil-taught." 

Waife (awed, but dubious). "Then you really think 
you saw all that you described, in that glass e^g ? " 

Cobbler. "Think! — am I a liar? I spoke truth, 
and the proof is there I " — Rat-tat went the knocker at 
the door. 

" The two minutes are just up," said the Cobbler ; and 
Cornelius Agrippa could not have said it with more 
wizardly effect. 

" They are come, indeed," said Sophy, re-entering the 
room softly ; " I hear their voices at the threshold." 

The Cobbler passed by in silence, descended the stairs, 
and conducted Yance and Lionel into the Comedian's 
chamber ; there he left them, his brow overcast. Gentle- 
man Waife had displeased him sorely. 



62 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Showing the arts by ■which a man, however high in the air Nature 
may have formed his nose, may be led by that nose, and in 
direction perversely opposite to those which, in following his 
nose, he might be supposed to take; and therefore, that nations 
the most liberally endowed with practical good sense, and in con- 
ceit thereof, carrying their noses the most horizontally aloof, 
when they come into conference with nations more skilled in di- 
plomacy, and more practiced in "stage-play," end by the sur- 
render of the precise object which it was intended they should 
surrender before they laid their noses together. 

We all know that Demosthenes said, Every thing in 
oratory was acting — stage-play. Is it in oratory alone 
that the saying holds good ? Apply it to all circum- 
stances of life — stage-play, stage-play, stage-play!" — 
only ars est celare artem, conceal the art. Gleesome in 
soul to behold his visitors, calculating already on the 
three pounds to be extracted from them, seeing in that 
hope the crisis in his own checkered existence, Mr. 
Waife rose from his seat in superb upocrisia or stage- 
play, and asked, with mild dignity — "To whom am I in- 
debted, gentlemen, for the honor of your visit ?" 

In spite of his nose, even Vance was taken aback. 
Pope says that Lord Bolingbroke had "the nobleman 
air." A great comedian Lord Bolingbroke surely was. 
But, ah, had Pope seen Gentleman Waife I Taking ad- 
vantage of the impression he had created, the actor ad- 



'what will he do with it? 51^ 

ded, with the finest imaginable breeding — "But pray be 
seated ; " and, once seeing them seated, resumed his easy- 
chair, and felt himself master of the situation. 

"Hum!" said Yance, recovering his self posession, 
after a pause — "hum!" 

" Hem ! " re-echoed Gentleman Waife ; and the two 
men eyed each other much in the same way as Admiral 
Napier might have eyed the fort of Cronstadt, and the 
fort of Cronstadt have eyed Admiral Napier. 

Lionel struck in with that youthful boldness which 
plays the deuce with all dignified, strategical science. 

" You must be aware why we come. Sir ; Mr. Merle will 
have explained. My friend, a distinguished artist, wished 
to make a sketch, if you do not object, of this young 
lady's very — " "Pretty little face," quoth Yance, taking 
up the discourse. " Mr. Rugge, this morning was willing 
— I understand that your grandchild refused. We are 
come here to see if she will be more complaisant under 
your own roof, or under Mr. Merle's, which, I take it, is 
the same thing for the present" — Sophy had sidled up 
to Lionel. He might not have been flattered if he knew 
why she preferred him to Yance. She looked on him as 
a boy — a fellow-child — and an instinct, moreover, told 
her, that more easily through him than his shrewd-look- 
ing, bearded guest could she attain the object of her cu- 
pidity — "three pounds!" 

" Three pounds ! " whispered Sophy, with the tones of 
an angel, into Lionel's thrilling ear. 

Mr. Waife. " Sir, I will be frank with you." At that 
5* 



54 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

ominous commencement Mr. Yance recoiled, and mechani- 
cally buttoned his trowsers pocket. Mr. Waife noted the 
gesture with his one eye, and proceeded cautiously, feel- 
ing his way, as it were, toward the interior of the recess 
thus protected. " My grandchild declined your flattering 
proposal with my full approbation. She did not consider 
— neither did I — that the managerial rights of Mr. 
Rugge entitled him to the moiety of her face — off the 
stage." The Comedian paused, and with a voice, the 
mimic drollery of which no hoarseness could altogether 
mar, chanted the old line, 

'• ' My face is my fortune, Sir,' she said." 

Yance smiled — Lionel laughed ; Sophy nestled still 
nearer to the boy. 

Gentleman Waife (with pathos and dignity). " You 
see before you an old man ; one way of life is the same to 
me as another. But she — do you think Mr. Rugge's 
stage the right place for her ? " 

Yance. " Certainly not. Why did you not introduce 
her to the London manager who would have engaged 
yourself? " 

Waife could not conceal a slight change of counte- 
nance. •' How do I know she would have succeeded ? 
She had never then trod the boards. Besides, what 
strikes you as so good in a village show may be poor 
enough in a metropolitan theatre. Gentlemen, I did my 
best for her — you cannot think otherwise, since she 
maintains me ! I am no (Edipus, yet she is my Antigone." 

Yance. " You know the classics, Sir. Mr. Merle s^aid 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 55 

you were a scholar! — read Sophocles in his native 
Greek, I presume, Sir ? " 

Mr. Waife. " You jeer at the unfortunate ; I am used 
to it." 

Yance (confused). "I did not mean to wound you — 
I beg pardon. But your language and manner are not 
what — what one might expect to find in a — in a — Ban- 
dit persecuted by a remorseless Baron." 

Mr. Waife. " Sir, you say you are an artist. Have 
you heard no tales of your professional brethren — men 
of genius the highest, who won fame which I never did, 
and failed of fortune as I have done ? Their own fault, 
perhaps — improvidence, wild habits — ignorance of the 
way how to treat life and deal with their fellow-men ; such 
fault may have been mine, too. I suffer for it ; no matter 
— I ask none to save me. You are a painter — you 
would place her features on your canvas — you would 
have her rank among your own creations. She may be- 
come a part of your immortality. Princes may gaze on 
the eflBgies of the innocent, happy childhood, to which 
your colors lent imperishable glow. They may ask who 
and what was this fair creature ? Will you answer, ' One 
whom I found in tinsel, and so left, sure that she would 
die in rags ! ' — Save her ! " 

Lionel drew forth his purse, and poured its contents ou 
the table. Yance covered them with his broad hand, and 
swept them into his own pocket ! At that sinister action 
Waife felt his heart sink into his shoes ; but his face was 
calm as a Roman's, only he resumed his pipe with a pro- 
lono-pd and te>tv whiff. 



56 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" It is I who am to take the portrait, and it is I who 
will pay for it," said Yance. " I understand that you have 
a pressing occasion for — " " Three pounds ! " muttered 
Sophy, sturdily, through the tears which her grandfather's 
pathos had drawn forth from her downcast eyes — " Three 
pounds — three — three. " 

"You shall have them. But listen ; I meant only to 
take a sketch — I must now have a finished portrait. I 
cannot take this by candle-light. You must let me come 
here to-morrow ; and yet to-morrow, I understand, you 
meant to leave ? " 

Waife. " If you will generously bestow on us the sum 
you say, we shall not leave the village till you have com- 
pleted your picture. It is Mr. Rugge and his company 
we will leave." 

Yance. "And may I venture to ask what you propose 
to do toward a new livelihood for yourself and your grand- 
child, by the help of a sum which is certainly much for 
me to pay — enormous, I might say, quoad me — but small 
for a capital whereon to set up a business ? " 

Waife. "Excuse me if I do not answer that very 
natural question at present. Let me assure you that that 
precise sum is wanted for an investment which promises 
her and myself an easy existence. But to insure my scheme 
I must keep it secret. Do you believe me ? " 

" I do I " cried Lionel ; and Sophy, whom, by this time 
he had drawn upon his lap, put her arm gratefully round 
his neck. 

"There is your money. Sir, beforehand," suid Yance, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 51 

declining downward his betrayed and resentful nose, and 
depositing three sovereigns on the table. 

"And how do you know," said Waife, smiling, "that 
I may not be off to-night with your money and your 
model ? " 

" Well," said Vance, curtly, '' I think it is on the cards. 
Still, as John Kemble said when rebuked for too large 
an alms : 

'It is not often that I do these things, 
But when I do, I do them handsomely.' " 

"Well applied, and well delivered, Sir," said the 
Comedian, " only you should put a little more emphasis 
on the word <fo." 

"Did I not put enough ? I am sure I felt it strongly ; 
no one can feel the do more ! " 

Waife's pliant face relaxed into genial brightness — 
the equivoque charmed him. However, not affecting to 
comprehend it, he thrust back the money, and said, " No, 
Sir — not a shilling till the picture is completed. Xay, 
to relieve your mind, I will own that, had I no scruple 
more delicate, I would rather receive nothing tiil Mr. 
Rugge is gone. True, he has no right to any share in 
it. But you see before you a man who, when it comes to 
arguing, could never take a wrangler's degree — never 
get over the Ass's Bridge, Sir. Plucked at it scores of 
times clean as a feather. But do not go yet. You came 
to give us money ; give us what, were I rich, T should 
value more highly — a little of your time. You, Sir, are 
an artist ; and you, young gentleman ? '' addressing Lionel. 



58 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Lionel (coloring). "I — am nothing as yet," 

Waife. " You are fond of the drama, I presume, both 
of you. Apropos of John Kemble, you, Sir, said that you 
have never heard him. Allow me, so far as this cracked 
voice can do it, to give you a faint idea of him." 

"I shall be delighted," said Vance, drawing nearer to 
the table, and feeling more at his ease. " But since I see 
you smoke, may I take the liberty to light my cigar ? " 

" Make yourself at home," said Gentleman Waife, with 
the good-humor of a fatherly host. And all the while, 
Lionel and Sophy were babbling together, she still upon 
his lap. 

Waife began his imitation of John Kemble. Despite 
the cracked voice it was admirable. One imitation drew 
on another; then succeeded anecdotes of the Stage, of 
the Senate, of the Bar. Waife had heard great orators, 
whom every one still admires for the speeches which no- 
body, nowadays, ever reads ; he gave a lively idea of 
each. And then came sayings of dry humor, and odd 
scraps of worldly observation ; and time flew on plea- 
santly till the clock struck twelve, and the young guests 
tore themselves away. 

" Merle, Merle ! " cried the Comedian, when they were 
gone. 

Merle appeared. 

"We don't go to-morrow. When Rugge sends for us 
(as he will do at daybreak), say so. You shall lodge us 
a few days longer, and then — and then — my little Soph}^ 
kiss me, kiss me ! You are saved at least from those 
horrid painted creaturev^ ! '" 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? r)9 

"Ah, all," growled Merle from below, "he has got the 
money ! Glad to hear it. " But," he added, as he glauced 
at sundry weird and astrological symbols with which he 
had been diverting himself, "that's not it. The true 
horary question is, What will he do with it ? " 



CHAPTER IX. 

The Historian shows that, notwithstanding the progressive spirit 
of the times, a Briton is not permitted, without an effort, " to 
progress" according to his own inclinations. 

Sophy could not sleep. At first she was too happy. 
Without being conscious of any degradation in her lot 
among the itinerant artists of Mr. Rugge's exhibition 
(how could she, when her beloved and revered protector 
had been one of those artists for years ?), yet, instinctively, 
she shrunk from their contact. Doubtless, while absorbed 
in some stirring part, she forgot companions, audience, 
all, and enjoyed what she performed — necessarily enjoyed, 
for her acting was really excellent, and where no enjoy- 
ment there no excellence ; but when the histrionic enthu- 
siasm was not positively at work, she crept to her grand- 
father with something between loathing and terror of the 
" painted creatures " and her own borrowed tinsel. 

But more tljan all, she felt acutely every indignity or 
affront offered to Gentleman Waife. Heaven knows these 
were not few; and to escape from such a life — to be with 



60 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

her grandfather alone, have him all to herself to tend and 
to pet, to listen to, and to prattle with, seemed to her the 
consummation of human felicity. Ah, but should she be 
all alone? Just as she was lulling herself into a doze, 
that question seised and roused her. And then it was not 
happiness that kept her waking — it was what is less rare 
in the female breast — curiosity. Who was to be the mys- 
terious third, to whose acquisition the three pounds were 
evidently to be devoted ? What new face had she pur- 
chased by the loan of her own ? Xot the Pig-faced Lady, 
nor the SjJOtted Boy. Could it be the Norfolk Giant, or 
the Calf with Two Heads ? Horrible idea ! Monstrous 
phantasmagoria began to stalk before her eyes ; and, to 
charm them away, with great fervor she fell to saying her 
prayers — an act of devotion which she had forgotten, in 
her excitement, to perform before resting her head on her 
pillow — Ijut, could we peep into the soft spirit-world 
around us, we might find the omission not noted down in 
very dark characters by the recording angel. 

That act over, her thoughts took a more comely aspect 
than had been worn by the preceding phantasies, reflected 
Lionel's kind looks, and repeated his gentle words. 
" Heaven bless him ! " she said, with emphasis, as a supple- 
ment to the habitual prayers ; and then tears gathered to 
her grateful eyelids, for she was one of those beings whose 
tears come slow from sorrow, quick from affection. And 
so the gray dawn found her still wakeful, and she rose, 
bathed her cheeks in the cold fresh water, and drew them 
forth with a glow like Hebe's. Dressing herself with the 



61 

quiet activity which characterised all her movements, she 
then opened the casement and inhaled the air. All was 
still in the narrow lane, the shops yet unclosed. But on 
the still trees behind the shops, the birds were beginning 
to stir and chirp. Chanticleer, from some neighboring 
yard, rung out his brisk reveillee. Pleasant English sum- 
mer dawn in the ppjasant English country vil'.age. She 
stretched her graceful neck far from the casement, trying 
to catch a glimpse of the blue river. She had seen its 
majestic flow on the day they had arrived at the fair, and 
longed to gain its banks; then her servitude to the stage 
forbade her. Xow she was to be free ! Oh, joy ! Now 
she might have her careless hours of holiday ; and, for- 
getful of Waife's warning that their vocation must be plied 
in towns, slie let her fancy run riot amidst visions of green 
fields and laughing waters, and in fond delusion gathered 
the daisies and chased the butterflies. Changeling trans- 
ferred into that lowest world of Art from the cradle of 
simple Nature, her human child's heart yearned for the 
human childlike dehghts. All children love the country, 
the flowers, the sward, the birds, the butterflies, or, if some 
do not, despair, oh. Philanthropy, of their after-lives I 

She closed the window, smiling to herself, stole through 
the adjoining door-way, and saw that her grandfather was 
still asleep. Then she busied herself in putting the little 
sitting-room to rights, reset the table for the morning meal, 
watered the stocks, and, finally, took up the crystal and 
looked into it with awe, wondering why the Cobbler could 
see so much, and she only the distorted reflection of her 

L — 6 



02 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

own face. So interested, however, for once, did she be 
come in the inspection of this mystic globe that she did 
not notice the dawn pass into broad daylight, nor hear a 
voice at the door below — nor, in short, take into cognition 
the external world, till a heavy tread shook the floor, and 
then, starting, she beheld the Remorseless Baron, with a 
face black enough to have darkened the crystal of Dr. Dee 
himself. 

" Ho, ho ! " said Mr. Rugge, in hissing accents, which 
liad often thrilled the tlireepenny gallery with anticipative 
horror. " Rebellious, eh ? — won't come ? Where's your 
grandfather, baggage ? " 

Sophy let fall the crystal — a mercy it was not broken 
— and gazed vacantly on the Baron. 
"Your vile scamp of a grandfather?" 
Sophy (with spirit). " He is not vile. You ought to 
be ashamed of yourself speaking so, Mr. Rugge ! " 

Here, simultaneously, Mr. Waife hastily, endued in his 
gray dressing-gown, presented himself at the aperture of 
the bedroom door, and the Cobbler on the threshold of 
the sitting-room. The Comedian stood mute, trusting, 
perhaps, to the imposing effect of his attitude. The Cob- 
bler, yielding to the impulse of untheatric man, put his 
head doggedly on one side, and, with both hands on his 
hips, said, 

" Civil words to my lodgers, master, or out you go ! " 

The Remorseless Baron glared vindictively first at one, 

and then at the other ; at length he strode up to Waife, 

and said, with a withering grin, " I have something to say 

to you ; shall I say it before your landlord ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 63 

The comedian waved his hand to the Cobbler 

" Leave us, my friend ; I shall not require you. Step 
this way, Mr. Rugge." Rugge entered the bedroom, and 
Waife closed the door behind them. 

" Anau," quoth the Cobbler, scratching his head. " I 
don't quite take your grandfather's giving in. British 
ground here I But your ascendant can not surely be in 
such malignant conjunction with that obstreperous tyrant 
as to bind you to him hand and foot. Let's see what the 
Crystal thinks of it. Take it up gently, and come down 
stairs with me." 

" Please, no ; I'll stay near grandfather," said Sophy, 
resolutely. " He shan't be left helpless with that rude 
man." 

The Cobbler could not help smiling. " Lord love you," 
said he ; " you have a spirit of your own, and, if you were 
my wife, I should be afraid of you. But I won't stand 
here eaves-dropping ; mayhap your grandfather has se- 
crets I'm not to hear ; call me if I'm wanted." He de- 
scended. Sophy, with less noble disdain of eaves-drop- 
ping, stood in the center of the room, holding her breath 
to listen. She heard no sound — she had half a mind to 
put her ear to the key-hole, but that seemed, even to her, 
a mean thing, if not absolutely required by the necessity 
of the case. So there she still stood, her head bent down, 
her finger raised : oh that Tance could have so painted 
her! 



64 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER X. 

Showing the causes why Men and Nations, when one Man or 
Nation wishes to get for its own arbitrary purposes what the 
other Man or Nation does not desire to part with, are apt to 
ignore the mild precepts of Christianity, shock the sentiments, 
and upset the theories of Peace Societies, 

"Am I to understand," said Mr. Rugge, in a whisper, 
when Waife had drawn him to the farthest end of the 
inner room, with the bed-curtains between their position 
and the door deadening the sound of their voices — " am 
I to understand that, after my taking you and that child 
to ray theater out of charity, and at your own request, 
you are going to quit me without warning — French leave 
— is that British conduct?" 

" Mr. Rugge," replied Waife, deprecatingly, " I have 
no engagement with you beyond an experimental trial. 
We were free on both sides for three months — you to 
dismiss us any day, we to leave you. The experiment 
does not please us; we thank you, and depart." 

Rl'GGE. ** That is not the truth. I said / was free to 
dismiss you both if the child did not suit. You, poor 
helpless creature, could be of no use. But I never heard 
you say you were to be free, too. Stand to reason not ! 
Put my engagements at a Waife's mercy ! — I, Lorenzo 
Rugge ! — stuff ! But I'm a just man, and a liberal man. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 6c 

and if you think you ought to have a higher salary — if 
this ungrateful proceeding is only, as I take it, a strike 
for wages — I will meet you. Julia Araminta does play 
better than I could have supposed ; and I'll conclude an 
engagement on good terms, as we were to have done if 
the experiment answered, for three years." 

Waife shook his head. " You are very good, Mr. 
Rugge, but it is not a strike. My little girl does not 
like the life at any price ; and since she supports me, I 
am bound to please her. Besides," said the actor, with 
a stiflfer manner, ''you have broken faith with me. It 
was fully understood that I was to appear no more on 
your stage ; all my task was to advise with you in the 
performances, remodel the plays, help in the stage-man- 
agement ; and you took advantage of my penury, and, 
when I asked for a small advance, insisted on forcing 
these relics of what I was upon the public pity. Enough 
— we part. I bear no malice." 

Rugge. " Oh, don't you ? No more do I. But I am 
a Briton, and I have the spirit of one. You had better 
not make an enemy of me." 

Waife. " I am above the necessity of making enemies. 
I have an enemy ready made in myself." 

Rugge placed a strong bony hand upon the cripple's 
arm. " I dare say you have ! A bad conscience, Sir. 
How would you like your past life looked into and blab- 
bed out?" 

Gentleman Waife (mournfully). " The last foui 
yoars of it have been spent in your service, Mr. Rugge. 



C6 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

If their record had been blabbed out for ray benefit, there 
would not have been a dry eye in the house." 

RuGGE. " I disdain your sneer. When a scorpion 
nursed at my bosom sneers at me, I leave it to its own 
reflections. But I don't speak of the years in which that 
scorpion has been enjoying a salary and smoking canaster 
at my expense. I refer to an earlier dodge in its check- 
ered existence. Ha, Sir, you wince ! I suspect I can 
find out something about you which would — " 

Waife (fiercely). "Would what?'' 

RuGGE. " Oh, lower your tone, Sir — no bullying me. 
I suspect 1 I have good reason for suspicion ; and if you 
sneak off in this way, and cheat me out of my property 
in Julia Araminta, I will leave no stone unturned to prove 
what I suspect. Look to it, slight man ! Come, I don't 
wish to quarrel ; make it up, and" (drawing out his 
pocket-book) " if you want cash down, and will have an 
engagement in black and white for three years for Julia 
Araminta, you may squeeze a good sum out of me, and 
go yourself where you please ; you'll never be troubled 
by me What I want is the girl." 

All the actor laid aside, Waife growled out, " And 
hang me, Sir, if you shall have the girl ! " 

At this moment Sophy opened the door wide, and en- 
tered boldly. She had heard her grandfather's voice 
raised, though its hoarse tones did not allow her to dis- 
tinguish his words. She was alarmed for him. She came 
in, his guardian fairy, to protect him from the oppressor 
of six feet high. Rugge's arm was raised, not indeed to 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? o7 

strike, but rather to declaim. Sophy slid between him 
and her grandfather, and clinging round the latter, flung 
out her own arm, the forefinger raised menacingly toward 
the Remorseless Baron. How you would have clapped 
if you had seen her so at Covent Garden. But I'll swear 
the child did not know she was acting. Rugge did, and 
was struck with admiration and regretful rage at the idea 
of losing her. 

"Bravo!" said he, involuntarily. "Come — come, 
Waife, look at her — she was born for the stage. My 
heart swells with pride. She is my property, morally 
speaking ; make her so legally — and hark, in your ear — 
fifty pounds. Take me in the humor. Golgonda opens 
— fifty pounds ! " 

" No," said the vagrant. 

"Well," said Rugge, sullenly, "let her speak for her- 
self." 

'' Speak, child. You don't wish to return to Mr. 
Rugge — and without me, too — do you, Sophy?" 

"Without you, Grandy ! I'd rather die first." 

" You hear her ; all is settled between us. You have 
had our services up to last night ; you have paid us up 
to last night ; and so good-morning to you, Mr. Rugge." 

" My dear child," said the manager, softening his voice 
as much as he could, "do consider. You shall be so 
made of, without that stupid old man. You think me 
cross, but 'tis he who irritates and puts me out of temper. 
I'm uncommon fond of children. I had a babe of my 
own once — upon my honor I had — and if it had not been 



68 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

for convulsions, caused by teething, I should be a father 
still. Supply to me the place of that beloved babe. You 
shall have such fine dresses ; all new — choose 'em your- 
self — minced veal and raspberry tarts for dinner every 
Sunday. In three years, under my care, you will become 
a great actress, and make your fortune, and marry a lord 
— lords go out of their wits for great actresses — whereas, 
with him, what will you do ? Drudge, and rot, and 
starve ; and he can't live long, and then where will you 
be ? 'Tis a shame to hold her so, you idle old vagabond." 

*' I don't hold her," said Waife, trying to push her away. 
" There's something in what the man says. Choose for 
yourself, Sophy." 

Sophy (suppressing a sob). " How can you have the 
heart to talk so, Grandy ? I tell you, Mr. Rugge, you 
are a bad man, and I hate you, and all about you — and 
I'll stay with grandfather — and I don't care if I do starve 
—he shan't!" 

Mr. Rugge (clapping both hands on the crown of his 
hat, and striding to the door). " William Waife, beware! 
'Tis done ! I'm your enemy ! As for you, too dear but 
abandoned infant, stay with him. You'll find out very 
soon who and what he is — your pride will have a fall, 
when — " 

Waife sprang forward, despite his lameness — both his 
fists clenched, his one eye ablaze ; his broad, burly torso 
confronted and daunted the stormy manager. Taller and 
younger though Rugge was, he cowered before the cri])- 
ple he had so long taunted and humbled. The words 



WHAT -WILL HE DO WITH IT? 69 

stood arrested on his tongue. " Leave the room in- 
stantly ! " thundered the actor, in a voice no longer 
broken. "Blacken my name before that child by one 
word, and I will dash the next down your throat ! " 

Rugge rushed to the door, and keeping it ajar between 
Waife and himself, he then thrust in his head, hissing 
forth, " Fly, caitiff, fly ! My revenge shall track your 
secret, and place you in my power. Juliet Araminta shall 
yet be mine ! " With these awful words the Remorseles? 
Baron cleared the stairs in two bounds, and was out of 
the house. 

Waife smiled, contemptuously. But as the street-door 
clanged on the form of the angry manager, the color 
faded from the old man's face. Exhausted by the excite- 
ment he had gone through, he sank on a chair, and with 
one quick gasp as for breath, fainted away. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Progress of the Fine Arts. — Biographical Anecdotes. — Fluctua- 
tions in the Value of Money — Speculative Tendencies of the 
Times. 

Whatever the shock which the brutality of the Re- 
morseless Baron inflicted on the nervous system of the 
persecuted but triumphant Bandit, it had certainly sub- 
sided by the time Yance and Lionel entered Waife-a 
apartment, for they found grandfather and grandchild 



TO WHAT WILL HE DO WTTHIT? 

seated near the open window, at the corner of the table 
(on which they had made room for their operations by 
the removal of the carved cocoanut, the crystal egg, and 
the two flower-pots), eagerly engaged, with many a 
silvery laugh from the lips of Sophy, in the game of 
dominoes. 

Mr. Waife had been devoting himself, for the last hour 
L,nd more, to the instruction of Sophy in the mysteries 
of that intellectual amusement, and such pains did he 
take, and so impressive were his exhortations, that his 
happy pupil could not help thinking to herself that this 
was the new art upon which Waife depended for their 
future livelihood. She sprang up, however, at the en- 
trance of the visitors, her face beaming with grateful 
smiles ; and, running to Lionel, and taking him by the 
hand, while she courtesied with more respect to Yance, 
she exclaimed, "We are free ! thanks to you — thanks to 
you both ! He is gone I Mr. Rugge is gone ! " 

" So I saw on passing the green ; stage and all," said 
Vance, while Lionel kissed the child and pressed her to 
his side. It is astonishing how paternal he felt — how 
much she had crept into his heart. 

" Pray, Sir," asked Sophy, timidly, glancing to Yance, 
"has the Norfolk Giant gone too ? " 

Yance. " I fancy so — all the shows were either gone 
or going." 

Sophy. "The Calf with Two Heads?" 

Yance. "Do you regret it?" 

Sophy. " Oh. dear, no " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? Yl 

Waife, who, after a profound bow, and a cheery " Good- 
day, gentlemen," had hitherto renriained silent, putting 
away the dominoes, now said — " I supposf!, Sir, you would 
like at once to begin your sketch ? " 

Yance. " Yes ; I have brought all my tools — see, even 
the canvas. I wish it were larger, but it is all I have 
with me of that material — 'tis already stretched — just let 
me arrange the light." 

Watfe. " If you don't want me, gentlemen, I will take 
the air for half an hour or so. In fact, I may now feel 
free to look afrer my investment." 

Sophy (whispering Lionel). " You are sure the Calf 
has gone as well as the Xorfolk Giant ? " 

Lionel wonderingly replied that he thought so ; and 
Waife disappeared into his room, whence he soon emerged, 
having doffed his dressing-gown for a black coat, by no 
means threadbare, and well brushed. Hat, stick, and 
gloves in hand, he really seemed respectable — more than 
respectable — Gentleman Waife every inch of him ; and 
saying, " Look your best, Sophy, and sit still, if you can,'' 
nodded pleasantly to the three, and hobbled down the 
stairs. Sophy — whom Yance had just settled into a chair, 
with her head bent partially down (three quarters), as the 
artist had released 

"The loose train of her amber-flowing hair," 
and was contemplating aspect and position with a painter's 
meditative eye — started up, to his great discomposure, 
and rushed to the window. She returned to her seat 
with her mind much relieved. Waife was walking in an 



T2 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

opposite direction to that which led toward the whilorae 
quarters of the Norfolk Giant and the Two-headed Calf. 

" Come, come," said Vance, impatiently, " you have 
broken an idea in half. I beg you will not stir till I have 
placed you — and then, if all else of you be still, you may 
exercise your tongue. I give you leave to talk." 

Sophy (penitentially). " I am so sorry — I beg pardon. 
Will that do, Sir?" 

Vance. " Head a little more to the right — so. Titania 
watching Bottom asleep. Will you lie on the floor, Lio- 
nel, and do Bottom?" 

Lionel (indignantly). "Bottom! Have I an ass's 
head ? " 

Vance. " Immaterial ! I can easily imagine that you 
have one. I want merely an outline of figure — something 
sprawling' and ungainly " 

Lionel (sulkily). "Much obliged to you — imagine 
that too." 

Vance. " Don't be so disobliging. It is necessary 
that she should look fondly at something — expression in 
the eye." 

Lionel at once reclined himself incumbent in a position 
as little sprawling and ungainly as he could well contrive. 

Vance. " Fancy, Miss Sophy, that this young gentle- 
man is very dear to you. Have you got a brother ? " 

Sophy. "Ah no, Sir." 

Vance. " Hum. But you have, or have had, a doll ?" 

Sophy. "Oh, yes; grandfather gave me one." 

Vance. "And you were fond of that doll ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? T3 

Sophy. "Yerj." 

Vance. " Fancy that young gentleman is your doll 
grown big — that it is asleep, and you are watching that 
no one hurts it — Mr. Rugge, for instance. Throw your 
whole soul into that thought — love for doll, apprehension 
of Rugge. Lionel, keep still and shut your eyes — do." 

Lionel (grumbling). " I did not come here to be made 
a doll of." 

Yance. " Coax him to be quiet. Miss Sophy, and sleep 
peaceably, or I shall do him a mischief. I can be a Rugge 
too, if I am put out." 

Sophy (in the softest tones). "Do try and sleep. Sir — 
shall I get you a pillow ? " 

Lionel. " No, thank you — I'm very comfortable now " 
(settling his head upon his arm, and after one upward 
glance toward Sophy, the lids closed reluctantly over his 
softened eyes). A ray of sunshine came aslant through 
the half-shut window, and played along the boy's cluster- 
ing hair and smooth pale cheek. Sophy's gaze rested on 
him most benignly. 

" Just so," said Yance ; " and now be silent till I have 
got the attitude and fixed the look." 

The artist sketched away rapidly with a bold practised 
hand, and all was silent for about half an hour, when ho 
said, " You may get up, Lionel ; I have done with you 
for the present." 

Sophy. "And me, too — may I see?" 

Yance. " No ; but you may talk now. So you had a 
doll? What has become of it?" 

L — 7 



74 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Sophy. "I left it behind, Sir. Grandfather thought 
it would distract rae from attending to his lessons, and 
learning my part." 

Yance. "You love your grandfather more than the 
doll ? " 

Sophy. " Oh ! a thousand million million times more." 
Yance. " He brought you up, I suppose. Have you 
no father — no mother ? " 

Sophy. "I have only grandfather." 
Lionel. *' Have you always lived with him ? " 
Sophy. " Pear me, no; T was with Mrs. Crane till 
grandfather came from abroad, and took me away, and 
put me with some very kind people ; and then, when 
grandfather had that bad accident, I came to stay with 
him, and we have been together ever since." 

Lionel. " Was Mrs. Crane no relation of yours ? " 
Sophy. "No, I suppose not, for she was not kind — I 
was so miserable; but don't talk of it-^I forget that 
now. I only wish to remember from the time grandfather 
took me in his lap, and told me to be a good child, and 
love him; and I have been happy ever since." 

"You are a dear good child," said Lionel, emphati- 
cally, "and I wish I had you for my sister." 

Yance. "When your grandfather has received from 
me that exorbitant — not that I grudge it — sum, I should 
like to ask. What will he do with it ? As he said it was 
a secret, I must not pump you." 

Sophy. " What will he do with it ? . I should like to 
know too, Sir ; but whatever it is, I don't care, so long 
as I and grandfather are together." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 75 

Here Waife re-entered. " Well, how goes on the picture?" 

Yance. " Tolerably for the first sitting ; I require two 
more." 

Waife. "Certainly; only — only" (he drew aside 
Yance, and whispered), " only, the day after to-morrow, 
I fear I shall want the money. It is an occasion that 
never will occur again — I would seize it." 

Yance. "Take the money, now," 

Waife. " Well, thank you, Sir ; you are sure now that 
we shall not run away — and I accept your kindness; it 
will make all safe." 

Yance, with surprising alacrity, slipped the sovereigns 
into the o'd man's hand ; for, truth to say, though thrifty, 
the Artist was really generous. His organ of caution 
was large, but that of acquisitiveness moderate. More- 
over, in those moments when his soul expanded with his 
art, he was insensibly less alive to the value of money. 
And strange it is that, though states strive to fix for that 
commodity the most abiding standards, yet the value of 
money, to the individual who regards it, shifts and fluc- 
tuates, goes up and down half a dozen times a day. For 
my part, I honestly declare that there are hours in the 
twenty-four — such, for instance, as that just before break- 
fast, or that succeeding a page of this History in which I 
have been put out of temper with my performance and 
myself, when any one in want of five shillings at my dis- 
posal would find my value of that sum put it quite out 
of his reach ; while at other times — just after dinner, for 
instance, or when I have effected what seems to me a 
, happy stroke, or a guod bit of color, in this historical 



16 W H A T ^V I I- L HE DO WITH IT? 

composition — the value of those five shillings is so much 
depreciated that I might be — I think so, at least — I 
might be almost tempted to give them away for nothing. 
Under some such mysterious influences in the money mar- 
ket, Yance, therefore, felt not the loss of his three sove- 
reigns ; and, returning to his easel, drove away Lionel 
and Sophy, who had taken that opportunity to gaze on 
the canvas. 

"Don't do her justice at all," quoth Lionel; "all the 
features exaggerated." 

"And you pretend to paint ! '' returned Yance, in great 
scorn, and throwing a cloth over his canvas. " To-mor- 
row, Mr. Waife, the same hour. Now, Lionel, get your 
hat, and come away." 

Yance carried off the canvas, and Lionel followed 
slowly. Sophy gazed at their departing forms from the 
open window ; Waife stumped about the room, rubbing 
his hands — "He'll do, he'll do; I always thought so." 
Sophy turned — " Who'll do ? — the young gentleman ? 
Do what?" 

Waife. " The young gentleman — as if I was thinking 
of him. t)ur new companion — I have been with him this 
last hour. Wonderful natural gifts." 

Sophy (ruefully). "It is alive, then?" 

Waife. "Alive ! yes, I should think so." 

Sophy (half-crying). " I'm very sorry ; I know I shall 
hate it." 

Tut, darling — get me my pipe — Pm happy." 

Sophy (cutting short her fit of ill-humor). " Are you ? 
— then I am, and I will not hate it." 



WHAT WILL i£ h DO W I T if I T { 77 



CHAPTER XII 

In which it i» shown that a man doen this or declines to do that 
for reasons best known to hini«ftlf — a reHbrve which i« extremely 
conducive to the social infcrestH of a community; since the con- 
jecture into the origin and nature of those rfea«ons stimulates the 
inquiring faculties, and furnishes the staple of xno*lem conversa- 
tion. And as it is not to be denied that, if therr neighbors left 
them nothing to guess at, three-fr>nrtbs of civilize^l humankind, 
male or female, would have nothing to talk about; so we can not 
too gratefully encourage that needful curiosity, termed, by the 
inconsiderate, tittle-tattle or scandal, which saves the vast ma- 
jority of our species from being reduced to the degraded condi- 
tion of dumb animal=^. 

The next day the sitting was renewed ; but Waife did 
i.ot go out, and the conver-sation was a little more re- 
strained ; or rather, Waife had the larger share in it. 
The comedian, when he pleased, could certainly be very 
entertaining. It was not so much in what he said, as his 
manner of saying it. He was a strange combination 
of sudden extremes, at one while on a tone of easy but 
not undignified familiarity with his visitors, as if their 
equal in position, their superior in years; then abruptly, 
humble, deprecating, almost obsequious, almost servile ; 
and then, again, jerked, as it were, into pride and stiflfuess, 
falling back, as if the effort were impossible, into meek de- 
jfclion. Siill, the prevalent character of the man's mood 
ttvd talk wfiH ».(iCA'.i]. quaint, chf-crful. Kvidcntly he was, 



78 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

by original temperament, a droll and joyous humorist, with 
hi.o:h animal spirits ; and, withal, an infantine simplicity 
at times, like the clever man who never learns the world, 
and is always taken in. 

A circumstance, trifling in itself, but suggestive of 
speculation either as to the character or antecedent cir- 
cumstances of Gentleman Waife, did not escape Yance's 
observation. Since his rupture with Mr. Rugge, there 
was a considerable amelioration in that affection of the 
trachea which, while his engagement with Rugge lasted, 
had rendered the comedian's dramatic talents unavailable 
on the stage. He now expressed himself without the 
pathetic hoarseness or cavernous wheeze which had pre- 
viously thrown a wet blanket over his efforts at discourse. 
But Vance put no very stern construction on the dis- 
simulation which this change seemed to denote. Since 
Waife was still one-eyed and a cripple, he might very 
excusably shrink from reappearance on the stage, and 
affect a third infirmity to save his pride from the exhibi- 
tion of the two infirmities that were genuine. 

That which most puzzled Yance was that which had 
most puzzled the Cobbler — What could the man once 
have been ? — how fallen so low ! — for fall it was ! that 
was clear. The painter, though not himself of patrician 
extraction, had been much in the best society. He had 
been a petted favorite in great houses. He had traveled. 
He had seen the world. He had the habits and the 
instincts of good society. 

Now, in what the French term the beau month, there 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 79 

are little traits that reveal those who have entered it — 
certain tricks of phrase, certain modes of exoressiou — 
even the pronunciation of familiar words, even the modu- 
lation of an accent. A man of the most refined bearing 
may not have these peculiarities ; a man, otherwise coarse 
and brusque in his manner, may. The slang of the beau 
moiide is quite apart from the code of hio^h-breeding. 
Xow and then, something in Waife's talk seemed to show 
that he had lighted on that beau-world ; now and then, 
that something wholly vanished. So that Yance might 
hare said, " He has been admitted there, not inhabited it." 
Yet Yance could not feel sure, after all ; comedians 
are such takes-in. But was the man, by the profession 
of his earlier life, a comedian ? Yance asked the question 
adroitly. 

" You must have taken to the stage young ? " said he. 
" The stage ! '' said Waife. " If you mean the public 
stage — no. I have acted pretty often in youth, even in 
childhood, to amuse others ; never professionally to sup- 
port myself, till Mr. Rugge civilly engaged me four years 
ago," 

" Is it possible — with your excellent education ! But 
pardon me ; I have hinted my surprise at your late voca- 
tion before, and it displeased you." 

" Displeased me ! " said Waife, with an abject, depressed 
manner ; " I hope I said nothing that would have mis 
become a poor broken vagabond like me. I am no prince 
in disguise — a good-for-nothing varlet, who should be too 
gratefulto have something to keep himself from a dung-hill. " 



80 



WUAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



Lionel. " Don't talk so. And but for your accident 
you might now be the great attraction on the metropolitan 
stage. Who does not respect a really fine actor ? " 

Waife (gloomily). " The Metropolitan Stage ! I was 
talked into it ; I am glad even of the accident that saved 
me — say no more of that, no more of that. But I have 
spoiled your sitting : Sophy, you see, has left her chair." 

"I have done for to-day," said Yance ; "to-morrow, 
and my task is ended." 

Lionel came up to Vance and whispered to him ; the 
painter, after a pause, nodded silently, and then said to 
Waife — 

" We are going to enjoy the fine weather on the 
Thames (after I have put away these things), and shall 
return to our inn — not far hence — to sup, at eight 
o'clock. Supper is our principal meal — we rarely spoil 
our days by the ceremonial of a formal dinner. Will you 
do us the favor to sup with us ? Our host has a wonder- 
ful whisky, which, when raw, is Glenlivat, but, refined 
into toddy, is nectar. Bring your pipe, and let us hear 
John Kerable again." 

Waife's face lighted up. " You are most kind ; nothing 
I should like so much. But — " and the light fled, the 
face darkened — " but no ; I can not — you don't know — 
that is — I — I have made a vow to myself to decline 
all such temptations. I humbly beg you'll excuse me." 

Yance. "Temptations! of what kind — the whisky- 
toddy?" 

Waife (puffing away a sigh). Ah, yes; whisky-todd^ 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 81 

if you please. Perhaps I once loved a glass too well 
and could not resist a glass too much now ; and if I once 
broke the rule, and became a tippler, what would happen 
to Juliet Araminta ? For her sake, don't press me ? " 

"Oh, do go, Grandy ; he never drinks — never any 
thing stronger than tea, I assure you, Sir ; it can't be 
that." 

"It is, silly child, and nothing else," said Waife posi- 
tively — drawing himself up. "Excuse me." 

Lionel began brushing his hat with his sleeve, and his 
face worked ; at last he said, " Well, Sir, then may I ask 
another favor ? Mr. Yance and I are going to-morrow, 
after the sitting, to see Hampton Court ; we have kept 
that excursion to the last before leaving these parts. 
Would you and little Sophy come with us in the boat ? 
we will have no whisky-toddy, and we will bring you both 
safe home." 

Waife. " What — I — what — I ! You are very young, 
Sir — a gentleman born and bred, I'll swear ; and you to 
be seen, perhaps by some of your friends or family, with 
an old vagrant like me, in the Queen's palace — the public 
gardens ! I should be the vilest wretch if I took such 
advantage of your goodness. 'Pretty company,' they 
would say, 'you have got into.' With me — with me ! 
Don't be alarmed, Mr. Yance — not to be thought of." 

The young men were deeply affected. 

" I can't accept that reason," said Lionel, tremulously. 

' Though I must not presume to derange your habits. 

But she may go with us, mayn't she ? We'll take care 

F 



82 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

of hei, and she is dressed so plainly and neatly, and looks 
such a little lady" (turning to Yance). 

"Yes, let her come with us," said the artist, benevo- 
lently ; though he by no means shared in Lionel's enthu- 
siastic desire for her company. He thought she would 
be greatly in their way. 

"Heaven bless you both!" answered Waife ; "and 
she wants a holiday; she shall have it." 

" I'd rather stay with you, Grandy ; you'll be so lone." 
" No, I wish to be out all to-morrow — the investment I 
I shall not be alone — making friends with our future com- 
panion, Sophy." 

"And can do without me already ? — heigh-ho ! " 
Yance. " So that's settled ; good-by to you." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Inspiring efifect of the Fine Arts: the Vulgar are moved by their 
exhibition into generous impulses and flights of fancy, checked 
by the ungracious severities of their supei'iors, as exemplified 
in the instance of Cobbler Merle and his Servant-of-All-Work. 

The next day, perhaps with the idea of removing all 
scruple from Sophy's mind, Waife had already gone after 
his investment when the friends arrived. Sophy at first 
was dull and dispirited, but by degrees she brightened up ; 
and when, the sitting over and the picture done (save 
such final touches as Yance reserved for solitary study), 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 83 

she was permitted to gaze at her own efiBgy, she burst 
into exclamations of frank delight. "Am I like that ! is 
it possible ? Oh, how beautiful ! Mr. Merle, Mr. Merle, 
Mr. Merle ! " and running out of the room before Yance 
could stop her, she returned with the Cobbler, followed, 
too, by a thin, gaunt girl, whom he pompously called his 
housekeeper, but who, in sober truth, was servant-of-all- 
work. Wife he had none — his horoscope, he said, having 
Saturn in square to the Seventh House, forbade him to 
venture upon matrimony. All gathered round the pic- 
ture ; all admired, and with justice — it was a cJief-cVceuvre. 
Yance in his maturest day never painted more charmingly. 
The three pounds proved to be the best outlay of capital 
he had ever made. Pleased with his work, he was pleased 
even with that unsophisticated applause. 

" You must have Mercury and Yenus very strongly 
a?,pected," quoth the Cobbler ; " and if you have the 
Dragon's Head in the Tenth House, you may count on 
being much talked of after you are dead." 

"After I am dead ! — sinister omen ! " said Yance, dis- 
composed. " I have no faith in artists who count on be- 
ing talked of after they are dead. Never knew a dauber 
who did not ! But stand back — time flies — tie up your 
hair — put on your bonnet, Titania. You have a shawl ? 
— not tinsel, I hope ! — quieter the better. You stay and 
see to her, Lionel." 

Said the gaunt servant-of-all-work to Mr. Merle — " I'd 
let the gentleman paint me, if he likes it — shall I tell him, 
master ? " 



84 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Go back to the bacon, foolish woman. Why, he 
gave £3 for her likeness, 'cause of her Benefics ! But 
you'd have to give him three years' wages afore he'd look 
you straight in the face, 'cause, you see, your Aspects 
are crooked. And," added the Cobbler, philosophizing, 
" when the Malefics are dead agin a girl's mug, man is so 
constituted by natur that he can't take to that mug unless 
it has a gold handle. Don't fret, 'tis not your fault : born 
under Scorpio— coarse-limbed — dull complexion — Head 
of the Dragon aspected of — In fortunes in all four angles !" 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The Historian takes advantage of the summer hours vouchsafed to 
the present life of Mr. Waife's grandchild, in order to throw a 
few gleams of light on her past. He leads her into the Palace 
of our Kings, and moralizes thereon; and entering the Royal 
Gardens, shows the uncertainty of Human Events, and the in- 
security of British Laws, by the abrupt seizure and canstrained 
deportation of an innocent and unforeboding Englishuian, 

Such a glorious afternoon ! The capricious English 
summer was so kind that day to the child and her new 
friends ! When Sophy's small foot once trod the sward, 
had she been really Queen of the Green People, sward 
and footstep could not more joyously have met cogether. 
The grasshopper bounded, in fearless trust, upon the hem 
of her frock ; she threw herself down on the grass, and 
caught him, but, oh, so tenderly ; and the gay insect, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 85 

dear to poet and fairy, seemed to look at her from that 
quaint, sharp face ctf his with sagacious recognition, rest- 
ing calmly on the palm of her pretty hand ; then when he 
sprang oflf, little moth-like butterflies peculiar to the mar- 
gins of running waters, quivered up from the herbage, 
fluttering round her. And there, in front, lay the Thames, 
glittering through the willows, Yance getting ready the 
boat, Lionel seated by her side, a child like herself, his 
pride of incipient manhood all forgotten ; happy in hex 
glee — she loving him for the joy she felt — and blending 
his image evermore in her remembrance with her first 
summer holiday — with sunny beams — glistening leaves — 
warbling birds — fairy wings — sparkling waves. Oh to 
live so in a child's heart — innocent, blessed, angel-like — 
better, better than the troubled reflection upon woman's 
later thoughts ; better than that mournful illusion, over 
which tears so bitter are daily shed — better than First 
Love ! They entered the boat. Sophy had never, to the 
best of her recollection, been in a boat before. All was 
new to her ; the life-like speed of the little vessel — that 
world of cool, green weeds, with the fish darting to and 
fro — the musical chime of oars — those distant, stately 
swans. She was silent now — her heart was very full. 

" What are you thinking of, Sophy ? " asked Leonard, 
resting on the oar. 

"Thinking — I was not thinking." 

" What then ? " 

"I don't know — feeling, I suppose." 

" Feeling what ? " 
I —8 



86 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"As if between sleep and waking — as the water per- 
haps feels, with the sunlight on it ! " 

" Poetical," said Yance, who, somewhat of a poet him- 
self, naturally sneered at poetical tendencies in others. 
" But not so bad in its way. Ah, have I hurt your vanity ? 
there are tears in your eyes." 

" No, Sir," said Sophy, falteringly. " But I was think- 
ing then." 

"Ah," said the artist, "that's the worst of it; after 
feeling ever conies thought — what was yours?" 

" I was sorry poor grandfather was not here, that's all." 

" It was not our fault ; we pressed him cordially," said 
Lionel. 

" You did, indeed. Sir — thank you ! And I don't know 
why he refused you." The young men exchanged com- 
passionate glances. 

Lionel then sought to make her talk of her past life — 
tell him more of Mrs, Crane. Who and what was she ? 

Sophy could not, or would not, tell. The remembrances 
were painful ; she had evidently tried to forget them. And 
tlie people with whom Waife had placed her, and who had 
been kind ? 

The Miss Burtons — and they kept a day-school, and 
taught Sophy to read, write, and cipher. They lived near 
London, in a lane opening on a great common, with a 
green rail before the house, and had a good many pupils, 
and kept a tortoise-shell cat and a canary. Not much to 
enlighten her listener did Sophy impart here. 

And now they neared that stately palace, rich in asso- 



87 

ciations of storm and splendor. The grand Cardinal — 
the iron-clad Protector ; Dutch William of the immortal 
memory, whom we try so hard to like, and, in spite of the 
great Whig historian, that Titian of English prose, can 
only frigidly respect. Hard task for us Britons to like a 
Dutchman who dethrones his father-in-law and drinks 
schnaps. Prejudice, certainly ; but so it is. Harder still 
to like Dutch William's uufilial Frau ! Like Queen Mary ! 
I could as soon like Queen Goneril ! Romance flies from 
the prosperous, phlegmatic -^neas ; flies from his plump 
Lavinia, his " fidus Achates,'" Bentinck, flies to follow the 
poor, deserted, fugitive Stuart, with all his sins upon his 
head. Kings have no rights divine, except when deposed 
and fallen ; they are then invested with the awe that be- 
longs to each solemn image of mortal vicissitude — Vicis- 
situde that startles the Epicurean, " inaamentis sapientice 
consultus,^^ and strikes from his careless lyre the notes 
that attest a God ! Some proud shadow chases another 
from the throne of Cyrus, and Horace hears in the thun- 
der the rush of Diespiter, and identifies Providence with 
the Fortune that snatches ofl" the diadem in her whirring 
swoop.* But fronts discrowned take a new majesty to 



Valet ima summis 



Mutate, et insignia attenuat Deus, 
Obscura promens. Hinc apicem rapax 
Fortuna cum stridore acuto 

Sustulit, — hie posuisse gaudet." 

— HoRAT. Carm. lib. i. xxxiv. 
The concluding allusion is evidently to the Parthian revolutions, 
and the changeful fate of Phraates IV. ; and I do not feel sure that 



88 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

generous natures; — in all sleek prosperit}^ there is some- 
thing commonplace — in all grand adversity, something 
royal. 

The boat shot to the shore ; the young people landed, 
and entered the arch of the desolate palace. They gazed 
on the great hall and the presence-chamber and the long 
suite of rooms, with faded portraits — Yance as an artist, 
Lionel as an enthusiastic, well-read boy, Sophy as a won- 
dering, bewildered, ignorant child. And then they emerged 
into the noble garden, with its regal trees. Groups were 
there of well-dressed persons. Yance heard himself called 
by name. He had forgotten the London world — forgotten, 
amidst his midsummer ramblings that the London season 
was still ablaze — and there, stragglers from the great 
Focus, fine people, with languid tones and artificial jaded 
smiles, caught him in his wanderer's dress, and walking 
side by side with the infant wonder of Mr. Rugge's siiow, 
exquisitely neat indeed, but still in a colored print, of a 
pattern familiar to his observant eye in the windows of 
many a shop lavish of tickets, and inviting you to come 
in by the assurance that it is "selling oflf." The artist 
stopped, colored, bowed, answered the listless question 
put to him with shy haste ; he then attempted to escape 
— they would not let him. 

" You must come back and dine with us at the Star and 
Garter," said Lady Selina Yipont. "A pleasant party — 

the preceding lines upon the phenomenon of the thunder in a serene 
Bkj have not a latent and half-allegorical meaning, dimly applica- 
ble, throughout, to the historical reference at the close." 



WHAT AVILL HE DO WITH IT? 89 

you know most of them — the Dudley Slowes, dear old 
Lady Frost, those pretty ladies Prymme, Janet and Wil- 
helmina." 

" We can't let you off," said sleepily Mr. Crampe, a 
fashionable wit, who rarely made more than one bou-uiot 
in the twenty-four hours, and spent the rest of his time in 
a torpid state. 

Vance. " Really you are too kind, but I am not even 
dressed for — " 

Lady Selina. " So charmingly dressed — so pictu- 
resque ! Besides, what matters ? Every one knows who 
you are. Where on earth have you been ? " 

Yance. " Rambling about, taking sketches." 

Lady Selina (directing her eye-glass toward Lionel 
and Sophy, who stood aloof). "But your companions, 
your brother ? — and that pretty little girl — your sister, I 
suppose ?" 

Yance (shuddering). " No, not relations. I took 
charge of the boy — clever young fellow; and the little 
girl is — " 

Lady Selina, "Yes. The little girl is — " 

Yance. "A little girl as you see ; and very pretty, as 
you say — subject for a picture." 

Lady Selina (indifferently). " Oh, let the children go 
and amuse themselves somewhere. Now we have found 
you — positively you are our prisoner." 

Lady Selina Yipont was one of the queens of London, 
she had with her that habit of command natural to such 
royalties. Frank Yaiice was no tuft-hunter, but once 



90 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

under social influences, they had their effect on him, as 
on most men who are blessed with noses in the air. Those 
great ladies, it is true, never bought his pictures, but they 
gave him the position which induced others to buy them. 
Yance loved his art ; his art needed its career. Its career 
was certainly brightened and quickened by the help of 
rank and fashion. 

In short, Lady Selina triumphed, and the painter step- 
ped oack to Lionel. " I must go to Richmond with 
these people. I know you'll excuse me. I shall be back 
to-night somehow. By-the-by, you are going to the post- 
office here for the letter you expect from your mother ; 
ask for mine too. You will take care of little Sophy, 
and (in a whisper) hurry her out of the garden, or that 
Grand Mogul feminine, Lady Selina, whose condescension 
would crush the Andes, will be stopping her as my jin-o- 
tegee, falling in raptures with that horrid colored })rint, 
saying, ' Dear what pretty sprigs ! where can such things 
be got? ' and learning, perhaps, how Frank Yance saved 
the Bandit's Child from the Remorseless Baron. 'Tis 
your turn now. Save your friend. The Baron was a 
lamb compared to a fine lady." He pressed Lionel's un- 
responding hand, and was off to join the polite merry- 
making of the Frosts, Slowes, and Prymmes. 

Lionel's pride ran up to the fever heat of its thermome- 
ter ; more roused, though, on behalf of the unconscious 
Sopb^ than himself. 

"Let us come into the town, lady-bird, and choose r. 
doll. You may have one now without fear of distracting 



WHATWILLHEDOWITHIT? 91 

you from — what I hate to think you ever stooped to per- 
form." 

As Lionel, his crest erect, and nostril dilated, and hold- 
ing Sophy firmly by the hand, took his way out fi*om the 
gardens, he was obliged to pass the patrician party of 
whom Yance now made one. 

His countenance and air, as he swept by, struck them 
all, especially Lady Selina. "A very distinguished-look- 
ing boy," said she. " What a fine face ! Who did you 
say he. was, Mr. Yance ? " 

Yance. " His name is Haughton — Lionel Haughton ?" 

Lady Selina. " Haughton ! Haughton ! Any relation 
to poor, dear Captain Haughton — Charlie Haughton, as 
he was generally called?" 

Yance, knowing little more of his young friend's parent- 
age than that his mother let lodgings, at which, once 
domiciliated himself, he had made the boy's acquaintance, 
and that she enjoyed the pension of a captain's widow, 
replied carelessly : 

" His father was a captain, but I don't know whether 
he was a Charlie." 

Mr. Crampe (the Wit). " Charlies are extinct ! I have 
the last in a fossil — box and all ! " 

General laugh. Wit shut up again. 

Lady Selina. " He has a great look of Charlie 
Haughton. Do you know if he is connected with that 
extraordinary man, Mr. Darrell ? " 

Yance. " Upon my word, I do not. What Mr. Dar- 
rell do you mean ? " 



92 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Lady Selina, with one of those sublime looks of celes- 
tial pity with which personages in the great world for- 
give ignorance of names and genealogies in those not 
born within its orbit, replied, " Oh, to be sure : it is not 
exactly in the way of your delightful art to know Mr. 
Darrell, one of the first men in Parliament, a connection 
of mine." 

Lady Frost (nippingly). " You mean Guy Darrell, 
the lawyer." ' 

Lady Selina. "Lawyer — true, now I think of it, he 
was a lawyer. But his chief fame was in the House of 
Commons. All parties agreed that he might have com- 
manded any station ; but he was too rich, perhaps, to 
care sufficiently about office. At all events, Parliament 
was dissolved when he was at the height of his reputa- 
tion, and he refused to be re-elected." 

One Sir Jasper Stollhead (a member of the House 
of Commons, young, wealthy, a constant attendant, of 
great promise, with speeches that were filled with facts, 
and emptied the benches). -" I have heard of him. Be- 
fore my time ; lawyers not much weight in the House 
now." 

Lady Selina. " I am told that Mr. Darrell did not 
speak like a lawyer. But his career is over — lives in the 
country, and sees nobody — a thousand pities — a connec- 
tion of mine, too — great loss to the country. Ask your 
young friend, Mr. Yance, if Mr. Darrell is not his rela- 
tion. I hope so, for his sake. Now that our party is in 
power, Mr. Darrell could command any thing for others, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 93 

though he has ceased to act with us. Our party is not 
forgetful of talents." 

Lady Frost (with icy crispness). " I should think not ; 
it has so little of that kind to remember." 

Sir Jasper. " Talent is not wanted in the House of 
Commons now — don't go down, in fact. Business as- 
sembly." 

Lady Selina (suppressing a yawn). " Beautiful day! 
We had better think of going back to Richmond." 

General assent, and slow retreat. 



CHAPTER XY. 

The Historian records the fittachment to public business which dis- 
tintruishe-; the British Legisbitor. — Touching instance of the re- 
gret which ever in patriotic bosoms attends the neglect of a public 
duty. 

From the dusty height of a rumble-tumble aflBxed to 
Lady Selina Yipont's barouche, and by the animated side 
of Sir Jasper Stollhead, Yance caught sight of Lionel 
and Sophy at a corner of the spacious green near the 
Pa-ace. He sighed ; he envied them. He thought of 
the boat, the water, the honey-suckle arbor at the little 
inn — pleasures he had denied himself — pleasures all in 
his own way. They seemed still more alluring by con- 
trast with the prospect before him ; formal dinner at the 
Star and Garter, with titled Prymmes, Slowes, and Frosts 



04 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

a couple of guineas a-head, including light wines, which 
he did not drink, and the expense of a chaise back by 
himself. But such are life and its social duties — such, 
above all, ambition and a career. Who, that would leave 
a name on his tombstone, can say to his own heart, 
" Perish, Stars and Garters ; my existence shall pass 
from day to day in honey-suckle arbors ? " 

Sir Jasper Stollhead interrupted Yance's reverie by an 
impassioned sneeze — " Dreadful smell of hay I " said the 
legislator, with watery eyes. "Are you subject to the 
hay fever ? I am ! A — tisha — tisha — tisha (sneezing) 
— country frightfully unwholesome at this time of year. 
And to think that I ought now to be in the House — in 
ray committee-room — no smell of hay there — most im- 
portant committee " 

Vance (rousing himself). "Ah ! — on what .'' " 

Sir Jasper (regretfully). " Sewers ! 



CHAPTER XYI. 

Signs of an impending revolution, which, like all revolutions, 
seems ta come of a sudden, though its causes have long been at 
■work ; and to go off in a tantrum, though its effects must run on 
to the end of a history. 

Lionel could not find in the toy shops of the village a 
doll good enough to satisfy his liberal inclinations, but he 
bought one which amply contented the humbler aspira- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 95 

tions of Sophy. He then strolled to the post-office. 
There were several letters for Yanee — one for hhnself in 
his mother's handwriting. He delayed opening it for the 
moment. The day was far advanced — Sophy must be 
hungry. In vain she declared she was not. They passed 
by a fruiterer's stall. The strawberries and cherries were 
temptingly fresh — the sun still very powerful. At the 
back of the fruiterer's was a small garden, or rather 
orchard, smiling cool through the open door — little 
tables laid out there. The good woman who kept the 
shop was accustomed to the wants and tastes of humble 
metropolitan visitors. But the garden was luckily now 
empty — it was before the usual hour for tea-parties ; so 
the young folks had the pleasantest table under an apple- 
tree, and the choice of the freshest fruit. Milk and cakes 
were added to the fare. It was a banquet, in Sophy's 
eyes, worthy that happy day. And when Lionel had 
finished his share of the feast, eating fast, as spirited im- 
patient boys, formed to push on in life and spoil their di- 
gestion, are apt to do ; and while Sophy was still lingering 
over the last of the strawberries, he threw himself back 
on his chair, and drew forth his letter. Lionel was ex- 
tremely fond of his mother, but her letters were not often 
those which a boy is over eager to read. It is not all 
mothers who understand what boys are — their quick sus- 
ceptibilities, their precocious manliness, all their mystical 
ways and oddities. A letter from Mrs. Haughton gene- 
rally somewhat fretted and irritated Lionel's high-strung 
nerves, and he had instinctively put off the task of reading 



96 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the one he held, till satisfied hunger and cool-breathing 
shadows, and rest from the dusty road, had lent their 
soothing aid to his undeveloped philosophy. 

He broke the seal slowly ; another letter was inclosed 
within. At the first few words his countenance changed ; 
he uttered a slight exclamation, read on eagerly ; then, 
before concluding his mother's epistle, hastily tore open 
that which it had contained, ran his eye over its contents, 
and, dropping both letters on the turf below, rested his 
face on his hand, in agitated thought. Thus ran his 
mother's letter : 

" My Dear Boy, — How could you ? Do it slyly ! I 
Unknown to your own mother ! ! ! I could not believe 
it of you ! ! ! ! Take advantage of my confidence in 
showing you the letters of your father's cousin, to write 
to himself — clandestinely! — you, who I thought had 
such an open character, and who ought to appreciate 
mine. Every one who knows me says I am a woman in 
ten thousand — not for beauty and talent (though I have 
had ray admirers for them too), but for goodness ! As a 
wife and mother, I may say I have been exemplary. I 
had sore trials with the dear captain — and immense 
temptations. But he said on his death-bed, 'Jessica, 
you are an angel.' And I have had offers since — immense 
offers — but I devoted myself to my child, as you know. 
And what I have put up with, letting the first floor, no- 
body can tell ; and only a widow's pension — going before 
a magistrate to get it paid. And to think my own child, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 97 

for whom I have borne so much, should behave so cruelly 
to me ! Clandestine ! 'tis that which stabs me. Mrs. 
Iiiman found me crying, and said, 'What is the matter ? 
— you, who are such an angel, crying like a baby ! ' And 
I could not help saying, ' 'Tis the serpent's tooth, Mrs. I.' 
What you wrote to your benefactor (and I had hoped 
patron) I don't care to guess ; something very rude and 
imprudent it must be, judging by the few lines he ad- 
dressed to me. I don't mind copying them for you to 
read. All my acts are above board — as often and often 
and often Captain H. used to say, ' Your heart is in a 
glass-case, Jessica ; ' and so it is ! hut my son keeps his 
under lock and key. 

" ' Madam' (this is what he writes to me), * your son 
has thought fit to infringe the condition upon which I 
agreed to assist you on his behalf. I inclose a reply to 
himself, which I beg you will give to his own hands with- 
out breaking the seal. Since it did not seem to you in- 
discreet to communicate to a boy of his years letters 
written solely to yourself, you can not blame me if I take 
your implied estimate of his capacity to judge for himself 
of the nature of a correspondence, and of the views and 
temper of. Madam, your very obedient servant.' And 
that's all, to me. I send his letter to you — seal un- 
broken. I conclude he has done with you forever, and 
your CAREER is lost! But if it be so, oh, my poor, poor 
child ! at that thought I have not the heart to scold you 
farther. If it be so, come home to me, and I'll work and 
slave for you, and you shall keep up your head and be a 

I. — 9 u 



98 WHAT WILL 1/ E DO WITH IT? 

gentleman still, as you are, every inch of you. Don't 
mind what I've said at the beginning, dear — don't ! you 
know I'm hasty, and I was hurt. But you could not 
mean to be sly and underhand — 'twas only your high 
spirit — and it was my fault; I should not have shown 
you the letters. I hope you are well, and have quite lost 
that nasty cough, and that Mr. Vance treats you with 
proper respect. I think him rather too pushing and 
familiar, though a pleasant young man on the whole. 
But, after all, he is only a painter. Bless you, my child, 
and don't have secrets again from your poor mother. 

Jessica Haughton. 

The inclosed letter was as follows : 

" Lionel Haughton, — Some men might be displeased 
at receiving such a letter as you have addressed to me ; I 
am not. At your years, and under the same circumstances, 
I might have written a letter much in the same spirit. Re- 
lieve your mind — as yet you owe me no obligations ; you 
have only received back a debt due to you. My father 
was poor ; your grandfather, Robert Haughton, assisted 
him in the cost of my education. I have assisted your 
father's son ; we are quits. Before, however, we decide 
on having done with each other for the future, I suggest 
to you to pay me a short visit. Probably I shall not like 
you, nor you me. But we are both gentlemen, and need 
not show dislike too coarsely. If you decide on coming, 
come at once, or possibly you may not find me here. If 
you refuse, T shall have a poor opinion of your sense nud 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 99 

temper, and iu a week I shall have forgotten your existence. 
1 ought to add that your father and I were once warm 
friends, and that by descent I am the head not only of my 
own race, which ends with me, but of the Haughton family, 
of which, though your line assumed the name, it was but 
a younger branch. Nowadays young men are probably 
not brought up to care for these things — I was. Yours, 
" Guy Haughton Darrell. 

*' Manor House, Fawley." 

Sophy picked up the fallen letters, placed them on 
Lionel's lap, and looked into his face wistfully. He smiled, 
resumed his' mother's epistle, and read the concluding 
passages which he had before omitted. Their sudden turn 
from reproof to tenderness melted him. He began to feel 
that his mother had a right to blame him for an act of 
concealment. Still she never would have consented to his 
writing such a letter ; and had that letter been attended 
with so ill a result ? Again he read Mr. DarreFs blunt 
but not offensive lines. His pride was soothed — why 
should he not now love his father's friend ? He rose 
briskly, paid for the fruit, and went his way back to the 
boat with Sophy. As his oars cut the wave he talked 
gayly, but he ceased to interrogate Sophy on her past. 
Energetic, sanguine^ ambitious, his own future entered 
now into his thoughts. Still, when the sun sunk as the 
inn came partially into view from the winding of the banks 
and the fringe of the willows, his mind again settled on 
llie patient, (^uiet little girl, who had not ventured to ask 



100 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

him one question in return for all he had put so uncere- 
moniously to her. Indeed, she was silently musing over 
words he had inconsiderately let fall — "What I hate to 
think you had ever stooped to perform." Little could 
Lionel guess the unquiet thoughts which those words 
might hereafter call forth from the brooding, deepening 
meditations of lonely childhood I At length, said the boy, 
abruptly, as he had said once before — 

"I wish, Sophy, you were my sister." He added, in a 
saddened tone, " I never had a sister — I have so longed 
for one ! However, surely we shall meet again. You go 
to-morrow — so must I." 

Sophy's tears flowed softly, noiselessly. 

" Cheer up, lady-bird ; I wish you liked me half as much 
as I like you ! " 

" I do like you — oh, so much ! " cried Sophy, passion- 
ately. 

"Well, then, you can write, you say?" 

"A little." 

" You shall write to me now and then, and I to you. 
I'll talk to your grandfather about it. Ah, there he is, 
surely ! " 

The boat now ran into the shelving creek, and by the 
honey-suckle arbor stood Gentleman Waife, leaning on 
his stick. 

" You are late," said the actor, as they landed, and 
Sophy sprang into his arms. " I began to be uneasy, and 
came here to inquire after you. You have not caught 
cold, child?" 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 101 

Sophy. "Oh, no." 

Lionel. *' She is the best of children. Pray, come 
into the inn, Mr. Waife : no toddy, but some refreshment." 

Waife. " I thank you — no, Sir ; I wish to get home 
at once. I walk slowly; it will be dark soon." 

Lionel tried in vain to detain him. There was a certain 
change in Mr. Waife's manner to him ; it was much more 
distant — it was even pettish, if not surly. Lionel could 
not account for it — thought it mere whim at first, but as 
he walked part of the way back with them toward the 
village, this asperity continued, nay, increased. Lionel 
was hurt ; he arrested his steps. 

" I see you wish to have your grandchild to yourself 
now. May I call early to-morrow ? Sophy will tell you 
that I hope we may not altogether lose sight of each other. 
I will give you my address when I call." 

"What time to-morrow, Sir?" 

"About nine." 

Waife bowed his head and walked on, but Sophy looked 
back toward her boy friend, sorrowfully, gratefully — 
twilight in the skies that had been so sunny — twilight in 
her face that had been so glad ! She looked once, twice, 
thrice, as Lionel halted on the road and kissed his hand. 
The third time Waife said, with unwonted crossness — 

" Enough of that, Sophy ; looking after young men is 
not proper! What does he mean about 'seeing each 
other, and giving me his address?'" 

"He wished me to write to him sometimes, and he 
would write to me." 
9* 



102 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Wa'ife's brow contracted ; but if, in the excess of grand- 
fatherly caution, he could have supposed that the bright- 
hearted boy of seventeen meditated ulterior ill to that fairy 
child in such a scheme for correspondence, he must have 
been in his dotage, and he had not hitherto evinced any 
signs of that. 

Farewell, pretty Sophy ! The evening star shines upon 
yon elm-tree that hides thee from view. Fading — fading 
grows the summer landscape ; faded already from the land- 
scape thy gentle image ! So ends a holiday in life. Hal- 
low it, Sophy ; hallow it, Lionel. Life's holidays are not 
too many ! 



CHAPTER XYII. 

By this chapter it appeareth that he who sets out on a career can 
scarcely expect to walk in perfect comfort, if he exchange his 
own thick-soled shoes for dress-boots which were made for an- 
other man's measure, and that the said boots may not the less 
pinch for being brilliantly varnished. — It also showeth for the 
instruction of Men and States, the connection between demo- 
cratic opinion and wounded self-love ; so that, if some Liberal 
statesman desire to rouse against an aristocracy the class just 
below it, he has only to persuade a fine lady to be exceedingly 
civil "to that sort of people." 

Yance, returning late at night, found his friend still up 
in the little parlor, the windows open, pacing the floor 
with restless strides, stopping now and then to look at 
the moon upon the river. 

" Such a day as I have had ! and twelve shillings for 



■WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 103 

the fly, 'pikes not included," said Yance, much out oi 

humor. 

"'I fly from plate, I fly from pomp, 

fly from falsehood's specinus grin;' 

I forget the third line ; I know the last is, 

'To find my -welcome at an inn.' 

You are silent : I annoyed you by going — could not help 
it — pity me, and lock up your pride." 

"Xo, my dear Yance, I was hurt for a moment — but 
that's long since over ! " 

" Still you seem to have something on your mind," said 
Yance, who had now finished reading his letters, lighted 
his cigar, and was leaning against the window as the boy 
continued to walk to and fro. 

" That is true — I have. I should like your advice. 
Read that letter. Ought I to go ? — would it look mer- 
cenary — grasping? You know what I mean." 

Yance approached the candles, and took the letter. 
He glanced first at the signature. " Darrell ! " he ex- 
claimed. " Oh, it is so, then ! " He read with great 
attention, put down the letter, and shook Lionel by the 
hand. " I congratulate you ; all is settled as it should be. 
Go ? of course — you would be an ill-mannered lout if you 
did not. Is it far from hence — must you return to town 
first ? " 

Lionel. " No ! I find I can get across the country — 
two hours by the railway. There is a station at the town 
which bears the postmark of the letter. I shall make for 
that, if you advise it." 



104 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

'* You knew I should advise it, or you would not have 
made those researches into Bradshaw\" 

" Shrewdly said," answered Lionel, laughing; "but I 
wished for your sanction of my crude impressions." 

" You never told me your cousin's name was Darrell — 
not that I should have been much wiser, if you had ; but, 
thunder and lightning, Lionel, do you know that your 
cousin Darrell is a famous man ? " 

Lionel. " Famous ! — nonsense. I suppose he was a 
good lawyer, for I have heard my mother say, with a sort 
of contempt, that he had made a great fortune at the 
bar ! " 

Vance. "But he was in Parliament." 

Lionel. "Was he? I did not know." 

Yance. " And this is senatorial fame ! You never 
heard your school-fellows talk of Mr. Darrell ? — they 
would not have known his name if you had boasted of it ! " 

Lionel. "Certainly not." 

Yance. "Would your school-fellows have known the 
names of Wilkie, of Landseer, of Turner, Maclise — I 
speak of Painters ! " 

Lionel. "I should think so, indeed." 

Yance (soliloquizing). "And yet Her Serene Sublimi- 
tyship. Lady Selina Yipont, says to me with divine com- 
passion, ' Not in the way of your delightful art to know 
such men as Mr. Darrell ! ' Oh, as if I did not see through 
it — oh, as if I did not see through it too when she said, 
apropos of my jean cap and velveteen jacket, * What mat- 
ters how you dress ? Every one knows who you ai-e ! ' 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 105 

Would she have said that to the Earl of D under, or even 
to Sir Jasper Stollhead ? Xo. I am the painter Frank 
Vance — nothing more nor less; and if I stood on my 
head in a check shirt and a sky-colored apron, Lady Se- 
lina Yipont would kindly murmur, ' Only Frank Vance 
the painter — what does it signify ? ' Aha I — and they 
think to put me to use ! — puppets and lay figures ! — it 
is I who put them to use ! Harkye, Lionel, you are nearer 
akin to these fine folks than I knew of. Promise me one 
thing : you may become of their set. by right of your 
famous Mr. Darrell ; if ever you hear an artist, musician, 
scribbler, no matter what, ridiculed as a tuft-hunter — 
seeking the great — and so forth — before you join in the 
laugh, ask some great man's son, with a pedigree that 
dates from the Ark, 'Are you not a toad-eater too ? Do 
you want political influence? — do you stand contested 
elections ? — do you curry and fawn upon greasy Sam the 
butcher, and grimy Tom the blacksmith for a vote ? Why ? 
useful to your career — necessary to your ambition ! ' Aha ! 
is it meaner to curry and fawn upon whitehanded women 
and elegant coxcombs ? Tut, tut ! useful to a career — 
necessary to ambition ?" Vance paused, out of breath. 
The spoiled darling of the circles — he — to talk such 
radical rubbish ! Certainly he must have taken his two 
guineas' worth out of those light wines. Xothing .'^o 
treacherous ! they inflame the brain like fire, while melting 
on the palate like ice. All Inhabitants of light-wine coun- 
tries are quarrelsome and democratic. 

Lionel (astounded). '* No one, I am sure, could have 



106 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

meant to call you a tuft-hunter — of course, every one 
knows that a great painter — " 

Yanck. " Dates from Michael Angelo, if not from 
Zeuxis ! Common individuals trace their pedigree from 
their own fathers ! — the children of Art from Art's 
founders ! " 

Oh Yance, Yance, you are certainly drunk I If that 
comes from dining with fine people at the Star and Gar- 
ter, you would be a happier man and as good a painter 
if you sipped your toddy in honey-suckle arbors. 

"But," said Lionel, bewildered, and striving to turn 
his friend's thoughts, " what has all this to do with Mr. 
Darrell ?" 

Yance. " Mr. Darrell might have been one of the first 
men in the kingdom. Lady Selina Yipont says so, and 
she is related, I believe, to every member in the Cabinet. 
Mr. Darrell can push you in life, and make your fortune, 
without any great trouble on your own part. Bless your 
stars, and rejoice that you are not a painter!" 

Lionel flung his arm round the artist's broad breast. 
" Yance, you are cruel ! " It was his turn to console the 
painter, as the painter had three nights before (apropos 
of the same Mr. Darrell) consoled him. Yance gradually 
sobered down, and the young men walked forth in the 
moonlight. And the eternal stars had the same kind looks 
for Yance as they had vouchsafed to Lionel. 

" When do you start ? " asked the painter, as they 
mounted the stairs to bed. 

" To-morrow evening. I miss the early train, for I 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 107 

mnst call first and take leave of Sophj. I hope I may 
see her again in after-life." 

"And I hope, for your sake, that if so, she may not be 
in the same colored print with Lady Selina Yipont's eye- 
glass upon her I " 

"What!" said Lionel, laughing; "is Lady Selina 
Yipont so formidably rude ? " 

" Rude ! nobody is rude in that delightful set. Lady 
Selina Yipont is excruciatingly — civil." 



CHAPTER XYIII 

Being devoted exclusively to a reflection, not inapposite to the 
events in this history, nor to those in any other which chronicles 
the life of man. 

There is one warning lesson in life which few of us 
have not received, and no book that I can call to memory 
has noted down with an adequate emphasis. It is this, 
"Beware of parting!" The true sadness is not in the 
pain of the parting, it is in the When and the How you 
are to meet again with the face about to vanish from your 
view ! From the passionate farewell to the woman who 
has your heart in her keeping, to the cordial good-by ex- 
changed with pleasant companions at a watering-place, a 
country-house, or the close of a festive day's blithe and 
careless excursion — a cord, stronger or weaker, is snapped 
asunder in every parting, and Time's busy fingers are not 



108 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

practised in re-splicing broken ties. Meet again you 
may : will it be in the same way ? — with the same 
sympathies ? — with the same sentiments ? Will the souls, 
hurrying on in diverse paths, unite once more, as if the 
interval had been a dream ? Rarely, rarely ! Have you 
not, after even a year, even a month's absence, returned 
to the same place, found the same groups reassembled, 
and yet sighed to yourself, " But where is the charm that 
once breathed from the spot, and once smiled from the 
faces ? " A poet has said — " Eternity itself can not restore 
the loss struck from the minute." Are you happy in the 
spot on which you tarry with the persons whose voices 
are now melodious to your ear ? — beware of parting ; 
or, if part you must, say not in insolent defiance to Time 
and Destiny — "What matters? — we shall soon meet 
again." 

Alas, and alas ! when we think of the lips which mur- 
mured, " Soon meet again," and remember how, in heart, 
soul, and thought, we stood forever divided the one from 
the other, when, once more face to face, we each inly ex- 
claimed — " Met again ! " 

The air that we breathe makes the medium through 
which sound is conveyed ; be the instrument unchanged, 
be the force which is applied to it the same, still, the air 
that thou seest not, the air to thy ear gives the music. 

Ring a bell underneath an exhausted receiver, thou wilt 
scarce hear the sound ; give a bell due vibration by free 
air in warm daylight, or sink it down to the heart of the 
ocean, where the air, all compressed, fills the vessel around 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 109 

it,* and the chime, heard afar, starts thy soul, checks thy 
footstep — unto deep calls the deep — a voice from the 
ocean is borne to thy soul, 

"Where, then, the change, when thou sayest, " Lo, the 
same metal — why so faint-heard the ringing?" Ask 
the air that thou seest not, or above thee in the sky, or 
below thee in ocean. Art thou sure that the bell, so 
faint-heard, is not struck underneath an exhausted 
receiver ? 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The wandering inclinations of Nomad Tribes not to be accounted 
for on the principles of action peculiar to civilized men, who are 
accustomed to live in good houses and able to paj the income- 
tax. — When the money that once belonged to a man civilized 
vanishes into the pockets of a nomad, neither lawful art nor oc- 
cult science can, with certainty, discover what he will do with 
it. — Mr. Vance narrowly escapes well-merited punishment from 
the nails of the British Fair. — Lionel Haughton, in the temerity 
of youth, braves the dangers of a British railway. 

The morning was dull and overcast, rain gathering in 
the air, when Yance and Lionel walked to Waife's 
lodging. As Lionel placed his hand on the knocker of 
the private door, the Cobbler, at his place by the window 
in the stall beside, glanced toward him, and shook his 
head. 

* The bell in a sunk diving-bell, where the air is compressed, 
sounds with increased power. Sound travels four times quicker in 
water than in the upper air. 

I. — 10 



110 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" No use knocking, gentlemen. Will you kindly step 
in ? — this way. " 

" Do you mean that your lodgers are out ? " asked 
Yance. 

" Gone ! " said the Cobbler, thrusting his awl with great 
vehemence through the leather destined to the repair of 
a plowman's boot. 

" Gone — for good ! " cried Lionel ; "you cannot mean 
it. I call by appointment." 

" Sorry, Sir, for your trouble. Stop a bit ; I have a 
letter here for you." The Cobbler dived into a drawer, 
and, from a medley of nails and thongs, drew torth a 
letter addressed to L. Haughton, Esq. 

" Is this from Waife ? How on earth did he know my 
surname ? you never mentioned it, Yance ? " 

" Not that I remember. But you said you found him 
at the inn, and they knew it there. It is on the brass 
plate of your knapsack. No matter — what does he say ? " 
and Yance looked over his friend's slioulder and read : — 

" Sir, — I most respectfully thank you for your con- 
descending kindness to me and my grandchild ; and your 
friend, for his timely and generous aid. You will pardon 
me, that the necessity which knows no law obliges me to 
leave this place some hours before the time of your pro- 
posed visit. My grandchild says you intended to ask her 
sometimes to write to you. Excuse me, Sir : on reflec- 
tion, you will perceive how different your ways of lite are 
from those which she must tread with me. You see 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? Ill 

before you a man who — but I forget — vou see him no 
more, and probably never will. Your most humble and 
most obliged obedient servant, W. W.-' 

Vance. " Who never more may trouble you, trouble 
yon ! Where have they gone ? " 

Cobbler. " Don't know ; would you like to take a peep 
in the crystal ? perhaps you've the gift, unbeknown." 

Yance. " Xot I — Bah! Come away, Lionel." 

"Did not Sophy even leave any message for me?" 
asked the boy, sorrowfully. 

"To be sure she did; I forgot — no, not exactly a 
message, but this — I was to be sure to give it to you." 
And, out of his miscellaneous receptacle the Cobbler ex- 
tracted a little book. Yance looked and laughed — " The 
Butterflies^ Ball and the Gi^asshoppers^ Feast." 

Lionel did not share the laugh. He plucked the book 
to himself, and read on the fly-leaf, in a child's irregular 
scrawl, blistered too with the unmistakable trace of fallen 
tears, these words: 

" Do not Scorn it. I have nothing else I can think of 
which is All ^liue. Miss Jane Burton gave it me for 
being Goode. Grandfather says you are too high for us, 
and that I shall not see you More ; but I shall never 
forget how kind you were — never — never. — Sophy." 

Said the Cobbler, his awl upright in the hand which 
rested on his knee, ' What a plague did the 'Stronomers 
discover Herschell for ? You see, Sir," addressing Yance, 
"things odd and strange all come along o' Herschell." 



112 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" What ! — Sir John ? " 

" No, the star he poked out. He's a awful star for 
females ! — hates 'em like poison ! I suspect he's been 
worriting hisself into her nativity, for I got out from her 
the year, month, and day she was born — hour unbeknown 
— but, calkelating by noon, Herschell was dead agin her 
in the Third and Ninth House — voyages, travels, letters, 
news, church matters, and sichlike. But it will all come 
right after he's transited. Her Jupiter must be good. 
But I only hope," added the Cobbler, solemnly, "that 
they won't go a discovering any more stars. The world 
did a deal better without the new one, and they do talk 
of a Neptune — as bad as Saturn ! 'j 

"And this is the last of her ! " said Lionel, sadly put- 
ting the book into his breast-pocket. " Heaven shield 
her wherever she goes ! " 

Yance. " Don't you think Waife and the poor little 
girl will come back again?" 

Cobbler. " P'raps ; I know he was looking hard into 
the county map at the stationer's over the way ; that 
seems as if he did not mean to go very far. P'raps he 
may come back." 

Yance. " Did he take all his goods with him ? " 

Cobbler. " Barrin' an old box — nothing in it, I ex- 
pect, but theater rubbish — play-books, paints, an old wig, 
and sichlike. He has good clothes — always bad ; and so 
has she, but they don't make more than a bundle." 

Yance. " But surely you must know what the old fel- 
low's project is. He has got from me a great sura — what 
will h(^ do with it ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 113 

Cobbler. " Just what has been a bothering me. 
Wliat will he do with it ? I cast a figure to know — could 
not make it out. Strange signs in Twelfth House. Ene- 
mies and big animals Well, well, he's a marbellous man, 
and if he warn'.t a misbeliever in the crystal, I should say 
he was under Herschell ; for you see, Sir'^ (laying hold 
of Vance's button, as he saw that gentleman turning to 
escape) — " you see Herschell, though he be a sinister chap 
eno', specially in affairs connected with 'tother sex, dis- 
poses the native to dive into the mysteries of natur. I'm 
a Herschell man, out and outer ! Born in March, and — " 

"As mad as its hares," muttered Vance, wrenching his 
button from the Cobbler's grasp, and impatiently striding 
off. But he did not effect his escape so easily, for, close 
at hand, just at the corner of the lane, a female group, 
headed by Merle's gaunt housekeeper, had been silently 
collecting from the moment the two friends had paused at 
the Cobbler's door. And this petticoated divan suddenly 
closing round the painter, one pulled him by the sleeve, 
another by the jacket, and a third, with a nose upon which 
somebody had sat in early infancy, whispered, " Please, 
Sir, take my picter fust." 

Vance stared aghast — " Your picture, you drab ! " 
Here another model of rustic charms, who might have 
furnished an ideal for the fat scullion in Tristram Shandy, 
bobbing a courtesy, put in her rival claim. 

" Sir, if you don't objex to coming in to the kitching, 
after the family has gone to bed, I don't care if I lets yo^ 
make a minnytur of me for two pounds." 
10* H 



tl4 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

'* Miniature of you, porpoise ! " 
"Polly, Sir, not Porpus — ax pardon, I shall clean 
myself, and I have a butyful new cap — Honeytun, and — " 
" Let the gentleman go, will you ? " said a third ; " I 
am supprised at ye, Polly. The kitching unbeknown ! 
Sir, I'm in the nussary — yes, Sir — and missus says you 
may take me any time, purvided you'll take the babby, in 
the back parlor — yes, Sir. No. 5 in the High Street. 
Mrs. Spratt — yes, Sir. Babby has had the small-pox — 
in case you're a married gentleman with a family — quite 
safe there — yes, Sir." 

Yance could endure no more, and, forgetful of that 
gallantry which should never desert the male sex, burst 
through the phalanx with an anathema, blackening alike 
the beauty and the virtue of those on whom it fell — ^that 
would have justified a cry of shame from every manly 
bosom, and at once changed into shrill wrath the suppli- 
catory tones with which he had been hitherto addressed. 
Down the street he hurried, and down the street followed 
the insulted fair. " Hiss — hiss — no gentleman, no gen- 
tleman ! Aha — skulk off — do — low blaggurd ! " shrieked 
Polly. From their counters shop-folks rushed to their 
doors. Stray dogs, excited by the clamor, ran wildly 
after the fugitive man, yelping "in madding bray!" 
Vance, fearing to be clawed by the females if he merely 
walked, sure to be bitten by the dogs if he ran, ambled 
on, strove to look composed, and carry his nose high in 
Its native air, till, clearing the street, he saw a hedgerow 
to the right — leaped it with an agility which no stimulus 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 115 

less preternatural than that of self-preservation could 
have given to his limbs, and then shot off like an arrow, 
and did not stop till, out of breath, he dropped upon the 
bench in the sheltering honej-snckle arbor. Here he 
was still fanning himself with his cap, and muttering un- 
mentionable expletives, when he was joined bv Lionel, 
who had tarried behind to talk more about Sophv to the 
Cobbler, and who, unconscious that the din which smote 
his ear was caused by his ill-starred friend, had been en- 
ticed to go up stairs and look after Sophy in the crystal 
— vainly. When Yance had recited his misadventures, 
and Lionel had sufiBciently condoled with him, it became 
time for the latter to pay his share of the bill, pack up 
his knapsack, and start for the train. Now the station 
could only be reached by penetrating the heart of the 
village, and Yance swore that he had had enough of that. 
" Pede ! " said he ; " I should pass right before No. 5 in 
the High Street, and the nuss and the babby will be 
there on the threshold, like Yirgil's picture of the infernal 
regions — 

» Infanturnque animse flentes in limine primo.' 

"We will take leave of each other here. I shall go by the 
boat to Chertsey whenever I shall have sufiBciently re- 
covered my shaken nerves. There are one or two pictu- 
resque spots to be seen in that neighborhood. In a few 
days I shall be in town ; write to me there, and tell me 
how you get on. Shake hands, and Heaven speed you. 
But, ah, now you have paid your moiety of the bill, have 
you enough left for the train ? " 



116 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

'' Oh, yes, the fare is but a few shillings ; but, to be 
sure, a fly to Fawley ? I ought not to go on foot " 
(proudly) ; " and, too, supposing he affronts me, and I 
have to leave his house suddenly ? May I borrow a 
sovereign ? my mother will call and repay it. " 

Yance (magnificently). " There it is, and not much 
more left in my purse — that cursed Star and Garter! 
and those three pounds ! " 

Lionel (sighing). " Which were so well spent I Before 
you sell that picture, do let me make a copy." 

Vance. "Better take a model of your own. Village 
full of them ; you could bargain with a porpoise for half 
the money which I was duped into squandering away on 
a chit ! But don't look so grave ; you may copy me if 
you can ! " 

"Time to start, and must walk brisk. Sir," said the 
jolly landlord, looking in. 

" Good-by, good-by." 

And so departed Lionel Haughton upon an enterprise 
as momentous to that youth-errant as Perilous Bridge or 
Dragon's Cave could have been to knight-errant of old. 

" Before we decide on having done with each other, a 
short visit" — so ran the challenge from him who had 
everything to give unto him who had everything to gain. 
And how did Lionel Haughton, the ambitious and 
aspiring, contemplate the venture in which success would 
admit him within the gates of the golden Carduel an 
equal in the lists with the sons of paladins, or throw him 
back to the arms of the widow who let a first floor in the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 117 

back streets of Pimlico ? Truth to say, as he strode 
musingly toward the station for starting, where the smoke- 
cloud now curled from the wheel-track of iron — truth to 
say, the anxious doubt which disturbed him was not that 
which his friends might have felt on his behalf In words, 
it would have shaped itself thus, "Where is that poor 
little Sophy! and what will become of her — what?" 
But, when, launched on the journey, hurried on to its 
goal, the thought of the ordeal before him forced itself 
on his mind, he muttered inly to himself, " Done with 
each other ; let it be as he pleases, so that I do not fawn 
on his pleasure. Better a million times enter life as a 
penniless gentleman, who must work his way up like a 
man, than as one who creeps on his knees into fortune, 
shaming birthright of gentleman, or soiling honor of man. '' 
Therefore, taking into account the poor cousin's vigilant 
])ride on the qui vice for offense, and the rich cousin's 
temper (as judged by his letters) rude enough to present 
it, we must own that if Lionel Haughton has at this 
moment what is commonly called " a chance," the ques- 
tion as yet is not, what is that chance, but ichat will he 
do with it ? And as the reader advances in this history, 
he will acknowledge that there are few questions in this 
world so frequently agitated, to which the solution is 
more important to each puzzled mortal, than that upon 
which starts every sage's discovery, every novelist's plot 
— that which applies to man's life, from its first sleep in 
the cradle, "What will he do with it?" 



BOOK SECOND 



CHAPTER I. 

Primitive character of the country in certain districts of Great 
Britain. — Connection between the features of surrounding 
scenery and the mental and moral inclinations of man, after the 
fashion of all sound Ethnological Historians. — A charioteer, to 
whom an experience of British Laws suggests an ingenious mode 
of arresting the progress of Roman Papacy, carries Lionel 
Haughton and his fortunes to a place which allows of descrip- 
tion and invites repose. 

In safety, but with naught else rare enough, in a rail- 
way train, to deserve commemoration, Lionel reached'the 
station to which he was bound. He there inquired the 
distance to Fawley Manor House ; it was five miles. He 
ordered a fly, and was soon wheeled briskly along a 
rough parish-road, through a country strongly contrast- 
ing the gay river scenery he had so lately quitted. 
Quite as English, but rather the England of a former 
race than that which spreads round our own generation 
like one vast suburb of garden-ground and villas. Here, 
nor village, nor spire, nor porter's lodge came in sight. 
Kare even were the corn-fields — wide spaces of unin- 
closed common opened, solitary and primitive, on the 

(118) 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 119 

road, bordered by large woods, chiefly of beech, closing 
the horizon with ridges of undulating green. In such an 
England, Knights-Templars might have wended their 
way to scattered monasteries, or fugitive partisans in the 
bloody Wars of the Roses have found shelter under leafy 
coverts. 

The scene had its romance, its beauty — half-savage, 
half-gentle — leading perforce the mind of any cultivated 
and imaginative gazer far back from the present day — 
waking up long-forgotten passages from old poets. The 
stillness of such wastes of sward — such deeps of wood- 
land — induced the nurture of reverie, gravely soft and 
lulling. There, Ambition might give rest to the wheel 
of Ixion, Avarice to the sieve of the Danaids ; there, 
disappointed Love might muse on the brevity of all hu- 
man passions, and count over the tortured hearts that 
have found peace in holy meditation, or are now stilled 
under grassy knolls. See where, at the crossing of three 
roads upon the waste, the landscape suddenly unfolds — 
an upland in the distance, and on the upland a building, 
the first sign of social man. What is the building ? only 
a silenced wind-mill — the sails dark and sharp against 
the dull, leaden sky. 

Lionel touched the driver — " Are we yet on Mr. Dar- 
rell's property ?" Of the extent of that property he had 
involuntarily conceived a vast idea. 

" Lord, Sir, no ; we be two miles from Squire Darrell's. 
He han't much property to speak of hereabouts. But he 
bought a good bit o' land, too, some years ago, ten or 



120 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

twelve mile t'other side o' the country. First time you 
are going to Fawley, Sir ?" 

"Yes." 

"Ah ! I don't mind seeing you afore — and I should 
have known you if I had, for it is seldom indeed I have 
a fare to Fawley old Manor House. It must be, I take 
it, four or five year ago sin' I wor there with a gent, and 
he went away while I wor feeding the horse — did me 
out o' my back fare. What bissness had he to walk 
when he came in my fly? — Shabby." 

" Mr. Darrell lives very retired, then — sees few per- 
sons?" 

" S'pose so. I never see'd him, as I knows on ; see'd 
two o' his hosses though — rare good uns ;" and the 
driver whipped on his own horse, took to whistling, and 
Lionel asked no more. 

At length the chaise stopped at a carriage-gate, rece- 
ding from the road, and deeply shadowed by venerable trees 

— no lodge. The driver, dismounting, opened the gate. 
" Is this the place ?" 

The driver nodded assent, remounted, and drove on rap- 
idly through what might, by courtesy, be called a park. 
The inclosure was indeed little beyond that of a good- 
sized paddock — its boundaries were visible on every side 

— but swelling uplands, covered with massy foliage, sloped 
down to its wild, irregular turf soil — soil poor for pas- 
turage, but pleasant to the eye ; with dell and dingle, 
bosks of fantastic pollards — dotted oaks of vast growth 

— here and there aweird hollow thorn-tree — patches of 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 121 

fern and gorse. Hoarse and loud cawed the rooks — and 
deep, deep as from the innermost core of the lovely wood- 
lands, came the mellow notes of the cnckoo. A few mo- 
ments more a wind of the road brought the house in sight. 
At its rear lay a piece of water, scarcely large enough to 
be styled a lake ; — too winding in its shaggy banks — its 
ends too concealed by tree and islet to be called by the 
dull name of pond. Such as it was, it arrested the eye 
before the gaze turned toward the house — it had an air 
of tranquillity so sequestered, so solemn. A lively man 
of the world would have been seized with spleen at tlie 
first glimpse of it. But he who had known some great 
grief — some anxious care — would have drunk the calm 
into his weary soul like au anodyne. The house — small, 
low, ancient, about the date of Edward YI., before the 
statelier architecture of Elizabeth. Few houses in Eng- 
land so old, indeed, as Fawley Manor house. A vast 
weight of roof, with high gables — windows on the upper 
story projecting far over the lower part — a covered porch 
with a coat of half-obliterated arms deep panneled over 
the oak door. Nothing grand, yet all how venerable I 
But what is this? Close beside the old, quiet, unassuming 
Manor House, rises the skeleton of a superb and costly 
pile — a palace uncompleted, and the work evidently sus- 
pended — perhaps long since, perhaps now forever. No 
busy workmen nor animated scalfolding. The perforated 
battlements roofed over with visible haste — here with 
slate, there with tile ; the Elizabethan mullion casements 
unglazed ; some roughly bijarded across — some with 
I.— 11 



122 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT/ 

staring, forlorn apertures, that showed floorless chambers 

— for winds to whistle through and rats to tenant. Weeds 
and long grass were growing over blocks of stone that 
lay at hand. A wall-flower had forced into root on the 
sill of a giant oriel. The effect was startling. A fabric 
which he who conceived it must have founded for poste- 
rity — so solid its masonry, so thick its walls — and thus 
abruptly left to molder — a palace constructed for the re- 
ception of crowding guests — the pomp of stately revels 

— abandoned to owl and bat. And the homely old house 
beside it, which that lordly hall was doubtless designed to 
replace, looking so safe and tranquil at the baffled pre- 
sumption of its spectral neighbor. 

The driver had rung the bell, and now, turning back to 
the chaise, met Lionel's inquiring eye, and said — " Yes.; 
Squire Darrell began to build that — many years ago — 
when I was a boy. I heerd say it was to be the show- 
house of the wiiole county. Been stopped these ten or a 
dozen years." 

"Why? — do you know?" 

" No one knows. Squire was a laryer, I b'leve — per- 
haps he put it into Chancery. My wife's grandfather was 
put into Chancery jist as he was growing up, and never 
grew afterward — never got out o' it — nout ever does. 
There's our churchwarden comes to me with a petition to 
sign agin the Pope. Says I, ' That old Pope is always in 
trouble — what's he bin doin' now ? ' Says he, ' Spread- 
ing ! He's got into Parlyment, and he's now got a col- 
ledge, and we pays for it. I doesn't know how to stop 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 123 

him.' Says I, 'Put the Pope into Chancery along with 
wife's grandfather, and he'll never hold up his head 
agin ' " 

The driver had thus just disposed of the Papacy when 
an elderly servant, out of livery, opened the door. Lionel 
sprung from the chaise, and paused in some confusion — 
for then, for the first time, there darted across him the 
idea that he had never written to announce his accept- 
ance of Mr. Darrell's invitation — that he ought to have 
done so — that he might not be expected. Meanwhile the 
servant surveyed him with some surprise. " Mr. Darreil ? " 
hesitated Lionel, inquiringly. 

" Xot at home, Sir," replied the man, as if Lionel's 
business was over, and he had only to re-enter his chaise. 
The boy was naturally rather bold than shy, and he said, 
with a certain assured air, " My name is Haughton. I 
come here on Mr. DarrelPs invitation." 

The servant's face changed in a moment — he bowed 
respectfully. " I beg pardon, Sir. I will look for my 
master — he is somewhere on the grounds." The servant 
then approached the fly, took out the knapsack, and ob- 
serving Lionel had his purse in his hand, said — "Allow 
me to save you that trouble, Sir. Driver, round to the 
stable-yard." Stepping back into the house, the servant 
threw open a door to the left, on entrance, and advanced 
a chair—" If you will wait here a moment, Sir, I will see 
for my master." 



124 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER II. 



Guy Darrell — and Still'd Life. 



The room in which Lionel now found himself was sin* 
gularly qnaint. An antiquarian or architect would have 
discovered at a glance that, at some period, it had formed 
part of the entrance-hall ; and when, in Elizabeth's or 
James tlie First's day, the refinement in manners begac 
to penetrate from baronial mansions to the homes of the 
gentry, and the entrance-hall ceased to be the common 
refectory of the owner and his dependents, this apartment 
had been screened off by perforated panels, which, for the 
sake of warmth and comfort, had been filled up into solid 
wainscot by a succeeding generation. Thus one side of 
the room was richly carved with geometrical designs and 
arabesque pilasters, while the other three sides were in 
small simple panels, with a deep fantastic frieze in plaster, 
depicting a deer-chase in relief, and running between 
woodwork and ceiling. The ceiling itself was relieved 
by long pendants without any apparent meaning, and by 
the crest of the Darrells, a heron, wreathed round with 
the family motto, "Ardiia petil ArdeaJ^ It was a dining- 
room, as was shown by the character of the furniture. 
But there was no attempt on the part of the present 
owner, and had clearly been none on the part of his pre- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 125 

decessor, to suit the furniture to the room. This last was 
of the heavy graceless taste of George the First — cum- 
brous chairs in walnut-tree — with a worm-eaten mosaic 
of the heron on their homely backs, and a faded blue 
worsted on their seats — a marvellous ugly sideboard to 
match, and on it a couple of black shagreen cases, the 
lids of which were flung open, and discovered the pistol- 
shaped handles of silver knives. The mantle-piece reached 
to the ceiling, in paneled compartments, with heraldic 
shields, and supported by rude stone Caryatides. On the 
walls were several pictures — family portraits, for the 
names were inscribed on the frames. They varied in date 
from the reign of Elizabeth to that of George I. A strong 
family likeness pervaded them all — high features, dark 
hair, grave aspects — save indeed one, a Sir Ralpli Haugh- 
ton Darrell, in a dress that spoke him of tlve holiday date 
of Charles 11. — all knots, lace, and ribbons-; evidently 
the beau of the race ; and he had blue eyes, a blonde 
peruke, a careless profligate smile, and looked altogether 
as devil-me-care, rakehelly, handsome, good-for-naught, 
as ever swore at a drawer, beat a watchman, charmed a 
lady, terrified a husband, and hummed a song as he pinked 
his man. 

Lionel was still gazing upon the eflBgies of this airy 
cavalier, when the door behind him opened very noise- 
lessly, and a man of imposing presence stood on the 
threshold — stood so still, and the carved moldings of the 
door-way so shadowed, and, as it were, cased round his 
figure, that Lionel, on turning quickly, might have mis- 
11* 



126 tvaat will he do with it? 

taken him for a portrait brought into bold relief, fi'om its 
frame, by a sudden fall of light. We hear it, indeed, 
familiarly said that such a one is like an old picture. 
Kever could it be more appositely said than of the face 
on which the young visitor gazed, much startled and some- 
what awed. Not such as inferior limners had painted in 
the portraits there, though it had something in comman 
with those family lineaments, but such as might have 
looked tranquil power out of the canvas of Titian. 

The man stepped forward, and the illusion passed. " I 
thank you," he said, holding out his hand, " for taking me 
at my word, and answering me thus in person." He paused 
a moment, surveying Lionel's countenance with a keen 
but not unkindly eye, and added softly, " Yery like your 
father." 

At these words Lionel involuntarily pressed the hand 
which he had taken. That hand did not return the 
pressure. It lay an instant in Lionel's warm clasp — not 
repelling, not responding — and was then very gently 
withdrawn. 

" Did you come from London ? " 

" No, Sir, I found your letter yesterday at Hampton 
Court. I had been staying some days in that neighbor- 
hood. I came on this morning — I was afraid, too un- 
ceremoniously; your kind welcome reassures me then." 

The words were well chosen, and frankly said. Probably 
they pleased the host, for the expression of his countenance 
was, on the whole, propitious ; but he merely inclined his 
head with a kind of lofty indifference, then, glancing at 



127 

his watch, he rang the bell. The servant entered 
promptly. " Let dinner be served within an hour." 

"Pray, Sir," said Lionel, "do not change your hours 
on my account." 

Mr, Darreirs brow slightly contracted. Lionel's tact 
was in fault there ; but the great man answered quietly, 
"All hours are the same to me ; and it were strange if a 
host could be deranged by consideration to his guest — • 
on the first day too. Are you tired ? Would you like 
to go to your room, or look out for half an hour ? The 
sky is clearing." 

"I should so like to look out, Sir." 

"This way, then." 

Mr. Darrell, crossing the hall, threw open a door op- 
posite to that by which Lionel entered, and the lake (we 
will so call it) lay before them. Separated from the house 
only by a shelving, gradual declivity, on which were a few 
beds of flowers — not the most in vogue nowadays — and 
disposed in rambling, old-fashioned parterres. At on© 
angle a quaint and dilapidated sun-dial ; at the other a 
long bowling-alley, terminated by one of those summer- 
houses which the Dutch taste, following the Revolution 
of 1688, brought into fashion. Mr. Darrell passed down 
this alley (no bowls there now;, and, observing that 
Lionel looked curiously toward the summer liouse, of 
which the doors stood open, entered it. A lofty room, 
with coved ceiling, painted with Roman trophies of helms 
and fasces, alternated with crossed fifes and fiddles, painted 
also. 



128 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Amsterdam manners, " said Mr. Darrell, slightly 
shrugging his shoulders. " Here a former race heard 
music, sung glees, and smoked from clay pipes. That 
age soon passed, unsuited to English energies, which are 
not to be united with Holland phlegm ! But the view 
from the window — look out there. I wonder whether 
men in wigs and women in hoops enjoyed that. It is a 
mercy they did not clip those banks into a straight 
canal ! " 

The view was indeed lovely ; the water looked so blue, 
and so large, and so limpid, woods and curving banks re- 
flected deep on its peaceful bosom. 

" How Yance would enjoy this ! " cried Lionel. " It 
would come into a picture even better than the Thames." 

" Vance — who is Yance ? " 

" The artist — a great friend of mine. Surely. Sir, you 
have heard of him, or seen his pictures ? " 

" Himself and his pictures are since my time. Days 
tread down days for the Recluse, and he forgets that ce- 
lebrities rise with their suns, to wane with their moons — 

' Truditur dies die, 
Novgeque pergunt intei-ire luuae.'" 

"All suns do not set — all moons do not wane !" cried 
Lionel, with blunt enthusiasm. " When Horace speaks 
elsewhere of the Julian star, he compares it to a moon — 
^ inter ignefi minores^ — and surely Fame is not among 
the orbs which 'pergunt interire^ hasten on to perish !" 

" I am glad to see that you retain your recollection of 
Horace," said Mr. Darrell, frigidly, and without continuing 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 129 

the allusion to celebrities, "the most charming of all 
poets to a man of my years, and " (he very dryly added^ 
" the most useful for popular quotation to men at any 
age." 

Then sauntering forth carelessly, he descended the 
sloping turf, came to the water-side, and threw himself 
at length on the grass — the wild thyme which he crushed 
sent up its bruised fragrance. There, resting his face on 
his hand, Darrell gazed along the water in abstracted si- 
lence. Lionel felt that he was forgotten ; but he was not 
hurt. By this time a strong and admiring interest for 
his cousin had sprung up within his breast — he would 
have found it difficult to explain why. But whosoever at 
that moment could have seen Guy Darrell's musing coun- 
tenance, or whosoever, a few minutes before, could have 
heard the very sound of his voice — sweetly, clearly full 
— each slow enunciation unaffectedly, mellowly distinct — 
making musical the homeliest, roughest word, would have 
understood and shared the interest which Lionel could 
not explain. There are living human faces which, inde- 
pendently of mere physical beauty, charm and enthrall us 
more than the most perfect lineaments which Greek 
sculptor ever lent to a marble face : there are key-notes 
in the thrilling human voice, simply uttered, which can 
haunt the heart, rouse the passions, lull rampant multi- 
tudes, shake into dust the thrones of guarded kings, and 
effect more wonders than ever yet have been wrought by 
Ihe most artiul chorus or the deftest quill. 

In a few minutes the swans from the farther end of the 
J 



130 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

water came sailing swiftly toward the bank on which 
Darrell reclined. He had evidently made friends with 
them, and they rested their white breasts close on the 
margin, seeking to claim his notice with a low hissing 
salutation, which, it is to be hoped, they change for 
something less sibilant in that famous song with which 
they depart this life. 

Darrell looked up. " They come to be fed," said he, 
"smooth emblems of the great social union. Affection 
is the offspring of utility. I am useful to them — they 
love me." He rose, uncovered, and bowed to the birds 
in mock courtesy : " Friends, I have no bread to give 
you." 

Lionel. " Let me run in for some : I would be useful 
too." 

Mr. Darrell. " Rival ! useful to my swans ? " 

Lionel (tenderly). " Or to you, Sir." 

He felt as if he had said too much, and without wait- 
ing for permission, ran in-doors to find some one whom 
he could ask for the bread. 

" Sonless, childless, hopeless, objectless ! " said Darrell, 
murmuringly, to himself, and sunk again into reverie. 

By the time Lionel returned with the bread, another 
petted friend had joined the master. A tame doe had 
cauglU sight of him from her covert far away, came in 
light bounds to his side, and was putting her delicate 
nostril into his drooping hand. At the sound of Lionel's 
hurried step she took flight, trotted off a few paces, then 
turned, looking wistfully. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 131 

"I did not know you had deer here." 

" Deer ! in this little paddock ! of course not ; only that 
doe. Fairthorn introduced her here. By-the-by," con- 
tinued Darrell, who was now throwing the bread to the 
swans, and had resumed his careless, unmeditative manner, 
*'you were not aware that I have a brother hermit — a 
companion besides the swans and the doe. Dick Fair- 
thorn is a year or two younger than myself, the son of my 
father's bailiff. He was the cleverest boy at his grammar- 
school. Unluckily he took to the flute, and unfitted him- 
self for the present century. He condescends, however, 
to act as my secretary — a fair classical scholar — plays 
chess — is useful to me — I am useful to him. We have 
an affection for each other. I never forgive any one who 
laughs at him. The half-hour bell, and you will meet 
him at dinner. Shall we come in and dress ? " 

They entered the house — the same man-servant was 
in attendance in the hall. " Show Mr. Haughton to his 
room." Darrell inclined his head — I use that phrase, 
for the gesture was neither bow nor nod — turned down 
a narrow passage, and disappeared. 

Led up an uneven stair-case of oak, black as ebony, 
with huge balustrades, and newel-posts supporting clumsy 
balls, Lionel was conducted to a small chamber, modern- 
ized a century ago by a faded Chinese paper, and a 
mahogany bedstead, which took up three-fourths of the 
space, and was crested with dingy plumes, that gave it 
the cheerful look of a hearse ; and there the attendant 
said, " Have you the key of your knapsack. Sir ? shall I 



132 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

put out your things to dress ? " Dress ! Then for the 
first time the boy remembered that he had brought with 
him no evening-dress — nay, evening-dress, properly so 
called, he possessed not at all in any corner of the world. 
It had never yet entered into his modes of existence. 
Call to mind when you were a boy of seventeen, "betwixt 
two ages hovering like a star," and imagine Lionel's 
sensations. He felt his cheek burn as if he had been de- 
tected in a crime. "I have no dress things," he said, 
piteously ; " only a change of linen, and this," glancing at 
the summer jacket. The servant was evidently a most 
gentlemanlike man — his native sphere that of groom of 
the chambers. " I will mention it to Mr. Darrell ; and if 
you will favor me with your address in London, I will 
send to telegraph for what you want against to-morrow." 

"Many thanks," answered Lionel, recovering his pre- 
sence of mind ; "I will speak to Mr. Darrell myself." 

" There is the hot water. Sir ; that is the bell. I have 
the honor to be placed at your commands." The door 
closed, and Lionel unlocked his knapsack — other trow- 
sers, other waistcoat, had he — those worn at the fair, and 
once white. Alas ! they had not since then passed to the 
care of the laundress. Other shoes — double-soled, for 
walking. There was no help for it, but to appear at 
dinner attired as he had been before, in his light pedes- 
trian jacket, morning waistcoat flowered with sprigs, and 
a fawn-colored nether man. Could it signify much — 
onlv two men ? Could the grave Mr. Darrell regard 
such trifles ? Yes, if they intimated want of due rt'si)ect 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT*/ 133 

Durum ! sed fit levius Patientia 
Quicquid corrigere est nefas. 

On descending the stairs, the same high-bred domestic 
was in waiting to show him into the library, Mr. Darrell 
was there already, in the simple but punctilious costume 
of a gentleman who retains in seclusion the habits custo- 
mary in the world. At the first glance Lionel thought 
he saw a slight cloud of displeasure on his host's brow. 
He went up to Mr. Darrell ingenuously, and apologized 
for the deficiencies of his itinerant wardrobe. " Say the 
truth," said his host; "you thought you were coming to 
an old churl, with whom ceremony was misplaced." 

" Indeed, no 1 " exclaimed Lionel. "But — but I have 
so lately left school." 

"Your mother might have thought for you." 

" I did not stay to consult her, indeed, Sir ; I hope you 
are not offended." 

" No, but let me not offend you if I take advantage of 
my years and our relationship to remark that a young 
man should be careful not to let himself down below the 
measure of his own rank. If a king could bear to hear 
that he was only a ceremonial, a private gentleman may 
remember that there is but a ceremonial between himself 
and — his hatter ! " 

Lionel felt the color mount his brow ; but Darrell, press- 
ing the distasteful theme no farther, and seemingly for- 
getting its purport, turned his remarks carelessly toward 
the weather. " It will be fair to-morrow ; there is no 
mist on the hill yonder. Since you have a painter for a 

L — 12 



134 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

friend, perhaps you yourself are a draughtsman. There 
are some landscape-effects here which Fairthorn shall 
point out to you." 

" I fear, Mr. Darrell," said Lionel, looking down, " that 
to-morrow I must leave you.'' 

' So soon ? Well, I suppose the place must be very 
dull." 

" Not that — not that; but I have offended you, and I 
would not repeat the offence. T have not the 'ceremo- 
nial ' necessary to mark me as a gentleman, either here or 
at home." \ 

" So 1 Bold frankness and ready wit command cere- 
monials," returned Darrell, and for the first time his lip 
wore a smile. " Let me present to you Mr. Fairthorn," 
as the door opening showed a shambling, awkward figure, 
with loose black knee-breeches and buckled shoes. The 
figure made a strange sidelong bow, and hurrying in a 
lateral course, like a crab suddenly alarmed, toward a 
dim recess protected by a long table, sunk behind a 
curtain-fold, and seemed to vanish as a crab does amidst 
the shingles. 

" Three minutes yet to dinner, and two before the 
letter-carrier goes," said the host, glancing at his watch. 
"Mr. Fairthorn, will you write a note for me ?" There 
was a mutter from behind the curtain. Darrell walked 
to the place, and whispered a few words, returned to the 
hearth, rang the bell. " Another letter for the post, 
Mills : Mr. Fairthorn is sealing it. You are looki ag at 
my book-shelves, Lionel. As I understand that your 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 135 

master spoke highly of you, I presume that you are fond 
of reading." 

" I think so, but I am not sure," answered Lionel, whom 
his cousin's conciliatory words had restored to ease and 
good-humor. 

" You mean, perhaps, that you like reading, if you may 
choose your own books." 

" Or rather if I may choose my own time to read them, 
and that would not be on bright summer days." 

" Without sacrificing bright summer days, one finds 
one has made little progress when the long winter nights 
come." 

"Yes, Sir. But must the sacrifice be paid in books? 
I fancy I learned as much in the play-ground as I did in 
the school-room, and for the last few months, in much my 
own master, reading hard, in the forenoon, it is true, for 
many hours at a stretch, and yet again for a few hours at 
evening, but rambling also through the streets, or listen- 
ing to a few friends whom I have contrived to make — 1 
think, if I can boast of any progress at all, the books 
have the smaller share in it." 

" You would, then, prefer an active life to a studious 
one ?" 

" Oh, yes — yes." 

" Dinner is served," said the decorous Mr. Miles, throw- 
ing open the door. 



136 -WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER III. 

In our happy country every man's house is his castle. But, how* 
ever stoutly he fortify it, Care enters, as surely as she did iit 
Horace's time, through the porticoes of a Roman's villa. Nor, 
whether ceilings be fretted with gold and ivory, or whether only 
colored with whitewash, does it matter to Care any more than it 
does to a house-fly. But every tree, be it cedar or blackthorn, 
can harbor its singing-bird; and few are the homes in which, 
from nooks least suspected, there starts not a music. Is it quite 
true that " nora avium citharaeque cantus somnum reducent?" 
Would not even Damocles himself have forgotten the sword, if 
the lute player had chanced upon the notes that lull? 

The dinner was simple enough, but well-dressed and 
well-served. One footman, in plain livery, assisted Mr. 
Mills. Darrell ate sparingly, and drank only water, which 
was placed by his side, iced, with a single glass of wine 
at the close of the repast, which he drank on bending his 
head to Lionel with a certain knightly grace, and the 
prefatory words of " Welcome here to a Haughton.'' Mr. 
Fairthorn was less abstemious — tasted of every dish, after 
examining it long through a pair of tortoise-shell specta- 
cles, and drank leisurely through a bottle of port, holding 
up every glass to the light. Darrell talked with his usual 
cold but not uncourteous indifference. A remark of 
Lionel's on the portraits in the room turned the conver- 
sation chiefly upon pictures, and the host showed himself 
thoroughly accomplished in the attributes of the various 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 137 

schools and masters. Lionel, who was very fond of the 
art, and, indeed, painted well for a youthful amateur, 
listened with great delight. 

"Surely, Sir," said he, struck much with a very subtU 
observation upon the causes why the Italian masters admit 
of copyists with greater facility than the Flemish — 
" snrely, Sir, you must yourself have practised the art of 
painting ?" 

" Not I ; but I instructed myself as a judge of pictures, 
because at one time I was a collector." 

Fairthorn, speaking for the first time : " The rarest 
collection — such Albert Durers ! such Holbeins ! and that 
head by Leonardo da Tinci I " He stopped — looked- 
extremely frightened — helped himself to the port — turn- 
ing his back upon his host, to hold, as usual, the glass to 
the light, 

"Are they here, Sir," asked Lionel. 

Darrell's face darkened, and he made no answer ; but 
his head sank on his breast, and he seemed suddenly 
absorbed in gloomy thought. Lionel felt that he had 
touched a wrong chord, and glanced timidly toward Fair- 
thorn, but that gentleman cautiously held up his finger, 
and then rapidly put it to his lip, and as rapidly drew it 
away. After that signal the boy did not dare to break 
the silence, which now lasted uninterruptedly till Darrell 
rose, and with the formal and superfluous question, "Any 
more wine ? " led the way back to the library. There he 
ensconced himself in an easy chair, and saying, " Will 
you find a book for yourself, Lionel ? " took a volume at 
12* 



138 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

random fiom the nearest shelf, and soon seemed absorbed 
in its contents. The room, made irregular by bay-windows, 
and shelves that projected as in public libraries, abounded 
with nook and recess. To one of these Fairthorn sidled 
himself, and became invisible. Lionel looked round the 
shelves. No belles leftres of our immediate generation 
were found there — none of those authors most in request 
at circulating libraries and literary institutes. The shelves 
could discover none more recent than the Johnsonian age. 
Neither in the lawyer's library were to be found any law- 
books — no, nor the pamphlets and parliamentary volumes 
that should have spoken of the once eager politician. 
But there were superb copies of the ancient classics. 
French and Italian authors were not wanting, nor such 
of the English as have withstood the test of time. The 
larger portion of the shelves seemed, however, devoted 
to philosophical works. Here alone was novelty admitted 
— the newest essays on science, or the best editions of old 
works thereon. Lionel at length made his choice — a 
volume of the " Faerie Queen." Coffee was served ; at a 
later hour, tea. The clock struck ten. Darrell laid down 
his book. 

" Mr. Fairthorn —the Flute ! " 

From the recess a mutter, and presently — the musician 
remaining still hidden — there came forth the sweetest 
note — so dulcet, so plaintive ! Lionel's ear was ravished. 
The music suited well with the enchanted page through 
which his fancy had been wandering dream-like — the 
flute with the "Faerie Queen." As the air flowed Jjquid 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 139 

on Lionel-s eyes filled with tears. He did not observe 
that Darrell was intently watching him. When the music 
stopped, he turned aside to wipe the tears from his eyes. 
Somehow or other, what with the poem, what with the 
flute, his thoughts had wandered far, far hence to the 
green banks and blue waves of the Thames — to Sophy'[\ 
charming face, to her parting childish gift ! And where 
was she now ? Whither passing away, after so brief a 
holiday, into the shadows of forlorn life ? 

Darrell's bell-like voice smote his ear. 

" Spenser ! You love him ! Do you write poetry ?" 

" No, Sir, I only feel it ! " 

" Do neither ! " said the host, abruptly. Then turning 
away, he lighted his candle, murmured a quick good-night, 
and disappeared through a side-door which led to his own 
rooms. 

Lionel looked round for Fairthorn, who now emerged 
ah angulo — from his nook, 

" Oh, Mr. Fairthorn, how you have enchanted me ! I 
never believed the flute could have been capable of such 
effects ! " 

Mr. Fairthorn 's grotesque face lighted up. He took 
off his spectacles, as if the better to contemplate the face 
of his eulogist. "So you were pleased! really?" he 
said, chuckling a strange, grim chuckle, deep in his 
inmost self. 

" Pleased ! it is a cold word ! Who would not be 
more tban pleased ? " 

"You should hear me iu the open air." 



140 "WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Let me do so — to-morrow." 

"My dear young Sir, with all my heart. Hist I" 
gazing round as if haunted — "I like you. I wish him 
to like you. Answer all his questions as if you did not 
care how he turned you inside out. Never ask him a 
question, as if you sought to know what he did not him- 
self confide. So there is something, you think, in a flute, 
after all ? There are people who prefer the fiddle." 

"Then they never heard your flute, Mr. Fairthorn." 
The musician again emitted his discordant chuckle, and, 
nodding his head nervously and cordially, shambled away 
without lighting a candle, and was ingulfed in the shadows 
of some mysterious corner. 



CHAPTER ly. 

The Old World, and the New. 

It was long before Lionel could sleep. What with the 
strange house, and the strange master — what with the 
magic flute, and the musician's admonitory caution — 
what with tender and regretful reminiscences of Sophy, 
his brain had enough to work on. When he slept at last, 
his slumber was deep and heavy, and he did not wake till 
gently shaken by the well-bred arm of Mr. Mills. " I 
humbly beg pardon — nine o'clock, Sir, and the breakfast- 
bell going to ring." Lionel's toilet was soon hurried 
over ; Mr. Darrell and Fairthorn were talking together 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 141 

as he entered the breakfast-room — the same room as 
that in which they had dined. 

" Good-morning, Lionel,'' said the host. " Xo leave- 
taking to-day, as you threatened. I find you have made 
an appointment with Mr. Fairthom, and I shall place you 
under his care. You may like to look over the old house, 
and make yourself"' — Darrell paused — '"'At home," 
jerked out Mr. Fairthorn, filling up the hiatus. Darrell 
turned his eye toward the speaker, who evidently becamt 
much frightened, and, after looking in vain for a corner, 
sidled away to the window, and poked himself behind the 
curtain. " Mr. Fairthorn, in the capacity of my secretary, 
has learned to find me thoughts, and put them in his own 
words," said Darrell, with a coldness almost icy. He 
then seated himself at the breakfast-table ; Lionel followed 
his example, and Mr. Fairthorn, courageously emerging, 
also took a chair and a roll. " You were a true diviner, 
Mr. Darrell," said Lionel; "it is a glorious day." 

"But there will be showers later. The fish are at play 
on the surface of the lake,'' Darrell added, with a softened 
glance toward Fairthorn, who was looking the picture of 
misery. "After twelve, it will be just the weather for 
trout to rise ; and if you fish.. Mr. Fairthom will lend you 
a rod. He is a worthy successor of Izaak Walton, and 
I'jves a companion as Izaak did, but more rarely gets one." 

"Are there trout in your lake, Sir ? " 

" The lake ! You must not dream of invading that 
sacred water. The inhabitants of rivulets and brooks not 
within my boundary are beyond the pale of Fawley 



]42 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

civilization, to be snared and slaughtered like Caffres, 
red men. or any other savages, for whom we bait with a 
missionary, and whom we impale on a bayonet. But I 
regard my lake as a political community, under the pro- 
tection of the law, and leave its denizens to devour each 
other, as Europeans, fishes and other cold-blooded 
creatures wisely do, in order to check the overgrowth of 
population. To fatten one pike it takes a great many 
minnows. Naturally I support the vested rights of pike. 
I have been a lawyer." 

It would be in vain to describe the manner in which 
Mr. Darrell vented this or similar remarks of mocking 
irony, or sarcastic spleen. It was not bitter nor sneer- 
ing, but in his usual mellifluous level tone and passionless 
tranquility. 

The breakfast was just over as a groom passed in front 
of the windows with a led horse. " I am going to leave 
you, Lionel," said the host, " to make — friends with Mr. 
Fairthorn, and I thus complete the sentence which he 
diverted astray, according to my own original intention." 
He passed across the hall to the open house-door, and 
stood by the horse stroking its neck and giving some 
directions to the groom. Lionel and Fairthorn followed 
to the threshold, and the beauty of the horse provoked 
the boy's admiration : it was a dark muzzled brown, of 
that fine old-fashioned breed of English roadster which 
is now so seldom seen ; showy, bow-necked, long-tailed, 
stumbling reedy hybrids, born of bad barbs, ill-mated, 
having mainly supplied their place. This-was, indeed, a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 143 

horse of great power, immense girth of loin, high slioulder, 
broad hoof ; and such a head ! the ear, the frontai, the 
nostril ! you seldom see a human physiogomy half so in- 
telligent, half so expressive of that high spirit and sweet 
generous temper, which, when united, constitute the ideal 
of thorough-breed'ng, whether in horse or man. The 
English rider was in harmony with the English steed. 
Darrell at this moment was resting his arm lightly on the 
animal's shoulder, and his head still uncovered. It has 
been said before that he was of imposing presence ; the 
striking attribute of his person, indeed, was that of uncon- 
scious grandeur ; yet, though above the ordinary height, 
he was not very tall — five feet eleven at the utmost — ar.d 
far from being very erect. On the contrary, there was that 
habitual bend in his proud neck which men who meditate 
much and live alone almost invariably contract. But there 
was, to use an expression common with our older writers, 
that " great air " about him which filled the eye, and gave 
him the dignity of elevated stature, the commanding as- 
pect that accompanies the upright carriage. His figure 
was inclined to be slender ; though broad of shouMer and 
deep of chest ; it was the figure of a young man, and 
probably little changed from what it might have been at 
five-and-twenty. A certain youthfulness still lingered even 
on the countenance — vStrange, for sorrow is supposed to 
expedite the work of age ; and Darrell had known sorrow 
of a kind most adapted to harrow his peculiar nature, as 
great in its degree as ever left man's heart in ruins. No 
gray was visible in the dark brown hair, that, worn short 



144 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

behind, still retained in front the large Jovelike curl. No 
wrinkle, save at the corner of the eyes, marred the pale 
bronze of the firm cheek ; the forehead was smooth as 
marble, and as massive. It was that forehead which 
chiefly contributed to the superb expression of his whole 
aspect. It was high to a fault ; the perceptive organs, 
over a dark, strongly-marked, arched eyebrow, powerfully 
developed, as they are with most eminent lawyers : it did 
not want for breadth at the temples ; yet on the whole, it 
bespoke more of intellectual vigor and dauntless will than 
of serene philosophy or all-embracing benevolence. It 
was the forehead of a man formed to command and awe 
the passions and intellect of others by the strength of pas- 
sions in himself, rather concentred than chastised, and an 
intellect forceful from the weight of its mass rather than 
the niceness of its balance. The other features harmon- 
ized with that brow ; they were of the noblest order of 
aquiline, at once high and delicate. The lip had a rare 
combination of exquisite refinement and inflexible resolve. 
The eye, in repose, was cold, bright, unrevealing, with a 
certain absent, musing, self-absorbing expression, that 
often made the man's words appear as if spoken mechan- 
ically, and assisted toward that seeming of listless indif- 
ference to those whom he addressed, by which he wounded 
vanity, without, perhaps, any malice prepense. But it was 
an eye in which the pupil could suddenly expand, the hue 
change from gray to dark, and the cold still brightness 
flash into vivid fire. It could not have occurred to any 
one, even to the ntost commonplace woman, to have de- 



WHAT WILL HB DO WITH IT? 145 

scribed Darrell's as a handsome face ; the expression would 
have seemed trivial and derogatory ; the words that would 
have occurred to all, would have been somewhat to this 
effect — ''What a magnificent countenance! What a 
noble head ! " Yet an experienced physiognomist might 
have noted that the same lineaments which bespoke a vir- 
tue bespoke also its neighboring vice ; that with so much 
will there went stubborn obstinacy ; that with that power 
of grasp there would be the tenacity in adherence which 
narrows in astriuging the intellect ; that a prejudice once 
conceived, a passion once cherished, would resist all 
rational argument for relinquishment. When men of this 
mould do relinquish prejudice or passion, it is by their 
own impulse, their own sure conviction that what they 
hold is worthless : then they do not yield it graciously ; 
they fling it from them in scorn, but not a scorn that con- 
soles. That which they thus wrench away had grown a 
living part of themselves; their own flesh bleeds — the 
wound seldom or never heals. Such men rarely fail in the 
achievement of what they covet, if the gods are neutral ; 
but adamant against the world, they are vulnerable through 
their affections. Their love is intense, but undemonstra- 
tive ; their hatred implacable, but unrevengeful. Too 
proud to revenge, too galled to pardon. 

There stood Guy Darrell, to whom the bar had destined 
its highest honors, to whom the Senate had accorded its 
most rapturous cheers ; and the more you gazed on him 
as he there stood, the more perplexed became the enigma, 
how with a career sought with such energy, advanced 

I. — 13 K 



146 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

with such success, the man had abruptly subsided into a 
listless recluse, and the career had been voluntarily re- 
signed for a home without neighbors, a hearth without 
children. 

" I had no idea," said Lionel, as Darrell rode slowly 
away, soon lost from sight amidst the thick foliage of 
summer trees — "I had no idea that my cousin was so 
young ! " 

" Oh, yes ! " said Mr. Fairthorn ; " he is only a year 
older than I am ! " 

" Older than you ! " exclaimed Lionel, staring in blunt 
amaze at the elderly-looking personage beside him ; "yet 
true — he told me so himself." 

"And I am fifty-one last birthday." 

" Mr. Darrell fifty-two ! Incredible ! " 

" I don't know why we should ever grow old, the life 
we lead," observed Mr. Fairthorn, re-adjusting his spec- 
tacles. " Time stands so still ! Fishing, too, is very con- 
ducive to longevity. If you will follow me we will get 
the rods ; and the flute — you are quite sure you would 
like the flute ? Yes ! thank you, my dear young Sir. And 
yet there are folks who prefer the fiddle ! " 

" Is not the sun a little too bright for the fly at present ? 
and will you not, in the mean while, show me over the 
house ? " 

" Very well ; not that this house has much worth seeing. 
The other, indeed, would have had a music-room I But, 
after all, nothing like the open air for the flute. This way." 

I spare thee, gentle reader, the minute inventory of 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 147 

Fawlej Manor House. It had nothing but its antiquity 
to recommend it. It had a great many rooms, all, except 
those used as the dining-room and library, very small and 
very low — innumerable closets, nooks — unexpected cav- 
ities, as if made on purpose for the venerable game of 
hide-and-seek. Save a stately old kitchen, the oflBces were 
sadly defective, even for Mr. DarrelPs domestic establish- 
ment, which consisted but of two men and four maids (the 
stablemen not lodging in the house). Drawing-room, 
properly speaking, it had none. At some remote period 
a sort of gallery under the gable roofs (above the first 
floor), stretching from end to end of the house, might have 
served for the reception of guests on grand occasions. For 
fragments of mouldering tapestry still, here and there, 
clung to the walls ; and a high chimney-piece, whereon, 
in plaster relief, was commemorated the memorable fishing- 
party of Antony and Cleopatra, retained patches of color 
and gilding, which must, when fresh, have made the Egypt- 
ian queen still more appallingly hideous, and the fish at 
the end of Antony's hook still less resembling any creature 
known to ichthyologists. 

The library had been arranged into shelves from floor 
to roof by Mr. Darrell's father, and subsequently, for the 
mere purpose of holding as many volumes as possible, 
brought out into projecting wings (college-like) by Dar- 
rell himself, without any pretension to mediaeval character. 
With this room communicated a small reading-closet, 
w^hich the host reserved to himself ; and this, by a circular 
rftair cut into the massive wall, ascended first into Mr. 



148 -WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

DarrelPs sleeping-chamber, and thence into a gable recess 
that adjoined the gallery, and which the host had fitted 
up for the purpose of scientific experiments in chemistry, 
or other branches of practical philosophy. These more 
private rooms Lionel was not permitted to enter. 

Altogether the house was one of those cruel tenements 
which it would be a sin to pull down or even materially 
to alter, but which it would be an hourly inconvenience 
for a modern family to inhabit. It was out of all cha- 
racter with Mr. Darrell's former position in life, or with 
the fortune which Lionel vaguely supposed him to pos- 
sess, and considerably underrated. Like Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, the man had grown too large for his habitation. 

"I don't wonder," said Lionel, as, their wanderings 
over, he and Fairthorn found themselves in the library, 
" that Mr. Darrell began to build a new house. But it 
would have been a great pity to pull down this for it." 

" Pull down this ! Don't hint at such an idea to Mr. 
Darrell. He would as soon have pulled down the British 
monarchy ! Nay, I suspect, sooner." , 

" But the new building must surely have swallowed up 
the old one." 

" Oh, no ; Mr. Darrell had a plan by which he would 
have inclosed this separately in a kind of court with an 
open screen work or cloister ; and it was his intention to 
appropriate it entirely to mediaeval antiquities, of which 
he had a wonderful collection. He had a notion of illus- 
trating every earlier reign in which his ancestors Nour- 
ished — different apartments in correspondence with dif- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 1-49 

ferent dates. It would have been a chronicle of national 
manners," 

"Bat, if it be not an impertinent question, where is 
this collection? In London?" 

" Hush ! hush ! I will give you a peep of some of the 
treasures, only don't betray me." 

Fairthorn here, with singular rapidity, considering that 
he never moved in a straightforward direction, undulated 
into the open air in front of the house, described a rhom- 
boid toward a side-buttress in the new building, near to 
which was a postern door ; unlocked that door from a 
key in his pocket, and, motioning Lionel to follow him, 
entered within the ribs of the stony skeleton. Lionel 
followed in a sort of supernatural awe. and beheld, with 
more substantial alarm, Mr. Fairthorn winding up an in- 
clined plank which he embraced with both arms, and by 
which he ultimately ascended to a timber joist in what 
should have been an upper floor, only flooring there was 
none. Perched there, Fairthorn glared down on Lionel 
through his spectacles. " Dangerous," he said, whisper- 
ingly ; " but one gets used to every thing ! If you feel 
afraid, don't venture ! " 

Lionel, animated by that doubt of nis courage, sprang 
up the plank, balancing himself, school-boy fashion, with 
outstretched arms, and gained the side of his guide. 

" Don't touch me," exclaimed Mr. Fairthorn, shrinking, 

"or we shall both be over, Now observe and imitate." 

Dropping himself then carefully and gradually, till he 

cropped on the timber joist as if it were a velocipede, his 

13* 



150 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

long legs dangling down, he with thigh and hand impelled 
himself onward till he gained the ridge of a wall, on 
which he delivered his person, and wiped his spectacles. 

Lionel was not long before he stood in the same place. 
"Here we are!' said Fairthorn. 

"I don't see the collection," answered Lionel, first 
peering down athwart the joists upon the rugged ground 
overspread with stones and rubbish, then glancing up, 
through similar interstices above, to the gaunt rafters. 

" Here are some — most precious," answered Fairthorn, 
tapping behind him, " Walled up, except where these 
boards, cased in iron, are nailed across, with a little door 
just big enough to creep through ; but that is locked — 
Chubb's lock, and Mr. Darrell keeps the key ! — treasures 
for a palace ! No, you can't peep through here — not a 
chink ; but come on a little further, — mind your footing." 

Skirting the wall, and still on the perilous ridge, Fair- 
thorn crept on, formed an angle, and, stopping short, 
dapped his eye to the crevice of some planks nailed rudely 
across a yawning aperture. Lionel found another crevice 
for himself, and saw, piled up in admired disorder, pic- 
tures, with their backs turned to a desolate wall, rare 
cabinets, and articles of curious furniture, chests, boxes, 
crates — heaped pell-mell. This receptacle had been 
roughly floored in deal, in order to support its miscellane- 
ous contents, and was lighted from a large window (not 
visible in front of the house), glazed in dull rough glass, 
with ventilators. 

" These are the heavy things, and lea^st costly things, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 151 

that no one could well rob. The pictures here are merely 
curious as early specimens, intended for the old house, all 
spoiling and rotting; Mr. Darrell wishes them to do so, 
I believe ! What ho wishes must be done ! my dear 
young Sir — a prodigious mind — it is of granite." 

" I can not understand it," said Lionel, aghast. " The 
last man I should have thought capriciously whimsical." 

" Whimsical ! Bless ray soul ! don't say such a word 
— don't, pray, or the roof will fall down upon us ! Come 
away. You have seen all you can see. You must go 
first now — mind that loose stone there I " 

Nothing further was said till they were out of the build- 
ing ; and Lionel felt like a knight of old who had been 
led into sepulchral halls by a wizard. 



CHAPTER V. 

The annals of empire are briefly chronicled in family records 
brought down to the present day, showing that the race of men 
is indeed "like leaves on trees, now green in youth, now wither- 
ing on the ground." Yet to the branch the most bare will green 
leaves return, so long as the sap can remount to the branch 
from the root ; but the branch which has ceased to take life from 
the root — hang it high, hang it low — is a prey to the wind and 
the woodman. 

It was mid-day. The boy and his new friend were stand- 
ing apart, as becomes silent anglers, on the bank? of a 
Qarrow brawling" rivulet, running through green pastures, 



152 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

half a mile from the house. The sky was overcast, as 
Darrell had predicted, but the rain did not yet fall. The 
two anglers were not long before they had filled a basket 
with small trout. 

Then Lionel, who was by no means fond of fishing, laid 
his rod on the bank, and strolled across the long grass to 
his companion. 

" It will rain soon," said he. " Let me take advantage 
of the present time, and hear the flute, while we can yet 
enjoy the open air. No, not by the margin, or you will 
be always looking after the trout. On the rising-ground, 
see that old thorn-tree — let us go and sit under it. The 
new building looks well from it. What a pile it would 
have been ! I may not ask you, I suppose, why it is left 
incompleted. Perhaps it would have cost too much, or 
would have been disproportionate to the estate." 

" To the present estate it would have been dispropor- 
tioned, but not to the estate Mr. Darrell intended to add 
to it. As to cost, you don't know him. He would never 
have undertaken what he could not afford to complete ; 
and what he once undertook, no thoughts of the cost 
would have scared him from finishing. Prodigious mind 
— granite ! And so rich ! " added Fairthorn, with an air 
of great pride. " I ought to know ; I write all his letters 
on money matters. How much do you think he has, with- 
out counting land ? " 

" I can not guess." 

"Nearly half a million — in two years it will be more 
than half a million. And he had not three hundred a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 153 

year when he began life ; for Fawlej was sadlv mort- 
gaged." 

" Is it possible ! Could any lawyer make half a million 
at the bar ? " 

" If any man could, he would, if he set his mind on it. 
But it was not all made at the bar, though a great part 
of it was. An East Indian old bachelor of the same name, 
but who had never been heard of hereabouts till he wrote 
from Calcutta to Mr. Dan*ell (inquiring if they were any 
relations — and Mr. Darrell referred hira to the College- 
at-Arms, which proved that they came from the same stock 
ages ago) — left him all his money. Mr. Darrell was not 
dependent on his profession when he stood up in Parlia- 
ment. And since we have been here, such savings ! Xot 
that Mr. Darrell is avaricious, but how can he spend money 
in this place ? You should have seen the servants we kept 
in Carlton Gardens. Such a cook too — a French gen-r 
tleman — looked like a marquis. Those were happy days, 
and proud ones ! It is true that I order the dinner here, 
but it can't be the same thing. Do you like fillet of veal ? 
we have one to-day." 

" We used to have a fillet of veal at school on Sundays. 
I thought it good then." 

" It makes a nice mince," said Mr. Fairthorn, with a 
sensual movement of his lips. " One must think of din- 
ner when one lives in the country — so little else to think 
of ! Not that Mr. Darrell does, but then he is — granite ! " 

" Still," said Lionel, smiling, " I do not get my answer. 
Why was the house uncompleted ? and why did Mr. Darrell 
letire from public life ? " 



154 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" He took both into his licad ; and when a thing once 
gets there, it is no use asking why. But," added Fair- 
thorn, and his innocent ugly face changed into an expres- 
sion of earnest sadness — "but no doubt he had his rea- 
sons. He has reasons for all he does, only they lie far 
far away from what appears on the surface — far as that 
rivulet lies from its source ! My dear young Sir, Mr. 
Darrell has known griefs on which it does not become 
you and rae to talk. He never talks of them. The least 
I can do for ray benefactor is not to pry into his secrets, 
nor babble them out. And he is so kind — so good — 
never gets into a passion ; but it is so awful to wound 
him — it gives him such pain ; that's why he frightens me 
— frightens me horribly; and so he will you when you 
come to know him. Prodigious mind ! — granite — over- 
grown with sensitive plants. Yes, a little music will do 
us both good." 

Mr. Fairthorn screwed his flute — an exceedingly hand- 
some one. He pointed out its beauties to Lionel — a pre- 
sent from Mr. Darrell last Christmas — and then he began. 
Strange thing, Art ! especially music. Out of an art a 
man may be so trivial you would mistake him for an im- 
becile — at best, a grown infant. Put him into his art, 
and how high he soars above you ! How quietly he enters 
into a heaven of which he has become a denizen, and, 
unlocking the gates with his golden key, admits you to 
follow, an humble, reverent visitor. 

In his art Fairthorn was certainly a master, and the air 
he now played was exquisitely soft and plaintive ; it ac» 



155 

corded with the clouded yet quiet skv, with the lone but 
summer landscape, with Lionel's melancholic but not 
afflicted train of thought. The boy could only murmur, 
"Beautiful!" when the musician ceased. 

" It is an old air," said Fairthorn ; " I don't think it is 
known. I found its scale scrawled down in a copy of the 
Eikon Basilike, with the name of Joannes Darrell, Eq. 
Aurot, written under it. That, by the date, was Sir John 
Darrell, the cavalier who fought for Charles I., father of 
the graceless Sir Ralph, who flourished under Charles II. 
Both their portraits are in the dining-room." 

" Tell me something of the family ; I know so little 
about it — not even how the Haughtons and Darrells seem 
to have been so long connected. I see by the portraits 
that the Haughton name was borne by former Darrells, 
then apparently dropped, now it is borne again by my 
<'Ousin." 

" He bears it only as a Christian name. Your grand- 
father was his sponsor. But he is, nevertheless, the head 
of your family." 

"So he says. How?" 

Fairthorn gathered himself up, his knees to his chin, 
and began in the tone of a guide who has got his lesson 
by heart, though it was not long before he warmed into 
his subject. 

" The Darrells are supposed to have got their name 
from a knight in the reign of Edward III., who held the 
lists in a joust victoriously against all comers, and was 
called, or called himself, John the Dare-all : or. in old 



156 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

spelling, the Der-all ! They were among the most powerful 
families in the country ; their alliances were with the highest 
houses — Montfichets, Nevilles, Mowbrays ; they descend 
through such marriages from the blood of Plantagenet 
kings. You'll find their names in Chronicles in the early 
French wars. Unluckily, they attached themselves to the 
fortunes of Earl Warwick, the King-maker, to whose 
blood they were allied ; their representative was killed in 
the fatal field of Barnet ; their estates were, of course, 
confiscated ; the sole son and heir of that ill-fated politi- 
cian passed into the Low Countries, where he served as 
a soldier. His son and grandson followed the same call- 
ing under foreign banners. But they must have kept up 
the love of the old land ; for, in the latter part of the 
reign of Henry YIII., the last male Darrell returned to 
England with some broad gold pieces, saved by himself 
or his exiled fathers, bought some land in this country, 
in which the ancestral possessions had once been large, 
and built the present house, of a size suited to the altered 
fortunes of a race that had, in a former age, manned 
castles with retainers. The baptismal name of the soldier 
who thus partially refounded the old line in England was 
that now borne by your cousin Guy — a name always 
favored by Fortune in the family annals ; for, in Eliza- 
beth's time, from the rank of small gentry, to which their 
fortune alone lifted them since their return to their native 
land, the Darrells rose once more into Avealth and emi- 
nence under a handsome young Sir Guy — w^e have his 
picture in black flowered velvet — who married the heiress 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 157 

of the Haugbtons, a family that had grown rich under the 
Tudors, and in high favor with the Maiden-Queen. This 
Sir Guy was befriended by Essex, and knighted by 
Ehzabeth herself. Their old house was then abandoned 
for the larger mansion of the Haughtons, which had also 
the advantage of being nearer to the Court. The re- 
newed prosperity of the Darrells was of short duration. 
The Cival Wars came on, and Sir John Darrell took the 
losing side. He escaped to France with his only son. 
He is said to have been an accomplished, melancholy 
man ; and ray belief is, that he composed that air which 
you justly admire for its mournful sweetness. He turned 
Koman Catholic, and died in a convent. But the son, 
Ralph, was brought up in France with Charles IT. and 
other gay roisterers. On the return of the Stuart, Ralph 
ran ofiF with the daughter of the Roundhead to whom his 
estates had been given, and, after getting them back, left 
his wife in the country, and made love to other men's 
wives in town. Shocking profligate ! no fruit could 
thrive upon such a branch He squandered all he could 
squander, and would have left his children beggars, but 
that he was providentially slain in a tavern brawl for 
boasting of a lady's favors to her husband's face. The 
husband suddenly stabbed him — no fair duello, for Sir 
Ralph was invincible with the small sword. Still the 
family fortune was much dilapidated, yet still the Darrells 
lived in the fine house of the Haughtons, and left Fawley 
to the owls. But Sir Ralph's son, in his old age, mar- 
ried a second time, a young lady of high rank, an earl's 
- L — 14 



158 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

daughter. He must have been very much in love with 
her, despite his age ; for, to win her consent or her 
father's, he agreed to settle all the Haughton estates on 
her and the children she might bear to him. The smaller 
Darrell property had already been entailed on his son by 
his first marriage. This is how the family came to spht. 
Old Darrell had children by his second wife ; the eldest 
of those children took the Haughton name, and inherited 
the Haughton property. The son by the first marriage 
had nothing but Fawley, and the scanty domain round it. 
You descend from the second marriage, Mr. Darrell from 
the first. You understand now, my dear young Sir ? " 

" Yes, a little ; but I should like very much to know 
where those fine Haughton estates are now ? " 

" Where they are now ? I can't say. They were once 
in Middlesex. Probably much of the land, as it was sold 
piecemeal, fell into small allotments, constantly changing 
hands. But the last relics of the property were, I know, 
bought on speculation by Cox the distiller ; for, when we 
were in London, by Mr. Darrell's desire I went to look 
after them, and inquire if they could be repurchased. 
And I found that so rapid in a few years has been the 
prosperity of this great commercial country, that if one 
did buy them back, one would buy twelve villas, several 
streets, two squares, and a paragon ! But as that symp- 
tom of national advancement, though a proud thought in 
itself, may not have any pleasing interest for you, I return 
to the Darrells. From the time in which the Haughton 
estate had parted from them, they settled back in their 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 159 

old house of Fawley. But they could never again hold 
up their heads with the noblemen and great squires in 
the country. As much as they could do to live at all 
upon the little patrimony ; still the reminiscence of what 
they had been made them maintain it jealously, and entail 
it rigidly. The eldest son would never have thought of 
any profession or business ; the younger sons generally 
became soldiers, and being always a venturesome race, 
and having nothing particular to make them value their 
existence, were no less generally killed off betimes. The 
family became thoroughly obscure, slipped out of place 
in the country, seldom rose to be even justices of the 
peace, never contrived to marry heiresses again, but only 
the daughters of some neighboring parson or Squire as 
poor as themselves, but always of gentle blood. Oh, 
they were as proud as Spaniards in that respect. So 
from father to son, each generation grew obscurer and 
poorer ; for, entail the estate as they might, still some 
settlements on it were necessary, and no settlements were 
ever brought into it ; and thus entails were cut off to ad- 
mit some new mortgage, till the rent-roll was somewhat 
less than £300 a year when Mr. Darrell's father came into 
possession. Yet somehow or other he got to collco'p, 
where no Darrell had been since the time of the Glorious 
Revolution, and was a learned man and an antiquary — 
A GREAT ANTIQUARY ! You may havc read his works. 
I know there is one copy of them in the British Museun^, 
and there is another here, but that copy Mr. Darrell keeps 
under lock and key." 



160 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" I am ashamed to say I don't even know the title of 
those works." 

" There were ' Popular Ballads on the Wars of the 
Roses ; ' ' Darrelliana,' consisting of traditional and other 
memorials of the Darrell family ; * Inquiry into the Origin 
of Legends connected with Dragons ; ' ' Hours among 
Monumental Brasses,' and other ingenious lucubrations 
above the taste of the vulgar ; some of them were even 
read at the Royal Society of Antiquaries. They cost 
much to print and publish. But I have heard my father, 
who was his bailiff, say that he was a pleasant man, and 
was fond of reciting old scraps of poetry, which he did 
with great energy ; indeed, Mr. Darrell declares that it 
was the noticing, in his father's animated and felicitous 
elocution, the effects that voice, look, and delivery can 
give to words, which made Mr. Darrell himself the fine 
speaker that he is. But I can only recollect the Anti- 
quary as a very majestic gentleman, with a long pigtail 

— awful, rather, not so much so as his son, but still awful 

— and so sad-looking; you would not have recovered 
your spirits for a week if you had seen him, especially 
when the old house wanted repairs, and he was thinking 
how he could pay for them ! " 

" Was Mr. Darrell, the present one, an only child ? " 
" Yes, and much with his father, whom he loved most 
dearly, and to this day he sighs if he has to mention his 
father's name ! He has old Mr. Darrell's portrait over 
the chimney-piece in his own reading-room ; and he had 
it in his own library in Carlton Gardens. Our Mr. Dar- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 161 

rell's raother was very pretty, even as I remember hei ; 
she died when he was about ten years old. And she too 
was a relation of yours — a Haughton by blood; but 
perhaps you will be ashamed of her, when I say she was 
a governess in a rich mercantile family. She had been 
left an orphan. I believe old Mr. Darrell (not that he 
was old then) married her because the Haughtons could 
or would do nothing for her, and because she was much 
snubbed and put upon, as I am told governesses usually 
are — married her because, poor as he was, he was still 
the head of both families, and bound to do what he could 
for decayed scions ! The first governess a Darrell ever 
married, but no true Darrell would have called that a 
mesalliance, since she was still a Haughton, and ' Fors 
non mutat genus,' Chance does not change race." 

"But how comes it that the Haughtons — my grand- 
father Haughton, I suppose, woald do nothing for his 
own kinswoman V' 

" It was not your grandfather, Robert Haughton, who 
was a generous man — he was then a mere youngster, 
hiding himself for debt — but your great-grandfather, who 
was a hard man, and on the turf. He never had money 
to give — only money for betting. He left the Haughton 
estates sadly dipped. But when Robert succeeded, he 
came forward, was godfather to our Mr. Darrell, insisted 
on sharing the expense of sending him to Eton, where he 
became greatly distinguished ; thence to Oxford, where he 
increased his reputation ; and would probably have done 
14* L 



162 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

more for him, only Mr. Darrell, once his foot on the 
ladder, wanted no help to climb to the top." 

" Then my grandfather, Robert, still had the Haughton 
estates ? Their last relics had not yet been transmuted 
by Mr. Cox into squares and a paragon ? " 

" No ; the grand old mansion, though much dilapidated, 
with its park, though stripped of saleable timber, was 
still left, with a rental from farms that still appertained to 
the residence, which would have suflBced a prudent man 
for the luxuries of life, and allowed a reserve fund to clear 
off the mortgages gradually. Abstinence and self-denial 
for one or tWo generations would have made a property, 
daily rising in value as the metropolis advanced to its 
outskirts, a princely estate for a third. But Robert 
Haughton, though not on the turf, had a grand way of 
living ; and while Guy Darrell went into the law to make 
a small patrimony a large fortune, your father, my dear 
young Sir, was put into the Guards to reduce a large 
patrimony — into Mr. Cox's distillery." 
Lionel colored, but remained silent. 
Fairthorn, who was as unconscious, in his zest of nar- 
rator, that he was giving pain, as an entomologist, in his 
zest for collecting, when he pins a live moth into his cabinet, 
resumed : " Your father and Guy Darrell were warm 
friends as boys and youths. Guy was the elder of the 
two, and Charlie Haughton (I beg your pardon, he wag 
always called Charlie) looked up to him as to an elder 
brother. Many's the scrape Guy got him out of; and 
many a pound, I believe, when Guy had some funds of 
his own, did Guy lend to Charlie." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 1C3 

" I am very sorry to hear that," said Lionel, sharply. 

Fairthorn looked frightened. " I'm afraid I have made 
a blunder. Don't tell Mr. Darrell." 

" Certainly not ; I promise. But how came my father 
to need this aid, and how came they at last to quarrel ? " 

" Your father, Charlie, became a gay young man about 
town, and very much the fashion. He was like you in 
person, only his forehead was lower and his eye not so 
steady. Mr. Darrell studied the law in Chambers. When 
Robert Haughton died, what with his debts, what with 
his father's, and what with Charlie's post-obits and 
I U's, there seemed small chance indeed of saving the 
estate to the Haughtons. But then Mr. Darrell looked 
close into matters, and with such skill did he settle them, 
that he removed the fear of foreclosure ; and what with 
increasing the rental here and there, and replacing old 
mortgages by new at less interest, he contrived to extract 
from the property an income of nine hundred pounds a 
year to Charlie (three times the income Darrell had in- 
herited himself), where before it had seemed that the debts 
were more than the assets. Foreseeing how much the 
land would rise in value, he then earnestly implored 
Charlie (who unluckily had the estate in fee-simple, as 
Mr. Darrell has this, to sell if he pleased), to live on his 
income, and in a few years a part of the property might 
be sold for building purposes, on terms that would save 
all the rest, with the old house in which Darrells and 
Haughtons both had once reared generations. Cliarlie 
promised, I know, and I've no doubt, my dear young Sir, 



164 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

quite sincerely — but all men are not granite ! He took 
to gambling, incurred debts of honor, sold the farms one 
by one, resorted to usurers, and one night, after playing 
six hours at picquet, nothing was left for him but to sell 
all that remained to Mr. Cox the distiller, unknown to 
Mr. Darrell, who was then married himself, working hard, 
and living quite out of the news of the fashionable world. 
Then Charlie Haughton sold out of the Guards, spent 
what he got for his commission, went into the line ; and 
finally, in a country town, in which 1 don't think he was 
quartered, but having gone there on some sporting specu- 
lation, was unwillingly detained* — married — " 

" My mother ! " said Lionel, haughtily ; " and the best 
of women she is. What then ? " 

'Nothing, my dear young Sir — nothing, except that 
Mr. Darrell never forgave it. He has his prejudices ; this 
marriage shocked one of them." 

" Prejudice against my poor mother I I always sup- 
posed so I I wonder why ? The most simple-hearted, 
inoffensive, affectionate woman." 

" I have not a doubt of it ; but it is beginning to rain. 
Let us go home. I should like some luncheon ; it breaks 
the day." 

" Tell me first why Mr. Darrell has a prejudice against 
my mother. I don't think that he has even seen her 
Unaccountable caprice! Shocked him, too — what a 
word! Tell me — I beg — I insist." 

" But you know," said Fairthorn, half piteously, half 
snappishly, " that Mrs. Haughton was the daughter of a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 165 

linen-draper, and her father's money got Charlie out of 
the county jail ; and Mr. Darrell said : ' Sold even your 
name ! " My father heard him say it in the hall at Fawley. 
Mr. Darrell was there during a long vacation, and your 
father came to see him. Your father fired up, and they 
never saw each other, I believe, again" 

Lionel remained still as if thunder-stricken. Some- 
thing in his mother's language and manner ha/i at times 
made him suspect that she was not so well born as his 
father. But it was not the discovery that she was a 
tradesman's daughter that galled him ; it was the thought 
that his father was bought for the altar out of the county 
jail ! It was those cutting words, " Sold even your 
name ! " His face, before very crimson, became livid ; 
his head sunk on his breast. He walked toward the old 
gloomy house by Fairthorn's side, as one who, for the 
first time in life, feels on his heart the leaden weight of 
an hereditary shame. 



CHAPTER YI. 

Showing how sinful it is in a man who does not care for his honor 
to beget children. 

When Lionel saw Mr. Fairthorn devoting his intel- 
lectual being to the contents of a cold chicken-pie, he 
silently stepped out of the room, and slunk away into a 
thick copse at the farthest end of the paddock. He 
longed to be alone. The rain descended, not heavily, but 



166 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

in penetrating drizzle : he did not feel it, or rather, he 
felt glad that there was no gaudy, mocking sunlight. 
He sate down forlorn in the hollows of a glen which the 
copse covered, and buried his face in his clasped hands. 

Lionel Haughton, as the reader may have noticed, was 
no premature man — a manly boy, but still a habitant 
of the twilight, dreamy shadow-land of boyhood. Noble 
elements were stirring fitfully within him, but their agencies 
were crude and undeveloped. Sometimes, through the 
native acuteness of his intellect, he apprehended truths 
quickly and truly as a man ; then, again, through the 
warm haze of undisciplined tenderness, or the raw mists 
of that sensitive pride in which objects, small in them- 
selves, loom large with undetected outlines, he fell back 
into the passionate dimness of a child's reasoning. He 
was intensely ambitious ; Quixotic in the point of honor ; 
dauntless in peril; but morbidly trembling at the very 
shadow of disgrace, as a foal, destined to be the war- 
horse and trample down leveled steel, starts in its tranquil 
pastures at the rustling of a leaf. Glowingly romantic, 
but not inclined to vent romance in literary creations, his 
feelings were the more high-wrought and enthusiastic 
because they had no outlet in poetic channels. Most boys 
of great ability and strong passion write verses — it is 
nature's relief to brain and heart at the critical turning- 
age. Most boys thus gifted do so ; a few do not, and out 
of those few Fate selects the great men of action — those 
large, luminous characters that stamp poetry on the world's 
prosaic surface. Lionel had in him the pith and substance 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 167 

of Fortune's grand nobodies, who become Fame's abrupt 
somebodies when the chances of life throw suddenly in 
their way a noble something, to be ardently coveted and 
boldly won. But, I repeat, as yet he \va^: a l)oy — so he 
sate there, his hands before his face, an unreasoning self- 
torturer. He knew now why this haughty Darrell had 
written with so little tenderness and respect to his beloved 
mother. Darrell looked on her as the cause of his ignoble 
kinsman's " sale of name ; " nay, most probably ascribed 
to her, not the fond, girlish love, which levels all dispari- 
ties of rank, but the vulgar, cold-blooded design to ex- 
change her father's bank-notes for a marriage beyond her 
station. And he was the debtor to this supercilious 
creditor, as his father had been before him ! His father ! 
— till then he had been so proud of that relationship. 
Mrs. Haughton had not been happy with her captain; 
his confirmed habits of \v\\d dissipation had embittered 
her union, and at last worn away her wifely affections. 
But she had tended and nursed him, in his last illness, as 
the lover of her youth ; and though occasionally she 
hinted at his faults, she ever spoke of him as the orna- 
ment of all society ; poor, it is true, harassed by unfeeling 
creditors, but the finest of fine gentlemen. Lionel had 
never heard from her of the ancestral estates sold for a 
gambling debt ; never from her of the county jail nor the 
mei'cenary mesalliance. In boyhood, before we have any 
cause to be proud of ourselves, we are so proud of our 
fathers, if we have a decent excuse for it. Of his father 
could Lionel Haughton be proud now ? And Darrell 
was cognizant of his paternal disgrace, had taunted his 



168 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

father in yonder old hall — for what? — the marriage 
from which Lionel sprung ? The hands grew tighter and 
tighter before that burning face. He did not weep, as 
he had done in Yance's presence at a thought much less 
galling. Not that tears would have misbecome him. 
Shallow judges of human nature are they who think that 
tears in themselves ever misbecome boy or even man. 
Well did the sternest of Roman writers place the arch 
distinction of humanity, aloft from all meaner of heaven's 
creatures, in the prerogative of tears ! Sooner mayest 
thou trust thy purse to a professonal pickpocket than give 
loyal friendship to the man who boasts of eyes to which 
the heart never mounts in dew ! Only, when man weeps, 
he should be alone — not because tears are weak, but 
because they should be sacred. Tears are akin to prayers. 
Pharisees parade prayer ; impostors parade tears. 
Pegasus, Pegasus — softly, softly 1 — thou hast hurried 
me off amidst the clouds : drop me gently down — there, 
by the side of the motionless boy in the shadowy glen. 



CHAPTER YIl. 

Lionel Haughton, having hitherto much improved his chance of 
fortune, decides the question, "What will he do with it?" 

" I HAVE been seeking you every where," said a well- 
known voice ; and a hand rested lightly on Lionel's 
shoulder. The boy looked up, startled, but yet heavily, 
and saw Guy Darrell, the last man on earth he could have 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 169 

desired to see. " Will you come in for a few minutes ? 
you are wanted." 

" What for ? I would rather stay here. Who can want 
me?" 

Darrell, struck by the words, and the sullen tone in 
which they were uttered, surveyed Lionel's face for an 
instant, and replied in a voice involuntarily more kind 
than usual — 

"Some one very commonplace, but, since the Picts 
went out of fashion, very necessary to mortals the most 
sublime. I ought to apologize for his coming. You 
threatened to leave me yesterday because of a defect in 
your wardrobe Mr. Fairthorn wrote to my tailor to 
hasten hither and repair it. He is here. I commend 
him to your custom ! Don't despise him because he makes 
for a man of my remote generation. Tailors are keen 
observers, and do not grow out of date so quickly as 
politicians." 

The words were said with a playful good-humor very 
uncommon to Mr. Darrell. The intention was obviously 
kind and kinsmanlike. Lionel sprang to his feet ; his 
lip curled, his eye flashed, and his crest rose. 

" Xo, Sir ; I will not stoop to this ! I will not be 
clothed by your charity — yours ! I will not submit to an 
implied taunt upon my poor mother's ignorance of the 
manners of a rank to which she was not born ! You said 
we might not like each other, and if so, we should part 
forever. I do not like you, and I will go ! " He turned 
abruptly, and walked to the house — magnanimous. If 

I —15 



170 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Mr. Darrell had not been the most singular of men he 
might well have been offended. As it was, though none 
less accessible to surprise, he was surprised. But offended ? 
Judge for yourself. " I declare," muttered Guy Darrell, 
gazing on the boy's receding figure — "I declare that I 
almost feel as if I could once again be capable of an 
emotion ! I hope I am not going to like that boy ! The 
old Darrell blood in his veins, surely. I might have 
spoken as he did at his age, but I must have had some 
better reason for it. What did I say to justify such an 
explosion! Quid feci? — ubi lapsus f Gone, no doubt, 
to pack up his knapsack, and take the Road to Ruin ! 
Shall I let him go ? Better for me, if I am really in danger 
of liking him ; and so be at his mercy to sting — what ? 
my heart ? I defy him : it is dead. No ; he shall not 
go thus. I am the head of our joint houses. Houses ! 
I wish he had a house, poor boy ! And his grandfather 
loved me. Let him go ! I will beg his pardon first ; and 
he may dine in his drawers if that will settle the matter !" 
Thus, no less magnanimous than Lionel, did this mis- 
anthropical man follow his ungracious cousin. " Ha ! " 
cried Darrell, suddenly, as, approaching the threshold, he 
saw Mr. Fairthorn at the dining-room window occupied 
in nibbing a pen upon an ivory thumb-stall — " I have hit 
it ! That abominable Fairthorn has been shedding its 
prickles ! How could I trust flesh and blood to such a 
bramble ? I'll know what it was, this instant ! " Yain 
Menace ! No sooner did Mr. Fairthorn catch glimpse of 
Darrell's countenance within ten yards of the porch than, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? IV 1 

his conscience taking alarm, he rushed incontinent from 
the window — the apartment — and ere Darrell could fling 
open the door, was lost in some lair — " nullis penefrabilis 
afitris^^ — in that sponge-like and cavernous abode, where- 
with benignant Providence had suited the locality to the 
creature. 



CHAPTER yill. 

New imbroglio in that ever-recurring, uever-to-besettled question, 
"What will he do with it?" 

With a disappointed glare, and a baffled shrug of the 
shoulder, Mr. Darrell turned from the dining-room, and 
passed up the stairs to Lionel's chamber, opened the door 
quickly, and extending his hand, said, in that tone which 
had disarmed the wrath of ambitious factions, and even 
(if fame lie not) once seduced from the hostile Treasury- 
bench a placeman's vote, " I must have hurt your feelings, 
and I come to beg your pardon ! " 

But before this time Lionel's proud heart, in which un- 
grateful anger could not long find room, had smitten him 
for so ill a return to well-meant and not indelicate kind- 
ness. And, his wounded egotism appeased by its very 
outburst, he had called to mind Fairthorn's allusions to 
Darrell's secret griefs — griefs that must have been indeed 
stormy so to have revulsed the currents of a life. And, 
despite those griefs, the great man had spoken playfully 



1'72 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

to him — playfully in order to make light of obligations. 
So when Guy Darrell now extended that hand, and 
stooped to that apology, Lionel w^as fairly overcome. 
Tears, before refused, now found irresistible way. The 
hand he could not take, but, yielding to his yearning im- 
pulse, he threw his arms fairly round his host's neck, 
leaned his young cheek upon that granite breast, and 
sobbed out incoherent words of passionate repentance — 
honest, venerating affection. Darrell's face changed, 
looking for a moment wondrous soft — and then, as by an 
effort of supreme self-control, it became severely placid. 
He did not return that embrace, but certainly he in no 
way repelled it ; nor did he trust himself to speak till the 
boy had exhausted the force of his first feelings, and had 
turned to dry his tears. 

Then he said, with a soothing sweetness : " Lionel 
Haughton, you have the heart of a gentleman that can 
never listen to a frank apology for unintentional wrong, 
but what it springs forth to take the blame to itself, and 
return apology ten-fold. Enough ! A mistake, no doubt, 
on both sides. More time must elapse before either can 
truly say that he does not like the other. Meanwhile," 
added Darrell, with almost a laugh — and that concluding 
query showed that even on trifles the man was bent upon 
either forcing or stealing his own will upon others — 
" meanwhile, must I send away the tailor ? " 

I Deed not repeat Lionel's answer. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 173 



CHAPTER IX. 

Darrell : mystery in his past life. What has he done with it ? 

Some days passed — each day varying little from the 
other. It was the habit of Darrell, if he went late to rest, 
to rise early. He never allowed himself more than five 
hours' sleep. A man greater than Guy Darrell — Sir 
Walter Raleigh — carved from the solid day no larger a 
slice for Morpheus. And it was this habit, perhaps, yet 
more than temperance in diet, which preserved to Darrell 
his remarkable youthfulness of aspect and frame, so that 
at fifty-two he looked, and really was, younger than many 
a strong man of thirty-five. For, certain it is, that on 
entering middle life, he who would keep his brain clear, 
his step elastic, his muscles from fleshiness, his nerves 
from tremor — in a word, retain his youth in spite of the 
register — should beware of long slumbers. Nothing ages 
like laziness. The hours before breakfast Darrell devoted 
first to exercise, whatever the weather — next to his calm 
scientific pursuits. At ten o'clock punctually he rode out 
alone, and seldom returned till late in the afternoon. Then 
he would stroll forth v^nth Lionel into devious woodlands, 
or lounge with him along the margin of the lake, or lie 
down on the tedded grass, call the boy's attention to the 
insect populace which sports out its happy life in the 
if.* 



174 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

summer months, and treat of the ways and habits of each 
varying species, with a quaint learning, half humorous, 
half grave. He was a minute observer and an accom- 
plished naturalist. His range of knowledge was, indeed, 
amazingly large for a man who has had to pass his best 
years in a dry and absorbing study : necessarily not so 
profound in each section as that of a special professor, 
but if the science was often on the surface, the thoughts 
he deduced from what he knew were as often original and 
deep. A maxim of his, which he dropped out one day 
to Lionel in his careless manner, but pointed diction, may 
perhaps illustrate his own practice and its results : " Never 
think it enough to have solved the problem started by 
another mind, till you have deduced from it a corollary 
of your own." 

After dinner, which was not over till past eight o'clock, 
they always adjourned to the library, Fairthorn vanishing 
into a recess, Darrell and Lionel each with his several 
book, then an air on the flute, and each to his own room 
before eleven. No life could be more methodical ; yet to 
Lionel it had an animating charm, for his interest in his 
host daily increased, and varied his thoughts with per- 
petual occupation. Darrell, on the contrary, while more 
kind and cordial, more cautiously on his guard not to 
wound his young guest's susceptibilities than he had been 
before the quarrel and its reconciliation, did not seem to 
feel for Lionel the active interest which Lionel felt for 
him. He did not, as most clever men are apt to do in 
their intercourse with youth, attempt to draw him out, 



WHAT ^V I L L HE DO WITH IT? 175 

plomb his intellect, or guide his tastes. If he was at times 
instructive, it was because talk fell on subjects on which 
it pleased himself to touch, and in which he could not 
speak without involuntarily instructing. 'Sot did he ever 
allure the boy to talk of his school-days, of his friends, 
of his predilections, his hopes, his future. In short, had 
you observed them together, you would have never sup- 
posed they were connections — that one could and ought 
to influence and direct the career of the other. You would 
have said the host certainly liked the guest, as any man 
would like a promising, warm-hearted, high-spirited, grace- 
ful boy, under his own roof for a short time, but who felt 
that that boy was nothing to him — would soon pass from 
his eye — form friends, pursuits, aims — with which he could 
be in no way commingled, for which he should be wholly 
irresponsible. There was also this peculiarity in Darrell's 
conversation : if he never spoke of his guest's past and 
future, neither did he ever do more than advert in the 
most general terms to his own. Of that grand stage, on 
which he had been so brilliant an actor, he imparted no 
reminiscences ; of those great men, the leaders of his age, 
with whom he had mingled familiarly, he told no anec- 
dotes. Equally silent was he as to the earlier steps in 
his career, the modes by which he had studied, the acci- 
dents of which he had seized advantage — silent there as 
upon the causes he had gained, or the debates he had 
adorned. Never could you have supposed that this man, 
still in the prime of public life, had been the theme of 
journals, and the boast of party. Neither did be ever, 



176 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

as men who talk easil}^ at their own hearths are prone tc 
do, speak of projects in the future, even though the pro- 
jects be no vaster than the planting of a tree or the altera- 
tion of a parterre — projects with which rural life so copi- 
ously and so innocently teems. The past seemed as if it 
had left to him no memory, the future as if it stored for 
him no desire. But did the past leave no memory ? Why 
then at intervals would the book slide from his eye, the 
head sink upon the breast, and a shade of unutterable 
dejection darken over the grand beauty of that strong 
stern countenance ? Still that dejection was not morbidly 
fed and encouraged, for he would fling it from him with a 
quick impatient gesture of the head, resume the book re- 
solutely, or change it for another which induced fresh 
trains of thought, or look over Lionel's shoulder, and 
make some subtle comment on his choice, or call on Fair- 
thorn for the flute ; and in a few minutes the face was 
severely serene again. And be it here said, that it is only 
in the poetry of young gentlemen, or the prose of lady 
novelists, that a man in good health, and of sound intel- 
lect, wears the livery of unvarying gloom. However great 
his causes of sorrow, he does not forever parade its osten- 
tatious mourning, nor follow the hearse of his hopes with 
the long face of an undertaker. He will still have his 
gleams of cheerfulness — his moments of good-humor. 
The old smile will sometimes light the eye, and awake the 
old playfulness of the lip. But what a great and critical 
sorrow does leave behind is often far worse than the sor- 
row itself has been. It is a change in the inner man, which 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? IT" 

strands him, as Guy Darrell seemed stranded, upon the 
shoal of the Present ; which, the more he strive manfully 
to bear his burden, warns him the more from dwelling on 
the Past ; and the more impressively it enforce the lesson 
of the vanity of human wishes, strikes the more from his 
reckoning illusive hopes in the Future. Thus out of our 
threefold existence two parts are annihilated — the what 
has been — the what shall be. We fold our arms, stand 
upon the petty and steep cragstone, which alone looms 
out of the Measureless Sea, and say to ourselves, looking 
neither backward nor beyond, " Let us bear what is ; " 
and so for the moment the eye can lighten and the lip 
can smile. 

Lionel could no longer glean from Mr. Fairthorn any 
stray hints upon the family records. That gentleman 
had evidently been reprimanded for indiscretion, or 
warned against its repetition, and he became reserved 
and mum as if he had just emerged from the cave of Tro- 
phonius. Indeed he shunned trusting himself again alone 
to Lionel, and, affecting a long arrear of correspondence 
on behalf of his employer, left the lad during the fore- 
noons to solitary angling, or social intercourse with the 
swans and the tame doe. But from some mystic conceal- 
ment within doors would often float far into the open air 
the melodies of that magic flute ; and the boy would glide 
back, along the dark-red mournful walls of the old house, 
or the futile pomp of pilastered arcades in the uncompleted 
new one, to listen to the sound : listening, he, blissful boy, 
forgot the present ; he seized the unchallenged royalty of 

M 



178 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

his years. For him no rebels in the past conspired with 
poison to the wine-cup, murder to the sleep. No deserts 
in the future, arresting the march of ambition, said, " Here 
are sands for a pilgrim, not fields for a conqueror." 



CHAPTER X. 

In which chapter the History quietly moves on to the next. 

Thus nearly a week had gone, and Lionel began to 
feel perplexed as to the duration of his visit. Should he 
be the first to suggest departure ? Mr. Darrell rescued 
him from that embarrassment. On the seventh day, 
Lionel met him in a lane near the house, returning from 
his habitual ride. The boy walked home by the side of 
the horseman, patting the steed, admiring its shape, and 
praising the beauty of another saddle-horse, smaller and 
slighter, which he had seen in the paddock exercised by a 
groom. "Do you ever ride that chestnut ? I think it 
even handsomer than this." 

" Half our preferences are due to the vanity they 
flatter. Few can ride this horse — any one, perhaps, 
that." 

" There speaks the Dare-all ! " said Lionel, laughing. 

The host did not look displeased. 

" Where no difficulty, there no pleasure," said he, in 
his curt laconic diction. " I was in Spain two years ago. 
I had not an English horse there, so I bought that 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 179 

Andaluslan jennet. What has served him at need, no 
preux chevalier would leave to the chance of ill-usage. 
So the jennet came with me to England. You have not 
been much accustomed to ride, I suppose ? " 

" Not much ; but my dear mother thought I ought to 
learn. She pinched for a whole year to have me taught 
at a riding-school during one school vacation." 

" Your mother's relations are, I believe, well off. Do 
they sufifer her to pinch?" 

" I do not know that she has relations living ; she 
never speaks of them." 

" Indeed ! " This was the first question on home 
matters that Darrell had ever directly addressed to 
Lionel. He there dropped the subject, and said, after a 
short pause, " I was not aware that you are a horseman, 
or I would have asked you to accompany me ; will you 
do so to-morrow, and mount the jennet ? " 
"Oh, thank you; I should like it so much." 
Darrell turned abruptly away from the bright grateful 
eyes. "I am only sorry," he added, looking aside, "that 
our excursions can be but few. On Friday next I shall 
submit to you a proposition ; if you accept it, we shall 
part on Saturday — liking each other, I hope ; speaking 
for myself, the experiment has not failed ; and on yours ? " 
" On mine ! oh, Mr. Darrell, if I dared but tell you 
what recollections of yourself the experiment will be- 
queath to me ! " 

" Do not tell me, if they imply a compliment," answered 
Darrell, with a low silvery laugh which so melodiously 



180 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

expressed indifference, and repelled affection. He entered 

the stable-yard, dismounted ; and on returning to Lionel, 

the sound of the flute stole forth, as if from the eaves of 

the gabled roof. " Could the pipe of Horace's Faun us 

be sweeter than that flute ? " said Darrell, 

" • Utcunqua dulci, Tyndare, fistula, 
Valles,' etc. 

What 'a lovely ode that is ! What knowledge of town 
life ! what susceptibility to the rural ! Of all the Latins, 
Horace is the only one with whom I could wish to have 
spent a week. But no ! I could not have discussed the 
brief span of human life with locks steeped in Malobathrau 
balm, and wreathed with that silly myrtle. Horace and 
I woiild have quarreled over the first heady bowl of 
Massic. We never can quarrel now ! Blessed subject 
and poet-laureate of Queen Proserpine, and, I dare 
swear, the most gentlemanlike poet she ever received at 
court, henceforth his task is to uncoil the asps from the 
brows of Alecto, and arrest the ambitious Orion from the 
chase after visionary lions." 



CHAPTER XI. 

Showing that if a good face is a letter of recommendation, a good 
heart is a letter of credit. 

The next day they rode forth, host and guest, and 
that ride proved an eventful crisis in the fortune of 
Lionel Haughton Hitherto I have elaborately dwelt 
on the fact that, whatever the regard Darrell miglit feel 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 181 

for him, it was a regard apart from that interest which 
accepts a responsibility, and links to itself a fate. And 
even if, at moments, the powerful and wealthy man had 
felt that interest, he had thrust it from him. That he 
meant to be generons was indeed certain, and this he had 
typically shown in a very trite matter-of-fact w*ay. The 
tailor, whose visit had led to such perturbation, had re- 
ceived instructions beyond the mere supply of the rai- 
ment for which he had been summoned ; and a large 
patent portmanteau, containing all that might constitute 
the liberal outfit of a young man in the rank of a gentle- 
man, had arrived at Fawley, and amazed and moved 
Lionel, whom Darrell had by this time thoroughly re- 
conciled to the acceptance of benefits. The gift denoted 
this, " In recognising you as kinsman, I shall henceforth 
provide for you as gentleman." Darrell indeed meditated 
applying for an appointment in one of the public offices, 
the settlement of a liberal allowance, and a parting shake 
of the hand, which should imply, "I have now behaved 
as becomes me ; the rest belongs to you. We may never 
meet again. There is no reason why this good-by may 
not be forever." 

But in the course of that ride Darrell's intentions 
changed. Wherefore ? You will never guess ! Nothing 
so remote as the distance between cause and effect, and 
the cause for the effect here was — poor little Sophy. 

The day was fresh, with a lovely breeze, as the two 
riders rode briskly over the turf of rolling common-lands, 
with the feathery boughs of neighboring woodlands 

L — IF. 



182 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

tossed joyously to and fro by the sportive summer wind. 
The exhilarating exercise and air raised Lionel's spirits, 
and released his tongue from all trammels ; and when a 
boy is in high spirits, ten to one but he grows a frank 
egotist, feels the teeming life of his individuality, and talks 
about himself. Quite unconsciously Lionel rattled out 
gay anecdotes of his school-days ; his quarrel with a de- 
moniacal usher ; how he ran away ; what befell him ; how 
the doctor went after, and brought him back ; how splen- 
didly the doctor behaved — neither flogged nor expelled 
him, but after patient listening, while he rebuked the 
pupil dismissed the usher, to the joy of the whole academy ; 
how he fought the head boy in the school for calling the 
doctor a sneak ; how, licked twice, he yet fought that 
head lx)y a third time, and licked him ; how, when head 
boy himself, he had roused the whole school into a civil 
war, dividing the boys into Cavaliers and Roundheads ; 
how clay was rolled out into cannon-balls and pistol-shot, 
sticks shaped into swords ; the play-ground disturfed to 
construct fortifications ; how a slovenly stout boy enacted 
Cromwell ; how he himself was elevated into Prince 
Rupert ; and how, reversing all history, and infamously 
degrading Cromwell, Rupert would not consent to be 
beaten ; and Cromwell at the last, disabled by an unto- 
ward blow across the knuckles, ignominiously yielded 
himself prisoner, was tried by a court-martial, and 
sentenced to be shot ! To all this rubbish did Darrell in- 
cline his patient ear — not encouraging, not interrupting, 
but sometimes stifling a sigh at the sound of Lionel's 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 183 

merry laugh, or the sight of his fair face, with heightened 
glow on its cheeks, and his long silky hair, worthy the 
name of love-locks, blown by the wind from the open 
loyal features, which might well have graced the portrait 
of some youthful Cavalier. On bounded the Spanish 
jennet, on rattled the boy rider. He had left school 
now, in his headlong talk ; he was describing his first 
friendship \nth Frank Yauce, as a lodger at his mother's ; 
how example fired him, and he took to sketch-work and 
painting ; how kindly Yance gave him lessons ; how at 
one time he wished to be a painter ; how much the mere 
idea of such a thing vexed his mother, and how little she 
was moved when he told her that Titian was of a very 
ancient family, and that Francis I., archetype of gentle- 
men, visited Leonardo da Yinci's sick-bed ; and that 
Henry YIII. had said to a pert lord who had snubbed 
Holbein, " I can make a lord any day, but I cannot make 
a Holbein ; " how Mrs. Haughton still confounded all 
painters in the general image of the painter and plumber 
who had cheated her so shamefully in the renewed 
window-sashes and redecorated walls, which Time and 
the four children of an Irish family had made necessary 
to the letting of the first floor. And these playful allu- 
sions to the maternal ideas were still not irreverent, but 
contrived so as rather to prepossess Darrell in Mrs. 
Haughton 's favor, by bringing out traits of a simple 
natural mother, too proud, perhaps, of her only son, not 
caring what she did, how she worked, so that he might 
not lose caste as a born Haughton. Darrell understood, 



184 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and nodded his head approvingly. " Certainly," he said, 
speaking almost for the first time, " fame confers a rank 
above that of gentlemen and of kings ; and as soon as she 
issues her patent of nobility, it matters not a straw 
whether the recipient be the son of a Bourbon or of a 
tallow-chandler. But if Fame withhold her patent — if a 
well-born man paint aldermen, and be not famous (and I 
dare say you would have been neither a Titian nor a 
Holbein), why, he might as well be a painter and plumber, 
and has a better chance, even of bread and cheese, by 
standing to his post as gentleman. Mrs. Haughton was 
right, and I respect her." 

" Quite right. If I lived to the age of Methuselah, I 
could not paint a head like Frank Yance." 

" And even he is not famous yet. Never heard of him." 
" He will be famous — I am sure of it ; and if you lived 
in London, you would hear of him even now. Oh, Sir 1 
such a portrait as he painted the other day ! But I must 
tell you all about it." And therewith Lionel plunged at 
once, median res, into the brief broken epic of little 
Sophy, and the eccentric infirm Belisarius for whose sake 
she first toiled and then begged : with what artless elo- 
quence he brought out the colors of the whole story — 
now its humor, now its pathos ; with what beautifying 
sympathy he adorned the image of the little vagrant girl, 
with her mien of gentlewoman and her simplicity of 
child; the river-excursion to Hampton Court; her still 
delight ; how annoyed he felt when Vance seemed ashamed 
of her before those fine people ; the orchard scen^ in 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 185 

which he bad read Darrell's letter, that, for the time, 
drove her from the foremost place in his thoughts ; the 
return home, the parting, her wistful look back, the visit 
to the Cobbler's next day — even her farewell gift, the 
nursery poem, with the lines written on the fly-leaf, he 
had them by heart ! Darrell, the grand advocate, felt he 
could not have produced on a jury, with those elements 
the eflFect which that boy-narrator produced on his granite 
self. 

"And, oh, Sir !" cried Lionel, checking his horse, and 
even arresting Darrell's with bold right hand, '* oh ! " said 
he, as he brought his moist and pleading eyes in full 
battery upon the shaken fort to which he had mined his 
way — "oh Sir! you are so wise, and rich, and kind, do 
rescue that poor child from the penury and hardships of 
such a life ! If you could but have seen and heard her ! 
She could never have been bom to it ! You look away 
— I offend you. I have no right to tax your benevolence 
for others ; but, instead of showering favors upon me, 
so little would suffice for her, if she were but above 
positive want, with that old man (she would not be 
happy without him), safe in such a cottage as you give 
to your own peasants ! I am a man, or shall be one 
soon ; I can wrestle with the world, and force my way 
somehow ; but that delicate child, a village show, or a 
beggar on the high-road ! no mother, no brother, no one 
but that broken-down cripple, leaning upon her arm as 
his crutch. I can not bear to think of it. I am sure I 
fcUall meet her again somewhere ; and when I do, may 
IG* 



186 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

I not write to you, and will you not come to her help ? 
Do speak — do say 'Yes,' Mr. Darrell." 

The rich man's breast heaved slightly ; he closed his 
eyes, but for a moment. There was a short and sharp 
struggle with his better self, and the better self conquered. 

" Let go my reins — see, my horse puts down his ears 
— he may do you a mischief. Now canter on — you 
shall be satisfied. Give me a moment to — to unbutton 
my coat — it is too tight for me." 



CHAPTER XII. 

Guy Darrell gives way to an impulse, and quickly decides what he 
will do with it 

"Lionel Haughton," said Guy Darrell, regaining his 
young cousin's side, and speaking in a firm and measured 
voice, " I have to thank you for one very happy minute ; 
the sight of a heart so fresh in the limpid purity of good- 
ness is a luxury you can not comprehend till you have 
come to my age ; journeyed, like me, from DantoBeersheba, 
and found all barren. Heed me ; if you had been half a 
dozen years older, and this child for whom you plead had 
been a fair young woman, perhaps just as innocent, just as 
charming — more in peril — my benevolence would have 
lain as dormant as a stone. A young man's foolish senti- 
ment for a pretty girl. As your true friend, I should 
have shrugged my shoulders, and said, 'Beware ! '' Had 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 187 

I been your father, I should have taken alarm, and 
frowned. I should have seen the sickly romance, which 
ends in dupes or deceivers. But at your age, you hearty, 
genial, and open-hearted boy — you caught but by the 
chivalrous compassion for helpless female childhood — 
oh, that you wei-e ray son — oh, that my dear father's 
blood were in those knightly veins ! I had a son once. God 
took him ;" the strong man's lips quivered — he hurried on. 
" I felt there was manhood in you when you wrote to fling 
ray churlish favors in ray teeth — when you would have left 
ray roof-tree in a burst of passion which might be foolish, 
but was nobler than the wisdom of calculating submission 
— manhood, but only perhaps man's pride as man — man's 
heart not less cold than winter. To-day you have shown 
me something far better than pride ; that nature which 
constitutes the heroic temperament is completed by two 
attributes — unflinching purpose, disinterested humanity. 
I know not yet if you have the first ; you reveal to me 
the second. Yes ! I accept the duties you propose to me ; 
I will do more than leave to you the chance of discover- 
ing this poor child. I will direct my solicitor to take the 
right steps to do so. I will see that she is safe from the 
ills you fear for her. Lionel ; more still, I am impatient 
till I write to Mrs. Haughton. I did her ^Tong. Re- 
member, I have never seen her. I resented in her the 
cause of my quarrel with your father, who was once dear 
to me. Enough of that. I disliked the tone of her 
letters to nie. I dislike it in the mother of a boy who 
had Barrell blood; other reasons too — let them pass 



188 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

But in providing for your education, I certainly thought 
her relations provided for her support. She never asked 
me for help there ; and, judging of her hastily, I thought 
she would not have scrupled to do so if my help there had 
not been forestalled. You have made me understand 
her better ; and at all events, three-fourths of what we 
are in boyhood most of us owe to our mothers 1 You 
are frank, fearless, affectionate — a gentleman. I respect 
the mother who has such a son." 

Certainly praise was rare upon Darrell's lips ; but, 
when he did praise, he knew how to do it ! And no man 
will ever command others who has not by nature that 
gift. It can not be learned. Art and experience can 
only refine its expression. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

He who sees his heir in his own child, carries his eye over hopes 
and possessions lying far beyonJ his grave-stone ; viewing his 
life, even here, as a period but closed with a comma. He who 
sees his heir in another man's child, sees the full stop at the end 
of the sentence. 

Lionel's departure was indefinitely postponed ; no- 
thing more was said of it. Meanwhile Darrell's manner 
toward him underwent a marked change. The previous 
indifference the rich kinsman had hitherto shown as to 
the boy's past life, and the peculiarities of his intellect 
and character, wholly vanished. He sought now, on 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 189 

the contrary, to plumb thoroughly the more hidden depths 
which lurk in the nature of every human being, and which, 
in Lionel's, were the more difficult to discern from the 
vivacity and candor which covered with so smooth and 
charming a surface a pride tremulously sensitive, and an 
ambition that startled himself in the hours when solitude 
and reverie reflect upon the visions of Youth the giant 
outline of its own hopes. 

Darrell was not dissatisfied with the results of this 
survey; yet often, when perhaps most pleased, a shad® 
would pass over his countenance ; and, had a woman 
who loved him been by to listen, she would have heard 
the short, slight sigh which came and went too quickly 
for the duller sense of man's friendship to recognise it as 
the sound of sorrow. 

In Darrell himself, thus insensibly altered, Lionel daily 
discovered more to charm his interest and deepen his af- 
fection. In this man's nature there were, indeed, such 
wondrous under-currents of sweetness, so suddenly gush- 
ing forth, so suddenly vanishing again ! And exquisite 
in him were the traits of that sympathetic tact which the 
world calls fine breeding, but which comes only from a 
heart at once chivalrous and tender, the more bewitching 
in Darrell from their contrast with a manner usually cold, 
and a bearing so stamped with masculine, self-willed, 
haughty power. Thus days went on as if Lionel had be- 
come a very child of the house. But his sojourn was in 
truth drawing near to a close not less abrupt and unex- 
pected than the turn in his host's humors to which he owed 
the delay of his departure. 



190 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

One bright afternoon, as Darrell was standing at the 
window of his private study, Fairthorn, who had crept in 
on some matter of business, looked at his countenance long 
and wistfully, and then, shambling up to his side, put one 
hand on his shoulder with a light, timid touch, and, point- 
ing with the other to Lionel, who was lying on the grass 
in front of the casement, reading the Faerie Queen, said, 
" Why do you take him to your heart if he does not com- 
fort it?" 

Darrell winced, and answered gently, " I did not know 
you were in the room. Poor Fairthorn ! thank you ! " 

"Thank me ! — what for?" 

" For a kind thought. So then you like the boy ? " 

" Mayn't I like him ? " asked Fairthorn, looking rather 
frightened ; " surely you do ! " 

" Yes, I like him much ; I am trying my best to love 
him. But, but — " Darrell turned quickly, and the por- 
trait of his father over the mantle-piece came full upon his 
sight — an impressive, a haunting face — sweet and gentle, 
yet with the high, narrow brow and arched nostril of pride, 
with restless, melancholy eyes, and an expression that re- 
vealed the delicacy of intellect, but not its power. There 
was something forlorn, yet imposing, in the whole effigy. 
As you continued to look at the countenance the mournful 
attraction grew upon you. Truly a touching and a most 
lovable aspect. Darrell's eyes moistened. 

" Yes, my father, it is so ! " he said, softly. "All ray 
sacrifices were in vain. The race is not to be rebuilt ! No 
grandchild of yours will succeed me — me, the last of the 



191 

old line ! Fairthorn, how can I love that boy? He may 
be my heir, and in his veins not a drop of my father's 
blood!" 

" But he has the blood of your father's ancestors ; and 
why must you think of him as your heir? — you, who, if 
you would but go again into the world, might yet find a 
fair wi — " 

With such a stamp came Darrell's foot upon the floor 
that the holy and conjugal monosyllable dropping from 
Fairthorn's lips was as much cut in two as if a shark had 
snapped it. Unspeakably frightened, the poor man sidled 
away, thrust himself behind a tall reading-desk, and, peer- 
ing aslant from that covert, whimpered out, " Don't, don't 
now — don't be so awful; I did not mean to offend, but 
I'm always saying something I did not mean ; and really 
you look so young still (coaxingly), and, and — " 

Darrell, the burst of rage over, had sunk upon a chair, 
his face bowed over his hands, and his breast heaving as 
if with suppressed sobs. 

The musician forgot his fear ; he sprang forward, al- 
most upsetting the tall desk ; he flung himself on his knees, 
at Darrell's feet, and exclaimed, in broken words, " Mas- 
ter, master, forgive me ! Beast that I was ! -Do look up 
— do smile, or else beat me — kick me. " 

Darrell's right hand slid gently from his face, and fell 
into Fairthorn's clasp. 

" Hush, hush," muttered the man of granite ; " one mo- 
ment, and it will be over." 

One moment ? That might be but a figure of speech ; 



192 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

yet before Lionel had finished half the canto that was 
plunging him into fairy-land, Darrell was standing by him 
with his ordinary, tranquil mien, aud Fairthorn's flute from 
behind the boughs of a neighboring lime-tree was breath- 
ing out an air as dulcet as if careless Fauns still piped in 
Arcady, and Grief were a far dweller on the otlier side of 
the mountains, of whom shepherds, reclining under sum- 
mer leaves, speak as we speak of hydras and unicorns 
and things in fable. 

On, on swelled the mellow, mellow, witching music ; 
and now the worn man with his secret sorrow, and the 
boy with his frank, glad laugh, are passing away, side by 
side, over the turf, with its starry and golden wild-flowers, 
under the boughs in yon Druid copse, from which they 
start the ringdove — farther and farther, still side by side, 
now out of sight, as if the dense green of the summer had 
closed around them like waves. But still the flute sounds 
on, and still they hear it, softer and softer, as they go. 
Hark! do you not hear it — you? 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 193 



CHAPTER XIY. 

There are certain events which to each man's life are as comets to 
the earth, seemingly strange and erratic portents ; distinct from 
the ordinary lights which guide our course and mark our seasons, 
yet true to their own laws, potent in their own influences. Phi- 
losophy speculates on their effects, and disputes upon their uses ; 
men who do not philosophize regard them as special messengers 
and bodes of evil. 

They came out of the little park into a by-lane ; a vast 
tract of common land, yellow with furze, and undulated 
with swell and hollow spreading in front ; to their right 
the dark beech-woods, still beneath the weight of the July 
noon. Lionel had been talking about the Faerie Queen, 
knight-errantry, the sweet, impossible dream-life that, safe 
from Time, glides by bower and hall, through magic for- 
ests and by witching caves, in the world of poet-books. 
And Darrell listened, and the flute-notes mingled with the 
atmosphere faint and far off, like voices from that world 
itself. 

Out then they came, this broad waste land between 
them ; and Lionel said, merrily : 

"But this is the very scene I Here the young knight, 
leaving his father's hall, would have checked his destrier, 
glancing wistfully now over that green wild which seems 
so boundless, now to the 'umbrageous horror' of those 
breathless woodlands, and questioned himself which way to 
take for adventure." 

I. — 17 N 



194 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Yes," said Darrell, coming out from his long reserve 
on all that concerned his past life — ** Yes, and the gold 
of the gorse-blossoms tempted me ; and I took the waste 
laud." He paused a moment, and renewed : "And then, 
when I had known cities and men, and snatched romance 
from dull matter-of-fact, then I would have done as civili- 
zation does with romance itself — I would have inclosed 
the waste land for my own aggrandizement. Look," he 
continued, with a sweep of the hand round the width of 
prospect, "all that you see to the verge of the horizon, 
some fourteen years ago, was to have been thrown into 
the petty paddock we have just quitted, and serve as 
park round the house I was then building. Vanity of 
human wishes ! What but the several proportions of 
their common folly distinguishes the baffled squire from 
the arrested conquerer ? Man's characteristic cerebral 
organ must certainly be acquisitivenesss." 

" Was it his organ of acquisitiveness that moved The- 
mistocles to boast that ' he could make a small state 
great ? ' " 

"Well remembered — ingeniously quoted," returned 
Darrell, with the polite bend of his stately head. " Yes, 
I suspect that the coveting organ had much to do with 
the boast. To build a name was the earliest dream of 
Themistocles, if we are to accept the anecdote that makes 
him say, ' The trophies of Miltiades would not suffer him 
to sleep.' To build a name, or to create a fortune, are 
but varying applications of one human passion. The 
desire of something we have not is the first of our childish 
remembrances; it matters not what form it takes, wliat 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 195 

object it longs for ; still it is to acquire ; it never deserts us 
while we live." 

" And jet, if I might, I should like to ask, what you 
now desire that you do not possess ? " 

"I — nothing ; but I spoke of the living ! I am dead. 
Only," added Darrell, with his silvery laugh, "I say, as 
poor Chesterfield said before me, 'it is a secret — keep 
it.'" 

Lionel made no reply ; the melancholy of the words 
saddened him ; but Darrell's manner repelled the expres- 
sion of sympathy or of interest ; and the boy fell into con- 
jecture — what had killed to the world this man's iutel- 
lectual life ? 

And thus silently they continued to wander on till the 
sound of the flute had long been lost to their ears. Was 
the musician playing still ? 

At length they came round to the other end of Fawley 
village, and Darrell again became animated. 

" Perhaps," said he, returning to the subject of talk 
that had been abruptly suspended — '• perhaps the love 
of power is at the origin of each restless courtship of 
Fortune ; yet, after all, who has power with less alloy 
than the village thane? With so little effort, so little 
thought, the man in the manor-house can make men in 
the cottage happier here below, and more fit for a here- 
after yonder. In leaving the world I come from contest 
and pilgrimage, like our sires the Crusaders, to reign at 
home." 

As he spoke he entered one of the cottages. An old 



196 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

paralytic man was seated by the fire, hot though the July 
sun was out of doors ; and his wife, of the same age, and 
ahiiost as helpless, was reading to him a chapter in the 
Old Testament — the fifth chapter in Genesis, containing 
the genealogy, age, and death of the patriarchs before 
the Flood. How the faces of the couple brightened when 
Darrell entered. " Master Guy ! " said the old man, 
tremulously rising. The world-weary orator and lawyer 
was still Master Guy to him. 

"Sit down Matthew, and let me read you a chapter." 
Darrell took the Holy Book, and read^the Sermon on the 
Mount. Never had Lionel heard any thing like that 
reading ; the feeling which brought out the depth of the 
sense, the tones, sweeter than the flute, which clothed the 
divine words in music. As Darrell ceased, some beauty 
seemed gone from the day. He lingered a few minutes, 
talking kindly and familiarly, and then turned into another 
cottage, where lay a sick woman. He listened to her 
ailments, promised to send her something to do her good 
from his own stores, cheered up her spirits, and, leaving 
her happy, turned to Lionel with a glorious smile, that 
seemed to ask, "And is there not power in this ? " 

But it was the sad peculiarity of this remarkable man, 
that all his moods were subject to rapid and seemingly 
unaccountable variations. It was as if some great blow 
had fallen on the mainspring of his organization, and left 
its original harmony broken up into fragments, each im- 
pressive in itself, but running one into the other with an 
abrupt discord, as a harp played upon by the winds. For, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 197 

after this evident effort at self-consolation or self-support 
in soothing or strengthening others, suddenly Darrell's 
head fell again upon his breast, and he walked on, up the 
village lane, heeding no longer either the open doors of 
expectant cottagers, or the salutation of humble passers-by. 
" And I could have been so happy here ! " he said sud- 
denly. " Can I not be so yet ? Ay, perhaps, when I am 
thoroughly old — tied to the world but by the thread of 
an hour. Old men do seem happy ; behind them all 
memories faint, save those of childhood and sprightly 
youth ; before them, the narrow ford, and the sun dawning 
up the clouds on the other shore. 'Tis the critical descent 
into age in which man is surely most troubled ; griefs 
gone, still rankling ; nor, strength yet in his limbs, passion 
yet in his heart, reconciled to what loom nearest in the 
prospect — the arm-chair and the palsied head. Weill 
life is a quaint puzzle. Bits the most incongruous join 
into each other, and the scheme thus gradually becomes 
symmetrical and clear ; when, lo ! as the infant claps his 
hands, and cries, ' See, see ! the puzzle is made out 1 ' all 
the pieces are swept back into the box — black box with 
the gilded nails. Ho ! Lionel, look up ; there is our 
village church, and here, close at my right, the church- 
yard ! " 

Now while Darrell and his young companion were di- 
recting their gaze to the right of the village lane, toward 
the small gray church — toward the sacred burial-ground 
in which, here and there among humbler graves, stood 
the monumental stone inscribed to the memory of some 

n* 



198 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

former Darrell, for whose remains the living sod had been 
preferred to the family vault ; while both slowly neared 
the funeral spot, and leaned, silent and musing, over the 
rail that fenced it from the animals turned to graze on the 
sward of the surrounding green, a foot- traveler, a stranger 
in the place, loitered on the threshold of the small way- 
side inn, about fifty yards off to the left of the lane, and 
looked hard at the still figures of the two kinsmen. 

Turning then to the hostess, who was standing some- 
what within the threshold, a glass of brandy-and- water in 
her hand (the third glass that stranger had called for 
during his half-hour's rest in the hostelry), quoth the 
man — 

" The taller gentleman yonder is surely your Squire, is 
it not ? but who is the shorter and younger person ? " 

The landlady put forth her head. 

" Oh ! that is a relation of the Squire's down on a visit, 
Sir. I heard coachman say that the Squire's taken to him 
hugely ; and they do think at the hall that the young gen- 
tleman will be his heir." 

"Aha ! — indeed — his heir ? What is the lad's name ? 
What relation can he be to Mr. Darrell ? " 

"I don't know what relation exactly, Sir; but he is 
one of the Haughtons, and they've been kin to the Faw- 
ley folks time out of mind." 

" Haughton I — aha I Thank you, ma'am. Change, 
if you please." 

The stranger tossed off his dram, and stretched his 
hand for his change. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 199 

"Beg pardon, Sir, but this must be forring money," 
said the landlady, turning a five-franc piece on her palm 
with suspicious curiosity. 

" Foreign ! is it possible ? " The stranger dived again 
into his pocket, and apparently with some difficulty hunted 
out half a crown. 

" Sixpence more, if you please, Sir ; three brandies, 
and bread-and-cheese, and the ale too, Sir." 

" How stupid I am ! I thought that French coin was 
a five-shilling piece. I fear I have no English money 
about me but this half-crown ; and I can't ask you to 
trust me, as you don't know me." 

"Oh, Sir, 'tis all one if you know the Squire. You 
may be passing this way again." 

" I shall not forget my debt when I do, you may be 
sure," said the stranger ; and, with a nod, he walked away 
in the same direction as Darrell and Lionel had already 
taken — through a turn-stile by a public path that, skirt- 
ing the church-yard and the neighboring parsonage, led 
along a corn-field to the demesnes of Fawley. 

The path was narrow, the corn rising on either side, so 
that two persons could not well walk abreast. Lionel 
was some paces in advance, Darrell walking slow. The 
stranger followed at a distance ; once or twice he quick- 
ened his pace, as if resolved to overtake Darrell ; then, 
apparently, his mind misgave him, and he again fell back. 

There was something furtive and sinister about the 
man. Little could be seen of his face, for he wore a large 
hat of foreign make, slouched deep over his brow, and 



200 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

his lips and jaw were concealed by a dark and full mus- 
tache and beard. As much of the general outline of the 
countenance as remained distinguishable was, neverthe- 
less, decidedly handsome ; but a complexion naturally 
rich in color, seemed to have gained the heated look 
which comes with the earlier habits of intemperance, be- 
fore it fades into the leaden hues of the later. 

His dress bespoke pretension to a certain rank ; but its 
component parts were strangely ill-assorted, out of date, 
and out of repair : pearl-colored trowsers, with silk braids 
down their sides ; brodequins to match — Parisian fashion 
three years back, but the trowsers shabby, the braiding 
discolored, the brodequins in holes. The coat — once a 
black evening-dress coat — of a cut a year or two anterior 
to that of the trowsers; satin facings — cloth napless, 
satin stained. Over all, a sort of summer travelling-cloak, 
or rather large cape of a waterproof silk, once the ex- 
treme mode with the Lions of the Chaussee d^Antin when- 
ever they ventured to rove to Swiss cantons or German 
spas ; but which, from a certain dainty effeminacy in its 
shape and texture, required the minutest elegance in the 
general costume of its wearer as well as the cleanliest 
purity in itself. Worn by this traveller, and well-nigh 
w^orn out too, the cape became a finery, mournful as a 
tattered pennon over a wreck. 

Yet in spite of this dress, however unbecoming, shabby, 
obsolete, a second glance could scarcely fail to note the 
wearer as a man wonderfully w^ell shaped — tall, slender 
in the waist, long of limb, but with a girth of chest that 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 201 

showed immense power — one of those rare figures that a 
female eye would admire for grace — a recruiting sergeant 
for athletic strength. 

But still the man's whole bearing and aspect, even apart 
from the dismal incongruities of his attire, which gave 
him the air of a beggared spendthrift, marred the favora- 
ble effect that physical comeliness in itself produces. Dif- 
ficult to describe how — difficult to say why — but there 
is a look which a man gets, and a gait which he contracts, 
when the rest of mankind cut him ; and this man had that 
look and that gait. 

" So, so," muttered the stranger. " That boy his heir ! 
— so, so. How can I get to speak to him ? In his own 
house he would not see me : it must be as now, in the 
open air; but how catch him alone ? and to lurk in the 
inn, in his own village — perhaps for a day — to watch an 
occasion ; impossible ! Besides, where is the money for 
it ? Courage, courage ! " He quickened his pace, pushed 
back his hat. " Courage ! Why not now ? Now or 
never ! " 

While the man thus mutteringly soliloquized, Lionel 
had reached the gate which opened into the grounds of 
Fawley, just in the rear of the little lake. Over the gate 
he swung himself lightly, and, turning back to Darrell, 
cried, " Here is the doe waiting to welcome you ! " 

Just as Darrell, scarcely heeding the exclamation, and 
with his musing eyes on the ground, approached the gate, 
a respectful hand opened it wide, a submissive head bowed 
low, a voice artificially soft faltered forth words, broken 



202 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and indistinct, but of which those most audible were — 
" Pardon me — something to communicate — important — 
hear me." 

Darrell started — just as the traveller almost touched 
him — started — recoiled, as one on whose path rises a wild 
beast. His bended head became erect, haughty, indignant, 
defying ; but his cheek was pale, and his lip quivered. 
" You here ! You in England — at Fawley ! You pre- 
sume to accost me! You, Sir, you — 

Lionel just caught the sound of the voice as the doe 
had come timidly up to him. He turned round sharply, 
and beheld Darrell's stern, imperious countenance, on 
which, stern and imperious though it was, a hasty glance 
.could discover, at once, a surprise, that almost bordered 
upon fear. Of the stranger still holding the gate he saw 
but the back, and his voice he did not hear, though by 
the man's gesture he was evidently replying. Lionel paused 
a moment irresolute ; but as the man continued to speak, 
he saw Darrell's face grow paler and paler, and in the 
impulse of a vague alarm he hastened toward him ; but 
just within three feet of the spot, Darrell arrested his 
steps. 

"Go home, Lionel; this person would speak to me in 
private." Then, in a lower tone, he said to the stranger, 
" Close the gate, Sir ; you are standing upon the land of 
my fathers. If you would speak with me, this way ; " and 
Ijrushing through the corn, Darrell strode toward a patch 
of waste land that adjoined the field : the man followed 
him, and both passed from Lionel's eyes. The doe had 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 203 

come to the gate to greet her master ; she now rested her 
nostrils on the bar, with a look disappointed and plaintive. 

"Come," said Lionel, ''come." The doe would not 
stir. 

So the boy walked on alone, nor much occupied with 
what had just passed. " Doubtless," thought he, "some 
person in the neighborhood upon country business." 

He skirted the lake, and seated himself on a garden 
bench near the house. What did he there think of? — 
who knows ? Perhaps of the Great World ; perhaps of 
little Sophy ! Time fled on : the sun was receding in the 
west, when Darrell hurried past him without speaking, 
and entered the house. 

The host did not appear at dinner, nor all that evening. 
Mr. Mills made an excuse — Mr.Darrell did not feel very 
well. 

Fairthorn had Lionel all to himself, and having within 
the last few days reindulged in open cordiality to the 
young guest, he was especially communicative that even- 
ing. He talked much on Darrell, and with all the affec- 
tion that, in spite of his fear, the poor flute-player felt for 
his ungracious patron. He told many anecdotes of the 
stern man's tender kindness to all that came within his 
sphere. He told also anecdotes more striking of the kind 
man's sternness where some obstinate prejudice, some 
ruling passion, made him "granite." 

" liord, my dear young Sir," said Fairthorn, "be his 
most bitter open enemy, and fall down in the mire, the 
first hand to help you would be Guy Darrell's ; but be his 



204 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

professed friend, and betray him to the worth of a straw, 
and never try to see his face again if you are wise — the 
most forsriving and the least forgiving of human beings. 
But — " 

The study door noiselessly opened, and Darrell's voice 
called out, 

"Fairthorn, let me speak with you." 



CHAPTER XT. 

Every street has two sides, the shady side and the sunny. When 
two men shake hands and part, mark which of the two takes the 
sunny side; he will be the younger man of the two. 

The next morning, neither Darrell nor Fairthorn 
appeared at breakfast ; but as soon as Lionel had con- 
cluded that meal, Mr. Mills informed him, with customary 
poKteness, that Mr. Darrell wished to speak with him iu 
the study. Study, across the threshold of which Lionel 
had never yet set footstep ! He entered it now with a 
sentiment of mingled curiosity and awe. Nothing in it 
remarkable, save the portrait of the host's father over the 
mantle-piece. Books strewed tables, chairs, and floors 
in the disorder loved by habitual students. Near the 
window was a glass bowl containing gold fish, and close 
by, in its cage, a singing-bird. Darrell might exist with- 
out companionship in the human species, but not without 
something which he protected and cherished — a bird — 
even a fish. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 205 

Darrell looked really ill ; his keen eye was almost dim, 
and the lines in his face seemed deeper. But he spoke 
with his u^al calm passionless melody of voice. 

" Yes," he said, in answer to Lionel's really anxious 
inquiry ; " I am ill. Idle persons like me give way to 
illness. When I was a busy man, I never did ; and then 
illness gave way to me. My general plans are thus, if 
not actually altered, at least huraed to their consumma- 
tion sooner than I expected. Before you came here, I 
told you to come soon, or you might not find me. I 
meant to go abroad this summer ; I shall now start at 
once. I need the change of scene and air. You will 
return to London to-day." 

"To-day! You are not angry with me?" 

"Angry ! boy and cousin — no ! " resumed Darrell, in a 
tone of unusual tenderness. "Angry — fie! But since 
the parting must be, 'tis well to abridge the pain of long 
farewells. You must wish, too, to see your mother, and 
thank her for rearing you up so that you may step from 
poverty into ease with a head erect. You will give to 
Mrs. Haughton this letter : for yourself, your inclinations 
seem to tend toward the army. But before you decide 
on that career, I should like you to see something more 
of the world. Call to-morrow on Colonel Morley, in 
Curzon Street : this is his address. He will receive by 
to-day's post a note from me, requesting him to advise 
you. Follow his counsels in what belongs to the world. 
He is a man of the world — a distant connection of mine 
— who will be kind to you for my sake. Is there more 

L — IS 



206 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

to say ? Yes. It seems an ungracious speech ; but I 
should speak it. Consider yourself sure from me of an 
independent income. Never let idle sycophants lead you 
into extravagance, by telling you that you will have more. 
But indulge not the expectation, however plausible, that 
you will be my heir." 

'' Mr. Darrell — oh, Sir — " 

" Hush — the expectation would be reasonable ; but I 
am a strange being. I might marry again — have heirs 
of my own. Eh, Sir — why not ? " Darrell spoke these 
last words almost fiercely, and fixed his eyes on Lionel as 
he repeated — "why not?" But seeing that" the boy's 
face evinced no surprise, the expression of his own 
relaxed, and he continued calmly — " Eno' ; what I have 
thus rudely said was kindly meant. It is a treason to a 
young man to let him count on a fortune which at last 
is left away from him. Now, Lionel, go ; enjoy your 
spring of life ! Go, hopeful and light-hearted. If sorrow 
reach you, battle with it ; if error mislead you, come fear- 
lessly to me for counsel. Why, boy — what is this — 
tears? Tut, tut." 

" It is your goodness," faltered Lionel. " I cannot help 
it. And is there nothing I can do for you in return ?" 

" Yes. much. Keep your name free from stain, and 
your heart open to such noble emotions as awaken tears 
like those. Ah, by-the-by, I heard from my lawyer to- 
day about your poor little protege. Not found yet, but 
he seems sanguine of quick success. You shaU know the 
moment I hear more." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 207 

" You will write to me then, Sir, and I may write to 
you ?" 

"As often as you please. Always direct to me here." 

"Shall you be long abroad?" 

Darrell's brows met. " I don't know," said he, curtly. 
"Adieu." 

He opened the door as he spoke. 

Lionel looked at him with wistful yearning, filial aflfec- 
tion, through his swimming eyes. " God bless you. Sir," 
he murmured simply, and passed away. 

" That blessing should have come from me ! " said Dar- 
rell to himself, as he turned back, and stood on his soli- 
tary hearth. " But they on whose heads I once poured 
a blessing, where are they — where? And that man's 
tale, reviving the audacious fable which the other, and I 
verily believe the less guilty knave of the two, sought to 
palm on me years ago ! Stop ; let me weigh well what 
he said. If it were true ; if it were true ! Oh, shame, 
shame ! " 

Folding his arms tightly on his breast, Darrell paced 
the room with slow measured strides, pondering deeply. 
He was, indeed, seeking to suppress feeling, and to exer- 
cise only judgment ; and his reasoning process seemed at 
length fully to satisfy him, for his countenance gradually 
cleared, and a triumphant smile passed across it. "A lie 

— certainly a palpable and gross lie ; lie it must and shall 
be. Never will I accept it as truth. Father" (looking 
full at the portrait over the mantle-shelf j, "father, fear not 

— never — never ! " 



BOOK THIRD. 



CHAPTER I. 

Certes, the Lizard is a shy and timorous creature. He runs into 
chinks and crannies if you come too near to him, and sheds his 
very tail for fear, if you catch it by the tip. He has not his 
being in good society — no one cages him, no one pets. He is 
an idle vagrant. But when he steals through the green herbage, 
and basks unmolested in the sun, he crowds perhaps as much 
enjoyment into one summer hour as a parrot, however pampered 
and erudite, spreads over a whole drawing-room life spent in 
saying, "How d'ye do?" and "Pretty Poll." 

On that dull and sombre summer morning in which the 
grandfather and grandchild departed from the friendly 
roof of Mr. Merle, very dull and very sombre were the 
thoughts of little Sophy. She walked slowly behind the 
gray cripple who had need to lean so heavily on his staff, 
and her eye had not even a smile for the golden butter- 
cups that glittered on dewy meads alongside the barren 
road. 

Thus had they proceeded apart and silent till they had 
passed the second milestone. There, Waife. rousing from 
his own reveries, which were perhaps yet more dreary 
than those of the dejected child, halted abruptly, passed 

(208) 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 209 

his hand once or twice rapidly over his forehead, and 
turning round to Sophy, looked into her face with great 
kindness as she came slowly to his side. 

"You are sad, little one?" said he. 

"Yery sad, Grandy." 

"And displeased with me ? Yes, displeased that I have 
taken you suddenly away from the pretty young gentleman 
who was so kind to you, without encouraging the chance 
that you were to meet with him again." 

"It was not like you, Grandy," answered Sophy ; and 
her under-lip slightly pouted, while the big tears swelled 
to her eye. 

"True," said the vagabond; "anything resembling 
common-sense is not like me. But don't you think that 
I did what I felt was best for you ? Must I not have some 
good cause for it, whenever I have the heart deliberately 
to vex you ? " 

Sophy took his hand and pressed it, but she could not 
trust herself to speak, for she felt that at such effort she 
would have burst out into hearty crying. Then Waife 
proceeded to utter many of those wise sayings, old as the 
hills, and as high above our sorrows as hills are from the 
valley in which we walk. He said how foolish it was to 
unsettle the mind by preposterous fancies and impossible 
hopes. The pretty young gentleman could never be any 
thing to her, nor she to the pretty young gentleman. It 
might be very well for the pretty young gentleman to 
promise to correspond with her, but as soon as he returned 
to his friends he would have other things to think of, and 
18* 



210 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

she would soon be forgotten ; while she, on the contrary, 
would be thinking of him, and the Thames, and the 
butterflies, and find hard life still more irksome. Of all 
this, and much more, in the general way of consolers who 
set out on the principle that grief is a matter of logic, 
did Gentleman Waife deliver himself with a vigor of 
ratiocination which admitted of no reply, and conveyed 
not a particle of comfort. And feeling this, that great 
Actor — not that he was acting then — suddenly stopped, 
clasped the child in his arms, and murmured in broken 
accents — "But if I see you thus cast down, I shall have 
no strength left to hobble on through the world ; and the 
sooner I lie down, and the dust is shoveled over me, why, 
the better for you ; for it seems that Heaven sends you 
friends, and I tear you from them." 

And then Sophy fairly gave way to her sobs ; she 
twined her little arms round the old man's neck convul- 
sively, kissed his rough face with imploring pathetic fond- 
ness, and forced out through her tears, "Don't talk so I 
I've been ungrateful and wicked. I don't care for any 
one but my own dear, dear Grandy." 

After this little scene they both composed themselves, 
and felt much lighter of heart. They pursued their 
journey — no longer apart, but side by side, and the old 
man leaning, though very lightly, on the child's arm. 
But there was no immediate reaction from gloom to 
gayety. Waife began talking in softened under- tones, 
and vaguely, of his own past afflictions ; and partial as 
was the reference, how vast did the old man's sorrows 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 211 

Beem beside the child's regrets ; and yet he commented 
on them as if rather in pitying her state than grieving 
for his own. 

"Ah ! at your age, my darling, I had not your troubles 
and hardships. I had not to trudge these dusty roads on 
foot with a broken-down, good-for-nothing scatterling. I 
trod rich carpets, and slept under silken curtains. I took 
the air in gay carriages — I such a scape-grace — and you, 
little child — you so good I All gone! all melted away 
from me, and not able now to be sure that you will have 
a crnst of bread this day week." 

" Oh, yes ! I shall have bread, and you, too, Grandy !'' 
cried , Sophy, with cheerful voice. " It was you who 
taught me to pray to God, and said that in all your 
troubles God had been good to you ; and He has been so 
good to me since I prayed to Him : for I have no dread- 
ful Mrs. Crane to beat me now, and say things more hard 
to bear than beating — and you have taken me to your- 
self. How I prayed for that ! And I take care of you, 
too, Grandy, don't I ? I prayed for that, too ; and as to 
carriages," added Sophy, with superb air, "I don't care 
if I am never in a carriage as long as I live ; and you 
know I have been in a van, which is bigger than a car- 
riage, and I didn^t like that at all. But how came people 
to behave so ill to you, Grandy ? " 

"I never said people behaved ill to me, Sophy." 

" Did not they take away the carpets and silk curtains, 
and all the fine things you had as a little boy ?" 

" I don't know exactly," replied Waife, with a puzzled 



212 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

look, "that people actually took them away — but they 
melted away. However, I had much still to be thankful 
for — I was so strong, and had such high spirits, Sophy, 
and found people not behaving ill to me — quite the con- 
trary — so kind. I found no Crane (she monster) as you 
did, my little angel. Such prospects before me, if I had 
walked straight toward them I But I followed my own 
fancy, which led me zigzag ; and now that I would stray 
back into the high-road, you see before you a man whom 
a Justice of the Peace could send to the treadmill for pre- 
suming to live without a livelihood." 

Sophy. "Not without a livelihood ? the what did you 
call it! independent income — that is, the Three Pounds, 
Grandy?" 

Waife (admiringly). " Sensible child ! That is true. 
Yes, Heaven is very good to me still. Ah ! what signi- 
fies fortune ? How happy I was with my dear Lizzy, and 
yet no two persons could live more from hand to mouth." 

Sophy (rather jealously). " Lizzy ? " 

Waife (with moistened eyes, and looking down). " My 
wife. She was only spared to me two years — such sunny 
years ! And how grateful I ought to be that she did not 
live longer. She was saved — such — such — such shame 
and misery ! " A long pause. 

Waife resumed, with a rush from memory, as if pluck- 
ing himself from the claws of a harpy — "What's the 
good of looking back I A man's gone self is a dead thing. 
It is not I — now tramping this road, with you to lean 
upon — whom I see when I would turn to look behind on 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 213 

that which I once was — it is another being-, defunct and 
buried ; and when I saj to myself, ' That being did so 
and so,' it is like reading an epitaph on a tombstone. So, 
at last, solitary and hopeless, I came back to my owti 
land; and I found you — a blessing greater than I had 
ever dared to count on. And how was I to maintain 
you, and take you from that long-nosed alligator called 
Crane, and put you in womanly, gentle hands, for I never 
thought then of subjecting you to all you have since un- 
dergone with me. I who did not know one useful thing 
ill life by which a man can turn a penny. And then, as 
I was all alone in a village ale-house, on my way back 
from — it does not signify from what, or from whence, but 
I was disappointed and despairing — Providence merci- 
fully threw in my way — Mr. Rugge -and ordained me to 
be of great service to that ruffian — and that ruffian of 
great use to me." 

Sophy. "Ah ! how was that ? " 

Waife. " It was Fair-time in the village wherein I 
stopped, and Rugge's principal actor was taken ofif by 
delirium tremens, which is Latin for a disease common 
to men who eat little and drink much. Rugge came into 
the ale-house, bemoaning his loss. A bright thought 
struck me. Once in my day I had been used to acting. 
I offered to try my chance on Mr. Rugge's stage ; he 
caught at me — I at him. I succeeded ; we came to 
terms, and my little Sophy was thus taken from that 
ringleted crocodile, and placed with Christian females 
who wore caps and read their Bible. Is not Heaven 
good to n>, S')phy — and t<j me. too — me, such a scamp y" 



214 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"And you did all that — suffered all that for me ?" 
" Suffered — but I liked it. And, besides, I must have 
done something ; and there were reasons — in short, I was 
quite happy — no, not actually happy, but comfortable and 
merry. Providence gives thick hides to animals that 
must exist in cold climates ; and to the man whom it re- 
serves for sorrow. Providence gives a coarse, jovial 
temper. Then, when by a mercy I was saved from what 
I most disliked and dreaded,, and never would have 
thought of but that I fancied it might be a help to you 
— I mean the London stage — and had that bad accident 
on the railway, how did it end ? Oh ! in saving you (and 
Waife closed his eyes and shuddered) — in saving your 
destiny from what might be much worse for you, body 
and soul, than the worst that has happened to you with 
me. And so we have been thrown together; and so you 
have supported me ; and so, when we could exist without 
Mr. Rugge, Providence got rid of him for us. And so 
we are now walking along the high-road ; and through 
yonder trees you can catch a peep of the roof under which 
we are about to rest for a while ; and there you will learn 
what I have done with the Three Pounds ! " 
"It is not the Spotted Boy, Grandy?" 
"No," said Waife, sighing; "the Spotted Boy is a 
handsome income ; but let us only trust in Providence, 
and I should not wonder if our new acquisition proved a 
monstrous — " 
" Monstrous ! " 
" Piece of good fortune." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 215 



CHAPTER II. 

The Investment revealed. 

Gentleman Waife passed through a turnstile, dowu a 
narrow lane, and reached a solitary cottage. He knocked 
at the door ; an old peasant woman opened it, and 
dropped him a civil courtesy. " Indeed, Sir, I am glad 
you are come. I'se most afeard he be dead." 

" Dead ! '' exclaimed Waife. " Oh, Sophy, if he should 
be dead ! " 

"Who?" 

Waife did not heed the question. " What makes you 
think him dead ? " said he, fumbling in his pockets, from 
which he at last produced a key. " You have not been 
disobeying my strict orders, and tampering with the 
door ? " 

" Lor, love ye, no, Sir. But he made such a noise a 
fust — awful ! And now he's as still as a corpse. And 
I did peep through the keyhole, and he was stretched 
stark." 

'•' Hunger, perhaps," said the Comedian ; "'tis his way 
when he has been kept fasting much over his usual hours. 
Follow me, Sophy." He put aside the woman, entered 
the sanded kitchen, ascended a stair that led from it ; and 
Sophy following, stopped at a door and listened : not a 
sound. Timidly he unlocked the portals and crept in, 



216 WHAT WILL HE 1)0 WITH IT? 

when, suddenly, such a rush — such a spring, and a mass 
of something vehement yet soft, dingy yet whitish, whirled 
past the Actor, and came pounce against Sophy, who 
therewith uttered a shriek. " Stop him, stop him, for 
Heaven's sake ! " cried Waife. " Shut the door below — 
seize him 1" Down stairs, however, went the mass, and 
down stairs after it hobbled Waife, returning in a few 
moments with the recaptured and mysterious fugitive. 
"There," he cried, triumphantly, to Sophy, who, stand- 
ing against the wall with her face buried in her frock, 
long refused to look up — " there — tame as a lamb, and 
knows rae. See" — he seated himself on the floor, and 
Sophy, hesitatingly opening her eyes, beheld gravely 
gazing at her from under a profusion of shaggy locks an 
enormous — 



CHAPTER III. 

Denouement. 



CHAPTER lY. 

Zoology in connection with History. 

"Walk to that young lady, Sir — walk, I say." The 
poodle slowly rose on his hind-legs, and, with an aspect 
inexpressibly solemn, advanced toward Sophy, who hastily 
receded into the room in which the creature had been 
confined. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 217 

"Make a bow — no — a 6oi6', Sir: that is right; you 
can shake hands another time. Run down, Sophy, and 
ask for his dinner." 

"Yes — that I will ; " and Sophv flew down the stairs. 

The dog, still on his hind-legs, stood in the centre of 
the floor, dignified, but evidently expectant. 

" That will do ; lie down and die. Die this moment, 
Sir." The dog stretched himself out, closed his eyes, 
and to all appearance gave up the ghost. " A most 
splendid investment," said Waife, with enthusiasm ; '• and, 
upon the whole, dog-cheap. Ho ! you are not to bring 
up his dinner ; it is not you who are to make friends with 
the dog ; it is my little girl ; send her up ; Sophy, Sophy." 

" She be fritted. Sir," said the woman, holding a plate 
of canine comestibles; "but lauk. Sir; ben't he really 
dead ? " 

"Sophy, Sophy." 

"Please let me stay here, Grandy," said Sophy's voice 
from the foot of the stairs. 

" Xonsense ! it is sixteen hours since he has had a 
morsel to eat. And he will never bite the hand that 
feeds him now. Come up, I say." 

Sophy slowly reascended, and Waife, summoning the 
poodle to life, insisted upon the child's feeding him. 
And indeed, when that act of charity was performed, the 
dog evinced his gratitude by a series of unsophisticated 
bounds and waggings of the tail, which gradually removed 
Sophy's apprehensions, and laid the foundation for that 

L — 19 



218 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

intimate friendship, which is the natural relation between 
child and dog. 

" And how did you come by him ? " asked Sophy ; 
" and is this really the — the investment ? " 

" Shut the door carefully, but see first that the woman 
is not listening. Lie down, Sir, there, at the feet of the 
young lady. Good dog. How did I come by him ? I 
will tell you. The first day we arrived at the village 
which we have just left, I went into the tobacconist's. 
While I was buying my ounce of canaster, that dog en- 
tered the shop. In his mouth was a sixpence wrapped in 
paper. He lifted himself on his hind-legs, and laid his 
missive on the counter. The shopworaan — you know 
her, Mrs. Traill — unfolded the paper and read the order. 
' Clever dog that, Sir,' said she. 'To fetch and carry ?' 
said I, indifferently. ' More than that. Sir ; you shall 
see. The order is for two-penn'orth of snuff. The dog 
knows he is to take back fourpence. I will give him a 
penny short.' So she took the sixpence and gave the 
dog threepence out of it. The dog shook his head and 
looked gravely into her face. ' That's all you'll get,' said 
she. The dog shook his head again, and tapped his paw 
once on the counter, as much as to say, ' I am not to be 
(lone — a penny more, if you please.' ' If you won't take 
that, you shall have nothing,' said Mrs. Traill, and she 
took back the threepence." 

" Dear ! and what did the dog do then — snarl or bite ? " 

" Not so ; he knew he was in his rights, and did not lower 
himself by showing bad temper. The dog looked quietly 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 219 

round, saw a basket which contained two or three pounds 
of candles lying in a corner for the shopboy to take to 
some customer ; took up the basket in his mouth, and 
turned tail, as much as to say, 'Tit for tat then.' He 
understood, you see, what is called the 'law of reprisals.' 
' Come back this moment,' cried Mrs. Traill. The dog 
walked out of the shop ; then she ran after him, and 
counted the fourpence before him, on which he dropped 
the basket, picked up the right change, and went off de- 
murely. 'To whom does that poodle belong?' said I. 
'To a poor drunken man,' said Mrs. Traill; 'I wish it 
was in better hands.' ' So do I, ma'am,' answered I. 'Did 
he teach it ? ' ' No, it was taught by his brother, who was 
an old soldier, and died in his house two weeks ago. It 
knows a great many tricks, and is quite young. It might 
make a fortune as a show, Sir.' So I was thinking. I 
inquired the owner's address, called on him, and found 
him disposed to sell the dog. But he asked £3, a sum 
that seemed out of the question then. Still I kept the 
dog in my eye ; called every day to make friends with it, 
and ascertain its capacities. And at last, thanks to you, 
Sophy, I bought the dog ; and what is more, as soon as I 
had two golden sovereigns to show, I got him for that 
sum, and we have still £1 left (besides small savings from 
our lost salaries) to go to the completion of his education, 
and the advertisement of his merits. I kept this a secret 
from Merle — from all. I would not even let the drunken 
owner know where I took the dog to yesterday. I brought 



220 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

it here, where, I learned in the village, there were two 
rooms to let — locked it up — and my story is told " 

"But why keep it such a secret." 

" Because I don't want Rugge to trace us. He might 
do one a mischief ; because I have a grand project of 
genteel position and high prices for the exhibition of that 
dog. And why should it be known where we come from, 
or what we were ? And because, if the owner knew where 
to find the dog, he might decoy it back from us. Luckily, 
he had not made the dog so fond of him but what, unless 
it be decoyed, it will accustom itself to us. And now I 
propose that we should stay a week or so here, and devote 
ourselves exclusively to developing the native powers of 
this gifted creature. Get out the dominoes." 

" What is his name ? " 

"Ha! that is the first consideration. What shall be 
his name ? " 

"Has not he one already?" 

" Yes — trivial and unattractive — Mop I In private 
life it might pass. But in public life — give a dog a bad 
name, and hang him. Mop, indeed ! " 

Therewith Mop, considering himself appealed to, rose 
and stretched himself. 

" Right," said Gentleman Waife ; "stretch yourself; you 
decidedly require it." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 22^ 



CHAPTER Y. 

Mop becomes a personage. Much thought is bestowed on the ver- 
bal dignities, without which a Personage would become a Mop. 
The importance of names is apparent in all history. If Augustus 
had called himself king, Rome would have risen against him as a 
Tarquin ; so he remained a simple equestrian, and modesth' called 
himself Imperator. Mop chooses his own title in a most myste- 
rious manner, and ceases to be Mop. 

" The first noticeable defect in your name of Mop," 
said Gentleman Waife, " is, as you yourself denote, the 
want of elongation. Monosyllables are not imposing, and 
in striking compositions their meaning is elevated by 
periphrasis ; that is to say, Sophy, that what before was 
a short truth, an elegant author elaborates into a long 
stretch." 

" Certainly," said Sophy, thoughtfully ; " I don't think 
the name of Mop would draw ! Still he is very like a 
Mop." 

" For that reason the name degrades him the more, 
and lowers him from an intellectual phenomenon to a 
physical attribute, which is vulgar. I hope that that dog 
will enable us to rise in the Scale of Being. For whereas 
we in acting could only command a threepenny audience 
— reserved seats a shilling — he may aspire to half-crowns 
and dress-boxes, that is, if we can hit on a name which 
inspires respect. Now, although the dog is big, it is not 
19* 



222 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

by his size that he is to become famous, or we might call 
him Hercules or Goliah ; neither is it by his beauty, or 
Adonis would not be unsuitable. It is by his superior 
sagacity and wisdom. And there I am puzzled to find 
his prototype among mortals; for, perhaps, it may be 
my ignorance of history — " 

" You ignorant, indeed, grandfather ! " 

" But considering the innumerable millions who have 
lived on the earth, it is astonishing how few I can call to 
mind who have left behind them a proverbial renown for 
wisdom. There is, indeed, Solomon, but he fell off at the 
last; and as he belongs to sacred history, we must not 
take a liberty with his name. Who is there very, very, 
very wise besides Solomon? Think, Sophy — profane 
history. " 

Sophy (after a musing pause). "Puss in Boots." 

" Well, he was wise ; but then he was not human ; he 
was a cat. 'Ha! Socrates. Shall we call him Socrates, 
Socrates, Socrates ? " 

Sophy. "Socrates, Socrates." 

Mop yawned. 

Waife. "He don't take to Socrates — prosy!" 

Sophy. "Ah, Mr. Merle's book about the Brazen Head, 
Friar Bacon ! He must have been very wise." 

Waife. " Not bad ; mysterious, but not recondite ; 
historical, yet familiar. What does Mop say to it ? Friar, 
Friar, Friar Bacon, Sir — Friar." 

Sophy (coaxingly). "Friar." 

Mop, evidently conceiving that appeal is made to some 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 2*^3 

other personage, canine or human, not present rouses 
up, walks to the door, snoiells at the chink, returns, snakes 
his head, and rests on his haunches, eyeing liis two friends 
superciliously. 

Sophy. " He does not take to that name." 

Waife. " He has his reasons for it ; and, indeed, there 
are many worthy persons who disapprove of any thing 
that savors of magical practices. Mop intimates that, 
on entering public life, one should beware of offending 
the respectable prejudices of a class." 

Mr. Waife then, once more resorting to the recesses 
of scholastic memory, plucked therefrom, somewhat by 
the head and shoulders, sundry names reverenced in a 
by-gone age. He thought of the seven wise men of 
Greece, but could only recall the nomenclature of two out 
of the seven — a sad proof of the distinction between 
collegiate fame and popular renown. He called Thales ; 
he called Bion. Mop made no response. " Wonderful 
intelligence ! " said Waife ; " he knows that Thales and 
Bion would not draw! — obsolete." 

Mop was equally mute to Aristotle. He pricked up 
his ears at Plato, perhaps because the sound was not 
wholly dissimilar from that of Ponto — a name of which 
he might have had vague reminiscences. The Romans not 
having cultivated an original philosophy, tliough they 
contrived to produce great men without it, Waife passed 
by that perished people. He crossed to China, and tried 
Confucius. Mop had evidently never heard of him. '• I 
am at the end of my list, so far as the wise men are con* 



224 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

cerned," said Waife, wiping his forehead. " If Mop were 
to distinguish himself by valor, one would find heroes by 
the dozen — Achilles, and Hector, and Julius Caesar, and 
Pompey, and Bonaparte, and Alexander the Great, and 
the Duke of Marlborough. Or, if he wrote poetry, we 
could fit him to a hair. But wise men certainly are 
scarce, and when one has hit on a wise man's name, it is 
so little known to the vulgar that it would carry no more 
weight with it than Spot or Toby. But necessarily some 
name the dog must have, and take to, sympathetically." 

Sophy meanwhile had extracted the dominoes from 
Waife's bundle, and with the dominoes and alphabet and a 
multiplication-table in printed capitals. As the Comedian's 
one eye r,ested upon the last, he exclaimed, "But after 
all, Mop's great strength will probably be in arithmetic, 
and the science of numbers is the root of all wisdom. 
Besides, every man, high and low, wants to make a fortune, 
and associations connected with addition and multiplica- 
tion are always pleasing. Who, then, is the sage at 
computation most universally known ? Unquestionably 
Cocjcer ! He must take to that — Cocker, Cocker (com- 
mandingly), C-o-c-k-e-r," with persuasive sweetness. 

Mop looked puzzled ; he put his head first on one side, 
then the other. 

Sophy (with mellifluous endearment). " Cocker, good 
Cocker: Cocker dear." 

Both. " Cocker, Cocker, Cocker ! " 

Excited and bewildered. Mop put up his head, and 
gave vent to his perplexities in a long and lugubrious 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 225 

howl, to which certainly none who heard it could have 
desired addition or multiplication. 

" Stop this instant, Sir — stop ; I shoot you ! You arc 
dead — down ! " Waife adjusted his staff to his shoulaer 
gun-wise ; and at the word of command, Down, Mop was 
on his side, stiff and lifeless. "Still," said Waife, "a 
name connected with profound calculation would be the 
most appropriate ; for instance. Sir Isaac — " 

Before the comedian could get out the word Newton, 
Mop had sprung to his four feet, and, with wagging tail 
and wriggling back, evinced a sense of beatified recog- 
nition. 

"Astounding ! " said Waife, rather awed. " Can it be 
the name ? Impossible. Sir Isaac, Sir Isaac ! " 

" Bow wow ! " answered Mop, joyously. 

" If there be any truth in the doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis ! " faltered Gentleman Waife, " if the great Xewton 
could have transmigrated into that incomparable animal. 
Xewton, Newton. " To that name Mop made no obeisance, 
but, evidently still restless, walked round the room, smelling 
at every corner, and turning to look back with inquisitive 
earnestness at his new master. 

" He does not seem to catch at the name of Newton," 
said Waife, trying it thrice again, and vainly, " and yet 
he seems extremely well versed in the principle of gravity. 
Sir Isaac ! " The dog bounded toward him, put his paws 
on his shoulders, and licked his face. "Just cut out 
those figures carefully, my dear, and see if we can get him 

V 



226 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

to tell US how much twice ten are — I mean by addressing 
him as Sir Isaac." 

Sophy cut the figures from the multiplication-table, 
and arranged them, at Waife's instruction, in a circle on 
the floor. ''Now, Sir Isaac." Mop lifted a paw, and 
walked deliberately round the letters. " Now, Sir Isaac, 
how much are ten times two ? " Mop deliberately made 
his survey and calculation, and pausing at twenty stooped, 
and took the letters in his mouth. 

"It is not natural," cried Sophy, much alarmed. "It 
must be wicked, and I'd rather have nothing to do with 
it, please." 

" Silly child. He was but obeying my sign. He had 
been taught that trick already under the name of Mop. 
The only strange thing is, that he should do it also under 
the name of Sir Isaac, and much more cheerfully too. 
However, whether he has been the great Newton or not, 
a live dog is better than a dead lion. But it is clear that, 
in acknowledging the name of Sir Isaac, he does not en- 
courage us to take that of Newton — and he is right ; for 
it might be thought unbecoming to apply to an animal, 
however extraordinary, who, by the severity of fortune is 
compelled to exhibit his talents for a small pecuniary 
reward, the family name of so great a philosopher. Sir 
Isaac, after all, is a vague appellation — any dog has a 
right to be Sir Isaac — Newton may be left conjectural. 
Let us see if we can add to our arithmetical information. 
Look at me, Sir Isaac." Sir Isaac looked, and grinned 
aflfectionately ; and under that title learned a new combi- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 227 

nation with a facility that might have relieved Sopliy's 
mind of all superstitious belief that the philosopher was 
resuscitated in the dog, had she known that in life that 
great master of calculations the most aV^struse could not 
accurately cast up a simple sum in addition. Xothing 
brought him to the end of his majestic tether like dot and 
carry one. Notable type of our human incompleteness, 
where men might deem our studies had made us most 
complete. Notable type, too, of that grandest order of 
all human genius which seems to arrive at results by in- 
tuition, which a child might pose by a row of figures on 
a slate — while it is solving the laws that link the stars 
to infinity. But revenons a noa moiifon^, what the astral 
attraction that incontestably bound the reminiscences of 
Mop to the cognominal distinction of Sir Isaac ? I had 
prepared a very erudite and subtle treatise upon this 
query, enlivened by quotations from the ancient Mystics 
— such as lamblichus and Proclus, as well as by a copious 
reference to the doctrine of the more modern Spiritualists, 
from Sir Kenelm Dig])y and Swedenborg, to Monsieur 
Cahagnet and Judge Edmonds : it was to be called In- 
quiry into the Law of Affinities, by Philomopsos : when, 
unluckily for my treatise, I arrived at the knowledge of a 
fact which, though it did not render the treatise less 
curious, knocked on the head the theory upon which it 
was based. The baptismal name of the old soldier, Mop's 
5rst proprietor and earliest preceptor, was Isaac ; and 
his master being called in the homely household by that 
Ciiristian name, the sound had entered into Mop's youngest 



228 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and most endeared associations. His canine affections 
had done much toward ripening his scholastic education. 
"Where is Isaac?" "Call Isaac!" " Fetch Isaac his 
hat," etc., etc. Stilled was that name when the old 
soldier died ; but when heard again. Mop's heart was 
moved, and in missing the old master, he felt more at 
home with the new. As for the title, " Sir," it was a 
mere expletive in his ears. Such was the fact, and such 
the deduction to be drawn from it. Not that it will 
satisfy every one. I know that philosophers who deny 
all that they have not witnessed, and refuse to witness 
what they resolve to deny, will reject the story in toto ; 
and will prove, by reference to their own dogs, that a dog 
never recognises the name of his master — never yet could 
be taught arithmetic. I know also that there are Mystics 
who will prefer to believe that Mop was in direct spiritual 
communication with unseen Isaacs, or in a state of clair- 
voyance, or under the influence of the odic fluid. But 
did we ever yet find in human reason a question with only 
one side to it ? Is not truth a polygon ? Have not sages 
arisen in our day to deny even the principle of gravity 
for which we had been so long contentedly taking the 
word of the great Sir Isaac ? It is that blessed spirit of 
controversy which keeps the world going ; and it is that 
which, perhaps, explains why Mr.Waife, when his memory 
was fairly put to it, could remember, out of the history 
of the myriads who have occupied our planet from the 
date of Adam to that in which I now write, so very few 
men whom the world will agree to call wise, and on^ of 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 22» 

that very few so scant a percentage with names sufficiently 
known to make them more popularly significant of pre- 
eminent sagacity than if they had been called — Mops. 



CHAPTER YI. 

The Vagrant having got his dog. proceeds to hunt Fortune with it, 
leaving behind him a trap to catch rats. What the trap does 
catch is "just like his luck!" 

Sir Isaac, to designate him by his new name, improved 
much upon acquaintance. He was still in the ductile 
season of youth, and took to learning as an amusement 
to himself. His last master, a stupid sot, had not gained 
his affections — and perhaps even the old soldier, though 
gratefully remembered and mourned, had not stolen into 
his innermost heart, as Waife and Sophy gently contrived 
to do. In short, in a very few days he became perfectly 
accustomed and extremely attached to them. When Waife 
had ascertained the extent of his accomplishments, and 
added somewhat to their range in matters which cost no 
great trouble, he applied himself to the task of composing 
a little drama, which might bring them all into more 
interesting play, and in which, though Sophy and himself 
were performers, the dog had the jwemier role. And 
as soon as this was done, and the dog's performances thus 
ranged into methodical order and sequence, he resolved to 

I. -20 



230 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

set off to a considerable town at some distance, and to 
which Mr. Rugge was no visitor. 

His bill at the cottage made but slight inroad into his 
pecuniary resources ; for in the intervals of leisure from 
his instructions to Sir Isaac, Waife had performed various 
little services to the lone widow with whom they lodged, 
which Mrs. Saunders (such was her name) insisted upon 
regarding as money's worth. He had repaired and regu- 
lated to a minute an old clock which had taken no note 
of time for the last three years ; he had mended all the 
broken crockery by some cement of his own invention, 
and for which she got him the materials. And here his 
ingenuity was remarkable, for when there was only a 
fragment to be found of a cup, and a fragment or two 
of a saucer, he united them both into some pretty form, 
which, if not useful, at all events looked well on a shelf 
He bound, in smart, showy papers, sundry tattered old 
books which had belonged to his landlady's defunct hus- 
band, a Scotch gardener, and which she displayed on a 
side-table, under the Japan tea-tray. More than all, he 
w^as of service to her in her vocation ; for Mrs. Saunders 
eked out a small pension — which she derived from the 
affectionate providence of her Scotch husband, in insuring 
his life in her favor — by the rearing and sale of poultry ; 
and Waife saved her the expense of a carpenter by the 
construction of a new coop, elevated above the reach of 
the rats, who had hitherto made sad ravage among the 
chickens ; while he confided to her certain secrets in the 
improvement of breed and the cheaper processes of fatten- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 231 

ing, which excited her gratitude no less than her wonder. 
"The fact is," said Gentleman Waife, "that my life has 
known make-shifts. Once, in a foreign country, I kept 
poultry upon the principle that the poultry should keep 
me." 

Strange it was to notice such versatility of invention, 
such readiness of resource, such familiarity with divers 
nooks and crannies in the practical experience of life, in 
a man now so hard put to it for a livelihood. There are 
persons, however, who might have a good stock of talent, 
if they did not turn it all into small change. And you, 
reader, know as w^ell as I do, that when a sovereign or a, 
shilling is once broken into, the change scatters and 
dispends itself in a way quite unaccountable. Still cop- 
pers are useful in household bills ; and wiien Waife was 
really at a pinch, somehow or other, by hook or by crook, 
he scraped together intellectual half-pence enough to pay 
his way. 

Mrs. Saunders grew quite fond of her lodgers. Waife 
she regarded as a prodigy of genius ; Sophy was the 
prettiest and best of children ; Sir Isaac, she took for 
granted, was worthy of his owners. But the Comedian 
did not confide to her his dog's learning, nor the use to 
which he designed to put it. And in still greater pre- 
caution, when he took his leave, he extracted from Mrs. 
Saunders a solemn promise that she would set no one on 
his track, in case of impertinent inquiries. 

"You see before you," said he, "a man who has ene- 
mies — such as rats are to your chickens : chickens despise 



232 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

rats when raised, as yours are now, above the reach of 
claws and teeth. Some day or other I may so raise a 
coop for that little one — I am too old for coops. Mean- 
while, if a rat comes sneaking here after us, send it off 
the wrong way, with a flea in its ear. " 

Mrs. Saunders promised, between tears and laughter ; 
blessed Waife, kissed Sophy, patted Sir Isaac, and stood 
long at her threshold watching the three, as the early sun 
lit their forms receding in the green, narrow lane — dew- 
drops sparkling on the hedgerows, aud the sky-lark 
springing upward from the young corn. 

Then she slowly turned in-doors, and her home seemed 
very solitary. We can accustom ourselves to loneliness, 
but we should beware of infringing the custom. Once 
admit two or three faces seated at your hearthside, or 
gazing out from your windows on the laughing sun, and 
when they are gone, they carry off the glow from your 
grate and the sunbeam from your panes. Poor Mrs. 
Sa.unders ! in vain she sought to rouse herself, to put the 
rooms to rights, to attend to the chickens, to distract her 
thoughts. The one-eyed cripple, the little girl, the 
shaggy-faced dog, still haunted her ; and when at noon 
she dined all alone off the remnants of the last night's 
social supper, the very click of the rejiovated clock seemed 
to say, "Gone, gone ;" and muttering, "Ah ! gone," she 
reclined back on her chair, and indulged herself in a good 
womanlike cry. From this luxury she was startled by a 
knock at the door. "Could they have come back ?" 
No ; the door opened, and a genteel young man, in a 
black coat and white neckloth, stepped in. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 233 

"I beg your pardon, ma'am — your name's Saunders 
— sell poultry !" 

" At your service, Sir. Spring chickens !" Poor people, 
whatever their grief, must sell their chickens, if they have 
any to sell. 

" Thank you, ma'am ; not at this moment. The fact 
is, that I call to make some inquiries. Have not you 
lodgers here ? " 

Lodgers ! at that word the expanding soul of Mrs. Saun- 
ders reclosed hermetically ; the last warning of Waife 
revibrated in her ears : this white-necklothed gentleman, 
was he not a rat ? 

''No, Sir, I han't no lodgers." 

" But you have had some lately, eh ? a crippled elderly 
man and a little girl." 

" Don't know any thing about them ; leastways," said 
Mrs. Saunders, suddenly remembering that she was told 
less to deny facts than to send inquirers upon wrong 
directions — " leastways, at this blessed time. Pray, Sir, 
what makes you ask ? " 

" Why, I was instructed to come aown to , and 

tiud out where this person, one William Waife, had gone. 
Arrived yesterday, ma'am. All I could hear is, that a 
person answering to his description left the place several 
days ago, and had been seen by a boy, who was tending 
sheep, to come down the lane to your house, and you 
were supposed to have lodgers (You take lodgers some- 
times, I think, ma'am) ; because you had been buying 
some trifling articles of food not in your usual way of 
20* 



234 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

custom. Circumstantial evidence, ma'am — you can have 
Lo motive to conceal the truth." 

" I should think not indeed, Sir," retorted Mrs. Saun- 
ders, whom the ominous words " circumstantial evidence^' 
set doubly on her guard. " I did see a gentleman such 
as you mention, and a pretty young lady, about ten days 
agone, or so, and they did lodge here a night or two, but 
they are gone to — " 

" Yes, ma'am — gone where ? " 

"Lunnon." 

*' Keally — very likely. By the train or on foot ? " 

"On foot, I s'pose." 

** Thank you, ma'am. If you should see them again, 
or hear where they are, oblige me by conveying this card 
to Mr.Waife. My employer, ma'am, Mr. Gotobed, Craven 
Street, Strand — eminent solicitor. He has something of 
importance to communicate to Mr. Waife." 

"Yes, Sir — a lawyer ; I understand." And as of all 
rat -like animals in the world Mrs. Saunders had the ignor- 
ance to deem a lawyer was the most emphatically devour- 
ing, she congratulated herself with her whole heart on the 
white lies she had told in favor of the intended victims. 

Tlie blaekcoated gentleman having thus obeyed his in- 
structions, and attained his object, nodded, went his way, 
and regained the fly which he had left at the turnstile. 
" Back to the inn," cried he — " quick — I must be in time 
for the three o'clock train to London." 

And thus terminated the result of the great barrivStcr's 
first instructions to his eminent solicitor to discover a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 235 

lame man and a little girl. Xo inquiry, on the whole, 
could have been more skilfully eonrlucted. Mr. Gotobed 
sends his head clerk — the head clerk employs the police- 
man of the village — gets upon the right track — comes to 
the right house — and is altogether in the wrong — in a 
manner highly creditable to his researches. 

"In London, of course — all people of that kind come 
back to London," said Mr. Gotobed. " Give me the 
heads in writing, that I may report to my distinguished 
client. Most satisfactory. That young man will push 
his wav — business-like and methodical." 



CHAPTER YII. 

The cloud has its silver lining. 

Thus turning his back on the good fortune which he 
had so carefully cautioned Mrs. Saunders against favoring 
on his behalf, the vagrant was now on his way to the 
ancient municipal town of Gatesboroug-h, which being 
the nearest place of fitting opulence and population, Mr. 
Waife had resolved to honor with the debut of Sir Isaac 
as soon as he had appropriated to himself the services of 
that promising quadruped. He had consulted a map of 
the county before quitting Mr. Merle's roof, and ascer- 
tained that he could reach Gatesborough by a short cut 
for foot-travellers along fields and lanes. He was always 
glad to avoid the high-road : doubtless for such avoidance 



236 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

he had good reasons. But prudential reasons were in this 
instance supported bj vagrant inclinations. High-roads 
are for the prosperous. By-paths and ill-luck go together. 
But by-paths have their charm, and ill-luck its pleasant 
moments. 

They passed, then, from the high-road into a long suc- 
cession of green pastures, through which a straight public 
path conducted them into one of those charming lanes 
never seen out of this bowery England — a lane deep sunk 
amidst high banks, with overhanging oaks, and quivering 
ash, gnarled witch-elm, vivid holly, and shaggy brambles, 
with wild convolvulus and creeping woodbine forcing 
sweet life through all. Sometimes the banks opened 
abruptly, leaving patches of greensward, and peeps 
through still sequestered gates, or over moss-grown pales, 
into the park or paddock of some rural thane. New 
villas or old manor-houses on lawny uplands, knitting, as 
it were, together, England's feudal memories with Eng- 
land's free-born hopes — the old land with its young 
people : for England is so old, and the English are so 
young ! And the gray cripple and the bright-haired child 
often paused, and gazed upon the demesnes and homes 
of owners whose lots were cast in such pleasant places. 
But there was no grudging envy in their gaze ; perhaps 
because their life was too remote from those grand be- 
longings. And therefore they could enjoy and possess 
every banquet of the eye. For at least the beauty of 
what we see is ours for the moment, on the simple con- 
dition that we do not covet the thing wlrch gives to our 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 237 

eves that beauty. As the measureless sky and the un- 
numbered stars are equally granted to king and to beg- 
gar — and in our wildest ambition we do not sigh for a 
monopoly of the empyrean, or the fee-simple of the planeta 
— so the earth too, with all its fenced gardens and em- 
battled walls — all its landmarks of stern property and 
churlish ownership — is ours too by right of eye. Ours 
to gaze on the fair possessions with such delight as the 
gaze can gire ; grudging to the unseen owner his other, 
and it may be more troubled rights, as little as we grudge 
an astral proprietor bis acres of light in Capricorn. 
Benignant is the law that saith, " Thou shall not covet.^^ 
When the sun was at the highest, our wayfarers found 
a shadowy nook for their rest and repast. Before them 
ran a shallow limpid trout-stream ; on the other side its 
margin, low grassy meadows, a farm-house at the distance, 
backed by a still grove, from which rose a still church- 
tower and its still spire. Behind them a close-shaven 
sloping lawn terminated the hedgerow of the lane ; seen 
clearly above it, with parterres of flowers on the sward 
— drooping lilacs and laburnums farther back, and a per- 
vading fragrance from the brief-liv.-d and rich syringas. 
The cripple had climbed over a wooden rail that separated 
the lane from the rill, and seated himself under the shade 
of a fantastic hollow thorn -tree. Sophy, reclined beside 
him. was gathering some pale scentless violets from a 
mound which the brambles had guarded from the sun. 
The dog had descended to the waters to quench his 
thirgt ; bnt still stood kuee-deep in the shallow stream, 



238 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and appeared lost in philosophical coutemplatioii of a 
swarm of minnows which his immersion had disturbed ; 
but which now made itself again visible on the further 
side of the glassy brook, undulating round and round a 
tiny rocklet which interrupted the glide of the waves, and 
caused them to break into a low melodious murmur. 
" For these and all thy mercies, Lord, make us thank- 
ful," said the Yictim of Ill-luck, in the tritest words of a 
pious custom. But never, perhaps, at aldermanic feasts, 
w^as the grace more sincerely said. 

And then he untied the bundle, w^hich the dog, who 
had hitherto carried it by the way, had now carefully de- 
posited at his side. "As I live," ejaculated Waife, " Mrs. 
Saunders is a woman in ten thousand. See, Sophy, not 
contented with the bread and cheese to which I bade her 
stint her beneficence, a whole chicken — a little cake too 
for you, Sophy ; she has not even forgotten the salt. 
Sophy, that woman deserves the handsomest token of our 
gratitude ; and we will present her with a silver tea-pot 
the first moment we can afi'ord it." 

His spirits exhilarated by the unexpected good cheer, 
the Comedian gave way to his naturally blithe humor ; 
and between every mouthful he rattled or rather drolled 
on, now infant-like, now sage-like. He cast out the rays 
of his liberal humor, careless where they fell — on the 
child — on the dog — on the fishes that played beneath the 
wave — on the cricket that chirped amidst the grass : the 
woodpecker tapped the tree, and the cripple's merry voice 
answered it in bird-like mimicry. To this riot of genial 



1 1 r. i; f. i; i 

WHAT W I L L HE HO W IT Ht "J H ^ 'II 138<^| f, 

babble there was a listener, of whom neither grandfather 
nor grandchild was aware. Concealed by thick brush- 
wood a few paces farther on, a young angler, who might 
be five or six and twenty, had seated himself, just before 
the arrival of our vagrant to those banks and waters, for 
the purpose of changing an unsuccessful fly. At the 
sound of voices, perhaps suspecting an unlicensed rival 
— for that part of the stream was preserved — he had sus- 
pended his task, and noiselessly put aside 'the clustering 
leaves to reconnoitre. The piety of Waife's simple gface 
seemed to surprise him pleasingly, for a sweet approving 
smile crossed his lips. He continued to look and to 
listen. He forgot the fly, and a trout sailed him by un- 
heeded. But Sir Isaac, having probably satisfied his 
speculative mind as to the natural attributes of minnows, 
now slowly reascended the bank, and after a brief halt 
and a sniff, walked majestically toward the hidden ob- 
server, look^ at him with great solemnity, and uttered 
an inquisitive bark — a bark not hostile, not menacing; 
purely and dryly interrogative. Thus detected, the angler 
rose ; and Waife, whose attention was attracted that way 
by the bark, saw him, called to Sir Isaac, and said politely, 
"There is no harm in my dog. Sir." 

The young man muttered S(mie inaudible reply, and, 
lifting up his rod, as in sign of his occupation or excuse 
for his vicinity, put aside the intervening foliage, and 
stepped quietly to Waife's side. Sir Isaac followed him 
— sniffed again — seemed satisfied; and, seating himself 
on his haunches, fixed his attention upon the remains of 



240i WHAffWlLLHE DO WITH ITT 

the chicketi which lay defenseless on the grass. The new- 
comer was evidently of the rank of gentleman ; his figure 
was slim and graceful, his face pale, meditative, refined. 
He would have impressed you at once with the idea of 
what he really was — an Oxford scliolar ; and you would, 
perhaps, have guessed him designed for the ministry of 
the Church, if not actually in orders. 



CHAPTER YIII. 

Mr. Waife excites the admiration, and benignly pities the infirmity 
of an Oxford scholar. 

"You are str — str — strangers ?" said the Oxonian, 
after a violent exertion to express himself, caused by an 
impediment in his speech. 

Waife. " Yes, Sir, travellers. I trust we are not tres 
passing : this is not private ground, I think ? " 

Oxonian. "And if — f — f — f it were, my f — f — 
father would not war — n — n you off — ff — f." 

"It is your father's ground then? Sir, I beg you a 
thousand pardons." 

The apology was made in the Comedian's grandest style 
— it imposed greatly on the young scholar. Waife might 
have been a duke in disguise ; but I will do the angler the 
justice to say that such discovery of rank would. have im- 
pressed him little more in the vagrant's favor. It had 
been that impromptu " grace " — that thanksgiving which 



1 I 1. i; I 

WHAT WILL HE DO Wltft'. It? 241 

tlie scholar felt was for something more than the carnal 
food — which had first commanded his respect and wakened 
his interest. Then that innocent, careless talkj part ut- 
tered to dog and child — part soliloquised — part throwu 
out to the ears of the lively teeming Nature, had touched 
a somewhat kindred chord in the angler's soul, for he was 
somewhat of a poet and much of a soliloquist, and could 
confer with Nature, not feel that impediment in speech 
which obstructed his intercourse with men. Having thus 
far indicated that oral defect in our new acquaintance, the 
reader will cheerfully excuse me for not enforcing it over- 
much. Let it be among the things sub audita, as the 
sense of it gave to a gifted and aspiring nature, thwarted 
in the sublime career of preacher, an exquisite mournful 
pain. And I no more like to raise a laugh at his infirmity 
behind his back, than I should before his pale, powerful, 
melancholy face — therefore I suppress the infirmity in 
giving his reply. 

Oxonian. " On the other side the lane where the gar- 
den slopes downward is my father's house. This ground 
is his property certainly, but he puts it to its best use, in 
lending it to those who so piously acknowledge that Fa- 
ther from whom all good comes. Your child, I presume, 
Sir ? " 

''My grandchild." 

" She seems delicate ; I hope you have not far to go ? ?* 

" Not very far, thank you, Sir. But my little girl looks 
more delicate than she is. You are not tired, darling ? " 

" Oh, not at all ! " There was no mistaking the looks 

I. — 21 Q 



2k% W H A-|T W I L l^i H E DO WITH IT? 

of real love interchanged between the old man and the 
child : the scholar felt much interested and somewhat puz- 
zled. " Who and what could they be ? so unlike foot way- 
farers I '' On the other hand, too, Waife took a liking to 
the courteous young man, and conceived a sincere pity 
for his physical affliction. But he did not for those rea- 
sons depart from the discreet caution he had prescribed to 
himself in seeking new fortunes and shunning old perils ; 
so he turned the subject. 

" You are an angler, Sir ? I suppose the trout in this 
stream run small," 

" Not very — a little higher up I have caught them at 
four pounds weight." 

Waife. " There goes a fine fisli- yonder — see ! balanc- 
ing himself between those weeds " 

Oxonian. " Poor felloAv, let him be safe to-day. After 
all, it is a cruel sport, and I should break myself of it. 
But it is strange that whatever our love for Nature, we 
always seek some excuse for trusting ourselves alone to 
her. A gun — a rod — a sketch-book — a geologist's 
hammer — an entomologist's net — something." 

Waife. " Is it not because all our ideas would run 
wild if not concentrated on a definite pursuit ? Fortune 
and Nature are earnest females, though popular beauties ; 
and they do not look upon coquettish triflers in the light 
of genuine wooers." 

The Oxonian who, in venting his previous remark, had 
thought it likely he should be above his listener's compre- 
hension, looked surprised. What pursuits, too, had this 
one-eyed philosopher ! 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 243 

" You have a definite pursuit, Sir ? " 

"I — alas — when a man moralizes, it is a sign that he 
has known error : it is because I have been a trifler that 
I rail against triflers. And talking of that, time flies, and 
we must be off and away." 

Sophy retied the bundle. Sir Isaac, on whom, mean- 
while, she had bestowed the remains of the chicken, jumped 
up and described a circle. 

"I wish you success in your pursuit, whatever it be,'* 
stuttered out the angler. 

" And I no less heartily, Sir. wish you success in yours." 

"Mine! Success there is beyond my power." 

" How, Sir ? Does it rest so much with others '/ " 

" No, my failure is in myself. My career should be the 
Church, ray pursuit the cure of souls, and — and — this 
pitiful infirmity ! How can I speak the Divine Word — • 
I — I — a stutterer ! " 

The young man did not pause for an answer, but 
plunged through the brushwood that bespread the banks 
of the rill, and his hurried path could be traced by the 
wave of the foliage through which he forced his way. 

"We all have our burdens," said Gentleman Waife, as 
Sir Isaac took up the bundle, and stalked on, placid and 
refreshed. 



j#>-' 



^ki W HlfS^^ihl, HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER IX. 

The Nomad, entering into civilized life, adopts its arts, sliaves his 
poodle, and puts on a black coat. Hints at the process by which 
a Cast-off exalts himself into a Take-in. 

At twilight thej stopped at a quiet inn within eight 
miles of Gatesboro'. Sophy, much tired, was glad to 
creep to bed. Waife sat up long after her ; and, in prepa- 
ration for the eventful morrow, washed and shaved Sir 
Isaac. You would not have known the dog again ; he 
was dazzling. Not Ulysses, rejuvenated by Pallas Athene, 
could have l)een more changed for the better. His flanks 
revealed a skin most daintily mottled ; his tail became 
leonine with an imperial tuft ; his mane fell in long curls, 
like the beard of a Ninevite king; his boots were those 
of a courtier in the reign of Charles II. ; his eyes looked 
forth in dark splendor from locks white as the driven snow. 
This feat performed, Waife slept the peace of the right- 
eous, and Sir Isaac stretched on the floor beside the bed, 
licked his mottled flanks and shivered — " II f aid souffrir 
pour etre heau.''^ Much marvelling. Sophy the next morn 
beheld the dog ; but before she was up Waife had paid 
the bill and was waiting for her on the road, impatient to 
start. He did not heed her exclamations, half compas- 
sionate, half admiring ; he was absorbed in thought. Thus 
they proceeded slowly on till within two miles of the town. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 245 

and then Waife turned aside, entered a wood, and there, 
with the aid of Sophy, put the dog upon a deliberate 
rehearsal of the anticipated drama. The dog was not in 
good spirits, but he went through his part with mechani- 
cal accuracy, though slight enthusiasm. 

" He is to be relied upon, in spite of his French 
origin," said Waife. "All national prejudice fades be- 
fore the sense of a common interest. And we shall always 
find more general solidity of character in a French poodle 
than in an EngHsh mastiff, whenever a poodle is of use to 
us, and a mastiff is not. But oh, waste of care I oh sacri- 
fice of time to empty names ! oh emblem of fashionable 
education ! It never struck me before — does it not, 
child though thou art, strike thee now — by the necessi- 
ties of our drama, this animal must be a French dog ? " 
"Well, grandfather?" 

" And we have given him an English name ! Precious 
result of our own scholastic training ; taught at prepara- 
tory academies precisely that which avails us naught 
when we are to face the world ! What is to be done ? 
Unlearn him his own cognomen — teach him another 
name ; too late, too late ! We cannot afford the delay." 
" I don't see why he should be called any name at all. 
He observes your signs just as well without." 

" If I had but discovered that at the beginning. Pity ! 
Such a fine name, too ! Sir Isaac ! Vanitas, vanitatumf 
What desire chiefly kindles the ambitious ? To create a 
name — perhaps bequeath a title — exalt into Sir Isaacs 
a progeny of Mops ! And after all, it is possible (let us 
21 * 



246 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

hope it is in this instance) that a sensible young dog may 
learn his letters and shoulder his musket just as well 
though all the appellations by which humanity knows him 
be condensed into a pitiful monosyllable. Nevertheless 
(as you will find when you are older), people are obliged 
in practice to renounce for themselves the application of 
those rules which they philosophically prescribe for others. 
Thus, while I grant that a change of name for tliat dog 
is a question belonging to the policy of Ifs and Buts, 
commonly called the policy of Expediency, about which 
one may diifer with others and one's own self every quarter 
of an hour — a change of name for me belongs to the 
policy of Must and Shall, viz., the policy of Necessity, 
against which let no dog bark, though I have known dogs 
howl at it ! William Waife is no more ; he is dead — he 
is buried ; and even Juliet Araminta is the baseless fabric 
of a vision." 

Sophy raised inquiringly her blue, guileless eyes. 

"You see before you a man who has used up the name 
of Waife, and who, on entering the town of Gatesboro', 
becomes a sober, staid, and respectable personage, under 
the appellation of Chapman. You are Miss Chapman. 
Rugge and his exhibition ' leave not a wrack behind.' " 

Sophy smiled and then sighed — the smile for her 
grandfather's gay spirits ; wherefore the sigh ? Was it 
that some instinct in that fresh, loyal nature revolted 
from the thought of these aliases, which, if requisite for 
safety, were still akin to imposture. If so, poor child, 
she had much yet to set right with her conscience ! All 



I can say is, that after she had smiled she sighed. And 
more reasonably might a reader ask his author to subject 
a zephyr to the microscope than a female's sigh to 
analysis. 

" Take the dog with you, my dear, ))ack into the lane ; 
I will join you in a few minutes. You are neatly dressed, 
and if not, would look so. I, in this old coat, have the 
air of a peddler, so I will change it, and enter the town 
of Gatesboro' in the character of — a man whom you will 
soon see before you. Leave those things alone, de-Isaac- 
Sir Isaac! Follow your mistress — go." 

Sophy left the w^ood, and walked on slowly toward the 
town, with her hand pensively resting on Sir Isaac's 
head. In less than ten minutes she was joined by Waife, 
attired in respectable black ; his hat and shoes well 
brushed ; a new green shade to his eye ; and with his 
finest air of Pere Noble. He was now in his favorite 
element. He was acting — call it not imposture. "Was 
Lord Chatham an imposter when he draped his flannels 
into the folds of the toga, and arrayed the curls of his 
wig so as to add more sublime etfect to the majesty of his 
brow and the terrors of its nod ? And certainly, con- 
sidering that Waife, after all, was but a professional 
vagabond — considering all the turns and shifts to which 
he has been put for bread and salt — the wonder is, not 
that he is full of stage tricks and small deceptions, but 
that he has contrived to retain at heart so much childish 
simplicity. When a man for a series of years has only 
had his wits to live by, I say not that he is necessarily a 



24S WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

rogue — he may be a good fellow; but you can scarcely 
expect his code of honor to be precisely the same as Sir 
Philip Sidney's. Homer expresses, through the lips of 
Achilles, that sublime love of truth, which, even in those 
remote times, was tlie becoming characteristic of a gentle- 
man and a soldier. But, then, Achilles is well off during 
his whole life, which, though distinguished, is short. On 
the other hand, Ulysses, who is sorely put to it, kept out 
of his property in Ithaca, and, in short, living on his wits, 
is not the less befriended by the immaculate Pallas, be- 
cause his wisdom savors somewhat of stage trick and 
sharp practice. And as to convenient aliases and white 
fibs, where would have been the use of his wits, if Ulysses 
had disdained such arts, and been magnanimously munched 
up by Polyphemus ? Having thus touched on the epic 
side of Mr. Waife's character with the clemency due to 
human nature, but with the caution required by the in- 
terests of society, permit him to resume a " duplex course." 
sanctioned by ancient precedent, but not commended to 
modern imitation. Just as our travelers neared the town, 
the screech of a railway whistle resounded toward their 
right — a long train rushed from the Jaws of a tunnel, 
and shot into the neighboring station. 

" How lucky ! " exclaimed Waife ; " make haste, my 
dear ! " Was he going to take the train ? Pshaw ! he 
was at his journey's end. He was going to mix with the 
throng that would soon stream through those white gates 
into the town ; he was going to purloin the respectable 
appearance of a passenger by the train. And so well did 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 249 

he act the part of a bewildered stranger just vomited forth 
into unfamiliar places by one of those panting steam 
monsters, so artfully amidst the busy competition of nudg- 
ing elbows, overbearing shoulders, and the impedimenta 
of carpet-bags, portmanteaus, babies in arms, and shin- 
assailing trucks, did he look round consequentially on the 
qui vire, turning his one eye now on Sophy, now on Sir 
Isaac, and griping his bundle to his breast as if he sus- 
pected all his neighbors to be Thugs, condottieri, and 
swell-mob, that in an instant fly-men, omnibus-drivers, 
cads, and porters, marked liim for their own. " Gates- 
boro' Arms," "Spread Eagle," "Royal Hotel," " Sara- 
cen's Head," — very comfortable, centre of High Street, 
opposite the " Town Hall," — were shouted, bawled, 
whispered, or Avhined into his ear. "I^- there an honest 
porter ? " asked the Comedian, piteously. An Irishman 
presented himself. "And is it meself can serve your 
honor ? '' — " Take this bundle, and walk on before me to 
the High Street." — "Could not I take the bundle, 
grand-father ? The man will charge so much," said the 
prudent Sophy. " Hush ! you indeed ! " said the Pere 
Noble, as if addressing an exiled Altesse royale — "you 
take a bundle — Miss — Chapman ! " 

They soon gained the High Street. Waife examined 
the fronts of the various inns which they passed by, with 
an eye accustomed to decipher the physiognomy of hostel- 
ries. " The Saracen's Head" pleased him, though its 
imposing size daunted Sophy. He arrested the steps of 
tlie porter, "Follow me close," and stepped across the 



250 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

open threshold into the bar. The landlady herself was 
there, portly and imposing, with an auburn toupet, a silk 
gown, a cameo brooch, and an ample bosom. 

" You have a private sitting-room, ma'am ? " said the 
Comedian, lifting his hat. There are so many ways of 
lifting a hat — for instance, the way for which Louis XIV. 
was so renowned. But the Comedian's way on the pre- 
sent occasion rather resembled that of the late Duke of 
Beaufort — not quite royal, l)ut as near to royalty as be- 
comes a subject. He added, re-covering his head — "And 
on the first floor ? " The landlady did not courtesy, but 
she bowed, emerged from the bar, and set foot on the 
broad stairs ; then, looking back graciously, her eyes 
rested on Sir Isaac, who had stalked forth in advance, 
and wnth expansive nostrils sniffed. She hesitated. 
" Your dog, Sir ! shall boots take it round to the 
stables ? " 

"The stables, ma'am — the stal)les, my dear," turning 
to Sophy, with a smile more ducal than the previous 
bow ; " what would they say at home if they heard that 
noble animal was consigned to — stables ? Ma'am, my dog 
is my companion, and as much accustomed to drawing- 
rooms as I am myself."' Still tlie landlady paused. The 
dog might be accustomed to drawing-rooms, but her 
drawing-room was not accustomed to dogs. She had 
just laid down a new carpet. And such are the strange 
and erratic affinities in nature — such are the incougrnous 
concatenations in the cross-stitch of ideas, that there are 
associations between dogs and carpets, which, if wvong- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 251 

fal to the owners of dogs, b^get no unreasonable anpre- 
liensions in the proprietors of carpets. So there stood 
the landlady, and there stood the dog ! and there they 
might be standing to this day had not the Comedian dis- 
solved the spell. "Take up my effects again," said 
he, turning to the porter ; " doubtless they are more 
habituated to distinguish between dog and dog at the 
Royal Hotel." 

The landlady was mollified in a moment. Xor was it 
only the rivalries that necessarily existed between the 
Saracen'j; Head and the Royal Hotel that had due weight 
with her. A gentleman who could not himself deign to 
carry even that small bundle, must be indeed a gentleman ! 
Had he come with a portmanteau — even with a carpet- 
bag — the porter's service would have been no evidence 
of rank, but, accustomed as she was chiefly to gentleroen 
engaged in commercial pursuits, it was new to her ex- 
perience a gentleman with effects so light and hands so 
aristocratically helpless. Herein were equally betokened 
the two attributes of birth and wealth — viz., the habit of 
command, and the disdain of shillings. A vague remem- 
brance of the well-known storv how a man and his doo- 
had arrived at the Granby Hotel, at Harrogate, and been 
sent away roomless to the other and less patrician estab- 
lishment, because, while he had a dog, he had not a ser- 
vant ; when, five minutes after such dismissal, came car- 
riages and lackeys, and an imperious valet, asking for his 

grace the Duke of A , who had walked on before with 

liis dog, and who. oh everlasting tliou.a-ht of remorse ! 



252 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

had been sent away to bring the other establishment into 
fashion! — a vague reminiscence of that story, I say, 
flashed upon the landlady's mind, and she exclaimed, " I 
only thought, Sir, you might prefer the stables ; of course, 
it is as you please — this way, Sir. He is a fine animal, 
indeed, and seems mild." 

" You may bring up the bundle, porter," quoth the 
Pere Noble. " Take my arm, my dear ; these steps are 
very steep." 

The landlady threw open the door of a handsome sit- 
ting-room — her best : she pulled down the blinds to shut 
out the glare of the sun, then, retreating to the thresh- 
old, awaited further orders. 

"Rest yourself, my dear," said the Actor, placing 
Sophy on a couch with that tender respect for sex and 
childhood which so especially belongs to the high-bred. 
" The room will do, ma'am. I will let you know later 
whetlier we shall require beds. As to dinner, I am not 
particular — a cutlet — a chicken — what you please — at 
seven o'clock. Stay, I beg your pardon for detaining 
you ; but where does the Mayor live ? " 

" His private residence is a mile out of the town ; but 
his counting-house is just above the Town Hall — to the 
right, Sir!" 

" Name ? " 

" Mr. Hartopp ! " 

" Hartopp ! Ah ! to be sure, Hartopp. His political 
opinions, I think are (ventures at a guess) enlightened I" 

Landlady. '• Yery much so. Sir. Mr. Hartopp \f\ 
highly respected.' 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 253 

Waife. " Tne chief municipal officer of a town so 
thriving — fine shops and much plate-glass — must march 
with the times. I think I have heard that Mr. Hartopp 
promotes the spread of intelligence and the propagation 
of knowledge." 

Landlady (rather puzzled). " I dare say, Sir. The 
Mayor takes great interest in the Gatesboro' Athenaeum 
and Literary Institute." 

Waife. " EiJ^actly what I should have presumed from 
his character and station. I will detain you no longer^ 
ma'am" (Duke of Beaufort bow). The landlady de- 
scended the stairs. Was her guest a candidate for the 
representation of the town at the next election ? March 
with the times — spread of intelligence ! All candidates 
she ever knew had that way of expressing themselves — 
"March" and "Spread." Not an address had parlia- 
mentary aspirant put forth to the freemen and electors of 
Gatesbcro', but what "March" had been introduced by 
the candidate, and '* Spread " been suggested by the com- 
mittee. Still she thought that her guest, upon the whole, 
looked and bowed more like a member of the Upper 
House. Perhaps one of the amiable though occasionally 
prosy peers who devote the teeth of wisdom to the 
cracking of those very hard nuts — " How to educate the 
masses," '• What to do with our criminals," and such like 
problem^;, upon which already have been broken so many 
jawbones tough as that with which Samson slew the 
Philistines. 

"Oh, grandfather," sighed Sophy, "what are you 

L - 22 



254 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

about: We shall be ruined — you too, who are so care- 
ful not to get into debt. And what have we left to pay 
the people here ? " 

" Sir Isaac ! and this ! " returned the Comedian, 
touching his forehead. "Do not alarm yourself — stay 
here and repose — and don't let Sir Isaac out of the room 
on any account ! " 

He took off his hat, brushed the nap carefully with his 
sleeve, replaced it on his head — not jauntily aside — not 
like a jeune premier, but with equilateral brims, and in 
composed fashion, like a pere noble — then, making a 
sign to Sir Isaac to rest quiet, he passed to the door ; 
there he halted, and turning toward Sophy, and meeting 
her wistful eyes, his own eye moistened. "Ah ! '' he mur- 
mured,, " Heaven grant I may succeed now, for if I do, 
then you shall indeed be a little lady ! " 

He was gone. 



CHAPTER X. 

Showing with what success Gentleman Waife assumes the pleasing 
part of Friend to the Enlightenment of the Age and the Progress 
of the People. 

On the landing-place Waife encountered the Irish 
porter, who, having left the bundle in the drawing-room, 
was waiting patiently to be paid for his trouble. 

The Comedian surveyed the good-humored, shrewd 
face, on every line of which was written the golden maxim, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 255 

"Take things asj." "I beg your pardon, my friend ; I 
had almost forgotten you. Have you been long in this 
town ? " 

" Four years — and long life to your honor ! " 
" Do you know Mr. Hartopp, the Mayor ? " 
"Is it his worship the Mayor ? Sure and it is the 
Mayor as has made a man of Mike Callaghan." 

The Comedian evinced urbane curiosity to learn the 
history of that process, and drew forth a grateful tale. 
Four summers ago Mike had resigned the '-first gem of 
the sea " in order to assist in making hay for a Saxon 
taskmaker. Mr. Hartopp, who farmed largely, had em- 
ployed him in that rural occupation. Seized by a 
malignant fever, Mr. Hartopp had helped him through it, 
and naturally conceived a liking for the man he helped. 
Thus, as Mike became convalescent, instead of passing 
the poor man back to his own country, which at that time 
gave little employment to the surplus of its agrarian 
population beyond an occasional shot at a parson, an 
employment, though animated, not lucrative, exercised 
Mike's returning strength upon a few light jobs in his 
warehouse ; and, finally, Mike marrying imprudently the 
daughter of a Gatesboro' operative, Mr. Hartopp set him 
up in life as a professional messenger and porter, patron- 
ized by the corporation. The narrative made it evident 
that Mr. Hartopp was a kind and worthy man, and the 
Comedian's heart warmed toward him. 

"An honor to our species, this Mr. Hartopp ! " said 
Waife, striking his staff upon the floor ; "I covet his 



256 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

acquaintance. Would he see you if you called at his 
counting-house '( " 

Mike replied in the affirmative, with eager pride, " Mr. 
Hartopp would see him at once. Sure, did not the Mayor 
know that time was money ? Mr. Hartopp was not a 
man to keep the poor waiting." 

" Go down and stay outside the hall door ; you shall 
take a note for me to the Mayor." 

Waife then passed into the bar, and begged the favor 
of a sheet of note-paper. The landlady seated him at 
her .own desk, and thus wrote the Comedian : 

" Mr. Chapman presents his compliments to the Mayor 
of Gatesboro', and requests the honor of a very short in- 
terview. Mr. Chapman's deep interest in the permanent 
success of those literary institutes which are so distin- 
guished a feature of this enlightened age, and Mr. Mayor's 
well-known zeal in the promotion of those invaluable so- 
cieties, must be Mr. Chapman's excuse for the liberty he 
ventures to take in tliis request. Mr. C. may add that 
of late he has earnestly directed his attention to the best 
means of extracting new uses from those noble but unde- 
veloped institutions. — Saracen^ s Head, etc." 

This epistle, duly sealed and addressed, Waife delivered 
tO the care of Mike Callaghan — and simultaneously he 
astounded that functionary with no less a gratuity than 
half a crown. Cutting short the fervent blessings which 
this generous donation naturally called forth, the Co- 
median said, with his happiest combination of suavity 
and loftiness, "And should the Mayor ask you what sort 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 257 

of person I am — for I have not the honor to be known 
to him, and there are so many adventurers about, that he 
might reasonably expect me to be one — perhaps you can 
say that I don't look like a person he need be afraid to 
admit. You know a gentleman by sight ! Bring back 
an answer as soon as may be ; perhaps I shan't stay long 
in the town. You will find me in the High Street, looking 
at the shops." 

The porter took to his legs— impatient to vent his over- 
flowing heart upon the praises of this munificent stranger. 
A gentleman, indeed — Mike should think so. If Mike's 
good word with the Mayor was worth money, Gentleman 
Waife had put his half-crown out upon famous interest. 

The Comedian strolled along the High Street, and 
stopped before a stationer's shop, at the window of which 
was displayed a bill, entitled, 

GATESBORO' ATHEXiEUM AND LITERARY INSTITUTE. 



LECTURE OX COXCHOLOGY, 

By Professor Long, 

Author of "Researches into the Natural History of Limpets." 

Waife entered the shop, and lifted his hat — " Permit 
me. Sir, to look at that hand-bill." 

" Certainly, Sir ; but the lecture is over — you can see 
by the date ; it came off last week. We allow the bills 
of previous proceedings at our Athenaeum to be exposed 
at the window till the new bills are prepared — keeps the 
whole tliinpr alive, Sir.'' 

22* R 



258 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Conchology," said the Comedian, " is a subject which 
requires deep research, and on which a learned man may 
say much without fear of contradiction. But how far is 
Gatesboro' from the British Ocean ? " 

"I don't know exactly, Sir — a long way." 

" Then, as shells are not familiar to the youthful re- 
membrances of your fellow-townsmen, possibly the lecturer 
may have found an audience rather select than numerous." 

" It was a very attentive audience. Sir — and highly 
respectable — Miss Grieve's young ladies (the genteelest 
seminary in the town) attended." 

Waife. " Highly creditable to the young ladies. But, 
pardon me, is your Athenajum a Mechanics' Institute ?" 

Shopman. " It was so called at first. But, somehow 
or other, the mere operatives fell off, and it was thought 
advisable to change the word ' Mechanics' into the word 
'Literary.' Gatesboro' is not a manufacturing town, and 
the mechanics here do not realize the expectations of that 
taste for abstract science on which the originators of 
these societies founded their — " 

Waife (insinuatingly interrupting). " Their calculations 
of intellectual progress and their tables of pecuniary re- 
turn. Few of these societies, I am told, are really self- 
supporting— I suppose Profesvsor Long is I — and if he 
resides in Gatesboro', and writes on limpets, he is proba- 
bly a man of independent fortune." 

Shopman. " Why, Sir, the Professor was engaged from 
London — five guineas and his travelling expenses. The 
funds of the society could iil nfford such outlay ; but wo 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 259 

have a most worthy Mayor, who, assisted by his foreman, 
Mr. Williams, our treasurer, is, I may say, the life and 
soul of the institute." 

"A literary man himself, your Mayor ? " 

The shopman smiled. " Not much in that way, Sir ; 
but any thing to enlighten the working classes. This is 
Professor tjong's great work upon limpets, 2 vols, post 
octavo. The Mayor has just presented it to the library 
of the Institute. I was cutting the leaves when you 
came in." 

" Yery prudent in you, Sir. If limpets were but able 
to read printed characters in the English tongue, this work 
would have more interest for them than the ablest inves- 
tigations upon the political and social condition of man. 
But," added the Comedian, shaking his head mournfully, 
" the human species is not testaceous — and what the his- 
tory of man might be to a limpet, the history of limpets 
is to a man. So saying, Mv. Waife bought a sheet of 
card -board and some gilt-foil, relifted his hat, and 
walked out. 

The shopman scratched his head thoughtfully ; he 
glanced from his window at the form of the receding 
stranger, and mechanically resumed the task of cutting 
those leaves, which, had the volumes reached the shelves 
of the library uncut, would have so remained to the crack 
of doom. 

Mike Callaghan now came in sight, striding fast. '' Mr. 
Mayor sends his love — bother-o'-me — his respex ; and 
will be happy to see your honor." 



260 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

In three minutes more the Comedian was seated in a 
little parlor that adjoined Mr. Hartopp's counting-house 
— Mr. Hartopp seated also, vis-d-vis. The Mayor had 
one of those countenances upon which good-nature throws 
a sunshine softer than Claude ever shed upon canvas. 
Josiah Hartopp had risen in life by little other art than 
that of quiet kindliness. As a boy at school, he had been 
ever ready to do a good turn to his school-fellow ; and 
his school-fellows at last formed themselves into a kind 
of police, for the purpose of protecting Jos. Hartopp's 
pence and person from the fists and fingers of each other. 
He was evidently so anxious to please his master, not 
from fear of the rod, but the desire to spare that worthy 
man the pain of inflicting it, that he had more trouble 
taken with his education than was bestowed on the 
brightest intellect that school ever reared ; and where 
other boys were roughly flogged, Jos. Hartopp was 
soothingly patted on the head, and told not to be cast 
down, but try again. The same even-handed justice re- 
turned the sugared chalice to his lips in his apprenticeship 
to an austere leather-seller, who, not bearing the thought 
to lose sight of so mild a face, raised him into partnership, 
and ultimately made him his son-in-law and residuary 
legatee. Then Mr. Hartopp yielded to the advice of 
friends who desired his exaltation, and from a leather- 
seller became a tanner. Hides themselves softened their 
asperity to that gentle dealer, and melted into golden 
fleeces. He became rich enough to hire a farm for health 
and recreation. He knew little of husbandry, but he won 



the heart of a bailiff who might have reared a turnip frou 
a deal table. Gradually the farm became his fee-simple, 
and the farm-house expanded into a villa. Wealth and 
honors flowed in from a brimmed horn. The surliest man 
in the town would have been ashamed of saying a rude 
thing to Jos. Hartopp. If he spoke in public, though 
he hummed and hawed lamentably, no one was so respect- 
fully listened to. As for the parliamentary representation 
of the town, he could have returned himself for one seat 
and Mike Callaghan for the other, had he been so dis- 
posed. But he was too full of the milk of humanity to 
admit into his veins a drop from the gall of party. lie 
suffered others to legislate for his native land, and (except 
on one occasion, when he had been persuaded to assist in 
canvassing, not indeed the electors of Gatesboro', but 
those of a distant town in which he possessed some influ- 
ence, on behalf of a certain eminent orator), Jos, Hartopp 
was Only visible in politics whenever Parliament was to 
be petitioned in favor of some humane measure, or against 
a tax that would have harassed the poor. 

If any thing went wrong with him in his business, the 
w^hole town combined to set it right for him. "Was a 
child born to him, Gatesboro' rejoiced as a mother. Did 
measles or scarlatina afflict his neighborhood, the firs.t 
anxiety of Gatesboro' was for Mr. Hartopp's nursery. 
No one would have said Mrs. Hartopp's nursery ; and 
when in such a department the man's name supersedes 
the woman's, can more be said in proof of the tenderness 
he excit^f's? In short, Jos. Hartopp was a notable in- 



?62 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

stance of a truth not commonly recognised, viz., that 
affection is power, and that, if you do make it thoroughly 
and unequivocally clear that you love your neighbors, 
though it may not be quite so well as you love yourself — 
still, cordially and disinterestedly, you will find your 
neighbors much better fellows than Mrs. Grundy gives 
them credit for — but always provided that your talents 
be not such as to excite their envy, nor your opinions such 
as to offend their prejudices. 

Mr. Hahtopp. " You take an interest, you say, in 
literary institutes, and have studied the subject ? " 

The Comedian. " Of late, those institutes have oc- 
cupied my thoughts as presenting the readiest means of 
collecting liberal ideas into a profitable focus." 

Mr. Hartopp. " Certainly it is a great thing to bring 
classes together in friendly union." 

The Comedian. "For laudable objects." 
Mr. Hartopp. "To cultivate their understandings.'* 
The Comedian. "To warm their hearts." 
Mr. Hartopp. "To give them useful knowledge." 
The Comedian. "And pleasurable sensations." 
Mr. Hartopp. "In a word, to instruct them." 
The Comedian. "And to amuse." 
" Eh 1 " said the Mayor — " amuse ! " 
Now, every one about the person of this amiable man 
was on the constant guard to save him from the injurious 
eff"ects of his own benevolence ; and accordingly his fore- 
man, hearing that he was closeted with a stranger, took 
alarm, and entered on pretense of asking instructions about 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 263 

an order for hides — in reality, to glower upon the in- 
truder, and keep his master's hands out of imprudent 
pockets. 

Mr. Hartopp, who, though not brilliant, did not want 
for sense, and was a keener observer tlian was generally 
supposed, divined the kindlv intentions of his assistant 
"A gentleman interested in the Gatesl)oro' Athenaeum. 
My foreman. Sir — Mr. Williams, the treasurer of our 
Institute. Take a chair, Williams." 

" You said to amuse, Mr. Chapman, but — " 

" You did not find Professor Long on conchology 



amusinf;: 



?"' 



"Why," said the Mayor, smiling blandly, " I myself am 
not a man of science, and therefore his lecture, though 
profound, was a little dry to me." 

" Must it not have been still more dry to your work- 
men, Mr. Mayor ? " 

" They did not attend," said Williams. " Up-hill task 
we have to secure the G-atesboro' mechanics, when any 
thing really solid is to be addressed to their understand- 
ings." 

"Poor things, they are so tired at night," said the 
Mayor, compassionately; "but they wish to improve 
themselves, and they take books from the library." 

" Novels," quoth the stern Williams — "it will be long 
before they take out that valuable ' History of Limpets.'" 

"If a lecture was as amusing as a novel, would not 
they attend it?" asked the Comedian. 

" I suppose they would," returned Mr. Williams. " But 
our object is to instruct; and instruction, Sir — " 



264 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Could be made amusing. If, for instance, the lec- 
turer could produce alive shell-fish, and by showing what 
kindness can do toward developing intellect and affection 
in beings without soul, make man himself more kind to 
his fellow-man ? " 

Mr. Williams laughed grimly. " Well, Sir." 

"This is what I should propose to do." 

" With a shell-fish ! " cried the Mayor. 

"No, Sir; with a creature of nobler attributes — A 
DOG ! " 

The listeners stared at each other like dumb animals as 
Waife continued : 

" By winning interest for the individuality of a gifted 
quadruped, I should gradually create interest in the 
natural history of its species. I should lead the audience 
on to listen to comparisons with other members of the 
great family which once associated with Adam. I should 
lay the foundation for an instructive course of natural 
history, and from vertebrated maramifers who knows but 
we might gradually arrive at the nervous system of the 
molluscous division, and produce a sensation by the pro- 
duction of a limpet!" 

" Theoretical," said Mr. Williams. 

"Practical, Sir; since I take it for granted that the 
Athenaeum, at present, is rather a tax upon the richer 
subscribers, including Mr. Mayor." 

" Nothing to speak of," said the mild Hartopp. 
Williams looked toward his master with unspeakable 
love, and groaned. " Nothing indeed — oh ! " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 265 

" These societies should be wholly self-supporting," 
said the Comedian, " and inflict no pecuniary loss upon 
Mr. Mayor." 

" Certainly," said Williams, " that is the right principle. 
Mr. Mayor should be protected." 

"And if I show you how to make these societies self- 
supporting — " 

"We should be very much obliged to you." 

" I propose, then, to give an exhibition at your rooms." 

Mr. Williams nudged the Mayor, and coughed, the 
Comedian not appearing to remark cough or nudge. 

" Of course gratuitously. I am not a professional lec- 
turer, gentlemen." 

Mr. Williams looked charmed to hear it. 

"And when I have made my first effort successful, as I 
feel sure it will be, I will leave it to you, gentlemen, to 
continue my undertaking. But I can not stay long here. 
If the day after to-morrow — " 

" That is our ordinary .soiree night," said the Mayor. 
"But you said a dog, Sir — dogs not admitted — Eh, 
Williams ? " 

Mr. Williams. "A mere by-law, which the sub-com- 
mittee can suspend if necessary. But would not the intro- 
duction of a live animal be less dignified than — " 

"A dead failnre," put in the Comedian, gravely. The 
Mayor would have smiled, but he was afraid of doing so 
lest it might hurt the feelings of Mr Williams, who did 
not seem to take the joke. 

I. — 23 



266 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"We are a purely intellectual body," said the latter 
gentleman, "and a dog — " 

"A learned dog, I presume ? " observed the Mayor. 

Mr, Williams (nodding). " Might form a dangerous 
precedent for the introduction of other quadrupeds. We 
might thus descend even to the level of a learned pig. 
We are not a menagerie, Mr. — Mr. — " 

" Chapman," said the Mayor, urbanely. 

" Enough," said the Comedian, rising, with his grand 
air : "if I considered myself at liberty, gentlemen, to say 
who and wh-at I am, you would be sure that I am not 
trifling with what / consider a very grave and important 
subject. As to suggesting anything derogatory to the 
dignity of science, and the eminent repute of the Gates- 
boro' Athenaeum, it would be idle to vindicate myself. 
These grxiy hairs are — " 

He did not conclude that sentence, save by a slight wave 
of the hand. The two burgesses bowed reverentially, and 
the Comedian went on : 

" But when you speak of precedent, Mr. Williams, allow 
me to refer you to precedents in point. Aristotle wrote 
to Alexander the Great for animals to exhibit to the 
Literary Institute of Athens. At the colleges in Egypt, 
lectures were delivered on a dog called Anubis, as inferior, 
I boldly assert, to that dog which I have referred to, as 
an Egyptian College to a British Institute. The ancient 
Etrurians, as is shown by the erudite Schweighseuser, in 
that passage — you understand Greek, I presume, Mr 
Williams ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 267 

Mr. Williams could not say he did. 

The Comedian •' Then I will not quote that passage 
ai Schweighaeuser upou the Molossian dogs in general, 
and the dog of Alcibiades in particular. But it proves 
beyond a doubt that, in every ancient literary institute, 
learned dogs were highly estimated ; and there was even 
a philosophical academy called the Cynic — that is, Dog- 
gish, or Dog-school, of which Diogenes was the most 
eminent professor. He, you know, went about with a 
lantern looking for an honest man, and could not find one 1 
Why ? Because the Society of Dogs had raised his 
standard of human honesty to an impracticable height. 
But I weary you ; otherwise I could lecture on in this 
way for the hour together, if you think the Gatesboro* 
operatives prefer erudition to amusement.'' 

"A great scholar," whispered Mr. Williams aloud. 
"And I've nothing to say against your precedents, Sir. 
I tliink you have made out that part of the case. But, 
after all, a learned dog is not so very uncommon as to 
be in itself the striking attraction which you appear to 
suppose." 

" It is not the mere learning of my dog of which I 
boast," replied the Comedian. '• Dogs may be learned, 
and men too ; but It is the way that learning is imparted, 
whether by dog or man, for the edification of the masses, 
in order, as Pope expresses himself, *to raise the genius 
and to mend the heart,' that alone adorns the possessor, 
exalts the species, interests the public, and Commands 
the respect of such judges as I see before me." The 
grand bow. 



268 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Ah!" said Mr. Williams, hesitatingly, "sentiments 
that do honor to your head and heart ; and if we could, 
in the first instance, just see the dog privately." 

" Nothing easier ! " said the Comedian. "Will you do 
me the honor to meet him at tea this evening ?" 

" Rather will you not come and take tea at my house ? " 
said the Mayor, with a shy glance toward Mr. Williams. 

The Comedian. " You are very kind ; but my time is 
so occupied that I have long since made it a rule to de- 
cline all private invitations out of my own home. At 
my years, Mr. Mayor, one may be excused for taking 
leave of society and its forms ; but you are comparatively 
young men. I presume on the authority of these gray 
hairs, and I shall expect you this eveuing — say at nine 
o'clock." The Actor waved his hand graciously, and 
withdrew. 

"A scholar and a gentleman," said Williams, emphati- 
cally. And the Mayor, thus authorized to allow vent to 
his kindly heart, added, "A humorist, and a pleasant one. 
Perhaps he is right, and our poor operatives would thank 
us more for a little innocent amusement than for those 
lectures, which they may be excused for thinking rather 
dull, since even you fell asleep when Professor Long got 
into the multilocular shell of the very first class of cepha- 
lous mo'llusca ; and it is my belief that harmless laughter 
has a moral efi'ect upon the working class — only don't 
spread it about that I said so, for we know excellent 
persons of a serious turn of mind, whose opinions that 
sentiment might shock." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 26S 



CHAPTER XI. 

HisTOKiCAL Problem. *' Is Gentleman Waife a swindler or a man 
of genius?" Answer. — "Certainly a swindler, if he don't 
succeed." Julius Caesar owed two millions when he risked the 
experiment of being general in Gaul. If Julius Caesar had not 
lived to cross the Rubicon and pay off his debts, what would his 
creditors have called Julius Caesar ? 

I NEED not say that Mr. Hartopp and his foreman came 
duly to tea, but the Comedian exhibited Sir Isaac's talents 
very sparingly — just enough to excite admiration with- 
out sating curiosity. Sophy, whose pretty face and well- 
bred air were not unappreciated, was dismissed early to 
bed by a sign from her grandfather, and the Comedian 
then exerted his powers to entertain his visitors, so that 
even Sir Isaac was soon forgotten. Hard task, by 
writing, to convey a fair idea of this singular vagrant's 
pleasant vein. It was not so much what he said as the 
way of saying it, which gave to his desultory talk 
charm of humor. He had certainly seen an immense de 
of life somehow or other ; and without appearing at 
time to profit much by observation, without perhaps 
being himself conscious that he did profit, there was 
something in the very enfantillage of his loosest prattle, 
by which, with a glance of the one lustrous eye, and a 
twist of the mobile lip, ha could convey the impression 
28 * '^ . 



le^^. 
the^ 



J 



2t0 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

of an original genius playing with this round world of 
ours — tossing it up, catching it again — easily as a child 
plays with his party-colored ball. His mere book-know- 
ledge was not much to boast of, though early in life he 
must have received a fair education. He had a smatter- 
ing of the ancient classics, sufficient, perhaps, to startle 
the unlearned. If he had not read thera, he had read 
about them ; and at various odds and ends of his life he 
had picked up acquaintance with the popular standard 
modern writers. But literature with him was the smallest 
stripe in the party-colored ball. Still it was astonishing 
how far and wide the Comedian could spread the sands 
of lore that the winds had drifted round the door of his 
playful, busy intellect. Where, for instance, could he ever 
have studied the nature and prospects of Mechanics^ 
Institutes ? and yet how well he seemed to understand 
them. Here, perhaps, his experience in one kind of 
audience helped him to the key to all miscellaneous assem- 
blages. In fine, the man was an actor ; and if he had 
thought fit to act the part of Professor Long himself, he 
would have done it to the life. 

■The two burghers had not spent so pleasant an evening 
or many years. As the clock struck twelve, the Mayor, 
wTiose gig had been in waiting a whole hour to take him 
to his villa, rose reluctantly to depart. 

"And," said Williams, " the bills must be out to-morrow. 
What shall we advertise ? " 

"The simpler- the better," said Waife ; "only pray 
head the performance with th^ assurance that it is under 
the special patronage of his worship the Mav(U'." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 2tl 

The Mayor felt his breast swell as if he had received 
some overwhelming personal obligation. 

" Suppose it runs thus," continued the Comedian : 

" Illustrations from Domestic Life and Natural History, 
with LIVE examples, Part First — The Dog ! " 

" It will take," said the Mayor ; ''dogs are such popu- 
lar animals ! " 

" Yes," said Williams ; " and though for that very reason 
some might think that by the *live example of a dog' we 
compromised the dignity of the Institute — still the im- 
portance of Natural History — " 

"And," added the Comedian, " the sanctifying influences 
of domestic life — " 

"May," concluded Mr. Williams, "carry off whatever 
may seem to the higher order of minds a too familiar 
attraction in the — dog ! " 

" I do not fear the result," said Waife, " provided the 
audience be sufficiently numerous : for that (which is an 
indispensable condition to a fair experiment), I issue hand- 
bills — only where distributed by the Mayor." 

" Don't be too sanguine. I distributed bills on behalf 
of Professor Long, and the audience was not numerb 
However, I will do my best. Is there nothing more 
which I can be of use to you, Mr. Chapman ? " 

"Yes, later." Williams took alarm, and approached 
the Mayor's breast-pocket protectingly. The Comedian 
drew him aside and whispered, " I intend to give the 
Mayor a little outline of the exhibition, and bring him 
into it, in order that his fellow-townsmen may signify 



1^ 



/: 



2.t'2 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

their regard for him by a cheer : it will please his good 
heart and be touching, you'll see — mum!" Williams 
shook the Comedian by the hand, relieved, affected, and 
confiding. 

The visitors departed ; and the Comedian lighted his 
hand-candlestick, whistled to Sir Isaac, and went to bed, 
without one compunctious thought upon the growth of 
his bill and the deficit in his pockets. And yet it was 
true, as Sophy implied, that the Comedian had an honest 
horror of incurring debt. He generally thought twice 
before he risked owing even the most trifling bill ; and 
when the bill came in, if it left him penniless, it was paid. 
And now, what reckless extravagance ! The best apart- 
ments ! dinners — tea — in the first hotel of the town ! half 
a crown to a porter ! That lavish mode of life renewed 
with the dawning sun ! — not a care for the morrow ; and 
I dare not conjecture how few the shillings in that purse. 
What aggravation, too, of guilt ! Bills incurred without 
means under a borrowed name ! I don't pretend to be 
a lawyer ; but it looks to me very much like swindling. 
Yet the wretch sleeps. But are we sure that we are not 
hallow moralists ? Do we carry into account the right 
of genius to draw bills upon the Future ? Does not the 
mo&t prudent general sometimes burn his ships ? Does 
not the most upright merchant sometimes take credit on 
the chance of his ventures ? May not that peaceful slum- 
l)erer be morally sure that he has that argosy afloat in 
his own head, which amply justifies his use of "the Sara- 
cen's ?" If his plan should fail ? He will tell you that 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? ^73 

is impossible ! But if it should fail, you say. Listen ; 
there runs a story — (I don't vouch for its truth. I toll 
it as it was told to me) — there runs a story, that in the 
late Russian war a certain naval veteran, renowned for 
professional daring and scientific invention, was examined 
before some great officials as to the chances of taking 
Cronstadt. "If you send 77?e," said the admiral, "with 
so many ships-of-the-line, and so many gun-boats, Cron- 
stadt, of course, will be taken." "But," said a prudent 
lord, " suppose it should not be taken ? " " That is im- 
possible — it must be taken ! " " Yes," persisted my lord, 
" you think so, no doubt ; but still, if it should not be 
taken — what then ? " " What then ! — why, there's an end 
of the British fleet ! " The great men took alarm, and 
that admiral was not sent. But they misconstrued the 
meaning of his answer. He meant not to imply any con- 
siderable danger to the British fleet. He meant to prove 
that one hypothesis was impossible by the suggestion of 
a counter impossibility more self-evident. " It is impos- 
sible but what I shall take Cronstadt ! " " But if you 
don't take it ? " " It is impossible but what I shall take 
it : for if I don't take it, there's an end of the British 
fleet ; and as it is impossible that there should be an end 
of the British fleet, it is impossible that I should not take 
Cronstadt 1" — Q. E. D. 



274 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XII. 

la which every thingj depends on Sir Isaac's success in discovering 
the Law of Attraction. 

On the appointed evening, at eight o'clock, the great 
room of the Gatesboro' Athenaeum was unusually well 
filled. Not only had the Mayor exerted himself to the 
utmost for that object, but the handbill itself "promised a 
rare relief from the prosiness of abstract enlightenment 
and elevated knowledge. Moreover, the stranger himself 
had begun to excite speculation and curiosity. He was 
an amateur, not a cut-and-dry professor. The Mayor and 
Mr. Williams had both spread the report that there was 
more in him than appeared on the surface : prodigiously 
learned, but extremely agreeable — fine manners, too! 
Who could he be ? Was Chapman his real name ? etc., 
etc. 

The Comedian had obtained permission to arrange the 
room beforehand. He had the raised portion of it for his 
stage, and he had been fortunate enough to find a green 
curtain to be drawn across it. From behind this screen 
he now emerged, and bowed. The bow redoubled the first 
conventional applause. He then began a very short ad- 
dress — extremely well delivered, as you may suppose, but 
rather in the conversational than the oratorical style. He 
said it was his object to exhibit th€ intelligence of that 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 2V5 

Universal Friend of Man — the Dog — in some manner 
appropriate, not only to its sagacious instincts, but to its 
affectionate nature, and to convey thereby the moral that 
talents, however great, learning, however deep, were of 
no avail, unless rendered serviceable to Man. (Applause.) 
He must be pardoned, then, if, in order to effect this ob- 
ject, he \A'as compelled to borrow some harmless effects 
from the stage. In a word, his Dog would represent to 
them the plot of a little drama. And he, though he could 
not say that he was altogether unaccustomed to public 
speaking (here a smile, modest, but august as that of some 
famous parliamentary orator who makes his first appear- 
ance at a vestry), still wholly new to its practise in the 
special part he had undertaken, would rely on their indul- 
gence to efforts aspiring to no other merit than that of 
aiding the Hero of the piece in a familiar illustration of 
those qualities in which Dogs might give a lesson to Hu- 
manity. Again he bowed, and retired behind the curtain. 
A pause of three minutes ; the curtain drew up. Could 
that be the same Mr. Chapman whom the spectators be- 
held before them ? Could three minutes suffice to change 
the sleek, respectable, prosperous-looking gentleman who 
had just addressed them, into that image of threadbare 
poverty and hunger-pinched dejection ? Little aid from 
theatrical costume : the clothes seemed the same, only to 
have grown wondrous aged and rusty. The face, the 
figure, the man — these had undergone a transmutation 
beyond the art of a mere stage wardrobe, be it ever so 
amply stored, to effect. But for the patch over the eye 



276 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

you could not have recognized Mr. Chapman. There was, 
indeed, about him still an air of dignity ; but it was the 
dignity of woe — a dignity, too, not of an affable civilian, 
but of some veteran soldier. You could not mistake. 
Though not in uniform, the melancholy man must have 
been a warrior ! The way the coat was buttoned across 
the chest, the black stock tightened round the throat, the 
shoulders thrown back in the disciphned habit of a life, 
though the head bent forward in the despondency of an 
eventful crisis — all spoke the decayed, but not ignoble, 
hero of a hundred fields. 

There was something foreign, too, about the veteran's 
air. Mr. Chapman had looked so thoroughly English — 
that tragical and meagre personage, which had exfoliated 
an arid stem from Mr. Chapman's buxom leaves, looked 
so unequivocally French. Not a word had the Comedian 
yet said ; and yet all this had the first sight of him con- 
veyed to the audience. There was an amazed murmur, 
then breathless stillness. The story rapidly unfolded it- 
self, partly by words, much more by look and action. 
There sate a soldier who had fought under Napoleon at 
Marengo and Austerlitz, gone through the snows of Mus- 
covy, escaped the fires of Waterloo — the soldier of the 
Empire ! Wondrous ideal of a wondrous time ! and no- 
where winning more respect and awe than in that land of 
the old English foe, in which, with slight knowledge of 
the Beautiful in Art, there is so reverent a sympathy for 
all that is grand in Man ! There sate the soldier, penni- 
less and friendless — there, scarcely seen, reclined his 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 277 

grandchild, weak and slowly dying for the want of f'^od : 
and all that the soldier possesses wherewith to buy bread 
for the day is his cross of the Legion of Honor. It was 
given to him by the hand of the Emperor — must he pawn 
or sell it ? Out on the pomp of decoration which we have 
substituted for the voice of passionate nature, on our fal- 
len stage ! Scenes so faithful to the shaft of a column — ■ 
dresses by which an antiquary can define a date to a year ! 
Is delusion there ? Is it thus we are snatched from Thebes 
to Athens ? Xo ; place a really fine actor on a deal- 
board, and for Thebes and Athens you may hang up a 
blanket! Why, that very cross which the old soldier 
holds — away from his sight — in that tremulous hand, is 
but patched up from the foil and card-board bought "at 
the stationer's shop. You might see it was nothing more, 
if you tried to see. Did a soul present ihink of such mi- 
nute investigation ? Not one. In the actor's hand that 
trumpery became at once the glorious thing by which 
Napoleon had planted the sentiment of knightly heroism 
in the men whom Danton would have launched upon earth 
ruthless and bestial, as galley-slaves that had burst their 
chain. 

The badge wrought from foil and card-board took life 
and soul ; it begot an interest, inspired a pathos, as much 
as if it had been made — oh, not of gold and gems, but 
of flesh and blood. And the simple broken words that 
the old Man addressed to it ! The scenes, the fields, the 
hopes, the glories it conjured up ! And now to be wrenched 
away — sold to supply Man's humblest, meanest wants — 

I. — 24 



:27& WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

sold — the last symbol of such a past! It was indeed 
'^propter vitam vivendi per^dere causas.''^ He would 
have starved rather — but the Child ? And then the child 
rose up and came into play. She would not suffer such a 
sacrifice — she was not hungry — she was not weak ; and 
when voice failed her, she looked up into that iron face 
and smiled — nothing but a smile. Out came the pocket- 
handkerchiefs ! The soldier seizes the cross and turns 
away. It .'<haU be sold ! As he opens the door, a dog 
enters gravely — licks his hand, approaches the table, 
raises itself on its hind-legs, surveys the table dolefully, 
shakes its head, whines, comes to its master, pulls him by 
the skirt, looks into his face inquisitively. 

What does all this mean ? It soon comes out, and very 
naturally. The dog belonged to an old fellow-soldier, 
who had gone to the Isle of France to claim his share in 
the inheritance of a brother who had settled and died 
there, and who, meanwhile, had confided it to the care 
of our veteran, who was then in comparatively easy cir- 
cumstances, since ruined by the failure and fraud of a 
banker to whom he had intrusted his all ; and his small 
pension, including the yearly sum to which his cross en- 
titled him, had l>een forestalled and mortgaged to pay 
the petty debts which, relying on his dividend from the 
banker, he had innocently incurred. The dog's owner 
had been gone for months ; his return might be daily ex- 
pected. Meanwhile the dog was at the hearth, but the 
wolf at the door. Now this sagacious animal had been 
taught to perform the duties of messenger and jnajor- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 279 

domo. At stated intervals, he applied to his maste. for 
sous, and brought back the supplies which the sous pur- 
chased. He now, as usual, came to the table for the 
accustomed coin — the last soi^ was gone — the dog's occu- 
pation was at an end. But could not the dog be sold ? 
Impossible — it was the property of another — a sacred 
deposit ; one would be as bad as the banker if one could 
apply to one's own necessities the property one held iu 
trust. These little biographical particulars came out in 
that sort of bitter and pathetic humor which a study of 
Shakspeare, or the experience of actual life had taught 
the Comedian to be a natural relief to an intense sorrow. 
The dog meanwhile aided the narrative by his by-play. 
Still intent upon the sous, he thrust his nose into his 
master's pockets — he appealed touchingly to the child, 
and finally put back his head and vented his emotion in a 
lugubrious and elegiacal howl. Suddenly there is heard 
without the sound of a showman's tin trumpet ! Whether 
the actor had got some obliging person to perform on 
that instrument, or whether, as more likely, it was but a 
trick of ventriloquism, we leave to conjecture. At that 
note, an idea seemed to seize the dog. He ran first to 
his master, who was on the threshold about to depart ; 
pulled him back iijto the center of the room ; next he ran 
to the child, dragged her toward the same spot, though 
with great tenderness, and then, uttering a joyous bark, 
he raised himself on his hind legs, and, with incomparable 
solemnity, performed a minuet step I The child catches 
the idea from the dog. " Was he not more worth seeing 



280 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

than the puppet-show in the streets ? might not people 
give money to see him, and the old soldier still keep his 
cross ? To-day there is a public fete in the gardens yon- 
der ; that showman must be going thither ; why not go 
too?" What! he, the old soldier — he stoop to show 
off a dog ! he I he ! The dog looked at him deprecatingly, 
and stretched himself on the floor — lifeless ! 

Yes, that is the alternative — shall his child die too, 
and he be too proud to save her ? Ah ! and if the cross 
can be saved also ! But pshaw ! what did the dog know 
that people would care to see ? Oh, much, much. When 
the child was alone and sad, it would come and play with 
her. See these old dominos ! She ranged them on the 
floor, and the dog leaped up and came to prove his skill. 
Artfully, then, the Comedian had planned that the dog 
should make some sad mistakes., attended by some mar- 
vellous surprises. No, he would not do ; yes, he would 
do. The audience took it seriously, and became intensely 
interested in the dog's success ; so sorry for his blunders, 
so triumphant in his lucky hits. And then the child calmed 
the hasty, irritable old man so sweetly, and corrected the 
dog so gently, and talked to the animal ; told it how much 
they relied on it, and produced an infant alphabet, and 
spelled out "Save us." The dog looked at the letters 
meditatively, and henceforth it was evident that he took 
more pains. Better and better ; he will do, he will do ! 
The child shall not starve, the cross shall not be sold ! 
Down drops the curtain. — End of Act I. 

Act TI. opens with a dialogue spoken ofi* the stage. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 281 

Invisible dramatis per sonoe, that subsist, with airy tongues, 
upon the mimetic art of the Comedian. You understand 
that there is a vehement dispute going on. The dog must 
not be admitted into a part of the gardens where a more 
refined and exclusive section of the company have hired 
seats, in order to contemplate, without sharing, the rude 
dances or jostling promenade of the promiscuous merry- 
makers. Much hubbub, much humor ; some persons for 
the dog, some against him ; privilege and decorum here, 
equality and fraternity there. A Bonapartist colonel sees 
the cross on the soldier's breast, and, mille tonnerrea, he 
settles the point. He pays for three reserved seats— one 
for the soldier, one for the child, and a third for the dog. 
The veteran enters ; the child, not strong enough to have 
pushed through the crowd, raised on his shoulder, Rolla- 
like ; the dog led by a string. He enters erect and war- 
rior-like ; his spirit has been roused by contest ; his strug- 
gles have been crowned by victory. But (and here the 
art of the drama and the actor culminated toward the 
highest point) — but he now at once includes in the list 
of his dramatis personcB the whole of his Gatesboro' au- 
dience. They are that select company into which he has 
thus forced his way. As he sees them seated before him, 
so calm, orderly, and dignified, maucaise honte steals 
over the breast more accustomed to front the cannon than 
the battery of ladies' eyes. He places the child in a chair, 
abashed and humbled ; he drops into a seat beside her 
shrinkingly; and the dog, with more self-possession and 
sense of his own consequence, brushes with his paw some 
24* 



2?2 %y H A T WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

iiTi aginary dust from a third chair, as in the supercilious- 
ness of the well-dressed, and then seats himself, and looks 
round with serene audacity. 

The chairs were skilfully placed on one side of the 
stage, as close as possible to the front row of the audience. 
The soldier ventures a furtive glance along the lines, and 
then speaks to his grandchild in whispered, bated breath : 
" Now they are there, what are they come for ? To beg ? 
He can never have the boldness to exhibit an animal for 
sous — impossible; no, no, let them slink back again and 
sell the cross." And the child whispers courage ; bids him 
look again along the rows ; those faces seem very kind. 
He again lifts his eyes, glances round, and with an ex- 
temporaneous tact that completed the illusion to which 
the audience were already gently lending themselves, made 
sundry complimentary comments on the different faces 
actually before him, selected most felicitously. The au- 
dience, taken by surprise, as some fair female, or kindly 
burgess, familiar to their associations, was thus pointed 
out to their applause, became heartily genial in their 
cheers and laughter. And the Comedian's face, unmoved 
by such demonstrations — so shy and sad — insinuated its 
pathos underneath cheer and laugh. You now learned 
through the child that a dance, on which the company had 
been supposed to be gazing, was concluded, and that they 
would not be displeased by an interval of some other 
diversion. Xow was the time ! The dog, as if to convey 
a sense of the prevalent ennui, yawned audibly, patted 
the child on the shoulder, and looked up in her face. ''A 



WHAT TVILL HE DO WITH IT? 283 

game of dorainos,'' whispered the little girl. The dc^ 
gleefully grinned assent. Timidly she stole forth the old 
dominos, and ranged them on the ground ; on which she 
slipped from her chair ; the dog slipped from his ; they 
began to play. The experiment was launched ; the sol- 
dier saw that the curiosity of the company was excited — 
that the show would commence — the nous follow ; and as 
if he at least would not openly shame his service and his 
Emperor, he turned aside, slid his hand to his breast, tore 
away his cross, and hid it. Scarce a murmured word ac- 
companied the action — the acting said all ; and a noble 
thrill ran through the audience. Oh, sublime art of the 
mime ! 

The Mayor sat very near where the child and dog were 
at play. The Comedian had (as he before implied he 
would do) discreetly prepared that gentleman for direct 
and personal appeal. The little girl tunied her blue eyes 
innocently toward Mr. Hartopp, and said, " The dog beats 
me, Sir ; will you try what you can do ? " 

A roar, and universal clapping of hands, amidst which 
the worthy magistrate stepped on the stage. At the com- 
mand of its young mistress, the dog made the magistrate 
a polite bow, and straight to the game went magistrate 
and dog. From that time the interest became, as it were, 
personal to all present. "Will you come, Sir ?'' said the 
child to a young gentleman, who was straining his neck 
to see how the dominos were played ; '' and observe that 
it is all fair. You too, Sir ? " to Mr. Williams. The 
Comedian stood beside the dog, whose movements he 



284 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

directed with undetected skill, while appearing only to fix 
his eyes on the ground in conscious abasement. Those on 
the rows from behind now pressed forward ; those in ad- 
vance either came on the stage, or stood up intently con- 
templating. The Mayor w^as defeated, the crowd became 
too thick, and the caresses bestowed on the dog seemed 
to fatigue him. He rose and retreated to a corner haugh- 
tily. " Manners, Sir," said the soldier ; "it is not for the 
like of us to be proud ; excuse him, ladies and gentlemen." 
— "He only wishes to please all," said the child, depre- 
catingly. " Say how many would you have round us at a 
time, so that the rest may not be prevented seeing you ? '* 
She spread the multiplication figures before the dog ; the 
dog put his paw on 10. "Astonishing ! " said the Mayor. 
" Will you choose them yourself, Sir ? " The dog nodded, 
walked leisurely round, ke-eping one eye toward the one 
eye of his master, and selected ten persons, among w^hom 
were the Mayor, Mr. Williams, and three pretty young 
ladies, who had been induced to ascend the stage. The 
others were chosen no less judiciously. 

The dog was then led artfully on from one accomplish- 
ment to another, much within the ordinary range which 
bounds the instruction of learned animals. He was asked 
to say how many ladies were on the stage ; he spelt three. 
What were their names ? " The Graces." Then he was 
asked who was the first magistrate in the town. The dog 
made a bow to the Mayor. "What had made that gen- 
tleman first magistrate ? " The dog looked to the alpha- 
bet and spelt "Worth." "Were there any persons pre- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 285 

sent more powerful than the Major ? " The dog bowed 
to the three ladies. " What made them more powerful ? " 
The dog spelt " Beauty.'- When ended the applause these 
answers received, the dog went through the musket exer- 
cise with the soldier's staff; and as soon as he had per- 
formed that, he came to the business part of the exhibi- 
tion, seized the hat which his master had dropped on the 
ground, and carried it round to each person on the stage. 
They looked at one another. " He is a poor soldier's 
dog," said the child, hiding her face. " Xo, no ; a soldier 
can not beg," cried the Comedian. The Mayor dropped 
a coin in the hat ; others did the same, or affected to do 
it. The dog took the hat to his master, who waved him 
aside. There was a pause. The dog laid the hat softly 
at the soldier's feet, and looked up to the ciiild beseech- 
ingly. 

" What," asked she, raising her head proudly — •* what 
secures Worth and defends Beauty ? " The dog took 
up the staff and shouldered it. And to what can the 
soldier look for aid when he starves, and will not beg ? 
The dog seemed puzzled — the suspense was awful. 
'■ Good Heavens," thought the Comedian, "if^ the brute 
should break down after all ! — and when I took such care 
that the words should lie undisturbed — right before his 
no>e !" With a deep sigh the veteran started from his 
despondent attitude, and crept along the floor as if for 
escape — so broken down, so crest-fallen. Every eye was 
on that heart-broken face and receding figure ; and the 
eye of that heart-broken face was on the dog, and the 



286 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

foot of that receding figure seemed to tremble, recoil, 
start, as it passed by the alphabetical letters which still 
lay on the ground as last arranged. "Ah ! to what should 
he look for aid ? " repeated the grandchild, clasping her 
little hands. The dog had now caught the cue, and put 
his paw first upon " Worth," and then upon Beauty. 
" Worth ! " cried the ladies — " Beauty ! " exclaimed the 
Mayor. " Wonderful, wonderful ! " " Take up the hat," 
said the child, and turning to the Mayor — "Ah ! tell him, 
Sir, that what Wortli and Beauty give to Yalor in distress 
is not alms, but tribute." 

The words were little better than a hack claptrap ; but 
the sweet voice glided through the assembly, and found 
its way into every heart. 

" Is it so ? " asked the old soldier, as his hand hover- 
ingly paused above the coins. " Upon my honor, it is, 
Sir," said the Mayor, with serious emphasis. The 
audience thought it the best speech he had ever made in 
his life, and cheered him till the roof rung again. " Oh ! 
bread, bread, for you. Darling ! " cried the veteran, bow- 
ing his head over the child, and taking out his cross and 
kissing it with passion ; " and the badge of honor still 
for me ! " 

While the audience was in the full depth of its emotion, 
and generous tears in many an eye, Waife seized his 
moment, dropped the actor, and stepped forth to the front 
as the man — simple, quiet, earnest man — artless man 1 

" This is no mimic scene, ladies and gentlemen. It is 
a tale in real life that stands out before you. I am here 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 28t 

to appeal to those hearts that are not vainly open to 
human sorrows. I plead for what I liave represented. 
True, that the man who needs jour aid is not of that sol- 
diery which devastated Europe. But he has fought in 
battles as severe, and been left by fortune to as stern a 
desolation. True, he is not a Frenchman : he is one of 
aland you will not love less than France, — it is your 
own. He, too, has a child whom he would save from 
famine. He, too, has nothing left to sell or to pawn for 
bread — except — oh, not this gilded badge, see, this is 
only foil and card-board — except, 1 say, the thing itself 
of which you respect even so poor a symbol — nothing 
left to sell or to pawn but Honor ! For these I have 
pleaded this night as a showman ; for these, less haughty 
than the Frenchman, I stretch my hands toward you with- 
out shame; for these I am a beggar." 

He w^as silent. The dog quietly took up the hat and 
approached the Mayor again. The Mayor extracted the 
half-crown he had previously deposited, and dropped into 
the hat two golden sovereigns. Who does not guess the 
rest? All crowded forward — youth and age, man and 
w^oman. And most ardent of all were those whose life 
stands most close to vicissitude — most exposed to 
beggary — most sorely tried in the alternative between 
bread and honor. Not an operative there but spared his 
mite. ' 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Omne iguotum pro Magnifico — Rumor, knowing nothing of bis 
antecedents, exalts Gentleman Waife into Don Magnifico. 

The Comedian and his two coadjutors were followed 
to the Saracen's Head Inn by a large crowd, but at a 
respectful distance. Though I know few things less 
pleasing than to have been decoyed and entrapped into 
an unexpected demand upon one's purse — when one only 
counted, too, upon an agreeable evening — and hold, 
tlierefore, in just abhorrence the circulating plate which 
sometimes follows a popular oration, homily, or other 
eloquent appeal to British liberality ; yet I will venture 
to say there was not a creature whom the Comedian had 
surprised into impulsive beneficence who regretted his 
action, grudged its cost, or thought he had paid too dear 
for his entertainment. All had gone through a series of 
such pleasurable emotions, that all had, as it were, wished 
a vent for their gratitude — and when the vent was found 
it became an additional pleasure. But, strange to say, 
no one could satisfactorily explain to himself these two 
questions — for what, and to whom, had he given his 
money ? It was not a general conjecture that the ex- 
hibitor wanted the money for his own uses. No, despite 
the evidence in favor of that idea, a person so respectable, 
so dignified — addressing them, too, with that noble as- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 289 

surance to which a man who begs for himself is not 
morally entitled — a person thus characterized must be 
some high-hearted philanthropist who condescended to 
display his powers at an institute purely intellectual, 
perhaps on behalf of an eminent but decayed author, 
whose name, from the respect due to letters, was delicately 
concealed. Mr. Williams — considered the hardest head 
and most practical man in the town — originated and 
maintained that hypothesis. Probably the stranger was 
an author himself — a great and affluent author. Had 
not great and affluent authors — men who are the boast 
of our time and laud — acted, yea, on a common stage, 
aud acted inimitably, too, on behalf of some lettered 
brother or literary object ? Therefore in these guileless 
minds, with all the pecuniary advantages of extreme 
penury and forlorn position, the Comedian obtained the 
respect due to prosperous circumstances and high re- 
nown. But there was one universal wish expressed by 
all who had been present, as they took their way home- 
ward — and that wish was to renew the pleasure they had 
experienced, even if they paid the same price for it. 
Could not the long-closed theater be re-opened, and the 
great man be induced by philanthropic motives, and an 
assured sum, raised by voluntary subscriptions, to gratify 
the whole town, as he had gratified its selected intellect ? 
Mr. Williams, in a state of charitable thaw, now softest 
of the soft, like most hard men when once softened, sug- 
gested this idea to the Muyor. The Mayor said, eva- 
Fively. that hf would tliink <>'^ it. and tiiat he intended to 



290 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

pay his respects to Mr. Chapman before he returned 
home — that very night — it was proper. Mr. Williams 
and many others wished to accompany his worship. But 
the kind magistrate suggested that Mr. Chapman would 
be greatly fatigued ; that the presence of many might seem 
more an intrusion than a compliment ; that he, the Mayor, 
had better go alone, and at a somewhat later hour, when 
Mr. Chapman, though not retired to bed, might have had 
time for rest and refreshment. This delicate considera- 
tion had its weight ; and the streets were thin when the 
Mayor's gig stopped, in its way villa-ward, at the Sara- 
cen's Head. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

It is the interval betweeu our first repinings and our final resigna- 
tion, in which, both with individuals and communities, is to be 
found all that makes a History worth telling. Ere yet we yearn 
for what is out of our reach, we are still in the cradle. When 
wearied out with our yearnings, Desire again falls asleep — we 
are ou the death-bed. 

Sophy (leaning on her grandfather's arm, as they as- 
cend the stair of the Saracen's Head.) "But I am so 
tired, grandy — I'd rather go to bed at once, please." 

GrENTLEMAN Waife. " Surclv vou could take some- 
thing to eat first — something nice, Miss Chapman? 
(whispering close) We can live in clover now'' — a phrase 
which means f f.lon*! to the lancllaflv. who crossed the land- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 291 

ing-place above) " grilled chicken and mushrooms for 
supper, ma'am ! Why don't you smile, Sophy ? Oh, dar- 
ling, you are ill ! " 

" No, no, graudy dear — only tired — let me go to bed. 
I shall be better to-mon-ow — I shall indeed ! " 

Waife looked fondly into her face, but his spirits were 
too much exhilarated to allow him to notice the unusual 
flush upon her cheek, except with admiration of the in- 
creased beauty which the heightened color gave to her 
soft features. 

"Well," said he, "you are a pretty child ! — a very 
pretty child — and you act wonderfully. You would make 
a fortune on the stage, but — " 

Sophy (eagerly). "But no, no, never I — not the 
stage ! " 

Waife. " I don't wish you to go on the stage, as you 
know, A private exhibition — like the one to-night, for 
instance — has (thrusting his hand into his pocket) much 
to recommend it." 

Sophy (with a sigh). "Thank Heaven, that is over 
now, and you'll not be in want of money for a long, long 
time ! Dear Sir Isaac ! " 

She began caressing Sir Isaac, who received her atten- 
tions with solemn pleasure. They were now in Sophy's 
room ; and Waife, after again pressing the child in vain 
to take some refreshment, bestowed on her his kiss and 
blessing, and whistled Malhrook s'en va-t-en guerre to 
Sir Isaac, who, considerinj? that melodv an invitation to 



2y2 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

supper, licked his lips, and stalked forth, rejoicing, but 
decorous- 

Left alone, the child breathed long and hard, pressing 
her hands to her bosom, and sunk wearily on the foot of 
the bed. There were no shutters to the window, and the 
moonlight came in gently, stealing across that part of the 
wall and floor which the ray of the candle left in shade. 
The girl raised her eyes slowly toward the window — to- 
ward the glimpse of the blue sky, and the slanting lustre 
of the moon. There is a certain epoch in our childhood 
when what is called the romance of sentiment first makes 
itself vaguely felt. And ever with the dawn of that senti- 
ment the moon and the stars take a strange and haunting 
fascination. Few persons in middle life — even though 
they be genuine poets — feel the peculiar spell in the severe 
stillness and mournful splendor of starry skies which im- 
presses most of us, even though no poets at all, in that 
mystic age when childhood nearly touches upon youth, 
and turns an unquiet heart to those marvelous riddles 
within us and without, which we cease to conjecture wl.en 
experience has taught us that they have no solution upon 
this side the grave. Lured by the light, the child rose 
softly, approached the window, and resting her upturned 
face upon both hands, gazed long in the heavens, com- 
muning evidently with herself, for her lips moved and 
murmured indistinctly. Slowly she retired from the case- 
ment, and again seated herself at the foot of the bed, dis- 
consolate. And then her thoughts ran somewhat thus, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 293 

though she might not have shaped them exactly in the 
same words : " No ! I can not understand it. Why was 
I contented and happy before I knew him ? Why did I 
see no harm, no shame in this way of life — not even on 
that stage with those people — until he said, ' It was what 
he wished I had never stooped to.' And grandfather 
says our paths are so different, they can not cross each 
other again. There is a path of life, then, which I can 
never enter ; there is a path on which I must always, 
always walk — always, always, always that path — no 
escape ! Never to come into that other one where there 
is no disguise, no hiding, no false names — never, never !" 
She started impatiently, and with a wild look, " It is 
killing me !" 

Then, terrified by her own impetuosity, she threw her- 
self on the bed, weeping low. Her heart had now gone 
back to her grandfather: it was smiting her for ingrati- 
tude to him. Could there be shame or wrong in what he 
asked — in what he did ? And was she to murmur if she 
aided him to exist ? What was the opinion of a stransrer 
boy, compared to the approving, sheltering love of her 
sole guardian and tried, fostering friend ? And could 
people choose their own callings and modes of life ? If 
one road went this way, another that ; and they on the 
one road were borne farther and farther away from those 
the other — as that idea came, consolation stopped, 
and in her noiseless weeping there was a bitterness as of 
despair. But the tears ended by relieving the grief that 
25* 



294 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

caused them. Wearied out of conjecture and complaint, 
her mind relapsed into the old native, childish submission. 
With a fervor in which there was self-reproach, she re- 
peated her meek, nightly prayer, that God would bless 
her dear grandfather, and suffer her to be his comfort 
and support. Then mechanically she undressed, ex- 
tinguished the candle, and crept into bed. The moon- 
light became bolder and bolder ; it advanced up the 
floors, along the walls ; now it floods her very pillow, 
and seems to her eyes to take a holy, loving kindness, 
holier and more loving as the lids droop beneath it. A 
vague remembrance of some tale of " Guardian spirits," 
with which Waife had once charmed her wonder, stirred 
through her lulling thoughts, linking itself with the pre- 
sence of that encircling moonlight. There ! see, the eye- 
lids are closed — no tear upon their fringe. See the dim- 
ples steal out as the sweet lips are parted. She sleeps, 
she dreams already 1 Where and what is the rude world 
of waking now ? Are there not guardian spirits ? Deride 
the question if thou wilt, stern man, the reasoning and 
self-reliant ; but thou, fair mother, who hast marked 
the strange happiness on the face of a child that has wept 
itself to sleep — what sayest thou to the soft tradition, 
which surely had its origin in the heart of the earliest 
mother ? 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 295 



CHAPTER Xy. 

There is no man so friendless but what he can find a friend sincere 
enough to tell him disagreeable truths. 

Meanwhile the Comedian had made himself and Sir 
Isaac extremely comfortable. No unabstemious man by 
habit was Gentleman Waife. He could dine on a crust, 
and season it with mirth ; and as for exciting drinks, 
there was a childlike innocence in his humor never known 
to a brain that has been washed in alcohol. But on this 
special occasion, Waife's heart was made so bounteous 
by the novel sense of prosperity that it compelled him to 
treat himself He did honor to the grilled chicken, to 
which he had vainly tempted Sophy. He ordered half a 
pint of port to be mulled into negus. He helped him- 
self with a bow, as if himself were a guest, and nodded 
each time he took off his glass, as much as to say, " Your 
health, Mr. Waife ! " He even offered a glass of the ex- 
hilarating draught to Sir Isaac, who, exceedingly offended, 
retreated under the sofa, whence he peered forth through 
his deciduous ringlets, with brows knit in grave rebuke. 
Nor was it without deliberate caution — a whisker first, 
and then a paw — that he emerged from- his retreat, when 
a plate, heaped with the remains of the feast, was placed 
upon the hearth-rug. 

The supper over and the attendant gone, the negus 



296 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

still left, Waife lighted his pipe, and gazing on Sir Isaac, 
thus addressed that canine philosopher : " Illustrious 
member of the Quadrupedal Society of Friends to Man, 
and as possessing those abilities for practical life which 
but few friends to man ever display in his service, promo- 
ted to high rank — Commissary General of the Victual- 
ing Department, and Chancellor of the Exchequer — I 
have the honor to inform you that a vote of thanks in 
your favor has been proposed in this House, and carried 
unanimously." Sir Isaac, looking shy, gave another lick 
to the plate, and wagged his tail. " It is true that thou 
wert once (shall I say it ?) in fault at ' Beauty and 
Worth ; ' thy memory deserted thee ; thy peroration was 
on the verge of a break-down ; but ' Nemo mortalium 
omnibus horissapit,' as the Latin grammar philosophically 
expresseth it. Mortals the wisest, not only on two legs, 
but even upon four, occasionally stumble. The greatest 
general, statesman, sage, is not he who commits no blun- 
der, but he who best repairs a blunder, and converts it to 
success. This was thy merit and distinction ! It hath 
never been mine ! I recognize thy superior genius. I 
place in thee unqualified confidence ; and consigning thee 
to the arms of Morpheus, since I see that panegyric acts 
on thy nervous system as a salubrious soporific, I now 
move that this House do resolve itself into a Committee 
of Ways and Means for the Consideration of the Bud- 
get!" 

Therewith, while Sir Isaac fell into a profound sleep, 
the Comedian deliberately emptied his pockets on the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ITT ZY- r 

table ; and arranging gold and silver before him, thrice 
carefully counted the total, and then divided it into sundry 
small heaps. 

"That's for the bill," quoth he — " Civil List!— a 
large item. That's for Sophy, the darling ! She shall 
have a teacher, and learn French — Education Grant. 
Current Expenses for the next fortnight ; Miscellaneous 
Estimates — tobacco — we'll call that Secret Service 
Money. Ah, scamp, vagrant ! is not Heaven kind to thee 
at last ? A few more such nights, and Avho knows but 
thine old age may have other roof than the work-house ? 
And Sophy ? Ah, what of her ? Merciful Providence, 
spare my life till she has outirrown its uses ! " A tear 
came to his eye ; he brushed it away quickly, and re- 
counting his money, hummed a joyous tune. 

The door opened ; Waife looked up in surprise, sweep- 
ing his hand over the coins, and restoring them to his 
pocket. 

The Mayor entered. 

As Mr. Hartopp walked slowly up the room, his eye 
fixed Waife's ; and that eye was so searching, though so 
mild, that the Comedian felt himself change color. His 
gay spirits fell — falling lower and lower, the nearer the 
Mayor's step came to him ; and when Hartopp, without 
speaking, took his hand — not in compliment — not in 
congratulation, but pressed it as if in deep compassion, 
still looking him full in the face, with those pitying, pene- 
trating eyes, the Actor experienced a sort of shock, as if 
he were read through, despite all his histrionic disguises 



293 WHAT WILL HE BO WITH IT? 

— read through to his heart's core ; and, as silent as his 
visitor, sunk back on his chair abashed — disconcerted. 

Mr. Hartopp. " Poor man ! " 

The Comedian (rousing himself with an effort, but 
still confused). " Down, Sir Isaac, down ! This visit, 
Mr. Mayor, is an honor which may well take a dog by 
surprise ! Forgive him ! " 

Mr. Hartopp (patting Sir Isaac, who was inquisitively 
sniffing his garments, and drawing a chair close to the 
Actor, who thereon edged his own chair a little away — 
in vain ; for, on that movement, Mr. Hartopp advanced 
in proportion). "Your dog is a very admirable and 
clever animal ; but in the exhibition of a learned dog, 
there is something which tends to sadden one. ]3y what 
privations has he been forced out of his natural ways ? 
By what fastings and severe usage have his instincts 
been distorted into tricks ? Hunger is a stern teacher, 
Mr. Chapman ; and to those whom it teaches, we cannot 
always give praise unmixed witii pity.-' 

The Comedian (ill at ease under this allegorical tone, 
and surprised at quicker intelligence in Mr. Hartopp than 
he had given that person credit for) — " You speak like 
an oracle, Mr. Mayor ; but tliat dog, at least, has been 
mildly educated, and kindly used. Inborn genius. Sir, 
will have its vent. Hum ! a most intelligent audience 
honored us to-night ; and our best thanks are due to you." 
Mr. Hartopp. " Mr. Chapman, let us be frank with 
each other. I am not a clever man — perhaps a dull 
one. If I had set up for a clever man I should not be 



WHAT WILL HE D <J WITH IT? 299 

where 1 am now. Hush ! no compliments. But my life 
has brought me into frequent contact with those who 
suffer ; and the dullest of us gain a certain sharpness in 
the matters to which our observation is habitually drawn. 
You took me in at first, it is true. I thought you were 
a philanthropical humorist, wha might have crotchets, as 
many benevolent men, with time on their hands and 
money in their pockets, are apt to form. But when it 
came to the begging hat (I ask your pardon — don't let 
me offend you) — when it came to the begging hat, I 
recognized the man who wants philanthropy from others, 
and whose crotchets are to be regarded in a professional 
point of view. Sir, I have come here alone, because I 
alone perhaps see the case as it really is. Will you con- 
fide in me ? you may do it safely. To be plain, who and 
what are you ? " 

The Comedian (evasively). " What do you take me 
for, Mr. Mayor ? What can I be other than an itinerant 
showman, who has had resort to a harmless stratagem in 
order to obtain an audience, and create a surprise that 
might cover the naked audacity of the ' begging hat ?' " 

Mr. Hartopp (gravely). "When a man of your ability 
and education is reduced to such stratagems, he must have 
committed some great fuults. Pray Heaven it be no worse 
than faults!" 

The Comedian (bitterly). "That is always the way 
with the prosperous. Is a man unfortunate — they say, 
'Why don't he help himself?' Does he try to help him- 
'^elf — they say, 'With so much ability, why does not he 



300 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

help himself better?' Ability and education! Snares 
and springes, Mr. Mayor ! Ability and education ! the 
two worst man-traps that a poor fellow can put his foot 
into ! Aha ! Did not you say if you had set up to be 
clever, you would not be where you now are ? A wise 
saying ; I admire you for it. Well, well, I and my dog 
have amused your townsfolk ; they have amply repaid us. 
We are public servants ; according as we act in public — 
hiss us or applaud. Are we to submit to an inquisition 
into our private character ? Are you to ask how many 
mutton bones has that dog stolen ! how many cats has he 
worried ! or how many shirts has the showman in his 
^vallet ! how many debts has he left behind him ! what is 
his rent-roll on earth, and his account with heaven! — 
go and put those questions to ministers, philosophers, 
generals, poets. When they have acknowedged your right 
to put them, come to me and the other dog ! " 

Mr. Hartopp (rising and drawing on his gloves). "I 
beg your pardon ! I have done, Sir. And yet I conceived 
an interest in you. It is because I have no talents myself 
that I admire those who have. I felt a mournful anxiety, 
too, for your poor little girl — so young, so engaging. 
And is it necessary that you should bring up that child 
in a course of life certainly equivocal, and to females 
dangerous ? " 

The Comedian lifted his eyes suddenly, and stared hard 
at the face of his visitor, and in that face there was so 
much of benevolent humanity — so much sweetness con- 
tending with authoritative rebuke — that the vagabohd's 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH II? 301 

hardihood gave way ; he struck his breast and groaned 
aloud. 

Mr. Hartopp (pressing on the advantage he had 
gained). "And have you no alarm for her health ? Do 
you not see how delicate she is ? Do you not see that her 
very talent comes from her susceptibility to emotions, 
which must wear her away ? " 

Waife. " Xo, no ! stop, stop, stop I you terrify me, 
you break my heart. Man, man ! it is all for her that I 
toil, and show, and beg — if you call it begging. Do 
you think I care what becomes of this battered hulk ? 
Not a straw. What am 1 to do ? What ! what ! You tell 
me to confide in you — wherefore ? How can you help 
me ? Who can help me ? Would you give me employ- 
ment ? What am I fit for ? Xothing ! You could find 
work and bread for an Irish laborer, nor ask who or what 
he was ; l)ut to a man who strays toward you, seemingly 
from that sphere in which, if Poverty enters, she drops a 
courtesy, and is called 'genteel,' you cry, ' Hold, produce 
your passport ; where are your credentials — references ? ' 
I have none. I have slipped out of the world I once 
moved in. 1 can no more appeal to those I knew in it 
than if I had transmigrated from one of yon stars, and 
said, ' See there what I was once ! ' Oh, but you do not 
think she looks ill ! — do you ? do you ? Wretch that I 
am ! And I thought to save her ! " 

The old man trembled from head to foot, and his cheek 
w^as as pale as ashes. 

Again the good magistrate took his hand, but this time 

I. — 26 



302 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the clasp was encouraging. " Cheer up ; where there is 
a will there is a way ; you justify the opinion I formed in 
your favor, despite all circumstances to the contrary. 
When I asked you to confide in me, it was not from 
curiosity, but because I would serve you, if I can. Re- 
flect on what I have said. True, you can know but little 
of me. Learn what is said of me by my neighbors before 
you trust me further. For the rest, to-morrow you will 
have many proposals to renew your performance. Excuse 
me if I do not actively encourage it. I will not, at least, 
interfere to your detriment ; but — " 

'' But,'' exclaimed Waife, not much heeding this address 
— " but you think she looks ill ? you think this is injuring 
her ? you think I am murdering my grandchild — my 
angel of life, my all ! " 

"Not so; I spoke too bluntly. Yet still — " 

"Yes, yes; yet still — " 

" Still, if you love her so dearly, would you blunt her 
conscience and love of truth ? Were you not an impostor 
to-night ? Would you ask her to reverence, and imitate, 
and pray for an impostor ? " 

" I never saw it in that light ! " faltered Waife, struck 
to the soul ; never, never, so help me Heaven ! " 

"I felt sure you did not," said the Mayor; "you saw 
but the sport of the thing ; you took to it as a school- 
boy. I have known many such men, with high animal 
spirits like yours. Such men err thoughtlessly ; but did 
they ever sin consciously, they coukl not keep those high 
spirits ! Good-night, Mr. Chapman, T shall hoar from 
you again. '^ 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 308 

The door closed ou the form of the visitor ; Waife's 
head sunk ou his breast, and all the deep lines upon brow 
and cheek stood forth, records of mighty griefs revived 
^a comitenauce so altered, now that its innocent arch 
play was gone, that you would not have known it. At 
length he rose very quietly, took up the candle, and stole 
into Sophy's room. Shading the light with careful hand, 
he looked on her face as she slept. The smile was still 
upon the parted lip — the child was still in the fairy land 
of dreams. But the cheek was thinner than it had been 
weeks ago, and the little hand that rested on the coverlet 
Beemed wasted, Waife took tliat hand noiselessly into 
his own; it was hot and dry. He dropped it with a 
look of unutterable fear and anguish ; and shaking his 
head piteously, stole back again. Seating himself by the 
table at which he had been caught counting his gains, he 
folded his arms and rooted his gaze on the floor ; and 
there, motionless, and as if in stupefied suspense of 
thought itself, he sate till the dawn crept over the sky — 
till the sun shone into the windows. The dog, crouched 
at his feet, sometimes started up and whined as to attract 
his notice : he did not heed it. The clock struck six, the 
house began to stir. The chambermaid came into the 
room ; Waife rose and took his hat, bini.shing its nap me- 
chanically with his sleeve, " Who did you say was the 
best here ? " he asked, with a vacant smile, touching the 
chambermaid's arm, 

"Sir! the best — what?'' 

"The best doctor, ma'am— none of your parish apolhe- 



304 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

caries — the best physician — Dr. Gill — did you say Gill ? 
Thank you ; his address, High Street, Close by, ma'am." 
With his grand bow, such is habit I — Gentleman Waife 
smiled graciously, and left the room. Sir Isaac stretched 
himself, and followed. 



CHAPTER XYI. 

In every civilized society there is found a race of men who retain 
the instincts of the aboiigiual cannibal, and live upon their fellow- 
men as a natural food. These interesting but formidable bipeds, 
having caught their victim, invariably select one part of his body 
on which to fasten their relentless grinders. The part thus se- 
lected is peculiarly susceptible, Providence having made it alive 
to the least nibble; it is situated just above the hip-joint, it is 
protected by a tegument of exquisite fibre, vulgarly called "the 
Breeches pocket." The thoroughbred Anthropophagite usually 
begins with his own relations and friends; and so long as he con- 
fines his voracity to the domestic circle, the Laws interfere little, 
if at all, with his venerable propensities. But when he has ex- 
hausted all that allows itself to be edible in the bosom of private 
life, the Man-eater falls loose on Society, and takes to prowling 
— then '''' Sauve qui pevt !" the Laws rouse themselves, put on 
their spectacles, call for their wigs and gowns, and the Anthro- 
pophagite turned prowler is not always sure of his dinner. It is 
when he has arrived at this stage of development that the Man- 
eater becomes of importance, enters into the domain of History, 
and occupies the thoughts of Moralists. 

On the same morning in which Waife thus went forth 
from the *' Saracen's Head" in quest of the doctor, but at 
a later hour, a man, who, to judge by the elaborate 
Bmartness of his attire, and the jaunty assurance of his 
saunter, must have wandered from tlie gay purlieus of 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 305 

Regent Street, threaded his way along the silent and 
desolate thoroughfares that intersect the remotest districts 
of Bioomsbury. He stopped at the turn into a small 
street still more sequestered than those which led to it, 
and looked up to the angle on the w^all whereon the name 
of the street should have been inscribed. But the wall 
had been lately whitewashed, and the whitewash had 
obliterated the expected epigraph. The man muttered 
an impatient execration ; and turning round as if to seek 
a passenger of whom to make inquiry, beheld, on the 
opposite side of the way, another man apparently engaged 
in the same research. Involuntarily each crossed over 
the road toward the other. 

" Pray, Sir," quoth the second wayfarer in that desert, 
"can yon tell me if this is a street that is called a Place 

— Poddon Place, Upper?" 

" Sir, returned the sprucer wayfarer, "it is the question 
I would have asked of you." 

" Strange ! " 

" Very strange indeed that more than one person can, 
in this busy age, employ himself in discovering a Poddon 
Place ! Xot a soul to inquire of — not a shop that I see 

— not an orange stall ! " 

" Ha ! " cried the other, in a hoarse sepulchral voice — 
"Ha! there is a pot-boy ! Boy — boy — boy 1 I say ; 
Hold, there ! hold I Is this Poddon Place — Upper ? " 

" Yes, it be," answered the pot-boy, with a sleepy air, 
caught in that sleepy atmosphere ; and chiming his pewter 
against an area rail with a dull clang, he chanted forth 
26* u 



3U&. WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Pots oho ! " with a note as dirge-like as that which in 
the City of the Plague chanted " Out with the dead ! " 

Mean^vhile the two wayfarers exchanged bows and 
])arted — the sprucer wayfarer, whether from the indul- 
gence of a reflective mood, or from an hal)itual indiffer- 
ence to things and persons not concerning him, ceased to 
notice his fellow-solitary, and rather busied himself in 
sundry little coquetries appertaining to his own person. 
He passed his hand through his hair, rearranged the cock 
of his hat, looked complacently at his boots, which still 
retained the gloss of the morning's varnish, drew down 
his wristbands, and,~ in a word, gave sign of a man who 
desires to make an effect, and feels that he ought to do it. 
So occupied was he in this self-commune, that when he 
stopped at length at one of the small doors in the small 
street, and lifted his hand to the knocker, he started to 
see that Wayfarer the Second was by his side. 

The two men now examined each other briefly but 
deliberately. Wayfarer the First was still young — cer- 
tainly handsome, but with an indescribable look about the 
eye and lip, from which the other recoiled with an in- 
stinctive awe— a hard look, a cynical look — a sidelong- 
quiet, defying, remorseless look. His clothes were so 
new of gloss, that they seemed put on for the first time, 
were shaped to the prevailing fashion, and of a taste for 
colors less subdued than is usual with Englishmen, yet 
still such as a person of good mien could wear without 
incurring the charge of vulgarity, though liable to that 
of self-conceit. If vou doubted that the man were a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 30t 

gentleman, yon wonld have been puzzled to guess what 
else he could be. Were it not for the look we have 
mentioned, and which was perhaps not habitual, his ap 
peara^ce might have been called prepossessing. In his 
figure there was the grace, in his step the elasticity, which 
come from just proportions and muscular strength. In 
his hand he carried a supple switch stick, slight and in- 
nocuous to appearance, but weighted at the handle after 
the fashion of a life-preserver. The tone of his voice was 
not displeasing to the ear, though there might be some- 
thing artificial in the swell of it — the sort of tone men 
assume when thej desire to seem more frank and off-hand 
than belongs to their nature — a sort of rollicking tone 
which is to the voice what swagger is to the gait. Still 
that look ! — it produced on you the effect which might 
be created by some strange animal, not without beauty, 
but deadly to man. Wayfarer the Second was big and 
burley, middle-aged, large-whiskered, his complexion 
dirty. He wore a wig — a wig evident, unmistakable — 
a wig curled and rusty — over the wig a dingy white hat. 
His black stock fitted ti'ght round his throat, and across 
his breast he had thrown the folds of a Scotch plaid. 

Wayfarer the FiRSt. " You call here, too — on Mrs. 
Crane?" 

Wayfarer the Second. "Mrs. Crane? — you too? 
Strange ! " 

Wayfarer the First (with constrained civility) 
"Sir, I call on business — private business." 

Wayfarer the Second (with candid surliness). "So 
do I." 



308 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Wayfarer the First. " Oh ! " 

WAYFARER thk Second. "Ha! the locks unbar I" 

The door opened, and an old meagre woman-servant 
presented herself. 

Wayfarer the First (gliding before the big man 
with a serpent's nndulating celerity of movement). " Mrs. 
Crane lives here?" — "Yes." "She's at home, I sup- 
pose ? " — " Yes ! " " Take up ray card ; say I come 
alone — not with this gentleman." 

Wayfarer the Second seems to have been rather put 
out by the manner of his rival. He recedes a step. 

"You know the lady of this mansion well. Sir?" 

"Extremely well." 

" Ha I then I yield you the precedence ; I yield it, Sir, 
but conditionally. You will not be long ? " 

" Not a moment longer than I can help ; the land will 
be clear for you in an hour or less." 

" Or less, so please you, let it be or less. Servant, 
Sir." 

" Sir, yours — Come, my Hebe ; track the dancers, that 
is, go up the stairs, and let me renew the dreams of youth 
in the eyes of Crane ! " 

The old woman, meanwhile, had been turning over the 
card in her withered palm, looking from the card to the 
visitor's face, and then to the card again, and mumbling 
to herself. At length she spoke : 

"You, Mr. Losely — you ! — Jasper Losely ! how you 
be changed ! what ha' ye done to yourself? where's your 
comeliness ? where's the look that stole ladies' hearts ? — • 
you, Jasper Losely ! you are his goblin ! " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 309 

*' Hold vour peace, old hussey ! " said the visitor, 
evidently annoyed at remarks so disparaging. "I am 
Jasper Losely, more bronzed of cheek, more iron of 
hand." He raised his switch with a threatening gesture, 
that might be in play ; for the lips wore smiles, or might 
be in earnest, for the brows were bent ; and pushing into 
the passage, and shutting the door, said — " Is your 
mistress up stairs? show me to her room, or — " The 
old crone gave him one angry glance, which sunk 
frightened beneath the cruel g;eam of his eyes, and hasten 
ing up the stairs with a quicker stride than her age 
seemed to warrant, cried out — " Mistress, mistress I here 
is Mr. Losely ! — Jasper Losely himself! " By the time 
the visitor had reached the landing-place of the- first floor, 
a female form had emerged from a room above; — a 
female face peered over the banisters. Losely looked up 
and started as he saw it. A haggard face — the face of 
one over whose life there has passed a blight. When 
last seen by him it had possessed beauty, though of a 
masculine rather than womanly character. Xow of that 
beauty not a trace ! the cheeks sunken and hollow, left 
the nose sharp, long, beaked as a b'rd of prey. The hair, 
once glossy in its ebon hue, now grizzled, harsh, neglected, 
hung in tortured tangled meshes — a study for an artist 
who would paint a fury. But the eyes were bright — 
brighter than ever ; bright now with a glare that lighted 
up the whole face bending over the man. In those burn- 
ing eyes was there love ? was there liate ? was there 
welcome ? was there menace ? Inpossible to distinguish ; 
but at least one might perceive that th^re was joy. 



310 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"So," said the voice fi'om above, "so we do meet at 
last, Jasper Loselj ; you are come ! " 

Drawing a loose kind of dressing-robe more closely- 
round her, the mistress of the house now descended the 
stairs — rapidly, flittingly, with a step noiseless as a 
spectre's, and, grasping Losely firmly by the hand, led 
him into a chill, dank, sunless drawing-room, gazing into 
his face fixedly all the while. 

He winced and writhed. " There, there, let us sit 
down, my dear Mrs. Crane." 

"And once I was called Bella." 

"Ages ago ! Bastaf All things have their end. Do 
take those eyes of yours off my face ; they were always so 
bright ! — and really now they are perfect burning glasses 1 
How close it is. Peuh ! I am dead tired. May I ask 
for a glass of water — a drop of wine in it — or — brandy 
^vill do as well ? " 

" Ho ! you have come to brandy, and morning drams — 
eh, Jasper ? " said Mrs. Crane, with a strange, dreary ac- 
cent. "I too once tried if fire could burn up thought, 
but it did not succeed with me ; that is years ago ; — and 
— there— see, the bottles are full still!" 

While thus speaking, she had unlocked a chiffonier of 
the shape usually found in " genteel lodgings," and taken 
out a leather spirit-case containing four bottles, with a 
couple of wine-glasses. This case she placed on the 
table before Mr. Losely, and contemplated him at leisure 
while he helped himself to the raw spirits. 

As she tlius stood, an acute student of Lavater micht 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 311 

have recognized, in her harsh and wasted counteuance, 
signs of an original nature superior to that of her visitor ; 
on her knitted brow, a sense higher in quality than on 
his smooth, low foreliead ; on her straight, stern lip, less 
cause for distrust than in the false good-humor which 
curved his handsome mouth into that smile of the fickle, 
which, responding to mirth but not to affection, is often 
lighted and never warmed. It is true that in that set 
pressure of her lip there might be cruelty, and, still more, 
the secretiveness which can harbor deceit ; and yer, by 
the nervous workings of that lip, when relieved from such 
pressure, you would judge the woman to be rather by 
natural temperament passionate and impulsive than sys- 
tematically cruel or deliberately false — false or cruel only 
as some predominating passion became the soul's absolute 
tyrant, and adopted the tyrant's vices. Above all, in 
those very lines destructive to beauty, that had been 
plowed, not by time, over her sallow cheeks, there was 
written the susceptibility to grief, to shame, to the sense 
of fall, which was not visible in the unreflective reckless 
aspect of the sleek human animal before her. 

In the room, too, there were some evidences of a 
cultivated taste. On the walls, book-shelves, containing 
volumes of a decorous and severe literature, such as care- 
ful parents allow to studious daughters — the stately 
master-pieces of Fenelon and Racine — selections, ap- 
proved by boarding-schools, from Tasso, Dante, Metasta 
sio ; — among Engli.sh authors, Addison. Johnson, Blair 
(his lectures as well as sermons) — elementarj' works on 



312 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

such sciences as admit female neophytes into their porti- 
coes if not into their penetralia — botany, chemistry, as- 
tronomy. Prim as soldiers on parade stood the books — 
not a gap in their ranks — evidently never now displaced 
for recreation — well bound, yet faded, dusty ; — relics 
of a by-gone life. Some of them might perhaps have 
been prizes at school, or birth-day gifts from proud rela- 
tions. There, too, on the table, near the spirit-case, lay 
open a once handsome work-box — no silks now on the 
skeleton reels — discolored, but not by use, in its nest of 
tarnished silk, slept the golden thimble. There, too, in 
the corner, near a music-stand piled high with musical 
compositions of various schools and graduated com- 
plexity, from "lessons for beginners " to the most arduous 
gamut of a German oratorio, slunk pathetically a poor 
lute harp, the strings long since broken. There, too, by 
the window, hung a wire bird-cage, the bird long since 
dead. In a word, round the woman gazing on Jasper 
Losely, as he complacently drank his brandy, grouped 
the forlorn tokens of an early state — the lost golden age 
of happy girlish studies, of harmless girlish tastes. 

" Basta — eno'," said Mr. Losely, pushing aside the 
glass which he had twice filled and twice drained — "to 
business. Let me see the child — I feel up to it now." 

A darker shade fell over Arabella Crane's face as she 
said : 

" The child — she is not here ! I have disposed of her 
long ago." 

" Eh ! disposed of her ! what do you mean ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 313 

" Do you ask as if you feared I had put her out of the 
world? No! Well, then — you come to England to 
see the child ? You miss — you love, the child of that — 
of that — " She paused, checked herself, and added in an 
altered voice — " of that honest, high-minded gentlewoman, 
whose memory must be so dear to me — you love that 
child; very natural Jasper." 

*' Love her ! a child I have scarcely seen since she was 
born! — do talk common sense. No. But have T not 
told you that she ought to be money's worth to me — ay, 
and she shall be yet, despite that proud man's disdainful 
insolence." 

"That proud man — what ! you have ventured to ad- 
dress him — visit him — since your return to England ?" 

"Of course. That's what brought me over. I ima- 
gined the man would rejoice at what I told him — open 
his purse-strings — lavish blessings and bank-notes. And 
the brute would not even believe me — all because — " 

" Because you had sold the right to be believed before. 
I told you, when I took the child, that you would never 
succeed there — that I would never encourage you in the 
attempt. But you had sold the future, as you sold your 
past — too cheaply, it seems, Jasper." 

" Too cheaply, indeed. Who could ever have supposed 
that I should have been fobbed ofl" with such a pittance ? " 

" Who, indeed, Jasper ! You were made to spend 
fortunes, and call them pittances when spent, Jasper I 
You should have been a prince, Jasper — such princely 
tastes ! Trinkets and dress, horses and dice, and plenty 

T - 2T 



314 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

of ladies to look and die ! Such princely spirit too 1 — 
bounding all return for loyal sacrifice to the honor you 
vouchsafed in accepting it ! " 

Uttering this embittered irony, which nevertheless 
seemed rather to please than to offend her guest, she kept 
moving about the room, and (whether from some drawer 
in the furniture, or from her own person, Losely's care- 
less eye did not observe) she suddenly drew forth a minia- 
ture, and, placing it before him, exclaimed, " Ah, but you 
are altered from those days — see what you then were ! " 
Losely's gaze thus abruptly invited, fixed itself on the 
eflBgies of a youth eminently handsome, and of that kind 
of beauty which, without being effeminate, approaches to 
the fineness and brilliancy of the female countenance — a 
beauty which renders its possessor inconveniently con- 
spicuous, and too often, by winning that ready admira- 
tion which it costs no effort to obtain, withdraws the de- 
sire of applause from successes to be achieved by labor, 
and hardens egotism by the excuses it lends to self-esteem. 
It is true that this handsome face had not the elevation 
bestowed by thoughtful expression ; but thoughtful ex- 
pression is not the attribute a painter seeks to give to the 
abstract comeliness of early youth — and it is seldom to be 
acquired without that constitutional wear and tear which is 
injurious to mere physical beauty. And over the whole coun- 
tenance was diffused a sunny light, the freshness of thought- 
less health, of luxuriant vigor, so that even that arrogant 
vanity which an acute observer raiglit have detected as the 
prevailing mental characteristic, seemed but a glad exulta- 



S15 

tion in tne gifts of benignant nature. Not there tLe look 
which, in the matured man gazing on the briglit ghost of 
his former self, might have daunted the timid and warned 
the wise. " And I was like this. True 1 I remember 
well when it was taken, and no one called it flattering." 
said Mr. Losely, with pathetic self-condolence. " But I 
can't be very much changed," he added, with a half 
laugh. "At my age one may have a manlier look, 
yet — " 

" Yet still be handsome, Jasper," said Mrs. Crane. 
"You are so. But look at me — what am I?" 

"Oh, a very fine vroman, ray dear Crane — always 
were. But you neglect yourself; you should not do 
that ; keep it up to the last. Well, but to return to the 
child. You have disposed of her without my consent, 
without letting me know." 

" Letting you know 1 How many years is it since you 
even gave me your address ? Never fear, she is in good 
hands." 

"Whose? At all events I must see her." 

" See her ! What for ? " 

" What for ! Hang it, it is natural that, now I am in 
England, I should at least wish to know what she is like. 
And I think it very strange that you should send her 
away, and then make all these difficulties. What's your 
object? I don't understand it." 

" My object ! What could be my object but to serve 
you ? At your request I took, fed, reared a child, whom 
you could not expert me to love, at my own cost. Did 



316 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH JT? 

I ever ask you for a shilling ? Did I ever sufifer you to 
give me one ? Never ! At last, hearing no more from. 
you, and what little I heard of you, making me think that 
if any thing happened to me (and I was very ill at the 
time), you could only find her a burden ; at last, I say, 
the old man came to me — you had given him my address 
— and he offered to take her, and I consented. She is 
with him." 

" The old man ! She is with him ! And where is he ? " 

" I don't know." 

"Humph ! How does he live ? Can he have got any 
money ? " 

"I don't know." 

"Did any old friends take him up?" 

" Would he go to old friends ? " 

Mr. Losely tossed off two fresh glasses of brandy, one 
after the other, and, rising, walked to and fro the room, 
his hands buried in his pockets, and in no comfortable 
vein of reflection. At length he paused, and said, " Well, 
upon the whole, I don't see what I could do with the girl 
just at present ; though, of course, I ought to know where 
she is, and wdth w-hom. Tell me, Mrs. Crane, what is she 
like — pretty or plain?" 

" I suppose the chit would be called pretty — by some 
persons at least." 

" Very pretty ? handsome ? " asked Losely, abruptly. 

" Handsome or not, what does it signify ? what good 
comes of beauty ? You had beauty enough ; what have 
you done with it ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 317 

At that question Losely drew himself up with a sudden 
loftiness of look and gesture, which, though prompted 
but by offended vanity, improved the expression of the 
countenance, and restored to it much of its earlier cha- 
racter. Mrs. Crane gazed on him, startled into admira- 
tion, and it was in an altered voice, half reproachful, half 
bitter, that she continued — 

"And now that you are satisfied about her, have you 
no questions to ask about me — what I do — how I live ?" 

" My dear Mrs. Crane, I know that you are comfort- 
ably off, and were never of a mercenary temper. I trust 
you are happy, and so forth — I wish I were ; things don't 
prosper with me. If you could conveniently lend me a 
five-pound note — " 

" You would borrow of me, Jasper ? All ! you come 
to me in your troubles. You shall have the money — five 
pounds — ten pounds — what you please, but you will call 
again for it? you need me now — you will not utterly de- 
sert me now ?" 

" Best of creatures ! never ! " He seized her hand, and 
kissed it. She withdrew it quickly from his clasp, and, 
glancing over him from head to foot, said, " But are you 
really in need ? you are well-dressed, Jasper ; that you 
always were." 

" Not always ; three days ago very much the reverse ; 
but I have had a trifling aid, and — " 

"Aid in England ? from whom ? where ? Xot from him 
whom, you say, you had the courage to seek ? " 

" From whom else ? Have I no claim ? A miserable 
27* 



318 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

alms ftung to me. Curse him ! I tell you that man's look 
and language so galled me — so galled," echoed Losely, 
shifting his hold from the top of his switch to the centre, 
and bringing the murderous weight of the lead down on 
the palm of his other hand, "that, if his eye had quitted 
me for a moment, I think I must have brained him, and 
been — " 

" Hanged ! " said Mrs. Crane. 

" Of course, hanged," returned Losely, resuming the 
reckless voice and manner in which there was that peculiar 
levity which comes from hardness of heart, as from the 
. steel's hardness comes the blade's play. " But if a man 
did not sometimes forget consequences, there would be 
an end of the gallows. I am glad that his eye never left 
mine." And the leaden head of the switch fell with a 
dull, dumb sound on the floor. 

Mrs. Crane made no immediate rejoinder, but fixed on 
her lawless visitor a gaze in which there was no womanly 
fear (though Losely 's aspect and gesture might have sent 
a thrill through the nerves of many a hardy man), but 
which was not without womanly compassion, her counte- 
nance gradually softening more and more, as if under the 
influence of recollections mournful but not hostile. At 
/length she said, in a low voice, " Poor Jasper I Is all the 
vain ambition that made you so false shrunk into a ferocity 
that finds you so powerless ? Would your existence, after 
all, have been harder, poorer, meaner, if your faith had 
been kept to me ! " 

Evidently disliking that turn in the conversation, but 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH I T 'Z 319 

checking a reply that might have been rude had no visions 
of five pounds — ten pounds — loomed in the distance, Mr 
Losely said, 

" Pshaw ! Bella, pshaw ! 1 was a fool, I dare say, and 
a sad dog — a very sad dog ; but I had always the great- 
est regard for you, and always shall ! Hillo, what's that ? 
A knock at the door ! Oh, by-the-by, a queer-looking 
man, in a white hat, called at the same time I did, to see 
you on private business — gave way to rae — said he should 
come again ; may I ask who he is ? " 

" I can not guess ; no one ever calls here on business, 
except the tax-gatherer." 

The old woman-servant now entered. "A gentleman, 
ma'am — says his name is Rugge." 

" Rugge — Rugge — let rae think." 

"I am here, Mrs. Crane," said the manager, striding 
in. " You don't perhaps call me to mind by name ; but 
— oho — not gone, Sir ! Do I intrude prematurely ?" 

" No, I have done ; good-day, my dear Mrs. Crane " 

" Stay, Jasper. I remember you now, Mr. Rugge ; 
take a cha'r." 

She whispered a few words into Losely's ear, then 
turned to the manager, and said aloud, " I saw you at 
Mr. Waife's lodging, at the time he had that bad acci- 
dent." 

"And I had the honor to accompany you home, ma'am, 
and — but shall I speak out before this gentleman ?" 

" Certainly ; you see he is listening to you with atten- 
tion. This gentleman and I have no secrets from eacn 



320 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Other. What has become of that person ? This gentle- 
man wishes to know." 

LosELY. "Yes, Sir, I wish to know — particularly." 
RuGGE. " So do I ; that is partly what I came about. 
You are aware, I think, ma'am, that I engaged him and 
Juliet Araminta — that is, Sophy." 

LosELY. " Sophy — engaged them. Sir — how ? " 
RuGGE. "Theatrical line, Sir — Rucrge's Exhibition; 
he was a great actor once, that fellow Waife." 
LosELY. "Oh, actor I — well. Sir, go on." 
RuGGE (who in the course of liis address turns from 
the lady to the gentleman, from the gentleman to the 
lady, with appropriate gesture and appealing look). 
" But he became a wreck, a block of a man ; lost an eye 
and his voice too. However, to serve him, I took his 
grandchild and him too. He left me — shamefully, and 
ran off with his grandchild, Sir. Now, ma'am, to be 
plain with you, that little girl I looked upon as my pro- 
perty — a very valuable property. She is worth a great 
deal to me, and I have been done out of her. If you can 
help me to get her back, articled and engaged say for 
three years, I am willing and happy, ma'am, to pay some- 
thing handsome — uncommon handsome." 

Mrs. Crane (loftily). " Speak to that gentleman —he 
may treat with you." 

LosELY. " What do you call uncommon handsome, 
Mr. — Mr. Tu gge ? " 

RuGGE. "Rugge! Sir; w^e shan't disagree, I hope, 
provided you have the power to get Waife to bind the 
girl to me." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 321 

LosELY. " I may have the power to transfer the young 
lady to your care ; young lady is a more respectful phrase 
than girl ; and possibly to dispense with Mr. Waife's con- 
sent to such arrangement. But excuse me if I say that I 
must know a little more of yourself before I could promise 
to exert such a power on your behalf." 

RuGGE. " Sir, I shall be proud to improve our acquaint- 
ance. As to Waife, the old vagabond, he has injured and 
affronted me, Sir. I don't bear malice, but I have a spirit 
— Britons have a spirit, Sir. And you will remember, 
ma'am, that when I accompanied you home, I observed 
that Mr. Waife was a mysterious man, and had apparently 
known better days, and that when a man is mysterious, 
and falls into the sear and yellow leaf, ma'am, without 
that which should accompany old age, Sir, one has a 
right to suspect that some time or other he has done 
something or other, ma'am, which makes him fear ICvSt 
the very stones prate of his whereabouts, Sir. And you 
did not deny, ma'am, that the mystery was suspicious; 
but you said, with uncommon good sense, that it was no- 
thing to me what Mr. "Waife had once been, so long as he 
was of use to me at that particular season. Since then, 
Sir, he has ceased to be of use — ceased, too, in the un- 
handsomest manner. And if you would, ma'am, from a 
sense of justice, just unravel the mystery, put me in pos- 
session of the secret, it might make that base man of use 
to me again — give me a handle over him. Sir, so that I 
nAJght awe him into restoring my property, as, morally 
speaking, Juliet Aranvinta mo-;t undoubtedly is. That's 

V 



323 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

why I call — leaving my company, to which I am a father, 
orphans for the present. But I have missed that little 
girl — that young lady, Sir. I called her a phenomenon, 
ma'am — missed her much — it is natural, Sir ; I appeal 
to you. No man can be done out of a valuable property 
and not feel it, if he has a heart in his bosom. And if I 
had her back safe, I should indulge ambition. I have 
always had ambition. The theater at York, Sir — that 
is my ambition ; I had it from a child. Sir ; dreamed of it 
three times, ma'am. If I had back my property in that 
phenomenon, I would go at the thing, slap bang, take the 
York, and bring out the phenomenon, with a claw/^^ 

LosELY (musingly). " You say the young lady is a 
phenomenon, and for this phenomenon you are willing to 
pay something handsome — a vague expression. Put it 
into £ s. d.'' 

RuGGE. " Sir, if she can be bound to me legally for 
three years, I would give £100. I did oifer to Waife £50 
— to you, Sir, £100." 

Losely's eyes flashed and his hands opened restlessly. 
"But, confound it, where is she ? have you no clew ?" 

RuGGE. " No, but we can easily find one ; it was not 
worth my while to hunt them up before I was quite sure 
that, if I regained my property in that phenomenon, the 
law would protect it." 

Mrs. Crane (moving to the door). "Well, Jasper 
Losely, you will sell the young lady, I doubt not ; and 
when you have sold her, let me know." She came back 
fi^nd whispered, " You will not perhaps now want money 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 323 

from me, but I shall see you again ; for, if you would find 
the child, you will need my aid." 

" Certainly, my dear friend, I will call again ; honor 
bright." 

Mrs. Crane here bowed to the gentlemen, and swept 
out of the room. 

Thus left alone, Losely and Rugge looked at each other 
with a shy and yet cunning gaze — Rugge's hands in his 
trowsers pockets, his head thrown back — Losely's hands 
involuntarily expanded, his head bewitchingly bent for- 
ward, and a little on one side. 

" Sir," said Ru.u-ge at length, "what do you say to a 
chop and a pint of wine ? Perhaps we could talk more 
at our ease elsewhere. I am only in town for a day — left 
my company thirty miles off — orphans, as I said before." 

"Mr. Rugge," said Losely, "I have no desire to stay 
in London, or indeed in England ; and the sooner we can 
settle this matter the better. Grant that we find the vounff 
lady, you provide for her board and lodging — teach her 
your honorable profession — behave, of course, kindly to 
her — " 

"Like a father." 

"And give to me the sum of £100?" 

" That is, if you can legally make her over to me. But, 
Sir, may I inquire by what authority you would act in 
this matter ? " 

" On that head it will be easy to satisfy yon ; mean- 
while I accept your proposal of an early dinner. Let us 
adjourn — is it to your house?" 
20* 



324 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" I have no exact private house in London ; but I know 
a public one — commodious." 

"Be it so. After you, Sir." 

As they descended the stairs, the old woman-servant 
stood at the street door. Rugge went out first — the 
woman detained Losely. 

" Do you find her altered ? " 

"Whom? Mrs. Crane ? — why, years will tell. But 
you seem to have known me — I don't remember you." 

"Not Bridgett Greggs ? " 

" Is it possible ? I left you a middle-aged, rosy-faced 
woman. True, I recognize you now. There's a crown 
for you. I wish I had more to spare ! " 

Bridgett pushed back the silver. 

"No — I dare not! Take money from you, Jasper 
Losely 1 Mistress would not forgive me ! " 

Losely, not unreluctantly, restored the crown to his 
pocket ; and, with a snort, rather than sigh, of relief, 
stepped into open daylight. As he crossed the street to 
join Rugge, who was waiting for him on the shady side, 
he mechanically turned to look back at the house, and, 
at the open window of an upper story, he beheld again 
those shining eyes which had glared down on him from 
the stairs. He tried to smile, and waved his hand feebly. 
The eyes seemed to return the smile ; and as he walked 
down the street, arm in arm with the rufiian manager, 
slowly recovering his springy step, and in ihe gloss of the 
new garmets that set forth his still symmetrical propor- 
tions, the eves followed him watchfully — steadfastly — till 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 325 

his form had vanished, and the dull street was once more 
a solitude 

Then Arabella Crane turned from the window. Putting 
her hand to her heart, " How it beats ! "' she muttered ; 
" if in love or in hate, in scorn or in pity, beats once 
more with a human emotion. He will come again — 
whether for money or for woman's wit, what care I — he 
will come. — I will hold, I will cling to him, no more to 
part — for better, for worse, as it should have been once 
at the altar. And the child?" she paused; was it in 
compunction ? " The child ! " she continued, fiercely, and 
as if lashing herself into rage, " The child of that treacher- 
ous, hateful mother — yes ! I will help him to sell her back 
as a stage-show — help him in all that does not lift her 
to a state from which she may look down with disdain ol 
me. Revenge on her, on that cruel house — revenge is 
sweet. Oh ! that it were revenge alone that bids me 
cling to him who deserves revenge the most." She closed 
her burning eyes, and sate down droopingly, rocking her- 
self to and fro like one in pain. 



CHAPTER XYII. 

In life it is difficult to say who do you tlie most mischief, encrmies 
■with the worst intentions, or friends with the best. 

The conference between Mr. Rugge and Mr. Losely 
terminated in an appointment to meet, the next day, at 
the village in which this story opened. Meanwhile, Mr. 

I. —28 



326 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Rugge would return to his " orphans," and arrange per- 
formances in which, for some days, they might dispense 
with a Father's part. Losely, on his side, undertook to 
devote the intervening hours to consultation with a 
solicitor, to whom Mr. Rugge recommended him, as to 
the prompt obtaining of legal powers to enforce the 
authority he asserted himself to possess He would also 
persuade Mrs. Crane to accompany him to the village, 
and aid in the requisite investigations — entertaining a 
tacit but instinctive belief in the superiority of her acute- 
ness. " Set a female to catch a female," quoth Mr. Rugge. 
On the day and in the place thus fixed, the three hunters 
opened their chase. They threw off at the cobbler's stall. 
They soon caught the same scent which had been followed 
by the lawyer's clerk. They arrived at Mrs. Saunders's — 
there the two men would have been at fault like their 
predecessor. But the female was more astute. To drop 
the metaphor, Mrs. Saunders could not stand the sharp 
cross-examination of one of her own sex. "That woman 
deceives us," said Mrs. Crane, on leaving the house. 
" They have not gone to London. What could they do 
there ? Any man with a few stage, juggling tricks, can 
get on in country villages, but would be lost in cities. 
Perhaps, as it seems he has got a dog — we have found 
out that from Mrs. Saunders — he will make use of it for 
an itinerant puppet-show." 

" Punch ! " said Mr. Rugge — " not a doubt of it." 
"In that case," observed Mrs. Crane, "they are pro- 
bably not far off. Let us print handbills, offering a reward 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 32T 

for their clew, and luriug the old man himself by an 
assurance that the inquiry is made in order that he may 
learn of something to his advantage.'' 

In the course of the evening the handl/Iils were printed. 
The next day they were posted up on tlie walls, not only 
of that village, but on those of the small towns and 
hamlets for some miles round. The handbills ran in- 
vitingly thus : "If "William Waife, who left on the 

20th ult., will apply at the Red Lion Inn at , for 

X. X., he will learn of something greatly to his advantage. 
A reward of £5 will be given to any one who will furnish 
information where the said William Waife, and the little 
girl who accompanies him, may be found. The said 
William Waife is about sixty years of age, of middle 
stature, strongly built, has lost one eye, and is lame of 
one leg. The little girl, called Sophy, is twelve years 
old, but looks younger ; has blue eyes and light brown 
hair. They had with them a white French poodle dog. 
This bill is printed by the friends of the missing party." 
The next day passed — no information ; but on the day 
following, a young gentleman of good mien, dressed in 
black, rode into the town, stopped at the Red Lion Jnn, 
and asked to see X. X. The two men were out on their 
researches — Mrs Crane stayed at home to answer in- 
quiries. 

The gentleman was requested to dismount, and walk in. 
Mrs, Crane received him in the inn parlor, which swarmed 
with flies. She stood in the center — vigilant, grim spider 
of the place. 



328 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"I ca-ca-call," said the gentleman, stammering fear- 
fully, "in con-con-sequence of ab-b-bill — I — ch-chanced 
to see in my ri-ri-ri-ride yesterday — on a wa-wa-wall : — 
You — you, I — sup-sup — " 

"Am X. X.," put in Mrs. Crane, growing impatient; 
" one of the friends of Mr. Waife, by whom the handbill 
has been eirenlated ; it will indeed be a great relief to us 
to know where they are — the little girl more especially." 
Mrs. Crane was respectably dressed — in silk, iron-gray ; 
she had crisped her flaky tresses into stiff, hard ringlets, 
that fell like long screws from under a black velvet band. 
Mrs. Crane never wore a cap — nor could you fancy her 
in a cap ; but the velvet band looked as rigid as if 
gummed to a hoop of steel. Her manner and tone of 
voice were those of an educated person, not unused to 
some society above the vulgar ; and yet the visitor, in 
whom the reader recognizes the piscatorial Oxonian, with 
whom Waife had interchanged philosophy on the marge 
of the running brooklet, drew back as she advanced and 
spoke ; and, bent on an errand of kindness, he was seized 
with a vague misgiving. 

"Mrs. Crane (blandly). "I fear they must be badly 
off. I hope they are not wanting the necessaries of life. 
But pray be seated, Sir." She looked at him again, and 
with more respect in her address than she had before 
thrown into it, added, with a half courtesy, as she seated 
herself by his side, "A clergyman of the Established 
Church, I presume, Sir?" 

Oxonian (stammer, as on a former occasion, respect- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 329 

fully omitted). " With this defect, ma'am ! But to the 
point. Some days ago I happened to fall in with an 
elderly person, such as is described, with a very pretty 
female child, and a French dog. The man — gentleman, 
perhaps, I may call him, judging from his conversation — 
interested me much ; so did the little girl. And if I could 
be the means of directing real friends anxious to sei-ve 
them — "' 

Mrs. Crane. "You would indeed be a benefactor. 
And where are they now, Sir?" 

Oxonian. " That I cannot positively tell you. But 
before I say more, will you kindly satisfy my curiosity ? 
He is perhaps an eccentric person — this Mr. Waife ? — a 
little — " The Oxonian stopped, and touched his fore- 
head. Mrs. Crane made no prompt reply — she was mu- 
sing. Unwarily the scholar continued ; " Because, in that 
case, I should not like to interfere. So many persons are 
shut up, where there is no insanity ; but where there is 
property — " 

" Mrs. Crane. " Quite right, Sir. His friends would 
not interfere with his roving ways, his little whims, on any 
account. Poor man, why should they ? No property at 
all for them to covet, I assure you. But it is a long story. 
I had the care of that dear little girl from her infancy ; 
sweet child!" 

Oxonian. "So she seems." 

Mrs. Crane. " And now she has a most comfortable 
home provided for her ; and a young girl, with good 
28* 



o'dO WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

friends, ought not to be tramping about the country, what- 
ever an old man may do. You must allow that, Sir?" 

Oxonian. " Well — yes, I allow that ; it occurred to 
me. But what is the man? — the gentleman?" 

Mrs. Crane. " Yery 'eccentric,' as you say, and in- 
considerate, perhaps, as to the little girl. We will not 
call it insane, Sir ; we can't bear to look at it in that light. 
But — are you married ? " 

Oxonian (blushing). "No, ma'am." 

Mrs. Crane. " But you have a sister, perhaps ? " 

Oxonian. "Yes; I have one sister." 

Mrs. Crane. " Would you like your sister to be run- 
nfig about the country in that way — carried off from her 
home, kindred, and friends ? " 

Oxonian. "Ah! I understand. The poor little girl 
is fond of the old man — a relation, grandfather perhaps ? 
and he has taken her from her home ; aud though not 
actually insane, he is still — " 

Mr-. Crane. "An unsafe guide for a female child, 
delicately reared. I reared her ; of good prospects too. 
Oh, Sir, let us save the child ! Look — " She drew from 
a side-pocket in her stiff iron-gray apron a folded paper ; 
she placed it in the Oxonian's hand ; he glanced over and 
returned it. 

" I see, ma'am. I cannot hesitate after this. It is a 
good many miles off where I met the persons whom I 
have no doubt that you seek ; and two or three days ago 
my father received a letter from a very worthy, excellent 
man, with whom he is often brought into communication 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 331 

upon benevolent objects — a Mr. Hartopp, the Mayor of 
Gatesboro', in which, among other matters, the mayor 
mentioned briefly that the Literary Institute of that town 
had been much delighted by the performance of a very 
remarkable man with one eye, about whom there seemed 
some mystery, with a little girl and a learned dog ; and I 
can't help thinking that the man, the girl, and the dog 
must be those whom I saw and you seek." 

Mrs. Crane. "At Gatesboro'? — is that far?" 

" Some way ; but you can get a cross train from this 
village. I hope that the old man will not be separated 
from the little girl ; they seemed very fond of each other." 

" No doubt of it — very fond ; it would be cruel to sepa- 
rate them. A comfortable home for both. I don't know. 
Sir, if I dare offer to a gentleman of your evident rank 
the reward — but for the poor of your parish." 

" Oh, ma'am, our poor want for nothing. My father 
is rich. But if you would oblige me by a line after you 
have found these interesting persons — I am going to a 
distant part of the country to-morrow — to Montfort 
Court, in shire." 

Mrs. Crane. " To Lord Montfort, the head of the noble 
family of Tipont ? " 

Oxonian. " Yes. You know any of the family, ma'am ? 
If you could refer me to one of them, I should feel more 
satisfied as to — " 

Mrs. Crane (hastily). " Indeed, Sir, every one must 
know that great family by name and repute. I know no 
more. So you are gohig to Lord Montfort's! The 
Marchioness, they say, is very beautiful ! " 



332 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Oxonian. "And good as beautiful. I have the honor 
to be connected both with her and Lord Montfort ; they 
are cousins, and ray grandfather was a Yipont. I should 
have told you my name — Morley ; George Yipont Mor- 
ley." 

Mrs. Crane made a profound courtesy, and, with an 
unmistakable smile of satisfaction, said, as if half in solilo- 
quy, " So it is to one of that noble family — to a Yipont 
■ — that the dear child wdll owe her restoration to my em- 
brace ! Bless you. Sir ! " 

" I hope I have done right," said George Yipont Mor- 
ley, as he mounted his horse, " I must have done right, 
surely ! " he said, again, when he was on the high-road. 
" I fear that I have not done right," he said, a third time, 
as the face of Mrs. Crane began to haunt him ; and when, 
at sunset, he reached his home, tired out, horse and man, 
with an unusually long ride, and the green water-bank on 
which he had overheard poor Waife's simple grace and 
joyous babble came in sight, "After all," he said, dole- 
fully, "it was no business of mine. I meant well, but — " 
His little sister ran to the gate to greet him. " Yes, I 
did quite right. How should I like my sister to be roving 
the country, and acting at Literary Institutes with a poo- 
dle dog ? Quite right. Kiss me, Jane I " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 333 



CHAPTER XYIII. 

Let a king anJ a begg.ir converse freely together, and it is the beg- 
gar's fault if he does not say something -which makes the king 
lift his hat to him. 

The scene shifts back to Gatesboro', the forenoon of 
the day succeedino^ the memorable Exhibition at the In- 
stitute of that learned town. Mr. Hartopp was in the 
little parlor behind his country-house, his hours of busi- 
ness much broken into by those intruders who deem no 
time unseasonable for the indulgence of curiosity, the in- 
terchange of thought, or the interests of general humanity 
and of national enlightenment. The excitement produced 
on the previous evening by Mr. Chapman, Sophy, and Sir 
Isaac, was greatly on the increase. Persons who had seen 
them naturally called on the Mayor to talk over the Ex- 
hibition. Persons who had not seen them still more natu- 
rally dropped in just to learn what was really Mr. Mayor's 
private opinion. The little parlor was thronged by a 
regular levee. There was the proprietor of a dismal 
building, sti.l called " The Theater," which was seldom 
let except at election-time, when it was hired by the popu- 
lar candidate for the delivery of those harangues upon 
libe^y and conscience, tyranny and oppression, which fur- 
nish the staple of declamation equally to the dramatist 
and the orator. There was also the landlord of the Royal 



334 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Hotel, who had lately built to his house " The City Con- 
cert room" — a superb ajSartment, but a losing specula- 
tion. There, too, were three highly respectable persons, 
of a serious turn of mind, who came to suggest doubts 
whether an entertainment of so frivolous a nature was not 
injurious to the morality of Gatesboro', Besides these 
notables, there were loungers and gossips, with no par- 
ticular object except that of ascertaining who Mr. Chap- 
man was by birth and parentage, and suggesting the 
expediency of a deputation ostensibly for the purpose of 
asking him to repeat his performance, but charged with 
private instructions to cross-examine him as to his pedi- 
gree. The gentle Mayor kept his eyes fixed on a mighty 
ledger-book, pen in hand. The attitude was a rebuke on 
intruders, and in ordinary times would have been so con- 
sidered. But mildness, however majestic, is not always 
effective in periods of civic commotion. The room was 
animated by hubbub. You caught broken sentences here 
and there crossing each other, like the sounds that had 
been frozen in the air, and set free" by a thaw, according 
to the veracious narrative of Baron Munchausen. 

Play house Proprietor. " The theatre is the — " 

Serious Gentleman. "Plausible snare by which a 
population, at present grave and well-disposed, is decoyed 
into becoming — " 

Excited Admirer. "A French poodle, Sir, that plays 
dominoes like a — " 

Credulous Conjecturer. " Benevolent ])hi]anthro- 
pist, condescending to act for the benefit of some dis- 
tressed Ijrother wlio is — " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 335 

Proprietor of City Concert Room. " One hundred 
and twenty feet long by forty, Mr. Mayor ! Talk of 
that damp theater, Sir! — you might as well talk of 
che — " 

Suddenly the door flew open, and, pushing aside a clerk 
who designed to announce him, in burst Mr. Chapman 
himself. 

He had evidently expected to find the Mayor alone, 
for at the sight of that throng he checked himself, and 
stood mute at the threshold. The levee for a moment 
was no less surprised, and no less mute. But the good 
folks soon recovered themselves. To many it was a 
pleasure to accost and congratulate the man who, the 
night before, had occasioned to them emotions so agree- 
able. Cordial smiles broke out — friendly hands were 
thrust forth. Brief but hearty compliments, mingled with 
entreaties to renew the performance to a larger audience, 
were showered round. The Comedian stood, hat in 
hand, mechanically passing his sleeve over its nap, mut- 
tering, half inaudibly, "You see before you a man" — 
and turning his single eye from one face to the other, as 
if struggling to guess what was meant, or where he was. 
The Mayor rose and came forward. " My dear friends." 
said he, mildly, "Mr. Chapman calls by appointment. 
Perhaps he may have something to say to me confiden- 
tially." 

The three serious gentlemen, who had hitherto remained 
aloof, eying Mr. Chapman much as three inquisitors 
might have eyed a Jew, shook three solemn heads, and 



336 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

set the example of retreat. The last to linger were the 
rival proprietors of the theater and the city concert-room. 
Each whispered the stranger — one the left ear, one the 
right. Each thrust into his hand a printed paper. As 
the door closed on them the Comedian let fall the 
papers ; his arm drooped to his side ; his whole frame 
seemed to collapse. Hartopp took him by the hand, and 
led him gently to his own arm-chair beside the table. 
The Comedian dropped on the chair, still without 
speaking. 

Mr. Hartopp. " What is the matter ? What has 
happened ? " 

Waife. " She is very ill — in a bad way; the doctor 
says so — Dr. Gill." 

Mr. Hartopp (feelingly). "Your little girl in a bad 
way 1 Oh, no. Doctors always exaggerate, in order to 
get more credit for the cure. Not that I would disparage 
Dr. Gill — fellow-townsman — first-rate man; still, 'tis 
the way with doctors to talk cheerfully if one is in dan- 
ger, and to look solemn if there is nothing to fear." 

Waife. "Do you think so — you have children of your 
own. Sir ? — of her age, too ? — Eh ! eh ! " 

Mr. Hartopp. "Yes; I know all about children — 
better, I think, than Mrs. H. does. What is the com- 
plaint ? " 

Waife. "The doctor says it is low fever." 

Mr. Hartopp. " Caused by nervous excitement, per- 
haps." 

Waife (looking up). "Yes — that's what he says- 
nervous excitement." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 331 

Mr. Habtopp. " Clever, sensitive children, subjected 
precociously to emulation and emotion, are always liable 
to such maladies. My third girl, Anna Maria, fell into 
a low fever, caused by nervous excitement in trying for 
school prizes." 

Waife. "Did she die of it, Sir?" 

Mr. Hartopp (shuddering) " Die — No ! I removed 
her from school — set her to take care of the poultry — 
forbade all French exercises, made her take English 
exercise instead — and ride on a donkey. She's quite 
another thing now — cheeks as read as an apple, and as 
firm as a cricket-ball." 

Waife. " I will keep poultry ; I will buy a donkey. 
Oh, Sir! you don't think she will go to heaven yet, and 
leave me here ? " 

Mr. Hartopp. *' Not if you give her rest and quiet. 
But no excitement — no exhibitions." 

Waife (emptying his pockets on the table). " Will 
you kindly count that money, Sir? Don't you think 
that would be enough to find her some pretty lodging 
hereabouts till she gets quite strong again ? With green 
fields — she's fond of green fields, and a farm-yard with 
poultry — though we were lodging a few days ago with a 
good woman who kept hens, and Sophy did not seem to 
take to them much. A canary bird is more of a com- 
panion, and — " 

Hartopp (interrupting). "Ay — ay — and you ! what 
would you do ? " 

L— 29 w 



338 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Waife. " Why, I and the dog would go away for a 
little while about the country." 

Hartopp. " Exhibiting ? " 

Watfe. " That money will not last forever, and what 
can we do — I and the dog — in order to get more for 
her ? -' 

Hartopp (pressing his hand warmly). " You are a 
good man, Sir. I am sure of it ; you cannot have done 
things which you should be afraid to tell me. Make me 
your confidant, and I may then find some employment fit 
for you, and you need not separate yourself from your 
little girl." 

Waife. " Separate from her I I should only leave her 
for a few days at a time till she gets well. This money 
will keep her — how long ? Two months — three ? — how 
long? — the Doctor would not charge much." 

Hartopp. " You will not confide in me, then ? At your 
age — have you no friends — no one to speak a good word 
for you ? " 

Waife (jerking up his head with a haughty air). " So 
— so ! Who talks to you about me, Sir ? I am speaking 
of my innocent child. Does she want a good word spoken 
for her? Heaven has written it in her face." 

Hartopp persisted no more; the excellent man was 
sincerely grieved at his visitor's obstinate avoidance of 
the true question at issue ; for the Mayor could have 
found employment for a man of Waife's evident education 
and talent. But such employment would entail responsi- 
bilities and trust. How recommend to it a man of whose 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 339 

life and circumstances nothing conld be known — a man 
without a character ? — And Waife interested him deeply. 
We have all felt that there are some persons toward whom 
we are attracted by a peculiar sympathy not to be ex- 
plained — a something in the manner, the cut of the face, 
the tone of the voice. If there are fifty applicants for a 
benefit in our gift, one of the fifty wins his way to our 
preference at first sight, though with no better right to 
it than his fellows. We can no more say why we like the 
man than we can say why we fall in love with a woman 
in whom no one else would discover a charm. " There 
is," says a Latin love-poet, "no why or wherefore in 
liking." Hartopp, therefore, had taken, from the first 
moment, to Waife — the staid, respectable, thriving man, 
all muffled up from head to foot in the whitest lawn of 
reputation — to the wandering, shifty, tricksome scatter- 
ling, who had not seemingly secured, through the course 
of a life bordering upon age, a single certificate for good 
conduct. On his hearthstone, beside his ledger-book, 
stood the Mayor, looking with a respectful admiration 
that puzzled himself upon the forlorn creature, who could 
give no reason why he should not be rather in the Gates- 
boro' Parish Stocks than in its chief magistrate's easy- 
chair. Yet were the Mayor's sympathetic liking and 
respectful admiration wholly unaccountable ? Runs there 
not between one warm human heart and another the 
electric chain of a secret understanding ? In that maimed 
outcasi, so stubbornly hard to himself — so tremulously 
Bensitive for his sick child — was there not the majesty to 



340 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

which they who have learned that Nature has her nobles 
reverently bow the head ! A man, true to man's grave 
religion, can no more despise a life wrecked in all else, 
while a hallowing affection stands out sublime through the 
rents and chinks of fortune, than he can profane with rude 
mockery a temple in ruins — if still left there the altar. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Very well so far as it goes. 

Mr. Haetopp. " I cannot presume to question you 
further, Mr. Chapman. But to one of your knowledge 
of the world, I need not say that your silence deprives 
me of the power to assist yourself. We'll talk no more 
of that." 

Waife. "Thank you gratefully, Mr. Mayor." 
Mr. Hartopp. " But for the little girl, make your mind 
easy — at least for the present. I will place her at my 
farm cottage. My bailiff's wife, a kind woman, will take 
care of her, while you pursue your calling elsewhere. As 
for this money, you will want it yourself; your poor little 
child sliall cost you nothing. So that's settled. Let me 
come up and see her. I am a bit of a doctor myself. 
Every man blessed with a large family, in whose house 
there is always some interesting case of small-pox, 
measles, hooping-cough, scarlatina, etc., has a good 
private practice of his own. I'm not brilliant in book- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 341 

learning, Mr. Chapman, but as to children's complaints 
in a practical way " (added Hartopp, with a glow of 
pride), " Mrs. H. says she'd rather trust the little ones to 
me than Dr. Gill. I'll see your child, and set her up, I'll 
be bound. But now I think of it," continued Hartopp, 
softeninsr more and more, *' if exhibit you must, why not 
stay at Gatesboro' for a time ? More may be made in 
this town than elsewhere." 

" No, no ; I could not have the heart to act here again 
without her. I feel at present as if I can never again act 
at all! Something else will turn up.- Providence is so 
kind to me, Mr. Mayor." 

Waife turned to the door — " You will come soon ? " 
he said, anxiously. 

The Mayor, who had been locking up his ledgers and 
papers, replied, " I will but stay to give some orders ; in 
a quarter of an hour I shall be at your hotel." 



CHAPTER XX. 

Sophy hides heart and shows temper. 

Sophy was lying on a sofa drawn near the window in 
her own room, and on her lap was the doll Lionel had 
given to her. Carried with her in her wanderings, she 
had never played with it ; never altered a ribbon in its 
yellow tresses ; but at least once a day she had taken it 
forth and looked at it in secret. And all that morning, 
29=^ 



342 \VHi\T WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

left much to herself, it had been her companioB. She 
was sraoothing down its frock, which she fancied had got 
ruffled — smoothing it down with a sort of fearful tender- 
ness, the doll all the while staring her full in the face with 
its blue bead eyes. Waife, seated near her, was trying 
to talk gayly ; to invent fairy tales blithe with sport and 
fancy, but his invention flagged, and the fairies prosed 
awfully. He had placed the dominoes before Sir Isaac, 
but Sophy had scarcely looked at them, from the languid, 
heavy eyes on which the doll so stupidly fixed its own. 
Sir Isaac himself seemed spiritless ; he was aware that 
sometliing was wrong. Xow and then he got up rest- 
lessly, sniffed the dominoes, and placed a paw gently, 
very gently, on Sophy's knee. Not being encouraged, 
he lay down again uneasily, often shifting his position as 
if the floor was grown too hard for him. Thus the Mayor 
found the three. He approached Sophy with the step 
of a man accustomed to sick rooms and ailing children — 
step light as if shod with felt — put his hand on her 
shoulder, kissed her forehead, and then took the doll. 
Sophy started, and took it back from him quickly, but 
without a word ; then she hid it behind her pillow. The 
Mayor smiled — " My dear child, do you think I should 
hurt your doll ? " 

Sophy colored, and said murmuringly, " No, Sir, not 
hurt it, but — " she stopped short. 

"I have been talking to your grandpapa about you, 
my dear, and we both wish to give you a little holiday. 
Dolls are well enough for the winter, but green fields and 
daisv-chains for the summer.^' 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 343 

Sophy glanced from the Mayor to her grandfather, and 
back again to the Mayor, shook her curls from her eyes 
and looked seriously inquisitiYe. 

The Mayor, observing her quietly, stole her hand into 
his own, feeling the pulse as if merely caressing the tender 
wrist. Then he began to describe his bailiflTs cottage, 
with woodbine round the porch, the farm-yard, the bee- 
hives, the pretty duck-pond with an osier island, and the 
great China gander who had a pompous strut, which 
made him the drollest creature possible. And Sophy 
should go there in a day or two, and be as happy as one 
of the bees, but not so busy. 

Sophy listened very earnestly, very gravely, and then 
sliding her hand from the Mayor, caught hold of her 
grandfather's arm firmly, and said, " And you, Grandy — 
will you like it ? won't it be dull for you, Grandy dear ? " 

" Why, my darling," said Waife, " I and Sir Isaac will 
go and take a stroll about the country for a few weeks, 
and—" 

Sophy (passionately). "I thought so; I thought he 
meant that. I tried not to believe it; go away — you ? 
and who's to take care of you ? who^ll understand you ? 
I want care! I — I! Xo, no: it is you — you who 
want care. I shall be well to-morrow — quite well, don't 
fear. He shall not be sent away from me ; he shall not, 
Sir. Oh, grandfather, grandfather, how could you?" 
She jflung herself on his breast, clinging there ; clinging 
as if infancy and age were but parts of the same whole. 
" But," said the Mayor, ''it is not as if you were going 



344: WHAT WILL HE DO WITH ITT 

to school, my dear ; you are going for a holiday. And 
your grandfather must leave you — must travel about — 
'tis his calling. If you fell ill and were with him, think 
how much you would be in his way. Do you know," he 
added, smiling, "I shall begin to fear that you are 
selfish." 

" Selfish ! " exclaimed Waife, angrily. 

" Selfish ! " echoed Sophy, with a melancholy scorn 
that came from a sentiment so deep that mortal eye could 
scarce fothom it. " Oh, no. Sir 1 can you say it is for his 
good, not for, what he supposes, mine, that you want us 
to part ? The pretty cottage — and all for me — and 
what for him? — tramp, tramp along the hot, dusty 
roads. Do you see that he is lame ? Oh, Sir, I know 
him — you don't. Selfish ! he would have no merry ways 
that make you laugh without me ; would you, Grandy, 
dear? Go away, you are a naughty man — go, or I 
shall hate you as much as that dreadful Mr. Rugge." 

"Rugge — who is he?" said the Mayor, curiously, 
catching at any clew. 

"Hush, my darling! — hush!" said Waife, fondling 
her on his breast. " Hush I What is to be done, Sir ? " 

Hartopp made a sly sign to him to say no more before 
Sophy, and then replied, addressing himself to her — 

"What is to be done? Nothing shall be done, my 
dear child, that you dislike. I don't wish to part you 
two. Don't hate me — lie down again —^ that's a dear. 
There, I have smoothed your pillow for you ; oh, here's 
your pretty doll again." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 345 

Sophy snatched at the doll petulantly, and made what 
the French call a moue at the good man, as she suffered 
her grandfather to replace her on the sofa. 

" She has a strong temper of her own," muttered the 
Mayor ; " so has Anna Maria a strong temper ! " 

Xow, if I were anyway master of my own pen, and 
could write as I pleased, without being hurried along, 
helter-skelter, by the tyrannical exactions of that "young 
Rapid" in buskins and chiton, called "The Historic 
Muse." I would break off this chapter, open my window, 
rest my eyes on the green lawn without, and indulge in a 
rhapsodical digression upon that beautifier of the moral 
life, which is called "Good Temper." Ha ! — the His- 
toric Muse is dozing. By her leave ! — Softly. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Being an Essay on Temper in general, and a hazardous experiment 
on the reader's in particular. 

There, the window is open I how instinctively the eye 
rests upon the green ! how the calm color lures and 
soothes it ! But is there to the green only a single hue ? 
See how infinite the variety of its tints ! What sombre 
gravity in yon cedar, yon motionless pine-tree ! What 
lively but unvarying laugh in yon glossy laurels ! Do 
those tints charm us like the play in the young leaves of 
tne lilac — lighter here, darker there, as the breeze (and 



346 \\'HAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

SO light the breeze!) stirs them into checker — into 
ripple ? Oh sweet green, to the world what sweet tem- 
per is to man's life ! Who would reduce into one dje all 
thy lovely varieties ? who exclude the dark steadfast ver- 
dure that lives on through the winter day ; or the muti- 
nous caprice of the gentler, youuger tint that came fresh 
through the tears of April, and will shadow with sportive 
tremor the blooms of luxuriant June ? 

Happy the man on whose marriage-hearth temper 
smiles kind from the eyes of woman ! " No deity present," 
saith the heathen proverb, "where absent — Prudence" 
— no joy long a guest where Peace is not a dweller. 
Peace, so like Faith, that they may be taken for each 
other, and poets have clad them with tlie same vail. But 
in childhood, in early youtli, expect not the changeless 
green of tlie cedar. Wouldst thou distinguish fine temper 
from spiritless dullness, from cold simulation — ask less 
what the temper, than what the disposition. 

Is the nature sweet and trustful, is it free from the 
morbid self-love which calls itself "sensitive feeling," and 
frets at imaginary offenses ; is the tendency to be grateful 
for kindness — yet take kindness meekly, and accept as a 
benefit what the vain call a due ? From dispositions thus 
blessed, sweet temper will come forth to gladden thee, 
spontaneous and free. Quick with some, with some slow, 
word and look emerge out of the heart. Be thy first 
question, " Is the heart itself generous and tender ? " If 
i( be so, self-control comes with deepening affection. Call 
not that a good heart which, hastening to sting if a fiber 
be ruffled, cries, "I am no hypocrite.'' Accept that ex- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 347 

cuse, and revenge becomes virtue. But where the heart, 
if it give the offense, pines till it win back the pardon ; if 
offended itself, bounds forth to forgive, ever longing to 
soothe, ever grieved if it wound ; then be sure that its 
nobleness will need but few trials of pain in each outbreak, 
to refine and chastise its expression. Fear not then ; be 
but noble thyself, thou art safe ! 

Yet what in childhood is often called, rebukinglv, 
"temper," is but the cordial and puissant vitality which 
contains all the elements that make temper the sweetest 
at last. Who among us, how wise soever, can construe a 
child's heart ? who conjecture all the springs that secretly 
vibrate within, to a touch on the surface of feeling? Each 
child, but especially the girl-child, would task the whole 
lore of a sage, deep as Shakspeare, to distinguish those 
subtle emotions which we grown folks have outlived. 

"She has a strong temper,'' said the Mayor, when 
Sophy snatched the doll from his hand a second time, and 
pouted at him, spoiled cliild, looking so divinely cross, 
so petulantly pretty. And how on earth could the Mayor 
know what associations with that stupid doll made her 
think it profaned by the touch of a stranger ? Was it to 
her eyes as to his — mere wax-work and frippery, or a 
symbol of holy remembrances, of gleams into a fairer 
world, of "devotion to something afar from the sphere 
of her sorrow?" Was not the evidence of "strong 
temper" the very sign of affectionate depth of heart? 
Poor little Sophy. Hide it again — safe out of sight — 
close, inscrutable, unguessed, as childhood's first treasures 
• »f seiitinioiit ever are I 



348 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XXTI. 

Tiie object of Civilization being; always to settle people one way or 
the other, the jNIayor of Gatesboro' entertains a statesmanlike 
ambition to settle Gentleman Waife: no doubt a wise conception, 
and in accordance with the genius of the Nation. — Every Session 
of Parliament, England is employed in settling folks, whether at 
home or at the Antipodes, who ignorantly object to be settled in 
her way ; in short, " I'll settle them," has become a vulgar idiom, 
tantamount to a threat of uttermost extermination or smash. — 
Therefore the Mayor of Gatesboro', harboring that benignant 
idea with reference to " Gentleman Waife," all kindly readers will 
exclaim, " Dii, Meliora ! What will he do with it?" 

The doll once more safe behind the pillow, Sophy's 
face gradually softened ; she bent forward, touched the 
Mayor's hand timidly, and looked at him with pleading, 
penitent eyes, still wet with tears — eyes that said, though 
the lips were silent — " I'll not hate you. I was ungrate- 
ful and peevish ; may I beg pardon ? " 

" I forgive you with all ray heart," cried the Mayor, 
interpreting the look aright. "And now try and com- 
pose yourself and sleep while I talk with your grandpapa 
below." 

" I don't see how it is possible that I can leave her," 
said Waife, when the two men had adjourned to the 
sitting-room. 

"I am sure," quoth the Mayor, seriously, "that it is 
the best thing for her ; her pulse has much nervous ex- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 349 

citability ; she wants a complete rest ; she ought not to 
move about with you on any account. But come — though 
I must not know, it seems, who and what you are, Mr. 
Chapman — I don-t think you will run off with my cows, 
and if you like to stay at the Bailiff's Cottage for a week 
or two with your grandchild, you shall be left in peace, 
and asked no questions. I will own to you a weakness 
of mine — I value my^^elf on being seldom or never taken 
in. I don't think I could forgive the man who did take 
me in. But taken in I certainly shall be, if, despite all 
your mystery, you are not as honest a fellow as ever 
stood upon shoe-leather ! So come to the cottage." 

Waife was very much affected by this confiding kind- 
ness ; but he shook his head despondently, and that same 
abject, almost cringing humility of mien and manner 
which had pained, at times, Lionel and Yance, crept 
over the whole man, so that he seemed to cower and 
shrink as a Pariah before a Brahman. " Xo, Sir ; thank 
you most humbly. Xo, Sir — that must not be. I must 
work for my daily bread, if what a poor vagabond like 
me may do can be called work. I have made it a rule 
for years not to force myself to the hearth and home of 
any kind man, who, not knowing my past, has a right to 
suspect me. Where I lodge, I pay as a lodger ; or what- 
ever favor shown me spares my purse, I try to return in 
some useful, humble way. Why, Sir, how could I make 
free and easy with another man's board and roof-tree for 
days or weeks together, when I would not even come to 
your hearthstone for a cup of tea ? " The Mayor reraem- 

I.— 30 



350 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

bered, and was startled. Waife hurried on. " But for 
my poor child I have no such scruples — no shame, no 
false pride. I take what you offer her gratefully — grate- 
fully. Ah, Sir, she is not in her right place with me; 
but there's no kicking against the pricks. Where was I ? 
Oh ! well, I tell you what we will do. Sir. I will take 
her to the Cottage in a day or tw^o — as soon as she is 
well enough to go — and spend the day with her, and 
deceive her. Sir ! yes, deceive, cheat her, Sir ! I am a 
cheat — a player — and she'll think I'm going to stay with 
her ; and at night, when she's asleep, I'll creep off, I and 
the other dog. But I'll leave a letter for her — it will 
soothe her, and she'll be patient and wait. I will come 
back again to see her in a week, and once every week till 
she's well again." 

" And what will you do ? " 

"I don't know" — but, said the actor, forcing a laugh 
— " I'm not a man likely to starve. Oh, never fear, 
Sir ! " 

So the Mayor went away, and strolled across the 
fields to his Bailiff's cottage, to prepare for the guest it 
would receive. 

"It is all very well that the poor man should be away 
for some days," thought Mr. Hartopp. "Before he 
comes again, I shall have hit on some plan to serve him ; 
and I can learn more about him from the child in his 
absence, and see what he is really fit for. There's a 
schoolmaster wanted in Morley's village. Old Morley 
wrote to me to recommend him one. Good salary — - 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 35 1 

pretty house. But it would be wrong to set over young 
children — recommend to a respectable proprietor and his 
parson — a man whom I know nothing about. Impos- 
sible ! that will not do. If there was any place of light 
service which did not require trust or responsibility — but 
there is no such place in Great Britain. Suppose I were 
to set him up in some easy way of business — a little shop, 
eh ? I don't know. What would Williams say ? If, in- 
deed, I were taken in I — if the man I am thus credulously 
tnisting turned out a rogue" — the Mayor paused and 
actually shivered at that thought — "why then, I should 
be fallen indeed. My wife would not let me have half-a- 
crown in my pockets ; and I could not walk a hundred 
yards but Williams would be at ray heels to protect me 
from being stolen by gipsies. Taken in by hira I Xo, 
impossible ! But if it turn out as I suspect — that con- 
trary to vulgar prudence, I am divining a really great 
and good man in difficulties — Aha, what a triumph I 
shall then gain over them all. How Williams will revere 
me ! " The good man laughed aloud at that thought, 
and walked on with a prouder step. 



?i52 "WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

A pretty trifle in its way, no doubt, is the love between youth and 
youth. — Gay varieties of the bauble spread the counter of the 
Great Toy-Shop. — But thou, courteous Dame Nature, raise thine 
arm to yon shelf, somewhat out of everyday reach, and bring 
me down that obsolete, neglected, unconsidered thing, the Love 
between Age and Childhood. 

The next day Sophy was better — the day after, im- 
provement was more visible — and on the third day Waife 
paid his bill, and conducted her to the rural abode to 
which, credulous at last of his promises to share it with 
her for a time, he enticed her fated steps. It was little 
more than a mile beyond the suburbs of the town, and 
thoup^h the walk tired her, she concealed fatigue, and 
would not suffer him to carry her. The cottage now 
smiled out before them — thatched gable roof, with fancy 
barge board — half Swiss, half what is called Elizabethan 
— all the fences and sheds round it, as only your rich 
traders, condescending to turn farmers, construct and 
maintain — sheds and fences, trim and neat, as if models 
in waxwork. The breezy air came fresh from the new 
haystacks — from the woodbine round the porch — from 
the breath of the lazy kine, as tliey stood knee-deep in 
the pool, that, belted with weeds and broad-leaved water- 
lilies, lay calm and gleaming amidst level pastures. 

Involuntarily they arrested their steps, to gaze on the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 353 

cheerful landscape and inhale the balmy air. Meanwhile 
the Mayor came out from the cottage porch, his wife 
leaning on his arm, and two of his younger children 
bounding on before, with joyous faces, giving chase to a 
gaudy butterfly which they had started from the wood- 
bine. 

Mrs. Hartopp had conceived a lively curiosity to see 
and judge for herself of the objects of her liege lord's 
benevolent interest. She shared, of course, the anxiety 
which formed the standing excitement of all those who 
lived but for one godlike purpose — that of preserving 
Josiah Hartopp from being taken in. But whenever the 
Mayor specially wished to secure his wife's countenance 
to any pet project of his own, and convince her either 
that he was not taken in, or that to be discreetly taken 
in is, in this world, a very popular and sure mode of get- 
ting up, he never failed to attain his end. That man 
was the cunningest creature ! As full of wiles and strata- 
gems in order to get his own way — in benevolent objects 
— as men who set up to be clever are for selfish ones. 
Mrs. Hartopp was certainly a good woman, but a made 
good woman. Married to another man, I suspect that 
she would have been a shrew. Petruchio would have 
tamed her, I'll swear. But she, poor lady, had been 
gradually, but completely subdued, subjugated, absolutely 
cowed beneath the weight of her spouse's despotic mild- 
ness : for in Hartopp there teas a weight of soft quietude, 
of placid oppression, wholly irresistible. It would have 
buried a Titan^ss under a P'-lion of moral feather-beds. 
30 * X 



35i WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Mass upon mass of downy influence descended upon yon, 
seemingly yielding as it fell, enveloping, overbearing, 
stifling you ; not presenting a single hard point of con- 
tact ; giving in as you pushed against it ; suppleing itself 
seductively round you, softer and softer, heavier and 
heavier, till, I assure you, ma'am, no matter how high 
your natural wifely spirit, you would have had it smothered 
out of you, your last rebellious murmur dying languidly 
away under the descending fleeces. 

" So kind in you to come with me, Mary," said Har- 
topp. " I could not have been happy without your ap- 
proval : look at the child — something about her like Maty 
Anne, and Mary Anne is the picture of you ! " 

Waife advanced, uncovering; the two children, having 
lost trace of the butterfly, had run up toward Sophy. 
But her shy look made themselves shy — shyness is so con- 
tagious — and they stood a little aloof, gazing at her. 
Sir Isaac stalked direct to the Mayor, snifi'ed at him, and 
wagged his tail. 

Mrs. Hartopp now bent over Sophy, and acknowledg- 
ing that the face was singularly pretty, glanced graciously 
toward her husband, and said, " I see the likeness ! " then 
to Sophy, " I fear you are tired, my dear ; you must not 
over- fatigue yourself — and you must take milk fresh from 
the cow every morning." And now the bailiff's wife came 
briskly out, a tidy, fresh-colored, kind-faced woman, fond 
of children — the more so because she had none of her 
own. 

So they entered the farm-yard — Mrs. Hartopp being 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 355 

the chief talker ; and she, having pointed out to Sophy 
the cows and the turkeys, the hen-coops and the great 
China gander, led her by the one hand — while Sophy's 
other hand clung firmly to Waife's — across the little 
garden, with its patent bee-hives, into the house, took off 
her bonnet, and kissed her. " Yery like Mary Anne ! — 
Mary Anne, dear." One of the two children owning that 
name approached — snub-nosed, black-eyed, with cheeks 
like peonies. " This little girl, my Mary Anne, was as 
pale as you — over-study; and now, my dear child, you 
must try and steal a little of her color. Don't you think 
my Mary Anne is like her papa, Mr. Chapman ? "' 

" Like me !" exclaimed the Mayor ; whispering Waife, 
" image of her mother ! the same intellectual look ! " 

Said the artful actor, "Indeed, ma'am, the young lady 
has her father's mouth and eyebrows, but that acute, 
sensible expression is yours — quite yours. Sir Isaac, 
make a bow to the young lady, and then, Sir, go through 
the sword-exercise ! " 

The dog, put upon his tricks, delighted the children ; 
and the poor actor, though his heart lay in his breast 
like lead, did his best to repay benevolence by mirth. 
Finally, much pleased, Mrs. Hartopp took her husband's 
arm to depart. The children, on being separated from 
Sir Isaac, began to cry. The Mayor interrupted his 
wife — who, if left to herself, would have scolded them 
into worse crying — told Mary Anne that he relied on her 
strong intellect to console her brother Tom ; observed to 
Tom that it was not like his manlv nature to set an ex- 



356 WHAT WILL HE 1)0 WITH IT? 

araple of weeping to his sister ; and contrived thus to 
flatter their tears away in a trice, and sent them forward 
in a race to the turnstile. 

Waife and Sophy were alone in the cottage parlor — 
Mrs. Gooch, the bailiff's wife, walking part of the way 
back with the good couple, in order to show^he Mayor 
a heifer who had lost appetite and taking to moping. 
"Let us steal out into the back garden, my darling," 
said Waife ; " I see an arbor there, where I will compose 
myself with a pipe, a liberty I should not like to take in- 
doors." They stepped across the threshold, ^nd gained 
the arbor, which stood at the extreme end of the small 
kitchen-garden, and commanded a pleasant view of past- 
ures and corn-fields, backed by the blue outline of dis- 
tant hills. Afar were faintly heard the laugh of the 
Mayor's happy children, now and then a tinkling sheep- 
bell, or the tap of the wood-pecker, unrepressed by the 
hush of the midmost summer, which stills the more tune- 
ful choristers amidst their coverts. Waife lighted his 
pipe, and smoked silently ; Sophy, resting her head on 
his bosom, silent also. She was exquisitely sensitive to 
nature ; the quiet beauty of all round her was soothing a 
spirit lately troubled, and health came stealing gently 
back through frame and through heart. At length she 
cried softly, " We could be so happy here, grandfather I 
It can not last, can it?" 

" 'Tis no use in this life, my dear," returned Waife, 
philosophizing ; " no use at all disturbing present happiness 
by asking ' can it last ? ' To-day is man's, to-morrow liis 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 357 

Maker's. But tell me frankly, do you really dislike so 
much the idea of exhibiting ? I don't mean as we did in 
Mr. Ruggers show — I know you hate that — but in a 
genteel private way, as the other night. You sigh ! Out 
with it." 

"I like what you like, Grandy." 

" That's not true. T like to smoke ; you don't. Come, 
you do dislike acting? Why? You do it so well — 
wonderfully. Generally speaking, people like what they 
do well." 

" It is not the acting itself, Grandy, dear, that I don't 
like. When I am in some part I am carried away — I 
am not myself. I am some one else ! " 

"And the applause ? " 

" I don't feel it. I dare say I should miss it if it did 
not cqme ; but it does not seem to me as if / were ap- 
plauded. If I felt that, I should stop short, and get 
frightened. It is as if that somebody else into whom I 
was changed was making friends with the audience ; and 
all my feeling is for that somebody — just as, Grandy 
dear, when it is over, and we two are alone together, all 
my feeling is for you — at least (hanging down her head.) 
it used to be ; but lately, somehow, I am ashamed to 
think how I have been feeling for myself more than for 
you. Is it — is it that I am growing selfish? as Mr. 
Mayor said. Oh, no. Now we are here — not in those 
noisy towns — not in the inns and on the highways; — 
n:»w, here, here, I do feel again for you — all for you ! " 

" You are ray little angel, you are," said Waife, 



368 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

tremulously. " Selfish ! you ! a good joke that ! Now 
you see, I am not what is called Demonstrative — a long 
word, Sophy, which means that I don't show to you 
always how fond I am of you ; and, indeed," he added, in- 
genuously, "I am not always aware of it myself; I like 
acting — I like the applause, and the lights, and the ex- 
citement, and the illusion — the make-belief of the whole 
thing ; it takes me out of memory and thought — it is a 
world that has neither past, present, nor future, an inter- 
lude in time — an escape from space. I suppose it is the 
same with poets when they are making verses. Yes, I 
like all this ; and, when I think of it, I forget you too 
much. And I never observed — Heaven forgive me f — 
that you were pale and drooping, till it was pointed out 
to me. Well, take away your arms. Let us consult. 
As soon as you get quite, quite well — how shall we live ? 
what shall we do ? You are as wise as a little woman, 
and such a careful, prudent housekeeper ; and I'm such a 
harum-scarum old fellow, without a sound idea in my 
head, what shall we do if we give up acting altogether ? " 

" Give up acting altogether, when you like it so ! No 
— no. I will like it too, Grandy. But — but — " she 
stopped short, afraid to imply blame or to give pain. 

"But what — let us make clean breasts, one to the 
other ; tell truth, and shame the Father of Lies. ' 

" Tell truth — " said Sophy, lifting up to him her pure 
eyes with such heavenly, loving kindness, that if the words 
did imply reproof, the eyes stole it away. " Could we 
but manage to tell truth off the stage, I should not dislike 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 359 

acting. Oh, grandfather, when that kind gentleman and 
his lady and those merry children come up and speak to 
ns, don't you feel ready to creep into the earth ? — I do. 
Are we telling truth ? Are we living truth ? one name 
to-day, another name to-morrow ? I should not mind 
acting on a stage or in a room, for the time, but always 
acting, always — we ourselves 'make-beliefs!' Grand- 
father, must that be ? They don't do it ; I mean by they, 
all who are good, and looked up to, and respected, as — 
as — oh, Grandy — Grandy — what am I saying ? I 
have pained you." 

Waife indeed was striving hard to keep down emotion ; 
but his lips were set firmly and the blood had left them, 
and his hands were trembling. 

"We must hide ourselves," he said, in a very low 
voice, " we must take false names — I — because — because 
of reasons I can't tell even to you — and you, because I 
failed to get you a proper home, where you ought to be ; 
and there is one who, if he pleases, and he may please it 
any day, could take you away from me, if he found you 
out — and so — and so." He paused abruptly, looked 
at her fearful wondering soft face, and rising, drew 
himself up with one of those rare outbreaks of dignity 
which elevated the whole character of his person. " But 
as for me," said he, "if I have lost all name — if while 
I live, I must be this wandering, skulking outcast, — look 
above, Sophy — lookup above, there all secrets will be 
known — all hearts read — and there my best hope to find 
a place in which I may wait your coming, is, in what has 



360 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

lost me all birthright here. Not to exalt myself do I 
say this — no ; but that you may have comfort, darling, 
if ever hereafter you are pained by what men say to you 
of me." 

As he spoke, the expression of his face, at first solemn 
and lofty, relaxed into melancholy submission. Then 
passing his arm into hers, and leaning on it as if sunk 
once more into the broken cripple needing her frail sup- 
port, he drew her forth from the arbor, and paced the little 
garden slowly, painfully. At length he seemed to recover 
himself, and said in his ordinary cheerful tone, " But to 
the point in question, suppose we have done with acting 
and roaming, and keep to one name, and settle somewhere 
like plain folks, again I ask — how shall we live ? " 

" I have been thinking of that," answered Sophy. 
" You remember that those good Miss Burtons taught me 
all kinds of needle-work, and I know people can make 
money by needle-work. And then, Grandy dear, what 
can't you do ? Do you forget Mrs. Saunders's books 
that you bound, and her cups and saucers that you 
mended ? So we would both work, and have a Httle 
cottage and a garden, that we could take care of, and sell 
the herbs and vegetables. Oh, I have thought over it 
all, the last fortnight, a hundred hundred times, only I. 
did not dare to speak first." 

Waife listened very attentively. "I can make very 
good baskets," said he, rubbing his chin, " famous baskets 
(if one could hire a bit of osier ground); and, as you say, 
there might be other fancy articles I could turn out prettily 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 361 

enough, and you could work samplers, and urn-rnirs, and 
doyleys, and pin-cushions, and so forth ; and what with a 
rood or two of garden ground, and poultry (the Mayor 
says poultry is healthy for children), upon my word, if we 
could find a safe place, and people would not trouble us 
with their gossip — and we could save a little money for 
you when I am — '' 

"Bees too — honey?" interrupted Sophy, growing 
more and more interested and excited. 

"Yes, bees — certainly. A cottage of that kind in a 
village would not be above £6 a year, and £20 spent on 
materials for fancy-works would set us up. Ah ! but 
furniture — beds and tables — monstrous dear." 

" Oh no, very little would do at first." 

"Let us count the money we have left," said Waife, 
throwing himself down on a piece of sward that encircled 
a shady mulberry tree. Old man and child counted the 
money, bit by bit, gayly yet anxiously — babbling, inter- 
rupting each other — scheme upon scheme; they forgot 
past and present as much as in acting plays — they were 
absorbed in the future— innocent simple future — innocent 
as the future planned by two infants fresh from Robinson 
Crusoe or fairy tales. 

"I remember — I remember; just the place for us." 
cried Waife, suddenly. " It is many, many, many yL•i^rs 
since I was there ; I was courting my Lizzy at the time 
— alas — alas I But no sad thoughts now ! — just the 
place, near a large town, but in a pretty village quite re- 
tired from it. 'Twas there I learned to make baskets. I 

I. — 31 



362 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

had broken my leg — fall from a horse — nothing to do. 
I lodged with an old basket-maker ; he had a capital 
trade. Rivulet at the back of his house ; reeds, osiers, 
plentiful. I see them now, as I saw them from my little 
casement while my leg was setting. And Lizzy used to 
write to me for such dear letters ; my baskets were all for 
her. We had baskets enough to have furnished a house 
with baskets ; could have dined in baskets, sat in baskets, 
slept in baskets. With a few lessons I could soon recover 
the knack of the work. I should like to see the place 
again ; it would be shaking hands with my youth once 
more. J^one who could possibly recognise me could be 
now living. Saw no one but the surgeon, the basket- 
maker, and his wife ; all so old, they must be long since 
gathered to their fathers. Perhaps no one carries on the 
basket trade now. I may revive it and have it all to my- 
self; perhaps the cottage itself may be easily hired." 
Thus, ever disposed to be sanguine, the vagabond chat- 
tered on, Sophy listening fondly, and smiling up to his 
face. "And a fine large park close by ; the owners great 
lords, deserted it then ; perhaps it is deserted still. You 
might wander over it as if it were your own, Sophy. Such 
wonderful trees — such green solitudes ; and pretty shy 
hares running across the vistas — stately deer too ! We 
will make friends with the lodge-keepers, and we will call 
the park yours, Sophy ; and I shall be a genius who 
weaves magical baskets, and you shall be the enchanted 
princess concealed from all evil eyes, knitting doyleys of 
pearl under leaves of emerald, and catching no sound from 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 303 

the world of perishable life, except as the boughs whispei 
and the birds sing." 

"Dear me, here jou are — we thought you were lost," 
said the bailiflf's wife ; " tea is waiting for you. and there's 
husband, Sir, coming up from his work ; he'll be proud 
and glad to know you. Sir, and you too, my dear; we 
have no children of our own." 

It is past eleven. Sophy, worn out, but with emotions 
far more pleasurable than she had long known, is fast 
asleep. Waife kneels by her side, looking at her. He 
touches her hand, so cool and soft — all fever gone ; he 
rises on tiptoe — he bends over her forehead — a kiss 
there, and a tear ; he steals away, down, down the stairs. 
At the porch is the bailiff, holding Sir Ivsaac. 

" We'll take all care of her," said Mr. Gooch. " You'll 
not know her again when you come back." 

Waife pressed the hand of his grandchild's host, but 
did not speak, 

"You are sure you will find your way — no, that's the 
wrong turn — straight on to the town. They'll be sitting 
up for you at the Saracen's Head, I suppose ; of course, 
Sir y It seems not hospitable like, your going away at 
the dead of night thus. But I understand you don't like 
crying. Sir — we men don't; and your sweet little girl, I 
dare say, would sob, ready to break her heart, if she 
knew. Fine moonlight night, Sir — straight on. And 
I say, don't fret about her ; wife loves children dearly — 
so do I, Good-night." 

On went Waife — lamely, slowly — Sir Isaac's white 



'•JC4 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

coat gleaming in the moon, ghost-like. On he went, 
buiidle strapped across his slioulder, leaning on his staff, 
along by the folded sheep and the sleeping cattle. But 
when he got into the high road, Gatesboro' full before 
him, with all its roofs and spires, he turned his back on 
the town, and tramped once more along the desert 
thoroughfare — more slowly, and more ; more lamely, and 
more ; till several mile-stones were passed ; and then he 
crept through the gap of a hedgerow, to the sheltering 
eaves of a hay-stack ; and under that roof-tree he and 
Sir Isaac lay down to rest. 



CHAPTER XXIY. 

Laugh at forebodings of evil, but tremble after day-dreams of 
happiness. 

Waife left behind him at the cottage two letters — one 
intrusted to the bailiff, with a sealed bag, for Mr. Har- 
topp — one for Sophy, placed on a chair beside her bed. 

The first letter was as follows : 

" I trust, dear and honored Sir, that I shall come back 
safely ; and when I do, I may have found, perhaps, a 
home for her, and some way of life such as you would 
not blame. But, in case of accident, I have left with 
Mr. Gooch, sealed up, the money we made at Gatesboro', 
after paying the inn bill, doctor, etc., and retaining the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 365 

mere trifle I need in ease I and Sir Isa.ae fail to support 
ourselves. You will kindly take care of it. I should 
not feel safe with more money about me, an old man. I 
might be robbed ; besides, 1 am careless. I never can 
keep money ; it slips out of my hands like an eel. Hea- 
ven bless you, Sir ; your kindness seems like a miracle 
vouchsafed to me for that child's dear sake. No evil can 
chance to her with you ; and if I should fall ill and die, 
even then you, who would have aided the tricksome va- 
grant, will not grudge the saving hand to the harmless 
child." 

The letter to Sophy ran thus : 

"Darling, forgive me; I have stolen away from you, 
but only for a few days, and only in order to see if we 
cannot gain the magic home where I am to be the 
Genius, and you the Princess. I go forth with such a 
light heart, Sophy dear. I shall be walking thirty miles 
a day, and not feel an ache in the lame leg ; you could 
not keep up with me — you know you could not. So 
think over the cottage and the basket-work, and practice 
at samplers and pin-cusliions when it is too hot to play ; 
and be stout and strong against I come back. That, I 
trust, will be this day week — 'tis but seven days ; and 
then we will only act fairy dramas to nodding trees, with 
linnets for the orchestra ; and even Sir Isaac shall not be 
demeaned by mercenary' tricks, but shall employ his 
arithmetical talents in casting up the weekly bills, and he 
shall never stand on his hind legs except on sunny days, 



366 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

when he shall carry a parasol to shade an enchanted 
princess. Laugh, darling — let me fancy I see yon laugh- 
ing ; but don't fret — don't fancy I desert you. Do try 
and get well — quite, quite well ; I ask it of you on my 
knees." 

The letter and the bag were taken over, at sunrise, to 
Mr. Hartopp's villa. Mr. Hartopp was an early man. 
Sophy overslept herself ; her room was to the west ; the 
morning beams did not reach its windows ; and the cot- 
tage without children woke up to labor, noiseless and 
still. So when at last she shook of sleep, and, tossing 
her hair from her blue eyes, looked round and became 
conscious of the strange place, she still fancied the hour 
early. But she got up, drew the curtain from the win- 
dow, saw the sun high in the heavens, and, ashamed of 
her laziness, turned, and lo ! the letter on the chair ! Her 
heart at once misgave her ; the truth flashed upon a 
reason prematurely quick in the intuition which belongs 
to the union of sensitive affection and active thought. 
She drew a long breath, and turned deadly pale. It was 
some minutes before she could take up the letter, before 
she could break the seal. When she did, she read on 
noiselessly, her tears dropping over the page, without 
effort or sob. She had no egotistical sorrow, no grief in 
being left alone with strangers ; it was the pathos of the 
old man's lonely wanderings, of his bereavement, of his 
counterfeit glee, and genuine self-sacrifice — this it was 
that suffused her whole heart with unutterable yearnings 
of tenderness, gratitude, pity, veneration. But wlien she 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 367 

had wept silently for some time, she kissed the letter with 
devout passion, and turned to that Heaven to which the 
outcast had taught her first to pray. 

Afterward she stood still, musing a little while, and the 
sorrowful shade gradually left her face^. Yes ; she would 
obey him — she would not fret — she would try and get 
well and strong. He would feel, at the distance, that 
she was true to his wishes — that she was fitting herself 
to be again his companion ; seven days would soon pass. 
Hope, that can never long quit the heart of childhood, 
brightened over her meditations, as the morning sun over 
a landscape that, just before, had lain sad amidst twilight 
and under rains. 

When she came down stairs Mrs. Gooch was pleased 
and surprised to observe the placid smile upon her face, 
and the quiet activity with which, after the morning meal, 
she moved about by the good woman's side, assisting her 
in her dairy-work and other housewife tasks, talking little, 
comprehending quickly — composed, cheerful. 

"I am so glad to see you don't pine after your good 
grandpapa, as we feared you would." 

''He told me not to pine," answered Sophy, simply, 
but with a quivering lip. 

When the noon deepened, and it Ijecame too warm for 
exercise, Sophy timidly asked if Mrs. Gooch had any 
worsteds and knitting-needles, and being accommodated 
with those implements and materials, she withdrew to the 
arbor, and seated herself to work — solitary and tranquil. 



368 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

What made, perhaps, the chief strength in this poor 
child's nature, was its intense trustfulness — a part, per- 
haps, of its instinctive appreciation of truth. She trusted 
in Waife — iu the Future — in Providence — in her own 
childish, not helpless, self. Already, as her slight fingers 
sorted the worsteds, and her graceful taste shaded their 
hues into blended harmony, her mind was weaving, not 
less harmoniously, the hues in the woof of dreams, the 
cottage home — the harmless tasks — Waife, with his pipe, 
in the arm-chair, under some porch, covered, like that one 
yonder — why not ? — with fragrant woodbine. And life, 
if humble, honest, truthful, not shrinking from the day, so 
that, if Lionel met her again, she should not blush, nor 
he be shocked. And if their ways were so different as her 
grandfather said, still they might cross, as they had cross- 
ed before, and — the work slid from her hand, the sweet 
lips parted, smiling; a picture came before her eyes — 
her grandfather, Lionel, herself; all three, friends, and 
happy ; a stream, fair as the Thames had seemed — green 
trees all bathed in summer — the boat gliding by ; in that 
boat they three, borne softly on — away — away — what 
matters whither ? by her side the old man ; facing her, the 
boy's bright, kind eyes. She started. She heard noises 
• — a swinging gate — footsteps. She started — she rose 
• — voices; one strange to her, a man's voice, then the 
Mayor's. A third voice, shrill, stern ; a terrible voice — 
heard in infancy — associated with images of cruelty, 
misery, woe. It could not be! — impossible! Near — 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 36S 

nearer came the footsteps. Seized with the Impulse ol 
flight, she sprang to the mouth of the arbor. Fronting 
her glared two dark, baleful eyes. She stood — arrested 
— spellbound — as a bird fixed rigid by the gaze of a ser- 
pent. 

" Yes, Mr, Mayor ; all right ! it is our little girl — our 
dear Sophy. This way, Mr. Losely. Such a pleasant 
surprise for you, Sophy, my love I ■' said Mrs. Crane. 



BOOK FOURTH. 



CHAPTER I. 

In the kindliest natures there is a certain sensitiveness, -which, when 
wounded, occasions the same pain, and bequeathes the same re- 
sentment, as mortified vanity or galled self-love. 

It is exactly that day week, toward the hour of five in 
the evening; Mr. Hartopp, alone in the parlor behind his 
warehouse, is locking up his books and ledgers prepara- 
tory to the return to his villa. There is a certain change 
in the expression of his countenance since we saw it last. 
If it be possible for Mr. Hartopp to look sullen — sullen 
he looks ; if it be possible for the mayor of Gatesboro' to 
be crest-fallen — crestfallen he is. That smooth existence 
has surely received some fatal concussion, and has not yet 
recovered the shock. But, if you will glance beyond the 
parlor at Mr. Williams giving orders in the warehouse, 
at the warehousemen themselves, at the rough faces in the 
tan-yard — nay, at Mike Callaghan, who has just brought 
a parcel from the railway, all of them have evidently shared 
in the effects of the concussion ; all of them wear a look 
more or less sullen ; all seem crest-fallen. Nay, could you 
carry your gaze farther on — could you peep into the 

(370) 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 371 

shops in the High Street, or at the loungers in the city 
reading-room ; could you extend the vision farther still — 
to Mr. Hartopp's villa, behold his wife, his little ones, his 
men-servants, and his maid-servants — more and more im- 
pressively general would become the tokens of disturbance 
occasioned by that infamous concussion. Every where a 
sullen look — every where that ineifable aspect of crest- 
fallenness ! What can have happened ? is the good man 
bankrupt ? Xo — rich as ever ! What can it be ? Reader, 
that fatal event which they who love Josiah Hartopp are 
ever at wat«h to prevent, despite all their vigilance, has 
occurred ! Josiah Hartopp has been taken in ! 'Other 
men may be occasionally taken in, and no one mourns — 
perhaps they deserve it ! they are not especially benevo- 
lent, or they set up to be specially wise. But to take in 
that Lamb ! And it was not only the Mayor's heart that 
was wounded, but his pride, his self-esteem, his sense of 
dignity, were terribly humiliated. For as we know, though 
all the world considered Mr, Hartopp the very man born 
to be taken in, and therefore combined to protect him, 
yet in his secret soul Mr. Hartopp considered that no man 
less needed such protection ; that he was never taken in, 
unless he meant to be so. Thus the cruelty and ingrati- 
tude of the base action under which his crest was so fallen^ 
jarred on his whole system. Nay, more, he could not but 
^eel that the event would long affect his personal comfort 
and independence ; he would be more than ever under the 
affectionate tyranny of Mr. Williams — more than ever be 
i,a object of universal surveillance and espionage. There 



372 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

would be one thought paramount throughout Gatesboro'. 
"The Mayor, God bless him! has been taken in — this 
must not occur again ! or Gatesboro' is dishonored, and 
Virtue indeed a name ! " Mr. Hartopp felt not only mor- 
tified but subjugated — he who had hitherto been the soft 
subjugator of the hardest. He felt not only subjugated, 
but indignant at the consciousness of being so. He was 
too meekly convinced of Heaven's unerring justice not to 
feel assured that the man who had taken him in would 
come to a tragic end. He w^ould not have hanged that 
man with his own hands —he was too mild for vengeance. 
But if he had seen that man hanging, he would have said, 
piously, " Fitting retribution ! " and passed on his way 
soothed and comforted. Taken in ! — taken in at last ! — 
he Josiah Hartopp, taken in by a fellow with one eye ! 



CHAPTER II. 

The Mayor is so protected that he can not help himself, 

A COMMOTION without — a kind of howl — a kind of 
hoot. Mr. Williams — the warehouse-men, the tanners, 
Mike Callaghan, share between them the howl and the 
hoot. The Mayor started — is it possible ! His door is 
burst open, and, scattering all who sought to hold him 
back — scattering them to the right and left from his mas- 
sive torso, in rushed the man who had taken in the Mayor 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 373 

— the fellow with one eye, and with that fellow, shaggy 
and travel-soiled, the other dog ! 

" What have you done with the charge I intrusted to 
you ? My child — my child — where is she ? " 

Waife's face was wild with the agony of his emotions, 
and his voice was so sharply terrible that it went like a 
kuife into the heart of the men, who, thrust aside for the 
moment, now followed him, fearful, into the room. 

"Mr. — Mr. Chapman, Sir," faltered the Mayor, striv- 
ing hard to recover dignity and self-possession, " I am 
astonished at your — your — " 

" Audacity ! " interposed Mr. Williams. 

" My child — my Sophy — my child ! answer me, man ! " 

" Sir," said the Mayor, drawing himself up, " have you 
not got the note which I left at my baililFs cottage in 
case you called there ? " 

"Your note — this thing!" said Waife, striking a 
crumpled paper with his hand, and running his eye over 
its contents. "You have rendered up, you say, the child 
to her lawful protector? Gracious Heavens ! did /trust 
her to you or not ?" 

"Leave the room all of you," said the Mayor, with a 
sudden return of his usual calm vigor. 

" You go — you. Sirs ; what the deuce do you do 
dere ? " growled Williams to the meaner throng. " Out ! 

— I stay ; never fear, men, I'll take care of him ! " 

The by-standers surlily slinked off, but none returned 
fo their work ; they stood within reach of call by the shut 
door. Williams tucked up his coat-sleeves, clenched his 

I. — 32 



374 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

fists, hung his head doggedly on one side, and looked 
altogether so pugnacious and minatory, that Sir Isaac, 
whn, though in a state of great excitement, had hitherto 
retained self-control, peered at him under his curls, stif- 
fened his back, showed his teeth, and growled formidably. 
, " My good Williams, leave us," said the Mayor ; *' I 
would be alone with this person." 

"Alone — you ! out of the question. Now you have 
been once taken in, and you own it — it is my duty to 
protect you henceforth ; and I will to the end of my days." 

The Mayor sighed heavily — "Well, Williams, well ! — 
take a chair, and be quiet. Now, Mr. Chapman, so to 
call you still; you have deceived me." 

"I — how?" 

The Mayor was puzzled. " Deceived me," he said at 
last, " in my knowledge of human nature. I thought you 
an honest man, Sir. And you are — but no matter." 

Waife (impatiently). " My child, my child ! you have 
given her up — to — to — " 

Mayor. "Her own father. Sir." 

Waife (echoing the words as he staggers back). " I 
thought so — I thought it ! " 

Mayor. " In so doing I obeyed the law — he had legal 
power to enforce his demand." The Mayor's voice was 
almost apologetic in its tone, for he was affected by 
Waife's anguish, and not able to silence a pang of re- 
morse. After all, he had been trusted ; and he had, ex- 
cusably perhaps, necessarily perhaps, but still he had 
failed to fulfill the trust. "But," added the Mayor, af, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 375 

if reassuring himself — " But I refused at first to give her 
up, even to her own father ; at first insisted upon waiting 
till your return ; and it was only when I was informed 
what you yourself were that my scruples gave way." 

Waife remained long silent, breathing very hard, and 
passing his hand several times over his forehead ; at last 
he said more quietly than he had yet spoken, "Will you 
tell me where they have gone ? " 

" I do not know, and if I did know I would not tell 
you ! Are they not right when they say that that innocent 
child should not be tempted away by — by — a — in short, 
by you. Sir ? " 

" They said ! Her father — said that ! — he said that ! 
Did he — did he say it? Had he the heart?" 

Mayor. " No, I don't think he said it. Eh, Mr. Wil- 
liams y He spoke little to me ! " 

Mr. Williams. " Of course he would not expose that 
person. But the woman — the lady, I mean." 

Waife. " Woman ! Ah, yes. The bailiff's wife said 
there was a woman. What woman ? What's her name ?" 

Mayor. " Really you must excuse me. I can say no 
more. I have consented to see you thus, because what- 
ever you might have been, or may be, still it was due to 
myself to explain how I came to give up the child ; and, 
besides, you left money with me, and that, at least, I can 
give to your own hand." 

The Mayor turned to his desk, unlocked it, and drew 
f'^rth the bag which Waife had sent to him. 

As he extended it toward the Comedian, his hand 



316 \^HAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

trembled and his cheek flushed. For Waife's one bright 
eye had in it such depths of reproach, that again the 
Mayor's conscience was sorely troubled, and he would 
have given ten times the contents of that bag to have 
been alone with the vagrant, and to have said the sooth- 
ing things he did not dare to say before Williams, who 
sate there mute and grim, guarding him from being once 
more "taken in." "If you had confided in me at first, 
Mr. Chapman," he said, pathetically, " or even if now, I 
could aid you in an honest way of life ! " 

"Aid him — now ! " said Williams, with a snort. "At 
it again ! you're not a man, you're an angel I " 

"But if he is penitent, Williams." 

" So ! so ! so ! " murmured Waife. " Thank Heaven it 
was not he who spoke against me — it was but a strange 
woman. Oh 1 " he suddenly broke off with a groan. " Oh 
— but that strange woman — who, what can she be ? and 
Sophy with her and him. Distraction ! Yes, yes, I take 
the money. I shall want it all. Sir Isaac, pick up that 
bag. Gentlemen, good-day to you ! " He bowed ; such 
a failure that bow ! Nothing ducal in it ! bowed and 
turned toward the door ; then, when he gained the 
threshold, as if some meeker, holier thought restored to 
him dignity of bearing, his form rose, though his face 
softened, and stretching his right hand toward the Mayor, 
he said : " You did but as all perhaps would have done 
on the evidence before you. You meant to be kind to 
her. If you knew all, how you would repent ! I do not 
blame — I forgive you " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 317 

He was gone ; the Mayor stood transfixed. Even 
"Williams felt a cold, comfortless chill. "He does nov 
look like it," said the foreman. " Cheer up, Sir, no 
wonder jou were taken in — who would not have been ? " 

"Hark ! that hoot again. Go, Williams, don't let the 
men insult him. Do, do. I shall be grateful." 

But before Williams got to the door, the cripple and 
his dog had vanished; vanished down a dark narrow 
alley on the opposite side of the street. The rude work- 
men had followed him to the mouth of the alley, mocking 
him. Of the exact charge against the Cooiediau's good 
name they were not informed : that knowledge was con- 
fined to the Mayor and Mr. Williams. But the latter 
had dropped such harsh expressions, that, bad as the 
charge might really be, all in Mr. Hartopp's employment 
probably deemed it worse, if possible, than it really was. 
And wretch indeed must be the man by whom the Mayor 
had been confessedly taken in, and whom the Mayor had 
indignantly given up to the reproaches of his own con- 
science. But the cripple was now out of sight, lost 
amidst those labyrinths of squalid homes which, in great 
towns, are thrust beyond view, branching off abruptly 
behind High Streets and Market-places; so that strangers 
passing only along the broad thoroughfares, with glitter- 
ing shops and gas-lit causeways, exclaim, "Where do the 
Poor live ? " 



32* 



3TS WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER III. 

Ecce iteruin Crispinus. 

It was by no calculation, but by involuntary impulse, 
tbat Waife, thus escaping; from the harsh looks and taunt- 
ing murmurs of the gossips round the Mayor's door, 
dived into those sordid devious lanes. Yaguely he felt 
that a ban was upon him ; that the covering he had 
thrown over his brand of outcast was lifted up ; that a 
sentence of expulsion from the High Streets and Market- 
places of decorous hfe was passed against him. He had 
been robbed of his child, and Society, speaking in the 
voice of the Mayor of Gatesboro', said, " Rightly ! thou 
art not fit companion for the innocent ! " 

At length he found himself out of the town, beyond its 
straggling suburbs, and once more on the solitary road. 
He had ah-eady walked far that day. He was thoroughly 
exhausted. He sate himself down in a dry ditch by the 
hedgerow, and taking his head between his hands, strove, 
to re-collect his thoughts, and re-arrange his plans. 

Waife had returned that day to the bailifi''s cottage 
joyous and elated. He had spent the week in travelling 
— partly, though not all the way on foot, to the distant 
village in which he had learned in youth the basket- 
maker's art ! He had found the very cottage wherein he 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 319 

had then lodged, vacant, and to be let. There seemed 
a readv opening for the humble but pleasant craft tc 
which he had diverted his ambition. 

The bailiff intrusted with the letting of the cottage 
and osier-ground, had, it is true, requested some reference 
— not, of course, as to all a tenant's antecedents, but as 
to the reasonable probability that the tenant would be a 
quiet, sober man, who would pay his rent, and abstain 
from poaching. Waife thought he might safely presume 
that the Mayor of Gatesboro' would not, so far as that 
went, object to take his past upon trust, and give him a 
good word toward securing so harmless and obscure a 
future. Waife had never asked such a favor before of 
any man ; he shrunk from doing so now ; but for his 
grandchild's sake he would waive his scruples or humble 
his pride. 

Thus, then, he had come back, full of Elysian dreams, 
to his Sophy — his Enchanted Princess. Gone — taken 
away, and with the Mayor's consent — the consent of the 
very man upon whom he had been relying to secure a 
livelihood and a shelter ! Little more had he learned at 
the cottage, for Mr. and Mrs. Gooch had been cautioned 
to be as brief as possible, and give him no clew to regain 
his lost treasure, beyond the note which informed him it 
was with a lawful possessor. And, indeed, the worthy 
pair were now prejudiced against the vagrant, and were 
rude to him. But he had not tarried to cross-examine 
and inquire. He had rushed at once to the Mayor. 
Sophy was with one whose legal right to dispose of her 



380 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

he could not question. But where that person would 
take her — where he resided — what he would do with her 
— he had no means to conjecture. Most probably (he 
thought and guessed) she would be carried abroad — was 
already out of the country. But the woman with Losely, 
he had not heard her described ; his guesses did not turn 
toward Mrs. Crane ; the woman was evidently hostile to 
him — it was the woman who had spoken against him — ■ 
not Losely ; the woman whose tongue had poisoned Har- 
topp's mind, and turned into scorn all that admiring re- 
spect which had before greeted the great Comedian. 
Why was that woman his enemy ? Who could she be ? 
What had she to do with Sophy ? He was half beside 
himself with terror. It was to save her less even from 
Losely than from such direful women as Losely made his 
confidants and associates that Waife had taken Sophy to 
himself. As for Mrs. Crane, she had never seemed a foe 
to him — she had ceded the child to him willingly — he had 
no reason to believe, from tlie way in which she had spoken 
of Losely when he last saw her, that she could henceforth 
aid the interests, or share the schemes, of the man whose 
perfidies she then denounced ; and as to Rugge, he had 
not appeared at Gatesboro'. Mrs. Crane had prudently 
suggested that his presence would not be propitiatory or 
discreet, and that all reference to him, or to the contract 
with him, should be suppressed. Thus Waife was wholly 
without one guiding evidence — one groundwork for con- 
jecture — that might enable him to track the lost ; all he 
knew was, that she had been given up to a man whose 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 381 

whereabouts it was difficult to discover — a vagrant, of 
life darker and more hidden than his own. 

But how had the hunters discovered the place where 
he had treasured up his Sophy — how dogged that re- 
treat ? Perhaps from the village in w^hich we first saw 
him. Ay, doubtless, learned from Mrs. Saunders of the 
dog he had purchased, and the dog would have served to 
direct them on his path. At that thought he pushed 
away Sir Isaac, who had been resting his head on the old 
man's knee — pushed him away angrily; the poor dog 
slunk off in sorrowful surprise, and whined. 

"Ungrateful wretch that I am," cried Waife, and he 
opened his arms to the brute, who bounded forgivingly 
to his breast ! 

" Come, come, we will go back to the village in Sur- 
rey. Tramp, tramp ! " said the cripple, rousing himself. 
And at that moment, just as he gained his feet, a friendly 
hand was laid on his shoulder, and a friendly voice said — 
" I have found you ! the crystal said so ! Marbellous ! " 
"Merle," faltered out the vagrant — "Merle, you 
here ! Oh, perhaps you come to tell me good news : 
you have seen Sophy — you know where she is ! " 

The Cobbler shook his head. " Can't see her just at 
present. Crystal says nout about her. But I know she 
was taken from you — and ^— and — you shake tremen- 
jous ! Lean on me, Mr. Waife, and call off that big 
animal. He's a suspicating my calves, and circumtitty- 
vating them. Thank ye. Sir. You see I was born with 
sinister aspects in my Twelfth House, which appertains 



882 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

to big animals and enemies ; and dogs of that size about 
one's calves are — malefics ! " 

As Merle now slowly led the cripple, and Sir Isaac, 
relinquishing his first suspicions, walked droopingly be- 
side them, the Cobbler began a long story, much encum- 
bered by astrological illustrations and moralizing com- 
ments. The substance of his narrative, is thus epitomized : 
Rugge, in pursuing Waife's track, had naturally called 
on Merle in company with Losely and Mrs. Crane. The 
Cobbler had no clue to give, and no mind to give it if 
clew he had possessed. But his curiosity being roused, 
he had smothered the inclination to dismiss the inquirers 
with more speed than good-breeding, and even refreshed 
his slight acquaintance with Mr. Rugge in so well stimu- 
lated a courtesy, that that gentleman, when left beliind 
by Losely and Mrs. Crane in their journey to Gatesboro', 
condescended, for want of other company, to drink tea 
with Mr. Merle ; and tea being succeeded by stronger 
potations, he fairly unbosomed himself of his hopes of 
recovering Sophy, and his ambition of hiring the York 
theater. 

The day afterward, Rugge went away seemingly in 
high spirits, and the Cobbler had no doubt, from some 
words he let fall in passing Merle's stall toward the rail- 
way, that Sophy was recaptured, and that Rugge was 
summoned to take possession of her. Ascertaining from 
the manager that Losely and Mrs. Crane had gone to 
Gatesboro', the Cobbler called to mind that he had a 
sister living there, married to a green-grocer in a very 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 383 

small way, whom he had not seen for many years ; and 
finding his business slack just then, he resolved to pay 
this relative a visit, with the benevolent intention of 
looking up Waife, whom he expected, from Rugge's ac- 
count, to find there, and offering him any consolation or 
aid in his power, should Sophy have been taken from hira 
against his will. A consultation with his crystal, which 
showed him the face of Mr. Waife alone, and much de- 
jected, and a horary scheme which promised success' to 
his journey, decided his movements. He had arrived at 
Gatesboro' the day before, had heard a confused story 
about a Mr. Chapman, with his dog and his child, whom 
the Mayor had first taken up, "but who afterward, in some 
mysterious manner, had taken in the Mayor. Happily, 
the darker gossip in the High Street had not penetrated 
the back lane in which Merle's sister resided. There 
little more was known than the fact that this mysterious 
stranger had imposed on the wisdom of Gatesboro's 
learned Institute and enlightened Mayor. Merle, at no 
loss to indentify Waife with Chapman, could only sup- 
pose that he had been discovered to be a strolling player 
in Rugge's exhibition, after pretending to be some much 
greater man. Such an offense the Cobbler was not dis- 
posed to consider heinous. But Mr. Chapman was gone 
from Gatesboro,' none knew whither ; and Merle had not 
yet ventured to call himself on the chief magistrate of the 
place, to inquire after a man by whom that august per- 
sonage had been deceived. " Howsomever," quoth 
Merle, in conclusion, " I was just standing at my sister's 



384 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

door, with her last baby in my arms, in Scrob Lane, when 
I saw you pass by like a shot. Yon were gone while I 
ran in to give up the baby, who is teething, with malefics 
in square — gone — clean out of sight. You took one 
turn, I took another ; but you see we meet at last, as 
good men always do in this world — or the other, which 
is the same thing in the long-run." 

Waife, who had listened to his friend without other 
interruption than an occasional nod of the head or inter- 
jectional expletive, was now restored to much of his 
constitutional mood of sanguine cheerfulness. He recog- 
nized Mrs. Crane in the woman described, and if sur- 
prised, he was rejoiced. For much as he disliked that 
gentlewoman, he thought Sophy might be in worse female 
hands. Without much need of sagacity, he divined the 
gist of the truth. Losely had somehow or other become 
acquainted with Rugge, and sold Sophy to the manager. 
Where Rugge was, there would Sophy be. It could not 
be very difficult to find out the place in which Rugge was 
now exhibiting; and then — ah then! Waife whistled 
to Sir Isaac, tapped his forehead, and smiled triumphantly. 
Meanwhile the Cobler had led him back into the suburb, 
with the kind intention of ofiTering him food and bed for 
the night at his sister's house. But Waife had already 
formed his plan ; in London, and in London alone, could 
he be sure to learn where Rugge was now exhibiting ; in 
London there were places at which that information could 
be gleaned at once. The last train to the metropolis was 
not s:one. He would slink round the town to the sta- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 386 

tion ; he aud Sir Isaac at that hour might secure places 
DDuoticed. 

When Merle found it was in vain to press him to stay 
over the night, the good-hearted Cobbler accompanied 
him to the train, and, while Waife shrunk him into a dark 
corner, bought the tickets for dog and master. As he 
was paying for these, he overheard two citizens talking 
of Mr, Chapman. It was indeed Mr. Williams explaining 
to a fellow-burgess just returned to Gatesboro', after a 
week's absence, how and by what manner of man Mr. 
Hartopp had been taken in. At what Williams said, the 
Cobbler's cheek paled. When he joined the Comedian, 
his manner was greatly altered ; he gave the tickets with- 
out speaking, but looked hard into Waife 's face, as the 
latter repaid him the fares. "No," said the Cobbler, 
suddenly, "I don't believe it." 

" Believe what ? " asked Waife, startled. 

"That you are—" 

The Cobbler paused, bent forward, and whispered the 
rest of the sentence close in the vagrant's ear. Waife's 
head fell on his bosom, but he made no answer. 

"Speak," cried Merle; "say 'tis a lie." The poor 
cripple's lip writhed, but he still spoke not. 

Merle looked aghast at that obstinate silence. At 
length, but very slowly, as the warning bell summoned him 
and Sir Isaac to their several places in the train, Waife 
found voice. "' So you too, you too desert aud despise 
me I God's will be done I " He moved away — spiritless, 
limping, hiding his face as well as he could. The porter 

L— 33 z 



386 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

took the dog from him, to thrust it into one of the boxes 
reserved for snch four-footed passengers. 

Waife, thus parted from his last friend — I mean the 
dog — looked after Sir Isaac wistfully, and crept into a 
third-class carriage, in which luckily there was no one 
else. Suddenly Merle jumped in, snatched his hand, and 
pressed it tightly. " I don't despise, I don't turn my back 
on you ; whenever you and the little one want a home 
and a friend, come to Kit Merle as before, and I'll bite 
my tongue out if I ask any more questions of you ; I'll 
ask the stars instead." 

The Cobbler had but just time to splutter out these 
comforting words, and redescend the carriage, when the 
train put itself into movement, and the lifelike iron miracle, 
fuming, hissing, and screeching, bore off to London its 
motley convoy of human beings, each passenger's heart 
a mystery to the other, all bound the same road, all wedged 
close within the same whirling mechanism : what a sepa- 
rate and distinct world in each ! Such is Civilization I 
How like we are one to the other in the mass ! how 
strangely dissimilar in the abstract 1 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 38t 



CHAPTER lY. 

" If, "-says a great thinker (Dkgkraxdo, Du Perfectionment Moral, 
chap, ix., "On the DiflBculties we encounter in Self Study") — 
'•If one concentrates reflection too much on one's self, one ends 
by no longer seeing anything, or seeing only what one wishes. 
By the very act, as it were, of capturing one's self, the person- 
age we believe we have seized, escapes, disappears. Nor is it 
only the complexity of our inner being which obstructs our ex- 
amination, but its exceeding variability. The investigator's re- 
gard should embrace all the sides of the subject, and perseveringly 
pursue all its phases." 

It is the race-week in Huraberston, a county town far 
from Gatesboro', and in the north of England. The races 
hist three days ; the first day is over ; it has been a 
brilliant spectacle ; the course crowded with the carriages 
of provincial magnates, with equestrian betters of note 
from the metropolis ; blacklegs in great muster ; there 
have been gaming-booths on the ground, and gipsies tell- 
ing fortunes ; much Champagne imbibed by the well-bred, 
much soda-water and brandy by the vulgar. Thousands 
and tens of thousands have been lost and won ; some 
paupers been for the time enriched ; some rich men made 
poor for life. Horses have won fame ; some of their 
owners lost character. Din and uproar, and coarse oaths, 
and rude passions — all have had their hour. The ama- 
teurs of the higher classes have gone back to dignified 
country-houses, as courteous hosts or favored guests. The 



388 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

professional speculators of a lower grade have poured 
back into the country town, and inns and taverns are 
crowded. Drink is hotly called for at reeking bars ; 
w^aiters and chambermaids pass to and fro, with dishes, 
and tankards, and bottles, in their hands. All is noise 
and bustle, and eating and swilling, and disputation and 
slang, wild glee and wilder despair among those who come 
back from the race-course to the inns in the county town. 
At one of these taverns, neither the best nor the worst, 
and in a small narrow slice of a room that seemed robbed 
from the landing-place, sate Mrs. Crane, in her iron-gray 
silk gown. She was seated close by the open window, as 
carriages, chaises, flies, carts, vans, and horsemen, suc- 
ceeded each other thick and fast, watching the scene with 
a soured, scornful look. For human joy, as for human 
grief, she had little sympathy. Life had no Saturnalian 
holidays left for her. Some memory in her past had 
poisoned the well-springs of her social being. Hopes and 
objects she had still, but out of the wrecks of the natural 
and healthful existence of womanhood those objects and 
hopes stood forth exaggerated, intense, as are the ruling 
passions in monomania. A bad woman is popularly said 
to be worse than a wicked man. If so, partly because 
women, being more solitary, brood more unceasingly over 
cherished ideas, whether good or evil ; partly also, for the 
same reason that makes a wicked gentleman, who has lost 
caste and character, more irreclaimable than a wicked 
clown, low-born and low-bred, viz. : that in proportion to 
the loss of shame is the gain in recklessness ; but princi- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 389 

pally, perhaps, because in extreme wickedness there is 
necessarily a distortion of the reasoning faculty ; and 
man, accustomed from the cradle rather to reason than to 
feel, has that faculty more firm against abrupt twists ana 
lesions than it is in woman ; where virtue may have left 
him, logic may still linger, and he may decline to push 
evil to a point at which it is clear to his understanding 
that profit vanishes and punishment rests ; while woman, 
once abandoned to ill, finds sufficient charm in its mere 
excitement ; and, regardless of consequences, where the 
man asks, "Can I?" raves out, "I will!" Thus man 
may be criminal through cupidity, vanity, love, jealousy, 
fear, ambition, rarely in civilized, that is, reasoning life, 
through hate and revenge ; for hate is a profitless invest- 
ment, and revenge a ruinous speculation. But when 
women are thoroughly depraved and hardened, nine times 
out of ten it is hatred or revenge that makes them so. 
Arabella Crane had not, however, attained to that last 
state of wickedness, which, consistent in evil, is callous to 
remorse ; she was not yet unsexed. In her nature was 
still that essence, " varying and mutable," which distin- 
guishes woman while womanhood is left to her. And 
now, as she sate gazing on the throng below, her haggard 
mind recoiled perhaps from the conscious shadow of the 
Evil Principle which, invoked as an ally, remains as a 
destroyer. Her dark front relaxed ; she moved in her 
seat uneasily. " Must it be always thus ! " she muttered 
— " always this hell here ! Even now, if in one large 
pardon I could include the undoer, the earth, myself, and 
.S8* 



390 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

again be human — human, even as those slight triflers or 
coarse brawlers that pass yonder ! Oh, for something in 
common with common life ! " 

Her lips closed, and her eyes again fell upon the 
crowded street. At that moment three or four heavy 
vans or wagons filled with operatives, or laborers and 
their wives, coming back from the race-course, obstructed 
the way ; two out-riders with satin jackets were expostu- 
lating, cracking their whips, and seeking to clear space 
for an open carriage with four thorough-bred impatient 
horses. Toward that carriage every gazer from the win- 
dows was directing eager eyes ; each foot-passenger on 
the pavement lifted his hat — evidently in that carriage 
some great person ! Like all who are at war with the 
world as it is, Arabella Crane abhorred the great, and de- 
spised the small for worshiping the great. But still her 
own fierce dark eyes mechanically followed those of the 
vulgar. The carriage bore a marquis's coronet on its 
panels, and was filled with ladies ; two other carriages 
bearing a similar coronet, and evidently belonging to the 
same party, were in the rear. Mrs. Crane started. In 
that first carriage, as it now slowly moved under her very 
window, and paused a minute or more, till the obstructing 
vehicles in front were marshaled into order — there flash- 
ed upon her eyes a face radiant with female beauty in its 
more glorious prime. Among the crowd at that moment 
was a blind man, adding to the various discords of the 
street by a miserable hurdy-gurdy. In the movement of 
the throng to get nearer to a sight of the ladies in the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 391 

carriage, this poor creature was thrown forward ; the dog 
that led hira, an ugly brute, on his own account or his 
master's, took fright, broke from the string, and ran under 
the horses' hoofs, snarling. The horses became restive ; 
the blind man made a plunge after his dog, and was all 
but run over. The lady in the first carriage, alarmed for 
his safety, rose up from her seat, and made her outriders 
dismount, lead away the poor blind man, and restore to 
hira his dog. Thus engaged, her face shone full upon 
Arabella Crane ; and with that face rushed a tide of 
earlier memories. Long, very long since she had seen 
that face — seen it in those years when she herself, Ara- 
bella Crane, was young and handsome. 

The poor man — who seemed not to realize the idea of 
the danger he had escaped — once more safe, the lady 
resumed her seat ; and now that the momentary animation 
of humane fear and womanly compassion passed from her 
countenance — its expression altered — it took the calm, 
almost the coldness, of a G-reek statue. But with the 
calm there was a listless melancholy which Greek sculpture 
never gives to the Parian stone ; stone can not convey 
that melancholy — it is the shadow which needs for its sub- 
stance a living, mortal heart. 

Crack went the whips; the horses bounded on — the 
equipage rolled fast down the street, followed by its satel- 
lites. " Well !" said a voice in the street below, " I never 
saw Lady Montfort in such beauty. Ah, here comes ray 
lord !" 

Mrs. Crane heard and looked forth ajrain. A dozen 



392 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

or more gentlemen on horseback rode slowly up the street ; 
which of these was Lord Montfort ? — not difficult to dis- 
tinguish. As the by-standers lifted their hats to the cav- 
alcade, the horsemen generally returned the salutation by 
simply touching their own — one horseman uncovered 
wholly. That one must be the Marquis, the greatest 
man in those parts, with lands stretching away on either 
side that town for miles and miles ; a territory which in 
feudal times might have alarmed a king. He, the civil- 
est, must be the greatest. A man still young, decidedly 
good-looking, wonderfully well-dressed, wonderfully well- 
mounted, the careless ease of high rank in his air and ges- 
ture. To the superficial gaze, just what the great Lord 
of Montfort should be. Look again ! In that fair face 
is there not something that puts you in mind of a florid 
period which contains a feeble platitude ? — something in 
its very prettiness that betrays a weak nature, and a 
sterile mind ? 

The cavalcade passed away — the vans and the wagons 
again usurped the thoroughfare. Arabella Crane left the 
window, and approached the little looking-glass over the 
mantel-piece. She gazed upon her own face bitterly — 
she was comparing it with the features c f the dazzling 
Marchioness. 

The door was flung open, and Jasper LoslbIj sauntered 
in, whistling a French air, and flapping the dust from his 
boots with his kid glove "All right," said he, gayly. 
"A famous day of it." 

" You have won," said Mrs. Crane, in a tone rather of 
disappointment than congratulation. • 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 303 

"Yes. That £100 of Rugge's has been the making 
of rae. I only wanted a capital just to start with I'' He 
flung himself into a chair, opened his pocket-book, and 
scrutinized its contents. " Guess," said he, suddenly, " on 
whose horse I won these two rouleaux^ Lord Montfort's ! 
Ay, and I saw my lady !" 

" So did I see her, from this window. She did not 
look happy !" 

" Not happy I — with such an equipage ! neatest turn- 
out I ever set eyes on ; not happy, indeed ! I had half a 
mind to ride up to her carriage and advance a claim lo 
her gratitude." 

" Gratitude ! Oh, for your part in that miserable 
aflTair of which yon told me ? " 

" Not a miserable affair for her, but certainly / never 
got any good from it — trouble for nothing! Basta! 
No use looking back ! " 

" No use ; but who can help it I " said Arabella Crane, 
sighing heavily; then, as if eager to change the subject, 
she added, abruptly, " Mr. Rugge has been here twice 
this morning, highly excited — the child will not act. He 
says you are bound to make her do so ! " 

" Nonsense. That is his look-out. / see after chOdren, 
indeed ! " 

Mrs. Crane (with a visible effort). " Listen to me, 
Jasper Losely, I have no reason to love that child, as you 
may suppose. But now that you so desert her, I think I 
feel compassion for her ; and when, this morning. I raised 
my hand to strike her for her stubborn spirit, and saw her 



39 1 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

eves unflinching, and her pale, pale, but fearless face, my 
arm fell to my side powerless. She will not take to this 
life without the old man. She will waste away and die." 

LosELY. " How you bother me ! Are you serious ? 
What am I to do?" 

Mrs. Crane. " You have won money you say ; revoke 
the contract; pay Rugge back his £100. He is dis- 
appointed in his bargain; he will take the money." 

Losely. "I dare say he will, indeed. No — I have 
won to-day, it is true, but I may lose to-morrow, and, 
besides, I am in want of so many things ; when one gets 
a little money, one has an immediate necessity for more — 
ha ! ha ! Still I would not have the child die ; and she 
may grow up to be of use. I tell you what I will do ; if, 
when the races are over, I find I have gained enough to 
afford it, I will see about buying her off. But £100 is 
too much ! Rugge ought to take half the money, or a 
quarter ; because, if she don't act, I suppose she does eat." 

Odious as the man's words were, he said them with a 
laugh that seemed to render them less revolting — the 
laugh of a very handsome mouth, showing teeth still 
brilliantly white. More comely than usual that day, for 
he was in great good-humor, it was difficult to conceive 
that a man with so healthful and fair an exterior was 
really quite rotten at heart. 

"Your own young laugh!" said Arabella Crane, 
almost tenderly. " 1 know not how it is, but this day I 
feel as if I were less old — altered though I be in face ana 
mind. I have allowed myself to pity that child ; while I 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 395 

speak, I can pity you. Yes ! pity — when I think of what 
you were. Must you go on thus ? To what ! Jasper 
Losely," she continued sharply, eagerly, clasping her 
hands — "hear me — I have an income not large, it is 
true, but assured ; you have nothing but what, as you say, 
you may lose to-morrow ; share my income ! Fulfil your 
solemn promises — marry me. I will forget whose daugh- 
ter that girl is — I will be a mother to her. And for 
yourself, give me the right to feel for you again as I once 
did, and I may find a way to raise you yet — higher than 
you can raise yourself. I have some wit, Jasper, as you 
know. At the worst you shall have the pastime — I, the 
toil. In your illness I will nurse you ; in your joys I will 
intrude no share. Whom else can you marry ? to whom 
else could you confide? who else could — " 

She stopped short as if an adder had stung her, utter- 
ing a shriek of rage, of pain ; for Jasper Losely, who had 
hitherto listened to her, stupefied, astounded, here burst 
into a fit of merriment, in which there was such undis- 
guised contempt, such an enjoyment of the ludicrous, pro- 
voked by the idea of the marriage pressed upon him, that 
the insult pierced the woman to her very soul. 

Continuing his laugh, despite that cry of wrathful agony 
it had caused, Jasper rose, holding his sides, and surveying 
himself in the glass, with very diflferent feelings at the 
sight from those that had made his companion's gaze there 
a few minutes before so mournful 

" My dear good friend,'- he said, composing himself at 
last, and wiping his eyes, " excuse me, but really when 



396 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

you said whom else could I marry — ha I ha! — it did 
seem such a capital joke ! Marry you, my fair Crane ! 
No — put that idea out of your head — we know each 
other too well for conjugal felicity. You love me now ; 
you always did, and always will — that is, while we are 
not tied to each other. Women who once love me, 
always love me — can't help themselves. I am sure I 
don't know why, except that I am what they call a villain ! 
Ha ! the clock striking seven — I dine with a set of fellows 
I have picked up on the race-ground ; they don't know 
me, nor I them ; we shall be better acquainted after the 
third bottle. Cheer up, Crane ; go and scold Sophy, and 
make her act if you can ; if not, scold Rugge into letting 
her alone. Scold somebody — nothing like it, to keep 
other folks quiet, and one's self busy. Adieu ! and pray, 
no more matrimonial solicitations — they frighten me I 
Gad," added Losely, as he banged the door, "such over- 
tures would frighten Old Nick himself ! " 

Did Arabella Crane hear those last words — or had she 
not heard enough ? If Losely had turned and beheld her 
face, would it have startled back his trivial laugh ? 
Possibly ; but it would have caused only a momentary un- 
easiness. If Alecto herself had reared over him her brow 
horrent with vipers, Jasper Losely would have thought he 
had only to look handsome, and say coaxingly, "Alecto, 
my dear ! " and the Fury would have pawned her head- 
dress to pay his washing-bill. 

After all, in the face of the grim woman he had thus so 
wantonly incense<l there was nol so much menace as rf- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 397 

solve. Aud that resolve was vet more shown in the move- 
ment of the hands than in the aspect of the conntenance ; 
those hands — lean, firm, nervous hands — slowly ex- 
panded ; then as slowly clenched, as if her own thought 
had taken substance, and she was locking it in a clasp — 
tightly, tightly — never to be loosened till the pulse was 
still. 



CHAPTER Y. 

The most submissive where they love may be the most stubborn 
where they do not love. — Sophy is stubborn to Mr. Rugge. — 
That injured man summons to his side Mrs. Crane, imitating the 
policy of those potentates wIjo would retrieve the failures of 
force by the successes of diplomacy. 

Mr. Rugoe has obtained his object. But now comes 
the question, " What will he do with it ? " Question 
with as many heads as the Hydra ; and no sooner does an 
Author dispose of one head than up springs another. 

Sophy has been bought andv paid for — she is now, 
legally, Mr, Rugge's property. But there was a wise 
peer who once bought Punch — Punch became his pro- 
perty, and was brought in triumph to his lordship's house. 
To ray lord's great dismay Punch would not talk. To 
Rugge's great dismay Sophy would not act. 

Rendered up to Jasper Losely and Mrs. Crane, they 
Bad not lost an hour in removing her from Gatesboro' and 
its neighborhood. They did not, however, go back to the 

L — 34 



398 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

village in which they had left Rugge, but returned straight 
to London, and wrote to the manager to join them there. 
Sophy, once captured, seemed stupefied ; she evinced 
no noisy passion — she made no violent resistance. When 
she was told to love and obey a father in Jasper Losely, 
she lifted lier eyes to his face — then turned them away, 
and shook her head, mute and incredulous. That man 
her father ! she did not believe it. Indeed, Jasper took 
no pains to convince her of the relationship, or win her 
attachment. He was not unkindly rough; he seemed 
wholly indifTerent — probably he was so — for the ruling 
vice of the man was in his egotism. It was not so much 
that he had bad principles and bad feelings, as that he 
had no principles and no feelings at all, except as they 
began, continued, and ended in that system of centraliza- 
tion, which not more paralyzes healthful action in a state 
than it does in the individual man. Self-indulgence with 
him was absolute. He w\as not without power of keen 
calculation, not without much cunning. He could con- 
ceive a project for some gain far off in the future, and 
concoct, for its realization, schemes subtly woven, astutely 
guarded. But he could not secure their success by any 
long-sustained sacrifices of the caprice of one hour or the 
indolence of the next. If it had been a great object to 
him for life to win Sophy's filial affection, he would not 
have bored himself for five minutes each day to gain that 
object. Besides, he had just enough of shame to render 
him uneasy at the sight of the child he had deliberately 
sold. So, after chuckino; her under the chin, and telling 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 399 

her to be a good girl and be grateful for all that Mrs. 
Crane had done for her, and meant still to do, he con- 
signed her almost solely to tliat lady's care. 

When Rugge arrived, and Sophy was informed of her 
intended destination, she broke silence ; her color went 
and came quickly ; she declared, folding her arms upon 
her breast, that she would never act if separated from her 
grandfather. Mrs. Crane, struck by her manner, suggested 
to Rugge that it might be as well now that she was legally 
secured to the manager, to humor her wish, and re-engage 
Waife. Whatever the tale with which, in order to obtain 
Sophy from the Mayor, she had turned that worthy ma- 
gistrate's mind against the Comedian, she had not gratified 
Mr. Rugge by a similar confidence to him. To him she 
said nothing which might operate against renewing en- 
gagements with Waife, if he were so disposed. Bat 
Rugge had no faith in a child's firmness, and he had a 
strong spite against Waife, so he obstinately refused. He 
insisted, however, as a peremptory condition of the bar- 
gain, that Mr. Losely and Mrs. Crane should accompany 
him to the town to which he had transferred his troop, 
both in order by their presence to confirm his authority 
over Sophy, and to sanction his claim to her, should Waife 
reappear and dispute it. For Rugge's profession being 
scarcely legitimate, and decidedly equivocal, his right to 
bring up a female child to the same calling might be called 
in question before a magistrate, and necessitate the pro- 
duction of her father in order to substantiate the special 
contract. In return, the manager handsomely offered to 



400 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Mr Losely and Mrs. Crane to pay their expenses in the 
excursion — a liberahty haughtily rejected by Mrs. Crane 
for herself, though she agreed at her own charge to ac- 
company Losely, if he decided on complying with the 
manager's request. Losely at first raised objections, but 
hearing that there would be races in the neighborhood, 
and having a peculiar passion for betting and all kinds 
of gambling, as well as an ardent desire to enjoy his £100 
in so fashionable a manner, he consented to delay his re- 
turn to the Continent, and attend Arabella Crane to the 
provincial Elis. Rugge carried off Sophy to her fellow 
"orphans." 

And Sopfiy would not act ! 

In vain she was coaxed — in vain she was threatened 
— in vain she was deprived of food — in vain shut up in 
a dark hole — in vain was the lash held over her. Rugge, 
tyrant though he was, did not suffer the lash to fall. His 
self-restraint there might be humanity — might be fear of 
the consequences. For the state of her health began to 
alarm him; she might die — there might be an inquest. 
He wished now that he had taken Mrs. Crane's sugges- 
tion, and re-engaged Waife. But where was Waife ? 
Meanwhile he had advertised the Young Phenomenon ; 
placarded the walls with the name of Juliet Araminta ; 
got up the piece of the Remorseless Baron, with a new 
rock scene. As Waife had had nothing to say in that 
drama, so any one could act his part 

The first performance was announced for that night : 
there would be such an audience — the best seats even 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 401 

now pre-engaged — first night of the race week. The 
clock had struck seven — the performance began at eight 
And Sophy would not act ! 

The child was seated in a space that served for thv? 
green-room behind the scenes. The whole company had 
been convened to persuade or shame her out of her obsti- 
nacy. The king's lieutenant, the seductive personage of 
the troop, was on one knee to her, like a lover. He was 
accustomed to lover's parts, both on the stage and off it. 
Off it he had one favored phrase, hackneyed but effective 
" You are too pretty to be so cruel." Thrice he now re- 
peated that phrase, with a simper that might have melted 
a heart of stone between each repetition. Behind Sophy's 
chair, and sticking calico-flowers into the child's tresses, 
stood the senior matron of the establishment — not a bad 
sort of woman — who kept the dresses, nursed the sick, 
revered Rugge, told fortunes on a pack of cards which 
she always kept in her pocket, and occasionally in parts 
where age was no drawback and ugliness desirable — such 
as a witch, or duenna, or whatever in the dialogue was 
poetically called '"Hag." Indeed, Hag was the name 
she usually took from Rugge — that which she bore from 
her defunct husband was Gormerick. This lady, as she 
braided the garland, was also bent on the soothing 
system, saying, \vith great sweetness, considering that her 
mouth was full of pins, " Now, deary — now, dovey — ^look 
at ooself in the glass ; we could beat oo, and pinch oo, 
and stick pins into oo, dovey, but we won't. Dovey will 
34 * 2 a 



402 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

be good, I know ;" and a great pat of rouge came on the 
child's pale cheeks. The clown therewith squatting be- 
fore her with his hands on his knees, grinned lustily, and 
shrieked out, " My eyes, what a beauty ! " 

Rugge, meanwhile, one hand thrust in his bosom, con- 
templated the diplomatic efforts of his ministers, and saw 
by Sophy's compressed lips and unwinking eyes, that 
their cajoleries were unsuccessful. He approached, and 
hissed into her ear, " Don't madden me I don't — you will 
act, eh?" 

" No," said Sophy, suddenly rising ; and tearing the 
wreath from her hair, she set her small foot on it with 
force. " No ! not if you killed me ! " 

" Gods ! " faltered Rugge. "And the sum I have paid I 
I am diddled ! Who has gone for Mrs. Crane ? " 

"Tom," said the clown. 

The word was scarcely out of the clown's mouth ere 
Mrs. CraniB herself emerged from a side-scene, and, putting 
ofif her bonnet, laid both hands on the child's shoulders, 
and looked her in the face without speaking. The child 
as firmly returned the gaze. Give that child a martyr's 
cause, and in that frail body there would have been a 
martyr's soul. Arabella Crane, not inexperienced in 
children, recognized a power of will, stronger than the 
power of brute force, in that tranquillity of eye — the 
spark of calm light in its tender blue — blue, pure as the 
sky ; light, steadfast as the star. 

"Leave her to me, all of you," said Mrs. Crane. "T 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 403 

will take her to your private room, Mr. Rugge ; " and she 
led the child away to a sort of recess, room it could not 
be rightly called, fenced round with boxes and crates, 
and containing the manager's desk and two stools. 

" Sophy," then said Mrs. Crane, "you say you will not 
act unless your grandfather be with you. Now, hear me. 
You know that I have been always stern and hard with 
you. I never professed to love you — nor do I. But 
you have not found me untruthful. When I say a thing 
seriously, as I am speaking now^, you may believe me 
Act to-night, and I will promise you faithfully that I wil 
either bring your grandfather here, or I will order it so 
that you shall be restored to him. If you refuse, I make 
no threat, but I shall leave this place ; and my belief is 
that you will be your grandfather's death." 

" His death — his death — I ! " 

" By first dying yourself. Oh, you smile ; you think it 
would be happiness to die. What matter that the old 
man you profess to care for is broken-hearted I Brat ! 
leave selfishness to boys — you are a girl ! Suffer !" 

" Selfish ! " murmured Sophy, "selfish ! that was said 
of me before. Selfish ! — ah, 1 understand. Xo, I ought 
not to wish to die — what would become of him ? " Slie 
fell on her knees, and, raising both her clasped hands, 
prayed inly, silently — an instant, not more. She rose. 
"If I do act, then — it is a promise — you will keep it. 
I shall see him — he shall know where I am — we sliall 
meet I " 



401 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"A promise — sacred. I will keep it. Oh, girl, how 
much you will love some day — how your heart will ache ! 
and when you are my age, look at that heart, then at 
at your glass — perhaps you may be, within and without, 
like me." 

Sophy — innocent Sophy — stared, awe-stricken, but 
uncomprehending. Mrs. Crane led her back passive. 

" There, she will act. Put on the wreath. Trick her 
out. Hark ye, Mr. Rugge. This is for one night. I 
have made conditions with her : either you must take back 
Iier grandfather, or — she must return to him. " 

"And my £100?" 

" In the latter case ought to be repaid you." 

" Am I never to have the Royal York theater ? Am- 
bition of my life, Ma'am ! Dreamed of it thrice I Ha I 
but she will act, and succeed. But to take back the old 
vagabond — a bitter pill ! He shall halve it with me I 
Ma'am, I'm your grateful — " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 406 



CHAPTER YI. 

Threadbare is the simile which compares the world to a stage. 
Schiller, less complimentary than Shakspeare, lowers the illus- 
tration from a stage to a puppet-show. But ever between reali- 
ties and shows there is a secret communication, an undetected 
interchange — sometimes a stern reality in the heart of the osten- 
sible actor; a fantastic stage-play in the brain of the unnoticed 
spectator. The Bandit's Child on the proscenium is still poor 
little Sophy, in spite of garlands and rouge. But that honest 
rough-looking fellow to whom, in respect for services to Sovereign 
and Country, the apprentice yields way — may he not be — the 
crafty Comedian ? 

Tarax-taran-tara — mb-a-dub-dub — play up horn — 
roll drum — a quarter to eight ; and the crowd already 
thick before Rugge's Grand Exhibition — "Remorseless 
Baron and Bandit's Child ! Young Phenomenon — Juliet 
Araminta — Patronised by the Mobility in general, and 
expecting daily to be summoned to perform before the 
Queen — Vivai Regina ! " — Rub-a-dub-dub. The com- 
pany issue from the curtain — range in front of the pro- 
scenium. Splendid dresses. The Phenomenon ! — 'tis 
she ! 

" My eyes, there's a beauty ! " cries the clown. 

The days have already grown somewhat shorter ; but 
it is not yet dusk. How charmingly pretty she still is, 
despite that horrid paint ; but how wasted those poor 
bare snowy arms ! 



406 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

A most doleful lugubrious dirge mingles with the drum 
and horn. A man has forced his way close by the stage 
— a man with a confounded cracked hurdy-gurdy. Whine 

— whine — creaks the hurdy-gurdy, " Stop that — stop 
that muzeek," cries a delicate apprentice, clapping his 
hands to his ears. 

" Pity a poor blind — " answers the man with a hurdy- 
gurdy. 

" Oh you are blind, are you ? but we are not deaf. 
There's a penny not to play. What black thing have 
you got there by a string ? " 

"My dog, Sir!" 

" Devilish ugly one — not like a dog — more like a bear 

— with horns ! " 

" I say, master," cries the clown, " Here's a blind man 
come to see the Phenomenon ! " 

The crowd laugh ; they make way for the blind man's 
black dog. They suspect, from the clown's address, that 
the blind man has something to do with the company. 

You never saw two uglier specimens of their several 
species than the blind man and his black dog. He had 
rough red hair and a red beard, his face had a sort of 
twist that made every feature seem crooked. His eyes 
were not bandaged, but the lids were closed, and he lifted 
them up piteously as if seeking for light. He did not 
seem, however, like a common beggar ; had rather the 
appearance of a reduced sailor. Yes, you w^ould have 
bet ten to one he had been a sailor ; not that his dress 
belonged to that noble calling, but his build, the roll of 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 407 

his walk, the tie of his cravat, a blue anchor tatooed on 
that great brown hand — certainly a sailor — a British 
tar I poor man. 

The dog was hideous enough to have been exhibited 
as a lasiis naturoe — evidently very aged — for its face 
and ears were gray, the rest of it a rusty reddish black. 
It had immensely long ears, pricked up like horns. It 
was a dog that must have been brought from foreign 
parts ; it might have come from Acheron, sire by Cerbe- 
rus, so portentous and (if not irreverent the epithet) so 
infernal was its aspect, with that gray face, those antlered 
ears, and its ineffably weird demeanor altogether. A big 
dog, too, and evidently a strong one. All prudent folks 
would have made way for a man led by that dog. Whine 
creaked the hurdy-gurdy, and bow-wow, all of a sudden, 
barked the dog. Sophy stifled a cry, pressed her hand 
to her breast, and such a ray of joy flashed over her face 
that it would have wanned your heart for a month to 
have seen it. 

But do you mean to say, Mr. Author, that that British 
Tar (gallant, no doubt, but hideous) is Gentleman Waife, 
or that Stygian animal the snowly-curled Sir Isaac ? 

Upon my word, when I look at them myself, I, the 
Historian, am puzzled. If it had not been for that bow- 
wow, I am sure Sophy would not have suspected. " Tara- 
taran-tara. Walk in, ladies and gentlemen, walk in, the 
performance is about to commence ! " Sophy lingers last. 
" Yes, Sir," said the blind man, who had been talking 
to the apprentice. " Yes, Sir," said he, loud and emphati- 



408 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

cally, as if his word had been questioned. " The child 
was snowed up, but luckily the window of the hut was 
left open. Exactly at two o'clock in the morning that dog 
came to the window, set up a howl, and — " 

Sophy could hear no more — led away behind the cur- 
tain by the King's Lieutenant. But she had heard enough 
to stir her heart with an emotion that set all the dimples 
round her lip into undulating play. 



BND OF THE FIEST VOLUME. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 
BOOK FOURTH. 

CONTINUED. 



CHAPTER YII. 

A Sham carries off the Reality. 

And she did act, and how charmingly ! with what glee 
and what gusto I Rugge was beside himself with pride 
and rapture. He could hardly perform his own Baronial 
part for admiration. The audience, a far choicer and more 
fastidious one than that in the Surrey village, was amazed, 
enthusiastic. 

" I shall live to see my dream come true ! I shall have 
the great York Theater ! " said Rugge, as he took off his 
wig and laid his head on his pillow. " Restore her for 
the £100! not for thousands!" 

Alas, my sweet Sophy, alas ! Has not the joy that made 
thee perform so well, undone thee ? Ah ! hadst thou but 
had the wit to act horribly, and be hissed ! 

" Uprose the sun, and uprose Baron Rugge." 
Not that ordinarily he was a very early man ; but his 
excitement broke his slumbers. He had taken up his 
1* (5) 



6 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

quarters on the ground floor of a small lodging-house 
close to his Exhibition ; in the same house lodged his 
senior Matron, and Sophy herself. Mrs. Gormerick being 
ordered to watch the child, and never lose sight of her, 
slept in the same room with Sophy, in the upper story 
of the house. The old wonifjn served Rugge for house- 
keeper, made his tea, grilled his chop, and for company's 
sake shared his meals. Excitement as often sharpens the 
appetite as it takes it away. Rugge had supped on hope, 
and he felt a craving for a more substantial breakfast. 
Accordingly, when he had dressed, he thrust his head 
into the passage, and seeing there the maid-of-all-work 
unbarring the street door, bade her go up stairs and wake 
the Hag, that is, Mrs. Gormerick. Saying this, he ex- 
tended a key ; for he ever took the precaution, before 
retiring to rest, to lock the door of the room to which 
Sophy was consigned, on the outside, and guard the key 
till the next morning. 

The maid nodded, and ascended the stairs. Less time 
than he expected passed away before Mrs. Gormerick 
made her appearance, her gray hair streaming under her 
night-cap, her form endued in a loose wrapper — her very 
face a tragedy. 

" Powers above ! What has happened ? " exclaimed 
Rugge, prophetically. 

" She is gone 1 " sobbed Mrs. Gormerick ; and seeing 
the lifted arm and clenched fist of the manager, prudently 
fainted away. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER YIII. 

Corollaries from the problem suggested in Chapters VI. and VII. 

Broad daylight, nearly nine o'clock indeed, and Jasper 
Losely is walking back to bis inn from the place at which 
he had dined the evening before. He has spent the night 
drinking, gambling, and though lie looks heated, there is 
no sign of fatigue. Nature in wasting on this man many 
of her most glorious elements of happiness, had not for- 
gotten a Herculean constitution — always restless and 
never tired, always drinking and never drunk. Certainly 
it is some consolation to delicate individuals, tliat it seldom 
happens that the sickly are very wicked. Criminals are 
generally athletic — constitution and conscience equally 
tough; large backs to their heads — strong suspensorial 
muscles — digestions that save them from the over-fine 
nerves of the virtuous. The native animal must be vigor- 
ous in the human being, when the moral safeguards are 
daringly overleaped. Jasper was not alone, but with an 
acquaintance he had made at the dinner, and whom he 
invited to his inn at breakfast; thev were walkius; 
familiarly arm in arm. Very unlike the brilliant Losely — 
a young man under thirty, who seemed to have washed 
out all the colors of youth in dirty water. His eyes dull, 
their whites yellow ; his complexion sodden. His form 



8 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

was thick-set and heavy ; his features pug, with a cross 
of the bull-dog. In dress, a specimen of the flash style 
of sporting man, as exhibited on the turf, or more often, 
perhaps, in the Ring ; Belcher neckcloth, with an immense 
pin representing a jockey at full gallop ; cut away coat, 
corduroy breeches, and boots with tops of a chalky white. 
Yet, withal, not the air and walk of a genuine born and 
bred sporting man, even of the vulgar order. Something 
about him which reveals the pretender. A would-be 
hawk with a pigeon's liver — a would-be sportsman with 
a cockney's nurture. 

Samuel Adolphus Poole is an orphan of respectable 
connections. His future expectations chiefly rest on an 
uncle from whom, as godfather, he takes the loathed 
name of Samuel. He prefers to sign himself Adolphus ; 
he is popularly styled Dolly. For his present existence 
he relies ostensibly on his salary as an assistant in tlie 
house of a London tradesman in a fashionable way of 
business. Mr. Latham, his employer, has made a con- 
siderable fortune, less by his shop than by discounting the 
bills of his customers, or of other borrowers whom the 
loan draws into the net of the custom. Mr. Latham 
connives at the sporting tastes of Dolly Poole. Dolly 
has often thus been enabled to pick up useful pieces of 
information as to the names and repute of such denizens 
of the sporting world as might apply to Mr. Latham for 
temporary accommodation. Dolly Poole has many sport- 
ing friends ; he has also many debts. He has been a 
dupe, he is now a rogue ; but he wants decision of char- 



-v.? HAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 9 

acter to put into practice many valuable ideas that Lis 
experience of dupe and his development into rogue 
suggest to his ambition. Still, however, now and then, 
whenever a shabby trick can be safely done he is what he 
calls "lucky." He has conceived a prodigious admira- 
tion for Jasper Losely, one cause for which will be ex- 
plained in the dialogue about to be recorded ; another 
cause for which is analogous to that loving submission 
with which some ill-conditioned brute acknowledges a 
master in the hand that has thrashed it. For at Losely's 
first appearance at the convivial meeting just concluded, 
being nettled at the imperious airs of superiority which 
that roysterer assumed, mistaking for effeminacy Jasper's 
elaborate dandyism, and not recognizing in the bravo's 
elegant proportions the tiger-like strength of which, in 
truth, that tiger-like suppleness should have warned him, 
Dolly Poole provoked a quarrel, and being himself a 
stout fellow, nor unaccustomed to athletic exercises, began 
to spar ; the next moment he was at the other end of the 
room, full sprawl on the floor ; and, two minutes afterward, 
the quarrel made up by conciliating banqueters, with 
every bone in his skin seeming still to rattle, he was 
generously blubbering out that he never bore malice, and 
shaking hands with Jasper Losely as if he had found a 
benefactor. But now to the dialogue. 

Jasper. "Yes, Poole, my hearty, as you say, that 
fellow trumping my best club lost me the last rubber 
Tiiere's no certainty in whist, if one has a spoon for a 
partner." 



iO WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Poole. " No certainty in every rubber, but next to 
certainty in the long; run, when a man plays as well as you 
do, Mr. Losely. Your winnings to-night must have been 
pretty large, though you had a bad partner almost every 
hand ; — pretty large — eh ? " 

Jasper (carelessly). "Nothing to talk of — a few 
ponies ! " 

Poole. "More than a few; I should know." 

Jasper. "Why? You did not play after the first 
rubber." 

Poole. " No, when I saw your play on that first 
rubber, I cut out, and bet on you ; and very grateful to 
you I am. Still you would win more with a partner who 
understood your game." 

The shrewd Dolly paused a moment, and leaning 
significantly on Jasper's arm, added, in a half whisper, 
"I do; it is a French one." 

Jasper did not change color, but a quick rise of the 
eyebrow, and a slight jerk of the neck, betrayed some 
little surprise or uneasiness ; however, he rejoined without 
hesitation — " French, ay ! In France there is more dash 
in playing out trumps than there is with English players." 

"And with a player like you," said Poole, still in a half 
whisper, "more trumps to play out." 

Jasper turned round sharp and short ; the hard, cruel 
expression of his mouth, little seen of late, came back to 
it. Poole recoiled, and his bones began again to ache. 
" I did not mean to offend you, Mr. Losely, but to cau-- 



WHAT WILL HE DO W^ITH IT? 11 

"Caution !" 

" There were two knowing coves, who. if they had not 
been so drunk, would not have lost their money without 
a row, and they would have seen how they lost it ; they 
are sharpers — you served them right — don't be angry 
with me. You want a partner — so do I ; you play better 
than I do, but I play well ; you shall have two-thirds of 
our winnings, and when you come to town I'll introduce 
you to a pleasant set of young fellows — green." 

Jasper mused a moment. " You know a thing or two, 
I see. Master Poole, and we'll discuss the whole subject 
after breakfast. Arn't you hungry? — No! — I am! 
Hillo ! who's that ? " 

His arm was seized by Mr. Rugge. " She^s gone — 
fled ! " gasped the manager, breathless. " Out of the 
lattice — fifteen feet high — not dashed to pieces — 
vanished ! " 

" Go on and order breakfast," said Losely to Mr. Poole, 
who was listening too inquisitively. He drew the manager 
away " Can't you keep your tongue in your head before 
strangers ? the girl is gone ! '' 

" Out of the lattice, and fifteen feet high ! " 

"Any sheets left hanging out of the lattice?" 

"Sheets! No." 

"Then she did not go without help — somebody must 
have thrown up to her a rope-ladder — nothing so easy 
— done it myself scores of times for the descent of 'maids 
who love the moon,' Mr. Rugge. But at her age there 
's not a moon — at least there is not a man in the moon ; 



12 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

one must dismiss, then, the idea of a rope-ladder — too 
precocious. But are you quite sure she is gone ? not 
hiding in some cupboard? Sacre! — very odd. Have 
you seen Mrs. Crane about it ? " 

*' Yes, just come from her ; she thinks that villain Waife 
must have stolen her. But I want you. Sir, to come with 
me to a magistrate." 

" Magistrate ! I — why ? — nonsense — set the police 
to work." 

"Your deposition that she is your lawful child, law- 
fully made over to me, is necessary for the Inquisition — 
I mean Police." 

"Hang it, what a bother ! I hate magistrates, and all 
belonging to them. Well, I must breakfast ; I'll see to it 
afterward. Oblige me by not calling Mr. Waife a villain 

— good old fellow in his way." 
" Grood ! Powers above ! " 

" But if he took her oflF, how did he get at her ? It must 
have been preconcerted." 

" Ha ! true. But she has not been suffered to speak to 
a soul not in the company — Mrs. Crane excepted." 

" Perhaps at the performance last night some signal 
was given ? " 

" But if Waife had been there I should have seen him ; 
my troop would have known him ; such a remarkable face 

— one eye, too." 

" Well, well, do what you think best. I'll call on you 
afU'r breakfast; let me go now. Baata! baataP^ 
Losely wrenched himself from the managei, and strode 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 13 

off to the inn ; then, ere joining Poole, he sought Mrs. 
Crane. 

"This going before a magistrate," said Loselv, "to 
depose that I have made over my child to that black- 
guard showman — in this town, too — after such luck as 
I have had, and where bright prospects are opening on 
me, is most disagreeable. And supposing, when we have 
traced Sophy, she should be really with the old man — 
awkward I In short, my dear friend, my dear Bella" 
(Losely could be very coaxing when it was worth his 
while); "you just manage this for me. I have a fellow 
in the next room waiting to breakfast ; as soon as break- 
fast is over I shall be off to the race-ground, and so shirk 
that ranting old bore ; you'll call on him instead, and 
settle it somehow." He was out of the room before she 
could answer. 

Mrs. Crane found it no easy matter to soothe the in- 
furiate manager, when he heard Losely was gone to amuse 
himself at the race-course. Nor did she give herself 
much trouble to pacify Mr. Rugge's anger, or assist his 
investigations. Her interest in the whole affair seemed 
over Left thus to his own devices, Rugge, however, 
began to institute a sharp, and what promised to be an 
effective, investigation. He ascertained that the fugitive 
certainly had not left by the railway, or by any of the 
public conveyances; he sent scouts over all the neigh- 
borhood ; he enlisted the sympathy of the police, who 
confidently assured him that they had "a net-work over 
ihe three kingdoms;" no doubt they liave, and we pay 
II. — 2 2b 



14 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

for it ; but the meshes are so large that anything less 
than a whale must be silly indeed if it consent to be 
caught. Kugge's suspicions were directed to Waife — 
lie could collect, however, no evidence to confirm them. 
Xo person answering to Waife's description had been 
seen in the town. Once, indeed, Rugge was close on the 
right scent; for, insisting upon Waife's one eye and his 
possession of a white dog, he was told by several witnesses 
that a man blind of two eyes, and led by a black dog, 
had been close before the stage, just previous to the per- 
formance. But then the clown had spoken to th'at very 
man ; all the Thespian company had observed him ; all 
of them had known Waife familiarly for years ; and all 
deposed that any creature more unlike to Waife than the 
blind man could not be turned out of Nature's workshop. 
But where was that blind man ? They found out the 
wayside inn in which he had taken a lodging for the 
night; and there it was ascertained that he had paid for 
his room beforehand, stating that he should start for the 
race-course early in the morning. Rugge himself set out 
to the race-course to kill two birds with one stone — catch ^ 
Mr. Losely — examine the blind man himself. 

He did catch Mr. Losely, and very nearly caught 
something else — for that gentleman was in a ring of 
noisy horsemen, mounted on a hired hack, and loud as 
the noisiest. When Rugge came up to his stirrup, and 
began his harangue, Losely turned his hack round with 
so sudden an appliance of bit and spur that the animal 
lashed out, and its heel went within an inch of the mana- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 15 

ger's cheek-bone. Before Rugge could recover Losely 
was in a hand gallop. But the blind man ! Of course 
Rugge did not find him ? You are mistaken ; he did. 
The blind man was there, dog and all. The manager 
spoke to him, and did not know him from Adam. 

Nor have you or I, my venerated readers, any right 
whatsoever to doubt whether Mr. Rugge could be so 
stolidly obtuse. Granting that blind sailor to be the 
veritable William Waife — William Waife was a man of 
genius, taking pains to appear an ordinary mortal. And 
the anecdotes of Munden, or of Bamfylde Moore Carew, 
suffice to tell us how Protean is the power of transforma- 
tion in a man whose genius is mimetic. But how often 
does it happen to us, venerated readers, not to recognize a 
man of genius, even when he takes no particular pains to 
escape detection ! A man of genius may be for ten years 
our next-door neighbor — he may dine in company with 
us twice a week — his face may be as familiar to our eyes 
as our arm-chair — his voice to our ears as the click of 
our parlor-clock — yet we are never more astonished than 
when all of a sudden, some bright day, it is discovered 
that our next-door neighbor is — a man of genius. Did 
you ever hear tell of the life of a man of genius, but what 
there were numerous witnesses who deposed to the fact, 
that until, perfidious dissembler, he flared up and set the 
Thames on fire, they had never seen any thing in him — 
an odd creature, perhaps a good creature — probably a 
poor creature — But a Max of Gexius ! They would as 
Koon have suspected him of being the Cham of Tartarv I 



16 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Nay, candid readers, are there not some of you who re- 
fuse to the last to recognize the man of genius, till he has 
paid his penny to Charon, and his passport to immortal- 
ity has been duly examined by the custom-house officers 
of Styx ! When one half the world drag forth that same 
next-door neighbor, place him on a pedestal, and have him 
cried, " yez ! yez I Found a man of genius I Public 
property — open to inspection ! " does not the other half 
the world put on its spectacles, turn up its nose, and cry, 
" That a man of genius, indeed ! Pelt him ! — pelt him ! " 
Then of course there is a clatter, what the vulgar call " a 
shindy," round the pedestal. Squeezed by his believers, 
shied at by his scoffers, the poor man gets horribly 
mauled about, and drops from the perch in the midst of 
the row. Then they shovel him over, clap a great stone 
on his relics, wipe their foreheads, shake hands, comprom- 
ise the dispute, the one half the world admitting that 
though he was a genius, he was still an ordinary man ; 
the other half allowing that though he was an ordinary 
man, he was still a genius. And so on to the next 
pedestal with its " Hie stet," and the next great stone 
with its "Hie jacet." 

The manager of the Grand Theatrical Exhibition 
gazed on the blind sailor, and did not know him from 
Adam ! 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 17 



CHAPTER IX. 

The aboriginal Man-eater, or Pocket-Cannibal, is susceptible of the 
refining influences of Civilization. He decorates his lair with 
the skins of his victims; he adorns his person with the spoils of 
those whom he devours. Mr. Losely introduced to Mr. Poole's 
friends — dresses for dinner ; and, combining elegance with appe- 
tite, eats them up. 

Elated with the success which had rewarded his talents 
for pecuniary speculation, and dismissing from his mind 
all thoughts of the fugitive Sophy and the spoliated 
Rugge, Jasper Losely returned to London in company 
with his new friend, Mr. Poole. He left Arabella Crane 
to perform the same journey, unattended ; but that grim 
lady, carefully concealing any resentment at such want of 
gallantry, felt assured that she should not be long in Lon- 
don without being honored by his visits. 

lu renewing their old acquaintance, Mrs. Crane had 
contrived to establish over Jasper that kind of influence 
which a vain man, full of schemes that are not to be told 
to all the world, but which it is convenient to discuss 
with some confidential friend w^ho admires himself too 
highly not to respect his secrets, mechanically yields to a 
woman whose wits are superior to his own. 

It is true that Jasper, on his return to the metropolis, 
was not magnetically attracted toward Poddon Place; 
nay, days and even weeks elapsed, and Mrs. Crane was 
2* B 



(8 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

not gladdened by his presence. But she knew that her 
influence was only suspended — not extinct. The body 
attracted was for the moment kept from the body attract- 
ing by the abnormal weights that had dropped into its 
pockets. Restore the body thus temporarily counter- 
poised to its former lightness, and it would turn to Pod- 
don Place as the needle to the Pole. Meanwhile, ob- 
livious of all such natural laws, the disloyal Jasper had 
fixed himself as far from the reach of the magnet as from 
Bloomsbury's remotest verge is St, James's animated 
center. The apartment he engaged was showy and com- 
modious. He added largely to his wardrobe — his dres- 
sing-case — his trinket-box. Nor, be it here observed, 
was Mr. Losely one of those beauish brigands who wear 
tawdry scarfs over soiled linen, and paste rings upon un- 
washed digitals. To do him justice, the man, so stony- 
hearted to others, loved and cherished his own person 
with exquisite tenderness, lavished upon it delicate atten- 
tions, and gave to it the very best he could afford. He 
was no coarse debauchee, smelling of bad cigars and 
ardent spirits. Cigars, indeed, were not among his vices 
(at worst the rare peccadillo of a cigarette) — spirit-drink- 
ing was ; but the monster's digestion was still so strong, 
that he could have drunk out a gin palace, and you would 
only have sniffed the jasmin or heliotrope on the dainty 
cambric that wiped the last drop from his lips. Had his 
soul been a tenth part as clean as the form that belied it, 
Jasper Losely had been a saint ! His apartments secured, 
his appearance thus revised and embellished, Jasper's 



WHAT WILL TIE DO WITH IT? 19 

next care was an equipage in keeping ; he hired a smart 
cabriolet with a high-stepping horse, and. to go behind 
it. a groom who.se size had been stunted in infancy by 
provident parents designing him to earn his bread in the 
stables as a light-weight, and therefore mingling his mo- 
ther's milk with heavy liquors. In short, Jasper Losely 
set up to be a buck about town ; in that capacity Dolly 
Poole introduced him to several young gentlemen who 
combined commercial vocations with sporting tastes ; 
they could not but participate in Poole's admiring and 
somewhat envious respect for Jasper Losely. There was 
indeed about the vigorous miscreant a great deal of false 
brilliancy. Deteriorated from earlier youth though the 
beauty of his countenance might be, it was still unde- 
niably handsome ; and as force of muscle is beauty in 
itself in the eyes of young sporting men, so Jasper daz- 
zled many a gracilis puer, who had the ambition to be- 
come an athlete, with the rare personal strength which, 
as if in the exuberance of animal spirits, he would some- 
times condescend to display, by feats that astonished the 
curious and frightened the timid — such as bending a 
poker or horse-shoe, between hands elegantly white nor 
unadorned with rings — or lifting the weight of Samuel 
Dolly by the waistband, and holding him at arm's-length, 
with a playful bet of ten to one that he could stand by 
the fire-place and pitch the said Samuel Dolly out of the 
open window. To know so strong a man, so fine an 
animal, was something to boast of! Then, too, if Jasper 
had a false brilliancy, he had also a false bonhommie ; it 



20 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

was true that he was somew^hat imperious, swaggering, 
bullying — but he was also ofif-hand and jocund; and as 
you knew him, that sidelong look, that defying gait (look 
and gait of the man whom the world cuts), wore away. 
In fact, he had got into a world which did not cut him, 
and his exterior was improved by the atmosphere. 

Mr. Losely professed to dislike general society. Draw- 
ing-rooms were insipid ; clubs full of old fogies. " I am 
for life, my boys," said Mr. Losely: 

" ♦ Can sorrow from the goblet flow, 
Or pain from Beauty's eye ? ' " 

Mr. Losely. therefore, his hat on one side, lounged into 
the saloons of theaters, accompanied by a cohort of juve- 
nile admirers, their hats on one side also, and returned to 
the pleasantest little suppers in his own apartment. 
There "the goblet" flowed — and after the goblet, cigars 
for some, and a rubber for all. 

So puissant Losely's vitality, and so blessed by the 
stars his luck, that his form seemed to wax stronger and 
his purse fuller by this "life." No wonder he was all for 
a life of that kind ; but the slight beings who tried to 
keep up with him grew thinner and thinner, and poorer 
and poorer ; a few weeks made their cheeks spectral and 
their pockets a dismal void. Then, as some dropped off 
from sheer inanition, others whom they had decoyed by 
their praises of " Life" and its hero, came into the magic 
circle to fade and vanish in their turn. 

In a space of time incredibly brief not a whist-player 
was left upon the field ; the victorious Losely had trumped 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 21 

out the last ! Some few, whom Xature had endowed 
more liberally than Fortune, still retained strength enough 
to sup — if asked ; 

'* But none who came to sup remained to piny." 

" Plague on it," said Losely to Poole, as one afternoon 
they were dividing the final spoils. " Your friends are 
mightily soon cleaned out ; could not even get up double 
dummy, last night ; and we must hit on some new plan 
for replenishing the coffers ! You have rich relations ; 
can't I help you to make them more useful.?" 

Said Dolly Poole, who was looking exceedingly bilious, 
and had become a martyr to chronic headache, '' My re- 
lations are prigs ! Some of them give me the cold 
shoulder, others — a great deal of jaw. But as for tin, I 
might as well scrape a flint for it. My uncle Sam is more 
anxious about my sins than the other codgers, because 
he is my godfather, and responsible for my sins, I sup- 
pose ; and he says he v.'ill put me in the way of being re- 
spectable. My head's splitting — " 

" Wood does split till it is seasoned," answered Losely. 
" Good fellow, uncle Sam ! He'll put you in the way 
of tin ; nothing else makes a man respectable." 

" Yes — so he says ; a girl with money — " 

"A wife — tin canister! Introduce -me to her, and 
she shall be tied to you." 

Samuel Dolly did not appear to relish the idea of such 
an introduction. " I have not been introduced to her 
myself," said he. " But if you advise me to be spliced, 
why don't you get spliced yourself ? a handsome fellow 
like you can be at no loss for an heiress." 



22 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Heiresses are the most horrid cheats in the world," 
said Losely : "there is always some father, or uDcle, or 
fusty Lord Chancellor whose consent is essential, and not 
to be had. Heiresses in scores have been over head and 
ears in love with me. Before I left Paris, I sold their 
locks of hair to a wig-maker — three great trunksful. 
Honor bright. But there were only two whom I could 
have safely allowed to run away with me ; and they were 
so closely watched, poor things, that I was forced to 
leave them to their fate — early graves! Don't talk to 
me of heiresses, Dolly, I have been the victim of heiresses. 
But a rich widow is an estimable creature. Against 
widows, if rich, I have not a word to say ; and to tell you 
the truth, there is a widow whom I suspect I have fasci- 
nated, and whose connection I have a particular private 
reason for deeming desirable ! She has a whelp of a 
son, who is a spoke in my wheel — were I his father-in- 
law, would not I be a spoke in his ? I'd teach the boy 
' life,^ Dolly." Here all trace of beauty vanished from 
Jasper's face, and Poole, staring at him, pushed away 
his chair. "But" — continued Losely, regaining his 
more usual expression of levity and boldness — "But I 
am not yet quite sure what the widow has, besides her 
son, in her own possession ; we shall see. Meanwhile, is 
there — no chance of a rubber to-night?" 

" None ! unless you will let Brown and Smith play 
upon tick." 

' Pooh ! but there's Robinson, he has an aunt he can 
borrow from ? " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 23 

"Robinson ! spitting blood, with an attack of delirium 
tremens! — you have done for him." 

"Can sorrow from the goblet flow?" said Losely. 
" Well, I suppose it can — when a man has no coats to 
his stomach ; but you and I, Dolly Poole, have stomachs 
thick as pea-jackets, and proof as gutta percha." 

Poole forced a ghastly smile, while Losely, gayly 
springing up, swept his share of booty into his pockets, 
slapped his comrade on the back, and said — " Then, if 
the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed 
must go the mountain ! Hang whist, and up with rouge- 
et-noir ! I have an infallible method of winning — only, 
it requires capital. You will club your cash with mine, 
and I'll play for both. Sup here to-night, and we'll go 
to the hell afterward." 

Samuel Dolly had the most perfect confidence in his 
friend's science in the art of gambling, and he did not, 
therefore, dissent from the proposal made. Jasper gave 
a fresh touch to his toilet, and stepped into his cabriolet. 
Poole cast on him a look of envy, and crawled to his 
lodging — too ill for his desk, and with a strong desire 
to take to his bed. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER X. 

" Is there a heart that never loved 
Nor felt soft woman's sigh ? " 

If there be such a heart, it is not in the breast of a Pocket-Canni- 
bal. Your true Man-eater is usually of an amorous tempera- 
ment: he can be indeed sufficiently fond of a lady to eat her up. 
Mr. Losely makes the acquaintance of a widow. For farther 
particulars inquire within. 

The dignified serenity of Gloucester Place, Portraan 
Square, is agitated by the intrusion of a new inhabitant. 
A house in that favored locality, which had for several 
months maintained " the solemn stillness and the dread 
repose" which appertain to dwellings that are to be let 
upon lease, unfurnished, suddenly started into that exube- 
rant and aggressive life which irritates the nerves of its 
peaceful neighbors. The bills have been removed from 
the windows — the walls have been cleaned down and 
pointed — the street-door repainted a lively green — 
workmen have gone in and out. The observant ladies 
(single ones) in the house opposite, discover, by the help 
of a telescope, that the drawing-rooms have been new 
papered, canary-colored ground — festoon borders, and 
that the mouldings of the shutters have been gilt. Gilt 
shutters ! that looks ominous of an ostentatious and 
party-giving tenant. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 25 

Then carts full of furniture have stopped at the door — 
carpets, tables, chairs, beds, wardrobes — all seemingly new, 
and in no inelegant taste, have been disgorged into the hall. 
It has been noticed, too, that every day a lady of slight 
figure and genteel habiliments has come, seemingly to in- 
spect progress — evidently the new tenant. Sometimes 
she comes alone ; sometimes with a dark-eyed handsome 
lad, probably her son. Who can she be ? what is she ? 
what is her name ? her history ? has she a right to settle 
in Gloucester Place, Portman Square ? The detective 
police of London is not peculiarly vigilant ; but its de- 
fects are supplied by the voluntary efforts of unmarried 
ladies. The new-comer was a widow ; her husband had 
been in the army ; of good family ; but a mauvais sujet ; 
she had been left in straitened circumstances with an only 
sou. It was supposed that she had unexpectedly come 
into a fortune — on the strength of which she had removed 
from Pimlico into Gloucester Place. At length — the 
preparations completed — one Monday afternoon the 
widow, accompanied by her son, came to settle. The 
next day a footman in genteel livery (brown and orange) 
appeared at the door. Then, for the rest of the week, 
the baker and butcher called regularly. On the following 
Sunday the lady and her son appeared at church. 

Xo reader will be at a loss to discover in the new tenant 
of Xo. — Gloucester Place, the widowed mother of Lionel 
Haughton. The letter for that lady which Darrell had 
intrusted to his young cousin, had, in complimentary and 
cordial language, claimed the right to provide for her 

IL — 3 



26 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH it: 

comfortable and honorable subsistence ; and announced 
that, henceforth, £800 a y(^ar would be placed quarterly 
to her account at Mr. Darrell's banker, and that an addi- 
tional sum of £1200 was already there deposited in her 
name, in order to enable her to furnish any residence to 
which she might be inclined to remove. Mrs. Haughton, 
therewith, had removed to Gloucester Place. 

She is seated by the window in her front drawing-room 
— surveying with proud though grateful heart, the ele- 
gancies by which she is surrounded. A very winning 
countenance — lively eyes, that in themselves may be over- 
quick and petulant, but their expression is chastened by 
a gentle kindly mouth ; and over the whole face, the atti- 
tude, the Air, even the dress itself, is diffused the unmis- 
takable simplicity of a sincere, natural character. No 
doubt Mrs. Haughton has her tempers, and her vanities, 
and her little harmless feminine weaknesses ; but you 
could not help feeling in her presence that you were with 
an affectionate, warm-hearted, honest, good woman. She 
might not have the refinements of tone and manner which 
stamp the high-bred gentlewoman of convention ; she 
might evince the deficiencies of an imperfect third-rate 
education ; but she was saved from vulgarity by a certain 
undefinable grace of person and music of voice — even 
when she said or did things that well-bred people do not 
say or do ; and there was an engaging intelligence in 
those quick hazel eyes that made you sure that she was 
sensible, even when she uttered what was silly. 

Mrs. Ilaugton turned from the interior of the room to 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT ? 21 

the open window. She is on the look-out for her son, 
who has j^one to call on Colonel Morley, and who ought 
to be returned by this time. She begins to ^et a little 
fidgety — somewhat cross. While thus standing and thus 
watcliful, there comes thundering down the street a high- 
steppiug-horse — bay, with white legs — it whirls on a 
cabriolet — blue, with vermilion wheels — two hands, in 
yellow kid gloves, are just seen under the hood. Mrs. 
Haughton suddenly blushes and draws in her head. Too 
late ! the cabriolet has stopped — a gentleman leans for- 
ward, takes off his hat, bows respectfully. " Dear, dear ! " 
murmurs Mrs. Haughton, '' I do think he is going to call ; 
some people are born to be tempted — my temptations 
have been immense ! He is getting out — he knocks — I 
can't say, now, that I am not at home — very awkward ! 
I wish Lionel were here ! What does he mean — neglect- 
ing his own mother, and leaving her a prey to tempters ? " 
While the footman is responding to the smart knock 
of tlie visitor, we will explain how Mrs. Haughton had 
incurred that gentleman's acquaintance. In one of her 
walks to her new house while it was in the hands of the 
decorators, her mind being much absorbed in the consi- 
deration whether her drawing-roon curtains should be 
chintz or tabouret — just as she was crossing the street, 
she was all but run over by a gentleman's cabriolet. The 
horse was hard-mouthed, going at full speed. The driver 
pulled up just in time ; but the wheel grazed her dress, 
and though she ran back instinctively, yet, when she was 
safe on the pavement, the fright overpowered her nerves, 



28 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and one clung to the street-post almost fainting. Two or 
three passers-by humanely gathered round her; and the 
driver, looking back, and muttering to himself — "Not 
bad looking — neatly dressed — lady-like — French shawl 
— may have tin — worth while, perhaps ! " gallantly de- 
scended and hastened to offer apologies, with a respectful 
hope that she was not injured. 

Mrs. Haughton answered somewhat tartly, but being 
one of those good-hearted women who, apt to be rude, 
are extremely sorry for it the moment afterward, she 
wished to repair any hurt to his feelings occasioned by 
her first impulse ; and, when, renewing his excuses, he 
offered his arm over the crossing, she did not like to refuse. 
On gaining the side of the way on which lier house was 
situated, she had recovered sufliciently to blush for having 
accepted such familiar assistance from a perfect stranger, 
and somewhat to falter in returning thanks for his polite- 
ness. 

Our gentleman, whose estimate of his attractions was 
not humble, ascribed the blushing cheek and faltering 
voice to the natural effect produced by his appearance ; 
and he himself admiring very much a handsome bracelet 
on her wrist, wliich he deemed a favorable prognostic of 
" tin," he watched her to her door, and sent his groom in 
the course of the evening to make discreet inquiries in the 
ueighborliood. The result of the inquiries induced him 
to resolve upon prosecuting the acquaintance thus begun. 
He contrived to learn the hours at which Mrs. Haughton 
usually visited the house, and to pass by Gloucester Place 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 29 

at the very nick of time. His bow was recognizing, re- 
spectful, interrogative — a bow that asked "how much 
farther?" Bat Mrs. Haughton's bow respondent seemed 
to declare " not at all ! " The stranger did not adventure 
more that day ; but a day or two afterward he came again 
into Gloucester Place on foot. On that occasion Mrs. 
Haughton was with her son, and the gentleman would not 
seem to perceive her. The next day he returned, she was 
then alone, and just as she gained her door he advanced 

— "I beg you ten thousand pardons, madam ; but if I am 
rightly informed, I have the honor to address Mrs. Charles 
Haughton ! " 

The lady bowed in surprise. 

" Ah, madam, your lamented husband was one of my 
most particular friends." 

" You don't say so ! " cried Mrs. Haughton, and looking 
more attentively at the stranger. There was in his dress 
and appearance something that she thought very stylish 

— a particular friend of Charles Haughton's was sure to 
be stylish — to be a man of the first water. And she loved 
the poor Captain's memory — her heart warmed to any 
"particular friend of his." 

"Yes," resumed the gentleman, noting the advantage 
he had gained, " though I was considerably his junior, we 
were great cronies — excuse that familiar expression — in 
the Hussars together — " 

" The Captain was not in the Hussars, Sir ; he was in 
the Guards." 

" Of course he was ; but 1 was saying the Hussars, to- 
3* 2c 



30 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

gether with the Guards, there were some very fine fellows 
— very fine — he was one of them. I could not resist 
paying my respects to the widowed lady of so fine a 
fellow. I know it is a liberty, ma'am, but 'tis my way. 
People who know me well — and I have a large acquaint- 
ance — are kind enough to excuse my way. And to think 
that villanous horse, which I had just bought out of Lord 
Bolton's stud — (200 guineas, ma'am, and cheap) — should 
have nearly taken the life of Charles Haughton's lovely 
relict. If any body else had been driving that brute, I 
shudder to think what might have been the consequences ; 
but I have a wrist of iron. Strength is a vulgar qualifi- 
cation — very vulgar — but when it saves a lady from 
perishing, how can one be ashamed of it ? But I am de- 
taining you. Your own house, Mrs. Haughton ? " 

" Yes, Sir, I have just taken it, but the workmen have 
not finished. I am not yet settled here." 

"Charming situation ! My friend left a son, I believe ? 
In the army already ? " 

"No, Sir; but he wishes it very much." 

"Mr. Darrell, I think, could gratify that wish." 

" What ! you know Mr. Darrell, that most excellent, 
generous man ? All we have we owe to him." 

The gentleman abruptly turned aside — wisely — for his 
expression of face at that praise might have startled Mrs. 
Haughton. 

" Yes, I knew him once. He has had many a fee out 
of my family. Goodish lawyer — cleverish man — and 
rich as a Jew. I should like to see my old friend's son, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 31 

ma'am. He must be monstrous handsome with such 
parents I " 

" Oh, Sir, very like his father. I shall be proud to 
present him to you." 

" Ma'am, I thank you. T will have the honor to 
call—" 

And thus is explained how Jasper Losely has knocked 
at Mrs. Haughton's door — has walked up her stairs — 
has seated himself in her drawing-room, and is now edging 
his chair, somewhat nearer to her, and throwing into his 
voice and looks a degree of admiration, which has been 
sincerely kindled by the aspect of her elegant apartments. 

Jessica Haughton was not one of those women, if such 
there be, who do not know when a gentleman is making 
up to them. She knew perfectly well, that, with a very 
little encouragement, her visitor would declare himself a 
suitor. Nor, to speak truth, was she quite insensible to 
his handsome person, nor quite unmoved by his flatteries. 
She had her weak points, and vanity was one of them, 
Xor conceived she, poor lady, the slightest suspicion that 
Jasper Losely was not a personage whose attentions 
might flatter any woman. Though he had not even 
announced a name, but, pushing aside the footman, had 
sauntered in with as familiar an ease as if he had been a 
first cousin ; though he had not uttered a syllable that 
could define his station, or attest his boasted friendship 
with the dear defunct, still Mrs. Haughton implicitly 
believed that she was with one of those gay Chiefs of Ton 
who had glittered round her Charlie in the earlier morn- 



32 vVHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

ing of his life, ere he had sold out of the Guards, aud 
brought himself out of jail ; a lord, or an honorable at 
least, and was even (I shudder to say) revolving in her 
mind whether it might not be an excellent thing for her 
dear Lionel if she could prevail on herself to procure for 
him the prop and guidance of a distinguished and brilliant 
father-in-law — rich, noble, evidently good-natured, sen- 
sible, attractive. Oh ! but the temptation was growing 
more and more immense ! when suddenly the door opened, 
and in sprang Lionel, crying out, "Mother, dear, the 
Colonel has come with me on purpose to — " 

He stopped short, staring hard at Jasper Losely. That 
gentleman advanced a few steps, extending his hand, but 
came to an abrupt halt on seeing Colonel Morley's figure 
now filling up the door-way. Not that he feared recog- 
nition — the Colonel did not know him by sight, but he 
knew by sight the Colonel. In his own younger day, 
when lolling over the rails of Rotten Row, he had 
enviously noted the leaders of fashion pass by, and 
Colonel Morley had not escaped his observation. Colonel 
Morley, indeed, was one of those men who by name and 
repute are sure to be known to all who, like Jasper 
Losely in his youth, would fain know something about 
that gaudy, babbling, and remorseless world which, like 
the sun, either vivifies or corrupts, according to the 
properties of the object on which it shines. Strange to 
say, it was the mere sight of the real fine gentleman that 
made the mock fine gentleman shrink and collapse. 
Though Jasper Losely knew himself to be still called a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? :-^::i 

magnificent man — one of royal Nature's Life -guardsmen 
— though confident that from top to toe his habiliments 
could defy the criticism of the strictest martinet in polite 
costume, no sooner did that figure — by no means hand- 
some, and clad in garments innocent of buckram, but 
guilty of wrinkles — appear on the threshold, than Jasper 
Losely felt small and shabby, as if he had been suddenly 
reduced to five feet two, and had bought his coat out of 
an old clothesman's bag. 

Without appearing even to see Mr. Losely, the Colonel, 
in his turn, as he glided past him toward Mrs. Haughton, 
had, with what is proverbially called the corner of the 
eye, taken the whole of that impostor's superb ijersoimel 
into calm survey, had read him through and through, and 
decided on these two points without the slightest hesita- 
tion — "a lady-killer and a sharper." 

Quick as breathing had been the effect thus severally 
produced on Mrs. Haughton's visitors, which it has cost 
so many words to describe, so quick that the Colonel, 
without any apparent pause of dialogue, has already taken 
up the sentence Lionel left uncompleted, and says, as he 
bows over Mrs. Haughton's hand, " Come on purpose to 
claim acquaintance with an old friend's widow, a young 
friend's mother." 

Mrs. Haughton. "I am sure. Colonel Morley, I am 
very much flattered. And you, too, knew the poor dear 
Captain ; 'tis so pleasant to think that his old friends 
come round us now. This gentleman, also, was a par- 
ticular friend of dear Charles's." 

c 



34 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

The Colonel had somewhat small eyes, which moved 
witb habitual slowness. He lifted those eyes, let them 
drop upon Jasper (who still stood in the middle of the 
room, with one hand still half-extended toward Lionel,) 
and letting the eyes rest there while he spoke, repeated, 

" Particular friend of Charles Haughton's — the only 
one of his particular friendswhom I never had the honor 
to see before." 

Jasper who, whatever his deficiency in other virtues, 
certainly did not lack courage, made a strong effort at 
self-possession, and without replying to the Colonel, whose 
remark had not been directly addressed to himself, said, 
in his most rollicking tone — " Yes, Mrs. Haughton, 
Charles was my particular friend, but" — lifting his eye- 
glass — "but this gentleman was," dropping the eye- 
glass negligently, " not in our set, I suppose." Then ad- 
vancing to Lionel, and seizing his hand, " I must in- 
troduce myself — the image of your father, I declare! 
I was saying to Mrs. Haughton how much I should like 
to see you — proposing to her, just as you came in, that 
we should go to the play together. Oh, ma'am, you may 
trust him to me safely. Young men should see life." 
Here Jasper tipped Lionel one of those knowing winks 
VA'ith which he was accustomed to delight and insnare the 
young friends of Mr. Poole, and hurried on : " But in an 
innocent way, ma'am, such as mothers would approve. 
We'll fix an evening for it, when I have the honor to call 
again. Good-morning, Mrs. Haughton. Your hand 
again, Sir (to Lionel). — Ah, we shall be great friends, I 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 35 

guess ! You must let me take you out iu my cab — teach 
you to handle the ribbons, eh ? 'Gad my old friend 
Charles was a whip. Ha ! ha I Good-day, good-day I " 
Not a muscle had moved in the Colonel's face during 
Mr. Losely's jovial monologue. But when Jasper had 
bowed himself out, Mrs. Haughton courtesying and ring- 
ing the bell for the footman to open the street-door, the 
man of the world (and, as man of the world, Colonel 
Morley was consummate) again raised those small, slow 
eyes — this time toward her face — and dropped the 
words — 

" My old friend's particular friend is — not bad-looking, 
Mrs. Haughton ! " 

"And so lively and pleasant," returned Mrs. Haughton, 
with a slight rise of color, but no other sign of embarrass- 
ment. "It may be a nice acquaintance for Lionel." 

"Mother!" cried that ungrateful boy, "you are not 
speaking seriously. I think the man is odious. If he 
were not my father's friend, I should say he was — " 
" What, Lionel ?'* asked the Colonel, blandly — "was 
what ? " 

"Snobbish, Sir." 

"Lionel, how dare you !" exclaimed Mrs. Haughton. 
"What vulgar words boys do pick up at school, Colonel 
Morely ! " 

" We must be careful that they do not pick up worse 
than words when they leave school, my dear madam. 
You will forgive me, but Mr. Darrell has so expressly — 



36 WHAT WILL HEDOWITHIT? 

of course, with your permission — commended this young 
gentleman to my responsible care and guidance — so 
openly confided to me his views and intentions, that 
perhaps you would do me the very great favor not to force 
upon him, against his own wishes, the acquaintance of — 
that very good-looking person." 

Mrs. Haughton pouted, but kept down her rising 
temper. The Colonel began to awe her. 

" By-the-by," continued the man of the world, " may I 
inquire the name of my old friend's particular friend ? " 

" His name — upon my word I really don't know it. 
Perhaps he left his card — ring the bell, Lionel." 

" You don't know his name, yet you know him, ma'am, 
and would allow your son to see life under his auspices I 
I beg you ten thousand pardons ; but even ladies the most 
cautious, mothers the most watchful, are exposed to — " 
" Immense temptations — that is — to — to — " 
"I understand perfectly, my dear Mrs. Haughton." 
The footman appeared. " Did that gentleman leave a 
card ? " 

"No, ma'am." 

" Did not you ask his name when he entered ? " 
"Yes, ma'am, but he said he would announce himself." 
When the footman had withdrawn, Mrs. Haughton ex- 
claimed, piteously, "I have been to blame. Colonel — I 
see it. But Lionel will tell you how I came to know the 
gentleman — the gentleman who nearly run over me, 
Lionel, and then spoke so kindly about your dear father." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 37 

" Oh, that is the person ! I supposed so,'' cried 
Lionel, kissing his mother, who was inclined to burst into 
tears. *• I can explain it all now, Colonel Morley. Any 
one who says a kind word about my father warms my 
mother's heart to him at once. Is it not so, mother 
dear?" 

"And long be it so," said Colonel Morley, with grace- 
ful earnestness ; " and may such be my passport to your 
confidence, Mrs. Haughton. Charles was my old school- 
fellow — a little boy when I and Darrell were in the sixth 
form ; an<l pardon me if I add that if that gentleman were 
ever Charles Haughton's particular friend, he could 
scarcely have been a very wise one. For, unless his 
appearance greatly belie his years, he must have been 
little more than a boy when Charles Haughton left Lionel 
fatherless." 

Here, in the delicacy of tact, seeing that Mrs. Haugh- 
ton looked ashamed of the subject, and seemed aware of 
her imprudence, the Colonel rose, with a request — cheer- 
fully granted — that Lionel might be allowed to come to 
■)reakfast with him the next morning. 



IL~-4 



38 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XI. 

A. man of the world, hnving accepted a troublesome chai'ge, con' 
siders "what he will do with it ; " and having proniptlj' decided, 
is sure, first, that he could not have done better; and. secondl3% 
that much may be said to prove that he could not have done 
worse. 

Reserving to a later occasion any more detailed de- 
scription of Colonel Morley, it suffices for the present to 
say that he was a man of a very fine understanding, as 
applied to the special world in which he lived. Though 
no one had a more numerous circle of friends, and though 
with many of those friends he was on that footing of fa- 
miliar intimacy which Darrell's active career once, and 
his rigid seclusion of late, could not have established with 
any idle denizen of that brilliant society in which Colonel 
Morley moved and had his being, yet to Alban Morley's 
heart (a heart not easily reached) no friend was so dear 
as Guy Darrell. They had entered Eton on the same 
day — left it the same day — lodged while there in the same 
house ; and though of very different characters, formed 
one of those strong, imperishable, brotherly affections 
which the Fates weave into the very woof of existence. 

Darrell's recommendation would have secureJ to any 
young protege Colonel Morley's gracious welcome and 
invaluable advice. But both as Darrell's acknowledged 
kinsman and as Charles Hausrhton's son, Lionel called 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 39 

forth his kindliest sentiments, and obtained his most sa- 
gacious deliberations. He had already seen the boy 
several times before waiting on Mrs. Haughton, deeming 
it would please her to defer his visit until she could re 
ceive him in all the glories of Gloucester Place ; and he 
had taken Lionel into high favor, and deemed him worthy 
of a conspicuous place in the world. Though Darrell, in 
his letter to Colonel Morley, had emphatically distinguished 
the position of Lionel, as a favored kinsman, from that 
of a presumptive or even a probable heir, yet the rich 
man had also added — "But I wish him to take rank as 
the representative to the Haughtons ; and, whatever I 
may do with the bulk of my fortune, I shall insure to him 
a liberal independence. The completion of his education, 
the adequate allowance to him, the choice of a profession, 
are matters in which I elflreat you to act for yourself, as 
if you were his guardian. I am leaving England — I may 
be abroad for years." Colonel Morley, in accepting the 
responsibilities thus pressed on him, brought to bear upon 
his charge subtle discrimination as well as conscientious 
anxiety. 

He saw that Lionel's heart was set upon the military 
profession, and that his power of application seemed 
lukewarm and desultory when not cheered and con- 
centred by enthusiasm, and would, therefore, fail him 
if directed to studies which had no immediate reference to 
the objects of his ambition. The Colonel accordingly 
dismissed the idea of sending him for three years to 
a Fnivpi->;iiv, AH inn Morley summed up his theories 



40 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Oil tlio collegiate ordeal in these succinct aphorisms : 
" Nothing so good as a University education, nor worse 
than a University without its education. Better /throw a 
youth at once into the wider sphere of a capital, provided 
you there secure to his social life the ordinary checks of 
good company, the restraints imposed by the presence 
of decorous women, and men of grave years and dignified 
repute, than confine him to the exclusive society of youths 
of his own age — the age of wild spirits and unreflecting 
imitation — unless he cling to the safeguard which is found 
in hard reading, less by the book-knowledge it bestows 
than by the serious and preoccupied mind which it ab- 
stracts from the coarser temptations." 

But Lionel, younger in character than in years, was 
too boyish as yet to be safely consigned to those trials 
of tact and temper which await the neophyte who enters 
on life through the doors of a mess-room. His pride 
was too morbid — too much on the alert for offence ; his 
frankness too crude, his spirit too untamed by the in- 
sensible discipline of social commerce. 

Quoth the observant Man of the World : "Place his 
honor in his own keeping, and he will carry it about with 
him on full cock, to blow off a friend's head or his own 
before the end of the first month. Huffy — decidedly 
huffy. And of all causes that disturb regiments, and in- 
duce court-martials, the commonest cause is a huffy lad ! 
Pity! for that youngster has in him the right metal — 
spirit and talent that should make him a first-rate soldier. 
It would be time well spent, that should join professional 



studies with that degree of polite culture which gives 
dignity and cures huffiness. I must get him out of Lon- 
don, out of England — cut him off from his mother's 
apron-strings, and the particular friends of his poor 
father who prowl unannounced into the widow's drawing 
room. He shall go to Paris — no better place to learn 
military theories, and be civilized out of huffy disposi- 
tions. Xo doubt my old friend, the chevalier, who has 
the art strategic at his finger-ends; might be induced to 
take him en pension, direct his studies, and keep him out 
of harm's way. I can secure to him the entree into the 
circles of the rigid old Faubourg St. Germain, where 
manners are best bred, and household ties most respected. 
Besides, as I am so often at Paris myself, I shall have 
him under my eye ; and a few years there spent in com- 
pleting him as man may bring him nearer to that mar- 
shal's baton which every recruit shotild have in his eye, 
than if I started him at once, a raw boy, unable to take 
care of himself as an ensign, and unfitted, save by me- 
chanical routine, to take care of others, should he live to 
buy the grade of a colonel." 

The plans thus promptly formed Alban Morley briefly 
explained to Lionel, when the boy came to breakfast in 
Curzon Street, requesting him to obtain Mrs. Haughtou's 
acquiescence in that exercise of the discretionary powers 
with which he had been invested by Mr. Darrell. To 
Lionel the proposition that commended the very studies 
to which his tastes directed his ambition, and placed hia 
4* 



42 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

initiation into responsible manhood among scenes bright 
to his fancy, because new to his experience, seemed, of 
course, the perfection of wisdom. 

Less readily pleased was poor Mrs. Haughton when 
her son returned to communicate the arrangement, back- 
ing a polite and well-worded letter from the Colonel with 
his own more artless eloquence. Instantly she flew off 
on the wing of her "little tempers." "What ! her only 
son taken from her — sent to that horrid Continent, just 
when she was so respectably settled 1 What was the good 
of money if she was to be parted from her boy ? Mr. 
Darrell might take the money back if he pleased — she 
would write and tell him so. Colonel Morley had no 
feeling ; and she was shocked to think Lionel was in such 
unnatural hands. She saw very plainly that he no longer 
cared for her — a serpent's tooth, etc., etc." But as soon 
as the burst was over the sky cleared, and Mrs. Haugh- 
ton became penitent and sensible. Then her grief for 
Lionel's loss was diverted by preparations for his depar- 
ture. There was his wardrobe to see to — a patent port- 
manteau to purchase and to fill. And, all done, the last 
evening mother and son spent together, though painful 
at the moment, it would be happiness for both hereafter 
to recall ! Their hands clasped in each other- — her head 
leaning on his young shoulder — her tears kissed so sooth- 
ingly away. And soft words of kindly, motherly counsel 
— sweet promises of filial performance. Happy, thrice 
happy, as an after remembrance, be the final parting be- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 43 

tween hopeful son and fearful parent, at the foot of that 
mystic bridge which starts from the threshold of Home 
— lost in the dimness of the far-opposing shore ! — bridge 
over which goes the boy who will never return but as tho 
man. 



CHAPTER XII. 

The Pocket-Cannibal baits his woman's trap "with love-letters. — And 
a widow allured steals timidly toward it from under the weeds. 

Jasper Losely is beginning to be hard up I The in- 
fallible calculation at rouge-et-noir has carried off all that 
capital which had accumulated from the savings of the 
young gentlemen whom Dolly Poole had contributed to 
his exchequer. Poole himself is beset by duns, and 
pathetically observes "that he has lost three stone in 
weight, and that he believes the calves to his legs are 
gone to enlarge his liver." 

Jasper is compelled to put down his cabriolet — to dis- 
charge his groom — to retire from his fashionable lodgings ; 
and just when the prospect even of a dinner becomes dim, 
he bethinks himself of Arabella Crane, and remembers 
that she promised him £5, nay, £10, which are still due 
from her. He calls — he is received like the prodigal son. 
2say, to his own surprise, he finds Mrs. Crane has made 
her house much more inviting — the drawing-rooms are 
cleaned up ; the addition of a few easy articles of furni- 
ture gives them quite a comfortable air. She herself has 



44 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

improved in costume — though her favorite color still 
remains iron-gray. She informs Jasper that she fully 
expected him — that these preparations are in his honor — 
that she has engaged a very good cook — that she hopes 
he will dine with her when not better engaged ; in short, 
let him feel himself at home in Poddon Place. 

Jasper at first suspected a sinister design, under civili- 
ties that his conscience told him were unmerited — a 
design to entrap him into that matrimonial alliance which 
he had so ungallantly scouted, and from which he still 
recoiled with an abhorrence which man is not justified in 
feeling for any connubial partner less preternaturally 
terrific than the Witch of Endor or the Bleeding Nun ! 

But Mrs. Crane quickly and candidly hastened to dispel 
his ungenerous apprehensions. " She had given up," she 
said, "all ideas so preposterous — love and wedlock were 
equally out of her mind. But ill as he had behaved to 
her, she could not but feel a sincere regard for him — a 
deep interest in his fate. He ought still to make a brilliant 
marriage — did that idea not occur to him ? She might 
help him there with her woman's wit. In short," said 
Mrs. Crane, pinching her lips, "in short, Jasper, I feel 
for yon as a mother. Look on me as such ! " 

That pure and affectionate notion wonderfully tickled, 
and egregiously delighted Jasper Losely. " Look on 
you as a mother ! I will," said he, with emphasis. " Best 
of creatures ! " And though in his own mind he had not 
a doubt that she still adored him (not as a mother), he 
believed it was a disinterested, devoted adoration, such 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 45 

as the beautiful brute really had inspired more than once 
in his abominable life. Accordingly, he moved into the 
neighborhood of Poddon Place, contenting himself with 
a second-floor bedroom, in a house recommended to him 
by Mrs. Crane, and taking his meals at his adopted 
mother's with filial familiarity. She expressed a desire to 
make Mr. Poole's acquaintance — Jasper hastened to pre- 
sent that worthy. Mrs. Crane invited Samuel Dolly to 
dine one day, to sup the next ; she lent him £3 to redeem 
his dress-coat from pawn, and she gave him medicaments 
for the relief of his headache. 

Samuel Dolly venerated her as a most superior woman 
— envied Jasper such a "mother." Thus easily did Ara- 
bella Crane possess herself of the existence of Jasper 
Losely. Lightly her fingers closed over it — lightly as 
the fisherman's over the captivated trout. And whatever 
her generosity, it was not carried to imprudence. She 
just gave to Jasper enough to bring him within her 
power — she had no idea of ruining herself by larger 
supphes — she concealed from him the extent of her in- 
come (which was in chief part derived from house rents), 
the amount of her savings, even the name of her banker. 
And if he carried off to the rouge-et-noir table the^oins 
he obtained from her, and came for more, Mrs. Crane put 
on the look of a mother incensed — mild but awful — and 
scolded as mothers sometimes can scold. Jasper Losely 
began to be frightened at Mrs. Crane's scoldings. And 
he had not that power over her, which, though arrogated 
by a lover, is denied to an adopted son. His mind, re- 

2d 



46 AV H A T WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

lieved from the habitual distraction of the gaming-table 
— for which the resource was wanting — settled with 
redoubled ardor on the image of Mrs. Haughton. He 
had called at her house several times since the fatal day 
on which he had met there Colonel Morley, but Mrs^ 
Haughton was never at home. And as, when the answer 
was given to him by the footman, he had more than once, 
on crossing the street, seen herself through the window, 
it was clear that his acquaintance was not courted. 
Jasper Losely, by habit, was the reverse of a pertinacious 
and troublesome suitor — not, Heaven knows, from want 
of audacity, but from excess of self-love. Where a Love- 
lace so superb condescended to make overtures, a Cla- 
rissa so tasteless as to decline them deserved and expe- 
rienced his contempt. Besides, steadfast and prolonged 
pursuit of any object, however important and attractive, 
was alien to the levity and fickleness of his temper. But 
in this instance he had other motives than those on the 
surface for unusual perseverance. 

A man like Jasper Losely. never reposes implicit con- 
fidence in any one. He is garrulous, indiscreet — lets 
out much that Machiavel would have advised him not to 
disclose ; but he invariably has nooks and corners in his 
mind which he keeps to himself. Jasper did not confide 
to his adopted mother his designs upon his intended bride. 
But she knew them through Poole, to whom he was more 
frank ; and when she saw him looking over her select and 
severe library — taking therefrom the Polite Letter-Writer 
and the Elegant E.rfracts, Mrs. Crane divined at once 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 47 

that Jasper Losely was meditating the efifect of epistolarj 
seduction upon the Widow of Gloucester Place. 

Jasper did not write a bad love-letter in the florid 
style. He had at his command, in especial, certain poet- 
ical quotations, the effect of which repeated experience 
had assured him to be as potent upon the female breast 
as the -incantations or Car-mina of the ancient sorcery. 
The following in particular : 

" Had I a heart for falsehood framed, 
1 ne'er could injure you." 

Another — generally to be applied when confessing that 
his career had been interestingly wild, and would, if pity 
were denied him, be pathetically short : 

"When he who adores thee has left but the name 
Of his faults and his follies behind." 

Armed with these quotations — many a sentence from 
the Polite Letter-Writer or the Elegant Extracts — and 
a quire of rose-edged paper, Losely sat down to Ovidian 
composition. But as he approached the close of Epistle 
the First, it occurred to him that a signature and address 
were necessary. The address not difficult. He could 
give Poole's (hence his confidence to that gentleman; — • 
Poole had a lodging in Bury Street, St. James, a fashion- 
able locality for single men. But the name required 
more consideration. There were insuperable objections 
against signing his own to any person who might be in 
communication with Mr. Darrell — a pity, for there was 
a (;o(}(\ old family of the name of Losely. A name of 
aristocratic sound mio-lit indeed be readiiv borrowed from 



48 AV H A T W I L L H E D W I T H I T ? 

any lordly proprietor thereof without asking a formal 
consent. But this loan was exposed to danger. Mrs. 
Haughton might very naturally mention such name, as 
borne by her husband's friend, to Colonel Morley, and 
Colonel Morley would most probably know enough of the 
connections and relations of any peer so honored to say, 
''There is no such Greville, Cavendish, or Talbot." But 
Jasper Losely was not without fertility of invention and 
readiness of resource. A grand idea, worthy of a master^ 
and proving that, if the man had not been a rogue in grain, 
he could have been reared into a very clever politician, 
flashed across him. He would sign himself " Smith." No- 
body could say there is no such Smith ; nobody could say 
that a Smith might not be a most respectable, fashionable, 
highly-connected man. There are Smiths who are mil- 
lionaires — Smiths who are large-acred squires — substan- 
tial baronets — peers of England, and pillars of the State 
— members even of the British Cabinet. You can no 
more question a man's right to be a Smith than his right 
to be a Briton ; and wide as the diversity of rank, lineage, 
virtue, and genius in Britons, is the diversity in Smiths. 
But still a name so generic often affects a definite pre- 
cursor. Jasper signed himself "J. Colrtenay Smith." 
He called, and left E])istle the First with his own kid- 
gloved hand, inquiring first if Mrs, Haughton were at 
home, and, responded to in the negative, this time, he 
asked for her son. "Her son was gone abroad with 
Colonel Morley." Jasper, though sorry to lose present 
hold over the boy, was consoled at learning thai tlie 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 49 

colonel was off the STrouDd. More sancruine of snccess, 
he glanced up at the window, and, sure that Mrs. Hausrh- 
ion was there, though he saw her not, lifted his hat with 
as melancholy an expression of reproach as he could 
throw into his face. 

The villain could not have found a moment in Mrs. 
Hanghton's widowed life so propitious to his chance of 
success. In her lodging-house at Pimlico, the good lady 
had been too incessantly occupied for that idle train of 
reverie in which, the poets assure us, that Cupid finds 
leisure to whet his arrows, and take his aim. Had Lionel 
still been by her side — had even Colonel Morley been in 
town — her aflFectiou for the one, her awe of the other, 
would have been her safeguards. But alone in that fine 
new house — no friends, no acquaintances as yet — no 
dear visiting circle on which to expend the desire of talk 
and the zest for innocent excitement that are natural to 
ladies of an active mind and a nervous temperament, the 
sudden obtrusion of a suitor so respectfully ardent — oh, 
it is not to be denied that the temptation was immense ! 

And when that note, so neatly folded — so elegantly 
sealed — lay in her irresolute hand, the widow could not 
but feel that she was still young, still pretty ; and her 
heart flew back to the day when the linen-draper's fair 
daughter had been the cynosure of the provincial High 
Street — when young ofiicers had lounged to and fro the 
pavement, looking in at her window — when ogles and 
notes had alike beset her, and the dark eje5 of the irresis- 
tible Charlie Haughton had first taught her pulse to 

II.— 5 D 



50 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

trewble. And in her hand lies the letter of Charlie 
Haug-hton's particular friend. She breaks the seal. She 
reads — a declaration! 

Five letters in five days did Jasper write. In the 
course of those letters, he explains away the causes for 
suspicion which Colonel Morley had so ungenerously 
suggested. He is no longer anonymous — he is J. Cour- 
tenay Smith. He alludes incidentally to the precocious 
age in which he had become "lord of himself, that herit- 
age of woe." This accounts for his friendship with a 
man so much his senior as the late Charlie. He confesses 
that, in the vortex of dissipation, his hereditary estates 
have disappeared ; but he has still a genteel indepen- 
dence ; and with the woman of his heart, etc., etc. He 
had never before known what real love was, etc. " Pleas- 
ure had fired his maddening soul ; " "but the heart — the 
heart been lonely still." He entreated only a personal 
interview, even though to be rejected — scorned. Still, 
when "he who adored her had left but the name," etc., 
etc. Alas ! alas ! as Mrs. Haughton put down Epistle 
the Fifth, she hesitated ; and the woman who hesitates in 
such a case, is sure, at least — to write a civil answer. 

Mrs. Haughton wrote but three lines — still they were 
civil — and conceded an interview for the next day, though 
implying that it was but for the purpose of assuring Mr, 
J. Courtenay Smith in person, of her unalterable fidelity 
to the shade of his lamented friend. 

In high glee Jasper showed Mrs. Haughton's answer to 
Dolly Poole, and began seriously to speculate oe ^he 



WHAT WILL HE DO AV I T H IT? 51 

probable amount of the widow's income, and the value of 
her movables in Gloucester Place. Thence he repaired to 
Mrs. Crane ; and,, emboldened l>v the hope forever to es- 
cape from maternal tutelage, braved her scoldings, and 
asked for a couple of sovereigns. He was sure that he 
should be in luck that night. She gave to him the sum 
and spared the scoldings. But as soon as he was gone, 
conjecturing, from the bravado of his manner, what had 
really occurred, Mrs. Crane put on her bonnet and went 
out. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Unhappy is the man who puts his trust in — a woman. 

Late that evening a ladv, in a black vail, knocked at 
No. — Gloucester Place, and asked to see Mrs. Haughton 
on urgent business. She was admitted. She remained 
but five minutes. 

The next day, when ''gay as a bridegroom prancing 
to his bride," Jasper Losely presented himself at the 
widow's door, the servant placed in his hand a packet, 
and informed him bluffly that Mrs. Haughton had gone 
out of town. Jasper with difficulty suppressed his rage, 
opened the packet — his own letters returned, with these 
words — "Sir, your name is not Courtenay Smith. If 
you trouble me again I shall apply to the police." Never 
from female hand had Jasper Losely's pride received such 



55 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

a slap on its face. He was literally stunned. Mechani- 
cally he hastened to Arabella Crane ; and having no 
longer any object in concealment, but, on the contrary, a 
most urgent craving for sympathy, he poured forth his 
indignation and wrongs. No mother could be more con- 
solatory than Mrs. Crane. She soothed, she flattered, 
she gave him an excellent dinner ; after which she made 
him so comfortable — what with an easy-chair and com- 
plimentary converse, that, when Jasper rose late to return 
to his lodging, he said : " After all, if I had been ugly 
and stupid, and of a weakly constitution, I should have 
been of a very domestic turn of mind." 



CHAPTER XIY. 

No Author ever drew a character, consistent to human nature, but 
what he was forced to ascribe to it many inconsistencies. 

Whether moved by that pathetic speech of Jasper's, 
or by some other irapule not less feminine, Arabella 
Crane seemed suddenly to conceive the laudable and ar- 
duous design of reforming that portentous sinner. She 
had some distant relations in London, whom she very 
rarely troubled with a visit, and who, had she wanted any 
thing from them, would have shut their doors in her face ; 
but as, on the contrary, she was well off, single, and might 
leave her money to whom she pleased, the distant rela- 
tions were always warm in manner, and prodigal in their 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 53 

offers of service. The next day she repaired to one of 
these kinsfolk — a person in a large way of business — 
and returned home with two great books in white sheep- 
skin. And when Losely looked in to dine, she said, in 
the suayest tones a tender mother can address to an 
amiable truant, " Jasper, you have great abilities — at the 
gaming-table abilities are evidently useless — your forte 
is calculation — you were always very quick at that. I 
have been fortunate enough to procure you an easy piece 
of taskwork, for which you will be liberally remunerated. 
A friend of mine wishes to submit these books to a 
regular accountant ; he suspects that a clerk has cheated 
him, but he cannot tell how or where. You know ac- 
counts thoroughly — no one better — and the pay will be 
ten-guineas." 

Jasper, though his early life had rendered familiar and 
facile to him the science of book-keeping and double- 
entry, made a grimace at the revolting idea of any honest 
labor, however light and well paid. But ten guineas 
were an immense temptation, and in the evening Mrs. 
Crane coaxed him into the task. 

Neglecting no feminine art to make the lawless nomad 
feel at home under her roof, she had provided for his ease 
and comfort morocco slippers and a superb dressing-robe, 
in material rich, in color becoming. Men, single or 
marital, are accustomed to connect the idea of home with 
dressing-gown and slippers, especially if, after dinner, 
they apply (as Jasper Losely now applied) to occupa- 
tions, in which the brain is active, the form in repose. 
5* 



54 M H A T W I L L H E D TV' T T H I T ? 

What achievement, literary or scientific, was ever accom- 
plished by a student strapped to unyielding boots, and 
"cabined, cribbed, confined," in a coat tha.t fits him like 
wax ? As rol)ed in the cozy garment which is consecra- 
ted to the sacred familiar Lares, the relaxing, handsome 
ruffian sate in the quiet room, bending his still regular 
profile over the sheepskin books — the harmless pen in 
that strong well-shaped hand, Mrs. Crane watched him 
with a softening countenance. To bear him company, 
she had actively taken herself to work — the gold thimble 
dragged from its long repose — marking and hemming, 
with nimble artistic fingers, new cravats for the adopted 
son ! Strange creature is Woman ! Ungrateful and 
perfidious as tliat sleek tiger before her had often proved 
himself — though no man could less deserve one kindly 
sentiment in a female heart — though she knew that he 
cared nothing for her, still it was pleasing to know that 
he cared for nobody else — that he was sitting in the same 
room — and Arabella Crane felt that if that existence 
could continue she could forget the past, and look con- 
tented toward the future. Again I say, strange creature 
is AYoman ! — and, in this instance, creature more strange, 
because so grim ! But as her eyes soften, and her fingers 
work, and her mind revolves schemes for making that 
lawless wild beast an innocuous, tame animal, who can 
help feeling for and with grim Arabella Crane ? 

Poor woman ! And will not the experiment succeed ? 
Three evenings does Jasper Losely devote to this sinless 
life and its peaceful occupation. He completes his task 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 55 

— lie receives the ten guineas. (How much of that fee 
came out of Mrs. Crane's privy purse ?) He detects 
three mistakes, which justify suspicion of the book-keeper's 
integrity. Set a thief to catch a thief! He is praised 
for acuteness, and promised a still lighter employment, to 
be still better paid. He departs, declaring that he will 
come the next day, earlier than usual — he volunteers an 
eulogiura upon work in general — he vows that evenings 
so happy he has not spent for years — he leaves Mrs. 
Crane so mnch impressed by the hope of his improve- 
ment, that if a good clergyman had found her just at that 
moment, she might almost liave been induced to pray. 

But — 

" Heu quoties fidem 
Mutatosque deos flebit ! " 

Jasper Losely returns not, neither to Poddon Place nor 
to his lodging in the neighborhood. Days elapse ; still 
he comes not ; even Poole does not know where he has 
gone ; even Poole has not seen him ! But that latter 
worthy is now laid up with a serious rheumatic fever — 
confined to his room and water-gruel. And Jasper 
Losely is not the man to intrude hims?lf on the privacy 
of a sick chamber. Mrs. Crane, more benevolent, visits 
Poole — cheers him up — gets him a nurse — writes to 
Uncle Sam. Poole blesses her. He hopes that Uncle 
Sam, moved by the spectacle of his sick bed, will say, 
''Don't let your debts fret you — I will pay them!'' 
Whatever her disappointment or resentment at Jasper's 
thankless and mysterious evasion, Arabella Crane is 



56 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

calmly confident of his return. To her servant, Bridgett 
Greggs, who was perhaps the sole person in the world 
who entertained affection for the lone, gaunt woman, and 
who held Jasper Losely in profound detestation, she said, 
with tranquil sternness, " That man has crossed my life, 
and darkened it. He passed away, and left Night behind 
him. He has dared to return. He shall never escape 
me again till the grave yawn for one of us." 

" But, Lor' love you, miss, you would not put yourself 
in the power of such a black-hearted villing ? " 

"In his power ! No, Bridgett; fear not, he must be 
in mine — sooner or later in mine — hand and foot. 
Patience ! " 

As she was thus speaking — a knock at the door — 
"It is he — I told you so — quick!" 

But it was not Jasper Losely. It was Mr. Rugge. 



CHAPTER XY. 

"When Goil wills, all winds bring rain." — Ancient Proverb. 

The manager had not submitted to the loss of his pro- 
perty in Sophy and £100, without taking much vain 
trouble to recover the one or the other. He had visited 
Jasper while that gentleman lodged in St. Jam.es's, but 
the moment he hinted at the return of the £100, Mr. 
Losely opened both door and window, and requested the 
manao-er to make his immediate choice of the two. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 57 

Taking the more usual mode of exit, Mr. Rugge vented 
his just indignation in a lawyer's letter, threatening Mr. 
Losely with an action for conspiracy and fraud. He had 
also more than once visited Mrs. Crane, who somewhat 
soothed him by allowing that he had been very badly 
used, that he ought at least to be repaid his money, and 
promising to do her l)est to persuade Mr. Losely to 
"behave like a gentleman." With regard to Sophy her- 
self, Mrs. Crane appeared to feel a profound indifferance. 
In fact, the hatred which Mrs. Crane had unquestionably 
conceived for Sophy while under her charge, was much 
diminished by Losely's unnatural conduct toward the 
child. To her it was probably a matter of no interest 
whether Sophy was in Rugge's hands or Waife's ; enough 
for her that the daughter of a woman against whose 
memory her fiercest passions were enlisted was, in either 
case, so far below herself in the grades of the social 
ladder. 

Perhaps of the two protectors for Sophy — Eugge and 
Waife — her spite alone would have given the preference 
to Waife. He was on a still lower step of the ladier than 
the itinerant manager. Xor, though she had so mortally 
injured the forlorn cripple in the eyes of Mr. Hartopp, 
had she any deliberate purpose of revenge to gratify 
against him! On the contrary, if she viewed him with 
contempt, it was a contempt not unmixed with pity. It 
was necessary to make to the mayor the communications 
.\he had made, or that worthy magistrate would not have 
surrendered the child intrusted to him, at least until 



58 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Waife's return. And really it was a kindness to the old 
man to save him both from an agonizing scene with 
Jasper, and from the more public opprobrium which any 
resistance on his part to Jasper's authority, or any alter- 
cation between the two, would occasion. And as her 
main object then was to secure Losely's allegiance to her, 
by proving her power to be useful to him, so Waifes, and 
Sophys, and Mayors, and Managers, were to her but as 
pawns to be moved and sacrificed, according to the lead- 
ing strategy of her game. 

Rugge came now, agitated and breathless, to inform 
Mrs. Crane that Waife had been seen in London. Mr. 
Rugge's clown had seen him, not far from the Tower; 
but the cripple had disappeared before the clown, who 
was on the top of an omnibus, had time to descend. 
"And even if he had actually caught hold of Mr. Waife," 
observed Mrs. Crane, "what then? You have no claim 
on Mr. Waife." 

" But the Phenomenon must be with that ravishing 
marauder," said Rugge. " However, I have set a minister 
of justice, that is, ma'am, a detective police, at work ; and 
what I now ask of you is simply this — should it be 
necessary for Mr. Losely to appear with me before the 
senate, that is to say, ma'am, a metropolitan police court, 
in order to prove my legal property in my own bought 
and paid-for Phenomenon, will you induce that bold, bad 
man, not again to return the poisoned chalice to niy lips ? " 

" I do not even know where Mr. Losely is — perhaps 
not in London." 



59 

" Ma'am, I saw him last night at the theater — 
Princess'. I was in the shilling gallery. He who owes 
me £100, ma'am — he in a private box I " 

"Ah I you are sure ; by himself ? " 

"With a lady, ma'am — a lady in a shawl from Ingee. 
I know them shawls. My father taught me to know them 
in early childhood, for he was an ornament to British 
commerce — a broker, ma'am — pawn ! And," continued, 
Rugge, with a withering smile, " that man in a private 
box, which at the Princess' costs two pounds two, and 
with the spoils of Tngee by his side, lifted his eye-glass 
and beheld me ; me in the shilling galleiy, and his con- 
science did not say ' should we not change places if I paid 
that gentleman £100?' Can such things be, and over- 
come us, ma'am, like a summer-cloud, without our special 
— I put it to you, ma'am — wonder?" 

" Oh, with a lady, was he ! " exclaimed Arabella Crane ; 
her wrath, which, while the manager spoke, gathered fast 
and full, bursting now into words — 'His ladies shall 
know the man who sells his own child for a show ; only 
find out where the girl is, then come here again before 
you stir further. Oh, with a lady ! Go to your detective 
policeman, or, rather, send him to me ; we will first dis- 
cover Mr. Losely's address. I will pay all the expenses. 
Rely on my zeal, Mr. Rugore." 

Much comforted, the manager went his way. He had 
not been long gone before Jasper himself appeared. The 
traitor entered with a more than customary bravado of 
manner, as if he apprehended a scolding, and was pre- 



60 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

pared to face it ; but Mrs. Crane neither reproached him 
for his prolonged absence, nor expressed surprise at his 
return. With true feminine duplicity she received him as 
if nothing had happened. Jasper, thus relieved, became 
of his own accord apologetic and explanatory; evidently 
he wanted something of Mrs. Crane. " The fact is, my 
dear friend," said he, sinking into a chair, "that the day 
after I last saw you, I happened to go to the Genera) 
Post-office to see if there were any letters for me — you 
smile, you don't believe me. Honor bright — here they 
are," and Jasper took IVom the side-pocket of his coat a 
pocket-book — a new pocket-book — a brilliant pocket- 
book — fragrant Russian leather — delicately embossed 
— golden clasps — silken linings — jeweled pencil-case — 
malachite penknife — an arsenal of nicknacks stored in 
neat recesses ; such a pocket-book as no man ever gives 
to himself. Sardanapalus would not have given that 
pocket-book to himself ! Such a pocket-book never comes 
to you, oh, enviable Lotharios, save as tributary keep- 
sakes from the charmers who adore you ! Grimly the 
Adopted Mother eyed tliat pocket-book. Never had she 
seen it before. Grimly she pinched her lips. Out of this 
dainty volume — w4iich would have been of cumbrous 
size to a slim thread-paper exquisite, but scarcely bulged 
into ripple the Atlantic expanse of Jasper Losely's 
magnificent chest — the monster drew forth two letters on 
French paper — foreign post-marks. He replaced thera 
quickly, only sufiFering her eye to glance at the address, 
and continued : " Fancy ! that purse-proud Grand Turk 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 61 

of au infidel, thougli he would not believe me, has been 
to France — yes, actually to * * * * * — making inquiries 
evidently with reference to Sophy. The woman who 
ought to have thoroughly converted him took flight, how- 
ever, and missed seeing him. Confound her ! I ought 
to have been there. So I have no doubt for the present 
the Pagan remains stubborn. Gone on into Italy, I hear ; 
doing me, violating the laws of nature, and roving about 
the world with his own solitary hands in his bottomless 
pockets, like the Wandering Jew ! But, as some slight 
set-off in my run of i;l-luck, I find at the Post-oflBce a 
pleasanter letter than the one which brings me this news : 
A rich elderly lady, who has no family, wants to adopt a 
nice child, will take Sophy ; make it worth my while to 
let her have Sophy. 'Tis convenient in a thousand ways 
to settle one's child comfortably in a rich house — esta- 
blishes rights, subject, of course, to cheques which would 
not affront me — a Father ! But the first thing requisite 
is to catch Sophy ; 'tis in that I ask your help — you are 
so clever. Best of creatures ! what could I do without 
you ? As you say, whenever I want a friend I come to 
you — Bella!" 

Mrs Crane surveyed Jasper's face deliberately. It is 
strange how much more readily women read the thoughts 
of men than men detect those of women. " You know 
where the child is," said she, slowly. 

" Well, I take it for granted she is with the old man ; 
and I have seen him — seen him yesterday." 

" Go on ; you saw him — where ? " 

II —6 2e 



63 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Near London Bridge." 
What business could you possibly have in that direc- 
tion ? Ah! I guess, the railway-station — to Dover — 
you are going abroad ? " 

" No such thing — you are so horridly suspicious. But 
i'. is true I had been to the station inquiring after some 
luggage or parcels which a friend of mine had ordered to 
be left there — now, don't interrupt me. At the foot of 
the bridge I caught a sudden glimpse of the old man — 
changed — altered — aged — one eye lost. You had said 
I should not know him again, but I did ; I should never 
have recognized his face. I knew him by the build of the 
shoulder, a certain turn of the arms — I don't know 
what; one knows a man familiar to one from birth with- 
out seeing his face. Oh, Bella ! I declare that I felt as 
soft — as soft as the silliest muff who ever — " Jasper did 
not complete his comparison, but paused a moment, 
breathing hard, and then broke into another sentence. 
"He was selling something in a basket — matches, boot- 
straps, deuce knows what. He ! a clever man, too 1 I 

should have liked to drop into that d d basket all the 

money I had about me." 

" Why did not you ? " 

" Why ? How could I ? He would have recognized 
me. There would have been a scene — a row — a flare 
up — a mob round us, I dare say. I had no idea it would 
so upset me ; to see him selling matches, too ; glad we 
did not meet at Gatesboro'. Not even for that £100 do 
I think I could have faced him. No — as he said when 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 63 

we last parted : 'The world is wide enough for both.' 
Give me some brandy — thank jou." 

"You did not speak to the old man — he did not see 
you — but you wanted to get back the child ; you felt sure 
she must be with him ; you followed him home ? " 

" I ? No ; I should have had to wait for hours. A 
man like me, loitering about Loudon Bridge ! — I should 
have been too conspicuous — he would have soon caught 
sight of me, though I kept on his blind side. I employed 
a ragged boy to watch and follow him, and here is the 
address. Now, will you get Sophy back for me without 
any trouble to me, without my appearing ? I would 
rather charge a regiment of Horse Guards than bully 
that old man."' 

" Yei you would rob him of that child — his sole com- 
fort ? '' 

" Bother ! " cried Losely, impatiently : " the child can 
be only a burden to him ; well out of his way ; 'tis for 
the sake of that child he is selling matches ! It would be 
the greatest charity we could do him to set him free from 
that child sponging on him, dragging him down ; without 
her he'd find a way to shift for himself. Why, he's even 
cleverer than I am ! And there — and there — give him 
this money, but don't say it came from me." 

He thrust, without counting, several sovereigns — at 
least twelve or fourteen — into Mrs. Crane's palm; and 
so powerful a charm has goodness the very least, even in 
natures the most evil, that that unusual, eccentric, incon- 
sistent gleam of human pity in Jasper Losely's benighted 



64 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

soul, shed its relenting influence over the angry, wrathffal, 
and vindictive feelings with which Mrs. Crane the moment 
before regarded the perfidious miscreant ; and she gazed 
at him with a sort of melancholy wonder. What I though 
so little sympathizing with aflfection that he could not 
comprehend that he was about to rob the old man of a 
comfort which no gold could repay — what! though so~ 
contemptuously callous to his own child — yet there in 
her hand lay the unmistakable token that a something of 
humanity, compunction, compassion, still lingered in the 
breast of the greedy cynic ; and at that thought all that 
was softest in her own human nature moved toward him 
— indulgent — gentle. But in the rapid changes of the 
heart-feminine, the very sentiment that touched upon love 
brought back the jealousy that bordered upon hate. How 
came he by so much money ? more than days ago, he, the 
insatiate spendthrift, had received for his taskwork ? 
And that Pocket-book ! 

" You have suddenly grown rich, Jasper ? " 

For a moment he looked confused, but replied, as he 
re-helped himself to the brandy, "Yes, rouge-et-noir — 
luck. Now do go and see after this affair, that's a dear, 
good woman. Get the child to-day, if you can. I will 
call here in the evening." 

" Should you take her, then, abroad at once to this 
worthy lady who will adopt her ? If so, we shall meet, I 
suppose, no more ; and I am assisting you to forget that 
I live still." 

"Abroad — that crotchet of yours again. You are 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT : 65 

quite mistaken — in fact, the lady is in London. It was 
for her efifects that I went to the station. Oh, don't be 
jealous — quite elderly." 

" Jealous, my dear Jasper ; you forget. I am as youi 
mother. One of your letters, then, announced this lady's 
intended arrival. You were in correspondence with this 
— elderly lady ? " 

" Why, not exactly in correspondence. But when I 
left Paris I gave the General Post-office as my address to 
a few friends in France. And this lady, who took an in- 
terest in my affairs (ladies, whether old or young, who 
have once known me always do), was aware that I had 
expectations with respect to the child. So, some days 
ago, when I was so badly oflT, I wrote a line to tell her 
that Sophy had been no go, and that but for a dear friend 
(tliat is you) I might be on the pai-e. In her answer, 
she said she should be in London as soon as I received 
her letter ; and gave me an address here at which to learn 
where to find her when arrived — a good old soul, but 
strange to London. I have been very busy, helping her 
to find a house, recommending tradesmen, and so forth. 
She likes style, and can afford it. A pleasant house 
enough ; but our quiet evenings here spoil me for any 
thing else. Xow get on your bonnet, and let me see you 
off." 

" On one condition, my dear Jasper ; that you stay here 
till I return." 

Jasper made a wry face. But, as it was near dinner 
Ume. and he never wanted for appetite, he at length 
G* E 



66 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

agreed to employ the interval of her absence in discussing 
a meal, which experience had told him Mrs. Crane's new 
cook would, not unskillfully, though hastily, prepare. 
Mrs. Crane left him to order the dinner, and put on her 
shawl and bonnet. "But, gaining her own room, she rung 
for Bridgett Greggs ; and when that confidential servant 
appeared, she said : " In the side-pocket of Mr. Losely's 
coat there is a Pocket-book ; in it there are some letters 
which I must see. I shall appear to go out, leave the 
street-door ajar, that I may slip in again unobserved. 
You will serve dinner as soon as possible. And when 
Mr. Losely, as usual, exchanges his coat for the dressing- 
gown, contrive to take out that pocket-book unobserved 
by him. Bring it to me here, in this room : you can as 
easily replace it afterward. A moment will suflBce to my 
purpose." 

Bridgett nodded, and understood. Jasper, standing 
by the window, saw Mrs. Crane leave the house, walking 
briskly. He then threw himself on the sofa, and began 
to doze : the doze deepened, and became sleep. Bridgett, 
entering to lay the cloth, so found him. She approached 
on tiptoe — sniffed the perfume of the pocket-book — saw 
its gilded corners peep forth from its lair. She hesitated 
— she trembled — she was in mortal fear of that truculent 
slumberer ; but sleep lessens the awe thieves feel, or 
heroes inspire. She has taken the pocket-book — she has 
fled with the booty — she is in Mrs. Crane's apartment, 
not five minutes after Mrs. Crane has regained its 
threshold. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 6t 

Rapidly the jealous woman ransacked the pocket-book 

— started to see, elegantly worked with gold threads, in 
the lining, the words, " Souviens-toi de ta Gabrielle" 

— no other letters, save the two, of which Jasper had 
vouchsafed to her but the glimpse. Over these she hur- 
ried her glittering eyes ; and when she restored them to 
their place, and gave back the book to Bridgett, who 
stood by, breathless and listening, lest Jasper should 
awake, her face was colorless, and a kind of shudder 
seemed to come over her. Left alone, she rested her 
face on her hand, her lips moving as if in self-commune. 
Then noiselessly she glided down the stairs, regained the 
street, and hurried fast upon her way. 

Bridgett was not in time to restore the book to Jasper's 
pocket, for when she re-entered he was turning round 
and stretching himself between sleep and waking. But 
she dropped the book skillfully on the floor, close beside 
the sofa ; it would seem to him, on waking, to have 
fallen out of the pocket in the natural movements of 
sleep. 

And in fact, when he rose, dinner now on the table, he 
picked up the pocket-book without suspicion. But it 
wasJucky that Bridgett had not waited for the opportu- 
nity suggested by her mistress. For when Jasper put on 
the dressing-gown, he observed that his coat wanted 
brushing; and, in giving it to the servant for that 
purpose, he used the precaution of taking out the pocket- 
oook, and placing it in some other receptacle of his dress. 

Mrs. Crane returned in less than two hours — returned 



68 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

with a disappointed look, which at once prepared Jasper 
for the intelligence that the birds to be entrapped had 
flown. 

" They went away this afternoon," said Mrs. Crane, 
tossing Jasper's sovereigns on the table, as if they burned 
her fingers. " But leave the fugitives to me. I will find 
them." 

Jasper relieved his angry mind by a series of guilty but 
meaningless expletives ; and then, seeing no farther use 
to which Mrs. Crane's wits could be applied at present, 
finished the remainder of her brandy, and wished her 
good-night, with a promise to call again, but without any 
intimation of his own address. As soon as he was gone, 
Mrs. Crane once more summoned Bridgett. 

" You told me last week that your brother-in-law, 
Simpson, wished to go to America, that he had the offer 
of employment there, but that he could not afford the fare 
of the voyage. I promised I would help him if it was a 
service to you." 

" You are a hangel, Miss ! " exclaimed Bridgett, drop- 
ping a low courtesy — so low that it seemed as if she was 
going on her knees. "And may you have your deserts in 
the next blessed world, where there are no black-hearted 
villings." 

" Enough, enough," said Mrs. Crane, recoiling, perhaps, 
from that grateful benediction. " You have been faithful 
to me, as none else have ever been ; but this time I do 
not serve you in return so much as I meant to do. The 
service is reciprocal, if your brother-in-law will do me a 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 69 

favor. He takes with him his daughter, a mere child. 
Brid<rett, let them enter their names on the steam-vessel 
as William and Sophv Waife ; tliey can, of course, re- 
sume their own name when the voyage is over. There is 
the fare for them, and something more. Pooh, no thanks. 
T can spare the money. See your brother-in-law the first 
thing in the morning ; and remember they go by the next 
vessel, which sails from Liverpool on Thursday." 



CHAPTER XYI. 

Those poor Pocket Cannibals, how society does persecute them! 
Even a menial servant would give warning if disturbed at his 
meals. But your Man-eater is the meekest of creatures ; he will 
never give warning, and — not often take it. 

Whatever the source that had supplied Jasper Losely 
with the money, from which he had so generously extracted 
the sovereigns intended to console Waife for the loss of 
Sophy, that source either dried up, or became wholly in- 
adequate to his wants. For elasticity was the felicitous 
peculiarity of Mr. Losely's wants. They accommodated 
themselves to the state of his finances with mathematical 
precision, always requiring exactly five times the amount 
of the means placed at his disposal. From a shilling to a 
million, multiply his wants by five times the total of his 
means, and you arrived at a just conclusion. Jasper called 
upon Poole, who was slowly recovering, but unable to 
leave his room ; and finding that gentleman in a mon; 



70 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

melancholy state of mind than usual, occasioned by Uncle 
Sam's brutal declaration, that " if responsible for his god- 
son's sins, he was not responsible for his debts ; " and that 
he really thought "the best thing Samuel Dolly could do 
was to go to prison for a short time, and get white- 
washed ; " Jasper began to lament his own hard fate : 
"And just when one of the finest women in Paris has 
come here on purpose to see me," said the lady-killer ; " a 
lady who keeps her carriage, Dolly ! Would have intro- 
duced you if you had been well enough to go out. One 
can't be always borrowing of her. I wish one could. 
There's Mother Crane would sell her gown off her back 
for me, but, 'Gad, Sir, she snubs, and positively frightens 
me. Besides, she lays traps to demean me — set me to 
work like a clerk (not that I would hurt your feelings, 
Dolly. If you are a clerk, or something of that sort, you 
are a gentleman at heart). Well, then, we are both done 
up and cleaned out ; and my decided opinion is, that no- 
thing is left but a bold stroke " 

" I have no objection to bold strokes, but I don't see 
any ; and Uncle Sam's bold stroke of the Fleet Prison is 
not at all to my taste." 

"Fleet Prison! Fleet fiddlestick! No. You have 
never been in Russia? Why should we not go there 
both ? My Paris friend, Madame Caumartin, was going 
to Italy, but her plans are changed, and she is now all for 
St. Petersburg. She will wait a few days for you to get 
well. We will all go together and enjoy ourselves. The 
Russians doat upon whist. We shall get into their swell 



%VHAT WILL UE DO WITH IT? Tl 

Bets, and live like princes." Therewith Jasper launched 
forth on the text of Russian existence, in such glowing 
terms, that Dolly Poole shut his aching eves, and fancied 
himself sledging down the Neva, covered with furs — a 
countess waiting for him at dinner, and counts in dozens 
ready to ofl'er bets, to a fabulous amount, that Jasper 
Losely lost the rubber. 

Having lifted his friend into this reorion of aerial castles, 
Jasper then, descending into the practical world, wound 
up with the mournful fact that one could not get to Peters- 
burg, nor, when there, into swell sets, without having some 
little capital on hand. 

'* I tell you what we will do. Madame Caumartin lives 
in prime style. Get old Latham, your employer, to dis- 
count her bill at three months' date, for £500, and we will 
be off in a crack.'' Poole shook his head. " Old Latham 
is too knowing a file for that — a foreigner ! He'd want 
security." 

" I'll be security." 

Dolly shook his head a second time, still more emphati- 
cally than the first. 

" But you say he does discount paper — gets rich on 
it?" 

" Yes, gets rich on it, which he might not do if he dis- 
counted the paper you propose. No offense." 

" Oh, no offense among friends ! You have taken him 
bills which he has discounted?" 

' Yes. good paper." 

• Any paper signed by good names is good paper. We 
can s'jrii good names if we know their handwritings." 



72 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT ? 

Dolly started and turned white. Knave he was — cheat 
at cards, blackleg on the turf — but forgery ! that crime 
was new to him. The very notion of it brought on a 
return of fever. And while Jasper was increasing his 
malady by arguing with his apprehensions, luckily for 
Poole, Uncle Sam came in. Uncle Sam, a sagacious old 
tradesman, no sooner clapped eyes on the brilliant Losely 
than he conceived for him a distrustful repugnance, simi- 
lar to that with which an experienced gander may regard 
a fox in colloquy with its gosling. He had already 
learned enough of his godson's ways and chosen society 
to be assured that Samuel Dolly had indulged in very 
anti-commercial tastes, and been sadly contaminated by 
very anti-commercial friends. He felt persuaded that 
Dolly's sole chance of redemption was in working on his 
mind while his body was still suffering, so that Poole 
might, on recovery, break with all former associations. 
On seeing Jasper in the dress of an exquisite, with the 
thews of a prize-fighter, Uncle Sam saw the stalwart in- 
carnation of all the sins which a godfather had vowed 
that a godson should renounce. Accordingly, he made 
himself so disagreeable, that Losely, in great disgust, 
took a hasty departure. And Uncle Sam, as he helped 
the nurse to plunge Dolly into his bed, had the brutality 
to tell his nephew, in very plain terms, that if ever he 
found that Brummagem gent in Poole's rooms again, 
Poole would never again see the color of Uncle Sara's 
money. Dolly beginning to blubber, the good man, re- 
lenting, patted him on the back, and said, " But as soon 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 73 

as you are well, I'll carry you with me to my country box, 
and keep you out of harm's way till I find you a wife, 
who will comb your head for you ! " — at which cheering 
prospect Poole blubbered more dolefully than before. 
On retiring to his own lodging in the Gloucester coffee- 
house. Uncle Sara, to make all sure, gave positive orders 
to Poole's landlady, who respected in Uncle Sam the 
man who might pay what Poole owed to lier, on no ac- 
count to let in any of Dolly's profligate friends, but 
especially the chap he had found there ; adding, " "Tis 
as much as my nephew's life is worth, and, what is more 
to the purpose, as much as your bill is." Accordingly, 
when Jasper presented himself at Poole's door again that 
very evening, the landlady apprised him of her orders ; 
and, proof to his insinuating remonstrances, closed the 
door in his face. But a French chronicler has recorded 
that, when Henry lY. was besieging Paris, though not 
a loaf of bread could enter the walls, love-letters passed 
between city and camp as easily as if there had been no 
siege at all. And does not Mercury preside over money 
as well as love ? Jasper, spurred on by Madame Cau- 
martin, who was exceedingly anxious to exchange Lon- 
don for Petersburg as soon as possible, maintained a 
close and frequent correspondence with Poole by the 
agency of the nurse, who luckily was not above being 
bribed by shillings. Poole continued to reject the vil- 
lainy proposed by Jasper ; but, in the course of the cor- 
respondence, he threw out, rather incoherently — for his 
mind began somewhat to wander — a scheme equally 
II. — 7 



74 WHAT WILL HE DO AV I T H IT? 

flagitious, which Jasper, aided perhaps by Madame Cau 
martiu's yet keener wit, caught up, and quickly reduced 
to deliberate method. Old Mr. Latham, among the bills 
he discounted, kept those of such more bashful customers 
as stipulated that their resort to temporary accommoda- 
tion should be maintained a profound secret, in his own 
safe. Among these bills Poole knew that there was one 
for £1000, given by a young nobleman of immense 
estates, but so entailed that he could neither sell nor 
mortgage, and therefore often in need of a few hundreds 
for pocket-money. The nobleman's name stood high. 
His fortune was universally known ; his honor unimpeach- 
able. A bill of his any one would cash at sight. Could 
Poole but obtain that bill ! It had, he believed, only a 
few weeks yet to run. Jasper, or Madame Caumartin 

might get it discounted even by Lord 's own banker ; 

and if that were too bold, by any professional bill-broker ; 
and all three be off before a suspicion could arise. But 
to get at that safe a false key might be necessary. Poole 
suggested a waxen impression of the lock. Jasper sent 
him a readier contrivance — a queer-looking tool that 
looked an instrument of torture. All now necessary was 
for Poole to recover sutBciently to return to business, and 
to get rid of L^ncle Sam by a promise to run down to 
the country the moment Poole had conscientiously cleared 
some necessary arrears of work. While this correspond- 
ence went on, Jasper Losely shunned Mrs. Crane, and 
took his meals and spent his leisure hours wit.^ Madame 
Caumartin. He needed no dressing-gown and slippers 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 75 

to feel himself at home there. Madame Caumartin had 
really taken a showy house in a genteel street. Her own 
appearance was eminently what the French call distinguee. 
Dressed to perfection, from head to foot ; neat and 
finished as an epijrram. Her face, in shape like a 
thorough-bred cobra capella— low, smooth frontal, widen- 
ing at the summit ; chin tapering, but jaw strong ; teeth 
raartelously white, small, and with points sharp as those 
in the maw of the fish called the " Sea Devil ;" eye> like 
dark emeralds, of which the pupils, when she was ungry 
or when she was scheming, retreated upward toward the 
temples, emitting a luminous green ray that shot through 
space like the gleam that escapes from a dark lantern ; 
complexion superlatively feminine — call it not pale, but 
white, as if she lived on blanched almonds, peachstones, 
and arsenic ; hands so fine and so bloodless, with fingers 
so pointedly taper there seemed stings at their tips ; 
manners of one who had ranged all ranks of society, 
from highest to lowest, and duped the most wary in each 
of them. Did she please it, a crown prince might have 
thought her youth must have passed in the chambers of 
porphyry ! Did she please it, an old soldier would have 
sworn the creature had been a vicandiere. In age, per- 
haps bordering on forty. She looked younger; but had 
she been a hundred and twenty she could not have been 
more wicked. Ah I happy, indeed, for Sophy, if it were 
to save her youth from ever being fostered in elegant 
boudoirs by those bloodless hands, that the crippled vaga- 
bond had borne her away from Arabella's less cruel un- 



76 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

kindness ; better far even Rugge's village stage ; better 
far stealthy by-lanes, feigned names, and the erudite tricks 
of Sir Isaac ! 

But still it is due even to Jasper to state here that in 
Losely's recent design to transfer Sophy from Waife's 
care to that of Madame Caumartin, the Sharper harbored 
no idea of a villainy so execrable as the character of the 
Parisienne led the jealous Arabella to suspect. But his 
real object in getting the child, at that time, once more 
into bis power was (whatever its nature) harmless com- 
pared M'ith the mildest of Arabella's dark doubts. But 
still, if Sophy had been regained, and the object on re- 
gaining her foiled (as it probably would have been), what 
then might have become of her ? — lost, perhaps, forever 
to Waife — in a foreign land, and under such guardian- 
ship ? • Grave question, which Jasper Losely, who exer- 
cised so Itttle foresight in the paramount question, viz., 
what, some day or other, will become of himself, was not 
likely to rack his brains by conjecturing ! 

Meanwhile Mrs. Crane was vigilant. The detective 
police-officer, sent to her by Mr. Rugge, could not give 
her the information which Rugge desired, and which she 
did not longer need. She gave the detective some infor- 
mation respecting Madame Caumartin. One day, toward 
the evening, she was surprised by a visit from Uncle Sam. 
He called ostensibly to thank her for her kindness to hiv«! 
godson and nephew ; and to beg her not to be offended 
if he had been rude to Mr. Losely, who, he understood 
from Dolly, was a particular friend of hers. " You see 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 77 

ma'am, Samuel Dolly is a weak young man, and easily 
led astray ; but, luckily for himself, he has no money and 
no stomach. So he may repent in time ; and if I could 
find a wife to manage him, he has not a bad head for the 
main chance, and may become a practical man. Re- 
peatedly I have told him he should go to prison, but that 
was only to frighten him — fact is. I want to get him safe 
down into the country, and he don't take to that. So I 
am forced to say, ' My box, home-brewed and south-down, 
Samuel Dolly, or a Lunnon jail, and debtors' allowance.' 
Must give a young man his choice, my dear lady." 

Mrs. Crane, observing that what he said was extremely 
sensible, Uncle Sam warmed in his confidence. 

"And I thought I had him, till I found Mr. Losely iu 
his sick-room ; but ever since that day, I don't know how- 
it is, the lad has had something on his mind, which I 
don't half like — cracky, I think, my dear lady — cracky. 
I suspect that old nurse passes letters. I taxed her with 
it, and she immediately wanted to take her Bible-oath, 
and smelt of gin — two things which, taken together, 
look guilty." 

"But," said Mrs. Crane, growing much interested, "if 
Mr. Losely and Mr. Poole do correspond, what then ? " 

" That's what I want to know, ma'am. Excuse me ; I 
don't wish to disparage Mr. Losely — a dashing gent, 
and nothing worse, I dare say. But certain sure I am 
that he has put into Samuel Dolly's head something 
which has cracked it ! There is the lad now up and 
dressed, when he ought to bs in bed, and swearing he'll 
7 * 2f 



78 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

go to old Latham's to-moiTOW, and that long arrears of 
work are on his conscience ! Never heard him talk of 
conscience before — that looks guilty ! And it does not 
fripfhten him any longer when I say he shall go to prison 
for his debts ; and he's very anxious to get me out of 
Lunnon ; and when I threw in a word about Mr. Losely 
(slyly, my good lady — just to see its effect), he grew as 
white as that paper ; and then he began strutting and 
swelling, and saying that Mr. Losely would be a great 
man, and that he should be a great man, and that he did 
not care for my money — he could get as much money as 
he liked. That looks guilty, my dear lady. And, oh," 
cried Uncle Sam, clasping his hands, " I do fear that he's 
thinking of something worse than he has ever done be- 
fore, and his brain can't stand it. And, ma'am, he has a 
great respect for you ; and you've a friendship for Mr. 
Losely. Now just suppose that Mr. Losely should have 
been thinking of what your flash sporting gents call a 
harmless spree, and my sister's son should, being cracky, 
construe it into something criminal. Oh, Mrs. Crane, do 
go and see Mr. Losely, and tell him that Samuel Dolly is 
not safe — is not safe!" 

" Much better that I should go to your nephc-v," said 
Mrs. Crane ; " and with your leave I will do so at once. 
Let me see him alone. Where shall I fird you after- 
ward ? " 

" At the Gloucester Coffee-house. Oh, my dear lady, 
how can I thank you enough. The boy can be nothing 
to you ; but to me, he's my sister's son — tl)e blackguard ! " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 79 



CHAPTER XYII 

Dices laborantes in uno 

Penelopen vitreamque Circen. — Horat. 

Mrs. Crane found Poole in his little sitting-room, 
bang round with prints of opera-dancers, prize-fighters, 
race-horses, and the dog Billj. Samuel Dolly was in 
full dress. His cheeks, usually so pale, seemed much 
flushed. He was evidently iu a state of high excitement, 
bowed extremely low to Mrs. Crane, called her Countess, 
asked if she had been lately on the Continent, and if she 
knew Madame Caumartin ; and whether the nobility at 
St. Petersburg were jolly, or stuck-up fellows, who gave 
themselves airs — not waiting for her answer. In fact 
his mind was unquestionably disordered. 

Arabella Crane abruptly laid her hand on his shoulder. 
"You are going to the gallows," she said, suddenly. 
" Down on your knees and tell me all, and I will keep 
your secret, and save you ; lie — and you are lost ! " 

Poole burst into tears, and dropped on his knees as he 
was told. 

In ten minutes Mrs. Crane knew all that she cared to 
know, possessed herself of Losely's letters, and, leaving 
Poole less light-headed and more hght-heartcd, she has- 
tened to Uncle Sam at the Gloucester Coffee-house. 
" Take your nephew out of town this evening, and do not 



80 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

let liim from your sight for the next six months. Hark 
you, he will never be a good man ; but you may save him 
from the hulks, Do so. Take my advice." She was 
gone before Uncle Sam could answer. 

She next proceeded to the private house of the detec- 
tive with whom she had before conferred — this time less 
to give than to receive information. Not half an hour 
after her interview with him, Arabella Crane stood in the 
street wherein was placed the showy house of Madame 
Caumartin. The lamps in the street were now lighted — 
the street, even at day, a quiet one, was comparatively 
deserted. All the windows in the Frenchwoman's house 
were closed with shutters and curtains, except on the 
drawing-room floor. From those the lights within 
streamed over a balcony filled with gay plants — one of 
the casements was partially open. And now and then, 
where the watcher stood, she could just catch the glimpse 
of a passing form behind the muslin draperies, or hear 
the sound of some louder laugh. In her dark-gray dress, 
and still darker mantle, Arabella Crane stood motionless, 
her eyes fixed on those windows. The rare foot-passen- 
ger who brushed by her turned involuntarily to glance at 
the countenance of one so still, and then as involuntarily 
to survey the house to which that countenance was lifted. 
No such observer so incurious as not to hazard conjec- 
ture what evil to that house was boded by the dark lurid 
eyes that watched it with so fixed a menace. Thus she 
remained, sometimes, indeed, moving from her post, as a 
sentry moves from his, slowly pacing a few steps to and 



WHAT WILL HE BO AVITH IT? 81 

fro, returning to the same place, and again motionless : 
thus she remained for hours. Evening deepened into 
uight — night grew near to dawn ; she was stili there in 
that street, and still her eyes were on that house. At 
length the door opened noiselessly — a tall man tripped 
forth with a light step, and humming the tune of a gay 
French chanson. As he came straight toward the spot 
where Arabella Crane was at watch, from her dark 
mantle stretched forth her long arm and lean hand, and 
seized him. He started, and recognized her. 

" You here ! " he exclaimed — " you ! — at such an 
hour ! — you ! " 

" I, Jasper Losely, here to warn you. To-morrow the 
officers of justice will be in that accursed honse. To- 
morrow that woman — not for her worst crimes, they 
elude the law, but for her least, by which the law hunts 
her down — will be a prisoner. Xo — you shall not 
return to warn her as I warn you " (for Jasper here broke 
away, and retreated some steps toward the house) ; " or, 
if you do, share her fate. I cast you off." 

" What do you mean ? " said Jasper, halting, till with 
slow steps she regained his side. " Speak more plainly : 
if poor Madame Caumartiu has got into a scrape, which 
I don't think likely, what have I to do with it?" 

" The woman you call Caumartin fled from Paris to 
escape its tribunals. She has been tracked ; the French 
Government have claimed her. Ho ! you smile. This 
does not touch you." 

'' Certainly not." 

F 



83 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" B'.it there are charges against her from English trades- 
men, and if it be proved that you knew her in her prope" 
name — the infamous Gabrielle Desmarets — if it 1 
proved that you have passed off the French billets de 
hanque that she stole — if you were her accomplice in ob- 
taining goods under her false name — if you, enriched by 
her robberies, were aiding and abetting her as a swindler 
here, though you may be safe from the French law, will 
you be safe from the English ? You may be innocent, 
Jasper Losely ; if so, fear nothing. You may be guilty ; 
if so, hide, or follow me ! " 

Jasper paused. His first impulse was to trust implicity 
to Mrs. Crane, and lose not a moment in profiting by such 
counsels of concealment or flight as an intelligence so 
superior to his own could suggest. But suddenly re- 
membering that Poole had undertaken to get the bill for 
£1000 by the next day — that if flight were necessary, 
there was yet a chance of flight with booty — his con- 
stitutional hardihood, and the grasping cupidity by which 
it was accompanied, made him resolve at least to hazard 
the delay of a few hours. And after all, might not Mrs. 
Crane exaggerate ? Was not this the counsel of a jeal- 
ous woman? "Pray," said he, moving on, and fixing 
quick keen eyes on her as she walked by his side, " pray, 
how did you learn all these particulars ? " 

" From a detective policeman employed to discover 
Sophy. In conferring with him, the name of Jasper 
Losely as her legal protector was of course stated : that 
name was already coupled with the name of the false 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 83 

Cauraartin. Thus, indirectly, the child you would have 
consigned to that woman, saves you from sharing that 
woman's ignominy and doom." 

" Stufif ! " said Jasper, stubbornly, though he winced at 
her words ; " I don't, on reflection, see that any thing can 
be proved against me. I am not bound to know why a 
lady changes her name, nor how she comes by her money. 
And as to her credit with tradesmen — nothing to speak 
of ; most of what she has got is paid for — what is not 
paid for her, is less than the worth of her goods. Pooh ! 
I am not so easily frightened — much obliged to you all 
the same. Go home now ; 'tis horridly late. Good-night, 
or rather good-morning," 

"Jasper, mark rae ! if you see that woman again — if 
you attempt to save or screen her — I shall know, and 
you lose in me your last friend — last hope — last plank 
in a devouring sea ! " 

These words were so solemnly uttered that they thrilled 
the hard heart of the reckless man. "I have no wish to 
.screen or save her," he said, with selfish sincerity. "And 
after what you have said, I would as soon enter a fire-ship 
as that house. But let me have some hours to consider 
what is best to be done." 

"Yes, consider — I shall expect you to-morrow." 
He went his way up the twilight streets toward a new 
lodging he had hired not far from the showy house. She 
4rew her mantle closer round her gaunt figure, and, taking 
the opposite direction, threaded thoroughfares yet lonelier, 
till she gained her door, and was welcomed back by the 
faithful Bridgett. 



84 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



CHAPTER XVIII 

Hope tells a flattering tale to Mr. Rugge. He is undeceived by a 
Solicitor, and left to mourn; but in turn, though unconsciously, 
Mr. Rugge deceives the Solicitor, and the Solicitor deceives his 
client, which is 6s. Sd. in the Solicitor's pocket. 

The next morning Arabella Crane was scarcely dressed 
before Mr. Rugge knocked at her door. On the previous 
day the Detective had informed him that William and 
Sophy Waife were discovered to have sailed for America. 
Frantic, the unhappy manager rushed to the steam- 
packet office, and was favored by an inspection of the 
books, which confirmed the hateful tidings. As if in 
mockery of his bereaved and defrauded state, on returning 
home he found a polite note from Mr. Gotobed, request- 
ing him to call at the office of that eminent solicitor, with 
reference to a young actress named Sophy Waife, and 
hinting "that the visit might prove to his advantage !" 
Dreaming for a wild moment that Mr. Losely, conscience- 
stricken, might through this solicitor pay back his £100, 
he rushed incontinent to Mr. Gotobed's office, and was 
at once admitted into the presence of that stately 
practitioner. 

"I beg your pardon. Sir," said Mr. Gotobed, with 
formal politeness, " but I heard a day or two ago accident- 
ally from my head-clerk, who had learned it also aceideni- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 85 

ally from a sporting friend, that you were exhibiting at 
Humberston, during the race-week, a young actress named 
on the play-bills (here is one) 'Juliet Ararainta/ and 
whom, as I am informed, you had previously exhibited 
in Surrey and elsewhere ; but she was supposed to have 
relinquished that earlier engagement, and left your stage 
with her grandfather, William Waife. I am instructed 
by a distinguished client, who is wealthy, and who, from 
motives of mere benevolence, interests himself in the said 
William and Sophy Waife, to discover their residence. 
Please, therefore, to render up the child to my charge^ 
apprising me also of the address of her grandfather, if he 
be not with you ; and without waiting for further instruc- 
tions from my client, who is abroad, I will venture to say 
that any sacrifice in the loss of your juvenile actress will 
be most liberally compensated." 

" Sir," cried the miserable and imprudent Rugge, " I 
paid £100 for that fiendish child — a three years' engage- 
ment — and I have been robbed. Restore me the £100, 
and I will tell you where she is, and her vile grandfather 
also." 

At hearing so bad a character lavished upon objects 
recommended to his client's disinterested charity, the wary 
solicitor drew in his pecuniary horns. 

" Mr. Rugge," said he, " I understand from your words 
that you cannot place the child Sophy, aliat; Julia Ara- 
minta, in my hands. You ask £100 to inform me where 
she is. Have you a lawful claim on her ? " 

"Certainly, Sir; she is my property." 

II. — 8 



86 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

" Then it is quite clear that though you may know 
where she is, you cannot get at her yourself, and cannot, 
therefore, place her in my hands. Perhaps she is — in 
heaven ! " 

" Confound her, Sir ! no — in America ! or on the seas 
to it." 

"Are you sure ? " 

" I have just come from the steam-packet office, and 
seen the names in their book. William and Sophy Waife 
sailed from Liverpool last Thursday week." 

"And they formed an engagement with you — received 
your money ; broke the one, absconded with the other. 
Bad characters indeed ! " 

" Bad ! you may well say that — a set of swindling 
scoundrels, the whole kit and kin. And the ingratitude ! " 
continued Kugge : "I was more than a father to that 
child " (he began to whimper) : " I had a babe of my own 
or.ce — died of convulsions in teething. I thought that 
child would have supplied its place, and I dreamed of the 
York Theater ; but" — here his voice was lost in the folds 
of a marvellously dirty red pocket-handkerchief. 

Mr. Gotobed having now, however, learned all that he 
cared to learn, and not being a soft-hearted man (first- 
rate solicitors rarely are), here pulled out his watch, and 
said : 

" Sir, you have been very ill-treated, I perceive. 1 
must wish you good-day ; I have an engagement in the 
City. I cannot help you back to your £100, but accept 
this trifle (a £5 note) for your loss of time in callinij" 



WHAT WILL HE DU WITH ITT 87 

(ringing the bell violently). "Door — show out <^liis 
gentleman." 

That evening Mr. Gotobed wrote at length to Guy 
Darrell, informing him that, after great pains and pro- 
longed research, he had been so fortunate as to ascertain 
that the strolling player and little girl whom Mr. Darrell 
had so benevolently requested him to look up, were very 
bad characters, and had left the country for the United 
States, as, happily for England, bad characters were wont 
to do. 

That letter reached Guy Darrell when he was far away, 
amidst the forlorn pomp of some old Italian city, and 
Lionel's tale of the little girl not very fresh in his gloomy 
thoughts. Naturally, he supposed that the boy had been 
duped by a pretty face and his own inexperienced kindly 
heart. And so and so — why, so end half the efforts of 
men who intrust to others the troublesome execution of 
humane intentions! The scales of early justice are poised 
in their quivering equilibrium, not by huge hundred- 
weights, but by infinitesimal grains, needing the most 
wary caution — the most considerate patience — the most 
delicate touch, to arrange or readjust. Few of our errors, 
national or individual, come from the design to be unjust 
— most of them from sloth, or incapacity to grapple with 
the difiBculties of being just. Sins of commission may 
not, }»erhaps, shock the retrospect of conscience. Large 
and obtrusive to view, we have confessed, mourned, re- 
pented, possibly atoned them. Sins of omission, so vailed 
amidst our hourly emotions — blent, confused, unseen, in 



88 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the conventional routine of existence. — Alas ! could these 
suddenly emerge from their shadow, group together in 
serried mass and accusing order — alas, alas ! would not 
the best of us then start in dismay, and would not the 
proudest humble himself at the Throne of Mercy I 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Joy, nevertheless, does return to Mr. Rugge; and Hope now inflicts 
herself on Mrs. Crane. A very fine-looking Hope, too — six feet, 
one — strong as Achilles, and as fleet of foot ! 

But we have left Mr. Rugge at Mrs. Crane's door; 
admit him. He bursts into her drawing-room, wiping his 
brows. 

''Ma'am, they are off to America — !" 

'"* So I have heard. You are fairly entitled to the re- 
turn of your money — " 

" Entitled, of course ; but — " 

" There it is ; restore to me the contract for the child's 
services." 

Rugge gazed on a roll of bank-notes, and could scarcely 
believe his eyes. He darted forth his hand, the notes re- 
ceded like the dagger in Macbeth, "First the contract," 
p.aid Mrs. Crane. Rugge drew out his greasy pocket- 
book, tind extracted the worthless engagement. 

"Henceforth, then," said Mrs. Crane, "you have no 
right to complain ; and whether or not the girl ever again 
fall in your way, your claim ov^r her ceases." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 89 

" The gods be praised, it does, ma'am ; I have had quite 
enough of her. But you are every inch a lady, and allow 
me to add that I put you on my free list for life." 

Rugge gone ; Arabella Crane summoned Bridgett to 
her presence. 

" Lor, miss," cried Bridgett, impulsively, " who'd think 
you'd been up all night raking ! I have not seen you look 
so well this many a year." 

"Ah," said Arabella Crane, " I will tell you why. I 
have done what for many a year I never thought I should 
do again — a good action. That child — that Sophy — 
you remember how cruelly I used her ? " 

" Oh, miss, don't go for to blame yourself; you fed her, 
you clothed her, when her own father, the villing, sent her 
away from hisself to you — you of all people — you. How 
could you be caressing and fawning on his child — their 
child ? " 

Mrs. Crane hung her head gloomily. " What is past 
is past. I have lived to save that child, and a curse seems 
lifted from my soul. Now listen ; I shall leave London — 
England, probably this evening. You will keep this 
house ; it will be ready for me any moment I return. The 
agent who collects my house-rents will give you money as 
you want it. Stint not yourself, Bridgett. I have been 
saving, and saving, and saving, for dreary years — nothing 
else to interest me — and I am richer than I seem." 

" But where are you going, miss ? " said Bridgett, slowly 
recovering from the stupefaction occasioned by her mis- 
tress' announcement. 
S* 



90 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"I dcn't know — I don't care." 

" Oh, graci(ms stars ! is it with that dreadful Jasper 
Loselj ? — it is, it is. You are crazed, you are bewitched, 
miss ! " 

"Possibly I am crazed — possibly bewitched; but I 
take that man's life to mine as a penance for all the evil 
mine has ever known ; and a day or two since I should 
have said, with rage and shame, ' I cannot help it ; I 
loathe myself that I can care what becomes of him.' 
Now, without rage, without shame, I say, ' The man whom 
I once so loved shall not die on a gibbet if I can help it ; 
and, pjease Heaven, help it I will.'" 

The grim woman folded her arms on her breast, and 
raising her head to its full height, there was in her face 
and air a stern gloomy grandeur, which could not have 
been seen without a mixed sensation of compassion and 
awe. 

" Go, now, Bridgett ; I have said all. He will be here 
soon ; he will come — he must come — he has no choice ; 
and then — and then — " she closed her eyes, bowed her 
head, and shivered. 

Arabella Crane was, as usual, right in her predictions. 
Before noon Jasper came — came, not with his jocund 
swagger, but with that sidelong sinister look — look of 
the man whom the world cuts — triumphantly restored to 
its former place in his visage.- Madame Caumartin had 
been arrested ; Poole had gone into the country with 
Uncle Sam ; Jasper had seen a police-officer at the door 
of his own lodgings. He slunk away from the fashionable 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 91 

thoroughfares — slunk to the recesses of Poddon Place — 
slunk into Arabella Crane's prim drawing-room, and said, 
sullenly: "All is up; here I am!" 

Three days afterward, in a quiet street in a quiet town 
of Belgium, wherein a sharper, striving to live by his 
profession, would soon become a skeleton, in a commo- 
dious airy apartment, looking upon a magnificent street, 
the reverse of noisy, Jasper Losely sat secure, innocuous, 
and profoundly miserable. In another house, the windows 
of which, facing those of Jasper's sitting-room, from an 
upper story, commanded so good a view therein that it 
placed him under a surveillance akin to that designed by 
Mr. Bentham's reformatory Panopticon, sat Arabella 
Crane. Whatever her real feelings toward Jasper Losely 
(and what those feelings were no virile pen can presume 
authoritatively to define — for lived there ever a man who 
thoroughly — thoroughly understood a woman ?), or what- 
ever in earlier life might have been their reciprocated 
vows of eternal love, not only from the day that Jasper, 
on his return to his native shores, presented himself in 
Poddon Place, had their intimacy been restricted to the 
austerest bounds of friendship ; but after Jasper had so 
rudely declined the hand which now fed him, Arabella 
Crane had probably perceived that her sole chance of 
retaining intellectual power over his lawless being, neces- 
sitated the utter relinquishment of every hope or project 
that could expose her again to his contempt. Suiting 
appearances to reality, the decorum of a separate house 
was essential to the maintenance of that authority with 



92 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

which the rigid nature of their intercourse invested her. 
The additional cost strained her pecuniary resources, but 
she saved in her own accommodation in order to leave 
Jasper no cause to complain of any stinting in his. There, 
then, she sate by her window, herself unseen, eyeing him 
in his opposite solitude, accepting for her own life a 
barren sacrifice, but a jealous sentinel on his. Meditating 
as she sate, and as she eyed him — meditating what 
employment she could invent, with the bribe of emolu- 
ments to be paid furtively by her — for those strong hands 
that could have felled an ox, but were nerveless in turning 
an honest penny — and for that restless mind, hungering 
for occupation, with the digestion of an ostrich for dice 
and debauch, riot and fraud, but queasy as an exhausted 
dyspeptic at the reception of one innocent amusement, 
one honorable toil. But while that woman still schemes 
how to rescue from hulks or halter that execrable man, 
who shaii say that he is without a chance ? A chance he 

has WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 



BOOK FIFTH 



CHAPTER I. 

Envv will be a science when it learns the use of the microscope. 

When leaves fall and flowers fade, great people are 
found in their country seats. Look ! — that is Montfort 
Court ! A place of regal magnificence, so far as extent 
of pile and amplitude of domain could satisfy the pride 
of ownership, or inspire the visitor with the respect due 
to wealth and power. An artist could have made no- 
thing of it. The Sumptuous everywhere — the Picture- 
esque nowhere. The House was built in the reign of 
George I., when first commenced that horror of the 
Beautiful, as something in bad taste, which, agreeably to 
our natural love of progress, progressively advanced 
through the reigns of sticceeding Georges. An enormous 
fagade — in dull brown brick — two wings and a center, 
with double flights of steps to the hall door from the 
carriage-sweep. No trees allowed to grow too near the 
house ; in front, a stately flat with stone balustrades. 
But wherever the eye turned there was nothing to be 
seen but park — miles upon miles of park — not a corn- 
field in sight — not a roof- tree — not a spire — only those 
2g ( 93 ) 



Dl WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

lata silentia — still widths of turf, and, somewhat thinly 
scattered and afar, those groves of giant trees. The 
whole prospect so vast and so monotonous that it never 
tempted you to take a walk. No close-neighboring 
poetic thicket into w^hich to plunge, uncertain whither 
you would emerge; no devious stream to follow. The 
very deer, fat and heavy, seemed bored by pastures it 
would take them a week to traverse. People of moderate 
wishes and modest fortunes never envied Montfort Court ; 
they admired it — they were proud to say they had seen 
'it. But never did they say, 

"Oh, that for me some home like this would smile!" 
Not SO, very — very great people ! — they rather coveted 
than admired. Those oak-trees so large, yet so unde- 
cayed — that park, eighteen miles at least in circumfe- 
rence — that solid palace which, without inconvenience, 
could entertain and stow away a king and his whole 
court — in short, all that evidence of a princely territory, 
and a weighty rent-roll, made English dukes respectfully 
envious, and foreign potentates gratifyingly jealous. 

But turn from the front. Open the gate in that stone 
balustrade. Come southward to the garden side of the 
house. Lady Montfort's flower-garden. Yes ; not so 
dull ! flowers, even autumnal flowers, enliven any sward. 
Still, on so large a scale, and so little relief; so little 
mystery about those broad gravel walks ; not a winding 
alley any where. Oh for a vulgar summer-house ; for 
some alcove, all honey-suckle and ivy ! But the dahlias 
are splendid ! Very true ; only dahlias, at the best, are 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 95 

snch uninteresting prosy things. What poet ever wrote 
upon a dahlia ! Surely Lady Montfort might have in- 
troduced a little more taste here — shown a little more 
fancy ! Lady Montfort ! I should like to see my lord's 
face, if Lady Montfort took any such liberty. But there 
is Lady Montfort walking slowly along that broad, 
broad, broad gravel walk — those splendid dahlias, on 
either side, in their set parterres. There she walks, in 
full evidence from all those sixty remorseless windows on 
the garden front, each window exactly like the other. 
There she walks, looking wistfully to the far end — ('tis 
a long way off) — where, happily, there is a wicket that 
carries a persevering pedestrian out of sight of the' sixty 
windows, into shady walks, toward the banks of that im- 
mense piece of water, two miles from the house. My 
lord has not returned from his moor in Scotland — my 
lady is alone. Xo company in the house — it is like say- 
ing, "No acquaintance in a city.', But the retinue is 
full. Though she dined alone, she might, had she 
pleased, have had almost as many servants to gaze upon 
her as there were windows now staring at her lonely 
walk, with their glassy spectral eyes. 

Just as Lady Montfort gains the wicket she is over- 
taken by a visitor, walking fast from the gravel sweep by 
the front door, where he has dismounted — where he has 
caught sight of her ; any one so dismounting might have 
caught sight of her — could not help it. Gardens so 
fiue, were made on purpose for fine persons walking in 
them to be seen. 



96 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Ah, Lady Montfort," said the visitor, stammering 
painfully, "I am so glad to find you at home." 

" At home, George ! " said the lady, extending her 
hand ; " where else is it likely that I should be found ? 
But how pale you are ! What has happened ? " 

She seated herself on a bench, under a cedar-tree, just 
without the wicket, and George Morley, our old friend 
the Oxonian, seated himself by her side familiarly, but 
with a certain reverence. Lady Montfort was a few 
years older than himself — his cousin — he had known 
her from his childhood. 

" What has happened ! " he repeated, " nothing new. 
I have just come from visiting the good bishop." 

''He does not hesitate to ordain you?" 

"No — but I shall never ask him to do so." 

" My dear cousin, are you not overscrupulous ? You 
wonld be an ornament to the Church, sufficient in all else 
to justify your compulsory omission of one duty, which a 
curate could perform for you." 

Morley shook his head sadly. " One duty omitted ! " 
said he. "But is it not that duty which distinguishes 
the priest from the layman ? and how far extends that 
duty ? Wherever there needs a voice to speak the Word ; 
not in the pulpit only, but at the hearth, by the sick bed ; 
there should be the Pastor! No — I cannot, I ought 
not, I dare not I Inc6mpetenv is the laborer, how can I 
be worthy of the hire ? " It took him long to bring out 
these words ; his emotion increased his infirmity. Lady 
Montfort listened with an exquisite respect, visible in her 
compassion, and paused long before she answered. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 97 

George^ l^rley was the younger son of a country 
gentleman, with a good estate settled upon the elder son. 
George's father had been an intimate friend of his kins- 
man, the Marquis of Montfort (predecessor and grandsire 
of the present lord) ; and the Marquis had, as he thought, 
amply provided for George in undertaking to secure to 
him, when of fitting age, the living of Humberston, the 
most lucrative preferment in his gift. The living had 
been held for the last fifteen years by an incumbent, now 
very old, upon the honorable understanding that it was 
to be resigned in favor of George should George take 
orders. The young man from his earliest childhood thus 
destined to the Church, devoted to the prospect of that 
profession all his studies, all his thoughts. Xot till he 
was sixteen did his infirmity of speech make itself seriously 
perceptible ; and then elocution masters undertook to 
cure it — they failed. But George's mind continued in 
the direction toward which it had been so systematically 
biased. Entering Oxford, he became absorbed in its 
academical shades. Amidst its books he almost forgot 
the impediment of his speech. Shy, taciturn, and solitary 
he mixed too little with others to have it much brought 
before his own notice. He carried oflf prizes — he took 
high honors. On leaving the university, a profound 
theologian — an enthusiastic Churchman — filled with the 
most earnest sense of the pastor's solemn calling — he 
was thus complimentarily accosted by the Archimandrite 
of his college, " What a pity you can not go into the 
Church ! " 

II. — 9 G 



98 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Can not — but I am going into the Church." 

" You, is it possible ? But perhaps you are sure of a 
living — " 

" Yes — Humberston. " 

"An immense living, but a very large population. 
Certainly it is in the bishop's own discretionary power to 
ordain you, and for all the duties you can keep a curate. 
But — " The Don stopped short, and took snuff. 

That "But" said as plainly as words could say, "It 
may be a good thing for you, but is it fair for the Church ? " 

'So George Morley, at least, thought that "But" im- 
plied. His conscience took alarm. He was a thoroughly 
noble-hearted man, likely to be the more tender of con- 
science where tempted by worldly interests. With that 
living he was rich, without it very poor. But to give up 
a calling, to the idea of which he had attached himself 
with all the force of a powerful and zealous nature, was 
to give up the whole scheme and dream of his existence. 
He remained irresolute for some time ; at la.st he wrote to 
the present Lord Montfort, intimating his doubts, and 
relieving the Marquis from the engagement which his 
lordship's predecessor had made. The present Marquis 
was not a man capable of understanding such scruples. 
But, luckily perhaps for George and for the Church, the 
larger affairs of the great House of Montfort were not 
administered by the Marquis. The parliamentary in- 
fluences, the ecclesiastical preferments, together with the 
practical direction of minor agents to the vast and com- 
plicated estates attached to the title, were at that time 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 99 

under the direction of Mr. Carr Yipont, a powerful 
member of Parliament, and husband to that Lady Selina 
wliose condescension had so disturbed the nerves of Frank 
Yance the artist. Mr. Carr Yipont governed this vice- 
royalty according to the rules and traditions by which the 
House of Montfort had become great and prosperous. 
For not only every state, but every great seigniorial 
House has its hereditary maxims of policy ; not less the 
House of Montfort than the House of Hapsburg. Now 
the House of Montfort made it a rule that all admitted 
to be members of the family should help each other ; that 
the head of the House should never, if it could be avoided, 
suffer any of its branches to decay and wither into poverty. 
The House of Montfort also held it a duty to foster and 
make the most of every species of talent that could swell 
the influence, or adorn the annals of the family. Halving 
rank, having wealth, it sought also to secure intellect, and 
to knit together into solid union, throughout all ramifica- 
tions of kinship and cousinhood, each variety of repute 
and power that could root the ancient tree more firmly in 
the land. Agreeably to this traditional policy, Mr. Carr 
Yipont not only desired that a Yipont Morley should not 
lose a very good thing, but that a very good thing should 
not lose a Yipont Morley of high academical distinction 
— a Yipont Morley who might be a bishop ! He there- 
fore drew up an admiral)le letter, which the Marquis 
signed — that the Marquis should take the trouble of copy- 
ing it was out of the question — wherein Lord Montfort 
was made to express great admirajtion of the disinterested 



1 00 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

delicacy^ of sentiment, which proved George Vipont 
Morley to be still more fitted to the cure of souls : and, 
placing rooms at Montfort Court at his service (the 
Marquis not being himself there at the moment), suggested 
that George should talk the matter over with the present 
incumbent of Humberston (that town was not many miles 
distant from Montfort Court), who, though he had no 
impediment in his speech, still never himself preached or 
read prayers, owing to an affection of the trachea, and 
who was, nevertheless, a most efficient clergyman. George 
Morley, therefore, had gone down to Montfort Court 
some months ago, just after his interview with Mrs. Crane. 
He had then accepted an invitation to spend a week or 
two with the Rev. Mr. Allsop, the Rector of Humberston 
— a clergyman of the old school, a fair scholar, a perfect 
gentleman, a man of the highest honor, good-natured, 
charitable, but who took pastoral duties much more easily 
than good clergymen of the new school — be they high or 
low — are disposed to do. Mr. Allsop, who was then in 
his eightieth year, a bachelor with a very good fortune of 
his own, was perfectly wiUing to fulfill the engagement on 
which he held his living, and render it up to George ; but 
he was touched by the earnestness with which George as- 
sured him that at all events he would not consent to dis- 
place the venerable incumbent from a tenure he had so 
long and honorably held — and would wait till the living 
was vacated in the ordinary course of nature. Mr. Allsop 
conceived a warm affection for the young scholar. He 
had a grandniece staying with him on his visit, who less 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 101 

openly, but not less warmly, shared that affection ; and 
with her George Morley fell shyly and timorously in love. 
With that living he would be rich enough to marry — • 
without it, no. Without it he had nothing but a fellow- 
ship, which matrimony would forfeit, and the scanty por- 
tion of a country squire's younger son. The young lady 
herself was dowerless, for Allsop's fortune was so settled 
that no share of it would come to his grandniece. 
Another reason for conscience to gulp down that unhappy 
impediment of speech ! Certainly, during this visit, 
Morley's scruples relaxed ; but when he returned iiome 
they came back with greater force than ever — with 
greater force, because he felt that now not only a spiritual 
ambition, but a human love was a casuist in favor of self- 
interest. He had returned on a visit to Humberston 
Rectory about a week previous to the date of this chapter 
— the niece was not there. Sternly he had forced him- 
self to examine a little more closely into the condition of 
the flock which (if he accepted the charge) he would have 
to guide, and the duties that devolved upon the chief 
pastor in a populous trading town. He became appalled. 
Humberston, like most towns under the political influence 
of a Great House, was rent by parties. One party, who 
succeeded in returning one of the two members for Par- 
liament, all for the House of Montfort ; the other party, 
who returned also their member, all against it. By one 
half the town, whatever came from Montfort Court was 
?ure to be regarded with a most malignant and distorted 
vision. Meanwhile, though Mr. Allsop was popular with 
9* 



102 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the higher classes, and with such of the extreme poor as 
his charity relieved, his pastoral influence generally was 
a dead letter. His curate, who preached for him — a 
good young man enough, but extremely dull — was not 
one of those men who fill a church. Tradesmen wanted 
an excuse to stay away or choo§e another place of wor- 
ship ; and they contrived to hear some passage in the 
sermons, over which, while the curate mumbled, they 
habitually slept — that they declared to be "Puseyite." 
The church became deserted : and about the same time a 
very eloquent Dissenting minister appeared at Humber- 
ston, and even professed churchfolks went to hear him. 
George Morley, alas ! perceived that at Humberston, if 
the Church there were to hold her own, a powerful and 
popular preacher was essentially required. His mind 
was now made up. At Carr Vipont's suggestion, the 
bishop of the diocese, being then at his palace, had sent 
to see him ; and, while granting the force of his scruples, 
had yet said, " Mine is the main responsibility. But if 
you ask me to ordain you, I will do so without hesitation ; 
for if the Church wants preachers, it also wants deep 
scholars and virtuous pastors." Fresh from this interview, 
George Morley came to announce to Lady Montfort that 
his resolve was unshaken. She, I have said, paused long 
before she answered. " George," she began at last, in a 
voice so touchingly sweet that its very sound was balm 
to a wounded spirit — " I must not argue with you — I 
bow before the grandeur of your motives, and I will not 
say that you are not right. One thing I do feel, that if 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 103 

you thus sacrifice your inclinations and interests from 
scruples so pure and holy, you will never be to be pitied 
— you will never know regret. Poor or rich, single or 
wedded, a soul that so seeks to reflect heaven will be 
serene and blessed ! " Thus she continued to address 
hira for some time, he all the while inexpressibly soothed 
and comforted; then gradually she insinuated hopes even 
of a worldly and temporal kind — literature was left to 
hira — the scholar's pen, if not the preacher's voice. In 
literature he might make a career that would lead on to 
fortune. There were places also in the public service to 
which a defect in speech was no obstacle. She knew his 
secret, modest attachment ; she alluded to it just enough 
to encourage constancy and rebuke despair. As she 
ceased, his admiring and grateful consciousness of his 
cousin's rare qualities changed the tide of his emotions 
toward her from himself, and he exclaimed with an 
earnestness that almost wholly subdued his stutter. 

"What a counselor you are! — what a soother ! If 
Montfort were but less prosperous or more ambitious, what 
a treasure, either to console or to sustain, in a mind like 
yours ! " 

As those words were said, you might have seen at once 
why Lady Montfort was called haughty and reserved. 
Her lip seemed suddenly to snatch back its sweet smile — 
her dark eye, before so purely, softly friend-like, became 
coldly distant — the tones of her voice were not the same, 
as she answered — 

" Lord Montfort values me as it is, far beyond my 



104 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

merits — far," she added, with a different intonation,- 
gravely mouriTful. 

"Forgive me ; I liave displeased you. I did not mean 
it. Heaven forbid Hhat I should presume either to dis- 
parage Lord Montfort — or — or to — " he stopped short, 
saving the hiatus by a convenient stammer. " Only," he 
continued, after a pause, "only forgive me this once. 
Recollect I was a little boy when you were a young lady 
and I have pelted you with snow-balls, and called you 
' Caroline.' " Lady Montfort suppressed a sigh, and gave 
the young scholar back her gracious smile, but not a smile 
that would have permitted him to call her " Caroline " 
again. She remained, indeed, a little more distant than 
usual during the rest of their interview, which was not 
much prolonged ; for Morley felt annoyed with himself 
that he had so indiscreetly offended her, and seized an ex- 
cuse to escape. " By-the-by," said he, " I have a letter 
from Mr. Carr Yipont, asking me to give him a sketch 
for a Gothic bridge to the water yonder. I will, with 
your leave, walk down and look at the proposed site. 
Only do say that you forgive me." 

" Forgive you. Cousin George, oh yes. One word only 
— it is true you were^ a child still when I fancied I was a 
woman, and you have a right to talk to me upon all things, 
except those that relate to me and Lord Montfort ; unless, 
indeed," she added, with a bewitching half laugh, "unless 
you ever see cause to scold me, there. Good-by, my cousin, 
and in turn forgive me, if I was so petulant. The Caroline 
you pelted with snow-balls was always a wayward, impul- 



105 

sive creature, quick to take offense, to misunderstand, and 

— to repent." 

Back into the broad, broad gravel-walk, walked, more 
slowly than before, Lady Montfort. Again the sixty 
ghastly windows stared at her with all their eyes — back 
from the gravel-walk, through a side-door, into the pom- 
pous solitude of the stately house — across long chambers^ 
where the mirrors reflected her firm, and the huge chairs, 
in their flaunting damask and flaring gold, stood stiff on 
desolate floors — into her own private room — neither 
large nor splendid that ; plain chintzes, quiet book-shelves. 
She need not have been the Marchioness of Montfort to 
inhabit a room as pleasant and as luxurious. And the 
rooms that she could only have owned as Marchioness, 
what were those worth to her happiness ? I know not. 
" Nothing," fine ladies will perhaps answer. Yet those 
same fine ladies will contrive to dispose their daughters to 
answer, "All." In her own room Lady Montfort sunk on 
her chair ; wearily ; — wearily she looked at the clock — 
wearily at the books on the shelves — at the harp near 
the window. Then she leaned her face on her hand, and 
that face w^as so sad, and so humbly sad, that you would 
have wondered how any one could call Lady Montfort 
proud. 

" Treasure ! I — 1 1 — worthless, fickle, credulous fool I 

— I — I!" 

The groom of the chambers entered with the letters by 
the afternoon post. That Great House contrived to 



106 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

worry itself with two posts a day. A royal command to 
Windsor — 

" I shall be more alone in a court than here," murmured 
Lady Montfort. 



CHAPTER II. 

Truly saith the proverb, " Much corn lies under the straw that is 
not seen." 

Meanwhile George Morley followed the long shady 
walk — very handsome walk, full of prize roses and rare 
exotics — artificially winding, too — walk so well kept that 
it took thirty-four men to keep it — noble walk, tiresome 
walk — till it brought him to the great piece of water, 
which, perhaps, four times in the year was visited by the 
great folks in the Great House. And being thus out of 
the immediate patronage of fashion, the great piece of 
water really looked natural — companionable, refreshing 
— you began to breathe — to unbutton your waistcoat, 
loosen your neckcloth — quote Chaucer, if you could re- 
collect him, or Cowper, or Shakspeare, or Thomson's 
Seasons ; in short, any scraps of verse that came into 
your head -as your feet grew joyously entangled with 
fern — as the trees grouped forest-like before and round 
you — trees which there being out of sight, were allowed 
to grow too old to be worth five shillings apiece, moss- 
grown, hollow-trunked, some pollarded — trees invaluable I 
Ha ! the hare ! how she scuds ! See, the deer marching 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 107 

down to the water-side. What groves of bulrushes — 
islands of water-lilj ! And to throw a Gothic bridge 
there, bring a great gravel road over the bridge ! Oh, 
shame ! shame ! 

So would have said the scholar, for he had a true senti- 
ment for nature, if the bridge had not clean gone out of 
his head. 

Wandering alone, he came at last to the most um- 
brageous and sequestered bank of the wide water, closed 
round on every side by brushwood, or still patriarchal 
trees. 

Suddenly he arrested his steps — an idea struck him — > 
one of those odd, whimsical, grotesque ideas which often 
when we are alone come across us, even in our quietest 
or most anxious moods. Was his infirmity really in- 
curable ? Elocution masters had said " Certainly not ; '^ 
but they had done him no good. Yet had not the great- 
est orator the world ever knew a defect in utterance ! He 
too, Demosthenes, had, no doubt, paid fees to elocution 
masters, the best in Athens, where elocution masters must 
have studied their art ad unguem, and the defect had 
baffled them. But did Demosthenes despair ? ^o, he 
resolved to cure himself. — How ? Was it not one of his 
methods to fill his mouth with pebbles, and practice man- 
fully to the roaring sea ? George Morley had never tried 
the effect of pebbles. Was there any virtue in them ? 
Why not try ? Xo sea there, it is true ; but a sea was 
only useful as representing the noise of a stormy demo- 
cratic audience. To represent a peaceful congregation 



108 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

that still sheet of water would do as well. Pebbles there 
were in plenty just by that gravelly cove, near which a 
young pike lay sunning his green back. Half in jest, 
half in earnest, the scholar picked up a handful of peb- 
bles, wiped them from sand and mould, inserted them be- 
tween his teeth cautiously, and, looking round to assure 
himself that none were by, began an extempore discourse. 
So interested did he become in that classical experiment, 
that he might have tortured the air and astonished the 
magpies (three of whom from a neighboring thicket 
listened perfectly spell-bound) for more than half an 
hour, when, seized with shame at the ludicrous impotence 
of his exertions— with despair that so wretched a barrier 
should stand between his mind and its expression — he 
flung away the pebbles, and, sinking on the ground, he 
fairly wept — wept like a baffled child. 

The fact was, that Morley had really the temperament 
of an orator; he had the orator's gifts in warmth of 
passion, rush of thought, logical arrangement ; there was 
in him the genius of a great preacher. He felt it — he 
knew it ; and in that despair which only Genius knows, 
when some pitiful cause obstructs its energies and strikes 
down its powers — making a confidant of Solitude — he 
wept loud and freely. 

"Do not despond, Sir; I undertake to cure you," said 
a voice behind. 

George started up in confusion. A man, elderly, but 
fresh and vigorous, stood beside him, in a light fustian 
jacket, a blue apron, and with rushes in his hands, which 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 109 

he continued to plait together nimbly and deftly as lie 
bov/ed to the startled scholar. 

" I was in the shade of the thicket yonder, Sir ; pardon 
me, I could not help hearing you." 

The Oxonian rubbed his eyes, and stared at the man 
Mith a vague impression that he had seen him before — 
When? Where? 

''You can cure me," he stuttered out; "what of? — 
the folly of trying to speak in public. Thank you, I am 
cured." 

" Nay, Sir, you see before you a man who can make 
you a very good speaker. Your voice is naturally fine. 
I repeat I can cure a defect which is not in the organ, 
but in the management." 

" You can ! you — who and what are you ? " 

"A basket-maker, Sir ; I hope for your custom." 

" Surely this is not the first time I have seen you ?" 

*' True ; you once kindly suffered me to borrow a 
resting-place on your father's land. One good turn 
deserves another." 

At that moment Sir Isaac peered through the brambles, 
and, restored to his original whiteness, and relieved from 
his false, horned ears, marched gravely toward the water, 
sniffed at the scholar, slightly wagged his tail, and buried 
himself among the reeds in search of a water-rat he had 
therein disturbed a week before, and always expected to 
find again. 

The sight of the dog immediately cleared up the cloud 

II. — 10 2h 



110 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

in the scholar's memory ; but with recognition came back 
a keen curiosity and a sharp pang of remorse. 

" And your little girl ? " he asked, looking down 
abashed. 

" Better than she was when we last met. Providence 
is so kind to us " 

Poor Waife, he never guessed that to the person he 
thus revealed himself he owed the grief for Sophy's 
abduction. He divined no reason for the scholar's 
flushing cheek and embarrassed manner. 

" Yes, Sir, we have just settled in this neighborhood. 
I have a pretty cottage yonder at the outskirts of the 
village, and near the park-pales. I recognized you at 
once ; and as I heard you just now, I called to mind that 
when we met before, you said your calling should be the 
Church, were it not for your difficulty in utterance ; and 
I said to myself, ' No bad things those pebbles, if his 
utterance were thick, which it is not ; ' and I have not 
a doubt, Sir, that the true fault of Demosthenes, whom I 
presume you were imitating, was that he spoke through 
his nose." 

" Eh ! " said the scholar, " through his nose ? I never 
knew that ! — and I — " 

" And you are trying to speak without lungs ; that is, 
without air in them. You don't smoke, I presume ? " 
"No — certainly not" 

"You must learn — speak between each slow pufi" of 
your i^ipe. All you want is time, time to quit the nerves, 
time to think, time to breathe. The moment von bejiin 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? Ill 

to stammer — stop — fill the lungs thus, then try again ! 
It is only a clever man who can learn to write — that is, 
to compose ; but any fool can be taught to speak.^ 
Courage ! " 

" If you really can teach me," cried the learned man, 
forgetting all self-reproach for his betrayal of Waii'e to 
Mrs. Crane in the absorbing interest of the hope that 
sprang up within him — " If you can teach me — if I can 
but con — con — con — conq — " 

'•Slowly — slowly — breath and time; take a whiflf 
from my pipe — that's right. Yes, you can conquer the 
impediment." 

" Then I will be the best friend to you that man ever 
had. There's my hand on it." 

" I take it, but I ask leave to change the parties in the 
contract. I don't want a friend — I don't deserve one. 
You'll be a friend to my little girl instead ; and if ever I 
ask you to help me in aught for her welfare and happi- 
ness — " 

" I will help, heart and soul. Slight, indeed, any service 
to her or to you compared with such service to me. 
Free this wretched tongue from its stammer, and thought 
and zeal will not stammer whenever you say, ' Keep your 
promise,' I am so glad your little girl is still with you ! " 

Waife looked surprised — " Is still with me — why not ?" 

The scholar bit his tongue. That was not the moment 
to confess ; it might destroy all Waife's confidence in him. 
He would do so later. 

"When shall I bes:in mv lesson?" 



112 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

"Now, if you like. But have you a book in your 
pocket ? " 

"I always have." 

"Not Greek, I hope, Sir." 

" No, a volume of Barrow's Sermons. Lord Chatham 
recommended those sermons to his great son as a study 
for eloquence." 

" Good ! Will you lend me that volume, Sir, and now 
for it ; listen to me : one sentence at a time — draw your 
breath when I do." 

The three magpies pricked up their ears again, and, as 
they listened, marvelled much. 



CHAPTER III. 

Could we know by what strange circumstances a man's genius 
became px-epared for practical success, we should discover that 
the most serviceable items in his education were never entered 
in the bills which his father paid for it. 

At the end of the very first lesson George Morley saw, 
that all the elocution-masters to whose skill he had been 
consigned were blunderers in compiarison to the basket- 
maker. 

Waife did not puzzle him with scientific theories. All 
that the great comedian required of him was to observe 
and to imitate. Observation, imitation, lo ! the ground- 
work of all art ! the primal element of all genius ! Not 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 113 

there, indeed, to halt, but there ever to commence. What 
remains to carry on the intellect to mastery ? Two steps 
— to reflect, to reproduce. Observation, imitation, re- 
flection, reproduction. In these stands a mind complete 
and consummate, fit to cope with all labor, achieve all 
success. 

At the end of the first lesson George Morley felt that 
his cure was possible. Making an appointment for the 
next day at the same place, he came thither stealthily, 
and so on day by day. At the end of a week he felt that 
the cure was nearly sure ; at the end of a month the cure 
was self-evident. He should live to preach the Word. 
True, that he practised incessantly in private. Not a 
moment in his waking hours that the one thought, one 
object, were absent from his mind ; true, that with all his 
patience, all his toil, the obstacle was yet serious, might 
never be entirely overcome. Xervous hurry — rapidity 
of action — vehemence of feeling brought back, might, 
at unguarded moments, always bring back the gasping 
breath — the emptied lungs — the struggling utterance. 
But the relapse — rarer and rarer now with each trial — 
would be at last scarce a drawback. " Xay," quoth Waife, 
"instead of a drawback, become but an orator, and you 
will convert a defect into a beauty." 

Thus justly sanguine of the accomplishment of his life's 
chosen object the scholar's gratitude to Wa^^fe was un- 
speakable. And seeing the man daily at least in his own 
cottage — Sophy's health restored to her cheeks, smiles to 
her lip, and cheered at her light fancy-work beside her 
10* H 



114 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

grandsire's elbow-chair, with fairy legends instilling per- 
haps golden truths — seeing Waife thus, the scholar 
mingled with gratitude a strange tenderness of respect. 
He knew naught of the vagrant's past — his reason might 
admit that in a position of life so at variance with the 
gifts natural and acquired of the singular basket-maker, 
there was something mysterious and suspicious. But he 
blushed to think that he had ever ascribed to a flawed or 
wandering intellect the eccentricities of glorious Humor — 
abetted an attempt to separate an old age so innocent 
and genial from a childhood so fostered and so fostering. 
And sure I am that if the whole world had risen up to 
point the finger of scorn at the one-eyed cripple, George 
Morley, the well-born gentleman — the refined scholar 
— the spotless Churchman — would have given him 
his arm to lean upon, and walked by his side unashamed. 



CHAPTER lY. 

To ju<^ge human character i-ightly, a man may sometimes have 
very small experience, provided he has a very large heart. 

NuMA PoMPiLius did not more conceal from notice the 
lessons he received from Egeria than did George Morley 
those which he received from the basket-maker. Natural, 
Indeed, must be his wish for secresy — pretty story it 
would be for Humberston, its future rector learning how 
to preach a sermon from an old basket-maker ! But he 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 115 

had a nobier and more imperious motive for discretion — 
his honor was engaged to it. Waife exacted a promise 
that he would regard the intercourse belwecn them as 
strictly private and confidential. 

" It is for my sake I ask this," said Waife, frankly, 
"though I might say it was for yours." The Oxonian 
promised, and was bound. Fortunately, Lady Montfort 
quitting the Great House the very day after George had 
first encountered the basket-maker, and writing word that 
she should not return to it for some weeks — George was 
at liberty to avail himself of her lord's general invitation 
to make use of Montfort Court as his lodgings when in 
the neighborhood, which the proprieties of the world 
would not have allowed him to do while Lady Montfort 
was there without either host or female guests. Accord- 
ingly, he took up his abode in a corner of the vast palace, 
and was easily enabled, when he pleased, to traverse un- 
observed the solitudes of the park, gain the water-side, 
or stroll thence through the thick copse leading to 
Waife's cottage, which bordered the park-pales, solitary, 
sequestered, beyond sight of the neighboring village. 
The great house all to himself, George was brought in 
contact with no one to whom, in unguarded moments, he 
could even have let out a hint of his new acquaintance, 
except the clergyman of the parish, a worthy man, who 
lived in strict retirement upon a scanty stipend. For the 
Marquis was the lay impropriator ; the living was there- 
fore but a very poor vicarage, below the acceptance of a 
Yipont or a Vipont's tutor — sure to go to a quiet worthy 



116 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH I T r 

man forced to live in strict retirement. George saw too 
little of this clergyman either to let out secrets or pick 
up information. From him, however, George did inci- 
dentally learn that Waife had some months previously 
visited the village, and proposed to the bailiff to take the 
cottage and osier land, which he now rented — that he 
represented himself as having known an old basket-maker 
who had dwelt there many years ago, and had learned the 
basket craft of that long deceased operative. As he 
offered a higher rent than the bailiff could elsewhere ob- 
tain, and as the bailiff w^as desirous to get credit with 
Mr. Carr Yipont for improving the property, by reviving 
thereon an art which had fallen into desuetude, the bar- 
gain was struck, provided the candidate, being a stranger 
to the place, could furnish the bailiff with any satisfactory 
reference. Waife had gone away, saying he should 
shortly return wath the requisite testimonial. In fact, 
poor man, as we know, he was then counting on a good 
word from Mr. Hartopp. He had not, however, returned 
for some months. The cottage having been meanwhile 
wanted for the temporary occupation of an under game- 
keeper, while his own was under repair, fortunately re- 
mained unlet. Waife, on returning, accompanied by his 
little girl, had referred the bailiff to a respectable house- 
agent and collector of street rents in Bloomsbury, who 
wrote word that a lady, then abroad, had authorized him, 
as the agent employed in the management of a house 
property from which much of her income was derived, 
not only to state that Waife was a very intelligent man 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 117 

likely to do well whatever he undertook, but also to 
guarantee, if required, the punctual payment of the rent 
for any holding of which he became the occupier. Ou 
this the agreement was concluded — the basket-maker in 
stalled. In the immediate neighborhood there was no 
custom for basket-work, but Waife's performances were 
so neat, and some so elegant and fanciful, that he had no 
diJB&culty in contracting with a large tradesman (not at 
Humberston, but a more distant and yet more thriving 
town about twenty miles off), for as much of such work 
as he could supply. Each week the carrier took his 
goods and brought back the payments ; the profits amply 
sufiiced for Waife's and Sophy's daily bread, with even 
more than the surplus set aside for the rent. For the 
rest, the basket-maker's cottage being at the farthest 
outskirts of the straggling village inhabited but by a 
laboring peasantry, his way of life was not much known, 
nor much inquired into. He seemed a harmless hard- 
working man — never seen at the beer-house, always seen 
with his neatly-dressed little grandchild in his quiet cor- 
ner at church on Sundays — a civil, well-behaved man 
who touched his hat to the bailiff, and took it off to the 
vicar. 

An idea prevailed that the basket-maker had spent 
much of his life in foreign parts, favored partly by a so- 
briety of habits which is not altogether national, partly 
by something in his appearance, which, without bemg 
above his lowly calling, did not seem quite in keeping 
with it — outlandish in short — but principally by the 



118 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

fact that he had received since his arrival two letters with 
a foreign postmark. The idea befriended the old man ; 
allowing it tc be inferred that he had probably outlived 
the friends he had formerly left behind him in England, 
and on his return, been sufficiently fatigued with his ram- 
bles to drop contented in any corner of his native soil, 
wherein he could find a quiet home, and earn by light 
toil a decent livelihood. 

George, though naturally curious to know what had 
been the result of his communication to Mrs. Crane — 
whether it had led to Waife's discovery or caused him 
annoyance, had hitherto, however, shrunk from touching 
upon a topic which subjected himself to an awkward con- 
fession of officious intermeddling, and might appear an 
indirect and indelicate mode of prying into painful family 
affairs. But one day he received a letter from his father 
which disturbed him greatly, and induced him to break 
ground and speak to his preceptor frankly. In this letter 
the elder Mr. Morley mentioned incidentally, among other 
scraps of local news, that he had seen Mr. Hartopp, who 
was rather out of sorts, his good heart not having reco- 
vered the shock of having been abominably "taken in" 
by an impostor for whom he had conceived a great fancy, 
and to whose discovery George himself had providentially 
led (the father referring here to what George had told 
him of his first meeting with Waife, and his visit to Mrs. 
Crane), the impostor, it seemed, from what Mr. Hartopp 
let fall, not being a little queer in the head — as George 
had been led to surmise — but a very bad character. " In 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 119 

fact." added the elder Morley, "a character so bad, that 
Mr. Hartopp was too glad to give up the child, whom 
the man appears to have abducted, to her Isiwinl pro- 
tectors ; and I suspect from what Hartopp said, though 
he does not like to own that he was taken in to so gross 
a degree, that he had been actually introducing to his 
fellow-townsfolk, and conferring familiarly, with a regular 
jail-bird — perhaps a burglar. How lucky for that poor, 
soft-headed, excellent Jos Hartopp — whom it is posi- 
tively as inhuman to take in as if he were a born natural 
— that the lady you saw arrived in time to expose the 
snares laid for his- benevolent credulity. But for that, 
Jos might have taken the fellow into his own house — 
(just like him !) — and been robbed by this time — perhaps 
murdered — Heaven knows ! " 

Incredulous and indignant, and longing to be empow- 
ered to vindicate his friend's fair name, George seized his 
hat, and strode quick along the path toward the basket- 
maker's cottage. As he gained the water-side he per- 
ceived Waife himself, seated on a mossy bank, under a 
gnarled fantastic thorn-tree, watching a deer as it came 
to drink, and whistling a soft mellow tune — the tune of 
an old English border-song. The deer lifted its antlers 
from the water, and turned its large bright eyes toward 
the opposite bank, whence the note came — listening and 
wistful. As George's step crushed the wild thyme, which 
the thorn-tree shadowed — "Hush," said Waife, "and 
mark how the rudest musical sound can affect the brute 
creation." He resumed the whistle — a clearer, louder. 



120 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

wilder tune — that of a lively hunting-song. The deer 
turned quickly round — uneasy, restless, tossed its antlers, 
and bounded through the fern. Waife again changed 
the key of his primitive music — a melancholy belling 
note, like the belling itself of a melancholy hart, but 
more modulated into sweetness. The deer arrested its 
flight, and, lured by the mimic sound, returned toward 
the water-side, slow and stately. 

" I don't think the story of Orpheus charming the 
brutes was a fable — do you, Sir ? " said Waife. " The 
rabbits about here know me already ; and if I had but a 
fiddle I would undertake to make fri-ends with that re- 
served and unsocial water-rat, on whom Sir Isaac in vain 
endeavors at present to force his acquaintance. Ma.n 
commits a great mistake in not cultivating more intimate 
and amicable relations with the other branches of earth's 
great family. Few of them not more amusing than we 
are — naturally, for they have not our cares. And such 
variety of character, too, where you would least ex- 
pect it ! " 

George Morley. " Very true : Cowper noticed marked 
differences of character in his favorite hares." 

Waife. " Hares ! I am sure that there are not two 
house-flies on a window-pane, two minnows in that water, 
that would not present to us interesting points of con- 
trast as to temper and disposition. If house-flies and 
minnows could but coin money, or set up a manufacture 
— contrive something, in short, to buy or sell attractive 
to Anglo-Saxon enterprise and intelligence — of course 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 121 

we shonld soon have diplomatic relations with them ; and 
our dispatches and newspapers would instruct us to a T 
in the chara<;ters and propensities of their leading per- 
sonages. But where man has no pecuniary nor ambitious 
interests at stake in his commerce with any class of his 
fellow-creatures, his information about them is extremely 
confused and superficial. The Ijest naturalists are mere 
generalizers, and think they have done a vast deal when 
they classify a species. What should we know about 
mankind if we had only a naturalist's definition of man ? 
We only know mankind by knocking classification on the 
head, and studying each man as a class in himself. Com- 
pare Buflfon with Shakspeare I Alas ! Sir — can we never 
have a Shakspeare for house-flies and minnows?" 

George Morley. " With all respect for minnows and 
house-flies, if we found another Shakspeare, he might be 
better employed, like his predecessor, in selecting indivi- 
dualities from the classifications of man." 

Waife. "Being yourself a man, you think so — a 
house-fly might be of a different opinion. But permit 
me, at least, to doubt whether such an investigator would 
be better employed in reference to his own happiness, 
though I grant that he would be so in reference to your 
intellectual amusement and social interests. Poor Shaks- 
peare ! How much he must have suffered ! " 

George Morley. " You mean that he must have been 
racked by the passions he describes — bruised by collision 
with the hearts he dissects. That is not necessary to 
genius. The judge on his bench, summing up evidence, 

II. -11 



122 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

and charging the jury, has no need to have shared the 
temptations, or been privy to the acts, of the prisoner at 
the bar. Yet how consummate may be his analysis ! " 

" No," cried Waife, roughly. " No. Your illustration 
destroys your argument. The judge knows nothing of 
the prisoner ! There are the circumstances — there is the 
law. By these he generalizes — by these he judges — right 
or wrong. But of the individual at the bar — of the world 
— the tremendous world within that individual heart — I 
repeat — he knows nothing. Did he know, law and circum- 
stance might vanish — human justice would be paralyzed. 
Ho, there ! place that swart-visaged, ill-looking foreigner 
in the dock, and let counsel open the case — hear the wit- 
nesses depose ! Oh, horrible wretch ! — a murderer • — ■ 
unmanly murderer ! — a defenseless woman smothered by 
caitiff hands ! Hang him up — hang him up ! ' Softly,' 
whispers the Poet, and lifts the vail from the Assassin's 
heart. ' Lo ! it is Othello the Moor ! What jury now 
dare find that criminal guilty ? — what judge now will put 
on the black cap? — who now says, 'Hang him up — 
hang him up ? " 

With such lifelike force did the Comedian vent this 
passionate outburst that he thrilled his listener with an 
awe akin to that which the convicted Moor gathers round 
himself at the close of the sublime drama. Even Sir 
Isaac was startled ; and, leaving his hopeless pursuit of 
the water-rat, uttered a low bark, came to his master, and 
looked into his face with solemn curiosity. 

Waife (relapsing into colloquial accents). "Why do 



WUAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 123 

we sympathize with those above us more than with ihoso 
below ? why with the sorrows of a king rather than those 
of a beggar ? why does Sir Isaac sympathize with me 
more than (let that water-rat vex him ever so much) I 
can possibly sympathize with him ? Whatever be the 
cause, see at least, Mr. Morley, one reason why a poor 
creature like myself finds it better employment to cultivate 
the intimacy of brutes than to prosecute the study of men. 
Among men, all are too high to sympathize with me ; but 
I have known two friends who never injured nor betrayed 
me. Sir Isaac is one, Wamba was another. Wamba, Sir, 
the native of a remote district of the globe (two friends 
civilized Europe is not large enough to afford to any one 
man). — Wamba, Sir, was less gifted by nature, less refined 
by education than Sir Isaac ; but he was a safe and trust- 
worthy companion. Wamba, Sir, was — an opossum." 

George Morley. "Alas, my dear Mr. Waife, I fear that 
men must have behaved very ill to you." 

Waife. '•' I have no right to complain. I have behaved 
very ill to myself. When a man is his own enemy, he is 
very unreasonable if he expect other men to be his bene- 
factors." 

George Morley (with emotion). " Listen, I have a 
confession to make to you. I fear I have done you an 
injury — where, officiously, I meant to da a kindness." 
The scholar hurried on to narrate the particulars of his 
visit to Mrs. Crane. On concluding the recital, he added 
— ''When again I met you here, and learned that your 
Sophy was with you, I felt inexpressibly relieved. It was 



124 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

clear then, I thought, that your grandchild had been left 
to your care unmolested, either that you had proved not 
to be the person of whom the parties were in search, or 
family affairs liad been. so explained and reconciled, that 
my interference had occasioned you no harm. But to-day 
I have a letter from my father which disquiets me much. 
It seems that the persons in question did visit Gatesboro' 
and have maligned you to Mr. Hartopp. Understand me, 
I ask for no confidence which you may be unwilling to 
give ; but if you will nrm me with the power to vindicate 
your character from aspersions which I need not your 
assurance to hold unjust and false, I will not rest till that 
task be triumphantly accomplished." 

Waife (in a tone calm but dejected). " I thank you 
with all my heart. But there is nothing to be done. I 
am glad that the subject did not start up between us until 
such little service as I could render you, Mr. Morley, was 
pretty well over. It would have been a pity if you had 
been compelled to drop all communication with a man of 
attainted character before you had learned how to manage 
the powers that will enable you hereafter to exhort 
sinners worse than I have been. Hush, Sir ! you feel 
that, at least now, I am an inoffensive old man — labor- 
ing for a humble livelihood. " You will not repeat here 
what you may have heard, or yet hear, to the discredit of 
my former life ? You will not send me and my grand- 
child forth from our obscure refuge to confront a world 
witli which we have no strength to cope ? And, believing 
this, it only remains for me to say fare-you-vvell. Sir." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 12.T 

" I should deserve to lose spe — spe — speech altogether,' 
cried the Oxonian, gasping and stammering fearfully a? 
he caught Waife firmly by the arm, " if I suffered — suff 
— suff— suff— " 

" One, two 1 take time, Sir ! " said the Comedian, softly. 
And with a sweet patience he reseated himself on the 
bank 

The Oxonian threw himself at length by the outcast's 
side ; and with the noble tenderness of a nature as chival- 
rously Christian as Heaven ever gave to priest, he rested 
his folded hands upon Waife's shoulder, and looking him 
full and close in the face, said thus, slowly, deliberately, 
not a stammer : 

" You do not guess what you have done for me ; you 
have secured to me a home and a career — the wife of 
whom I must otherwise have despaired — the divine 
vocation on which all my e-arthly hopes were set, and 
which I was on the eve of renouncing — do not think 
these are obligations which can be lightly shaken off. If 
there are circumstances which forbid me to disabuse others 
of impressions which wrong you, imagine not that their 
false notions will affect my own gratitude — my own respect 
for you ! '* 

" Xay, Sir! they ought — they must. Perhaps not 
your exaggerated gratitude for a service which you should 
not, however, measure by its effects on yourself, but by 
the slightness of the trouble it gave to me ; not perhaps 
your gratitude — but your respect, yes." 

'* I tell you no ! Do you fancy that I cannot judge of 
11* 2i 



126 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

a man's nature without calling on him to trust me with 
all the secrets — all the errors, if you will, of his past life ? 
Will not the calling to which I may now hold myself 
destined give me power and commandment to absolve all 
those who truly repent and unfeignedly believe ? Oh, Mr. 
Waife ! if in earlier days you have sinned, do you not 
repent ? and how often, in many a lovely gentle sentence 
dropped unawares from your lips, have I had cause to 
know that you unfeignedly believe ! Were I now clothed 
with sacred authority, could I not absolve you as a priest ? 
Think you that, in the meanwhile, I dare judge you as a 
man ? I — life's new recruit, guarded hitherto from tempta- 
tion by careful parents and favoring fortune — / presume 
to judge, and judge harshly, the gray-haired veteran, 
wearied by the march, wounded in the battle ! " 

" You are a noble-hearted human being," said Waife, 
greatly affected. "And — mark my words — a mantle 
of charity so large you will live to wear as a robe of 
honor. But hear me. Sir 1 Mr. Hartopp also is a man 
infinitely charitable, benevolent, kindly, and, through all 
his simplicity, acutely shrewd. Mr. Hartopp, on hearing 
what was said against me, deemed me unfit to retain my 
grandchild, resigned the trust I had confided to him, and 
would have given me alms, no doubt, had I asked them, 
but not his hand. Take your hands. Sir, from my 
shoulder, lest the touch sully you." 

George did take his hands from the vagrant's shoulder, 
but it was to grasp the hand that waived them off, and 
struggled to escape the pressure. " You are innocent, 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 127 

yon nre innocent ! forgive me that I spoke to you of re- 
pentance, as if you had been guilty. I feel you are 
innocent — feel it by ray own heart. You turn away. I 
defy you to say that you are guilty of what has been laid 
to your charge, of what has darkened your good name, 
of what Mr, Hartopp believed to your prejudice. Look 
me in the face and say, * I am not innocent, I have not 
been belied.'" 

Waife remained voiceless — motionless. 
The young man, in whose nature lay yet unproved all 
those grand qualities of heart, without which never was 
there a grand orator, a grand preacher — qualities which 
grasp the results of argument, and arrive at the end of 
elaborate reasoning by sudden impulse — here released 
Waife's hand, rose to his feet, and, facing Waife, as the 
old man sate with face averted, eyes downcast, breast 
heaving, said, loftily, 

"Forget that I may soon be the Christian minister 
whose duty bows his ear to the lips of shame and guilt — 
whose hand, when it points to Heaven, no mortal touch 
can sully — whose sublimest post is by the sinner's side. 
Look on me but as man and gentleman. See, I now ex- 
tend this hand to you If, as man and gentleman, you 
have done that which, could all hearts be read, all secrets 
known — human judgment reversed by Divine omniscience 
— forbids you to take this hand — then reject it — go 
hence — we part! But if no such act be on your eon- 
science — however you submit to its imputation — then, 
in the name of Truth, as man and gentleman to man and 



128 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

gentleman, I command you to take this right hand, and 
in the name of that Honor which bears no paltering, I 
forbid you to disobey." 

The vagabond rose, like the dead at the spell of a 
magician — took, as if irresistibly, the hand held out to 
him. And the scholar, overjoyed, fell on his breast, em- 
bracing him as a son. 

"You know," said George, in trembling accents, "that 
the hand you have taken will never betray — never desert ; 
but is it — is it really powerless to raise and to restore 
you to your place ? " 

" Powerless among your kind for that indeed," answered 
Waife, in accents still more tremulous, "All the kings 
of the earth are not strong enough to raise a name that 
has once been trampled into the mire. Learn that it is not 
only impossible for me to clear myself, but that it is 
equally impossible for me to confide to mortal being a 
single plea in defence if I am innocent, in extenuation if 
I am guilty. And saying this, and entreating you to hold 
it more merciful to condemn than to question me — for 
question is torture — lean not reject your pity ; but it 
would be mockery to offer me respect ! " 

" What ! not respect the fortitude which calumny can 
not crush ? Would that fortitude be possible if you were 
not calm in the knowledge that no false witnesses can mis- 
lead the Eternal Judge? Respect you ! yes — because I 
have seen you happy in despite of men, and therefore I 
know that the cloud around you is not the frown of 
Heaven " 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 129 

" Oh," cried Waife, the tears rolling down his cheeks, 
" and not an hour ago I was jesting at human friendship 

— venting graceless spleen on mj fellow-raen ! And now 

— now — ah ! Sir, Providence is so kind to rae ! And," 
said he, brushing away his tears, as the old arch smile 
began to play round the corner of his mouth — " and kind 
to rae in the very quarter in which unkindness had most 
sorely smitten me. True, you directed toward me the 
woman who took from me my grandchild — who destroyed 
me in the esteem of good Mr. Hartopp. Well, you see, 
I have ray sweet Sophy back again ; we are in the home 
of all others I most longed for; and that woman — yes, 
1 can, at least thus far, confide to you my secrets, so that 
you may not blame yourself for sending her to Gatesboro' 

— that very woman knows of my shelter — furnished me 
with the very reference necessary to obtain it ; has freed 
my grandchild from a loathsome bondage, which I could 
not have legally resisted ; and should new persecutions 
chase us, will watch, and warn, and help us. And if you 
ask me how this change in her was effected — how, when 
we had abandoned all hope of green fields, and deemed 
that only in the crowd of a city we could escape those 
who pursued us when discovered there, though I fancied 
myself an adept in disguise, and the child and the dog 
were 'never seen out of the four garret walls in which I 
hid them ; if you ask me, I say, to explain how that very 
woman was suddenly converted from a remorseless foe into 
a saving guardian, I can only answer, by no wit, no de- 
vice, no persuasive art of mine. Providence softened her 



130 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

heart, and made it kind, just at the moment when no other 
agency on earth could have rescued us from — from — " 

" Say no more — I guess ! the paper this woman showed 
me was a legal form authorizing your poor little Sophy to 
be given up to the care of a father. I guess ! of that 
father you would not speak ill to me ; yet from that father 
you would save your grandchild. Say no more. And 
yon quiet home — your humble employment, really con- 
tent you ? " 

" Oh, if such a life can but last ! Sophy is so well, so 
cheerful, so happy. Did not you hear her singing the 
other day? She never used to sing! But we had not 
been here a week when song broke out from her untaught, 
as from a bird. But if any ill report of me travel hither 
from Gatesboro', or elsewhere, we should be sent away, 
and the bird would be mute in my thorn-tree — Sophy 
would sing no more." 

" Do not fear that slander shall drive you hence. 
Lady Montfort, you know, is my cousin, but you know 
not — few do — how thoroughly generous and gentle- 
hearted she is. I will speak of you to her. — Oh, do not 
look alarmed. She will take my word when I tell her 
'that is a good man ; ' and if she ask more, it will be 
enough to say, ' those who have known better days are 
loth to speak to strangers of the past.'" 

'■ I thank you earnestly, sincerely," said Waife, 
brightening up. "One favor more — if you saw in the 
formal document shown to you, or retain on your memory, 
the name of — of the person authorized to claim Sophy 



WHAT AV ILL HE DO WITH IT ? 131 

as his child, you will not mention it to Lady Montfort. 
I am not sure if ever she heard that name, but she may 
have done so — and — and — " He paused a moment, and 
seemed to muse ; then went- on, not concluding his sen- 
tence. " You arc so good to me, Mr, Morley, that I wish 
to confide in you as far as I can. Now, you see I am 
already an old man, and my chief object is to raise up a 
friend for Sophy when I am gone — a friend in her own 
sex. Sir. Oh, you can not guess how I long — how I 
yearn to view that child under the holy fostering eyes of 
woman. Perhaps if Lady Montfort saw ray pretty 
Sophy she might take a fancy to her. Oh, if she did — 
if she did ! And Sophy," added Waife, proudly, " has a 
right to respect. She is not like me — any hovel good 
enough for me. But for her ! — Do you know that I con- 
ceived that hope — that the hope helped to lead me back 
here when, months ago, I was at Humberston. intent 
upon rescuing Sophy ; and saw, though," observed 
Waife, with a sly twitch of the muscles round his mouth, 
" I had no right at that precise moment to be seeing any 
thing — Lady Montfort's humane fear for a blind old im- 
postor, who was trying to save his dog — a black dog, 
Sir, who had dyed his hair — from her carriage wheels. 
And the hope became stronger still, when, the first 
Sunday I attended yon village church, I again saw that 
fair — wondrously fair — face at the far end— fair as moon- 
light and as melancholy. Strange it is, Sir, that I, 
naturally a boisterous, mirthful man, and now a shy, 
skulking fugitive — feel more attracted, more allured 



132 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

toward a countenance, in proportion as I read there the 
trace of sadness. I feel less abashed by my own nothing- 
ness — more emboldened to approach and say, 'Not so 
far apart from me ; thou, too, hast suffered.' Why is 
this ? " 

George Morley. " ' The fool hath said in his heart 
that there is no God ;' but the fool hath not said in his 
heart that there is no sorrow — pithy and most profound 
sentence ; intimating the irrefragable chain that binds 
men to the Father. And where the chain tightens the 
children are closer drawn together. But to your wish — 
I will remember it. And when my cousin returns she 
shall see your Sophy." 



CHAPTER y. 

Mr. Waife, being by nature unlucky, considers that, in proportion 
as Fortune brings him good luck. Nature converts it into bad. 
He suiFers Mr. George Morley to go away in his debt, and Sophy 
fears that he will be dull in consequence. 

George Morley, a few weeks after the conversation 
last recorded, took his departure from Montfort Court, 
prepared, without a scruple, to present himself for ordi- 
nation to the friendly bishop. From Waife he derived 
more than the cure of a disabling infirmity ; he received 
those hints which, to a man who has the natural tempera- 
ment of an orator, so rarely united with that of the 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 133 

scholar, expedite the mastery of the art which makes the 
fleeting human voice an abiding, imperishable power. 
The grateful teacher exhausted all his lore upon the pupil 
whose genius he had freed — whose heart had subdued 
himself. Before leaving, George was much perplexed 
how to offer to Waife any other remuneration than that 
which, in Waife's estimate, had already overpaid all the 
benefits he had received — viz., unquestioning friendship 
and pledged protection. It need scarcely be said that 
George thought the man to whom he owed fortune and 
happiness was entitled to something beyond that moral 
recompense. But he found, at the first delicate hint, 
that Waife would not hear of money, though the ex- 
Comedian did not affect any very Quixotic notions on 
that practical subject. " To tell you the truth, Sir, I 
have rather a superstition against having more money in 
my hands than I know what to do with. It has always 
brought me bad luck. And what is very hard — the bad 
luck stays, but the money goes. There was that splendid 
sum I made at Gainsboro'. You should have seen me 
counting it over. I could not have had a prouder or 
more swelling heart if I had been that great man Mr. 
Elwes the miser. And what bad luck it brought me, and 
how it all frittered itself away ! Nothing to show for it 
but a silk ladder and an old hurdy-gurdy, and I sold them 
at half-price. Then, when I had the accident which cost 
me this eye, the railway people behaved so generously, 
gave m3 £120 — think of that ! And before three days 
the money was all gone!'' 
II. — 12 



134 WHAT WILL Tl E DO WITH IT? 

" How was that ? " said George, half amused, half 
pained ; " stolen, perhaps ? " 

"Not so," answered Waife, somewhat gloomily, "but 
restored. A poor dear old man, who thought very ill of 
me — and I don't wonder at it — was reduced from great 
wealth to great poverty. While I was laid up my land- 
lady read a newspaper to me, and in that newspaper was 
an account of his reverse and destitution. But I was 
accountable to him for the balance of an old debt, and 
that, with the doctor's bills, quite covered my £120. I 
hope he does not think quite so ill of me now. But tiie 
money brought good luck to him rather than to me. 
Well, Sir, if you were now to give me money I should 
be on the look-out for some mournful calamity. Gold is 
not natural to me. Some day, however, by-and-by, when 
you are inducted into your living, and have become a re- 
nowned preacher, and have plenty to spare, with an idea 
that you would feel more comfortable in your mind if you 
had done something royal for the basket-maker, 1 will 
ask you to help me to make up a sum which I am trying 
by degrees to save — an enormous sura — as much as I 
paid away from my railway compensation — I owe it to 
the lady who lent it to release Sophy from an engage- 
ment which I — certainly without any remorse of con- 
science — made the child break." 

" Oh yes ! What is the amount ? Let me at least repay 
that debt." 

" Not yet. The lady can wait — and she would be 
pleased to wait, because she deserves to wait — it would 
be unkind to her to pay it oif at once. But in the mean 



WHAT AV I L L HE DO WITH IT 'i 135 

while, if you could send me a few good books for Sophy ? 
— instructive ; yet not very, very dry. And a French 
dictionary— I can teach her French when the winter days 
close in. You see I am not above being paid, Sir. But, 
Mr. Morley, there is a great favor you can do me." 

"What is it? Speak." 

" Cautiously refrain from doing me a great disservice ! 
You are going back to your friends and relations. 
Never speak of me to them. Never describe me and my 
odd ways. Name not the lady, nor — nor — nor — the 
man w*ho claimed Sophy. Your friends might not hurt 
me, others miu-lit. Talk travels. The Hare is not long 
in its form when it has a friend in a Hound that gives 
tongue. Promise what I ask. Promise it as ' man and 
gentleman." 

" Certainly. Yet I have one relation to whom I 
should like, with your permission, to speak of you — with 
whom I could wish you acquainted. He is so thorough 
a man of the world that he might suggest some method 
to clear your good name, which you yourself would ap- 
prove. My uncle, Colonel Morley — " 

'' On no account ! " cried Waife, almost fiercely, and he 
evinced so much anger and uneasiness that it was long 
before George could pacify him by the most earnest as- 
surances that his secret should be inviolably kept, and his 
injunctions faithfully obeyed. No men of the world con- 
.^ulted how to force him back to the world of men that he 
fled from ! No colonels to scan him with martinet eyes, 
and hint how to pipe-clay a tarnish ! Waife's apprehen- 
.V. , : o-vfifinallv allaved. and his confidence restored, one 



136 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

fine morning George took leave of his eccentric bene- 
factor. 

Waife and Sophy stood gazing after him from their 
garden-gate ; the cripple leaning lightly on the child's 
arm. She looked with anxious fondness into the old 
man's thoughtful face, and clung to him more closely as 
she looked. 

"Will you not be dull, poor graudy ? Will you not 
miss him ? " 

" A little at first," said Waife, rousing himself. " Edu- 
cation is a great thing. An educated mind, provided 
that it does us no mischief — which is not always the case 
— cannot be withdrawn from our existence without 
leaving a blank behind. Sophy, we must seriously set to 
work and educate ourselves ! " 

"We will, grandy dear," said Sophy, with decision; 
and a few minutes afterward, " If I can become very, very 
clever, you will not pine so much after that gentleman — 
will you, grandy ? " 



CHAPTER YI. 

Being a chapter that comes to an untimely end. 

Winter was far advanced when Montfort Court was 
again brightened by the presence of its lady. A polite 
letter from Mr. Carr Vipont had reached her before 
leaving Windsor, suggesting how much it would be for 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 137 

the advantage of the Yipont interest if she would consent 
to visit for a month or two the seat in Ireland, which had 
been too long neglected, and at which my lord would join 
her on his departure from his Highland moors. So to 
Ireland went Lady Montfort. My lord did not join her 
there ; but Mr. Carr Yipont deemed it desirable for the 
Yipont interest that the wedded pair should reunite at 
Montfort Court, where all the Yipont family were invited 
to witness their felicity or mitigate their ennui. 

But, before proceeding another stage in this history, it 
becomes a just tribute of respect to the great House of 
Yipont to pause and place its past records and present 
grandeur in fuller display before the reverential reader. 
The House of Yipont ! What am I about ? The House 
of Yipont requires a chapter to itself. 



CHAPTER YII. 

The House of Vipont. — '■^Majora canamus.'* 

The House of Yipont ! Looking back through ages, 
it seems as if the House of Yipont were one continuous, 
living idiosyncrasy, having in its progressive develop- 
ment a connected unity of thought and action, so that 
through all the changes of its outward form it had been 
moved and guided by the same single spirit — " Le roi 
est mort — \y\:e le roif" — A Yipont dies — live the Yi- 
12* 



138 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

pont 1 Despite its liigh-sonnding Norman name, tlie 
House of Yipont V7as no House at all for some genera- 
tions after the Conquest. The first Yipont who emerged 
from the obscurity of time was a rude aeldier, of Gascon 
origin, in the reign of Henry II. ; one of the thousand 
fighting men who sailed from Milford Haven with the 
stout Earl of Pembroke, on that strange expedition which 
ended in the conquest of Ireland. This gallant man ob- 
tained large grants of land in that fertile island — some 
Mac or some 0' vanished, and the House of Yipont rose. 

During the reign of Richard I. the House of Yipont, 
though recalled to England (leaving its Irish acquisitions 
in charge of a fierce cadet, who served as middleman), 
excused itself from the Crusade, and, by marriage with a 
rich goldsmith's daughter, was enabled to lend moneys 
to those who indulged in that exciting but costly pilgrim- 
age. In the reign of John the House of Yipont fore- 
closed its mortgages on lands thus plt)dged, and became 
possessed of a very fair property in England, as well as 
its fiefs in the sister isle. 

The House of Yipont took no part in the troublesome 
politics of that day. Discreetly obscure, it attended to 
its own fortunes, and felt small interest in Magna Gharta. 
During the reigns of the Plantagenet Edwards, who were 
great encouragers of mercantile adventure, the House of 
Yipont, shunning Creci, Bannockburn, and such profitless 
brawls, intermarried with London traders, and got many 
a good thing out of the Genoese. In the reign of Henry 
lY. the House of Yipont reaped the benefit of its past 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 139 

forbearance and modesty. Now, for the first time, the 
Viponts appear as belted knights — they have armorial 
bearings — they are Lancasterian to the back-bone — 
they are exceedingly indignant against heretics — they 
burn the Lollards — they have places in the household 
of Queen Joan, who was called a witch, but a witch is a 
very good friend when she wields a sceptre instead of a 
broomstick. And in proof of its growing importance, 
the House of Yipont marries a daughter of the then 
mighty House of Darrell. In the reign of Henry Y., 
during the invasion of France, the House of Yipont — • 
being afraid of the dysentery which carried off more brave 
fellows than the field of Agincourt — contrived to be a 
minor. The Wars of the Roses puzzled the House of 
Yipont sadly. But it went through that perilous ordeal 
with singular tact and success. The manner in which it 
changed sides, each change safe, and most changes lucra- 
tive, is beyond all praise. 

On the whole, it preferred the Yorkists ; it was impos- 
sible to be actively Lancasterian, with Henry YL of Lan- 
caster always in prison. And thus, at the death of Ed- 
ward lY., the House of Yipont was Baron Yipont of 
Yipont, with twenty manors. Richard III. counted on 
the House of Yipont, when he left London to meet Rich- 
mond at Bosworth — he counted without his host. The 
House of Yipont became again intensely Lancasterian, 
and was among the first to crowd round the litter in which 
Henry YIL entered the metropolis. In that reign it mar- 
ried a relation of Empson's — did the great House of 



140 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Vipont ! and as nobles of elder date had become scarce 
and poor, Henry YII. was pleassd to make the House of 
Yipont an earl — the Earl of Montfort. In the reign of 
Henry YIII., instead of burning Lollards, the House of 
Yipont was all for the Reformation — it obtained the 
lands of two priories and one abbey. Gorged with that 
spoil, the House of Yipont, like an anaconda in the pro- 
cess of digestion, slept long. But no, it slept not. Though 
it kept itself still as a mouse during the reign of bloody 
Queen Mary (only letting it be known at court that the 
House of Yipont had strong papal leanings) ; though 
during the reigns of Elizabeth and James it made no noise, 
the House of Yipont was silently inflating its lungs, and 
improving its constitution. Slept, indeed ! it was wide 
awake. Then it was that it began systematically its grand 
policy of alliances ; then was it sedulously grafting its 
olive branches on the stems of those fruitful New Houses 
that had sprung up with the Tudors ; then, alive to the 
spirit of the day, provident of the wants of the morrow, 
over the length and breadth of the land it wove the inter- 
lacing net-work of useful cousinhood ! Then, too, it began 
to build palaces, to inclose parks — it traveled, too, a little 
— did the House of Yipont ! It visited Italy — it con- 
ceived a taste ; a very elegant House became the House 
of Yipont ! And in James's reign, for the first time, the 
House of Yipont got the Garter. The Civil Wars broke 
out — England was rent. Peer and knight took part with 
one side or the other. The House of Yipont was again 
perplexed. Certainly at the commencement it was all for 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 141 

King Charles. But when King Charles took to fighting, 
the House of Yipont shook its sagacious head, and went 
about, like Lord Falkland, sighing " Peace, peace ! " 
Finally it remembered its neglected estates in Ireland — 
its duties called it thither. To Ireland it went, discreetly 
sad, and, marrying a kinswoman of Lord Fauconberg — 
the only popular and safe connection formed by the Lord 
Protector's family — it was safe when Cromwell visited 
Ireland ; and no less safe when Charles II. was restored 
to England. During the reign of the merry monarch the 
House of Yipont was a courtier, married a beauty, got 
the Garter again, and, for the first time, became the 
fashion. Fashion began to be a power. In the reign of 
James II. the House of Yipont again contrived to be a 
minor, who came of age just in time to take the oaths of 
fealty to William and Mary, In case of accidents, the 
House of Yipont kept on friendly terms with the exiled 
Stuarts, but it wrote no letters, and got into no scrapes. 
It was not, however, till the Government, under Sir R. 
Walpole, established the constitutional and parliamentary 
system which characterizes modern freedom, that the 
puissance accumulated through successive centuries by the 
House of Yipont became pre-eminently visible. By that 
time its lands were vast, its wealth enormous ; its parlia- 
mentary influence, as "a Great House," was now a part 
of the British Constitution. At this period the House of 
Yipont found it convenient to rend itself into two grand 
divisions — the peer's branch and the commoner's. The 
llonse of Commons had become so important that it was 



142 WHAT WILL TIE DO WITH IT? 

necessary for the House of Vipont to be represented there 
bv a great commoner. Thus arose the family of Carr 
Vipont. That division — owing to a marriage settlement 
favoring a younger son by the heiress of the Carrs — car- 
ried off a good slice from the estate of the earldom — uno 
averso, non deficit alter; the earldom mourned, but re- 
placed the loss by two wealthy wedlocks of its own ; and 
had since seen cause to rejoice that its power in the Up- 
per Chamber was strengthened by such aid in the Lower. 
For, thanks to its parliamentary influence, and the aid of 
the great commoner, in the reign of George III. the 
House of Yipont became a Marquis. From that time to 
the present day the House of Yipont had gone on pros- 
pering and progressive. It was to the aristocracy what 
the Times newspaper is to the press. The same quick 
sympathy with public feeling — tlie same unity of tone and 
purpose — the same adaptability — and something of the 
same lofty tone of superiority to the petty interests of 
party. It may be conceded that the House of Yipont 
was less brilliant than the Times newspaper, but eloquence 
and wit, necessary to the duration of a newspaper, were 
not necessary to that of the house of Yipont. Had they 
been so, it would have had them ! 

The Head of the House of Yipont rarely condescended 
to take office. With a rent-roll loosely estimated at about 
£nO,000 a year, it is beneath a man to take from the 
public a paltry five or six thousand a year, and undergo 
all the undignified abuse of popular assemblies, and "a 
ribald press." But it wrr a matter of course that the 



143 

House of Yipont should be represented in any cabinet 
that a constitutional monarch could be advised to form. 
Since the time of Walpole, a Yipont was always in the 
service of his country, except in those rare instances when 
the country was infamously misgoverned. The cadets of 
the House, or the senior member of the great commoner's 
branch of it, sacrificed their ease to fulfill that duty. The 
Montfort marquises in general were contented with situa- 
tions of honor in the household, as of Lord Steward, Lord 
Chamberlain, or Master of the Horse, etc. — not onerous 
dignities ; and even these they only deigned to accept on 
those especial occasions when danfrer threatened the Star 
of Brunswick, and the sense of its exalted station forbade 
the house of Yipont to leave his country in the dark. 

Great Houses like that of Yipont assist the work of 
civilization by the law of their existence. They are sure 
to have a spirited and wealthy tenantry, to whom, if but 
for the sake of that popular character which doubles 
political influence, they are liberal and kindly landlords. 
Under tlieir sway fens and sands become fertile — agri- 
cultural experiments are tested on a large scale — cattle 
and sheep improve in breed — national capital augments, 
and, springing beneath the plowshare, circulates indirectly 
to speed the ship and animate the loom. Had there 
been no Woburn, no Holkhani, no Montfort Court, 
England would be the poorer by many a million. Our 
great Houses tend also to the refinement of national taste ; 
thev have their show-places, their picture-galleries, their 
beautiful grounds. The humblpst draw'ng-rooms owe an 



144 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

f^legance or comfort — the smallest garden, a flower or 
esculent — to the importations which luxury borrowed 
from abroad, or the inventions it stimulated at home, for 
the original benefit of great Houses. Having a fair share 
of such merits, in common with other great Houses, the 
House of Yipont was not without good qualities peculiar 
to itself. Precisel}^ because it was the most egotistical of 
Houses, filled with the sense of its own identity, and 
guided by the instincts of its own conservation, it was a 
very civil, good-natured House — courteous, generous, 
hospitable; a House (I mean the Head of it — not, of 
course, all its subordinate members, including even the 
august Lady Selina) that could bow graciously, and shake 
hands with you. Even if you had no vote yourself, you 
might have a cousin who had a vote. And once admitted 
into the family, the House adopted you ; you had only 
to marry one of its remotest relations, and the House 
sent you a wedding present ; and at every general election 
invited you to rally round your connection — the Marquis. 
Therefore, next only to the Established Church, the House 
of Yipont was that British institution, the roots of which 
were the most widely spread. 

Now the Yiponts had for long generations been an 
energetic race. Whatever their defects, they had ex- 
hibited shrewdness and vigor. The late Marquis (grand- 
father to the present) had been, perhaps, the ablest (that 
is, done most for the House of Yipont) of them all. Of 
a grandiose and superb mode of living — of a majestic 
deportment — of princely manners — of a remarkakle taliMit 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 145 

for the management of all business, whether private or 
pi.i^lic — a perfect enthusiast for the House of Yipont, and 
aided by a marchioness in all respects worthy of him, he 
might be said to be the culminating flower of the venerable 
stem. But the present lord, succeeding to the title as a 
mere child, was a melancholy contrast, not only to his 
grandsire, but to the general character of his progenitors. 
Before his time every head of the House had done some- 
thing for it — even the most frivolous had contributed ; 
one had collected the pictures, another the statues, a third 
the medals, a fourth had amassed the famous Vipont 
library; while others had at least married heiresses, or 
augmented, through ducal lines, the splendor of the in- 
terminable cousinhood. The present marquis was literally 
nil. The pith of the Tiponts was not in him. He looked 
well, he dressed well ; if life were only the dumb show of 
a tableau, he would have been a paragon of a Marquis. 
But he was like the watches we give to little children, 
with a pretty gilt dial-plate, and no works in them. He 
was thoroughly inert — there was no winding him up ; he 
could not manage his property — he could not answer his 
letters — very few of them could he even read through. 
Politics did not interest him, nor literature, nor field- 
sports. He shot, it is true, but mechanically — wondering, 
perhaps, why he did shoot. He attended races, because 
tlie House of Vipont kept a racing stud. He bet on his 
own horses ; but if they lost, showed no vexation. Ad- 
mirers (no Marquis of Moutfort could be wholly without 
them) said : '' What fine temper ! what good-breeding ! " 
ir. — 13 K 



146 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

it was nothing but constitutional apathy. No one could 
call him a bad man — he was not a profligate, an oppressor, 
a miser, a spendthrift ; he would not have taken the 
trouble to be a bad man on any account. Those who 
beheld his character at a distance would have called him 
an exemplary man. The more conspicuous duties of his 
station, subscriptions, charities, the maintenance of grand 
establishments, the encouragement of the fine arts, were 
virtues admirably performed for him by others. But the 
phlegm or nulHty of his being was not, after all, so com- 
plete as I have made it, perhaps, appear. He had one 
susceptibility which is more common with women than 
witli men — the susceptibility to pique. His amour propre 
was unforgiving — pique that, and he could do a rash 
thing, a foolish thing, a spiteful thing — pique that, and, 
prodigious ! the watch went ! He had a rooted pique 
against his marchioness. Apparently he had conceived 
this pique from the very first. He showed it passively by 
supreme neglect ; he showed it actively by removing her 
from all the spheres of power which naturally fall to the 
wife when the husband shuns the details of business. 
Evidently he had a dread lest any one should say, " Lady 
Montfort influences my lord." Accordingly, not only the 
management of his estates fell to Carr Yipont, but even 
of his gardens, his household, his douiestic arrangements. 
It was Carr Yipont or Lady Selina who said to Lady 
Montfort, " Give a ball ; " "You should ask so and so to 
dinner." Montfort was much hurt to see the old lawn 
at the Twickenham Yilla broken up by those new bosquHa. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 147 

True, it is settled on you as a jointure bouse, but for that 
very reason Montfort is sensitive," etc. etc. In fact, they 
were virtually as separated, ray lord and my lady, as if 
legally disunited, and as if Carr Yipont and l.ady Seliua 
were trustees or intermediaries in any pnlite iipproach to 
each other. But, on the other hand, it is fair to say that 
where Lady Montfort's sphere of action did not interfere 
with her husband's plans, habits, likings, dislikings, jealous 
apprehensions, that she should be 'supposed to have any 
ascendency over what exclusively belonged to himself as 
Roi faineant of the Yipout's, she was left free as air. 
No attempt at masculine control or conjugal advice. At 
her disposal was wealth without stint — every luxury the 
soft could desire — every gewgaw the vain could covet. 
Had her pin-money, which was in itself the revenue of 
an ordinary peeress, failed to satisfy her wants — had she 
grown tired of wearing the family diamonds, and coveted 
new gems from Golconda — a single word to Carr Yipont 
or Lady Seliiia would luive been answered by a carte 
blanche on the Bank of England. But Lady Montfort 
had the misfortune not to be extravagant in her tastes. 
Strange to say, in the world Lord Montfort's marriage 
was called a love match ; he had mamed a portionle^:.^ 
girl, daughter to one of his poorest and obscurest cousins, 
against the uniform policy of the House of Yipont, which 
did all it could for poor cousins except marrying them to 
its chief. But Lady Montfort's conduct in these trying 
circumstances was admirable and rare. Few atfronts cau 
humiliate us unless we resent them — and in vain. Ladv 



148 AVHAT WILL HE DO W T T II IT? 

Montfort had that exquisite dignity which gives to svib- 
niissioii the grace of cheerrul acquiescence. That in the 
gay world flatterers should gather round a young wife so 
eminently beautiful, and so wholly left by her husband to 
her own guidance, was inevitable. But at the very first 
insinuated compliment or pathetic condolence, Lady Mont- 
fort, so meek in her household, was haughty enough to 
have daunted Lovelace. She was thus very early felt to 
be beyond temptation, and the boldest passed on, nor pre- 
sumed to tempt. She was unpopular ; called " proud 
and freezing ; " she did not extend the influence of The 
House ; she did not confirm its fashion — fashion which 
necessitates social ease, and which no rank, no wealth, no 
virtue can of themselves suffice to give. And this failure 
on her part was a great ofl'ense in the eyes of the House 
of yipont. " She does absolutely nothing for us," saM 
Lady Selina ; but Lady Selina in her heart was well 
pleased that to her in reality thus fell, almost without a 
rival, the female representation, in the great world, of the 
Yipont honors. Lady Selina was fashion itself. 

Lady Montfort's social peculiarity was in the eiigei'iiess 
with which she sought the society of persons who enjoyed 
a reputation for superior intellect, whether statesmen, 
lawyers, authors, philosophers, artists. Intellectual inter- 
course seemed as if it was her native atmosphere, from 
which she was habitually l)anished, to which she returned 
with an instinctive yearning and a new zest of life ; yet 
was she called, even here, nor seemingly without justice 
— capricious and unsteady in her likings. These cK^ver 



WHAT WELL HE DO WITH IT? 149 

personages, after a little while, all seemed to disappoint 
her expectations of them ; she sought the acquaintance 
of each with cordial earnestness ; slid fi'ora the acquaint- 
ance with weary langor ; never, after all, less alone than 
when alone. 

And so wondrous lovely ! Nothing so rare as beauty 
of the high type ; genius and beauty, indeed, are both 
rare ; genius, which is the beauty of the mind — beauty, 
which is the genius of the body. But, of the two, beauty 
is the rarer. All of us can count on our fingers some 
forty or fifty persons of undoubted and illustrious genius, 
including those famous in action, letters, art. But can 
any of us remember to have seen more than four or five 
specimens of first-rate ideal beauty ? Whosoever had seen 
Lady Montfort would have ranked her among such four 
or five in his recollection. There was in her face that 
lustrous dazzle to which the Lai in poet, perhaps, refers 

when he speaks of the 

"Nitor 
Spleiidentis Pano marmore purius . . . 
Et voltus, uimiura lubiicus adspici," 

and which an English poet, with the less sensuous but 
more spiritual imagination of northern genius, has de- 
scribed in lines that an English reader may be pleased to 
see rescued from oblivion : 

" Her face w.is like the milky way i' the sky, 
A meeting of gentle lights without a name." 

The eyes so ])urely bright, the exquisite harmony of co- 
loring between the dark (not loo dark) hair, and the ivory 
18* 



150 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

of the skin ; such sweet radiance in the lip when it broke 
into a smile. And it was said that in her maiden day, 
before Caroline Lyndsay became Marchioness of Mont- 
fort, that smile was the most joyous thing imaginable. 
Al)surd now ; you would not think it, but that stately 
lady had been a wild, fanciful girl, with the merriest laugh 
and the quickest tear, filling the air round her with April 
sunshine. Certainly, no beings ever yet lived the life 
Nature intended them to live, nor had fair play for heart 
and mind, who contrived, by Iiook or by crook — to marry 
the wrong person I 



CHAPTER YIII. 

The interior of the Great House. The British Constitution at home 
in a Family Party. 

Great was the family gathering that Christmas tide at 
Montfort Court. Thither flocked the cousins of the House 
in all degrees and of various ranks. From dukes who 
had nothing left to wish for that kings and cousinhoods 
can give, to briefless barristers and aspiring cornets, of 
equally good blood with the dukes — the superb family 
united its motley scions. Such reunions were frequent, 
they belonged to the hereditary policy of the House of 
Vipont. On this occasion the muster of the clan was 
more significant than usual ; there was a " crisis" in the 
constitutional history of the British empire. A new Go- 
vernment had been suddenly formed within the last six 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 151 

weeks, which certainly portended some direful blow on 
our ancient institutions, for the House of Yipont had not 
been consulted in its arrangements, and was wholly unre- 
presented in the Ministry, even by a lordship of the 
Treasury. Carr Yipont had therefore summoned the 
patriotic and resentful kuidred. 

It is an hour or so after the conclusion of dinner. The 
gentlemen have joined the ladies in the state suite — a 
suite which the last Marquis had rearranged and redeco- 
rated in his old age — during the long illness that finally 
conducted him to his ancestors. During his earlier years 
that princely Marquis had deserted Montfort Court for a 
seat nearer to London, and therefore much more easily 
filled with that brilliant society of which he had been long 
the ornament and center. Railways not then existing for 
the annihilation of time and space, and a journey to a 
northern country four days with post-horses, making the 
invitations even of a Marquis of Montfort unalluring to 
languid beauties and guiity mini.-ters. But nearing the 
end of his worldly career, this long neglect of the dwelling 
identified with his hereditary titles smote the conscience 
of the illustrious sinner. And other occupations begin- 
ning to pall, his lorlship, accompanied and cheered by a 
chaplain, who had a fine taste in the decorative arts, came 
resolutely to Montfort Court ; and there, surrounded with 
architects, and gilders, and upholsterers, redeemed his 
errors ; and soothed by the reflection of the palace pro- 
vided for his successor, added to his vaults — a coffin. 

The suite expands before the eye. You are in the 



152 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

grand drawin.Q:-room, copied from that of Yersailles. 
That is the picture, full length, of the late Marquis in 
his robes ; its pendent is the late Marchioness, his wife. 
That table of malachite is a present from the Russian 
Emperor Alexander; that vase of Sevre which rests on 
it was made for Marie Antoinette — see her. portrait 
enameled in its centre. Through the open door at the 
far end your eye loses itself in a vista of other pompous 
chambers — the music-room, the statue hall, the orangery ; 
other rooms there are appertaining to the suite — a ball- 
room fit for Babylon, a library that might have adorned 
Alexandria — but they are not lighted, nor required, on 
this occasion : it is strictly a family party, sixty guests 
and no more. 

In the drawing-room three whist-tables carry oif the 
more elderly and grave. The piano, in the music-room, 
attracts a younger group. Lady Selina Vipont's eldest 
daughter Honoria, a young lady not yet brought out, 
but about to be brought out the next season, is threading 
a wonderfully intricate German piece — 

•• Linked music long drawn out," 
with variations. Her science is consummate. No pains 
have been spared on her education ; elaborately accom- 
plished, she is formed to be the sympathizing spouse of a 
wealthy statesman. Lady Montfort is seated by an 
elderly duchess, who is good-natured, and a great talker ; 
near her are seated two middle-aged gentlemen, who had 
been conversing with her till the ducJiess, having cut in, 
turned dialogue into monologue. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 15S 

The elder of these two gentlemen is Mr. Carr Yipont, 
ijald, with clipped parliamentary whiskers ; values him- 
self on a likeness to Canning, but with a portlier pre- 
sence — looks a large-acred man. Carr Yipont has about 
£40,000 a year ; has often refused office for himself, while 
taking care that other Yiponts should have it ; is a great 
authority in Committee business and the rules of the 
House of Commons ; speaks very seldom, and at no 
great length, never arguing, merely stating his opinion, 
carries great weight with him, and as he votes, vote fifteen 
other members of the House of Yipont, besides admiring 
satellites. He can therefore turn divisions, and has de- 
cided the fate of cabinets. A pleasant man, a little 
consequential, but the reverse of haughty — unctuously 
overbearing. The other gentleman, to whom he is listen- 
ing, is our old acquaintance Colonel Alban Yipont Mor- 
ley — Darrell's friend — George's uncle — a man of import- 
ance, not inferior, indeed, to that of his kinsman Carr ; 
an authority in club-rooms, an oracle in drawing-rooms, 
a first-rate man of the heau monde. Alban Morley, a 
younger brother, had entered the Guards young ; retired, 
young also, from the Guards with the rank of colonel, 
and on receipt of a legacy from an old aunt, which, with 
the interest derived from the sura at which he sold his 
commission, allowed him a clear income of £1000 a year. 
This modest income sufficed for all his wants, fine gentle- 
man though he was. He had refused to go into Parlia- 
ment — refused a high place in a public department. 
Single himself, he showed his respect for wedlock by the 



154 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

interest he took in the marriages of other people — jnst 
as Earl Warwick, too wise to set up for a king, gratified 
nis passion for royalty by becoming the king-maker. The 
colonel was exceedingly accomplished, a very fair scholar, 
knew most modern languages. In painting an amateur, 
in music a connoisseur; witty at times, and with wit of a 
high quality, but thrifty in the expenditure of it ; too 
wise to be known as a wit. Manly too, a daring rider, 
who had won many a fox's brush, a famous deer-stalker, 
and one of the few English gentlemen who still keep up 
the noble art of fencing — twice a week to be seen, foil 
in hand, against all comers in xVngelo's rooms. Thin, 
well-shaped — not handsome, my dear young lady, far 
from it, but with an air so thoroughbred, that, had you 
seen him in the day when the opera-house had a crush- 
room and a fops' alley — seen him in either of those re- 
sorts, surrounded by elaborate dandies, and showy beauty- 
men — dandies and beauty-men would have seemed to you 
second-rate and vulgar ; and the eye, fascinated by that 
quiet form — plain in manner, plain in dress, plain in fea- 
ture — you would have said, "How very distinguished it 
is to be so plain ! " Knowing the great world from the 
core to the cuticle, and on that knowledge basing au- 
thority and position, Colonel Morley was not calculating 
— not cunning — not suspicious. His sagacity the more 
quick because its movements were straightforward. Inti- 
mate with the greatest, but sought, not seeking. Not a 
flatterer nor a parasite. But when his advice was asked 
(even if advice necessitated reproof), giving it with niHi- 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 155 

tan candor. In fine, a man of such social reputation as 
rendered him an ornament and prop to the House of 
Yipont ; and with unsuspected depths of intelligence and 
feeling which lay in the lower strata of his knowledge of 
this world, to witness of some other one, and justified 
Dan-el] in commending a boy like Lionel Haughtou to 
the Colonel's friendly care and admonitory counsels. 
The Colonel, like other men, had his weakness, if weak- 
ness it can be called : he believed that the House of 
Yipont was not merely the Corinthian capital, but the 
embattled keep — not merely the dulcr deciis, but the 
prcesidium columenque reru.m of the British monarchy. 
He did not boast of his connection with the House : he 
did not provoke your spleen by enlarging on its manifold 
virtues ; he would often have his harmless jest against its 
members or even against its pretensions, but such seem- 
ing evidences of forbearance or candor were cunning de- 
vices to mitigate envy. His devotion to the House was 
not obtrusive, it was profound. He loved the House of 
Yipont for the sake of England, he loved England for 
the sake of the House of Yipont. Had it been possible, 
by some tremendous reversal of the ordinary laws of 
nature, to dissociate the cause of England from the cause 
of the House of Yipont, the Colonel would have said, 
" Save at least the Ark of the Constitution ! and rally 
round the old House I '* 

The Colonel had none of Guy Darrell's infirmity of 
family pride; he cared not a rush for mere pedigrees — 
much too liberal and enlightened for such obsolete pre- 



156 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

judices. No ! He knew the world too well not to bo 
quire aware that old family and long pedigrees are of no 
use to a man if he has not some money or some merit. 
But it was of use to a man to be a cousin of the House 
of Vipout, though without any money, without any merit 
at all. It was of use to be part and parcel of a Britisli 
institution : it was of use to have a legitimate indefeasible 
right to share in the administration and patronage of an 
empire, on which (to use a novel illustration) "the sun 
never sets." You miiilit want nothing for yourself — the 
Colonel and the Marquis equally wanted nothing for them- 
selves ; but man is not to be a selfish egotist ! Man has 
cousins — his cousins may want something. Demosthenes 
denounces, in words that inflame every manly breast, the 
ancient Greek Avho does not love his Polis or State, even 
though he take nothing from it but barren honor, and 
contribute toward it — a great many disagreeable taxes. 
As the Polis to the Greek, was the House of Yipont to 
Alban Yipont Morley. It was the most beautiful touch- 
ing affection imaginable ! Whenever the House was in 
difficulties — whenever it was threatened by a crisis — the 
Colonel was by its side, sparing no pains, neglecting no 
means, to get the Ark of the Constitution back into 
smooth water. That duty done, he retired again into 
private life, and scorned all other reward than the still 
whisper of applauding conscience. 

"Yes," said Alban Morley, whose voice, though low 
and subdued in tone, was extremely distinct, with a perfect 
enunciation, " Yes, it is quite true, my nephew has taLen 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT'/ 157 

orders — his defect in speech, if not quite removed, ha? 
ceased to be any obstacle, even to eloquence ; an occa- 
sional stammer may be effective — it increases interest, 
and when the right word comes, there is the charm of 
surprise in it. I do not doubt that George will be a very 
distinguislied clergyman." 

Mr. Carr Yipoxt. " We want one — the House wants 
a very distinguished clergyman; we have none at this 
moment — not a bishop — not even a dean; all mere 
parish parsons, and among them not one we could push. 
Yery odd, with more than forty livnigs too. But the 
Yiponts seldom take to the Church kindly — George must 
Ijie pushed. The more I think of it, the more we want a 
bishop : a bishop would be useful in the present crisis. 
(Looking round the rooms ])roudly, and softening his 
voice.) A numerous gathering, Morley ! This demon- 
stration will strike terror in Downing Street — eh ! The 
old House stands firm — never was a family so united ; all 
here, I think — that is, all worth naming — all, except Sir 
James, whom Montfort chooses to dislike, and George — 
and George conies to-morrow.'' 

Colonel Morlry. "You forget the most eminent of 
all our connections — the one who could indeed strike 
terror into Downing Street, were his voice to be heard 
again ! " 

Carr Yipont. " Whom do you mean ? Ah, I know ! 
— Guy Darrell. His wife was a Yipont — and he is not 
here. But he has long since ceased to communicate with 
any of us — the only connection that ever fell away from 

II. — 14 2l 



158 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH I T f 

the house of Vipont — especially in a crisis like the 
present. Singular man ! For all the use he is to us he 
might as well be dead I But he has a tine fortune — what 
will he <lo with it ?" 

The Duchess. " My dear Lady Montfort, you have 
hurt yourself with that paper-cutter." 

Lady Montfort. " No, indeed. Hush ! we are dis- 
turbing Mr. Carr Vipont." 

The Duchess, in awe of Carr Yipont, sinks her voice, 
and gabbles on — whisperously. 

Carr Yipont (resuming the subject). "A very fine 
fortune — what will he do with it ? " 
. Colonel Morley. " I don't know, but T had a letter 
from him some months ago." 

Carr Yipont. " Yo^i had — and never told me ! " 

Colonel Morley. " Of no importance to you, my dear 
Carr. His letter merely introduced to me a charming 
young fellow — a kinsman of his own (no Yipont) — 
Lionel Haugliton, son of poor Charlie Haughton, whom 
you may remember." 

Carr Yipont. " Yes, a handsome scamp — went to the 
dogs. So Darrell takes up Charlie's son — what ! as his 
heir ? " 

Colonel Morley. " In his letter to me he anticipated 
that question in the negative." 

Carr Yipont. "Has Darrell any nearer kinsmen?" 

Colonel Morley. "Not that I know of." 

Carr Yipont. " Perhaps he will select one of his wife's 
family for his heir — a Yipont ; I should not wonder.'* 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 159 

Colonel Morley (dryly). " I should. But why may 
not Darrell marry again ? I always thought he would — 
I think so still." 

Carr Yipont (glancing toward his own daughter 
Honoria). " Well, a wife well-chosen might restore him 
to society, and to us. Pity, indeed, that so great an in- 
tellect should be suspended — a voice so eloquent hushed. 
You are right ; in this crisis, Guy Darrell once more in 
the House of Commons, we should have all we require — 
an orator, a debater ! Very odd, but at this moment we 
have no speakers — we, the Yiponts!" 

Colonel Morley. " Yourself? " 

Carr Yipont. " You are too kind. I can speak on 
occasions; but recrularly, no. Too much drudgery — 
not young enough to take to it now. So you think 
Darrell will marry again ? A remarkably fine-looking 
fellow when I last saw him ; not old yet ; I dare say, well- 
preserved. I wish I had thought of asking him here — 
Montfort ! " (Lord Montfort, with one or two male 
friends, vras passing by toward a billiard-room, opening 
through a side-door from the regular suite) — " Montfort I 
only think, we forgot to invite Guy Darrell. Is it too 
late before our party breaks up ? " 

Lord Montfort (sullenly;. "I don't choose Guy 
Darrell to be invited to my house." 

Carr Yipont was literally stunned by a reply so con- 
tumacious. Lord Montfort demur at what Carr Yipont 
suggested ! He could not believe his senses. 

" Not choose, my dear Montfort ! you are joking, A 



J 00 AV H A T WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

monstrous clever fellow, Guy Darrell, and at tins 
CRISIS — " 

"I hate clever fellows — no such bores!" said Lord 
Montfort, breaking from the caressing clasp of Carr 
Yipont, and stalking awav. 

" Spare your regrets, my dear Carr," said Colonel 
Morley. "Darrell is not in England — I rather ])elieve 
he is in Yerona." Therewith the Colonel sauntered 
toward the group gathered round the piano. A little 
time afterward Lady Montfort escaped from the Duchess, 
and, mingling courteously with her livelier guests, found 
herself close to Colonel Morley. " Will you give me my 
revenge at chess ? " she asked, with her rare smile. The 
Colonel was charmed. As they sat down and ranged 
their men, Lady Montfort remarked, carelessly — 

" I overheard you say you had lately received a letter 
from Mr. Darrell. Does he write as if well — cheerful? 
You remember that I was much with his daughter, much 
in his house, when I was a child. He was ever most 
kind to me." Lady Montfort's voice here faltered. 

" He writes with no reference to himself, his health or 
his spirits. But his young kinsman described him to me 
as in good health — wonderfully young-looking for his 
years. But cheerful — no! Darrell and 1 entered the 
world together ; we were friends as much as a man so 
busy and eminent as he could be friends with a man like 
myself — indolent by habit, and obscure out of Mayfair. 
I know his nature ; we both know something.of his family 
sorrows. He can not be happy ! Impossible ! — alone — 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 161 

childless — secluded. Poor Darrell, abroad now ; in Ye- 
runa, too ! — the dullest place ! in mourning still for B o- 
meo and Juliet ! — 'Tis your turn to move. In his letter 
Darrell talked of going on to Greece, Asia — penetrating 
into the depths of Africa — the wildest schemes! Dear 
Country Guy, as we called him at Eton ! — what a career 
his might have been ! Don't let us talk of him, it makes 
me mournful. Like Goethe, I avoid painful subjects 
upon principle." 

Lady Montfort. "No — we will not talk of him. 
No — I take the Queen's pawn. No, we will not talk 
of him! — no ! " 

The game proceeded ; the Colonel was within three 
moves of checkmating his adversary. Forgetting the 
resolution come to, he said, as she paused, and seemed 
despondently meditating a hopeless defense — 

" Pray, my fair cousin, what makes Montfort dislike 
my old friend Darrell ?" 

" Dislike I Does he ? I don't know. Vanquished again, 
Colonel Morley !" She rose ; and, as he restored the chess- 
men to their box, she leaned thoughtfully over the table. 

"This young kinsman — will he not be a comfort to 
Mr. Darrell ? 

" He would be a comfort and a pride to a father ; but 
to Darrell, so distant a kinsman — comfort ! — why and 
how ? Darrell will provide for him, that is all. A very 
gentlemanlike young man — gone to Paris by ray advice 
— "vants poJish and knowledge of life. When he conies 
14 * L 



162 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

back he must enter society ; I have put his name up at 
White's ; may I introduce him to you ?" 

Lady Montfort hesitated, and, after a pause, said almost 
rudely, "No." 

She left the Colonel, slightly shrugging his shoulders, 
and passed into the billiard-room with a quick step. 
Some ladies were already there, looking at the players. • 
Lord Montfort was chalking his cue. Lady Montfort 
walked straight up to him ; her color was heightened ; 
her lip was quivering ; she placed her hand on his shoul- 
der with a wifelike boldness. It seemed as if she had come 
there to seek him from an impulse of affection. She asked 
w4th a hurried fluttering kindness of voice, " If he had 
been successful ?" and called him by his Christian name. 
Lord Montfort's countenance, before merely apathetic, 
now assumed an expression of extreme distaste. " Come 
to teach me to make a cannon, I suppose !" he said, 
mutteringly, and, turning from her, contemplated the balls 
and missed the cannon. 

" Rather in my way. Lady Montfort," said he then, 
and retiring to a corner, said no more. 

Lady Montfort's countenance became still more flushed. 
She lingered a moment, returned to the drawing-room, 
and for the rest of the evening was uncommonly animated, 
gracious, fascinating. As she retired with her lady 
guests for the night, she looked round, saw Colonel Mor-' 
ley, and held out her hand to him. " Your nephew comes 
here to-morrow," said she, "my old playfellow; impossi- 
ble (piitc to forget old friends — good-night." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITHIT? 163 



CHAPTER IX. 

"Les extremes se touchent." 

The next day the gentlemeu were dispersed out oi 
doors — a large shootiug party. Those who did not shoot, 
walked forth to inspect the racing stud or the model farm. 
The ladies had taken their walk ; some were in their own 
rooms, some in the reception rooms, at work, or readins^:, 
or listening to the piano — Honoria Carr Yipont again 
performing. Lady Montfort was absent ; Lady Selina 
kindly supplied the hostess' place. Lady Selina was em- 
broidering, with great skill and taste, a pair of slippers 
for her eldest boy, who was just entered at Oxford, having 
left Eton with a reputation of being the neatest dresser, 
and not the worst cricketer, of that renowned educational 
institute. It is a mistake to suppose that fine ladies are 
not sometimes very fond mothers and aflfectionate wives. 
Lady Selina, beyond her family circle, was trivial, unsym- 
pathizing, cold-hearted, supercilious by temperament, 
never kind but through policy, artificial as clock-work. 
But in her own home, to her husband, her children. Lady 
Selina was a very good sort of woman. Devotedly at- 
tached to Carr Yipont, exaggerating his talents, thinking 
him the first man in England, careful of his honor, zealous 
for his interests, soothing in his cares, tender in his ail- 
mnnt^. To her jrirl.-: prudent and watchful — to her boys 



1 64 \V II AT WILL HE DO W I T H IT? 

indulgent and caressing. Minutely attentive to the edu- 
cation of the first, according to her high-bred ideas of 
education — and they really were "superior" girls, with 
much instruction and well-balanced minds. Less authori- 
tative with the last, because boys being not under her 
immediate control, her sense of responsibility allowed her 
to display more fondness and less dignity in her inter- 
course with them than with young ladies who must learn 
from her example, as well as her precepts, the patrician 
decorum which becomes the smooth result of impulse re- 
strained and emotion checked. Boys might make a noise 
in the world, girls should make none. Lady Selina, then, 
Mas working the slippers for her absent son, her heart 
being full of him at that moment. She was describing his 
character, and expatiating on his promise to two or three 
attentive listeners, all interested, as being themselves of 
the Vipont brood, in the probable destiny of the heir to 
the Carr Yiponts. 

"In short," said Lady Selina, winding up, "as soon 
as Reginald is of age we shall get him into Parliament. 
Carr has always lamented that he himself was not broken 
into office early ; Reginald must be. Nothing so requisite 
for public men as early training — makes them practical, 
and not too sensitive to what those horrid newspaper men 
say. That was Pitt's great advantage. Reginald has 
ambition ; he should have occupation to keep him out of 
mischief. It is an anxious thing for a mother, when a 
son is good-looking — such danger of his being spoiled by 
the women — yes, my dear, it ?.s a small foot, very small 
■ — his father's foot.'' 



WHAT WILL Hi: DO WITH IT? 1 <j5 

''If Lord Montfort should have no fniuily," said a 
somewhat distant and subaltern Yipont, wiiisperingly and 
hesitating, "does not the title — " 

"No, my dear," interrupted Lady Selina ; "no, the 
title does not come to us. It is a melancholy thought, 
but the marquisate, in that case, is extinct. No other 
heir-male from Gilbert, the first Marquis. Carr says 
there is even likely to be some dispute about the earldom. 
The Barony, of course, is safe ; goes with the Irish 
estates, and must of the English — and goes (don't you 
know?) — to Sir James Vipont, the last person who ought 
to have it ; the quietest, stupidest creature ; not brought 
up to the sort of thing — a mere gentleman farmer on a 
small estate in Devonshire." 

"He is not here ? " 

" No. Lord Montfort does not like him. Yery natural. 
Nobody does like his heir, if not his own child, and some 
[)eople don't even like their own eldest sons ! Shocking ; 
but so it is. Montfort is the kindest, most tractable being 
that ever was, except where he takes a dislike. He dis- 
likes two or three people very much." 

" True; how he did dislike poor Mrs. Lyndsay ! " said 
one of the listeners, smiling. 

"Mrs. Lyndsay, yes — dear Lady Montfort's mother. 
I can't say I pitied her, though I was sorry for Lady 
>[ontfort. How Mrs. Lyndsay ever took in Montfort 
for Caroline I can't conceive ! How she had the face to 
think of it ! He, a mere youth at the time ! Kept secret 
from all his familv — even from his y-randmother — the 



166 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

darkest transaction. I don't wonder that he never for- 
gave it." 

First Listener. " Caroline has beauty enough to — " 

Lady Selina (interrupting). " Beauty, of course — 
no one can deny that. But not at all suited to such a 
position ; not brought up to the sort of thing. Poor 
Montfort ! he should have married a different kind of 
woman altogether — a woman like his grandmother, the 
last Lady Montfort. Caroline does nothing for the 
House — nothing — has not even a child — ^most unfortunate 
affair." 

Second Listener. " Mrs. Lyndsay was very poor, was 
she not ? Caroline, I suppose, had no opportunity of 
forming those tastes and habits which are necessary for 
— for—" 

Lady Selina (helping the listener). " For such a 
position and such a fortune. You are quite right, my 
dear. People brought up in one way can not accommo- 
datG themselves to another ; and it is odd, but I have ob- 
served that people brought up poor can accommodate 
themselves less to being very rich than people brought 
up rich to accommodate themselves to being very poor. 
As Carr says, in his pointed way, * it is easier to stoop 
than to climb.' Yes; Mrs. Lyndsay was, you know, a 
daughter of Seymour Yipont, who was for so many years 
in the Administration, with a fair income from his salary, 
and nothing out of it. Slie married one of the Scotch 
Lyndsays — good family, of course — with a very moderate 
j>roperty. She was left a widow young, with an only 



167 

child, Caroliue. Came to town, with a small jointure. 
The late Lady Montfort was very kind to her. So were 
we all — took her up — pretty woman — pretty manners 
— worldly — oh, very I I don't like worldly people. "Well, 
but all of a sudden, a dreadful thing happened. The 
heir-at-law disputed the jointure, denied that Lyndsay 
had any right to make settlements on the Scotch property 
— very complicated business. But, luckily for her, Vi- 
pont Crooke's daughter, her cousin and intimate friend, 
had married Darrell— the famous Darrell — who was then 
at the bar. It is very useful to have cousins married to 
clever people. He was interested in her case, took it 
up. I believe it did not come on in the courts in which 
Darrell practiced. But he arranged all the evidence, in- 
spected the briefs, spent a great deal of his own money in 
getting up the case — and, in fact, he gained her cause, 
though he could not be her counsel. People did say that 
she was so grateful that, after his wife's death, she had set 
her heart on becoming Mrs. Darrell the second. But 
Darrell was then quite wrapped up in politics — the last 
man to fall in love — and only looked bored when women 
fell in love with him, which a good many did. Grand- 
looking creature, my dear, and quite the rage for a year 
or two. However, Mrs. Lyndsay all of a sudden went 
off to Paris, and there Montfort saw Caroline, and was 
(•aught. Mrs. Lyndsay, no doubt, calculated on living 
with her daughter, having the run of Montfort House in 
town and Montfort Court in the countrv. But Montfort 



168 WHAT WILL HE PO WITH IT? 

is deeper than people think for. No, he never forgave 
her. She was never asked here — took it to heart, went 
to Rome, and died." 

At this moment the door opened, and George Morley, 
now the Rev. George Morley, entered, just arrived to 
join his cousins. 

Some knew him, some did not. Lady Selina, wiio 
made it a point to know all the cousins, rose graciously, 
put aside the slippers, and gave him two fingers. She 
was astonished to find him not nearly so shy as he used 
to l)e — wonderfully improved ; at his ease, cheerful, ani- 
mated. The man now was in his right place, aad fol- 
lowing hope on the bent of inclination. Few men are 
shy when in their right places. He asked after Lady 
Montfort. She was in her own small sitting-room, writing 
letters — letters that Carr Yipont had entreated her to 
write — correspondence useful to the House of Yipont. 
Before long, however, a servant entered to say that Lady 
Montfort would be very happy to see Mr. Morley. 
George followed the servant into that unpretending 
sitting-room, with its simple chintzes and quiet book- 
shelves — room that would not have been too fine for a 
cottage. 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 109 



CHAPTER X. 

In every life, go it fast, go it slow, there are critical pausing 
places. When the journey is renewed, the face of the country 
is changed. 

How well she suited that simple room — herself so sim- 
ply dressed — her marvellous beauty so exquisitely subdued. 
She looked at home there, as if all of home that the house 
could give were there collected. 

She had finished and sealed the momentous letters, and 
had come, with a sense of r.^lief, from tiie table at the 
farther end of the room, on which tiiose letters, ceremo- 
nious and conventional, had been written — come to the 
window, which, though mid-winter, was oi)en, and the 
red-breast, with whom she had made friends, hopped 
boldly almost within reach, looking at her with bright 
eyes, and head curiously aslant. By the window a single 
chair and a small reading-desk, with the book lying open. 
The short day was not far from its close, but there was 
ample light still in the skies, and a serene if chilly stillness 
in the air without. 

Though expecting the relation she had just summoned 
to her presence, I fear she had half forgotten him. She 
w^as standing by the windov.- deep in reverie as he entered, 
so ileep that she started when his voice struck her ear 
and he stood before her. She recovered herself quickly, 

IT. — 15 



170 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

however, and said with even more than her ordinary kind- 
liness of tone and manner toward the scholar — "I am 
so glad to see and congratulate you." 

"And 1 so glad to receive your congratulations," an- 
swered the scholar, in smooth, slow voice, without a 
stutter. 

" But, George, how is this ? " asked Lady Montfort. 
'" Bring tliat chair, sit down here, and tell me all about 
it. You wrote me word you were cured, at least suffi- 
ciently to remove your noble scruples. You did not say 
how. Your uncle tells me by patient will and resolute 
practice." 

"Under good guidance. But I am going to coniide to 
you a secret, if you will promise to keep it." 

" Oh, you may trust me ; I have no female friends." 

The clergyman smiled, and spoke at once of the lessons 
he had received from the basket-maker. 

"I have his permission," he said, in conclusion, "to 
confide the service he rendered me, the intimacy that has 
sprung up between us, but to you alone — not a word to 
your guests. When you have once seen him, you will 
understand why an eccentric man, who has known better 
days, would shrink from the impertinent curiosity of idle 
customers. Contented with his humble livelihood, he 
asks but liberty and repose." 

"That I already comprehend." said Lady Montfort, 
half sighing, half smiling. "But my curiosity shall not 
molest him, and when I visit the village, I will pass by 
his cottage." 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? ITl 

" Nay, ray dear Lady Montfort, that would be to refuse 
the favor I am about to ask, which is, that you would 
come with me to that very cottage. It would so please 
hira." 

" Please him — why ? " 

" Because this poor mau has a young female grand- 
child, and he is so anxious that you should see and be 
kmd to her, and because, too, he seems most tenacious to 
remain in his present residence. The cottage, of course, 
belongs to Lord Montfort, and is let to him by the bailiff, 
and if you deign to feel interest in him. his tenure is safe." 

Lady Montfort looked down, and colored. She thought, 
perhaps, how false a security her protection, and how 
slight an influence her interest would be, but she did not 
say so. George went on ; and so eloquently and so 
touchingly did he describe both grandsire and grandchild, 
so skillfully did he intimate the mystery which hung over 
them, that Lady Montfort became much moved by his 
narrative, and willingly promised to accompany him 
across the park to the basket-maker's cottage the first 
opportunity. But when one has sixty guests in one's 
house, one has to wait for an opportunity to escape from 
them unremarked. And the opportunity, in fact, did not 
come for many days — not till the party broke up — save 
one or two dowager she-cousins who "gave no trouble," 
and one or two bachelor he-cousins whom my lord re- 
tained to consummate the slaughter of pheasants, and 
play at billiards in the dreary intervals between sunset 
and dinner — dinner and bedtime. 



172 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Then one cheerful frosty noon George Morley and his 
fair cousin walked boldly, en evidence, before the prying 
ghostly windows, across the broad gravel- walks — gained 
the secluded shrubbery, the solitary deeps of parkland — 
skirted the wide sheet of water — and passing through a 
private wicket in the paling, suddenly came upon the 
patch of osier-ground and humble garden, which were 
backed by the basket-maker's cottage. 

As they entered those lowly precincts a child's laugh 
was borne to their ears — a child's silvery, musical, mirth- 
ful laugh ; it was long since the great lady had heard a 
laugh like that — a happy child's natural laugh. She 
paused and listened with a strange pleasure. " Yes," 
whispered George Morley, "stop — and hush I there they 
are." 

Waife was seated on the stump of a tree, materials for 
his handicraft lying beside, neglected. Sophy was stand- 
ing before him — he, raising his finger as in reproof, and 
striving hard to frown. As the intruders listened, they 
overheard that he was striving to teach her the rudiments 
of French dialogue, and she was laughing merrily at her 
own blunders and at the solemn affectation of the shocked 
schoolmaster. Lady Montfort noted with no unnatural 
surprise the purity of idiom and of accent, with which 
this singular basket-maker was unconsciously displaying 
his perfect knowledge of a language, which the best edu- 
cated English gentleman of that generation, nay, even 
of this, rarely speaks with accuracy and elegance. But 
her attention was diverted immediately from the teacher 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 173 

to the face of the sweet pupil. Women have a quick 
appreciation of beauty in their own sex — and women, 
who are themselves beautiful, not the least. Irresistibly 
Lady Montfort felt attracted toward that innocent coun- 
tenance, so lively in its mirth, and yet so softly gay. Sir 
Isaac, who had hitherto lain perdu, watching the move- 
ments of a thrush amidst a holly-bush, now started up 
with a bark. Waife rose — Sophy turned half in flight. 
The visitors approached. 

Here, slowly, lingeringly, let fall the curtain. In the 
frank license of narrative, years will have rolled away ere 
the curtain rise again. Events that may influence a life 
often date from moments the most serene, from things that 
appear as trivial and unnoticeable as the great lady 'ff visit 
to the basket-maker's cottage. Which of those lives will 
that visit influence hereafter — the woman's, the child's, 
the vagrant's? Whose? Probably little that passes now 
would aid conjecture, or be a visible link in the chain of 
destiny. A few desultory questions — a few guarded an- 
swers — a look or so, a musical syllable or two exchanged 
between the lady and the child — a basket bought, or a 
promise to call again. Nothing worth the telling. Be 
it then untold. Yiew only the scene itself as the curtain 
drops reluctantly. The rustic cottage, its garden-door 
open, and open its old-fashioned lattice casements. You 
can see how neat and cleanly, how eloquent of healthful 
poverty, how remote from squalid penury, the whitewashed 
walls, the homely furniture within. Creepers lately trained 
around the door-way. Christmas holly, with berries red 
15* 2m 



ri4 WHAT WILL HE DO WITHIT? 

aj^ainst the window-panes ; the beehive yonder ; a starling, 
too, outside tlie threshold, in its wicker cage. In the 
background (all the rest of the neighboring hamlet out 
of sight), the church-spire tapering awa}' into the clear 
blue wintry sky. All has an air of repose — of safety. 
Close beside you is the Presence of home — that ineffable, 
sheltering, loving Presence — which, amidst solitude, 
murmurs " not solitary ; " a Presence unvouchsafed to the 
great lady in the palace she has left. And the lady her- 
self? She is resting on the rude gnarled root-stump from 
which the vagrant had risen ; she has drawn Sophy to- 
ward her ; she has taken the child's hand ; she is speaking 
now — now listening ; and on her face kindness looks like 
happiness. Perhaps she is happy at that moment. And 
Waife ? he is turning aside his weather-beaten, mobile 
countenance, with his hand anxiously trembling upon the 
young scholar's arm. The scholar whispers, " Are you 
satisfied with me?" and Waife answers in a voice as low 
but more broken, " God reward you ! Oh, joy I — if my 
pretty one has found at last a woman friend I " Poor 
vagabond, he has now a calm asylum — a fixed humble 
livelihood — more than that, he has just achieved an ob- 
ject fondly cherished. His past life — alas ! what has he 
done with it ? His actual life — broken fragment though 
it be — is at rest now. But still the everlasting question 

— mocking, terrible question — with its phrasing of farce 
and its enigmas of tragical sense — " What will he do 
WITH IT ? " Do with what ? The all that remains to him 

— the all he holds ! — the all which man himself, b?twixt 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 175 

free-will and pre-decree is permitted to do. Ask not the 
vagrant alone — ask each of the four there assembled on 
that flying bridge called the Moment. Time before thee 

— what wilt thou do with it? Ask thyself! — ask the 
wisest I Out of effort to answer that question, what 
dream-schools have risen, never wholly to perish ! The 
science of seers on the Chaldee's Pur-Tor, or in the rock- 
caves of Delphi, gasped after and grasped at by born- 
honded mechanics to-day in their lanes and alleys. To 
the heart of the populace sink down the blurred relics of 
what once was the lore of the secretest sages — hiero- 
glyphical tatters which the credulous vulgar attempt to 
interpret — " What will he do with it ? " Ask Merle 
and his Crystal ! But the curtain descends ! Yet a mo- 
ment, there they are — age and childhood — poverty, 
wealth, station, vagabondage ; the preacher's sacred 
learning and august ambition ; fancies of dawning reason ; 

— hopes of intellect matured ; — memories of existence 
wrecked; household sorrows — untold regrets — elegy 
and epic in low, close, human sighs, to which Poetry never 
yet gave voice — all for the moment personified there be- 
fore you — a glimpse for the guess — no more. Lower 
and lower falls the curtain I All is blank 1 



BOOK SIXTH 



CHAPTER I. 

Being an Address to the Reader. 

Seeing the length to which this Work has alreadj ran, 
and the space it must yet occupy in the columns of Maga, 
it is but .fair to the Reader to correct any inconsiderate 
notion that the Author does not know " what he will do 
with it." Learn, then, friendly reader, that no matter 
the number of months through which it may glide its way 
to thine eyes — learn that with the single exception of the 
chapter now respectfully addressed to thee, the whole 

OP THIS WORK HAS BEEN LONG SINCE COMPLETED AND 
TRANSFERRED FROM THE DESK OF THE AUTHOR TO THE 
HANDS OF THE PUBLISHER. 

On the 22d of January last — let the day be marked 
with a white stone I — the Author's labors were brought 
to a close, and " What he will do with it" is no longer a 
secret — at least to the Editor of Maga. 

May this information establish, throughout the rest of 

the journey to be travelled together, that tacit confidence 

between Author and Reader which is so important to 

mutual satisfaction ! 

(176) 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? Ht 

Firstly. — The Reader may thus have the complaisance 
to look at each installment as the component portion of 
a completed whole ; comprehending that it can not be 
within the scope of the Author's design to aim at a 
separate effect for each separate Xumber ; but rather to 
carry on through each Number the effect which he deems 
most appropriate to his composition when regarded as a 
whole. And here may it be permitted to dispel an 
erroneous idea which, to judge by current criticism, 
appears to be sufficiently prevalent to justify the egotism 
of comment. It seems to be supposed that, because this 
work is published from month to month in successive in- 
stallments, therefore it is written from month to month, as 
a newspaper article may be dashed off from day to day. 
Such a supposition is adverse to all the principles by 
which works that necessitate integrity of plan, and a 
certain harmony of proportion, are constructed ; more 
especially those works which aim at artistic representa- 
tions of human life ; for, in human life, we must presume 
that nothing is left to chance, and chance must be no less 
rigidly banished from the art by which human life is de^ 
picted. That art admits no hap-hazard chapters, no un- 
certainty as to the consequences that must ensue from the 
incidents it decides on selecting. Would the artist, on 
after-thought, alter a consequence, he must reconsider the 
whole chain-work of incident which led to one inevitable 
result, and which would be wholly defective if it could be 
'nade to lead to another. Hence, a work of this kind can 
not be written currente caJamo, from month to month : 

M 



1*78 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the entire design must be broadly set forth before the first 
page goes to press ; and large sections of the whole must 
be always completed in advance, in order to allow time 
for deliberate forethought, and fair opportunity for such 
revisions, as an architect, having prepared all his plans, 
must still admit to his building, should difficulties, not 
foreseen, sharpen the invention to render each variation 
in detail an improvement consistent to the original design. 
Secondly. — May the Reader — accepting this profes- 
sion of the principles by which is constructed the history 
that invites his attention, and receiving now the assurance 
that the Work has actually passed out of the Author's 
hands, is as much a thing done and settled as any book 
composed by him twenty years ago — banish all fear lest 
each Number should depend for its average merit on ac- 
cidental circumstances — such as impatient haste, or vary- 
ing humor, or capricious health, or the demand of more 
absorbing and practical pursuits, in which, during a con- 
siderable portion of the year, it has long been the Author's 
lot to be actively engaged. Certes, albeit in the course 
of his life he has got through a reasonable degree of 
labor, and has habitually relied on application to supply 
his defects in genius ; yet to do one thing at a time is the 
practical rule of those by whom, in the course of time, 
many things have been accomplished. And accordingly 
a work, even so trivial as this may be deemed, is not 
composed in the turmoil of metropolitan life, nor when 
other occupations demand attention, but in the quiet 
l()i>nre of rural shades, and in those portions of the year 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? UO 

which fellow-workmen devote to relaxation and amusO' 
meut. For even in holidays, something of a holiday-task 
adds a zest to the hours of ease. 

Lastly. — Since this survey of our modern world 
requires a large and a crowded canvas, and would be in- 
complete did it not intimate those points of contact in 
which the private touches the public life of Social Man, 
so it is well that the Reader should fully understand that 
all reference to such grand events, as political "crises'' 
and changes of Government, were written many months 
ago, and have no reference whatever to the actual occur- 
rences of the passing day. Holding it, indeed, a golden 
maxim that practica^politics and ideal art should be kept 
wholly distinct from each other, and seeking in this Narra- 
tive to write that which may be read with unembittered 
and impartial pleasure by all classes and all parties — 
nay, perchance, in years to come, by the children of those 
whom he now addresses — the Author deems it indis- 
pensable to such ambition to preserve the neutral ground 
of imaginative creation, not only free from those personal 
portraitures which are fatal to comprehensive and typical 
delineations of character, but from all intentional appeals 
to an interest which can be but momentary, if given to 
subjects that best befit the leading articles of political 
journals. His realm, if it hope to endure, is in the con- 
ditions, the humors, the passions by which one general 
phase of society stands forth in the broad light of our 
ommon human nature, never to be cast aside, a? obsolete 
:n]d out of fashion, "into the portion of weeds and worn- 



180 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

Reader ! this exordium is intended, by way of preface 
to that more important division of tliis work, in which 
the one-half the circle rounds itself slowly on to com- 
plete the whole. Forgive the exordium ; for, rightly 
considered, it is but an act of deference to thee. Didst 
thou ever reflect, Reader ! on what thou art to an 
Author ? Art thou aware of the character of dignity and 
power with which he invests thee ? To thee the Author 
is but an unit in the great sum of intellectual existence. 
To the Author, thou, Reader ! art the collective re- 
presentative of a multifarious abiding audience. To 
thee the Author is but the machine, more or less defec- 
tive, that throws off a kind of work usually so ephemeral 
that seldom wilt thou even pause to examine why it 
please or displease, for a day, the taste that may change 
with the morrow. But to him, the Author, thou art, 
Reader ! a confidant and a friend, often nearer and 
dearer than any one else in the world. AH other friends 
are mortal as himself; tliey can but survive for a few 
years the dust he must yield to the grave. But there, 
in his eye, aloof and aloft forever, stands the Reader, 
more and more his friend as Time rolls on. 'Tis to thee 
that he leaves his grandest human bequest, his memory 
and his name. If secretly he deem himself not appre- 
ciated in his own generation, he hugs the belief, often 
chimerical and vain, but ever sweet and. consoling, that 
in some generation afar awaits the Reader destined at 
last to do him justice. With thee, the Author is, of all 
men, he to whom old age comes the soonest. How 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? x 81 

quickly thou hastenest to say, " Not what he was ! Vigor 
is waning — invention is flagging — past is his day — push 
him aside, and make room for the Fresh and the New." 
But the Author never admits that old age can fall on the 
Reader. The Reader to him is a being in whom youth 
is renewed through all cycles. Leaning on his crutch, 
the Author still walks by the side of that friendly Shadow 
as he walked on summer eves, \sith a school-friend of 
boyhood — talking of the future with artless, hopeful lips ! 
Dreams he that a day may come when he will have no 
Reader ! O school-boy ! dost thou ever dream that a 
day may come when thou wilt have no friend ? 



CHAPTER II. 

Etchings of Hyde Park in the month of June, which, if this His- 
tory escape those villains the trunk-makers, may be of inesti- 
mable value to unborn antiquarians. — Characters, long absent, 
reappear and give some account of themselves. 

Five years have passed away since this History opened. 
It is the month of June, once more — June, which clothes 
our London in all its glory ; fills its languid ball-rooms 
with living flowers, and its stony causeways with human 
butterflies. It is about the hour of 6 p.m. The lounge 
in Hyde Park is crowded ; along the road that skirts the 
Serpentine crawl the carriages one after the other ; con- 
gregate, by the rails, the lazy lookers-on — lazy in attitude, 

II. — Ifi 



182 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT 

but with actiTe eyes, and tongues sharpened on the whet- 
stone of scandal ; the sealigers of Club windows airing 
their vocabulary in the Park. Slowly saunter on foot- 
idlers of all degrees in the hierarchy of London idle^se ; 
dandies of established fame — youthful tyros in their first 
season. Yonder, in the Ride, forms less inanimate seem 
condemned to active exercise ; young ladies doing penance 
in a canter ; old beaux at hard labor in a trot. Some- 
times, by a more thoughtful brow, a still brisker pace, 
you recognize a busy member of the Imperial Parliament, 
who, advised by physicians to be as much on horseback 
as possible, snatches an hour or so in the interval between 
the close of his Committee and the interest of the Debate, 
and shirks the opening speech of a well known bore. 
Among such truant lawgivers (grief it is to say it) may 
be seen that once model member, Sir Jasper Stollhead. 
Grim dyspepsia seizing on him at last, "relaxation ft-om 
his duties " becomes the adequate punishment for all his 
sins. Solitary he rides, and, communing with himself, 
yawns at every second. Upon chairs, beneficently located 
under the trees toward the north side of the walk, are in- 
terspersed small knots and coteries in repose. There, 
you might see the Ladies Prymme, still the Ladies 
Prymme — Janet and Wilhelmina ; Janet has grown fat, 
Wilhelraina thin. But thin or fat, they are no less 
Pryrames. They do not lack male attendants ; they are 
girls of high fashion, with whom young men think it a 
distinction to be talking ; of high principle, too, and high 
pretensions (unhappily for themselves they are coheiresses), 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 183 

by whom young men under the rank of earls need not 
fear to be artfully entrapped into "honorable intentions." 
They coquet majestically, but they never flirt ; they exact 
devotion, but they do not ask in each victim a sacrifice 
on the horns of the altar ; they will never give their hands 
where they do not give their hearts ; and being ever 
afraid that they are courted for their money, they will 
never give their hearts save to wooers who have much 
more money than themselves. Many young men stop to 
do passing homage to the Ladies Prymme ; some linger 
to converse — safe young men, they are all younger sons. 
Farther on, Lady Frost and Mr. Crampe the wit, sit ami- 
cably side by side, pecking at each other with sarcastic 
beaks ; occasionally desisting, to fasten nip and claw upon 
that common enemy, the passing friend I The Slowes, a 
numerous family, but taciturn, sit by themselves — bowed 
to much ; accosted rarely. 

Note that man of good presence, somewhere about 
thirty, or a year or two more, who, recognized by most 
of the loungers, seems not at home in the lounge. He 
has passed by the various coteries just described, made 
his obeisance to the Ladies Prymme. received an icy epi- 
gram from Lady Frost, and a laconic sneer from Mr. 
Crampe, and exchanged silent bows with seven silent 
Slowes. He has wandered on, looking high in the air, 
but still looking for some one, not in the air, and, evi- 
dently disappointed in his search, comes to a full stop at 
length, takes off his hat, wipes his brow, utters a petulant 
" Pn- — 1- — pshaw ! " and seeing, a little in the background, 



184 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

the chairless shade of a thin, emaciated, dusty tree, 
thither he retires, and seats himself with as little care 
whether there to seat himself be the right thing in the 
right place, as if in the houev-suckle arbor of a village 
inn. "It serves me right," said he, to himself, "a pre- 
cocious villain bursts in upon me, breaks my day, makes 
an appointment to meet here, in these very walks, ten 
minutes before six ; decoys me with the promise of a 
dinner at Putney — room looking on the river, and fried 
flounders. I have the credulity to yield ; I derange my 
habits — I leave my cool studio ; I put off ray easy blouse ; 
I imprison my free-born throat in a cravat invented by 
the Thugs ; the dog-days are at hand, and I walk rashly 
over scorching pavements in a black frock-coat, and a 
brimless hat ; I annihilate 3s. Qd. in a pair of kid gloves ; 
I arrive at this haunt of spleen ; I run the gauntlet of 
Frosts, Slowes, and Prymraes ; — and my traitor fails me ! 
Half past, six — not a sign of him! and the dinner at 
Putney — fried flounders ? Dreams ! Patience, five minutes 
more ; if then he comes not — breach for life between him 
and me ! Ah, voild! there he comes, the laggard ! But 
how those fine folks are catching at him ! Has he asked 
them also to dinner at Putney, and do they care for fried 
flounders ? " 

The soliloquist's eye is on a young man, much younger 
than himself, who is threading the motley crowd with a 
light quick step, but is compelled to stop at each moment 
to interchange a word of welcome, a shake of the hand. 
Evidently he has already a large acquaintance : evidently 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 185 

he is popular, on good terms with the world and himself. 
What free grace in his bearing ! what gay good-hnmor 
in his smile ! Powers above ! Ladv Wilhelraina surely 
blushes as she returns his bow. He has passed Lady 
Frost unblighted ; the Slowes evince emotion, at least the 
female Slowes, as he shoots by them with that sliding bow. 
He looks from side to side, with a rapid glance of an eye 
in which light seems all dance and sparkle; he sees the 
soliloquist under the meagre tree — the pace quickens, the 
lips part, half laughing. 

" Don't scold, Yance. I am late, I know ; but I did 
not make allowance for interceptions." 

" Body o' me, interceptions ! For an absentee just ar- 
rived in London, you seem to have no lack of friends." 

" Friends made in Paris, and found again here at every 
corner, like pleasant surprises. But no friend so welcome, 
and dear, as Frank Yance." 

" Sensible of the honor, Lionello the magnificent. 
Yerily you are hon Prince! The Houses of Yalois and 
of Medici were always kind to artists. But whither would 
you lead me ? Back into that tread-mill ? Thank you, 
humbly; no. A crowd in fine clothes is of all mobs the 
dullest. I can look undismayed on the many-headed 
monster, wild and rampant; but when the many-headed 
monster buys its hats in Bond Street, and has an eye- 
glass at each of its inquisitive eyes, I confess I take fright. 
Besides, it is near seven o'clock ; Putney not visible, and 
the flounders not fried ! " 

" My cab is waiting yonder ; we must walk to it — we 
16* 



186 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

can keep on the turf^ and avoid the throng. But tell me 
honestly, Yance, do you really dislike to mix in crowds — 
you, with your fame, dislike the eyes that turn back to 
look again, and the lips that respectfully murmur, 'Yance, 
the Painter ? ' Ah, I always said you would be a great 
painter.. And in five short years you have soared high." 

" Pooh ! " answered Yance, indifferently. " Nothing is 
pure and unadulterated in London use ; not cream, nor 
cayenne pepper — least of all, Fame ; mixed up with the 
most deleterious ingredients. Fame ! did you read the 
Times' critique on my pictures in the present Exhibition ? 
Fame, indeed ! Change the subject. Nothing so good 
as flounders. Ho ! is that your cab ? Superb ! Car fit 
for the ' Grecian youth of talents rare,' in Mr. Enfield's 
Speaker; horse that seems conjured out of the Elgin 
marbles. Is he quiet ? " 

" Not very ; but trust to my driving. You may well 
admire the horse — present from Darrell, chosen by Colonel 
Morley." 

When the young men had settled themselves in the 
vehicle, Lionel dismissed his groom, and, touching his 
horse, the animal trotted out briskly. 

" Frank," said Lionel, shaking his dark curls with a 

petulant gravity, " your cynical definitions are unworthy 

that masculine beard. You despise fame ! what sheer 

affectation I 

" Pulverem Olympicum 
Collegisse juvat; metaque fervidis 



Evitata rotis 



Take care," cried Yance ; *' we shall be over." For 



WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 187 

Lionel, growiii-g excited, teased the horse with his whip ; 
and the horse bolting, took the cab within an inch of a 
water-cart. 

" Fame, Fame ! " cried Lionel, unheeding the interrup- 
tion. " What would I not give to have and to hold it for 
an hour ! " 

" Hold an eel, less slippery ; a scorpion, less stinging ! 
But — " added Yance, observing his companion's height- 
ened color. " But," he added seriously, and with an honest 
compunction, " I forgot, you are a soldier, you follow the 
career of arms ! Never heed what is said on the subject 
by a querulous painter ! The desire of fame may be folly 
in civilians, in soldiers it is wisdom. Twin-born with tlie 
martial sense of honor, it cheers the march, it warms the 
bivouac ; it gives music to the whirr of the bullet, the roar 
of the ball ; it plants hope in the thick of peril ; knits 
rivals with the bond of brothers ; comforts the survivor 
when the brother falls ; takes from war its grim aspect 
of carnage ; and from homicide itself extracts lessons that 
strengthen the safeguards to humanity, and perpetuate 
life to nations. Right — pant for fame ; you are a sol- 
dier ! " 

This was one of those bursts of high sentiment from 
Vance, which, as they were very rare with him, had the 
dramatic effect of surprise. Lionel listened to him with a 
Thrilling delight. He could not answer, he was too moved. 
The artist resumed, as the cabriolet now cleared the Park, 
and rolled safely and rapidly along the road. " I suppose, 
during the five years you have spent abroad, completing 



188 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

your general education, you have made little study, or 
none, of what specially appertain? to the profession you 
have so recently chosen." 

" You are mistaken there, my dear Vance. If a man's 
heart be set on a thing, he is always studying it. The 
books I 'loved best, and most pondered over, were such 
as, if they did not administer lessons, suggested hints that 
might turn to lessons hereafter. In social intercourse, I 
never was so pleased as when I could fasten myself to 
some practical veteran — question and cross-examine him. 
One picks up more ideas in conversation than from books ; 
at least I do. Besides, my idea of a soldier who is to 
succeed some day, is not that of a mere mechanician at 
arras. See how accomplished most great captains have 
Ujen. What observers of mankind ! — What diplomatists 
. — what reasoners ! what men of action, because men to 
whom reflection had been habitual before they acted ! 
How many stores of ideas must have gone to the judg- 
ment which hazards the sortie, or decides on the re- 
treat ! " 

" Gently, gently ! " cried Yance. " We shall be into 
that omnibus ! Give me the whip — do ; there — a little 
more to the left — so. Yes; I am glad to see such 
enthusiasm in your profession — 'tis half the battle. 
Ilazlitt said a capital thing, 'the 'prentice who does not 
consider the Lord Mayor in his gilt coach the greatest 
man in the world will live to be hanged!'" 

" Pish ! " said Lionel catching at the whip. 

Yance (holding it back). " No. I apologize instead. 



WHAT WILL B iL DO WITH IT? 189 

I retract the Lord Mayor ; comparisons are odious. I 
agree with you, nothing like leather — I mean nothing 
like a really great soldier — Hannibal, and so forth. 
Cherish that conviction, my boy ; meanwhile, respect 
human life — there is another omnibus!" 

The danger past, the artist thought it prudent to divert 
the conversation into some channel less exciting. 

" Mr. Darrell, of course, consents to your choice of a 
profession ? " 

"Consents — approves, encourages. Wrote me such 
a beautiful letter — what a comprehensive intelligence 
that man has ! " 

" Necessarily ; since he agrees with you. Where is he 
now ? " 

" I have no notion ; it is some months since I heard 
from him. He was then at Malta, on his return from 
Asia Minor." 

" So ! you have never seen him since he bade you fare- 
well at his old Manor-House ? " 

" Never. He has not, I believe, been in England." 

" Nor in Paris, where you seem to have chiefly resided ?" 

" Nor in Paris. Ah, Yance, could I but be of some 
comfort to him ! Now that I am older, I think I under- 
stand in him much that perplexed me as a boy, when we 
])arted. Darrell is one of those men who require a home. 
Between the great world and solitude, he needs the inter- 
mediate filling up which the life domestic alone supplies : 
a wife to realize the sweet word helpmate — children, with 
A hi>se future 'le could knit his own toils and his ancestial 
2n 



190 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

remembrances. That intermediate space annihilated, the 
great world and the solitude are left, each frowning on 
the other. 

*' My dear Lionel, you must have lived with very clever 
people; you are talking far above your years." 

"Am \? True, I have lived, if not with very clever 
people, with people far above my years. That is a secret 
I learned from Colonel Morley, to whom I must present 
you — the subtlest intellect under the quietest manner. 
Once he said to me, ' Would you throughout life be up to 
the height of your century — always in the prime of man's 
reason — without crudeness and without decline — live 
habitually, while young, with persons older, and, when 
old, with persons younger than yourself.'" 

** Shrewdly said, indeed. I felicitate you on the 
evident result of the maxim. And so Darrell has no 
home ; no wdfe, and no children ? " 

" He has long been a widower ; he lost his only son in 
boyhood, and his daughter — did you never hear ? " 

-No — what— ?" 

"Married so ill — -a runaway match — and died many 
years since, without issue." 

" Poor man ! It was these afflictions, then, that soured 
his life, and made him the hermit or the wanderer ? " 

** Th-ere," said Lionel, "I am puzzled ; for I find that 
even after his son's death and his daughter's unhappy 
marriage and estrangement from him, he was still in 
Parliament, and in full activity of career. But certainly 
he did not long keep it up. It might have be>en an effort 



WHAT WILL Ut LM> WITH IT? 101 

to which, stroiig as he is, he felt himself unequal ; or, 
might he have known some fresh disappointment, some 
new sorrow which the world never guesses ? what I have 
said as to his family afflictions the world knows. But I 
think he will marry again. That idea .-eemed strong in 
his own mind when we parted ; he brought it out bluntly, 
roughly. Colonel Morley is convinced that he will marry, 
if but for the sake of an heir.'' 

Yance. "And if so, my poor Lionel, you are ousted 
of— " 

Lionel (quickly interrupting^. "Hush! Do nut say, 
my dear Yance, do not you say — you ! — one of those 
low, mean things which, if said to me even by men for 
whom I have no esteem, make my ears tingle and my 
cheek blush. When I think of what Darrell has already 
done for me — me who have no claim on him — it seems 
to me as if I must bate the man who insinuates, ' Fear 
lest your benefactor find a smile at his own hearth, a 
child of his own blood — for you may be richer at his 
deatli in proportion as his life is desolate." 

Yance. " You are a fine young fellow, and I beg your 
pardon. Take care of that milestone — thank you. But 
I suspect that at least two-thirds of those friendly hands 
that detained you on the way to me, were stretched out 
less to Lionel Haughton — a Cornet in the Guards — than 
to Mr. Darrell's heir-presumptive." 

Lionel " That thought sometimes galls me, but it does 
me good ; for it goads on my desire to make myself some 
one whom the most worldlv would not disdain to know 



192 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

for his own sake. Oh for active service ! — Oh for a 
sharp campaign ! — Oh for fair trial how far a man in 
earnest can grapple Fortune to his breast with his own 
strong hands ! You have done so, Vance ; you had but 
your genius and your painter's brush. I have no genius, 
but I hav^e resolve, and resolve is perhaps as sure of its 
ends as genius. Genius and Resolve have three grand 
elements in common — Patience, Hope, Concentration." 
Yance, more and more surprised, looked hard at 
Lionel, without speaking. Five years of that critical age, 
from seventeen to twenty-two, spent in the great capital 
of Europe — kept from its more dangerous vices partly 
by a proud sense of personal dignity, partly by a tempera- 
ment which, regarding love as an ideal for all tender and 
sublime emotion, recoiled from low profligacy as being to 
Love what the Yahoo of the mocking satirist was to Man 

— absorbed much by the brooding ambition that takes 
youth out of the frivolous present into the serious future, 
and seeking companionship, not with contemporary idlers, 
but with the highest and maturist intellects that the free 
commonwealth of good society brought within his reach 

— five years so spent had developed a boy, nursing 
noble dreams, into a man fit for noble action — retaining 
freshest youth in its enthusiasm, its elevation of sentiment, 
its daring, its energy, and divine credulity in its own un- 
exhausted resources ; but borrowing from maturity com- 
pactness and solidity of idea — the link between specula- 
tion and practice — the power to impress on others a 
sense of the superiority which has been self-elaborated by 
unconscious culture. 



WHAT WILL HE DOWITH IT? 103 

" So ! " said Yance, after a prolonged pause, '■ I don't 
know whether I have resolve or genius ; but, certainly, if 
I have made my way to some small reputation, patience, 
hope, and concentration of purpose must have the credit 
of it ; and prudence, t«)0, which you have forgotten to 
name, and certainly don't evince as a charioteer. I hope, 
my dear fellow, you are not extravagant. 2s o debts, eh ? 
— why do you laugh ? " 

" The question is so like you, Frank — thrifty as ever." 

" Do you think I could have painted with a calm mind, 
if I knew that at my door there was a dun whom I could 
not pay ? Art needs serenity ; and if an artist begin his 
career with as few shirts to his back as I had, he must 
place economy among the rules of perspective." 

Lionel laughed again, and made some comments on 
economy which were certainly, if smart, rather flippant, 
and tended not only to lower the favorable estimate of 
his intellectual improvement which Yance had just 
formed, but seriously disquieted the kindly artist. Yance 
knew the world — knew the peculiar temptations to 
which a young man in Lionel's position would be exposed 
— knew that contempt for economy belongs to that school 
of Peripatetics which reserves its last lessons for finished 
disciples in the sacred walks of the Queen's Bench. 

However, that was no auspicious moment for didactic 
warnings. 

" Here we are ! " cried Lionel — " Putney Bridge." 

They reached the little inn by the river-side, and while 

iL — n N 



VH WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

diimer was getting ready, they hired a boat. Vance 
took the oars. 

Yance. " Xot so pretty here as by those green quiet 
banks along which we glided, at moonlight, five years 
ago." 

LiONiVL. "Ah, no. And that innocent, charming 
child, w^hose portrait you took — you have never heard 
of her since ! " 

Yance. " Never ! How should I ? Have you ? " 
Lionel. " Only what Darrell repeated to me. His 
lawyer had ascertained that she and her grandfather had 
gone to America. Darrell gently implied that, from what 
he learned of them, they scarcely merited the interest I 
felt in their fate. But we were not deceived — were we, 
Yance ? " 

Yance. "No; the little girl — what was her name? 
Sukey ? Sally ? — Sophy — true, Sophy — had something 
about her extremely prepossessing, besides her pretty 
face ; and, in spite of that horrid cotton print, I shall 
never forget it." 

Lionel. " Her face ! Nor I. I see it still before me." 

Yance. " Her cotton print ! I see it still before me ! 

But I must not be ungrateful. Would not believe It, 

that little portrait, which cost me three pounds, has made, 

I don't say my fortune, but my fashion ? " 

Lionel. " How ! You had the heart to sell it ? " 
Yance. " No ; I kept it as a study for young female 
heads — 'with variations,' as they say in music. It was 
by my female heads that I become the fashion ; every 



WHAT WILL HE BO WITH I.T ? 1 95 

order I have contains the condition — 'But be sure, one 
of your sweet female heads, Mr. Yance.' My female 
heads are as necessaay to my canvas as a white horse to 
Wouvermans'. Well, that child, who cost me three 
pounds, is the original of them all. Commencing as a 
Titania, she has been in turns a 'Psyche,' a 'Beatrice 
Cence,' a 'Minna,' 'A Portrait of a Nobleman's Daugh- 
ter,' 'Burns's Mary in Heaven,' 'The Young Gleaner,' 
and ' Sabrina fair,' in Milton's Comus. I have led that 
child through all history, sacred and profane. I have 
painted her in all costumes (her own cotton print ex- 
cepted j. My female heads are ray glory — even the 
TimsH^ critic allows that! ' Mr. Yance, there, is inimita- 
ble ! a type of childlike grace peculiarly his own, etc., 
etc' I'll lend you the article." 

Lionel. "And shall we never again see the original 
darling Sophy ? You will laugh, Yance, but I have 
been heart-proof against all young ladies. If ever I 
marry, my wife must have Sophy's eyes ? In America ! '* 

Yance. " Let us hope by this time happily married to 
a Yankee ! Yankees marry girls in their teens, and don't 
ask for dowries. Married to a Yankee ! not a doubt of 
it ! a Yankee who chaws, whittles, and keeps a ' store ! ' " 

Lionel. " Monster ! Hold your tongue ! Apropos^ 
of marriage, why are you still single ? " 

Yance. "Because I have no wish to be doubled up ! 
Moreover, man is Ifke a napkin, the more neatly the 
housewife doubles him, the more carefully she lays him 
0(1 the shelf. Neither can a man once doubled know 



1^6 WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 

how often he may be donbled. Not only his wife folds 
him in two, but every child quarters him into a new 
double, till what was a wide and handsome substance, 
Jarge enough for any thing in reason, dwindles into a 
pitiful square that will not cover one platter — all puckers 
and creases — smaller and smaller with every double — 
with every double a new crease. Then, my friend, comes 
the washing bill ! and, besides all the hurts one receives 
in the mangle, consider the hourly wear and tear of the 
linen-press ! In short, Shakspeare vindicates the single 
life, and depicts the double in the famous line — which is 
no doubt intended to be allegorical of marriage — 

'Double, double, toil and trouble.' 
Besides, no single man can be fairly called poor. What 
double man can with certainty be called rich ? A single 
man can lodge in a garret, and dine on a herring ; nobody 
knows, nobody cares. Let him marry, and he invites the 
world to witness where he lodges, and how he dines. The 
first necessary a wife demands is the most ruinous, the 
most indefinite superfluity ; it is Gentility according to 
what her neighbors call genteel. Gentility commences 
with the honey-moon ; it is its shadow, and lengthens as 
the moon declines. When the honey is all gone, your 
bride says, ' We can have our tea without sugar when 
quite alone, love ; but in case Gentility drop in, here's a 
bill for silver sugar-tongs ! ' That's why I'm single." 

"Economy again, Vance." 

" Prudence — dignity," answered Vance seriously ; and 
sinking into a reverie that seemed gloomy, he shot back 
to shore. 



y?